"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and the crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body..."
Monday, May 31, 2021
I was three when WWII ended and my two oldest brothers, Tommy and Buddy still teenagers, were serving in the military. Both were "reed men"—they played clarinet and saxophone in swing bands. Tommy in The Army Airs Corps where the plane he was part of the crew for scheduled to bomb Berlin, never left the states as the war in Europe ended first. Buddy was on Okinawa behind the lines where he still saw and experienced death and destruction. Their return after the war was a joyous occasion. By four I was playing piano like my sisters (between my brothers and me) and by five could play this song on the keys, from one of my favorite records that most called to mind those brothers, and still does. (Glen Miller never made it back from that war.)
Sunday, May 30, 2021
Memorial Day commemorates those who died while serving in the military in wartime. Although many in my extended clan served in the armed forces, including me and my three older brothers who served in wartime, only one relative and only a few friends have died in the service during wartime. I honor them on this Memorial Day weekend.
But since, as has been pointed out, more people have died in civilian gun violence in the USA than in the ongoing wars our military has been fighting since its inception, I feel that there should also be a memorial day set aside for all the victims of gun violence at home here in the states, including members of the police, and the victims of police violence.
Friday, May 28, 2021
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
IN MY LIFE
(C) 2021 Michael Lally
Saturday, May 22, 2021
When I was a boy, four cousins lived next door to us in a house that was the mirror image of ours and inexplicably had two side windows facing each each other a few feet apart. On holidays they'd put planks across to pass food between them, and on winter days when my cousin Marylynn, close in age to me, and I were home sick we'd spend hours communicating in sign language through the closed windows. I've lost my facility for that but remember those days fondly and still feel close to her though we rarely see each other. Here's a story about a recent award she won and a photo of me (in hat, my Easter outfit paid for by a large paper route ) and her (next to me) and her sister RuthAnn and late brother David when we were all in grammar school c. 1955.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021
My oldest son, Miles reminded me of this voiceover I did for the trailer to EMPIRE RECORDS. And that you know it's me by the way I pronounce "The Cranberries" i.e. "can-buries"...
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Sunday, May 16, 2021
I'm on a photograph kick here lately, so here's another one of composer Rain Worthington, one of the loves of my life I've written many poems to and about, and I think it may have been taken by me back in the 1970s when we were living together in NYC. Mailed out as a postcard notice of her first big concert.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Thinking of my brothers today for some reason. There were two sisters and another brother who died as an infant between these three—Tommy (later Father Campion), Buddy aka Jimmy, and Robert aka William—and me, all three long gone. Here's photos of them with our father c.1932, with me c. 1950, with me (in uniform) and them and out parents c.1962, and with me and them and Buddy's Volkswagon van c. 1966.
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Me and dear friend Mindy Thompson Fullilove, c. 2016, author of many great books about the psychology of communities, the latest of which (and, full disclosure, I am quoted in) is MAIN STREET:How a City's Heart Connects Us All.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
This has always been my favorite photo of my mom, taken in the 1920s before I knew her (I came along in 1942, the last of a brood that began n 1926 the year after she and my father married), but the same eyes I still see in my mind when I think of her, and she passed in 1966, on Mother's Day (or the night before) the way I remember it. I had been away in the military for the previous four years so never really got to talk to her as an adult, the way I later wished I had. So many questions left unanswered and things left unsaid. But from my side, I still talk to her in my head.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
TEN FAVORITE MOVIE MOTHERS
Jane Darwell in GRAPES OF WRATH
Greer Garson in MRS. MINIVER
Myrna Loy in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
Mary Astor in LITTLE WOMEN (1949)
Irene Dunne in I REMEMBER MAMA
Juanita Moore in IMITATION OF LIFE
Alfre Woodard in CROOKLYN
Fionulla Flanagan in SOME MOTHER'S SON
Viola Davis in FENCES
Keng Hua Tan in CRAZY RICH ASIANS
Thursday, May 6, 2021
longtime fried, novelist and short storyist, Jane DeLynn (gesturing) with my (then only) son Miles, who I was single parenting, me (am I holding Jane's DON JUAN IN THE VILLAGE?), and loft mate and one of the loves of my life, composer (and ex-sculptor and artist) Rain Worthington c. 1979, Duane Street NYC
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Sunday, May 2, 2021
Saturday, May 1, 2021
I remembered Crawford from his most famous (and Emmy nominated) role, playing Chuck Connor's kid on the 1950s popular TV show THE RIFLEMAN. In the days before the transition to me in the play, I spent some time with him and he was as sweet and kind as you would expect. I never ran into him again, but never forgot him and am sad to learn that he passed, another victim of Covid-19. Condolences to his family and many fans.