Letter: Trouble in River City?

Published: 7/19/2022 9:28:34 AM
Modified: 7/19/2022 9:28:10 AM

Did you know that the Broadway classic “The Music Man” begins with a scene set exactly 110 years ago this Fourth of July? “Professor” Harold Hill, America’s favorite charlatan – brought to life by the uber-talented Robert Preston in 1957 and currently by the brilliant Hugh Jackman – is on a train to fictional River City to fleece its “super-savvy” Iowa citizens. They were no match.

Why the revisit? Well, of course – except for lacking Preston’s wit and Jackman’s charm – former President Donald Trump is a perfect Harold Hill, the man who on two previous Fourths of July stole the Lincoln Memorial and then Mount Rushmore. But it’s the “Music Man” title that catches my attention.

With recent revelations about Trump’s reported screaming, plate-throwing and unauthorized use of a government vehicle, an interesting fact emerged in the tell-all book from former Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham. Trump’s tantrums were well-known in White House circles. When he foamed, staff would play his favorite soothing show tunes. The chosen aide often called in was someone known as the Music Man. A perennial favorite was “Memory” (from “Cats”), whose second stanza contains the lines: “I was beautiful then / I remember / The time I knew what happiness was /Let the memory live again.”

You cannot make this stuff up. If you could, you’d be as rich as Andrew Lloyd Webber.

So on our national holiday, let Trump stew “All alone with the memory / Of my days in the sun” (more “Cats”). Go see a revival of “The Music Man.” And if Trump is ever indicted, I’ll rent the 76 trombones (I already play one of the 110 cornets) and you bring the 1,000 reeds.

Daniel Sullivan

Bennington


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