Category Archives: daydreams

Tackling Life Through Film

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Life is gritty,  it is messy  and mistakes happen often.  There are no

‘easy’ paths to take nor do you expect things to always fall into place

in the real world. The film, “Boyhood,” which tackles reality of life in

relationships and many dimensions of everyday families has been

well received. You may have heard that Richard Linklater wrote and

directed this original screenplay.  Instead of using different actors to

portray time passing and people aging, he used the unique process of

gathering all the same people together to make this film, year after

year.  It took twelve years to make, “Boyhood.”

 

The beginning of each school year is carefully documented with

the different locations the family has moved to, along with the

ever changing wide variety of characters in each segment.

 

Two children who share the story’s childhood are played by his

daughter, Lorelei Linklater and newcomer, Ellar Coltrane. The

reoccurring character roles for a period of twelve years. You see

Lorelei acting like Britney Spears in her famous song, “I’m Not

That Innocent.” The adults who portray their parents are played

by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. This endearing movie just

may possibly win the 87th Academy Award’s “Best Picture of

the Year.”

 

Here are some of the themes displayed in this ground-breaking

film:

Love

Marriage

Children

Divorce

Family

Bullying

Finding your passion

Elementary School dynamics

Moving to other homes/schools

High School dynamics

College education

Photography

Empty Nest

Religion

Music

Art

 

Relationships

Connections

Forgiveness

 

When my good friend, Gary, who writes for a living on the staff

of the “Columbus Dispatch” asked me to let him know what I

thought about the movie, “Boyhood,” I may have responded a

little bit late at night. I wrote him a rather long text about my

feelings about the movie. Overall, I told him, along with my

youngest daughter and my brother, Rich, I would give this a

three * * * rating out of four * * * *.

 

There are very interesting aspects to this movie, one is how

the mother really tries to help her children lead a successful

life, while still making poor relationship/marriage choices.

Oh boy. This is actually my story being played on the Big

Screen.

The first husband ends up the ‘best of the lot.’ There are times

you feel he is really ‘on the ball,’ showing he cares by being very

articulate and expressing how much he wants to know his two

children, son and daughter’s thoughts. He engages in a serious

sexual conversation, which did not embarassess me at all. It

was so reminiscent of both my parents it startled me. This is

quite disconcerting, since we are open-minded and say just

about anything, my brothers and both my parents, when my

Dad was alive. My Mom is still a ‘hoot’ because she is about

the most modern woman I know, except possibly Betty White,

who also is above 80 years old. She just turned 90, right?

 

The sad element of the story is mentioned in my one word

use of “Bullying” in the list of different reoccurring themes in

the movie. Poor Mason, never seems ‘to catch a break.’ His Dad

cares about him, but gets preoccupied with his musical career.

Ethan Hawke does an excellent job singing, having also written

some of the songs they all sing in the movie.  He is used as a

scapegoat by his mother’s second husband and is bullied by her

third husband. He manages to get through several of the moves,

jobs and choices by just ‘sliding,’ playing a kind of  ‘slacker.’ But

underneath the surface, Mason is the central character you are

rooting for throughout the movie. He is a deep thinker, an artist,

with a camera, a daydreamer, and he makes it to college, winning

a silver medal and scholarship.

 

Does this encompass too much revealing information? No, I will

reassure you, it is the slow unwinding of the story, as if it were

a book you were reading chapter by chapter. The summary on

the book jacket (or in this film,  the DVD case) doesn’t tell you

the whole story.

 

Will you like it? I hope so.

You will need to set aside time, take breaks and I feel take time

to digest the story. I had to rewind the film since the changes in

his elementary years are NOT designated, “One year later.” You

have to ‘keep up with the film,’ pay attention to how quickly the

girl develops and seems to be a ‘brat’ until she becomes more

confident in her own ability to be independent.

 

Patricia Arquette is amazing. I felt her world. I felt her needs

and her interests. I felt her ‘weight of the world,’ trying the very

best she could to make wise choices, leaving bad, abusive man

behind. Her mother is well portrayed and the woman that her

first husband gets married to is interesting. Her parents also

come into the story line, making a unique impact on the kids’

lives, too.

 

When the movie opens, the boy Mason is lying in a yard with green

grass under him and a brilliant blue sky above him. The song which

starts this out is Coldplay’s song, “Yellow.” It is really perfect and

sets the tone for the movie viewer. The soundtrack includes many

famous musicians.  I would like to entice you by sharing some of

their names here. As mentioned, original music is introduced in the

movie, too. (Ethan Hawke wrote several songs, one the family all sing.)

Lady Gaga sings two songs, “LoveGame” and “Telephone.” Bob Dylan’s

song is. “Beyond the Horizon.” The Black Keys, Gotye, Foo Fighters,

Kings of Leon, the Beatles and Mason’s father’s (Ethan Hawke’s)

interpretation of their split up. I would like to see his own rendition

of the way the Beatles’ solo careers should be put into one album.

 

“Crazy” sung by Gnarls Barkley is a fantastic song. Had not heard

this version before. “Deep Blue,” sung by Arcade Fire band, with Ken

Butler and William Butler being part of the group of musicians and

lyricists who wrote the final song played during the credits was

outstanding.

 

I rewound the final song, with some tears going down my face. It is

a touching story, with all the traits of true storytelling genius. The

way Richard Linklater and his whole crew, team and actors worked

together on this made this an impressive movie. I took note even

the first song being called, “Yellow” and the last song, “Deep Blue,”

seemed like they handled the details perfectly.

 

The 87th Academy Awards Ceremony will be on tonight. Neil

Patrick Harris will be the host. If you watch television, you

have seen the ‘hype’ for many of the films. I have seen almost

all of the ones in the best picture, actor and actress categories.

If you wish to see my reviews or summaries, I have written of

“The Theory of Everything,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,”

“Big Hero 6,” “Gone Girl” and “Unbroken.”

 

I shall be watching it, along with the pre-show Red Carpet on,

“E!” channel.

 

Will you be watching?

If so, do you have your any favorites?

 

 

 

 

Dressing Up

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When children are little, you remember this, they love to be someone

else. They may play “Daddy” by simply wearing his shoes, clumping

around in them, or put his old, discarded tie or scarf on. They may

play “Princess,” by wearing a crown and a ballerina ‘tutu’ skirt.

 

The best part about children’s dress up clothes is that they are able to

use their imagination. A white coat or vest becomes the wardrobe of

a ‘doctor’ or ‘nurse.’ A fringed vest makes them a cowboy or cowgirl.

The  way  children love to try on different  hats and  come up with

their own choice of profession is amusing. Sometimes, my kids or

grandkids are ‘proper ladies’ while they also can be rowdy clowns

in the very same hats. The aprons I have can transform them into

a ‘chef’ or a ‘butler.’

 

Taking off his shirt, my grandson, Micah feels he is ready to ‘wash

dishes.’  He cracked me up this weekend, by telling me his ‘other’

grandmother”Mimi,” paid him ten dollars for cleaning the toilet.

I told him I would pay him one dollar if he did the dishes after he

helped make pancakes. He followed this comment with a big grin

and said,

“That’s a real deal, isn’t it, for you?”

 

As I was watching the S.A.G. Awards, (Screen Actors’ Guild),  I was

picturing the times when I would get ‘gussied up’ in my childhood.

I also imagined those lovely dresses the women were wearing ‘on

loan’ for me to try on and play ‘dress up,’ once again.

 

 

The Red Carpet is always a fun place in my mind to be. Here are

some of the people who looked ravishing or handsome last night.

 

In the  male category, there are only a few who I noted any kind

of unusual or fancy tuxedos.

~The Men~

1. Matthew McConaughey wore a azure blue tux with black tie

and pants. He had a nice look about him, although I am not as

crazy about his beard. He may be getting ready for another film,

but his beard was scraggly. And not like the ‘5 o’clock shadow’

stubble, which famous actors seem to gravitate towards, maybe

to look ‘more masculine?’ Not sure why this style is so popular.

Matthew  was looking more healthy than last year, when he lost

a lot of weight to look like an AIDs victim in, “Dallas Buyers Club.”

 

2. The British Eddie Redmayne looked outstanding.  He was

wearing a traditional tuxedo, but his boyish good looks in such

contrast to the role he had portrayed for his award nomination,

Stephen Hawking. At the awards ceremony, his hair was nicely

styled combed back with a few strands coming forward.

(In the movie, “Theory of Everything”he wore his glasses off-kilter,

his hair not cut well, and of course, his posture was sometimes so

crooked, he looked like he might fall out of his wheelchair.)

*Eddie Redmayne WON the Best Male Actor in a Movie, 2015.

 

3. Michael Keaton, who wore his hair so closely shaved he

almost looked ‘bald.’ I am sure the military haircut was part of

his dressy attire. The tuxedo had a black velvet collar, which

matched his black velvet bow tie. He was very friendly with a

big smile, which made him more attractive in this event.

(He was nominated for his performance in “Birdman.”)

*The movie WON for Best Cast in a Movie.

This is the equivalent to “Best Picture of the Year.”

 

4. Kevin Costner looked handsome but his wife was his best

‘accessory.’ He also was wearing black sunglasses. She had

on a beautiful scarlet dress with half sleeves and her blonde

hair was flowing down her shoulders.

She said she loved his movie, “Black or White.” He told the

interviewer he felt one of his legal speeches in the movie

was reminiscent to the one in “Inherit the Wind.” If so, this

would be a great reason for his movie to be nominated next

year for the 2016 film awards.

 

I usually choose brightly dressed women, but there are a

couple of fabulous white dresses to note also.

~The Women~

1. Keira Knightley was simply gorgeous in her deep purple

dress, showing her ‘baby bump’ when the camera caught her

facing sideways. But the layers of the lacy, plum dress actually

hid her form when she was standing ‘straight on.’ as she

presented an award.

(Nominated for movie: “The Imitation Game.”)

 

2. Viola Davis was stunning in her beautiful white dress which

accented her shapely figure with a ‘throw back’ style of a halter

dress. She looked thinner in this dress than any other gowns I

have seen her in this season. She had a short, styled ‘fro, which is

the shortened way of saying she wore an ‘Afro.’  This hairstyle

went perfectly with the 70’s style of her dress.

*Viola Davis WON for the television drama,  “How to Get Away

with Murder.”

 

 

3. Felicity Jones wore a beautiful pastel pink dress that criss-

crossed across her shoulders. It looked like an Audrey Hepburn

styled dress, while her dark hair was pulled back and up. She

was lovely in this and she held herself well, very mature in her

appearance. (She played Stephen Hawking’s first wife and was

nominated for this role in “Theory of Everything.”)

 

4. Reese Witherspoon was wearing white with her hair slicked

back into a pony tail. The hair was okay but her dress was very

classic and elegant. She created a lovely ‘demure’ look with this

white dress. (She was nominated for her role in  “Wild,” which

she was almost the only character and in every scene.)

 

5. Uzo Aduba wore a brilliant yellow dress with some designs on

it which made her look very pretty. She is a medium sized woman

who can also look masculine, while wearing her ‘prison garb’ on

the show, “Orange is the New Black.”She looked radiant the whole

evening.

*Uzo Aduba WON for her Best Actress in Comedy Television Series.

She was exuberant.

 

6. Julianne Moore, with her auburn colored hair and her gorgeous

green dress looked like a young Irish lassie. Her emerald dress was

shimmery and almost like a mermaid in its appearance.

(The movie Julianne Moore was nominated for was in a recent post,

“Still Alice.”)

*Julianne Moore WON Best Actress in a Movie.

 

7. Julianna Margulies wore a blue dress which was beautiful and

she looked regal. Her choice of wearing her hair pulled back

accentuated the dress, but I prefer her thick hair down.  My

favorite time she appeared on an awards show this season was

when she was the one to give George Clooney his “Lifetime

Achievement Award,” which made me smile. Did you ever watch

those two as a couple when he was a doctor; she a nurse on “E.R?”

The award was given at the 2015 Golden Globes.

(Julianna Margulies has been nominated for her role in “The Good

Wife” and won before.)

 

8. One of my favorite funny women, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, wore

such a fabulous black, long-sleeved lacy dress. The sheerness of

the black lace and her long, curly hair style looked captivating.

I felt the black lace dress seemed ‘vintage’ and liked the way

it looked on her.

(Last year, she was nominated for her role in the late James

Gandolfini movie, “Enough Said.”)

 

During the television program of the SAG Awards, there was a

preview commercial for a movie with live actors and actresses

in a new version of, “Cinderella.” After watching all the fancy

dresses and tuxedos, I was wishing I could head on out to see

this upcoming movie.

 

I have always enjoyed both the Disney animated version of,

“Cinderella.” Along with the various movies which have done

a ‘take’ on the idea of a mean stepmother and two self-centered

stepsisters.

 

“Bippity boppity boo.”

See you in my dreams, pretty Cinderella!

 

 

 

Fantasies

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Not sure the Grimm brothers would wish to be considered descendants from an

“elite line of criminal profilers” known as simply, “Grimms.” The character, Nick

Burkhardt, is very popular in the television show with that name. It is a combination

of mystery, suspense, horror and fantasy. I have watched this from its premiere, with

bated breath waiting for the next episode to begin. Nick’s character partner is named,

Hank Griffins, who is part of knowing Nick’s ancient history. The story revolves with

ancestry references and a fictionalized heritage besides. Hank is a good and trust-worthy

partner. This history allows him to ‘see’ and ‘fight’ by engaging in battle with all sorts of

strange creatures. The fantasy television series first appeared three days before the

holiday, Halloween, in 2011.

The other side characters in “Grimm” include a woman, Fuchsbau Rosalee, who is

able to use pharmaceuticals, including herbs and natural ingredients needed to be

‘antidotes’ and ‘potions.’ She is the “Fox,” among the characters. The Wolf,” is also

once the ‘big, bad wolf,’ but has learned to control his transformations, unless he

is angered, his character’s name is Monroe.

A very popular episode with my fellow coworkers at my warehouse is one that engages

the character of the Filipino fairy tales, the terrifying, ‘aswang.’ Felda, Mary Jane and

their families gathered to watch this “Grimm’s” episode that aired on March 7, 2014.

It came up again in conversation, with the new Fall Season starting soon. Next Friday,

another “Grimm” show will be presented. The March scary Filipino fairy tale involved

a popular character played by a Clevelander, a Padua Franciscan High School graduate.

In the television series, his name is Sergeant Wu. As Sgt. Wu, his character was an integral

part of the way the case against the “aswang” was solved. In real life, Cleveland born Reggie

Lee, could have headed off to Harvard. His parents, who were from the Philippines, would

have been so ‘proud of him.’ He chose instead to dabble in the dramatic art of acting,

at the Cleveland, Ohio Greenbrier Theater and Cleveland Play House.

 

Make sure you check out “Grimm” for fulfilling your need for fantasy crime scenes!

 

There is a rather new “fractured fairy tale” written by a woman named Helen Oyeyemi,

who has written a re-telling of the traditional, “Snow White.” Her book titled,  “Boy,

Snow, Bird” is her newest book. This is a tale with the main character being a bi-racial

eight year old girl and her ‘badly behaving’ secret friend.  Ms. Oyeyemi’s history of

wondrous books includes her first book published called, “The Icarus Girl.”  This tale

wove African and Western cultures together in an international mythology.  Her second

one was called, The Opposite House.” Her third book, “White is for Witching,” sounded

intriguing, too.  While on the cover of her “Boy, Snow, Bird” book there includes “Mr. Fox”

as her most recently published before this one. If you wish to hear why the secret friend

of the 8 year is old is ‘wicked,’ you may check this out.  The playfulness of the book, is

shown in the mother being called mistakenly, “Boy.” While her daughter is called, “Bird.”

The rat-catcher, involved in the plot, adding comic relief. It is published by the Riverhead

Publishing Co. Its bright lime-green colored cover, captures your eyes like ‘eye-candy.’

It has a rose-covered vine winding around the title. . . like a sinister snake.

 

This is not a fantasy, but it is certainly inspiring to watch. Check out YouTube for a

community of Amish people constructing a barn. I always think of that fantastic

mystery, police story and cultural movie, “Witness,” when it comes to the artistic

‘barn-raising’ scene filmed in this Harrison Ford movie. The way it is constructed in

such a beautiful, poetic and fluid way is just goosebump raising for me. So far, there

have been over 2 million ‘hits’ of watching this Raising of an Amish Barn.

 

Here is a quotation that wraps up this post that is about the television series,

“Grimm,” some creatively constructed fairy tales by Helen Oyeyemi and

the Amish community spirited barn-raising:

 

Charles Dickens’ quotation:

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this:

that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a

thing created is loved before it exists.”

Sleuthing Around

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Small Town Murder, case on “Cold Justice” television series, 8/1/14.

I watch the show, “Cold Justice,” on Friday evenings, when I am not out and

about. If there are grandchildren, an event or special occasion, I don’t like to

sit down and watch t.v. on weekends. I sometimes think to myself, “That is a

form of ‘defeat!”‘ The last straw, in being a free woman, is to just put my p.j.’s

on, watch t.v. and get up during commercials and make popcorn on a Friday

night.

Anyway, last Friday, I was tired. We acquired some stores back from Remington,

Indiana, at the warehouse. Apparently their fledgling distribution center is not

able to handle their orders. We have had ten hour days during the week, instead

of our four nine hour days and a half day, on Friday. We worked 6 hours last

Friday, making it a 46 hour week. Unfortunately, this week we just completed 48

hours. I may just have to get a library movie, or try my luck with another “Cold

Justice” show!

There are my excuses, but I have to admit, I did feel happy to see that their newest

‘cold case’ was one from 8/27/91.

It was from the small, quaint town of Cambridge, Ohio. The person who had been

murdered was a Robin Stone. There were ‘signs’ I was meant to watch this show!

Although she was found to be pregnant when they examined her dead body, the

police had never established who the father was, nor had they found who was the

one who had killed her.

Twenty-three years later, we are much more modern, there is DNA evidence that

could help solve this ‘cold case.’ The women on “Cold Justice,” are not actresses,

they have been hired and are filmed, using their ingenuity and their experiences

to solve crimes. Kelly is a former prosecuting attorney and Yolanda was a crime

scene investigator.

If you wish to read more about Kelly and Yolanda’s background and personal

stories, you may look up the show on the internet. I wish to imagine that I am part

of this team, along with another blogger, who shall remain anonymous. We have

talked about joining forces, to become an extraordinary detective ‘duo.’ We would

use our interest in detective, police and mystery shows, along with our combined

knowledge to become private investigators.

The one who was most suspected in the original time frame of the murder, was

her longest boyfriend and her declared ‘love.’ Her sister and mother were part of

the people who were re-interviewed for this show. The sister was weeping, with

her last words that Robin said to her repeated for the cameras.

Robin had just gotten off the telephone with someone and said to that unknown

person,

“I’ll be there.”

Robin  walked out of the house with those words left hanging in the air. She had

attended her first day of school and there would have been homework to do. But

she left her house with no explanations on where she was heading.

It was Robin Stone’s senior year of high school in Cambridge, Ohio.

Robin’s history of many dates, some different journal entries including how far

she had progressed with each, had been examined back in 1991. Lee Savage was

the name that appeared most often and more consistently than others.

Lee’s father, Jack Savage, was interviewed first in the newest investigation. His

words had been horrible showing disdain for Robin, in the original case notes

revealed as,

“I hope she is dead. She’s welfare trash.”

Jack’s contempt for his son’s ‘off and on again’ girlfriend, was shown again, in the

current interview, even when brought to his attention that his grandchild had been

found dead in her uterus.  DNA evidence proved it, with a high percentage number

that it could have been either Jack’s or Lee’s. A new theory was being formed.

Lee Savage acted like the ‘good ole’ country boy,’ while seemingly cooperative in

the case. He was willing to give his DNA, no concerns about his innocence being

questioned.

To add a counterpoint to this television series, I thought I would mention a famous

man, Dr. John George Spenzer who died in 1932. He was a faculty member of Case

Western Reserve  University. He taught medicine and chemistry courses, having

reached his PhD. in the early 20th century.

Dr. Spenzer, was Ohio’s Sherlock Holmes, having been a consultant on several

murder cases. One sensational murder case in 1908, was of a woman named Ora

Lee. The accused murderer was Guy Rasor. (Don’t these names remind you of

a James Bond tale? The attractive woman, Ora Lee, the ‘bad’ man Guy Rasor?)

Dr. Spenzer was able to use crime scene samples to use as additional proof in this

case. Dr. Spenzer was known for his careful notes, the care taken with specimens,

along with his ability to preserve the specimens with glass plates and plastic

bags. This fascinates me, that he was way ahead of his time, in this, considering

the above case, in a small town in Ohio, where they did not pursue evidence well.

Dr. Spenzer’s specialties were in poisons and toxicology. He was a professor, often

consulted by the Cleveland police force. In one of these cases, toxicology was a

part of the crime. At the Kiser trial, he was used as a professional witness/expert.

This was a 1916 case, where it occurred in Fremont, Ohio. A husband was accused

of murdering his wife, Dr. Spenzer was able to prove otherwise. The husband was

found by the jury to be ‘innocent.’

 

Dr. Spenzer was interested in the Crippen trial, which was held in England, in 1910.

This involved an American doctor who was accused of murdering his wife while

visiting in that country. Dr. Spenzer requested the court transcripts, (later found,

amongst his donations to Case Western.) He took meticulous notes, written in

long hand, with his own opinions and suggestions. Although he was not called in

as a witness or expert consultant, it is interesting that he was studying the case.

This is what he must have considered his ‘craft’ that he was ‘honing.’

Technology in factories and industrial advances contributed to this period of

time’s criminal investigations. Along with the industrial age innovations, crime

scenes were starting to be handled differently. This was the beginning of what we

call Forensic Medicine.

These inventions came to impact the Forensics’ area:

~Victorian goggles. You can imagine these being good while looking at a corpse.

~Microscopic slides. For blood, hair and sediment samples. Also helpful with

arsenic poision, part of toxicology.

~Wimshurst electro-static generator, 1880’s.

Turn of the century pharmaceuticals and medical techniques were changing

drastically the way of approaching crime scenes and enabling eye-opening

new procedures.

~Blood typing.

~Finger printing.

In amongst Dr. John G. Spenzer’s boxes of notes, journals, case files, slides and

examples of evidence, there were some newspaper clippings of Sherlock Holmes.

These donations were exhibited earlier this year at CSWR. While Dr. Spenzer

was consulting for the Cleveland police I venture to say, he had bigger dreams of

expanding his detective work. Those articles on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Scotland

Yard detective would be my first argument that he was wishing to go beyond his

world of academia. I think Dr. Spenzer was fascinated by this side line of his, but

consulting was not satisfying enough. I have no second argumental ‘proof’ but I

think Dr. Spenzer yearned to go beyond the walls of his professorial role, into his

own adventures of being Ohio’s own famous detective.

 

Or maybe those are my far-fetched fantasies. . .

Meanwhile, I will be watching the detective shows and studying the evidence.

 

 

Childhood book verses (Summer)

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I have mentioned this little book, from my years of elementary school titled,

“Kate Greenaway’s Birthday Book.” I like to read the names (Susan, Sandy,

and Allison…) of ones who I knew back then and when their birthdays were.

I enjoyed reading and choosing little verses to share with you.

The pen and ink drawings, with watercolor details, were created by Kate

Greenaway. The verses in this timeless book of collected short poems, one for

each day of the year, were written by “Mrs. Sale Barker.” This book was published

first in London, England, followed by New York City, NY,  by Frederick Warne

Company, LTD.

Summer is a time to enjoy nature’s restful places.

All kinds of activity choices I remember from my childhood like. . .

climbing trees, sitting by a brook or creek, seeing fields of wild flowers

with bees and butterflies flitting above them. The luxurious feelings

of  being filled with a combination of warm sunshine followed by cool

shade.

It was a time of innocence, play and learning from everything around

us.

Hope you enjoy this collection of six Summer poems. After reading

through about 90 days’ of Summer verses, I feel these are the ones

you will enjoy the most! They fill me with memories and nostalgia.

 

~First One~

“I’m rather idle, as you see

I sit upon the ground;

And all the world seems made for me

As it turns round and round.”

 

~Second One~

“I lie beside the running stream,

And watch the clouds, and rest and dream:

A jug with water by me stands,

Which I have filled with my own hands.”

 

~Third One~

“Blossoms, blossoms on the trees

Swinging in the Summer breeze,

Lending sweetness to the air,

To be shed on children fair.”

 

~Fourth One~

“A pretty tree, a shady tree,

Just casts its shadow around:

And we can go and sit beneath,

If we don’t mind the ground.”

 

~Fifth One~

“Little flowers of the field,

To me you tell a tale,

Of blooms upon the hill side,

Of blossoms in the vale.”

 

In this fifth one, I remember how we would say we had traveled

up hill and down, ‘hills and dales.’ But, I had to pause a moment

to remember that “vale” means, ‘valley.’

 

~Sixth One~

“How I love the field flowers,

Blooming bright and gay!

How I love the green, green fields,

To wander there all day!”

 

I remember making rings of daisies for bracelets, necklaces and

“crowns” in elementary school. Later, in high school, when I was

not working as a babysitter or at Lord Nelson’s Restaurant in

Westlake, Ohio, I remember plucking daisy petals off, one by one,

saying the silly words, “He loves me, he loves me not. . .” while

throwing them into a creek. The field flowers I loved the most

were those blue cornflowers and Queen Anne’s Lace.

 

Did any of these quaint verses bring back any memories for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found Wonders

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Two weekends ago,

during our exciting

Arts Festival weekend,

I visited the library’s

Annual Book Sale

and Fundraiser.

Searching carefully,

sifting through dusty piles

and carts of tossed books,

I found ones tucked nicely,

waiting for just the

‘right’ owner.

Limited spaces

requires diligence

to limit additions.

In a unique and lovely book,

I discovered the perfect

June poem to share with you.

Serendipity,

kismet and karma

wrapped up into

the sweetest

bundle!

Always fantastic

to find treasures

in amongst forlorn

discards’ bin!

“Fancy’s Hour,”

Hardly-aged cobalt blue,

gold engraved witch

adorning the cover.

Scarcely read book?

While an engraved

gold fairy perches

on its binding.

The author, Norman C. Schlichter,

had written two other books.

One was called,

“Children’s Voices”

and the other one was,

“Voices of Joy.”

Oh, how ecstatic

I would have been

to have found those

other two books,

among those

tossed aside.

Publication date of 1922,

proceeds “Fancy’s Hour.”

What antiquities!

My brilliant blue book’s

copyright date is 1924.

The Publisher,

C. Winston Company,

Philadelphia.

Thumbing through book,

playful and exquisite,

this poem caught my eye

and enchanted my heart.

Instead of saving it,

for all the men out there

for Father’s Day,

Here is my own

Personal Dedication:

“This is for all those inquisitive boys

who grew up to play important roles in

the lives of curious children.”

By Robin Cochran, 6/1/14.

“When I Was Little”

by Norman C. Schlichter, (1924)

“When I was little, I wanted to know

The how and the why of the beautiful snow.

Why this was this, and that was that,

And all there was inside of my cat.

I wanted to find the giant purse,

That held the pennies of the Universe.

I wanted to know who lighted the stars,

And the destination of railroad cars.

I wanted to know what elephants knew,

And to see a mountain through and through.

I wanted to know why birds had wings,

And more than a thousand similar things.

And, now that I’m older, and grow to be

A man of ripe maturity.

There are things and things that I want to know,

And, like a child in the long ago,

No one can tell me them here below.”

This seems like a kind of Sunday message that fits our 84 degree

weather day. I walked in the brilliant sunshine, observing flowers

and green everywhere. Cars bustling and people sitting out on porches.

My oldest daughter had just stopped by to pick up the boys, heading

off to Mingo pool. The library’s coolness upon my warm arms, gave me

shivers. I sat for a moment, reflecting about the weekend and children’s

wonder of things. In their curiosity, over the Saturday hours we

spent together, Skyler and Micah had been interested in playing at

Mingo Park. They had wondered why people would run in half and quarter

marathons when you are ‘allowed to walk?’ For the cause of the American

Lung Association, Delaware had sponsored “The New Moon Half Marathon

and Quarter Marathon,” on May 31, 2014. During our normally short trip from

their home across town, we had been circumvented and rerouted, to get to the

park. The boys had been fascinated by an intricate spider’s web with its white

‘nest’ of babies found nestled in the low branches of a pine tree. They had

been picking up pine cones, seeking the coolness in the shade of the trees,

away from the Big Toy, where they had made friends and chased them, in

endless games of “Tag, you’re ‘It.'” Too many other questions and thoughts

to cover, the spider’s web led us to the subject of books. Skyler asked,

“Did you ever read the book, “Charlotte’s Web,” Nana?”

I smiled, nodded and responded back,

“Third grade was a perfect time to

read that book! I am so glad you

know about that, Skyler!

Please tell me about it.

Tell me all the things

I may have forgotten.”

Short Stories: Capsulized Life Images

Standard

When people get together in a school, with their class

led by a staff member or teacher, they sometimes collect

thoughts on paper, items that represent that time in space,

and store them in a nearly indestructible container. They

call these, “Time Capsules.”

I think when we read a good short story, fellow blogger’s

post or a short book, we are reading something, I just

gave a title to, “Capsulized Life Images.”

I wonder if it also, could be called, “Encapsulated Life

Images?”

I enjoy reading compilations of short stories by famous

authors. I recently completed Stephen King’s newer book

with his collection of four harrowing and creepy stories.

It is called, “Full Dark, No Stars,” (2010). It is not as

good as some of my favorites, like the one that inspired

“Green Mile,” and “Shawshank Redemption,” movies.

The first story, let me tell you, had me dreaming, in

nightmare form, about rats! Thanks, Stephen King!

The scary ‘classics,’ to me include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Edgar Allen Poe and Agatha Christie.

I have been thinking about the other genres of short stories,

which include family stories and humorous forays into

everyday life situations and how the author uses his or her

own perspective.

When I was reading short stories, in high school, I really

enjoyed our World Literature book. Someone had taken the

time, a team of staff, I suppose, to compile some of the

most unusual and interesting stories. One that ‘sticks’

in my mind, was titled, “The Scarlet Ibis.” This story was

written and published in the magazine, “The Atlanta Monthly,”

in 1960, by James Hurst. It is considered ‘rich in symbolism’

and it has a metaphor of the majestic yet fragile bird,

compared to a weak, sickly child. The one who is telling the

story, calls himself, “Brother,” and his younger, more fragile

brother is called, “Doodle.” Apparently my memory served me

very well, in this instance, since the story is included in

many compilations of short stories. It is a sad one, but well

worthy of reading (or re-reading) for its simple but memorable

style.

Humor, as a different genre, captures relatable stories of

family. Such as odd occurrences like in, “The Night The Bed Fell,”

by James Thurber. Thurber’s stories were expanded into a likable

television show, “My World… and Welcome to It.” I liked this

show, although they only had 26 episodes of it, starring the

fun loving, William Windom. He was a daydreamer, as some writers

seem to be, visualizing ways to make life better, or imagining

a whole different world.

Hey, have you ever read, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?” This

was released in movie form, in October, 2013. The movie is based

on a short story with the same name. Check out the story or the

movie to find out how an author transcends his time period of

his writing.

The short book, “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” by Jean Kerr,

contains images that capture your “Aha!” moments. Sometimes this

helps you to relate, despite the contrast between your life and

the one of being a career parent, (Jean Kerr was a playwright)

with rampant children loose in your New York apartment suite. This

became a television show, a song sung by Doris Day and a movie.

I like P.G. Wodehouse’s sense of humor, sometimes at the ‘expense’

of the upper class in England. Once you read his biography, you

realize why this is true. He was only three years old, a son of a

British judge in Hong Kong, when he was sent back to England to be

raised by a nanny. His dependence on servants, helped him to

develop a deep affection and respect for them.

Once P.G. or Pelham Grenville, also known as “Plum,” reached

school age, he was sent off to boarding school, where all his

holidays were spent with his two brothers and a series of aunts.

“Plum” developed a rather devoted habit of writing short stories

and essays. One biographer said he wrote ‘relentlessly’ in his

spare time. Good thing to remember, as we have heard this before,

great artists, craftsmen, musicians and authors, practice their

craft.

Writing and being a ‘cricketer’ (one who plays cricket) were his

only passions. He had a sharp tongue, got himself in serious

trouble while in Germany, on a radio show, making light-hearted

jabs at the ‘regime.’ Can you imagine ‘giving lip’ while WWII was

going on? Since this was during Hitler’s time of control, Wodehouse

was placed in an internment camp for over a year.

If you are trying to place P.G. Wodehouse, his books include the

character of “Jeeves.” There is a series of books and movies that

were taken from the books. The pictures he shows of servants are

smart and clever, able to manage households and help with his

character’s detective work, too.

The main character in his “Jeeve’s” series of books is Bertie

Wooster. He is a rather ‘spoiled’ rich young man, but tries to

be kind, helpful and be counted on, by his ‘pals,’ and women

who say they are engaged to him, he won’t confront them and

deny this! Lots of fun, some drunken incidents, and reminds me

of the impetus for the character,

In another book P.G. Wodehouse wrote, “Blandings Castle,” again

the servants are friends of the ones who are head of household,

the main characters are upper crust, who sometimes aren’t quite

as important as they think they are. He liked to ‘make fun’ of

the rich, along with business men and persons in the law. His

father being a judge didn’t prevent his getting into and out of

trouble. Reminds me of the stories of ‘preacher’s kids’ or P.K.’s,

who were the rabble rousers in our small town, growing up and in

Delaware, I knew one, too!

The subject being short stories, I would like to recommend the one

called, “Strychnine in the Soup.” He incorporates another kind of

interesting character, the strong-willed, independent, sometimes

older woman. These women can be sometimes, ‘troublemakers.’ In this

short story, Archibald Mulliner is the detective from a wealthy

family and Lady Bassett is the older woman.

Interestingly enough, A. A. Milne did not respect Wodehouse’s escape

from the internment, feeling that his wealth had bought him out

of it. There is a rather silly poem, where P.G. Wodehouse imitates

Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” style, but it is meant to be satirical.

I was excited to know many authors respect Wodehouse and that

Agatha Christie dedicated her book, “Halloween Party” to him.

In 1975, due to the WWII internment and his body of work,

Wodehouse was knighted, Sir Pelham Greenville Wodehouse. He

had written 15 plays, numerous books and collaborations for

250 songs in 30 musical comedies, with Jerome Kern and Guy

Bolton. Wodehouse died in that year of his knighthood, at age

93. A life well-lived, indeed. To me, his stories gave me a

‘window’ into a world I will never inhabit and made it quite

enjoyable.

The final thought I wished to impart is that when we speak of

writing, we include the hope for longevity. The writers of short

stories, listed here, and others you may already know and love,

all have captured our hearts by breathing life into their

characters.