The song came to me again.

Sometimes it disappears for a long stretch at a time, then, boom!

I only heard it that one afternoon … over and over and over again.

I’ve thought I heard it many times since, but it never seems quite right. Sometimes it reminds me of that old song about Mairzy Doats. One of the tracks on an early AC/DC album came close, and then there was some Beatles Muzak on an elevator in Des Moines.

Almost … but not quite.

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I’ll know it when I hear it. It kind of goes like this …

“Hey, Dan. Whatcha doin’?”

I dropped the sponge back into the bucket and peeked around the bumper.

It was one of the kids from the neighborhood, but I couldn’t think of his name. Terry? Jerry? Gary?

“Hey, buddy,” I said to be safe. “Just washing the car.”

“Can I help?”

His timing was perfect. I don’t like washing the tires.

“Sure,” I said. “You can wash the tires.”

He smiled like I’d just done him a huge favor, let his bike clatter to the driveway and pulled the hose around to the side of the car.

And then he started to whistle.

Whistling is a lost art, and for a 9-year-old he was pretty good. I stopped scrubbing the bumper and tried to name that tune: a Mr. Rogers song about being kind? Theme music from a James Bond movie? Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”?

Almost … but not quite.

“How did you learn to whistle?” I asked when he moved to a different tire.

“Oh … sorry.”

“No, don’t be sorry,” I said. “People just don’t whistle any more. My mom likes to whistle. I like to whistle,” and I started tootling the opening from “The Andy Griffith Show”.

“Cool!” he said. “My grandpa taught me. He even whistles sometimes when he’s sleeping. Sometimes my mom says my whistling is driving her crazy.”

“I think it sounds nice,” I said. “You’re a good whistler.”

He smiled, aimed the hose at another tire and started whistling.

A Burl Ives Christmas song? Motorhead? Soundtrack from “The Aristocats”?

Almost … but not quite.

We finished washing the car, sat in the grass and had a couple of Popsicles.

“What is that song you’ve been whistling?” I asked.

He seemed as perplexed as I was.

“Ummm, I don’t know. Just something I heard somewhere. It’s kind of fun to whistle.”

He started whistling his song, and by that time I knew it well enough to whistle along.

It’s been stuck in my head on-and-off ever since.

Yanni? Iron Maiden? Theme music from the PBS News Hour?

I just wish I knew what it was.

It kind of goes like this …

Dan Conradt, a lifelong Mower County resident, lives in Austin with his wife, Carla Johnson.