Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving plans, travels, coping, gratitude, seasonal trials and tribulations and triumphs

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey

Happy November, 21st, 2017,
As I sit down to write today's blog, I'm listening to Neil Sedaka singing Laughter In The Rain in the background from 1974. November 21st is the 326th day of the year. There are 40 days
Thankful that I'm still entertaining! Please join us on the 9th of December
remaining until the end of the year.

Thanksgiving is in three days! That's a whole different type of theater! 17 days till my show.  
33 days till Christmas! Yikes!!
150 Days till Bette Midler's opening night in Hello, Dolly!
Today, I'm going to address the issue of Thanksgiving plans, travels,
I am thankful for the friendship that I had with Carol and Harry Kullijian
coping, gratitude, seasonal trials and tribulations and triumphs. Thank you to my friend Russ Woolley, who I am truly thankful for as a friend and supporter, for the suggestion for today's blog.

I'm thinking of the things that I am grateful for and there are so many. This Thanksgiving will find me in South Carolina with my friends and family. I don't think I have been home for Thanksgiving since the year my dad passed away. That was 2002! 
I felt that it was important for me to be with my family that year. My sister
I'm thankful for all of the artists who have granted me interviews on this project
and brother in law had a home on Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina. At that time, I had been diagnosed with Vasovagal syncope, which meant I was passing out a lot...mostly on planes. I used to joke that I landed more planes than some pilots. Because of the beta-blockers I was on at the time, I was in a drowsy state the entire time. Everyone was complaining about the fact that I wanted to do nothing but sleep. 

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

After returning home, I weaned myself off of the beta-blockers and with very few exceptions this issue seems to be a thing of the past.
It has been a few years since seeing my mom so I truly am looking forward to it. Danny, Horace, and our friend Peggy Eason will be hitting the road on Wednesday morning. I'm thankful to our friends who will be house sitting for us while we're away! Our babies will be well taken care of.

Work is more fun than fun.
-Noel Coward

I am thankful for all of the artists who entrusted me this year to handle the press for their shows. It gave me the opportunity to focus on them instead of myself. I hope that I lived up to their expectations. I am a work in progress and I am only as good as the people I surround myself with. I thank all of the artists that I have shared a stage with this year. 
As I move into the performing arena full time again, I once again, would like to thank all who have invested in my shows this year with your time and energy. I realize that there are so many options to choose from...especially here in New York. When I am the one you choose, you have no idea what that means to me. 

I also am grateful for the shows I have been able to attend this year. There are so many shows that I have been fortunate enough to see this year. There are also many that I have missed. My apologies to those of you who I've missed.
Happy Birthday, Marlo Thomas. Thanks for all you do 
Keep trying and as we careen towards 2017, I hope to be able to support as many of you as possible.

Let's ALL support each other instead of tearing each other down. 
For all of my relatives seeing this, I'm promising you a politics free zone from me over the next week. PLEASE offer me the same courtesy.
Now, I want to talk about Thanksgiving memories. I've written in the past about my family and background but for those of you new to the Skipper train, here goes. 

Life moves fast. As much as you can learn from your history, you have to move forward. -Eddie Vedder
My dad with my brother Emory

I was born in a small town in South Carolina, Conway, which is the gateway to Myrtle Beach.
I am the oldest of four kids. I have a sister, Debbie, next in line, and two brothers, Emory and John. John and I were born ten years apart. 
My dad was one of ten. There were eleven but one died ten days after he was born. He was actually born on my dad's birthday, January 10th. My mom is the oldest of sixteen. There have been passings on both sides. (I don't believe in death). My dad was the first of his brothers and sisters to pass away. I'm talking, of course, of the family that I grew up with. My uncle Burroughs was the first on my mom's side of the family. On my dad's side of the family, my paternal grandparents, especially my grandmother, was all about celebrating the holidays. I suppose that's where my sense of celebration comes from. 
My paternal grandfather, Emory Lee Skipper
All of the Thanksgivings for the first eighteen years of my life were pretty much the same. (I left home when I was eighteen). We would go to my maternal grandmother for Thanksgiving 'dinner'. In the south, the daytime meal was dinner and the evening meal was summer. We would leave to go to Grandma Rabon after watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I remember her stuffing and the pies and cakes most of all!  I also remember the drama! There always seemed to be some sort of drama swirling around the day...mostly due to alcoholism. It was straight out of a Tennessee Williams play and something I never have gotten used to. We would be there until about five PM and then head over for our Skipper Thanksgiving.  
Now, because there were so many of us, there were two seatings. I expect some of my readers to be either appalled or shocked at what you are about to eat, but this is the way it was. 
The men would sit down during the first seating and all the kids would be fed as well.
My mom standing in the dirt driveway that led to my Grandparent Skipper's house
When the uncles had finished eating, the aunts would sit down to eat. 

It was such a big deal when I turned fifteen and was able to sit at the adult table.  
It was the time I grew up in. It has been thirty-seven years since that last Skipper Thanksgiving. Since my grandparents are no longer here and families are now dispersed, I'm not sure if the paradigm is the same. 
After the dishes had been cleared and put away, a couple of my aunts would start compiling a list of all of the names of aunts, uncles, cousins to draw names for Christmas. To me, THAT was the official start to the holidays...
To be con't.

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor. -Sholom Aleichem
People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy. -Anton Chekhov

Favorite Thanksgiving Memories
The one six years ago when SCHMOOLIE (a rescued Australian Shepherd, who his now celebrating his Bark Mitzvah) came for dinner and decided to stay.
-Avi Duvdevani

For me they always center around family gatherings and cooking in the home NEVER in a restaurant.  As a little kid I can remember my mom cooking, I remember wondrous anticipation of grandparents, Aunts Uncles and my two cousins gathering.  I loved being with the relatives, listening to their stories of Sweden and what it was like there in the 1800's and early 1900's... I remember being outside on a bitter Thanksgiving Day , and coming indoors to the fantastic smells and warmth of our home. 
I'm thankful for Horace. He's thankful for his toy squirrel
I remember enjoying setting the table "just so"  putting out the "good goblets" and silverware - polishing the brass candlesticks etc.  I love a gorgeous table,  I love entertaining family and friends.  You know that I love to "go out", but I also LOVE entertaining in the home.  It gives me extreme pleasure to share my home.  I think it was also one Thanksgiving morning that my mom asked me to walk to the milk machine to get milk which we ran out of, and of course in those days, there were NO STORES open on Thanksgiving -- the milk machine was like a tall dispenser which for probably 30 or .35 cents dispensed a quart of milk in a bottle.....
-Russ Woolley

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

Courtesy Scott Clarke
Click on site to go to website


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!   

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
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  • Richard Skipper Celebrates...December 9th 7PM at the
    "A Charlie Brown Christmas" first airing Thursday, December 9, 1965
    Triad. featured guests will INCLUDE Kevin Dozier, Peggy Eason, Eddie Korbich, Marieann Meringolo Lisa Viggiano...AND A Mystery Guest*! Bryon Sommers, Musical Director with Jeff Carney on bass and Rex Benincasa on percussion.
    Richard Skipper Celebrates: A Talk/Variety Show encouraging us to celebrate each and every day and the hidden gems therein. Did you know A Charlie Brown Christmas Debuted in 1965...Buck Henry, Margaret Hamilton, Dalton Trumbo, Douglas
    Douglas Faitbanks, Jr.
    Fairbanks Jr were all born on December 9th? 
    Wear Purple! The Ruling Color Of The Day and The Color of Royalty! 
    Tickets are $30.00 plus a two drink minimum. Reservations a MUST! Call 888 596-1027 to purchase tickets or YOU can also do it on THEIR website.

    Hilary Kole
    *Previous Mystery Guests have included Hilary Kole, Melba Moore, and Stacy Sullivan
    Boy Do we Need it NOW!

    Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
    Let your voices be Heard!

    Richard Skipper,


  1. Dearest Richard, I am so touched that you included my childhood memories. I also loved reading about yours. This is what this holiday is all about. It is about CONNECTION and GRATITUDE. I am so grateful to call you, the nicest man in show business, MY FRIEND....... Get there safe, get home soon :)

  2. i agree with Russ!!!! I am very thankful for calling you a friend. Im thankful for my mom still with me. Im thankful for the friends that are always there for me. I need to stay focused and healthy. Health is happiness. God Bless you see u soon!!! You are the kindest msn in show business!!