Friday, December 30, 2022

Winter Was Very Warm

Started off the day with breakfast and Match Game '76. Dick Martin was happy to begin the first episode of the New Year with his first match ever on a question about what the cannibal ate at the new restaurant. Richard kicked off his year by helping a contestant with "Teacher's __" on the Head-to-Head.

Headed off on the bike this time after the show ended...and went right back in when I realized how warm it was. It must have been in the upper 50's-lower 60's, too warm for my heavy winter jacket. I traded it for my thick blue hoodie. While the sun shown down and the sky was a baby blue, there was a bit of a chilly breeze coming off the lake. 

Wanted to do one last trip to Collingswood and Westmont of the year. Started with Occasionette, the gift shop on Haddon Avenue. Like The Whale's Tale in Cape May, they specialize in fancy stationary, handmade items, and unique finds. I loved the little stuffed snowmen in the bright hats and scarves with strings to hang on doors. They hang on my doors all winter after the holidays. Found gorgeous cards with Art Deco and Art Noveau prints. Went with a simple "Very Merry Christmas" over a lovely green and white Art Noveau mistletoe design. 

I've wanted one of those ceramic light-up trees that were popular in the 50's and 60's for years. Trouble is, not only do they tend to be expensive, but I don't have the room for the larger ones. Occasionette had mini ceramic trees you pressed a switch to light. I chose the dark green one with the snow-frosted branches. (They also had plain white and bright green.)

After a brief peek in a busy Haddon Culinary, I strolled back across the street to Innergroove Records. They were busy too, mostly too busy to be spending an hour going through every dollar shelf. Once again, my best find came from the kids' section. I dug out a British two-disc release of music from Disney productions. Along with songs from English Disney movies like Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins, there were several tunes, like "Maggie's Theme" and "It's Whatcha Do With Whatcha Got," I didn't recognize. I also found An Evening With Lerner and Lowe, a collection of songs from My Fair Lady, Gigi, Paint Your Wagon, and Brigadoon performed by opera singers, and for some reason, Phil Harris. 

Cut across the parking lots behind Haddon Avenue and down Atlantic Avenue to avoid the rush-hour traffic. Parked behind Phidelity Records next. I did even better there than back at Innergroove, and they were just as busy. Picked up the DVDs for Necessary Roughness, Shadow of the Thin Man, and a collection of three Tom Hanks comedies from the 80's. (I'm not a fan of The Money Trap, but I do like The 'Burbs and Dragnet.) 

I don't know how I keep running into English cast albums on this side of the Atlantic, but my big find here was the 1972 London cast recording for a musical version of Trewlawny of the Wells called Trewlawny. I also picked up the cast album for Barnum, which I've wanted for ages. And they both ended up being a dollar each, too!

Went a block down to the Venezuelan restaurant Que Ricas for lunch. This being past 3 PM, there was only one other person eating there. I had a tasty Harvest Empanada with black beans, sweet potato, and kale. Yumm. Other than it being fried, it was good and good for you. Had it with a can of Diet Coke.

I hadn't treated myself to a water ice from Primo's in ages. Despite the nice day and the kids being off of school, they were also empty when I arrived. I went with their cream water ice Oreo Cookie Dough in a small cup. It's what it sounds like, crushed Oreos and cookie dough bits in vanilla water ice. Very sweet, but very tasty. 

Stopped at the Walgreens on the corner next. I hoped to avoid a trip to Acme at rush hour for sparkling grape juice. Yes, they did have it. Picked up a Pineapple Perrier for the way home and a half-price box of mini peppermint patties, too.

Took the long way home through Collingswood and across Newton Lake Park to avoid the traffic. Even there, I ran into traffic, dodging several kids on bikes. To give you an idea of how cold it got here last week, the Lake is STILL frozen solid, even after the relatively warm weather we've had the last few days. The setting sun gave it a frosty bottle green glow as I made my way up to the White Horse Pike.

Went straight into writing after I got home and put everything away. Ira finally takes away his mother with their followers, vowing revenge on the Nutcracker's king and on Debralee. Bill Daily - Major Mint - is scared. Debralee isn't. He's just a mouse, after all. This version isn't even really her boss.

Listened to my new Disney collection while I worked. Turns out 'Whatcha Do With Whatcha Got" is from the live-action-animated hybrid So Dear to My Heart, as are "County Fair" and "Stick-It-Tivity." The actual title of "Maggie's Theme" is "For Now, For Always," and it's the love theme from the original Parent Trap. This also includes all of the songs from The Rescuers; it must have been the most recent Disney movie at the time the record came out. I've always had a soft spot for the breathy ballad "Tomorrow Is Another Day," which was nominated for an Oscar in 1977. 

Broke for dinner at 7. Watched the New Year's episode of the original Odd Couple on Paramount Plus    while I ate leftovers. It's "A Night to Disremember" for Oscar Madison and his ex-wife Blanche, who broke up during their New Year's party. As it turns out, each remembers how it happened very differently...and of course, Felix has his own (semi-accurate) version.

Finished the night online after a shower with more New Year's shows. In the first season of The Donna Reed Show, Donna tells her nervous teenage daughter Mary to "Have Fun" on her big date with a cute, intelligent young man (George Hamilton). Mary comes home in tears shortly after, insisting that her life is over. Donna and her husband Alex recount their own disastrous first date on New Year's Eve...but like Oscar and Blanche, they have differing accounts of what really happened. 

It's "A War for All Seasons" during the 9th season of MASH, as each member of the 4077th celebrates the holiday by paging through a much-mauled Sears-Roebuck catalog. It allows Father Mulcahey to start a garden, Hunnicut and Hawkeye to buy a washtub for a liver transfer, and helps Hot Lips with her ever-evolving knitting project. Meanwhile, Winchester puts money down on the Dodgers when he sees Klinger winning on them, but things don't go as well as either hoped.

Lawrence Welk and his musical family had a lot more fun at their New Year's parties. The show in 1973 started with "Let's Start the New Year Right" at a party onstage. '74 started with "Happy Days are Here Again," the latter performed with the chorus and a really flying Arthur Duncan. Bobby Burgess and his partners Cissy King in '73 and Elaine Niverson in '80 had fun with their relaxed "When the Saints Go Marching In." The 1974 episode also featured The Semonski Sisters, nervous in their second appearance, performing a rousing "My Melody of Love," but they really got into it by the end. Gail Russell and Larry Hooper do a hilarious "Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee" in '74. 

The 70's episodes featured a dance party featuring the entire cast and audience. Everyone did jigs and square dances to Irish folk music in '73. A real Polish polka dance team joined in for "Beer Barrel Polka" in '74. Welk even danced with the youngest Semonski sister. The big event for the 1980 show was the introduction of the Rose Bowl Parade queen and her court. The queen was a striking Hawaiian beauty, and each girl in her court was prettier than the one before. They were escorted by several male singers and younger members of the orchestra. 

Celebrate the start of a new year with Lawrence Welk and his merry musical bashes!

No comments: