Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My friend, the STAR

Recently, I was in the presence of celebrity.

Let me venture back...way back. Like 26 years back. My Mama was a teacher @ the Elementary School with Mrs. Waldrop. I prefer to call her Gabardine. Her name is Geraldine, but to me, she will forever be Gabardine. I heart Gabardine. Always have...always will. For as long as I can remember, I have been dear friends with Gabardine's daughter, Lisa.

When we were really little, we both had waist length hair that Gabardine and Sue forced us to wear in 2 ponytails. People thought we were sisters. Somewhere @ my Mom's house, I have photographic evidence to support this theory. Sadly, all the pictures I have here are after what I refer to as the "Dorothy Hammill incident" so you'll just have to take my word for it. The point I am trying to make is - we've been pals for a while.

While Gabardine and Sue did their teacher stuff, Lisa and I roamed the halls of the school playing. *for the record, I am talking about Summertime and after school* We went in the kindergarten room and climbed in the loft. I actually got hung on a breaker box once, thankfully Lisa managed to dislodge me. We talked, we laughed, we sang. We were even majorettes for a few years. That alone deserves its own post. We shook our moneymakers, and batons to such lovely numbers as "Puttin' on the Ritz" and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." Sue and Gabber pimped us out to half-time shows, Miss Merry Christmas pageants and any other place that would showcase us. We were their little show ponies, forced to gallop and trot on command. *Mom, before you have a heart attack, this is sarcasm. I am being funny*

I would go to Lisa's house to watch the Barbara Mandrell show. She would come to my house and we'd listen to my Dad's Merle Haggard cassette tapes. We grew up together. We loved John and Isabella on Days. I marveled at her collection of VHS tapes of Days episodes. I loved her brother, Lane, with his sweet smile and easy way with sarcasm. He was a boy after my own heart. I really loved her Granny Louise, with her red hair, red lips, and red nails. Granny Louise...I could dedicate 50 posts to her alone.

As we grew older, we remained friends. Lisa graduated the year before I did, and like any good Christian girl, she went to THE University. Of Alabama. Now, I had somewhere to go and spend the night "in college." Sometimes, in papasan chairs. I have eaten Guthries with her, tried on Gucci Go Go boots with her, taken her to the emergency room when she was burning up with fever, made fun of bouffant hair with her, almost to the point of causing 15 car pile ups, etc. We have laughed, we have cried, we have made memories that I will treasure for my lifetime.

I remember one night at her apartment in Tuscaloosa admiring her music box/globe collection. (Lisa, am I dreaming this, or did this really happen) I believe that she had either a globe or music box that played "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. Since then (or since I first dreamed this 15 years ago), whenever I heard that song, I thought of Lisa. "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..."

Lisa became involved with the theatre (or is it theater) when she moved to Tuscaloosa. I always said that I would go and see her perform. When I heard that she was THE LEAD in The Sound of Music, I knew that I had to go. I am SO GLAD that I did.

I may be biased, but I am not exaggerating. Lisa Waldrop was MADE to be Maria. Her first scene, when she sang her first "The hills are alive..." took my breath away. I was sitting there beside my mom thinking, "Don't cry Amy...don't you DARE cry." I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was so happy for her, I was so proud of her. I was so touched that my friend was fulfilling a dream...and I was there to see it. She was phenomenal. She was fantastic. She was amazing. I'm not just saying this because she is my friend, but she was every bit as good, and I believe BETTER than the original. Every nuance, every ounce of her being WAS Maria. It was magic.

So, this post is dedicated to my pal Maria, I mean Lisa. I heart you, Lisa Waldrop. I wouldn't trade our childhoods for anything. Every Sour Cream and Onion Tato Skin, every milkshake @ Argo's, every reference to "Bran Flake," every laugh, every tear...I heart them all.

I am totally serious when I say this...remember the name. Lisa Waldrop. It will be in lights one day. There is NO REASON she shouldn't be on Broadway. None whatsoever. I knew she would be good...I had no idea she would be THAT GOOD. I look forward to seeing her again, stealing the show. As always, I'll be her #1 fan...sitting in the audience, wearing my floor length denim skirt, Garth Brooks shirt, black Reebok hi-tops with my air-horn and cow bell...beaming with pride. If you are totally lost...good. You should be. That picture of beauty was an inside joke...just for Maria, I mean Lisa.

Throughout our lives together, we've traveled many paths together. I am so happy that I can honestly say that the hills have been alive...with the sound of music.

Bravo, Lisa...Bravo.
Or, as Granny Louise would say, "LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-Saaaaahhhhhhhhh...." I give you two thumbs up...2 bright, red thumbs up. You are one of my favorite things. And I heart you.


  1. I'm happy that you shed a little light on Geraldine and me making you and Lisa do these things....for a minute I thought folks would think of us like those 'toddler beauty pageant moms'! AMEN to EVERYthing said about Maria/Lisa. WHAT A SHOW!!!!

  2. Your sentiments were shared by about five thousand others. It was evident by the standing ovation and yelping Lisa/Maria received after the show. Amy, you too are gifted as evident by your expressive and wonderful writing. Love both of you little majorettes, well three counting Mel.

  3. Melody deserves a post of her own. The third Keith's kindergarten teacher. She is another person that I heart...because of her kind heart and love for my boy.

  4. OH MY LORD...I am in tears right now. Partly, of course, from laughing but mostly because I am so touched by this. I am so printing this out as I know Gabardine will never be able to find this to read it.
    Seriously, Amy G...this means the world to me and I will keep it forever.
    And, for the record, you are a fabulous writer. Really - I love reading this blog. It is on my daily list of "things to do when i first get to work."
    Can I tell you how I laughed out loud about the Merle Haggard tapes and the breaker box?!?! And, yes, I did have that music box - you were not dreaming.

  5. AMY--This is sooo sweet. I too am in tears reading this! How sweet for you to write for all of us to read about your sweet BF! You are one of the best writers. You, your mom and Nadia are the best ever. I can imagine everything you all describe in your writings!

    Congrats Lisa -- wish I could see you on stage! I'm sure you were amazing!

  6. soo glad that you are back to bloggin.. and yes i just discovered this fact. hope yall are having fun at the beach!!! :)

  7. HOW am I just now reading this particular post?! I laughed my guts out at the "inside jokes" about the denim skirts, etc....oh my lord my sides hurt. Amy & Lisa, both of you for the record, were there for me thru MANY trials and tribulations (pardon the pun) and I love you crazy girls!