What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

20 December 2016

This Is What Reading Will Get You, Kids

The Sound of Music was on TV Sunday night, and since I've seen the movie enough times that I don't have to watch that closely to know exactly what is going on, I joined the Twitter love fest for snarking purposes. As I do.

We got to the point where Georg tells Maria to get the children together so they can flee the country, and I tweeted this:

Maria Trapp had three children after
she and the captain married, in case
you're counting humans and wondering
where the extra ones came from.
Image source: Goodreads.
Yeah. This is definitely my most popular tweet of all time. (I was also pretty happy with my second most popular tweet of the evening, but it doesn't really come into the whole fleeing Austria thing.) Some responses to this tweet have been predictably bizarre, but rather than give the nutters any more air time than Twitter already gives them, let's talk about that part of the book. Because it's book day here at Cheekyness.

Georg received his offer to rejoin the Navy. (In the book, he wrestled with the decision of whether to accept, unlike the instant response he has in the movie.) Rupert, the eldest, received an offer to take a responsible position in a hospital in Berlin almost immediately after finishing medical school. Then the family received the invitation to sing at Hitler's birthday.

Because the movie timeline is quite compressed and accelerated vis-à-vis real life, the children in the movie have only aged a couple months since Maria first met the family. However, when it was really time for the family to respond to these offers, the children as we know them were either grown or in their late teens. Georg called the family together, went over the invitations they'd all received, and asked what they wanted to do. They all agreed to say no, knowing they would have to leave home and homeland behind, willing to draw on their deep faith that God would hold them in His hands.

They got a train to Italy a few days later (just in time before the borders were closed), contacted a manager who'd previously invited them to do a concert series in the US, and were on a boat to New York within a few weeks. The entire rest of the book is about their adventures in adjusting to a new country: learning a new language, deciding to become US citizens (after the boys were drafted by the US army), buying a farm in Vermont, and other parts of life in a huge, singing, touring family.

I've said it before and now I'm saying it again: if you love The Sound of Music, get yourself to a library and pick up this book. Also check out books by other members of the Trapp family, to get even more perspective on the family's history.

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