Saturday, July 4, 2009

Touched by an Osmond

I hope all of you are having a meaningful July 4th.

We are getting ready to go to our local high school stadium to listen to orators talk about our history and freedom. The two men represented by the orators will be Thomas Payne and my husband’s favorite, Patrick Henry. Following the oral presentations are a patriotic choir and of course fireworks.

Our family celebration actually began yesterday on July 3rd. We--Tim, Jeremiah, granddaughter Juliah and I-- traveled to a local town, about 15 minutes away to see a motocross exhibition and listen to a concert by local boy Merrill Osmond. (See previous post on the private joke between God and me regarding the Osmonds.)

We had a truly enjoyable evening. The skies were clear with the temperature hovering around 70 degrees. None of us had ever seen a motocross event, but since it was part of our ticket price, we attended. I was surprised at both the level of skill and the level of insanity of the riders. I had assumed that during the motocross event we would be watching men on motorcycles on an obstacle course. Not so. These daredevils flew across a 70-foot space between a ramp and a dirt hill, doing flips with and handstands on, their bikes.


After the exhibition, the concert began. Merrill has fifty years in the entertainment business and is a consummate performer. He began by walking through the audience, shaking hands with his fans. Silence please…drumroll…an Osmond touched me. He also shook hands with Jeremiah, who was thrilled no doubt because of maternal influence.

Merrill performed a selection of his oldies along with some contemporary music, and was surprised when a young pre-teen girl sang along to one of his songs. He held the mike so she could sing along with him. I think he felt truly honored. His two sons walked through the audience selecting people for a fan dance contest. The audience selected the winners and four participants each got a collector’s Merrill Osmond teddy bear that Merrill said was valued at $500.

A highlight of the concert was his daughter Heather, who performed two songs, one of which she had written herself in behalf of our troops. If we don’t hear more from her in the future, I would be surprised.

A light breeze cooled fans who sat on camp chairs and in the bleachers or who laid on blankets sprawled on the grounds of the football stadium. Little children danced on the grass, waving multi-colored neon necklaces and wands to the music as the light faded. A waxing gibbous moon (I didn’t teach fifth grade for nothin’) shone reflected light onto the field.



Merrill topped the evening by speaking about his love for family and for this country. He said he could have chosen to raise his children anywhere, but he chose to raise them in an area where he knew they would grow up to be good people. He mentioned his concern for his friends, the Jacksons, who were dealing with their tragedy right now. He sang The Impossible Dream, his father’s favorite song, in honor of him. The strains of his final song faded out as the fireworks exploded.

I am certain that as a young girl, my attraction for the Osmonds was mostly because they were cute and sang good songs. As an adult, my level of appreciation lies more in the fact that they are true showmen, strong vocalists, and can harmonize like no others. A show put on by an Osmond will never be a waste of your money.

Note: In the video, Merrill shakes my hand right after the guy whose back is in the shot. You will see Merrill looking in the camera briefly, then I sit down.


video

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the clip!it's so funny to see the little kid at the end totally ignoring Merrill who's desperately waiting for her attention LOL!!!

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  2. Anonymous: Yes, we laughed at that too, until my son pointed out that Merrill was actually posing for a picture--the mom has a camera in her hand. Yeah, when we first saw it we thought it was funny because the kid was oblivious.

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  3. Whenever I have seen the Osmonds on television, I always enjoy the show. You're so right that they know how to put on a show! It must have been entertaining:) Glad you had a good time!!

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  4. septembermom: I really did have a good time. It's the second time I've seen Merrill in concert (the other time he performed with Wayne and Jay.) He really knows how to endear a crowd. There is not an ounce of pride in the man--he's very humble.

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  5. HI,
    I wish I could have been in Utah for 4th July. Havent seen Merrill in a while.
    Sadly here in England we have nothing to celebrate.
    Really like your blog BTW.
    Pen

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  6. Pen: Thank you for visiting! We hope to see more of you here. Osmond fans are always welcome--hee hee! We love our friends from the UK!

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  7. Thanks Randi.
    Not sure I can be classed as a fan anymore. I was, but now just keep in touch with those I know as friends.
    However, I DID go see them at Wembley for the 50th....took my 2 daughters....great show.

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  8. Pen: The Wembley concert must have been quite the show. I've never seen them all together. How did you end up meeting the Osmonds? Or is it on your blog somewhere?

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  9. An Osmond....andI saw you moving and grinning!!! I'd love you to use this new found technology to film yourself eating Lipton soup or to show us that glorious park by the Misouri River!

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  10. Janice: Hmmm...now that's a thought! Filming me eating Lipton soup! And I promise you, if I make it back to Iowa anytime soon, I will definitely show you some video of the park. Which reminds me...I do have a video of Kylie and Jeremiah at that park. I'll see if I can hunt it down.

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  11. Merrill is not very well at the moment, so it was really lovely to read of a time when he was. I've never been to Utah (been to Las Vegas though - that post was hilarious!) - hope to someday!

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  12. Gerry: I had heard that Merrill had recently had another stroke. He is quite an icon in our community. I actually heard the news of his stroke, not locally, but from his friend Pen, in England, who commented earlier in this post. I wish Merrill and his family well. Thank you for stopping by and discussing one of my favorite topics---Osmonds! :)

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