THE WAY WE WEREN’T

The trouble with turning memories into memoirs is that when one is finished, a sneaky feeling comes along: “Things never were that way, anyway.” –Jean Negulesco (1900-93), Academy Award-winning movie director

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I’ve just finished reading Jean Negulesco’s memoir (coincidentally, he died 25 years ago today) titled THINGS I DID AND THINGS I THINK I DID. The above quote is from that book–as is his reflection on having raised, with his wife, two adopted daughters from war-torn, post-WWII Germany:

And so it starts, and so it ends. And we see ourselves in them. There is no sense in telling them, “When I was your age….” We never were their age. 

“We never were their age.” And so it is with us. We’ve never been ‘inside’ them–even our own children. When all is said and done, we’re lucky if we know ourselves–now, then or in-between–which is not to say that, along the way, we were not open to wanting whatever knowledge romance promised….

They say “You can’t go home again”–even if your old haunts still exist, your past and its ghosts stay with you, not with where you were….not so? So, where do we go?

Now, I’m as nostalgic as the next old geezer, but as my past recedes further into the past, I look at old photos, see the images of faces and places I knew, and there’s no avoiding the sense that the road between THINGS I DID AND THINGS I WISH I DID leads to a place where the sun sets before we get there.

Sooner or later, it’s all over but the doubting. It’s the place where (to paraphrase a phrase) OLD GHOSTS NEVER DIE, they….just….fade….a w a y

Still….

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THEY’RE PLAYING R SONG (PART I)

After combining P and Q in my last post, I’m again looking to bring the number of posts in this series up to its corresponding letter….and, as luck would have it, the next letter (which is R, for the benefit of the alphabetically challenged) is replete with girl’s name-song titles. Thus R will be divided in two parts, with Track I being a run for the Roses.

First out of the gate is SECOND HAND ROSE, made famous by Fanny Brice in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1921, but sung here by someone else because it’s only fitting that someone else sing a second hand song someone else sang first:

Second, we have the first Rose song from a Ziegfeld show (Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic, 1920):

Selecting my last pick for Part One could have gotten a bit thorny because a number of good Rose songs remain to vie for my favor, so I made an arbitrary choice in order to avoid — are you ready for this — the War of the Roses. After all, it’s Only A Rose:

FOR THE RECORD, AND THE LIKE

Either heaven or hell has continuous background music piped in; which one you think it is tells a lot about your personality. –Bill Vaughan

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I rarely listen to radio, and spend as little time Christmas shopping in stores as possible. Even so, I hear Christmas music almost everywhere I go, from dentist office to automobile service waiting rooms. If my reaction to much of this music makes me seem ‘ear-itably’ Scrooge-like, my reaction to that characterization is “Bah! Humbug!”

For example, after hearing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” (not one of my favorite Christmas songs to begin with) for the umpteenth time this month (and a million times over the years), I’m dreaming of receiving ear plugs for Christmas (or sooner, if Santa wants to get a head start). I admit I once owned a recording of the song, but I evicted it from my record collection long ago….unfortunately, to no apparent avail.

Nevertheless, there are far worse outrages in the world, and there are a number of numinous Christmas songs which earn “Likes” from the likes of mistermuse. You won’t be hearing from me again until Dec. 30 (no post on Dec. 25), so I thought I’d include a few of those songs (with a little help from YuleTube) in my early Merry Christmas wishes to you:

LAZY DAY

This post marks the second mile, as the frog jumps (or as the crow flies, if you’re a traditionalist), on my post-every-five-days trial run, and already the timetable is beginning to seem unnatural and formulaic — not unlike having sex on a rigid schedule, instead of spontaneously (although there is something to be said for libidinal regularity, if you can keep it up).

At any rate, a palpable angst is creeping over me, as if I’m a character in a Woody Allen film, torn between conflicted and competing neuroses. Not exactly the optimum scenario for a writer of my non compos mentis….or for a Casanova wannabe, for that matter.

Be that as it may or may not be, now is not the time to dwell on second thoughts, ere this noble experiment hath run its allotted August course. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their…. Oops! Wrong speech!

Anyway, as you’ll recall from my August 5 post, August 10 is LAZY DAY, so my duty today is clear: punt, get out of the way, and let Lazy have its day….and then some:

P.S. Although Kermit the Frog said time’s fun when you’re having flies, he probably never had to eat crow flies….and he’s too slow to catch horseflies.