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Sometimes, fiction mirrors life.

People always ask, how do you find your stories?

The answer? The story is either something I feel passionate about or with which I some direct or indirect connection. Save the Last Dance, which critics call, “a perfectly crafted ode to love” is such a book.

On a cursory level, it’s a bittersweet love story about broken promises and shattered dreams from another time. On a more philosophical level, it’s a timeless portrait of enduring love. Two soulmates, Fanny and Charlie, destined to marry, loved each other without reservation for 80 years, but somehow life just got in the way.

Fanny and Charlie in their 20’s loved to dance the night away at New York’s Cotton Club

Charlie did fulfill his professional dreams. He arguably became one of the most famous accordionists in the world.

Frances married another. But, she insisted her chubby son, Gerard, learn to play the accordion. Fact is, he wasn’t very good, but that really didn’t matter. Every week, for almost five years, Frances dragged Gerard to NBC studios in Manhattan where Charlie appeared regularly on radio and television. When he finished, Charlie patiently listened to the boy’s “progress” with Frances glowing nearby.

Fact or fiction? Well, here is an autographed picture of that Charlie and that chubby little Gerard.

How did I come to acquire the picture? Did I mention Frances was my mother! And, did I mention, their pledges of love ever after did come true. Their remains now rest in the same cemetery in New York City, not far from each other.

DATE: Jul.16.2018 | CATEGORY: Archived