Not a has-been

Drew with Daddy Oscar

Drew with Daddy Oscar, his great-grandfather, 1985

“I am not a has-been.  I am a will-be.”  — Lauren Bacall

Everybody you know is a work in progress, no matter their age.  No exceptions.

“…and what we will be has not yet been made known.” (1 John 3:2, NIV)


  1. Eric Hedden

    I have heard a lot about Jeff’s grandfather. it is great to see this photo of him. On another blog (combining thoughts from your previous entry on “books”, and the phrase “a work in progress”), I found these words: “Well I’d like to know how to overcome that ‘unfinished book’ guilt. I really have a serious problem dealing with unfinished books. My books don’t sit beside my bed – they line my walls. BUT there are 5 currently that remain a work in progress.” I wish others could overcome the guilt, perhaps instilled by elementary school teachers, about reading parts of books. So much learning can be acquired if a person abandons the OCD-like compulsion to finish one cover-to-cover read, before beginning another.

    • Eric, I agree that books good are for more than reading in a linear fashion. I love to browse the books in my own library; taking one out, flipping through it and reading a passage here and there, especially if it’s a book I read years ago and want to remember. I will say though, that I tend to want to finish almost every book I start, because many that are slow going at some point finish in a very satisfying way. But I take my time, without guilt. I have taken as long as 3 years to finish some longer books. In the meantime, I have several going at any one time, so I can read whatever suits my mood at the moment. Watch for a post related to this sometime in the near future.

      • Yes. I am anxious to see that future post, viewing the subject as a metaphor for life. Some (lucky?) lives are lived in one uninterrupted positive flow for eight or nine decades. Others are nothing short of tortuous in their starts-and-stops (close calls, if you will); and many ending as the ones in Newtown, CT in less than one decade. My only consolation for these is Luke 18:16.

        • Eric, so many of the sorrows in this life are beyond our ability to comprehend. When we read of tragedy that befalls people we do not know (as in this situation) often the most we can do is weep with those who weep, and pray that they may ultimately be comforted. Life is fragile and it’s sobering to realize how quickly it can be taken without warning.

  2. Mike Bertoglio

    Have you Read the “End of Life Book Club.” by Brian Schwalbe? About a son whose mother has stage four pancreatic cancer. In this book he describes how his mom would always read the last chapter of a book first. I always feel guilty about that, – and have actually never done it.
    A friend in Seattle-librarian Nancy Pearl- says to give a book the number of pages of your age. So in my case it would be 61 pages. But I have to confess- there are many times I don’t make it that far. I have to agree with Eric.
    Yes life if very fragile.

    • Hi Mike, no I’ve never heard of that book, but it sounds intriguing; I’ll have to look it up. I’ve heard of people who read books that way, but I would rather not spoil the surprise! Interesting rule about age & page numbers! I suppose I abandon quite a few books, but I don’t think of it that way because I just put a bookmark in and tell myself I’ll go back to it later.

  3. That is really a cute photo, Drew with his tiny ball cap must have melted your heart every single day. I’m really liking Daddy Oscars glasses a lot. Mine are very similar but not silver. I’d love to have a real vintage frame though.

    I really appreciate Lauren Bacall’s attitude here. After a certain age, it feels like you become both unemployable and the wrong demographic for most marketing campaigns. One restaurant in town was asked how they feel about complaints about their super loud music. They told the reviewer that the are not catering to the age group who don’t appreciate their atmosphere. I thought, what a snob. I guess Mid-aged diners with money to spend on a nice bottle of wine and generous tip isn’t his thing. The economy being what it is here, young people have way too much money.

    • I never noticed Daddy Oscar’s glasses until I got your comment, then I went back and looked. They do look pretty cool. I think that restaurant is short-sighted. They are going to be losing employee hours to medical appointments for hearing impairment! 🙂 I can’t understand why young people want to ruin their hearing so early in life. And I agree, they either have way too much money, or are spending way too much of someone else’s. It still blows my mind when I hear two people barely into their twenties carrying about how they got their latest phone for “only” $400! When I start ranting like this, I find it’s very therapeutic to read this hilarious blog. A bit tongue in cheek, but not totally, IMO!

      • P.S. I always admired Lauren Bacall because she had her own style and look, and as far as I could remember, never ruined it with too much cosmetic surgery. She aged beautifully, but she did look her age – and seemed proud of it.

      • I’ve been laughing my pants off over at that link. His Header alone just cracked me up. That chair is outrages.
        Not having any kids, we try not to judge. We know people like yourself with nice kids and we know the other ones who are less enjoyable. It’s probably really hard to parent these days. I guess there’s no handbook but it’s obvious some people are way better at it than others.

        • I agree that being a parent is hard, but to me it’s all about defining goals. As a parent, do you primarily want to: 1. Rear children who are polite, considerate, responsible and ethical, or 2. Be your kids’ best friend and have them adore you? If you even think about it being goal 2, you’re toast, in my opinion. If goal 2 happens, fine, but it won’t happen at all if you make that the priority, and besides which, goal 1 will crash and burn. I have always told people I went to the Attila the Hun school of child rearing, and my older son says that’s a strange thing to brag about, but in return I answer (as Walter Brennan did on “The Guns of Will Sonnet” – “No brag, just fact.” 🙂

          • Lol, little sweet southern girl and her “Attila the Hun” school of child rearing, I can’t see it, but don’t doubt it was called for some days, hahaha!

            You’ve hit the name on the head Julia. I was shopping one day and witnessed an entire negotiation in the cereal isle. I just cringed because the little boy was maybe 5 and I thought how difficult it’s going to be when he’s 10 or 15. He was being horrible (as kids sometimes are) but she had no idea how to manage it all…or maybe she was just plum worn down. I don’t remember ANYTHING being open to negotiation, no one asked my opinion about supper or cereal etc. Clearly she was exasperated, I can only imagine the rest of her day.

            Funny, I linked over to the link and have NO recollection of that series. That would have been prime TV era for us too. I would have been 6 -7 years old. I used to love Family Affair, My Mother The Car, My Three Son’s, Bewitched, F-Troupe and oh, Green Acres. Remember when TV was easy to watch, maybe two commercials per 1/2 hour but great programs?

            • Ah, but that’s the fascinating thing about sweet southern women; inside they are made of iron (or maybe steel, as in “Steel Magnolias.” And more than a few of them are packing heat in those cute little purses! 🙂 No brag, just fact. And speaking of guns, I guess “The Guns of Will Sonnett” would have been the type of program our decidedly masculine household would have been most likely to watch. Westerns, espionage and suspense shows, etc. We did love F-Troup and in fact, Eric and I have probably exchanged lines from that show here on this blog, although I doubt anyone would catch it. My sister and I used to love Bewitched. That Endora just made the show, didn’t she? And Elizabeth Montgomery was surely one of the most likable women on TV. I LOVED the Beverly Hillbillies too — truly hilarious — and I used to do a pretty mean imitation of Miss Jane Hathaway.

  4. We still get a few of them on cable and I still laugh. Endora was a riot, I like how she called Darren something different every time, Dogwood,Derweed, Dumpkin….ha, I’m sure there’s lots more. I still tape that one and I think Elizabeth Montgomery was so beautiful. I loved her kitchen too, it was so cool with the pull out stove top. They had a bottom freezer fridge way back then, pretty upwardly-mobile. HA!

    • I don’t remember the pull out stove top or bottom freezer, but it did seem that her home was ENORMOUS and always beautiful. I loved that the language was clean, the jokes cute rather than cruel (even with Endora’s snarky wit), the clothing attractive but modest, and the marriage not *perfect* but full of affection. I know there were lots of problems during that era but I do think TV then was better than it is now — although how would I know? — but I bet Don Mills would agree with me! 🙂 (Didn’t that “MY REAL FRIENDS ARE ALL DEAD” bit crack you up??)

      • I saw that on his Homepage, LOL. I read a couple of his posts to Mr B and we laughed because we’re starting to resemble those remarks..HA. I hope we don’t sound as cranky :/

        • Nope, you definitely don’t sound cranky. Although for this guy, cranky works!


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