A BIRTHDAY HERE, A BIRTHDAY THERE
I found out why my Uncle was called “Lefty.” He played baseball for the Tacoma Ice Cream Company where he received the name “Lefty” as a pitcher. Then, in a turn of irony, he ended up losing sight in his left eye due to a gun misfiring at the age of 22. I remember his eyes always being obscured by the glasses he wore, and he’d peer over them at you when he was searching for eye contact.
I was all set to tell about Bean’s birthday doing when I realized that this particular birthday doing above managed to evade the cake crappery I encounter when placing orders over the years as shared previously. This cake was made/molded/sculpted by a lovely friend who counts decorating among her skills and talents. It was for my Mom’s birthday because she adores Eeyore. She removed his tail as a keepsake and presumably for safekeeping as he’s been known to lose it over the years.
As for Bean’s birthday, she grew up absolutely obsessed with The Secret Garden– the book most especially, followed closely by the Broadway musical. In that Broadway musical was Mandy Patinkin in the role of key character, Archibald Craven. So when Mandy came to town this past June so soon after Bean’s birthday, we were there, front row and center. For weeks before, we tried to convince our Dad that he wanted to go, to which he always gave a lackluster response. Then one day, he discovered that Patinkin had been in Evita, for which our Dad knows the songs, but hadn’t known the singers. “Why didn’t ya say so?” he asked us. Why didn’t we?
That night, Mandy was marvelous. His passion for singing was clear and contagious and much to my delight, he dispersed many a story between each new song. Tchaikovsky and Other Russians was among the songs covered, a fun piece listing the full-bodied names of mostly Russian composers at an ever increasing speed. One of Mandy’s albums, Mamaloshen, features many popular tunes all sung in Yiddish (always love an ish), and from this he shared a rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Nem Mikh mit tsu der Bol Geym! He and his accompanying pianist were touching, illuminating, amusing, and moving, easily eliciting a standing ovation from all. And just when we thought it was all over, he concluded the night with a nod to his past role containing an iconic line of retribution by taking on the physical stance of a man armed and dangerous, about to duel. I had a compulsive desire to reach out and boop his shoe. I remain so glad I didn’t.