D-Day + 80 years

National WWII Museum

Today is D-Day +80 years. Since someone asked, D-Day stands for Day-Day. “D-Day and H-Hour are used for the day and hour on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated.” June 6, 1944, “was so iconic that it came to be used solely when referring to the beginning of Operation Overlord.”

This year, I learned about the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The site has several articles about the anniversary.

Surprisingly, the number of the war dead from that day is still in dispute. “Of the 4,414 Allied deaths on June 6th, 2,501 were Americans and 1,913 were Allies. If the figure sounds low…, it’s probably because we’re used to seeing estimates of the total number of D-Day casualties, which includes fatalities, the wounded, and the missing.

“While casualty figures are notoriously difficult to verify… the accepted estimate is that the Allies suffered 10,000 total casualties on D-Day itself. The highest casualties occurred on Omaha Beach, where 2,000 U.S. troops were killed, wounded, or went missing; at Sword Beach and Gold Beach, where 2,000 British troops were killed, wounded, or went missing; and at Juno Beach, where 340 Canadian soldiers were killed and another 574 wounded.

“The vast majority of the men who died perished in the very first waves of the attack. The first soldiers out of the landing craft were gunned down by German artillery. Once those pillboxes were destroyed and the machine guns silenced, the later waves of troops faced far better odds.”

There was a disastrous dry run 40 days earlier, so the success of the actual invasion was remarkable.

Albany is represented

From the Albany City School District website: “The Albany Marching Falcons officially kicked off their trip to France on Tuesday morning, loading their luggage, their instruments, and themselves onto two chartered buses bound for an evening flight from JFK International Airport to Paris.

“The group – some 50 City School District of Albany students from grades 6-12” -at least two of whom I know– “will be part of France’s official commemoration of the 80th anniversary of D-Day. They were accompanied by marching arts director Brian Cady and numerous chaperones and family members.

Take a look at a Facebook photo album of the sendoff

“Led by director Bryan Cady, the Marching Falcons will be one of only two bands from the U.S. invited to perform on Omaha Beach in Normandy. [The other is from the University of Florida.] The Marching Falcons will also perform at D-Day memorial concerts in Falaise, Saint Laurent-sur-Mer, and Paris before heading back to Albany on June 11.”

Pass

I watched this CBS News story about the WWII museum. A 99-year-old vet told the story of his deployment to kids eight decades his junior.

In the narrative, one teen asked his father to watch the movie Saving Private Ryan. That caught my attention because I decided in 1998 that I would not see the film. I saw previews in the movie theater and a brief clip during the Oscars.

Esquire magazine ran a story in 2023: 25 Years on, Saving Private Ryan’s Opening Scene Remains Cinema’s Most Brutal Depiction of War. Steven Spielberg’s Omaha Beach landings are not for the faint of heart. And that’s the point.

I guess I’m of the faint of heart.

“The 24-minute sequence captures war in a way that we hadn’t seen before, and hasn’t been matched since. It’s the nervous shakes that possess [Tom] Hanks’ hands. The vomit. The desperate surprise of soldiers drowning in the shallows, dragged down by their gear. The indiscriminate German bullets landing with a ‘puft’ in American chests. The relentless machine gun fire and explosions. The arms blown off, the guts hanging out, all of it captured by a cameraman running alongside the actors, instructed to pan to whatever part of the horror caught his attention.”

Some extremely small part of me says that I ought to watch it. Then the “hell, no” part of me wins out. Still, I’m glad it exists.

“To watch this opening salvo is to witness this veteran’s story transposed directly onto the screen. It’s a guttural, terrifying sequence that plays like something from a horror film. As it should; so realistic was this beach assault that it was reported to have triggered PTSD in veterans.”

Rather like war itself, no matter the cause.

A quarter century married

stop fretting

Carol and Roger
Carol and Roger, June 2018

My wife and I have been a quarter century married. I find this fairly remarkable, given some of my previous relationships. Heck, we went out for 18 months in the mid-1990s then broke up. Then we got married three years later. I’m trying to explain how.

At least part of it is that we have negotiated over the years the fact that we don’t process information the same way. She’s WAY better than I am in terms of remembering names. When we meet someone on the street who recognizes me, she often introduces herself to the person because she knows there’s a 50/50 chance that I can’t remember their names, even though I know HOW I know them.

Our filing systems are not compatible. She files with the tab in the front and I put it in the back. But mostly, it’s the categories. She files documents by year, so if I wanted to find the warranty on the refrigerator, I’d have to look in the file for 20… ; I have no idea. I would have put it in an appliances folder. So she files and retrieves that stuff.

She’s watched the news far more than she had before I met her. I used to be stunned that she was unaware of several stories of significance. I’m not talking one-day news but ongoing narratives. When I would observe how the new story Y is like or unlike previous story X, she said she had never heard about story X. Hmm.

We have someone do our taxes. This is to ensure domestic tranquility because doing our taxes was… fraught. I was a 1040A/1040 EZ guy before. She itemizes heavily. We have bank/credit union accounts that are hers, mine, and ours. This is a very good thing.

Moving

A massively important thing is that we moved a year after we got married. She owned a two-family dwelling. I moved in, getting rid of a lot of my stuff, including a clock radio, the first item I ever purchased with a credit card, from Sears. Only two years earlier, I had bought a piece of real furniture, a love seat, but there was no room for that.

She said she was making room for her stuff. But it felt that she was creating space for MY things in HER place. I should give props to our then-pastor at our then-church who advocated for us to get OUR place.

We seem to have different roles in terms of raising the daughter, and increasingly, it’s the daughter deciding who is most qualified to address said topic.

I have learned to stop fretting that when she says we’re leaving church, or wherever, it’s not really when we’re going. I’ve brought reading matter for this very purpose.  She’s made a concerted effort not to be late, especially when she sets the time.

Increasingly, she finds me funny. I mean ha-ha funny. Either my material is better or she’s more indulgent.

But mostly, we’re married this long because of alchemy. Heck, I don’t know.

50th anniversary of CBS TV in 1978

I used to watch on WNBF-TV, Channel 12, Binghamton, NY

cbs 1978 starsOn Facebook, Quora, and undoubtedly other sites, there’s What’s a test to see if you are old? The example involved this photo from the 50th anniversary of CBS TV in 1978. I remember it well. Because Binghamton, NY, only had one VHF station back when that actually mattered, I tended to watch WNBF Channel 12. The reception was generally better on channels 2 to 13 than on the UHF stations 14 to 83.

The Old Wolf shared a list of the participants. But someone complained that “the list should show the CBS SHOWS for which they were attending the CBS 50th anniversary show.” For instance, NOT Sandy Duncan in ABC’s Roots or Cicely Tyson in the 2011 movie The Help.

Old Wolf replied: “Like I said, the shows that I mentioned are the ones that were the most familiar to me and not necessarily the ones that they were best known for. Want a different list? Create one on your own blog.”

A challenge

So, here’s the list with the performer, the shows, whether I likely recognized them in 1978, and whether I recognize them now. (I had to biggify the pic, of course.)

1 Lassie- Lassie, Y,Y
2 Jean Stapleton -All in the Family, Y, Y
3 Walter Cronkite – CBS Evening News, Y, Y
4 Alfred Hitchcock – Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Y, Y
5 Mary Tyler Moore – The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Y, Y
6 Ellen Corby – The Waltons Y, N
7 Gene Rayburn – Match Game, Y, Y
8 Vivian Vance – I Love Lucy, Y, Y
9 Milburn Stone- Gunsmoke, Y, N – I thought he looked like Barry Goldwater
10 Ann Sothern – The Ann Sothern Show, Y, N
11 Barbara Bain – Mission: Impossible, Y, Y
12 Nancy Walker – Rhoda, Y, Y
13 George Burns – The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Y, Y
14 Cicely Tyson – East Side, West Side, Y, Y
15 Arthur Godfrey – Arthur Godfrey and His Friends, Y, Y

Born Richard Skelton

16 Red Skelton – The Red Skelton Hour, Y, Y
17 Gale Storm – My Little Margie, The Gale Storm Show (Oh! Susanna), Y, N
18 Danny Kaye – The Danny Kaye Show, Y, Y
19 Sandy Duncan – Funny Face/The Sandy Duncan Show, Y, N
20 Telly Savalas – Kojak, Y, Y
21 Dale Evans – The Roy Rogers Show, Y, Y; incidentally, this was an NBC primetime show (1951–1957), but rerun on CBS Saturday mornings from 1961 to 1964
22 Roy Rogers – The Roy Rogers Show, Y, Y
23 Ken Murray – The Ken Murray Show (1950-53), N, N
24 June Lockhart – Lassie, Lost in Space, Petticoat Junction, Y, Y
25 Arthur Murray – The Arthur Murray Party, Y, N
26 Kathryn Murray – The Arthur Murray Party, N, N
27 Eric Scott – The Waltons, N, N
28 Cami Cotler – The Waltons, N, N; I could identify them in 1978 as “those kids from the Waltons,” but not by name
29 Bonnie Franklin – One Day at a Time, Y, Y
30 William Conrad- Cannon, Y, Y
31 Eva Gabor – Green Acres, Y, Y
32 Allen Funt – Candid Camera, Y, Y
33 Tim Conway – The Tim Conway Comedy Hour, The Carol Burnett Show, Y, Y
34 Danny Thomas – The Danny Thomas Show, Y, Y
35 Bob Keeshan – Captain Kangaroo, Y, Y; his copy of the picture was up for auction in 2013
36 Dennis Weaver – Gunsmoke, Y, Y
37 Ray Walston – My Favorite Martian, Y, Y
38 Sally Struthers – All in the Family, Y, Y
39 Garry Moore – I’ve Got A Secret, The Garry Moore Show, Y, Y
40 Linda Lavin – Alice, Y, Y
41 Douglas Edwards – Douglas Edwards with the News, N, N

Guinness World Record for “Longest TV career by an entertainer (female)

42 Betty White – The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Y, Y
43 Bob Schieffer- CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, Y, Y
44 Ned Beatty – Szysznyk (a 15-episode show from 1977 I had never heard of), Y, Y
45 Charles Kuralt- CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, Y, Y
46 Arlene Francis- What’s My Line, Y, Y
47 Jamie Farr – MAS*H, Y, Y
48 Adrienne Barbeau – Maude, Y, Y
49 Vicki Lawrence – The Carol Burnett Show, Y, Y
50 Mary McDonough – The Waltons, N, N
51 Don Knotts – The Andy Griffith Show, Y, Y
52 Lucille Ball – I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Y, Y
53 Ed Asner – The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Lou Grant, Y, Y
54 Jackie Cooper – Hennessey, Y, Y
55 Esther Rolle – Maude;, Good Times, Y, Y
56 Joan Hackett – The Defenders, N, N
57 Eric Sevareid – CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, Y, Y
58 Mike Wallace – 60 Minutes, Y, Y
59 Sherman Hemsley – The Jeffersons, Y, Y
60 Jack Whitaker – The NFL on CBS, Y, Y
61 Isabel Sanford – The Jeffersons, Y, Y
62 Judy Norton Taylor – The Waltons, N, N

Models for Scooby-Doo?

63 Bob Denver – The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; Gilligan’s Island, Y, Y
64 Caroll O’Connor – All in the Family, Y, Y
65 Dwayne Hickman- The Bob Cummings Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Y, Y
66 Richard C. Hottelet – See It Now, Y, N
67 Will Geer – The Waltons, Y, Y
68 Lesley Stahl – CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, Y, Y
69 Art Carney – The Honeymooners, Y, Y
70 Tony Randall – The Tony Randall Show (which started on ABC but moved to CBS), Y, Y
71 Bob Newhart – The Bob Newhart Show, Y, Y
72 Dick Smothers – The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Y, Y
73 Hughes Rudd – The CBS Morning News, Y, N
74 Ted Knight – The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Y, Y
75 Georgia Engel The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Y, Y
76 Jon Walmsley – The Waltons, N, N (I thought it was Ron Howard from The And Griffith Show!)
77 Charles Collingwood CBS Reports, Y, N
78 Audrey Meadows – The Honeymooners, Y, Y
79 Valerie Harper – The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Rhoda, Y, Y
80 Julie Kavner – Rhoda, Y, Y
81 David Harper – The Waltons, N, N
82 Bill Macy – Maude, Y, Y
83 Ken Berry – Mayberry RFD, Y, Y
84 Art Linkletter – Art Linkletter’s House Party, Y, Y
85 Glen Campbell – The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, Y, Y
86 Buddy Ebsen – The Beverly Hillbillies; Barnaby Jones, Y, Y
87 Michael Learned – The Waltons, Y, N
88 John Forsythe – Bachelor Father (on CBS, NBC, then ABC), Y, Y
89 Steve Allen – The Steve Allen Show (1950-55), I’ve Got A Secret, Y, Y
90 Carol Burnett – The Carol Burnett Show, Y, Y

Sha-ZAM!

91 Jim Nabors – The Andy Griffith Show; Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Y, Y
92 Beatrice Arthur – Maude, Y, Y
93 Loretta Swit – MAS*H, Y, Y
94 Ed Bradley – 60 Minutes, Y, Y
95 Andy Griffith – The Andy Griffith Show, Y, Y
96 Lee Merriwether- Barnaby Jones, Y, Y
97 Demond Wilson – Baby, I’m Back (a 1978 show I had never heard of), Y, Y
98 Lynda Carter – Wonder Women (started on ABC, then CBS), Y, Y
99 James Arness – Gunsmoke, Y, Y
100 Dick Van Dyke- The Dick Van Dyke Show, Y, Y
101 Jack Lord – Hawaii Five-O, Y, Y
102 Ralph Waite – The Waltons, Y, Y
103 Bernard Kalb – CBS Reports, Y, N
104 Martin Landau – Mission: Impossible, Y, Y
105 Rob Reiner – All In The Family, Y, Y
106 Lynnie Greene – On Our Own (a 1977-78 sitcom I don’t remember), N, N
107 John Amos – Good Times, Y, Y
108 Bob Barker – The Price Is Right, Y, Y
109 Bert Convy – Tattletales, Y, Y
110 Dan Rather – 60 Minutes, Y, Y
111 Richard Crenna – The Real McCoys, Y, Y
112 Mike Connors – Mannix, Y, Y
113 David Groh – Rhoda, Y, Y

key CBS list

Interesting list of folks NOT here: Jackie Gleason, Alan Alda (MASH), Ron Howard (The Andy Griffith Show), Eddie Albert (Green Acres), and especially Harry Morgan (Pete and Gladys, MASH).

The value of the full-body hug

24th wedding anniversary

I am a proponent of the full-body hug.

Let me note that back at my previous church, which I left in 2000, I was known by a few as the Trinity Hugger. Which someone always liked to say was better than being the Trinity Mugger.

At my church, and also among my in-laws, there are people I like to hug and who like to be embraced. However, COVID – it’s always COVID – put the kibosh on that for a good while.

My wife was not a natural hugger, in my experience. Sometimes, she’d give me a side hug, which was better than nothing. Often, though, she d go to bed, and I wouldn’t even know until I saw the bedroom door closed – to keep out the cats, I should add.

At some point, she suggested, and I eagerly agreed, that we should hug twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Not one of those obligatory ones either, when you do it while holding something, but a full-body hug, with hands now free of everything.

This has made me very happy.

Taking care

I don’t know precisely when FBH, as we call it, started. I’m fairly sure it was after my wife’s leg trauma last fall.    It wasn’t intentionally a quid pro quo, but I’ve noted that she’s better at taking care of my emotional needs after I unexpectedly had to take care of her physical needs.

As a result, I think we’re in a better place. We’re always punning each other, but historically, hers had often been groan-worthy to my ears. For whatever reason, her banter is sharper. This is situational humor, so I can’t recreate any specific examples, but it’s true.

This is our 24th wedding anniversary. There’s less than a 50/50 chance she’ll read this since she seldom reads my blog. Moreover, I’ve told her that I ALWAYS write about her on her birthday and about us on our anniversary. It used to bug me a little, but now I’m at, “Hey, it’s her choice.”

Happy anniversary, dear. We should get a newer picture.

55 years after the MLK assassination

“We must revolt against this peace.”

Martin Luther KingMany have noted that August 28, 2023, will be the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington. Incidentally, that date is also the 15th anniversary of the nomination of Barack Obama for the presidency.

But today is 55 years after the MLK assassination. I remember the day extremely well. I’m not particularly prone to conspiracy, but even The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford asks the question of who killed the reverend, was more than one person involved, and the like. And my thought: was it a coincidence that he was killed on the first anniversary of his sermon denouncing US military involvement in Vietnam?

Missing the point

I despair that King’s message is often obfuscated. Dr. King campaigned against not just racism but poverty. In his final book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”, he wrote:

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.  With righteous indignation, it will look at thousands of working people displaced from their jobs with reduced incomes as a result of automation while the profits of the employers remain intact, and say: ‘This is not just.’ . . . Let us be those creative dissenters who will call our beloved nation to a higher destiny, to a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness.

Yet Census data show an increase in income inequality in the US. Worldwide, the rich keep getting richer. “The top 1 percent seized twice the new wealth as the rest of the world in the past two years.”

So it is absurd when the Christian nationalist founder of Pastors for Trump said he was ‘pretty sure‘ that Martin Luther King Would Have Been a ‘MAGA’ Republican. I’m “pretty sure” Jackson Lahmeyer has heard, at most, one piece of one MLK sermon. For your maximum irritation, readers, go to the link above to see a MAGA hat photoshopped onto an image of King.

Labor

The AFL-CIO posted on the most recent King holiday: “We must remember him and his words truthfully—far beyond the often-repeated and misused line about skin color and character.

“Most people know Dr. King only as a civil rights leader. But we must remember him as a labor leader who was assassinated while supporting 1,300 Black men in their fight against neglect and abuse at the sanitation strike in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Dr. King is associated with ‘peaceful protest.’ But we must remember his sermon ‘When Peace Becomes Obnoxious.'”

“If peace means a willingness to be exploited economically, dominated politically, humiliated, and segregated, I don’t want peace. So in a passive, non-violent manner, we must revolt against this peace.”

(Coincidentally, I linked to that piece two years ago.)

Really honoring MLK

I recommend to you that you read  Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Peruse his speeches.

If you want to take in I Have A Dream, which was at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – he was an economic warrior  – read or listen to the WHOLE thing; it’s about 17 minutes long.

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, when will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality…

“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”

Then remember, he advised the crowd not to “drink the poisonous wine of hate,” but to use the “way of nonviolence” when taking “direct action” against oppression.

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