Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, This Date in History




1873.  Jesse James robbed his first train.  I was told that one of the families they hid out with from time to time were Trammells.  Relatives no doubt.



Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899.  He was a great writer.  He wrote about rugged types of adventures and just about lived the same kind of drink-straight-from-the-bottle kind of life.  I have read only one of his books, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA.  But I did see the FOR WHOM THE BELLS TOLLED movie.  He made Key West a tourist spot. 

When I think of Earnest Hemingway I think of big game hunting, charging elephants, tigers, bears, and maybe even sharks with knives.  Earnest Hemingway also reminds me of the movie HAPPY BIRTHDAY WANDA JUNE by Kurt Vonnugut, Jr.  It was first a play then it was made into a movie starring Rod Steiger - of course it had other people in it, but Rod Steiger's character is who I want to point out.  Steiger's character is very much like Earnest Hemingway.  His Manhattan apartment was decorated with mounted heads and stuffed animals that he had killed big game hunting.  Just like Hemingway, he was a man's man.  They went out and bought a birthday cake from a local bakery at the last minute.  The only birthday decorated cake the bakery had was one that had HAPPY BIRTHDAY WANDA JUNE on it.  It was a cake that was not picked up.  It was to be Wanda June's 13th birthday.  She was ran over and killed.  Which had another story-line, Jesus and Wanda June watched the interaction of the birthday party her cake was from above making witty comments about it all.  It was sort of like a Greek play.  The grabber of the play/movie, was that the Hemingway-like character, the man's man, so to speak, was impotent.  Never trust a book by its cover.



Don Knotts was born in 1824.  I think he is best known for his character Barnie Fife and his one bullet on the Andy Griffin's MAYBERRY, RFD.  The first I noticed him was on the STEVE ALLEN SHOW and the first TONIGHT SHOW, MC: Steve Allen.  He had the nervous high strung type of character down-pat.  I don't think he had to research his character-type much at all.

Dave and J. Fred Muggs


Dave Garroway died in 1982.  Dave was the first TODAY SHOW host.  Dave was a very casual dignified type of guy.  It seems to me THE TODAY SHOW has been falling in dignity ever since.  After Hugh Downs I feel it took a sharper degree falling downward.  Boy, Dave Garroway and his partner J. Fred Muggs knew how to show some dignity - especially that time J. Fred threw a birthday cake in Dave's face.

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