16/12/2014 3:39 pm  #1

Bing's music entwined in family's lives

Let me beg your patience for a while as I tell an often repeated story in my father's family. A story illustrating his funny and indomitable next-younger brother, Don, as a child:

One day Don was doing the family dishes, it was his turn, and he was compaining and griping incessantly--enough so that everyone else at home was getting sick of hearing it. Finally, his mom, my grandmother, walked into the kitchen and sarcastically quipped that if he had to make such loud fuss about it, why didn't he just take all the dishes out into the yard and throw them against a tree.  In a moment, young Don had selected one of her best china bowls and, stepping out onto the back stoop, hurled it against a tree trunk, shattering it into smithereens.  When his father, my grandad, was told what happened, he gave Don a sound thrashing.  Now, Don was the sort of child who never cried or even looked remorseful after being spanked, so as additional punishment he was sent down to clean the basement, the worst and most thankless chore my grandfather could think of inflicting on him at the time.  Consequently, rest of the afternoon, the entire household was "treated" to hearing young Don working and loudly singing beneath their feet, in a way the even more frustrated and infuriated his parents: "Lucky, lucky me, I was born to luxury." 

He was singing Bing's great hit song "I've Got A Pocketful of Dreams."  It's a story that I heard dozens of times at family reunions.  No one actually mentioned Bing.  Perhaps to my grandparents and parents generations, just mentioning the song would put Bing's voice in their ears.  It's funny to me that it was really only a couple of years ago I finally connected the story to the Crosby song.  It was only that one internal phrase from the song that was continually quoted in the telling of the story.

Who else has a story about a Crosby song or other Crosby-ism that somehow got deeply insinuated into your family?

Last edited by Steve Fay (16/12/2014 3:43 pm)


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