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HUCKABY: When the road gets rough, a show tune can help you along

Darrell Huckaby

Darrell Huckaby

The revelation I am about to make is not as earth-shattering as the one John received in that dream 2,000 years ago, but it might catch a few of you off guard. I love show tunes. There. I said it. I am a big fan.

Invite me to your wedding and I'll be humming the song from "My Fair Lady" all week: "I'm getting married in the morning. Ding-Dong the bells are going to chime!"

I have a great cockney accent, too.

I have been begging Heritage High drama teacher Michelle Thorne to do "Annie Get Your Gun" for years so I could play the part of Buffalo Bill. "There's no business like show business, there's no business I know."

Show tunes have gotten me through a lot of rough patches. When I am really down in the mouth, I conjure up that one song from "The Sound of Music." Not the one about the hills being alive. Even with the testosterone-destroying treatments I am receiving, I can't hit those high notes. The one about my favorite things.

"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad; I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad."

When I woke up Wednesday morning and took stock of the election returns, I started looking around because I needed some blessings to count. I started humming the song and considering my favorite "things." Not people or places, understand, but actual things that I can touch and pick up and roll over in my hands.

My eyes fell on my Mickey Mouse watch. There you go. Another revelation. I wear a Mickey Mouse watch most days because it makes me feel happy when I look at the dial. I am talking a genuine Mickey Mouse watch with Mickey in that little red jumpsuit thing he wears and his white-gloved hands pointing to the hours and minutes. Who can be sad looking at a Mickey Mouse watch -- even on the day after?

I started rummaging around in the hall closet and found my old baseball glove. It still had a baseball nestled into the pocket and when I held it up to my nose it smelled of leather and saddle soap and neatsfoot oil. That baseball glove is one of my most prized possessions. I played a million games against the brick chimney behind my house with that glove. Later, I would wear it while playing in church league softball games and more recently while playing pitch with my son, Jackson, in the front yard. Those are precious memories that supersede any political decision, no matter how misguided the electorate might appear to me.

My basketball goal is still standing in the driveway, too. It's been a long time since I've gone out and shot a few hoops. I bet I can still make 90 free throws out of a hundred without blinking an eye. I'm open to all challengers -- loser buys dinner at Henderson's. That's a can't-miss proposition. Win or lose, I still get fried catfish.

I glanced over at the what-not shelf in our great room and saw the little Peter Pan miniature, arms outstretched to fly over Never Never Land. "Second star to the right, and straight ahead 'til morning," and was happy all over again that I have never had to grow up -- not really.

My iPod was on the desk and I grabbed it and went out for a walk. Who can be sad with Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet and Toby Keith serenading them as they walk through the woods with gorgeous fall colors all around? I even have a couple of show tunes on my iPod.

I listened to "Camelot" and was reminded of the time Jackson played King Arthur in one of the above-mentioned Michelle Thorne's productions. "It's true! It's true! The crown has made it clear. The weather must be perfect all the year."

Then I was reminded of the closing scene from "Camelot." If you have seen the play, you will remember it. King Arthur is alone on the eve of the great battle against Sir Lancelot, whom he loves, and a small lad carrying a heavy sword happens up. He wants to join Arthur in battle. Instead of allowing it, Arthur knights the boy "Sir Tom," and sends him away to tell the story so that future generations will remember the glory of Camelot.

"Each evening from December 'til December, before you drift asleep upon your cot, think back on all the tales that you remember -- of Camelot. Ask every person if he's heard the story, and tell him loud and clear if he has not, how once there was a fleeting wisp of glory, called Camelot."

Yeah. These are a few of my favorite things. Now who is going to tell future generations about that fleeting wisp of glory?

Darrell Huckaby is an author and teacher in Rockdale County. Email him at dhuck08@bellsouth.net. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/darrellhuckaby.