Family reunion: No husbands required | Street Jazz

Family reunion: No husbands required



I cling to my imperfection as the very essence of my being. - Anatole France

Despite the promise of the title above, this isn’t about my screenplay for a soft-core porn movie. Sad to say, Nagging Reader, it is as far from that as can be.

Since the deaths of her mother and sister in recent years, Tracy has been searching the Internet for relatives, and has been fairly successful. It is understandable that just about every family in America has its share of folks who share diverse political views on political and social issues - or so I believed until it came time for the Great family Reunion.

My own relationship with family reunions is sort of tenuous. I have met a lot of relatives over the years, and have a dim memory of something that may perhaps have been a family reunion on a farm in Pennsylvania in the early 1960s. The only reason it stays in my memory is that a stupid goose kept jabbing its head at the penned in dogs, until one of the dogs caught the goose’s head in its jaws and well . . .

. . . so much for Walt Disney movies.

I was thinking a lot about that goose last year when Tracy was communicating with one of her relatives about coming to a reunion in Oklahoma. Well, the hesitant reply came, she supposed it was all right (gee, thanks, new-found family member!) but there was just this one little problem - your husband.


Turns out that some of Tracy’s new-found relatives had found my writings, after looking over her page on Facebook, and were aghast (yes, that’s a pretty good way to describe it, I think) at the sort of thing that I wrote about, and the views I expressed.

If I was allowed to come at all, I’d have to be as quiet as the proverbial church mouse, so to speak, and only talk about the weather and . . . well, the topics would be pretty limited. It was like I was a plague carrier who might infect the more innocent members of their family, or drive the more wrathful ones to violence, I suppose.

Just like the dogs and that goose, all over again.

It felt briefly like the time during my first marriage when Bobbie Jean warned me never, ever to discuss politics in front of her family. Fortunately, Tracy is made of sterner stuff, and so that particular family reunion was marked off the calendar.

There is a small part of me, though, that wishes I had been there when they had discovered my writing, some of which is pretty good. But then again, they weren’t judging me on style . . .


The Brave and the Bold: “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and Steven “Here I Am, To Save The Day!” Seagal

Arizona’s Joe Arpaio has teamed with “movie star” Steven Seagal to train volunteer posse members who will defend schools in the area around Phoenix.

Seagal, whose most recent movies seem to show up on the USA Network and Spike with sad regularity, hasn’t actually had a hit film in years, though polite press reports did not mention that. Does one detect the makings of a movie here?

Anyhoo . . .

The “special training” last Saturday involved posse volunteers assuming the roles of shooters and and teenagers played the roles of students, in scenarios which involved up to three gunmen attacking a school. Seagal also led instruction on hand-to-hand combat.

There were no details on whether any of the scenarios involved ticking time bombs, Middle Eastern terrorists, Mexican drug gangs or zombies.

The sheriff’s office has come under criticism for under-investigating (to put it mildly) sexual assault cases while on a campaign against illegals which has guaranteed the “tough sheriff” more air time on certain cable outlets.

Sexual assault? That doesn’t get you any air time, and Tough Joe knows it.

Well, now that Mighty Mouse is in Phoenix, things will no doubt get better.

When was the last time a Phoenix area school was attacked by a gunman? Or am I not supposed to ask that?


Daphne du Maurier: Bring This Writer Into Your Home Department

A long time ago I stumbled upon the writings of Daphne du Maurier, when I read her excellent novel The King’s General. Set during the English Civil War, it is the story of a doomed romance between an English general and his lover, who has been crippled in an accident.

Since then I have read many of her books, including Rule Britannia, a wicked satire on the U.S. and the United Kingdom forming one nation. But it is as a writer of suspense that she is best known for. Indeed, two of her best novels, Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel are two classic films. Of course, two other great films are based on her writings as well - Don’t Look Now and The Birds.

If you are going to fly anywhere this summer, chances are you’ll be waiting for hours somewhere. Why not take Ms. du Maurier with you? Or why even wait for that vacation before getting to know her?


Quote of the Day

“Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you — as if you haven't been told a million times already — that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching. ” - Harlan Ellison

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