You could most certainly say I live a charmed life!
A few moments ago I was sending a submission to FOUND MAGAZINE. I have had this particular found "note" for a year or so, always misplacing it, always finding it, then misplacing it again. Intending to put it in a safe place,I opened up a cigar box I keep "stuff" in (It will most cerainly be lost again) and laying on top was this old cutting from the local newpaper!
Oh how I remember this night! And all the nights that my mother dressed me up as an Irish Colleen and paraded me around commanding I do the Irish Jig like a trained monkey. I hated it! I hated practicing for the upcoming St.Patrick Day show that was inevitable!
That year was my last performance. I think I was 12 (the hairdo, pre-shag Beatle cut) and suffered the humiliation for the final time. This was the annual Fashion Show that the local stores would put on to show off all the latest Spring Fashions. We were the intermission entertainment.
My Dad sang all the time. He was a member of the Barbershop Quartet, the song leader in church, and sang at all occasions. He loved to sing, and had a sweet tenor voice. When I was a kid, it totally embarrassed me. I was different to begin with. Not a whole lot of northerners settled in the small rural towns back in the early sixties, let alone Irish jigging and singing Catholics from New York City!! All I wanted was to fit in and be like everyone else.
That never happened. My parents made sure of that.
As the years pass by I find that my strongest memories of embarrassment of my parents, are also the most precious gifts I have received from them. Pride of being Irish and Catholic.
The last time my Dad performed in public was at my sister wedding in 1992. She married a German named Daniel. My Dad stood and sang the sweetest version of Danny Boy he ever delivered. It was the final time.