If you are a reader of Silver Valley blogs you've got to go visit Ponderosa Pinings where a fellow 1972 Kellogg High School graduate, Pinehurst in My Dreams, has been writing smashing posts about her childhood in Pinehurst and Smelterville. Her memory is sterling. I am already indebted to her for how much she remembers about our first and second grade years at Silver King Elementary School that I had forgotten.
Recently, she wrote, here, about when she and I were Santa Claus and Mrs. Santa Claus in the Silver King Christmas Program in the first grade. I have a short story to add to her memory.
Playing Santa Claus in the Silver King Christmas Program was my second big role in a row. The year before, at the Kellogg Kindergarten end of the year pageant, I had played Mother Goose's cat, which had me in every scene of the Mother Goose pageant and gave me the chance to chase the three blind mice.
So that our family could properly enjoy the Silver King Christmas program, we went to the Sunshine Inn beforehand for some dinner.
I remember thinking that I needed to eat plenty so I could be a good, fat Santa.
Therefore, I counted the number of French fries I ate. I wanted to please Mrs. Morical. After dinner, I walked into the Mrs. Morical's classroom and announced:
"Hi! We went to the Sunshine Inn for dinner and I ate a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, and a pickle and I ate twenty-three French fries."
I stuck out what little belly I had and did what I thought was a great imitation of Jackie Gleason. I was dramatizing how perfectly fat I was after twenty-three fries to play my role.
I remember Mrs. Morical laughing, giving me a squeeze around the shoulders, and helping me get packed into my Santa Clause suit.
I remember thinking back to this when Robert DeNiro gained forty pounds in order to play the washed up Jake LaMotta. It was my first experience with Method Acting.