Archive for the 'People' Category

My Granddad

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James Arthur Groves was born on December 27, 1929. An identical twin, he spent much of his life trying to distinguish himself from his brother, Norman Charles. My great-aunt Marion once told me that one of the twins had been dropped on his head as a child, only no one was entirely sure which twin it had been. My grandfather was adamant that it had been Norman; however, a series of X-Rays my grandfather endured while in his early 70s had solved the mystery and found this not to be the case. 

I first met James Groves in November of 1984. We bonded over a shared genetic history and our mutual love of naps. A constant over-achiever, I cemented my place in his heart when my first distinguishable word was “Granddad.” Perhaps this is an appropriate time to mention that I had a slight speech impediment until the age of four and spoke so quickly that very few people ever actually knew what I was saying. 

But I digress.

Those around him saw James Groves as a philanthropist and a socialite. He had been the President of the Hamilton Philharmonic and of the Hamilton Scottish Rite. He attended all of the right functions and had friends in all of the right places. That said, very few of those people knew the same man that I knew. 

They never met the man who decided a wonderful family tradition would be for all the grandchildren, at every special occasion, to gather round and watch Alice in Wonderland on the television.

To this day, I have nightmares about the Jabberwocky (see above video at around 2:28). Sure, now I can tell that it’s a person in a relatively unconvincing costume, but, from the time I was two just up until I turned twelve (which was coincidentally when someone finally hid the VHS tape my grandfather had recorded the show on to), I found the whole thing incredibly traumatizing.

Boy Bands

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There is no denying it: they just don’t make boy bands the way they used to. It breaks my heart to say it, but the boy band is simply a dying art. And, with Lou Pearlman in jail for money laundering, fraud and making false statements, it seems the boy band is not likely to make a comeback any time soon.

But what about the Joni [plural of Jonas]? I hear you ask. The Joni do not count as a boy band for several reasons. Firstly, they are brothers, and everyone knows that boy bands are manufactured. Secondly, I am confident that they shape their eyebrows. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with males paying attention to their physical appearance; I am just saying that there is a fine line between necessary grooming and being mistaken for that keyboard-playing girl from Hanson.

But I digress.

Boy bands will always occupy a special place in my heart. In fact, I still have a Donnie Whalberg doll back from my New Kids on the Block hysteria in the early 90s. Unfortunately, somewhere along his travels, Donnie Whalberg seems to have lost his pants. Now he hauntingly stares at me from the top shelf of my bookcase, sporting nothing but a black wifebeater, built-in undergarments and a rat tail.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe it is better that boy bands are a thing of the past.

*Please note that I do realize the “keyboard-playing girl from Hanson” is actually a dude.