Saturday, February 12, 2011


[Stupid Blogger!! Yes - "it" AND "me"]

(3 of 3)
Part Two:
(Ruby's courtship comments,
back in 1972, during the years we corresponded by cassette.)

Insight: The Great Depression (1929-1939) surrounded the years my parents became acquainted, graduated from high school, Neil's mission, their marriage, college, and the arrival of their first child. Neil wrote twelve letters to Ruby while on his mission (a post of another day). The lung problem she speaks of was emphysema acquired from breathing dust all those work years.

(2 of 3) Part One:
The sons of the Prophet were brave men and bold and quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest by far in the ranks of the shah, was Abdul Abulbul Amir.

If you wanted a man to encourage the van, or harass the foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout for Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame in the troops that were led by the Czar,
And the bravest of these was a man by the name of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

He could imitate Irving, play poker and pool, and strum on the Spanish guitar,
In fact quite the cream of the Muscovite team was Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

One day this bold Russian had shouldered his gun and donned his most truculent sneer,
Downtown he did go where he trod on the toe of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

"Young man," quote Abdul,"hath life grown so dull that you wish to end your career?
Vile infidel know, you have trod on the toe of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

(Then take your last look at sunshine and brook and send your regrets to the Czar
For by this I imply, you are going to die, Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.")

Said Ivan, "My friend, your remarks in the end will avail but little I fear,
For you ne'er will survive to repeat them alive, Mr. Abdul Abulbul Amir!"

Then this swath man aloof drew his trusty chibouque, with a cry, "Allahu Akbar!
And with murderous intent he ferociously went for Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

They parried and thrust, they side-stepped and cussed, of blood they spilled a great part;
The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes, say that hash was first made at that spot.

They fought all that night neath the pale yellow moon; the din, it was heard from afar,
And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame, of Abdul and Ivan Skavar.

As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life, in fact he was shouting, "Huzzah!"
He felt himself struck by that wily Kalmuck, Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

The sultan drove by in his red-braided fly, expecting the victor to cheer,
But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh, of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Czar Petrovich, too, in his spectacles blue, rode out in his new crested car.
He arrived just in time to exchange a last line with Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

There's a tomb rises up where the Blue Danube rolls, and engraved there in characters clear,
Are, "Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul of Abdul Abulbul Amir."

A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps, neath the light of the pale Polar star,
And the name that she murmurs so oft as she weeps, is Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

Abdul Abulbul Amir

(1 of 3)

Well, speaking of the Middle East...
(the Holy Land and Dardanelles part of the Crimean War...)
and the fact that Neil Y. Fugal was born on Valentine's Day...
(and on that day always gave both his wife and his mother a dozen red roses...)

I've posted a two-parter. [Turn off Playlist above.]

It was recorded in 1972 and gives you a snippet into the lives of Ruby and Neil and their courtship. Part One is Neil singing Abdul Abulbul Amir, a poem written in 1877. It was the one I most requested of the many long poems he could recite. You'll hear a slight stumble as he searches for the right words in one spot. Part Two is Ruby's memories of their courtship.

(This is sooo my Dad. Sang that song to us perhaps fifty times but kept the meanings, by jingo, to himself, so that one day I might snicker, for example, at:
"The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes, Say that hash was first made on that spot."
I doubt he ever explained it to Ruby either. You had to ASK if you wanted to know. Rest assured he knew. I can still hear in my head his chuckle, HAD I asked. He never lorded it over you that you knew less than he did, because he knew that would kill the spark. He was really big on leaving the path strewn with the sparks that would keep your fire of inquisitivity lit.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pleasant Grove High School put on Phantom of the Opera and I got invited to opening night. This was part of the opening night goodies. Dinner was donated - I picked a salad from Olive Garden, the fresh fruit tart from Kneaders, and chocolate cake from Magelby's. Obviously, it takes back stage to seeing it in Vegas with Jewel, but it was amazing, from the chandelier on a pulley to the gondola floating across the stage to the full pit orchestra to the 10-foot elephant.
They had to curtain off part of the hallway to accommodate the stage scenery. Part of the package was the full bore recording to sometimes back up the student orchestra. They spent two months building the set. This was the first year it has been available for amateur high school productions and they more than did it full justice. I found out last year they did Les Misérables. Rest assured I'll be paying attention this time next year!