A sophomore at BU, eighteen years old, working at the Harvard Club, on this day as a host in the upstairs dining room where women were allowed.
Watching a family of five, parents, two daughters, ages seven and five, and a son, age eight.
Politely talking to each other; using indoor voices.
Suddenly they all laughed and the little girl through her laughter said, “We’re a funny family.”
Sixty years later I remember the shocked sadness I felt like yesterday.
I didn’t know that speaking to each other without continuous anger and non-stop insults was possible.
I know that we never shared laughter.
We grew up not even knowing we were not the norm.
That we were a funny family, too, as in strange.
Added reason I found “Friendly Persuasion” so moving.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
My 306th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Tuesday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 30* with a feels-like temperature of 19* with a light snow in the Boston area, heavier snowfall points north.
According to the Blog’s “Winter Calendar, Jan2 to Feb13,” we have only one day remaining on our winter calendar.
The “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7” is our next calendar and our next measurement of time as we march the thirteen plus years to the 5,000th and final posting.
One of the great things about switching to the “Winter Spring Shoulder Calendar Feb 14 to April 7” is that, historically, the second two weeks of February are five degrees warmer than the first two, and March is eight degrees warmer than February. April is twelve degrees warmer than March.
Dinner is fresh pasta with a Shrimp Pesto Sauce.
Question of the Day
What is Friendly Persuasion?
Elephant Jokes to tell at a bar:
Love your notes.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This chuckle from Sally:
Years ago, one summer, my brother and I had a similar dilemma. I was home on my day off from work as a counselor at a girls' camp, my parents were away in Maine at our summer place, and Dana was living alone in the house. He and I opened the refrigerator door at supper time and surveyed the contents. Like yours: a dribble of this, a smidgen of that, a chunk of something else. Too much to throw away and not enough to save. Dana said, "When it gets this bad, we ought to have a yard sale."
Web Meister Responds: Cute. Thanks, Sally.
Answer to Question
What is Friendly Persuasion, the film?
Friendly Persuasion is a 1956 American Civil War drama film starring Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton and Phyllis Love.
The film tells the story of a Quaker family in southern Indiana during the American Civil War and the way the war tests their pacifist beliefs.
The screenplay was adapted by Michael Wilson from the 1945 novel The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West, and was directed by William Wyler.
(The film was originally released with no screenwriting credit because Wilson was on the Hollywood blacklist. His credit was restored in 1996.)
Michael Wilson shared the 1952 Academy Award for the script of “A Place in the Sun.”
He was later blacklisted for his refusal t testify about his alleged membership in the Communist Party.
Mr. Wilson's credits included “Five Fingers,” “Bridge on the River Kwai,” “The Sandpiper,” “Planet of the Apes,” and “Che.”
For the next decade, however, Mr. Wilson found it impossible to get work as a screenwriter or to be recognized for previous work, most notably for the script of “Friendly Persuasion,” which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1957. a decade after Mr. Wilson had prepared the original scenario.
Though the film's producers maintained that Mr. Wilson had not prepared the final script and thus should not have been eligible for an Oscar, the action by the Academy outraged many members of the Hollywood community and Mr. Wilson was honored by the Writers Guild of America for the scenario.)
The film is set in Jennings County, Indiana in 1862.
Jess Birdwell (Gary Cooper) is a farmer and patriarch of the Birdwell family whose Quaker religion conflicts with his love for the worldly enjoyments of music and horse racing.
Jess's wife Eliza, (Dorothy McGuire) a Quaker minister, is deeply religious and steadfast in her refusal to engage in violence.
Jess's daughter Mattie (Phyllis Love) wants to remain a Quaker but has fallen in love with dashing cavalry officer Gard Jordan (Peter Mark Richman), a love that is against her mother's wishes.
Jess's youngest child "Little" Jess (Richard Eyer) is a feisty child whose comical feud with his mother's pet goose causes her heartache.
Jess's elder son Josh (Anthony Perkins) is torn between his hatred of violence and a conviction that to protect his family he must join the home guard and fight the invaders.
The story begins as an easygoing and humorous tale of Quakers trying to maintain their faith as they go to meeting on First Day (Sunday); contrasted with the Birdwells' neighbor Sam Jordan (Robert Middleton) and other members of the nearby Methodist Church.
The mood shifts dramatically when the meeting is interrupted by a Union officer who asks how the Quaker men can stand by when their houses will be looted and their families terrorized by approaching Confederate troops.
When confronted with the question of his being afraid to fight, Josh Birdwell responds that it might be the case.
His honesty provokes the wrath of Purdy, a Quaker elder who condemns people who don't believe as he does.
The film returns to its lighter tone as the Quakers try to maintain their ways, despite the temptations of amusements at a county fair, and a new organ (which Jess buys over Eliza's opposition), but one is always reminded that the Confederate Army is drawing closer.
On a business trip, Jess acquires a new horse from the widow Hudspeth (Marjorie Main), and is finally able to defeat Sam in their weekly horse race.
One day, Jess is cultivating his fields and notices an immense cloud of smoke on the horizon produced by the burning of buildings.
Josh soon arrives and tells them the neighboring community has been reduced to ash and corpses.
Josh believes that he must fight, a conviction that threatens to destroy the family.
Eliza tells him that by turning his back to their religion he's turning his back on her, but Jess sees things a different way.
Josh finds himself on the front line of the battle to stop the advance of the raiders, fires his gun, and is injured by the Confederates.
When Confederates arrive, they loot the farm for food when only Eliza and the younger children are present.
Sam Jordan is bushwhacked by a "Reb" and Jess struggles with the Confederate soldier and takes away his gun, but ultimately lets him go free and unhurt.
Each member of the family faces the question of whether it is ever right for a Christian to engage in violence.
Good Morning on this Tuesday, the 12th day of February.
We talked about happy families or the lack thereof.
We’re watching the calendar as it clicks down, soon to be starting another segment of time that chip, chips away at time. So slowly and yet, another one bites the dust.
Shrimp pesto, how great.
We passed on to our bloggers another elephant joke and published a cute comment from Sally Chetwynd.
Finally, we presented some reorganized Wikipedia thoughts on Friendly Persuasion, the film.
Now? Gotta go.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.