Caught a cold yesterday (it wasn’t the pig’s knuckles, I swear.) Staying in bed till show time. Highly unusual for me. Somewhat blissful, actually. I pray my energy will resurface before the 7pm show. I’m sure it will. So let me tell you about this doctor who actually came to my apartment to check on me!!! (He just left). I didn’t think this happened anymore-house calls. His name is Dr Barry Kohn and he said it would be okay for me to blog about him. I’ve actually met him twice when he came to the play. He had a private practice in Sacramento and then, 14 years ago, retired and now does pro bono work for actors, part time in Los Angeles and part time in New York. He actually said, “My practice was good to me. I’m not ultra rich or anything but I have enough and so I decided I wanted to give meaning to my life by treating actors, especially theatre actors, without charge. I think theatre actors are so brave.” When was the last time you heard someone say they had ‘enough?’ That they didn’t want their life to be about getting more? I just had to tell you about him. He has been on the board of Broadway Cares, the non-profit all of us in the New York theatre community have been raising money for these past four weeks. We have 2 weeks to go. Broadway Cares provides resources for people living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. We do this through The Phyllis Neuman Women’s Health Initiative and the Free Health Clinic of the Actors Fund. We also provide grants to 400 food banks around the country. I make the pitch after every performance and we’ve raised soo much money. We’re trying to raise more than any other non-musical. April 28th there’s an Easter Bonnet event at the Minskoff Theatre to mark the end of the fundraising effort. Each play puts on a skit and designs a bonnet and there are winners-for the skits, the bonnets and for who raises the most money. We want to win!!! If you want to contribute, make a check out to “Broadway Cares” and send it to me at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, 230 West 49th St, NY, NY 10019. If you send $75 you get a playbill signed by the whole cast. If you send $150 you get a Play poster signed by everyone. For $200 you get my memoir personally signed to you from me.

To change the subject: I liked the pigs knuckles. They were very tasty, gelatinous but tasty. I don’t mind gelatinous. Some of the blog comments said I was brave to try them. Hey, you want brave, I’ll give you brave: Years ago when I was married to Ted Turner, we were in Montana where he had (has) a large herd of bison. I had come to enjoy eating well cooked bison and wanted to slaughter a young one to eat but I decided I wanted to ask a friend of mine, a Northern Cheyenne chief, Bill Tall Bull, to come down with his grandson’s and show me how native Americans slaughtered bison. I had been studying about this and read that they, of necessity, made use of every single part of the bison-making purses out of the stomach, moccasins out of the fur at the back of the hoof, etc. So Bill came down. I asked him what he would like in exchange for demonstrating this quite laborious procedure for me. I expected he would want cash, but no. He said, “We’d like the hooves, the heart and the intestines.” “The hooves!!!!” I exclaimed. “Why the hooves?” “Oh,” Bill replied, “When word gets out that we’re having hoof for dinner there won’t be any room in our home.” He was going to make soup with them. Kind of like Pigs knuckles, I guess. The intestines would be made into sausages and I watched him clean out the skins in preparation, sticking a hose in one end and letting the water wash it clean. The heart of the bison is, of course, a prized organ, so their keeping that didn’t surprise me. The work of slaughtering and cutting up the animal takes several hours and is very hard which is why Bill, who was elderly, had brought his grandsons to help. He also wanted to teach them the traditional ways. As they worked, they spoke to each other in their traditional language. Half way through the gutting, they cut out the liver and hung it up on an upright fence post, slicing little pieces from it from time to time and eating it. They told me this was what they did to keep up their energy. Well, since I was doing the work right alongside them, I decided I should do whatever they did and I cut myself a slice and ate it. I like cooked liver a lot, but, I tell you, swallowing that raw chunk took all the guts (pun intended) I could muster. After that experience, Pigs knuckles is a piece of cake.

(I must be getting better. Two hours ago I wouldn’t have imagined writing that story in a blog).

One comment to my last blog said they were having Easter lunch on the beach at Santa Barbara. That’s where my son and his wife had Easter brunch before they went for an Easter egg hunt at his cousin Bridget’s (Bridget Fonda Elfman, Danny’s Wife-he of early Oingo Boingo fame and now the greatest composer in Hollywood). Bridget has an almost 3 year old son, Oliver, and, Knowing Danny and Bridget, it was probably the most fanciful egg hunt ever.

Whew-all this writing has worn me out. Gonna catch a few more ZZZZs before I have to perform. Many thanks to all of your who have sent me blog comments. They have sooo cheered me up.

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  1. The doctor sounded like such a humanitarian…I hope you get to feeling better – your Web site always cheers me up – so we are even on that front.

    Be well!

  2. I can appreciate your bison story. I live in Yukon and have watched Native people live the traditional way as well. Here they use all the animal too and they even eat the antlers from the caribou…..they slice them when they are soft in early summer and fry them….they taste a lot like potatoes.

  3. It’s nice to know that there are still people like Dr Kohn in the world. The news is so full of bad stuff these days. However, the Aussie spirit came together recently when we had the awful bushfires in Victoria which took about 300 lives and still counting. That kind of lifts you too, when people are in trouble, the rest of the country came together to lend a hand. Hope you are feeling better. My Swiss grandfather used to plant eggs all over his farm for us when we were kids, I think that he did it so that we would be worn out by the end of the day. That Bison story reminded me of that scene out of Dances with wolves when they ripped the heart out of the buffalo and gave it to Kevin as a mark of respect for him. Native Americans and their culture fascinate me. I have been trying to write a book for years about an Australian Aboriginal child and a Native American child and the comparison of their cultures. I want to get it right, so I’ll keep researching. Take care.

    • They actually revised the numbers down to below 200. Some of the bones were animals. Still a tragic loss nonetheless.

  4. I roared with laughter about your experience with Bill Tall Bull. Glad to know you’re getting some rest and being looked after by such a good doctor.
    Took my youngest son (almost 18) to see your play and we both loved it. I cried.
    You are such a gas!!!
    I adore your blog. You are sooooo funny and a huge inspiration.

  5. Hey Jane Brave One,
    What an excellent story about you and our beautiful
    native brothers and blessed bison calf.
    I’m a lover of the native ways. My connection from another life I hold in my heart forever. But then you
    don’t need a pastlife experience to love the native ways.
    Have you read Return of the Bird Tribes by Ken Carey?
    Theres a beautiful story of White Buffalo Calf Woman.

    I’d say Dr.Kohn is a holy man in a spiritual kinda way. I will be donating for him and for you Jane. Kick butt and win for most bucks ever in non-musical catagory.
    Love where the money is going.

    Your not feeling well? certainly didn’t effect your writing
    skills. Got a feeling you’ll rock the audiences world tonight. Your spirit is sooo Strong. Be well beautiful one!!!

    Many happy returns.

  6. oh Jane
    Hope you are feeling better!! Sending you lots of love and positive energy!
    Wanted to tell you I met Dolly at a Q&A after 9-5!
    She loves your play! Love Judy Bernly’s big number
    “Get Out & Stay Out!”

    Feel better!
    You deserve to win the TONY and BLOG of the year!!
    I mean it!!

    Much Gratitude,

  7. Are the Chinese pigs’ knuckles anything like the Polish ones, called nozki? (means “little legs”) They’re made in jelly and you pour lemon juice or vinegar over them – yummy doesn’t begin to describe it

    And there’s flaki (means “guts”), a spicy Polish tripe soup – don’t get me started…

  8. Roared with laughter about Bill Tall Bull. Loved you in the play. You are a wonderful inspiration. Feel better soon.

  9. Loved the blog…especially the Bison story. I hope you feel better asap. Take care. Laura

  10. The concept of ”enough” (re: your doctor) is in line with my espousal of the concept of a “fair profit” for a given item. The maximization of profit – a trend in recent years – has undermined the well-being of our society (the pharmaceuticals industry being a good example). Greed has replaced any sense of community among many sectors of American society, to our detriment. Capitalism works when there are controls & morals involved, not when greed & exploitation are allowed to be rampant. Look at what’s happened to hard-working Americans in recent times! Thanks for listening…please get over your cold!

  11. A interesting Blog post Jane, nice to hear that your getting better.Life without idealism is empty indeed. We just hope or starve to death. It was to bad that Screen Actors Guild and the industry hospital and nursing home had to close.The Motion Picture & Television Fund — the charity started by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and other Hollywood luminaries to care for entertainers who fell on hard times could not move on. My Ideas , as in the past would be to have a live all stare TV program , a play for that fund,The Petrified Forest , but with this hard times and little interest… Nice to have you about to the end of May is it? good post Jane, nice to have you share

  12. Jane,

    Thank you so much for your WONDERFUL blog!! I so enjoy reading it! Just wanted to tell you that and to wish you a speedy recovery. Get well soon!

    Kiva Adams
    Mesquite, TX

  13. HI Jane
    You were very brave.Raw liver????
    I was pleased at your mention of Bridget Fonda.She is such a wonderful actress,but has not made a film in awhile.I loved her turn on The Chris Isaak Show a few
    years ago.

  14. Regarding your twitter on Susan Boyle…yes, it is lovely, but won’t it be a wonderful world when ordinary looking people who have talent don’t seem so shocking.

  15. I look forward to reading your blog everyday between hunting for a job on craigslist. It’s a bright spot for me in days that are sometimes not so bright. You are an inspiration because I know that your life, like everyone else’s, has not been picture perfect. I hope you continue this blog after the play has ended. Get well.

  16. Your very brave to eat raw liver!!!! I can’t even eat it cooked. Sorry you have another cold. Before bed tonight cut up a lemon and boil it with a little water, (not a lot, just enough to make a nice big cup full) and a little honey. Drink it while it is still hot. You will feel much better tomorrow. I love reading your blogs each day.

  17. It’s 8:53 and I hope you have made it through the show feeling great!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us,
    Allentown, PA

  18. Oh, Jane, I sure hope you’re feeling better, and I’ll see you at tomorrow’s matinee! I’ll be the one with the curliest dark hair you’ll ever see, and the handsomest dad too!

    Good healing,
    Robin (and Bill!)

  19. Wow! You are brave. I can barely down chicken liver! I can’t imagine eating raw liver. I’m not a very brave person….and after that story, I’m kind of glad I’m not. haha

  20. i have to admit, i wasn’t planning on seeing 33 variations, but i LOVE your blog and am seeing the play tomorrow! the jane fonda blog is the best PR tool ever!

  21. I think you just officially turned me into a vegetarian.

    feel better soon.
    ps. as a broke ass actor (albeit one with medicare), that doctor sounds angelic to me.

  22. wow….still recovering from that bison…

  23. I hope you are feeling better, Ms. Fonda. But, speaking of cheering up, here’s this: You are more of a New Yorker than I, so you probably already know this, but I’ve managed to time my annual trips there right a couple times to see this glorious sight — the lilacs and the flowering trees at Fort Tryon Park (surrounding the Cloisters, which I believe you’ve mentioned you love). On a sunny day, with the river glistening nearby and the amazing scents of the blossoms in the air, it cannot be beat (and the subway goes right there). Also, the Botanical Garden at that same mid-to-late April time – same sights-and-scents deal (and the train from Grand Central, I believe the White Plains train, goes right THERE). I hope you get to catch them both. And I can’t wait to catch your show May 2!

  24. Thanks for sharing such great stories. Dr. Kohn sounds like a true hero. If only more Americans would decide they have enough and reach out in some way to those who are suffering. And to hear someone outside of the business to recognize that actors are brave. This made my day. I am the director of a small town community theatre and I see that bravery every day – even in our young actors or those who pursue theatre as an avocation.

    I will be unable to get to NY during your run and this saddens me very much. But my check to Broadway Cares is on its way.

  25. Pigs knuckles!? Bison?! A home visit by a doctor?! I think I may finally know why I dip into your blog every day or so as my own personal treat. You are a lightening rod of good—-attracting the most interesting and kind and creative people that I get to experience through your generous blog. Also, by your daily routine we learn how important it is to remember to care of ourselves (so we can work 20 hours a day as mother, wife, daughter, sister, grandmother and oh yes, our job). I wish you continued good health and the good fortune of so many wonderful people who continue to cross your path. And thanks for a beautifully written blog that is more interesting and surprising than most of the novels by my reading chair. Take care- see you next time.

  26. Dear Jane Fonda: I have only recently discovered your site and would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much you have meant to me in my life. I so admire your courage, your spirit, your commitment, your tenacity, your remarkable life. Gives me hope and encouragement that, in some small way, I may be able to make a difference. I read your memoir up at the cottage (in one fell swoop) when it first came out, and carry its soul with me since then. Thank you for all you do and for being brave enough to be true and authentic. You are an inspiration.
    With regard, and hopes that your cold is getting better – Claudia

  27. Wow you are brave! Haha, that was a great story. Hope you feel better.

  28. *stares at computer screen in horror* Oh. My. God. I can’t believe you ate raw liver. That’s bold, Jane. I’m mildly horrified, but also quite impressed. It’s always good to try new things, and I thought I was mostly adventurous in tasting various foods, but sushi is the rawest meal I ever ate. Were you able to keep the raw meat down? This is an all-around epic story.

    That’s really spectacular that the doctor makes house calls. He seems genuinely dedicated, which is rare these days.

    I love that the theatre community is involved with this fundraiser. I’ll be sure to send in a check.

    You’re the bee’s knees, Jane, and don’t you forget it!

    Great to read you are feeling better!


  29. My god, Jane! You’re a “dove” but you got a tough piece of “hawk” in you. If I were lucky enough to meet you outside the theater I would certainly have a question or two! 🙂

  30. Hi jane we met outside our apartment building the day before you caught that cold any 3 of us saw the show last Saturday night… to see you was something none of us could ever miss what a thrill.. anyway I had my big shaggy dog and you had your little white dog and the whole time we were speaking I was praying that my monster was not going to eat your little one.. So I was a bit distracted.. Love the photo of the Cherry Blossoms on our block every year I walk down that street and dream I am somewhere else like Japan or evn Central Park.. But they are just beautiful.. Seems like your feeling better you ROCK!!!

  31. Jane PS.. The reason I was originally blogging was to say I am home today channel surfing and tuned into California Suite…You look the same !! How do you do that….Enjoying the movie by the way !!
    Best, Ilene

  32. The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
    Henry Beston

    Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
    Thomas A. Edison

    We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.
    Albert Schweitzer

    As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.
    Leo Tolstoy

    Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
    Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

    I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.
    Abraham Lincoln

    The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That’s the essence of inhumanity.
    George Bernard Shaw

    The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.
    Émile Zola

    If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
    St. Francis of Assisi

    Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
    Albert Einstein

    Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.
    The Dalai Lama

    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  33. I dont think my first inquiry went thru.


    Soo gorgeous..then and now! Beautiful!!

    Inside and out!

    I am a 48 young woman. Face looks great, ok good,
    body, not too shabby…petite. (116) ok (120)
    Its cold here on the east coast!!

    Anyway, Jane,
    What do I do with the neck and hands,(scandalous)
    before I see Dr. H in the future>


    • Neck and hands? Well, Dr Hutcherson does the neck but hands, they remain a give-away and my own have looked ancient since I was in my thirties and I just laugh about it. xx

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