Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ella and me

I am so sorry for my delayed post! No. 1, I had problems with my Internet hookup and couldn't get on my site. How insulting, not to be able to get on your own site! No.2, I was at the beach. We have this new beach in downtown Buffalo and I went to it. I couldn't help it. You cannot actually swim at our new beach but you can scuff around barefoot in the sand and that is what I did. Then I disobeyed the sign and waded in the water. It was cold but it felt great.

Leonard Pennario would not mind my taking an hour off from his book to do that. He has always just about lived on the beach. That is what happens to you in California.

The third thing that interfered with my blogging, which I have to say is a highlight of my day, was I didn't get my newspapers delivered today. For the second day in a row! I get The Buffalo News and the Wall Street Journal and I am addicted to both of them and for two days, I have received neither.

Had I received The News yesterday I would have known then that -- boo hoo -- the owner of the Tillinghast Frank Lloyd Wright house had bowed to the nasty neighbors and shelved his idea for a bed and breakfast. I now no longer plan on renting the FLW house to Ron Moss for a night. I plan on raising the money to buy the Tillinghast House myself and then letting Ron Moss live there. That will show those fussy folk on Tillinghast. Booooooo to them.

Few things frustrate me more than not getting my paper in the morning. I know, I could read The Buffalo News online. But there are times of the day when you do not want to stare at a computer. One is at breakfast, when I like to read the paper. Another is after work, when I have been staring at a computer all day. There are just times when you want to see something in print.

I'm old-fashioned, as the Rodgers and Hart song goes. We were just talking about the great songs. That is one.

But I'm not alone. Last week, flying to California, I noticed that.

We were flying on a big fancy-schmancy plane. It had five seats in the middle and then two on the edge of the plane on either side. So there are two aisles. Delta made an announcement that this was some kind of a first for them, that we were the first flight to use this kind of a plane. I had trouble catching that exactly because I was trying too hard to get my purse out of my jet bag. At the last minute they had announced they were limiting you to two carry-on bags, or else you'd be charged. And as my tight-fisted ancestors looked down approvingly, I had used superhuman powers to stuff my purse into my already overstuffed jet bag and zip the whole thing shut. I don't know how I did it. Removing it and sorting everything out took some doing.

Anyway, the jet was all spiffy, with video screens at every seat, and you could watch free TV -- CNN, the Food Channel, a lot of stations. You could also see movies, for a $6 charge.

Mid-flight, I looked around the cabin, and I took my own little informal poll. How many people were watching the screens? The answer: maybe three. Everyone else was either sleeping or -- guess what? -- reading something: books, magazines, or that old standard, the newspaper.

There were a lot of newspaper readers on that plane.

It makes me think there are still a lot of newspaper readers in this world. I am one of them. At least I was until yesterday, when my paper carrier went through the looking glass.

His/her incompetence makes me yearn for the days when kids had paper routes. They didn't screw up so much. The kids with the paper routes were our future leaders. They were the winners. Now, forget it. Is Bob Rich going to deliver my paper? Is Warren Buffet? No!
But when they were kids, they might have. And I'll bet in their hands, the paper would never have been late.

We must bring back those days, at once. Hey, I said I'm old-fashioned.

OK, I can't help it. It's in, and it's got to come out. Let's imagine Ella Fitzgerald:

I'm old fashioned
I love the moonlight
I love the old fashioned things
The sound of rain
Upon a window pane
The starry song that April sings
This year's fancies
Are passing fancies
But sighing sighs, holding hands
These my heart understands...
I know I'm old fashioned
But I don't mind it
That's how I want to be
As long as you agree
To stay old fashioned with me.

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