There was a time back in the 50′s and 60′s when a multitude of delivery men, or women delivered products to a typical home. Back in the day there were delivery people for milk, eggs, ice, groceries and the local cleaners would pick up clothes and deliver them when finished cleaning them. The florists would also deliver flowers to a home. Today a florist is about the only one still delivering to a home, among those delivery people mentioned above. There were more people back then who didn’t own a car, so delivery was the only option in some cases.
There were ice cream trucks playing their music, as they drove through neighborhoods both back then and they can still be heard years later selling ice cream to neighborhood kids. However they were not considered delivery people, since they didn’t deliver from house to house, but only stopped when they made a sale. An ice cream truck playing The Entertainer. There is some online grocery websites that do deliver groceries today, but probably are limited only to larger cities:
Home delivery for the most part has disappeared from the American scene, but those of us who grew up in the 50′s and 60′s will always remember the delivery people of those years.
There was a time when surf music was king. The Beach Boys may not have been the first band featuring surfing music, but they are certainly the best-known from that genre. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones are generally recognized, as the first to record surf music with “Let’s Go Trippin’.
Jan and Dean were an early surfing music group who found a new way of surfing….sidewalk surfing:
Surfin’ USA was the first Top 10 hit for the Beach Boys when it went to No.3 in 1963. The Beach Boys are shown singing two of their early hits Surfin’ USA and Surfer Girl which went to No.7 a few months later.
Jan and Dean had a No.3 hit with Little Old Lady From Pasadena. Used car dealers in California would sell cars telling potential buyers, that the cars had been driven by a little old lady from Pasadena, who drove the car only on Sundays to go to church. Jan and Dean turned it all around in their song, changing the little old lady into a street car racer:
The Beach Boys also got into the hot rod music scene with Little Deuce Coupe and 409.
I Get Around went to No.1 one of only four No.1 hits by the Beach Boys:
Jan and Dean recorded Dead Man’s Curve and Google Maps shows the route taken in the song:
Ironically Jan Berry of Jan and Dean was in an accident not too far from Dead Man’s Curve which can also be seen on this Google Map. Those readers who know this area probably will be interested in knowing the exact locations.
Italy’s highway system places a whole new meaning when it comes to dead man’s curbs as their highways seem to have no shoulders to change flat tires. Instead of shoulders they have drop offs of hundreds of feet if a car veers off the road. Dead Man’s Curve being sung while showing these treacherous highways adds a new meaning to the song:
This video shows The Ventures playing Wipeout their classic instrumental:
The last video is of the Beach Boys singing Fun, Fun, Fun about a girl having fun driving the car until her daddy takes the keys away:
Terry Mathews a pitcher with four major league teams died at 47 earlier this week. I had written a post at my website earlier this week about him being one of the players from central Louisiana area to be successful as a major league player.
The Dallas Morning News had an article about his death which stated that he had died in Menard, Louisiana, while that was the high school he graduated from. However the writer writing his article from the Rangers spring training camp in Arizona, wrote about Mathews making a start against Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe:
Mathews pitched for the Rangers, Marlins, Orioles and Royals in his eight year major league career compiling a 22-21 record and posted a 4.25 ERA.
Warren Hayes of the Alexandria Town Talk wrote this tribute about Mathews, which centers more on Mathews the person than the major league baseball player. The article includes a photo of the display board at Menard High School his alma mater, that is covered with cards memorializing Mathews.
Mathews may be gone but will never be forgotten.
Lizard Lick Towing’s reality stars Ron and Amy Shirley appeared on Conan last night and Conan was amused by Ron’s little sayings throughout their appearance. The video really needs no introduction. They aren’t on very long since Jennifer Aniston was on the show earlier and was given a lot of time.
Attempted to embed the video, but it didn’t work so go to this link:
Simon Cowell is so desperate to elevate X-Factor winner, up to the same playing field as American Idol and The Voice winners, that he is proposing a sing-off between the winners of the three shows.
For instance if was held between the winners last year, it would pit Scotty McCreery, Javier Colon and Melanie Amaro against each other with Cowell being the host.
American Idol producer Nygel Lythgoe has stated that the American Idol winner would have been a star, before the competition and is opposed to the idea.
To further complicate things for X-Factor, there are rumors circulating that The Voice will have another season this fall, which would give them two winners the same season, not to mention possibly competing directly against X-Factor, depending on the scheduling of the two shows.
X-Factor is in third place in ratings among the three shows, since even The Voice has bettered the X-Factor ratings so far in 2012. American Idol is showing signs of weaker ratings, but when they get into the live shows it will be the real test, since some fans don’t really follow the show until they know the 12 finalists.
The Voice doesn’t have the mass auditions, like American Idol and X-Factor, so they can have a second season this year, which would be Season 3 of the singing competition.
The way I look at it is that the singers have competed enough by the time they win one of the singing competitions and are ready to start their career, instead of appearing in yet another singing competition.
If The Voice does have a second season this calendar year, we could see even more erosion in the ratings. There is such a thing as overkill and The Voice and X-Factor could see falling ratings if they go head-to-head this fall.
The documentary Chosin was released in 2010, the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in which Army and Marines units were flanked on all sides by Chinese forces which had crossed into Korea.
Not only were the American forces trapped and outnumbered, they also had to fight in the most adverse weather conditions imaginable, with temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero.
Frostbite was common as 12,000 of the 14,000 American troops at the Battle of Chosin contacted some form of frostbite.
In addition the Battle of Chosin was fought under icy conditions with snow falling during some of the fighting.
Chinese Not Taken Seriously
General Douglas MacArthur did not consider the Chinese a threat to the American forces, thinking they were not ready to engage in a battle with the American forces. Another officer called the Chinese “laundrymen”. The troops at the Chosin Reservoir learned that both officers were wrong and found out the Chinese were an elite fighting force, that didn’t make particularly good strategic decisions.
The sheer numbers of the Chinese infantrymen was overwhelming as wave after wave of them, encountered the trapped American troops in November and December of 1950.
One American soldier had to use an American soldier who had been killed as a sandbag in front of his foxhole. The invading Chinese soldiers were being killed by the hundreds, since they were easy targets for the gunfire from the foxholes.
Fighting a battle is bad enough by itself, but when fighting in sub-zero weather on the frozen tundra, fighting one on one with the enemy, sometimes in hand to hand combat, the battle is worse than anyone could imagine.
Heart-Wrenching Survival Stories
The survival stories by the veterans of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir are heart-wrenching. Those of us who weren’t there can’t ever began to realize what those veterans went through, but their stories of their survival gives us a glimpse into what they faced on that brutal battlefield 62 years ago.
Assuming the youngest soldier on the battlefield was 18 in 1950, that soldier would be 80 years old today. So when the documentary was filmed in 2010, the youngest veteran being interviewed would have been 78 at the time.
Some of the survivors told harrowing stories of their near-death experiences, with one veteran relating how he thought he was about to be shot and killed, but said that they didn’t want to waste a bullet on him, so started hitting him on the head with the butt of their rifle and leaving him for dead. However, he wasn’t dead and had to fake being dead to keep from being killed.
Another veteran told of being checked by medics and placed in a stack of dead bodies. He had to inform one of the medics that he was not dead and spit out the dog tags they had already placed in his mouth.
One veteran recalled seeing his sergeant killed when he was approaching a Chinese soldier and watched him fall to the ground. It was very touching to hear one of the veterans telling about asking God to let him live one more day. He had killed a Chinese soldier who had jumped into his foxhole.
Critics Say Chosin Documentary Was Pro-War
Some critics of the documentary, said it was a pro-war film. I disagree with that thinking, since these veterans did what they had to do to stay alive and help their fellow soldiers reach safety. I can’t see how anything said in the documentary could be portrayed as being pro-war. The veterans were following orders and fought a great battle under the most adverse conditions.
I think only a very small fraction of soldiers enjoy going into battle. I am not even sure if there are any that think that way. Most veterans who survived the Battle of Chosin Reservoir probably returned from Korea, knowing they had served their country well and would hope that no soldier would ever have to face what they faced.
Chinese Targeted Korean Refugees
The documentary also related that the Chinese troops targeted Korean refugees attempting to flee to safety. The film tells of thousands of refugees being evacuated on boats to safety.
The Chinese had to know these civilians were no threat to them, yet I am sure many were killed needlessly by a ruthless enemy, determined to kill as many of them as possible.
Aftermath of Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Casualty figures for the Battle of Chosin widely differ, since there is no way a completely accurate count was made under the battlefield conditions in 1950. The allied troops numbered only 15,000 and were greatly outnumbered by a Chinese force of 120,000.
Estimated total casualties during the battle show the U.S. troops having suffered 5,611 casualties with Chinese suffereing 19,202 casualties. The Chinese paid a heavy toll from non-battlefield casualites of over 28,000, which were probably mostly due to frostbite.
The documentary told about the soldiers featured in the film returning home after leaving Korea. They discussed how they couldn’t discuss their wartime experience with civilians, since they didn’t have a clue of what the veterans experienced during the war. They could only discuss the war with other veterans who had battlefield experiences of their own.
Some of the veterans dealt with post traumatic stress after returning home. One of the veterans said he had the same dream, night after night of a Chinese soldier pointing a gun at him and it saying BANG, then was bayoneted by that soldier.
Another veteran had no problems with post traumatic stress until 1993, 43 years after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He was asked to make a speech on his recollections of his wartime experiences. When he started preparing the speech the horrors of the war returned.
Chosin is not the kind of movie that will be soon forgotten. It leaves viewers with even more appreciation for those who served in the armed forces.
I served in Vietnam with only one close call when a sniper was firing at us, while we were in the foxhole next to our post office tent. That pales in significance compared to what the veterans of the Battle of Chosin veterans experienced.
The real heroes of war are the soldiers fighting in the trenches. The rest of us did our part, but I am quick to let people know I was not in the infantry, because those are the heroes to me, like my brother who captured some enemies during the Vietnam War.
Chosin didn’t identify the veterans telling their stories, till the credits rolled but their stories were a testament to how true patriots act in the heat of battle.
American Idol seemed to be more about the drama, than the singing on Thursday night’s show. There were many medical issues featured including Symone Black falling off the stage, contestants who were either not feeling well or those who were so sick they were throwing up into waste baskets.
Like most Hollywood weeks, there was a lot of drama before the group auditions were to be held the next day. We saw contestants desperately searching for a group to join. We had the usual drama we see year after year, of singers wanting to rehearse, while others in the group were more intent on going to sleep for the night.
We saw groups in which the contestants thought the self-appointed leader of the group, was taking them down to defeat, by either the song selection or being forced to sing in way that made them uncomfortable. The cowboy’s group will be an interesting audition to watch, since it seems like there is no cohesion with the group.
There were the usual contestants having to audition before being allowed to join a group. Remember last season when Scotty McCreery wasn’t good enough for one group, but became the next American Idol anyway.
Some of the contestants were more worried about their own selfish desires than they were about the group. Fox knows the night before group auditions is filled with drama, so they milked it for all it is worth.
There was almost no singing in the show, except for the groups rehearsing in the hotel. Thursday night’s show was a waste to me, since most of the show was focused more on drama among the contestants, than showing us part of the group auditions.
Fox teased us at the end as a group started singing for the judges, but was cut short by Fox so we will have to tune in next week to find out how their audition went.
I can understand that Fox wanted to show some of the drama, that goes on between the contestants, but don’t think most viewers wanted to see an hour of drama.
Now that we have seen the drama before the auditions, we should see the groups actually singing in their auditions as the judges whittle down the contestants, to a more manageable number.
Tune in next week, the drama is over and the singing will be the focus again.
1968 and 1969 were years defined by the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, American astronauts being the first to walk on the moon, anti-war protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the New York Jets and the New York Mets were surprise Super Bowl and World Series winners.
Super Bowl II would be won by the Green Bay Packers when they defeated the Oakland Raiders on January 14.
Mister Roger’s Neighborhood would be seen for the first time on February 19, 1968.
March 16, 1968 would be one of the low points of the Vietnam War when between 374-504 unarmed civilians were killed at My Lai by United States troops. 2nd Lt. William Calley was charged with 22 of the deaths and sentenced to life imprisonment, but only served three-and-a-half years of house arrest.
President Lyndon B. Johnson announced on March 31 that he would not be running for president in the 1968 election. His decision resulted in the Democrats only having one president elected in the next 24 years, when Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976. It would be 1993 before Bill Clinton took office as the 42nd president and he would become the first Democratic president to serve two complete terms since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
April 4, 1968 started a year of assassinations and demonstrations, when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on the balcony of his Memphis motel room. Ironically only seven days later the Civil Rights Act bill was passed by Congress, which outlawed racial discrimination, which Dr. King had been fighting before his death.
Then only two months and one day after the assassination of Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated while celebrating a win in California primary during his 1968 presidential bid. Sirhan Sirhan is arrested for the murder of Kennedy.
If Kennedy had lived to win the Democratic nomination, he may have defeated Richard Nixon in the 1968 election. Instead Nixon defeated Senator Hubert Humphrey by half a million votes.
The Yippies led by Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman would descend on Chicago and the streets of Chicago turned into a riot zone as the Yippies and other radical groups battled Chicago police, U.S. Army and National Guard, while the Democratic convention was being held.
The chaos on the streets of Chicago poured onto the Democratic Convention floor when Senator Abraham Ribicoff denounced the use of Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago. His remarks enraged Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago would could be seen yelling at Ribicoff.
Anti-war protesters in Chicago may have hurt their own cause. In retrospect they may have protested at the wrong convention since the Democrats were more on their side than the Republicans. The Republican convention in Miami was turmoil free, in contrast to the chaos in Chicago.
Richard Nixon would go on to defeat Senator Humphrey in the general election.
1969 was another year with many newsworthy events and January 12 of 1969 would see the New York Jets defeat the Baltimore Colts 16-7, after Jets quarterback Joe Namath had predicted the Jets would upset the Colts.
Richard Nixon would take office as the 37th president on January 20. The Beatles who had first sang in America almost five years ago would hold their last public concert on January 30.
Sirhan Sirhan admits assassinating Bobby Kennedy on March 3. Ironically seven days later James Earl Ray would plead guilty to assassinating Dr. Martin Luther King. Later that month former President Dwight D. Eisenhower died on March 28, 8 years after finishing his second term as president.
The first American troop withdrawals of the Vietnam War were made on July 8. Senator Teddy Kennedy would end any hope of becoming president, when he drove his car off a bridge on July 18, in what became known as the Chappaquiddick incident. Mary Jo Kopechne would die at the age of 28 in the submerged car.
Two days later on July 20, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, when the lunar module Eagle landed on the moon. It had to be ranked as one of the biggest stories of the 20th century. The first flight by the Wright Brothers in 1903 would have been another major advance in the 20th century. Their flight led to commercial flights by airlines in later years.
August 9, 1969 was a day of violence as Charles Manson followers killed actress Sharon Tate and four others. The next day August 10, they would murder Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their home.
August 15, 1969 will always be remembered as the day the Woodstock Music Festival kicked off on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York. The promoters were expecting 50,000 fans, but those numbers were very conservative, considering 500,000 fans showed up.
August 17 would be another deadly day, this time because of Hurricane Camille which hit the Mississippi coast killing 248 people and causing damage of $1.5 billion.
The first ATM was installed in Rockville Centre, New York on September 2, while on the same day Ho Chi Minh, leader of North Vietnam died.
The Chicago Eight trial begin on September 24 in Chicago, but was changed to the Chicago Seven, when Bobby Seale a Black Panther was sentenced to four-year sentence for contempt of court.
Another New York sports team would win a championship, when the New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Seven years earlier the Mets had been the laughingstock of baseball when they posted a 40-120 record in 1962.
On a lighter note Sesame Street would be seen for the first time on the National Education Network on November 10.
While 250,000-500,000 demonstrators were protesting against the war in Washington, D.C. on November 15, Dave Thomas is busy opening the first Wendy’s in Columbus Ohio.
American astronauts would walk on the moon, only four months after the initial landing, four months prior to the Apollo 12 landing. Pete Conrad and Alan Bean would both walk on the moon.
With the year drawing to a close, a draft lottery was put in place on December 1 and would be the last major event of 1969.
A quick rundown of the events in 1968-1969:
Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy Assassinated
Unarmed Vietnamese Citizens Killed By U.S. Troops
President Lyndon B. Johnson Announces He Will Not Run For Presidency
Anti-war protesters riot during the Democratic National Convention
Richard Nixon is elected president in general election.
Richard Nixon takes office of presidency
Withdrawal of Vietnam troops commences
Teddy Kennedy drives car off bridge in Chappaquiddick incident
Four astronauts become first men to walk on moon
Charles Manson followers kill seven in two days
500,000 anti-war protesters attend Woodstock Music Festival
Hurricane Camille kills 248 persons
First ATM installed in Rockville Centre, New York
Ho Chi Minh Dies
Chicago 7 Trial Begins in Chicago
250,000-500,000 demonstrate in anti-war protest in Washington, D.C.
Dave Thomas opens first Wendy’s
Sesame Street shown for the first time on National Education Network
Draft lottery is instituted