Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nels Carlson

I was looking at the Obits in the USU Alumni magazine, and noticed Nels Carlson had passed away.  Nels was Mr. Theater at the USU extension in the Uintah Basin.  He knew everything about theater, from the technical aspect, to the acting to the producing.,8658

I first met Nels when I was in the USU production of "Man of la Mancha." Nels, in addition to being the producer, portrayed the captain of the guard.  He was always such a professional.  He introduced the idea of staying in character and saying "line" when you need your line.  That was a good method to memorize the lines, but also to build the character of your role.

I did several more productions with Nels.  He was the director of the "Star of Justice" for the first years of the Outlaw Trail Festival.  He took a script that had never been produced before, and turned it into a show.  He also designed and put together the stage and scenery.  I still have a picture of the scene as he designed it, which hangs in me bedroom.

I helped Nels with building set.  I was the person that didn't know what he was doing, that Nels would show how to do a few things.  My worse experience with Nels was when I was taking down lights, and dropped one from the apple picker.  It broke the lens, but Nels didn't yell at me.  I did enough yelling at myself. 

He shared with me a movie script he had written.  It was written in the movie kind of a way and told the story of a man with cancer, who is "kidnapped" by his friend, a Native American to go see the grandfather, medicine man who could cure him.  It had the traditional chase scenes and everything, and finally getting to where they needed to be.

On one occasion we had a church social, and Nels came and did a one-man show.  Nels sang "Paper Dream" from "Saturday's Warrior."  This was one of his favorite songs.  He also did a scene from Shakespeare, I think "Macbeth" of a crazy door keeper.  I can still hear him, "Knock, knock, knock."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Going Out with Zelda (Daughter of Robin Williams)

It is funny how fame effects us, and makes our minds turn to jelly.  Such was my state when my wife explained to me that my son Mark was going to senior prom with the daughter of Robin Williams, Zelda.  Zelda is a couple years younger than Mark.  Mark already had a date to prom, but of course my advice for him was that he should break that date, and take advantage of this opportunity.  My brain was jelly.  Mark had had a steady girl, but they had broken up.  His date was with a new friend he had met through his being in the musical.

It is strange how opportunities show up some times.  Mark played in a band, "As December Leaves."  They had actually cut a CD which was pretty good.  There were three members of the band, Chris Chavez, my son Mark and Andrew Loc, who was the lead guitarist.  My son played bass, and Chris drums.  They all three did vocals.   It turns out that Andrew's girlfriend attended an art school back East, and met the daughter of Robin Williams, who also attended the school.  I guess Zelda had decided she wanted to have the experience of attending prom, and asked Andrew's girlfriend to help, and that is how Mark was lined up with Zelda Williams. 

This was just  week or so before prom, and so some things had to fall into place.  Zelda did not use her real name, but used a fake name.  The school required an application to approve the attendees.  It seemed Mark got the change in late, and come Saturday morning, the day of the prom, Mark was not yet on the list of attendees, but was an alternate.  I happened to have the home phone number of the principal.  This was because my other son, Jeremy, did tech in the school auditorium, and the principal had contacted him on the weekend one time.  I called, and the principle was able to adjust things, and Mark was on the list.

The next problem came up a couple hours later.  The prom was going to take a Bay Cruise Dinner in San Francisco.  However attendees had to travel on the bus together from Cupertino.  (She was going to come 40 miles South to Cupertino, and then 50 miles back to San Francisco.)  A few hours before they were to meet, the word came that Mark would have to drive to pick her up.  Mark did not drive, so I was going to go as chaperone.  We washed up the Ford Focus as best we could.  We really made it shine, but I still thought it humorous that I was going to drive such a small car to Robin Williams' estate.  In the end they called back and said Zelda was able to get a limo and one of her Dad's driver's was going to bring her to the high school.  There went my chance for meeting her.  Mark met her at the school.

So as far as my side of the story, there is not much more to tell.  Mark came home with a traditional prom couple's picture, but I don't know where that is any more.  I imagine Mark has it someplace.  Mark mentioned that she had designed her own dress.  I am not sure if they ever talked to each other again after the prom. 

For a time I was fascinated with the Williams family, reading about them in the media.  I saw Zelda and her father on "Late Night with David Letterman."  David Letterman kept talking about how pretty she was.  This was when the "House of D" was released.  I thought I wanted to see this movie, and finally did a couple years later.  I also looked at many pictures of Zelda on the internet.  If anyone wants to see more Zelda pictures just "google" it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tony Joined Our Family

I was reading some old journal notes (my journal is copies of letters, at this time to Mark who was in drill for the Marines) of when Tony joined our family the first time. Tony was born six weeks early, and spent his first two weeks of life in the hospital.  Sheri met him at the hospital, learning about how to feed him.  I didn't meet him until Sheri brought him home.  He was sooo tiny.  When he came home he weighted five pounds.  He was born four pounds seven ounces.  He came to us as a foster baby, for two months, left for 10 months, and then returned just after his first birthday.
Here are some of the notes I found:

2/26/11  I got the crib together for the new baby.  Caleb and Rena helped a great deal.  We discovered that we had done it wrong after getting it together the first time and had to do it again.  Fortunately the second time was not as difficult as the first.  It fits well in our room.  I know mom went and purchased a car seat this morning.  She also is borrowing an inset from Teri (friend) to help with small babies so the baby can stay strait in the car seat.
2/27/11 Ana as Mom told you we got a new baby yesterday.  Anthony is very small, and usually he is very quiet.  Mom was really good getting up with him during the night.  I know she took him to Jennifer's (neighbor) for some time this morning.  Jeff's mother passed away last night and she called early saying she wanted to hold a baby today thinking it would help her feel better.  I guess Jeff's mom has been sick for sometime.  About a month ago Brent spent some time with us while they went to see her as she was in the hospital.  Back to the baby.  We all got a chance to hold him last night.  He barely weighs five pounds.  If you can imagine a baby about the size of a football.  He sleeps on his back, and makes little noises.  He has a beanie hood but it seems to fall off a lot. 
3/1/2007  The baby has been fun.  He is so tiny.  I fed him last night and had him while everyone else went to mutual.  Jennifer came over and held the baby and fed him while mom was gone.  I would have just let him sleep but she wanted to keep him up with the hope that he would let Sheri sleep better last night.  I think he actually did a little bit better.  He woke up about 11:45 and Sheri brought him to me and I fed him and burped him.  He doesn't eat a lot at a time so you have to burp him a lot.  I put him to bed at 1 when I went to bed myself.  After that I was unaware of most everything until 7 this morning.  Everyone slept in.  I know Sheri was up a couple times because I woke up for a minute or two and rolled over and went back to sleep. 
3/5/2007  Baby Anthony is getting big.  He now weighs 5 1/2 pounds.  I guess that really isn't big, but it is bigger.
3/7/2007  Baby Anthony will be one-month-old tomorrow.

Mark graduated in March, and consequently there is a hole in my journal.   Anthony traveled with us to the graduation.  It was fun holding such a tiny baby in his carrier as we ere in the crowd of people.  I told everyone he was ours, even though I knew he likely wouldn't stay with us.  After two months with us he went to live with a cousin.  It was only by the greates caret miracle that he ever came back to us.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Poems I Like: Father: This is untitled but Mark wrote it.

 Mark wrote this poem, and I included it in the Lessons from my Children Blogs I wrote for our family blog

When I was young and you were not so old
You whispered Spanish in my ear when we
Stopped at a road's edge.  My hand found its hold
In your calming hand that seemed to me
Secure as any fortress in the world.
Our ears perked, eyes turned right then left to see
That all was safe, no danger to be found,
We anxiously stepped and soon would be
Beyond the road to fields and playing ground,
The promised place where I had longed to run free.

You are the man in whom I see my God.
Few boys were better taught or so well shod.

Poems I like: The Weaver

 My Grandmother Wardle passed away while I was on my mission.  This poem was on the back of the program at her funeral.  I have seen several versions with minor changes.  Most version say anonymous, one version I have says Grant Colfax Tuller.

 The Weaver

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.  [He knows what they should be]

Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.

Not till the loom in silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

- Author Unknown