THIS IS THE LIFE: BLOGS & DOGS!

Attorney and former neighbor Earl Tison, whom I desired to adopt the moment I met him, exclaimed frequently, “Susie, if anybody should start a blog, it would be you!” Computer-less at that particular time, I had no concept of precisely what he might be suggesting, as a consequence of myriad moon-light porch chats at his house or mine. Guessing that the Republican son of a preacher usually regarded me as an unconventional thinker, nevertheless this kid always “got” me, and, wow, did we ever have a blast exchanging philosophies and ideas? (I pray for my ideas and ideals, sooner rather than later, to be considered conventional, BTW!)

Fast forward to present day with me in possession of a Dell and possessedby cyberspace. I am religiously assisted by my agent/engineer son Roy Sexton whom I nicknamed Maxwell Perkins after the wily genius-editor who’ll be portrayed in a forthcoming film by handsome, swoon-worthy Britisher Colin Firth, co-starring with Michael Fassbender as famed North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe from whom I stole the punny-name of my newspaper column. Perkins wisely tweaked Wolfe’s original title “O, Lost!” to assure best-selling status of Tom’s semi-autobiographical debut novel “Look Homeward, Angel” (1929)– much to the author’s initial chagrin.

Earl was correct. I adore blogging because I can be who I truly am there … I do not capitalize or punctuate ever. I insist upon italics! Yes, I stream my consciousness…don’t we all? Be honest! I once referred to myself as “e.e.cummings & goings” when e-mailing. (Hoping many of you comprehend my tantalizing frame of reference there…if not,google away!) I employ my favorite device called the “ellipsis” which has become my middle name by now…sounds so Grecian or exotic! What is particularly fun is the discovery of other bloggers who write exactly what they feel and perceive about this world of ours as well. I know three of those–an animal activist who agrees totally with my views on pigs’ intelligence and rights of sentient beings to live out their lives quoting me in her blog “Other Nations” , my own kid “reelroy” who rushes home from movie theaters to compose snappy movie reviews, and cute free-spirited Michigander Beth Kennedy who has now become “family” forever!

Beth’s “I Didn’t Have My Glasses On … (an ellipsis…no wonder I love her!) A Trip Through Life with Fingers Crossed and Eternal Optimism” featured author Roy and his ma recently. (BTW, Blogging Beth does not capitalize either as you’ll note!) “We discovered last fall, in blog world, that we were connected through many different avenues, and mutual close friends. amazingly we had never crossed paths in real life. until…I attended a wonderful and unusual book signing at our local ann arbor senior center with guest author susie sexton who read and offered anecdotes from her book, and local roy sexton, susie sexton’s son, (known throughout michigan for his cabaret style performances) sang some of his mom’s favorite musical show tunes. they kept the audience laughing and clapping, and roy was there to support his mother’s wonderful endeavor.” Wow?

She continued (her blog entry peppered with several candid photos, too )…”and just yesterday, I attended son roy’s own book signing at a new ann arbor local independent book store (owned by Peter Blackshear, former head buyer of titles for Borders Bookstore‘bookbound’ sang (accompanied by longtime friend and fellow theater musician, rebecca biber) and read aloud and answered (terrific) questions and susie was there to support him…they may have to create a ‘sexton section’ in their shop.” Beth entitled her entry, “ six degrees of sexton-ation ” and included a Punta Cana photo of a rubber raft floating about carrying sun-tan lotion, towels, sunglasses and a copy of Roy’s paperback, captioned: “roy’s first book ‘Reel Roy Reviews Volume 1: Keepin’ It Real’ has been making its way around the world!

Following the Ann Arbor “book-signing-singing” on April 26, we headed back to Roy’s multi-gabled spacious house and got gifted with Cher’s “Dressed to Kill Tour” t-shirts and a “Duncan” Scottish Coat of Arms replica and then played with our adopted grand-kidsrescued Dachshund Lucy and Black Lab Valvoline — both plucked from Eight Mile Road traffic a few years back. Returning home to Indiana, we stayed up late posting pix of the afternoon, one of which featured Don Sexton’s latest “Mike Biddle hair-cut” eliciting an e-mail from that popular barber’s sister Jo who praised her sibling’s handi-work. Of course, upon scanning and uploading (or is it downloading) our digital memories, I sent them to Roy who had regaled his bookstore audience with a jazzy tune called ” This is the Life ” from the Sammy Davis musical “Golden Boy” based on the 1939 William Holden film (the topic being a violinist turned boxer????) which was adapted from the Clifford Odets 1937 play of the same name. Roy blogged, of course, posting the resultant Facebook slide-show: “With references to forgotten Broadway musicals and even more forgotten films (‘Buckaroo Banzai’ or ‘Time Bandits’, anyone?), analysis of my ongoing ‘war’ with the Cher-army, many funny asides, boffo binge-book-buying by all in attendance, and a whole lot of zany fun, yesterday’s book signing/singing event was a hit.”

One of my favorite poems of all time “Vagabond’s House”, written in 1928 by Don Blandings an owner of two pampered canines as well as a friend of movie star Joan Crawford, includes a vibrantly accurate passage: 

“Thoroughbreds, both of them, right from the start… One by breeding, the other by heart. There are times when only a dog will do… For a friend . . . when you’re beaten, sick and blue… And the world’s all wrong, for he won’t care… If you break and cry, or grouch and swear… For he’ll let you know as he licks your hands… That he’s downright sorry . . . and understands.” Well, Mr. Blandings, in 2014 let us addto your apotheosis of adopted dogs — because from my experience, a dog and a blog are equally pleasurable as is a “cat in a hat” –just ask Dr. Seuss-ie!(My new pen name?) 

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