Hearst Castle, aka “San Simeon,” is a National Historic Landmark in California built on 40,000 acres of privately owned, Hearst family property. All the “too much is not enough” sumptuous fabulosity was conceived by William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publishing tycoon and Julia Morgan, “America’s first truly independent female architect.” This is our setting for “The Printer’s Ink Birthday Party.”
We are in the uppermost ballroom which was inspired by the Pope’s palace on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. All the gilded, elaborately carved tables are laden with original ink versions of Saul Steinberg caricatures of each of the celebrants and handwritten, notebook versions of Barry Manilow songs and Tupac Shakur poetry.
You feel the joy as you enter the gigantic, carved doors of Casa Grande, the centerpiece of the San Simeon estate. HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! (Note: The comments attributed to these famous joy-givers come from words they have written or said.)
PLEASE GIVE A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THESE AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK:
June 12—JIM NABORS (born James Thurston Nabors in Sylacauga, Alabama) was an actor, singer and comedian widely known for his signature television character, “Gomer Pyle.” He was discovered by Andy Griffith while Nabors was performing in a Santa Monica nightclub. Later, he joined “The Andy Griffith Show” playing Gomer Pyle and starred in the spin-off as the loveable, guileless rube, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
Nabors, who was gifted with a lush, baritone singing voice, recorded numerous albums, mostly of romantic ballads. A longtime resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, Jim Nabors would return each Memorial Day for the opening ceremonies of the Indianapolis 500 auto race (1972 to 2014) to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana.”
June 13—THE OLSEN TWINS, Ashley Fuller Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen, are fashion designers and former actresses. They made their acting debut together playing the character “Michelle Tanner” on the television sit-com “Full House.” Their successful fashion business, The Row, is named after the Savile Row tailors’ district in London. The Olsen Twins were named “Womenswear Designer of the Year” by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 2012 and again in 2015.
June 14—BURL IVES (born Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives) was a folk-pop-country singer, musician, actor and author. He began as an itinerant singer and guitarist. One of his earliest hits was “The Wayfaring Stranger.” Another, and this recording captures Ives’ gifted whistling, was “The Big Rock Candy Mountain.”
He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in “The Big Country.” Ives was also a great “Big Daddy” in the film version of Tennessee Williams’ play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” He is often associated with the Christmas season. Burl Ives is the voice of “Sam the Snowman” in the claymation holiday television classic “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” He sings the title song of that joy-giving, jingle-belling show and “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”
June 15—SAUL STEINBERG was a Romanian American cartoonist and illustrator best known for his witty work in “The New Yorker Magazine.” He described himself as “a writer who draws.”
June 16—TUPAC SHAKUR (born Lesane Parish Crooks) was a rapper and actor. He is widely considered one of the most influential rappers of all time. He sold 75 million records worldwide. “Rolling Stone Magazine” named Shakur in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”
June 17—BARRY MANILOW (born Barry Alan Pincus) is a singer-songwriter, music arranger, pianist, music producer and actor whose career has spanned 50 years. His hit songs as a writer include: “I Write the Songs,” “Mandy,” “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).” He has sold more than 85 million records as a solo artist, making him one of the world’s best-selling singers.
June 18—WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST III is an American heir, media giant and philanthropist. He is a recipient of the Roy W. Howard Award for his public service to various social causes.
Here are quotes from the Hearsts’ printer’s ink empire:
“A politician will do anything to keep his job—even become a patriot.”
“Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it’s more interesting.”
“I do not think any man should be attacked because of his race or religion, or that he should be immune from attack because of his race or religion.”
“All work and no play may make Jim a dull boy, but no work and all play makes Jim all kinds of a jackass.”
“The distribution of wealth is just as important as its creation.”
OTHER COMMENTS OVERHEARD AT “THE PRINTER’S INK BIRTHDAY PARTY:”
“Well, goll-layyyyy. Surprise, surprise, surprise!”—Jim Nabors as “Gomer Pyle”
“Our bond is beyond words. We both carry the weight of each other.” Ashley Olsen speaking about her twinship with sister, Mary-Kate
“I think we’re too dependent on each other. When you have a twin, it’s so much closer than your best friend.”—Mary-Kate Olsen
“I think my life has been a long, slow process of trying to move closer to the spirit by moving closer and closer to the heart. The heart is what’s important.”—Burl Ives
“Drawing is a way of reasoning on paper.”—Saul Steinberg
“Don’t believe everything you hear: Real eyes. Realize. Real lies.”—Tupac Shakur
“I think my music is like anchovies—some people like it, some people get nauseous.”—Barry Manilow
“An inevitable question people ask is, ‘How has success changed you?’ …Basically, most people remain pretty much the same.”—Jim Nabors
“I always feel really safe because Ashley gets nervous for both of us.” Mary-Kate Olsen
“When you set goals and dreams, you don’t feel old.”—Burl Ives
“The life of a creative person is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.”—Saul Steinberg
“God will judge my heart. Man will judge my actions.”—Tupac Shakur
“I believe that we are who we choose to be. Nobody is going to come and save you. You’ve got to save yourself. Nobody is going to give you anything. You’ve got to go out and fight for it.”—Barry Manilow
“I’ve never considered myself an actor; I get much more immediate satisfaction singing. If you sing good, people clap. On television, you never know whether you’ve done well or not.”—Jim Nabors
“We have this little thing when we love each other where we’ll squeeze each other like three times.”—The Olsen Twins
“I’m a law-abiding man. That is, if there’s any law to abide by.”—Burl Ives
“Doodling is the brooding of the hand.”—Saul Steinberg
“Life gives to you what you gave to it. So give your best.”—Tupac Shakur
“Misfits aren’t misfits among other misfits.”—Barry Manilow
“One thing I’ve learned is when you find a best friend in this life, you better hang on.”—Jim Nabors
“The cool wind blew in my face and all at once I felt as if I had shed dullness from myself.”—Burl Ives
“I think, therefore Descartes exists.”—Saul Steinberg
“Don’t look back unless it’s a good view.”—Tupac Shakur
“I’m proof that if you live long enough, anything is possible.”—Barry Manilow
“Questions are fiction, and answers are anything from more fiction to science-fiction.”—Saul Steinberg
“Life’s a test, mistakes are lessons, but the gift of life is knowing that you made a difference.”—Tupac Shakur
“For a Jewish guy, I’ve recorded a lot of Christmas albums.”—Barry Manilow
“My aim is to spread more smiles than tears.”—Tupac Shakur
PARTY MENU FOR “THE PRINTER’S INK BIRTHDAY PARTY:”
APPETIZERS—Tupac Shakur Dill Wraps (yummly.com)
SOUP—Barry Manilow Weekend in New England Chowder (tasteofhome.com)
ENTRÉE—Saul Steinberg Romanian Chicken Kebabs (thespruceeats.com)
SIDE DISH—William Randolph Hearst III Squid Ink Rice (cookpad.com)
BREAD—Jim Nabors Alabama-Hawaii Squash Pineapple Bread (allrecipes.com)
BEVERAGE—The Olsen Twins Twice-Squeezed Tequila Mimosas (see below)
DESSERT—Burl Ives “Big Rock Candy Mountain” Ice Cream (wellsfoodservice.com)
ONE TO GROW ON—I watched this free on YouTube last night: “Barry Manilow—Medley (from his “LIVE ON BROADWAY” show). It was 21 minutes of high-energy songs and sweet, pretty songs performed by this master songwriter and entertaining singer. If you’re not quite as cheap as I am, you could also stream the entire Broadway show from Amazon.
Near the end of this special event, Jim Nabors and Burl Ives sang a castle-full of Barry Manilow songs and Tupac presented a rap inspired by “Copacabana.” Instead of the customary toasts, “The Printer’s Ink Birthday Party” finale had all these joy-givers dancing and singing along to these Manilow lyrics:
“It’s a miracle, a true-blue spectacle, a miracle come true…We’re together. I was going crazy ‘til the miracle came through…Now you’re here and my arms are around you and there’ll be dancing in the street for the miracle, the true-blue miracle…THE MIRACLE IS YOU!
THE OLSEN TWINS TWICE-SQUEEZED TEQUILA MIMOSAS
2 cups orange juice
½ cup tequila
¼ cup lime juice
Lime wedge for rimming glasses
Coarse salt for rimming glasses
1 bottle Champagne or Prosecco
Orange and lime slices for serving
- In a pitcher, combine orange juice, tequila and lime juice and stir.
- Rim each glass rim with lime and dip in salt. Pour orange juice mixture and top off with Champagne.
- Add sliced oranges and limes to glasses and serve.
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