He was always dressed (with a few buttons left undone) and shirt tucked in, he always had a great tan from being outdoors all the time and his hair remained jet black almost until he died at 88 or 89. He was a handsome, wonderful man and incredible dad to my mamala. And the only person in the whole wide world who called me Debbie-Jean.
I think of him often and still hold him as one of the greatest fathers (and grandfathers) of all time.
“Nonna – can we put the music on?” Amelie asks me so sweetly every Thursday morning when she arrives for pre-school. We talk about pushing the big, rectangle button on the surround-sound, then carefully lifting the lid to place an LP on the player. Then we lift the lever, place the arm over the spinning vinyl, and lower the lever with great care. Then we lower the lid and after just a bit of crackling, the dancing begins.
She loves the process, the steps to using the turntable. She speaks them softly as she reverently plays a record, today: The Fabulous Fifties, last week, some Andy Williams. I am trying to expose my grandbebes to older, American classics in music, for the new they will always find. So I start them on 40s love songs and 60s Motown. As they get older (like Gavin and Hunter), they want to hear the Footloose album or a song like “The Night Chicago Died.” But it is all “old-timey” music to them. :)
Hey – remember the 80s?
Well, as I may have mentioned before – I barely do, but not for the “usual” reasons. I was just busy having babies and tending to my little family back in those days. Movies? Music? Who the president was? I can hardly recall (though my huge hair and Desperately-Seeking-Susan wardrobe was fantastic). But our friends, Mary and David, invited us to a show last weekend with a B-52s cover band called, Hey Lady. It was an all-80s music extravaganza, even with the openers, The Retrosonics (I could sing along with a lot of their music – they were great and the lead singer is the sister of another set of great friends: Joel and Marj). But I had mostly missed the B52s the first time around. Ha.
Two things became very clear to me:I really AM from the 1970sand I need that red wig!
I don’t drink and I don’t dance (I want to – just…can’t…dance, that is), so I was out of my element, but Mary has promised we’ll go back on Karoke night sometime – because I DO love to sing!
The keyboard is currently in the living room, where I plunk and play and sing a little most days
I have hit that horrible age where every song has a memory and I burst into tears at the drop of a hat or the gentle turn of a melody. It isn’t because the memories are sad or bad, but just because I wish I had held every moment of life a little closer and more reverently.
Now I play a chord and sing a line and I see a person or place or time in my mind’s eye. And I cry because I am so grateful I got to live it and know the people I know and to have loved them. And my heart is full now because understanding seems to come with age. Not one day is unimportant. Do you hear me? Not one. The tears are just the overflow of a heart that can feel, that risks feeling, more and more as time goes by.
So just let me cry when I sing. I am that age now.
For today’s #throwbackthursday :: Highland Park Church of God in Des Moines, Iowa. My mom was the choir director and she started it while I was about 7, at which time she taught me to sing alto. In fact there was a whole alto section, Rhonda Sable being the rest of it, but nonetheless – there were parts.
This picture includes all 5 of us, my siblings and myself. I am the girl in the back row clear to the right. While the choir had been going for a year by this time (practices on Sunday evenings at 6 pm, while the YPE (aka Young People’s Endeavor, now more commonly known as Youth Group, except with some way more hip title) met upstairs. But in the fall of 1968, when we got our poncho-robes and bright-white bow-ties, we were certainly at the zenith of our junior choir career. Good times.
Back row, left-to-right: the late Lonny Sable, Brenda Smith, Sharon Smith, Wesley Sable, Rhonda Sable, MOI! // Middle row, left to right: Timmy Rodgers, Timmy Moslander, Debbie Bettis, Joey Moslander, Rebecca Sable, Darryl Sable. Front Row, left-to-right (the junior-est of them all): Tina Slight, Laurie Rodgers, Dana Mitchell Moslander, Tami (alias Tammy) Moslander, David Bettis, Carol Bettis and the late Ramona Whorley.
Which brings me to this question: Where has all the harmony gone?
What is up with all 5 vocalists onstage singing the melody these days? I miss hearing harmony? Part it out, people.
Beautiful music makes the whole world go around! Who wants to sing with me right this second?