Dolly Parton partly funded Covid-19 vaccine research AND ‘Bringing Up Baby’ Yoda at NASA SpaceX milestone launch were same day happy news this week!

Two wonderful feel good stories made news this week on the very same day.

DOLLY PARTON story UP FIRST

Headlines on November 17, 2020 concerned the promising results from Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine trials. Fans including researchers were enthusiastic about Dolly Parton being listed in the acknowledgements for helping to fund their work, “the Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund”. Thanks to a long friendship with Dr. Naji Abumrad, she donated one million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help support Covid research.

plus don’t miss jAD aBUMRAD’S terrific PODCAST “DOLLY PARTON’S AMERICA”

His son, Jad Abumrad, creator of Radiolab, produced a chart topping podcast about Dolly: Dolly Parton’s America. Fans of Radiolab and Dolly learned about his father’s friendship with Dolly there. Before I read the name of the doctor friend I was hoping it might be him. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript with some of the marvelously rich and layered story telling about Dolly and his dad:

JAD: The memory that kept intruding was from almost exactly 20 years earlier. I’d gone to Lebanon with my dad for a wedding. This is when I was just getting into recording, so I had my recorder with me everywhere I went. And the day after the wedding, my dad had driven us up the mountains to show us the village where he was born and raised. A little village called Wadi Chahrour. It’s this little enclave where literally half the village has our last name. It’s high up in the mountains, actually the exact same elevation as the mountain where Dolly lives. The air sort of has that exact same kind of thinness to it. And when we finally got to see his house, it looked a lot like Dolly’s.

JAD: When I saw her house …

JAD: I told him about it later.

JAD: It reminded me instantly of your house in Wadi.

NAJI ABUMRAD: Yeah. It’s almost identical like Dolly. There was one bedroom. We were five kids and two parents, and so you put your floor mat and you sleep side to side. And when you wake up in the morning, you stack the floor mats in the corner.

JAD: Wow. So seven people in one room?

NAJI ABUMRAD: Seven people in one room.

JAD: Jesus. How did you even sleep?

NAJI ABUMRAD: You sleep. You learn.

JAD: God! Tell me who you are, just so I have your introduction.

NAJI ABUMRAD: What do you mean? I’m Naji Abumrad. I’m your father.

JAD: [laughs] And what do you do when you’re — when yeah, what do you do otherwise?

NAJI ABUMRAD: Right now, I’m a professor of surgery at Vanderbilt. And …

JAD: I didn’t expect to want to put an interview with my dad in an episode about a visit to Dolly’s Tennessee mountain home. But as I mentioned at the top of the series, I mean, I really couldn’t have even done this series without him.

JAD: Can I ask you a personal question?

DOLLY PARTON: I guess.

JAD: This is something — it’s something I’ve always been curious …

DOLLY PARTON: It’s not that personal.

JAD: No. It’s like, it’s more personal but — for both of us, I guess. I’ve never under — how did you meet my dad?

DOLLY PARTON: Well, your dad was — I had — first time I met him was years and years ago. I was having some health problems, and then I didn’t connect with him again ’til my friend Judy and I had a wreck …

[NEWS CLIP: Dolly Parton suffered a few minor injuries in a car crash in Nashville on Monday.]

DOLLY PARTON: … several years back.

[NEWS CLIP: Police say she was riding in an SUV that was hit by another vehicle.]

DOLLY PARTON: And so when they rushed me to the emergency room, he came to the emergency room. And then after that, we just kind of …

JAD: They became friends.

DOLLY PARTON: Friendship.

JAD: That’s cool.

DOLLY PARTON: He’s a good man.

JAD: I feel like I have to be completely transparent about this. Now I had always been really tickled and a little bit confused. Like, what could they possibly have in common? But then seeing how similar his house looked to hers, and then also thinking back to something she had told me in one of our conversations.

I don’t know how well you know him, but you can never know your parents like — like other people do.

DOLLY PARTON answers Jad, Dolly Parton’s America podcast, Neon Moss episode

JAD: To make a long story short, I decided to ask him some questions. And it turned out she was right. My dad and my mom left Lebanon same year that Dolly wrote My Tennessee Mountain Home. 1972.

…WELL, It’s a gorgeous listen. Go finish DOLLY PARTON’S AMERICA here

The SECOND HAPPY STORY involved baby Yoda.

Until now I had been immune to the charms of chia pets. I brought this Baby Yoda, “the child” in the beguiling floating pod from the Mandalorian Disney+ series, home from the 7-Eleven on Bass Ave.

Here are screenshots from the LIVE NASA video as the SpaceX new arrivals joined the Space Station 11/17/2020. Astronauts are all fist pumping and smiles at the “zero gravity indicator” baby Yoda in space.

Loved watching this feed (you can see the whole playback). I wonder if the crew already in residence had the time or inclination to watch any shows and if it was possible to see current content like the new Mandalorian season? In other words did those aboard get the cultural reference?

Mesmerizing ‘Floating Tall’ 😉 scenes – Baby Yoda hovering alongside the Mandalorian

The Mandalorian trailer

And yes, this is a deliberate, second rearranged post experiment here. Will lede Dolly or Yoda first makes a difference?

So cool ‘Bringing Up Baby’ Yoda at NASA SpaceX milestone launch AND Dolly Parton partly funded Covid-19 vaccine research were same day happy news!

Two wonderful feel good stories made news this week on the very same day.

The first involved baby Yoda.

Until now I had been immune to the charms of chia pets. I brought this Baby Yoda, “the child” in the beguiling floating pod from the Mandalorian Disney+ series, home from the 7-Eleven on Bass Ave.

Here are screenshots from the LIVE NASA video as the SpaceX new arrivals joined the Space Station 11/17/2020. Astronauts are all fist pumping and smiles at the “zero gravity indicator” baby Yoda in space.

Loved watching this feed (you can see the whole playback). I wonder if the crew already in residence had the time or inclination to watch any shows and if it was possible to see current content like the new Mandalorian season? In other words did those aboard get the cultural reference?

Mesmerizing ‘Floating Tall’ 😉 scenes – Baby Yoda hovering alongside the Mandalorian

The Mandalorian trailer

DOLLY PARTON also in the NEWS

Other headlines on November 17, 2020 concerned the promising results from Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine trials. Fans including researchers were enthusiastic about Dolly Parton being listed in the acknowledgements for helping to fund their work, “the Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund”. Thanks to a long friendship with Dr. Naji Abumrad, she donated one million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help support Covid research.

plus don’t miss jAD aBUMRAD’S terrific PODCAST “DOLLY PARTON’S AMERICA”

His son, Jad Abumrad, creator of Radiolab, produced a chart topping podcast about Dolly: Dolly Parton’s America. Fans of Radiolab and Dolly learned about his father’s friendship with Dolly there. Before I read the name of the doctor friend I was hoping it might be him. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript with some of the marvelously rich and layered story telling about Dolly and his dad:

JAD: The memory that kept intruding was from almost exactly 20 years earlier. I’d gone to Lebanon with my dad for a wedding. This is when I was just getting into recording, so I had my recorder with me everywhere I went. And the day after the wedding, my dad had driven us up the mountains to show us the village where he was born and raised. A little village called Wadi Chahrour. It’s this little enclave where literally half the village has our last name. It’s high up in the mountains, actually the exact same elevation as the mountain where Dolly lives. The air sort of has that exact same kind of thinness to it. And when we finally got to see his house, it looked a lot like Dolly’s.

JAD: When I saw her house …

JAD: I told him about it later.

JAD: It reminded me instantly of your house in Wadi.

NAJI ABUMRAD: Yeah. It’s almost identical like Dolly. There was one bedroom. We were five kids and two parents, and so you put your floor mat and you sleep side to side. And when you wake up in the morning, you stack the floor mats in the corner.

JAD: Wow. So seven people in one room?

NAJI ABUMRAD: Seven people in one room.

JAD: Jesus. How did you even sleep?

NAJI ABUMRAD: You sleep. You learn.

JAD: God! Tell me who you are, just so I have your introduction.

NAJI ABUMRAD: What do you mean? I’m Naji Abumrad. I’m your father.

JAD: [laughs] And what do you do when you’re — when yeah, what do you do otherwise?

NAJI ABUMRAD: Right now, I’m a professor of surgery at Vanderbilt. And …

JAD: I didn’t expect to want to put an interview with my dad in an episode about a visit to Dolly’s Tennessee mountain home. But as I mentioned at the top of the series, I mean, I really couldn’t have even done this series without him.

JAD: Can I ask you a personal question?

DOLLY PARTON: I guess.

JAD: This is something — it’s something I’ve always been curious …

DOLLY PARTON: It’s not that personal.

JAD: No. It’s like, it’s more personal but — for both of us, I guess. I’ve never under — how did you meet my dad?

DOLLY PARTON: Well, your dad was — I had — first time I met him was years and years ago. I was having some health problems, and then I didn’t connect with him again ’til my friend Judy and I had a wreck …

[NEWS CLIP: Dolly Parton suffered a few minor injuries in a car crash in Nashville on Monday.]

DOLLY PARTON: … several years back.

[NEWS CLIP: Police say she was riding in an SUV that was hit by another vehicle.]

DOLLY PARTON: And so when they rushed me to the emergency room, he came to the emergency room. And then after that, we just kind of …

JAD: They became friends.

DOLLY PARTON: Friendship.

JAD: That’s cool.

DOLLY PARTON: He’s a good man.

JAD: I feel like I have to be completely transparent about this. Now I had always been really tickled and a little bit confused. Like, what could they possibly have in common? But then seeing how similar his house looked to hers, and then also thinking back to something she had told me in one of our conversations.

I don’t know how well you know him, but you can never know your parents like — like other people do.

DOLLY PARTON answers Jad, Dolly Parton’s America podcast, Neon Moss episode

JAD: To make a long story short, I decided to ask him some questions. And it turned out she was right. My dad and my mom left Lebanon same year that Dolly wrote My Tennessee Mountain Home. 1972.

…wELL, It’s a gorgeous listen.

Go finish DOLLY PARTON’S AMERICA here

Happy news! Jane Deering Gallery and many generous artists offer an affordable art show. Why? “Putting the number 20 in a more upbeat light in the dreadful year 2020!” #GloucesterMA

As in $20. For original works of art.

Jane Deering sparks art and community amid the pandemic.

Jane Deering Gallery Absolute Secret 2020

I checked in with Jane Deering to hear more about the show and how opening day went for this affordable art show/young collector boost and during a pandemic.

“The idea came to me about a year ago while thinking how I might make art more affordable for the many young people who’ve come to the gallery, expressed how much they admire the shows but were not able to purchase, even something at $100.  Then COVID struck and I needed to get creative to stay alive.

As you know, Catherine, I’ve been living in London a long time.  This sparked my memory of how the Royal College of Art started something back in 1995 called Absolut Secret (sponsored by Absolut Vodka — get it?) which raised money for scholarships to the RCA by offering small works (signed by the artist on the back) for a tuppence. Buyers wouldn’t know who the artist was until they bought the work and turned it over.  One lucky buyer snapped up a David Hockney!  So … I confess I stole my idea for Absolute Secret 2020 from the RCA.  Sometimes theft can bring good?

Anyway … I contacted all the artists I’ve worked with over the years and asked each if they’d donate a small work.  The outpouring of YES! was heartwarming.  Oh, the wonder of artists.  Such generosity and goodwill.  I’m so grateful to all of them.  Works have come from the many who have studios here on Cape Ann and parts throughout Massachusetts, but also New York, Maine, Vermont, California, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Barcelona. 

Yesterday’s opening was also a wonder.  One of my favorite stories was of a young man (27 maybe?) who emailed back and forth with me for days over his obsession with a particular work.  He asked if coming to stand in line by 12:30 would be too late?  Ha!  He was first in line (working all the time on his cell phone), first in the door when we opened at 1 o’clock, and first to get his special piece.  Good for him!  

Lots of conviviality.  Lots of cheer.  Some disappointments, of course; especially those who sent requests via email only to hear that their pics had sold.  Can’t please everyone so my apologies to all who may have missed out.  There are still many marvelous pieces to be had and several artists have brought me additional works to put up as the show thins out.  Again, the generosity of artists!

Oh!…I’ve been asked ‘Why $20?’  Well, it’s the dreadful year 2020 so I thought I’d put the number 20 in a more upbeat light.  And — back to the affordability factor — I wanted all those who find art beyond their purse strings to be able to have something wonderful.  This show was meant for them.  

And I hope that those who have the means, will return and support these wonderful artists (and the gallery) by buying art at a fairer price.

Thanks to all!”

Jane Deering, Jane Deering Gallery, October 16, 2020

The invitation for this wonderful show- through November 3, 2020

Maybe I can leave $20 for a twenty something art fan? Artists are so generous.

Views looking in