“Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel…” Mark Twain

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Morrow: Pal, look, how would you like to go on a real old-fashioned binge?
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Deeds: Binge?
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Morrow: Yeah, I mean the real McCoy. Listen, you play saloon with me and I’ll introduce you to every wit, nitwit, and half-wit in New York. We’ll go on a twister that’ll make Omar the soused philosopher of Persia look like an anemic on a goat’s milk diet!
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Deeds: Well, I guess that oughtta be fun.
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Morrow: Fun? Listen, I’ll take you on a bender that will live in your memory as a thing of beauty and a joy forever!
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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, script by Robert Riskin, directed by Frank Capra
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The New Year approaches… I have a confession to make. Now that I’m in my fifth decade and The Kid is away at school across the ocean, I expect I will be snug in bed at midnight, stir when I hear distant voices, horns, and firecrackers; then go back to snoozing.
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It was not always so.
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There are glimmers of New Years of my childhood. The license to stay up past midnight. Often the presence of my older siblings, home from college with friends in tow. I do remember the length of hair being a big topic, but only for the young men. There were parties that I remember fragments of, and of those mostly of flashes of color, and very little content. The blonde in a white gown with bright red lipstick. The man in a saffron and tangerine Nehru jacket at the piano — explaining something about Cole Porter to a bedazzled ten year-old who didn’t have a clue what he was talking about — but was thrilled to be able to perch by his side.
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In college the transition from Old Year to New Year took on a different tone, anticipatory, replete with machinations, something to do with the drive of romance and who I would be kissing at midnight.
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In the early years of my marriage I remember the sensations of New Year’s, from the first tiny tin of caviar we bought and the taste of sea on my tongue to the wash of champagne that followed. I know now part of that sparkle of the moment had to do with novelty, love, and time. It can’t be replicated, but it can be evoked.
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Resolutions? I’ve never made them, they’re not in my nature. To paraphrase Mr. Riskin: life is a bender. Memory is temperance, without experience of excess how can it be a joy forever?
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Wishing you the best in 2015, Vickie

6 comments

  1. George Kaplan

    HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM HERE ACROSS THE FROZEN OCEAN TO YOU THERE IN WINTRY CALIFORNIA, MS VICKIE LESTER, THO’ YOU MAY WELL BE SNOOZING SOFTLY NOW! MAY 2015 BRING YOU (AND THE MISTER) UNTOLD DELIGHTS AND PLEASURES BARELY IMAGINABLE, WRITER LADY – HOLLYWOOD QUEEN – TALESPINNER. 🙂
    I found this post exquisitely Beautiful, redolent of remembered and present Happiness but tinged with a melancholy ache. Staggeringly Good and Moving. Yours, George X

  2. I just turned 48, but damned if I’m gonna be snoozing at midnight! Well, I work every holiday and don’t get out until 11PM, so that part isn’t too hard anyway… but every year the man and I flip on the TV five minutes before midnight, watch the ball drop, and then kiss like we’re 16 in the back of someone else’s car. Who needs firecrackers? Happy New Year!!!

  3. Happy 2015! Hope you had a wonderful New Year’s celebration.

    As for the script, I love the phrase, “We’ll go on a twister.” I’m going to start using it…although I never actually do go on “twisters”.

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