If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love Kenny Rogers and his music. In March, I wrote a post that detailed a history of how his music has impacted my life. Since that post (and the fact that for about four months his twenty greatest hits and the Indigo Girls were the only music on my iTunes on my computer – until Jon gave me my Nano for my birthday), I have listened to his music over and over while I am working and writing. A few weeks ago I downloaded another album (the one the Bee Gees produced, Eyes that See in the Dark) and have been singing it several times a week. My current favorite is “This Woman.”
Last month, we decided we were going to visit my family for Thanksgiving. Around here, I start playing Christmas music the weekend after Thanksgiving. Because, well, why would you not? I mean you only can really listen to it for a few weeks out of the year. One of my favorite CDs to listen to is Once Upon a Christmas with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. They had a Christmas special on in the 80s that went with this album. Did you see it? So good.
There is a song on the album called “A Christmas to Remember.” It’s about how the two people singing planned on spending a Christmas alone in Tahoe but ended up having a love affair with one another. “You made this a Christmas to remember. Spring time feelings in the middle of December. Beneath the mistletoe, you kissed me warm and tender.” I remember that even as a fifth grader I was hopeful about finding such romance when I was older. There is also the ultra-serious song “Once Upon a Christmas,” that tells the story of Jesus’ birth and Kenny narrates part of the song. My family wasn’t very religious but the seriousness of the story of a young couple trying to find a place where they would be safe resonated with me. I don't think I have ever shared this next story with anyone. In fifth grade, my aunt and my cousin (actually the one who just got married in Durango) were both very ill. My memory tells me that we were worried one of them might die, but that might be more the active imagination of a serious young girl talking. What I do remember is praying every time I heard this song. Praying so hard I would almost cry that god wouldn’t take my mom’s sister from her or my cousin who, at the time, I thought of like a sister (she and my brother are the same age. I thought of her as like his twin in some way since they were born on the same day). I can remember being in the back of my parents' Lincoln Town Car praying and praying whenever that song would come on the CD player. Of course, it was always followed by the song “I Believe in Santa Claus” which can snap a person right out of such solemn thoughts, and it always did. They each recovered from their illnesses.
Last week, my dad mentioned that Kenny was going to be playing in my hometown the Friday after Thanksgiving. A Christmas show. He thought I might want to go with my mom and Jon to see the show. Yes. I. do. Bought the tickets right away!
Last Sunday, I was telling Jon about the show and how I haven’t seen Kenny in concert in almost twenty years. I was sharing that over the last few months I have realized that part of my connection to the music of Kenny Rogers is that it feels like it represents the best of my childhood. The memories associated with his music are all really good ones. And I said, “I wish I could tell him that.”
As I thought about this, I had this odd little thought that maybe I could ask my blogging community for advice on how to write to him and maybe even ideas for how I could meet him in person in November to tell him.
Then on Tuesday I had dinner with my fried Julia and I explained all of this to her. I said that I knew Kenny was going to be here on September 11th to play at the fair but that I wasn’t going but would be going to the concert in November. She said, “I know the woman who books the talent at the fair. Maybe I could ask her for an address where you could send a letter to him.” Aha!
On Wednesday, she called to say she was sending me an email but wanted to be on the phone with me when I received it. It said that her friend would be happy to hand my letter to Kenny’s manager if I mailed it in time for Monday’s show. Insert excitement and gratitude.
I spent part of the day Thursday writing a letter to Kenny Rogers. I printed out the blog post from March and enclosed it in the letter. I realized that it was more about letting him know that even though he doesn’t know me, he and his music have been part of my life, and I have realized that when someone has touched your life, you should tell that person. It isn’t just about being a fan and meeting someone but saying thank for being in my life.
And if all goes well, his manager will read it tomorrow and then hand it on to Kenny.
I am giggling with glee in my corner of the world and singing along with The Gambler.
We really can manifest magic in our lives.