Monday, June 21, 2010

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection

Those of you old enough to have watched Carol and the gang every week will take a trip down memory lane! When I discovered Carol Burnett had written another book, I couldn't wait to read it. "This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection" is just that. Laugher and reflection. Short little chapters that will make you laugh out loud. Carol talks about her love of "Nanny", her grandmother who raised her and their close relationship. She recalls her early days in Hollywood, how she moved to New York and struggled until she got her start in theatre and then television. After working on Garry Moore's Variety Show, she was offered her own television specials which eventually lead to her own comedy show. Who could forget the hilarious skits of "The Family", a totally dysfunctional family with Vicki Lawrence as "Mama, Harvey Korman as "Ed" and Carol as "Eunice" ? I remember laughing so hard when Tim Conway (who later joined the Carol Burnett show) would be in a skit with Harvey Korman and ad lib lines causing Harvey to lose it and break out laughing. Was it the writing or just Tim causing Harvey to lose it that made you laugh? Hard to tell.
Lucille Ball, Ray Charles, Jim Nabors, Carol Channing and so many more "famous" actors and performers graced the stage with Carol and simply created an hour of pure entertainment that you can't get today. Carol reminisces about her movie roles, my favorite one was Miss Hannigan in the film version of Annie.
Of course Julie Andrews is mentioned and Beverly Sills, both women who became close friends with Carol. I loved watching and listening to these women when they performed together.
We are reminded of Carol's personal life as well. Her marriage to Joe Hamilton, producer of the Carol Burnett show and television specials and their three children. Their unfortunate divorce and the death of their daughter Carrie. Carol found love again when she married Brian Miller in 2001. Congratulations!
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, 100%! Especially to those of us who grew up waiting for the Carol Burnett show to come on each week and allow us to smile, laugh out loud and simply be entertained for one glorious hour! Who could forget that closing song....I'm so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long. Ahhhh....those were the good ole' days!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox

I admit it. I have enjoyed all three of the books Michael J. Fox has written. I have laughed and cried while reading his words of optimism, hope, and the real world of "life".
This year I have two sons who graduated from 8th grade. True, they didn't graduate from high school or college where you hold your breath praying that she/he will make a really good choice to continue their education by attending a college or a trade school. After all, you WANT them to become responsible adults and pay taxes right? They have to continue their formal education to get there right? Hmmmm...
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, Michael shares his success stories and his failures. From the time he is in elementary school (and hates most of it) until he leaves in the middle of high school he knows he wants to be an actor. He wants opportunities that he believes he can only get here in the United States. With his parents approval (and monetary support) he sets off on a path that brings success but hard times as well.
The story touches on his television and movie career. Michael discusses his relationships with his family and friends and he doesn't shy away from discussing his relationship with alcohol and Parkinson's disease either. Life lessons. Sometimes it is what it is. Just accept it and move on.
We all know we make our own choices-the good ones and the bad ones. Yes, sometimes we repeat those bad decisions a few times before we learn, that's a life lesson. Accept responsibility for them and move on. Life lessons, real life experiences are what we learn from. Enjoy the moment, learn the lesson and move on, there is more to learn!
This book is only one hundred pages long and is really a quick read, one you will enjoy. If you haven't read Michael's other books; Lucky Man or Always Looking Up, I highly recommend those as well. Happy Reading!