Friday, May 30, 2003

Hope Breeds Eternal (or What Happened The Day The Dog Ate My Newspaper)

Yesterday, comedian Bob Hope turned 100 years old. He was from Ohio, you know?

That's where I met him 29 years ago this summer. I was working at Kings Island Amusement Park, for the second of two seasons, as one of those animal characters. A few of us suited up and headed to the nearby Kings Island Jack Nicklaus Golf Course for a routine photo-op. While three of us animals stood there looking mildly amusing, the Man Himself did his usual schtick: "I'd like for everyone to meet a few members of my family. (mild laughter) I always see them whenever I'm stuck here in the rough. (more mild laughter)"

The rest is history. At least for me, anyway.

We can't all live to be 100. But the man did it somehow. Married to the same woman the whole time, and after entertaining two generations (three, maybe?) of lonely men and women fighting for our country. He kept up their spirits in war, and that of the rest of us in peace.

My paternal grandmother passed the same milestone as well. Over the living room couch in my parents' home, is a photo taken in August of 1997, with Viola (Barga) Alexander and six generations of her progeny.

To both of you, thanks for the memories.

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