Every year for the past 37 years, the Lykens Minstrel Association has been putting on an annual all male show full of songs and funny, family oriented skits the weekend before Thanksgiving. My parents have been a part of the Minstrel for many of the 37 years. My Dad as a performer and my Mom as the pianist. My father passed away in 2006, but my Mom is still the main pianist for the show.
When I was younger, people came on buses to see the show and there were at least 4 shows each year. In recent years, there have only been two shows a year and both the audience and the “Circle” (the chorus) has shrunk, but the show is still as hilarious as ever.
The two photos above were taken with my cell phone from directly behind the piano. I have been sitting behind the piano ever since I was a little girl. At first, it was my Mom’s way of keeping tabs on us while she and Dad performed. Now, it’s simply the best seat in the house.
I love that my kids laugh at many of the same skits as I did when I was their age. For example, the skit in the photo is called the “Little People” and is a pretty regular part of the show. I don’t know about you, but men pretending to whistle through their belly buttons is simply hilarious!
It’s not all funny though. We have a tremendous amount of talented singers in our small area. Every year at least one of the guys makes me cry with their song choice. Lately, my tears are from missing my Dad. Even after 5 years, I still expect to see him up there singing, dancing, joking and having fun.
Next year, my 12 year old is going to join the Minstrel. Which would make my Dad extremely proud. His kids couldn’t join because we were all girls, but his grandsons can be a part of the great tradition!
I really miss you, Dad.