Monday, May 25, 2009


Today is Memorial Day, but it's not like I need a federally-mandated holiday to remind me of lost loved ones. Sometimes, I feel as though I dwell too much among the dead, remembering the past with a fondness I can't seem to bring to the present. Childhood memories of being schlepped from one cemetery to another, laying flowers for relatives I never knew have been replaced by paying tribute to those I knew so well, and will never see again.

In 1975, my brother Keith helped me over come the sadness of the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year by taking me to a movie he'd already seen and loved, The Return Of The Pink Panther. It was the first Peter Sellers movie I'd ever seen, and as I've said here so many times, Sellers remains my all-time favorite actor. This clip is in memory of Keith, who understood my tastes better than I did.

It was simple: Dad liked country music. I hated it with a passion. He'd listen to it on the radio, he'd watch Hee-Haw every Friday night, it was the only type of music he seemed to understand. It took me way to long to realize dad was right all along, as Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash will prove.

I've posted this clip before, but really, it represents everything you need to know about Mom. She loved A.A. Milne and Jim Henson, because she found them to be silly and gentle and infinitely wise, but always with just a hint of melancholy. Much like her.