Red Balloons for My Grandma, and for Albert Lamorisse

Tomorrow, is the 85th birthday of someone who is very special to me - my Grandma, whose name is also Mary. I just discovered that tomorrow is also the birthday of the author of one of my very favorite childhood books and films. His name is Albert Lamorisse, and he was born five years before my Grandma, in 1922. 

It's inevitable that anybody who is born on the 13th will sometimes celebrate their birthday on Friday the 13th. Although, I don't think 13 is an unlucky number since my Grandma and Albert Lamorisse were born on the 13th. They have both brought me much joy in my life.

Albert Lamorisse wrote "The Red Balloon" book, and he also wrote the short film, both of which I loved as a child. "The Red Balloon" is the number one book I checked out at the library repeatedly. When we moved to another state, I found that my next library had "The Red Balloon" too, and again my name appeared repeatedly on the library check-out card. This was in the 70's and 80's, more than twenty years after he wrote the book and film, although they were timeless and magical to me. One of the schools I attended showed us the film once a year. I got to see it just a few times until we moved, and then never again until I was an adult and found the video at a library. I checked it out, of course. Our generations had to search a lot harder to find the books, music and movies we love. Today kids can find pretty much anything they want, whenever they want, online. In fact, as I searched YouTube for "The Red Balloon", I found that the entire short film had been uploaded there. Hopefully more generations will have the chance to see it.

Sadly, Albert Lamorisse died at the young age of 48 in a helicopter crash while filming a documentary. You can find more information on him and his films here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Lamorisse 

I send big, bright imaginary balloons up to Albert Lamorisse to celebrate his 90th birthday to thank him for brightening my own imagination as a child. You must see "The Red Balloon", because it is one of the most beautiful films you will ever see.

I also send big, bright imaginary balloons up for my Grandma, who I feel so lucky and blessed to have around. I just got to see her last week and she still makes me smile and laugh as much as ever. She's just as observant and funny now as when I was a little girl, and she's just as giving and thoughtful too. She brightened my imagination as a child too, and I am grateful for that. She continues to teach me things, and I always enjoy learning from her. She's a very special Grandma, and she deserves every one of the balloons in this film... and more! 

Happy Birthday to my Grandma! We always have to travel far to see each other, but it's worth every mile. 

 

 

 

Thank you to  for posting this gorgeous scene from "The Red Balloon" on YouTube!