Blog 1480 – 10.07.2019
Judy, Judy, Judy
Yesterday, I saw the wonderful new Renee Zellweger movie about the last days of the incomparable Judy Garland. Goober, one of the later additions to the Andy Griffith Show, that I mentioned in a blog recently, on the show would try to entertain people with his celebrity imitations which consisted of only one and sounded nothing like Cary Grant. Goober would just say Judy, Judy, Judy real fast. But it always got a laugh.
Judy, Judy, Judy we adored you and we miss you belting them out for us. If we had only known how hungry your heart was for love we would have loved you harder, bigger, better. We hope you found that blue bird you were always looking for in your next adventure Over The Rainbow.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
What follows is my glowing review of the movie Judy with the hope that each one reading this will see it if you have not already. I plan to see it again with I am sure tears in my eyes again:
Renee Zellweger’s haunting performance of Judy Garland’s last big singing performance in London was especially so to me. For every year since I was a boy I looked forward to seeing Judy visit Oz and sing Over The Rainbow. I knew all of her performances with Mickey Rooney as Andy Hardy as well. And since my mother was a life-long adoring fan of Clark Gable, Judy’s singing tribute to “Dear Mister Gable” was a special favorite in our house.
Some long-time Judy fans might be disturbed at the mess her life was toward the end but perhaps that it was not always is just the illusion of the silver screen. Judy’s gift, her marvelous voice, was packaged and used by the studio system to make large profits for the owners as was the look and voice of Marilyn Monroe and so many lovely luminaries trying to fill the great emptiness they perceived inside them. But that lie was never true of Judy nor of any of us really for as my lost but never really lost token reads so do all our hearts if we but look closely there to find the true answer to our eternal identity:
My first young wife, Barbara, was a smoker. Twenty years ago the end of this month, she, like Judy passed off this life’s stage at forty seven of a stroke. Like Judy also she left two young children in the care of their father. She was my wife ever so briefly when we were quite young. Our marriage was over before it ever really began just like Judy’s last marriage.
Barbara, too, had a lovely voice but never the fan base Judy had. She smoked and drank like Judy trying to fill a misperceived emptiness inside her and wore herself out early doing so. Or at least that is how it seems to me. Perhaps it was always their plan Judy’s, Barbara’s, Marilyn’s, and my Emily’s but to have shorter performances than some of the rest of us. My, how they shined.
One of Judy’s last lines in the movie is, “You’re gonna miss me.” She was so right. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. I shared my cover of Judy’s Over The Rainbow. Hers as a young girl in Kansas dreaming of heaven or Oz is incomparable. I do so enjoy Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s shortened ukulele version and Josh Groban’s longer version with the extra verse but no one could ever sing it like Judy. And, yes, darling, we miss you and all your lovely singing sisters who have already left the stage. See you later, dear ones.
I do hope you will all spend a couple of hours with Judy. It is not your typical Hollywood princess tale but then neither was her life nor are any really if you look beyond the glamour and glitter. On the screen at the end of the movie flash several important pieces of information, first that six months after her last singing performance in London that Judy died at forty seven. But, even more importantly a quote that sizes up Judy’s life and all of our lives really, a quote from one if not her most beloved movie.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
You are so loved.