Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s mid-morning here in Lithia, Florida, on Monday, January 24, 2022. It is a chilly day here in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 45˚F (7˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 2 MPH (4 KM/H) and humidity at 89%, the wind-chill factor is 42˚F (6˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 65˚F (18˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy, and the low will be a near-freezing 38˚F (3˚C).
Last night the Caregiver said that she wanted to watch Fiddler on the Roof, director Norman Jewison’s film adaptation of the 1964 stage musical written by Joseph Stein (from stories by Sholem Aleichem) and featuring music by Jerry Bock with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.
Here’s the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDb) description of Fiddler in the Roof, in case you’re not familiar with it:
In pre-revolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant with traditional values contends with marrying off three of his daughters with modern romantic ideals while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.
I bought the 40th Anniversary Blu-ray back in 2018, and the Caregiver, knowing that I will get the La-La Land Records’ three-CD Fiddler on the Roof – 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition soundtrack album today, said, “Hey, let’s watch the movie!”
As much as I love Fiddler on the Roof – I mean, I just spent over $40 on a limited-edition CD set with the music – I did not think it was a clever idea. She and her boyfriend – who is not in good health and has a terminal liver disease – had gone out to a festival somewhere by the Gulf of Mexico for most of the day (and only invited me to go along five minutes before they left), so by the time the Caregiver said, “Let’s watch the movie!” it was already past 9 PM.
Fiddler on the Roof’s 1971 version – the one in the Blu-ray – has a running time of three hours and one minute (or, if you prefer, 181 minutes). And the Caregiver does not have the day off from her job at the courthouse (well she works remotely from her home office, but it is still a county government job). I tried to dissuade her by pointing out how long Fiddler is; not only did she have to get up early in the morning, but her boyfriend lacks both the stamina and the attention span to watch a three-hour musical.
Well, to make a long story short, the movie night thing fizzled badly. We started watching Fiddler between 9:45 and 10 PM, and – as I figured, the Caregiver’s boyfriend started talking during the opening number (Tradition), while the Caregiver herself wanted to skip ahead to If I Were a Rich Man. Her boyfriend vetoed that because, being half-Lithuanian by heritage, he was a bit interested in seeing 1905 Russia (or a movie version of it) and was a bit “into” the movie.
But when we got to If I Were a Rich Man, the Caregiver wanted me to replay the scene and its song (which I admit is a cool showstopper) not once but twice.
By the time we reached the Entr’acte (or, if you like, Intermission), it was nearly midnight, the Caregiver was sulky, and her boyfriend had lost interest in the movie.
As I mentioned earlier, today I will get my limited edition (only five thousand were pressed) Fiddler on the Roof – 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition soundtrack from La-La Land Records. The U.S. Postal Service emailed me earlier this morning to let me know my package was already Out for Delivery. The Postal Service delivery person usually makes the rounds from the Lithia Post Office between 1 and 3 PM, so I think I’ll have my Fiddler on the Roof – 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition album in my hands well before the 9 PM “delivery deadline.”
Also arriving today is a book that my Epinions friend Peggy Jensen Cai sent me last week. It’s a copy of Ordeal by Sea: The Tragedy of the USS Indianapolis by Thomas Helm. This is a true story about the last American ship, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) sunk in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
If you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, you remember that one of its best scenes is Quint’s (Robert Shaw) monologue about his experience as a survivor of the sinking of the Indianapolis.
As it turns out, this scene inspired a young Jaws fan – Hunter Scott – to learn more about the Indianapolis tragedy. As a result of Hunter’s research for a school project circa 1995, he concluded that Capt. Charles McVay, the cruiser’s skipper, had been unfairly court-martialed for the loss of his command. Eventually, he led a campaign to clear McVay’s name and expunge the conviction from his record. This effort, along with earlier campaigns started by survivors of the sinking, bore fruit when Congress officially exonerated McVay (who committed suicide in 1968) in October of 2000.
Well, folks, it’s cold in my room and I’m unpleasantly numb, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.