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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: May 24, 2012

Talent?

What is this elusive thing called talent?

Many Americans use the terms genius and talent interchangeably. Awards are constantly showered on these clever and skilled persons, and while some accolades are richly deserved, some recipients are over-praised.

Meryl Streep is a gifted actor who can assume the identities of many famous subjects. Her performance as Margaret Thatcher was ingenious. She also portrayed Julia Child and her acting was apt and on target. She has also spoken in various accents and dialects, including Italian (Bridges of Madison County), and Polish (Sophie’s Choice). Her singing in Mama Mia! was also quite good for someone who is not a known vocalist.

In the world of sports, we see many talents that are bizarre and unconventional. Throwing an accurate football pass is prized and quarterbacks are labeled adroit and clever, but I think this talent is over-praised. I am a fan of Johnny Unitas, the Manning brothers, Sammy Baugh, Y.A. Tittle, Otto Graham, Johnny Lujack, Tom Brady and others, but I am not sure that talent is the proper word for their skills.

Playing a musical instrument well is highly regarded and pianists, fiddlers, drummers, clarinetists and even triangle players are considered true artists. Those of us who have no musical talent appreciate their ability to make music in coordination with others.

Singing in America has garnered praise from various sources. American Idol has excited the whole country with votes and acclaim for those who sing well…or not so well. I appreciate the English singer Adele for her style, as she delivers lyrics in a simple but effective manner. She is a very talented singer. Petula Clark and Amy Winehouse were also my favorites. Luciano Pavarotti and Renee Fleming are also pretty good.

Talented painters are special category. Jackson Pollock, Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol please many modernists, but I prefer the more classic style of Rembrandt, Picasso, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, El Greco, Rubens and Velazquez. “You pays your money, and you takes your choice.”

Talent is in the eye of the beholder.

News

Eight students from Jericho High School, the largest number of students from any school on Long Island this year, are among the 300 semifinalists picked from 1,800 entrants nationally and overseas in the annual Intel Science Talent Search.

Brookville’s Green Vale School students were featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Sport Rocketry, the official journal of the National Association of Rocketry.

The seventh-grade students competed nationally at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) last May in Virginia and were the youngest rocket scientists competing. They were also the only team from Long Island that qualified to enter the competition and one of only two teams from New York State.


Sports

The Syosset Braves 11-year-old football team recently won the Superbowl Championship Game against the Rosedale Jets with a final score of 13 to 0.

The Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho 5-Kilometer Run started and finished at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage on Dec. 21. The top local finisher was Tim Mahony of Syosset, who scored in 11th place overall and third in the 15 to 19 age group.

Other locals winning awards in this year’s Ho Ho Ho Run were Gina Ferraro of Syosset (2nd woman, 35-39 age group), Patty Santella of Syosset (3rd woman, 45-49 age group), Kim Solomine of Syosset (2nd woman, 55-59 age group).


Calendar

Jericho Wheelchair Basketball

January 17

Reality Check on America’s Economy, Health Care & Budget

January 17

Open Forum: Now What Do I Say?

January 21



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com