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August 2019
Laverne's View

Too Smart Too Late

“You are a woman,” he said, “and women are supposed to
enjoy taking care of their families and their home.” I apologized
for not fitting into his belief that all women came from the same
cookie cutter.


Neil Sedaka – Hall of Fame Songwriter

Sedaka not only made a successful singing and songwriting career for himself, he also penned hit songs for many other singers over the years. There was “Stupid Cupid” and “Where the Boys Are” for Connie Francis; Gene Pitney’s hit, “It Hurts to Be in Love;” Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” and many more, including songs for ABBA, Jimmy Clanton, the Monkees, The Fifth Dimension, Dinah Washington and Frankie Valli.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

The Bargain of the Century

ZaSu, whose on-the-surface expressions of worry, befuddlement, and wonder, as well as the warble in her voice and her repetitious “oh, dear!” will probably instantly remind you of Olive Oyl. There’s a reason for that. Mae Questel, the originator of Olive Oyl’s distinctive voice, was imitating ZaSu Pitts.


Big Day in a Small Part of Texas

Suddenly, a customer pouring herself some coffee shouted, “You built this town? I hate Merkel! It’s given me nothing but misery! I keep leaving and it keeps hauling me back!” Then she scowled and advanced toward me brandishing a cup of steaming coffee.


‘Load Management.’ The NBA Term For Rest

In the real world, where I grew up, people worked for a living, and they worked hard. My dad may have taken a sick day from his job at Burlington Mills, but I don’t remember one. And I know he never took a day off for Load Management.

July 2019
Senior Moments

Dad, July 4th, and Bucket Baseball

Because of his experiences with the carnival and the Great Depression, he had a gift for creating low-cost entertainment for family gatherings, and because of his participation in World War II, he had a great love for his country and went all out to honor it on its birthday.

May 2019

Add Salt and Remember Delicious Meals of the Past

A grad student was sitting cross-legged on the rug, squeezed among others, eating and talking in a general din, when one of those silences that can fall on a crowd fell, just as he suffered a lapse of alimentary poise. A terrific blast it was. The party froze. Nobody said a word except the offender, who said in a small voice, “Oops.”

Walker Gendusa
Just Sayin’

Between the Outhouse and the Cherry Tree

I loved to play between the outhouse and the cherry tree behind my great-grandmother’s house in the summer. The old tree teemed with ripe berries. I would climb to get as many cherries as possible before I got caught by the mighty hands of my tiny, fierce Great-grandmother Sparks.

Lawrenzi, Jr.

The City Slicker

Crystal's track record as a performer was amazing. He starred in the hugely successful When Harry Met Sally, along with dozens of other films and was a success as a standup comedian in Las Vegas and around the U.S. He had appeared as a guest on game shows and had been a hit on the “Johnny Carson Show.”

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Polio and the Movies

Not addressing the treatment of polio and the frantic search for a vaccine in the years in which it was so rampant and so frightening, to me is like cranking out a slew of movies during the early 1940s and hardly mentioning World War II.

* * * * *

Perhaps the most striking drama I can recall involving polio as a plot element was not a movie, but an episode in the old Loretta Young Show on television, called “Earthquake,” originally aired in October 1953.

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