Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Wish ...

As a recipient of one of this year's Eddie Awards, I feel that I have a responsibility to put my 15 minutes of fame - and the generous check - to good use, so I have purchased the two feet of beautiful, clean, white snow you see enhancing the photograph. (Many thanks to Sigmund's contact up at the pole and to all the other gnomes who gave generously of their time and energies to stack the firewood and set up the shot).

And I offer these words sung by Peter, Paul and Mary:

If I were free to speak my mind,
I'd tell a tale to all mankind
Of how the flowers do bloom and fade
Of how we've fought and how weve paid.

This weary world has had its fill
Of words of war on every hill
The time has come for peaceful days
And peaceful men of peaceful ways.

When all mankind has ceased to fight
I'll raise my head in thanks each night
For this rich earth and all it means
For golden days and peaceful dreams.

Peace be with you and with all of us -

The Wizened Wizard

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Seasonal Shift

A red October leaf floats on water; a December leaf is held frozen on a puddle.

By the way, the December picture is of the same puddle pictured here and here. (The October photo was taken at Lampson Falls on the Grasse River).

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wizard of the Year
...and the winner is...

There seems to be some controversy surrounding my acceptance of this honor, sadly tarnishing the joy I should be feeling today as it is bestowed upon me. To my detractors I say, "GET OVER IT!!!" And welcome to my world! ( To see one additional award, click here. )

Monday, December 18, 2006

Brushing with Greatness

A blogger friend recently challenged his readers.
Craig D wrote:

I have a challenge for you, my blogging buddies... Have you had any "brushes with greatness?" I'll bet they're a lot more common than we might suspect!

Did you meet Bob Balaban at an IHOP? Does your cousin deliver laundry to Elena Verdugo's chiropractor? Did you once see John Lithgow drop his ice cream cone? Is Andy Devine your godfather? Did you once see Mitch Miller at a hotel swimming pool? Were you ever flipped off by Yoko Ono?

I thought about it. I remembered sitting next to Montreal Canadians hockey player Peter Popovich on a flight from Montreal to Detroit, which was exciting at the time but not terribly impressive now. I once had lunch at Katz' Deli on Houston St. and passed right by the actual table where Meg Ryan faked her orgasm for "When Harry met Sally" (there's a sign hanging above the spot, pointing it out). Yeah, right, me and how many millions could make that claim? And anyway, did that really qualify as "brushing with greatness?"

Then I remembered this: my father grew up on the same block as James Cagney. They reconnected later in their lives, and Cagney used to call our house. The phone would ring, my mother would answer it, and he'd say, "Hello, Dear," in that voice you’ve all heard on the big screen. She - a woman not easily shaken - would get absolutely school-girl flustered!

My dad and Jim corresponded regularly, envelopes from him never having any return address in order to insure his privacy and to prevent them from being stolen. (I have these letters). He never signed postcards because postal workers had made off with some for the “autograph.”

The thing that Cagney “gave” me – albeit unknowingly – is a wish. He signed an 8 x 10 publicity photo for my uncle “To George – All that’s good, Jim.” That seems to me to be a very fine wish, and I often end letters to friends with it. By the way, George (known as “Specs” because he was the first major league infielder to wear eye-glasses) was playing for the St. Louis Cardinals when they beat the NY Yankees in the 1926 World Series.

Jim’s autobiography contains a
poem written by my father. A photo of Cagney and my uncle can be seen here.

All that's good -

The Wiz'd Wizard