Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Christmas Story...

Once upon a time, there was a little boy...

He was born at the beginning of the last century, a poor little boy from a very poor family. His father abandoned them; at some point his Mom gave he and a sister to his grandparents to raise.

The little boy grew and, as little boys do, managed to end up the wrong place at the wrong time, and being the wrong color as well, in the South, early in the last century, was sent to a children's home. There he learned a craft, and mastering it like no one had before him, rapidly gained fame.

His fame took him north, and continued to grow. His amazing talent saw him raise his status in life beyond the wildest dreams he could have hoped for. It also cost him his first 3 marriages...

Constantly traveling, giving much of himself to those who came to see him, he married again in his early 40's. By this time he was known all over the world. They said there wasn't a country you could visit where the mention of him didn't bring a smile!

After the 2nd World War ended, they traveled together, and she decided that though they were constantly on the move, she would surprise him with a Christmas tree. When he came back to their hotel room, he was indeed surprised!

As was she! Because this grown man cried like a child! She watched him sob and sob and finally got him to explain why he was crying so...

He had never, ever, had a Christmas tree before! Not one that was "his"! In his entire life!

He was so enraptured by the tree she had set up for him that he insisted they take it with them, and she later said that for 6 months after, every time they moved, she set that Christmas tree up for him in their new hotel room!

The little boy's name?

Louis Armstrong!

I read that in the liner notes of the Louis Armstrong "Memorial Album" that RCA issued after his death; each year and with every tree I see, I think of it and him.

And I am grateful!



Thank you, Pops!

alan

23 comments:

Dr. Deb said...

I never knew that story. Oh my goodnes, I have tears in my eyes.


What a great Holiday story.


Happy Sunday,
Deb

Josephine said...

I'm grateful too. A great man. 'Wonderful World' is just the best...but then, there's so much...

Beautifully written honey :-)

(and if my poxy soundcard wasn't bust I could play the clip!!)

Green tea said...

They threw away the mold when he was born..
Thanks for this uplifting story.
Hope you find time to enjoy this holiday season and not working your little tush off.. :D

JLee said...

What a sweet story! It really gets you in the Christmas spirit...

Calamity Jen said...

They didn't include that bittersweet story in my History of Jazz class, but they should have. Thanks for sharing.

Calamity

Ange (formerly Writer Mom) said...

Well done, sir.

ConnieJane said...

Great Story Alan. Thanks for sharing.

PS: Hope you have heat! I remember those Missouri ice storms and NOT fondly. Stay warm and safe friend.

Chandira said...

That's nice.. :-)

Yes, I hope you're staying upright in the ice too, that's something I don't always manage!!

Joonie the Too said...

Alan, I simply adore you.

If all mankind could be like you, it would be Nirvana on Earth.

I haven't been at Hill's or your place recently because I have been taking care of my mom after her surgery for an infected wound on her leg. And I am "borrowing" a neighbor's Wifi connection on the sneak because, well, I need the connection and I mean them no harm. But I think I will leave them some Christmas cookies in their mailbox (real mail box, not cyber).

If you know stuff about slow healing wounds with elderly people, please educate me. I have Medicare nurses coming here, and have hired an in-home care company, but no one really seems to understand medications and the interactions.

I think you might be my mother's guardian angel. I don't know why I typed that, it just felt true.

I think everything is connected for a reason. Love to you, you wonderful, sweet, good-looking man!

Lane in PA now in Atlanta

KellyNerd said...

there was once a little girl, who had a little curl ...

lol

What a beautiful holiday story. Thanks for sharing!

HAR said...

Alan,
as usual a poignant post. So meaningful , especially during this time of year.
Thanks,
Pat

Lori said...

That is so sweet! I'd never heard it before either and have always loved Louie. I love watching him in "Hello Dolly" - he's just too cute.

Thank you for sharing this story.
Hope your holidays are merry and bright! (And that the ice storm has missed you!)

Jess said...

That was a sweet story. :-)

Jess said...

Oh, and I LOVE this song! Always makes me smile :-)

robin andrea said...

alan, that's such a great story. You just never know about people, their humble beginnings, their talents, their hearts. That's why everyone needs to be treated as if they are someone. Someone special.

Doris said...

Oh what a wonderful story. Indeed, what a wonderful world. But so bitter-sweet. Thank you for sharing it Alan .... I was waiting for this post which you said you were going to write!

Sorry to hear about the power cut and weather. I hope you are facing the challenges with a smile on your face :-)

Hey Joonie the Too - about your Mum's wounds after surgery. An excellent remedy that I have had good effect with for infected skin and wounds is Hypericum and Calendula. It is a homeopathic remedy and you need either the tinctures which you put just a few drops of each into previously boiled (ie sterile) water (a cup would do) that has cooled and then use that as a wash once or twice a day. (Make it fresh each time.) Use basic nursing practise of clean swabs and not going over with used swabs. Let plenty of fluid flow on the wounds and then dab with clean swab and/or let air dry if possible. Or, taking Hypericum and Calendula 30 (let dissolve on tongue) and then again 30 minutes later and maybe another 30 minutes later and maybe once again if instinct feels right, and that might just do it! It is homeopathy which I know is illegal in Utah (I don't know where else) - though goodness knows why! My advice is entirely optional and given in good faith as a user of homeopathy on my kids.

Dave said...

Success stories like this is always sweeter when it is about an underdog! Great piece of musical history!

Barbara said...

Wonderful story!

Joonie the Too said...

Well first an apology to Alan for not commenting on his beautiful story about Louie Armstrong. I did not know that about him, and now that I have a decent web connection, I was able to read the entire post. Incredible.

Secondly, Alan, you are such a caring person, I thought you were a Registered Nurse. I must have mixed you up with someone else I know...but...maybe you should be a Registered Nurse or a Doctor. Something about you and the way you care about people makes me think you should have been in the medical field.

Doris, Thank you for your information. After reading about the herb you suggested, I think it is an excellent idea. Thank you for caring.
Lane in PA

ryssee said...

That IS a wonderful story!

CrackerLilo said...

What a story!

It's wonderful when you can share things with a parent, too.

I don't know if you like country at all, but I heard this song this week and thought of you. Shiftwork by Kenny Chesney, with the line, "I've got a big ol' pile of shiiiiiiift-work!" :-)

von Krankipantzen said...

WOW! I've never heard that. I'm going to tell my mom as Louis is her fave musician.

Thanks for passing that along.

fineartist said...

Well Alan you've got me cryin', but don't worry I'm the biggest bawl baby around lately.

Thank you friend, for this and so much more.

love,
Lori