Archive for July, 2013

This Really Makes Me Weep For The Future

In the comedic film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a snooty maitre d’ of a swanky Chicago restaurant utters the line, “I weep for the future!”, as teenager Ferris and his friends  try to con their way into the restaurant for lunch.  I have often used that line myself when purveying the scene around me at a mall or a fair,  at a movie theatre or sporting event.  It comes immediately to my mind when I see some of the more unusually attired and accessorized folks around me.   My family has gotten used to me uttering this movie’s line under my breath.

Last week I uttered the movie’s line  as I scrolled through the news headlines.   One headline in  particular I could not believe and it  bothered me quite a bit.  This headline made me shake my head and offer up  prayers of God Help Us and God Have Mercy on us.  The headline was that 14 college students signed a poll, agreeing that parents should be allowed to legally abort infants in the 4th trimester.   Dan Joseph, who works for the  Media Research Center, decided to visit George Mason University’s campus last week with a fake poll: Should babies in the 4th Trimester be legally aborted?  Now, Media Research Center is a conservative news website, and the point of Mr. Joseph’s fake poll was to test the students he asked to sign the poll.  He explained to the students that the 4th trimester would be infants ages newborn to 3 months.  He wanted to  find out if students really think about what a poll is asking before they sign their names to one.  As students signed the poll, he reminded them that the 4th trimester means that the baby has been born, that the poll signers were agreeing that if parents decide their baby shouldn’t live, than they would be able to have the baby killed!  One student asked if the baby would feel pain, and signed the poll anyway!  In one hour, which is all the time Mr. Joseph conducted this poll on the campus, 14 students had signed it.

What has our modern society wrought when the thought of taking a baby’s life is so easily and calmly supported??  Aborting unwanted, unborn babies isn’t a new practice.  It didnt’ suddenly come into existance when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe vs. Wade in 1973.  The Romans and other ancient societies had herbs and other medicinal potions, for a fee of course, that a woman could purchase and  ingest in order  to kill the unborn baby in her womb.  If that didn’t work, many unwanted babies were left in forests to die of exposure, dehydration, or to be food for wild animals.  Two ancient people groups, the Phoenicians and the Ammonites, sacrificed their children in fire to the false god Molech.

We, who live in 2013, think we are so  intelligent and “cool” with our technologies, but when as a society we look the other way and don’t say much about unborn babies being killed each year, I guess then that the unthinkable, the legal killing of babies from newborn to 3 months old being accepted and not questioned by 14 college students shouldn’t shock us.  College students-one would think they would have asked questions and tried to argue with the pollster!  But no, they just blindly signed the poll, not thinking too deeply about what the poll was about.  I looked to see if George Mason University had any comment or statement about this poll, either apologizing for these students or condemning Media Research Center for the fake poll, but I couldn’t find any.  Here is a link about the poll via One News Now, if you want to read more about it.

What bothered me so much was also the logical step one could make, if one has no heart, that if anyone in your family becomes a burden due to health issues, than just plan to have them killed.  We have two children who were born with health issues; one issue was apparent at birth,  and one issue didn’t appear until the child was 6 years of age.  Neither health issue keeps either child from living life but neither health issue will ever go away.  It will be something that they will have to continue to live with until they pass from this life.  I cannot imagine deciding that because either child wasn’t 100% perfect, that the health issues would mean multiple surgeries, doctor visits, and prescription medications, that the children should be denied life.  I don’t want to imagine a future United States where this attitude of devaluing life even more than it already is, would be acceptable.

14 college students, probably so ingrained in the mantra that it is a Woman’s Right to Choose, unthinkingly agreed with a fake poll, that infants from newborn to 3 months of age, aka a 4th trimester, should be legally killed if the parent(s) want it to be done.  Yes, I weep for the future.

My Classic Movie Pick: My Reputation

My blog today is for the Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon, being hosted by a great classic movie blogger, The Girl With the White Parasol.  July 16th would have been Ms. Stanwyck’s 106th birthday and in her honor the Blogathon was created.  If you click on the link The Girl With the White Parasol, you will be able to read other blog tributes to the late actress.stanwyckblogathon3

My Reputation, a 1946 Warner Brothers film,  happened to air on Turner Classic Movies this past winter and I recorded it with our family’s dvr system.  I have always enjoyed Barbara  Stanwyck’s work as an actress.  Whether the film be a  drama or a  comedy, Stanwyck could deliver her roles with intelligence and energy.  Since I had also recently viewed her in Sturges’s comedy  The Lady Eve, I decided to see her in a drama and My Reputation fit the bill.  Mr poster 3

Barbara plays Jessica Drummond, recently widowed with two sons: 14 year old Kim and 12 year old Keith.  They live in a rich suburb of Chicago( I loved the exteriors  of her  ranch style home!) Jessica’s husband died from a long illness and he was her high school sweetheart.  Fortunately for her and her sons, her late husband’s will was set up well, and the family will not want for anything monetarily.  The only other  thorn in Jessica’s side is her mother, imperiously played by Lucille Watson, who seemed to specialize in either playing irritating mothers or aunts or wise and kindly mothers and aunts.  Jessica also has a faithful housekeeper and cook in Anna, played by Esther Dale, with a dash of common sense and spunk.

Esther Dale, as dedicated servant Anna.

Esther Dale, as dedicated servant Anna.

Jessica with her two sons.

Jessica with her two sons.

Jessica dwelling on her new life as a widow.

Jessica dwelling on her new life as a widow.

It isn’t explained too well as to why Jessica’s mother is so bossy, but when she demands that Jessica must continue to wear black the rest of her life because she is now a widow, one can’t help but cheer for  Jessica when she politely but firmly tells her mother that no, she’ll wear other colors when she wants to.

Lucille Watson, as Jessica's bossy mother!

Lucille Watson, as Jessica’s bossy mother!

Jessica has a new would-be suitor, the family friend and  lawyer, Frank Everett(Warner Anderson) who lets it be known that when she is ready to date again, he’d like to be the one to court her.  Jessica’s mother approves of Frank heartily, which will not help his cause in Jessica’s eyes.  Frank is nice and a gentleman, but so boring!!!

As Jessica begins her new life without her husband,  she busies  herself with volunteer work; her sons are back east at their boarding school.  One evening, she reluctantly agrees to go out on the town with other couples, couples that she and her late husband were socially connected with.  One husband, George Van Orman(Jerome Cowan), drives Jessica back to her house after he has dropped off his wife,  and he promptly grabs Jessica in the car and  makes a pass at her!!!!

Jerome Cowan, as Van Orman, not ashamed of his antics!

Jerome Cowan, as Van Orman, not ashamed of his antics!

Jessica is so upset by Van Orman’s behaviour that she calls her good friend, Ginna Abbott played by Eve Arden,  her wit and candor shining through in her small part.  Ginna and her husband Cary,(John Ridgely) invite Jessica to leave with them in the morning and  spend a week-long vacation with them at Lake Tahoe, in a cozy cabin they’re renting.   Jessica hesitates but at Ginna’s urging, she does go with them for a nice break from her routines.

Of course, out skiing one afternoon, Jessica has a “meet cute” with a tall, handsome fellow, one Army Major Scott Landis, played by George Brent.  Major Landis is also skiiing solo, and sees Jessica with her broken ski, and after he falls into the snow, she helps him up.  As it is getting late, he convinces her to get on the back of his skis, and together they swoop down the hills to the cabin where Ginna and Cary are waiting.

Ginna and Cary, Major Landis and Jessica, at Lake Tahoe.

Ginna and Cary, Major Landis and Jessica, at Lake Tahoe.

The skiing rescue scene.

The skiing rescue scene.

George Brent plays Lt. Major Scott Landis

George Brent plays Lt. Major Scott Landis

Skiing mishap results in meeting a handsome guy!

Skiing mishap results in meeting a handsome guy!

As the week goes on, Major Landis is obviously attracted to Jessica and she is  also attracted to him, but she isn’t sure if she wants to start dating another man yet.  She definitely likes him a lot more than  Frank!   When the end of the week at Tahoe is up, Jessica and the Major say good-bye and wish each other well.  Some weeks go by and one evening at home, when Jessica is having dinner with Frank,  a phone call comes from Ginna.  She tells Jessica  that she and  Cary are at a Chicago hotel bar/ball room and Major Landis has just walked in!   Jessica rushes off to dress and gets poor Frank to drive her to that hotel, not telling him that a certain Army Major is there.  Frank figures it all out and Jessica and Major Landis begin seeing one another as he has been assigned to a duty post in Chicago for several months.

One of bossy mother's friends sees Jessica enter the Major's apartment, thus the rumors begin!

One of bossy mother’s friends sees Jessica enter the Major’s apartment, thus the rumors begin!

Jessica and the Major have a chance meeting in Chicago.

Jessica and the Major have a chance meeting in Chicago.

Tongues start wagging, rumors start flying, Jessica’s mother is quite unhappy with Jessica, and then more vicious rumors start to swirl about Jessica and the Major and those are overheard by Jessica’s two sons, who are home for Christmas break.  Jessica finds out who her true friends are, confronts the rumor mongers, deals with her mother, and finally has a long heart-to-heart talk with her sons.  After all of this  happens, we still don’t know if a future for Jessica and Major Landis will occur.  I’m also not going to tell so potential viewers will have to find this out for themselves!

Christmas Eve and not wanting to say good-bye!

Christmas Eve and not wanting to say good-bye!

I only have a few bones to pick with My Reputation, but none of them are with Barbara Stanwyck.  She is great as Jessica.  She is  shell-shocked in the movie’s beginning, like she is in a mental fog, and that makes sense as her husband has died, and now this new life has to begin, one which she didn’t ask for or want.  She is a warm and loving mother to her two sons.  There is a genuine camadarie between the three of them in all of their scenes. She also has that same relationship with her maid, and with her dear friend Ginna.  Her mother is a pill, and Jessica, at first, looks like she’ll let mother call the shots with her life, but Jessica stands up to her, in small bits at first and then in larger amounts as her relationship with Major Landis grows.   My bones of contention?  Eve Arden should have been in the movie more, and the movie posters.  I don’t know who makes the advertising decisions for a movie, but most of the posters depict Jessica as a  tawdry  woman with tag lines  telling folks to get off her back about her reputation.  The posters make one think the movie is about a loose woman and all of her man problems, instead of portraying Jessica as a widow with two sons.  If the  movie going public in 1946 went to see this movie based on what the posters were advertising, they were in for a surprise!

Here's one of the "trampy" My Reputation movie posters, Spanish version.

Here’s one of the “trampy” My Reputation movie posters, Spanish version.

Wishing Eve Arden had had a bigger role in this film.

Wishing Eve Arden had had a bigger role in this film.

Here's the French poster, with some extra men thrown in for good measure, I guess.

Here’s the French poster, with some extra men thrown in for good measure, I guess.

My Reputation has great music by Max Steiner, was lensed by James Wong Howe, and the screenplay was adapted by Catharine Turney from Clare Janes 1942 book, Instruct My Sorrows. Its  available to purchase through Amazon, appears from time to time on Turner Classic Movies, and is also available to rent throught Netflix.  My Reputation is a woman’s picture, with Stanwyck giving  it her all and for her fans, a movie not to miss.

Camp David of the Ozarks: Walking the walk, and talking the talk

Two weeks ago, a friend from our church, Greentree Christian Church,  called to ask if I would be available to help Camp David of the Ozarks transport some children back to the Jefferson City area.  These children were finishing up their week at Camp David, and the camp provides a service of picking up the campers and driving them back to their hometown areas.  I looked at my calendar, and saw that I could help drive and I did, this past Friday.Camp David When we moved to Rolla in June of 2011,  I heard a few people mention that they were helping at Camp David for a week in the summer or even  that their entire families were volunteering for a week at a time.  I was a bit curious as I didn’t know what Camp David was or where it was even located.  So, I did a bit of research.

Camp David of the Ozarks began in 2003 and by the summer of 2004 the camp  was ready with two weeks of camp being offered and 18 campers attending.    By the summer of  2012, the camp had grown and  hosted 202 campers over an 8 week period.  What makes Camp David of the Ozarks so special is that it is specifically set up for only children of prisoners; the campers have one or both parents in a state of Missouri prison.  Sadly, there are a lot of statistics indicating  that children who grow up in a home with a parent serving time in prison, those children have a greater rate of also turning to a life of crime and ending up incarcerated themselves.  The founders of Camp David wanted a camp for those children, to present them with a week of love, laughter, nature, and a chance to introduce them to Jesus.  Another statistic is that children who grow up in an inner-city environment usually never venture more than a 10 mile radius from where they live, so many never get to experience life in the country, life at a camp environment, and Camp David helps to open the kids eyes to life outside of an urban setting.

As I was driving our van to Jefferson City last Friday, with girl campers in tow and a counselor in the “shotgun” seat,  I decided to just sit and listen to the conversations between the girls and their counselor.  I heard many times how much the girls loved Camp David.  I heard how they were going to miss the camp an awful lot.  For these specific girls, this was a second time to visit or a third time.  The girls loved the horses and discussed their favorites in the stable.  They loved the songs and decided to sing some as we traveled north on Highway 61.  The first song I was not familiar with, something about a Moose drinking juice, a typical camp song, one with many stanzas that tell a silly story.  I was very glad that they didn’t sing “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”!  The  rest of the songs the girls and their counselor sang were worship songs, many that I have sung at church.  Instead of joining in with the singing, I decided to take that time to pray for the girls.  I praised God that they had such a wonderful time at Camp David that week, I asked God to bless the workers at the camp for giving their time to reach out to children growing up in less than desirable environments.  I prayed that the lyrics of the songs would embed themselves in these girls’ minds and hearts and that they would all come to know Jesus as their Saviour, that the bible lessons the girls learned about would be seeds planted that would in turn grow into a strong faith.

When we reached our destination near Jefferson City, the girls’ families were there to greet us.  Over and over the girls’ relatives thanked us so much for driving the girls back to them, thanked us for the work done at Camp David for their girls, telling us over and over “God Bless You!”   That humbled me a lot because I was simply a van driver for that day, I hadn’t done a lot of real work with the campers like the counselor who rode along with me did. If you want to learn all there is to learn about Camp David of the Ozarks, click on the link and read about it.  It is a wonderful facility sharing the Good News of Jesus with children that  in America’s society are often overlooked or not even thought about.

My Classic Movie Pick: The Catered Affair

If you are planning a wedding this year, you might want to watch this movie or you might want to watch it after the big event has happened.  If you are married, this movie will remind you of the planning that went into your own trip down the matrimonial aisle.  It is a movie with charm, grit, and truth permeating through out it.  The Catered Affair was originally a teleplay, written by Paddy Chayefsky, and also known as Wedding Party.  In 1956, it was turned into a movie by MGM with screenplay by Gore Vidal and directed by Richard Brooks.  The talented cast featured Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, and Rod Taylor.  This was Taylor’s first film after being signed by MGM and if you listen closely, his Australian accent escapes now and then, which I found fun to hear.  The Catered Affair

The movie opens with Tom Hurley( Ernest Borgnine) driving his taxi cab back to the garage after a night shift of work.  He is approached by his good friend and fellow cabbie, Sam(Jay Adler), that another cabbie is going to retire and he wants to sell Sam and Tom his cab along with the desired NYC Taxi Medallion, for the price of $8000.  Tom and Sam, it is revealed, have been saving their money for years to make such a deal and both have $4000 in the bank.  It is agreed that on Sunday, they’ll meet with the seller and make the deal.  Tom heads for home and prepares to go to bed as his wife and two kids are getting ready for their day.

Tom and Sam discuss buying the cab and gaining the medallion.

Tom and Sam discuss buying the cab and gaining the medallion.

Aggie(Bette Davis) is a hard-working housewife.  Jane(Debbie Reynolds) is the Hurley’s daughter, I would guess she’s in her early 20s, and Eddie(Ray Stricklyn) is their 18 year old son.  As the family goes through their morning routines and Tom grabs a plate of eggs before heading off to bed, Jane announces that she and her boyfriend of 3 years, Ralph Halloran(Rod Taylor), have decided to get married.  Ralph is a school teacher and he has a winter break coming up.  The young couple have decided that they’ll have a simple wedding, just  the parents and siblings present, and they’ve already talked to the Hurley’s family priest who has agreed to start posting the banns.  Ralph also has a friend selling a car to someone in California, but the friend can’t drive the car out there because his wife is expecting a baby soon, so Ralph and Jane will drive the car to California, and that will be their honeymoon.

At first, Aggie and Tom take the news well.  Tom  congratulates Jane on her sensible thinking.  He shares what another family spent on a daughter’s wedding and how outrageous it is  to spend that much money on a wedding!  With his proclamation made, Tom goes off to bed.  Aggie realizes that if only immediate family are to be at the wedding, than she’ll have to break the news to her brother Jack(Barry Fitzgerald), that he won’t be able to attend the ceremony despite him living with the Hurley’s.  Uncle Jack doesn’t take the news well, and this starts the wheels in motion for Aggie to become obsessed with giving Jane a big wedding and reception.

Aggie wanting Jane to have a huge wedding and reception,

Aggie wanting Jane to have a huge wedding and reception,

 Jane announcing her marriage and wanting a small wedding.

Jane announcing her marriage and wanting a small wedding.

We see Aggie convincing Jane to have a big wedding day for future memories to have to hold on to.  We see Aggie going through the $4000 that Tom has saved as if money just grows on trees.  No amount of concern from Tom or Jane is slowing Aggie down from her quest to give her daughter a big wedding and reception.  Will this happening happen?  Will Jane and Ralph just elope?  Will Tom stop Aggie from spending all of his savings which he intended for a new taxi and medallion and business with Sam?  You, the potential viewer, will have to seek this movie out to find the answers!

Arguing about reception costs.

Arguing about reception costs.

Jane and Ralph

Jane and Ralph

The Catered Affair is available on Amazon and may appear again soon on Turner Classic Movies.  A tense movie at times, it is also heart-warming with fun moments too.  The Catered Affair poster 2

Finding that perfect wedding dress!

Finding that perfect wedding dress!

Empty Nest Preview and Richard Burton

It is  weird at our home this week.  It is eerily quiet, and at times, boring!  Just hubby and me, the dog and the youngest child, rattling around in our house.  The oldest two have left the nest and are off on their life journeys and the other 4, our official teenagers, are on trips this week: 2 in Lincoln, Nebraska attending a Christ in Youth conference, fondly known as CIY, and the other 2 are in Montreal, Canada touring with a Grandma and a Great-Aunt.  Our youngest admitted last night that the house is too quiet and that he misses his older siblings.  He admitted this much faster than I thought he would, I was expecting for his admittance of this truth on Wednesday or Thursday.  He, has in fact, been invited to attend a Vacation Bible School at Redeemer Lutheran Church this week, so from 9-12:30, I truly have an empty nest, hence the weirdness of it all! My mind spins with all of the chores I could rush through, tasks I’ve been wanting to tackle.  Then I recall that I could now sit and read my library book uninterrupted, or watch one of the myriad classic movies that I have taken from Turner Classic Movies and  put on our dvr machine.  I could watch one or two without someone poking fun at a black and white film!  I did the grocery shopping this am  and  was left gasping at how low the bill was for just 3 people!  Our youngest also reminded me last night that if we only had him for our child, we wouldn’t have needed to buy such a big house!  I remarked that he was quite right, and we momentarily thought of things we could budget for quite easily if he was our only child!      Empty nest cartoon

Speaking of library books, I am currently reading The  Richard Burton’s Diaries.  When I saw it on the “New Books” shelf at Rolla Public Library, I snatched it up and checked it out.  I love to read biographies and autobiographies and knew this would be an interesting read, to say the least.  A professor in Wales, the country  where Mr. Burton was from, and Burton’s oldest daughter, actress Kate Burton, decided to release the late actor’s diaries.  Mr. Burton began his diaries at the age of 14, and they are full of typical teen boy activities: lots of rugby matches, cricket matches(Mr. Burton was a very good athlete in his youth), studying for exams, accounts of part-time jobs in order to earn  spending money, hanging out with friends, WWII battles in the news, enduring blackouts, and going to the movies.  Then there is a gap and the diaries  begin again when he is married to Elizabeth Taylor.  Three things I’ve taken away so far from this book:  First,  the wealthy go out to eat quite a lot as there are many passages about restaurants visited, dishes ordered and how delicious the meals were.  Second, dropping gifts into others laps for birthdays and holidays are easily done.  Third, that if one is fond of drinking liquor and decides to give it up because it is causing harm to one’s relationships and harm to one’s health, than by all means  give it up!  Mr. Burton, a renowned drinker, several times decided to give up the liquor and each time he marveled at how better he slept, felt, treated everyone around him, lost weight…sad to keep reading of his proclamations about his life being better without the booze only to know that he takes the habit back up again and again and again.   I also chuckled when I read the late actor’s comments about his opinions on the “untalented” Beatles and most pop music groups!

TRB Diaries

In closing, even though  our family will be small in attendance at the dinner table tonight, by late Friday night we’ll have the two teen sons  home and by Sunday night, the twin teen daughters will be back under our roof.  We’ll then be back to our “normal” reality with 7 around the table in the dining room for the evening meal, saying our the blessing for our meal  together and asking God to provide His protection and wisdom to our oldest two, for the week they are encountering in their lives away from us and away from  Rolla, Missouri.

My Classic Movie Pick: Roman Holiday

My twin daughters, 13 year olds, surprised me last Saturday evening and asked to watch a classic movie, preferably one with Audrey Hepburn in it.  I was glad to help them search our Netflix Streaming site and was very glad when I found Roman Holiday.  So we popped up some popcorn and settled in for a well-crafted film, starring Audrey Hepburn in her first film role, and for which she won the Best Actress Academy Award in 1954.  RH poster This movie has two protagonists: Princess Anna(Audrey Hepburn) and American newspaper journalist, Joe Bradley(Gregory Peck).  Princess Anna is young, 19 or 20, and she is tired.  She is on a whirlwind tour of major European cities and in each one, she has to attend meetings, press conferences, visit schools or farms or museums, make speeches, and at night she has to preside over balls hosted by her country’s embassy.  Her life is  tightly wound around a schedule.  In one amusing scene at the embassy in Rome, she is standing forever shaking hands with all the dignitaries at the ball, and her feet hurt.  Her beautiful ball gown is long enough to conceal her feet, so she decides to take off one shoe and rub that sore foot on the shin of her other leg, and as she finally gets an opportunity to sit in a throne-like chair on the dais in front of all the guests, her dress length is shortened by the sitting and her empty shoe is revealed!  Joe Bradley, is a cynical newspaper man.  We don’t know how long he has been assigned to the Rome Bureau of his newspaper, but he does wish to eventually be reassigned to the American Bureau, at a higher position than what he currently has.  He doesn’t mind Rome and has learned the language and gets along fine with his landlord.  Fellow co-worker, photographer Irving Radovich(aptly played by Eddie Albert) is his poker playing buddy and they help each other out with loans of money and hanging out together when off-duty.

At the ball in Rome.

At the ball in Rome.

Princess Anna After the ball in Rome is over, Princess Anna is tucked in for the night, and she works herself up into hysterics about her rigidly run life, never getting to have any fun for herself or making her own decisions.  Countess Vereberg, the lady in waiting, immediately calls for the doctor who gives the princess a sedative.  After they leave the princess so she can go back to sleep, she gets up and dresses and decides to slip out of the embassy and see Rome for herself and on her own terms.  Unfortunately the sedative begins to take effect and that is where Joe finds the princess, alseep on a bench  in front of a building.  Being a gentleman, he tries to wake her but only gets responses that don’t make sense to him, so he deposits the princess into a cab and reluctantly takes her to his apartment and lets her sleep it off on his sofa.  Joe has assumed that this young woman is simply drunk and that he had better offer her shelter for the night instead of letting her sleep it off on the street.

A very sleepy princess meets Joe.

A very sleepy princess meets Joe.

The next morning, Joe finds out that he has overslept and missed the press conference with Princess Anna.  He rushes off to work and there finds out by looking at a picture in the morning newspaper, that the supposedly “sick” princess who had to cancel her press conference is really the young lady asleep on his sofa!  Joe decides to do a story about the princess and her time exploring Rome, and gets his photographer pal Irving to come along to take pictures with his new toy, a cigarette lighter with a camera hidden in it.  Joe tells his boss that he’ll have an exclusive story to give him about the princess that will bring in a lot of money when the other news outlets beg for it.  Thus begins Joe’s odyssey of helping the princess tour Rome and break free of her scheduled life, with Irving taking pictures along the way, all unknown to the princess as to who Joe and Irving really are.  She has not told Joe who she is, that she is just Anna Smith and he hasn’t told her who he really is, telling the princess that he is a fertilizer salesman!

The majority of the film is the fun Princess Anna is having touring Rome with Joe.  Many shots of famous Roman sites are in this film and there is a cute segment of the princess trying to drive a Vespa scooter.  A famous site that is visited is the “Mouth of Truth”, which is a face carved in stone that has an open mouth in the carving.  Joe tells Anna that legend says if a liar puts his or her hand into the mouth, it will get cut off.  Both challenge one another to place their hand in the mouth and the scene builds on the tenseness each character has developed about the lie they are living, by not revealing who each of them really is. Anna’s day of sightseeing is done but she is not ready to go back to the embassy.  She tells Joe about a dance near some boats that the hairdresser who cut her hair invited her to.  Off she and Joe go to the dance, with Irving tagging along to get some photographs.  The embassy  has meanwhile flown in secret agents from the home country and they have found the princess at the dance.  A melee results as Anna and Joe manage to get away and as they flee they realize they both have fallen in love with each other. What will happen?  Will they reveal who they really are to one another?  Will Princess Anna be allowed to marry an American who is obviously not royalty?  Will Joe be willing to give up his life to live in a palace?  Will Joe turn the story into his boss along with Irving’s pictures?Will Irving sell his photographs to make himself some extra money?  Will the newspaper story harm the Princess?  I am not giving away the answers because I want the readers of this blog to find this movie, view it and see the answers for themselves!

Fighting the secret agents at the dance!

Fighting the secret agents at the dance!

The Mouth of Truth

The Mouth of Truth

Learning to drive a Vespa!

Learning to drive a Vespa!

The Princess's new hairdo!

The Princess’s new hairdo!

Anna and Joe at the Spanish Steps.

Anna and Joe at the Spanish Steps.

Roman Holiday was directed by William Wyler and the screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo.  Trumbo won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, and Edith Head won the Award for Best Costumes.  Two side-notes about the film: First, Dalton Trumbo was blacklisted in the late 1940s  for communist party sympathies, so even though he wrote the screenplay, his name couldn’t be listed as the actual writer.  Another writer agreed to let his name be used in Trumbo’s place in the credits, and this writer sent all payments for the film to Trumbo.  I also assume that this same writer after he accepted the Oscar, had it sent to Trumbo.  60 years after the movie was released, Trumbo was finally given posthumous credit for having written it.  Second, Elizabeth Taylor was the first choice to play the princess, but after Hepburn’s screen test, she so wowed the director and the crew that the part was hers. Roman Holiday is a very charming movie.  A gentle romance-comedy that is tastefully done and very well-acted.  I am glad that it was the movie that my twin daughters chose!   RH poster 2Joe loves her!

Brandywine Blueberry Farm is the Bomb!

My first week in Rolla, Missouri, June of 2011 I heard about a U-Pick Blueberry farm.  I was curious as I had never picked a blueberry in my life, and I was game for an outing.  So I managed to convince one of  my teen sons and my youngest son to accompany me south of town, off of Highway 63, to a County Road and there we found it, Brandywine Blueberry Farm.  Blueberry Bush I was immediately impressed with the place.  There were areas set aside for parking.  The long, stone covered driveway winding its way through a sun-dappled woods  reminded me of the home I grew up at in Ohio, which was a nice, sentimental moment for me.  Then I saw the berry patches.  Neatly planted, spaced, weed-free.  We were handed sturdy white plastic buckets already lined with plastic berry bags in them.  I also noticed a parking area set up for the handicapped, and portajohns in case  a bathroom break might be needed.  There was also a nice water station set up in the middle area of the patches, for thirsty berry pickers.

Picking these berries was not hard work at all, nor tedious.  I’ve picked strawberries, which grow low to the ground, and can be hard on the back after awhile.  I’ve also picked raspberries with their thorny stems and that isn’t fun to get poked and pricked as one hunts for juicy, red raspberries.  These blueberries grow on bushes 4-5 feet in height, and not much stooping is needed to get at the fruits.  No thorns on blueberry bushes either! After that first blueberry picking expedition, I’ve made it a point to go back each June and pick some blueberries at Brandywine Farm. blueberriesThis past Saturday was their second day in operation for the season.  I talked with Dr. Marti, the owner of the farm for a bit of information about Brandywine.  He said that the farm was started about 25 years ago by  David and Mary Hinze.  Mr. Hinze had been the History Department Chair at Rolla High School and had a long career there, teaching history.   Mr. Hinze suddenly passed away in August of 2010 and the Marti family then came on the scene, buying the farm from Mrs. Hinze and taking over the operations of the Blueberry Farm.  Dr. Marti also told me that if it weren’t for the hard work of his grandchildren, he didn’t know if the Blueberry farm would be able to keep going!

Click on this link to read all about Brandywine and it’s history, tips and information about blueberries, hours of operation, prices, and for some fun pictures and information on who really does all of the work at the farm.  Then take yourself and your family on a nice outing and pick some blueberries!  You will be glad that you did!

Don't forget the blueberry pancakes!

Don’t forget the blueberry pancakes!

Of course I have to make a pie and blueberry cobbler, too!

Of course I have to make a pie and blueberry cobbler, too!

I like to make blueberry muffins with our fresh-picked berries.

I like to make blueberry muffins with our fresh-picked berries.