We got each other many different things, but here were the big presents.
Last year Jana and I started collecting vinyl. Jana hunts for Broadway musical albums, the classics, to play in her drama classes and to use the album covers as artwork for her classroom walls.
I hunt for Johnny Cash.
To date my most happy finds are original pressings of At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin.
A couple of months ago Jana was at our local record store--Record Guys--buying some albums. As she was checking out the guy at the register was starting to go through a big stack of records that had recently been dropped off.
As he flipped through the albums Jana saw a cover.
"Is that what I think it is?" Jana asked.
He pulled the album out of the stack and looked at it.
"I think it is."
"Well," Jana said, "I know you haven't priced it yet, but I want to buy it."
And she did.
The album is pictured above. It's an original pressing of Johnny Cash With His Hot Blue Guitar. Released on October 11, 1957 by Sun Records, this was Cash's very first LP, collecting many of his early hit singles with Sun, iconic songs like "I Walk the Line," "Cry! Cry! Cry!" and "Folsom Prison Blues."
Incidentally, for music history buffs, With His Hot Blue Guitar was the very first LP put out by Sun Records, the Memphis studio that gave birth to Rock & Roll in the '50s with artists like Elvis, Carl Perkins (he of "Blue Suede Shoes" fame), Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison...and Johnny Cash.
So, Johnny Cash's first album, pretty awesome present!
For Jana I got her an original piece of artwork from one of Jana's favorite artists, our friend Polly Jones (Polly's website here). Jana loves color. As in, loves it. Which is why Jana loves Polly's art so much. The color and Polly's use of mixed media. Polly often incorporates printed text in her art.
In trying to find something for Jana from Polly's collection Polly offered to paint something original and just for Jana. Polly asked what I wanted. Most definitely flowers, I said, and lots of color. Obviously. Plus, I said, Jana loves tea, and sharing tea is something we love to do together. So if a tea cup or a tea pot could be added that would be quintessentially Jana.
And this is the painting Polly did, Jana's Christmas present:
Jana loved it. The text Polly incorporated were the Psalms, the hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," and a love poem.
And most importantly, there's that tea cup.