Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

A Mother’s Dedication

12 May

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I’m sure dedicating your first novel to your Mother is probably not that unusual. My debut novel, LOOKING FOR GARBO (Amphorae Publishing Group) is no different. The fact my Mom will have been gone 35 years ago this June is maybe less common, I hope. I finally had the chance to begin scanning family photos that have been passed down to me. My favorites are of my Mom and Dad when they were first engaged, then married and on their honeymoon. What a stylish shirt my Mom had on in this shot. I think she’s either 23 or 24 years old here and I love her short haircut.

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What a beautiful young couple my Mom and Dad are here. They are obviously in love. Dad is looking sharp in tie and suspenders, and Mom is effortlessly elegant in what I can only assume is a black dress. As the story goes, they met as teenagers at a party, then didn’t see each other again until their paths crossed years later on a New York City street corner. I always liked that story of serendipity – destined to find each other again.

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Mom and Dad look even younger here, sitting in front of Mom’s parents, Howard and Alva, and my Dad’s Mom, a widower since my Dad was a young boy. It’s a great Christmas holiday portrait, and I smile every time I look at the young couple, all full of promise and at the very start of their journey together. I’m so glad this photo survived.

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A truly great candid of my parents. I often wonder who took the picture. It seems to me to have been a good friend of theirs. Mom’s easy, relaxed smile and Dad’s boyish grin make me think they were having a night on the town with another couple. It’s also nice to pick out the details of the cars and the wrought iron city street lamp behind them.

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Mom and Dad’s wedding reception: That’s my Uncle John on the left watching his brother and brand new sister-in-law cut the cake. I particularly like Mom’s grey (or is blue?) suit. It was a tiny affair but by the look on my Dad’s face – he’s as happy as can be married to his love. I love the bowtie Uncle John is sporting, and the table dressing is classic.

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Here’s another shot of Mom and Dad entering (or leaving) the service where they were married. They look like a sophisticated, up and coming couple to me here. I love the veil Mom is wearing and the somewhat fuzzy-focused motion to them. It’s a great candid and so interesting to see the difference a black & white shot can make, compared to the technicolor of the one above.

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Here they are on their honeymoon. They look like kids again, especially Mom in her shorts, white socks and red shoes. This was after a sport fishing trip in which Dad caught a marlin that he had stuffed and hung on the wall above our living room couch for years. It’s a great, casual shot of them in the prime of their lives. I also love the sign telling you where they are.

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This is one of my all-time favorite shots of my parents. They always had great fashion sense, and I remember my Mom in this dress, going out for a night on the town while us kids stayed home and watched Star Trek reruns. We lived on Mayflower Court, which had a cul-de-sac and all the neighbor’s parents got together a couple times a year and gallivanted from house to house eating and drinking. The social group was called the Good Timers, and I can remember all the great food Mom prepared for the event.

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This last one is of Mom before she got sick. Mom, my older brother Tom and I are touring something akin to Colonial Williamsburgh, though I can’t remember exactly now. Mom was fiercely intelligent (having skipped several grades) and was a voracious reader. But I’ll remember her laugh and sense of humor the most. I’ll also never forget the fact that she wanted the best for all her four boys (easier than having daughters, she’d say) and wanted us to pursue our dreams no matter how impossible they might seem.

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One of my dreams just came true this past Tuesday, when my debut novel was published. I finally got to publicly thank my Mom for all the love and support she gave me during her short life. I think she would have liked the story, too. The one she inspired a long time ago.

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Maria Bello: A Mother’s Day Tribute

12 May

I love this shot of Maria Bello. She is one of those actresses that is so talented and can play any role in any era. Brassy, Sexy and smart, Maria is a movie star who passes The Garbo Test: A woman whose sheer presence on film is all that is required of her to be compelling. Of course, it helps that she’s got acting chops out the wazoo, too.

Not all actresses can play period. And while Maria’s roles are mostly set in a contemporary world, I’d love to see her do something set back in the 20’s and 30’s. She’s be a great flapper, hanging out at a speakeasy laughing it up and flirting with her fellow imbibers. My favorite film role of hers was in The Cooler (2003) with William H. Macy. Maria played Natalie, a struggling cocktail waitress who is Lady Luck in disguise. Natalie was an amazing role and Maria made her so compelling that I was actually frightened for her when their boss Shelly (Alec Baldwin) beats her up. Maybe Alec had something to do with that, too. But Maria definitely stole the show.

My other favorite Maria Bello movie was A History Of Violence (2005) with Viggo Mortensen. Maria plays Edie and becomes embroiled in her husband’s lies to conceal a very dangerous and dark past that now threatens her family’s security. Maria’s acting in this film is particularly compelling because she’s playing a character who awakens to the fact that, on some level, her husband’s violent past arouses her on a sexual level. Few actresses I have ever seen have been able to convincingly portray such a conflicted duality. Maria was also sexy as all get out in this movie. A raw physicality that is a trademark of her acting style.

Maria Bello is a class-act as a real person, too. She is very active in children’s causes and has said that motherhood has both made her a better person. She loves her child more than anything in the world and been quoted as saying she would kill anyone that tried to hurt him. I have no doubt that Maria was serious and would do just that if push came to shove…or kick or punch or throw off a cliff. That’s why I wish Maria Bello and all the other mothers out there a very Happy Mothers Day. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t mess with a mother. It’s so much nicer to take her out for brunch and buy her flowers and chocolates. Then she’ll love you forever.