Sunday, December 31, 2006

2014 show: Cafe Cubano" & recipes with Sonia Martinez & Marta Verdes Darby, authors

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Remember the Ice Bowl? Nobody mentioned climate change then!



Image result for ice bowl imagesAs a new arrival in Wisconsin, I found myself falling in love with the Packers.  The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965, so Lombardi’s Packers were the only local team around.  (I did love the 1965 A.L. champion Minnesota Twins because they had four great Cuban players, but that’s for another post)
On December 31, 1967, the Ice Bowl, as they now call it, was played under the old NFL rules: the NFL champ met the AFL champ in what they later called the Super Bowl.
It was a brutally cold morning.  It was so cold that my mother asked my brother and me in Spanish: “Are they going to cancel the game?”  We responded that they didn’t cancel games in the U.S.! 
The Packers-Cowboys came down to the last few minutes.  Green Bay was down, and Bart Starr got to work:
On first and 10, Starr faked a double[-]handoff to Mercein and Anderson and then threw a swing pass to Anderson, who gained 6 yards in the right flat.  Mercein then ran right for 7 yards and a first down.
Starr hit Dowler over the middle for 13 yards.  Dowler suffered a concussion on the play when Cowboys cornerback Cornell Green tackled him and his helmet slammed into the frozen ground.
On the next play, Mercein missed a chip block on Townes, who tackled Anderson for a 9-yard loss.  But then Starr threw consecutive passes to Anderson in the right flat.  The first went for 12 yards and the second for 9 and a first down.
Then Starr lobbed a pass to Mercein, who was alone in the left flat.  Mercein eluded linebacker Dave Edwards and gained 19 yards before stumbling out of bounds at the Cowboys’ 11.
The drive, before John Elway coined the term, was amazing.  I watched it recently, and it is just fabulous to watch Starr outfox the Cowboys.
Eventually, Starr himself took the ball in, and Green Bay beat Dallas once again in the NFL title game.
A ton of years have flown by since my brother and I watched that game.  My father had a second job at a hotel that day, and he called in a couple of times for game updates.  My mother had little to say, but she did tell us to wear something heavy if we decided to go out and play football in the snow.
Today, I live in Dallas, and that game draws a totally different reaction from my friends down here.
Of course, it was so cold back then, and nobody called it climate change.  They called Wisconsin weather, as I recall!
I miss that NFL a lot!

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1967 Dallas vs Green Bay: A great game known as The Ice Bowl


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1944: "Frenchman's Creek" a.k.a. the lady and her pirate?


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Thanks to TCM, we got to catch "Frenchman's Creek", a 1944 romance between a beautiful lady and a pirate.    I had seen this movie a couple of times before.   

You pick something new every time.    

What can we better than that?  The story of an aristocratic English woman who falls in love with a French pirate.     The cast is Joan Fontaine (the pretty lady), Arturo de C√≥rdova, Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway, and Nigel Bruce. 

It was based on a book but I have not read it.   

What's the best part?   No political correctness!   No preaching about global warming, identity politics, colonialism or the EPA claiming that cannons are causing environmental damage.

And Joan Fontaine looks stunningly beautiful in those dresses!

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We remember General George Marshall (1880-1959)



We remember George Marshall, who was born on this day in Uniontown, PA, in 1880.  He died in 1959.


Looking back, it was one of the greatest decisions of the 20th century. It probably saved Western Europe. (Postwar Challenges)  It gave France, Germany, Italy, and others a chance to rebuild their cities and industries.   This is a portion of the speech:
"Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." (The Marshall Plan - George C. Marshall, Harvard University (June 5, 1947)

So we remember a great military man with a wonderful diplomatic achievement.


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We remember Rick Nelson (1940-1985)

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Rick Nelson died in a plane crash in Texas in 1985.   He was flying to Dallas for a concert.   Nelson recorded many songs, from "Traveling man" to "Hello Mary Lou" to "Young emotions".    My favorite is "Fools rush in", a tune from the 1940's that Nelson brought back in 1963.    

You can get his music HERE.
 

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December 31, 1972: The day we lost Roberto Clemente


As I recall, I heard the news early the next morning.    It was truly shocking because we had also heard about the horrible earthquake in Nicaragua that month.    Clemente was carrying some supplies to Nicaragua when his plane was lost taking off from Puerto Rico.

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1966: Eddie Matthews traded from the Braves to the Astros in the offseason



Eddie Matthews' long association with the Braves ended on this day in 1966.    
He was traded to the Astros in the off-season and finished with the Tigers a year later.   He was the only man who played for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.   Spahn played in Boston but not in Atlanta.  Aaron played in Milwaukee and Atlanta but not in Boston.

Matthews' greatest years came in Milwaukee where he hit over 450 HR.   He led the league in 1953 and 1959 and was a huge part of the Milwaukee teams who won the NL pennant in 1957 and 1958.   The Braves tied LA for the NL pennant in 1959 but lost a playoff.   

Overall, Matthews finished with 512 HR and 1,453 RBI.

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We remember John Denver (1943-1997)

John Denver was born on this day in 1943.   He died in a plane crash in 1997.

In the 1970's, Denver dominated the pop charts with songs like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Annie's song".     Great songwriter and singer! His songs are HERE.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Lucy Webb Hayes, the first wife to be referred to as First Lady

Future President Rutherford Hayes married Lucy Webb on this day in 1852.     

Hayes won the extremely controversial election of 1876 against Governor Samuel Tilden of New York.  

Hayes lost the popular vote by 300,000 out of the 8 million cast.   After weeks of negotiations, Hayes won the electoral college 185-184.   

Historians believe that Mr Hayes' election was part of a deal to get federal troops out of the South.

Hayes had problems governing, in large measure because of his disputed election.   

Nevertheless, First Lady Lucy was quite a charm.   The wife of the president has properly been referred to as "The First Lady" ever since!

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You don't have to be a lawyer to read Scalia!

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We lost Scalia in 2016 and that was quite a shock.   Scalia left behind a lot of opinions and fans like me.   He certainly inspired a lot of people to get into law, such as his successor Neil Gorsuch.

In this book, Scalia tells us about opinions. life and a few other things.

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A word about Davy Jones (1945-2012)

We remember Davy Jones who was born in the UK on this day in 1945.   He died in 2012.

Davy Jones was one of The Monkees, the pop group that had a bunch of hits for a couple of years in the late 1960's. 

Davy was the girls' favorite.  I remember that my sister had Davy Jones posters on her wall.  She was a huge fan of the group's music and their weekly TV series.

The Monkees sold millions of records.   They were actually a pretty good group and I liked many of their songs, too.  However, their success faded as the TV show went off the air.

Davy was the lead vocalist on "Daydream Believer", a # 1 song in December 1967. 

He also sang lead on "A little bit me, a little bit you", another chart topper from March '67 and the second Neil Diamond tune recorded by the group.  (The other was "I'm a believer")

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A real hero: Ross McGinnis


In June 2008, Pres. Bush awarded the Medal of Honor to the parents of Ross McGinnis.

This is the nation's highest award for courage in combat.

It was the fourth time the Medal has been awarded for those who have served in Iraq.

"In the gunner's hatch of a Humvee driving through Baghdad on December 4, 2006, Private McGinnis saw a grenade fly through the hatch, rolling to where it could have injured the four other soldiers inside.

In easy position to leap and save himself, McGinnis instead jumped to cover the grenade with his body to shield his comrades.
The four men he saved were all at the White House yesterday to pay their respects."
Every young man and woman in the armed forces is a volunteer. They choose to serve their country.   They deserve our support and respect.

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We remember Davy Jones (1945-2012)



Here is Davy Jones and The Monkees.

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We remember Michael Nesmith (1942-2021)


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We remember Michael Nesmith who was born in Houston in 1942.  He died in 2021.

Most of us remember Nesmith because he was one of The Monkees, the rock group that recorded several hits in the late 1960's.  

Nesmith wrote some of the group's hits, as well as "A different drum" recorded by The Stone Poneys.  After The Monkees, Nesmith had a few solo hits in the 1970's.

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We remember Skeeter Davis (1931-2004)



The End of the World (song by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee) - Wikipedia
Skeeter Davis was born Mary Frances Penick in Kentucky on this day in 1931.  She died in 2004. According to her biography, she enjoyed success in pop and country radio.

Her signature song was the sad of sad songs "The End of the World":
"Why does the sun go on shining?
Why does the sea rush to shore?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
'Cause you don't love me anymore
Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when I lost your love
I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything's the same as it was
I can't understand, no, I can't understand
How life goes on the way it does
Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye
Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye"
Is this the saddest song ever recorded? I think so!

"The end of the world" continues to get a lot of airplay on country and pop stations. It also shows up in movie soundtracks.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

We remember Ray Thomas (1941-2018)

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We just heard that Ray Thomas, one of the founding members of The Moody Blues, passed away in 2018.   He was 76.   

Thomas was born on this day in 1941 and with the group when they recorded classics like "Nights in white satin" & "My lady".

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We remember Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017

Image result for mary tyler moore imagesWe remember  Mary Tyler Moore who was born on this day in 1936.   She died in 2017.

We remember her as the wonderful Laura Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke" then Mary Richards in her own show and finally in the drama "Ordinary lives".

She was great and a big part of our lives.

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Doing nothing and laughing watching "A night by the opera" with The Marx Brothers


What a great movie.   

You pick up a new line every time.    

Today, I remembered that great line about "the sanity clause" in the contract that Chico and Groucho were negotiating.   

Or, the scene where they are ordering food from that little room.....or when the cleaning ladies come in to make the bed.

How did these guys come up with so many lines?   Wonder if they just made up lines on the set?    

Just great!

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Dec 29, 1845: Texas entered the Union

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Over time, Texas became the second largest economy in the US and a huge political factor as well.     

Years ago, James Michener wrote a good novel about Texas.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

1972: Operation Linebacker had the communists running for their lives

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By Election Day 1972, most U.S. troops were out of Vietnam.  The election results had confirmed that most Americans were supportive of the Nixon approach.
President Nixon had two objectives: first, get North Vietnam to agree to ending the conflict and arrange for the release of POW’s.
Like good communists, North Vietnam decided to play games with secretary of state Henry Kissinger.  The North Vietnamese decided to delay the accords and play games with international opinion.
President Nixon had enough and decided to send a Christmas greeting to North Vietnam.  It was called Operation Linebacker II.  We call it the Christmas bombing of 1972:
President Nixon initiated the full-scale bombing campaign against North Vietnam on December 18, when the North Vietnamese – who walked out of the peace talks in Paris – refused an ultimatum from Nixon to return to the negotiating table.  
During the 11 days of the operation, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bomber sorties dropped an estimated 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong. 
President Nixon was vilified at home and abroad for ordering the “Christmas bombing,” but on December 28, the North Vietnamese did agree to return to the talks in Paris. When the negotiators met again in early January, they quickly arrived at a settlement. 
The Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 23 and a ceasefire went into effect five days later. 
Naturally, President Nixon was called every name on the book, from war criminal to Hitler to whatever else the left could come up with.
However, the bombing worked, and the accord was signed, ending the war and recognizing South Vietnam.
Also, a timetable for releasing POWs was accepted.  They started coming home in March.  That was also awesome – to watch those men get out of the planes and greet their families.
Operation Linebacker was a great name, and it clearly stymied the communists’ offense.  It was fun to watch a U.S. president exercise power and get results.  Unfortunately, Vietnam was lost later, when the Democrats pulled the plug.
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The Cubans: The music of Ernesto Lecuona


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1973: The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn



The Gulag Archipelago was published many years ago today:
"Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "literary investigation" of the police-state system in the Soviet Union, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956, is published in the original Russian in Paris. The book was the first of the three-volume work. The brutal and uncompromising description of political repression and terror was quickly translated into many languages and was published in the United States just a few months later."
It is a very difficult book to read but worth the effort.  The USSR collapsed at the end of 1991 but we can not forget what was done in the name of communism.
 
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"Wilson", a 1944 movie about President Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson was born on this day in 1856 in Virginia.  He was the 28th president of the US (1913-21).  Before The White House, Mr. Wilson was a college professor, university president and governor of New Jersey.     

Mr. Wilson got 42% of the popular vote in 1912 but carried most of the states in a 3-way race.   His reelection in 1916 was very close:  277-254.

A few months ago, I watched the movie "Wilson" released in 1944.   It is a very favorable movie of Mr. Wilson and his presidency.   We also leaned a lot about Mrs. Wilson, who died during his first term, and the second Mrs. Wilson, who was a rather controversial figure.

Overall, a good movie that takes you back to a time when men wore hats and ladies dressed rather elegantly.   

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Remembering the Cuban Christmas and "Los Reyes Magos"

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Guests:

Marta Sosa (Cubanarama on the radio);

Tersi Bendiburg (storyteller)

Fernando Hernandez ("The Cubans, our footprints...") and,

Amarilys Gacio Rassler ("Cuban American.....")




Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 1957: Pat Boone's "April Love" was # 1


Image result for pat boone april love images
In 1957, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone were the two most popular vocalists.   Elvis was the king of rock and Pat was the king of romantic tunes.    

On this day in 1957, it was Pat's turn to sit in the # 1 spot with "April Love".   He displaced Elvis' "Jailhouse Rock" from the top of the charts.

You can get it here!      It was based on a movie of the same name, although the song was more memorable than the film!

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Christmas 1967: The Magical Mystery Tour and The Beatles



It was not their best album but pretty good. 

Christmas 1967 and The Beatles released Magical Mystery Tour.   It was the soundtrack of a British TV movie but it flopped in the US.

Nevertheless, there were some pretty good songs, including the title song and The Fool on the hill.

The LP also included the 1967 singles, including my very favorite Hello Goodbye and its crazy B-side I am the walrus. (What was that song all about anyway).

By the way, isn't the Hello Goodbye video great? Did The Beatles invent MTV? I think so!

The other singles were Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever. These two songs are about Liverpool, their hometown in Northern England. Penny Lane is a street in Liverpool. Strawberry Fields was a Salvation Army children's home. John and Paul spent much of their childhood around these two places.

Also included was All you need is love! The Beatles performed this song on the BBC and it was shown across the world by satellite. Last, but not least, Baby you're a rich man, another one of those songs that has been lost over the years.

Overall, a decent LP. It was not as revolutionary as Sgt. Pepper's. It was not as melodic as Revolver (For no one) or Rubber Soul (I'm looking through you). 

But it was OK.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 1967: "Hello Goodbye" was # 1 for The Beatles


Image result for the beatles hello goodbye images

The Beatles and "Hello Goodbye) was # 1 song this week of Christmas 1967.   It was from the LP "Magical Mystery Tour" but did not appear in the TV special by that name.    

You can click HERE to buy the album.


Christmas 1967: The Beatles - Hello, Goodbye........... https://t.co/8VRnUpPRxb via @YouTube
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1972: President Harry Truman died in Missouri





We remember that Pres Truman died on this day in 1972.  He was the 33rd president of the US and one of the most consequential figures of the 20th century.

VP Harry Truman became president when President Roosevelt died in April 1945.  As President, he faced some huge challenges in Europe and Japan, such as dropping two atomic bombs in Japan.  It was a tough decision but it ended the war.


President Truman was elected on his own in 1948 but his second term was very tough, from economic problems to the war in Korea.  As a consequence, he left the presidency with very low approval ratings and was succeeded by the very popular President Eisenhower.

Today, we think of President Truman as a decisive and strong president.  His legacy gets stronger and stronger with time.  He made decisions and that was his greatest asset.

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