A weekend and a week for ladies great and small; one and all!

This past Friday, Betty White, one of the funniest women on the planet and a veteran of TV and movies hosted Saturday Night Live and killed– at 88! I have been a sporadic viewer of SNL at best over the past years, but I couldn’t wait ( as apparently a lot of others couldn’t) to see her host and perform on the long-running show. It was also a reason to bring back some former favorite female cast members for some favorite skits and bits. She showed what a great sense of humor (and timing) she has and that she can hold her own with anyone. I have enjoyed her for many years being the lifelong TV junkie that I am and even got a chance to meet her briefly back in the 80’s on the game show Super Password. She is as funny in person and is quite personable as well. Congrats Betty!

Yesterday, on Mother’s Day, Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s pitched only the 19th perfect no-hitter in the major leagues. (I actually got to see Dennis Martinez do it in Los Angeles in 1991)You may remember him as the guy who “went off” a few weeks ago on A-Rod for walking across his mound during a game. In the stands was the grandmother who raised him because his [single] mother passed away of skin cancer when he was a high-school senior. Congratulations to him and the grandmother who became a mother to him.

Lovely Lena Horne passed away yesterday at 92. Learn from and about her in her own words:

I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept. I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.

[quoted in Brian Lanker’s book “I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America”, New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1986)] My own people didn’t see me as a performer because they were busy trying to make a living and feed themselves. Until I got to café society in the ’40s, I didn’t even have a black audience and then it was mixed. I was always battling the system to try to get to be with my people. Finally, I wouldn’t work for places that kept us out . . . it was a damn fight everywhere I was, every place I worked, in New York, in Hollywood, all over the world.

You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way.

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.

Always be smarter than the people who hire you.

A little nepotism never hurt nobody, honey. If you got it, use it. Press on with it. Remind them of it.

In my early days I was a sepia Hedy Lamarr. Now I’m black and a woman, singing my own way.

On love: Don’t be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can.

My identity is very clear to me now, I am a black woman, I’m not alone, I’m free. I say I’m free because I no longer have to be a credit, I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.

May is Women’s Health Care Month and this week is National Women’s Health Week. Take care of yourselves ladies–spiritually, physically, emotionally and psychologically; you deserve it and somebody somewhere may be looking to you for guidance and inspiration.


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