1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

A Star Is Not Born

With my acting career stymied by uncooperative stage parents, I began preparations for life as a glamorous rock star. Lead singer, of course. And thanks to a year of tap and ballet I had moves that Elvis and Jagger wouldn’t be able to keep up with.

After supper, if we didn’t like what was on the two clear television stations or one fuzzy station, we made music. Great-Aunt Mary played the piano, Dad played the violin, David and I shook tambourines (hand-painted by our great-grandmother), and Mom joined us in singing (me at the top of my lungs) if she wasn’t reading.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’m completely tone deaf. A minor detail that has never quieted my golden tones.

I became familiar with, and grew to love, the real golden oldies, such as Silver Threads Amongst the Gold, When the Moon Shines Down on Pretty Redwing, After the Ball is Over, It’s Three O’clock in the Morning, and my favorite–I’ll be Loving You, Always.

One evening, when I didn’t want to watch television and no one wanted to make music, I decided to read one of Aunt Mary’s books. I was a precocious reader and well into the selected paperback before Mom walked by.

“What are you reading?” she asked.

She and Aunt Mary became flustered as they took Auntie Mame away from me and hid it where I was never able to find it.

Fast forward: David’s and my love of music continued when we got older. David played cornet in our school band and later became a member of the Lake George Operetta Club. I joined our school chorus (open to all students regardless of talent) and promptly threw everyone off key.

Lesson learned: I should have waited about twenty or thirty years to get born so I’d be the right age to star in reality shows. Not the dancing or singing shows, the ones that don’t require any real talent except an exceptional (good or bad) personality.

Now it’s your turn: Were you shortchanged in the voice department?

© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. CJ says:

    Actually I can belt out a tune that would make Etta James (r.i.p. Etta) envious…I keep up hope that in case the Catholic catechism was way off wrong, and reincarnation is the REAL deal, maybe I can be reborn as a black female vocalist….seriously….

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Oh, CJ, I’m sooooo jealous!
      If I was at least 40 yrs younger now, I’d settle for being a rap artist. You know, the kind of rap where they talk, but don’t sing! No swear words though.
      I’ll be listening for you in the next life!

  2. Mimmy Jain says:

    Oooh, shortchanged so badly! It’s the one talent I’ve wished I had. Not to be a full-on proper singer, but just to be able to sing melodiously without having people cover their ears and shriek at me. I can hear the tunes in my head, but they will not transfer to my vocal chords!

  3. spunkybong says:

    Hah! I was curious about that book you found ‘Auntie Mame’. Would you like to write a review on it? 😀

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      I’ve never read it all the way through, Spunky. When I was ten years old I made it through 20 or 30 pages before it was confiscated, and any ‘references’ went right over my head. Pretty tame by today’s standards. Now I’m curious and think I’ll have to finally read it.

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