Where Did it Go?

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The Marshall family. From left, Scott, Lori, Garry, Kathleen and Barbara. They are something to celebrate!

I want to talk about time flying. Is it age? As a child I remember thinking how long a day, how plodding time was. Perhaps there was less to do. Now, seventy years later, it’s not unusual to be overwhelmed. There is too much to do. The years are flying by. And then the unexpected, that I am starting to expect, changes priorities in a flash and the must do now gets pushed aside. Well so it goes, reality, which is not a show …

The Unexpected

Well, the Maui trip was a good unexpected. It did dent into time preparing for Christmas, but it was also a neat place to shop. (You’ll read more about this in next weeks “Lawrence & Lawrence.”) Then some bad unexpecteds. Our garage door fell off. Inconvenient, but not tragic. But illness made life very uncomfortable for one of my best friends. She’s out of the hospital now, but the recovery is painful and slow. Concerned. An aging relation has to be put in a nursing home and his little dog needs tending. Sad. Then, a horrifying attack on the young (22) son of dear friends has left him in a coma for over a month. This is tragic. So time tilts and priorities adjust. And it’s really minor to have a television set stop working, or the garage door fall off. Counting time is a blessing. Remember that little book, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff!? Really…

The Good

It’s comforting to have the Kling Street Kids as a staple goodness in Toluca Lake now in their ninth year. This years fundraising was dedicated to Michelle Nicastro-Stark, who died of cancer but still inspires these kids. The first eight years raised $55,686.81 for Children’s Hospital. More to come. The neighbors and the Toluca Lake neighborhood business folks helped raise the ante by donating to the ever-exciting silent auction. New kids are on the block and Kling Street’s original kids are barely kids anymore. They have grown into good-hearted young adults, paying it forward and mentoring the younger bunch. Thanks to these kids (and their amazing parents) for spreading gold dust over our hood and the sick children of Los Angeles.

Marshall Family Theatre

It’s not unexpected to see great family entertainment at The Falcon Theatre. Serious drama, light hearted comedy and always with stellar performers. And, not only do they present special plays for children and the family, the whole Falcon is a family. Garry Marshall and his daughter Kathleen built the Theatre (which opened in 1997), Lori, the eldest (but still young) daughter writes children’s theatre, son Scott is always around and Garry’s wife Barbara Marshall runs all of them. I remember the groundbreaking ceremony. This big corner of dirt on Riverside Drive, across from Mo’s and Bob’s Big Boy, was the location for the celebration. Garry, with shovel and standup, surrounded by family, friends and the famous, simply said that theatre is a good thing. And so he made a good one. It’s a superb place to attend, and a fantastic place to work in. JoAnne Worley and I are going to see The First Jo-el, a Troubadour Theatre delight. Can’t miss those Troubies, such a joyful combo with The Falcon.

Anyway, I’ve known Garry since he was a writer on Dick Van Dyke and all those great comedies, before he became an iconic producer. A few years later, Barbara and I were room mothers at the Oakwood School. And now they live in a house where I spent many happy years. So a salute to the Marshall family with hugs and thanks for giving this community the gift of themselves and a gift of a theatre, very good things.

I wish everyone the happiest New Year, we’ll talk….

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