Sunday, February 28, 2016

How did Hogan's Heroes ever work?

Think about it. A sitcom based upon a prisoner of war camp in which the situations encountered are not always slapstick. In other words, they were able to make funny some of the most un-funny scenarios in the world. But it was hilarious, with some of the most memorable character actors in television history. I am not sure how it worked, but it did.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The essence of fatherhood

"All this I have learned," he told me one night, beside our fire, "and much more, but of what further use if I cannot pass it onto you. learn from me and avoid the scars your soul and mind will take, let alone your body. Profit by what I say, Barnabas, and go on to learn new things, and when you have a son, teach him." (from Sackett's Land, by Louis L'Amour)

Can you imagine how efficient and happy society would be - and could be - if each generation would indeed learn from their fathers so that they avoid mistakes? How much better that would be than the trial and error message!

Friday, February 26, 2016

ME was all that was left

Ever wonder about the postal abbreviation for Maine?
MA was Massachusetts
MI was Michigan
MN was Minnesota
ME was all that was left.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Clean Plate Club

When I was in the second grade, one of the motivations our teacher used in order to get us to eat a good lunch was The Clean Plate Club. Of course, being raised as I had been, this was right down my alley. No problem at all!. I got a star every day - except one. One day we a pat of butter was included with the meal, and I had eaten everything else before I noticed it was there. I just could not bring myself to eat raw butter with nothing to put it on. I asked the teacher for an exemption, but she refused to give one, and so I got no star. But just that one time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lt. Dundee - he changed some

In the movie, The Maltese Falcon, Lt. Dundee (played by Barton MacLane) is a no-nonsense, tough cop who obviously has no use at all for Sam Spade. By the time the character made the radio show, however, his persona had softened considerably, to the point that he and Spade had a fairly amicable working relationship. Of course, in the radio show, Spade himself had softened from the completely self-serving individual in the movie to a genial, likable sort who could exchange witty repartee with his secretary, Effie.

A skunk is still a skunk

"Soap and water never can change perfume of billy goat."

(Charlie Chan, in The Black Camel)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How weak was Phil Harris?

Elliott Lewis: "You ain't got no more muscles than a clam digger's apron."

Phil: "I get plenty of exercise."

Elliott: "Clipping Alice's coupons ain't exactly a pick and shovel job."

(from the Phil Harris and Alice Faye radio show)

Monday, February 22, 2016

I likely will take a different route

In a discussion with a co-worker about a college basketball player, I said, "He likely will make a lot of money before he retires." I fear my situation might be come different: "He likely will eat a lot of food before he retires."

If law does not rule in a nation

then brutal men will - arbitrarily.

How to balance your personal budget?

It is VERY simple. If you can't pay for it, don't buy it. Ever.

Debt reduction

It should be obvious to anyone but politicians with a philosophical agenda that we cannot pay off the national debt by only controlling spending or increasing taxes. It will take both. In large quantities. For a VERY extended period of time. Do you suspect that either party has any intent or even desire to do that? So, since we continue to borrow money, and our entire political system has no intention of paying it off, it would seem to me that our entire financial structure is built upon a fabric of lies. And yet we keep voting for Republicans and Democrats.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sometimes it is not enough to feel sure

Sometimes you have to KNOW.

One of the most basic facts of murder mysteries

Any clue that points too obviously to a suspect can almost certainly be ignored.

Sweat of your face

Those who are blessed to work at jobs that are interesting and which they enjoy and at which they are competent perhaps have no idea the extreme degree of frustration and depression faced by those whose case is the opposite.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

That is a long way!

(following the failure of the Mars Expedition Corporation)

Lum: Mars is about 240 million miles away from here.

Abner: Two hundred forty . . . by doggies, that's farther than Kansas City, isn't it?


In his novel, Sackett's Land, Louis L'Amour mentions the Iceni people, which were a Brittonic tribe in castern England during the time of the Roman conquest. The first part of this book deals much with ancient artifacts and the part they played in Barnabas Sackett's life story, and it was natural for L'Amour to mention a people of the past.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

History of common men

History is not made only by kings and parliaments, presidents, wars, and generals. It is the story of people, of their love, honor, faith, hope and suffering; of birth and death, of hunger thirst and cold, of loneliness and sorrow.

(Louis L'Amour, from Sackett's Land)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Good program, lousy music

The Philo Vance radio program was actually pretty good. Fairly good plots and decent acting. But the organ music was just horrendous! Totally irritating. It is hard to listen to the shows for having to put up with the music. But I do, because, as I said, it is a pretty good show.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Down in my bones

I have noticed that the older I get the more cold weather gets right down amongst me. Right in my bones. Downright unpleasant, it is.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Who would hang a moniker like this on a kid?

Chichester Clotworthy Skeffington, 4th Earl of Massereene

Whatever else you can say about it, it IS distinctive.

Duke Martindale - another private eye

Martindale (Neil Hamilton) and his lawyer wife (June Storey) are the couple in the comedy/mystery Dangerous Lady (1941). Strickly a B-minus picture, but we enjoy it.

Percy Kilbride

In our minds, he is permanently linked to one role: Pa Kettle. But he played it superlatively well.


Saturday, February 13, 2016


It appears evident to me that God did not design the human mind so that it prospers with constant external stimulation. Just as does the body, so the mind and the soul need rest and reflection. We are injuring ourselves these days by our lack of quietness.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Frank Jenks - old movie regular

If you have watched old movies for any length of time, then Jenks' face is familiar to you. He appeared in a long list of movies, usually as a wise-cracking sidekick.

I love it when the bad guy stabs himself

"Slippery man sometimes slip in own oil."

(from Charlie Chan in Rio)


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Putting Charlie in his place

"Why, the only laugh you ever got was a sneer from a disgruntled termite."

(W. C. Fields, from one of his epic verbal battles with Charlie McCarthy)

Fred Flinstone, Lawyer ?

Like many actors with distinctive voices, Alan Reed was a busy actor on radio. One of his roles wat that of Mr. Clyde the long-suffering boss of Irma on the My Friend Irma radio show. Reed's most famous role, of course, was that of the voice of Fred Flintstone on the cartoon show.


The resting place of famous authors

"I'm going to be famous! I wouldn't be a bit surprised if I'm buried in Westminster Lobby."

(from My Friend Irma radio show)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Music should not be boring

Composers ought to remember that fact. If what you write is not interesting, then why write it?

Beating up on the sergeant

In an episode fo the Nick Carter radio show, the head of the local Reform League comes into the office where the police sergeant and Nick are talking, and begins to berate the sarge for not having put a stop to a racket involving organized panhandling. The fallacy in the scenario is that no one would come to a sergeant on such a matter, because he is at too low a level to be able to do anything about it. The writers goofed on that one.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A quick name change

On the 8 May 1950 episode of Night Beat radio show, the star is called Lucky Stone, but then one week later he is called Randy Stone. Quick work by the legal department.

The man with four given names

When I worked at the toy plant in Booneville, Arkansas, our staff artist was a gentleman named Frank Fusco. One time in a conversation he told me that his full name was Francis Charles Joseph John Fusco. He is the only person I have known personally with four given names.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Night - observations from Randy Stone

Of Night Beat radio fame. "The same shadows that were a big help to Cupid can be a cover for crime."

Respect for authority

One of the hardest tasks God's people have is showing respect to people in positions of authority, both in government and in private situations. The reason for this is that a large percentage of such people got where they are, not because of virtues, but because of their complete lack of scruples. Notwithstanding that fact, the command of Scripture is still there.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Restrictive clothing

I would not want to be a cowboy for a number of reasons. Hard work, long hours, more than the usual amount of physical danger. But one of the things I least would like is the gear they commonly wear, or at least wore back in the old days. Especially the chaps. They are great if you are riding through brush, but apart from that they look like they would really get in the way.


Saturday, February 06, 2016

She had something against his profession

"I almost never," she added, "murder people on short acquaintance - unless they're detectives."

(from The Hills of Homicide, by Louis L'Amour)

The same the world over

"You'd go back to the hotel, and I'll see you in the morning."

"I will not. I'm coming with you."

Whatever was done now would have to be done fast, and did you ever try to argue with a woman and settle any point in a hurry? So she came along.

(from The Hills of Homicide, by Louis L'Amour)


Friday, February 05, 2016

Charlie Chan the Dutchman?

In the movie 13 Rue Madeleine, actor Roland Winters has a small role as a Dutch intelligence officer, and speaks with a heavy accent. It is hard to imagine him in the part because we are so accustomed to thinking of him as Charlie Chan.


Wednesdays With You radio show

This was a short-lived comedy/variety program that was advertised as "The Eddie Show Minus Eddie," Eddie being Cantor. It is enjoyable, with pleasant songs and lots of gags, usually with emcee Harry Von Zell as the butt of them. Not bad for a summer replacement show.

Von Zell

Thursday, February 04, 2016

One reason you don't see dress hats today

Back in the old days cars did not have headrests. Now they do, which means the back bill of the hat is crushed against it.

Writing a new song

Phil: What are we going to write about, Remley? Remember, I want something different.

Alice: What do you mean "different." There have been songs written about everything possible.

Remley: Oh, I don't know. I haven't heard any stomach pump ballads lately.

(from The Phil Harris and Alice Faye radio show)

Treat your husbands well, girls

"Girls, when you get married, always treat your husbands kindly. If you don't they'll get even: they'll die - the cowards!"

(Mrs. O'Reilly on My Friend Irma radio show)

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Old radio shows on Facebook

If you are an OTR fan, there is at least one very active site on Facebook that specializes in them.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Bill Shirley in "Rookies on Parade"

Rookies on Parade is a very "B" movie in a long line of wartime propaganda films. We got it mainly because it stars Bob Crosby, and my wife likes him a lot. Other than that, there is not a lot to recommend the movie - except for one scene. Tenor Bill Shirley performs Londonderry Air backed up by male voices, and it is beautiful. Shirley, by the way, made his biggest movie splash as the voice of Prince Phillip in Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

Bill Shirley, Actor in a black and white portrait.jpg

They are not inclined to accommodate the police

"It doesn't happen that way. I've never yet known a murderer to commit suicide just to make things easy for the cops."

(from This Is It, Michael Shayne, by Brett Halliday)


Monday, February 01, 2016

Get up and get with it

"Sitting man must hold mouth open very long time before roast goose flies in."

(from Charlie Chan Carries On)