Thursday, December 13, 2012

Forbes Family Christmas in Elizabethton, TN Dec. 9

Sunday, December 9th I was sad to leave my hubby in our hotel room...where he would shortly be picked up by our Christmas host, Keith Shaw, and taken to breakfast and then the train station to go to NYC, and then home.  I left on my nine -and-a-half hour drive to Elizabethton, Tennessee.
The ride was rainy most of the time, but I passed the time listening to the rest of the new Patricia Cornwell "Kay Scarpetta" mystery, Bone Bed.  It was only okay;  I think one of the reasons I really didn't like it is that the reader was very annoying!  She sounded very stiff and I didn't like her voice characterizations...and she pronounced several words incorrectly!  Frustrating!
Anyhow, I was very eager to meet Mary and Roger Forbes, my hosts for the evening.  Roger first made contact with me four or five years ago to talk about "The House on Christmas Street," and since then he has become a friend, but I had never met him in person.  It was so nice to finally be able to put a face to the voice, and to meet his lovely wife Mary also.  It was just fascinating to talk to Roger and hear about the many things that he has done in his lifetime, including being a cryptologist in the US Army, and developing a laser light company that, among other things, presents shows in amusement parks and at concerts....he's even worked with NASA to bounce a laser off the moon!!!  As you can imagine, his display is beautiful...with Santa and Mrs. Claus  in residence.  Roger started the concert by showing a video he made called "Here's to the Heroes" which paid tribute to our Service Men and Women and was very moving.
I sang from high up on a deck and all the people were on the street so it was kind of weird to be so far away from everybody, but I went down into the street often to sing directly to the folks.  The two teen girls who got up to sing "Frosty the Snowman" with me were hilarious, and so funny and natural. I really enjoyed them!  Roger estimated that we had an audience of about 250 people, and they were spread out all over the grass and under the tents that Roger had provided.
One of the things that is really nice to see, traveling from display to display, is how family members, friends and neighbors pull together to get involved in putting up a display and who also come to help out on the night of the concert.  These displays are humongous...there is no way any one person could put them up without help, and when I get to meet the folks who help they are always just happy to be involved.  It must be kind of like how barn raisings used to be, back in the old days.
After the show I met a lot of nice people, signed a lot of autographs, and met a woman who said she was from New Hampshire!!  Just a few towns over from where we live! Small world!
I also want to give a shout out to the manager of Fatz Cafe, who, with his magnificent wife, was giving out cookies and hot chocolate at the show.  I'm having a hard time remembering with so much going on, but I think her name was Cheryl?  Anyhow, when I asked for someone with a "Great big manly-man voice" to do "Candy" with me, she volunteered.  She got up on the deck with me and she DID have a deep voice! She did a bang-up job on the song, too! I told her she reminded me of "Rizzo" from Grease.
Her husband called the restaurant and asked them to get dinner ready from the Forbes' and me, and we went over and had a nice meal after everything was packed up.  I really can't say enough how much I enjoyed Roger and Mary's company.
Roger and Mary, thank you so much for hosting me, and for the fun and conversation and everything.  I'm so glad I finally got to meet you in person.  Take good care of each other and I hope to see you again soon!  Merry Christmas!!

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