Have you been watching this extravaganza? The producer of the R. Reagan funeral should be up for an oscar. Ronny has finally moved from B movie player to the A movie list with this final show. The casket, which weighed over 600 pounds, had to be brought down the capitol steps, and as I lay here in my cough medicine narcotic haze, I pictured the coffin slipping out from the hands of one of the bearers, sliding down the steps, gathering speed and hurtling though the balustrade and flattening the vice president and a few lackeys. But that would have been a Max Sennett production, and this was Spielberg or DeMille all the way. I didn't know that we still had Kings and Queens but I guess we do.
All I can say is that this spectacular event was planned down to the last camera shot, and the type of fabric to be used on the capitol steps (did you see how blue it was - how the red flag against the blue, shot from overhead was so beautiful).
Did you see how the lighting in the rotunda was so perfect on the casket?
How the choice of music was so tasteful and moving. It was as if every sound, every prop, every eyeball was picked for it's perfection. The props and extras were the best that could be found. Just a fantastic show, and it's not over yet.
Three acts: act one ritual in Semi valley. Act II: The Capitol and the Requim and Act III: back to Semi Valley for the final, and actual burial - the part where they stick you in the ground for a very long time.
And poor Ray Charles - who was one of Reagan's favorite soul brothers - is now out of the limelight. Bad timing on Ray's part. Anyone else famous out there - hang on until the Reagan thing is over if at all possible.
But it reminds me a little of my grandpa Max's funeral. We were all watching my grandmother as the casket was lowered into the ground. She fell to her knees and began to sob. My father inched closer to her and told me to keep an eye on her. I think I was about 18 years old.
Suddenly, with a burst of energy, this 75 year old woman tried to hurl herself into the gaping pit. My father and I were quick to hold her back. She began to speak in Yiddish that she wanted to be buried with Max. And then pitiful wails came from her and she went into this primal scream... and collapsed on the edge of the pit. And that too was theatre, ritual, whatever you want to call it - but something I will remember forever.