Frank Facts and Reviews

Volume XVIII, No. 33

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Three men came into my house on Friday, and in less than three hours had the old carpet in the hallway, living room and my bedroom replaced with new solid colored carpet. That it looks better is a slight understatement. The older carpet in the study and guest bedroom does not look too terrible (you’d never believe that it has been there over thirty years!). These rooms have much less traffic than the rest of the house.

Everything had to be taken out of the living room, which had an unknown wealth of glass critters (mainly kitty cats); dusted or washed and dried. Then back in its proper place afterwards. I called Janet Woodard, who graciously consented to come and help me Saturday morning (and is coming again in two weeks to finish what I cannot accomplish on my own. Simply moving from one location to the next takes me so long that I am sure I would never be capable of getting even half the work done!


Now, this was as far as I got yesterday, when I began writing a story of mine and Marcus Jordan’s adventures in the Army. I wrote and was laughing so hard I could hardly get it written fast enough. I always begin (as I did yesterday) with the previous week’s Fax Facts, and make the necessary changes to the date, the number of the issue, and most headings that remain the same. Then, when I have completed the issue, or take a break, I save the new material under the new date. Yesterday, I read :”Do you wish to save this un-named article?" Without thinking, I hit
“YES”. All of that writing disappeared and has not been seen since!
        I called my guru (Darren O’Donnel) who seemed to think I would be able to find it, but after four more hours (calling up everything I felt might be hiding it) I was still unable to retrieve all that hard work, I vowed that I was not going to write it all over again, and would simply let myself retire from writing this bothersome weekly news-less letter!

But let’s face it: I get a lot more out of Frank’s Fax Facts than YOU ever will. It allows me to remain somewhat active (since I no longer compose music, or even practice since I retired from St. Edmund’s By the Sea). So I decided to wait a few days, and then re-write the story of “Two Draft Dodgers” and make it even funnier this time! Then, I want to add more about our first experiences as Airplane passengers, and a few of my treasured memories of the first few days as rookie G.I.’s.

Bravo Jeff Bower!!!!

Dale Hudson called me yesterday to read an article that was in the Sunday paper to me. Jeff Bower had been honored as USM’s all-time winningest football coach. The article did not mention whether of not he was present at the ninth straight loss for the jinxed Golden Eagles, but my instincts tell me that he stayed home, Can you blame him? In the past, when USM had its rare TV appearances, the commentators would always praise Bower, likening him to Joe Paterno and the coach of Virginia Tech, adding that like those coaches, Jeff would never leave Southern! They usually added that he was the kind of coach that colleges named buildings for. USM had just enough fans, it seems, who were impatient with Bower’s old-fashioned ground attack, and his genius for using the clock to his advantage. One of my best alumni friends was constantly telling me that it was high time they got rid of him and hired a coach with more modern and better methods. So, Gianinni hired Larry Fedora and fired a coach who had more winning seasons in a row (and coincidentally with more bowl games in succession) that any other team in CUSA (or the USA for that matter.) Fedora introduced a crowd pleasing style of football, which was fast and usually effective. His scores were higher than usual, but for three of his four years, his W-L record did not get higher than Bower’s (whose winning seasons usually had nine wins and three losses.) Last year as soon as Fedora finally surpassed Bower’s record with a 10-2 Score, he was ready to flee to the highest bidder, and the first team with a BCS connection*, and ended up at the University of N.C. (which is in a messy situation with all sorts of punishments they still have to live through. Don’t forget, Larry had no such issues at USM. But USM for all of its accomplishments and famous players, will never get invited to join the Big East, ACC or anything other that C-USA because its location is against it! Yes, as strange as that sounds to those of us who love Hattiesburg, there is not enough big business in the area to generate the big bucks schools like UCF (which has been a university less time than USM had when it began its football program: and thanks to Walt Disney, is one of top three universities in America! Their stadium makes UAB’s and even the Liberty Bowl* look like paupers-ville. Note I rank USM’s above most of the others in our league.

Jeff Bower’s teams never lost a single game to UAB (even the year they upset LSU in Baton Rouge (I remember my B. R. niece, Muriel asking me who in the heck was UAB. I told her she’d find out when the Tigers tangled with them---and she did!) Larry Fedora managed only 2 out of 4 games winning. Fedora never lost a game to UCF (even when they got the Liberty Bowl (when CUSA’s champion still went there---*) The UAS games have been close and real nail biters, from game 1 (which I saw in the old stadium in Jackson) which USM won in OT. After that, I think only once was the margin of victory sizeable—and THAT, too, was a Bower team!

So, why should anybody have wanted to replace a USM alumnus who lived, breathed and dedicated his entire life to Southern Miss? It defies all understanding and logic! And the more I think about it, the more I would like to choke each of my friends who said, “It was just time for a change—that’s all!”

I wonder if Alabama will ever say that about its own always-looking for more money- coach?

*Last season’s game between USM and Houston was supposed to settle the question of WHO would play in the Liberty Bowl. They announced several times, as it became clearer and clearer that USM had the better team, that if USM won, they would automatically get the Liberty Bowl. If Houston wins the game, Southern Miss still gets the Liberty Bowl. I forget the reason they gave for this statement. What I will never understand is that after USM thoroughly whipped Houston, and won yet another CUSA championship, The Liberty Bowl threw mud on CUSA and invited former CUSA team, Cincinnati (Stolen along with Louisville and South Florida) and a team from yet another conference to play in Memphis. Fedora had his pick of any of the bowls that CUSA had access to, and he chose the LIBERTY BOWL over the Cotton Bowl (which USM-defeated Houston was only too happy to play in: their opponent,  Penn State, was jam packed. USM played a mediocre team, and USM barely managed to beat them! The empty seats attested to the interest (which was nil) in this horrible mess.

So much for Larry Fedora

(I am willing to bet that like Bobby Collins- who jumped at the chance to get SMU (ironically making a come-back in CUSA) that he gave up HIS team; and Curley Hallman, who was eager for the bigger pay check that LSU gave him (and ended up desperately trying to get rid of him) As far as I know these were the only two coaches who threw the Eagles over for more money.

Neither of them ever did very much after they left Hattiesburg.

I pray for the same results for Mr. Hat Man!




(The following articles were already saved, but I intended to omit the bit about Ginger and use the DRAFT DODGERS instead)


Cat Naps Quotes

Picture of two cats (obviously siblings) one’s eyes are open and her arm is draped over the other. “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams your dreams to someone else.” Her sister is fast asleep.

Erma Bombeck


Antique Movie Review

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Columbia, 1963)

Just as with Fahrenheit 451,  I am never able to get the number right! I just had it wrong again, but Google set me straight! With Stanley Kramer’s horrendous waste of a fantastic cast, matter little when compared to Francois Trauffaut’s adaptation of a Ray Bradbury story of a futuristic society in which books are burned (apparently paper self-ignites at the titled temperature) and anyone caught reading them is considered a criminal. This was a movie well worth attention.

Kramer, however, had to have spent a King’s Ransom making his boring and unfunny opus. (Oh, there are at least three laughs in it, but it goes on far too long!) Here are just a few of the talents he wasted: Spencer Tracy, Ethel Merman, Milton Berle, Edie Adams, Sid Caesar, Dick Shawn, Jonathan Winters, Mickey Rooney et al. In his zeal to give us the feeling that we are watching great entertainment, there is a long Prelude to the dreary drudgery, at the half-way point, there is an Intermission (a la David O. Selznick’s Gone With the Wind) and (as the thoroughly disgusted audience had to have dragged out of their seats) Exit Music.

Do yourself a favor, and leave this unrecorded!

It is truly the Atomic Bomb of movies!


The Road to Ginger

       I tried to hold my head high, like Mama had told me. He looked at me as if he wanted to be my friend. Mama said he had bought me. I had no idea what she meant, and when I asked her, she simply said it meant that I was to go and live with him. But I still did not understand. Why did I have to leave Mama, and all of my brothers? We had a lot of fun, playing with each other. Of course, I was always allowed to win, because I was the only girl in the litter (which is the strange name Mama told me that we kittens were called). I was to be the very first of my litter to be adopted (Mama said this was a nicer way to refer to the fact that I was no longer hers). I was determined not to cry. My heart was breaking, but I must not show it!

       He walked over to me and touched my face with his big hands. I had to admit that what he was doing to my face felt nice, but not as good as Mama’s tongue felt when she was grooming me.

       “Now, Ginger,” (they were all calling me that ever since “The Man” had told them that it what he had named me) “Don’t forget to groom yourself every time you find a hair out of place, or the least bit dirty!”

       “Don’t worry, Mama; I plan to keep myself groomed just as nicely as you taught me!”

       “Now, Don’t forget!” I could tell that she was about to start crying, so I turned my head to avoid seeing her tears.

       And then I felt myself being picked up (very gently) and “He” was thanking everybody for “Me” and then we were outside and he was carrying me towards his car. He seemed to think I might try to jump down and run back into the house; but I had better sense than that. I told myself that I would be happy with “The Man” and “Janet”, even though I thought at the time that she would be living in the same house with us. \

       She did come in with us, when we had arrived at my new home. She picked up a brush, and gently brushed my curls. I wanted to weep when she said she had to “get home”, and I wondered if she had a cat of her own.

       “Thanks so much, Janet,” he said to his friend. “You certainly did do a lot towards getting little Baby to me!”

       “Oh, I was just happy to see how thrilled you are with your new Baby!”

       “You must come as often as possible for visits. Ginger loves you—probably a lot more than she loves me. But, she’ll come to love me, I think. I already am a perfect fool about her!”

       “Well, she is mighty precious!” And she got into her red car and drove away.

       “Ginger,” the man said now, “I want you to call me Daddy. Can you do that for me, Sweetheart””

       He sounded so that I was surprised. I knew that Daddy was the opposite of Mama. That much made sense. I shook my head to answer his question.



Movie Trivia Quiz #58

Biography Time

Which Actor or Actress portrayed each real or fictional famous person in a screen Biography:

1.     Clara Schumann

2.     Dr. Doolittle

3.     Marie Curie

4.     Lon Chaney, Sr.

5.     Henry VIII, in Young Bess

6.     Elizabeth I, in The Private Lives of Elisabeth and Essex

7.     Queen Victoria in The Mudlark

8.     Queen Christina in the film of the same name

9.     Edison in Edison, the Man

10. FDR in Sunrise at Campobello (Extra credit if you can name his Eleanor)





Answers to Movie Trivia Quiz #57

1.      Bob Hope got his start on Broadway, in Roberta.

2.      The comedian associated with Bob Hope, who always made jokes about Yehudi was Jerry Callona. Remember him?

3.      Frances Langford was the singer that was on Hope’s radio show, and often was featured in his wartime appearances. She and I have one thing in common-- the loathsome name, Franci(e)s

4.      Martha Ray was the big mouthed funny lady who starred with Hope in several films.

5.      Joe E. Brown was the male star was also famous for his big mouth? His was the best line in Some Like it Hot! (“Nobody’s Perfect!”)

6.      Shirley Ross was the other half of the duo who sang “Thanks for the Memory” when it became Hope’s theme song. That was in The Big Broadcast of 1938

7.      Ipana toothpaste (and Salhapatica) sponsored Bob Hope’s radio show for many seasons,

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

9.      Hope portrayed Eddie Foy, a real like vaudeville star in The Seven Little Foys,

10.  Repeat, SEVEN!















Monday, November 5, 2012