Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Steve Austin....a man barely alive

From 1974 to 78, Lee Majors played Colonel Steve Austin, a former astronaut and test pilot that had a bad fall.  All of the government's doctors and all the government's men tried to put him back together again.  Steve Austin emerged from the surgery with two bionic legs, a bionic arm and a bionic eye.  Because it was a government project, the bill for the surgery ended up costing six million dollars.  Now this is a lot of money even by today's standards - and that was back in 1974!  I am sure that if Steve had suffered the fall today, Obama would have denied any kind of surgery or special prosthesis, let alone bionics, but prescribe aspirin.  I guess it's a good thing Col. Austin had the kind of health care he had back then, and not Obamacare.  But I digress...

The Six Million Dollar Man was a made for TV movie that received such attention that it was made into a television series.  I must admit, as a kid, I watched the show regularly.  I did lose interest about the time Col. Austin hunted down Sasquatch and fought him hand to hand...bionic hand to hand to whatever.

Col. Steve Austin could run real fast with those two bionic legs of his.  So fast that the television cameras had to slow it down for us so we the viewer could see what all he was doing.  I am sure that this helped with the shows budget because you could spend half the show watching Col. Steve Austin run in slow motion which only took about two minutes to film and ten minutes to watch.  The fight scenes were the same way, slow motion.  So in real time, Steve could catch up with, and beat up the bad guy in about three minutes.  We the viewer got to see it all slowed down.  And who could forget the hi-tech sounds his bionic parts made when Col. Steve Austin was in action?  If I were a bad guy, and heard those beep-beep-beeps of Austin coming - I'd put the pedal to the medal and get the heck out of there.

I do feel kind of sorry for Steve, because in the end, he truly was handicapped.  Did he every have a successful relationship?  Did he ever get married?  I know that those bionic parts of his had to wreak havoc in his personal life.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

this blog will self distruct in 5 seconds

Peter Graves died last Sunday.  I didn't hear the news until a few days ago. Not many people are aware that he is the younger brother of actor James Arness (Gunsmoke's Matt Dillon).  It took Peter a couple of decades to make it in Hollywood.  He played a Nazi spy in Billy Wilder's 'Stalag 17' as well as a hand full of B-movie sci fi's.  Our generation remembers him as Jim Phelps, in 'Mission Impossible' television series.  Later, in the eighties, Peter Graves reluctantly took on the role of the pilot aboard the disaster-flick comedy 'Airplane!'.  He was concerned that he would damage his career by taking on a role that spoofed his straight laced persona.  He eventually accepted the role along with other straight laces like Robert Stack, Leslie Nielson, and Lloyd Bridges.  The movie is a classic.

Peter Graves died March 14, 2010, just days before his 84th birthday.  He had just returned home from a birthday gathering with his family.  He had been married for 60 years and a devout Christian.  Goodbye Peter, mission accomplished.

Friday, March 19, 2010

good-bye Davy - good by Daniel

My older siblings knew Fess Parker as Disney's Davy Crockett.  I came along about the time Fess had donned his coonskin cap to play television's Daniel Boone.  There was a time when kids everywhere, boys and girls alike, wore a coonskin cap.  They knew all the lyrics to the theme song 'Davy Crockett'.

The giant man who played the giant rolls of both Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone died today at the age of 86.  I know that Fess was only an actor, but somehow he became just as legendary as the two great American's he portrayed.  Godspeed Mr. Parker - see you in the next frontier.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

cool family pic

Here's a cool photo of my mother in-law, Betty Hale, with children Becky & Terry.