Remembering the laughter Nora Ephron gave me. Middle school basketball recruiting out of control. And scary danger in Colorado Springs.

There are only a few movies I’ve ever seen where I can laugh at something in every scene.
A few movies that no matter what mood I’m in, no matter what circumstances are in my life at that moment, I’m going to belly laugh at least 10-15 times.
“Coming to America” is one of those flicks. “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is another.
But “When Harry Met Sally” might be better, and funnier, than both of them. There’s not one false note in the Billy Crystal/Meg Ryan film, not one scene that isn’t perfect. I’ve seen it 100 times, can quote every line, and yet still laugh so hard (especially at the scenes with the old couples; “I knew. Like you know about a good melon.”)

Nora Ephron wrote that movie. She wrote “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail,” the highly-underrated “My Blue Heaven” and a lot of other wonderful scripts, books and stories in a life that was well lived. She married Carl Bernstein, then used the divorce to write another brilliant movie (“Heartburn”)

She was witty and wise and smart and knew how to write pitch-perfect dialogue, which (ask any writer) is really, really hard to do.

She came down with cancer a few years ago, and had faded from the spotlight. She died at age 71 on Tuesday, and all lovers of great writing should mourn.
For just a taste of her wit, I highly recommend this speech she gave honoring Meryl Streep in 2004.

**Yeah, something like this doesn’t really surprise me. But it’s still pretty disgusting. Middle school basketball recruiting has becoming a cutthroat business in the Washington, D.C. area, as high school coaches scour gyms watching 11 and 12-year-olds play hoops.
Here’s another thing you may not be aware: There are now several recruiting services that rank the best 5th grade basketball players in the nation.
Read this N.Y. Times story and dive into the cesspool that is amateur athletics.

**Finally, some seriously scary stuff coming out of Colorado Springs Tuesday. A fire that has been spreading for days erupted into even more dangerous areas and spread wildly, and some state officials are calling it among the worst disasters in state history.
At least 32,000 people have had to flee their homes so far. Awful and scary when nature totally takes over.

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