Today I tried to share a joke with the cash-out girl at the grocery store. A picture on the front cover of a magazine caught my eye, and I chuckled at the names Celine Dion had chosen for her baby boys. She called them Nelson and Eddy.
I started to laugh. Not at the babies—they’re beautiful.
“Look at that, Nelson and Eddy,” I said to the clerk. “You know, he acted the part of the Canadian Mounted Policeman way back . . .”
She gave me a blank look. This woman was in her late 30’s, and she had no idea who the Nelson Eddy had been.
Now I realize that this week I’m turning 53, but I’m not that old. However, it was a little disconcerting, because this is the third time this week that TV and movie figures from my youth have brought me the same response when I mentioned them to passersby.
It created a culture shock as wide as if we came from different sides of the globe.
A similar thing happened at the dentist. I was looking up at the TV on the ceiling while the hygienist worked on my teeth, and she asked what I was watching. I told her it was an old black and white movie from the 60’s starring Sidney Poitier.
“Sydney who?”she said.
“Sidney Poitier,” I stammered, “You don’t know that wonderful Bahamian American actor of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” fame with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn?”
Then my husband and I were watching a TV show, and 2 of my favourites from the 70’s were in starring guest roles. I got a little sad when I saw an old heart-throb, Paul Michael Glaser, who used to be Starsky of Starsky and Hutch fame. He’s still handsome, but he was looking a little portly. Not the svelte young thing he was when he had a part in the movie Fiddler on the Roof.
Then I saw Henry Winkler of Fonzie fame. He too was looking gray and a little thicker in the middle.
I had to admit it. I was getting old.
There’s a lot to complain about as we get old. But as a writer, there’s a reward.
When I’m writing, often a question will pop up in my mind---didn’t I use to know something about such and such. And I’ll do some research on it. Having a wealth of too much trivial information can come in handy in this instance. In fact many---or even most---writers don’t get published until they’re in their middle years. It’s that wealth of just plain living that helps smooth out those plots and characters.
And as for Nelson Eddy, one of his biggest roles was as that RCMP officer in a very popular movie from the 30’s called Rose Marie. That movie showcased Jimmy Stewart in one of his very first roles.
Celine Dion, being a Canadian would know all about the great Nelson Eddy. By the way, Celine, cute names for the boys.
Now if someone out there says, Jimmy Stewart who? Well I’ll . . . I’ll . . . well I don’t know what I’ll do.
WISHING A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL THE WORLD AND TO ALL GENERATIONS.
If you'd like to read more from Christine Lindsay, drop by my blog www.christinelindsay.com I'm excited about 2011 as my novel SHADOWED IN SILK makes its debut.