The bells are ringing again! Your chance to join the Army…the Salvation Army…in bringing a happier holiday to so many folks.
It was a chilly Friday morning, December 16, 2011, I was clanging my clapper…right out in the open…in front of anybody and everybody! Wait! Don’t call the Lewd & Lascivious Division of the Police Department! I mean, I was ringing bells for the Salvation Army! Holy cow! What kind of person do you think I am? Don’t answer that. (By the way, if you’re keeping count, I’ve used an exclamation point five times and a question mark once. Clearly, KMBC.com has sprung for the Deluxe Punctuation Package!! Also, when one is not a very engaging or exciting writer, adding punctuation can help!!!! Right????!!!???)
I love the Salvation Army. They are always there for people in need. Anytime I get a chance to help out, it is a great honor and pleasure. Years ago, on our daughter’s fifth birthday, we spent part of Samantha’s special December day down on the plaza ringing bells for the Army. Samantha was a Money Maniac. If somebody passed us by, she’d run them down and demand some change. She usually came back with some cold hard cash.
Samantha is on the right but the other kids’ agents insist they be pictured, as well.
Another reason I am crazy about the Salvation Army has to do with my days in the theater or theatre, if you’re fancy. Yes, I trod the boards. I played to full houses and received rapturous reviews. People still talk about my portrayals. Okay. It was high school. Nevertheless, I did turn in what is still called the Definitive Interpretation (by a junior at Sauk-Prairie High School) of Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls. Who called it the Definitive Interpretation? I’m not sure. I just know I read it somewhere. Maybe online. Very recently.
During tryouts, I really wanted to be Nathan Detroit because he’d been played by Frank Sinatra in the movie version. Also, in our production, Nathan’s girlfriend, Adelaide, was being portrayed by a girl I sort of had a crush on and I figured being paired on stage would help my chances.
I had once given this girl a heart-shaped pendant from Avon as a Valentine’s Day gift. She was thrilled when she opened it and exclaimed “Thank you. It is beautiful. I can wear it to the dance this Saturday night that I’m going to with Dean!” Very nice.
Anyway, I got the part of Sky Masterson, the hip, cool gambler who falls for an upright doll named Sarah Brown, a Sargent in the Save-A-Soul Mission. The Save-A-Soul folks were really just the Salvation Army by another name. I’ve seen some photos from that show. First thing I noticed was the eight pounds of dark hair I once called my own. Then, there was the burnt-orange, wide-lapel, pin-stripe suit I wore for the role. At the time, I thought I looked pretty sharp. Now, I appear to be an over-ripe tangerine.
The great Stubby Kaye, as Nicely-Nicely, singing at the Mission!
The Salvation Army reminds me of the Save-A-Soul Mission which reminds me of Guys & Dolls which reminds me of Sister Sarah which leads me back to the Salvation Army. Please, ask not for whom the bell tolls…it tolls for thee…to help they? Them? Those? Well, you get the idea!