Saturday, May 20, 2023

Fantasy In the Rain

Started off a rainy morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. The kids look forward to their trip to the beach to visit their grandparents. They always make the biggest sandcastle they can. Lola's not happy when another girl takes her shovel and tries to help out. "But We Always Do It Like This!" she protests, until the girl accidentally knocks over part of their castle. She and her brothers offer to help rebuild it. After they turn it into a sand city, Lola finally admits that sometimes, it can be fun to vary your routine and bring others in on things.

The rain continued to come down hard as I changed for work, and it was hot, humid, and muggy. This was no day for bike riding. I called Uber. No trouble there either way. Got both drivers in less than a minute, and coming and going arrived in three minutes and got me where I was going in five. Arrived early enough to pick up coconut milk, which I forgot yesterday.

Work was off-and-on busy, likely due to the weather and our continuing lack of help. It rained through most of the morning and early afternoon. There were a few grouchy people, but most folks seemed to be in pretty decent moods. Once it slowed down later in the day, I was first pulled to do returns, then to take some quick online slideshows I'd put off, then sweep and very briefly do carts. Got out with no trouble whatsoever.

(Incidentally, it wasn't raining when I got out of work. Thought it remained humid and warm, the sun was trying to come out. It wouldn't rain again until past 11:30.)

Changed when I got home and upstairs, then went right into Pinocchio on Tubi. I go further into the 1976 TV retelling of the famous Italian fantasy novel featuring Danny Kaye as Geppetto and Sandy Duncan as the little wooden boy at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Had dinner and a lovely tea party downstairs with friends, then finished the night on YouTube. I've been hoping more Shirley Temple Storybook Theater episodes would turn up for a while. Apparently, someone uncovered a few more black and white episodes last year. "Dick Whittington and His Cat" retells the story of the poor British lad who comes to London and becomes the servant for a wealthy man and his sweet daughter. He buys a cat with his only penny, and while another servant berates him for spending his money, the cat ends up saving them all when she catches all the rats in the Sultan's bedchambers.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" also trades fantasy elements for a more comic story. Here, the con artists who trick the Emperor into giving them jewels for a supposedly "invisible" cloth that only those who aren't fools can see are a prince from a poor kingdom who wants to marry the Emperor's daughter and do so without starting a war. The princess would rather he didn't humiliate her father...but it does finally teach the Emperor to laugh at himself and his pompous, war-mongering advisors, and that compassion, not clothes, are what truly make the man. 

I really hope more of these turn up soon. Even when they're not one hundred percent faithful adaptations of the source material (like "Dick Whittington"), they're still well made and acted for TV, with some cute songs in "Dick Whittington." Look for Sebastian Cabot as the Sultan in "Dick Whittington" and the Emperor in "Emperor's New Clothes."

I'm not the only one going on vacation next week. Lawrence Welk and his musical family went on a trip to Europe and around the world in songs about Europe and travel. The Lennon Sisters join in for "Vacations & Travel" in 1966 as they sing about taking a "Sentimental Journey" and Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan do a lively square dance to "Wheels." Jo Ann Castle's delighted with her many beaus who want "Jo Ann In My Flying Machine." Jo Ann and the Lennons claim to Joe Imel that "All I Need Is a Break," and even bring along Jo Ann's piano to prove it.

Welk and his family did their musical European tour in 1974. Norma Zimmer sings about "Wonderful Copenhagen," while real Mexican Anacani performs the Spanish number "La Paloma." Bobby Burgess and Cissy King also get their Spanish on with "La Cumparsita." Arthur Duncan taps over to Germany for "Danke Schoen." Bobby and Cissy also do the "Liechtensteiner Polka," with help from Myron Floren and his accordion. 

By 1980, they were back to the US for another "Vacation Show." Guy and Ralna are "Leaving On a Jet Plane." Kathy Sullivan wonders "Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?" Tom Netherton joins a bevy of Hawaiian beauties for "This Is the Moment." Arthur Duncan trades the Rhine for the Pacific Ocean as he dances to "San Francisco." Jack Imel and Mary Lou Metzinger are more than happy to get their kicks on "Route 66," while hobo Ken Delo claims he's "King of the Road." 

Go around the world and across the US without leaving home with Lawrence Welk and his musical family!

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