Quips And Quotes 8

Quips And Quotes 8


Bette Midler On Being The Queen Of Trash:
“I started with the Adopt A Highway program about seven years ago in California. Then, because my daughter went to school in Coldwater Canyon, which had become a big dumping ground, I began to work with Adopt-A-Canyon, a project that involved going in and hauling out trash. People who steal cars and run chop shops and contractors who do renovations are always looking for places to dump their stuff because they don’t want to pay fees to use dump yards. So, you find old refrigerators, cars, asbestos, all kinds of things on public land. God knows what it does to the animals.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On Being The Queen Of Trash: “When I moved to New York, I was very disappointed in how parts of the city looked. I was so upset, I didn’t sleep for weeks. I love New Yorkers, and I’m like them. I’m noisy. I have my opinions. But I’m not used to the kind of carelessness and waste that I was seeing. People were throwing their garbage out the window, leaving their lunches on the ground. Finally I realized I needed to actually do something – even if I had to pick up the stuff with my own two hands. I called Scott Mathes of the California Environmental Project to come help me set up here. We’ve been in Fort Tryon Park since August 1995, and we’ve hired 16 people to do the cleanup and plan to hire more. We’ve made big strides. But it is a big, big job. I am spending my own money. And our group is striving to someday have access to public money to expand this work.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On Being The Queen Of Trash:
“It’s become a family affair. My daughter comes to the park with me. Last week we went to a tree-planting ceremony on the children’s lawn, and we planted magnolias. My husband has undergone the biggest transformation. He used to be happy to let me get involved by myself. Now he joins in. He’s really into it. Working up here is one of the things we do as a family.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

What connects you to Sophie? “Sophie is very bright and independent. She does shows for us. My husband and I are the audience. And we have a spotlight in our house – it came with the building. She chooses her music, she does her dance. She decides how she’s going to entertain us. And he’s quite wonderful…. Also, we have inner together every single night. Either my husband cooks or I cook. if we’re going out, we prepare her food and talk about it ahead of time. We always check her homework. And we take her to ballet rehearsals. We really do try very hard.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

What are the essentials in your refrigerator:
“Greek olives. And we have to have good pickles. My husband is a connoisseur. Sometimes we have 20 jars of different kinds of pickles. The most important room in our house is the kitchen. It’s basically where we live.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On Hawaii’s Influence On Her Environmentalism:
“Yes, no question. Although, it was a hard childhood. We lived in a very poor neighborhood called the Halawa, which was very rough. We were the only white family for miles around. And we were reminded of it every day. People avoided us because the tradition there was antiwhite. Only the weakest children would play with white children. But there was a great deal of solace from nature: the beautiful skies, the sea, the smell of the flowers, all those bugs and birds. There was so much to look at. And I thought the whole world was like that. So when I came to what they call the mainland, I couldn’t understand. It was a complete shock to my system.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On What She Learned From Her Mother About Mothering:
“I thank God every day of my life that she was my mom. One thing I learned from her was that most things a mother does, a child remembers. I remember so many things about her. She was a great seamstress. She really could sew. She had a great eye. And her stitches were so fine. Her ability was so tremendous. She was very kind, and she never said anything mean about people. Neither of my parents did. They weren’t prejudiced or bigoted in my way. I was taught that people are basically all the same. They all want the same thing. They wan’t to be noticed. They don’t want to die unknown. They wan’t a better life for their kids.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On What She Learned From Her Mother About Mothering: “But we had a very rough time. I have a retarded brother. It was very, very hard for my mother because her friends all told her to put him in an institution and she refused. So ill my family, everything was for my brother. Everything. My parents put money away constantly so that he wouldn’t be a burden us girls after they were gone.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On Staying Close To Her Mother: “Oh, yes. She was fabulous. [Bette’s eyes mist.] I just miss her a lot. She really was great. [Ruth Midler died in, 1980.] They were both great. Now that I have a child, you know, I see how hard it is.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On Her Dad: “They were very supportive of each other. My dad didn’t make a lot of money but they were very thrifty people. He earned about 60 bucks a week as a house painter. And my mother was raising four kids, it was that kind of ethic: You worked; you just worked. But my parents had a dream of getting into real estate. They managed to buy a house – four or five houses, actually – in the best neighborhood in town, which they subsequently rented out. Every Saturday and Sunday my father was there pounding, painting, gardening, and this and that, trying to make the house livable. It was quite a feat. My mom had a dream that she would get out of the poor neighborhood, where she was cut off from her friends and very isolated, and have a home. She focused on their real estate investments as the way out. And, by God, she got her house. She never moved into it, but she got it.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On Values She’s Teaching Sophie:
“We make her do chores. She makes her bed. We have a graph made up oil the computer: make bed – so many points, empty trash can – so many points, feed dog – so many points, lay out clothes – so many points. Our problem is that we get so busy that we are not consistent.” (Good Housekeeping, 1996)

Bette Midler On Her Geraldo Affair: “I’ve been told that (Geraldo Rivera wrote in his autobio) that I was sexually `insatiable.’ Well, in my youth . . . I was a pretty hot number. And I slept with Geraldo. That’s a completely humiliating thing to admit. I just deny I was `insatiable. (Daily News, 1996)

Bette Midler On Alternate Names For The Album Bette Of Roses: “I toyed with the idea of calling it either ‘Mother* or ‘Mom’ ” she says, cackling mischievously. “I have this thing where people unload to me and tell me their stories, and I give them advice. I’m not sure how many lives I’ve mined, but I can’t seem to stop myself. It’s a very motherly thing to do.” (Pacific Stars And Stripes, July, 1995)

Bette Midler On Bette Of Roses: “The songs are nonjudgmental, I’ll stand-by-you types of songs,” Midler says. “They’re very upbeat, with sweet, positive messages, and the production is very soothing and comforting. In other words, Mom.”  (Pacific Stars And Stripes, July, 1995)

Bette Midler On Movies: “I had a lot of fun at Disney for the first five pictures,” she says. “But it got to a point where they wanted to do pictures with their own stamp and didn’t want to hire outside writers. They wanted to have their own people, who worked for their prices, reporting to them. That’s when things got dicey. And I had a big setback with For the Boys.’ Although I know privately what went wrong, I have no desire to point fingers. I was handsomely paid and did the best work I could, and people chose not to go to it. What can you do? You can’t put a gun to people’s heads and force them to go to your movie.” (Pacific Stars And Stripes, July, 1995)

Bette Midler On Movies: “When it comes to making movies, nobody knows anything.  That’s it,” she says. “It’s a complete crapshoot. Integrity? What word is that? We don’t say that word in Hollywood. We don’t know what that word means in Hollywood. But I must say, that I think Marty Scorsese knows something. When he starts talking about film, you fall madly in love with it again. Remember how you used to feel? Somehow along the way, in making all these pictures, you lose sight of that. And then he starts talking about it, and you catch fire again.”  (Pacific Stars And Stripes, July, 1995)

Bette Midler On Crashing Into Her Boyfriend’s Car: “He’d cheated on me,” says Bette of the incident years ago when she was single. “It was my Jaguar and I think it was his mother’s Oldsmobile. I remember feeling pretty good about doing it. He was upset because he didn’t have any money to pay for the damage, but I had plenty of insurance.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Revenge: “Oh, revenge is very healthy. I like it. If I didn’t believe that what goes around comes around, I would have to kill myself. It is the cornerstone of my life.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On The First Wive’s Club: “Of course, I wanted to play Goldie’s part.” she says. “Dressing up in all those biker-chick clothes and strutting around in high heels. Are you kidding?” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Her Marriage: “We both very much wanted to get married,” she says. “My career has had its ups and downs but nothing compares to my family. They are my top priority and for the first time in my life I’m completely happy.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Her Marriage: “My husband’s a great guy. He has an artist’s soul, ability and drive. He’s working on his first feature film, and yes, I could have a part in it but I don’t know if I want it. He accepts my help when I give it to him, but he doesn’t expect it.”  (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Sophie At Age 10: “She’s a great actress. She has a great ear. She can do all the personalities I’ve done on stage. Any of them. Probably better than me.”  (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Aging (At Age 50): “Inside I feel much younger,” says Bette. “Someone once said to me that you reach an age and then you never get any older inside, so I guess I’m about 22. Although I don’t feel any older I’d like to think I’m getting wiser in certain respects.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Life: “I used to get really upset about certain things but I’m learning to let go. Life really is too short. I used to be interested only in the showbiz things that made my own world go round. But I would have to say that having Sophie has calmed me down. I’ve learned that I can turn my face to another arena.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Her Show Biz Longevity: “It didn’t start out as that at all,” she confesses. “In fact, Goldie, Diane and I have been pretty lucky. There are a lot of women our age who have started out on the same path and haven’t had the good luck we have. But what can you do?”  (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Revenge: “I’m too old to have an axe to grind any more. I can’t go tilting at windmills for the rest of my life and all the yelling and venom in the world isn’t going to help anyone. As far as Hollywood is concerned, the bottom line is the dollar. That’s the only thing that’s going to change them.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Revenge:  “I would love to get my revenge on the system and believe me if I had a chance I would. But you can’t spend your entire life in that mould. But you know what?” she says, her smile breaking into the biggest grin you’ve ever seen. “A hit is always the best revenge!” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

“I ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT I was as good as the next person. Although I’m also quite vulnerable, and there are times when I’ve lost faith in myself and have pretended things were okay when they weren’t. I didn’t want people to know that there was a hapless person in here.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

“I never had a friendship that lasted that long. But I had a very dear friend when I was young. 1 was in the 10th grade when we met, and she’s the one who brought out whatever sense of humor I have. She was only 19 when she died. Since then I’ve had a good friend here and there, but nothing like that. You know, there’s a kind of emotional exploration you plumb with a friend that you don’t really do with your family. You don’t spill your guts, because you don’t want to worry them. Of course, in crisis times, nothing beats your family.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

To this day, I don’t know how my mother was able to raise us. She found her circumstances humiliating and didn’t want anyone to see her living like that. But at the same tine, she tried desperately to get out. She wanted us to have a home and when my father brought home his paycheck, she immediately put it in the bank. Eventually, they got enough money to put a down-payment on a group of homes and became landlords. But they never moved out of that apartment. My parents were two of the most conservative people you’ve ever seen in your life. They never went to a movie. And we didn’t get a TV set until 1957 or a phone until 1962.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Her Dad: “He was one of those poohpooher’s–’You’ll never amount to a hill of beans.’ Maybe it was reverse psychology, hoping against hope that I would amount to something, but it was pretty painful for a long time. However, I used to fight back a lot. He couldn’t keep me down. I had too much inner belief. That cane from my mother, who always said,
“Kid. you’re going to be fine.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Growing Up: “I was resented and teased by the other kids. It was bad being treated like
that. But you toughen up fast. I guess that’s where 1 got my ”˜showoffedness,’ because I had to entertain. I would sing and dance and tell jokes.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

On Singing ‘Silent Night’ In First Grade: “I got big applause, and a lightbulb went ofT in my
head. Then I won a prize in the sixth grade and that was a big thing, too, I said, ”˜Maybe I have something here.'” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

On Being In High School Plays: “My mother really ate it up. I remember her coming to the senior-class play and handing me roses over the footlights, her face just shining. She just thought this was great.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

On The Quest For Fame: “You know, it’s not until you get older that you realize how incredibly juvenile that quest for fame is. You say to yourself,’ What was I thinking about?” Fame is not what’s important. What’s important about work is skill and experience, the ability to create and make something beautiful.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Success: “I didn’t die from it, I’m proud to say. I did survive it. And I survived it by being basically kind of cynical. I never let it go to my head. I always thought it was ephemeral, that it would disappear and didn’t reaily mean that much anyway.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Her Father: “My father never went to see my performances. I think he saw The Rose on television, and he saw me on the Johnny Carson Show., but he just wasn’t interested. He didn’t like popular culture. He thought it was garbage. If I had been an opera singer–that he would have understood, or a professional person.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Her Mother And Family: “I think I made her happy. I think we all did”¦I’m sorry. I get very emotional about these family issues”¦ I don’t know why.” She blew her nose. “I think it’s very primal–how they treat you. Some people go to therapy and work it out, but I never got around to it . . . At the end. .. when my mother died . .. it was very bad.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Martin:
“He was exactly what I was looking for,” said Bette. “I had nobody to tell my troubles to. And I wanted to settle down. I wanted to have a family. I was really ready for that. Not that I h a v e n ”˜t had to work at it,” she explained, sitting up straight. Marriage involves big compromises all the time. International-level compromises.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Martin: “You’re the U.S.A., he’s the USSR, and you’re t a l k i ng nuclear warheads. She laughed. To me, it’s really like that. When you’re used to being on your own, being single-minded and self-absorbed, it’s a big thing to listen and pay attention to someone else” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Being A Role Model: You know, a lot of people tell me I was their role model when they were in college, and that makes me feel fabulous. Maybe it’s because of my straight talk and that, despite what has happened, I lived through it. Sure, things have been rough, and I wouldn’t want to live through them again. Al t h o u g h, I’ll tell you, you’re up, you’re down, you’re up, you’re down, and then it’s over with. Ultimately, I have no regrets, because it has all turned out for the best. I like exactly where I am. (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)

Bette Midler On Life: “I can’t play the victim.” (Syracuse Herald, February 5, 1989)


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