Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Every "When Swing Was King" Is A Special One

Yesterday's presentation of "When Swing Was King" was a wonderful one. Yes, we say that about almost every one of them but it's very important that Claire and I continue to perceive (and appreciate) the unique blessing that every program represents. The residents of the nursing homes and assisted living centers love listening to the big band music watching the photo progression. They enjoy the commentary as I share interesting items about the bandleaders, singers, certain photographs and the times. They are also grateful for the chance to tell their stories to people who genuinely are interested.

And they love the memories that "When Swing Was King" recalls for them. Even the bittersweet ones.

It didn't look like we were going to have much of a crowd yesterday afternoon at the assisted living center we were visiting. It was only our third time at this place. At 5 minutes before the program was scheduled to start, there were only 2 ladies sitting in the theater. The activities director was apologizing and explaining how difficult it was for her to get residents to come to an afternoon program. She suggested the possibility of us coming in the evening. "We can sometimes get 40 people at an evening function," she said. "And even if we could have you here once, then the residents would see how wonderful the program is. Then they'd be fans and we could get him here even in the afternoon!"

Not a bad idea. But one that might not be necessary, after all. Because by the time we were into the second song the two ladies had been joined by nearly 30 more people!  And the laughter and excited recognitions during the program; the people sprightly singing along; the smiles, thank-yous and sharing of stories afterward were every bit as sweet as the places to which we've become old friends.

So yes, indeed. Yesterday's presentation of "When Swing Was King" was a wonderful one.

(By the way, yesterday's presentation was our 98th! Pretty impressive for a program that started out just a year ago July...a program that was initially conceived as a one time show for my Mom's nursing home!)