Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Year Older

It was my birthday yesterday. I share the day with Lewis Carroll, Jerome Kern, and Wolfgang Mozart, among others. A friend sends me the Writers Almanac by Garrison Keillor on my birthday every year. I am always humbled that she remembers my day, "bless her pea-pickin' heart" (a phrase the man in the picture used 'a ton').

Today I told all my students that it was my birthday. The cute 5 year old looked at me, "You have birthdays? How old are you?" So, I told him it was January 27 and that I was 27. He thought that was old. Good thing I didn't tell him the truth, huh? And yes, I have birthdays. His mom was sure laughing when we were finished with the lesson. But I'm not sure whether she was laughing at the questions he posed, or the answer I gave!

A friend of mine asked me, "What did you get for your birthday?" I said, "Another year older and deeper in debt." Hey, that was an old Tennessee Ernie Ford song. My kids said, "Who's Tennessee Ernie Ford?" He's a singer from the 50s was all I knew.

Ernie Ford got his start as a radio announcer, was a pilot over Japan in WWII, and after the war, was again announcing for a country station in Pasadena, when he developed the character of Tennessee Ernie. He really became well known when he portray the country bumpkin on three episodes of "I Love Lucy", had a hit with the Davy Crockett song, then landed a signature piece with "Sixteen Tons".

Tell me you don't snap your fingers along with this!

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