Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Honoring Her Mother

One of my dearest friends, Robin, has painted an oil portrait of her mother, Doreen. It is a faithful reproduction of a photo which hung on a wall in their home when Robin and I were growing up. I loved that photo. Her mother was so delicate and beautiful...a little girl's vision of herself grown up.

Doreen had been an aspiring ballerina during the late Forties, working in the chorus at MGM. She made quite a few musicals and danced with the best including Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I thought that was the greatest thing in the world! Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire are my idols. But Doreen gave it up to marry and have children.

When the original "That's Entertainment" debuted in the early 70's, Robin and I saw it together. We spent the entire evening picking out her mother again and again and again. It is much easier to find someone you know on a full sized movie screen than on a television screen. I know because I watch those movies whenever they're on tv, always looking for Doreen.

The most touching thing about it all is how a wildly sarcastic 16 year old girl (me) tried to imagine the slightly frazzled middle-aged woman I knew as this lithe, beautiful ballerina. Doreen turned 85 this year and Robin is surprizing her with this painting which, I think, is a great tribute to a lovely lady.

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