Fiddler On The Roof

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When I was growing up, there was some vinyl in the house that in the process of getting completely worn out, became deeply woven into the fabric of our lives. For my Dad it was Sinatra. For my Aunt Barbara, it was “Bobby Short Sings Cole Porter.” For Muzz and I, it was Danny Kaye, and later Tom Lehrer. For our little jewish neighborhood in Pittsburgh, there was no music as familiar as our favorite blankets than the original cast recording of, “Fiddler On The Roof” with Zero Mostel. Parodies were written for every occasion personalizing the melodies. Lyrics about “tradition” and “sunrises and sunsets” and big questions like, “do you love me?” were so much a part of my childhood. So much good stuff was packed into that single show - heartfelt, spiritual, intimate, and in the end, so completely familiar. When Perchick asks, “you must know what is going on in the outside world beyond your little community,” it is hard not to sympathize especially today.

I have written before about parenting being like a farmer: you plant all kinds of seeds, but don't get to decide which ones will take root and produce fruit. Today at a very funky little dinner theater in Boulder, Stephie and I held our boys and watched a matinee of, “Fiddler On The Roof.” I cannot begin to describe how moving it all was. Asher's arms waving along with Tevye's. Both boys completely transfixed, taking it all in. Those words - every single one of which I knew by heart, were still there and so powerful. It is corny and a little obvious I guess….but I still cried like a baby onto Jackson’s head as he was trying to sing along to “Sunrise, Sunset” in my lap during the wedding scene. Afterwards when I asked if he liked it, Jackson replied, “I loved it!”

Now I need to weed, spread some mulch, and water those seedlings.