Saturday, December 18, 2010

I see an empty chair...

... and while empty seats might normally seem undesirable at a good pub like the ol' S&P, the empty chair in this case is that foreseen by the blustery, ebullient giant Ghost of Christmas Present, and that bodes well for us.

Oh yes indeed, this is a Hallowe'en place, made and maintained by the loving hands of a Hallowe'en fanatic, frequented and made lively by the spirits of you good, spooky Hallowe'en folk.

But as That Other Holiday necessarily fills our time and 'tentions, it's good to find some Hallowtide in the Yuletide.

And what could be better, more fitting, more classic than Charles Dickens' ghostly masterpiece?

 John Leech illustration from an 1843 edition.

I will not go into everything about the tale, and why should I? We've all read, seen, heard a thousand variations and interpretations of the story. Most of us have probably been involved in a school play or dramatic reading at some point in our younger lives.

There's no need for a set up, except to say that this post really ought to be an 'Old Tubes' post, because as sure as I began pondering it, the old Hallowe'enith console radio began to sputter and hum, and lo! there's a new bit of ear-candy for us!

First aired on Christmas Eve, 1975, the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre's A Christmas Carol featured it's longtime host, the great E.G. Marshall, as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Of course, I like to think that as he was reading his lines, he looked less like this:
and more like this:
... only without the cockroaches. This look is just way more Ebenezer Scrooge-like.

(Y'know, typing Ebenezer is kind of difficult. Like saying 'toy boat' five times. Try it).

CBS aired this radio goodness every year on or near December 24th for a decade or more. I know I heard it at least two of those years -- the entire family listened the AM radio in our old station wagon as we drove home from Grandma's house on Christmas Eve.

So head to the ol' Hallowe'enith radio over there to your left, and give a listen.

And, of course, God bless us, everyone.


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