Saturday, April 29, 2006
Okay, I'm a day late with this, but only because the thought of Ann-Margret turning 65 depressed me so much I didn't post it. I like to think that she's still exactly the way she was when she filmed Kitten with a Whip or Viva Las Vegas. And in fact to me she still is. Take that, Father Time.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Friday Apr 28 17:00 AEST
A crocodile agitated by a chainsaw's noise has chased the man operating it and snatched the machinery from him.
Freddy Buckland was at a Northern Territory roadhouse on Friday cutting a dead tree that had fallen against a saltwater crocodile pen during Cyclone Monica when the 4.4-metre reptile struck.
'As he was trimming up the tree on the outside the croc jumped out of the water and sped along the tree about 18, 20 feet and actually grabbed the chainsaw out of his hands,' said Peter Shappert, the owner of the Corroboree Park Tavern, 80km east of Darwin."
Harper Lee is, of course, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favorite books. Here are a few amazing facts about it from The Writer's Almanac: Today, To Kill a Mockingbird sells about a million copies every year, and it's sold over thirty million copies since its publication. In 1963, just three years after its publication, it was taught in eight percent of U.S. public middle schools and high schools, and today that figure is closer to eighty percent. Only Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Huckleberry Finn are read by more high school students.
Mystery*File seems to have suffered a little downtime (I was able to get to the site most of the time, myself), but things are going well again, so check it out. The latest article to be added is an overview of Robert Crais' Elvis Cole novels.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Supposedly Springsteen heard most if not all these songs for the first time on albums by Pete Seeger. I heard at least four of them on Kingston Trio albums back in the day, and one on albums by both Burl Ives and the Brothers 4. Springsteen doesn't do them like any of those guys did. He does them like Springsteen. I find it hard to single out one song I like more than the others. There's the Dust Bowl humor of "My Oklahoma Home," the grade-school nostalgia kick from "Erie Canal," the church group nostalgia from "Jacob's Ladder," the kick-out-the jams fun of "Old Dan Tucker," "Oh, Mary, Don't you Weep," "Old Dan Tucker," "Pay Me My Money Down," "John Henry," and "Jesse James." There's the quiet power of "Mrs. McGrath," "Shenandoah," "Eyes on the Prize," and the title cut. The whole album is loosey-goosey, and it sounds like everybody involved is having a heck of a good time, which is just the way a folk album should sound. Sure, some of the songs are solemn, and I'm certain there are contemporary political references to be inferred, but I don't see how anybody could listen without smiling most of the time. In fact, I think I'll listen to it again right now.
Show Boat attracts nearly 1,000 to its opening night
By TODD HVEEM
The Show Boat Drive-In Theater has put on quite a show during its first few weeks.
Make that two shows.
The Show Boat Drive-In, 22422 FM 2920 between Bauer and Roberts Cemetery roads, drew just under 1,000 spectators to its 'grand opening' on March 31.
The drive-in featured the movies Ice Age 2 and Failure to Launch. It will continue to show double features Wednesdays through Sundays each week.
'Everything has gone great so far,' said Show Boat co-owner Chris Rumfolo. 'We have received a lot of positive feedback. Everyone is real excited about it.
'The ones who are coming with their kids are so thrilled the drive-in is coming back. The younger ones who have never been to a drive-in before are just fascinated.'
Those new to the drive-in have provided some good-natured humor.
'They don't know how to park,' Rumfolo said. 'They also don't know they can stay for the second movie. A lot of them think they have to go get back in line again."
This one doesn't have the speakers on poles, though. You have to listen through the car radio.
'There's Roy,' Reedy said, pointing to Western star Roy Rogers, 'and there's me. I never stopped smiling with him.'
For 60-year-old Reedy, what started as Saturday afternoons at the movies with his brothers became a consuming passion for the classic Hollywood West, ultimately manifested in a massive collection of memorabilia and a closeness to genre stars including Rogers, Rex Allen and Clayton Moore.
It's strange, he said, being star-struck by men you call friends.
'I was always cowboy crazy,' Reedy said. 'I get misty-eyed when I think about it.'
Those friends and other stars of the genre may now be gone, but their memories — and belongings — remain. On Saturday, Reedy will open up his personal collection for an estate auction, giving the community a chance at everything from the Lone Ranger costume worn by Moore in a 1956 movie to more than 40 pieces by Edward H. Bohlin, 'the saddlemaker and silversmith for the Hollywood stars.'"
Gregory DePiano said his civil rights were violated because the county kept two photos in his personal file of him wearing a red bra, black blouse, red lipstick and earrings. He was sitting on a bed with handcuffs and stuffed animals nearby. "
I liked this book for a couple of reasons. Doolittle can be funny without going over the top, and he fills the story with interesting characters. I like the writing style, straighforward and lean. The book went on for a little too long for my taste, and the tying up of the plot didn't really satisfy me, but I plan to read another of Doolittle's books Real Soon Now.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - -- "A diver hired by the city to retrieve golf balls from a lake was attacked by a 9-foot alligator that bit the man's arm, authorities said.
Stephen Martinez, 43, of Coral Springs, was treated at a hospital for injuries similar to a dog bite, said Palm Beach County sheriff's Lt. Rolando Silva.
'It's serious, but certainly not life-threatening,' he said.
Martinez was under murky water at The Links golf course when a group of golfers heard him yell for help, said course manager Dan Hager.
The alligator apparently bit Martinez's air tank and tried to pull him under the water. Martinez grabbed a utility knife strapped to his dive suit and tried to stab the animal. That's when it bit his arm, Hager said."
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
There's always so much going on at Mystery*File that it should be on your "check every day" list.
If Howard Garis was still around, he'd be 133 years old. Who, the youngsters are asking, is Howard Garis? Just a guy who had a huge influence on my life, though I never met him. Garis was a writer. He created a character I loved as a kid, Uncle Wiggily, the kindly old rabbit gentleman. I even had an Uncle Wiggily board game. Other characters in the books were Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the Alligator, and Baby Bunny. But Garis wrote a ton of other things. He was the first "Victor Appleton" and wrote the first thirty-five Tom Swift books. He wrote most of the Motor Boys series, not to mention a lot of the Bobbsey Twins books (his wife wrote more of them than he did). And that's not nearly all. Baseball Joe and Dick Hamilton were also Garis characters. He wrote the Great Marvel series as Roy Rockwood (and maybe some of the Bomba books under that name, too). Most of these books have been long forgotten except by old codgers like me who read them in their misspent youth. They seemed wonderful to me then, bu it's probably better that I don't re-read them.
Monday, April 24, 2006
TorontoSun.com - Other Entertainment News - This week in entertainment history, April 23-29: "1956 Elvis Presley reached No. 1 on the charts for the first time, with Heartbreak Hotel. It was Presley's first hit for RCA Victor after the company purchased his contract from Sam Phillips of Sun Records for $35,000."
. . . the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. Or maybe I'm just a crotchety old fart. You can vote here for the new landmarks and so on. They don't have a "Don't Change a Thing" category.
Beginning today, fans can vote (at www.monopoly.com through May 12) for landmarks from 22 cities — including New York's Times Square, Chicago's Wrigley Field and Honolulu's Waikiki Beach — to be on the new board. Votes also will determine placement; the top vote-getter gets the high-priced Boardwalk spot.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
The star attraction was, of course, a performance by Roy Orbison, or at least a reasonable facsimile of same. He was great, and he's pictured at the left with a couple of my high school classmates, Claudia Moss New and Mary Clark Mortimer. A great time was had by all.