Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: September Of My Years

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Song is Frank Sinatra singing “September of My Years“:

Of all Sinatra’s songs, this is the one I seem to like most of all. And as many of you know, I love Sinatra’s music. He’s the singer I keep coming back to again and again.

Sinatra was turning 50 when he released this one in 1965. It’s Sinatra par excellence. There is not one bad song on the album. By this time, he had been on top for twelve or thirteen years. He had done his share of movies. He had performed with the Rat Pack for quite some time. He had achieved super stardom. He had accomplished so much. With this album, he was sending out a message to the world that here was a man who didn’t need to prove anything.

This one calls me to take some time out and reflect on the past good times and the times ahead. It’s autumn soon and then winter. Soon the colors will turn from the greens of spring and summer to the reds, the yellows, the browns of fall. Soon the trees will shed their leaves. Soon there will be a chill in the air. Soon the holidays will be upon us. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Hanukkah. Christmas. Then another year will be gone.

It’s good to remember the good times of spring and summer. Now is the time to appreciate those good times. So take a moment out of your day, reflect on friends, family and those who love us. And be thankful for the wonder that is our lives.

 

Near 500 words: The children

Nicole ran. She remembered the day she ran. It was the Day of the Rainbow. Karl, her brother, ran with her. They left their father’s house and ran from the fear. Their father had big hands and he knew how to use them. Especially on Nicole.

She was eight and Karl was ten and they ran. Their father followed them until he lost their trail. Then they walked. They did not know where they were going. Only they knew they were not going back. They would rather die first. So they walked.

When you are that young, you have no place to go. No refuge. They must have walked for weeks. They slept underneath things and ate the food they found in the trash. By this time, they were dirty and unrecognizable as the children of their father.

Summer was getting close to coming to an end. Autumn was closing in and soon it was to be chilly. And then the snow and winter. They had to find a place of refuge. But where.

They came to a forest. It was a large forest. Perhaps they might find a cave where they could stay to keep warm.

In that cave, the woodsman found them. Asleep. He was a big fella and he was handsome and was gentle. He had lived in the forest all his life long.

“My name is Theodore. My friends call me Theo,” he said when the children woke up. “What are your names?”

The children looked at him with frightened eyes. He could not see those eyes but he knew they must be frightened.

“Do you wish me to leave?” he asked.

“Y-y-yes,” Karl answered.

“I can do that. And you can stay here. I can bring you cakes if you are hungry. My wife makes very good cakes. But what are you going to do when the witch comes?”

“There are no witches,” Karl said.

“Oh, but there are. The one this cave belongs to is disguised as a bear. But she is a witch. And she likes the taste of children with her gingerbread.”

“Wake up, wake up,” Karl shouted to Nicole. “We have to leave. There is a bear coming.”

“Would you like to come home with me? I have food, a bath and a warm bed. And a wife who would love to meet you. If you are not happy there, you can be on your way.”

Karl and Nicole were not sure whether to take the offer. Theo might be just like their father. All smooth, then like a volcano, bursting with anger. Finally, the hunger got the best of them. “We will go with you,” Karl said. “But we will not stay.”

“At least, stay for the winter. Once the spring comes, go your own way.”

They stayed for the winter and then the summer to come and then another winter and another summer. Theo and his wife loved the two children as if they were their own. Finally, one morning Nicole told the story of their father’s anger. It was not a pleasant story to tell by a fire. But she told it anyway. Theo and Margaret, his wife, were happy the children trusted them enough to tell their story. That was the day a giant rainbow appeared through their window.

Being a Dark Lord isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

When you’re the Dark Lord, it’s a lonely job. Nobody likes you. Despite all that Sauron had done for Middle Earth, he just wasn’t appreciated.

Without Sauron, there would have been no Rings. Without the Rings, no “Lord of the Rings”. And just think of all the fun we readers would have missed. Can you imagine Harry Potter without He-who-must-not-be-named? Ah, c’mon you want to say it. Voldemort. Now there don’t you feel better. And like Sauron, Voldemort was a lonely dude too. At least, Lex Luthor had Lana Lang and Eve Teschmacher.

Anyway, back to Sauron. Without Sauron, we’d never have heard of Hobbits. I mean we might have heard of Bilbo Baggins because he went off with the dwarves and took on that dragon. But that was not epic the way the trilogy was.

Without Sauron, the trolls and the orcs and all the Wraiths would have run amok. And you ain’t seen amok until there’s been an amoking by trolls and orcs and Wraiths.

You think Sauron was a bad dude. Well, I got news for you. Compared to Morgoth. Sauron was a pussy cat. A pussy cat with claws, yes. But still a pussy cat.

And Sauron had a lot to offer. First he had all those rings. I mean, what girl can resist jewelry. He had a very large castle. Sure, it left a lot to be desired. No central heating and all. But you think Prince Charming could do better.

Oh yeah, I forgot. Prince Charming had a set of teeth no girl could resist. They gave his smile a glow. I’m here to tell you it was all so fake. Prince Charming was one heck of a bigamist. First, he kisses Sleeping Beauty. Before you know, she is so pregnant. And Cinderella? Before she knew it, she was married to a guy with a foot fetish. Well, those ladies finally got even. Have you ever heard of the Amazons? You guessed. Cindy and Beauty started them.

Most of all Sauron had land. Lots and lots of land. Enough land to impress any girl. But the one thing Tolkien forgot to tell us was that Sauron was land poor. Like those English aristocrats who married English aristocrats, Sauron had no cash. Morgoth had left him with all those mortgages and the dwarves had hidden the gold, what else could Sauron do? Either marry a rich Elf or go on the warpath. He much preferred marry a rich Elf and settling down.

He dated Galadriel for a while. She was so stuck on herself she kept trying to show off her powers. Well, there was only so much of that a guy could take. Then he dated Arwen but she had the hots for Aragorn.

You know the old saying. Rejected once, it must be them. Rejected twice, it must be you. Well, what else could Sauron do? Attack Gondor and get the gold. All that gold would pay off the mortgages and give him enough cash to keep the Wraiths happy.

Too bad he didn’t ask Eowyn out on a date before Faramir came around. After all, she was the daughter of a king. She rode a horse like a jockey, threw a spear like an Olympic javelin thrower, and handled a sword like Sir Lancelot. If not her, there were lots of other princesses in Middle Earth who were looking for a guy. Naw, it was the Eye that scared the humans away.

So what are the morals of this story. When looking for love, don’t look in all the wrong places.  Elves are known to be stuck on themselves. Watch out for guys who want to know your shoe size. And just because the person you’re dating has a great smile doesn’t mean they’re not a bigamist. And never, ever marry for money. Cash is nice but bankruptcy can be a pain.

So you can see, being the Dark Lord isn’t what it appears to be. It’s a lonely job. And the little guy always wins the girl. After all, Sam lived happily ever after.