Sunday, May 22, 2011

Things That Annoy Me.

Okay, It's Sunday and on most Sundays I walk to a diner and have breakfast. If it's a real nice day, I'll walk as far as Millburn to eat and follow that with a walk on South Mountain Reservation. But most days the weather and /or my will only allows me to go a mile to either the Mark Train or the Huck Finn diner on Morris Avenue. I walked over to the Mark Twain and had myself a decent French toast meal. Afterward I walked back to my place.

Big deal, right? Anyhow, I like taking a circulus route home avoiding the main drags to instead take a less familiar street for scenic variance. So I'm walking on a sidewalk when a woman dressed to the nines comes out of a house and walks towards the church next door. She's walking at a slower pace than I am and even slows down a little down this narrow sidewalk. Since I wasn't in the mood and thought it rude to pass her and thought it would be intimidating to walk too close to her until she turned away, I walked around her via the church parking lot.

So what's the big deal? Well, after a few calls of "sir", "sir", "Sir" in my direction I turned around to find out what the heck she wanted.

Now, I'm a "mind my own business" kind of person. I don't like being interrupted when I AM minding my own business unless it's to be helped or to help someone. So, I'm like sighing when I turn to face her and say "yeah?"

"Did you park in that parking lot?"

"What, NO!" was my incredulous reply.

"Okay, Thank you, Have a Nice Day" was her sarcastic response.

Yeah, I was rude to her. I felt I was violated by being held in suspicion of doing something "wrong". And what evidence could she have? Did she see me come out of a car? Of course not. Did she see me put anything in a car or take anything out of a car? again, that would be a "no" because my car is in my OWN driveway ten blocks away. All I wanted to do was avoid interfering with her walking in what I thought was the most polite and least intrusive way, By walking AROUND her.

And what was this "crime" she accused me of in the first place? Having a vehicle occupy a space DESIGNED to occupy a vehicle? Ahhh, But there are rules and possible needs of payment who can park and where you can park. And again I ask "What is the crime?"

Think about it, I'm accused of parking my car in a parking lot of a church I don't belong to. Now, Even if I did do that and I walked away, flipping them the bird along the way, They can get my car towed at MY expense. Well within the rules of law but hardly a Christian thing to do. Think About it for a second, I don't think Jesus would be leading the charge to remove my vehicle if it wasn't interfering with anyone's safety or blocking anyone's progress. My fictional car did neither. Property and parking lot rights out of control in my estimation.

But it does point out my problem with many Christians. I grew up Christian and have kept many of the values I grew up learning from the church other than the belief in God and the belief that a man who lived 2000 years ago was the son of that God. Now a Christian is supposed to turn the other cheek, Supposed to embrace the Prodigal son.

In other words, Even if I were to go into the church, Grab a batch of holy water, Guzzle it down my throat, swish it in my mouth and spit it on the church floor. A Christian is supposed to observe this and say "God bless him!"

Otherwise you don't prove much in my eyes.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

This Our Gang of ....

Jackie Cooper just passed away. He was a success in Hollywood as an actor and a director. He got his start as a child star including a short but memorable stint in the "Our Gang" comedy shorts. He starred in some of the earliest of the talking ones and with the exception of Jean Darling was the earliest of the surviving little Rascals. Not many are still alive. That's understandable since the Little Rascals ran from 1922 to 1944. Most of the big stars of the show have gone. Jackie was one of the last of the well known ones.

Still, there are about half dozen notable ones still alive. None as memorable as Spanky, Alfalfa, or Buckwheat. But all have contributed memorable moments in its history except for the one that probable had the most successful post Rascal career. And the one is Mickey Gubitosi.

The name's not familiar? Well, he is better known as Robert Blake.

As Mickey, He was an Our gang member in the last MGM years of the series. MGM totally didn't understand what made the "Our Gang" series appealing, And Mickey was representative of that. He was whiny, sanctimoniuos and totally obnoxious. He hung out with Froggie and an overgrown Buckwheat. As Robert Blake, He had a successful career in film and TV. He starred in "In Cold Blood" which led to his successful TV show "Baretta" Always in demand as a talk show guest, He had a troubled personal life that would eventually lead to his wife's murder with Blake being on trial for it. Like OJ Simpson, He was found not guilty in criminal court but losing in civil court. he's retired and in debt but still alive.

Jean Darling is the most senior member of the Our Gang. She was in the last of the silent ones. Most people probably don't know of her because they rarely show the silent Our Gangs on TV. She was the love interest of the male members such as Weezer and Joe Cobb. she had a head of blond girls and was the prototypical female of the Our Gang. Her post Our Gang career involved much stage work but the most part she was done with movies when she was still a kid.

Dicky Moore spent a year on the Our Gang series. He usually played Spanky's bigger brother in Spanky's earliest appearances. He was a very appealing character with a husky voice so it was shame when he left the series to pursue a moderately successful solo acting career in movies. He became noted for giving Shirley Temple her first on screen kiss. He has been married to noted actress Jane Powell for the last few decades.

Marianne Edwards
didn't appear in many Our Gang shorts but had two memorable roles in two. In one she played a girl whom Spanky helped to pay for her costume by winning a contest after she gets stage fright. On another one she plays the new girl in town that is the object of attention from rivals Alfalfa and Spanky. In the end she goes for rich kid, Jerry Tucker. She was cute as a button whose acting career ended in childhood.

While Marianne Edwards was cute Jackie Lynn Taylor was beautiful. A striking blond who appeared in only five Our Gang shorts. She suffered from a growth spurt that made her quickly too tall for the shorts. She would sometimes be paired up with short guy Spanky during the Spanky/Scotty era, But she was better suited as the love interest of tow headed Wally but she tended to run off with rich kid Jerry Tucker.

Speaking of rich kid Jerry Tucker, He's still alive. He appeared in several Our Gang shorts usually as a background character. Sometimes he played a spoiled rich kid most memorably in the episode where he had a brand new store bought fire truck toy and challenged the gang to a race. The gang had a makeshift truck made form junk around town. I forgot who won the race but rich kid Jerry Tucker lost Jackie Lynn Taylor when she fell off the truck.

Finally, there's Sidney Kibrick, better known as "Woim", Butch the bully's freckled faced sidekick. Much like Tommy "Butch" Bond, He was in some shorts, left the series and came back with a different persona.