Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Squeezebox Christmas

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt is intended to inspire the “Homo Sepians” (Thank-you, TICKLEBEAR, for that brilliant new word!) to blog about Christmas.  But along with Santa in that photo is a happy chap playing the accordion.  I can do Christmas anytime, but when will I ever get another chance to feature the much-maligned “squeezebox”?

When my dad was a teen, he was responsible for getting his sister, my Aunt Betty, to her accordion lessons.  I always found that to be funny.  Betty?  Playing the accordion??  I just couldn’t picture it.  After all, as long as I’ve known her she has never owned an accordion.  She doesn’t even seem especially interested in music except for playing CDs on her Bose Wave. 

But play the accordion, she did. 

Beverly Slade Anderson with accordion
Aunt Betty with accordion


Now, I must confess that I am not a fan of accordion music.  Intellectually I know that playing requires coordination and skill, but emotionally the sound of the accordion coupled with visions of Lawrence Welk and polka dancers makes it difficult for me to appreciate whatever artistry the accordion can produce.

That might explain why this is my favorite cartoon:



Tired of the abuse, accordionists found someone else to kick around:


There is no denying the popularity of the accordion, however, especially in the 1940s when Aunt Betty was a student.  I join Betty’s accordion teacher in wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Beverly Slade Anderson's music teacher



Please visit Sepia Saturday to see if other bloggers were able to combine the accordion and Christmas so seamlessly.


33 comments:

  1. Wow! I can't believe you were able to find pictures of a relative playing accordion. I don't know a single person who plays or played, perhaps a good thing.

    Good luck with your 20 person Christmas Eve dinner. Enjoy the lake for New Years!

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    1. Actually, I can't believe it either! And to have a Christmas card from the accordion teacher is even more amazing. HA!

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  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Wendy - it's my first accordion/Christmas related story!

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    1. I think so far I'm a winner -- haven't seen any other accordions yet.

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  3. I had friends in high school -- twin girls. They used to play the accordian TOGETHER -- one to a side (or is it one to an "end?") anyway, it was pretty funny.

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    1. Oh, there must be a photo somewhere. Yearbook, maybe?

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  4. Haha! I love those cartoons!

    My husband plays the accordion—not very often, fortunately. LOL

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  5. What a fun post Wendy! I'm with you on the accordian. It's just not up there in my top ten list of musical instruments.

    The photo of your Aunt Betty is intriguing. I'm wondering why the long flowing dresses with the accordian. Perhaps off to some concert?

    I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Wendy!

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    1. I'm pretty sure Betty was headed to a recital.

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    2. Probably, Daddy said he always went to her recitals.

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  6. Oh what a treasure this was, and that word squeezebox is super-duper too! Merry happy Christmas and God Bless you!

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    1. I probably misused that word - I'm waiting for Mr. Mike to come along and tell me that word applied to the kind of accordion that didn't have keys. Oh well.

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  7. Great cartoons. I don't think I've witnessed an accordion being played in anger but bagpipes are a different matter - our local policeman when I was a boy was from Scotland and he practiced every night! Great cartoons.
    Have a Merry VChristmas and a Happy New Year.

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    1. I bet a bagpipe could help release some tension.

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  8. Don't the Cajuns in Louisiana play the Accordian, stamp their feet and drink strong spirits. Is one the cause of the other, and if so, which way round?

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    1. I believe you're correct, Sir. Maybe it's a case of the chicken or the egg.

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  9. Ohhh....I grew up with polkas!
    Merry Christmas!!

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    1. At some point we had dance lessons during phys ed, and I learned to polka too. Merry Christmas to you too!

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  10. Is there some symbolism in the fact that your aunt Betty is playing the accordion standing in front of a weeping willow tree? I hope not.
    Happy Christmas, Wendy.

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    1. HA -- I wonder if there is any symbolism in the fact that the weeping willow is no longer there.

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  11. Ah, pictures don't lie [most times] and she can't deny ever playing that thing now, can she!?!

    Funny cartoons, but I love bagpipes!! I never played accordion but I did dance my share of Polka...

    Have the happiest holidays, you and your loved ones!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  12. Great laughs today Wendy. I love the polka. I have never seen an accordion in real life come to think of it. All the blessings of Christmas to you.
    QMM

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  13. Loved this blog.
    Cheers and Happy Cristmas

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  14. You are so right on theme this week, Ms. Wendy! Loved all the accordion photos, and the comics. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year.

    Kathy M.

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  15. All the cartoons and photos are interesting, but I was most intrigued by the card of the accordion teacher standing outside with his accordion.

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  16. A perfect opportunity indeed! Your title made me laugh as well as the caption. Aunt Betty with Accordion sounds like the title for some abstract art. The poor accordion has many great soloists but when you get enough of them together the noise gets out of hand. So two YouTube videos that bring the cartoon to life.
    http://youtu.be/6h9M02eHw8A

    http://youtu.be/IWI7GMce1SY

    My best wishes to you for a happy holiday and bright new year!

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  17. No photos for this week, but the accordion reminds me we have an old one rescued from uncle's home when we cleared it. Neither of us know how to play it, but did not want to pitch it or give it to the estate sale..Merry Christmas

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  18. Wendy, how did I miss this post?!?! Love it!

    Truth be told: my dad was actually an accordion instructor (among other things), so there was no way I could escape the inevitable accordion lessons.

    Nor did I evade mandatory attendance in the city (NYC) for the great Charlie Magnante accordion recitals every year.

    I won't say much more...but enjoyed the cartoons. The feeling is mutual, I'm sure ;)

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  19. My dad played the accordian throughout his lifetime - I need to ask my mom what happened to it. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

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  20. Funny cartoons, Wendy. I have mixed feelings about accordions. They make me think of Lawrence Welk and polkas, too. I dated a guy who played an accordion, though I never heard him play and he didn't seem particularly musical -- like your aunt, I guess. Happy New Year to you.

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