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Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Betsy and Buddy

A Trip Down Memory Lane.

Pinterest has been highly entertaining.  I vowed to only put things that strike my passion zone, and I'm finding that I'm learning a lot about myself as I build my little collections.  Yesterday I saw a post by another pinner that I thought was a terrific idea.  I titled my board, "When I Was A Kid, I Loved..." and have been adding things that I remember fondly.  Today I ran across this and smiled from the inside out.

Betsy McCall was my favorite little doll.  Only 8" tall, she appealed to my fascination with tiny things.  Sweet. winsome face.  Delightful clothes.  I even loved her knees that cracked when you made her sit down (kind of like my knees now).

Seeing this picture today brought back one of my favorite memories.

We lived in the San Fernando Valley when I was ages 5-11.  The young couples that made up our neighborhood were the best and longest friendships I remember my parents having.  Today I was remembering the day that my dad had his friends over to check out his new hi-fi record player.  They let me stay in the room (I wasn't much older than eight) as they blasted Harry James and Woody Herman throughout the house.

My love of big band jazz was born that day as I lie stretched on the floor with the music pouring over and around me and Betsy.

I don't remember exactly what he played that day, but over the years my favorite big band musician was Buddy Rich.  I still remember the day I took my son to Pro Drum Shop in Los Angeles for his annual birthday cymbal gift purchase and we saw one of Buddy's sets on display in the store.  I was even more excited than he was.

This recording wouldn't have been one Dad played on that day (it was recorded later) but it is still one of my top ten favorite recordings of all time.

Of all the gifts my Dad gave to me, the gift of Big Band jazz is one of my most treasured.

Feeling grateful, if a little teary, for that gift today.

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