Sunday, November 25, 2007


So I got the immense satisfaction of attending the 4th grade talent show at the elementary school last week. My second son has taken to the trumpet like a fish to water and now, after a mere three months of school band lessons, felt ready to display his talents in a public setting. He really has become quite good quite quickly, if I do say so myself. His partner, a buddy who took up the trombone at the same time, was not so much of a natural, though. So the duet was, er, interesting. Let’s just say that one of them ended about two measures and eight seconds after the other. We all clapped very hard.

The whole event was vastly entertaining. Two burly fourth-graders (weighing more than I did at nine months pregnant, I’m sure) did some sort of a dance/chant that the local high school’s football team performs at the beginning of every football game. Another big kid brought a video of himself shooting deer-shaped targets with his crossbow in his back yard. An Olympic hopeful (really!) brought a video of herself ice-skating. There were several young girls singing solos with their karaoke machines and way too many piano pieces. (One poor girl was dramatically affected when another girl sang her very same song before she did. But we smiled and listened to it twice.) Two boys sang “I Got it on E-Bay” along with Weird-Al. All in all, a very satisfying morning. Isn’t America great?

When I was a kid my mom forced me to participate in every Reflections contest and every talent show. One year I memorized “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Day” and recited it, monologue-style, in my pajamas. (I believe I won a “special award” that year.) Another year I had to sing “My Teacher Told Me I Should Never Tell a Lie,” choreographed, with my two sisters. Come to think of it, I think we won an award that year too. (Hey, wait a minute: did every kid that participated win an award, like the local community center soccer program? No way! What a crock!) I actually won first place in the Reflections contest for my poetry every year. (My poetry was pretty bad, but it always scanned and rhymed perfectly. It wasn’t until high school or so that I realized that I really knew nothing about actual poetry. All I could write was cute rhymes.) There’s even a sort of little memorial hanging up at my old elementary school—they framed the poem that went the furthest in the state competition and it’s still hanging up in the hallway. It’s called “Behind the Gates of Tomorrow.” You should go check it out. When I am famous, I will go back there and present them with a copy of my latest published book, autographed, and a picture of myself to hang next to the poem.

p.s. Go Cougars!
. . . and I have to say a big thanks to my father-in-law, who is a die-hard Utah fan, for gracefully letting me and my blue-wearing sons come over to his house and cheer for "the enemy" right in front of him. What a guy.


Queen K said...

We need to do a Dar Young retrospective on blog Segullah.

Marj said...

This is the first year I didn't make my kids participate in the reflections contest. I really wish our school had a band. Lindsey would be forced to play the flute. Because we have one and someone really ought to play it.

Ang said...

I swear, Darlene, you and I have parallel lives. I, too, was required to participate in the talent shows and one year my mom made matching toothbrush costumes for my brother and me out of giant cardboard boxes and pipe cleaners. We sang, accordingly, "I'm a Pink Toothbrush, You're a Blue Toothbrush." (I still know all the words). I was also a big literature entrant in the reflections contest and when I was in 6th grade a short story I wrote won District (but didn't place in state). It was about a girl who tried out for "Annie" and wanted to be the lead but was relegated to the Annie Chorus. It was full of pathos. I, however, do not have a plaque commemorating my short story in the halls of Whittier Elementary. (But I do have a gigantic poster of myself as Cinderella still adorning the halls of Cyprus High School, which is more embarrassing than flattering, to tell you the truth).