I always saw my maternal grandparents as individual beings. They were just “Abuela” and “Abuelo”. I never saw them as a couple. They were so different that I’ve always wondered what brought them together.
My grandfather Domingo was a peculiar fellow, to say the least. There are stories of him that, to this day, my mother and aunt can still marvel at when they reminisce. If the guy felt low on iron, he’d put iron nails on a glass of water, let them soak overnight, and drink the water the following day. He’d argue that getting his iron dosage was a practical way. Were there any pesky ghosts or apparitions disturbing your peace at home? Not a problem. As a self-taught scholar of spiritualism and founding member of “La Sociedad Espiritista de Maracaibo”, he could organise a séance at short notice to get all paranormal activity under control at your home.
Tara’s Theme from Gone With the Wind – John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra
The Roxy was probably the largest movie house in Maracaibo when I was growing up; it even had a balcony, although it was never used. I remember seeing many movies at The Roxy, like “Dumbo”, “E.T.”, and “Back To The Future”. However, the most vivid memory I have of The Roxy is the Sunday afternoon my father dropped off my sister, brother and me, to watch “Gone With The Wind”.
I had an instant connection with this piece of music. Time stood still the first time I heard it, I was transported to 1974 and I relived the moment when I saw colour TV for the first time. It was a baseball game, the Atlanta Braves playing against Los Angeles Dodgers. The same game where Hank Aaron hit the 715th home run of his career, which broke the record set by Babe Ruth in the 1930s.
At the time, I didn’t realise the historic significance of the event, and although I was watching colour on a TV for the first time, I couldn’t see colour. Hank Aaron had just done an amazing feat, and that was all I saw, I never noticed his skin colour.
Hooray For Hollywood – Dick Powell, Francis Langford, Johnny Scat Davis, Gene Krupa, And Benny Goodman And His Orchestra
Originally written as the opening of a Busby Berkeley extravaganza, Hooray For Hollywood has become one of America’s main show business anthems. The other two being “That’s Entertainment” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.
Although the song has been performed by many singers, most notably Doris Day in 1958, I prefer this version, the original from the 1937 “Hollywood Hotel”. I like the jazzy, swingy thing that the piece has going on. If you see the clip from the movie (Hooray For Hollywood!) the guys playing with Benny Goodman are very cool cats.
People! Turn down the volume on your iPods; Ethel Merman has arrived at the list. Oh! Don’t act surprised, you knew La Merman would be on the list, how could she not? Yes, there’ll be more belters joining her.
For almost 25 years I Got The Sun In The Morning has been one of my all-time favourites. It is kind of poetic that it comes on the list on the 4th of July. You see, that is the day I left Venezuela in 1990, exactly a week after my 25th birthday.
At the end of the summer, I arrived in Washington, D.C. I had been accepted in the Film and Video Master’s program at AU (American University.)