How doors to harmonious relationships have been opened in history

Archive for the ‘2000-2025’ Category

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Willard Herman Scott, Jr. – A Man of the Centuries (b. 1934)

1990 Emmy Awards NOTE: Permission granted to c...

1990 Emmy Awards NOTE: Permission granted to copy, publish, broadcast or post any of my photos, but please credit “photo by Alan Light” if you can. Thanks. Scanned from the original 35MM film negative. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Willard Scott loves to celebrate life: witness his heart-warming tributes to centenarians. Hired by NBC in 1980 to do weather for The Today Show, Scott was held in high regard by audiences.  One admirer suggested he give birthday greetings to people who had reached 100 years of age, or greater, as part of his weather report.  Scott liked the idea and began the tributes in 1983.  Even though he left the show in 1996, he periodically makes appearances to deliver the tributes which are now sponsored by Smuckers Jellies.

Because of his generous remembrances of the aging, and for other reasons, I hereby give Willard Scott the title: “A Man of the Centuries.”  An additional title belonging to Scott is that he is recognized by many to be the original  “Ronald McDonald.”  Before I delve into that amazing story, and speaking of titles, I might as well tell you, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I feel a special affinity to Willard Scott because my last boss-lady dubbed my husband with the nickname “Ronald McDonald.” My husband didn’t look anything like Ronald McDonald, nor like Willard Scott, but his first name was Ron.  He took a liking to my boss’s cheerful greeting, “Howdy, Ronald McDonald!” (she was from West Virginia) each time she saw him.  After she died, he often reminisced about her habit of tagging people with “character monikers.”  She called me “Snoopy!”

Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald, from the fir...

Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald, from the first of three pre-recorded television advertisements to feature Ronald. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But back to Ronald McDonald.   In Willard Scott’s book, The Joy of Living, (1982) Scott wrote that he was asked by McDonalds to create the role of Ronald McDonald. One wonders if the idea of Ronald McDonald was born from a previous children’s character that Scott brought to life called Bozo the Clown. For it was from 1959-1962 that Scott appeared on children’s programs produced by local DC TV stations as Bozo the Clown, and he subsequently enacted Ronald McDonald from 1963-1966.  We look at the photo showing Scott with a box on his head and a cup on his nose and realize that the evolving Ronald McDonald, somewhere along the line, hired a new costume designer and a different make-up artist.  AND today the modern Ronald McDonald persona, embodied by numerous actors, reaches far and wide into many kinds of special events, parties, and hospitals.  But let’s not forget that the trend-setter for the Ronald McDonald character was Willard Scott.   Just being himself, to this day, Scott brings cheer and good-will wherever he goes.

There’s another large part of Scott’s life that touches a major chord with me since I am a novice radio show host myself.  Are any of you old enough to remember the Joy Boys Radio Show?  Well, it was aired nightly out of NBC owned WRC-AM in Washington DC (1955-1972) and two more years out of another DC radio station.  Who were the Joy Boys?

Ed Walker (l) and Willard Scott, The Joy Boys ...

Ed Walker (l) and Willard Scott, The Joy Boys (1965) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They were Willard Scott and Ed Walker and improvised comedy was their schtick.  Ed was blind, in fact, blind since birth, so their method of preparation for the show was unique.  They discussed a situation to use as basis for the broadcast, then developed characters which their voices would portray, and Willard wrote out some lead lines to use as the “situation” unrolled on the show.  Before the show, Ed would memorize their discussion.  Then they’d go live and proceed to entertain, enrich, uplift, and encourage all those within earshot.  Just a couple of Joy Boys, the two men remained fast friends.

If I had a trophy or medal, I’d hand it to Willard Herman Scott along with the title “A Man of the Centuries” because he has reverence for the aging, he has a sense of humor, and he vigorously celebrates life.  Do these activities promote harmony in our society?  Indeed.  Carry on, Mr. Scott.

Harmony Keys Blog Launch

Welcome to the inauguration of our Harmony Keys Blog.

What is Harmony Keys?  It is a safe place to talk about relationship issues.

So, since this is an inauguration, or a maiden voyage, let’s start things off by christening our new blog.

English: neck of bottle of champagne

English: neck of bottle of champagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There, we just cracked a bottle of champagne across the proverbial bow.  Can you hear the crowd cheering?

A few years ago, while packing to move to a different state, I discovered a very old assembly of ribbons that were braided in the shape of what must have been a gargantuan champagne bottle.  The bottle was long-gone, but the faded ribbon casing remained, kept in tact by one of my also long-gone relatives.

Ribbons

Ribbons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After searching through family albums, I located a photo of Aunt Josephine with that same ribbon be-decked bottle in her arms, ready to whale it against the bow of a very large ship.  A sturdy-looking lad was beside her, probably assigned to help her whang the bow with the bottle.   It was written under the photo that Auntie Jo was selected to do the honors because Uncle William was in the shipping business.   How they saved the ribbons is a mystery.

If you are worried that we are mixing metaphors here between keys to harmony and ships, cast your concerns aside.   The connection between unlocking doors in relationships and launching new vessels is valid.   Sometimes in relationships, doors are closed, even slammed, and locked.  Sometimes the entire relationship goes into dry dock and is shut down.  In that case, all the doors on the vessel are locked up for safety.  Then people start looking for ways to mend the problem, open communication, and restore a healthy relationship.

So let’s do a little experiment: If you have a memory of a person in your family, or you’ve read about someone in any period of history who impressed you as helping open doors to healthy relationships, jot down your thoughts and send them in.  We will all benefit.  My guess is that, together, we will produce a plethora of invigorating ways that people help people.  Are you game?

Now you know.  At Harmony Keys, we will post articles about relationship dilemmas.  Your comments and questions are respectfully invited.  Welcome aboard!

The Little Boy Who Wrote A Note

There once lived a small boy who knew that people can learn to get along with each other.

He knew, deep in his heart, that it was true.  People who think differently about things can live together in peace, if they put their minds to it.  That’s what minds are for.

So he wrote a note to the world:

No More Hurting People.  Peace.

He wrote it big enough for all to see, on a poster, and added two red hearts and a peace symbol.

He held the poster against his chest and smiled while his dad took his picture.

One day this loving boy ran from the sidelines  to hug his father at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Then he ran back to where his mother and sister were watching.

At that same moment, a loud boom ripped the air and a home-made pressure cooker bomb exploded on the sidewalk near the boy, sending nails and other sharp metal objects into people all around, and into the boy’s body.

The boy died.  His name was Martin Richard.

But he left us the most important message that we need to know in life.  I will always remember what he wrote.

No more hurting people.  Peace.Martin Richard Boy of Peace

And peace for you, dear young Martin.

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