A Christmas Disaster

I have always loved to sing.  I never had lessons, do not read music, and I have only average talent.  Nevertheless, I really enjoy singing. 

In the fourth grade I was picked to sing a solo in or school’s Christmas pageant. I belted it out with considerable gusto.

I spent the winter of 1939-40 in Punta Gorda, Florida.  My new school discovered my vocal talents, and I was asked to sing two solos and lead a chorus in their Christmas program.  I accepted the invitation confidently and happily.  Unfortunately, an attractive young girl in my fifth-grade class had developed a bit of a crush on me.  As I stepped out on the stage for my first number, she started making goo-goo eyes at me, and I immediately forgot every word of the familiar carol.  I was in an absolute state of mental paralysis.  If anyone had asked me my name, I would not have been able to remember it.

What a disaster.  I don’t know how I managed to stumble off that stage, and the rest of that miserable day is mercifully blotted from my memory.

But I did not give up singing.  The following year I was back in Carolina and singing a solo in my old school’s pageant, and for many decades afterwards I had the joy of singing in church choirs.

You cannot let a little disaster keep you down.

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