Friday, June 05, 2015

"West Wing" and memories

Someone posted a clip from "West Wing" on Facebook today--there they all were, all those familiar faces who formed such a coherent, unified group of advisors. And it was Martin Sheen (or President Bartlett) at his very best, expounding on the follies of extremist interpretations of religion and the Bible, using a talk show hostess as his target. His final line was a zinger, as the lady sat and tried to answer him, finally lapsing into silence. "On more thing," he thundered. "In this house, when the president is standing, no one sits." After a long minute, she stood. I frequently wish we had such leadership, especially in the governments of some of the states. Or that we could see hope for it in the great host of presidential candidates.
The show took me back fifteen years or so, when a colleague and I thought Wednesdays were the best day of the week. We didn't really work together but shared adjacent offices, and we became close friends, a friendship that endures after we've both long since retired. I still laugh at the time she had been away for three weeks and came in my office door calling, "Hi, honey. I'm home." We had good times in that office in those days. And we loved Wednesdays.
The Wednesday morning newspaper had the food section, abounding with recipes many of which enticed me. I still have yellowed clippings from those days in my recipes files. Yes, plural--I have files for main dishes tried, main dishes not tried, vegetables (thickest folder), appetizers, and dessert (less used). Today, the Wednesday edition still has a few recipes but they are trendy and I seldom find anything that calls to me to clip it--folks, I just don't like kale. Sorry. I dutifully read the Wed. paper but it has shrunk so I can go through it in minutes.
Then Wednesday was meatloaf day at the Star Café (as it still is). So we went for meatloaf, mashed potatoes and salad--sometimes following it with banana pudding, also a Wednesday special. I guess my weight didn't worry me as much in those days. Friends Don and Betty Boles own the Star, and the meatloaf and banana pudding are Betty's personal recipes. Somehow I was so enthusiastic about that meal I could overlook the bits of green pepper in the meatloaf.
And then Wednesday night brought "West Wing," perhaps my all-time favorite TV show. I'm not much of a television watcher--in the mornings I often keep the TODAY show on sort of as background noise, hoping to catch news and weather. I get fidgety if I just sit and watch TV with nothing else to do. Not so when "West Wing" was on--I sat in rapt attention from start to finish.
Struck me today that Wednesdays are no longer the same--and neither is our world. How did we change so fast in 15-20 years?

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