OF LOVERS AND LEAPERS

On Leap Day (Feb. 29), according to an ancient Irish custom, a woman is permitted to propose to a man, who must accept, or pay a penalty. Thus, being of part-Irish descent, my thoughts this day turn — or should I say, leap— to love. Ah, L’AMOUR! Ah, LAMOUR (Dorothy Lamour, that is — she of silver screen memory and part-Irish descent). Sure, and I  still don’t know why she didn’t propose to this dear boy back in those saronged “ROAD” movie days, being as close as the first row of the darkened theater, and I only 22 years younger than she. When love dreams have gone so cruelly unrequited, ’tis THE END OF THE WORLD — one might just as well d(r)ive off a suitable cliff. For example:

Click LOVE ROCKS

Now, if I were a cynic, I might postulate that the daring young man in the flying machine was under the influence of something more substance-tive than love that didn’t click. But this happened in the hallowed Hannibal of our beloved Mark Twain, who coincidentally wrote of a Lover’s Leap called Maiden’s Rock (named for a beautiful Sioux maiden) in his book LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI….so let us not jump to judgment.

Maiden’s Rock and the Lover’s Leap in Hannibal are, of course, but two of many such sites in America and beyond (including one of legendary leaps from a rocky waterfall on the Glencree River, County Wicklow, Ireland). If your love dreams are on the rocks and you’re thinking of taking the plunge, but don’t know where you’d make the biggest splash,

look here BEFORE YOU LEAP

On a happier note, Feb. 29 is a good day to be born because your birthday only comes around every four years. That may put a serious crimp in the number of birthday presents you get, but who wouldn’t exchange that shortfall for quadruple the longevity? I’ll admit I don’t personally know anyone who’s lived to near age 400, probably because such persons cheat and celebrate their non-leap year birthdays on Feb.28 or March 1. Oh, well — who can blame them for not wanting to depend on Depends for the last 300 years of their lives?

But I do know of some of the statistically 1 in 1461 people born on Feb. 29 — people like Jimmy Dorsey, the 1930s-40s Big Band leader; Dinah Shore, the 1940s band vocalist and 1950s-60s TV & recording star; and Michèle Morgan, a French actress who came to the U.S. when Germany invaded France in 1940, and returned after the war. Though little known outside France, she has the distinction of having played opposite Frank Sinatra in his first starring role in the film Higher and Higher (1943), and she almost landed the female lead in Casablanca opposite Humphrey Bogart, but RKO wouldn’t release her to Warner Bros. for the sum of money offered. She is still with us on this, her 96th birthday.

Should we end where we started, leaving the dashed dreams of life and romance on the precipice, as lamented here by Karen Carpenter (born March 2nd)? Don’t they know it’s THE END OF THE WORLD?

Or, should we get a grip, and tell February 29 to take a flying leap? Forward, March!

 

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17 comments on “OF LOVERS AND LEAPERS

  1. Ah 2/29.
    It sure gets its fanfare!
    Happy leap day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. linnetmoss says:

    Didn’t know about the Lover’s Leap in Co. Wicklow. They must be universal. Even Sappho talks about a Lover’s Leap…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse says:

    One would think Lover’s Leaps are universal, but I googled Lover’s Leaps in France during my research for this post, and came up empty. No doubt, my readers from the land of l’amour know more than Google, and can-can leap to fill in the gap.

    Like

  4. ladysighs says:

    I love your posts and how you tie your words/thoughts together. You always give interesting and little know facts ( Michèle Morgan — for one) and end the presentation with ….. well The End. Karen Carpenter or course is sad. But she somehow made the sadness she sang about seem a little less sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. arekhill1 says:

    Leap Day, to my mind, is the least of the February holidays, dwarfed by the immensely more significant Groundhog Day, which at least has the decency to come around every year. But thanks for the clip of “Don’t Say No,” which happens to be the first song I ever slow-danced to.

    Like

  6. mistermuse says:

    If nothing else, Groundhog Day is a helluva great movie, and Leap Day has yet to make a title appearance on film….an oversight which some creative director and writers should look into.

    Like

  7. carmen says:

    Wouldn’t you know it? There’s a Lover’s Leap very close to where I live! 🙂 Happy Leap Day to you, mistermuse!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mistermuse says:

    And to you as well, Carmen. If I may make a suggestion, why don’t you write a post sometime about that nearby Lover’s Leap, complete with pix? No doubt there is a history there, and perhaps you could dig up a legend or story or two which I’m sure your readers (including me) would find interesting. 🙂

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    • carmen says:

      Food for thought! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos says:

        I don’t think Ground Hog Day is as significant a holiday as Valentine’s Day. I have not heard of a Lovers Leap yet here in Florida. Chances are if one would jump off a small hill he or she would land in the water. My Grandmother, Joanna Blajda, was born on February 29 but I don’t think she ever celebrated her birthday at all. She was one of many immigrants from Poland , probably because of the war. A no nonsense lady who treated her grandchildren with great care and much love..

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Don Frankel says:

    How do you know when it’s a leap year? We elect President’s in leap years. Talk abut look before you leap.

    Like

    • mistermuse says:

      Excellent point, Don. I’d never thought about the fact that Presidential election years and Leap Years coincide (as if the campaign season wasn’t long enough without the extra day).

      Like

  10. mistermuse says:

    Michaeline, there are molehills in my back yard higher than almost any promontories in Florida. I leveled one that would’ve caused instant death to any lovelorn mole contemplating a leap from its summit, and several others that would’ve resulted in crippling injuries. But do those moles appreciate my solicitude? No, they just keep making more mountains out of molehills like they’re in a competition to impress the objects of their affections by the size of their protuberances.

    I guess bigger is better, even among moles.

    Like

  11. Mél@nie says:

    ah, l’amour… encore et toujours l’AMOUR!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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