"You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning"
by Celia Rivenbark
St. Martin's, 243 pp., $24.99
Reviewed by David Marshall James
She's back and sassier than ever, dripping sarcasm like peach juice runnin' down yo' face on a hot July afternoon.
In this fifth collection of (truly) humorous pieces by syndicated columnist Celia Rivenbark, of Wilmington, N.C., she's cussin' and carryin' on about assorted matters pop-cultural (BTW: great take on Sin-ator Edwards), about how the South has changed since we were young-uns-- when "convenience" stores (read: country stores) had wooden floors worn smooth as satin, and nothin' beat a col' Co' Cola and a bag of salty peanuts.
And, Gladys Kravitz was a cultural touchstone (LOVE the piece on Gladys, Facebook, and the new neighbors).
Yes, our worlds may not have lined up perfectly back in the day, but they DID line up, like the square of cobbler due north of the Salisbury steak on the TV dinner trays (foil, of course-- nobody but The Jetsons had a microwave back then).
Which reminds me of how much I howled at the attack on perfect-attendance kids. They truly don't know what they're missing. Some of my cherished childhood memories center on chicken-noodle soup (with enough sodium to annihilate any microorganism), Paul Lynde and Charlie Weaver on "The Hollywood Squares," and Monty Hall whipping thousand-dollar bills (heck, they don't even MAKE those anymore) out of Candy-Gram boxes on "Let's Make a Deal."
And Dicker & Dicker of Beverly Hills (look it up if you don't remember, or never heard of, it).
And "the lovely Carol Merrill." Law-- we love our Vanna (who still grows her own tomaters), but no one could carress a refrigerator like Carol Merrill.
Love whatcha said about staying home to see Rachel on "Another World" get married-- again. I remember her Momma; am pretty sure she played the mean mother in "A Summer Place," the one who slammed Sandra Dee into the Christmas tree.
Celia, thrilled you've got yourself a red Stang convertible. That's the way to rock the big Five-Oh!
Also thrilled to hear more about your being Pecan Harvest Festival Queen. Heck, I'm just all over your attitude about everything. It'll teach Oprah that she never let you sit on-- or jump off-- her couch.
By the by: During my sophomore year in college, I lived on the same (small and really old) dorm floor as the guy who went on to play Derek Dane on "Another World" (that was during the Linda Dano days, in case you stopped watching after Mack and Rachel's Momma died in real life). To wit: We fellas on that floor shared a communal washroom, with three sinks and two showers. Now, I'm here to tell ya, if "AW" had ever done "NYPD Blue" shots of Derek Dane, that show would still be on the air. Probably in prime time.
Anyway, LOL! This is the best one yet! Hugs, Hon!
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