H. K. Thompson: Trollmeister

My theory on feds is that they’re like mushrooms: Feed ’em shit and keep ’em in the dark. (Mark Wahlberg’s character in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed) The gracious and courtly Harald Keith Thompson (he told me to call him H. K., as we had too many Keiths around) would never put it that crudely. But […] Read More

| Published in Uncategorized

Actors, scripts, fake blood at January 6 event

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| Published in History, theater

What a Swell Howard Johnson’s Article

WSJ and other periodicals routinely run stories of why and how Howard Johnson’s died, but for the real skinny you can’t beat this swell takeout!   […] Read More

| Published in Babysitting, children, History

The New York Times Book Review Caper

Famous Broadway columnist Mr. D. Runyon Smythe tells of the time he moved beyond his showbiz column and tried his hand at book reviewing—to his great regret! So the year 1962 rolls around and I am fed up with the sort of horseradish that is now being presented in Broadway shows. Neil Simon is just […] Read More

| Published in Books

Bea Lillie and Bert Lahr at the Winter Garden

Ruth Anne Clairison of Upper Montclair, NJ, charms us with this embarrassing tale from 1936:
We had never heard of Beatrice Lillie or Bert Lahr (this was years before Just Around the Corner or The Wizard of Oz) but when our uncle told my twin brother and me that he had free tickets to their new revue at the Winter Garden Theatre, we were on it like a dog on a porkchop.

| Published in theater

Doubles at Closing Time

Cissy Partridge of Oronoco, Maine favors us with these embarrassing memories of a childhood in the 50s and 60s:
When I was little most people didn’t have television sets, so got I dragged around to bars a lot. There wasn’t much to see except Milton Berle or maybe a prizefight, but it was good to get out of the house.

In those days you could walk up Third Avenue for blocks and blocks, and never miss a word of Uncle Miltie. The whole avenue was bars.

| Published in Intoxication

Hankey-Poo for Bitty-Poo

Captain R. S. Wembsley, late of the North German Lloyd and White Star lines, shares with us this whimsical anecdote: So it was 1914 and we had just finished building the grandest ship afloat, the SS Commander Triton. We were about to set sail for Southampton, when war broke out in Europe and we found […] Read More

| Published in History

Stephen King’s Lonely Man TV Dinners

I try to restrict my Twitter activity to less than 12 hours a day, because sometimes I need to work and sleep. However there are some obsessives you just can’t miss. And then there’s Stephen King. He was a big, famous writer, some thirty or forty years ago. He was even more famous than Cathy […] Read More

| Published in Intoxication

The Magical Space Fountain Pen

When I was little we couldn’t write with ballpoint pens in school; only fountain pens were allowed. Ballpoints would ruin our handwriting, we were told. And looking around today, I can see that this is so! So I stopped at the stationer’s in Berwyn to buy a fountain pen before starting back to school, and […] Read More

| Published in school days

First Annual Boston Folk Music Festival, Featuring the Kingston Trio

Mr Jack Lipkis of Woodmere, Long Island enchants us with this embarrassing recollection from his “folkie” days in college: When I went to Boston University I was in a little folk-music combo. This was back during the folk-music fad of the early 60s. We called ourselves The Bijou Folkies. The name was sort of an […] Read More

| Published in Uncategorized