Friday, May 24, 2024

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: God Bless America

Unfamiliar with Deanna Durbin's rendition of week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.

1) Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, this is when memorials, as well as the graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers on this day to show our appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood? There's a statue honoring those who served in WWI in the park next to the local library. Dedicated in 1925, it's atop a slope that just naturally attracts kids who like to run, roll and sled down it. I bet none of them appreciate the sentiment of the statue that looks down at them when they're having fun.

2) Andrew Johnson, our 17th President, was in office the first time Memorial/Decoration Day was celebrated. Have you ever met one of our Presidents? Met? Not one on one. But as a campaign volunteer and I've attended rallies with my candidates Bill Clinton and John Kerry and, most memorably, was one of 240,000 in Grant Park when Chicago's very own Barack Obama accepted the Presidency in 2008.

I'm in there. Can you see me?

3) According to the AAA, more than 30 million Americans will hit the road this weekend and drive more than 50 miles. Will you be traveling far from home this weekend? Nope.

4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food? It's a tie: cold fried chicken and potato salad. In my mind, they go together.

5) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on? A fan.

6) Though she's belting out one of America's best loved patriotic songs, Deanna Durbin was born in Canada. Is there anyone in your family or circle of friends who wasn't born in the USA? My friend Kathleen's husband remains a loyal British subject.

7) No longer a household name, Ms. Durbin was once one of the biggest stars in the country. One of her most popular films was 1937's One Hundred Men and a Girl, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Recommend a movie that you really like, but don't think many Saturday 9ers have seen. Because it's Memorial Day weekend, I give you From Here to Eternity. It's set in Hawaii in December 1941, which should give you cause to say "uh-oh." We meet the soldiers stationed at Pearl Harbor and the women who love them. There's bravery and integrity and cowardice and shame. It's an epic, very moving. My movie group is getting together Saturday to celebrate Memorial Day by seeing it on the big screen. I just may join them.


8) Back in 1938, Deanna Durbin had her handprints cemented in front of the TCL Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. Have you ever visited that Los Angeles tourist attraction? Yes! I was just there last month for the TCM Classic Film Festival. It's fun to go through the forecourt and check out the hand/footprints and it's a wonderful place to see a movie.

9) Random question: What food did you hate as a child, but enjoy now? Spinach.