“You know The Partridge Family? Or you’re too young?”
“I wanted Shirley Partridge to be my mother.” He moved his arms like a broken fan, spinning without effect. “I wanted that woman to come into my bedroom at night and tell me what was right in life.”
“You wanted to have suckle with her.”
“I wanted her listen to my regret. She knew what was right. She understood the secret of innocence.”“Suckle.”
“That beautiful Hammond organ, the harmonies. Do you remember? It was a real world, real, an alternate space that had real possibility, following interior childlike rhythms, saying those things out loud.” He breathed in and took Dee’s hands like they were precious things, like she had brought them from somewhere distant. “I would sit and stare at the TV after it was over, just sit there through whatever was next. I hoped it would come back. It was real to me. Can you believe that? It was as real as anything I will ever know.” He scraped his sandal back and forth. “I met the guy who wrote the music. I met him in California.”
The Partridge Family is a dated show (1970-74) – the setup, characters, story arc, yes, even the songs, all pure camp. And yet the magic of the show persists, some kind of secret of innocence left…
Shirley Partridge singing pure
The elixir found in the transitions, the brief seconds of music that open the show, take it in and out of commercials, right the way through… Pure, oddly so, opening an alternate world of interior childlike rhythms, proclaimed out loud, walking in the door, down the stairs…not to mention a loving mom looking over all.