Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Bob Cummings Show - "Bob and Schultzy Reunite"

Schultzy (Ann B. Davis) has resigned as Bob's secretary in order to try to find a husband at the missile factory. Bob has not hired anyone else, but is busy interviewing candidates - after hours. She shows up the next morning and is, predictably, a dumb blonde - and we do mean dumb. Rosemary DeCamp, Bob's sister, is there at the office to observe and provide snide remarks. Davis calls in to check on Bob, and he pretends like everything is fine. So does she, even though the office masher keeps bothering her. Bob starts wondering if he can get Schultzy back. She tells the masher that Bob is her boyfriend and he heads to the office to beat him up. Bob sets up a gag in which he pretends to be a boxing champion. He masher flees, and rips the door off its hinges on the way out, at which point Bob faints.


Those original old radio show recordings

We now have probably a few thousand old radio show CD's, and more all the time. But this week I started back on the original group. My wife had found a supplier in Washington State who sold them in cassette form, and every once in a while we would get a group of them. We would listen to them in the car on trips, and at night when we went to bed. Because our supply was somewhat limited in those days, we would listen to them over and over again, until all of us (kids included) could almost recite the main lines. Those were some happy times.

What kind of judge is he?

Is he our purest little jurist, or a stench to the bench?

(from The Great Gildersleeve)

Government is to be trusted?

The Democrats think that government can be trusted to administer all manner of social programs - just turn over our health and welfare to them. I remain dubious. However, the Republicans are just as big fools, because they act like they have implicit trust in law enforcement and the military. "Whatever they do must be right." I am even more dubious of that.

A congenial group

The members of the Cape Pleasant Club were easy-going refugees from other and more exacting clubs, men who pottered rather than raced round the links; men, in short, who had grown tired of having to stop their game and stand aside in order to allow perspiring experts to whiz past them. The Cape Pleasant golfers did not make themselves slaves to the game. Their language, when they foozled, was gently regretful rather than sulphurous.

(from Archibald's Benefit, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Walking by faith

To do it we must believe that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. We must believe that He is able to provide for us those things that we need, that He has an all-seeing eye and an all-powerful hand. We must believe that He is good and gracious, kind and merciful. All that, and more, to walk by faith.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chauncey loves Birdie

Marjorie: Chauncey, aren't you in love with Birdie?

Birdie: Of course he is! He proposes to me every time there's a chicken in the ice box.

(from Gildersleeve's Ghost)

Nick Stewart (Chauncey)

Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949)

Mr. Belvedere (Clifton Webb) is going back to college, even though he is an award-winning author. Because of the libel suits involved with the book, he is broke. His award specifies a college education, so he must go to school. He intends to get his degree in one year. The President of the University (Paul Harvey) makes an exception in his case and lets him enter with the condition that there must be no publicity or controversy involved with his stay there. He moves into a dorm room with Alan Young and Alvin Greenman. He has to wear a freshman beanie. Shirley Temple work for the college paper and wants an interview with him, but he cannot because of the restriction. He applies with Tom Drake at the employment bureau for a job, and signs up in a female sorority house as a "hasher." As he is giving Drake his personal information, she is writing it down. Drake is sweet on her, but she has been brushing him off, since she is a young war widow with a baby, but is trying to keep it quiet.

Belvedere goes to see Jessie Landis, the sorority mother, who is also the mother of Drake. He talks to the cook in Swedish and plays his own composition on the piano - and boogie-woogie. It turns out that he is Young's assistant. Belvedere resigns, but the cook says if he leaves, she does, too. They prepare a gourmet meal for the girls. Drake brings Temple to meet his mother. Various complications ensue, but all ends happily in the end.


14th and Oak

This intersection is the center of all society in Wistful Vista, home of the McGees. It is amazing just how much does occur there. Evidently every business in town was located there.

Third Man zither

The haunting zither music on The Third Man radio show, as well as the film, was played by Anton Karas.


Taxicab from Box 13

"There is nothing holding this hack together but termites holding hands." (a taxi driver from Limehouse driving a cab in Paris, from the Box 13 radio show)

My earliest memories

My parents built their current house in Booneville, Arkansas, the summer I turned four years old, so any memories I have of living in Magazine would be from when I was three. I can remember the structure in the front yard of the house (I think it was a well house). I can remember the large amount of hen bit that grew in the yard. How that Mr. Ibbotson, who lived next door, would walk along the highway and collect milkshake cups and stack them on the posts on either side of his driveway. I remember Mrs. Newman, the neighbor on the other side of our house, would give us cookies. I remember how fascinated I was by the popping action of the oil can that Daddy kept in the shop. Just a few vague, random memories, but all of them happened before I turned four.

Hen bit

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pay our bills!

If we were running a surplus, the Democrats would be screaming because that money could have been used for social programs. If we were running a surplus, the Republicans would be screaming because the rate of taxation was excessive. NEITHER of them cares a whit about paying off the national debt, which will NEVER happen unless we run a surplus.

Cry Danger (1951)

Dick Powell gets off a train and walks through the terminal. Two men follow him. His picture is on the front page of the paper as a convict released from prison. The two men are a policemen (Regis Toomey) who wants to talk to him and the man who provided the alibi that allowed him to get out. The man who sold him the paper watches them go and makes a phone call. The policeman wants to know where the money in the hold-up is hidden. Powell does not know the man who made the alibi. He was an ex-soldier who lied to get Powell out, assuming he would be rewarded with the hold-up money. Powell said he didn't do it, but he knows who did. They go to see the wife of Powell's best friend, who lives in a trailer park. Powell wants to rent a trailer for them. Erdman, the alibi guy, takes up with Jean Porter, a cutie who lives there and who happens to be a pickpocket. Rhonda Fleming is his friend's wife. Powell tells her he hopes to open up the case and get him released. He and Fleming are stuck on each other, but each is loyal to his friend.

Powell goes to see William Conrad, who was the man who planned the robbery. He tells him the wants $50,000 compensation for the five years he gave up. When he arrives back at the trailer court, a shot is fired at him. He goes to see the wife of the man who fingered him, but he has died. She tells him that the man came into some money about the time of his trial, but it was in cash. He bets of a fixed race that is supposed to be how Conrad pays him part of the money. He and Erdman take the girls out to a night club. Toomey comes in and says that the bills he has been using is part of a payroll robbery, so they have to give it to him. They go back down the line to trace the money to its source, but the man who paid him off is not there and the back room has been boarded up. The girl who took the bet is not there. It is looking like Powell is the one who got the hot money. Toomey calls Conrad, and he denies knowing that Powell is in town, but is obviously lying, so Toomney lets him go. Powell slugs Conrad when he comes back to his apartment. He tells him he wants all of the money, and that Toomey knows he lied. Conrad calls a couple of hit men who are waiting at the trailer court. They shoot Erdman and Porter by mistake.

Toomey calls in Powell, Fleming and Conrad for interrogation. He tells Powell he will not be tailed any more. Powell gets his gun. Fleming begs him not to go, but he does anyway. When Conrad gets to his car, Powell is waiting for him. He forces Conrad to play Russian roulette. Conrad tells him that his buddy pulled the job and that Fleming has the rest of the money. Powell has him call the police. He calls his hoods, but Powell knows it and makes him make the call again. The police show up just in time. Powell goes to see Fleming. She admits to having the money, and wants them to go away together. Toomey is waiting out side, and Powell tells him the story, and walks away.

Powell and Fleming

Hopalong Cavity

Smiley Burnette says he is a cowboy dentist.

Riders of the Purple Sage

This was a western singing group during World War II and for a few years afterward. It was organized by Foy Willing. They were the stars of a radio program, All Star Western Theater, which had some pretty good stories and some nice western music. The group appeared in at least 14 movies from 1946 to 1951.

Ken Curtis on All-Star Western Theater

As you may remember, he played Festus on the Gunsmoke TV show.


Here is a name for your next baby girl

Aylmer Adela Bawdistly  Best Bosanquet

(really was such a person)

I cannot stand Phil Harris

I am a huge fan of old radio programs and old movies, but Phil Harris I just cannot take. He is not entertaining - merely irritating. His radio show was fairly entertaining, but it was not because of him.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943)

It is spring in Summerfield, and Gildersleeve is in love, as usual. Ann Doran is the object of his affections. Throcky is about to pop the question. Leroy fakes an air raid to try to break it up, but it backfires. Marjorie is waiting for a letter from Mike Road, but has not received one for several days. Mr. Peavy's distributor is going out of business, and is in danger of having to close unless they can get it straightened out at the convention in New York. Road is in NY, so Gildy decides to go with Peavy to smooth the romantic situation for Marjorie. Doran does not trust Gildy, so she decides to go to NY, also.

On the train, some of the druggists persuade Gildy to talk to the President of the Sun Drug Company, Billie Burke, who is a bona fide air-head, but who takes to him from the start. She is very open about the fact that she intends to marry him. In the crowded dining room he finds Road accidentally sitting with a beautiful girl (Claire Carleton) on whose lap Gildy had accidentally sat in the lobby. Gildy thinks he needs to charm her away from Road, so he makes a date with her. Peavy gives him a lesson in how to sweet-talk her. Gildy goes to her room, where she kisses him and ushers him on a shopping trip. In the store he runs into Burke, who thinks he is buying a fur coat for her, but Carleton wears it out, thinking he has bought it for her. While Gildy is dancing with Carleton in the dining room, Doran and the children show up. They end up in a conga line together. Doran walks off in a huff. Gildy tries to get the on-consignment fur out of Carleton's room and has to climb out on the window ledge. Carleton reports the coat stolen. Then, as Gildy comes into the lobby, Doran sees it, assumes it is hers, and takes it away - just as the owner of the store walks up and wants his money. Then Carleton walks up and confronts Doran, and the fight is on! The coat is ripped apart. Gildy heads to the roof to make his escape, but Burke sees him. He tries to explain the situation to her, but she is completely illogical and that is a waste of time. She agrees not to go out of business, but thinks - again - that he has proposed to her and makes a public announcement. Peavy dresses up as a woman and pretends to be Gildy's wife to get him off the hook. But a local masher unravels the back of his dress, exposing his BVDs. She signs signs the agreement as Gildy hustles Peavy out of the room just as Doran comes in.

It is interesting that a couple of the radio show actors play different characters in this movie. Walter Tetley, Leroy on radio, is a bellhop here. Ken Christy, Chief Gates on radio, is a detective.


A good tired

Weariness earned in the service of God is the best weariness there is, because you can have a clear conscience about it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gildersleeve's Bad Day (1943)

A big trial is going on. Jurors are being summoned. Douglas Fowley is the defendent. Frank Jenks and Alan Carney are his buddies who are trying to bribe the jurors, and they pick out Gildy to be their pigeon. They send him a note that gets stuffed into his suit when it goes to the cleaners. At the trial Gildy tries to get involved from the jury box and has to be called down for objecting. The case goes to the jury. Everyone votes "guilty" except Gildy. Marjorie is helping to decorate for the dance, when the cleaners delivery boy brings her the letter, which he has read. Birdie learns that Gildy is the holdout, and they assume he has sold out. Marjorie reserves the remaining rooms in the hotel so the jury cannot get them. Then she tells Judge Hooker that they can eat at Gildy's house and sleep there. The delivery boy uses the letter as blackmail to get Marjorie to go to the dance with him. Leroy tries to smuggle the note to Gildy at supper, but the bailiff gets is instead, but swallows it when Leroy yells at an imaginary mouse. Since they can't sleep, Gildy convenes the jury at his house, and persuades the jury that there is a reasonable doubt. Hooker is amazed, and things there is something fishy going on.

Fowley insists that they pay Gildy the $1000 they promised him, so they will have to pull another job to get the money. They rob the judge's house, and send the moneyh to Gildy in an envelope. He thinks it is for the canteen fund and takes it to the judge. The kids show the note to Aunt Emma, who is staying with them. She confronts Gildy with it. He decides to try to get the money out of Hooker's new safe, not knowing that the gang is planning on robbing it again. The gang slips out while Hooker is calling the police. They sick a bloodhound on Gildy. He hides in the house of one of the jurors - a newlywed whose wife is already mad because the trial was strung out because of Gildy. He escapes and gets home. In the meantime the gang has captured a policeman and steal his car, then kidnap Gildy. They are going to make it look like he committed suicide. Gildy manages to switch on the radio to let the police know where he is and what is going on. He wrecks the car and escapes.


Evolution of a name

"Private investigator," naturally enough was shortened to "private I," which automatically became "private eye," which became "peeper," which was related to "keyhole snoop."

Wise words from a 91-year-old woman

It seems to me that as time goes on and I grow older (through God's infinite mercy and grace He bestows), I see this modern world  of today becoming more and more given to technology of every imagination, and computers reigning more and more in our lives, and so does confusion and madness increase, and life becomes more and more an enigma spinning out of control. Among my own loved ones, the young adult grandchildren, most of whom are now married and have young children, there is so little calmness and rest, but constant activity and unrest; and I have the distinct feeling that their little ones are actually being deprived and neglected. Though my grandchildren love, want, and adore their little ones, and give them  scads of things (toys, clothes, etc.) that money can buy; and the little four-year-olds are being sent to pre-school, to get the "education" that our leaders now consider of paramount importance, their little ones are not being taught what I believe is what they need at their young age, which is obedience, and that there are times to be quiet, and sit still (for a short period).

Taken from a personal letter to me, written in a firm and clear hand.

Caleb Hooten - champion teller of tall tales

On one of the Melody Ranch radio shows, one of the characters is Caleb Hooten. (He sounds like he might be played by Parker Fennelly, who was Titus Moody on the Fred Allen Show.) He told this story: "I was tied to a tree, and coming toward me was 65 couters, 38 mountain lions, and three wild boars carrying sub-machine guns. All I had on me was a slingshot and an old emery board."

He got cut off by the cast from what might have been a very interesting story. Too bad.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Great Gildersleeve (1942)

Throckmorton Gildersleeve (Harold Peary) is late for an appearance in Judge Hooker's court. Hooker's sister Amelia is giving voice lessons to Gildy's nephew, Leroy. Amelia is stalling because she is sweet on Gildy. Finally Gildy sneaks into the courtroom. Hooker (Charles Arnt) calls him into account for his guardianship of the trust fund for Leroy and Marjorie (Nancy Gates). Gildy sends for Aunt Emma to be a mother to the children. They have a wreck on the way home and her watch is broken, so Gildy takes her to a jewelry store to get a new one. Some local busybodies see him in the store and assume he is buying a ring for Amelia. She and Hooker jump to the conclusion that a proposal is imminent. Because Aunt Emma is there, Gildy has to sleep in the basement. Amelia send him a love telegram. The next morning she and Hooker greet him as a fiancee, and Hooker tells him he has ten days to get a wife or give up his custody of the children. The kids realize that the judge is the biggest men in town, and start a publicity campaign to make Uncle Throckmorton bigger. Leroy puts him on an exercise program. (Peary could use it!) Hooker challenges Throcky to a race. He gives him half the distance start, but Gildy has to run backward. He devises a rear view mirror for the race. Watching the portly Peary running backwards is hilarious. Gildersleeve trips on a child's skate at the last moment and loses the race.

Time is running out, and Gildy still does not have a wife. The governor (Thurston Hall) comes to town incognito. He has a cold, and Leroy says Aunt Emma can cure it. He takes Hall home and she fixes him a tonic and makes him lie down. Marjorie flirts with the governor's chauffeur and finds out who he is. But Gildy does not know who he is and makes a lot of boasts to him. Then Marjorie tells Gildy. He goes to Hooker and makes his boast about his house guest. They peer through the window at him. The judge begins to feel better and Hooker invites him to lunch. However, Hooker and pals have called the state capitol and talked to the Governor, so they think he is there, not realizing that they forwarded the call on to him locally. At the lunch the locals play a bunch of practical jokes on the Governor, and then the mayor identifies him. Hooker decides to leave town in shame. However, things get patched up and all ends well.



Jimmy Wakely - singing cowboy

Wakely was a western singer who appeared in several cowboy movies. In at least one photograph, he had somewhat of a resemblance to Bing Crosby.


Here is a link to an appearance he made on the radio show, All Star Western Theater:



If you love old-time cowboy movies

Here is an informative site:


Learning to learn

There was a time (within my lifetime) when education taught pupils how to learn. It seems that now learning is not important because of computerization. Now we just teach students how to access data. (An overstatement, of course, but I believe the point is valid.) Our education now seems to have become purely utilitarian, as opposed to learning for the sake of learning.

How can a company be guilty?

Halliburton has plead guilty to concealing evidence in the Gulf oil spill disaster. But a company is just a piece of paper in the state capitol. How can a company do anything? Some person lied. Some person hid evidence. Punish the person. Punishing the company is just letting the person get off free.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Was Boris Karloff comfortable as a horror movie actor?

Karloff actually could play very cultured and suave characters. But he was famous as an actor in horror movies. And if his demeanor on the Information Please radio show was any indication, he was perfectly comfortable in his personna, swapping jokes about it regularly.

What did Sgt. York look like?

This is what Sgt. York actually looked like.

This is what most people think he looked like.

The Greatest Generation?

There is a well-known book written with this title. I might raise some issue with that assumption, however. No doubt it was a great generation of people, who stood firm during the most costly war in human history. However, they proved to be less-than-stellar parents, generally speaking. The moral decay we see so rampant today had it roots in the laxness that set in immediately after World War II with the beatnik and hippie generation.

Perhaps the greatest generation really were the parents of the World War II adults - the ones who endured the Great Depressions and who raised the men who fought in World War II and the women who kept the home fires burning.

You might be a racist IF

you can run a 5K in less than 15 minutes. If you are any slower than that, I would not advise racing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"I used to play football

until I found out I had to be a contortionist."

"A contortionist?"

"Yes. I had to run around my own end."

(from It Pays To Be Ignorant)

"How much is eight and four?"

"Your time is up."

"Well give me a chance! I haven't figured out how much eight is yet."

(from It Pays To  Be Ignorant)

His father was a sculptor

and he has been a chiseler ever since.

(from It Pays To Be Ignorant)

Miss Kitty in the newspaper business?

Georgia Ellis, who for years played Kitty Russell on the long-running radio program Gunsmoke, also played Maggie, the editor’s assistant, on the program Rogers of the Gazette, which starred Will Rogers, Jr.

Forget balancing the budget - we need a surplus

What we are morally obligated to do is to run a surplus - for generations to come - in order to pay back what we owe. Morally obligated. To run up a debt with no real intention of paying it back is tantamount to stealing.

Neither major party has the least intention of paying our debts.


Freedom has a price

That price is security. If we surrender our rights to the government in order to make it easier for the government to protect us, then we are more safe, but less free. If we would be free, then we must accept the risks that go with it.

Gestapos can happen suddenly, or gradually.

Why the South lost the war

Not an expert, academic opinion, but merely some observations. Armies win battles and campaigns, but factories win wars. The North had a leg up just on that fact alone. The longer the war was prolonged, the less likely that the South could hope even to sue for peace. The materiel production and population base was in the North, and that was hard for the South to overcome. Perhaps if Stonewall had been allowed to go on up the Valley early in the war, it might have scared the North so much that they would have struck a deal, but the South had their own problems protecting Richmond, so that would never have been allowed.

The South had perhaps better officers early in the war, but they could not replace them, and the code of those days required that officers place themselves out in front and exposed to fire.

And Stonewall was killed. That fact alone changed the whole course of the war.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Old gas cook stoves

They bring back a lot of sweet memories. Biscuits and red-eye gravy at Granny's house. Cold winter mornings with mouth-watering odors floating throughout the house. Isn't it amazing how much the simuli from one sense connects with another? You see a cook stove and in your mind you can smell what they produced.

A Kiss in the Dark (1949)

David Niven in any romantic comedy is bound to be good. Jane Wyman is a photographer's model. Niven is a concert pianist. He makes a mistake in a major concert and decides to cancel his engagements for the rest of the summer so he can practice even more. But he is exhausted and disillusioned - and wealthy. His manager/investment advisor buys an apartment house for him. Victor Moore comes to his house as a new employee, who previously owned the apartment house. He looks at the tenants as family and is afraid that Niven will tear down the apartment. He presents Niven with an arrest warrant for neglected upkeep. They visit the apartment where they meet Broderick Crawford, grouchy because he works at night and cannot sleep in the day because of the noise. He also meets Wyman in the hall. Crawford comes out complaining about the noise and punches Niven. Wayne Morris comes in. He is a ex-football star insurance salesman who is her boyfriend. He is jealous until she mentions that he ought to sell Niven insurance on his hands.

Niven has been captivated by Wyman and decides that he needs to give the apartment house all his attention. He goes back to the apartment and she assembles all the tenants on the roof to discuss all the improvement projects they have in mind. He gets upset and vents to Moore, who says he is hanging on from the stress. The kids have a hike planned, and Niven is appointed the substitute leader. He appears inept and ignorant of outdoor lore. He has a sardine and peanut butter sandwich for lunch. He gets indignant because she has no respect for his music, and in the course of his rant steps in the animal snare the boys made. When they get back to the apartment, the inspector is there, and gives Niven a summons. He stalks out saying he is through with the apartment. The next day Wyman chews out Niven because he fired Moore, and gives a scathing critique of his personality. He reverses his decision and re-hires Moore, and tells him to proceed with redecorating the apartment. Crawford grouses again, but Wyman suggests that Niven do his practicing at the apartment building to run off Crawford. Crawford corners Niven at the door of the building, but steps on a rollerskate.

Wyman is growing to like Niven's playing - and Niven. However, Morris still stands in the way. His manager discovers that he is spending all his time at the apartment. Wyman and Niven go to visit an elderly woman friend of his, who was a famous pianist. She laments that she was a slave to music, and woke up one day to discover she was a lonely old woman. She tells Wyman to introduce Niven to her world. She takes him to a night club where they play loud jazz. He suffers through it. When they get back to the apartment there is a couple in a car kissing good night. He finally kisses her, but the manager breaks it up. Moore tells her that she is in love with him.

Crawford finally moves out, but Morris gets mad. He goes to where Wyman is posing, but Moore persuades him that Wyman is still only trying to land the insurance policy. Niven destroys the photography set when he comes in, but the photographer is so impressed with his music that he does not care. They get a call from the manager that Morris is on the way, but Niven does not care. He starts taking swings at Morris, but only manages to knock out Wyman. Morris tells him that Wyman was only stringing him along to sell him insurance. Niven is crushed. Wyman tries to call him, but the manager cuts off the calls. He tells Niven that Morris and Wyman are to be married, and that they need to start another tour. Morris tells Wyman that Niven might get hurt if the insurance contract does not go through.

Niven discovers he has left some music at the apartment, so he goes back to get it. He meets Wyman wrapped in a towel and tells her goodbye. As he tries to leave, he discovers that Moore has removed the door knob. They fight, but she exposes his manager's duplicity. And then they leave together, with the apartment residents flocking behind. At the train station Niven signs the contract and then tells Morris that they are married, then punches Morris and the manager.

Niven and Wyman


Edward G. Robinson - a gentleman

"Despite playing brutal, tough guys so effectively, in private life, he was a sophisticated, cultured gentleman. He spoke eight languages and was known for his generosity and kindness."

Mary Livingston and stage fright

According to Wikipedia:

Never all that comfortable as a performer despite her success, Livingstone's stage fright became so acute by the time the Benny show was moving toward television that she rarely appeared on the radio show in its final season, 1954-55. When she did appear, the Bennys' adopted daughter, Joan, occasionally acted as a stand-in for her mother; or Mary's lines were read in rehearsals by Jack's script secretary, Jeanette Eyman, while Livingstone's pre-recorded lines were played during live broadcasts.


Mary and Jack


What the Ronald Colmans (Jack Benny's neighbors on the radio show) called his butler, Rochester (Eddie Anderson).

Monday, July 22, 2013

I read about a man who swallowed a spoon.

He never stirred again.

(from the Bob Hawk radio show)


"Chef who cooks with gunpowder make quick fire."

(Charlie Chan, from Charlie Chan's Chance)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Young and smart

"I was a all-fired smart youngster and no old man was going to tell me anything. I just knowed it all already. So I never learned." (from Over on the Dry Side by Louis Lamour) An old, old, very sad story.

No Hands on the Clock (1941)

Detective Chester Morris has been sent to find missing Jean Parker. He finds her and marries her. While they are in the bank cashing a check for their honeymoon, the bank is robbed. Shortly after the check into their room in Reno, his boss, George Watts traces them down. He tells Parker he will buy her a mink coat if he finds the son of James Kirkwood. Two men had shown up asking for him shortly after he disappeared, and Kirkwood's widowed friend, Rose Hobart, thinks they were from the FBI. Morris goes to the hotel where they were last seen.

Though Morris tells Parker she can go along on the investigation, Watts locks her in the bathroom after he leaves. At a bar he runs into Astrid Allwyn while he is looking for the piano player, George Lewis, who might tell him something about a redhead the son was seen with. Allwyn offers to drive him, but he leaves her in the car. Parker gets out and is soon on his tail, learning about the other women as she goes.Morris finds the redhead, who is, of course, dead. At the scene of the crime, Kirkwood's ward, Billie Seward, shows up and leaves with Morris. They stop on the highway to talk out the plot, when a policemen arrives who is helping Parker find Morris. Unfortunately, Morris and Seward pretend to neck in order to hide from the police. When Morris gets back to the motel room, Parker learns that he has been accused of murder. While Parker is questioning Morris about the various women while he is preparing to take a shower, the police come in, and they both get soaking wet.

Morris goes to see a private eye who had been working on the case. His office is located overlooking Darwyn's Mortuary. When he gets back to the room, the chief of police is there, but he doesn't arrest him. Morris and Parker go to the bar, and he calls Allwyn and makes a date, but Watts shows up and tells them that Kirkwood want to talk to him. On the way there the bank robbers follow them and take several shots at them. The chase veers onto a dirt road, leading to a shootout on a boulder-strewn hillside. The robbers finally leave, but not before Morris finds evidence to identify the gang. At Kirkwood's house, he has a ransom note. When Morris gets back to the motel room, the FBI agents are there. They accuse him of being a bank robber, but Watts vouches for him.

The plot zooms along too fast on this one, really too fast to relate all of them here, but the bottom line is that you will have to watch it yourself to see how it ends.


Daddy and the wagon wheel

When my father was just a small boy, old enough to walk, but not old enough to remember it, he survived a miraculous event. My grandfather never learned to drive, and they had a wagon, which was kept parked just outside the kitchen window. One day my father was playing around the wagon and had stepped up on the bottom rim of the wheel. As he did so, the horses, which were attached to the wagon, began to move forward and the wheel began to turn. As it did, my father slipped off into a position where his head was under the track of the wheel. My grandmother, in the kitchen, saw all this and could only watch in horror. However, when the wheel came into contact with Daddy's head, instead of crushing it, it caused it to scoot ahead of the wheel. A wonderful instance of God's intervening providence.

Virginia City (1940)

The War Between the States. Miriam Hopkins is on her way to a Southern prison to visit Randolph Scott, the commander. Inside, Errol Flynn and others are tunneling out. Scott goes into the prison room alone to inspect the situation and uncovers the tunnel. He knew of the tunnel since it started and waited until they were almost through to uncover it. Flynn promises him revenge. Hopkins tells Scott there is gold they can get in Virginia City, Nevada. Scott goes to Jefferson Davis to get approval of the project. When he gets back, the prisoners have blown up the magazine and Flynn, Alan Ladd and Guinn Williams escape. General Meade (Thurston Hall) sends them to Virginia City to thwart the Rebel intentions. On the stage to Nevada, they encounter Humphrey Bogart, a "gun salesman" leader of a bandit band (with an absolutely awful Spanish accent) who holds them up, but Flynn had removed his bullets. Bogey makes a spectacular escape. Hopkins and Flynn become romantically involved. When they arrive, Union partisans are rallying in the street.

Scott and his helpers are melting gold bars and disguising them for the journey east - five million dollars worth. He and Flynn accidentally meet in the saloon, so Flynn then knows who the leader of the Southern project is. Hopkins learns from Scott who Flynn is, and she is disconsolate. Flynn follows Scott to their workplace and there is a shootout. Bogey comes to the Doctor, who is a Southerner, and asks to have his wound mended. Scott helps the doctor work, and hires Bogey to help him get away. Hopkins tries to persuade Flynn to give up the search, but he won't. So, she sends him to a meeting with Scott, where he is taken prisoner. In the meantime Murrell attacks the fort and forces the commander to call his troops back from town, where they are guarding the roads out. The wagon train makes a successful getaway. In time they come to a Yankee fort, where it is noticed how heavy the wagons are, contrary to their visible load. A battle breaks out. A little boy is crushed by a wagon wheel .In the battle, Flynn escapes. Scott and several others take out after him. Flynn's horse stumbles coming down a grade, and he is slightly injured. He makes it to a telegraph station and sends word to the fort.

In the wagon train, the boy finally dies. When the reach the river, the bed is cracked and dry. In addition, Bogey and his band are now on their trail and attack the train. However, the Union advance patrol shows up in time to help. Then Scott is wounded. He asks Flynn to take command. They drive off the attack, but Bogart plans another one in the morning. Flynn tells Scott that the fate of the gold is out of his hands, but he promises Bogart will not get it. Flynn blows up a canyon and buries the gold in a landslide. Then the cavalry arrives, the bugle sounding Charge. Flynn tells the commander that there is no gold, and is placed under arrest for his trouble and court-martialed. He is sentenced to death. Hopkins rushes to Washington and gets Lincoln to pardon Flynn.

Hopkins and Scott

All I had was words

I am a man of few talents. Admittedly this is because I frittered away my youth on things of no consequence, but the hard fact remains. I was trained as a musician and was reasonably good at it, but I did not pursue that as my life's work, and I quickly lost most of the facility I had in that area. So I was left with words. I am not a prodigious talent with those, either, but perhaps I have had some small ability.

My wife is of German stock. That race is noted for their cold efficiency, and she fits the pattern, at least in the efficient part. Her good father was a man of large and varied talents. There was little to which he put his hand that he could not do - from music to electronics to woodwork, and beyond. I have been painfully aware over the years that, especially to a German lass, I did not compare very favorably with his considerable abilities. She assumed when she married me that I would pursue my Doctorate in music, but that did not pan out - and now I am an office clerk in a box plant. So, she was left with what I had, and all I had was words.

It is a poor man indeed who has only words. However, if I precede her in death, perhaps she will look back with fondness upon those words. Perhaps she will think, "He could not do much, but he could say a few things, and at least on occasion, he said them well."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

One of the great moments in American movies

comes at the end of The Great Escape when Steve McQueen swaggers back through the gate after being captured and his buddy throws him his glove and  baseball as he heads to the cooler - again.

Watching "The Great Escape" with my grandson and wife

One of my two all-time favorite movies. The other is The Quiet Man.

Just not the thing to do

Vicky was at the piano in the smaller drawing-room, playing old English folks songs, as girls will when their love life has gone awry. Gally's face was stern and his eye austere as he approached her. He was not pleased with her behaviour. Life, he considered, was difficult enough without girls giving excellent young men the pink slip and going off and playing old English folk songs.

(from Sunset at Blandings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Not a compelling subject for conversation

I am not aware that there is a law human or divine, which says that an aunt must enjoy the society of a nephew who confines his conversation exclusively to the subject of dog-biscuits.

(from Sunset at Blandings)

Female of the species more deadly

Look at our family. My brother Clarence is as gentle a soul as ever said, "What ho!" to a pig, and I, as you must have noticed already, am absolutely charming, but the only one of my sisters whom I would not be afraid to meet down a dark alley is Diana.

(Clarence Threepwood, from Sunset at Blandings by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, July 19, 2013

A good name (to irritate a sister)

"Messmore Breamworthy?"

"Could there be a name like that?"

"It is the name of one of Freddie's coworkers at Donaldson's Dog Joy, Long Island City, U.S.A. But I really don't like it. Too ornate, and the same objection holds in the case of Aubrey Tresfusis, Alexander Strong-in-th'-Arm and Augustus Cave-Brown-Cave.

(from Sunset at Blandings by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pig's portrait

The difficulty was to find a suitable artist. All the leading Royal Academicians to whom he applied had informed him rather stiffly that they did not paint pigs. They painted sheep in Scottish glens, children playing with kittens and puppies, still-life representations of oranges and bananas on plates, but not pigs.

(from Sunset at Blandings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Say it like they do in Texas

"Ah'm in the awl bidness."

Emergency water!!

ALWAYS keep extra water in your car. If you break down, especially in the summer, you may need it.


Franz Haydn is one of those major composers who unfortunately gets overlooked too much. He was overshadowed by the daunting genius of Mozart and the looming juggernaut that was Beethoven. Yet his music is always pleasing, always listenable, always satisfying. More than any other composer, perhaps, he established the form of of the music of the era.

A formidable fighting force

From Second Manassas through Chancellorsville, the Army of Northern Virginia was one of the finest fighting forces in history. As long as Lee, Jackson, Longstreet and Stuart were all alive and together, they were unbelievably effective. In the four major battles in that stretch (Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Chancellorsville), they were always significantly outnumbered, sometimes drastically so; and they were poorly provisioned, even to the point of not having shoes for the troops. And yet they routed the Yankees in three of those battles, and even when the enemy had a copy of Lee's orders and knew what he was planning at Antietam, they still fought the Yankees to a tactical draw.

I am proud to say that my great-grandfather and his brother fought in the 3rd Arkansas Regiment, which was a unit in that Army.


Here is the definition, boys. Just mark it down.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This Way Please (1937)

Fibber McGee and Molly drive by a theater and see the sign advertising Buddy Rogers, so they stop in. Mary Livingston is helping the publicity agent (her boyfriend Ned Sparks) for a theater - with one of her famous poems. Outside the theater, Betty Grable is looking for work. She thinks she is being hired as a chorus girl, but is only an usherette. Grable gets sidetracked listening to Buddy Rogers sing, and she gets fired. Sparks hears about it from Livingston and decides to make a publicity story out of it. Rogers makes a play for Grable, and they sing together - naturally - and then she dances for him. But instead of success, she is fired. When Rogers argues her case with the manager, he is fired, also.

Now the show is hurting for talent, but Fibber and Molly accidentally go into one of his tongue-twister routines while a microphone is on. Grable gets another chance to try out, and they decide to make a star out of her. Rogers resolves to marry her, but it is a press stunt to get even for his firing. He is late for the ceremony, so they decide to put on first the show they had planned for after the wedding. That gives us a chance to pack a few more song and dance numbers into the thin plot. Because Rogers has not showed up, the producer insists that Sparks marry Livingston, and Lee Bowman stands in for Rogers. He loves her, but she loves Rogers, who shows up at the last minute.


How to get attention in a hospital

"Aw, they never pay any attention to those buttons in hospitals; but fire a shotgun into a bed pan, and they'll come running every time."

Fibber McGee, from McGee's Stomach Ache, broadcast 3 October 1950.

A peculiar and acute sadness

The Bible says that the pain of childbirth is mitigated by the "joy that a man is born into the world." What about those women whose child dies in  birth; or perhaps even more to the point, whose child died before birth, and she knows. She faces the full pain of labor without even the anticipation of anything as a result - except sorrow.

Sgt. Schultz - one of the great character roles in history

In our collecting of old movies, we have found several of them with John Banner in various roles. He looked very different back then - thinner and, of course, younger. His acting was decent, but certainly not distinguished. Then he was chosen in the 1960's for the role of Sgt. Hans Schultz on the TV show Hogan's Heroes, and history was made. Rarely in the history of acting has an actor and a role come together so successfully. Although there were other fine efforts on that program, it was Schultz who made the show and stole the hearts of the audience.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Hippocratic Oath

Does this oath carry any force at all today? I suppose it is not legally binding, since it is not taken before an officer of the law, but is it even professionally binding? Are sanctions ever imposed today specifically for the violation of it?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Four Feathers (1939)

A group of old campaigners are meeting for dinner, and C. Aubrey Smith is recounting in grisly detail one of their great exploits. His son (John Clements) is forced to sit at the table and listen, though it manifestly disturbs him. We then leap forward ten years. Clements' regiment has been ordered to re-conquer the Sudan. His engagement to Smith's daughter, June Duprez, has been announced, but Sir Ralph Richardson is visibly disappointed, because he was his rival for her hand. Then Clements resigns his commission, despite the colonel's accusations of cowardice. The regiments leaves, but when he tells Duprez he has resigned, he receives a small box containing three feathers from three of his friends in the regiment. She does not understand his resignation. He meets Frederick Culley, a doctor who had befriended him when he was a boy. He confesses to the doctor that he feared being a coward if he got in combat. He tells the doctor he is leaving for Egypt, and that he will write him from time to time. If the doctor does not hear from him in a year, he is to tell Duprez that at least he tried to make right the shame he caused.

In Egypt Clements contacts a doctor who was an associate of Culley. He asks to be branded in the forehead as a native, and has his skin stained. The doctor locates the regiment, and Clements gets on as a laborer. He slips away while they are hauling boats down the river. Back at the regiment, Richardson is on a scouting assignment and spots the enemy (Dervishes). He loses his helmet, and passes out from sun stroke, but is found by his comrades. The Dervish scouts report General Kitchener's army and their army heads out for them. (Some pretty impressive scenes of Dervish camel units.) In camp, Richardson awakes and is blind. He warns the advance unit of the approach of the Dervishes. They attack, but not before Clements gives the alarm. The Dervishes win the battle, but Clements and Richardson survive, though they are left for dead on the battlefield. Clements cares for him as they travel cross-country. Richardson is now delirious. When they near camp, he is seen, and captured on the assumption he is trying to rob Richardson.

Back in England, Culley talks to Duprez and tells her of Clements' instructions to him. Richardson is sent back to England, where he begins to learn to operate blind. Duprez agrees to marry him. Richardson tells the story of being saved by Clements (though he does not know who he is). He says that when Clements tried to rob him, he would have got nothing because he had nothing but a letter from her. When he shows the letter to her, there is a white feather in it. Smith, Duprez and Culley know that it means that Clement was alive at that time.

The captured British soldiers are cast into a dungeon, but Clements, still acting the part of a half-wit native, shows them a flute with "Don't despair" carved into it. When the prisoners are taken to the water hole, he is able to get near them because he is believed to be demented, and slips them a file. However, a guard sees him talking, and takes him to the commander. He is whipped unmercifully. In the dungeon, the two Britishers manage to get loose their manacles, just as Clements is brought in. They discover who he is. He tells them that the arsenal is right outside the gates. Through an interpreter, they organize the prisoners for an escape. In the desert, Kitchener's army and the Dervishes mass for a battle. (Great photography of a camel charge.) The Dervishes attack, and the British hold their fire until the last moment. The attack is broken. Clements and the prisoners overpower the guards and break into the courtyard. The Dervishes rally and attack again, and again are beaten back. The British begin to fire on the arsenal, but Clements finds a captured British flag and raises it on the wall.

In England, Culley reads the newspaper report of the battle to Richardson. He learns that two of his old comrades are still alive and is ecstatic. Then Culley continues reading, and Richardson realizes that the native man was Clements. He dictates a letter to Duprez, telling her that a German doctor can restore his sight, but it will require a long stay there, which, of course, is not true, but it releases her from their engagement.

File:Four Feathers 1939.jpg

Duprez and Clements


Speaking of Dr. L. D. Newsom

In more recent years, a professorship was endowed at LSU in his name. Below is the gentleman who is now the L. D. Newsom Professor of Insect Plant Management.

Dr. Michael Stout