General Discussion, Wednesday, December 22, 2021

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25 Responses to General Discussion, Wednesday, December 22, 2021

  1. WeeWeed says:

    Mornin’ y’all!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. WeeWeed says:

    Liked by 3 people

  3. auscitizenmom says:

    Morninn’ Wee and Menage and All. According to my native Floridian friends, it is freezing here today, 58*. But, the sun is out and it is beautiful. I guess I will have to run to the $1.25 store to get some more wrapping paper. I didn’t buy any extra after Christmas last year and now have a few large things to wrap and no paper to wrap them. Hope they aren’t out. Best get going. Everybody have a fun day getting ready for Christmas.

    Liked by 5 people

    • WeeWeed says:

      Mornin’ Mom!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Snicker – $1.25 store – what by next year it’s going to be $5 store at the rate things are going?
      Have fun wrapping presents Mom. That was always one of my favorite things to do, but with no time any more it’s gift bags.

      Liked by 2 people

      • auscitizenmom says:

        Wow. I finally went and the parking lot was almost completely full. It is in a little strip mall and there are only a few stores and a grocery store. I figured I wouldn’t be able to move in the store I was going into. There were a lot of shoppers, but it wasn’t packed. I guess people were going into the grocery store. I have never seen it like that before. Oh, and only here and there was a person wearing a mask. Of course, this is Florida and we don’t have to.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. WeeWeed says:

    This is a story that appeared in WSJ 5 years ago.

    By Thomas Lipscomb
    Like many American humorists from Mark Twain to James Thurber, Jean Shepherd was a malcontent. His deceptively folksy, talent was fueled by a deep conviction that nothing ever turned out right. He mined his own mother lode of remembrance of things past by the knowledge that he could never go home again. The discontinuity between childhood experiences always fresh in his mind and the wry understanding he now brought to them as a sadder but wiser adult produced an unending alternating current of irresistible humor that lit the heart of his talent.
    Shepherd had created a niche of his own in the hectic post-war media world of Mad Men. His nightly “Jean Shepherd Radio Show” pitched to his die-hard fans of “night people,” for more than 20 years, included Bobby Fischer and Stanley Kubrick. “Shep,” as he was known, had written prize-winning short stories and sketches, best-selling books, he’d had sold-out one man shows from Carnegie Hall to many college campuses, even done a lavishly praised PBS series called “Jean Shepherd’s America.” And Steve Allen had nominated him as his replacement for “The Tonight Show.” But to Shep this meant nothing. Everyone else seemed to be more successful than he was.
    He was a terrific spotter of talent. He quickly saw the appeal of the new Village Voice, and the new Playboy and he took advantage of writing for both; he was an early fan of Jules Pfeiffer, Mort Sahl, Jack Kerouac, Shel Silverstein, Paul Krassner, Lenny Bruce, and many others. He pulled off one of the great fake book stunts with co-author Theodore Sturgeon. I LIBERTINE had Shepherd fans flooding bookstores with orders before the book existed.
    And in almost every case, Shepherd would end up at sword’s point with talents he had championed. He was convinced his ideas were being ripped off by many of his friends. It wasn’t just that everyone else seemed to be more successful than he was. To Shep, some of them became more successful by stealing his ideas.
    As Shepherd’s editor, I spent many an evening in the mid-1970s with Shep on full download with the latest listing of these indignities. The one he was most fixated on was often Herb Gardner’s long running Broadway play A THOUSAND CLOWNS.
    Herb and Shep had been great friends, and with all the superstition of an aborigine fearing his soul has been caught by a camera, Shepherd was convinced Gardner had captured his true essence and made millions off it as the chief character in the play and the subsequent film. And Shep hadn’t made a cent.
    Shep wasn’t entirely wrong. Gardner’s disgruntled but hilarious lead “Murray Burns” not only was given to endless Shepherdian monologues on just about anything, but copied his expressions and even his frequent ghastly singing of “Yes, Sir That’s My Baby” accompanied on a ukulele.
    I wasn’t about to argue with him, but his agent (who was also my author) was with us that evening. She was a feisty blonde named Leigh Brown and she had had enough. Leigh had been a professional show jumper, risking her life on onery horses she didn’t own, paid a pittance to compete in threadbare hunting “pinks” at top horse shows to prove what they could do for potential buyers. She was still exercising race horses at Aqueduct. She handled Shep just fine and was about to marry him.
    “Shep, I have told you a million times, your short stories simply aren’t filmable. They are quick sketches. Only by putting together a couple about Ralphie and that Christmas Red Ryder BB gun could you get a good enough story for a decent movie. And you refuse to let me try and sell that. You think it is too trivial. You don’t want just a movie. You want a significant movie. Don’t blame it on anyone but your own stubbornness.”
    This led to another half hour tirade about how incompetent Leigh Brown was. After all, he’d done those stories ten years ago and written much better since. Leigh was also the producer of his radio show. But Leigh was convinced that the radio show would close soon, Shep would be broke, and his only chance was that someone would make a movie out of Ralphie and the BB gun. She hoped they could make a fortune out of recurring income if it became a Christmas classic.
    Almost at the same time, an up and coming director I knew, Bob Clark, was putting together a new Sherlock Holmes film MURDER BY DECREE. He heard Shep telling the tale on the radio of how Flick got triple dog-dared into getting his tongue frozen to the school flagpole… . Clark considered himself an expert on the vagaries of adolescent America and he was immediately convinced this story was part of what could be potentially a great film.
    Clark proved his expertise by writing and directing PORKY’S a few years later, and with that gusher behind him, and by cutting his fee substantially and putting up some of his own money, he was able to get MGM behind A CHRISTMAS STORY. So Leigh Brown finally made her deal with Bob Clark.
    Shepherd’s radio show was long over. This was his last chance on the way to the poor house. Leigh co-authored the script with Shep and Clark, and helped keep Shep off Clark’s set, where he considered himself co-director constantly “helping the actors.” Leigh kept him working on his voiceovers and endlessly haranguing visitors to the set, most of whom had never heard of him.
    When it was first screened over the Christmas season of 1983 it was no PORKY’S. To date it has made barely $20 million dollars in theater receipts. But Shepherd was no longer a “has-been” and like “the Old Man,” he had finally won his own “major award.” And no one could steal this idea. Shep’s last minute success had been created out of the magical world of his own childhood, the one he had explored and shared with enthralled audiences all his working life.
    For the few years they had left, Shep and Leigh had enough money to retire on lovely Sanibel Island. And A CHRISTMAS STORY is now the most beloved Christmas classic film in America, just as Leigh had hoped and Shep had never dreamt.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Morning All! 🙂
    Yup – I made it b4 noon today!

    Here is a little book I’ll have to get. It looks like a nice one: Mary’s Little Donkey by Gunhild Sehkin.

    Have a great day everyone! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Here is a nice breakfast, or brunch with more bacon of course, to go with that little book:

    Off to get my backlog of work done. Guess I’ll be writing Christmas cards on Christmas day this year! Oh well, I always say it’s the Christmas season until “Little Christmas”

    Liked by 4 people

  7. stella says:

    Really clever editing (Tiger Woods and his son):

    Liked by 3 people

    • auscitizenmom says:

      That is adorable. My dad was around a lot after my son was born. I see more of him in my son than his father. My husband didn’t really know how to be a father because his was not around when he was growing up.

      Liked by 3 people

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