Sun City Anthem

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year...Past & Future    

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Within the past day, I have received a number of wonderful "Happy Birthday" messages that have been filled with best wishes from so many of you.

...and to those of you who took the time to express your thoughts....

Thanks so much.

As many of you know, I enjoy laughter, the entertainment offered by this "Entertainment Capital of the World", and the wonderful relationships my wife and I have made over the 8+ years of living in Sun City Anthem.

Yesterday I received two emails from a valued reader, Valerie Lapin, and I would like to share them with you.

The first was LOOKING BACK....

It's a video entitled "I Can't Believe We Made It" 

It looks at YESTERDAY...the yesterday many of us knew...and loved...and appreciated in a world in which we lived as children.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Later in the day, I received yet another video from Valerie that LOOKS FORWARD 

..filled with hope of a PEACEFUL NEW YEAR examining the many aspects of this world dependent on PEACE...those innocent members of our world who have no control over it, yet whose very existence depends on it.

  This video is entitled "Auld Lang Syne".

So. I hope you also enjoy this video as well, and the message it conveys.

And to you Valerie Lapin, I, on behalf of Anthem Opinions, thank you for allowing our readers to look at just what the words HAPPY NEW YEAR should mean.

Dick Arendt

Monday, December 30, 2013

Let Us Entertain You...and...Happy New Year 2014

The Curse of Being Born on December 31st

I know... "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Happy New Year"...I've heard it for almost 67 years.

And until now, I've just smiled and replied in kind; however, I am now a senior citizen; and as one, I am expected to complain...and I'm gonna complain!

So after all these years....It's time !

I was born 26 minutes from 1947, on December 31, 1946...

...and the only one who got a good deal out of that was my dad !

He got an extra income tax exemption of what was $600 way back when.

I loved my dad; he was a character, and I previously wrote an article about him last Father's Day, but knowing him for the "frugality" he displayed during his life, I can certainly visualize him saying, "Rosie, push...we need the deduction"!

My mother must have spent New Years Eve in agony, and I actually have a clipping from the Chicago Tribune announcing my being one of the kids born closest to the new year of 1947.

La De DaBig deal !

I was too young to eat any ice cream or birthday cake.

Anyone out there who was born near Christmas knows where I'm headed with this...

...It's called "Christmas/Birthday" presents your whole life !

Not one for Christmas and another for Birthday...

NOPE...just ONE...for both !

It all started as a child....a few toys....with  SOCKS and UNDERWEAR....

...stuff that a kid hates to get...much less for Christmas or a Birthday...

...and whatever I received...was to cover both days.

La De Da !

Meanwhile my little brother who was born in March would get the socks and underwear and toys on Christmas, and still get another stockpile shortly thereafter for his birthday !

It wasn't fair, and finally, after 67 years...I'm complaining.

And what was even worse, I couldn't even SLEEP late the morning after my birthday because Catholics have to attend mass on January 1st....

...or suffer eternal damnation in the next life !

Being from Chicago, I had to get up early every January 1st in the freezing, arctic cold (put on my new"Christmas/birthday" socks and underwear) and get to church to avoid the pains of hell !

I wasn't even allowed to wear those new cowboy boots Santa brought me either.  The nuns didn't consider that proper "church attire" and on top of that, my mother would always make me wear those big black goulashes even if it wasn't snowing. They came from Santa too, according to her !

Then what do I do? 

I marry a Jewish girl who looks at Christmas and New Years as days she'll be without jazzercise or zumba because our Recreation Center will be closed..

To add to my misery, she doesn't cook baked ham and I can't afford the prices of a New Years Eve meal...

...and waiting 'til the next day doesn't work, because the restaurants are usually closed on the "holiday".

Some holiday !!!

When I do go out on New Years Eve, I look for places with menus that fit the occasion...and my mood.

And then to top it all off...the world can't wait for the very moment your BIRTHDAY ENDS !  People eat, drink, are merry, fall all over themselves wearing silly hats (none say Happy Birthday)...

...and portray New Years Eve with a picture of an old man called "Father Time"...usually with a baby behind him---and YOU are the Father Time

Oh...the joy of being born on December 31st ! 

And it all started with a spring day in late March, when the Chicago cold needed a little "bodily warmth" to create a human being who entered this world on December 31, 1946 !

However...they say "what goes around, comes around" and...

..To my dad, who thought he was saving $600 in 1946 on his income taxes...

...I ended up getting sweet revenge over the years, wrecking just about every one of his new cars !

To my little brother, who never sends me a birthday card or ever picks up the phone to wish his older brother a Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas,  now gets MONOGRAMED Las Vegas tee-shirts as gifts for his "thoughtfulness"….

...on BOTH Christmas AND his Birthday ! 

…and To wifey, who now celebrates hubby's birthday with some strange ceremony of first checking if my life insurance premiums have been paid, then holding a mirror under my nose as she gazes at that once sleek beast who now falls asleep at 8:30pm on that day... gets the "privilege" of buying those smelly socks and "expanding"  undies !

But to all of them...

I wouldn't have changed a single moment for the memories they gave me on each and every "Christmas/Birthday" over all the years.

…I don’t know what I ever would have done without you in my life.

Happy New Year to all of you !

Dick Arendt

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Let's Not Forget Them

Remembering Those We Lost in 2013

We lost a number of familiar faces during 2013, and  as we close this year, may these individuals who touched our lives, be remembered for the joy they brought us.

Patti Page
January 1st...Age 88

Conrad Bain
January 14th...Age 89

Abigail Van Buren
Dear Abby
January 16th...Age 94

Stan Musial
January 19th...Age 92

Earl Weaver
January 19th...Age 82

Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters
January 30th...Age 94

New York Mayor Ed Koch
February 1st...Age 88

Van Cliburn
February 27th...Age 78

Dale Robertson
February 27th...Age 87

Bonnie Franklin
March 1st...Age 69

Roger Ebert
April 4th...Age 70

Annette Funicello
April 8th...Age 70

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
April 8th...Age 87

Jonathan Winters
April 11th...Age 87

Pat Summerall
April 16th...Age 82

Allan Arbus of M.A.S.H.
April 18th...Age 95

Deanna Durbin
April 27th...Age 91

Dr. Joyce Brothers
May 5th...Age 85

Ken Venturi
May 17th...Age 82

Jean Stapleton
May 31st...Age 90

Football Great Deacon Jones
June 3rd...Age 74

Esther Williams
June 6th...Age 89

James Gandolfini
June 19th...Age 51

Helen Thomas
July 20th...Age 92

Dennis Farina
July 22nd...Age 69

Emile Griffith
July 23rd...Age 75

Eileen Brennan
July 28th...Age 80

MIchael Ansara
July 31st...Age 91

New Anchor John Palmer
August 3rd...Age 74

Karen Black
August 8th...Age 85

Eydie Gorme
August 10th...Age 84

David Frost
August 31st...Age 74

Ken Norton
September 18th...Age 70

Author Tom Clancy
October 1st...Age 66

Scott Carpenter
October 10th...Age 88

Actor Noel Harrison
October 22nd...Age 79

Marcia Wallace
October 25th...Age 70

NBA Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy
November 2nd...Age 74

Honeymooners "Trixie" Jane Kean
November 26th...Age 94

Nelson Mandella
December 5th...Age 95

Actress Eleanor Parker
December 9th...Age 91

Tom Laughlin (Bronco Billy)
December 12th...Age 82

Peter O'Toole
December 14th...Age 81

Actress Joan Fontaine
December 15th...Age 96

Country Hall of Famer Ray Price
December 16th...Age 87

May these people rest in peace.