Jim Warren – LikeTheDew.com https://likethedew.com A journal of progressive Southern culture and politics Sun, 17 Feb 2019 15:51:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 https://likethedew.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-DewLogoSquare825-32x32.png Jim Warren – LikeTheDew.com https://likethedew.com 32 32 Dear Doris Day https://likethedew.com/2011/01/28/dear-doris-day/ https://likethedew.com/2011/01/28/dear-doris-day/#comments Fri, 28 Jan 2011 22:48:01 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=17827 Oscar award season is just around the corner, and my thoughts turned to you as they often do this time of year. When were we last together? Although it seems like only yesterday, it was in 1967 at the Carroll Theatre when you were starring in Caprice. I was the mesmerized 9-year-old boy in the middle of the theatre all alone that Saturday morning. I had fallen in love with you several years earlier ...

Now, over forty years later, I resist attending today's movie houses, but this year there are several films I wanted to see before the little gold fellows are handed out to the lucky actors. I girded myself for what I knew was to be a challenging trip and headed out to my local movie megaplex. You see, Doris, the moviegoer's experience has changed drastically since you and I were together last ...

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Oscar award season is just around the corner, and my thoughts turned to you as they often do this time of year. When were we last together? Although it seems like only yesterday, it was in 1967 at the Carroll Theatre when you were starring in Caprice. I was the mesmerized 9-year-old boy in the middle of the theatre all alone that Saturday morning. I fell in love with you several years earlier. I can’t remember…was it Do Not Disturb, The Glass Bottom Boat, or possibly Send Me No Flowers? Barely into my first decade, I didn’t know why I loved you so much. As the years passed, I came to know the reasons were many. You were my very first crush, followed shortly by one on James Garner, but that is another letter!

Now, over forty years later, I resist attending today’s movie houses, but this year there are several films I wanted to see before the little gold fellows are handed out to the lucky actors. I girded myself for what I knew was to be a challenging trip and headed out to my local movie megaplex. You see, Doris, the moviegoer’s experience has changed drastically since you and I were together last. I am sure you knew all too well how Hollywood was changing back in the “60s. With that foreknowledge, you wisely exited the system with grace, class, and your personal dignity in place. Unfortunately, today’s moviegoers have a tougher “row to hoe,” as my grandmother used to say, for time spent in a theater is not what it used to be. What passes for the patron experience in 2011 can only be compared to, well, dental work without anesthesia.

The pain began as I drove into the vast expanse of concrete and asphalt surrounding the movie palace, designed so that 32,000 cars may park simultaneously. Once parked, I approached the gaping maw of the glittery beast, stopping to gather my breath after trekking across that asphalt Sahara. Shelling out $20 to several disinterested employees for my ticket, popcorn and a drink large enough to quench the thirst of a small country (Doris, I asked for the smallest size!), I began the second safari of my afternoon searching for Screen 16. I located it at the end of a labyrinthine hallway somewhere beyond the horizon, apparently in the next county. Once there, I collapsed into my seat and took in my surroundings. Doris, today’s moviegoers no longer step into a magical world, comfortably enveloped in darkness, cool air, and the magic of flickering images. I remember when you had to stop and wait until your eyes adjusted to the dark. No longer, as THIS IS THE NEW HOLLYWOOD! You step into a half-lighted room, replete with chairs built with cup holders large enough to hold those quart size drinks. That long-ago, familiar and comforting aroma that was popcorn, Junior Mints and malted milk balls has been replaced with a pervasive aroma that is a cloying mixture of utterly ineffective disinfectant and sweat. The small silent screen seemed sad in its inactive state, like an eye that can’t close, even though it is asleep.

When you and I were together in those halcyon days, there was always something on that silver screen, whether it was a cartoon, a newsreel, or even local advertisements. The theatre was a special place, another world, where I could escape from everyone and everything, surrounded by the darkness and my larger than life friends on the screen. Today, no such magic exists. Jarringly and with the sound system blaring, the blank screen crackled to life with no, not a film, but a slide show Hollywood trivia game (designed evidently by someone who thinks movies were invented about the time that Julia Roberts and Richard Gere starred in Pretty Woman).

Mercifully, the game ended after about five minutes. The lights dimmed somewhat, and my pulse quickened with anticipation. Surely now the preview of coming attractions would begin. How wrong I was. What appeared on the screen was a ten-minute advertisement for…Doris, are you are sitting down…TELEVISION SHOWS! I am a patient man, but that was almost too much to handle. I endured this barrage of images and, eventually, the movie for which I had paid dearly to see was screened. For those two hours, it was almost like the old days (with emphasis on almost).

Stopping at the local market on my trip home, I was again faced with the horror that is today’s Hollywood world of entertainment. I hope you have someone do your marketing for you and your pets, Doris, for it is not a pretty sight out here at the checkout lanes of suburbia. Today, we are forced by law (the law of media, you see) to know everything about every celebrity, whether or not we need or even want to know. Magazine headlines scream out at me about who is not wearing panties, why this celebrity is sleeping with that celebrity, who is now a half human and half plastic reconstruction, and who needs to eat more. Now the media even merges the names together of two celebrities who are dating. They don’t even bother to marry. Thank goodness that we never had to hear about Bogie and Bacall as Bogall, or Liz and Dick as Tayton or Burlor! And the onslaught of useless information is all but inescapable, what with at least six daily entertainment update television shows as well. Do I really need to know that Sally Sexpot ate a salad yesterday wearing a red pants suit and big sunglasses on the patio at The Ivy? I mean, who cares?

At home while recovering from my trip to Hollywood Hell, I flipped on the television set to my favorite channel, Turner Classic Movies. It is my cable oasis of entertainment in an ocean of telecommunicated entertainment drivel. I suppose my luck was due to change, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that coming on shortly was The Thrill of It All, in which you starred with gorgeous James Garner. In minutes, I was entranced by Beverly Boyer, her lovely home, two children, and Happy Soap! It was great watching the film and didn’t create stress or aggravate me in any way. I avoided being both robbed at the box office and visually assaulted by gruesome lobby posters of various slasher movies and cars and buildings exploding! Nor was it necessary to walk further than the road Bing, Bob and Dorothy took to Zanzibar. Yet times change, and not always for the better. I will be content with my memories of the theatre experience as it used to be, and savor the programming at Turner Classic Movies.

Doris, I know I can never get you back on that big screen. But I can find you in Love Me or Leave Me, That Touch of Mink, or even Romance on the High Seas, needing to travel no further than my own video collection. I hope this letter finds you well. Despite the state of movies and Hollywood today, it is nice to know that I have a safe and comfortable place to see you. For in the theatre of my heart, the seat next to me is always reserved for you.

You are still my girl.

Affectionately yours,

Jim Warren

See our movie reviews by Brett Martin in Sights & Sounds

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When Laundry Attacks https://likethedew.com/2009/07/31/when-laundry-attacks/ https://likethedew.com/2009/07/31/when-laundry-attacks/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2009 22:36:26 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=4797

clotheslineWith all the friends who have come back into my life via Facebook, I am no longer amazed when another old buddy appears and brings a smile to my face. Just the other day, one more re-entered my life, although not by Internet, phone, reunion, or letter in the mail. Though it’s been decades since I even gave him a thought, it seems like we never missed a beat as I welcomed back my old friend, the clothesline.

The nearly teary reunion came about during a recent discussion with a neighbor concerning all things green and sustainable. She was preaching the virtues of her efforts to reduce her carbon footprint in various manners in and around the house. According to her, simply by installing a clothesline, she has decreased her home electric bill substantially. In her slightly puffed up, Earth Mother manner, she informed me that next to the refrigerator, the clothes dryer is the biggest “energy hog” in the modern home (truthfully, it sounded more like “energy hawg,” but I fought off a smile in light of the important subject at hand).

According to her research, statistics indicate that a clothes dryer accounts for about 10 percent of a family’s total energy footprint. This was news to me, as I don’t spend much time thinking about our gorgeous, accessory-laden new dryer’s kilowatt appetite. Besides, I am already saving money using the attic fan rather than running the AC.  A person can be expected to bear only so much. But, lest you think I am totally clueless to the vagaries of unbridled energy consumption, I will tell you I am vigilante-like in my efforts both at home and at the office to insure that all unnecessary lights are off and that no unused appliances, chargers, fans, and such are plugged into sockets.

Truthfully, my mania is driven with a less altruistic goal in mind than my neighbors, namely, saving our money for us. If the world is better off as a result, well that is just gravy.  Frankly, I still feel all tingly when I use the new energy-efficient appliances, what with water-saving features, controllable cycles, and whisper-quiet performances. I often pull up a chair next to the dryer while it thrums away, giving it the occasional pat or rub to convey my affection for its beauty and thrift. The mere thought of neglecting our captivating new dryer in favor of a mundane clothesline sends me into a sinkhole of consumer gloom.

Not that the clothesline doesn’t evoke some nostalgia for me. When I was a kid, clothes dryers were considered a luxury. The clothes would come out of the washer, go into the big wicker basket (with one gnawed-off handle, courtesy of our dog), then be carried to the clothesline for hanging in the fresh air and dazzling Georgia sun. Our clothesline was made of two big iron T-bars jammed into the red clay on a hill in our backyard. Standing sixty feet apart with three rubber-coated wires strung the length between the poles, these cast iron beauties were oxidized with a fine covering of rust that clothesline-1blended nicely with the background. Nearly every home in our town had a clothesline of either this T-bar style or the four-sided, revolving, inverted umbrella type. And because every yard had one, the clothesline was always at the ready for any neighborhood kids to commandeer when starting any game that required a safe zone, or “base.” Regardless of its design, it was darn near irresistible when laden with soggy bed sheets, dripping jeans, and Dad’s work shirts, and we wandered between them, playing hide-and-seek, or pretending that ghosts were touching us with clammy, long-dead hands.  Every laundry day we were lured by the siren song of sheets wafting in the wind or enticed by animated pants dancing in the breeze.

Like most things magical and wondrous, there was a downside to be sure. At my house those magical drying clothes could even be hazardous to your health. If we even strayed close to those damp dripping dungarees, our housekeeper Alberta Neal would bolt out of the house (like the troll coming out from under his bridge after the Three Billy Goats Gruff) as fast as her Rubenesque frame and the laws of inertia would allow. Wielding her broom out in front and cutting a wide swath at children’s’ fanny height, she would shout,

“Get yourselves away from those clean clothes! I just hung ‘em and havin’ you jump up and down and around will kick up the devil’s dust and I gonna have to wash ‘em again. And if I do that, some young folks is gonna’ gets a switch to they legs.”

I will tell you that there was nothing to create a greater sense of urgency for kids in our neighborhood than hearing Alberta utter any sentence that included the word “switch” or “flyswatter,” as we all knew that one or the other was very close to her hand and she was ambidextrous. She was the domestic equivalent to a hanging judge in our parts, and we would do anything to avoid going to that court! Now it must be pointed out that in those days, such corporal punishment was not only acceptable; it was a secret club-like agreement all parents and housekeepers automatically entered into upon birth of a child.  As kids, we knew that if we got in trouble with someone’s parent or maid, we could expect immediate discipline or censure and would be open to further repercussions in our own home later.

It was a form of double jeopardy, to be sure, but the ACLU was still in the future, so actual behavioral restrictions, limit setting, and consequences of one’s actions were still an accepted and functional part of the culture. My little fanny was popped quite often, and I seemed to avoid growing up an angry murderer. Anyway, after a short time-out from a game of tag to discuss the situation and our options (which were nada with Alberta fairly in a froth with broom at the ready), the “base” was relocated to a nearby bush or the dormant trash-burning drum. Soon the game was on again, safely away from both the drying clothes and housekeeper run ragged.

Alberta was a little less vigilant when the clothesline was empty, and we would often take the inactive clothespins off the line and use them to clip baseball cards to our bicycle spokes. This clever bit of mechanics would create a loud “rat-a-tat-tat” sound when pedaling at breakneck speed, fueling our daydreams of racecar driving and such. It was inevitable that Alberta would weary of hunting for clothespins on the various bikes to which they were attached, so one day she came into my room and handed me a new pack of the wooden clips from the Jitney Jungle and said,

“Y’all use these ones, and leave mines alone. I is SICK AND TIRED of huntin’ for my pins on yo’ cycles. I don’t have the energy and ain’t got the time.”

Taking a fat pinch of TOPS snuff and lodging it between her bottom lip and gold-capped front teeth, she then shuffled off to iron and watch Love of Life and Search for Tomorrow.

Far less humorous and infinitely creepier was an incident with the clothesline and the nearby swing set. One early spring morning, Alberta headed out the back door with the laundry basket filled with wet sheets and three-year-old me in tow.  It was our routine on laundry day that, weather permitting, I would swing on the swing set while she hung out the clothes. That way, she could keep an eye on me, give me an occasional push, and get the laundry on the line at the same time. Now, I was still at an age where I had to be “plopped” into the seat of the swing, as I wasn’t tall enough to actually climb up myself and stay balanced. Once properly “plopped” and “pushed,” Alberta went about her laundry business. It could not have been very long before I noticed something low in the grass straight ahead of me moving closer. Moments later I realized that the “something” was a very long snake. Inasmuch as our home was in a woodsy semi-rural area, I knew that snakes were bad news and to run away from them fast!  Trapped in my swing seat, I started squealing and kicking my chubby, dimpled, dangling legs, doing my darndest to run away. This might have been helpful if I were in a swimming pool or actually touching the ground, but as I was hanging in mid-air, it did nothing whatsoever to increase my distance from the snake. In fact, it very likely created a hypnotic, alluring effect, drawing the danger closer, like the flute artistry of a snake charmer.

Alberta quickly appeared from behind the sheets and started towards her screeching charge but pulled up short about halfway between the clothesline and me when she saw what was causing my distress. Let me tell you, if you think the scream of a three-year-old is loud, well, Alberta could shatter glass!

“LORD . . . LORD. . .ITS A SNAKE!” she screamed to no one in particular, backing up several paces away from the flailing, panicked child that was me.  It took her a few moments, but she gathered herself enough to then move closer and extract me from the swing as the snake continued its approach.

“Hold on my baby, jus hold on . . .” and, clutching me to her ample bosom, she made a wide path around the serpent and took me into the house.  She breathlessly got on the phone to call “Mr. Bill” (my dad) at his office about the snake, and not fifteen minutes later, Dad was home. He pulled an iron from his golf bag in the car trunk and beat that poor unsuspecting snake to death, although by then it was doing nothing more than sunning, blissfully unawares of its impending death by the business end of a sand wedge. I think about this every time I see that scene in To Kill a Mockingbird where Jem and Scout watch Atticus shoot a rabid dog as it wanders down the street. Some daddies have shotguns, and some daddies have golf clubs. In my situation, the sand wedge worked quite nicely.

Back in the present day, my non-global warming clothesline is presenting some different challenges. In our home laundry room, we installed the retractable four-line model. You attach the thing to one wall, and then stretch part of it across to the opposite wall. Visualize rolling out Saran wrap and you get the idea. When I first stretched the thing open, I was reminded of those wire and wooden devices used by elementary school teachers, into which they would place three pieces of chalk and then drag the device across the chalkboard, drawing long straight lines which would subsequently be used to teach cursive writing. I doubt they have those contraptions today. They probably just teach cursive texting to school kids. Why bother with cursive writing when we tossed out multiplication tables and flash cards?

Anyway, we installed this contraption so that we might dry out things like swimsuits, sweaters, and other articles we don’t want to toss in the dryer.  During the installation of the new clothesline, I swear the dryer looked at me askance, with its front-load eye gazing at the device as if to say, “That is never going to work!” I even think I heard it sigh.

The dryer may be right. So far, this modern clothesline is not carrying its weight, so to speak. It’s designed so that when you hang your first item on line one in the back, the weight of the item makes that row sag slightly while lines two through four tighten up.  That’s not so bad, but try adding something to line three, and line one adjusts upward, commencing some sort of laundry line high wire act. Adding several pieces to the point where the lines begin to fill is like playing “Whack-a-Mole” with clothing.  Add a dress shirt over here and ZOOM, up go the running shorts over there! Attach that wet hand towel over there and ZIP, down goes the dress shirt, while the running shorts quiver as they attempt to dangle somewhere in mid air. I add the final piece and turn away from the clothesline only to be WHACKED in the back of the head by a shirtsleeve sent flying.  The dryer titters and smirks.

But I believe that errant sleeve knocked some sense into my head: when laundry attacks, it is time to reconsider our options. Besides, the clothesline is beginning to make me seasick with all its up-and-down motion.  The more I use it the less I like it.  I may just go back to using my gorgeous new dryer and purchase a few carbon credits to offset any bad environmental karma.  Even though it drives up my power bill the electric dryer does have an advantage:  I don’t have to worry about snakes, brooms, or being assaulted by inanimate possessions.

Alberta would agree.

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Anyone for Tofu-B-Que? https://likethedew.com/2009/05/12/anyone-for-tofu-b-que/ https://likethedew.com/2009/05/12/anyone-for-tofu-b-que/#comments Tue, 12 May 2009 05:35:17 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=2310

magnified_menuI love to cook, so we don’t go out to eat very often, and when we do it is usually for some special celebration or the unexpected guest arrives.  Lately when eating out, I have noticed a couple of trends in the menus of restaurants that have caused me some concern and by raising the flag here, may perhaps derail before they move any further down the track of acceptablility.

The first trend is that of infinitesimal type-size on the menu. Even when I take my reading glasses into the restaurant (which I must wear to read almost anything other than a good book), the florid descriptions of gastronomical wizardry are difficult to decipher without the aid of a magnifying glass approximately the size of the Hubble telescope.

One recent visit to a local eatery found my party seated outside well after dark at a table with soft candlelight.  The minutes ticked by and we were finally greeted by our wait person. We quickly placed our drink order and turned our attention to the menus now in front of us. At first glance, the menu appeared to be written in elf runes, but I could not be sure in the dim light, as the ink was black on a purple card stock which only served to increase the degree of difficulty in actually reading the document at hand.  The small font size would be challenging enough in black and white, as anyone who has ever used a phonebook recently will attest. But good lordy, purple with black ink at night – outside?  Anyone have a flaming torch so I can see this menu and make my choice?  I even considered walking over to a nearby streetlight in hopes of tilting the paper at just the right angle to get some contrast between the black ink and the purple paper.  You see, my ability to read anything in the dark has waned with my other super-powers, such as sleeping past 6 AM or staying awake past 11 PM.  I remained seated and after several minutes of  group squinting had passed, the wait person slouchingly re-appeared and inquired if we had any questions about the menu. Her flat tone clearly signaled that she hoped desperately that we DID NOT have any questions, but I was fairly bursting with them. Exercising great self-control, I voiced one single well-aimed query. In a most serious, dulcet tone, I asked: “What is written on it?”  Let me tell you, that waitress looked at me as if I had just told her that her cheap, smudged eyeliner was made of ground-up pork rinds!  Now, I am not one for prolonged uncomfortable situations, although short ones can be enjoyable as long as you are not the one who is uncomfortable.  So I laughed it off and said that I would take a hamburger and fries. At that point, I dared not even ask about our pitcher of Hoegaarden beer, which we had been waiting for seemingly since before President Obama uttered his first…uhhhh, because waiting on tables is tough.  I know, because I have done it more than once myself, so Missy with the raccoon eyes got a pass there. But whoever approved that tiny font and purple paper should be made to work Sudoku puzzles while hanging upside down listening to rap music.

I wonder if any of the  “under 30” crowd with 20/20 vision feel that a 12 pt font size is unreasonably large to put on a menu?  Would they mind so much if most of us “over 35-ers” were able to read menus without searching for our glasses or squinting to the point of a headache?  More importantly, if I can’t read a menu, does that mean I can park in the handicapped spot outside the door of the restaurant?  I could be wrong, but I don’t think illegibility is desirable in a menu as it would seem to affect the bottom line.  And while I am on the subject, any type of cursive font is best left for wedding and graduation announcements, OK?

The other trend to which I would like to draw  attention is that of making formerly meat dishes out of ingredients other than meat. I suppose that is all well and good for the greens and grains lobby, but can’t you just call it what it is? Should we really say it is a meatloaf if it doesn’t have meat? Can it really be called a hamburger if it is actually a soy patty?  I think not!  But that cultural train has already left the station without me, so I don’t expect that to change. Go ahead and have your Tofurkey.

However, in the interest of fair play I would like to suggest to any restaurateurs that might be reading this to add veggie named items that are actually made out of meat. It would be a nice balance to all those former meat dishes now rendered from tofu, edamame and grains. The time has come for carnivores everywhere to come out of the closet and stand up and be fed!  As one of those carnivores, I would embrace the creativity of food design previously only available to those who swung the vegan way.  For example, I would love to be able to order a Hummus dip made from ground sirloin. We could call it Hummus Tar-Tar.  How about chick peas made from actual chicken? I can’t think of a clever name for it yet, but big chunks of pork would be yummy and no doubt popular when sold under the right veggie-centric nomenclature. I am open to whatever those culinary wizards could create with one exception and that would be Tofu-B-Que.  Somehow that just wouldn’t seem right and it would only lead down the slippery slope of regionalized Tofu-B-Que wars, cook-offs and Food Channel Specials, and the inescapable eventuality of Tofu Veal.  I shudder to think of the demonstrations and anguished outcry from PETA against the cruel living conditions of the little baby tofu’s before they were to became the $12.00 featured entree.

Yep, if you ask me, we would have to draw the line at Tofu-B-Que.  And if it were left to me to draw that line, rest assured it would be where everyone could see it, because it would be drawn on cream colored paper in black ink with at least a size 12 font!

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For My Many Moms https://likethedew.com/2009/05/06/for-my-many-moms/ https://likethedew.com/2009/05/06/for-my-many-moms/#comments Thu, 07 May 2009 03:47:15 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=2154

rembrandt-van-rijn_2My mother would have been 95 this year, and this month will be my 50th chance to tell her on Mother’s Day just how much she means to me. Even though I have never sent a card or flowers, I have always stated out loud: “Happy Mother’s Day, mom.” I have to think she is happy with that. You see, my mom died when I was only four years old.

Few memories of my Mom exist for me, and a few old faded Polaroid’s are all that I have left to use in my attempts to remember anything about her. But I know she was there for me as long as she could be, and I am forever grateful.

Family friends and neighbors told me what they could about her and my elder sister has shared tidbits and descriptions of Mom’s ways, her talents, and her struggles. Even with the stories and descriptions, my mom seems like a character from a book, rather than a real flesh and blood woman that bore me and cared for me up until her death. Although I try to connect these snippets to some ephemeral and fleeting remembrance, I’m not able to make the connection between emotion and memory. I imagine that is something very second nature for people that have known their mother, like breathing or dreaming.  For me, it is a hole in my heart that cannot be repaired, filled, or patched over, and remains as an empty spot that has and always will be there, like an unfinished portrait or a chapter missing from a book.

In retrospect, there has been compensation, and in the most surprising of ways. I realize there have been many women throughout my life who gave me what I would ascribe to the gifts that a mother gives her children. To all these women, I want to use this Mother’s Day message to thank them all. I doubt any of these fine people even know that they have blessed me, as nurturing and guidance seem to be inherent to the gender in general and to these women specifically. They have no idea that their lessons have been great and not lost on me, and time has only served to burnish these gifts to a rich and lustrous patina:

  • Betty taught me self-sufficiency, the value of hard work, and that personal integrity is priceless.
  • Leslie taught me to know that I can achieve anything I wish, and to not let nay-sayers distract me from my achieving my goals.
  • Barbara showed me that a kind smile and a cheerful disposition go a long way towards making not only yourself happy, but others as well.
  • Alice taught me to see the many blessings that I have in my life and that by sharing them with others less fortunate can bring inner peace and happiness.
  • Susan taught me that no matter how old I grow, there are some joys of childhood that will always stay with me, and they should be cherished.
  • Alberta showed me the value of silence. I learned that simply sitting and holding a hand provides comfort and understanding, and that the deepest feelings can be conveyed without uttering a word.
  • Rudine taught me that – in business dealing- never let them see you blink.
  • Linda taught me that when I try something and it doesn’t work, that does not mean I am a failure. The only failure would be in not trying, in not reaching and in not stretching.
  • Debra taught me to be able to laugh at myself.

12kissesbouquetThere are many more. Each has taught me through word, action, or simply by their living example. Growing up with so many wonderful influences has empowered me to evolve very close to the man I wish to become. It would not be so without these wonderful ladies, and to each of them I wish a happy Mother’s Day. In my heart, you all are part of what I hope my mother would have been.

And I think my Mom would be happy about that. Perhaps she even helped them from beyond, and who’s to say otherwise? So even though I know she won’t be reading this, I want to state, for the 50th time:

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you very much.”

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