“I have to believe,” Dad said smiling, looking across the table at the lot of us. By an amazing coincidence (school vacations) we had an unplanned family gathering — all seven of us, plus respective spouses and grandkids there in Florida at the same time.
It was bitter-sweet, though, we all knew would be the last with all of us together. Mom was fading quickly.
The laughter and individual conversations and one liners quieted down as we all expected Dad to give a toast.
“When I look at all five of you,” Dad paused, smiled, put his arm around Mom, “I have to believe … that your mom and I — are at least first cousins.”
The crowd roared.
My Dad wasn’t much for sentimentality. He was a wise-ass, and a very funny man with terrific comedic timing. But in his heart he was a romantic. And he loved those sappy, romantic songs from the 1930s and 1940s. Of course he did, he fell in love with Mom when she was singing them.
Actually, Dad wouldn’t tell me how he met Mom. Well, he told me how they met many times. A different story every single time I asked, with the more outrageous ones coming out if Mom was in the room. It became a wonderful game for the two of us. How he met the girl of his dreams.
“Dad? How’d you meet Mom?”
“One day I found myself whistling a happy tune, turned the corner and saw her and figured out why I was whistling.”
“Dad? How’d you meet Mom?”
“Dad? How’d you meet Mom?”
“I was just walking down the street one day, and she chased after me. She never DID let me go.”
“Dad? How’d you meet Mom?” I asked when I was hospitalized for the first time.
“She was singing in a show. She was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. So I went back stage.”
I don’t really know if that was the real answer, but I suspect it is. Because Dad always had a soft spot for those old torch songs. And he loved to hear Mom sing them — which she did with such style, even if she was washing dishes as she sang.
So here, for Dad and his lady, is one of Dad’s favorites. I can remember him telling me the story of Irving Berlin and Ellin Mackay. They fell in love but her father disapproved, and sent her off to Europe. He wrote this song and married the girl.
Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, to my Husband (a wonderful Dad) and to all of you Dads.
(And Frank? You guessed it — John HATES this song!)
Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did.
As a die-hard fan of Calvin and Hobbes, I LOVED this story! Enjoy it if you haven’t already read it.
Originally posted on Pearls Before Swine:
Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning.
Few in the cartooning world have ever spoken to him. Even fewer have ever met him.
In fact, legend has it that when Steven Spielberg called to see if he wanted to make a movie, Bill wouldn’t even take the call.
So it was with little hope of success that I set out to try and meet him last April.
I was traveling through Cleveland on a book tour, and I knew that he lived somewhere in the area. I also knew that he was working with Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on a book about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson’s art.
So I took a shot and wrote to Nick. And Nick in turn wrote to Watterson.
And the meeting…
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Often here on FiftyFourAndAHalf.com I write about injustice and stupidity. For those of you who know the story of Rara, please help. For those who don’t know the story (where have you been?) please go to (http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/) to learn about the injustice and what you can do to help a fellow blogger.
Originally posted on rarasaur:
I’ve been putting off this post for a few days now; trying to figure the right words to use.
I know there have been rumblings for the need to take direct action in Rara’s defence. And the news I have will only fan the flames. But in the interest of full disclosure I’ll tell you, if you promise to read till the end.
As you might know Rara had a court date on the 23rd. She asked me not to go. After speaking to her public defender, she learned that the lawyer didn’t consider the case a priority and that she hadn’t even looked at it. Thus she would be asking for an extension. There is a new court date set for mid-June. She also learned that the way the charges were arrange, under a California law, it prevents her from settling and gives her a minimum of 3 years…
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It finally happened. God woke up and got pissed.
He realized that there is a whole group of fanatical jerks, using His name to bash just about anybody else who believes that there is an important role of government in the lives of American citizens.
What does God do when he is pissed?
God sends natural disasters, of course. Just ask any TV preacher when he’s not asking for money. (OK, you’ll have to interrupt him.)
This time, he sent rain. And not just any rain – but about 4 inches of rain in a 12 hour period to an area that was already saturated.
God obviously is pissed at the Tea Partiers. Can you blame him? I am too.
* * *
My thanks to my friend X, at List of X for inspiring this post.
She’s leaving. What a shame. What a pity.
Can I make a confession? I think that Barbara Walters is largely responsible for the sad state of our news media. She started the trend that became the norm: news that focuses on the scandal, the people, the intrigue instead of the, ummmm, news.
Yup, I lay it all on Baba.
Before Baba, TV news was above the fray. Remember Cronkite? Huntley/Brinkley? Howard K. Smith and Harry Reasoner? News was news. It focused on what happened. On the event and its place in the current day and its context in history in a serious way. It was informative, not entertaining. And that, I believe, is how it should be. Because news is serious business and it should be treated as such. Is it today? I don’t think so. Had Barbara Walters never existed, I honestly don’t think we could have the clowns at Fox — or on the left either. News was news and sitcoms and variety shows took care of entertainment.
Since Baba, news has been completely people-focused. Everything is personality – nothing is action. I think that is very wrong.
Since Baba, news-folk have looked for the scandal, for the tears in the story — instead of the story itself. No story is complete without tears. Without scandal. Without some personality saying or doing something that can then be replayed, discussed, analyzed as if that matters more than the results of their actions.
Of course I’m biased.
I knew Harry Reasoner, slightly. One of his kids was (and is) a close friend of mine. So I was in and out of his house growing up. He was a great dad – involved but not intrusive. Interested. Humorous – very humorous.
I hung around his house when the folks in the Nixon White House took a particular dislike to him. That alone is a feather in his cap.
I hung around his house when he became anchor of the ABC Evening News.
[I once arrived at his front door in full makeup for a play – I had to borrow a prop from his daughter. My makeup consisted of dirt, smeared on my face, a torn dress – a rag, really. Bare, dirty feet. He and his wife met me at the front door in formal attire – they were having a seriously fancy party. His comment was classic: “Why Elyse,” he said with a delighted chuckle (having already seen the play), “you dressed so nicely for our party! Thanks for coming!” Mortified, I ran upstairs hopefully without being seen by the crowd of Who’s Who in the living room.
I hung around his house when Baba joined him. And when he went back to 60 minutes.
I had few substantive conversations with Mr. Reasoner. I never tried to learn the scoop. In fact, it was only years later that I understood what had happened to him.
Harry Reasoner was not, from everything I ever saw, a sexist. He was a newsman who cared about words and integrity and getting the facts, ma’am. He believed that the news should be the story. Not the person who deliverd the news He believed in getting the story right and in writing well. In letting the event tell the story.
Baba Wawa is retiring – at least in part.
But today will be her last time on “The View.” But in the way she has done for five decades, Baba Wawa makes herself the story. And that is a huge part of the problem she created in the news industry. The story should be the news. Not the journalist. Of course, Baba has been milking this retirement. She has been for a year now, and will for another year or so. Probably until she dies. Because, of course, Baba is the story don’t cha see.
She’s leaving. What a shame. Don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out.