Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 21, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 13

13 Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 21, 2023OPINIONOPINION 13 Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 21, 2023OPINIONOPINION 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Dinah Chong WatkinsHoward HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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Two weeks ago I submitted an article which through some 

oversight never received publication. Well, now two weeks later 

I am suffering from Covid and having a great deal of trouble 

focusing. Those select few of you who regularly read my col

umns are well aware that sticking to the subject has never been 

my strong point. Another question might be what is my strong 

point? There might come a time when I attempt to answer that 

question; but, now is not the time. I intend this week’s column 

to simply be a rehashing of the unpublished column with some 

additional, I hope appropriate comments thrown in

Before proceeding, see I’m already off topic, let me de

scribe my present condition. It is over ten days since I received 

notice of my positive Covid test from Kaiser. Prior to going in for the test I had been feeling 

very tired and foggy; not knowing what was wrong but knowing something was out of kilter. 

On Saturday morning, January 7th I wakened with severe bronchial congestion along with 

other assorted aches and pains. I believe my wife and I were supposed to meet my daughter 

and granddaughter for breakfast that morning so I called my daughter and explained my 

condition to her. She suggested, more or less ordered me, to go to Kaiser and be tested for 

Covid. Okay, so my results came back positive but during that week I managed to compose 

the article that did not get published. 

The article began with the question “So let’s see what the New Year will bring” refer

ring to my column of the previous week. If you are already confused don’t worry about it;

it’s probably my fault. Just today I got tired of being confined to the house so I put on a mask 

and decided to take my dog for a walk just as I do every morning. As I began to walk around 

my canyon circle I realized that I forgot something—my dog. Actually I don’t know if this 

accurate or not. After deciding to go outside I conscientiously put on a mask, put on a jacket 

and got a hat to protect my head from the sun. I walked a little bit and realized I had forgot

ten my phone. Even after that I still knew something was wrong—yes, no dog. What I am 

unsure about now is whether or not the story I am telling is true. The facts as I have stated 

are true except for the fact that all along I might have not intended to bring the dog. I just 

might be making that part up because I think it is more descriptive of my present condition,

but then again it might be true. I really don’t know and that kind of confusion is indicative 

of what I am afraid is a long term effect of Covid.

Another example happened two days ago. I ran out of shaving cream and blades and 

tooth paste. I put on a mask and went out to the car for a quick trip to the drug store. I know 

I shouldn’t have done it. I usually have my handicapped placard in the car but it had fallen 

to the floor or something and I didn’t take the time to look for it. I went into Walgreen’s 

wanting to get in and out as quickly as possible but it was not possible. Believe it or not the 

blades were locked up and a sign said to contact a service person to get them unlocked. Now 

remember I am trying to avoid people and just want to get home but now I have to go around 

looking for help. Eventually I found someone who then found someone who could unlock 

the blades which he did but still he wouldn’t hand me the blades. I was instructed to follow 

him to the cash register and I was given the blades after I paid for them. I asked why this was 

the store policy regarding the blades and was told that it was necessary because people often 

tried to steal the blades. 

Enough was enough. Clutching the bag now with blades, razor, and toothpaste I 

went into the parking lot searching for my car. Normally the car would be parked in the 

handicapped only section but this time I had not found the placard and I looked around 

for the car. There it was I thought, an old grey SUV pretty similar to many other cars. I 

opened the passenger door, threw done the shopping bag, put down my jacket and began to 

walk around to the driver’s side door. Suddenly, a woman’s voice cried out from way in the 

back of the car. Maybe she had been sleeping but anyway it hit me that this was the wrong 

car. I mumbled some apology through my mask and picked up the shopping bag and what 

I thought was my jacket and found my own car and with some confusion managed to drive 


 When I got home, no maybe it was the next day, my wife noticed that the jacket I 

brought home was the wrong jacket, not my own, I had inadvertently taken someone else’s 

jacket from the car. My wife glared at me indicating I shouldn’t have left the house in the first 

place. I am still feeling very unfocused and my mind jumps from one thing to another. As 

you can tell by the fact that I promised to write about my old article and I never even got to it. 

I want to blame the Covid and I hope you won’t blame me for failing to stick to the subject. 

Oh, I guess that is the subject. 





Montreux, Switzerland: The fresh snow pack on the mountains 
was glistening in the sun like a holiday postcard. It 
was worth the luxury price tag, not that it was coming out 
of my wallet. 

Slim and elegant Europeans, downed their short shot of 

Jäegermeisters before clicking into their skies and gliding away. Amongst these 
swanning skiers with my equipment clearly marked RENTAL, I felt like a dowdy 
old aunt. 

I struggled onto the chair lift, after a few minutes of swaying up the glacial mountainside 
came the moment of truth, exiting from the lift with grace and precision. 
Unfortunately, my patented Frogger hop snagged the tip of my ski on the snow 
mound and I bumbled off the chair jostling the stranger who rode up with me. He 
looked back without a word, his pursed lips and furrowed brows said everything -
“tourist” or at least that’s what I like to think he meant. 

I could blame it on my overindulgence of the local cheese fondue, but the snowsuit 
I was wearing fit extra snug, maybe it was the European style, to be all mashed upinside like a sausage casing. I was busy tugging at my backside, trying to relieve 
an incoming wedgie when I caught a glance of the the posted sign; a silver square 
for the intermediate hill and a black diamond for the Fear Factor slope. Instead of 
tourist-friendly arrows with directions, under the symbols were the French words 
for Left and Right. Counting on my fifth grade French I turned and skied towards 
“la gauche”. Nothing was “droit” after that. 

The Sound of Music, this was not. The mountainous edge was pocked with more 
moguls than a Fortnite-addicted teen's face. Nature turned the vertical drop into 
a liability-free Tower of Terror. I paused, could I go back? My for-hire equipment 
made the decision for me, I started to slide downhill. 

A few seconds later I heard someone screaming, I realized it was me, blowing by the 
dozens of moguls and fancy-garbed Europeans schussing down the slopes. I prayed 
for deliverance and suddenly it came in the form of a middle-aged French woman. 
Thank goodness she was carrying a few extra pounds, our collision made my landing 
so much softer. My fifth grade French teacher never taught me all the words she 
was shouting at me. They say the Italians talk with their hands, but hey, this Parisian 
wasn’t all bark, she looked like she was ready to bite. I took the high road and 
sat on my bum, sliding down to the bottom of the hill in ignominious anonymity. 

Afterwards, I retreated to the lodge, the warm licks by the fireplace slowly defrosted 
my frostbitten toes from the LEGO brick ski boots that squeezed my feet like a 
lemon press for the past 6 hours. The waitress brought me a comforting mug of hot 
chocolate followed by a well deserved pot of of cheese fondue. 

I was finishing my third pot of fondue when I spotted her, the Parisian, wildly gesticulating 
and relaying to her friends what I guess was our previous encounter. I 
recognized some of the words she yelled at me earlier on the mountain. She turned 
my way and we almost made eye contact. I quickly jumped up and camouflaged 
myself in a passing group of Japanese tourists. 

Later I looked back and thought about the cause of all this grief. My skiing skills 
were tight, I’m not saying Lindsey Vonn got her moves from me, ‘cause she didn’t, 
but it was a rare occurrence that I had to bum slide down the mountain top. 

Then it finally came to me. Go big and buy my own equipment next time and don’t 
ever, ever - improve on my fifth grade French. 

Dinah Chong Watkins column appears every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. 

Catch breaking news at:

Have you ever wondered what your 
favorite movie would be like if your 
favorite actor in the movie didn’t 
get cast? Let’s take a look and see if 
we can find anything interesting. 
“Batman Begins” (2005). The 2005 superhero movie that starred 
Christian Bale in the title role. Well, did you know who else was 
offered the role? Jake Gyllenhaal was standing by to play Batman 
if Christian could not do the movie. David Boreanaz, who we 
know as “Booth” in “Bones”, or the vampire “Angel” in “Buffy 
the Vampire Slayer” turned down the role. Henry Cavill (Superman) 
, Daniel Day-Lewis and Ashton Kutcher were also seriously 

“Legally Blonde” (2001) We all loved Reese Witherspoon as “Elle 
Woods”. Imagine if Gwyneth Paltrow hadn’t turned down the 
role. Or Alicia Silverstone, Tori Spelling or Charlize Theron. 
“The Lord of the Rings:” (2001) Rock star David Bowie wanted to 
play the role of Elf Lord, “Elrond”. Hugo Weaving won the part. 
Sean Connery turned down the role of “Gandalf”. He said he read 
the script and couldn’t figure out what was going on. Jake Gyllenhaal 
shows up again auditioning for the role of “Frodo” which was 
played marvelously by Elijah Wood. Keanu Reeves wanted to play“Aragorn”. Uma Thurman would have played “Arwen” except she 
was with child. So Liv Tyler got the part even though Reese Witherspoon 
was also considered for the role. 

“The Godfather” (1972). First off, Director Sergio Leone was offered 
the chance to direct the film, but he didn’t like the story. 
Who’s Sergio Leone? He directed Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti 
westerns. Jack Nicholson was offered the part of Michael Corleone 
but declined. Also considered were Dustin Hoffman. Robert 
DiNiro, Burt Reynolds, Robert Redford and Warren Beatty…
for the role won by Al Pacino. Apparently, everyone wanted in.
What about the “Godfather” himself. Get this: Frank Sinatra lobbied 
hard for the job. As did Ernest Borgnine, Burt Lancaster, 
Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn Least we forget DannyThomas and Orson Welles were also considered. 

“Gone With the Wind” (1939). Two iconic roles were Scarlett 
O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Ladies first: 
Those actresses seriously considered for the role of Scarlett won 
by Vivien Leigh: Basically everybody lol. Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, 
Katherine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Irene Dunne, Joan Crawford, 
Jean Arthur, Carole Lombard, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan 
Bennett, Paulette Goddard, Lana Turner. 
Olivia DeHavilland won the role of Melanie Hamilton. Others 
who were considered. Olivia’s sister, actress Joan Fontaine was offered 
the role, turned it down and suggested her sister play the 
part. Others included Loretta Young, Janet Gaynor, Maureen 

Now the guys: Before we get to Rhett Butler, the role won 
by Clark Gable, let’s look at the role of Ashley Wilkes (played byLeslie Howard). Tyrone Power was a popular choice. Sadly, he was 
contracted with another studio. A young Vincent Price sought 
the role but Mr. Price was too big and masculine). Cowboy star 
Randolph Scott was a fan favorite. 

Finally, we get to Rhett Butler. My favorite, Ronald Colman. 
Others who were considered: Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn. 
“Gone With the Wind” writer Margaret Mitchell had two choices 
to play Rhett. Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), and Julius Marx. 
Don’t know who Julius Marx is? You may know him as “Groucho” 
Marx (would have made the story a little different. 

Hope you enjoyed this trip down “What Might Have Been Lane.” 
By the way, my band, JJ Jukebox is playing tonight, (our Crosby, 
Stills, Nash acoustic sound) Saturday, January 21st at Corfu Restaurant, 
48 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. 6:00-8:30…or so. Come by for 
great food. February 4th we’re back at Nano Café with the full 
rock and roll band. (626) 325-3334 for reservations. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
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