Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Memory Box - "Injecting Culture"

from the Memory Box today....

"Remember when we went to Miller Outdoor Theater and saw the story of Ninfa's?"

Ninfa's is a popular Mexican Restaurant in Houston. Ninfa is the name of a Texas woman who opened the restaurant in a corner of the failing family business after her husband died. She parlayed the restaurant into a legend. In 1982, Theater Under The Stars made her life into a musical called, appropriately, "Ninfa." I don't think it was a hit, but it was interesting to Houstonians.

I don't remember that particular play, other than attending. I do remember the wonderful summer nights we spent under the stars, on the hill at Miller Outdoor Theater. The original attraction, besides the opportunity to inject some culture into my children, satisfy my longing for the theater, and get out of the house, was the price - FREE. We would go early to get a good spot, take a picnic supper, and watch the children play while waiting for the start of the program at dusk.

My favorite recollection is lying on blankets spread over the grassy hill positioned to catch each small breeze, watching fireflies and swatting mosquitoes while listening to a concert. The orchestra was loud enough to drown the noises of chattering children and gossiping adults, allowing a short time of total immersion in the moment. The lights of the nearby city were not strong enough to obliterate all the stars so I could lie on my back and gaze into the starlit sky. I listened to the sounds of patriotic music which never fail to stir the blood coursing through my veins that makes me so proud and thankful to be an American. From the lilting piccolo to the boom of the cannons in the finale, surrounded by the people I love, I filled myself with the sounds and sights of the evening.

I am touched when my children remember those times.


  1. One year while camping out in Colorado, we visited the Air Force Academy and saw that the AFA Orchestra would be playing Tchaikovsky's 1812 Symphony. We decided to hang around and experience it even though it looked like rain at the time. After dark the program started and included a battery of Soldiers from Ft. Carson and their Howitzers. As the music was building to near the end of the concert, it started to rain and since we were camped out several miles north of the Academy, we took off and were able to get to our tent in time to hear the music echoing off of the Front Range but never did learn if it were the Howitzers or thunder that accompanied the final rounds of the piece.

  2. so, thats where ABW gets it from.....


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