Between the Lines



Even though it appears that I have, I really wish I hadn’t grown up. Adulthood can be a dreary and stressful place. Alas, here I sit in my grown-up office, attempting to type a grown-up column. And even though I do identify as an adult, I never pass up the opportunity to foster my inner child…which I hope is still down in there somewhere.

Despite the opportunities becoming fewer and fewer, who didn’t dream about flying off to Neverland with Peter Pan? I know I did! Just last weekend, Sara Towns and her ensemble of talented kids from the OHS Music and Drama Department sucked me right back to childhood.

If you have never seen one of Sara’s performances, you have truly missed an adventure. Give me a stage full of happy, hardworking students with a gleam in their eyes over a Broadway play any day. I volunteered to help backstage for the 2019 musical performance of Peter Pan, working the ropes as part of the “fly team.” That is a fancy way of saying I pulled kids up in the air with ropes to make them fly.

From beginning to end I was able to see this production take shape, from rehearsals, to dances, to staging, to set prep. It’s a massive undertaking. Sara, along with her steadfast team of students and parents, put on a show that I saw bring smiles and tears to the audience. Studded with special effects – like a glowing Tinkerbell, sparkling pixie dust, and characters that lifted to the air in flight over a stage of fog – OHS’s Peter Pan was second-to-none.

What was most impressive was the energy, dedication, and TIME the students put into pulling this off. I loved watching them become their characters and have a blast during every step. Cheerleaders, softball players, football and baseball players, band kids, study worms, and even the typical “I don’t participate in anything” kid was gleaming with excitement, playing a role in a way that made me so thankful we offer this kind of opportunity at OHS and other schools in Blount County. The spring musical has become a much anticipated event at Oneonta and it is obvious why. A hundred students, all vastly different, singing in tune and dancing in step with one another to put on a show.

So, bravo to the students, parents, and participants of the 2019 OHS spring musical for staging a magical event. And to Sara Towns, thank you for offering an experience to these kids that they will carry with them for a lifetime. Oh, and thanks for letting me be a kid again, too.

Until next time, I hope you find something new here in Blount County. It’s a good old place to call home.