Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Light Displays

Over the course of the past week, I've had the opportunity to see three different Christmas light displays. These aren't just lit houses with neighbors competing to see who can blow up the local electricity transformer. They are huge regional displays that you drive through.

The first display we saw was in the Charleston, South Carolina area. This was a great display. Many of the displays were dimensional providing a perception of depth. The neat thing about the tour was the weather was moderate and nice. We roasted Marshmellows over an open fire, walked some paths that had displays and drove through a long lit row of great light displays.

Friday evening, Brian and Abby joined us for a tour of the light show at Alum Creek. To me this has always been a great show, but after the Charleston display, was something of let down. Don't get me wrong. For a local presentation, it's still pretty nice. But Charleston spoiled us.

Saturday evening, we drove with Brian and Abby to Wheeling, West Virgina for the Festival of lights at Oglebay Park. After waiting 90 minutes in a massive traffic jam we finally entered the park. It was really nice. But again, it was not as well done as the Charleston show. The major difference is the light show is spread out over a wide area, and the lights are not as dense as they were in Charlestons. Still, it is a great show to visit and enjoy.

Tonight was a special treat. We listened to a collection of old time radio shows featuring their past Christmas's. The tapes were from radio station WDLR and the station at one time aired the shows from the mid 70's to the mid 90's. When the station decided to pitch the tapes, I salvaged them and we began listening to them when traveling over the holidays. The listening to the tapes became something of a family tradition over the years that Brian and I continue. The tapes featured classic holiday shows from the likes of Edgar Bergen who is shown at left with his daughter Candice. Also featured was Red Skelton doing skits, Raymond Burr in a holiday drama, Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos and Andy, Henry Aldrich, Jimmy Durante as well as Phil Harris and Alice Faye.

It nice to hear these old shows and how they used verbal details and sound effects to create the mental images the listener imagines as you listen to the shows. They are great fun and a great way to make a long drive more enjoyable.

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