You Can’t Take It With You: Memorable Quote Edition

by | Aug 9, 2013 | Uncategorized

Rewatching Genghis Blues. Photo credit evan p. cordes via Flickr Creative Commons

Peter Appleyard 1928 to three-weeks-ago Thursday

Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Tony Bennett, Diana Krall and Benny Goodman: who didn’t Pete play with?  You won’t believe how that career got started:  “He got his first break when he was approached in a record shop by a man who had noticed him banging his hands to the beat in a listening booth and who wanted to know if by any chance he played the drums. When Peter answered in the affirmative, the man explained that he was a member of a group whose drummer had been caught in bed with another woman and whose wife had smashed up his drum set in revenge. “  Appleyard eventually moved from drums to vibraphone and became one of the leading jazz players around.  He leaves behind this:

Lindy Boggs 1916 to Saturday

Lindy Boggs single-handedly leaves behind a prohibition on sex discrimination in the ‘Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974.’  Here’s how:  elected to fill her late husband’s spot in Congress she sat on the house banking committee.  When the committee “was composing an amendment to a lending bill banning discrimination on the basis of race, age or veteran status, she added the words ‘sex or marital status,’ ran to a copying machine and made a copy for each member.”  Mrs. Boggs was also Bill Clinton’s ambassador to the Vatican.  Per the NY TImes:  “The morning after she arrived to take up the job, she was informed that she was to be seated that night at a table filled with nothing but cardinals.”  She mulled that over and left behind the priceless line: “I think I’ll wear red.”

Juan David Ochoa Vasquez 1948 to two-weeks-ago Thursday

We all make mistakes.  Juan David’s was founding a violent and powerful drug cartel.  With two brothers plus the more-infamous Pablo Escobar, he built the Medellin cartel in Colombia which made for wealth in the 80s and imprisonment in the 90s.  He leaves behind this 2003 hand-wringing apology: “Everyone loves us; the doors open for us all over.  Unfortunately, in a bad time and bad hour, when we were younger, we got into that business.”  Also left behind: complicity in hundreds of murders and thousands of drug addictions.

John Woodward 1932 to Sunday

Admiral Woodward led the Royal Navy in her 1982 100-day campaign against the Argentines in the Falklands.  He leaves behind what may be the most British description of war ever uttered:  “I am not in favor of blowing people’s heads off. However, as a loyal servant of the government, if I have to blow people’s heads off, I’ll do it in the most efficient and effective way I know.”

Kongar-ol Ondar 1962 to two-weeks-ago Thursday

Kongar-ol was “like John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley and Michael Jordan kind of rolled into one.”  At least in the Tuva region of Siberia.  Mr. Ondar could do better than anyone else ‘khoomei’ singing.  Don’t know what that is?  It’s when a vocalist produces a low drone, melody and high harmony at the same time in as a kind of anthropomorphized bagpipe, of course.  This ‘Groovin’ Tuvan’ (seriously, I did not coin that) has quite a backstory–abused as a boy, he ran away and lived alone in the 40-below Tuvan winter.  I guess the unjust imprisonment by the Soviets that came next  was a step up in accommodations.  He leaves behind this, “the bewitching, remarkably harmonious marriage of a vacuum cleaner and a bumblebee:”


Cover photo courtesy Flickr user evan p. cordes


Perry Petrich, SJ   /   @ppetrich   /   All posts by Perry