Cool Jerk

Cool Jerk

I went to my first dance when I graduated from the sixth grade. It was 1966 and, in and of itself, the dance with its steady stream of soul music was pretty amazing as a punctuation mark on my childhood.

Coming out of my school in the early evening, I felt the power of what embarking on a new road meant. Okay, not exactly how I would describe 7th Grade at I.S. 44 on West 77th Street — or the move from my beloved downtown to the upper west side of Manhattan, but I didn’t know that at the time and as tears stung my eyes, I felt elated by the prospect of engaging the unknown.

The next morning, I remember coming downstairs early and sitting on the stoop with my brand new AM/FM transistor radio in hand — a birthday present from my grandmother.

By then I had discovered jazz on WLIB-FM and the other stations on each end of the dial. Those were the cool stations, the ones that played jazz and soul 24-7.

Sitting there watching the world unfold in the light breeze of the early morning air I felt invincible.

It’s a feeling I get from boxing sometimes, when going through my paces I feel completely in tune.  I have it traveling too; walking down a back street in a town, listening to the refrains of life as I pass my, a walking spirit through countless unseen lives.

Later that day, the song Cool Jerk by the group The Capitals came on.  That song was like a hyped-up tonic to me and seemed to optimize the feeling I had of beginning a new journey. Every time I listened to it that summer I felt the thrill of it – and even now if I want a giant pick-me-up I’ll just play that song and something will kick-in to bring on a great big smile.

Yep, I felt like the heaviest cat, the world had ever seen.

2 Responses to “Cool Jerk”

  1. May 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

    “I felt elated by the prospect of engaging the unknown.” This resonates so strongly for me, too, but I don’t think I experienced it as early in life as you did. I think it was not until I had my children than I began to realize how much I loved that feeling…

    Another evocative post. Thanks GB.

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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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