Ruth Bancroft, Founder of Drought-Tolerant Ruth Bancroft Gardens, Turns 107

6 October 2015
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Ruth Bancroft Gardens


 Ruth Bancroft, Founder of Drought-Tolerant Ruth Bancroft Gardens, Turns 107



Wish we could say ‘Ruth Bancroft Celebrates’ but just to have the founder of the wonderful Eco-Friendly Succulent Gardens in Walnut Creek, CA with us another year is quite a milestone.


Bancroft has inspired garders hacross the world throguh her willingness to share the remakable landscape of drought -tolerant plans she began creating at age 64 as the first Partner Garden in the Garden Conservancy.


Hopefully, Bancroft will live to see the ground breaking of the ruth Bancroft Garden Visitors Center


Good friends are like quilts-they age with you, yet never lose their warmth

14 September 2015
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Click baby quilt for a closer

“Good friends are like quilts-they age with you, yet never lose their warmth.”

the freakin' old people?
Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those
Wonderful tunes of the 40s, 50s, 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
old people dancing
I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to,
Despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get older.
In White, 2008  Fat Czech on beach (short
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, I remember the important things. 

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
you mend a broken heart?
I am so  blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep
Grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

of man proposing to woman
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore.
I’ve even earned the right to be wrong. 
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,
But while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.
And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).
People Eating Ice Cream.
OldFriends - 3
Forward this to at  least 7 people, and see what happens on your screen. You will laugh your head  off!
(Notice, we use the term ‘older’ instead of ‘old.’  Let’s not think of ourselves as ‘old’  too much or that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy)

George Jedenoff – 97 Year Old Utah Skier George is back in Utah for another season.

11 March 2015
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George Jedenoff – 97 Year Old Utah Skier George is

back in Utah for another season


At 97 years old with 55 years of skiing under his belt, George is still ripping and an inspiration to us all.  He says he loves the powder  and getting out in it every winter and Spring. ‘Age is just a number,’says George. Don’t pay attention to it, just keep in good shape.  In this year’s video George answers questions submitted by Ski Utah fans on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Find out what keeps George fit and motivated to ski.


George Jedenoff – 97 Year Old Utah Skier George is

back in Utah for another season

FREE Resort Travel Deal – Las Vegas, Hawaii, Florida, California

12 December 2014
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California: Anaheim, Lake Tahoe, Long Beach and San Diego Area

Florida: Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and New Smyrna Beach

Massachusetts: Cape Cod and Springfield

Maine: Portland
Maryland: Ocean City

Mississippi: Biloxi
Nevada: Genoa

New Hampshire: Francestown and Salem
New York:  Amsterdam, Buffalo and Painted Post
North Carolina: Atlantic Beach, Banner Elk and Kitty Hawk

Ohio: Port Clinton

Pennsylvania: Hershey and Pocono Mountains (seasonal)

South Carolina: Charleston, Hilton Head and Murrell’s Inlet

Texas:  South Padre Island, Dallas and San Antonio
Utah: Park City

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Virginia: Williamsburg, Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Beach

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dells




Remembering President Kennedy, Kennedy Books, Holiday Gift Ideas

22 November 2014
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Remembering President Kennedy, Kennedy Books, Holiday Gift Ideas

Coupon Country Coup-Letter       Nov 22,2014
IN THIS ISSUE:  -JFK: How One Moment Changed America   -Pre-Black Friday  – New i-Christmas Stores
50 Years Later – How One Moment Changed America Forever
Remembering President Kennedy
‘There will be great presidents again,’ she said, ‘but there will never be another Camelot…it will never be that way again.’        – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy

KENNEDY New-Time-cover

JFK –  How His Assassination Changed America – John F Kennedy Pictures, Marilyn Monroe, JFK Store


Time magazine’s cover story(11–13)  is titled “The Moment That Changed America,” and it features some newly discovered color pictures of the Kennedys riding through Dallas before the fatal shots rang out. Reporter David Von Drehle writes the piece, calling the tragedy on Nov. 22, 1963 “shocking beyond almost anything else in American history.”   I would say that the moment’s resulting aftermath was even worse – how it dramatically changed, or contributed heavily,  to the largely rudderless,  schizophrenic  society that followed in it’s wake.   KENNEDY 50th Year Anniversary


November 22 Marks the Fifty-first year since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. On last year’s 50th Anniversary we saw perhaps a half dozen new  TV movies, videos / documentaries – and we’ve already seen a number of books come out such as Bill O’reilly’s best selling ‘Killing Kennedy’ ,   made into a TV movie .


       A single gunshot 51 years ago today changed the trajectory of the 1960s and beyond. The world instantly became a different place. Even Thanksgiving, which would, ironically, follow a few days later couldn’t help to remove the awful image and taste  of the young, popular President snuffed out in an instant  as he rode in an open limousine along a Dallas parade route in close view of thousands of  cheering admirers.

           In seconds all the hopes and dreams represented by Kennedy were dashed.  The happy days smiles of those in Dallas who had come out to get a chance to see their President suddenly turned to frowns and tears. An older President Johnson who would be sworn in as the new President moments later, try as he may  couldn’t replace Kennedy – nor, probably, could any President since. 51 years later the  United States and World still hasn’t recovered the optimistic,  good feeling  of the Kennedy years.

I remember as a grade school kid in 1962 my mother taking me to see President Kennedy at University of California, Berkeley, for the Charter day address. I didn’t really appreciate at the time  the President’s message  or the magnitude of his presence there. All I knew is that there were 88,000 presidential admirers packing the UC Stadium , taking time off on a week day to be there to hear and see the 35th President of United States. Can you imagine that many people showing up today for our current president or any other modern president since Kennedy, for that matter?

UC. BERKELEY Charter Day Address, March 23, 1962   It was rather eerie but interesting  – thanks TO modern technology – to  be able to listen to this Kennedy Charter Day Address 50 years lat er, from March 23, 1962 ,  and really understand it for the first time.  Here’s to you Mom, for bringing me to this historic date.   

    I think having seen President  Kennedy in person made it even   harder for this boy,at the time,  to fathom what we lost in President Kennedy one and a half years later,  on November 22, 1963.  Presidents weren’t supposed to die in office.    I remember not being able to finish my school lunch of macaroni and cheese after the news spread around school that Kennedy was killed.   My life – perhaps all of our lives – changed on that day with that single moment in time when Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President Kennedy – or, at least the Warren Commission’s version; we still arent’ sure of the perpetrator(s) but the main point is what we lost.  (People look to conspiracies as a way of explaining and coping with terrible experiences.)  

      I could literally feel and see things change around me during the   months and years after Kennedy. Some have called it the ‘end of innocence.’ The optimistic, happier times seemed to darken as society took on an discordant, often contentious and sometimes violent tone, which has hardly let up ever since. 

     One cannot say for sure whether  society would have changed anyway had Kennedy lived.  But, President Kennedy brought with him a positivity and excitement  that we haven’t seen since. They say the music died in 1959 with the plane crash involving  talented, young  Buddy Holly, one of the first and one of the best who wrote and sang  very moving,  melodic  music.  One might say that everything else went down on November 22, 1963 when Kennedy died.  Since then, despite major efforts, legislation and  billions of dollars trying to correct social iniquities and other problems in society, things seem to have only gotten worse. Time does not always heal and, sadly, we have not healed since the death of  Kennedy, in our opinion.     

      One can note the changes in society reflected in our media, music, movies , etc.,  which have taken on a significantly edgier tone since Kennedy. The crime rate has more than doubled. Today we are a less educated and more violent society than when Kennedy lived.  One would think that 50 years time would be time enough to correct most of those underlying social problems in society    that may have been simmering when Kennedy lived , yet things have only gotten worse rather than better with no foreseeable hope on the horizon. Throw all the taxpayer money you want at problems today –  it’s not going to bring us back to a time and place  First Lady Jackie Kennedy originally dubbed ‘Camelot’ . The early 60s was a time when peo ple still  left their doors unlocked, children played in the streets and neighbors actually visited one another .  Even without the technology that would later promise to make our lives easier and better , life was  much simpler and probably people were  happier.





KENNEDY  ’50 YEARS’  T-shirts Now Available  –  Give a memorable gift and keep this great President ‘s memory strong.   Also, customise your own  Posters, Mugs,  other wearables and specialty media










Interestingly, outside of the South, even the races seemed to get along better in the early 60s than they do today,  despite all the new found ‘understanding’ and social programs developed in the past 50 years. Bussing, welfare, food stamps… Nothing seems to have helped;  if anything, they’ve made things worse. We’ve seen flashes of a return to the Kennedy style during the presidencies of Clinton and Reagan but those times were fleeting,  without the same overall impact. All of our technological, medical and so-called educational advances have not helped to right the ship. No, Kennedy was not a perfect man or president, by any means, but he instilled fundamental christian values, if you will – basic, common sense, brotherly, core golden rules that brought us together during the postwar era and have since seemed to  go astray.
Despite what many considered a handicap in being Catholic, Kennedy was  able to unite  religions and races,  unlike any leader since his time. Can simply having the right president in office right all society’s wrongs? Of course not, but it can go a long way. Without opening up Fort Knox, Kennedy remained a friend to all races, colors and creeds. Even without finalizing any major social legislation , Kennedy was able to instill in the masses a sense of hope and success. During his presidency unemployment was lower than it is today and there wasn’t the need or   ‘benefit’ of millions of dollars in unemployment / aid. Outside of the South, ask minorities who lived during the Kennedy era about race relations    and they’ll likely tell you that things were better then.
WILDWOOD DAYS,  sung by Bobby Rydell , is  said to have been ‘the song’ that ushered out the Kennedy Era. (Dr Demento and others )  Rydell’s Cameo Parkway label spawned and capitalized on the dance craze of Kennedy era America  It was  a big hit at the time with upbeat lyrics and music  reflecting the feel-good Kennedy Years. Celebrating the fabled amusement park in New Jersey,  as WILDWOOD DAYS began fading from  the music charts,so came  the disintegration of Camelot – the JFK era of hope and optimism.
President Kennedy was a warm, highly intelligent man   of good humor. He was one who did make a real difference. Yes, one man can direct a nation and Kennedy did that better than anyone since. Politics didn’t matter -when both democrats as well as republicans respected the President  The likes of a man of the stature of Kennedy have been sorely missed ever since we lost him on that fateful day , November, 22, 1963.  I remember it well.  One man’s memories and thoughts.
In conclusion, it seems that much or most of the media coverage of President Kennedy’s 5oth anniversary   focused on the ‘morbid curiosity’  and controvery surrounding Kennedy’s death rather than looking at the man and his contributions – or even his mistakes.
Kennedy only served three short years with no major legislation, yet he managed to keep us out of war, specifically the Cuban Missle Crisis -which may go down as his crowning single achievement ,  watched over a strong economy and was a popular president with ALL the races.  He was a strong proponent of NASA and space exploration, which contributed to the optimism and hope he brought to the Presidency, and it’s those latter ‘intangibles’ including his charisma that may be Kennedy’s greatest calling . He oversaw an era of prosperity, quality cultural material and ‘happy days,’ which quickly vanished with Kennedy’s passing.   Had he lived we would have likely   seen some REAL tangibles like the civil rights legislation that President Johnson passed in his stead ;  but coming from Kennedy might have made a difference. It would have been interesting to see Kennedy’s perhaps modified approach to that .  A lot of ‘what if’s’ and we could go on all day discussing them. (There are some good books and video out such as ‘If Kennedy Lived’ by Jeff Greenfield that go into this speculation more. )
Most people today were not alive when Kennedy was assasinated and don’t  know that much about him.Hopefully, these anniversaries will bring out the legacy of Kennedy a little more – more than conspiracy theories or sordid details about Kennedy’s weaknesses.
We’ve learned a lot , too, about our 35th and , probably ,  one of the truly great Presidents.

Kennedy Quotes


 We all know his famous

 ‘My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”


In another TV documentary Kennedy spoke about the importance to take on challenges ‘not because they are easy but because they are hard.’   


‘Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.’


‘Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.’


‘Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.’


‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’


‘A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.’


‘Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.’


‘Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.’


‘The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.’



by BK


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MICKEY ROONEY Was Abandoned Twice by his Family, Bounced Back to Larger than Life Figure (and his 5’4″ frame), Quotes

10 April 2014
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Mickey Rooney with Judy Garland in an edited version of ‘Good Morning.’ 1939



A freelance interview from 2010 with Mickey Rooney traces his roots from a poor, orphaned boy in vaudeville.

 MICKEY ROONEY Was Abandoned Twice by his

Family, Bounced Back as Larger

than Life Figure (and his 5’4″ frame), Quotes

“When I was twenty I was the number one box office star in the world. When I turned forty nobody wanted me. I couldn’t find a job.”

— Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney

“A great man is only the reflection of a great boy in a larger mirror.”

— Ann Shoemaker, the actress playing his mother in Strike up the Band (1940), to actor Mickey Rooney

“Even in 1940, it was unlikely that movie audiences believed that Mickey Rooney, then twenty years old, would grow up to be a great man. He was, at the time, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. One secret of his allure was that it seemed he would never grow up at all.”

— Thomas Hine, Mickey Rooney and the Downsizing of Man



MICKEY ROONEY, who we lost over the weekend, was not only one of the last of the early film stars but one of the sharpest, most interesting interviews until his last days. Here are some famous quotes from the  5’4″ 93-year-young child star turned adult star, who left a major mark…though probably under-appreciated, as per the later article.   He certainly had a full life and experience  to make these statements:

Always get married in the morning. That way if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted the whole day
Mickey Rooney

(Editor’s Note: Rooney was married seven times so he could speak to this…of course, in fairness we should really have the wives’ take…)
You always pass failure on your way to success.
Mickey Rooney
I’m the only man in the world with a marriage licence made out to whom it may concern.

Mickey Rooney
A lot of people have asked me how short I am. Since my last divorce, I think I’m about $100,000 short.
Mickey Rooney

I buy women shoes and they use them to walk away from me.
Mickey Rooney
I was a thirteen-year-old boy for thirty years.
Mickey Rooney

When I say I do, the justice of the peace replies, ‘I know, I know…’
Mickey Rooney



“When I was twenty I was the number one box office star in the world. When I turned forty nobody wanted me. I couldn’t find a job.”

— Mickey Rooney

This excerpt from Rooney’s moving acceptance speech upon finally receiving a full-sized honorary Oscar (he received a miniature statue as a juvenile) in 1983 referred to his paltry output in films over the previous twenty-five years. In his speech he mentions that it was the Broadway play Sugar Babies that resurrected his career, but that the payoff wasn’t more good film roles but rather a remarkable performance in a made-for-TV movie, Bill. Rooney’s success on Broadway and in Bill in effect shamed the Academy into this belated acknowledgment of his stunning talent.

  MICKEY ROONEY, Larger than Life (and his 5’4″), Quotes

by Jim MacEachern, 2013

Many people are puzzled by the high regard Rooney has attained late in his career. Writers Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams were huge fans. Vidal spoke highly of Mickey in his book Screening History. Vidal appeared as a guest programmer on Turner Classic Movies to introduce the 1935 Max Reinhardt movie of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and said that Rooney’s performance as Puck changed his life by stimulating his love for Shakespeare. Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Anthony Quinn, and Laurence Olivier have also paid tribute to his gifts as a performer. Yet probably the last really good films Rooney was in prior to The Black Stallion in 1979 were Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962). And since his beautiful, Oscar-nominated performance in Stallion, there have been very few films of note. Much of the esteem Rooney has garnered in recent years is for his entire body of work, which has included some incredible work for the small screen, particularly his performances in some of the best dramatic programs during the so-called Golden Age of Television in the late ’50s and into the early ’60s. A few of his best-remembered roles are in The Comedian (1957) and “Last Night of a Jockey” (1963), and the highlight of his seemingly endless career came in the TV movie Bill in 1981.

“I was a 14-year-old boy for 30 years.”

— Mickey Rooney

One of the Mick’s very best performances was as Grady, the washed-up jockey in “Last Night of a Jockey” on Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone (1963). Rooney is the sole performer in this episode. The story concerns a jockey who has been suspended from racing for horse doping and race fixing. Early in the program, Grady looks at himself in the mirror with revulsion. He screams at his reflection with self-recrimination, calling himself a runt and a shrimp with a palpable self-hatred. Grady is alone in a rooming house with a bottle of booze close by. Suddenly Grady’s subconscious produces an apparition in the mirror who talks back to him. His alter ego takes over the recriminations with glee. Grady’s reflection taunts him with a list of the mistakes he has made in his life, and Grady responds defensively to the heckling. At first he tries to physically remove this voice by striking himself in the head. Rooney is working very close to his own subconscious here. He is, after all, playing a performer who is a has-been, banned from his work, and at times over the decades Rooney must have felt the same way about his own profession. It is chilling to watch this great actor literally bludgeoning himself with vicious words like runt and shrimp knowing all too well that his lack of physical stature hindered his own career greatly.
How aware was Rooney that this role was so close to his real-life predicament in so many ways? It’s hard to know. Even though he has written two autobiographies (the first in the early ’60s was ghost-written by sportswriter Roger Kahn), his version of the truth has always been somewhat unreliable. It’s not that he is deliberately lying but that he has such an emotional commitment to make-believe that he tends to see the world the way he would like it to be rather than the way it is. So the Mick is not very good at introspection. This is a major reason he is so bad on talk shows. In fact, he has never even appeared on Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton. That show is now in its 18th season and literally hundreds of actors have appeared on it, but not Rooney. There have been some great actors interviewed, and also scores of mediocre ones, but many of them went to drama school and/or college and can therefore converse intelligently and often charmingly about their rather ordinary careers and their “craft” in a way that Rooney cannot. In his interview for the Archives of American Television, he is asked to speak about his work in Bill, but he finds it difficult. Beyond giving the outline of the story and saying that he played the role “to the best of my ability,” he is reluctant to talk about the issue of institutionalizing the mentally handicapped, just saying that “he was an impaired man. How do you talk about that?” It’s as if Mickey felt sorry for the real Bill Sachter and didn’t want to tarnish his memory (Bill died in 1983) by discussing him. He is a completely intuitive actor. I doubt that he does much analyzing of his work either before or after the performance. He just does it without thinking about it. And for him that approach has worked magnificently. Mickey’s education has been show business ever since he busted out of his basinet at 17 months and pranced out onto the stage in the middle of his parents’ vaudeville act. The only formal education he had was at the little school for child actors on the MGM lot.
'Last Night of a Jockey'
In “Last Night of a Jockey,” Grady’s alter ego torments him throughout the show’s first half, but then offers to grant him any wish. Grady ruminates on the possibilities and decides that he wants to be big. The sight of Rooney-Grady standing in the middle of the room, arms at his side, looking upward and with all his power shouting to the heavens “I want to be big” is truly moving. The second act opens with the sound of thunder and a flash of lightning as Grady wakes up. He wipes the sleep from his eyes and immediately senses something a little odd. He looks and sees his feet dangle over the end of the bed. He picks up the phone, and it disappears into his huge hand. He begins to giggle as he realizes this Swiftian turn to his life. He mumbles, “This is wild,” as he giggles with delight. He stands up and the room shrinks around him. He is big! The first thing he does is call up an old girlfriend who jilted him to let her know that he is a changed man. She rebuffs him again. She thinks he’s crazy when he tells her about his growth spurt — “I must be six, seven, eight feet tall. The Lakers will be scouting me soon.” She doesn’t buy it, and he hangs up in anger.
'Last Night of a Jockey'
This being The Twilight Zone, the payoff comes when Grady gets a call from a racing official telling him there was a meeting of racing officials, who agreed that he should be reinstated. Grady is of course ecstatic at the news, but as soon as he hangs up the phone he hears his alter-ego cackling madly. It slowly dawns on Grady that he is now too big to be a jockey. Grady’s alter ego torments him further: “Your dreams were really quite small. Now if you wished to win the Kentucky Derby cleanly, that would have been something.” Grady staggers around the room in angry disbelief. He begins to trash the room like Godzilla on a rampage. He collapses in a heap on the floor crying in anguish, “I’m too big … I’m too big …”
Mickey didn’t even receive an Emmy nomination for stripping himself psychologically naked as Grady. Many of his performances were underappreciated at the time. Just a few years prior to The Twilight Zone episode, he gave one of his greatest performances in the biopic Baby Face Nelson. Director Don Siegel used Rooney’s lack of stature throughout the story. In one scene Nelson has a meeting with some gangsters in a playground. Rooney is sitting on a swing below a sign saying “children over 12 not allowed on swings.” But this low-budget movie did almost no business when it was released, and Rooney received bad reviews. Newsweek‘s movie critic wrote, “This one offers pocket-size, Puckish Mickey Rooney in the unlikeliest role of his career — that of Public Enemy No.1, vintage 1933. It is as incongruous as Edward G. Robinson playing Pinocchio.” But this movie is now considered a classic of the genre. David Thomson in his Biographical Dictionary of Film writes that it is one of the greatest performances in screen history and that it “achieves a fearful poetry because of Rooney’s seizure of part of his own appalling destiny.”

“Special thanks to Mickey Rooney. He said, ‘Kid, when the time comes to deliver, I’ll deliver’ and he sure did.”

— Corey Blechman, acceptance speech on winning an Emmy for his script for Bill

Rooney’s work in Bill is a masterpiece of physical acting. He said in an interview that everyone was telling him how to play the part of a mentally challenged man, but “I told them to shut up”; he pounds his chest, “I’ll do it from here.” There is a scene early in the movie when Barry Morrow (Dennis Quaid), who is doing a documentary on the real-life story of Bill Sachter, a mentally handicapped man who was warehoused with schizophrenics and people with every manner of mental impairment for forty-six years, has foolishly taken him back to Granville to see how he would react. When Barry goes on a tour of the institution, he leaves Bill with one of the patients he remembers from his decades there. Bill soon misses Barry and wanders off to try and find him. Barry becomes concerned when he comes back and finds him missing. He eventually locates Bill hiding in a corner and comforts him. Bill is frightened out of his wits and rushes back to Barry’s car. On the drive home Bill is sure he sees his sister, Sara, walking down the street and forces Barry to stop the car. Bill gets out and approaches the woman, who runs away. Bill follows her, calling Sara … Sara. He finally catches up to her, and she tells him she is not Sara and that her name is Ida. The look on Rooney’s (Bill’s) face reminded me in its total anguish of Munch’s The Scream. People talk about the actor’s mask; nowhere has it been more compelling to me than in that scene.

“We’re all just grown up little children making believe.”

— Mickey Rooney

One of the most remarkable things about Mickey Rooney is how he has been able to maintain an almost childlike emotional connection to performing. Film critic David Thomson has called it an almost “psychic identification with fantasy.” Nowhere is this childlike sensibility more evident than in his performance as Bill Sachter. He plays the character as if he were a child with very adult problems. We see this quality in the way he moves, walks, sits, and talks. There is a scene of Bill sitting on the floor with Barry’s young son, Clay, playing with a toy. Bill’s posture is that of a kid, with short legs outstretched on the floor. He pulls the string on the talking toy and bends toward Clay so they can both hear the message.
Bill on His OwnBut Bill is not a child. He is an adult with severe limitations. When Barry and his wife have to move away to take another job, leaving Bill essentially where they found him, he is alone again. There is a scene with Bill on the phone trying to call Barry but getting confused by all the numbers. The operator tries to help him, but he keeps telling her different numbers. He is so pitiful trying to do a simple thing that we all take for granted. He has a pained look on his face as he struggles, and the operator finally tells him she can’t help him, and when he hangs up the phone his entire body sags with disappointment. He seems so much a child, but his pain is that of an adult failing at something he desperately wants to do — communicate with his friend. Bill walks with a limp because he has an ulcerated leg that was not taken care of at Granville. His gait is slow and then quickens, like a kid who doesn’t quite know what he wants to do and then all of a sudden remembers. He is hesitant when he speaks because as an adult he is self-conscious about his communication skills, but his words pour out quickly when he gets excited and feels secure with the person he is talking to. Rooney used all the skills he had acquired as an actor to, in essence, play a child. British director Anthony Page was at the helm of Bill. Page’s background had been largely in the theater, but here he directs Rooney to a marvelously restrained performance that does justice to the story. It should be noted that the real Barry Morrow went on to win an Oscar for co-writing the story for Rain Man. It has essentially the same theme as Bill (am I my brother’s keeper), and Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for playing an autistic man. Rooney deservedly won an Emmy and Golden Globe for this, the greatest performance of his career. He went on to receive another Emmy nomination for the sequel, Bill on His Own.
The Mick has continued to work steadily since, which is a far cry from the period when he couldn’t find employment at all. Things at one time were so bad that he would actually take jobs appearing at parties for cash. Robert Osborne, one of the hosts of Turner Classic Movies, has interviewed Rooney for his show Private Screenings and has mentioned that he is surprised that Mickey has not received an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award or even a Kennedy Center Honor. Those awards have gone to actors whose careers and personal lives have not been so messy. As great as Rooney has been when working with good material, he has probably also been in more bad movies than any other major actor. Films like How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, and countless other bottom-billed drive-in movies don’t help when reviewing his body of work. He has been married eight times, and the boyfriend who did not like it when Rooney’s wife decided to go back to her husband murdered Rooney’s fifth wife. The killer of Barbara Rooney was a Yugoslav actor named Milos Milosevic, who then shot himself after the deed. This, of course, devastated Rooney but didn’t kill his insatiable desire to perform. A big part of the reason Mickey did so many bad movies was because he was in desperate financial straits. He had lots of alimony to pay over the decades, a gambling problem, and got involved in all kinds of crazy business ventures that included a mail-order Self-Study Acting Course and a food line headed by Mickey Rooney Macaroni. None of these business ventures panned out.
Mickey Rooney was awarded the Telluride Medal in 2005. Telluride is known as the American Cannes and to say that choosing Mickey Rooney for this prestigious award raised a few eyebrows is an understatement. Roger Ebert interviewed him for the tribute. The clips package that was shown included, of course, his work as a young man at MGM, the musicals with Judy, Andy Hardy films, and a few of his later dramatic roles. Telluride makes a specialty out of surprising its audiences with unexpected treasures, and in connection with Rooney’s tribute, the festival showed The Comedian, a 1957 live-on-TV Playhouse 90 drama written by Rod Serling and directed by John Frankenheimer (who called Rooney “the best actor I’ve ever worked with”). The video, recently released on DVD, is a revelation for anyone who identifies Rooney with Andy Hardy. The Comedian was rebroadcast in 1981 as part of an anthology series on PBS called The Golden Age of Television. An added bonus to the program were interviews with director Frankenheimer and surviving cast members Rooney, Kim Hunter, and Mel Torme.
The Comedian
The Comedian is a scathing portrait of the behind-the-scenes turmoil of putting on a weekly live comedy/variety series. Rooney plays Sammy Hogarth, the star of the show who browbeats everyone around him into submission. His favorite target is his weakling brother Lester (Mel Torme), whom he keeps around as a gofer and to be the butt of jokes in his weekly monologue. Lester has grown tired of the abuse — or rather his wife (Kim Hunter) has — and she has threatened to leave him if he doesn’t stand up for himself. Edmond O’Brien plays the dried-up head writer who in desperation uses the work of a dead colleague to infuse life into the show that by midweek was going nowhere. Lester finds out about the plagiarism and threatens to take this information to a columnist who is out to get Sammy unless the jokes at Lester’s expense are dropped from the monologue. The acting is superb from the entire cast, but it is Rooney who steals the show. His Sammy Hogarth is a despicable human being, but a recognizable one.



Mickey Rooney in BILL, 1981 – perhaps Rooney’s crowning achievement and a glimpse into his own troubled life.

 MICKEY ROONEY Was Abandoned Twice by his

Family, Bounced Back to Larger

than Life Figure (and his 5’4″ frame), Quotes

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE – Granny on Road To Success – Celebrating 100 Years

25 February 2014
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EYEWEAR Holiday Sale – Eyeglasses, Sunglasses, Prescription Lenses – FREE Medical ID Bracelet

13 December 2013
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96-year old Songwriter’s Perfect Antidote to Miley Cyrus

21 October 2013
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This weekend I had songwriter Fred Stobaugh on my show. You may remember, that when Miley Cyrus was taking a lot of flak from her raunchy performance at the MTV Video Awards, I mentioned Fred Stobaugh was the perfect counter to the performers out there who think they need to gyrate, strip down and curse to get a hit song.

Last April, Fred lost his wife of 73 years, Lorraine. Fred says she was the prettiest girl he ever saw, and he fell in love at first sight. After her death, he was sitting alone when he started humming a simple tune about her and wrote it down. He called it “Oh Sweet Lorraine.” He entered it in a songwriting contest. The sponsor, Green Shoe Studio, couldn’t accept a handwritten song, but they were so moved, they produced the song, with a video telling the story behind it. Well, the video went viral. And at the time, among all the sex-drenched tunes by Lady Gaga and Robin Thicke, you found “Oh Sweet Lorraine,” 96-year-old Fred Stobaugh’s song of undying love for his late wife, perched at #9 on iTunes’ top 10 chart. A great reminder that all a song really needs to be popular is for it to touch our hearts.

To watch a video about Fred and his story please click the link below. We’ve posted it on my website and hope you enjoy it.

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Biographies,Biography Books,Autobiographies,Best Economics Books – ‘Crisis and Compassion’ – Economics Professor’s Rags to Riches Life

19 October 2013
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LETICHE BOOK COVERCrises and Compassion: From Russia to the Golden Gate (Footprints Series)


John M. Letiche started life as Ianik Letichevsky, a citizen of the newly constituted Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The son of a brilliant but dictatorial father and a loving, cultivated mother, he went on to a remarkable career as an accomplished scholar, professor of economics, and adviser to governments. Letiche, now in his nineties, provides an intriguing look at the changes that have occurred during his lifetime. Following his Kiev childhood and formative years in Depression-era Montreal, he completed a doctorate at the University of Chicago and took up a Rockefeller fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. As a technical advisor to the Economic Commission for Africa he conducted trade talks with both gifted and corrupt heads of state in sub-Saharan Africa, and later shared a working White House dinner with an infamous American president. His half-century-long teaching career at Berkeley included a front row seat for the Free Speech Movement and the most documented student revolt in popular history. Told with humour, insight, and humility, Crises and Compassion moves nimbly among weighty events and meaningful personal history, showing how “civility in intellectual exchange” came to be the guiding principle of a life of monumental experiences (Amazon)



Memoir Traces Economics

Professors’ Climb from

Anti-Semitic Russia to Advisor

of World Leaders


Crisis & Compassion – From Russia to the Golden Gate

5.0 out of 5 stars Comment by Jeremy Kinsman, February 11, 2011

“Dr. Jack Letiche’s twentieth century journey instructs, entertains, and inspires the reader who will finish the book better off on any account, but above all for the time spent with the life and mind of a great thinker and global citizen.”

Jeremy Kinsman, Canadian Ambassador or High Commissioner in Moscow, Rome, London, and Brussels, and Regents’ Lecturer 2009-10, University of California, Berkeley
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than Economics – Professor’s Memoir A Real Life Rags to Riches Adventure, March 19, 2011
By Burt Kaufman

What a read! What a Life – and it seems a long way from over for renown Berkeley Economics Professor John Letiche! Now in his early 90s, Letiche has written his fourteenth book, his fascinating memoir recounting an almost unbelievable journey from a childhood in Russia, rife with anti-semitism, to adviser to world leaders. The book reads almost like an adventure story in its real life drama, including a serendipitous marriage proposal, an eye-opening meeting with President Nixon and, later, historic conferences with the Council on Foreign Relations.
One might expect a book written by an economics professor to be very technical but this book, written sans ghostwriter, is easily readable for all ages and education levels. Letiche has a very colorful, yet concise writing style.
This is less a tome on economics than a real life story one must read to appreciate. It might even affect your own life.

Crisis & Compassion – From Russia to the Golden Gate

From Anti-semitic Russia to the Golden Gate and more motiviational stories  ,







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From Anti-Semitic Russia to World Advisor

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