Rarely does an audio recording produce pleasure that equals the delights of a live performance. Mimi Rockwell’s Yankee Doodle Streudel, however, does just that. Mimi’s stories take the listener on a nostalgic journey through a simpler time when family interaction taught life lessons leavened with a huge dose of love. The stories’ themes, though set in a German-American context, are universal. Everyone will identify with some aspect of the child portrayed.
Queen Diva takes the listener on a circular journey that will strike a chord with anyone who has been dissatisfied with his or her given name. Amanda begins with the discovery of a photo in a hymnal and evolves into the most beautiful ghost story that I have ever heard. The vivid images in this story take the listener through a range of emotions: joy, love, grief, and, inevitably, hope.
Uncle Herman begins with the heartbreak of an opportunity forsaken for the sake of family obligation, but then proceeds to embark upon a delightful journey that leads to true love. Apple Streudel addresses an awkward moment at a children’s birthday party.
The Movie Camera brings the Great Depression to life in a trip to the movies that yields a treasure of family memories and stories for years to come. Grandpa Santa Claus centers around a grandfather who is asked to play Santa at an annual Christmas party. The events that follow leave one wondering at the irony of how a time-honored tradition, so often taken for granted, could go so wrong.
Greenthumb, a story of Mimi’s mother’s love of plants, brings this lovely collection of tales to its end, with the perfect combination of wonder and hope.
Well-written and filled with haunting images and lovely details, these stories do not end when the CD is finished. Mimi’s stories elicit sweet memories that help us forget life’s disappointments and tragedies, if only for a little while. Her stories create pictures and scenes that will infuse the listeners’ minds and hearts with peace and beauty. Isn’t that what storytelling is all about?