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Two weeks ago, our pastor, Monte Stevens, gave a fantastic sermon that began with components of Walt Disney’s life. Since working with Larry Boye and Fritz Mountford, who were both directors for Walt Disney & EPCOT, I have had an even greater fascination for Walt Disney. This morning, Chris Stevens and I were talking about how much we loved Mr. Disney, and I tried to recall several quotes – of course, I could not at the time. So I Googled Disney’s quotes and found these. How blessed America was to have grown such an inspiring man!

“I am interested in entertaining people, in bringing pleasure, particularly laughter, to others, rather than being concerned with ‘expressing’ myself with obscure creative impressions.””We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.”

-“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

-“All cartoon characters and fables must be exaggeration, caricatures. It is the very nature of fantasy and fable.”

-“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.”

-“I don’t like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It’s just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess.””Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”

– “We allow no geniuses around our Studio.”

-“Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.”

-“I never called my work an ‘art’ It’s part of show business, the business of building entertainment.”

-“I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.”

-“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.”

-“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

-“Laughter is America’s most important export.”

-“People still think of me as a cartoonist, but the only thing I lift a pen or pencil for these days is to sign a contract, a check, or an autograph.”

-“Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.”

-“The era we are living in today is a dream of coming true.”

-“There is more treasure n books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main … and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”

-“Your dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

-“Or heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.”

-“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”

-“Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource – the minds of our children.”

-“You reach a point where you don’t work for money.”

-“f all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”

-“I have no use for people who throw there weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous.”

-“Adults are interested if you don’t play down to the little 2 or 3 year olds or talk down. I don’t believe in talking down to children. I don’t believe in talking down to any certain segment. I like to kind of just talk in a general way to the audience. Children are always reaching.”

-“A man should never neglect his family for business.””When we consider a project, we really study it–not just the surface idea, but everything about it. And when we go into that new project, we believe in it all the way. We have confidence in our ability to do it right. And we work hard to do the best possible job.”

-“I believe in being an modivator.”

-I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

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Artists Rendering of the USS New York

With a year to go before it even touches the water, the Navy’s amphibious assault ship, USS New York, has already made history. It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

It is the fifth in a new class of warship – designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, La., to cast the ship’s bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, “those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,” recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. “It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.”

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the “hair on my neck stood up.”

“It had a big meaning to it for all of us,” he said. “They knocked us down. They can’t keep us down. We’re going to be back.”

The ship’s motto? – ‘Never Forget’

I am twenty-one years old today!

Darin Lee Jolliff was born September 25, 1964.

Darin Lee Jolliffe-Haas was born June 20, 1985.

June 20, 1985, we all stood before Judge Carroll and our adoption was finalized. My birth certicate was virtually the same but it listed David Lewis Haas as my father, Diana Kay Haas as my mother, my same birth date and location; however, the one thing that struck me as very peculiar was the date the birth certificate was submitted: September 26, 1964 – as though David Haas had always been my father.

So – I am of legal age and can officially drink!

LOL! Too funny! This has been an on-going joke since someone had to explain to me what a “fluffer” was! A friend of mine had this on her blog site and I had to borrow it.

Monday (June 12) began my summer schedule, which I love. I teach Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the mornings, take a two hour break and then teach from around 2:00pm-until 6:30pm. My first three days of the business week are long, but it gives me Thursdays and Fridays off to write, run errands, or possibly do some long weekend visits to Indiana.
I have gotten to see several former students who are not in college or now in the career field. I saw Geoff Merl at his sister’s (Amy – currently a student) dance recital on June 4th. Geoff was a saxophonist, pianist, vocalist who participated in Muse Machine productions, Centerville High School productions and the CHS Marching Band for which he served as drum-major. Geoff, now around 24, will be married this August.
Laura Whetherford, 27, called and stopped by. Laura had been a seven year student and is now performing in professional theatre and film in California.
Through Fairmont HS concerts, musicals or graduation receptions I have been running in to several favorites from the past: Jeremy Moore, JR Reichard, and John Gentry.
This week I had a new student, Alan. I saw Alan in his school’s production of Joseph & The Amazing technically Dreamcoat. Alan also has a very distant connection to another student which we found amazing! Alan’s voice is beautiful and I am looking forward to working with him.
The Muse Machine is doing Thoroughly Modern Millie and a good number of my recent graduates are very disappointed that they will not be able to be in this particular production. Naturally, these are my belters and tappers! Grrr…
I have one student going through a rough time, right now, and he is simply not using his head. He began dating a girl of whom many of his friends – really decent students – disapproved strongly. This young lady is sneaky, manipulative and a little aggressive in areas that a teenager should not be. When I met her last December I was not impressed at all as she seemed to drain/eliminate my student of energy and his generally great personality. I would see them together and he would always look depressed and unhappy; yet, away from her, he was bubbly and exciting. My first impression was not particularly good as the girlfriend indicated she wished to study with me and began trashing her current voice teacher – a lady I know and respect. The other day I ran into the fellow voice teacher and we had a nice discussion regarding this student. Naturally, I would not take her on as a student.
I got to work with him and his leading lady in a rehearsal prior to their production and during a time when my student and his girlfriend were broken up. I saw the true potential in this student as he became good friends with his leading lady. This was so refreshing as I truly had not seen this side of him – HAPPY!
Unfortunately he has gotten back with the girlfriend and it his personality has turned back to sullen, sneaky and dishonest – a mirror image of the girlfriend. My student cannot see what tons of adults and his loving, concerned friends all see. The young lady is bad news, yet portrays a sweet, innocent type – but too many have her number.
I went through something like this with my eldest son in the winter. In December he began dating/seeing this girl who was also adopted. One day, my son deliberately lied to me about where he was going and he went to spend time with her. He knew he had made the worst possible choice when I naturally had things figured out before he returned home. I suggested she and her parents, my son and I all meet for coffee and he began hedging. My son’s girlfriend had not told her parents she was seeing my son and was sneaking around as well. I learned through students, neighbors of this girl that her parents were extremely controlling and probably not likely to get on well with me for a number of reasons. I instructed my son that they could see one another during school hours only until she was honest with her parents about their dating scenario. My son encouraged her to be honest with her parents and she refused. Eventually, to my relief, they broke up.
This is such a difficult age for young adults – they are on the brink of being adults, but they are just not emotionally and mentally mature. They are so close some times, yet, so very far away. It is amazing what love (hormones in disguise) do to level headed individuals!
This coming weekend I have a number of graduation receptions to attend and I am looking forward to sharing some time with students, recent grads, parents I won’t see as often and former students returning from college. What an exciting, yet bittersweet time.

Top Ten Hillary Clinton Campaign Slogans
10. “Read My Lips — No New Interns”

9. “Reward Me For Putting Up With Bill’s Crap For So Long”

8. “Isn’t It Time You Were Disappointed By A Different Clinton?”

7. “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, Ask How You Can Illegally Contribute To My Campaign”

6. “Vote For Me Or My Husband Will Nail Your Wife”

5. “You Give Me A Vote, I’ll Get Vernon Jordan To Give You A Job”

4. “Still Not Indicted As Of Early ’99!”

3. “From Perjury To Albany”

2. “Building A Bridge To The 21st Century, And Pushing My Husband Over It”

1. “Oh Lord, Please Don’t Make Me Go Back To Arkansas”

Top Ten Hillary Clinton Internet Screen Names
10. Soon2BeSingle

9. NoDNAHere

8. CarpetBagger99

7. 2Powerful2Go2Jail

6. BiteMeTipper

5. Mad@bill.com

4. Good@lying.com

3. RudySux

2. I’veNeverHeldElectedOfficeOrSetFootInNewYorkButIStillHaveTheGallToRun4Senator

1. Secrets2China

Top Ten Skeletons In George W. Bush’s Closet
10. Fathered half the players at this year’s Wimbledon.

9. Once killed a Lenscrafter clerk when his glasses weren’t ready in about an hour.

8. The “W” Stands for “Winky.”

7. In 1988 told dad, “I think Quayle would make a great vice president.”

6. He’s also married to Barbara Bush.

5. On April 9, 1968 actually had an opinion.

4. Calls brother Jeb “the one with the hick name.”

3. Recovering “Opraholic.”

2. From 1986 to 1991: Nothing but Nintendo and hookers.

1. Borrowed a skeleton from a local museum, put it in his closet, never returned it.

Top Ten People We’re Pretty Sure Aren’t Deep Throat
10. Meryl Streep

9. Rod Stewart

8. Poppin’ Fresh Doughboy

7. Chong (could be Cheech)

6. The dead guy on the subway

5. Anybody who’s ever used the word “Funkalicious”

4. Benedict Arnold

3. Football legend O.J. Simpson — he’s just not the type to get mixed up in any cloak and dagger stuff

2. The gay Teletubby

1. Deepak Chopra

Top Ten Signs You’re in Love with The President
10. Just to be like him you balloon up to 300 pounds.

9. Your’re perfectly content to be mistress number 1

8. On your White House internship application, you list your goals as “doin’it.”

7. You boycott Hallmark store for not having a “Sorry You May Be Impeached” section.

6. Your website: http://www.tubby-lovin’-fool.com.

5. You’ve memorized the words to every one of his denials.

4. Your last major crush Nixon.

3. You’ve taped every one of his episodes on “Hee Haw.”

2. The enthusiastic way you say, “Welcome to Hooters, Mr. President.”

1. You find him guilty of being adorable.

Top Ten Other Monica Lewinsky Nicknames
10. Puffy the Intern Slayer

9. Sheriff Bubba

8. The Chief Sexecutive

7. Unnamed High-Ranking Official

6. My Sweet Impeachable You

5. The Little Rock Rascal

4. El Presidente del Armor

3. Tubby Dearest

2. Commander-in-Briefs

1. Free Willie 2

Top Ten White House Jobs That Sound Dirty
10. Polishing the Presidential Podium.

9. Unwrapping the Big Mac

8. Taking Buddy for a walk

7. Handling the hotline

6. Vacuuming under the Oval Office desk

5. Waxing Air Force One

4. Shaking hands with the French Ambassador

3. Giving the President an oral briefing

2. Taking dictation

1. Polling

Top Ten Questions Clinton will be asked at his sexual harassment deposition
10. Would you please put your pants back on?

9. Why do you giggle when you hear the word subpoena?

8. Mr. President, could you put away the GameBoy?

7. Would you please take your hand off my thigh?

6. True or false: you own a pair of boxer shorts that read, Home of the Washington Monument.”

5. Could you repeat that when you finish chewing?

4. Explain this (Video tape of Bill & Hillary dancing in their swimming suits)

3. What exactly is ‘Pants Force One?

2. Can you explain this room service charge for three gallons of mayonnaise?

1. Did somebody say McDonald’s?

Top Ten Signs There’s Trouble in the Barbie and Ken Marriage
10. Ken overheard at bar saying he’d like to find “a woman with bendable elbows.”

9. Years-old feud about who can go longer without blinking.

8. After sex, she said, “You ain’t exactly Stretch Armstrong.”

7. Ken’s extensive collection of gay porn.

6. While Ken’s asleep, Barbie covers him with bacon grease so neighbor’s dog will chew him to shreds and bury him.

5. They’re arguing over custody of the Beanie Babies.

4. She wants the kids raised as dolls, and he wants them raised as action figures.

3. He’s been coming home late at night reeking of Silly Putty.

2. Personal ad reads, “Curvy blonde seeks anatomically-correct guy.”

1. Lewinsky!

Top Ten Martha Stewart’s Worst Tips For Living
10. If you notice a guest using the “wrong” fork, pick up the “right” fork and jam it into his head

9. Heavily sedated pets make unusual centerpieces

8. Add glitter to every damn thing you own

7. Nothing spruces up bathroom like potpourri & a stack of wrestling magazines

6. Kick off your O.J. dinner party by having Johnnie Cochran lie about what’s in the chili

5. Old gym shorts stuffed with cat hair make great throw pillows

4. To liven up a “black tie only” affair, wear only a black tie

3. You want livin’? Take a Big Mac, coat with butter, then refry the bastard

2. Household putty is an excellent way to fill embarrassing gap between teeth

1. To enliven any salad try eating it while hanging by your hair

Top Ten Other Disney World Attractions Being Closed for Renovations
10. It’s a Small, Vermin-infested World

9. The Lion King’s Litter Box

8. Mickey’s “Loose Bolts” Roller Coaster

7. Spinning Tea Cups Full of Scalding Coffee

6. 101 Dalmatians Get Spayed and Neutered

5. The Country Bear “When Animals Attack” Jamboree

4. Computer Software Pirates of the Carribean

3. Journey through Goofy’s Pancreas

2. Hall of Presidents of the Hair Club for Men

1. Robert Downey Jr.’s Wild Ride

Top Ten Things That Would Be Different if Clinton Had Been Our First President
10. Instead of “President,” highest office in the land is called, “Burger King “

9. Indiana and Ohio known as “East and West Bubbaland”

8. Preamble to Constitution contains 23 references to cheese fries

7. His early morning jogs would have been enough to scare off the entire Indian population

6. The first amendment: “You have the right to get, like, totally stoned”

5. Schoolchildren learn about how Clinton chopped down a cherry tree, then ate it

4. The term “Father of Our Country” would have an entirely different meaning

3. Instead of man wearing powdered wig, dollar bill features man holding powdered donut

2. Washington Monument would be anatomically correct

1. Our national bird: the Chicken McNugget

Top Ten Signs Your Wife is Having an Affair with the President
10. Her new perfume smells like Special Sauce

9. Suddenly, your thighs aren’t pasty-white enough for her

8. She’s been paying for groceries with fat rolls of Indonesian currency

7. During State of the Union address, you catch her licking the TV screen

6. Whenever she sees Paula Jones, she snarls, “He’s mine, bitch!”

5. For Valentine’s Day she gives you little bottles of shampoo from the D.C. Marriott

4. During sex, she accidentally screams out, “Tubby!”

3. Every night at 10 o’clock, two Secret Service guys come into your bedroom and shoot you with tranquilizer darts

2. Your name: Billy. Title of the President’s last speech: “Hey, Billy, I’m nailing your wife”

1. She’s a female citizen of the United States of America

Top Ten Things Overheard During `Celebrity Jeopardy’
10. I’ll take `Questions So Easy Even a Celebrity Has a Chance’ for $1,000, Alex

9. Nobody’s buzzing in — Robert Downey Jr. just fell asleep on the button

8. Pamela Anderson sure knows her 18th century European statesmen

7. I’m sorry, Mr. Brando, but your answer must be in the form of the English language

6. That’s incorrect — but we’ll give you the points anyway, O.J.

5. For the last time, Mr. Sajak, you cannot buy a vowel

4. It doesn’t seem fair to have an `Overweight Drunks’ category the same night Ted Kennedy is on

3. Ms. Parton, you give new meaning to the phrase `Daily Double’

2. Somebody ought to tell Charlie Sheen to stop hitting on Ellen DeGeneres

1. Oh my God — it’s the ghost of Paul Lynde, and he’s demanding to be center square!

Top Ten Signs You Won’t Be Getting Into College
10. On visit to campus, you accidentally kill the school mascot

9. Instead of a cap and gown, your high school gives you a McDonald’s uniform

8. After four years of Spanish, you still can’t place an order at Taco Bell

7. You took an S.A.T. preparation course that was advertised by Sally Struthers

6. Your list of school activities includes words “Comet Hale-Bopp” and “castration”

5. You tell admissions officer you’re looking forward to “some good, honest book-larnin'”

4. Instead of application, you send in a Where’s Waldo? book with all the Waldos circled

3. You insist interviewer call you by your nickname: “Glue-Sniffin’ Eddie”

2. Last time you picked up a book, Michael Jackson was black

1. Your classmates voted you “Least Likely to Get into College”

Top Ten Signs You’re at a Bad Camp
10. Lifeguard is a mannequin with a whistle

9. Many of the counselors are still wearing their prison uniforms

8. At the end of the tetherball rope is a sun-bleached human skull

7. Bonfire fueled entirely by documents from old lawsuits

6. At meal time, they send you into the woods with a hunting knife and say, “Bon appetit, you little bastards!”

5. Baseball clinic is run by last place New York Mets

4. The strange-looking kid who keeps biting everyone turns out to be a giant mosquito

3. Dead horse + 1,000 volts = 8 seconds of horseback riding

2. They give you a special repellent to prevent bites by Mike Tyson

1. Camp motto: remember Waco

Top Ten Other Changes President Clinton Has Made at the White House
10. Alarm outside bedroom sounds when Hillary is approaching

9. Pillars on front porch replaced by Golden Arches

8. On front lawn, enormous marble statue of Clinton with his pants around his ankles

7. White House tour now clothing optional

6. New state of the art gym in case Tubby ever gets off his fat ass

5. Sound-proofing to block noise of George Washington spinning in his grave

4. New passcode: One knock for hookers, two knocks for pizza

3. All furniture now stuffed with shredded Whitewater documents

2. New sign: “If this Oval Office is rockin’, don’t come knockin'”

1. Hot and cold running gravy

Top Ten Good Things About Rooming With the President’s Daughter
10. Bitchin’ motorcade from history class to language lab

9. She shows up with beer coasters hand-knit by Betsy Ross

8. Your summer job next year: Ambassador to Belgium

7. Secret Service guys always available to buy you beer

6. Her care packages always include a tray of dad’s “special” brownies

5. You become fourth in line for Presidency

4. At some point, you find yourself playing “quarters” with Ted Kennedy

3. When ordering from Domino’s, you can take advantage of the President’s volume discount

2. If you receive poor mark on test, you can have professor slapped around by Janet Reno

1. Somehow, you’re not so embarrassed about your own father

Top Ten Things You Don’t Want to Hear on Your First Day of School
10. I’m guessing you didn’t spend the summer at fat camp

9. The new wood shop teacher has even fewer fingers than the last guy

8. Hi. I’m the most beautiful girl in the school and I won’t be going out with you again this year

7. Let’s begin Phys. Ed. by covering the basic rules of grab ass”

6. Tell us what it’s like to be the only virgin in Sex Ed. class

5. The creepy janitor’s got a cardboard cutout of you in the boiler room

4. Did you see the principal on ’60 Minutes’ last week?

3. Let’s pretend the falling flakes of asbestos are snow

2. My name is Mrs. Rosenblum — you may remember me from last year as Mr. Rosenblum

1. I’m your homeroom teacher, Mr. Hitler

Top Ten Signs Your Wife Is Having An Affair With Santa Claus
10. She refers to your bed as “Santa’s Workshop”.

9. An elf comes by the house to drop off a pair of her earrings.

8. Your new baby has white hair and a beard.

7. She smells like a combination of peppermints sticks and reindeerchow.

6. Instead of mailing your children’s letters to Santa, she juststuffs themin her bra.

5. Paramedics need jaws of life to get the two of them out of yourchimney.

4. Lately, she’s been commuting to work in a flying sled.

3. She keeps saying, “Not tonight — visions of sugarplums are dancingin myhead.”

2. For Christmas, your kids receive something called, “TheYour-Daddy-SucksDoll”.

1. During sex she shouts, “Ho, ho, ho!”

Top Ten Things The Founding Fathers Would Say If They Were Alive Today
10. “Remember that electoral college thing we made up when we were drunk? They’re still using it!”

9. “Maybe that ruthless monarchy thing in England wasn’t such a bad idea after all…”

8. “Good to see Florida is still using the same old voting machines”

7. “That’s odd — in my day, we also had a senator named Strom Thurmond”

6. “So that’s the Washington Monument? Yeah, in his dreams”

5. “Giuliani has really wrecked Times Square”

4. “We risk our lives to form this great nation and you wanna let George W. Bush run it?!”

3. “Back in our time there certainly wasn’t anyone as man-tastic as Ricky Martin”

2. “He did what in the Oval Office?”

1. “Screw this, we’re going to Canada”

Top Ten Ways The Wizard of Oz Would Be Different if it Were Made Today
10. Grisly scene in which Dorothy blasts flying monkeys out of the sky with an uzi

9. Katie bar the door! There’s a giant asteroid headed straight for Oz!

8. Dorothy steps outside and says, “Like, this is so not Kansas!”

7. Instead of “oil,” tin man moans, “Viagra”

6. Kathie Lee Gifford plays Dorothy — audience roots for witch

5. It would be named “Twister II”

4. To prepare for his role as the Scarecrow, DeNiro would have his brain removed

3. Lovable dog Toto replaced by lovable droid T.O.T.O.

2. Lions and tigers and bears, oh sh**!

1. New title — “Wiz Got Game”

Top Ten Signs You’ve Hired A Bad Easter Bunny
10. Costume is made from rabbits he hit on the interstate

9. Not really a hop — more of a drug impaired stumble

8. Before kids get candy they have to sit through a presentation about timeshare condos

7. Keeps saying, “Jesus? No doesn’t ring a bell…”

6. He’s been wearing the suit since November

5. Easter basket is filled with menthol cigarettes

4. Hides five eggs and the body of a drifter

3. He’s wearing a yarmulke

2. Tells you for an extra thousand bucks he won’t rat you out to the New York Post

1. He disappears for hours with Whitney Houston

Top Ten Most Popular Shows at the Vatican
10. “Friends…Of The Lord”

9. “World’s Scariest Popemobile Chases”

8. “Kids Say The Darndest Things and as a Result Go To Hell”

7. “Platonic Love Boat”

6. “Live! With Jesus & Kathie Lee”

5. “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch Who Was Burned At The Stake”

4. “Beverly Hills IXOCCX”

3. “Everybody Loves Praying”

2. “Virgin Mary Tyler Moore”

1. “M*A*S*S”

Top Ten Things Overheard Outside “The Da Vinci Code”
10. “So what other movies has Da Vinci done?”

9. “Would Jesus prefer Good & Plenty or Raisinets?”

8. “I’ve seen a fair number of codes in my day, but that was the Da Vinciest!”

7. “I couldn’t see anything over the Pope’s crazy hat”

6. “They want us to believe fishsticks were served at the last super?”

5. “Can I get a discounted ticket if my name is Vince?”

4. “Nine bucks a ticket, now that’s blasphemy – – am I right, people?”

3. “They could have done without the cameo by Larry the Cable Guy”

2. “Are you sure L. Ron Hubbard didn’t have anything to do with this?”

1. “One senior citizen ticket, Mr. Letterman?”

Today would have been the 105th birthday of my great-grandfather, Virgil Barmes. Those who remember Grandpa Virgil tend to remember the outrageous practical jokes played by this witty, yet seemingly quiet gentleman. Virgil Barmes was well known in my hometown as a fantastic baseball player, and one of the nicest gentleman one could have the honor and pleasure of knowing. Although I was only six when he died in 1970, he remains, to this day, one of the most memorable personalities of my youth, and of my family’s history.

To keep the children away from the lake’s dangers when parents were not around, Grandpa Virgil created a now legendary monster at Lake Dewart in Northern Indiana. Although a generation of grandchildren had been raised on the creature, it was not lost on his great-grandchildren, nor the following generations. The Woofenwalfus is still known to many at Lake Dewart up by Syracuse, Indiana, and naturally, it is a mainstay in the memories and recollections of his children, grandchildren, and a few of us older great-grandchildren.

December, 1970, the Grandpa Virgil’s last Christmas, he pulled me on his lap and said, “The Woofenwalfus came up out of the water the other day to scrounge for food and a hunter shot him. But, there are baby Woofenwalfus in the nest over on the island, so they will be up running around next spring.” As the years passed, and I shared stories of the Woofenwalfus with others, I could not help but think of the irony in his last Woofenwalfus story. Grandpa Virgil and the Woofenwalfus both took their final bows, and the next generations of Barmes and Woofenwalfus family members stepped up to the great baseball player’s plate.


Virgil Barmes as a teenager


Virgil with my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty Barmes


Various photos of Grandpa Virgil

How Broadway’s Awards Evolved

***********

The Tony Awards turned 60 June 11. Some two-dozen winners joined the select company of actors, writers, directors, designers and others who have made the trip down the aisle and up onto the podium. Over the years more than 1,100 Antoinette Perry Awards have been given, along with 200 special awards in non-competitive categories. The name Antoinette Perry lives on in the hearts and dreams of everyone who won, or hopes to win, a Tony Award. But who was Antoinette Perry, anyway? And why the Tonys?

Antoinette Perry was born in 1888 in Denver. Stagestruck from youth, she came to Broadway in 1906 in David Belasco’s The Music Master, followed in 1907 by Belasco’s A Grand Army Man. Perry retired in 1909, returning to Denver to raise a family. Following the death of her husband, she returned to the theatre. “Should l go on playing bridge and dining, going in the same old monotonous circle?” she asked. “It’s easy that way, but it’s a sort of suicide, too.”

Perry began producing and investing in 1923, courtesy of a multi-million-dollar inheritance from her husband, a co-founder of Cities Service Oil Company (now Citgo). Perry also acted in eight plays over a four-year stretch; her final appearance was as Clytemnestra in a 1927 production of Electra. Starting in 1928, Perry directed 17 plays in 16 years, mostly in collaboration with producer Brock Pemberton. This was not simply a dilettante at play; Perry, with two young daughters to support, was wiped out financially in the 1929 stock market crash. Directing jobs included three hits and one super smash, the 1944 comedy Harvey. While Perry was not Broadway’s first woman director, she held the record for the longest-running-show-directed-by-a-female until overtaken last summer by Susan Stroman of The Producers.

But the Tony Awards were not formed in recognition of Perry’s professional work. When war broke out in 1939, Perry spearheaded the organization of The American Theatre Wing of the British War Relief Society. (The Wing, we are told, was more or less “created in her drawing room.”) Following Pearl Harbor, the group was reorganized as the American Theatre Wing War Service, Inc. Perry and the Wing created the Stage Door Canteen in 1942. Located in the basement of the 44th Street Theatre (now the site of the loading docks of The New York Times), the canteen welcomed enlisted men for dancing and refreshments dished out by Broadway performers, including such stars as Gertrude Lawrence, Ethel Merman and the Lunts.

The Wing operated eight Stage Door Canteens across the country; they also distributed theatre tickets to servicemen by the thousands, as well as sending troupes of actors overseas and to military bases, hospitals and war-material factories. When Perry died of a heart attack in 1946, her many friends in the profession decided to establish “a living and self-renewing memorial to one whose largesse to the theatre in enthusiasm and talent and love was incalculable.”

And so it was that on the evening of April 6, 1947 – Easter Sunday – the “Antoinette Perry Awards Supper” was held at the Waldorf-Astoria. Following dinner, dancing and a program of entertainment, the first Tony Awards were announced at midnight and broadcast over radio station WOR.

Those attending the 60th Tony Awards Ceremony might be interested to learn that the 1947 affair offered dinner, dancing, entertainment and the awards ceremony for an all-inclusive price of $7.50 (about the price of a prime seat for a reigning musical hit). The invitation declared “dress optional.”

Thirteen awards were presented at that first Tony ceremony. Winners included Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Fredric March, José Ferrer, Agnes de Mille, Kurt Weill, Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller (for All My Sons). It should be noted that special awards went to a box-office treasurer; a theatre critic; an “angel”; a set builder; and restaurateur (Vincent Sardi, Sr.).

Entertainment included appearances by non-Broadway types like Mickey Rooney, as well as excerpts from that season’s Brigadoon, Finian’s Rainbow and Street Scene, and holdover hits Carousel and Oklahoma! (The Oklahoma! excerpt was performed by the then-current Curley, Howard Keel, then known as “Harold” Keel.)

Let us add that Tony underwent a last-minute name change. The first announcement of the Toni (as in Antoinette) Award brought the offer of a tie-in from Revlon, manufacturers of Toni (a permanent wave formula). Taken aback by such commercialism – and realizing that Revlon had an existing trademark on the name – it was deemed advisable to change the spelling.

Bloom and Grow Forever

The first ceremony was a grand success. Over the years, the Tony Awards grew and flourished, though not without growing pains. The original idea – to keep the assortment of categories flexible – proved unworkable; by 1949, several key award categories were added, including Best Musical. Winners were chosen by members of the Board of the Directors of the Wing; the 1947 group numbered 15, including critic Brooks Atkinson, producer Kermit Bloomgarden, and actress Helen Hayes (who received an award that evening).

There was a certain amount of logic in this, but such a small group of voters understandably led to a committee-club insularity. (“Don’t you think we ought to give it to Kit this time?”) In 1948, the Board determined to present not two but three awards for leading actor in a play, to Henry Fonda, Basil Rathbone, and the quickly-forgotten Paul Kelly. But nothing for Marlon Brando, that loutish vulgarian-in-undershirt who was just then setting Broadway aflame in A Streetcar Named Desire. Tennessee Williams, with his unseemly language, was overlooked as well; five awards, meanwhile, went to the patriotic and unarguably more wholesome Mister Roberts.

This situation changed in 1954. Bob Carr, a theatrical accountant, was invited to attend the selection of the winners in the kitchen of Wing president Helen Menken’s mansion on East 64th Street. (Menken had starred in the smash hit 1922 production of Seventh Heaven, and from 1926-28 served time as the first Mrs. Humphrey Bogart.) When someone said, “Let’s give it to so-and-so, they haven’t had it in a long while,” the horrified Carr said, “You can’t do that!” Menken and the Board members quickly concurred, asking Carr to administer the voting. He agreed, providing there was “an independent ballot and an independent count.” A new and more representative system – with voters drawn from outside the membership of the Theatre Wing – came into play. That system has been expanded through the years; currently, ballots are cast by 754 voters drawn from various theatrical organizations and unions.

The annual dinner-and-dance banquets frequented the Waldorf-Astoria, Plaza and Astor Hotels. Radio coverage moved to local-area television in 1956, although the 1948 ceremony was given an experimental telecast over the Dumont network. On the eve of the 20th awards in 1966, chairman Helen Menken died and the Wing appeared to be on the verge of abandoning the Tonys. The 1966 ceremony was cancelled, replaced by a simple luncheon at the Rainbow Room, without entertainment and closed to the general public.

Tony Plans a Broadcast

At this point fate intervened, in the form of the League of New York Theatres (now the League of American Theatres and Producers). The Tony Awards at that time did not have the visibility or significance of Hollywood’s Oscars, but after 20 seasons it was a tradition – and Broadway loves tradition. Irving Cheskin, executive director of the League, made the Wing an offer: “Let us help you get the Tonys on.” The Wing, under the direction of new president Isabelle Stevenson, agreed. Alexander H. Cohen, a Broadway producer with grand ideas, was hired to produce the next year’s ceremony. No sooner had this been announced than Cohen got a call from the William Morris Agency. “We can get you a TV deal,” they said. “Network TV.”

The first nationwide Tony ceremony, hosted by Mary Martin and Robert Preston (of the current hit I Do! I Do!), aired on March 26, 1967. Clocking in at a brisk 60 minutes, the event was held at the Shubert Theatre – the better to accommodate the excerpted portions of nominated musicals. The success of the telecast resulted in an expanded version the following year. In 1978, the program found a permanent home on CBS, which this year presented its 28th consecutive Tony Awards broadcast.

The second 20 years of the Tony Awards proceeded under the firm hand of Alex Cohen. The ceremony was quickly established as the aristocrat of award shows; just as quickly, Broadway producers realized that the annual nationwide exposure provided a golden opportunity to promote and publicize their shows, both in New York and on the road. Cohen’s final year was 1986, after which with the Wing and the League joined to form Tony Award Productions, which has produced the Awards since 1987.

Finding a Home at Radio City

In 1997, the Tony Award ceremony – which had been making the rounds of the bigger Broadway theatres – moved into Radio City Music Hall. This more than tripled the capacity, allowing extra thousands of theatre people and fans to attend what had theretofore been a necessarily restricted event. Since 2001, Elizabeth I. McCann has been the managing producer of the Tony Awards; fittingly enough, as she is herself an eight-time Tony winner.

And so the stage – both figuratively and literally – is set. On the June 11, for the 60th time in a string going back to the post-War year of 1947, Broadway honored its own as we entered the seventh decade of the Antoinette Perry Awards.

Some Record Holders

Broadway’s most frequent Tony-winning performer is Julie Harris, with five awards (not including an additional special award). She is closely followed by Gwen Verdon, Angela Lansbury, Zoe Caldwell and Audra McDonald, all with four; and Mary Martin and Jessica Tandy, with three. The men lag somewhat behind, with Zero Mostel, Boyd Gaines and Hinton Battle leading with three.

Numerous men – too many to name – have won two awards, with the list including Robert Preston, Phil Silvers, Rex Harrison, José Ferrer, Richard Kiley, John Cullum, Robert Morse, James Earl Jones, John Lithgow, Jonathan Pryce, Brian Dennehy, Walter Matthau, Alan Bates, George Hearn, Frank Langella, Christopher Plummer, Judd Hirsch, James Naughton, Al Pacino, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

Stephen Sondheim leads the writing brigade with seven awards, followed by Richard Rodgers, Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Arthur Miller with four. (Harvey Fierstein has four as well, winning one each for play, book of a musical, leading actor in a play and leading actor in a musical.) Tom Stoppard, Neil Simon, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cy Coleman, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Hugh Wheeler have each won three.

“Winner of X Tony Awards!” is a popular legend to find swinging on theatre marquee underslings. The Producers broke existing records with 12, topping Hello, Dolly! (with 10) and – with nine awards each – South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof and A Chorus Line. Tied at eight are the original productions of Guys and Dolls, Wonderful Town, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Redhead, Les Misérables and Hairspray. Non-musicals, with no access to songwriter and choreographer categories, understandably post lesser totals. Mister Roberts, Death of a Salesman, The Rose Tattoo, Sunrise at Campobello, The Miracle Worker, Becket, A Man for All Seasons, Child’s Play, Amadeus and The Real Thing head the list with five awards each (although some are credited with six, due to temporarily overlapping categories).

The director and choreographer categories have been dominated by Broadway giants, most of whom won awards in more than one category. Prominent among them are Bob Fosse and Tommy Tune, with 9 each; Gower Champion and Mike Nichols with 8; Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett, Joshua Logan and Susan Stroman with 5; and George Abbott and Jerry Zaks with 4. Leading the pack – and leading everyone in fact – is Harold Prince, who has won 8 as director and another 10 as producer. Tonight’s Lifetime Achievement Tony is his third special award.

Steven Suskin is author of “Second Act Trouble,” “Show Tunes” and “A Must See: Brilliant Broadway Artwork,” and a columnist for Playbill.com.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Alan Bennett’s “The History Boys” won six Tony Awards including best play on Sunday, and the 1960s Four Seasons biographical show “Jersey Boys” overcame the stigma against “jukebox musicals” to win best musical.

“The History Boys” dominated the drama category, winning best director, actor and supporting actress, as well as best play, adding to a clutch of awards it picked up in London where it started life at the National Theater.

The honors for musicals were more evenly divided, with “Jersey Boys” winning four, including best actor for John Lloyd Young, and supporting actor, Christian Hoff.

Its main rival, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a parody of 1920s musicals, won five awards, including best book and best score, as well as best supporting actress for Beth Leavel.

Best actress in a musical went to LaChanze, the star of “The Color Purple,” a show based on Alice Walker’s novel that ended up with just one award despite 11 nominations.

A new production of “Sweeney Todd” first seen in London won best director of a musical, for John Doyle.

Three of the original members of the Four Seasons were in the audience as “Jersey Boys” picked up the award for best musical, overcoming what director Des McAnuff said was a deep prejudice against musicals based on existing popular music.

“I think we were a little bit tainted by this ‘jukebox musical’ term,” McAnuff told reporters backstage. He said he preferred to think of “Jersey Boys” as a history play along the lines of Shakespeare, with celebrities as the new royalty.

Featuring hits such as “Sherry” and “Oh What a Night,” the show is the story of how four boys from New Jersey came from nowhere to be among the biggest pop stars of the 1960s.

“People don’t really know we’re a rock-and-roll biography,” Young told reporters after winning the award for best actor for his role as Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli, adding that just 18 months ago he was working as an usher on Broadway.

FOREIGN DRAMA WINS BIG

On the dramatic side, it was a good night for the British.

Set in a boys’ school, “The History Boys” stars Richard Griffiths as an eccentric teacher preparing teen-agers for university entrance exams.

“When we were told we were coming to Broadway we were a bit nervous about the response and whether the play would mean anything really over here,” Bennett said, accepting the award.

Griffiths won the award for best actor, Frances de la Tour won for best supporting actress and Nicholas Hytner won best director. The show also won awards for lighting and scenery.

Another Briton, Ian McDiarmid, was named best supporting actor in a play for “Faith Healer,” one of a clutch of Irish works nominated for awards.

“Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon, who won best actress in a play for playing a bereaved mother in “Rabbit Hole,” paid tribute to the foreign imports. “Other countries, particularly Britain, invest in their theaters in the way our government doesn’t,” she said.

Two classic American shows won the awards for best revivals — Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing!” in the play category and “The Pajama Game” on the musical side.

The Tonys had been seen as what one critic called a “two-way referendum” on the American musical — pitting “Jersey Boys” with its well-known hits against “The Drowsy Chaperone,” an entirely original show paying tribute to the genre’s traditions and absurdities.

Although it missed out on the big awards, “Drowsy” picked up five trophies, capping a fairy tale success story for its Canadian creators, who first wrote it as a skit to be performed at writer and lead actor Bob Martin’s bachelor party.

“This started as such a small thing and has grown to this marvelous creation,” Martin said, adding that the musical had retained its “quirky” Canadian character from fringe theaters to Broadway.

The 60th Tony Awards were presented at Radio City Music Hall by a string of Broadway stars, from Julie Andrews to Glenn Close, as well as Hollywood superstar Julia Roberts, and Oprah Winfrey, a producer of “The Color Purple.”

Saturday morning, my family traveled up to Fowler, Indiana to celebrate the first birthday of my youngest nephew, Parker Leroy Haas, the son of my brother, Destin, and his wife, Stacia.

More photos can be seen on my Yahoo website.






Photographs from the wedding and reception of my neice, Shaunna, daughter of my sister, Ann Haas Stewart.






A good friend of mine had this on her blog site and I had to post it as well – so funny!

Today’s thematically appropriate video features Rowan Atkinson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-fdjZDuaw4

A Baker’s Dozen of Inspirational Thoughts
from Dr. Wayne Dyer

Share these pearls of wisdom with your Grad, your Dad, or anyone who may benefit from this practical advice for living a successful, positive life—everyday!Excerpted from Everyday Wisdom for Success.

Chasing success is like trying to squeeze a handful of water. The tighter you squeeze, the less water you get. When you chase it, your life becomes the chase, and you become a victim of always wanting more.

If you refuse to change your job (if you don’t like it), the only sensible thing you can do is practice loving it every day.

Enjoy everything that happens in your life, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any person, place, or thing.

The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.

Most people are searching for happiness outside of themselves. That’s a fundamental mistake. Happiness is something you are, and it comes from the way you think.

You are in a partnership with all other human beings, not a contest to be judged better than some and worse than others.

Life is never boring, but some people choose to be bored . . . boredom is a choice.

Treat yourself and others with kindness when you eat, exercise, play, work, love, and everything else.

Money—like health, love, happiness, and all forms of success that you want to create for yourself—is the result of living purposefully. It is not a goal unto itself.

The opposite of courage is not so much fear as it is conformity.

Try viewing everyone who comes into your life as a teacher.

Forgiveness is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself. If you can’t learn to forgive, you can forget about achieving true success in your life.

There are limits to material growth, but there are no limits to inner enlightenment.

You can find these and more than 200 similar gems in Dr. Dyer’s Everyday Wisdom for Success—available everywhere books are sold. You can also order online from Hay House.

Wednesday morning, Jose was so excited to go to school because he was one of the ten students selected to have lunch with a well known teen author, Maragret Peterson Haddix. Apparently, the students were to write out questions last week, and then the author chose the ones that interested her most. Jose asked, “Who or what event inspired you most to write books specifically for youth our ages?”

Wow! Great question from Jose.

About the author…

AKA Margaret Peterson
Born: 1964Birthplace: Washington Courthouse, OH

Margaret Peterson Haddix spent her early years on a farm outside Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated college from Miami University (of Ohio). Over the years she has had a few different jobs. She was a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.

Husband: Doug Haddix (m. 1987)
Daughter: Meredith
Son: Connor

Ms. Haddix currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. She has two children, Meredith and Connor, and her husband, Doug is a newspaper editor.

University: English, Miami University Ohio

Author of books:
Just Ella (1999)
The Girl with 500 Middle Names (2001)
Among the Hidden (2001)
Turnabout (2002)
Because of Anya (2002)
Among the Imposters (2002)
Among the Betrayed (2002)
Among the Barons (2003)
Aunt Memory (2003)
Say What? (2004)

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