Wish I'd Said It

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

- A. A. Milne

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank You (#211)

Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

-Alanis Morissette
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.

Thank you.

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:


Charlie said...

Nice choice for the vid, Frank. Slide guitar is a challenge and hearing a great player do it with such style is always a treat.

Barbara Martin said...

It is always the people who do small things for each of us during the year that seem to miss out on the thanks. I feel the same way, Frank, and you've written a wonderful post. Tis the season to reflect and think of one's gratitude for getting through the year.

Have a Merry Christmas over the holidays.

Thumbelina said...

Wonderful post.
I love Chris Rea. Goodness but he looks ill on there! But ... still enjoying himself.
Boy he can make that guitar sing.

Dianne said...

one of the most incredible things anyone ever told me was that I reminded him of Susan Sarandon! oh if only it were so, she is a treasure

as are you buddy

you're a joy to read
Benny is a love
and I'm so very happy to know you

Merry Happy Everything

Stace said...

Helloooooooooooo! Lovely post :) I just stopped by to say... Hellooooooooooo!!

Leah J. Utas said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Frank.

Excellent post. I'm grateful to MN too, and I've long been a (Dammit, Janet!) Sarandon Fan.

Bruce Robinson said...

Thank you.

If you would get that next book out, we could have you join us on Christmas morning again. :})

Happy, merry, happy, happy!


Hilary said...

I know you've always been a fan, but I've watched your love for MN reawaken and grow even stronger over the last few years and of course you know how I feel about her. And I've met at least one of the Karens and agree with how nice she is. Chris Rea is right up there and your book is tops.. and I suppose if I liked baseball I'd agree with your choice of players.... BUT I'm still damned jealous of Susan Sarandon!

Reb said...

Merry Christmas Frank. I agree with you that Sarandon is one of the finest actors we have seen in a long time. I quite enjoyed the video thanks for adding that.

I hope next year is filled with many more things to be grateful for.

Frank Baron said...

Charlie, I thought you might appreciate it more than most. :)

Thank you, Barbara. Same to you and yours. :)

Glad to hear it, Thumbelina. He's a fine musician and by all accounts, a good man. I was shocked too, when I saw that footage for the first time. Especially when compared to earlier vids from the 80s and 90s. He aged 15 years in two. Hopefully, he'll stay well for a good long time. :)

Hiya Stace/Mom! Happy 1st Parental Christmas! :)

Leah, I always knew you had fine taste. All the best to you and yours. :)

Gimme another year or two, Bruce. I'll see what I can do. Thanks as always, for the good cheer. :)

Hil, you've got lots that Susie doesn't, including - but not limited to - me. :)

Same back atcha' Reb. Thanks. :)

Fabian Colossi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fabian Colossi said...

What did you do?!!!!

MagnoliaGirl said...

Yeah, those are some good ones on your list. And if you haven't heard yet, Susan is available! I'd also like to thank that Frank Baron dude - those little bites of encouragement he's given still fester ( in a good way:) All the best to you and yours in every way!

Elizabeth Guy said...

Lovely, lovely. Always look forward to your writings and your photos. You yourself, Frank, are a treasure.

Merry Christmas!

Jason said...

I really like your blog. I am a first-time visitor, but I observe every site I submit a comment to. I have a humor blog myself, which I hope to be a top place for people to come and laugh. Life is hard enough and you sometimes need to just sit back and laugh a little.

I'd like to exchange links with you to help spread traffic around to each. Keep up the good work. You can contact me by simply placing a comment on my site.

Happy Holidays!


Skunkfeathers said...

A grand and thoroughly enjoyable Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Frank Baron said...

Fabian, pretend you're not happy. Now you have a clear shot at that Tim Robbins guy. ;)

Thanks MG. Same back atcha. Best to your Mom too. :)

Thanks Elizabeth. You're very kind. And thoughtful. And intelligent. And beautiful. And wise. And perceptive. ;)

Hi Jason. Thanks for the visit. :)

Thanks Skunkfeathers. All the best to you and yours as well. :)

Shammickite said...

Happy times to you Frank... you're a great guy! And I'll be back to check your blog out more often in 2010.

Thumbelina said...

It has taken me all day to remember who it was that needed this news and it's YOU Frank! Your lucky day!!
Susan Sarandon - now's your chance buddy! (But Hilary might have something to say about it...)

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Shammi. Top o' the season to you and yours. :)

Um...yeah Thumbelina...she's already said plenty.... ;)

Sally said...

Happy Christmas, Frank. Thanks for all the wonderful blog entries. I agree with Elizabeth - you are a treasure yourself! It's always a huge pleasure to see in my inbox that there's another offering from you and I look forward to another year of enjoyable news of you, Hilary, and Benny.

Haggis Chihuahua said...

I, on the other hand, don't look hot at all.

Merry Christmas, Frank. :)

Anonymous said...

Easily I assent to but I dream the brief should have more info then it has.

Frank Baron said...

Steve, you're too darn modest. If I was an insane chihuahua, you'd look very attractive. My Christmas was fine. Hope yours was too. :)

Okay, Anon. If you say so. Happy New Year. :)

Land of shimp said...

Hello Frank! Isn't it amazing how many wonderful pieces of our lives there are when we start breaking them down, and looking at them? I loved reading about your objects of focus because they were the big, easy, obvious things. Just those little boons that we all have, and can sometimes overlook.

I'm a fan of Susan Sarandon also, although in an odd coincidence, as I rarely know celebrity gossip, it turns out that she and Robbins split just recently. The only reason it caught my eye was I thought it was a pity, but at least they had twenty years together.

Authors, actors, artists, they add so much to my life. Distract me from my small worries, and give me a view in to other worlds.

There's a lot to be grateful for in this existence. Again, thank you for sharing your list.

Frank Baron said...

And thank you, Shimp, for the visit and kind words. :)

Anonymous said...

Nature is truly an inspiring entity. It quiets the mind and allows us all to take a better look at ourselves and invites us to see the best in everything. May the feelings you enjoy the most from the Season's Greetings follow you and hug you from day to day Frank.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Frank! I loved this post.

Grayquill said...

Deep loss opens the door way for thankfulness. Before the doorway the long passage of lonely steps must be walked. The Karens of the world usually have no idea do they?