I don't have a picture I can put up quickly to share with you, but I will find one later today. Candy, our beloved lab/shepherd mix who has been a part of our lives since December 1991, was put down yesterday afternoon. She was the most gentle and sweetest puppy in the world and she never hurt or bit anybody. (Well, maybe she nipped at Daddy a few times, but that was it.) Guesstimates on Candy's age range from 14 to 18, since we don't quite know how old she was when we adopted her.
Tuesday, February 18 is the third anniversary of the passing of the matriarch of the Mackey family, Eleanor or "Dolly" as everyone called her.
Mom had been in and out of the hospital since the end of 1999 in the end stages of her battle with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome), a disorder in which the body's system of veins and arteries develop shunts that bypass the capillaries. Characteristic symptoms include severe nosebleeds and other bleeding, which Mom certainly suffered from most of her life. On February 17, 2000, I decided to spend the night with Mom, by now comatose, off life support and being given medication to make the end as comfortable as possible. Bob, John and I had all had our nights to keep an eye on her. Around 1:00 a.m. the next morning, I went downstairs to get a bite of food. When I got back, Mom's labored breathing had ceased, and we brought the doctors in to confirm that she was gone.
I did see "The Music Man" last night because my band job was called off due to the big snow. Unfortunately, I wasn't that impressed with Broderick in the role of Hill - I just felt the entire time I was watching him there was something missing.
Kristin Chenoweth is another story! She put emotion and feeling into all her song numbers and she made for a wonderful Marian. Plus she's so damn cute.
Also, I watched the "Married.... With Children" special on Fox last night, reuniting the entire cast. I can't believe they didn't even mention SEVEN the entire show!
I'm generally not excited about Disney trying to remake everything on God's green earth, but this one is different. ABC will broadcast a Disney-produced remake of "The Music Man" this coming Sunday night at 7 p.m. Eastern time, with Matthew Broderick in the role of Professor Harold Hill, con-man turned bandleader, and Kristin Chenoweth as Marian The Librarian.
I'm a fan of "The Music Man" and not just because its big hit song was "76 Trombones". It's perhaps the greatest musical ever to spring fully formed from the mind of one creator - book, music and lyrics all by the estimable Meredith Willson, whose grinning, bespectacled image graced a US Postage Stamp some years ago as part of the Broadway Composers series (and was a very visible panelist on one of ABC's few panel-show successes, "The Name's The Same"). Of course, it was made into a big-budget film musical with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and a very young Ronny Howard. The film production successfully captured that sense of small-town Americana that Willson and others of his generation cherished, and in some measures miss dearly.
"The Music Man" was successfully revived on Broadway several years ago, but with the added star power of Broderick (now a full-fledged musical star after his bravura turn in "The Producers" on Broadway) and Chenoweth, this production cannot possibly miss. I'll be out gigging on Sunday night, but when I get home I'll pop the tape in the VCR and watch this - I've got all night, I don't need to be in school on Monday.
We told you a little while ago about Eddie Anthony's bus website. I am pleased to report to you that Eddie, as of Wednesday, has been fitted with a prosthetic right leg and is very happy and proud to be back on two feet again. He had been using a wheelchair until that point.
This Old Look is not just any newly restored bus, but a rolling piece of civil rights history. This is the actual bus on which a black woman, Rosa Parks, declined to give up her seat to a white man and was subsequently arrested as a result in 1955, one of the significant events of the civil rights movement.
The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI unveiled the bus yesterday. The bus had been sitting, vacant and neglected, in a field in Alabama for thirty years after its retirement. The owner of the bus at the time was told by the transit agency in Montgomery, AL, that this was the "Rosa Parks Bus", but needed further proof. Newspaper clippings had ID'd the bus to its fleet number (2857). Librarian Tom Jones of the Motor Bus Society helped further by verifying the bus as a 1948 GM TDH-3610, serial number 1132 and concurring that the bus was in service in Montgomery in 1955. All of the pieces of the puzzle had come together: the bus was the one, alright. The Ford Museum spent almost $800,000 acquiring and restoring the bus to near-new condition (the goal was to have the bus as it appeared on December 1, 1955). The bus will be on permanent display at the museum. Ms. Parks, who will celebrate her 90th birthday in a few weeks, was not at the ceremony on Friday.
Here's an interesting new book by Hal Lifson about the year 1966. Lifson was only six when this year occurred and I was five, so we are pretty much working on the same base of nostalgia. A graduate of UC/Berkeley, Lifson has spent the last 20 years as a pop culture commentator, even hosting an all-60's radio show called "Radio A Go Go" on KRLA, Pasadena. He has also been manager or publicist for a number of stars including Nancy Sinatra and Adam West, both of whom have written material for the book.
Check it out at your local or online bookstore. If you are of a certain age, you're sure to find something in there that stirs up those childhood memories.
We try desperately to steer away from blogs that take excessive liberties with language as I am, after all, a teacher of very small children who should not be exposed to bad language. A bad word once in a while isn't going to kill an otherwise entertaining blog. However, should one of these blogs ever turn into a filth-fest, it will be removed... and it has happened in some cases. Just be warned, fellow bloggers. Language originating from this blog will be always on the safe side. Thanks... --DM