THINK IT’S GONNA RAIN – Marilyn Armstrong

#RDP 47: CLOUDS

I wasn’t going to post again … but I looked outside and it’s as dark as night. I guess we are getting some rain today. Finally. It’s about time!

As as the thunder rolled, the rain started pouring down.

And now, it’s raining. Hard. It’s still very dark outside. Maybe we’ll get that cooler air they’ve been promising.

OPEN MEMORY – Marilyn Armstrong

A Wide Open Memory – RDP #46 and #FOWC

Just when I think I’ve finally figured out what’s going on with my body, something weird changes and I have to figure it out all over again. When I think I know what I look like, I take a peek in the mirror and wonder — “Who is that?”

When I know what day it is? It isn’t. Sometimes, I’m not fully clear on the year and recently, someone asked me my age and I said 22 without even a pause.

What would Superman have to say about today’s world? I’m absolutely sure he could fix it, aren’t you?

Now, it’s obvious I am not 22 … or for that matter, 62. I think my brain skipped a beat and made me — for that brief moment — the girl I was. Because in 1969, I really was 22. That was a great year. My best year.

The music was amazing. The news was upbeat and we just knew that somehow, everything would work out better. And it would do it soon.  It wasn’t that we didn’t have plenty of issues and problems, but we were positive, and absolutely, positively certain that we could overcome them and really be great. Americans.

Great Americans, not these tawdry pretend imitation creatures that mealy mouth Americans but act like Stalin’s cohorts.

We walked on the moon and the Mets — who had previously been not only the worst team in baseball but hilariously the worst team — won the World Series. My friends were alive, full of bounce, and energy. Nobody was trying to figure out where they could move so they could use public transport, avoid having to drive, and skip the hard winters.

We still liked winter. We thought snow was fun. We went sledding and tobogganing even though they hadn’t yet invented Uggs. We went to the beach in summer and people got a suntan and bragged about it.

We got birth control and Roe V. Wade came down from the Supreme Court — and it was a real Supreme Court with honest-to-God the best in the world judges on it. They didn’t always agree and some of them were definitely strict constitutionalists while others were more inclined to change the law because the world was growing up.

But for all of them, the Constitution of the United States was the issue. It mattered. Law mattered. No matter where they fell, on which side of whatever issue was presented, they cared enough to be sure they made decisions they believed were in the best interests of the people they served.

Remember that? They people they served? They served us because we were the people. Even the politicians we hated were real Americans. They believed in this country. They believed we had a role in this world and it wasn’t just to become the richest, most corrupt global corporation on Planet Earth.

It’s not hard for my brain to take a bounce and get back there. I wonder what kids today will remember as their happiest days? I hope it won’t be how many different things they could do with their mobile phones. That would be too pathetic.

So just when I think I know something, it skitters away. Sometimes, it’s because I forgot. It’s easy to forget. So many things don’t feel important now. Values have changed. My understanding of reality has changed.

Remember growing up with The Lone Ranger?

I bet the Super and Lone could make things right! With maybe a hint of Crockett, just for the legend. You should always print the legend.

#RDP – Open

#FOWC – Memory

COVFEFE, KERFUFFLE AND A LEGEND FROM AMERICA’S COLLECTIVE NIGHTMARE – Marilyn Armstrong

The Kerfuffle About Covfefe

First, let me speculate on the old word “covfefe.” Although over the months there has been much speculation about what the originally intended word might have been (if indeed an actual word was intended at all) — “coverage” came up as a possibility. Personally, I’ve always felt “kerfuffle” was the target word.

I believe “covfefe” was supposed to mean “kerfuffle” but Our Leader can’t spell and also has not learned how to use Google to find a missed spelling. So he just throws stuff into Twitter without regard for the language. He has no regard for the constitution, so what’s another English word or three?

Kerfuffle is not easy to spell and since he can’t spell even simple words, he certainly can’t spell that one. It means “a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views.” Kind of where the world is at. Truth be known, try writing “kerfuffle” on your phone and watch auto-correct go wacko.

Our leader, Lord Pit-of-Evil, believes he is a legend. 

If he is a legend, it is from a collective nightmare of our nation. For those of us who had nightmares concerning “the state of the state,” this is the guy we were sure we could never have to govern us because we have laws. Rules.

Our constitution has always survived the assholes. I feel obliged to remind everyone that he is not the first or only asshole to make it to the top of our political ladder. There have been others. More than one. If there were social media when Andrew Jackson was president, it would have been pretty much like this. Or worse. He personally slaughtered entire Native tribes. Unabashedly, with vigor and verve. And you don’t even want to know about his personal life.

I have saved this favorite bit of cartooning from the New Yorker for today. It is exactly how I feel.

A NOSTALGIC SPOOF: THE LAST OF THE SILVER SCREEN COWBOYS – Garry & Marilyn Armstrong

A Nostalgic Spoof of a Beloved Movie Genre

We watched “Rustler’s Rhapsody” again last night. I love this movie. It’s an affectionate spoof of the B-Westerns of the 1940s starring Tom Berenger, Patrick Wayne, G.W. Baily (currently with “Major Crimes” on which Berenger has a recurring guest role), Andy Griffith and Fernando Rey.

The women include Sela Ward, a solid dramatic actress perhaps best remembered as Dr. Richard Kimble’s slain wife in the movie version of “The Fugitive”. There’s also Marilu Henner who riffs on all the “Miss Kitty/Miss Lily” saloon ladies of our favorite TV westerns.

Andy Griffith and Fernando Rey both play power-mad cattle barons. Fernando usually plays an international drug czar and you probably remember him in “The French Connection”. He is slimy sinister personified. Rey and Griffith make a very odd couple. Check out the scene where they argue about who gets to do the countdown for killing the hero. They are hilarious, but Andy Griffith steals the show.

We love the movie so much we own two identical copies of it on DVD. It wasn’t going to be available for long, so Marilyn bought a copy for us, another for our best friends … and an extra. Just in case.


rustler's rhapsody dvd cover

NOTE: As it turns out, “Rustler’s Rhapsody” is available. Again. Who knows for how long? If you are interested, Amazon has the DVD and the download.


Tom Berenger is The Hero who shoots the bad guys in the hand. Pat Wayne is the other good guy, but he used to be a lawyer, so be warned. Casting Pat Wayne was an inspiration. “Rustler’s Rhapsody” could easily be an homage to his Dad’s ‘poverty row’ westerns of the 1930s. Pat even nails Duke’s acting range of that period.

My heroes have always been cowboys, even the stalwarts of those budget-challenged B movies. I had the good fortune to spend time with two legends of the genre. Buster Crabbe and Jack “Jock” Mahoney.

Crabbe, most famous for his “Flash Gordon” days, contends he had more fun playing the lead in the oaters where the line between good and bad is always clear and you get to wear nice costumes. He considers his westerns as “small classics” not B movies. (Crabbe continued his career into the late 60’s when producer A.C. Lyles revived the B cowboy movie with over the hill actors including Johnny Mack Brown, Rod Cameron, Bob Steele, Hoot Gibson and Richard Arlen among others).

Jack “Jock” Mahoney, known to many as TV’s “Range Rider,” is a former stuntman who graduated to supporting roles as nimble villains and finally established a following at Universal-International, playing literate good guys in lean, well-written westerns. Mahoney clearly is proud of his work in the B movies. I remember the smile on his face as he recalled the fun of being recognized as a cowboy hero.

I think all the cowboy actors I’ve met (Including John Wayne) would heartily approve of “Rustler’s Rhapsody”. It’s an affectionate tribute to their work.

This is the song they play at the end of the movie when the credits are rolling. I love the song and the memories it brings because I’m of the generation that went to the movies and watched those B movies as part of the afternoon doubleheader at the Carlton or Laurelton, the second or third-run movies houses where you could see two movies and a cartoon for a dime. Eleven cents if you were considered an adult. Which turned out to be any child older than 10, but they still made you sit in the kid’s section — which I firmly believed (and still believe) was unconstitutional.

Warner Brothers, 1982. “Last Of The Silver Screen Cowboys” by Rex Allen Jr. and Rex Allen Sr. Be sure to listen for Roy Rogers in the final commentary and chorus!

RDP #43: SUPERSTITION? TIME FOR BASEBALL! – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #43: SUPERSTITION

I have never been superstitious. No worries about broken mirrors or walking under ladders. No throwing the salt. None of that. I like black cats — and for that matter, black dogs and brown people.

The Superstition Mountains

Except since I got involved in baseball, I have gotten wrapped in Garry’s personal superstitions.

The Red Sox special 2018 Aloha shirt by Reyn-Spooner.

It turns out that people who are “into” sports are very superstitious about them. If they are on a winning streak, they won’t change to different shoes until the streak runs out. Or they will only be called by a particular nick-name during a drought versus during a streak.

Garry and Harvey Leonard, famed meteorologist sharing old Dodger baseball memories

For Garry, the fear is that when the Red Sox are doing well, if you talk about it, it will end. I grant you that this superstition grows out of the Red Sox 87 years without a World Series win, but still. We are doing well this year, but we can’t talk about it. When the announcers start to talk about it on television, Garry changes the channel.

It’s part of a long tradition which goes with the most dangerous line in our language: “What could possibly go wrong?”

It really is the most dangerous line in the English language. Something can always go wrong. No matter how well you’ve planned it, scanned it, laid it out in columns. Backed it up with a dozen alternate plans, if you say those words, something bad will happen. Always.

Especially in baseball.

FEELIN’ GROOVY: SIMON & GARFUNKEL – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #42 – Groove with Simon & Garfunkel

Those definitely were the days, my friends.

This song has always made me happy. It reminded me of waking up in New York and just enjoying life. I was young. So were they. And they lived sort of next door, so you never know. I might be the next great songwriter.

The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
Hello lamppost, whatcha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo, feelin’ groovy!

Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy.

Songwriters: Paul Simon
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

RDP #41 – VINTAGE STUFF – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #41 – VINTAGE

Each time I get one of these “Vintage” things, I think I should post pictures of Garry and I. We are definitely vintage, though today has been a yeoman’s effort at house cleaning — or at least cleaning the kitchen, living room, stairs, and foyer.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – circa 1928

It would have been less strenuous if Gibbs has not thought this was a great time to go swimming in the water bowl. Each time I cleaned up the gallon or two of water all over the floor, I’d turn around and there was another gallon there. And of course, the water bowl was all full of mud and the VERY clean kitchen floor had his muddy footprints on them. So you could say we have a thrice cleaned kitchen and hallway floor.

Qing dynasty rice bowl, typically used by field workers. The blue chicken is a cultural thing. The bowl is almost 200 years old — and it isn’t even close to my oldest piece of pottery.

This was the day I moved cabinets to get behind them (ew!) and under the feet (double ew!). Next time I have the courage of my convictions, I’ll move the piece in the middle where I store the pots and pans, as well as the dog, treats et al. It doesn’t get moved because it’s heavy. There’s a lot unloading of other things before we even think about moving it. Not an easy job for a couple younger than we and a huge job for us.

Ana McGuffey – 1946 – Mme. Alexander – Doll’s faces are intended to embody the “adorable” factor of real toddlers.

There are an awful lot of vintage things around this place, even discounting Garry and me as the primary vintage couple.

See the pictures for other vintage items and wave to us as the vintage couple who seem to collect stuff even older than we are. Old, older oldest?