Archive | December 9, 2011

Banjos, ponies and Crystal Gayle

Or also titled, Things I wanted for Christmas as a Kid and never got:

Remember my post on Cher? (Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves) I coveted that Cher Barbie and wanted her hair for myself. So I wore my nightgown on my head and pretended it was my long hair. I totally forgot about Crystal Gayle. How could I? For practically my entire elementary school years, my friend Stacey and I (if you’re reading this Stacey, call me- miss you!) secretly listened to her parents’ records (yes, records) of Crystal Gayle. She had the longest brown hair. Past her butt. That was what always got us jealous. If you had hair past your butt, then you were so cool.

You remember, “Don’t it make my brown eyes blue”. She had a really famous song with Eddie Rabbitt, “You and I” (it’s on Youtube). Eddie Rabbitt- oh my God- remember him?? No? Me neither.  Okay…

So Stacey and I would pretend that we were Crystal Gayle. We took turns who got to use the hairbrush and sing along to the record.  When I said we ‘secretly’ listened to her parents’ records, it wasn’t that we weren’t allowed, it was, we didn’t tell any of our friends. I’m sure they were listening to Thriller, The Flashdance Soundtrack, Devo… SHE wasn’t allowed to listen to THOSE records. So we made the best of Crystal Gayle. AND Anne Murray. Snowbird is a beautiful song. Just sayin’.

So my other thing besides the Cher doll, that I always asked Santa for, was, a horse. I know this isn’t very unusual. Many girls want horses. It didn’t make it any better that my English cousin Clare, had her own pony- Beau Brummell. I will never forget that summer we went to visit my dad’s family in England. Clare is at least 8 years older than I am. I was 5 at the time. She had been competing in shows on Beau and got a gabillion ribbons and trophies. They were all over her room. I was SOOO jealous! Honestly, I don’t remember if it was the horse or the ribbons I was jealous of more. I got to ride Beau for just a bit. The whole famly did.  We took turns up and down this strip of pasture while she lead him. There’s pictures of us wearing “Britain is Great” t-shirts with the Union Jack on it, and wearing her riding cap. You know those cute velvet ones? They’re helmets really, but they look so cute.

I remember begging my parents for a pony of my own. I did this every birthday and Christmas for at least the next 6 years. I’m not sure why mom said, “we’ll see”, when I asked her. How about just ‘no’. The ‘we’ll see’ was torture. That meant, there was actually the slightest, POSSIBILITY I was getting a horse. Mind you, we didn’t have any place to put it and couldn’t afford to board it. My brother left for college the summer after I turned 7. I figured his room would make a really good stable. My parents didn’t go for that idea.

Now don’t laugh. Okay, you can laugh.

I want a banjo.

This isn’t a childhood dream. I want a banjo now. If you do, ‘deendeedeer, der, der, der, der’ in that banjo-ey voice, I will scream. Because that’s what anyone does when I tell them I want a banjo. They’re mocking me. So I like Steve Martin. I like the Dixie Chicks. I want a banjo. I want to shred a banjo like Slash on the guitar. Like Jim Neighbors on the ukelele or was that Captain Kangaroo?

Maybe it was when I was 6 and I saw Kermit the Frog in the Muppet Movie play his banjo by that pond. Oh it was so cute. And I wanted to sing about rainbows and happy things. I can’t even play the guitar. But I’m sure I would learn the banjo in a jiffy. And yes, James and the children think I’m out of my mind.

Anyway… if anyone out there has a banjo- and lessons to go with it- I would like that. I’ll pay you in cat bubble pictures. Or I’ll just sing Crystal Gayle for you… That’s a gift in itself.