Flaming Balls of Gas

It’s that month again; the one in which I get to turn another year older. When I was a child I got it into my head that the date of my birth held the key to my destiny. That I had been sent to earth for some special reason. By this logic anyone born on my birthday was special too. This idiocy was reinforced when I found out how many famous people were born on May 26th. 

John Wayne was born May 26, 1907. He rode horses and shot guns.  I tried to ride a horse once but the critter paid me no never mind (as my grandmother would say) galloping off into the desert until it finally got tired.  Luckily it knew the way back to the barn because I sure didn’t.  Clearly being a cowboy star was not in my stars.

Sally Ride was born May 26, 1951. At one time I wanted to be an astronaut. My motives were entirely selfish.  I wanted to sail off into space to find the mothership that deposited me on Earth like a demented stork with a sick sense of humor.  But then I hit high school and realized I have math dyslexia.  I can’t even copy down a telephone number without transposing the numbers.  Plus they drink their own urine in space,  Yuck. Did I ever mention that  I’m a real picky eater?

Stevie Nicks was born on May 26 1948 and Peggie Lee, May 26. 1920. I tried out  for choir once and sang so beautifully that the choral director suggested I consider a career in comedy.

Indeed, of all the celebrities born on May 26th (Dorothea Lange, James Arness, Jack Kervokian to name a few) the only one I feel a kinship with is Isadora Duncan born May 26, 1877.  I love to go barefoot in the garden. I love to dance in loose clothing. And I suppose one day my scarf will get caught in the spokes of a Bugatti and that will be end.

As I got older I realized that having my picture taken all the time or reading about myself in “stars who’ve aged badly” would have ended, well, badly.  Very badly.  It’s a good thing my path was not one that led to celebrity.

Do you feel a kinship with any celebrity born on the same day as you or are the stars just flaming balls of gas twirling out in space?

41 thoughts on “Flaming Balls of Gas

  1. Wanna hear somethin scary? A person living in the same state as me was born on the same day (different year) that has the same first and last name as me and we’ve been to the same doctors on occassion and other places, crossing paths. Now that’s flamin balls of gas twrilin out of space (and control) 😉

  2. Okay, Jan. You forced me to check out the Oct 26 birthdays and found connections with Hillary, Keith Urban, Felix the Cat (1917) and Mahalia Jackson (1911). Perhaps the most intriguing, but I can’t claim a close relationship with him: Zhengde, Emperor of China (1491). Thanks for the thought.

    And to undiscoverdimagesamongstus, WOW!

  3. Happy birthday, dear Jan!! May your scarf never get caught in the spokes of anything. But I do think you have some other lovely things in common with Isadora Duncan.

    When I was in high school, I learned that Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962 (which was exactly two years before my birth). Nevertheless, my “logical” high school brain decided that Marilyn’s spirit had been transplanted into me. Crazy, but it got me through some bad days. Whenever life really sucked, I’d think about how I’d become a big star some day. Of course, I never thought about the fact that poor Marilyn died so young.

    1. Thanks Mary. I think many celebrities suffer as they get older and it gets harder to maintain the illusion of youth and sex appeal. But we don’t know that when we’re young!

  4. I’m a 26-er too. I believe in numerology. Apparently those of us who are 26-ers find a way to merge two talents into one thing later. I kinda thought later would be here by now…but I go on. Mine is Charles Schulz. I haven’t had a comic strip revelation yet. But I go on.

    You are RATHER witty.

    1. Later has this way of slipping further and further, doesn’t it? Charles Schulz is a good one – definitely figured out how to merge his talents.

  5. Happy day!

    I must have been very impressionable in 1968 when the movie about Duncan was released. There are several scenes that stick with me, nearly 50 years later – most notably, of course, her death by trailing scarf. How surreal!

    1. Thank you. I remember the movie. It focused a lot on the tragic loss of her children. I think it starred Vanessa Redgrave but of course now I’ll have to google. ; )

      1. You are correct – I googled it this morning – when I watched the video you posted, it occurred to me that they made a good casting call with Redgrave.

  6. Happy birthday. I work with two people in our little technology department. One shares my birthday and one shares yours. I don’t know anyone famous born on my birthday, but my favorite aunt always said “the best people were born in November” – she and I both qualify.

  7. Yeah, another May flower! (But unlike I who celebrated 10 days ago, you are a Gemini which changes EVERYTHING) 😉 BTW, a good friend sent me this same Beatles tune for mine.

    In any case, happy birthday to you and all assorted celebrities. I can add Ms. Lauryn Hill. I learned about her birthday just earlier, and I found it very cool since a good friend celebrates today as well. He is a good man.

    I share my birthday, the 16th, with only two famous people that I can recall: Gabriela Sabatini, tennis player from Argentina (we share the same year too. She is gorgeous so that’s good.) and Janet Jackson. And that is that.

  8. I loved this post, Jan. Funny as hell (I’m still giggling) and interesting topic. I really really enjoyed the Isadora Duncan video too. Best wishes for a great new year~~

  9. Winston Churchill. Hmm – megalomaniac who caused a crisis in Ireland, was the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer ever, said with a breathtaking arrogance ‘History will be kind to me because I will write it’, dammed his opponents with such bon mots as ‘Attlee is a modest man with much to be modest about’ and ‘he looks like a lady llama startled while taking her bath’. I’m sure there was a reason why i should be pleased with that link. Now what was it?

  10. Another funny write Jan – you are a born writer & apparently in exalted company w/your birthday:))

  11. Happy Birthday! I have never looked up who was born on my birthday (May 11), but now I think I will. I do know that I feel a connection whenever I hear that someone was born on or near my birthday!

    1. I know people born on May 10th but can’t remember anyone born on the 11th. However, that’s a very strong number – 11 – so I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t several interesting folks born on that day.

  12. Happy belated birthday, dear Jan! 🎶 🎂 xo
    I looked up and here they are:
    I am sometimes grouchy like Ed Asner,
    I am a little artistic like Georgia O’Keefe,
    I wish I could sing like Petula Clark and C.W. McCall.
    Finally, I hope I may laugh more and live longer like George Burns. 🙂

      1. Jan, I agree Georgia O’Keefe was incredibly skilled and brilliant. She has sensual flowers, unique skulls and natural paintings, too. I looked her up (for your post) and knew of the flowers but her NY skyscapes were amazing!

  13. My dad was also born on May 26th, Jan. I met John Wayne in my teens, when he paid a visit to Dublin and he bent down so I could kiss his cheek, he was really tall. Maureen O’Hara was with him but she ran away when she saw the fans waiting.

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