For the horror and wretchedness you threw at us in the last 12 months, I could peel you like a pear, and God Himself would call it justice. As satisfying as that would feel, it turns out that life’s good times were made that much sweeter by the bitterness of your reign. It’s with a smile that I reflect upon some of the highlights.
The year began with my falling deeper in love with Bogie in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Not too stinkin’ of a start!
The year ended a week ago, as I unwrapped not one but two copies of David Thomson’s The Big Screen for my birthday. Autumn brought me not two but three text messages quoting Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter: “Henry, I have a confession . . . I don’t much like our children.”
A summer visit from Dad brought into my life not four but five films of Mae West’s, a sharp and shapely woman admired by generations of fathers and sons for countless reasons.
Right before Thanksgiving, Olympia Dukakis reminded me of her limitless acting abilities in Elektra.
Two blessed friendships led me on trips to Hollywood, Dollywood and Graceland. Keeping me company on the road to each, Judy was right there for my entertainment, forgetting the words to “You Go to My Head” during every Carnegie Hall performance.
Idina Menzel walked barefoot on to the stage at Davies Hall and sang “Over the Rainbow.” A few months later, the San Francisco Symphony performed flawlessly the score of The Wizard of Oz – Sandy and I each got a permanent, just for the occasion.
It was in my favorite restaurant where my favorite waiter told me Americans had elected in favor of protecting Big Bird . . . Michelle and I celebrated by ordering the chicken.
On October 6th, 2012, my love was justified, as no song lyric can touch the likes of “Rita Hayworth gave good face.”
And for all the other wonderful times and films that filled the year, I am grateful to you, dear and wretched 2012, for I predict that your successor will succeed where you failed.
Now be gone, before somebody drops a house on you!