C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Drive: Once in Royal David's City

I post this series every year in loving memory of my late husband Cody, a master organist and choir director, whose greatest glory was playing sacred music in church, especially his Christmas concert.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Love Wins Down Under

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December 7 will be remembered fondly by our Australian brothers and sisters as the day Parliament passed the Marriage Amendment Bill 2017, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the southern continent -- the last large English-speaking nation to do so.  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered the bill in person the next morning (remember, they are twelve hours ahead of us) to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who promptly gave Royal Assent to the bill, making it the law of the land from December 9.  Same-sex marriages contracted by Australians in foreign countries will be recognized in law from that day forward.  Following the standard one-month waiting period, gay weddings on Australian soil can begin on January 9.

Only four members of the House of Commons voted against the bill; many conservative members simply abstained or absented themselves from the chamber.  The picture below dramatically shows the overwhelming majority of members sitting on the "yes" side, while the "no" side is practically deserted.  The galleries burst into applause and song when the Speaker declared the bill passed.

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The change in the law is a happy conclusion to the long struggle for marriage equality in Australia, which has its share of right-wing fanatics and zealots; you can read the history of the struggle at Wikipedia.

Australia is now the 26th nation to embrace same-sex marriage. The Pew Research Center gives a global summary of same-sex marriage laws here.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Drive: Impossible; It's Possible

Even when all the world seems dreary, dark, and hopeless, sometimes a miracle happens for those who believe.  Julie Andrews and Edie Adams show how in the marvelous 1957 television production of Rodgers' and Hammerstein's Cinderella:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend

In Memoriam: Jim Nabors, 1930 - 2017

Jim Nabors in 2008

Jim Nabors, a good-hearted Alabama boy with an amazing baritone voice, who made it big in Hollywood playing aw-shucks Marine private Gomer Pyle, has died at age 87 at home in Honolulu.

I well recall hearing - with great disbelief - that rumor back in my high school days that he and Rock Hudson had gotten married.  It was just too silly to take seriously:  I mean, really -- those two, obviously straight as a board?  They didn't fit the gay stereotype at all.  It was to laugh.

But little did I know that both Nabors and Hudson really were gay.  Sadly, Hudson died of AIDS in 1985, but Nabors lived a long, full, happy life with his partner of 40-plus years, Stan Cadwallader, happily running a macadamia nut farm on Maui and doing the occasional singing or acting gig.  The couple were married by a judge in Seattle in 2013, shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington state.

Nabors kept his private life private, and there's nothing wrong with that.  I suppose his modest, gentle style of humor is quite incomprehensible to the frenzied children of this harsh and vulgar age, but I remember his character fondly.  May he rest in peace.

In this clip from Gomer Pyle, USMC, Nabors displays his big, beautiful singing voice:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Pork Boys Do Thanksgiving 2017

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We had a lovely feast last week, beginning with an 18-pound turkey that M. P. found on sale for only six dollars or so; two new supermarkets have opened near us in recent months, and isn't competition a wonderful thing?  When it works in your favor, that is.  At any rate, turkey and dressing is M. P.'s favorite dish, so he set to with a will, and when he was done very late that night, our menu included the following:

Hors d'oeuvres
Ham roll-ups
Beef roll-ups
Swiss cheese bits
Extra-sharp cheddar cheese bits
Deviled eggs
Green olives
Black olives
Boudin balls, breaded and deep-fried (a Cajun delicacy; M. P. had made the boudin from scratch the week before)

Velouté de brocolis with Velveeta cubes in lieu of croutons

Main Course
Roast turkey stuffed with sausage dressing
Cranberry sauce
Mashed potatoes
Giblet gravy
Maque choux (a Cajun corn casserole, like M. P.'s mama used to make)
Cornbread salad
Green bean casserole*
Sweet potato souffle*
Cranberry sauce
Homemade biscuits and butter

White Zinfandel (Winking Owl, California, 2017)

Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie
Crockpot caramel cake with whipped cream and caramel sauce
Maple-bacon cookies

* - Your Head Trucker made the starred dishes, both of which are much too simple to qualify as haute cuisine.  But M. P. ate them up just the same.

As a matter of fact, we had so much on our plates, we forgot about the biscuits until all was said, done, and eaten!  But of course we have enjoyed them since, along with a truckload of very tasty leftovers.  (Confidentially, fellas, after eating turkey for seven days in a row, I am now getting just a wee bit tired of it.  But shhh - don't tell M. P.!  I think a little talafia meuniere would be a nice change of pace, and that's another dish that requires no culinary talent to slap out.)

And so the Pork Boys feasted well and long again.  But just so you understand - these occasional feasts, along with our simpler Sunday dinners, are about the only recreation two gray and grizzled retirees can afford anymore - we never eat out, and only once or twice a year can we scrape our nickels and dimes together for a little KFC.  Other times, M. P. conjures up a homemade pizza instead of calling Domino's, and he says my cheeseburger pie - a trifling dish - rivals the taste of a good Whataburger.  So please don't begrudge us a little festivity in the kitchen now and then - when youthful charms and money have flown, food is one of the very last comforts - and one of the best. For all of which, we are truly grateful

Alas, I am too old and slow to chronicle all the kitchen doings in pictures these days, but here are a few snaps that show off M. P.'s artistry - he really loves to set a nice table and make things pretty.  I hope all my truckbuddies had a fabulous turkey day too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Harry to Marry

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Kensington Palace has announced that HRH Prince Henry of Wales, 33, will marry American actress Meghan Markle, 36, in May at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Unlike the unfortunate case of the Duchess of Windsor (who, I believe, had no real idea of what she was getting into) it seems that neither the Queen, the Church of England, nor the British public have any objections to HRH marrying a divorced American this time around. Well, times change and attitudes change:  the fact that the bride's ancestry is half African-American seems likewise to have caused not a ripple of discomfort anywhere, except among the usual trolls and hobgoblins of the Internet.

I had wondered if Harry ever would marry - it's hard enough for an ordinary bloke to find a compatible mate without the pestilential reporters and paparazzi posting every little sneeze and stumble on the front pages, which must be utterly hellacious to those in the goldfish bowl of public life. But judging by the BBC interview below, it appears that Harry has made a very good choice: Ms. Markle seems poised, sensible, and grounded, very much in love but clear-eyed about her new status.

So they look to be in good starting position, and I hope they will surmount the hedges and hurdles of life well and wisely. All good wishes to the happy couple.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Royal Platinum Anniversary

A new photograph of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh released by Buckingham Palace to mark their 70th wedding anniversary today.

HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary today without any public pomp and ceremony, just a quiet dinner for 150 friends and relations at Windsor Castle, their weekend country getaway. The fact of a platinum anniversary is no more astounding and inspiring than their long, unfailing life of duty and service together.

Hats off and three cheers for the royal couple. May God bless them.

A photograph of then-Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten, RN, on their wedding day, November 20, 1947.

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