“I love Paris in the springtime! I love Paris in the fall! But I love you most of all.”
That’s the greeting we get every time our favorite customer walks through the door. He walks right by his own picture on the wall, a framed print of a wonderful Newton Tab article written ten years ago about his incredible and long career as a jazz drummer. That career has only gotten longer since, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Murray Sheinfield has been behind a drum set for eighty one years this year. As far as I can tell, he’s better than ever.
I first met Murray while sitting behind my desk (where I am when I meet most of our wonderful customers). He walked in with some recordings of the band he plays with. He was already a regular here, getting albums and cassette tapes transferred to CD so that he can give them away to people who enjoy his gigs, most of the staff of Play It Again Video included. We became such big fans that our boss not only invited him to the company barbecue, but got a drum set there and we had our first company jam session.
We didn’t plan it out much, but it went great just the same.
After Myrtha played piano for a few tunes with Murray, I had the unbeatable experience of singing jazz with him. Pick a song he knows, and he can really make it fly. I was singing with just conga drums, but you would have thought I had a whole swing band behind me. Working where we do, you can bet we got a video. I’ll treasure that DVD forever! I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun singing, and believe you me, I’ve sung a lot.
Whether playing or just popping by in the afternoon, I think Murray is what’s keeping me young. I thought I’d seen and heard it all in my 23 years (which don’t seem like very many next to nearly 96!) but I’ve never met anyone like him. He’ll never leave you without a wink and a joke, and he’s always dressed to the nines no matter whether he’s playing with a swing band or just grabbing some CD copies and heading to the post office on a Wednesday afternoon. He makes me think that maybe, as he says, guys today don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve never met one who can make me feel as happy and as pretty as Murray does every time he walks in the door. Most of the young men of today don’t have it in them to be as charming as Murray is, but it wouldn’t hurt them to try! And it goes without saying that they could use a little romantic education from him as well.
“I met my wife in January—I married her in September! I don’t know what’s wrong with guys today,” he tells me at least once a week. There’s something just wonderful about the way he talks about his wife. Still so respectful, no matter how familiar she may be. He lost her a few years ago to cancer, but they were married for 51 years. From what I know of Murray, those were some wonderful years. He keeps her picture in his wallet, and I have to agree with him—she looked just like a young Liz Taylor. The third time he took out his picture of her, I went home and gave my boyfriend a wallet sized photo of myself. Maybe everyone’s life could use a little bit of old-school charm. And everyone could use a visit from Murray every now and again, to keep them young.
Written by : Rachel Esteban, Play it Again Video resident author