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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dorothy Lamour, February 29, Hannibal Missouri, , , , Karen Carpenter, Leap Day birthdays, Leap Year, Lover's Leap, , , ,   


    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!


    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:04 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

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

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 7:57 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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

    • mistermuse 8:10 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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.


    • ladysighs 8:43 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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

      • mistermuse 11:28 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciate your comment (it’s always good to be appreciated). And what you say about Karen Carpenter is so true. Such a beautiful voice and such a young age to meet her maker. I recommend to those who aren’t familiar with the details of her life and death, to Google her name.

        Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 10:44 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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.


    • mistermuse 11:47 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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.


    • carmen 1:01 pm on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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

    • mistermuse 3:06 pm on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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. 🙂


      • carmen 4:33 pm on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Food for thought! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Michaeline Montezinos 7:10 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink

          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

    • Don Frankel 7:16 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

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


      • mistermuse 9:39 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        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).


    • mistermuse 9:31 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      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.


    • Mél@nie 11:46 am on March 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

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

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on March 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: County Clare, County Galway, County Kerry, County Limerick, , Irish Grand National, Irish places, leprechauns, Lover's Leap   


    I have long had a fascination with interesting place names — especially those with odd and/or humorous connotations, such as the libidinously-named Intercourse, Pennsylvania, or the differently-torrid town of Hell, Michigan.

    Ireland, as you might imagine, has its share of “Far-away places with strange sounding names” (as the old hit song put it), so it doesn’t seem far-fetched to devote my third St. Patrick’s Day piece to strange-sounding places in the Emerald Isle….and I can think of no more fitting place to start than the first name on the list:

    FAIRYHOUSE, northwest of Dublin, isn’t a town but a racecourse, and not an obscure one either. It is the venue of the renowned Irish Grand National Steeplechase and the Irish Gold Cup. And would you believe the jockeys are leprechauns?

    BALLYBUNION, County Kerry, is known as the Town of the Sapling, not the Bunion. Apparently the saplings have no bunions until they grow enough feet to become trees able to have bunions, but that may be just a tall story.

    KNOCK, a village in County Mayo, is the site of a church and shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose apparition (with Saint Joseph and John the Evangelist) reputedly appeared there in 1879.  It was not long before KNOCKLONG, a village in County Limerick, got jealous and claimed that Jesus had appeared at their church. Unfortunately, the door was locked and Jesus didn’t KNOCK LONG enough for anyone to hear — or see — him.

    LOOP HEAD, is the western-most point of County Clare, where a cliff overlooks a channel of the Atlantic Ocean called the Lover’s Leap. I don’t know how many Loop Heads have leapt off Lover’s Leap, but it’s probably the only place in Ireland where more lovers have drowned their sorrows in water than in liquor.

    RECESS, County Galway, is a fishing resort situated in a valley separating the Twelve Bens from the Maamturk Mountains. Why the Twelve Bens need separating from the Maamturk Mountains I don’t know, and since I’m on Recess, I have no intention of checking it out.

    If I’m not back by tomorrow evenin’, ye will know I’m still doin’ research for Part Four at the local….library. But never fear — like St.Patrick hisself, I shall return.

    • Don Frankel 5:57 am on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Who could knock any of these places? But today is the day Mister O’Muse and enjoy. Erin go Bragh. I know that last one as we used to peddle green balloons with that lettered in gold on them on this day.


    • mistermuse 11:58 am on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Top o’ the afternoon to ye, Don, and thank ye for the good wishes. Frankel go Bragh!


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