Posted by: donrhymer | February 22, 2013

Survival Kit

We’ve got a big weekend coming up. Tomorrow, February 23rd, would be my dad’s 52nd birthday, and Sunday night is the Oscar telecast. It will be a weekend loaded with Don Rhymer memories, so we’re on high alert, threat level midnight, bracing for impact.

The only weekends I can recall getting this much hype and strategy are those when a hurricane is headed toward New York. Flee the city! Buy in bulk! Fill your bathtub! It’s terrifying, but there’s an inescapable feeling that all that Chef Boyardee may be for nothing. Storms don’t take aim. It’s often just a matter of being on the unlucky side of a river.

Personally, I over-prepare every single time. I panic-rent Zipcars. I take unruly amounts of bottled water to my girlfriend and her roommate. I determine it’s not safe in their apartment and bring them to mine. I realize ¬†nobody’s safe at my apartment so I arrange for us all to stay with a friend. I buy aerobeds then leave them at the friend’s house. You get the idea. You don’t want to be around me when I think there’s a storm approaching.

This week I found my compulsion for preparedness took a bizarre form- I made a video. It’s short and frankly, stupid, but I wanted there to be some way to remember my dad that wasn’t dangerous or depressing. He had very little time for things that depressed him.

Above is a short reel of all my dad’s movies smashed into two minutes of fond memories and bird jokes, a survival kit of sorts. Most of you will make it through this weekend unscathed but for a few sad moments, and some of us are in for some serious water damage.

I can’t board up everyone’s windows or hold all of your hands, (I would try if there weren’t so damn many of you) but I can give you this dumb youtube video I made. If you’re hosting an oscar party, show this to the people around you and toast Don Rhymer. His name won’t be mentioned in the telecast, but please don’t make snarky remarks about it on his behalf. Hundreds of hard-working people with long entertainment careers die every year and the Oscars have time for thirty of them. (Insert your favorite Agent Cody Banks 2 joke here).

In any case, let’s just be glad we’re not watching the Oscar Funeral Spectacular this weekend. We’ve had quite enough funerals at our house, thank you very much.

Good luck this weekend, and Godspeed to all of you.




  1. I’m just bawling!!! Miss him so much!! Andrew–that was amazing!!! I loved it!!!!

  2. Wow. I miss your Dad so much. But your reel is amazing. And I love the song you set it to – it’s quintessential Don Rhymer in its outlook. Tomorrow we’ll celebrate your Dad and all the ways in which our lives were richly blessed by him. And we will be with dear friends on Sunday; we’ll watch the reel again, and toast your Dad — and you. Thank you! xoxo

  3. Great video and great write-up to go with it. Thoughts will be with you throughout the weekend. If you had to guess, what would your dad’s pick for Best Picture be?

  4. Andrew, Thanks so very much for bringing Don’s magic and spirit back for this weekend. We all miss him so much and seeing him through the movie short is wonderful. I recall one of his lines, I think from Big Momma 2, “Laughter is God’s Hand on a Troubled World” . It is troubled, but remembering how Don saw makes it possible.. …We plan to toast your Dad this weekend, count on it.
    Love , Uncle Jim

  5. Andrew, I hear your Dad’s voice and timing when I read what you wrote. All of us our living tributes to our parents, but you’ve got a little bit extra and it’s a blessing. Thank you for making this world brighter by sharing your gifts and talents.

  6. More HONEYMOONERS!! Ha! Actually, I think that’s the amount your dad would have wanted. Really well done, young Rhymer. We will be pausing the telecast and inserting our toast to him. Cheers to Don!

  7. Thank you, Andrew, for sharing this incredible gift (and labor….I know how long it took you) of love to honor your dad’s work and his commitment to, and passion for his craft. I miss him deeply.

  8. an apt tribute my prepared friend, good to hear Don’s voice in the laugh out loud lines he was known for, and love the hammer thru wall to van out of mall cut, well done-

  9. Andrew, thank you so much for this. And for your heart to board up our windows and hold our hands. Made me cry a little but smile a lot , just how your dad would have wanted it. We are with you in spirit tomorrow – love to all the rhymers

  10. Thank you so much for this. I never would’ve thought I could get choked up watching clips from Big Momma’s House. But go figure…

  11. Amazing!!! Thank you for doing this. I smile and laughed the entire time.

  12. Beautifully done. Thank you.

  13. One of the first out here to “catch” your dad’s unique voice on the page, Andrew, I was clearly channeling Don when I read your Noah’s Guide. (In fact, who knows who would have had the career had I read you first.) It’s funny, but I WAS thinking about your dad when the Times ran the story on the competition for seconds in the Oscar Memorial Montage. Two friends from high school and I have gotten together to watch the show for 32 years now (Lincoln was still a fresh memory in those days), and our crowd has grown as we have expanded our social worlds (by marriage and/or cash payments). These lovely two minutes will be a surprise addition for our crowd tomorrow night and I dare predict a highlight of the entire evening. We’ll raise our glasses (and bowls of chili — there’s a ton, come over if you’re hungry) to the great Don.

  14. Dear Andrew,
    What a perfect tribute to your Father. The water is running here.
    You are a chip off the old block. A way with words — a good story teller.

    Happy Birthday, Don Rhymer. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. You live on through those who love you.


  15. Andrew, A wonderful tribute, both the pictures and your words.

  16. Dear Andrew~So enjoyed your clever birthday tribute to your dad.
    Honoring him putting to use your shared talents on his birthday & Oscars weekend made me laugh and weep. Your dad was as proud of you as you
    are of him. Love to you all where ever you find yourselves on this day.
    xox Ann

  17. I just want you to know we showed your tribute tonight just after Seth and Kristin’s ending duo and the crowd crowded around the computer to see Don’s work. It was a great end to the evening. Lots of laughs and ah’s at all the right moments. Your dad will live forever…
    I miss him but felt tonight that he was connected to the grand tradition of people who devoted their lives to entertaining others. I know I have watched this show since 1960 and I think tonight was the first time I had tears in my eyes at the end.
    Carry on, Rhrymers!

  18. Well done, Andrew. Thank you so much for capturing his love of laughter for all of us – at such an enormously tender time. Through laughter, and tears – I could feel Don’s spirit. Love you, Rhymers. Jill

  19. Oh Andrew!! I just saw this and started crying! What a wonderful tribute to your Dad. I WILL “Remember the good”!! Love to you all! Your Dad had to be laughing when Jennifer tripped up the stairs at the Oscars! Your Dad went through my head at that very moment and it made me smile! Hugs to you all and keep this blog coming…it is so wonderful!

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