Fourteen years ago I took the Ball State University Chamber Choir on tour — Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa.
The repertory was challenging for the group, but it represents a year of hard work and great singing and solid choral fun.
Two photos of Mom, found in my father’s belongings:
Ruth Blocher (my maternal grandmother, known as “G-ma”) and her sister Esther (my beloved great-aunt) and I wrote aerograms to my parents when they were in Argentina.
I later moved to faxing, and then to email. And of course I started with letters before realizing that aerograms were cheaper.
G-ma (who had just turned 84 at the time) posted this aerogram to my parents on July 21, 1992. Her first paragraph recounts seeing me as Horace Vandergelder in a performance of Hello, Dolly! at Blue Springs City Theatre earlier that month.
“Friday as I told you I went to Auntie’s, we picked up the girls in L.S. and went to the play. It was good good great. I hadn’t laughed so much in a long time. He yelled and screamed at everyone until Dollie got to him then he was mild as could be. When the old beat down man part came he was perfect. Of course from then on he turned on the charm and smile. I’m sure glad we didn’t miss that one. Rich several times I saw you up there on the stage.”
I spent this Memorial Day quietly.
Sisters Karen and Beth have visited the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery which now has the graves of both of our parents:
This is an odd feeling, on this day in particular.
Meanwhile I’ve watered the plants and walked the dog and napped and made a pig-pickin’ cake and paid bills and barbecued burgers and done quite a bit of Webster University work.
And now it’s time to read for a while.
We found several boarding cards amongst my father’s belongings.
Here is one for Mom, for a wide-body when airlines were still flying wide-body jets on short haul domestic flights. Mom was in seat 28J.
Eastern Airlines when out of business in 1991, so this flight was sometime between 1986 when they became missionaries and 1991.
Today would have been my father’s 18th wedding anniversary. He married JoAnne in 2000 on this date.
And my sisters and I looked like this 18 years ago today:
Amongst my father’s belongings was this clipping from the Lee’s Summit Journal, sometime in the spring months of 1972.
I won the fifth grade oration contest with my speech “Why George Washington Carver is My Favorite American.”
As I look at this photo, I notice the street addresses of the students. This is of course something that we would never do today in our worries about child safety.
I also notice how many of these classmates were in the school band with me eight years later at graduation. Is there a correlation between playing music and being successful, or at least voluble?
And I notice that all of the ten finalists list a “Mr. and Mrs.” as the parents. Was divorce really that less common in 1972? Perhaps it was!
My high school graduating class included more then 560 students, so I’m not able to find (with complete assurance) all the rest of these folks on Facebook.
I’m in the midst of four days of holiday….
But boy howdy, do I seem to be busy:
Sunday will be a church service, a voice lesson, and a choral concert. Then steak on the grill, with homemade macaroni & cheese, green salad, and strawberries for dessert.
Twenty years ago today, my then-seniors in high school sang a senior recital.
I found the program in my father’s belongings.
Of these students, I visited with Matt Wilson in Chicago two or three years ago, and Jimmy Boswell is a Facebook friend. The rest have disappeared.
These students were an especially good group, and I adored teaching them.