Tag Archives: cousins

Phyllis Diller gets an Oscar

I was blessed with a whole bunch of cousins whose families would get together on holidays or for other special events. Often we cousins would put on a “show” for the parents. I wish we had videos of even one of those shows, because they would be precious to us now, but all we have are vague memories of them.

I didn’t even know a photo existed of any of the shows until I was going through and scanning a bunch of photos I borrowed stole from my mom.

Here is my cousin*, Beth, and me (as Phyllis Diller according to the back of the photo — thank you Grandma, for writing on the back of photos!) in one of our shows. I do remember this one, but don’t remember any of the skits. I wonder if Beth does. Perhaps she’ll comment below.

Dona and Beth in a skit where Phyllis Diller gets an Oscar
Beth and Dona putting on a show. The back says” “Phyllis Diller gets an Oscar”. Chetek, July 1968.

I wish I’d scanned this last week. I would have posted it on Facebook along with my RIP message to Phyllis Diller.


*she’s really my mom’s cousin so that makes her a second cousin or something


Having a conversation with a distant cousin of my husband about graphic novels is about the last thing I expected to happen at my mother-in-law’s funeral service, but it happened. I noticed one of my sisters-in-law talking with a woman who I knew was somehow related to my husband. I remembered her from a past family gathering, but didn’t recall exactly who she was. I think she sent us Christmas cards for a few years, but since we never reciprocated (I quit sending Christmas cards to anyone long ago), stopped after a while. She owns a company called WriteBrain Media that promotes companies in a variety of ways. She approached me and wondered if I might be interested in some of her outsourced work. She and another entrepreneur had also just begun another venture called The Devil’s Candy Store. As we talked, I also learned that her husband (whom I also remember meeting many years ago) is an artist whose work includes familiar Star Wars illustrations.

We talked about Neil Gaiman a little. She mentioned that she and her husband once had a booth next to Charles Vess at ComicCon. She said that Clare should contact her husband if she was really interested in pursuing art as a career — he might be able to help her out.

We’ve not communicated since the funeral — over 5 months ago — even though we exchanged email addresses and telephone numbers. I think I was a little intimidated. Not by Denise — she’s a lovely woman and highly approachable. But by the life she and her husband have — it seems more glamorous than my suburban work-from-home mother kind of life. They seem to be in Holly Black‘s league. Even if she’d emailed me with a web site proposal, I doubt I would have accepted. My work is nowhere near as professional (flashy?) as what an artist or author would expect.

It just goes to show, you never know who you’re going to meet in a church basement in a small town like Pingree Grove.