Sunday, October 17, 2021

Begonia and Teenage Celebrity Crushes


Dave bought a begonia several months ago, and to our surprise it's now blooming. I don't know why we're surprised, exactly, because I know begonias bloom. I guess we bought it primarily for the leaves so we forgot to even consider flowers.

Dave is working part of each day this weekend, recording students who want to audition for Honor Band. This was an annual event before the pandemic, but there hasn't been an Honor Band for the past year or two -- a band composed of auditioning students from many different international schools, assembled through this organization. So it's nice that they're finally able to put one together again.

I, meanwhile, am working my way through yet another Newbery book -- "Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze," from 1932, which is OK but isn't exactly knocking my socks off. I'm about two-thirds of the way through and my goal is to finish it today. We'll see.

I also took the dog to the cemetery, where we saw:


...lots of dew on the grass...


...and the bright berries of wild arum blazing up like flaming, poisonous candles...


...and hawkweed still in bloom.

And then, while walking home, I found this (below).

It's a curious little drawing. I think it's a masked woman? Anyway, it's very small, and I'm not sure how I noticed it lying on the sidewalk, but I did.

Once home again, I watched "The Blue Lagoon," which we recorded from TV months ago. I hadn't seen it in many, many years and I remember it being quite controversial when it was first released -- Brooke Shields being 14 at the time. At least she had a body double for the nude scenes. (Her co-star Christopher Atkins was already 18.) It seems harmless enough -- mostly it made me want to visit Fiji -- but I wonder if it would be made in the same way nowadays. I suspect they'd cast an older actress, and rightly so.

I had quite a crush on Christopher Atkins when I was in high school (as did plenty of other people at that time). I remember sneaking off to the theater one afternoon in 1983 to see "A Night in Heaven," in which he played a male stripper -- it was a terrible movie but he made the ticket price worthwhile. (Plus it took place in my home state, Florida, on the so-called "Space Coast" near Titusville.) I wasn't out to anyone else back then and the whole excursion felt quite illicit. It's hard to believe he's 60 years old now. To employ a clich├ęd phrase, where does the time go?

I also had a teenage crush on Lance Kerwin. Remember him? And then he became an evangelical minister and had some legal problems. Can I pick 'em, or what?

Now he's also 60.

Christ!

39 comments:

  1. I've not heard of Lance Kerwin but snap for Atkins. He was luscious. Always sad to Google them and see what they now look like. A couple who held up quite well were Scott Baiao and Noah Hathaway.

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    1. He might have held up well in the looks department, but let me tell you, you want to talk about a tool...

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    2. Scott Baio is, sadly, a right-wing nutcase.

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  2. It can't be easy for a teenage lad, confused about his sexuality, finding someone to talk to about it and seeing a way forward that is clear, proud and unapologetic.

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    1. Well, by that time, I'd realized I couldn't simply resist it (and didn't really want to) so I was embracing my identity and moving forward, but keeping it to myself!

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  3. I never did see Blue Lagoon, nor had I ever heard of A Christopher Atkins stripper movie. Clearly no loss. We had a bed of wax begonias near our pool in Connecticut. Beautiful, as are your photos.

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  4. If I ever watched the Blue Lagoon I don't remember it though, just having read up on it, the story line is intriguing. At least the girl didn't get holed up with a mousy spotty tongue tied hunchback, and vice versa. That's the beauty of film vs reality.

    I wonder where people obsessing over nudity at a young age comes from. On one hand parents will, with abandon and not a second thought, take photos and footage of their kids frolicking on the beach, garden, in the bath (There is a photo of my father; apparently a rite of passage at the time. Baby boy on some fur, in the nude, on his front, head up, bottom round. Don't tell anyone or my poor dead grandparents won't live it down). On the other, as soon as kids hit puberty, there appears to be adults' coyness which is, in my opinion, totally out of sync with reality. But then, to this day, sexuality (not least the awakening of it) is, alongside death, the last frontier of taboos.

    As to body doubles: A twenty five year old's body is not so different from a fourteen year old one. So what's the difference to the viewer? Think Bo Derek in TEN. She was sixteen when the director, thirty years older than her, later her husband, cast her. The outrage wasn't over whatever nudity there was but the age difference between John Derek and Bo. Even I would chew on that one if I had a daughter - a fate I have, luckily, been spared.

    U

    PS Your Begonia is a ten.

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    1. I think even parents are less likely nowadays to take nude pictures of their kids than they used to be. There's much better awareness now of the ways kids can be exploited.

      On the other hand, Western society has long been queasy about sexuality to a crazy degree. Thanks to the Victorians, as I understand it!

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  5. I haven't seen a begonia like that.. very different and stunning!
    Wet grass and Autumn, time for different footwear! Good to see all the fruits and flowers brightening up the days still.

    Small drawings like that make a big impression

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    1. Yeah, it's really soggy out there! Fortunately I have some good water-resistant walking shoes.

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  6. Teenage crushes... ah, nostalgia. Heroin for old people as my son once said!

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  7. I love your begonia plant. I've never seen one like that. What kind is it? And I love your coleus too. (last post) They are beautiful and easy to grow. Over here, we are doing the same thing. (a lot of us) We wear masks when other folks are around and take them off when they leave. I love taking photos of the dew on the plants. It makes the plants look sort of magical. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. I don't know offhand what type of begonia it is. I'll look at the plant when I have a chance and report back!

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  8. I had those same crushes. Too bad Kerwin turned out to be such a tool.

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    1. As is so often the case with teenage sex symbols. Leif Garrett, anyone? (I never understood his appeal.)

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  9. that is a very striking bebonia. I have never seen The Blue Lagoon but I do remember the controversy.

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    1. I do too! It really caused a storm at the time.

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  10. Begonias can have quite beautiful blossoms, can't they?
    Mr. Moon's "Blue Lagoon" fantasy came a tiny bit close to true when we were in the Bahamas when we were first together and lo and behold! he actually ran in to Brooke Shields who smiled at him and said, "I like tall men!" I missed the whole thing. He will never forget.

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  11. I love those polka-dot leaves on the begonias. If fact all your photos today are great, even the masked lady. You made me think about my school girl crushes. While all the girls were swooning over George Maharis, I was in love with Martin Milner. If you think 60 is a shock, Milner would be 90 if he was still around.

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    1. Oh, Martin Milner! He WAS cute back when he was young -- before "Adam-12."

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  12. I've never heard of the two young actors you named. I can't tell if it's my failing memory or if I actually never heard of them.
    I have heard of begonias though, and these polka-dot leaves are beautiful!

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    1. Maybe you just weren't paying much attention to movies back in the mid- to late '70s!

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  13. That begonia is amazing! Love the dots!
    I had a crush on Ricky Nelson! My brother gave me a Ricky Nelson record for Christmas but I accidentally sat on it a cracked a bit of the edge. Still have it tho!! Strange memories!

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    1. Ricky Nelson was cute in his time. There's a great video of him on YouTube singing with Dean Martin, from the 1959 movie "Rio Bravo."

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  14. The leaves on that begonia are stunning! The little flowers are sweet, but can hardly compete with those leaves!

    I love taking dewy or post-rain photos. Lovely photo of the grass.

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  15. Christopher Atkins had fr too much hair for my liking

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    1. It was the '70s! (Well, early '80s.) EVERYBODY had a lot of hair!

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  16. That begonia is spectacular - flowers are a bonus.

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  17. I cannot hear the word begonia without thinking of my mother, who tended many of them them in the garden of my childhood home. I can't stop thinking of you as a yearning teen, watching a movie everyone else was watching and feeling as if you were doing something illicit. Things worked out well in the end, I'd say. Life is such a journey, and I think we only really realize how far we've traveled when we cast out minds back to where we started.

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    1. Yeah, it really DOES get better, as all the YouTube activists were saying to young LGBT people a couple of years ago.

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  18. I live near Titusville as well. They had tornadoes Friday.

    That begonia is quite striking.

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    1. That's not a part of Florida I visited very often, because I lived on the other side of the state near Tampa -- but I still considered it my home turf for movie purposes. :)

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  19. I don't think I have ever seen Blue Lagoon, but I remember my peers talking about Brooke Shields in it.

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