Your First 2016 The Week That Was

First, a special message from William Talman, former co-star of Perry Mason.

Bill Talman made this commercial four weeks before he died on August 30, 1968. He was the first actor to make an anti-smoking PSA for the American Cancer Society. He requested that it not be aired until after his death.

I always liked his character on “Mason,” District Attorney Hamilton Burger. He lost nearly every case, but Talman didn’t think Burger minded. “Like any real-life district attorney, justice is Burger’s main interest,” he said in an interview. When you think about it, losing a case where an innocent person is acquitted and the guilty party confesses in the courtroom makes your job as DA easy.

The Week That Was

I trust that everyone had a relaxing 52nd week of 2015 and that you celebrated a safe and happy New Year’s Eve last Thursday night. It’s getting to where January first is just like any other first day of the month. For a long time, the new year started on April 1, not long after the vernal equinox. When you think about it, that almost makes more sense, but I guess it’s too late to do anything about it now.

Last week’s Monday’s Music Moves Me featured a few (6) songs that celebrated the new year. Stevebethere said he liked Ella Fitzgerald’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and thought that ABBA’s “Happy New Year” could be called a classic. X-Mas Dolly agreed that the ABBA song should be considered a classic. It is a good song; I hadn’t heard it before choosing it for the playlist, and was suitably impressed by it. It has just the right amount of melancholy that any New Year’s Eve song should have. Helen was happy I liked the Pentatonix song, which she had featured on her blog not long before. The more I hear them, the better I like them.

I featured the songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman on Two For Tuesday. They wrote songs for many acts of the 1950’s and 1960’s, both as a team and as individuals teamed with other songwriters. You can find a more or less exhaustive list here. I said this would be the last entry in the Songwriting Teams series. I have no idea what the next series will be, or when it’ll begin. If you have any thoughts of what you’d like to see, let me know.

One-Liner Wednesday featured a line from Douglas Adams, author of the The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy “trilogy” (which has five books). Kip reminded me that Mom had a corollary: “That guy could screw up a two-car funeral.” I’ve always heard “one-car,” but I’m sure Mom would have said “two-car.”

On Wednesday for Mary, she wanted me to talk about my grandmother, Kathryn “Kate” Holton, who I called “Grandma” and my cousin Mary Ann and her family called “Grandma Kate.” (We all called my mother’s mother “Walkie,” her first grandson’s (guess who?) corruption of her nickname, “Wally,” so there was no need to differentiate between them.) Uncle Jack recalled that, after seeing Grandma when she lived with my uncle, after she had given up having her hair dyed, I said she looked like George Washington, thinking specifically of Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of The Father of Our Country.

They could have been brother and sister. (Source: Wikipedia. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.)

Aunt Bitsy and my cousin Maura both think Mary comes up with some excellent prompts. Bitsy said that we’re lucky we have Grandma and Florence, two great women, to remember. There are few days that go by when I don’t think of them.

Thursday, I blew off both The Thursday Ten (on hiatus until whenever) and Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop (maybe the prompts this week will be easier to work with) and instead shared my Year-End report from WordPress. It tells me I added 439 posts this year, and that I filled the Sydney Opera House about four times with my visitors. There were 66 days when I posted more than once, and on eight of them I posted more than twice. Two of the five most-frequently visited posts on the blog were Thursday Tens I wrote in the first year of the blog, one about obsolete technologies and one about my ten favorite things that start with the letter “D.” I don’t know why those are so popular. I wonder, if I were to repost them, would the reposts be as popular? They do suggest a couple of topics for April’s A to Z Challenge, in which I plan to participate again this year, and I hope you’ll consider it, too. Signups for this year’s Challenge start three weeks from tomorrow, on January 25.

Friday was the beginning of a new year as well as the first of the month, so of course it was a Battle of the Bands day. This round’s challengers are Jerry Vale, Malcolm Vaughan, and The Vogues, and the song is “My Special Angel,” originally recorded by Bobby Helms and since covered by a host of singers, including Bobby Vinton and Bill Haley. Voting is open until 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, and I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. So far, it’s too close to call.

I’m also participating in Linda Hill’s Just Jot It January, and the first prompt word was “persnickety.” I thought, “wasn’t there a commercial that used that word?” I found it; it was a 1982 commercial for Sargento Cheese. Linda and “a darkened house” marveled at my ability to remember things from that long ago. I’m at the age where I can remember something that happened 30, 40, 50 years ago but can’t remember things that happened yesterday.

Which reminds me… I had started writing down the things that happened each day so I wouldn’t forget, and, well, I forgot to keep doing it. Maybe I’ll start again tonight. If I remember.

The prompt for yesterday’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (which also served as the JusJoJan post) was “pause/paws.” I admitted I had gotten very bad about taking pictures, particularly of my cats, most of whom are now at the senior stage and will be leaving for the Rainbow Bridge in the not-too-distant future. We hope to keep them healthy and happy as long as possible, and all of them seem to be in relatively good health, but ya never know. I did share a picture I had taken of a rainbow that we saw last Sunday. People seemed to like that.

So, that’s the recap of the week that ends today. This week: Question of the Month, Monday’s Music Moves Me, Two for Tuesday, One-Liner Wednesday, Writer’s Workshop (if there’s a prompt that’s relevant), the triumphant return of The Friday Five, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and an entry each day for Just Jot It January. Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing all of you this week. Bye for now!


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

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