Movies: First things first, eh? The Turner Big Screen Classics series continues this month and next with “Hello, Dolly!” on Aug. 11 at 1 PM and Aug. 14 at 7 PM and then…in September…(drum roll), in case you missed our first winter Film Forum event, “Lawrence of Arabia” will be shown on Sept. 1 at 1 PM and on Sept. 4 at 7 PM. Even though Bonnie and I think we have seen it 18 times, we’ll be there for the matinee. It is LONG, but Steven Spielberg calls it his favorite film of all time—so do I! It really needs to be seen on a big screen, if possible—it’s digitized and restored for this showing. [Regal Hollywood Cinemas]
Choose well: your choice is brief and yet endless. [Writer Ella Winter]
Dog Days: Are we in the Dog Days of Summer yet? I heard a commentator a week or two ago say we still have a month of summer, though, at that time, we were only one month past the summer solstice. By the 21st of this month, we’ll be 2/3 through summer and I guess that has something to do with those Dog Days, though why pick on dogs? [Because we don’t want to annoy our other favorite pet by celebrating the CAT Days of Summer] Is it because when the temps get into the high 80s and 90s, even with central air, we feel like doing the doggie thing by flopping over on our sides on the coolest floor in the house (or basement), choose a summer read and silently commune with literature while our big doggie tongues flop about and pant and wish for a trip to the nearest waterfall to cool off.
That happened to us a long time ago. In 1969 we had been married for about two weeks when we took a Greyhound from California to Oklahoma to see my dear old grandpa, who was not long for this world. We used to travel Rt 66 annually to visit the grandparents in July, positively the worst time to go to Oklahoma, but that’s when dad got leave, so we went. My cousins thought they had the perfect get-cool scheme—"let’s go to the lake!” This would be Lake Eufala, an enormous man-made lake just north of McAlester, my home town. So, off we went, windows all down (no one had car a/c), to the lake. We parked and ran into the lake that was like getting into a WARM BATH! We giggled a lot, but as for getting cool…forget that. We were at grandmother’s in time to watch the moon landing, which was pretty exciting for us all. Grandmother, for her part, had lived through the entire history of flight in her lifetime. Pretty amazing.
Our only purpose in life is growth. There are no accidents. [Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross]
This quip reminds me of two thing…(1) in theater, one of the main elements we insist on for a play to have staying-power is that the characters grow, except, perhaps, for the protagonist who has already made his/her main decision so grows the least; (2) I was always taught that there are no accidents, instead we all learn great lessons. So if you make some mistake, large or small, try to learn the lesson you need to know at that point. Isn’t it wonderful that our OLLI classes provide us many opportunities to learn stuff we didn’t think we needed to know but that we now have time to learn, so why not?
Here’s a little Greek:
He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden. [Philosopher Plato]
Toni Morrison: We lost one of our most legendary literary figures this week with the passing of Toni Morrison at 88. She only produced about 8-9 novels, some poetry, some essays on African-Americans and the importance of black women to the world. If you have not read Toni, I suggest any of her novels, that started with “The Bluest Eyes,” and continued with “Sula,” “Beloved,” and “Love,” among her best. She won the Nobel Prize in 1993, well-deserved. She was a powerful voice for her people and a great supporter of the younger generation. Her career was launched into space by Oprah choosing one of her novels for the first Book Club choice, that then sold 800,000 copies in paperback. She will be missed but what a legacy she left!
I cut my own hair. I got sick of barbers because they talk too much. And too much of their talk was about my hair falling out. [Poet Robert Frost]
Keep Kool, folks! Until next time…see you at the movies!