January rambling #1: A Patriotic American Liberal

I’ve known moot, as in “the question is moot,” but not this

LEAVE IT IN 2017 and Some looks at the year just gone

A Radical New Scheme to Prevent Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise

Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence

How America is Transforming Islam

The scammers gaming India’s overcrowded job market

Proud To Be A Patriotic American Liberal

Senate Judiciary Committee Interview of GLENN SIMPSON, AUGUST 22, 2017, released by Diane Feinstein

Latrine politics

Conspiracy sites claim he was ‘FEARED DEAD’, targeted by ‘DEEP STATE’ in minor Tower fire

A tax on a free press

New mom Serena Williams had to talk her hospital staff through saving her life

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among UK men but this is a faulty conclusion

Google Thinks I’m Dead (I know otherwise)

What’s wrong with the Internet, whether it’s new, and the power (and value) of our attention

Empörungsgesellschaft – Crazy bloggers, twitterers, facebooklings, and so forth, are able to impinge upon the public consciousness in new and historically unprecedented ways?

Takeout creates a lot of trash; it doesn’t have to

Cory Doctorow’s recent novel Walkaway imagines a world where scarcity is unnecessary and generosity is a feasible way of life

This expanding house is ready in 10 minutes

Growable shoes

Chuck Miller: A few words on my son’s wedding day

A Writer’s Guide to Permissions and Fair Use

We Have A New Prime Number, And It’s 23 Million Digits Long

Darlanne in the 1971 Panorama yearbook, Binghamton, (NY) Central High School

Darlanne Fluegel, Actress in ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’ and ‘Running Scared,’ Dies at 64 – I knew her a little when we were briefly in Binghamton Central High School together

Jerry Van Dyke, RIP

Ray Thomas, Moody Blues Flautist and Founding Member, Dead at 76

Keith Jackson, the folksy voice of college football has died at 89

Actress Greta Thyssen, Blonde Bombshell of the 1950s and ’60s, Dies at 90in action; see 185 Pies And Guys, esp from 13:00 in

How to pronounce Gyllenhaal

Musicals Into Movies

Op-Docs Contenders for the 2018 Academy Awards

Which Film Critics Are The Most Contrarian?

Must there be a Marvel Comics?

Babies weren’t cute until…

First new word of 2018 for me: mooted: raised (a question or topic) for discussion; suggested (an idea or possibility) – I’ve known moot, as in “the question is moot,” but not this

Now I Know: The Panhandler Who Returned a Treasure and When Breaking a Record Really Blows

What’s a Wendy’s doing there? The story of Washington’s weirdest traffic circle


The 2017 Coverville Countdown Part 1 and Part 2

Coverville 1200: This Day in Covers: January 3, 1978

Shelter from the Storm · Rodney Crowell / Emmylou Harris (HT to Jaquandor)

Echo Beach (2010) – Martha and the Muffins

Something’s Coming – Voctave

Your Song – Elle Goulding

Bagpipes/Dubstep/Star Wars

Someone to Lay Down Beside Me – Karla Bonoff

Ken – Barbie sings!

50 Best Folk Music Artists of All Time

The Beach Boys Are Better Than the Beatles

Random Memory of My Father: Gregory Hines edition

The common theme: both Darlanne Fluegal and my father really needed to get out of Binghamton.

Back in 1988, my sister Leslie (who was visiting from California) and I (visiting from New York State) were in the car with my parents and my sister Marcia, traveling from Charlotte, NC to Raleigh, NC for some event when the issue of the NAACP Image Awards came up. I hadn’t watched them, and I don’t think Leslie had either. But my father had done so, on television, and he was VERY upset with actor Gregory Hines (pictured). His failing? He was wearing an earring to the event, showing an intentional lack of respect for the NAACP and for the proceedings.

Leslie and I spent about an hour unsuccessfully trying to convince my father that this was not a slight, that Gregory Hines often wore an earring, that actors are just different, and that we seriously doubted that the NAACP was upset about this (for the aforementioned reasons).

I think I remember this, and that we argued about it for so long at the time, because it seemed so…parochial, narrow-minded, and that wasn’t how we viewed our father AT ALL.

It only recently occurred to me to wonder WHY Gregory Hines was getting that Image Award in the first place. Actually, Hines had been nominated a total of four times and won twice, the latter in 2002 for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for Bojangles (2001), but my father had passed away by then, and Hines would, too, the following year.

The award in question was for Running Scared (1986), for which Hines was Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture. “Danny [Billy Crystal] and Ray [Hines] are two street-wise cops in Chicago. When they are almost killed on a case, they are forced to take a vacation by their captain. Key West offers a substantial change over frozen Chicago. They decide to quit and open a bar in Key West. Upon returning, they find that Julio [Jimmy Smits], the drug dealer who nearly killed them has made bail and is trying to complete a giant drug deal.”

Of particular interest to me: Darlanne Fluegel played the Crystal character’s wife, Anna. From this 1986 story about her appearance on the TV show Crime Story: Actually, Fluegel never intended to be a model. Raised in Binghamton, N.Y., she was a tomboy who felt more kinship with her three younger brothers than her two older sisters. When she was 16, her father, a chiropractor, died suddenly of a brain tumor. Darlanne turned to modeling “not to be a burden” on her mother, who worked with the Department of Social Security, and “as a quick way out of Binghamton.” Darlanne attended Binghamton Central High School for a time, and I knew her vaguely; I knew her sister Donna better.

In any case, the common theme: both Darlanne Fluegel and my father really needed to get out of Binghamton.

My father would have been 86 tomorrow.

Sidebar to Jaquandor: this is the same Darlanne Fluegel you wrote about here and to which I eventually replied here. Oh, and happy birthday tomorrow.

From Darlanne to Jaquandor

pictures of Rod Serling and his teacher (and mine), Helen Foley, one of his greatest influences (and mine)

WAY back in February, that blogger from Buffalo, Jaquandor wrote about the entertainingly cheesy (or is it cheekily entertaining?) 1980 movie Battle Beyond the Stars.

Of particular interest to me was this paragraph:

“The other girl there is Nanelia (Darlanne Fluegel), who is every bit as naïve about people as Shad is, which makes her a perfect fit for him. She, too, gets far too little screentime because she’s really cute. I remember her being one of the first females onscreen to impress me with her cuteness. I mean, look how cute she is in that clip, when she giggles at the prospect of learning how to “tingle, tangle, prangle” her new love interest from this warrior in the goofy headdress! Yeah, Nanelia is really, really cute:”

I had to comment: “Never saw the movie.

But I went to Binghamton Central High School with Darlanne Fluegel!

(I think she was Darlene at the time, but I could be wrong.) So maybe I should see it. Or not.” I didn’t know her well, but I knew her older sister better, for the record. In fact, if her IMDB piece is correct, she’s more than five years younger than I am. That can’t be right, can it?

Jaquandor asks, “Roger: was she that cute in high school?”

I wrote: “There is a picture in my high school yearbook. I’ll have to scan it for you. (In answer to your question, I say yes.).”

A few days later, I wrote: “J- Haven’t forgotten; we’re painting the attic and I can’t get to my yearbooks yet.” That proved to be true for MONTHS (long story).

But finally – the young woman in the lower right:

I had not looked at that yearbook in decades and STILL remembered that particular photo.

So anyway, early happy birthday, Jaquandor. (It’ll be September 26.)

Since I had the yearbook out, I also scanned these pictures of Rod Serling and his teacher (and mine), Helen Foley, one of his greatest influences (and mine). Note the constant cigarette in his hand.

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