CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Chiaroscuro, a Dark Light, a Comet Tail, A Beautiful, Sad Poem Much Too Brief!


TRIVIA QUESTION:

She was one of my favorite actresses of the
silver screen, best known for her Film Noir roles.
Frail, delicate, demure, she manifested strength
in William Wyler's Academy Award winning
motion picture The Best Years of Our Lives.
She married William Wyler's older brother,
Robert, took ill and died at age 46 on the
date of their 22nd wedding anniversary.
Who was this great actress?

I'll have the answer right after I
announce the winner of this week's

BATTLE OF THE BANNED

Part 2 of my hard rockin'

HEAVY HALLOWEEN!

Last week I presented a heavy metal smackdown,
rockin' covers of recordings originally made by
Rob Zombie. European metal band Oceans Red
covered Zombie's "Feel So Numb" and UK artist
Andrew Chape, known to YouTube followers
as Andyflange, covered "Living Dead Girl."

HERE'S HOW I VOTED:

This was an extremely difficult decision for me.
Oceans Red performed a rendition of Rob Zombie's
"Feel So Numb" that didn't stray far from the original.
Not to be outdone, Andyflange did a spot on imitation
of Zombie's "Living Dead Girl." I love both covers but,
in the end, Andyflange got my vote.  The production
on Andy's recording is a bit cleaner, allowing you to
hear and fully appreciate his stellar performance.
Andy nails it, perfectly replicating every nuance
of Zombie's vocal. I was thoroughly impressed
with Andy's Zombie tribute and invite you to
check out his YouTube channel and listen to
his great covers of Metallica, The Beatles
and many other bands.


THE FINAL SCORE


 OCEANS RED 10 
 "Feel So Numb" 

 ANDYFLANGE 14 
 "Living Dead Girl" 

 CHEECH AND CHONG 1 
 (write-in vote for "Earache My Eye" 


Congratulations to Andyflange,
winner of this week's BOTB!
Andy fangs all the boys and
ghouls who voted for him.


ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION:

Cathy O'Donnell

Lithe and lovely, soft spoken, graceful, gentle,
delicate yet strong and resilient... deep and
soulful, wistful, restless, complex,
unfathomable, mysterious...

These are some of the adjectives
that come to mind when I think
about Cathy O'Donnell, one
of my favorite actresses.


Cathy had a memorable role in
The Best Years of Our Lives and
appeared in seven Film Noir pictures
including Bury Me DeadThe Amazing
Mr. X and They Live By Night.


They Live By Night (1949)

Directed by Nicholas Ray.
Starring Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell.




Cathy also starred in one of my favorite
horror movies, Terror in the Haunted House
aka My World Dies Screaming.


With those exquisitely sad eyes and quiet, subdued
demeanor, Cathy O'Donnell could indeed be called
 the melancholy baby of Film Noir. I choose to
remember Cathy as a spirit of goodness in a
troubled and sometimes evil world, a candle
in the wind, a flickering flame struggling to
survive a stormy night, a shining beacon
that suddenly appeared and, for a short
while, pierced the enveloping darkness.
Then, just as suddenly, it was gone.

I leave you with this haunting poem
written by Cathy O'Donnell.

           "Once I Found a Moonbeam" 
                 ...a poem by Cathy O'Donnell 

                 Once I found a moonbeam 
                 Which I wound around my throat 
                 And I hanged myself one stormy night 
                 And that is why I float 

                 And that is why I walk through walls 
                 And leave no footprints in the grass 
                 And never let you see my face 
                 And cast no shadows where I pass 

                 Oh, if you long to come to me 
                 Then find a night of storms! 
                 I'll meet you where the lightning strikes 
                 And take you in my arms! 


                         A poem's what you were, dear Cath,
                                     Lovely, sad and brief.
                                     Selfishly we wanted more.
                                     And now you rest in peace.

95 comments:

  1. Dearest Shady, Cathy O'Donnell died quite young, and of a cerebral hemorrhage, so sad! What a lovely tribute to her, thank you for sharing! I don't believe I saw that movie, "Terror in the Haunted House". I will have to see if I can find it on YouTube.

    Burt Convy, one of my favourite gameshow hosts, died at 57 of a brain tumor. So many have died young like this.

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    1. Hi, dear Linda! How are you? Thank you for being the early bird today, my cherished friend!

      I'm happy to know that you remember Cathy O'Donnell. Of all the actresses of the silver screen from that golden era, I feel a special connection to Cathy. Perhaps I am drawn to her sadness. I love movies with sad, complex characters and she was ideal for roles of that nature. My World Dies Screaming (1958) aka Terror in the Haunted House was more of a suspense thriller than a horror film. It had none of the blood and gore typically found in today's scary movies. I like the film because Cathy has the lead role and loads of dialogue and it is a great showcase for her acting talent.

      I am familiar with the tragic tale of Bert Convy. In the 50s he had a vocal group called The Cheers and scored a hit record with "Black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots." I enjoyed Bert as host of various TV game shows, too.

      Thank you very much for your friendship and support, dear Linda!

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    2. Dearest Shady, thank you very much as well, for your friendship and support! I just noticed something. When I do my blog posts I always schedule for them to appear at 12:00 a.m. midnight...even though my posts actually appear at this time on my actual blog it doesn't always show up in the news feed at that time, sometimes it appears at a later time. I check on it (on my blog itself) and sure enough, my latest post does appear, but the news feed hasn't announced it yet. Just wanted to let you know this, and thank you so much, my cherished friend. :)

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    3. Oh, and I meant 12:00 EST.

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    4. Hi, dear Linda! Thank you very much for coming over, my cherished friend. I've been noticing that new posts on your blog and others that publish just after midnight often do not show up in the feed until later. However, since I have become familiar with your blog and know that you typically publish at midnight, I have been staying up later whenever possible, visiting your blog, find your new posts and commenting before bed. I won't always be able to do it this way but I enjoy being the early bird for you. Friends tend to come and go but the important ones stay. Thank you for being one of them, dear Linda!

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    5. Thank you for staying up late, too! :)

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    6. Dear Shady, thank you so much! Oh, please keep me in your prayers and thoughts. I was very sick this evening. It is stomach related. I have lost my appetite, like I usually do when I get sick but am just trying to rest and drink plenty of water for now., and plan to eat very light tomorrow along with plenty of water until it passes.

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    7. Oh, I am terribly sorry to learn that you are "poorly," dear Linda. Please take good care of yourself, rest and drink nonalcoholic liquids. I will most certainly keep you in my thoughts and prayers, my cherished friend. Get well soon!

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    8. Thanks, dear friend, I drink absolutely no alcohol at all, opting for water, tea, sometimes milk for the calcium and rarely, juice.

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    9. I quit drinking alcohol and quit smoking the same day back in June 1992. I haven't had a single sip of alcohol or a smoke of any kind in more than 23 years!

      God bless you, Linda!

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    10. Thank you so much, dear friend, and I am very proud of you for quitting alcohol and smoking! Although I have never smoked in my life, in my younger years I had the odd drink in a social setting and decided that perhaps just one small glass of wine once a year at Christmas, if it is offered where I am invited, I will accept...but only one small glass, and with a good meal. My father was an alcoholic and a smoker and he also quit later on in life, like yourself, and I was also very proud of him, knowing how difficult it is to do.

      I want you to know that your comments on my blog today have touched my heart and I really appreciate them very much. I am feeling better today, starting back to eat slowly. I think I know why I got sick. I had to ponder what I had done yesterday, what I had eaten, everything, and I realized something. Yesterday when I woke up I was feeling pretty tired, as I hadn't slept much the night before. I took my meds yesterday morning, as always, but one huge mistake I made. I didn't eat anything until supper time! It was around two hours after supper that I got sick, and I now think that I should not have taken my meds without food. Sure enough, I looked on the bottles of meds this morning and two of them said "take with breakfast." So I have learned a valuable lesson...no matter how tired I am, make sure I eat something when I take my meds. Thank you so much again, my cherished friend, I really appreciate you.

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    11. Hi, dear Linda! Thank you for stopping by again, my sweet friend. I am very happy to know that you are feeling better today and that you think you have pinpointed the reason why you became ill. It is important to read labels on meds before taking them. Many drugs are hard on the stomach lining and require food and/or milk as a buffer. I shudder when I think back to the years when I had a serious drinking problem. (That is something I reveal only to my closest friends.) I can remember many occasions when I took Tylenol and washed them down with an alcoholic beverage. That could have damaged my liver! I am happy to know that you had control over yourself and drank only occasionally and in moderation, something that I was never able to do. People often ask me why I don't just have a single beer or glass of wine to be sociable at gatherings. They don't seem to understand that one drink leads to another and eventually to binge drinking. I am very happy to be free of my addictions.

      I love your visits, dear friend Linda. Thank you for caring about me as much as I care about you!

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    12. Hi dear Shady, yes, I think that I have been very careful about alcohol because I saw what it did to my beloved father and I didn't want to go that route! Who knows how things would have turned out if this were not the case. I do read the labels on my prescriptions and am generally pretty careful, but what happened this time is that I was so tired I forgot to. These are meds that I have been taking for quite a while now, over a year, so I knew that it wasn't because I was adjusting to a new medication. I got plenty of rest and sleep last night and was refreshed this morning, and this was when I pondered over what I did and ate yesterday, and how I did it, and I looked at all my meds and thought, "Bingo!" I kind of scolded myself, because I did know this but I was just so tired yesterday I didn't even think. I have learned, though, and will not do this again. Dearest Shady, I do indeed care very much about you and I am so glad that you have gotten through the alcohol and smoking, and you are such a blessing to me, and to many others, I am sure. I hope your weekend is great, and thank you so much once again. :)

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    13. Hi, sweet friend Linda! Isn't it nice to have this space to chat with one another? I appreciate having you to communicate with about anything and everything. This is a spot where we can both relax and be ourselves, get to know each other and help each other. That's what friends are for. Fatigue can make us forgetful and that can be dangerous. I am delighted to know that you got a good night's sleep and feel refreshed. Nothing beats a nice nap or a full night of deep, uninterrupted sleep. It helps those of us who suffer from depression. This is a volatile time on SDMM. I am in the midst of losing some friends and I will be posting about that on Monday. I want and need your friendship, dear Linda, and I am very grateful for it. Thank you for sticking with me. God bless!

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    14. Dearest Shady, I will see what you are referring to on your Monday's post, but I am also in the midst of losing some friends; in my case I am basically finding out who my true friends are and have been discontinuing contact with those who are not. It is a good feeling, actually, as if they are not true friends, then they are not friends, so in my case this is a good thing. I have lost a few friends to death in my lifetime, though, and I know the pain. This includes blogging and Facebook friends whom I had never met but who were gentle souls and it does hurt. Yes, it is nice to have this space to chat. Since it is still public I am cautious, as we should be, as not everyone is a good person. Mostly conversations like this I have in e-mails. I hope your weekend fares well, dear friend, and I will look for your post on Monday! God speed.

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    15. I can't imagine anyone unfriending someone as sweet and gentle as you, Linda. You never step on anyone's toes and you are always courteous and respectful. Those are qualities I seek in a friend. I think you and I are both good judges of character and detect traits in each other that we admire. When someone consistently treats me with courtesy and respect, I go out of my way to be a loyal friend to them. When I faithfully support your blog and take time to chat with you here I am, in a manner of speaking, "voting" for you, because I yearn for a world with more people like you in it. I am very proud of our friendship, dear Linda. Thank you for brightening my day with your cheery comments. See you Monday!

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  2. She was a beauty.
    Cheech and Chong? Didn't see that coming. One of these days a write-in vote will win.

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    1. Hi, Alex! Thanks for coming over to the BOTB after party. Cathy O'Donnell was a bewitching beauty and a fine actress. Her tragic story and the haunting poem she wrote seemed the perfect way to cap the Halloween festivities.

      Thanks for being part of the Battle of the Banned network, good buddy, and I'll see you next time!

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  3. I voted with the minority again this time but both songs and all four versions were cool and I enjoyed them.

    Cathy O'Donnell was a beautiful woman and a great actress. I remember us watching Best Years Of Our Lives a few years ago and the poignant bedroom scene in which Homer reveals to Wilma the extent of his war injury and handicap. Cathy's life was cut tragically short by illness and her poem is as sad and mysterious as she was. What an ideal way for you to wrap-up your Halloween series, Shady!

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    1. Hi, dear Kathryn! Thank you for coming. I can't tell you how pleased I was to read your comment on the previous post and realize that I posted your type of music. That's a first! :) The problem is that a few other readers were turned off by the same music that turned you on. For true friends who are willing to stick around and be patient, the pendulum will soon swing back the other way and I will be posting musty, moldy oldies. I love everything that I present on SDMM and strive to offer a balanced musical menu throughout the year.

      Blogging with integrity is my #1 priority. Therefore, I will continue to post the kind of material that I enjoy even if it means losing followers. The kids of the 1960s who gathered on the dance floor of the Shady Dell were happy, friendly, fun loving people who wanted to be there. No arm twisting was required. They didn't stand around bitching and moaning about the music or the look of the joint. They kicked back and enjoyed themselves and were thankful that they had a group of friends to hang with. The Dell was a private club. Kids were allowed to enter, stay and become regular members solely at the discretion of owner John Ettline. Naysayers, nonbelievers and trouble makers were ejected. The original Dell serves as a model for SDMM. I will uphold that tradition come what may.

      As you recall, I put together a series of scrapbooks in the years before I got into blogging. One of them contained tributes to my favorite actresses Teresa Wright and Cathy O'Donnell. As you know the two appeared together in The Best Years of Our Lives. The gripping scene you mentioned, the one in which Homer grapples with his prosthetic limbs while his fiance Wilma watches, is one of the greatest of all time. I can't read Cathy's poem without shedding tears. Her premature death was an incalculable loss.

      Thank you again for visiting, voting and for appreciating what I am doing here, dear Kathryn. Your support means the world to me!

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  4. Well, Shady, I wasn't with the majority this time ( or You) but, it was very close !
    You made me smile mentioning Cheech and Chong ( oh WOW, Maaaan, would u look at de colors!!) --loved those guys and had many of their albums!
    Then , I was a little sad reading about the short life of Cathy O'Donnell. She was everything you described (with your lovely adjectives). Such a shame to have lost a lovely/ talented actress so young.
    On I lighter note ,
    Hope you had a spooky / fun Halloween!
    Toni Deroche

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    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you very much for coming today, dear friend! I'm glad you got a kick out of my Cheech and Chong reference. I didn't know you were such a big fan and bought their albums.

      Yessum, actress Cathy O'Donnell, the melancholy baby of Film Noir, had a tragically short life. I can't help wondering how many other great acting performances she would have left us had she lived an average life span. The poem she wrote is beautiful and at the same time disturbing. I decided to include it as the finale of my Halloween series.

      Mrs. Shady and I had a peaceful H-ween this year. I hope your family had a spooky, fun-filled celebration. Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Toni. Have a great week!

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  5. I was on winning side of this battle. It was such a fun one! I liked your sweet poem you wrote at the end about Cathy. She was so pretty. I am not familiar with her films but i trust your judgment completely. I wrote down the horror films so i can check them out sometime. Have a great day!

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    1. Hi, dear Holli! Thank you for coming over, sweet friend! YAY - Team Andy won the battle and I invite you to join me in a victory cigar. :)

      Thank you very much for mentioning the poem that I wrote at the end of the post in honor of Cathy O'Donnell. Somehow I feel a connection with Cathy and was compelled to write that tribute poem. If you are interested in watching it, YouTube offers Cathy's movie Terror in the Haunted House in its entirety:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIBD_i4dCto

      Thank you very much for your visit and kind comments, dear friend Holli. Have a wonderful week!

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  6. Yes, she sure did have sad eyes. And such an early end to her life - also sad. But when you write such loving tributes for people who are long gone, you bring them to life once again, and I suspect that this time, her lovely eyes were smiling.

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    1. Hi, dear Hilary! Thank you very much for coming down and for offering such poetic words of your own. For some reason I am drawn to sad characters in movies and literature and touched deeply by stories of those who died too soon. Cathy O'Donnell is "forever young," immortalized in her motion picture performances, these striking portraits and her haunting poem.

      Thank you again, dear friend Hilary. Your visit means a lot to me. Have a great week!

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  7. The Battle turned out as it should have and you and I agreed for essentially the same reasons. See--I didn't do too badly with my pick did I.

    I was thinking of the actress Teresa Wright. I'm not really familiar with O'Donnell though I've seen some of those films that she was in. Too bad about her early demise. The poem was rather eerie and somewhat prescient.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Hi, Lee! Thanks for swinging over for a visit so early in the morning, good buddy! You are correct, sir. It doesn't happen very often :) but your vote matched mine in this round of the Banned Battle. If I counted only the enthusiastic votes in this contest, the final score would have been something like 3 to 2! :)

      Teresa Wright and Cathy O'Donnell are my two favorite classic movie actresses. They share similar characteristics. Both were pretty and petite, delicate yet strong, and both exuded a palpable sadness that I found very appealing.

      Thank you very much for reporting in, good buddy Lee. This will be the last of my BOTB posts until early next year. After all the upheaval caused by my love of heavy metal, I will be happy to return to my "normal" blog schedule and usual fare for a while. It will be interesting to see how many of the metal haters embrace my moldy oldies when given that as a choice. :)

      Have a great week, Lee!

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    2. Sorry for contributing to any "upheaval" in respect to your love of heavy metal. I do like a great deal of heavy metal and prog rock music. It's just those growlers and evil sounding groups that kind of turn me off. I do enjoy Metallica, Iron Maiden, and many others.

      In all honesty though, most of my music listening these days is classical. Guess I've reached a more introspective time of my life.

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

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    3. Mrs. Shady taught me to appreciate classical music. Surprisingly, she also loves Rob Zombie and edgy 90s alternative rock grunge bands including Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails.

      I don't mind your comments and opinions about metal, Lee. I feel a positive vibe when you visit. I know you're a good guy and a devoted blogger. Thank you very much for the follow-up, good buddy. Talk to you soon!

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  8. I like the results! Neat trivia question.

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    1. Thanks, Mike! I cordially invite you to vote in my Banned Battles from now on. I value your friendship and welcome your participation.

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  9. "Melancholy baby..." is so tragically apt. Lovely tribute, dear Shady. She reminds me so much of my mother I struggle for words, so I'll be back after I gather my scattered thoughts...

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    1. Hi, dear Diedre! I admit it. I get very emotional when I think about Cathy O'Donnell. To know in advance that she succumbed to illness at such an early age makes it hard to watch her movies. Yet I can't look away. I am drawn to her like moth to flame.

      In a report I learned that Farley Granger, Cathy's co-star in They Lived By Night and Side Street, was at her bedside when she passed away. Can you imagine what that moment was like?

      Thank you for your visit, dear Diedre. I would love for you to return and express more.

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  10. It's a shame I had never heard of Cathy. She certainly does have a melancholy look about her - almost haunting. She seems to be a very lovely lady. I will have to look up some of these movies she played in.

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    1. Hi, dear Sherry! Thank you for coming over, my special friend. Actress Cathy O'Donnell was stealing scenes in motion pictures before I was born. Film Noir movies of hers that were not mentioned in this post include Side Street (another film that co-starred Farley Granger), Never Trust a Gambler, Detective Story and Eight O'Clock Walk. She also had memorable roles in The Miniver Story, The Man From Laramie and Ben-Hur. I hope you will watch some of Cathy's fine performances. Several are available on YouTube.

      Thank you again for voting in the BOTB and for joining me again today, dear friend Sherry!

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  11. Of course I know about Cathy O'Donnell and I always found her ethereal yet, yes, strong. She was perfect as the girlfriend to Harold Russell's character who could handle the loss of his hands more than he could(in the film). I never knew about this poem and it is so sad. I wonder if she suffered from depression at all or just had a great love for the dark. She and Teresa Wright were 2 solid, strong actresses that could show such softness. I see who won the Battle of the Banned. Always enjoy learning about music even the music that I am not a fan of. It opens up more doors-can't be closed otherwise can never learn.

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    1. Hi, dear Birgit! Thank you very much for joining me today and for leaving this superb series of comments.

      When it comes to vintage films, actors and actresses, you really know your stuff. I correctly predicted that you would be familiar with Cathy O'Donnell. As I reminded Mrs. Shady in my reply to her comment, I got into scrapbooking years ago and was inspired to devote one of my books to the careers of Teresa Wright and Cathy O'Donnell, my two favorite actresses of Hollywood's golden age. I agree that the two share similarities which probably explains why I love them both so much.

      I will never forget the Academy Awards broadcast of 2003 in which Teresa Wright and other Oscar-winning stars of yesteryear were assembled on stage and honored. Teresa was in her 80s and it was two years before her death. When they showed a close-up of her, I could see a light shining from inside her through her eyes, BB. It touched me deeply and still makes me shiver. Cathy O'Donnell had that same spiritual quality. How I wish she would have survived longer. Surely she would have taken her rightful place among those honored at the Academy Awards.

      I hope everybody reads your comment, Birgit, especially the last two sentences. You eloquently expressed everything that I have been hoping to get across to my dear friends. We are all here to teach and to learn from each other. Little is to be gained from rehashing the safe and familiar.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend BB. Enjoy your week!

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    2. "Always enjoy learning about music even the music that I am not a fan of. It opens up more doors-can't be closed otherwise can never learn."
      Well said, Birgit!

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    3. Birgit blew me away with that observation. I knew you would appreciate it, too. :)

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    4. Yes, of course. ☺ Birgit and I have much in common. (except for musical tastes, but that's not even a consideration.)

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    5. It pleases me greatly that you care enough to read the other comments and replies. It's the mark of a great blogger and great friend. :)

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    6. Gosh, golly-this is nice of both of you. Thank you so much:)

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    7. You are an A+ blogger and friend, BB!

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  12. I love old movies and "The Best Years of Our Lives" is one of my favorites. In this day and age of accepting disabilities and helping our servicemen get back to their lives, this film is as relevant today as it was in the 40's. Cathy O'Donnell was casted perfectly as the fiance to a soldier who lost both hands. The photo of her under the poem says as much about her soul as the poem. Thanks for a fun "battle" and a lovely tribute. Have a good week!

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for coming over on day one, dear friend.

      It pleases me to know that this post featuring Cathy O'Donnell, the lovely and talented movie actress who specialized in Film Noir, resonates with you. I wholeheartedly agree that the scene in Best Years between Cathy as Wilma and Harold Russell, the nonprofessional actor who played Homer Parrish, a sailor who lost both hands in the War, is one of the most poignant in movie history. Art imitated life because Harold was actually an Army instructor who lost both hands in an explosion during the making of a training film.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind remarks, dear friend YaYa. You are very special to me and I always appreciate what you bring to the table. Have a wonderful week!

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  13. Tom, I missed your battle last week, I think. I wish I had participated. I'm going to save a link to this post, so I can look up some of these movies. The poem that Cathy wrote is sad and spooky. I don't believe I've seen any of her movies or even knew her until now. So, I thank you for the introduction. I can't believe it's November already, can you? Have a tunetastic week!

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    1. Hi, dear Cathy! Welcome back, dear friend. I'm so glad you made it here to meet and learn about another Cathy that I admire, actress Cathy O'Donnell. Other readers have brought up Teresa Wright in our discussion and we seem to agree that there are similarities between the two. At this point I would like to add a third actress to the discussion, one who fits into the same category, at least in my mind, and she is Maureen O'Sullivan. As you might know, Maureen is best remembered for playing Jane opposite Johnny Weismuller in the Tarzan films of the 30s and early 40s. I hope you will indeed check out the work of Cathy and these other great actresses. YouTube carries an abundance of their work.

      Yessum, I was stunned when I read Cathy O'Donnell's eerie poem for the first time. It still has the power to grab me by the soul and bring tears to my eyes. How I wish she would have lived longer.

      The year is whizzing by, dear friend Cathy, and I can't wait to spend the holidays growing this great friendship of ours. Thank you again for coming to visit. See you soon!

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  14. I thought it was Teresa Wright you were talking about.
    Wow I think I won one. Always pick the rocker with the short hair ! They always seem to win.
    What a terrific post today. So interesting and full of great facts.
    I answered your question about cactus on your comment.

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    1. Hi, dear Gayle! Thanks for swinging over for a visit, my dear Arizona friend. Yessum, you voted for "No Hair Andy" and he won. Andy fangs you for your support! :)

      Teresa Wright and Cathy O'Donnell were part of an outstanding cast in Best Years. Let's not forget the much loved Virginia Mayo who played Marie, another principal character in the epic film.

      I'm thrilled to know that you enjoyed both of these posts, dear friend Gayle. Thanks again for visiting. I will get over to to your blog shortly and read your reply to my comment there. Thanks again and have a great week!

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  15. That is a very eerie poem. Well written, but eerie.

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    1. Hi, Sandra! Isn't it eerie though? I'm not sure when Cathy wrote the poem but she certainly seemed depressed at the time. As I have expressed to others, I am magnetically attracted to sad female characters in Film Noir movies. No one played roles of that kind better than Cathy O'Donnell.

      Thank you for peeking in to see who won the battle and learn about Cathy O, dear friend Sandra. Enjoy the week ahead!

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    2. I would like to see more of Cathy's poems. Were they published? How did you find this one?

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  16. I'm surprised to be on the winning side of the battle considering I'm the least qualified to judge - but I'll take it.

    Cathy O'Donnell looks so familiar to me, yet I really did not know her name. I'll bet her family was so proud of her and it was a huge deal to them while so many of us see these great performances and don't even research the actors (or actresses) backgrounds. It's a shame - so thank you for providing this insight into a lovely lady.

    Have a good evening!

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    1. Hi, dear Cherdo! Thank you for coming over to view the final score and learn about one of my favorite actresses, the bewitching Cathy O'Donnell. Cathy, an Alabama native, never became the star that she could have been and should have been. As the story goes, her career was collateral damage in a contract dispute between movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn and Best Years director William Wyler, brother of Cathy's husband Robert Wyler. Cathy was under contract to Goldwyn and he ordered her to divorce Robert Wyler. When she refused, Goldwyn dropped her contract and she never again had the opportunity to appear in a major motion picture. Like so many of the recording artists I have introduced over the years, Cathy O'Donnell was a victim of company politics, bad timing and bad luck. Perhaps her eerie poem is a reflection or a product of all that adversity.

      Thank you again for making time for me tonight, dear friend Cherdo, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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  17. Hi, Shady! I love Cathy. I didn't know her name. She's petite and so beautiful. The Best Years of Our Lives is a brilliant film. I remember her part so well. Her poem is lovely, but so sad. Only 46 when she died after being cast aside by the studio? That's heartbreaking. I must conduct some research on Cathy. Thanks for the interesting information.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hi, Janie! Thank you very much for coming by. It's difficult to find enough adjectives to define all that was Cathy O'Donnell. Perhaps I should add enigmatic to the list. Years ago, Cathy made an indelible mark on me when I witnessed her extraordinary performance in Best Years. As a result I was inspired to watch hundreds more films on TCM, movies that were released before 1960. I was able to find and watch more of Cathy's films including the Filn Noir classics They Live By Night, Side Street, The Amazing Mr. X and Detective Story along with her horror/suspense picture Terror in the Haunted House. Cathy got under my skin and found her way to my soul. That's the only way I can describe it. My heart aches for her. Cathy died too soon and left us with her brilliant acting performances preserved on film, her stunning publicity portraits and her sad and disturbing poem.

      Thank you again, dear Janie, for joining me today and experiencing this tribute to the enchanting Cathy O'Donnell... a sad poem much too brief.

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    2. I looked up Cathy, who was born Ann Steely. She also played Judy Miniver. She died from a cancer-related cerebral hemorrhage on her 22nd wedding anniversary. It's a shame that her career was nearly destroyed because of cruelty and betrayal. I'm sure she is a beautiful angel in heaven now.

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    3. That was sweet, Janie. Thank you! I remember watching both Mrs. Miniver (1942), which had Teresa Wright in it, and The Miniver Story (1950), with Cathy O'Donnell. Both were great motion pictures.

      I can't help hoping that I will meet Cathy someday, somehow.

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  18. She was a lovely girl. Sad that she died so young. The ghostly poem she wrote seemed very fitting for Halloween.

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    1. Hi, Rita! I'm sorry you missed this week's Battle of the Banned. Your participation is very important to me and every vote counts.

      Yessum, I chose to publish this tribute to Cathy O'Donnell including her unsettling poem as a way of capping off my series of Halloween related posts.

      Thank you for your comment, Rita.

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  19. Hi, Shady; Nice to see we're in agreement on this battle. ☺
    What's this? There are people who don't like metal music? ;) I get comments about that too, but you know, variety is the spice of life and I ALWAYS look forward to your offerings - more so than the "moldy oldies" you mentioned. I'm skipping the next BOTB actually; weekend blogging is difficult and it will be another Sunday. Back on Dec. 1 though and probably the 15th.

    I've seen "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "They Live By Night", but don't remember Cathy O'Donnell, specifically. How sad for her life to end so young! And that poem; makes me wonder if she was depressed or just macabre. Teresa Wright is a name I do remember.

    Don't let the naysayers get you down, my friend. There's room for every genre of music and one should keep an open mind. I will be eagerly awaiting your Battle posts in the new year. Have a good night.

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    1. Hi, dear Debbie the Doglady! Thank you very much for coming! I notice that you read my reply to Mrs. Shady's comment in which I reiterated my commitment to operate this blog as a model of the original Dell. Everybody has a right to his or her opinion about heavy metal or anything else and they are free to express their opinion as long as they do it in a respectful manner. People who walk in the door and trash the place are not welcome. This battle isn't about forcing people to agree with me or with you. It is about encouraging people of my generation to stay young and not give in to old age and hardening of the attitudes. A perfect metaphor is offered in one of my favorite horror movies, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Miles and Becky are lovers fleeing in terror from a mob of people who fell asleep and were transformed into zombies stripped of human emotion, enthusiasm, humor, playfulness, curiosity and wonder - all the things that humans are born with that make life worth living. The couple finds a hiding place in a dark cave and Miles leaves Becky behind and goes in search of help. When he returns a short while later he discovers to his horror that Becky has fallen asleep and has gone over to the other side. "I never knew the meaning of fear until... until I kissed Becky." Ever since I started SDMM in 2008 I have been delivering this same sermon to my friends. Don't fall asleep in the cave. Stay awake. Stay young. Stay in the game. Keep an open mind. Don't be afraid to try new things. When you encounter something that you can't comprehend and think you don't like, don't dismiss it. Don't run away from it. Instead try moving toward it. Get curious. Study it. Find something of value in it. If you look hard enough you will find it and it will change how you feel about it from that point on. I know that I am preaching to the choir when I express all this to you, dear Debbie, because you are a perfect example of someone who will be "forever young." I admire you very much.

      I have a time sensitive post that I need to run on November 15. I'm not thrilled about it because I know it will probably get lost in the shuffle on BOTB day. However, as you and other close friends know by now, my posts almost always run 6 or 7 days, which allows ample time for you to visit. I hope you will check out that Nov. 15 post in the days that follow. It flashes back to a unique event that occurred 40 years ago to the day. Can you guess what that special event was?

      I'm happy to know that you found value in this tribute to Cathy O'Donnell. Her poem is surreal. Every time I read it I become misty eyed and my heart aches, wishing that the story of her life had turned out differently. Teresa Wright is another of my all time favorite big screen actresses - pure magic.

      Thank you very much for staying up late and offering rock reinforcements, dear friend Debbie, and thank you again for your friendship and support!

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    2. You are definitely "preaching to the choir", my friend. I'm sorry someone slighted you. :( It adds insult to injury when it happens in your own (online) home. Of course I will read your post, probably late as usual, but as you said, there's plenty of time. I don't know what the event in question could be but am eager to find out. Cheers!

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  20. Hi Shady, After reading the clues, I was sure it was Teresa Wright, but yes, your description matches Cathy O'Donnel better. I've always liked both actresses. Best Years of Our Life is one of my fav movies. My mom said it was kind of shocking for the day because it gave a more realistic portrait of men coming home from war.

    I remember watching Tarzan movies as a child. Oh, how I loved them. Maureen O'Sullivan was terrific as Jane. I think she is the mother of Mia Farrow, no? Those were great movies.

    I didn't vote on your battle because I just can't listen to hard rock. Nothing against you or the blog at all. I'm glad you are sharing all kinds of music. Love and hugs.

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    1. Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear Belle, and for being a great friend and supporter for more than five years. I will always remember and appreciate your many contributions to Shady Dell Music & Memories.

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  21. Hi Shady!

    Congratulations to Andyflange! I'll have to check out his other covers because I'm curious. I'll have to see if Oceans Red is on iTunes and/or Amazon. I'd add them to my iPod! No one can beat Rob Zombie, though. :)

    Can't say I've watched any movies starring Cathy O'Donnell, but I'm going to have to now! The bit of "They Live By Night" you posted seems like a movie I would like. I'll have to see if the library I work for has it.

    O'Donnell's poem is beautiful. She was a good writer and I like her style. It gave me some inspiration for a monarch poem I'm going to work on at some point today - after work and a phone screen.

    Have a great day dear friend Shady!

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    1. Hi, Jessica Marie! Thank you very much for coming to view the tote board and behold the BOTB winner. I encourage you to check out Andyflange's Y/T channel. He does a great job with his covers. That Oceans Red recording was made several years ago and I don't know if the band is still active these days.

      In 2007, I got hooked on Film Noir. if you like the genre and don't mind watching black and white films then Cathy's movies are worth watching. Her screen chemistry with Farley Granger was palpable. Yessum, I agree that Cathy's poem is beautiful and at the same time disturbing. "Still waters run deep," as they say.

      Thank you very much for checking in, dear friend JM. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    2. Hi Shady,

      I LOVE black & white movies, so I will definitely have to check out her films. I actually prefer older movies to newer movies - I'm strange for someone my age. ::shrug:: I tend to like the story lines of older movies better.

      That's true! I have some poetry like that, but I don't think I've published much of it... too nervous about that one. Tonight I'll be working on poetry.

      Thank you dear friend Shady! Enjoy the rest of your week as well!

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    3. I have found very few young people who are willing to sit still for old films shot in black and white with picture and sound quality vastly inferior to what they have come to expect from modern movies. Mrs. Shady and I appreciate character and dialogue driven movies that do not rely solely on action, car chases, shooting and explosions.

      Thanks again, dear friend Jessica!

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  22. Yay! Andyflange won. We voted the same way again Shady.
    I absolutely love Film Noir! Cathy O'Donnell sure wrote a very haunting poem. Her eyes are haunting, almost sad really. That's what I see anyway.
    Thanks for throwing us some Film Noir today Shady. I need to get out some of my old movies...
    talk soon! I'll be offline for a little while as I'm traveling starting tomorrow. I'm flying into NC to pick up my parents. I'm going to drive them down here (TX) and they're going to stay with me for a few months! Will be a long drive... So if I don't get back to you right away, you'll know I'm offline. Take care!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hi, dear Michele! Thanks for letting me know about your plans to be away for a while. That's good heads-up blogging! I have family obligations coming up this month, too, including a total black out period between the 11th and the 14th. Please make note of those dates in case I miss one or more of your posts.

      Yessum, Team Andyflange prevailed and Andy fangs you for giving him the nod. :)

      I see that same sadness in Cathy O'Donnell's eyes. The quiet, sad, spiritual characters she portrayed in her Film Noir appearances made her a more interesting actress to me than the perky ingénues of musical comedies, for example.

      I wish you safe travels to and from NC and I hope your parents enjoy their stay with you. Hopefully the Austin weather will offer them some relief from the cold and snow that will be coming to the Carolinas in the months ahead.

      Thanks again for checking in with me today, dear friend Michele. Stay safe and God bless!

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    2. Thanks Shady. Right back atcha! :) XOXO

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  23. I do believe i was on the winning side, if i remember correctly! I think this was a fun theme for the halloween season.
    The little poem at the end is especially haunting and interesting! At first i thought you were speaking of Maureen O'Hara, who also recently died. I'm a big fan of her western films, especially when she's with John Wayne :)
    Of course, she wasn't the gal you were mentioning, but it's good to remember folks.
    Such a lovely lady Cathy was. Her old hollywood charm and beauty is certainly evident here, i'd love to watch more films/clips with her in them. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi, dear Abigail! Thanks for coming. Yessum, you shouted ANDY ANDY ANDY and Andy fangs you for helping him win the battle. :)

      Cathy O'Donnell died way back in the spring of 1970, yet I still feel her ghostly presence. Her poem is just as mysterious, sad and unsettling as the characters she played and her premature death while still in her mid 40s. YouTube has a good selection of Cathy O videos including trailers of her movies, scene clips and even full length features including the suspenseful 1958 horror movie Terror in the Haunted House. This season I urge you to watch Maureen OHara (late career) in the TV movie The Christmas Box. I have it on DVD and enjoyed it very much. Other recommended vintage actresses that we have been discussing in these threads include Teresa Wright and Maureen O'Sullivan.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Abigail. Please give Daisy a special hug for me!

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  24. Looks like I didn't place in Heavy Halloween....

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    1. Hi, Sandra! You DID place, dear friend. You finished in second place by voting for "Feel So Numb." :) That's okay. I love both songs and both covers and the final score was nice and close, making it a fun battle. Thank you for participating!

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  25. Hmmmm, someone I'm not familiar with. Spectacular job introducing her to me though. The poem was wonderful, if not somewhat chilling.

    IF anything were to happen to my dear Diana, I'll be hiring you to guest post her farewell on my blog. I'll be to broken up to write.

    If you could recommend just one film Cathy starred in to me, what would it be?

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    1. Hi, Jeffrey! Thanks for popping in, good buddy. It's a bummer that your vote differed from mine in the BOTB. Don't worry, I am sure that we will match votes next time when Soupy Sales takes on Frank Sinatra.

      It is a pleasure to introduce you to the fine actress Cathy O'Donnell, a lady who has the same effect on me that Diana Krall has on you. To answer your question, Cathy's most powerful performance was surely as Wilma in The Flintstones.. uh... I mean in The Best Years of Our Lives. Best Years is the most widely known and most universally loved of all her films with the possible exception of Ben-Hur. Several of Cathy's movies were lower budget crime dramas in the Film Noir category. She was in a western called The Man From Laramie and did a fine job in the horror movie Terror in the Haunted House.

      Thanks so much for coming over, good buddy Jeffrey. I look forward to learning how the vote went down in your latest battle and finding out if your ears matched mine. Take care!

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  26. Hope you are having an excellent evening, Shady.

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    1. Thank's very nice of you, Sandra, and I hope you are as well. :)

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  27. Why are these actresses, like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor have such classic beauties? Like they're beauty never fades and never goes out of style? I daresay they're more natural too because cosmetic surgeries are not too rampant then. Lucky them! But makes me wonder what happened to today's beauty really.

    Great post as always. Sorry didn't get to visit often these past few weeks not only did I get busy moving, my laptop often dies on me too. Argh.

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    1. Hi, dear Lux! It's great to see you again, my friend. Thanks for joining us. I notice that many of today's young women are fond of Audrey Hepburn. She is indeed a classic beauty made of "all natural ingredients" I would suspect - a far cry from many of today's celebs who undergo numerous cosmetic procedures. I admire Cathy O'Donnell for her natural beauty, her delicate features, and her acting ability.

      You have moved? Did you move out to those exclusive islands you blogged about a few months ago? :) I'll be over shortly to see what you've been up to.

      Thanks again for coming, dear friend Lux. Have a wonderful week ahead!

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  28. Hope its been a productive week and pleasant weekend, Shady.

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    1. Hi, dear Sandra! Yessum, it surely has been and I hope you had a fine weekend, too. Enjoy the week ahead, dear friend!

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  29. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 8, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    The past week has been full of extra anxiety in our family and sadness over the shocking loss of a former colleague, so I couldn't get here before this, but I wanted to sneak in under the finish line to comment briefly.

    I'm not familiar with the films or actress you spotlight in this post, but I can see how Cathy O'Donnell's expressive face and eyes are unique, attractive and hard-to-forget. Her tragic poem and yours dedicated to her are sincere and heartfelt.

    Chiaroscuro, or the use of light next to dark, is important in a painting to give contrast and definition to the overall design. It's true in life as well.

    Sadness can indeed be beautiful, because I think it touches in us such an important part of being human. It also makes the happy parts of life seem more so by contrast.

    One only need listen to such great outpourings of emotion such as the final movement of Tchaikovsky's last symphony (the 6th, "Pathetique") to experience the wordless and exquisite allure of melancholia.

    Thank you for introducing me to one of your favorite actresses and thereby helping me to learn about an artist I would have otherwise overlooked. I also appreciate being reminded, especially after this week, that darkness is an existential quality to be expected and accepted rather than feared.

    Have a good week, Tom.

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    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! Welcome back, my special friend! I love your 11th hour visits. :)

      I am terribly sorry to find out that a former colleague of yours has passed away unexpectedly. Please accept my sincere condolences.

      Thank you for your kind remarks about actress (and poet) Cathy O'Donnell. I'm a little surprised that you aren't familiar with at least one of her films, her most widely known, The Best Years of Our Lives, winner of 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Cathy O'Donnell got under my skin a few years ago and I find myself thinking about her often. I suppose it's because she died so young and surely had much more to give. I'm glad you agree with me about the beauty of sadness and the suggestion that darkness is to be accepted rather than feared. We cannot fully appreciate joy without first knowing sadness and we cannot appreciate light until we have known darkness.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit and your usual insightful comments, dear friend Kathleen. God bless!

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  30. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 8, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    I just thought of another example of beautiful sadness - the Blue Period paintings of Pablo Picasso.

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    1. You're right! Good one! Please say hello to Mother for me and give her my love. I have a new post coming in the morning and I hope you can join me again during its six day run. Good night and God bless, Kathleen!

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  31. I didn't know this actrice. She looks so sweet and she is so beautiful. Only 46 when she died...so young!  That's heartbreaking.  Thanks for the interesting information. Have a lovely Monday

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    1. Thank you, dear friend! I'm happy to know you found value in this post. Please come again soon!

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  32. hi.

    im just wondering have you guys seen any more of cathys poems other than the one posted ?

    great blog

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