Much of the past few weeks have been spent thinking of, acting on behalf of, talking or being with my fraternal grandmother Mabel. I’ve spent more time with her in the past 6 weeks than I did in the previous 30 years. Until she moved to Wichita, we never had a particularly close relationship. She was never outgoing, gregarious, and she always called me “Champ”.
Grandma Mabel is the strongest fighter I’ve ever known and I’m certain she’s never thrown a punch.
I was sitting with Grandma last night. We looked at the picture from her kitchen. The picture of her wedding day. She stands straight, dark, and beautiful next to Grandpa John. The smiles on their faces and the synchronized twinkles in their eyes have been genetically transferred to their great-grandsons. Miles, Abe, Tynan, Otto, Owen, Leo, Ronan, and especially Huey. They possess all those mischievous possibilities in their own eyes.
Her initial words to me last night were a croaked, “I love you.” I left her in hospice care to tend to my own and she left me with a clear admonishment to “hold your moments with them close.”
And I trust that clarity because I know she spent her life fighting for it.
The Commerce Comet – Mickey Mantle represents the promise and humanity of baseball. Bob Costas probably said it best in his eulogy of The Mick, “In the last year of his life, Mickey Mantle, always so hard on himself, finally came to accept and appreciate the distinction between a role model and a hero. The first, he often was not. The second, he always will be. And, in the end, people got it.”
Did I ever really listen to this song? I know my hearing is bad, but I thought for the longest time this stanza was:
Princess Grace, gave good face, trouble in the sewers.
Anyway, Grace Kelly was an American actress in the “golden age of Hollywood”. I know very little about movies from that era. She married Prince Rainier of Monaco in April of 1956. Had a stroke while driving in 1982 and died a day after the crash.
I am now typing this with one hand because Otto is sitting in the chair with me.
Peyton Place is a novel written by Grace Metalious and published in 1956. It centers around women characters of “illegitimate” parentage. Salacious for its time it was of course made into a movie.
The trouble in the Suez was a clash of western (British and French) political and economic interests against Egypt’s anti-colonial sentiments and desire for sovereignty. Egypt’s President Nassar (remember him?) took control over the Suez canal because the US and the UK pulled the funding they had pledged for the Grand Aswan Dam. France, Britain, and Israel invaded with a peace agreement eventually brokered by the UN and the US.
I remember first hearing the name Bridget Bardot in the lyrics to “Message of Love” by The Pretenders. Thinking about that led me to remember what is perhaps my favorite Christmas song:
Budapest (along with Sofia) is one of the Eastern European cities I’d like to visit. I have a Hungarian lawyer friend in New York who is heavily involved in The Nylon Fusion Theater Company. I am jealous of him for the time and opportunity he has. But, he graduated from Duke.
Nikita Khrushchev filled the power vacuum in the USSR after Uncle Joe stroked out. At least he did after a multitude of killing off his opponents and further Party wrangling. Cuban Missile Crisis, shoe banging at the UN, forced out of power in 1964. He was allowed by the Party to retire in Moscow and write his memoirs before he died in 1971.