Carol Mob 1: Boston, December 17 This year we met at Jackson Square T stop and meandered our way up to the Milky Way in Hyde Square. Props to the owners of the Milky Way who provided us with hot cocoa and quesadillas! Hooha! We went into Stop and Shop and sang in the fruit and veggies section... that scene appeared in the Boston Globe article that Christine Junge wrote about us. There were seventy of us in there... Sadly, despite my bilingual poster and ad in the Banner and so forth, it was pretty much a white group (I'd be happy for some more help in the outreach department! hint hint!) but it made for a pretty funny moment when a guy started leading us around the store saying, "I'm the black Moses!" I'm not sure, actually, looking back, why it was so funny, but we all (including Moses) laughed a lot. After we let the Stop and Shop, we sang in a courtyard that had some nice decorations and a bunch of people listening. After we were done a guy came up and told us that we had totally made his Christmas- he'd been in the country for 26 years and this was the first time that Chriistmas wasn't depressing for him. Aw! But he was not, contrary to the Globe article, an old man. He was 50ish. I hope he didn't read that and retroactively repeal his warm fuzzies.
JP's Paul Daigle also led a caroling excursion the same night, and it turned out we were both near the Milky Way at the same time, so we hooked up and sang together a little. Then we went inside and they continued. I really liked the character of that group... they had drums and jingle bells and a girl being pushed around in a shopping cart. Very cute! Very cool!
After quaffing a few at the Milky Way, we decided to go up and see if the Cranston block party was still going on- by a coincidence, their party has...errr. coincided... with the Mob outing for the past 2 years. They had invited us to come and sing; I had thought that there might not be any interest after a few hours in the cold, but lo and behold, about 30 of us made it up the hill and- and------ the party was over! but! a guy saw us coming and banged on everone's door and they all brought leftover cookies for us anyways. And we sang a mini concert out there on the street- 4 songs or more- after we thought we didn't have any energy left. Ho ho ho! and we'd a kept going too!
Carol Mini Mob 2: Idyllwild, CA, 12/23/06 I went to visit my girlfriend's parents in California this Holiday, and we decided to see if the idea would play on the West Coast. Well, friends of Jovi's family came- numbering about eight at the height of it- but no one responded to the ad in the paper. I hear Dolly Parton has a house there and I was definitely expecting her to come out. Oh well. Anyway, we had a jolly time... and the owner of the organic store gave us the best hot cocoa!-... but the pizza place, they didn't give us any pizza at all. And we musta sang 3 verses of "now bring us a piece-a-Pizza! "... ;)
Joel, I wanted to share with you some of the experiences I have encountered while singing at Christmas time. I've participated in the Caroling Mob twice, and on the second time I brought an old friend and his girlfriend. Now his girlfriend happens to be the sister of my girlfriend, and my old friend and his girlfriend just got engaged which now makes my old friend my brother-in-law, which is strange but clearly beside the point. Anyways, his girlfriend is a very shy person amongst big crowds, and would never think of opening her mouth to sing in public. We basically had to drag her to the first meeting spot of the Mob, telling her that if she hates singing that much, we'd all leave after giving it a try. Three hours later we were all tired and wanted to stop but she was urging us to continue on and sing until the very end.
Needless to say she must have felt very comfortable with some part of the dynamics of the Mob. Perhaps it was because you were really nurturing to every single person that was there, helping people find they're spot without being demanding or expecting. Or perhaps it was because you instinctly knew when to move on or when to stop and let us sing our hearts out to the totally unexpected and overly joyed listeners. Remember when we went into the JP Project Housing and we sang to about 25 people listening to us in the cold out on their porches, and the one gentleman came down and told us that "this is what Christmas is really about".
Or perhaps my friend just had straight up fun. It's really important to let go and hear yourself sing, even if you don't have a classically trained voice or even if you think that you have the worst voice in the whole wide world. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all had a lot of fun singing with you and I'd definitely do it again, soon. Shawn Morrissey