Friday, December 20, 2013

Jo Dee Messina

When I was a junior in high school, I came to my first period class, which was show choir, and my teacher immediately posed an opportunity to us. Country singer Jo Dee Messina had a concert in Zanesville, which is about an hour away, and her choir cancelled on her. She talked about her predicament on a local radio station and a listener called in and recommended our choir to replace hers. My teacher was amped at the thought of us making our school proud by stepping up at the last minute.
After frantically getting parent permission and excuses to miss class, my friend Max drove me home
to change and we rushed back to the school to begin practicing. We learned choral arrangements for “Keep the Faith” and “A Joyful Noise” in a few hours at the school and on the bus. A lot of credit belongs to our choir director Dave Jarrell who not only is a great person but an amazing choir teacher who can sing every part including soprano. We had an incredible group that year and I was proud to be a part of it.
At the concert venue we ate pizza provided by Jo Dee Messina’s manager and goofed around with a video to show the school on the morning announcements the next day. Mr. Jarrell later took that video and other footage he shot to make us each a compilation video of the experience for Christmas.
RADIO: Cinnamon Bear “Santa Claus”, Jump Jump and the Ice Queen “Rescuing the Reindeer”, Jonathan Thomas and his Christmas on the Moon “Kirmit the Hermit”
MOVIE: I planned to go to Cleveland this year before Christmas to see the house where they filmed parts of A Christmas Story, but the weather and other plans have made that trip impossible. But sometime this year I will go, and I am very excited at the prospect. Why? Well, not only is A Christmas Story one of the best Christmas movies ever, but it is also heavy on nostalgia, and old stuff and Samantha go together like peas and carrots.
We saw this movie several times when we were kids, but it didn’t become a staple until I was a teenager. My mom doesn’t like this movie; she doesn’t think it is funny, so we only saw it if my dad wanted to watch it. His favorite part is the kid in line to see Santa: “I like the Wizard of Oz. I like the tin man.” One year, we had a birthday party for my dad (December 22nd) and several of my extended family members sat down to watch A Christmas Story on TV. Everyone was laughing and quoting the movie. Suddenly, it came alive for me, and I enjoyed it so much more than I ever had.
There are so many wonderful things about this film and so many vignettes that are so brilliant and
memorable: the kid stuck to the pole, the Ovaltine commercial, Ralphie sticking a Red Ryder ad in his mom’s magazine, “A+++++++++++++”, “I can’t put my arms down,” “You’ll shoot your eye out,” “Show Mommy how the piggies eat,” “Fragile,” I could go on and on. If you haven’t read it, I recommend Jean Shepherd’s In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash which features many stories from this film. The language in the book is very similar to that in the movie; some lines are lifted exactly from the page. Here is the scene where Ralphie goes outside to try his new BB gun: “I trudged down the steps, barely discernible in the soft fluff, and now I stood in the clean air, ready to consummate my great, long, painful, ecstatic love affair.”
SONG: “A Joyful Noise”
GIFT MEMORY: Since I am a girl, over the years, I have gotten a lot of perfume and lotion. I am
not complaining. The only thing that kind of sucks about it is that so many of the great scents I associate with Christmas have been discontinued. I’m looking at you Bath and Body Works. In the name of staying fresh and current, the company constantly retires old scents in order to make room for new ones. It is a smart business model, but many of my favorite standbys have fallen by the wayside. RIP the scents of Christmas past. You are remembered. (Daffodil Fields, Tangerine Spice, Toasted Hazelnut, White Cherry Blossom, Cucumber and Green Tea, Fresh Waterfall Mist, Irresistible Apple, Lemongrass Sage, Limelight)

No comments:

Post a Comment