MENTAL NOTE

"Though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run."
Blue, resist the urge to use facebook. You can do it. Good luck.
Cats and dogs can be friends. So can cowboys and indians. So can we.
Why try to be the best when there's no hierarchy in heaven?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dear Mr. Wilder



Dear Mr. Wilder,

I've been meaning to send you this letter since 1984. Thinking you would probably never get to read it, I just never found the courage to sit down and write it — you know, sit down, take a deep breath and hopefully do a good job. But this morning I woke up and I said to myself, "Write the damn letter. This is getting ridiculous." So here I am, a 45-year-old college professor sitting at his desk at 6:53 A.M. thinking where to start and not waste your time. Mr. Wilder, you have been a positive influence on my life, and the aim of this letter of mine is to thank you for that, even if I'm as much a stranger to you as you are to me.

My name is Blue, and this may come as a surprise to you: I'm not really a big fan of your work. I like it, but I don't love it (please don't stop reading), except for one very special movie. Depressing as it may sound, when I was a fourteen-year-old kid back in 1984 waiting in line at our local movie theater, I had never even heard of you. "Gene Wilder? Who is he?" Let's say I was a sad and clueless pimpleface with a bad haircut when my cousins took me to the premiere of The Woman in Red. I didn't like myself, I didn't like the world, and I was always, always, low-spirited. Not because I was a teenager — that didn't help — but somehow I had been sad for many years. It happens. Anyway, I sat down staring at my ticket, not expecting very much, and then the lights went out. Little did I know I was in for a treat.

To cut a long story short, I fell in love with your movie. I thought it was sheer perfection on many levels. I remember sitting there hearing the first couple of seconds of Stevie Wonder's mesmerizing It's You. When I heard that beautiful tune and the movie started, I knew instantly that this one was going to be different, and I was right. How in the world I managed to identify with a fifty-year-old man, being fourteen myself, still beats me though. I guess you did that good a job, and I will forever be grateful for it. What I do know for a fact is that this movie made me smile again. The sad teen cracked his face. Dial 9-1-1! It's hard to describe what actually happened to me watching The Woman in Red, but the change in me was profound and it was permanent, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I experienced a sense of hope that I had never felt before, I wanted to fall in love even if the girl of my dreams was to show me the true meaning of unattainable love, and basically... I wanted to be a kind person like you. I know I don't know you. I also knew I was watching a movie. I was fully aware Teddy Pierce did not exist in the real world (whatever that meant), but your kindness and humanity was obvious. It transpired and touched my heart.

So here I am, feeling silly telling you all this like I'm in church confessing. I don't need anything from you. I don't expect a reply. I just wanted you to know how much your movie has meant to me. It came at the right time. I saw it just when I needed it. And strange as it may sound, whenever I'm sad again, I switch on my television, press play and transport myself to that old movie theater back in 1984 where I, too, fell in love with a woman called Charlotte. Thank you for changing my life, sir; thank you for soothing me with your wonderful voice. I wish you all the best. I hope this letter reaches you.

Sincerely yours,
Blue

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125 comments:

  1. Ah, Gene Wilder, the good old days of my earliest childhood, he was so great in all of those 80s movies! Is he still active and working? I'd love to see him in TV series since it is a trend to find forgotten stars and put them in shows

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    1. I'm pretty sure he retired, Dez.

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    2. yes, in 1999. I wonder if it had anything to do with his country's terrorist aggression against my country, since I see he is a very prominent political activist and has opposed all of USA's bloody acts of violence against other countries, including Vietnam and Iraq

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    3. Well, that makes three of us, but I guess you knew that already.

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    4. whatcha doin' Blue, how's health? How's Bob?

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    5. I'm exhausted, Dez. That's why I've been neglecting you and our friends. Do't hate me. Bob is doing fine, that son of a can.

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    6. you and me both, then :( I'd doing two books and a course of English at the same time. Probably not gonna survive it.

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    7. Yes, you are. I'll see to it. Need some tea? Rum?

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    8. da funny thing is that me is translating LEARN TO LIVE, some Swedish selfhelp bestseller, and I'm like when do I even have time to learn to live? I do need a barrel of rum to drown myself in

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    9. well, I did Turkish and even Chinese before, why not Swedish as well? :)

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    10. ...for a hunk of burning love?

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    11. do I get one for being your hundredth?

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    12. If I could, you know I would. Beats tea, right?

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  2. I love comedies
    Gene is in this genre
    I too like movies
    for that reason of Gene Wilder's!

    Hank

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    1. Seems to me you've got impeccable taste. I may be a tad biased.

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  3. Isn't it amazing how a movie or a book or a song can touch you and change your life????

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    1. It sure is, Robin. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  4. Blue ...How quaint.
    So Gene Wilder affected you that way too! Me too. Mine was "Start the
    Revolution Without Me." ( Only I was a tad older than you) I remember it
    as the funniest movie ever made. I don't know how I would feel about it
    today, as I haven't seen it in years and my sense of humor must have
    changed.....at least I "think" it must have changed. But that poses an
    interesting question because now I'd like to see it again and discover just
    where my humor does lie.
    I'm sure I saw the "Woman in Red" but since it must not have impressed me
    the way it did you, I don't remember it. I do know that I saw every movie he
    made, always looking for that inner glow I felt in Start the Rev. but never found it again.
    I hope he reads your letter if he's still alive...... is he?

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    1. Yes, he is very much alive - just the way we like it. Start the Revolution without Me... I will check that one out. Thanks for the tip. Gene, Manzanita and Blue are connected and Gene doesn't even know it. How about that?

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  5. Shame he'll never get to read that. Your letter is the thing all artists wish they could receive one day.
    Keep smiling!

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    1. It's on its way to his place. Who knows, it may actually fall on his doorstep.

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  6. Good old days it must have been. That's a great letter by the way, warm greetings and best wishes!

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  7. Never saw that particular Gene Wilder movie, but have seen some of his other films. Now I want to see it. Glad you did write the letter here; hope you sent one actually to him. I worked for a doctor years ago who after seeing the first Rocky movie was so inspired he wrote a letter to Sylvester Stallone. I remember typing up the letter; he was definitely awestruck with the movie, theme, acting, etc. He sent the letter, never did hear back a reply.

    betty

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    1. Yes, betty. I sent the letter. I'm sure I won't get a reply either, but that's okay.

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  8. Hard to believe he's an octogenarian now

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  9. This almost made me cry.

    I get deeply affected by certain music. But I hate celbrity worship. So I have thoguht about writing to certain musicians over the years, but I feel so illy doing it. Ridiculous.

    This is so honest and so unflinching when it comes to laying that sort of thing bare that it was fantastic and moving.

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment. :)

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  10. Gene Wilder made great movies. I liked The Frisco Kid especially.

    Particularly his line in the wedding scene at the end.

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  11. I enjoyed a few of his movies at my sea
    Willy Wonka he may always be
    He doesn't make anymore because too much swearing for one
    Now he just writes a ton
    Watched an interview where he said that
    You never know, maybe he'll see it at your blog mat

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    1. I actually sent the letter. I'm pretty sure he won't get to read it but at least I tried.

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    2. Always good to try
      As it may just fly

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    3. I will let you know
      At your Kitty Cat Show

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  12. Hi Blue...
    Greetings from the sunny south!
    My favorite Gene Wilder ( not his real name) was Stir Crazy with Richard Pryor....
    And....Young Frankenstein....brilliant!
    How goes the battle?
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. If memory serves his real name is Jerome Silberman. The battle goes steadily and peacefully.

      Good to hear from you again. :)

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  13. I started dating my husband in 1984, so I remember seeing the movie then. I liked the theme song, but have no memory of the actual plot.

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  14. They have been playing Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor movies on cable lately so my daughter and I have been watching them. I'd forgotten how funny those two were back in the day. Great memories. I'll have to look for Woman in Red and see if it's playing too. Funny how movies can effect us, even years later, huh Blue?

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    1. It's the weidest thing. I hope you'll like it, Elsie.

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  15. I have a bit of a surprise for you, I am Gene Wilder. Thank you for your note. I did't love it, I just liked it, but it did touch my heart.

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  16. You were an old soul in a young body back then, Blue.

    Serendipity. It’s why you leave beautiful women in red, wanting in your wake. What? You didn’t know? Come now…

    Beautiful words, my friend. I hope you licked that stamp and sent it.

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    1. An old soul... And now I'm a kid in an old body (smile).

      You bet I sent it. This letter was on my bucket list.

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  17. Very sweet. I haven't seen a lot of Gene Wilder movies, but I do like him as an actor overall. He's just got that likeable quality about him, you know? That quality that makes you think: "I could hang out with that guy. He seems nice." Maybe that doesn't seem like much of a compliment, but trust me, it is.

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  18. When I think of Gene Wilder I think of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory..the winning golden ticket the dream and a magical land.

    I am glad you wrote the letter Blue sometimes we just have things we need to say.

    There is something sexy about wearing a red dress...

    movies and music leave lasting impression on us..they transport us and change us in ways unknown.

    I hope you are well Blue - thinking of you! True...

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    1. I should've sent it years ago. I'm not feeling too well but other than that I'm doing just fine ;)

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    2. So, sorry you are not well Blue ...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mACqcZZwG0k

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    3. Blue, how come Trudie doesn't have a linky dinky anymore? How is we to find her blog now?

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    4. I was wondering about that too.

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    5. maybe she is springcleaning and not accepting guests?

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    6. She ran away
      Back now on display

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    7. She is?
      I'll go check out that True biz

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  19. When something touches your heart Blue it matters not where it comes from. I am certain writing this letter helped you share feelings you wanted to put out there and I'm glad you allowed all of us to read it.

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  20. I remember seeing him in the movie The Toy and I loved that movie. It was funny and made me smile, but Young Frankenstein also did. There are things such as movies, songs and pictures that elicit an emotional response for one reason or another and it's often a really good thing.

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    1. Ah.. Young Frankenstein... That's a classic alright.

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  21. I also love The Woman in Red. It's one of my favourite films. Never ceases to being a smile upon my face :)

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    1. You love it too... Now, why doesn't that surprise me one bit? :)

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    2. You reckon Wendy did make up for that movie?

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    3. She was much more important: she was a fan then and now.

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  22. Blue-friend, that's probably the only movie of his that I haven't seen. of course, in 1984 I was in the throes of drugs. I think it might have been hard to embrace the plot while my brain was suspended 10 feet above my head. Maybe, (smile).

    P.S. 45? i knew you were too young for me. (dammit)

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    1. Dammit? Say it again. Did you say 10 feet?

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    2. Did Dixie just say she was in the throes of drugs?

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    3. Dixie was a junkie? Oh, my, why oh why? You reckon she was also a rock star somewhere in Japan?

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    4. You reckon she did drugs with Iggy Pop or with Janice Joplin?

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    5. I have no idea. Why don't you go ask our friend?

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    6. I'm waiting for her to appear and tell us

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    7. Don't forget to shave while you're at it.

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    8. I shaved my whole head this morning, thank you very much

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    9. I could say something about a shiny head, but I'm not going to.

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  23. Those special movies/books/whatever are awesome--the ones that come at just the right time and say just the right thing.
    You made me feel all warm and fuzzy, Blue.

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  24. Beautiful, Blue. It's one of those moments in time that forever change you. Thank you for making this an open letter.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it, Loni.

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  25. A toast to our childhood heroes :)

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    1. Bottoms up! What are we pouring today?

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  26. i was 5 at that time, Blue! i know a movie that i loved so well then (in the 80s). Mannequin.
    Kim Catrall.
    Magic.
    Starship's Nothing's gonna stop us now.

    :)

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    1. You were five. That means you're still young! Yep, I remember Mannequin like it was yesterday. Of course, it was 1987, a good year by the way.

      How are you doing JJ?

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    2. i was 5 in 1984 ;)
      all good Blue. a little annoyed with this place i'm freelancing, otherwise, all good.

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    3. Don't let them get to you, Jaya J. Focus on the people who care.

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    4. not the people, just the company's attitude towards paying freelancers. oh well, i will look around some where else.

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    5. Oh I know what you mean. As if freelancers were 2nd rate co-workers, right?

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  27. I don't believe I've seen this one either, as I was 5 at the time, just like JJ.

    It's funny how certain films, songs, or even people we've never met can make such a lasting impression upon us.

    I tried seeing if Mr. Wilder had a Twitter account I could share your post to, but it seems he does not :( I do hope he reads your letter and you get a reply. It was very beautifully written, and I'm sure he'd appreciate the gift of your words.

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    1. me was 6 at the time :) Blue, how come you didn't babysit us?
      So lovely of Theresa to try to share it on Twitter, I shall look it too now!

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    2. oh, he has it, but it ain't active for three years now :(

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    3. Dear Theresa and Dezz... the actual letter, the hardcopy, is on its way to Mr. Wilder. Of course, it is likely to end up in the trash, but that doesn't matter one bit. :)

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    4. You never know, he might see it. Or, you might get the standard form letter thank you from his team. The only time I wrote a letter to celebrities was when I was 10. New Kids on the Block were all the rage and I was so excited to find their mailing address in the back of my Teen Bop magazine. I got the standard letter back, but it did set my 10 year old heart aflutter lol.

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    5. let us pray she didn't have hots for Jordan Knight, he was the most annoying in the block :) Joey, however... is still very nom...

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    6. Ten-year-old Theresa... I sent mine when I was 45... What's wrong with this picture haha!

      Dezzz what does nom nom mean in Dezzyland?

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    7. the same as mljac mljac in Serbian

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    8. I had the hots for the one that ended up being gay. Isn't that the way it always goes?

      I do remember I had all of their pins. My sister stole my Jordan pin because her friend liked him. In retaliation, I cut out the eyes on her MC Hammer poster. Good times! lol

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    9. You had the hots for the gay guy... No kidding. I hope you eventually got that pin back.

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    10. don't everybody always has hots for a gay guy?
      I forgot who was gay in NKOTB, was it John or Jordan?
      Blue, did you have Mchammer pants in the 80s?

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    11. I hated him then and I hate him now. Pants included. Was it 89 or 90?

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  28. Hi Blue! I loved The Woman in Red, and Gilda Radner was at her finest in the movie! She didn't have a big role, but she stole every scene she was in. Gilda and Gene were married in real life.

    I encourage you to watch other Gene Wilder movies like Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers. He's extremely talented, and I hope he read your letter.

    Julie

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    1. Gilda was great. I like that scene where Wilder is hiding in his car faking a heart attack... remember? CLICK!

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  29. Hey Blue,

    Here's proof that my chronic exhaustion is beyond a joke. See, it has taken me one week to get here. Nothing to do with slow internet, everything to do with my last two brain cells being fried.

    I wish you had the application, "subscribe to follow up posts via email", thus I'd be alerted.

    Just remember, there will be a movie dedicated to you, "Gentleman in Blue."

    I'm so sorry that you continue to experience such exhaustion. In my case, my exhaustion has caused me to lose some blogging friends. That's why I appreciate your interaction when you have the strength.

    You're a good dude, this be true, Blue.

    Gary, Gary, nary contrary....

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    1. Gary, Gary, slightly hairy, never scary... I'm impressed by your proof - I'm convinced 100% that your chronic exhaustion is beyond a joke. I dare say it's even beyond a good joke that would make you wet your pants. Two brain cells... Is that a fact?

      Oh there's no need for you to be alerted, Gary. Just stop by whenever you feel like it. I don't write very often, so you're not missing out on much. Wait, did I just say that? I meant, "Shame on you for not being alerted even though there's no application for you to be alerted by! Don't you sense a disturbance in the force whenever I cast my thoughts into the universe?" Hmmmm I guess I just friend my last two brain cells, too. Scooby Doo! Where's my shoe?

      See? I told you.

      What I don't understand is how your exhaustion caused you to lose blogging um.... friends. How does that work?

      Blue

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  30. Tootsie was the first movie I saw in the theater, and I was a teen. It didn't affect me profoundly, but I still remember how I felt sitting there watching. Funny what sticks with you... :)

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  31. Wouldn't it be amazing if he actually saw this post and replied?

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    1. Well, it would be great but the chances of this ever happening are slim, Sherry... very slim.

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  32. We all have snippets of memories in our minds, of moments such as these, that impacted us deeply, and changed our perception forever from that point forward. Thank you for sharing (one? of) yours.

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  33. He is one of my heroes. And supposedly very cool in person, too.

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    1. There you are. I was wondering where you were, Ms. Kitty. He's one of your heroes, too? Any movie in particular?

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  34. Hi There, found you on several friends pages so thought I would drop in and check out your page..

    Re: Wilder - What about The Little Prince??

    “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
    ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    ~ shadowfire ~

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    1. Well, what do you know... You're quoting my favorite book. :)

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