Posts Tagged ‘singing’

My parents taught me right from wrong at a very young age. It is, in my opinion, something that all good parents should do. Thanks to my parents, I learned to respect and learn from the differences among people instead of fearing them. My circle of friends always reflected these early teachings and as I got older, I was proud to be known as someone who stood up for other people, even when it was the unpopular thing to do. It meant that I did not always get to stand with the popular crowd, but that was OK with me. Even then, I understood that that kind of popularity was fleeting and standing up for what was right was more important.


My parents passed on a few other things during those formative years, which I have also carried with me into adulthood. Two of my favorite pastimes—singing and knitting—date back to those early days, as well. And each ties to one of my parents. My love of music comes from both of my parents, but my love of singing comes specifically from my Dad. As for knitting—well Mom is responsible for that one. Mom and her aunt, my Great Aunt Anna, taught me to knit one summer afternoon when I was six-years-old. I guess even then I sensed that the rhythmic beat of the needles was like music.


I wrote the essay that follows a year ago, but it seems especially appropriate this year as we look forward to the realization of Dr. King’s dream—the inauguration of our first African American President of the United States.


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I sing, therefore I am. Or so it has always seemed. My Aunt Marlene—my mother’s sister—was the first to announce that I would be a singer. I was still a baby. It was 1964, the year that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Our family had made its annual Thanksgiving trek from north Jersey to Arlington, Virginia to spend the holiday with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. As the story goes, though I was only four months old, Aunt Marlene listened to my melodic cooing in the playpen and announced that I was going to be a singer.


And she was right. I have always loved to sing—school chorus, school musicals, summer camp, around a campfire, accompanying my father on the guitar. For me, singing has always been joyful, and I have always sought out any and all opportunities to sing.





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