Sunday happy

More of this please, with or without a cat ... anything to get kids reading. I found no pictures of me reading, I guess because it's so static an activity. Image from Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

More of this please, with or without a cat … anything to get kids reading. I found no pictures of me reading, I guess because it’s so static an activity. That or I was an uninteresting kid.  Image from Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

I should’ve known when I was a kid that I’d come to no good. While other kids were playing with Barbies and toy cars, I was over in the corner … reading … always reading.

Sure, I played too, but reading was what I really relished. And once I’d tired of reading kids’ stuff, I moved on … to the newspaper, especially when there was a column by Erma Bombeck or Mike Royko or, best of all, Lewis Grizzard.

Yep, you’re right; I was a weird kid. Still am, really.

I was reminded of that last week by a friend and colleague who was probably just as weird as I was growing up and who quotes Young Frankenstein and Grizzard at the drop of a noncliched hat.

Image from BarnesandNoble.com.

Image from BarnesandNoble.com.

There’s something about well-timed, well-written humor, especially that of the Southern variety, and Grizzard was a master, even if just for the titles of his books, some of which I’m sure are still in storage at my Grandma’s house: Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself; Don’t Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes; Shoot Low, Boys, They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies; and one of my all-time favorites, They Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat.

You can’t get much more Southern than that. Try reading those titles aloud with a “Nawthen” accent or no accent at all … it’s just not the same (and not possible for me despite my lack of a strong accent).

Grizzard died 20 years ago this March, but I often think of him, and aspire to even a tiny bit of his vast talent.

Though I did take an eight-year detour into broadcasting, my first love has always been print journalism, and Lewis Grizzard is one of the reasons I ever considered a writing career. I’m far from matching his success, but he inspires me, and makes me very happy.

And the guy’s just funny. That may have a little to do with it.

 

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8 thoughts on “Sunday happy

  1. I love, love, love Lewis Grizzard! I’d have married him in a heartbeat just because it’d have been so much fun to live with him. (Notice that I rewrote the sentence so I didn’t end it with a preposition. We all know a preposition is not a good word to end a sentence with.)

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    • Oh, end ’em with a preposition; most of the time it’s still understood, and even some grammar snobs admit that rule goes too far sometimes! 😀
      Grizzard will always be one of my heroes if just for the simple fact that he was always a joy to read. I never could keep a straight face when I read his stuff.

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  2. No wonder I like you so much!! We must be sisters from another mister! I read so much growing up that my grandfather asked my mom if reading so much was normal. When my mom would force me to go outside to get Vitamin D, I brought a book. My favorite place to hang out as a teenager was the library in downtown Austin, TX. I also devoured newspapers and loved reading Mike Royko, Erma Bombeck, and Lewis Grizzard. John Kelso in the Austin American Stateman is also a favorite. I’m listening to the Lewis Grizzard clip you included, and his comments about “Shiite” have me laughing so hard!! I was devastated when he died. I have also been an avid reader of obituaries since I was young, and I’m always on the lookout for a good one. I have told friends and family that I will come back and haunt anyone who writes a boring obituary for me. I enjoy humor, and I especially enjoy how you use humor in your column to diffuse some controversial topics. Thanks for the Lewis Grizzard memories.

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    • Hee! I always took extra books with me to school and read during recess. I started reading partly because my brothers all could; if you want to get a girl reading early, give her three older brothers! 😀
      I grew up out in the country so the nearest library was at school six miles away, but it didn’t really matter because we always had lots of books around. And once I discovered Lewis Grizzard, that was pretty much it. He’s a long way from the Southern humorists today, and much missed.
      I have several favorite obit lines, and I know that mine will pale next to most of them (I’ll have to do a column on obits sometime …). I’ve told my family, though, that they must include something appropriately goofy or no one will believe it was me.

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      • I don’t believe I have read any of Lewis Grizzard’s books. I didn’t venture from fiction much when I was a kid, but I devoured his column in the paper. I felt like he was speaking directly to me. I look forward to your column on obits. One of my favorites starts out something like…”Eleanor died Friday at the age of 88. If she knew the paper published her age, she would be horrified…She was an elegant woman but could drop the “f” bomb with aplomb if necessary.”

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      • Love it! One of my favorites included the phrase, “he went to be with the Lord and his lovely wife.” Well, of COURSE the Lord would have a lovely wife! 😀

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      • I’m slightly behind on reading comments. That is a great quote!! I need to see if any of his books are on Kindle. I’ve got at least another two weeks of “taking it easy.”

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      • Don’t know if he is on Kindle or not, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find at least excerpts.
        Hope you’re healing well and not TOO goofy on the Percocet … unless it’s entertaining in some manner. 😀

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