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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ghosts of the past, Jean Negulesco, knowing yourself, , , , nostalgia, , , The Way We Were   


    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

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    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


    • Lisa R. Palmer 1:05 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Profound thoughts and deep reflection – a wellspring for the humor that is your trademark here at WordPress. For it is only that level of understanding and the wisdom that grows from it that can fuel a true sense of irony laced with compassion…

      Oh, and I’m taking this quote with me, as it moves me to ponder my own deep thoughts: “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.”

      Great stuff here, mistermuse!

      Liked by 7 people

      • mistermuse 1:33 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Lisa, for taking time to comment in such a thoughtful way. I wrote this post not expecting it to appeal to all tastes, but a man does not live by humor alone–if I did, my wife would kill me (just kidding–I brought home enough bacon before I retired to keep her fat and happily recumbent most of the time).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Lisa R. Palmer 2:45 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink

          The “happy” part is the only one that truly matters, so whatever you did, or do, to achieve and maintain that state is goodness in itself. Lol!

          Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 3:51 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Agree with Lisa’s comment but fortunately I have few regrets, I tended to do what I wanted when I wanted 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • Carmen 6:06 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That Annabelle – what a charmer! And only ten! Wow! Can definitely detect a great personality. Apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree, eh? 😉

      Speaking of such things, my husband was at a gathering one time to discuss the passing of a friend. Some comment was made about this guy having ‘climbed the ladder to a better place’. . . Or some such thing. Hubby said, “I figure where I’m going, the only thing I’ll need is a hand sled!” Ha, ha!

      Wherever it is, I’ll worry about it after I get there (although I don’t think there’ll be any ‘think’ left). 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 9:42 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Well, Carmen, at least your hubby thinks he’s going SOMEPLACE! 🙂

        As for me: I think–therefore I don’t know what to think. 😦

        As for Annabelle, talent like that needs and deserves to soar. Destination Broadway (I hope)….speaking of which, The Unsinkable Molly Brown was a Broadway show which was made into a movie starring Debbie Reynolds. Here is her “I Ain’t Down Yet” from the film:


    • Don Frankel 8:13 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      “The past is always with us.” Or as I like to say we are the things we did. No getting around it.

      But I do think we experience life in the past, the present and with a slight anticipation of the future. It’s just the way our minds work.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 5:09 pm on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Perhaps that’s generally true, Don–but I think with politicians, there’s more than a slight anticipation of the future. No sooner is one election over than they start calculating for the next one, even if it’s as much as six years away (in the case of U.S. senators).


        • Don Frankel 7:11 am on July 19, 2018 Permalink

          Muse, at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold.

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 8:36 am on July 19, 2018 Permalink

          Don, I’ve already got the pot, and even if I get the gold at the end of the rainbow, I can’t take it with me where I’m going.

          On second thought, I’d better mend my ways so I can go to the other place — who wants to spend eternity roasting with the boasting Orange Man?

          Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 8:18 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Always there are two sides to every story. Sometimes there is no glory!! You shared it so well!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • scifihammy 11:05 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      A very thoughtful post – thank you. 🙂
      It doesn’t bother me if I’m not remembering something ‘correctly’ because the memory is what I have now. And I never go back to old places, preferring my memory of them as they were. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • arekhill1 12:00 pm on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I always thought Hardy’s words meant your home has changed from the way you remember it, so it is never the home you left, but your interpretation works as well, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 12:51 pm on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I take “You can’t go home again” to mean that, though your old home may still be there, what you left of yourself there is gone forever….and one goes “home again” hoping in some amorphous way to recapture a piece of it. That may be ‘a bit much,’ but I prefer to think (without knowing) that it’s close(r) to what Hardy had in mind. In any case, I’m at home with your interpretation as well, Ricardo.

        Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 3:40 am on July 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I like that quote too., and I like you being thoughtful. Often when I write posts such as yesterdays I wonder if I’m being really truthful, if I’m giving the ‘right’ impression, and if indeed, I know what the ‘right’ impression is. This can go on and on, can’t it? I’ve often thought of writing Dad’s story but reporting it accurately worries me. And no, we can’t go back but I loved that film… 🙂 🙂
      Mam was a wise old bird and she used to say ‘can’t put an old head on young shoulders’.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 9:42 am on July 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Jo, your post yesterday rang true to me and, I’m sure, to everyone who read it. I hope anyone who reads this will go to it and see for themselves.

        Thanks for quoting your mam’s wise words. It’s been a long time since I heard that quote, and it was good to hear it again.


    • katsobservations 1:54 pm on July 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Very powerful post. For me though, nostalgia represents not appreciating the past instead of wishing I did something differently. I guess nostalgia has a different meaning for each person.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:11 pm on July 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Well put, Kat. Perhaps one reason for a ‘different take’ on the past by another person would be if that person had one or more bitter experiences as a child that would make revisiting his or her childhood haunts a return to mixed memories. As you say, different meanings for different persons.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel McAlpine 5:58 pm on July 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      When those moments arise the best I can do is to tell myself I did the best I could with the me I was at the time. And don’t worry, your memoirs will be “corrected” by those who disagree. My friends write their own memoirs in revenge,

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 12:35 am on July 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Rachel, there is much wisdom in your first sentence. No one is the same person they were when they were young–or if they are the same, they haven’t matured–and therefore, you have to let go of the regret you feel that you would do something differently if you had it to do over again.

        Regarding memoirs, I don’t plan on writing any, so there won’t be any to correct….and as for my friends, I plan on outliving them. Good luck with that, right? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • moorezart 1:26 pm on July 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:14 pm on July 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Once again I am in your debt, sir. I shall REMEMBER you in my prayers (in lieu of in my will). 😦


        • moorezart 5:17 pm on July 24, 2018 Permalink

          Wonderful post sir, consider all debts cancelled in payment for being gifted by your lofty thoughts.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 11:11 am on August 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That girl, from the video you posted, is a true entertainer!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:42 am on August 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I just watched the video again, and she’s just as good as the last time I watched her! 🙂
        But seriously, that is one talented girl, and I hope she grows up to reach her full potential.

        Liked by 1 person

    • etiliyle 11:31 am on September 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply


      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe, Blues In The Night, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Dorothy Dandridge, Grand Canyon, , , , nostalgia, railroads, Sun Valley Serenade, trains, Union Pacific Railroad, Vienna Waltz   


    All my life I have been thrilled by the names of famous trains. The Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul, the Train Bleu rushing through the night to the Riviera, the Flying Scotsman and the Brighton Belle rolling north and south from London, the Twentieth Century Limited, the Santa Fe Chief and Super Chief crossing the vast continent of America — these were magical names to people of my generation, but on a dark November evening in 1963 the rather dingy train awaiting us in the Zurich station offered no interest until, at a second glance, I noticed that under the grime it bore a name in letters which had once been of polished brass — the Wiener Waltzer [Vienna Waltz]! My spirits rose. How charming, how romantic and how right, I thought, for I was on my way to Vienna to play the part of Johann Strauss in a picture.
    –Brian Aherne, English-American actor (1902-86)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I, too, have long been fascinated by trains — probably since the age of 12, when I traveled with my family by train from Cincinnati to Mexico City. Perhaps my most vivid memory of that trip: the elegant dining car, lined on each side of the aisle with tables covered by immaculate white tablecloths topped by spotless linens and tableware, at which we would sit like ‘big wheels’ eating leisurely meals as the scenery rolled by. “Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer” — like the old song, now echoing back over time.

    On the wall near where I sit as I write this post, hangs a large 1966 calendar published by the Union Pacific Railroad (“Road of the Domeliners”). Above each month is a color photo of a scene which is presumably within viewing or dreaming distance of a Domeliner: Sun Valley, Idaho; Morro Bay, California; Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon; Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; a covered bridge somewhere in northern California; and so on. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge in 51 years.

    But the handwriting was already on the wall for iconic streamliners in America by 1966. Numbered were the days of such storied trains as the CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO and railroads like THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND THE SANTA FE. Sad to say, the new kid on the track, AMTRAC, would lack their imagery….not to mention, their soundtrack songs from films such as SUN VALLEY SERENADE (1941) and THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946):

    Those were the days, my friend. Clickety-clack, echoing back. It’s enough to give one the….

    NOTE: I will be taking a one-post break. Until my next post on June 20, keep your dreams intact and your hopes on track.



    • calmkate 1:00 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      ah that brought back a few memories … here we have The Ghan and a few others that cross our vast arid interior … hadn’t realised you had a posting schedule, enjoy your break 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:17 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I hear that tourists can even travel by train now to (near) Ayers Rock in Australia’s remote outback. Perhaps “The Ghan” is one of those trains. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 7:41 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink

          it is indeed that train, a trip I would love to do one day as I love our outback and Uluru [AR] is a magic spiritual spot … been there twice 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 3:43 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Have a good break ☺

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:18 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you! 🙂


    • Ricardo 11:22 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Coincidentally, the girl and I have just booked a trip from Anchorage to Denali in August by train. It will be my first non-commuter train ride ever.

      Mexico City by train? There’s a trip I could go on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:52 pm on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Conversely, Ricardo, I have never been on a commuter train ride, and Anchorage to Denali by train is a trip I could go on. I envy you!


    • WanderlustAndSmoke 4:36 pm on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for visiting my page. I also enjoy your content! Keep it up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:20 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great selection Muse. Now there’s no real scenery with this train. Well none you’d really like to see but still the music is just fine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:24 pm on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Don — that’s an Ellington classic. If I had time, I could probably find a dozen old train songs on Youtube. Here’s one from a 1948 Irving Berlin musical (EASTER PARADE) starring two legendary performers:


    • Mél@nie 12:14 pm on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      my very best & bonnes vacances, Monsieur Muse! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 7:14 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love the dining car nostalgia! It’s too bad we do not have a more extensive passenger train network in this country. Especially since the airline experience has gone down the tubes. In the old days they used to sing about the romance of air travel (“Flying Down to Rio”)–but no more!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:13 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Linnet. Your comment leads me to a connection which, unlike today’s airline experience, is easy to make for those of us who are fans of old movies: Fred Astaire appeared in both FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933) – – his first pairing with Ginger Rogers — and 15 years later in EASTER PARADE with Judy Garland (see the “When That Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam” clip above).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Scheel 1:33 pm on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply


      You know, Atchison and Topeka are nearby Dee and me. Been there many times. Ridden the train out of Emporia many times (a railroad center in its day–the William Allen White era). Got caught in a blizzard once trying to get to KC and catch my flight to Washington D.C. to process through National Red Cross HQ for Germany. And I saw the Orient Express in Germany once, but didn’t ride on it. Rode others. Don’t overlook “Folsom Prison Blues,” by Johnny Cash. And “City of New Orleans,” by Steve Goodman. On and on. Thanks for the memories!


      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:37 pm on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        You’re welcome, Mark. What a thrill it would’ve been to ride on the Orient Express, made legendary by Agatha Christie’s novel MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (I wonder if there has ever been a real murder on the Orient Express?)!

        Love “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, but the “Blues in the Night” clip is a much better fit for this post because of the train lyrics (“Now the rain’s a-fallin’ / Hear the train a-callin’, whoo-ee! / Hear that lonesome whistle blowin’ ‘cross the trestle, whoo-ee / A-whoo-ee-Ah-whoo-ee, ol’ clickety-clack’s a-echoin’ back / The blues in the night”).


        • Mark Scheel 3:27 pm on June 17, 2017 Permalink


          I think it’s a close call:
          I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend…/While a train keeps a rollin’ on down to San Antone…/When I hear that whistle blowin’ I hang my head and I cry/Well I’ll bet there’s rich folks eatin’ in some fancy dining car…/Well if they freed me from this prison if that railroad train was mine/Bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line/Far from Folsom Prison that’s where I long to stay/Then I’d let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away.

          Yep, Johnny was a great one! 🙂


          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:17 pm on June 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right, Mark — Johnny Cash was a great one. I have “Folsom Prison Blues” on LP but hadn’t played it in a long time — I should’ve listened to it again before my previous comment….but, even though it’s a close call, I think I still would’ve used “Blues in the Night” because of the film clip I chose.


  • mistermuse 4:07 pm on April 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boyhood, , , , nostalgia, ,   


    All I ever wanted was for someone to know what’s inside me. -Dane Clark to Ida Lupino, death scene, DEEP VALLEY, 1947

    Surrounded by color,
    now we look back
    at memories of ourselves
    and see that no
    one knew us as did
    our celluloid stand-ins.
    Not our parents.
    Not our siblings.
    Not our friends.
    Not even ourselves.

    The stuff dreams
    were made of?
    It was all
    up there
    in black
    and white.


    • arekhill1 7:06 pm on April 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah I been wondering…this whole you get old and die thing–who signed off on that anyway?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:59 pm on April 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Well, you can eliminate me – but if I had signed off on it, I question how I could live with myself.


    • scifihammy 8:22 pm on April 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think there you have it – ‘Not even ourselves’.
      I really like this poem; Nicely written. 🙂


    • mistermuse 9:03 pm on April 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate that. BTW, the movie I referenced (DEEP VALLEY) was in black and white. It’s a little-known, but very good, film.


    • Don Frankel 6:01 am on April 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “and our little life
      Is rounded by a sleep.”

      I got that one on my wall. Nice one Muse.


    • mistermuse 6:36 am on April 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      And a good one to have on your wall (hanging Shake-ily o’er your bed), it is!


  • mistermuse 4:15 pm on May 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , artistic freedom, , , McCarthyism, nostalgia, , the good things in life,   


    [To] someone with a longer perspective, someone looking at us, we’d look like a bunch of ants on a log, running around. And every hundred years, it’s like somebody flushes the toilet and the entire planet is changed. –Woody Allen

    I have lived, not a hundred years, but almost as long as the 78 year old Woody Allen —  long enough to appreciate where he’s coming from. It’s a different world from the one I grew up in the years preceding, during and after World War II, with a culture so completely changed that if I’d fallen asleep in that generation and awakened in this one, I might think that either I or the world had lost its marbles. Indeed, it’s like somebody flushed the toilet, and the marble in space we call earth became a different planet.

    Now, I’m nostalgic about a lot of things, but I’m not one of those antedeluvians with rose-colored glasses about the past. There have been changes for the better and for the worse, and as much as I mourn the loss of what was (or seemed) wonderful then, it wasn’t all wonderful by a long shot. Those who “want their America back” want an America that never was whole or without shortcomings.

    I would love to get that America back where drugs were a relative anomaly.

    I would hate to get that America back where racism was as normal as everyday life.

    I would love to get that America back where mean-spirited discourse wasn’t fuckin’ de rigueur (if you’ll pardon my French).

    I would hate to get that America back where censorship trumped artistic freedom.

    I would love to get that America back where the good things in life were more intrinsic than superficial.

    I would hate to get that America back where the likes of McCarthyism fanned jingoist fears and ruined careers.

    I would love to get that America back where popular music knew the meaning of sophisticaton.

    I would hate to get that America back where the average lifespan for men in the year I was born was 56 1/2 years. By all rights, if I’d fallen asleep in that generation, I should’ve died before I woke up in the present generation. Talk about exceptionalism! Is this a great country, or what?

    • arekhill1 4:52 pm on May 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I fucked de Riguer. I believe her first name was Simone


    • mistermuse 10:07 pm on May 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think I knew her sister, Catherine de Neuve Riguer. She ended up marrying some guy named Mortis.


    • Don Frankel 2:23 pm on May 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Good points Muse. It’s good to remember your life and times fondly. It’s foolish to think it was all good and there was nothing wrong back then.


    • mistermuse 4:36 pm on May 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Right, Don, although there are always some things in one’s life one doesn’t remember fondly. Anyone who claims not to have any regrets is either an ignoramus or in denial, it seems to me.


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