Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I think it fortunate that Brook straighten up his act and took up manlier hobbies later in life. His earliest interest (after dress up of course) were automobiles, small foreign cars, and later guns, guns, guns (till daddy took the TEC-9 away). I remember at nights, I'd plead with him to please turn off the light. He'd be leaning up at the headboard reading Road & Track or praying over his Shooter's Bible. Brooky then took up photography as a hobby. He was quite good at it too. It was by then the late sixties and he even knew how to roll his on - 35mm that is. What other hobby...oh yes...he picked up playing his guitar along the way. I don't recall him buying all the guitar magazines like he did the car, gun, and photo mags. He'd listen to The Who, Clapton, and B-B King.
I don't think Brook has changed that much over the years. He has a little Miata that he sports around town. He likes to work on carbines and plays a pretty mean guitar. I think he's pretty much the same, a little older and hopefully out-grown the dress.But if you see him in one...I would think twice about mentioning it. No telling what he might have packing in his purse.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
We would not only tour for hours on in the thick darkness, but we would sleep there as well. The tour guide made sure that we knew that the rats that dwelled in the caves were rats of a very different breed. These vicious creatures were said to have been as large as small dogs. We were firmly instructed to keep our flashlight within feel-able reach and to sleep in and not on our sleeping bags. These cave rats were known to have an appetite for fingers and especially toes. Needless to say, that when all was quiet - we boy scouts strictly adhered to our motto "Be Prepared", and kept all appendages, all of our mortal being well hidden inside our bags. Better safe than sorry - fold the sleeping bag over and try to leave little to no entrance for the large hungry toe-eating cave rodents. What did Mr. Smitherman get us into anyway?James Harp, Jim McCullars and Mark Condra were always my close scout pals back then. Thanks Jim for stopping by for a memory.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
We went to a lot of Jamborees and the like but my favorite outings were our yearly trip to Shiloh National Military Park. They had about six different hikes to take on. We'd split up into different groups and given a map and a sheet of questions to answer. You'd go on the long hike and answer the questions on the markers we'd have to locate. These hikes would go from dawn to dusk. They were very tiring but equally as exciting. I loved the scouting experience. I don't hear much talk about kids being scouts in this day. Seems though when I was a kid, every kid donned that uniform proudly.
The Scout Oath
On my honour I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my Country
To help other people at all times
To obey the Scout Law
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Mel Brooks and Buck Henry produced a wonderful spy-spoof comedy gem back in the mid-sixties. Ex-Marine drill instructor turned comedic actor Don Adams played Special Agent 86 in television's GET SMART. It was a great show...at least the first few seasons were great. Adams is most remembered for that clumsy spy roll and tried to resurrect the roll in the 80's and 90's but they were all duds.
This past Saturday Gina and I took the girls to see the movie GET SMART with Steve Carell playing Agent 86. Most of you who know me know that I don't risk going to movies advertised as comedies these days. I crossed my fingers as I shelled out my money for a matinee...for the girls David...for the girls.
I was not disappointed. This movie was very funny and highly adventurous. I found myself laughing out loud many times and thought the movie paid a wonderful homage to the original television series. It was a great cast with plenty of cameos. I give the movie Get Smart two thumbs up (I only have two). I'm going to see if it's playing at the drive-in this coming weekend.
The only elements that it could have done without was the bad language and the obese lady shooting the bird scene. Other than that - it was a good experience.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
If you haven't seen the movie, you might appreciate it. James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan also star in it. The blood letting cowboy movie of Peckinpah's to remember is of course The Wild Bunch. I bought the DVD about a year ago hoping to watching on a guy's night...but that hasn't happened yet. Who's up for a blood letting?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Flintstones was originally created for an adult audience - originally aired on Friday evenings from 1960 to 1966 on ABC.
If you've ever seen Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners - you'd know where Hanna-Barbera got the idea for their stone-age family. It is said that Gleason considered suing Hanna-Barbera for the rip-off but decided to let it pass.
The first season was sponsored by Winston Cigarettes and the original opening and closing titles included the Winston brand. Winston pulled out in 63, as The Flintstones became more of a family show.
The original shows were well written and pretty smart.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Quinn Martin Productions cranked out this little sci-fi gem back in 1967 and 1968 (a season and a half). I really liked this show as a kid. I don't know what I'd think of it when I get a chance to see it again. It was a lot like the popular show The Fugitive (also a Quinn Martin Production) but in this show, the man on the run is running from aliens who are EVERY WHERE MAN!!! The hero though, isn't always being the hunted, but also did his share of hunting. He does his best to try to get his fellow humans to believe him. Sound familiar? The idea for the show was also inspired by the 1956 movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
"The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun."
The immensely popular The Fugitive series ended in 1967 and Quinn Martian Productions decided to keep things moving on ABC. I was sad to see The Invaders end so quickly. I liked the show and don't talk to many folks that ever remember seeing it. I just found out that that season one was released on DVD in May '08. Who knows, if the price is right.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Cars these days are designed to pretty much look alike. Once the redesign of the Ford Thunderbird came out in the mid-eighties, all cars have pretty much taken on a generic smoothed over sameness. Not many cars on the road today have a unique look about them. There are exceptions- but not many. There are definitely not enough road rockets out there...cars with fins that is. Here we are, living in the future, living in the modern day with cell phones, computers, flying machines and yet our cars don't look futuristic in the least. We need fins people!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I read Robin Moore's book The Green Berets when I was a kid. It was one of the few books I had purchased from the Weekly Reader Book Club when I was in elementary school. This song, The Ballad of The Green Berets of Sgt. Barry Sadler was a very popular song that came out not long after the book.
John Wayne, in 1968, followed with a movie called The Green Berets. The movie wasn't that good and the Vietnam War was at the height of U.S. involvement. Vietnam was also becoming unpopular "conflict". That didn't matter to The Duke. Wayne had turned down the Major Reisman role (Lee Marvin got) in THE DIRTY DOZEN in order to star in and co-produce THE GREEN BERETS.
I believe Brook and I went to see this together at The Pitman, in downtown Gadsden.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Who remembers Ernie Kovacs? He came long before Monty Python, Saturday Night Live and MTV. Kovacs did a lot of fresh inovative work with the new medium of television. Pretty much all of his comedy was visual and this youtube clip is prime example of his work. Unfortunately, most of his shows were done live and only a few clips have survived. What little I have seen of his work, there is no dispute that Kovac was a genius.
By the way, many people donned the monkey suits for this sketch. Jack Lemmon was a friend of Kovac and is said to have been the monkey playing the piano in this skit. Toney Curtis, like Lemmon, also played in his skit from time to time.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Johnny Quest is a great cartoon...the original 1960's version that is. Whenever I catch one on - I'll sit down and watch it. There are only a handfull of Hanna Barbera productions that I like. The theme song is memorable.