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Sanpeters: Be “Included In”

By Merrill Ogden - | Jan 25, 2023

Samuel Goldwyn was a legendary producer in the movie business. He was born in 1879 — a year after my paternal grandfather. He died a year after my grandpa’s death. Both lived to be 94.

Samuel was born in Warsaw, Poland. In 1898, he sailed on a ship from England and got off in Nova Scotia, Canada, because he was afraid that he’d be refused entry to the U.S. The next year he made his way to upstate New York and found work. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902. (Perhaps it would have been easier for him to take a boat to Mexico and come in that way.) (Forget I said that. I don’t want to get into that topic.)

Goldwyn, of course, became very successful in the movie business. His rags to riches story is fascinating.

You’ve heard of MGM movies. The “G” is for Goldwyn as in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. The original MGM Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas had a wonderful movie theater with love seats and private tables with call buttons for service. They showed old MGM movies.

I believe it was on our honeymoon that we saw the old Greta Garbo film “Ninotchka” there. There was a tragic fire at the hotel in 1980 and that was the end of that tradition.

Samuel Goldwyn had something in common with baseball legend Yogi Berra. Both men are associated with saying non-intentional, humorous statements which caused head scratching and smiles.

Many of you are familiar with Yogi Berra and his “off the wall” statements. I like to quote him. I think we all have favorite Yogi quotes: “Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.”

“Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.”

“Pair up in threes”

“90% of this game is half mental.”

Samuel Goldwyn was famous for the same type of comments which became known as “Goldwynisms.” He probably had as many or more than Yogi. Here are a few I especially like:

“I read part of it all the way through.”

“Color television! Bah, I won’t believe it until I see it in black and white.”

“Destroy the old files, but make copies first.”

“Why did you name him Sam? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Sam!”

“Our comedies are not to be laughed at.”

“For your information, just answer me one question!”

“Tell them to stand closer apart.” (That was way before Covid distancing)

Now, after all of this introduction, I’d like to get to the point of this column. Yes, believe it or not, there is a point. The point involves a Goldwynisn that I’ve been thinking about lately. You’ve most likely heard it and maybe even said it a few times. The quote is, “Gentlemen, include me out.”

That’s the position that many of us take when we’re approached to get involved in service. It doesn’t matter if it’s church, community, neighborhood, or anything else. It’s much easier to sit by and let the other guy do the work. We’d rather be “included out.” Someone else is always there to take care of what needs to be done, right?

There is always a need for people to get involved. Right now, is the time for Sanpeters to have a New Year’s resolution to be involved and say, “Include me in.”

All of the communities in Sanpete have celebrations and events. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and help with these hometown events.

If we are unable to actually help with the work of these festivals, events and projects, and others like them, we should at least attend them and enjoy them. If we don’t, then I’ll be reminded of a couple of additional Goldwynisms: “They stayed away in droves.” and “That’s our strongest weak point.” — Merrill


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