Another fine person.

When I started school at Minneha on the east side of Wichita, our music was a record player in Kindergarten.  I don't know if Mrs. Longhoffer could sing or not.  Carrie Longhoffer was our next door neighbor and I was the son they didn't have.  Her husband and I spent a lot of time together feeding his cattle.  I think he liked to have someone in the back of the truck that would throw out hay to the cattle.  But enough of that, on to my favorite Music Teacher of all time.

Mrs. Holloway was one of those people that felt all music was good music.  She was known to sit us down on the floor and pass out instruments to play while we listened to songs on records.  There was always a bunch of Christmas songs to learn and that was before someone thought that songs would corrupt little kids to change their beliefs.   I managed to sing in her choirs whenever she put one together.  I don't remember the Christmas pageant being sloppy or not sung well.  In fact, "O Holy Night" was done as well by our fifth grade choir as I ever heard it sung.  It didn't hurt that we had a soloist named Margaret Mulligan that was spectacular. 

I am sure that Mrs. Holloway wasn't the only influence on my love of singing, but she sure got the ball rolling on my career of music.   A few years back, the local Methodist church was getting to hold their annual supper and stage play.  It was always a musical and we loved to attend.  One year they had a shortage of guys and a friend asked me if I would consider singing with them.  Would I, would I, you bet. 

For some reason their music director had the idea that all songs sung on the church had to be a little on the stuffy side.  This little light of mine was very syncopated and not a whole lot of fun.  I brought into it the old Baptist Spiritual rhythm and the choir just blew the doors off the performance.  From the smiles on everyone but the director, it was a hit.   There was song by Ray Stevens about a squirrel getting lose in the church and I found a dog toy that looked like a squirrel.  When the song was being sung, I prompted one of the guys to hold the squirrel up in the end of a stick and twirl it.  That also brought down the house.  At the end of the song he would throw it out on stage and the girls all screamed. 

Now, very late in life I am singing with a Barbershop Chorus and I love it.  It is so much fun to sing with the guys and we try pretty darned hard to enjoy what we are doing.  In the summer, we pick one Sunday each  to visit one of the local churches so they can give their choir a weekend off.  We will sing at three different churches each weekend and it seems to be a hit.

Oh well,  Here's my Mother's day story.   My mother lived in one of our houses and she was a fun person to sit and talk with.  I would do her grocery shopping and then we would sit and talk.  Generally she would have the remote for the TV screwed up and I would stop and restart it.  I found taking out the batteries and resetting it all the way back to the manufacturers setting did the trick.  One day Mom called and said she was very mad because the remote didn't work again.  I jumped in the car and went over.  She held up the remote and said "This damned thing doesn't work again."  I calmly told her that unless the remote had a button to inflate her breasts she needed to turn it around and aim it at the TV.  We laughed at that for days after that.  I sure miss Mom.

Mom in Eldorado circa 1942.


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