I Remember Mama…

Songs my mother taught me
In the days long vanish’d
Seldom from her eyelids
Were the teardrops banish’d

Now I teach my children
Each melodious measure
oft the tears are flowing
oft they flow from my mem’ry treasure (Anton Dvorak)

My mom and I used to sing this together. It was a heavily marked song in my great grandmother’s song book. It is an old timey tune, full of pathos and emotion written back in the days when people’s lives were more precarious than our own. It is my favorite.

One of my favorite old movies is “I Remember Mama” with Irene Dunne and  Barbara Bel Geddes. I have made my own little movie to remember my own mom, Nancy Ann. She was my rock and my best friend. My mom loved the Metropolitan Opera and listened to the radio broadcasts every Saturday. She had a gorgeous soprano singing voice (think Kathleen Battle) and was sunny and bright, always eager to listen to YOUR story and an amazing voice teacher. She was the best grandmother ever and I want to share her with you here. I used music which represented the era she came from, she and my dad loved Andy Williams, hence the Moon River and she enjoyed a classical music career with her wonderful second husband, a composer in his own right, Eloy Fominaya. The final song is Mi Chimano Mimi, her favorite aria, from Puccini’s La Boheme, sung by her favorite soprano, Renee Fleming.  I think the internet is a wonderful way to highlght the lives of people who deserve to be known by others.

5 thoughts on “I Remember Mama…

  1. I remember her. Dr. Fominaya introduced me in Augusta State University years ago. Her smile was sweet and inviting to my heart. He told me that she works at a college radio station. Dr. Fominaya, I still thank him for helping me through the music scholarship. As an aspiring music student, I really wanted to learn how to play Mendelssohn in e minor. I begged him to please teach me. It was out of my league but he understood and told me to find a copy of music sheet at a library. Guess what, those music sheets had pencil notes all over! Those were actually belonging to Dr. Fominaya when he was a student. I felt like I found a treasure. (sigh)

    Thank you for posting this site. Beautiful portrait of them… I will never forget the beautiful friendship and memories of him and his beautiful wife. God Bless.

    1. Thank you for watching the video and commenting. We, the children of Eloy and Nancy, miss them both. Eloy was an extraordinary man. Both my mom and Eloy ALWAYS helped their students by sharing their own music. They came from a different era. A more gracious, generous era. Thanks again for commenting. Take care!

  2. Dody,
    That was a beautiful tribute to your mother! It was so interesting to see what she looked like as a child and a college girl and then to see her new husband and see her with grandchildren. Those are the parts of her life I never knew existed. I also didn’t realize how musical she was! She was probably so busy as a Mom in those days in Naperville with 5 children that she didn’t have much time for music. My husband is a classical musician (pianist and cellist) and he has brought me to an appreciation of classical music which I was never really exposed to in my younger years (my parents were not musical).
    I plan to share this with my Mom when she is here for Christmas. I know she will enjoy seeing it as well.


    1. Thank you, Sally. Yes, when she got to Augusta, she began teaching voice. Her degree was in music. She had begun teaching a few lessons on Naperville before we left, but moving to Augusta caused her music career to really explode. Her husband, Eloy, was the chairman of the FIne Arts Department at Augusta College and they were very prominent in the music and arts community there. It is wonderful to hear about your husband’s musicality. Take care.

  3. Hi Dody Jane, I don’t know if my alert system isn’t working, but I’ve just had a look at your recent blogs and seem to have missed two when they were published including this one. I just watched the video and found it very evocative, the music accompanies the pictures really well. The early pictures remind me hugely of pictures of my own mother’s youth, she grew up in Minneapolis. But then the later ones seem a different world, which is interesting. I was also interested in the date of posting, there may be no relevance, but as it happens my mother’s birthday was 12 November. I feel I know you a little better having seen this video, thanks.

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