Frank’s Fax Facts and Reviews
Vol. XVIII, No. 45
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Today marks the first anniversary of Franko Hargadon’s death. We had many things in common: He was born on April 6.1929. I entered the world one month and a day later. We were both born of Catholic parents, and both christened ”Francis”; but he took the alternate name, “Franko”, while I opted for “Frank”. There was, however a huge difference in our family’s sizes: he was the only Hargadon child, while I had four sisters and two brothers: all older than I.
My biggest regret is the fact that I did not have the opportunity to be around him nearly enough; his wit was sharp, brilliant and funny. I Miss him, as for his many friends I’m sure they all miss him, too.
I had my 6-month checkup with Dr. Gala, who made me feel that I must be doing something right. Everything he checked seemed to be doing well. His attitude is a lot like my preceding cardiologist, Dr. Parrot. His mantra was always, “If it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it!” I couldn’t agree with them more if I tried.
The week was definitely busier than usual, in the manner in which time has moved in a long while: I had an appointment to see Dr. Johnson about a sore big toe (thank goodness it isn’t another Hammer Toe!) This visit came at 8:15 after which I saw Cardiology at 1:40, Two in one day is taxing, but this was because Shae (my Pedicurist) had discovered the “thing” on my toe at my Pedicure on Wednesday morning, and suggested that I see what was causing my trouble.
Father Gorman had taken me to a heavenly lunch at The Red Lobster, Tuesday (I had the Shrimp Scampi), and we both had them bring order after order of their delightful Garlic and cheese biscuits. I would kill for the recipe!
Bridge on Tuesday was dreadful: it wasn’t the cards’ fault, however, I just kept drifting in and out of awareness, with horrible results.
Add my doing my limited exercises at the Wellness Center, three times as often, and you get the idea of how tired my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome “synned” this week!
But I do feel a little stronger than I have lately
“A cat pours his body on the floor like water. It is beautiful just to see him.” William Lyons Phelps
Old Movie Review
Thoroughly Modern Millie (Universal, 1967)
This biggest-grossing picture ever released by Universal, was chosen as the opening film for the brand new Be-air Mall Cinema. And I was there, enjoying every single frame of it.
The movie was made because Julie Andrews had played the lead in the Broadway hit, The Boy Friend, and Universal wanted to put her in that role, only to lose the screen rights to MGM. Universal had the music composer come up with some great new tunes, as well as several older favorites. The slim plot is funny, and a little sinister (Broadway’s Beatrice Lilly was the woman who runs a hotel in New York, for women only, and just as in Stage Door, there are some aspiring actresses (except for Mary Tyler Moore). Not satisfied with just providing lodging for the young ladies, she has two Chinamen who follow the girls who have no relatives in NY, especially if they are without friends, as well. These damsels are carted off in boxes moved with a laundry disguise, ending up being sold into white slavery.
Millie, in the opening scenes, feels that everything about her is out of date and not at all “Modern”; then begins spending money as if it grows on trees: new wardrobe; new shoes and short dresses, plus a newly bobbed hairdo and modern hats. She is determined to get a stenographer’s job, but only if she can find a boss who is handsome and interested in marrying her. The scene in which she finally meets her employer (John Gavin) is still one of the cutest at making its point: we see Gavin, smoking a pipe and looking like the man of Millie’s dreams: to the accompaniment of “The Halleluiah Chorus” from The Messiah!
Another of Broadway’s most revered actresses, Carol Channing adds to the fun of the film. And there is Edward Fox (whom Millie ultimately marries.)
There is a scene near the end of the movie, with Bea Lilly sitting between her two Chinese bandits, telling them something to make them laugh. They simply stare at her, and she says, “Oh, God, but you two are dreary!” How well I remember Ed Kohler’s screaming with laughter at this the first time!
If you don’t like this one, I give up!
DRAFT DODGERS ANONYMOUS
Normally, the Southerner did not even slow down when it passed by Ellisville, on its way from New Orleans to New York each day; but today, it would stop just long enough to allow me to get on board. Of course, Daddy had to pay for a Roomette before they agreed to stop at all.
Mama was watching the market, while Daddy drove me to the depot. She had, of course, broken down and wept. That was to be expected. My father drove an old rattle trap of a truck (formerly our green, or so I was told, pride-and-joy 1937 Chevrolet sedan). By allowing me to take a roomette Daddy had also given me another day at home. So, it was well worth the money, he was sweet enough to tell me.
We had waited in the really cold exterior of the station, and he had brought me to tears by telling me that he probably would not be there when I returned.
“Daddy, don’t even think that!” I said; yet I felt that he might well not be there when I came back home. He seemed so much older and feebler than I had ever realized him to be. Daddy was always a tower of strength, and somehow I had simply come to think of him as living forever.
The handsome train was right on time, and as I kissed him goodbye, I was too choked up to say anything except, “Good bye, Daddy!” He said, as he always did whenever I was leaving him, “You be good boy, you hear.” I nodded sadly, but vigorously, and let the porter help me board the coach, with my overstuffed duffel bag,
I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw dear Dale Lavon Hudson almost the minute I entered the train. He would be traveling with me as far as New Brunswick, New Jersey, where we would all wait to be traveling to various European cities. I made my way to his seat, and sat down beside him.
“Hi, Francis!” He greeted me in his own sweet way. I was having a hard time trying not to disgrace us both by sobbing. It had been rough, having to leave Mama; but somehow, I had no premonition about losing her. If only Daddy had not vocalized that almost prophetic mention of leaving this earth. As it turned out, he was still in relatively good health for seventeen years after this sad day!
I was carrying a large package of food that Mama had prepared for us to snack on, as well as my hefty duffle bag, This literally held everything I had to wear, while Lynwood and I enjoyed a day in New York City (which neither of us had ever seen). Dale had brought an even bigger bag of goodies for us and bought us each a Coke, insisting that I taste some of the mouth-watering pecan tarts his “Mother Frances” had made for our enjoyment. His mother had passed away while he was still a very young child, with only one younger brother. His father was fortunate enough to marry a lady who really always seemed more like their real mother than a stepmother. The couple had three children: all boys! And all turned out to be very successful as doctors, musicians and builders.
I ate a fried chicken breast, offering another one to Dale. “Why don’t we go to my roomette, so we won’t have everybody staring at us as if we were circus freaks?”
The conductor just happened to come along about that time, to check our tickets. We handed them to him, and as he punched them, he said, “There’s no eating allowed in the roomette. It’s to accommodate only one person, so only one of you may eat there.”
We both felt that this was spoken only because we were in uniforms: and neither of us was a higher ranking soldier. It surely did throw a damper on my affection for the Southerner!
We both seemed to eat with a vengeance, after that little melodrama; and when Dale handed me one of those pecan tarts, I felt as if nothing in the world had ever tasted better.
I have never been able to sleep on a train. Mama had insisted that George and I both go by Pullman, that first Christmas I was in Lansing To make it even worse, I had also, a rather frightening experience, as I slept in my upper birth and George was below me. Mama had the irritating habit of sewing money up in my underwear, lest I get careless and lose the hefty sum that I used up each new term, I was lying there, with my eyes closed, praying that sleep would eventually come to me. Then, slowly I began to feel a hand feeling around on the mattress of my upper bunk!
He (I felt it was a man) moved his hand slowly and carefully all along the edge of the mattress. I thought about calling for help from my brother, but I knew I would cause something of a riot, if George did wake up and have to deal with the situation. So, I turned on the little overhead light. Well, of course I know better now, but I took a pen, found some paper that I could write on, described the situation and held the paper down where George might see it.
I saw his light go on, and in no time at all, I had the following Big Brother response: “If he continues to bother you, ring for the porter!”
I was disappointed, but fortunately nothing further happened. I did check the sewed-on patch of cash and ascertained that nothing had been stolen.
The train station at New Brunswick, looked old and tired; And
that’s exactly how I felt each time I went into the town while we were staying there. But even so, I hated to see Dale get off the train. I still had a little more traveling to do.
As it turned out, the reason Dale had to report a day earlier than
Lynwood or I, was that he was to be on KP for the entire ten days of the trip to Bremerhaven, Germany.
But more of that in good time.
Meawhile, the closer we drew to the biggest city in the United States, the more excited I grew!
Lynwood had arrived before me, and now came almost running. I got off the Southerner, and tried to deal with the heavy duffel bag.
“Oh, it’s so good to see you!” I squealed.
“Listen, I’m already madly in love with New York!” His imitation of Marcus was most authentic.
I laughed, just as he knew I would. “Have you found us a hotel for tonight?”
“Not yet, but I did see that Marilyn’s new movie is playing nearby!” We had both been very favorably impressed with Gentleman Prefer Blonds and vowed we would see it again some day.
We rented a room for the night, and put our “Luggage” there. We then walked back to the theater where How to Marry a Millionaire, which had Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable, in a delightful comedy. From there, we went to the Automat for our suppers.
It had been a full day, and I (especially) was totally exhausted and ready to hit the hay. The fact that I had not slept well the night before did little to make my want to stay up much longer.
It was snowing as we got off the bus we had taken to Camp Kilmer the next afternoon. We had done a little walking around to see as much of the city as we could before having to report to the Army by three o’clock.
We were instructed to clean the barracks to which we had been assigned. This turned into a real nightmare, as we were made to use hot water to clean the wooden floor. Meanwhile, the upstairs residents had to mop their floors, also with hot water. That was the nastiest thing I had to do thus far in my army career! The worst part, was of course, the hot mud drifting down on our heads, as we struggled to keep our bunks dry while battling the deluge from upstairs.
Finally, we were through, and told that we could retire!
Next Week: I think that I shall never see-
A poem lovely as a tree (Joyce Kilmer’s claim to fame)
Old Movie Trivia Quiz #69
1. There was an earlier version of Some Like It Hot, which had nothing to do with the sensational second movie. Can you guess who its stars were (both male and female leads were very popular in 1939.
2. Boston Blackie was the hero of a semi-popular series of “B films” of the 30’s. Who was this actor?
3. Erle Stanley Gardener’s Della Reese was played by what actress in the TV version of Perry Mason mysteries?
4. What female sleuth was played by Angela Lansbury on Sunday night TV?
5. What was the title of David O, Selznick’s psychological thriller with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck?
6. What surrealist artist designed the sets for the film?
7. Which Ingrid Bergman film caused her disgrace in 1950 (Released in the USA on Feb. 15---ironically the day after Valentine’s Day!)
8. What was this beautiful star’s last film? What else was significant about this production?
9. What film did Bergman share with Liza Minnelli?
10. Who was Ingrid’s co-star in Notorious?
Answers to Quiz 68
1. Some like it Hot was directed by Billy Wilder.
2. In this comedy, the two leading stars witnessed the St. Valentine Day massacre.
3. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtiss played these two witnesses.
4. Marilyn Monroe played the role of “Sugar Kane”. As well as a banjo!
5. Joe E. Brown had the last laugh in the film “”Nobody’s perfect!” he responds to Jack Lemmon’s statement that he is a man.
6. The musical instruments played by the leads were String Bass and clarinet.
7. Lemon had won an Oscar earlier for Days of Wine and Roses.
8. The Tony Curtiss was married to Janet Leigh and they had a famous daughter: Jamie Lee Curtiss.
9. Lemon played a Warlock in the film version of Bell, Book and Candle. In the film, he was Kim Novak’s brother (she was, of course, a gorgeous witch)
10. The all-“Girl”-band was ultimately going to Miami.