There is a group of us standing around talking about old movies that we love and bouncing quotes off of each other.
I roll out a couple from Casablanca, The Blues Brothers, Walk The Line and Apollo 13 and nod smile at some of the others that are shared.
As we go back and forth one of the younger fellows says he has a great one from Riding Silverman. I snort, chuckle and shake my head
“Why are you laughing? Does that bring up a particular memory? Do you know the movie?”
I look at the guy and tell him he has to be wrong.
“It’s Saving Silverman unless you watched some x-rated show that I am not familiar with.’
He asks me what makes me an expert about Silverman movies and I ask him how many movies he can name that have a Jewish surname in the title.
“Besides, Saving Silverman is only about 20 years old, I remember thinking about going to see it when my oldest was a toddler.”
He looks at me and asks if I am sure Silverman is a Jewish name and I nod my head.
“Several cousins on my father’s side were named Silverman. I had grandparents named Silver and was told it was Silverman before they came here. So yeah, I am pretty sure. I’d get you in touch with Percy Silver but that is a long distance call now.”
I Kept My Promise
That is my grandfather in the picture above, the aforementioned Percy Silver who made me promise to keep his memory alive.
He would have accused me of giving the movie inquisitor “The Business” and he would have been partially correct.
I wasn’t wrong about the mistake he made naming the movie nor did I make anything up about the names and my family.
But I did I give him some grief, yeah I gave him a little bit of “The Business.”
I make no apologies for it nor do I make apologies for offering my help and support to people who are too stubborn to take it.
It is hard to get me to commit to certain things. I am busy, stubborn and set in many of my ways. But there are those people I let into the circle who can always call me and know I’ll be there.
I don’t offer it blindly, easily or often but I don’t rescind it very easily either.
When my dear friend David was hospitalized with his brain tumor he called me from Boston to say he was being held against his will.
The tumor was wreaking havoc on his judgment in some areas so he didn’t recognize the hospital for what it was. He thought aliens had captured him but he knew that I would explore options for breaking him out of there.
We were 25.
I made two or three telephone calls after David and I spoke.
The first was to confirm what the hell was going on with him and the second was to see if another friend was still in Boston. I figured he could visit the hospital and give me a visual. If things weren’t right, well I figured I could bunk with him and we’d figure out how to get David out.
If it makes you feel good you can call that silly, ridiculous and influenced by watching too many movies. You can be ambivalent too or anywhere in between and I am good with it.
I am just sharing small parts and pieces of who I am.
Would I do things differently now?
Probably, my body won’t tolerate some of the physical nonsense I used to put it through anymore. But that doesn’t mean I am not as good as I once was…once.
What it really means is I am far more likely now to think about it all. Measure twice, cut once.
Can’t be running into buildings without any forethought any more, it hurts when you jump off of roofs and or walls now. 😉
Actually it always hurt a little bit, but that went away very quickly. Things don’t always go away anymore like that, heck if you sneeze the wrong way you sometimes get a funny ache.
You Take Yourself Too Seriously
I have been accused of taking myself too seriously and of not taking myself seriously enough. The accusers have never been people who I believe know me well enough to have much insight.
Those words ring as true to me as asking me to wear a sweater because you are cold. It is unlikely to happen.
Been a particular sort of week and I have had a few moments where I was a little fired up.
Few if any knew that is how I felt because there was no benefit to sharing. No advantage or additional peace of mind given by sharing my thoughts.
Wasn’t going to make anything better and I wasn’t interested in platitudes. It was similar to when I was living on my own here in 2017 and there was all sorts of chaos going on.
Had to walk through hell covered in gasoline for a good part of that time by myself with not much more than faith that if I did so I would reach the other side and things would be better.
It all worked out, maybe not as I planned or hoped but it worked out and most of what was hard stopped being hard long ago.
Gave me a thicker skin, more stories to tell and additional faith in some abilities that I wasn’t as sure of.
Not something I would recommend or advise others to do but it also gave me insight and compassion in some areas that I didn’t have before.
I know far more about how scary some situations can be when they are out of your control and your influence is limited.
Why Are You So Certain?
The guy I gave “The Business” to didn’t just give in. He pushed back and asked me what made me think I was an expert on Riding Silverman.
I bit my lip and didn’t give him the answer that lay just behind my lips. Didn’t say what I was considering and went a slightly different direction.
“George Santos, do you really want me to make you feel foolish. Do you carry a pocket computer that can be used to look up news, trivia and assorted nonsense?”
He cocked his head and asked, “a cellphone?”
“Yeah, a cellphone like the one I am holding in my hand that says Saving Silverman starring Jason Biggs from the American Pie movies.
I wanted to end the conversation with a line from Casablanca. I wanted to say something snappy like Bogart but “We’ll always have Paris” or “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine” just didn’t work.
So I looked up at an imaginary spot on the ceiling and heard grandma tell grandpa not to give someone “The Business” and smiled.
I could watch Casablanca 100 times. It’s already been about 50.
I’m with you. It never gets old. So well written.