Friday, May 09, 2014

"When Swing Was King" Swings Into Summer

Yesterday afternoon at Life Care Center, we presented the latest volume of “When Swing Was King” (a freshly updated version, at that) and it was a big hit. But then, it always is! After all, how can you go wrong when you give residents of nursing homes and other senior living facilities 1) fabulous music, appreciated all the more because it is the music of their youth); 2) interesting and compelling photographs to look at while the music plays;  3) entertaining and informative commentary about the songs, musicians, and pictures; and 4) a chance to spend time visiting with friends who come by every month.

It certainly beats sitting alone back in your room or being parked (with a bunch of other residents) in front of a big television screen at the nurses station, forced to watch whatever inane program it’s tuned into.

As one of the residents (a lovely and engaging 91-year old lady) told Claire last month, “I love the days when you guys come because it gets me out of my room. I really love the music and you guys are so fun and friendly. It really is a delight and I look forward to it so much.” She then spoke almost in a whisper. “You know, the people here are good and they try to take care of us but most days are so…so…” She hesitated to say the word so Claire made an educated guess. “So boring?” “Yes! That’s exactly what it is. So thank you for helping us escape that with these parties you throw.”

Parties? It's a good word, an apt description. And it can be looked at that way from our vantage point too. Being pro-life activists these last three and a half decades has certainly brought us a big share of heartbreak and controversy and somber perseverance. It still does. 3 times last week, for instance, we were praying and holding pro-life signs outside Planned Parenthood abortion businesses.

But in these last 3 and a half years, the Lord has graciously allowed us the temporary respite of these “When Swing Was King” parties — 11 every month in our 2014 schedule. We are profoundly grateful to Him for this tremendous blessing. And we’re grateful also to the residents, to the activity directors, to everyone who prays for the ministry’s protection and effectiveness, and to the generous supporters of Vital Signs Ministries because you make it possible for us to continue. We do not charge the facilities a dime for bringing them the shows.

As always, we invite you to come along and be a part of this keen outreach. (The schedule is posted on the Vital Signs Ministries website right here.) And if you’re interested in knowing just what songs are bringing back the memories this month, here they are:

1) Glenn Miller Orchestra — “Adios”

2) Nat King Cole — “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home”

3) Artie Shaw Orchestra (Vocals by Helen Forrest) — “All the Things You Are”

4) Tommy Dorsey Orchestra — “Those Little White Lies”

5) Benny Goodman Orchestra (Vocals by Helen Ward) — “You Can’t Pull the Wool Over My Eyes”

6) Xavier Cugat & the Waldorf Astoria Orchestra — “Perfidia”

7) Dean Martin — “That’s Amore’”

8) Harry James Orchestra — “Begin the Beguine”

9) Larry Clinton Orchestra (Vocals by Bea Wain) — “Dipsy Doodle”

10) Perry Como — “Some Enchanted Evening”

11) Chick Webb Orchestra — “Strictly Jive”

12) Glenn Miller Orchestra (Vocals by Tex Beneke & the Modernaires) — “I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo”