It may well be that what movie buffs best remember the legendary French actor/singer Maurice Chevalier for is his hit song from the movie Gigi, entitled:Thank Heaven for Little Girls. In that well-loved, thick-as-treacle, inimitable Chevalier accent he gave special meaning to the words “little girls get bigger every day…they grow up in the most delightful way…without them what would little boys do?”
We know little boys; and what little boys do is precisely what big boys do when there are no delightful ladies around. But let’s not go there!
Suffice it to say little girls are scene stealers. Actors, male and female, avoid as much as possible sharing screen time with them. But what our pictured little girl brought to my mind was a 1979 interview with George Odlum, when he recalled a highly politicized event in then Columbus Square involving the nation’s schools.
When it was his turn to speak, he recalled, he had not the slightest idea what to say (yeah, right!). But as he strode to the podium and beheld the scores of kids being kids in their freshly laundered St. Joseph’s Convent uniforms, it occurred to him they had not a clue that they were witnessing history in the making. They were just kids enjoying a school outing.
“And then, it came to me,” said the Big Brother, typically over-dramatically. “I thought of Thomas Gray. And I said, quoting the poet: ‘Regardless of their doom, the little children cry!”
Careless as I was back then, I reproduced the line in my STAR report, exactly as delivered by George. Only years later, when I was writing It’ll Be Alright in the Morning, did I bother to check its correctness. Of course, what Gray had written was: “Regardless of their doom, the little victims play!”
When our photographer bumped into this cute little bundle near her Ti Colon home on Saturday, the rain was coming down in trough
torrents. All around her the neglected gutters overflowed their banks; concerned adults complained about possible landslides at the usual vulnerable sites; a few cursed the don’t-give-a-hoot authorities. But regardless of the gloom, this delightful little girl was determined to remain as carefree as only children can be, come rain or come shine. And now I ask you: Did you ever clap eyes on a happier face under a storm-battered umbrella-ella-ella-ella?