Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nothing Ordinary about this ...

"Music was my joy, my home,
the one place I felt happy and secure."
Lawrence Welk

Saturday night TV leaves a little to be desired. With no Oprah to sleep through, Dad had me channel surf until we landed on a PBS music show. OMG, I just sat through an hour of Lawrence Welk "Memories and Milestones." I think it was filmed in Branson, MO so it is a toss up as to whom was older - the musical family on stage or the audience. Like a lot of the fund raising PBS shows this one was not brand new. There were lots of glittery dresses with big shoulder pads, big hair and darkly lined lips. The men sported comb overs and polyester pants. I'm guessing it had a little something for everyone over the age of 80.

While my dad mosied down a musical memory lane, his toes tapping the beat against his sheets, I watched the clock slowly tick off the seconds. Just when I thought I was on my way to going completely bonkers there she was ... Janet Lennon. I should probably be embarrassed to admit this, but I can remember a time before all the plastic surgery, when I wanted to be Janet Lennon. Not because I can sing, or dance, or have any kind of stage presence. But dang, Janet was so darn cute. And perky. Two things I longed to be.

At the end of the 4th act (but who's counting) the whole group of singers joined in to sing America the Beautiful. A giant flag dropped down behind the orchestra, the audience rose to their feet and my dad joined in... America! America! God shed His light on thee. I didn't know whether to sit and listen and hope the moment was burned into my fading memory, or sing along. I did a little of both.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before my dad is a creature of habit. I don't know if our nightly visits have a lot of meaning for him other than it is another routine that has been established to help him maneuver through his day. Most nights I get antsy way before the news comes on. I've seen one too many Ask Gary commercials. But then, something like tonight happens. Holding my Dad's hand, listening to him sing a patriotic song. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I hope after this part of our journey together is over, this is what I'm going to remember. Not how many laxatives he had to take, or how picky he can be about how I say "orange" (I say ORange, he says ARNge - go figure), but how something as obnoxious as champagne music can turn a grumpy old man into someone I'm going to miss a lot.

Wishing you memories and milestones,
Merry ME


Anonymous said...

Great post! He does love those patriotic songs and singing them and looking at the American flag. I wonder...if when he tends to be in one of his grumpy moods, if you could hit the CD On button and where you have some of those favoriite songs all set up to play? Just a thought. lg

Pamela Jones said...

ARNge you glad you watched it?

Oh, Merry...I remember watching LW every Sunday night when my great-aunt Essie was alive. It was sort of a command performance, I guess, although motivated by love for her and not coercion. "A one-a, and a two-a" will be forever etched in my brain! And "that Joe Feeney is really handsome!"

Did you have the Lennon Sister paper dolls? I did! And I wanted to be Janet, too. In retrospect, maybe she would have wanted to be us.

Nothing like music to un-grump a Grumpy Old Man!

My folks get really into the "Bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover" type movies from the '30s. Anything musical!

Great story of a great day with your Dad...feeling fuzzy.