HUNKER IN THE BUNKER

Since this is National Poetry Month and some of you are still in quarantine, I thought I would share again a little verse. This piece originally appeared last year on SERENDIPITY.

A Viral Verse, by Rich Paschall

It’s time to hunker in your Bunker.
But don’t sequester next to Lester.
He might have the virus.
He’s been sitting close to Iris.

And stay away from Bill,
He thinks he’s got a chill.
And you will have a pain
If you’re listening to Jane.

Jim has not been cool,
Had a party at his school.
And just to add a bonus,
He invited his friend Jonas.
They had a lot of folks,
Telling many dirty jokes.
He picked up a quick a kiss
From his handsome buddy Chris.

Some have not been seen,
Must be in the quarantine.
We will say it quick,
We hope they are not sick.
Others are at the store,
And invited several more.
They didn’t hear or care,
They shouldn’t be out there.
May we just repeat,
To keep at least six feet.

Still, there’s some resistance,
About keeping a good distance.
Heed the advice of your physician,
Not some wealthy politician.

 

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS – Rich Paschall

Last year we recalled a 2019 trip since we were unable to travel due to the pandemic. This year may be the same. Even if we can not go again, we will always have our memories. Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to head over to SERENDIPITY for our pictures and a moment of nostalgia.

Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

A Return to France, by Rich Paschall

When you have been to Paris, you will likely hope that you can return someday. It is just a little sprinkle of magic that the city puts upon tourists and part-timers. There are no cities in America with old neighborhoods that somehow retain their special ambiance like the ones in the City of Lights.  I had been to Paris before. Recently we returned again.

Now for a little moment of truth. Since my ultimate destination was Strasbourg, I would have been tempted to go via Frankfurt as I had done the year before. However, my young friends wished to go to Paris. One had been there with me before. For the other, it was a new adventure. How could I say no?

Return to Paris

When traveling there are a number of sites you can use to book your airline tickets. It is…

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LATE LUNCH

With baseball season upon us, I recall the story of old friends and late lunch. Be sure to click “View original post” at the bottom to follow over to SERENDIPITY for the rest of the story.

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The Old Ball Team, by Rich Paschall


When they started the monthly get-together it was almost 15 years earlier.  There were a dozen of them then, and two of the “boys” had already retired.  They had all known each other since childhood and were within a few years of one another in age.  They went to the same park as kids and most played on the same teams.

They had decided years ago to meet once a month for dinner, so they could be sure to see one another regularly.  Over the years dinner changed to lunch, as some of them did not want to drive or be out after dark.  The sessions remained as lively as ever.  It seemed none lost their boyhood personalities.

With the passage of time, the group had dwindled in size.  While the first ten years saw no loss of participation, recent years were not kind to…

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SPRING HAS SPRUNG – RICH PASCHALL

Since Spring has arrived, we knew you needed a little Sunshine music. Here are ten songs to get you going. Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to head over to SERENDIPITY for our countdown.

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Let The Sunshine In, Rich Paschall

Now that Spring has officially arrived, we are thinking more about enjoying the sun.  You may have told someone that “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” or that you wanted to share the “Sunshine Of Your Love,” but you may be looking at this differently than we are.  Of course, “There Ain’t No Sunshine When You’re Gone,” but “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying.”

If it remains cloudy where you are, don’t believe “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.” Just keep telling yourself, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and you will soon have your “Seasons In The Sun.”  Just be sure to stay away from the “House Of The Rising Sun” and you will be fine.

So let me be your “Sunshine Superman” and offer my top 10 Sunshine Songs to brighten up the beginning of Spring:

10. You…

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IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR – RICH PASCHALL

Soon you will be ready to go out walking after midnight, and we have the music just for you. Be sure to click “View original post” at the bottom to move over to SERENDIPITY for all our musical midnight moments.

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She Wants More, More, More, by Rich Paschall


Perhaps that’s the Rebel Yell you hear in the midnight hour when the music picks up and the time to dance is at hand.  I had been wondering what to suggest as my top Midnight songs but the Midnight Memories kicked in and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.  I observed that Midnight’s Another Day and the Top 10 list was revealed.  While you may think of many Midnight songs in The Shadows, I will be your Midnight Cowboy and give you my Top 10.

I go out walkin’ after midnight
Out in the moonlight
Just like we used to do

10. I’m A Midnight Mover, Bobby Womack.  Whether you hear the Womack version or Wilson Pickett’s growl-infused version, you will think they are channeling James Brown.  Both recorded the song and it is a rhythm and blues special either way…

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YOU, A LIBERATION LYRIC

I thought I would share my favorite lyric from the musical Liberation. Right now on SERENDIPITY, we have the story of  Liberation – A Musical That Almost Was and the book’s co-author, Betty.  I mentioned that Betty’s favorite song was called “I Believe” and I posted that lyric here on Sunday Night Blog.

Rich and Betty at Pajama Game rehearsal

My favorite song was the only one not expressly written for the show.  It was written in the time period of the original script and only 20 years later did we decide that a secondary character needed a song.  He represented the only love interest in the show, but we were concerned about being able to write a new song in the style of the original show.  One day I played a recording for Betty without comment hoping she would say what I wanted to hear, “Ray’s song!”  And so it is.

Perhaps I love it so much because the music seemed to match up perfectly with the words.  That is good since I rarely would comment to Michael (the composer) about the type of music he should write for any set of lyrics. The Soundcloud recording below is the one made by Michael after we agreed to put this song in the show. It includes the one word changed from the original recording, although I am still not convinced we needed to change. Can you guess the word below that was put in only for the show, and what it might have replaced? Hint: It’s an end-of-line word.

You

What are the words to convey the meaning?
How can I express this feeling in me?
How to say thanks, for all that you’ve done —
You’ve opened my world infinitely.

You are the light that shines on my journey.
You are the smile that inspires my day.
You are the power that makes me keep moving.
You are the wisdom that shows me the way.

For me to share in the dreams of your world,
For you to share in the building of mine –
This is a gift for which I am grateful.
This I’ll remember throughout my lifetime.

You are the laughter that sings in my heaven.
You are the tears that come now and then.
You are the reason for me to keep trying.

Thank you so much,
Thank you so much,
Thank you so much
For being my friend.

The story of Liberation – A Musical That Almost Was, can be found HERE.

GONNA BUILD A MOUNTAIN – RICH PASCHALL

This well-known show tune was recorded by many. Here are a few. Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to head over SERENDIPITY to hear versions from two stars of Stop the World, I Wanna Get Off.

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From A Little Hill, by Rich Paschall

Gonna build me a mountain
‘Least I hope I will.

Anthony Newley

One of the best-known songs from Act One of “Stop The World – I Want To Get Off” is Gonna Build a Mountain. Both Anthony Newley, the composer, and Sammy Davis Jr. starred in the show. They also both had success with the song by itself. Each has it in the cast album, of course, but also on their own individual albums.  So who sang it best?  You be the judge.

Gonna build a mountain
Gonna build it high

I don’t know how I’m gonna do it
I only know I’m gonna try (yeah yeah)

For an extended version, see Sammy Davis Jr. perform in a production of Stop The World here. As there is no performance video of Newley in the show, it seemed best to give…

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SENDING A LETTER HOME

This week on SERENDIPITY we talk about taking a look backward at your younger self. What advice would you give? Here is my look backward as crazy and uncomfortable as it may be. 

Letter to my younger self: Taking a tough look back

Dear Rich (at 14),

I know you are going through a tough time right now and you have learned to clam up about it.  You don’t know who to tell or even who to trust so you build walls of defense around your personal life.  These walls will not serve you well over time, I am sorry to tell you.  I can say it is good you did not run away, although you probably did not have the courage to do that anyway.  Your parents are going through an ugly time.  When they sold the house and got an apartment, you and your brother both knew it was a mistake.  The worst part about it is they made that mistake, they thought, for you.  It was to see you through grade school, but it should have ended when it was over.

At 14

The good thing about the apartment was the large bedroom and large walk-in closet.  It was an actual closet you could go hide in when necessary.  Too bad you only lived there for a year.  In this time you will take refuge frequently at a Boys Club where you have been a member and played sports, even though you were not real good at sports.  You are further away from the club now so school, a few friends, and the Club will keep you away from home most of the time.

Soon you will learn that the first person interested in you sexually is another boy.  He is a year behind you in school, but not very much younger in reality.  He seemed quite experienced next to your naiveté.  The brief friendship will weigh heavily on your Catholic, guilt-ridden conscience.  You will come to terms with this, although it will take you years to do so.  Many years later you will learn from your mother that this boy married (a girl) and still lives in the old neighborhood.  You will have moved to another area and stayed put for years.  I write to you from there and I can tell you that we found employment at the Club for a while and spent many years playing in that same park you found as a kid.  These will be good memories.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

While you attend high school proms and college dances with girlfriends, you will discover there are other boys who find you “cute.”  You never thought of yourself as cute or handsome so these attentions may seem a bit confusing.  When you get hit on by the younger brother of a close friend, you fear that the world will soon know all about it.  Don’t worry, no one knows.  At least, I think no one knows.  Other boys travel through your life, but none stay.  I think that is largely due to your stubborn attitude about most things.  I guess it is less so from where I am at now.

You will come to believe, perhaps rightly so, that your various groups of friends, and various lifestyles, will not mix well so you make sure they don’t mix at all.  This is a talent you picked up when you were very young.  Within these several groups, people only see one side of you and may believe that is all there is.  It is a defense mechanism on your part and I must tell you that in the long run, it is not beneficial.  You are solidly convinced right now that you are doing the right thing, but people will leave your life not knowing who you really are.  That will make you sad.  It is a hard time to be open, but I am convinced your friends will stand beside you, even as they do now.  Would you be surprised to learn that your closest friends after college and for many more years to come are mostly from your high school days, both from your class and a few that followed?  When you finally let them get to know you, they remain your close friends.  You will also make new and younger friends right about now.  They will be great friendships, perhaps because they really know you.  Well, I guess I am not certain about that, however.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I would like to warn you that after high school and college you will make a lot of stupid mistakes.  You will invest time in meaningless friendships and all for the wrong reasons.  Dare I tell you of the beating you will take for who you are and the scars it will leave on your face and your spirit?  You were not going to have your class portrait taken for graduating from NEIU because it was soon after, but they convince you to come.  Your face will be bruised and battered from what they would now call a hate crime.  The photographer tells you that you can reject all the pictures and you are convinced you will.  I am glad to tell you they come out OK.  We would call it photoshopping now but you will know that they did a great job of airbrushing the pictures.  I still don’t know exactly what that process is but it worked well.  I do not think my words of caution will do much good since I know you so well.  Would you steer a better course if I showed you the way?  I fear not, since you remain stubborn.

Despite the mistakes and the downtimes that will follow, I need to tell you this one very important thing.  It gets better.  Those three words will almost be a cliché by the time you get to where I am now, but it is true.  You will find many around you who will say the same.  It is the only thing I can tell you that matters.  I can not alter your course, but I swear to you that it gets better.  Please believe me.

Your future friend,

Rich

See Also: “A Glance Backward,” Serendipity, teepee12.com Sunday, February 21, 2021.

THE DISHONEST JURY – RICH PASCHALL

Exactly one year ago, I posted this article. Does it sound familiar? It concerns juries and justice but also refers to the first impeachment trial. The second proceeded in much the same manner. Now you have to ask yourself, “Where is the outrage?” Be sure to click on “View original post” to head over to SERENDIPITY for the rest of the story.

Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Shock and Dismay, by Rich Paschall 

Imagine, if you will, that you have been summoned for jury duty. You know as a good citizen that it is an honor to serve the justice system. It is an important part of your life as a law-abiding citizen of the country.  You show up on time and ready to be an impartial juror. After you are seated on the jury, you learn to your shock and utter disgust that another member of the jury has already made up his mind. Worse than that, he is engaged in convincing other members of the jury to vote for acquittal. The trial has not yet started.

As you are preparing for the trial you learn that this ring leader of injustice has also been coordinating efforts with the defendant! He is working to keep the trial short by not allowing witnesses on either side. For…

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STOP THE WORLD – RICH PASCHALL

Sometimes you just want to Stop The World. Last year might have been a good time. The Broadway show of that title gave us some great performances. Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to head over to SERENDIPITY for one of the songs by several performers.

Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

I Want To Get Off, Rich Paschall

Stop The World – I Want To Get Off

Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley scored big with their 1961 musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off . They opened “out of town” in Manchester but quickly moved to London’s West End where the show was a hit. Newley directed and starred in the show. In October of 1962 the production moved to Broadway for a long run. Again Newley starred as Littlechap, with the play moving through the years of the main character’s life. When things were not going his way, Littlechap would shout “Stop the world.” He was a selfish being, who sought success for himself and cared little for others. Does Littlechap ever learn learn his lessons of life and love as you follow him from birth on to the end? (Spoiler alert: If you watch the Davis…

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