Widgets Magazine

Aug 31, 2011

Fifty Nifty

I made my first dramatic debut in 1976. I was 11 years old and the United States was celebrating its Bicentennial. Our small town had always been patriotic, so of course it had to join in the festivities. My third grade teacher (I was in fifth grade then) arranged a school-wide choir to sing at the various events.

I was always one of the tallest girls.I'm on the back row, left-hand side, second from the edge. 
My little sister and I were excited to join! We loved Mrs. Witt. She had short frizzy red hair and huge glasses. She was in charge of all the fun stuff at school. Her daughter was a cheerleader, so Mrs. Witt arranged a drill team that marched around the jr. high. She also taught her students international dances and bits of French and Spanish. But the thing I remember most, besides her reading the entire Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe to us, was her love for music. She had maracas and cymbals, tambourines and triangles. She even had a bunch of wooden xylophones!

Mrs. Witt in the back, without her glasses.
So when she decided to organize a choir, EVERYBODY wanted to join. I can’t remember if we met before or after school, but we had red, white, and blue costumes and I know we learned the song about 50 Nifty United States, from 13 original colonies… We also sang old favorites like You’re a Grand Old Flag and American the Beautiful. I remember making crepe paper pom-poms to wave during some of the songs. For our little town, it was huge! We even won some awards.

We sang all year and toward the end, Mrs. Witt decided we need a big hoo-rah to finish with a bang. So she wrote a play. It celebrated all the famous leaders in the revolution and early history of our nation. I was selected to play the part of Molly Pitcher. It wasn’t the best part because I didn’t have a solo or even any lines, but I did get to serve water to some of the cute guys in my class, so that had to be worth something.

My mom had a metallic gold water pitcher that we only used for company. I’m pretty sure Molly didn’t have anything like that out on the battlefield, but Mrs. Witt seemed to like it. After several performances at the school and in the community, they ran a story about us in the local paper. Sorry about the quality of these pics, but for old, yellowed newspaper, I think they came out pretty well. They are the only memento I have from this era…oh, and I can still sing all the states in alphabetical order, so that’s got to be worth something! (And in case you can't figure out which one is me...I labeled myself...it's OK Scrapbookers, I deserve it...but when I wrote that, I was only 11.)





6 comments:

KERRY said...

Wow great memories! And it's so awesome you still have all of the old pictures...your kids will love looking back on this post :)
Have a great week,
Kerry
kmitsthelittlethings.blogspot.com

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

You brought back such great memories! I can still recite the 50 states because of that song - when I was a 3rd grader, we had a group of "Freedom Singers" that would go around and sing patriotic songs to anyone who would let us. I wish I had kept my red, white and blue vest!

Tracie said...

I taught the Fifty Nifty song to Lydia last fall on our long drives to preschool. She can still recite it. She loves that song!

M-Cat said...

How fun that you have old pictures. We were taking a road trip back east to DC for the bicentennial year and I wish I could do a blog post about it complete with pics - awesome stuff

Sue said...

What a great read of your school memories, and pictures were great too.I believe memories we make will carry us through the good as well as the bad times.It is wonderful that you can journal for your children to read and have.
Thank you for visiting me and for taking the time to leave me a sweet note.
Sue

Emmy said...

How cool is that! I totally labeled myself on pictures and things when I was younger.... Hmmm I had better start hiding those things from my kids for several years :)

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