A Musical Tribute to Barbara and Donald Tober, 

Recipients of the 2010 Humanitarian Award

at the American Cancer Society's

2010 Celebration of Life Spring Gala,

St. Regis Hotel,

New York, April 13, 2010.

Written and Performed by Christopher Mason.

Click to listen:                                (Sound level a bit quirky!)

to “It’s De-Lovely” 

He played Cole Porter the night they met,

She sang along, they were strangers, yet,

It was glorious, and uproarious, sparks of magic; 

To be specific, she looked terrific, 

He liked her style and she made him smile,

She admired him, she inspired him, t’was like magic;

Both were bold pioneers, 

Both had forged quite dazzling careers, 

With a burning drive and will to succeed, why yes indeed,

Two optimists, with a lust for life,

He looked at her and thought “future wife,”

They loved traveling, riding horses,

Both had weathered tough divorces,

But thanks to Cole Porter, they found magic! 

to “Get Me To the Church On Time” 

She was the editor of Brides then,

And not so easy to convince,

But Donald wasn’t idle,

He grabbed that bridle,

They’ve been galloping ever since!

Explored the world and, hand-in-hand, 

Seen Machu Pichu, Prague, Havana, Samarkand.

Two previous husbands were disasters,

This bridal expert felt the slight,

But with Donald, sweet and plucky,

T’was third time lucky!

She says, “Just keep going till you get it right!” 

Barbara’s default mode is exuberance,

A warm, embracing joie d’esprit,

Engaged, enthusiastic,

Inclined to say “fantastic,”

A ball of focused energy.

When life sends curves 

She simply swerves, 

And when she skis she handles obstacles with ease;

Last year a new hip drove her crazy,

She did pilates, hit the gym,

This year, she’s proud recounting,

She conquered Aspen Mountain,

She just keeps going when the odds seem slim. 

to “They All Laughed” 

Many scoffed at Two Columbus Circle,

Said it was a foolish dream

To convert it into some MAD museum; 

The old Museum of Art and Design, 

Which Barbara Tober chaired, was thrilled;

Its sleek design

She thought divine,

Some tried to have it killed;

So she raised funds, led the fight,

Said we can do this, do it right,

She triumphed, and how,

Just . . . before the plunging DOW,

Fearless, forceful, focused and effective,

Could there be any doubt?

The museum has its Barbara Tober lobby,

Who said craft was merely a hobby?

When Barbara lends her clout, things work out! 

to “A Spoonful of Sugar”

Though he’s the happiest of dudes

And loves his company, Sugar Foods, 

Donald dreams he’ll be an architect, someday;

Behind his wry, sardonic smile

There’s a delightful lack of guile,

As he told Barbara when they met,

“What you see is what you get.”

Though Donald aced Harvard Law

He found the law to be a bore,

His father’s sugar business beckoned, and behold!

He was quick to understand it

And drastically expand it,

He sold, and sold!

Turned sugar into gold!

   Then a pink pack of artificial sugar caused a stir,

   Millions had to try it, for the sake of their diet,

   Donald sold it across the nation, no one could compete,

   For Donald Tober, life’s been Sweet . . . 

to “Sweet and Low” 

. . . and Low, Sweet N’ Low,

Still has no Equal, he’ll have you know,

That brash contender, known as Splenda,

Will Donald sprinkle it? Hell no! 

to “Ain’t She Sweet” 

He sells Sugar In The Raw

Now a favorite coffee treat,

It’s his ambition

And major mission

To keep life sweet!

And though he’s much too shy to brag,

Makes crispy onions in a bag,

Yes! Donald fries ’em,

Walmart buys ’em,

Ain’t that neat?

    Loves gourmet food,

    It’s an addiction,

    Too bad he’s hopeless

    In the kitchen!

He’s very generous, they say,

Helps to fund the C.I.A.,

So he really ought’a

But he can’t boil water,

Donald in the kitchen? No way.

    When he’s frustrated,

    Nothing harms him,

    He just plays Brahms,

    Because it calms him.

He drinks martinis to relax,

One or two, it’s not a sin,

But the only thing he dreads in life

Is running out of gin!

to “Together”

In Aspen or Vaill,

Or hiking some trail,

The Tobers have great fun together;

Down home on their farm,

In Millbrook, with charm, 

He lends her his arm when together.

   Sometimes he thinks perhaps his wife’s a bit barmy,

   Buys so much china they could feed a whole army,

   But she feels no remorse, in fact she’s in clover,

   More china? Let’s have more folks over!

One heck of a team,

They’re living the dream,

And living and giving bring joy;

Some marriages end in tears

But they’ve had laughter thirty-eight years

In every endeavor, together!