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    Confessions of a Barry Manilow Fan

    On PBS recently, Barry Manilow was featured in a concert from Las Vegas. I had just asked Herman if he would look up on the computer to see if ER was a repeat that night (it was) and to his horror he saw that there was to be a Barry Manilow special on PBS.

    Well, I’ve been a Barry Manilow fan for a very long time (and of course Herman knew that) and I get endless grief about it from people, including Herman. But at least he didn’t hide the schedule from me. I wound up planning my night-time bath schedule around the concert.

    As I was watching it, Herman was hiding out in the bedroom, taking full advantage of having two hours to read. He did, however, put on some instrumental music to screen out the sounds of Barry. I even had to ask him to turn it down so I could hear Barry unhindered.

    I can see why some people find Barry Manilow cheesy at best. He definitely has the “lounge lizard” act down pat. But I see him as a consummate performer, touching all bases of professionalism. (Herman is rolling his eyes as I say this.)

    The kinds of music Herman likes include Dave Brubeck (and other classic and fusion jazz), alternative rock (people like Alannis Mourisette, Bruce Cockburn and Joan Osborne) and certain MOR (middle of the road) music.

    I must say that my favorite type of music is classical pieces with the violin, to be exact. I’ve even turned Herman on to this music as he has gained an appreciation (helped along by the fact that his favorite literary heroes from the Patrick O’Brian “Master and Commander” series play violin and cello).

    Herman has almost turned me on to this author. I stress “almost.” I’m not quite sure I want to read him since I have several new favorites of my own. Herman’s read all twenty volumes in the Aubrey/Maturin series while I have been reading through the Phillip Gulley “Harmony” series of books. He did manage to get me to read a Lillian Jackson Braun “The Cat Who…” book which I enjoyed and may read more of in the future.

    One of the things Braun talks about is the fact that the lead character has a “Do not let the cat out” floor mat. I have the same words on a sign outside each door of my house, so I definitely can relate to that.

    So, whether it is music or reading, each to his or her own taste. For me, its Barry Manilow and Philip Gulley right now.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com