The Unusual Suspect

After watching the Rays defeat the Yankees on TV, I headed to bed, impatient to hit the rack so began undressing along the route to the bedroom. Just as I entered the bedroom door, I tripped on my shorts as I was stepping out of them and fell flat. My mind questioned why in the world I had fallen. I could understand if I were in the shower and slipped. I could understand if I were climbing a ladder. But I wasn’t doing anything dangerous like that–I was taking off my pants. As I lay there, I realized that I could not get myself up without holding onto something. My partner was there quickly, concerned, and reaching to pull me up, which wasn’t going to work unless I could find somewhere to brace my feet for a pull-up. Then I realized that the most important task was to get my legs under my body so I could use them to assist in the upward pull. That worked, and I realized I was once again safe and unharmed. But, what if my partner had not been there to help me up? Would I possibly have lain on the floor desperate for help? Thank God for Dimitris. He means everything to me and is there when I need him.

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What Kind of Fool Was I?

In the world of entertainment there are many fascinating characters, some readily approachable and others, mysterious and remote. I have almost always refrained from goofy intrusions such as phone calls or even letters to celebrities. Notice I qualified that statement with “most,” as once, many years ago I wrote Barbra Streisand telling her my wife and I had tickets to see her in “Funny Girl.” Thoughts of sharing the same air space created all kinds of excitement in my imagination. My love affair with Barbra had begun the first time I saw her on TV and heard her belt out “What Kind of Fool Am I?” I had been THAT kind of fool about Barbra ever since. I think my fascination had evolved from twin coincidences — our mutual love of music and our ugly duckling childhoods. I doubted that I would ever receive a response from her, but I had at least placed something of myself on paper and sent it into the hands of this person who believed that “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.“ When the day arrived for my encounter with Barbra on stage in New York City, my greatest fear was that she would be ill and would have an understudy. But no, there she was, “the greatest star.” Barbra didn’t respond to my letter, but that was okay. I know she would have written if her blossoming career had allowed her the time. I absolutely refused to allow a little thing like that to “rain on my parade.”

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Don’t Smile

Last week, I went to get two passport photographs at AAA since I am a member and free photos are one of the fringe benefits. I am a smiler. When I was teaching high school, my students frequently complimented me on my greeting them with a smile every day . One of the guidance counselors  once told me that she put Asian students in my classes as “they might as well see someone with a smile since they can’t understand the language.” I promised myself, when I went into the teaching profession, that regardless of how I felt, my students would see a pleasant person each day. When I was sitting, ready to have my picture taken, the AAA photographer surprised me by saying, “Don’t smile.” Taken aback, I asked why. She said that official photographs such as those for a passport require that the person being photographed not smile. I obeyed and have a passport photograph that is not a very good likeness of me. I need to smile. I am a smiling person.

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Why Bobosbest?

[I repeat this blog every once in a while so that new readers will know why my blog has the name that it has.]

Have you wondered where the name for this blog was “born?” Like most names of things, there is a reason for the name. One of the rules of semantics is that “man is the namer of things.” I have learned from my cousin Priscilla in Houston, TX, that the first Bobo relative lived in France and spelled the name Baubau. I also know that my grandmother on my dad’s side of the family was named Clara Bobo. For some reason, my grandmother decided to name her last-born child Thomas Bobo Cooper, the only child in the family to bear the maternal maiden name. When I was born (the first-born), I was given the same name and became Thomas Bobo Cooper, Jr. As I was growing up, I lived in fear that someone would discover that worthy-of-ridicule middle name. However, I grew into the name and later in life gladly exposed it which resulted in my wife and me deciding to continue the name with our first-born, Thomas Bobo Cooper III. For the first time, we decided to use the middle name as the given name, and “Bo” was introduced to the world. He has relished the name and seemingly has had no fear of the other -bo being re-attached to the name. There is a wonderful movie entitled “Front of the Class” in which the main character is called “Dr. Bobo” by his family. The movie, which is based on the life of a real person, doesn’t reveal the reason for the name, but perhaps I have found a long-lost relative. In case you’re interested, Bo now has a eight-year-old son named — Luke.

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The Color Black

As many of you know, I have been keeping a journal since 1954. Each morning, I re-read what I wrote on this month and day. I am embarrassed to say that on May 15, 1961, I wrote about my prejudices against black people or “nigras,” as I had been taught to refer to them, and I justified my feelings by using arguments I had been instructed to use by my parents. It was a scary kind of racism in that I had been told that it was all right to have an elevated opinion of white people while treating other races kindly but as inferiors. Later,  when I was serving in the Navy, I wrote again about my attitude toward black people. I disparaged the blacks I had met in the military, writing that I would not be able to tolerate a black officer giving me orders. Today, I am as free of racial prejudice as I can be but terrified by the racism I see directed at our first black President. It seems that many white people cannot get past his skin so that they can recognize the positives he has pushed to make our country truly a nation where all “men” are created equal. Racism has most recently been in the news because of black and white mistrust in law enforcement. I see improvement, but we are far from a post-racial society.

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The last movie I saw at a theater was “Avatar.” I saw that movie in a theater after being coerced by friends to see a film in 3-D. I was shocked at the cost, having shied away from theaters for such a long time. I had a pass that would have reduced the cost, but “Avatar” was a special and, since it was in 3-D, the coupon couldn’t apply. Yes, cost is a factor, but the main reason I don’t go to the movies is that there are no subtitle options. At home, I turn on the subtitles with almost all movies, regardless of what the primary language is. I have found that I “hear” more when I can see the words. By the way, I hardly ever miss a “good” movie as I watch everything on DVD as I don’t mind waiting. I reserve the DVD’s at the public library and wait for my time in the queue to arrive. Presently on my list are: “Fury,” “Wild,” “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,” and “Gone Girl.”Yeah, I know–you saw all of those movies a year ago.

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The Emerger

I have three grown children, each of whom has given me one grandchild. The two boys have been involved in music professions for years. Their “little” sister has been a housewife, a part-time realtor, and an attendee of their concerts. Robin, the “little” sister, lives in Naples, Florida. She is 46 years old. Less than a year ago, I saw something on Facebook, telling of her singing with a group called the Blu-Tones. I immediately wrote her, asking what was going on. She told me that, encouraged by her husband, she auditioned with this music group and had become their lead singer. When I expressed my surprise and amazement, she said, “Dad, I’m emerging.” Since then, I have heard a demo of her singing, and it is not just pretty good, it is great. The band is now planning to make a video demo. More importantly, my partner and I are driving down to Naples on May 22nd to have a listen to my “emerging” daughter.



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