The Glass Key to Being a SnobSunday, December 29, 2019
|Betty Comden & Adolph Green|
Some years ago when I did not yet feel old and both my knees articulated to perfection we (Rosemary, our two granddaughters and I) went to Qualicum Beach to a restaurant called Fish Tales. Some elderly people at another table were comparing notes on Machu Picchu. One of them said,”We did that last year. This year we want to do Venice.” I became instantly depressed and vowed to never book on a cruise ship or go on any tour. Rosemary and I have traveled with the granddaughters or alone with no problem.
At age 77 I don’t have the time to read all the blockbuster books or get addicted to very good streaming TV, or read every article in my daily NY Times. I have to choose carefully.
When I was a child my mother would often tell me in Spanish,”Hay poca gente fina como nosotros.” By fina she meant what she perceived as gentility, good manners, knowledge and urbanity. In short she was a snob. She made me a snob.
When I married my Rosemary I found out she was from New Dublin, Ontario and that she lived in a town that did not even have one horse. Her house was by the church and cemetery. Rosemary was aware of her isolation and as soon as she could she landed a scholarship at Queens and learned French in Laval. It is perhaps because of this desire to better herself that she and my mother got along so well. I can state here, that, yes, my Rosemary is a snob, too.
We have never had hybrid tea roses in our garden. Only old roses or English Roses will do. Like my mother Rosemary likes to wear pearls and dresses with an elegant style.
What all this amounts to, is that we like to watch (sparingly) Turner Classic Movies on our TV. We like the idea of turning on the TV and finding movies we want to see (we sometimes miss the first few minutes) in a random fashion.
In the last few days we managed to see The Glass Key, Prisoner of Zenda and a film neither of us had seen called The Bells Are Ringing, a 1960 musical film directed by Vincent Minelli.
The Bells are Ringing had that smooth Dean Martin and that heretofore (to me) ditzy Judy Holliday. TCM host Ben Ben Mankiewicz informed us that Holliday’s IQ was measured at 170!
We enjoyed the film and in the credits I read that the costumes were by Oleg Cassini who in later years dressed Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy.
Special to me was the fact that the musical was written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
Music was by Jule Styne and the score was directed by Andre Previn.
And extra highlight was the appearance in the film of Holliday’s real husband, Gerry Mulligan.
I would say that with all those spirits hovering over us this Christmas I could sense that my mother was there with us joining her two snobs.