Frank Facts and Reviews

Volume XVIII, No. 32

Sunday, October 28, 2012

       My car was repaired this week, and looks better than it has since the day I bought it. That’s because on the first day, I backed out of my yard, not realizing how high the motor idled, I found myself backing up at an alarming rate of speed. In my confusion, my foot landed on the accelerator rather than the brake. Before I knew what was happening, I had crashed into the left side of the gate and bashed that same back end that was ruined in my accident at Zia’s Restaurant! I was driving Father Gorman to Mary Jane Scrugg’s funeral that morning, and when he saw the damage, his opinion was that it would cost around a thousand dollars to repair. Seven years later, that was precisely what it cost! So. I try to be philosophical about it, reminding myself that I did not have it repaired back then, but bought a bottle of black paint from the Ford dealer, and always versatile Ed Kohler was able to do a touch-up job that lasted all this time! Ed could do almost ANYthing! And that is a gross understatement! I was informed that I would have to pay my insurance’s deductible, which is $500. When the Ford dealership that did the job, called to tell me my vehicle was ready, I paid the cashier with the check from Allstate, plus my check for $400, and a crisp $100 bill.

Imagine my surprise and complete joy when I checked my e mail the following morning to find a letter from Allstate, saying they had mailed a check for the entire amount of the repairs! Apparently my comments in the letter I wrote when I declared that the fault had not been mine, and that I was hardly in a financial situation that could afford to pay out that much money. It was a simple matter to have the Deductible that I had paid, and after putting it into my checking account, I feel able to breathe again!


Cat Naps Quotes

“Prowling his own quiet backyard or asleep by the fire, he is still only a whisker away from the wilds.”

Jean Burden

Antique Movie Review

Trio (British, 1950)

After the success of Quartet (four of W. Somerset Maugham’s finest short stories, turned into a masterpiece on film) the same studio decided to make a “Sequel”; this time with only three stories. They were “The Verger”, “Mr. Knowall” and “The Sanatorium”. Each story is a “Jewel”, introduced by none other than the author, himself. This second film spawned a third (and final) omnibus called Encore, and I loved that one, too. 

But, of all of the author’s many wonderful short stories (I read most of his major works, also) “The Sanatorium” was my favorite!

Jean Simmons was never lovelier than as the Tuberculosis patient who resists letting herself admit that she is falling in love with Michael Renny, until she can no longer resist him.

       I have always loved movies with several different stories: Usually they are referred to as “Omnibuses”. Flesh and Fantasy is my all-time favorite of this genre. And if you have never seen it, take my advice and watch for it on Turner Classic Movies!



The Road to Ginger

I held her close to my chest as I walked from the front door of Ginger’s old home, to carry her off to our new home! She was a little nervous. I could feel it; but she did not seem unduly upset to be going somewhere that she had never seen.

“Oh,” Janet fairly sang out, “Let me hold that pretty gull!” And her name for Ginger she still sings out to her every time she visits her.

I put her gently on Janet’s lap, and she began immediately to massage Ginger’s rich coat. “She’s got one of the most beautiful coats I ever saw!” my friend exclaimed.

“Well, I like that!” I said sarcastically. “I’d have to say she has the most gorgeous fur coat of all the cats I’ve seen in my lifetime!”

“Darling, I didn’t mean to insult you or your Daddy! You are beautiful!”

Ginger did not seem to object when I started the motor and drove slowly away from the only home she had ever known. I dreaded having to listen to her crying for her mother and siblings. But nothing was forthcoming! She was literally too good to be true!

She was still so tiny and cute! And she felt completely at home here, right from the start.

I took her to see her litter box, and assumed that she knew how to use it. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that she was using the floor instead. And I was blaming poor old Trudy for the cleaning up I was having to do. As a matter of fact, after about three times, I banished my older child to the studio, and jokingly told my friends that she was under “House Arrest”. Oddly enough, it did not seem to matter much to her: she was already quite elderly, and “sot” in her ways. She was no longer agile enough to leap to the top of the cabinet in the living room, let alone walk around on the curtain rods out here. Then, one day shortly after I put Trudy out here, I saw Ginger trying to bury her incriminating evidence, and gave her a firm and solemn talking to. The trouble stopped immediately.

At the time, I still had two or three adult students, and the ladies, especially, seemed enchanted with my beautiful baby. One of them still writes me the occasional E Mail, and never fails to remind me to “Kiss Ginger on the lips, for me”. What can I do but oblige.

After living with her for a few weeks, I wrote the lady who had sole her to me, telling her, “If I had traveled the world over, and paid a million dollars for Ginger, I would do just that, if I had to.”

And then I took her for a visit to George and Helen’s houses in Mississippi, for her very first Easter that we spent together.

We stayed overnight in Ellisville, and even then, I should have guessed what was going to happen. But I didn’t dream how much anguish I would have to endure Easter Sunday!

Saturday afternoon, I left her in George’s den, and took a nap. When I got up and began looking for Ginger, she did not come out of hiding until I was almost wild with worry! And then when she finally showed up, I had no idea where she had been hiding!

George suggested that she might have been hiding inside of a Lazy-Box chair that is huge. But in my state of Relief, I didn’t give it much thought.

The next day, as usual on the holidays we three survivors of the Sam Imbragulio branch of our family got together to try recapture some of the fun and good food we had always enjoyed. None of us noticed that Ginger was missing!

Sharon and Joe drove over, just as we had finished eating our holiday lunch, and by that time I had begun to worry. Calling Ginger has never done much good. She is as haughty and independent as George always has been! But now, I began to get stressed out. It is a three hour drive from Newton to my house, and it was still getting dark very early. I had to stop driving after dark many years ago, and I was determined to get an early enough start. I was torn between my love for Ginger and saving my neck by getting home before dark. They all promised to keep searching for the cat even though we had been thoroughly going into every inch of space in the house. My dreaded conclusion was that she had managed to get outside, after which I was fairly certain she would have been kit-napped!

I drove sadly back to Mobile, But every few minutes I would repeat the prayer: “O, Lord, please let me get home to find the phone ringing, and Helen on the other end, telling me Ginger was there with her, and safe!”

Somehow, I felt deep within my heart, that this prayer would be answered.

I drove into my yard just as the last rays of the sun were fading. And just as I had prayed: the telephone was ringing almost immediately! I was trembling so hard as I picked it up and said, “Hello.”

It was not Helen, but it was George calling to tell me that Ginger had come out of one of Helen’s Lazy Boys (which we had called ourselves searching several times before I gave up) and that Sharon and Joe were coming all the way back to Newton (from Waynesboro) to bring Ginger home to me that night! I cannot tell you how relieved I was! I still consider that one of the most unselfish and beautiful things anybody had ever done for me.

When Joe opened the door of their car, and handed me Ginger, he said (a trifle sternly) “Francis, I thought you said this cat could not cry! She has not stopped screaming since we left Helen’s!” Sharon laughingly backed up this statement. I had to tell (quite truthfully) that I had never heard my darling crying. The most she ever does is to squeak. She sounds more like a mouse than a cat. But I have, since that day, heard her “Sounding off” and can only say that she must have been so worried about never seeing her daddy again, that she almost managed to break the sound barrier!

(More next week)


Movie Trivia Quiz # 57

1.      Bob Hope got his start on Broadway, in what famous musical?

2.      What comedian associated with Bob Hope always made jokes about Yehudi? And he was not referring to Minimum

3.      Who was the singer that was on Hope’s radio show, and often was featured on his wartime appearances for the troops. She and I have one thing in common.

4.      What big mouthed funny lady starred with Hope in several films?

5.      What male star was also famous for his big mouth? His was the best line in Some Like it Hot!

6.      Who was the other half of the duo who sang “Thanks for the Memory” when it became Hope’s theme song?

7.      What product sponsored Bob Hope’s radio show for the longest time?

8.      Hope starred in two big Samuel Goldwyn Technicolored movies. Which one co-starred him with Virginia Mayo?

9.      Hope portrayed a real like vaudeville star in which movie:

10.  How many “Little Floys” were in the title of this hilarious comedy?


Answers to last week’s Trivia Quiz #56

1.       Crisis was a 1950 thriller from MGM, with Cary Grant as a doctor who is forced to perform heart surgery on a South American dictator. Jose Ferrer played this role. He played, also, a famous fictional French poet Cyrano de Berjarac; a French painter of great renown in Moulin Rouge and was an excellent actor. His wife, Rosemary Clooney, sang a bit, too.

2.       Luise Rainer won Best Actress for The Great Ziegfeld, then won the second Academy Award the following year: No other person had ever won two in a row. The Good Earth was her second Oscar winner.

3.       Spencer Tracy was the first male to win 2 Academy Awards in a row; Captains Courageous and Boys Town.

4.       Freddie Bartholemew was in, David Copperfield, Captains Courageous, and A Yank at Eton.

5.      Dean Stockwell was The Boy with Green Hair.

6.Miriam Hopkins was The Lady with Red Hair.

7.James Mason played Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

8.A very young Pat Boone was in Journey to the Center of the Earth?

9.David Nevin was the actor who was the hero of Around the World in 80 Days.

10.   Pat Boone (again) and Gary Crosby were two singing actors who made the film Mardi Gras.



Sunday, October 28, 2012