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Singin' in the Rain!

What a Glorious Feeling…

'Karen and Jay share thoughts on the virtues of finding sunshine even, and especially, when faced with a rainy day.'

Click here to enjoy the song: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (including the goodnight kiss):

Have you ever had to face a rainy day – and all of a sudden something comes over you? A feeling of joy and excitement. A determination that you’re just not going to let that rainy day get the best of you? Something down deep gives you the confidence that you’re in charge. You can make your own kind of weather. You can overcome what’s happening ‘outside,’ by what you have the power to make happen on the ‘inside.’ That is, what you can do with your mind, your spirit, and your imagination. You can bring sunshine and optimism to a rainy day. Both figuratively and literally.

Well, there’s a scene from a movie that captures this feeling so perfectly. You may recall the 1950’s classic ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ when Gene Kelly’s character Don Lockwood famously jumps onto a light post, umbrella in hand while getting absolutely drenched by a rainstorm but without a care in the world. If you read the script, the scene is only described in six words, “Don dances in the wet street”. Yet Gene Kelly’s performance extends for more than four minutes and has famously come to symbolize that even when we might get rained on in life, no matter the circumstance, there’s still much we can both be grateful for and look forward to (like being dry for example).

It’s fair to say that we all have those days when we wake up and it just feels nothing is going our way, where even the smallest things can lead you to feeling like you’ve been dealt a bad hand, the metaphorical ‘rainy day’. Life however is very much like the weather, there will be rainy days, snowy days, cloudy days, and sunny days. And, as we saw in ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ rain is used as a tool in the beginning to demonstrate that Don is experiencing sadness, while at the end, the rain is bringing renewal and new beginnings. So, while every day won’t be sunshine and rainbows, how we take the good and the bad and choose to act on them is what makes all the difference.

Sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. Let’s face it, they’re incredibly powerful and like the weather, can sometimes be impossible to alter. Yet I’m reminded of the phrase ‘April showers bring May flowers’ in this case meaning that without the rain, we don’t get the beauty that it has the potential to bring. Similarly in our own lives, it’s important to remember that when we’re feeling down or at a low point, it’s often those times when we learn and grow the most. So, in short, if you can embrace the rainy days like you might welcome a sunny day, with a full heart and as an opportunity to learn or grow, you too might just find yourself ‘Singin’ in the Rain!’

The Old Farmers’ Almanac - The Ultimate All-Weather Guide!

Visiting the grocery store we often see in the magazine section the Old Farmers’ Almanac. I suspect most people probably wonder what it is, what’s its purpose, and who publishes it? Being a Granite State native, I had a pretty good idea as to the answer to these questions but decided to do a little investigative research to make sure and to learn a bit more about this New Hampshire-based publication.

Founded in 1792 by Robert Thomas, the Farmers’ Almanac became an instant resource guide and success. The first edition was published when George Washington was President and turned out to be 80 percent accurate with regards to forecasting the weather, sunrises, and sunsets along with providing vital information related to crop growing. Now 80 percent might not seem that great, however, compare it to your own experience in the accuracy of the weather forecasts that you’ve been told to follow – especially, given the tools that the Almanac had available back in the late 18th century!

Even more impressive, the formula and projection models created in the 18th century are in fact still used today. Other almanacs haven’t even come close to an 80th percentile of accuracy and with our current sophisticated weather models, even they sometimes miss the mark pretty badly. Today, as with the first edition, the Farmers’ Almanac is printed every year by Dublin, New Hampshire-based Yankee Publishing following the model it used over 200 years ago. The stats are still strong and so are the roots of the publication.

The Farmers’ Almanac has had only seven different editors over its time and has even played a role in history. In fact, here’s an interesting tidbit I just recently learned. During WWII, a German spy plane was shot down. They discovered a copy of the Farmers’ Almanac inside the pilot's flight jacket. The pilot was most likely relying on the almanac for weather patterns, sunsets, and sunrises. Evidently, the Farmers’ Almanac isn’t just for farmers, it's used for military tactics as well.

I think of New Hampshire being ‘first’ in so many ways – e.g., ‘First in the Nation Primary,’ first to declare independence from England, along with many more firsts. And here again – first in the most successful and useful of almanacs – the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Successfully publishing for more than two hundred years – and we certainly expect to see it around for at least another two hundred years!

Singin’ in the Rain – The Story Behind the Movie and Song

The iconic scene of Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the rain is one that perfectly captures the essence of happiness and glee in times of struggle. The movie ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ was produced during the transition from silent films to ‘talkies,’ and its humorous plot focuses on the difficulties experienced by some of the movie idols from the silent screen era making that transition to ‘talkies.’ In the movie, the star-studded cast performs such memorable numbers as ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Make ‘em Laugh.’ The movie introduced Debbie Reynolds to the big screen, and despite having no previous dancing skills, she kept pace with the perfectionist Kelly. Interestingly, Gene Kelly had a high fever during the production of the dance, but he wasn’t about to let that deter him from delivering a brilliant performance.

And most notably, there is the song – ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’ Although the movie was made in the 1950’s, its interpretation of the 1920’s is true to the song’s long history. In 1929, the roaring 20’s were about to come to an abrupt end. The song, written by composer Arthur Freed with lyricist Nacio Herb Brown and sung by actor Cliff Edwards, premiered in June 1929, only months before Black Tuesday. On that infamous day the stock Markets crashed starting the downward spiral effect leading to the Great Depression. Presumably composed to reflect the love life of the lyricist Nacio Herb Brown, the song reflects how despite all the rain - the sun is on the singer's face, and he is ready for love. Having a jazz tempo, the song was different from the other tunes of the day as it starts with a 32-bar chorus followed by a 24-bar verse layout before repeating.

The song was a huge success during the Great Depression, but the momentum couldn’t be sustained, and the song faded in popularity. It was not until 1950 that singer Dean Martin revived it for a variety television show. In 1952, the song became the soundtrack and title for the now classic film - and the rest, as they say, “is history!”

When we think of the movies, there are always a few images, quotes, or actors that tend to immediately come to mind. Nostalgia for a film we watched as a child with our family, fondness for another that was incredibly formative, or simply one we love to laugh at. The movies truly do have a special place in many of our hearts. When I think of the movies, an image that’s guaranteed to come to mind is the song ‘Singin in the Rain’ – as performed by the uniquely talented Gene Kelly. When you hear this inspirational tune, it is almost certain to bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face.

Positive Profile of the Week: Al Kaprielian – the Ultimate All-Weather Man!

This week we are delighted to highlight a true Granite State legend. A man who has educated, informed and entertained us with his meteorological and performance genius – weatherman extraordinaire, Al Kaprielian.

The wild New Hampshire weather patterns, with sudden and extreme changes, is often cursed. However, it is hard to deny the excitement of a good old fashioned Nor’easter snowstorm, or a strong line of thunderstorms rolling in on a warm July late afternoon. Al Kaprielian, the veteran weatherman is well known throughout the Granite State for his unmatched energy and enthusiasm during his on-air segments. He has truly leaned into some of his own highly engaging and sometimes a bit eccentric personality traits and has brought a unique style to broadcasting weather that has made him a beloved staple of New Hampshire news.

With his nearly patented high-pitched description of “hiiigh pressure,” and his jovial on-air presentation that often has included quick and sudden movements, and even once displayed jumping jacks during a broadcast, Al Kaprielian has made the weather segment interesting and has made people smile. He has become truly famous here in ‘Live Free or Die’ country and even landed in the lyrics of a Jay-Z parody New Hampshire rap song that has over 2 million views on YouTube. Over the course of his career, he has also been awarded the title of Best Weather Forecaster, Best Media Personality, and Best Weatherperson by various news and media publications.

“As far back as elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a weatherman,” Al expressed, in a recent conversation with one of our Sunshine Initiative teammates. He fondly remembered his first job opportunity as a weatherman back on Labor Day of 1983. And now, with 30 years of teaching, observing, and broadcasting weather, he is still engaged in his passion, recently starting a part-time position with a media outlet in Lowell, Massachusetts. He highlighted a sentiment that runs as a deep and consistent truth here in New Hampshire; authenticity will always remain a beautiful and respected commodity. “My passion and enthusiasm for the weather was always sincere, and I think people recognized that” he stated. “Severe summer weather, snowstorms, hot weather for the beach, you name it, I loved reporting on it.”

In an age where so many people often overwork themselves to fit-in and conform, maybe we all can take a lesson from Al Kaprielian. He has pursued his passion with an “all-in” spirit and has courageously opened-up and let New Hampshire viewers see his genuine excitement for all things weather. Al is currently a resident of historic Merrimack, NH, and a graduate of Lyndon State College in Vermont. Despite his statewide stardom over the years, he has often found time in his schedule to visit local schools to teach students about science and meteorology. He continues to mentor young aspiring weather forecasters today. Al Kaprielian is arguably a New Hampshire weather legend, whose positive enthusiasm and unabashed excitement for changes in the atmosphere will not soon be forgotten! Thank you, Al, for all that you contribute to our great Granite State!

Quotes of the Week: Singin’ in the Rain – Optimism

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain." - Vivian Greene

"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet." - Bob Marley

"The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement." - Helen Keller

"The most important thing is to look ahead. The past is your anchor." - Maxime Lagacé


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