Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little

I just spent a delightful afternoon with the Clay Middle School Drama Club--the cast of "The Music Man" at the Hook's Drug Store Museum and Soda Fountain (at the State Fairgrounds). This was a pre-arranged visit for them...the producer, Patty Keller, wanted them to have a field trip experience back to the turn of the century, which was the time period for "The Music Man", and thought our little step-back-in-time would fit the bill nicely.

I got to the Museum early. Barb (the soda jerk) was there already, so the place was open and warmed up and ready to go and as their arrival time grew near, I felt my anticipation growing. Although we've given tours before, this one was different; there were theatre kids coming, and I felt a kinship with this group. This would be fun.

And oh, it was!! They tumbled off the bus, all in their show shirts, talking, laughing, and LOUD!!! I stood on a chair to address them about the history of the building and the role that the old time pharmacy played in small town America. I showed them some of the things I found most interesting and intriguing in the museum. They weren't shy with their questions and they laughed at my answers. And then I turned them loose to get a soda. They knew...they I, in my KidsPlay hoodie, was one of them.

It was then that the fun started. Standing in line for sodas (all 45 of them), they chattered and sang. I heard snatches of "Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little" and "Trouble" and some choruses from "Les Mis". They zipped around, looking at the various medicines and oddities in the museum, buying and sampling the retro candy. They bought up all the candy cigarettes and sen-sen. Guess later on they'll be "tryin' out tailor-mades like cigarette fiends and braggin' all about how they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen...." Heh-heh. Too funny. One of the parents that was with them was the props mistress, and she bought a bunch of the big lollipops and some of the retro signs. She asked about our bags printed with the name of a pharmacist, and I gave her a stack of them. How could I not. She talked about her suitcase collection and I talked about my telephone collection. We bonded.

Finally, when everyone had a soda and had bought up all the candy they could afford, they piled back onto the bus, still laughing, talking, and being loud. I was sad to see them go, and I promised to try and make it to the show. It was a wonderful afternoon--and just what the doctor ordered...

What fun, what fun! And it was just what the doctor ordered...

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