(A busy couple of days past means I’m a day behind, but hope to be caught up by the end of the night.)
One of my blogging friends, LutheranChik, has just returned safely home to Michigan after a trip to California. LutheranChik is a great champion of Michigan, its food, crafts, and tourism, so I’m dedicating this post to her and her beloved state. Patricia Polacco, author and illustrator of many excellent children’s books, is a native of Union City, Michigan (a Michigander!) who has returned there after many years away. Her author website makes good reading and so does this Christmas story from her family history, An Orange for Frankie. Get the book if you can, for as you can see the illustrations are beautiful.
I chose two very different songs for this story: “Christmas Train” is a rockin’ good number from Carey Bell, featured on Alligator Records Genuine Houserockin’ Christmas compilation; “This Old World” is a more reflective song by the group of folksingers gathered as the Golden Ring Singers.
Since the 13th of December is St. Lucia’s day in Sweden and Swedish-American communities, back in 2008 I recorded a section from Vilhelm Moberg’s The Emigrants, telling of Karl Oscar and Kristina’s “Christmas in the New Land” near Taylors’ Falls, Minnesota. For some unfathomable reason, the films made from these books by Jan Troell are not available on DVDs that will play in most US players. (For a lot of money, you can get Region 2 copies, which you might be able to play on your computer or if you have a multi-region player.) However, you can still read the books. For many years we’ve been driving through (and sometimes stopping in) Lindstrom, Minnesota, which has a water tower shaped like a Swedish coffee pot , a statue of Karl Oscar and Kristina, a Swedish bakery, and whose yearly festival is called “Karl Oscar Days.”
Another version of the same song is done by the Lund Cathedral Boys’ Choir and called “Goder Afton.”
Individual Files for Mac UsersIntro Dec 13 2010 Surprise 1 Surprise 2 An Orange for Frankie
Self-Extracting Zip Files for the Rest of UsDecember 13 2010 December 13 2008