Gone but not forgotten. Michigan Author Glendon Swarthout, who was most famous for helping ignite spring break for college kids with â€œWhere the Boys Areâ€ and his westerns includingÂ â€They Came to Coduraâ€ andÂ John Wayneâ€™s â€œTheÂ Shootistâ€,Â also wrote a hearting-warming Christmas tale that is set on a Michigan farm during the depression. The book,â€Melodeonâ€, was published in 1977 and was later renamed â€œA Christmas Giftâ€.
Swarthout was not only a talented writer, his musical talents allowed him to sing his way through college with a four-piece band. Michigan State University, where he taught for a number of years, still makes claim that â€œWhere the Boys Areâ€ helped ignite the interest in their fledgling Television Degree Program. One of the characters in the film was nicknamed â€œTVâ€ for â€œtelevisionâ€. And unless youâ€™ve read the book thatâ€™s all you need to know since it was after all spring break. What happens in Ft. Lauderdale stays in Ft. Lauderdale. And just forget about that idea of running guns to Cuba. The book and the movie â€œWhere the Boys Areâ€ were released 50 years ago this week. It makes a great movie for a long Christmas holiday.
When Swarthoutâ€™s Christmas tale was made into a TV movie in 1978 it was renamed â€œA Christmas to Rememberâ€ and starred Joanne Woodward and Jason Robards. The changes from the book to the movie were radical. Later a condensed version of the book titled a â€œJourney into Christmasâ€ appeared in the 1992 Good Housekeeping holiday edition.
The touching story follows a family as they give their precious melodeon (a small organ)Â to a local church so they can have music on Christmas day. The story-line revolves around how the family and a mysteriousÂ visitor make this quest happen. For more informaton on Swarthout, his books and his movies click here.