Ronald Kidd ~ December 2017

Holiday Clips

The Best Christmas Card Ever

My dad was the Michelangelo of Christmas cards. He loved new and creative ways of saying Merry Christmas, just as he loved new and creative ways of doing just about everything. One card was wreath-shaped, with the family poking our heads through the hole. One was a miniature magazine, with stories on each of us. The one shown here had photos of family scenes with funny things the kids said.

But his Sistine Chapel came in 1958. By that time he had a successful career in church films and filmstrips, so he spent a lot of time at the recording studio. One Saturday afternoon he took us there with him, spread out some arrangements on a music stand, and told us we were going to make our Christmas card. It turned out to be a seven-inch record—red, with a green label—on which the entire family played “Deck the Halls” on trumpet and piano, followed by a brief solo and Christmas wish from each of us.

I listened to the record recently. What struck me about the music wasn’t so much the notes themselves but what was in between—a feeling of excitement, of making something beautiful and sharing it with friends.

I Was a Marching
Christmas Tree

They called it the Magic Kingdom, but I just wanted to get out of there alive.

A college student at the time, I was hoping to pick up a few extra bucks over the holidays. In checking around, I learned that Disneyland hired musicians for their Main Street Christmas Parade, a procession that featuring Mickey, Minnie, and the gang, plus several hundred marching musicians playing Christmas carols and trying to stay in step.

I was hired and assigned to the Christmas tree unit. An eight-foot, cone-shaped contraption made of metal and green tinsel was lowered onto my shoulders and strapped on tight. There was a hole roughly a foot in diameter next to my face, big enough to stick my trumpet through and play “O Tannenbaum” but not big enough to see out of.

For the next two weeks I marched through the park twice a day, sure that I was about to trip. My greatest fear was that a sadistic child would push me and send me sprawling upside down, legs flailing, like a turtle that’s been flipped onto its back.

Scary Christmas!

Well See You at the Starbirds

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without our dear friends the Starbirds. For years Yvonne, Maggie, and I flew to Pasadena in December to spend time with them: Mike and Roberta, Tom and Kathy, Greg and Talley and Bryn. The best treat of all was seeing Mike’s parents, Mary Ellen and Bill (shown here), gone now but alive in our hearts.

Click here for a holiday trip to visit the Starbirds.   

New Years Resolution:
Buy These Books!

  • New: Room of Shadows 
    Edgar Allan Poe returns and gets the glorious death he deserved. 
  • Recently published: Dreambender 
    In a dystopian future, dreams are controlled and the world is a better place. Or is it?
  • Fall 2018: Lord of the Mountain 
    The “big bang” of country music in 1927 at Bristol, Tennessee
Learn about my books, plays, and music at
Download a sampler of chapters from my three latest books.

Copyright © 2017 Ronald Kidd, All rights reserved.

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