Here we were living in the atomic age. Don't forget to duck and cover.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Gene Autry was know through radio and film fame as 'The Singing Cowboy'. In the fifties he also became known as 'The Christmas Cowboy' because of his hit song 'Here comes Santa Claus.
As the story is told, Gene was riding his horse, Champion, down Hollywood Boulevard for the annual Christmas parade in 1946 when, hearing the crowds of children gleefully crying, “Here comes Santa Claus!” he was inspired to write this song. The rest is cowboy Christmas history.
Gene also sings my favorite version of 'Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I can't pick my favorite version of 'Frosty the Snowman'. It's a tie between Burl Ives and Gene Autry.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Like Bing Crosby, Tennessee Ernie Ford is someone else that reminds me of Christmas. This clip is something I ran across a good while back, and is among my all time favorite Youtube videos. The kid stealing the show is Ernie's son Brian.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
I remember my fellow classmates at R.A. Mitchell Elementary talking about 'Fantastic Voyage' (1966) that was to air on television that evening. I had no idea what it was about, but figured it must be really cool because of all of the emotional stir around me. Gee whiz - I just HAD TO SEE IT!
It was pretty cutting edge stuff for it's day - that is until '2001: A Space Odyssey' . Take for instance the scene where the miniaturized submarine Prosteus is sucked into a fistula shortly after the it was injected into the bloodstream. The high tech special effect was made by swirling a small sub model in a punch bowl filled with strawberry flavored milk and Cheerios. Breathtaking stuff, I know.
2012 might bring along a remake. I don't know, I like the camp of the original. Even though strawberry milk and Cheerios more than likely will not be used - I foresee nothing surpassing the original. The original Fantastic Voyage has Donald Pleasence!
"When filming the scene where the other crew members remove attacking antibodies from Ms. Peterson for the first time, director Richard Fleischer allowed the actors to grab what they pleased. Gentlemen all, they specifically avoided removing them from Raquel Welch's breasts, with an end result that the director described as a "Las Vegas showgirl" effect. Fleischer pointed this out to the cast members - and on the second try, the actors all reached for her breasts. Finally the director realized that he would have to choreograph who removed what from where, and the result is seen in the final cut." -IMDB
'Inner Space' (1987) was a quazi-remake of Fantastic Voyage that is well worth watching. It was a action/comedy starring Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, and Meg Ryan.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Television stations back during the 1960's used to sign-off their broadcast days with this poem. My pal J. Holland played this as he signed off today on his show.
'High Flight' was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr / No 412 squadron / RCAF. Gillespie joined the RCAF before America entered the war. He was killed December 11, 1941 at the age of 19.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Roger Daltrey produced his first solo album during a hiatus from The Who's touring schedule. Self titled 'Daltrey' (1973) was the first of his eight solo albums.
My brother had this on 8-track. I have not heard these songs in over three decades, but I remember each song clearly.
I didn't know until reading up on Wiki that this album introduced the song writing talents of Leo Sayer.
Roger Daltrey to me is one of the finest vocalist in rock and roll history. This was a good album, but like most of you, I enjoy him best when he's fronting the rest of The Who.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I own the DVDs. You can get them pretty cheap at Walmart - $5.00 or so. I watched The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly a few weeks ago. There are some deleted scenes (in Italian) that are well worth watching. I don't know what it is about these films. I will never grow tired of them.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
On my honor I will do my best
to do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times;
to keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I miss John Candy, probably more so than I do John Belushi. I wish he were still around. Those who knew him said he had a heart of gold. I can believe that. I could always identify with John, he just had this likable-vulnerable-everyman way about him. There are not many movie stars that I'd care to have over to my home for a visit. John Candy would have been welcomed.
If you're reading this blog and have yet to discover him - go rent 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' (co-starring with Steve Martin) or 'Uncle Buck' (both John Hughes films). Another John Hughes film that both John Candy starred along side Dan Aykroyd was a comedy called 'The Great Outdoors'. The first movie I remember seeing him in was 'Stripes' (with Bill Murray).
I also enjoyed the Carl Reiner movie which starred him 'Summer Rental'. The other Reiner film that John Candy co-starred in was 'Space Balls', a spoof of Star Wars. There were a lot of great comedies to come out of the eighties. John Candy starred in many of them.
Not all his comedies were blockbusters. His last picture, 'Wagon's East' was the worst. John Candy died during the filming and his presence was replaced by a double. I am sure that if he had lived, the movie would have been funnier. Some of his movies were not all that funny - but I always liked seeing him at work. He was a likable fellow.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I painted a clown face on Kelsey's small features Saturday evening. She's a beautiful little girl and made for a sweet little clown. Gina manned the wheel and we hit four 'Trunk or Treat' events at churches. We also drove down some neighborhoods and did some Trick or Treating the old fashioned way. I enjoyed walking down the streets in the night holding my little giddy girl's hand. She was so excited and enjoyed every minute of the evening. This was the part of the evening that I enjoyed the most.
True, a kid can score big at Trunk or Treats - but Trick or Treating is so much more fun. Trunk or Treats are safer - but Halloween just isn't quite the way that it used to be when I was a kid. I remember all my siblings venturing out around the neighborhood going door to door. It was a different experience.
We used to just venture out on foot until Brook started driving. This enabled the young Finlayson ghouls to cover more territory. We'd Trick or Treat until porch lights went out. We'd keep going until all the light available came from street lights and the full moon above.
The last Halloween I remember going out to Trick or Treat as a kid - we all went around the neighborhood piled in and onto Brook's MG (Maggie) convertible. I guess I was in seventh grade. I was dressed as a vampire - feeling for certain that it was my last haunt.
Now Halloween is stretched across the county as well as an entire week. Trunk or Treats during the week - even on Sunday! I guess if I were a kid, I would have liked that idea. I know that my father would not have approved. On Sunday!?! There is something missing today, then again, maybe it's just that I am a grownup. My child enjoyed each moment like I used to - that's all that matters.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I want to share a blog that he posted at the early part of the month. It's really funny, and thought you all would enjoy the story. - David
I'd never heard anyone laugh that hard. So,being forewarned, I will try to explain this in detail so's ya'll will get the full affect of it.
Well,after grandma died in 1966, my sisters and I were put in this home and then that home. I ended up in Owasso,Okla with my aunt and uncle. I was about to embark on my journey into 3rd grade.
Just so's you'll know,I was short back then..really short. When someone was to yell "DUCK!" I could ignore them,because,well..I was already there.
Well,I arrived at school,the new kid. Everyone was nice to me and all..but after school,I'd see all these guys out there on the playground in these fancy uniforms knocking each other over.
Looked like fun to me.
I went and talked to the tallest person there. Turned out he was the coach,and I asked him if I could join the festivities the other kids were in...knocking each other over with all the pads and such. He said "Sure"...and told me I could come to the game Saturday and suit up.
Back then,we didn't have games on Sundays...That was Church day and it was actually still respected back then.
Well, I went home and told the folks I needed a football outfit. I wanted to play football.
That's when the trouble started.
Seems there was a garage sale a block or two over and they had an old football outfit for sale..cheap...so I got my very first football outfit.
I didn't bother putting it on until it was time to go to the game Saturday.
Mind you..I was a little fella back then...and it seems that this football outfit was actually made for a 400 pound linebacker.
After about an hour of questions and such...my uncle instructed me on what goes where and how this goes and so on.
Getting in the car with it all on was a whole other problem.
I made it into the car...got drove to and dropped off at the ball field and I was on my own.
My thigh pads were 4 times wider than my legs..my shoulder pad were so big I could hold my arms straight out and they'd only go about 3/4 of the way to the end. One good breeze and I'd of blown away. My helmet might as well been an efficiency apartment to me. I wobbled across to the field looking like a troll doll in a Buzz Lightyear suit...not to mention the salad bowl down the front of my pants.
Okay..now the fun began.
The attention of a 3rd grader back then wasn't all that much longer than the attention span of a senior is now. The game went on and on an on,to me anyway,and I was standing on the sidelines,my arms dangling at my side,and since my helmet didn't even come close to my head at any point,I could look all around and my helmet would never move.
It was the 4th quarter,and,according to what I remember being said,we were "Kicking the other teams Butt...6-0." I don't remember anything about what had happened,nor how we had aquired those 6 points. I was intrigued by this big bug crawling close to my shoes,and had been staring at it for quite some time when I started hearing this echo in my head..and it wouldn't stop.
Turns out it was the coach popping me on top of my helmet trying to get my attention.
I turned around to face him..staring him right in the kneecaps and had to lean WAYYYYY back so's I could catch a glimpse of his face.
He was telling me to go in.
The game. Go play.
Oh. And do what?
Danny will show you.
So,I trotted out on the field and went to the little meeting they have between every play.
I went to the wrong meeting and got chastised by the referee.
I got to the right group..we made our plans and everyone clapped at the same time and went "BREAK".
I stood there,awaiting further instruction.
As the coach had promised,Danny came and led me to my position,and instructed me to tackle the guy with the ball.
Okay..I can do that.
Well...after a "HUT HUT HUT" or so,mass confusion took over. I was running across the field after the person I thought had the ball,and when I noticed he didn't have it,I turned around and "WHAP"!!!!!!! The kid with the football had thrown it and it hit,and stuck,in the face guard in my huge helmet.
So,If you can imagine a person with a cat on his face,trying to get it off desperately with both hand,that's what I had to have looked like trying to get that football dislodged from my helmet.
It finally broke loose,I had the football in my hands,and looked towards the sidelines. I think everyone on the east side of the field all pointed towards the north and said in unison "Go that way"!!!
So..I took off that way. Why..I didn't know at the time,but I was good a following instructions.
I was on the west side of the field,headed north as fast as I could. I couldn't see anyone,but I could hear what I construed as thunder coming up from behind me.
I immediately started fasting and praying...and running harder.
Well, I can only assume that our opponents school didn't teach physics yet,because out of the corner of my eye I saw,in slow motion(just like the underwater shots of a whale doing a slow roll in front of the cameraman) a kid, at least twice my size,fly in front of me.
Well,he didn't factor in wind speed,earth rotation,or the angle to the dangle right,and he totally missed me...almost.
His toe caught the front of my helmet and turned it sideways.
I was running north,my helmet was facing west,and I was suddenly looking out the little ear hole in my helmet.
A couple of old ladies on the near sideline thought he'd tore my head off and fainted right there on the spot.
Well, all the sudden I was surrounded by approximately ten of my team mates,being protected and encouraged to hold the course. They were knocking the bad guys on their butts and I was running as hard as I could.
I think I was about 10 yards out from the goal when I went into a low speed wobble. You know..you've seen the pro's running and all the sudden their head gets ahead of the rest of their body,and their helmet is the only thing keeping them from kicking their own teeth out. They're doing everything they can to keep from falling over.
Kinda like slow motion karma sutra is the only way I can describe it.
So..Here I am,my toes alternately showing up in the ear hole vision that I have
I don't know who it was that grabbed me,but someone got a-hold of the nape of my neck and slung me the last 5 yards over the goal line. I didn't touch the ground that last 2 seconds.
I hit the ground face first about 2 yards inside the goal line. I hear a whistle..someone yells "TOUCHDOWN" and through all the confusion,being slung,and hitting the ground, I was face down on the ground,my helmet was facing straight up,and I was dog-piled by the rest of my team.
The first play of my first game of football..I'll never forget it,nor will I ever live it dow
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Astro Boy was my first experience with Japanese animation. I loved this show as a kid. The show had a very unusual look and sound to it. There was no syncing the American voices to the animation. It didn't hurt the show in the least. As a kid,I anticipated each episode.
There's a great article on the history of Astro Boy at http://scifiblock.com/feature-articles/beginners-guide-to-astro-boy.htm
Astro Boy was the first television show to have aired outside of Japan. The show possesses the same familiar aesthetics of what is now recognized as anime. I loved the old television show and wondered what ever happened to the little super robot boy. I think I'll take my girls to see the new movie. I don't know if it will be any good or not . I hope it will.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I ran across an interesting tidbit. Get this, Lee Van Cleef could not take on 'Adios Sabata' because he had already signed on to play a role that Yul Brynner made famous 'Magnificent Seven'. That's right, Lee Van Cleef was playing Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven Ride (1972) while Yul Brynner was playing Cleef's character Sabata.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Last Friday night I was at WalMart with Katie digging through the 5.00 DVD bin. I ran across a double feature of 'Tales From The Crypt' (1972) and 'The Vault of Horror '(1973). Both movies were made by the same production company and had the same premise. I won't spoil it for you.
Though the special f/x are weak and the movie is very dated - these movies still hold up. So the fangs don't look real - so the blood looks orange - the telling is still quite creepy. Great viewing for Halloween viewing.
As I mentioned in an earlier post - 'Tales From The Crypt' was a movie I first saw at the Rebel Drive-in with Jamey Moore and my brother Brooky. I was the pale fourteen year old kid in the back biting his fingernails.
It's great seeing this movie after all these years and remembering all the stories so clearly. Five bucks folks!
Monday, October 5, 2009
My six year old was playing with some plastic Slinkys tonight. She showed me how they could walk down the stairs. Slinkys were all the rage when I was a kid. I had my share of them, but for some reason never lasted around me. I'd get them tangled in knots real easy and they are not easy to untangle. If perchance I did get it untangled, they never worked the same. Kelsey thinks that her daddy can fix anything. Not Slinkys. Last time her Slinky got tangled, I gave it to mommy to untangle. I do do Slinkys.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Right now I wish that I had an abacus so she could do her calculating. Back when I was a kid, we called them calculators. It wasn't until I was in junior high until I saw someone with a Texas Instrument pocket calculator. Actually the pocket calculators of the early seventies were the size of a Yugo. They were not only too big for pockets, but had a hefty price tag as well. Nevertheless, we were very grateful for the arrival of the pocket calculator, no matter the size, because it could answer our math problems for us. I was amazed at the time that the teacher would allow students to use them. It was like telling us that it was okay to cheat.
So the first time I ever heard the term calculator was in first grade. There in the right corner of the class room was a large oak frame with beads on it. It was a very intimidating piece of equipment that towered above us all. I remember the teacher gathering us around the abacus and showing us how to add and subtract with it. I also remember her teaching us how to discern between ones, tens, hundreds and thousands with it.
Standing next to my little math newcomer this morning - I am wishing I had an abacus.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
All who know me know that I love the drive-in. It takes me back to a time when dad would load the station wagon with kids and go see a family movie like Around The World In Eighty Days, Busy Bodies, and Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines. It's also where we saw most of the new Disney releases of that day such as The Absent Minded Professor, Son of Flubber and The Monkey's Uncle. I don't recall my dad going to but one in door movie. Maybe it's because he was on crutches and that the drive-in offered easier access.
On into the late sixties and early seventies, I found myself tagging along with my older brother and his friends to see horror movies and western movies at the drive-ins.
The Rainbow Drive-In was gone by the eighties and The Rebel Drive-In still showed some B movies. I'd often venture to the movies during that time by myself. It was strange to be at a theater with few cars in the lot. I remember it was especially eerie when I saw American Werewolf of London there. The Rebel was kind of a creepy but cool place to watch a horror movie alone.
Gina can tell you, I never lost my enjoyment of the drive-in. I am glad that she and the girls enjoy it as well. Not long after we were married we found a drive-in just down the road from Bowling Green, in Franklin, KY. We would often drive down the road on a Friday night to catch a double feature. It was during that time that we noticed most of the patrons sitting outside of their cars - a drive-in tailgate experience. We went and bought some lawn chairs and a jam box and joined the fun.
Drive-ins are not quite a thing of the past, but for a baby-boomer like me, the experience bring back a lot of memories of a simpler time. I am glad that there are still drive-ins in these parts. My little girls are avid fans like me and I am glad that drive-ins are around so they too can enjoy the experience.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I really enjoyed going by Dixie Cream, picking up some doughnuts between the years of 90 and 96. I believe the Bowling Green location is still up there. It was a whole in a wall joint then. I would compare Dixie Cream to Krispy Kreme. I really ought not to eat doughnuts. I am a type II diabetic - but the temptation is too great if I am ever around a hot and fresh plain glazed doughnut. It's a good thing that the nearest Krispy Kreme is in Birmingham, AL which is 1 hour away. The nearest Dixie Cream is five hours away. I would be on dialysis or dead by now if they were closer
By the way, next time you are at a KrispyKreme, do not buy the fancy icing coated or filled doughnuts. Take my word for it. Order a box of freshly made plain glazed doughnuts. That stuff is to die for. I mean that quite literally.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Night Gallery (1967-1960) followed five years after Rod Serling's more memorable Twilight Zone. Night Gallery never was a good as Twilight Zone - but had it's moments. Gallery had a more supernatural, a more macabre feel to it. Where Twilight Zone made you think - Night Gallery just tried to creep you out.
Serling wrote over a third of the episodes as well as hosted all of them. He had nothing to do with the cast selection or the over all production.
It was Billy Daugette that introduced me to Night Gallery. I spent the night over at his house the night the above episode 'The Dead Man' first aired (December 16, 1970). It is my favorite episode - scared the crap out of me back in the day.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It seemed like everybody that was anybody in those days appeared on Laugh-in. President Richard Nixon said "Sock It To Me", John Wayne dressed as a big chicken. People doing and saying things that you'd never expect them to be doing or saying. You name them, everyone appeared on this show - if not for at least 2 seconds.
Most of the of the shows weren't that funny. Laugh-in was nothing but rapid fire silliness. I don't remember dad or mom ever showing disapproval of us kids watching it. The show had a little much sexual innuendo to be considered a family show. Kids watched it nevertheless. Maybe mom and dad thought the shenanigans were too silly to monitor.
I remember as a kid collecting bubble gum cards (by Topps) from the 7/11 convenience store that used to be next to my elementary school (R.A. Mitchell). Each deck came with one card made to look like the Joke Wall -with little doors that would open with members of the cast in the windows. Laugh-in is said to have inspired both Monty Python's Flying Circus as well as Sesame Street. I have to believe thought that Laugh-In took a little from The Smother's Brother's Comedy Hour.
The show faded a few years before Saturday Night Live came onto the scene. SNL creator Lorne Michaels was once a writer for Laugh-In. Laugh-In like SNL (and Smother's Brother's Comedy Hour) are also related in the fact that they are both politically charged. Both Laugh-In and SNL introduced a plethora of new talent and memorable characters.
I haven't seen the show in ages. I've watched some clips on YouTube, and I don't think I could tolerate watching an entire show. It had it's appeal though - when I was younger.
Dan: Say goodnight Dick.
Dick: Goodnight Dick.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Tonight I am watching Tales of Terror (1963) on Hulu.
Back in the early to mid seventies, Jamey Moore and my brother Brooky would let me tag along with them to the drive-in. We'd usually go see spaghetti westerns or American International or Hammer films. Rainbow Drive-In was still open during those days, but we usually frequented Rebel Drive-In in Attalla.
It was during one of these nights that I watched Tales of Terror (based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe) for the first time. This movie is the handy work of B-Movie master Roger Corman. Back then it was common for movies to be brought back time and time again to the big screen. When ever a new horror flick would be released, they'd usually resurrect an older cult classic.
To me, horror movies just don't seem the same when watched in a theater. I always enjoyed watching them at drive-ins.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
In the mean time, dad painted the old frame silver and put black racing stripes along the top bar. Mud tires and a new chain replaced the old one. For a previously used bike, It started looking pretty good. It seems to me that Dad would have made off cheaper if he had purchased a new bike. Once finished, my bike didn't look new, but looked like it could take on all the roads and mountain trails a boy could throw at it.
With only one speed, I slowly and surely worked up my strength and endurance to take on almost every hill in my neighborhood. There were lots of challenging hills in my old neighborhood.
One adventure that the Finlayson kids would enjoy together on a Saturday afternoon was riding down to Pearly and Ben's. It was a nice trek for kids on a bike, Pearly & Ben's little grocery store was located at the corner of Agricola Drive and Fairview Road. We'd pedal up Scenic Hwy and turn sharp right onto Agricola where Tuckahoe Golf Course used to be located. It was downhill from there on a long straight dirt road.
Pearly and Ben must have been on first name basis with every kid on Noccalula Mountain. We'd buy our Orange Nehi's, Merita Micky Cakes, Banana Flips, candy bars with what change our pockets had in them. Pocket change seemed to be like gold in those days - buy so much more than what it does today.
Cartee's was on down Fairview Road. Virgil and Velma Cartee were sweet folks and had cooler kids stuff like model planes, firecrackers and comic books. We'd usually have to go by car to Cartee's due to the traffic along Fairview. I'd attempt it on bike on many occasions, but the road then was narrow and kid spent most of his time walking his bike and ever looking back. Cartee's, Pearly's and Ben's are long gone now.
Most of my bike riding as a kid was along side Dan Parrish until he moved away. After Dan, I befriended Mark Condra. Mark lived down on Red Oak Road. I had my little mutt 'Emma', and Mark had his German Shepard 'Tony'. We pedaled our bikes all over the mountain. We put our bikes to the test on all the mountain trails. Our faithful dogs tagged along everywhere we went.
Mark eventually got a motorcycle and that was something I wasn't allowed to have. I guess you could say I got left in the dust. I remember approaching my dad about buying me a trail bike. I would have gladly settled for one of those second hand bikes. Dad, being a lawyer, gave me a lecture about all the paraplegics and deaths caused by those death-'cycles. I knew even then that his concerns were legitimate. I didn't pursue the issue beyond that point, but never stopped me from wanting one.
I stuck to riding my bike until I grew too big for it. The mountain neighborhood became smaller than when I was a kid. I hitched rides with older sibs if I needed to go anywhere. Driving a car wasn't really that far in the future. The next thing I knew, I was driving my younger sibs here and there. The bike sat beneath the eave of the house for years until it again resemble the original rusty frame dad had bought for me as a birthday present a decade earlier.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Don't you wish all those near-do-wells and condescending bozos in Washington could get the Dragnet treatment from Joe Friday? I guess they'll get in one way or the other - from townhall meetings - to eventually getting voted out on their arses. It's great to see 'the malcontent mob' in action. Great witnessing all those parents pulling their kids out of class just to keep their children from Obama's influence. For the most part, the media isn't helping, and Republicans in Washington aren't speaking out. Nevertheless, the American people are. It's the worst of times - it's the best of times. Enjoy the video clip.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I went to go see Stanley Kubricks "2001 A Space Odyssey" at the Gadsden Cinema back in 1969 with my pal Billy Daugette. This movie came out a decade before Star Wars. 2001, after all these years, is still quite a sophisticated and visually stunning movie. At the age of 10, I didn't grasp anything that was going on up on the screen. It didn't matter, I was amazed and taken by the mystery and imagination of it all. Forty years later, and the sounds and effects still affect the viewer.
I remember getting the soundtrack to the movie and listening to 'The Blue Danube' over and over again. I knew this song so well that I used to could hum it note for note. The LP stayed in my collection for years. I still love this song. It's a very moving piece.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I picked up a DVD set of One Step Beyond (1959-1961) from the $5.00 bin at WalMart a few months ago. It's a television series that preceded the more famous Twilight Zone.
There are a lot of similarities between the two shows. One Step Beyond supposedly based it's stories on true paranormal events. I get the feeling that most were based on urban legends. They are well written and packaged much like the Twilight Zone - or should I say Twilight Zone was packaged much like One Step Beyond. There is a difference twixt the two - Rod Serling created his show to make social commentary using fiction as his medium. Serling shows are more memorable with good reason.
When I bought the One Step Beyond collection, I was familiar only with it in name only. It was not a show that I remember seeing in reruns. I was only an infant when it originally aired. I guess there are about 40 episodes in this DVD set. They are low resolution, but I been enjoying them nevertheless.
Gina and I have been watching a few together when we can. We've seen all the Twilight Zones and One Step Beyond is new to us.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Sometime mom would prep fried oysters for dad. At first dad had the oysters all to himself. Then after time, some of the kids started to acquiring more of a taste for oysters over fish sticks. There came a time when dad didn't have all those oysters to himself. He didn't need them - there were after all already six little mouths to feed.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I don't know what it is about those clunky things. You'd be listening to the music and there would be a pause right square kadab in the middle of the song and 'CLUNKITY'. The track would change and the listener had a few moments to ponder the meaning of the lyrics he'd just heard before the rest of the song eventually came along.
Even so - I liked 8 track tape format for all it's flaws. I remember my brother Brooky had an 8-track player installed in his MGB with plug in for head phones. I remember a certain trip to Florida we made together with the top down, shirts off, and head phones on. Driving down narrow roads and through small towns listening to The Who, Linda Ronstadt, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd as the road unwound before us.
I had a portable 8-track player that my Uncle Pat gave me that I used to listen to through head phones. I'd sit beneath the shade of the eaves of my old home listening to the music of Cat Stevens, Harry Nilsson, and Randy Newman It was so compact and portable for that day that it was like carrying around a bagel toaster
There came a day when 8-tracks were no more. Even little cassettes are a rarity. Today people have wee-sleek little MP3 players that fit into a pocket that store hours upon hours of music. With all this new cleaner sounding streamlined tiny technology - why do you suppose we baby-boomers remember the 8-track with so much fondness?
Monday, August 10, 2009
By the time the nineties rolled around, John Hughes had pretty much left the director's chair. His most recent work was in DRILL BIT TAYLOR in which he wrote the story. A movie that I have yet to see. I have to be kind of picky with the movies I go to the cinema to watch these days. It's kind of expensive and I have to be picky. Back in the day, I would go watch any movie that John Hughes produced. I'm sure each of you have a favorite Hughes film.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I am sure my senses were being tricked after all those years, rolling down my window every day I drove by that place to breath deep that heavenly aroma of thousands of loaves of bread being baked. I can not describe that incredible warm aroma that would fill ones nostrils and soul. The intersection at 12th and Meighan has always been a busy one. No one likes being stopped at a stop light, but this particular light, allowed the traveler to enjoy a few minutes of bliss. Here one couldn't help but breath deep and sigh.
The old white building was demolished years ago and there in it's place is a car lot. Unfortunately my mind no longer plays it's tricks on me. The ghost aroma from the old factory no longer haunts my olfactory.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Television also offered military comedies such as Hogan's Heroes, McHale's Navy, Gomer Pyle USMC, Sgt. Bilko (aka: The Phil Silver's Show). I am sure I'm leaving one or two out.
I loved McHale's Navy as a kid because I always had a love for PT Boats. I also enjoyed the play between Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway.
Hogan's Heroes was a show that dad and I would watch together. Hogan's Heroes had an excellent cast and was pretty formulaic. There is a movie Stalag 17, that Hogan's Heroes was based. Stalag 17 though wasn't a comedy, but had it's humorous moments. The writers of the book Stalag 17 actually sued and won a settlement against the network CBS for infringement.
An interesting note, Werner Klemperer who played Colonel Klink was a wartime refugee. His family was Jewish and had to escaped Nazi Germany in 1935. When offered the role in Hogan's Heroes, Klempere agreed to play the part so long as his character portrayed someone that was an absolute fool that could never succeed at anything. The part was his.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Garrison's Gorrilas (1967-68) replaced Combat! - but was MIA after the first season. I just learned that the pilot episode of this show was actually used as a Combat! episode. ABC took the scenario of the movie The Dirty Dozen and released prisoners into combat. This show had more of the feel of Mission Impossible instead.
Garrison's Gorrilas had the same gunfire and background music as Combat!. So it's a little strange watching different characters act in the Combat! environment. You can tell that the producers were getting kind of lax with the WWII era wardrobe, hair styles, and makeup. The women were not dressed to adorned to fit the era. Garrison's Gorillas gives the impression that WWII was fought during the 1960's. I half expected The Monkees to get up and start playing I'm A Believer during the meeting in this sequence. The show only ran a season and was replaced by The Mod Squad.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The opening credits of this show is the reason I love old Willys jeeps. The Rat Patrol (1966-68) was a fun great ride. Seeing those jeeps fly over dunes with guns blazing each week was always something to look forward to. The English audiences took some offense to this show seeing how the Americans fought in Africa for six months, while the British had already been sweating it out over there for two years. There were four Rats on those Jeeps, three Americans and one Brit. The name Rat Patrol refers to the nicknames given to some of the British Commonwealth forces in the North African campaign - Rats of Tobruk / Desert Rats. The show was pulled from television in England because of the casts American dominance. This didn't seem to bother us kids here in good ol' U.S. of A. We all enjoyed sitting around watching this show smoking our Camels.
Friday, July 24, 2009
12 O'clock High (1964-67) was yet another one of those WWII wartime drama that dominated the airwaves during the sixties. The show was based on the movie of the same name. Though the character names were the same, the television series had a completely different feel to it. I can't really compare the two.
The first season remains my favorite, because of Robert Lansing. Lansing's role as Brigadier General Frank Savage, commander of the 918th Bomb Group. Lansing's character had a rough edge, and commandeering presence. To the surprise of little boys everywhere, General Savage was killed off the first few seconds of the first show of the second season. You didn't even see him get it. There was just a body slumped over the controls during a bomb run. It wasn't by Nazi flack or Nazi bullet that did him in - but because studio executives wanted a younger looking lead for the show. Paul Burke replaced Robert Lansing, but get this, Lansing was two years younger than Burke. Burke was prettier than Lansing. I read where studio execs wanted to attract more females to the war watching so they hired on Paul Burke. I also read where Quinn Martin said that Lansing was difficult to work with and that's what got him killed. I missed Lansing nevertheless.
Some of the shows from the second season were pretty good - but that first season, that Savage season is memorable. The series soon went to living color and thus the stock war footage (which was relied upon heavily) had to be colorized. It looked kind of cheesy. I guess there was only so much WWII B-17 footage available at the time, because you saw the same footage from episode to episode. One got very familiar with each stock clip.
I've got a lot of these shows of VHS. One day I'd like all three seasons on DVD. Even though many of these shows are formulaic, they are still very enjoyable to watch.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I've got the complete five seasons of Combat! (1962-1967) on DVD. Seeing how I watched these shows as a little kid - I didn't know if they were going to be as good as I remembered. I wasn't disappointed. This series is one of my all time favorite television shows. What kid growing up in the early sixties didn't pretend he was Sgt. Chip Saunders on recon in his neighborhood?
Of course it wasn't but a few years later that those baby-boomer kids were doing the real thing in Vietnam.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The Gallant Men (1962-63) was another television series about WWII. The show failed largely because it couldn't compete with another like show COMBAT!. I really don't remember much about it, seeing how I was so young at the time and that The Gallant Men only survived a season on air. It is nice to find a sampling of these shows on YouTube. The theme song, intro, and outro are the only things about this show that I do recall. Both Combat! and The Gallant Men were products of ABC. The Gallant Men aired on Friday nights and Combat! on Tuesday nights. From what I've read online - The Gallant Men turned out to be a little too mellow dramatic - what I'd call a soap opera with machine guns. Combat! won out - but I'd still like to see what these shows were like myself. Even if it is like a soap opera, I'd like to see them. I'd probably take an interest in soap operas if someone lobbed a grenade in the plot every now and then
Monday, July 20, 2009
Who knew that back in 1967 that Jacks Hamburgers had a space program. At least a franchise in Birmingham, Alabama did. That's right, here's visual 8mm poof of a team of young astronauts climbing out of a ship in front of the press. Cuzin' Cliff himself was there to cover the news. I never knew what happened to those brave young boys that Jacks that helped to slip the surly bonds of earth. Where ever star they did reach - I am sure they were stocked with plenty of fifteen cent hamburgers and french fries.
This video is silent, so don't bother trying to turn up the volume. I don't think Jacks had audio back then - maybe that's why we never heard from the crew after takeoff. Jack's probably decided to let the big boys at NASA compete in the space race and Jacks - well - stick to flipping burgers.
Friday, July 17, 2009
yesterday wasn't as innocent as we think back on it.
it was though more innocent than it is today
hollywood has always known how to produce sweet deceptions
like reality tv today
isn't and wasn't real
this was not the way it was
this was tv land
the streets where beaver, bud and opie played
candy coated perfectionary
served up every night and right on time
a time when a father always knew best
my father wasn't perfect
didn't always know best
but did the best that he could
i want to be like that
i want to be the best for my family
i want to love like that tv father loved his tv children
like my father loved me
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Everyone smoked back in the day - teachers, barbers, babysitters, policemen, preachers, housewives, firemen, doctors, lawyers, athletes, and movie stars. Everyone smoked. Even the President enjoyed a good fag. Butts were everywhere. Our world was one large smoking section. Everywhere was our ashtray. There was no ado about second hand smoke. No one knew that it could really kill until that Yul Brynner commercial. "Now that I'm gone, I tell you, don't smoke, whatever you do, just don't smoke." Then our favorite cigarette smoking star John Wayne made his farewell address. The smoke seemed to clear for a while. The airwaves cleared of dancing cartoons hawking smokes. No more manly men riding the range smoking manly cigarettes like real men should. Smoking was glamorous - smoking was kool.
This post is brought to you by the American Tobacco Company. The Surgeon General says that cigarettes cause cancer - but we would like to remind you of the wonderfully refreshing clean, clear, crisp taste a cigarette offers.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Jack Benny was a household name when I was a kid. Jack went from vaudeville to radio to television. He even made some movies in between. I remember him for his television show that aired in the 50's and 60's.
Jack actually started out as a violinist - and was quite good. The Marx Brothers at one time wanted to use Jack to play violin for their act. Minnie Marx really adored Jack and wanted to take him on the road with her sons. Unfortunately Benny's parents didn't want their 17 year old son traveling in a vaudeville act. It was during that time that Zeppo Marx befriended Jack. They became life long friends.
Jack really wanted a career as musician - but fate wouldn't have it that way. While entertaining during WWII, he was booed by the troops. To keep from surrendering the stage - he put aside his violin and ad-libed a comedy routine. He found his calling - Jack was a natural. He once said that he never really pursued his career - he was fortunate that every fortune just happened to him.
After a long successful career - he told Johnny Carson that "if God came to me and said, 'Jack, starting tomorrow I will make you one of the world's great violinists, but no more will you ever be able to tell a joke', I really believe that I would accept that."
Jack had incredible comic timing and still to this day fun to watch. I love the whole cast of the old television show. I've got a collection of his shows on DVD - and I've been enjoying them this past week. This isn't the funniest episode of his show, but it's great to see Bing Crosby and George Burns in this episode.
Some of these episodes are can be viewed on YouTube. If you happened to watch a few more - look for Mel Blanc. You'll remember Mel as the voice of all those classic Warner Brother cartoon characters. Mel was a regular on the Jack Benny Show. Good stuff!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Make my life a prayer to You,
I want to do what you want me to,
No empty words and no white lies,
No token prayers, no compromise,
I want to shine the light you gave,
Through Your Son, you sent to save us,
From ourselves and our despair,
It comforts me to know you're really there.
Oh, I want to thank you now, for being patient with me,
Oh, it's so hard to see, when my eyes are on me,
I guess I'll have to trust and just believe what you say,
Oh, you're coming again, coming to take me away,
I want to die, and let you give,
Your life to me, so I might live,
And share the hope you gave to me,
The love that set me free,
I want to tell the world out there,
You're not some fable or fairy tail,
That I made up inside my head,
You're God, The Son, you've risen from the dead.
Oh, I want to thank you now,
For being patient with me,
Oh, it's so hard to see,
When my eyes are on me,
I guess I'll have to trust,
and just believe what you say,
Oh, you're coming again,
Coming to take me away.
I want to die, and let you give,
Your life to me, so I might give,
And share the hope you gave to me,
I want to share the love that set me free.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
HE WILL LISTEN TO YOU - Mark Heard
When the weight of this world crashes down on you
God will listen to you
When the sky turns black and your thoughts turn blue
He will listen to you
Always listen to you
He understands how His children feel
He will listen to you
He will listen to you
Like a drowning man in the pouring rain
God will listen to you
Always listen to you
He understands how His children feel
He will listen to you
He will listen to you
When your heart beats strong with a grateful song
God will listen to you
Always listen to you
He understands how His children feel
He will listen to you
from "Eye of the Storm"
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
February 25, 2008
The past few posts have been on Larry Norman. I've had Larry on my mind this week for some strange reason. I haven't had time to dig up his CD's and listen to them. A movie was released a few months ago about the man - Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman. I doubt if it will ever play in my neck of the woods, but maybe it'll end up online one of these days. Fallen Angel is produced by the same people that recently made the one about Lonnie Frisbee. Frisbee's story has been compared to that of Samson - and Norman to King David. Both movies tell the stories of two very flawed leaders of the Jesus Movement. I have such mixed feelings about these talented men who allowed themselves to be bested by their personal demons. Norman broke Stonehill's heart with his indiscretions - causing a divide between their friendships.
Stonehill did the soundtrack for the movie, and was also interviewed in it. The trailer can be seen on youtube. I don't know what good such a movie does. Does the producer of this film revel in these Christian's failures? Maybe we need to see these lives honestly, not just what we want to see or remember.
I respect Norman's talent and his great contribution to the Jesus Movement. What do you do with evangelists that fall from grace amid the whole world watching? It's all so bittersweet. Frisbee died of AIDS and Norman's heart eventually gave way. The enemy so wants to take out those servants with such great influence. It's heartbreaking. We can not truly serve God and think we can cohabitate with our sins. We truly need to always be pursuing holiness unto the Lord. Yes, there is grace and forgiveness - but our sin - will always taint our offering. God be on all saints living. Keep us true to your calling. Keep us close and help us keep close to you. I don't want to miss your mark with my meager offering.