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RIP Ramsey

Once the tears started…

Throughout the past decade, I spent countless hours walking, running, talking and just having fun with Ramsey, who was my oldest sister’s white Maltipoo that lived a towering 13.5 years and proved the “man’s best friend” adage true. His bouncy, boundless energy was infectious and having him jump up onto my lap and then petting him while he was calm as could be made me smile every time as did seeing him sprint to the door when he caught sight of people arriving.

That was Ramsey’s gift and he was so happy to give it to others. And Ramsey was a genuine hero and we made sure he knew and felt our gratitude for what he did in that specific instant.

Ramsey will be remembered as a happy dog that battled some tough health issues late in his life as best as he possibly could have. It was heartbreaking to see him struggle in these moments because there was little (if anything) we could do to help him. Above all, he was a comforting, joyful dog that showed affection and safeguarded the people he loved and those who loved him returned the favor.

Ramsey will be missed forever.

RIP Ramsey. 

RIP Peter Mayhew

Peter Mayhew with Stuart Freeborn.

Peter Mayhew, the 7’3″ actor who played Chewbacca in the ‘Star Wars’ cinematic franchise, has died at the age of 74.

Harrison Ford, whose Han Solo character was bonded for life in the ‘Star Wars’ universe with Peter Mayhew’s Chewbacca character, wrote down his reaction to learning of his now late friend.

“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience. Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all.  My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend….”

An interesting tidbit of behind the scenes ‘Star Wars’ trivia reported by the Hollywood Reporter is that “Mayhew once said he got the part just by director George Lucas seeing him and being baffled by his 7-foot-2 stature.”

One of the best scenes between Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew as their iconic characters occurred in their return appearance together, after many decades apart, in the 2015 global blockbuster ‘The Force Awakens.’

And one of the best characteristics of Chewie was his signature growl/voice.

RIP Peter Mayhew. 

RIP Gene Wilder

One of cinema’s favorite sons, Gene Wilder, died yesterday at the age of 83.

To list a few of Mr. Wilder’s most popular film credits:

  • The Producers (1967)
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Stir Crazy (1980)

To illustrate the impact of an actor, whose acting portrayals far precede my birth, is a challenging task. How did Gene Wilder forever bring joy and fuel an imaginative engine inside the hearts and minds of children (now adults), especially those of us who did not even experience his cinematic works of comedy until a decade or more after the initial release?

The only explanation I can muster is revealed in bright colors, accompanied by a beautiful song in a scene from the 1971 masterpiece Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. This film not only defined a decade, but flipped the switch on who an adult could be in the eyes of a kid: a childlike dreamer.

If that nostalgic trip down Wonka’s way doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, get your tissues ready.

“There were times we would go out to dinner as a family and children would light up at the sight of him and smile. And because he never lost his instinct or sense or sensibility, it occurred to him that if that disease were made public … that then after that smile, some parent may then say something about disease or sadness. And he was such that he could not bear to be responsible for one less smile in the world.”
–Gene Wilder’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman on his uncle’s choice not to reveal he had Alzheimer’s disease.

I’ve said on a few occasions that when I finally have a house with a family, on Halloween, I will dress up like Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and decorate my house like the Wonka factory, ready to hand out world-altering chocolate and candy.

That was Gene Wilder’s everlasting gift: Pure imagination.

RIP Gene Wilder.

RIP

Gut-wrenching tragedy.

In the early hours this morning, WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot and killed during their live broadcast in Moneta, Virginia. Absolutely horrific. As a former broadcast journalist, this devastating news sent chills down my spine. They were just out doing their jobs. There are no words.

Despite the fact the suspect’s name has been released and there is video of the murder, that footage will not be shown on this blog out of respect for the victims. And the name of the murderer will not be disclosed here because he is nothing but a hellish monster.

We need to remember the innocent victims:

(US News)

(US News)

RIP Alison Parker.

RIP Adam Ward.

Prayers are with their loved ones.