Shaun Baer

actor - singer - writer

Tale as Old as Time

Captain's Blog - Stardate 60417.9

To close out the "official" Princess Week before starting the actual week of the Disney trip, I want to tell a story about me, Mrs. Potts, and my grandmother who I called Mi-Ma.

Mi-ma was my Mom's Mom. She lived closer than my Dad's folks, so we saw her pretty regularly. When I was younger, she would come and stay with us. I have wonderful memories of sitting on out back porch playing video games like "The Legend of Zelda" and "Ladybug" (Coleco-vision) while she had her breakfast of Archway Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies and orange juice. I should clarify that we played these games together.

Skip ahead to when I was thirteen, which was not my best year, and my Bar Mitzvah had come and gone. The day itself was great. I handled the service very well and I had fun at the party. We had it at the 19th Century Woman's Club in Oak Park. The band we had was THE band to have, and had already played several Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in my class. There are some great pictures from the party, including a "sexy hokey pokey" dance for the moms, MY mother in the chair, and many of me with my classmates.

The picture that was missing was a picture of my dancing with Mi-Ma. It was missing because it didn't happened. Somehow, amidst all the hustle and bustle of the evening, I had missed the opportunity to dance with her. Without meaning to, I had managed to hurt her feelings. And this was a woman who was not easily hurt or offended.

My mother didn't tell me right away. I wrote my thank you notes (a habit I have not successfully maintained) and started the summer theatre camp were I along with seventy-five other grade school and middle school students worked together to do "The Wiz." I was one of twenty scarecrows. Everyone got their shot.

One day, my folks and I drove into the city to visit Mi-Ma at her condo. Dad had bought her a new stereo system. He was always trying to encourage her to upgrade her technology and this was one of the few times she indulged him. She was getting her first CD player and my father made sure it was a top-of-the-line five-disc changer.

The first disc we bought her to play was the soundtrack to the recent Disney animated feature Beauty and the Beast. As my Dad continued setting up the stereo I learned about what I did, or rather didn't do, at my Bar Mitzvah. Embarrassed, I apologized and we found a way to fix it. 

In her condo, with a beautiful window overlooking Lake Michigan, we played the Angela Lansbury Mrs. Potts version of the hit song, "Beauty and the Beast." My Mi-Ma and I danced for the whole song. There are no pictures, but I won't ever forget that dance.

Happy Birthday, Mi-Ma! You are missed and loved.

Hailing frequencies closed.