Monday, December 16, 2013

Snow Day and Peter O'Toole

We knew it was coming, and it didn't help.  A big snow was in the forecast several days ago.  It arrived Saturday morning and continued until yesterday morning.  The forecast became more refined with each passing hour, and finally the moment of truth arrived.  Should I travel or get a hotel room?

I don't live far from the station, but the drive can be a challenge at times.  I have a nice all wheel drive vehicle with good ground clearance.  The way I saw the forecast, I could drive home after work Saturday morning before the storm got wound up, and return Saturday night after it wound down.  I passed on the hotel room.

OK.  I miscalculated a wee bit.  The storm was still going strong Saturday night.  To compensate, I left for work an hour early.  There was another decision-- travel Interstate 81 or go through Dunmore and Scranton.  There's a spot, just before my entrance ramp, when I can look down on the interstate.  I didn't like what I saw Saturday night.  Snow covered.  Crawling traffic.  I take my time in the snow, and I've been terrorized by tailgaters.  Plus, I've been temporarily blinded when big trucks cover my vehicle with slush as they pass.  I opted for the city streets.  It was the right move.  The snow was deep in spots, but it was passable, and I could move at a comfortable rate.  I was one of the few vehicles out there.  I made it to the station in good time, and even had a moment to stop at a fast food restaurant for a spicy chicken sandwich and fries.

What I saw when I got to the station surprised me a bit.  It was a big snow, and it wasn't even the top story.  It wasn't even second.  An amber alert for a kidnapped child and a fire at a jail occupied the top two slots.

I started putting together the Sunday morning broadcast, and it fell together rather nicely-- updates on the aforementioned big stories, plus plenty of weather.

The snow wasn't "tops," but there's a lot of winter left.

Peter O'Toole died yesterday and it made me sad.

O'Toole will best be remembered for "Lawrence of Arabia," but I will remember him for my favorite movie, "My Favorite Year."

It wasn't a huge hit back in 1982, but I just loved it.  I can still remember-- I saw it with some college friends, one evening, at the old Ritz Theater on Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton.  "My Favorite Year" was a film about many things-- coming of age, friendship, love, hero worship, facing your shortcomings, fear, a triumph in a situation you have no business being in.  And, it was just plain funny.

Peter O'Toole played a fading movie star, Alan Swann, and he did it with an unmatched swagger and style.  He was larger than life, and in the end, you learn he was just like the rest of us.

I should also note the wonderful performances of Mark Linn-Baker and Joseph Bologna.  Dennis Palumbo wrote the screenplay.  No relation.

Peter O'Toole turned down an honorary Academy Award several years ago because he felt there was still a chance he could win one in a film role.  He later accepted.  There were many nominations over the years, but he never got the trophy.  Sad.  If anyone deserved one, it was Peter O'Toole.

There will never be another.  Peter O'Toole was 81 years old.