Category Archives: Friends-Family

1HeckOfAGuy.com Goes On Quasi-Hiatus Status With Arrival Of Prodigal

samdance2 Wedding of Very Very Good Girl & SportsBizPro (2008)

Wedding of Very Very Good Girl & SportsBizPro (2008)

Because of the impending visit of DrHGuy’s elder son, Prodigal (aka Sam), the Duchess has prepared not only a fatted calf with all the fixins but also a schedule chock full of fun. Consequently, posting on DrHGuy.com and 1HeckOfAGuy.com will be limited for the next week or two.

Julie, Sam, & Max

Julie, Sam, & Max

Video: You’ll Carry Me Down On Your Dancing – “Take This Waltz” By Leonard Cohen

DrHGuy Note:

And I miss you so much

The Duchess is away on a business trip and has consequently been much on my mind so this seemed an auspicious time to repost the video featuring her and Leonard Cohen’s Take This Waltz.1

It’s Yours Now. It’s All That There Is

This video, set to Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Waltz,” was constructed as a gift to the Duchess2 and features dance sequences taped during ballroom competitions in which she participated as well as other scenes from her life and mine.

The intent was that the video would be circulated only among family and friends, if at all. The response from these admittedly biased folks, however, was so positive and enthusiastic that we have decided to make the video public. The video embedded below is identical to the original version except for a wording change on a title card and the addition of the closing credits I’ve used on all my Heck Of A Guy videos.

Because of the evolution of this video, it is indeed more sentimental than most of the movies produced here and it is studded with the type of indulgences lovers not only allow but encourage in one another.

Nonetheless, I’m proud of the final result which is true to the tone of Cohen’s “Take This Waltz.” As for the specifics, well, I’m not even going to try to explain the role of the bearded dancing partner, the shots of a house where I lived a few years ago that is hundreds of miles from where we live now, why I’m wearing orange-tinted glasses in one scene, how the Beacon Theatre in New York appears in a cameo as a concert hall in Vienna, the alligator’s allegorical allusion, …

You’ll Carry Me Down On Your Dancing

 

  1. This video was originally posted on this site April 4, 2012 []
  2. aka Penny Showalter, aka my wife []

Remembering Don’s Excellent Ski & Tea Adventure

don

By Penny Showalter

On October 12, 2009, Don, my beloved husband, died.

His death wasn’t dramatic – we talked one last time and then he was gone. That was atypical for Don, a man whose life was a collection of passions.

On October 12, 2013, I am still in love with Don and miss him every day, but things have changed. I am also deeply in love with Allan, who became my husband just over two years ago.

Now we both miss Don, and we’re not the only ones.

Eighteen years ago, Don and I took our granddaughters Jennifer and Sarah, skiing with us so Don could teach them to ski as he had his daughters Gwen and Kelly.

Even now, my heart fills as I recall how Don, an accomplished skier whose runs made people stop in their tracks to stare at this 6’5” figure streaking downhill over the roughest terrains, patiently and gently led his girls down the slopes for the first time.

While the entire trip was wonderful, the event that stands out in my memory is Don’s knee injury, sustained in his effort to prevent Jennifer from falling, that forced him to stay in bed the next day, which, in turn, led to Jennifer and Sarah’s decision that a tea party was the most efficacious means by which to heal Grandpa’s knee and elevate his spirits.

That’s the kind of guy Don was, and that’s why he is still part of their lives as these little girls have become beautiful, compassionate, competent women.  Sarah and Jennifer both work at UNC, taking care of others.  I am so proud of them, and I know Don is, too.

And, I know that Don will be a part of Jennifer’s wedding in three weeks, present in the minds, memories, and hearts of those who knew and loved him.

That’s how I remember Don – passionate about his work, his play, and, most of all, his family.

Video: Don’s Excellent Ski & Tea Adventure

My Mother Always Hoped For Snow

sbowday900

About Snow

Mom was a big fan of snow, and her hopes for that particular form of precipitation were frequently and fervently directed to the heavens – and to anyone she thought might have influence in that sphere.

Given that longstanding preference and Mom’s record of getting her way, it was no surprise that the day her memorial services were held, March 21, 2013, the second day of Spring, the Ozarks were visited by a unseasonable snowstorm, as evidenced by the above photo taken from the deck of her home on Table Rock Lake following the funeral.

About Mom

A week after my mother’s death, there is much about her I still don’t know.

I don’t know, for example, why my mother, who lived alone, kept four heads of lettuce and three packages of pie crusts in her refrigerator, more than a dozen sacks of beans, seven cans of sauerkraut, eight cans of fruit cocktail, and three cans of water chestnuts in her cabinets, and fourteen large boxes of cereal on her shelves.

I don’t know why my mother amassed a collection of several dozen kitchen towels, all new, with the sales tags still attached.

I don’t know why my mother accumulated enough yarn to knit scarves for every man, woman, and child living in southwest Missouri – with enough left over to make mittens for all the children currently enrolled at the Shell Knob Elementary School.

I don’t know why my mother kept the bill of sale for the Chevy Fleetmaster she and my dad bought in 1951, why she stashed away 60+ empty envelopes that once contained house payment checks received by my parents in the 1970s, or why she stored both the original & amended 1994 financial reports of the Eagle Rock Missouri All Faith United Methodist Church Women’s Group.

And I don’t know why my mother, who kept the walls of my childhood home pristinely bare, free of decoration other than the obligatory portrait of Jesus with the eyes that follow you wherever you go, moved to a log cabin and filled every wall with meat grinders, trivets, flatirons, two man saws, butter churns, china sets, hay hooks, augers, toys, cooking utensils, china, brass buckets, ceramics, decoys, …

I do know, however, that my mother was tremendously important to many, many people.

I do know that for a number of individuals my mother was a stabilizing force – and sometimes the only stabilizing force – in an dangerously unstable, chaotic world.

And, I know, with absolute certainty, that my mother always loved me – without reservation, without conditions, and without end.

Mom’s Collections

The best photos of my mother’s impressive collection of Ozark artifacts had gone missing for the past two years. I have recovered and posted these at .

Credit Due Department: The photo was taken by Gwen Stockton.

Never Again In My Mother’s Arms

mom-me

About My Mother

In 2011, I wrote a Mother’s Day post, In My Mother’s Arms:

I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t in my mother’s spotlight.

Standard psychoanalytic theory holds that one’s sense of self originates in the infant’s awareness of the mother’s unconditional (and, indeed, unreasonable) empathic care radiating from her eyes. The mother provides a nascent identity for the child, which, if all goes well, is, during one’s childhood, adapted and internalized as a psychological element independent of the external world.

When the photo atop this post was taken in 1950, the young woman had recently become a mother while living in a tiny, poorly insulated, inexpertly constructed home in rural southwest Missouri, helping her husband try to make a living tending to the remnants of their failed farm and selling used cars on the side. She should, by rights, be as upset as the squalling child (that would be me) in her arms. Instead, she gazes upon him with undiluted, unmixed approval, acceptance, and love.

I grew up knowing intuitively that, regardless of my mistakes, errors, or misbehavior, my mother continued to gaze upon me with undiluted, unmixed approval, acceptance, and love.

And Now My Mother Is Gone

Bobby Ruth Showalter, my mother, died in her sleep at her home in the Ozarks last night after many years of worsening health.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Doyle Ray Showalter, two decades ago and by her younger son, Bobby Lynn Showalter, 45 years ago.

She was a caring, smart, forgiving, funny, altogether delightful woman, who was beloved by family, friends, and community.

She will be missed.

_______________________________

Because of my mother’s death, I will be away for an indeterminate period. If any posting takes place at this site (and that is a possibility) over the next week or two, it is likely to be sparse and sporadic.

Finally, I occasionally wrote about my mother. These posts, especially, the first couple listed below, are (in my judgment) some of the most interesting entries I’ve published.

Happy Birthday To The Dancing Duchess Of Durham

Dec 25, 2012 – Happy Birthday

to my resplendent, charming, unremittingly passionate, delightful, and altogether marvelous wife Penny, who could have done so much better.

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Video: You’ll Carry Me Down On Your Dancing
This video, set to Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Waltz,” was constructed as a gift to the Duchess1 and features dance sequences taped during ballroom competitions in which she participated as well as other scenes from her life and mine. Because it was a gift, it is indeed more sentimental than most of the movies produced here and it is studded with the type of indulgences lovers not only allow but encourage in one another.

Nonetheless, I’m proud of the final result which is true to the tone of Cohen’s “Take This Waltz.” As for the specifics, well, I’m not even going to try to explain the role of the bearded dancing partner, the shots of a house a few years and hundreds of miles from where we live now, why I’m wearing orange-tinted glasses in one scene, how the Beacon Theatre in New York appears in a cameo as a concert hall in Vienna, the alligator’s allegorical allusion, …

  1. aka Penny Showalter, aka my wife []