FF XV1, no. 7


Fax Facts and Reviews

Vol.. XIV No. 7

Sunday, May 12, 2013   

       I’m thinking of sending you a list of my pet peeves. Then, if you’d like to discuss your own Personal Pet Peeve with all of us: you could E mail it to me and I would put it in Fax Facts, and let anyone who has shared the same frustration, share it with us. We could exchange them so we would all be ready to kill whoever is causing our suffering.

       To begin with a mild annoyance, I’ll show how I have suffered while trying to get my giant-sized bottle of mouth-wash open: I had no trouble at all with its earlier version (which was not as expensive). It  all started with my lifting the bottle that feels as heavy as a truckload of gravel, with my delicate hands; then  I tried cutting the celluloid (which had closed off any possibility of my being able to open it, even with scissors (which I felt would enable me to in order to roll it off and make the mouth wash available. I have never seen anything like this plastic. After wasting time and injuring my right hand, I had accomplished nothing, except weakening both hands considerably, and emitting some very strong language.

        “Well,” thought I, “Maybe you’re supposed to use brute-strength only to force it open.” By now, there was no feeling at all in my fingers, and my hands were so inept and weary, that it was pitiful. I gave it up for that first session. After all, what ever I am, I have the exact opposite of brute-strength! Still, if I had been able to make a video of myself fighting with that Mouthwash you probably would get quite a kick out of it! Sadly, I went down in utter and ignoble defeat!

       The next night, before my usual early trip to the Sandman’s house, I attacked the enemy again. Again I had flossed my teeth with my electric toothbrush, then I used my Water Pick to drive out any debris that remained. All I really wanted to do as a final bow to healthy teeth and gums, was to use some of that good tasting (I cannot stand Listerine) mouth wash off any food particles that were still hidden under my gums, and mouth in general.     

       This time, I was better prepared (as Mama used to remind all of her brood: “Practice makes Perfect!” And I seriously agreed, having spent at least half of my time on this earth, practicing the piano. Now, just what did I do there? Why, I practiced, of course, and while I was far from perfection, I wasn’t a disaster. So, I took a pair of scissors and forced it to break the seal on the monstrosity and peeled off the rest of the offending celluloid. I felt good about what I had accomplished by perseverance.

       I’ve had no farther problems with it; but I really felt like “Hitting the Bottle!”

       Share your Frustrations with us: Next week I will alienate many of you, I’m sure, by attacking people who keep me from driving by sitting still when the red light goes off and the green goes on; and she (or they) go right on chatting away as I do a slow burn!


“It would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they bite the end of the pen and walk on typewriter keys.”   Barbara Holland

Draft Dodgers,

Other Voices, Other Rooms,

I’m not able to keep everything in chronological order concerning other shorter trips that we made (and these were all LEGAL!) But I will attempt to (at least get the rest right.)

Amsterdam and Brussels

Two or three German tailors, who had a dry cleaning as well as a Taylor’s Shop where they made all sorts of gorgeous clothing, so inexpensive that I had them make a woolen overcoat and a blue plaid Sport jacket. Both had “elegance” (which I had never worn before) all over them! When I wore the overcoat, that first year in Ann Arbor, my fellow music buddies said it made their coats seem positively tacky, by contrast as we walked to classes and wherever we were having that day’s lunch.. As Anna Russell used to say, adding a laugh, “That pleased me “veddy much!” My elegant black coat, was made entirely of cashmere; and the pockets were made of beautiful blue velvet, inside! I wore it all those years I was in Michigan later, but after storing it and never getting to wear it down here in Mobile,  I gave it to the GoodwilI felt like weeping because it held so many hours of pleasure for me, both here and abroad.

       Lynwood almost had a mini-stroke when he saw me in my coat for the first time, and when I told him the small price I paid for it, he was unbelieving. Since these tailors and our Historical Division were in the same building, I was given multiple fittings, so it was, quite naturally, a perfect fit, to say the least. “I’m gonna write Mother and Daddy to send me the money to buy a nice coat as near like that as I can.afford,” I suggested that he get the tailors to make the same kind of coat that I had, but he said he couldn’t possibly get to Karlsruhe for the fittings without an act of Congress.         

We spent the next night in Brussels, after doing our sight seeing bit. Neither of us had er believed he would get to see these wonderful and diverse cities in our lifetime. Sadly, he died in 1970 (the same summer as Mama did) We had both almost cried when our army ship, which was bringing  us to Europe, stopped overnight close to a town near to London, but only the officers on board were allowed to go ashore . We consoled ourselves with the learning of free air transportation we would be able to get,  to places  like England, Spain and Greece just by signing up at the right time, and at the right place. Sadly for me, I was never able to be at the right place at the right time, and the only place I was flown to was from Naples to Rome after Lynwood was back in the States. Then, I had reserved a seat on an army plane going to London. I had another whole week left on my furlough, and was as high as a kite, I was so happy! And then, when I was waiting in line to board the plane, I was told that I had been “Bumped” by an Officer, who (of course) ranked higher than me! But, I was determined to see London; and later (after over 20 years) I was able to take two week-long visits to England on a plane! 

We went to see the film The Barefoot Contessa, with Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart, Rosana Bracci and Edmond O’Brien. It was disappointing, when all was said and done.

We liked everything about Brussels, but there were no “Must See” items we decided.

The following morning we caught a train to Amsterdam. I had always had a longing to see this fabulous city. And I believe the impetus for this yen was a story I had read, in the third grade, about a young boy (and I vicariously was that boy) had a bed that is built into the wall. It got so cold there, at night, that this proved to be a simply way to keep warm. Of course, at that tender age, it never crossed my mind to ask, “What about the summers?” But I dare say even the hottest day of summer there, would seem like “Springtime in the Rockies” to me and my suffering friends.

We took a tour of a diamond factory that morning. That’s where Lynwood had seen this matronly woman who had the most disgusting habit of darting her tongue out of her mouth, as she fluttered her eyelids. But I would never have noticed had my traveling companion called my attention to her peculiarity.  We saw diamonds for Royalty as well as Millionaires. I found it fascinating to see how they turned the rough and dirty rocks into breath-takingly beautiful gems for rings, necklaces and even more fantastic purposes,
         Then we had a tour of the Rijas Museum (I had to call Robert Pope for the spelling! Because, to us, it sounded like Rikes, which rhymes with Bikes!) This place (that looks absolutely wonderful) houses so many great Dutch Art that it is more then merely mind-boggling, but filled me with a longing for a place that I could get to any time I wanted, to see the magnificent art on canvas.

The Night Watch was worth the trip to Holland, had we gotten no other pleasure from the trip. Now, after over fifty years, I can remember only the size of that canvas! I have a vague remembrance of paintings of several Dutchmen, in clothes of bygone days, and the “Something” that the watch was all about, but I do hope the artist was Rembrandt, because that’s the only name I can remember.

For some obscure reason that I have long since forgotten, we took a side trip to Hamburg, near enough to Bonn (which, at that time, was the West German capitol), I remember we had the only hamburger we had (other than at PXes) in that city for which it was named. I remember, also, that Hamburg is a large and up to date city. Our hotel had TV and while we were there, watched a football game between two German cities (whose name, like so many other things) I cannot recall. But those people watch their games as jealously (or more) that even a “Roll Tide” screamer! 

Old Movie Trivia Quiz (May 12)

1. What Hollywood Beauty was The Barefoot Contessa?    



2. What director liked to put himself in his films, as less than a Cameo- he never spoke!

3. Who played Blondie in about two million movies (or so it seemed to me!)

4. Who played Young Tom Edison?

5. Name the star of The Boy with Green Hair

6. Which film was Carole Lombard’s final role, and name her co-star.

7. Who was the actor who won an Oscar in the dual role of Dr. Jeckell and Mr. Hyde?\

8. Who were the stars of The Thin Man series, and who wrote the original mystery?

9. Tiny Republic Pictures made which of the following:

Remember Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, or God is my Co-Pilot?

10. Who was Bing Crosby’s young co-star in East Side of Heaven?

Answers to the Last Puzzles

 1. Erskine Caldwell wrote the first two novels, and I am almost sure he wrote Mildred Pierce. Also.

2. John Wayne (Rooster Cogburn)

3. I did not write this down, and have not the first idea who these gals are- but I will keep looking.

4.  The Sorcerers Apprentice

5. Simon Templar’s initials make him the SainT.

6. Bug Eyed Jerry Collona always got a laugh, saying “Who’s Yehudi?” on Bob Hope’s radio show.

7. The Lane Sisters were Lola, Rosemary and Priscilla (in that order age-wise: Priscilla had the biggest career, and Rosemary sang in a lot of films of the 30’s and 40’s

8. Republic Pictures

9. Myrna Loy

10. Dashiel Hammett


Sunday, May 12, 2013