“Toot, toot, toot,” goes the horn of this little boy as his sister tinkles away at the ivories on her toddler-sized piano. She’s got the golden curls reminiscent of Shirley Temple and is wearing a red dress with white polka dots. He’s wearing yellow short pants and has a Scottie dog on his top. Not sure what song they’re playing but this card came from Aunt Toots to my Aunt Sadie on the occasion of her 3rd birthday. When the card is opened, the candle flames pop up on the birthday cake.
And since it’s the end of the year, I’m putting all the music related cards that I have left on this one post. The next card, for all it’s patriotic themes, is actually a Christmas card. I don’t have a date on it but I’m going to take a wild guess that World War II has something to do with all the red, white, and blue. The front of the card features a couple of dogs dressed in stars and stripes. One plays the tuba while the other plays a big bass drum. They are striking “up the band for a Merry Christmas.” The tuba inside the card pops up and is the leader for the little group of doggie musicians. Grandma was the sender of the card to Aunt Sadie.
The last card is a little more subtle on the music theme but it is still musical in nature. A small angel has a pink ribbon tied around the base of a daffodil bloom. As she pulls the ribbon, musical notes pour out. The inside of the card features some more of the musical notes, the daffodil, and pastel flowers. It was given to Aunt Sadie for Easter from her mother Beatrice and father Bill.
I find the little poem inside most intriguing. It’s mildly insulting and the last line is a little ambiguous….
“You’re not an angel always
(though you don’t miss it far),
You’re not exactly perfect
(Few daughters really are),
But as for being thoughtful
And lovable and sweet,
It should be very plain to see
You simply can’t be beat.”
We simply can’t beat you because the neighbors would complain? Because we couldn’t catch you? Because you’re just close enough to being a good daughter that a beating isn’t warranted? That you really are good despite the first four lines of the poem? The ambiguity makes me chuckle.
Our family isn’t an especially musical one. I tried guitar lessons for a while when I was young. That lasted until the handsome guitar instructor moved away. I’ve heard any number of times, “Your fingers are so long, you’d be great at playing the piano.” Well, sure, if that was the only requirement, I’d be bringing down Carnegie Hall. But I can’t get my right hand to do something independent of my left hand while trying to plink out a tune on the keyboard. And distinguishing between an E or an F or a G much less between a sharp or a flat note is beyond me.
You might interpret being able to send and receive Morse code as being musical, in which case my dad and his great grandfather William Henry Hunt qualify.
My youngest sister, Jenni, did play the flute during her school years right up into high school. Some of her musical ability was inherited by her daughter Madeline who plays in her high school’s marching band. Madeline plays the tenor saxophone. I’m amazed that she can move about the field (even backwards sometimes), not crash into other band members, stay on her feet and play the sax the whole time they’re all performing.
Side Note: For an exceptional blog about all things musical, please visit “TempoSenzaTempo: A photo Gallery of Timeless Musicians” by Mike Brubaker, a fellow Sepia Saturday blogger.