My first experience with musicals was when the State of Utah took me from my mom and stepdad and placed me in the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, Utah. Dee had a special facility for problem children, of which I was one. That was in 1965.
I went to Ogden in 1979 with the intent of obtaining my medical records. Unfortunately, the hospital had been closed. It is now open again as the McKay-Dee Hospital, and the section that took care of me in 1965 is now the Behavioral Health Institute.
While I was there, I met a woman named Barbara Hunt. Throughout the years, I have believed that Barbara was 18 years old, from Bakersfield, California, and also a resident. In thinking about this today, though, I’m not so sure anymore because one afternoon she took me to see a movie double-feature at the local theater. What hospital would allow an 18-year-old resident to take an 11-year-old resident to the movies? Now I’m thinking it was all a part of the behavioral health program for problem youth…..
I have been searching for Barbara Hunt all these years, but maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong place. Maybe I’ve even been looking for the wrong person. Maybe Barbara Hunt wasn’t her real name.
The movies we went to see were A Hard Day’s Night and Help! Long-time readers know that I have always been somewhat infatuated with The Beatles (somewhat?), and that’s where my infatuation started.
Those were the first two musicals I ever saw. The third one was The Sound of Music. Although The Sound of Music had been released in March 1965, it didn’t make it to Kingsville, Texas, until a couple of years later. Kingsville, a small bastian of Christian Republican farmers and ranchers, was a little behind the times then (and still are). After seeing The Sound of Music, I was definitely hooked on musicals, especially those with music by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein (Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I….)
Thus, every year when June comes around, I always think of Carousel and the song “June Is Bustin Out All Over.” Here it is:
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