Battle of New Orleans


Each week, on the way to our Master Gardener class, my carpool buddy Janis plays a song for us. When she heard about my periodic table obsession, she played Tom Lehrer's Periodic Table song (which doesn't have all the elements in the order of the periodic table, so I've continued writing my own). When her mother was particularly nostalgic one week, she played her mother's favorite song for us.

This week, she had a garden song. The CD was in the door next to my leg, so she asked me to hand her the CD. As I reached down for the CD, I saw another CD with "Johnny Horton" on the edge. I squealed with delight! "You have Johnny Horton! You have Horton! Do you have the Battle of New Orleans?"

When I was young, maybe eight through ten years old, we kids had a series of old records, the thick hard plastic ones, that belonged to our parents. We played these records on the record player, singing to the various tunes. One of my favorite songs was the Battle of New Orleans. Only when I started listening through iTunes, these decades later, did I call Dad and sing part of the song to him, asking him who sang the song. Apparently he recognized enough of the song (through my bad singing, no less) to tell me Johnny Horton sang it. I bought the song on iTunes as one of my first purchases.

Even Kris sings it now.

So, Jan and I sang the song driving to class down the 101 this morning, both of us belting out the song. It reminded me of the last time I heard the song on record.

Just before Chris broke the record by smashing it over my head.

The old hard plastic 78 records made a spectacular shower of chips when broken that way.

Table colors


As we walked into class this morning, we were greeted by a Master Gardener with a bag of colored papers. In a valiant effort to encourage us to sit at different tables and meet classmates outside our mentor groups, we drew a color from the bag and found the matching color on a table in the room. Essentially, we were randomly assigned a new table and new classmates to sit with.

The effect was quite entertaining.

Most everyone who didn't quite understand the goal of the random seat assignment, complained. "Why can't I sit with my mentor group?" they whined.

Personally, I enjoyed meeting new people. Community was one of two reasons I started taking the classes in the first place. Without the other people, that community would be pretty darn small.