Thursday, September 30, 2010
When in Budapest a few years ago, we visited the Doheny Synagogue, the largest shul in eastern Europe. Outside is this memorial, which was funded in part by Tony, the son of Hungarian jews. I had no idea of this, so I was quite surprised to walk over and see a plaque with Tony's name on it. Contributers can purchase a "leaf" that is inscribed with the name of a Holocaust victim. Of course, I've featured dear TC here at mittendrinnen before.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
In 1971, I traveled by train from Los Angeles to Boston. It all happened rather suddenly, so I had no time to prepare. I got on the train without a book or magazine. Once we were moving, I turned my head and asked the woman behind me if she happened to have anything to read. She offered me a bible......I counted telephone poles. I did have a pill, maybe a valium, which I took after not having slept in a couple days and right after I swallowed it, some dude decided to get chummy and make conversation (something that had not occurred up 'til that moment). He blabbed and blabbed and kept me awake. All in all, this wasn't going well. When I finally got to Boston, friends picked me up, but I was forced to go to the movies with them. I saw "Women In Love."
This is the souvenir I have from that trip, a placemat from the dining car. It's adorable and who knows, it may have value? I have no idea if it's rare or not, but of course for me, it's priceless.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I went looking for a good Betty Carter number on Youtube and the best I could find had goofy video accompanying it, much of it very foolishly literal. This accompanying video has nothing to do with the music. It's foolishly unliteral.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
I went looking for music on Youtube and either couldn't find what I was looking for or found it, accompanied by some hideous video. I made this in two minutes, so there is no video what so ever. Close your eyes and make your own tumblr.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
I was googling Sylvia Miles to recheck her birthdate (after Ross had commented that Ms. Miles had to be older than 78) but I mistyped something and ended up googling Sylvia Marie Likens. Oy, did I take a wrong turn.
The looker in the photograph is one Gertrude Baniszewski. In 1966, she was convicted of first-degree murder, the murder of 16 year old Sylvia Likens. Baniszewski's son and two neighborhood boys (one of those boys, Richard Hobbs is shown in the photo above) were convicted of manslaughter and spent a couple of years incarcerated. Seems Sylvia was the child of "carnies"....carnival workers. These parents were having problems and left Sylvia and her sister Jenny in the care of Gertrude three months before she died. Being that they were carnies and all, they weren't to flush with cash and though Mr. Likens had promised Gertrude $20.00 a week to watch the girls, he wasn't too reliable. Wikipedia says, "Baniszewski, described by the Indianapolis Star as a "haggard, underweight asthmatic" suffering from depression and the stress of several failed marriages, began taking her anger out on the Likens girls, beating them with paddles after payments from their parents failed to arrive on time." Nice, huh? Gertrude got two of her own children to participate in this horror (she had seven kids) as well as two neighborhood children. They all systematically made up stories and concocted plots to get Sylvia in trouble and then they would all take turns abusing her. Carving the words "I am a prostitute" into the young girls chest with a burning needle, putting lit cigarettes out on Sylvia's skin and putting a Coke bottle up her vagina were just some of the lovely things Gertrude and her posse inflicted on this poor girl. On October 22,1965, after being beaten, put in scalding baths and being burned, Sylvia died of a brain hemorrhage, shock and malnutrition. The prosecutor In Baniszewski's trial referred to this as, "the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana." Who could argue with this statement?
Gertrude's daughter Paula was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life, just as her mother had been. In 1971, mother and daughter were granted new trials (which sounds to me like "the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana"). Paula pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was released in 1973. Mommie Most Dearest was again convicted of first degree murder and remained in prison until 1985 when, against a public outcry, she was released because of her good behavior. Gert changed her name to Nadine van Fossan and blessed Iowa with her citizenship. She died of lung cancer in 1990. Sylvia's torture and murder has been the inspiration for at least five books and a film.
Sylvia Marie Likens
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
"The Timeless Wonder" Sylvia Miles flips another page today and begins her 79th year above ground. 78 today, she was christened, "The Timeless Wonder" by none other than Michael Douglas when he spotted her at a "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" barbeque. I'm not sure I'd have chosen the word timeless. From what I've seen, every single solitary moment of the last 78 years are etched and kvetched all over her. I take my hat off to you, dear Sylvia.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Marguerite Chapman, (3/9/18-8/31/99) began her career modeling at John Robert Powers in NY. Hollywood took note of her good looks and she was offered a contract by 20th Century Fox. Her big debut was in, "On Their Own" which starred Spring Byington. Her break came when Republic cast her in the female lead of the twelve part serial, "Spy Smasher". Because of this, she started getting better offers opposite the likes of Edward G. Robinson and George Sanders. Unfortunately, the promise of better things to come didn't, though she was kept busy throughout the 40s with over 30 film appearances. When television made offers in the 1950s, she took the work, appearing on just about every show ever made. The photos I have here are from her appearance on, "The Millionaire" 9/10/58 (as Myra Putnam) and "Laramie" 3/144/61 as Valerie Farrell. Her last credit is from, "Police Story" (a two-parter!) from 1976 where she played Becky. According to Wiki, Ms. Chapman was offered the role of Old Rose Dawson-Calvert in 1997's "Titanic", but she wasn't well enough to accept.
check what cookie has to say.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
On May 2, 1960 Caryl Chessman, (shown here with his attorney, Rosalie Asher) convicted of robbery, kidnapping and rape was executed at San Quentin Prison. He was known as the Red Light Bandit because he'd follow cars to lovers lanes and shine a red flashlight into the cars, tricking the passengers into thinking he was a policeman. Because of some law having to do with the Lindbergh kidnapping, Chessman was found guilty of kidnapping because he dragged a girl out of and away from her car in order to get oral sex. Interesting legal maneuver, to be sure. On May 4, 1960, the headlines of the Los Angeles Mirror News screamed "Tearful Lucille Ball Wins Divorce"...."Says Desi Often Had Tantrums" and "NEW CHESSMAN FUROR OVER CEMETERY'S BAN." Seems Forest Lawn in Glendale would not take Chessman's ashes because he'd been both unrepentant and an agnostic. According to findagrave.com. his ashes were scattered at sea. So, why do I write about this dude? It's because of the article below, which sounds like a John Waters' movie.
April 26, 1961 -- Lucille Ball autographs cast on broken wrist of Edith King, her dance routine partner in the Broadway musical "Wildcat." Miss King was hurt trying to catch Miss Ball when latter fainted on the stage.
Imagine if it had been the other way around, Lucy catching Edith.
Imagine if it had been the other way around, Lucy catching Edith.