Smiling Pumpkins Are My Preference

I’ve always been fascinated with good witches, like Samantha Stevens on Bewitched, and I love black cats. But I must admit, I’m not really in favor of frightening grins on pumpkins, skeltons, ghouls and goblins.

There is enough fear in the world already, especially this year.

Loved this grinning pumpkin image on an item I spotted in a thrift shop.

Happy Halloween!

Book Review of The Perfect Candidate by Peter Stone

The perfect plot, I call this one. A young adult thriller The Perfect Candidate is satisfying to mature readers also.

A recent high school grad, son of a small time landscape designer named Cameron Carter, travels to Washington from California and spends the summer as an intern for a US Rep.

In addition to opening mail and preparing reports, he is selected by a mysterious FBI agent to investigate the rep for whom he works. His queries lead him to discover how Washington changes the character of those who become office holders, and their staff members as well.

He is joined in the investigation by his unlikely girlfriend, daughter of the Mexican Embassador, a fascinating young woman of many talents.

Surprises await Cameron and author Peter Stone’s readers when Cameron returns to California at the story’s conclusion. That’s all I’m saying . . . read for yourself.

Weekly Wisdom – The Penny Mason Post

Better to show up than to give up.

-Bernie Sanders

Though your favorite candidate, whoever that might be, from whatever party, may have dropped out, don’t forget to vote! It’s the easiest chance each of us has, as a citizen, to change things.

Memorable Movie Review of A Hole in the Head

This 1959 flick, A Hole in the Head, starring Frank Sinatra and Edward G Robinson is a fun, sometimes comic, sometimes heart wrenching story of a father, played by Frankie and his son Ally.

Set in Miami, at The Garden of Eden Hotel, in the city’s heyday as a vacation paradise, the film is a great two hour escape.

Ally is the more mature of the father and son pair, though he’s only a young boy. Frankie has big plans to get ahead, but at the moment is broke, (not poor, there’s a difference, he declares).

Frankie’s character’s brother, played by Edward G. Robinson decides to loan him the money he needs, but only if he agrees to an arranged marriage.

When Frank’s character declines to wed, though he’s obviously grown fond of the lady, Edward’s character and his wife plan to take Ally home to New York to be raised in a more responsible manner.

Ally is having none of it. He loves his father too much. The surprise ending, after a bit of worry about the outcome from those who care about the characters, (which is likely the majority of the film’s viewers), is classic Frank Capra.

 

Enjoying an E. B. White Essay Beneath an Apple Tree

Nothing says New England like the soft glow of apples, shining in the sun, the fascinating texture of tree trunks and branches, the spell that infuses the understory of an orchard. I’m missing my jaunts to the Northeast, but reading the works of authors whose words capture the classic spirit of the area sustain me.

Several years ago I received a book of E. B. White essays as a gift at Christmas. I haven’t had a chance to read them all, but it is fun to save them as a treat on days when I’m feeling down.

Although the essay I read on a recent afternoon was a lament for the disappearance of sleeper cars and passenger trains, it was heartening to hear the author’s echo from the past, of a mode of transportation I knew still existed, but I never experienced, in my early years. It sparked thoughts of things passed, that I myself mourn today.

Simple things, like neatly packed grocery bags pushed to our cars by polite bag boys or girls, people who pumped our gas and performed on-the-fly fixes; telephone operators who would assist us for free, no matter what type of problem we were experiencing.

Dial telephones without answering machines could actually be more efficient than smartphones. When I was a kid, we all felt secure in the fact someone would help us if we suffered a serious problem, without a long wait, though we weren’t connected 24/7.

Now we supposedly have unlimited access for our every need or desire, if we have a smartphone, but we must push buttons and wait for many minutes before we can reach a human voice. Everything is about company profits, not convenience as marketing propaganda would have us believe.

If E. B. White were alive today, he would certainly have material for essays memorializing conveniences that have been lost due to the need for company profits, as was the difficulty with passenger railways in less populated areas, once interstate highways were created.