I almost wanted to start this blog off with a haiku, but it is not an art form that I am proficient in so I will leave it to people like my friend Scott who do it quite well. Were I able to write them, it would have gone something like this-
I have tried skiing exactly one time in my life. It did not go well
I have tried ice skating a few times in my life. It has never gone well.
So even though I have developed several talents over the years such as photography, there are 3 things at this point I may as well resign myself to never becoming talented in-skiing, skating and haiku writing. By way of compensating for my lack of ability, I have chosen skating as today’s theme, and specifically the tune of the same name from A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi.
Good ol’ Charlie Brown has been part of my life since my childhood and has never gone away really. I have dozens of books containing the comic strips that I used to collect when I was young still piled up somewhere in my apartment. I even still possess a plastic figurine of Charlie that has to be at least 40 years old now, replete with the striped shirt and the black shorts someone gave me once. The wonderful thing about Charles M. Schulz’s world is that everyone can feel some sense of affinity for one of the characters. I am sure we all have known a Pigpen at some point in time. Not to mention Linus, Violet, Frieda, Schroeder, Marcie, Peppermint Patty, Sally, Franklin, and Shermy. The distinctive personality traits each character had matched up with the real kids at school or at the playground. As for me, there is no doubt that I was Charlie Brown growing up, and even for a large portion of my adulthood too. What is even funnier in my case is that Charlie Brown married Lucy. My wife proudly proclaims herself to be Lucy Van Pelt to my Charlie Brown Though I may not be quite as gullible as Charlie in trying to kick that football, my wife would pull it away just like Lucy every time if she could!
So yet another tradition observed this time of year by many is the annual viewing of what is arguably the best of the Peanuts animated shows, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Year after year we watch Charlie take on the role as director of the Christmas pageant. We delight in the classic dance scene, we cringe at Charlie’s choice of Christmas tree. We also feel the embarrassment when Charlie is laughed at by the other children, and we are humbled in hearing the reminder of the true meaning of Christmas by that great philosopher Linus. Along with all of that, one of the reasons I have always enjoyed the show is the pairing of the animation together with the music. Together they portray the stillness of winter and the chill in the air. They portray whimsy and loneliness, sorrow, forgiveness and joy. Vince Guaraldi’s score is used perfectly throughout. Though I will always delight in the joyous “Linus And Lucy” dance (for something a little fun, look up Peanuts Flash Mob on YouTube) I have also always enjoyed Guaraldi’s tune ‘Skating’ from the show. I have never been a major aficionado of jazz but you would be hard pressed to come up with a more perfect accompaniment to the scenes of the gang skating than this composition. The photo for today is one I took yesterday in Central Park at the skating rink. Seeing all those skaters yesterday makes me think I might need to work on learning to skate now. Until then I suppose I can always practice kicking the football.
Hey Lucy, where are you?
Skating-Written by Vince Guaraldi
All photographs by Robert P Doyle All images in this blog are available in limited supply for purchase as unframed prints. Sizes may vary. Contact via firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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