Thursday, March 23, 2017

On The Heels of Winter

Memphis weather is fickle if not bitchy at times. One day, spring has sprung with all of its warmth, color and glory, and the next day Mother Nature is on her period and brings us a cold snap complete with ice and snow. Everyone rushes out to the stores to pick up their emergency stock of bread and milk in case they die in the tragic freeze (which lasts until about 6 p.m.), then it's back to business as usual. Spring comes in on the heels of winter, rarely a smooth transition but once it begins to even out, the short magical spell lasts maybe a week or two before rushing head first into the melt of summer, which is hotter than the hinges on the gates of Hell (with a side of mud and bugs).

Through this sweet handful of days where we get to feel that hope, perfect temperatures and spirit of renewal, I am usually reminded of a few delightful childhood memories.

This morning I was reflecting on just one particular such memory, which I am pretty certain was about 6th grade (I wanted to say fifth but I am embarrassed to say I can't say for sure).

When you're 10 or 11, and your Mom takes you for that first pair of official "heels", the excitement is just immeasurable. In fact, everything you get to do as a kid seems magical that way. They were little, tan leather "slip on" heels (my first "Candie's"). I couldn't wait to wear them, learn to walk in these heels. I felt like such a grown up. Though they were slip-ons, I remember trying them out with hosiery. Back then, I always thought my legs looked so great with the stockings on since I've always been pale, the stockings made me feel tan. Not so much now, I hate tangling with them, profusely! You might catch me giving in to the need for hosiery on special occasions, if you're lucky. So anyways, little me... I clomped around in my amazing grown-up little high heeled shoes, really thinking I was 'somethin else' as we say in the south. I practiced as much as possible, and tried feverishly to get as good as my mother at walking in these big girl heels.

When I say my mother amazed me, seriously, she had a closet full of so many types of heels (all classy, my mother was indeed no slouch). Some had the tiniest little 'nail-like' quality to them, some were normal, and some of course were thicker. I wonder if she had ever thrown away a pair of shoes. It looked to me like she kept every pair from all eras, and I was just hypnotized.

I think her favorite shoes to wear were these cute little black boots, not but just over the ankle, guess you could call them "granny boots". She settled on a pair and wore them, thus actually rocking them with almost any outfit. She wore them during her time working as one of the "demo ladies" at Walmart, she wore them with jeans, pant suits, skirts. You name it. She wore them so much the heels wore down to a frazzle. It was at this point that I, being the admirable doting daughter I was, took them to a local cobbler near where I worked, and had the heels redone so she could wear them even longer.

As much as I admired my mother's ability to completely win at the heel game, and even though she taught us to always dress as classy as possible, I still never really got the hang of heels, nor did I develop a very big passion for shoes, or shopping. To this day, the thought of having to go pick out new outfits and shoes leaves me in dread, my attitude quite lackluster. It's really sad because I would give anything to carry it all off the way she did.

So here I am at work on a pretty warm day, still early in this season just thinking of all of these delightful things that such a hopeful time of year can bring to mind. Missing my Mom and Dad, because they're the two biggest reasons I had such an amazing childhood. Yes, here I sit in my not-truly-appropriate for office flat tennis shoes, reminiscing on a time (some lovely time somewhere in the south in spring) that a hopeful "young lady", still unscathed by the harsh realities of life was there, trying to find a little glamour and grace, trying to learn to walk or rather, 'spring in' to young adulthood on the cool heels of winter.

I Miss My Childhood,

Aunt Jackie (Jax)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

RIP Mary Tyler Moore

December 29, 1936 - January 25, 2017

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Retro Episodes of Tiny Talent Time, Anyone?

Bill Lawrence with performer, 1974.
Photo: B. King (Toronto Star)

Received a lovely comment from a sibling of a former Tiny Talent Time performer asking if anyone had recorded old episodes of the show from 1982, with the hopes of finding footage of her sister tap dancing on the show.

"My sister Jennifer Aucoin was on Tiny Talent Time in/around 1982... anyone out there have a home copy of any of that years shows? Our family didn't have a video recording device yet but I know they were starting to become popular around that time... I'm hoping that maybe someone else out there may have a tape of it... not sure what the air date was.. she was wearing a white fluffy dress with red polka dots and I believe her routine was a tap dance to the song 'chirpy chirpy cheep cheep'? Would love to get a copy for our family. I think it would be cool if everyone who had any recordings from the original runs would share them, we could probably make our own archive of the show... even if CHCH didn't save them... I know it would bring great joy to a lot of people to be able to share their moments of fame."—Amanda Aucoin

Love the idea of fans creating an archive of old footage. Can anyone help out Amanda? Fingers crossed.

Monday, November 28, 2016

RIP Ron Glass

Ron Glass, Jack Soo, Hal Linden (Barney Miller)

Ron Glass (1945-2016) had a long and vibrant career in television and film but I'll always fondly remember him for his portrayal of the suave Detective Ron Harris on that classic 70s police ensemble sitcom: Barney Miller (1975-1982). Barney Miller was just one of those iconic television comedies with a gloriously talented cast that were offered to us in abundance back in the day. Glass was my mother's favourite, her face would light up every time he appeared on the screen. "I like his smile! He makes me happy." she would often say.

Indeed. RIP Mr. Glass.

Cast of Barney Miller (1974)

Friday, November 25, 2016

RIP Florence Henderson

This one really hurts.

Florence Henderson 1934-2016

The world's beloved TV-Mom, Florence Henderson (a.k.a Carol Brady) sadly passed away yesterday, November 24, 2016 (Thanksgiving Day in America) at the age of 82.

How blessed we all were to have her vibrant and kind energy in our lives as we made our way through childhood (and beyond). Who could ever forget that melodic voice? A fierce talent and a gem of a lady. RIP.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Random Brady Pic

Peter Brady and Arthur Owens
Two Petes in a Pod, The Brady Bunch (1974)

That moment when a transfer student with glasses is actually your doppelganger. Hilarity, the ol' switcheroo and groovy dance moves ensue. One of my favourite Brady episodes.

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