I've written a lot of blog posts since I first started in 2006. Less in the last couple of years, but I've countered the effort with movie reviews on IMDb, book reviews on amazon, and lots of time shooting my mouth off on Facebook and occasionally on OurSalon. The last few months I've been reading over the best of such writing, if that's what it is, updating, editing, and…Continue
In September, 2001, I was in a very different place for where I sit today. This is what I wrote about this date in 2006:
I was on the first real vacation I had taken in years, beginning with a trip to Northern California for the big outdoor art show in Sausalito over the Labor Day weekend. My stepdaughter Amy had a booth at the show, and I went with her and her…
The early years of the 20th century were hopeful times. Women marched for their rights, people traveled to unsettled areas of the country to make their fortunes (and there still were unsettled areas), inventions were making news and changing the way of life for us all.
I grew up some fifty years into that hopeful century, and heard all my life the stories of…Continue
When I was 12 years old the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn. Why this mattered to me, growing up in South Alabama, I don't really know. But I and my friends listened to the World Series on the radio, and my best friends and I adored "Dem Bums" even though they had a way of losing. They had an extraordinary lineup of players, and when they won, they won big, and when they lost…Continue
Who wrote the works attributed to the glover’s son of Stratford, England—poetry and plays considered the most magnificent in the history of the English language? Could it have been someone other than the man called William Shakspere [sic]? Is it possible this ordinary…Continue
I’ve got a little story I’d like you to know…I’m not drinking, my friend, to the end of a brief episode—or anything like that. Just thinking about Frankie on what would have been his 100th birthday if he had lived so long.
I used to live in Hoboken and I asked around as I met old-timers who might have stories about Sinatra growing up,…Continue
Born the same year as his daughter Nancy, I have watched and/or listened to Frank Sinatra for some 75 years. When I was a little kid I remember thinking how funny it was that the teenagers swooned when he started to sing--today there is some question whether most of them were hired to do just that, or whether his dulcet tones really triggered that reaction, but that's neither…Continue
I had the best intentions. Anthony was only a name of a friend on Facebook, a cheery, upbeat police officer from my native state of Alabama. He had contacted me that he wanted to read my novel, and I sent him a copy.
My novel, That Was Tomorrow, is a simple tale of bygone days, about a schoolteacher in my hometown in 1921. I put my heart in it and spent a…Continue
Hurricane Sandy, Hoboken, NJ
I grew up in hurricane country, south Alabama to be exact, where a hurricane statistically brushes by or hits head-on every three years or so. There was a big one in 1950. That was before some government department or other decided to give them names, and before we were told what…Continue
Go Set a Watchman is set in Alabama in the early 1950s, when the Civil Rights movement was beginning to make real inroads in the South. The book would not…Continue
I see movies all the time. I go to the movies about once a week, and keep a rented disk on hand for emergencies. Then, of course, I watch them on TV, especially on the channels that don't break them up with commercials. But I have been known to sit through the commercials occasionally.
This makes me, in my own eyes at least, a expert. I've seen so many movies I can't…Continue
Anthony, the fledgling writer I worked with on a book of true-crime stories, submitted his work to a publisher six weeks ago and has been patiently waiting, as was I, to hear back. Sometimes some pretty great writing comes in over the transom like that, and languishes in what is called in the trade the slush pile, pretty much forever. I thought he had a friend of a friend at…Continue
I was older than those who flocked to Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, NY, not far outside the village of Woodstock 46 years ago this weekend. Being just ahead of the baby boomers, I have been observing their behavior all my life, and here was the seminal event for them, a gathering of thousands in a peaceful, chaotic, scary, sexy, drug-enhanced weekend of the music and musicians…Continue
It was a long time coming; I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. I had begun it when the book was new and I was in my early 20s. At that time it didn't hold my interest; accustomed as I was to the rich, poetic writing of Southerners like Carson McCullers, Tennessee Williams, and Truman Capote, it seemed pedestrian and a bit dull to…Continue
Never mind that it is a novel about a young woman in the South in the 1950s and that I am a 75-year-old woman living in the Northeast in 2015. I was young once, and it was the South, and it was the 1950s. Reading Harper Lee's novel Go Set a Watchman was a heart-tearing, life-changing experience. It is a fine novel, reminding me where I came from, what my parents…Continue
Miss Lee is famously reclusive, but her neighbors say it really isn't so. As a matter of fact, she keeps mostly to herself in her small town, but that is because, they say,…Continue
I go to the theatre not to observe but to be absorbed, transported, transformed, and carried away.
I once wanted with all my heart to be an actress, but over time that passion evolved into a love of being among those in a play, whether with a role (I played Shaw's Saint Joan when I was three months pregnant and vomiting in the dressing room; I played Miss Alma in Summer and Smoke in a converted burlesque house in New Orleans; I played Amanda in The Glass…Continue
Alice in Wonderland was always a favorite book of mine. I was a little "old" when first read it--I was about 13, and was fascinated by the word-play and the situation of the little girl inadvertently experiencing changes in her own body and encountering a bizarre world of creatures giving her conflicting messages.
He was not a Hallmark card “dad.” I read those cards with their typical sentiments, "You were always there for me," "You are my best friend, Dad," and, "The best father I could wish for." I am perplexed. My two siblings and I would be hard pressed to say any such thing to the daddy we knew. We admired him, we loved him, we respected him, but the love we felt from him…Continue
The Globe Theatre, London
It was an ordinary meeting of the production committee when Ed, chairman, looked at me and said, "I think Rosendale should have a Shakespeare festival of sorts this summer. Mary Lois, will you take this on?"
I was surprised. I thought about it a full three…Continue