The Joy of Life

French Countryside by Funky Tee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The spark that gives us vigor to live in the present moment with a sense of joy is known by the French as Joie de Vivre.

 

Magazine About the Joy of Living

 

Melancholy music suspends us in time, illuminating the hidden cobwebs in our spirit.

One such touching melancholy piece is titled,  Joie de Vivre

The composer is George Davidson, a brilliant musician who grew up off the coast of France on the island of Guernsey. 

He specializes in romantic favorites, French love songs, show tunes, and original compositions.  Please listen and enjoy:

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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 transparency film was showcased at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City.

 

The creators wanted their device to be a postcard alternative.

This is why many of the earliest reels were scenes from tourist sites such as Carlsbad Caverns and The Grand Canyon.

 

View-Master fulfilled a huge contract with the United States Government for military personnel training reels and viewers.

Then the company bought out its biggest competitor, also gaining  licensing rights to Walt Disney Studios. 

 

These two actions bankrolled View-Master into becoming a worldwide phenomenon – and household favorite of all ages.

 

 

 

 

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: Bossa Nova, meaning New Wave.

 

If you think this was only a fly-by-night fancy, think again.

The enduring hit, The Girl from Ipanema, is thought to be the second most recorded pop song ever (after The Beatles’ Yesterday)!

 

In honor of the jazz genre for all generations, here is Ultra-Lounge,

Vol. 14: Bossa Novaville. My top favorite song is Amy’s Theme.

The final track is by Julie London, nurse from the series Emergency!

Let me know in the comments which of the 19 hits you like best.

 

 

 

 

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 carry great 1950s-era elegance by offering tableside service for two including Caesar Salad, Chateaubriand, and Bananas Foster.

 

Regal Dining for Two on Route 66

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 

And see Carter’s Vintage Steam Fair; the world’s largest of its kind:

 

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 

 

 

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 outlive the lightweights.

 

I recall playing with a ’54 Matchbox I-75 S&S Cadillac Ambulance. How I got it is a mystery to me. All I know is it was a smooth ride!

 

Here’s a spellbinding collection for lovers of Matchbox, etc.: