365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The O Happy Day Birthday Party

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(Photo from TipsyBartender.com)

“Oh Mickey, you so fine.” At “The O Happy Day Birthday Party,” we’ll see ya round like a doughnut with Mickey Mouse, Georgia O’Keeffe, P.J. O’Rourke and Whoopi Goldberg as Sister Deloris sings, ‘O Happy Day.’” 

Our party destination is the “Concrete Donut.” That’s what a leading architectural critic called the giant, round, chunky building, the fantabulous Hirshhorn Museum, when it landed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1974. 

Gordon Bunshaft was the architect for the round-walled, concrete building which has no outside windows. It was actually considered controversial to place this Brutalist sculptural structure amid all the Greco-Roman inspired grandeur of D.C, and a newspaper headline of the time announced— “’Bun’ Makes a Donut.” 

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street (20560) began with the widely admired collection of financier and philanthropist, Joseph H. Hirschhorn, and quickly became a leading voice for ground-breaking contemporary and modern art created by Americans. Among the treasures of the founding works is “Black Hills with Cedar,” a 1941 oil painting Georgia O’Keeffe created in New Mexico on-site at the Jicarilla Apache reservation.  

JOIN US… 

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is FREE and open to the public 364 days each year. It is one of the most visited museums of modern art in the United States. You feel the joy as you wind round the galleries, hear some lively tunes by W.C. Handy and see our party table boldly set with black, aqua and fleshy pinks echoing the lush colors of Ms. O’Keefe’s masterpiece on the wall behind us. 

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 JOY-GIVERS CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK: 

Nov. 13—WHOOPI GOLDBERG (born Caryn Elaine Johnson) is an actor and comedian. She is one of only 16 entertainers to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony (EGOT). She started her career onstage with her one-woman show, “Spook Show,” which transferred to Broadway with the title, “Whoopi Goldberg.” Her films include: “The Color Purple,” “Ghost,” “Sister Act” and its sequel, “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.” 

Goldberg portrayed Guinan in the science fiction television series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Since 2007, she has co-hosted and moderated the daytime television talk show, “The View.” 

Nov. 14—P. J. O’Rourke (Patrick Jake O’Rourke) is an American political satirist and journalist. The Ohio native self-identifies as a Libertarian. He is the H.L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and a regular correspondent for “The Atlantic Monthly,” “The American Spectator” and “The Weekly Standard.” About this author of 20 books, the “Forbes Media Guide” said, “O’Rourke’s original reporting, irreverent humor and crackerjack writing makes for delectable reading. He never minces words or pulls his punches, whatever the subject.” 

Nov. 15—GEORGIA O’KEEFFE (Georgia Totto O’Keeffe) was a modern artist and known in art circles as “The Mother of American Modernism.” She is best known for her many paintings of enlarged flowers. Her works are based on her personal style and interpretation of subjects rather than representational. The Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she lived and worked for decades. 

Nov. 16—W.C. HANDY (born William Christopher Handy in Florence, Alabama) was “The Father of the Blues.” He was a composer, musician, conductor and one of the most influential songwriters in the history of American music. The educated music man used elements of Southern folk music in his sophisticated compositions. Taking the blues tradition of regional music style, he was the first to publish the blues and thereby took the genre from a limited audience to international popularity. 

Nov. 17—RuPAUL (RuPaul Andre’ Charles) is a drag queen, model, singer, television personality and author. He has received 11 Primetime Emmy Awards for hosting the reality competition series, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” He was included in “Time” magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and “Fortune” magazine called him “easily the world’s most famous drag queen.” RuPaul is indifferent to which gender-specific pronouns are used to describe him and once quipped, “You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee. I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.” 

Nov. 18—MICKEY MOUSE (born Michael Theodore Mouse) is a cartoon character created by the Walt Disney Corporation. His debut was November 18, 1928 in the short film, and one of the first cartoon “talkies,”— “Steamboat Willie.” He is one of the world’s most recognizable characters, an anthropomorphic mouse who typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes and white gloves. 

Mickey Mouse is generally seen with his girlfriend, Minnie Mouse, his pet dog, Pluto, his friends, Donald Duck and Goofy, and his comic nemesis, Pete. He is the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is an honest and bodacious, American joy-giver. 

Nov. 19—CALVIN KLEIN (Calvin Richard Klein) is an American fashion designer who gained international fame via the classic American apparel—jeans. Calvin Klein jeans grossed $200,000 in the first week they were in the stores. His company, Calvin Klein Inc., also gave his name to hugely successful fragrances, watches, jewelry and home goods. Klein, who grew up in the Bronx (New York City), graduated from the High School of Art and Design (Manhattan) and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (Manhattan). He has received awards for menswear and womenswear by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. 

COMMENTS OVERHEARD AT “THE O HAPPY DAY BIRTHDAY PARTY:” 

“Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine.”—Whoopi Goldberg 

“The Three Branches of American Government: Money, Television and Bullsh*t.”—P.J. O’Rourke 

“It’s not enough to be nice in life. You’ve got to have nerve.”—George O’Keeffe 

“Life is like a trumpet—if you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out of it.”—W.C. Handy 

“If you want to be invited to the party, you better have something to bring.”—RuPaul 

“All you need is a little bit of magic.”—Mickey Mouse 

“It’s fun wearing my label on someone’s behind—I like that.”—Calvin Klein 

“Art and life are subjective. Not everybody’s gonna dig what I dig, but I reserve the right to dig it.”—Whoopi Goldberg 

“Politics is the art of achieving prestige and power without merit.”—P.J. O’Rourke 

“Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time—we haven’t time—and it takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”—Georgia O’Keeffe 

“Setting my mind on a musical instrument was like falling in love. All the world seemed bright and changed.”—W.C. Handy 

“When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.”—RuPaul 

“To laugh at yourself is to love yourself.”—Mickey Mouse 

“The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural.”—Calvin Klein 

“What I am is a humanist before anything else—before I’m a Jew, before I’m black, before I’m a woman. And my beliefs are for the human race—they don’t exclude anyone.”—Whoopi Goldberg 

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”—P.J. O’Rourke 

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.”—Georgia O’Keefe 

“The blues is the sound of a sinner on revival day.”—W.C. Handy 

“In our subconscious, we all know we are playing roles.”—RuPaul 

“Sorry I was late, everybody. I had to stop by the bank. I was over-drawn.”—Mickey Mouse 

“What we do at Calvin Klein is fun—if you have any sense of humor at all!”—Calvin Klein 

“I don’t look like Halle Berry. But chances are, she’s going to end up looking like me.”—Whoopi Goldberg 

“It remains to be seen which program will cause greater societal damage: China’s one-child policy or America’s one-parent policy.”—P.J. O’Rourke 

“I wish people were all trees and I think I could enjoy them then.”—Georgia O’Keeffe 

“My big ears indicated a talent for music. This thrilled me.”—W.C. Handy 

“Success is something between you and yourself. I think only you know where you’ve come from and how far you want to go.”—RuPaul 

“I’m crazy and I don’t pretend to be anything else.”—Calvin Klein 

“I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.”—Whoopi Goldberg 

“Not being a liberal, I have very little grasp of things that I know nothing about.”—P.J. O’Rourke 

“One day a hummingbird flew in—It fluttered against the window ‘til I got it down where I could reach it with an open umbrella—when I had it in my hand it was so small I couldn’t believe I had it—but I could feel the intense life—so intense and so tiny—you were like that hummingbird to me…And I am rather inclined to feel that you and I know the best part of one another without spending much time together…It is beautiful and pure and very intense, alive.”—Georgia O’Keeffe 

“Whenever I heard the song of a bird and the answering call of its mate, I could visualize the notes in scale, all built up within my consciousness as a natural symphony.”—W.C. Handy 

“We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.”—RuPaul 

“I still drink vodka…I don’t like grass, because it just makes me hungry.”—Calvin Klein 

“Drag is there to remind culture not to take itself too seriously. All of this is illusion.”—RuPaul 

MENU FOR “THE O HAPPY DAY BIRTHDAY PARTY:” 

APPETIZER—P.J. O’Rourke Calamari O’s (mylittleItaliankitchen.com) 

SOUP/SALAD—Georgia O’Keeffe Ring of Fire New Mexico Chili (allrecipes.com) 

ENTRÉE—RuPaul Adult “SpaghettiOs” (bonappetit.com) 

SIDE DISH—W.C. Handy Southern-Fried Onion Rings (yummly.com) 

BREAD—Calvin Klein New York Bagels (sophisticatedgourmet.com) 

BEVERAGE—Mickey Mouse Oreo Cookie Cocktail (see below) 

DESSERT—Whoopi Goldberg O Happy Day Apple Cider Donuts (tasteofhome.com) 

ONE TO GROW ON—The 2022 Georgia O’Keeffe Wall Calendar from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. features 12 unmistakable flower paintings by the American joy-giver. It’s lots of up-close floral fabulosity for $14.99 at https://shop.nga.gov.  

After dinner, RuPaul introduced Whoopi Goldberg with her dragtastic name, Sister Deloris van Cartier, and got the group to be her backup choir for an energetic reprise of a “Sister Act 2” song, “O Happy Day,“ which rivaled the original by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. (Personal note: I just searched YouTube for this three-minute number by searching for “Whoopi Goldberg O Happy Day.” I misted up with tears of joy and if you don’t feel your spirit uplifted—you might want to check your pulse. Lord, for the joy-givers, we are thankful this Thanksgiving Month.) 

Then, with a happy, “Meeska, Mooska,” Mickey Mouse got the group to join him for apple cider doughnuts in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. 

“The O Happy Day Birthday Party” wrapped up the evening with all donning Mickey Mouse ears and singing: 

“Who’s the leader of the club 

That’s made for you and me? 

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. 

Hey there! Hi there! Ho there! 

You’re as welcome as can be. 

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. 

Mickey Mouse! 

(Donald Duck) 

Mickey Mouse! 

(Donald Duck) 

Forever let us hold our banner 

High! High! High! High! 

Come along and sing the song 

And join the jamboree! 

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E 

M-I-C — See ya real soon. 

K-E-Y—Why? Because, WE LOVE YOU! 

                          THE MICKEY MOUSE OREO COCKTAIL 

                              (Source: TipsyBartender.com) 

INGREDIENTS 

3 ounces vodka 

¾ ounces white chocolate liqueur 

Oreo cookies 

Vanilla ice cream 

Garnish: Whipped cream, cherry, Oreos 

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Place five Oreo cookies into the base of a jar. Add vodka and muddle well. Shake well and let sit for a few minutes. 
  1. Place 1 ½ ounces of the Oreo-infused vodka mixture into a blender and add white chocolate liqueur and vanilla ice cream. Blend thoroughly until smooth. 
  1. Pour the blended mixture into a hurricane glass and top with whipped cream. 
  1. Garnish with two Oreo (ears) and a cherry to make a Mickey Mouse face. 
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Ben South