Mark Stoller and his wife, Andra, moved to Falcon with their family in 2007. Both are U.S. Air Force veterans and enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark is fortunate to have his wife and daughters as his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate.
College and a Christmas Carol
By Ava Stoller (Ava Stoller is home from college and pinch hitting for Mark this month.)
Happy December! I’m home for the holidays, happily filling in for my Dad and writing again (not for a grade)!
The first half of my second year at university is coming to an end, and I have had new challenges to face.
One of the bigger challenges for this semester has been finding time to spend with my old roommate and close friends from last year. Between our class schedules and work loads, it’s hard to meet during the day now that we aren’t in dorms 20 feet away from each other. It’s more of a task to meet up. Yet, valued friendships are worth the effort to nurture along.
With one friend, we try to meet in between classes on Mondays and Wednesdays which would be great except she sleeps through it a lot. My best friend and I try to meet up for lunch on Fridays and hockey games.
However, more often than not, I find I’m by myself — which hasn’t been terrible.
One of the biggest changes this year are the buses. Now that I am farther away from campus, taking the bus is a daily routine. It is nice that I do not have to walk or bike the mile-and-a-half to campus on good days and even better when the cold weather hits.
On the other hand, it is a major pain because the bus keeps stopping when I’m on a tight schedule getting to class! I know that’s the point, but during peak bus travel time (at the end of most afternoon classes) it takes me 30 minutes to get home.
With a new semester comes new classes and my favorite has been ASL (American Sign Language). I enjoy it because it’s decoding visual puzzles in real time in order to communicate without your voice.
I am also taking a Principles of Audio class, where I learned an interesting Christmas fact. There is a secret lost verse in the song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Hugh Martin, a songwriter during the golden age of broadway, was writing songs for the film “Meet Me in St. Louis” starring Judy Garland. He had the melody for “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” but couldn’t make it work and so he threw it away. His songwriting partner persuaded him to finish it. The original version was noted then as, “… so lugubrious” (ridiculously gloomy) that Judy Garland refused to sing it. Being a cocky young songwriter, he decided he would not rewrite it and told Garland as much.
However, one of the other actors in the movie told him that it’s a really good song and he should rework it. So Martin went back and changed it to the one that Judy Garland sings in “Meet Me in Saint Louis:” “Oh, until then we all will be together if the fates allow. Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow.”
Then, after the film came out and the song was a success, Frank Sinatra called up Martin and said he was making a Christmas album and he really liked the song, but it’s not very jolly. Could Martin write another version to make it more jolly? In the final third version, Martin added, “Hang a shining star upon the highest bow,” to the end of it.
The song’s secret original verse is “Have yourself a merry little Christmas. It may be your last. Next year, we may all be living in the past.” I’m glad Martin listened to everyone and changed it. Personally, I like Sinatra’s version best!
I’d like to end 2023 with Hugh Martin’s immortal words, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas!”