Today’s song is ‘You’re in My Heart’ (The Final Acclaim). This was a song written and recorded by Rod Stewart for his 1977 album ‘Foot Loose and Fancy-Free’. The song proved a popular single, reaching the top ten of many national charts, including Number 4 on the US ‘Billboard Hot 100’, Number 2 in Canada, and Number 1 for one week in Australia.
When this song was released, I was aged 35 and had been working as a Probation Officer in Huddersfield for 4/5 years. My son James had been born one year earlier (six years after I’d first married) and what should have been the happiest of times in my life, wasn’t, (due to wife’s total absence of mothering instincts at the time that were caused by post-natal depression: an illness not medically defined then).
The first time I heard this song, although I loved the beat and its message, the song did remind me rather too poignantly about the relationship I wanted with my wife but sadly didn’t have. This song is, however, totally representative of the feelings I do have for my wife Sheila today.
I will never forget the day when I was travelling back to England from Ontario in Canada. I flew via New York before I changed flights back home for the final stretch. I had a couple of hours to spare before I needed to check in at the airport and so I jumped in a cab and asked to be taken to the 'Empire State Building’ in Midtown, Manhattan, New York City.
This art-deco skyscraper that was built in 1931 and has a roof height of 1,250 feet (1,450 feet including its antenna). As I travelled to 20, West 34th Street I could see its 103 stories tall skyline and knew I would soon be atop the highest building in the world (a title it held until the ‘World Trade Centre’ was constructed in 1973).
When I arrived at this huge edifice, I marvelled at the sheer fact that it only took one year and 45 days to construct in 1930. I had previously read that there were two observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors from where the four million annual visitors can see 80 miles into New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts on a clear day. Every year on Valentine’s Day, couples who marry on the 80th floor become members of the ‘Empire State Building Wedding Club’. They receive free admission to the observatory each year on February 14 (their anniversary) thereafter. There is even an ‘Empire State Building Run-Up’ annually up the stairs to the 86th floor (1,576 steps).
As I pondered the wondrous sight that I would behold from the observation tower, I was informed by a tower attendant that by the time I could see what I had longed to see, I would be pushing the clock. I was told that I could be too late to get back to the airport to check in on time for my scheduled flight home. I found myself being trapped between indecision, ‘Should I risk it and take the chance of missing my flight back home or is it safer to leave it?’
With heavy heart, I decided such an experience was one that should be relished and not rushed and that there would always be another day, another time. Sadly, I turned around from the elevator that would have taken me up, and walked back out into the fresh air of 34 Street West, sensing in my heart of hearts, I would never have another chance to look out from the top of the ‘Empire State Building.’ This experience was one of my most regretful and it sadly ended my time on American soil.
I dedicate my song today to my Facebook friend, Jackie Fitzsimmons, from North Chili, New York, U.S.A. Perhaps I might have seen your house from the top of the 'Empire State Building', Jackie, had I taken that elevator all the way up on that fatal day? Thank you for being my Facebook friend across the Atlantic, Jackie, and if you ever get to look out from the top of 'the 'Empire State Building', please take a snapshot and send me it via Facebook. Have a nice day. Love Bill x
Love and peace Bill xxx