The occasional observations of Carolyn Kephart, author

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sweetness

10:31 AM PST, January 11, 2008

I've always loved those black and white movies from the 30s and 40s where men wear hats and women wear gloves, and where dead bodies, if they're around at all, are never shown.

One of my favorite moments in It's A Wonderful Life happens early on, when Mary (Donna Reed) receives a letter at the prom, then instantly turns to the people at her table and asks, in the most winningly natural tone, "May I?" before opening the envelope.

James M. Barrie best defined the essence of this compelling quality, charm: "It's a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don't need to have anything else; and if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what else you have."

When I think of charm in a man, I remember Humphrey Bogart's rare, boyish, dazzling smile.

CK

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