Skinny Girls and High Culture


A forester and high culture are two things that don’t seem to jibe.

I imagine when I say I am a forester you assume my culture would be NASCAR, country music, and killin’ animals for sport.  That might be true in some cases.

Not this forester.  I aspire to explore higher levels of culture.

I thought I would give the opera a try.  I heard this Pavarotti fellow had a set of fine tenor pipes, so I thought I would give him a listen.  I downloaded “The Best of Pavarotti,” not knowing that this collection would total about 90 songs.  After three or four, I decided that the opera was not for me.  The man can sing, no doubt, but what is he singing about?  Does he know English?

Do you know how long it takes to delete 90 songs?  I do.

Then I tried ballet.  Now to be completely truthful (which I rarely am in my writing — that’s the “creative” part of “creative non-fiction”), I attended a ballet at the request of a cousin, who I love very much.  She has a preteen daughter who is an aspiring ballerina.  I love her too.

My first ballet was “Zelda,” which was loosely based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Very loosely.  I know a good bit about Zelda Fitzgerald.  I’ve read most of her husband’s novels, and she was from Montgomery, Alabama where I work every day.

I was puzzled.  I found it very hard to relate what I saw to what I knew.

The next performance was “The Nutcracker.”  It had something to do with Christmas.

This past Sunday I attended “Frida!”  This one was about a Mexican communist with a unibrow.  I had to “Google” it to learn that much.

It took three puzzling performances to figure it out.  This kind of ballet is not about story.  It’s about teaching young girls the technique necessary to become ballerinas.

I can relate to that.  I have taught quite a few boys how to swing a baseball bat.  Perhaps one day I’ll teach one who will develop a swing as sweet as Ken Griffey Jr.  It’s a one in a million shot, but it’s worth the effort.

A girl has to start somewhere, and even if you don’t ever make Swan Lake, at the very least it should be worth something to know you had someone who loved you enough to drive a couple of hours to see you try.

I rather like the ballet.


9 thoughts on “Skinny Girls and High Culture

  1. Some opera songs are amazing. I love them. Never been to a ballet, not one. It’s great you’re trying to improve yourself. Kudos. One of my favorite opera songs is Nessun Dorma, which is also one of the favorites of scads of people.

    Who is Ken Griffey Jr.? Never heard of him.

  2. It’s always good that we aspire to culture, it really is. One comes away with having felt something new and different even if we don’t get it or understand it. I’m with you on the Nutcracker business. But you must, if you haven’t already, listen to Andrea Bocelli. He sings En-ga-lish with an Italian accent. And you might just have a future ballerina in the making. Glad you wrote tonight Ray. A nice way to end the evening, high up here on the Bluff.

  3. I had a rather unusual childhood but one memory is being sent to a German Opera House in Chicago often. On occasion my Grandmother ( who was raising me) would help her sister out with their Hungarian restaurant. Being young I was often in the way so they would send off to the matinée that offered a large variety of cultural program’s in many ethnic varieties.

    I married a man from East Texas who did not like the same music as I did. I always took the opportunity to find classical music on the radio. When in later we returned to Houston I never could get him interested but I never lost my interest in especially Violin music. My son has followed in my selection but I still have not seen but one ballet. Enjoyed a different view of your blog. Thank you Pat

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