So now I'm taking time to raise a glass (a Grande Americano, really) to each of my parents, and spend some time reflecting on their personalities.
Angela Huntley Love (nee Clarke) was a complicated woman: a talented musician and singer, an amateur actor (Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society), and generally full of lively talents both realized and unrealized. Angela could be loud, boisterous and manic (literally), or quiet, withdrawn and depressed. Each of us has our polar extremes of behaviour, but her poles were a bit farther apart than most people.
Angela would sometimes doodle this little cartoon bird for fun. It looked kind of like a crane, with a round head, large pointed beak and long flowing neck. He always had glasses and smoked a big fat cigar. It was obviously inspired by Groucho Marx. Even as a little kid, I could recognize Groucho's face, even if I didn't know his name.
The maiden name of Angela's Mother, Edna Ursula Marks, might phonetically have spurred in her an affinity for Groucho too. I can only guess. Angela was also a fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, as was the famous Mr. Marx.
So nowadays, while I'm re-reading Steven Kanfer's excellent biography of Groucho, I'm hearing little refrains from Gilbert and Sullivan, and thinking of Angela.
My Dad, James Evan Love, loved Groucho's speed and wit. Intelligence, and a fast mouth with which to use it, equated to a form of strength or power - something to be admired. Groucho was the comic rebel of my parent's generation.
Dad used to love to paraphrase Groucho, saying "I'd never belong to any club that would have me as a member." True to his word, Dad belonged to no clubs.
Well, maybe both of them were members of The Lonely Hearts Club.
Hello, I must be going.
I love you Mum and Dad.
Here's to you both...