Monday, January 06, 2014

Walter Mitty dreams for a day

A few years ago I read a Garrison Keillor novel called "Love, Me" that played out one of my Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye version) dreams.

It's about a small-town scribe who writes a best-seller, moves to New York and works for Mr. Shawn at The New Yorker. I was so taken with it that I nearly moved to Manhattan. (I'd have been broke by the end of the week, but hey...)

Every Sunday (and every day if I wish), I play out another Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye version) dream listening to Jonathan Schwartz on WNYC-FM and/or his new The Jonathan Channel. He's forgotten more about The Great American Songbook than I will ever know, and he likes the Red Sox. 

Tonight, and most nights over the last 20 years, I've played out another Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye version) dream by watching Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies. 

For the channel's anniversary, TCM aired a special "Private Screenings" on Osborne, interviewed by his best "Essentials" co-host, Alec Baldwin. 

Osborne's life is better than even a black-and-white MGM movie. He wrote for the Hollywood Reporter back when that meant something. He had a special relationship with Natalie Wood. He hung out with Peter Lawford at Louis B. Mayer's old mansion. He moved to New York and had a morning movie moment on CBS. He talks to Olivia de Havilland each week. 

And, nearly every night for the last two decades, he's hosted primetime introductions of the creme de la creme of classic cinema on TCM. 

Some guys have all the luck, as they say. 

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