I remember how glamorous she appeared and there she was pointing to me and several other small blond girls.
Our teacher wrote down our names and gave us a permission slip to take home to our parents. We were to join with hundreds of other small girls from various Oakland schools who had also been selected to be the tiny snow fairies in the finalé of the Christmas Pageant held each year at the Oakland city auditorium.
There were many practices and instructions given which were very simple to follow. All we needed to do was put on our sparkly white princess costume and skip out to meet the solo dancer at a signal.
Later as years went by; our children were also selected to be a part in this wonderful traditional presentation.
This pageant was a gigantic rendition similar to the Nut Cracker Suite put on by Louise Jorgensen and the Recreation Department of the City of Oakland.
“As a staff member of the city’s recreation department, Ms Jorgensen would visit 50 schools a week to conduct a half-hour rehearsal in the last few months of the year. The Kaiser Convention Center hosted the pageant’s overflow crowds. (8,000 proud parents, says one source).”
Each school and every grade in our city had a part in the production. There were children dressed as dancing elves, candy canes, holly berries, penguins, polo bears, drummer boys, teams of reindeers with their lady drivers and scores of colorful toys.
The conclusion of the drama was a solo dance by our beautiful Spirit of Christmas lady, as the spot light revealed her twirling and spiraling across the auditorium floor. On cue, as her dance ended, all we little fairy snow princess skipped out to meet the snow queen. We gathered around her as she blessed us with her sweet kisses that she blew in our direction.
“For almost 70 years, from 1919 until the pageant's farewell performance in 1987, a one-woman powerhouse, Louise Jorgensen, transformed the thousands of other Oakland schoolchildren into dancing toys and ballerinas for two performances during the first weekend of December.”
“In 2006, nostalgic teachers organized The Winter Festival, an attempt to revive and secularize the pageant, but this may be one of those feats of the past that is impossible to replicate.”
May your celebration of Christmas include a manger scene, some angels and shepherds, and perhaps a wise man two or three.
This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty Hop. Do visit and enjoy some wonderful words posted there.