Museum Musings: call the manager

Happy Holidays y’all.  Every Christmas Eve since 1984 – from dusk to eleven pm, rain or shine – The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck, a sixty-two foot eighteen-wheeler flatbed truck decorated with Christmas scenes, thousands of lights, and a powerful sound system, drives through the streets of our L.A. neighborhood accompanied by Santa and two-hundred dancing elves singing Christmas carols.

You don’t have to be Christian to enjoy it… It’s the only time of the year when all our neighbors (not only those of us with dogs) are out on the sidewalk.  I wish I could show you the kids faces, especially when they see Santa.  Have a look at Rick Holbrook’s video:


I can’t remember the last time I wrote about the Museum. Did you miss the stories? Here are a few…


This group of students from China wanted a photo with yours truly

One morning a few weeks before Christmas my co-worker Julian answered the phone:

Woman: “Hello I was in your Museum store about two months ago and I saw a book – a photography book – I don’t know the title or what it was about, but I know for sure it was a photography book.”

Julian: “What was the photography book about?”

Woman: “I don’t know,”

Julian: “Can you tell me anything else about it?”

Woman: “Oh I know, it was the last one on the shelf. Do you still have it?”

When Julian said he couldn’t help her, she asked to speak to the Manager.


Me: “Six post cards will be $6.50 please.”

Man: “Should be $6.48”

Me: “Excuse me?”

His wife: “Give her the two cents!”

Man: “No! It’s $6.48!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, I have nothing to do with the way the computer calculates the taxes…”

Man interrupting me: “Well I know it should be $6.48!”

Wife: “Give her the two cents!”

Man: “I know my math!”

Of course I could have taken his $6.48 and been off two cents at the end of the day, but he was so rude and spoke in such a condescending manner that I said: “Would you like me to call the manager?”

Wife: “For god’s sake give her the two cents!”

Man: “Okay damnit, here…!” he counted out the exact amount with many pennies and nickles,  said, “At least you’re literate!” and stormed off shouting to his wife about the whole of America being ignorant and illiterate, but without giving me a chance to say another word.



When you need to rest your tired feet, pull up a chair and make yourself at home.

Three-year-old Ivy couldn’t decide between nap, recess or lunch when I asked her what she liked best at school.


Remember the fire near the museum last summer?

Image 6

I took this photo from my car-pool buddy’s moving car a few days later. As you can see the fire came right down to the road…  DSCN7498

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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43 Responses to Museum Musings: call the manager

  1. magsx2 says:

    I loved the video, it is the first time I have seen anything like it, what a way to celebrate Christmas and get the neighbourhood together. All smiling faces, you could tell everyone of all age groups was enjoying the show. Just fantastic. 😀
    I also love the photo of the lady relaxing in the chair, it must be a really good book.
    A Very Merry Christmas to you and your family as well, enjoy.

    • dearrosie says:

      When you hear the singing and rush outside its such a happy occasion and a lovely opportunity to greet our neighbors (most of whom come out with glasses of wine) with Merry Christmas.
      Last night while we were enjoying the music one of my neighbors told me that idea for the truck originated with a nearby church.

      A very Merry Christmas to you too Mags – though it’s already Boxing Day by you.

  2. Arindam says:

    It’s always fun to read your museum stories. 🙂
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Rosie Auntie. Have a great time!

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you Arindam. You are so kind.
      Most people in this country are on holiday the week between Christmas and New Year so its a very happy time with many visits with old friends. Is it the same in India?

      • Arindam says:

        Yes Rosie Auntie. It’s quite same here too. When we were young, I and my friends used to go to a near forest riding our bicycles during this time every year for Picnic. My home town is very close to a forest which is famous for tiger and elephant reserve project. So we used to have lots of fun during this time of year. And then as tourists from different countries used to come and stay in our town during their visit to this forest; so for us it was a big thing to see them walking on streets and communicating with them in whatever little English we knew. It was fun and believe me when I say during those days, we had a feeling that foreigners come from some other planet as we did not have much exposure to the outside world. 🙂
        But now things have changed a lot and I am alone in a different city. And since last couple of years I am even unable to attend my dad’s birthday, which is also Christmas Day. 🙂

      • dearrosie says:

        I’m sad for you that you’re unable to join your parents for Christmas. We too are lonely because our children aren’t able to join us…

        About 15 years ago we were planning a trip to India (which had to be cancelled unfortunately) but one of the places we were going to visit was a tiger elephant reserve 🙂

        I’ve been to tourist sites and been welcomed by large gangs of kids so I can just imagine what you’re describing. Just yesterday I found my photographs from a trip to an ancient Mayan site in Belize – I’d taken several pictures of the welcoming committee of boys. I’ve got to scan all those old photos so I can share them with you.

  3. sybil says:

    Love the Christmas truck, decorations and singers …

    I always enjoy your museum stories …

    • dearrosie says:

      Something’s going on with WP. I replied to this yesterday….
      After the Christmas Truck goes down our street its as if fairy dust has been sprinkled over everyone because we’re all smiling and Happy.

  4. shoreacres says:

    The Caroling Truck reminds me of two things – the annual boat parades here, with all of the decorated and beautifully lighted boats going up and down the channels, and the Christmas parade in my home town. Lots of towns have parades, but ours was special. I nearly wrote about it this year, but ran out of Christmas season!

    We had a town square, with a decorated courthouse that was so bright airliners en route to Chicago, especially, would make a fly-by for people to see it. But the parade was the best. Everyone in town went to the square, and there were carolers, floats and of course Santa. It wasn’t as spectacular as yours, but it was plenty of fun!

    I have missed the museum stories. I just wish there weren’t so many grumpy people in the world. It does sound like your $6.48 man’s wife was accustomed to his – attitude!

    • dearrosie says:

      A large parade of specially decorated lit-up boats going up and down the channels must add an enormous amount of festive cheer to your community.

      Your home town’s Christmas parade sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading about it next year. Ours is very simple – we don’t have floats or marching bands – just one large truck and “elves” dancing and singing behind it.

      Gosh I didn’t realize so many of you enjoyed the museum stories…. thank you for letting me know. I felt sorry for the two cents wife – I tried to imagine what its like living with a man who picks an argument every opportunity he can.

  5. lexiesnana says:

    This was so nice.What a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas.

  6. Those wildfires are SCARY! I have never had to deal with that particular weather phenomenon and I’m really glad. I love this mish-mash post — so many different things going on and WOW! what a fun parade in your neighborhood. I love it when people make a big fuss about holidays — it’s such a wonderful quality of joy & excitement. (And btw, I hate when people put their bare feet up on public furniture — that totally grosses me out!) As for Mr. $6.48 … you should get the Nobel Peace Prize for not cussing him out !

    • dearrosie says:

      If you start a post with old fashioned Christmas carols and end with a fire it can only be called a mishmash! Love that word Betty. Thanks for staying through to the end… Its been very hot and dry the past few summers so the ground was very dry but lucky for us the fire-fighters managed to prevent the fire spreading to the houses or across the road to the Museum.

      What I really love about the Christmas Caroling Truck is this is Los Angeles in 2012 and our children are *spoiled* and have seen and done *everything* (don’t forget that Disneyland is less than an hour away… ) yet there’s such excitement when the old fashioned truck drives down the streets of our neighborhood…

      We don’t often see people taking off shoes AND socks at the Museum.
      I accept the Nobel Prize with humility and thanks. I hope I don’t have to share it with Mr $6.48’s wife! 🙂

  7. theonlycin says:

    I sure have missed the stories. Would have stuck that two cents where the sun don’t shine.

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for your nice comment Cin. When you work in retail the mantra is “the customer is always right”… but it doesn’t mean the sun shines every day.
      I’m delighted to hear that you also enjoy the Museum stories. I’ll have to write another one pronto…

  8. On our drive from Connecticut to Georgia over the past few days we passed and were passed by many eighteen-wheeler flatbed trucks, but none so warm and festive as the Magical Christmas Caroling Truck that gently floats through your neighborhood bringing good cheer and joy to all! What an inspiring tradition to look forward to every year.

    What a miserable misanthrope that man is, who made such a mountain out of a molehill! I don’t know how he can stand being around himself and wonder what on earth his wife ever saw in him… (Somehow I think the 2 cents wasn’t the real problem…) I love your museum stories – you see so many facets of human nature that many of us never encounter in our daily lives.

    • dearrosie says:

      How long does it take to drive from Connecticut to Georgia? Is there any attractive scenery? My word wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to have a Magical Christmas Caroling Truck driving across our freeways! It would certainly improve the mood in every car that drove by 🙂

      The way he carried on I think he most probably argues with everyone he meets. If someone is friendly and is short of five or ten or even twenty-five cents I can easily say “Not to worry!” ….

  9. hey amiga
    sorry i missed this story, although tonight i had tlots of quiet time to enjoy all that you had to share! i agree with the others, your museum stories are great, and it reminds us to appreciate the nice people who cross our paths. i’m sure that man’s wife gave him a hard time when they got in the car!


  10. Kathy says:

    I like reading your museum stories. 🙂 People are the funniest.

    • dearrosie says:

      I enjoy “meeting people” and love “watching people” and I feel so fortunate that this blog has given me an outlet to share my stories. I have to thank my friend Julia for her encouragement to start a blog.

  11. bronxboy55 says:

    Those people in the video look pretty bundled up. Does it get cold there in December? (Never mind — I don’t want to know. I’ve shoveled our driveway four times in the last twenty-four hours.)

    Great stuff, Rosie. For some reason, there’s nothing more entertaining than reading about your frustrating interactions with Museum visitors.

    Happy New Year!

    • dearrosie says:

      It gets cool at night even in the summer, but nothing like having to shovel your driveway four times in twenty-four hours. My deepest sympathy 😥

      Thank you for always being so kind about enjoying the stories from my cash register Charles.

  12. Robin says:

    I really enjoyed the video. How wonderful! 200 is a lot of elves. Having them dance is a bonus. 🙂 I enjoyed your museum stories, too. It reminds me somewhat of when I worked in a pharmacy. People can be so entertaining (not always amusing, but almost always entertaining).

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m glad you watched the video because it’s the best way to understand the Caroling Truck and the elves. I went out to watch it this year without taking my camera. I didn’t feel like being a journalist – I just wanted to enjoy it.

      Have you ever shared your stories from your pharmacy days? Thanks for popping over Robin.

      • Robin says:

        I don’t think I have, Rosie. I quit working in the pharmacy a few months after I began blogging publicly (in 2006). If I wrote about it at all at the time, it was to grumble and grouch because I was going through a physically painful time and the stress of working for the Evil Empire (Wal-Mart) was not making it better.

        People can be pretty amazingly funny, that’s for sure. I was thinking the other day about the college student who wanted to refill her birth control prescription. I asked if she had her prescription number or the package with the prescription label on it. She did not, and said she hadn’t filled it at our pharmacy. I asked where she had filled it. She didn’t know. After squinting up her face as if in deep thought she yelled, “I know! I filled it in New Jersey! Just call New Jersey and they can tell you the name of the pharmacy.” Uh. Right. I do hope her college years helped with both her memory and her knowledge of how the world works. 🙂

      • dearrosie says:

        Oh gosh Robin you worked for Walmart? Wow. When you said pharmacy I = you worked for a drug store, but – sigh – there aren’t many of those left.
        I’m also shocked almost daily by the relative stupidity of our college kids. So many of them come to our museum to do a class assignment and let their mothers do it all for them choose the painting and buy the books…

        I didn’t realize you’d been blogging so long. You’re one of the pioneers!

  13. Could you have socked Julian on his nose?

  14. Regardless of religion, CHristmas is that time that brings people and community together. It is a time to rejoice and be happy. It is a time to for a moment forget our worries. A fun video and images. Belated Merry Christmas my friend.

    • dearrosie says:

      Christmas is supposed to be a happy time when family and friends get together to simply enjoy each other’s company. I think we’re forgetting all that and allowing it to become too materialistic.
      Happy New Year IT.

  15. What a special parade that brings the neighbors together. I like the idea of the flat bed truck on the move bringing cheer, spirit and music.
    Poor Mr. 2 cents. By and large people do have a sense of humor and it’s fun to connect with a quip or a smile–but, I can only imagine had the flat bed truck come through his neighborhood, he would have stayed in his house and even made a disturbance call. Love your potpourri of stories that lead me to creating my own…oh my, the liberties I take. A little of this, and a little of that — voilá another story. lol

    • dearrosie says:

      Georgette I think its wonderful that an old fashioned simple flatbed truck with Christmas carols drives through the streets of Hollywood in 2011!

      I’m delighted to know that my potpourri of stories has inspired you to create your own version. I’m coming over to see what you’ve been up to.

  16. munchow says:

    It’s always “fun” to read about things that happen at your museum – or maybe I should say interesting, because it’s not really fun to quarrel about two cents, is it? It’s hard to believe that someone would be offended by this even if he or she would be right.

    • dearrosie says:

      People often forget I’m there and can hear them when they stand in front of my cash register. Its astonishing what personal issues are discussed while I bag and total their purchases.
      If that man was so angry about the two cents imagine what he has to say about the economy.

  17. Doris says:

    like you museum stories…I thought it was a breeze working at a museum…glad you rested. Weird guy 2 cents, common.

  18. I love the Magical Christmas Caroling Truck!! That’s the liveliest version of the Little Drummer Boy I think I’ve ever heard!

    As far as your other stories about the museum….isn’t it always fun working with the public. It’s unbelievable how rude and ridiculous people can be!!

    Sorry I’m so late getting to all your posts. I got so far behind in January and am just now catching up!

    • dearrosie says:

      As far as I’m concerned its never too late to read a post Cathy. I appreciate your taking the time to read so many of my old posts.
      The Magical Caroling Truck is the happiest and nicest way to listen to Christmas carols.
      I had no idea that people would ask such ridiculous questions until I started working at the museum. Two women today asked me if the art on the walls were real paintings… I didn’t know what to say so I said, “Oh yes they are real!” They thanked me and walked away…

      • Hilarious!! You know, I’m sure I’ve asked stupid questions at different times like this!! I just put them out of my memory so I don’t have to think about how stupid I can be!! 🙂

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