Today is going to be my favorite kind of Friday. I'm taking a half day off and making my way to the Kennedy Center to hear my favorite musical instrument, the National Symphony Orchestra.
They'll be doing the Rachmaninoff First Piano Concerto, Frank Bridge's The Sea - Suite for Orchestra and Elgar's First Symphony. I am unfamiliar with all three works so this will be new music for me - cool! Before I get seated, however, I go to the Cup'a Cup'a sandwich shop at the Watergate and have my traditional hot corned beef on rye with Swiss, and, afterwards, stroll around on the roof of the Kennedy Center to look at the Potomac. (Photos of a previous concert here.) Maybe Johannes Brahms will be in attendance today.
A notable Burbanker, Dick Clark ("America's Oldest Teenager") died earlier this week; I am sorry to hear of it. I suppose the "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve" broadcast will now become "Ryan Seacrest's Rockin' New Year's Eve," and the changing of the guard is fine. I actually like Ryan Seacrest, he has a good all-around television presenter personality. I hope they do a Dick Clark retrospective this year. Some of my friends always lamented at Clark's post-stroke appearance during these later broadcasts, saying that he should have given it up. I disagreed; I always liked seeing him. It was encouraging. Aging happens - so do strokes, heart problems, liver spots, hair loss, wrinkles and other signs of decrepitude. Do we hide ourselves away and withdraw from life, ashamed for some reason, or do we carry on with the new normal? We carry on. Sometimes life can be physically or emotionally reduced to simply putting one foot in front of the other, but it's still important to do that. A now retired friend of mine once said, "You stop, you drop." I think he's right.
Fun fact: Dick Clark and I had one thing in common - we were or are both married to women named Cari Clark.
I am the only person I know who has seen - and liked! - Dick Clark's now forgotten 1960 movie Because They're Young, where he portrayed a caring high school teacher. Best of all, a football scene was shot at the field at my high school, Burbank High; I could recognize those buildings in the background anywhere.
Jonathan Frid, the original - and best! - Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows, also died this week at age 87. You know what was cool about him? He actively ran his own web site, jonathanfrid.com as an octogenarian, as a way to reach out to his fans. I respect that. It wasn't glitzy at all and was far from modern web site standards insofar as bells and whistles are concerned (as my own websites are), but who cares? It had the personal touch.
If I get to my eighties I hope I can still make videos like this.
Earlier this week I reported finding a VHS copy of Virginia's famous "Flag Film" (the work they show at the New Market battlefield park visitor's center) on an e-Bay auction and buying it. It arrived yesterday - and I am very sorry to report that this New Market: Field of Honor is not the New Market: Field of Honor production colloquially known as the Flag Film. How annoying! This is the commemorative video produced for the occasion of the 125th anniversary event held in 1989. It's okay, because I was present at this and see friends in it, but it's not really want I wanted. The search continues.
Recently I've been contributing - perhaps excessively - to a Facebook page dedicated to the elementary school in Burbank I once attended, Monterey Avenue School. Somebody encouraged me and the stories began pouring out. As requested, I am now scanning the pages of my sixth grade composition book for the reading enjoyment of the other boys who suffered under the dictatorship of our teacher, Miss Wilda Johnson. She was a lesbian and had a distinct bias against boys. In my opinion she never should have been allowed to teach. It's interesting to note the distaste for her - "the Wildabeast" - among the other male contributors to this page. As I suspected, I was not alone. But that didn't help me when I was eleven and twelve - it certainly seemed like I was.
Childhood slights are so strongly felt! Even as an adult. I can forgive, but forgetting is impossible.
Weight loss this past week, three pounds, made up for the week before when I lost only .4 pounds. So I have now lost 28.4 pounds in fifteen weeks, about 1.9 pounds per week on average. Still good. Perhaps I haven't yet hit the dreaded "dieter's plateau." I am looking forward to my next celebratory banana split when I reach the thirty pounds lost milestone.
Have a great weekend!
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