Ah, the sounds of spring; or summer; or fall; or – yes, even winter!

As a kid growing up across Lincoln from the Frog Pond, I had a “radio studio” in one of the “dormers” of my second story bedroom. Well, I shared it with Bobby (“The Music Man”) for several years until Freddy (“The Big Ugly”) went off the college, and the military, and college, and work; and Bobby moved down stairs to his room.

Then I had that great big room all to myself; and could have all the sound gear I could scrounge up. I loved sounds and sound effects. My love for sounds came in right under my love for theater and special lighting.

So, it was only natural that I would work in communications in Uncle Sam’s Finest Air Force; and have a CB Radio license (back when you had to have them); and a “Broadcast Board Operator’s License” (back when you had to have them); and buzzers and beepers and boopers scattered all over the room (back when it was cool to have them).

We; the neighborhood gang of assorted savory and unsavory types (you can waste time trying the figure out who was who in that listing) would gather on rainy days and make “fake radio broadcasts” about “Super-Dooper Man” and “The Loan Arranger” and commercials for “yeller dopes and moon pies.” Everybody had a part in the sounds.

We recorded the engine of Fred and Josephine’s 1950 Ford with loud mufflers and made it into an atomic bomb blast. Nature sounds were fair game: bird calls calling, dogs barking, and car horns honking all went into the “sound archives”. We almost wore out that old Underwood Upright writing scripts and commercials.

Lay the mic on the bed and use drum sticks to make the sounds of horses galloping, trotting, walking; and rim shots turned into gun shots in our radio production. Add a piece of wood to the horse hoofs sounds and you have a horse going over a bridge; use a pillow and you have a horse running through sand; and on and on it went.

The recent Theater Guild production of “The Sound of Music” was filled to overflowing with glorious sounds of a huge passel of terribly talented troopers that populated these here hills! We know most of these people personally (especially the older ones) and will eventually get to know the younger “guys and dolls.”

It was my joy to get to be involved in the earlier productions of various stage crews and cast members; and, since I taught my brother Bobby (“The Music Man”) all he knew about music and stage; I thoroughly enjoyed bringing him along for a fantastic ride.

Seriously, I was honored to see that Bob was honored in this year’s production of “The Sound of Music.” I have enjoyed the show when Julie Andrews twirled her way across those gorgeous mountains; then our Theater Guild brought it home big time; then Carrie Underwood did it live on television; and then this latest performance with all the improvements on the high school stage, lighting, sound, special effects, — and “The Sound of Music.”

I knew that young man was “not one of them” (Nazis); and neither were the others who played the parts. I well remember a couple of the “Nazis” in the earlier performance took off their swastika armbands and started waving American Flags in the applause rounds “just so everyone would know” (as one of them told me).

No doubt about it; we have an abundance of talent in this area from cast to crew to music to staging to costuming to makeup to artwork to office work to front stage to back stage to upstage to downstage; and my friend, Jerry Maloy (whose mom and dad I knew from my days in Downtown Frogpond at Jim Maloy’s Store, whose brother and I played side by side in high school football) – what more has to be said. From “Oklahoma’s Curley” to the Directors/Producer’s chair – Great job, sir! Bravo! Standing Ovation! Multitudes of curtain calls! “Break a Leg!”

Great work and good job – all of you!

By the way; the “Sounds of Christianity at Thanksgiving and Christmas” can also be heard in your local church; and I am aware that many of these talented people will be using their talents in these local churches this week. Why not go out and join them and get involved in some of those sound?

Tom Mooty was raised in Newport; and has served as Pastor to the West End Baptist Church for a total aggregate of thirty-four years. You are encouraged to contact Mooty with your comments at tommooty15@gmail.com.

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