Sunday, September 30, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

"Merry Christmas!" from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Ruthie's Room is all decorated for Christmas..  magical!  And just about every craft retail store.. shelves upon shelves of Christmas decorations

and, I can know from years past, and  -just yesterday

here we go again, with customer after customer singin' the same ole song

"not ready for Christmas.."

"can't anyone wait until after Thanksgiving.."

"already..  we haven't even had Halloween yet"

/blah, blah, predictable blah

 I sing a new song
and it goes like this:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018



Monday, September 24, 2018

Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

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This space reserved for newest additions to The Heart Seen collection....

Monday, September 03, 2018

Do You Still Hate.. Still Hate (me!)? sandy harrison

circa 1977

I can't remember what year it was..

but I'm pretty sure I was in southgate's talent shows, 4 or 5 times total.

even though,  -I had no actual talent.


but, yes..  if I remember correctly, my debut would have been when I was in the first or second grade:

singin' and dancin' to, "me & my teddy bear"   -and my younger sister, 

well, her entire responsibility would have been just to sit there in a teddy bear costume, while I sang and danced around her; but..

she just didn't want to do it. too shy even in a costume.  -cried.   fled the stage...

so, I was forced to use a giant stuffed teddy bear; but the show did go on, of course.


i was a student of the terry eastwood dance studio; the eastwoods were famous in our neighborhood, very well regarded, and they lived just two doors down from us..

and, i also remember learning and performing, with three or five other dancers, 
"the pussy cat polka"    -yes..    a tap dance number i think..    

i only barely remember, but if i give it some effort, i can see in my imagination; on my memory screen:

black leotards, black tights, black tap shoes (jazz shoes?)
our faces all painted with cute whiskers, and cat ear headbands

"let's do the pussy cat polka"   jump up, jump back, cup your mouth with both hands

"me-ow, me-ow, me-ow"

and, i remember my dad doing some MC'ing..    one line jokes in between acts..

and my mom and a neighbor friend,  -also,  -costumes..  some entertainment in between acts..  dog chasing a cat?

and i did have a very successful number!  a big hit!  with a dance i choreographed but did not perform in;  that was my actual talent, choreography

but i'm sharing all this as a stall technique really.

because the talent show that stands out the most in my memory
is of course the one that yields the most embarrassment and humiliation

i barely could retell the story to my daughter recently; so interrupted by my own hysteria

and all it takes, really... is one glance at the picture I've posted above.

i'm not even sure how it re-surfaced.

and i'm really not sure what was the most important to me at the time:

being in the talent show?

or having some legitimate reason to wear the sexy satin white vest with long sparkly fringe strands.

my guess is,  i saw the vest first...drooled..  and then came up with the idea

"wanna sing with me in the talent show?"

yes, that's deanna, the taller, thinner one next to me    -Deanna

i really am just making this part up, because..

i can't imagine for one second that she asked me to sing with her..

it seems more probable, that 

well, post my parents divorce, there was no more money in the budget for dance classes..

but i still needed to be on stage

somehow..  some way...

and i needed to wear that vest!

and so, add those together

no dance lessons + white satin vest with fringe + talent show coming up...

and even though i had absolutely no talent for singing

what i did have, was..


i was just completely inspired by the hit song of the time

/wait!  now i can go figure out what year it was, by finding out what year the song came out..

hold on!   be write back...


well, it hit the air-waves in 1973, but i'm sure i'm older than 7 years old in the picture..


i was soooo moved by this song!   ...the story!   the melody, the voices, the rhythm..

the story!

because it was about this guy..   this guy who went to prison..

and for what, we don't know.. but he went to prison

and, now he was getting out..

and he was gonna try and go back and find his girlfriend..

but, maybe she would not want anything to do with him anymore, because..

because he got sent to prison..

and so, he writes her this letter, 

and in the letter, he tells her 

well, he tells her to tie a yellow ribbon around an ole oak tree if she will still be his girlfriend

that was gonna be the sign..

he didn't have the guts to just ask her 

he was too scared

so, in this letter, he just said he would come by her house in a bus

and if he sees the yellow ribbon

that's a yes

and if there is no yellow ribbon

he needs to just keep going past her house with his new freedom and broken heart


you don't know!    -the first time you hear the song..

when he gets on the bus..

and he drives to her house..

you don't know!

"i'm comin' home, I've done my time..   and I've got to know what is, and isn't mine..

if you received my letter, tellin' you i'd soon be free..

then you'll know just what to do..

IF! you still want me..."

it's a very big IF, the first time you hear the song

and, anyway..

it's got a catchy melody, and a suspenseful, emotional story

very sing-a-long-able

which i did every time it came on.    knew every lyric.   bought the 45, i'm sure.

and it was that song, 


a song about a man who'd gone to prison

that would mark my   -not dancing

but, singing debut, at southgate elementary school.

and not  -my-

but, "our"   singing debut.    -because i don't think Deanna had sang before either;

not on stage.

anyway,  we auditioned and got in.

and that says nothing about our talent by the way, and everything about the quality of the judging.

i will take no blame.

they encouraged us.

and i do remember rehearsing

~dress rehearsal.  which was when I officially got to wear the satin white vest with fringe and feel like a Hollywood super star

and Deanna, solid gold!

and the two of us..

i mean, it was a talent SHOW, not a talent competition, 

but, if it would have been a competition..


i had no doubt.   that's all i'm sayin.

so, someone behind stage would place the needle on the record

and we sang along.

and, i'll be the first to admit, i should have been lip syncing and letting Deanna do the actual singing, 

but i fear that i thought i really could sing

[see archives for traumatizing 4th grade choir experience; 
exhibit AKA: judicial evidence to the contrary]


when we rehearsed, i clearly and vividly remember, we both stood politely near and mutually shared the mic, and maybe snapped our fingers and swayed a little to the melody as we each sang our hearts out individually with absolutely no schooling on, or personal desire to, actually harmonize with each other, or the record.

that was rehearsal.


but what happened on the night of the LIVE PERFORMANCE...


with the lights, 

and the energy of the audience..

and well,

i'm not sure exactly all the circumstances that come into play here, 

all I know, 

and painfully remember is this:

there we were, 

me in my sexy white satin fringe vest, 

her in her, sold gold sparkle vest, 

the introduction..

the curtain opening..  the lights

the audience..

some applause..



-for most of the song, the story..  we were singing write along, 

just as we had dress rehearsed it

but, then there was this break..


a part in the song where there is only music, no lyrics to sing-a-long to, 

just music, until the lyrics and the story pick back up.

and how long was it?   -that music only part?

I don't know.

but during rehearsal, it seemed like two seconds.   every time we sang it, it seemed like only two seconds.

but during the LIVE PERFORMANCE

it suddenly felt like minutes, not seconds..

it started to feel like   -forever!   -just standing there..  not singing, not doing anything!

with all those thousands and thousands of people watching


without any warning to myself, or Deanna..

I just sort of..

started swirling around, and moving across the stage

I think I added some arm movements, a counterclockwise turn, and a step-ball-chain

and came up with a pretty good impromptu dance to do while we were waiting for the next set of lyrics.

and, I somehow timed it perfect.

so I danced all the way to the other side of the stage

and (circle, twirl, snap, clap) back to the microphone,  

just in time to pick up and start singin' again when the lyrics started


as I was spontaneously dancing back toward the microphone

-where Deanna remained; just standing there.. doing nothing; forever


I saw a look in Deanna's eyes that could have landed her in prison

-for killing me!

you've all seen, 

and you all know, don't you

the look.

"if looks could kill"   people sometimes say, or "daggers in the eyes"

I mean, 

she was soooooo angry with me

extremely "pissed off" I think the saying was when I was in grade school.

betrayed!  on stage!  in front of thousands of people!  by a white-fringe-vest wearin'- back-stabbing, show-stealing, secret-dance-move-lyin'-cheatin' talent show stage hog!

but, to this day, I can't explain..

it was not pre-meditated; swear on a stack of bibles
no crossed fingers; no take backs

what came over me?


dear Deanna, 

"i'm coming home, I've done my time..

and I've got to know is your forgiveness mine..

if you should read this blog post

'bout when we were both on stage..

then you'll know, you can make a choice

to share..

or burn this page.

share.. or burn this page..

oh!  tie a yellow ribbon 'round an ole oak tree
it's been 40 some odd years

do you still hate          -still hate me?

if I don't see a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree..

i'll stay on the bus

forget about us

put the blame on (me!)…

twirl, spin, circle, clap

oh, tie a yellow ribbon round an ole


ole oak tree


curtain closes.

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Say "Disney" -fav pix for (me!) ~writeousmom