The announcement on this morning’s news that the movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC is now officially 50 years old brought back mountains of memories from my childhood, sweeter than any apple strudel.
That’s when I came to the realization that this movie has made its presence known to me throughout my entire life.
First, I had to check to see if this 50th anniversary was indeed correct.
After a few taps on my iPad, I was browsing through Wikipedia’s extensive reading list on how THE SOUND OF MUSIC impacted the world.
Although it was first released on March 2, 1965 it didn’t come to my attention until 1966. That was the day when my Mother brought home this movie’s soundtrack in the archaic form of a long playing record.
Within a month I had all the songs memorized word for word.
I still remember the day when my Grandmother and I went to Toronto’s Yorkdale shopping centre to see this movie.
Afterwards, we went for our obligatory ice cream cones at the ice cream parlour located next to the theatre. And when I say obligatory, I do mean obligatory. When in the presence of my Grandmother, it is an inevitable fact that you will be having a close encounter with ice cream.
I had banana ice cream cone. Her choice of ice cream flavour for that day was coffee.
As time passed, again and again, songs from the movie kept reintroducing themselves to me. Whether singing them in a choir, or plunking them out on a piano with my cousins, these songs were hard wired not only into my heart but into my brain as well.
Then came all of the family photographs of my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents, who had made the pilgrimage to Stowe Vermont to visit the Trapp Family Lodge.
One day it would be my turn, I told myself.
And that day finally arrived in October 2012, while my husband and I were visiting my Mother in Williston Vermont. It was Thanksgiving holiday in Canada and we had a few days off.
She invited us for a drive to Stowe Vermont, where she would treat us to brunch at the Trapp Family Lodge.
How could I resist?
At long last, I would be able to see for myself what I had witnessed in heaps of family photographs and postcards.
The fall drive through the Vermont mountains was both beautiful and unforgettable.
However, it was with a heavy heart a week later that I told my friend Mitch, that alas, while I was at the Trapp family Lodge I saw no blonde haired and blue eyed children, no lederhosen, no Muzak playing “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…”, no kitschy embroidered alpine dresses, nay…
… Not even one single *Edelweiss*.
There were only impeccably dressed Maitre’Ds, fancy yet austere hotel lobbies and seating areas and an incredibly expensive gift shop where very sad and boring T-shirts sold for a whopping fifty dollars a piece, and knitted hats for seventy five dollars.
We were very lucky that a bus tour had arrived otherwise we would not have enjoyed any German cuisine. The only other fare available was what you could get at the bar.
Mitch’s heart broke alongside my own.
I really should have seen this utter disappointment coming a long time ago.
That was in 1987, when the news reported the death of Maria Von Trapp, the character portrayed by Julie Andrews.
I spoke to my Mother who lived in Vermont, on the phone that same day and told her I had heard the sad news.
“I met her,” she told me.
“Did you really,” I exclaimed. “Tell me more.”
“She wasn’t very nice, in fact she was very bossy with her staff and customers.”
I was mildly shocked. Mother continued…
“The consensus here in Vermont is that even God is going to have a hard time keeping her happy.”
My own two daughters eventually grew to love this movie as much as I did. In fact my youngest daughter turned one of the songs into her own:
“HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE ARIA?”
What a problem indeed…
Looking back, I think that my friend Mitch, said it best…
“What the The Trapp Family Farm needs most right now, more than anything is a creative infusion from THE SOUND OF MUSIC’s biggest fan base:
…The LGBT community.”
I know this to be true because they were the only ones who held a moment of silence when it was announced that Eleanor Parker, the actress who played the baroness and Captain Von Trapp’s lady friend passed away on December 9 2013.
Otherwise, I have no hope whatsoever, and the proverbial hills will no longer be alive with the SOUND OF MUSIC.
Rather, these hills will die under the root of all evil:
The love of money.
In closing, I bid you a sad…
So long, Farewell!