What Does A Rummage Sale, The Kings Speech And A Banana Peel Have To Do With One Another?


I have just watched The King’s Speech, a film starring Colin Firth as King George VI battling a speech impediment.

The King’s Speech is an Oscar contender and one of those British period pieces featuring a Who’s Who of British theatre and film with dramatic cinematography and superb acting.

As I watched the film,  I felt that the plot featuring the speech impediment must really just be an angle to portray other major historical events of the time, the abdication of King Edward VIII over Wallis Simpson and the outbreak of World War II.

Because, what an obtuse storyline?

But as The King’s Speech built to its’ climax the final scenes became of King George making his first public address to the country after the declaration of war with Germany. He was finding his voice.

I hadn’t been aware of George’s problem before this film or his connection to an Aussie speech therapist, Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, who banged down formality and personal distance, insisting on calling the-then Duke of York, ‘Bertie’ and using unorthodox methods such as swearing, singing and rolling around on the floor to loosen the future King up.

But it seemed a strange plot.

‘Let’s go see a film about a stuttering, unconfident future King trying to get over his stammer,’ is not a great line to get a hot date, is it?

But with the actors involved, the cinematic detail, the historical rendering, and simply superb acting, the perception of it being an unusual, perhaps even unattractive, storyline faded and the strengths of The King’s Speech became the most memorable.

It made me realize how we can turn anything into a outstanding experience, even those that appear on the surface to be unfashionable or undesirable.

If we do them with purpose, commitment, attention to detail and a big idea.

This big production reminded me of another I was involved in last year.

A group of women came together and decided to make some money for our school.

From other people’s junk.

A common idea, a rummage sale. But this was no common rummage sale.

Rummage sale work is dirty, it’s physical, it repetitive. It isn’t sexy, that’s for sure.

But people, organization, professionalism, cooperation, teamwork, borrowed and donated resources came together.

And the end result was something magical.

It became a huge production, organized along military lines. This wasn’t just some thrown together episode.

There were floor plans, security guards, teams of cashiers and a social media strategy.

Now there was a big idea.

Thousands and thousands of dollars were raised. From other people’s (often dirty) trash! For children’s education!

If there were Oscars for rummage sales, it would have swept the floor. In fact I made my own awards up, The Rummies.

The end result was beautiful. (And kind of sexy, too 😉 )

Today I have to address a different kind of rummage. That which graces the floor of my son’s bedroom. No doubt I’ll find banana peel, smelly clothes and library books I’ve already paid to replace.

I’ve been putting it off. It’s not sexy.

But I remind myself that a man’s struggle to overcome his disability became something people lauded and applauded.

Dusty, rusty castoffs became valuable treasures and a seminal experience.

And with energy, and a purpose to do my very best, my son’s scuzzy, messy room could turn into a clean, tidy nest that will light up his eyes when he returns home from his trip.

And there’s the beauty. The shining eyes.

What less-than-totally attractive idea could you turn into something of beauty and value today? Who’s eyes could you light up? How would you feel when you’d achieved that? Let me know in the comments!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary E. ULrich
January 14, 2011 at 5:27 am

Congrats Alison, I didn’t think you’d be able to tie all three things together. Now, I gotta see The King’s Speech–you made it sound amazing. Plus, Colin Firth –hey!

Love the “Rummies” I’ll bet you all did an amazing job.

We all have to overcome something, thanks for giving us that thought to start the day.
Mary E. ULrich recently posted..Dear CaregiversPart 1My Profile


Galit Breen
January 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

A movie rec *and* an inspiring story? Love. It! Well done, lady! Well done, indeed!
Galit Breen recently posted..Minnesota Mamaleh- About TokenismMy Profile


katie t January 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

great post!!!

thanks for sharing…..


Alison Golden February 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Thanks, Katie. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂


Lisa January 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm


I laughed out loud at your son’s “scuzzy room!” You have an awesome style and I will be visiting here again I can tell ya that much!

All the best,
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Alison Golden February 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Thanks, Lisa. ‘Scuzzy’ is a word I learned when I was backpacking through Australia. Perfect word for certain situations, my sons’ room being one of them 🙂


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