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Home Notes

August 5, 2010

Book Notes: Burnett's book recalls 'Golden Age'

— It’s a shame that today’s young generation missed the golden age of television from the 1960s and 70s. The fact that Hollywood studios with their ``original’’ ideas of constantly remaking hit TV shows from that era into new movies and reunion specials is quite telling. Even Fox with its ``That 70’s Show’’ is a reminder of that whimsical time.

Today, as we are inundated with a relentless flood of talking heads and reality shows it’s refreshing to reflect on what was a simpler and perhaps better time at least in television terms.

A new book has just come out that is a perfect representation of television’s golden age.

Carol Burnett’s ``This Time Together: Laughter & Reflection’’ isn’t exactly an autobiography but close to it. Burnett tells little vignettes from her life that alternate between touching and hilarious.

To those of you too young to know or appreciate Burnett, she rose to stardom in 1959 starring in the hit Broadway play, ``Once upon a Mattress.’’ From there she became a regular on the ``Garry Moore’’ TV show (How many remember him from ``I’ve Got a Secret?’’).

Eventually that led to her hosting her own comedyvariety series, ``The Carol Burnett Show,’’ which ran on CBS from 1967-1978. Her program was highly successful because she was both funny and down-to-earth, and had two regulars, Tim Conway & Harvey Korman, who were comic geniuses that could adlib with the best of them.

Because of her success she got to know several Hollywood legends. Through her book she is able to relate some fascinating stories that depict what these mega-stars were truly like in real life.

Some of the best insights include Lucille Ball, Marlin Brando, Cary Grant, Julie Andrews, and Beverly Sills.

I have to digress for a moment to say that I hope someday Tim Conway pens his own life story. His natural comedic talent has shined through in such shows as ``McHale’s Navy’’ and ``Rango’’ (a shortlived western where he plays a bumbling Texas Ranger), as well as Carol Burnett.

The skit where Conway plays a ``dentist’’ who accidentally shoots his different body parts full of Novocain is an alltime classic. And his appearances on the Emmy awards as the ``loser’’ are priceless. The memories he could share would have us all die laughing. He’s one-of-a-kind.

Back to Burnett’s book, her many vignettes make her come across as someone you’d like to meet. In fact her latest act is a one-person play where she simply answers questions from the audience akin to the opening to all her shows.

Although Burnett’s life has been highly successful, she has suffered her share of tragedies. She had an alcoholic father, went through two divorces, and lost a daughter to lung cancer. Yet she speaks candidly of them all and constantly tries to look at the positive side of life.

For those of you who remember her variety show, her Tarzan yell, and her impressive movie roles, I can highly recommend this mostly joyful and fast-paced book. Even those of you who aren’t familiar with Carol Burnett but watch ``TV Land’’ will appreciate it. It was definitely fun watching television in those days.

DAVID KENT is the Cooperstown village Librarian.

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Home Notes
  • April activities fool many as spring comes, goes There were many April fool jokes played here at Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home on April 1. Some of us found our door name plates turned upside down or swapped with one from another door and furniture and objects were mysteriously moved around in our rooms. The dining room was completely transformed from its usual formal setting into a hodpodge of mismatched china and … horrors, plastic tablecloths and paper napkins. Each table was decorated with a different theme, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Easter. Christmas carols played in the background. We suspect that Dee Bouck, of Personal Care and John Santello, Activities Director, were mainly responsible for this mayhem.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pete Rose on deck for TLC The man known to legions of baseball fans as Charlie Hustle still isn't being considered for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    January 3, 2013

  • Holiday celebrations have begun We have decked the halls of the home with garland, the greenhouses delivered a magnificent wreath for the door and the largest poinsettias we've ever seen, with pristine white cyclamen to accent the tables.

    December 20, 2012

  • Home welcomes new residents We honored our residents who are veterans on Veterans Day, including Alberta Bowes, Bill Bowes, Janet Gorman, Art Laidlaw, Wally Pickhardt, Ralph Veenema and Grace Welsh. It is wonderful to have so many residents who served our country.

    November 21, 2012

  • Summer has been busy at the home

    In the spring we held a workshop to create a shared vision of a summer program that would provide meaningful and enriching experiences. Residents and staff partnered to brainstorm creative ideas, then a planning committee of  residents and staff worked out the details to organize and schedule the events from June through August. We’ve had many enjoyable and actionpacked days, and our journey will continue in August.

    August 30, 2012

  • Home Notes: Celebrations abound at the Thanksgiving Home

    April was a month of celebrations and much to appreciate. We had a 90th birthday celebration for Wanda Noyes on April 4 including her family and friends.  Personal care staff Dee Bouck worked with residents to hand paint Easter eggs for the tree in the activity room.

    May 11, 2012

  • Home Notes: Workshops held for Thanksgiving Home residents

    We welcomed Linda Keller, Ph.D. of the Bassett Research Institute and Ida Baker of NYCAMH who presented a six-week workshop for residents and staff.

    March 9, 2012

  • Home Notes: Residents enjoy harvest dinner

    The month of October was absolutely GOURD-geous at The Thanksgiving Home. We started off the month with a beautiful and festive harvest dinner for both staff and residents. As one big family, we sat around warm plates of turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes, delicious corn casserole and fresh rolls.

    November 10, 2011

  • Home Notes: Many surprises, much fun in September

    “Rainbows apologize for angry skies.” -- Sylvia Voirol
    The month of September began on a damp note at the home. The rains of  Hurricane Irene, flooded basements andwashed out roadways making it impossible for some staff to get to work during their scheduled times. Thank you to all who helped cover for each other during the rains!

    October 14, 2011

  • Home Notes: August is opera season

    “Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” - Langston Hughes There is a never a shortage of humor at the  Thanksgiving Home, andAugust was no different.

    September 15, 2011