Wednesday, September 30, 2015
I would hesitate to say what is my favorite time of the year. However, without doubt, early fall is the most refreshing time. When there first begins to be a little coolness in the air, a little "nip" when you step out in the morning, it gets your blood stirred and just naturally raises your spirits, especially in Arkansas, where late summer often seems to drag on and on.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Charles Bronson's portrayal of claustrophobia in The Great Escape was absolutely brilliant. As one who has a touch of it, I know; and I can guarantee you it would take a bona fide emergency to get me to go into a tunnel like that one.
Beethoven's masterful use of the four-note theme in his Fifth Symphony is, of course, one of the great examples of skillful composition in history. What is sad is that the theme has been used and overused and overused again, even in popular music, that we have come to look on it as commonplace, and thus, I fear, have tended to downgrade the value of the music in our minds.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Martha Raye made her fortune in show business as a goofy loudmouth. And, her mouth was too big, both audibly and physically, for true beauty. However, one wonders if she might have been made into another sort of star if Hollywood had put its reformative powers to work in her case.
One of my two all-time favorite movies is The Great Escape. One of the main stars in it was Lord Richard Attenborough, who played Big X.
Attenborough collected Picasso ceramics.
He married actress Shiela Sim in 1945, and they remained married until his death in 2014. During World War II, the Attenboroughs took in two German Jewish girls, whom they later adopted when it was learned their parents had been killed.
Attenborough collected Picasso ceramics.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
The 9th Marquess of Queensberry is well known for having developed the rules under which modern boxing is conducted. His great-grandson, David Douglas, is the current holder of the title. Douglas has an illegitimate son, Ambrose Jonathan Carey, whose half-sister Caroline married the late Salem bin Laden, head of the global Bin Laden family corporation. Salem was a half-brother and cousin (not sure how that works) of the infamous Osama bin Laden.
Friday, September 25, 2015
In the radio show Dangerous Assignment, agent Steve Mitchell was sent to all sorts of exotic places, usually with one person he was to contact to get the information he needed to move forward with the mission. Seemingly as often as not, that contact would meet with an untimely end - before he could give Mitchell the scoop.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Bud Abbott, of the famous comedy team, was married to Betty Smith for over 50 years. The character of Mrs. Abbott was a regular on the radio show. She was continually being insulted by and getting into fights with Lou Costello. Smith was a vaudeville performer with Abbott, but I have not been able to discover whether or not she played herself on the radio show.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Vicki Vola played Miss Miller on the Mr. District Attorney radio program. Miller was a super-efficient and dedicated secretary, but on one program it is revealed that she is in love with her boss, adding a touch of human side to what is otherwise a somewhat grim program.
There were certain actors on radio who stayed very busy, but never (or at least rarely) starred on programs. An example would be Herb Butterfield on Dangerous Assignment. He was on every week, but only for a few seconds, usually at the beginning of the program or for a brief phone call from star Brian Donlevy later on. I wonder how much he made for that role in today's dollars. Another example would be Junius Matthews, whose distinctive voice got him lots of bit parts in various radio programs. What was hit take for those spots?
Monday, September 21, 2015
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Howard Caine, the actor who played Gestapo Major Hochstetter on Hogan's Heroes, played the banjo. According to Wikipedia, he grew up in Tennessee, and from childhood has been fascinated by the instrument. "From the summer of 1970 until his death in 1993, he had taken trophies at 29 prominent banjo and fiddle contests in the southland for both Best Traditional Banjo and Traditional Singing. He was also a popular folk singer and appeared at a number of prominent folk clubs and folk festivals."
Saturday, September 19, 2015
This is one of those "duh!" questions. After you hear the answer, it is glaringly obvious. Walt Disney. Of course! Duh!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Walt Disney (1901–66) won or received a total of twenty-six Academy Awards, and holds the record for most Academy Awards in history. He won twenty-two competitive Academy Awards from a total of fifty-nine nominations, and also holds the records for most wins and most nominations for an individual in history.
Disney won his first competitive Academy Award and received his first Honorary Academy Award at the 5th Academy Awards (1932). He received the Honorary Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse and won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) for the film Flowers and Trees. In the seven Academy Award ceremonies that followed (6th–12th), Disney consecutively earned nominations and won in the same category.
Disney received three more Honorary Academy Awards, one in 1939 and two in 1942. At the 26th Academy Awards (1954), Disney won the Academy Award in all four categories in which he was nominated: Best Short Subject (Cartoon), Best Short Subject (Two-reel), Best Documentary (Feature), and Best Documentary (Short Subject). In 1965, Disney earned his sole Best Picturenomination, for the film Mary Poppins. He was posthumously awarded his final Academy Award in 1969.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Thursday, September 17, 2015
His name is synonymous with cruelty, but virtually no one these days has actually read Uncle Tom's Cabin, the novel in which he is a prominent character. I wonder how many such character's exist, who have become a part of the English language, but who are actually unknown to modern-day readers.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
In the episode of the Phil Harris and Alice Faye radio show entitled “Movie Role,” from 24 April 1949, the executives of the movie studio are trying to get Alice to go back into pictures, and decide that they will offer Phil a bit part so he will stop refusing to let Alice go into pictures. Faye had famously left movies after Fallen Angel, which was released in 1945, when her parts were cut to allow more time for Linda Darnell. Also, she wanted more time to be with her family, as her two daughters had been born in 1942 and 1944. Since her contract has called for her to make two more pictures, she was blackballed for breach of contract by Darryl Zanuck, and did not appear in pictures again until 1962. This episode is obviously poking fun at the movie industry for letting Faye get away.
Radio is an option to us - one of many media possibilities. In its heyday, however, it was the only broadcast medium there was. There were movies and records, but they were not broadcasts. Families would gather around the set for their favorite programs, and it was a big deal in that day. Now we can enjoy the same programs, but it is not the same, because, again, it is not live.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The private investigator was a very popular theme in the years during World War II, and especially immediately following it. There were several programs in which the stars were not Private Eyes strictly speaking, but had a different twist to that genre. Johnny Dollar was an insurance investigator. Mr. Keen was a Tracer of Lost Persons. The Saint was just a wealthy adventurer who got a kick out of helping people in distress. Pat Novak owned a small business and was ready to do whatever was required for a few bucks. And there were others. They spiced up the category with a little variety.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Friday, September 11, 2015
As we age, our capabilities decline (or at least our pace does). Dealing with that decline is one of the most important things we will do at that point in our lives. Do we use it as an excise not to attempt, or do we let it be a frustration because we can no longer do what we could? The "well-adjusted senior" deals with it and moves on, at whatever pace he can afford.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Actor John Lund did a good job portraying Johnny Dollar during his tenure in the title role. However, that confounded organ music that they used during that period is AWFUL. I figure I know why they did it: one organist was a lot cheaper than a whole band, but it was not worth the money they saved.
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
For a character who started in a short story, there certainly was a lot of mileage gotten from The Falcon - a movie series, a radio program, and later a television program. What is interesting is how the character changed as it moved from one medium to another. George Sanders and Tom Conway portrayed a suave, sophisticated ladies' man in the movies. In the radio program the character was portrayed by several actors, but Les Damon's version is best remembered. He, also, was a ladies' man, but he had a harder edge to him in his dealings with criminals, with a sarcastic, cutting sense of humor. Finally Charles McGraw held forth in the television series. His Falcon was entirely hard-boiled, no-nonsense and effective.
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Monday, September 07, 2015
It is one of the great privileges of my life to have known a good many ladies. I mean ladies in the fullest and truest sense of the word. Not crude and trashy individuals, but also not snooty and conceited. Gracious, kind, faithful, hospitable, diligent, with an inherent dignity that keeps them from being commonplace, even though they are from the common people. May God prosper them in the midst of this untoward generation.
Saturday, September 05, 2015
At a funeral, we say goodbye to a loved one. It is the final goodbye; there will be no renewal of the acquaintance here upon earth. However, sometimes at funerals there is more finality than we might realize. There we will see cousins or other relatives, and it will be the case that that will be the last time we will see them on earth. Perhaps they live at a distance, and only came home to see their immediate family, and now that the family is gone, there is no more reason for them to return. Funerals are sad times for more reasons than one.
Friday, September 04, 2015
A handful of lawyers has dictated to the country that we cannot forbid the legal marital union of people of the same gender. Perhaps few have considered that in doing this they set up an underlying principle that has far-reaching consequences. They basically said that we are not allowed to acknowledge any difference between men and women. Any difference. Ignoring all rules of common sense and logic, they have launched the country on a logical downward spiral, and who knows where it will end. Because there is no difference, then each person should now be able to decide which gender he or she is. Thus, there can be no such thing as "His" and "Hers" restrooms. Furthermore, if there is no difference between the sexes, and it is legal for men to appear without a shirt in public, how long will it be before women do the same? After all, we can acknowledge no difference between them, even if there is one. And the list can go on. Our deliberate idiocy knows no bounds.
Thursday, September 03, 2015
Men have long relieved themselves of moral scruples by saying that any tactics are justified where a state of war exists. Then, all we have to do is to conjure up in our minds sufficient grounds for declaring war, at whatever level, and we are "free" to do whatever we want. Convenient, what?
I feel sure that not very long into our 42-plus years together, it dawned on my wife that she had perhaps made a bad deal and had come out on the short end of the marital stick. Thankfully, she is a woman of her word and has stuck by the contract despite its shortcomings, unlike so many in this age of infidelity.
Wednesday, September 02, 2015
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Why is that my problem?! Sure, if bubonic plague has swept through the office, or if the Russians dropped a bomb on the city, I can understand why you might have been taken by surprise. But people do get sick, and go on vacation, and have personal emergencies that come up, and any reasonable manager can foresee that; but if you do not staff your facility to deal with those FORSEEABLE situations, then you are planning to be shorthanded from time to time. But that is NOT MY PROBLEM!!!!! Hire enough people, and you would not be having to say that! If it is your strategic decision not to adequately staff your facility, that is your decision; but don't whine to me about why you cannot provide adequate service.