I’m Back!

After a 3+ year break, I’ve decided to start posting again.

Why?

The same reason I started this blog in 2010. Instead of driving friends crazy with my obsessions, I can share them here and find other fans with the same interests. Even when I’m the only one here, the blog keeps me open and searching for new things to post.

Why did I stop?

When I first began this site, I was doing lots of writing, which doesn’t come easy. I got better at it, but it’s less effort to play in Photoshop—enhancing screen captures, making memes, restoring old photos, etc. Unfortunately, when you share those online, you end up providing free content for Pinterest and Tumblr, not to mention the folks who think “google search” is some kind of a public domain free-for-all. (“I didn’t steal your photo. I got it on google!”) I also learned to edit videos, which sucked up all my free time. Finally, I became too singularly focused on one actor who already had websites devoted to him, so he didn’t need another one.

And now?

I’m trying to keep the focus wide. No more singular obsessions! (Until the next one.) I also want to focus more on local entertainment. I’ve missed some great stuff here in San Francisco, just because I was too busy moaning about where I’m not. The plan is to write more, Photoshop less, and watermark everything!

What’s new?

These days, I’m watching four different foreign soaps: EastEnders from the UK, Neighbours and Home and Away from Australia, and Shortland Street from New Zealand. That’s 19 episodes each week, but thankfully they’re only 20-30 minutes long. I love A Place To Call Home, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Janet King, Please Like Me, and Jack Irish (all Australian TV series). I’m also watching Poldark, Victoria, Outlander, Quarry, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, Code Black, Lucifer, and Mercy Street.

I’ve added some new actors to my “favorites watch list,” and they include Marta Dusseldorp, Anna McGahan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Tveit, Jesse Lee Soffer, Christian Kane, Michael Fassbender, George MacKay, Ben Schnetzer, Nick Robinson, Alden Ehrenreich, and Matthew James Thomas.

I recently got a 7″ Kindle Fire, so that’s been a small revolution. Before now I resisted touch screens, tablets, and electronic readers. I’ve played a few games on the Kindle, watched a few videos, sampled all the features, and hey, I’m even reading books.

So, I’m finding my way around the blog again, trying to learn all the changes that WordPress has made to the platform since 2013. Let’s see how this goes.

One more thing.

If you’re a subscriber and you’ve forgotten why you’re getting this in your inbox, well, who can blame you?! If what entertains me now no longer entertains you, don’t feel bad about unsubscribing. Otherwise, thanks for sticking around, and be sure to let me know what’s new with you. We have a lot of catching up to do!

MANOS: The Hands of Felt

One of the worst movies ever made, some say THE worst, is MANOS: The Hands of Fate (1966).  Aficionados of bad cinema have embraced this piece of  little gem and kept it from disappearing into obscurity.   Well, some sick talented folks up in Seattle have put together a puppet show that combines the behind-the-scenes story of making the film with the movie itself, and they even added song and dance numbers!  Since I can’t get up to Seattle to witness it in person, I’ve joined the Kickstarter campaign to make it into a film.   Hey, for five dollars you get the download AND your name in the credits.  (I’m really excited about that credit part.)   Join in and become a footnote key player in the continuing evolution of the MANOS phenomenon.  The Master will be so delighted.  MANOS campaign on Kickstarter

Manos Poster

Barbara Stanwyck II

As promised, and long delayed, here are some more glamorous portraits of Barbara Stanwyck.  As I was working on these, I couldn’t help wondering why we no longer see beautiful portraits of movie stars.  How can we be satisfied with paparazzi shots of stars in sweatpants at the corner market?  I don’t want to see beautiful people caught looking their worst.  Bring back dazzle, photography as art, and great lighting!

Baby Face (1933)

The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Lady of Burlesque (1943)

Paramount general publicity 1943

TV Star Parade

A friend sent me a vintage fan magazine from July, 1963.   She knows me so well!  Every page is a treat, even the back pages, with ads for everything from toasters to suppositories.  I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite articles and ads.

Cover July 1963

The cover features Connie Stevens and Donna Douglas

James Drury

This issue doesn’t have any articles about my current favorite, Robert Fuller, but western actor James Drury gets a page.

Max Baer drinks eggnog

This photo of Max Baer drinking eggnog (left) freaks me out.

Star Photo Ad

Lists of stars from the past always fascinate me.  I also love how all the photos are FREE, but be sure to include 10 cents for each one, to cover mailing and handling costs!  I looked it up, and postage per ounce in 1963 was 5 cents.  That means someone who ordered 25 prints was paying enough to ship over three pounds.  Either the photos were really big, really heavy, or not very free after all.  And yet, I wish I could still order some now.

More to come!

My Big Hollywood Career

When I first began this blog, I wrote about being an extra for a location shoot here in San Francisco.  It was for the TV series Party of Five.  I was in London when “my” episode was broadcast, and the later seasons of the series have not yet been released on DVD.  It’s taken fifteen years, but today I finally got to see my big moment onscreen.  It’s season four, episode 6: Immediate Family, which aired on October 29, 1997.  I walked behind Julia (Neve Campbell) and Griffin (Jeremy London) as they strolled through Alamo Square.   Here’s the scene, followed by a slow motion clip of my walk through.  I only know it’s me because of the hat I was wearing.  Such exciting stuff!

 

Here’s the photo I took of my friend and Jeremy London at the Legion of Honor the day before, where we watched another scene being filmed.   That night in Alamo Square, once we were done filming, we got London to autograph her copy of the photo.   We didn’t want to bother him too much, so mine isn’t signed.

Jeremy London, 1997

So, my Hollywood career ended almost as soon as it began, with a couple of seconds of actual screen time in a dimly lit park on a chilly San Francisco night.  It was fun while it lasted.

Johnny Tremain

When I was a kid, I adored the Disney movie Johnny Tremain (1957), as well as the book by Esther Forbes.  I recently watched the film again to see how it held up.  Hal Stalmaster (Johnny) and Richard Beymer (Rab) look achingly young to me now, and the pancake makeup of the period is very obvious on a modern screen.   Still, watching the movie brought back lots of memories, and it was fun to make screencaptures.  Since these days everything seems to relate the western Laramie, I have to mention that Luana Patten (Priscilla) was later married to John Smith.

Click on any image to scroll through.

A Laramie Christmas

I had to wait to share this, one of my best Christmas gifts this year.  My friend was making them for others, so I didn’t want to spoil their surprise.  It’s a Laramie Christmas ornament.  I like it so much, I’m not going to be putting it away in storage for the year.  Poor Jonesy had to be left out to squeeze me in, but I love that my stocking is hanging next to Jess’s stocking!

Laramie Christmas ornament

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Laramie (1959-63) is a television western that I love.

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