Monday, December 31, 2012

Cold, rainy days when you don't have to work

Very nice. Just stay inside, stay warm and dry, and catch up on what you want and need to do there.

Waking up to happy little boy voices

It is a very nice sound. And a lot of fun - especially if you do not have to roll out when they do every morning.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Torchy Blane movies

a rare moment of peace between Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane in 'Smart Blonde'

There were nine of them. Glenda Farrell (above) starred in most of them as the brassy newspaper reporter with Barton MacLane as her police lieutenant boyfriend.  Well worth it. My wife and I have enjoyed them greatly.

Why do little boys like to open and shut doors?

I have a couple of grand-doorshutters who are about to wear mine out.

After the snow comes the mud.

Another reason I do not like snow.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Avert a fiscal crisis" ?

Mr. Obama and the congressional leaders are supposedly working to "avert a fiscal crisis," as one news service called it.

We owe how many trillions of dollars? It seems to me that raising revenue and lowering spending is exactly what we ought to be doing. Sure, it will hurt. Sure, it is going to eat into our prosperity. But when you owe that kind of money it is our moral obligation to tighten our belts and get it done. Looks to me like it is more like a "fiscal obligation."

Long weekends are very nice

if you have nothing particular to do. Or at least devote them to doing what you need to get done instead of what your employer needs for you to do.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ruth Hussey - Hollywood rarity

Actress Ruth Hussey (Oscar nomination in The Philadelphia Story) was married to her husband for 60 years. A really unusual Hollywood Story.

Another famous actor born in Arkansas

Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs. (We have already noted, some time ago, that Dick Powell was born in Mountain View.)

Not my day job

but a lot of fun. "The Voice of the Rattlers."

Photo: Hanna Sage Curtis Homecoming 2012

Deanna Durbin turned 91 this year

On December 4.

Watching "It Happened One Night"

With my son and wife. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, who each won Best Actor in this film. Incidentally, this was the only Oscar that each of them won.

Navy Commodores

I have heard a few very good jazz bands live, including the Stan Kenton Orchestra. One of the most enjoyable was the Navy Commodores, one of the military bands. I remember that one thing that impressed me greatly was their bass trombonist. He laid a strong bottom to the whole sound, and it made a big difference.


A roof that doesn't leak, enough to eat, a wife to keep me humble - why should I complain?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nice quote from "Let George Do It"

"Richard, your father and I worked hard, not so you could grow up and make a lot of money, but so you could grow up and be a good man."

Oh, that all parents could be similarly motivated!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pappy's Proverb (Number Whatever)

If a man insists on straddling the fence, I may be patient and wait until he crawls down; but that does not mean I am going to get up there with him.

A Sheldon Leonard CD?

I wish someone would do a CD of nothing but Sheldon Leonard bits. His voice was so distinctive and intriguing.

"Let it snow, let it snow, let . . ." Humbug!

Whoever wrote that did not have to drive in it - before daylight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

So Soft, Your Goodbye

If you want to hear a really pretty tune, listen to this one. My brother found it, and we played it (fiddle and piano) at my daughter's wedding.

Monday, December 24, 2012

We are watching The African Queen right now

and I can see why Bogie won the Oscar for this one. Wonderful job of acting.

Just how scroungy could Bogie look?

Pretty scroungy, judging by the African Queen. Amazing how a leading man could look just like a wino without having to work at it much. Compare below:

Wonderful cooking specialties

Where a man wants to be is at the table of a woman who is particularly good at cooking a particular dish. My mother's fried okra. My wife's sweet and sour meatballs. My Grandma Green's shortbread cookies and chicken and dumplings. My Granny Davis' apple cobbler.

A man eat pretty well if he has the right connections.


This the Welsh equivalent of Reece and Reese. Usually it is a given name. I wonder why we do not see this spelling used more in America.

There is not much I like about the Hippie era, BUT

one thing I did like, very much, was the way girls wore their hair then. Long and straight, and beautiful. My wife's hair in those days was just gorgeous.

Two Tickets to London (1943)

Two Tickets to London is a very nice film from 1943 involving drama and romance. Two of the main supporting roles are done by the inimitable Barry Fitzgerald as a sea captain and C. Aubrey Smith as an Admiralty detective. Enjoyable and well worth watching.

C. Aubrey Smith was a lantern-jawed actor with a magnificent handlebar moustache who epitomized the British empire in the Victorian era perhaps more than any other actor. He is one of those character actors who is instantly recognizable to fans of movies of his era, but whose name always escapes us.



Freedom or slavery? The biggest factor

How to enable the military and the police to be our servants to protect us without allowing them to become our masters to rule us: that is the single biggest question that faces nations with regard to their continuance as free societies.

Dangers seen and unseen

"Deliver us from dangers, both seen and unseen." The old brethren who offered public prayer in my childhood would frequently use this expression. As the years have passed, it has come to mean more and more to me. I know certain perils that face me, but there is much out there that could hurt me of which I am not even aware. But God knows, and He is able to deliver us from what we see, and what we do not see.

Stability in government

About the only comment the apostle Paul made about civil government other than to "obey the powers that be" and "honor the king" was to pray for leaders that we would be able to live "a quiet and peaceable life." In other words, we ought to pray for stability in our government. John Leland, perhaps the most insightful writer on the role of government this country has produced, commented that evil produced by government is just intolerable, we ought to put up with it for the moment rather than foment revolution and social upheaval, because that happens we have no idea where things are going to go.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A faithful skunk?

Well, there was one. "True, blue Odie Cologne," the sidekick of King Leonardo the Lion on the cartoon show.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Selfridge Wickerknight

Now see - if you had read the book, "Gomer Pyle, USMC," you would have known that a reporter for one of the TV stations near his hometown was named Selfridge Wickerknight.

A really good night's sleep

just makes everything look a lot brighter. And I am sure that is not just coincidental.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Epidemic business negligence

Computers have installed in American business the attitude that we no longer have to plan.

"Calf rope!"

I wonder how many modern-day kids know that this meant, "I give up."

If you want to cut down drastically

on your cost of living, then ignore fashion and convenience. Those two things probably drive up our costs by more than anything.

I don't mind getting up early

but I surely would like to get up early because I want to instead of because I have to.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We ought not to complain about a lack of time

until we are making full and proper use of the time we have. And besides, all of us have the same amount of time - 24 hours a day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Interesting pattern of names

Caleb DeLa Paz is a member of the UALR cross country and track teams. His sisters are Marissa,  Theresa, Karessa and Alyssa.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - the book

There was a book written back during the days when the TV series was popular. It is not overly long, easy to read, and hilarious. You can find it on eBay.

Unity of Command

There is a very basic principle of Management 101 that you learn very early in the book. "Every person should receive his orders from an immediate supervisor." That principle is routinely and flagrantly violated in business today. Your boss gives you orders, your boss's boss gives you orders; your bosses dotted-line boss gives you orders; supervisors in other departments give you orders. None of the others bothers to go through your boss, so you do not know how to prioritize your work. Thus you become inefficient. There is a reason for the rule. It is also a reason that American business is not more efficient than it is.

Chester Morris as Boston Blackie

Chester Morris was somewhat miscast as Boston Blackie in the series of films. He was too short, for one thing, and not nearly suave enough, for another. (Kent Taylor on the TV series was much better in that respect). However, he did manage to create a real personna for Blackie, if not one that was particularly realistic. Wise-cracking, humorous, full of sleight-of-hand tricks.

Sir Bob on radio

In some respects, Bob Hope was even better on radio than on film, because he was free to do more ad libbing on the radio, at which he was unsurpassed.

Stand By For Action (Operation Petticoat?)

The general idea for the movie Operation Petticoat may have come from the movie Stand By For Action. It involved a destroyer instead of a submarine, but they do pick up a lifeboat with a group of women and children, and a baby is born on the ship.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I actually saw an old radio star once. Jester Hairston

Jester Hairston was perhaps the world authority on Negro spirituals. I got to see him conduct a class on that subject in Dallas once at a convention. He was one of the stars of Bold Venture, which also starred Bogie and Bacall. He played King Moses, the sidekick of hotel owner Slate Shannon (Bogart), and would play the guitar and sing a time or two each episode. (I assume he played the guitar.)

LINK to Hairston leading a choir

The Pharoah School of Management

Many businesses today subscribe to the Pharoah School of Management: "Make more bricks, but get your own straw."

Last sermons

It has been said often that a man ought to preach as a dying man to dying men, because we do not know but what it will be the last such occasion in any of our cases. It is my privilege to have recordings of the last sermons of three ministers that I knew personally. Two of them died relatively suddenly, but the third suffered severely from respiratory disease, and when he preached, he probably knew that there was a very real possibility that it was the last time. I listened to this sermon on the way to work today, and there is a peculiar sweetness about it that is difficult to describe.

Monday, December 17, 2012

No Call Zone

When our children began setting up their own households, we straitly charged them not to call us after 10 pm, because we would be in bed and did not want to be awakened by any call that could have been made earlier or that could wait until tomorrow. That seemed reasonable. The way things are going, though, we may have to move that "no call zone" up to 8 pm. Maybe even 7:30?

Pot bellies of the world, UNITE!

Are we to be the object of scorn just because we have enjoyed the benefit of years at the table of a marvelous cook? Perish the thought! Let us stand, arm in arm, in open defiance of those poor individuals who have not had the great privilege. (Is it suppertime yet, Honey?)

Bogey and Stewart

My son is heavy into Humphrey Bogart and Jimmy Stewart movies these days. Getting quite a collection.

Practice does NOT make perfect.

As my old music teacher told me, it is perfect practice that makes perfect. If you are practicing the same mistakes over and over, you are only learning how to do it wrong.

The acquisition of widsom

Thankfully, we are not limited to trial and error in order to obtain wisdom. I do not have to have a car wreck in order to know that driving too fast is dangerous. Just casual observation and a little correct reasoning should tell me that. The man who truly desires to find wisdom can get it without making a hash out of his life in order to do so.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Having lots of relatives has its advantages, AND

its disadvantages. The advantage is that you do not get lonely. The disadvantage is that you do not get lonely.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Random Harvest

I watched this classic movie this evening with my wife and son. Very fine old classic. I recommend it highly.

I wouldn't mind shaving so much

if it weren't for my neck. That is just a tough area to get to.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tendencies are no excuse

Any time we try to excuse misconduct by saying that we have natural tendencies in that direction we are saying that there is no standard of right conduct but our tendencies, however perverted they may be.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I am a man of considerable talents.

However, to my dismay, I have come to learn that there is not a large market for expert spit-bubble blowers.

The Clayton House in Fort Smith, Arkansas

I learned today that one of our regional financial executives in International Paper is a descendant, or at least a relative, of the Mr. Clayton who built this house.

This wood frame antebellum home served from 1882-1897 as the family home of William Henry Harrison Clayton, the federal prosecutor in the court of celebrated frontier judge Isaac C. Parker.
     Mr. Clayton purchased the home, originally built in the 1850s, and enlarged and renovated it, moving his family into the home in 1882. The home has eight main rooms, each containing an ornate coal-burning firplace. The detached servants' quarters and kitchen have been reconstructed on the original foundation.

Let's hear it for mediocrity!

I have not aspired to be a superior employee. I want to be an adequate employee. My observation has been that superior employees do not have time to be superior husbands and fathers. I must be the second, so I assume that I cannot be the first.

Without retirement, you never would have time

to devote first priority to the things that are of immediate importance to you. Previous to that you have had to devote your time to getting the money for them, and because of that did not have the time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I am eating lots of granola today

I wonder if it will make me healthy, wealthy and wise.

Ella Fitzgerald

In 1993, Ella had to have both legs amputated because of diabetes, which had also significantly affected her vision.

Mixtures of joy and sorrow

Have you ever noticed how often someone close to you will die about the same time someone close to you has a new baby? I believe the poet got it right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hope and Crosby in Road to Rio ending

One of the funniest scenes in all of movie history is the dance scene with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in disguise at the end of The Road to Rio. Hope is dressed up in a Carmen Miranda-style outrageous hat, and their hopelessly uncoordinated antics are hilarious. If you haven't seen it, you have missed a good one.

Stingy with chewing gum

When my brother and I were boys, we had a cousin who always had chewing gum (we never did). We were always hounding him to give us some, and he would tear off a strip about ¼” wide and give it to us. That always seemed a little stingy to me, but I guess if I had had a couple of kid cousins bothering me for gum, I might have done the same thing.


It seems like it takes these old bones longer and longer each year to get aclimated when the first real cold snap happens.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The "fiscal cliff" was brilliant!

It is forcing politicians to do what they ought to have been doing all along.

Harriett and Lucy

Harriett Hilliard (Harriett Nelson of "Ozzie and") sounded remarkably like Lucy Ricardo on the radio.


There is an age at which children will ask you to play "This little piggie" with their toes almost indefinitely.

Kreml Hair Tonic

This product sponsored some of the Sherlock Holmes radio shows. I have never seen it on the market, so evidently it has passed from the scene. Has anyone ever seen a container of it? The spelling is correct - KREML.


Whistling Sam on Duffy's Tavern

On one episode of Duffy's Tavern radio show, there is a mysterious criminal in the neighborhood called Whistling Sam, who is actually introduced only in the latter part of the program. The actor who portrays him? Who else? Sheldon Leonard.

R. E. Lee in 1980

The summer of 1980 was the hottest and driest in my memory. It was brutal. One other thing I remember from it, though, which was a real positive. I joined the History Book Club in order to get Douglas Freeman's four-volume biography of General Robert E. Lee, and read it that summer. I honestly can say it was one of the most profitable personal exercises I have ever undertaken. The general was an outstanding gentleman in every sense of the word.

Douglas Southall Freeman

For any of you who enjoy historical writings, let me highly recommend Mr. Freeman. He won Pulitzer prizes for his biographies of George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Plus, he also wrote a study of the other commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia called Lee's Lieutenants. Outstanding writer.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Claire Trevor in "The Lucky Stiff"

Actress Claire Trevor made her career by playing tough babes. However, in her role as Brian Donlevy’s legal secretary in The Lucky Stiff, she did an excellent job of portraying a loyal and efficient woman who, by the way, does win the heart of the boss in the end.

Results Inc.

Lloyd Nolan and Claire Trevor (two of my favorites) starred together in this short-lived detective series. I can only find three episodes available for downloading.

Doc Gamble as a policeman?

Unless I am badly mistaken, I just listened to Doc Gamble (Arthur Q. Bryan) as a police officer on a Frank Graham episode of the Jeff Regan radio show.

It is NEVER difficult to do

if you are not the one having to do it.

The Lion's Eye - Yeeeeeeeeesssss?

In the Frank Graham episodes of the Jeff Regan detective radio show, his boss, Anthony J. Lyon, is played by Frank Nelson, who was famous as the antagonist of Jack Benny on his radio show, and who first line was usually "Yeeeeesssss?

Buying crickets?

How did Bogie look in a necktie?

According to his own assessment in an episode of  Bold Venture, he was "nifty and dapper."

Versatile Bogie

Humphrey Bogart could play all the way from an absolute scrounge in The Treasure of the Sierre Madre to a ladies' man in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. We often think of him in only tough-guy roles, but he was fairly versatile.

Expert at something

I am a very mediocre person. One might even say I am an expert at being mediocre - but then one has to be an expert at something, right?

The older we get

the more we value little things that we used to take for granted.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Barry Fitzgerald's broken Oscar

Wonderful character actor Barry Fitzgerald won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1944. During the war, the statues were made of plaster instead of gold, owing to metal shortages. Fitzgerald was an avid golfer, and while practicing his swing, he broke the head off Oscar.

Tell me, my friends who know

Is retirement really as nice as it looks from this perspective?

Passing away

I saw in the paper that a girl my brother had once dated in high school had died. That is a sobering thought. We are swiftly passing.

Belleville, Arkansas on old time radio

On the April 1, 1935 episode of Lum and Abner, they talk about moving the circus they own to Belleville. Not many towns of that size that got mentioned on national radio.

Burdensome names

Parents ought to be careful not to name a child something that will cause him problems. However, sometimes they cannot know that it will. For instance, my wife's grandfather's middle name (he went by his first name) was Adolph, which was natural because he was of German descent. He was a World War I veteran, and at that time Adolph had no more significance than any other name of that sort. Obviously, however, it quickly became the most despised name in the world in the second World War. Similarly, there were at least three Judases mentioned in the Bible. Two of them evidently were outstanding men, but the only one we remember is the one who ruined the name.

More HERE on strange names.

Native Americans

That is as pointless a designation as I can think of. "Native" means where one was born. Sure, those folks were born in America,  but so was I, so that makes me as much a Native American as they are. Some of their forebears may have been here before my forebears, but their forebears did not start out here any more than mine did. So there is absolutely nothing exclusive about "native" designation that they can claim.

William Monroe Green, Sr.

He is as far as I can go back in my direct Green line. He was my great-great-great-grandfather. I know nothing about him except that he moved from the east coast headed this direction with his son. Both father and son were Primitive Baptist preachers. William Jr. served Old Union Church near Hot Springs, Ark. as pastor. His great-great-great-grandson (my son Adam) now serves that church as pastor.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Purple Phantom

Bing Crosby now has told us that if there had been a hero named The Purple Phantom, his nickname would have been "Purp." It just would not have worked.

Betty Grable and Mary Beth Hughes

Do you suppose they were kin?

Doc Holliday

Like so many western figures, Doc Holliday has become more legend and almost no fact (other than that he was a dentist and was sick). It makes you wonder what he really was like.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Philip Marlowe on Maverick?

Well, not actually Marlowe, but we are watching Gerald Mohr as a guest star opposite James Garner on an old episode entitled "The Quick and the Dead."

Wild Bill Hickock radio

Great kids show, and I like it, too. It starts off with Jingles (his sidekick) yelling, "Wild . . Bill . . . Hickock!!!" Lots of fun.

The Lemon Drop Kid mugs

Perhaps the most lovable group of mugs ever assembled for a movie was in The Lemon Drop Kid, starring Bob Hope. Great fun.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Douglas Fowley

It is hard not to think of Fowley as a Sheldon Leonard knock-off, but he did have the second-best natural gangster accent in Hollywood in his day. His characters usually had a harder edge to them than Leonard, whose accent was so unique that it almost became a caricature.

Brian Donlevy movies

We are watching two from the 1930's this week. He played more of a ladies' man in those days, but more of a tough guy later on.

Stepin Fetchit

He was a black actor in the 30's and 40's. His character was later brought into a bad light because of the negative racial stereotype it was supposed to have portrayed. However, he also was the first millionaire black actor.

The Loyds and the Greens in Logan County, Ark.

Actually, the Greens and Loyds in Logan County were closely related. My grandmother (Loyd) and grandfather (Green) were second cousins.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Loyd Family in Logan County, Arkansas

is an extensive one. My great-grandparents had eleven children, and thus there are a lot of Loyds around. Pretty much everyone of that name in this county is kin to me, but I do not always know how.


One of the prices I pay to continue to have my meals cooked and to keep from being rounded up by the dog catcher because I have the mange. But I hate it.