Saturday, December 8, 2012

Viva Lost Wages

From top left: My brother Mark & wife Kathy, My sons James & Ben and his wife Maria, Daughter Heather and husband Alec holding 3 year old granddaughter Lindsay, sister Amy & husband Mike, sister Diane and wife Courtenay. Seated from left: Mom, me, granddaughter Lauren, my wife Kathy and my dad.

1) Do you ever suffer the blues during the holidays? The holidays have changed. My mom’s family has had a Christmas Eve party since 1910 or so. It was so much easier for them. Family married and said in the town they grew up in. By the time my generation had kids, my brother Mark lived in Boston with his family. He stopped coming so his kids could wake up on Christmas morning in their own beds. His family returned when they were all over 18.

My daughter and her family stopped for the same reason a few years back. They live near Rutgers in Jersey. One of my son’s lives single in San Diego. My other son just had a daughter and was conflicted since he lives near Providence. About 10 years ago I started hosting a pre-Christmas Eve party before the “big one” at my mom’s. A few years back we switched it to a January date as my kids dropped out of Christmas Eve.

This year my sister Diane, who took over the party about five ears ago when my mom moved in with her, has decided to end it. While it seems a shame to end a family tradition that lasted over a hundred years, it was time. All we saw there were cousins and their kids, who we love, but are not at all close to. Diane will host a small party for my mom, aunt (88 & 89) and a cousin or two. 

Meanwhile, my party has moved to December 23rd, my dad’s 87th birthday and will be well attended. My daughter Heather and her family and my son Ben and his family will be there. My dad and my sister Amy who just had twins, and my dad are coming, as are my sister Diane and her wife. So, I guess the party switched here. I am REALLY psyched. Not that anything about all this has anything to do with the question. I just thought I’d share.

2) More than 18 million visitors have toured Elvis' home, Graceland. Have you ever been there? No.
3) Elvis dyed his naturally light brown locks black. Do you dye your hair? My hair is dark brown. Recently, as some gray has crept in I occasional remove it.
4) He also insisted his young girlfriend, Priscilla, dye her hair jet black. If your lover asked you to change your hair, would you? Kathy and I asked each to wear our hair longer, which we now do.

5) Elvis served his country at an Army base in Friedberg, Germany. Have you ever been to Germany? Nein.

6) Elvis famously had an affair with Ann-Margaret during the filming of Viva Las Vegas. Have you ever indulged in a dalliance with a coworker? Yes, and it was a huge mistake. Once we broke up, the tension was unbelievable. She even made me destroy that video we made. Bitch.
7) Thinking of his movies ... Elvis was, by and large, unhappy with his film career and once said, "The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one." Are you happy with the way your career is going/has gone? I miss radio. I’d love to do a show again. Fortunately, with WTIT recording more frequently, it scratches the itch. Rock Rolling, seen in this picture phoned yesterday to set up a recording date before Christmas. My actual job is about perfect for me.
WTIT 2012: Cos, Gary, Rock, Bud, Johnnie & Midnight
8) Elvis lost "the battle of the bulge" toward end of his life. Are you happy with your weight? I’m about ten pounds from where I’d like to be. But my doc says I really only need to lose five. I guess that means I’m pretty good.

9) As a teenager, Elvis worked as an usher at a movie theater. What was your first job?
My first job of any consequence was working at one of my dad’s hotels. Years later we owned one together.

We may return, until then Give Peace a Chance.


  1. Very bold admitting you cover the gray! ;)

    LOL about #6!

  2. 32 years ago today my friend! WOW! Give peace a chance! Wonder how many will get that reference.

    I think the whole hotel thing was awesome! I know how special your Dad is to you.

    Oh and yeah, how perfect is your job for you? I still laugh everytime I see that Smirnoff picture of you with the samples.

  3. Love the picture of the fam-especially the smiling Cub fan.
    Have a great weekend!

  4. Smellyann, he only said he removed it. Maybe he is pulling them out one at a time. My family lived in the same town as I grew up and we had Christmas Eve chili dinner for a crowd. As my cousins grew up and away it got smaller and smaller. We still have chili on Christmas Eve.

  5. What a fantastic group photo! :-)

  6. My fiance expresses sadness about how his childhood holidays with extended family has died out to where it's just his parents, brother and the two of us. I never really had extended family around, so I can't imagine what it's like to miss a wonderful tradition like that.

  7. Thanks for including the wedding photo. It makes me happy to see you and Kathy so happy.

    Knowing how John felt about NYC, I just KNOW he'd be part of the 12/12/12 concert. And knowing how John felt about both war and authority, I bet he'd "out Kanye" Kanye and say something about Afghanistan. John at 71 ... I bet he'd be a hoot!

  8. When I was little we always went down to my grandmother's place in Bridgeport and that was the only time that I saw my cousins on my father's side of the family.


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