Feb 9,2017 (2nd post of the day - shorter than previous one)
I was raised in Levelland for most of my life. My wife & I met in JHS and have survived together for all the years since then.
Levelland was a fairly large high school in those days. Actually, it was fairly small, but we thought we were big. We had band and choir. I was in choir my 2nd half of my senior year. And, I was in choir during other years. Our director was Ralph Benningfield. He was a nice gent with a great deal of patience. The choir was probably okay. Who can remember??
I do remember that he decided to do a musical each year. One year, we did Captain Crossbones. A story about a sea captain, his henchmen, and "getting" the girl. I had one line. It had something to do with calling him "Chief" and so forth. I froze up and barely got the line out. Brother Jim was one of the other henchmen. That pretty much is all I remember.
Another year, Mr Benningfield decided to do a variety show to "showcase" the choir and other school groups. The 3 M's performed something. (Metze, Metze, & McKay) One particular scene and the reason for this post was in front of the curtain. There was a backdrop created which had little round windows. Two rows of gray folding chairs were put by each window - Imagine, if you can, an airplane, a passenger airplane with little round windows.
Using this as a prop, different individuals or groups of individuals would rise from the passenger seats and sing something.
I cannot remember the kid's name. He was a skinny frail little kid who did not run with the popular crowds at all - this kid stood up, looked out the fake window and recited his line,
"I see the moon." At this point I got up and sang a song about the moon. I think it was "Oh Mister Moon, Moon, Bright and shining moon" Maybe not.
Well this kid, who still goes unnamed by me, had a speaking problem. Everytime he said his line, it came out, " I Tee Da Moon. " Snickers abound. There was no compassion. He was really a nice guy and respected enough that nobody made any loud comments. Well, the
"I Tee Da Moon" has stuck with me all these years.
I have often wondered why Mr. Benningfield didn't change the line to something like,
"Look, the Moon."
added note: Mr. Benningfield was our church choir director at the Methodist Church. He nursed the adult choir through many a Sunday morning song. We had Sunday night services in those days. The Youth made up the evening choir. We would have a youth meeting, then go down the hall for a 30 minute rehearsal. Imagine taking teenagers and learning a new song every Sunday evening. Afterwards, we had what was called "After church recreation" over at someone's house. Kum Ba Yah seemed to always make its appearance at that time.
When Mr. Benningfield died, it just so happened that I was in Levelland as well as my 3 brothers. We all sang in the choir at his funeral. All of a sudden they had a strong bass section. One of his two sons came by and made nice comments later.
It was good.
A "STONE" is a family word for a personal story or thought, not quite an essay or short story. We moved to central Texas to be near a daughter. We are down to only one wirehair dachshund - Sadie. (Goodbye in 2021 to Oscar the ball boy and Bruno the larger twin) & my wife -- penned by a retired Texas H.S. band director - just nonsense thoughts unrelated to each other or anything other than what's happening and comments.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
O Mister Moon
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