Saturday, August 27, 2011

What I Read Today - Saturday August 27, 2011

(I actually saw this a few days ago but wanted to add it to my blog)

From: The Batesville Daily Guard via Angelia's Facebook Page.

Music lessons

by Angelia Roberts
on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 2:55pm.

My mother was under the illusion that I had some kind of musical talent.
Mothers are like that.
“If you don’t use your God-given talents, they will be taken away from you,” she would say while writing out a check for my weekly singing and piano lessons and reaffirming it with the “use it or lose it” biblical lesson.
I knew the parable of the talents by heart and I didn’t want to lose mine.
So, at the appointed time each weekday I would head over to the Calico Rock elementary classroom (strategically placed at the end of the building) where I would take voice lessons and place my tiny hands on the keyboard while Ms. Bobbie Silvey patiently instructed me on the art of hitting the right notes.
While it wasn’t obvious to my mother, no doubt my music teacher caught on a little quicker, that music was not going to be my forte.
That didn’t stop my mom. No siree.
She knew I had talent and I was not going to lose it on her watch.
Every Sunday at the Dolph Cumberland Presbyterian Church, while my friend Darlis was playing the piano, my cousin Tina and I were expected to sing a special. Revivals were the same song, second verse and again on Decoration Day when we would gather to eat over the dead. More than one hotter-than-hell Sunday afternoon was spent inside the old country church at Hand Cemetery or at the Wayland Arbor while we waited our turn to sing in front of God and everybody.
It was all free practice for when Ms. Silvey would put together the annual “recital” where our parents would gather to see what accomplishments the young protegees had gained as future musicians.
I could fumble through my piano solo, but when it came to what I was going to sing, it was a tug-of-war.
You see, Ms. Silvey made the mistake of saying I could sing whatever I wanted.
That was music to my ears.
When I came in toting my sheet music with “You Ain’t Woman Enough To Take My Man,” the little four-foot-something mini-music instructor nearly had a major stroke.
That would not be proper singing at the Calico Rock Presbyterian Church, she explained. “Pick another.”
I decided on “These Boots Are Made For Walking,” and she nixed that too.
At the last minute, she decided on the proper selection.
I still remember standing there on shaky legs and singing:
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet,
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
By the next year, Ms. Silvey had learned her lesson and I would not have the option of embarrassing her in public (other than the fact I couldn’t carry a tune and might hit a few extra notes on the piano), so I would be singing “Que Sera, Sera.”
I’m not sure just how many years Ms. Silvey and I kept up the pretense for my mom that I might someday have some musical talent, but no doubt it was music to her ears when our partnership was over.
FYI: I did have a natural talent of being able to copy (“forge” seems so judicial) my mother’s signature. And, while that came in pretty handy in high school I also managed to duplicate Superintendent T.J. Silvey’s name so well that it would be nearly impossible to tell that he did not sign it. At that time, I would consider that a talent, albeit a lost one. The fact I didn’t pursue it as a career is probably music to my mother’s ears.

Angelia Roberts is the executive director of advertising and editorial for the Batesville Daily Guard. She can be reached at or by calling the Guard office at (870) 793-2383

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