Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Who was his secret love?

Harriet Nelson: Don't tell me you didn't have a crush on a girl when you were his age.

Ozzie: Yes, I did, but she married Douglas Fairbanks.

So who was she? Well, we would deduce that "she" was Mary Pickford. Ozzie was born in 1906, and Pickford married Fairbanks in 1920.

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The feminine mind

Ozzie Nelson (discussing Harriet with the boys): The feminine mind is a very weird and complicated machine.

Ricky: Like an airplane.

Ozzie: Yes, and without a pilot

Did we really say that?

Before we were married, my wife and I told a gentleman that we could keep our cost of living down because we did not drink coffee. Can you imagine?

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Just superior

When I was in high school, one of my best friends was never lacking in self-confidence. Muhammed Ali had popularized the slogan, "I'm not conceited, I'm just convinced." My buddy went it one better: "I'm not conceited, I'm just superior." He intended it to be taken tongue-in-cheek, I am (reasonably) sure.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Gail Kobe - one of those "hard" actress faces

Gail Kobe was one of those actresses who just looked like she was almost perpetually angry. Always a little hard edge. Never quite soft and friendly, warm and fuzzy. Of course, appearances are very often deceiving, but that is the way she looked, to me.

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sometimes the truth hurts

"Truth sometimes like stab of cruel knife." (from Charlie Chan at the Race Track)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The medicine I feared the most

When I was a child, I preferred any medicinal treatment to rubbing alcohol put on an open wound. It stung like fire!

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sam Spade in wartime?

Want to see how Sam Spade (Howard Duff) is as a soldier? Just watch the episode of Combat! entitled "Missing In Action" in the link below.


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Monday, October 23, 2017

William Leahy - the unknown Five Star

Nine men have worn five stars in the military of the United States: five Generals of the Army and four Fleet Admirals. Without much doubt the least known of these nine was Fleet Admiral William Daniel Leahy. He had been Chief of Naval Operations (1937-1939), following which he undertook a couple of diplomatic posts. He was recalled to active service by President Roosevelt in 1942 as his personal Chief of Staff. In addition, he chaired the Chiefs of Staff during the war. According to Wikipedia, from 1942 to 1949 he was the highest-ranking member of the military, reporting only to the President.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bombed out buildings

One of the constant backdrops on the Combat! television program was the partially-destroyed buildings of Europe. Everywhere you looked. That had to be depressing for the people who lived there. Destruction all around you.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ricky Ricardo's ancestors were politicians

Desi Arnaz (who played Ricky Ricardo on the I Love Lucy show) was almost universally known as a band leader and actor. What many people may now know is that his father and grandfather were well-known politicians - in Cuba.

From Wikipedia:
Desiderio Arnaz II was the youngest mayor of Santiago de Cuba (1923–1932). He was elected to the Cuban House of Representatives in November 1932 for the Oriente Province. When Gerardo Machado was overthrown as president in August 1933, Rep. Arnaz was arrested and jailed. Six months later, he was allowed to go into exile. He graduated from the Southern College of Pharmacy (merged and known now as Mercer University, School of College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) in 1913 in Atlanta, Georgia. Rep. Arnaz was the son of Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha I (1857–1929), a doctor (and grandson of Manuel Arnaz, a mayor of Santiago de Cuba in 1869) and Rosa Alberni y Portuondo (1870-?), the great-granddaughter of a mayor of Santiago de Cuba, José Joaquín Portuondo y Rizo, 1st Conde de Santa Inés (1762–1824).

Friday, October 20, 2017

The important things

It is some consolation to us of the "little people" to observe how uniformly rich and famous people's personal lives are a shambles. They are good at the unimportant things, but they pretty much mess up the important things.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Their beautiful young co-stars liked working with them

Buddy Ebsen and Andy Griffith were comic actors with long-running and successful television programs who both turned to serious roles late in their careers (Barnaby Jones and Matlock, respectively). Per Wikipedia, both evidently had very good relationships with their female co-stars in those programs.

After her stint on Barnaby Jones, Meriwether became best friends with Ebsen, keeping in touch for many years until his death on July 6, 2003.

[Nancy] Stafford continued to have a relationship with Andy Griffith after her departure from Matlock. After Griffith's death, Stafford said about him that "Andy was more than you can imagine. Obviously, he was an American icon, but he was an incredible professional. He set a tone on the set, every single day that was absolutely inspiring. He was fun. He was profoundly loyal. He was just an amazing wonderful man and he left an indelible mark on my life as well as the lives of everyone who watched him over the years." She recalled speaking to him on his 86th birthday (shortly before his death), saying, "He sounded so wonderful, he picked the phone right up and he was upbeat and he sounded full of energy and we laughed and we joked. I told him how much I loved him and we just had a great, great, great conversation; so glad that we did. He sounded amazing."

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Why string quartets are important in music

Most musical ensembles have a variety of tonal color in their make-up. Even choirs' sounds vary depending upon the words they are saying. However, in a string quartet there is not much variation in color. Just a string sound. Maybe some pizzicato thrown in. So, the composer has to rely purely upon the music itself to make the composition good. Therefore, writing for string ensembles is in that respect more challenging than for other groups. It reveals very quickly if the composer can compose.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One foot in the grave

Patty: Look at all those gray hairs (speaking about her father). He has seven: I counted them.

Richard: So, what's seven gray hairs.

Patty: It's the beginning of the end, Nature's way of saying, "You've had it!"

Richard: I guess when they start to get decrepit, they start to go pretty fast.

(from The Patty Duke Show)

Clearwater Clapsaddle?

He was a character on the Jack Benny radio show. I am guessing the writers had a lot of fun dreaming up that name.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Perfect nerdy little brother

Paul O'Keefe played Ross, the younger brother of Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show television series. He was perfectly cast.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

A very specialized musical post

Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales. It is a position within the Royal Household of the United Kingdom. There have been six of them, currently Anne Denholm. In 2006 the Prince presented to the Harpist a gold leaf harp costing 150,000 pounds, which is the instrument the Harpist uses.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What instrument did she take up?

On one episode of The Patty Duke Show she takes up a musical instrument. Which one? The tuba, of course. You just knew it was going to be either that or the drums.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blots on civilization

There were the others, like Henry Rossiter, who wanted the rewards without the labor, who, to get them, would take from others what they had worked hard to gain. It was the mindless selfishness of those who had not come to understand that all civilization was simply a living together, so that all could live better.

(from The Man From the Broken Hills, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Good advice for a young man

"It is a poor man who has not honor, but before you do a deed, think how you will think back upon it when old age comes. Do nothing that will shame you."

(from The Man From the Broken Hills, by Louis L'Amour)

Monday, October 09, 2017

Aunt Bea on The Eve Arden Show

The Eve Arden Show ran on television for one season of 26 episodes. (Arden was much more famous for her work on Our Miss Brooks on radio and TV.) One of the main cast members on this cast was Frances Bavier, who portrayed her mother, and who went on to greater fame as Aunt Bea on The Andy Griffith Show.

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Sunday, October 08, 2017

Hollywood's most closely set eyes

Actor Allyn Joslyn wins the prize.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Great Blue Norther of 1911

So you think you have experienced a "cold snap"? Consider these facts regarding the cold front that moved through the central U. S. on November 11, 1911:

Kansas City had a record high for the date of 76 by late morning. By midnight the temp had dropped to 11 degrees.

Springfield, MO was at 80 degrees at 3:45 PM. Fifteen minutes late the temperature was at 40 degrees. By midnight they had a record low of 13 degrees.

Oklahoma City set a record high and low in the same day: 83 and 17 degrees, respectively.

As one might expect, there were nine tornadoes set off by the system as it moved through.

Given the lack of public communications in those days, just imagine the number of people who were trapped in situations with totally inadequate clothing for the severe temperatures.

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Friday, October 06, 2017

Two of the oiliest - Fortunes of Captain Blood

When you think of the term "oily" with regard to actors' voices, the movie Fortunes of Captain Blood exhibited two of the three best (or worst) examples that I know. George Macready and Lowell Gilmore both had starring roles. The only other worthy competitor that I can think of offhand is Carleton Young, who starred as The Whisperer on the radio.

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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Take One False Step (1949)

This is a great little murder mystery starring William Powell, one of our favorites. One of the things that makes this flick doubly enjoyable is the presence of two of the all-time great character actors as the two detectives on the case, those being James Gleason and Sheldon Leonard, both in fine form.

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In his novel The Warrior's Path, Louis L'Amour gives a significant role to an ethnic group on Jamaica called Maroons. These were slaves who had escaped and had established communities in the mountainous interior of the island. Here is a quote from a Wikipedia article about the Maroons:

To this day, the maroons in Jamaica are to a small extent autonomous and separate from Jamaican culture. Those of Accompong have preserved their land since 1739. The isolation used to their advantage by their ancestors has today resulted in their communities being amongst the most inaccessible on the island.

In 1973, there were still 11 Maroon settlements remaining, holding lands allotted to them in the 1738-1739 treaties with the British. These maroons still maintain their traditional celebrations and practices, some of which have West African origin. For example, the council of a Maroon settlement is called an Asofo, from the Twi Akan word asafo (assembly, church, society).

Native Jamaicans and island tourists are allowed to attend many of these events. Others considered sacred are held in secret and shrouded in mystery. Singing, dancing, drum-playing and preparation of traditional foods form a central part of most gatherings. In their largest town, Accompong, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, the Leeward Maroons have a vibrant community of about 600. Tours of the village are offered to foreigners. They hold a large festival annually on 6 January to commemorate the signing of the peace treaty with the British after the First Maroon War.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

See, you don't have to use profanity

"You thick-headed, feeble-minded, dim-witted Kallikak, snake-brained, gopher-livered, tin-plated, peg-topped, maggot-headed . . ."

(from Crooked Shadow, by Kurt Steel) In case you were wondering what a Kallikak is, it was the pseudonym used for the family that was the object of a study by psychologist Henry H. Goddard, entitled The Kallikak Family: A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


When you live on a dirt road, a gentle rain in the midst of a dry season is a wonderful thing. It even smells wonderful.

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Monday, October 02, 2017

Time is relative

"At my age, time is rather a nasty subject. You have noticed that for the last ten years I haven't carried a watch."

(Mr. Cartwright, an elderly character on the Whirlybirds TV show)

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Some of Hollywood's loveliest off-center eyes

Fay Wray was perhaps more famous for her scream (in King Kong) than for her eyes, but they fell into that class of beautiful imperfections. One of them was off center just a little, but the effect was very pleasing.

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Why did Andy Griffith hate his uncle?

(in the movie No Time For Sergeants)

As he is being interviewed by the psychiatrist, he is asked if he hated his mother or father. He said no, but he did have one uncle that he hated, because he always used to wrestle with their mule and kept him (the mule) all worn out.