The 1939 Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland musical “Babes in Arms” is pure fluff and should be forgettable entertainment from the dusty past, but it survives in the collective memories of some of us because of a trope, or cliché. If I say to you, “Let’s put on a show!” and you reply, “My dad has a barn!” then you understand me completely. That’s where it’s from. Someone make the costumes.
It became cultural shorthand for ambitious types who decide to do it themselves, and that would be us, as it turned out. Or at least it’s the phrase that ran through my mind a lot back in the second week of March, when a constant in our lives disappeared. Church was closed.
And some of us began looking for a barn, if you follow.