It is never my intention to use this blog as a platform from which to boast. There are, however, precious few moments in my life that are truly worthy of proud celebration and 2013 shouldn't come to a close before I acknowledge one of the best days of my life.
The combination of an amazing Christmas present and a recent screening of the film Saving Mr. Banks reminded me that I have been remiss in expressing my gratitude for an opportunity that, even months later, I still have a hard time believing to be real. In the summer of this year we were invited to the 85th birthday party of none other than Richard Sherman!
For those who might be unfamiliar with that name, Richard Sherman is half of one of the most dynamic, prolific, and influential songwriting duos in history - The Sherman Brothers. If you're still not sure of the name, think "You're Sixteen, " "Let's Get Together," practically every song ever sung by Annette Funicello, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Winnie the Pooh, and of course, Mary Poppins.
|The Sherman Brothers were not only instrumental in the scoring of Mary Poppins,|
they played a huge role in securing the film rites and making sure the film was made.
My favorite scene in Saving Mr. Banks is when "The Boys" win over the tyrannical
Mrs. Travers with the cleverness of their lyrics and the unadulterated joy of their music.
I have it straight from the source that Mr. Sherman
approved of Jason Schwartzman's stellar performance.
Attending the party would have been honor enough, but Tiny & Mary were also asked to perform! Can you imagine the thrill and the terror of singing a great songwriter's work for the composer himself? Putting fears aside (well mostly, I might have choked up a bit as I explained how much his music meant in our lives), we performed what has become Tiny & Mary's theme song, "On the Front Porch" (written by the Shermans for Walt Disney's Summer Magic). We also sang the "Doll On a Music Box/Truly Scrumptious" duet from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. As it turns out, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang duet is Richard Sherman's favorite piece from the Sherman catalog and "On the Front Porch," his brother Robert's favorite.
Someone recently told me that my life looks like one epic adventure after another. When I am cleaning bathrooms, changing diapers, driving my dad around in his transport van, scouring the oven, and feeling like I haven't a friend in the world, the concept of "adventure" seems a complete mystery to me. Like everyone else, my life is filled with the daily mundanities that make for terribly-weak blog fodder - until these precious adventures and gifts are bestowed upon me.
I am so appreciative of the musical genius of The Sherman Brothers; nearly every happy, childhood memory I have is underscored by the charm of their brilliant compositions. I am incredibly grateful for wonderful friends and family members that save Mr. Tiny by gifting me with their love and generosity. Singing for Mr. Sherman is definitely a gift that keeps on giving. When, on a cold winter day, I am chilled by the depths of my own ingratitude, I remind myself of that blissful hour and the warm memory of interacting with a man who continues to delight people the world over by sharing his talent and allowing others to do the same - talk about your "Summer Magic!"