The two weeks on which most babies are born in the United States are the last week of August, and the first week of September. That answers the age old question in the song, “What are you doing, New Years, New Year’s Eve ? Lots more about New Years at www.dicksummer.com/podcast
Archive for December, 2013
“A late August night, and you’re sitting alone on the stoop in tee shirt and jeans….” That’s the opening line that Paul Berge wrote for the Foreward of my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot. Paul is a real friend, a heavy duty pilot, and a startling film maker. Treat yourself to a free look at his latest movie at :
And if you have the time and inclination, let me know how you like it.
Why is it dangerous to portray the New Year as a baby ? And what is the definitive answer to the question, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve ?” Check www.dicksummer.com/podcast
A late in the year shocker, Steve West runs a top flight air check website called AIRCHEXX.COM . He just told me that an aircheck of mine from 1964 was the most downloaded air check of the year. That’s an eye popper to me. It’s fifty years old. What a great after Christmas present. Thank you. Dick
Miracle on 34th Street” …“Holiday Inn” … “It’s A Wonderful Life” … “A Christmas Carol” (with George C. Scott) … And then my favorite most movie of all: “Casablanca”
What does “Casablanca” have to do with Christmas? Why, “When Harry Met Sally” of course! Taken all together, those movies make up all the nights before Christmas with my very own Louie Louie Lad – and I wouldn’t swap any of that for a single thing in this world.Not even the baseball pinball machine Santa brought him …
Thank you for the Christmas letters you sent. I’m packing them up carefully for another year. There’s one more that my buddy Fred wrote for his blog, BCNUTS.COM He said I could re-gift it to you.
The first major snowfall of the season was expected within the next twelve hours and the temperature would soon be dropping into the single digits. It was getting dark and I had just finished my last in a long line of errands … buying a box of religious cards for Mom. Even with her failing eyesight, she never misses an occasion and, of course, Christmas is extra special. My marching orders were clear: They had to say both Christmas and God or Jesus in the text and must have an angel, the wise men, or the Holy Family pictured on the face. I had met all criteria for the cards but, as luck would have it, not for my lunch; I had missed that altogether. No wonder my stomach was snarling at me in some foreign tongue!
Fortunately, right next to the card store was one of those cookie-cutter submarine sandwich shops … you know, the one where the guy on TV ate nothing but subs for six months and became an individual instead of a group? It was either that or the Italian sausage place with grease-frosted plate glass windows; I opted for cold cuts. There were only a few customers scattered about the shop and a rather purposeful-looking Black gentleman standing a few feet back from the counter, carefully considering the menu just above the pictures of tomatoes, cucumbers and bread on the wall. He was probably in his fifties, wore a well-chewed mustache, navy knit cap and a respectably soiled brown winter jacket.
I excused myself as I crossed in front of him but he never broke his concentration. “Turkey, Black Forest Ham and Swiss on Italian,” I told the sandwich wench. The bread was probably a holdover from my fleeting thoughts of the sausage place. She added some ‘fixin’s’, chips and soda … then asked if I wanted anything else. She had to ask twice because by now, I was as focused upon the man memorizing the menu, as he was upon his sandwich selection. It didn’t look like this was an everyday thing for him.
A few minutes after I sat down, he finally made his choice, smiled quietly and settled-in two booths in front of me. After taking a few bites, his gaze became riveted upon the television mounted a few feet away. He was nearly unblinking during the news … but when the weather came on, it seemed to create a conflict between eating and watching the parade of maps and snowfall predictions flashing across the screen.
When my distant dining companion was finished, he carefully crumpled and tossed his trash, refilled his cup and produced a previously unseen [by me] shopping cart from behind a half-wall near the soda machine. It was full, I guessed, of pretty much everything the man owned. As he reached the door he stopped, turned around, removed his cap and placed it respectfully over his heart. Speaking through a broad, toothy smile, in a clear voice he said, “I want to wish everyone the Lord’s blessing and a very Merry Christmas. Thank you.” With that, he replaced his cap, pressed his cart through the door and was gone.
As I headed for the car I could feel the air had grown colder, with that damp chill that bites your bones just before a snowstorm. Suddenly I noticed a figure wearing a well-chewed mustache, navy knit cap and a respectably soiled brown winter jacket, sifting through the contents of his wire suitcase under a parking lot lamp. I went over to him and asked, “Do you have somewhere to stay tonight?” He smiled, the quiet smile this time, and replied, ” I have a good spot all picked out.” I offered him a couple of ‘Abe Lincolns’ together with my own Christmas wish.
Still smiling but this time speaking with a note of pride in his tone he said, “Sir, I’ll accept your kind words and be grateful for them but I never accept money from anyone, unless I’ve worked for it.” Then, looking at an invisible watch he continued, “And it’s after five o’clock!” With that he offered a wink, wheeled his cart around and disappeared into the darkness.
Gotta add a smile. This is just in from Proud Podcast Participant John L:
HOLIDAY EATING TIPS
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
Remember this motto to live by: “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand and wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”
Have a great holiday season!!
Proud Podcast Participant Betsy K. send this. I think it’s brilliant. What do you think?
Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in the Christmas play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement.. ‘Guess what, Mom,’ he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me….’I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.
This note is from Proud Podcast Participant Capt. Chuck. Chuck is a retired airline pilot, who now spends lots of his time flying a little two seat fabric covered airplane that he calls, Ms. Pants. Chuck loves flying, his wife, his kids, and life:
Hey Dick, I thought of a cute story from when my daughter was a young girl. I was giving a group of young 8-9 year olds a ride in our van back from my daughters birthday party. Her birthday is December 20th . I was listening to the conversations between the girls. One of the young ladies told the other girls that she did not believe in Santa . She said he was a fictional character created by adults . One of the other girls said to her,” are you willing to take that chance ?” I was chuckling under my breath. It was one of those things you don’t forget.
The third and final 2013 chapter of our Christmas stories is up at www.dicksummer.com/podcast