Laughter All the Way by Marty Baxter
So Laughter All the Way: Poems, Puns, Parodies isn’t the usual book you find on Baxter’s Book Nook. Why did I choose to review this book here? Well, you might notice that the author and I share the same last name. That isn’t a coincidence. Marty Baxter is my grandmother and one of the coolest women I know. So you’ll have to forgive me for being completely biased when it comes to this review, it just can’t be helped!
So you might be asking, what makes Marty Baxter one of the coolest women? Well, she has performed music her entire life. She was part of a quartet that joined the Frankie Masters orchestra in 1944. Her band flew in B-17 bombers to entertain troops in World War II, performing with the likes of The Three Stooges, The Ritz Brothers and even Bob Hope. My grandfather, Eddie Baxter, was also a musician. After the war, he was a staff musician at NBC-TV. My grandmother wrote articles for magazines and music. Together, they had four sons (one of which is my super awesome dad).
Currently, my grandmother lives in a senior living community where to this day, she still writes and performs shows with her music. Laughter All the Way has been a work in progress for many many years. There are four total sections of the book. “The Golden Years” is a humorous section of poems about growing older and laughing through it. There is a section called “In Retrospect” where the poems were written during the young years of my uncles’ and father’s childhood. “Generation Separation” lists familiar songs and their senior citizen counterparts. Finally, “Parodies” is a section of popular songs rewritten with funny lyrics about what it means to be getting older. These are songs that she performs in her community!
So like I said earlier, I’m incredibly biased when I tell you this is a great little book. But that doesn’t mean I’m lying either. My grandmother’s perspective on getting older is refreshing and inspiring. She truly believes in the power of laughing at yourself and working towards your goals. Her goal was to get a book published, and she did just that! In the introduction, she says “If a fairy godmother could give just one gift to an infant, the best one might be a sense of humor. When you can laugh with others and laugh at yourself, it not only brightens your day, but it helps you get through difficult times.” I think if more people accepted this way of life, the world would be a lot better of a place.
So, if you’re looking for a good dose of laughter from a woman who has a wonderful take on life, check out Laughter All the Way. This short collection of poems, puns and parodies, I think, will really have you laughing – all the way.