An Old Fashioned Christmas

I was thinking today about a Christmas Cantata we did quite a few years back entitled “Old Fashioned Christmas”. It was back when I was still a member in good standing at the TFBC in Trion. I can’t remember the year…maybe 1999 or so? I know someone would remember, but it’s not that important. The important thing was the people involved.

You see, I wasn’t always such a pariah. At some points in my past I was an acceptable member.

But ahh, the wonderful people.

We’d begin to rehearse musicals like these at some point in October most of the time. Wednesday nights after prayer service we’d gather and pass out the booklet of Music. This one musical always sticks in my mind. I think maybe it’s because we did it twice in the space of five or six years.

An “Old Fashioned Christmas” about a young lady disenchanted with the way a Christmas is conducted nowadays wants to go back to the good old days of the 1890’s, and the wonderful Christmases they had back then.

But, it was the people who were there at that time, in that place, who made the event special. They were all people I loved, and almost all are gone now.

Mr. Tip sang the deepest bass you ever heard and beside him was Eldred Barrett. Rev. Richardson filled out that low side. Then there was my brother Mike, me and…the first time we did it, I think Johnny Brimer was there, and by the second time my son Ted. It’s tough remembering everyone.

Mrs Yvonne Barrett, and Eldred’s two sisters. Ruth Locklear, and Ruth Collette. Marilyn, Carol, Myra, and some of us other “younger” ones. Myra was one I always had to keep in line (ha) It was always so much fun giving her a hard time because she gave me just as hard a time as I did her! All in good fun.

Norman’s wife Carolyn was on the organ, Ann McCollum as always was there to play piano….ever faithful, always willing to go over and over a part that we just couldn’t quite get. I winged it most of the time anyway, alternating between the tenor part, and harmonizing with the sopranos in some weird harmonies that sounded good, but definitely weren’t in the music. I couldn’t read a note, but you’d have never have known.

Jim Sprayberry ran the sound system. Ted helped him for a lot of years.

There were others I can’t remember right now. Wonderful people with good hearts. That’s what made it fun. It made it seasonal. It made it Christmas for me. The big night of the performance (or day sometimes) we would all sing our hearts out, and “leave it on the stage”

I loved that musical. I wish we’d had film back then as convenient as now to record those musicals. I miss them.

I miss Mom and Dad out in the audience, along with many others from their generation who would come by afterwards and pat you on the shoulder and say “nice job”. Few are left and they are passing on so quickly.

For many, many years that was the highlight of the Christmas season. From about 1975 until 2009.

The people. It’s always the people. Your family. Your friends. The times that you have that you think will go on and on. But they don’t and that’s just the rub, isn’t it.

In any case, all of you folks out there who are singing in a Christmas musical, or caroling, or just humming a song to yourself, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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