Thursday, February 26, 2009

writer in the family


i think i might have mentioned a short while back that i'm directing a play.
i think i might have also mentioned that my mom passed a way a few years ago.
totally unrelated, you might think...

so it was kind of a surprise to me when one of the girls in the cast revealed to me that, in order to maybe better understand this goofy, smiling idiot who was playing at instructing them in their roles, she googled me and found that, not only was she impressed with my considerable comics credits, but that she'd also read the story my mother wrote.


...story my mother wrote...?!

so i googled "dezago" and there it was.
the story my mother wrote.
apparently, some four or five years ago, our regional newspaper, the poughkeepsie journal, made a request of it's readers that they were searching for long-time residents to share stories of life in the hudson valley, where rhinebeck, the town that i and my mom and her mom grew up in.

my mom submitted this story about her mother.
they ran the small picture of my mom with it.

Perilous trip for a date
My mother lived in Rhinecliff - on the cliff. As a young woman, probably in 1924-25, she had a job in Kingston and in the summer went across the river by ferry boat. In the winter it was horse and sleigh.

My mother had a date in the winter in Kingston on a certain day. She hurried down to the dock to catch the horse and sleigh, but, as was the custom if the ice began to "break up," the sleigh was canceled. She was very anxious to get across to her date (it may have been my father), and with no transportation, she began to walk across in the dark as the river was "booming and cracking." As she walked, she could easily see the lights of Rhinecliff. She also saw a small light coming toward her. It was her very stern, reserved father walking to meet her. He knew she would walk across and so lit his lamp and walked out to guide her! I'm pretty sure she got there in time for her date.
Sandra Dezago, Rhinebeck

i had heard the story before, of course, both from mom and from grandma herself, describing how very scary it was and how foolish it was and how she imagined how the obituary would read the whole time. she said that all she could see was the white snow-covered ice of the river and blackness everywhere else, a few pinpricks of light over on the far shore. though not in response to her tiny, little weight, the ice was cracking and settling all around her; sharp, extenuating breaks that seemingly originated under her very feet and traveling out and away in all directions, lost out in the night, and loud, short, thunder-claps of breakage always just just beyond her limited vision.

i'd been missing mom a lot lately. it was so nice to have her surprise me like this on the internet, to see her face and hear the story again.


"yo!--dude, please."

( i believe that mom is always still here with me and that when i see her again she's gonna give me $#!& about including her story in the same post as a naked guy on the ledge of a building. : )


"three for thursday"
classic film!

1. what slope-nosed actor/comedian's theme song was called "thanks for the memories"?

2. in rocky, rocky takes adrian back to his apartment and introduces him to his turtles. what were their names?

3. in the 1945 billy wilder film, "the lost weekend" starring ray milland, why was the weekend lost?

4. who was originally cast as the tim man in the "wizard of oz" but had to drop out due to a skin allergy to the silver make-up?

all of us, at some time or another, incorporate lines and phrases from favorite movies and tv into our own personal lexicons, making them such a part of our everyday conversations that sometimes we even forget where they came from. i've been doing this for all of my life. see if you can match the following to the movies they came from...

a. "mother pus bucket!"

b. "left turn, clyde."

c. "inconceivable!"

d. "say 'what' one more time!"

e. "it's hot. like africa hot."

gotta fly!
have a great weekend!
smell ya later!


Scott Weinstein said...

What a fantastic surprise to find on the Internet! I'm happy for you. That's was a great story too.

Anonymous said...

1. Bob Hope
3. drunkenness
5. c. The Princess Bride

portalcomics said...

1. Bob Hope

2. Cuff and Link

3. ???

4. ???

5a. ????
b. Every Which Way But Loose
c. The Princess Bride
d. Pulp Fiction
e. Biloxi Blues

Adam Hutch said...

That's a neat story, and what a great surprise!

Bill Nolan said...

I'll just throw in Ghostbusters and Buddy Ebsen, to get the ones no one has tried yet.

Brian said...

A wonderful story: Both what you mother wrote and how you discovered it.

As for the naked man picture, I think it quite appropriate as it certainly falls into the "Dangerous Date" category. ;-)

on to the Five.

1. Bob Hope

2. Cuff and Link

3. Alcohol

4. Buddy Ebsen: (Not the only make up problem on the set. I heard Margaret Hamilton tell this story. Apparently the green make-up used for the Wicked Witch had metal in it and the fireball special effect that they used when she disappears from Munchkin Land at the beginning of the film caused it to melt. Margaret didn't realize what was happening, but the young man working the trap door she came down through realized immediately and quickly got the make-up off her face. I believe she only suffered the equivalent of a bad sunburn, but she it could have been a lot worse if that guy hadn't been there.

5. I got nothing.

Matt Wieringo said...

Great story, Todd. It's in your blood!

Shana Jean said...

That's a great story! I go to school near Rhinebeck, but I'm pretty sure there's a bridge now. Since I went to Kingston just the other day and there wasn't a ferry or sleigh or anything.

~ Wendy ~ said...

Oh great story! and what a nice way for your mom to reach out and let you know she is thinking of you also. :-)

Russ Burlingame said...

5a is definitely GHOSTBUSTERS.

Rowan's Dad said...

Very neat tale, although I can't picture ever risking my neck like that for a date. He must have been some guy! And what an understanding dad, too.
In regards to question 5, I have a co-worker whose entire best man speech at her wedding consisted of really obscure, inappropriate movie quotes. What made the inappropriateness even better was that no one had any clue they were film lines. One of the funniest weddings I've ever attended!

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