Category Archives: expressive qualities

After eight years, Richard Armitage, you still move me.


I don’t have the extended edition of the BOTFA yet (maybe for Christmas if I am a very good girl). However, I have certainly appreciated getting to see the clip of   the preparation for Thorin’s final scene and the numerous screen caps from various bonus videos people have posted.


Seeing these various images–some solemn, others light-hearted–touched off a wellspring of emotions inside me.  How could I not fail to be moved seeing Richard’s preparation for Thorin’s death scene? Seeing how he lay there so quiet, so still and deep in thought, as the crew members moved around him, shifting snow, adjusting his costume, saying very little themselves as if recognizing the solemnity of the occasion.

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And then watching Martin and Richard acting that scene–absolutely heartbreaking. I remembered my husband reaching over and squeezing my hand to comfort me as the tears flowed freely down my face watching that scene in the theater. And I cried once again as I watched it unfold on the screen of my laptop.

Richard Armitage, I am not sure there is anybody who can die more–beautifully, poetically–than you onscreen.  I might be prejudiced, of course–but you do have a tremendous capacity to move me with your artistry.


I was also very touched seeing the little shrine the crew created on the spot where the death scene took place.

It was a fitting way to honor this larger-than-life character and the rather extraordinary man who brought him so vividly, unforgettably to life.  Here’s to Thorza!


Seeing the smile on your face as you talk about it makes me believe you were also touched by the tribute, both proud and humbled by this gesture.

Seeing you in full concentration mode–the dedicated, focused actor who is always on task–and in those lighter moments when Richard breaks through the Thorin guise and we see the grins and laughter, the humor, sweetness and genuineness reflected in those eyes–well, I am once again impressed by that dedication and drawn to the man I perceive you to be. Unpretentious, good-humored, attentive, discerning.







And huggable. Huggable is very important.



Oh, those eyes. That smile. I won’t even get into how impossibly sexy you also are here (ah, there goes that head bob as you murmur a self-deprecating remark). Beyond the obvious attractions of grey-tinged beard (growing older ever so gracefully, you are), glimpsed chest hair, lovely crinkles and that plaid shirt with its tempting snaps, there’s that aura you exhude. Yes, even in a screen cap of a candid moment.  Especially in such a moment.

Richard Armitage, after more than eight years as a fan, you still move me. Move me to tears, to smiles, to giggles, to that funny little flutter in my heart and in my stomach.

Richard Armitage: So Much to AppReCiAte. Remember, it’s ALL good.



Richard Armitage is all that and a bag of chips. An extra-large bag of Golden Flakes, made right here in Alabama and one of  favorite guilty pleasures to this day.


golden-flake-potato-chips-86225Actually, I prefer their regular chips for everyday eating, but the hot variety seemed ever so appropriate for the subject at hand . .

I believe we all can agree that Richard is enormously talented and versatile in his gifts. The man can act phenomenally well, using every facet of his physical being–that deep, earthy voice, amazingly mobile face, those big, elegant hands and so much more–to bring his characters to vivid (and at time, heart-wrenching) life. We can easily believe he is the individual he is portraying as we take a journey alongside him. We watch, we listen, hang on the edge of our seats as we hold our collective breath; we cheer and we shed tears. We mourn. We do not forget. Those characters, this man, sticks with us.



Richard as Thorin back inside Erebor for the first time in years. Courtesy of The

Along with those acting chops we have a man who can sing, play instruments, ride horseback and perform fight scenes with the grace and agility of the professional dancer he once was.  All that he has experienced in his life and learned and trained for in each of his roles has helped bring him to where he is today–an increasingly acclaimed actor of both stage and screen with several new projects on the horizon. Workaholic that he appears to be, I don’t think we have to worry about Richard “resting” (as unemployed actors refer to being in between roles) for very long.



He’s also a consummate professional described in glowing terms by co-stars, crew members, scriptwriters and directors. Richard is hard working and humble, affable and kind, generous and good hearted with an infectious laugh that reaches right up into  those twinkling blue eyes. What’s not to love?

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Now, not only is he an amazing talent, he also happens to be really, really attractive.  Easy on the eyes with that arrestingly handsome face and the sort of tall, broad-shouldered masculine physique that invites daydreams and fantasies.  “Oh child of Venus, you’re just made for love . . .” He was always a cutie, but I swear he’s grown into more masculine gorgeousness with each passing year.

And it’s perfectly OK to celebrate that physical beauty along with his intelligence, talent, work ethic, charisma and charitable instincts. Because these qualities, inner and outer, are all part and parcel of what makes Richard Armitage Richard Armitage. And keeps us coming back for more . . . and more.

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So don’t be hatin’ on bloggers who take time out from their serious discussions of his work to light-heartedly enjoy the siren call of Mr. Armitage’s outward qualities, whether it be nipples, biceps, bum or other physical attributes. Because it’s ALL good. Just like a big ol’ bag of Golden Flakes . . .

Fedoralady’s Monday Meanderings: Thorin et al



I am sharing a variety of things I found on FB and some of my own stuff today. I hope you enjoy! I just love this piece of artwork. It could be Richard on set or a younger, more carefree Thorin. Great job, Evank7!


If you aren’t familiar with Grumpy Cat, he’s (she’s?) something of an internet phenom. That face! But even GC is being won over by the delicious Thorin–well, sort of.


I find Smaug Cat both beautiful and fearsome!!


Someone found these two images on fanpop. I then enlarged them and did a bit of tweaking. Me like–hope you do, too.



Nothing like  Thorin when he’s truly p—ed off and not gonna take it anymore. Forbidding and still beautiful. BeFunky_untitled-4-copy.jpg

Now, must do some video critiquing for spouse and then on to playing in photo editing with more scanned images. Such fun!

Happy Father’s Day: Tough Portah as Lexie’s Tender Daddy



A real man can be strong and tough and still be gentle, providing consoling hugs, kisses to heal boo-boos and  offering comforting, tender words for those he loves.


Richard Armitage does a brilliant job of making John Porter believable as not just a tough, kick-ass SAS hunk, but as a loving dad, desperate to maintain a relationship with his little girl after his world falls apart. A dad who thinks of her when it looks like he may not get out of the latest adventure alive. A dad who cries with her even though they are thousands of miles apart . . .


Look at how he so fully embraces her, at the contented smile on his face. How can you not believe? And love him just a little bit more.

Guyday Friday: Sir Guy returns to tease & take care of LW


“Oh, good grief, Sir Guy, I think my insides have been turned out,” Ladywriter groaned as she fell back against the pillows, gingerly stroking her tummy.

“Ahhhh, and not in a good way, I fear,” the Dark Knight murmured. He raised one quizzical brow and proceeded to prop his glossy black boots on the bed railing as he leaned back in the chair, arms characteristically folded across his broad chest.

“When is it ever?” LW groaned.  She’d woken up in the wee hours hungry after missing a couple of meals the day before, and now had paid the price for that peanut butter and banana sandwich, followed by a fun size Twix bar. So much for fun.

It had tasted good at the time . . . cursed Irritable Bowel Syndrome!

“Well . . . I have been known to do unusual things to ladies’ insides,” Sir Guy drawled, that devilish gleam in his kohl-rimmed blue eyes teasing her.

A gimlet-eyed Ladywriter snorted and threw a pillow at him, which he nimbly caught and then tossed aside. His eyes softened and, setting his boots on the carpet, he leaned forward to take LW’s hand and give it a gentle squeeze.

“Forgive me, dearest LW. I cannot resist being playful with my favorite queen of her own alternate universe . . . truly, shall I bring you something to give you comfort?”

“A Coke on ice–lots of ice. And–we could just sit and talk for a while . . . it’s been a difficult week, Sir Guy.” LW gave a little sigh and smiled up into those beautiful azure eyes.I’ve missed you, my favorite hot velveteen henchman.”

He returned her smile, and she did feel a curious sensation–butterflies in her stomach?–that was a definite improvement on her earlier condition. 

Oh, the effect you do have on us, my beautiful Gisborne.

“Of course you’ve missed me, and I, you.” Sir Guy pressed a kiss to the palm and then the back of her hand. “I am forever yours.”

And forever, Friday will be—Guyday in the kingdom of Lady Writer.

It’s Guyday Friday!!






Sexy, Heroic Soldiers & Spies–Oh, My!



The enigmatic Lucas North–dedicated, determined, trying to make his way in an ordinary world after eight years of torture and deprivation in a Russian prison. Haunted by the past.  NOT John Bateman (that was the lie).  A hero–and sexy as hell. Watching Lucas run in those tight jeans–*guh* Pure poetry in motion.



Sgt. John Porter: tough-as-nails but with a tender side. A man who needs to find the truth, restore his tarnished reputation and fight his way back to a normal life. The very sort of bloke you’d want to come to your rescue. Heroic, clever and when necessary, ruthless. Trust him.


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I knew I woke up before dawn for a reason. Read. this. now. *squee*


PT: It’s remarkable. And the female response to your character and obviously yourself, which I find fundamentally puzzling. I mean, you’re a nice looking bloke, I’m sure you can act a bit.

RA: I can string a sentence together and walk and talk without bumping into the furniture. But that’s about it.

PT: Why?

RA: You know what? You need to point the microphone into the audience. Actually, don’t do that. I don’t know. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve got a really loyal little fan base of very well-educated, well-read ladies. Well I don’t think they’re all ladies. God, you know. But they’re incredibly supportive. I often do a lot of research. I didn’t know I was doing a Q & A screening until I read it on one of the websites and they were booking tickets. I was like, ‘Oh, that’ll be nice. I better brush my hair then’. No, they’re great. They’re really supportive. I try to look after them.

A fantastic  pre Q&A interview by Popcorn Taxi with Richard Armitage has appeared at their site! This one is really a goodie IMHO. Lots of info about the process of getting into his characters mentally and physically, which I always find fascinating.

RA’s relaxed, thoughtful, witty, silly and thoroughly delightful and the interviewer does manage to ask new questions! And not a word about that bloody circus! WIN. Click on the link to read it all:


Have a happy Monday, everyone!

Smirking, smouldering, smug, SEXXXXXY: Naturally, It’s Guyday Friday!



And I totally agree. *thud*


NOT that I need to tell you all that.


Nobody does it better–wouldn’t you agree?

photomania_15261582I love a wet Guy. Love, love, love . . .

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And when he’s sweaty and disheveled and DIRT-TY.

rh208_142Life’s unfathomable mysteries. This and why the Kardashians exist.

Roaring, Raging, Smouldering, Stroppy: RA ChaRActers Get Their Fierce On




“As a person I’m quite calm and placid, so it’s nice to give vent to a little anger.”  Richard Armitage


For such a sweet, laid-back soul, RA certainly knows how to smoulder and simmer, to be sulky and stroppy,  to rant and rage and roar magnificently. Richard Armitage knows how to get his fierce on.







RA’s bad boys always catching my eye . . . how ’bout yours?


I had a very lazy day today. It rained pretty much all day long . . .  and I could never get motivated to do a great deal except rest the sore, aching knee, play with the cats and snooze a bit. Dreamed about banquets with hot dogs and ham and vast amounts of candles on the tables, and oversleeping and missing a 7 a.m. arrival time at an event, which put me in a panic. Happily it was just a dream.

Meanwhile, in RL, it looks as if we will be shooting a dance recital next weekend in two parts, a ballet of “Cinderella” and then a tap/jazz portion. It’s not a huge school so the event won’t drag out for hours and hours as these things can (having been to my niece’s recitals at her large Birmingham school).  And the letters were posted today to the high school seniors’ parents re the graduation package we will be offering,  Yes, May is looking pretty busy. And, one hopes, lucrative. 😉 Have a wonderful weekend!



courtesy of RA Frenzy

courtesy of RA Frenzy




A Fan’s First-Hand Experience at RA’s Sydney Q&A: A Must-Read!


Boys and girls, do I have a treat for you. For those of us who didn’t get to attend the Q&A with Richard Armitage, this is the next best thing to being there for now, thanks to groovergreen.  I have also included some photos taken during last night’s session courtesy of my peeps at Twitter.

Groovergreen, I owe you a big one, mate (oh, and why don’t you have you own blog, little missy??)  Enjoy!!

Greetings, everyone, from the middle of the Sydney night, the sleepless aftermath of the Richard Armitage love-in at the Orpheum Picture Palace! Thanks to the Popcorn Taxi’s The Hobbit Q and A, 700 of us had our first chance to quiz Mr Armitage directly — unmediated by media — to gaze admiringly on his magnificence and to ponder: How can the gods devolve so much power of enchantment on just one human being?

Reckon the Popcorn Taxi boss could have used a bit of that, for he warned us against letting our love flow too freely. “I suggest you deal with the wetness on your seats,” said he with such delightful delicacy and tact. Bewdy, mate, thanks, will do.

Despite having been interviewed to within an inch of his life this week, RA was tireless and gracious, and for 45 minutes we sat rapt in his bass-baritone eloquence as he expounded on life in Middle Earth. He scrubbed up all right, too, in sleek white shirt with skinny neo-Modernist tie, jacket of a peculiar green-gold hue and exquisitely tight (tight, I said!) black jeans. Ooh!


No digital recording was allowed, so I cracked a notebook – an old-fashioned paper notebook — and transcribed almost all the Q and A in shorthand. (Well, as best as I could in the dark and while bedazzled by RA.) So though this may be superseded by an official transcript in days to come, I reckon that between Lady 0akenshield’s pictures from the front row and my own humble offering we have this one covered for at least the next 24 hours in the fandom. You will see where I have paraphrased some things for better flow and sense, but mostly I have preserved RA’s words.

A big thank you to Angie the Fedora Lady for hosting this transcript on her wonderful blog, The Armitage Effect!


First question of the evening: What has RA learned from playing Thorin that is useful to him in real life?

RA (with the winsome meekness that we adore but don’t quite understand): “I am not really a bold leader as a person, and I found in him a nobility that is about leading by example, not necessarily dictation. That is the best thing I have found for myself.”

To create Thorin’s distinctive look required prosthetics and heavy make-up (about $1.6 million worth, according to a report in a Sydney newspaper this week). Was RA shocked by how he looked in Thorin’s body?

When I met Peter (Jackson), no, before I met Peter, I was given a character break-down and one thing it said was ‘you will be required to wear some prosthetics’. I knew there would be something, but it was extensive and the initial manifestation of Thorin was more extreme.’’ RA worked with make-up artist Tami Lane to tone it down, including Thorin’s wild eye-flashing.

I didn’t want to be inhibited in any way. The key to seeing into Thorin’s heart is through his eyes. When the makeup came off, my face was much more animated than I am as a person, but I think that is because all the facial muscles had been exercised a lot more.’


How differently might today’s audiences and readers interpret The Hobbit compared with the original readers in the 1930s?

RA: “I read Tolkien’s biography and he talked a lot about his experiences in World War I. That he lost his fellowship was what he was writing about, and the rise of evil… but we are living in a time when we send other people’s children off to fight battles. The idea of dwarves exiled from their homeland pervades across times, I think.’’

Amid chortling about his “266 days of hard work emoting through Thorin’s hot and heavy costume and make-up’’, RA was asked whether he had fun on the Hobbit set.

I have got to say that most of the fun was off the set,’’ he said, explaining that Thorin required all his concentration. “He isn’t a big bag of laughs, I’ve got to be honest,’’ he said. “But for me, I have fun when I’m stretching myself fully.”

The cross-cultural exchange among the dwarves actors kept the amusement factor high too, he said. ‘’Without the British and the Kiwis, the coming together of those two cultures, it wouldn’t have been as much fun. I’m looking forward to seeing them again. We have 10 more weeks of shooting. We haven’t done a single frame of the Battle of the Five Armies. Actually I think it might be the Battle of the Six Armies. I started training again at the end of January so I could swing that heavy sword around you are talking about. I’ve had practice; I was very close to taking it to the gym with me. I didn’t bring it with me now. I would never have got it through security.”


Popcorn Taxi host: “I’m determined to find out some of the stories that haven’t been told and retold about fun on set — such as director being put in embarrassing situations?”

Our director put himself in very embarrassing situations,’’ RA replied, recounting a complicated shoot in which Thorin had to run down a tree trunk. “Peter said ‘this is how you do it’. He came down that tree trunk so fast his pants fell down around his ankles and the film crew kept on filming it. So somewhere there is a film with Peter Jackson with his pants around his ankles. For Peter’s 50th birthday we decided to make a naked dwarves calendar. As you know, dwarves when they take their clothes off have a lot of padding , and the calendar featured dwarves of the movie in various compromising positions. There is only one copy. Graham wanted to make more but I said absolutely not, and there is only one copy.”

Host: “Did you have a strategically placed piece of oak?”

RA: “What happened in the calendar stays in the calendar!”

Host: “In The Hobbit you sing a song, Misty Mountain. You were a song and dance man before you went into the more serious side of drama. What was it like returning to singing in a production?”

RA: “I did a production of The Hobbit when I was 13, and it was a musical, really. I know that Tolkien had written lots of songs through the literature. I was really excited there were going to be these songs in it. (Hobbit co-writer) Fran Walsh wrote the tune to this song, and I was honoured to be asked to take it on. (For research) I listened to a lot of Russian church music. I listened to a Welsh male voice choir. We took the pitch down and down and down … I wanted to keep recording it until the end of time because I was not ever happy with it.’’

The audience was then invited to ask questions, and one was about The Hobbit’s horses.

I love my horse, her name is Shaman and she and I became very close,” RA said. “She had her long hair thing going and so did I. We would ride the horses out on location at the weekends… In the Tolkien literature it describes dwarves as not liking horses because they don’t ride very well, which I was slightly annoyed about because I was in love with my horse.’’

How much control was RA given over the way Thorin looked?

RA: “I remember asking for more grey at the sides (of his hair) because I felt it would give him more age. I originally conceived Thorin as being like a bison and I wanted better body bulk. That included the pelt he wears. When I didn’t have the pelt on I felt I was missing a part of him.”

A fan helplessly entranced by RA’s voice (like us all, really), complained the Misty Mountains song was too short and might there be an extended version in the offing? “I know Neil Finn did it but it isn’t as good,’’ she said with complete lack of finesse.

RA: “It is quite long. If that song had been any longer I think people would have been quite impatient. There was a moment when I nearly got to sing the song at the end. Nearly. But Neil Finn did a version of the final song which extended and developed it, which I absolutely love. I am hoping there will be more singing in movies two and three.”


The next inquisitor was a woman who asked RA how he had met Geraldine, and when he was going home. Er, no dear, this is not a Vicar of Dibley time warp.

Q: “How did you imagine Thorin as a child compared with the role under Peter’s vision?”

RA: “I do remember very clearly reading the book as a 12-year-old, and then as a slightly older 12-year-old man. I had seen him as a bit older. But the important thing was that he was the potential king who can return to his people and show his prowess on the battlefield. He was older than I am, but he still had the prowess to swing that sword around.”

RA was asked about working with Sir Christopher Lee, who plays Saruman and who is apparently noted for unusual behaviour.

RA: “I hate to admit it but I never worked with Christopher Lee. I don’t like to give away too many secrets of filming but all of Christopher’s stuff was shot in the UK because he was too old to travel, so I never got to meet him.”

Q: “If you hadn’t been cast as Thorin, who would you like to have been cast as?”

RA: “You tell me!” He likes the portrayal of Beorn: “He really lives up to the images of him I had as a kid.”

Q: ”How did it feel to play Thorin, then see him on screen?’’

RA: “It was really surprising. I actually thought I hadn’t done very much in the first movie and that most of my work was in movies two and three.” He explained that Peter Jackson had chosen to give Thorin more and extended scenes. “I hadn’t looked at what he had chosen. I was pretty pleased. He made Thorin look awesome. It was his doing, not mine.”


Jackson, he said, tended to make decisions on the run: “It was always very difficult to get Peter to sit down … he likes to have these conversations when the camera is rolling.”

Q: what are the differences between doing a movie such as The Hobbit and television?

RA: “The main thing is time. When you have a budget like The Hobbit had it buys you so much time; in particular, time to experiment. And working on a green screen. I had never done that before. I was nervous of it. But it does fire up your imagination.”

Q: ‘What personal life experiences helped you shape Thorin?”

RA: “I suppose the thing I really love about Thorin is that he does have a fear of what he is going to do. He is on a path to something that is thrilling. He will get to be a king and he will accumulate a huge amount of wealth. But in that mountain is the most terrifying thing he has ever experienced in his life … I assimilate that to a holocaust of some kind, the bomb dropping on Hiroshima and the devastation it caused … He is walking towards something that he wants to do but it is repelling him. That dichotomy is the most appealing thing.’’

RA is noted for preferring to do his own stunts on film. Asked about his favourite stunt in The Hobbit, he nominated the scene in which the mountain splits open, Bilbo falls off the side and Thorin has to save him.

‘’It was one I didn’t know I was going to be able to do,’’ he said. “Just getting on the horse and doing something your stunt double has shot is really thrilling. Not that it gives you a sense of heroism, but it makes you feel like you are living the character.”

Speaking of that, how about the one RA is named after? Does he still plan to play Richard III on film?

RA: “Many, many plans but they are all in my mind at the moment. There is a possibility but it is a matter of when and how. Maybe I’ll be too old to do it.’’ (Collective groan of disbelief from the Armitage Army in the front rows.)

Q: “You have played a lot of dark, brooding, grumpy characters. What would you say about casting to type? Are you looking forward to choosing different sorts of roles in future?”

RA: “I always get very nervous when I read something that is close to myself. I predict I won’t get it, because I am better at playing someone very far away from myself. I fantasise about playing the romantic lead character, but I don’t think my face suits that.’’ (More groans.)


Host: “You’re right. I think you look inherently evil.”

RA also talked about The Hobbit’s spectacular sequence known as Scene 88: ‘‘It felt like we were running through the whole of the North and South islands. But it was so great to be out in those locations, to see them, because I might never see them again. I did have to tape up my ankles, though, because the ground was so incredibly uneven.”

Q: “Will Smaug (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Thorin be in the room together (in Hobbit 2 and 3)? I wonder whether that has happened or whether you have talked about it.”

RA: “That is a pretty awesome thought. I went into the motion capture studio because I wanted to see how Ben worked – I’m a huge fan of his — so we did cross paths. I love the fact that they cast him because it means the dragon will have an incredible intellect and an incredible voice. I also think they may be able to use certain aspects of his bone structure in the face of the dragon, but nobody knows yet. But I don’t know if Thorin and Smaug ever come face to face. That is something I will find out when we do the reshooting. I hope so.”

Alas, time dances too merrily away in the Dionysian presence of Mr Armitage. And so to the final question: If there were one question he could ask of Thorin Oakenshield, what would it be?

The thing I want to know, that I’ve tried to fill in in my little biography, is: Who was the love of his life? I felt he had made a sacrifice in his life, that he gave up something for his people, for his quest, and I imagine there would have been a princess he would have been betrothed to as King Under The Mountain. So that is probably what I would ask Thorin.”

Then, to a standing ovation and with a bashful smile, RA was gone … out the wrong exit, whereupon an usher gently led him across the cinema and we shamelessly turned our mobile phone cameras on those long, sleek legs, that nose, that FACE in those precious last seconds of his being there.

Safe travels, Mr Armitage, and thank you for an evening that was well worth my journey of 1000km!


Wasn’t this a wonderful report, folks? As I said, next best thing to being there . . . give groovergreen some love and let us know what you think of the Qs and As!

Dancing Armitage: ‘All Arms & Legs,’ Yet Poetry in Motion


Crystal Chandlyre put together this special video highlighting Richard dancing in rehearsals for “Cats” back in 1994-95.  You get to see the same dance sequence from two different vantage points and both in and out of costume with Crystal giving some cues as to when and where to look for RA.

Of course, as she says, once you’ve spotted him, you somehow don’t miss him again (even with the less-than-perfect quality of old video footage).

I love watching him dance. That tall, lean, muscular frame, the former gangly teen transformed into a graceful swan–a big man who never somehow takes up too much space. I know he grew dissatisfied with his career as a dancer and choreographer in musical theatre for various reasons, but as I have said before, it wasn’t from any lack of talent, surely.

And musical theatre’s loss was definitely our gain as admirers of a versatile, expressive, nuanced actor.

His dance training and experience shine through in so many of his acting performances, from Lucas’s cat-like stealth to Porter’s balletic grace with a weapon to Thorin’s amazing spins in combat–Armitage the dancer still captures our attention and commands our admiration and respect.

What a bundle of talent that man is. Bravo!!  And thank you, Crystal, for putting this together.

More Guyday Friday: it’s gettin’ hot in here . . .