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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Singing Telegrams

I’ve from Linda’s – I’m Cinnamon Sam


   Have you ever had a singing telegram sung to you? It is the one of the sillier fads that come and go, but also a very amusing way to celebrate almost any occasion. For a short couple of years I did singing telegrams dressed in a bear suit. Cinnamon Sam was the logo at that time for Linda’s Flowers where I worked. It was the most enjoyable thing I had ever done; I still have fond memories of those days.
   Now before I go any further, I must clarify something. I am aware that there are striptease message services around, but this was not one of those things. Period!
   I think I started working at Linda’s in 1980 and the singing telegrams started that fall. Linda had arranged for a plush toy company to make Cinnamon Sam teddy bears and to make two adult size shells to use for promotions and what not.
   This is how it worked: we would get an order for a singing telegram, then either Sam, one of the owners, or I would write a personalize song for the occasion, I’d dress in the suit and go surprise the victim, I mean honoree. They would get a copy of the song plus balloons or flowers. Of course, everyone around got a tremendous kick out of watching the embarrassed person being surprised.
   Springfield is not that large of city so the word of mouth spread this new idea. I don’t think we missed a business, restaurant, Country Club, church social or private party for two years. No one knew a grey haired woman almost 40 was in that suit. Actually, I had a good singing voice, but it would not have mattered, most of the time people were laughing too hard to hear. One important thing was each message was personalized, which seemed special to each receiver.
   Besides doing singing telegrams, I did a lot of promotions in the suit. Like standing near the street waving at cars. At Christmas Linda took Cinnamon Sam around to her best business customers to sing a special Merry Christmas song. Oh, the hugs I got then!
  

I am sorry I don’t have a picture of Cinnamon Sam. I have kept one of the stuffed bears all this time; he’s dirty but still huggable. He is sitting with my good friend MissRose on my front porch in this photo.

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