Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back and forth

The banter back and forth between Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and between Fred Allen and Jack Benny provided some of the funniest material in radio history. If you haven't heard them, you are missing something.

Become a UALR fan

(We don't oink.)

Thanks, Rebekah

for helping to spruce up my  blogs.


"Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease" (Ps. 85.4). I continually find myself coming back to this psalm for comfort - not for the country, but for myself.

Andy Devine

He appeared in over 400 films. Andy and his wife, Dorothy House were married on October 28, 1933, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and remained united until his death on February 18, 1977.

Hickock, according to Wikipedia

On July 21, 1865, in the town square of Springfield, Hickok met and killed Davis Tutt in a "quick draw duel" –the first of its kind. Fiction later popularized Hickok's "quick draw gunfight" as typical, but Hickok's is the first one on record to fit the portrayal. During the duel, rather than the face-to-face fast-draw as is commonly shown in movies, the two men faced each other sideways in the historic dueling stance, drawing and aiming their weapons before firing.

I cannot verify the accuracy of this, but it is interesting.

Almost everything worth eating

is fried in lard.

Enjoying Barney's favorite food

Good food, that is. Better than bad food any old day.

One day at a time

Divine wisdom is fully illustrated in the scripture, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Life's burdens would be unbearable if we took them all at once - and often that is just what we try to do. Each day has its full weight. No need to buy trouble on credit.

No case made

The stupidest argument against voting for third parties is that "they have no chance to win." If that argument is true, then you should not have voted for Barry Goldwater against Lyndon Johnson, for her certainly had no realistic chance to win. Besides, until just before the War the Whig party was the other party, and the Republican party as we know it today did not exist; they were a "third party."

What percentage?

I wonder what percentage of the words in the English language I actually know. Given how thick dictionaries are, I suspect it is a very small number. Of course, both numbers are constantly changing, so it would be hard to pin down even if you could determine the numbers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tough questions

Zero once asked Sgt. Snorkel why we wash up but we scrub down. He didn't even know how to look up the answer.

While we are on the subject of tough questions, a fellow I used to work with would ask what chairs would look like if our legs bent the other direction. Meditate on that one a while.

I like cold weather better than hot weather

except when it gets really cold. Then I like hot weather better than I like cold weather.

Another Digger quote

from Digby O'Dell, the Friendly Undertaker: "You may not like flowers now, but eventually they will grow on you."


It gets harder and harder to get back up after I have to squat down to get something out of a file here at the office. When it gets to the point that I have to use a come-along to get back up, I think I will need to retire.


If I could have my wife as my secretary, I might want to be a radio private eye. (All private eyes had cute secretaries, of course.) On the other hand, I might not want to get knocked out once a week, come to think of it.

Bad accents

Of the affected foreign accents on old radio shows, the French was undoubtedly the worst. Actors just couldn't pull it off convincingly.

Not common

Dignity is a characteristic not frequently seen in modern-day Arkansas society.


Some people just cannot seem to stop talking. They are always monotonizing the conversation.

Just today

This is my assignment for today, and I am not going to worry about tomorrow.

Philo Vance

This was a pretty fair radio detective show. The plots and characterizations were interesting, if not always exactly realistic. However, the organ music is terribly irritating. I cannot imagine why they possibly wanted it on the show. Organ music was always a less-than-satisfactory background for radio shows, but the way this guy plays is obnoxious.


The process of an old sloganeer like me is to observe and encapsulate or generalize. Admittedly this involves a great deal of oversimplification, but it is a rule of life that you must understand the basic principles before you can comprehend those that are more complex.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shutting it down

As we do most nights, my sweetheart of over 40 years (wife of almost that long) are going to bed long before we have everything done that needs to be done, snuggling up on the bed, and watching a movie that is older than we are (which is going some). Scandalously irresponsible, but one of the few luxuries a man of modest means can provide to his wife for her decades of toil.

Just flesh

My voice is very tired this week, after a long weekend of meetings. I am reminded that we are but flesh, and that our strength has it limits.


I work much better in a pattern.

In reality

Young men need to learn that if they are indeed the heads of their households, everyone will know it, and they do not have to make a big production about it. Young women need to learn that if their husbands feel the need to let it be known, then maybe they need to work harder at making it be the truth.

My new office looks very nice

Thanks to all my womenfolks.

Richard Diamond: Mrs. X's husband

One of the funniest and cutest episodes of the Richard Diamond radio program was the one entitled, "Mrs. X's Missing Husband. A women comes to Diamond, looking for her husband. She won't give her name, but everyone in the program says, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" It turns out the she and the husand went to see a doctor, and what he told them gave the husband such a shock that he had temporary amnesia. The long and short of it was that the woman was June Allyson, Dick Powell's real-life wife, who had just found out she was expecting and evidently was taking off from show business until after the baby came. A unique way of announcing a baby.

Listen to it HERE

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spread the word

I am telling you - old radio shows are a wonderful resource for entertaining children, helping adults go to sleep at night, making long trips shorter - all without the objectionable content so common today (if you do a little screening). Absolutely a great resource in this degenerate age.

I am too old for this

For what? It doesn't really matter. Mention what you will, I there is a good chance I qualify. (Makes life a lot simpler, though.)

Grandfather's birth

Generally speaking (at least since the Industrial Revolution), going back to the birth of your grandfather will mean the things people experienced at that time will be somewhat foreign to you. That makes me stop and consider.

Casablanca - Jordan

If you like the movie "Casablanca," you might also like the old radio show "Rockie Jordan." He owned a cafe in Cairo called The Tambourine.

Keep after it

Perseverance is a greatly underrated trait. Great things have been accomplished by men of meager talents who kept after their tasks until they were accomplished.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In case you hadn't noticed

The king at the end of The Road to Bali is Leon Askin (General Burkhalter from Hogan's Heroes).

The "older" Crosby

Bob Hope is always razzing Crosby in the "Road To" movies as being elderly. How much older was he? Crosby was born May 3, 1903. Hope was born May 29, 1903. So Crosby was 26 days older.

Aunt Emma, our chaperone

Bob Hope's name for Crosby in The Road to Bali.

Road To

The Hope/Crosby "Road To" movies were perfectly awful movies - and hugely entertaining. Just pure fun. Not intended to be anything else.

Sir Thomas Nathaniel Edwards

If any of you ever figure out for certain that I am kin to this gentleman, please let me know.


You remember Scootledyboot, don't you? That canine hero of the cartoon series? At least that is how Mr. Eli Wayne Jones once pronounced it.

Wild eglantine

In the hymn "Bower of Prayer," the plant wild eglantine is mentioned. I have wondered for years what that was, so I finally looked it up.

These are hybrids of Rosa eglanteria, the old 'Sweet Brier' of Shakespeare. They share with the wild European parent handsome small foliage that is scented of green apples. On humid mornings the air around them is heavily perfumed, and when the passer-by brushes them or crushes their leaves, the scent appears. A crop of bright red hips in the fall provides a winter bonus. At the turn of the century Lord Penzance bred a number of fine hybrids, all in the classic mold of the wild Eglantine. 

Little things, huge things

My youngest grandchild is discovering her hands. It is a wonderful thing watching little human beings to whom little things are such huge things. Learning is taking place at a high rate of speed at that age.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Their place

I feel sure that the vast majority of famous people much more pleasant to talk about than actually to know. Being catered to brings out the worst in most of us.


If it takes a man to admit he is wrong, just think how many opportunities I have for manliness!

Fits me

One expression from a hymn that I find fitting my case; "I am tired, I am weak, I am worn."

At least something

I am not good for much, but at least I am good for something, because I suppose I can read my own handwriting better than anyone else.


Does faith, in its truest definition, require that that which is believed be true? Mull that over for a while. Sincere belief concerning something which is false may be a genuine sentiment, but does it fully qualify in the absolute sense?

Not original with me, but . . .

A friend of mine had a business card given him that had this motto on it, which I thought pretty well describes a lot of folks: "Frequently wrong, but never in doubt." The "frequently wrong" part applies to me, but I fear I have many doubts about my understanding.


Specs on your glasses are so irritating!

Unanswered question

Among the many unanswered questions we encounter in life is this one: what are those "cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse" alluded to in Gilbert's libretto for Pirates of Penzance?

How to write a mystery?

I have long been hugely impressed by mystery writers. How do they concoct such complicated plots, which they strategically open to us as they go along? I have no idea, of course, but here is one possibility: perhaps they are as mystified about the outcome as we are. Maybe they make up the plot as they go along, without the outcome already having been decided, so that they "discover" what happened as we do. I wonder.

Visiting doctor - Doc Gamble in another spot

I just heard Arthur Q. Bryan (who played Doc Gamble on Fibber) as the family physician on the Father Knows Best radio show.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Speaking of same

It has been a sad fact that most of the beauty that man has produced has been at the hands of degenerate individuals. Not all of it, but a large portion of it.

How Can I Be Sure

Amid all the sorry excuses for music that emerged out of the 1960's were a few really nice songs. One of these was How Can I Be Sure? by the Rascals. Listen to it on Youtube if you are not familiar with it. Really pretty.

My feet hurt!

Is that a sign of old age, too?

Pa Kettle

One the last of the Ma and Pa Kettle movies, Percy Kilbride was replaced as Pa by Parker Fennelly. Kilbride’s character was much more unperturbed and even-tempered, taking everything in stride. Fennelly’s Pa appeared to be a little more cowed down by the domineering Ma. One thing Fennelly did have was another classic New England accent. In fact, on Fred Allen’s radio show, Fennelly played Titus Moody, a regular character on Allen’s Alley.

Benny's suit

One of the funniest of Jack Benny's TV shows was where he was playing a violin duet with a girl. He had been bragging earlier about getting some new suits very cheaply in Hong Kong. As he played, pieces of the suit kept tearing loose. It is hilarious.

Diamond trumpet

One of the things I like about the old Richard Diamond radio detective program is the jazz trumpet that they feature at the opening  and at other spots in the program.

Youthful sentimentality

The first car I remember our family having was a Plymouth. We traded it in for a black Ford. I remember crying when they drove the old car away. Strange that a young child would be sentimental about a car.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I love it when the weather first turns cool. One of the nicest times of the year.

Sad day

It will be a sad day when the American public no longer remembers Hope and Crosby.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This site is a lot of fun


Sufficient sleep is not an absolute component of good health - but it surely does help.


If it is a sign of aging to have less tolerance for extreme temperatures, then I qualify.

In the right places

What is important is not having friends in high places, but having friends in the right places. For instance, always make sure you know the cook and the maintenance man. They can do you a lot more good than the guy in the front office.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wodehouse referenced in Wimsey

"His jaw slackened, giving his long, narrow face a faintly foolish and hesitant look, reminiscent of the heroes of P. G. Wodehouse." A quote from Unnatural Death, a novel about detective Lord Peter Wimsey.

Sherlock: Rathbone and Bruce

Absolutely nothing like those great old Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies. No one else has come close. What they lack in special effects, etc., they make up with Rathbone's inimitable style and Bruce's muttering, which, while probably not realistic to Watson's character, make him lovable and memorable.

Lady Molly

I just finished a book of short stories about the character Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, written by the Baronness Orczy, who wrote the Scarlet Pimpernel. Pretty good reading. I would recommend it.


My new floor looks nice. But now, when I have to yell at my old, deaf wife in the other end of the house, it will be a lot louder in there.

A great mercy

One of the great mercies extended to preachers is that we do not have to listen to our own preaching.


I am determined that no one is going to have to take off work to come to my funeral.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Sometimes youth gets the ascendancy over age in influence in a given portion of society. This is not necessarily bad, because sometimes age is in error on certain issues and certainly has botched up many things over the years. However, anytime youth has the ascendancy, it is a potentially unstable situation and should be viewed with a watchful eye.


There is a young lady who is a waitress in the Mexican restaurant in Booneville whose given name is Nayedhli. It has a unique, musical sound to it. I have no idea if it is common among latino communities, but I could not find it on Google.

Clean Plate Club

Pam, Mom, Dad and I ate out Mexican tonight, and all four of us were Clean Plate Clubbers. For the uninitiated among you, the Clean Plate Club was an award when I was in grade school to encourage children to eat their lunch. I missed making the CPC only one time. I did not notice they had put a pat of butter on the plate, and after all the rest of the food was gone, I just could not bring myself to eat the butter by itself - and the teacher would not count it. I was crushed.


John Banner's portrayal as Sgt. Schultz has to be one of the great character roles in broadcast history.

Got it backward

Young men generally overestimate the importance of beauty and underestimate the importance of good cooking.

Jason Sacran

If you don't already own one of this paintings, find one and buy it. It will be worth something in a few years.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I think occasional fasting is a good habit for both health and disciplinary reasons. It doesn't hurt us to be able to say "no" to our bellies.


In the absolute sense, all men are liars, for none of us is utterly free from this fault. However, it is encouraging to think that we do know honest men who strive to be upright in their dealings and whose speech may be said to be honest, at least in a general enough sense that men are not afraid to trust them.


Grammar is not a science. It is at least partially fashion, i.e., it changes with the times. However, there should be a constant in grammar as it is taught in schools, and that relates to its ability to express with precision the thought intended. Anything in grammar that facilitates that goal is legitimate and should be maintained in our education regardless of the changing fashions of speech.

from Lord Peter Wimsey

who was a fictional detective:

"It isn't really difficult to write books. Especially if you write a rotten story in good English or a good story in rotten English, which is as far as most people seem to get nowadays."

Lower back

Lower back problems are one of the less pleasant effects of old age.

Friday, October 19, 2012


The cold got down into my bones tonight at the ballgame, and it is still way above freezing.

An overlooked advantage

I really think that parents who value the moral upbringing of their children need to look at old radio shows as an entertainment vehicle. It is non-visual, which means that the children have to exercise more of their minds to picture what is going on. For the most part, the content is non-objectionable, and certainly much less harmful than modern media fare. If you don't want your kids immersed in TV, but recognize the need for some entertainment, old radio shows are a high-value, low-cost alternative.


Those of my calling really do not get vacations, but the closest thing to it is the winter time. There are few meetings that time of year, and besides, it is basketball season. I try to attend a lot of games, and I really enjoy it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

from Jack Benny

When most people go to London, they go to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. When Jack was there, he went to the Bank of England to see the guarding of the change.


The way people drive sometimes is really silly. If I were to average 5 mph faster for he entire hour's drive to work, I would gain only five minutes. And I would have to average that over a curvy two-lane highway with lots of traffic. Much easier and safer just to relax and go with the flow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I know nothing about the Stats page of Blogger, but it says that the second-largest location of readers of this blog is Russia. Imagine that!


It is inevitable that we sinners will make many mistakes. Our task is to limit the scope of those mistakes - avoid the really big ones if we can - and learn from them. A man who truly learns from his mistakes will become a wise man. The wisest of men, however, learns from his father and avoids as many mistakes as he can. But most people just do not listen and learn.


The smell of my wife's sweet and sour meatballs cooking is one of the great delights for the senses.

A sobering thought

Given the fact that our obligation toward God covers our conduct every hour, it is a very sobering thought that most of my service toward God, or at least a sizable portion, has come in a box plant.

What not to do

To a large extent, preaching and serving churches is a matter of learning what not to do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I did not tell the whole truth when I said I as tired of politics. Sometimes I am tireder. Sometimes even tiredest.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting up early

I enjoy getting up early, but I have to get up just a little earlier than I like. (sigh)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Study painted

My daughters and my wife painted my study today. Though I neither thought it or sought it, they insisted that I needed an upgrade, and they did a very nice job. I thank them for it and appreciate greatly their efforts. When you are a confirmed slob like I am, it is very convenient to have womenfolks to undertake to your betterment.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Indian Territory

It was no problem for the Indian Territory to get admitted to the Union, because they had reservations.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To be sung to the tune of

"Mothers, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."

"Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to make boxes. Let them be robbers or egg-sucking dogs. Let them blow bubbles or spray-wash the hogs."

And he thinks he is tough!

From a synopsis of the Mannix TV show from the '60's: "Joe Mannix is notable for taking a lot of physical punishment. During the course of the series he is shot and wounded over a dozen separate times, or is knocked unconscious around 55 times."

Why, Sam Spade of radio fame used to get knocked out every episode. Just wasn't complete without it.

(LINK to more on Sam Spade)

But some folks like elections

Printers, advertisers, newspapers and other media.

Those great old TV westerns

Before the violence got to be too graphic, and while the language was still clean, and when the heroes still had heroic qualities.

Elections make me tired!

Soon it will be over.


Jason, Joshua and I are watching the first season of Maverick, which was where James Garner made his name. Great old cowboy TV show.

Someone read this

"It was a dark and stormy night" is an infamous phrase written by Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton at the beginning of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. It has become a joke symbolizing bad writing.

Why doesn't someone just take the bull by the horns and read this, just for fun?


The worst thing about Mr. Obama losing is that it probably means Mr. Romney would win.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The same everywhere

We watch with horror atrocities committed all over the world, in every generation, by men acting as political leaders, religious leaders, police and armed forces. We are tempted to say, "I sure am glad that the United States is not like that." The trouble is that we are like that. Human nature is the same everywhere. It is our institutions - not our nature - that keeps us in check.

Eli's alter egos

One of the funniest things I have seen is watching Eli (my grandson) with his imagination - particularly regarding Zorro and Roy Rogers. It is great fun seeing kids have old-fashioned imaginations, without getting into the warped characters that are created today.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Great theme music

I just discovered an old radio show called Europe Confidential, about newpaper correspondents. It has some really great theme music.


I used to dream of retiring. I have just about shelved that dream.

Grandpa at the wedding

We finally got Grandpa to get ready to leave the wedding Saturday afternoon - but he took a handful of food with him.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Usually if you are successful at life in the way that God measures success, you will not be noticed (let alone applauded) by the world. Almost always if you are successful in the way the world measures success, you will be a failure the way God measures success.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Old radio message board

Here is a fairly active message board about old time radio shows.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Butterfield as Wellman

One of the great character roles on radio was Herb Butterfield as the chairman of the Ivy College board of governors, Charence Wellman. He did a superb job. You may also remember him as The Commissioner on Dangerous Assignment episodes.


One of the great voices of radio that we tend to forget is Isabel Randolph, who played Abigail Uppington on Fibber and Molly.


Each year I try to save a day or two of my vacation for my wife's disposal. We go wherever she wants to go and do whatever she wants to do. It is a pleasure for me to spend a little money on her as a small repayment for her many years of service.

Speaking of slang

Ministers should seek at all costs to avoid slang in the pulpit. In the first place, it is not in keeping with the dignity which should accompany such a great work. In the second place, slang is fluid, and more than once a person has been embarrassed by using a term whose meaning has changed drastically since the time he was familiar with it. Use the queen's English and no one can fault you.


"Slang - the slum area of the language" - Dr. Hall on The Halls of Ivy


One of the most poignant of feelings is thinking about something very special and very beneficial in our past lives that, due to changing circumstances, will never be recaptured.


"I never attend weddings. I have an unfortunate tendency to laugh." - Mr. Meriwether on The Halls of Ivy radio show.


Again - Benjamin  Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra is an outstanding composition. Listen to it without narration. Especially the final fugue.

Movie tastes

The difference in movie tastes in my family is remarkable. If I want to watch old singing cowboy movies, I have to do so with my grandsons or my niece Kathryn. If I want to watch swashbucklers, I have to do so with my grandsons. My wife will have neither of them. But she will watch old detective movies with a touch of humor till the cows come home.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


It is so much for fun rooting for underdogs than it is to jump on a bandwagon.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Doesn't matter

Six of the twelve SEC schools averaged less than 9000 home attendance. Basketball just does not matter in the deep South.