I swear there were more but they have been deleted? Or I am crazy? Or both. Click on the lovely photo.
Archive for the ‘Memorabilia’ Category
This past Saturday I paid a visit to Broadway with my old pal Jean visiting from Massachusetts. Yet, there’s always something on my mind, isn’t there. So surrepticiously sneak snaps of bystanders. This hale and hearty handsome hunk disappeared shortly after I captured him with my leering lens. Perhaps, as usual, he was only a figment of my vivid imagination.
Barbara Stanwyck is the star of the day today on TCM. I’ve been recording almost everything — even the stuff I’ve seen before — on my trusty DVR. My favorites are the early thirties films before she’s really been Hollywood glamorized. She’s still brunette and sort of dowdy but she just glows. She gives off fireworks. And she is slutty, but honestly slutty. Not like so many men I have known. Oh, shit, I didn’t mean to sound all jaded and ruined because, well, I ain’t. I’m really just a big old pantywaist puritan when it comes right down to it. I love that Barbara Stanwyck started on the wicked stage. Makes me trust her a bit more. Right now I’m in the midst of Illicit from 1931. Most of the movie still looks like it’s from the then recently demised silent era but Stanwyck always seems of the now. Whatever that now may be. Like I know a good goddamned thing about film, or acting, or women. Well, go watch some movies and read some books and judge for yourself. The Flaming Curmudgeon doesn’t expect you to agree, necessarily (though it keeps him MUCH quieter), but he does expect you to form a damn opinion. Plus, you just can’t beat a film with a sassy younger than springtime Joan Blondell doing her thing (in the Paul Marte role).
HERE YOU SEE THE FLAMING CURMUDGEON BEFORE HE LEAVES FOR THE CATSKILLS (BUT AFTER THE XANAX).
In spite of the fact that being a houseguest in the country can be exhausting for a city boy (hyperbole, folks, hyperbole), I am back and in fine fettle and feeling grand. However, I haven’t recovered completely so I can’t give you the full wonderful narrative of my visit with Catskills Grrl. But let me give you a couple of quick photos (many more to come) that are illustrative of the effects of a bit of time in a lovely cottage in the country with a friend.
AND THEN, WITH NO REASONABLE EXPLANATION BUT A JOURNEY OF A COUPLE OF HOURS AND A CHARMING COTTAGE NEARLY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE SHY, QUIET AND RESERVED, COMPLETELY AND MOST ASSUREDLY NEVER A GODDAMNED HIPPY, FLAMING CURMUDGEON! THE SHAME IS ONLY TEMPORARY. THE JOY, ETERNAL. CATSKILLS GRRL HAS THE PATIENCE OF TWO CATSKILLS GRRLS AND A COUPLE OF BLIND SAINTS IN HAIRSHIRTS ON A SOMBER TUESDAY DURING THE INQUISITION. (The Flaming Curmudgeon unexpectedly learns positive lessons about himself and life in general.)
One of my reasons for hitting the Amtrak rails to Lancaster last week was to borrow one of my parents’ cars (Chevy Malibu – always and forever!) and drive down to West Chester, PA to visit my pal Sally and her family and to go to the DCI competition. [INSERT DIGRESSION: Sally was actually my girlfriend in sixth grade. Our families even went to the same church!] Now, you may not know this but Sally and I used to play the oboe (gee, ya think he’s GAY?) in high school and we also played clarinet in marching band. Our high school band even won some competitions which we started going to in our sophomore year. And Sally and Jim (her husband who was also in band) had no idea that after school either in my room or in the garage I used to twirl flags and batons — well not real batons but I used the inside extender part of my folding music stand and the little american flags we had and this big American flag my dad had for some club meetings and I would do these complicated routines. I didn’t play music — the music was in my head (“Sweeney hears music that nobody hears!”) but I was damn good. I only broke the overhead light in my bedroom once and I think my older brother walked in on me once but he kindly never mentioned it at all. Anyway, my point is that Sally and Jim were the first people I ever told this to and before I left Sally gave me this card which is just so perfect and, yes, nui loa. Or maybe Sally gave me the card which prompted the revelation? Doesn’t matter. It’s very hard to read but the clipping pasted over the majorette is a dictionary definition of the word “conform.” Priceless. You would have thought I would make the perfect drum major but when it came time for tryouts I was so oozing with trepidation and fear of embarrassment that I chickened out and never even put name in. Since everyone already called me queer and faggot (as in “hey, fAGitt” — it’s really hard to display the pronunciation) I guess I was just sure someone would actually say that out loud. If someone had pushed me or asked me I would have and it may have changed my life but, well, that’s all fire batons in a rain storm and sometimes you just have to stand up and say “I’ll try” or “I think I can” but I never thought I could. No, I KNEW I could but there was this wall I put up in front of myself to not allow myself to do the things I knew I could do. But that was way back then but now it was great to sit and chat about the old days. Sally brought out scrapbooks and we laughed at all those pictures of us skinny and clueless in high school. (I may still be clueless but never skinny.) It was great to be in the home of a lovely family — their second son is about to leave for college so I’ve been told there’s been some tension but I really didn’t see any. Well, other than Sally keeping us up as late as possible with scrapbooks and history pretending she wasn’t waiting up for her son to come home very late! Being a middle-aged single swish has its advantages, but, well, I don’t think I’ll ever exude the warmth and the glow that these people and their home did. And, yes, goddamnit, I don’t find anything overly sentimental about Norman Rockwell paintings. I’m trying to express an emotion here, an emotion that I believed had been lost, or, more likely, thrown carelessly away, tossed aside, abandoned by the Flaming Curmudgeon at some point when he just didn’t want to stand up and be his potentially perfectly marvelous SELF. So, Sally and Jim and Doug and Dave, thank you. You are what is know as “good folks.” And I think some of whatever combination of gases and molecules swirl in some atomic vortex to make good folks may have actually rubbed off on me.
Last night’s 62nd Annual Tony Awards presentation did not enrage me as the Tony show has so many times in the past. On my way to slumberland I thought a lot about this and that and the other and tried to pin down my itchy furtive feelings about THE THEEYATAH and its seemingly unflinching grasp around the fattening middle-aged neck of my gay psyche. It is time to stop pretending that anything is ever going to come of this pining to be part of the artistic world of theatre. I ain’t got what it takes. All I got is way too much knowledge and heaps and heaps of opinions. But I don’t have that grasping ego and blind ambition that feeds all careers in the arts. I was given many chances in decades past and I never took those chances. I wanted to follow the rules. I didn’t want to care only about myself. I saw all this so clearly watching the show last night. Patti LuPone who deserves nothing but respect after all her professional years and achievements. But all I see watching her accept her award is that endlessly needy little actor who lives in all these people who have to perform not just to feel loved and adored but simply to exist. It scares me now because I realize I’ve never had that and that’s why I’ve been so unhappy dreaming of a life upon the wicked stage. Yes, on some level, I will always want it, but if I am unwilling — which makes me unable — or unable so that I can claim I am unwilling (you figure it the hell out!) — to bare my all, then it certainly will never come to be, nor do I deserve it. All I can do is be a has-been who never was, who never tried. You cannot be a failure if you don’t even try. All I can be is that show queen — I’m not even involved enough for that grand title — who sits alone on his birthday at the magnificent revival of the glorious Sunday in the Park with George wracked with sobs at the love and longing expressed on stage, the love and longing the Flaming Curmudgeon refuses to tap into. I say goodbye to it and will try, in the future, to temper my loud-mouthed know-it-all opinions and my bitter stabbing jealousy of people who make their way in THE THEEYATAH. Realizing one has a little talent and a lot of knowledge and next to no chutzpah is a revelation. I must leave the dreams for others and exit, stage left.