Today’s Birthday: John Maurice Hartman

Johnny Hartman was born July 3, 1923 in Houma, Louisiana.  As a jazz singer Johnny Hartman is most famous for  his 1963 collaboration with saxophonist John Coltrane on the sublime album John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Also playing on the album are McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones. (This was John Coltranes’s only album with a singer!)

Hartman was a crooner par excellence. Frank Sinatra’s name might be more famous, but from the first time I heard Hartman singing a song I knew who I’ll forever prefer. I discovered him late in life, the soundtrack to a film perhaps, or playing on a jazz radio station. In any case, I promptly bought three of his CDs. When I’m in a mood for love or my spirit needs soothing, I listen to his voice. In his honor here is a post I wrote about romance. How can I not honor him? Hartman’s kind of music will never go stale. – Jadi

For twenty-five years (minus a day) I had a memory of rose-colored glass. Uwe and I got married over a quarter of a century ago. Aside from thinking Yikes, how did that happen?!, I have sighed Awwww. Not many things last this long, especially when we’re talking about human beans….

You know how some couples seem to glide through life without ever having a disagreement?

We aren’t that couple.

walking around a town with even more history than we have

But I distinctly recall that the hotel room where we spent our first night as husband and wife had old-fashioned windows with glass panels in various colors. I can remember looking at those little panes and thinking, How wonderful to begin married life looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. That first image has comforted me countless times. It’s provided me with endless inspiration, and I love telling friends the story of those old windows that shimmered and glowed like gemstones.

We wanted to return to the little town in Alsace where it all began. We booked the same hotel and both of us think we may even have been given the same room. We drove over a day before our anniversary and checked in as it began to rain. The sight of the rain on the windows was get outta here romantic.

I took some pictures. But later, checking to make sure my photos turned out, I was puzzled. The views of the village outside the windows had stayed pretty. But, wait a second: where were the colored panes of glass both of us are sure we remember?

Had my mind and emotions played tricks all these years, keeping me roped in with a faulty metaphor? Or is my eye sight seriously that bad?

The mystery was solved by a friend who reminded me that hotels – especially old ones – spend money on renovations. So, along with the elevator that was not there when we checked in 25 years ago, the windows were probably recent too. The glass in the windows is now textured, maybe ‘pebbled’ is the word I want. The view is still ever so slightly wavy and distorted…

We had three gorgeous days in one of our favorite regions in Europe. Yes, it remained romantic. As you can see from the photos, with rain or without, the views from the windows are lovely.

And, in the right light, my world as a married woman still looks rose-colored.

no my vision wasn’t impaired by the wine we bought at this winery, founded in 1728…

In memory of Johnny Hartman, 3 July, 1923 – 15 September, 1983

NOTES: ©Jadi Campbell 2024. Previously published as My Silver Wedding Anniversary, or, The Rose-Colored Windows that Weren’t. I dedicate this post to Uwe, my wonderful, long-suffering spousal unit. 30 years and counting! To see his photos from our trips go to

My books are Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Tsunami Cowboys, Grounded, and The Trail Back Out.

Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award. Broken In: A Novel in Stories was semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award from Hidden River Arts and Finalist for Greece’s 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories). The Trail Back Out was the 2023 San Francisco Book Festival Winner for General Fiction, American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Fiction Anthologies, Runner-Up for the 2021 Top Shelf Award, 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award Short Story Collection Finalist, and awarded a 2021 Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Award.

Click here for my author page to learn more about me and purchase my books.

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