Saturday, February 27, 2021

Kids and TV/Radio - in 1959

 Richie's Senior Yearbook came to light  and it was very well-done, including the following:

Yesterday's Gilbert Youth Poll showed that teenagers are watching less TV and that newspapers and radio are getting more of their attention.  That's the way it was with Huntington High School, of Huntington Long Island,  interviewed today. 

Noreen Bender, 15, a Junior:  "We don't have a TV set at home.  It was taking too much of the the family's time from things we wanted to do together.  (anyone else fighting a gag reflex at this?)  On radio I like FM music mostly and in newspapers I like the current events and feature stories.

I think I see enough TV when I babysit.

Meryl Easson, 16, Junior; member of the Creative Writing Club.  "I enjoy radio the most.  I can always listen to it while I'm doing other things.  On TV I like the dramatic shows and the family situation shows.  In newspapers, I like the woman's pages and then the current events items.  

Barbara Kryulko, 15, Junior,  "I need more time for schoolwork so I watch  TV less and read newspapers more.  TV doesn't give all of the details in the news but I like the spectaculars and the quiz programs,  If I had to give up one medium, I guess it would be radio."

I wonder what today's high school Juniors would say ...

Friday, February 26, 2021

The Entrepreneur of Bisbee, Arizona

And that would be Walter Swan who wrote a book that no one would buy.  

A tradition that has persisted (Swan's career was set in the 70's)  down into us in  the 20's.  Many of us have found to our bitter dismay that selling books is not an easy thing.  

Swan paid $650 for the book to be printed.  (My first book coat me $6,500 to the printer but returned $16,000 total -- 10 years later.) SONSORS; HOW TO GET ONE HOW TO KEEP ONE  for racing teams.

Swan then rented a store on Main Street, named it "One Book Bookstore;" literally the entire stock of his store was the first book he'd written. He priced this book at $19.95 and in no time sold 8,000 of ithem.. .  Pleased, he opened a second book store (next door to One Book)  and named it The Other Bookstore. Rent: $100/month.)  After counting his money, he went on writing and publishing his books - he could afford to write even more of them.  And so he did.  He died age 78 with a substantial library of successful books in print.   

Visitors to Bisbee (family, friends, traveling salesman and, I would assume, the occasional hippie) spread the word about the twin bookstores and subsequently, Swan was invited to make guest appearances on several late night programs.  

An astute member of the South Bay Writers Workshop volunteered this thought - "I'd rather have a bookshop named "The Dollar To Enter Bookstore."  And I thought that was a great idea.  

The idea for this column today came from a cousin in Indiana.  Thanks for a good idea, Doug.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Easter Gravestone Decorations

 If you do decorate the loved one's grave site with seasonal trim such as a pastel wreath  you don't have to buy it from the cemetery where you plan to use it.  

Richie's younger brother Charlie, called last night from Huntington, Long Island,  to say that a great place for these decorations is Home Depot!  I was stunned mute!  He'll be visiting Home Depot today to browse.  I did it sitting here at the computer.  

Lowe's startled me because apparently they don't carry a lot of any one thing and to my shock right next to Easter was Halloween in the form of a pair of bony hands coming up out of the dirt.  Gave me a right old turn, it did.   

But when I'd calmed down, I remembered that Pacific Crest Cemetery is nearby, well-populated and could provide a fair amount of entertainment with a drive-through to see the decorations (if any.)  The balloons on a child's grave are heartbreaking.  St. Patrick's Cemetery, Long Island,  for years had a mylar (?) balloon attached to a pair of child-sized beach flip flops.   It always made me stop, look and reflect on what the parents could have been thinking.  But I plod on to Richie and Charlie's parents graves and their uncle Joe and his wife Kay., all of whom were well-aged.  No flip flops for them.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What's In A Name?

I saw a headline - the Dugger family (horde) has had their 20th grandchild.  The original couple had 19 kids who have forged ahead and contributed another 19.

This is what I'm on about today.  The original 19 all have names that begin with a "J."  I think just three children would be a test of one's creativity.  

I'm not however in a position to poke fun at this same initial thing - my grand parents did that - bonus points for a middle name, too.  Five points more - middle name is the same letter.  Take a look:

V: is the initial



Victor Verdun (Daddy) 


Vivian   Violet

I'll try to get the missing middle names.  Ironically no grandchildren had V names.  But then I grew up and needed a legal name.  So  Nina (V) Murphy Vermillion So in the end, a grandchild did get a "V" name. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Semi-Interesting Stuff

The Little Engine that blew up - the triple 7 that lost an engine.  We heard where it had landed and were instantly worried about our good friends the Mesineos.  I promptly wrote Mike (a fellow, long-time writer and  merry prankster) asking if they got anything valuable on their front yard. 

He wrote back with a photo of a small box like device that he labeled a controller device complete with part number in case we wanted one?  It didn't fall anywhere near them-(made landing 12 miles away)but it did fall on his daughter's street.  All is well.  

A gift from Rose Nyland, Golden Girls.  The Girls were discussing former husbands and Rose said, "Charlie was so tight he'd squeeze a Nickel till the buffalo pooped!"  The visual is rather awful (apologies) but certainly descriptive.

A shout out for Turner Classical Movies.  In sequence we've seen On The Water Front, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and lastly The Marigold Hotel - plot summation a bunch of English come to India to treat a hotel like a care home.  A line from it resonated - Everything will be all right in the end and if it's not all right; it wasn't the end.  

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Damn! Radio Pays!

 Radio pays like a bastard!  Example - the late Rush Limbaugh is said to have left an estate of $600 million dollars. 

Former wife Kathryn is getting the couple's $51 million house (purchased in 1992 for $3.98 million)  not far from Mar-a-Lago and approximately a mile from his studio.   

Study the tutorial on radio work - let yourself go fat - no one can see you on the radio and start raking in the gelt.  Good luck!  Rush certainly had it.

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Body is Barely Cool - Lets Exploit Them!

 I happened across the book "Diana's Secret London," by Mark Saunders and Glenn Harvey in Dave's Old Books' biography shelves.  

Today I address myself to the insane things collected.  Diana's Secret London" is a collection of a series of walks to see her hairdresser, her psychic, coffee shop, department she favored - step in!

Undoubtedly I have mental problems of my own, but collecting, mapping, and publishing a book of maps of nothing but a celeb's various destinations and how to get to them seems ... strange.  

In this case with five walks you'll be collecting a visit to the shoemaker for shoes that by then would be shreds of shoes.  

There is also a judicious selection of gossipy tidbits and by and large, they do not do the recipients any  good at all.  In fact Diana herself was portrayed as what she undoubtedly was -- a 14 year old, emotionally.  But to this day equally fatuous books are undoubtedly being written and pondered about.  What's next?  Diana's secret diseases - Doctor says, "She would have died anyhow."  Shocking news - "The Princess of Hearts never brushed her teeth!"

The wonderful world of celebrities and their newsiness.  Brace yourselves - Rush Limbaugh is on his way. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Incoming Mail

For some reason - phases of the moon or something? the jokes have been coming on like a hurricane.  These particularly amused me and I hope they will, you, too.

Babies are smarter than we might think?

You can't baptize a cat, no matter how hard you might try

If Mom is bad at Dad, don't let her brush your hair!  You'll be sorry.   

You can't hide broccoli in milk. 


What happens if you get scared to death twice?

Is there ever a day when mattresses are NOT for sale?  Where?  Not in my neighborhood.

Did some financial planning and found that I can retire at 62 and live in comfort for 11 minutes

Aftermath of this plague -- you could wind up a Monk or Hunk or Chunk or Drunk.  Be careful what  you choose.

A hearty "Thank You!" to the gifted humorists who consistently send the gift of laughter.  It's always welcome. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


The other day we got a flyer from the St. Patrick's Cemetery offering to put a cellophane-looking cream and lavender cross, an "Easter Palm Cross Sale" for $35.  Richie and his brother Charlie decided to get one for their parents' grave.  Guess who got charged with this?  

I I e-mailed a nice lady at the church who handles grave decoration and put in my order, giving her  the names, of the two who get one.  They were:

Richard and Mary Murphy, Richie and Charlies parents - recipients 

Joseph and Kay, uncles to Richie and Charlie

Martin, the other uncle and Richie and self.   Seven Murphys  in all. 

And then she wrote that she  had so many Richard and Mary's that she couldn't be sure which pair is ours!

More weird - 

Monday we attended my cousin Julie's funeral in Alhambra at St. Teresa's Church.  The burial service graveside followed that and then to Ale House, 300 E Colorado Blvd where the food was absolutely delicious.  If you ever make it there from Redondo Beach I urge you to try the blackened shrimp tacos laved with a house (very tasty) guacamole.

Altogether it's been a bit strange for the last two days.  


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Baad Mistake

Never go to the supermarket the day before Valentine's Day.  Bouquets of flowers crowd the aisles not just the mini- flower market near the doors.   Separate kiosks of liquors - champagne for example   or pre-mixed in the bottle - like the opaque cream of coconut and rum.  They provided  worthy opponents to grocery carts.  

As it happens our route to the market drifts lazily past a Mrs. Sees' Chocolates where the line to get in  snaked across their parking lot.  And it wasn't moving worth a damn either!  Female companions whose Significant Other really did suffer for you when it came to the check-out counter!   Hope you were wearing comfortable brogans or running shoes.  You needed them!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Shrug Into Your Yokes, Oxen it's Your Year

It's your lunar year in Asian astrology.   You're a celebrant, to, if you were born in these years - 

'61- '73 - '85 - '97 - '09 - '21  along with these, your fellow oxen - Barack Obama, George Clooney and Napoleon Bonaparte.      What kind of people are they and you for that matter?  They are said to be calm, patient, stubborn but hate to be challenged.

You're said to get along well with Rats, Snakes, and Roosters.  But history advises you to avoid Tigers, Dragons, Horses and Sheep.  Fairly large crowd compared to who is compatible..

The element of the Ox is Earth

The energy you posses is Yin (what ever that means) 

Your season is Winter.  To which I would add and good luck on the Winter thing ... the snow is deep so far and unlikely to turn into Summer.  

Enjoy your year - there won't be another for 12 years.  Celebrate with enough Chinese Dumplings to get you easily through the Winter!

And if you haven't explored the Asian Zodiac - it can be fun -  For example - 

My sister - Rat

and weirdly her first grandchild is also a Rat!  how often do you think that happens?  Have a look as you stuff down the dumplings!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

America's Big Families

 No reason to let those sissie Brits out-do us in breeding.  Scant research turned up two - both, of course, with reality TV shows with big families as the attraction.  I hate to think of the prurient thoughts going through the minds of any viewers with the Duggars - 21 and the Bates 19.  So much for them; God bless them of course, but I knew and became a great friends with a member of a 19 children family.   

I was a volunteer for the Beach Cities Health District; working as a volunteer to visit shut-ins or the elderly - people that were pretty much house-bound.  

The Powers That Be there assigned us to people they thought would be a good match.  

And so one Wednesday afternoon my "boss" and I met at Lucille's house at 2 p.m.   We knocked, she yelled, "C'mon in" so we did.  

She had seated herself at the dining room window where she had a view up and down the street and not miss a thing.  It was her Command Post, if you will.  She was using a long-tether oxygen tank (COPD,) was wearing a voluminous housedress (rather faded) and need it, being quite overweight.  She would later tell me the steroids did that.  

Introductions were made and Lucille informed me, "Ah'm a Okie."  What's the response to this?  "I'm not?"  

Seeing that I was somewhat stunned, she went on (the coup de grace?)  "I'm one of 19 chirren ."

"My goodness," I responded - is your mother still living?"

"She certainly is," said Lucille and without thinking, just blurting, I said, "Well in a 100 years from now when like all the rest of she dies, you'all should donate her uterus to the Smithsonian!" and we both roared like hyenas.  Lucille said to my supervisor, "We're gonna git along fine" and we did until the COPD got her some years later. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Biggest Family in Britain -

 22 children in one family - no multiple births such as twins or more.  Noel, then 18 and Sue, 14, began their roles as multiple breeders at those tender ages.  Today she's 44 and he's 47.  The manufacturing machinery is said to have been shut down by Mrs. Radford.  

The happy couple - married in 1992 and still now in 2021 - do though have six grandchildren!  

Questions that intrigued me - how do you feed everyone?  On a 300 lb/$ a week shopping bill.  

My God all of the birthday presents - 24 counting the parents/  Christmas must be a killer!   Photos show a lot of plastic?  Mylar? balloons and yet,   reading further  each kid got one a "big present" - sled, skates, bicycle .. and so on per year.  The Radfords have birthday and Christmas money saved and set aside solely for those items. 

And speaking of money, from whence does it come?  The Radford Pie Company purchased in 1999 which they own.  

Where the hell do they all live?  Heh heh this is cool.  They all live in what's called "a care home" in Britain and we would call The Old Folks Home.  Individual or shared rooms ..Very spacious living room (lounge.there) kitchen capable of feeding them all - I really think it was a stroke of genius.  

They are said to be going to Australia to spend a month with another family of many off-spring (but only 16.))  That is such hell I can't even bear to think about it.   The noise alone never mind the tearing around.  

Monday, February 8, 2021

Shall We Stroll the Hollywood Boulevard and see the stars?

 The bronze stars imbedded in the Hollywood Walk.  It officially opened on this day in 1910 after 16 months of construction  before there could have been many of stars  ... although I read that before the 16 months had  passed, there were 1,500 stars planted.  Early birds.

Today there are 2,60- contained in the 15 blocks of Hollywood and another three blocks of Vine.  Altogether, to strut the 1.3 miles 

How does one get a star - what are the qualifications.  You have to be invited; you have to be outstanding in:  radio, movies, theater, TV, or recording.  

Who was the first?  Joanne Woodward accompanied, no doubt by her husband since 1957 Paul Newman.

As if these people don't get enough attention  (snort.)

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Super Bowl Sunday Diversions

If you are not a fan, it pays to have something to amuse that doesn't involve grown men patting each other's fannies and making a lot of loud noise.

Yesterday - Saturday - being errand day around here as we were about to go out, I said to Richie, "Oh!  I want to stop at RiteAid for some nail polish - holding up a nicely-taloned hand.  "I'm going to girly it up a  little," and he laughed out loud then shook his head, patted my butt and walked away. 

A bottle of 'ballet slipper pink' was just exactly what I wanted - the closer your nail polish to your own nail color the longer those nails will look.  You can work up to lethal in no time at all.  

I patted my purchase  happily and we left.  In the car, while giving my little bottle admiring looks the label jumped out at me and it read 'stark naked'  I'll go back for the ballet shoes next week.  I am not going to run around stark naked in anything!  Even something as silly as that is.


Saturday, February 6, 2021

On this day...

 On this day in 1941 Germany and Italy declared war on the United States -- and we've been eating pizza and pretzels ever since!

ADD:  1998 on this day (must have been a weekday) Majority Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pushed through three articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, over Democratic objections.  History repeats itself.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Just In Time for the Game

Odds are good you have already stocked up on Super Bowl Snacks - Isn't the day's  banquet  why there  even IS a Super Bowl any how?  

This game is almost always boring but wait!  Back in 2019  didn't someone rebut me with the game between San Francisco - 55 and the Raiders 45?  

Enough about statistics. 

Let us move to our grocery lists "just in case" there is a forgotten idem.  These were all listed as Best in Show in various  medias?

Pizza cut in circles with a round cookie cutter;  deviled eggs are much loved; and home-made chili  will warm you on a nasty day.  Serve with taco chips or roll-up limp tortillas (little messy but, "Hey it's football! We're not out here to play patti-cake!  Brownies or ice cream (or both) for dessert and through out, the host's version of guacamole.  Sometimes these can be godawful good; others just godawful. Best of luck!  Oh!  GO Kansas City Chiefs!!!


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

I Was Lying On the Couch Monday Did he say that or did dereading a Stuart Woods novel when ...

 Suddenly  my head was all confused .Richie was  was talking to a paramedic  in hushed tones.  

I was too addled to know what was going on.  The paramedics came, strapped  me on a chair for the stairs and very carefully they slipped me down the stairs and into the ambulance. .  Since that was rather nervewracking it can't have helped whatever the hell was wrong with me.  

I'm pretty sure that all  six of the paramedics took turned asking me to smile and raise my arms, both signs of a transient  ischemic attack if the corners of your smile are crooked  and your arms decidedly lopsided. when raised.  But:  transient means fast or swift.  Clearly the paras were not disturbed at all.  But little fazes them; they had the siren on ""hush" I swear.  

As proof enough to me, the hospital neuro read the notes the paramedics had made en route, quickly ordered and read n MRI and a CT scan s of the brain.  He then told  said I could go back home; my test results indicated a mild case?   Or did I imagine that?

Tuesday I came home and it took all day to get home and  $3,00 a day at that.  The day rom rate must be hella appealing to hospital management.  

What did I do once home.  Smoked 3 or 4 cigarettes, settled down with a lovely icy cold Pacifica beer.  and then went to bed.  


A fellow writer rather acidly said, "For $3,00 a day the hospital should provide the beer."  A sentiment with which I heartily agree.


Monday, February 1, 2021


Ground hogs - aka - woodchucks - Going in to hibernation they weigh 12-15 lbs. where they routinely live 6 to 8 years.  During hibernation, their their heart beats slow from 80 to 5 per minute.  

The humble groundhog should be call "scared cat hog"  if they see anything that scares him/her they jump right back into their hole. They often made a squeaky sound (indicates fear.)

Ground Hog Day is more hype than any kind of real celebration. Food treats?  Pancakes!

It is celebrated by the English with Beef Wellington a traditional dinner and may well be the reason Ground/Hedge Hog day is celebrated there!

If you would to visit genuine ground hogs, I suggest a visit to Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, KS  Very nifty small zoo but charming for all of that.