davidbrucehaiku: do not worship death






Do not worship death

Life is very much better

Can do the right things


Free davidbrucehaiku #16 eBook (pdf)

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Music Recommendation: The Cocktail Slippers — “Keeps on Dancing”


Song: “Keeps on Dancing” from the album PEOPLE TALK

Artist: The Cocktail Slippers

Artist Location: Oslo, Norway

Info: Executive producer: Steven Van Zandt 

Piper: keys and backing vocals 
Aurora de Morales: bass and backing vocals 
Hope: lead vocals 
Bella Donna: drums and percussion 
Rocket Queen: guitar and backing vocals 

Price: $1 (USD) for song; $8.99 (USD) for 10-track album

Genre: Pop

The Cocktail Slippers on Bandcamp





Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Tipping the Balance—Either Way

According to the Talmud, all of us ought to consider the world as being equally divided into good and evil. That way, we will regard our own actions as important. If we act evilly, we will tip the world onto the side of evil and all Humankind will suffer, but if we perform good deeds, we will tip the world onto the side of good, and all Humankind will benefit.

“Don’t A T’ing Like Dis Make Ya Feel Good?”

Comedians Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor were very giving of their time to good causes. On New Year’s Day of 1943, Mr. Durante met Mr. Cantor while taking a walk. “Eddie,” Mr. Durante said, “I’m just thinkin’. This must be a tough time for the guys over there in that hospital. Here it’s New Year’s Day, they’re sick, some of ’em have amputations. What do ya say we go over and entertain?” The two comedians rehearsed for a short time, then entertained at the hospital from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Afterward, Mr. Durante said hoarsely to Mr. Cantor, “Eddie, tell me, don’t a t’ing like dis make ya feel good?”

Stranded in Kent, Ohio

In Kent, Ohio, early in his vaudeville days, W.C. Fields found himself stranded. (At this time, he was still being victimized by tour managers who would abscond with their performers’ salaries.) He had six dollars, sold his coat for two dollars, then went to the railroad station to inquire about the fare to New York. The railroad agent told him that it was just over $10. (Ten dollars in 1894 was the rough equivalent of over $200 in the year 2000.) “Well, I guess I’m stuck,” Mr. Fields said. “I’ve got eight dollars.” The agent asked if he was an entertainer, and on hearing that Mr. Fields was, he said, “People don’t put much trust in you folks, do they?” (At this time, being an entertainer was about as low on the social scale as a person could be.) “We’re used to it,” Mr. Fields said. The agent then gave Mr. Fields $10 and said, “I’ve always wondered what there was to that story. When you get a little ahead, send this back.” That rare act of kindness impressed Mr. Fields so much that he sat on a bench and cried. Two years later, Mr. Fields was finally able to repay the debt. On Christmas Eve, 1896, he sent $20 to the railroad agent ($10 was for “interest”), then he stood in line at a free soup kitchen for a Christmas dinner. After Mr. Fields became a huge success, he looked up the agent, as did other famous show people who learned what the agent had done for Mr. Fields.

What’s Something Good to Do Around Christmas — or Anytime?

My sister Brenda Kennedy wrote this on a Christmas card to me: “For Christmas this year we each, including the grandkids, filled a bookbag full of water, washcloths, notebook, two pens, two pair of socks, tooth, toothpaste, one roll of toilet paper, Bandaids, Chapstick, granola bars, pencil box filled with candy, tampons, pads and baby wipes. Then we filled the bags up the rest of the way with single bags of chips. Everyone will find a homeless person or someone in need to donate their bag to.” What a great idea!

David Bruce: The Coolest People in the Arts — Mishaps


• When Peter Martins first began performing with the New York City Ballet, he had to learn several ballets very quickly. Often, he learned a ballet during a day, then had to perform it later that night. On one occasion, he was dancing with Suzanne Farrell. He had five entrances and exits. The first four entrances went well, but he forgot about the fifth. For support, Ms. Farrell stretched out her hand, which Mr. Martins was supposed to take, but Mr. Martins was offstage, so Ms. Farrell fell on her face. To the audience, it looked as if Ms. Farrell had committed the fault. According to Mr. Martins, “She was furious with me about that for a whole week.”

• A mishap occurred when Rudolf Nureyev toured with the Australian Ballet. Usually, when a mishap occurs, it is ignored, but Mr. Nureyev often chose not to ignore his own mishaps. The wooden floor was slippery, and during a solo, Mr. Nureyev ended up flat on his back. He got up, went off the stage, then returned and performed the solo perfectly, starting at the beginning. The audience cheered his commitment to perfection. By the way, after Mr. Nureyev had spent his first day as director of the Paris Opéra, Erik Bruhn called him to ask how the day had gone. Mr. Nureyev replied, “Just fine — I only got angry three times.”

• In Amsterdam, Anne-Marie Holmes danced the title role of Giselle. However, the National Ballet of Holland used a different grave than the one she was used to. The cover to its grave opened in the middle instead of to the side. Ms. Holmes wanted to be sure that her skirt would not get caught in the grave cover so she leaned forward; she was successful in that the grave cover did not close on her skirt — instead, it closed on her nose. Fortunately, the stagehands heard her moan, so they lifted the cover enough for her to get her nose free. Otherwise, the otherworldly spirit that was Giselle would have had an embarrassing time in front of the audience.

• Anna Pavlova expected a lot from her students, even the very young ones. Occasionally, she would become impatient and the students would begin crying. At such times, Ms. Pavlova’s husband, Victor Dandré, would calm the students by giving them peaches and taking them into the garden to look at Ms. Pavlova’s pet swans. By the way, even at age 14, Anna had presence of mind while on stage. At her first public performance, she pirouetted with such energy that she lost her balance and fell. She stood up again, curtsied to the audience, then continued her dance.

• Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch were a great ballet dance team during the 1950s, but even they occasionally ran into problems. While dancing together in the Black Swanpas de deux, Mr. Youskevitch became overly athletic in his lifts of Ms. Alonso, so she complained to him in an aside at the end of their dance that he had handled her as if she were a sack of potatoes. This image was so different from that of the swan she was supposed to be that they startled giggling and were just saved from ruining the drama of the dance by the fall of the curtain.

• In decades of performing, perhaps the worst stage that Alicia Markova ever performed on was in Mozambique in 1945. The floor of the stage was so rotten that a leg of a piano placed on center stage for a solo went right through a board. During their performance, Ms. Markova and her dance partner avoided the hole as best they could. Afterward, they discovered that the last time the stage had been used was when Anna Pavlova danced on it — in 1924.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved