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                  PRIMARY CARE
      The Day Helen Keller Met Charlie Chaplin
TBy Sonny Melendrez
his hundred-year-old picture is as inspiring today as it was the day it was taken.
Helen Keller met Charlie Chaplin at the Chaplin Studios in Hollywood in late 1918, during the filming of Sunnyside. Keller communicated with Chaplin by reading his lips with her hands, as she felt the vibration of his voice on his throat.
She would later recall that she remembered him as being “shy, almost timid, and his lovely modesty lent a touch of romance to the occasion that might otherwise have seemed quite ordinary.”
That evening, Helen and her party were treated to dinner and screened two of his films, A Dog’s Life and Shoulder Arms. She would later recall, “Before he reeled off the pictures, he let me touch his clothes, his shoes and his moustache, that I might have a clearer idea of him onscreen. He sat beside me and asked me again and again if I was really interested – if I liked him and the little dog in the picture.”
The scenes were described by Keller’s teacher and companion, Anne Sullivan, through sign language in the palm of Keller’s hand.
Others who were present said that, “She led the laughter as the absurd situations developed. She did not miss one of the subtle bits of comedy.”
Charlie Chaplin historian, JeTamme Derouet, offers further insight, writing, “They spent most of the day off alone together and they smiled and laughed a lot like they had their own private world, just walking the studio lot and talking privately together.”
Chaplin worked with the deaf throughout his career, seeking to improve his own pantomime communication skills,
    learning sign language and fingerspelling. In fact, he was a great supporter of the deaf community when many in America sought to do away with sign language all together.
Even before their fateful meeting, that sunny California day, Helen and Charlie had one very special trait in common: They were both confirmed optimists.
Chaplin liked to say that, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” It was what kept him going, what brought him joy, what gave him life.
Perhaps Helen had Charlie in mind when she wrote, “So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.”
Sonny Melendrez is
an award-winning
motivational speaker,
Hall of Fame radio/TV
host and author, based
in San Antonio. For more
of his enthusiastic brand of inspiration and speaking information, visit his official site:
   The Great Pupkin Pet Costume Contest
IBy Alissa Reinhard
t’s almost time to start thinking about your Halloween Costume this year! And don’t forget about your pet!
Highlights Publications invites you to send in a photo of your pet dressed to the nines for the spooky Halloween season! Whether you choose sweet, spooky or fun, we want to see your pet in his or her best Halloween garb!
Submit your name, pet’s photo, pet’s name and a description of his or her costume to by September 12, 2021 along with your contact information, We will print the photos of our top selections in the October issue of Highlights Publications, One grand prize winner will be selected and receive $50!
Remember always make sure your pet is comfortable and safe when choosing
 a Halloween costume! The more creative, the better!
As though
your pet isn’t
cute enough
already, just
picture him
costume! We
can’t wait
to see your
Spiderpug, Superpup, Batcat, and more dressed up to enjoy Halloween! Submit your pet Halloween photo today!
For more information, you can call
(210) 548-6448.
   September 2021 5

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