Frank’s Fax Facts

And Reviews

     Volume XVIII, No. 28

     Sunday, September 30, 2012

After its best football season ever, USM, lost (just as we all knew we would) Larry Fedora, to North Carolina; the Golden Eagles have fallen to a thoroughly pitiful record of 4 losses, and 0 wins last night. I was so certain they would lose to undefeated and #9 ranked Louisville, that I refused to go to Gerry’s to see the game. I felt that I would be so disgusted after we got fifty points or more behind, that I would be going to bed by 9:00. As it turned out, it was one of the most tremendous football games I ever witnessed: They took the opening kickoff, and in no time at all, had made a touchdown. Didn’t surprise me, but it surely did make me sick! Their kicker missed the extra point; so, when USM got the ball, the team went 3 and out---again, just what we  had dreaded. Eagles again kicked the ball to the Cardinals, who fumbled the ball at their own 5 yard line; USM recovered it and ran it in for a thrilling TD, and our kicker made his extra point: the score was now USM 7, Louisville 6. Did I mention that the entire game was played on a surface that looked like a swimming pool? It had rained all day before the game, and continued to pour well after the game was lost. Yes. With 7 minutes left, USM got the ball for the last time. It was quite a distance from “Pay Dirt” and due, mainly, to the fact that the rain made the ball too hard to handle (and it was USM’s freshman quarterback’s very first game as leader of our team, soooo, time ran out, leaving us 4 points behind, after leading for most of the game, I could have wept. Oh, heck, I won’t lie to you. I did weep! And we have Boise State (who have never lost to USM) coming  to the Rock this Saturday!

Aside for this, it been a duller than usual week but I long ago stopped complaining about that! So long as I get my one day of bridge, am still able to drive myself to the church where we play (as well as to grocery stores and under-20 mile locations) I’m more than happy. The week was made a lot nicer when Bubby McClintock came by for a visit, and we ended up going out for supper. When he asked if I had a preference, I suggested the oldest Morrison Cafeteria in town: adding that when Patricia and Mike had taken me there two summers ago, we had all been more than satisfied with everything about the meal. Thursday night, we shared the same sentiments. I had been longing for some real Southern-fried chicken (if I could cook it like Helen, those fried chicken places could all do without my patronage. Alas, I never seem to get the proper ratio of flour to chicken, and am always disappointed. The cooks at Morrison’s know what they are doing, however, and I had a golden-brown breast-and-thigh, with okra (cooked to perfection) Cole Slaw (not bad) and another veggie that I dis-remember (I love that expression, which I learned from Caleb Welch (how about that for his name!). I had a diet Coke to drink (I have ordered water for the past several years, finding it more thirst quenching and a good bit less fattening) and no dessert. I eat far too much of that sort of food.


Cat Fax

“To sleep is an act of faith.”

Barbara G. Harrison

My Life with Chipper

       I had always loved my cats, and they always returned that affection. But Chipper’s love was so intense that it almost frightened me. When he first moved into our domicile, Trudy was rather aloof for a while. I’m sure she resented anyone presuming to re-place her. But after about a week, she seemed secure enough to agree to his invitations to “play around”. Soon, they were always together, it seemed. I’d grab my camera and began taking every conceivable photograph that I would place in the large number of Photograph Albums I have amassed over the years.

       When Ann MacGowan heard that I now had two kitties, she proceeded to make all manner of toys and other artistic gifts that she made, and sent the huge cardboard box with her creations. Ann is an old music-major from my Southern Miss days. She was two years behind me, but out friendship has endured over the years.

       I was almost as eager to see what she had put into the box as Trudy and Chipper were. Then, as I tore the box open, they crowded me so much that I gave up and let them take over. I rushed to find my video camera, and made about a forty-five minute classic of those two gorgeous cats playing with each toy, but mainly remaining fascinated with the cardboard box itself!

       Years later, I found the tape again. I had completely forgotten about having it. BY then, dear little Chipper was no longer with us, but Trudy was still around, I played the tape through my TV, and alternated between laughing with such sweet memories; but then it began to get to me, and I ended up bawling like a baby,

       I made the mistake of telling a former piano student about the tape (on which I recorded his performance of a Clementi Sonatina.) He begged me to let him take the tape home, so he could make a copy of his performance, and I was stupid enough to let him. I never got it back. He apologized copiously, but it did little to compensate for my loss. I have never known such anguish as I felt at Chipper’s early death.

       While he was with me, I never entered the house after going anywhere at night, that he was not there at the door, awaiting my return. If I drove myself, he knew instinctively that I would be coming back through the back door. If I went with a friend, he was on the piano stool in the living room. I’d always tell the driver to come in with me so he or she could see how adorable my Chipper was: waiting patiently for his “Daddy”.

       Chipper was an altered male cat. Charlie had never bothered to have him neutered or declawed, but I always have my cats given both of these operations. Unfortunately, Chipper was unlucky enough to develop urinary problems (which I discovered can be very common among neutered Toms). He survived the first surgery, and both his vet and I thought he’d live a long and happy life; but, alas, three years later, the trouble returned and he did not survive his second major surgery.

       During both traumatic periods, he was many days in the clinic, and I would go to visit him. Dr. Frank Brown was so kind and understanding. He’d tell me to stay and hold Chipper on my lap.

       “I’ve never seen a cat as crazy about anybody as he is of you!” He often said.

       “And that adoration works both ways!” I would assure him.

       I had Chipper cremated and have his ashes (as well as my second Trudy’s) and would have had all of my companions given the same treatment. I am being cremated, and as asking that part of me be buried in Ellisville, in the family plot. But I want the rest of my ashes, mixed with my three cats and strewn in the back yard of the house where we were so happy together. Judy (II) and Trudy (I) both have marble markers on their graves under the camellia bush in the back yard, so there is nothing more I can do for them.


Old Movie Reviews:

(Not so) Great Movie Demoted

This week I recorded 1947s British-made Murder on the Orient Express, which I still remembered as one of the best Agatha Christie filmed novels. It had to have cost a fortune to produce, since the movie stars who made up even the minor characters.

       The film was apparently filmed on the actual locations, and, as the characters en-train, I still felt a little of the excitement as such stars as Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Albert Finnry, Wendy Hiller, Vanessa Redgrave, Laurel Bacall, Michael York, John Gielgud, Sean Connery, Richard Widmark, Anthony Perkins and the list goes on and on. But dullness has replaced suspense in the intervening years, and I found Finney’s Poiroit a pathetic substitute for David Suchet. I also did not care for Laurel Bacall’s role, period (that’s Agatha’s fault) and the ridiculous “Step by boring step” of Poirot’s “Solution to the crime”. This is the reason I stopped reading Agatha Christie’s mysteries: That “Look How Clever I am!” habit she had of spending most of the story telling how the crime was committed. The only thing I found comforting: The murdered victim was played by Richard Widmark, an actor so obnoxious that I never cared for him at all. This made the fact that not one, but twelve of the characters drove a knife into his body to ascertain that he was, indeed, murdered! (Bomb)


Movie Trivia Quiz #53

1.                    Judy Garland was the actress who was supposedly making a film about the inventor of the Safety Pin, in which mega-musical at MGM?

2.                    Who was the man Judy fell in love with in The Harvey Girls?

3.                    What was Garland’s last film? (Hint: it was a British film)

4.                    Judy played a Jewish woman, testifying in the film in which Spenser Tracy is the Judge.

5.                    Judy supplied the voice for what animated cartoon?

6.                    What actress did Judy take the place of when Fox would not allow Louis B. Mayer to use their big star?

7.                    Who was Judy’s Oscar winning director husband?

8.                    Can you name the three films that Judy made with Gene Kelly?

9.                    How many Oscars did she win?

10.               Who was the beau she sang about in “The Trolley Song”?  In the same movie, he was “The Boy Next Door”.


Movie Trivia Quiz #52

1.     Gary Cooper was the thief in Beau Geste.

2. Sam Jaffi played Gunga Din. Later he was a doctor in a series on TV

3. Kathryn Hepburn wore boys’ clothes in RKs 1930’s movie Sylvia Scarlett. It was a boxoffice bomb, in its day, but achieved “Cult movie status in later years. Cast included Cary Grant and Brian Aherne.

4. Talullah Bankhead was Catherine, the Great., in A Royal Scandal?

5. She was also the reporter who saved her  own Typewriter in wartime, in Hitchcock’s Lifeboat?

6. Marnie and The Birds were Tippi Hedrin’s only movies.

7. Melanie Griffin was her far-more-famous actress daughter.

8. Liza Menelli was  “Junie Moon”, in Tell Me that You Love Me, Junie Moon.

9. RKO’s The Leopard Man was made after the success of The Cat People. Hattiesburg’s own Dennis O’Keefe played this sinister role.

10. Grace Kelly won an Oscar for The Country Girl. Academy Award winning Bing Crosby was her co-star.
















2.     Gary Cooper was the thief in Beau Geste.

2. Sam Jaffi played Gunga Din. Later he was a doctor in a series on TV

3. Kathryn Hepburn wore boys’ clothes in which RKO 1930’s movie that bombed totally?

4. Talullah Bankhead was Catherine, the Great., in A Royal Scandal?

5. She was also the reporter who saved her Typewriter, in Hitchcock’s Lifeboat?

6. Marnie and what other hugely successful movie were Tippi Hedrin’s only movies.

7. was her far-more-famous actress daughter.

8. Liza Menelli was  Junie Moon, in Tell Me that You Love Me, Junie Moon.

9. RKO’s The Leopard Man was made after the success of The Cat People. Hattiesburg’s own Dennis O’Keefe played this sinister role.

10. Grace Kelly won an Oscar for The Country Girl. Academy Award winning Bing Crosby was her co-star.


Sunday, September 30, 2012