Today I had a halfway-finished post which was heavy on the tears and Cozart good-bying. But I can’t handle that right now. How many of you saw more than one second of the Bengals game? Can you handle that right now? I didn’t think so. We’re going to address matters of White Christmas instead, and get depressed next week.
As Cincinnatians know, star Rosemary Clooney, as a native of Maysville, KY, is one of ours, and I regret that she lived to see her nephew George develop into Batman with nipples on the outside of his costume.
Who’s not proud to be an American when Rosemary and Vera break out the blue sparkly dresses? The only time we see super-dancer Vera-Ellen (who played Judy Haynes) and super-singer Rosemary Clooney (Betty Haynes) dance and sing together is this number, and I hope everybody who sees this movie for the first time likes it, because it’s the only one they’ve got. These girls are gonna ride to the top on two giant fans.
I can pretty much recite the script for White Christmas verbatim, as baby Jesus simply cannot come into this world until I’ve watched this while baking cookies, writing out cards, or simply basking in the glory that is Bing Crosby ad-libbing about buttermilk.
The sets are bad (exactly the same cloud hovers over the ski lodge in all outdoor scenes) and the storyline is worse (what happened to Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney’s trunks and records after they escaped the nightclub? I worry about these things) but there is far too much tap dancing on overturned rowboats to treat White Christmas with anything but love.
White Christmas has cemented itself in my heart if only for gifting this good Earth with the World’s Most Inappropriately Placed Number In a Christmas Musical, which comes in the form of Vera-Ellen tap dancing to “Abraham”– a song about Abraham Lincoln– in a canary yellow dress. If an assassinated 16th President doesn’t say “merry” to you, we can’t have a conversation at all.
This is musical comfort food at its finest, because if there’s anything we like better than a four-and-a-half minute musical number which is in fact a swipe at abstract dance, it’s asking WWII veterans to abandon their families on Christmas Eve to chug up to Nowhere, Vermont, because Bing Crosby has the sadz about a ski inn that his former commanding officer should have known was a seasonal, risk-based investment. I can’t stress this too heavily: Men, don’t gamble your retirement on the vagaries of weather or the outside chance that an Army buddy will sweep in with his Broadway sets, his beret-wearing Danny Kaye, and his fan-toting sister act.
In fact, you can’t be too sure of anything.
Happy Winter Meeting Aftermath.
Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis is a freelance writer and college teacher who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Her home site, BlondeChampagne.com, has existed in at least some form since 2003, and Mary Beth has been a regular columnist with one publication or another from the age of 16. Her first book, Drink to the Lasses, was published in 2006. She currently teaches college, runs personal wine tastings, gives literary readings, and stares into the middle distance.