Sunday, April 3, 2016

What Ever Happened to What'sername?

       By way of introduction to this evening's quill work, A REALLY BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY SON ROSS (DON'T USE PHRASE "IN-LAW") BECAUSE IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY!  HE'S A WONDERFUL, FUN GUY, MARRIED OUR YOUNGEST DAUGHTER AND WAITED AT THE CHURCH FOR OVER AN HOUR BECAUSE THE QUAINT, VINTAGE TROLLEY WE'D RENTED TO TAKE BRIDE, MAIDS AND FAM TO NEIGHBORING CITY CAUGHT FIRE ON THE HIGHWAY, NECESSITATING ASAP  EVACUATION. (PLEASE SEE, "THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS")
       A hardworking family man, he's the guy who's sit straight-faced, tolerating a guest speaker on Dream Interpretation when she says, "Consider your dream world as the true reality, and your ordinary waking life as a dream.", all the while thinking, And then see how popular you are in the corporate structure at board meetings when you admit to a cash flow problem but want to discuss instead a place in the Executive lot for your unicorn. This young man can 'work a situation'.  And at home - King of the BBQ and a rabid Bears fan. Fortunately, already beautiful wife, son and two daughters look great in navy and orange.  Blow it out, today, Ross!
       On to other, lesser matters at hand.  The eldest of our eight grandchildren has reached that 'world-is-my-oyster' age of fourteen.  Lately, family chats turn to issues of sustainess, stability a future success.  His goals are challenging - bloodless orthopedic surgery among them.  His younger sister by two years is set on oceanography.  My husband is a doc, I was a nurse then studied and practiced law and now want only to write (indeed, first love)
       When they see me struggling at the keys, they ask - in a kind way - why I remain one of the 'lesser literary lights'.  Indeed, indeed.  Time to launch into the relationship between talent and industry as they relate to success topped off with examples of some of the 'swells' who 'made it' and the 'could-have-beens' and why.  (This topic often comes up at class reunions and the discussion can get rather feisty.  "Did Whatshername, you know our valedictorian at Georgetown, do OK when she came back from 'camp'?  "Dunno."; "What's it matter?"  "Just saying."  Some sequiturs are perfectly logical and some are non.  Obviously, ole "Whatshername" really had a shot, also had a problem, sought help and got it and there is a classmate present who knows the outcome and isn't giving it up.   I say, "Pass the salt, puleez, and the tripe.)
       We are but sixteen years into this century; change abounds; these kids will have career opportunities in areas not yet discovered.  It is imperative that families and school systems not add stress by exacting a career preference prematurely.  Clearly competing/enjoying sports and the Arts in a coordinating outfit with clear, blushed skin and just the right color, waterproof eyeliner are primo now.  When the time comes to make life choices, success bubbles out of admixture of talent and INDUSTRY.
       While dating, my husband and I were fortunate to see a unique, rare, visiting Rodin exhibit at the Smithsonian.  The artist's industry could provide heat and light to the entire Midwest. A combination of his wife, Zelda and his addictions, contained F. Scott Fitzgerald to half the literary masterpieces within him.  During the same time period, Scribner's editor Sam Perkins handled Thomas Wolfe - a physical giant of a man whose habit, when on a writing streak, was to use a legal pad and the top of the refrigerator as a desk, tearing off pages in a desultory fashion, casting them to the floor.  Sam would diligently climb several flights of steps to Wolfe's unkempt apartment, collect the non-collated pile of yellow paper and return to his neat office so that we could have, Look Homeward, Angel.  A non-fail recipe - that, talent + industry.
       By definition, an introvert takes what the world impresses upon him and makes something of it.  An extrovert, contrastingly imposes his will upon a world situation/issue and makes something of it.  Nothing happened to Whatshername.  She did neither, apparently - either because she didn't have the ability, when opportunity knocked or she did but was lazy.  In a scene from the movie, The Turning Point, Shirley Maclaine, former prima ballerina, says to Anne Bancroft, reigning prima ballerina, of her character Didi's losing the part of Anna Karenina to Bancroft's character, Emma, "You got nineteen curtain calls.".  Emma replies, "You had a baby." Equally talented when the part (and their subsequent lives) were cast, this exchange revealed the point at which each of them knew who they were and what they wanted to be.  Successful.  Twenty years of daily, sweating, grueling work achieved that success for each.  You'll know the moment.
       Don't ask. I'm still working.  Flapper? Bohemian?  Writer?
Later, Lorane. . . .
Glad you waited Birthday Ross

Kindness of Strangers

      
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