Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence
I suppose we’re a tad past the traditional season of thanksgiving but I’m feeling it this Christmas. Got to thinking about all the people, places and things that enriched my life over the years. And I don’t mean the obvious ones. This isn’t going to be about my loved ones, friends and family. I always hold them dear and trust they know so.
No, I’m talking about a few of those souls who have no idea they’ve brightened my days and lightened my load.
- Folks like Jerry Howarth, who calls the Toronto Blue Jays baseball games on radio and does a fine job. Jerry paints a verbal picture without unnecessary embellishment - letting the sounds of rawhide and wood and leather-lunged umpires tell half the story. His new side-kick, ex-catcher Alan Ashby, knows the inside game well, and is a fine communicator in his own right. There’s way worse ways to while away a fine, summer afternoon than listening to Jerry and Alan call a ball game.
- I wish I could thank every person who’s bought my book. They number in the many thousands now and have kept it in print for going-on six years. It’s quite remarkable really, because I’m a publisher’s PR nightmare. I refused to do book signings or radio or tv or print interviews. I sure appreciate every reader, most especially those who contacted me afterwards.
- I’m grateful to Mother Nature. I’m writing this on winter solstice night, the longest darkness of the year on my part of the planet. I anticipate the coming, gradually-lengthening days. Without darkness, we’d never appreciate light. MN has innumerable goodies in her basket that deserve gratitude. To list them all would take much more than a blog post. But here’s a handful: storms, rainbows, dragonflies, sunsets, trout, trees and dogs.
- Many actors have moved me with their performances and I could rhapsodize about a couple of dozen. But today I’ll focus on one: Susan Sarandon. I fell a little bit in love with her in 1970's Joe. And a little more in 1975's Rocky Horror Picture Show. I realized it wasn’t just a passing fancy with 1980's Atlantic City and 1988's Bull Durham. As the years passed, and we continued to never meet, I gradually came to understand that there would be no little Barondon babies. So, I gallantly stepped aside and gave that Tim Robbins guy a clear playing field. Ms Sarandon should be declared a cinematic treasure. I can’t think of another actress today with a comparable body of work (that’s not what I mean!) encompassing 40 years. She elevates whatever movie she’s in and is still undeniably sexy in her 60s.
- As with actors, there are dozens, nay, hundreds of musicians and other artists who have spiffed up my life. One who gets little air time on this side of the pond is Britain’s Chris Rea, one of the finest slide guitarists these ears have ever heard. For over 30 years, he’s been playing blues, rock and a little jazz. A few years ago, he was dangerously ill and survived a tricky operation. He promised that if he lived, he’d devote himself to the music he loved best - the blues. The blues are my favourite genre, so I’m doubly happy he’s well again.
- I’m grateful for the everyday pleasantries exchanged with store clerks, cashiers, gas station attendants and the three Karens who work at my bank. For quite a few years, if not for them, I might have gone weeks without an adult conversation.
- Lastly but not leastly, I’m deeply appreciative of you folks for reading my emailed, and now blogged, scribblings. Over the six-plus years, I’ve been made to feel like a member of many families.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Here's a little taste of Chris Rea's music. Gaunt and haggard-looking from his illness, he shows he's still got the right stuff: