Happy Mothers Day at all The Wheezer Society Mom's and Mother's everywhere
Pictured clockwise from upper left Ester O'Brien, Scott's Mom - Jeanne, Jay's Mom - Shirley, Neil's Mothers, Dee and Deanna, Doreen Lindstedt and Helen Murnin. Unfortunately, we did not receive Mom photos from Doug Byers or Greg Phillips.
by Jay Amicarella | Blythe Danner (as Lillian Meechum): "My Dear Son...My Dear Ben...My Dear Friend, who becomes a man today. I wanted to write you a letter about being a man. And what that means in a fuller sense. I wanted to tell you that gentleness is the quality I most admired in men. And then I remembered how gentle you are, so I decided to write something else. It's just this: I want you to know that whatever you do, or wherever you go, you walk with my blessing, and love. I've had my regrets, and many sadnesses, but I will never regret the night you were born. I thought I knew about love, and the boundaries of love, until I raised you for these past eighteen years. I knew nothing about love. This has been your gift to me. Happy Birthday, Mama."
Pat Conroy, maybe the greatest novelist of our generation, knew all about the special bond between Mother and Son when he wrote the semi-autobiographical "The Great Santini," made into a very good film starring Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner in 1979. This scene, where Ben Meechum (played by Michael O'Keefe) reads the letter his mother included with his school lunch on his 18th birthday, had me in tears when I first saw it in it's original run in Portland. And it's done it to me every time since. It evokes my own mother so strongly that it leaves me weak. It captures the essence of the mother/son relationship perfectly. She is our first major love affair, our protector, nurturer, and greatest backer. It's that love that causes huge football players to mouth "Hi, Mom!" when the camera catches them on the sidelines. My love to all of you on your special day.
And just a word about Blythe Danner. She was the perfect choice for Lillian Meechum, the quiet Southern beauty who tempered the excesses of her Marine fighter-pilot husband. Ms Danner is one of those rare women who can captivate a room without doing anything but show up. Like they said in "Mi Familia," she's a "wow." Jay Amicarella