Miss Bee’s Bolivar Buzz

Shannon WilliamsBy Shannon Williams
The Holidays are upon us, you may now listen to Christmas music, and decorate your homes and yards. I am a stickler about not starting Christmas till at least the Thanksgiving dinner dishes are done. I know I am a dying breed, as the stores have had Christmas stuff out since BEFORE Halloween and Hallmark started their movies in late September. While everyone is so ready to get Christmas started, they take it all down and box it up before sunset on Christmas day, BUT, Christmas is a season and the season goes until Epiphany (the day the Three Kings came to see the baby Jesus) which is January 6th.

I sort of broke my own rule this year as the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the hubby and I went to The Grand 1894 Opera House to see a performance of “Blood and Holly – Christmas West of The Pecos”, which is a Christmas show written and performed by Jaston Williams, who also wrote and stared in the Greater Tuna Series along with Joe Sears.

I first saw Greater Tuna in the late 70’s at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas. I had friends living in Austin and they got me tickets as we were all native West Texans and this show allows you to laugh at yourself and all the Texas characters we grew up with. If you have not seen any of the Great Tuna plays, you must treat yourself (I think you can see some of them on YOUTUBE). They all take place in Tuna, Texas which is the third smallest town in Texas and set in West Texas. Two men (Jaston Williams and Joe Sears) play over 20 Characters in the plays. They change so many times, both in what they are wearing, their mannerism and the accents, you have a hard time believing that it really is just two people playing all of the parts. I have seen all of the plays and most of them a few times and I laugh just as hard as I did that first night. Years ago, I showed one of the plays on Video to the residents of the senior living apartments that I was running. I made tuna casserole for 100 and we had a ball, it was a great night and such a fun time.

The “Blood and Holly” show takes a look at the playwright’s Christmas memories from his own mother, his neighbors and his extended family. While he only had a limited set, he took you right back in time with how he dressed, and his movement. The talent to pull off a one-man show is unreal. There was no intermission, so for 90 minutes we were laughing and totally immersed in his recollections of Christmas and the stories he told. I laughed, I cried several times and my heart felt his joy and his pain in his stories.

Christmas memories can be bitter sweet, as it is a joyful time to be with friends and family, but with friends and family comes drama and some pain. He took each of his stories and made you feel both how he felt in the time it happened and how he feels about it all now. It is many stories about loving family in spite of how crazy they are, he just wraps it all up and gives it to you with a big Christmas bow.

As I have begun to bring out the Christmas decorations (while I cheated with seeing the show, I did not start till Black Friday) you think of each ornament or small Christmas angel and what it means to you. You think about when you got them, about who gave them to you and the times you spent during the holidays with that person. I always play Elvis’ Blue Christmas several times during this process. I guess it is just sad enough, that I always have a little cry of both sad and happy tears as I put it all out each year.

I hope you are either in the holiday spirt or getting there. Take time to make memories so you can remember them some day.


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