Tuesday, May 30, 2017

WALT - May 30, 2017

For family and friends , and all who knew him well,
the day of his death is remembered with 
saddness and sorrow, that he is no more 
in this world ; On the contrary, the day of his birth
remembered with great joy for the bright star he was,
the gladness of heart he brought to his Mother and Dad.
His Mother called him , her 'golden child'. His big sis adored 
him from the start, her baby brother who would become 
her forever friend.  Now he laughs with the Angels , and sees
our Lord face to face. And  perhaps praying for us
until we meet again at Heaven's gate



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Petals in the Wind

                                                            Like flowers in the wind
                                                       when petals blow away
                                                          The vigor, and vitality of youth
                                                         give way to aging days
                                                           Where once the light shined brighly
                                                         on the promise of what lay ahead
                                                         now it flickers dimly
                                                             and turns to  'remembering when'

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Patty Duke - a Personal Remembrance

 I was saddened yesterday when I read  actress Patty Duke had died. She was 69 years old.  For me,  and many of my contemporaries Patty Duke was someone we grew up with, her name a part of our youthful lexicon.   We first came to know her in  The Miracle Worker, the definitive film about  the young  Helen Keller.   Duke's outstanding performance  as the mute, deaf  Keller won her an Academy Award for best supporting actress.   I was reminded of my sophomore year of high school  when the Drama department decided on  the play The Miracle Worker for the Fall production , and remembered  our Drama coach, Mr. Phillips telling Carol Morris, the  student cast in the role  of Helen Keller to watch Patty Duke and immolate her acting style. I think it's fair to say The Miracle Worker and Patty Duke's  role as Helen Keller was  to her  what Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz was to Judy Garland

I thought about her popular  television series, The Patty Duke Show in the early 1960's and how I tried never to miss an episode.   Patty played duo roles , identical cousins Patty and Cathy. She played each part so well, it was hard to believe Patty and Cathy really weren't two different people.
Once,  after visiting my cousin, Shauna for two weeks in Salt Lake City,  and hearing over and over how much I looked like my cousin, I would sometimes daydream , like young teenagers often do , that Shauna and I could star in our own television show - with Shauna as the well spoken, sophisticated  Cathy and me as the more care free Patty.

Fans read about Patty Duke in  magazines; her relationship with Desi Arnaz, Jr. , her marriage to John Astin , the birth of her son, Sean. Her challenges with being Bipolar,  and the positive light she brought to mental illness.    

After my family  and I moved to north Idaho in 1992, I thought it very cool   Patty Duke and her husband had also  moved to north Idaho where she became  active with charities and local theater in Coeur d Alene and Spokane.   I was lucky to see Patty  live on stage - once  where  she starred ,   along with my young cousin Mallory Cooney King  in the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Coeur d  Alene Summer Theater .  Patty, as always was a delight to watch, her love for performing so evident. I remember that performance  well as it   helped lift  some my heart's   heavy sadness  after my brothers recent passing.


Mostly, in thinking about Patty Duke  what came to mind was the night my husband, Gary and I went to see the musical Gypsy starring Patty  as Mama Rose at the Spokane Civic Theater.  I brought my copy of her autobiography ,  Call Me Anna  along just in case she might sign it.  And to my great delight she did!   Gary and I hung around  after the curtain went down to check with the attendant about having Patty Duke sign my book.  The attendant asked us to wait while he spoke  with Patty Duke about it.  Before long he returned, asking us to follow him as he ushered us backstage.  As I walked toward the chair  where Patty was sitting , she stood up, put her hand out to shake mine and introduced herself.   Like she would need introducing!  I was surprised to see how petite she was, and how approachable. Her smile so natural and real, so welcoming!   She had a twinkle in her eye as we conversed back and forth. If I had thoughts about being nervous asking her to sign my book, there was no need, she put me completely at ease.  After a few minutes she asked for the book   I had tucked under my left arm ,  grabbed a pen from the nearby table and signed it:

Love to you, Kathy
from Anna
Patty Duke
Nov. 1, '03

Meeting Patty Duke that night made a special night out even more special.

But that's not the end of the story.  A few years ago , I had somehow lost the book.  I searched everywhere for it, but could find it nowhere.  Unusual for me to misplace a favored book,  as I am  known to keep good care of books. For months I  ranted about losing the book to friends and family,  and  finally had to presume the book was wrongly placed in a  box for discard.  Reflecting on Patty Duke's  passing yesterday ,  I was  disappointed all over again for having lost  the book she had inscribed to  me. I went on about chores, took an afternoon walk, and thought to myself, if I ever find  that book now, it would be a miracle !  It wasn't to much later , after I was back in the house that a  jolting, bolting   thought pressed me  to go to the bookshelves in the Study. I had already looked there  several times for the Duke book,  I thought it would be a waste, but the thought was so compelling and insistent  I should look again, I did.  And lo and behold after pulling three books from the shelf, there it was !  Call Me Anna !  I quickly pulled it from where it was, turned  to the opening page where Patty Duke had written  her inscription,  and smiled !


Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Day of Thanks

Turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie - the traditional dinner menu of millions  celebrating Thanksgiving  Day, this uniquely American holiday set aside to give thanks to God for His providential guidance and bountiful love. For family and friends and  all we hold dear; for our Nation, with its many natural resources ; rivers and forests, mountains and prairies. Crops and grain, the fruited plain. And the generous spirit of its people, always willing to lend a helping hand, to persevere  when the challenge seems hard and  press ahead.
For freedom to choose a better way - righteous and good. To worship God; not to exclude our  faith from the market place, government buildings or schools, but to include it in our private and public life - to lift our gaze toward the Heavenly Creator and give thanks.

Note:  The First National Thanksgiving Proclamation 1777
           Continental Congress  http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/first-national-thanksgiving-proclamation-1777

Friday, September 4, 2015

Forever In My Heart

Dates and places
and faces of people we love
forge a memory in our heart
to remain forever
a part of us,  and help
shape who we are,
so strong not even
death can diminish
the remembrance
of that time
when the one we loved
stood near, sharing our
laughter and tears
I think of my brother, Walt
who would have celebrated
his 61st birthday today;
his  smile, his words, the
sound of his voice; his warm
hug hello, and his last hug
good-bye. I cherish the boy he
was, the man he became;
my little brother, my forever friend