John Updike

CHRISTMAS STORY: The Carol Sing by John Updike

December 29, 2018

From Early Stories 1953-1975 Surely one of the natural wonders of Tarbox was Mr. Burley at the Town Hall carol sing.  How he would jubilate, how he would God-rest those merry gentlemen, how he would boom out when the male voices became Good King Wenceslas: Mark my footsteps, good my page; Treat thou in them boldly: Thou shalt find the winter’s rage Freeze thy blood less co-oh-ldly. When he hit a good “oh,” standing beside him was like being inside a great transparent Christmas ball.  He had what you’d have to call a God-given bass.  This year, we other male voices just peck at the tunes: Wendell Huddlestone, whose hardware store has become the pizza place where the dropouts collect after dark; Squire Wentworth, who is still [...]