Nana Remembers the Steps…

I remember well when Dad put these steps in...

I remember well when Dad put these steps in…

I remember being around 5 years old and bugging Dad to take me to the store with him at one point when he was working on these. He’d take us to the store, Mann’s Grocery and we’d get either a Nu-Grape, Pepsi, RC or a Dr. Pepper on those hot summer days. He built these so we could get in and out house easier–especially since his youngest daughter (MOI) was such a bloody clutz…  Today they will be covered–but not removed. We are having to put in a wheelchair ramp for my mother now.

Ironically, he built the steps for the same purpose this ramp is being built–to make going into and out of the house easier. My mother fell a few days ago and has broken her back in two places.  Age has ravaged her, but it has not broken her spirit. She is slowly making her way up another set of steps into the unknown–just as all of us will.  Hopefully, we’ll have her around for a while longer. I’m not ready to let her go. Thankfully she is up, alert and eating again but we were very scared at first.

And soon, these steps will be covered, hidden from sight just as my dad now is.  Yet I feel his presence in my life today.  I remember the love he had for us, not wanting to see us fall and get hurt, when he put those steps in.  The ramp being put in is also a poignant reminder that one day I will be an orphan, and the little girl in me is not ready for that right now anyway.  For now though, I am grateful that the day I dread is not here–and hopefully not for a very long time.

The Sign of the Ram (1948)

This performance should have gotten Susan Peters more work and an Oscar nod…Unfortunately, those times were different. Maybe in the present she can get the respect she richly deserves.


This is probably one of the most important films in Oscar History–even though it never received a nod.  Susan Peters–who played the calculating, manipulative matriarch definitely should have received one.  There is only one performance that tops hers and that was that of Dame Judith Anderson in “Rebecca” years prior.

The performance of Dame Judith Anderson in the film “Rebecca” was also brilliant!


The  classic movie channels such as AMC or TCM show “The Sign of the Ram” very rarely.  They need to release it on dvd.  It never has been re-released–period! Not on VCR–nothing!  That is sad because the script writing was top-notch for the era and the acting was wonderful to watch.  The writers didn’t make the mistake of making this to where there was too much empathy for Leah St. Aubyn, that is for certain!  It definitely puts forth that there is a difference between disability and being “differently-abled” and it is tragic that the studios couldn’t see beyond Ms. Peters wheelchair to give her more work as they did for Lionel Barrymore when he became wheelchair bound.

I do realize that times were different, but I wanted to bring recognition to one of Hollywood’s “Lost Treasures”.  The Motion Picture Academy should give some sort of recognition to this film and to Ms. Peters.  For her to work after such an accident during those times should have at least gotten her some type of lifetime achievement award.  That would be nice to see, I think.

This script definitely left nothing out. It would be nice to see an updated version of this–not one with a lot of crap thrown in for adult ratings either–stick with the story as it was written–just update the dialogue and cast.  I think as far as the time period–it would be best to keep it in the 40’s or 50’s era due to the social issues brought up in the original film.  I would want Ben Cross for the part of Mallory, as he is an older gentleman married to the younger Leah–and I would make his character a bit more intimidating of Leah in the end once his suspicion of her is aroused…I don’t know who I’d want to play Leah though.  Christine would be another role that would be difficult for me to cast if I were the one behind this one…


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Perceptions of Those Who Are Different From Ourselves…

How do our fears and perceptions affect how we view others?  Can’t answer that? I can…Society tends to view disabled people as inferior, regardless of the physical condition.  They are not inferior.  They have a unique world view because of how they are seen, and they can offer us a lot, if we accept what it is they present to us.

A few years ago  I worked on a class project during which  I had to pretend I was mentally handicapped and go into different businesses to see who would assist.  Only 1 person in 10 assisted. The rest were intimidated by the speech impediment I presented and age level at which I was asking questions (adolescent).   I went to fast food places, Beall’s, JC Penney, and Wal~Mart.  The staff who were the most patient and willing to assist were in Wal~Mart, Barnes and Noble and at Starbucks!   The hardest part to do was pretending to cry in the mall because I couldn’t find my “guardian”.  Most walked by, but one person walked with  me to security, where they called the rest of my study group…Code name for them was “Red Williams”.  It sure changed my perspective on how society views others who are differently-abled  to do that project.

At five of those places, I was required to use the electric cart to shop and ask for help. Again, Wal~Mart, JC Penney and Barnes and Noble came through!   Other places of business were downgraded by 10 points for the following behaviors, walking off and saying “I’ll be right back.” and then no one would come back after 5 minutes,  refusing to call for help when I made it “obvious” that I was lost, etc…

Differently-abled should be the term we use to describe them. Maybe as a society, we will become more inclusive if we actually change our view on the subject.  I know that this project taught me much about how people think when it comes to the subject. If you don’t believe me, try what I did and see how you are treated.  You will come away from it with a whole new perspective on how things SHOULD be as opposed to how they really ARE.