Remembering Carol Channing and My Parents

Having been raised by parents who originally wanted to be professional actors, I gained an appreciation for the theater. I acted in a variety of plays in high school and college including a local production of Hello Dolly. No, I wasn’t Dolly, being too young. I was in the chorus, but it was a memorable experience all the same. It was my last time on stage before my parents passed away. In the wake of the death of Carol Channing, who portrayed Dolly on Broadway, Alice’s memories reminded me of this.

alice13wordwalk

Remembering Carol Channing and My Parents

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Yesterday (January 15, 2019), when I heard of the passing of Ms. Carol Channing at age 97, I knew I wanted to dedicate this WORDWALK blog post to her.  What a Broadway legacy she leaves in the spotlights!

Throughout the television run of The Merv Griffin Show (October, 1962-July, 1981), Ms. Channing was a relatively frequent guest of Merv Griffin; and I enjoyed hearing her unique and extraordinarily expressive voice.  Watching her on television, I never realized that she was six-feet tall.  Additionally, in those earlier decades, I never imagined that I would someday see Ms. Channing perform Hello, Dolly! in a theatre.

In 1964, shortly before Hello, Dolly! began its run on Broadway, Louis Armstrong recorded the title song which quickly became a hit.  At that time, in our dining room’s southeast corner and to the right of the…

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Thursday Book Feature: The Enchanted April

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.The Enchanted April

by Elizabeth Von Arnim

Copyright 1922

 

Four English ladies retreat from their miserable lives in London to a medieval castle in Italy that they have rented for the month of April. Lottie and Rose are escaping their husbands. Lady Caroline is trying to get away from men in general, and Mrs. Fisher, a grieving widow, wants only to rest and think and not be disturbed. As the weeks progress, attitudes change, and things get interesting when the husbands and landlord show up.

This is a good story, but Elizabeth Von Arnim, like many authors of the time, includes way too much narrative, which slows it down. Because I was curious after seeing a theatrical production of this book, and my regional talking book library’s group decided to discuss it, I slogged through and found the ending, like that of the play, satisfactory. This might be a good book to read during the month of April in a sunny garden, perhaps in Italy. The excessive narrative plus the sun’s warmth may cause you to slip into a peaceful afternoon slumber.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Tuesday Talk with… author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Wow, this is my lucky week. Thanks to Felicia Denise for promoting me on her blog yesterday.

Nesie's Place

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Abbie J TaylorNesie’s Place welcomes author Abbie Johnson Taylor to the blog today!

Thanks for visiting with us today, Abbie. Tell us, where are you from?

Thanks for having me! I currently live in Sheridan, Wyoming, but I was born in New York City in 1961. Since then, my family has lived in Boulder, Colorado, and Tucson, Arizona, before settling here in Sheridan in 1973. I went away to school in the 1980’s but returned and have lived here ever since.

Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?

I was married in September of 2005. Three months later, my husband suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I cared for him at home until he passed in 2012. My memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, tells our story.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

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Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Abbie Taylor

Thanks to the PBS Blog for this interview.

The PBS Blog

I would like to extend a warm welcome to Abbie Taylor.


What is your name and where are you from?

My legal name is Abigail L. Taylor, but my author name is Abbie Johnson Taylor. I’m currently in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I’ve lived for over thirty years. I was born in New York City on June 1st, 1961. After moving to Boulder, Colorado, then Tucson, Arizona, my family finally settled here in 1973 so my father could run the family’s coin-operated machine business after my grandfather died. I went away to school in the 1980’s but came back and have lived here ever since.

Cool. What is the most annoying habit that you have?

I talk to myself. When my late husband Bill was alive, it drove him nuts at first. Then after he suffered two strokes that left his left side paralyzed, he said he liked it…

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Song Lyric Sunday: The Streak

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.This feature is being hosted temporarily by Jim Adams while Helen Vahdati, the blogger who originally created it, is recovering from health issues. The theme this week is “laughter.” I couldn’t find a song about this, so I’m posting one I hope will make you laugh. It was popular in 1974 when running around in the buff was a fad. Enjoy a good laugh today. It’s the best medicine.

The StreakRay Stevens

Lyrics Couretesy of Google

 

Hello, everyone, this is your action news reporter
With all the news that is news
Across the nation
On the scene at the supermarket
There seems to have been some disturbance here
Pardon me, sir, did you see what happened?
Yeah, I did
I’s standin’ over there by the tomaters
And here he come
Running through the pole beans
Through the fruits and vegetables
Nekkid as a jay bird
And I hollered over t’ Ethel
I said, “Don’t look, Ethel!”
But it’s too late
She’d already been incensed.
Boogity, boogity
(There he goes)
Boogity, boogity
(And he ain’t wearin’ no clothes)
Oh, yes, they call him the Streak
(Boogity, boogity)
Fastest thing on two feet
(Boogity, boogity)
He’s just as proud as he can be
Of his anatomy
He goin’ give us a peek
Oh, yes, they call him the Streak
(Boogity, boogity)
He likes to show off his physique
(Boogity, boogity)
If there’s an audience to be found
He’ll be streakin’ around
Invitin’ public critique
This is your action news reporter once again
And we’re here at the gas station
Pardon me, sir, did you see what happened?Yeah, I did
I’s just in here gettin my tires checked
An’ he just appeared out of the traffic
He come streakin’ around the grease rack there
Didn’t have nothin’ on but a smile
I looked in there, and Ethel was gettin’ her a cold drink
I hollered, “Don’t look, Ethel!”
But it was too late
She’d already been mooned
Flashed her right there in front of the shock absorbersBoogity, boogity
(He ain’t lewd)
Boogity, boogity
(He’s just in the mood to run in the nude)Oh, yes, they call him the Streak
(Boogity, boogity)
He likes to turn the other cheek
(Boogity, boogity)
He’s always makin’ the news
Wearin’ just his tennis shoes
Guess you could call him uniqueOnce again, your action news reporter
In the booth at the gym
Covering the disturbance at the basketball playoff
Pardon me, sir, did you see what happened?Yeah, I did
Half time, I’s just goin’ down thar to get Ethel a snow cone
And here he come, right out of the cheap seats, dribbling
Right down the middle of the court
Didn’t have on nothing but his PF’s.
Made a hook shot and got out through the concessions stands
I hollered up at Ethel
I said, “Don’t look, Ethel!”
But it was too late.
She’d already got a free shot
Grandstandin’, right there in front of the home teamOh, yes, they call him the Streak
Here he comes again.
(Boogity, boogity)
Who’s that with him?
The fastest thing on two feet
Ethel? Is that you, Ethel?
(Boogity, boogity)
What do you think you’re doin’?
He’s just as proud as he can be
You git your clothes on!
Of his anatomy
He’s gonna give us a peekOh, yes, they call him the Streak
Ethel! Where you goin’?
(Boogity, boogity)
Ethel, you shameless hussy!
He likes to show off his physique
Say it isn’t so, Ethel!
(Boogity, boogity)
If there’s an audience to be found
He’ll be streakin’ around
Invitin’ public critique
Ethelllllll!
Songwriters: Ray Stevens
The Streak lyrics © CLEARBOX RIGHTS, LLC OBO AHAB MUSIC COMPANY, AHAB MUSIC COMPANY INC

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

Thursday Book Feature: No Barriers

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

by Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy

Copyright 2017

This memoir’s title may be a bit misleading. Erik Weihenmayer doesn’t just talk about his big Grand Canyon adventure but also covers other topics. The book starts with a forward by an American journalist, injured while on assignment overseas, who was inspired by Erik’s work. Erik then touches on his Mount Everest adventure, the subject of a previous book, and how he met his wife and married her on Mount Kilimanjaro. After that, he describes how he led various mountain climbing and river rafting adventures with children and adults who have disabilities. He explains how he formed No Barriers, an organization that empowers people with disabilities through hiking and other activities.

Erik also talks about family struggles: his brother’s battle with alcoholism and subsequent death, the arduous but successful process Erik and his wife went through to adopt a little boy from Nepal, and the child’s struggle to adapt to their way of life, then finding out later his mother was still alive. All this is interspersed with stories of his adventures and finally, how he succeeded in kayaking the Grand Canyon, with its multitude of dangerous rapids. In his epilog, he tells us what became of various children and adults with disabilities whom he helped through his involvement with No Barriers. The recorded version, which I downloaded from the National Library Service’s braille and audio site, and which was produced by McMillon Audio, contains an interview with Erik.

I’m not the adventurous sort, but I always enjoy re-living others’ experiences from the comfort of my recliner, and Erik’s story didn’t disappoint. Members of my regional talking book library’s group chose this book to discuss because they wanted to escape winter and cold weather, but I found myself wrapping my blanket more tightly around me, as I read of Erik and his crew climbing mountains in sub-zero temperatures, so I don’t think this was quite the escape for which they’d hoped. Oh well, sometimes, you don’t really know until you read the book, which has a clear message meant not just for those with disabilities. You should never let barriers, real or imagined, stop you from making dreams come true.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

A Sentence from a Book

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Thanks to Charles French for inspiring this. In his post, he quotes a couple of sentences from books that strike his fancy and asks readers to respond with quotes of their own.

One sentence that came immediately to mind after reading this post was from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist. “But now that he was enveloped in the old calico robes which had grown yellow in the same service, he was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once—a parish child—the orphan of a workhouse—the humble, half-starved drudge—to be cuffed and buffeted through the world—despised by all, and pitied by none.” When I read this classic as a teen-ager, I was horrified to learn that poor Oliver suffered a lot of abuse.

Nowadays, I apply the concept of being cuffed and buffeted through the world to how I feel children should be raised. I’ve never been a parent, so I’m going by the experiences I had as a child. Too often, today’s children are coddled and not shown enough discipline.

I’m not saying children should be fed three meals a day of gruel or beaten, but parents need to be more authoritative, and there’s nothing wrong with a few good hard swats on a child’s bottom. That’s the way I was raised, and I’m proud of it. If punishment is swift and sure, children will grow up to be responsible citizens, and down the road, we’ll have less crime and violence.

What about you? Is there a sentence from a book that stands out in your mind? Why? I hope you have plenty of good books to read in 2019.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.