Monday, October 27, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tribute

As a contributor to Shakesville, I got to know some of my fellow contributors only through the blog and the backstage e-mails we exchanged.  That may seem like a remote way to make friends, but often the bonds that grow are as strong and meaningful as meeting in person.

I got to know Phil Barron as a warm and friendly person and a great writer — two qualities I aspire to.  So I was stunned and saddened to hear that he came down with a sudden illness earlier this week and then passed away yesterday.

I hold him, his wife, his family, and our community that loved him in the Light.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Short Takes

Ebola — Travelers from West Africa must enter the U.S. through designated airports.

North Korea has released an Ohio man held since May for leaving a bible in a hotel room.

Ukrainian army appears to have fired cluster bombs in Donetsk.

Gary Hart to be U.S. representative to Northern Ireland.

Sweden chases undersea intruder.

World Series: Giants take Game 1.

Tropical Update: Invest 93L heads for the Yucatan.

R.I.P. Ben Bradlee, 93, former editor at the Washington Post; the real Jason Robards in All The President’s Men.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Short Takes

Turkey allows the Iraqi Kurdish pesh merga to cross the border to fight ISIS.

Nigeria is declared Ebola-free by the W.H.O.

President Obama voted early in Chicago.

Alabama House Speaker arrested on 23 felony charges.

Hong Kong protestors and officials schedule first talks.

R.I.P. Oscar de la Renta, 82, fashion designer.

Tropical Update:  Invest 93L is spinning up in the Gulf of Mexico.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Short Takes

State officials ask for an investigation into a fatal shooting of a black man in St. Louis.

ISIS threatening to overrun a province in western Iraq.

Hong Kong — The government backed out of a meeting with protestors.

West Virginia joins the marriage equality march.

Teeter-Totter — Wall Street goes through gyrations this week.

R.I.P. Jan Hooks, 57, actor on SNL and Designing Women.

Tropical Update: Invest 99L is north of Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Short Takes

President Obama at NATO summit: reject isolationism.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell convicted on corruption charges.

BP found “reckless” in Gulf spill; faces $18 billion fine.

Federal judge blocks Ohio early-voting change.

Kansas A.G. blocks Democratic candidate’s withdrawal from Senate race.

R.I.P. Joan Rivers, 81, comedian, director, and producer.

The Tigers beat Cleveland 11-4 in extra innings.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Short Takes

President Obama will allow surveillance flights over Syria.

Egypt and U.A.E. bombing militants in Libya.

Thousands gathered for the funeral for Michael Brown in St. Louis.

Rick Perry’s lawyers seek dismissal of charges.

Congratulations to the Emmy winners.

Tropical Update: Hurricane Cristobal heads off to the east; still keeping an eye in Invest 97L.

The Tigers had the night off.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Short Takes

Journalist held hostage in Syria freed.

6.0 earthquake hits Napa Valley; three people critically injured.

Britain identifies man who killed James Foley.

Oh, goody!  Paul Ryan wants to run for president.

R.I.P. Richard Attenborough, 90, actor (The Great Escape) and director (Gandhi).

Tropical Update: It’s now Tropical Storm Cristobal, but it looks like it will miss the U.S. mainland.

The Tigers beat the Twins 13-4.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Short Takes

Ferguson: The curfew has been lifted and a grand jury will hear testimony in the shooting of Michael Brown.

Iraqi dam re-taken by Iraqi and Kurdish forces from ISIS.

No deal yet on Israel-Gaza peace talks.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets mugged.

R.I.P. Former Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont; Radio and TV announcer Don Pardo, 96; voice of S.N.L. and countless shows.

The Tigers had the night off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall

A lady who defined class and knew how to whistle.

Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach, died on Tuesday in New York. She was 89.

Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart. “Her life speaks for itself,” Mr. Bogart said. “She lived a wonderful life, a magical life.”

With an insinuating pose and a seductive, throaty voice — her simplest remark sounded like a jungle mating call, one critic said — Ms. Bacall shot to fame in 1944 with her first movie, Howard Hawks’s adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel “To Have and Have Not,” playing opposite Humphrey Bogart, who became her lover on the set and later her husband.

It was a smashing debut sealed with a handful of lines now engraved in Hollywood history.

“You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve,” her character says to Bogart’s in the movie’s most memorable scene. “You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

[...]

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske in Brooklyn on Sept. 16, 1924, the daughter of William and Natalie Perske, Jewish immigrants from Poland and Romania. Her parents were divorced when she was 6 years old, and her mother moved to Manhattan and adopted the second half of her maiden name, Weinstein-Bacal.

“I didn’t really have any love in my growing-up life, except for my mother and grandmother,” Ms. Bacall said in the Vanity Fair interview. Her father, she said, “did not treat my mother well.”

From then until her move to Hollywood, Ms. Bacall was known as Betty Bacal; she added an “l” to her name because, she said, the single “l” caused “too much irregularity of pronunciation.” The name Lauren was given her by Howard Hawks before the release of her first film, but family and old friends called her Betty throughout her life, and to Bogart she was always Baby.

I never met her, but I sat behind her at a performance of “Richard III” at the Stratford Festival in 1980 when Brian Bedford was playing the lead.  Later we saw her at the next table at The Church restaurant.  She and I were both born on September 16.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Genie

The brilliance of Robin Williams will always be with us.

There are literally thousands of moments that demonstrate the wit and spontaneity.  His voice work on Aladdin was just a small part of it, but they’re some of my favorites.

“Made you look.”

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams

This is a terrible shock.

Oscar winner and comedian Robin Williams died this morning at 63. While his publicist wouldn’t confirm that his death was a suicide, a rep did issue this statement. “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Williams, who won an Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting, will reprise his role as Theodore Roosevelt in the third installment of Night at the Museum this December. He had recently signed on to reprise his beloved role as Mrs. Doubtfire in a sequel to be directed by Chris Columbus, and was last seen opposite Annette Bening in the indie film The Face of Love. His sitcom The Crazy Ones premiered on CBS last fall, but was not picked up for a second season.

According to a press release issued by the Marin County Coronor’s office, the Sheriff’s office suspects the death to be “suicide due to asphyxia.” The 9-1-1 phone call came in just before noon today.

Words fail me at the moment.

Obituary from The New York Times here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

James Brady

James Brady, the former press secretary for Ronald Reagan who was severely wounded in the March 1981 assassination attempt, has died at age 73.

He and his wife Sarah became champions of handgun control legislation and earned the enmity of the N.R.A. but never backed down.