red kettles

Hey, it's December already! Full tilt into the Holiday season. Back in high school I'd spend a lot of this month "standing kettles" for The Salvation Army... playing carols on tuba for 4-8 hour shifts... (I always thought that the tuba's mellowness made it easier to listen to for long stretches than, say, the trumpet.) I usually didn't take many breaks, a little bit out of teenage machismo, but mostly I just hated the empty stand just standing there, and having to find a place to stash my horn and the kettle. Nothing felt better than climbing into the big van after and having a styrofoam cup of McDonald's hot chocolate, and finally sitting... my teeth would feel a bit looser after a full shift of tuba-ing.

So the red kettles are still out there in front of the stores, but they've also gone virtual... longtime friend and sometimes-sidebar-poster Beau sent out requests to help fill his online Virtual Kettle... (Heh, actually a few times Beau and I were part of Kettle bass quartets, though that was the exception more than the rule.) I figure I've been pretty generous with myself lately (*cough* *cough* *Nintendo Wii* *cough*) but not so charitable for others, so I figured I was overdue for making a donation of a similar order of magnitude.

The Salvation Army is a great charity...I remember when I was doing kettles, getting to hear stories of appreciation about when the 'Army was there for folks when they were having a rough patch, but now they were able to throw in a couple bucks. My favorite were the old WW2 guys... I guess during the war The Salvation Army generated a lot of good will with its support for the troops, giving away some stuff like stationary and donuts that other organizations would nickel and dime them for.

Anyway, I encourage other folks to throw something into Beau's kettle to kick off the Winter season... even in Boston where it's like... yeesh, 64?

self-portrait of back in the day...