The Gaudete Sunday Edition of The Week That Was

Here’s a timely public service announcement from the National Fire Protection Council and the Public Safety Commission.

Today is Dick Van Dyke’s 90th birthday. Happy Birthday to him!

The Week That Was

Monday’s Music Moves Me has begun its annual music Bacchanalia for Christmas, so I started with ten of my favorites, including Brenda Lee (“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”), who Elen said her mother loves. As I told her, what’s not to love? Brenda was thirteen when she recorded that song, second on my list only to Gayla Peevey, who recorded “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” when she was only eleven. Halfmoon Mollie suggested the Eagles’ “Please Come Home For Christmas,” which just might top tomorrow’s list, and said she remembered Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker doing “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.” I originally thought she meant they each did a version, and I was going to pit them against each other for this week’s Battle of the Bands, but it turns out they did it together. Still, there are many, many versions of it, and this week’s Battle will feature two of them. It means I have to abandon combining Two for Tuesday, but that’s all right.

Speaking of Two for Tuesday, this past week’s featured the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. I featured two songs by them that were not recorded by the Rolling Stones.

I also answered the Question of the Month on Tuesday, “Which one social convention would you get rid of?” My answer was I’d like to do away with was mandatory employer-organized events where you were required to socialize with your coworkers. Arlee said he put up with a lot of silly stuff in the name of work, and that everyone does at one time or another. Michael, who organizes the QotM, said events such as the one I described are great if you’re an extrovert, a nightmare otherwise. I used to have to drink a lot of beer to get me through those occasions. Kip said those events are becoming a thing of the past as companies have to economize. He also commented on Facebook that “J-O-B does not spell ‘fun,'” one of my mother’s favorite sayings, might have been the worst advice he ever received. True, work isn’t something you can approach with a casual attitude, but the implication is that your job has to be something you hate, a reality for too many people. Uncle Jack said that what he would have done away with was the suit-and-tie-for-work requirement he lived with for 43 years, and that he envies the casual work environments of today. He’s right, especially considering most people work at jobs with little public contact.

For Wednesdays for my Wife, Mary asked me to tell the story of my father getting home from work early and involveing himself in dinner preparations for his three young sons. In order to protect the identities of the three subjects of the story, I used the letters A, B, and C to refer to us. Uncle Jack tried to guess which letter corresponded to each of us. He was batting .333. Aunt Bitsy (longtime reader, first-time commenter) said she remembered the story, and encouraged me to continue to write the family stories, something Mary has been after me to do, so expect more of it as I go along.

I evidently have gained a following among members of my extended family. To which I say, welcome aboard, family! Hope you like what goes on around here.

One Liner Wednesday featured a quote, allegedly from Abraham Lincoln, that I found on Twitter. He warns us not to believe everthing you read on the microblogging site. Jeffrey said old Abe was wise for his day, and was surprised they had Twitter in Abe’s day, while Cathy said Abe was pretty hip. As I told them, Abe was also an early adopter of Instagram, but Snapchat wasn’t around until the McKinley Administration.

For the Writer’s Workshop, the prompt was to write a post inspired by the word “snowflake,” and I wrote about the three ancient films WGN would haul out of the vault every Christmastime and play in rotation from the Friday after Thanksgiving to the show before Christmas, one of which was “Suzy Snowflake.” That reminded me of the last time my brothers and I saw Dad, the day before he had surgery to see what was going on inside him. My grandfather Hicks picked us up at school and took us there, something Aunt Bitsy never knew. It was a surprise to us, I know that; I had no idea that was going to happen. I think they decided early on Thursday to perform surgery on Friday, and figured we should see him before then. It was a tough time for all of us, though I think we weren’t aware of just how tough it was until years later.

The Friday Five turned into the Friday Fifteen because the subject I chose was “songs with ‘rose’ in the title,” and there are quite a few. There were songs I missed, of course, because there are a ton of songs with “rose” in the title, and, had I included all of them, it would have taken most of the night. Arlee, Mollie, and Joanna suggested several, and I thought of “Honeysuckle Rose,” and I know there are more than that. I’ll be adding those to the playlist.

Finally, on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, the prompt was “-clo-“. Naturally, I thought of “clock,” given my obsession with time. Okay, not an obsession with it, more of an unhealthy preoccupation. I couldn’t get by without including a song, Leroy Anderson’s “The Syncopated Clock.” Leroy wrote all kinds of songs like that; he’s an interesting fellow, and I know you’ve heard his music at some point in your life.

So that’s it for The Week That Was. Next week, Battle of the Bands on Tuesday, all the regular features, and maybe a surprise or two. See you then!