our history’s parts
only way can be lost is
we choose to lose them
I am not sure when I became aware of the actor Stanley Tucci.
Much like Ward Bond and Thomas Mitchell, Mr. Tucci seems to have been in everything and nothing at the same time.
He is always there.
I am not sure when it was but I do recall looking him up to find out who he was, and I think this was back in the days of if you wanted to look up a movie you grabbed a paper back (possibly the thickest regularly sold paper book in the store) copy of ‘Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide’, a copy of which was always laying around the TV in my house, and you looked up the movie and hoped you could figure out who was who from the short cast listing.
My Dad was a minor movie buff and he loved that book.
“4 stars for that?”, he would yell or “COME ON MIKE, it’s FOUR STARs with Clark Gable!”
He also loved to read the description of the 1962 remake of State Fair with Pat Boone, pause then yell, “BOMB.”
He would laugh and laugh.
It is amazing that back in the days of over the air three channel TV’s to remember how often movies were on TV.
TV shows cost money to make.
Movies were already made.
Television was flooded with movies.
The movies of the 40’s and 50’s.
The black and white era.
Every station had a block where an old movie could be run.
Bill Kennedy at the Movies from Detroit.
WGN’s Movie Night from Chicago.
My Dad also liked to listen to the CUBS on WGN radio from Chicago.
If there was a good movie on the night before, Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd would talk about it during the basbell game.
There wasn’t much else to watch and everybody watched the same thing.
Wait you say, if this is before cable TV, how did we watch WGN in Grand Rapids where we lived?
You caught me.
This didn’t happen in Grand Rapids.
We were one of those lucky family’s that had a summer place in Grand Haven, Michigan.
We lived right on the shore of Lake Michigan.
The first thing my Dad would do each spring was hook up a TV antenna high enough to pull in the stations from Chicago.
I watched the late movies from WGN all summer long.
If you watched old movies and you wanted more information the only source you had was that Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide.
And at some point, I looked up Stanley Tucci.
I remember doing this as I can see the book in my hands and hear myself saying ‘Stanly Tuckee – touchi – ha whaaa??’.
If I look Mr. Tucci up in the Wikipedia and read through his list of movies or his ‘Filmography’ nothing really pops out at me until you get to The Big Night in 1996.
If you haven’t seen, it is worth the effort
to pirate to watch and enjoy and hear about the dish called timpano.
Since the Big Night, Mr. Tucci, for me, entered into that ‘Ward Bond, Thomas Mitchell’ phase I mentioned and now he seems to be in everything and everywhere.
And Mr. Tucci has published a book.
Actually he has a couple of books to his credit but a new one has just come out.
When I worked in a bookstore nothing, well, almost nothing, made me more angry that anytime a celebrity would bank on their name and publish anything but a bio.
Bill and HILARY Clinton have now published novels.
Sports figures who I would figure could not construct a basic English sentence to save their lives have published novels.
OH COME ON.
Quite a few celebrities can get around this by publishing cookbooks but again, oh come on.
Is that something the world needs?
After 20 years of working for a book seller, library and publisher let me tell you about cookbooks.
Any cookbook with ONE, that’s right, ONE good recipe in it is a good cookbook.
99% of the cookbooks in the world are BAD cookbooks.
Now Mr. Tucci has published Taste, My Life Through Food.
This way its a bio and a cookbook.
And it is a delight.
Mr. Tucci can turn a sentence or at least he can with his editors help.
But the book has a secret ingredient.
Readers all know that part of the mystery of reading is how did the author intend to have this read.
What sounds, what phrasing, what and where are the pauses.
For the most part, each reader makes up their own mind.
For example, take Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I have never been able to listen to any audio version of the Lord of the Rings because of the way Gollum is re-created.
One, the voice is nothing like what I imagined and I won’t waste my time.
Or, two, the voice is spot on and that is just tooooooooo creepy to be listened to..
And you never know when that Gollum will show up.
Plow your way through the book, “The Long Season: The Classic Inside Account of a Baseball Year” which is known for being one of the first, inside the locker room – tell it like it is – baseball books written back in 1959 and all of sudden the author-player tells how he went through a phase driving everyone nuts in the St. Louis Cardinals locker room by talking like Gollum.
“Has he got handses?”
“Can he hits baseballses?”
I pass over those film adaptations of Lord of the Rings except to say I really wish the filmmaker had taken the time to read the books as I am not sure what the movies were based on.
Another example is Charlotte’s Web.
If you like this book please try, just for a gift for yourself (let me know if you need it emailed to you) to find the audio version.
The audio version read by EB White.
There is a lot of magic and poetry in the sound of White’s voice and to hear his phrasing and pronunciation is the purest form of this book you can imagine.
Keep in mind that when the manuscript for Charlotte’s Web arrived at the publisher it needed NO editing of any kind.
So back to Mr. Tucci.
It must be because of his recent show on CNN that this works.
I watched that show with my wife and when I read his book, I can hear Mr. Tucci.
I can catch his phrashing and such.
Mr. Tucci also has one of those voices that is both distinct and yet doesn’t stand out except to say it is uncommonly common.
My reading of Taste: My Life Through Food is like listening to the audio version because I hear it in my head as I read.
Goofy I know but there it is.
I doubt I will try many of the recipes in the book at this time.
But I will read them.
I also will read about Mr. Tucci’s adventures growing up in America.
We are about the same age and I also can remember WANTING if not getting and eating a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich.
Also at this time I am spending a lot time thinking about food and families and culture and culture expressed through food and familys.
The Gullah Culture wants to presever its culture though food,
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South.
Mr. Tucci sums this up in an E PLURIBUS UNUM on food when he writes:
Losing a beloved family heirloom is a very real personal loss;
they’re things that cannot ever be replaced or re-created.
But perhaps the most precious heirlooms are family recipes.
Like a physical heirloom, they remind us from whom and where we came and give others, in a bite, the story of another people from another place and another time.
Yet unlike a lost physical heirloom, recipes are a part of our history that can be re-created over and over again.
The only way they can be lost is if we choose to lose them.”
I want to eat it all.