Category Archives: Michael Heaton

“Cleveland Rocks”

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I have a follow up post about Kevin Costner and his friends,

the band he performs with, “Modern West.” When I wrote about

Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and the movie, “Draft Day,”

directed by Ivan Reitman, I did not have the “whole story”

to share with you! I had started by writing one post about

the movie being filmed in Cleveland and its “calling it a

wrap” around Thanksgiving!

The Brothers Lounge in Cleveland hosted Kevin Costner and

Modern West to a packed audience, all enjoying the music

with a few brews being consumed by members of the band,

actors and the “general population” who assembled there. I

am glad to say that Kevin Costner consumed a pop, Coke,

instead of partying like the others. It is always “refreshing”

(not to just drink a Coke! See advertising placement! No

money being exchanged, though. Darn!) to have a famous person

sharing and trading stories, along with setting a “good”

example for young movie goers who follow his actions closely.

The Modern West band is a country-rock band and performed lively

tunes, including “Red River.” Kevin Costner’s daughter, Lily,

played as a guest that night, on her guitar and joining in

by singing the songs with the band.

Kevin Costner often plays quiet parts, an easy going man, but

not very effusive or outgoing. I was pleased to hear that he

is a warm and friendly man, one reviewer, my old high school

cohort, Michael Heaton was writing about the stories Costner

told between songs, also friendly banter about Cleveland

Indians and thanking Cleveland for being so gracious and open

to the film being made in our town. It is appropriate that he

mention baseball movies because, even though I am not a sports

aficionado, I appreciate the Browns and the Indians. I expect

guests to our town to show their interest and enthusiasm to

the local teams, by ‘shouting out’ a word of encouragement.

I also have watched the beautiful movie, “Field of Dreams”

and humorous movie, “Bull Durham,” with Kevin Costner acting

in them. It is only “fair” to reciprocate to Cleveland, since

we have been faithful viewers of his fantastic movies!

Kevin Costner shared that his father was not too “keen” on his

being an actor and did not approve of pursuing his dream of

acting. It was not until his father watched Costner’s movie

directorial debut with “Dances with Wolves” that he earned his

respect. All of the audience could relate to disappointing Dads

sometime or other!

A funny comment about not drinking but enjoying watching others

came at the end of his rocking out the place, Costner says

Cleveland is known for their beer drinking ways. He added,

“You have not lived, until you’ve seen a girl from Cleveland

suck down an ice-cold beer. It’s really something to see!”

Lots of laughing followed that closing joke!

Wish I could say I was there but I was glad to hear both

the television news story and read the “Minister of Culture,”

Mike Heaton’s story. I have mentioned him before, his column

in the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a must-read when I travel

home, mostly because he graduated from Bay High with me,

but I always add a ‘shout out’ to his sister, Patricia Heaton,

who ably had us laughing on “Everybody Loves Raymond” but

pulls my heart strings for her being so “real” on the comedy

show, “The Middle.” Now, they just have to talk Kevin Costner

into coming to our 40th high school reunion in 2014!

Fun in the Sun!

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Memorial Day is meaningful for remembering those who have given

their lives for our country. For parades and gravesites decorated with

wreathes of red, white and blue. For waving flags and remembering

to take them down at dusk. For the trumpet which sounds, “Day is done,

gone the sun…” that etches a memory for me of my Dad. His sensitive eyes

would fill up when he heard the mournful first notes.

Along with the serious side of Memorial Day, there are the wondrous

buffets of picnics, fishing and playing games with family. I am always

thankful for the sight of my Dad rounding the corner of their little

retirement cottage on the cliff of Vermilion on Lake Erie. He would

have a life preserver over his shoulder, a handful of those styrofoam

multi-colored “noodles” my kids loved, along side of him would be

the croquet set up or a badminton net all for my three children who

didn’t realize every grandpa was not so playful and fun loving.

I am excited about staying up in Cleveland to see my mother in her

senior apartment. Last year, it was the “Attack of the Flies” story that

made my blog. This year, who knows what mischief, malaprops said,

or other adventures Mom and I will get into? We usually sit in our p.j’s

and have wine, we enjoy Hallmark or the Clue channels! Always there

are memories and a midnight walk with her little dog, Nicki.

I will be traveling with her to the grocery store, we go to the bank and

often she wants to drive past our home in Bay Village. We may go over

to Huntington Beach and stop in for an Italian meal at Vento’s which

I mentioned last summer. It is a restaurant that Patricia Heaton and her

sister own. Patty is known for “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle”

comedy shows’ fame.

She was a resident of Bay Village and would have been grade wise between

my youngest brother and my other brother who is only 18 months younger

than I am.

Her brother, Michael Heaton, was in my graduating class of 1974. He

writes in the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer. His column’s title

and his famous persona is “The Minister of Culture.”

I wrote last year around Christmas that he wrote a true story that was made

into a Hallmark movie (Dec. 21, 2012.) This touching movie is about a

heart transplant that transforms several peoples’ lives. It is called “The Christmas

Heart.”

Vento’s has a black board listing the specials along with the choices available

On the patio are tables with umbrellas where the view is a beautiful setting

where the Huntington Playhouse currently have live theatre productions. The

Huntington Arts used to hold outdoor watercolor classes, for example.

Vento’s serves light fare along with a delicious variety of the Italian pasta

dishes you would love to eat. The desserts are also varied and includes

cheesecake and a fresh fruit salad. I am not sure what else would be served

since it has been a year.

My mother likes to look around this neighborhood that was the one

I lived in from my 7th grade until my senior year of high school. From

BGSU, I would come home from college on breaks, got married and then,

my parents retired. They spent the rest of their time together traveling

around in their RV. They went from Maine to Florida and then from Ohio

across the West to California to a NACA reunion (what NASA was called

when it first began.) Then they would follow their travels by stopping to see

their grandchildren, my kids, in Delaware, Ohio. At last starting summer

in their Vermilion home with their Memorial Day weekend extravaganza!

We won’t go to Vermilion with Mom because that is where she remembers

Dad the most and she cries and wants to stay there. It is not a safe place

anymore for her. Last Spring, we made a family decision that is difficult.

I want to take her there but I remember it is for the best not to.

Thus, I will venture there while Mom is sleeping in on either Saturday

or Sunday mornings. I will visit her neighbors, let the air into the house

and wander around the cottage. I will walk the beach looking for the blue

glass and special little rocks that we always loved to bring back and drop in

the rock garden.

I may weed a little and hope that it won’t take too long. Our man who mows

will have weed whacked and hopefully, there will be potential buyers this

Spring and Summer! Neighbors may wave and cross the street to talk.

They usually ask about my mother who was there on her own for 11 years

with a lot of neighborly love and friendship going both directions.

My brothers will have a barbecue with Susan and I doing a minimum

of preparation and sitting with my mother on their sun porch. They are

fortunate to have a place across the street from where they placed Mom.

My sister in law and younger brother have a beautiful “century home” that

is a pretty yellow with black shutters. Adorning my  brother’s large yard is

a Randall Oldrieve (other brother) sculpture that brings cars to a halt or

slowing down at least to see!

I will bask in the sun at some point in time, be it on a walk at the beach,

sitting on a large rock or on the pier at Showse Beach in Vermilion. I may

choose one of the benches at Huntington Beach in Bay.

My favorite place to perch is on the steps my Dad built down the cliff. This

was a place that no matter how high the water was, we could count on them

to be able to survey the lake. I can look out and almost see Canada on a clear day!

The sun setting or the sun rising are gorgeous to view there. From this perch, the

clear, ‘no city lights’ deep, dark night sky is heavenly!

This Memorial Day I will think of my father who really loved retiring from

what was a challenging career. He worked hard at NASA as a rocket scientist

or an engineer in the lab working with the mechanical arms testing the metal

that would produce a part on the space shuttle.

What we remember is sitting in a simple rowboat looking at the stars and casting

out a fishing line.

Those times were filled with the great expanse of water and sky filled with stars

and we didn’t have to talk to know we were loved.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!  Feel free to share your favorite memories, too!

Listening to Carols

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We were at my son’s house with (I am not kidding!) 11 kids

under 12 running around, listening to Christmas Carols. We

adults each mentioned our favorites. They are revealing in their

variety and how they fit almost perfectly each person.

I would like to say the one that will inspire me to make a new

resolution: “The Little Drummer Boy” (I especially  like Nat

King Cole singing it.)

Why this song? Because we all have gifts or talents to give.

We all have things that are inside of us that sometimes we

do share, sometimes we hide and sometimes we still need to

discover them.

I think the point of the song is Christian but the way I like it

best to be read in this post is: Whoever or whatever you love,

believe in or seek for serenity let them know by your sharing

your special gifts.

I would like to make this a universal resolution. It might bring

peace, it may bring joy, it would bring Hope surely, it would!

I will meditate or contemplate every day in 2013 how I can be

more giving, more thoughtful, more outside of myself and it

will be amazing how this will take my worries and anxieties

away.

Lastly, I think we all believe that we are good inside, but we

don’t always believe what we can do will make a difference.

My mother was wonderful as a teacher, later a substitute and

a tutor. She was a good neighbor and she is still one of the

sweetest women I have met. But one thing she never envisioned

herself doing was taking her 2 dogs to a nursing home.

She walked into one the year my Dad passed away, 2001, and went

to the front desk, she asked to talk to a social worker. She said, “I

brought my 2 dogs, Cassie and Nicki, with their shots records and

my neighbor’s letter of recommendation. Can I go to visit someone

who misses their dogs? ”

This seems like a very simple idea, but in its most humble way it

was her final gift to her little town she lived in. She doesn’t have

Cassie and Nicki is her companion and her solace in her senior

living apartment. You can come up with a simple way of giving

or paying it forward. I will work on mine this coming year, much

better and more often than before.It would make me so happy if

you would want to share your idea, maybe it will become a way

to inspire others to try something out of their comfort zone…

This reminds me of  a wonderful movie that my mother and I watched

this Christmas holiday. The script was written by a fellow graduate of

my high school in Bay Village, Ohio. His name is Michael Heaton,

he writes a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Minister of

Culture.” It was first shown on December 2, 2012.

This heartwarming story, titled “The Christmas Heart,” was about

a life that is redeemed by giving. This is the ultimate gift to share.

It is a meaningful reminder of how we all need to be organ donors,

live the best life we can, and care for our neighbors. The writer, Michael

Heaton, had an interesting side note in an article telling about how the

movie was made. The airplane carrying the heart was going to have to

go through a big snow storm. This is an “inside story” and they took

the chance it would snow out where they filmed. No, they had to use

potato flakes! The characters in the Hallmark movie, include famous

actresses Teri Polo and Tess Harper. A teenager’s life is in danger if he

doesn’t receive a heart. Meanwhile a man whose life has gone astray and

made some mistakes, dies. His mother has to decide to give his heart to the

young man who needs it. It has a very exciting paced ending so if you get a

chance to, please watch this! The movie was produced with Michael’s

sister, Patricia Heaton’s help. A family movie with Bay Village roots.

May this coming year be the one you reach farther and touch more.

Happy 2013!!