Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hail And Farewell

Hail Canada's women! More accurately: Hail Canada's female Olympians! Their strength, courage and determination helped ease the pain of our men's hockey team failing to even qualify for the medal round.

16 of Canada's 24 medals were won by female athletes, led by the wondrous speed skater Cindy Klassen who won five (count'em, 5!) medals all by her lonesome.

A few of my favourite Olympic moments: Clara Hughes collapsing at the finish line after giving her all in winning gold in the women's 5,000 metre speed skating: Chandra Crawford, totally unheralded, winning gold in cross-country skiing, suprising and delighting herself and a nation: Brad Gushue, skip of Canada's men's gold medal-winning curling team, turning to the camera with his cell phone to his ear saying "Pick up the phone Mom!": The same Gushue, minutes later, losing control of his emotions and crying while being interviewed, calling himself a "big soock."

A special Good Sportsmanship medal should be awarded to the Norwegian coach who chased Canadian Sara Renner during a cross country race in order to hand her a replacement ski pole after she broke her own. She and partner Becky Scott were able to win a silver as a result. His unselfishness cost his own team a medal. The Norwegians finished fourth.

All in all (except for that horrible hockey result) it was a wonderful games. They'll be tough to top in 2010 in Vancouver but I have faith our guys and gals will do just that.

Farewell to Don Knotts. The bug-eyed comic actor was one of my all time favourites, especially as Deputy Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith/Mayberry show. After accidentally shooting himself in the foot, Barney was only allowed one bullet for his gun and he had to keep it in his shirt pocket. A small, very thin man, nobody did "nervous," "timid," and "outraged" like Barney. His ultra-macho sniff as he hitched up his gun belt was as funny a recurring bit as I've ever seen on tv.

Farewell to Darren McGavin. A veteran character actor who appeared in dozens of films and tv series, he was best known to me for two roles. First as the title character in the tv series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, an investigative reporter who happened to stumble across more than his fair share of werewolves, vampires, ghosts and space aliens. And he'll be immortalized forever as the curmudgeonly father in the classic holiday movie The Christmas Story.

Don Knotts was 81. Darren McGavin was 83. Howcum it was only a couple of years ago that they were young men?


Mark Pettus said...

What was it the Beach Boys said about Northern girls? Was it the way they kiss that keeps their boyfriends warm at night?

Hail, Canada. I'm putting maple syrup on my pancakes in the morning in your honor.

Sad to see McGavin and Knotts gone, and now Dennis Weaver has passed as well. In my mind's eye, none of them is a day over 45, which is scary, cause that's how old I am.

Frank Baron said...

I got you beat by a few years Mark. I'm 54 and share that scary feeling.

I was a fan of Dennis Weaver too and would have added him to the blog had I heard of his death in time. I can remember him as Chester in Gunsmoke and I really enjoyed McCloud.

And yeah, the Beach Boys were right about our girls.

Othmar Vohringer said...

I am not much of a sport fan other than rodeo, which in my opinion should be an Olympic Discipline too. Having said that I am proud and feel a fuzzy warmth in my heart for our athletes and the success thy're having.

I grew up with McGavin, Knotts and Dennis Weaver on TV albeit with a German voice over and many years later in North America was surprised to find out that they sound very different in reality.

Othmar aka huntwriter

Frank Baron said...

That must be such a strange experience Othmar; to form a deep and lasting impression of a person (or character) and then have one of the basic aspects of that character seem so "wrong."

Anonymous said...

"What was it the Beach Boys said about Northern girls? Was it the way they kiss that keeps their boyfriends warm at night?"

Actually, it's flannel sheets and a tendency to pay the gas bill on time, but Brian didn't think that sounded saucy enough.

Frank Baron said...

ann, you forgot the flannel nightgowns. They make snuggling with a Canadian woman double the pleasure.