Reliving my Youth Through Music

I was only eight years old when I used to walk from home to The Roxy for an afternoon matinee, usually, something from Disney or an old black and white comedy show featuring Ma and Pa Kettle, Laurel and Hardy, or the Three Stooges. By the time I’d reached my teens, the theater was renamed The Port, and featured Sunday afternoon horroramas with the likes of Vincent price, Bela Lugosi, and Peter Lorre.

Cornwall had three movie theaters, The Roxy, The Palace, and The Capital. Time wasn’t kind to them, and by the end of the twentieth century, The Palace and The Captial were closed and eventually demolished. Only The Roxy, renamed The Port, continued to compete with the new multi-screen theaters. While it was still open and showed movies that were no longer in their prime, anyone picking flaking paint from the ceiling out of the popcorn could see the writing on the wall. The place was a mess, and it would take huge amounts of money to fix it up. We expected the closed for demolition notice at any time, but such was not to be.

An enterprising young man bought an old movie theater that was falling apart. He had a vision for the place, a way to restore and rejuvenate the old gem. The young man started to peddle his ideas and drum up support as well as money in the form of heritage grants. While the building was getting a much needed indoor facelift, it continued to show second and third run movies at a discounted price. With movies as expensive as they are now, people didn’t mind seeing something six months later for only $3.50 a ticket.

The outside is much the way it used to be, kindling nostalgia in all its patrons. Located in central Cornwall on Montreal Rd., The Port Theatre is as iconic to Cornwall as it’s bridge once was. Originally titled The Roxy, the Port opened in December of 1941 to glowing success. After its opening, the Standard Freeholder called it “one of the finest theatres in the province,” costing approximately $75,000 at the time of its construction. Thanks to a young man’s remarkable vision, the Port still stands strong. Boasting an impressive marquee and distinct lettering, its iconic look has become an area fixture and is a huge part of Cornwall history. Recently purchased by Larry Sylvain (Sylvain Sound), the Port has been bringing in a plethora of live music. Unsurprisingly, it’s layout doubles perfectly as an auditorium that features some amazing acoustics.

And this was where The Port got its new life as a concert venue for live bands–not just any bands, but tribute bands, making The Port the premier live experience in town. Larry and his team have been working tirelessly to bring live events and world class music back to the forefront of Cornwall, all while delivering a great cinema experience. Featuring a full-sized stage with top-notch PA equipment, in house sound engineers, a 450-capacity room featuring an upper balcony, and a new fully licensed drink bar. The Port Theatre operates under corporate status of Sonic Amusements Ltd.

Before the pandemic, I went to see a number of different tribute bands including ABBA, Neil Diamond, Elton John, The Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, and The Beatles. Every show was a trip back in time, as we sang along with the band, got up and danced in our seats, all the while enjoying an adult beverage.

But then COVID happened and the lockdowns. I didn’t think the venue would survive, but thanks to federal funding, they managed, and the venue reopened in April. Last month, I went to see Stayin Alive, a tribute to the Bee Gees, bringing me back to the seventies when life was simpler. I may have been a stay-at-home mom with three toddlers, but life was good.

This month, I saw Help, a tribute to The Beatles, brining me back to my high school and university years. There’s nothing like the music you love to lift your spirits.

In my book, Same Time Next Year, my heroine, Twyla, uses the music of 1967 to write her memoirs. Listening to music is the best way to bring back memories, emotions, and reactions to the events from the past that shaped our future.

A novel within a novel. For three short weeks, Twyla Lancaster was the fairy tale princess who’d found her prince, but just like that, reality ripped them apart. Now, fifty years later, she needs to know why the only man she ever loved broke his promises. As she writes her memoir and learns more about that summer, she realizes things were not what they seemed. Hormones raced, promises were made, but Twyla left Michael Morrison high and dry, and within weeks, married someone else. Grieving the loss of his parents and her betrayal, he turned his back on love, focusing on his military career. Now, goaded by his sister, he agrees to attend a wedding and reunion, knowing Twyla will be there. It’s time to find out why she lied to him all those years ago. The moment the star-crossed lovers see one another, love blooms between them, but when Michael discovers Twyla’s secret, he’s devastated. Is love enough to erase fifty years of pain and betrayal? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FPWDH1T

As I look forward to seeing The Eagles in August, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite 1967 songs.

To all my Canadian friends Happy Canada Day, and to my American friends, Happy Fourth of July! See you next month.

Don’t forget to check out the amazing book boxes available from the ABB

Happy Birthday to Me! by Taylor Lee

What do Nancy Pelosi, Donna Shalala and Maxine Waters have in common? Clearly, they are all women. If you guessed that they are older women, you’re right. But how old? In their fifties, sixties? Try in their 70’s and 80’s and you’d be right. We all know Nancy Pelosi is 81. Not to be outdone, Representative Donna Shalala, the former US Secretary of Health, became the oldest freshman in the new House class when she was elected in 2019. (She was 79 at the time.) But Representative Maxine Waters can top that. She became the first woman and African-American to lead the Financial Services Committee at age 80. She is still serving at age 84.

Women

According to a fascinating article by Jessica Bennett in the Jan. 8, 2019 New York Times, older women are doing a heck of a lot more than “roaring”. They’re rewriting the roles they are playing in the US today. Is it just political women who are rewriting the “you’re too old” rules? Hardly! Glen Close, at age 71, broke those rules in an arena that, to say the least, does not value age in their women stars. Close beat out four younger women to win the Golden Globe for Best Actress.

Let’s Face It…

The movie industry is not known for their deference to age. Except when it comes to men. Female movie stars rarely crack the “age ceiling”. According to Time magazine, “male actors hit their professional peak at 46, while female actors top out at 30.” Responding to that report, Helen Mirren recalled that, at 37, Maggie Gyllenhaal had been told she was “too old” for a role opposite a 55-year-old man. Apparently she adds “As James Bond got more and more geriatric, his girlfriend’s got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.”

Even in the business world, it was breaking news when it was announced that Susan Zirinsky will take over CBS News in March, 2019. Ms. Zirinsky was the first woman to hold the job. She was also the oldest person to assume the role, at 66. Amazing! Bennet quotes Ms. Zirinsky when asked about the effect of age on her new job, “Age — don’t worry about it. It’s a state of mind. I have so much energy that my staff did an intervention when I tried a Red Bull.”

Representative Donna Shalala agrees. “Age is just a number. What the women’s movement did was develop generations of strong women. We had professional careers, we were achievers in our fields, and you’re seeing the result of that now. And we’re comfortable in our own skin, and we don’t put up with nonsense, and we have a sisterhood.”

Gayle King, who was 64 at the time, a co-anchor of CBS This Morning, said in an email, “I’ve embraced every birthday … what’s the alternative, bitch and moan? I believe if your body and brain are healthy and you love what you do and the people in your life, what’s the downside of THAT?! So I’ll say it loud, I’m 64 and (oh so) proud.”

Happy Birthday to ME!

Personally, I couldn’t agree more. Point of information. Today is my birthday and I am 78 years old today!  Whoee. I have three extraordinary daughters, four gorgeous grandsons and an 83 year old best friend/lover who’s added even more sparkle to my life these last five years. I work out in some way seven days a week. (Usually 8 miles on the elliptical). I do pull-ups on the chin-up bar. I can now hold my weight for ten seconds with my legs extended at a ninety degree angle. My goal is 30 seconds…

Was my life always this great? Heck no. In fact, in the not-too-distant past, in my late 60’s, it was downright crummy. I needed to do something different. So, I decided it was time to turn my strategic consulting firm over to my daughter. I also left a marriage that was making my then husband and me most unhappy.

Then something miraculous happened. On one of my multi-mile runs, I started hearing voices and envisioning almost movie-like scenes. Rather than checking myself into the loony bin, with the encouragement of my daughters, I did something I had never considered. At the ripe old age of 68, I began writing romance novels. Make that steamy romance novels and sexy mystery thrillers. It wasn’t as if I had a choice. My characters insisted that they come alive on the page. Ten years later, I’m writing my 50th novel. Frankly, I’m amazed and a little more than awed at my gift of creativity.  It’s magic!

So happy birthday to me and all of us older women who are not only “surviving” our age, but “thriving in it”. As we should. We are older women. Hear us roar!

My Birthday Gift to You!

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RAMPAGE; Book 1: Mayhem on the Mountain

Rampage by Taylor Lee

*She’s an investigative superstar.

*He’s a formidable county sheriff.

*She’s as determined to reveal the insurrectionist leaders as he is to stop her dangerous exposé.

Calian Begay’s an archetypal rugged county sheriff. Arrogance rolls  off of him in sheets. But then having been elected by seventy-plus percent of the voters justified his cockiness. No small feat for the grandson of a famous Ute Indian chief.

Determined to capture the treacherous domestic terrorists threatening to take over his county, Cal admitted the only thing standing in his way was the media bombshell intent on riding  the simmering inferno to national fame.

From her inauspicious role as a beat reporter, Scarlet Comstock clawed her way to the top of the heap, becoming a local, then regional, and soon, if she had anything to say about it, national investigative media phenom.

She knew all her blockbuster exposé needed was for her to capture the leader of the American Patriotic Front addressing the “White is Might” conspiracy crazies.

Remembering Cal’s fierce warning what would happen if she disobeyed him, Scarlett admitted the formidable sheriff had done what no man had. Made her think twice before she blew him off. Which she concluded only confirmed he was to be ignored.

Face it, which was more compelling? Winning a coveted national award or obeying the arrogant sheriff who, after warning her for the third time, had the temerity to threaten her physically if she “didn’t behave.”

If you like brazen media stars, tough-as-nails lawmen, and scorching passion, you’ll love Taylor Lee’s sizzling new thrill-ride. Discover how challenging exposés can be when sex and violence are in the mix. Grab Rampage: Book 1; Mayhem on the Mountain and prepare to be wowed!

And while you are at it, check out our latest ABB Box Set

Unforgettable Blessings

Unforgettable Blessings: Unforgettable Miracles is just 99 cents.

My Book In The Set is:

Don't Stop Believin

Don’t Stop Believin’

*She’s an accomplished attorney.  He’s an arrogant District Attorney.

*When the sparks start to fly, her past rears its ugly head threatening to take them both down.

Kiera Burke was an enigma.  The super-star District Attorney was thoroughly taken by the beautiful, Mensa-smart woman but couldn’t figure her out. What he’d assumed was aloof superiority, he quickly realized was painful shyness. Which he could have handled.  It was when he saw worrisome signs of a much deeper trauma, that he admitted he was facing his biggest challenge yet.

Grab Don’t Stop Believin’ and restore your belief in the power of love to heal the most devastating wounds.

 

Cherished Poems by @KatyWalters07

I took these poems from a very old book of poetry published in 1891. It is a favorite book for me as it was given to me by my late great uncle. He read them to me of an evening as we sat by an open coal fire.

I am sure my love of literature & poetry was born through him.  He always said he would leave the book to me, and on his sad passing, I received the cherished poems. Some of the poets included in the book do date further back than the nineteenth century.

Book Title: The Thousand Best Poems

Selected and arranged by E. W. Cole.

Publishers: London – Hutchinson & Co. Ltd. Paternoster Row, Melbourne: Coles Book Arcade

The Little Darling’s Shoe

There is a sacred secret place,

Baptized by tears and sighs,

Where little half-worn shoes are kept,

From cold unfeeling eyes.

They have no meaning, save to her

Whose darling’s feet have strayed

Far from the sacred folds of love,

Where late in joy they played.

The impress of a little foot,

How can it be so dear!

How can a little half-worn shoe

Call forth a sigh or tear!

‘Tis more than dear,’ tis eloquent

Of grace and beauty fled;

It waits the sound of little feet –

Sweet sound forever fled.

It whispers to the mother’s ear

A tail of fondest love;

It tells that the little feet –

Now tread the fields above.

Oft has she bathed it with her tears,

Oft kiss’d it o’er and o’er;

If it were filled with costliest gems,

She could not love it more.

Poems

My Bud in Heaven

One bud the Gardener gave me,

A fair and only child,

He gave it to my keeping,

To cherish undefiled;

It lay upon my bosom,

It was my hope, my pride;

Perhaps it was an idol

Which I must be denied.

For just as it was opening,

In glory to the day,

Came down the heavenly Gardener

And took the bud away.

Yet in wrath He took it,

A smile was on His face;

And tenderly and kindly

He bore it from its place.

Fear not, methought He whispered,

Thy bud will be restored,

I take it but plant it

In the garden of my Lord.

Then bid me not to sorrow.

As those who hopeless weep,

For He who gave hath taken,

And He who took can keep.

And night and morn together,

By the open gate of prayer,

I’ll go unto my darling,

And sit beside him there

I know ‘twill open for me,

Poor sinner ‘tho, I be,

For His dear sake who keeps it

And keeps my bud for me.

Mother and Babe 2

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The Beauty of … A Personal Retreat

If you’re like most of us, you spend much of your time caring for others. Driving the kids to and from school, cooking, cleaning, the list is endless.

Many times, I feel overwhelmed, and a quiet retreat may be just the ticket for feeling rejuvenated.

You might think that you can’t possibly abandon your daily responsibilities. However, an overnight stay at your local hotel, AirBnB, or a cottage at the beach—somewhere you’re sure to get a good night’s sleep—isn’t an overly long time to be away.

The benefits of allowing yourself the time for new experiences and fresh starts cannot be overrated, because self-care is important for our well-being and overall health.

So, as we begin the summer season, carve out time for yourself. Don’t let the basics of every life get in the way.

Have you ever planned a quiet retreat? Please share your comments below.

New Release! Summer Hearts

Bundle up and save with captivating stories celebrating the promise of new beginnings and beautiful summers. This set includes three sweet and inspirational romances:

1-800-SUMMER
The last thing she can fix is her own life. Until one man’s offer changes everything.

A Chocolate-Box Summer Breeze
Will Emily and Joe find their happily-ever-after in a forgotten summer breeze?

A Summer To Cherish
Faith is fragile. Faith takes time. And the best solutions are always painted with love.

Special introductory price of only 99¢. Grab your copy of Summer Hearts today before the price goes up. Also available in paperback and Large Print paperback. Audiobooks for each book sold separately.