Sunday, June 22, 2014

In the Aftermath of Parties - and of Wars

My daughter, Jessi, and I were sitting in opposite seats in her living room yesterday, reminiscing about the book launch party for Rude Awakening, which had occurred the night before. The party had been a huge success – not because of the seemingly endless planning that had gone into it, but because of all the friends and family members who attended. 

 From the sofa, I looked at Jessi and could read her mind, especially because my thoughts were running in the same direction. Now, what do we do for excitement?

“Do you want to go to a movie?” she asked.

“Yes,” I answered, suddenly excited again.  “See what’s playing at the Ambler Theater.”  

We sat together on the sofa for a moment watching the trailer for Words and Pictures. “That looks good,” I said, “but see what else is playing.  “Here,” I said pointing to The Railway Man.

We watched the movie trailer for as long as it took (no more than a few seconds) for Colin Firth’s face to come onto the screen. “That’s it,” I said, as I ran upstairs to get my shoes. (The spell I had fallen under while watching Firth in Bridget Jones’s Diary, had taken me head over heels after seeing The King’s Speech.)

At the theater, which often brings back old movies as special programs, we watched a clip of Casablanca – Ingrid Bergman saying, “Sing it, Sam” and the camera moving in for a closeup of her face, which glowed in a scene that has always left me, and millions of others, breathless.  “She’s beautiful,” my daughter whispered.

Finally, the main attraction began. “Wherever man has been,” Firth says early in the film, “there has been a war.” And then he shows us how war can ravage a country - and a mind. But The Railway Man is more than a war story, it is also a story about-. Well, go watch it for yourself.  If you are looking for excitement, then Colin Firth as The Railway Man is just the ticket.  

My second memoir, Dear Elvis, is also available at


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