Monday, August 31, 2015

Kolynos toothpaste

For old radio fans, this product is linked to the show, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons. The program ran for over 17 years, making it one of the longest-lived shows in history, and Kolynos sponsored it for a good portion of that run.


Amerigo Marino and the Johnny Dollar music

If you listen at all to old radio shows, you know the name Amerigo Marino, who composed the distinctive music for the later Johnny Dollar programs. He had a distinguished career. Here is a LINK to his biography. I wonder how many musicians in Alabama knew of his important place in radio history.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Companion animals

The plus is that they can provide affection after the children are gone. The minus is that at times they can take up almost as much of your time and attention as children did, if you let them.

Friday, August 28, 2015

John Dehner - a versatile man

Dehner played a wide range of roles, both dramatic and comedic, in films, radio and television. Prior to going into show business, he had been a disc jockey, and animator at Disney Studios, and a professional pianist.


She obviously had not gone to school

I drove through McDonald's for breakfast this morning and the lady who took the order was perfectly understandable. Obviously she had not been to the Fast Food School for Mumbling, which I had thought was required for all workers at drive- through speakers. Fibber McGee explained the process once, in his case with regard to streetcar conductors. They start them off by putting a marble in their mouth, and if they can still be understood, then they add a marble, and so on until their speech become unintelligible. Then they graduate.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Doc Gamble's critique of Fibber's clothes

"Your entire ensemble  gives the impression of a Malayan headhunter turned loose in the locker room of a Bowery flop house."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Special attention for Winston's nephew

The first civilian prisoner at the Colditz prison during World War II was Giles Romilly, a nephew of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The orders concerning him came directly from Hitler himself:

1. The Kommandant and Security Officer answer for Romilly's security with their heads.
2. His security is to be assured by any and every exceptional measure you care to take.
(from Colditz, by Henry Chancellor)

 Churchill's nephew Giles Romilly was one of the

Solitude and companionship

God has so constructed the human creature that he needs both solitude and companionship, both a chance to reflect and an opportunity to share. The prolonged loss of either of these makes a person deficient in personality.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Punchy McClatchy

"Six feet of fighting scar tissue who couldn't batter his way out of a hair net, known in prize fight circles as The Waltz King, who's gone into more dives than an MP in Paris, and has a will leaving his jaw to the Libbey-Owens Glass Company." (from Fibber McGee)

McGee's opinion of the bargains at Kramer's Drug Store

"Kramer's idea of a bargain is giving you two of something you don't want with something you gotta have for half again as much as you'd have to pay if you went someplace you'd rather go if it wasn't raining."

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dennis Day's sister-in-law

Actress Ann Blyth was married for over 50 years to James McNulty, the brother of singer and comedian Dennis Day. The McNultys had five children. There is a little irony in this. In the movie Top o' the Morning, Blythe starred opposite Bing Crosby. However, in the Lux Radio Theater adaptation of the film, Blythe was featured with Day as her romantic lead.

Concerns about fatigue

Should I be concerned because I do not seem to have any "get up and go?" Many older people have much more energy than I do. I just run out of gas toward the end of most days. Of course, I do not get much exercise, and that may contribute to it, but it still seems worse than it ought to be. I cannot attribute it to anything medical, because the ailments that I know I have should not affect energy and stamina. Puzzling.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Colditz Castle

Some of the most famous escape stories from World War II come from Colditz Castle, the supposedly escape-proof garrison stationed in a castle which was begun in 1014. By the War, it had over 700 rooms, many of which would have had centuries-old locks, and thus did not provide much challenge for clever prisoners bent upon getting out. And what group of soldiers could possibly hope to police that many separate rooms?


The quietness of the morning

We have a hymn that begins, "I love the quietness of the morning." One of the elements of the curse of having to make my living "by the sweat of my face" is that I do not get the opportunity often to enjoy that quietness. I am up and rushing to get to work. Maybe some day.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hugh Grant in "Sense and Sensibility"

I do not watch many recent movies, so I am not "up" on today's actors. Hugh Grant may be an excellent actor, but he was BADLY mis-cast in the movie Sense and Sensibility. He just does not work. His acting comes across as contrived, which is a shame, because several others among the cast were very strong.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Movie reproductions on radio

Some of the best done and most enjoyable of the old radio shows were those that presented adaptation of movies. Probably the most notable of these was Lux Radio Theater, and also Academy Award Theater. The former was a little more successful because it was in an hour-long format.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The rainbow is specifically said to be a reminder of God's promise never again to destroy the earth by water. However, I think there can be little doubt that it is, by implication, a reminder of all of His covenant promises.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Recycling toothpaste tubes?

According to the Ipana toothpaste advertisements on the Eddie Cantor radio show in 1943, "The government has ruled that we cannot buy toothpaste of any kind without turning in an empty tube in exchange."


Keeping Stalag 13 escape-proof

It must have been a major problem - for the writers - to keep up the record of no successful escapes from Stalag 13 in the TV show Hogan's Heroes. After all, one of their main missions was to expedite escapes, and thus in the program there was a veritable avalanche of prisoners passing into and out of the camp - and yet no one ever escaped, supposedly. How did the writers come up with enough plausible explanations for that fictitious record so that Colonel Klink could maintain his claim? Also, what about the other regular prisoners in the camp? Hogan and his staff were there on special assignment and could not leave, but surely that was not also true of all the other guys who were there. Was it a case of "once here, always here?" Obviously, this was comedy and, like the shipwrecked souls on Gilligan's Island, fun was more important than consistency.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

How bad was the eastern front?

In the TV series Hogan's Heroes, the gravest threat made was to send a soldier to the Eastern Front (fighting in the Soviet Union). So, how bad was it there? Four million German soldiers were killed or missing in action during the campaign.

Sgt. Schultz in the U. S. Army?

John Banner, who was famous as Sgt. Schultz in the TV series Hogan's Heroes, had emigrated from Austria, and in 1942 enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He did, in fact, become a supply sergeant.

John Banner as Schultz.jpg

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Don't be too curious

"People who listen at keyholes rarely hear good of themselves."

(Charlie Chan, in The Golden Eye)


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A matter of focus

"It is easy not to see what one is not looking for." (Michael Lanyard, in Alias the Lone Wolf, by Louis Joseph Vance)

This is a cardinal principle in matters of deception, both manual and spiritual. It also explains why so many things are overlooked - we were not looking for them. Human beings find it difficult to focus on more than one thing at a time.

Did telephone operators really talk like that?

"One moment, plee-uz." That was the stereotype on the old radio shows. Wonder if it was fact or fiction.


Makes sense to me

The market takes a downturn, through no fault of any employee, and companies in a panic start laying off people left and right. Seems to me, if it is no one person's fault more than another, why not start by laying off the CEO? You can save a lot more money by getting rid of him than any other employee.

Aging gracefully

It is a great pleasure to me to see a person who accepts with dignity and humor the problems of age. I hope I have been able to do that. However, I must confess that in some instances age is thrust upon us with such force that we have no choice but to accept it abruptly - gracefully or otherwise.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A poem from Abbott and Costello

January is a month with "R" in it
And so are the months that follow it.
If you've been holding oyster in your mouth all winter
Now is the time to swaller it.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Good description of Barry Fitzgerald from IMDb

"One of Hollywood's finest character actors and most accomplished scene stealers."
"The diminutive Irishman with the irresistible brogue."

Barry Fitzgerald Picture

No challenge for a driver from the Great War

"To anybody who's ever piloted a load of casualties through eighteen inches of mud, dodging shell holes and shells on their way to make new holes, in a black rainstorm at midnight - this sort of thing," Jules announced - "a hard, smooth road under a clear sky - is simple pie."

From Alias the Lone Wolf, by Louis Joseph Vance. Jules was the chauffeur who had been instructed to drive with his lights off in order to effect an escape from the villains in the book.

Just using simple logic

Bumps: "Uncle Cecil, wipe your chin off."

Sir Cecil: "How can I? It's fastened on."

(from The Smiths of Hollywood radio show)


What is that? According to Arthur Treacher on The Smiths of Hollywood radio show, it is a female diplomat.

Radio cap pistols

Radio sound effects normally did such an impressive job that it is a little surprising that many of the detective shows would use what are obviously cap pistols. "Snap, snap," goes the sound. Just not convincing.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Handel's Water Music

If you are not familiar with Handel's compositions in this genre, you might really enjoy them. They were designed to be played beside or on the River Thames, at the request of the King. Handel did a wonderful job, and this probably is some of his more outstanding music.

Edward Jenner and the smallbox vaccine

At some time in my youth (maybe the 6th grade?) I had to write a paper for school. After consultation with my mother, I decided to write it about Edward Jenner and his development of the smallpox vaccine. I remember that he had noticed that milkmaids were generally immune to smallpox, and went on to discover that it was having contracted cowpox (a similar but milder disease) made them immune. I dreaded the paper, but after I got into the subject, I really enjoyed it. And to this day I remember how that particular vaccine came to be.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

They were third cousins once removed

Irene Ryan


Mary Castle


Isn't genetics a wonderful thing?

Gathering suspects together

I wonder which fictional detective began the process of gathering all the suspects together at the finish of a case to reveal who committed the crime.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Radio programs sharing plots

Veterans of old radio programs will recognize the program Blood Harvest as being common to Mr. District Attorney as well as Tales of the Texas Rangers.

Mr. District Attorney - perhaps just a little overstatement

"Mr. District Attorney: champion of the people, defender of truth, guardian of our fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Pretty exalted description. Well, maybe true of the office; but in fact, as often as not, the individual holding it was probably a politician hoping to use the office as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Charlie Chan on patience

"Patience and a mulberry leaf become a silk shawl."
(from Charlie Chan Carries On)

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Dealing with the jerks in this world

They are there. They exist. In some cases it is impossible to get rid of them because we do not have the authority to do so. The simplest thing to do is just to ignore them, but sometimes that is virtually impossible to do. One thing we can do to help the situation is to make sure that where we do have authority or influence, we direct and insist that courtesy be shown.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

A great example of understatement

A foreign agent has been following Humphrey Bogart. After they go on shipboard, the spy tries to assassinate Sydney Greenstreet.

After they extract Greenstreet from under the table, Bogey asks, "Do you know him?"

"I don't think so. In any case he isn't a close friend."

(from the movie Across the Pacific)

I found a mistake in The Great Impersonation

Germany has just invaded Poland, and Great Britain has declared war on Germany. A German nobleman in the diplomatic corps in Africa happens upon an old school friend whom he favors enough to be his twin, so he goes to Berlin get approval to impersonate the Englishman. He starts to play the part, and gives his superior details of the life of the Englishman and says, "My father was killed during the last few days of the First World War." But, of course, at that point it was not the "first" world war, but the only world war, because the second had just begun, but at that point no one could know for sure that it would turn into a conflict of that magnitude.