Sunday, April 24, 2016


The last couple of weeks have been filled with much bloggable activity hereabouts but I couldn't stop long enough to blog. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I have taken pen in hand keyboard in lap and will remedy that situation immediately. Today's post will cover a hodgepodge of subjects.

First, though, for those of you who read posts but never look at comments, the snippet of song in my last post (He said, "Delores,....") was from "Slip Slidin' Away" which was written and performed by Paul Simon (of Simon and Garfunkel fame) in 1977. Kudos to both Yorkshire Pudding and Pauline W for knowing the answer.

I got the horse song right here, its name is not Paul Revere.

Now let's get on with the hodgepodge.

1. The college baseball team on which my oldest grandson plays has come to the end of its season with a win-loss record of 30-13, ending on a 14-game winning streak that caught the eye of the NCAA Division III athletic establishment enough to name the team "the breakout team of the year" nationally at one point. Here is my grandson:

No, not the batter. My grandson is the player on the far right in the background, the one with the yellow Oakleys on his cap.

2. The baseball player's brother, the guy who wore the cheetah-print suit to his prom, is looking forward to graduating from high school next month and attending Kennesaw State University in the fall, but he is also attempting to raise enough money to be able to spend five weeks in western Kenya this summer as an intern at a health clinic and school. To date he has raised over 3/4 of the more than $4,000 he must have to make this trip through his waiter's job at Buffalo's Restaurant and also via GoFundMe at Noah's Kenyan Initiative.

3. Noah is not the only family member traveling to Kenya this summer. Another grandson, the one who is about to complete his first year at Duke University, applied for and was accepted to be part of a service project in southern Kenya for eight weeks this summer as well. His expenses are being completely covered by the university. Grandpa cannot keep buttons on his shirts as they keep popping off.

4. My dancer daughter-in-law was named 2016 choreographer of the year for high-school musicals in the state of Georgia at this year's Shuler Awards, which were telecast live statewide Thursday evening by GPTV (Georgia Public Television) from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Marietta. The Shuler Awards are the creation of local-boy-who-made-good Shuler Hensley who won a Tony for Best Supporting Actor on Broadway a few years ago for his portrayal of Jed Fry in Oklahoma!; I believe he also received an Olivier for the same role earlier in London. Anyway, after returning to the area where he grew up he decided to give back to the community by encouraging excellence in musical theater in Georgia high schools and creating this awards program, now in its eighth year. My daughter-in-law has received two Shulers now, having won last year for her choreography of Peter Pan and now again this year for George Gershwin's Crazy For You.

5. My cousin Dr. Philip Caracena, a clinical psychologist who had made his home in Edmond, Oklahoma, for the past few years, died this week at the age of 81. I learned about his death when his son Kurt posted it on facebook. My favorite aunt, Marion Silberman Caracena, was his mother, the older sister of my mother, Ruth Silberman Brague. Philip was born in New York City on February 27, 1935 and graduated from Jenkintown High School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, in 1952. He received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and his master's and doctoral degrees from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. It was in East Lansing that he met Virginia Burquest of Sarasota, Florida, also a psychology major, and they married in the summer of 1958. She called him Phil. After having three children together -- Chris, Kurt, and Elise -- they later divorced. Philip was on the faculty of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for a time, and later had practices in Hammond, Indiana, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. I'm going on at length about him because in many ways he was the last link to my early childhood. He was six when I was born. My mother told me that I first called him Pa-Ba, and after I learned to talk a little better I called him Phibit. He and my aunt traveled from Jenkintown to Texas to visit us in the summers of 1948 and 1950, and my mother and I visited them in Pennsylvania in June 1954. After my high school graduation in 1958, I visited Pennsylvania again, and it was on that trip that I met Virginia, just a couple of months before she and Philip, sorry, Phil were married. After they divorced, Philip married a second wife, Donna, in Colorado and later a third wife, Margot, after he had moved to Oklahoma. I really didn't know him all that well in adulthood and we lost track of one another for many years. A couple of years ago I reconnected with him on facebook and sent him happy birthday messages on his 80th and 81st birthdays, to which he responded. We didn't have much contact over the years, but I am happy that I knew him and I will miss him.

6. My oldest Alabama grandson has had some significant honors this month also. He was selected to play in the French horn section of Alabama's All-State Band and made a four-day visit to the city of Mobile way down in south Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico for the performance on April 16th.

He was also selected along with his very best friend and scholastic rival to represent their high school at Boys State at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa during the first week of June. [Note to self: Buy more buttons.]

7. The French horn player's younger brother is a member of the high school golf team that won first place at the Jefferson County, Alabama, High School Golf Tournament (think Greater Birmingham) this month. [Note to self: Seriously consider investing in a button manufacturing company.]

8. Last, but certainly not least, Mrs. RWP underwent eye surgery recently. An ophthalmologist thought she needed corneal transplants, but a second opinion from the surgeon who removed Mrs. RWP's cataracts several years ago revealed that she did not. However, the surgeon said that she definitely did need some work on her corneas. On April 15th he performed an ablation on her right cornea, and when it has healed he will do the same thing on her left cornea. For the last week or so I have been her Chief Cook and Bottle Washer primary caregiver, mainly putting serum teardrops centrifuged from her own blood into her eye every hour, putting two other kinds of drops (an antibiotic and a steroid) into her eye every four hours, fetching pain medication when necessary, preparing meals (or rather, microwaving frozen meals), and performing various and sundry other tasks related to her comfort and recovery. She slept a lot for the first couple of days, saying that when she was awake it felt like someone had stuck a corncob in her eye. How she knows how that feels, I have no idea and dare not ask.

These have been eight recent events in the life of moi and your forbearance is appreciated. They are not my accomplishments but I bask in their reflected glory.

You never know, there may be a Potpourri Part 2 in which I describe even more events (9 through 16?).

Stay tuned.

The remainder of this post provides a record of Mrs. RWP's recent ordeal adventure experience and is at the same time strangely evocative of -- wait for it -- Liberace's theme song. It's the sort of thing you can't not look at. My apologies to Adrian for the poor quality of the photographs.

As Humphrey Bogart said to Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, "Here's looking at you, kid."


Shooting Parrots said...

I'm sure Noah will enjoy and benefit from his time in Kenya. My nephew spent a month in Nigeria last year, and my daughter had a year as a volunteer at a school in Cape Town. It was good for both of them to see a different side to the world.

Best wishes to Mrs Brague and her recovery. I could have done without the close-ups of the operation though!

Snowbrush said...

“Grandpa cannot keep buttons on his shirts as they keep popping off.”

I don’t know if this condition is from pride or weight gain.

I’m sorry about your cousin, but rejoice in all your good news. Not having close relatives in jail or on meth is always a good thing, but your relatives seem to be doing a good bit better than average.

I’m so glad that the Mrs. got a second opinion. The health young are probably a lot more naive about the skills of doctors than are the chronically ill and the aged.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Microwaving meals does not count as cooking Mr Brague! Surely you can prepare vegetables and stick some fish or meat in the oven. It's not rocket science! I am sorry to hear about Mrs Brague's recent operation and hope that she makes a speedy recovery.

ADRIAN said...

Wish her a speedy recovery and there's nothing wrong with the pictures...orientation looks perfect.

Snowbrush said...

"Surely you can prepare vegetables and stick some fish or meat in the oven."

He's an old dog you know, so I think we can count him as being dead in the water. I did all of our cooking before Peggy retired two years ago, and then she took over everything but the soup making and nearly all of the baking.

All Consuming said...

I do hope Mrs Rhymes recovers well and send the best of wishes I have to both of you.

"He's an old dog you know, so I think we can count him as being dead in the water. " - Hahahahahaha.

Hilltophomesteader said...

You have a very talented family and busy life, RWP! I'm surprised you could fit in time to take care of poor Ellie as she recovers from her eye surgery! No doubt you sprinted to and fro, attending award ceremonies & grand galas in your family members honor while simultaneously balancing eye drops, juice glasses and pain meds in both hands!

No doubt you will need to schedule a lovely vacation get-a-way for you and Ellie just as soon as she feels up to it. Hmm. Maybe a nice trip to England to visit a castle or renting a beach house in Maine to sea bathe.....