To set up for every "When Swing Was King" presentation takes a while. We lug in the screen and (in two suitcases) the other equipment: Claire's laptop computer, the projector, the sound system, all the electrical cords, black plastic sheets to block excessive window light, a little fan, and a few other items. We then unpack and arrange everything on two separate tables. We start playing "prelude" music; bring up the Power Point program, make all the electrical connections; check sound levels; get on our knees to tape down the cords so that no one stumbles; and work with the distance and angles of the projector to the screen to get the biggest picture possible.
We've got it down to an art but it still takes 20-30 minutes to get ready. And, quite often, the nursing home or senior living residents start coming in to watch us and visit while we're doing our thing. It's really a very pleasant part of the whole "When Swing Was King" experience -- as is our visiting with residents after the program too. There are stories shared, jokes told, complements passed around, and other expressions of warm friendship. Really wonderful...and that's not even mentioning the music and memories!
So, yesterday we arrived at Immanuel Fontenelle (one of our favorite places) and we're expecting the usual state of affairs. But no, something was going on. The whole room was arranged differently. Uh oh. Had we slipped up and come on the wrong day? Had they forgotten that they had us scheduled?
No. Everything was cool. It turned out that they were using "When Swing Was King" as the first part of a party they were throwing in honor of one of the resident's 99th birthday! Wow, what an honor...and what fun. There were a couple of our favorite people absent but there was a big crowd, plenty of people singing along, fancy decorations, delicious cupcakes, and a little thank-you speech from the birthday girl. It was a lovely afternoon.
Keep in mind that you can get in on this scene also. The monthly schedule for "When Swing Was King" is posted on the Vital Signs Ministries web site so you can find a spot most convenient for your schedule to come join us. And be assured, Claire and I and all of those seniors just waiting to make your acquaintance would love to have you!