OPINION: Holiday tours, tunes distract from ordinary

If you didn’t make the holiday open houses in two of Tupelo’s historic districts last weekend, you missed a treat.
Owners opened their doors to show renovation and restoration work they’ve undertaken on structures that have been around for a while, tornadoes or no.
If you’re new to Tupelo, you aren’t expected to immediately know about The Tornado of 1936, but I have its anniversary on my work calendar.
The tornado roared through Tupelo that April 5 and kept going through Georgia, leaving hundreds dead and millions of dollars in damage.
It’s ranked No. 4 on the Deadliest U.S. Tornadoes list.
I bring this up because nearly all the houses on the weekend’s tour are in neighborhoods hit hard by this tornado, well, perhaps tornadoes, when you consider some were on South Church Street and others were on Jefferson and up Robins streets.
They had on their finery for 2009, though, to greet visitors and talk about their homes’ history.
Tour planners asked participants to offer ideas for an even better event next year, so, here’s mine: Find a way to tell the stories of these downtown neighborhoods.
I’d bet only a few folks knew anything about the history of Mill Village.
The homes along South Church were built as residences for the executives of the nearby cotton mill.
As you move east of Church and travel toward the north-south railroad tracks, you see the many shotgun houses built for mill workers.
Surely, the Jefferson-Robins neighborhood has its own tales to tell, too.
Somebody should find a way to tell them for others to appreciate.
Speaking of appreciation, it’s usually nice when at least one radio station in the area switches over to Christmas tunes after Turkey Day.
It’s been my experience, for good or bad, to travel the roads lately and give a listen to the wide variety of musical offerings for the holiday season.
And I’ve asked myself: Why do some people think they should make a Christmas recording?
You know, Nat King Cole and Karen Carpenter have just the right vocals (well, they did) for singing Yuletide tunes.
David Bowie and Bing Crosby form perhaps the weirdest duo yet.
And baby, just because you were in the Top 15 on “American Idol” doesn’t mean you should put “White Christmas” out there. Christmas songs have a vocal simplicity that can really expose a not-so-Pavarotti, even Cher, voice.
All this moaning and riffing is fine for regular FM, but give me a break this time of year.
It’s getting pretty bad when my own cold-frogged voice sounds better than what’s coming from the speakers.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfied/NEMS Daily Journal

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