Song Lyric Sunday, letter-c, day 58


Jim says, “This week we have the food and cooking and eating related prompts of Baking/Bread/Cake/Pie/Picnic and hopefully this will fit for everyone. ”

I read a few of the responses posted before mine, Cherry Pie, Bread Fan, I Like Pie, I like Cake, Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain… all excellent choices. I decided to go with the feeling I remember when going on picnics, although I do discuss our favorite picnic foods. At my age, I’ve been on a quite a few. The best memories are with John, Chris, and Amanda, (my children) but I do have some special picnic date memories tucked away that reminded me of the song I chose by Fabares. Maybe in another post, I’ll discuss some of those memories.

Michele Ann Marie “Shelley” Fabares (born January 19, 1944) is an American actress and singer. In 1962 Fabares’ recording of “Johnny Angel” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 which was on the self titled album Shelley and the song Picnic joined the collection of songs included.

On a picnic morning without a warning
I looked at you and somehow I knew
On a day for singing,
My heart went winging
A picnic grove was our rendezvous
You and I in the sunshine
We strolled the fields amd farms
At the last light of evening,
I held you in my arms
So when days grow stormy
And lonely for me
I just recall picnic time and you.

written by George W. Duning

“Picnic Lyrics.” STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 19 Jul 2020. <>.
“Fabare’s teen-idol status came with her coming-of-age role as the ever-wholesome daughter “Mary Stone” on The Donna Reed Show (1958), a part she played for five seasons before embarking on a more grown-up film career. During the run of the classic sitcom, she and TV “brother” Paul Petersen grew so popular that they sprinted to adjoining pop singing celebrity, although both admitted that their vocal talents were limited. Shelley especially enjoyed a #1 Billboard hit with the breathy, sultry-edged “Johnny Angel”. The character of “Mary Stone” was gently phased out of the show as her character “left for college”.

By this time, Shelley had turned into quite a curvaceous stunner. Her acting mettle hardly tested, she managed to become part of the bikini-clad blonde set with top femme parts in such fun-and-frolic fare as Ride the Wild Surf (1964), Hold On! (1966), which was a vehicle for British singing sensation Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, and three of Elvis Presley‘s less-acclaimed vehicles of the later 1960s: Girl Happy (1965), Spinout (1966) and Clambake (1967).

A serious Vietnam-era stream of consciousness began to pervade film audiences in the late 1960s and Shelley’s perky innocence that found so much favor during the Camelot years had lost its appeal. After a notoriously dry spell, she bounced back as the altruistic wife of a dying footballer “Brian Piccolo” in Brian’s Song (1971), opposite James Caan, and settled comfortably again on the small screen with bright co-star roles on the series The Brian Keith Show (1972), The Practice (1976), and Highcliffe Manor (1979). A more prickly character than usual, however, reared its head in the late-night soap spoof Forever Fernwood (1977), and this led to the equally malicious, vainglorious role of Bonnie Franklin‘s business competitor on the already-established hit sitcom One Day at a Time (1975). The show also featured her aunt Nanette Fabray as Franklin’s meddling mom. In the late 1980s, Shelley found a fleshier character as Craig T. Nelson‘s resourceful mate on Coach (1989), earning steady work for eight seasons and two Emmy nominations in the process. A return to film stardom, however, would eclipse her.” ~

As a pre-teen I watched all those bikini-clad movies with Elvis, Fabares, and Gidget.  Did you know Sandra Dee, Sally Field, Cindy Carroll, and Deborah Walley each played Gidget.

Dick Clark Five is where we tuned in to watch the new and upcoming musicians and the latest dance steps.

This song was shown on a Donna Reed episode while she was on the show before she moved over to the bikini clad movies.  At the time, I thought she was so pretty.

Picnic memory from 40 years ago:

Amanda’s first picnic with us was in August, 1980 after I had the radical hysterectomy and before I was to begin the radiation/chemo treatment.  Amanda was only two months old, Chris was three and John was five when my children’s father wanted to go up to Wyman Lake because it going to be a really hot day. (August in Maine is usually very warm, I never minded because our summers are so short.)

A little background about Wyman, it was a man-made lake on the Kennebec River in Bingham, Maine. There were houses along the river that were purchased then flooded after the construction began in Bingham, in 1928. It would be the largest dam in the eastern United States, promising far more power than Maine industries alone could consume. The lake was named after Walter Wyman, the electrical engineer who brought the project to its full capability.

The paper companies would use the river to float the logs down the river in carefully constructed channels built along the river. In 1973, the environmentalists finally won the battle to preserve the river’s ecology and forced the paper companies to haul wood by truck. After that bill passed, the towns created designated beach areas with picnic tables and restroom facilities. to better serve the communities. That’s how Wyman Lake became a popular family outing place.

Back to my picnic memory. Like every other picnic outing I would prepare either a potato or macaroni salad, barbecue chicken and make cookies for dessert the night before. I was exhausted but somehow I managed to get it done because there was no cooking allowed at the lake. Carry in, carry out is the norm for Maine’s water areas.

In the morning,we would toss everything into coolers, put the blankets, lawn chairs, a pop-up sunblocker, and the beach toys for the boys all into the car and off we’d go for the day. We arrived at Wyman at 10:00 in the morning so we would have the best location on the beach.

The cool part about Wyman was the shoreline, it’s shallow for quite a ways so the boys could play in the water without me having to worry.  (That’s a left over from the log run days.) Amanda was too young to be in the water but she did seem to enjoy being on a blanket by the water while her brothers played and laughed. Maybe their joy was infectious because she stayed awake a lot on her first outing.

We had brought a small transistor radio with us and listened to oldies playing on the radio during our excursion together. The boys danced with me, and tried to sing along with their father and I. We slaughtered a lot of the songs but none of us cared. We were in the moment.

Why I’m reminded of that picnic in particular other than it being the first one for Amanda was because of her first physical interaction with her brother. Chris had  broke a piece of his cookie off and offered it to Amanda. Her little fingers grasped his and his face lit up brighter than a harvest moon. I was relieved that Amanda was finally accepted by her brother after the initial rocky start. Neither one of the boys were happy about having a baby in the family, and worse it was a girl.

There’s more background to their resistance of having a sister but I don’t want to go into it today because it had a lot to do with their father. Today, I’m staying with the picnic memory and the joy of the day.

By the time we arrived back home, we had three very tired children who didn’t resist bedtime. This woman collapsed right after they did. The fresh air did wonders because Amanda slept through the night as well, so I was blessed a full night’s sleep.

We were able to enjoy a couple more picnic excursions that August before the letter-c intervened.

I’m feeling today with the temperatures going to be 100 degrees today a potato salad would be perfect, maybe on top of a bed of lettuce.




7 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday, letter-c, day 58

  1. I must be pretty old, as I remember watching the The Donna Reed Show. You did an awesome write-up on this song. I never heard this lovely song before. It was nice that you shared your memories of having picnics with your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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