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SUNDAY READING

Pure and Simple : Small Moments Become Personal Bests

February 09, 1986|RAY CONSIDINE | Ray Considine, a management sales consultant and author of "The Great Brain Robbery" (1979), has a tradition of sending out a New Year's card that's based on an idea he got from the book "Quintessence." The following is from this year's version.

"Quintessence": the quality of "having it."

(The book's) pages are full of striking, giant photo-graphics, all classic designs of things that we instinctively recognize "have it."

The Oreo cookie. Your everyday black Ace pocket comb. Keds (remember them?). Zippo lighter. The VW Beetle. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. An Eagle pencil. The Campbell's soup can. A plain brown bag.

And there is mention of people with Quintessence. Fred Astaire. Cary Grant. Bogart. Bergman. Mickey Mouse and Marilyn Monroe.

That got me thinking. What are the simpler things that are Quintessential to me? The legs in a L'Eggs commercial. The ever fresh pizazz of cover girl Christy Brinkley. Linda Evans' posture--and her chest. Any part of a rerun of Dudley Moore in "Arthur." Bally shoes. Socks that stay up. All day. Sharply creased pressed trousers. Every day. Thick, fat, rich-feeling ties. Custom shirts.

The splash dash and vivid energy of "Miami Vice." A 20-foot putt by any pro. A single yellow rose in full bloom. Iacocca's guts. The "Star Spangled Banner" when people brave the words in public. Marching bands, blaring brass and precision. And the flag. Any frequent-flier upgrade. A flight attendant who loves her job and people. Salesmen / women excited about what they're selling. The clean rush of the Lakers' fast break. Kareem's skyhook. Magic Johnson's all-ivory, ear-to-ear grin. Nantucket Island in the rain. Snow on the Boston Common. Beacon Hill's chummy, walk-around neighborly living. The sleek lines of a Jaguar XJ6. Deep blue-green, please. Plates instantly removed by the attentive waiter.

Jackets that fit perfectly when you try them on. Refunds cheerfully made. Buying wholesale. Reunions. Anywhere. Jamie Lee Curtis' boldness. Budweiser Light commercials. Andy Rooney's salty tidbits after a boring "60 Minutes." The telephone. Any telephone. Sunshine. Making love. Electric blankets. Cold, fresh orange juice. Paul Newman, the race driver. The Joe Montana-Dan Marino Pepsi commercial with voice-under by Martin Sheen. Martin Sheen. Sophia Loren's breathtaking impact at 50--with glasses! Standing and gazing in awe at lake-snow-mountain panorama of Switzerland. Traveling. Collecting people. Unpacking and knowing I'm home. Being left alone to do what I want to do. A clean, white piece of paper waiting for the words. Visiting people who don't know all my stories. Time out. Absolutely irresponsible, non-productive, fall-down, unscheduled drop out.

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