FF XVI, 40
Frank Fax Facts
Volume XVI, No. 40
Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010
The first thing I want to do is to thank each of you who have sent me Christmas cards. I truly appreciate them, and wish with all of my triple-bypassed heart that I was able to send each of you a beautiful card (with a separate greeting) inside. But the sad fact if that I will be unable to reciprocate this time.
I will be spending Christmas in Hattiesburg, with Steve Moore, his sister (Joann Beverly) and her children. They were sweet enough to invite me so I would not have to be alone on this wonderful occasion, and Glenn Nobles will drive down and take me there Friday afternoon and then bring me back home Christmas afternoon. My precious girls (Trudy and Ginger) will have to be abandoned overnight, which is the only thing I regret about the arrangement.
Sunday, after leaving Father Gorman at home, I was driving back to Alan Drive when I hit a curb near USA. The car was jarred so hard that the engine went off and the radio came blasting on! I sat in bewilderment, but feared I would not be able to start the car. It started with no trouble and I proceeded on my homeward journey. Then I noticed that a young man in the car in the lane next to me was motioning for me to lower my window. He let me know that my hubcap had been thrown off and was lying in the median right at the nearest McDonald’s. I thanked him and started to go back for it. He said he would be glad to get it and put it back on the car. I thought this strange, but when he returned with the hubcap, he said the tire was damaged so badly that he doubted I would be able to make it home before it blew out. I agreed that he could follow me. All this time, I was wondering if I was about to fall prey to some sort of scam, yet I didn’t know what else to do. (He was in a new, brightly yellow painted pickup truck with bright lettering advertising an electrical company here in town). When we got here, I looked at the tire (which had not blown apart) and it was indeed a mess. I invited him inside, where I located my new and never before used AARP-Allstate Road Service card, and he was nice enough to read the too small numbers for me. I was assured someone would be by to tow the car to Wal-Mart where I would have a new tire installed (at first they tried to talk me into allowing the car to have the “Doughnut Spare tire” installed here). But Jeff Gray (my Good Samaritan, which is just what he turned out to be) said if that were all they were going to do, he would be more than happy to change the tires for me. Road Service assured me they would tow it where I could have a full sized tire installed. Of course I had to leave it overnight, but I could not have driven it after dark anyway, and I had nothing I needed it for Monday, at all. ‘Meanwhile, Jeff stayed with me until they said someone would be here within 50 minutes, and only then would he leave me.
He gave me one of his business cards, and is (of course) a fellow Mississippian, from Philadelphia, MS. I asked if he had ever been to the Neshoba County Fair (Helen and Tom had taken me once, when I was in high school, and I actually got on a stage at the fairgrounds and played the arrangement George had made of “Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie”! I made quite an impression on the crowd.) He said the only time he EVER missed it is when he was just five months old!’
I offered to pay him for all of his help, but he wouldn’t hear of it.
This is the second time in recent history, where a miracle (as I like to think of it) saved my neck (literally). The other time, (again just days from Christmas) my wallet had come out of my back pocket at the same Wal-Mart, and I did not miss it till I checked out. Of course, I had to tell the checker to hold the things for me while I came home to get another check. When I walked in my back door, the phone was ringing. A lovely South American woman had found the wallet and called the address on my driver’s license. All I had to do was drive just a little bit farther back to the store where I had lost it, and not one thing was missing.
I now have had two Christmas miracles! Am I lucky—or blessed? Would you believe both!
Letters to Santa:
“Dear Mr. Claus,
My hateful sister (an interloper named Ginger) seems to have volunteered my services as one of your elves. I would return the favor, but the truth of the matter is that she would never be able to do anything with her Daddy! She is the apple of his eye, which just goes to show you how blind he is!
(Miss) Gertrude Imbragulio, II”
She’s Out of my League (Paramount)
Do you know what Shirley Temple and Mae West had in common? OK, so they were both females. But other than that, what did both of them have in common with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? You still don’t know? One last clue: Deanna Durbin shared this “something” with the other four people. They were all given credit for single-handedly saving their respective studios from bankruptcy in the early days of the Great Depression.
Mae West was a master of the double entendre, and she almost drove the censors bananas with her risqué movies (which by today’s tolerance, look like Sunday School sermons compared with the outright pornography of movies like “She’s Out of My League”: “The Hangover”, “Juno” and the list goes on and on.
Mae’s favorite leading man, way back in the early 30’s when her popularity peaked, was Cary Grant. The fact that she was pretty well finished in movies before the 40’s. * while Grant seemed to grow more and more popular until he was well into his 70’s (his last film was “Walk, Don’t Run” in 1966) is probably due to the fact that he became one of Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite leading men (along with James Stewart) in many of Hitchcock’s biggest hits (“To Catch a Thief”, “North by Northwest”)
Audiences of the early 1930’s were shocked, and then amused by Mae’s suggestive, “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime, big boy?” Everyone over 13-(it would be 8 or 9, today) knew what was on her mind. She did not have to be more specific than that. And yet, in today’s teen-age-oriented films, they have to make absolutely certain nobody is retarded enough not to understand the suggestion. Just in case you happen to be a blithering idiot, you get to see what the two grown ups do when they get together.
Am I missing something here? I’ll say I am. Where’s the fun when everything is more than spelled out for you. And why are most pre-teens now using language that would have made a WW2 veteran blush to repeat?
To me, movies such as this sleazy piece of garbage have utterly no value whatsoever, unless getting a lot of guffaws from a bunch of raunchy teenagers is considered art.
(Beneath my dignity to rate it anything but horrible)
*Mae West had at least one more “hit”, in 1940,when she and another old favorite of mine, W. C. Fields made “My Little Chickadee”. This masterpiece of its genre was my favorite of all her films (and I saw them all---most of them multiple times)
A flop for Columbia. in 1944, “The Heat’s On”, paired Mae with Victor Moore and featured some good musical extras (Hazel Scott at the piano; and Xavier Cugat and his orchestra), She was then absent from movies until she had a pivotal role in “Myra Breckinridge”; 1970, and stole the show from Raquel Welch (Leonard Maltin gives Mae top billing OVER Welch, which was probably the only way they could get West to take the part. Maltin says, “This is probably the worst film ever made!” and I could not agree with him less. I loved it! Mae made one last film (and it was awful!) based on her own novel, “Sex” released as “Sextet”, it co-starred Tony Curtiss, Ringo Starr, Dom DeLuise, Timothy Dalton, George Hamilton and Gladys Cooper (1978)
West’s films which saved Paramount from bankruptcy include:
“She Done Him Wrong” (he being Cary Grant) 1933
‘Klondike Annie” (with Victor McGlaglen) 1936
“Go West, Young Man” (with Randolph Scott) 1936
“Belle of the 90’s” (Roger Pryor, Johnny Mack Brown, Duke Ellington’s Orchestra/ Mae sings, “My old Flame”) 1934