Talk about how time flies.
As I read over the cast biographies for the musical Oklahoma! at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre last week, I realized that the tall, good-looking man up on the stage playing rough, tough cowhand Mike was little Georgie Cahill.
Only now, he's George Cahill, veteran of Disney, Universal Studios and a movie company in Asia.
The first time I saw George was in April of 1994, when he and his parents, George and Darlene, were Invisible Inc., a singing/dancing/magic act. They were the first show ever presented at Jimmy Ferraro's long gone Angel "garden cafe" Theatre in Holiday. Georgie was only 5 years old at the time, but, despite the fact that his mom and dad are two of the best in showbiz, he stole the show.
"He's quite the little ham," Darlene said at the time.
Cahill made his stage debut at age 3 at the Showboat Dinner Theatre in Clearwater, when he was backstage waiting as his parents did their act. As the show progressed, he edged onto the stage and waved at the audience. Stagehands pulled him back, but he wiggled free and dashed back on stage.
"We thought we might as well put him in the act," his dad said this week. So they dressed him up like a little newsboy, with cap and knickers, and his life path was set.
I wondered if I could pick him out of the sizable Show Palace cast, but he's the spittin' image of his parents, with his dad's full hair and "generous" ears and his mom's high cheekbones.
Television fans may remember Dad George (actually George III) as Mr. Greenjeans in the syndicated All-New Captain Kangaroo Show that ran on various stations from 1997 through 2000, or as a performer at Ferraro's Angel Cabaret Theatre from 2001 to 2004.
Mom Darlene was on the CBS reality show Wickedly Perfect in 2005, a contest for decorators who might possibly replace Martha Stewart, who was otherwise occupied (in jail) at the time.
Internet fans thought Darlene should have won, but the other contestants voted her off, apparently realizing she was their toughest competition.
Undaunted, Darlene returned to her gig on HSN, wrote a book, Sewing from Square One, and launched Melrose, a line of sewing threads and supplies. She's in Tennessee this week, making a television pilot for a "sewing makeover show," the needle-and-thread version of Holmes on Homes on HGTV.
Meanwhile, grownup Georgie, um, George IV, is boot-scootin' all over the Show Palace stage and savoring his recent nomination for a Lary Award as Favorite Supporting Actor in a Musical for his rendition of Cosmo in Eight O'Clock Theatre's Singin' in the Rain.
Apologies to mom
First, let me make something perfectly clear to my dear mother.
Mom — you were not wasting your time when you told my sister and me those wonderful stories about your childhood living among the Osage and Cherokee in early 20th century northeast Oklahoma. I listened, I enjoyed, I learned. And I haven't forgotten.
As a result, I know perfectly well, despite what you read under my byline in Sunday's Pasco and Hernando Times, that there is no such thing as an Oklahoma Sooner Indian tribe.
A Sooner, of course, is a settler (usually a paleface) who jumped the gun on one of the many U.S.-sponsored "land rushes" that allowed said palefaces to race into what had been American Indian lands and claim them as their own. In other words, they staked their claim "sooner" than they should have, thus the Sooner State.
In my review of the musical Oklahoma! at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre published in Sunday's paper, I slipped in an aside that although the Show Palace version is new and updated, it "still doesn't mention my Native American ancestors the Sooners displaced to make room for their cornfields."
By Sunday morning, that aside had been turned into "never mind the show still doesn't mention my American Indian ancestors, the Sooners, who were displaced to make room for their cornfields." Cheez Louise.
I suppose I could blame the change on that defenseless, ubiquitous villain, "the computer," but, as Richard Nixon said, "But that would be wrong." Indeed, mortal fingers typed in the second version unbeknownst to yours truly.
Let me make something perfectly clear: The people who edit my writings have saved me from serious shame on many occasions over the years by catching some nitwit error I've made and making it right. But, as one of them once told me when I called him with my effusive thanks, "Hey, that's our job — to catch your mistakes."
Later, when someone far down the editing line had inserted a mistake that prompted many telephone calls to me on an early Saturday, this same editor was quick to say, "Our job is to catch your mistakes, not to insert our own."
As we ambiguously say in the south, "Bless their hearts."