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November 16, 2006
November 16th, 2006

I want to send out a Hey to all my friends at LMU, Loyola Marymount, who made me feel welcome during my appearance the other day.
Wisdom of the Ancients

courtesy of the Blackwing Diaries.

"When posing keys, go as far as you dare go, then go twice as far, and you'll see you're still only half way there."
Art Babbitt- center, seated between Fred Moore and Larry Clemmons, Walt Disney Studio, 1931


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Tiberius, Paul Hindemith, George S. Kaufmann, W.C. Handy, Burgess Meredith, Daws Butler,Zina Garrison, Dwight Gooden, Maggie Gylenhall

HAPPY SADIE HAWKINS DAY! Fictional hillbilly race made famous by Al Kapp in his comic strip Little Abner.

1906- Opera superstar Enrico Caruso was charged for pinching a ladies butt while visiting the Bronx Zoo. Caruso claimed a monkey did it.

1915-BIRTH OF THE COKE BOTTLE- The owners of Coca Cola were concerned that the success of their soft drink was being subverted by all the various cheap imitations. They decided if they had a distinctive bottle people would recognize genuine Coca Cola. This day the first Coca-Cola appeared in their distinctive curved little green bottles, created by the Ross Glass Co. of Indiana and bottled in Vicksburg Mississippi.

1924- THE MURDER OF THOMAS INCE- Thomas Ince was a film director and early Hollywood studio owner who’s property later became the site of MGM. This day he boarded William Randolph Hearst’s yacht Oneida for a birthday party in his honor. On the boat among the guests was Charlie Chaplin and Hearsts’ mistress Marion Davies. When the boat docked Ince was dead and everyone very troubled. The official cause of death was a heart attack but there was no autopsy or investigation and the Hearst press quickly hushed things up. The legend goes Hearst discovered Chaplin and Davies in flagrante-delicto and in a jealous rage shot Ince when he came in between them. We’ll never know for sure.

1932- VAUDEVILLE DIED- Vaudeville was the generic name for one admission to a showcase of short theatrical acts- singers, comics, jugglers, trained animals, etc. Vaudeville gave their first opportunities to many great twentieth century performers like Chaplin, Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Mae West , Gypsy Rose Lee and W.C.Fields. But it was slowly supplanted by more modern forms of entertainment like Movies and Radio. If you asked experts to pinpoint a date for the official end of the popular venue, many it would say it was the date that the New York Palace Theater on Broadway, the premiere palace for Vaudeville, switched from live shows to purely Movies. A pop phrase for years afterwards was" That idea is deader than vaudeville!"

1946- The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences founded. Fred Allen once said: "We call television a Medium because nothing on it is Rare or Well Done."

1960- CLARK GABLE DIED- The 59 year old star had just completed the film the Misfits, a film in which director John Huston demanded a great deal of physical exertion. Gable had told his agent that the unprofessional antics of his moody co-star Marilyn Monroe had driven him so nuts they were going to give him a heart attack. Clark Gable then had one after shooting and on this day while convalescing in Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital while reading a magazine a second heart attack killed him. He wrote his own epitaph but it was never used- "Back to the Silents."

Hey, isn't that Tom Minton?

1981- Actor William Holden died. The star of such classics as Sunset Blvd., Stalag 17 and Network was told as a young actor to take a few drinks to calm the pre-camera jitters. But by now he was a hopeless alcoholic. This night at home alone and so drunk he fell and hit his head on a table edge. Too inebriated to call for help he dabbed his forehead with bunches of Kleenex until he bled to death.

1990- Disney’s feature film the Rescuers Down Under premiered. The first traditionally animated film to be painted digitally on computer instead of acetate cels and paints.

2001- The film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone premiered to great fanfare and massive box office. Harry Potter’s creator J.K. Rowling had been so poor she at one time had been on relief, now she was one of the richest women in the world, in England second only to Madonna and the Queen.