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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)

Truth, Justice And The American Way

A few years back Superman (2011 in DC Comics) announced he was renouncing his U.S. citizenship!  Now, I’ve not been a comic book reader/consumer since I was 10-11 years old, but I was always a big Superman fan.

I found this action repulsive.  One – that the beloved character would do such a thing, and Two – that in so doing such a children’s fictional comic would make the national news.  After all, they ARE just comic books.

Fast-forward to NOW.  It was announced a couple of months ago (and made the national news again recently) that beloved perennially-in-high-school everyteen comic book character Archie Andrews would die in the comic book.  This was NOT due to his having been in high school 78 years.

It was because he would dive in front of an assailant attacking his friend with a gun, and his taking a bullet for him!  Archie’s GAY friend!

What do I make of this?

Political correctness aside, I like to believe I would have done the same thing for any good childhood friend.  My best friend from third grade through college was a legitimately brilliant.  IQ off the charts.  Socially, less skilled.  But, except for his studies and church, my constant companion.  He was the geek I aspired to be, even though I didn’t have the mental acuity.

After his own father disowned him when he came out of the closet as a college freshman, and my own father lampooned his gayness, I had to stand up for Carl.  Fortunately, no one shot him.  And I, myself, had to overcome childhood indoctrination regarding gayness, and what that means.  After all, sexual preference aside, he remained my friend!

I’m not yet certain how I feel about comic books being tools for political correctness.  Of course, even Peanuts eventually had a Black character.  I suppose comic books must change with the times, as well.  I don’t know how the Archie friend’s character’s gayness is shown to the comic book audience.  Obviously kids are more aware of such things than I was 50-60 years ago.

But, I know one thing.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  –  John 15:13 (ASV)

If we can teach this to the self-absorbed-faces-glued-to-their-cell-phone adolescents, then all is not lost.   If only adults read comic books.

archie

Next On Matlock

Not THIS Matlock!

Not THIS Matlock!

Isn’t it wonderful when the family of a dead alleged criminal arrives to tell us how there wasn’t really a home invasion?

Somehow, the homeowner didn’t see it that way:

Authorities on Monday said Ronald Green, 66, was watching TV when he was startled by the sound of his front door flying open.

Ramon R. Matlock entered the home, and Green ran to a bedroom to retrieve a revolver, authorities said.

Matlock swung at Green, and Green fired a shot into Matlock’s chest and another into his lower back, authorities said.

Authorities said Matlock ran out the door, but only got as far as the front yard. The Omaha Fire Department pronounced Matlock dead at the scene.

ramon-e1394622574160

His family claims that perhaps the teen had been drinking and was confused, and thought he was at his aunt’s house. Presumably, crashing in through doors and taking a swing at those inside after they’ve retreated to their bedrooms is just how Ramon greeted people.

The district attorney said that Ramon was known in the neighborhood… and not for his hugs. He ruled Ramon’s entry a home invasion, and his swing at the homeowner a deadly force attack justifying the use of deadly force.

No charges will be filed.

Another example of wasted youth.

I did some incredibly stupid stuff in my youth, and as my Dad used to say, I’m not young, anymore.  But, it never occurred to me to get drunk, kick in someone’s door and take a swing at a 66 year-old man!

I was more into whining I had no date for Saturday night.  And the only time I kicked in a door was when I locked myself out of my own bedroom at my college roommates house.

h/t Bob Owens, Robert McDonald

Questions of the Universe

Betty or Veronica?  Ginger or Mary Anne?  Zelda or Tuesday Weld?

OR, another imponderable…

WHAT DID BARNEY RUBBLE DO FOR A LIVING?

barney

The question is posed by on Neatorama by Eddie Deezen.  Don’t cheat, try to find the answer in your own memory, then go read his essay at the link from the picture.

And remember Mel Blanc laughing as Barney:  “Ah hehehe, hehehehe!”

You’re NOT Jack Bauer!

You’re NOT Jack Bauer (And Other Reasons You Need to Stop Skimping on Training)

WRITTEN BY 

Good thing!.  Tactically, he sucked.  and with regard to his ‘technique’…

Bauer grip

Well, THAT sucked, too!  Cup and saucer?  SERIOUSLY?

Regardless, go see Mr. Michalowski’s essay at the link above.  We need to keep training, especially because we are NOT finely-tuned spec-ops guys.

And we know better.

National Proletarian Radio

nprI LOVE the concept of National Public Radio.  This assumes it reflects the entire political spectrum, which it does not.  It is not unlike the German Democratic People’s Republic.  It is neither democratic, a republic, nor of the people.  Just because it is so named doesn’t make it so!  (see also Republican Party, Democratic Party, Social Security, free health care).

Irons in the Fire posted recently an independent analysis of an NPR series (from Powerline), with the following results:

My finding is that the series was deeply flawed and should not have been aired as it was.
The series committed five sins that violate NPR’s code of standards and ethics. They were:
1. No proof for its main allegations of wrongdoing;
2. Unfair tone in communicating these unproven allegations;
3. Factual errors, shaky anecdotes and misleading use of data by quietly switching what was being measured;
4. Incomplete reporting and lack of critical context;
5. No response from the state on many key points.

Sadly, I see much of the same with some other NPR content, as well as with so-called ‘public’ television.  It’s sad that those entities can continue to obtain public funds under the guise of serving the public good.  Because they have a political agenda.  And it’s NOT equal time.

I’ll still sometimes listen to Click and Clack or Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me! though.  But, they should be paid for privately.

Gun of The Rich and (In)famous…

Some years back, when I was (somewhat) gainfully employed @ TMCCC, and part-time less-gainfully employed at my favorite firearms emporium (part-time), I was tempted with a ‘modified’ gun.

Not illegal, but, ‘customized’, fitting a specific taste.  And documentation identifying the previous owner who had requested the customization.

She was a Colt 70 Series, Commander, .45 caliber, blue, good cosmetically.  With the grip frame gunsmith-

commercial cco

commercial cco

modified to Officer’s Model length!!  Talk about made for concealment! 

This was long before manufacturer’s began mass-producing such a thing.  The only initial caveat was she needed an ambi-safety (I’m left handed).  Easily done.

She had Pachmayr stocks, and it was ‘suggested’ (pretty much demanded) by the shop staff, smith, and hanger’s on that ‘we’ remove said stocks to see the internal machining.  Because one never knows…

Good thing we did.

She appeared as though someone had chopped off the base of the grip frame with a hack saw (after a few beers), and then added many unnecessary tool marks whilst shaping the internals and the mechanism.

In short, a messed-up piece of hardware.  So, I declined.

In hindsight, she probably wouldn’t have been shot much, and would have become a safe queen, destined to be stolen with the rest of the collection and the safe a couple years later.  Sigh.

Documents indicated she had been previous owned by one Carlos Estevez, who had been branded with a domestic disturbance charge.  Federal law determined he must divest his ownership of all firearms as a result.  The shop acquired a number of his for sale.

sheenToo bad.  it would have been kinda cool to own a gun once owned by the infamous Charlie Sheen!

He even looks like a jerk!

Okay, I’m Creepy and Kooky – But NOT Like THESE Folks!

Gomez And Morticia Addams Have The Best Marriage Ever

I LOVED The Addams Family.  So much better than The Munsters.  ‘Course, I was a kid at the time.  My favorite holiday was Halloween and I wished (much like the Cleavers) my family were more like them.

Please click on the Gif to read how Gomez and Morticia had the best marriage EVER!

We should all be so lucky!

h/t BuzzFeed and Miss Cellania

TODAY is Robert Culp’s Birthday…

He left us in 2010.

Be cool, today.

Robert Culp - Cool Guy

Robert Culp – Cool Guy

Happy Birthday Walter!

On this day, in 1894, Walter Brennan was born!walter brennan2

(Regular readers know I love character actors!)

Certainly all of you remember him from ‘The McCoys’ aka ‘The Real McCoys’ 50s television show.  But he was so much more.

He was in such diverse films as The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein.  He received the very first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Swan Bostrom in Come and Get It (1936).

And most of us remember him as the preacher in Sergeant York:   “Them’s a mess of beef critter’s, Alvin.”

He was a conservative and religious (although private regarding which variety of religion).  He died of emphysema at age 80.

While travelling in Oregon with the family (in 1986), I got to drive by his ranch.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop.

I’m certain it would have been cool, even though he’d passed in 1974.  I even do a passable impression of him, although my roommate tells me it’s the same as my Pepperidge Farm guy impression.

“Lilly Langtry, Lilly Langtry!  (Judge Roy Bean in the Westerner)

We miss you, Walter.

h/t Wikipedia

"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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All original content on this web site is copyright (c) on date of publication by this author. All rights reserved, except that others may quote from the original content under the 'Fair Use' provisions of U.S. copyright law.

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