"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, just like the ones I used to know . . ." Everyone knows the lyrics to that song written by Irving Berlin in 1940 that was introduced in the movie "Holiday Inn" two years later. Bing Crosby recorded it on Decca Records and it became the biggest selling single - ever! In 1954, the movie "White Christmas" was released and starred Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen. In December of that same year, my parents and I went to New York City by train. It was the first time for all of us to go there and we did all the "tourist" things even though it was the coldest we had ever been! Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Empire State building, the subway and lights, lights, lights everywhere!!!
One of my fondest memories of that trip was our visit to Radio City Music Hall and watching the Rockettes dancing across the stage dressed in red velvet outfits with hats made of red petals and green leaves so that they looked like poinsettias. The movie playing -- "White Christmas" of course. It was magical. The lights, the sounds, the music -- I was in awe of everything! And as a young child I thought that Rosemary Clooney was so beautiful and I became a life-long fan of hers.
As a collector, it seemed only natural that I save and keep all kinds of pictures, articles from the old fan magazines, records, etc. and I placed them in scrapbooks. Many years later, I was able to meet Rosemary and we became good friends. She was funny, honest, sensitive, a good judge of character, loyal to her family and friends and her career continued through the years and latest over 5 decades. I was so fortunate to know her. One night at dinner I told her of my extensive collection of her memorabilia -- she found out that I had some items that even she didn't have and was delighted when I gave them to her. One thing in my collection was an original vintage movie poster from "White Christmas".
This framed poster now is one of the first items that I bring out for Christmas no matter where we have lived or what the decor style. It is such a huge part f my childhood memories and my friendship with Rosemary. She signed it "And may all your Christmases be white -- With Love, Rosemary"