Friday, December 9, 2011

Frosty The Snowman

The story of Frosty the Snowman is a kind of miniature of the Gospel.  Not the story of Jesus, but His promise to us of the resurrection.  Frosty prances about with the children, having fun and singing.  When he begins to melt away, he promises a return.  One imagines a glorified Frosty who is even stronger, happier, and even more of an adventure.

The song was recorded in 1950 by Gene Autry.  Autry had struck gold with his hit Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer in 1949.  This was indeed the hayday of classic Christmas music. Silver Bells, All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, Jingle Bell Rock, Santa Baby, Nuttin' for Christmas, and Let it Snow all had their first hit recordings in the 10 years following the war.

A variety of artists have recorded Frosty the Snowman. The Beach Boys, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, The Jackson 5, and even Burt Reynolds have recorded Frosty's song.  Second Degree, Bing Crosby recorded a version of the song too.

Now, we've already done the post on Bing Crosby (click above link), but I wanted to share some unsettling things I discovered while reading Bing's obituary on the Holy Cross Cemetery website.  I had heard that he was a stern father who had disowned his gay son and was harsh with his other children as well.  In his final requests he writes
"Except as otherwise provided in this will and the trust, I have intentionally and with full knowledge omitted to provide for my heirs, and I have specifically failed to provide for any child of mine whether mentioned in this will or in said trust or otherwise."
Okay, so he probably continued the disavowing of his son through the trust.  Perhaps he excluded the others as well, but trust records are not public, so he may have left his straight children or grandchildren something.  You have to admit that the wording is harsh, distant, cold, and final.  He goes on
"my funeral services be conducted in a Catholic church; that they be completely private with attendance limited to my wife and the above-mentioned children; that a low Mass be said and that no memorial service of any kind be held. I further direct that, insofar as possible, services be held without any publicity, other than that which my family permits after my burial, which shall be in a Catholic cemetery."
The obituary continues
 After his death, several of his sons painted a picture of Crosby as a cold and distant father, who severely punished his children. Son Gary Crosby wrote a controversial tell-all biography titled, "Going My Own Way" in 1983. Two other sons, Lindsay and Dennis, committed suicide.
Here he is singing with his wife and three of the seven he would eventually have.  Notice the extreme awkwardness of the family dynamic.  Did one of these boys end up taking his own life?

Does anyone else see a disconnect between the insistence on a Catholic burial and the hateful will?  What about the two suicides and (we read in the article) two marriages.  Do you think Bing is currently being praised for his Catholic faithfulness or suffering purification for the abandonment of souls he was blessed to have as children and charged to raise?  Can a Catholic parent disown a child because they struggle with or are plagued with a sin?   Perhaps Bing should have taken his character from White Christmas' advice and counted his blessings.

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