Three Mini Stories To Make You Smile During The COVID-19 Crisis

Bru-nO, Pixabay

Each week we seem to be inundated with coronavirus news, so we wanted to do something that wasn’t the latest on infections, hospitals or deaths. Instead here are three mini-stories that will hopefully lift your mood.

The Birthday Party Amended

Birmingham resident Randi Pink calls herself a birthday fanatic. She had been planning her daughter Charli’s birthday party for months. She turned 3 in March. But as the coronavirus took hold, Pink had to keep paring down her idea.

On the day of Charli’s birthday, Pink took a laundry basket and placed it in front of the house.

“[I] flipped it upside down draped it in a little bit of fabric, set a table for her with some Little Debbie cakes on it and teddy bears around it,” Pink says. “She was elated.”

That might have been because Pink also put up signs in the neighborhood telling people who walked or drove by to yell out and wish Charli “Happy Birthday.”

Pink’s mom came by too and helped celebrate, but from a safe distance. This self-described birthday fanatic admits maybe simple is better.

“It was a beautiful, beautiful birthday,” Pink says.

A Round of Music

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra is not performing right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as part of a campaign to stay connected with their audience, some members have videos on social media of themselves playing. Principal flutist Lisa Wienhold offers a different proposal: a chance to play a duet with her.

She recorded herself playing one part of a canonic sonata by Georg Telemann. It’s a bit like a round, think “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” She posted the video and sheet music online and invited people to play along.

Wienhold says she hasn’t heard from anyone who has tried it. She sent the link to her flute students and suspects some of them might have. In the meantime, she tried playing along with herself.

The music from a flute or two may be soothing, but it’s not the same as the sound of a full orchestra.

“I miss it terribly and I can’t wait until we can all be back together again,” Wienhold says.

Until then, it’s a musical connection via a screen.

An Outbreak of Silliness

Craig McRee has a thing for silly songs. He’s a musician and a DJ at Substrate Radio, an online radio station in Birmingham. McRee’s girlfriend has 8-year-old, twin girls.

“I’ll make up silly songs running around the house just to teach them a lesson, to have fun,” McRee says.

Naturally, the times demand songs that inform us about the coronavirus. Such as one he wrote called, “We’ve got to be OCD.”

McRee says he’s written about six songs related to the pandemic so far. He hasn’t really shared them outside his family. But his passion brings up an interesting question. What do you rhyme with coronavirus or COVID-19?

“I have rhymed COVID-19 with jelly bean,” McRee says. “Coronavirus [with] who’s gonna hire us.”

He says music is infectious, and now, perhaps more than ever, that’s an infection worth catching.

An Added Bonus

For the musical theater crowd, a couple of other delights.

Several of these stories came through our Facebook group we’ve called “Y’all’s Things Considered.” It’s a place to interact with other public radio fans, share ideas, and a resource for helpful information. Join the conversation with “Y’all’s Things Considered” on Facebook.

More Arts and Culture Coverage

Hack Exposes Vulnerability Of America’s Energy Supply Lines

Colonial Pipeline’s shutdown of its 5,500-mile pipeline Friday after a ransomware attack. But this is not the first time the public’s attention has been turned to the things that can go wrong with the energy supply.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Medical Marijuana And Yoga Bills Pass, Gambling Bill Stalls

A medical marijuana bill goes to the governor. Meanwhile a gambling bill looks unlikely to pass this session.

Alabama Legislature Drops Resistance, OKs Medical Marijuana

The bill faced strong resistance among House lawmakers.

WBHM Wins Four Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM has won four regional Edward R. Murrow awards, including the award for Overall Excellence. WBHM also won awards in these categories: Continuing Coverage – The pandemic rages through Alabama, WBHM News Team Excellence in Sound – “Through The Intercom, Nursing Home Employee Sings To Residents” by Mary Scott Hodgin Hard […]

New Orleans’ Return To Cultural Parades Is A Step Toward Healing In The South

In April, Mardi Gras Indians held a funeral and parade for one of their own – one of a few large cultural events to occur since the pandemic started and most large events in the region were canceled.

Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Increase 100% In Jefferson County

The powerful synthetic opioid is now being mixed with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, leading to more overdose deaths.

More Arts and Culture Coverage