Homeless and Luckless, Piano Man Wows Internet and Gets New Start

…never too late…to live your best life…


The Feels

The city of Sarasota, Fla., has a project called “Sarasota Keys,” which installs lovely old upright pianos in public places where anyone can play. One day last week, a homeless man sat down at one of these sidewalk pianos at a public art exhibit and started playing the Styx’s “Come Sail Away.” Passersby took notice, pulling out smartphones to capture the moment and dollar bills to thank the musician.

Donald Gould, 51, a scrawny man of “cave man” appearance with scraggly hair and unkempt beard, kept his eyes on the keys and his music filled Main Street in downtown Sarasota, Fla.

Gould, or “Boone” as he is known around town, said he only wanted to earn a few bucks. A week later, video of his impromptu performance has been viewed more than 7.5 million times on YouTube and more than 5 million times on Facebook, with the videographer, Aroar Natasha,

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journeying towards her best life…#10: to dominate the impossible in your life…

Lyrics from Paul Simon’s The Rhythm of the Saints seem more than appropriate in describing Pat’s…Journey towards her best life.

To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To glide away from the razor or a knife
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark

To dominate the impossible in your life…Reach in the darkness…A reach in the dark.

Overcoming multiple myeloma AND amyloidosis is a tall order for a petite, gentle, Hawaiian…with a huge heart. Someone who doesn’t go looking for trouble but will oblige an opponent if nudged too far.

I must admit…most islanders will remove their Aloha Spirit if the situation demands it.

Well, MM and AL have picked a battle with the wrong woman and the wrong family. We, Pat’s OHANA…family are in this with our beloved sister…for the long haul.

Not as an obligation, but as a gift, lovingly given…unconditionally…no strings attached. 

When Pat informed 9 of her siblings at a family meeting, Richard’s immediate response was offering that they all be tested to see if one or more might be compatible donors for the stem cell his sister might need for a transplant. As it turns out the risk of rejection is too high. Pat will have to act as her own donor, since her body would be more receptive to her own stem cells.

Since my husband, Pat’s eldest brother, and I live on the mainland we offered to stay with her during her stem cell transplant at The Mayo Clinic, should she need us.

And what is Pat doing on her own behalf? She is dominating the impossible in her life…reaching in the darkness…a reach in the dark. 

Pat is facing her formidable opponents with…a broad smile on her face! She is not allowing MM and AL to subjugate her sense of humor…her sense of fun.

Following is Pat’s List of…Favorite Things…Wishes…and other stuff:

Things I Love About Hawaii
     How the sun shines while it’s raining.

Sweater weather…70 degrees outside.

No matter where in the world you are, one of the first things you ask someone from Hawaii is “What school you went?” Then you figure out how you’re related to each other…’cause you are.

Makapu’u hike and the lighthouse on the cliff.

Everything about the ocean…the smell, the sight, the sound, the feel and its power.

Having to make room in the fridge for fresh-caught mahi or paka.

Hawaiian music. Most songs are about the natural beauty of the islands…family…food…or surfing. What’s not to like?

The trade winds that blow through our house when the doors are wide open.

As you get older, you are not addressed as ma’am or sir. It’s “aunty” and “uncle.” I was pissed the first time a guy in a surf shop came up to me and said “Aunty, you need help?” But it’s all good. I like it when my sons’ friends or a dude in a surf shop calls me aunty. It shows they’ve been raised right.

Packing up dinner at the last minute and eating it at the beach. It shall be a regular thing whenever you guys…hugmamma and family…are home in Hawaii. 

What I’d Be If I Weren’t Me
A seeing-eye dog or other service animal.

My Super Power, If I Had One

My Last Meal Choice
Vinha d’alhos…Grandma V’s sweetbread…fried eggs and rice.
I had to look up how to spell vinha d’alhos…not in the dictionary but in a local MAUI cookbook. Visiting with Mike on Maui a few years ago, he said he never understood what being Portuguese really meant until he moved to Maui.

What Makes Me Special
Being the youngest of 12 in our clan. No one else can ever make that claim!

Hidden Talent
Still looking for it.

What I Want For My Kids
To be healthy, happy, and successful…by their own definition. My definition: they’re out of the house and on their own.

Parental Advice If Any One Should Ever Ask
The best thing you can do for your kids is to let them fend for themselves.


…a knock out!…in favor of…pat!!!


to overcome an obstacle…or an enemy

Came across the following at


Felt it was appropriate for what I’m currently penning…Journeying towards her best life…with Pat.

“The Rhythm Of The Saints”

If I have weaknesses
Don’t let them blind me
Or camouflage all I am wary of
I could be sailing in seizures of laughter
Or crawling out from under the heel of love
Do my prayers remain unanswered
Like a beggar at your sleeve
Olodumare is smiling in heaven
Smiling in heaven I do believe
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To glide away from the razor or a knife
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life
Always a stranger when strange isn’t fashionable
And fashion is rich people waving at the door
Or it’s a dealer in drugs or in passion
Lies of a nature we’ve heard before
Do my prayers remain unanswered
Like a beggar at your sleeve
Balalu-aye spins on his crutches
Says leave if you want
If you want to leave
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
A reach in the darkness
Reach in the dark
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To glide away from the razor or a knife
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark



i’m a huge fan…

…of Michael Jackson’s talent. 

Once upon a time I would have done what I could to nurture my dream of becoming an entertainer.

I can remember as a child sharing a passion for music with my mom. Among my cherished memories are the occasions when she would play the ukulele while we sang her favorite Hawaiian songs. Among them, Ke kali neau, The Hawaiian Wedding Song.

My love for dance was initiated by an older sister who taught me…the fox trot and the cha, cha, cha. Later, in my teens, I went on to master and instruct others in…the mashed potatoes, the twist, and the jerk.

In college I entered a talent show. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a competition because I don’t remember any prizes being awarded. However, the next day I got a call which made me feel as though I’d won.

A guy called inviting me to be the vocalist for his band, explaining they did gigs at the local hangout for university kids. Thrilled to be asked, I nevertheless decided against a singing career. For a girl like me, born on Maui in the late 40’s, entertaining was too much of a dream to ever become reality.

The rest is history. At 65 I’m very contented with my lot in life…a housewife for 44 years with a loving husband and daughter who cherish me.

Michael Jackson, on the other hand, died a lonely man most of his life. If he’d lived longer he more than likely would have enjoyed some of what I have…in the love of his three children.

I have probably read all that’s been printed about Jackson, before and after his death. Not having kept abreast of his life and career once he separated from his brothers, I wanted to know all that there was about him after he died.

Reading various biographies about Jackson helped me formulate a more balanced perspective of the man. I arrived at my own decisions as to who among all the players in his life were there for the right or wrong reasons. These included…the lawyers, the businessmen and women…the reporters and others in the media…and family and friends. 

Without thinking twice, I’m certain that Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe both loved their husband very much. That Michael Jackson used them to his own advantage is also undeniable. 

Jackson was a master manipulator, having learned from his family and all those who wanted a piece of him financially. Unfortunately, that included everyone who had anything to do with him. How could they resist? He was an irresistible man, personally and professionally, by all accounts. 

Blame for the mess his life became was shared by all, including Jackson himself. It didn’t help that poverty set the scene for the way it unfolded, his parents and siblings grabbing for whatever they could to keep the dream of wealth alive. And Michael spending his way through billions of dollars faster than he could earn it.

It was apparent Jackson was trying to fill the hole in his psyche with all the material things he could amass. That was the reason the number of concerts for This Is It quickly jumped from the initially agreed upon 10, to the staggering amount of 50. He was in hock up to his eyeballs…and some. 

The man was a magician when it came to getting in and out of trouble, personally and professionally. Unfortunately he had to pay up sooner or later. Hence the lawsuits that never seemed to stop, even after his death.

Untouchable, The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson by Randall Sullivan, reveals the overwhelmingly muddled mania surrounding one of the most iconic celebrities ever to have been born. I could only repeat to myself as I read my way through the book’s nearly 600 pages that it was almost best that Jackson died when he did.

He was like the grey whale at the center of a sharks’ feeding frenzy that I’d seen on a television documentary. There would have been no shred of the man left, had his life continued to spiral downward as it was.

It was interesting to observe that among all the bad people in Jackson’s life, there was no differentiation as to race, creed, gender, age, or social and financial standing. Whites, blacks, Jews, Muslims, men, women, young, old, rich, poor…they all shared in the Sodom and Gommorrah that followed the star wherever he went.

The more I read of celebrities who succumbed to the trappings of fame and wealth, the more I’m thankful for having escaped going down that road. Even minor celebs have their share of unwanted drama, like Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and the self-absorbed Kardashians.

Jackson was a smart man in many ways and determinedly naive in others. In the moment he could destroy all he’d built by shrewd business negotiating. More often than not, the little boy who didn’t have a normal childhood won out when struggling with the man Jackson was trying to become. 

As in all walks of life it seems, if our morals and values are not solidly grounded, we can easily be caught up in the confetti that swirls around us. If we could only remember that all those little pieces of paper eventually find their way…



(Wikepedia photo)




You read it right.

I’m thanking Usher for bringing together…young and old…black, white and all colors in between…hip and not-so-hip…religious and aetheist…liberal and conservative…and of course, women and men…in celebration of our better angels.

In song and dance, we found common ground to set our differences aside for an evening. Squeezed into seats like those on an airplane, we were shoulder to shoulder with whomever it was that purchased the neighboring seat. We had no say in the matter. Ticket Master played Russian Roulette with our hard-earned cash.

Funny thing. No one turns up his nose at a much sought after ticket. Ask any football fan or tourist at a Broadway show.

When I bought the tickets during the summer I’d no idea what to expect.

Usher was one of my favorite coaches on TV’s The Voice. I admired his sincerity when handling those contestants he’d chosen to join his team. I was also mesmerized by his singing and accompanying dance moves. So I didn’t think twice about seeing him in concert.

Fortunately for me my husband is always game to see and do whatever catches my fancy. Our daughter agrees that it keeps her father youthful. He does too.

Needless to say we were surrounded by hoards of fans, mostly our daughter’s age. Yet no one looked askance at two old fogies looking like they’d mistaken Usher’s concert for some oldie but goodie like Neil Diamond. The man who checked handbags smilingly commented that we were somebody’s parents. We laughed along with him, although I assured him that we weren’t the parents of the couple who filed in ahead of us.

Were my daughter still living with us she would have been my concert companion. Instead, she’ll have to content herself with the video I text her. That is once I figure out how to do it.

As for the concert, the two acts hired to warm up the crowd for an hour or so were fine. I’d not heard of either, although that’s not saying a lot since I’ve no clue who the young folk are listening to these days.

What I do know is that using the colorful, four-letter word preceded by “mother” did not endear me to the second artist. Although I will say he had a splendid voice. The dancers accompanying him were amazing movers. However my husband and I agreed we were glad our daughter doesn’t do…that kind of dancing. A little too suggestive for our taste, what with all the bumping and grinding. Not to mention the skimpy costumes. What were they thinking? Actually it’s pretty obvious they’re not thinking.

Usher did not disappoint. His performance, as well as those of his dancers and musicians, was explosive. So was the production with its lights and smoke and technical wizardry. The staging platforms undulated upward and downward, forward and backward, even reconfiguring before our very eyes. How the female performers kept their footing on stiletto heels…and the male dancers bounced back into standing position from somersaults and floor splits…was mind blowing. It was like watching a three-ring circus. My eyes kept darting back and forth trying to catch every magical twist and turn before it faded from sight.

Nearing the end, the women seated beside me were up on their feet swaying and singing along with Usher. It was beautiful to see the entire arena of devoted fans on their feet joining him in song. Together it was as though the love between artist and fans was enough to change the world outside.

Audience applause brought Usher back for an encore. Before singing he asked for a moment of silence to remember the parents of Michael Brown, the shooting victim in a recent confrontation with a policeman in St. Louis, Missouri. As he sang a song of hope for brotherhood among humankind, tears welled up in my eyes.

Why don’t we invest more of ourselves in the arts where our spirits are allowed to engage with one another, rather than subjecting our better angels to grovel in the dust while our prehistoric instincts to kill or be killed be given full reign? What is our long-held fascination with gladiator-like activities…hunting for sport…or annihilation of those unlike ourselves?

Maybe we wouldn’t have to die in order to see Heaven, if only we would allow Heaven to exist…right here on earth. Something to think about when we give thanks on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanks, Usher. For making my Thanksgiving…

…one for the ages…




groovin’ and movin’ and…dancin’ to the music…

Saw this video on kizzy lee/carpe diem at http://kizzylee.wordpress.com.  Decided to share it because we all need a lighthearted pick-me-up now and then.

I’ve no idea who the singers are, although their music takes me back…way back.

And the moves and 60’s clothes remind me of a time when I grooved and moved and…jerked and twisted and mashed and continentaled.

Anybody remember those days? Or is it just me…dancing inside my head? Because I’m sure not dancing on the outside anymore.

…you should’ve seen me then…

………hugmamma.Nashville 09-2010 00023

romance…old hollywood style…

Cropped screenshot of Gene Tierney from the tr...

Cropped screenshot of Gene Tierney from the trailer for the film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a huge fan of old Hollywood. An era when movie stars were glamorous and retained an aura about them. Perhaps that’s why my favorite biographies are about…Joan Fontaine, Gene Tierney, Doris Day, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Glen Ford and other iconic actors from yesteryear. I’ll scout every bookstore I happen upon in search of books I can add to my growing collection. It would be nice to house them in a room all their own. For now though, they’re part of my home’s cozy decor.

When I came across this YouTube video on the blog site…If Only I Had a Time Machine at http://mholloway63.wordpress.com , I immediately decided to share it with you.  

Of course I was doubly motivated to post it here because dance plays a huge part in our family’s life, being that our daughter has followed her heart…and dances professionally. She would have loved to have seen Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire work their magic on the dance floor.

And wouldn’t it have been thrilling to see Johnny Mathis off to the side, singing the accompanying love song…as only he can. Hubby and I were indeed fortunate to have seen the talented singer perform on stage. I think the audience was totally captivated, falling under the magical spell of Mathis’ silky voice. I know he had me in the palm of his hand.

…relax…and let romance fill your thoughts…


classical…taylor swift???

I happened upon this video when I visited… Ese’s Voice at http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com

I’m a fan of music…any kind, actually. I just have to feel good listening to it. And on some level, it needs to connect with who I am.

What captivated me about this particular music video was that it was a pop song performed by classical musicians. It’s been done before, but to a Taylor Swift tune?

I’m not a huge fan of Swift’s, although she is a phenomenon in that she writes her own music as if she were merely journaling. She’s a great storyteller for millions of broken-hearted teenage girls…having been there herself. Let’s see…how many times was that? I’m sure no one’s counting…except maybe the media and…Taylor Swift.

Hearing this classical version of Swift’s pop tune…Love Story…

You Belong with Me

seems to somehow legitimize the iconic singer with the middle-aged set. This is not meant to be uppity. In fact, Swift’s fans would most likely tune out my generation’s music.

The Piano Guys do a fine job of bridging the gap between the younger set…and those of us who have aged like fine wine.

…i’m more of a martini myself…make mine blue, please…


And now for the listening and viewing pleasure of my peers… 

…a kid like no other…

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Michael Jackson’s talent. I was reminded of it a couple of days ago when one of the TV channels ran the song/dance videos from Jackson’s hit album “BAD.” The station was celebrating 25 years since the album’s release.

Michael Jackson

At the time “BAD” hit the airwaves, I wasn’t impressed. Like many, I preferred the sweet, innocent, black Michael. “Who was this whiter, sexier, long-haired version?” I thought. Unwilling to accept that he had changed, just as we all do, I dismissed him…and his music. Not until his death did I resume my admiration for a talent the likes of which we haven’t seen before, and probably won’t see again. 

I recently picked up another Jackson biography at Half Price Books, for 20% off no less. “My Friend Michael” by Frank Cascio is an honest depiction of the mega watt star from the stance of a young man who grew up knowing Jackson since age 5. At the time Michael was in his 20s. Along with his brother, Eddie, Frank got to know the boy behind the man…the Michael Jackson whose childhood was swallowed up by a career run amok.

Who can judge what should and shouldn’t have happened in another person’s life. We all do what we need to do to survive. Joe Jackson, Michael’s father, did for his family what any father in the same dire straits might have done. The fact that he drove his sons with a heavy hand, denying them the ability to experience other facets of life is something Jackson, Sr. will have to square with his Maker when the time comes.

We all have personal baggage left over from childhood, be it good, bad, or indifferent. Having my fair share of issues, I can see that life is never a straight path to old age. That Michael even made it to 50 is a wonder. The pressures he faced, perceived or real, would’ve taken a lesser man down.

The Cascio family of New Jersey offered Jackson a safe haven from all the ugliness that others hungry for fame and financial gain dished out.

Michael Jackson wasn’t without faults. Who is? What’s that line? People who live in glass houses…shouldn’t throw stones. We all tend to forget that, especially when the media whips itself up into a feeding frenzy. Great white sharks have nothing over the papparazzi when it comes to ripping people to shreds if given half the chance.

I’ve read all manner of books about the “man behind the mirror.” In doing so I’ve been able to formulate a pretty well-rounded impression of Jackson.

I subscribe to the notion that Michael was indeed misunderstood. He wasn’t blameless to be sure, but he certainly couldn’t take the time to explain every aspect of every decision he made. Remember the hyperbaric chamber in which he was photographed lying in repose? According to Cascio…

When he was photographed in a hyperbaric chamber, rumors began flying that he slept in it–in reality he’d donated it to a local hospital to be used in the treatment of burn victims. Of course, sometimes Michael was just being a character, joking around, but the impetus for his behavior was never as freaky as people were always so quick to assume.

And about the surgical masks Jackson had taken to wearing?

When he wore a surgical mask, people thought he was hiding some new plastic surgery–in reality he was at first protecting himself from getting sick before performances; then he found that wearing the mask made him feel like he was in disguise (when in fact it called more attention to him); and ultimately he turned it into a one-of-a-kind fashion statement, having his silken surgical masks custom-made.

Under normal circumstances, folks might have been asking if it were any one other than Michael Jackson…”Where were the parents?” Haven’t you wondered that with the likes of Brittney Spears and Lindsey Lohan? Perhaps because the Jacksons were black meant the standards were somehow different.

That, I think, was the underlying issue with the public’s perception of Michael Jackson and his family. It’s the same dilemma with President Obama.

Without precedence for blacks who succeed beyond their wildest dreams, Jackson and Obama are scrutinized to the nth degree. Journalists try to get inside their brains to determine how in the heck such unlikely candidates for success…succeeded. And we, the public, are caught up in the media tidal wave. It’s up to us to grab for whatever life raft we can to bail ourselves out of the flood of hysteria that ensues.

Elvis Presley

Most of my generation will remember the similar persecution of another amazing talent who took the world by storm…Elvis Presley. He with the voice, and moves, of a black entertainer. Nothing like him had happened along before.

Whether we are resistant to change in our music, or find it difficult to accept that all races are created equal, we should keep reminding ourselves that…for better or worse…we all inhabit the same earth. None of us are going anywhere…except to meet our Maker. Until that day we should all try to be less quick to judge.

Shakespeare’s Shylock from “Merchant of Venice” says it more eloquently…

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means,
warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer
as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us,
do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility?
Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his
sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge.
The villainy you teach me, I will execute,
and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
(Act III, scene I)



Michael Jackson performing The Way You Make Me...

precious, precious…sunshine

Just left the blog of friend and fellow blogger…pocket perspectives. Her post on sunshine  stirred up wonderful memories of my 27-year-old.


Her birthday’s tomorrow. 


“You are My Sunshine” was the song we dubbed my daughter’s very own, often changing it to “you are my moonshine.” Of course we weren’t referencing the alcohol some folks took to concocting behind the barn in the good old days. (They’re probably still at it.)

Watching our only child’s face light up as we sang the words, was like seeing her standing in the middle of a sunbeam…or moonbeam.

We were three happy mousketeers…warmed by our love for one another.

Still are.

I’d forgotten that there was another song about sunshine, until I saw it reprinted on Pocket Perspectives. 

Now that my daughter’s grown into a lovely, young woman…I’d like to dedicate the following to her.

Happy birthday, precious! You still are our sunshine…and moonshine.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
Sunshine almost always

Words by John Denver

elegant music…with a twist

Canadian Brass Live!Visited another friend’s blog, http://figmentsofadutchess.com and discovered the following gem. Marion is a self-confessed music buff to the nth degree. All kinds seem to catch her fancy.I was introduced to the Canadian Brass on Marion’s blog. I commented that I was somewhat skeptical at first, but was quickly won over by the elegance of their music and the theatricality of their musicians. Might I add…they’re extremely funny! I never stopped smiling. 

I went in search of the ensemble and found more of the same…with a twist. Long-time readers know that my daughter’s a professional ballerina, hence my youtube choice. Take a moment from the rat race that is your daily life…I did…and let someone else do the work…of entertaining you. You won’t regret it.

Marion’s selection was just as eloquent…albeit more folksy. It’s called Hornsmoke, and features an ensemble of fine musicians from the Canadian Brass. So keep those feet up, pahdners…those peepers peeled…and those audio receivers wide open for an oft-told tale…of the wild, wild, wild west

…now you can return to being…a city slicker…………hugmamma.  🙂

i’m with them…oldies…but still…goodies

At least I aspire to be one of them. But with my recent spate of aches and pains…I’ll have a lot of catching up to do. I wonder if Tony Bennett, Betty White, and my mother-in-law for that matter, ever complain about stiffening, arthritic fingers, or lower back pain when bending over to wash their faces, or heartburn due to acid reflux? All we hear about Tony and Betty are how wonderfully they’re doing, considering their advanced ages. He’s 85; she’s in her 90s. And to think, they’re both headlining shows, Tony’s still performing on stage while Betty’s part of a winning foursome in Hot in Cleveland, a TV sitcom.

What’s their secret formula, their fountain of youth? Betty’s humor and “go with the flow” attitude probably serves her well. I loved her both as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show,                    (betty + white.jpg) 

and as Rose Moreland on the Golden Girls. What I liked best about her characters was that they were the butt of everyone’s laughter. Sue Ann was a controlling bitch (no other word will suit), and Rose was a middle-aged, ditzy blonde. That Betty White took on these roles speaks to her ability to laugh at herself. Something we all should emulate, rather than thinking we are too good to take some tarnishing now and then. And yet, it’s for sure she is nobody’s doormat. Despite her acting characterizations, Betty doesn’t look like she’d put up with any nonsense. After all, before she played dizzy dames Betty was one-half of the brainy duo who created Password. (allen ludden betty white.jpg) 

She and husband Allen Ludden ruled the airwaves long before Alex Trebek and Jeopardy. Gosh…am I showing my age…or what!?!

Did anyone see Tony Bennett schmoozing with Lady Gaga on TV on  (tony-bennett-lady-gaga.jpg)

Thanksgiving Day? That she was fawning all over the senior crooner was flattering, albeit a little weird. I mean she looked like she was trying to seduce him. And I couldn’t tell what he was thinking behind his famous smile…or was it more of a grin…hmmm. They did sound great together, however, singing songs from our past…his and mine.

I must admit to finally warming to Lady Gaga…until I heard some of her own creations later in the show. One in memory of her grandfather was sweet, although it didn’t appeal to my middle-aged ears. Blame it on the generation gap, I guess. Now if she had only stuck to the oldies…

According to Christopher John Farley’s article “On the Horizon” in today’s Wall Street Journal, Tony is pursuing “artistic collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga.” Evidently Tony already has a hit on his hands with “Duets II” which went to number one on the Billboard 200 chart. No small potatoes that he also garnered 3 Grammy nominations to boot. How many other 85-year-olds alive today can say the same? By his side in the album was bosom buddy Lady Gaga, as well as a couple of other pretty, young things…Carrie Underwood,  (tony.jpg)

and Amy Winehouse, the 27-year-old British singer who died this summer.

Not only is Tony a celebrated singer, but he’s also an accomplished painter. In Vanity Fair’s January 2012 issue the elder statesman “is shown sketching a nude portrait of Lady Gaga, with the real Lady Gaga reclining disrobed nearby.” What must her grandfather be saying? “Oy vey!!! That #&%*@ is old enough to be me…before I died!” Maybe gramps will keep from turning over in his grave knowing that his grand-daughter’s likeness, “in all its Technicolor glory,” will be auctioned off on eBay, with the proceeds going towards charity.

…not sure if my makua kane (hawaiian for “grandpa”) would buy that…but then again…i never knew the man…

………hugmamma.  😉

(…and by the way…i’ve never heard my mother-in-law…in her late 80s…drone on about a darned thing…god bless her…young heart!)

words…for the ages…

don't worry be happyBorrowed the following from fellow WordPress blogger…Mizz. She borrowed it from Glamour Magazine.

I added a little something of my own…a couple of youtube videos to illustrate the lesson in these words. One is cute and suitable for children; the other, I’d rate PG-13…for its bawdy showmanship. Have to give the “singers” credit…for their creativity…and fearlessness. No one I know would have that kind of hutzpah!


Don’t Gossip.

Do Offer genuine compliments every day.

Don’t Slate yourself.

Do Be your own friend.

Don’t Focus on negatives.

Do Focus on the positives–the more uplift/inspiration, the better!

Don’t Fight back.

Do Remain calm–defending an attack–invests in the attack.


…sounds good to me!…and now…prepare to laugh…

…can’t fail to…be happy…after that………hugmamma.   🙂

back in time…but in the present

Does anyone remember dancing to the music of the Average White Band…say in the 60s and 70s? As I explained to my husband enroute to our favorite jazz venue where the band was performing this evening, they seemed peripheral to the music scene. They didn’t draw the crowds like other groups, but their songs had a distinct beat that made me jump up and dance. Still does.

As with other groups from my generation, AWB has undergone a transformation over the years, with musicians coming and going. However 3 who performed tonight were originals, two guitarists and one saxophonist. They were white; the remaining two men were black. Together they melded beautifully into the Average White Band of old.

Why is it that the years seem to fall away when listening to music from the past, allowing us to recapture our youth, if only for a little while? The lead singer/guitarist, one of the founding Scots from Dundee, probably in his mid to late 60s, could still hold the audience as his voice undulated to the rhythm of “A love of your own.” And as I swayed in time to the beat, I felt like a captivating 20-year-old once again. The outer me not at all in sync with my sensual, inner self of long, long ago. More like the young, blonde groupie who giggled giddily after a word with the Scotsman on a brief break. He too eyed the beauty with the smile of a more vigorous alter ego. But perhaps a musician’s lifestyle and daily imbibing of spirits (a fact he offered) are the secret to his vitality. Whatever the case, tonight was for the young at heart…

The Average White Band performs in Rochester, NY.

Image via Wikipedia

…no matter the age………hugmamma.  😉