Memory Lane

My Apologies To Barbra Streisand

Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

It happened again. I’m talking to someone, and out of the blue, they say, “Wow, you look just like Barbra Streisand!” It used to annoy me because although I loved Barbra’s voice, I wasn’t such a fan of her nose. Which, I knew, was the main reason I looked like her. Or at least I did once I started straightening my hair. But before then, there was the time that my sister (long before I started calling her “Black”) first made the connection, albeit it in a very unexpected – and public – way.

You see, it all started with an innocent visit to Saks Fifth Avenue in the Houston Galleria. She was about to get married (not for the first time, I might add, and I probably shouldn’t mention how many engagements she had but called off), and it was only days away from the wedding. I was in from overseas, and we were doing some last-minute shopping (she liked to call it “retail therapy”) for her as I’m definitely not a “shopper” and Saks Fifth Avenue has never been my price point, although Black has often tried to explain the concept of calculating cost per wearing.

So, you may be wondering, what has any of this to do with my looking like Barbra Streisand?

I can’t remember if we started at the shoe department and were heading to cosmetics or vice versa, but we cut through an accessories area that included hats. Before I knew it, my sister tossed one at me that seemed like half hat/half wig as it had straight hair attached to it. And then said, in that older sister way that’s somewhere between a dare and a command, which leaves you no option but to “obey”,

Put it on! [Slight pause followed by uncontrollable laughter and then trying to speak while still laughing …] Look in the mirror. You are the spitting image of Barbra Streisand.

I suppose my theater degree didn’t help matters, as once I glanced into a mirror and saw she was right, I went into a really bad impersonation by singing (off-key, no less), the first few words of “People,” complete with crossing my eyes (not to make fun of people with strabismus) to achieve just the right Barbra “effect”.

Over the years, we’ve laughed at how we probably should have bought that hat, but maybe it’s better that we didn’t. At least for me as, in the years to come, my sister would put my life in a book, so heaven knows what she would have done if she could have had a photo of me in that hat. Better to leave it to your imagination.

Red's two Labradoodles

Photo taken by Red

If you asked Black about National Pet Month, she’d probably quote you statistics about the number of people who have pets and the health benefits, conveniently “forgetting” what she told Red about unconditional love. But Red would tell you that she celebrates Moo (read the original post from 2021 below to learn about the other “unusual names” of her four-legged family members) every day, letting her know with a hug and a cuddle how much she’s loved.

Red's Head

Well, this month marks 18 years since you changed my life, so I wanted to thank you. Again. For bringing such happiness into the lives of the girls and me, although some heartbreaking sadness, too. But there's nothing like unconditional love.

Black's HeadBlack

OK, but can you tell me what you are talking about?

Red's Head

Do you remember when I moved to Houston after living overseas, and we started going to the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio for Memorial Day weekend? You were married to Larry, and his girls were young, and Natasha and Sawyer were even younger. Well, in 2003 you asked me if it was OK if you got us a puppy.

Black's HeadBlack

You had always talked about getting a dog but wanted to have children first. The timing seemed right, but given your allergies, the options were limited. Until I learned about a new breed, well technically a mixed breed, originally developed in Australia to be hypoallergenic guide dogs.

Red's Head

I'll never forget you showing me photos of the most incredibly adorable dogs I'd ever seen. The fact Labradoodles were half standard poodle, which was what I had initially thought we'd get, and half Labrador Retriever was amazing. But only you could find the perfect dog from an article in a business magazine.
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Another year, another Masters golf tournament! Now, it’s been decades since I was glued to the TV watching golf every weekend. But this year, even though I barely recognize the names of the top Masters contenders, I can’t wait to watch the first foursome tee off. That might not seem to make sense, but the Masters always features an honorary starter, and this year it’s my favorite golfer, Tom Watson. And while my favorite Masters memory is of meeting Arnold Palmer (see below), my favorite golf memory is when my dad and I watched the 1977 British Open at Turnberry and Tom Watson beat Jack Nicklaus (by one stroke).

For golfers, spring means another Masters golf tournament. Last year, everyone talked about the 35th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’s amazing come-from-behind victory to claim his 18th major championship. What made it even more amazing was that, at 46, no one thought he would ever win another major. This year, the talk’s all about Tiger Woods (now 46) competing on the 25th anniversary of his first Masters win. It’s a comeback story straight out of Hollywood as a serious car accident 14 months ago initially left people wondering if he would survive, let alone ever play golf again. (Which is reminiscent of when Ben Hogan, one of golf’s all-time greats, came back after a horrific car accident in 1949 to win The U.S. Open in 1950.)

For most golf fans and lovers of great sports comebacks stories, those are inspirational examples of never giving up. And although I was in the crowd around the 18th hole in 1986 when Jack Nicklaus raised his putter in triumph, that was my second favorite Masters memory. And my greatest memory at the Masters didn’t actually take place at the Masters. Well, not at the golf course, anyway.

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Columbia Pictures

It’s Groundhog Day. Again! A day that reminds me of a great movie with a great message (see my thoughts below). Again. And this year, it reminds me that I have great friends. Now, you may wonder, what does that have to do with Groundhog Day? Well, a few years ago, I visited one of my dearest friends when she was living in Woodstock, IL, where the movie, “Groundhog Day” was filmed. Standing in the town square on a snowy night with one of my best friends is a day (well, technically a night) I’d be happy to repeat. Again and again.

Yes, I know that Groundhog Day was last week. But truth be told, on the actual day, I almost forgot that it was Groundhog Day. Until Black, on our morning phone call (we talk almost every morning – sometimes specific Red & Black items, sometimes current events, sometimes just "life") wishes me, "Happy Groundhog Day." Well, these days, every day feels like Groundhog Day, so I thought she was just being sarcastic, which wouldn't be unusual. When I started to reply with something like "yeah, same ole, same ole", I paused, because I realized, it really was Groundhog Day.

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