Young At Heart
Published: December 6th, 2007
By: Shelly Reuben

Young at heart

When I was reaching for a cup of coffee at a gas station food mart the other day, a portly man sauntered by. My first impression was of bulldog jowls. A thick neck. Thinning hair. Pale skin. I was mightily unimpressed. Then, as I began to add milk to my cup, a series of sounds bypassed my ears, diverted my attention, and dove straight into my heart.

“Fairy tales can come true it can happen to you

If you’re young at heart”

He, this barely noticeable and noticeably undistinguished individual, was singing. His voice was clear, clean, and unapologetic. Loud enough for everyone to hear, but non-intrusive. As if both the man and the song were integral to the store. Like a cash register. Like a coffee machine.

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“For it’s hard you will find to be narrow of mind

If you’re young at heart”

He walked toward the counter, moving gracefully and confidently. Like a character about to engage in a jaunty duet with Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire. But instead of looking like a dancer in an old Hollywood musical, he looked like an unsuccessful salesman or a tax accountant. His face was hopeless, but his song had its fingers poised tenderly over the strong and fervent pulse of hope.

“You can go to extremes with impossible schemes

You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams”


The Evening Sun

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