Start out by reading Sarah's blog, an insightful interview w/dancer Julie Worden over a dry martini. Or wet. I dunno the difference since I'm a teetotaler. As a joke, which very few people think is funny, I sometimes go to a restaurant and the waiter will ask me if I wanna drink.
"I'm a recovering alcoholic," I say.
One time I got really carried away and said, "I'm on parole and it would be a parole violation"
Is it any wonder I don't have any friends?
It was a magnificent day for a funeral this morning, the first Catholic funeral I've ever been to. Dan asked me if I read any poetry there. I laffed. His wife was raised Catholic and when I stopped over today I asked them what religion they'll raise their kids.
Nicole said she'll expose them to all different religions and they can choose what they wish. Lotsa mom-in-laws shy away from asking critical questions such as this one but I have a GREAT relationship with my son and his wife. We talk about everything.
They buried Nick Fanelli, 85, with the great pomp and circumstance inherent in the Catholic ritual. All the senses are covered which I will review below:
Sight - The chapel of Queen of Peace in North Hills, PA, gives a feeling of spaciousness and openness, like heaven itself. I loved the stained glass of famous saints such as St. Martin de Porres. The altar or bema as we say in the Jewish language was a lovely golden color which resonated thruout the stage.
Christ hung from the cross but it wasn't as gruesome as it usually is. Way above the crucifixion scene was a long golden zigzag which reminded me of the poor man's crown of thorns. (My favorite Christ movie was made by Martin Scorsese and stars Willem Defoe in The Last Temptation of Christ. In my humble opinion, it was futile to tempt the man. If anyone was ever born knowing without being told what he needed to do it was certainly him.)
Sound - What magical sounds filled the vast auditorium, which seats 1020 according to the permit in the lobby. I was wandering around before the service started. That priest could sing! Wonderful voice w/vibrato almost as good as Sarah Vaughn's. A surprising clinking-tingling sound of chimes punctuated various activities in the super-long (yawn) service.
Tactile - We were asked at the end of the service to commune with our nearby neighbors and touch them! Everyone extended their hand or their lips or their arms. Very moving. Peace be with you they said so I just copied them.
Smell - Again at the end of the service a smell of incense permeated the chapel. I was the only one who sneezed. I couldn't find my hankie so I used a piece of gauze I asked Vladimir, my echocardiogram technician, if I could have to blow my nose. Kleenex makes me sneeze which is why I only use hankies or gauze or Dunkin Donut napkins.
After the ball we waltzed on over to North Hills Country Club for lunch. I guess that's what people do now-a-days. One time when I was younger and a minor thrill-seeker, I asked a caddy at this country club if he could give me a ride in his golf cart. We proceeded to drive all over the smooth green course, covered today in smooth white snow.
Nick Fanelli was a man who could not sit still. He was always doing something. Some people like to relax. Anathema to Fanelli who pulled bicycles from neighbor's trash, fixed them and gave them away. He was a friend to everyone who came his way. Even me! I still remember crunching into the delicate pizelles he baked on a regular basis.
He was the father of world-class athletes. He took up running at age 40 and cycling at age 66. Physically fit, he worked at the old Budd Company in Hunting Park. At the country club I sat with 2 of his Budd buddies. They lamented its demise, one man in particular, 83 yrs old, talked about the inexcusable disgrace of allowing this great manufacturing plant which manufactured parts for Ford Motor Company, then for buses and railroad trains including our own SEPTA, to lose all its contracts for American companies and be replaced by products from foreign countries.
The Rise and Fall of the Budd Company is most certainly emblematic of the Rise and Fall of America, a great nation at the end of WW2, but alas no more. Our problems are cemented by the disgraceful impasses in the Congress, House and Senate both, and the horrific tilting-right decision of the Supreme Court to count corporations and unions as equal to one American citizen.
But, hey, let's party, as the ship is going down.