Updated: 02/18/2014 9:28 AM KSTP.com By: Barry ZeVan
This past few days, and current ones, have been hardly uplifting for a lot of us. Just some thoughts:
ROGER EBERT: I only knew him casually during many interview junkets we shared in New York, Chicago and L.A. for over ten years. He was always very warm and cordial to me, an unaffected class-act in every way.
His courage following his terrible health issues was remarkable, as we all know. I watched part of a tribute to him on CHARLIE ROSE this afternoon. Charlie quoted Roger as saying, after he knew he'd never be the same again physically, that (paraphrasing) if we can help make people happy and make oursleves happy, too, because of it, that's one of the stronger meanings of life. Amen and thanks to Roger and the late Gene Siskel for those memorable reviews from two very real people.
(Sidebar: At the Chicago press premiere of Mel Brooks' LIFE STINKS, I was sitting directly behind Gene for the screening. LIFE STINKS was probably Mel brooks' worst film, in my opinion. Toward the end of the film, Gene said to the person sitting next to him ((softly, but within my earshot)), "I don't know what I'm going to say to him about this. I can't insult him ((Brooks)), but I have to tell him the truth". Gene was also first-class. The end of another era these past couple days.)
ANNETTE FUNICELLO: I never met her, but had an acquaintance who was one of her colleagues on THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. He was (and is still alive) dancer-actor Bobby Burgess, who later danced with Barbara Boylan on THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW. Bobby was/is also a class act, and we shared some fun personal days during one of Welk's tours in Idaho in the mid-1960s. Regarding Annette, what we saw her go through for so many torturous years was exemplary for any of us who think we have problems. Regardless of the resources allowing her to afford the best healthcare and treatment, she nonetheless refused to give up on life until life unfortunately gave up on her. Brava, Annette.
NORTH KOREA: Fingers crossed.
THIS NON-SPRING: I can't recall ever seeing and hearing the level of exasperation and frustration from almost everyone regarding this winter-like weather that seems to refuse to give up. Especially fun hearing it from the television weathercasters and anchors. Their frustrations have at least evoked some genuinely fun banter between the anchors and weather people, but other than that, there's nothing about which to smile regarding this so-called spring. (Moisture for farmers, great. For the remainder of us, yuck.)
Thanks for taking the time to read these geezer blogs. I'm taking a couple more weeks hiatus from my SENIOR MOMENT webcasts at KSTP.COM as I had skin cancer surgery on my forehead, and to subject viewers to my imitation of Scarface at this point would be distracting, thus I should be back on camera in early May.
Thanks to kstp.com for their understanding during this time, too. (In all seriousness, the Dr. who performed the surgery replicated some incisions he had made in earlier years, i.e., hardly noticeable after a few weeks.)
Barry ZeVan is a columnist for KSTP.com.