In the smash Broadway play The End of the Rainbow, the last months of Judy Garland’s life are depicted as desperate and grueling. Having seen the show in Minneapolis last spring, during its pre-New York run, I wanted to get another perspective on the beloved, tortured performer.
In today’s politically correct world people are always demanding apologies. So when someone prominent voluntarily apologizes for something he or she said or did, it makes front-page news.
Last month there was a page one story in The New York Times (“Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure'”) about Dr. Robert Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of modern- day psychiatry. Eighty years old and suffering from Parkinson’s, Dr. Spitzer can barely walk, sit in a chair or hold his head up. Still, on a recent morning at 4 a.m., he got out of bed in Princeton, N.J., and went to his computer, “knowing there was something he had to do,” the Times said. He wrote an apology to the gay community.
For much of my life, I could take or leave fireworks.
But that was before I rented the 1955 movie, Summertime, directed by David Lean. In it, Katharine Hepburn plays a spinster school teacher who takes a vacation in Venice and winds up having an affair with the suave owner of an antique store, played by Rossano Brazzi. Upon seeing a phallic- shaped, red wine goblet in his shop window, she decides she has to have it. Romance ensues.
In America, we love our tomatoes. We grow them all summer long — in backyard gardens, and on our patios and decks. We buy them at farmers markets and roadside stands. Summer isn’t summer without tomatoes. Imagine, though, if we could have them 12 months of the year, even in winter. I don’t know about your state, but here in Minnesota that’s become a culinary reality.
Now that I’m in my early 60s, I keep wondering what I can do to make enough money in the next few years to retire comfortably. There aren’t a lot of income- earning years left in me. What’s going to get me a beachfront condo in a gated community? It would be nice if it was something I could enjoy — an expression of the real me.
For 14 years I lived steps away from the historic Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston. I was reminded of the cemetery the other day, when President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage. I know this may sound strange, but hear me out.
Located in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, the 175- year-old cemetery is where many of America’s most influential abolitionists are buried, including William Lloyd Garrison, whose newspaper, The Liberator, served as the voice of the anti-slavery movement for more than 30 years.
On the brink of turning 63 last fall, I was determined to prove that I had outfoxed the aging process. So I signed up for boot camp class at my neighborhood health club. I figured I could still do an hour of classic military exercises: squats, thrusts, jumping jacks, planks, sprints and more. I was a boomer whose body hadn’t gone boom. Or so I thought.
If you drive down my shady, tree-lined street in Richfield, Minn., you might think you’ve been transported back in time. The houses look exactly the same as when they were built just after World War II. No one has added on to them, or replaced them with McMansions that take up entire lots. One of my neighbors has a 1952 Lincoln coupe with shiny chrome bumpers parked out front.
The other night I was talking on the phone with a friend in New York when she had what many of us know all too well as a “senior moment.” She was trying to tell me the name of a late-night comic, but couldn’t think of it. “It’s not Jay Leno or Letterman,” she said. “It’s, it’s. . .” “Craig Ferguson?” I asked. “Yes, that’s who it is!” she exclaimed. I nearly fainted.
So how did I come up with Ferguson’s name so quickly?