Mama’s Money and Jack Benny

        Years ago an elderly lady drove up to our ER in an old battered Ford Galaxie.  She got out and walked across the parking lot.  About half way to the entrance she collapsed.   Of course everyone put on a full court press.

        They cut the woman’s clothes off to shock her heart and bills of all denominations fluttered in the breeze.  Housekeeping gathered it up the best they could.  All the medical folks pressed on.  She didn’t make it.

        Soon the family arrived.  “What the hell did y’all do with mama’s money?”  one demanded.  My Lord, the woman died and they were not the least bit worried about that.  They knew that mama kept all her money on her person and wanted a proper accounting.

       I have seen it a number of times; the family at the bedside fighting about assets before the body even goes to the morgue.  Thanks goodness it isn’t the norm, but when it happens I want to shake these folks and ask just what is wrong with them.

        People are funny about money, though.  I am forever reminded of the old Jack Benny skit.  I loved Benny, and have a set of his DVDs I still watch at times.  In this one scene, a robber confronts Benny.  He sticks a gun in his ribs and says, “Your money or your life.”

         Benny delivered the punch line with the perfect timing only he could do.  “I’m thinking, I’m thinking.”

        Jack Benny was great.  I think he went to the same grade school as my agent.  When they were kids they didn’t have ‘show and tell,’ but ‘show and show.’  And that skit showed an awful lot about people.  Jack Benny’s ability to show those timeless human qualities endeared him to millions, and that is why he is still one of my favorites.

Dr. B

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14 Comments on “Mama’s Money and Jack Benny”

  1. T. Wood Says:

    The real truth about Benny was in real life he was 180 degrees from the character he portrayed. He was one of the more generous and caring individuals in Hollywood and Vaudeville. I remember his early TV shows, growing up and having two channels to choose from we didn’t have a lot of choices but we never thought that 154 channels and HD was ever an option. We had the earliest TV remote, Tommy get up and change the channel, Tommy get up and turn up the volume. I never had to ask what channel to turn it to. Anyway we looked forward to his shows and to the others of that same 50’s era.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Mr Wood,

    You are exactly right. By all accounts, Jack Benny was a prince of a man.

    Hey we had the same remote at our place!

    Dr. B

  3. danny fulks Says:

    And the supporting cast: Rochester, Phil Harris, and the classic show of him shopping for Christmas presents in a large department store

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Dr Fulks,

    I liked all Benny’s work. I know he played the violin, but I always felt like he had a bit of fiddle in him too.

    Dr. B

  5. Dr. B,
    That must be beyond awful – witnessing the families squabbling over inheritance when their parent is dying right in front of them. It makes me shudder to think of it. I can understand unhealthy parent/child relationships, and I can understand people who don’t get along with their siblings worrying about the inheritance, but I CANNOT understand the crassness of sitting at a deathbed and arguing.

  6. newt221 Says:

    People often have their hearts and their heads in the wrong place. As long as your desire is money and wealth, you will never achieve your desire. It is one of those things that will always escape your grasp. For when you have plenty, you will always want more.

    I am glad that I had a different upbringing. My Grandmother used to carry her money in her bra in a little bag. She wasn’t much for trusting that someone would not steal her pocketbook. But, that being said, she was one of the most generous people I have ever known.

    I am glad that she passed down to me that money is not where you should set your sights. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”….I think you know the rest. And, it is true!

    I have experienced this miracle over and over again in my own lifetime….

  7. drtombibey Says:

    ms slightly,

    Most people are good folks who lead quiet lives and try to do their best, but every so often you run into folks you can’t understand.

    Sometimes as a Doc you see things you wish you didn’t know about. If I hadn’t seen it myself I wouldn’t believe it, but I am sad to say this story is not fiction.

    Dr. B

  8. drtombibey Says:

    ms newt,

    I can tell from your writing your grandmother was a sweetie. I think she had it all figured out a long time ago.

    Dr. B

  9. danny fulks Says:

    Yeah, Benny was getting close to us when Phil Harris sang “That’s What I Like About The South,” “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette,” and others probably from Bob Wills and Johnny Bond.”

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Dr. Fulks,

    Benny used to say he was like the uncle everybody had in their family. I guess that was why his appeal was so universal. To me he is timeless; just as funny now on DVD as he was back then.

    Dr. B

  11. danny fulks Says:

    Doc, It’s time you came to facebook, lots of nice folks in my neighborhood. DF

  12. drtombibey Says:

    Dr Fulks,

    My agent has told me the same. I am going to have to start up one of those.

    Dr. B

  13. Billy Says:

    Doc, great idea that facebook. At least that is what by son tells me. Seems like that is the new extended family model that has taken hold. This twittering is way beyone me however.

  14. drtombibey Says:


    I beter get on this. I just hope my face doesn’t scare everyone away.

    Dr. B

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