General Announcement

There will be no podcast this week as Forgotten Roanoke revamps the podcast format yet again. Im getting picky in my old age.

But I have to wonder, with the start we had to Thanksgiving (snow, cold... ) will this Christmas be the one that we will all look back on and remember?

The one with the perfect snow, the perfect temperature, and the perfect glorious sunrise on Christmas Morn?

The Farmer's Almanac has snow mere hours before Christmas, but none on Christmas itself. But then again, it did not predict any snow on the day before Thanskgiving either.

Allready this year has proven itself to be unusual. Think back to January, does anyone remember the winter wonderland we all woke up to on the 21st?

Snow hanging off the boughs? Covering everything but the roads?

You don't get much more magical.

And just the next day, when it started snowing again - only this time it stuck to the roads.

The Ice storm on the 29th?

And that was just January.

Then in February, the temp shot up to 60. I remember it being extremely cold in December, cold and stark.

But November last year was a lark. I got married outdoors last November, thats how nice it was. Allright, so it rained a little.

But last winter did not really show itself until January, this one is allready doing introductions in November.

I realize Q99 is playing exclusively Christmas songs (with the exception of the Hokies song, I have no idea what the name was -but god was it awful.) and every store you go in is doing the same. Yes, you will most likely be sick of it before the season is over. But I'd like to make a reccomendation: Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Specifically the "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" album.

You all know a few of the songs from it, but the album as a whole is a soundtrack. I hesitate to use the words Rock Opera, but its the closest thing to opera your going to get with electric guitars.

When they go on tour, they have 2 touring groups - east and west - due to both the popularity of the band, and the complications of attempting to hit multiple cities in a short time span with a full orchestra, full rock band, and full choir.

Yeah - you read that right.

If/when you get "Christmas Eve..." please do not get in your car for a trip to the supermarket and just throw it on. I ask that you sit and listen all the way through, read the libretto. Get yourself a cup of coffee, position yourself by a window, and listen to the entire album.

I guess if pressed, one could classify it as Street-level Christmas as Art. Whereas things like "It's a Wonderful Life." and "Miracle on 34th St." are full of lofty ideals and high hopes. "Christmas Eve..." has one hope, one ideal - being together on Christmas. And by the end of the album, you'll see that clearer than you ever expected.

Then again, its just my sense of overdramatic presenations that holds the dream of seeing them perform with the RSO outside the city market (yes, close down Campbell - the stage would take up the street and the parking lot) during Dickens of a Christmas.

Hey, it could happen.

I personally think Elmwood park too small to hold it. Other possible locations: The parking lot where the AMWV will eventually re-break ground. The backdrop of Roanoke, and the scruffy buildings along Salem would play perfectly. As would the parking lot for the Museum of Transportation.

To hear the strings and guitar carried on the wind halfway across town....

Well, I guess they could do it on Mill Moutain, but parking would be hell.

But regardless - pick up the album. Theres a warmth there, a feeling of home. Moments to celebrate, and ones to pause for reflection.

"Old City Bar"
And a child came inside
That no one in the bar
Had seen there before

And he asked did we know
That outside in the snow
That someone was lost
Standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed
Through the smoke and the haze

Through the window and ice
To a corner streetlight

Where standing alone
By a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said
Could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The bartender turned
And said , not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I've noticed
If one could be home
They'd be all ready there

Are you home yet? Or still on your way?

Just a retorical question for you.. Happy Holidays, From Forgotten-Roanoke

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