A Mother’s Heart

 Shirley Jones by Film Star Vintage is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

A Mother’s Heart:

Shirley Mae Jones

 

She turned down the role of Carol Brady, longing instead to portray a mother like herself:  a working mom with healthy, active children to raise.

She got her wish as Shirley Partridge.

 

Little did she know how the mothering skills she used at home with her own children would expand exponentially: exercised both on and off the film set.

She became not only the coolest Mom in American television history, but also an unforgettable one.

 

She helped guide step-son David Cassidy in handling sudden stardom, gave safe haven to child star Danny Bonaduce, and affectionately claimed child star Suzanne Crough as her own baby girl.

 

She and step-son David Cassidy were unaware of the other auditioning for The Partridge Family until they met on the set. Neither were the directors and casting agents aware of the two being related.

All were happy about it AND the show was a hit.

 

Shaun, Ryan, and Patrick Cassidy, her sons with

Jack Cassidy, have all become successful in the entertainment industry.

She continues to nurture a closely knit bond with each one, and with her thirteen grandchildren.

 

 And, did you know?

 

She sang in her family’s Methodist Church choir from a young age, and also took singing lessons.

 

She won first place as Miss Pittsburgh at age 18, then first runner-up in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant.

 

She was the first and only individual to ever enter into a personal contract with Rodgers and Hammerstein, performing in four of their musicals.

 

Her co-star and early crush, Gordon MacRae, was named as godfather to her firstborn son.

 

She performed an evening of musical works by Gilbert & Sullivan and Rodgers & Hammerstein at The White House in 1957 with husband Jack Cassidy.

 

She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1960 after starring in Elmer Gantry.

 

Original 1960s glossy publicity photograph from

Grapefruit Moon Gallery, published by WorthPoint.com

 

She enjoyed professional and personal relationships with too many greats to mention them all. A few are: Joanne Woodward, Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds, Mary Tyler Moore, Jimmy Stewart, Burt Lancaster, Robert Preston, and Michael Landon.

To conclude this blogpost, honoring living legend Shirley Jones, I share a piece of her lovely music.

She apparently persuaded Gordon MacRae to take the role of Billy Bigelow in the musical, Carousel.

Their ensuing duet from the film is a tender and touching reflection of mutual adoration and respect.

 

 

 

 

Talent at Every Turn

Tony Curtis (Large) by YorkieBoy is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Talent at Every Turn:

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis liked being a movie star enough to act in 130 films. He even liked being married enough to be wedded six times.

Some have even said he paved the way for actors James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Elvis Presley.

 

And while his serious films won acclaim, this feature spotlights a “lighter” one.

 

Tony starred in a 1962 movie with Suzanne Pleshette, set as a remake of Shirley Temple’s, Little Miss Marker, based on the book by Damon Runyon. Filmed partly in Disneyland, it may not have set well with film critics, including this YouTube reviewer.

 

I would venture to say Tony and Suzanne were not particularly obsessed with ratings once the fun started – and continued – in those rare park scenes.

 

Many of us long for a simpler time like this; when enjoying innocent, wholesome fun won the day!

 

 

 

 

The Art of Healing With Color

Henri Matisse – Dishes and Fruit [1901] by Gandalf’s Gallery is licensed

under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

The Art of Healing With Color:

Henri Mattise

The artist was born in Le Cateau-CambrésisFrance. 

He often used Mediterranean themes in his vigorous expression of color, in pursuit of revitalizing and restoring the human mind.

 

What I dream of is an art of balance, purity, and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter… a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue. 
– Henri Matisse

 

 

 

 

 

Disney’s Silver Screen Sweetheart

Hayley Mills by Film Star Vintage is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Disney’s Silver Screen Sweetheart:

Hayley Mills

On May 18, 2020, Disney commemorated its

60th year Pollyanna-versary,

honoring Hayley Mills for the film, Pollyanna.

 

A Chat With Hayley Mills

 

Hayley Mills’ Top Ten

 

Remember Pollyanna in the scene where sunshine shone through crystal prisms? My older sister and I were always enchanted by it:

 

 

 

 

America’s Hands-Down Best

 

A Norman Rockwell moment.

We’ve all had one or two in our lifetime; maybe more.

That surreal feeling of a picture-perfect moment in time.

A moment we know will be indelibly marked in our memory forever.

When we felt the true essence of life’s magic.

 

The story of America’s favorite illustrator:

 

 

 

Cowboy Culture

 

The American Old West was artistically immortalized in ways only possible from the hand and heart of an avid adventurer.

From his early drawings of the western frontier, Frederic Remington was destined for success.

His lineage boasted of legendary mountain men, great artists, and George Washington himself.

No surprise, then, that he went out west alone at age 19 to Montana.

 

The old wild west was never so intriguing to children of all ages as it was in the days of Disney’s famed Davy Crockett

An animated 1950s story portrays the dream of a brave young cowboy who saves the day by proving himself to be a great American hero.

 

 

 

 

The Wideness and Wonder of the World

 

Georgia O’Keeffe called this region of New Mexico, “My Country.”

Her love for its remarkable beauty was indelibly written in her spirit.

 

The Pedernal Society

 

 

 

 

Dutch Lullaby

 

While visiting the Chicago World’s Fair, Jane Peterson was introduced to art school, although she was already a gifted intuitive who could paint anything she saw. Ms. Peterson then pursued the study of painting and blended various styles for a collection now displayed in part in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other fine museums. In Untitled/Sailboat, soothing impressionist strokes and minimal coloring expand a seemingly simple theme into a playful masterpiece of illumined delight, with a touch of cotton-candy-sweet serenity.

 

A wee bit of imagination transforms Jane’s prominent sailboat into the night ship of Wynken, Blynken and Nod. Between the many versions of the book and song, based on the poem by Eugene Field,  children have enjoyed this fantasy of a flying shoe for 130 years.

 

 

 

As a Little Child

 

The nurture of a young child has been described throughout time in art of all types; a natural means of expressing human emotion.

On the painted canvas, it is perhaps most poignantly communicated.

 

American artist Mary Cassatt captured the kind of strong tenderness our little ones need to help them thrive and become generous givers of nurturing love to the next generations.

 

When I saw the Cassatt painting (above), the American illustrator Eloise Margaret Wilkin came immediately to my mind. Her work delighted me in my childhood, and still does today. You may not know her name, but you can spot her signature style in Little Golden Books.

 

 

 

The Impassioned Italiana

 

(Photo credit: Robert Sullivan)

 

“I was growing up, (and) the ugly duckling was turning into a swan. Above all, the desire, the almost physical need to express my emotions, to translate into gestures and words, the feelings I had built up inside, and that I could still not interpret, were growing inside me. I wanted to dive into a wider sea.” -Sophia Loren from her autobiography,

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life

 

Sophia is a living legend who ardently continues to perform her craft for the camera.

Whose early life story proved she is a survivor.

An individual who radiantly turned the tide of personal misfortune to fulfill her dreams.

And famously became the woman most often considered to be the greatest beauty of all time.

 

My favorite Sophia Loren performances are those with her frequent co-star, Marcello Mastroianni.

 

Please be aware this steamy video is rated PG-13.

Sophia and Marcello – Forever!

 

 

 

Copyrighted Song Lyrics

A Mother’s Heart

 Shirley Jones by Film Star Vintage is licensed under CC BY 2.0   A Mother's Heart: Shirley Mae Jones   She turned down the role of Carol Brady, longing instead to portray a mother like herself:  a working mom with healthy, active children to raise. She got...

Reelin’ in the Years

Sawyer model g view-master viewer.jpg by Junkyardsparkle is marked with CC 1.0   Reelin' in the Years: How View-Master Set the World at Our Fingertips A partnership began in 1938. Soon after, the first View-Master model of stereographic images using Kodachrome...

Bossa Nova Beat

Photo by Pearse O'Halloran on Unsplash    Bossa Nova Beat: The Jazz Genre for All Generations What happened when a band mixed jazz & samba into one single  rhythm, down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, back in the 1950s & 1960s? A new musical genre was born:...

Dining in Style on Route 66

  Dining in Style on Route 66: Tableside Service with a Smile 21st-century décor has not altered the quality of a classic vintage menu and service at one ultra-fine dining spot in New Mexico. Named the best steakhouse in the state, Dinner For Two continues to...

Talent at Every Turn

Tony Curtis (Large) by YorkieBoy is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 Talent at Every Turn: Tony Curtis Tony Curtis liked being a movie star enough to act in 130 films. He even liked being married enough to be wedded six times. Some have even said he paved the way for...

Come to the Fair!

Popcorn & Cotton Candy Stand - Windsor Fair, Maine by ChrisGoldNY is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0   Come to the Fair! The Romance of Carnivals and Fairs Step back in time with this selection from Erie County, NY:   https://youtu.be/NuFViPn8aB4?t=198...

The Art of Healing With Color

Henri Matisse - Dishes and Fruit [1901] by Gandalf's Gallery is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0   The Art of Healing With Color: Henri Mattise The artist was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France.  He often used Mediterranean themes in his vigorous expression of color,...

Disney’s Silver Screen Sweetheart

Hayley Mills by Film Star Vintage is licensed under CC BY 2.0   Disney's Silver Screen Sweetheart: Hayley Mills On May 18, 2020, Disney commemorated its 60th year Pollyanna-versary, honoring Hayley Mills for the film, Pollyanna.   A Chat With Hayley Mills  ...

Make Mine Matchbox

Toy car wreath by zieak is licensed under CC by 2.0 Make Mine Matchbox: Collectible Classic Toy Cars There's an unmistakable difference in quality between cast metal and molded plastic toys. And so it goes with miniature cars as well; the sturdier ones out-perform and...

Vibes From Dusk to Dawn

RCAStudioB Vibraphone 1.jpg by Cliff from I now live in Arlington, VA (Outside Washington DC), USA is licensed under CC BY 2.0     Vibes from Dusk to Dawn: Flavors of 1960s Night Club Jazz   Godfrey Hirsch was a vibist. A cool title for a musician, right?! ...

Glimpses of Fairie Gardens

   Porch Swing Chats You can find newsletter archives featured here through April 30.   Glimpses of Fairie Gardens: Scenes of Serenity [video width="1280" height="720"...

No More Singing the Blues

"blueberries" by Greg_e is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0   Porch Swing Chats You can find newsletter archives featured here through April 30.   No More Singing the Blues: A Basket of Blueberries Saves the Day   One good turn deserves another! That's...

Post #100: Let the Good Times Roll

Vintage Rock (Sugar) Maple Solid One-Piece Rolling Pin by GranniesKitchen; licensed under CC BY 2.0   Porch Swing Chats You can find newsletter archives featured here through April 30.   Post #100: Let the Good Times Roll! The Great American Baking Tool...

Motels Make a Comeback

Historic Route 66 Motel sign, Kingman, Arizona. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection.    Porch Swing Chats You can find newsletter archives featured here through April 30.   Motels Make a Comeback: Roadside Inns on...

Oui Oui L’Accordeon

"accordion playing" by Holly is licensed under CC BY 2.0   Porch Swing Chats You can find newsletter archives featured here through April 30.   Oui Oui L'Accordeon: The Musical Streetsounds of Paris   Let's pause for a lilting conversation about the...

Porch Swing Chat: Going Up!

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash   What is a Porch Swing Chat ? A headline for fun finds that are usually only seen in Sunday News. Through April 30, you can catch glimpses of newsletter archives.     Going Up! The Music and Mystery of Old Elevators...

Porch Swing Chat: Teddy Bears Rule

Photo by Oxana Lyashenko on Unsplash   What is a Porch Swing Chat ? A series of samples from our weekly newsletter archives. See what subscribers are reading in their free Sunday News!     Teddy Bears Rule: The Epitome of Stuffed Animal Softness  ...

Porch Swing Chat: The Paris Apartment

  What is a Porch Swing Chat ? It's one in a series of Nostalgia Neverland's newsletter content. Come, savor a taste of warm nostalgic musings and memories.     The Paris Apartment: My Fondness for France on Display   You may have read my mention...