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Go West to the Golden West

Back when I was just a kid, my Dad had this little rhyme that he used to repeat all the time that went something like this; “Go west young man, go west, go west, where there’s three months work and nine months rest!” One day I took him up on it and it’s been a long time since I saw Ontario, Canada in my rear view mirror! A couple of weeks ago on my Dad’s advice, I headed west to Boulder CO., and a beautiful retirement facility with some really wonderful people in it, named Golden West Retirement.
Now, Boulder has some large retirement facilities but Golden West is large even by Boulder standards! The penthouse where Jill Moore puts me to do my music program has one of the most gorgeous views looking west across the CU campus with the Flatirons in the background to be found anywhere, period! Of course, accompanying that beautiful view are some of the most bright, happy, souls you’ll find anywhere and there’s one (there’s always one) fellow who makes me toe the line in everything I do or say.
I’m starting to believe this particular gentleman is something of a walking, talking music encyclopedia because he has more music trivia rolling around in his head than I’ll ever learn! I know that’s factual because when he catches me (and he does!) on something and I have to come home to look it up, he’s right every time! The other day I was announcing a song called “Smoke smoke smoke that cigarette” by Phil Harris. This gentleman piped up and said “Phil Harris didn’t write that song, Tex Williams wrote it.” He was only half right, Phil Harris didn’t write if, Tex Williams and Merle Travis wrote it! Oh Boy!I like to call my little program, “A walk through Music.” It’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane from WWII to the present with a healthy dose of what was happening when many of these folks (I was just a baby of course!) were in their prime! It’s an era when TV was still black & white, Lawrence Welk was packing them in at the Aragon Ballroom in Santa Monica, Gene Autry and Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers) were shooting ’em up and chasing bad guys through those “B” movies at Corriganville CA. Bobby soxers were swooning over Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle was everywhere, and it was standing room only to see Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys on a Friday night at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa! Elvis and Buddy Holly probably still had training wheels on their bikes and Elizabeth Taylor hadn’t even been married once yet!It was a golden era that left many golden memories behind and most of the folks I entertain can still tell you a hardship story, or a “Rosie the Riveter” story or a story of someone near and dear who was lost in that awful war. Some stories are happy but many are “what if’s” and lost loves and many get relayed to me with a tear in their eye. The music nostalgia gets heavy and memories of those great big bands in their heyday are everywhere! Many of those lucky folks who were going out dancing in those days still speak fondly about what a major task it was just to get to a dance! It was a big undertaking to drive all the way in from Littleton to Denver on a little two lane road (sometimes getting home took quite a bit longer!) in order to dance to Wayne King or the Eddie Howard orchestra or any of the other traveling big bands at Elitch Gardens or Lakeside but worth every bit of the effort I’m sure!That encapsulates “A Walk through Music” for this edition, and my visit to Golden West Retirement. I thank my lucky stars that every week it’s a walk I get to take with all these wonderful people, and I thank each and every one who wants to share just a little bit of their walk with me!As usual, send me your critiques and comments. I’ll read them all and make good use of them if I can.Thanks again,
Rod

Posted by All Around Seniors at 6/12/2013 5:38 AM
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