“I Wrote A Blog”
“From the Heart”; Taking a stand for what you believe and what it means to the actors of Los Angeles and all over the country; perhaps the world.
Straight from the shoulder was a way of communication taught to me at such an early age, I doubt if I could even recall when my Father began it all. What I do remember, most of all were his words to the wise; and that would be me. In no uncertain terms my Dad said:
“If you have the courage to take a stand, on your own, on behalf of the next guy, when at first glance it appears to be of little benefit to you personally, then be prepared for the outcome, which in most cases will provide personal loneliness, and disappointment.”
Charlie, aka my Dad, was attesting to his belief, that to take a stand for the next guy, will not bring more than a fleeting fame, or fortune, or acclaim. Rather, he said a thank you would be your welcomed gratuity; not that you were seeking any. But it isn’t my intent to describe personal disappointment as derived from monetary loss. I’m talking about the deep disappointment, which I derive from people in general. Charlie warned me about expecting too much from people. He told me not to let them get to me, yet over and over in my lifetime I’ve kept from heeding his words.
“Do it for the good feeling it gives you, never because of any monetary rewards. “
Charlie was the definitive Good Samaritan. I personally experienced his courage come into play on more than one occasion. Once as a little boy, Charlie and I, as would be the case for many Fathers and sons, were at Ebbetts Field for a ball game. It was about the fourth inning, when these three guys, who had had too much beer to drink, began to make real pests of themselves. A young family that included a Father and his two kids was sitting close by. The drinkers became too rowdy for Charlie’s liking, and as their language disintegrated along with their faculties, so did Charlie’s patience. If I remember correctly, little da harv was about ten years old at the time. I wasn’t the least bit afraid because I was there with my proven champion.
There was an apparent bad call by an umpire, and it had the effect of really setting these three guys off. Now they felt justification to become a mob. The three of them were on their feet and chanting one expletive after another for all to hear. Charlie cupped his hands together, and let go with a marvelously cultivated Brooklyn shriek of his; yelling at the three of them, “Hey guys how about giving it a rest!” Charlie, all five foot five inches of him stood there looking straight at these jerks. He motioned for them to sit down, and that’s exactly what the three noisemakers did. The very next inning they were once again on there feet making every one uncomfortable. This time without hesitation Dad signaled to a near by usher and in very short order the three guys were ejected from the ballpark. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Dad had gently pushed me behind him when he first made eye contact with the three guys. On the way home I received a verbal lesson, which still holds true today.
“Never become violent with anyone in a situation like the one that happened to us today. Take your stand as a man, but don’t be the one to raise your hands combatively unless it’s the only way to protect yourself against the bullies of this world.”
Dad referred to the mob mental cases as bullies. He had four sisters, and five brothers who all shared his mantra. They had never met a bully who didn’t take on a true posture of cowardice when separated from the mob they ran with. While they have long ago passed on, to this day and forever I will take great pride as I think back to the stalwartness of my Kalmenson uncles. Family, friends, home, our country, it’s people; in that order, became their order of importance. They were never part of a gang of hooligans. I guess with that many brothers and sisters in the family they really had a gang of their own. All of them became successful working middle class citizens. Some served in the Second World War. A few of the family members had established a small degree of name recognition. None of them went to college, and probably only half attended high school. Beginning with the third and fourth grade, all of the brothers and sisters worked to bring in what ever they could in order to help support the family. In that era, employees were paid with cash. At the end of each week pay envelopes would be issued. The year was 1941. Social Security had been in place for six years, and was of little consequence at the time. Family medical insurance and welfare was non-existent. My Dad’s two-year-old Chevrolet cost him a whopping nine hundred bucks. The theme each of the immigrant families revered was simple and straight to the point;
Stand up for your near and dear. Take a stand and make sure you’re counted. If help is needed, be the one to be there.
Who knows what the cause may have been. Some said the new arrivals to the United States learned to say please and thank you as their first and most important words in the English language; words they felt would help them to assimilate. They strove for ways to become one with The United States Of America. They easily down played the boorish displays of the three guys at the ball game, in favor of standing, and joining in with great pride in the singing of our national anthem before the start of each game; and being an every guy contributor in the bottom of the seventh inning when it was time for “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”.
And as an aside…in the movie theaters they stood and sang, often before the feature came up on the screen. When the American flag appeared on screen, the audience broke into spontaneous applause. Honestly, I will never have the best words available, for me in order to describe ours, the genuineness of so many moments, so many years ago. Nor can I offer anything more than mere opinion over why a man or woman will stand by a brethren, willing to sacrifice in order to take a stand for no other reason other than it was the right thing to do.
(And back to “From The Heart”)
On June 13, of this year 2011, I shared with you via blog, some of my inner most feelings. I threw caution to the proverbial wind as I chose to ignore some of my Fathers most sacrosanct leanings. To date, I have received two formal references to “From The Heart”, the blog, (mine) in question. And as my Father pointed out with his patented approach, displaying complete certainty, what followed my posting of “From The Heart”, was the revelation; my Father was correct once again. The loneliness he referred to with his assumptions truthfully does not play a part in my life. The aspect of the disappointment however does. I’ve never learned how to resign myself to it. My salve has been an acquired one. Learn to live with it Harvey; that’s the way it is; accept this credo: Disappointment goes with life’s territory. I learned about disappointment long before I entered the world of show business. A person does not have to become bellicose, nor depressed, as the end result of each and every one of life’s disappointments. When I asked people to take a stand, I did so from the deepest place in my heart. The air we breathe and the words we hear today make me fearful of a repeat of one of histories most vile eras.
your father was a wise man to pass on these simple truths to his son… i doubt most fathers today consider it a need and duty to pass along much of anything worthwhile and lasting to their children… based on the stats of the break-ups of most american families, they're not even that much around to do so… treasure what your dad passed on to you… by your own wise words, it's obvious it did not go for nought… rog
All I can say is "Here Here!"
Yes, I'm taking a stand and it so happens this new piece of yours came in just as I was trying to decide if I should. Sorry not to have been able to tell you that I was taking a stand when I first read your "From the Heart" post…but better late than never.