The Holiday Prom that wasn't

I have the tickets someplace. 

The dance was set for Saturday night, November 23;  53 years ago tomorrow but on that Saturday's night...the last Saturday before Thanksgiving.  I was taking Laura  and all was right with the world. We were going with the regular gang as some of us could drive and others .. well, we were too old to have our parents drive us anywhere so we crammed into cars, dresses crushed, our only suits wrinkled.

My fellow musicians had formed a dance band that fall and were struggling to figure out how to make it sound like something. Warren Covington's orchestra was hired to play at that dance and they arrived for other gigs a few days before and we snuck into one of their rehearsals.  A few of us got up the nerve to talk with him and the orchestra members and he wound up loaning us some music for our band.  We were thrilled.  The Warren Covington, his music, wow.  He autographed a scrap of paper for each of us as, outside of Lawrence Welk on TV, this was as close to big time as we had come. We figured we would give this “autograph” to our dates and they would be snowed.  Such is the mind of a 16 year old.

That Friday, the 22nd, 53 years ago today, Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas and everything was cancelled; as well it should have been. The late Thanksgiving that followed was fairly somber. Laura's corsage forgotten in the mess.

 I ran across some stuff in all this regard during an hour of sorting basement boxes and "stuff".  The unused tickets from that Saturday night (found), some stuff from the Homecoming dance, a yearbook or two, and of course clippings about Kennedy.

53 years. 53 years ago this Fall and this week and this day, on a Friday. 6th period Orchestra

The last page of the Hallelujah Chorus

rehearsal.  We were knee deep in rehearsing the Messiah and actually were in the midst of the Hallelujah Chorus - strange as that is the finale to the second part and I guess on the program because audiences expect it before Christmas.  Such are audiences (sigh)..... (from Wiki)  " Part II covers the Passion in nine movements including the oratorio's longest movement, an air for alto He was despised, then mentions death, resurrection, ascension, and reflects the spreading of the Gospel and its rejection. The part is concluded by a scene called "God's Triumph" which culminates in the "Hallelujah Chorus"".

We thought much of this appropriate to the occasion - not in celebration - but in the hope that somehow we would get through this horrible experience.  Why do we keep going though them?