Spring is Here

| vschneps@queenscourier.com |

One of the best things about the coming of spring is the right of passage that is baseball. Of course, many are focused on the major leagues, but for me it’s my memory of my son playing little league, starting in the pee wee league at five years old. Fast forward to my grandson Blake, now five, and his first day of little league. It all started this week, and what fun it was for him.

There’s something so special about children throwing a ball that’s almost as big as their two hands together and swinging bats proportionately sized to fit them. I never did learn how to throw a ball more than a few feet from my body, so I’ m in awe of the boys and girls coordinated enough to really get that ball to go to the person intended to receive it. What success.

Blake also plays soccer on Saturdays and Sundays. At lunch on Sunday I asked him which he preferred, and after just one week of little league, he quickly proclaimed his preference for baseball. Hooray!

He’s just like his uncle Josh who played baseball so hard and devotedly that he broke his ankle, separated his shoulder and kept going back to play another day. May Blake be made of tougher bones, but no less devoted to the sport.

An Entertaining Weekend

The world stopped when word arrived that Elizabeth Taylor, a legend, had passed. She was a part of my childhood and I remember reading every "star" magazine, eating up every detail of her life. She was of the generation that if you loved someone, you married them. That was the way it was.

Happily or sadly, she married multiple times and lived life to the ultimate, having enormous highs and the lowest of lows. But she carried on and made a difference with her support of AIDS research.

Just this past Friday I had the opportunity to attend "An Evening with Debbie Reynolds" at the Tilles Center in Brookville on the grounds of the C.W. Post campus. It was a chance to meet another legend of Elizabeth Taylor’s era. They had even shared a husband, Eddie Fisher. But Debbie Reynolds is someone I always admired too. What talent, what perseverance. She shared with the audience that she travels 45 weeks, performing around the world.

I adored her gold sequined-gown showing off her still-gorgeous legs and size-six figure. She can still stop a crowd and bring them roaring to their feet. She introduced herself as the mother of Carrie Fisher, actress and writer who was Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movies.

But it wasn’t necessary, as everyone in the huge crowd knew her well. She shared with us her favorite – and mine – clips from her movies including old favorites, "Singin’ in the Rain" and "Tammy."

Debbie changed into a stunningly-brilliant red-sequined pantsuit. I sat in the second row, and at 79 she looks fabulous. I felt like I experienced an icon from an era of Hollywood that is gone today. Oh yes, she did call Liz Taylor a bitch for stealing her husband, but with a twinkle in her eye. Sadly, her husbands all did her in financially so she is on the road. Sitting as close as I did, almost touching Debbie, I can tell you her talent and beauty still shine and she is still a star.

In addition to her external beauty is her internal goodness. She has worked tirelessly for the aid of those suffering from mental illness, helping to raise money for a center in Los Angeles. She is planning an auction at the end of the month of the hundreds of costumes and props she has collected for decades. Her giving never ends.

She’s still here she declares, outliving all her colleagues from Judy Garland to Fred Astaire to Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. How blessed I felt to have had the chance to see her in person. She is a living legend.