Friday April 19, 2019

I used to buy the newspaper every day. Well, that’s not altogether true. I used to buy BOTH newspapers every day. Every single day. The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.The interesting thing in all this was not so much the buying but the reading of these papers. I read them both. Or tried to. On my train ride into work every day. Not the cushy suburban commuter train. No, no. The Blue Line. Congress / Douglas as it was called. Now, the O’Hare line. And I’d bring them in to work with me diligently. Every single day. I’d put them on my desk and sit down and get to work. People would come over throughout the course of the morning before trading started in the ag room at the grain exchange and snatch one or both of them off my desk and take them to read. I am loathe to say that one, – perhaps more people – took them into the bathroom and read one or both of them while taking their morning constitution. Probably every single day

Can I ask you something? How long must you know someone or work with someone to be alright with them taking your newspapers into the bathroom with them? It presupposes a familiarity, doesn’t it? Like they’re your family or something? “Oh Mike won’t mind if I take his Times or his Trib into the bathroom with me and read them as I sit on the commode and do my business. (While reading the business section.) Another question for you. At what point do I decide it’s too much effort to go ahead and say something like this to a person whole assumes that much: “Hey, you can keep the paper, if you want it. No seriously. Please don’t put that newspaper back on to my desk after you’ve taken it in to the bathroom with you, okay?” If I were Larry David? No problem saying that at all.

I tend to think of myself as a non-confrontational person. For good or bad, it’s how I view myself. So why would I “call someone out” for something as simple as borrowing my newspaper? For all I know they weren’t sitting on the commode. They were standing at a urinal and only read before and or after they had finished and washed their hands. In which case, ideally, it would be perfectly alright to set one or both of the newspapers back on my desk when they were done with them. No problem if they read them in plain sight. None whatsoever. But taking them out the door of the office, you’re pretty much in the dark at that point. No?

How about being so okay with someone taking the paper knowing full well where they’re taking it as they’re walking towards the door you actually say, “Neil Steinberg was really funny today.” or, “If you get a chance read today’s Far Side,” What, praytell, would happen if the same person snatching up your local papers was the guy who always bought the Journal in and as he was coming back from the men’s room, put the paper on your desk you went over to his desk, picked up his Wall Street Journal and muttered, “Interesting,” as you then as an act of “one good turn deserves another”, took his Journal into the men’s room with you for your morning constitution? What if that happened? In my case, it probably never would happen because as I stated, I try to be non-confrontational. But they’d deserve it. A little tit for tat. And would they be okay with ME bringing it back?

I guess ultimately it comes down to trust and familiarity. You expect most people not to wreck your stuff when they borrow things, don’t you? So you go ahead and allow every Tom, Dick and Harry in your office to take your newspaper wherever they want because that is why you put them on your desk in the first place, isn’t it? I mean if you really didn’t want anyone to do that you might put them inside your desk and only let the chosen few whom you know wouldn’t take them into the bathroom look at them with a head nod, as if to say, “It’s in my drawer over there.” Then that would be okay. If they didn’t go anywhere with them. Right?

Unless there was a professional trust with every one. Which means at some point you’d have to verify. But as I said before I’m a pretty non-confrontational guy. So once I’ve spent the money, bought the papers, read them on the train, bought them into work, chances are I pretty much wouldn’t look at them again for the rest of the day and if they were there at the end of my work day, I’d probably throw them out in any case. Which may not necessarily mean that I may have already taken them into the bathroom myself before I laid them on my desk in the first place. But it might mean that, too.

In which case I would have needed a sign on my desk that said, “Read at your own risk.”

Or something.

These are all hypothetical.

Somewhat.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 905. Post # 1255

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Tuesday April 2, 2019

A CBOT Memoir, Part 9

I’d like to say I completely remember, “Black Monday” in October of 1987 (when the Dow Jones Industrial average fell 22.61%, falling 508 points that day). I’d like to say I remember that specific thing about that day. I don’t. I remember being a new employee at the second company I worked for at the grain exchange. I had only been checking futures trades in the morning for two to three weeks at that point and Black Monday might have actually been the day I finally flew solo without any training or help. But I don’t remember. I don’t know how terribly the ags (agricultural contracts) suffered that day. I was still trying to navigate huge pages of tractor fed computer paper – about 12 inches long by 18 inches wide – that listed our previous day’s unmatched trades on them. I was still trying to get to know the other reps from the other companies. I was still trying to get my spiel under control. “I’m into you for a thirty lot of March at a quarter, you have them at a half.” Etc. Continental Grain was a memory roughly three weeks into working for Central Soya, the new job, and the amount of unmatched option contracts for Conti was but a small fraction of work compared to the futures contracts I had to match for Soya. (Which is saying a lot for the options contract trader’s diligence and the key punchers accuracy at Conti.)

Certain aspects I recall vividly – those that directly effected me – and the larger picture of the Dow, escaped me. Coupled with flying without a net as a trade checker – around the time of the crash – was my leaving work in the afternoons to take my night classes at Northeastern Illinois University. This continued for close to five years, well after my BA was earned in Speech / Communications, 21 hours into what could have been used towards the thirty hours one needed for the Master’s degree. Those class nights – some – as I recall were very late nights once the buses got me home, waking very early to get downtown. Leading to then taking a train and bus after my early run of outtrades to get me to school in the evenings. When I think back to this “squirrel cage”, there are times I don’t know how I did it. I am glad I did. This earned me the distinction in my family of being the first in this country of the members of immediate and extended family to earn a college degree. I am very proud of that accomplishment and the memory of that hard work educating myself.

There are times when I look back at that base experience I received in commodity markets from Continental Grain for two and a half years and wonder how I made it to Central Soya without a nervous breakdown. And there are times I look back at the twenty-one plus years at Soya / Bunge and wonder why I was allowed to stay there as long as I did: this strange, unwitting fixture who only had the base understanding of trades, trade matching, floor psychology and perhaps the same or less historical and fundamental ag knowledge without much knowledge of the corporate and political machinations in business. Organizational Communications, a seminar, post-grad class at Northeastern was NOTHING like I was experiencing at the grain exchange for, to that point, close to three years.

October of 1987 was a simpler time and the tiny little commodity office I worked in over at Soya of perhaps 8 people total was this huge change from close to a hundred people at Conti. Everyone we worked with – nearly – we spoke to via telephone. Our fundamental and technical statisticians wore three or four hats in that office and everyone did a little of everything. As I sit here (October of 2019 will be eleven years) removed from that environment trying to remember everything, I can see backwards in time how a small group of eight people or so became a bustling office of close to thirty-six people in 2002. The Soya family-feel would be acutely different fifteen years later as Bunge Chicago – which we were now called – shuffled people around trying to blend two family’s worth of employees to make us fit. My mornings remained the same. The trade checking area matching trades with reps from companies who traded ag markets. Hindsight is 20/20 the experts say but spending my mornings with that rag-tag group of people I came to know from all of the other ag trading companies is not something I’ll ever forget.

If one takes into account the sheer pressure of responsibly overseeing the matching of unmatched buys and sells and how busy markets tended to produce more unmatched trades (outtrades) coupled with the level of difficulty in protecting price on those trades – the mind reels at how much was tied up in making sure each buy found its sell and each sell found its buy. Also, the will it took to stare a colleague in the eye and say, “We can’t change this. Your guy will have to cut us a check.” On some of those and even more difficult outtrades, the mind totally reels in retrospect. I knew what my responsibilities were and I took pride in being nobody’s fool. But the biggest aspect of being anyone’s fool in all that was when the conversations turned to computers and their impending encroachment on our industry. It caught hundreds if not thousands off guard. In Chicago and all over the world. No one really took heed to those warnings. (“Computers will take over trade and matching trades will be a non-issue soon.”) I didn’t. Over thirty-five years later my involvement in commodity futures markets seem dream-like in a way compared to the day-to-day struggles I find myself embroiled in these days. Life is much different now. I would imagine some level of PTSD exists, too.

Now if I could just remember what that acronym stood for.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 1013 Post #1254

Wednesday March 6, 2019

I am not an influencer. I don’t get a lot of hate. But I don’t give much hate either. Haters gonna hate regardless. I think it’s a strong word and don’t use it very much. Maybe in that sense I am a very “subtle” influencer. I don’t call out myself as this purveyor of free content. Like you should “like” and “follow” me and you should click through my adds. So in that respect there’s no hustle here. I’m not trying to hustle anyone. Give them the business. No, that’s not me. My earnings have always come from quid pro quo. I show up. I do my job. I hope I get paid and not screw anything up. Always.

I never tried to “use” this platform for anything other than for what it was originally conceived to be. Catharsis. Fourteen years ago. March of 2005. You won’t see me on Instagram holding up a “belly-fat burning green tea,” product. You won’t see me espousing the positive aspects of mail ordering and purchasing something like, “Cheap Blades,” or anything like that. You will find things that cross my mind in here. Spare Change and Paradigms.

Fourteen years.

I’m finding I’m not crafting these things the same as I once was. Fourteen years will do that to a person. And if there was ever any doubt as to whether I would or should continue, today’s post brings it all around full-circle for me.

The last two years have been a challenge. Realizing more posts and more posts has become something akin to “meta.” Knowing that in the last 5 years, I had shared a 24 chapter story with someone who magically disappeared into the ether of Cyberspace thereafter was a huge mistake! It took time to develop my characters into a story and where the whole shebang ultimately went isn’t really the point. I’m sure if it was used as a framework and re-written it could have worked but after the twenty-four chapters were written and I had shared it with someone and created plot twists and developed character back story, the impasse was too great for me to overcome and complete. I had no completion in my head and I lost interest because of the error in judgment.

I can still call it my own even if the person with whom I shared it uses it and becomes rich and famous. It was mine and I have the hand written proof and “saved” text files as my proof as well, once typed. It’s like the old Doritos commercial. “We’ll make more.” I get it. I can if I want to. I just don’t know if I have the wherewithal.

And to think it all started with Dad’s passing and a few choice life experiences that changed the course of my life in ways that still ripple in my life like a small stone tossed into a placid lake. I use my father’s passing as a mile marker because that’s when my writing came back full force. I had written a few things that I hadn’t considered to be a new beginning but when I sought out Blogger and then a few years later, WordPress. I knew I wanted to keep this thing going. For whatever reasons. And those reasons have changed. Sort of like running your finger through multi-layered freshly wet, paint splotches there on a canvas. The canvas of my life. Or rather how those splotches have ran together as the weight of each color lay one on top of the other. Does that mean my life is runny?

And so on the day that my father should be a healthy, vital, vibrant eighty-eight year old man still enjoying his retirement, I think back to March of 2005. Three months after his passing. And how and why I decided to create a blog. Long before there were social media influencers. Long before Amazon had changed the world. Long before mobile became smart and I wonder.

How very different a person I may have become had I not been influenced by creating a specific, distinct voice for myself in the digital Metaverse know as the Internet? What lead me here to this blog? Why is it not the same? How do I continue knowing and realizing it has ebbed and flowed into various different things?

How do I get out of the way of my own “influence” that drove me here? What about the confluence of that time, my father passing and my writing that still truly intrigues me?

How do I return this to what it should be: my zany, wacky, nutty musings about how wild and weird this life and this world can be?

Tough questions. No easy answers.

Happy birthday Apukam! I send my love. Thank you for the gift of my writing returning fourteen years ago. Thank you for influencing me time and time and time again.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 848. Post # 1253

Tuesday February 19, 2019

This may not be the best form of adulting to admit, but a lot of things scare me. Like the prospect of four (predicted) huge storms in the next two weeks for our area. It’s all over the social networks. That’s the one fear that hits closest to home in this instant. “For feat that.” It’s on the social network so you know it’s got to be true. Of course it’s true. It’s been predicted. So the prediction for all intrinsic purposes: true. Someone predicted it. The storms. Four of them. Like Nostradamus. Or like those predictions by master psychics in the 90s on those 900 numbers who charged $1.99 for the first minute and $3.99 for each additional minute. Hard to believe, but they still exist. Prognosticators of our futures and of our lives.

They see things. Weather persons. They truly scare me. You can’t call them, “weathermen,” anymore. Not politically correct. Master psychics. Prognosticators. Scare me, “poopless,” I tell you! Why shouldn’t they? Big scary prognosticators. Slipping their predictions into our social networks like a hot knife through butter.

“Four huge storms headed our way in the next two weeks.”

Scary business. Forecasting the weather based on future-tracking software that creates models of what can possibly happen. Five day, seven day, ten day outlooks / models / forecasts. Meteorology. Predicting the future state of our immediate atmosphere higgly piggly. That’s about as scary as Jim Morrison singing, “took a look around see which way the wind blows.” You know? If a guy like Mister Mojo Risin’ can predict the weather then that’s truly saying something. Do you know how many people visit that guy’s grave site annually? Three million people a year. The first weatherman of rock and roll. (I bet Al Roker won’t get that many.) Busted for public indecency. Making weather predictions in, L.A. Woman. But I digress.

So who do you believe? Or do you live in a state of denial?

Survivalists do that by preparing for what they believe to be the inevitable: nuclear war. Ants do it by stockpiling food for the winter. Bears do it by loading up on carbs before hibernating. Why do you think Yogi Bear was always after pic-a-nic baskets, for crying out loud? Loading up. Predicting the future. It’s crazy I tell you. Crazy!

Let me ask you something. Out of all of these scenarios who do you think has the appropriate world view? The survivalist? Yogi Bear? Jim Morrison? Or the guy who predicted those four storms coming our way in the next two weeks? I mean, honestly. Or is this all simply just a crap shoot?

Which begs the question. What about those people on television standing at the foot of Mount Etna or whatever that one is called in Hawaii going, “Seismic evidence pinging Geiger counters in this area predicted tectonic plate disturbances which pointed to this eruption as long as two weeks ago.” Does anyone ever fact-check these people? Did the network really report that? Run a piece on CBS Sunday Morning predicting it? Furthermore, get the F out of there, would you?” Why are they always standing in the path of the lava reporting this or with a lava geyser spewing up hot molten magma in the background as they tape? Or the damned hurricane below the Mason-Dixon blowing reporters to and fro telling us how it was predicted Tropical Storm Phyllis would ultimately reach land and become a category four hurricane – WHILE THEY’RE STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF IT! Get out of there, please, would you? I really don’t need to know that you were right to the actual point of watching you die on World News Tonight, do I?

That is precisely why the predicting and subsequent reporting upon are equally as scary to me as most of those guys I used to work with at the grain exchange for twenty-four years. The conviction with which each and every one of those guys predict a double flag or a Fibonacci retracement suggests you buy with both hands is astounding. The confidence with which the guy sitting next to him connects the charting dots and suggests you sell is not only a thing of beauty but of grave concern, is it not? Two such disparate ideas of the same scenario.

I suggest right now that the future, until some 100 % accurate master psychic tells me is not really a foreseeable thing to ANYONE until a brick house falls on top of me. I’m sorry. I’m both a realist and a pragmatist in that sense. I seriously don’t want to know what anyone thinks with sincere certainty and unbridled confidence and conviction anymore in my life. I’ve had way too many schmohawks do that to me and they could not have been more wrong. At least, anyways, not until I am standing in front of Mount Vesuvius or what have you.

You know who is to say that anything is quite possible at any time?

All of us.

There’s always a proverbial eleventh hour and things do change.

It might turn seventy or even eighty degrees like that one New Years a few years ago. It could happen. The prognosticators, futures traders, Yogi Bears and Jim Morrisons and especially the meteorologists and do-gooder weather people have been wrong before and might be wrong now.

Yeah.

They might be.

And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

Brace yourselves.

More snow predicted.

Now that’s pretty scary, kids.

Ugh!

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 936. Post # 1252

 

 

 

Saturday January 5, 2019

So let’s let 2019 be the year this blog really lets loose. (Not!) What do you say? Let’s get down to the grimy, gritty details of my life these last two and a half years in the outlying suburbs of beautiful Rockford Illinois, shall we? Let’s tear a new one in 2019 even before it’s begun with the biggest expose, opinion, observation, experience I have encountered since I got here. (There might be a few of these, not just one single thing so) I hope you’re ready for this. You might want to find a quiet library or lock the office door for this blog today. And let’s keep this between the two of us. Okay?

Ready?

Sidewalks.

That’s right. I said it. Sidewalks. It’s a colloquialism for walk ways. You know what I mean, don’t you? Those concrete walk ways next to the curb that run lengthwise parallel to the street? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

One of the first things I noticed when I moved out to this part of Illinois was that outlying rural areas such as the one I moved into do not have the same proliferation of sidewalks as does the big city. They are sans sidewalks. There is a dearth of them here. Now before any of my new friends who have happened to click here haul off on me and tell me there are sidewalks out here, I just have not seen them yet, let me remind you: that’s precisely what I’m talking about. I have not seen many sidewalks here.

Take last night for example. Coming home from work – after midnight – on what can only be called a main thoroughfare driving in the right lane I realized, as my line of vision focused further and further up the road, “Hey there’s someone walking right alongside the curb up there. In the street!” Upon further inspection – as I signaled left and slowly swerved my steering as to not hit them – I realized something. Of course they’re walking in the street; there’s nothing but grass there from the curb to freaking infinity. Dangerous to be sure, late at night.

Not that I have anything against grass. Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t. But seriously? No sidewalks? A civilized society. A completely urbanized rural area? Oh yes, people will say that’s what makes areas like the outlying suburbs so cozy, quaint and desirable. Don’t get me wrong. A lot of neighborhoods do have sidewalks running alongside lawns but many – especially in my neighborhood – do not. My street for example has sidewalks that extend from sides of driveways to front doors. So this is not to say there are none whatsoever. No.

And while we’re on the subject of outlying rural suburbs, what is up with getting you on these Alpines, Mains, 251s and 173s and common busy streets out here where the speed limit is forty-five miles an hour and there are quaint little strip malls and inlets to side streets you need to turn into to get to? Do you know what a car out here looks like in your rear-view mirror when you are driving forty-five miles an hour during peak times and you need to turn right? You turn on your index and they come up on you like you insulted their mother. “Objects may appear larger than they actually are?” How about scarier? You know?

Anyway. There are numerous plusses to life in these outlying, rural suburbs and cities like your Elgins And Rockfords. At some point down the line I do intend to speak to those cool things, too. Gasoline was down to $1.99 a gallon. Can’t get that price in the big city! Got to love that!

But the culture shock of two and a half years out of Chicago is just now starting to subside.

Somewhat.

Happy New Year, all.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 667. Post #1251

Monday December 31, 2018

Let me tell you a quick story about being in customer service for close to 35 years and probably one of the biggest lessons I have ever learned. I thought I had seen it all and done it all but, boy oh, boy, was I wrong. I have never, “put on airs” acted as if I was any different from anyone else. Or so I thought. On a slow day at one of the places I have worked in the last six years as a licensed bartender and food server, once, it was a really slow day at work.

On this particular day, an elderly gentleman – between 70 and 75 – looking like he was at death’s door – walked into the establishment. Dressed practically in rags, bad clothes, bad shoes, unkempt and in need of a shave and blotches of his Caucasian skin looked as if he had a dermatological issue like vertiligo or psoriasis or something. The gentleman took a seat at the bar while my supervisor looked on. He tried to engage me in small talk but I have to admit, much to my regret, I was disgusted. (He smelled bad, too.)

(Again, not to seem prejudiced against people who smell bad. I’m just saying.)

I immediately thought the establishment I was working at was just another one of his stops along a path of handouts in the neighborhood he was used to making a few times a week and that he might ask for a handout. He asked how much a soda cost. I told him. He exclaimed how expensive he thought that price was. After he was seated at the bar admiring the place for a few moments, I asked him to join me outside for a cigarette and engaged him in small talk. My supervisor saw me invite him outside and rolled her eyes and made a disgusted look at the gentleman as we walked out the side door. I brushed him off and we each had a smoke and convinced him to be on his way.

He came back during my shift the next day and this time took a seat at a booth on the floor – looking and smelling exactly the same – perhaps even in the same clothing and I walked over with an ice water and set it on the table with a menu and leaned in close and said to the man, “This is where paying people sit.”

(I wince now when I think I actually said that to him. I also wince in my description of the man in the above paragraph. I can only describe him the way I describe him based on what other people wear, how other people groom themselves and how other people look when they go out into public.)

He replied in a way that made it evident I had insulted him. He told me he intended to order food and I told him I’d be back in a minute. My boss – standing in the doorway of the service floor, bar area and kitchen saw this – and said to me as I was coming back to the bar area, “What did you just say to him?” I told my boss what I had said. He replied, “Take his order and give him an apology. Do do that now, please. You’re shift is over in a few minutes, right? We can handle his order. Go home, clock out but apologize to him first.” I did. Profusely. Later, my boss sent me a text me and told me the gentleman pulled out a debit card and paid for his order after eating and left.

‘Turns out, whatever the reason, my boss was right. The apology was right. But, this was not some high-minded ideal that all men are created equal nor was it completely the notion that all people’s money is the same. This was a decision my boss made based on how he perceived I treated the man. Unfairly. Ultimately, I’ll never know the exact reason he asked me to apologize, truly. That workplace / restaurant was not located in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria. But that’s not the point either. I believe the actual point in all this was, “Customer service is customer service.”

I get it now. I didn’t for a long time. But I get it now. Customer service is customer service. And it need not even be something biblical or related to scripture: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” No.

It’s how we’re perceived, our demonstrable behavior, how others see us, perhaps the golden rule as well and ultimately how the true value of patronage in any form is perceived, too. I may do some time in purgatory for this one. But my lesson was learned no matter what my boss’s motivations were. Maybe this curmudgeonly attitude accounts for no one ever taking my side like my boss took that man’s side. I don’t know? But my lesson was learned (hopefully) nonetheless. You don’t assume the worst immediately either.

(There were so many things that happened in 2018. I lost three jobs. My car was stolen. I have not been able to meet my financial obligations. But there were joys and beauty, too. A new life in our family. I now leave 2018 and everything behind me and try to learn FROM ALL THAT.)

Happy New year, everyone!

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 917. Post #1250

Thursday December 20, 2018

You laugh, but how do you redo a classic? Why bother to redo them or make a sequel?

Fairly innocuous question. Random, you say?

Think of every movie you’ve ever loved, every movie that has ever been labeled a classic. Everyone will have a different way of looking at that question? Fair enough. But when you watch a movie like, say, The Ten Commandments, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Godfather, etc. Every person will have a different list perhaps. To evoke an illustration via another movie considered a classic theme, genre or method of storytelling, it’s a very, “Rashomon” sort of thing. How do you improve upon The Wizard of Oz in a sequel? Why make Citizen Kane all over again? Why revisit any movie that might come to mind that satisfies the labels of “epic, classic or masterpiece?”

The first answer to that question from the Snidley Whiplashes of the world is – as they twirl their mustaches – money. The second is just as obvious. Empathetic response to story, character or theme. The third is how an original might be deemed so irresistible that it must be revisited.

Enter the sequel to Disney’s 1964, Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke entitled, Mary Poppins Returns (2018) starring Emily Blunt and Linn-Manuel Miranda. I saw the movie yesterday at the AMC Multiplex in Rockford with my Mom. The same way I watched the original with my sister and brother in the Lincoln Village Theater in the 1960s.

Childhood memories.

You cannot improve upon them, you say? Perhaps not.

I was spellbound. That’s my first take walking out of the theater. My Mom expected more, she said, at first blush. By the time that conversation ended later in the day, she had done a one hundred and eighty degree turn and thanked me for taking her. (It was a Christmas surprise.)

Mary Poppins Returns is evocative of the original in so many ways and one only need click YouTube or Variety’s review or any number of other resources presently floating amid the work-a-day din of the Inter Webs to find information on the sequel. Some contain spoilers, Easter eggs and some – spit spot – will tell you that in its ambition, Mary Poppins Returns is no Mary Poppins. I assure you I did not find this to be the case at all. I found Mary Poppins, albeit a tad long in two hours and ten minutes to be this very touching, loving film about loss and the triumph over circumstances beyond their control in the lives of very ordinary, every-day sorts of human beings, single parents and extended family, struggling to traverse the broad landscape of mortgage, home, work and children. Of course with a little help from Mary Poppins.

I love this sequel!

As a man in this world I need not go into the details of why a movie like this should be as far out of my consciousness as the proper way to hem pleats or bake a pie but that would sound misogynistic in 2018, wouldn’t it? Still, there are men in this world rather taken up with The Sopranos, how to change a head gasket and the neighborhood basketball game in your home’s driveway with open beers lining the lawn. I’m okay with that, as well. But I’m really okay with a movie like Mary Poppins Returns, too. Whatever that makes me – in the end – I feel, is a fan of cinema of the highest kind. And the Disney studios made me a movie here I don’t have to be ashamed in loving from it’s opening notes to it’s tearful goodbye at the end.

(Nor must I be ashamed in loving the musical movies and comedies of such actors, singers and dancers as James Cagney, Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire.)

After all, there’s always the chance Mary Poppins may return once more.

Fifty-four years, however, is much too long a wait.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 676. Post # 1249