Books for Everyone!

October 2020 - Looking Forward

Smoke Dreams

In 1936, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, a song called “Smoke Dreams” was featured in the highly enjoyable, highly superb film, After the Thin Man, the second of the Thin Man series. Actress-dancer Penny Singleton, credited as Dorothy McNulty, sings the tune. It’s an odd number, even if the music was composed by the fantastic songwriting duo of Nacio Herb Brown (music) and Arthur Freed (lyrics).

Basically, we have an attractive nightclub singer, using her own (uncredited) voice, to perform a number on New Year’s Eve at the Lichee Club in San Francisco — back in the day when dames wearing furs were women donning opulent evening wear. The lyrics are so completely out of place here that they strangely fit in!

Penny Singleton was a feisty and funny actress. Her professional name kept changing before she went blonde and portrayed the comic strip character “Blondie” of 28 serial films from 1938-1950. Her voice was that of Jane Jetson (the Modern Feminist) in The Jetsons tv cartoon series. It was a flexible, dynamic voice, used cleverly in this film. Her performance of “Blow That Horn” is a celebration song that fits into the movie, complete with musical-note costuming!

“Smoke Dreams” was the mood-setter for the romantic slide into the New Year. Trying to locate the lyrics of this ditty online was an off-putting ride through . . . passing the pipe, tell me another lie, lay by my side . . . Hippie Love at its best (which was never good)!

I did locate on an international database the lyrics, as sung by Helen Ward on the December 1936 recording, done in New York City, of Benny Goodman & his Orchestra. Penny Singleton, as “Polly”, changes the lyrics somewhat in the film; this version is the original:

Smoke dreams here by a camp fire,

Dreaming I see you near me.
Clinging here by a camp fire,

Hoping that you may hear me.

Love, you are the hills of blue,

Darling, I spend this hour with you

In smoke dreams here by a camp fire,

Dreaming you’re close, so close beside me

In smoke dreams, just smoke dreams.

The naming of the November 2018 Paradise, CA fire as The Camp Fire was particularly cruel. Of course, then the requisite lawsuits ensued, with PG&E almost going bankrupt, and the phony Climate Change cause of any California wildfire was not even entered into evidence.

I wonder why?

This past summer was a season of smoke, in the air, in the house, in your food, anywhere it ought not be. The repetitive sight of the Idiot Governor and his double-hand-slicing gesture of the air (undoubtedly a handler’s idea of expressing firm, decisive action — another parody in motion) was as noxious as the smoke.

Dear Husband and I were awaiting the final touches and finishing of the Punch List, and the inspection of our Dream House, a reality that was ushered in by smoke dreams!

For at least the past 20 years, the State of California has endured the enviro-whack-job money-pit and tree-burning mismanagement of forests. The eco-nutcases are not the only ones to blame for this atrocious attitude toward Mother Nature. There are corporations who line their pockets, or rather the Humans of the Corrupt Corp get their palms greased, with tons of money from the big-money globalists who don’t give a rat’s nest about the people who must contend with the blazos going through their forests, their houses, their lives, or about the brave firefighters who form the thin red line between life and death, between a salvaged home and a charred dwelling.

The smoke dreams of California have become real nightmares for these political pawns of the international banksters. The Empty Suits get elected to carry out the will of everyone but the Governed, who haven’t been governed in a very long time.

The reality about forestry management is that wildfires are bound to happen no matter what the policy. The Environmental Whack-job Policy turns the inevitable act of nature into a disaster. Inept, spineless Governors who freak out over any deviation from a happy twitter feed are the equivalent of pouring gasoline onto the flames. I’d say Gavin is a dumpster fire.

After a very wet, rainy season (fall & winter), the spoken fear is:

“Oh, no. It was wet. There will a lot of brush and growth to fuel the wildfires.”

During a drought year (fall & winter), the spoken fear is:

“Oh, no. It was dry. The forests will be tinder-boxes.”

The only sane approach is to use the FORESTS for what God intended them to be: lumber!

The cry of timber is the only cry we sane individuals need to hear in California. Up in Oregon, there’s at least some sanity emerging from their decades of abuse by the Potomac Yacht-Club Politicians. I guess Oregon leads the way on this one.

Here in California, the intrepid among us are hoping for smoke dreams and hills of blue — that don’t go up in smoke!

I very profoundly believe that dreams never go up in smoke. I am inspired on this day by a man who was more than an in-law to this outlaw. He was a brother of the heart, and he was a professional fire-fighter. He fought more blazes than he knew during his time on this earth, and during his years in New Jersey.

The character of Alain Richarde, the heroic brother of Camille in THE DAWN, is my tribute to this kind soul who believed in me when I didn’t yet know how to believe in myself. His nickname for me was “Ace”, and not merely because I aced all of those academic exams. He firmly informed me that I am A Doer — not a Talker.  How well this quiet man knew the true character of each type.  Sometimes it takes a quiet fighter to get the job done, and he certainly got the job done where my smoke dreams were concerned.

I shall never forget when first I journeyed to the New Jersey shore as a child, and this still-young man stood on the beach with me, pointed to the horizon and said that if I looked hard enough, I’d see England.

At the age of eleven, I believed him!

I believe him still. There, beyond the sea, is not only England, but France, and so many other places of the heart.

Your dreams are places of the heart. The brave men and women who fought the flames of wildfires and destruction this past summer, they paved the path for others to follow in their heroic paths:

Take that bold step and move toward the future, your future. Protect your dreams and work to make them come true. Your dreams are a part of you. No one can take them from you, except you, by letting those dreams go up in smoke.