Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Boy Chorister

Back in the early 1950's, before his voice "got the goslings", mr. kenju was a "boy chorister" at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.


Do you know what "getting the goslings" means? It is that squeaky, high-low voice that boys get when they are going into puberty.



Can you guess which one he is?* Check out the kid whose neck is bent over so far to the side it looks like he could keel over any minute. As children, he and I had the same affliction: eyes too sensitive to bright sunlight. There are very few photos of me as a kid with my face straight on and my eyes open. I am happy to report that we have both outgrown that, and now our photos are somewhat better. At least our heads are on straight (most of the time).

* 2nd row, third from left. Photo taken atop The RCA Building, Rockefeller Center.
Now scroll down for a polar opposite!
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21 comments:

Angie said...

That is a very cool photo!

srp said...

I noticed the little fellow on the front row who has his head tilted exactly like Mr. Kenju and in fact looks a lot like him. At first I thought he was a clone! ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great photo!

Becky68 said...

Very Nice Photo! Isn't that the oddest time, when boys voices go all over the register, I remember it as very amusing when my brother's voice did that, I wasn't aware there was a name for it though!
I'm visiting late on the Site of the day from Micheles, (work interrupts my week) I especially wanted to come by & let you know I changed blog sites so you can comment at my blog now.

vicki said...

GREAT PHOTO! I love this picture, Judy. And there are at least three guys with serious tipsy. Mr. Kenju just happens to be the cutest. "Getting the goslings"- wonderful expressions and quite fitting.

Maria said...

I remember when my brother's voice was changing. I often felt I was in the room with two different people.
Thanks for sharing the "getting the goslings" expression. I had never heard it called this before but it certainly describes the changing voice syndrome very well.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over this time Judy and I was quite surprised to find 3 new posts! I was only here yesterday, I think.

Your husband does indeed look rather sensitive to the sun. I was like that too as a kid, and still haven't outgrown it. I'm glad to hear that eventually your eyes become less sensitive. It's interesting to see what the top of the RCA Building looks like. I've seen it a number of times from the ground but never from the air.

Raggedy said...

Great post and picture.
I enjoyed reading pretty things as well.
As for the blogliness all I have to say is Wooooooohooooooo!
and WTG and ^5.
I am pathetic at learning anything related to computers. I still have not figured it out.

Have a wonderful day!
*^_^
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Claude said...

Am glad you explained 'having the goslings', it saved me googling it ;)
What a great photo. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful picture! I love the city behind them...it has a real nostalgic look.

ET said...

Good for Mr. Kenju for being part of the chorus.
My son got to go to NYC about that age when he was in the band.

Alan G said...

Well alright for Mr. Kenju....

That has to be something he reflects back on with fond memories.

Never heard that expression but it works for me...as long, of course, as you know what a 'gosling' is. :)

Anonymous said...

First, there is no way they would have ever got me near that corner for the photo. (Guess that is why I chose to be in submarines.)

Second, what a great photo.

Third, I still have squinty eye syndrome, even worse after having Lasik surgery.

Beverly said...

I love boys' choirs. Great photo.

Greg Finnegan said...

I too sang with a choir at St. Patrick's - the Naval Academy Catholic Choir. Came in on buses Saturday night, went to Russian bars in lower Manhattan with a friend, cheap hotel, then 9:00 Mass and a long bus ride back to Annapolis. We did not get any cool pictures, though.

Terri said...

What a great background shot photo. Always loved visiting St. Patrick's on my visits to NYC.
That light sensitivity....I never did outgrow it. So I always have sunglasses with me, especially living in the Sunshine State.

Anonymous said...

Great photograph. I love the view of the city behind them. I suppose it was to remind them of their trip!

Carmi said...

Whoever conceptualized this photo is a genius. Talk about an image for the ages!

I'm almost blind in sunlight unless I'm wearing shades. I'm so light-sensitive that I can practically see at night: I feel your respective pain.

Love the head tilt. He always did stand out in a crowd, eh?

PI said...

Got cut off in mid stream and bounced back to UK. Just to say his head is at the same angle as the boy in front to the left.

Shephard said...

Wow. That must have been an enriching experience. I loved being part of the choir. Not just when I had solos either... but the whole experience, being part of something larger and creating that sound. I remember it so fondly.
Never heard the goslings reference. That's funny! My voice went silent for one week when I was 15, couldn't sing. The next week, I had my voice back, and not that much deeper. :)

Great photo.
~S :)

Anonymous said...

That is SUCH a great shot! Wonderful story too. I had never heard the gosling term.............

Love it.