THE MASTER OF THE SECOND LAUGH

IMG
Photograph by Olivia Newton John
Subject: Brother Larry Hogan OFM

 

Larry Hogan had the most amazing guffaw. It wasn’t shared with small groups or one-on-one events. In fact, laughter of this more intimate sort was really  slightly more than a chuckle. The guffaw was the second step of an oft – practiced, three-stage occurrence that served Brother Lawrence well when attending his favorite public events. The first step I call Howdy, Howdy. The second was the actual guffaw which I call the Hee – Haw and the third was Yak – Yak.

Yak – Yak came during intermission and though I don’t count it’s social equivalent which followed the finale as number four, this component was the intended goal of Steps One through Three. Let’s call this the Later Gater.

Howdy, Howdy was an information gathering event where Brother Lawrence Hogan, the director of diocesan publicity would scout the other arrivals, greeting friends and acquaintances, accepting introductions and always on the lookout for an invitation to another event or offering such in return if indeed, there was an opportune agenda.

Yak – Yak would be an improved version of  Hee – Haw but with a more condensed version which would include affirmations of earlier, Hee – Haw conversations.

Lest we forget the point of my memoir, Step Two is about the Grand Guffaw which would be appropriate at many Plays, Comedy Routines and Roasts.

Larry’s first response to witty remarks required a finely tuned attention span which began by listening for a First Laugh. The trick was to be the second person to do so. The two outbursts would usually be so close together that it would seem that they were simultaneous. In the usual one – second passage of time to arouse the reflexes of the third laugh many heads would turn to the source of Larry’s impressive Guffaw.

As his head threw back for maximum vocal and visual effect, Brother Lawrence Hogan, the Grand Master of the seizure of central attention, would start his right arm and open hand  flying into the air, pausing for a tenth of a second, descending then, to make an impressive slap on his right knee. Each subsequent rise and fall of upper limbs  was accompanied by the loudest  Guffaws in the room, each ascent followed by both hands returning again to his knees and then up again, down again up again, down again.

By now you are perhaps, asking yourself what this man would do when applauding music, drama or public hanging. I’m not certain about the third of these examples but the first two would be exactly the same as the Guffaw except that the loud stentorian laughter would be replaced with well executed “Bravo”s.

A week before Brother Larry Hogan’s last day on earth, this well-practiced master of manipulation of public vision, the youngest – ever member of the United State Diplomatic Corps and the only man I ever knew who would in his last year be seen on the front page of the Arizona Republic stepping carefully in his  cord – cinctured, brown, wool tunic,  descending the front steps of St. Mary’s Basilica with an unmistakable halo encircling his head (No, it was not photo-shop),  producing and directing, possibly his grandest ever celebration, this being the occasion of his arrival at a diocesan, nursing home in Central Phoenix.

The crowd of Nuns, Friars, friends and kitchen employees attended and applauded his arrival as the Mexican Accordion Masters with their wide – brimmed sombreros, serenaded the occasion.

As usual, Larry noted the First Laugh, in this case coming from The Sister in Charge and broke loose with the loudest Guffaw of his diplomat –  turned friar –  cum – publicist career. Lacking a lap, Larry bent over to reach his right knee, rose for the vocals and plunged once again for the second slap; he missed, I caught him, he tried again and succeeded. The Master of the Last Guffaw was present and accounted – for,  at his Last Hurrah, the Master of the Second Laugh.

 

Advertisements

ANNOUNCEMENT

Lee_Broom

 

“ABOUT: CREATIVITY

 Everything in the Universe is molded from the CRUMBS of something else.

Surely, this is the first rule of Creativity and Creativity must certainly be the first consideration in defining art.

When we live this Creative Experience, whether it be to suddenly hear the first words in a poem on its way into our reality or Miracle of Miracles, helping to form a new person, or stumbling through the agonizing pile of paperwork and interviews to adopt a child, the feeling that accompanies such Creative Endeavors is called LOVE.

The CRUMBS of the Past are the ingredients of the Present and the Memory of Ever.”
CRUMBS, Introduction
Lee Broom.

 I have been writing poetry, essays and  humorous dialogue for decades. My writing though well published on radio and in print periodicals was never until now my major means of earning a living,

The Lee Broom blog site was established as a place to discuss my career activities which for most of my life have been categorically labeled as art and design. It began with a website LeeBroom.com.

While the original site was under construction LeeBroom.com   was  acquired by some means that did not involve my coöperation by another Lee Broom who lives and works in London and who just coincidentally claims to make his living as a designer as I have done for more than forty years.

For the duration of 2015 I will post each Monday from one of six other blog sites.

I am devoting more time now to writing books about popular concepts as viewed from an entirely different light. I will reveal these offerings beginning soon with a book which is currently entitled CRUMBS. “Everything in the Universe is made from the CRUMBS of something else.”

Thank you for your support.

Lee Broom.

 

THE LINE

lafayette compound 009

It was a lovely spring day. The sun was warm, the birds were singing, and the wispy clouds added a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

Quizzical Abner arose early that morning perplexed as usual (the man had many questions) having just awakened with a REM time voice in his head demanding, “Go stand in line”.

“Who said that?” inquired Quizzical Abner.

“Go stand in line.”

Abner rose from his state of confused repose, made his bed and his breakfast as the memory of the command “Go stand in line” continued to echo through his brain.

After his bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of honey mixed with six heaping teaspoons of rolled oats and a half-cup of spring water heated for 90 seconds,   Abner said to himself…

“What a lovely spring day. The sun is warm, the birds are singing, and the wispy clouds add a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all; I think I shall go look for that line. Perhaps I shall stand in it.”

And he did; he went for a walk, that is.

He looked everywhere for the line. Up this walk, down that path…

“Where is that line?” Quizicle  Abner inquired; there was no one there to answer his question.

“Excuse me” said Abner to the first person he met. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Abner and the stranger went on her way.

And Abner stood in line.

Eventually, Quizzical  Abner began to fidget. Standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day even though the sun was warm, the birds were singing and the clouds though wispy, added a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

Impatient and needing to do something, anything at all with his hurried, inquisitive self (Abner was a man with questions) he decided to return to his spring day walk. While strolling down the long sidewalk stretching before him Abner thought to himself, “You know, I probably received the wrong information from that stranger. Perhaps that was not the line, after all. It must be somewhere else. If I hurry to find the right place I may very well be the first person in line; that would be a good thing, wouldn’t it?” He asked this question even though there was no one there to answer.

Eventually however, someone did come along.

“Excuse me” asked Abner. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Abner and the stranger went on his way.

And once again, Abner stood in line.

And as before, Abner eventually began to fidget. He observed once again that standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day; what with the sun so warm, the birds asinging and the clouds though wispy, adding a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

But  Quizzical Abner stood his ground.

Standing in line, Abner wondered to himself, “If this is the line where are the rest of the people?”

Time went on. It was beginning to feel as though he had been standing in line forever.

Eventually however, another stranger approached.

“Excuse me” asked Abner. “Do you know where the line begins?”

“I believe it starts right here,” came the reply.

Abner thought to himself that perhaps he should invite this person to join him. That way, there really would be a line.

“Would you like to stand in line? asked Abner.

“Thank you for asking” replied the stranger; “But this line is much too long” and continued on his way; “Have a nice day”.

Surprised at the stranger’s remark, Quizzical Abner turned around. Behind him was a line of people that seemed to wend its way into Eternity. All were waiting patiently, no one was talking to anyone. “After all” observedQuizzical  Abner (the man with questions) “who wants to talk to the back of someone’s head?”

But as soon as he formed the words, Abner realized that he was now looking into someone’s face, someone who until seconds ago had been studying  the back of  Abner’s head.

“Hi my name is Abner; what’s your name?”

“Dalton” she replied and began to introduce him to several other people behind her. There was Morris, there was Scott and Blanca her centenarian grandmother had come along; her name was Albina Mary.

Albina Mary had more stories in her old noggin than Abner had questions. (And as we know, Quizzical Abner was after all, a man with many questions).

Within minutes this part of the line was starting to look more like a party. And others further back, noticing that the restraints previously defined by the unspoken rules of Linedom had now been broken, began to emulate the conversational opportunities now being made available to them all. As the line evaporated into groups of animated friendliness, everyone gradually migrated to a nearby park.

By the end of this lovely spring day, the sun still warm, the birds no longer singing and the once wispy clouds having surrendered their touch of pastel pleasantness to the gathering cloak of darkness, Quizzical Abner decided to go home, a practical decision (a part of himself with whom he was not very well acquainted wanted to stay and talk with his new friends) and he did just that; went home, that is.

As Abner crawled under the crisp, clean sheets he thought about the day and was oh, so very grateful.

The next morning Quizzical  Abner crawled out of bed, ate a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of honey mixed with six heaping teaspoons of rolled oats and a half-cup of spring water heated for 90 seconds and went out to greet another lovely spring day; the sun was warm, the birds were singing and the clouds though wispy, added a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

Quizzical  Abner (the man with many questions who now had some answers) thought to himself “I think I shall go stand in line.”

And he did.

A modern fable by Lee Broom

THE LINE

lafayette compound 009

It was a lovely spring day. The sun was warm, the birds were singing, and the wispy clouds added a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

Quizzical Abner arose early that morning perplexed as usual (the man had many questions) having just awakened with a REM time voice in his head demanding, “Go stand in line”.

“Who said that?” inquired Quizzical Abner.

“Go stand in line.”

Abner rose from his state of confused repose, made his bed and his breakfast as the memory of the command “Go stand in line” continued to echo through his brain.

After his bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of honey mixed with six heaping teaspoons of rolled oats and a half-cup of spring water heated for 90 seconds,   Abner said to himself…

“What a lovely spring day. The sun is warm, the birds are singing, and the wispy clouds add a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all; I think I shall go look for that line. Perhaps I shall stand in it.”

And he did; he went for a walk, that is.

He looked everywhere for the line. Up this walk, down that path…

“Where is that line?” Quizicle  Abner inquired; there was no one there to answer his question.

“Excuse me” said Abner to the first person he met. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Abner and the stranger went on her way.

And Abner stood in line.

Eventually, Quizzical  Abner began to fidget. Standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day even though the sun was warm, the birds were singing and the clouds though wispy, added a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

Impatient and needing to do something, anything at all with his hurried, inquisitive self (Abner was a man with questions) he decided to return to his spring day walk. While strolling down the long sidewalk stretching before him Abner thought to himself, “You know, I probably received the wrong information from that stranger. Perhaps that was not the line, after all. It must be somewhere else. If I hurry to find the right place I may very well be the first person in line; that would be a good thing, wouldn’t it?” He asked this question even though there was no one there to answer.

Eventually however, someone did come along.

“Excuse me” asked Abner. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Abner and the stranger went on his way.

And once again, Abner stood in line.

And as before, Abner eventually began to fidget. He observed once again that standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day; what with the sun so warm, the birds asinging and the clouds though wispy, adding a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

But  Quizzical Abner stood his ground.

Standing in line, Abner wondered to himself, “If this is the line where are the rest of the people?”

Time went on. It was beginning to feel as though he had been standing in line forever.

Eventually however, another stranger approached.

“Excuse me” asked Abner. “Do you know where the line begins?”

“I believe it starts right here,” came the reply.

Abner thought to himself that perhaps he should invite this person to join him. That way, there really would be a line.

“Would you like to stand in line? asked Abner.

“Thank you for asking” replied the stranger; “But this line is much too long” and continued on his way; “Have a nice day”.

Surprised at the stranger’s remark, Quizzical Abner turned around. Behind him was a line of people that seemed to wend its way into Eternity. All were waiting patiently, no one was talking to anyone. “After all” observedQuizzical  Abner (the man with questions) “who wants to talk to the back of someone’s head?”

But as soon as he formed the words, Abner realized that he was now looking into someone’s face, someone who until seconds ago had been studying  the back of  Abner’s head.

“Hi my name is Abner; what’s your name?”

“Dalton” she replied and began to introduce him to several other people behind her. There was Morris, there was Scott and Blanca her centenarian grandmother had come along; her name was Albina Mary.

Albina Mary had more stories in her old noggin than Abner had questions. (And as we know, Quizzical Abner was after all, a man with many questions).

Within minutes this part of the line was starting to look more like a party. And others further back, noticing that the restraints previously defined by the unspoken rules of Linedom had now been broken, began to emulate the conversational opportunities now being made available to them all. As the line evaporated into groups of animated friendliness, everyone gradually migrated to a nearby park.

By the end of this lovely spring day, the sun still warm, the birds no longer singing and the once wispy clouds having surrendered their touch of pastel pleasantness to the gathering cloak of darkness, Quizzical Abner decided to go home, a practical decision (a part of himself with whom he was not very well acquainted wanted to stay and talk with his new friends) and he did just that; went home, that is.

As Abner crawled under the crisp, clean sheets he thought about the day and was oh, so very grateful.

The next morning Quizzical  Abner crawled out of bed, ate a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of honey mixed with six heaping teaspoons of rolled oats and a half-cup of spring water heated for 90 seconds and went out to greet another lovely spring day; the sun was warm, the birds were singing and the clouds though wispy, added a touch of pastel pleasantness to it all.

Quizzical  Abner (the man with many questions who now had some answers) thought to himself “I think I shall go stand in line.”

And he did.

A modern fable by Lee Broom