Monday, October 18, 2010

What IS it with me??

I talked about this before, my eerie penchant for thinking about people just before they check out and shuffle off to Buffalo.

It happened again, and it's scaring me.

Turner Classic Movies is my daytime buddy these days, as I sit and recuperate.  I can't stand to watch a show with commercials, and I'm too cheap to pay for HBO and all those swanky premium channels, so I watch TCM with the sort of appreciation that a guy marooned on an island would give to a CARE package with chow, a cell phone and an inflatatable raft.

92 minutes I'll never get back
The other day I watched Henry Fonda star in "The Wrong Man," a rather forgettable fact-based movie about a musician in New York who is framed for a series of armed robberies because he bears a strong resemblance to the actual crook.  Fonda, who won many awards for acting over the years, should not have expected any for this picture, in which he appears to be looking around all the time to make sure none of his Hollywood buddies sees him in this black 'n' white classic.

His character, Manny, played the bass in the band at the Stork Club, which was (is?) a ritzy niteclub in Manhattan.  At the end of the movie, a notice appeared on the screen thanking Sherman Billingsley, owner of the Stork Club, for his kind permission in allowing the scenes of Manny playing the upright bass to be filmed there.

And since I know more about this sort of stuff than I really ought to, I recalled that Sherman Billingsley, once king of the club circuit in the Big Apple, was an uncle-by-marriage to Barbara Billingsley, the actress who played Beaver's mom.(You know what else? Her grand-nephew is Peter Billingsley, the kid who starred in A Christmas Story!)


"I wonder how Barbara Billingsley is doing?" I asked myself on Friday.

She taught us how to speak jive
On Saturday came the sad news that Ms Billingsley had passed away that morning.


So, with the best of intentions in my heart, I am going to sit here and think real hard about how ole' Charlie Manson is feeling! And Mark David Chapman - how's he doing?  Sirhan B. Sirhan, what up?

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