I have a prized record album among my many treasures, a 1964 concert recording called "Jerry Lee Lewis: The Greatest Live Show on Earth." The first words you hear on the record are the emcee of this concert saying, "Live! from the Birmingham Municipal Auditorium, in the WVOK Shower of Stars, the one...the only...Jerry Lee Lewis!"
And then, Jerry Lee comes out and sings and plays. I got this record in high school and now own it on CD as well, and so as a conservative estimate, I would say I have listened to that concert 17 million times over the years, or fewer.
But it wasn't until just the other day that I listened closely enough to hear what the DJ said at first. (It had to be a DJ; no one else talks like that!)
"The one...the only."
And it dawned on me, a little late because I'm dim that way, that we are ALL the ONE and ONLY whoever we are. You are the only YOU!
Even Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock 'n' roll pioneer born in 1935 in Ferriday, LA, who is often confused with funnyman/philanthropist Jerry Lewis (born Joseph Levitch, Newark NJ, 1926), is the only Jerry Lee Lewis, as far as fame and accomplishment go. It is entirely possible that there are other people named Jerry Lee Lewis running around, but that's not my point.
What is my point (and you knew I'd get to it sometime today) is that there is only one of each of us. Each human has his or her strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, private joys and sorrows and public versions of the same as well. I talk to young people a lot (they are the only people I can find who haven't heard all my tales and yarns) and one point I try to make to them is that their individuality is so important. If we see each other as cookie-cutter versions of everyone else, that means we are only looking at the surface. What's in each cookie...each person...is what makes us unique. We have two cats. Eddie runs to the door when company comes, ready to show off and be adored. Deanna runs to the basement, peering up the stairs to see when it's safe to come out again. Two sister cats; two personalities.
I like hominy and sausage, art that looks real, and music from the heart. I despise lies, and meanness, and sad goodbyes. We all could go on and you're not ever going to find someone else with all the same favorites and dislikes, and how wonderful that is.
Thank you for being the one...the only...YOU!