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This month the Ojai Valley Museum will exhibit the work of Sergio Aragones.

The Ojai Valley Museum located at 130 W. Ojai Avenue in Ojai, California announced that it will be mounting "Mad About Sergio," a first ever retrospective exhibit of the work of world famous Mad Magazine cartoonist Sergio Aragonés, an Ojai resident.


The exhibit, scheduled from August 7 – October 4, 2009, will feature original work by the artist as well as inform the viewer about the process of cartooning. Also featured will be wood carvings and other artwork that Sergio produces while he is thinking about his next cartoon concept. An opening reception will be held on August 22 from 5-7 p.m.

As an internationally known cartoonist for over 50 years, Sergio is known as the fastest cartoonist in the world. He is certainly the most honored, having won every major award in the field, including the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame Award. He has published over twenty books, created several comic book series including Groo. When I read MAD as a kid, I would save all the Aragones spot cartoons in the margins and read them all as their own pass. Despite all this talent, fame and success, he manages not to be an asshole, but a real sweet fun guy, and a dear friend. The Cartoonist Animation Professional Society( CAPS) Award is named the Sergio, in his honor. I am sure they hope that this way he'd lend them some money.

He will be speaking and demonstrating his dexterity with a rapidograph at the museum Sunday Gatherings during the exhibit. The first Sunday Gathering will be on August 30 when the subject will be "Cartooning with Sergio." On the closing date of the exhibit, October 4, the Sunday Gathering subject will be "Sergio on Comics and Humor."

The Museum is housed in a 1919 Mead & Requa early Mission Revival structure, the former St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Ojai is about 90 miles north of Los Angeles, in a beautiful hidden valley that Frank Capra picked as the setting of Shangri La in his film version of Lost Horizons.

Sam Jaffee?..Sam Jaffee as the Dali Lama..?

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Quiz: Ever notice most books are the same size? Who decided the standard size and why?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who said:” One Useless man is a Disgrace, Two Useless men is a Law Firm, Three or more Useless men is a Congress.”….?
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History for 7/31/2009
Birthdays: Liberace, Sebastian Sperling Kresge the founder of S.S.Kresge stores. Wesley Snipes is 47, Milton Friedman, Sherry Lansing, Geraldine Chaplin, Kurt Gowdy, Dean Cain, Leon “ Bull “Durham, Primo Levi, Ted Cassidy who played Lurch in the Adams Family, and according to J.K. Rowling, this is the birthday of Harry Potter

1620- The Pilgrims set sail for America. They were aiming for Virginia but washed up in Massachusetts instead. Comedian Eddie Izzard noted:” The Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth and landed in…. Plymouth…how convenient for them!”

1703- In London writer Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) was made to stand in pillory for writing critical satires of the Her Majesties government and Church. The pamphlet was The Shortest Way with Dissenters.

1720- Height of the Great Plague of Marseilles- A bubonic plague of such ferocity hits the city that the regional parliament at Aix en Provence drew a line around the city and forbade anyone to enter or leave. Order within the city collapsed and the Bishop of Marseilles with his Jesuits took over the day by day functions. Everyday the Bishop, seated on a huge wagon of corpses pulled by convicts chanting the "Miserere' would lead a procession to church. Ahh, the good ole' days.. In later years people never forgot the heroism of the prelate. When the French Revolution ordered the despoiling of churches, the people of Marseilles refused to throw down the statue of their hero bishop.

1763- Battle of Bloody Bridge. British Captain Dalyell tried a surprise attack on Chief Pontiac’s camp to relieve the Indian siege of Fort Detroit. But Ponitac was forewarned. His warriors shot up Dalyell and his men. Pontiac slew the captain and ate his heart. yum!

1793- THE BIRTH OF THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM IN AMERICA- Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson informed President George Washington of his intention to resign. Jefferson was frustrated with his endless feuds with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Adams. Although he told Washington he wished to retire to Monticello, in reality he planned to direct the strategy of his new opposition party the Democratic-Republicans. The party that became the Democratic Party was first called the Republicans, the term “democrat” was then seen as an insult. Jefferson called Hamilton’s Federalist party “the Monocrats” because he felt they had royal ambitions. From now on with few exceptions the U.S. President’s cabinet would not be a coalition of differing viewpoints but all from one party. The modern Republican Party would not be born until Lincoln’s time, 60 years in the future. Washington was appalled that his old friend and fellow Virginia planter Jefferson would take partisanship so far that he would desert him. Washington thought political parties a bad thing because it encouraged people to put the needs of their party over the needs of their country…. Heh, he should see things now.

1798- Admiral Horatio Nelson sighted Napoleon's fleet anchored in the bay of Aboukir at the mouth of the Nile. Since it was too late that evening to fight, the one-eyed, one armed admiral ordered dinner to be served. Over port he told his captains; "Gentlemen, tomorrow I shall gain either a peerage, or a crypt in Westminster Abbey !"

1904- Russia completed the Trans-Siberian Railroad, linking the Ural Mountains and European Russia with the Pacific Coast.

1914- Europe spirals down into world war. The Czar of Russia changed his mind one more time and ordered the Russian Army to mobilize. He told his chief of staff ” You may smash your telephone now, for I will not change my mind again.” The French government decided to reject the last minute German warning to keep away from their coming war with Russia and orders general mobilization. The leader of the French Socialists and best hope for European pacifists, Jean Jaure' was assassinated that night. He was shot through a window while sipping wine in a Paris café’. Jean Jaure’ had helped diffuse a similar crisis the previous year by chairing a last minute international summit in Switzerland. This time someone didn’t want him to spoil the fun. The murderer was never found.

1914- Meanwhile in America the reaction to the war in Europe was THE WALL STREET PANIC OF 1914. American investors feared the war would cut off European markets for their goods and thus be disastrous for business. So many sell orders deluged the exchange that on the advice of Treasury Secretary MacAdoo and J.P. Morgan, Jr. the New York Stock Exchange closed down completely until December. Brokers began to meet in the street around Wall and Nassau streets and make deals anyway. These 'Gutter-Brokers" were the world's only open functioning stock market for several months.
Ironically the war proved a boon to U.S. industry ( stock in Dupont went up 400% ) and caused the U.S. to supplant England as the world's largest creditor nation.

1917-The PASSCHENDALE OFFENSIVE also called the Third Battle of Ypres- Field Marshall Sir Douglas "Whiskey Doug" Haig proved he learned nothing in the last 3 1/2 years of trench war by ordering a massive standing infantry attack right into the German machine guns. Even today the War Office is vague on the losses, but the estimate is tens of thousands of young Britons died to move the front line 1/2 a mile. When hearing of the high casualties Sir Douglas reacted:" Oh dear, have we really lost that many ?"

1922- Ralph Samuelson invented water skis.

1930- Radio mystery show “The Shadow” premiered. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows…heh, heh, heh.” Orson Welles did the voice of the crime fighting Shadow for a year in 1937 for $185 a week.


1945- Truman still at the Potsdam conference issues the orders to use the Super Cosmic Bomb (a-bomb) on Japan but not before Aug 2nd to see if Japanese peace overtures through the Swedish Embassy were sincere. He conferred with General Eisenhower but Ike was against the decision:” It was unnecessary to use that thing on those people.”

1948- President Truman dedicated New York City’s second major airport Idlewild Field. In 1963 it was renamed Kennedy Airport.

1954- Steve Allen married Jayne Meadows.

1966- Birmingham Alabama held a massed rally to burn Beatles records after John Lennon quipped that they were more popular than Jesus.

1971- Apollo 15 astronaut went for a drive on the surface of the moon in their land-rover.

1977- Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz had kept normally unflappable New York City in the grip of fear for one year. This night he killed his last victim. He was caught because of his Volkswagen beetle being illegally parked. When writing the ticket the policeman noticed the 44 cal. pistol sticking out of a paper bag on the seat. Berkowitz was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and today says he is a born-again Christian and he doesn’t like to dwell on the past. ( too bad ). While in Attica he made friends with Mark David Chapman, the murderer of John Lennon.

1995- The Walt Disney Company bought the ABC Network, the Discovery Channel and ESPN.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Who said:” One Useless man is a Disgrace, Two Useless men is a Law Firm, Three or more Useless men is a Congress.”….?

Answer: John Adams. He must have been exasperated with the Blue Dog Congressmen still trying to compromise with the British.


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