Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic


Dad is second from the left in the front.

My father is Ray Ludwig.  He’s traveled in ministry most of my life and can play a Hammond B-3 like you wouldn’t believe!  He’s preached and ministered through music all over the world and has traveled in ministry with Kenneth Copeland, Jimmy Swaggart, Doris Akers (composer of “Sweet, Sweet Spirit”), the late Hilton Sutton (one of his closest friends), the late Dr. C.M. Ward (Revivaltime Radio Broadcast), Roger McDuff, and so many others.  This picture is from the 1950s when Daddy was traveling with various Gospel quartets.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my father lately.  I am undeniably proud of my Dad and his story, but more than anything, I love him.

BookWalk: The Marvelous Toy

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Once again, I’ve chosen a book that blends my love for words with my passion for music.  The Marvelous Toy, is a book that contains the lyrics of one of my favorite songs.  I can’t begin to determine how many times I’ve happily listened to Peter, Paul, and Mary sharing this song and felt the joy of my own childhood.

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Tom Paxton is the composer of “The Marvelous Toy” and his words are brought to life through the brilliant illustrations of Steve Cox.  Paxton is a legend in the music industry and has notable fans, such as Pete Seeger.

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“…Paxton tells the tale of a strange and wonderful toy that moves and marches, bops and stops, zips, and whirs.”  (Taken from the cover notes)

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The Marvelous Toy shares the whole-hearted exuberance a father has as he shares one of his own treasured childhood toys with his son.  That is indeed what this book and song mean to me.  As a mom of two boys, I’ve taken a warm pleasure in sharing the song with them and hope that when they have their own children they’ll do the same.

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Included in this version of the book is a CD with four songs!

1)  “The Marvelous Toy” (with vocals)

2)  “Let the Wild Wind Blow”

3)  “All the Children”

4)  “The Marvelous Toy” (Instrumental)

Make some treasured memories!  Read and sing this one with your friends; young and old!

The Marvelous Toy

Tom Paxton, Words and Music

Steve Cox, Illustrator

Imagine!/A Peter Yarrow Book

ISBN – 13:  978-0-9822939-2-8

BookWalk: Forever Young

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Forever Young, by Bob Dylan and illustrated by Paul Rogers, offers a timeless blessing to all generations.

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This selection repeats Bob Dylan’s words of hopefulness and expectation as he looks in to the future and finds a world in which peace and harmony reign.  Rogers, the illustrator, has graciously allowed us to see his vision of those words and that world.

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Not only does this book repeat the lyrics of the classic song, but through Rogers’ illustrations numerous tributes are made to people and places that colored the 1960s.

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In the initial illustrations, a young boy is captured by the singing and strumming of a man on the street.  The man gives a guitar to the little boy; passing on the tool of his trade and the blessings that accompany it.

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Throughout the pages, the reader sees the young man grow and mature as he follows in the footsteps of the street musician and his message.  Eventually, the young man passes on that old guitar to a young girl with full expectation of the continuance of the message.

This book satisfies me in multiple ways.  It speaks to my musician, my teacher, and my book lover.  I hope you will enjoy it, too.

Forever Young

Bob Dylan, Author (Composer)

Paul Rogers, Illustrator


ISBN:  1-4169-5808-8

BookWalk: This Land is Your Land, 10th Anniversary Edition


          Keeping with this week’s patriotic theme, I thought I would share a book that offers a musical slice of Americana.  The title is This Land is Your Land (10th Anniversary Edition) and it visually demonstrates the song of the same title.  Woody Guthrie wrote the words and music of this American standard in 1956 and it shares a sentiment that crosses racial, gender, and generational lines with grace.  I’ve spent years teaching music in one form or another, as well as serving as a pre-kindergarten teacher in recent years and I can’t separate music from general education.  It’s one of the most effective tools available to us and when you combine that with the power of reading, you have a recipe for changing the world.

          Page after page, you’ll find this to be an illustration rich book thanks to the artistry of Kathy Jakobsen.  Her paintings honor Guthrie’s words and legacy, as well as provide jump-starts for history and social studies discussions and lessons.

          You’ll also find the illustrations range from calm landscapes to panoramic scenes and then murals that provide glimpses of our history and heritage.  The corners of many of the pages have blocks with quotes from Guthrie and his songs.  Famous architectural jewels, natural landmarks, images of migrant farm workers, and other bits of Americana occupy the pages that remind us of Guthrie’s forward-thinking vision for our nation. 

          The above illustration depicts a depression-era soup line, one of the sadder scenes of our heritage.  Guthrie didn’t shy away from our realities and just sing about the beauty of our nation.  Instead, he emphasized what our nation could become and what roles we should play in that evolution.  The lyrics for this stanza of the song are:

            “In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people;

            By the relief office I seen my people;

            As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,

            Is this land made for you and me?”

          Later in the book, the little white church is revisited and we see it in its restored and vital splendor serving a community of diverse Americans.  The stanza represented with this new vision offers a pro-active example for all readers and singers to follow.

            “Nobody living can ever stop me,

            As I go walking that freedom highway;

            Nobody living can ever make me turn back;

            This land was made for you and me.”

          A three-page pull-out poster, the words and music for the chorus of the song, and a tribute to Woody Guthrie by another famed folk-singing legend, Pete Seeger are all included in the pages of this book.  The reasons for sharing this treasure with your children are numerous.  Its message is multigenerational and ties in elements of literature, history, architecture, art, music, and social justice issues.  From a teacher’s perspective, this is a teaching tool around which a whole, multi-subject unit could be based.  Go. Find it.  Take it all in and pass it on to your children.

This Land is Your Land, (10th Anniversary Edition)

Music and Lyrics by Woody Guthrie

Paintings by Kathy Jakobsen

Tribute by Pete Seeger

Publisher:  Little, Brown

ISBN-10:  0-316-04272-2

ISBN-13:  978-0-316-04272-2