Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Break

Coming over the bridge from the real world to our little retiree island in the sun one can feel an immediate change.  Gone for the most part are troubles and cares, replaced instantaneously with a sense of serenity. 

Our retreat is called Singer Island and named for Mr. Singer of the sewing machine company, not for a singer of songs named Bing Crosby.  Crosby used to vacation here too, but that's another story.

Within Singer Island is a special community named Palm Beach Shores, or “PBS” as we natives call it. It is in truth an island within the island. We have our own police department, fire department and a town hall staffed for the most part by friendly hardworking people. We have a private beach manned by highly qualified guards, ready in a heartbeat to meet whatever challenges fate may usher in. And every year fate ushers in a challenge referred to as “Spring Break.”  Long ago this interlude in school calendars was the Easter vacation.  However in today's politically correct environment of super sensitivity to anything and everything, Easter vacation is gone, and we pass over Passover as well.

Now we have “Spring Break” which as witnessed here in Florida, runs from New Year's day to the following Christmas eve. We have an uninterrupted stream of pasty faced Yankees determined to scorch themselves before they return to their classrooms in the frozen tundra. We, the bronzed ones, smirk at them before we revisit the dermatologist’s office where modern-day Vikings slash and burn us before we return to our cabanas on the beach. Spring Break seems endless. Just as one liberated group of schoolies departs, another arrives. There are of course other holidays during the school year. So if you add them all together your kids are rarely in the classroom. As for college age men and women, well dear old dad and mom are forking out big time dollars for smallish face time with teachers. No wonder we lag behind the rest of the world where school and studying is rightfully viewed as the ticket to success.

The American Way is play, play, play.  Unhappily in a very competitive world, someday we will be paying a heart-stopping bill for this Spring Break fun in the sun.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Faces

Where is Leonard Sillman when we need him?

Mr. Sillman was famous for several things, most especially for introducing new talent to the world of entertainment. Sillman's “New Faces” musical reviews spanned decades and featured such stars-to-be as Henry Fonda, Imogene Coca, the hilarious Paul Lynde and many more. The two biggest words for us these days are New Faces.  Most of us are bored to tears by seeing the same array of personalities in the magazines and on television. And I'm not just talking about Kim Kardashian and her famous-for-being-famous posse of sisters and mother.

As but one example, the tennis season is in full flower right now and here we go again with Mary Carillo, Mary Carillo, and yet more Mary Carillo.  Many of us remember when Mary from Queens teamed with John “The Brat” McEnroe to win the (1977) French Mixed Doubles.  Ancient history you say?  Well yes, this was way before yellow tennis balls flew over the net but that duo did warm the hearts of those who love stories of unknowns capturing a crown. After a while Mary was sidelined from playing on the tennis tour when her knees gave out; she then embarked on a career as a sports commentator. She knows her stuff about the game but familiarity does breed viewer contempt. There is a statute of limitations with viewer's patience in seeing and hearing the same old - same old whether it is from Mary or others.

Think of the Clintons, Good Ol Burger Billy and Hillary Eternal.  Few indeed are those who want to sit through another 100 years of either. And that goes for yet another Bush or two. Buckle up, folks, we are destined to suffer more and more, and more. This is where Leonard Sillman could have rescued us just as the cavalry did in the old shoot-em-ups at the Saturday matinees. Unhappily Leonard rode into the sunset a while back, leaving only his tombstone that reads “Here lies Leonard Sillman: Straightened out at last.”
Too bad for all of us. More than ever, we need New Faces.