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February 7th, 2008 thurs.
February 7th, 2008

The date is set for the annual AFTERNOON OF REMEMBRANCE. This is when the animation community in LA gathers to remember our friends and colleagues who left us the previous year. A little later than usual this year, we will gather on Saturday March 1st at the historic Hollywood Studio Museum. It is the landmark building affectionately called the DeMille-Lasky Barn, where the first Hollywood movie was filmed. Cecil B. Demille’s office is still lovingly preserved there, maintained by Hollywood Heritage. We used to hold it in a church, but most animators get squirrely in such sacred places, and would rather be in someplace less solemn to recall stories of their friends.

Past speakers included Chuck Jones speaking about Friz Freleng, Joe Grant speaking about Marc Davis, Bill Stout speaking for Alex Toth and many more. This year we are honoring 47 people, from studio vice presidents to ink & paint artists, voice actors, writers. Jack Zander who died just shy of his 100th birthday, to James Street, voice actor of Strawberry Shortcake, who died in a skateboarding accident at age 13, the youngest honoree we’ve ever had to do.

Scooby Doo, characters designed by honoree Iwao Takamoto

Other honorees of 2007 include Iwao Takamoto who created Scooby Doo and Penelope Pittstop, Steve Krantz who produced Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat, Ryan Larkin, award winning Canadian animator who lived on the street, Jim Thurman who wrote the Roger Ramjet Show for Fred Crippen, Ray Erlenborn a sound effects artist who acted in Chaplin’s City Lights, and Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, Will Schaefer who composed the music for the Flintstones and Yogi Bear Show, and Dave Hilberman, an artist/ activist who’s talents contributed to Walt Disney’s classic films, then co-founded UPA and Tempo Prod, and had the unique distinction of being one of the only artists personally fingered by Walt Disney to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1947.
I’ll publish a complete list of honorees next week.

Background from Disney’s The Lion King, painted by honoree Gregg Drolette. Courtesy of The Van Eaton Gallery

The afternoon is free and is open for all the members of the animation family and their fans. Contact the Animation Guild Local 839 for more details.
Question: What is the origin of the phrase “I’m Highballing it out of here.”

Answer to yesterday’s question below
History for 2/7/2008
Birthdays: St. Thomas Moore, Eubie Blake, Sinclair Lewis, Larry "Buster" Crabbe, Laura Ingalls Wilder writer of Little House on the Prairie, Gay Talese, GI-Joe (the toy), James Spader is 48, Chris Rock is 43, Eddie Izzard is 46, Ashton Kutcher is 30

Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Mouse. Gong Hai Fat Choi!

310 AD- Feast of St. Theodore the General. He commanded a Legion under the Emperor Licinius in Pontus. After admitting he had embraced the outlaw sect Christianity he was tortured and burned in a furnace. Two years before the ban on Christians was lifted.

457AD- After the death of the Roman Emperor Marcian, General Aspar proclaimed his friend General Leo the Armenian to be the new emperor of the Eastern Empire.

1601-Elderly Queen Elizabeth Ist dallied with a conceited courtier named Robert Deverueaux the Earl of Essex. This hot headed toyboy soon got it into his head he could overthrow the old Queen and take over her government. This night at his estate- the original Essex House, flattering friends paid for a performance of Master William Shakespeare’s play Richard II. Queen Elizabeth’s spies overheard and told her; the symbolism of Essex watching a play about a monarch justly deposed was not lost on her. Next day the Essex plot was crushed and he and all his buddies went under the headsman’s axe.

1792- The major European powers- Russia, Austria, Prussia, Spain and England announced a grand coalition to crush the Revolution in France. They considered it a pre-emptive war to prevent French people’s style revolution from over throwing their monarchies. About the only ally the French had was the American Republic, but they were too weak and too far away to be of any help.

1796- Napoleon and Josephine’s engagement was announced.

1807- BATTLE of EYLAU- Up until the 20th century armies traditionally avoided fighting in winter because of the added hardships of weather. After chasing the Russian army up into Northern Poland Napoleon put his French army into winter quarters and proceeded to bed down with his new mistress Countess Maria Walewska. Unfortunately a French division bumped into the main Russian force and a battle ensued. Everyone rushed there and an inconclusive slaughter raged in a blinding snowstorm. The battle was only ended when Marshal Murat massed all the French cavalry into one big juggernaut and sent it hammering through the Russian center.

1821- Yankee Captain John Davis became the first explorer to step ashore on the continent of Antarctica.

1904- Great fire of Baltimore.

1910- The Town of Hollywood annexed into the City of Los Angeles.

1925- Professor Raymond Dart of the University of South Africa named the small human like skull found in a lime deposit Australopithicus, a missing link between ape and man.

1931- Aviatrix Amelia Earhart married publisher George Putnam.

1937- PACKING THE COURT-Since seizing the initiative in 1933 to battle the Depression Franklin Roosevelt was used to having his own way with Congress. After the Supreme Court struck down important components of the NRA as unconstitutional FDR this night informed leading Senators that he was introducing a bill to expand the Supreme Court from 5 justices to nine so he could name his own men and create a majority to do his bidding. The heretofore docile Senate rose up and defeated FDR’s scheme, the resistance led by his own vice president Cactus Jack Garner. The newly invigorated Congress continued to defy Roosevelt until Pearl Harbor.

1940- Disney's classic "Pinnochio" opened nationwide.

1942- Despite being under heavy Japanese attack British commander Sir Spencer Percival vowed that Singapore would resist to the last man. Singapore surrendered one week later.

1942- Detroit assembly lines ceased all production of civilian automobiles and focused exclusively on war material- tanks, planes, trucks until 1945. When President Roosevelt challenged carmakers to help make America the "Arsenal of Democracy" in 1939 they dragged their feet. Now the government sweetened their orders with guaranteed profits, labor peace and they would sell at incredible discount the factories built at government expense.

1944- German Panzergrenadiers launched a heavy counterattack on the Allied beachhead at Anzio Italy.

1950- The US recognized the nation of Vietnam not as ruled by Ho Chi Minh, but ruled by French mandate under the Emperor Bao Dai.

1960- JFK PARTYS WITH THE RATPACK-Before he created the Peace Corps and Camelot, presidential candidate John Kennedy needed to relax and raise some hell. So in total secret he helicoptered down to Las Vegas and spent this night at the Sands Hotel with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and his brother in law, actor Peter Lawford. These men were famous for their all-night Rat Pack parties, heavy drinking, party girls, poker and more. Sinatra introduced Kennedy to a party girl named Judith Cambell Exner, who would claim JFK as a lover at the same time as she was sleeping with Sam Momo Giancana, the don of the Chicago Mafia. In the wee dawn hours Kennedy slipped away to continue his race for the White House.

1964- THE BRITISH ROCK INVASION BEGAN. Thousands of screaming fans welcome THE BEATLES to New York for their first U.S. Tour. The last music out of England to be taken seriously by Americans was the Lambeth Walk, now the UK announced itself as a powerhouse of rock & roll. For a Brit to do Rock & Roll in America was as audacious as an American reciting Shakespeare in Stratford, but the welcome for the Beatles was so overwhelming that other bands like the Rolling Stones and Herman’s Hermits soon followed. Local New York disc jockeys Cousin Brucie and Murray the K wiggled to the front of the crowds and got a national audience by following the young musicians around. The crowds of teenagers were so excited they mobbed a Rolls Royce in front of the Warwick Hotel where the Beatles were staying just because they figured a Rolls Royce would be something they drove in. They actually used taxicabs.

1968- During the Vietnamese Tet Offensive a US Army colonel issued a statement to the A.P. after burning the tiny village of Ben Tre.:" We had to destroy that village in order to save it." It typified the sometimes dizzy logic the Army used to justify it’s actions.

1971- Women in Switzerland receive the right to vote.

1979- Nazis Angel of Death Dr. Josef Mengele was living in hiding in Brazil. This day the old man had a stroke while swimming and drowned. His death was kept secret until 1985.

1989- Retired tennis champ Bjorn Borg was rushed to a Madrid hospital and had his stomach pumped after he tried to overdose on sleeping pills.

1992- Twelve European nations sign the Maastricht Treaty of European Union.

1994 Jean Bertrand Aristide sworn in as democratically elected president of Haiti.

2001- Jean Bertrand Aristide sworn in as President of Haiti again. He was overthrown in 2003.
Yesterday’s Question: There are hundreds of kinds of Typefaces in lettering- Geneva, Times, Baskerville, Old English. So what makes the typeface Helvetica so special that the Museum of Modern Art in NY had a special display about it?

Answer : Helvetica, created by a Swiss graphics firm in 1958, today is the most widely used typeface around the world for public signage.