In this article, we’re going to break many of the rules of good journalism: 1) like staying on topic, 2) getting too personal and using the pronouns “I and We” and 3) we’re going to set aside the notion of objectivity, never showing any sign of favoritism or prejudice. That’s all hogwash anyway.
There are those times when you should openly rebel against the status quo and promote, promote, promote your own people. In the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s it was all about the Kennedys of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. No Irish clan ever did a better job of promoting themselves. At one point it seemed they had a Kennedy or a relative of a Kennedy holding office in every state and that was despite all the rancor concerning womanizing, the heavy drinking and how their patriarch made his fortune.
One of the best ways to promote your family or friend is to use the look-alike method. It gives everyone a visual cue so they can easily remember these folks. I can hear the rumblings already, “Oh no, not another lookalike article – when will it ever stop?”
What I’m suggesting – is – you keep an open mind and … in the end, agree wholeheartedly with my shrewd observations. If per chance you disagree, be my guest, blast away with your critique – “He must be off his rocker!” “That idiot needs to get his eyes checked!” Frankly Sir or Madam, I don’t really care.
So, in keeping with the celebration my family’s favorite holiday, St. Patty’s Day, March 17, 2015, here’s my latest attempt to hunt down people who remind me of my family or favorite people. The same way Reese Witherspoon reminded me of McKenzie Westmore on that afternoon when Witherspoon was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The same Westmore who has served as the Host of the Syfy original series Face Off, a reality competition featuring makeup artists competing for $100,000. Before that she was an actress on the trifling daytime soap opera Passions. I’ll bet you anything she’s benefitted big time in regards to her resemblance to Witherspoon who has to be one of the hottest stars in Hollywood. Especially when she goes out to eat and the maitre d’ comes to her table and informs her, “Ms. Witherspoon, the owner wanted me to tell you that your meal is on us.”
Bridget Hansbury (photo below, left), my cousin Nancy (Wyatt) Romanczuk’s dear friend, sure looks a lot like actress Azela Robinson (r) who just finished up a starring roll as the antagonist in the Mexican Soap Opera “Yo no creo en los hombres.” English translation: I don’t trust men anymore. The novela appeared nightly for over a year on Televisa, a TV station out of Mexico. If Ms. Hansbury were to now visit Mexico, I’m certain she’d be treated like royalty. Photo (bottom, right) shows Ms. Robinson after she had gone on a strict diet. Like a yo-yo, actresses tend to go up and down in weight to accommodate the part they play in the novela.
In that same novela, actress Adriana Louvier, one of the lead actors bore a resemblance to my daughter Lorraine (Wyatt) Ruiz. Not only in the reflection of her voice, but her mannerisms, facial expressions, her calm delivery of each line.
Getting back to my cousin Nancy (Wyatt) Romanczuk – the first time I saw the actress Cameron Diaz, I thought, ‘Wow, she kind of reminds me of Nancy. Of course there’s the gap in their ages but the look, the smile, both are fun people, kind to a fault and certainly very social. What reinforced my belief were the vivid memories I had of Nancy as a youngster, teen, young lady and at this point she’s a top candidate for “Grandmother of the year” for the 8th straight year.
Nancy’s sister, Kathy (Wyatt) Capelli is also a blondy. She married the renowned hair stylist Stephen Capelli Jr. who many have called “the absolute, most amazing hair stylist on the planet.” At one point, Kathy must have been a big fan of film actress Kim Novak because she had her husband style her hair just like Kim Novak’s hair. Tell me what you think of this collage.
Then we have my sister Francine (Wyatt) Bishara’s daughters Nicole (Bishara) Petrillo and Jen (Bishara) Jagielski. Either could be mistaken for the young lady pictured here (photo, top left), who is currently appearing in the lead-in commercials for Care giver Kaiser Permanente. Once again, the resemblance is uncanny.
George Wyatt III bares a marked resemblance to his father, George Wyatt, Jr. who in turn resembled his father George Wyatt, Sr. All three are shown in this photo taken on March 17, 1961 at one of the many St. Patty’s Day celebrations.
I would be remiss if I didn’t add at least one, maybe even two of my favorite Irish jokes.
An American walks into an Irish pub and says, “I’ll give anyone $100 if they can drink 10 Guinness’s in 10 minutes.”
Most people just ignored the absurd bet and went back to their conversations. One gent even left the bar. A little while later that same gent returned and asked the American, “Is that bet still on?”
“Sure,” says the American.
So the bartender lines up 10 Guinness’s on the bar and the Irishman drinks them all in less than 10 minutes.
As the American handed over the money he asked, “Where did you go when you left?”
The Irishman answered, “I went next door to another pub to see if I could do it.”
One more? Okay! Here’s the best Irish joke ever which over the years has been updated to keep it current:
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the 2nd and 4th President of Russia was sitting in his office wondering whom to invade next when his telephone rang. “Hallo, Mr. Putin!”, a heavily accented voice said “This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Sligo, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you!”
“Well, Paddy,” replied Putin, “This is indeed important news! How big is your army?” “Right now,” said Paddy, after a moment’s calculation, “there’s myself, my cousin Sean, my next door neighbor Seamus, and the entire dart team from the pub. That makes eight!”
Putin paused. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command.”
“Begorra!”, said Paddy. “I’ll have to ring you back!” Sure enough, the next day, Paddy called again. “Mr. Putin, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!”
“And what equipment would that be, Paddy?” Putin asked. “Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy’s farm tractor.”
Putin sighed. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I’ve increased my army to 1-1/2 million since we last spoke.”
“Saints preserve us!” said Paddy. “I’ll have to get back to you.” Sure enough, Paddy rang again the next day.”Mr. Putin, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We’ve modified Harrigan’s ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Pub have joined us as well!”
Putin was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I’ve increased my army to TWO MILLION!”
“Jaysus, Mary, and Joseph!”, said Paddy, “I’ll have to ring you back.” Sure enough, Paddy called again the next day. “Top o’ the mornin’, Mr. Putin! I’m sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Putin. “Why the sudden change of heart?”
“Well,” said Paddy, “we’ve all had a long chat over a bunch of pints, and decided there’s no way we can feed two million prisoners.”
To get our rambling article back on track, there is one lookalike photo that blows all of the other photos away. It came to us from Clemente Casillas, the Director of the National City CYAC (Community Youth Athlete Center), who is shown posing for a photo with his grandson, Leo Casillas, who may or may not be of Irish descent. It is hands down the winner in our “lookalike” competition. Even their blood type is the same. The only real difference we could see was the fact Leo, just prior to the picture taking, must have shaved off his stubble. That course of action got rid of the George Clooney five o’clock shadow.
Now, since I’m going to get into a heap of trouble for not mentioning my mother’s side of the family – the Duffys and Brennans, let me add this. That side of the family came from Loughglynn, County Roscommon, Ireland, and my grandmother on my father’s side also had the last name of Duffy which can be traced back to Ireland’s northernmost County Donegal. It’s best we get into that subject at a later date.
The best Irish boxer of all time? Historians say that would be the original Jack Dempsey (50-4-11, 23 KOs), a middleweight who was nicknamed Nonpariel. He was born in Curran, Ireland in 1862 and died on November 2, 1895 at the age of 32.
Another interesting factoid: the heavyweight known as Jack Dempsey had an uncanny resemblance to Max Schmeling.
Have a wonderful St. Patty’s Day. And if you’re drinking a pint or two of Guinness, be safe.