Truman Capote’s nickname, ‘Bulldog’ was given to him because of his habit of carrying a notepad and dictionary when he was about 11 years old. The name ‘Bulldog’ was a reference to ‘Bulldog Drummond,’ a film character from the 1930s.
Please hand me a tissue. We just watched the novella -Breakfast at Tiffany’s again. Truman Capote fans here. Southern Socialite, brilliant, clever and raconteur extraordinaire. Often invited to dine with The Cafe Society Set and was seen having “Breakfast at Tiffany’s ” with Jackie O. And I quote Truman- Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. Ok, then.
He lived a dichotomous existence. Recluse by day as a writer and Studio 54’d it by night. From the tables at Côte Basque and Grenouille, dinner parties at the 720 and 740 buildings on Park Avenue, he charmed the pants off Babe Paley and her CBS husband Bill. He often served as Lee Radziwill’s walker at dinner parties in Southampton.
“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.” Truman alchemized the condiments of life and lived it spicy. His writing was fluid and lyrical. He killed it with a Mockingbird. He surrounded himself with glamour and beauty and brought clever to the party. The nexus of entertainment doesn’t vary in the writing but leaves us with our own inner voice. His devastating childhood served as the motivation for his “Cold blooded” approach.
Let’s get busy. Make whatever act you’re in count the most. Add an extra plate to your table and invite that interesting person you met to dinner. Take out the easel, finish the sweater, learn a new sport (hello Golf) and yes go to the beach. Shout out to The Bergs with a K.
Compile your musings and write your memoir. Get the catalog for the 92nd Street Y of your choice and sign up to learn something you never knew before. Let’s make it inspirational Sunday.
“In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be.” Rodgers and Hammerstein- written in 1950 for Cinderella. Time has a way of showing us what really matters. Cinderella’s mother taught her to “always have courage and to show kindness to others”. Do you believe in the magic as demonstrated on Americas Got Talent? Hmmm! So against the odds of fending off a wicked step-mother, jealous step-sisters and every stigma attached to the “step-syndrome,” Cinderella managed to surface as the Queen -and championed as the Laureate of second chances.
When you miss the first boat out, and fortuitously get another chance to dance in the moonlight, throw away the short end of the stick and just Dance. Give up being bound by failings for past mistakes, i.e. bad choices. Destiny always rears its head in spite of whatever form of mutiny you throw in its way. Pump up your emotional content and help slow down the aging process. John and Yoko lived by the adage “life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Unfortunately his elongated job with destiny was cut short and it took her breath away, while she was making other plans. Just for today we will listen to Cinderella’s mom and lead with courage and kindness. Even if America doesn’t have talent- you do. “Impossible things are happening everyday.” “You really are as wonderful as you seem.” Have a Great Saturday.
We sit down at the table, pass around the basket of bread. Our menu in our hands, ordering we do dread. Pasta, pasta everywhere, but not a drop to eat. We love to see our peeps, we eat and then repeat -AGAIN? With some laps around the clubhouse pool. And a walk around the lake. Another fettuccine bolognese we really cannot take. Our pants are getting tighter, as the buttons they do pop. And then we order dessert and pull out all the stops. Four forks around the key lime. Or a spoon for creme brûlée. A holy moley to the cannoli. Decaf cappuccino on the side. We glance into the mirror, as it really tells no lies. Our girlish, curvy figure, so very far away. When we get up in the morning we start a brand new day. A scoop of some plain yogurt- add a banana to the bowl. We have yet to stand on the scale. The Veal Milanese has taken its toll. As we dress for one more table and another group of friends. The caring and conversation we trust will never end. If we eliminate the bread, skip the pasta page indeed. Perhaps some broiled salmon, is exactly what we need. Have a great Monday,Monday!
Step out, step out of the sun, if you keep getting burned. —Evan Hansen. Ok listen up, what’s it going to take? Adages galore bout repeating mistakes. First toast to health and good luck along the way. Stay with me this time, cause it will juxtapose naysay. As time marches on with challenges stockpiling. We fuss and we muss the “not importants” all the whiling. “Elementary dear Watson,” Easier said than done. We’re turning our cheek, as we’re coming undone. We try flipping the negatives. Counting one by one. Will they like us and invite us to come back? The hard on ourselves, try cutting some slack. Hit the ground running. It’s medicinal indeed. Give it a chance. Plant a new seed. The news on the daily, breathtaking for sure. Like a minute under water, open a new door. Dr. Seuss and I quote. “I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win cause you’ll play against you.” Give yourself a good Sunday. Bh
In 1997 he wrote the screenplay Proposals. The take away thought about what he loved in a character he developed is ” her humor is different. Her take on life is different.” “Never Underestimate the Stimulation of Eccentricity.”
Homage to Neil Simon-. We binged your movies to help ward off “The Biloxi Blues.”
Whether we were “Barefoot in the Park, while “Lost in Yonkers” or hitching a ride home from “Brighton Beach,” we waited to hear Jonathan Schwartz “Playing our Song,” on WQXR American Standard Radio. Marvin Hamlisch played Carole Bayer Sager’s lyrics to his music with his particular Zip-a-dee-doo-dah enthusiasm. We swayed along and knew all the words. Your collaborations with Mike Nicols and Gene Zaks prolifically chronicled our youth. Oh Neil, we got hooked when we read your name amongst the credits as we watched Sgt. Bilko, played with such guile on The Phil Silvers show. We waited to hear your interviews with Joan Hamburg on 77 WABC to learn what play was next to be “Broadway Bound.” Her interviews typically came at the end of her show after the bargain shopping and food segments. There was often a reference to Shelly Fireman, our forever friend and his spin on delicious Italian fare.)
When we spatzered around our favorite thrift shops we heard your familiar very New Yawkish sounding voice broadcasted live. When Joan interviewed you, the two of you had a repartee we so enjoyed, although we considered you quite the “Odd Couple.”
We marveled at the big city duplex apartments with sunken living rooms, and gilded cage appeal that set the stage for many of your playbooks. Was Willy’s (Walter Matthau) apartment at the Beaux Arts Ansonia really that big? We thought it could possibly the best pad ever to play hide and go seek. Did Jane Fonda actually run around “Barefoot in the Park” as she pleaded with Robert Redford to try again to save their marriage? We wanted to live in her apartment as soon as we moved to the Village. We knew we didn’t want to live uptown and become a “Prisoner on Second Avenue.” We weren’t sure you could top the episode when Felix Unger walked into Oscar Madison’s cluttered apartment to try to get back together with Gloria. You certainly did when you portrayed the classic “Northeast distributor of Guilt,” and had Molly Picon threaten to keep her head in the oven over the troubles with her bachelor sons. Oh, Frankie.
Our take away quote of yours is “if you can go through life without experiencing pain you probably haven’t been born yet.” Neil Simon- we trust you’ve be filling them with laughter in Suite 203-04 during your “Chapter Two.”
G O L F When Birdie met Bogey in the old neighborhood they were pretty much hook(ed). They (fore) warned their parents that they believed strongly this was their (stroke) of good luck. They knew there might be (rough) days ahead, but their attraction proved to be (out of bounds.) With no (mulligans) in sight and no red (flags) in view they would plunge ahead, not let sleepy dogs (lie.) They would disregard an (albatross) as an impasse and call it three strokes in their favor. Perhaps there would be (hazards) along the (Fairway) but for now they were in the (Green.) They vowed to (bunker) down together, knowing all the while as long as the (Eagle) has landed they would invite everyone to the 19th hole to raise a glass as they celebrated their ( hole in one.) See you on the Tee box- off to drive a few buckets. Reeking with enthusiasm. Minchen by you.
Don’t go to the Butcher if you are looking for Flowers.
Give yourself a boost. And I quote Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Perhaps get intimate with a new hobby, take up Golf- ( you looking at me?), or sit with friends at dinner and add new meaning to the conversation by learning more about their beliefs on a topic you have never discussed before. Somewhere between sharing a salad and four forks at dessert ask if you had your choice of any one to sit around a table and have a conversation with who would it be? Henry Kissinger, Andrea Bocelli, or one of your grandchildren? So just for today find your way to adding and multiplying possibilities by starting a new book, calling someone you haven’t reached out to in awhile, perhaps trying the new coq au vin recipe you recently got. Small positive steps help to minimize stress. Trite? We think not- in the old dog new tricks fashion. Hit it Barbra with an A. “The skies above are clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy days are here again.”
“Forget your troubles- Come on get Happy. You better chase all your cares away.”
“Understand people’s anxiety- Always have a suntan-” Aristotle Onassis- Dale Carnegie-kind and ever so real. He won friends and influenced people he never met. His basic principle to aim for cheerful friendliness and approach things with zero ambiguity. Antiquated?- we think Not. Pushy tactics are not necessary when you carry your own concept of yourself. His motto “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.“ Hmmmm! His book has gone the distance on the daily, like our morning coffee, Al Rokers weather report and scrolling through Instagram. Eliminating gossip and pointing fingers, leaves time for forwarding junk emails to 10 people as an opportunity to win the lottery. Loling. His suggestions served as the prototype for all The Chicken Soup for the Soul publications. Helen Gurley Brown in her Cosmopolitan style, told it like it was as career and love life merged, through red lipstick and panty hose and we listened- well maybe some of the time. We watched, we must confess, early on when Phil Donahue met “That Girl” and interviewed Jean Nidetch (founder of Weight Watchers.) We learned the value of zero point foods and loosing some lbs.
Back to -Oh Dale, how your words resonated loud and clear upon first read and today when we need a reminder or two. That unpleasant look from so and so the other day had everything to do with them and very little to do with us. People project their feelings and own bias when their defending the one side of the story they didn’t hear.
We long for the days when we walked into the candy store and put the new Betty and Veronica, Little Dot and Dennis the Menace comics on the counter next to our bazooka and red licorice treats. How bout the primordial smells of the gum in the pack of baseball cards that one of the kids on your block shared with you? The very familiar smell of a brand new spalding ball lingers on in our bag of childhood treasures. Exhuming those scents easier than remembering, well a-lot these days. We believe our first art lesson was on Etch a Sketch, and early writing lessons happened through creating stories of where Barbie and Ken will go on their honeymoon. We thought Bermuda would be nice. One guilty pleasure we recall was chewing double bubble, piece after piece (not knowing we were helping our dentist enjoy his summer home with each bubble that landed smack across our faces.) Oh the 60’s where art thou now? Our world is bleeding out of control. We had what seemed was like 5 minutes in between the pandemic and the attack on Ukraine. Worry, insomnia and zapped energy a deleterious trifecta too common in our everyday. So hit it Dale-“ Get busy. Keep busy. it’s the cheapest kind of medicine there is on earth- and one of the best.” Thanks, Mr. Carnegie we’re in.