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April - May 2017

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BAD MEN ARE LIKE... sm
Bad men are like cigarettes.
You can't get enough of them when you're hooked.
When they're not around, you miss them like crazy
But once you get them out of your system,
you realize they STINK.


American Heiress / Patty Hearst


Photo credit:
Pictured: Patty Hearst - Victim?

AMERICAN HEIRESS: Berkeley was ALWAYS a WILD PLACE Only ONE American has ever had their sentence (35 years) commuted by one American president (Jimmy Carter) and their crime pardoned by another (Bill Clinton). It was publishing heiress, Patricia "Patty" Hearst.

It's odd this topic came up on the radio, because only a day or two before I mentioned Patty Hearst to my Millennial daughter. I was shocked when this well read, worldly and educated young women asked, "Who?" She'd never heard the tale of the kidnapping of (and crimes committed by) the granddaughter of the man whose life inspired the film Citizen Kane. Nor had she heard of San Simeon castle, Marion Davies or William Randolph Hearst.

I listened to Jeffrey Toobin talk about American Heiriss, his book on Patty Hearst, which was recently published. And it shocked me to rehear the details about how Patty had shot wildly across the street from the van in which she awaited while her "captors" robbed a bank. Her shots, thankfully, didn't hit anyone, but they succeeded in freeing her accomplices/captors, members of the self-styled Symbionese Liberation Army, from the clutches of the law.

I'd forgotten much of that bank robbery, and the iconic photos which accompanied it. I mainly recalled the horror of reading, at the time, about the SLA members breaking into the Berkeley campus apartment where Patty, only 19, lived with a teacher, Steven Weed, who was also her fiance at the time of her capture.

Read the actual story from the New York Times: Feb. 5, 1974 http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0204.html

From a DailyMail.com.uk article announcing the death of Patricia Hearst's husband (and former body guard), Bernard Shaw:

"Months later (after being kidnapped by the SLA), she announced that she had joined the movement herself, and started calling herself 'Tania'.

She was caught on camera, actively participating in a shoot out, while members of the SLA robbed a bank. Patty was later arrested by the FBI, but other members of her group were killed during the ambush.

During her trial, Ms Hearst's lawyers argued that she had been brainwashed by the kidnappers, which has led to her being regarded as a victim of Stockholm Syndrome.

However, she was convicted of bank robbery in March 1976, and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The sentence was commuted to two years by Jimmy Carter, and in 2001 she was given a full pardon by Bill Clinton."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2526407/Bodyguard-husband-heiress-turned-bank-robber-Patty-Hearst-died-cancer-battle-aged-68.html#ixzz4fbvNq6Vl Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Funny how time whitewashes everything. Many will say Patty's good fortune in not serving her original prison sentence of 35 years was white privilege. But I can assure you, had any other young woman of limited means, white or not, been in the same situation, they would have likely served their sentence. It's almost irrefutable they would not have recieved a commute and a pardon from two United States presidents.

It's ALWAYS been about money, class and connections.



Katharine Hepburn's Unconditional Love
Photo credit: Nippies.com
Pictured: Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003)
Photo credit: Nippies.com

I never really liked Ms. Hepburn much, even though I've always been a film buff. But tonight, after watching her speak about her life, I see her in a new light.

In 1992, ten years before her death at age 95, Katharine Hepburn participated in the documentary on her life. How like her: she controlled every aspect and asked that the film, and her biography (written by Scott Berg), not be released until after her death.

I caught the last 40 minutes of Katherine Hepburn on Turner Classic Movies. Based on her public persona, I thought of this Connecticut native as tough, godless, selfish, almost masculine. At the end of 40 minutes, I realized I'd misjudged. I was surprised at how easily her tears came when she spoke about Spencer Tracy. She really loved him deeply. She loved her family and had a very soft spot for all of them. She was loyal and kind to her employees. Even more surprising, she was "as terrified as the next person" of life. But she did love it, and claimed not to fear death. After a bit more research, I decided to write this piece.

Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn met on the lot of MGM. Joseph L. Mankiewicz arranged for the two stars to meet up prior to their starring roles in Woman of the Year (1942), which was being produced by Mankiewicz. Katherine showed up in high heels, which made her taller than the 5'9" Tracy. According to Katherine Hepburn, who was 5'7 1/2 inches, she expressed concern that she was taller than Spencer with the heels, and promised to wear flat shoes during filming. Mankiewicz famously said, "Don't worry. He'll cut you down to his size."

The 26 year Spencer / Tracy affair began shortly thereafter, and ended with Tracy's death in 1967 - only 17 days after principle filming wrapped on their final, and ninth, film together: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Spencer Tracy was very ill both before and during that film, and there was great concern over his ability to complete his role. (He did, but filming was more or less arranged around his good and bad days.)There is a scene there where the now old and dried up Tracy describes his love for his character wife, and you can see the tears in Kate's eyes are real. Katharine Hepburn could never summon the courage to watch that film. Now that is pain.

On Spencer Tracy's marriage and wife, Louise: according to Ms. Hepburn, the Tracy's had been separated for years prior to the Hepburn/Tracy affair. This is the cookie cutter excuse men feed their perspective mistresses, but that fact is well documented. Tracy had already had affairs with numerous leading ladies before Hepburn, including Loretta Young, Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Ingrid Bergman and others. He'd also had an affairs with Grace Kelly and Gene Tierney AFTER meeting Kate, and while she was away filming.

On her role in the relationship: Katherine Hepburn has repeatedly admitted that she "sat at" Spencer Tracy's feet and subjugated herself to him. According to a passage in her autobiography entitled ME

"We did what he liked. We lived a life which he liked. I struggled to change all the qualities I felt he didnít like. Some of them which I thought were my best I thought he found irksome. I removed them, squelched them as far as I was able...."

On other actors: Meryl Streep was Katharine's "least favorite actress on the modern screen." Katharine Hepburn holds the record with the most Academy Awards won, four, compared, as of 2017, to Meryl Streep's three.

On the Catholicism / No Divorce myth: Tracy did not stay married to Louise Treadwell Tracy because he was a Catholic and didn't want a divorce. (I always believed that, and thought him quite hypocritical). Spencer Tracy, according to Hepburn, stayed married because Louise was very involved in raising funds for deaf children (John Tracy, their son, was profoundly deaf) and supporting the clinic for deaf children founded by her. Ms. Hepburn explained the lack of a divorce: being Spencer's legal wife gave a great deal of clout to her fundraising efforts. Katharine Hepburn never cared if they married or not, as long as she and Spence were together.

Katharine Hepburn on Spencer Tracy and his alcoholism, which was legendary. He could go months without a drink and then, for a reason unknown to Hepburn, or anyone else, disappear. He would check into a hotel room and drink himself into oblivion, often when Katharine hunting him down and caring for him between bottles. "I don't think I ever knew him. I just tried to help." (A biographer later claimed he began drinking after seeing his father waste away from illness.)

Those who know anything about Katharine Hepburn, who wore pants long before it was stylish for women, is shocked on how much she loved Spencer Tracy.

On why she changed some things about herself (her decision, with no suggestion from Tracy) to more likely please him: "It gave me pleasure to ease his pain."

On June 10, 1967, at about 3am, Katharine Hepburn heard Spencer Tracy awaken and get out of bed in his Beverly Hills apartment. She followed him quietly to the kitchen, where he'd gone to make himself a cup of tea. Standing outside the kitchen door, she heard a crash and then a thud. The 67 year old legend Spencer Tracy, her longtime lover, had died instantly of a heart attack.

Hepburn knew she had to stay away from "Spence's" funeral, where reporters would be waiting. It was his family's time. So she arose early the morning of the funeral and, along with her devoted secretary and friend, Phyllis, drove to the mortuary. When the mortician came out, she asked if they could help load the coffin into the hearse. He alliwed it, and she and Phyllis helped load the precious cargo into the back of the hearse. Then Katherine Hepburn and Phyllis followed the hearse through the streets. Ms. Hepburn planned on quietly slipping into the back of the church, unnoticed. But the massive, waiting crowd was visible two blocks from the church, and it became obvious her plans of stealth would not work out. She tapped the brakes and watched the hearse pull away.
"Goodbye, friend. Here's where I leave you"

Spencer Tracy obviously loved Katharine Hepburn, but never told Katherine Hepburn he loved her. Yet she believed strongly that he did. Why else would he stick around, was her logic.

As I always say: love is not a word, it's an action.

No judgment, just unconditional love.

And finally, Katharine Hepburn's views on on life: "I've been as terrified as the next person. But you've got to keep going."



The Game of Life
Photo credit: JewishCurrent.org
Pictured: Mark Goodson (1915 - 1992)
Photo credit: JewishCurrent.org h

"Despite his enormous success, Mr. Goodson often expressed some regret about the field in which it had come. He told one interviewer in 1978: "one of the prices I pay is that the game-show business is essentially without status. I regret it and resent it. The first thing people ask is, why is somebody as literate and articulate as you in games? It's like saying, why is an engineer taking out the garbage?" -
Excerpt from Obituary of Mark Goodson: New York Times

If you are under the age of, let's say, 40, perhaps you are not familiar with the name Mark Goodson. But if you watch television, and pay any attention to the credits, you may be familiar with the name of Mark Goodson. He is the creative genius behind game shows such as Family Feud and the Price is Right, along with a slew of others. (A Goodson - Todman Production was the credit in the fifties. Bill Todman was a partner in the fifties through seventies.)

When Mark Goodson passed away on December 18, 1992, at the age of 77, he left an estate of $450,000,000.00. Yes, that's nearly half a billion dollars. And that was after Goodson, a noted philanthropist, had given much of his money away. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has a wing named after Goodson because of his $5,000,000.00 donation to that institution.

But, as you can see from the featured quote in his New York Times obituary, financial and career success didn't bring him complete happiness. Mark Goodson felt that the manner in which he amassed his enormous fortune - by creating game shows - was "without status". As he said, he regretted it and resented it.

Later in his life, after Mr. Goodson had lamented about his "status", he was rewarded richly with honors and accolades. In 1990, Goodson received the award that capped his 46-year career: the Emmy for Lifetime Achievement in Daytime Television. He'd also won the National Television Award of Great Britain, the Sylvania Award and three other Emmys. Source: Los Angeles Times

Some people will never be happy, no matter what hand life deals them. And it sounds like Mr. Goodson was one of them. May he rest in peace.

Mark Goodson: brief bio

Game Shows: Additionaal Links



One Night at Elaine's
(or...There'll Be Other Times)
Photo credit: NYDailyNews.com
Pictured: Elaine Kaufman at Elaine's, Upper West Side of Manhattan
Photo credit: NYDailyNews.com h

It's highly unlikely I'll ever move to Manhattan. That was an earlier dream. But I did work there on Tuesdays for a few years as a fashion buyer. And I did actually visit Elaine's (yes, that Elaine's) in 2007, which brought me halfway to fulfilling a decades long wish to sit down, and eat or drink, in that writers' haven.

We'd driven into Manhattan the night before, and my husband had his tryout (despite his talent, it was disastrous, but that's another story) earlier in the day. It was one of those March days where things come to life, and, today, I was one of those "things". I decided to use my free time to explore The City I'd not been in since I'd given birth to our first child 23 years before. New York didn't seem to have changed all that much, which gave me the courage to explore further on my own.

I remembered the working-girl lunches I'd eaten back then: light food grabbed between showroom appointments, eaten alone (my preference) in typical garment district luncheonettes. So this day I headed into the first steamy-windowed eating establishment I came across, ordered an oversized bran muffin and coffee, and climbed onto a red leatherette-covered stool. As I watched people bustling by to the next page in their life, I decided to turn a page in mine. Tonight we are going uptown, I decided, and I was going to visit Ms. Kaufman's "saloon".

While my husband circled the block, I asked an older gentleman in a long sleeved white shirt, who approached me, as I walked in, from his perch at the brass-trimmed mahogany bar, if it was "OK to come in and have a drink?" He smiled, and was very gracious. "Of course, of course!"

When I poked my head into the car, my husband made it clear he didn't want to pay the considerable parking fee at the parkade down the street. "There'll be other times," he said. I knew better, but returned with him, steeped with disappointment, to our lunchbox-sized, but respectable, hotel room not far from the theater where Eric Bogosian's play, Talk Radio, was on the marquee.

That night, lying in bed, I replayed my entrance into the dimly lit restarant over and over again. Such a brief visit - it couldn't have lasted more than a minute. But a visual was forever burned in my memory of the smiling, white-shirted gentleman approaching me from the old-fashioned bar on the left and welcoming me to this dream-like place. (Did he sit there and wait for me to come back?) The white linen-covered tables on the right, with their small, overhead lamps casting soft light on the picture-filled frames which lined the wall, were inviting me to sit down. Beside me, my husband slept- a shadowy profile unaware of my alternating reverie and disappointment.

Elaine Kaufman passed away three years later. By then, so had my belief that "there'll be other times."

Elaine Kaurman: brief bio

Walking America
(Walking should be a choice.)

Mr. Nippies and I walked for almost two hours tonight with destination: nowhere. That's a long walk, and we had things to do in the house. But it was so lovely out, and we realized this weather Is fleeting. So, off we went.

Walking is now my favorite thing to do. I love it. When I was younger, much younger, jogging was my physical activity of choice, but my legs just don't cooperate with my brain's commands these days. I once felt like a gazelle when I ran. But now? I feel like a bucket of bolts.

Odd, isn't it? When you are young, everything cooperates and all parts are tightly screwed onto the frame. But never mind all that.

The reason I'm writing this is to share an observation: many more adults are walking for pleasure and exercise. But I suspect much of this footwork is done out of necessity, as well. Tonight I saw a woman walking and pulling a small metal cart full of groceries behind her. I've seen others do the same with increasing frequency these days. Lots of adults on bicycles these days, as well, dressed in attire which indicate are actually headed somewhere, not just out for a pleasure cruise.

The price of gas is creeping up steadily in past weeks. Car repairs cost a fortune. The average age of cars has gone from eight years to nearly twelve. At that age, breakdowns are to be expected. (While there is no chart to tell me, I'm guessing a twelve year old car is comparable to 90 in human years.)And repairs are expensive. It's likely a broken down car has to sit for a while - perhaps a long while, until the owner can afford to have it fixed.

I really do hope there is a turnaround of jobs in this country. Not $8.50 or $9.50 an hour jobs - who can live on $17,000.00 per year? Not many. But real manufacturing jobs which pay a living wage of $12.00 or more dollars per hour, with benefits.

I also wish CEOs would begin to care more about the people who work under them. No CEO should be making more than 30 or so times what his lowest employee makes. According to Fortune.com, today's top CEOs make more than 300 times the average worker. The ratio of CEO to worker has increased 10x compared to 30 years ago. This greed has to stop .
Source: Fortune.com CEO pay


Make America Great Again
(Not just a political slogan)
Photo credit: Nippies.com
Pictured: Donald J. Trump / Immigration Speech
Photo credit: Nippies.com
Nippies.com original story

Business ethics have changed tremendously from the past. Post WWII until the seventies, I'd say, people took pride in their work and companies took pride in their products and services. Phone calls were returned and written inquiries received a reply.

Remember the Maytag repair man commercial? Maytag, and all American manufacturers, built products to LAST. Often, couples would buy a washer or stove when they got married, and still be using it on their 30th wedding anniversary. That was not unusual!

Now, major appliances are purposely built to last 5 years MAX, so you have to repair them. On top of that, you are encouraged to buy those ripoff 1 - 5 year warranties, which cost up to half of what the product costs.

Shoes repaired? Hardy har har. They are made to be thrown out. Products are disposable - even expensive ones. Phone calls or emails inquiring about services? Now, all too often, if you aren't a good prospect for a hefty profit, your call is ignored. Things need to change back to how they used to be. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN is not just a political slogan. It is a slogan for every day life. #makeamericagreatagain



Gullible America

Please, my fellow Americans, wake up before it's too late.

CNN, the liberal media & Gullible America: CNN is the neck which turns the heads of gullible, uninformed Americans. CNN is most guilty, but the New York Times, MSNBC, and the rest will now be called "CNN & CO" in this piece.

This past month, CNN & CO have twice accomplished this. First, after FBI Director Comey released his statement about Hillary Clinton's breach of national security regarding her e-mails and her (and her lawyers) attempts to cover up her sloppy and dangerous (to U.S. security) behavior. Research it. A few days later, on July 7th, Comey testifies in front of Congress about Hillary's despicable behavior. Lo and behold! Alton Sterling had been shot and killed while resisting arrest in the early morning hours of July 5th, so CNN picks up on this story and starts hash tagging it - making is a racially charged story of white cops killing a poor, black guy selling CDs to support his family.

In truth, Alton Sterling was convicted felon - one of his felonies was impregnating a 14 year old when he was 20 - with tens of thousands of unpaid child support. Cops were called because Sterling threatened a homeless person with an ILLEGAL firearm he was carrying (remember, he was a felon). He refused to comply after being told TWICE to "Get on the ground, get on the ground". He struggled even after being tackled. The cops saw the firearm and, rather than take a shot to themselves, shot Alton Sterling. The Alton Sterling story was used as RACIAL BAITING, and CNN hash tagged the hell out of it, dominated it with their slant, and took the heat off HILLARY, as they did for Obama back in 2008 when he called his grandmother a "typical white person" and referred to his "Muslim faith".

Flash Forward to the wake of the DNC. A HUGE SCANCAL BREAKS. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was exposed as the scoundrel she is....on the EVE of the DNC. It's reported she has RIGGED the the nomination process in favor of Hillary Clinton. Wasserman-Schultz is BOOED off the DNC stage, has to resign as head of the DNC, and on and on.

What to do? What to do? OK....the Democrat National Convention has to come up with something STUNNING to take the head of Gullible America and turn it away from the stinking reality of HILLARY CLINTON, the irate attitude of ripped-off Bernie supporters, and on and on.

CNN & CO needs to rake up another hot story. The DNC needs a DIVERSIONARY TACTIC! QUICK...THINK!

So, enter Khizr Khan, whose son was killed by a MUSLIM suicide bomber in 2004. Khizr Khan is an agent for the Muslim Brother hood, he's a wealthy, Harvard educated lawyer who works to bring Muslims into this country. But his talk at the DNC plays at the heartstrings of patriotic Americans. He USES the death of his son, Humayun Khan, to ATTACK TRUMP viciously.

Again, the head of GULLIBLE AMERICA is turned from the stink of the Democratic Machine towards Trump.

Where was the relevance to Trump and his temporary ban on Muslims? Khan wants to make the point that Trump would not have allowed his son into the country. But wait! The Khans came her, so Mr. Khan could attend Harvard graduate school, WAY back in 1980. There is no TRUTH to what Khan said, because back in1980, Trump, and the rest of us, had never heard of jihadists, beheadings of innocents, and Sharia Law. No one cared if you were Muslim or came here. NO one....I know...I worked with an Iranian psychiatrist at the time...we adored him and pitied him for what was happening in Iran.

What sacrifices has Trump made, KHAN DEMANDS TO KNOW! (What sacrifice has Khan himself made, we might ask...his son was the one who made the sacrifice. For all we know,he may have thoroughly disapproved of his son, the hero, serving in the military). Trump gave a very respectful reply. He did NOT attack Khan. Trump said Khan seemed like a nice buy, but questioned why Khan's wife had nothing to say, and wondered if she was allowed to speak.( I wondered the same thing.)

Suddenly, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is forgotten!! All the rigging, all the cheating by Hillary and CO....all of it....GONE....FORGOTTEN by GULLIBLE AMERIA. and Trump put on the hotxseat once again by CNN and the liberal media. WAKE UP AMERICA...stop letting CNN & CO tell you where to look, what to think, and HOW TO VOTE. ‪



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From My Window

It's raining right now. A soft rain. The time is shortly after 11pm on the Fourth of July, 2016. I love it, because it will nourish the grass that fills the wide expanse behind my house. Last Spring, that expanse was comprised of dirt. When it rained, gullies formed and turned our yard to muddy ugliness. And it had been that way for twelve years. Just like the public corruption in our small town which caused it to be that way, an blackness permeated by a dark, secret life beneath the surface.

But not this year. No. This year it is lush, soft, and, while there may still be a secret life beneath, it is dominated by the soft, green grass above.

Last night, for the first time since 2003, our family gathered under the trees which you can see in the photo accompanying this story. We roasted marshmallows. We drank coffee. We talked in the semi-dark, our faces lit softly by the burning wood in the small fire pit.

This was the first year in many years that we could do this because we live in small town. And sometimes small towns are run by corrupt people who rule these small towns like their personal kingdom. That was the case in our small town.

It wasn't always that way.

My great-grandparents built the home we live in somewhere in the 1890s, and one of their descendants has lived in the home - or at least half of the home - since that time. M/p>

The lovely white Victorian was one of the finest on the hill in the little predominantly Irish immigrant section of the town. A black, ornate wrought iron fence surrounded the large corner lot, situated across from a large cemetary. Green striped awnings shaded the windows.



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