The Man Of La Mancha is one of my favorite Broadway musicals. In my opinion it was the perfect musical. When it opened in 1965, it was playing in a very small theater off-Broadway and the critics panned it. But for some reason, people kept coming to see it. Fueled by word of mouth it eventually moved to Broadway, and I saw the National Company in St. Louis in the early seventies. In 1977 it was revived on Broadway with Richard Kiley the original star, and I was able to see it again. It was at the Palace Theatre and my seat was so high in the balcony that I had to wear a seatbelt. But I loved it and his performance.
Sadly, Mitch Leigh, the man who wrote the music for the musical, passed away today. Here is his QUEST, better known at the Impossible Dream and sung by Kiley from the original cast recording. It is still the best recording of the song ever.
Everybody has to have a QUEST in his or her life. And to dream, too.
On February 14, 1764, a 14-year old Auguste Chouteau and a couple of dozen of Frenchmen stepped out of their boat in the Mississippi River, and began building a shelter on the shore for a fur trading outpost in the name of Laclede, Maxent & Company of New Orleans.
In April, his stepfather, Pierre de Lacléde Liguest, arrived and officially named the settlement Saint Louis, in honor of the medieval French monarch and later saint, Louis IX. And this is the exact spot where they build their settlement …
CELEBRATING THE WICKET CITY!
You’re not only a great place to live …
You’re a great place to visit, too!
FRIDAY the 17th of JANUARY, and it was a day totally lacking in any hint of warmth. Unbelievably, I woke up at five and I felt as if I was sleeping in an igloo! So I called my faithful companion and coaxed her into my bedroom and onto my bed. She snuggled against my legs and feet and soon they thawed out. It took her about 30-second to fall asleep and start snoring. Naturally, I soon followed her.
We slept in until the alarm went off at nine. I got up and checked the remote external thermometer to discover that it was 13F out. Wish I had known that before I got out of bed. I had set the alarm because I was scheduled for a lunch meeting with a bunch of guys who went to high school with me. You would have thought that a bunch of well-educated older gentlemen would have had enough sense to choose a day that was a bit warmer for their lunch gathering. So I cleaned up, got dressed, and braved the chilling winter winds. Mlle. Renee went back to bed, and she had never even gone to high school.
The lunch was scheduled at the original Pasta House restaurant in University City and we spent two and a half hours mostly talking with eating in between. Then when we broke up, I stopped at a bakery and picked up some winter comfort food to take home.There’s really nothing better to eat on cold winter days than hearty, fresh-bake multi-grain bread with strawberry jam and a mug of hot cocoa. Also while waiting for my Metro bus to take me home I took this picture of an endlessly long and graffiti emblazened freight train.
And when I got home, the temp had almost reached 20 F and the snow was still falling.
And that was my totally chilling winter’s day.
It’s Sunday, and for some reason I got up early this morning. Recently, I’ve been sleeping in on a Sunday. But that always wasn’t the case because when I was a kid Sunday was the day when the family went to church.And as you can see from the photo. It was the era of men in hats. Actually, most Sundays my dad would get up early and take his own mother to Mass at 6:00 in the morning. Dad used to say it was tradition, but in reality it was because 6:00 was to early for the officiating priest to preach an extended, long-winded, fire and brimstone sermon. On the way home from church my dad would either stop at the bake shop for fresh doughnuts or the Italian bread bakery for Vienna Rolls hot from the oven.
In the tradition of my father, I took my mother to mass every Sunday morning after he died. Well, that was until a couple of all-knowing bishops decided that most of the parishes in the city weren’t showing a profit and closed half of them.
So, it was in the spirit of Sundays past that I picked up something for my breakfast today while shopping yesterday.The closest I could get to a Vienna Roll of yesteryear is what they call a Kaiser Roll today. So knowing that it wouldn’t taste fresh baked today I opted for the snowman doughnut.
Like this little white-faced mouse.
Well, I finally went outside today. It was my first venture in the frigid frontier since the bottom dropped out of local thermometers last week. Actually, I really didn’t have any other options, since apparantely, all local school children have disappeared. You remember school kids, they were the first things that showed up after a snow storm … all carrying snow shovels and all willing to remove the snow on your front steps and walk for a small remuneration. And if you wanted to have your drive way cleared the removal fee increased with the amount of snow and the length of the drive. The first boys to arrive always eager, had the lowest rates and did the best job, too. And you always gave them a bonus, because you knew they were asking too little for the job. The boys to avoid were the ones who showed up in September and asked you to sign a contract for snow removal in December.
Like this bodybuilder. Not quite anatomically correct, but different. When I used to build a snowman with my brothers, I always insisted on adding a snow puppy to the snowman. Haven’t seen many snowmen this year either. Now that I think about it, maybe the kids haven’t disappeared. Maybe West Walnut Manor has grown old and barren. A shame! It was such a nice place. But it’s not so great now with all this dumb snow cluttering up the streets.
And a voice in the livingroom responded, “Don’t forget a bag of food for me, and a box of Flavor Snaps, and if it isn’t too heavy maybe a box of those tiny assorted flavor bones.”
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR MONDAY, DAY 357 OF 2013: And if I thought today was cold, am I going to be frosted tomorrow! The current temp at 11:30 pm is 12 degrees F and dropping. I actually stayed inside all day and did a bit of holiday baking. I actually enjoy baking, and I could see myself with a little bake shop. As long as I could find someone to do the clean up behind me. Today I felt ambitious and whipped up a double batch of Christmas stollens. These are a made using a yeast dough that need kneading and rising before baking. And here’s what I produced …
Twelve stollens all together which I will be wrapping and handing out on Christmas Day.
TODAY’S ORIGAMI CHALLENGE – THE DOLLAR PEACE DOVE:
Would you believe that I did not have a foldable one dollar bill in my wallet. So I had to use a five?
Trust me, as soon as I shot the photo, I unfolded the fiver and returned it to my wallet … wrinkles and all.
AND CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS…
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR FRIDAY, DAY 354 OF 2013: Today I did my pre-Christmas laundry and continued with the remainder of the house cleaning chores. This also included Decking The Halls and Walls with Holiday Cheer. Mlle. Renee decided that she wanting my red plush stocking that I hung on the front door with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas would find it there.
I don’t have a fireplace, and the chimney I do have leads directly to the gas furnace in the basement. There is a little door at the base of the chimney for cleaning out soot and releasing small birds that fall down the chimney.
My father convinced my youngest brother that Santa used the door to get into the house on Christmas Eve.
I haven’t put up a big tree since the year I had an asthma attack complicated by pneumonia when I was putting it up. Ended up spending Christmas Eve and Day in the hospital. Since them I have put up two small trees that set on the two room dividers between the living room and dining room.
The Christmas Past tree has mementos from past Christmas trees.
The Christmas Future Tree is decked with items related to the third generation of our family … my nephews and nieces and their children.
CHRISTMAS PRESENT? That’s not a tree, that’s a wrapped up package for opening on Christmas Day.
I’ll be honest, I been doing so much other stuff I wasn’t able to get this one folded so far today. So I call SANTA and his MINIONS in to work on it while I’m busy.I’ll drop in the star when I get it completed.
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR WEDNESDAY, DAY 352 OF 2013:
I’m Late, I’m Late
for a very important date,
No time to say hello, goodbye,
I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house,
Yes, today I was moved to do a bit of cleaning for the coming of Christmas. Not that I’m expecting any visitors of importance … except one. Christmas, you know, is the season for spirit visitations. And if there ever was a time of year when my mom would drop in to check up on me, it would have to be Christmas. As I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, my mother was the original Mrs. Clean … even before there was a Mr. Clean. I’m not the greatest house cleaner in the world, but I do like to tidy thing up before Christmas. And not a room was untouched …
To kitchen …
Should my mom actually drop in, hopefully she won’t notice that I didn’t wash the windows.
TODAY’S ORIGAMI CHALLENGE:Really, butterfly napkins? The napkins I use come in a cellophane wrapper. No way am I going to fold them into butterflies. Besides, I was too busy cleaning house to do today’s challenge.
MLLE. RENEE CAN’T WAIT FOR SANTA’S VISIT!
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SUNDAY, DAY 342 OF 2013:
Today is the 72nd Anniversary of FDR’s speech before Congress that marked the United States involvement in the Second World War. I’ll admit I was there, but I don’t remember much about it. I remember my Uncles all wearing Uniforms and going off to war. But I had no idea where War was located. And for some reason I thought that the Japanese and the Chimpanzees were both the same thing, and they were coming to get me during the night. And I don’t remember President Roosevelt. The first president I actually remember was Harry S Truman. I also remember my neat sailor suit.
Guess I always was a bit of a ham. Unfortunately, just like World War I, World War II was not the war to end all wars. It seems like humans will never get their acts together … and in the end we all lose. Unfortunately, it’s not the people who start wars.
MY DAY, SO FAR: It’s still cold out, and we had another snowfall that just barely refreshed the blanket of white that was beginning to look a bit grey. And it still has to be measured in centimeters instead of inches. And I’m still not in a very merry holiday mood yet.
My story’s in the telling, not the told
I’m stayin’ young, I’m stayin’ young
It’s wonderful the way I hold my own
When everything surrounding me has grown so old