“Who can turn the world on with a smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well, it’s you girl and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it . . . “
That, of course, it the first verse to the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song. I’ve been humming it since I saw a story on the song’s writer — Sonny Curtis — a couple of weeks ago on CBS Sunday Morning. That and the deaths last year of four of the show’s stars, most recently Betty White, also brought attention to one of my favorite sitcoms.
Smiling. What a simple concept.
That’s why I’ve made only one New Year’s resolution for 2022: to smile more.
I don’t like grumpy old people. I’m don’t want to become one myself.
I like to smile at the end of TV shows, movies or books with happy endings. That’s why I love “All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS. It always ends with James, Tristan, Helen, Mrs. Hall — and usually Siegfried — smiling.
I’m not smiling about being unable to buy smiley-faced cookies after Ryal’s Bakery closed. I’ll smile when I find out the new owners will sell them.
I smile when my granddaughters, Leah and Maggie, call me Bubba. They’re the only ones who can get away with that.
I smile when I see the name of my friend Charles Middlebrooks pop up on my caller ID. He’s been ailing recently, but I think he’s on the road to recovery.
I smile when somebody beats Bobby Flay.
I’m still smiling two weeks after Georgia beat Alabama to win the college football national championship. And I’m still smiling for quarterback Stetson Bennett.
I smile when I see First Methodist Church pastor Mac Enfinger because he’s always smiling when he greets me and everybody else in church.
I smile every time I look at the picture in our hall of my mom, dad, me and my brother from Christmas in 1955. I was 3.
I smile when my dogs greet me like I’ve been gone for a week even though I might have been gone for only 30 minutes.
I smile when the sun’s bright rays come shining through the windows every morning.
I smile when I see John Grisham has written a new book.
I smile when I find a Barnes and Noble Bookstore that’s still open. And, I smile every time I go in Wall of Books here in Milledgeville and buy classics (such as Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Old Man and the Sea”) I never had time to read.
I smile when I’m eating at a restaurant that has been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
I smile when my wife tells me she still loves me. (She smiled, too, when I told her I just read an article: “Marriage Requires Amnesia.”)
I smile when I’m invited to play poker with David Pettigrew’s group or with Jimmy Youngblood’s group.
I smile when I get to play bridge with a group that includes Mary Baker, Carol Brock, Janelle Giles and Ellen Torrance.
I smile when I hear Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman sing “It’s Time to Say Goodbye” or “The Prayer.”
And, I smile when I hear songs about smiling: “When You’re Smiling,” “Just to See You Smile,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Keep on Smilin’,” “Your Smiling Face,” or “A Wink and A Smile,” just to name a few.
Perhaps the best is just “Smile” by Nat King Cole (or his daughter Natalie Cole):
“If you smile through your fears and sorrows.
Smile, and maybe tomorrow you’ll see the sun shining through.”
Maybe then you can turn the world on with your smile, too.
Rick Millians, a 1970 Baldwin High graduate, worked at newspapers in Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina before retiring. Reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org