28 April 2009

Dream Team

In an appearance on Imus in the morning, Senator John Kerry used the phrase "I'm on it!" for assisting with the Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry. Prior to his appearance, Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly laid out the whole campaign for Don Imus on the popular syndicated show.

Now Senator Kerry's office has contacted Kathleen Cowley. Senator Kerry is coordinating the next appropriate actions with Senator Kennedy's office. Once more is known it will appear here. Let us hope it is possible to make this happen before Memorial Day. Any and all encouragement and kind words to Senators Kerry and Kennedy would be deeply appreciated.


Comments from Kathleen Cowley

Liberator status for Patton's Boston Regiment made it on the airways today thanks to one of the nation's finest political journalists, Craig Crawford. He came on air and immediately told Imus "I've got a cause for you!" and went on to explain the unjust treatment of the 94th. He ended with an enthusiastic shout "Liberator status for Patton's Boston's Regiment!"

Imus graciously took up the cause and spoke with Sen. Kerry about it during his appearance. He went a step further and said that he would speak to Doug Brinkley. as well. Sen Kerry came on the air exclaiming Craig's phrase "Liberator status for Patton's Boston Regiment!" He told Imus that would most definitely look into it.

What a great debut. Don Imus. who among his other philanthropic efforts brought the Intrepid Soldiers Fund to national interest and raised millions of dollars. His support for a cause moves mountains.

Sen. Kerry is a long time advocate for Vets. His efficient staff contacted me shortly after the show and they are already working on the project.

Last but certainly not least, the ongoing and unwavering support of Sen. Kennedy, he and his staff's determination and resolve so that the 94th will receive Liberation status.

I thank you all from the bottom of my hearl for your efforts to put history to rights, so the efforts of the 94th Infantry Division and the victims of the Holocaust will be forever remembered.

27 April 2009

Fighting City Hall

From now until it gets done or Memorial Day (whichever comes first), I will be working on a project described below in the Yom Hashoah post. Anyone wanting to follow along can check out the posts are Liberator Campaign.

Anyone who would like to yowl at the Congress Critter please feel free to pass along the website. We are working against the clock because of the age of the men of the WWII era 94th Infantry and the calendar of Memorial Day. Any help would be deeply appreciated.

26 April 2009

Manic Monday - Warm

The instant I saw this week's word, my brain took a time travel trip and said, "Listen To The Warm" by Rod McKuen
"It doesn't matter who you love, or how you love, but that you love"
--Rod McKuen

Suddenly there I was in Northern California with a hippie brother in law and his friends camping out on the floors of our terribly middle class tract home and cooking their macrobiotic recipes in our kitchen while strange smells wafted from the smoke drifting in from the patio. They eventually finished hitch hiking their way to San Francisco where there just happens to be a street by the name of Stanyan.

Over the next few years, you couldn't go anywhere without seeing Rod McKuen's name on a book, on a record, being interviewed on TV, translating the work of Jaques Brell and having his songs sung by everyone from Glenn Yarborough to Frank Sinatra. I loved the poetry and the music and that mellow voice describing all sorts of intimacies among the shadows of blowing draperies across tumbled sheets of a well used bed. Romantics all over the world became more than a little overheated to the sound and words of Rod McKuen.

Imagine my surprise more than four decades later to find that Mr. McKuen is still writing, still performing, still traveling, and still rattling more than a few cages. What's more he has web pages and a bibliography which you can access through the link on his name above. As an alternative, you can just sit back and listen to the warm with a story about "A Cat Named Sloopy".

or "Jean" The Oscar nominated song written and performed by Rod McKuen for the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

And last, the McKuen English lyrics to a beautiful Jaques Brel song
sung by Julio Iglesias - if you go away - ne me quitte pas

23 April 2009

Earth Day Hangover

This is a beautiful series of photographs on Foreign Policy Magazine that show the environmental challenges we face.

21 April 2009

Stealing Secrets

I happened to wander by Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever and found him participating in a meme raid for Sunday Stealing. I took a look at it and decided that it would look just fine on Tuesday. If you like it, just pilfer away and let me know so I can come learn YOUR deep dark secrets.

1. My uncle once : Invented an underwater camera.

2. Never in my life : Gone Bungie Jumping

3. When I was seventeen : I graduated from High School and my mother died ... major year

4. High School was : A way to fill time out of the house.

5. I will never forget : RSK

6. I once met : The list is too long and they were just people.

7. There’s this woman I know who : Everyone falls in love with and I mean everyone. Very frustrating for the rest of her women friends.

8. Once, at a bar : I really did dance on a table.

9. By noon, I’m usually : Grocery Shopping

10. Last night : I went to bed early.

11. If only I had : Not said yes ... or as an alternative ... Not said No

12. Next time I go to gym/church : Neither is likely to happen

13. Susan Boyle : Is that moment of joy so many of us have been missing

14. What worries me most : I don’t worry. Life is too short to worry.

15. When I turn my head left, I see : My Fireplace

16. When I turn my head right, I see : My Television

17. You know I’m lying when : I stutter. World's worst liar so I gave it up.

18. What I miss most about the eighties : Political involvement rather than just opinions.

19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I’d be : Portia or Viola

20. By this time next year : Thinner (I can dream can't I?)

21. A better name for me would be : Jessie but it's too late to change nicknames

22. I have a hard time understanding : mean people

23. If I ever go back to school, I’ll : Never happen I'm too busy learning

24. You know I like you if : I stay on the phone when you call.

25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be : Whoever hired or cast me.

26. When I compare 80’s rock to 90’s rock : Didn't pay much attention to either.

27. Take my advice, never : Plan a honeymoon at a "lovely place in the desert" that doesn't have a phone. Sleeping in the car in February is cold.

28. My ideal breakfast is : Eggs Benedict & Mimosas

29. A song I love, but do not own is : Long Ago and Far Away

30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest : Dar Maghreb

31. My favorite Beatle is/was : George Harrison

32. Why won’t people : Stop hating

33. If you spend the night at my house : Plan on sleeping with a cat

34. I’d stop my wedding for : This is never going to happen.

35. The world could do without : Religion - Nothing else has ruined God more.

36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than : Eat liver

37. My favorite blonde is : I don't like blonde men

38: Paper clips are more useful than : Bobby Pins

39. If I do anything well, it’s : Find out stuff

40. And by the way : If you want to know anything else, one nosy question per comment.

19 April 2009

Manic Monday - Plant

Rock and Roll Grew Up
Moved to the Country

Robert Plant
Voted Best Rock and Roll
Lead Singer with Led Zeppelin

Robert Plant 2007
with Alison Krauss
The Making of Raising Sand
Winner of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year

Plant, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's New Year's Honors list for his services to music and the entertainment industry.

18 April 2009

My Neck of the Woods - Fort Nisqually

Fort Nisqually is literally in the middle of Tacoma. One second you are on a city street, complete with houses and fast food and a right turn later you are on the five mile drive that winds through the old growth forest of Point Defiance Park where one fork dumps you at the zoo and the other drops you into the middle of the 1800's at Fort Nisqually. (Links take you to two different pages about the fort)
While on a trading expedition down the Sound last Spring with 8 or 9 men, I applied 12 days of our time to the erecting of a store-house 15 by 20...This is all the semblance of a settlement there is at this moment: But little as it is, it possesses an advantage over all the other settlements we have made on the Coast.

--Archibald McDonald,
Founder of Fort Nisqually
May 1833
Our family visits the zoo a few times during the year and we usually do a stop at the fort or the logging trains for a short while just to see what is happening, but once a year we make it a point to go to the Brigade Encampment. There are a small number of recreationists on staff throughout the year to handle group tours and educational programs, but for the Brigade Encampment over 100 reenactors pour in from all over to assume their roles of traders, pioneers, Hudson Bay personnel, and Native Americans to give you a chance to truly see life in and around the fort more than 150 years ago.

Last year due to a great deal of construction, the encampment was limited and we didn't attend, so we are truly looking forward to August and seeing all of the new changes and rebuilding at the Fort based on the original architectural drawings and archaeological research that has been done.

David loves that he can be hired by Hudson Bay along with all the other children in the "Engagé for the Day" program where they can take part in actual camp activities learning new skills, such as firestarting with flint and steel, blacksmithing, or spinning wool! It is a great lesson before he has to return to Anime and Wii.

Next month for the first time I want to go for the Spring event of Queen Victoria's birthday. This one is a shade more for the adults though children are welcome as the ladies in their hoop skirts invite you in for the celebration and the bagpipers in full regalia gather to honor her majesty.

If you are in the Tacoma region, the whole of Point Defiance is not to be missed as a respite from the fast pace of modern life with activities for the whole family, but don't miss Fort Nisqually for a real bit of time travel.

17 April 2009

Right Place Right Time Right Man

As many of you know, my son Chris works on base at Fort Lewis in Washington. As a result his son is delivered to their after school rec center each weekday. This week Chris was locked in for long hours for all sorts of "secure" things that he doesn't talk about and I don't ask. As a result, I had pick up duty for David all this week.

In order to fill the time until the bus arrives, I usually sit in the waiting area and read the Northwest Guardian until he arrives. It is a small weekly paper issued every Friday that is totally devoted to Fort Lewis, the families that live there and the men and women who serve there and all around the world. I'm used to reading about everything from heroic battle action to athletic competion to the latest family picnics or outings.

Yesterday's reading was a little bit different: On March 17, Pfc. Seth Manderscheid went home and explained to his wife Whitney why he was late and then thought nothing more about the events of an otherwise normal day. All he had done was what he had been trained to do and did it when necessary. At least he thought nothing more about it until he was notified that others had taken notice of his actions and that General Casey would be speaking to him. You can read the whole story on the link above, but because of this rather quiet and modest young man, a child is still alive and that is about as good as it gets.

General George W. Casey, Jr. presents Army Commendation Medal to Pfc. Seth Manderscheid

16 April 2009

The BBC Book List

Travis over at Trav's Thoughts has made life easy for me today when I really needed a meme. Feel free to grab and have a go at it for yourself. I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to tell me in comments how many of these you've read, and then add any comments that are appropriate for you and what you read.


BBC believes the majority of people will have only read 6 of the 100books here.

1) Look at the list and put an ‘X’ after those you have read.
2) Tally your total at the bottom.
3) Tag a few people you think would enjoy sharing similar information about their book interests.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible X
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X (And Little Men and Jo's Boys)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare X
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier X
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X (I like Franny & Zoey more)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot X
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy X
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams X
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh X
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame X
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy X
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens X
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis X
34 Emma - Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen X
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving X
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert X
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons X
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov X
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas X
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac X
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville X
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce X (Set brain on float and just absorb)
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray X
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchel
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker X
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro X
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery X
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams X
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute X
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas X
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo X

Well that is 65 for me and I felt a twinge of guilt about the other 35 I've missed since some them have been on my "someday I have to" list for years. Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I am a confirmed bookworm.

I note some items seem like duplicates. If you have read the "complete works of Shakespeare" of course you have read "Hamlet". I guess if you have read one of the other plays but not all of them it doesn't count? Same with "Chronicles of Narnia" and the long list of other books by the same author.

Now, what I am reading instead of what is on the list that I have missed: The usual collection of rereads, science fiction, and mysteries.

My "wish list" at Amazon looks like the reason for the National Debt, but here is what's up next in my constant lust for history and information:

15 April 2009

Fleeting Footsteps

The song above is simply my favorite. It was written by Amanda McBroom about her father, and I could hug her for doing so. There are hundreds of songs I love or ones that are tied to memories both good and bad, but I cried the first time I heard this one, called NPR to get the title that I had missed, went out and bought the same day, and more than 20 years later I still tear up when I hear it. I could go into therapy for the next decade to find out why, but it is much easier to simply play it and feel better afterwards, then go back to living. The part that hooks me every time is the bridge:

Now fame Is Fleeting and stars they keep fallin'
Staying right up there that's the business of art
She long kisses some, and she passes by others
Disappointment and bourbon are hard on the heart.

(waterworks start here)

Staying famous is darn hard work, and for the audience, the cultural parade can pass you by unless you really work at keeping up. Frequently, the entertainment news comes on and they mention people that I either don't know or have heard of vaguely only in passing through son or grandson. A little of this parade can be seen in the movies such as Same Time Next Year that starts in 1951 and moves through almost three decades in ever changing vignettes. As the pictures between scenes flash by, I can tell you the year that matches each one. Put my grandson in front of that parade and he wouldn't be able to identify any of them unless it had just been covered as "history" in school. In 1951 I was seven. The adult woman character in the movie gives her favorite "movie star" as "Lon McAllister". As an adult watching the movie for the first time in 1978 when I was 34, my reaction was, "Lon Who?". All of this is a round about way to bring us to Today in History when on April 15, 1927 Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Norma and Constance Talmadge became the first celebrities to leave their footprints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater. The future Hollywood landmark was still under construction at the time.

Ever since "stars" have been adding their foot and hand prints and tourists have been trying to place their, for the most part, too large feet and hands in those, for the most part, too small prints. Movie stars have been described as "little people with big heads" and they aren't always talking about their egos but a matter of photography and what the camera "loves" on screen. You can look down the list below to see who is there. How many do you either know about or remember? Who was "long kissed" or "passed by"?


Norma & Constance Talmadge (post dated for the opening day May 18, 1927)
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (post dated for the opening day May 18, 1927)
Norma Shearer (August 1, 1927)
Harold Lloyd (November 21, 1927)
William S. Hart (November 28, 1927)
Tom Mix and Tony the Wonder Horse (December 12, 1927)
Colleen Moore (December 19, 1927)
Gloria Swanson (circa 1927)
Constance Talmadge (circa 1927)
Pola Negri (April 2, 1928)
Bebe Daniels (May 11, 1929)
Marion Davies (May 13, 1929)
Janet Gaynor (May 29, 1929)
Joan Crawford (September 14, 1929)
Despite claims by some that he did and that they were later removed, Charlie Chaplin never placed his handprints in the cement at the theatre.


Ann Harding (August 30, 1930)
Raoul Walsh (November 14, 1930)
Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler (January 31, 1931)
Jackie Cooper (December 12, 1931)
Eddie Cantor (March 9, 1932)
Diana Wynyard (January 26, 1933)
The Marx Brothers (February 17, 1933)
Jean Harlow (September 25 and September 29, 1933)
Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald (December 4, 1934)
Shirley Temple (March 14, 1935)
Joe E. Brown (March 5, 1936)
Al Jolson (March 12, 1936)
Freddie Bartholomew (April 4, 1936)
Bing Crosby (April 8, 1936)
Victor McLaglen (May 25, 1936)
William Powell and Myrna Loy (October 20, 1936)
Clark Gable and Woody Van Dyke (January 20, 1937)
Dick Powell and Joan Blondell (February 10, 1937)
Fredric March (April 21, 1937)
May Robson (April 22, 1937)
Tyrone Power and Loretta Young (May 31, 1937)
Sonja Henie (June 28, 1937)
The Ritz Brothers (September 22, 1937)
Eleanor Powell (December 23, 1937)
Don Ameche (January 27, 1938)
Fred Astaire (February 4, 1938)
Deanna Durbin (February 7, 1938)
Alice Faye and Tony Martin (March 20, 1938)
Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy (July 20, 1938)
Jean Hersholt (October 11, 1938)
Mickey Rooney (October 18, 1938)
Nelson Eddy (December 28, 1938)
Ginger Rogers (September 5, 1939)
Judy Garland (October 10, 1939)
Jane Withers (November 6, 1939)


Linda Darnell (March 18, 1940)
Rosa Grauman and George Raft (March 25, 1940)
John Barrymore (September 5, 1940)
Jack Benny (January 13, 1941)
Carmen Miranda (March 24, 1941)
Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor (June 11, 1941)
Rudy Vallee (July 21, 1941)
Cecil B. DeMille (August 7, 1941)
The Family of Judge James K. Hardy (August 15, 1941)
Abbott and Costello (December 8, 1941)
Edward Arnold (January 6, 1942)
Joan Fontaine (May 26, 1942)
Red Skelton (June 18, 1942)
Greer Garson (July 23, 1942)
Henry Fonda, Rita Hayworth, Charles Boyer, Edward G. Robinson, and Charles Laughton (July 24, 1942)
Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour (February 5, 1943)
Betty Grable (February 15, 1943)
Monty Woolley (May 28, 1943)
Gary Cooper (August 13, 1943)
Esther Williams and Private Joe Brian (August 1, 1944)
Gene Tierney (January 24,1945)
Jack Oakie (February 21, 1945)
Jimmy Durante (October 31, 1945)
Sid Grauman (January 24, 1946)
Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison (July 8, 1946)
Margaret O'Brien (August 15, 1946)
Humphrey Bogart (August 21, 1946)
Louella Parsons (September 30, 1946)
Ray Milland (April 17, 1947)
Lauritz Melchior (November 17, 1947)
James Stewart (February 13, 1948)
Van Johnson (March 25, 1948)
George Jessel (March 1, 1949)
Roy Rogers and Trigger (April 21, 1949)
Richard Widmark and Charles Nelson (April 24, 1949)
Jeanne Crain (October 17, 1949)
Jean Hersholt (October 20, 1949)
Anne Baxter and Gregory Peck (December 15, 1949)
Gene Autry and Champion (December 23, 1949)


John Wayne (January 25, 1950)
Lana Turner (May 24, 1950)
Bette Davis (November 6, 1950)
William Lundigan (December 29, 1950)
Cary Grant (July 16, 1951)
Susan Hayward (August 10, 1951)
Hildegard Knef (as Hildegarde Neff) (December 13, 1951)
Oskar Werner (December 13, 1951)
Jane Wyman (September 17, 1952)
Ava Gardner (October 21, 1952)
Clifton Webb (December 7, 1952)
Olivia de Havilland (December 9, 1952)
Adolph Zukor (January 5, 1953)
Ezio Pinza (January 26, 1953)
Donald O'Connor and mother Effie (February 25, 1953)
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell (June 26, 1953)
Jean Simmons (September 24, 1953)
Danny Thomas (January 26, 1954)
James Mason (March 30, 1954)
Alan Ladd (May 12, 1954)
Edmund Purdom (August 30, 1954)
Van Heflin (October 8, 1954)
George Murphy (November 8, 1954)
Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr (March 22, 1956)
Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and George Stevens (September 26, 1956)
Elmer C. Rhoden (September 16, 1958)
Rosalind Russell (February 19, 1959)


Cantinflas (December 28, 1960)
Doris Day (January 19, 1961)
Natalie Wood (December 5, 1961)
Charlton Heston (January 18, 1962)
Sophia Loren (July 26, 1962)
Kirk Douglas (November 1, 1962)
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (May 25, 1963)
Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine (June 29, 1963)
Mervyn LeRoy (October 15, 1963)
Hayley Mills (February 22, 1964)
Dean Martin (March 21, 1964)
Peter Sellers (June 3, 1964)
Debbie Reynolds (January 14, 1965)
Marcello Mastroianni (February 8, 1965)
Frank Sinatra (July 20, 1965)
Julie Andrews (March 26, 1966)
Dick Van Dyke (June 25, 1966)
Steve McQueen (March 21, 1967)
Sidney Poitier (June 23, 1967)
Anthony Quinn (December 21, 1968)
Danny Kaye (October 19, 1969)
Gene Kelly (November 24, 1969)


Francis X. Bushman (November 17, 1970)
Ali MacGraw (December 14, 1972)
Jack Nicholson (June 17, 1974)
Tom Bradley and Ted Mann (May 18, 1977)
The Chinese Theatre's 50th Anniversary (May 24, 1977)
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2, and Darth Vader (August 3, 1977)
George Burns (January 25, 1979)


John Travolta (June 2, 1980)
Burt Reynolds (September 24, 1981)
Rhonda Fleming (September 28, 1981)
Sylvester Stallone (June 29, 1983)
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (May 16, 1984)
Donald Duck and Clarence Nash (May 21, 1984)
Clint Eastwood (August 21, 1984)
Mickey Rooney (February 18, 1986)
Eddie Murphy and Hollywood's 100th Anniversary (May 14, 1987)


Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, George Takei, and Walter Koenig (December 5, 1991)
Harrison Ford (June 4, 1992)
Michael Keaton (June 15, 1992)
Tom Cruise (June 15, 1992)
Mel Gibson (August 23, 1993)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (July 14, 1994)
Meryl Streep (September 25, 1994)
Whoopi Goldberg (February 2, 1995)
Bruce Willis (May 18, 1995)
Steven Seagal (July 10, 1995)
Jim Carrey (November 1, 1995)
Johnny Grant (May 13, 1997)
Robert Zemeckis (July 8, 1997)
Michael Douglas (September 10, 1997)
Al Pacino (October 16, 1997)
Denzel Washington (January 15, 1998)
Walter Matthau (April 2, 1998)
Warren Beatty (May 21, 1998)
Danny Glover (July 7, 1998)
Tom Hanks (July 23, 1998)
Robin Williams (December 22, 1998)
Susan Sarandon (January 11, 1999)
William F. "Bill" Hertz (March 18, 1999)
Ron Howard (March 23, 1999)
Sean Connery (April 13, 1999)
Richard Gere (July 26, 1999)
Terry Semel and Bob Daly (September 30, 1999)


Anthony Hopkins (January 11, 2001)
Nicolas Cage (August 14, 2001)
Martin Lawrence (November 19, 2001)
John Woo (May 21, 2002)
Morgan Freeman (June 5, 2002)
Christopher Walken (October 8, 2004)
Jack Valenti (December 6, 2004)
Sherry Lansing (February 16, 2005)
Adam Sandler (May 17, 2005)
Johnny Depp (September 16, 2005)
Samuel L. Jackson (January 30, 2006)
Kevin Costner (September 6, 2006)
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Jerry Weintraub (June 5, 2007)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint (July 9, 2007)
Johnny Grant (July 9 2007) placed hands and footprints in cement 2nd time
Will Smith (December 10, 2007)
Michael Caine (July 11, 2008)
Zac Efron (April 14,2009)

Map of ForeCourt with placement of prints

14 April 2009

Must See Exhibit

The Smithsonian Museum of American Art has a wonderful current exhibit. If you can get to it in person, do so. Otherwise, they are kind enough to put some of the images in a slide show on line.

1934: A New Deal for Artists celebrates the 75Th anniversary of the Public Works of Art Program by drawing on the Smithsonian American Art Museum's unparalleled collection of vibrant artworks created for the program. Here is the quote from their website:

In 1934, Americans grappled with an economic situation that feels all too familiar today. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration created the Public Works of Art Program—the first federal government program to support the arts nationally. Federal officials in the 1930s understood how essential art was to sustaining America's spirit. Artists from across the United States who participated in the program, which lasted only six months from mid-December 1933 to June 1934, were encouraged to depict "the American Scene."

The Public Works of Art Program not only paid artists to embellish public buildings, but also provided them with a sense of pride in serving their country. They painted regional, recognizable subjects—ranging from portraits to cityscapes and images of city life to landscapes and depictions of rural life—that reminded the public of quintessential American values such as hard work, community and optimism.

You can view the slide show on line HERE.

12 April 2009

Manic Monday - Taste

Most people think of the 1960s as a sort of technicolor, hippie, war protester, drug fueled time. That was actually the late 60s. The early 60s were just barely moving out of an Ozzie and Harriet world. Things that would barely ruffle feathers on the family channel today, were a cause of shock and dismay then. Motion pictures of the time were just starting to push the limits with the daring, black and white "New Wave" films that explored shocking themes and working class unglamorous characters. You almost never really "saw" anything more daring than a kiss, but you "knew" what was going on.

The British films of the type that became hits in the states were ones such as Alfie, Georgie Girl, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and the one that fits today's Manic Monday theme: A Taste of Honey. Based on a play from the 1950s, it is still a favored play for small theater groups. It was a major shocker when it hit the theaters. It had everything: unmarried sex, inter racial relationship, unwed pregnancy, and homosexuality. Even worse it was tender, sweet, sad, and funny with very flawed characters and great acting . If you were Catholic, you had to go to confession just for watching it. Here is the IMDB plot summary.

Jo (Rita Tushingham) is an awkward, shy 17-year-old girl living with her promiscuous alcoholic mother, Helen (Dora Bryan). Desperately longing to simply be loved, when her mother's latest "romance" drives Jo out of their apartment, she spends the night with a black sailor on a brief shore leave. But when Jo's mother abandons her to move in with her latest lover, Jo finds a job and a room for herself, meets Geoffrey (Murray Melvin), a shy and lonely homosexual, and allows him to share her flat. When she discovers that she is pregnant with the sailor's child, Geoffrey, grateful for her friendship, looks after her, even offering marriage. Their brief taste of happiness is short-lived for Jo's fickle and domineering mother, her own romantic hopes dashed, appears on the scene, determined to drive the gentle Geoffrey from the flat and take over the care of her daughter, rearranging everything to suit herself.

What makes this movie a standout is the incredible acting and reality of the working class characters, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actress that went to Rita Tushingham. Unfortunately, it is only available of video tape except in Britain, and the British DVDs don't work on North American machines. It is available on You Tube, but you have to watch it in ten minute doses starting HERE. Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9. If not watching it here, keep an eye out on TMC.

The title song was an instrumental hit for Herb Alpert and was later recorded by the Beatles during the German nightclub period.

11 April 2009

My Neck of the Woods - Northwest Trek

My neck of the woods is literally the woods. Northwest Trek is a 723 acre park that was once a private property since donated to the State of Washington and part of the State Park System. It features more than 200 animals in a natural habitat with disguised fencing to separate predators from prey. In addition it is as a stop over for migrating birds as well as visitors from surrounding wood areas.

You have your choice of riding the tram around the park or taking a leisurely walk on the many hiking paths that meander around the various enclosures. There are many programs for students and tour groups to introduce them to conservation and the lives of the animals that surround them. During the summer, you can camp out overnight to listen and view the many nocturnal animals, and many families wouldn't miss the Santa Train in winter.

What makes NW Trek truly special is the sense that you really are in the woods with the animals all around you. It is a truly peaceful place that restores your connection with the earth and creation.

09 April 2009

Good Friday with Good People

As you wander the net, take part in blogs, sign up for Face Book or Twitter, you come across some very interesting people and ideas. All you need to do to get on my "interesting" list is to make me go "Oh!". Usually these are people or organizations who are making the world around them better in some way, but then again they can just be fascinating in their own right.

Shelly Tucker of This Eclectic Life has declared this to be Only the Good Friday, so on this Good Friday, here is a very good group of people doing a good thing.

Heifer International - Just because you live in an apartment doesn't mean you can't buy a cow, goat, or rabbit. By doing so, you can help lift whole groups of people out of poverty. This particular charity has received high ratings from all of the groups that review and recommend safe places to donate including Charity Navigator that gives it three out of four stars and Forbes Magazine that put it on its Gold Star List.

In a world of scams and emails from Nigeria, it's nice to find a good organization staffed by good people making reasonable salaries who pass on most of the money they raise to where it is needed most.

08 April 2009

Over The Top and Then Some

This ranting business is contagious. Once you have done one, can another be far behind? Maybe it is an outgrowth of our 24 hour, day in day out news media, but in an effort to generate eyeballs, they get more and more wacko extreme.

My latest reason for ranting: A headline saying, "Hugh Jackman 'heartbroken' over movie leak". Excuse me, but Jackman is an Australian. Heartbroken over the recent extreme fires that have devastaed the homes and ranches of people he might know, but "heartbroken" over a movie pirating on the web? Please. The man is probably sane. Concerned about earnings of the film at its normal release, but "heartbroken" .... barf city.

For the past decade plus, things have gotten very strange. In the past there were hysterics over the deaths of major film people such as Rudolph Valentino, but not over the deaths of strangers. Now every tragic death broadcast on TV seems to generate piles of teddy bears, flowers and candles. For the life of me, I don't understand the motivation.

If someone I know has a tragedy in their life, of course I would try to comfort them and provide support. If an event happens in my town of residence, I would probably be interested enough to follow the reports and if some charitable request was involved, I would do something to contribute. But sink into some form of bathos and grieving and trekking out to the site of the event to lay offerings at a shrine ... you have got to be kidding.

Whatever happened to stiff upper lip, getting on with the business of living, and just generally dealing with a crisis as a responsible human being? Have we turned into wimps who sob at every setback? Does cable news contribute to this heightened mourning and reaction to every little thing that happens a thousand miles away? Even worse, does the reporting become an impetus to buy guns, live in a state of fear, and generally expect some attack or negative event?

People. If you are that fearful, for goodness sakes, turn off the television. Just because something is repeated every 15 minutes, doesn't mean it is part of your life.

06 April 2009

Unaccustomed As I Am ..

Jessica the Rock Chick over at Life Is Rantastic is very good at truly creative ranting. Her rants are a phenomenal expression of true angst over the events in life. While I do hold strong opinions, ranting just isn't a natural part of my personality, and I truly envy those who do it well.

HOWEVER!!! The BBC is messing with me and I don't like it!. You have to understand that I love British movies and television shows. I even pay extra to Comcast just to get BBC America in my station lineup because there are better shows with better acting there than on the network schedule. Now would someone explain to me why it takes two years or more for a show in the UK to show up on their US counterpart?

For the first time, I've found a reality show that I like: "Any Dream Will Do". It combines my love of theater with great singing voices as they try to cast the role of Joseph in a revival of Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. It is a little like observing a hopped up version of a tryout cattle call and it is brutal to get down to the final 12 out of thousands of applicants. It has another great plus as it gives me another excuse to watch John Barrowman. Who cares if he's gay? I'm retired and that man is great scenery, has a wonderful voice and can act up a storm. Sorry, my imagination drifted off subject there.

Do not click on the link above if you are watching the show and want to be surprised about who won because someone already has. If you are watching and like me googled for additional information, you already know not only who won but that the revival has already taken place and the show is now closed and no longer playing in the West End theater district. What's more there are already videos of the contestants and an "official video" of the winner performing the TV show title song, Any Dream Will Do. Again, don't click if you don't want to know who won and played Joseph.

This is all part of a nefarious plot between BBC UK and BBC USA to make my life miserable. Right now I'm waiting for new seasons to Hotel Babylon, Robin Hood, Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Primeval among others. I've seen all of the Doctor Who episodes that have been released to North America. I've seen them and seen them again on BBC America, CBC (Canada), and Sci Fi channels. Torchwood is in reruns on BBC America. If you write BBC America and ask when these programs might show up, you get a nice form letter from someone named Stephanie thanking you for your interest in their shows. Stephanie is darn lucky she wasn't in the same room with me when I read that bit of twaddle.

Now the schedulers manage to get an American version of BBC News every night. Not once do they mention events from two years ago as if they were current events. Why can't they get the darn (expletive I was thinking deleted)shows on at the same time is beyond me or at the very least know when they might be expected. It's not as if they need to try them out first on the Brits to see if they go over in the US. There is absolutely no guarantee that a hit show in one place will be a hit show in another. Just look at the American remakes of Coupling and The Office. One a flop and one a hit here as an American remake. Viva Blackpool a BBC hit went completely down in flames as Viva Laughlin even with Hugh Jackman.

It's not like there could be an American version of the Doctor with David Tenant or Torchwood with John Barrowman. They are so decidedly British shows. Those of us who love the Beeb series with British actors deserve to see them at the same time as our compatriots across the pond. Why keep us in suspense? Is it some sort of revenge? Have they never truly forgiven us for being revolting? If they want New York back or something, we could talk ... Just send me my shows!!!!

In the meantime, John Barrowman singing "Anything Goes" may make me a shade less grouchy, but I doubt it.

03 April 2009

Manic Monday - A Fantastic Trip

Come, and trip it as you go
On the light fantastic toe
Painting by Robert Anning Bell.

This is going up early as I have a busy, out of control weekend ahead, and I want Mo to see this before he departs:

Mo, our Manic Monday creator and host, is about to take a trip in order to "Trip the light fantastic" in London. For those not familiar with this somewhat archaic phrase, it means to dance lightly and gracefully. This is appropriate for Mo since a version of this meaning of "trip" first appears in works by Shakespeare and Milton:

The Tempest, written in 1611:

Before you can say come, and go,
And breathe twice; and cry, so, so:
Each one tripping on his toe,
Will be here with mop, and mowe. (grimace)

In the poem L'Allegro by John Milton, published in 1645

Come, and trip it as ye go,
On the light fantastic toe.
And in thy right hand lead with thee,
The Mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty;

The phrase became popular to more modern ears with the song "Sidewalks of New York" in 1894.

East Side, West Side, all around the town
The tots sang "ring-a-rosie," "London Bridge is falling down"
Boys and girls together, me and Mamie O'Rourke
Tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York

From there trip did a complete alteration or variation to "Skipped the Light Fandango" possibly to make it clearer to modern ears that trip and skip were synonymous and "fantastic" was a dance similar to the "Fandango". So whether he trips or skips, let's hope that Mo's TRIP to London is absolutely FANTASTIC and as with the end of My Best Friend's Wedding: "Maybe there won't be marriage, maybe there won't be sex, but by God there will be dancing!"


For music I could have pulled up "Skip to my Lou", but this meme allows me to post two of my favorite songs with a flair for the Fandango:

Skip The Light Fandango with Procol Harem and A Whiter Shade of Pale

Trip The Light Fandango with Susan Terry singing "The Miller's Son" from Sondheim's "A Little Night Music"

A Living Will

This may be the best Living Will I've Seen

I,__________________, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead politicians who couldn't pass ninth grade biology if their lives depended on it, or lawyers/doctors interested in simply running up the bills. If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to ask for at least one of the following:

Glass of wine





Cold Beer

Chicken fried steak

Cream gravy


Mexican food

French fries


Ice cream

Potato chips

Chinese food

Any type of red meat or


It should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my appointed person and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes, let the 'fat lady sing,' and call it a day!

01 April 2009

Put Another NIckle In

First building housed Nickelodeon in Pittsburgh 1907

April 2, 1902 First movie theater opens in Los Angeles. Housed in a circus tent, the venue was dubbed "The Electric Theater." Its earliest pictures included "New York in a Blizzard." Admission cost about 10 cents for a one-hour show. After the opening of the first movie theater, in Los Angeles in 1902, amusement arcades began opening small storefront theaters called Nickelodeons (so called because admission cost 5 cents), which showed short silent films, usually less than 15 minutes, accompanied by a live pianist. By 1907, some 2 million Americans had visited a Nickelodeon.

The Great Train Robbery, one of the Edison Company's most famous films, was produced in 1903. It was very successful and soon remade by motion picture manufacturer Sigmund Lubin who released his version in June 1904. The film included a famous close-up shot of Justus D. Barnes in the role of the outlaw, shooting straight at the camera, a scene that could be shown at the beginning or end of the film. The film cast also included G. M. Anderson, who later became better known as the first Western star, Bronco Billy.

In the musical Ragtime, one of the characters is a refugee from Europe who makes little flip books for his daughter and turns it into a motion picture business to become a wealthy man. The song that tells his story is:

Buffalo Nickle Photoplay, Inc.

I was a maker of the silhouettes
who made a small improvement-
a little book of silhouettes
that simulated movement.
Well, people seemed to like it,
soon the money's going clink!
and I'm Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, inc!

I go from silhouettes to photos.
I invent a small projector,
and soon, I'm making movies
and they're calling me director!
An industry is dawning
and I'm standing on the brink-
Mister Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, inc!

Life shines from the shadow screen
comical, yet infinitely true.
People love to see what people do,
here where everyone is someone new.
Such tales from the shadow screen!
Little men who never get the breaks,
fighting on till something fin'lly takes-
what a lovely movie it all makes!

Well, business is booming
I'm happy to say.
I just made a contract
to film for pathe
a series of chapters that end in suspense-
each week, see what's next
for another five cents!
And i am waking every morning
filled with such anticipation!
i frame the sea,
i frame the sky.
And this is my vacation.

I shake your hand,
I kiss your hand,
I buy you all a drink!
And maybe if you chance to see
a movie that was made by me
remember when the name goes by
that's ash-k-e-n-a-z-y
the baron, now American,
who happened once to think
of silhouette and flicker book
and movies as they're meant to look
and Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, Inc!


The Great Train Robbery

Opening Number of Ragtime

Ram's Course Half Run

It is April Fool's Day and thus commences my annual foolish thing to do by reading the perfect poem for the season followed by the ongoing foolish attempt to read the whole thing in the original language by going back and forth between Middle English and the modern version of same. After decades, I'm getting pretty good as the memory slowly absorbes another way of saying the same beautiful, sad, wise, or funny thing in The Canterbury Tales

If you have never read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales or if you would like to try this same side by side reading and don't have your own copy, you can do it tale by tale here, but just to keep it simple here is the prologue and introduction to the Knight's Tale.

Here Begins the Book of The Tales of Canterbury

When in April the sweet showers fall
That pierce March's drought to the root and all
And bathed every vein in liquor that has power
To generate therein and sire the flower;
When Zephyr also has with his sweet breath,
Filled again, in every holt and heath,
The tender shoots and leaves, and the young sun
His half-course in the sign of the Ram has run,
And many little birds make melody
That sleep through all the night with open eye
(So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)
Then folk do long to go on pilgrimage,
And palmers to go seeking out strange strands,
To distant shrines well known in distant lands.
And specially from every shire's end
Of England they to Canterbury went,
The holy blessed martyr there to seek
Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak

It happened that, in that season, on a day
In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay
Ready to go on pilgrimage and start
To Canterbury, full devout at heart,
There came at nightfall to that hostelry
Some nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry persons who had chanced to fall
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all
That toward Canterbury town would ride.
The rooms and stables spacious were and wide,
And well we there were eased, and of the best.
And briefly, when the sun had gone to rest,
So had I spoken with them, every one,
That I was of their fellowship anon,
And made agreement that we'd early rise
To take the road, as I will to you apprise.

But none the less, whilst I have time and space,
Before yet further in this tale I pace,
It seems to me in accord with reason
To describe to you the state of every one
Of each of them, as it appeared to me,
And who they were, and what was their degree,
And even what clothes they were dressed in;
And with a knight thus will I first begin.

Canterbury Cathedral

Geoffrey Chaucer