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Rated: E · Poetry · Relationship · #2136858
“Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.” J.F. Durante
you are the one
I cling to
in the darkness
of each day’s end

may whatever providence
that’s cradled us so well
these many years
hold its promise true

to keep our silly selves in tune
until our simple song and dance
has closed the show
and we stroll the spotlight trail


The last line refers generally to a theatrical exit which was famously employed by one James Francis Durante. “Jimmy” Durante was a popular American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor whose career spanded from the 1920s through the 1970s. In the late 1950s, he hosted a prime time television variety show. At the end of these TV shows he would don his hat and coat and bid farewell with his trademark closing, “Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.” It was reported to be a salute to his long deceased wife. Durante would then walk off to the rear of the stage which was light by only four circles of sequentially receding spotlights. At each circle of light he would pause and turn to the audience with gestures of adieu before ultimately stepping into the dark. An instance of such an exit can be seen by going to You Tube and searching for “Goodnight Mrs. Calabash - The Jimmy Durante Show 1959.”

I know it’s a lot to reference to an obscure television production and personality for anyone under the age of fifty, but the piece was written to my wife and she gets it.
© Copyright 2017 Christy Mahon (christymahon at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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