The six-year-old held his lunchbox in his left and reached out to shake my right. "Good-bye," he said with a certain timing that stirred a song deep within my LaBrea tarpit memory.
"Good-bye," I sang as I shook his hand, "my Coney Island baaaaa-byyyy. Farewell my own true love, true love my honey. I'm gonna go away and leeeeeeave you...never to see you any, never gonna see you anymore."
Google has not been much help this evening as I tried to understand my straw boater flashback. It's useful to remember that the internet is not the most reliable of sources. A quick search led me to sites claiming the song was written by Les Applegate or Les Appleton in 1924, or 1945, or 1948, possibly, but no, not really for "No, No, Nanette".
It doesn't matter. The student is mildly stunned, but resting comfortably at his home. He doesn't know what will happen the next time he shakes my hand. I don't either, but I'm not telling him.
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder