61 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2017, #MusicalMemories, Memoir, Music, Writing/Blogging
Musical Memories #AtoZChallenge 2017
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Musical Memories” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the A to Z Blog. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
Day 3, April 4

The time: Autumn, 1969
The place: Toronto suburbs, Canada
[We had moved here from Germany in August.]

His name was Steve. He looked like an Adonis, with long, flowing blonde hair and a beautiful, dimpled smile. Wasn’t I a lucky girl to be sitting next to him in homeroom? Once again, this “army brat” found herself in a new school, with nary a friend. The teacher’s introduction of me prompted Steve to start a conversation. “So, you lived in Germany? That must have been interesting.” His piercing brown eyes sent shivers of delight all through me. By November we were inseparable. Cherry Hill Park was playing on the radio:

At the end of the school year (June 1970), my mother insisted we go back to Germany for the summer. The anguish of being separated from Steve for so long sent me into a deep depression. We arranged to meet at the crack of dawn to say our tearful goodbyes. Running away together was a momentary temptation, but common sense won out. While in Europe, I wrote Steve a couple of times but received no replies. The days dragged on and I was eager to come home.


Imagine my devastation two months later when, instead of a joyful reunion, Steve broke it off, saying “I don’t feel the same anymore”. He left me standing in the park. where I collapsed onto the nearest bench, sobbing my heart out. Steve transferred to another school and I never saw him again. First love is always the hardest, isn’t it?

broken heart, CHERRY HILL PARK | #AtoZChallenge

Have you ever suffered from a broken heart?

Do you think ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ or is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ more likely?

Looking forward to your comments!


The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist:
(updated daily)

Linking to:
Blogging from A to Z / Blog Chatter / It’s All a Matter of Perspective

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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61 thoughts on “CHERRY HILL PARK | #AtoZCHALLENGE (C) #MusicalMemoriies

  1. “Out of sight, out of mind” happens if the other person doesn’t really mean much to you, I think. You both liked the experience of being together, but the separation weaned you off each other, so to speak. At least, on his part. That was why it was so easy to break it off.

    Content with All the Feels

    1. Yes, the weaning was definitely ALL on his part. I was completely heartbroken by his rejection. On the other hand, it’s easier to bounce back when you’re young and I did. 🙂

  2. Drat that dimpled Adonis! The song – a longtime favorite – goes well with this excerpt as it depicts the thrill of first love and the bittersweet ache in memories thereof.
    Fascinating theme, Debbie 😉

    1. The Adonis was an asshole! 🙂 We were so in love and then….I wonder what would have happened had I not gone on the trip. At least he left the school and I didn’t have to see him. That would have been hard. I’m glad you’re enjoying the theme, diedre. Thanks for coming by. Sorry for the late response. Life offline has been keeping me busy.

  3. Yes, I remember that first broken heart …… and it was parental influence that brought it about. His father thought we were getting too serious and it would hurt Tom’s future plans. He and my mother spoke on the phone about it and I never knew until 30 years later! Life goes on and soon forgotten. Yet …………..

    1. That’s a sad story, Mary Lou. 🙁 My husband’s family tried to break us up as well, but we refused to let them have their way. To my mother’s credit, she told them not to interfere. Of course, she did, too. 😛

  4. Heart breaks can be cruel at times. At least clean breaks are easier to recover from. I have been really unfortunate once. Never want to go through that pain again!
    Happy AtoZing though!

    1. Yes, it was definitely a clean break – like a bandage ripping off! 🙂 Luckily, I had been attracted to someone else before meeting Steve and he was available, so that eased the pain, but it didn’t work out either. It’s hard to be young and emotionally vulnerable. Thanks for dropping in.

  5. I have suffered a broken heart more than once and it does feel like the heart actually does break. I hope I never feel that again. You know…..the face on that album looks like Stephen whatever from Star Trek: The Motion Picture who admitted to child molestation…..sorry

    1. Yes, it sure does feel broken, Birgit. That’s Billy Joe Royal. In this picture, he looks a lot like Steve, except with shorter hair. I can see a bit of resemblance to Stephen Collins as well.

  6. Ah, teen love. I dodged that one, but still managed to get my heart broken several times through my 20s. I think that especially for the very young, absence almost always ends up letting you grow apart. Especially back then, when long-distance relationships had to go by snail mail!

    (Note: I conducted a long-distance courtship with my husband in the early 1990s–just late enough to have email and even an early version of chat, which made all the difference!)

    1. You have a good point, Rebecca, about the snail mail. Internet and email certainly make it easier to keep in touch over long distances. Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  7. Years since I’ve heard this song. My husband, when I started to play your video, immediately said “oh, Billy Joel Royal” and reminded me his other hit was “Down in the Boondocks.” Music geek! Yes, I’ve had heartache, but never with my husband, who is celebrating his 65th birthday today.

  8. Puppy Love is the devil… That is the term me had for our initial infatuation.

    Billy Joe Royal had some great records besides this one. There was “Down In the Boondocks” and “I Knew You When” and my favorite, “Burn Like a Rocket.”

    1. ♫ And they called it puppy love ♫ 😀 I remember some of Billy Joe Royal’s other songs, but not “Burn Like a Rocket” Thanks!

        1. All the videos display large by default. I think it looks cool. 🙂 If you ever want to make a video smaller add &w=400 (or whatever size you want – this page width is 800) at the end of the youtube code.

  9. Debbie, Oh you poor dear! I know precisely that horrible, heart shattering, gut-wrenching pain of losing your first love. It’s not a good feeling but eventually, you come to realize it wasn’t the real thing or so that’s how I felt. I think with “true love” the heart does grow fonder. I remember when DH and I were dating. We absolutely hated saying good-night. All I kept thinking the entire 6-months prior to our wedding is that one day we’ll never have to leave each other at the end of the day. A real test of absence makes the heart grow fonder came for us in 2001 when DH worked 10 hours from home and was only able to visit once a month. That was a miserable time for us and it gave us a deeper appreciation for the other. Honestly, I’m glad we feel this way and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thanks for sharing such bittersweet memory and Thanks for sharing and for stopping by to catch my critter sketches in my A2Z Art Sketching Through the Alphabet series. Have an awesome day and happy a2zing! 😉

    1. There’s another song “The First Cut is the Deepest” that fits well, here. 🙂 So true that it wasn’t the real thing. He came along a couple of years later. Sounds like you and DH have a similar relationship. True love! We too were separated by circumstance and it made our hearts grow fonder. (By then we had been together for many years and had become a bit complacent.) Thank YOU for your ongoing support! Your comments are always a pleasure to read and so is visiting your blog. Cheers!

  10. Aaaawww, so sorry. It was Steve’s loss, though.
    The last time I was dumped I was 31. My then boyfriend was enjoying a sabbatical backpacking through South America. When he finally came home, he moved out. He’s been with another woman (an old “platonic friend” who “visited” him in Chile) ever since.

  11. A fun topic…. It stirred up some long forgotten feelings. My first love (crush) had the nerve to break up with me before I could break up with him. I was shattered… my heart was broken… or no I believe it was my pride. Lol…. Aaah the trials and tribulations of life.

  12. Break-ups are difficult but a break up of the first love… God, that can be devastating.
    Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ or out of sight, out of mind… I think it depends on the situation and priorities in one’s life. Also it’s actually difficult to predict too.

  13. Boys! They can be so fickle! I’ve had both the Absence makes the heart grow stronger and the Out of Sight, out of mind. I think the out of sight, out of mind definitely happens more often than not. I am really enjoying reading about your memories, and the music is great, too!

  14. First love can be very difficult. My first boyfriend, broke up with me before the prom so he could take someone else, then found me again when he wanted to impress his fraternity. Just awful!

  15. I had my first date when I was 21 and I remember eating the rose he gave me, petal by petal. We broke up soon after. Before that, we were always a big group of boys and girls and my reaction to the idea of a boyfriend was always an eyeroll…so I was pretty much seen as one of the boys. I don’t think I ever really had a “first love”. Crush, yes, plenty. And I think the heart break of a crush is as severe as love. 🙂 Invariably, it is a matter of parting makes the heart grow fonder, but long absences kill it. 🙂 I think the memories are the best part!

  16. Ah yes… the days of youth gone by. I started out a bit younger in the first love department, but I was loyal to a fault. My first love was Richard Evans, from the third grade to the fifth grade, inclusive. His family moved just before the sixth grade began. He was my partner in crime, and we even got “married” just before he moved. He was a redhead with just enough freckles that if you looked at him from a distance he seemed to have a great tan (I wish that would happen with mine, but it never does). I met him again when I was a senior in high school and he was soooooooo handsome, I was tongue-tied. Things just weren’t the same, though. I was baby-sitting and studying for an exam; he was there in the neighborhood on a drug buy. I never saw him again. Sigh…

  17. Broken heart? Is there any other kind? We all have broken hearts for one or another reasons, don’t we? Or is it just me? The only thing that absence makes the heart grow fonder of is chocolate, imo.

  18. Oh, poor Debbie. The woes of first love. Sniff! And being a military kid was always a lonely experience, eh? I found it tough at times and must have come across as needy, clinging to anyone who showed the slightest bit of interest in me. *Shudders remembering*

    Loved your angsty and poignant first love story and thanks for introducing me to this song. Never heard it before. What a fun one!

  19. It’s heart-breaking when love isn’t reciprocated. But, we can’t force anyone to love us the same way we love them!
    I guess breakups happen for a reason 🙂
    Like there’s a saying – Don’t cry that it ended, smile that it happened.
    All is well 🙂 Take care!

  20. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that song before 🙂
    No I have never had a broken heart. In my experience if it’s real, ‘absense makes the heart grow fonder’. If it turns out the be ‘out of sight out of mind’ you probably dodged a bullet. 🙂
    Tasha’s Thinkings – Shapeshifters and Werewolves

  21. Oh dear, he was obviously not Mr Right then…broken hearts, or at least liberally chipped ones, are part of growing up though they feel more like death at the time 🙂 Great catchy tune today too.

  22. Oh first love. I’m sorry it ended the way it did for you. As for absence making the heart grow fonder – I don’t think so, no. The only long(ish) distance relationship I ever tried didn’t work either.

    Nice musical choice though – music is very time and place for me as well!

    1. It was devastating at the time, but a better guy came along, so it’s all good! 🙂 Music is the soundtrack of our lives, yes? Thanks for dropping in.

  23. Ah first love…you haven’t lived unless you’ve had your heart broken (multiple times for most of us). It always feel like the end of the world, but it never is.

  24. First love is always special. But now, after meeting some much better humans, it felt like a waste of time to cry our eyes out then. But then, it was a big deal.

  25. It is better to be loved and lost than never loved. Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best, eh?
    You always have a good tune picked out.

  26. I seem to have developed a playlist in my head with a particular song attached to “the ones who got away.” The playlist includes “Mad About You,” “Tell Me The Meaning of Being Lonely,” and “With or Without You,” along with a few others.

  27. Nicely told story. Ah, the angst of youth now seems so frivolous to me now.
    “Cherry Hill” is a song that I’ve always liked, but I haven’t actually heard this for I don’t know how many years. It’s one of those ear worm songs that often pops into my head sometimes. Invariably every year when we go to visit my daughters in NJ the song will pop into my head at least a few times whenever I see Cherry Hill listed on highway signs. They live close to Cherry Hill, NJ.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. I didn’t know there was a Cherry Hill in New Jersey. I guess they have a park, as well? You’re one of the few who remembers this song. I never hear it on the radio, but have always remembered it. 🙂

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