Monday, December 17, 2007

Oh Holy Night

At first glance it will seem that this post is about Collin Raye, a singer who ranks in my top 10 right along with John Denver, the Carpenters, Dan Fogelberg, Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Paul Simon, Julie Andrews, Mika, Olivia Newton John, James Taylor, Secret Garden, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (Yes, that is more than ten.) It might seem that I am obsessed with him but I'm not. He does have an incredible voice and he sings beautiful songs. I like country music but even if I didn't I believe that Collin Raye transcends the genre. He is just a gifted performer and I thing that he is universally appealing. That being said let me move on to the main point of this post which actually took place last December.

My daughter, Samantha, attends college at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. I love that she goes to school there. I think that it is a great school. She gets to have the living-away-from-home experience but she is close enough that we can have her home for holidays and special events (unless she opts to go home with one of her roommates instead.) She started attending there last August. She is in the orchestra. In about October of last year she called to tell me that Collin Raye was going to do a concert there and that the orchestra would get to play backup for a couple of his songs.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I immediately called my brother who I thought loved Collin Raye as much as I do (it turns out that he doesn't) and started talking up the roadtrip that we would take. That didn't work out. I appealed to my husband for what I assured him would be the trip of a lifetime but to no avail. As the day of the concert approached and I had no takers for a fabulous, fun-filled roadtrip with me to see Collin Raye and Samantha in concert I truly tried to convince myself that it would be okay to miss it. I decided that it was much more mature to sit this one out. It wasn't economical to make the trip not to mention the time away blah, blah, blah.....The day of the concert dawned clear and sunny. A perfect day for a drive. About noon I just knew that if I missed that concert I would regret it for the rest of my life. Really. No, REALLY. So, I convinced my mom to let me use her car (much cheaper on gas than our suburban) made sure all of my other children were situated, told my husband that I absolutely HAD to go to this concert (which was not a surprise to him) and headed for Cedar City. I got there shortly before the concert started. What a great night. The concert was absolutely fantabulous. This is the prettiest version of Oh Holy Night you will ever hear. It will probably be the worst sound quality you've ever heard and the visual quality isn't too great either but I am not the technical one in the family so I just did the best that I could. Don't get freaked out by the fact that this is an 8 minute movie because you don't need to watch the whole thing. I have taken the time to point out the highlights (the you-can't-miss-this-part sections, so to speak.)

1:00-"Sweet hymns of joy" This was Samantha's favorite part because the strings are playing this absolutely, incredible, harmony part. I know that their is a musical term for it and I am going to ask my friend Leslie, the violist (at the library) what it is . I could listen to this part over and over. Oh yeah, I already have.
2:05-The piano guy just goes nuts. He is amazing and I think that he was truly having a wonderful time.
2:40-2:54 Collin Raye proves that he can still sing. 3:30- Collin Raye acknowledges the SUU symphony orchestra (That's my girl!) 3:45 The stage lights come up and you can sort of see the orchestra director, drummer and the pianist better. Samantha is not visible at any point. Even if I had had a better camera she was almost behind the conducter.

At this point you have seen the most important part but if you are still interested he sings "Love Me" as an encore. Another great song although not one of my absolute favorites. I do need to point out here that the orchestra played back up on almost every single song. They were amazing. Samantha tends to either understate or overstate things so it is very important to pin her down on what she really means (i.e. "I failed my Spanish test" translates into "I got a B" when you pin her down.)

After the concert I was able to purchase T-shirts, which I hadn't ever done at a concert before. (I bought shoelaces at the Barry Manilow concert I attended in 1983 and drinks or something at the Dan Fogleberg concert in 1985ish and that is the extent of my concert going except when I worked custodial at BYU and heard parts of the Billy Joel concert in between cleaning the bathrooms.) Then I had the chance to visit with Samantha for a little while before I headed for home; just me and Collin Raye singing at the top of our lungs all the way home. I was hoarse the next day.

Now, you may think that that was the main point of this blog post but it wasn't. The main point is that I trusted my instincts when I went to that concert and I am glad that I did. To quote the words of a Collin Raye song:

If I were you I'd promise to live life for all it's worth. Take all that you've been given and leave your mark upon this earth. Trust your heart to show you everything you'll ever need.

I'm working on it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to Gerry

None of these pictures of Gerry are very good. Some
are too dark, or his eyes are closed, or he is not the
central focus of the photo but they'll have to do for now
because they are the only ones I have on my computer and
I am tired so I am going to bed. Goodnight!

My brother's birthday was October 21st. In honor of that I wanted to write my most spectacular post ever but I didn't. Instead I came up against the worst case of blogger's block ever. I have been trying to get this written for TWO months. You see, I thought it would be cool to copy my brother-in-law's idea. Tom created a quiz in honor of his brother's birthday last year. The quiz was about shared family, literary, music, and artistic experiences that they had had. It was 19 questions and had quotes from Tolkien, Tolstoy, Taylor (James), family members, etc. I thought that would be a great way to pay tribute to my brother so I tried to come up with some quotes like Tom's. That is when the writer's block hit. At first I thought that the reason I couldn't come up with a quiz like Tom's was because we didn't have any quotes that Gerry would recognize and that made me think that our family didn't have any shared experiences. Finally I have realized that the problem was that I was trying to make my quiz like Tom's when in fact the Tippetts family culture is quite different (and vastly more intellectual) than the Skousen family culture. So the problem wasn't the idea of a quiz it was the questions I was trying to come up with.

Here goes:

1) "I know nothing, NOTHING!" (German accent)

2) "Love. Love will keep us together.
Think of me babe whenever
some sweet-talkin'girl comes along...."

3) Use your head.

4) "He loaded some bags
And some old empty sacks
On a ramshackle sleigh
And he hitched up old Max."

5) western, westerner, westerners
heroine, heroines, heroin,

6) I'm not dead yet. (english accent)
7) "Wanna know why I carry this tape recorder? To tape things. See, I'm an idea man, Chuck. I got ideas coming at me all day... I couldn't even fight 'em off if I wanted. Wait a second... hold the phone! Hold the phone!"

8) "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale..."

9) 963-8303

10) It's the chance of lifetime in a lifetime of chance
and it's high time you joined in the dance...

11) Smile every mile for wherever you roam...

12) The name of the brand of ice cream Mom used to buy most often.

13) "you are not a kid. Goats have kids..."

14) He's got the action, he's got the motion....

15) "Get out of my way kid"

16) The best place in the world (or Provo, Utah) to play tag/hide and go seek.
17) Name three different types of competition in a swimming pool.
(Only one has an official name the other two we made up.)

18) A show that you watched and worshiped to such an extent that it apparently entered into our poor little sister's subconcious mind so deeply that it affected her later in life.

19) Mom's favorite joke.

20) "To find the truth you've got to read between the lines...."

21) "Don't save the best for last because if you do your brother may end up eating your sweet and sour shrimp. Especially if he has a very charismatic personality and can talk you into doing just about anything he wants you to do."

Good luck with the quiz Gerry and Happy Belated Birthday. You are a prince among men.