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    52 ODES TO JOY in 2022

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    Ode to AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS My country ‘tis a sunny land of joy-giving heroines and heroes, Like Don Ho, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Allen Poe and Rudolph Valentino. And,...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Holiday Island Birthday Party

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    “Let’s get away from sleigh bells. Let’s get away from snow. Let’s make a break this holiday, dear, I know the place to go. How’d ya...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Creating Joy Birthday Party

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    “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” These words, spoken by U.S. First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, inspire all to create joy and cultivate optimism...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Starry Starry Night Birthday Party

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    “Starry Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh, one of the most joy-giving paintings in the history of art, is a major crowd-pleaser at MOMA...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Wonderful World Birthday Party

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    “The Wonderful World of Disney,” a hugely popular television show on Sunday nights for 25 years, gathered America around a tribal fire for magical...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Life as Opera Birthday Party

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    “Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings,” wrote American joy-giver, Robert Benchley. Another music critic...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Carnegie Hall Birthday Party

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    How do you get to Carnegie Hall? PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Only the most-accomplished performers play Carnegie Hall. Built in 1891 by the philanthropist visionary...

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

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    “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,...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Stars and Stripes Forever Birthday...

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    Royal Princess Grace Kelly grew up in a charming two-and-half-story American Colonial-style house at 3901 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. This is our destination for...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Tonight Show Birthday Party

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    (Announcer): “From ‘Television City’ in beautiful Burbank, California—It’s ‘The Tonight Show Birthday Party’ with Johnny Carson and this week’s special, joy-giving guests: singer/songwriter Katy...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The JOY to the Max Birthday...

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    The Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC is our destination for “The Joy to the Max Birthday Party.” Completed in 1917,...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The I Love Saturday Night Birthday...

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    We are in Bedford, New York about an hour north of Manhattan for “The I Love Saturday Night Birthday Party.” Set amid 250 acres...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Twistin’ Party

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    We are twistin’ and turnin’ on a plywood structure built atop a barber chair. This gyrating contraption was created in the early days of...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Breakfast at Tiffany’s Birthday Party

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    Breakfast at Tiffany’s is now a literal “thing,” not just the title of a Truman Capote novella and an Audrey Hepburn movie. Inside Tiffany...

    365 JOY-GIVING AMERICANS for 2021: The Playin’ With Fire Birthday Party

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    When fire-hot lightning strikes sandy beaches, naturally occurring glass sculptures are often created below the melted sand. Sandy beaches surround all sides of Seattle,...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Whatcha’ Got Cookin’ Birthday Party

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    We cruise through acres and acres of red dirt, northern Alabama cottonfields to our destination for “The Whatcha’ Got Cookin’ Birthday Party.” In the...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Crazy for Loving You Birthday...

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    America has loved “Grandma” Moses and her art from the moment we saw one of her joy-giving paintings. For “The Crazy for Loving You...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Ringy-Dingy Birthday Party

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    It’s late-August and we are cooling off with the joy-giving, cool kids on a giant ice ring at “The Ringy-Dingy Birthday Party.”  The United States...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Singin’ in the Rain Birthday...

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    “We’re singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain. What a glorious feeling, we’re happy, again. We’re laughing at clouds, so dark up...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Bon, Bon, Bon Appetit Birthday...

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    We are inspired to greater heights by each of the 365 American joy-givers celebrated in this series, but for “The Bon, Bon, Bon Appetit...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The I Can Do Anything Better...

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    “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you…No, you can’t…Yes, I can. No, you can’t. Yes, I...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Giant Steps Birthday Party

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    “Destination Moon” is our destination for “The Giant Steps Birthday Party.” We are being given a preview of this exhibition which promises to be...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021—The Funny Papers Birthday Party

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    We’ll see ya in the funny papers collection of the National Museum of American History for our next fun, birthday party. Located on Constitution...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: ‘The Nanu-Nanu Birthday Party’

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    This week, we’re in San Francisco at a luxurious, Victorian residence located at 2640 Steiner St. for “The Nanu-Nanu Birthday Party.” This was the...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Elements of Style Birthday Party

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    The most famous “kettle hole” in America is the setting for “The Elements of Style Birthday Party.” It was formed by retreating glaciers 10,000-12,000...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Greatest Birthday Party on Earth

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    “Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…welcome to “The Greatest Birthday Party on Earth!” The circus is about to begin!  Let our joy-givers lead you...

    365 JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Yankee Doodle Birthday Party

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    This week, we are in Manhattan’s famed Duffy Square between Broadway and Seventh Avenue for “The Yankee Doodle Birthday Party.” The décor centerpiece is...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Accent on Fun Birthday Party

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    When we arrive at “The Accent on Fun Birthday Party,” we hear women speaking in the next room. Judging by all the accents, it...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Printer’s Ink Birthday Party

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    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...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Borscht Belt Comedy Birthday Party

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    Ladies and germs, STOP ME if you’ve heard this joke. “Three Jewish mothers are sitting on a bench, arguing over which one’s son loves...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The USO Show Birthday Party

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    The USO (United Services Organization) was created early in World War II to provide “home away from home” for everyone in our military. The...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The West Less Traveled Birthday Party

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    John Wayne’s last movie, “The Shootist,” was scheduled for filming in El Paso, Texas but “The Duke,” changed the script to move production near...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Bossypants Birthday Party

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    This week, our “BOSSYPANTS Birthday Party” is in a factory in Queens, New York City. Hey now, don’t be so bossy about it, this...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Wonders of America Birthday Party

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    America has many natural wonders: our national parks and forests, majestic mountains, giant Redwoods and Sequoias, Louisiana bayous and the Florida Everglades. And, thanks...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The God Bless America Birthday Party

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    We’re partying at 167 West 12th Street in New York City, in the cookbook-lined library of The James Beard House. Mr. B was “The...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Leaves of Funny Grass Birthday...

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    The Great Lawn of Central Park in the middle of bustling Manhattan is the setting for “The Leaves of Funny Grass Birthday Party.” At...

    365 American Joy-Givers for 2021: The Good Ship Enterprise Birthday Party

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    The setting for “The Good Ship Enterprise Birthday Party” could have been on the Good Ship Lollypop with Shirley Temple or another good ship,...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021—The April Shower of Stars Birthday Party

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    The lush, verdant setting for our “April Shower of Stars Birthday Party” is in Kentucky. Loretta Lynn proudly hails from this state, but instead...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: Betty, Bette and The Boys Birthday...

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    You might have anticipated the setting for the “Betty, Bette and The Boys Birthday Party” would be one of Hugh Hefner’s swanky mansions or...

    365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: ‘The Winners Circle Birthday Party’

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    Brooke Astor was known as “The Queen of New York.” Her beloved country house, “Holly Hill,” in Briarcliff, New York is the regal setting...

    A Round of Applause for 365 American Joy-Givers in 2021: Fred...

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    We are headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to celebrate this week’s American joy-givers birthday party in a recreated set of the popular WQED children’s television...

    A Round of Applause for 365 American Joy-Givers in 2021: The...

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    “The Greatest Party in American History” may have been the famous “Black and White Masked Ball” created by author Truman Capote, which he hosted...

    A Round of Applause for 365 American Joy-Givers in 2021: The...

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    The party tent is a giant, transparent, “Lawrence Welk” bubble inflated over a lighted, chessboard-inspired dance floor. The air is fresh and fragrant with...

    A Round of Applause for 365 American Joy-Givers in 2021: The...

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    The playful “pop-up party tent” is designed by the artist many critics believe to be “The Greatest Architect of Our Time,” Frank Gehry. He...

    A Round of Applause for 365 American Joy-Givers in 2021: The...

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    Howdy pardner, make yourself comfortable. This midwinter birthday party is beautiful but casual. We are surrounded by the grandeur of Ansel Adams’ large-scale, black-and-white...

    A Round of Applause for 365 American Joy-Givers in 2021: The...

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    What great AMERICAN JOY-GIVER said this? “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women...

    A Round of Applause for 365 Joy-Givers in 2021: The Bright...

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    Thomas Edison, one of the American joy-givers whose birthdays we are celebrating this week, was called “The Wizard of Menlo Park, New Jersey.” That...

    A Round of Applause for 365 American Joy-Givers for 2021: The...

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    Illustrative (il-lus-tra-tive) adj/ serving as a true example, designed to illustrate/ “Freedom from Want” is a work of art, cherished by Americans as being one...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: Up & away birthday...

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    Do you recall the ecstatic joy you felt when you watched the historic news video of real-life hero Captain Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger successfully...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: A books & birthdays...

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    Dolly Parton greets you at the door with a big, warm hug and the first words out of her mouth are, “I love that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: A party with American...

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    You sense the joy the minute you enter the room. HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! This is a party to celebrate the birthdays this week...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: 365+ American joy-givers of...

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! Last year in the first, joy-challenged months of the pandemic, the weekly “A ROUND OF APPLAUSE” series was launched to...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: The most joy-giving joy-givers...

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: Letters to Santa Claus

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: The 2020 Christmas Porch...

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    Written by Tribune guest contributor Laurie Johnson HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: Holiday cocktails and mocktails

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: Central Alabama Theater and...

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: Pollyanna and Forrest Gump

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: Rockabilly

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the (Cullman County) Joy-Givers: Monks’ Bread

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. The “local” version of this fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people,...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy-Givers: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the (Cullman County) Joy-Givers: Jesse Priest

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    Jesse Priest will be LIVE at Southern Eats (221A Second Ave. SE, Cullman) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 for an open-to-the-public tasting of...

    A Round of Applause for the (Cullman County) Joy-Givers: Phil Cabri...

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. The “local” version of this fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people,...

    A Round of Applause: Chonda Pierce

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy Givers: The Blind Boys...

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy Givers: Kinky Friedman

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy Givers: Duchess Donuts

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy Givers: Dinah Washington

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...

    A Round of Applause for the Joy Givers: Minnie Pearl

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    HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! We always need more smiles, music and laughter. This fun series salutes those seriously unsolemn people, places and things that...