“The reason God quit creating after He had made woman is because He realized that even He could not improve upon Perfection!”
“I had been writing for twenty-five years
before I realized that the theme
of all my writing is . . . loss!”
In the previous three posts I have presented a series titled “A Few of My Favorite Things.” In this final post in that series, and as a summary of my blog at the time of my seventy-fifth birthday, I close with some of my favorite quotes about women’s issues. These quotes then lead into a conclusion to the primary themes of the entire blog, and my “last word” on it.
As always, my comments within the quotes are set in brackets, and my comments after the quotes are set in parentheses. My emphases are indicated by italics.
“Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.”
—Joseph Conrad, Celebrity Cipher,
Tulsa World, 11/09/13
“I never have a conversation without talking about the two loves of my life: Arkansas and Mari!”
“Woman is the dominant sex. [That is certainly true in my marriage!] Men have to do all sorts of stuff to prove that they are worthy of woman’s attention.” (And then they don’t always get it the way they want. As Jeff Foxworthy once said, “I must admit that I married my wife for her looks—but not the ones she’s been giving me lately!” I know the feeling!)
—Camille Paglia, Celebrity Cipher,
Tulsa World, February 22, 2013
“Whenever ‘soft, sweet Mari’ gets riled up and goes into her hard-headed, tight-fisted, fire-breathing, tongue-lashing mode I call it ‘Gone with the Mild’ and I call her ‘Starlet O’Terror’!” (See my earlier quote that if I ever come back in another life I want to be called Rhett Butler ‘cause I know what it’s like to be married to Scarlett O’Hara—even a blonde one!)
“The emergence of spirituality in early humans began with the ability to recognize beauty, to distinguish ‘betterness’ in some forms of reality over others and to conclude that there was something or someone who made it that way.” (That’s why I am thoroughly spiritual because I virtually worship beauty—especially feminine beauty!)
—Dr. Paul Talmadge,
Southern Baptist educator
(To view and hear a musical site provided by Dr. Talmadge of “morphing” photos of fifty of the most beautiful women of our time, including at least fifteen I have featured as my favorites in earlier posts on feminine beauty, click here.)
“The contemplation of beauty causes the soul to grow wings.” (It also causes the heart to ache or even break, as when someone once described Elisabeth Taylor as “achingly beautiful.” I agree. That’s why every morning I look at the five photos of her I have taped around my shaving mirror—and the seven around my computer screen—and I sigh!)
—Plato, quoted in Today’s Cryptoquote,
Tulsa World, June 23, 2011
“Elizabeth Taylor is the most beautiful creature that God ever made—except Mari, of course!” (As I say, “There is a word for women like Elizabeth Taylor: exquisite! The problem is that there are no other ‘women like Elizabeth Taylor’—except Mari, of course!”)
The photo of Elizabeth Taylor was provided by Pat Scavo in an email on July 23, 2013, from this source:
Final Note on A Few of My Favorite Things
“The only two titles I ever coveted were those of Southern Gentleman and the Will Rogers of Arkansas. Now approaching the end of my life I can clearly see that I don’t deserve either one!”
“The radio and the telephone and the movies that we know
may just be passing fancies and in time may go. . . .
In time the Rockies may tumble, Gibraltar may crumble,
They’re only made of clay.
But our love is here to stay.”
–“Our Love Is Here to Stay,” by Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin
(To hear this song sung by Johnny Mathis, click here)
(To read an article about 10 things that will disappear in our lifetime, click here)
In the November 17, 2013, post on his blog titled “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” my Ouachita Baptist College buddy and designer of my blog, Joe Dempsey, wrote: “The ominous truth is, our societal structure cannot and will not preserve most of what ‘was.'”
That seemingly fading and failing effort to “preserve most of what ‘was'” has been precisely the point and purpose of my entire blog.
Yet despite what may be presumed from my voluminous writings in this blog about “a few of my favorite things,” the truth is that none of the following items featured in the previous posts represent the “last and lasting word” in this blog—NOT . . .
- . . . the South, Arkansas, the Delta;
- . . . the Mississippi River, riverboats, levees;
- . . . plantations, cotton and rice fields, antebellum mansions, Civil War battlefields;
- . . . shotgun houses, dogtrot houses, sharecroppers, tenant farmers;
- . . . home, land, tradition, memory, the past;
- . . . my birthplace of Selma, Arkansas, my hometown of McGehee, Arkansas, my alma maters of Ouachita Baptist College (“Go, Tigers!”) and the University of Arkansas (“Wooooo, Pig, Sooooey!”);
- . . . childhood memories of fourteen-cent “Sairdie-nite” double features with a “shoot-’em-up” (Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, Lash LaRue, et al.) Western; a Bowery Boys comedy; a Warner Bros cartoon; previews of coming attractions; and commercials for RC Cola and the local Chevy dealership;
- . . . birth and childhood in a farmhouse without electricity, running water, indoor plumbing (only a “slop jar,” i.e., chamber pot, for “calls of nature” in the middle of the night), air-conditioning, TV (only a battery radio);
- . . . Southern Baptist churches, Methodist churches, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, grade school (without any kindergarten), high school (without any middle school or junior high school);
- . . . Southern fried “chickin an’ mashed ‘taters with ‘nanner puddin’” for dessert, fried catfish and hushpuppies, “bobba-chew” (the “whole-hawg kind” cooked “awl nite lawng in a hole in the groun’ and basted reg’lar with gen-u-wine East Arkansaw brown sauce”);
- . . . magnificent Southern magnolias in full bloom, sluggish bayous and sloughs (swamps to you Yankees) lined with cypress trees trailing Spanish moss, palmettos (miniature palms), alligators, cottonmouths (deadly poisonous water moccasins);
- . . . my three folk heroes: Will Rogers, Elvis Presley, and Robert E. Lee;
- . . . Southern Gospel music, Delta Blues music, Grand Ole Opry-style Country-Western music; 1950s Rock ’n’ Roll music, Elvis Presley music, Doo-Wop music, college boys’ quartet music, etc.;
- . . . feminine beauty, charm, grace, gentility;
- . . . soft Southern nights, soft Southern accents, soft Southern belles;
- . . . even the Exquisitely Beautiful Elizabeth Taylor (whose thirteen photos surround my daily life, stir my soul, and torment my yearning mind and aching heart daily).
No, as vitally important as any and all of these things and people (and countless others) are to me—none of them is what I want my “last word” to be in this post . . . or in this blog . . . or in this life.
That “last (endearing, enduring) word” from Jimmy Peacock—in this life and in the life to come—is now and always will be . . . Mari!
(To view my opening May 12, 2011, dedication of this entire blog to Mari with a photo of her in her wedding gown made on December 27, 1962, click here.)