There is a luncheon at the Mays Landing Country Club on Saturday where Mainland Post #81 of the American Legion will host four important members of the community.
The guests of honor will include Lincoln Green, former member of the city council in Pleasantville; Audrey Robinson, past president of the American Legion’s Auxiliary; and two others being recognized for years of dedication to the community – Joann Peopples and Kay Wright.
These are four people who have made a difference in the community and have had a positive impact on many, many lives.
But let’s focus on Kay Wright.
The American Legion is especially thankful for her because she was the driving force behind the building of Veteran’s Memorial Park, right across the street from the old Pleasantville High School location. It is an attractive tribute to the veterans from all branches of the armed services. Kay’s husband, Bill, landed at Normandy during one of the World War II battles that turned the war around.
But she has done so much more.
Kay has been going to the Miss America Pageant since Bert Parks was a boy. She even went to a couple of them in Las Vegas. She attends the rehearsals with her daughters and is as well prepared for the nightly shows as some of the state representatives. For decades she donated her time and talent to the Miss Atlantic County Pageant and got the Pleasantville Yacht Club to select a representative to sponsor each year in the county competition. She has even judged pageants all over the state.
Kay, who will turn 90 next year, also brought her hospitality talents to the Atlantic City Marathon and high school sports events throughout the area for over a decade. And she was not only known all over the state for her fruit salad but also for her skills designing floats for the Miss America Parade and other similar events.
Both of her daughters – Linda and Barbara – have followed her lead and have spent thousands of volunteer hours helping wherever they were needed.
Congratulations to Lincoln Green, Audrey Robinson and Joann Peopples for all that they have done with their lives.
But a special tip of the hat to Kay Wright, a woman who cannot do enough for others and who has truly made the world a better place.
Based on a true story
Is it just an illusion or are there more films and TV shows currently available that are about real people or real events.
First of all, there is FX’s excellent “The People v. O.J. Simpson”, a well-cast series with Emmy-level performances that relives the Trial of the Century.
The talented Don Cheadle stars in “Miles Ahead”, a film he produced about the great jazz musician, Miles Davis.
“Concussion” is a film starring Will Smith that tells the story of how the NFL lied (and still lies) about the likelihood of head injuries in professional football creating devastating damage to the players.
“Race” is the story of the challenges faced by Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympic Games.
Bryan Cranston stars in “Trumbo”, the story of controversial author and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted by Hollywood for his political beliefs.
“Joy” is the story of Joy Mangano, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, a woman who was living in poverty but became a multi-millionaire through a simple invention.
“Steve Jobs” is the behind the scenes story of the man behind Apple, as portrayed by Michael Fassbender.
“Straight Outta Compton” – produced by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre - tells the story of the hip hop group, “NWA”.
“Spotlight”, a film, starring Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton, that tells how the Boston Globe broke the story of child molestation in the Archdiocese.
“Truth”, about the CBS discovery that George W. Bush was AWOL from military service and the pressures to kill the story. Robert Redford stars as Dan Rather with Cate Blanchett as his producer.
“The Big Short” stars Christian Bale and Steve Carell in an inside story of the Wall Street collapse in 2008.
“Bridge of Spies” starring Tom Hanks as the attorney who negotiates with the Soviet Union for the release of pilot Francis Gary Powers.
And “Confirmation”, the HBO story of the contentious confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, starring Kerry Washington as Professor Anita Hill and Wendell Pierce as Thomas.
Those are just some of them. Those “true story” films have been around for a while – “All the President’s Men”, “Apollo 13”, “Raging Bull”, “Bonnie & Clyde” and “Inherit the Wind”, to name a few – but there just seems to be a lot of them recently.
Assuming the producers and directors strive for accuracy, these films are a good way to gain insights about people and events that are part of our culture.
Words of Wisdom: “I think it would be very boring dramatically to have a film where everybody was a lawyer or doctor and had no faults. To me, the most important thing is to be truthful.” (director Spike Lee)
People we meet: Laurie works at Marmora Family Dental Associates. She makes sure that all patients are relaxed and assists in their treatment. She is that unusual former high school cheerleader who is married to a referee.
(This At Large column, along with previous editions, can be found online at columns.shorenewstoday.com where you can post comments. Direct reactions or questions about this column can be sent via email to Tom.Williams@catamaranmedia.com. He can also be followed on Twitter at @catamarantw.)