Wednesday, November 27, 2013

And this is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime 
And if Norman Rockwell had still been with us, he might have
rendered this special Thansgivukkah table, below.....
This truly is an unusual happening and won't happen again for more years than any of us can count!
So, a Happy Thanksgiving to all who Celebrate it and a Happy Hanukkah to all who Celebrate it, as well! Two Happy Joyous Holidays! What could be better? 

More To Come........

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
november 22, 1963

We are coming up on the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  50 years! Hard to believe it has been that long----but, it has. Anyone who was alive at that time, remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing. Back when my blog was very new---maybe 7 weeks old, I wrote a post about my own personal memories of that day and that weekend. What follows below is that post, with some additional thoughts at the end......

The Day All The Music Died

The opening sounds you here at the very beginning of "SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY", after the house lights have dimmed to a blackout are from the traditional Folk Song "He's Gone Away"....sung Acapella--without accompaniment--in the dark.

On Saturday, November 23, at the Matinee performance of 'Spoon River' at The Belasco Theatre on West 44th, (there had been no Friday night performance on November show played that night on Broadway....every theatre was dark, that night....) we waited in the wings, as we always did, Bob Elston, Betty Garrett and Hal Lynch on Stage Right, and Joyce Van Patten, Charles Aidman and me on Stage Left. It was my voice that came over the loud speakers, there in the dark...and you could audibly here the gasp of grief escape from all three of us, as  the song began----waiting there in the dark, before our entrance on to the still darkened stage of the still darkened theatre, to take our places on the stage before the lights would come up. Everything we heard that day; all the poems from 'Spoon River', so filled with Americana...all of the music...the songs....took on a new meaning because of the great tragedy that had befallen our beloved country, just the day before.

The day before, that Friday, I had been at a Gynecologists office, suffering with some sort of ovary pain....I left there and got in cab, and it was the cab driver who told me that John F. Kennedy, our President, had been shot in Dallas just a little while ago...I couldn't fathom this. At first I thought he was kidding; that he had for some strange reason, made this up....and I said "Is that a joke? Cause if it's not funny!" He protested in such a manner that I immediately understood that , no, this was not a joke. The gravity of the situation was not really known in those few moments; we stopped at a red light...a fellow cabbie rolled his window down and shouted to my driver, that Kennedy was dead. My driver said, 'What?'...The other cabbie repeated the news, and pulled away because the light had changed to green. The tears came; and came, and came....I couldn't believe that this was happening....

I got out of the cab at the Hotel, and immediately went up to the 15th floor, where Betty's rooms were. I rang her bell...she came to the door, as stricken as I tears...trying to get ready to go to an interview that had been scheduled before this unbelievable thing happened. She had to leave and I went up to the 16th floor, to my rooms and turned on the television, hoping to be told this had not happened; hoping to be told that a terrible mistake had been made...Kennedy was not the time when they announced on television that, then President Eisenhower had died after a very severe heart attack, and he hadn't died, at all! They had made an awful awful mistake. That's what I was hoping for.

I was hoping that I would wake up from this ghastly horrible dream, and find out that yes, it was just a horrible ghastly dream...nobody had been shot and killed in Dallas.

I was called by the Company Manager to be told that there would be no performance that night. And they weren't sure about Saturday yet.....that Friday evening, all of us at a loss as to what to do, huddled together sharing a hushed dinner at a very quiet subdued Sardi's Restaurant. We needed to be with each other; we needed to try to digest this incredibly awful thing that had plunged all of us, along with most of the country and the world, into unimaginable grief and hopelessness.

So, when, indeed we were told we would be playing the matinee on Saturday, everything that all of us knew about this play-with-music, like the back of our hands, was heard through a completely different sensibility. (I couldn't even imagine going to a play, let alone performing in one that Saturday afternoon..... But there we were, and there was my voice....)

'He's gone away.....
For To Stay, A Little while....
But He's Comin' Back, If He Goes Ten Thousand Miles......
But Who Will Buy My Shoes...
And Who Will Glove My Hand.....
And Who Will Kiss My Ruby Lips, When He Is Gone.......
Look Away....Look Away.....Over Yonder....'

I didn't think I could get through this performance. None of us did.

My voice continues, humming underneath this next voice we's  Chuck's voice, (Charles Aidman, who adapted this beautiful beautiful piece for the stage and who had Directed it, too....) and we are still in the dark moving onto the stage from the wings, to take our seats on the stage....the words he speaks:

"Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom And Charley,
The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?
All, all, all are sleeping on the hill.

One passed in a fever,
One was killed in a mine,
One was killed in a brawl,
One died in jail,
One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife --
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill....."

This whole evening is people speaking from the grave...speaking truths that they no longer are afraid to speak....all speaking after they are dead and buried. It sounds morbid, but it isn't! It is an incredibly funny and inspiring two hours that yes, had it's sad and touching moments, but morbid, no!

But, Saturday, November 23rd, 1963 at 2pm in the afternoon, it was very morbid.....and heartbreakingly sad, to say the least.

There is more to say....but, the day has already gotten waaaaay ahead of I'll stop, for now, and just say, if you remember this day and this time, let me know......

I didn't get through the whole performance that Saturday afternoon....I had to leave the stage and the theatre after the first act and my understudy finished the show that afternoon. She played the show that night, too, and the Matinee on Sunday, as well....I stayed in my bed, nursing my sickly ovary as well as my sickened heart---glued to the television set...watching as Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death before our eyes.
Watching the Funeral procession...watching as Jackie Kennedy brought all of us through this terrible tragedy with her great dignity and calm---God knows, that wasn't what she felt, but it is what she showed the world---holding her very young children's hands as they walked---little John John saluting his father's coffin as it passed......watching this woman, in all of her grief,  helping to hold all of us together somehow, too.......
Four days of horror and sorrow and unbelievable disbelief....
Four days of unrelenting sadness....
Four days of tears that felt as if they would never stop.
Nothing was ever the same after that terrible Friday.....
This country was never the same, and none of us were ever the same either.
It took a very long time to get over the enormity of what had befallen our country and befallen all of us, as well.....
The truth is.....I'm not sure we ever did.
And there were more killings to come......
(I wrote about it on my blog the following year; a post which you can read right here......)
Remembering this day, 50 years later, brings many thoughts and feelings.
How would the world have been different had Kennedy not been killed?
Your thoughts?
Your feelings?

Sunday, November 10, 2013
i'm in trouble

I have a confession to make.
I am seriously addicted to See's Chocolate Lollipops.
I'm in deep trouble.

It began slowly.

One Lollipop a day.
It is now waaaay out of control.
The thing is.....
They are so damn soothing.....
They Are
So Damn Delicious And Comforting.
I'm in really deep deep trouble here.

Hello, Lollipops Anonymous?

Where is the nearest meeting?
I am sucking on one right now.

Guiness Book Of Records
The largest lollipop was 3176.5 kg (7,003 lb), and was created by See’s Candies (USA) at See’s Candies Lollipop Factory in Burlingame, California, USA, on 18 July 2012.
The lollipop was chocolate-flavored and had the following measurements: 4 feet 8.75 inches in length, 3 feet 6 inches in width, and 5 feet 11 inches in height. The lollipop also included a stick which was 11 feet 10 inches tall, though the weight of the stick did not count towards the record.
I don't care how much it costs.....

I Want it!!!

Oh, Mrs. See, How Could You?

That's the way we found her doctor.....
She had a Chocolate Lollipop in her mouth, 
and a smile on her face.

What a way to go.......

More To Come.......

NOTE:  And in honor of all those brave men and women who fought for our Freedoms---I salute you, and will remember you always!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013
blogger grrrr hiss

Grrrrrrrrr.......! A post I have been working on for three days......just disappeared!
God knows when I will have the whatever to start this all over again....
And it was a real change of pace.
Nobody died.

Mercury Retrograde continues to rear it's ugly head!

Give me a break!

(Hear the sound of a Primal Scream Now)

More To Come.......Maybe.....

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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