So, I saw "To Kill A Mocking Bird" at the Alley Theatre Houston – and I have to agree with those who told me that the children in this production are amazing – they truly are! I have always enjoyed this story – and remember it being read to us in school when I was a child – oh that Boo Radley always scared me… I have also loved the film and different stage productions I have seen over the years – and this one was no different. The Alley has always done things well – but recently they seem to have just gotten even better… the production values, the sets – who needs movies anymore!
Funny, watching the show just took me back to my childhood – where out the front door lived adventure after adventure. Oh how I longed for that time in my life again. We had a great growing up time – we lived in Upstate NY, on the side of "
But it didn't end with the sun set – at night we would re-gather for a game of "Manhunt" – our team oriented game of "Hide and Seek." We played that well into our teen years. Two teams – one would hide and the other would find them – the boundaries – our block, which contained 3 wooded areas (including "The Byrnes Woods"), 13 homes, and front and back yards to go with each, a number of assorted garages, sheds, porches, etc. And we would own that territory for the night.
I wonder, when are you to old to do that anymore – why just because we grow up are we not free to "play?"
Many years ago, while I was interviewing octogenarian Quentin Crisp, I asked him if he was as happy as he was when he was a young man – and he said he was content, for to claim he was happy, how then could he describe the feeling a young child has when they run with full energy and joy? That was true happiness, and at his current age, now all he could hope for was simple contentment. But now I wonder, Why?
Shouldn't we all still be able to play? Can't we still get teams together and play Manhunt? Shouldn't we all still be able to don a costume and go Trick or Treating? Why should growing up mean we have to stop enjoying things that are (simply by their nature) FUN? What happened to that rule our parents used to tell us when we questioned why they didn't have to follow the same rules we did and they said "…Because I am an adult, I make the rules, that's why" – so if they are so free, why can't they join in and just play again!
I try to never give up that part of me – I try to play all the time – to smile – to have fun. Last summer while visiting Chicago, a friend Jim and I made our own adventure and sought out the Farrar Pan candy company – like a couple of kids, not simply reliving our youth, but still enjoying it!
As I watched those children on stage at the Alley, showing us the excitement, the mystery, the adventure in that which is around us – I was sad at having lost some of it – but happy to remember having lived it to its fullest – and re-affirmed to myself that I need to continue to keep it alive in me and in those that I meet!
On a side note – another moment in the show (Scout and friends attending the trial) reminded me of the time during a summer break from high school – where I decided to got down to our court house and attend a trial. I can't remember the details, but I was there from the beginning, and when we took a break – I would go to the phone booth and call my Mom and fill her in on what was going on in "my" case. When court finished for the day – I took the bus back home and couldn't wait to get up the next morning to return to court to see how it all turned out! And for me to get up in the morning for ANYTHING was an amazing event.
So what am I listening to today – the winning entries in this years EUROVISION Song Contest. I know – I owe you an explanation – think of it this way – American Idol – if
They hold this contest every year (for the last 52 years) and all qualifying countries (the number changes year to year – this year is a record number of 42) compete to have their chosen song voted the best in
Lunch beckons – ok, actually Dougie does – so I am off… Until next time…