Although I have never met him in person, I was in love with John F. Kennedy, Jr. Even though he’d sat for the bar five times and failed, and he spoke with a lisp, I decided we all had flaws and I loved him anyway.
When he dated Darryl Hannah, I overlooked it. He was just sowing his wild oats. When he married his wife, Carolyn, I put it down as a phase he was going through and forgave him for that, too. He was still the sexiest man alive.
The morning of his death, I sat up in bed to find my husband standing at the foot of the bed watching a news coverage. I rubbed my eyes and asked, “What’s going on?”
“John F. Kennedy, Jr died in a plane crash last night,” he explained.
“What? Damn and I was going marry him, too. He just didn’t know it, yet!” Thinking nothing of it I stretched out and went back to sleep.
Later that afternoon when I woke up (I had worked the graveyard shift the night before); I noticed I was receiving the “silent treatment.” At first, I tried to figure out what I had done to warrant the treatment, as I had been asleep all morning. Finally, I just asked.
My husband answered, “Your comment about JFK, Jr. this morning.”
“Oh hell! You’re upset about that?” I asked incredulously. “Well it’s a good thing I didn’t tell you about the honeymoon: you’d never speak to me again!”
He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day.
On July 20, 1969, as commander of the Apollo II Lunar Module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were televised to earth and heard by millions. But, just before he re-entered the Lander, he made the enigmatic remark, “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”
Many people at the NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or the American space programs.
Over the years, many people questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky” statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.
On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question about Mr. Gorsky to Armstrong. This time he finally responded because his Mr. Gorsky had just died, so Neil Armstrong felt he could now answer the question. Here is the answer to “Who was Mr. Gorsky”:
In 1938, when he was still a kid in a small mid-western town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbor’s yard by their bedroom window. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky.
As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Sex! You want sex! You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”
It broke the place up.
Neil Armstrong’s family
confirmed that this is a true story.
You may remember the movie Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The mutant midget prostitute was played by Karen Bouchette, a Georgetonian for greater than twenty years. My husband and I have known the Bouchette family for quite some time. Karen’s sister-in-law and I used to be very close friends at one time, as were our husbands.
A few years before Total Recall came out we ran into Karen at Walmart. My four year old daughter, Amber, was in total awe of her. I naturally assumed it was because Karen is a little person and Amber had never met anyone like her.
Amber kept staring at Karen with her mouth hanging open. Karen, noticing the look of reverence, spoke to her. Amber shied away at first, unsure of this new person. I didn’t want Karen to feel uncomfortable with the gaping stares so I explained, “I’m sorry Karen, she’s never met a little person before.”
“It’s okay. I understand,” Karen replied with a smile. “It happens quite a lot. It comes with the territory.”
With a sudden burst of braveness, my daughter says, “Are you a dorf? Do you know Snow White?”
Karen and I finally got it and we both laughed. “No, I never met Snow White,” Karen admitted, “but I’d like to.”
When my son was around six, he saw (from a distance) Marvin, Karen’s husband at the time. When he saw his father talking to him, he wanted to go play with him. We had to explain that Marvin was a grown man, a concept my son did not believe. I’m sure he would have played with my son though they’re both lovely people.
I’ve always been impressed with the way Karen handled my daughter’s curiosity. She understood Amber wasn’t being rude or ill mannered; she was only curious which is a child’s best source of stimulation of the imagination.
When my son was younger, he received, as a gift, the book Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. He showed no interest in it at all. His teachers at school tried to encourage him to read the Harry Potter series especially after receiving the second book, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. I suppose if I had shown interest in them, he might have had more encouragement and reason to read them.
Twice a month, my friend Glenda and I would take our sons to the movies to see whatever kid’s movie was out. When The Sorcerer’s Stone came out in theaters, it was her turn to take them. I was so relieved it fell on her turn. I knew it was a Sci-Fi, Fantasy film and I really did not wish to go.
However, Glenda called me the day before they were supposed to go to the movies, “Tyler is sick so, I don’t think we’re going this time. You and Reese go ahead and I’ll catch the next movie with the boys.”
I grumbled but I wasn’t going to disappoint my son for “movie day.” We ended up going alone. I was very surprised after the movie. I loved it! I fell so in love with Harry Potter, I went home and read The Sorcerer’s Stone that same night.
Since my first movie, I have collected all of the books, all of the movies, and all of the video games. All of which I have read, played, or watched at least three times each. When I had started home schooling Reese part of his reading lessons was reading both books. He really enjoyed them. For a child who hated to read, he was looking forward to his reading assignments.
It used to drive me nuts when ignorant people would say the dumbest things like, “I read where someone was a witch in real life and these are real spells! Harry Potter is based on real witchcraft!” I could not believe some of my own family members soaked up the controversy and propaganda surrounding Harry Potter and tried to pass it off as fact. I was stunned, I could only squint my eyes at them while thinking to myself that it was amazing we were of the same bloodline. They probably would have lost their minds if they had seen me chase my son around the house with my magic wand (a plastic mixing spoon) yelling, “I’m going to turn you into a toad!”
Reese would roll his eyes at me and say, “Harry doesn’t turn people into toads, Mom. He’s a good wizard, remember?”
“Yeah, well, I’m Draco Malfoy then!”
When The Chamber of Secrets came to the theaters, I used that as a field trip day. My young son loved to sit in the first row of the cinema which was difficult for me. As an adult, I would have to crane my neck backwards to see the screen adequately enough. So, upon entering the theater, I asked him, “Do we have to sit in the front row?”
The 20-something moviegoers already sitting in the theater answered in unison, “Yes Mom!”
I turned to the crowd and said, “Oh hush you devil worshipers!” My son rolled his eyes at me again and went to sit in the front row.
We went on to read Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. At the showing of those two movies, we collected several of my son’s friends and took the whole brood to the movies to see them. We all had a blast!
Months before the 900-page book, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix came out, the home school association (religiously based) chastised me for letting him read such material. Even when I said something about the two of us reading the Bible as a Bible School course, they balked. She wanted me to have him read more classical stories like Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, to name a few.
However, I cut her off at the get-go, “Listen, if my son, who hates to read, wants to read a 900-page book and is excited about it, he’s reading the book!”
We did read The Catcher in the Rye, some poetry, short stories and such but we also continued reading the Harry Potter series. Although we started The Order of the Phoenixlate, we did finished in record time near the end of his school year. True to form, when the movie came out, we gathered his friends together and went to see that movie as well.
We already had Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince and I was preparing to start off his next school year with that one. He couldn’t wait though and we started reading it early. I was on vacation in Ohio when Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows came out.
My husband, Reese, had pre-paid for it as an anniversary gift. We only had to wait for the release which happened, as I said, while we were out of town. I called my daughter, Amber, and asked her to get the pre-paid ticket off my desk and run by the bookstore and pick it up. “Please make sure it’s there when we get home.”
I called every day to ask if she had picked it up yet. “Not yet,” she said for three days in a row.
I told her on one phone call, “You better make sure it’s there, I will put you in an orphanage when I get home if it’s not! I love you, but I love Harry Potter more,” I sternly said into the phone.
“Mom, I’m 22 and I don’t live at home anymore. You can’t put me in an orphanage,” she responding laughing at me.
“I’ll take my magic wand (the plastic mixing spoon) and turn you into a 12 year old,” I threatened. I could hear her rolling her eyes at me and said, “Don’t you roll your eyes at me, honey, I’ll roll them to the back of your head!”
When she finally did decide to pick up The Deathly Hallows for me, she couldn’t find the ticket anywhere. I had my husband search the car for it thinking that maybe we had put it in the glove compartment or something since I’m so forgetful. He does that from time to time when he thinks I will forget to take things with us. It wasn’t there.
I called Amber back and insisted, “It’s there! Daddy looked for it in the car; it is not with us. I want that book and I don’t care if you have to stand in line at Books-A-Million at the stroke of midnight to get it either!”
“I’ll get it, don’t worry,” she promised.
On the way home, we found the ticket - it was in the console. I felt bad because I had threatened to turn my daughter into a 12 year old prepubescent child again. When we got home, I found a copy on my desk. Amber had gone and bought it for me so I would have it when we got home. She claims she did it because she loves me, but I secretly think it was because she’s afraid of my magic wand.
I love Mike Tyson. He’s one of my favorite personalities. I love the inspirational stories that surround him and despise the negative propaganda that seems to follow him. I vaguely remember his first fight and I cannot tell you when his name even surfaced as a celebrity status. What I do remember though is when I first actually took notice of him. He was married to an actress from the sit-com, Head of the Class.
I knew he was a boxer, heavyweight division. I used to say, “Tyson might be the champ now but he’ll never be Mohammad Ali.” I was right. He will not ever be Mohammad Ali; he’ll always be Mike Tyson. I could tell how he handled his marriage, and later his divorce, that The Champ was a force to be reckoned with.
When it hit the media he had married the actress, I just shook my head. I hate to sound mean, but through his speech and dialect, I felt she had married him as a publicity stunt and predicted it would backfire on her once she finished riding his coat tails. She seemed too uppity for Mike and often presented herself as though she were too good for the likes of a Brooklyn thug, even if he were the world’s heavyweight champion.
When she claimed he physically abused her and punched her in the face, the media ate it up. I screamed at the TV, “She’s a liar!”
“How do you know he didn’t physically abuse her?” Reese, my husband, asked laughing at my up close and personal confrontation with the TV.
“He’s called ‘Iron-Mike’ for a reason,” I answered with a smirk. “I’m sure it’s not because he has lead in his feet. I’m betting his fists are like iron!”
“Yeah, but how do you know?” He pressed teasingly.
“She doesn’t have any broken bones, not her nose, her cheeks, her teeth are still intact. No way you will ever, in this lifetime, convince me, that man punched that scrawny, toothpick of a woman in the face!” I was livid.
Afterwards whenever the media showed pictures of Mike, he had a kind of sadness in his eyes. Not loneliness, but sadness. It was as if he knew he’d been used, abused, and put back on the shelf with a black eye. Slowly, the media lost interest in Mike and I thought that best. I hated seeing that sadness within him.
He came back with a vengeance though showing the world he’d only gone away to lick his wounds; she didn’t break him. There was a new fire in his eye and a viciousness about his bite (no pun intended Evander). I was online and in a chatroom called “Physicians Online” the night his fight with Holyfield took place. Some of the room members were watching the fight and giving play-by-play accounts. When Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, I was cracking up. When he did it a second time, I was still laughing but, at the same time, I felt that maybe Mike hadn’t hashed out his inner demons yet?
Several men had typed into the lobby chat, “You see what a man will do when a woman lies on him? He goes on the attack.”
I respected and appreciated the fact he had these personal struggles going on and yet, he kept plunging through with those iron fists of his. Tyson didn’t seem to be jumping his proverbial hurdles as much as he seemed to be punching them down as he went along.
The one that angered me the most was that beauty pageant contestant, the one who accused him of rape. I was so mad; I could have punched the TV. Again, my husband, enjoying my confrontation with the lying reporter on the screen says, “How do you know she’s lying and Tyson isn’t just using his celebrity status to hide behind?”
“Then she’s stupid!” I yelled. “He called her at two in the morning and asked her to come back. For what, late night poker? They had oral sex. You’d think at some point if she didn’t want to participate she could have bit him or clocked him over the head with the telephone!”
I was even more angry when they found him guilty. I can only surmise after the OJ Simpson fiasco, the courts wanted to show the world they will convict a high profile celebrity after all. I honestly felt like Mike was used to set a precedence; an example so to speak because truly, I feel deep in my soul Mike Tyson was as innocent of raping that girl as I am. I will not ever be convinced otherwise.
I was even more convinced of my convictions after watching Undisputed Truth, which was nominated as an NAACP Award. It should have won hands down, if you ask me.
As I said, I love Mike Tyson and I am a huge fan because of the inner strength this man has shown. He’s a true boxer from the inside out and I really feel the justice system used him as an example; just as they did with Rick James. But, that’s another story.