Thanks for the Memory

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London, July 26, 1943 – “When the time for recognition of service to the nation in wartime comes to be considered, Bob Hope should be high on the list. The man drives himself and is driven. It is impossible to see how he can do so much, can cover so much ground, can work so hard, and can be so effective. He works month after month at a pace that would kill most people,” – from Once There Was a War by John Steinbeck

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After reading this, I had to do a little research on the man. I’ve enjoyed his movies over the years, and knew about his USO work, but I wanted to know more.

The song “Thanks for the Memory”, which later became his trademark, was introduced in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938 as a duet with Shirley Ross, accompanied by Shep Fields and his orchestra. The fluid nature of the music allowed Hope’s writers to later create variations of the song to fit specific circumstances, such as bidding farewell to troops while on tour. It has been sung by many of the greats over the years, including Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney, as well as in numerous parodies. When I was in college, my sorority wrote several parody songs and jingles to use during rush, and this was one of them. I sure wish I could remember the words we sang!

Hope performed his first USO show on May 6, 1941, at March Field, California, and continued to travel and entertain troops for the rest of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the third phase of the Lebanon Civil War, the latter years of the Iran–Iraq War, and the 1990–91 Persian Gulf War. Sometimes his wife, Dolores, joined him and once his granddaughter, Miranda, did also. Hope made 57 tours for the USO between 1941 and 1991 and was declared an honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces in 1997 by act of the U.S. Congress.

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1944

 

Other things I learned:

  • He and Dolores were married in 1934 and they adopted four children.
  • He was very involved with Fight for Sight, a nonprofit organization in the United States which funds medical research in vision and ophthalmology.
  • “Thanks for the Memory” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
  • Hope was an investor/part owner of the Cleveland Indians.
  • Hope died of pneumonia at his home, two months after his 100th birthday.

Here are the original lyrics to “Thanks for the Memory”

Thanks for the memory
Of sentimental verse
Nothing in my purse
And chuckles
When the preacher said
For better or for worse
How lovely it was

Thanks for the memory
Of Schubert’s Serenade
Little things of jade
And traffic jams
And anagrams
And bills we never paid
How lovely it was

We who could laugh over big things
Were parted by only a slight thing
I wonder if we did the right thing
Oh, well, that’s life, I guess
I love your dress

Thanks for the memory
Of faults that you forgave
Of rainbows on a wave
And stockings in the basin
When a fellow needs a shave
Thank you so much

Thanks for the memory
Of tinkling temple bells
Alma mater yells
And Cuban rum
And towels from
The very best hotels
Oh how lovely it was

Thanks for the memory
Of cushions on the floor
Hash with Dinty Moore
That pair of gay pajamas
That you bought
And never wore

We said goodbye with a highball
Then I got as high as a steeple
But we were intelligent people
No tears, no fuss
Hooray for us

Strictly entre nous
Darling, how are you?
And how are all
Those little dreams
That never did come true?

Awfully glad I met you
Cheerio and toodle-oo
Thank you
Thank you so much
Songwriters: Leo Robin / Ralph Rainger

There are so many versions. Here’s a clip from the movie – some of the words are different from those above.

 

Go the Distance

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CAB- 1975

 

The prompt for Day 4 of PAD-2016 is “Distance”. The first thing that came to mind was “Go the distance,” via Ray  Kinsella/W.P. Kinsella/ Field of Dreams.  Though this isn’t particularly a baseball poem, it IS Opening Day, so rather serendipitous.

 

Go the Distance

Go the distance

If the road winds on

follow it around the bend

though uphill and steep

unpaved and rough

 

Go the distance with your friend

for better or for worse

in quiet or in song

beside her in  darkness

rejoicing  in the sunshine

 

Go the distance with your words

Write them for good,

speak them in comfort

Sow seeds of kindness

with the language of your soul

 

Go the distance with your love

holding the unlovable

building up the broken

though the night be long

and no recompense comes

 

Go the distance in your work

In joyful servitude

do your best, complete the job

even when no one’s watching

when no one seems to care

 

Go the distance

in all you do

Go the distance

 

 

Labor to Shine as Lights

 

wonw

In a book by Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, she quotes from Chekov’s letters: “You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures….It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared …for failures.”

I needed this advice last year when I received a rejection via email. I had submitted three poems to a new literary magazine. I was really hoping that at least ONE might make it. I had two people look over 6-7poems and tell me which ones they thought were best. Evidently the judges weren’t in agreement.

I have since experienced several other “failures”. Is failure to be expected? Yes. Does it hurt? Sure. Is it easy to “…go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly…”? No, unless we stop and realize that this is what we are supposed to do. Life isn’t all about limelights and successes. Contrary to popular belief, spouted by coaches and educators, we can’t all be whatever we want to be. But, we can all labor to shine as lights in the world.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, 1 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16

Throwback Thursday – Downtown Jacksonville

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I haven’t done a throwback post in a while, so here goes.

I found this postcard in an antique store a few years back. This is how Hemming Park/ Plaza used to look. It has been redone once or twice since this picture was taken. I like the picture because it shows the May Cohens department store. This is where I worked the summer I got engaged. I worked upstairs in the credit department. I felt so grown up working downtown. Some days I would take my lunch and eat in the lunch room where the TV was always showing “The Young and the Restless”. It was from the snack machine there that I had my first Lorna Doone shortbread cookies and I still love them. On occasion I would venture out with someone to eat somewhere nearby. There were other large department stores down the street such as Ivey’s and Furchgott’s . One of them had a nice restaurant inside.

After I got married I still worked there. We only had one car so I rode the bus. Hemming Park was the main hub where all the buses went, so it was convenient. I enjoyed riding the bus, actually. I was on the phone a large part of the day, listening to customer complaints. I got a headache nearly every day, so I was glad not to have to drive home.

May Cohens was in the St, James Building which is now City Hall. I was there a few weeks ago with my mother-in-law. It was so strange to be inside because it looks completely different now.

I love the history of old buildings and it’s fun having this connection and the memories of how downtown Jacksonville used to be. Some things change for the better, some for the worse. I hope these beautiful old buildings stay around for a very long  time.

Thoughts on the Words of C.S. Lewis – Your Life’s Work

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C.S. Lewis was a novelist, poet, academic, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist. He is probably best known as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, but he wrote numerous other works, including “The Problem of Pain” from where the quotes in this series were taken.

When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy.

 This has made me pause to wonder.  When I am unhappy in my life’s work, is it just circumstantial and temporary? Or is it because I am not doing what I should be doing?

I think this thing God wants us to be can change over time. I think at one time God wanted me to teach. But there came a point where it seemed to cause nothing but heartache for me. Yet, I kept going back for more. I THINK I see now that that door is closed. That chapter is over.

I love writing and right now it’s making me happy. That is no guarantee it’s what I should be doing. There are a LOT of things one could say makes them happy, but that doesn’t mean they should be doing them.

All I know to do now is take it to the Lord daily and ask Him to guide me every day.

What about you? Do you feel you are where you’re supposed to be? 

 

It’s a Puzzle

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Today I learned about a town that has a population smaller than my kid’s high schools were. This town was purchasing something for the police department. I will change the name of the town, so let’s call it Puzzle, U.S.A.

In 2012, there were 1,297 people living in Puzzle which covers an area of 3.3 square miles. There are three gas stations, a bank, restaurant, a mini grocery store, and a police department. There is even a Beauty Barn. Would you get your hair done in a barn? Sorry, I digressed.

On the Fourth of July they have a “Miss Puzzle” pageant. I wonder if the contestants get their hair done at the barn? Oops, there I go again.

Most of the citizens commute to work, shop, and go to school. The crime rate is lower than the state where it is located and lower than the US average. The median income is lower, also, than the state’s and much lower than the country’s. So, what does all this mean? What can we learn about a “poor” community with a low crime rate?

I’ll just throw out this other fact for you to ponder. In this little town there are seven churches. Yes, seven. I don’t know anything more than the names of these churches. I don’t know how many of Puzzle’s citizens go to church. And, I know having a church on every corner can mean something or nothing. But I think somewhere in all this there is a connection.  I see a road trip in my future.

Friends Who Go to Funerals Together Stick Together

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.-Ecclesiastes  4:9

Today was a good day. Nothing extraordinary, really, except the joy I had on my drive home from work.  I thought about how the LORD has blessed me with friends and I have not realized how many he has sent along my path.

My husband can attest to the fact that I’ve cried many a tear bemoaning my lack of a “best” friend. I could say he is my best friend, and he truly is, but I need someone to do girl stuff with. The fact that he understands this shows what a good friend he really is.

Those friends from middle school are unique. They are the ones you grow up with and make memories that last forever. I’ve drifted away from most of those, but a few years ago I reunited with one and we have been closer than ever. It’s like we fell right back into that closeness that all the years had not erased. Twice this year we have gone to funerals together. I told my friend that would make for a good comedic novel, “Friends Who Go to Funerals Together Stick Together” or some such title.

But, what got to me today was exercise. Five of us stayed after work and did a 25 minute non-stop exercise routine. It was the idea of our boss, who was huffing and puffing right along with us. She is pretty fit, so the rest of us were doing most of the huffing and puffing. It was the camaraderie that made it worthwhile. It’s been a long time since I worked somewhere where everyone gets along. It’s a stress-free environment, at least for me.

I seem to be rambling, but my point is God has provided me with more than a job. He’s given me enjoyable office mates; friends to spur me on now in my effort to get fit. He’s given me back my friend from middle school. He’s given me kind neighbors. He’s making me aware of community – and I’m learning to BE a friend.

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.-        Proverbs 27:17

ImageBeau and Loretta –  a doggie friendship