Audie Murphy: Most Decorated World War II Hero

Audie Murphy 1924-1971
 
Audie Murphy who served in Europe for 27 months during World War II was awarded the Medal of Honor, plus 32 other awards by the United States and foreign countries.
 
Murphy was born June 20, 1924 in Kingston, Texas. He had to drop out of school in the fifth grade to support his family as a farm worker. He was a very good shot and said once, that if he didn’t shoot what he shot at that his family wouldn’t eat that day.
 
He tried to join the Marines, Army Air Corps and Navy, but they all said he was underweight at 110 pounds. The U.S. Army did accept him and after passing out during a basic training drill, the Army tried to send him to baker’s school, but he insisted on being assigned to an infantry unit.
 
It didn’t take long for Murphy to be promoted after shooting two Italian officers in Sicily, so he was promoted to corporal. Two months later he was promoted to sergeant after fighting his way out of a German ambush on the Italian mainland.
 
His most heroic action was when his unit only had 19 soldiers remaining out of 128 and he sent the 19 soldiers to the rear while he singlehandedly fought the Germans. Then when he ran out of ammunition, he jumped in a burning tank destroyer and starting firing on the German position. In addition, he also called in artillery strikes. Murphy then gathered the 19 remaining soldiers, as they drove the Germans from the battlefield. He had suffered a leg wound but continued fighting.  His actions in this battle won him the Medal of Honor. His Medal of Honor citation credits Murphy with killing or wounding 50 German soldiers in that one battle.
 
Murphy joined the Texas National Guard after the Korean War began, but his unit was never called into combat.
 
He was a private first class when he was part of the invasion force entering Sicily in July of 1943, but by the end of 1944 he had been promoted to corporal, sergeant, staff sergeant and second lieutenant.
 
Starred in Movies, Television
 
Murphy moved to Hollywood and after struggling at first to find movie roles, was seen in 44 movies and is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
 
He played a copy boy in his first movie Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven  in 1948 and was seen in 33 westerns. He did play himself in To Hell and Back which was based on his autobiography by the same name. He appeared as Jesse James in A Time For Dying which ironically was his last movie before his death.
 
The trailer from To Hell And Back the autobiographical movie about Audie Murphy.
 
The highlight of his television career was when he played the title character in Whispering Smith. Only 26 episodes were filmed of the series.
 
To see a complete list of his movie and television appearances:
 
 
Country Music Songwriting Career
Audie Murphy also was a country music songwriter. He was admitted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981. His most famous composition would be Shutters and Boards which is heard being sung by Jerry Wallace:
 
Jerry Wallace singing Shutters and Boards written by Audie Murphy.
 
Dies in Virginia Plane Crash
Murphy was flying in a private plane on May 28, 1971 with zero visibility, when it crashed into Brush Mountain near Catawba, Virginia. The pilot had 8,000 hours of flying time but no instrument rating.
 
He had requested before his death to have a simple headstone at Arlington National Cemetery, not wanting  the customary gold leaf surrounding the headstone for previous Medal of Honor winners.
 
Murphy was a humble man who like most war veterans who experienced combat situations, suffered post traumatic stress upon returning from the war and worked to get special compensation for veterans experiencing it.
 
It was ironic that Murphy who risked his life many times on the battlefield would die on a plane, that probably shouldn’t have even been in the air.
 
Murphy was only 45 at the time of his death, but had more life experiences than most of us, who lived many years longer.
 
It is probably safe to say that Audie Murphy is the only person to have won the Medal of  Honor, enshrined on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Cowboy Hall of Fame.
 
Audie Murphy was not only the greatest American soldier who was on a battlefield, but also a humble man who never seeked to capitalize on his acts of heroism. In fact he wanted Tony Curtis to play his part in To Hell and Back.
 
We need to keep the memory of Audie Murphy alive for generations to come. He faced adversity as a child and as a soldier on the battlefield, but he overcame adversity to become America’s greatest war hero. America needs more men like Audie Murphy today.
Advertisements

Where Have All The Delivery People Gone?

A man shown delivering blocks of ice to a home from a Oscar Mayer truck so the residents could keep their food cold in their icebox.

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.

1960’s: When Surfing Music Collided With Hot Rod Music

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:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=sunset+%26+vine,+los+angeles,+ca&daddr=34.07918,-118.429441&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=15&mra=dme&sll=34.079216,-118.422446&sspn=0.01301,0.029182&ie=UTF8&ll=34.086644,-118.380947&spn=0.052034,0.11673&z=13&om=1

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.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=sunset+%26+vine,+los+angeles,+ca&daddr=34.07918,-118.429441&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=15&mra=dme&sll=34.079216,-118.422446&sspn=0.01301,0.029182&ie=UTF8&ll=34.086644,-118.380947&spn=0.052034,0.11673&z=13&om=1

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, Former Major League Pitcher Dies At 47

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:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/texas-rangers/headlines/20120224-terry-matthews-rangers-pitcher-in-1991-92-dies-at-age-47.ece

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.

http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20120225/NEWS01/202250325/1002/rss

Mathews may be gone but will never be forgotten.

 

American Idol: Final 24 Chosen, One More Male Chosen Next Week

Holly Cavanagh who didn’t make it on American Idol 10 last season has been chosen as one of the Top 12 women in Season 11.
 
Holly Cavanagh who was disappointed after not making the Top 40, on Season 10 has made the Top 24 for Season 11.  She was not focused on much if at all this season, only to be a surprise pick among the Top 12 girls on American Idol.
 
However, there will be more cuts coming next week and it remains to be seen if she survives those cuts. The McKinney, Texas resident moved from Liverpool, England ten years ago to Texas. I am rooting for her to be in the final 12 for Season 11.
 
My personal favorite to win as of today is Hallie Day who I saw sing early in the competition, but have missed her latest appearances, but her first audition was so memorable that I hope she wins it all. I wouldn’t mind seeing Shannon Magrane become the American Idol, but both Day and Magrane still have to make the final 12, before they can win anything.
 
Hitfix.com has photos of the Top 12 women. This is the interesting part of the show when we can finally see the photos and names of the finalists. The show’s ratings should improve as American Idol begins the live shows.
 
The Top 10 women:
 
 
It will be interesting to see if Heejun Han can make it past the cuts next week. Personally, I thought Richie Law’s rendition of Ring of Fire was better than the song Han song. However he could be the wild card brought back next week. I was shocked that Han made the Top 12, while Law was spurned by the judges. It would be ironic if Law were to re-instated then make the final 12 for the live shows, while Han goes home. I do give Han credit for advancing this far, despite being distraught with the behavior of Law, when they were in the same group.
 
The Top 12 men with possible 13th male chosen next week:
 
 
The Hollywood Reporter’s American Idol Worship Page has a recap of last night’s show:
 
 
It will be interesting to see if American Idol can pull away in the ratings from The Voice, now that the live shows start next week. The main attraction of The Voice are the blind auditions. It seems like the show lost something once they got into the battle rounds, which was more like a shouting contest to me, seeing who could hit the highest notes seemed like the main focus in that round.
 
American Idol is still the best of the singing competitions in my book, but The Voice has seemed to catch on with the viewers, thanks to their Super Bowl Sunday debut.
 
 
 

Lizard Lick’s Ron and Amy Shirley On Conan

 

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:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TBS/cvp/teamcoco_drupal_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&videoId=26089

Louisiana Gambling History: From Smashing Slot Machines To 22 Casinos Operating Today

Gov. Robert F. Kennon was governor of Louisiana from 1952-1956.
It was almost 60 years ago when Louisiana State Police Superintendent Francis Grevemberg started making surprise raids on gambling establishments in the 50’s and seized and smashed slot machines, rendering them to the point of which they were completely useless.
 
Grevemberg and his associates made 1,000 raids and destroyed 8,229 slot machines during 1952-1956 when Gov. Robert F. Kennon was the governor of Louisiana.
 
Gangster Frank Costello was forced out of the slot machine business in New York City when Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia destroyed the machines and pushed them into a watery grave in the 30’s.
 
Senator Huey P. Long sensing a chance to make some quick money offered Costello a deal, where he could set up his slot machines in Louisiana, with Long demanding ten percent of the profits.
 
That is how Louisiana became saturated with slot machines and Grevemberg was given the task of ridding the state of slot machines.
 
Former Louisiana governor, Edwin Edwards was a Crowley attorney at the time and argued that the slot machines were legal, since they were being taxed by the state. For more on the raids and the history of slot machines see this Eunice Today article:
 
 
 
Louisiana State Police Superintendent Francis Grevemberg shown smashing slot machines during a raid in the 50’s on a gambling establishment during the Gov. Robert F. Kennon administration.
 
Governor Earl K. Long took office in 1956 and ordered a stop to the destruction of slot machines. Little did Long or anyone else for that matter foresee that the gambling industry was down, but not down for the count.
 
Now it is almost 60 years later and slot machines are in operation, by the thousands in Louisiana casinos. There are now 22 casinos in operation currently in the state of Louisiana.
 
With the proliferation of casinos today in Louisiana, the chances of slot machines being destroyed are slim and none. The taxes from the casinos are pouring into Louisiana coffers and any opposition to gambling casinos is probably a waste of time.
 
So instead of smashing slot machines being smashed, they are kept in good repair, so the state of Louisiana can continue to reap tax dollars from their use.