Category Archives: memory lane

‘100% Guaranteed X-ray Glasses!’ (2016)

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I don’t know whether it was the X-ray Glasses or Sea Monkeys that started the trend, but we have since slid into an age wherein no one thinks twice about practicing deception.

https://leeduigon.com/2016/08/23/100-guaranteed-x-ray-glasses/

The biggest deception, of course, is that whole Man-Made Climate Change & Global Warming And Also Grow Hair! thing that crooks and liars hammer us with today. But I’m afraid it all started with someone selling X-ray Glasses through the 1950s comic books.


‘Once Upon a Sunday’ (2016)

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Who couldn’t use a few Sundays like this one?

https://leeduigon.com/2016/07/17/once-upon-a-sunday/

And I have pressed wrong keys galore, for reasons which will soon become apparent… We’ll just see if I can publish this post at all.


‘Don’t Jump Off of the Roof, Dad’

If your brain hasn’t been quite deflated by the nooze yet, here’s something that might finish the job. Listen at your own risk.

I remember this goofy song from 1961. My friends across the street had the record. My parents thought they were a bad influence on me. If you listen carefully, you might suspect that the performer, Welsh comedian Tommy Cooper, was a few screws short of an erector set.

Don’t Jump Off of the Roof, Dad was his one and only hit record. ‘Nuff said.


‘Memory Lane: Dead Man’s Cave’ (2016)

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I wonder if there even are places like this anymore, that haven’t yet been torn down, paved over, and replaced by nail salons and trendy restaurants.

https://leeduigon.com/2016/04/19/memory-lane-dead-mans-cave/

I say we need wild places, places of mystery–like Dead Man’s Cave. Places that kick the imagination into gear. But I haven’t been back to Dead Man’s Cave in a very long time; I think it might have vanished into the morning mist, like Brigadoon.

Maybe that’s the only way to keep it safe.


Memory Lane: ‘Captain Gallant’

 

There must be some of you out there who remember this vintage 1955 TV show, Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion. This theme music has been lodged in my memory ever since I was six years old.

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Captain Gallant starred Olympic swimmer Buster Crabbe, famous for his roles as Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, with a stint as Tarzan, too–his was a name to conjure with, back then. His real-life son, Cullen “Cuffy” Crabbe, co-starred with him in this show. What they were supposed to be doing, stationing a little kid at a Foreign Legion post which was always getting attacked by the Arabs, is difficult to imagine. But if I remember rightly, the same motif was used in Rin Tin Tin, a memory which I’ll get to on another day. I guess it was done to keep children in the audience.

Buster Crabbe! What a big name he was, once upon a time!

I wonder if I can fit him into my Bell Mountain movie.


Video Treat: Nero Sings

Before we don our hazmat suits to wade into the nooze today, I thought you might enjoy marveling at this: Peter Ustinov as the Emperor Nero in Quo Vadis (1951), singing a song he supposedly “composed” on the spot.

It takes genius, true genius, to create something this awful.

Elvis Presley may have been “the King,” but Nero was the Emperor.


Memory Lane: ‘I Am Joe’s Whatsis’

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All the different households in my family subscribed to Reader’s Digest. All those great long-running series–“The Most Unforgettable Character I’ve Met,” and “Life in These United States,” and of course their Book of the Month, condensed for a quick read.

Of all these well-known features, can you guess what was the most popular Reader’s Digest series ever–with over 7 million reprints sold? (No, it was not “Dating Tips for Babbling Jidrools”–that wasn’t even in Reader’s Digest.)

RD’s all-time popular series was “I am Joe’s Body” by J.D. Ratcliff, 33 articles, each focusing on a particular body part belonging to hypothetical Joe, the most frequently examined human on the planet–“I am Joe’s Heart,” “I am Joe’s Kidney,” and so on. I remember reading these in the 1960s. Well, heck, a lot of people read them! Including some who were fired up to become doctors when they grew up.

The essays were later collected into a paperback book, “I Am Joe’s Body,” currently available on amazon.com. Y’know, I think I’ll get it for Patty for her birthday.

And yes, there were a lot of bawdy jokes made at the expense of this series–but I like to think they were made affectionately.


Memory Lane: ‘The Railroad Runs Through the Middle of the House’

I was seven years old when this song came out in 1956. I only heard it once, but I never forgot it–because, well! What 7-year-old wouldn’t be fascinated by a train running through the middle of the house? I’m afraid I took the lyrics literally. We went to visit Grammy one night and I was kind of sleepy, coming home. So my father turned on the car radio, and this song was what I heard. Woke me right up!

Bob Hilliard wrote it, Rusty Draper and Vaughn Monroe recorded it independently of each other, and it was a big hit in both the USA and Britain.


Memory Lane: ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’

Walt Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on TV in 1955 and was a mega-hit by 1956, airing on weekday afternoons. Remember?

I was only six or seven years old when I started watching this, and now I don’t know how I ever managed to sit through it. Really, all I wanted was the cartoons! Especially Donald Duck, or Goofy. If they played them at all, they played them near the end of the show so you had to watch all the singing and dancing. Those sequences seem just as long to me today as they seemed back then.

I wanted one of those Mouseketeer hats, but never got one–just a set of plastic slip-on Mickey Mouse ears. Why in the world did I watch this show? Beats me! Was it because mine was the first TV generation, and we all watched TV because that’s what you did? And whatever they put on the screen, you watched? Say it ain’t so, Joe.

I’ll never get back the time I spent watching this festival of nothing.

 


How Deep is the Culture Rot?

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Sucking wind for an idea of what to write for Newswithviews this week, I got a tip from Susan. We were talking about our college experiences, and this little memory bubbled to the surface.

“They did a pretty good job of indoctrinating us,” I said, “except for the biology course I took in my sophomore year. It was taught by Nazis, and nobody was buying what they were selling.”

By “Nazis” I did not mean goose-stepping, armband-wearing, “Sieg Heil!” shouting followers of Adolf Hitler. I meant American scientists in 1969 who had ideas about re-engineering society along lines first suggested by Heinrich Himmler. They spent the last two weeks of the semester trying to convince us that the way to have paradise on earth was to refashion human society into a kind of ant-hill ruled absolutely by themselves.

They seemed surprised that the students weren’t happy. The instructor could hardly believe her ears when one student asked, “Well, what about freedom and identity?”

Oh, okay, she was prepared for that one!

“Those,” she replied, “are outmoded concepts that will have to be engineered out of the system.” The quote is verbatim, etched into my memory.

Lesson 2: Every student in the class would have been ashamed to pass such a course, so when they gave us our final exams, we all flunked.

But it looks really bad for the faculty when a whole class flunks, so the next thing we knew, we had all been upgraded to a passing grade and they washed us out of their hair.

Lesson 3: College, schmollege.


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