Adventures of a Drama Teacher

{November 20, 2011}   That Most Memorable Christmas

That most memorable Christmas

The main reason the job of life scanning is so overwhelming is: each photo takes you on a “Cold Case”, so-to-speak, in the aspect of deciphering the exact time the photo was taken. Then your mind wanders and the nostalgia pours in. Stories are ignited.

A batched scan job of one of my mother’s things; a collage of memories from the 70s. I decide to keep the ones that came out and re-scan the others. So the first photo takes me to Boring Oregon. Must be late October or early November 1970 as my sister was born, as per my wishes to Jesus, and she is pretty little here, but not a drooling newborn. Where Touché Turtle is the cartoon in the background, the TV is in the spot in our little red and white cottage where my parents erected the 12 foot flocked tree with cerise ornaments described in the previous entry. I remember those big windows. My neighbors were Theresa and Tracy Dempsey and this was down a little gravel road off of Bluff Road. Indians lived a little further down the way. We didn’t hang with them. Too bad, now I would totally dig hanging with Native Americans! I have some great students who are native and friend Rene and a few others. But off on a tangent I go.

At this Boring house, we had these gigantic inner tubes that we rolled around in, on, jumped in, on, stacked and generally abused, like kids do. We called them the Giant Donuts. We played outside a lot. I learned to ride a bike here. That Christmas too, I was in the pageant at school and all I remember is playing a doll. My mom made me up. After the show Santa was there in the Cottrell Grade School gym/stage/auditorium and when it was my turn to sit on his lap I observed, that Santa’s costume was not complete, he’d forgotten his gloves and he had a bandage on his thumb in the same place my daddy cut his thumb. Boo ya, I was putting two and two together BEFORE those Santa stifling students informed me the hard Santa facts!

Alright, I gotta go for a run. That’s my nostalgic tangent for the day. Here comes Santa Clause, here comes Santa Clause right down Santa Clause Lane…


{November 13, 2011}   Random Christmas Cheer!
Sam Romey & Tomi Griffin & Mo

2004 My Mardi Gras Tree


I never really was religious. I wasn’t baptized; my parents’ idea of church was one Christmas with family-friends and their children (maybe those photos still exist and I will find them in my scanning quest, and I’ll reunite with those old friends {Theresa Corkill} on Facebook). I went to a Baptist Kindergarten where I colored pictures of Jesus with my friend Debbie Dodson. I prayed to Jesus once to make my paper doll into a real baby. Not long after, my sister was born, and I believed. I still believed in Santa that Christmas too.

1970 Still Magic



I remember the last Christmas I truly believed. It was magic!

I was all of six; we lived in the bromidic little town of Boring Oregon. Our tree must have been at least twelve feet tall, completely flocked in winter white, decked out with shinning cerise ornaments. My first themed arbor.

My parents always perpetuated the innocent charade. As we went over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, we searched overhead for signs of the Cardinal Fat Man. Flashing illuminations in the December sky instilled the fantasy further.

Early to bed, I was the first to awaken Christmas morning; I laid there too frightened to move for fear of disturbing the fat man in the act of arranging his magical display of desired goodies. Eventually I made a bee-line to my parents’ room without even the slightest glance toward the enchanted living room. Not too much time elapsed before my parents lead us unto the fantasia.

That year I received a Baby Catch-a-Ball, an Easy-Bake Oven, my favorite doll of all time, Theresa my black baby, and a doll, almost as big as me, that strapped to my feet and danced with me.

I now realize why people believe in Jesus. It’s the innocent magic of believing, like Santa. Or is it ignorant bliss?

I was enlightened soon after that Christmas by kids at the bus stop. I argued my belief like a Born-Again Christian.

Once the truth was out the magic was gone.

I went to vacation Bible School in the second grade; that was fun, it was what all the kids were doing, all the rage; and I accompanied different friends to their various houses of worship over the years. I visited the Mormon Church when I was infatuated with Donny Osmond and the Catholic Church when it was Jerry Destremps (who btw I believe is Buddhist now), the Lutheran Church with my friend Doreen in hopes of running into a teenage crush on Mt. Hood. I would say, and did say in my first religion class at St. John’s International school in 1976 with Br. Brennan, that I learned my Jesus stories from Andrew Lloyd Webber (On Thursday night you will find him where you want him. Far from the crowds, in the garden of Gethsemane) I don’t remember our Br. Brennan’s response to that, I think it was. “Give that girl a fish!”  I am surprised at myself for being in such Christmas spirit this year. It’s not that I have ever been “Bah Humbug” but circumstances have dictated the past several years that I haven’t partaken in the traditional holiday decorating and much anticipated tree ritual.

This year is special. I am studying the Bible for the first time. I am an educator so I am finally reading it cover to cover. I must say it is not what I expected so far and we’ll leave it at that. But, I am still in the Old Testament.  I am writing a musical about people finding Jesus, so I guess I best be reading and studying fast so I can get to the New Testament and help my characters get to the end of the play. I bought tree decorations today. My theme this year RED-for the blood of Christ (part of my play).  I may even go Christmas crazy and do another themed tree in the family room! Within my study and new enlightenment, just for the record, I now think people believe in Jesus for other reasons than innocent magic.

et cetera