A friend mentioned the dearth of gossip columnists today, and brought up the name of Hedda Hopper. She was one of the top ones for years. A former actress,she found another more lucrative, certainly more powerful, career as a columnist. She could make or break a career. The first time I met her was with my father at her beautiful home. A new actress had come to town and Hedda had invited my father to meet her, especially for him to give her some sound publicity advice. She was Amanda Blake, a gorgeous redhead who was destined to become Miss Kitty of “Gunsmoke” years later.
My father sometimes escorted Hedda to see talent, and once in a while I, a teenager, went along. I remember her as being bright,extremely attractive(especially in those extravagant hats of hers),talkative, and amusing.After my father died of a massive heart attack in New York,Hedda wrote a lovely eulogy to him, and when she talked to me, years later when I was working for Desilu, was thoughtful and kind.I know a lot of celebrities feared her, but the side I saw was of a loyal friend to my father.
Before he was a publicist, my father had a radio show late at night in New York.After the Broadway stages fell dark, after the final evening performances, some of the stars would wander up to my father’s studio and relax….on the air. Jimmy Durante would play the piano while his wife sang.Tex Ritter, starring in”Green Grown the Lilacs” on Broadway, would play his guitar and sing.
Many years later, in Hollywood, my father and I spent some Sundays mornings for breakfast or out for dinner with Jimmy and his gang.However, I didn’t meet Tex Ritter until I was working with Stan Jones, the song writer/actor, when we went to the Ritters for an evening. Stan and Tex’s wife had gone to grammar school together in Arizona. When Stan introduced me to Tex and mentioned who my father had been, Tex just looked at me for a moment before saying,”Don’t ever forget your heritage. Your father was a wonderful man.” Young John had taken my daughter in hand for the evening, and they spent the time with his handicapped brother. My daughter still remembers how gentle and kind John was toward his brother, and how courteous he was towards her. He was a gentlemen even as a teenager, and his death was a terrible loss to both his family and the film industry.
All these people have passed on, but they still live in my memories
It is April of 2013, and I am on my way to the all-boys high school where I spend three days a week mentoring teachers. It is also the school where I have spent 37 years, 21 teaching English and Public Speaking to the seniors and 16 mentoring. I love my job working with the faculty and students. When I taught English, I was, as the parents said,”Tough but fair.” I taught their sons how to think, speak, and write to the college level so they would survive the next four years. One of the seniors at graduation said,”If you didn’t have Mrs. B for a class, then you never really went to this school.”
Now, this morning, I’m ready to sit in a classroom for an hour-and-a-half observing a history teacher and commenting on the pros and cons of the session. After that, I have an appointment with the Principal, and that changes my life. “This is the hardest conversation I have ever had,” he says. “There have been three strong women in my life who have helped me, and you’re one of them. Due to monetary concerns, we are terminating the position of Mentor Teacher.I know you don’t get a lot of money, but we need it.” I am aware they are letting people go, and I suspected I might be one of them, but it is still a blow. I take the high road, smile and have a conversation, and wish him luck as he is being transferred to another job. The hardest part is letting the faculty, many of whom I have either taught or mentored (or both) or known for years, know that I will not be back. They are shocked.
I notice the change of attitude towards me by the VP. He doesn’t notify me to work with the student who is going to give the commencement address, a kind of tradition that I have performed for the past 15 years. He also kiboshes an article in the newspaper that bids me a farewell. This is a man I have taught and worked amiably with as a colleague and administrator. When I ask for a letter of recommendation, he readily agrees, “Of course!” After the second request, I let it go. It is a letter I have yet to receive.
At the end- of- the- year faculty party, they present me with a plaque for my 37 years of service and a gift card for $100.
Everyone in administration acts as if I am retiring, ignoring the fact that I am losing l/3 of my income and cannot really afford to retire. The head counselor,with whom I have worked for many,many years, suggests I launch an online tutoring and editing service which, with the tremendous help from the campus minister, I do.
It is called theenglishprofessor.net and I am trying to get it off the ground.
I recently read in Jo Nesbo’s book, “The Leopard,” that “to be cast out of the flock…..it’s akin to being buried alive.” No one ever calls from school. I am aware, only too well, how busy they are with school and their own families. I understand they don’t have the time, but I still feel “buried alive.” It has taken me until now to accept the situation that I am no longer one of the flock. But, I am surrounded by the love of my daughter and friends, and that is all-important in my life. I’m trying to build my business of teaching people how to speak and write English well so they can succeed in their chosen careers. I’m good at it, and I love doing it.
For all of you who have ever felt “cast out of the flock,” remember there is another flock waiting to accept you. We have the good times and the not-so-good times, but what matters is that we remember who we are, what we have to give to others, and move on up and forward!
Love these “second” thoughts on The Phil Factor that I want to share with everyone.
Originally posted on The Phil Factor:
Contrary to what the Rolling Stones think, time is not on your side. It’s not on your side, or my side, or anyone’s side. Time is just time. It’s not anything else. It can neither be created nor destroyed. It just marches forward, unrelenting. The problem with time is that it runs out. With just about everything else in life, by hook or by crook, you can always get more. Not time though. That’s why 2015 is special.
Why is 2015 special you ask? We get more time. Not a lot, but we get more. One second more in fact. Due to the imperceptible slowing of the Earth’s rotation, which may be caused by things like earthquakes, tidal drag, and other weather events, the science guys figured out that the atomic clock is out of sync with the solar day by a second. To correct that, this year on June…
View original 406 more words
tribute from Paul F. Lenzi on his blog Poesy plus Polemics
Originally posted on Poesy plus Polemics:
were I chief
you would know me
as Broken Wing
sad from the anger
of brave crippled souls
of a sudden
denied of their
custom and means
to fly free
landscapes brought forth
from the womb
of the sky when
proud eagles were young
swart warriors strong
when the horse
and the buffalo
chased the fleet winds
across limitless ground
when my sacred
for my fathers
of my sons
THANK YOU, ONE AND ALL, FOR YOUR MOST GENEROUS COMMENTS AND CONVERSATION THIS YEAR.
FOR 2015, I WISH YOU LOVE AND LAUGHTER, MUSIC AND MADNESS, AND A MAGICAL TOUCH TO ALL YOU DO.
HAPPY NEW YEAR1
This post is courtesy of Bonseye because I think we all need to laugh often.
Originally posted on BonsEye:
Ambiguity & Idiosyncrasies
For those who love the philosophy of ambiguity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of English…
…Enjoy a little wordy nerdy witty wordplay!
- ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA…… FLOOR.
- ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.
- IF MAN EVOLVED FROM MONKEYS AND APES, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?
- I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, “WHERE’S THE SELF- HELP SECTION?” SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.
- WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?
- IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?
- WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO “GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?”
- WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?
- IF A PARSLEY FARMER IS SUED, CAN THEY GARNISH HIS WAGES?
- WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?
- WHY DO THEY LOCK GAS STATION TOILETS? ARE THEY AFRAID SOMEONE WILL BREAK-IN AND CLEAN THEM?
- IF A…
View original 217 more words
This post is given to us by Live & Learn. At this time of year, when nostalgia is near, it fits.
Originally posted on Live & Learn:
anemoia – n. nostalgia for a time you’ve never known
Imagine stepping through the frame into a sepia-tinted haze, where you could sit on the side of the road and watch the locals passing by. Who lived and died before any of us arrived here, who sleep in some of the same houses we do, who look up at the same moon, who breathe the same air, feel the same blood in their veins—and live in a completely different world.
Don’t miss full transcript below…
View original 292 more words
Please enjoy this incredible shot and information from David Kanigan.
Originally posted on Live & Learn:
“A baby dolphin earns its jumping stripes as it swims alongside its mother and leaps out of the water next to her. The dolphin calf was virtually stuck to its mother’s side as they swam before simultaneously jumping a metre out of the water near the Sao Miguel Island of the Azores region, Portugal.”