When I was in BBG (the youth group I am now a volunteer advisor for) in high school, we used to go every now and then to the Motion Picture Home and spend time with retired, fabulous and fascinating members of that world. Both former actors and crew members. It was always a great time to visit these people and hear their stories.
I became particularly attached to one woman there, Mabel King. I didn't know who she was at first, I only knew she had these fabulous stories about being an African American woman coming up as an actress in that world. I often felt sad for her - though she always told me to "hush up about that" - because despite having tons and tons of letters and gifts arrive, she seldom received actual visitors.
It wasn't til a few visits after our first meeting when I realized who Mabel King was. I looked her up and her credits were astounding. She was the mom from "What's Happening" and the Grandma from "Scrooged." Not to mention being in "The Jerk" and on TV's "The Colbys." Of course, my favorite, favorite role of hers is as Evilene in "The Wiz." Eventually she would show me letters and photos and gifts from Michael Jackson with whom she'd co-starred in that movie. She even somehow knew Patrick Swayze and I remember she had a picture of them on the set of "Dirty Dancing."
Mabel had lost her legs to Diabetes and a couple teeth in a bad fall. She had fully recovered from a stroke that nearly cost her the ability to actually speak but her spirit never waivered and she always bounced back. She was pretty awesome. I went off to college and, admittedlly, didn't think of her for a little while, but then saw in the newspaper one day (in 1999) that she had passed away.
This morning I am feeling especially tired. I am not in a bad mood really but I'm just TIRED. And I thought "I could use some good news today or something" which made me think of a song Mabel sang in "The Wiz" rather famously called "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News" and you can clearly see my chain of thought from there...
And I wanted to share:
Here's wishing all of you a day with no bad news...