About smkelly8

writer, teacher, movie lover, traveler, reader



By Carl Sandburg

I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness.

And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.

They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them

And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the DesPlaines River

And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Stone


Each week Cee challenges bloggers to share black and white photos based on a theme. This week she’s challenging us to share black and white photos of things that feature stones, boulders or rocks. I found a photo of the hands and arms of an ancient statue at the British Museum. I’m curious about the writing on the arms.

For more black and white photos, click here.


Thursday Doors Challenge


Seen Better Days in Beijing

In the hutongs of southeast Beijing, this door is decrepit, but the area’s slated for restoration so soon it’ll be given a new life.


Cared for, modernized

This door was in Lijiang, in an area full of tourist shops.


Beijing, Houhai

Throughout China’s colder climes, all shops and stores give insulate their doors with a bit of outer wear.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time). 

You can see more contributions to the doors challenge, by clicking here.






Serendipity brought me Gigot starring Jackie Gleason of The Honeymooners fame. I remember Gleason’s sitcom from my childhood, but my view of him as an actor in film was vague, i.e. I knew he was in movies, but hadn’t watched any, not even Smoky and the Bandit.

Gleason wrote the story of Gigot, a pet project of his. Gene Kelly directed it and someone else wrote the screenplay. Gigot is a mute janitor in France. He’s the butt of everyone’s jokes and pranks. His landlady cheats him. Yet kind-hearted Gigot lives according to his own generous principles. He never gives up on goodness, though no one treats him well.

Late one night Gigot runs across a prostitute and her young daughter trembling in the rain and he gives them shelter in his basement apartment. Soon Gigot and the girl bond and his life mission becomes keeping Nicole, the girl, in good spirits. The scene where Gigot follows Nicole inside a church and she asks him what this building is was beautiful. Gleason astonished me with his acting. He showed so much heart and intelligence behind the veil of his character’s disability.

The prostitute is just as jaded and conniving as many of the villagers. She argues and berates Gigot, until the scales fall from her eyes, for a time.

The film is moving, but if you can’t take some sentimentality you won’t like it. If you want to see Jackie Gleason’s depth as an actor or just enjoy a movie with a lot of heart, before sarcasm became en vogue, try Gigot.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

The old holiday song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has created quite a stir. I do get how it is now inappropriate, but given the era, I do think the lady was able to leave and it’s more about flirtation than Harvey Weinstein-style sexual abuse.

This is just a bit of silliness.