Frank’s Fax Facts and Reviews
Vol. XVIII, No. 48
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Wednesday I had an appointment with Dr. Colman (who performed two prostate surgeries on me about ten years ago.) I had been concerned because there had been blood in my urine several times lately, but he said it was nothing dangerous. My specimen that day was letter perfect. This morning, after four bloodless days, there was the same dark color to make me nervous again. Do I worry too much?
Other than that, my exercise (which I managed to do four times last were), seems to be making my walking an itsy-bitsy bit better. Still not good, but better.
“Who among us has not envied a cat’s ability to ignore the cares of daily life and to relax completely?” Karen Brademeyer
Old Movie Review
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? (1966)
Elizabeth Taylor and Sandy Dennis won Oscars, and poor Richard Burton and George Segal had none! The film introduced these new brilliant stars (Sandy Dennis and George Segal), and the four of them, that constituted the entire cast of the deeply disturbing film. While I did get more than a little weary of hearing all that chattering, it would be cruel to say the whole thing might have been called (by Edward Albee) Two couples should talk a lot less than these do, about nothing whatsoever!
But I will say (grudgingly) that my favorite scene is the very first words spoken by Taylor (who, mercifully for this super serious drama) shed her “Little Girl Voice” and rasped with the best of them “What a dump!” I had to laugh out loud, as she said it because I recognized instantly that Bette Davis had said the same venomous words with even more poison than Liz did. It was in a movie-travesty called Beyond the Forest. Bette’s character in this was “Rosa Moline.” Davis begged Jack Warner not to make her play the wife of Joseph Cotton (at the age of 40) who is a twelve o’clock girl in a nine o’clock town (in Illinois).
Draft Dodgers Anonymous
We conquer the Atlantic
We held onto those little paper sacks for dear life! They contained the “Lunch” Camp Kilmer contributed as our Going Away gift. We had heard so many different people say that to keep from getting sea-sick, you had to eat anything you could get, any time you could get it. Since that was my usual mantra, it was pretty easy to resolve to comply. We had both torn into the sacks to find a very plain ham sandwich, with what appeared to be mayonnaise lightly smeared on the bread; there were also two chocolate chip (I hoped) cookies, and about four or five Hershey’s “Silver Bells”. I wondered what we were supposed to wash all of this dry matter down with. Oh, well, we could manage to find something to drink.
“Now. Don’t forget, try to get something sour or really salty to snack on every chance you get.”
“And just where do you think we will find that?” I asked, laughing.
“Why. I hope they have some place on deck where we can buy things. You know—like drinks: Cokes or Root Beer. And you know they’ll have to sell these fellows their cigarettes!” He shuddered. That was one of the things I most respected him for: unlike Marcus, he despised cigarettes almost as rabidly as I always have.
We had boarded the ship a short distance from the camp. It was on a river that led straight into the Atlantic Ocean; and now, we felt the boat beginning to move slowly away from the shore and head to the high seas. Almost every one of the young boys from Camp Kilmer crowded around the ship’s sides, trying to remember what everything had looked like.
I took out my dry-as-dust ham sandwich and took a bite out of it. It wasn’t too bad. But it surely needed more mayonnaise—or something. As usual, I was hungry as a goat! Lynwood saw that I was eating and he took his sandwich and followed suit.
“Save some room for those cookies and silver bells!” I laughed.
We chose our bunks (he insisted that I have the lower berth, while he had to climb into the upper.) It was still a long time until lights out, and one of the younger men I remembered seeing at the camp, was already in bed. He was really a pathetic mess! He spent the entire ten days, in that bunk, being as sick as a dog. He muttered the same phrase, over and over, with maddening persistence: “Aw” followed by the F word! After a day or two, I could cheerfully have murdered him!
That stupid creature did not take a single meal with us.
After we got our duffle bags into the lockers, which were provided for them, we walked back topside. We sat down on the cold deck, with our backs leaning against the wall, and about this time, we saw a familiar face walking towards us. I said in an aside to Lynwood, “Well, would you look at what the cats dragged up!”
Lynwood glanced at the fellow who was walking straight towards us.
He stopped and smiled broadly, as he told us how glad he was to see us! Of course I recognized him as the corporal who had directed our Talent Show at Fort Jackson. “I won’t ask you what you are doin’ here, because it would be too obvious.”
We both told him how good it was for us to see his happy face. Then he made our trip a “Pleasure Cruise” by telling us he had persuaded the person in charge of Morale, or some such nonsense, to make him a party of One to try to find anyone among all of the soldiers on the ship, to give a performance of some kind or another.
“Will we be free to have rehearsals, like we did last summer?” Lynwood asked.
“How else?” he laughed. That’s the whole point. We do this and get excused from all other duty! For the entire trip!”
It sounded too good to be true. And I decided to give this bigger audience the “Ocean Waves” Etude, of Chopin. It was easier to play than the
“Revolutionary Etude”, which I had not touched since performing it in the contest.
He then told us that the ship was fairly bursting with talent: there were several young men on board, who had been students of a California Music School, and they all sang; but not one of them played an instrument.
Lyn and I determined to meet them as soon as possible.
They were a delightful bunch of people; and they had their own little chorus. They always sang the same tune (alas!) and it was cute as a bug! Something about, “The Pope- he was a jolly man” that had limitless choruses. they had worked out themselves. “He drank a jug of Rhein-ish wine---la la--------I feign would change his life for mine!” That was the jubilant ending!
There was one tenor in the group, who asked me if I would accompany him on the organ the next Sunday, as he had been asked by the Catholic priest to sing for mass. He had a magnificent voice, and we rehearsed that hymn many times. Sadly, I was criticized again, when I decided to play a sort of Coda to the hymn. “Please do not play that while I am praying!” I was reprimanded right there before everybody of the Catholic persuasion on the lousy boat! I know I turned three shades of red, at least. He made Father Mack look like the soul of tolerance and good taste in comparison! Fortunately, I did not have to put up with him ever again.
After my first night of sleeping on the ship, we went to breakfast and Lynwood grew more and more excited. “What are you up to?” I asked.
“Look! I think they’re cooking grits for us!”
I looked in the direction he to which he was pointing, and me heart really did miss a beat or two! That certainly did look just like Hominy Grits! But it seemed strange that as after four years spent in Michigan, I had never seen a singly box of grits!
It did not take long for the two fellows from Dixie to realize that what they were being served was not grits, but Cream if wheat! But we managed to choke it down. I always wonder at the differences in food from one place to another can make! Everyone I knew in the state of Michigan, loved Cream of Wheat, pie, and cake doughnuts!
After the disappointment of the cereal, we walked lugubriously onto the deck. I was suddenly shocked out of my wits to see Dale Hudson, sitting on the deck, with his back against the outer wall of the ship. I had never seen him looking anything but wonderful! He was always immaculately dressed, and I was just not ready to see him looking like a tramp on a tramp schooner! My heart went out to him, even before I heard his story.
“What happened to you?” Lynwood asked.
“I’m sick,” was all he said.
I had thought, because he was not in the same group as Lynwood and I that he had been sent to some other location the day before. I said as much to him, and he replied, “They had all of us get on the boat yesterday, but they did not tell us where we would be going. They did let us know that we would have to pull KP every day on the boat!”
“And they won’t let you get treatment for your stomach?”
I felt suddenly very angry. I walked on deck until I saw an officer. I went to him and asked why my friend could not get off KP to see a doctor. He looked at me as if I were mad, and said, “You wanna do the work for him?”
I shook my head vigorously, “No!”
“Well, that’s the only way he’s gonna get out of this detail!”
I thought a long time before coming to the conclusion that I could do nothing to help my buddy. And after all he had done for me!
Just the fact that he had single handedly gotten my lockers Standard Operation. Procedure’d was enough to make me ever grateful!
But there was nothing within reason that I could do to help him now!
(To be continued)
Old Movie Quiz *71
1. Anna and the King of Siam starred Irene Dunne and what leading man?
2. Three Coins in the Fountain, refers to which famous Roman fountain?
3. What Hollywood favorite is Elizabeth Taylor mocking in the opening scene of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff?
4. This film marked the screen debut of what handsome leading man who was later the lead in the sit-com Just Shoot Me?
5. His wife, in the film, won the best supporting actress award for her work. Who else got a statuette for this film?
6. Blood and Sand had which Fox star as its bull fighter? Who was the glamorous lady who caused his downfall?
7. My Gal Sal starred Victor Mature as a song writer. What Columbia red head was the love interest in the film?
8. Across the Wide Missouri was a star studded Western that starred John Hodiak, Ricordo Montalban and who else from MGM’s larder of Stars?
9. What was Nick and Nora’s beloved dog named? His name appears often in crossword puzzles. This, of course refers to the Thin Man Series at MGM in the 30’s and 40’s.
10. Sorry, Wrong Number had what star frightened out of her wits?
Answers to TRIVIA QUIZ #70
1. In 1938, Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Collodi’s Pinocchio was his second literary classic to be immortalized.
2. Between these two ground-breaking masterpieces, Paramount’s cartoonist created yet another great literary classic Gulliver’s Travels, though it used only parts of the original novel.
3. Disney had a huge success with the charming romance between two puppies. The Lady and the Tramp.
4. Early in his classical cartoons, Walt had Leopold Stowkowsky record the music for several famous masterpieces of music. Fantasia was the title of this “High Brow” film?
5. Mr. Stowkowski, himself conducted the score.
6. The Reluctant Dragon was the first film that combined live action with cartoon characters? It had Robert Benchley, supposedly being shown around Disney’s studios.
7. The Three Caballeros, which starred Donald Duck and Jo Carioca) plus Carmen Miranda’s sister (live) and a lot of others in a good natured fun-movie:
8. I began to find fault with Disney’s films (long after his death) when the company began creating cartoons out of such serious stories as this famous Victor Hugo classic. Name it.
9. What was the name of Walt Disney’s first Mickey Mouse cartoon? Extra credit if you know whose voice was used: and remember how squeaky high it always was!
10. Judy Garland (whose talents seem to have been as varied as they were magnificent) did a voice-over as the lead in a story about a French cat. Name it, please.