Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The sweetest carol

These photos of my little sister and me (in the spiffiest cowgirl outfit ever) were taken on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1951.

The following year, when I had just turned ten and she was a few weeks shy of five, my sister gave our mom the best school-made Christmas present I’ve ever seen. Each student in her Rountree Kindergarten class had sung a Christmas carol, and each solo performance had been recorded on a separate 78 rpm record.

I hope my sister still has that record. I haven’t seen it in nearly 50 years, and if she doesn't have it, it's gone. But after all those years, I can still hear every note and syllable in my head.

Here, Sis, let me play it for you now:

My name is J____ B________ and I’m five yeahs old. I go to Wountwee Kindahgahten. I’m going to sing:

Siiii-hiii-lunt night
Hoooo-ho-ly night
Allllll is calm
Allllll is calm
Wounnnn John vuhhhhh-huh-gin
Muuuuthow and child
Hooooly innnn-fant-ly
Teeeeendow and mild
Sleeeeep in heavenly peeeee-heace
Slee-heep in heeeeeavenly

I’ve heard a lot of people sing "Silent Night" in my lifetime, but this version will always be my favorite.


  1. That is the spiffiest cowgirl outfit ever! When I was five, I got a red felt cowgirl hat from Dale Evans for Christmas...it was the very best present. Carmon

  2. I hope your sister reads your blog - she'll have a wonderful Christmas memory for the holidays. Annie

  3. Fatty Grubbs12/13/2006 8:53 AM

    Thanks for the memories, Sis! Your interpretation of my recording debut hits the nail squarely on the head. I LOVE all the pictures you post. They really bring me back to what was such a wonderful place and time.
    Love you bunches!

    Fatty Grubbs

  4. Hello again, I'm catching up on blog reading today, and am so glad I came over here...I love the memories you pull out of that 'velvet sack' of yours. These pictures are so cute - and I have some nearly like them! :)

  5. Carmon, tell us more. How did you manage to get a hat from Dale Evans? That would have been every cowgirl's dream.

    Annie, my sister made a lot of my memories happy, so I'm delighted to remind her of one.

    Sister Fatty Grubbs, you have GOT to come up with a more suitable name. If it were up to me, you'd be called something magnificent like "Splendorella" I love you, too!

    Jackie, I'm delighted to see you again. I hope your away-from-home Christmas is still a wonderful one.

  6. Splendorella12/13/2006 9:18 PM

    Do you not remember our dear uncle who nicknamed you Table Legs and me Fatty Grubbs? Or that he'd sit at the dinner table, stare at me until he caught my eye and then quietly tap-out a little tune with his knife that was his secret signal to me that I was fat? By today's standards I think he'd be getting calls from Child Protective Services for all he did to us. But thanks for the Splendorella suggestion. I do like that better.

  7. Oh, yes, I remember that. He'd make quiet little tapping sounds, and you'd start crying and say, "I am NOT fat." He'd look at you as if you were crazy, and the adults would say, "Why, he didn't say a word to you." I don't know where he learned those torture techniques, but he was GOOD at them.

  8. What a great memory - I hope that album is still around - and that you can find a turntable to play it on! Those photos are absolutely precious - love the old black and whites.

    I had a huge crush on Roy Rogers when I was that age (don't tell Dale!)

  9. Velvet I LIKE the Splendorella name - I LIKE it! And I'd also like to go choke that uncle of yours! My God, the things some adults do to children.

    BTW - why doesn't Splendorella have a blog of her own!?!?!?!

  10. I love the picture of the tea party. You are a great sister Velvet, what wonderful memories. I wasn't born until 1958, my best gift when I was 8 were go-go boots, worn with a red cord. jumper. I was something! We don't know what, but somethin'!

  11. Sunflower, I'm a packrat, so I have a turntable, believe it or not. Unfortunately, my sister doesn't have the record either.

    Jackie, the "Splendorella" name fits her. I've heard her say a number of times, "I want the fairy tale."

    About the uncle, he was only seven years older than I was--more like a big brother. He always teased us mercilessly--especially when he was a 6'2" teenager--but he grew up into a good man who raised his three children practically by himself.

    Kat, I imagine that "tea party" was an effort to get some breakfast into us after the excitement of opening gifts.

    As ashamed as I am to admit it, I was NOT a good sister in those days. I didn't tease my sister like my uncle did, but I was certainly snotty to her all the time. Now? Now I think I do a much better job.

    And if you had go-go boots, well, of course you were somethin'!

  12. I am so far behind!!! Just saw your question about my cherished hat from Dale Evans. I have no idea how I got so lucky other than sometimes little girl's prayers kind of get answered...what I really wanted was Dale's horse, Buttermilk!

  13. Anonymous Carmon, if Dale Evans were still alive, I'll bet she'd be wishing she had YOUR horses.

    PS - I switched to beta format tonight, so I'm hoping you can comment under your own name again. I'm gonna go try yours out right now.


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