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The Death Of Small Town TV With A Big Heart

Bill Thompson RIP

When my family moved to The Valley of The Sun (on the hottest day of the year in 1956),  I was 3 1/2 years old.  We had just missed Elvis’ June 9 concert at the Rodeo Grounds – something my then 12 year old sister bemoaned for years.

We had ONE black & white television, with an aerial on the roof.  There were FOUR television channels – NBC, CBS, ABC affiliates and the local channel, 5  (then KPHO).

KPHO had lots of schlocky TV of the period – mid-day movies to entertain the long-suffering housewives while they were doing laundry in the sweltering weather, game shows, and ONE show of particular interest to the children, like me.

IT’S WALLACE? was a spin-off of the earlier Gold Dust Charlie local kid’s show, starring Wallace Sneed (Bill Thompson).  He did vaudevillian schtick between running cartoons like Popeye and Bugs Bunny.  Soon, the college-kid cameraman (Ladimir Kwaitakowski) came to the front of the camera to act with Bill in skits and they performed topical humor for the kids between cartoons.

Eventually IT’S WALLACE became WALLACE & LADMO.  And a legendary television show was born.

You can have your BOZOs, UNCLE ALs and SOUPY SALES.  WALLACE & LADMO (in it’s various incarnations) was the longest-running children’s variety and cartoon show, from 1954 to 1989.

And Bill Thompson WALLACE was the head writer.  They mugged for charities, performed live shows on weekends, marched in parades and supported local police and fire departments, and hospitals.

And made us laugh.

In his private life (what little he had), Bill was a Civil War reenactor.

We lost Ladmo in 1994.

And they essentially gave their entire adult lives to entertaining children in Arizona.

You will be missed, Bill.  Hope you and Lad are yucking it up and getting the rest you both so richly deserve!  :-(

Bill Thompson, known as Wallace Snead from the "Wallace and Ladmo Show" has died. (Source: KPHO-TV)

A Reminder

courtesy of Stately McDaniel Manor

REMEMBER ERIK SCOTT?

Erik Scott

July 10, 2014, the fourth anniversary of the murder of West Point graduate Erik Scott by three panicky Las Vegas Metro police officers at the Summerlin Costco. For those that loved Scott, it’s an inexpressibly sad day. It’s also a sad day for those that love justice.

If you remember, know that the investigation by concerned citizens continues.

If you don’t, go to the link and read the background posts by Mike McDaniel.

And keep a good thought for the family.

It’s For The Children

They were CHILDREN . . .

Over here in the States we have been following every day the story of the kidnapped & murdered teens Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frenkel, also 16 – it is horrific – words cannot express . . . our deepest and sincerest sympathies to their families, and the greater family of the State of Israel . . . S.L.(Sean Linneane)

REMEMBER Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney?

Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney are killed by a Ku Klux Klan lynch mob near Meridian, Mississippi. The three young civil rights workers were working to register black voters in Mississippi, thus inspiring the ire of the local Klan. The deaths of Schwerner and Goodman, white Northerners and members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), caused a national outrage. (The KKK kills three civil rights activists – June 21, 1964)

For some reason, these two events connected for me.  Maybe it’s that they were young (The KKK murder victims were a little older than those in Israel).  Maybe it’s the senselessness of it all.

Violence in war is sanitized for our consumption; when young people die, though, when seen as individuals, it touches our hearts.

May God Bless all their memories.

Louis Awerbuck RIP

awerbuckAnother fine shooting teacher and gentleman gone.

LOUIS AWERBUCK

Beginning in South Africa, and emigrating to the United States, he was a range officer @ Jeff Cooper’s Gunsite, before striking out on his own with Yavapai Firearms Academy.

No word yet as to what happened.

h/t Tamara Keel, Facebook

Remembering…

It was two years ago today…

Time flies (and all that)

I miss you, brother.

markabell2

Mark Bell – click to remember

Take time today to hold those you love close, and tell them you love them!  Because you never know…

JFK – 50 Years Later…

I’ve recounted here before how the JFK assassination changed the direction of my life.  The short version is with a family history in law enforcement, and being a 6th Grader interested in being a cop at the time of the assassination, I was primed to evolve into an investigations career.  I spent many years as a private investigator and researcher, and have made a lifetime study of this crime.

I was fortunate enough to visit Dealy Plaza on November 22, 1992 (the 29th Anniversary) and to meet and speak with Jean Hill (The Lady in Red) and Penn Jones, Jr. (Forgive My Grief), as well as to walk the crime scene and take photographs.  Along with about 300 others that day.

My understanding is the City of Dallas is selling tickets (!) for the capacity crowd today.  Crime scene as tourist trap (see Ford’s Theatre).

There are those who believe The Warren Report as gospel, that Oswald acted alone; and those who believe the FBI, Secret Service, CIA, Army Intelligence, anti-Castro Cubans, pro-Castro Cubans, the military industrial complex, Lyndon Johnson and the entire road cast of Cats are responsible.  Or some amalgamation, thereof.

My best guess, based on the physical evidence,  is there was more than one assassin.  As to the puppetmasters, pick-a-card.  Certainly there are many accessories-after-the-fact who participated in obfuscation to cover their own incompetence, at the very least.  And perhaps elements of them were compartmentalized conspiratorial elements before the crime.  We’ll probably never know.

Hell, they still question whether or not Napoleon was poisoned, and the official Secret Service account of Lincoln’s killing neglects to mention his co-conspirators.  It’s neater that way.

Some things to ponder:

  • In the early 60s (during The Cold War), the Defense Department was actively using military recruits to ‘defect’ to Soviet Russia, to plant disinformation and collect intelligence.  Oswald learned Russian while a Marine, defected, and returned.  With ease. One of the telephone numbers LHO called from the Dallas lockup was to a military phone in North Carolina.  (His handler, perhaps?)  Of course, records where the number went are no longer available.  He was also a CI for the Dallas FBI.
  • In the late 50s, Jack Ruby was a known criminal informant for the Miami Police, with respect to smuggling and gun-running into Cuba.  He was mob-connected.  He obviously was not just a patriotic, grief-stricken night-club owner. (Incidentally, the last page of his Miami PD CI informational form, which contained names of his friends and associates has been ‘sanitized for your protection’).
  • I’ve stood behind the stockade fence at the top of the infamous ‘grassy knoll’.  It is not just an easy rifle shot. It’s decent pistol shot for someone with some skills.
  • Evidence suggests a bullet strike to the rear of the President’s car, in the street, another to the curb in front of the Triple Underpass (wounding James Tague) and a cracked limo windshield.  There is also a photograph of the dashboard with an obvious bullet strike from the rear. (I’ve seen it, but it’s not available on the Internet(!) The ‘Single Magic Bullet’ would have had to defy all laws of physics and then some for this to happen, with a single shooter and only three shots.  And LBJ ordered the limo and Gov. Connally’s suit cleaned before JFK’s body was cold!  Evidence, what evidence?  And speaking of Gov. Connally, there was more metal left behind in his wrist than was missing from CE 399 (the Magic Bullet)!
  • Men behind the stockade fence produced Secret Service credentials to Dallas Police, and others, immediately after the shooting.  Only the entire Secret Service entourage was with JFK, Jackie and LBJ at Parkland hospital at the time.  Who were these impostors?

The United States is promoted to the rest of the World as a beacon of liberty and not a banana republic.  At least it used to be.  Between Fourth Amendment abusers (like the TSA, NSA et al) sometimes I wonder.  And we should be able to protect the Chief Executive, or minimally determine what happened to him if we were unable to do so.

Not doing so is contrary to what’s left of this Constitutional Republic.

zap

The Zapruder Film – enhanced (click to view)

h/t Jean Hill, Penn Jones, Jr., Harold Weisberg, House Select Committee on Assassinations, et al

(and Happy Birthday to Dave the Genius Mechanic!  And many more, my friend!)

It’s That $%**^%#@ Day Again!

towersI hate to be a bearer of bad tidings, but it’s September 11th, again.

Wait!  Aren’t we supposed to be distracted by the pending war in Syria and Honey Boo-Boo?  They are similar, ya know.

Twelve years ago, and it truly does seem like yesterday.  And it’s only been a year and a quarter ago ‘we’ (actually, the spec ops guys) got Bin Laden (May 2, 2011).  We’re not done, yet.

The Global War On Terror, sorry ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ continues.  Kinda, sorta.

We need to remember who we are.  Or have we devolved into a different nation, one who treats international terrorist war criminals with Miranda Rights, instead of military tribunals. You know, as we do during WARS?

I’m a libertarian.  But just like I believe in the right and the duty for me to defend myself, I believe in the right and the duty for the Nation to defend herself, as well.

We can’t force everyone into becoming a Constitutional Republic.  But, we can kill and capture warriors on the side of evil to protect OUR Constitutional Republic.

It’s our right and our duty.  I hope we’ve not forgotten that.

REMEMBER

Dennis Farina RIP

dennis_farina_1lrgDennis Farina, veteran TV and movie actor, and former Chicago cop, passed away this morning in Scottsdale, AZ., from a blood clot in his lung.  He was 69.

I loved the personas this man brought to the screen.  One of my all-time-favorite TV shows is Michael Mann’s Crime Story, wherein Farina played incorruptible cop  Lt. Michael Torello in 1960s Chicago.  He carried a 1911 Colt with the grip safety held down by a stack of rubber bands!

He had homes in Arizona, and his home town, and I missed meeting him once, by that much.  One of my regular haunts used to be a gun store in central Phoenix.  I also worked there part time.  One day I sauntered in, and the crew advised me Dennis Farina and a pal had just been in the store!  I was 10 minutes late!

Fortunately, I’ve an autographed photo, somewhere.  Sadly, it’s not signed to me.

You’ll be missed, sir.  Time to break out the Crime Story DVDs – which I’ve largely memorized.

Land mines in the psyche

First of all, my apologies in advance of you reading this post.  I’ve a tendency to get a little maudlin this time of year.  Missing friends; family…

My roommate (and place-to-live benefactor) and I are very close.  We’re good friends – truth be told, we used to date.  So we know much about each other including backstory, family history, skeletons.  Stuff from our past(s).

And we were fortunate enough to visit the last gun show together.  A couple of blog friends were kind enough to give me the financial means. (Thanks, again, we couldn’t have done it without you!)

But there are land mines in the psyche.  Stuff I’ve forgotten about and don’t expect.  Buried deep.  You see, I used to take my daughter to the gun shows.  We used to visit antique malls, as well, and sometimes little antique-y things are displayed at gun shows.  There were a few at this one.

When my daughter was small, and she’d see a cameo, she’d remark, “There’s that lady, again.”  Hearing that always brought a smile to my face.

And, of course, I shared her expression long ago with my roommate.  Part of the tales from the past people getting to know one-another pass along.  And I always hear Molly’s voice in my head when I see that kind of jewelry.

So, here we are at the gun show, taking it all in, and up comes an antique jewelry display.  Not exactly why I visit guns shows.  So, I’m getting ready to gloss over it, when my roommate says softly, reverently,

There’s that lady, again.

And I cried.cameo

Some gotta win, some gotta lose…

Guffaw’s got the blues…

I try not to let the state of the World the Nation my life get to me.  I try not to be self-centered.  I do realize that there’s very little I can do regarding the state of either the World or the Nation.  I’ve let my opinions be known, and I voted.  I’ve spoken out on this blog.  In many places on the globe these things are not allowed, and subject to sever penalties.

But, I can do something about my attitude!  I’m approaching a landmark anniversary in my life (if you reckon in Base 10); I’ve no partner to share it with; no money – on disability (which is both a description of lack of funds and physical ability).

I’ve a number of chronic conditions, and seem to acquire more every day.  I owe medical bills.

I drive a 13 year old car, when I can afford gasoline.

And last Summer, because my disability income is 60% lower than my previous meager income,  I lost my home.  (“We lived in a hallway!”  “We dreamed of living in a hallway-we lived in a cardboard box!” – Monty Python)  Fortunately, a good friend offered me a place to stay.

Two weeks ago, my sister had a minor stroke.  (If there is such a thing).  She’s back to work, and coping, but it does get one’s attention.

But all is not lost.

Re: this upcoming calendar mark – My new neighbor and EX-wife (and friend) contacted me, and asked if she could put a little celebration together in my honor!

HOLY SHNIKIES!!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “If you have friends, you have everything!”  You know, like the end of that Christmas movie…

Time to remove my head from it’s regular inverted resting place and get moving.

Thanks for listening.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

In Loving Memory…

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