Memoirs, Or Shadows Of What Has Been
By Peter Landry

Chapter Fifty-Three: A Royal Line and The Dumbells, 2002



Internationally, there were no events worth commenting on, for good or bad. So, I pass on.

As for the celebrities which I remember who died in 2002: Peggy Lee (b. 1920), singer, who in the link sings, "Why Don't You Do Right" with Benny Goodman (1943). Dudley Moore (b. 1935), English pianist, comedian, and actor. Stephen Jay Gould (b. 1941), American paleontologist and author. And finally, James Coburn (b. 1928).

Margo has involved herself in genealogy for a number of years. Her research revealed that she was descended from royalty. She laboriously traced her mother's line back to Edwards I (1239-1307) known as Edward Longshanks who was the King of England from 1272 to 1307. As you will see from the pictures she developed a very large diagram showing the lines back from her mother, Nathalie.

We continued to keep up with the Churchills. Roger and Paula had living with them Paula's father, "Mr Cooper." We would, on our visits to the Churchills, often bring Margo's mother with us; they would do the same in regards to Mr Cooper when they came to our place. It was in April of 2002 that we did a tour of England with the Churchills (just with them), taking in areas which included the Lake District and Canterbury. Again, I intend someday to go over this adventure, as was the usual practice of Margo and I, we took pictures and kept a journal.

Margo's' grandfather Wilkinson, who died much before Margo was born was a Dumbell. "The Dumbells" was an amateur entertainment group which was put together by the Canadian army under Mert Plunkett. The aim was to give the troops on the line some laughs, which were probably in short supply during the War. Plunkett recruited his soldier-performers, and they were seconded from their own units for Plunkett's troupe. The Dumbells dressed-up (some as females) and sang the hits of the day, such as “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” and “Mademoiselle from Armentières.” It probably was no picnic for the boys who formed the group, but the chances of making it through the war were a lot better than those who had to man the front lines; good thing, as Margo's father came along after the war.

Margo's father spent most of his adult life in the Canadian navy and took an active part in the "D-Day Invasion." He got out of the navy in the late 1950s and bought a farm in rural Nova Scotia, Kennetcook. The main endeavor was the raising of beef cattle (48 head) and the growing of very large gardens. Margo was very young when the farm was bought. She grew up there, she and her older brother. She has told of many stories of her times back then; stories which included mucking out the barn stalls and the weeding of the gardens; it made her into a very practical person.

Oh Yes - cannot forget my granddaughter's poem that she wrote at age eleven, I think as a school project:

"I Am From"
By: Melissa Smith

I am from the orange and red flowers on my kitchen table,
from the clothes and stuffed animals in my closet,
and from the cars and chalk drawings in the middle of the road.
I’m from the furry cats and dogs in the yard,
and the piano in my living room.
I am from basket ball nets and baseball bats,
the bikes in my garage,
and the tools in my dads tool box.

I am from my aunt in Alberta,
from my poppys cottage on the lake,
and my nanny in Belliveaus Cove
from money doesn’t grow on trees
and time flies when your having fun.

I am from cheesy Sunday nachos,
from cookies in the cupboard,
the pizza in the fridge,
And from the vegetables that my mom makes me eat.

I am from pencil marks on the kitchen wall to see
how much I’ve grown,
from pictures in the photo album to remember friends I’ve known,
And from things I’ve kept in my memory to remember yesterday.

As for the top songs for 2002: Again, I seem out of sync. Call me an old foggy, the new stuff (rap with people jumping around and yelling words that I cannot make out) just does not appeal to me. It is beginning to feel like I shouldn't even take the time for any sort of of review. Though there is one artist and her song that took my attention in 2002. Don't Know Why by Norah Jones.

As for the top movies of 2002:
We are now in the age of "Lord Of The Rings," "Harry Potter," "Spider-Man," and "Star Wars": and no matter how popular any of these have become, the genre is not my cup of tea. However, these two movies of 2002 standout:
Chicago: Chicago was a movie adapted from the stage-musical of the same name. Though set in the crime soaked Chicago of the 1920s, it is a musical - and a good one. It starred Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. A critically accepted work, it was nominated for a number of Academy Awards and won six: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Zeta-Jones), Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding: This production concerned itself with a middle class Greek American woman who falls in love with non-Greek upper middle class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" became a sleeper hit and grew steadily from its limited release. Despite never hitting the number one spot and being an independent film with a $5 million budget, it ultimately grossed over $368.7 million worldwide, becoming one of the top romantic films of the 21st century." (Wikipedia) This movie had a significant Canadian connection; it was based on life in the Greek community of Winnipeg, but shot in Toronto and Chicago. "Toronto's Ryerson University and Greektown neighborhood feature prominently in the film." "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay; but no awards were forthcoming. However, it is a movie that has to go on a person's list - it was one funny movie.

Flight Of The Bumble Bee Remsky-Korsakov

[Pictures, 2002 (1) (Genealogy & Kennetcook)]
[Pictures, 2002 (2) (I - Cottage)]
[Pictures, 2002 (3) (II - Cottage)]
[Pictures, 2002 (4) (Xmas)]

NEXT: [Chapter 54: Columbia, Iraq & Juan, 2003]


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Peter Landry