first grade at Lorena Grade School was putting on a play. The students had been
selected to play various nursery rhyme characters. There was “Little Bo Peep”,
“Goldie Locks”, “Little Jack Horner” and many more.
I wish I could remember what character I was to play. It is etched into my brain
that I had to wear pajamas on stage before an auditorium full of people. Things
went pretty well during rehearsals. The nursery rhyme subjects came out and went
through their skits admirably. That is, except for me. I hated my costume. The
other actors had really great outfits to show off. “Little Red Riding Hood” with
her scarlet cloak, “Hansel and Gretel” with their Alpine outfits, “Little Miss
Muffet” with her tuffet, whatever that was…they had reason to be proud. But there
I stood in my pajamas. I balked every time I made my entrance. The director was
a basket case trying to get me to co-operate. |
When the big night came
the house was packed with eager parents waiting to see their little darlings perform.
My mother was among them, hoping I would make her proud. One at a time the storybook
legends came on stage doing their bits to thunderous applause. All too soon it
was my turn. I walked out on stage and froze in my tracks. I stood their staring
at the audience, totally ignoring the prompting from off stage.
tears started streaming down my face and my shoulders started to shake. Then came
that awful sound, crying that would put a banshee to shame. Mercifully, I was
led off stage to the comforting arms of my mother. She never scolded me. Neither
did the director. When I could compose myself I confessed what had caused the
trauma. I reasoned that pajamas should be worn only in the privacy of the bedroom.
Being seen in public wearing them was equal to being caught naked. Later, that
same director organized a rhythm band and I was an enthusiastic participant. It
was a lot of fun. I wasn’t the least bit shy on stage. This time I didn’t have
to perform in my underwear.