Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bottom of the Food Chain Singing It Out

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I’m pretty sure this is my class photo from my freshman year of high school.  

I always start thinking about my posts for the Mommy’s Piggy Tales stories and have a hard time coming up with what to write. I know I have memories but sometimes it’s just hard to find them. Then I start looking at my photos.

Today I could talk about:
  • Playing junior varsity basketball
  • The bad car accident my dad & I were in on the way to my last basketball game of that year.
  • Going to the Boston Red Sox the summer before my freshman year
  • The boy who took me to see the Boston Red Sox
  • Trying to play field hockey
  • My hair – oh wait – that was last week
  • Dancing in the gifted and talented program (I’m so NOT a dancer but I did this program for three years.)
Instead, I’m going to talk about Oklahoma – not the state – the musical.

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It was during my freshman year I was introduced to “the spring musical.” I can’t remember now if this was new or something started this year, but my first attempt was at Oklahoma. And even now I can’t even say that word in my head without going…. “OAK…lahoma” We were told to “enunciate” and “dictation” and “stop making it sound like “Oh-lahoma!” 

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I’m the one in the brown skirt near the right front with the white shawl on looking awkward to the front of the stage.

I loved doing the musical. Shy little me who does not like to sing solos (a problem since resolved). I was mortified to have assigned one line to sing alone. I remember my ears ringing and I felt sure I would faint. I didn’t but I doubt anyone heard me either.

I was “Kate.” Just a background player really. I nodded my head a lot. Sang in the chorus. Did group dances. Not a stand out by any means. I’m not even sure if I had a line or not. I think perhaps one small one or two.

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I’m in the blue skirt above Mr. Bouchard’s shoulder. He was our awesome band director and he took on this production ever spring. I’m not even southern but I have to say, “Bless his heart” because it was a production. He would yell at us to practice, pay attention, and enunciate! And he’d come back and do it again next spring.

[Sadly, Mr. Bouchard passed away while jogging at the school about two years after I graduated. He had an unknown heart defect. He was a wonderful teacher. He was my band director through all eight years of my playing.]

The one thing though that stands out the most during this time, was the Flood of 1987. This happened on April 1, 1987. The river in town (the Piscataquis River) was rising and rising and would soon flood most of our small town.

My Dad picked me up from dress rehearsal the night of March 31st. He wanted to go check on the river and see what was going on. He quickly brought me home and went back in to town. Right on the river banks were two retirement communities – assisted living type homes. A crew of volunteers started helping the residents put their belongs up on blocks, never dreaming that wouldn’t be enough. Sadly, it wouldn’t. One community of homes was completely wiped out. The second badly damaged but would eventually be rebuilt – both of the separate communities now being combined in to one.

My parents witnessed the ravaging of the covered bridge located just four miles from our home. Low’s Bridge was literally picked up, turned around in the water, and swept downstream. It eventually was completely smashed to pieces on the dam in the next town. It would be rebuilt some years later. One older woman lived on the other side of it and not having the bridge made her life much harder. She had to walk quite a way to her home until it was rebuilt.

School was out for a few days. The only way to get in to town was to walk snowmobile trails. The local mill located right on the river had some oil spill in to the water. It was an easy way to see the high water mark on the buildings. It was a hard time for our town.

But the show much go on. And it did – for free – to boost moral. And we had a blast.

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  1. We did Oklahoma for the spring musical my sophomore year, I think.

  2. What a scary thing a flood like that must be in person! But how great that you remember it in the context of your play!

  3. we had a huge flood in florida.. that stands out in my mind.. as we took pictures of our street and our friends.. in canoes.. in the street... rowing to visit and check on one another.

  4. Wow! A musical and a flood! The flood sounds scary, I used to have nightmares about those types of things growing up, always natural disasters though more often volcanoes I fear a tsunami as I drive along the waterfront on our tiny island, it could easily wipe out so many homes and businesses if it happened on the west side of the island which is flat (though I live on the east side which is safer due to the cliff line where I am).
    Anyway the muscial sounds so fun though! I wanted to do one so bad during high school, but I had to work so I couldn't commit to all the rehearsals and auditions and whatnot.
    Glad you had fun with it though, such a neat experience!

  5. I love the musical Oklahoma!!! I used to watch the movie with my grandmother! Anything Rogers & Hammerstein was good with me!


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