Veterans Day

November 11, 2017

Memorial Day is reserved for those veterans who died in the line of duty, but Veterans Day is a time to show appreciation for everyone who ever wore the uniform of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, past and present.

The theater community feels a deep loss today, but we who remember Sam Shepard best for his role as test pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film THE RIGHT STUFF do, too.

Yeager was an almost mythical character in that film --- the first real hero of the race for space who, ironically, didn’t get to space at all. Shepard’s interpretation combined a down-to-earth, clear-eyed realism with a powerful, dreamlike aura of astounding bravery that won him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. We who wear our deep respect for the astronauts and test pilots on our sleeves remember Shepard’s portrayal fondly.

He appeared in other films but most of his work was for the Broadway and off-Broadway stage. He wrote 44 plays and won a Pulitzer Prize for one of them.

Apparently, he had been ill with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for some time. He died at his Kentucky home at the age of 73. Over the years, we’ve seen the actual participants in the race for space pass into history as well. Sen. John Glenn was the last surviving Mercury astronaut when he died in 2016.

This would be a great time to break out THE RIGHT STUFF, celebrate the bravery of those pilots, and watch Sam Shepard in an iconic role.

Get well John McCain!

July 21, 2017

This week, something happened in Washington that seldom happens these days: the partisan attacks and inter- and intra-party bickering and backbiting stopped for a moment, as both sides of the political aisle came together to offer prayers and good wishes for Sen. John McCain, upon the news that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic who removed the blood clot near his eye also found a tumor of a type known as a glioblastoma. It’s a very aggressive form of cancer, and the typical prognosis with treatment is about 14 months. However, doctors believe they removed all the tumor tissue, and they say McCain is recovering amazingly well, his underlying health is excellent, and he’s in good spirits and optimistic about the effectiveness of future treatments.

He also has the power of prayer on his side, as colleagues from President Trump and Marco Rubio to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi all voiced their concern and support. We know McCain is a fighter, and another tough fighter who just faced a life-threatening emergency, Rep. Steve Scalise, tweeted that he was praying for his friend McCain, “one of the toughest people I know.”

This link contains the official statement from Sen. McCain’s office, along with some of the reactions…

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And here are more statements from McCain’s colleagues. Both these links include today’s Must-Read story: Meghan McCain’s statement on the news of her father’s illness. I warn you, it may be hard to finish reading through the tears in your eyes.

I’ve always thought that while it’s nice to have politicians and media people seeking your opinions and advice, that pales in significance compared to having the respect and admiration of your own children. When you feel the love and respect shining through Meghan’s words, you know that John McCain is more than a war hero and a respected Senator. He’s also a great dad. I bet that’s the title he’s most proud of.

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