As part of our Family Reunion, we are doing a Cousins Theater Camp. Many of my grandchildren live on opposite coasts of the country. As a result, they have not been involved in any of Grandma's shows before. In fact, I realized that these young people really don't know any of my background and history. With that in mind, I decided to write and illustrate a few formative stories from my youth and put them into an Early Reader Chapter Book format. These stories are about how I got involved in singing and doing Musical Theater.
The first story, Betsy Takes a Bow, tells how my mother taught me little songs to sing and had me performing from the time I began talking. She always told people that I learned to sing before I learned to talk. When I was two, she coaxed me into singing by allowing me to wear what I considered my fancy costume --- my "ruffly, fluffly" white petticoat.
Janie Thompson was actually quite a famous entertainer and director in her own right. At the end of World War II, she toured the world as a Big Band singer with the Ike Carpenter Band. She and Tony Bennett were the singers. Janie was asked to return to BYU to train young performers in the early 1950's. She then took those talented college kids performing all over the world.
Unfortunately, I did not think any teacher measured up to my own mother and I did not appreciate piano lessons very much.
I hope my grandchildren can humor their Grandma and get to know the reasons why I do the things I do. I blame it all on my mother!