Friday, September 13, 2013

We Get By with a Little Help from "When Swing Was King"

It's been a tough week around here -- sad news, bad news, long hours, and
another week of coughing, as my Dad used to say, "my fool head off." But there were also several bright spots of fellowship that helped us immeasurably to stay above the week's circumstances. Like the Beatles, we do get by with a little help from our friends.

Sunday, for instance, we had lunch after church with Allen & Cindy Nelson. They have become very dear friends and it's always a delight and a profound encouragement to be with them. The next day we enjoyed an early lunch at Le Peeps with Tom and Lila Sharman. Tom owns Tesco Studios where I recorded "Vital Signs" and "Vital Signs Weekend" for KGBI all those many years and we hadn't gotten together for a long time. That was great too. And there were my usual early morning coffee conversations at Panera's with Dick Wilson and John Malek (Tuesday) and Pat Osborne (Thursday).

And not at all to be overlooked are the uplifting friendships we enjoy with the residents and staff of the senior living facilities where we so joyfully present our "When Swing Was King" programs. This week we have already enjoyed five such presentations and another one will be taking place at Immanuel Courtyard this afternoon at 2 o'clock.

We absolutely revel in the friendships we've established over the last 3 years but we're always making new friends too. And both provide tremendous uplift and energy to Claire and I -- even when we're experiencing tough weeks like this one. For the whole of "WSWK" isn't the music, pictures and commentary (as neat as those things all are) nor is it even the memories and pleasure of the "sentimental journey" back to the resident's youth. No, it's also the very present experience of conversations, remembered stories told to an interested audience, handshakes and hugs, prayers together, practice of the social graces, laughter and sometimes tears.

We do give a bit with "When Swing Was King." It takes a lot of hours to create each volume and it takes a lot of hours to present 13 shows every month throughout the Omaha area and a bit beyond (Council Bluffs, Ft. Calhoun, Ashland). But what we give really can't be compared to what we get by presenting it. Thank you, Lord.

By the way, here's the songlist from this particular volume. (We have 23 different volumes -- each one with 12 songs, interesting notes, and 250-280 photos.)

1) Glenn Miller Orchestra: "In the Mood"

2) The Andrews Sisters (Backed by the Bob Crosby Orchestra):
"Begin the Beguine"

3) Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (Vocals by Frank Sinatra):
"This Love of Mine"

4) Sammy Davis, Jr: "What Kind of Fool Am I?"

5) Artie Shaw Orchestra (Vocals by Helen Forrest): "They Say"

6) Larry Clinton Orchestra: "Dodgin' the Dean"

7) Ella Fitzgerald: "Isn't It Romantic?"

8) Vaughn Monroe Orchestra: "Ballerina"

9) Harry James Orchestra: "You Made Me Love You"

10) Rosemary Clooney: "Hey, There"

11) Freddy Martin Orchestra: "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"

12) Bob Crosby Orchestra (Vocals by Dave Street):
"I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen"