“Singing in the Rain”

1948-50s 192

One of my great joys as a kindergarten student was singing. We sang all the time, since Miss Hilen could play the piano that stayed in our classroom. I went to A.M. kindergarten, which meant that everyone was wide awake and ready to sing. There was no particular singing instruction, nor were we to read music. We were just taught a song and then sang it out at the top of our lungs.

The highlight of the first half of the year was our Christmas concert. In 1952, they were still called Christmas concerts, not winter festivals or solstice celebrations. I don’t know if anyone objected, but that was typical in those days.

We got to stand on risers and perform for our parents. Just standing on a riser was very exciting for me since I was tiny, probably the shortest kid in the class. On a riser, however, I was even taller than Norman Smith.(My good friend who that fall had broken his arm showing me how to fly off the roof of the shed. I fortunately took the demonstration to heart and didn’t imitate him.)

We belted out “Up On the Rooftop” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” I had just learned to snap my fingers, a monumental accomplishment. “Up on the rooftop–click, click, click.”( three snaps in a row.)

We had no doubt that we deserved all the applause from those moms.(And of course in 1952 it was all moms and younger siblings in attendance.) Christmas was right around the corner and we had “watched out”since Santa knew “if we’d been bad or good!” I don’t know if anyone else believed in Santa Clause, but I certainly did. And I had been very, very good.(well, mostly!)

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