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Louis Roney

Stories by Louis

Louis Roney: ‘Mana from heaven’ on 57th Street

We were practicing sinking German submarines, while sun-worshippers crowded Miami Beach as though World War II was a soap opera.

Her hands could barely span an octave, but those hands — before she was twelve — had played the Beethoven “Emperor” Piano Concerto in Carnegie Hall.

Louis Roney: On the slopes

I don’t know what it is about doing dangerous things that attracts so many otherwise “sane” people.

We drive our cars very carefully all the way to the ski slopes and then put ourselves in a most perilous situation, one that could lead to the end of it all for us.

Louis Roney: Who owns what, anyhow?

We are all caught up in an evolutionary line of settling and using land.

It has often occurred to me that our pasts do not deserve the attention we pay them.

Louis Roney: It ain’t what you do

You might say it was not when you did it or how you did it, but who heard you do it at that infelicitous moment.

Wish yourself good luck and I’ll join you in your hope that you do not flop in your big moment.

Louis Roney: Bravos past but never forgotten

In a long life such as mine, I have been in many places I never though I would go, and have met people in many walks of life I never thought I would meet.

And now I relish living in our Winter Park home with my b.w., and enjoying our many charming dear friends and neighbors. Life has never been better!

Louis Roney: Conversation: Pros' prose

The art of conversation is not just talk, but talk that conveys an exchange of ideas worthy of listeners who know a thing or two.

The most famous “talker” in our language may have been London’s Samuel Johnson, whose “gab” in the 18th century drew flocks of people who wanted only to engage conversation with him.

Louis Roney: Sticks in the mud

When a dog loves a person, I believe that person more than likely can be trusted.

Do you think that guys who call their women-folk, “my pet” are especially good to their chosen gals?

Louis Roney: The savviest guy

I looked out the window, and saw an elderly white-maned man licking a vanilla ice cream cone as he sauntered slowly down the sidewalk. It was Albert Einstein.

Einstein was a guy who cogitated about the universe and all that is in it. While he held an ice cream cone in his hand, in his mind he was holding the infinite!

Louis Roney: Two true tales

In sports, coaches try their best to attract incoming players who can win games and make the coach look good.

Well, some kids in sports are like pigs trying to learn how to sing. Nothing good is going to come of it, no matter how much the most fervent coach may try.

Louis Roney: Southerners and their thinking

One's politics are expressive not only of personal prejudice, but often of stubborn stupidity.

As a person of long southern background, I see Conservatism as a natural philosophy of Southerners.

Louis Roney: Pastimes of past times

The “will to live” took hold of me 93 years ago, and I ain’t never turned loose.

I figure it is that very “will” plus the love of my wife and friends that has contributed to that positive outlook.

Louis Roney: Words from the wise

We are so lucky to live in Florida while so much of the rest of the country has its winter.

Rollins’ President Hamilton Holt used to tell us kids not to brag about Winter Park if we visited relatives up north, because if we did everyone would flock to WP and our little secret haven would be a secret no more.

Louis Roney: Beginning again

You may have noticed the repetitive quality of life in the solar system

Our personal clock starts the moment we are born and runs until our time is up whenever that may be.

Louis Roney: Mr. Natale's Christmas

Suddenly, Giuseppe Natale’s mouth opened wide and began to sing.

In the palm-edged driveway, Mr. Natale greeted the pale lad who stood there, “Well, sir, what can I do for you?”

Louis Roney: For goodness sake

Good people create goodness wherever they are, and their goodness is demonstrably contagious throughout the wide world.

You only need to be a good person yourself, to recognize this fact.

Louis Roney: Traveling far in song

I have traveled far in public in my life of song— and I have sung wherever I have traveled.

A singer and his songs are a musical love affair and a singer sings songs with a musicality that springs from his deep affection for, and understanding of them.

Louis Roney: Stalling for time

There is a very pretty woman living with me. Thirty-five years ago she was consigned by heaven to take care of me and make me happy.

When I wasn’t watching out, the “love-bug” got me good. Pretty soon I had come down to Florida and bought a house that I didn’t need in the slightest.

Louis Roney: Thanks!

I realize that I am thankful for being a lucky person. Once again I give thanks that I did not perish, as thousands did, during my four-year World War II Naval service.

I enjoy a conscious excitement when getting up in the morning. I’m thankful for that fact. At 93, I am indebted to my genes and to temperate living for a strong physical constitution.

Dr. Phillips Center shows off its worth

Center opens with 'Carmina Burana'

On Nov. 22, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts took off it wraps and proved its important worth to a full house, with a blockbuster performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”

Louis Roney: Running from taxes

If we exempt one half of the population from paying taxes, we are turning over the government to those who pay nothing but can vote anything they wish.

If they want a bridge to the moon, they can vote for it all right, and I guess the rest of us had better accept the fact that we are trapped on a crazy planet.

Louis Roney: Are you “cultured”?

We human beings are both the creators — and the products — of cultures.

Belonging to our “culture” are such diverse things as our educational standards, manners, what’s playing at the local movie theater and on the TV, our crime, and our punishment of criminals.

Louis Roney: Sweetie

Dogs exist to bring happiness to people, and they justify their existence at every opportunity.

It’s impossible not to love dogs in return.

Louis Roney: Lakeside musings

The “play” of my life is now in its final act. I would like it to be a good act, an act of peace and harmony, but one of courage also.

I don’t believe that one should live in the past, but successful past times have a way of generating a climate where good things can logically and comfortably reoccur and thrive.

Louis Roney: Klinghoffer et al.

A symphony composition, whether Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, or Mahler can often be a work of great genius bringing all kinds of instruments together, each with its own individual sound.

Such collaboration makes for some of the greatest music ever created, and ever performed.

Louis Roney: Outrage after outrage

The TV brings news of a woman being robbed at pistol point on Park Avenue, Winter Park at 11:30 p.m.

My memories of Winter Park go back to 1929. However, I would have thought such a crime on our main street is impossible — even now!

Louis Roney: The gift of gab

The wise speaker starts by concentrating on important aspects of something he knows a lot about.

The intellects of favorite talkers I’ve known were memorable for having stored away treasure-trove “reference libraries” of facts to be recalled on the spot while the speaker was speaking.

Louis Roney: The days dwindle down

As my days dwindle down to a precious few, people ask me, “What do you do to get yourself going in the morning?”

I say, “I think about what needs to be done. I think about what I can get done today, and I get busy doing it.” What’s so unusual about that? After all, “today” is the only day any of us can do anything!

Louis Roney: Top of the line

Like most American dads, mine was undoubtedly thanked inadequately during his days on Earth.

Dad was a first lieutenant in the Army in World War I, and managed somehow to join me as a naval officer in World War II when he was far over age.

Louis Roney: The plan (for the guy without a plan)

We Americans see our planet through rose-colored glasses, only occasionally wiping the glasses clean so as to see the true reality around us.

In school we sang a nice little song that said, “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” The trick was, I guess, to row gently enough so as not to make waves to threaten us up ahead.

Louis Roney: Brick streets

Winter Park’s perennial determined wish is to remain small, high class, quiet and aesthetically beautiful.

If Winter Park people appear to be snobbish, let’s thank them for giving Florida yet another town that can justifiably call itself “classy” — even “ritzy.”

Louis Roney: Chatting with Machiavelli

Oddly, people who are our “blood relatives” are often people with whom we have little or nothing in common, and with whom we have little to do.

It is not unusual for people to be quite distant from their nearest relative, and for brothers and sisters to get along hardly at all.

Louis Roney: How's life treating you?

Whether we know it or not, we are at war.

Fear in people invites attack, and the strongest people are the safest.

Louis Roney: Sister Maggie

Maggie's marriage has been seemingly routine up to now.

In place of Louis Roney’s regular column, here is an original fictional short story, written by our columnist.

Concert review: Stellar end to concert series

Rimma & Friends by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

The evening deserves to be remembered particularly for wonderful artist Rimma Bergeron-Langlois’ memorable commanding moments of stellar violin artistry.

Louis Roney: Hang in there!

As our density grows, developers provide the nudges and flows that make our future take shape.

We old-timers are much concerned with the coming shapes of our lives and where we live, and present thinking becomes future reality.

Louis Roney: Do fence me in

Imaginary borders in our minds help us divide our thoughts into useful consequence, as fences or walls separate our lands from those of our neighbors.

Globalization has made us more vulnerable. It creates a world without borders and makes us aware of the limitations of our present politics to meet its challenges.

Concert review: Philharmonic members show off versatility

The third summer program of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra took place on Aug. 4 at the Plaza Live Theater.

Playing to a nearly filled hall, the evening was titled “Seasons of the Soul,” and OPO violinist Olga Ferroni put together a varied evening of music featuring selections from seasons of the year.

Louis Roney: Re: Politicians

Tell me, why do we elect politicians?

These guys talk about their “party” a lot, and it’s party-time for them the minute they hit Washington.

Louis Roney: So it goes...

Nobody needs to tell me that the U.S. is exceptional. I have lived in a few other countries where things we take for granted are their “exceptional.”

We are all dissatisfied with something in our lives. That’s why there are so many lawyers and liquor stores in every community.

Concert review: There's nothing like four dames

Music composed by women, performed by women.

Four highly proficient and talented female string players from the Orlando Philharmonic — dames all right! — took the stage at the Plaza Live Theater on Monday, July 21.

Louis Roney: A critic criticizes criticism

All of us are constant critics in our daily lives. We assess all that we buy, that we eat, that we drink, that we drive, that we wear — even that we marry.

Criticism requires emphasis on goodness or inferiority. If you tell your wife that you think her new dress is pretty, you are a critic. Period.

Louis Roney: Yesteryear here

One’s past is not alive in one’s mind at all times, but we manage to drudge up valuable long forgotten moments and places when the occasion calls for it.

All in all, my remembrance of my school days in Winter Park is of a very placid, genteel and proper atmosphere, with hardly any hint of the hustle and bustle of today.

Concert review: Prevailing Winds shows off skills

Members of the Orlando Philharmonic played a delightful program

On Monday, July 7, members of the Orlando Philharmonic played a delightful program at the Plaza Live Theater in Orlando featuring Prevailing Winds’ reed instrument players.

Louis Roney: Thomas Jefferson - Savant

In the next 17 days, Jefferson drafted one of the most beautiful and powerful testaments to liberty and equality in the history of mankind.

It would seem that present President Obama was “out to lunch” when Jefferson’s pertinent sage words were in the air.

Louis Roney: As they say…

If our dreams of love don’t come true, we rarely sing about it.

Nothing is ever quite the same as it is when we remember it.

Sovereign Brass shine in summer concert

Quintet plays favorites

A quintet of brass players called Sovereign Brass plus one percussionist played a program titled “Splendor in the Brass” on June 23 at The Plaza Live Theater and they played how else? Splendidly!

Louis Roney: Let me ask…?

These days there are many questions about the president and his presidency floating around in the political air we breathe.

Barack Obama has no experience with any of our armed services and yet as president he is commander in chief of all of them.

Louis Roney: Slices of time

In the ’30s Hope Strong and I, along with other members of our Scout Troop, would canoe with our leader Fleet Peeples down the Wekiva River and camp out overnight on Shell Island.

We were boys then. We were crazy. What else is new?

Louis Roney: Porcellian vocalism

Most American kids are not willing to wait. They put last things first, and first things last.

That's why there are so many people in the audience and so few on the stage.

Louis Roney: Thinking at 93 degrees

There is nothing that prepares one for the vicissitudes of old age except living a very long time and learning to roll with the punches.

Human beings are always in some state of mind or another and tend to assume that everyone they talk to is in the same state that they are at the same time.