HONORING # 39
Long time readers may recall that on June 30, 2008, one of my American Legion baseball players, Jake Walkup, was killed in an accident. This weekend saw the 3rd Annual Jake Walkup Tribute Game between the two local teams. The games were secondary as, through a raffle and t-shirt sales, over $800 was raised for a scholarship fund in his name.
|Jake Walkup's grandfather throws out the first pitch|
It's hard to believe that this weekend marked the 50th Anniversary of the release of the classic novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird." This book, and "In Cold Blood," are easily two of my top five novels of all time and I've read and re-read them repeatedly since I discovered both of them in the mid-1970s. Of course, what I find interesting about this is that the "Mockingbird" character Dill (the young boy who comes to visit each summer) was actually based on Truman Capote, who wrote "In Cold Blood." "Mockingbird" author Harper Lee is still going strong at age 84. Not to be outdone, her 92-year-old sister is still a practicing attorney!
SPY vs SPY
If you thought the black and white guys in "Mad" magazine were idiots take a look at the recent spy ring of 11 Russians the FBI netted last week. Courtesy of Time magazine, one of the spies was so incompetent that she:
1. Agreed to meet with a new "operative," not realizing that the phone call she received was from an FBI agent with a bad Russian accent.
2. When she met with the "operative" she handed him her lap top, complaining that she was having trouble with connectivity and asking him to "fix it."
3. She was followed to a Verizon Phone store where she bought a cell phone and phone cards. Even though she had been going by her alias of "Anna Chapman," she used her real name (Irine Kutsov) on the account. And apparently the clerk had no trouble with her using the billing address of "99 Fake Street."
No word yet on whether they were able to stop Moose and Squirrel before they were sent back to Moscow.
Marvel Films has announced that an unknown actor, not Edward Norton, will play the Hulk in the upcoming "Avengers" film.
Kevin Bacon has joined the cast of "X-men: First Class." Nothing confirmed yet but rumors are that he will play "Mr. Sinister." Also recently cast, Nicholas Hoult, who will replace Kelsey Grammar as the Beast and Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee. Unconfirmed rumors have Lucas Till playing a character who turns out to be the brother of Cyclops.
If Warner Brothers makes another "Superman" film they want Chris Columbus in the director's chair. Apparently the studio was upset at the "disappointing" $194 million "Superman Returns" made domestically and have told Bryan Singer that his services are no longer needed. Also, the studio let Brandon Routh out of his contract recently.
"The Way I Feel" by Leonard Nimoy
Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Original Soundtrack - Composed and Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith
For some reason I'm in a "Star Trek" mood so I thought I'd snag these two classics off of the shelf this week.
Now before you laugh at the Nimoy album, remember that nearly every star on television, from Richard Chamberlin to Johnny Crawford to David Soul to Bruce Willis have made albums to capitalize on their popularity. Nimoy is no difference. The good thing is that Nimoy can carry a tune. He's even toured the country as Tevye' in "Fiddler on the Roof." Many fans are familiar with his "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," but here he tackles mostly familiar tunes, including "Sunny," "Both Sides Now" and "If I Had A Hammer," which features a very dramatic spoken verse. Give it a listen:
One of the most recognizable movie themes, partly because it went on to be used in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Jerry Goldsmith's music for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was just another way to prove that Paramount was serious about the film (after all, none other then Robert Wise had been hired to direct). It's also one of the high points of the film, keeping the movie moving when it's dangerously close to stopping dead during some scenes. Goldsmith created some of the greatest film scores ever, including "Planet of the Apes," "Patton" and "Chinatown." He was nominated for the Oscar seventeen times, surprisingly winning only once for "The Omen." He passed away six years ago this month. But his rousing themes live on:
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
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