A Welcome and a Definition

Culture Vulture: "A person with a strong, sometimes obsessive, interest in the arts." Culture Vultures spend a lot of time observing the world. This is where those observations come out.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I am truly sorry for the lack of updates these past two weeks. I had my computer crash on me and I was finishing some work for a class I was taking. Hopefully, I won't let the blog sit that long again.

Recently, I was trying to decide what I was going to read (I am almost always reading something) and I rediscovered Rue McClanahan's 2007 memoir My First Five Husbands... I know many people dislike reading any book twice. However, I find it comforting to read a book I enjoyed again, like watching a movie you love but seen 50 times or listening to a song on repeat. Often times, I pick up on things I missed the first time around. Sometimes, it also serves as a good distraction when I want to read something but not necessarily put my full resources into it.

It was very sad to me when Rue passed away a few months ago. I, of course, loved her as Golden Girl Blanche but I also loved her recent work with Del Shores in Sordid Lives: The Series. Strangely, rereading My First Five Husbands... it felt I was visiting an old friend.

As the title suggests, Rue did have five ex-husbands (actually she was married to husband #6 when she died). Her stories of marriage are almost worth the price of the book alone. Husbands #1, #3, and #4 come across very badly, while she seemed to still have genuine affection still for #2 and #5. Husbands 3 and 4 didn't even get names in the book! #3 is "The Italian" in the book and #4 is "The Greek." However, Husband #2 was a good friend of hers she felt pressured by her family after her 1st husband flew the coop and left her with a son to raise. She said she was never really in love with him, but they remained friends until he passed away (They even had an open marriage!). Husband #5 was actually her high school sweetheart who she married in haste only to realize it was a huge mistake a year later.

Besides talk of various husbands and boyfriends over the years, the book talks about her journey from a small town in Oklahoma to a respected actress of stage and television. She mentions the people who were important to her throughout her life, and how they impacted her life. She also dishes a little on her life on The Golden Girls set. With the GG stuff, she strikes a very interesting balance: she definitely tries very hard not to bad mouth any of her c0-stars. On the other hand, she also makes it very clear that the four ladies were not close friends off stage. For instance, she said the only party off set that she, Betty and Bea would attend together was Estelle's annual birthday party.

So if you love The Golden Girls and are looking for a little light summer reading, I would wholeheartedly recommend My First Five Husbands....


  1. People don't like reading books twice? I read my favorite books over and over and over again...

  2. I suppose I have two comments to offer: first of all, Rue McClanahan's life reminds me a great deal of Alice, Wyf of Bath. Secondly, I have heard people complain about reading books twice, and I'm reminded of Faulkner's attitude about revision and editing: "don't bother. You'd better spend that time writing something else." I'm a huge Toni Morrison fan (I've read _Paradise_ multiple times, by the way), and fortunately, as big a Faulkner adherent as she is, she didn't take that particular piece of advice. I've often heard of Morrison referred to as "Faulkner with editing." LOL