Race Is Not a Card…

Image result for free google images of deck of cardsImage result for free google images of deck of cards

Does anyone know what a race card is? Surely you’ve heard this term thrown around quite often, especially in the media. It implies that an individual of ethnicity, is somehow using his/her own race to attain some type of advantage as a result. But, here’s the million dollar question: How can a person’s race, be considered a card, that a person can flash or present at will, whenever the occasion seems suitable? Yet amazingly, people are accused of this all the time. In fact, every time I hear the term, I am astounded that it has gained so much momentum and attention over the years and is often viewed as a valid concern.

Now it would be unfair of me to speak for other ethnicities or make generalizations concerning my own, but I do think it’s safe to say that being that one cannot change their race at will, (and why would they want to) any more than they can stop the sun from shining or the rain from falling. But for me, ‘race’ consists of a full deck if you will, that people of various ethnic backgrounds reflect 2-4-7. They represent the entire ‘deck’, all day, every day, whereas a card can be pulled, changed, and altered as often as need be.

Furthermore, would you agree that by accusing a person(s) of playing the race card, also implies that there is some disadvantage that would inspire the use of this so-called card in the first place, in order to level the playing field? If everyone had the same opportunities, the proverbial ‘race’ card instance would be non-existent. Interesting that the very people who often tilt the field in their own favor, then audaciously turn around and accuse the unwilling recipients of these accusations, who in spite of so much adversity, still manage to embrace the life-long hands they’ve been dealt, with both resilience and acceptance. Kind of reminds me of the thinking behind affirmative action. Lets start the conversation. What say you?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

The Purple Rain/Reign Continues…

Image result for free google images of Prince Rogers NelsonImage result for free google images of Prince Rogers Nelson

A few days ago, I wrote a blog post called Farewell to a Royal Prince: https://sporterhall.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/fairwell-to-a-prince/. As I read it over several times, I realized that I did not touch on many of the things that I really wanted to. There is so much to say and I feel that my original article barely scratched the surface. So I decided to write a continuation, to see if I could actually do the artist we all know as ‘Prince’, some justice, at least in my own mind.

What I really wanted to say, was that the energy Prince created in his music was so magically and wonderfully contagious. The infamous guitar riffs captured each and every shred of a person’s being. Never having had the opportunity to see Prince in concert, I’ve only been able to witness his magic on film and radio. I can only describe his self-taught mastery of the guitar as pure and overwhelming electricity. And he shared his electrical musical tantrums with the world; charging through Friends (fans) with abandon, leaving them in awestruck shock, forever transformed by the experience.

I can’t think of any other artist that made fans feel like they were sharing in those high-voltage tantrums, while also releasing their own pent up, stored energy, right along with him, by way of his high energy performances and a one-of-a-kind unique dance style, that included jumping off of risers and speakers that were several feet high. And lets talk about the dancing for a minute. Wow! Prince had a way of bringing the flavor of James Brown, Little Richard and the slightest hint of Elvis into his splits, fancy footwork, sexy gyrations and incredible handling of the microphone; which seemed to bend and fall under his expert command and high fever-pitched screams . He was truly something to watch. As I learn more about him, I realize that I never really knew just how great of an all-around artist/performer Prince was until now. It’s like I’m being introduced to him all over again, and I’m so thrilled to make his acquaintance, even if only in song and on film.

Prince was fearless, an eccentric musical warrior, able to project an overwhelmingly masculine presence, yet was so visibly in touch with his feminine side; a delicate balancing act within itself. But make no mistake. Standing only 5 feet 2 inches, Prince was all man, in every sense of the word. He exuded a masculine swagger that was all his own, sprinkled with little pops of femininity throughout his persona, much like the bursts of color that always adorned his amazing wardrobe.

Prince was able to blend people of all walks of life together with his music, whether that was his original intention or not. He was a master chef of an expansive melting pot, that still gives off its sweet aroma of love, harmony, and selflessness, all seasonings that are enjoyed throughout the world today, as a result of his phenomenal love for his craft and his friends (fans). Not only did his friends (fans) get the show of their lives during his performances, but they also received the bonus of a unique kind of therapy, universal in its healing, as he administered ultra-high doses of his specialized formula to the world.

His talent speaks for itself, and in resounding volumes that will blare out in amplified decibels for many decades to come. I defy anyone to sit still while listening to songs like: Let’s Go Crazy, Little Red Corvette, Controversy, 1999 (Party Like It’s 1999) and seemingly countless others. His music makes you happy, it raises you up when you’re feeling low, it gives you hope when the world seems hopeless. It takes a special kind of person to be able to create such a powerful and positive landscape, all while expressing himself by way of his passion. It’s what makes his death so hard to accept.

Purple, the color of passion, that of which he gave without inhibition, each and every time he stepped onto the stage. Is it any wonder that purple was Prince’s signature color?Royalty never donned an artist so well, as did his birth name, Prince. So much zest for life, now whisked away as quickly and unexpectedly as when he first burst onto the scene with his debut album titled: For You, in 1978.

Prince was an artist who was socially conscious on so many levels. His highly sexual expressiveness, was disturbing to some, but you have to appreciate his raw honesty and  uninhibited way of letting his feelings be known and heard. He made the world feel free as he let us all know that it’s okay to be an individual and to be true to one’s own self. In spite of all the highs and lows of the music industry, Prince did remain true to himself throughout his thirty five plus year career. Even if you aren’t a fan, surely you can respect his hustle. So sad to think that even after all the music that he shared with us, there is still so much more to Prince that we will never know. The hazy mystique of his opaque persona, will be shrouded in even more mystery than ever before. After all, isn’t that what true legends are made of? And so the purple rain/reign continues!!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

**Prince did not care for the word ‘fan’. He often to referred to his audience(s) and lovers of his work as his ‘friends’, as referenced in this post.

Images: Free Google images

Farewell to a Royal Prince…

It’s growing very tiresome and troublesome, mourning yet another mega-superstar musical icon. Yet, somehow, I still have some tears left. Prince Rogers Nelson is gone. It still doesn’t resonate with me, whether I write it or say it. In fact, it’s downright unbelievable! He was one of the last true baby-boomer sensations, that my generation could relate to on such a deep level.

Each time an announcement is made about the death of another larger-than-life person, of course the initial reaction is a big fat dose of denial. At least this is the case for me. But this time, denial didn’t stay around very long, as the media began to quickly flood the airwaves on Thursday afternoon, April 21, 2016, with the shocking news of Prince’s death.

Maybe you hoped as I did that this was another hoax. Sometimes people with a dark, sick sense of humor, ignite rumors of a celebrity’s passing. Incidentally, Bill Crystal has been reported to have passed away several times, but thankfully, he lives to laugh about it. But there’s nothing funny about it. Especially, God forbid, when the day actually comes and the ‘true’ announcement is made, no one will believe the news. Unfortunately, our ‘Prince’ has left the building, for real.

I must say that I am both moved and impressed by the outpouring and showings of support from all over, to pay homage to this genius of a man, known by only one name, Prince. A man that has contributed so much to the music industry and the world in general. Interestingly, I don’t see very many people shedding tears. Mostly, there is contagious dancing and laughter amidst the purple rain, that has spread like wildfire, as people gather to reminisce about their beloved ‘Prince’. The tear-free crowds are a bit of an unusual sight, but also refreshing to see because it helps to dry up some of my own. He has given us pure joy through song and selfless humanity, both of which were shared so generously with with so many; two gifts that keep on giving as his music and kindness  live on forever.

I may not have all of his music, or any of his music. I can truly love an artist and what they do, but won’t have one piece of their music. This is amazing to me even as I share this odd fact about myself. But does that make me any less a fan than the person that has their favorite artist plastered all over their bedroom wall, or owns every t-shirt ever made in that’s artist’s image? I think not. I am just as much a fan of Prince as anyone else. As always, when an artist that I adore passes away, I pay homage to them by watching every documentary, news segment, reading every article I can get my hands on concerning the person. I then get to the business of purchasing all of their music. You may think this is backwards, but I guess it’s how I roll. Regardless, I will soon be able to play his music in heavy rotation within the comfort of my home.

I’ve often heard others who don’t understand the die-hard fan nature of some people. They don’t understand how people can get so caught up and distraught when a high caliber celebrity passes away. After all, they don’t know the celebrity personally. Well, that’s easy to answer. When you truly enjoy the artistry and talent of a artist and they move you in ways that can barely be described in words, as a true fan, you develop a connection with these people. You almost feel as if you do know them. It’s called the power of music and it is magical.

Prince provided the soundtrack, backdrop, and narrative for a major part of my life, as I’m sure he did for so many others. How could I not feel connected in a strong way when tragedy strikes? His music has gotten me through some exciting, tough and very challenging times. And there’s so much music that he gifted us with. It’s so fitting that he loved the color purple. He seemed to quietly and humbly rest comfortably in knowing that he was indeed royalty. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that he’s gone and that I will never get the opportunity to see him in concert. At least there’s film and plenty of music to remember him by and for that, I am eternally grateful. I will miss him greatly. Rest in peace, royal Prince.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

A Morning of Mourning…

I’ve learned more in the past couple of months than I had ever hoped to. There are so many things about myself that I’ve never noticed before. Crucial situations can do that to a person. You don’t know what to expect until you’re in a situation. And even when you are in the situation, you still don’t know what to do or what to expect. You find yourself going through life in a kind of “trial by fire” frame of mind, getting burned here, singed there.

I spoke about loss in a previous post: Goodbye to My Girls – https://sporterhall.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/goodbye-to-my-girls/ I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was in mourning when I wrote that piece. As a matter of fact, I think I still am. But it’s not the first time. My original surgery date had been scheduled for May 20, 2015. The morning of my surgery was a very emotional one for me. I was not prepared for the wave of emotions that washed over me, literally, as I showered for the last time with all in tact. I found myself feeling overwhelmingly apologetic for my decision to radically address my medical issue. I never imagined I would feel so guilty about it.

I arrived at the hospital, pretty calm as I recall. After all, I had had a very cleansing cry that morning. I had mourned that morning. So I felt pretty clear and a lot lighter. I remember talking to the staff in the operating room. The next thing I remember was the nurse whispering to me gently that the doctor would come and talk to me. I was too out of it to think that there might be something wrong. I felt a soreness on my left side, so I assumed it was from the radical surgery that had been performed. As I emerged from the anesthesia, reality greeted me with the cruelest twist. The surgery had not been performed due to a medical complication. What?!! This had to be the worst kind of joke. Either that, or I must have heard wrong. There was no way that I was put completely under anesthesia for a major surgical procedure, only to awake to find that it had not taken place. The more coherent I became, the clearer the picture came into view. My surgeon made the best call. He didn’t take any chances with risking proceeding forward and I get it. But I wasn’t prepared for the mental fall out of this interruption.

Fate had allowed me to mourn the loss of 2 vital parts of my anatomy and prepare for it mentally. I was thrilled that I had a little while longer to be in tact. But all that really did was mess my head up. I mean, here I sit, writing this piece, and I still don’t feel mentally ready, not the way I did on May 20th. The postponement opened the door for my mind to play tricks on me. I started to toy with the idea that maybe, just maybe, this surgery isn’t necessary at all. Life certainly wouldn’t be so cruel as to play this kind of joke on me, or would it? To say goodbye once is bad enough, but to have to say goodbye again, is more than anyone deserves.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Is Support M.I.A.?

Every now and then people do really nice things for one another. Some people are blessed enough to have this happen more times than they can count. Then there are those of us that have a hard time recalling when a gesture was made on our behalf that just blew us away. Well, I’m happy to say that I now know what that feels like.

A very good friend of mine knows all too well my struggle and is often on the receiving end of my ranting. Little did I know that she was gathering information to do the ultimate “good deed”. My friend took the time to research and set up a Gofundme campaign on my behalf and titled it: Hearts Connecting for Sylvia/shortlink: http://bit.ly/1ecBS8O or gofundme.com/heartsforSylvia. I don’t know who was more excited, her or me.

Aside from a handful of very giving people, the most peculiar thing is that the response has not been what we had hoped for. The campaign has been posted numerous times via social media. I am disheartened, disappointed, and down right sad to find that the people I expected to be supportive, are the ones that are quiet as a mouse. It costs nothing to share the link and make others aware of the cause, but that isn’t happening either.

When I view the campaign, it is astounding to me that there have been hundreds of visits to the page, but where is the support? Don’t people realize that a little goes a long, long way? A donation counts whether it’s $5.00 or $25.00, $50.00 or $500.00. Every bit helps and every bit counts. I would never have imagined I would be writing a post like this to express the urgency and the need. I have come to the aid of others on numerous occasions without a second thought. I’ve always been taught that if you’re blessed to give and show your support, than you should pay it forward.

I am trying so hard not to lose faith in people but this instance makes it very difficult. I feel like I’ve been walking a tight rope, slowly and cautiously, all the while thinking supportive people are behind me and there to catch me should I fall. But instead, I look over my shoulder, and not only are they not walking on the rope with me, but they they seem to have left the building. Many of these people I’ve known for many, many years so they know the strength of my character. The life battles that I am now fighting, have inspired me to be more transparent about my life than ever before. It’s not easy to be this open, but it does provide a kind of therapy to release my thoughts. I just need some support to carry the load. I may not be dying or on my last breath, thank God, but it’s a fight every day just to survive. So, I’m appealing to the goodness and selfless nature that I know must exist in most people.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

No 2-Ways About It

I was checking out the Yahoo news stories this morning and came across an eye-opening article that was both interesting and maddening at the same time. In Illinois, Cigar and Stripes bar owner Ronnie Lottz, has a 2-way mirror in the women’s bathroom of his bar. As reported in the Huffington Post Women by Sebastion Murdock on Tuesday April 28, 2015, the mirror has been part of a long-time gag that has entertained patrons for 15 years.

Originally, the mirror was installed next to a little closet-like room in the bathroom where a monster would appear at the flick of a switch, virtually sending women screaming for their lives, hence supporting the popular ‘haunted’ bar theme. Mr. Lottz’s suggestion is simple: Look behind the door before entering to use the facilities. Frankly, it’s surprising that he hasn’t been sued by now for scaring the living daylights out of people. I’d be pretty mad if I went to use the ladies room, only to discover that there’s something lurking in there just waiting to shake me to my core. I don’t think I’d have had a single giggle left in me, had I been the butt of this obviously bad joke. Now mind you, I am someone with a pretty darn good sense of humor. It looks like the line has not only been crossed, but erased entirely when it comes to playing a gag and having good sense…of the common kind that is. I’m just saying.

Female comedian Tamale Rocks, recorded the 2-way mirror’s existence and shared it via a Youtube video she posted, exposing what she feels is wrong in more ways than one. Mr. Lottz quickly volleyed back that this particular comedian’s career may have needed a little boost. He further implied that drawing attention to the 2-way mirror in his establishment, was Miss Rocks’ way of getting some attention for herself, while pumping some much needed air into her deflating career.

Can you guess where the bar owner now stands on this topic; now that his long-time mirrored antics have been more widely exposed? Well, evidently Mr. Lottz has no intention of taking the mirror down. Was that your guess too? Certainly, he is aware of the extra publicity his business has gained, as a direct result of Miss Rocks’ expose’. It looks like a win-win situation for both. No 2-ways about it!!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

An Unforeseen Race

 

Pure craziness now surrounds the world of healthcare. This has probably been the case for quite some time now, but it has recently become painfully evident to me. The chaos that is now a part of securing proper medical coverage, simply can’t be made up. I wish that it could but it’s a very real scene for many people; a reoccurring nightmare. It has become a dirty rat race where the people winning certainly are not the recipients of the much sought after ‘care’. The chase is on and many are finding themselves in a vicious cycle that is marred by nasty customer service people and incorrect information. People have become little hamsters running on their tread wheels, forever chasing the ‘illusive affordable healthcare’ programs and getting nowhere fast.

I recall a time, when I wasn’t in the least bit concerned about healthcare. I had a decent job and had worked at the same company for many years. So, healthcare was never an issue for me. But, like in so many instances, life happened and changed my plans. One bad bout with illness can land you in the ‘disability’ pot where you are introduced to all kinds of unsavory ingredients that don’t blend well together. I know all too well because it happened to me.

I don’t know anyone that desires to be in the ‘disability’ pot. Especially, when you’re use to working. Suddenly, you find yourself in a health crisis and can no longer do many of the things you once were capable of doing. Your income is now limited, so you find yourself having to settle for healthcare that has been more or less decided on for you. Honestly, I’ve learned more about healthcare in the past 18 months than I care to know and I must say, I was not prepared.

Just when you think you have the right plan in place, one that satisfies all your medical, dental and prescription needs, the ‘state’ decides to make new change(s) and everything hits the fan all over again. Obviously the people that come together to make these rules and decisions on how healthcare plans will be administered, have not had to run on the tread wheel themselves. Or maybe they’ve forgotten what it feels like. It’s painfully disheartening and disappointing to be kicked while you’re down. It seems the more you need particular components in your healthcare plan, the more options become unavailable to you. It’s like someone is turning a knife slowly in an existing wound, while watching you bleed out slowly. We might as well sign our names in blood. After all, that seems to be the cost to stay healthy nowadays.

I can’t end without mentioning the skimpy dental plans that seem to be becoming more and more streamline by the minute. And heaven help you if you are heading towards your senior years. Do these people not deserve to have comparable and appropriate coverage, just as they would if they were 20 years younger? Do teeth become a non-issue or less important when people become older? I beg to differ. Don’t the ‘powers that be’ realize that if proper dental care isn’t made attainable for everyone, regardless of age, that more people than ever will be in need of affordable health insurance because dental issues can surely result in other health issues. Once again, back on the vicious cycle and around an around we go.

What should ‘we’ the people do? Should we gather names and sign petitions to express our extreme dissatisfaction? Do we write to our politicians? And if we do so, will they hear us? Better yet, will they even respond to us? Who knows what the answers are but there has to be a better way. We live in a great country with so many liberties and freedoms, but many of us are at risk of not fully enjoying these privileges because we are slowly losing our rights, ability and support to stay healthy. If our neighbor Canada can offer free healthcare to its citizens, than why can’t New York State do the same?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Life in a Bubble

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people complain about living in Upstate New York – Rochester to be exact. The negative comments range anywhere from the shrinking economy to gripes about the winter weather. I’ve always defended my neck of the woods and I’m always more than happy to give the ‘up’ side of living here in the midst of all the hemming and hawing.

There are many cities that are faring far worse than Rochester New York. Especially, in terms of weather. The recent news coverage of our Western New York neighbor Buffalo, has kept everyone abreast of the winter pummeling that that region has undergone. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning, and it’s nothing new. It seems that every year, weather reports outline the havoc that the winter season wreaks on our ‘sister’ city. How Rochester manages to miss the bulk of much of the snow is quite amazing. It’s almost as if there’s an invisible bubble that shields us from the worst of the winter weather, while it makes its presence known to our nearby neighbors, Buffalo and Syracuse.

I guess you could say that we experience a little bit of every kind of weather here and to me, that’s great. The four seasonal changes are second to none. I love the ‘renewal’ affect that the ‘spring’ season brings. Everything is revived and comes back fresh and new. I enjoy summer for many reasons. One being that the days are longer. Secondly, some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets can be experienced during this season. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be the ‘fall’ season. Nothing reflects nature’s beauty more than all the brilliant colors that the foliage takes on at this time of year; also know as ‘autumn’. Last but not least is ‘old man winter’. Yes, this season has its drawbacks, but the snow is pretty to look at.

While having a problem tire on my car addressed earlier today, I picked up the newspaper that was sprawled out on a little table where it’s last reader had left it. The front page caught my attention: Why Rochester? I swelled with pride as I continued to read. The article listed five reasons why Rochester is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

      1. It was named the third best place to raise a family in Forbes Magazine in 2010, which I was unaware of. I love it when I learn something new.

      2. Rochester’s ‘sister’ cities Buffalo and Syracuse get hit much harder by snow fall than Rochester. Just a couple of weeks ago, snow removal crews left Rochester to go and assist with some of the snow removal in Buffalo. Oftentimes, a storm will be pointed right at us. Yet somehow, Rochester seems to be positioned in a way that often allows us to escape the brunt of many storms, and thankfully so.

      3. Wegmans grocery store is one of our proudest home-grown businesses and now operates 85 stores in 6 states: New York = 46 stores, New Jersey = 7 stores, Virginia = 6 stores, Maryland = 7 stores, Massachusetts =3 stores

      4. Many Rochesterians are huge fans of the Buffalo Bills and consider the team as much a Rochester team as it is a Buffalo team. For the last several years, Pittsford New York’s St. John Fisher College has been the designated location for the Bills training camp. The Bills may not have had consecutive wins in a long time, but during the 1990s, they held a dominant streak. They were the first team to make it to the Superbowl in 4 consecutive seasons. Bills fans set a single-season NFL record of 635,889 in attendance during the 1991 season.

      5. Rochester is small in comparison to some of the bigger cities, but where it is smaller in size, it definitely makes up for in culturally diverse events. This city is big on the arts and pays homage by way of numerous festivals, concerts, etc. throughout the year. In doing so, Rochester provides a little something for all the different people that come out in droves seeking that perfect mix of cultural diversity to satisfy their varying individual tastes.

There truly is a lot to discover and experience here in Rochester and I am amazed at the things I’m still becoming aware of, even after having lived here all my life. All in all, I’m happy in my little corner of the world. Life in a bubble certainly has its advantages.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

A Good Connection

Everything in life has a connection, or so it seems. There is a link of some kind that binds and bonds all things and people together. But is that connection only as good as the link that brought those people and things together in the first place? Interesting question you might say.

For instance, nothing is more infuriating than a bad connection when you’re on an important phone call, right? The person on the other end is speaking but they can’t hear you or vice versa. Who or what is to blame? Is it the other person’s phone or service that is at fault or is the issue on your end? Who’s to say in this day of modern technological advances? You would think in this day and age that achieving a good connection would be effortless. Yet, these problems still exist in spite of all of the upgrades and savvy options that are available to us.

How about those times when you’re out and about and you run into an old friend? The two of you used to be very close and once stayed in touch.. However, over time, you have drifted apart like two water-logged barges that have lost their way, while wandering aimlessly through murky waters. You go through all the niceties, embracing and mutually expressing how good it is to see each other. You exchange contact information and vow to stay in touch…for sure this time. But as is often the case, neither of you make a move to reach out to the other. So, where does the ‘weak’ link lie? Was this a bad connection or one that simply did not exist in the first place? Or are you both simply ‘weak’ links?

Then, there are those rare instances where you connect with someone whom you’ve never met before. You’re at an event, and just seem to naturally gravitate to each other. You exchange contact information and have good intentions of staying in touch. To your amazement, you answer each others emails consistently, plans are made and kept. This new person appears to be just as excited as you are about the new connection. The most remarkable thing of all is that this person doesn’t even live in the same city or state that you do. She lives thousands of miles away and visits here only on occasion to see about her mom. How good it feels that someone thought enough of you to put aside time to get together with you, in spite of a busy schedule that allows little time for anything outside of its parameters. It makes me think about all the people that I’ve known most of my life, that live in the same city as I do, but have chosen to disconnect and remain disconnected. No reason in particular…at least none that I am aware of. I don’t know why this happens, but it does. Evidently, some things are not meant to be and should be left as is.

With that being said, I was in the right place at the right time, thankfully. As a result, I have come across a new friend and it seems that we share an awesome connection. Interestingly, she used to live here many years ago, but now lives in Nevada. We had the opportunity to have dinner last night. She was hoping to go some place that had a bit of history that she could hold on to and take back home and reminisce about. I suggested an artsy, open cafe’/restaurant with a warm and friendly atmosphere. This place had no shortage of comfy sofas & cozy chairs, fancy wooden tables, and diner style seating that ran along side of the widest open windows, which provided a great view of all the adult Halloween participants carousing about in the damp night air. The high ceilings were mesmerizing along with the art-deco style walls. I was happy to inform my friend that this cafe’ had once been a car dealership back in the day. Incidentally, it was where I bought my very first car.

Needless to say, we were both very satisfied with the choice. Our similar interests helped draw us together which made the brief time that we spent effortless. We found ourselves sitting and chatting for hours, as if we’ve known each other for years. We even shared some great laughs as we took in some people proudly sporting full Halloween costumes. Unfortunately, my friend will be flying back to Nevada later this afternoon. But the fact that we live so far apart, only fuels our anticipation for our next visit which won’t be until next summer. But no worries. We have both agreed to keep this ‘friendship’ train on the track and moving. Priceless in my opinion and a good connection indeed.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Fly Robin Fly

FILE - This 1987 file photo released by Touchstone Pictures shows actor Robin Williams in character as disc-jockey Adrian Cronauer in director Barry Levinsons comedy drama, "Good Morning Vietnam." (AP Photo/Touchstone Pictures)

I was extremely saddened to learn that ‘entertainer extraordinaire’ Robin Williams passed away On Monday August 11, 2014. It was even more disheartening to hear officials speculate that he may have taken his own life. Indeed a crash landing for a man who soared to such magnificent heights as a performer.

I first became acquainted with the work of Robin Williams during the sitcom days of Mork & Mindy which ran from 1978 to 1982. He went on to do such hugely memorable things; everything from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire to Goodwill Hunting and more. His talent seemed to have no bounds and he always had me in stitches. I’ve seen him interviewed on numerous talk shows over the years and I have to say, it was painfully humorous to watch the host(s) try and conduct a serious interview with Mr. Williams with his constant joke-cracking at every turn, taking full advantage of every opportunity to throw them off their ‘game’ with his witty and outrageous tactics. I don’t recall witnessing one host who was able to keep it together in his presence.

You could just see them struggling to stay in control until it became impossible, at which point they would let loose into thunderous hysterical laughter. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but usually ended up doing both. Robin would just continue on mercilessly, with his rapid-fire barrage of comedic jokes that seemed to spew from a never-ending arsenal of humorous lines.

Comedic timing is key in the world of comedy and Robin Williams had it down to a science, that he managed to successfully convert into his own special art form.  He will surely be missed but  never forgotten and is certain to go down in entertainment history as one of the most accomplished entertainers to ever grace the screen,stage, etc. Rest in peace great man with the ever-present smile. Fly Robin fly.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

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Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

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