Thursday, August 6, 2009

Whistle me Elmo

I consider myself a pretty fair whistler, but I've never been mistaken for Elmo Tanner.

In fact, until a friend told me a story the other day I had never heard of Elmo Tanner.

So let me tell you the story. My friend was in a store with his father, who was whistling a happy tune as they were walking down an aisle shopping. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a man appeared and exclaimed: "I know you -- you're Elmo Tanner!''

Well, there was just no convincing this guy that my friend's father was not Elmo Tanner. The fellow was dead certain that the whistle he heard could only have come from the man who performed with the Ted Weems Orchestra. Now we all remember, with the help of Google, that Weems was a popular bandleader in the Midwest back in the day who helped launch the career of Perry Como. (Tanner, though talented himself, apparently didn't have the staying power of the more famous vocalist.)

Anyhow, they finally shook this guy and finished their shopping. But once they got to the checkout counter the pest appeared again -- more certain than ever that he was in the midst of a whistling legend. "C'mon, I know you're Elmo Tanner -- you gotta give me your autograph!''

So my buddy's father gave it to him. The autograph, I mean.

There's a life lesson there for everyone. I'm just sorry I never got to hear my friend's father whistle, because I have absolutely no doubt he was in a league with the great Elmo Tanner.

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