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December 08, 2016
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Oh joy! Oh rapture!

Twelve-year-old Rebecca Bass, of Rock Hill, NY was "in it to win it" with sheet music in hand...

With the onslaught of news channels reminding me that time might be running out, I ran out to the Forestburgh Playhouse ( www.FBPlayhouse.org ) to catch the auditions of local children to play munchkins in the summer production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Not for the first time, I was reminded of the words of the scarecrow himself (with whom I most identify) who beams with joy as he exclaims “Oh joy! Oh rapture! I got a brain!”

I prefer to think “I got a brain” too, so taking the doomsday prophecy with a grain of salt, I observed the kids singing and dancing with “expression of great joy,” “carried away with pleasure” and “filled with ecstasy” (the Webster’s dictionary definition of rapture.) Kids from all over the Hudson Valley turned out in droves for an opportunity to participate in the beloved classic, and there is clearly talent amongst the smaller set. “Judging” by my observations, there will be many proud parents and families cheering them all on throughout the summer-long production.

There were Facebook events (and even some private parties) galore, rejoicing (?) in the possibility of the Rapture... so naturally, I played along—snapping pics, engaging in thought-provoking conversation with my friends and fellow sinners, hoping against hope that the news feeds were wrong.

Six p.m. (EST) came and went with a lot of fanfare, but little substance, and I breathed a sigh of relief, while feeling oddly disappointed. I recalled the sage words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who once said, “The rapture of pursuing is the prize the vanquished gain” and in that moment, realized what winning feels like. To my chagrin, I’m still here. Are you?