What really bugs us that we're not admitting to ourselves: It's not that we're in our late fifties now. We've adjusted to that. It's not the aches and pains, the diminished capabilities, we've gotten used to those gradually. For some of us it's really not the cancer, or the heart problems, or the other major medical conditions we've been fortunate enough to pull through -- we're grateful for the second chance. It's not the classmates whom we have lost -- we'll all be seeing them soon enough. And even those who have lost a husband or a wife, or God Forbid, a child or grandchild, and are muddling through with as much Grace and Joy and Dignity that they can muster -- God Bless Them All. But that's not what's bugging us. What's really bugging us, and that we cannot admit even to ourselves, is that all of the gorgeous Babe Teachers of our Youth are now in their Seventies. Our Memory has not been sold like J Geils' Centerfold, it's just been fully depreciated like a rusting 1972 AMC Gremlin. And that's what bugs us ...
From the late Dr Elizabeth Aronsen:
When I graduated from high school I was asked how I wanted my name to appear on my diploma. Being a relative smartass and liking to poke cheetahs, I wrote in 'Elizabeth Louise Aronsen III' knowing that there could be no such thing in girls as there was in boys because women generally changed their last name when they got married.
I assumed that the high school officials knew the same thing and would catch the joke. On graduation day my name appeared not only on the diploma as ELA III but on the program as well. Mother was asked by a number of people if I really was ELA III (I guess they didn't get the joke either) and finally she started answering them "Well, there's Rolf, then Jarl, and then Elizabeth so I guess she is the third."
It continued on to my college and graduate school diplomas (advanced degrees don't mean they are any more savvy) and only stopped with my medical school degree because mother convinced me that I may not be able to obtain a license and practice medicine if I didn't have my legal name on my diploma. Jarl memorialized it one year in a gift of a pewter mug engraved with ELA III. Then when Erica was born she was named Erica Lynn Aronsen so, of course, she becomes ELA IV.
(Found on Facebook via John Tviet)
It's near the grave of the sister of Bonita Spell Holder, a Pattonville classmate of mine. 100 years from now this blog will have been long forgotten but folks will still be thanking Ralph and Carol Best for giving them a nice spot to sit down.
The ultimate, ULTIMATE example of the Texas nationalism occurred when I had a baby. Texas, not being overly environmental, gives new moms information (pamphlets and flyers) printed on the equivalent of approximately 3 reams of paper. So I’m thumbing through some of it while in the hospital and I come upon a greeting card. Not just any greeting card. It’s an actual Hallmark card from the Governor and Mrs. Perry congratulating me on the birth of my new native Texan! And in true Texas fashion, it’s written in both English and Spanish. Only in Texas, friends… Only in Texas…
From The Fourth Checkraise:
In Reddit, there is an interesting thread with over 2,000 comments so far. Suppose you are alone at a gas station, and a 11-year-old kid approaches you and asks for a ride home five miles away. Your move? I don't even drive a car, but my immediate response was exactly the same as it is to the question of what I would do if, when taking a walk in some new-to-me neighbourhood, I saw a crying little kid wandering just by himself: just stay the hell away. And this seems to be the exact response of an overwhelming majority of serious commenters .... Even with honestly benevolent intentions to help the kid, there are just too many things that can go wrong and cost your whole life. Suppose the toddler is confused of the directions to home, so you take his hand and start taking him the wrong way, and the enraged parent catches up after you moments later, not in a state of mind to listen to any explanations? Sorry, not going to happen. Sure, I'm a coward, that is, someone who refuses to take a large risk solely for someone else's benefit. But if it's a choice between one lost kid and my entire future, then there really isn't anything for me to choose, brother.
USE Yourself exclusive SET TALK OFF CLEAR DO WHILE ALIVE STORE "LOVE" TO heart STORE "health" TO body STORE "peace" TO mind STORE "compassion" TO others STORE "esteem" TO self STORE "faith" TO God REPLACE Negative WITH Positive , ; Judgment WITH Acceptance , ; Resentment WITH Forgiveness REPLACE Hopelessness WITH Choice , ; Confusion WITH Clarity , ; Procrastination WITH Participation REPLACE Separation WITH Connection , ; Lack WITH Abundance , ; Sorrow WITH Celebration @ all, times SAY your_truth If its_time EXIT ENDIF ENDDO SAVE TO Always CLEAR ALL RETURN EOF: remember.prg
Tom had every right to a high opinion of himself. Child actor Tommy Rettig had great success, starring in several movies, and playing Jeff Miller, the first owner of TV's "Lassie." Tom reprised the role a few years ago in an episode of "The New Lassie" series; he wrote the script that had Lassie using a computer (helped by himself as a grown-up Jeff Miller). This was especially fitting, because as an adult, Tom's ability as a programmer was legendary -- he was a guru with a Hollywood-famous name. Yet he was one of the most friendly, accessible people you'd hope to meet.
As news of Tom's death (from natural causes) spread, dozens of people posted messages on the Fox forums. Those messages, while deeply touching, were remarkable for their similarity. Here are a few examples:
"He spoke to people as peers, whether they were on a guru or novice level. He never seemed condescending. Once he was introduced to me, he remembered my name and always greeted me by it as if I was a long lost friend."
"What a class act: Here he is, an acknowledged guru, author and vendor of a powerful FoxPro development environment (Tom Rettig's Office), and instead of talking about himself, he asks about my (relatively piddling) work."
"Somehow when we were around Tom we got to be more valuable than we were before--smarter, funnier, more gracious. And he seems to have made everybody feel like that."
TCM: "Natural, not overly-cute, sincere and obviously intelligent, Tommy Rettig was a child actor who didn’t get on your nerves. And that’s saying quite a bit."
As you might have guessed, real life as a kid actor wasn't as idyllic as on TV. From a 1981 interview:
HIGH TIMES: Why did you get out of "Lassie"?
RETTIG: We sued the producers of the show for four years in a row. One year they put out a Lassie doll with my picture on it and paid me no royalties. They owned the name Lassie and they owned the name of my role, Jeff Miller. We took them to court and they had to either take my picture off or pay me a royalty, so they took the picture off. Another year we took them to court because they told us they were going to pay my salary in savings bonds: "We owe Tommy ten thousand dollars so we'll pay him seventy-five hundred dollars and in three years it'll be ten thousand dollars." Unbelievable sh*t. So, in the last year, the whole cast sued for release from our contracts. It didn't upset the producer at all: "I've still got the dog, don't I" And he did. That's all it took. I'm now syndicated under "Jeff's Collie," and, of course, I make not one cent in residuals.
HIGH TIMES: Hooray for Hollywood. You did "Burns and Allen." What was it like?
RETTIG: Look, I did almost all the hit shows. They were all just another gig. You go there, you get your script, you say some lines, Gracie Allen says some lines, people laugh, George Burns says some lines, people laugh, show ends, you ask for their autograph, pick up your check and go home.
High Times: Fun?
RETTIG: It was work.
But for a teenage boy, it did have a bright side:
Fame did bring some compensations. "I'd say, 'Gee, Mrs. Jones, can I keep your daughter out until 2 a.m.?' She'd say, 'Oh, you're the nice boy from Lassie. Of course, she can stay out all night.' I had a halo on my head, but it was hiding horns."
An observation by Robert Fiore:
One of the great wits of sport. Once he's dining out with friends when an exhibit from the Sex Education series walks by. Once everyone had rolled their tongues back into their mouths, Chi Chi says, "And just think, somebody somewhere is tired of that."