FF XIV, 19

Frank’s Fax Facts and Reviews

Vol.. XIV No. 19

Sunday, August 4. 2013

       After the frustrations of the last several weeks, the change from July to August found me in a much happier frame of mind (after getting my phone service restored, and returning to Dish Network.) I was able to watch several worthwhile movies, also. That is always one of my octogenarian favorite ways to pass the time!


“Cats are like greatness; some people are born into cat-loving families, some achieve cats, and some have cats thrust upon them.”

I seem to have been such a fortunate person, with permissive parenst! I always had at least one cat, my entire life..

William H. A. Carr

Visits with Lynwood and Marcus

A follow-up to Draft Dodgers Anonymous

        Marcus Jordan and I were friends long before our Army experience. I was thirteen when we moved back to Ellisville, and he was three years younger than I, so he rather “allowed” me to dominate our activities. We met at Miss Alline Hill’s home that first summer we were back, and we both were having a hard time making any kind of friend. His mother had died very young, and before either of us knew what was happening, his father (who had a mail route near Ellisville) began courting Miss Alline Hill (who had been my piano teacher for the first four years that I took lessons: then I switched to Miss Bernice Gay, in order to earn high school credits for my piano studies) while Marcus was still studying with the woman who would soon be his step-mother. Mr. Jordan would bring Marcus to our house on the evenings when he had dates with Miss Alline, and we would play all sorts of board games. Always interested in cooking, I would use Marcus as a Guinea Pig as I sprang all sorts of weird food combinations upon him: He would literally lick the platter clean! I had never been around anybody who loved food so much. This was the time in Mississippi history which gave us a particularly wonderful new bottled soft drink: it was called Grappette, and was a little smaller than the same period’s Coca Colas, which was still number one on my heart. But generally, I would open two Grapettes, which we would nurse as long as possible. Marcus’s “Dad” usually came by and usually  picked Marcus up around nine o’clock.

        After his step mother and piano teacher became one, he started finding faults with her (and vice versa:) He used to tell me and George that any time he went home after eating anything at our house that used garlic (and most of it did), Alline would say, “You’ve been over to those old Imbragulio boys; haven’t you?” As if she didn’t know the answer to that question: and after George had been her finest piano student she ever taught. While we were all together in Richton, even I was praised to high heaven as being so gifted.

        Marcus literally fashioned his own life after mine and George’s: he spent three years as one of George’s prize winning students (at such things as the Memphis and Mid South Piano competitions) So, after spending five years, getting a degree in English (with a double major), he ended up in Cincinnati, where his step mother had studied: Her father gave her enough money to pay for two years at a conservatory: She spent the entire amount, but got no degree. She was one of those musicians who can do no wrong: like George (who could hear a brand new song over the radio, walk into our living room and play it perfectly every time- the first time.! I used to think I would be able to do the same thing when I was older, but I never had that particular talent: I was able to sit and make up songs, and later writing three full fledged operas, plus doing scores for the Joe Jefferson Players, as well as the Mobile Theater Guild. I worked with Eugene Walter, until his death, trying to set all of his vast supply of poems to music. He was always extremely complimentary when they were completed.

        At the Cincinnati Conservatory, where he got his Master’s Degree, and lived with his piano teacher (a noted European artist) and her huaband. Since he was a semi-invalid, Marcus had the unpleasant duties like bathing him, etc.

        Now, while he had still been a student of the woman, I began routing my trips to and from Michigan via Cincinnati. For a while, Marcus had his own little apartments. This was ideal! It wasn’t until later that he moved in with the others. I’d always notify him when I would be driving back to Ellisville, and that he was more than welcome to ride “home” with me.

It was one of these times, shortly after I decided to go back to Michigan State that fall (after Daddy’s death) to finish the PhD that Daddy had been so determined I should have. Marcus and I were both readers of fiction, and had both been blown away by the novels of Thomas Wolff-particularly You Can’t Go Home Again.

Marcus had not seen Lynwood since we were together at Fort Jackson, so when fate caused our mutual friend to be stricken with Tuberculosis, and sent to the TB hospital in North Carolina, we saw it as our best chance to have one more time together’ and, as it turned out, was just what it was. They never saw each other again.

Marcus and I  treated our friend to a delicious meal (the town had been Wolff’s home town) and kept him out as long as we dared, before driving him back to the Sanitorium. And of course, we had many memories to share

But, my path was never very far from his work area! So, when I taught at JCJC, Lynwood had a gorgeous apartment in New Orleans (it was the kind that is so typical of New Orleans, with a front gate, and breath-taking flowers all over the place!

(To be continued)

Old Movie Review

A Majority of One

                      I had seen this film on TV years ago, but never saw it in a theater. In my estimation, it was Rosalind Russell’s best film, after Auntie Mame! She portrays a Jewish mother, whose son-in-law and daughter, are being given a much better assignment (he works for the government); the only trouble is they have to move to Tokyo, Japan! They finally talk Mama into going with them. On the second lap of the journey, they travel by luxury liner, and it is here Rosalind meets Alec Guinness! The attraction is one of the most enchanting things I have seen since “Mame fell for her Texas millionaire!”

It turns out that the son in law and Mother’s new “Friend” need to agree on the project they are assigned, but there is a conflict between them that makes this very difficult. It all works out down to the point of her returning to New York (she turns him down when he propose marriage) but the final scene is of his visit to New York (where he has been assigned to the United Nations) which means they can still plan lots of activities together, and I got the feeling that she would end up as his wife! Anyway, my face hurt after watching this last time: I kept having to wipe my eyes! (****)


Old Movie Trivia Quiz

1.      Rosalind Russell was in a Eugene O’Neal drama. What was the title?

2.      In My Sister Eileen, what famous American composer wrote the movie score?

3.      In Aunty Mame, who was the woman who created the character Agnes Gooch?

4.      Who was Mame’s vaudeville partner (Mame always got it wrong)

5.      It Happened in Bombay starred which MGM super star with Rosalind?

6.      What actor plated the adored nephew grown up? Think about combs!

7.      His Girl Friday paired Roz with what Hollywood favorite?

8.      No Time for Comedy had her with this film legend.

9.      She played stage mother to Natalie Wood in this Broadway musical.

10.  How many Oscars did she receive in her career?


Sunday, August 4, 2013