Desert Island Folllies

Desert Island Folllies

There used to be a British radio show called Desert Island Disks. Guest DJs shared the 3 albums they’d want to listen to if shipwrecked on a deserted island. If you’re familiar with the classic BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley, you’ll recall the episode in which the village sets up a public service radio station for a week. Frank Pickle confuses Disks with Desks and renders the village comatose with boredom by talking about his 3 favorite desks for an entire evening of radio programing.

(You can watch the entire episode on YouTube!)

But back to the topic at hand. My first semester of college was marked by a Desert Island Disks phenomenon. My new roommate Brenda moved into our dorm room with 3 albums and a new stereo. Until Thanksgiving, when she replenished her supply, we listened exclusively to Alan Parsons Project’s Eye in the Sky, Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever, and REO Speedwagon’s You can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tune a Fish, featuring timeless tunes like Time for Me to Fly and Roll With the Changes.

In contrast to Brenda’s love for rock, my musical tastes up to that time revolved around starring roles in high school musicals, my mother’s collection of Glenn Miller and 101 Strings, The Nutcracker Suite, piano lessons, and jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione who was also from upstate New York.

In short, Ted and Alan, not to mention the flowing locks of the Speedwagon boys, were total revelations to me and I have many happy memories of that music. Brenda and I listened to one album every night with the lights out in anticipation of sleep, discussing the boys we’d encountered that day, especially a tall drink of water named Lefty Wilcox.

Related post: The Right Fork

But none of those 3 albums would make it onto my list of music to have on a deserted island. I’d need something to sing along to like Broadway musical soundtracks. Oklahoma, George M!, and A Funny Things Happened on the Way to the Forum. Maybe I’d finally learn all the words to Comedy Tonight, as I went about creating my own version of Gilligan’s Island.

Perhaps I’d find enough driftwood to build a desk.

P.S. An interviewer once asked me what music I listen to while writing. The answer is NONE. There’s already so many voices in my head I don’t need competition.

On that note (pun intended) the 6th Detective Emilia Cruz, 43 MISSING is in process! Subscribers to Mystery Ahead will find out the release date before anyone else so get on the first-to-know list now!

You may also like

CARMEN AMATO

Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.

 

Detective Emilia Cruz series

Find the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series on Amazon

The Friday Fiesta: An Outdoor Seat, Music, Chocolate, and a Story

As a fiction author I love to weave  unique cultural gems into the plot. Most of the time I draw on my own world travels and experiences living in Mexico and Central America.

In these Friday Fiesta posts I highlight cultural stories worth celebrating. The unique, the odd, the thought-provoking. Enjoy and share to make the world a little smaller today.

Have a Seat

The website theverybestop10.com brings us a montage of park benches around the world that is surprisingly startling and thought-provoking and nearly had me running for my passport. From a bench that looks as if it is part of a giant slingshot by German artist Cornelia Konrads to book-shaped benches in Istanbul and a shark attack bench in Bangkok, these photos and the imagination behind them are a guaranteed smile. Check it out—there might be a bench near you.

The Landfillharmonic

There are a few YouTube videos on the small orchestra created in Cateura, Paraguay, using instruments made from trash from a local landfill. I recommend a quick view of this 3 minute short. The stringed instruments sport odd shapes and labels from the boxes, cans, and other containers cannibalized to make them but the music—and obvious dedication of the music teacher–is worth celebrating. You can check out this Facebook page for more about the orchestra and the documentary about it from an often overlooked part of the world.

Saving Chocolate

The cultureist.com online magazine—one of my favorite feel-good online locations—carried this interesting story about cocoa farmers in the impoverished Democratic Republic of the Congo. Candy maker Theo is producing two new organic, fair trade certified chocolate bars: Pili Pili Chili, “an intensely warming blend of cocoa, vanilla, and spicy peppers; and Vanilla Nib, a scrumptious mix of cocoa, creamy vanilla, and crunchy cocoa nibs.” The website reports that Theo says the “fast-growing, high-yield crop requires minimal re-planting, prevents deforestation, commands solid global prices, and is a major source of income.” Theo chocolate is sold online and at Whole Foods Market stores.

Story Sees the Light of Day

“The Tallow Candle,” a handwritten early story by Danish storyteller Hans Christian Anderson—author of “The Little Mermaid” and other famous tales–was recently unearthed in a box of miscellany by local historian Esben Brage in the National Archive in Odense, Andersen’s home town. Published in English by Danish media outlet politiken.dk after validation by experts including Ejnar Stig Askgaard of the Odense City Museum, Bruno Svindborg of the Royal Library and Professor Johan de Myliu, you can read it here. As the UK’s guardian.co.uk reported, “The story tells of a little candle, dirtied by life and misunderstood, which eventually finds happiness after a tinder box sees the good at its heart and lights it.” Given the news lately, this discovery is pretty timely. We all need a little more light in our lives.

Find Carmen’s books on amazon.com today

Pin It on Pinterest