Archive for May 10th, 2013

Dena Houston Remembers Her High School Days

May 10th, 2013 2 comments

I really wrote this for my hometown PHS friends, but it 527724_10200747886158895_1239151990_n
shows all my friends and their family and friends that
I still appreciate all those PHS’ers and Friends from  my
Hometown & my Now Town, too! 🙂
 Dena Bailey Houston

Remembering Ole PHS

I’ll begin with kindergarten on Thomasville,
Mrs. Mary Barden, I think about her still.
My first grade teachers, both of you,
Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Pope, you soothed my
first grade fretting, as all this was new!

Enter grade Seven and fretting less,
I found some very best friends that year,
They were the best!
We gathered each morning, walking, talking.
Giggled about boys, and did our share of galking!

During those fine few years at ole PHS,
I read many books, took plenty of test.
I had Amos, Ladd and Van Camp, too.
Mrs. Williams became my close friend,
Ocena, God bless you!

I was glad big brother went to school
with me, too.
He made me feel safe when I felt blue.
I loved passing notes to all of you, then.
We had the status, LY Best Friend!

Yes, PHS will always be in my heart.
Colors of Red and White,
I cherished you from the start.
P.E., Chorus, Games, Dancing.
Best of times, was the romancing! 

Written By: Dena Bailey Houston
April 23, 2013
Remembering Ole PHS!

Can you name this great city in Europe? Answer provided.

May 10th, 2013 Comments off






niapS, anolecraB

Book Club: JOLSON The Story of Al Jolson

May 10th, 2013 Comments off

Scan 1Linda and I grew up listening to our sister Norma’s records.  Not all kids would have been as generous as she proved to be time and again.

Norma had a solid collection of  great music of an earlier era, including Big Band Glenn Miller, Eddie Cantor, Betty Hutton and most especially – Al Jolson. We learned to love those songs and they still have a special meaning when we hear them.

As I was reading this Jolson biography by Michael Freedland,  the lyrics played in my head like those little 45’s:  Swanee, April Showers, Mammy, Sonny Boy, You Made Me Love You, and  Rock a Bye Your Baby , just to mention a few.

Al Jolson started in Vaudeville and he continued to perform wearing  ‘blackface’ as the minstrel shows of the day .  Seeing those images now makes me cringe, and I am sure I am not alone.  It is terrible to think just how insensitive people were (and many still are.) 

 Nevertheless, Jolson is considered by many to be the greatest entertainer of all time.  He was neurotic along with it, but doesn’t that seem to go with the territory?

My book copy is from 1995, but I checked and you can still buy it on Amazon.  A good book for a Jolson fan.

 As it happens, Al Jolson’s final resting place is Fox Hills Cemetary, just a short distance from my home.  It is the ‘center piece’ you might say, of the Jewish Cemetary, just off the 405 in Culver City.




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