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Old May 17, 2003, 02:20 AM   #1
FPSHOT
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Default Olivia\'s beautiful words

Because of Olivia's birthday tomorrow, here again are those words she wrote about George in 'Harrison'

"The silence of George's absence in our lives is deafening. Although he often renounced his role as an entertainer, my life with him was never boring. There were many comedies and a few tragedies but, most of all, deep love for all living things. He was a warrior who faced life's battles with extrodinary courage. In the words of Bob Dylan, "He had the strength of a hundred men." The power of his convictions was as strong as a hundred men, all right. As Arjuna asked Krishna for guidance on the battlefield, so George faced the many battles before him with spiritual courage and unwavering conviction.

Our son, Dhani, and I, like George's friends, were spoiled by his rich and loving presence: from the morning wake-up call, which could have been (depending on our location and mood) a morning raga, a Vedic chant, a Mozart concerto, Cab Calloway's "Bugle Call Rag", or Hoagy's earliest instrumental version of "Stardust", to the day's final tune, maybe whistled on his way to bed and which I would wake up in the morning singing. He loved planting the seed of song and would sometimes whistle a tune I disliked just to see if he could get it rolling around in my head. After I would complain about it, he'd say, "Okay, here's one to replace it," and whistle another.

All senses were satisfied as incense blew in the morning breeze, mingling with the steam from hot cups of tea. If he stepped out the door for a breath of morning air he would always return with a flower or leaf that would have gone unnoticed by everyone else, in the same way many among us would have gone unnoticed were it not for his ability to "see" the true person inside the bodily form. He always went straight to the heart of a person, and that ability extended to any subject or matter or work before him. His ability to penetrate the core gave him, as he put it, "a different slant, a different patter," than anyone I ever knew.

George said he felt closest to God in nature, and some may assume his passion as a landscape gardener was founded soley on his immense love and knowledge of plants as well as his extrodinary vision. But the driving force was his desire to know God. "If there is a God, we must see Him; if there is a soul we must perceive it. Otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite," as he used to remind us! Though he often quoted spiritual greats in this way, George did not, contrary to popular belief, "belong" to any spiritual organization, although many claimed him as their own. George also said, "He who tells all that he knows, tells more than he knows." This usually applied to those who declared they knew the very private George's innermost beliefs. In fact, his spiritual knowledge and experience was many faceted. Still, he managed to dive deep to the heart of each practice, never content to skim the surface. He embraced the essence of all religions although he had little patience for organized religions or dogma that espoused guilt, sin or mystery. For George, there was no mystery, and he would gladly spend hours discussing God with an interested person-and some not so interested!

He was so deep, and I for one was at times guilty of indolence-probably because I knew that the tide of his devotion was so strong that I could ride those currents with him toward our shared goal of God consciousness. Now, without him, we all have more paddling to do.

George left the world his uniquely beautiful melodies, and some of them were barely born, played once, maybe. Every dictaphone or tape maching in the house was found with a cassette inside bearing the beginning of a new song, some on piano, ukulele or guitar, some with hysterically funny words, some with fiercly serious lyrics, but all crafted from creativity he knew to be a divine gift.

Besides the company, conversation and wisdom of my beloved friend, I already long for the live background music to our lives. If I began singing a song-any song-he would accompany and encourage me. If I played three chords on the uke (compulsory instrument in our home), he would be my band. George was so generous and "grateful to anyone that is happy or free." A good moment to him was worth making better.

I love you, George. The joys, sorrows, lessons and love we shared are more than enough to fill my heart until we meet again.

Olivia Harrison, January 2002
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Old May 17, 2003, 07:54 AM   #2
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Jai !
Tnx FPSHOT !
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Old May 17, 2003, 08:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Beautiful words indeed. There's a woman that knew her husband well.
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Old May 17, 2003, 08:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Olivia cultivated and nurtured the best part in George. Figuratively speaking, it sounds like George, like his beloved gardens was cultivated, nurtured and developed to his best by Olivia. Of that I have no doubt.

I have the book and her words make it an even more effective work. I also like her words in "I Me Mine." That makes a good book even better and more effective.
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Old May 17, 2003, 10:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Thanks FPSHOT for reminding me of these beautiful words. The Harrison family as a whole seem so warm and loving, and Olivia always comes accross as such a lovely person.
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Old May 17, 2003, 11:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Each time I read things like this from Olivia, or anyone very close to George, I almost feel like I've known George personally myself. Its always the impression I had of him, from the very moment I started adoring him so long ago- that he was an internally strong, spiritual, giving, beautiful man.

Anyone who spent such a great time beautifying nature the way George did with his garden, or creating music so filled with spiritual enlightenment, has to have a goodness in them that knows no words.

Thanks for posting this. I've read it millions of times over, and I never get tired of it. Anything about George could never bore me. Olivia said it all.

[size="1"][ May 17, 2003, 11:02 PM: Message Edited By: Apple Scruff ][/size]
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Old May 17, 2003, 11:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

When you read these words you sense the love that she had for him, and that she misses him deeply. I am so glad that he had someone like her with whom he could spend his time. I feel sure that she cared for him and comforted him in his final months. The photo of them in Rome (I think it's Rome) is a favourite. Even though he doesn't look very well he looks loved.
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Old May 18, 2003, 01:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

I don't think I've read such beautiful words before about one human being's love for another. And the opening line "The silence of George's absence in our lives is deafening" gets me every time I read this. So achingly sad but the words and thoughts that follow are uplifting.

As a fan I feel honored that she shared these memories of George with us. They were indeed a very loving and close family.
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Old May 18, 2003, 01:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Olivia's introduction to "I Me Mine".

See below.

[size="1"][ May 19, 2003, 01:56 PM: Message Edited By: Legs ][/size]
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Old May 18, 2003, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Quote:
Originally Posted By FPSHOT:
Because of Olivia's birthday tomorrow, here again are those words she wrote about George in 'Harrison'

"The silence of George's absence in our lives is deafening. Although he often renounced his role as an entertainer, my life with him was never boring. There were many comedies and a few tragedies but, most of all, deep love for all living things. He was a warrior who faced life's battles with extrodinary courage. In the words of Bob Dylan, "He had the strength of a hundred men." The power of his convictions was as strong as a hundred men, all right. As Arjuna asked Krishna for guidance on the battlefield, so George faced the many battles before him with spiritual courage and unwavering conviction.

Our son, Dhani, and I, like George's friends, were spoiled by his rich and loving presence: from the morning wake-up call, which could have been (depending on our location and mood) a morning raga, a Vedic chant, a Mozart concerto, Cab Calloway's "Bugle Call Rag", or Hoagy's earliest instrumental version of "Stardust", to the day's final tune, maybe whistled on his way to bed and which I would wake up in the morning singing. He loved planting the seed of song and would sometimes whistle a tune I disliked just to see if he could get it rolling around in my head. After I would complain about it, he'd say, "Okay, here's one to replace it," and whistle another.

All senses were satisfied as incense blew in the morning breeze, mingling with the steam from hot cups of tea. If he stepped out the door for a breath of morning air he would always return with a flower or leaf that would have gone unnoticed by everyone else, in the same way many among us would have gone unnoticed were it not for his ability to "see" the true person inside the bodily form. He always went straight to the heart of a person, and that ability extended to any subject or matter or work before him. His ability to penetrate the core gave him, as he put it, "a different slant, a different patter," than anyone I ever knew.

George said he felt closest to God in nature, and some may assume his passion as a landscape gardener was founded soley on his immense love and knowledge of plants as well as his extrodinary vision. But the driving force was his desire to know God. "If there is a God, we must see Him; if there is a soul we must perceive it. Otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite," as he used to remind us! Though he often quoted spiritual greats in this way, George did not, contrary to popular belief, "belong" to any spiritual organization, although many claimed him as their own. George also said, "He who tells all that he knows, tells more than he knows." This usually applied to those who declared they knew the very private George's innermost beliefs. In fact, his spiritual knowledge and experience was many faceted. Still, he managed to dive deep to the heart of each practice, never content to skim the surface. He embraced the essence of all religions although he had little patience for organized religions or dogma that espoused guilt, sin or mystery. For George, there was no mystery, and he would gladly spend hours discussing God with an interested person-and some not so interested!

He was so deep, and I for one was at times guilty of indolence-probably because I knew that the tide of his devotion was so strong that I could ride those currents with him toward our shared goal of God consciousness. Now, without him, we all have more paddling to do.

George left the world his uniquely beautiful melodies, and some of them were barely born, played once, maybe. Every dictaphone or tape maching in the house was found with a cassette inside bearing the beginning of a new song, some on piano, ukulele or guitar, some with hysterically funny words, some with fiercly serious lyrics, but all crafted from creativity he knew to be a divine gift.

Besides the company, conversation and wisdom of my beloved friend, I already long for the live background music to our lives. If I began singing a song-any song-he would accompany and encourage me. If I played three chords on the uke (compulsory instrument in our home), he would be my band. George was so generous and "grateful to anyone that is happy or free." A good moment to him was worth making better.

I love you, George. The joys, sorrows, lessons and love we shared are more than enough to fill my heart until we meet again.

Olivia Harrison, January 2002
<font size="2" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">Beautiful! [img]graemlins/cry1.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/birthday.gif[/img] to a beautiful lady
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Old May 18, 2003, 02:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted By Legs:
Phew more to come, isn't the complete introduction on the net somewhere?
<font size="2" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">Need help Legs?
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Old May 18, 2003, 02:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Legs, I found some of it on the site of Chronicle Books, but that is part of what you wrote down.

http://www.chroniclebooks.com/Chronicle/servlet/FStart
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Old May 18, 2003, 02:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Sorry to interrupt [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] , but that's only the first page. The whole introduction is 6 1/2 pages long...
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Old May 18, 2003, 02:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Quote:
Originally Posted By FPSHOT:
Legs, I found some of it on the site of Chronicle Books, but that is part of what you wrote down.
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Old May 19, 2003, 01:30 PM   #15
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Taxgirl were is the helping hand? I am almost done!

No comments please.
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Old May 19, 2003, 01:33 PM   #16
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[img]graemlins/blush1.gif[/img] * [img]graemlins/sssh.gif[/img]
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Old May 19, 2003, 01:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Olivia's introduction to "I Me Mine".

The lyrics to I Me Mine were known to me long before the October evening in 1974 when I met the man who wrote them. George and I had spoken by telephone many times because I worked for his Dark Horse records label in Los Angeles. Still that first face to face meeting, followed by twenty seven years together, is just as vivid today as the last time I saw his face.
During our life together the issues of possessions, attachment and identification with the ego were in the forefront of our awareness and George was always quik to point out that in reality ther is no I, me or Mine. George was relentless at keeping our spiritual aim true. We were only humans walking a long road towards our shared goal of enlightment and I, for one. welcomed any reminders.

In the course of a day I might have said, "Oh, your bit of the garden looks great", to wich he would reply, "It's not my garden, liv". It was his way of reminding himself and me that we are pure Spirit, and that the Spirit is in'every grain of sand', belonging to everyone and no one; that nothing is 'mine' and that the '
I' we all refer to must be recognized as the little 'i' in the larger scheme of the Universe. George was tired of the I Me Mines of this world, including his own, and had been from a very early age. When searching for a title to this book, he was well aware that the lyrics to these songs would always be tied to his name and considerd his songs, even thought he knew the creativity bestowed upon him was a divine gift. So rather than conjuring a book that title that might try to explain away the gift of songwriting with, "Well, I wrote them but they don't really belong to me" he took the opposite aproach and the risk of claiming his book in a slightly cynical trinity of pronouns.

Reading what Derek Taylor had to say about George was captivating once again. Perceptions of the man I dearly love by someone as insightful and articulate as Derek have become somehow more important to me. Derek and George exchanged a special banter that often left others in the room completly bewildered by their verbal shorthand. It took time if you wanted to join in because their points of reference were wide reaching and covered decades of colourful and obscure characters and events, many shared during the phenomenal days of the Beatles that gave them a private world of experiences from which to draw. George quoted the wisdom of the great swamis, the Bhagavad Gita and the ancient Vedas, as wellas the humor of Lord Buckley, The Goons, Lenny Bruce, Mel Brook's The Producers and Monty Python. At the same time Derek regaled us with history lessons on both wars, commentary on current events and politics. If anyone in our household had a guestion pertaining to one of those subjects George always said, "Call Derek and ask him". He was very well read and shared with us information of all sorts, some of which we did not really wish to know, but all of it presented amusingly. I wasn't always certain what was fact of folly (although it didn't seem to matter).

The days they spent together working on this book were happy ones and took place over continuous cups of tea 9for whcih Brian Roylance, who conceived and published the original, limited editon of "I Me Mine", was mostly responsible, being the biges fn of teas since Earl Grey himself). George and Derke's dialogue in these pages reveals much about their relationship, which began in Liverpool-and as they used to remind us, "Being born in Liverpool carries with it certain responsibilities". They'd worked together for thirty years, so Derek's interviews ith George were second nature to both of them, yet they always managed to produce fresh recollections of their experiences. All of us around during the writing of "I Me Mine" took laughter for granted. It must have been a real eye opener for Brian, whose previous publishing endeavors we considered to be more serious documents, such as "The Log of the HMS Bounty" and "Charles Darwin's Journal of a Voyage in HMS Beagle". I would wager Brian was surprised at the emergence of his own sense of mischief and humour, which was appreciated and encouraged. George and Derek led him astray in the best possible way and he became one of George's closet friends and confidants, especially after Derek passed away in 1997. Brian and I now share the memories of those days along with the love and respect we all had for one another.

George and Derek found hilarity concocting captions unrelated to the photo's they were supposedly describing, some of which made it into the book. The photo on plate XXIII shows George holding his sitar, but the caption provoked letters to Genesis complaining that the reader's copy must have the wrong photos because "George is not eating a cheese sandwich with anyone in the book".
And only fans of Monty Python's Flying Circus would understand the caption to plate XVII-an obscure reference obviously meant to be shared with those of like humour. Prinz Walter, a Python character, had wooden teeth. Compare the smile of Britain's ex-prime minister, Harold Wilson and you get the idea. First choise for the caprion to plate XLII, showing another ex-prime minister, Edward Heath,at the piano with George standing behind, was:
(George:) "Do you know your balls are hanging out?"
(Ex-prime minister Heath:)"No, but you hum it and I'll play it".
It was an old joke but Derek and George were shameless. If I put my mind to it, I can still see and hear them laughing around the kitchen table and I miss them both dreadfully along with the joy their combined humour, intelligence and affection brougth into my life.

For me the essence of this book is the lyrics and I believe they stand the test of time because they are written about man's eternal quest, dilemmas, joys and sorows. George's lyrics were, in my opinion, the most spiritually conscious of our time, althought George, in turn, usually referred to the lyrics of Bob Dylan wehn trying to make a point or elucidate his own feelings of isolation and frustration brought about by things in and beyond this life. Many times he said, " I wish I knew more words", but perhaps all the words in the world, including the Sanskrit and mantras integral to his vocabulary, could not fully express his depth of feeling and realisation.
As I have found with other songwriters, George didn't give much away when explaining lyrics. Wasn't it enought that he laid his emotions and thoughts on the line for everyone to hear? I finally stoped asking George what his songs were about because his answers never seemed to satisfy my questions. "Liv, I just needed something to rhyme with 'love', so I used 'glove'.
We relate music and words to our own personal life experience, but some of George's songs are truly revealed only through a deeper realisation of meaning and by allowing the melody, the lyrics, intonation and phrasing to seep in to tell the story, unfiltered by our own interpretations. Last summer we were discussing his songwriting and he told me that whatever thougth or theme inspired a lyric usually metamorphosed by the end of the song, sometimes before the pencil even reached the paper, as in "Your Love Is Forever". He began that song by writing about the days we were first immersed in our love affair with Hawaii and each other but the love in teh opening verse soon turned to Divine Love. George wrote, " My love belongs to who can see it" and his songs belong to those who can really hear them. George's lyrics often captivated us with one image and then led us to a loftier realm, transcending his initial inspiration.

Reading this book I could hear him singing each and every song and seeing the handwritten lyrics again, some on the stationery of places we were staying at the time, vivified my recollection of those moments. I see my handwriting on the airmail envelope of "Learning How To Love You". I wrote the first line of lyrics down for him as he was working out the melody. Then he took the pen from my hand and wrote words that would later guide hm back to the thoughts he wanted to express. Leon Russel once told me I should write down all amusing things George said, and often I did. Some of them ended up in songs and some were just plain endearing, such as, " I like being master of nothing. It makes a change fom all the smart arses". On other occasions it might be something someone else had said that would catch George's attention, like drummer Jim Keltner who often told George he was a "soft touch", which inspired the song.
Whatever the inspiration, it was always a privilege being witness to the birth of a song. You could see the creative force of the muse at work. George would be playing a guitar, ukulele or piano and suddenly become intently focused as if she had tapped him on the shoulder to warm him it was coming. His head would tilt as if listening to something only he could hear and his hand moved asif it was finding its way to the next chords, like a divining rod finding waters. I would be guit and try not to interfere with the process, although on occasion I have heard myself on tape blabbering in the background about what to cook for dinner. Oh, I could kick myself when listening to those tapes. George was so patient and concentrated. He just kept playing, whether dinner was happening or not.

We were in the British Virgin Islands in 1976 when George wrote "Soft Touch". His short paragraph about the writing of that song describes the mood and what was going on around us, but for me there is so much more on that page, both in sentiment and notation-just tiny notes that speak to me. At the bottom of the second page of the "Soft Touch" lyrics he printed "Bridge (noch ein mal)"- German for 'one more time'. George used this phrase occasionally from the time that they (The Beatles) used to shout it from the stage when they played in Hamburg.
I remember Eric Idle joined us on that holiday. One afternoon we were playing a song on a small cassette player, when I answered a knock on our door. Television producer Norman Lear introduced himsel and told us that the music was too loud and disturbing his wife who was trying to write.(The year was 1976, before the days of laptops, so we'd been holidaying with the clacking of the typewriter next door and were hoping she was writing letters and not a book.)This minor conflict briefly put a damper on things, since it wasn't as much fun knowingthe people next door were grumbling about us. The next day Norman found out it was George Harrison playing the music and again knocked on our door, this time apologising and pleading for George to play as much music as he liked, not that he and Eric needed much encouragement, since they always travelled with acoustic guitars.

Listening to his recordings has also taken me through the agony of his absence even as the sound of his voice and slide guitar bring comfort.
George singin was always beguiling to me and countless times i was his audience of one. "Run of the Mill" was a song I often asked him to play, the lyrics so wise, especially the reminder that, "Tomorrow when you rise, another day for you to realize me" ("me" being God)-words that George not only wrote but lived. The songs have also conjured up memories of those early days together-especially a song like "Your Love Is Forever, which was written in Hana, Maui, in February 1978, were we were awaiting the birth of our son, Dhani.

George loved the tropics and was always happiest there. He was inspired and wrote several songs during those days-"Dark Sweet Lady", "Soft Hearted Hana" and "Here Comes The Moon", the lyrics of which are dated 25/2 his birthday. The local general store stocked guave jam, bamboo fishing poles and machetes, but was short of gifts for the man who has everything, so I bought George lots of pens and paper to encourage the writing and, as I read the lyrics from that period, I'm glad I did. We swam in black lave rock ponds with names like Venus Pool and a tiny cottage on a bay became our luxury home for those days-the greatest luxury being the absence of a telephone and freedom from the usual demans on George's time. The locals bestowed upon us not only privacy and Aloha spirit, but also tropical flowers we had never seen before; shell, torch and kahili gingers mixed with fragrant plumeria leis. We couldn't wait to return and plant our own tropical garden. Over the years, Derek and Brian became guest gardeners, leaving a lush legacy of their visits with us.
The many photo's from that first holiday to Hawaii had disappeared for over twenty years. While I was writing this introduction, they were returned to me. Among them was one of the rising full moon, known in Hawaii as Mahina, that inspired George to write "Here Comes The Moon" . The last time George and I were there together was in February of 2001. The simultaneous sunset and moonrise in a gloaming sky, the waves crashing over the rocks, the whales breeching the sea, the reprise of rainbows and Haleakala Crater rising 10,000 feet in our backyard once again humbled us and turned our faces towards God. We picked gardenias and played Hawaiian music over morning coffe while sitting in the sun...
the sun, so loved by George, partially because he felt deprived of its warmth as a child growing up in England. But if it rained and teh 150-foot waterfalls flowed, George was just as happy."sublime is the summertime arm and lazy. These are perfect days like heaven about there", he wrote in " Your Love Is Forever. Yes, they were perfect for me too, George-about as perfect as it can be in this physical world.

Memories of those nights together are a gift... him playing acoustic guitar or ukulele under a big moon whre the nights were warm and we cheatedthe English winter of the chance to chill oru bones. In spite of the human tendency to take one's mate for granted, even tehn I was well aware that these were precious moments. I was also blissfully ignorant of how short our days together were meant to be. Those memories will resound with love and reverence for the rest of my life and I don't mind saying on this occasion that they are ' Mine '.

Olivia Harrison

[size="1"][ May 19, 2003, 01:49 PM: Message Edited By: Legs ][/size]
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Old May 19, 2003, 01:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted By Legs:
Taxgirl were is the helping hand? I am almost done!

No comments please.
<font size="2" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">Have to comment on this one.... You said you were joking!!!!

Good job Legs [img]graemlins/thumbsup2.gif[/img]
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Old May 19, 2003, 01:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: Olivia\'s beautiful words

Thanks for sharing your words Olivia.

Read them.
With sadness, cause I can't help it.
With joy again cause I can't help it.

[size="1"][ May 19, 2003, 01:52 PM: Message Edited By: Legs ][/size]
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Old May 19, 2003, 01:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted By taxgirl:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">Quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">Originally Posted By Legs:
Taxgirl were is the helping hand? I am almost done!

No comments please.
<font size="2" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">Have to comment on this one.... You said you were joking!!!!

Good job Legs [img]graemlins/thumbsup2.gif[/img]
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">No no, I was only joking when I said that it wasn't much work!
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