Wednesday, January 28, 2015

You Should be on the Stage...

...there''s one leaving tonight.

That may be the oldest one liner ever uttered on a vaudeville stage.  If not, it's certainly a close second to:

Typical Vaudeville Act 1931
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement to make:  Miss Helen Hunt has found an envelope that someone dropped in the lobby containing five 100 Dollar bills...and there's no name on the envelope.  If you happened to have lost it.....go to Helen Hunt for it.

Vaudeville had died a natural death in the early 30's just before we came along Nevertheless, there was no shortage of  outstanding live entertainment which was ours for the taking. 
chs stage show 1952

I think my love of Plays, Stage Shows, Concerts, and live performances (we didn't have a cute name like Vaudeville for shows like that) began in Junior High School with plays and musicals that we produced....and continued at Central....which I think to this day were pretty darn good!

The Briarhoppers

My parents took me to the Broadway Theatre a couple of times to see my favorite band, The
Briarhoppers, perform. It doesn't get any better than that.

Whoops, I take that back. Once my Mom took me to a matinee performance at the Broadway, and didn't realize that the Briarhoppers only performed on the evening show.  The afternoon show turned out to be a Hootchi Kootchi show.

My Mom pulled me out of there pretty quickly, but not before I had developed a fondness for a new kind music.

Over the years, I've been fortunate to see several of my favorite
Frank Sinatra
musicians perform on stage: a few were true all time Greats, like Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, The Mills Brothers, and Peggy Lee.

Their music is not played much anymore, and after we're gone there will be very few people who have any idea who those people were, much less care to listen to their music.

I thought of those great performances the other day as I was in a line of traffic that had come to a stop to allow a huge tractor trailer back into a small commercial garage in downtown McLean VA. The driver of the truck, using only his mirrors backed that enormous rig into an unbelievably tight space (only inches to spare on either side of the trailer) on his first try, holding up my line of traffic for no more than 60 seconds!

I wanted to jump out of my car and applaud....and shout "BRAVO!"

I didn't because the citizens around here think I'm kinda strange anyway. They tend to dismiss "old people" like me, as those whose only talent is having existed for a long time.  They seldom realize that, as the song says:

From Natchez to Mobile, from Memphis to St. Joe
Wherever the four winds blow, 

I've been in some big towns an' heard me some big talk
And there is one thing I know

...great performances when I see them!


And, speaking of great performers, two of our CHS54 super stars, Warren and Obie got together for what Warren called a "Back to the Future" meeting at the McDonald's executive conference room, adjacent to Love's Truck Stop off I-85 in Salisbury.

Why there?

Two reasons:  It's halfway between their homes...and Love's gas was $1.95.

 I have no idea what that ghostly puff of "smoke" is above Obie's head.
Perhaps the exhaust from an alien spaceship?