Today, February twenty third, I am writing my four hundredth Patch article. It most likely will be published on February twenty-fifth,
Monday. I have written for Hunt Valley Cockeysville Patch 246 articles and now
Towson Patch 154 with the total of 400. I would say that 400 is a nice number for me and for Patch. All of these articles were written for
my editor Nayana Davis. Under her editorship, I have blossomed from writing
articles mainly on ballroom dancing, which I still do. I have added articles on life as a senior, life as a ballroom dancer who won fifty-eight
medals and trophies during my competition days, life as a kid in the forties, marriage, kids, grandchildren and about people I know either in person or via the Internet, email and the old fashioned way of United States post office.
From my many, hundreds of ballroom dancing articles, I have made friends with dancers all over the country, from Maine to California. These
people, other than from Maine, I have never met in person. We email back and
forth and we have become dear friends, as if we did meet one day. We know
things about each other, we feel triumph in their accomplishments and we are
sad if they are upset about something.
It is because of the Internet, computers and the way life is now, we are friends. This is something that none of us ever dreamed about when
we were growing up. Television was the new thing to own then and having your
own ‘movie screen; in your own home was cause to be so happy and content. Now
days with all the phones that can do so many things that we could never imagine
then, we are so worldly. People stay in
line all night and the next morning to obtain and buy these new phones and
other things too. The only thing we stood in line for when I was a kid was to
go to the movie theater to see the new movie that came out that weekend. To us,
that was the supreme happening in our lives. Rarely, did we see a live show in
the theater. My first live theater show was called Oklahoma and it was in the
Fords Theater here in Baltimore, which later on was called The Mechanic Theater,
which was in a new building and owned by Morris and Clarisse Mechanic. People
waited in line to get to the new building. Many thoughts were discussed about
the ‘ugliness’ of the new modern design. I wrote a letter to the Baltimore
Sunpapers way back then in the sixties and I said “do not criticize or worry
about the exterior, it is what is going on in the interior with these marvelous
live shows that matters.”
We were so happy to have this modern building because the Ford Theater was very antiquated. We stood in line to get our tickets in advance because we did not
trust the mail to deliver them adequately. We had season tickets for several
years to all the shows for a Tuesday night upstairs in the first balcony. We
saw many Broadway shows, Celeste Holm in Auntie Mame, Topol in Fiddler On The Roof and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, his wife, in a concert of their lovely duo voices. We saw Jack Benny in a concert at The Lyric which was a concert hall. We felt privileged to see these famous folks then. Of course, the younger people now have never ever probably heard of this group. That is OK, I have never heard of a lot of the actors and singers who are popular now.
I do not go to the movies; I watch them when they are on DVD’s many months later. I understand that many of the actors nominated for the
Oscars are worthy of the nomination; however many times the ones who really
deserve the award are passed over in the nominating process, which can be very
movie political at times. Others who are nominated were not passed over and
sometimes have big names and so they are nominated leaving out some worthwhile not so known ones. The show is made up of presenters who wear lavish and expensive designer dresses. The next day, a panel of watchers responds to the color of the dress, the name of the designer of the dress, what earrings she was or was not wearing and most of all of her hair-do. This seems to be a very important part of the critique of the event. Before, the ceremony starts, they have what is called a red carpet event when an announcer goes about talking to the nominees and their husband or boyfriend just as they are about to go in the
hall. Usually, inane comments are made to the star by the announcer and the
chit-chat is silly.
The show takes about three hours and the winners thank everyone involved in their career starting with their first grade teacher way back when
it all began. This is nice, but it gets to be too boring and too long a show
and they save a few of the better categories to way past a lot of viewers’
bedtimes. Then when the announcements are made, they focus on the losers and
they always have a big, happy smile on their face when they are really angry
that they did not win. It must be difficult to smile when you are feeling down,
but that is life and it is more proper to smile than to look when the camera is
on you, that you are really envious. They can be proud that they were
nominated, that in itself is a designated approval category.
When I competed in ballroom dance, the awards were given after about six events. Then you waited to hear your name called out for Heat
Number 27 and you knew you were in it, the other peoples’ names were not
announced, only the first, second and third place winners. The other names were
listed in the program book, so anyone could see who you won or lost against. I
never got real upset if I did not make the first three places, I wished I had,
but just accomplishing it was to me being a winner. However, it was pretty
grand when I did win and I have fifty-eight medals and trophies to warm me up
on a cold day like today. Winning is excellent and even trying to win is even
more productive and great.
So here is to four hundred articles, I do not win any prizes or trophies or even a medal for doing this. I know in my heart, that I am
excellent at this and even if I cannot actually ballroom dance because I have a
terrible right knee that has at its makeup-Osteoarthritis and a lot of it; I
can still award myself an ‘Elita’ trophy (invisible) for being a seventy-eight
year old senior who is still doing something valuable and appreciated by my
Patch reader fans and my ballroom dancer readers and for that I accept my award
from me to me.
When you get old, it is nice to applaud yourself once in a while for accomplishing, inspiring and encouraging others to go out and do
things too in other fields. Whatever field you try to do, you already are a
winner, because you really did it and also for your spirit to even try.
Emily Dickinson said “when I hoped, I feared. Since I hoped I dared.”
So let us all dare which means venture, gamble, risk and challenge ourselves even at this senior age or not yet senior age, to win our own awards
of our own making and to bestow upon our self the giving of it to our mind and
soul. So as the nominees for the Oscar awards thank everyone in the making of
their career; I thank Robert Jacob Meyer of Catonsville for making me Senior
Page Editor of The Amateur Dancers magazine way back in September 1990, twenty-three
years ago, where I lasted for seventeen years until they closed down; and now
for the last nineteen months, the wonderful , smart and competent, Nayana
Davis, editor of The Patch, for giving me a place, where I write my ballroom
dancing and life articles and I love doing it.
Thank you to both of my mentors for the award and honor of doing this. Also, my outfit is from JC Penney the skirt and L.L.Bean the
shirt/blouse and the bedroom slippers from Kohls.They all are color coordinated
and the jewelry from Littmans Towsontown store. The makeup is from Clinique at
Macys and Nordstroms and the computer I am writing this on is from Best Buys.
The hair-do is from Esther at A La Jacques in Pikesville and the nails I do
myself with polish from Ulta.
There is the whole ‘megillah” (long drawn out reading) for the holiday of Purim which is on Sunday and Monday and I thank everyone for my
Elita award. Go out and get your own award for doing something special and
nominate yourself because you deserve it.