7 February, 2000













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Rod in action at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001. 
Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.

A Thought for Today

Be tender every time you bid your friends goodbye, who knows if or when you will meet again.


Rod is on the road for a couple of weeks and will be back with you at the beginning of September.


I love words. Underused words or words new to me, of course, but also those overused or used so often their definitions become muddled. Take the word glamour, I hear it applied to everything or anything that looks halfway decent.


In 1981 the Los Angeles Times did an interesting piece on glamour. They approached it by asking the offspring of a number of actors and actresses who had achieved a certain amount of glamour themselves what their definitions were of the word.

Those polled included the children of Julie Andrews, Harpo Marx, David McCullum, Gregory Peck, Robert Stack, Walter Matthau, Mary Martin and Harry Belafonte.

Here are some of the answers:

“Glamour means having confidence.” – Valentin McCallum Bronson.

“Any natural setting or natural style of dress that allows a person’s real character to come through.” – Charles Stack

“I have difficulty understanding why people think jewels and furs are glamorous, to me glamour is all about having interests greater than yourself.” –Charles Matthau.

“Fifty years ago glamour was the end-all, now it’s just something nice to keep in my back pocket and play with once in awhile.” – Gregg Marx

Julie Andrews’ and Blake Edwards’ daughter Jennifer said: “To me, Hollywood glamour is Carole Lombard in a while Rolls, arriving at a ‘do.’ That sort of thing is irrelevant to my life now.”

Mary Martin’s granddaughter Heidi Hagman (the daughter of Mary’s son, actor Larry Hagman) capped it off by stating: “To make me comfortable, any glamorous occasion must have one foot on the ground.”

There is no doubt that glamour itself and the individuals idea of it change drastically through the decades. Undoubtedly kids in the punk generation with tri-color hair, safety pins piercing their cheeks decked out in the uni-sex look, think they’re the epitome of glamour. Maybe. Glamour is an attitude. It doesn’t call attention to itself. It simply is. To carry it off you don’t need this year’s fashion, next year’s haircut or a starlet on your arm. If you’re a man and you act like one, and other men respect you and - very importantly, the opposite sex senses something incredibly irresistible about you, you’re obviously glamorous whether you’re a truck driver or a tycoon.

A woman doesn’t need tons of makeup, diamonds and furs and a blank check from Daddy Warbucks to give her that extra something. She, too, needs to exude that indefinable suggestion of not only assurance but something promised that isn’t quite apparent.

Glamour is understatement but understatement in such a way that whoever you are and whatever you do, when you walk into a room or pass through a crowd, heads turn. Like a lot of things in life, glamour can’t be taught. And if you have to define it for yourself, you really don’t have it.

This isn’t meant to be mean in any way and it’s merely this man’s opinion but Elizabeth Taylor has glamour to give away. Joan Collins merely dresses the part.

From a 1983 journal. Previously unpublished.

- RM 02/07/2000

Rod McKuen concert and appearance details can be obtained via the link below.

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Shiela Armstrong o Danny Bonaduce o Neville Brand o Fidel Castro o Quinn Cummings o Dan Fogelberg o Pat Harrington, Jr. o Alfred Hitchcock o Don Ho o Ben Hogan o Rex Humbard o Bert Lahr o Claudia McNeil o Freddie Mercury o Annie Oakley o Gene Raymond o Buddy Rogers o George Shearing o Kevin Tighe o Regis Toomey o Deborah Walley
Rod's random thoughts A kiss can heal a wound but not a fracture.

Some fantasies come late: mine is building a barn.

Write as it happens. Only brief corrections should be allowed, or throw it out.


If I could have my first life back
I’d treat it better, oh, I would.
I’d tend its ills and feed it good
and guard it from attack.

If not a whole life, half perhaps.
I’ve much to make up for and I
would take half life where no birds fly
and women fold their legs to laps.

Not one quarter will you give
to one who wasted life away.
Why are young men taught to pray
if there’s no second life to live ?

-from “Valentines,” 1986

© 1983, 1986, 2000, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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