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You’re Welcome, Gerald

It takes the efforts of not only the famous, but also those of the not-so-famous to make the Hollywood machine really work.  The annals of filmdom are filled with many moments that today are unheralded, but at the time of production were vital to add coherence to the whole, whether it was a movie or a TV show.  Finding and closely analyzing these moments can even lead to a deeper understanding of the careers of those involved.  One such moment occurs at 17 minutes 10 seconds into episode two, season one, of the CBS series “Simon & Simon.”

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Don’t Leave Me like This

I’m still sad.  One week past Labor Day weekend and I’m already jonesing for the next DragonCon.  DragonCon is the best fan-centered large sci-fi and fantasy convention there is.  Spread over 5 hotels in downtown Atlanta, cosplayers, goths, gamers, geeks, writers and watchers converge on the Thursday before Labor Day to stand in a registration line that nobody likes, but everybody seems to tolerate.

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The Purple Wave

The morning of March 17, 1985 was a Sunday.  Because of that we had to wait an extra-long time for the K Bus to take us to downtown Miami and our destination, the Omni Mall.  It was about 9 am but it was already hot as we stood out on Washington Boulevard and 10th Street.  My sister Mary, her friends Marina and Melba and I were going to meet our friend Johnny Pagan at Mother’s Records to buy concert tickets.  We were full of anticipation and dread, fearing they might sell out by the time we got in line.

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Spiritualityism

Friday July 20, 1979 my mom took a day off from her job at On the Spot, a cleaning supply company located out in the Valley.  It was the 10th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing and she thought it would be a good opportunity for us to learn something.  Read more

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Old Mickey

 

The following is from a 7th Grade homework assignment, dated April 15th, 1980 (spelling has been corrected and the narrative tightened up a tad)

     My little sister Mary and I were just walking up Wilcox Avenue one day last week and saw a sign across the street from the Post Office:  “Grand Opening – Mickey Rooney’s Star-B-Q – Come meet Mickey Rooney – Sunday April 13th.”  This was pretty exciting, we may live in Hollywood, but except for that time my sister Laura actually ran into Elliott Gould on Hollywood and Highland, we never see the Stars come down here from the Hills, not since the olden days anyway, and I wasn’t even alive then!  It’s 1980 now and things have really changed.  Hollywood has gotten a little dirty (OK, pretty scummy, my mom says); and except for Johnny Grant’s Hollywood Boulevard Star dedications, Stars pretty much stay away from here.

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When It Began

The Replacements got together and played a gig last night (Aug. 24, 2013) in Toronto.  It was the first time they’d performed together since July of 1991, and for me, though I was not there, it was as if the Beatles got back together.  I never thought it’d happen.  I’m not the only one who thought that, rabid ‘Mats fans all over thought the day would never come.  Why do we people who love the Replacements give such a shit?

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The Arrow That Is Aimed But Not Fired

Growing up without a male role model, I was forced to turn to the world of television.  It was 1980, and I was either looking in the wrong place, or there were not that many viable broadcast options for a 12 going on 13 year old wanna-be-rebellious mama’s boy.

I guess I was also a sister’s boy too, if there even was such a thing.

There were other boys at school, but, being my peers, they were equally uninformed – but hopefully not as pathetic as I considered myself to be.  Except for Mr. Bishop (who told a couple of harrowing stories of the Watts Riots), the teachers were all dicks and were therefore unapproachable.  Where would I turn to find an older guy to show me how to avoid the pitfalls of my teen years?  To show me how to, you know, just be a guy?

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How To Dragon*Con

The following should be treated as a cautionary tale by any sci-fi conventioneer

   During Labor Day Weekend in 2009, my wife Isabelle and I decided to attend a science fiction convention in downtown Atlanta.  I knew that since we’d lived in New York, this would probably be a snap (always thought that about doing new things).  We’d once been to a one-day Star Trek Convention at the Javits Center back in 1989.  I may not have seen any celebrities there, but I did buy a cool transporter pad coffee mug and some rubber Spock ears.

 And a tribble.

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Scullymania – Fernandomania

As a kid, I liked football.  I had no idea that baseball could be equally (or even more) exciting.  In LA, we had the Rams, who had just been to the Super Bowl.  Then there was the Lakers, with Magic Johnson and Kareem (though I preferred Michael Cooper and his majestic 3-pointers).  Baseball…. the Dodgers, right?  What did they have?  It seemed like a quaint sport to me.  I knew a little about them, like that first baseman Steve Garvey’s wife, Cyndy was the co-host of “A.M. Los Angeles” with Regis Philbin.  I followed the rumors of marriage problems between them more than I did any of Steve’s games.  Hey, this was Hollywood after all.

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Swagger

Logan's Run from Memories of Hollywood

Like a fledgling sea turtle released too soon into the wild, at age nineteen I inserted myself into the swift moving currents of diverse humanity in 1980’s New York.  Of course at the time I didn’t know this one critical fact – I had been the recipient of inadequate preparation.

Existing in a world quite far from this self-awareness, I thought I was more like Private Hudson in “Aliens,” the ‘original badass,’ strutting and showing off his hardware.  It was New York after all, and I was hyper, I slept little because there was so much to do but I had no idea where to begin.  My actual training for all this consisted of living as a reluctant mama’s boy in a rundown Art Deco building in Miami Beach, Florida.

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