The current iteration of Sunday Stealing is If…
1. If you could change the ending to one movie you have seen, which one would it be, and how would you reshoot it?
At the end of Titanic, Rose is brought back to the site three-quarters of a century after the disaster. She drops the Heart of the Ocean necklace into the ocean. I think this was supposed to be romantic. It feels like the last three-quarters of a century in her life, with children and grandchildren, was meaningless.
But it’s better than an alternative ending which was filmed but not used. “Lizzy (Rose’s granddaughter) spots her grandmother climb up on the railings. She rushes forward with Brock [the expedition leader]… Rose tells them not to get any closer. She holds up the Heart of the Ocean and threatens to drop it.
“Brock pleads with Rose to let him hold the diamond just once, but Rose tells Brock that he ‘looks for treasure in the wrong places,’ telling him that life is priceless and they should make each day count.
“Rose tosses the diamond overboard while Brock’s team shows up and watches on incredulously. The same scene of the gem hitting the water is used before we cut back to Brock and Rose. The former laughs at his team before asking Lizzy to dance.”
2. If you were to select a food that best describes your character, what food would it be?
Spinach. Green, crunchy, underappreciated.
3. If you could cure any disease, which would it be?
Cancer seems to manifest as several different diseases. My father died of prostate cancer, but I know several people who have died of other cancers. My dear choir friend Marion Motisher died, and I was a pallbearer on my 39th birthday.
4. If you had to describe the single worst thing a friend could do to you, what would it be?
I have a current example of someone I considered a dear friend. They accidentally butt-dialed me some months ago but promised to call me soon—radio silence.
5. If you could be a contestant on any game show, which would you like to be on?
The $100,000 Pyramid, no doubt. I tried out for it in the 1970s when I was living in NYC, when it was the $10,000 Pyramid, but I never got past the first round. I enjoy watching it when it returns each summer.
6. If you could choose the music at your own funeral, what would it be, and who would play it?
I’ve actually thought about this a lot. I would like a pianist I know to play Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude” Op.28 No.15. Of course, my church choir would sing. I have a few possibilities. I Will Not Leave You Comfortless by Titcomb, which the choir just sang at the funeral of a choir spouse. Or How lovely is thy dwelling place from the Brahms German Requiem (in English), which I sang with others at my former church for Jim Kalas; there are probably other choices. I want hymns that have harmony vocals; no unison stuff. And I want an Amen; we don’t sing amens – maybe a Sevenfold one.
7. If you had to spend all of your vacations in the same place for the rest of your life, where would you go?
Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I was there in 1991 and 1992 but not since.
8. If you could ask God a single question, what would it be?
This is a serious answer because all the Big Questions about the afterlife would be self-evident. When I was about twelve, I walked down the street in Binghamton, NY. Suddenly, a lens on the glasses I was wearing cracked. What happened? I heard nothing. It couldn’t have been a BB gun, I don’t think. Was it a tiny meteorite? In any case, my eye was fine, but I was greatly startled.
Almost picked ice cream
9. If you could eat one food in any quantity for the rest of your life with no ill effects whatsoever, what food would you choose?
Pie because it is the perfect food. You can have savory like a chicken pot pie. You can have a variety of fruit pies, and I would eat them in rotation. Then there’s pizza.
10. If you could have a year anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
New Zealand. It’s about as far away from me as you can get. It’s a reasonably safe place. They speak English there. And I could meet Arthur.
11. If you could forever eliminate one specific type of prejudice from the earth, which would it be?
May I pick xenophobia? No? Okay, I’m going with sexism because the current manifestation of it, in big ways (Iran) and small, diminish men as well as women.
12. If you could own one painting from any collection in the world but were not allowed to sell it, which work of art would you select?
The Scream by Edvard Munch. I relate to it sometimes.
13. If you could ask a single question of a dead relative, what would it be, and whom would you ask?
That would be Pop, my father’s dad. Someone told me something about him I had never heard before, and I wanted to verify it.
DVD on DVD
14. If you had to choose the best television show ever made, which one would you pick?
I will pick The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966). It’s one of three programs that ran longer than a season for which I have the complete DVD set. Not incidentally, I just discovered that you could see the episodes at https://www.youtube.com/@FilmRiseTelevision/playlists FilmRise Television.
15. If you could write letters to only one person for the rest of your life, who would receive them?
I’m a terrible letter writer. And I used to be quite good before the advent of email. I’ll say my friend Mark because he writes lovely and loquacious prose.