Saturday, November 28, 2015

Glorious balck and white

We have been watching old black and white movies so long and I actually prefer them to color movies.


Jem Mace's boxing genealogy

Readers of Louis Lamour novels will recognize the name of Jem Mace, who supposedly tutored more than one Lamour hero in the craft of boxing. Mace was the one-time Champion of England. He defeated Sam Hurst in 1861 to win that title. Hurst had won the title from Tom Paddock, who had gained the unofficial "title" in a bout with Harry Broome in 1856. Broome had won the welterweight championship of England in 1843 from Fred Mason.

Confounded railroad ties!

"He walked beside the track to avoid the nuisance of trying to walk the irregularly spaced ties."
(from The Iron Marshall, by Louis Lamour

I remember from my childhood walking along the Rock Island railroad that ran parallel to and just south of Highway 10 at Magazine, Arkansas. It was irritating. The ties were spaced too far for one step, and too near for two. (Strange what we remember from our youth.)


Friday, November 27, 2015

Why this name never got used?

Clarinette. Ought to be a good one. Has a nice sound to it.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

"Skelloch" - a useful word

It means "screech, or scream." I ran across it in The Five Red Herrings, one of the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novels by Dorothy Sayers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Molita, from Vassar's Jazz

Bluegrass/jazz violinist Vassar Clements has an album called Vassar's Jazz. Most of the numbers on it are a little far out (Vassar has never been shy). However, right in the middle of all the weird stuff is one of those little tunes that just gets into your mind and your blood and you will be singing it all day long once you hear it. It is called "Molita," and it is nothing fancy. Just nice. And it fits. The tune and the harmonies are just right. Just right. It is worth buying the whole album just to get that one tune.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The falling birth rate

My parents are almost to the point of having enough great-grandchildren to equal the number of grandchildren my grandparents had.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hard to beat Beethoven

I heard someone asked the question years ago as to why modern classical music evolved the way it did: into more dissonant sound and non-standard forms. He answered, "It is hard to out-Beethoven Beethoven." He meant, of course, that just about everything had been done in the particular form of composing that was used in the Classical Period, and so composers moved onto something where they could do something new without having to try to out-master the masters.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ruth Terry, a survivor from Hollywood's golden age

There are not many actors still living from the period in which my wife and I specialize (up through 1953). One of them is Ruth Terry, a perky little brunette whom we know primarily from Mystery Broadcast (1943) and Slightly Honorable (1939). As of 22 November 2015, she was still living, according to Wikipedia, and has been married to John Ledbetter since 1966.

Ruth Terry.jpg