Susie Duncan Sexton's Blog - Posts Tagged "ann-arbor"

By Susie Duncan Sexton

Christmas arrives but once a year -- and years fly by too swiftly! We are manipulated and subliminally motivated by commercialism, expectations, obligations, traditions, and mounting hysteria—and then after an ulcer-producing build-up, the party’s over and next year zips forth toward a repeat performance.

Senator Al Franken often spoke at collegiate commencements, as an adored SNL comic, and repeatedly advocated that students abandon planning their future paths. “Nothing turns out to be what we expect,” he warned. Fantastic advice!

As I shuffle through past cheery greeting cards -- stuffed all about the house -- perplexed by what to do with mounds of them, I question how sensible that particular super-imposed mania might be considering currently obscene postage rates. Sending and receiving, once dear to my anticipatory heart, qualify as forced habitual correspondence losing its charm somewhere along each snaily-maily route.

Degenerated to ordering token gifts through catalogues, I have also discontinued…wrapping! Although formerly horrified by older folks who seemed addled by cumulative holiday seasons and stumbled into living rooms toting “Hefty” garbage bags brimming with bare-naked items to distribute perfunctorily, I’ve become less judgmental. I relate totally.

Recalling peer pressure to measure up somehow with inventive candies, cookies, casseroles, etc., and how extremely competitive those flurries of mindless domestic efforts became among us homemakers, no amount of praise ever matched the energy exerted. Our family quickly and quietly dines out instead.

Observing some who “ho ho ho” all about while far too many others sadly do without, year after year, places festivities imposed upon humanity within a bleak perspective. Rigorous planning weeks ahead, for only one atmospheric evening merging into that special once-a-year-day of December 25th, sheds its luster as Time marches onward and eventually off the page.

Santa Claus himself helped me to progress toward these admittedly cynical deductions. I recently unearthed a scolding letter our own Kris Kringle wrote urging that we remember how very many other children populated our Earth and whom he must visit and to be grateful for the meager gifts deposited under the tree for me and my sister. He shocked yet enlightened us with his message. It was addressed to both of us during a slump in the economy about which we kids were oblivious. Oranges, candy canes, nuts, berries, colored pencil sets, ball-point pens, and trinkets filled our over-sized, thumb-tacked, crocheted stockings, and we probably each received one stuffed animal apiece as well as a communal board game over which to bicker.

Our cozy home, the four of us being together, and our inclusion of the childless, elderly couple next door during Christmas Eve assured very special childhood memories. One year, our elderly neighbor Mrs. Elliott borrowed my rather worn Toni-Home-Perm doll – designing and creating the loveliest of ball gowns. Toni traveled across the gravel driveway for nearly a week and returned to our candle-lit living room, on December 24th, -- wearing a Victorian hat, silk-lined cape and a tiny acorn pendant on a delicate chain around her porcelain neck. She sat atop our upright piano until the spring, reminding us that Christmases need always not follow a pattern. Surprises can happen. Individuality leaves a meaningful mark.

So between Santa moralistically bashing materialism and the neighbor lady kidnapping my doll, early on I learned to scratch my head when childhood pals discussed mandatory, necessary Lionel Trains, Lincoln Logs, angora sweater sets, Betsy Wetsys, or Chatty Kathys. At our house, we shared the wealth as we drove throughout the snow-covered country-side to deliver adulatory tiny packages to our teachers Miss Friskney and Miss Smalley and later to celebrate Christmas Day at my oldest sister’s farmhouse while bearing gifts for my little nephew and nieces. Seldom were any of those parcels trendy nor on a par with merchandise heavily advertised or dictated by Madison Avenue moguls located in faraway New York City.

Truly, times have changed. Must we all march to the tune of the same little drummer boy and want, need, buy, shop, accumulate debt, attend strings of events, crowd evenings with social gatherings, and answer affirmatively to all those who question if we’re “ready for the big event”? Franken is correct. After all of this obligatory activity, much of which goes awry, we box up the decorations and the artificial pre-decorated tree and proceed to the next commercialized holiday all stressed out, usually neglecting to have counted our normal every day blessings. It’s often a period of “sound and fury signifying nothing” while bringing us not one step closer to empathy for others or to an understanding and tolerance for a variety of belief systems around the globe.

One joyous holiday season, I received three long playing soundtrack albums: “Here’s Love”, a musical version of “Miracle on 34th Street”; “Mr. President” starring the usually non-singing cowboy/gangster Robert Ryan, with its Big Apple premiere attended by John and Jacqueline Kennedy; and “She Loves Me” which was my favorite -- based upon the Jimmy Stewart movie “The Shop Around the Corner” – (and will feature our son Roy playing the lead role of “George” this coming year in Ann Arbor!) Plus, my sister Sarah bought me a three foot tall Jackie Kennedy paper doll from Murphy’s dime store in Ft. Wayne with this note attached, “A big doll for a big girl!” While my classmates dated, played basketball, led cheers, etc., I danced around this house as if I were Cyd Charisse, probably more aptly resembling Sid Caesar (and then scissored out Jackie’s outfits!) To quote song-writer Annie Lennox “…a legend in my living room…”

One to always do my own thing, I figure I’ll take a tip from Al and approach this coming frantic holiday season the way I choose, not plan ahead but simply enjoy each day, starting with a refusal to view Thanksgiving as simply a prelude to Christmas…or Christmas as a burden to be over-scheduled with busy-ness. Perry Como, of course, hosted numerous televised holiday specials in the glorious “living color” era of the 60s and 70s, warbling all of our favorite carols and standards one of which, “Christmas Dream”, also introduced a 1974 film entitled the “Odessa File”.

… Crazy things, said and done,
Every single day but one!
Every night should, I believe,
Be the same as Christmas Eve.
Nights should all be silent.
Days should all slow down.
An end to the hurry, the noise and the worry!
And I hope you believe that too!
It’s Christmas, remember?
Does no one remember?
The whole world needs, a Christmas dream …
(`~ lyrics by Tim Rice & music by Andrew Lloyd Webber)


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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

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On a crisp autumn 1986 morning seeming as if only yesterday, wood-carver Stuart Smith and his wife Ada, the premier cook of this or any other community and who might never be equaled nor surpassed not even by Paula Deen, approached our front door carrying a pail holding “Traveler” and “Snapper” who legally belonged to the Smith’s cute toddler great-grandchild Brandon. Tiny painted turtles, out-of-towners earlier crossing a Florida road, had transferred their citizenship to Columbia City, Indiana, and both basked in the sunshine while floating within a pond, gracing the south yard of Smith & Sons Funeral Home. Winter approached.

Referred to our “rent-free” aquarium by my mother whose house we recently had purchased, the couple asked us to board the two reptiles until the spring. Clinically speaking, each “Chrysemys picta’s” carapace measured the equivalent of a half dollar. Their room-mate, a Musk turtle resembling a tennis ball and named Franz Kafka, posed no threat and welcomed them to his world…”three’s company” his motto.

The Smith family and the Duncan family literally go back as far as I can remember --Terry and my sister Sarah belonging to the Class of ’57! We spent so much time at Stuart’s “stable”, converted into a cozy home, that Terry continually suggests re-viewing the oodles of 8 MM films of the three of us “kids” mesmerized by his electric Lionel train chugging repetitively ‘round and ‘round the extensive track constructed in their basement. Perpetually cheerful Charlie and Edna Smith, parents of Stuart and his brother Boyce and sister Louva, lived next door (in the upstairs rooms of the funeral home itself) beside the present-day Carriage House. Edna’s dream-like, white flowering Hydrangea shrubs I never shall forget. Both individuals stepped right out of central casting. Director Frank Capra would have adored them. I know that I did.

In 1935, Charlie Smith purchased that quarter of a block, Smith and Sons Funeral Home’s present location, for $5,500.00, including the realtor’s fee. Lumberman, philanthropist, and owner Simon J. Peabody had died at Daytona Beach in 1933, and his home remained unoccupied for two years.

Ada -- whose mom Mrs. Bessie Keiser rated as my sister Sarah’s favorite elementary school teacher -- became ill during that year when her turtles wintered with us. The couple never returned for the Floridian Chelonians. As time passed, only Traveler survived. In his loneliness he bonded with our doggies, Murphy and Bogey. At suppertime, this little soul – a replica of the first painted turtles roaming our Earth 15 million years past -- stood tall upon a rock imported impressively from California’s “Petrified Forest”. Stretching hind legs to full height with his teensy nose pressed against the fogged-up glass, he literally wagged his tail to beg for food. He never barked though -- as far as we knew.

Recently reminiscing with C. Taron Smith whom I’ve referred to as Terry all of my life (as differentiated from attorney Terry Smith, a more recent acquaintance), my sister’s classmate spoke of earning straight “A’s”, during his banner 3rd grade year, courtesy of “Grandma” Keiser! Ada, Stuart, and Terry (named for “Grandpa” Charlie and also Stuart’s Wabash College chum) moved into their home, refashioned from a building containing horse stalls (housing Simon J. Peabody’s famous racing steed) that same year of 1947. To install their basement, where we kids consumed many succulent meals and enjoyed countless home movies, Terry mentioned the soil being sufficiently hard enough that the ground beneath the structure had to be dynamited which rattled the windows of our local DX station while startling townspeople who believed an earthquake had occurred.

Drafted during World War II, Stuart departed for duty as a Laboratory Technician -- to be assigned “all over France” -- the exact day that his son entered kindergarten. Years later, in the 50s, we listened attentively spellbound by Stuart’s battle-stories whenever he chauffeured car-loads of us basketball fans to Terry’s high school “away” games. Stuart would roll down all four windows of his Buick as we approached every railroad crossing while cocking an ear to listen for distant train whistles, perhaps overly-diligent for the safety of his passengers. One Friday evening, the master-mortician gifted me with a Belmont Memorial Record Cylinder Tube probably to keep restless “little Susie” quietly occupied in the back seat. That bronze gadget gleamed in my hands as I repeatedly twisted off either end, fidgeting with the mysterious device. When my mom informed me that those indestructible instruments got placed into coffins with deceased folks, my enthusiasm waned just a bit.

Several years after Ada’s death, our neighbor and attorney Earl Tison, his four-year-old son Ben, and I carried Traveler down the alley to visit Stuart. Secretly, I entertained the idea that this funeral director, whom I had known all of my life, would consider turtle re-adoption? I did not wish to force the issue. Result? We returned home to Line Street with Ben still gently swinging the water-filled Ace Hardware bucket containing Traveler happily sloshing and skidding to and fro, remaining a Duncan rather than a Smith.

As seasons passed, our pup-turtle increased his circumference many times over while matriculating at Wabash College and subsequently the Ohio State University as well; hopefully beer parties never factored into his weight gain. Would have to quiz big brother/ guardian Roy on that score! Traveler’s girth demanded a more representative name …a kind of tribute to the portly method-actor “Marlin” Brando…answering to simply a shout-out of “Brando!” for short!

Currently, having attained the dimensions of Tom Hanks’ “Cast Away” volleyball dubbed “Wilson”, this terrapin rivals the famous, legendary “Beast of ‘Busco” and has yet to locate “Stella”.

Once again, Traveler/Brando has followed his dreams and now inhabits the college town of Ann Arbor, and by the time his periphery measures that of a basketball, he may have earned his MBA (Michigan’s Biggest Aquarium) from U of M!

Brando’s longevity astounds us! Edging toward 30, his name –with a slight adjustment-- should be included in the Guinness Book of World Records because a painted turtle’s life expectancy reaches an expiration date of approximately age 20. We extend an overdue apology to Brando whose first and only trip, last spring, to a veterinarian -- practicing in the “Wolverine” state -- resulted in a surprise diagnosis. Brando’s new name is now…Brandy!

“…There's a port on a western bay, and it serves a hundred ships a day. Lonely sailors pass the time away and talk about their homes. The sailors say ‘Brandy, you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be. Yeah, your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea.’ “ ~ Looking Glass

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
THE PENNY SEATS theatre company presents “She Loves Me,”
a classic musical about romance, mistaken identity, and old-fashioned social media

Ann Arbor, Michigan – In an internet age consumed by social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Match.com, the idea of two lonely hearts connecting as anonymous pen pals may seem quaint. The Penny Seats theatre company aims to correct that assumption with their summer production of the award-winning musical classic “She Loves Me,” opening July 26 at Ann Arbor’s West Park Band Shell.

“‘She Loves Me’ is about real people, with real flaws and real problems. It's clever and sort of cynical in places, but yet, it has this incredible romantic hopefulness. Audiences will be drawn to the humor and the edginess…but will then hope, in spite of themselves, for the fairy tale ending,” observes returning director Jacqui Robbins. Robbins, The Penny Seats board secretary, adds, “With so many people making internet friends they have yet to meet in daily life and with online dating, there is a revival of this idea that the perfect person is out there if only you write the right letter. That makes this show timely again.”

In this classic musical by a trio of Broadway's best-known creators (Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock, and Joe Masteroff), two workplace rivals spend their days bickering and their nights falling in love as secret pen pals, while their quirky coworkers deal with a spate of other problems. Said to have "one of the best scores... in musical theater," the show has enjoyed a well-deserved resurgence in recent years.

The show is based on the play "Parfumerie," by Miklos Laszlo, which was also adapted cinematically three times: "The Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, “In the Good Old Summertime” with Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

"We already had a huge change of pace between ‘Goodnight Desdemona’ [The Penny Seats summer offering and inaugural show last year] and ‘What Corbin Knew’ [in the Performance Network’s ‘Mosh Pit’ this winter], and I think we'll get the same sort of energy from the shift to ‘She Loves Me,’” noted Russ Schwartz, a founding member of the group. “The main thing is, we're ready to draw in new people, both in our audience and among our collaborators, and these shifts keep the group exciting for our current community while constantly offering new points of entry."

Added Penny Seats board vice president Matt Cameron, “After two years of existence, The Penny Seats wanted to display their versatility by offering a musical. While The Penny Seats are no strangers to music, a full-fledged musical is a massive undertaking. However, it was very important to us as a company to provide our audience with something new and interesting; an outdoor musical.”

Choreographer and fellow board member Victoria Gilbert affirmed, “Some of our strongest roots as company members originate in musical theatre, song, and dance. This is what we do!”

This summer’s production will mark The Penny Seats second foray in West Park, after last summer’s well-received debut there. Rachel Murphy served as stage manager last year and will be producing this summer, “I am most excited to be coming back to West Park. I really enjoyed the community setting that the park offered. I loved how many people stopped and watched while we rehearsed and were so excited that we were there. I appreciated that so many people could walk to the park and enjoy a picnic meal with a bottle of wine before the show - what a great way to spend a summer evening!” The Penny Seats will partner with What’s Cooking again this year to offer picnic dinners for pre-order.

For Rachel and her husband Sean, The Penny Seats are a family affair. Sean, like Rachel is also a board member. He echoed, “I'm excited to be returning to West Park! Last year, I joined The Penny Seats as the set builder and stage hand for my first ever theater production…West Park is a beautiful venue, and it’s great to see people outdoors, enjoying live theater. This summer will be my first musical, so I'm really curious to see what that's like from behind the scenes. I know it's going to be fun!”

Beyond the beautiful venue and the camaraderie of performing live outdoor theatre, the group is excited to be presenting a classic Broadway show.

“Such clever lyrics and lilting melodies! Songs like ‘Vanilla Ice Cream,’ ‘Twelve Days to Christmas,’ ‘A Trip to the Library,’ and the title tune are such a pleasure and have found life as standards in their own right through live cabaret and recordings by artists like Lena Horne and Barbara Cook [a cast member of the original New York production],” commented board chair Roy Sexton, who will be playing “Georg Nowack,” one of the lonely hearts around whom the show’s story revolves. “Georg is just this great everyman character to whom anyone can relate. He is dedicated to his work and is only capable of connecting with his true love through written letters. He is completely befuddled when he is around Amalia face-to-face…in fact, they can’t stand each other in real life!”

Penny Seats president Lauren London, who will play fellow “lonely heart” Amalia Balash in the production, added, “The comedy that comes from this tension is just priceless. I think audiences will have a ball!”

“The dream of The Penny Seats would not be complete for me without including some top-notch Broadway musicals in the mix…and not just any musicals; ones that are clever and fun and agile and touching,” London concluded. “‘She Loves Me’ is all of these. The show has an incredible book and score by three of the best in the business, and I think experiencing it outdoors on a summer evening will create a particularly idyllic and inviting atmosphere. I can't wait!”

SHOW DATES: Performances will be at the West Park Band Shell July 26-28, August 2-4, and August 9-11, all at 7:00pm.

“She Loves Me” premiered on Broadway in 1963, and subsequently had productions in the West End in 1964 and award-winning revivals on each side of the Atlantic in the 1990s, as well as regional productions. Jack Cassidy won a best supporting actor Tony for the original, Hal Prince-directed production. Boyd Gaines won a best actor Tony for the 90s revival.

LOCATION: The West Park Band Shell at Ann Arbor’s West Park, between Miller and West Huron

TICKETS: Tickets are $10 (age 12 and younger admitted for $7) online at pennyseats.org and at the gate. For more information, visit or call 734-276-2832.


CAST:

Ellington Berg

Arpad

Ann Arbor, MI


Matt Cameron

Waiter

Ann Arbor/Plymouth, MI


Jenny Fernandez

Chorus

Farmington Hills, MI


John Henderson

Chorus

Van Buren/Canton, MI


Ellen Butler Lawson

Chorus

Ann Arbor, MI


Lauren London

Amalia

Ann Arbor, MI/Washington, DC


Drex Morton

Maraczek

Canton/Highland, MI


Laura Sagolla

Chorus

Ann Arbor, MI


Russ Schwartz

Kodaly

Ann Arbor, MI/Washington, DC


Roy Sexton

Georg

Saline, MI/Columbia City, IN


Cathy Skutch

Ritter

Plymouth/Canton, MI & Toledo, OH


Brent Stansfield

Sipos

Ann Arbor, MI



CREW:


Bridget Bly

Costumes

Ann Arbor, MI


Victoria Gilbert

Choreography

Ypsilanti, MI/Burlington, ON


Steve Hankes

Set Construction

Ann Arbor, MI


Barbara Kramer

Assistant Producer

Ann Arbor, MI


Zach London

Sound

Ann Arbor, MI/Milwaukee, WI


Rachel Murphy

Producer

Ann Arbor, MI


Sean Murphy

Set Design

Ann Arbor/Traverse City, MI


Nick Oliverio

Stage Manager

Ann Arbor/Saline, MI


Jacqui Robbins

Director, Producer

Ann Arbor, MI/Greenwich, CT


Chris Whittaker

Music Director

Harrisburg, PA; Baltimore, MD; Lansing/Ypsilanti, MI


ABOUT THE PENNY SEATS: Founded in 2010, we’re performers and players, minimalists and penny-pinchers. We think theatre should be fun and stirring, not stuffy or repetitive. We believe going to a show should not break the bank. And we find Michigan summer evenings beautiful. Thus, we produce dramas and comedies, musicals and original adaptations, classics and works by up-and-coming playwrights. We also provide cabaret shows, acting classes, and wacky improv evenings. And you can see any of our shows for the same price as a movie ticket.

FOR MORE INFORMATION about The Penny Seats call at 734-276-2832 or Visit: www.pennyseats.org.


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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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Published on June 03, 2012 00:00 • 458 views • Tags: 1963, 1964, 7-00-pm, 734-276-2832, 90s-revival, a-trip-to-the-library, amalia-balash, ann-arbor, arpad, assistant-producer, august-2-4, august-9-11, baltimore, barbara-cook, barbara-kramer, best-actor-tony, best-supporting-actor, boyd-gaines, brent-stansfield, bridget-bly, broadway, brown-paper-tickets, burlington, cabaret, canton, choreography, chris-whittaker, classes, columbia-city, comedies, connecticut, costumes, dc, director, dramas, drex-morton, drexel-morton, ellen-butler-lawson, ellington-berg, facebook, farmington-hills, georg-nowack, greenwich, hal-prince, harrisburg, hartland, highland, improv, in-the-good-old-summertime, indiana, jack-cassidy, jacqui-robbins, jenny-fernandez, jerry-bock, jimmy-stewart, joe-masteroff, john-henderson, judy-garland, july-26, july-26-28, kodaly, lansing, lauren-london, lena-horne, lonely-hearts, maraczek, margaret-sullavan, maryland, match-com, matt-cameron, michigan, miklos-laszlo, miller, milwaukee, minimalists, movie-ticket, musical, musicals, nick-oliverio, ontario, original-adaptations, outdoor-theatre, parfumerie, pennsylvania, penny-pinchers, penny-seats, pennyseats-org, performance-network, plymouth, pre-order-dinner, producer, rachel-murphy, rev-drexel-morton, reverend, roy-sexton, russ-schwartz, saline, sean-murphy, secrets-of-an-old-typewriter, set-construction, set-design, she-loves-me, sheldon-harnick, sipos, sound, stage-manager, steve-hankes, susie-duncan-sexton, the-shop-around-the-corner, tom-hanks-meg-ryan, tony, twelve-days-to-christmas, twitter, van-buren, van-johnson, vanilla-ice-cream, victoria-gilbert, waiter, washington, west-band-shell, west-end, west-huron, what-corbin-knew, what-s-cooking, www-pennyseats-org, you-ve-got-mail, ypsilanti, zach-london
Enjoy this op-ed piece written by Penny Seats president Lauren M. London, who will be playing Amalia Balash in the production this summer of She Loves Me, alongside my son Roy Sexton, who will be playing Georg. (The show opens July 26 - click the words "Penny Seats" above to order tickets.) You can read the full version by clicking here...

Below is an excerpt:

"Ann Arbor is more than a 'friendly' Midwestern town; its inhabitants can't stay away from each other. We hold festivals, dance in the streets, run in races, play music, go to shows, publicize lectures, publish books, watch football in the country's largest stadium, eat outside whenever possible and, once a year, we watch life-sized papier maché puppets parade down Main Street....The Penny Seats, one of Ann Arbor's newest theaters, began life two years ago. Honestly, our beginning was not without some trepidation about the sheer number of choices that already exist here. Would we be welcome? Would there be an audience? We needn't have worried...."

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
[View the scanned version and accompanying photo album by clicking here].

Hopelessly immersed in the recent 13 installment fifth season of the AMC late Sunday evening series “Mad Men”, I weekly revisited the quirky 60s on my dates with dapper, dashing advertising executive “Don Draper” and the gang! And, baby, that cast has got it right! How do I know? I lived, loved, laughed and came of age during that precise decade -- to the maximum!!

Outside of giddily graduating and happily exiting from high school (yay!), getting “pinned” and then engaged during my college career, and marrying husband Don in 1968, the zaniest fun I ever experienced during that decade occurred in the beachy metropolis of Warsaw, Indiana, at an innovative theater–in-the-round…a heady Hollywood Babylonish, episodic adventure for a naive teenager. First, the audition -- my vocal solo earnestly delivered across the living room of that colorful mogul Major Herbert Petrie -- met with approval. I earned a spot as an apprentice!

No longer would I nag Mom and Pop about my mission in life (while leaning forward upon skinned-up elbows and propping a determined chin upon the back of the front seat and swiveling an eager face from one parent to the other) on half hour moon-lit drives home departing the original canvas, Chautauqua-inspired tent-in-a-field productions of “The King and I” and “Plain and Fancy” in 1956. I actually had landed by 1962, successfully catapulting from spectator to center stage! The acting bug seduced another starry-eyed victim. As a 16 year old, I appeared in several musicals in a newly constructed lodge-type theater-in-the-round which had become the next home for the Wagon Wheel Experience well on its way to national renown.

Truthfully, I spent a huge quantity of time hammering nails into wood, assembling “flats”, and slopping paint onto one-dimensional back-drops while crawling around an outback chicken coop doubling as an impromptu classroom-setting for a crash course I snidely referred to as an “Introduction to Stagecraft 101”. However, such rigorous labor assured my choral participation as just another one of the townspeople, singing contralto, in imaginary River City, Iowa and twice in a fictitious New York City. Performing before audiences often including Columbia City Rotary or Kiwanis or Jaycee Clubs or friends and family chauffeured by my convertible-driving brother-in-law, high-school-ism ceased holding any allure for me whatsoever. Although only 25 miles from my own house and its bustling, pleasantly intrusive, seasonal re-modeling Reiff Brothers crew, I imagined myself as distanced (from reality) as Stratford-Upon-Avon itself and fantasized performing the works of Will Shakespeare -- totally hooked….in a good way!

Thus, blissfully adrift in baseball legend/evangelistic preacher Billy Sunday's territory in neighboring Kosciusko County far away from "home sweet home", Susie -- the virginal ingénue and "Marjorie Morningstar" wannabe -- hob-nobbed with Northwestern University co-eds and frat boys, many succeeding eventually as Broadway and television situation comedy stars and starlets. Notably, the MOST enchanting, exciting member of our troupe stood 6’3” and cut a striking figure as flirtatious, athletic, uncommonly handsome and outrageously hilarious. We called this friendly guy “Mac”, short for McLean Stevenson, who hailed from Normal, Illinois. During his second cousin Adlai Stevenson’s bids for the White House, my affable fellow thespian served as press secretary!

Mac, formerly employed as Northwestern's assistant athletic director in Evanston, Illinois, accomplished his first ever professional theatrical stint just up the road as “The Music Man” in 1962, according to "Wikipedia" -- AND according to ME as well! I can vouch for that fun bit of showbiz trivia! Awe-struck, I sang and danced alongside the hunk as he portrayed Professor Harold Hill, conducting a kids' band filled with "Seventy-Six Trombones"!

This down-to-earth, “casual as an old shoe” fellow portrayed Doris Day’s magazine-editor-boss in her 1969-1971 television show, and in 1972 through 1975 -- co-starring with Alan Alda and Wayne Rogers -- his popularity soared as Lt. Colonel Henry Blake on the Korean War TV sitcom “Mash”. Furthermore, Stevenson substituted for Johnny Carson, while guest hosting the "Tonight Show", a grand total of 58 times -- garnering a wide array of global fans!

Since Ms. Day had stolen my very young heart in her 50s Warner Brothers/MGM musicals, I delighted in viewing her exchange of dialogue each weekly broadcast opposite Mac and considered that my childhood “Pillow Talk” idol was now only disconnected from me by “Six Degrees of Separation”, the maybe preposterous theory that a string of five intermediary human beings link each of us to some other person somewhere on this vast planet! Now, let’s review then. My mom married my dad who voted for Adlai in 1952 and 1956 and who also, in 1962, introduced me to Major Petrie who cast me in a couple of musicals with “Mac” who chased the star of “Calamity Jane” (one of my favorite films) around an office desk on a television show – Hellooooo, Doris! "Que Sera, Sera!"

I survived another decade in “show business” before settling down as a humdrum participant in sometimes dreary real life. However, in late July and early August, our son Roy Sexton will star as Georg Nowack in 1963’s stunning Broadway musical “She Loves Me” reprising a role which James Stewart, Van Johnson, Tom Hanks, and Daniel Massey once tackled. The show opens July 26 and runs three weekends - more info can be found at www.pennyseats.org. So, what possibly might provide more fun that treading the boards myself? No doubt about it, I anticipate -- with glee -- sitting comfortably with an Ann Arbor crowd applauding someone I dearly love who sings on a par with Mario Lanza or Hugh Jackman and whose talent far exceeds my own. Nothing finer, believe me!

* Title's cadence and number of syllables equals that of "MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN GO OUT IN THE MIDDAY SUN!" Thanks, Noel Coward! ;D

NOTE: "In the Good Old Summertime": From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

"In the Good Old Summertime" is a 1949 musical film directed by Robert Z. Leonard. It starred Judy Garland, Van Johnson and S.Z. Sakall.

The film is a musical adaptation of the 1940 film, "The Shop Around the Corner", directed by Ernst Lubitsch, and starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, and written by Miklós László based on his play "Parfumerie". For "In the Good Old Summertime", the locale has been changed from 1930s Budapest to turn-of-the-century Chicago, but the plot remains the same.


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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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Published on July 12, 2012 04:53 • 215 views • Tags: 1960s, 1968, adlai-stevenson, alan-alda, amalia-balash, amc, ann-arbor, ann-arbor-news, ann-arbor-observer, ann-arbor-summer-fest, ann-arbor-summer-festival, annarbor-com, arts, billy-sunday, bock, brent-stansfield, broadway, brown-paper-tickets, budapest, calamity-jane, cathy-skutch, chicago, chris-whittaker, colonel-henry-blake, columbia-city-rotary, disney, don-draper, don-sexton, doris-day, drex-morton, drexel-morton, edna-duncan, ellen-butler-lawson, ellington-berg, ernst-lubitsch, festifools, georg-nowack, golden-age, harnick, harold-hill, hartland, herbert-petrie, heritage-newspapers, hollywood-babylon, home-sweet-home, illinois, indiana, iowa, jacqui-robbins, jaycees, jenny-fernandez, jerry-harnick, joe-masteroff, johnny-carson, jon-hamm, king-and-i, kiwanis, korean-war, kosciusko-county, lauren-london, lauren-m-london, m-a-s-h, mad-men, major-petrie, marjorie-morningstar, mash, matt-cameron, mclean-stevenson, mgm, michigan, midwestern, music-man, musicals, new-york-city, noel-coward, normal, northwestern, penny-seats, pillow-talk, pinned, plain-and-fancy, press-secretary, que-sera-sera, rachel-green-murphy, reiff, reiff-brothers, rev-drexel-morton, reverend, river-city, roald-dahl, robert-z-leonard, roy-duncan, roy-sexton, rufus-wainwright, russ-schwartz, sean-murphy, secrets-of-an-old-typewriter, seventy-six-trombones, she-loves-me, sheldon-bock, show-business, squawk-back, stratford-upon-avon, susie-duncan-sexton, television, the-avengers, the-penny-seats, theater, theatre, tonight-show, top-of-the-park, victoria-gilbert, wagon-wheel, warner-brothers, warsaw, wayne-rogers, west-park, white-house, wikipedia, william-shakespeare, www-pennyseats-org, zach-london
i sorta believe that i get underestimated every day...and before i die, all that i wish is, in real time, for a handful of sincere apologies from a handful of folks who have blown me off far too often and tried to demean my interests and my beliefs mostly because i am a female.

the prejudice against our gender is undeniable.

the biases against women as "thinkers" is undeniable.

i can hardly wait until we are considered persons...women will be kinder to each other and men will know they must accept us as people. what a day that will be. and i shall sit straight up in my casket when certain folks MAY come to view the body, those who did not give me the time of day when it mattered. they had better stay home! ;D

and i could list them right here right now.

ain't life grand? i think we gotta enjoy it while we are here and not wait for heaven. sure of that! ♥!! this is as close to heaven as we get...real time matters.

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that being said, I am fortunate to have some wonderful, kind souls in my life whose support means the world to me...here are some comments on my most recent "homeward angle" column (you can read it by clicking here) which just thrilled my soul!

Lisa Reiff-Claypool: "Susie Sexton is one confident, talented, intelligent, and classy lady. I'm proud to call her my friend."

Barb Nicholson: "As always, I enjoy Susie's column. This one was especially fun because I always enjoyed MacLean Stevenson’s antics on MASH and it was neat to read how your mom worked with him in the Music Man. Must have been fun time!"

Bob Kellogg: "Enjoyed Susie's article very much! Didn't know she'd been active in the theater. And, have to mention that I played one of the school board (Baritone in the quartet) When the Greensboro community theater produced 'The Music Man' several years ago. It was great fun. Probably my favorite musical."

Kat Kelly-Heinzelman: "Thank you, Roy and Miss Susie....Love you both and I miss you both too. LOL...Roy, it is almost time for Miss Susie and I to take that vacation up at your house...are you ready for us?"

Laura Reiff Underwood: "Love it! Thanks for sharing this. Susie is an excellent writer. I might be partial because she usually finds a way to include animal & animal rights :)"

Susan Henley: "The life lesson I learned recently is to live as if you are in your 'some days.' Some day I'll go to Italy, some day I'll learn how to oil paint or whatever you have been putting off......do it now or at least plan to do it soon. Life is short and you never know when your time will be over. Your time is now, this week, this day, this minute - - explore it! Thanks, Susie, for getting us thinking!!"

Susan Alcott Jardine: "Keep on with the wonderful columns, Susie. xoxo"

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postscript...

oh, since birth almost i have observed the kinkiest sexuality all about...the MAD MEN series sets the stage for all of us looking away while adultery roars or sneaks about between the traditional man/woman couplings...i am so non-hetero at ...this point in time from a lifetime of playboy activities among school-mates and others even closer to myself that i am amazed that so many have managed to get elected to office and to be honored in other ways and to move onto 2nd and 3rd marriages and behave as if children can be born out of wed-LOCK and that is referred to these days as "family"...how confusing it has all been.

nothing has shocked me since i was 2 and 1/2 years old...but because of my own life experiences i considered becoming a nun...seriously. looking away during the clinton escapades led to an epidemic of oral sex experimentation among kids, mind you. the first time i ever heard of such an idiotic concept was the "69" moronic rock slop popular when i was in college! women parade about as skimpily clad as possible, enhancing their body parts and for what reason? victims and victimizers and the most sexed up culture in the history of mankind...america should be really proud of this mess.

as to pretty boy john edwards and his long-suffering wife...another example of the "mister" being acceptable as a candidate for public office while the dame becomes lady macbeth...she had the more brilliant mind but she stood behind mr. wonderful and he took himself as seriously if not more so than his loving overweight originally sweet and intelligent wife ever did.

women are never categorized as "thinkers"...people are programmed to dismiss females with other means of categorization, all demeaning...we are the hugest minority who must be silenced one way or another. i tried that quiet, shy stint for most of my life...and i found that being a coward is not my style...i am a braver person than i ever imagined i would be...and sex is the last thing on my mind. it is only an appetite and a dangerous one at that...and has screwed all of us up royally! ;D

(oh, and another sure way to get elected is to claim god wants you to run, that you extol "family" -- ha!, man on woman sex and plenty of it, and to drive while intoxicated...no problem...you're at the statehouse in a shot! hypocrisy wins every time!)

...and as for run-on sentences (those occur when a conjunction is used and a comma gets left out), my uncle william faulkner and i love them...it's our style...but i did need to set off the skimpily clad women...with a period before i discussed them? pardon the pun! ;D


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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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Published on July 13, 2012 06:39 • 302 views • Tags: 69, adlai-stevenson, adultery, alan-alda, amalia-balash, amc, ann-arbor, ann-arbor-news, ann-arbor-observer, ann-arbor-summer-fest, ann-arbor-summer-festival, annarbor-com, arts, barb-nicholson, billy-sunday, bob-kellogg, bock, broadway, brown-paper-tickets, budapest, calamity-jane, chicago, colonel-henry-blake, columbia-city, columbia-city-rotary, disney, don-draper, don-sexton, doris-day, edna-duncan, elizabeth-edwards, equality, ernst-lubitsch, female, festifools, georg-nowack, golden-age, greensboro, harnick, harold-hill, hartland, herbert-petrie, heritage-newspapers, heterosexuality, hollywood-babylon, home-sweet-home, homeward-angle, hugh-hefner, illinois, indiana, iowa, jaycees, jerry-harnick, joe-masteroff, john-edwards, johnny-carson, jon-edwards, jon-hamm, kat-kelly-heinzelman, king-and-i, kiwanis, korean-war, kosciusko-county, lady-macbeth, laura-reiff-underwood, lisa-reiff-claypool, m-a-s-h, mad-men, major-petrie, marjorie-morningstar, mash, mclean-stevenson, mgm, michigan, midwestern, music-man, musicals, new-york-city, noel-coward, normal, northwestern, oral-sex, penny-seats, pillow-talk, pinned, plain-and-fancy, playboy, post-and-mail, press-secretary, que-sera-sera, reiff, reiff-brothers, reverend, river-city, roald-dahl, robert-z-leonard, roy-duncan, roy-sexton, rufus-wainwright, run-on-sentences, secrets-of-an-old-typewriter, seventy-six-trombones, sex, sexuality, she-loves-me, sheldon-bock, show-business, squawk-back, stratford-upon-avon, susan-henley, susie-duncan-sexton, television, the-avengers, the-penny-seats, theater, theatre, tonight-show, top-of-the-park, wagon-wheel, warner-brothers, warsaw, wayne-rogers, wedlock, west-park, white-house, wikipedia, william-faulkner, william-shakespeare, women, women-s-rights, www-pennyseats-org
Catch me and fellow author Danny Kemp (author of The Desolate Garden), entertainer and radio personality Judy Stadt, and our incomparable host Colin on the Colin Lively Show - listen at this link.

Colin writes: "This show is full of summer fun. We have another exciting installment of Sheepshead Bay Boulevard, week eight already! Colin, joined by Judy Stadt, Susie Sexton and The Kemps, bring us live radio theatre. If you’ve missed any of the episodes, you MUST listen to the archives and get caught up. Summer Movies- What are your favorites so far? The subject matter runs from...Magic Mike to Abe Lincoln as a vampire hunter. I don’t remember that in my history lessons. There’s the usual sequel-mania, Spiderman, MIB III, Batman. Storybooks on steroids-Snow White and the Huntsmen. Coming up in a few weeks, two movies that hopefully will be good: Sparkle, Whitney Houston’s last work, and Hope Springs with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones."

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loving this feedback...

Thanks for the following kind words I received on yesterday's Homeward Angle column "NOVEL Ideas Lead to Royal(-ty) Pain." Read by clicking here:

Tressa Marie: "Thanks so much, Roy! As always, your Mom is just amazing!!... I love and feel honored when your Mom mentions me in her blogs!! So very nice and like I said, I am honored!! Much respect and gratitude to your Mom for all she does each day for our animal friends! Just an amazing woman! An inspiration to many! Thanks so much for sharing this with me, Roy ! Please give your wonderful Mom my warmest regards, respect and hugs!"

Terrie Holden: "Hi, thank you, great article as always xxx"

From Kat Kelly-Heinzelman: "Thank you, Susie - great article - love to read your stuff. Thanks, Roy, for tagging me in this article. Love you both. ♥"

From Paul Clifford Schrade: "Many thanks! Being with such distinguished people. Illuminating article!"

From Danny Kemp: "What a lovely thing to share!"

From Vicki Floren Blanche: "great article..very much proud of you.....and i sure need some writing lessons..my my......you have such rich vocabulary and your content is always 120% ...yes up there...i enjoy reading...yours truly......me...xoxo"

From Carol Bowman-Henderson: "Your mother is wonderful, and so are you, Roy ♥ I shared on my wall - God bless ♥"

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Thought you all might enjoy this piece! Wonderful op-ed piece by She Loves Me's very own "Ladislav Sipos" Brent Stansfield! All about the experience coming back to the theatre after a 20-plus-year sabbatical, and how fortunate for the Penny Seats that he decided to make his return with them! If you haven't had a chance to see Brent in this show, he is a fun/funny delight...here is an excerpt (read the rest at the link):

"This summer I am acting for the first time in 23 years and it has taught me something important about myself. Acting used to be stressful and scary: most things are stressful and scary in high school. But theater was the stressful, scary activity I chose. My school required us to engage in an athletic activity each term but allowed participation in a play instead. Most kids chose sports but I preferred theater because while both involved insecurity and fear, theater mixed these with serious themes: passion, character, soul, motivation. I remember motivation being particularly important. We thought a lot about motivation."

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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Published on August 03, 2012 08:06 • 322 views • Tags: 1950s, 1960s, 3rd-district, abe-lincoln-vampire-hunter, agriculture, alligators, amalia-balash, amazing-spider-man, american-experience, and-hi-ho, andy-warhol, animal-activism, animal-rescue, animal-rights, animals, ann-arbor, ann-arbor-news, ann-arbor-observer, ann-arbor-summer-fest, ann-arbor-summer-festival, annarbor-com, armchair-psychoanalysts, arts, athletes, batman, beef-commodities, beverley-holden, birth-control-pills, bloggers, bock, brent-stansfield, broadway, brown-paper-tickets, buck, buffet, bushy-headed-stranger, cafeteria, carol-bowman-henderson, cathy-skutch, charlie-rose, chiaroscuro, chicken, chris-whittaker, colin-lively, columbia-city, congress, congressman, congressman-stutzman, corfu, crayola, crayons, creepy-beverly-hills-mansion, critics, curly, dame-mae-whitty, dandelion-wine, danny-kemp, dark-knight-rises, david-letterman, david-ross, de-regulation, democrats, desolate-garden, disney, don-sexton, drex-morton, drexel-morton, edward-levine, egg-products-inspection-act, eggs, elderbull, elephants, ellen-butler-lawson, ellington-berg, erich-von-stroheim, everest, facebook, family-focus-folks, fannie-flagg, fans-of-susie-duncan-sexton, farm, farming, festifools, fifteen-minutes-of-fame, first-lady, fitness, flint, flower-power, fort-wayne-journal-gazette, fried-green-tomatoes, fundraising, gazelles, georg-nowack, gloria-swanson, gorillas, great-american-novel, greek, grill, guy-kibbee, h-r-3798, harnick, harry-potter, hartland, health, heritage-newspapers, hillary-clinton, hippies, holocaust, homeward-angle, hope-springs, house-of-representatives, howdy-doody, hr-3798, ike, in03msima-mail-house-gov, indiana, industry, ipad, jacqui-robbins, jenny-fernandez, jerry-harnick, jfk, joe-gillis, joe-masteroff, john-staggs, jon-stewart, judy-stadt, kamini-christina-merner, kat-kelly-heinzelman, kelly-huddleston, kurt-vonnegut, ladislav-sipos, lana-turner, larry, lauren-bacall, lauren-london, lauren-m-london, legislation, lemurs, lipstick, lobby, lobbying, lobbyist, lunch-and-judy, lunt-and-fontanne, madeleine-fisher-kern, marlin-stutzman, martin-scorcese, matt-cameron, mayor, meijer, men-in-black, meryl-streep, michigan, midwestern, moe, monkeys, mt-everest, mythological-concepts, nancy-hartman, national-rifle-association, nature, nora-redmond, norma-desmond, nostalgia, nra, ocelots, open-books, opportunistic-politicians, pac, paranormal-situations, paro-babu, paul-clifford-schrade, peewee-league, penny-seats, politicians, politicos, post-and-mail, poultry, prayer-warriors, presidential-election, protesters, pudgy-baby-giraffes, quentin-tarantino, rachel-green-murphy, ray-bradbury, reality-show-show-offs, recipes, regulation, representative, representative-stutzman, republican, republicans, restaurant, rev-drexel-morton, reverend, revolutionaries, rhett-and-scarlett, roald-dahl, roy-sexton, rufus-wainwright, russ-schwartz, schwab-s-drug-store, scripture, sean-murphy, secrets-of-an-old-typewriter, shannon-basner, she-loves-me, sheepshead-bay, sheldon-bock, singers, smorgasbord, snow-white-and-the-huntsman, social-network, space-exploration, sparkle, special-interest-groups, spider-man, squawk-back, stephen-colbert, steven-spielberg, steverino-madison-avenue, stutzman, summer-movies, sunset-boulevard, super-heroes, susie-duncan-sexton, susie-sexton, tangi-rogers-goeglin, target, terrie-holden, terrorism, the-avengers, the-colin-lively-show, the-golden-age-of-television, the-penny-seats, theater, theatre, third-district, three-stooges, tommy-lee-jones, toni-albanese, top-hat-cafe, top-of-the-park, tressa-marie, trojan-horse, tweeters, twilight, vampires, various-activists, vegan, veganism, vegetarian, vegetarianism, vicki-floren-blanche, victoria-gilbert, wal-mart, wallabies, walter-mitty, washington-d-c, west-park, what-makes-sammy-run, whitney-houston, wizards, www-pennyseats-org, www-stutzman-house-gov, www-susieduncansexton-com, yellow-journalists, zach-london, zebras
"I love people and animals -- though not necessarily in that order," Doris Day once said. "I've never met an animal I didn't like, and I can't say the same thing about people."

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i can barely even look at people some days...too many self-centered, clueless turds...i try to be nice...but the older i get the less nice i am...i say what i think...and then flip/slip back into my reclusive life. it is a miracle that I found kindred spirits...thank goodness for that! i love facebook for that...though there are a few facebook pages i sometimes look at to renew my venomous ire toward the shallow human race. plenty of material there!

From columnist Lewis Richmond: "Finally, since emptiness seems so difficult to understand, why did the Buddha teach it at all? It is because of his profound insight into why we suffer. Ultimately we suffer because we grasp after things thinking they are fixed, substantial, real and capable of being possessed by ego. It is only when we can see through this illusion and open ourselves, in Ari Goldfield's words, 'to the reality of flux and fluidity that is ultimately ungraspable and inconceivable' that we can relax into clarity, compassion and courage. That lofty goal is what makes the effort to understand emptiness so worthwhile." (Read more here.)

Carol Baker: "True enough - but when I learned to think like my dog... I came to appreciate life's simple pleasures and leave yesterday to yesterday. Barney Dog taught me that there are few things in life that can't be improved by a nap."


BTW, animals ARE buddhists, right, carol? obviously you and i think alike! then I am lucky indeed!

(note: cows and apes don't need animal protein...inadvertently protein happens! we b fine...)

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Steve Randomsurname: "Buddhist philosophy and thought have been a huge source of inspiration and comfort to me over the years. It represents incredibly advanced psychological insight considering the era in which it is from.

"Suffering comes from attachment and craving; and is released by letting go. Ego and delusion cause us to hold on to things which are best let go. We can see many examples of how we do this in our everyday lives, both in our craving for things and how this results in suffering, and how much better we can feel when we let go of something we've been holding onto too tightly."


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From columnist Ann Brenoff: "Years ago, I had a boss who insisted I take the day off when I had to put my 15-year-old dog to sleep. My boss' act of kindness allowed me to grieve in peace and relieved my stress over missing work for a reason that a non-dog owner might not get. It translated into a mountain of gratitude for her kindness and for years after, I never said no to anything she ever asked of me. The bosses who get that you have a life outside the office are the bosses we love the most and work the hardest to please." (Read more here.)

Diane Shenkman Baumgarten: "Dear Susie, what a kind and compassionate person; if only we could all treat one another like that, or just animals, that would be enough for me."

Bob Wannberg: "Sing it Susie! You're right on key!"

Kathy Bostwick: "Wonderful article, Susie, and, yes, life happens, and most of us working people don't like what happens but it is sure a lot easier when your boss is understanding....the world needs more kindness and you are starting a wonderful new trend, Susie....Smiling is good - it makes people wonder what you've been up too!"


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Doris' love for animals has never waned: "I couldn't be without them. I couldn't. They are so true, and I love that." ~ Doris Day

Thanks, Tressa! Tressa Marie: "Thank you so much, Susie...MY ANGEL <3 <3 I will share this in two groups. So very very sad what is happening to this beautiful, majestic, lovely souls. Thank you for all you do each and every day for the innocent voiceless. A true guardian angel <3 <3 Love and respect always <3 <3"

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postscript...

horsemeat scandal? hey all meat was somebody's mother...or somebody's calf...or piglet...or lamb...what is the difference? cannibalism is cannibalism! eat more greens...more salads...your heart will benefit physically and emotionally...i am watching the slaughter of horses on CNN at a slaughter "camp"...hell on earth. hell on earth. evil. a bolt to the head...hanging upside down... decapitated...slaughtered, starved...purely profit-driven! stop the world, i wanna get off! 'livestock"? what kind of word is that anyway?

"Now, more than 35 percent of Americans are obese, and almost 70 percent are overweight. This is not an accident but the result of careful marketing and money in politics." (just read this during one of my speed-reading ventures...sounds about right...especially the "careful marketing and money in politics"--lord, yes!)

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't

Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl

description
I am upset allllll of the time...but it is the right kind of turmoil we feel. we are angels with stomach aches who cry a lot, but we are doing what needs to be done.

description

I could just put a hex on all of the bad people if I was so equipped. too many monsters in this world. I detest monsters...human beings suck way too often! and if they are not mean sons of bitches, they are apathetic which is just as evil in my book!

description

we understand nightmarish times...can completely identify...I die inside when sadness happens to those about whom I care...I do not pray...I think really hard about stuff and try to figure out solutions...I surmise if there are gods, they appreciate us trying to figure out how to get through life on our own.

description

what would have really helped me during dark times would have been for other human beings to have given a damn...which has never happened for us...that is why I love animals...they DO give a damn because they are constantly fearful in this crazy life with humans calling the "shots." animals empathize unlike any person I ever met except for friends like edward levine and roy and don and a handful of others ... usually never relatives ... not usually, actually, not ever.

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as an aside, I believe some journalists cater to the conservative element in our country and they seldom support efforts for animals...believe me, I know. for eight plus years, I have had a devil of a time when I have had my animal philosophy published, someone republican or red-necky marches forth to retort...even getting awards from these rags... I feel like said opposition is contrived by some anti-animal groups out there in space.

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so stand up for yourself and what you have to say...and exclaim that you are willing to take the heat IF someone responds negatively to your advocacy.

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when we speak up, we win over more hearts than you might ever guess...people are just shy about these issues ... that reticence is tragic! ...human beings who stand in the way of animal welfare or social progress are lame and naughty and self-involved and trying to impress the wrong crowd.

I have nearly gotten sick over animal advocacy and human rights, but what a way to go. persist...hold your ground.

description

I hope my candidness helps some way...I am not a Mel Gibson fan (at all!!!) but that film title "braveheart" sums it up...true and rugged love works...one for another...and it is circular...and it works! I know this...and I have died in my heart many many times...but that means I have a heart so I try not to worry that way too often I feel like I am being eaten up alive.

_________________

thanks to Pamela Simmons and the City of Ann Arbor for inviting me to speak on September 15 as part of their "Arts and Culture Series" - find out more here...

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wonderful feedback! thank you!

from Mary Shaull: "Oh Susie, You are so beautiful! You tug at my heartstrings in an overwhelming way. God bless you and your advocacies. You DO make a huge difference....You are beautiful people."

from Drex Morton: "Maybe your analysis explains why many of us have guts that ache..."

from Sandy Laycock: "Thank you for sharing this. I felt her love and passion. It is so true that we need to speak and stand up for what we know is true. I have started speaking more and have been surprised at the number of people that thank me for my posts. I know I am not pleasing everyone but I do not care. I love my vegan life and I want more people to know the joy of loving all life."

_________________


Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't

Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl
What was I thinking on a hot summer day confined to a moving car headed toward the art capital of the Midwest, culture-cluster Ann Arbor in Michigan?

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"My hair is frizzy and my shorts are too tight and my feet are swelling and am I dressed up enough and will my dog Jack not peewee for about 12 hours until I return all exhausted from enduring hectic traffic and from sitting in the setting sun watching a 90 minute musical?" That's what I was thinking. I clue you!

What I should have been daydreaming about is this: "My heavens, Cy Coleman composed this musical called 'Little Me' and he is responsible for the glorious 'Sweet Charity'! My heavens, Patrick Dennis wrote the naughty novel itself, and he is responsible for the divine 'Auntie Mame'! My heavens, Neil Simon adapted the book into the zaniest, most fast-moving, wittiest bit of shtick ever, and he is responsible for 'Barefoot in the Park', 'The Odd Couple', 'The Good-Bye Girl' , 'Come Blow Your Horn', and 'Your Show of Shows' starring my favorite television comedian in the whole wide world, the heretofore inimitable SID CAESAR (Later revived by funny, nutty maniac Martin Short)! My heavens, the 95 roles that Roy fills to a "T", and then some, got originated by the Caesar-King of Comedy himself!" [View more photos by clicking here.}

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I WAS NOT PREPARED for the tour de force provided by one ROY EDWARD SEXTON who seldom leaves the stage as he 150% convincingly out-SIDS SID! Roy first appears as a charmingly obnoxiously conceited over-achieving teenager named Noble Eggleston and right before our stunned eyes morphs into impossibly wealthy curmudgeon Mr. Pinchley, Frenchman Val Du Val, World War I soldier boy Fred Poitrine, film director Otto Schnitzler, Prince Cherney and Noble Junior -- never breathless, always poised and consistently hilarious, costume and dialect and character intact. Pictures attached! Oh, yeah! The entire cast is terrific and "gets" the satire and "gets" the dry wit and happily, physically engages in slap-stick extraordinaire. I'd seen this "show" live in Indianapolis in the early 60s featuring movie star Donald O'Connor of "Francis the Talking Mule" and "Singing in the Rain" and "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "Beau Geste" and oh, my oh, my! I do not even remember Donald…I can never forget Roy! He amazed even his own proud mom and pop!

Grab a ticket for Little Me (Thursday-Saturday, July 18-20, 7 pm and Thursday-Saturday, July 25-27, 7 pm) at http://www.pennyseats.org/. Enjoy your road trip! The rewards are great…even a delicious picnic basket for you and yours! You'll run into Mr. & Ms. Sexton both of the next week-ends. We would not miss an opportunity to revel in this musical romp again and again! I ain't never seen nuttin' to compare in my nearly seven decades on Mama Earth! Trust me on this one!

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[bookcover:Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl|12465699]

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl