Monday, December 24, 2012


Radio City Music Hall opened to the public on December 27, 1932
Every year when I was a kid, in the last few days before Christmas, my Mother would dress us up warmly and we’d take the subway into New York City. First we’d go get my Dad. It was always a treat to go into G. Schirmer’s on 43rd Street, especially to see all the musical instruments on display in the store. That’s where I first saw a French horn, my favorite instrument. Dad was Schirmer’s Music Librarian, their cataloger and collector, and the man to go to if you were, for example, putting on a revue, or writing a book about music or musicians. He had some very interesting stories of famous people like Albert Schweitzer coming into the store.  Dad’s office was off the high gallery that ran around above the sales floor, and it was wonderful to look down there and ‘spy’ on everything.

We’d walk up Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center and have a wondering look at all the lights and the big Christmas tree and the skaters on the rink.  Somewhere in there we must have had dinner – probably at one of the Child’s restaurants I remember - and then we’d go see the movie and, best of all, the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall.  Or was “best of all” going up and down the grand staircase, or marveling at the acres of carpeting, or the huge, lush ladies rooms, or the Rockettes, or hearing the “Mighty Wurlitzer”? My Dad, also an organist, liked that.

As a kid I was impressed with the enormity of the theater. Years later in the Eighties, after the theater was renovated, I had a little more knowledge and appreciation of what I was seeing. I was still impressed by the size of the place, and best of all, all the things on my “best of all” list were still wonderful.   

 Merry Christmas and Zen Hugs to all my readers (you know who you are!)

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