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April 11, 2016

Guilty pleasures during this presidential election year of living dangerously

(Talk of the Town collage contributed)

By Susie Duncan Sexton

Fortuitously this past Sunday evening, I received an email parable from a shirttail relative, a beautiful lady who played championship bridge internationally and who is the mother of a talented musician and was once married to a Sexton and taught ballroom dancing...I love Bev whom I have not seen in several decades.  She sends me fabulous cyber mail, and below is an example!  (Sent by Verna Johnston -- author unknown)

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"A famous writer was in his study. He picked up his pen and began writing: 'Last year, my gallbladder was removed. I was stuck in bed due to this surgery for a long time. The same year I reached the age of 60 and had to give up my favorite job. I had spent 30 years of my life with this publishing company. The same year I experienced the death of my father. In the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in the hospital with a cast on his leg for several days. And, the destruction of the car was a second loss.' His concluding statement: 'Alas! It was such a bad year!!'
  
 

"When the writer's wife entered the room, she found her husband looking dejected, sad and lost in his thoughts. She carefully and surreptitiously read what he had written and silently left the room and came back shortly with another piece of paper on which she had written her summary of the year's events and placed it beside her husband's paper. When her husband saw that she had written something in response to his account of the year's events, he read: 'Last year I finally got rid of my gallbladder which had given me many years of pain. I turned 60 with sound health and retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write better and with more focus and peace. The same year my father, at the age of 95 without depending on anyone and without any critical conditions, met his Creator. The same year, God blessed my son with life. My car was destroyed, but my son was alive and without permanent disability.' At the end she wrote: 'This year was an immense blessing, and it passed well!!'
 

"See, the same incidents but different viewpoints.

MORAL:  In our daily lives we must see that it's not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
  

 ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING."

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Gary Sinise surpassed all of my expectations of himself when he offered up an HBO portrayal of Harry Truman several years ago, as did Daniel Day Lewis channeling Abe Lincoln and avid Republican Charlton Heston in the 50s becoming first Democrat Andy Jackson courting/defending actress Susan Hayward who played his pipe-smoking, arguably loose-living wife Rachel. (Can never forget also Travolta as Clinton nor Greg Kinnear as JFK!)  Wishing that the regrettably deceased Alan Rickman could have starred in a satirical film highlighting Donald Trump's misadventures as the 2016 front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination and wherever that astounding yet somehow understandable exercise in hilarity may eventually land!  For heaven's sake, my own son impersonated Harry Truman for a Ft. Wayne gathering of Indiana Democrats/dignitaries including Mayor "Tom" Henry and Senator Evan Bayh in the not so distant past at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. (Roy 's Vice President Tom Marshall gig also wows Hoosier audiences now and then!) I am presently adoring actor Kevin Spacey's "Race for the White House " CNN series as well as anticipating a sit-down to enjoy his popular "House of Cards" Netflix dramatization revelatory of political dirty tricks and tricksters. I could spend the rest of my life immersed in movies, television broadcasts, magazine articles ("Mother Jones" and "Rolling Stone" entries for starters -- groovy!), and political observations via "my shows" (a Trump quote) until I draw my final breath slumped over -- snuggled in my recliner with a couple of cats nestling in my quilt-covered lap.

 

 Nightly, I devour with rapt attention MSNBC's Chris Matthews' and Rachel Maddow's and Lawrence O'Donnell's and Chris Hayes' and even FOX's Judge Jeanine's and Bill O'Reilly's and even Megyn Kelly's and CNN's Wolf Blitzer's and Anderson Cooper's and Don Lemon's blow by blow accounts and analyses and predictions of just who said what and where the frenetic major players are heading to next and what the polls may mean (if anything) and which candidates lead in acquisitions of lava-lampish fickle delegates and super delegates.  In 2008 I cared this much also...but, alas, my plethora of letters to editors and participation in phone banks and standing in lines to listen to campaigning candidates -- desperate enough to include Indiana on their schedules -- proved futile. My choice -- the only choice -- did not prevail.  But SHE is back...thwarted possibly by an aging slouchy hippie whom I have yet to embrace and who just seems to be only standing in her way, although his trousers (unlike her PANTsuits), well ...his khaki pants are zippered.  Thus, HE may outdo HER in this patriarchal, wacko society of ours.  Bernie, Bernie, Bernie...lately telecast while grinning at some errant blue bird of happiness perched on his...podium? (Probably just a prop which maybe cost a mere...27 bucks?  Dare we cry, "FOWL"?)

 

Actually, I have little more to write during this championship season of 2016 except: that the well-being and peace of the entire globe hinges upon this crucial nail-biting presidential campaign; that advice and consent urgently need(s) to be exercised with regard to Obama's Supreme Court nominee who is more than qualified to join the eight other justices NOW; that THE DONALD, who moment by moment turns the GOP inside out, is truly entertaining when not taken terribly seriously; that the earnestness of John Kasich makes me giggle; that I miss Chris Christie; that only Lincoln and Douglas and Nixon and Kennedy provided true debates the likes of which cannot ever be revisited; that, whether we admit it or not, Melania would be a scintillating First Lady who following in the footsteps of Hillary would NEVER bake cookies; that Ted Cruz is the most dangerous candidate of all and makes me squirm (Around the house, we refer to Ted as TOM Cruz and deign his MISSION to be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE!); finally, that Secretary Clinton should select either the Castro twins or Hoosier Evan Bayh or Elizabeth Warren as her veep...and of anybody who supposes that I am supporting Secretary Clinton because she is a woman I simply must ask, "What?  And are you NOT in her corner for that exact reason...because she IS a woman?"  Well, it is way past time for her ascent to (and return to) 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...and preferably before she keels over from her outstandingly energetic pursuit of the office which she so deserves...and that we elect the most experienced candidate.  No contest. So my attitude is wonderful...I say, be thankful that the American goblet is half full and that we should all be grateful and try to relax until November 8th, 2016, when we shall elect the inevitable and only serenely poised, capable human being in contention. 

Now, where did I leave my remote control?  I am very busy until next autumn.  Hail to the Chief, and long may SHE reign!

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its follow-up Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels - print and ebook versions of both are available on Amazon (click the title). The books are also carried by these fine retailers: Ann Arbor's Bookbound and Common Language; Columbia City's Whitley County Historical Museum; and Fort Wayne's The Bookmark. And you can download from iTunes. Read my blog here, and meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page. Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com. Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or Won't.