Frank’s Fax Facts and Reviews

Vol.. XIV No. 4

Sunday, April 24, 2013

         Monday, I experienced a most distressing trend to this thing I call my brain: all morning I was just sure it was Tuesday! I got my bath and shaved, loading into the car two lemon cup cakes (of you never sampled on of these, you must try them!) Peggy had phoned to tell me she was bringing our sandwiches. I said I would bring some dessert (even though the Church puts out ice tea (and plenty of ice) and of the other goodies. So. I got dressed and motored down to Dauphin  Way’s United Methodist church. I parked luckily under an umbrella of a tree, and entered the building, As usual, the lady behind the desk in the lobby greeted me cordially, as she always does, and never asked why I was there today.

         After a ride to the second floor, in an elevator, I walked down (without my walker today) where I found the room where we play each Tuesday, with the chairs set up in a huge circle; and not divided into card tables and that was, I was sure, trouble. A young mother and three children were there, wondering (no doubt) why in blazes was I doing there. I told her that I was expecting to see bridge all over the place, and she said, “But I thought y’all played only on Tuesdays!”  I’m certain I was blushing to beat the band!

         I apologized profusely (and was assured it was not necessary) went down on the Otis again, and drove home, silent and dejected. I am finding it more and more difficult to remember why I started a paragraph when speaking or typing.. Growing old and useless is bad enough, and therefore I cannot figure out why it is necessary to turn most of us survivors, with a memory that is too lazy to remember the simplest of facts,.

         When I got here (Ginger was excited to have me back. She knows instantly that the earliest I ever get home on Tuesdays, is two thirty and once a month I stop for my scheduled hair cut (yes, I am only too cognizant of the fact that even though I have very little of it Billy Helton and I both try to make it look as if I still have hair!

         As I did not play Bridge, I managed to get a two-hour nap! That is all but unknown in this household. I got up and decided to exercise at the Wellness Center. I am making more and more friends of the clients; and I find the time flies by faster than I ever thought possible, especially when they ask anything about my family or friends.  I discover that a huge number of them are Catholics (remember, Providence Hospital is probably the oldest and by far the best). Many of the ladies (usually) have their art works prominently displayed on the walls of the corridor. Several of them are really very professionally done, as attested to the fact that they (Literately) sell like hotcakes.  I have had fascinating

nf conversations about Richton and Ellisville, too, since I started talking with my fellow workout friends. Usually they have friends, or relatives who live there and they always seem to have dear memories about the place. So far, only one lady was knowledgeable at all about Ellisville.


Draft Dodgers Limited

         My Wagnerian adventure was winding down, and it was with a mixture of emotions that I packed everything into my suitcase and made ready for the train ride back to Karlsruhe. Apparently, I had said to Jim Modespacker (our Historical Division’s printer) that as far as I was concerned, Opera was Opera only if it were written by Richard Wagner! Frankly, I find it hard to believe that I was this stupid back then. As recently as four or five years ago, Ed Kohler (who was always doing something nice for me, busied himself with his computer to try to find some of the people I had told him about, to see if they were still alive. The first name he sent was Helmut Hort, my best German buddy. This developed into quite a long correspondence, and even a few Christmas Gifts exchanging. Next, Ed had been able to supply me with three more addresses of other Army buddies. My letters to George Caravaious and Robert Bolt were returned; but I did get a response from Jim. His wife wrote me three or four letters, because he was so ill most of the time, that he was unable to write them himself. The very first letter mentioned that inane quote (which, I have to admit, I might have been guilty of) to haunt me. There was no reply to my last letter to the Modespachers, so I assumed that he had died, I was glad that I had taken the time to make copies of all of my numerous photographs of all of our outfit, including the “Training Saturdays” when we always rode the ferry across the Rhine River, and pictures of the group playing Scrabble.



        .     A phone call from Robert Pope (my Richton friend of at least seventy years) refreshed my memory of the schedule of the Ring operas in 1954: Robert remembers the times much better than I do; after all I had been there only once, 1954. He attends frequently. The first act begins at five in the afternoon, with an hour break for food. Then you have the second act, with another hour intermission spent mostly eating a second meal. If you’re really lucky, it is only between nine o’clock and ten as you begin the final act. . Mercifully, the last act has no intermission. It all works out well. Those people are so well organized and take so much pride in their work that it is hard to remember just how fantastic this all was.



         For a fellow who had grown up in the two small southern towns during the Great Depression, I felt very proud that I had been given this magnificent experience, and I already  was looking forward to telling Dr. J. Murray Barber about my opinion of the Bayreuth Festival I had lived through

         Somewhere, sometime within that week of glamour and beauty, I had the pleasure of seeing Fantasia! The reason I had never seen it, was that after losing money on Pinocchio, Josephine refused to show any more of Walt Disney’s expensive movies. However she did rent some of his cartoons: Donald Duck and Mickey, the Rodent, from RKO (which was the way it was done so long ago. So, because of her not showing Jumbo, Fantasia or The Reluctant Dragon, I missed seeing these.. I do not remember what day I saw this masterpiece, or anything other than the fact that But the rest of the music  was truly Fantastic and Fabulous. Anybody who has never seen this classic should seek it out. There was a later sequel to Fantasia, made for the I-Max theaters, and I saw this one when it first came out and loved the 3-D effects. But back to Bayreuth!



Cat Nap From an Unknown Source

      A cat makes all the difference between coming home to coming home to an empty house and coming home. (I wish I had written this, but I really would like to know who did. We are both certainly of one mind here!)

Olde Cinema Revue

Spellbound (1945)

 David O. Selznick bought the rights to the novel, The House of Dr. Edwards, and Alfred Hitchcock was his choice for the director. It marked the first time they had collaborated since Rebecca was the biggest hit of its year. Selznick still had Ingrid Bergman under exclusive contract, and a dashing new actor named Gregory Peck. This was Peck’s second movie. It was the first Hollywood film concerned with psychological patients, with much of its drama taking place in mental hospitals. The Oscar winning musical score (by Micklos Rozsa) was basically a piano and orchestra compositions which came to be known as the Spellbound Concerto. Variations, expressing all sorts of moods, kept the action moving, and accented the strange and often frightening mood shifts of the patients.

      Early in the film, Peck replaces the current director of the Sanitarium, whose name is Dr. Edwards: and suddenly the appearance of a pattern drawn on his napkin (by Bergman, to illustrate a point) sends him into a rage. This leads to the discovery that he is not Dr. Edwards, but denies that he killed the man. From about this point in the film, I thought it was all very wonderful, back in 1945. I was a senior in high school, and I certainly had never seen anything about mental illnesses before. This time, I could hardly sit through the remainder of it. To me, it is almost grotesque. Everything is just too pat, and it all seemed trite, after being so ground-breaking originally. Even Bergman seems insecure and allows her mood swings make one wonder why she didn’t need psychiatric help! The idea that parallel lines had caused Peck’s character, becomes evident far too many times: we get the point the first time; yet the screen is literally covered with plaids and lines!

      The  acting is, for the most part, so dated it’s almost funny.

      I was not surprised to find that Leonard Maltin gave it three and a half star’ but I can give it only one and a half (mostly based on the segment of the dream sequence, for which no less an artist than Salvador Dali did the art work. And even this was much less impressive than I had originally found it.)   *1/2

Old Movies TRIVIA QUIZ #78

1.   Who was the star of The Little Colonel? The year was 1935?

2.   Rose of Washington Square had which 20th Century Fox singer in the lead?

3.   Ann of Green Gables gave the actress who played her, the same name or maybe the studio did it.

4.   A Passage to India was directed by the same man who made Laurence of Arabia. Who is he?

5.   Who starred in several Wolfman movies for Universal?

6.   The Letter was one of what star’s repertoire?

7.   Who supposedly played Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto in The Great Lie?

8.   In what movie will you find the Great Plague of Europe, and the Great Fire of London?

9.   What Bette Davis and Henry Fonda 1939 hit ends with her riding with him, in a carriage to transport them both, where the incurable victims wait out their lives.

10.                       What were the names of Warner Bros.’ 3 Lane Sisters?

Answers to Last Sunday’s Trivia Quiz

1.Jessica Lange was the lady who played the same Fay Wrey character in the most recent version.n of King Kong,

            2. Ann Miller was the title character in Revelry with Beverly?

3The Littlest Rebel young Shirley Temple was its star with. John Boles as her father.

4.   Bill “Bojangles” Robinson danced with Shirley in several films.

4Stephan Fetched. made us laugh a lot, during the 30’s and

5Betty Boop was the cartoon heroine who was noted for saying, “Boo-boo-pe-do?

6Popeye had an ongoing feud with a man who was always trying to take his girl friend from him.

7May Robeson was the original Lady for a Day.  Her name has a month in it.

8 Trader Horn was a movie that was filmed in so many areas of Africa,  I really should have asked for only the continent.

9 The Emperor Waltz was a musical, set in the Austria of Franz Joseph. Starring Bing Crosby and Joan Fontaine (Sister, Olivia DeHavilland won two Oscars of her own)

10   Johnny Belinda won an Oscar for Jane Wyman,







Monday, April 15, 2013