Would you believe it starts with Kitty Pryde. One of only three Jewish girls I’ve ever had a crush on.

Okay.. for those that don’t know. Kitty Pryde was a comic book character. She was in the X-Men. And the first time I read the comic book, we were the same age. For some reason, she’s now in her late 20s and I’m 40. But… anyway.

From Kitty I learned about geeky girls next door who were pretty without looking like movie stars that seemed quiet, innocent, and were a lot stronger than they’d often let on. From Kitty came the inevitable.

Valerie Bertinelli. To those of you under 25, she is the woman replacing Kirstie Alley in the weight watching ads. To those under 35, she’s the Ex-Mrs. Eddie Van Halen. To those over 35, she was the youngest daughter on “One Day at a Time.” To those of you who know me who aren’t SJ Tucker. She was my “Kaylee” (S00j, someday, I’ll find a way to explain it 😉

She was the girl next door. I was really too young for Maryanne vs. Ginger. And I am really too old for Willow, Fred, and Kaylee. (Though, everyone was truly… sigh worthy)

To me… it was Valerie Bertinelli. Yes, she was waaaay too old for me. Well, then. She is almost exactly 8 yrs older. So.. today… maybe there’s potential. But to an 11 year old… she was just… well. Wow.

Dude… you’re digressing… Manilow?

There once was a great, amazing magician. His name was David Copperfield.

Dude! Was?

Okay… now to explain. My dad did close up magic when I was a kid. He took me to see magicians all the time in New York. Tannen’s Magic Store, Tannen’s Jubilee at Brown’s Hotel in Lock Sheldrake (centre of the Borscht Belt)… He even took me to the weekend hangout of professional magicians, The (no longer existing) Belmore Cafe. I met Henning, Blackstone, Randi, Goshman, Slidini, Copperfield (who made a comb disappear for me), Imam, Bob Fitch, and a tonne of people you’ve never heard of.

When Copperfield first emerged in the late 70’s he was outstanding. Every thing he did was subtle and wrapped in stories. Yes, he did tricks and illusions, but he so interlinked it with music and story… that there was real magic. He did a routine based on Hitchcock’s shower scene from Psycho. He did a Mister Rogers routine. It was just fun to watch him. Later in his career it was all flash, show and single illusion stuff. Like Henning, his shows turned into an exploration of “How did he do that?” To me… Copperfield was no longer magical. Just another showy entertainer.

But back in 1979… I was 11 years old. And David Copperfield played a simple song, did some very simple tricks…. and made a lasting impression on me. The tricks really aren’t that great. But there was Valerie. And there was this song. And whenever I think about someone I miss, this song comes to me. Whenever I hear this song, I think of those I love. Whenever I see or feel real magic…. I owe it to this moment. Just a nice looking Jewish guy… teaching me about caring deeply for someone.

This is the Manilow that will always live in my music library. Deal with it.

This is how Andrei’s mind got to where it is.

Sadly the first 45 seconds are just unnecessary intro. At 45 seconds my memory begins.

Edit: Additional… You know… for a nearly 50 year old woman… I still think she’s f***ing hot.