So anyway, as I was saying in my last blog about the things I was contemplating doing with the spare time that I used to spend worrying, here’s what I’ve found out about luging and mermaid camp. And really, how many times can you say those two things, let alone in the same sentence?
It seems there are at least a couple of luging options in these United States. My friend Alisa was nice enough to send me the links to them, because evidently I am not the only one whose curiosity was piqued at the mere mention of the word “luge.”
I noticed that luge place #2 requires proof of health insurance. Very reassuring. And don’t put it past me to try this, either. I live to be able to say I’ve luged. Is “luged” even a word? Spell check thinks not. But then again, who is spell check, really?
Ah, mermaid camp. I’ve discovered there really is no good segue from luging to mermaid camp – a thing I doubted even existed until I saw my friend, Loralee’s picture and tactfully asked her, “What the hell is that picture on your Facebook page? Are you wearing fins?” And thus, my introduction to this phenomenon was made.
But once you open that can of worms, there’s really no going back. It turns out there are quite a lot of people obsessed with mermaids. (Who knew?) My only prior reference to them was Bette Midler’s stage show and the movie Splash, which just goes to show you the kind of sheltered life I’ve led.
It turns out that, like luging, there’s more than one mermaid camp, too, the most renown of which is the one in Florida that my aforementioned friend attended. (http://www.weekiwachee.com/camps/sirens-of-the-deep-mermaid-camp.html )
Me, I’d opt for the one in Hawaii…that is if I was opting for mermaid camp – which I’m not. Ever.
And that brings us (logically) to the documentary I finally watched called The Boys: the Sherman Brothers Story. (I know, my skills at the art of the segue can really only be classified as a gift.)
For those of you without the fingertip-ready knowledge of who wrote the songs you’ve known all your life and have taken for granted, let me assure you that many of them were written by the Sherman brothers.
If you’ve visited a Disney theme park and ridden “It’s a Small World,” seen Mary Poppins or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or heard Ringo Starr sing “You’re Sixteen,” then you know the Sherman brothers’ songs.
I must admit that, going into it, I knew absolutely nothing about them. I assumed, based on nothing but their very cheery music, that they must have been two blissfully happy (and lucky) men who got along famously and depicted the optimism of the charmed lives they surely led in their songs. I would, of course, be completely wrong.
While my definition of a charmed life may well be “making a good living as a commercially successful songwriter,” (Project much? Nah!), the truth is the dynamics of their relationship were far more complex.
Robert and Richard Sherman were two very different men. Robert fought and was seriously injured in World War II, having been one of the first Americans to step foot in Dachau, seeing the horrors of the concentration camp atrocities firsthand.
Richard, on the other hand, didn’t see front line action. And while his inclination may have already been on the sunnier side, I can’t help but think that the impact of Robert’s experiences were both profound and permanent. And perhaps it was the melding of those two very different lives that held the magic we all know and love.
To be honest, I found myself more intrigued by Robert, whose demeanor appeared to be more brooding and somber than Richard’s. To be able to write such uplifting and positive songs after having witnessed so much darkness, takes the profundity of that accomplishment to a whole different level for me. It makes it a conscious choice about what one wants to put out in the world.
That the brothers spent years apart and estranged later on in life saddened me to no end, as did the shift in what the Disney company became after Walt Disney’s death. But we will forever have the films and the music. And if it keeps childhoods innocent and sweet for a day longer than today’s world would have them be, then I say that’s a pretty good legacy and one the Sherman brothers' children and grandchildren can be proud of.
For my last completely disjointed tidbit of this blog, might I suggest getting your tickets for my show next week on May 1st at 7pm in New York City? It is going to be an incredibly fun evening of singer/songwriters that include me (Ilene Angel), Garry Novikoff, Lorraine Ferro, Tanya Leah, and BethAnne Clayton. We will be swapping songs and unscripted banter. And believe me, with a description that includes the word “unscripted," hilarity is sure to ensue. You will not want to miss it.
Here’s the link to get your tickets or make reservations: http://stage72.com/?p=2434 or call 1-800-838-3006.
Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. I appreciate it beyond words...which I've used enough of...so I'm done for now.