Bohemian Princess Diary
One positive thing about my granddaughter, Jane, living in California is that when I visit her, I get to see some awesome collections at museums. There is no shortage of museums in Los Angeles. In fact, there are two or three within walking distance of Jane's house.
On my last visit in April, Jane, my son, Will, and daughter-in-law, Jenny, went to the Grammy Awards Museum. Since Jane calls me, "Grammy," I thought this was cool. The highlights:
•Stars on sidewalk outside the museum honoring past Grammy winners with names I recognized! The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, and many more.
• Take Me Out to the Ball Game Exhibit
which chronicled the connection between popular music and the national pastime.
•Finding out the earliest known published baseball song was a polka! The Base Ball Polka, composed by J.R. Blodgett in 1858, not only celebrated baseball, but also polka, a dance then popular in the U.S. particularly with German immigrants, according to the placard. Hmm, no mention of Czech and Polish immigrants. Especially Polish, since the description goes on to say that Blodgett wrote the song to honor baseball clubs in Rochester and Buffalo, New York - strong Polish communities. I feel like Gary, giving you all this history. Ha!
•Seeing the sheet music featuring a photo of singer Teresa Brewer and Mickey Mantle for the song, I Love Mickey. I was named after the singer!
•Seeing the custom-made commemorative guitars created by the Fender Corporation to celebrate baseball anniversaries, special events, and popular ballplayers.
•Photo of famed Chicago broadcaster Harry Caray singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. I was fortunate to hear it in person at a Chicago Cubs game.
•Photo of the Chicago White Sox organist, Nancy Faust, who in 1977, began playing the song Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Goodbye when White Sox sluggers knocked out the opposing pitcher. That's one of those moments where you go, "Oh so that's where that came from."
•Playing the jukebox filled with songs about baseball from every genre imaginable (including Bob Dylan - not good). Jane loved pushing the buttons, then dancing to the tunes.
•Right next to the baseball exhibit, a photo exhibit by the photographer who captured the performances by Johnny Cash and June Carter at Folsom and San Quentin prisons. It was cool to see the framed sheet of notebook paper that Johnny wrote the words to Folsom Prison Blues - "I hear the train a' comm'; It's rollin' round the bend..."
It was a great day and good way to spend my birthday topped off by sharing a red velvet cupcake with more icing than cake with Jane.
See you at the Stars, Stripes & Polka dance on July 6! Until then, Polka On!
Base Ball Polka is the earliest known published baseball song in 1858. Teresa Brewer sang I Love Mickey. The museum has instruments you can try out, including piano, drums, guitar. You can even do your own sound recording. Will sang Garth Brooks' Friends in Low Places while I pretended to be the sound engineer. We discovered it really was pretend since it was out of order. Still had fun!