joy magnetism: Keep a song in your heart

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Keep a song in your heart

Magnet #270 - The Lawrence Welk Show

Go ahead. Giggle. And snicker. You know you want to. It's ok. Really.

Some of my earliest memories back in Chicago, I must have been 4 or 5, are of me, running through the house looking for my church shoes, so that I could tap dance along with the tap dancer on The Lawrence Welk Show. No. I'd never had tap lessons. My parents and I used to watch this show together, while my dad hummed usually off-key and falsetto.

In case you've never had the pleasure, it's your basic musical variety show that started back in 1951, and is still running on PBS to this day. Quite impressive, since they haven't had a new episode in like decades. But, I think they still air it just to keep my dad happy, and to drive my mother insane.

A few years ago, on my Woman on Her Own Roadtrip through California, I was driving down some lonely highway, and I started seeing signs for Escondido. I knew the name, but didn't know why. I exited to get some gas, and then I saw signs for Champagne Boulevard, and at that point it struck me that I was at Lawrence Welk's place in Escondido. Seriously, I distinctly remember humming the theme song, as I made my way to the resort.

I drove onto the deserted lot - it was something like 9:30 or 10 in the morning, and nothing was open. So I explored a bit, taking pictures of the Welk Auditorium. There was a gift shop that hadn't opened yet. Dudes, of course, I was gonna wait for it to open. I was so excited I called my dad up in NC to tell him. He laughed his ass off at me for being there. But, really. How could I not?

Then the buses started to arrive. There I was, in a sea of blue-haired ladies and golf-shirted men, completely out of my demo. Again. The little Filipino girl, with an armful of all things Lawrence Welk for my parents.

That's ok, cuz I was totally loving every damn cheesy minute of it. And as I drove off toward San Diego, I could hear Lawrence Welk's sign-off in my head.

"See you next time, and until then, keep a song in your heart!"

Cue closing credits.
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The Geek said...

Ooh, ooh, ooh, somewhat off topic, but your comment about tap dancing in your church shoes reminded me of something cool my little sister told me this weekend about tap dancing.

It's a cross between Irish dancing and African dancing, with the flailing feet from one and all the upper body motion of the other. Back before the turn of the century (late-1800s-ish) both groups were so ostracized that they often got shoved into close proximity by us Evil English Descendants (I'm quite frequently ashamed of a good many of my fore-fathers' behavior). They ended up imitating each others' dance style, and tap dancing was born.

joy said...

I had no idea about tap. That's cool

Heh, I just liked the noise. Come to think, I'm surprised my parents let me do that on hardwood floors. Hah.