Friday, June 12, 2020

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: The Rain, The Park, and Other Things (1967)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The Cowsills were a family band who had three hit singles. Can you name another group of popular singing siblings? This photo of the Osmonds could be the most 70s thing you see all day.

2) This was their first hit, and it reached #2 on the Billboard charts. It was kept out of the #1 slot by the Monkees and "Daydream Believer." What's your favorite Monkees song?


3) After seeing the Cowsill brothers perform with their mother and sister, TV producers were inspired to create the sitcom, The Partridge Family. Did you ever watch it? At the time, it was de rigueur viewing in my grammar school. I saw it again not too long ago. It has not aged well.

4) In the song, the narrator takes a flower from a girl in the park. Are there flowers in your home right now? There are no flowers in my home because nothing would give my cat more joy than knocking the vase over. And, if you ask him, the goal of my life is to deprive him his few slivers of happiness.

5) He isn't sure if the girl was real, or if he dreamed her. Tell us about a recent dream you had. Last month, I dreamed that actor Michael Douglas took me to a shitty little resort in Marquette County, Wisconsin. He should be ashamed of being such a cheap date.

6) At the height of the Cowsills' popularity, they were hired by the American Dairy Association to promote drinking milk. If we were to peek into your refrigerator right now, would we find any milk? There's a quart of 2% in there right now. By the way, my friend Nancy recently mocked me for being confused by the difference between "sell by" and "use by" dates on milk. To tell if it's still good, she advised, "Just sniff it, Gal!"

7) After the band stopped performing together, John Cowsill went on to become a back up musician for the Beach Boys. His job has kept him on the road much of the time. When you travel, do you enjoy staying in hotels, or would you rather stay with friends/family? I much prefer hotels (motels or airbnb). I don't like imposing and I do like my privacy. Besides, I love checking out new hotel rooms. "Look at the mini frig! Look at the hair dryer!"

8)  In 1967, the year this song was popular, Elvis married Priscilla in Las Vegas. Have you attended any weddings yet this year? Are there any weddings in your future? My niece is still planning to get married in Michigan in October. Fingers crossed.

9) Random question: Are the bottoms of your feet ticklish? Nope.

June 12, 1929

Happy birthday, Anne Frank. She received a fabric-covered diary for her 13th birthday. At that time, she was a young girl who enjoyed knitting, still missed her grandma (who died the year before) rode her bike to get around, and had an indefatigable interest in boys.

The following month, the Frank family went into hiding. They were joined by the Van Pel family and Franz Pfeffer. Eight people in all, living in the now-famous Secret Annex above the warehouse. During the day they had to be careful to be as quiet as possible, lest the workers hear them. At times, flushing the toilet or even coughing could be dangerous. They ate provisions left for them by helpers, the few Christians that they could trust with their secret existence. 

Anne believed that they would "outlast" the Nazis. Of course, they did not. In the summer of 1944, they were discovered and arrested. This brave little woman died at age 15 in a concentration camp.

But her words live on. Anne's diary has been published in more than 60 languages. 

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

“I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage.”

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

“What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.”

Let's not insult her memory. Next time you hear someone complain of being "oppressed" because they're asked to wait to get a hair cut or wear a mask in public to protect their neighbors from a virus, think about this face. Know that she lived the last two years of her young life estranged from the outside world, afraid of torture and death. Think about her bottomless dark eyes and how hard she fought to stay positive when faced with terror. Remember what "oppression" really is.

You can take the girl out of the White House ...

... but you can't take the White House out of the girl. Now for the MAJOR disclaimer: I have no idea if this actually happened, but it does amuse me. And, as one who has read about JBKO literally since I've been able to read, it does ring true.

While working at Doubleday, Jacqueline Onassis decided to thank her partners in a major project by hosting a party. She emphasized it was a casual get together: "Just pizza and beer for the gang."

Now you may have had beer and pizza with the gang from your office, but your casual get together wasn't held at 1040 Fifth Avenue.

First you'd approach the doorman, who would check his list and confirm that you are, indeed, one of "the gang." Then he would announce you via intercom and point you to the elevator.

You'd get off at the 15th floor and knock on the door. The maid would open the door and then indicate you should wait a moment while she* announced you.

The room becomes quiet and all heads turn to you. Try not to feel awkward.

Your hostess stops what she's doing and crosses the room to greet you. With fingers laced precisely at waist level, she formally welcomes you to her home ... and asks if you'd like your beer in a can or a glass.

*Most likely the ever-loyal Marie.