Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Well. it should have a name, this particular Wednesday. It doesn't have an official title, like Ash Wednesday does, and arguably it's a bigger Wednesday than that one, what with people getting out of work early, hitting the road, biggest traffic day of the year, clean the house, start prepping for the feast tomorrow, get the guest room ready, buy a couple of more things—gouda cheese; kale; um, some nice apples?

But it's a big-hearted day, this Wednesday, the Eve, full of good smells and anticipation of a good time, like a visit from a favorite uncle. Maybe said uncle does pull into the driveway today, Uncle Wally, a robust guy, but unassuming. Reminiscent of the unseen benefactor in that old Glenn Miller number, "Elmer's Tune" (sung with laid-back authority by Ray Eberle and the Modernaires)

The hurdy-gurdies, the birdies, the cop on the beat
The candy maker, the baker, the man on the street
The city charmer, the farmer, the man in the moon
All sing Elmer's Tune!

(By the way, his name was Elmer Albrecht, the writer of the tune. And according to, Elmer was a mortician who worked next to the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago and used a piano there during his lunch hour to play some of his own music. Well, a bandleader, Dick Jurgens liked one of Elmer's tunes and arranged it for his big band. Sammy Gallop wrote the great lyrics. You can bet that the second line originally started: "The undertaker, the baker..." in honor of Elmer, and someone thought it was too morbid. Maybe it was Elmer.)

Meanwhile, November's work is done, pretty much. You'd know this gray and brown drizzly day as a November one at half a glance. I think five leaves are left on the young maple across the street, waiting for an opportune wind to come along.

Ah, Uncle Wally is practicing his clarinet. G'night, Uncle Wally.

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