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DVDs and music battle Irene

September 4, 2011
By KATHRYN SPIRA , The Leader Herald

Last Sunday, I spent the day without power as did thousands of others.

Thankfully, Herman and I have a generator that kept our lights on even though we didn't have cable, TV or Internet. I was able to catch up on my viewing of DVDs I hadn't gotten to watch as well as my magazine reading, such as the latest issue of "People." I also listened to WMHT classical on 89.1FM, which also is available online.

I want to add I have a wonderful sound system and stereo Herman and I have built over the years.

I finally watched "Bell, Book and Candle" with James Stewart and Kim Novak in the title roles and Jack Lemmon in a surprising supportive role as Novak's character's brother.

I also re-watched "Something's Gotta Give" with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Rounding out that cast was Keanu Reeves and Amanda Peet. I hadn't watched it since it first came out in DVD.

"Bell, Book and Candle" is a classic I hadn't seen before, although Herman has tried to make me watch it several times over the years. I found an excuse each time, probably because the topic of witches in New York City didn't really appeal to me. However, in watching the movie I found it more of a romantic comedy than a fantasy piece. And the character of Jack Lemmon as a bongo-playing warlock was especially offbeat and amusing.

Also, when the power was out completely, Herman tuned our battery-powered portable radio to WMHT and we listened to the soothing classical music there, which I love. There's nothing like classical music to make you take a major storm in stride.

We lost electricity for most of last Sunday, as did so many others, but were fortunate enough to get it back that evening. In the meantime, for part of the day, Herman ran our generator, although to save gas, we didn't run it the whole time we were out of power.

Since we have LP for cooking and heating, Herman was able to cook without power, and the temperature was in the 70s so heating wasn't a problem anyway. In comparison to so many others who were flooded out or suffered from downed trees, we were relatively unscathed.

When it has been very warm this summer, I've needed air conditioning, but it was just about right so neither air conditioning nor heat was needed for my MS, which is very temperature sensitive.

So Irene came and went with very little effect on our lives. I hope you can say the same thing for yourselves and have your power and entertainment back.

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at



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