"He'll Have to Go"
Words and music: Joe Allison & Audrey Allison
Copyright: 1959 Central Songs/Beechwood Music Corp.
This has always been one of my favorite songs, a sad song. I particularly like the version by Jim Reeves. Also the story somewhat follows the great song, "Silhouettes" by the Rays.
YOUR SWEET LIPS
Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone.
Let's pretend that we're together, all alone.
I'll tell the man to turn the jukebox way down low,
And you can tell your friend there with you he'll have to go.
Kelly and I had met about six months ago at a dance club in Petaluma, north of San Francisco. I had gone with a couple of girls I worked with, Marsha and Julie. They wanted someone to help keep the wolves off; they wanted to choose, not be chosen!
That was okay with me – I had been feeling melancholy. I'm not sure why. It's like something was going to happen, something that would make me sad. When you are like that, it seems to feed off itself. The girls were dancing and I was sitting at the table staring into my beer when I sensed a presence next to me. I held still for a minute, I guess hoping whoever it was would go away.
Finally I looked up and immediately forgot my beer. A young lady (in my mind I never saw a girl or a woman; strange that!) stood there with a smirk on her face.
I looked closer; there was something about her. Something ... she wasn't beautiful, but yet she was. She had dishwater blond hair cut short. A pixie face with a cute upturned nose. Not really tall, maybe 5'6", slender but curvy, probably a little underweight for her height. She had a white blouse with a black skirt. The blouse was my favorite type, you know, kinda off the shoulder with elastic around the top; I guess what you would call a scoop neck. It was my favorite because even leaning over to pick up a drink lets you know the color of her bra.
She was leaning over a little bit, ready to say something to me.
It was a nice lacy white bra to match the blouse!
I was in love for the first time in my life!
"If you are not too wrapped up in that beer, would you dance with me?"
"What beer?" I mumbled as I tried to unwind from the chair.
As I stood up, my feet did something with each other, independent of any plan of mine, and I lurched into this mystery that had appeared in front of me.
Laughing, she said, "My, you are an even better dancer than what Julie told me!" as she pulled me onto the dance floor.
WHISPER TO ME
Whisper to me; tell me do you love me true,
Or is he holding you the way I do?
Tho' love is blind, make up your mind, I've got to know,
Should I hang up, or will you tell him he'll have to go?
Luckily for me the song was fast and loud. I was able to gather my wits and do a credible job with the dance. The next number was a little slower and we were able to talk.
Laughing again, she said, "I'm Julie's cousin. She didn't know I was going to be here but we ran into each other in the rest room. She told me that you were watching out for them and I thought that was sweet. She was going to introduce us but a guy she wanted to meet asked her to dance. She pointed to where you were and told me to introduce myself."
"Hi, I'm Kelly" she smiled as she leaned back and put out her hand.
"I'm Mark," I said as I shook hands with her. "I'm sorry I stepped on your foot before we even started dancing."
She smiled and said, "You are more than making up for it; you actually dance very well."
"Could I ask what you were looking at in your beer?"
I almost blurted "there was a tear in my beer", but managed instead to say with some small amount of charm, "I was waiting for you to show up and I didn't want to be bothered by any of the other girls!"
She stopped dancing for a minute, looking at me with a serious look on her face. She started chuckling, "You're pretty smooth for a guy that can't even stand up without falling over."
She leaned in a little closer, putting her arm around me.
We sat out a couple of dances and had a beer and got to know about each other.
I was 28 and an assistant wine maker at one of the nicer wineries in the Alexander Valley. Marsha and Julie worked in the tasting room. I had gone to U. C. Davis to get my degree in Enology. I'd dated a few girls but I told her "I've only fallen in love once, though!"
I didn't tell her it was with her.
Kelly had gone to school at the University of San Francisco, majoring in marketing. She was working in the marketing department of one of the telecom startups in Petaluma.
The bandleader announced that they would play a waltz and then take a break. We stood up and started dancing, a little closer this time, as the band played "Tennessee Waltz".
As we danced, Kelly at first looked a little sad, then a bit angry. It made me a bit nervous since I was really starting to like her. After the dance we went out front to get some fresh air.
"I love that song," she said, "It always makes me sad, but a little mad too! You know the part where it goes:
'I was dancin' with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz
When an old friend I happened to see
I introduced him to my loved one
And while they were dancin'
My friend stole my sweetheart from me.'
"How could a girl be with another guy and do that to him! It just makes my blood boil!"
I felt relieved that it wasn't anything I had done, and actually a little thrilled because it sounded like she would be very loyal. Sweet words to me! I took her hand and didn't say anything and after a while we went back in.
Later she took me home since I had ridden with the girls; Marsha was the designated driver.
When we got to my town house, we chatted for a minute, and then I got out and went around to her window. I told her how much I enjoyed the evening and asked her if I could take her to dinner the next week. She said she would love to and gave me her phone number.
I started walking away, paused, and turned back to her. "Kelly ... Kelly, I probably shouldn't say this, but you know I love you, don't you?"
Grinning she answered, "Of course, you dummy! You wear your heart on your sleeve!" Shaking her head, but with a smile, she backed her car around and left.
YOU CAN'T SAY THE WORDS
You can't say the words I want to hear
While you're with another man,
If you want me, answer "yes" or "no,"
Darling, I will understand.
We started dating regularly. That first dinner I was going to take her out on turned out to be dinner at her place. She had the left half of a one story duplex in Cotati and lived by herself. She rented it furnished, so the furniture didn't reflect her taste. I noticed that it even had old-fashioned shades instead of blinds. She had insisted the owner install curtains for the front window since it was next to the entry door. With the shades down you could still see shadows, silhouettes really, on the shades at night when someone would pass in front of a light.
That first dinner turned out to be quite nice. Kelly had a great sense of humor, a sort of sardonic wit. We laughed a lot and it turned out she was a great cook. I was rewarded with a somewhat more than chaste kiss goodnight. I had been careful not to mention love again. I didn't want to spook her. I learned my lesson growing up in western Kansas hunting quail and chukar: too sudden a move scared off the quarry (not that I considered Kelly quarry!).
Our relationship grew closer every time we saw each other. Kelly turned out to be a very caring, loving person. We never seem to fight about anything. She was fun to be with and sexy as hell without trying.
We gradually became more intimate, certainly a lot of very hot kisses. Fondling became a regular thing. Passion became a passion for both of us. We had not made love as yet; I felt she would if I pushed it but I wanted the time to be right. I had a plan!
I felt Kelly loved me as much as I did her, even though she hadn't actually said the word as yet. Maybe I was being a little presumptuous but I felt a marriage proposal would be well received by her. I rounded up in order, an engagement ring, a dozen pink roses, and a beautiful card that said the loving words I had trouble getting off my tongue without twisting them all around.