Summertime Trivia!

If I hear one more time, "Hot enough for ya?" I might scream. Yes, it's hot--it's summertime and it's July! I know parts of our nation and world experience milder, wetter summers, but here in Texas--it's always hot and usually dry. This doesn't bother me as much as it might some others--I just stay in the air conditioning and chill out--literally. It's just that I don't wish to talk about it all the time, nor do I want to answer inane questions. So, what do you do when it's too hot for comfort? I spent one entire afternoon Googling "summertime." I'd like to share some of my treasure finds.

THE SONG: SUMMERTIME. The only version I knew of was from Porgy and Bess: Summertime…and the livin’ is easy, Fish are jumpin’…And the cotton is high;
Oh, your daddy’s rich…and your mama’s good-lookin’, So hush little
baby…don’t you cry.
From Porgy and Bess, a 1935 opera by George Gershwin. Complete cast consisted of African-American singers; a daring visionary artistic choice at the time.

However, when I Googled “Summertime”, the song,”I found other artists had written and sung a song by the same title, but each was completely different from the original. Summertime-- other versions by Kenny Chesney, Mungo Jerry, Will Smith, New Kids on the Block, Beyonce, and Janis Joplin. You can imagine how each of these differ. Ella Fitzgerald recorded her version of the original Summertime. The song is a haunting, lovely, sad, and wonderful tune. It can bring tears to your eyes.

MOVIES about summertime: (Not summertime movies.)

THE LONG HOT SUMMER-1958. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. A classic. A drifter works for a plantation owner. The owner asks the drifter to marry his up-tight schoolteacher daughter so she wouldn’t marry the worthless, lazy, rich man who was her fiancĂ©. The owner thought the drifter would work harder.
The love scenes sizzled because Paul Newman and Joanne Woodard were having a real-life romance, and their passion really shone through.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF: 1958. Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. Another classic, again, set in the Deep South. Based on a play by Tennessee Williams. This manuscript has been performed countless times on the stage. Sex, lies, suicide, illness, and a failing marriage keep this movie moving. But Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor never clicked.

PICNIC: Kim Novak and William Holden. 1955. Plot covers a 24-hour period, Labor Day picnic, Kansas. A richly detailed snapshot of life in the American Midwest during the 1950’s. ***** My all-time favorite summertime movie. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it, and if it came on one of the classic channels, I’d watch it again. It’s filled with angst, heartbreak, and yearnings—culminated with an ending you might only suppose will be happy. These two major stars are superb.

Check out these websites for summertime recipes. You can find dozens on Google. I thought you might enjoy these.

Celia Yeary
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