Today Dean Martin would have been 101 years old.
Even if I don't always do it intentionally, I can't help but smile when I see Dean. He resembles many different things to me – all of them so very wonderful. The way his voice reaches out like a gentle, soothing touch aimed at the very heart and soul of the listener – like he was singing directly to and just for them alone. The way that you can actually hear him smile through his voice. That twinkle in his eyes when he succeeds in making people laugh. That smile that starts out by the smallest movement of the corners of his mouth, defeating his attempts to restrain it and lights up his whole face, even when he's supposed to be serious. That laugh when he breaks character, allowing himself to be swept up by the moment. The way he would try – and often fail – in the most humble way, to restrain his happiness when the applauds rose from the audience after a performance.
As an actor, entertainer and singer Dean was the creator of emotions. He gave so much of himself, portraying characters and interpreting lyrics with such depth that their emotions became your very own – whether they were those of distress or delight. He invested so much of himself in his characters that the border between them and himself seemed to be ereased: Every expression of his talents seemed so effortless that too many failed to recognize the sheer brilliance behind what they saw. Dean had one of the quickest, sharpest minds that ever entered a stage – his ability to always feel his surroundings, anticipate, adapt and, when needed, ad-lib with such perfect timing was just something that could never be bought for all the money in the world.
To honor Dean is to honor a magnificent entertainer and performer, but it's also about honoring a very special person that cared for so many and wanted to make people feel good around him.When society scorned people because of intolerance and stupidy and saw faults, Dean saw human beings in need of love, care, friendship and support and provided it. He made the world such a better place for so many by being here. Happy birthday, you wonderful, wonderful man. We love you so. ❤