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Classical 101

A Sonoran Desert Christmas

BOYCE USED TWO OF HIS OWN PHOTOS FOR THIS, SIZED AT 150X150. TOO SMALL, REALLY. This time of year, the thoughts of many turn to being somewhere warm, sitting poolside, watching palm trees wave in the breeze. A recent Wall Street Journal article stated that "Exactly where and when (Irving) Berlin composed White Christmas is a mystery." But there is a resort in Arizona that would beg to differ. Would it surprise you to know that, according to the Arizona Biltmore, Irving Berlin composed the best-selling song of all time in that very setting? That's right: White Christmas was conceived in the warm Arizona sunshine as Berlin sat poolside in a cabana on the Scottsdale grounds of the Arizona Biltmore. The resort itself offers many types of inspiration. It's still-contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright design certainly inspired this amateur photographer to try some "artsy" picture taking. Now, however, one of the world's best-known and best-loved holiday songs will transport me, not to a fireside setting with hot chocolate and snow on the window sill, but to a sunny day in November when I discovered Christmas in the desert.