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Mint Juleps
Saturday, December 21, 2002  
A couple of weeks ago I went to the fireman's Christmas parade and carol sing in Southampton. The firemen's trucks were covered in colored lights, prancing reindeer and really superlative decorations. Some were antique trucks.

Everyone was excited. The cold weather and the parade had been late in starting; perhaps because of the delay, more and more people had lined the streets. I loved the parade, but was disappointed by the carol sing afterwards.

The carolers waited patiently on stage in the cold for a long while before starting -- I give them credit for that. But the sing was organized poorly. First they had set unloaded trucks of huge speakers six feet tall -- enough for a major rock concert. Sure the singing was loud, but also not at all intimate.

What really surprised me was what they sang -- ten second snippets of the popular Christmas songs in quick succession. It was like we were listening to a commericial on TV for a Christmas song CD: "And here are quick previews of all your favorites." The singers themselves were quite good, but why waste them with mega speakers and a tasteless repertoire?

I thought back to when I lived in Marblehead, a small sea swept town in Massachusetts with a rich history. I remember the Christmas carolers split into groups of three or four and without any microphones walked through the streets, stopping to sing a song or tow in a shop doorway and then moving on a little. They were dressed a bit for the part, as well --- Marblehead is big on marching fife and drum bands walking down the street for any historical occasion -- and the carols dressed like .... well I can't quite remember, but like carolers -- whilte scarves, .ancient look.

Saturday, December 21, 2002



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