It’s the lights. It’s the music. It’s the coffee. It’s the season.

By Anita Garner

I’m not a good shopper nor an artistic gift-wrapper and am sometimes running late before reaching full immersion in the spirit of the holidays.  However, I do feel fairly confident a few December rituals will eventually turn things around.  Early in the morning, while it’s still dark, I plug in the office lights, turn on the Christmas music and coffee my way toward daylight.  While Willie sings “Pretty Paper,” I’d love to share another couple of favorite spirit boosters.

Visiting the lights in whatever place makes a heart feel at home.  That works for me.  Cities that twinkle all over, or a little tree and a country cabin, I’ll take either.  Before I had the opportunity to live in the Bay Area, I declared San Francisco my favorite city and visited often.  Then I moved across the Bay where it’s always a thrill to arrive at the Ferry Building.  By the end of November, the  Embarcadero Four buildings are stunning, outlined in lights. If a person has to shop, a person might as well do it then and there.

My agent’s office was in a beautiful old building on Geary, across the street from Neiman Marcus at Union Square.  I’d take the vintage elevator up to Joan’s office, then across the street for a bite inside the glorious rotunda.

Like many broadcasters, I have a substantial holiday music collection, going back to the days when record companies sent them to us. I treasure them.

My website partner, Dave Williams, and I were producing audio for another website a couple of years back and searching for music, I met Chris Whiteman and Colin Tribe on YouTube and have followed them ever since.  Their holiday songs are part of my tradition.

My office lights now stay up all year.  The old Christmas CDs still work in my computer and when they don’t any more, I’ll keep downloading and carry on.

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Here’s Chris Whiteman, who lives in Virginia and plays and teaches everywhere.  Click the picture to visit his YouTube channel

Here’s Colin Tribe with grandson, Edward.  Colin lives in England where he composes, arranges, teaches and plays the you know what out of that ukulele. Click the picture for his YouTube channel.

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Follow me here anytime.

 

Lies We Tell Our Kids

(You can hear this blog with music)

I’m borrowing these from Reader’s Digest this week.  Wish I’d thought of these lies we tell our kids.

— “If the ice cream truck is playing music, it means it’s run out of ice cream.”

 

 

 

 

 

— “You used to have a brother who turned into a mushroom from not taking a bath.”

— “Her Dad said if she looked after a special growing rock and watered it until it stopped growing, she could get a dog. She watered it and while she was at school, her Dad replaced it with a bigger rock.”

— “Toys grow under the weeds in the yard and if you pull the weeds, eventually a toy will pop out.”

— “They don’t sell replacement batteries for that toy.

— And a personal one:  Because my Daddy was a Southern preacher who was often in touch with Jesus, I’m cautious about this one. My brother and I prayed every night for a blue Schwinn bicycle.

 

 

 

Daddy said Baby Jesus provides for all our needs but maybe not our wants and besides it was rude to ask Him for something so specific. My brother said if he had a bike, he could get a paper route.

A bicycle soon appeared on the front porch of the parsonage. It wasn’t new.  It wasn’t blue, but it worked. Daddy never admitted to buying it.

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Thank you, Colin, for the music.

Colin Tribe – “Bye Bye Blues”

Colin and grandson, Edward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbSdymLmocY

Kinky Boots

Listen to this blog here.

I love to tell this story. It’s about generous performers, actors and singers, and four degrees of separation.  Greg (North) Zerkle directed a reading of my musical, The Glory Road in Los Angeles.

At the last minute, one of our actors had to drop out to take another role.  


Brent Schindele  said, “An actor I know is in town right now appearing in The Lion King at the Pantages.  Let’s see if he can do it.”

Brent Schindele

Brent contacted Eugene Ware-Hill, who came over from The Lion King and without rehearsal, performed at our reading.  He was magnificent.

                                                             Eugene Ware-Hill

Fast forward. Eugene is in Kinky Boots on Broadway. The Grand has a crush on a rock star, Brendon Urie  who sang a lead role in the show this summer. Her girlfriend was traveling to New York and would get to see the show.  The Grand couldn’t go. Heartbreak.

I asked Eugene if he could please get her an autograph. He did even more. He sent a Kinky Boots playbill with a personal note from Brendon addressed to the Grand. This treasure occupies the place of honor in her room.

              Playbill from Kinky Boots

I think about how these four degrees of gorgeous proved what our grammas used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does.”

And wait  – one more.

The musician playing this ukulele version of Lullaby of Broadway is Colin Tribe. Colin lives in England where he teaches, arranges and performs.

                                           Edward and his grandpa, Colin Tribe

Colin’s YouTube channel is linked below.

Or reach him here:

colinrtribe@btinternet.com