"Singing Polly Wolly Doodle All the Day." Well, that's what Lee Haile and I did on Friday at the Texas Heritage Living History Day in Kerrville. That is, we sang, "Polly Wolly Doodle All the Day!" What a fun day it was! There was much to see and lots of good music and stories to hear all day, but the tune that seemed to "click" with the school children was that one. So we did that over and over with new groups. Likewise, they liked "Red Wing" and others. As always, some of the groups were very interested and animated while others were less so, but the overall energy was there (at least on the part of the children). My particular favorite moment was when I was talking with a group and the subject got around to memorizing things. They were eighth graders -- the year I learned all four verses of the Star Spangled Banner. They didn't even know there was one other verse -- let alone three other ones. So I really enjoyed finding an opportunity to sing my favorite verse -- the fourth one -- to them. This is the verse that begins, "Oh, thus be it e'er when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war's desolation. . . . " I think I'd like to start a campaign to sing that one instead of the verse about ramparts and red glares and last gleamings.
The Texas Folklore Society was well represented at the event all day, as well as at the panel discussion in the old Union Church on the huge subject of "Texas Music." Herb Arbuckle did a presentation on Jimmie Rodgers' music at the noon tribute in the pavilion, and another one at the panel discussion -- AND entertained hundreds of school children and adults all day long. Lee and I did our thing, including contributing to the panel discussion. Acayla Haile also helped us and sang with Lee. Dr. Ken Baake from Texas Tech also represented us, and contributed to the music at the panel. I was disappointed that he didn't have time to present his paper about "Themes of Voyage and Return in Texas Folk Songs" but I picked up a copy of the paper and have really enjoyed reading it.
The entire program was very interesting, including the presentation by Schreiner University freshman, Kaitlyn Paradiso, who did two of Jimmie Rodgers songs in "rap" style. Unusual but entertaining! For my vote, the "entertainer of the day" award would have to go to Herb Arbuckle for his singing and yodeling of Jimmie Rodgers songs. But the "SURPRISE" entertainer was young Nathan Munoz, a freshman at Schreiner, who has an amazing voice and talent. He brought the crowd to their feet a couple of times after filling that auditorium with his magnificent voice while singing Mexican love songs in Spanish.
Mary Margaret Campbell made a special effort to attend this meeting on behalf of the TFS, for which she should be commended! She represents us so very well!
As always, Kathleen Hudson did a great job of getting the event together. Her Texas Music Heritage Foundation is a wonderful group, worthy of all the cooperation we can give.
Jean G. Schnitz