July 31, 2006

Unwinding.

Here's the lobby of my hotel. Does it look familiar? Have you been here?

WiFi in the lobby

There's a nice fire over there in the fireplace. Isn't that what you want, a roaring fire on the last day of July?

I drove the Great Basin Highway today. I'd never been in Idaho before, and now I've crossed over into Wyoming.

The West is absorbing me, it seems, as I started lingering on the XM radio channel called America, where I felt utterly charmed by Willie Nelson singing "Don't Fence Me In" followed by Johnny Cash singing (talking) "Ragged Old Flag," a song I'm sure I and everyone I knew mocked when it came out. Further on down the road, I was on the channel Frank's Place, and I laughed at Frank Sinatra singing "Gentle on My Mind" -- because who can picture Sinatra in a sleeping bag or in a train yard or with his "beard a roughning coal pile" or with a "dirty hat pulled low across my face" and his hands cupped around a tin can full of soup? In the thin drizzle, the brilliant talk-singing of Fred Astaire made a lot more sense -- "Isn't This a Lovely Day to Be Caught in the Rain?" -- and it moved me to tears.

UPDATE: There's a 3-year-old boy here with his parents, and the guitarist goes and sits with him and engages him with "The People on the Bus." The boy is laughing with delight.

22 comments:

..bruce.. said...

Synchronicity strikes. Just as I read your posting that mentioned listening to Willy Nelson sing "Don't Fence Me In", my iTunes happened to being playing Ella Fitzgerald singing that same song.

So, here's a trivia question for all: who wrote "Don't Fence Me In"? (Hint: if you don't already know -- and if you don't cheat with Google -- you would likely never, ever guess. But the fact that Ella Fitzgerald sang it might give you a clue.)

Meade said...

"...it moved me to tears" (and the update)

So you DO have a sweetly soft sentimental side. Who knew?

Shall I email you an mp3 of Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You or would that put you over the swoony edge?

Meade said...

Cole Porter, right, Bruce?

knoxgirl said...

*gasp* the Shining???

just kidding!

Jeff said...

Hooray! Fred Astaire!

Fred Astaire was indeed a wonderful singer. Many of the great standards were written expressly for him to sing, including those by Irving Berlin (Cheek to Cheek), George Gershwin (They Cant Take That Away From Me), Jerome Kern (The Way You Look Tonight), Cole Porter (Night and Day) and Johnny Mercer (One for my Baby and One More for the Road). The uninitiated can sample Mr. Astaire's art in brief with an overview of classic 1930's Fred and a surprisingly intimate, stripped down 1950's "cool jazz" Fred (don't miss the most moving performance of Cole Porter's "I Concentrate On You" ever).

Elizabeth said...

Nothing odd in being moved to tears by Fred. He's a gem. I'm not as big a Frank fan as some, but I enjoy a little story from a friend of mine with a five-year-old son. They had a Sinatra album on recently while family was visiting, and at one point the dad reprimanded his son for failing to reply to his cousing speaking to him. Startled from his reverie, he replied he was sorry, but sometimes "music is so good it freezes me". What a great way to describe that sensation.

Ann Althouse said...

Elizabeth: Wow. I love that kid! I had a dream last night about a small person who seemed incredibly smart. Then I heard he was 3. I figured he was the biggest genius ever.

Ron said...

Oh Ann, are you our blogging Ginger to Mr. Reynolds' Fred? ;-)

That's a lovely song, made even better by driving in the rain...

PatCA said...

Cool place. I'd love to go skiing there some time. It's probably beautiful in the summer.

The Drill SGT said...

well if you're in Wyoming, then stay at one of the Lodges in Grand Teton. The Great Lodges in the National Parks are treasures.

http://www.gtlc.com/

Karl said...

Is that Amangani in Jackson Hole?

-kd

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
al said...

It's similar to Grand Timber Lodge but thats in a different state. Looks like a nice place to relax.

RHodnett said...

Hmm. Four Seasons in Jackson Hole? Presumably you won't tell us until you've already left.

Drill Sgt is right about the national park lodges. Spending a few weeks going from lodge to lodge in the national parks in the West would be a great driving vacation.

Elizabeth said...

Ann, he's a philosophical little rugrat, and his parents aren't shy about sharing "my kid is amazing" stories, but he's no dandelion child (what are those brat kids called again?). His parents discipline him, and he's never an imposition in an adult gathering. That makes him a joy to encounter.

Was this small genius composing a sonata? Eine Kleine Nachtmusik?

Frank Borger said...

Why when you mentioned Astair was I brought back to one of his great lines,
"How could you believe me when I said I loved you when you know I've been a liar all my life?"

Ann Althouse said...

Elizabeth: I wish I could remember what the baby genius in my dream was saying!

The Drill SGT said...

OK, you are checking out. WRU?

dbp said...

Hi Ann,

Is that the Sun Valley Lodge?

I worked there for around a year when I was just out of College. I haven't seen the place in almost 20 years, so my memory could be lacking.

If it is the lodge, then there would be an outdoor (yes, even in the Summer) ice skating rink in the grassy area just outside of the windows on the right-hand side of the photo.

dbp

VinylVenus said...

Ann: Any chance that that's the lobby of Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone. It's been almost 20 years since I was there but there are still times when I can conjure that fabulous two-story hearth with its welcoming fire...

My husband I stayed there in the Inn itself, not the annex behind it. (If you're not at OFI, you don't know that the rooms in the Inn itself do not include bathrooms or showers--you must toddle down the hall to get to the communal facilities. However, the Annex has more mod/cons. To me, it was like being thrown back to the days of resorts in the Poconos.)

We also stayed at the Lake Hotel, on Lake Yellowstone and at the main hotel at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. And I don't remember the name of the hotel at Mammoth, the north gate...

It was just a short jaunt from Sheridan, WY where we were living. The whole park is a grand and glorious adventure. If you are at Yellowstone, take a National Park Service guided-tour or attend a campfire lecture. You will always come away with a greater appreciation for the National Parks...

Naomi

Maria said...

This is the kind of house I want,have an office inside no need to wear dress code but I love wearing Mans Suit.

Half X said...

Still, others are brvivqt unable to tell set up wearers could require Oakley Frogskins. This has enhanced his or her confidence. By way of example, some young youngsters become Oakley Frogskin additional optimistic along with confident while facing his or her admired young ladies or guys. From your perspective involving functionality, Cheap Oakley Sunglasses can really help protect individual's eyes. It can be true that men and women to date usually spend Oakley Jawbone added time for backyard activities. This has increased a number Oakley Jawbones of rays-related eyesight problems.