Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why European titles don't mean much

Most of those who originally had titles over there in Europe had them because they were especially good at killing and robbing and were given titles for doing it in support of their king.

(from The Cherokee Trail, by Louis Lamour)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The stereotyped private eye frame

How many times have you heard this scenario in an old radio program? The private eye goes to an apartment, where the door is mysteriously unlocked. He knocks - no answer - so he quietly opens the door and moves into the room. There is a dead body on the floor. Just as he is looking things over, someone else comes into the room, and he is nailed for the murder.

A very pertinent question from Abner

(Lum is reading): "Evelyn opened the door and her hair stood on end."

Abner: "Which end?"

Now, I wonder why I never thought to ask that?

A book you probably never read

The Love Life of Alice the Girl Bookkeeper. This was submitted to the Edwards and Edwards Publishing Company (Lum Edwards, President), but was rejected. According to Lum, it was "230 pages of slush and mush." Another tome that got the pink slip was Gilbert the Boy Checker Player, by Grandpappy Spears, presumably based upon that Pine Ridge favorite, Gilbert the Boy Trapper.

Paterson, NJ repaid Lou Costello

Few cities have gained more publicity from an entertainer than did Paterson, NJ from comedian Lou Costello of "Who's On First" fame. He was constantly referring to his hometown in his routines with Bud Abbott. Did Paterson appreciate it? Evidently so, because they erected a lifesize statue of Costello. (Lifesize top to bottom was not too big, but side to side it was more imposing.)

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Lou Costello statue.

Bob Matthews, Tenor

On the episode of the Abbott and Costello radio show from 3 May 1945, they introduced a new singer as aerial gunner Bob Matthews, who had “walked into the studio a few days before and started singing.” He had a beautiful, smooth tenor voice, and at least based upon that should have made it in the big time. He became a regular on the program for a while.

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I am in complete sympathy with Psmith

The Wodehousean character Psmith originally went to work for his uncle in the fish  business, but he could not stand that, so he looked elsewhere. This morning I opened a sample package of smoked salmon, and that smell has been on my hands ever since. I sympathize completely with Psmith.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Another great role by a famous radio voice

Hans Conried's distinctive voice was a busy one during the days of old radio. And it lived on into the cartoon era. Among others, his was the voice of the memorable character Dudley Do-Right.

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That Grand Canyon is a fake!

I went out there to look at it yesterday. There's nothing there but a big hole. They must have moved it someplace else.

(from the Abbott and Costello radio show)

When my brother kicked over the spit cup

My uncle (my mother's brother-in-law) was a life-long dipper. We boys frequently stayed at their house when we visited my grandmother in the southern part of the state. Uncle Carroll would set his spit cup by the side of his chair in the den, where the television set was. One time my brother was playing in another part of the house and came charging into the room and kicked over the cup. Needless to say, our uncle was not a happy man.

Monday, March 23, 2015

An apple from the past

It is interesting how certain phrases from years past, of no consequence, will stock in your mind. My grandfather died in 1975, and this would have been some time before that. He was eating a slightly over-ripe apple at the time, and commented, "Sometimes I like a good meller (mellow) apple." I don't know why, but I have remembered that statement ever since. I think of it just about every time I eat one of those apples.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Current holder of a famous title

The name Lord Lovat is a famous one in history. Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, commanded a commando brigade at Sword Beach in the Normandy invasion in World War II. (See the picture below.) His grandson, Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, came into the title in 1995.

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The Brigadier

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Current Lord Lovat

Rain, rain, go away - not really

I realize that without the rains we would be in deep trouble. Drought is a terrible calamity, and if it does not rain during the rainy season, the water tables will be lowered and that is not good. But when the ground is soggy and the driveway is sloppy and you cannot walk across the yard without sinking up above the soles of your shoes, you just yearn for a little dryness. And then when it gets dry, we will be doing just the opposite. We are great complainers, are we not?

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ladies, be careful who you attract

"Some women just seem to attract the good men. Others just attract the good-lookin' rascals."

(from The Cherokee Trail, by Louis Lamour)

Louis Lamour on gun control

"Many's the man was killed before ever gun was invented, an' not havin' a gun never stopped anybody from killin' who was a mind to. Nor a woman, either."

(from The Cherokee Trail)

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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Democrats are idiots. The Republicans are clowns.

May God have mercy on America!

Art Linkletter on radio

My generation is familiar with Linkletter because of his popular and enjoyable daytime television program. Its highlight was when he interviewed a group of children, who invariably would say something that was entertaining - and sometimes embarrassing.  This sort of thing was nothing new for Linkletter, however. He had been the host of the People Are Funny radio show in the 1950s, in which people were required to do ridiculous things in order to win prizes.

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When your old house is torn down

On my way to visit relatives in Lamar yesterday, I drove down Rogers Avenue in Clarksville, where we lived for two years in the late 1970's while I taught there. The street has become highly commercialized, and the house had been torn down to make way for improvements. It was an old house when we lived in it - drafty and cold - but still it was sad that one of our homes was no longer. It was the first place that we lived in a real house as a family, so it held a lot of memories.

What did old folks do back then?

Social Security was instituted when my grandparents were in the middle of raising their family. That puts it in the class of things that were long before today's youth can remember - things they now take for granted. Now, I suspect we ought not take Social Security for granted given the finances of the equation, but that is beside the point in the point I am making. What did old folks do  back in those day. There comes a time when you physically cannot work any more, but you still have to eat.