Oct 22

PICK OF THE CROP

Having blurted out about writing a weekly blog over the past five years, I glanced through them to see which ones made me smile. These, often as not, came about almost as a blinding flash of the obvious.

One of my favorites was the kid shoveling a neighbor’s sidewalk to the street that was buried in deep snow. Someone told me about this, and it struck a chord. I, like him, had gone to a neighbor’s house after a heavy snowstorm…

You couldn’t see the little porch, nor the front door for that matter. I cleared it after some heavy shoveling. I knocked on the door to tell the university professor the work was done. He thanked me, saying he didn’t have any change but would pay me later. He never did.

Back to the original story. The kid returned home and told his grandfather that the neighbor said he’d pay later. His gramps rolled his eyes, telling his grandson to come with him. They went out and shoveled all that snow back on the sidewalk from street to house.

Another one that’s special (2014) was about Woody Allen’s film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. An masterful story about an American screenwriter who went to Paris, intent on finishing his first novel.

Strolling through the Left Bank’s old cobbled streets late one night, he’s accosted by those riding in an ancient automobile with curtains. They wave happily, insisting he come with them.

Allen weaves a fascinating plot involving the 1920s and the present. The writer spends a rousing evening in the past at a bistro with Ernest Hemmingway, Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.  Hemmingway lectures him about the pitfalls of being a writer.

One (2015) is about a businessman flying from Montreal to the States. A member of the US Security asks to see his cell phone, then his password. The businessman refuses. He’s arrested, cuffed and taken away, missing his flight.

The (2015) piece about the Nazis obsession with art during WW2 is another. Shortly before their invasion of Paris, museum officials at the Louvre packed away paintings including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory, in trucks to be hidden in chateaus in southern France. Larger ones went in the huge trailers of the National ballet to take the same route.

Author’s comment: Last but far from least was about our son Nathaniel, when very young, and I were returning home from a ski day in Collingwood. After stopping for dinner at the Pizza Hut, he asked if there really was a Santa Claus. Kids at school were teasing him because he thought the merry old guy was real. I said no, but… Nathaniel would say years later, “I don’t know any dad, anywhere, who’d explain Santa as you did, and still make me feel good.”

Posted on October 22nd, 2017 by Clarke