Wednesday, May 6, 2009

and now, the rest of the story

when the previous post was imported into facebook, i tagged a dozen or so of my friends as being 'mentioned in the post.' i owe those people an explanation, so in the words of the late paul harvey, here is the rest of the story.

i knew that tagging my friends could possibly provoke some strong reactions, and it did. so first off, let me offer my apologies for any pain or confusion i may have caused. i count those tagged as some of my dearest friends and have only the fondest of memories in their regard. contrary to appearance, my purpose was not to call attention to myself or the sufferings of my own teenage angst. i do not suppose that the 'pain' i went through was necessarily any worse than anyone else's. the reason my friends were tagged is because of their role in the rest of the story.

you see, it was a few days after the pivotal event of the previous post that i came home from work one night, sat down in a chair in the den of my family's home, and started writing. when i had finished writing that night i had completed the stage portion of a 'musical' play. i left blank pauses in the text where the songs would be inserted, and over the course of the next week or so i wrote the songs to backfill the blanks. there was only one song included in the play that i had already written, and that was 'to live is christ.' [tom actually asked me about that song a while back, and unfortunately he had gotten the tune stuck in his head... sorry tom.] the title i gave to the play was 'i'm a lot like you.'

the reason my facebook friends were tagged is because they were a part of that experience. i shared the play with sylvia strickland after i had finished it, and she excitedly insisted that we [the choir] had to do this for the church. i was reluctant and afraid of what i was getting myself into, but once i told sylvia there was no turning back. the die was cast, it must be done. some of those who were tagged were part of the practices and performance of the play and others were part of the audience. at the moment, i can't recall all of the players on stage. there were three parts... i know melaine agreed to take one part, gwyn, i think, took another, but the intervening thirty-five years have clouded my memory and i'm having trouble recalling who the third player was on stage.

the play was performed only once, on sunday night, september 22, 1974. it was the first night of the youth revival. the church had flyers printed up and posted around the community. i used to have one of the flyers, but i don't know where it is now. the performance was audio-taped on one side of a two-hour cassette, but i never labeled the tape and it was inadvertently recorded over a few years later. i didn't actually see the performance, i was behind the set playing a borrowed guitar for the choir. [i borrowed a gibson acoustic guitar that had a pick-up in it so i could plug into the sound system.] i think i still have a copy of the play, but i'm not sure i could find it in less than a week.

i guess the only place that play exists now is in the collective the memory of those facebook friends and maybe a few others. i had someone tell me some years ago that the play had been a turning point in his life.

it's amazing how one action can affect so many others. we never truly know the effect of our words or actions. for the un-intended consequences of the previous post, i apologize, but now you know the rest of the story.

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