Happy New Year!!

I want to wish all the readers of Nostalgia and Now a Happy and prosperous New Year in 2010. In addition I would like to thank all the readers who have read the posts of this site which started in April.

The readership has improved dramatically from month to month with the only drop in June when I didn’t post since I was in Texas that month.

These are the website views from April till December:

April – 241

May – 526

June – 440

July – 560

August – 804

September – 1,166

October – 1,467

November – 1,685

December – 2,004 as of 7:45 AM ET today.

The total views for the year are 8,895.

Readers are encouraged to comment on the posts as long as bad language is not used and to offer ideas for nostalgic posts and posts about current events.


Steven Seagal: Lawman

Steven Seagal is now appearing in the new A&E program Steven Seagal: The Lawman as a Jefferson Parish Reserve Sheriff Deputy as he patrols the toughest parts of Jefferson Parish.

I recently found out that Steven Seagal who was born in Lansing, Michigan on April 10, 1952 has been a reserve sheriff’s deputy in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana for 20 years. The Los Angeles Times questions whether he has served with them for 20 years.

Regardless of how long he has been with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department he is now an active member of the force according to Steven Seagal: Lawmen series on A&E Network. The premiere show attracted 3.6 million viewers a record for any original A&E show ever showing the drawing power of Siegel.

Last night I watched three episodes of the show and Seagal is in the middle of the action in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Jefferson Parish.

Bystanders Ask For Autograph

When he arrived at some of the crime scenes some of the bystanders recognized him and asked for his autograph. The show gives the viewers a glimpse into what it is like for a police officer to face criminals with guns and how their life could end at any moment. They never know when a criminal who is walking down the street ahead of them and asked to stop may spin around and start shooting at them.

One of the episodes showed Seagal helping another member of the force prepare for his shooting test and it was amazing how much better Seagal did at hitting the target than his student. The student needed a 96 on the test and scored a 97 but without the help of Seagal would have been relegated to desk duty as he noticeably improved after the teaching session with Seagal.

Seagal assisted his fellow deputies in learning how to defend themselves on the street by teaching classes giving them the techniques they needed to learn to defned themselves.

Another show featured his two German shepherds being trained to attack anyone breaking into his own home. At first the two canines did not work together well but eventually listened to commands and reacted much better after another training session.

Five Movie Projects in 2010

Seagal still finds time to make movies as he appeared in three movies made in 2009 and has five movies that will be released or starting production in 2010.

Also a Recording Artist

Seagal has released two albums as a guitarist and his music has been featured in some of his films. His Songs From the Crystal Cave album features a duet with Stevie Wonder.

Active in Animal Protection

Seagal is very active in animal protection and the rights of those animals. He has even written to the Prime Minister of India to ask for legal protection for cows. He also wrote a letter to the Thai governement in Thailand in behalf of protecting baby elephants.

Multi-Faceted Career

It is interesting how Seagal finds time to be involved in so many activities. He is an actor, recording artist, reserve sheriff’s deputy, entrepreneur who sells his own energy drink, animal protection activist and aikido instructor.

One thing for certain is that when he hits the streets on patrol at night he is at much risk as any of the other deputies serving with him since his aikido expertise doesn’t matter when a gun is being pulled on him several feet away.

The show is similar to COPS in that it follows the deputies on a typical night on the street as they encounter criminals who are so belligerent that they sometimes kick out the windows of the police unit.

Classic Television: Mr. Ed.

The late Connie Hines pictured with Alan Young and Mr. Ed.

With the recent death of Connie Hines it reminded me of Mr. Ed the talking horse. The horse would only talk to Wilbur Post the owner who was portrayed by Alan Young while his wife Carol Post was played by Connie Hines.

Mr. Ed would leave Wilbur in many comical situations since the others on the program couldn’t hear what Mr. Ed was saying.

It was a nonsensical comedy that may not go down in television history as one the greatest shows but it was still an entertaining show that made for good family entertainment.

Went From Syndication to the Network

Most television shows play on  network television first but Mr. Ed was unique in that it was syndicated before starting its run on CBS. It was on the air from January 5, 1961 till February 6, 1966.

Young who was born in England  was 42 when the show first aired and is now 90 years old. His co-star Hines passed away on December 18 at the age of 78. According to Wikipedia her main contribution to the show was to say “Lunch is ready”.

Real Name Was Bamboo Harvester

Mr. Ed’s real name was Bamboo Harvester a gelding and died in 1970 four years after the last episode aired. Pumpkin was a quarter horse who was Mr. Ed’s stunt double.

It is heartwarming to know that Young visited Mr. Ed after the series ended and he relates that Mr. Ed died from a tranquilizer that wasn’t necessary when Mr. Ed was struggling to get up which was common for Mr. Ed but his trainer was out of town and a caregiver thinking Mr. Ed was in distress gave the tranquilizer and Mr. Ed died a few hours later.

Mr. Ed needed assistance moving his lips the first season but later intuitively knew when it was time for him to speak. One time Young and trainer were with Mr. Ed and noticed that the horse was moving his lips whenever Young and the trainer stopped talking like he was trained to do for the show.

Alan Young and Connie Hines shown in an appearance in 2003 thirty seven years after the last Mr. Ed episode had been shown on CBS in 1966 and was later shown on TVLand and the Nick-at-Nite cable channels for several years.

Funny Resumes and Christmas Bonuses

Merry Christmas to all the readers of Nostalgia and Now.

The Job Mob website has some of the funniest resumes on record. The following lines were culled from actual resumes:

“I am about to enrol on a Business and Finance Degree with the Open University. I feel that this qualification will prove detrimental to me for future success.”

Hobbies: “getting drunk everynight down by the water, playing my guitar and smoking pot”

One applicant for a nursing position noted that she didn’t like dealing with blood or needles.

Candidate’s hobbies included sitting on the levee at night watching alligators.

“Able to say the ABCs backward in under five seconds.“Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.”

Skills: “I can type without looking at thekeyboard.”

Experience: “Have not yet been abducted by aliens.”

Bad traits: “I am very bad about time and don’t mind admitting it. Having to arrive at a certain hour doesn’t make sense to me. What does make sense is that I do the job. Any company that insists upon rigid time schedules will find me a nightmare.”

Application: Why should an employer hire you? “I bring doughnuts on Friday.”

Awards: “National record for eating 45 eggs in two minutes.”

Application: “Q: In what local areas do you prefer to work? A: Smoking.”

Background: “28 dog years of experience in sales (four human).” (Resumania)

Reason for leaving: “Terminated after saying, ‘It would be a blessing to be fired.’

Objective: “I would like to work for a company that is very lax when it comes to tardiness.”

Qualifications: “Twin sister has accounting degree.”

References: “Please do not contact my immediate supervisor at the company. My colleagues will give me a better reference.”

  • Objective: “To become Overlord of the Galaxy!”
  • Objective: “What I’m looking for in a job: #1) Money #2) Money #3) Money.”
  • Why Interested in Position: “to keep my parole officer from putting back me in jail”

    Candidate explained an arrest by stating, “We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig.”

    “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”

    To read all 150 resume mistakes:


    Worst Christmas Bonus

    My worst Christmas bonus before no bonus Gannett bought the Town Talk was when I was working for the Monroe Morning World in Monroe, Louisiana in the middle 70’s. The bonus check was $10 but was actually a little over $9 after deductions had been made.

    After having grown accustomed to the $150 Christmas bonus the Alexandria Town Talk had given for many years it was a jolt to receive such a small Christmas bonus.

    Gannett Ended Christmas Bonuses

    When Gannett bought the Alexandria Town Talk from Central Newspapers they brought the $150 Christmas bonus to a screeching halt and as far as I know they still don’t give a Christmas bonus.

    Television At Its Best: World’s Strictest Parents

    I am not an MTV fan but they have one of the best shows on television in their World’s Strictest Parents program and the network deserves credit for showing this program.

    At the first of each program a teenage girl and boy are shown interacting with their parent/parents in a very disrespectful way. The teenagers in a lot of the programs have been raised in one parent homes and are used to having their way.

    One girl was given a car even though her behavior didn’t warrant it and she also made a list of things for her mom to do for her instead of the other way around.

    Sent to Another Family For a Week

    Then a teenage boy and girl who have been behaving badly are sent to live with a family that has strict rules and each family member has their own chores to perform daily. They spend five days with their new temporary family.

    Usually the teenagers are sent to a farm or ranch. Their mom and dad for the week have a very structured life since there are many chores to be done.

    Lay Out Ground Rules

    Their temporary parents for the week lay out the ground rules telling the teenagers what is expected of them and asks them if they have any contrabrand such as cigarettes in their luggage. If they turn over the contrabrand to the parents there are no consequences but if they don’t tell them they have it and are found out they suffer the consequences.

    Bad language is not tolerated and one teenage boy on a program yesterday had to haul 20 hay bales a 100 yards when he used bad language.

    Started Week With Only a Mattress

    The strict parents yesterday took everything out of their bedrooms and left them with only a mattress but after their behavior changed later in the week they set up their bedrooms for their last night at the ranch.

    The teenagers yesterday helped clean out a bunkhouse for a lady that had eight kids so that some of the girls in that family would have a nice place to live once it was cleaned. This taught them to enjoy helping others.

    In other shows a different set of teenagers have worked in a soup kitchen feeding the homeless and were told by the homeless in one on one situations what it was like to be homeless making the teenagers more recognizant of the fact that their lives were easy compared to the homeless.

    Some Teenagers Off to Bad Starts

    There have been some programs where it looked like there was no way the teenagers would finish the week being a different person and eager to go home and show they can respect their parent or parents.

    One set of teenagers got off to a bad start by driving the truck of their strict parents for a joyride. When they came back they were punished by having to work very hard on a tedious project that took many hours.

    Most Have Changed By End of the Week

    Despite their rough start both teenagers left at the end of the week with great attitudes and respect for their strict parents for the week and the parents they were going home to.

    Of all the shows I have seen only one boy has not been changed by the experience and left early in the week but he wasn’t willing to give the strict parents a chance to help him become a productive citizen. The girl that had started the week was thinking of leaving but stayed and by the end of the week she was enjoying working on the farm and became close with her temporary parents.

    Talk to Teenagers on the Side

    On each show one of the parents takes one of the teenagers aside and then the other parent will do the same with the other teenager. They talk to them about life and what the teenagers need to do when they get home with their parents and how they will treat them.

    On the fourth day the parents will give the teenagers letters from their parents. By this time the teenagers have been on the farm or ranch long enough to appreciate their parents and are touched by the letters they receive.

    The fifth and final day the parents come to the farm or ranch to pick up their teenagers and bring them home. First they have a meeting with the temporary parents who tell them how their teenagers did during the week and how much they have changed.

    When the teenagers run to the vehicle when their parent/parents arrive shows how much they have changed and how they want to show respect to them and try to help their parents instead of letting the parents do all the work.

    Good Television Does Still Exist

    FCC commissioner Newton Minow may have called television a vast wasteland many years ago but shows like World’s Strictest Parents show that good television does exist today. This program not only changes the lives of the teenagers on the program but it has to have an effect on teenagers and their parents who watch the program.

    We may not know the outcome from the viewers watching the program but it has to have a positive influence on most teenagers and their parents and teaches priorities of what is really important in life.

    Christmas Memories

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

    Christmas is a very happy time for most of us but it can be a very sad time for those who have lost loved ones. Those who have lost a husband or a wife dread the coming of another Christmas season without their spouse.

    It is even worse for those who have lost a loved one during the same year and face their first Christmas without them there to share the Christmas experience.

    Happy Christmas Memories

    The most exciting part of Christmas starts for kids on Christmas Eve when they go to bed wondering what presents they will find under the tree the next morning.

    My mother would read from the Home Life a Baptist publication before we could open our presents. She would have stayed up most of the night wrapping presents and filling stockings.

    Christmas Specials and Movies

    Watching Christmas specials on television were always a big part of our Christmases. We would watch the Bob Hope Christmas show, Andy Williams, Perry Como and other entertainers who had Christmas shows.

    Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara pictured in a scene from Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie being nine when the movie was made..

    We would watch the classic Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood portraying the daughter of  Maureen O’Hara’s character. She was taught by her mother to not believe in Santa Claus.

    White Christmas was released in 1954 and is will be shown six times on Christmas Eve on AMC.

    Another favorite was White Christmas in which Bing Crosby sings the Irving Berlin classic song White Christmas. It also stars Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye. The film was released in 1954 and will be shown on AMC six times on Christmas Eve this year starting at 9 AM but no time zone was listed so assume it is 9 AM ET and 8 AM CT.

    I’ll Be Home For Christmas Meaningful Song

    It wasn’t easy listening to I’ll Be Home For Christmas during the Christmases of 1963, 1964 and 1965 since I was in Hawaii those three years and wouldn’t be home for Christmas until 1966 after returning home from Vietnam.

    I played Christmas music on my record player in the barracks but it wasn’t well received by the other soldiers who also wouldn’t be home for Christmas.

    When the Johnny Grant USO Show came to Schofield Barracks with Julie Newmar and Stefanie Powers and others the thing I remember most is that someone sang I’ll Be Home For Christmas which reminded me that I wasn’t going home for Christmas that year.

    Other Christmas Memories

    I remember the Christmas parties at Louisiana College for the faculty and their families in the cafeteria…the Christmas parades in Alexandria…Ethma Odum reading the The Littlest Angel on KALB TV…Town Talk Christmas parties…Santa Claus appearing in several different stores each Christmas…the $150 Town Talk Christmas bonus which Gannett brought to a screeching halt…the Christmas lights on buildings we could see on the back dock of the Monroe Morning World when we would take our breaks.

    Going to the Christmas Festival in Natchitoches on a very rainy day and having a flat tire on way to Natchitoches and car overheating on way back from being in a long line of cars leaving Natchitoches after the parade….the miniature church on the square in middle of downtown Alexandria…the Christmas music being played over loudspeaker we could hear from the Town Talk.

    The Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at Pineville Park Baptist Church and how the colder it was the more it felt like Christmas…Seeing the Living Christmas Tree program at Kingsville Baptist Church…hearing Bishop Charles Greco on KALB radio on Christmas Eve…the Christmas lights strung across Main Street in Pineville…the water tower in Alexandria covered with Christmas lights.

    The KCS Christmas train parked on the train track by Louisiana College and the long wait in the brutally cold weather that night to board the train to see inside the train….65 snowless Christmases in Louisiana… Christmas caroling as we walked from house to house singing Christmas carols to people we knew and didn’t know and seeing living nativity scenes at churches.

    We want to take this time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!

    Extreme Makeover Home Edition: Lori Piestewa Family

    The family of Lori Piestewa (right) an American soldier killed in Iraq was given a new home on a recent Extreme Makeover Home Edition program with her friend Jessica Lynch pictured on the left being one of those helping on the project.

    I have seen a lot of Extreme Makeover Home Edition programs which have touched my heart but the one broadcast recently about Lori Piestewa topped them all considering she had given her life for her country.

    Her friend Jessica Lynch who had served in Iraq with Lori had made a pact with Lori that if anything happened to either of them the one remaining would make sure the family of the deceased soldier would be taken care of.

    Lynch kept her word and was one of the workers that helped with the construction of a new home for the Piestewa family.

    Family Had History of Military Service

    It was particularly sad to see how the death of their mother had touched the son and daughter of Lori. Lori’s family had a history of service in the United States military with her father and grandfather having served in defense of our country.

    I didn’t know until reading the accompanying article that the family had been given the new home four years ago. Even that doesn’t matter though since it is a program that needs to be reshown many times to remind us of how Lori a brave Hopi Indian woman served her country and how her friend Jessica was there to see the family receive their new home.

    The most touching scene of the program was when the family entered the new home and saw a special room set up in honor of Lori with photos of her and other mementos of her life.

    It was particularly heartwarming to see her son and daughter as they saw photos of them and their mom.

    Excited to See New Homes

    It is good to know that American Extreme Makeover Home Edition continues to give homes to those who really need homes and to see the faces on the families after the bus has been moved from the front of the home.

    More than a few tears have been shed by both the families receiving the homes and the viewers at home watching a family with no hope receiving a home and changing their lives.

    I can still remember the news stories about the convoy in which Lynch and Piestewa were traveling in being attacked by terrorists with Lynch being captured and later escaping to safety.

    Special Thanks

    ABC and Sears and any other sponsors of the program deserve a special thanks for reminding us what makes this country great as builders and average citizens pitch in and work for seven days on providing some happiness for a family that was left without their daughter after she was killed in Iraq.

    Ty Pennington may be a little off the wall sometimes but you can look in his eyes while a family is telling him their story and know that he truly cares about each family that has ever been given a new home.