Up until now, the gemstone required us to skim off a layer of details in a story and look upon them from a different angle to discern a hidden additional storyline. Most of the stories were designed to set the record straight with respect to New Testament writings and the history that surrounds them. Whatever was revealed was authenticated by a seemingly unrelated story—in the same way the Hebrew Bible was authenticated thousands of years ago.
The biblical story is essentially over and a new Sacred Story is being provided by the Master Storyteller—God himself—that's intended to carry us into the future for a very long time.
This new story, which originates in the "Garden of All Fulfilled Desires," is in the early stages of development. The blueprint has been provided and the foundation has been laid.
Rather than extracting details from a layer of a story, the new story begins with separate layers of details that must be sorted through and woven together. What's provided herein are the details of the first layer. Already there are allegories that expand on unwritten history, providing insights into how the biblical story became so splintered.
Wikipedia.com has been a primary source for information because it's readily available to everyone. Other media write-ups are noted as they occur. I have repeated much of the material verbatim because the original words relay the story God wants to tell.
If you're familiar with the writings of this blog, the Sabian Symbols have played an integral role in guiding the path of the story. The midway point of all the days of Christmas (and all the days of mass bird and fish deaths) found the Sun in 10 Capricorn, whose corresponding Sabian Symbol is “An Albatross Feeding from the Hand of a Sailor.” On New Year's Eve, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was effectively engaged. In the poem, a mariner kills an albatross that had brought the ship good luck and then watches as each of his shipmates dies. One by one their souls take flight and he's left to look upon their remains with the albatross around his neck as a constant reminder.
What wasn't clear in January was that the souls of people taking flight would become a reality. Famous people have been dying nearly every day—film stars, rock stars, sports stars, and politicians. At first glance, there's nothing unusual about it. But closer scrutiny reveals hundreds of people have died in a perfectly timed sequence with a detail from one life being repeated in the next, OR the details are the same as those found in the heart of the gemstone.
John Wheeler III was expected in attendance at a wedding on New Year's Eve. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, the ancient mariner stopped a man on the way to a wedding to tell him his story. John Wheeler III never arrived where he was supposed to be. The surname Wheeler belonged to three people (Gray, Elsie, and Jacob) in my blog "Knots and Knots of Fish," which used a paragraph from The Lovely Bones to find its way, via The Da Vinci Code, to the movie Catch and Release. In The Lovely Bones, Susie Salmon's body was disposed of at a landfill while Ruth watched in the distance. John Wheeler's body was discovered by a spotter as it fell out of a dump truck. In The Lovely Bones, a journal with key details of Susie's murder was discovered under loose floor boards. News reports stated that yellow crime tape marked where floor boards were missing in John Wheeler's home. In Catch and Release, a cell phone surfaces and is tied to a mysterious phone number. Gray is eventually given a business card with a phone number that matches the one that's been calling. Wheeler's cell phone surfaced in the days that followed and contained a mystery phone number belonging to a taxi driver who said it may have been provided to John on a business card. His wife discovered someone used her credit card to purchase a $3,000 airplane ticket to travel from New York to Madrid. Both locations correspond to the 9/11 and 3/11 terrorist attacks. The Madrid attack targeted trains. John Wheeler was supposed to catch the train out of Washington D.C.
I may be wrong to suggest the Master Storyteller was behind the airline ticket purchase discovered by John Wheeler's widow. But the significance of such an act would be to drive home the point that God doesn't need to have a credit card in hand in order to pull off such a feat. He can recite bank account numbers; all of them and name who they belong to, as well as provide each one's available cash or line of credit at any moment in time. Trust me when I say there is not a single detail that escapes Him.
Eleanor of Aquitaine wove details from real people's lives into the scenes of The Story of the Grail, just like Winston Groom and Eric Roth wove details from reality into the story of Forrest Gump.
The new Sacred Story is being written using the details and words of real life individuals, elevated to create a story worthy of all of us. Like the parables of old, each should be looked upon from different vantage points in order to discern the greater meaning they bring to the whole. Instead of mustard seeds and harvests, the subjects are baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. The snippets from real life stories fill in gray areas of what's already been revealed via novels and Hollywood movies. The condensed storylines work as overlays upon the "three incredible journeys" and name the key players of the second and third act of the biblical story. Movie and song titles work the new story, inching it further along, while lyrics and synopses provide depth where necessary. I have input A FEW comments along the way. The primary intent of this 2-part posting is to list those who have died in the timeframe specified. Each and every life included brings meaning and the sum of them all paints a picture of our shared past, present, and our future.
There are "three to get ready." Just as the stories we've ventured through were connected by shared details, the three initial players of the new Sacred Story are revealed by details found within the lives of other people; details that exist in the players' lives as well. Some connections are obvious. Others will be familiar to those who know the details of an individual player's life. Some details require a bit of imagination.
For example, Bunny is the name of a character played by one of the persons who died. The word "bunny" can also be a detail that describes a location, as in "bunny hill." Details in different stories get connected...the Disney movie Bambi appears in the details and a bunny named Thumper is a companion of the young deer. We were told how to interpret the word "companion" in The Da Vinci Code. These are clues that lead to people's identities.
As an aside, we've crossed paths with Lady Antebellum's song "Need You Now" which includes the lyrics "Wishing you'd come sweeping in the way you did before." In The Story of the Grail, a falcon swooped in and felled a goose. We've also crossed paths with a prophecy attributed to Merlin, "The Eagle of the broken Covenant will rejoice in her third nesting." Chroniclers understood the third nesting to be the birth of Eleanor of Aquitaine's third son, Prince Richard, more commonly known as Richard the Lionheart. In my prior blog, "Oracles, Omens, and the World Cup", I suggested Eleanor was in bed with "the Falcon" and the third nesting pertained to the giving of her heart and soul to the King of kings, God himself. Events in reality provide another layer of details. In May, a bird of prey swooped in and picked up a white toy poodle only to drop it on the grounds of the Shorncliffe Nursing Home in British Columbia. Read more. Six weeks later a bald eagle dropped a fawn on a power line in East Missoula, Montana, causing a power outage similar to the outage Anna causes in the movie Leap Year on her first night in Dingle. Read more. Leap Year ends with Anna and Declan standing atop shorn cliffs overlooking the ocean.
With respect to what's happening, we were informed that the mariner's poem was fully engaged on New Year's Eve, but the lyrics of a song were breathed into life on Christmas Day: "The day the New York Times said 'God is Dead,' the War's begun."
Many of the real life people who have been "plucked from the stage" played a role in World War II or did something for the Armed Forces in their lifetime. God's War is between Good and Evil, freedom against oppression, faith against fear, and is being waged under a canopy of Love. It's about re-establishing the Paradise that God created while reminding people that this is the place where dreams really do come true ...
15-Dec, Blake Edwards, age 88: died of complications of pneumonia. The New York Times described the Hollywood director as a “master of screwball farces and rude comedies, who was best known for his Pink Panther movies.” Other credits include Breakfast at Tiffany's, Darling Lili—a tribute to silent-film comedies; The Great Race starring Jack Lemmon as a black-suited villain and Tony Curtis as a white-suited hero; and Victor Victoria about a starving singer pretending to be a homosexual Polish count, masquerading as a female impersonator. Edwards’ wife, Julie Andrews, starred in both Darling Lili and Victor Victoria.
Gemstone Connection: Breakfast at Tiffany's was a surprise arrival to the gemstone because it was made decades earlier than the stories first encountered, but it contributed by putting the gemstone story on the proper path. Blake Edwards' passing also reached back in time, occurring days before the lyrics from Elton John's song Levon were breathed into life or the poem of an ancient mariner was effectively engaged. Edwards' filmography provides a much longer list than what's included above and we haven't touched upon details of his personal life, beyond mentioning the two movies he shared with his wife. But already there are enough details connecting his work to the stories in the gemstone that his contribution is guaranteed to remain securely in place. When looking to connect details we can use descriptions of his work, the words in movie titles, colors that are noted, a familiar scene in a movie, a song from a film, etc. We're still very much in a "gathering" mode. As mentioned before, the point is to make as many connections between details in different stories as possible because we want the final product so tight it would be capable of carrying water.
- A master of farce: we came upon the farce Noises Off in the details gathered following the mass deaths of fish and birds. Noises Off led to the drum fish being "silenced." English playwright Michael Frayn was struck by an idea to write a play from a perspective "behind the scenes" while he was standing in the wings of the stage watching a different farce he'd written for Lynn Redgrave.
- Breakfast at Tiffany's: a skimming of details specific to character Paul Varjak tells a story about Paul of the New Testament and reveals he was specially chosen to deliver "the message."
- Pink Panther: the movie Catch and Release continued to reveal truths about New Testament writings. Fritz Messing is given a purple tee-shirt with a panther on it, which connected to the woman who dealt with purple cloth in the Book of Acts, identifying Fritz as "Paul" (or acting out Paul's story) and Paul as a "black cat" in a family ruled by a mighty Lion. The hidden story Fritz Messing is a part of in Catch and Release is continued in The Family Stone, and the detail that connects them is a pair of pink shirts. Fritz wears a pink shirt to Grady's funeral and Ben Stone arrives at his parent's home wearing a pink shirt . . . which he points out is a great color that matches the broken pink high heels belonging to Meredith Morton. Meredith shares the initials "M.M." with Mary Magdalene.
As a reminder, Forrest Gump told us, "Mama always said you could tell an awful lot about a person by the shoes they wear."
- Jack Lemmon isn't just a person; as words "Jack Lemmon" represents a name and throughout the gemstone people's names bring meaning, both in the traditional sense as well as when taken at face value. Names also move in placement from first, middle, and last, as often as a single soul appears within different characters. In the opening scene of Love Happens, Burke narrates the book he's written: “Sometimes, despite your best efforts otherwise, life gives you lemons. When that happens friend, you can wear a sour face . . . or make lemonade.”
- The Great Race hooks into mythical stories of the salmon that we encountered following the details of The Lovely Bones.
- The white and black suited characters in The Great Race reach back to Myshkin and Rogozhin in The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which was part of the map to the legend of the grail tucked within the novel Forrest Gump. Myshkin represented "light" or a "Christ-like" character while Rogozhin always dressed in dark clothes and typified the Devil.
- In the "Duets" episode of Glee, Kurt Hummel performs "Le Jazz Hot!" from Victor Victoria.
- Authentication is provided as the same details appear in second sources: Kurt Hummel is shown in the wings of the school stage shortly after his return to WMHS in Glee's "Born This Way" episode. When the glee club travels to New York City, Kurt and Rachel reenact the iconic scene of eating an early morning breakfast on the sidewalk outside Tiffany's. When Kurt performs "Le Jazz Hot!" he's dressed in a costume that's half white and half black. Black and white costumes are also featured in the masquerade scene in the Phantom of the Opera. Black and white ribbons were worn in honor of those killed in Tucson, the event which effectively ended the frenzy that followed the mass bird and fish deaths.
- Darling Lili: the "lily" or fleur-de-lis is used as the grail insignia.
- A circular path is created: Like the lily, the name "Sue" or any variation is a sign of the grail in a story that doesn't mention the legend by name; Susan, Susanne, Susannah all mean "lily."
In Glee's "Funeral" episode, Sue Sylvester's sister, Jean, dies of complications of pneumonia just like Blake Edwards. Jean was born with Down Syndrome and had a shorter life expectancy than the years she was able to enjoy, so much so that Sue thought maybe they would grow old together.
In Chapter 9 of the novel Forrest Gump, Forrest is walking through a crowd of people while he's in China for a ping-pong tournament. He sees a Chinese mama with a little boy on her shoulders and puts an "X" on a ping-pong ball, then tosses it toward the little guy who manages to catch it. The boy, whose facial characteristics suggest he has Down Syndrome, breaks out in a big ole grin while his mama's eyes fill with tears. Forrest shares that his interpreter said, ". . . that is the first time the little feller have ever smiled." When he turns to walk away, the little guy throws the ball back and it bounces off Forrest's head. Right at that moment someone snaps a photograph and it ends up in the newspapers with the caption, "Young Chinese Displays His Hatred of American Capitalists."
There's a moral to the story: One person's skewed observation has the ability to influence millions, even billions of people; truth demands authentication via multiple sources with an understanding that grows when seen from each new angle.
The Indians retired his No.19 jersey and immortalized the greatest player in franchise history with a statue at their new stadium in 1994. An eight-time All Star, he compiled statistics that guaranteed his entry into the Hall of Fame.
Growing up, his father kept him busy either doing chores on their farm or joined him behind the barn with a mitt where they practiced throwing the ball. Feller said he could never pay his debt back to his father, but he could pass along a thought that if all parents followed his rule, juvenile delinquency would be cut in half in a year’s time.
Feller liked to share his opinion. He believed in working hard to better the game and was revolted by the idea that players who relied on steroids might join him in the Hall of Fame.
He was healthy until the last few months of his life. Diagnosed with leukemia in August, his heart briefly stopped during a chemotherapy treatment, leading to a pacemaker. More recently he developed pneumonia. In September he said, “Nobody lives forever and I’ve had a blessed life. I’d like to stay on this side of the grass for as long as I can though. I’d really like to see the Indians win a World Series.” The last time the Indians “won it all” was 1948, and he was one of the players. Team owner, Larry Dolan, stated Bob was an integral part of their fabric. “He is Cleveland, Ohio.”
20-Dec, Steve Landesberg, age 74: American actor known as the “erudite and unflappable” Detective Arthur Dietrich on the television series Barney Miller. Originally cast for a one-shot appearance as a priest in Season 2, he returned the same season as Detective Dietrich who was transferred from the 33rd precinct when budget cuts forced its closure. Landesberg became a semi-regular in Season 3 and a full-time cast member in Season 4 onward. Landesberg died of colon cancer
22-Dec, Fred Foy, age 89: Radio broadcaster. Following his high school graduation Foy pursued a career in broadcasting, beginning with a part-time job with WMBC in Detroit. He moved to radio station WXYZ four years later, but World War II interrupted his career. Later, in 1961, he joined the ABC announcing staff in New York. Foy was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in March 2000.
- WMBC imaginatively corresponds to WMHS, William McKinley High School, in Fox Network's Glee which provides the final map for the gemstone story. The letters that abbreviate "High School" are replaced with "BC" which are not only the letters used to abbreviate British Columbia where the toy poodle was dropped, they also represent a place in time. The last incident of the mass bird and fish deaths in my blog "Thank God for the Frenzy," identified turtle doves that were dying by the thousands in Faenza, Italy. In news articles it was described as, "The Rain of Death Turned Blue." The wartime history of Faenza goes back to 82 BC when Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius defeated populares army of Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius was named "Pius" because of his petition to return his father from exile and because he was true to his cognomen—his family name—for the constance and inflexibility with which he always fought for his father's rehabilitation and return.
- WXYZ are the last letters of the English alphabet. In the New Testament the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet—Alpha and Omega—were symbolic of "the Beginning and the End" in the biblical story. This new Sacred Story is effectively rewriting the ending that was provided . . . almost as if God were crumpling the paper and starting where the "BC" left off. It then quickly follows with a New Beginning that will carry us forward. (WXYZ to ABC).
Working with Stars and Stripes, he created and announced a program airing World Series play-by-play to GIs. He received a commendation for voluntarily remaining at his post for five days, from August 10th, 1945 until August 15th when confirmation of the Japanese surrender was provided. After the war, he returned to WXYZ and became the announcer and narrator for radio’s The Lone Ranger. With the “William Tell Overture” playing in the background, he’d say the words that resonated for generations: "Hi-Yo, Silver! A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi-Yo Silver"
. . . The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early Western United States. Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoof-beats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again!"
In 1955 Foy reprised his famous opening narration for The Lone Ranger television series, “Return with us now…”
25-Dec, Jonah “Bud” Greenspan, age 84: a filmmaker, focused on documentaries of Olympic athletes. His work gained recognition in 1964 with film that captured Jesse Owens return to Berlin where he’d won 3 gold medals decades earlier.
Greenspan loved the small victories as much as the big ones. His favorite was the 1968 last-place finish by Tanzanian marathoner John Stephen Ahkwari--who came in an hour and a half after the winner, with a bloodied and bandaged leg--which he described in an interview with ESPN nearly 10 years ago: “I asked him, ‘Why did you keep going?’ He said, ‘You don’t understand. My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race. They sent me to finish it.’ That sent chills down my spine and I’ve always remembered it.”
Greenspan described his time at the Olympics like being in Never Never Land. It’s like “Robin Hood shooting his arrow through the other guy’s arrow.”
“I’ve been criticized for seeing things through rose-colored glasses, but the percentages are with me.” (Foxsports.com)
Gemstone Connection: Jonah Greenspan died on Christmas Day. His first name connects to "No Sign Will be Given Except the Sign of Jonah," my blog that revealed biblical stories tucked within the details of the movie Leap Year. Anna from Boston is personally escorted to Dublin, Ireland, by an innkeeper named Declan—who for our purposes is God incognito. Anna's American beau is in Dublin for a conference and she intends to propose marriage to him on leap day, according to an old Irish tradition. During their journey, before a rooster crows twice Anna denies Declan three times: 1) when he suggests she pay for his vehicle to be towed out of a pond, she says, "Like hell. You'll have to kill me before I pay you a dime." 2) Without transportation, they begin walking. Declan manages to arrive at the closest pub before her and greets her by saying as soon as he finishes his beer he'll "call us a tow truck." She quips, "There is no us." 3) After she follows his lead to Ballycarbery Castle, misses the train and falls into the mud, she looks up to him saying, "I hate you."
The special tinted glasses in the movie National Treasure allowed them to see multiple layers of wording on the back of the "Declaration of Independence." The words "Heere at the Wall" spelled with 2 e's directed their attention to a specific location where two roads crossed.
In Breakfast at Tiffany's, "2E" was the nickname given by Paul to Emily Eustace Failenson, the character played by Patricia Neal. Ms. Neal also appeared in the movies The Day the Earth Stood Still and Hud as well as the made for television film The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.
26-Dec, Teena Marie, age 54: singer and songwriter. Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, described Teena as “a black voice trapped in a white body.” Born Mary Christine Brockert, the singer was known as Tina before taking the stage name Teena Marie. She later acquired the nickname Lady Tee (or Lady T) which was given to her by her mentor, collaborator, and friend Rick James.
Many people thought, based on her distinct soulful vocals that she was African-American. Her loyalty to R&B earned her the title "Ivory Queen of Soul." She wrote, produced, sang, and arranged all of her songs. She took to singing naturally, performing "Banana Boat Song" by age two and fine-tuned her self-professed “gift from God” as the years progressed.
While attending high school she joined the Summer Dance Production and also had the female lead in the school’s production of The Music Man. In 1976 she was introduced to Motown Records and auditioned for a film about orphans that was being developed. The project was shelved but Berry Gordy signed her. Her first album, produced by Rick James, was called "Wild and Peaceful". A dozen albums followed, among them "Irons in the Fire," "It Must be Magic," "Starchild," "Emerald City," "Naked to the World," "Ivory," "Passion Play," and "Congo Square."
She is credited with helping to bring hip-hop to the mainstream by being one of the first artists of her time to rap. In the song “Square Biz” she mentions some of her inspirations: Sarah Vaughn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, and Nikki Giovanni, “just to name a few.”
Her daughter, Alia Rose, was born in 1991 and has followed in her mother’s musical footsteps.
Gemstone Connection: Teena Marie captures the details of Mary Magdalene whose voice delivered the message of Paul, her mentor, collaborator, and husband; a man who was dark-skinned.
26-Dec, Bernie Wilson, age 64: baritone for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, helped define the “Sound of Philadelphia.” The rhythm and blues group produced the 1972 hit, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” along with “The Love I Lost,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “I Miss You,” and “Wake Up Everybody.”
His parents died when he was still young and he was raised by his grandmother before leaving home at age 16 to seek fame and fortune as an entertainer.
26-Dec, Geraldine Doyle, age 86: the real-life model for World War II era “We Can Do It” posters. After graduating from high school in 1942, Geraldine went to work as a metal presser at the American Broach & Machine Co. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At the time, women supported the war effort by taking on roles that were formerly considered “male only.” While she was there, a photograph of her was taken and then used by a graphic artist to imagine the iconic Rosie the Riveter.
Doyle was a cello player. Fearing injury to her hands, she left the factory. The poster was originally for an internal campaign and didn’t find a place in the public realm until the 1980’s; Doyle didn’t know until 1984 that she was in fact the face of Rosie.
Gemstone Connection: Geraldine was a cello player just like Lyla Novacek in August Rush. In the movie, Lyla is the mother of a child who was, unbeknownst to her, placed in an orphanage at birth. As the boy grows, he "hears the music" and is guided into the world in search of his parents. The movie personifies and brings to life the story of The Story of the Grail.
The imaginary roles of cheerleader and mother of a child put up for adoption that grow from the details found in Geraldine's life, also connect to Glee's Cheerios, specifically the characters of Brittany S. Pierce and Quinn Fabray. New Directions also includes a third member of the Cheerios, Santana Lopez. With a spin on their roles we have the two angels who were accompanied by Satan when they appeared before God in the biblical story of Job. These same biblical characters are represented by the two maidens who appear beneath oak trees in The Story of the Grail and the evil maiden who appears beneath an elm tree. The evil maiden is intent on using any man she encounters to bring about his own destruction until Sir Gawain quenches her motives by proving himself worthy of admiration and respect. In this portion of the medieval tale, the story of Job is intertwined with the story of the three temptations of Christ.
In the 12th century, an elm tree was famously connected to a place where Franco-Norman disputes were hammered out. My blog, There'll Be Early Morning Madness, Magic in the Making, touches on the detail of a fallen tree and the "Cutting of the Elm," which spitefully took place in 1188. The inclusion of its EXCLUSION suggests a time and place for negotiations is no longer a part of the current scenery.
The name Geraldine also appears in another poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Christabel was written in two parts with the intent of providing three additional parts at a later time . . . but it was left unfinished. In brief, Christabel goes in the woods to pray to the large oak tree, where she hears a strange noise. Upon looking behind the tree, she finds Geraldine, who says that she has been abducted from her home by men on horseback. Christabel pities her and takes her home with her. Supernatural signs follow including a dog barking and a mysterious flame on a dead fire, both which seem to indicate that not all is well. The two women spend the night together, but while Geraldine undresses, she shows a terrible but undefined mark:
Like one that shuddered, she unbound
The cincture from beneath her breast:
Her silken robe, and inner vest,
Dropt to her feet, and in full view,
Behold! her bosom - and her side...
A sight to dream of, not to tell!
When the unfinished poem stops, Christabel's father, Sir Leoline, has become enchanted with Geraldine and orders a grand procession to announce her rescue.
The scene in the excerpt above is reminiscent of the night Sybil opens her blouse as she lay next to Kelly in The Family Stone, revealing the scars of breast cancer. For our purposes Sybil's character represents Eve, the Mother of the Bible's Sacred Story, who is dealing with the ramifications of Cancer's return upon the promised land of milk and honey...without the milk.
As an aside, with a slight rearrangement of letters Sybil can become Sibyl just as in Glee, Sue Sylvester's tattoo recorded her name as Syvlester.
The word "Sibyl" means prophetess. The first known Greek writer to mention "a sibyl" was Heraclitus. In the 5th century BC he wrote, "The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god."
Until the literary elaborations of Roman writers, sibyls were not identified by a personal name, but by names that refer to the location of their temenos--a piece of land cut off and assigned as official domain--or the location of their shrine.
The Persian Sibyl, by name Sambethe, was reported to be of the family of Noah. (Note: It was the Persian in The Phantom of the Opera who knew the ways of the Opera Ghost.)
The Hebrew Sibyl is said to be the author of the Sibylline Oracles, described as a chaotic collection of 12-14 books of various authorship, date, and religious conceptions. The final arrangement is thought to be the work of an unknown editor of the 6th century (Alexandre). The books are perceived as arbitrary groupings of unrelated fragments.
The Sibylline Oracles sounds very much like the gemstone of novels and movie scripts we've accumulated, the heart of which matches Gaston Leroux's description of the Paris Opera House in 1911; a medley of "5 stories below the ground level of the theater, with 17 stories rising above it."
The gemstone, however, is neither arbitrary nor a collection of unrelated fragments. Indeed everything relates on so many levels it can seem overwhelming. The key is to pick up a single thread and follow it to gather details and then weave them into a larger fabric. The message is very clear once the pattern and design of the fabric takes form.
28-Dec, Billy Taylor, age 89: pianist, known as Dr. Taylor—he did in fact earn a doctorate in education—was present at the birth of “behop” in the 1940’s, the new vernacular of music that transformed jazz. He became the artistic adviser for jazz programming at the Kennedy Center, making it one of the most important venues for jazz in America. Among the concert series he was instrumental in developing was the Women in Jazz Festival.
28-Dec, John Warhola, age 85: the brother of pop artist Andy Warhol and one of the original three trustees overseeing the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. He retained the ‘a’ on the family name. At the time of his death, Mr. Warhola lived in Freedom, PA.
His older brother, Paul, was about to get married when their ailing father called John to his bedside and asked that he make sure Andy, the youngest, attend college. Money had been set aside. In the book Warhol: The Biography by Victor Bockris, it was recalled that the father said, “You’re going to be real proud of him, he’s going to be highly educated, he’s going to college.”
The foundation gave several Andy Warhol drawings to the town in Slovakia where the parents were born and contributed to a museum. The Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art, as it’s known, has 20 Warhols in its permanent collection, which includes the artistic work of brother Paul—a scrap dealer and chicken farmer who took up art late in life. In addition to duties as a trustee, John Warhola would make himself available to art-world dignitaries and reporters seeking a tour of the neighborhood where the brothers grew up as well as a visit to St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery where Andy Warhol is buried and where pilgrims often leave a soup can or Brillow pad on his gravestone. (New York Times)
Gemstone Connection: There are a multitude of movies that haven't been brought into the gemstone yet, among them Pretty Woman. During breakfast, following their first night together, Vivian and Edward Lewis talk about how far each went in school. Edward says he went "all the way," and she comments that his parents must be real proud. At the end of the movie, Edward climbs up the fire escape stairs with roses in hand. When Vivian climbs out the window to meet him, he asks, "So what happens after he climbs up and rescues her?" Without hesitation Vivian answers, "She rescues him right back."
Additionally, at the end of The Phantom of the Opera movie, Raoul visits Christine's grave and gasps when he sees the red rose laid next to it. The rose is tied with a black ribbon, the insignia of the Opera Ghost, and holds in place the ring Raoul had given Christine that she placed in the Phantom's hand that fated night when the Opera House went up in flames. Its presence suggests the Phantom has returned for his Bride.
28-Dec, Agathe von Trapp, age 97: a real life member of the fabled Trapp Family Singers that inspired the Sound of Music. In the movie, Agathe was portrayed by the character Liesl. In 2003 she wrote Agathe von Trapp: Memories Before and After The Sound of Music, which chronicled the true story behind the film and includes dozens of hand-drawn maps, portraits, and other illustrations.
29-Dec, Bill Erwin, age 96: actor, known for his role as Arthur in the television show, Seinfeld. According to his son, Mike Erwin, “He just ran out of gas. He was happy to the end.” Previous television credits include Star-Trek, The Next Generation, Married with Children, Growing Pains, The Golden Girls, Moonlighting, and My Name is Earl.
In movies he starred opposite Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour in Somewhere in Time, and had appearances in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, as well as Home Alone.
30-Dec, Bobby Farrell, age 61: dancer and performer best known as the male member of the German 1970’s pop and disco group Boney-M which broke into the charts with “Daddy Cool” and their version of “By the Rivers of Babylon.” Boney-M had 38 top-10 hits including “Brown Girl in the Ring” and “Mary’s Boychild.” He originally left his home in Aruba at age 15 to work as a sailor.
His singles include, "'The Bump," "Hoppa Hoppa," "King of Dancing," and "I See You." He was a dancer in the Roger Sanchez video "Turn on the Music."
Farrell was discovered dead by hotel staff after he failed to respond to a wake-up call.
30-Dec, John Wheeler III, age 66: Wheeler’s body was discovered at the Cherry Island landfill by a spotter hired to watch to make sure there were no hazardous materials being disposed where they weren’t allowed.
Known to his friends as Jack, at the time of his death Wheeler worked as a consultant for Mitre, a nonprofit R&D company in Washington DC. He'd followed his father’s footsteps and attended the Military Academy at West Point. Graduating in the midst of the Vietnam War, he served five years in the army including a stint as staff officer at the Pentagon. He worked in the administrations for presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, and served as special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force from 2005 to 2008.
As chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund he helped get the memorial wall built and was passionate about honoring all who serve their nation, particularly those who make the ultimate sacrifice. He also served as the second chairman and CEO for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD.)
With the discovery of his body, investigators had more questions than they did answers.
Gemstone Connection: In the opening paragrahs I connected details of his death to stories of the gemstone. But the true significance of Wheeler's contribution comes with the various roles he played and personal accomplishments that sum up the public portion of his life.
He was a consultant for a company called Mitre. The word "mitre" is spelled "miter" in the U.S. and has numerous varied meanings. For our current task and with respect to sewing (remnants), a miter represents a diagonal joining where the hems of two sides meet at a corner (turning point) of the fabric. In Judaism, a miter is the official headdress of the ancient high priest which bears a gold plate engraved with the words "Holiness to the Lord." (Exodus 28:36–38).
Wheeler worked with MADD. We can assume this will also be tied to the madness the Phantom announced has begun.
He dedicated himself to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a site that consists of three separate parts:
- the Three Soldiers is a bronze statue created and designed to complement the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by adding a more traditional component.
The statue, unveiled on Veterans Day, 1984, was designed by Frederick Hart. His intent was very specific:
"I see the wall as a kind of ocean, a sea of sacrifice that is overwhelming and nearly incomprehensible in the sweep of names. I place these figures upon the shore of that sea, gazing upon it, standing vigil before it, reflecting the human face of it, the human heart. The portrayal of the figures is consistent with history. They wear the uniform and carry the equipment of war; they are young. The contrast between the innocence of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice. There is about them the physical contact and sense of unity that bespeaks the bonds of love and sacrifice that is the nature of men at war. And yet they are each alone. Their strength and their vulnerability are both evident. Their true heroism lies in these bonds of loyalty in the face of their awareness and their vulnerability."
The statue and the Wall appear to interact with each other, with the soldiers looking on in solemn tribute at the names of their fallen comrades. Noted sculptor Jay Hall Carpenter, Hart's assistant on the project, explains the sculpture was positioned especially for that effect:
"We carried a full-size mockup of the soldiers around the memorial site trying many locations until we hit upon the perfect spot. It was here that the sculpture appeared to be looking over a sea of the fallen."
- the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is the best-known part of the memorial and was designed by U.S. architect Maya Lin. The walls are sunk into the ground, with the earth behind them. At the highest tip (the apex where they meet), they are 10.1 feet (3 m) high, and they taper to a height of eight inches (20 cm) at their extremities.
Stone for the wall came from Bangalore, Karnataka, India, and was deliberately chosen because of its reflective quality. When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. The wall listed 58,191 names when it was completed in 1993; as of June 2010, there are 58,267 names, including 8 women. Approximately 1,200 of these are listed as missing (MIAs, POWs, and others), denoted with a cross; the confirmed dead are marked with a diamond. If the missing return alive, the cross is to be circumscribed by a circle; if their death is confirmed, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. There is a pathway along the base of the Wall, where visitors may walk, read the names, make a pencil rubbing of a particular name, or pray.
- the Vietnam Women's Memorial is dedicated to the women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses. It serves as a reminder of the importance of women in the conflict. It depicts three uniformed women with a wounded soldier. The woman looking up is named Hope. The woman praying is named Faith. And the woman tending to a wounded soldier is named Charity.
It's located a short distance south of The Wall, north of the Reflecting Pool. The model for the wounded male is named Michael Webb. The memorial was designed by Glenna Goodacre and was dedicated on November 11, 1993. There is a scale model of the statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in Angel Fire, New Mexico.
Oscarrson’s career produced a long list of movie credits, among them the 1986 version of Hud. However this is NOT the same as the 1963 Hud starring Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, and Patricia Neal, that we came upon previously in which the old cattle farmer decides to destroy his herd after the most recent additions are found to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease.
02-Jan, Pete Postlethwaite, OBE, age 64: English actor whose first success came with Distant Voices, Still Lives. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in In The Name of the Father. Additional film work includes The Constant Gardner, The Age of Stupid, Inception, The Town, and Romeo + Juliet which placed Shakespeare’s original play in the hip, modern suburb of Verona.
02-Jan, Anne Francis, age 80: as the female detective in Honey West, she earned the distinction of starring in the first television series with a female detective character’s name in the title.
At age 5, she'd begun working as a model. She made her Broadway debut at age 11. Her film debut came with This Time for Keeps.
Francis is best known for her role in the movie Forbidden Planet, a detail of reality forever preserved in Rocky Horror Picture Show within the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature.” The lyrics include “Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet.”
02-Jan, Richard “Dick” Winters, age 92: Major Winters was a United States Army officer and decorated war veteran. He commanded Company "E", 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, during World War II.
Winters parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, and fought across France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and eventually into Germany. Later in the war, Winters rose to command the 2nd Battalion. Following the end of hostilities he was discharged from the army and returned to civilian life, working in New Jersey.
In 1951, during the Korean War, Winters was recalled to the Army from the inactive list and briefly served as a regimental planning and training officer on staff at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Although issued orders for deployment, he was not sent to Korea. After his discharge he worked at a few different jobs before founding his own company selling farming products and moved his family to Hershey, Pennsylvania.
During the 1990s, Winters was featured in a number of books and television series about his experiences and those of the men in Easy Company. In 1992, Stephen Ambrose wrote the book Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest, which was subsequently turned into an HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. Winters was also the subject of the 2005 book Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers, written by Larry Alexander. His own memoir, Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters, co-written by military historian and retired U.S. Army Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, was published in early 2006. Winters gave a number of lectures on leadership to cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
During the interview segment of the miniseries Band of Brothers, he quoted a passage from a letter he received from Sergeant Mike Ranney:
"I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No… but I served in a company of heroes.'"
He was the last of the Easy Company commanders to die.
04-Jan, Gerry Rafferty, age 63: Scottish singer and songwriter best known for solo hits “Baker Street,” “Right Down the Line,” and “Sweet Darlin.” In 1969 he joined the folk-pop band The Humblebums, but left to record his first solo album, “Can I Have My Money Back.” In 1972 he formed the band Steelers Wheel with Joe Egan and together they produced several hits, most notably “Stuck in the Middle with You.”
05-Jan, John Paul Getty III, age 54: grandson of Jean Paul Getty, the oil baron once believed to be the richest man in the world. When John was 16 he was kidnapped in Rome. His grandfather originally refused to pay any ransom. When a lock of hair and John's ear were delivered to a newspaper as proof that the threat was real, the grandfather agreed to pay the maximum that was tax deductible and the balance was provided to John’s father at 4% interest.
Gemstone Connection: In The Story of the Grail, when Sir Gawain announces that he will sit upon the Wondrous Bed, the ferryman states, "It is such a pity you must take such risks and put your life at stake, and with no ransom or reprieve!"
In Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps, Gordon Gekko refuses to negotiate a deal that involves money to secure a role in his future grandson's life.
All three situations differ. This idea of being ransomed is tied to the story of Job, which also plays a role in The Da Vinci Code. We'll come upon scenarios that reacquaint us with God. We'll also be asked to weigh the value of Life in comparison to the value we place on money.
06-Jan, Aron Kincaid, age 70: American actor best known for his role as Killer Croc in Batman: The Animated Series and Sky Lynx in Transformers. His film roles include Disney’s The Happiest Millionaire, The Proud and the Damned, and a cameo in Silent Night, Deadly Night.
Kincaid’s birth name was Norman Neale Williams II which he used as an artist (N.N. Williams II) on landscapes and seascapes that were sold through galleries.
His father was in the Army Air Forces and died in World War II.
06-Jan, Tom Cavanagh, age 28: American professional ice hockey center; he most recently played for the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. A native of Rhode Island, Cavanagh was an All-State player at Toll Gate High School. At Harvard, he was the first player to play every single game during his collegiate career, making his 138th appearance in a Crimson jersey in Harvard’s final game of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
He was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 6th round, 182nd overall, where he set the franchise record for the quickest point by a rookie for an assist on a goal that came 36 seconds into his first game in the NHL.
Cavanagh was found dead in the Providence Place Mall parking garage. The cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force impact. Police believe his death to be a suicide.
06-Jan, Rinold George "Ryne" Duren, age 81: Duren was a relief pitcher in Major League Baseball, famous for his blazing fastball and his very poor vision. With his very thick coke-bottle glasses, few batters dared to dig in against him. " . . . if he ever hit you in the head, you might be in the past tense."
Duren was signed by the St. Louis Browns, which became the Baltimore Orioles, as a free agent before the 1949 season. His first major league game didn't happen until 1954, and was the only game he played for them. In 1956 he was traded to the Athletics; a year later he was sent to the Yankees. Duren was a showman. In those days the Yankee bullpen was a part of the short-porch right field and only a low chain link fence served as the boundary. When called upon by Casey Stengel to relieve, he wouldn’t use the gate, but preferred to hop the fence with one hand and begin a slow walk to the mound with his blue Yankee warm-up jacket covering his pitching arm; he followed this routine even on the hottest days. When he finally took the ball and began his warmups, the first pitch was typically a hard fastball 20 feet over the catcher’s head. The succeeding warmup pitches would be thrown lower and lower (but not slower) until Duren would finally "find" the plate.
Gemstone Connection: in the novel Forrest Gump, when Forrest is playing football, Snake, the quarterback, throws the ball twenty feet over Forrest’s head. The novel was the first "map" to the gemstone stories, a detail that went over everybody's head.
07-Jan, Bill “Tiger” Johnson, age 84: former head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. He was part of the original staff, coaching the offensive line under Paul Brown before succeeding him. From 1976 through the first five games of the 1978 season he went 18-15. He was on staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1979-1982 and the Detroit Lions, 1983-1984. He returned to the Bengals to coach tight ends from 1985-1990.
08-Jan, Simona Senoner, age 17: member of the Italian ski jumper team, she collapsed in her hotel while she was competing in the Continental Cup. She made her home in Santa Cristina Gherdëina.
09-Jan, Dave Sisler, age 79: Major league baseball player whose father was Hall of Famer, George Sisler. His brother also played Major League Baseball. After retiring from the sport, he went on to become an executive with the investment firm A. G. Edwards for more than 30 years, reaching the level of vice-chairman.
A. G. Edwards sponsored a semi-professional baseball team located in St. Petersburg, Florida; when the "Stockbrokers" were invited to play in a season-ending tournament to decide a champion, Sisler, denied funding for the team, forcing them to decline if no other monies were raised. It was an unexpected decision considering Sisler was a former major league baseball player and because baseball was seemingly part of his genetic makeup. But he didn't feel that A. G. Edwards was benefitting, with the costs of running the team becoming more than originally agreed to by contract.
09-Jan, Peter Yates, age 81: English film director and producer. The son of an army officer, he attended Charterhouse School as a boy and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
In the 1950s he got his start in the movie industry as a dubbing assistant and assistant director for Tony Richardson. Yates had directed the play One Way Pendulum and was chosen to make the film version.
Robbery followed as a fictionalized version of the Great Train Robbery of 1963, which led to Bullitt, his first American film which included a scene with an extended car chase that’s become a classic.
His other films include Summer Holiday, For Pete’s Sake, Murphy’s War, The Deep, Breaking Away, Eyewitness, The Dresser, Curtain Call, and A Separate Peace.
10-Jan, Cookie Gilchrist, age 75: a gridiron football player in the American Football League and Canadian Football League and one of the few professional football players who never played in college.
As a high school junior, Gilchrist was talked into signing a professional football contract with the NFL's Cleveland Browns by Paul Brown. The signing was against NFL rules and likely illegal, and when Brown reneged on his promise that Gilchrist would make the team, Gilchrist left training camp at Hiram College and went to Canada to play. As part of the Ontario Rugby Football Union (ORFU), he received the Jim Shanks (Team MVP) Trophy for the Sarnia Imperials in 1954 and the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen’s Team Award in 1955.
In 1956, he joined the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, helping lead them to a 1957 Grey Cup victory.
Tim Graham wrote a story . . . about a story about Cookie Gilchrist, once told by Paul Maguire: Read in Full
It was December 1964. While snow was being cleared from Fenway Park's field, the Buffalo Bills waited anxiously in a spartan locker room for their game against the Boston Patriots to start. They normally would've whiled away this time with card games or other diversions to ease the mood. Not on that day. The Bills had to win to host the AFL Championship game six days later. The atmosphere was tense, the room quiet.
Cookie stood up, Maguire recalled, and said "I'm going to tell you something. If we don't win this game, I'm going to beat the s--- out of everybody in this locker room."
Just then, Bills head Coach Lou Saban and assistants Joe Collier, Jerry Smith and John Mazur unwittingly walked into their star fullback's escalating fury.
Cookie pointed and said, "And I'm going to start with you, Coach. I'm going to kick your ass first."
I just sat back in my locker. I knew he meant it.
On the first play of the game, Gilchrist took a handoff from Jack Kemp and trucked helpless Patriots safety Chuck Shonta. Cookie ran right over his ass. Then he went up to Bob Dee, who was the defensive end, and says "You're next."
Kemp came over the sideline and said "We've got to get him out of there. He's going to kill somebody."
The Bills pummeled the Patriots and then shocked the San Diego Chargers to win their first of back-to-back AFL titles. "He had so much character he brought out the best in all of us."
Bills tight end Charley Ferguson said. "If there's ever such a thing as 110 percent, that's what you got from Cookie. There was no such thing as not being ready." Gilchrist was a battering ram on the field, but so headstrong that he gave coaches and administrators headaches. He engaged in several disputes with Saban and Bills owner Ralph Wilson. One of the pivotal moments came in Buffalo's first game against Boston in 1964, a War Memorial Stadium shootout between Kemp and Babe Parilli that didn't involve much running.
"The offense got the ball and he didn't go into the game," former Bills tight end Ernie Warlick recalled. "Saban asked 'Hey, Cookie, why aren't you out there?' He said 'They're not giving me the ball, so why the hell should I play?' So he sat on the bench and told his backup, Willie Ross, to go in." The Bills placed Gilchrist on waivers after that episode, but Kemp brokered a reconciliation. The club pulled him back for the rest of the campaign. The Bills traded him to Denver in the offseason for Billy Joe.
The Bills waived Gilchrist during the 1964 season because of his contract demands. "I wanted a percentage of the hot dog sales, the popcorn, the parking and the ticket sales," Gilchrist said in a 2007 interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Saban said that would make me part owner of the team. I was a marked man after that."
He never got added to the Wall of Fame.
"Anybody from that era would never forget him," Maguire said. "He was that kind of a guy. When you went on the field with him, you never even doubted that you were going to win because he wouldn't let you think any other way."
Gilchrist died Monday morning in a Pittsburgh assisted living facility. Cancer finally caught him at 75 years old, but not before he broke another tackle.
Gilchrist's hospice nurse found him dead in a chair Saturday. She phoned his great nephew with the somber news. Thomas Gilchrist arrived and saw his uncle slumped over. Nurses prepared Cookie's bed for him to be laid down one last time. Thomas carried his uncle's 140-pound body from the chair.
And then Cookie woke up. "He was dead in the chair," Thomas Gilchrist said. "And 30 minutes later he was drinking a root beer with me." Cookie Gilchrist's family and teammates were laughing at the thought Monday. It was symbolic of how he was: rugged, stubborn and usually unbeatable.
Gemstone Connection: Cookie Gilchrist's story touches the heart of the gemstone with words or images that reach out to multiple movies. Paul Brown was the pseudonym used by Benjamin Franklin Gates in National Treasure. Maguire connects with Jerry Maguire, the sports agent who realizes life's celebrations aren't near complete without the woman who believed in him to share them with. The snow being removed connects to the dream Ben Stone told Meredith about in The Family Stone, where he saw her as a little girl using a red shovel to remove snow from in front of the house, and he was the snow. Grey connects with Gray Wheeler in Catch and Release while the cup is reminiscent of the Golden Cup that was stolen from King Arthur in The Story of the Grail. Perceval retrieved the cup and returned it to the king, but when we last hear of him, he's been wandering for five years and lost his memory of all events that occurred before; he remembered God no more, the months of April and May had come five times and gone away.
Cookie Gilchrist's last name can be split into two syllables, with "gil" (of a fish) and "Christ" serving as a different way to denote someone like the character named Finn in Glee, who personifies both Salmon Wisdom and the Christ Archetype.
As an aside, gills are the respiratory organs used by aquatic animals and fish to breathe oxygen dissolved in water; a significant detail considering the first and last mass deaths of fish and birds was attributed to a lack of oxygen.
Important details also come with the people that appear in Cookie Gilchrist's life. Lou Saban's full name is Louis Henry Saban . . . a sequence of names that matches Eleanor of Aquitaine's two husbands. Her marriage to Louis was annulled by the Church on March 11, 1152, on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree.
Henry II, who she married eight weeks later, was her cousin in the third degree.
Consanguinity is defined by the "Knot System" which assigns a numerical value to each level of kinship. We previously encountered the painting by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner from the 1700's called "Mary Untier of Knots" or "Mary Undoer of Knots," which portrayed the Virgin Mary untying knots at the same time that she steps on the head of a snake . . . while a scene from the Book of Tobit appears below her.
Lou Saban, whose last name is similar to "Sabian," was born on October 13, 1921. At the time of his death in 2009, his wife said he may have been a second cousin to Crimson Tide coach, Nick Saban, but neither family knew for certain. Nicholas Lou Saban was born October 31, 1951 (note the similarity in dates) and coaches the team that Forrest Gump imaginatively played for under Paul "Bear" Bryant.
10-Jan, Margaret Whiting, age 86: professional singer of pop music, born in Detroit, Michigan. Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1929, when she was five years old. Her father, Richard A. Whiting, was a composer of songs including “Hooray for Hollywood” and “Too Marvelous for Words,” while sister Barbara Whiting was an actress, appearing in Junior Miss, Beware, and My Lovely. Her aunt, Margaret Young, was also a singer in the 1920’s.
Whiting’s recordings include: “That Old Black Magic,” “Moonlight in Vermont,” “It Might As Well Be Spring,” “Guilty,” “ A Tree in the Meadow,” “Slippin’ Around,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “Blind Date,” “Faraway Places” (With Strange Sounding Name), the Christmas song “Silver Bells,” "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Guilty," "Beware My Heart," "Old Devil Moon," "Pass That Peace Pipe," "Let's Be Sweethearts Again," "Now is the Hour," "Forever and Ever," "The Gods Were Angry With Me," "Let's Go to Church," "Why Don't You Believe Me?" "The Money Tree," "Faithfully," and "Can't Get You Out of My Mind."
“All Through the Day” and ”In Love in Vain” are two of her recordings that were included in the movie Centennial Summer. Her last major hit single was “The Wheel of Hurt” in 1966.
Whiting became a regular guest on variety shows and talk shows in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. In the 2000’s she made a television comeback appearing in documentaries about singers and songwriters of her era including Judy Garland: By Myself, Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee, Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer, Johnny Mercer: The Dream’s On Me, and Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook.
She died from natural causes at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey.
10-Jan, John Dye, age 47: American actor, Dye played Andrew the Angel of Death in the television series Touched by An Angel.
He was introduced to acting by playing the role of the youngest von Trapp child in a school production of The Sound of Music at Cleveland High School, in Cleveland, Tennessee. He performed as a trombonist in the CHS band program. While performing at Tupelo High School as Friedrich von Trapp, the eldest son in The Sound of Music, Dye found himself bitten by the acting bug.
After graduation, he enrolled at Mississippi State University in hopes of becoming a civil rights lawyer. After a year at Mississippi State University, he decided to become an actor but was advised against it by his great-grandmother. He transferred to Memphis State and majored in theater.
He traveled to New York, where he auditioned and won a place in a classical theater company. However, because acting with the company would conflict with his studies, Dye turned it down.
When he returned to Memphis, he learned that Making the Grade was filming in the area and he landed the role of Skip. Dye went on to appear in the films Modern Girls, Best of the Best, The Perfect Weapon, Sioux City, Heart of the Beholder, Claudette, and First of the Warrior also known as Lesser of Three Evils.
His television work included Billionaire Boys Club, CBS Summer Playhouse/Episode “Old Money,” Tour of Duty, Jack’s Place, Murder She Wrote, Promised Land, Once Upon a Christmas, and Twice Upon a Christmas.
11-Jan, David Nelson, age 74: American actor, director, and producer, the elder son of bandleader/TV actor Ozzie Nelson and singer Harriet Hilliard, and brother of singer Ricky Nelson. The whole family appeared in the long-running sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in the 1950s and 1960’s. His last film appearance was in Cry-Baby.
In 1996 he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1501 Vine Street. As an actor, he appeared in Peyton Place, The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker, The Big Circus, Day of the Outlaw, The Big Show, Love and Kisses, The D.A., Smash-up on Interstate 5, Up in Smoke, The Love Boat, and High School U.S.A.
As a director, he’s credited with O.K. Crackerby!, Childish Things, Easy to be Free, Death Screams, Ozzie’s Girls, Last Plane Out, Goodnight Beantown, and A Rare Breed.
13-Jan, Alex Kirst, age 42: drummer for glam-rock band The Nymphs, later joining Iggy Pop. According to Cathedral City police, Kirst was killed in a hit-and-run accident while walking on a desert road. He'd gone to the store to get a pack of cigarettes and was found at 11:45pm on the side of Date Palm Road.
A photo accompanying the news of his death showed him with The Nymphs. Band members were wearing tee-shirts with various sayings, one of which was, “God is dead and we killed him.”
Gemstone Connection: Alex Kirst didn't kill God. He wasn't even the person wearing the tee-shirt. The words are actually attributable to Friedrich Nietzsche but the photo works to authenticate the lyrics of the song that were breathed into life on Christmas Day.
Reflect on the commentary that followed Harold Camping's effort to convince the world that the "End of Days" was sure to happen on May 21, 2011. Few people believed him. Most people mocked him. The day was marked by the eruption of Grímsvötn volcano in Iceland. A year ago, Iceland volcanic eruptions played a role in my write-up of Leap Year. If we take a cue from Anna's cardiologist boyfriend Jeremy and the way he said, "I really 'aorta' get going," we can imaginatively consider Grímsvötn's rumblings effectively announced "The grim vote is in."
The same treatment can be applied to the word Helsinki.
We've been told the new Sacred Story is "about dinner." I think it's safe to say the first course is going to be humble pie.
13-Jan, Tommy Crain, age 59: former guitarist and songwriter for the Charlie Daniels Band, passed away at his home in Williamson County, Tennessee, three days before his 60th birthday. Crain co-wrote several of the group's hits including “In America,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” After 14 years with Charlie Daniels he went on to form Tommy Crain & the Crosstown Allstars of Atlanta, which he was still a member of when he died.
14-Jan, Trish Keenan, age 42: cause of death attributed to complications from pneumonia. She was the lead singer for the British electronic pop duo Broadcast. Their first singles were “Accidentals” and “The Book Lovers,” the latter was included on the soundtrack of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
The song “Before We Begin” was used in the Season Four finale of The L Word, while “Colour Me In” was featured in the first episode of Nathan Barley.Broadcast’s albums were named "The Noise Made by People," "Haha Sound," "Tender Buttons," and a collaborative effort with The Focus Group, called "Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age."
14-Jan, Mississippi Winn, age 113: the oldest African American. She always believed there would be another year and had decided she was “just going to stay here till he’s ready for me.”
15-Jan, Royal Marshall, age 42: producer of the Neal Boortz Radio Show, Marshall died of a heart attack. He collapsed at his home and was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. “He was supposed to come to my service,” said the 65-year-old Boortz during his remarks at the church, as he choked up, “maybe 25 years from now.”
“I have never known anybody else in my life,” he continued, “who is in a good mood and good humor every single day of his life. I can’t remember one day he was frowning, one day that he was prone to snap your head off.”
Boortz later made fun of Marshall’s golf skills. “He couldn’t read a green,” he said, “but he could read people. He could make anybody feel wonderful about himself and their life.”
In Marshall’s honor, Boortz plans to hang a plaque in the WSB Radio engineering room where Marshall presided with an old British World War II saying: “Keep calm and carry on.”
After the 90-minute ceremony, WSB radio host Herman Cain, who frequently substitutes for Boortz, said he found the service “uplifting, the way a home-going service should be. He would have wanted it that way.”
Cain was always amazed by how level-headed Marshall could be, even when the phones weren’t working. “He would just say, ‘We’ll look into it and get it fixed.’ He added this calmness to the room.”
Rahul Bali, Marshall’s producer for his Royal Treatment night radio show from 1998 to 2005, said during the reflections, that working with Marshall was like “a television show that I got to watch in front of my eyes every day we were on the air. It was the hands, the smile, the smirk. It was everything that was Royal.”
He recalled getting Marshall a cake to celebrate one year on the air back in 1999. Bali said he didn’t pay much attention to what the cake maker was doing. Right before they went on the air, Marshall glanced at the cake and smirked. “He talked about a few things,” Bali said, “then said, ‘Rahul?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ ‘There’s a white man on my cake!’ ”
Bali then noticed the cake featured a white man with an afro.
Marshall then added, “Black people marched for justice! I can’t get a black man on my cake!”
As part of his charitable efforts, Marshall was chairman of the national advisory board of Forever Family, which helps children whose parents are incarcerated.
“I knew it was love,” said Forever Family national president Sandra Barnhill, “when Royal used his personal relationship with Santa to get him to leave the North Pole during his busiest season the last two years and get Santa to come and play games and distribute Christmas toys. Unfortunately, Royal always had other obligations and never made it to the parties. But someone said Santa kind of looked like him. ”
His pastor Rev. Cynthia Hale noted his deep dedication for his four-year-old Amira and two-year-old Ava. “He knew how to paint fingernails,” she said, “because he was a kid at heart.”
One of Marshall’s best friends, Lonnis Allen, recalled their partying days when he was a bachelor but said when he met his wife Annette and had kids, “he dove right in… I would call his house and hear the girls. ‘Daddy! Daddy! I want juice! I want Cheerios!’ He’d say, ‘Man, I’m over here in kiddie land!’ He loved every minute of it.”
Atlanta nurse Mary Virginia Jones, like many in the crowd Saturday, never met Marshall. She was there to pay respects to a man she enjoyed hearing for years on WSB Radio. “I always appreciated his sense of humor and how he would banter back and forth with Neal. You could tell they loved each other. Just a couple weeks ago, I remember Neal asking him about a topic. ‘What do you think, Royal?’ And he meant it.” Full Article
15-Jan, Susannah York, age 72: British actress with a long list of movies, among them: There Was a Crooked Man, Tunes of Glory, The 7th Dawn, A Man for All Seasons, Oh! What a Lovely War, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Conduct Unbecoming, That Lucky Touch, The Silent Partner, The Awakening, Superman, Superman II, Superman IV-The Quest for Peace, A Summer Story, Just Ask for Diamond, The Book of Eve, Love is a Survivor.
15-Jan, Nat Lofthouse, OBE, age 85: Lofthouse was a footballer described as a Bolton Wanderers legend who gave his entire career to the team after his first-team debut was delayed by World War II. He was nicknamed the “Lion of Vienna” after being knocked unconscious while scoring his second goal to clinch a 3-2 victory at Austria in a match dubbed the unofficial championship of Europe.
He remained associated with the team after his playing career was ended by a knee injury by filling a variety of roles over the years including chief coach, chief scout, caretaker manager, and president, a role he maintained until his death. In a 1995 BBC radio documentary he was described as “the epitome of the old-fashioned center forward—strong, fast, and fearless.”
The players union wrote, “…he set the standard to which all strikers are compared.”
15-Jan, Romulus Zachariah Linney IV, age 80: prolific playwright, professor, father of actress Laura Linney and Susan Linney. Most of his work appeared in regional theaters and off-Broadway, with one play in a Broadway theater. He had recently completed the libretto for an opera based on one of his plays and was working on a novel at the time of his death which we can assume was left unfinished.
Linney wrote the book Jesus Tales, a collection of stories that "portray Jesus as morose and unpredictable, often beyond comprehension, and able to find distraction from the knowledge of his inevitable fate by amusing himself with pranks most often at the expense of Saint Peter." Read more
Raised in Boone, North Carolina and Madison, Tennessee, he earned a BA from Oberlin College and a MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He was the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including honorary doctorates from three separate universities. An interview with him appears on the official Blackbird website.
Additional titles of his works include: 2: Goering at Nuremberg, April Snow, Ave Maria, Can Can, Choir Practice, A Christmas Carol, Democracy, Democracy and Esther, Gardens of Eden, Heathen Valley, Juliet, Just Folks, A Lesson Before Dying, Mountain Memory, Precious Memories, Sand Mountain, Songs of Love, Three Poets, True Crimes, Unchanging Love, Why the Lord Come to Sand Mountain, A Woman Without a Name, Wrath, and Yankee Doodle.
17-Jan, Don Kirshner, age 76: died of heart failure. He was a music producer and promoter whose live televised rock shows helped wean 1970’s audiences off lip-synched programming. He ignited the careers of numerous artists and produced hits including “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling” and “Where the Boys Are.”
18-Jan, Sargent Shriver, age 95: American statesman and activist, part of the Kennedy family, served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and was the United States Ambassador to France. He was the driving force behind the Peace Corps and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
20-Jan, Reynolds Price, age 77: born Edward Reynolds Price, Feb 1st, 1933, renowned writer and professor at Duke University for more than 50 years. Price inspired people to write, to read, and to love words.
His readings of Halloween stories were a campus tradition. As a good friend of James Taylor, he collaborated on the songs “Copperline” and “New Hymn.”
Price survived spinal cancer in the 1980’s, but the treatment he underwent left him paralyzed. In his book Letter to a Godchild he described his disability as “a mere complexity in the ongoing narrative which God intended me to make of my life.” While a Rhodes Scholar, he wrote The Source of Light. His long list of books include his memoir Clear Pictures, novels The Tongues of Angels, The Great Circle, and The Good Priest’s Son which is an account of 9/11, Ardent Spirits: Leaving Home and Coming Back, A Palpable God, The Promise of Rest, A Whole New Life, Full Moon, and The Foreseeable Future.
22-Jan, Ed Mauser, age 94: Oldest living member of Easy Company, better known today as the Band of Brothers. He kept his role in the war a secret from most people including members of his family. It didn’t come to light until his brother-in-law got him a copy of the HBO mini-series. His role as a soldier wasn’t part of the scripted movie.
23-Jan, Jack LaLanne, age 96: the fitness guru who ate healthy and exercised every day died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. In 2006 he joked, “I can’t afford to die. It would wreck my image.”
When he turned 43 in 1957 he performed more than 1,000 push-ups in 23 minutes on the television show, You Asked For It.
At 60, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, handcuffed, shackled, and towing a boat. Ten years later, he performed a similar feat in Long Beach harbor.
26-Jan, Gladys Horton, age 66: American R&B and pop singer with the all-female group The Marvelettes. Born in Gainesville, Florida, Ms. Horton was raised in the Detroit suburb of Inkster by foster parents. By the time she reached her mid-teens, she’d taken a strong interest in singing. At Inkster High School, on Middlebelt Road, she joined the school glee club.
In 1960, at age 15, she and fellow glee club members formed a group called The Casinyets, a name created from the three words “can’t sing yet.” They auditioned for Motown after a talent contest and although the audition was successful, the group was requested to return to Hitsville with an original song. Member Georgia Dobbins co-created the song, “Please Mr. Postman, and was their lead singer until her father forbade her to appear in nightclubs. She gave the spotlight to Horton. The group changed their name to The Marvelettes after Motown signed them.
“Please Mr. Postman” became Motown’s first #1 Pop hit and The Marvelettes became instant stars.
Wanda Young replaced Horton as lead vocalist in 1965 and in 1967 Horton left the group entirely and was replaced by Anne Bogan from Cleveland, Ohio. Horton and Young reunited to collaborate on an album in 1990 called "The Marvelettes…Now!" Young didn’t take part in the group’s performances. They released a single called, “Holding On With Both Hands,” which was sung on the record by Wanda but performed by Gladys in public.
Horton died at nursing home in Sherman Oaks, California following several strokes.
27-Jan, Charlie Callas, age 83: American comedian and actor known for his stand-up appearances and his role as Malcolm Argos, the restaurant owner and former con man in the television series Switch.
Charlie Callias was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927 and served in the United States Army during World War II.
He began his career as a drummer, playing with Bernie Cummins, Tommy Dorsey, Claude Thornhill, and Buddy Rich. He dropped the vowel (i) from his legal name when he took to the stage. Tony Belmont, executive director of the National Comedy Hall of Fame said there were two things about Callas that stood out: he could think very fast on his feet, and he had an unbelievable number of sounds that he made with his voice that made his jokes all the more funny. “He would tell a joke about two guys hunting ... Charlie made it hysterical by sticking in these sounds; so you would hear the gun cocking, the duck flying overhead, the explosion of the shotgun and then the duck falling and screaming all the way to the ground.”
When Jerry Lewis saw Callas perform his hunting routine as a guest on The Merv Griffin Show, he practically fell off his chair and turned to Griffin saying he had to use the comedian in his current project. This landed Callas a role in the 1967 film The Big Mouth. Callas’ last television appearances were on the Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular in 2007 and The Larry the Cable Guy’s Star-Studded Christmas Extravaganza in 2008.
29-Jan, Milton Babbitt, age 94: American composer, music theorist, and mathematician particularly noted for his serial and electronic music. At age four he began studying the violin but soon switched to clarinet and saxophone. Early in his life he was attracted to jazz and theater music. He began making his own arrangements of popular songs at seven, and when he was thirteen, he won a local songwriting contest.
Originally intending to follow his father’s footstep as a mathematician, he entered the University of Pennsylvania but left for New York University where he studied music with Philip James and Marion Bauer. There he became interested in the music of the composers of the Second Viennese School and wrote articles on twelve tone music, combinatoriality (musically combining complements or the “other half” of any pair/the process of pairing entities on either side of a center of symmetry), and a serial “time-point” technique.
He received one of Princeton’s first Master of Fine Arts degrees in 1942. During World War II he divided his time between mathematical research in Washington DC and Princeton, where he became a member of the mathematical faculty from 1943 to 1945. In 1948 he became part of Princeton’s music faculty. In 1973 he joined the faculty at Julliard in New York. Notable former students include music theorists David Lewin and John Rahn, composer Donald Martino, Laura Karpman, Tobias Picker, Paul Lansky, John Melby, theatre composer Stephen Sondheim, and jazz guitarist-composer Stanley Jordan.
In 1958, Babbitt achieved unsought notoriety through an article in the popular magazine High Fidelity. Babbitt had provided his own title for the article, “The Composer as Specialist.” However, the editor at High Fidelity, without Babbitt's knowledge and therefore without his consent or assent, replaced the title with a more provocative one, “Who Cares If You Listen?” which reflects little of the letter and nothing of the spirit of the article. More than 30 years later, Babbitt commented that no matter how many times the source of that offensively vulgar title has been revealed, he was still far more likely to be known as the author of “Who Cares If You Listen?”
When he became interested in electronic music, he was hired by RCA as a consultant composer to work with their RCA Mark II. Babbitt was less interested in producing new timbres than in the rhythmic precision he could achieve using the Mark II synthesizer, a degree of precision previously unobtainable in live performance. From 1985 until his death he served as the Chairman of the BMI Student Composer Awards, the international competition for young classical composers.
29-Jan, Nathan Woods, age 32: the all-time leader in wins for the World Off-Road Championship Series crashed during practice after going over a step-up jump in the middle of the course, in preparation for “tomorrow's WORCS race.”
“Today off-road racing lost one of the greatest off-road champions ever to throw a leg over a dirt bike.” “God Speed #54.” Full article
30-Jan, Charles Nolan, age 53: New York fashion designer known to have a passion for American classics, but skewed them with a modern edge and personal touch.
“Nolan, who also was noted for his political interest, had battled cancer several years ago, and it came back this past fall and moved aggressively," said Maggie Savage, the vintage buyer for the Charles Nolan store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking neighborhood.
After a hiatus in 2003, Nolan returned to the fashion world with his own label. This time, he scaled back and put his own spin on everything, down to the furniture in his store and his off-the-beaten-path runway shows.
In one recent season, he featured Olympian Dare Torres on the catwalk; the year before that, dancers from the American Ballet Theater were his models. Nolan graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and apprenticed under Bill Blass, Christian Dior, and Ellen Tracy. Anne Klein hired him to revive its image as a hipper, more fashion-forward brand. (Source: Samantha Critchell, AP Fashion Writer)
30-Jan, David Frye, age 77: impressionist who vaulted to popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s with his skewering of political figures of the day. He died of a heart attack at his Las Vegas home.
In 1970, Time magazine wrote, “His signature impression of Nixon, with his shoulders hunched and a ‘singsong baritone…so close to the mark it makes one hope Frye never gets close to the hot line.” The Times’ Dennis Hunt wrote a review of his 1974 performance at the Troubadour, saying Frye was a “frenzied, bellowing impressionist and political satirist.”
He was born David Shapiro in Brooklyn. His sister, Ruth Welch said he had, “an ear for people’s voices” and “an eye for their movements” that made him very accurate. His comedy albums included, “I Am the President” and “Richard Nixon: A Fantasy.” (Chicago Tribune obituaries)
30-Jan, John Barry, OBE, age 77: English composer best known for his award-winning film scores and James Bond soundtracks. In a career spanning almost 50 years, he received numerous awards for his work, including five Academy Awards; two for Born Free, and one each for The Lion in Winter (for which he also won a BAFTA Award), Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves (for which he also won a Grammy Award). For Somewhere in Time(1980), he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Score – Motion Picture.
Barry was born John Barry Prendergast, in York, England and was the son of a musically talented mother and a charismatic Irish father, from Cork, who was a film projectionist during the silent movie era and later owner of several cinemas. As a child growing up, he spent a great deal of time in and around cinemas. Often, while watching a film, Barry would note with pen and paper, what worked or what did not.
Recognizing how music affected the audience’s engagement and perception of films led him to write scores intended to set the mood in films such as Body Heat, Midnight Cowboy, King Kong (1976), The Deep, The Black Hole, High Road to China, and The Cotton Club(1984).
Although originally a classical pianist, he learned the trumpet and grew interested in composing and arranging music. During his National Service in Cyprus, he began performing as a musician. In 1957, after taking a correspondence course (with jazz composer Bill Russo) and working as an arranger for the Jack Parnell and Ted Heath's Orchestra, he formed his own band called The John Barry Seven. They enjoyed some success with popular recordings on the EMI Columbia label, including "Hit and Miss", the theme tune he composed for the BBC's Juke Box Jury, a cover of the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run", and a cover of the theme for the United Artists Western The Magnificent Seven.
His career breakthrough came with the BBC television series Drumbeat, when he appeared with the John Barry Seven. He was employed by EMI from 1959 until 1962 arranging orchestral accompaniment for the company's singers, including Adam Faith. He also composed songs for films in which Faith was featured. When Faith made his first film, Beat Girl, in 1960, Barry composed, arranged and conducted his first score. His music became the first soundtrack released on an LP album in the UK. Barry also composed the music for another Faith film, Never Let Go, orchestrated the score for Mix Me a Person, and composed, arranged, and conducted the score for The Amorous Prawn.
In 1962, Barry transferred to Ember Records, where he both arranged and produced albums.
His achievements caught the attention of the producers of a new film called Dr. No who were dissatisfied with a theme for James Bond given to them by Monty Norman. Barry was hired and the result was one of the most famous signature tunes in film history, the "James Bond Theme."
When the producers of the Bond series engaged Lionel Bart to score the next James Bond film, From Russia with Love, they discovered that Bart could neither read nor write music, even though he wrote the title song for the film. They remembered Barry’s work and contacted him. Bart and Barry also worked together on the Man in the Middle. This was the turning point for Barry, from which he quickly became one of the most celebrated film composers.
Often cited as having had a distinct style which concentrated on lush strings and extensive use of brass, he was also an innovator, being one of the first to employ synthesizers in a film score (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), and to make wide use of pop artists and songs in Midnight Cowboy. Because Barry provided not just the main title theme but the complete soundtrack score, his music often enhanced the critical reception of a film, notably in Midnight Cowboy, the 1976 version of King Kong, Out of Africa, and Dances with Wolves.
One of Barry's best known compositions is the theme for the 1971 TV series The Persuaders!, also known as "The Unlucky Heroes". The song went on to be a hit single in some European countries and has been re-released on collections of 1970s disco hits. The instrumental recording features Moog synthesizers.
Barry's work began to be sampled in the 1990s by artists such as Dr. Dre and Wu-Tang Clan, with his "James Bond Theme" being sampled by performers as diverse as Bonobo, Gang Starr and Junior Reid. Fatboy Slim used the opening guitars from "Beat Girl (Main Title)" for "Rockafeller Skank" from his 1998 album, You've Come A Long Way, Baby. The Sneaker Pimps also sampled "Golden Girl" on their 1996 single "6 Underground". Additionally, "You Only Live Twice" was heavily sampled on "Millennium" from Robbie Williams' second album, I've Been Expecting You.
In 2001, the University of York conferred an honorary degree on Barry, and in 2002 he was named an Honorary Freeman of the City of York.
During 2006, Barry was the executive producer on an album titled Here's to the Heroes by the Australian ensemble The Ten Tenors. The album features a number of songs Barry wrote in collaboration with his lyricist friend, Don Black. Barry and Black also composed one of the songs on Shirley Bassey's 2009 album, The Performance. The song "Our Time is Now" is the first written by the duo for Bassey since "Diamonds Are Forever".
After the success of Dr. No, Barry scored eleven of the next 14 James Bond films, although Monty Norman is continually credited as the composer of the "James Bond Theme."
As Barry matured, the Bond scores concentrated more on lush melodies, as in Moonraker and Octopussy. Barry's score for A View to a Kill was traditional, but his collaboration with Duran Duran for the title song was contemporary and one of the most successful Bond themes to date, reaching number one in the United States and number two in the UK Singles Chart.
Barry's last score for the Bond series was 1987's The Living Daylights, Dalton's first film in the series with Barry making a cameo appearance as a conductor in the film. Barry was intended to score Licence to Kill but was recovering from throat surgery at the time and it was considered unsafe to fly him to London. The score was completed by Michael Kamen.
David Arnold, a British composer, saw the result of two years' work in 1997 with the release of Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project, an album of new versions of the themes from various James Bond films. Arnold thanks Barry in the sleeve notes, referring to him as "the Guvnor". Almost all of the tracks were John Barry compositions, and the revision of his work met with his approval – he contacted Barbara Broccoli, producer of the then upcoming Tomorrow Never Dies, to recommend Arnold as the film's composer. Arnold also went on to score the subsequent Bond films: The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
In 2001, thirty years after the "James Bond Theme" had been written by Barry and credited to Monty Norman, the disputed authorship of the theme was examined legally in the High Court in London after Norman sued The Sunday Times for publishing an article in 1997 in which Barry was named as the true composer. Barry testified for the defense, stating that he had been handed a musical manuscript of a work by Norman (meant to become the theme) and that he was to arrange it musically, and that he composed additional music and arranged the "James Bond Theme". The court was also told that Norman received sole credit because of his prior contract with the producers. Barry said that a deal was struck whereby he would receive a flat fee of £250 and Norman would receive the songwriting credit. Barry said that he had accepted the deal with United Artists Head of Music, Noel Rogers, because it would help his career. Despite these claims the jury ruled unanimously in favor of Norman.
On 7 September 2006, John Barry publicly defended his authorship of the theme on the Steve Wright show on BBC Radio 2.
30-Jan, Sal Picinich, age 63: veteran baker who acquired fame on the television reality show Cake Boss. Born on the Croatian island of Susak, he worked at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, N.J., where the TV series is filmed, for 45 years. The bakery’s publicist stated Buddy “The Cake Boss” Valastro looked up to Picinich as a “second father.” (tv.msn.com)
03-Feb, Leroy “Granny” Grannis, age 93: The New York Times once called him “the godfather of surf photography.” Grannis enjoyed a beachfront childhood and after learning how to bodysurf, made himself a bellyboard from a piece of wood. At 14 his father gave him a 6’ x 2’ pine board from which he carved a kneeboard using a drawknife.
Unable to afford an education during the Depression he dropped out of UCLA and worked as a carpenter and junkyard de-tinner. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943, serving as a supply line pilot to troops in combat and remained on active reserve until 1977.
In 1946 he took a job with Pacific Bell and worked as a switchboard installer. When he developed health problems in the form of ulcers, his doctor told him to find a hobby that would relieve stress. He quickly became one of surfing’s most important documentarians. He spent the next decade in California and Hawaii, capturing the best surfers in the world riding the best surf. In 1971, he quit shooting surfing because he was fed up with increased competition for the perfect angle.
He picked up and began photographing the sport of hand-gliding until multiple injuries caused him to find a new focus. Next it was windsurfing.
Grannis’ work was featured in Stacy Peralta’s award-winning documentary Riding Giants. He was named the Grand Master of the 2007 Hermosa Beach Art Walk “Salute to 100 Summers.”
03-Feb, Maria Schneider, age 58: French actress best known for playing Jeanne in the 1972 film Last Tango in Paris. Schneider performed several nude scenes in the film, which were controversial at the time.
In an interview in 2007, she described Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci as being manipulative and doing certain things just to get a reaction from her. She lost years of her life to drugs following the film. "I was very lucky – I lost many friends to drugs – but I met someone in 1980 who helped me stop. I call this person my angel and we've been together ever since. I don't say if it's a man or a woman. That's my secret garden. I like to keep it a mystery."
At her funeral, Bertolucci said, "Her death came too soon, before I could hold her again tenderly, and tell her that I felt connected to her as on the first day, and for once, to ask her to forgive me." "Maria accused me of having robbed her of her youth and only today am I wondering whether there wasn't some truth to that."
Much of her filmography is listed in French, but titles with English translations include The Christmas Tree, The Love Mates, Dance of Love, Scar Tissue, The Passenger, I Belong to Me, A Woman Like Eve, Merry-Go-Round, Savage Nights, Looking for Jesus, Something to Believe In, The Repentant, and The Key (La Clef).
03-Feb, Joyce Sloane, age 80: known as “Mother of the Second City,” who found and nurtured giants the likes of John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chris Farley, and Bill Murray. Sloane died peacefully in bed.
Andrew Alexander, the comedy club and school’s executive producer shared a few words: “Joyce Sloan’s impact on the Chicago theatre community cannot be measured. She nurtured thousands of young performers—she encouraged them, fed them, even housed them when needed. She was the mother of The Second City and she cannot be replaced. The loss is monumental but Joyce Sloane’s legacy carries on forever in the work of the artists of whom she was so proud.”
04-Feb, Tura Satana, age 72: the actress died of heart failure in Reno, Nevada. Born Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan, to a father of Japanese and Filipino descent and a mother who was Cheyenne Indian and Scots-Irish, she spent part of her childhood in the Manzanar internment camp near Independence, California.
Ms. Satana is best known for her role as Varla in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Her portrayal of a brazenly violent but unapologetically female who frequently upbraids men who dare to ogle her earned her a cult following. In the film when a gas-station attendant tells her he believes in “seeing America first,” Varla replies, “You won’t find it down there, Columbus!”
A memorial service was being planned for around July 10th, which is her birthday.
04-Feb, Woodie Fryman, age 70: Major League Baseball pitcher, two-time National League All Star best remembered as the mid-season acquisition that helped lead the Detroit Tigers to the 1972 American League Championship Series.
Bruce Markusen had a different story about Woodie, who was pitching for the Tigers the first time his father took him to Yankee Stadium. It was 1973, the final season at the old stadium; the final 'night game' in the history of the old ball yard: He used an old-time windup, swinging both his arms behind his head, and then managing to hide the ball near his waist just before releasing the pitch. Al Oliver once told me that he simply hated having to face Fryman and that deceptive delivery. He was a persistent kind of guy who blossomed late. “Prior to Fryman’s arrival, the Tigers had only two reliable starters in Mickey Lolich and Joe Coleman. Fryman gave Billy Martin an effective third option.”
04-Feb, Lena Nyman, age 66: Swedish actress whose breakthrough came with the films I Am Curious Yellow and I Am Curious Blue. The films were presented in a pseudo-documentary fashion, in which Nyman played a character of the same name as herself. There are numerous and frank scenes of nudity and staged sexual intercourse in the film. In 1969, it was banned in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for being pornographic. Through various appeals as high as the Supreme Court of the United States, it was determined that the movie was not obscene. Originally intended to be one film, the viewing length demanded it be split into two parts. The films were named after the colors in the Swedish flag.
Nyman died after battling several illnesses including COPD and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Gemstone Connection: We visited Sweden following the mass deaths of jackdaws on January 4th and came upon the Moravian Church whose emblem is the Lamb of God carrying the flag of victory with the Latin inscription: Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur (translated, "Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow Him.”). January 4th brought with it a solar eclipse whose details picked up where the events of July 11th, 2010, left off, when "the Lion had arrived to lay with the Lamb." In my blog, Oracles, Omens, and the World Cup, the details of Spain's flag were gathered; in particular its reference to the New World, the image of pillars, a lion wearing a crown, and three fleur-de-lis in an oval in the center were tied into the stories and events of the day.
Chile also has a place in the gemstone and its flag consists of two horizontal bands of white and red, with a blue square the same height as the white band in the canton. The blue square holds a white five-pointed star in the center. In The Da Vinci Code, this would be symbolic of the Sacred Feminine; for Chileans, the star represents a guide to progress and honor. The blue symbolizes the sky and the Pacific Ocean, white represents the snow-covered Andes, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence.
We followed the tsunami waves that came after Chile's 8.8 earthquake to gather the details that brought meaning. The waves were a no-show in Hawaii, but made a surprise appearance on Robinson Crusoe Island whose namesake is a fictional character modeled from a real life marooned sailor; the detail "maroon" connected Chile's earthquake to Haiti's earthquake. Chile's earthquake was nearly identical in size and location to an earthquake in 1835 experienced by Charles Darwin; the event that led to his theories on evolution.
While Hawaii missed the bullet with Chile's tsunami, the islands were in the path of the waves following the 9.0 earthquake in Japan. Japan's flag is white with a large red circle in its center, representing the Rising Sun. Within the gemstone, the meaning of colors on flags is evolving as Japan's white symbolizes peace and honesty while the red means hardiness, bravery, strength, and valour.
05-Feb, Brian Jacques, age 71: English author of the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series as well as two collections of short stories titled The Ribbajack & Other Curious Yarns and Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales.
He’s best known for his Redwall series of novels for children, whose final contribution, The Rogue Crew was “due out later this year.”
The book was published on May 3rd, 2011 and has been summarized by Penguin as follows:
No beast is safe from the terror of a Wearat!
Redwall Abbey has never seen a creature more evil or more hideous than Razzid Wearat. Captain of the Greenshroud, a ship with wheels that can sail through water as well as the forest, this beast is a terror of both land and sea, traveling Mossflower Country, killing nearly everything—and everyone— in his path. And his goal? To conquer Redwall Abbey. From Salamandastron to the High North Coast, the brave hares of the Long Patrol team up with the fearless sea otters of the Rogue Crew to form a pack so tough, so rough, only they can defend the abbey and defeat Razzid Wearat once and for all.
05-Feb, Peggy Rea, age 89: Veteran TV actress appeared in 72 television shows. Best known for her roles as Rose Burton in The Waltons, Lulu Hogg in The Dukes of Hazzard, Ivy Baker—mother of Suzanne Somers character in Step by Step, and Jean Kelly in Grace Under Fire.
Rea began her career in the 1960’s, appearing on shows such as I Love Lucy, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Odd Couple, All in the Family, and The Golden Girls. She also appeared in the films Cold Turkey, In Country, Love Field, and Made in America.
05-Feb, Mary Cleere Haran, age 58: a classic popular singer and writer admired for her cabaret shows celebrating the American songbook. She died in Deerfield Beach, Florida, two days after a cycling accident.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, “Her stage personality reflected the upbeat, can-do spirit and subdued glamour of long-ago film stars like Myrna Loy, Irene Dunne, and Claudette Colbert. Much as she admired those actresses, her attitude was not that of a besotted fan but of a modern women with a feminist sensibility who refracted the past through the present. Comparing Lorenze Hart’s lyrics with Richard Rodgers to Oscar Hammerstein’s in her 2002 show, Falling in Love With Love: The Rogers and Hart Story, she remarked that Hammerstein’s lyrics told us what we ‘should feel’ versus Hart’s which told us what ‘we did feel.’”
06-Feb, Gary Moore, age 58: Northern Irish musician from Belfast. He moved to Dublin at age 16 and was mentored by Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac whom he later repaid with a tribute on his album "Blues for Greeny," which consisted entirely of Green compositions.
When he recorded the album, Moore played Green’s 1959 Les Paul guitar which Green had lent him after leaving Fleetwood Mac. Moore ultimately purchased the guitar at Green’s request so “it would have a good home.”
Moore was the guitarist for Thin Lizzy on “The Boys are Back in Town.” In 2005 he joined the One World Project which recorded a song for the 2004 Asian Tsunami relief effort. Moore was featured in a guitar solo titled, “Grief Never Goes Away.” He died of a heart attack in Estepona, Spain in the early morning hours.
Discography includes "Grinding Stone," "Back on the Streets," "G-Force," "Corridors of Power," "Victims of the Future," "Run for Cover," "Wild Frontier," "After the War," "Still Got the Blues," "After Hours," "Dark Days in Paradise," "A Different Beat," "Back to the Blues," "Scars," "Powers of the Blues," "Old New Ballad Blues," "Close As You Get," and "Bad for You Baby."
08-Feb, Tony Malinosky, age 101: a third baseman and shortstop in Major League baseball who played 35 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1937 season. Listed at 5' 10", Weight: 165 lb., he batted and threw right-handed. At 101 years plus 124 days, he was the oldest living Major League Baseball player at the time of his death.
Malinosky was born in Collinsville, Illinois, and attended Whittier College where he played baseball and was a classmate of future U.S. President Richard Nixon. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Malinosky to his first professional contract, and then sold his rights to the Dodgers in 1936.
During World War II, Malinosky served with the United States Army, with which he saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge.
09-Feb, Marvin Sease, age 64: American blues and soul Singer/Songwriter known for his racy lyrics.
Born in Blackville, South Carolina, Sease started as a gospel artist, joining a gospel group called the Five Gospel Crowns, located in Charleston, South Carolina. After singing with them, Sease then left at age 20 for New York City and joined another gospel group called the Gospel Crowns.
Having a preference for the musical style of R&B, Sease left the gospel circuit to form his own R&B group. In this group Sease was accompanied by his own three brothers, and named the backing band Sease. This band did not find popularity and eventually broke up. Rather than quit himself, he began to cover songs—perform contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released or popular songs—which gave him a career with a recurring gig at the Brooklyn club, Casablanca.
In 1986, he recorded a self titled album, featuring one of his more popular songs, "Ghetto Man". This boosted his following with fans in the South's circuit of bars, blues festivals, and juke joints. While promoting his self produced and publicized debut album, he entered a recording contract with Polygram. With this contract, he was able to launch his music nationally with the re-release of his self titled LP on Mercury Records in 1987. This updated release of his previous material also included the new ten minute track "Candy Licker," which became an instant success for Sease through the South and ensured a strong female based following.
Radio stations deemed his sound too explicit for airplay. Sease was said to have a comparable sound to Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis, but without their commercial success.
He died of complications from pneumonia in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on February 8, 2011, eight days before his 65th birthday.
A poster of Sease was included in the film, Pretty in Pink.
09-Feb, “The Music dies for ‘Guitar Hero’ video game.” Three days later there was “Good news on the doorstep” when Gabrielle Giffords sang the folk-rock song “American Pie” with her husband and his daughters and she knew all the lyrics. Read Article
10-Feb, Bill Justice, age 97: Justice joined Walt Disney Studios as an animator in 1937 and worked on such features as Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. He is arguably best known as the animator of the rabbit Thumper from 1942's Bambi and chipmunks Chip 'n Dale.
In 1957 he changed roles and became director of The Truth About Mother Goose, followed by 1959's Noah's Ark, and 1962's A Symposium On Popular Songs, all of which were nominated for Academy Awards as Best Short Subject, Cartoon.
In 1965, Justice joined Walt Disney Imagineering, where he programmed figures for several Disney attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and Country Bear Jamboree.
He retired from the Disney Company in 1979 and was named a Disney Legend in 1996. He wrote the book, Justice for Disney, which chronicles his years with the company. He died of natural causes at a nursing home in Santa Monica, California, one day after his 97th birthday.
10-Feb, Emory Bellard, age 83: former Texas A&M and Mississippi State football coach credited with developing the wishbone offense when he was an assistant at the University of Texas. Bellard came up with the idea to put a third running back a yard behind the quarterback, flanked by two more running backs a few yards behind to form what looked like a “Y.” Quarterbacks had three options: 1) hand off to the fullback, 2) keep the ball, or 3) pitch to one of the other running backs. Coaches everywhere adopted the offense.
Bellard was also one of the first football coaches in Texas to recruit black players. R.C. Slocum, former Texas A&M coach, hired as an assistant by Bellard in 1972 said, “I don’t think he ever got full credit for what he really did.” (Los Angeles Times, Associated Press)
10-Feb, Jon Petrovich, age 63: the man who greenlighted funding for CNN.com was known as its “Godfather.” He was also known for his impeccable tailored suits, optimistic outlook on life, and solid news judgment. Though he hobnobbed with the likes of Ted Turner, he just as readily struck up conversations with interns and entry-level staffers.
Petrovich never interfered with anyone who had an idea and wanted to run with it. When CNN.com was nothing more that a thought, the “old news guy” stepped up and put his confidence in the people while taking on the financial responsibility of it in the early years.
A man of humble roots, he loved food and fine dining, but most of all he loved his family.
11-Feb, Chuck Tanner, age 82: born on the 4th of July, 1928, Tanner was once the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates and died just days before the team was about to open spring training, which he excitedly called “the best time of the year!”
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “He will be best remembered for overseeing the Pirates’ World Series triumph against the Baltimore Orioles, taking the final three games after trailing the best-of-seven, 3-1. That group of players adopted the Sister Sledge song, “We Are Family,” and while first baseman Willie Stargell was the clubhouse leader, Mr. Tanner was its father figure.” Tanner’s mother died before Game 5, just as that series looked darkest. The team’s closer, Kent Tekulve, remembered the scene that Sunday morning at the Three Rivers Stadium. Nobody in the clubhouse could find words to say… and they were typically a pretty vocal, brash group. Tanner came in and told his players, “My mother is a great Pirates fan. She knows we’re in trouble, so she went upstairs to get some help.” Hope always seemed to spring eternal in his world. Read Article
11-Feb, Tom Carnegie, age 91: the “mighty thundering voice” of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been silenced. Named Carl Kenagy at birth, he grew up in Connecticut aspiring to be an actor. His hopes were dashed after being stricken with polio while he was a student in Missouri.
After graduating from William Jewel College in Liberty, he got a job at radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The station manager suggested he change his name to Carnegie since it was a prominent name in the East.
As World War II drew to a close, fate led him to radio station WIRE. He was “emceeing” at a vintage car concourse when Wilbur Shaw heard his voice and invited him to assist with the Indianapolis 500. Carnegie accepted the opportunity…and kept coming back for the next 60 years. He coined iconic phrases such as, “AND HEEEEEEE’S ON IT!” “YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT!” “AAAAAAND, IT’S STILL GOING UP!” Since he knew it was impossible for spectators to see the complete track, he toyed with their imaginations with lines like, “WHO WILL IT BE? WHO WILL IT BE?” On peaceful qualifying days one could hear him say, “Let’s wait and watch.” And then a little later, “HEEEEEERE HE COMES.”
12-Feb, Rebecca Wells, age 51: L.A. County Department of Internal Services employee was found dead in her cubicle by a security guard on Saturday afternoon. The last time anyone remembers seeing her alive was at 9:30 a.m. Friday, the day before.
Gemstone Connection: The name "Wells" can be taken literally, in which case it's plural. We've come across a "well" in two different Sabian Symbols: 7 Gemini, "An Old Fashioned Well with the Purest and Coldest of Waters," and 7 Taurus, "The Woman of Samaria Comes to Draw Water from Jacob's Well."
Given the fact that a woman can die at her desk and not be noticed for an entire business day, suggests the issue here involves paying attention to details. And the story that comes with the woman of Samaria is ALL about details.
In John 4:4-42, a woman comes upon a man at Jacob's well who she realizes is not an ordinary man because he knows details of her life that a stranger wouldn't be privy to. When he asks her to go get her husband, she tells him that she doesn't have a husband; he says that's true, because she has been married five times and the man she currently lives with is not her husband. Before the story ends, the man also tells her that he's the Messiah that God promised.
In Catch and Release, Gray made a reference to Traci Lords which was determined to be a clue that there were two men behind the use of the word "Lord" in the New Testament, with neither of them referring to God the Father. The details suggested that the stories of Jesus and Paul became intertwined and their identities often confused.
We don't know if the man at Jacob's well is Jesus or Paul, but the possibility is raised that stories of two different men at two different times at two different wells have been combined; a "mashed-up" of stories in Glee terms. One of the men wasn't an ordinary man . . . and the other went around telling people that he was the Messiah.
The lesson we take with us is that the details that come with the people who are dying will reveal truths we haven't been privy to.
12-Feb, Gino Cimoli, age 81: the all star baseball player at Galileo High School signed as an amateur free agent with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, but it was 1956 before he made his Major League Baseball debut. He was the first Major League batter to step into the batter’s box on the West Coast when the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants played their first game of the season at Seals Stadium. He then played on the Pirates’ 1960 World Series championship team which beat the Yankees in seven games. After left fielder Bob Skinner injured his thumb in the first game of the series, Cimoli started games two through six. He returned to the bench in game seven.
In the eighth inning of game seven, with the Pirates trailing 4-7, Cimoli, pinch-hitting for pitcher Roy Face, led with a single off Bobby Shantz, advanced to second on Bill Virdon's bad-hop ground ball, which struck Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek in the throat, then scored on Dick Groat's single, the first run in a five-run inning to give the Pirates a 9-7 lead. The Pirates gave the lead away in the ninth before finally winning the game in the bottom half on Bill Mazeroski's leadoff home run.
The book Carl Erskine's Tales from the Dodgers Dugout: Extra Innings (2004) includes short stories from former Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine and Cimoli is prominent in many of them.
On Cimoli's 1958 baseball card (No. 286, Topps) the background was painted out. The image shows him swinging a bat, WITHOUT the bat because it was also painted out. (Source: Baseball Hall of Shame 4, Nash & Zullo)
Gemstone Connection: The key details here appear in the beginning and the end of Cimoli's story, though they have nothing to do with Cimoli himself. Galileo, like the astrolabe, has a connection to the planets and stars in the heavens. The astrolabe, as a tool for navigation, arrived to the biblical story in what has been called the third act. The baseball card featuring a batter without a bat provides a different way of looking at the same group of players.
In Love Happens, Eloise did say, "Two birds, one stone." And Will Schuester repeated the words in Glee's "Theatricality" episode.
12-Feb, Kenneth Mars, age 75: American television, movie, and voice actor best known for his roles in several Mel Brooks films, the most memorable being the insane Nazi playwright of "Springtime for Hitler" in The Producers and as the relentless police inspector in Young Frankenstein. He made his acting debut as a book publisher on the television comedy series Car 54, Where Are You?
In the years that followed he was cast in Gunsmoke, Get Smart, and He & She. He was also in a pilot called Hello Mother, Goodbye!, which aired but was never added to the network lineup.
Gemstone Connection: Details that come with Cimoli's life, specifically the image on baseball card No. 286, can be woven into the details arriving with Kenneth Mars.
The baseball card as well as the car in the television show are each identified by numbers. We can expand our understanding of the relationship between the real life baseball player and the imaginary publisher using details that have been previously gathered.
In reality, the Bible's Sacred Story has been edited, appended, published, and widely distributed. Not only has it suffered through translations and interpretations, key parts have been removed. The name Eve/Hawwa means "the source of life." Her intention for eating the fruit from the tree in the Garden of Eden was the driving force of our Sacred Story. Eve believed the serpent, Nachash, when he told her she wouldn't really die AND that God knew when she ate the fruit it was her desire to become wise like those who look upon us from the heavens above. If we step up to the plate without knowing the reason for being there, there is no "bat." There's no possible way of even getting on the bases and making a run for home.
Equally important is that an edited version of the Sacred Story serves as the source behind a script for a show that was once given air time but was never added to the line-up by the higher-ups. Not only was it never authenticated by God, it has continued long beyond the time slot provided.
We already know that Eve isn't part of the story that begins in the Garden of All Fulfilled Desires, so for many this will be "Hello Mother. Good-bye."
12-Feb, Betty Garrett, age 91: the American actress, comedienne, singer, and dancer performed on Broadway before being signed to a film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She appeared in several musical films before returning to Broadway and also made several guest appearances on TV.
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1919, her family relocated to Seattle shortly afterward. Her mother, Octavia, managed the sheet music department in Sherman Clay, while her father, Curtis, worked as a traveling salesman. Her father’s alcoholism and inability to handle finances eventually led to their divorce. Afterward, Garrett and her mother lived in a series of residential hotels. When she was eight, her mother married a man named Sam who worked in the meat packing industry. This relationship failed a year later when it was discovered that he was involved in a sexual relationship with a male assistant.
After graduating from a public grammar school, Garrett enrolled at Annie Wright School which she attended on a full scholarship. There wasn’t a drama department there and she took it upon herself to organize musical productions and plays for special occasions. Following her senior year performance in Twelfth Night, the bishop urged her to pursue a career on stage. As if fate had intervened, at the same time a friend of her mother arranged an interview with Martha Graham, who was in town for a concert, and the dancer recommended the young girl for a scholarship at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.
She made her Broadway debut in the 1942 revue Of V We Sing, which closed after 76 performances but led to her being cast in Let Freedom Sing. This show closed after 8 performances, but led to a small role in Something For the Boys.
Her film work with MGM took off with Words and Music, On the Town, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and Neptune’s Daughter. After The Jolson Story became a huge hit in the U.K., she and her husband, Larry Parks, decided to capitalize on its popularity with a nightclub act. The rise of home television however led to a decline in music hall entertainment.
In 1955 she was cast in My Sister Eileen when Judy Holliday dropped out of the project due to a contract dispute. The following year, she and her husband replaced Holliday and Sydney Chaplin in the Broadway production of Bells Are Ringing when the latter pair went on vacation from the show.
In the fall of 1973, she was given the role of Irene, the feisty Irish American wife of Frank Lorenzo in All in the Family. Irene was Catholic and took on many of the household duties normally associated with husbands, making her a kind of nemesis to Archie Bunker. She later worked with Archie at his place of employment, driving a forklift, and was paid less than the man she replaced.
At Theatre West, which she co-founded, she directed Arthur Miller’s The Price and appeared in the play Waiting in the Wings.
13-Feb, T.P. McKenna, age 81: Irish actor who worked on stage, film, and television. In the 1960’s and 1970’s he appeared regularly in television dramas including The Avengers, Dangerman, The Saint, Adam Adamant Lives!, Blake’s 7, Minder, and in the Doctor Who serial, "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy."
Considered one of Ireland’s finest Joycean actors, his distinguished and instantly recognizable voice was used to narrate the Emmy-winning documentary, Is There One Who Understands Me.His filmography includes Home is the Hero, Shake Hands With the Devil, Girl With the Green Eyes, Exposure, Red Scorpion, and The Libertine.
13-Feb, Bob Cook, age 79: member of the Super Bowl Club member who guaranteed a year earlier that the Packers would appear in Texas for Super Bowl XLV. He was right, however the rest of his prediction did not come true. Cook, of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, was sure that he would attend the game as he had for each of the previous 44 Super Bowls. A blood infection put him in the hospital, where he watched the Packers triumph on TV.
14-Feb, Cecil Kaiser, age 94: Kaiser died in Southfield, Michigan, after a fall in his home. In his younger days, he was a left-handed pitcher making $700 month at the height of his Negro Leagues career. A baseball fanatic, he talked about the game “all the time.”
Growing up a Yankees fan in New York, when segregation put a halt to his dream of playing in the majors, he found a position in traveling sandlot teams before eventually rising to prominent roles with the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays. He was nicknamed “Minute Man,” because that’s all it took to strike out batters.
14-Feb, George Shearing, OBE, age 91: jazz pianist born blind to working class parents, the youngest of nine children. His father delivered coal and his mother cleaned trains in the evening. Shearing began playing the piano at age three and started formal training at Linden Lodge School for the Blind. Although he was offered scholarships, he opted to perform at a local pub called the Mason’s Arms, in Lambeth, for “25 bob a week.”
Shearing befriended Leonard Feather about the time he made his first BBC radio appearance and the duo started recording together. In 1940 he joined Harry Parry’s band and contributed to the comeback of Stéphane Grappelli. After emigrating to the United States, he formed the first George Shearing Quintet, recording the immensely popular single “September in the Rain” described as “my other hit” to accompany “Lullaby of Birdland.” Shearing himself wrote that the hit was “as accidental as it could be.”
14-Feb, David Friedman, age 87: film producer who “cheerfully and cheesily exploited an audience’s hunger for bare-breasted women and blood-dripping corpses in lucrative low-budget films like Blood Feast and Isla: She-Wolf of the S.S.
He died of heart failure in Anniston, Alabama. Mica Brook Everett, a relative and caretaker, added that Mr. Friedman had lost both his hearing and eyesight about 10 years ago.
16-Feb, Len Lesser, age 88: Actor best known for his scene-stealing role as Uncle Leo on Seinfeld. Lesser died of cancer related pneumonia. His film credits include Outlaw Josey Wales, Kelly’s Heroes, Birdman of Alcatraz, and Death Hunt.
17-Feb, Bill Monroe, age 90: host of Meet the Press from 1975 to 1984; he was the show’s fourth moderator. On his first day, he interviewed Governor George Wallace, who was at the time running for President and asked, “Have you personally changed your views about segregation?”
“When Wallace didn’t respond directly, Monroe cut him off and repeated the question. Wallace began to stumble through his next response, and Monroe asked a third time: ‘Have your views changed?’” (Jessica Gresko, Associated Press)
17-Feb, William "Perry" Moore, IV, age 39: American author, screenwriter, and film director. He was the executive producer of The Chronicles of Narnia films as well as the author of Hero, an award-winning novel about a gay teenage superhero.
After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1994, Moore worked for The Rosie O’Donnell Show before joining Walden Media—a media production company created by Phillip Anschutz to produce family-friendly movies, documentaries, and television programs. He was in charge of production for the film I Am David, an adaptation of Anne Holm’s novel North to Freedom.
He and his life partner, Hunter Hill, co-wrote and co-directed the 2008 film Lake City, a drama that tells the story of a mother and son who reunite under desperate circumstances years after a family tragedy drove them apart. He also co-produced the 2010 documentary Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak.
The night before he died, he told his father that he had just secured financing for a fourth Narnia movie based on the book The Magician’s Nephew.
Moore was discovered unconscious in his home, from an apparent overdose of pain medication he was taking for knee and back problems. His father, Bill Moore, commented, “Parents are not meant to bury their children.”
20-Feb, Troy “Escalade” Jackson, age 35: the larger-than-life streetball legend apparently died in his sleep while visiting Los Angeles for the NBA All-Star Weekend. Jackson was a Jamaica, Queens native and played college basketball at Louisville, but became one of the most famous streetball players of all time with the "And 1 Mixtape Tour," a traveling basketball exhibition team he joined in 2002. He was 6’10” and 400 pounds and described by his friend Ron Naclerio as “…the gentlest giant there ever was.” (msn.foxsports.com)
21-Feb, Dwayne McDuffie, age 49: the Detroit native was a comic book writer for Marvel and DC, who founded his own publishing company, Milestone, before moving to television and animation. His comics included runs on Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, the Fantastic Four, and Justice League of America.
McDuffie also penned several animated television shows and features, including the just released All-Star Superman, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Static Shock, and Ben 10: Alien Force. He was scheduled to appear at an event at the Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles the week he died.
Damage Control, which he did for Marvel, was about a fictional company whose task it was to clean up the damage resulting from the battles between superheroes and supervillians.
At Milestone he was able to “set a new tone for using multicultural characters in the pantheon of heroes, where characters of color became part of interlocking teams."
Tom Brevort, senior vice president at Marvel said McDuffie was a force behind diversity in comics. “He was very interested in creating a wider range of multiculturalism in comics, having been profoundly affected by the example of the Black Panther when he was growing up, and wanting to give that same opportunity to others of all races, creeds, and religions, which is one of the reasons he left Marvel to create Milestone.” (Jesse Holland, Associated Press)
22-Feb, Jean Dinning, age 86: Jean wrote the song, “Teen Angel,” which was recorded by her brother Mark Dinning. The themes of love, death, and teenage angst captured the attention of a young audience and "the tune became almost mythical from the moment it was released in October of 1959."
The lyrics tell the story of a car that stalls on the railroad tracks and a young girl who goes running back to it after she’d been pulled to safety.
What was it you were looking for
that took your life that night?
They said they found my high school ring
clutched in your fingers tight.
The title of the song came from a magazine article Jean had read about juvenile delinquency. It suggested that good kids deserved a flattering name and “teen angel” came to mind.
She had half the song written when she was awakened one night, as if someone had shaken her and handed her the rest of it.
"Part of the appeal of the song is that it raises more questions than it answers: Why was the ring loose in the car? Had he just given it to her? Had it fallen off her finger? The narrator desperately wants these answers himself. 'Teen angel, teen angel,' the song ends, 'answer me, please'." (Douglas Martin article )
22-Feb, Justin Tennison, age 33: crew member on the television show, Deadliest Catch. Tennison was found dead in a motel room in Homer, Alaska.
Time Bandit Captain, Andy Hillstrand, posted a rememberance on Tennison's Facebook page, saying he was "tough as a bull and was an all-around good hand." "Justin fished commercially for many years, living in Alaska for 28 years. He worked on the Time Bandit, alongside his second cousin, Eddie Uwekoolani, Jr., serving as Engineer during the tendering seasons, and joined the Time Bandit crew as a deckhand fishing the Red King 2010 and Opilio 2011 seasons."
He would have turned 34 the following month. (Rick Porter, tv.msn.com)
24-Feb, Suze Rotolo, age 67: Bob Dylan’s girlfriend in the early 1960s. The two of them were photographed walking arm-in-arm for the cover of his album Freeh-Weelin’ Bob Dylan.
Rotolo was the muse behind many of his early love songs, including “Boots of Spanish Leather,” “Tomorrow is a Long Time,” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” The latter included the lyrics, “I once loved a woman, a child I’m told, I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul.”
In Dylan’s memoir, he described meeting her for the first time… and “the air was suddenly filled with banana leaves.”
24-Feb, Jerrold Kessel, age 65: former Jerusalem correspondent for CNN was a tireless reporter in a troubled part of the world . . . and a fan of Cricket. “A portly man with a fuzzy white beard, Kessel’s gentle appearance and warm friendly manner gave no hint of his inner intensity.” (Jonathan Mann, CNN.com)
26-Feb, Frank Buckles, age 110: America’s oldest living World War I vet also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II. Before his death, he’d been working for an official National Memorial honoring veterans of WWI in Washington D.C.
He lied about his age to join the army when he was 16 years old and had to visit a string of military recruiters: the Marine Corp turned him away after he said he was 18 because he had to be 21; a week later he went back and said he was 21, but they told him he wasn’t heavy enough. The Navy rejected him because they said he was flat-footed. An Army captain demanded a birth certificate and he responded birth certificates weren’t made in Missouri when he was born; the only record of his birth was written in the family Bible. “You don’t want me to bring the family Bible down, do you?”
26-Feb, Eugene Foder, age 60: violinist virtuoso who made headlines after earning a top prize in the 1974 International Tchaikovsky Violin Competition in Moscow and received a hero’s welcome when he returned home to Colorado. In a well-choreographed publicity stunt, his horse and his parents met him at the airport.
Foder was born in Denver and grew up on his family’s ranch. After beginning violin lessons at 5, he made his orchestral debut playing Bruch’s Violin Concert No.1 with the Denver Symphony at age 10. Eventually he studied at the Julliard School. He was rising in prominence just as the classical music industry was hoping to broaden its appeal and those in charge of Mr. Foder’s public image jumped at the opportunity.
He was swept into their way of thinking, obliging them with a publicity photo showing him astride a horse and shirtless. The media gobbled it up, calling him the Mick Jagger of the violin. In the 1980s he was arrested for breaking into a hotel room and possession of cocaine and heroine with intent to distribute. He continued to perform worldwide, but not always with the finest orchestras. Critics took him to task for what they saw as the triumph of flash over substance.
“His story is a cautionary tale of what can happen when a gifted young artist, still personally and musically immature, is turned into a global commodity for a spate of wrong reasons.” For years, Foder battled alcoholism and drug abuse. He died of cirrhosis, at his home in Arlington, Virginia.
27-Feb, Duke Snider, age 84: Baseball Hall-of-Famer who was part of the vaunted trio of New York center fielders in the 1950s, along with Willie Mays of the rival Giants and Mickey Mantle of the Yankees. The three superstars were immortalized in Terry Cashman’s song “Talkin’ Baseball” with the catchy chorus “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke."
27-Feb, Eddie Kirkland, age 87: American blues guitarist, singer, song-writer and harmonica player. Known as the “Gypsy of the Blues” for his rigorous touring schedules, he toured with John Lee Hooker from 1949 to 1962. After working in tandem with Hooker, he pursued a solo career.
Kirkland was born in Jamaica and raised in Dothan, Alabama until 1935, when he stowed away in the Sugar Girls Medicine Show tent truck and left town. Blind Blake was his greatest influence in the early days. He was placed on the chorus line with Diamond Tooth Fairy. When the show closed a year later, he was in Dunkirk, Indiana.
He joined the United States Army during World War II and after his discharge traveled to Detroit where his mother had relocated. He would spend his days working at the Ford Rouge Plant and play his guitar at house parties, which is how he met John Lee Hooker. Kirkland served as a second guitarist.
“It was difficult playin’ behind Hooker but I had a good ear and was able to move in behind him on anything he did.” He fashioned his own style of playing open chords, and transformed porch style delta blues into the electric age by using his thumb, rather than a pick."
Kirkland died in an automobile accident in Crystal River, Florida, at approximately 8:30 am after a bus hit his 1998 Ford Taurus. He was reportedly attempting to make a U-turn on U.S. 98 and Oak Park Blvd. and came in the direct path of a Greyhound bus. The bus struck his vehicle on the right side and pushed it 200 feet from the point of impact. Nobody on the bus was injured.
27-Feb, Gary Winick, age 49: American film director and producer, died of pneumonia after a long battle with brain cancer. He formed InDigEnt (Independent Digital Entertainment) in 1999 through which he produced Pieces of April and November.
In 2003 he won the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for Personal Velocity. His other productions include Tadpole, 13 Going on 30, Charlotte’s Web, and Letters to Juliet.
Jennifer Garner shared her thoughts about working with him: “Gary and I had the most successful collaboration possible. I don’t mean success in terms of box office, or from anyone else’s point of view other than my own. I left it better at what I do. He was one of the most inclusive people you could ever meet, and I was energized by our creative mess together everyday. From then on, there wasn’t a single project that I didn’t try to do with him. We had scripts written together, we developed things together. It was an ongoing and unfinished collaboration. We had several ‘next’ movies that we were about to do. We just didn’t get them done quickly enough."
“I think everybody who was a friend of Gary’s considered him one of their best friends. He had a hundred best friends. He just was unafraid of being intimate. And that spilled over into his directing. His whole company, InDigEnt, was based on trying to find a way to fold everyone in, being 100 percent invested in the movie, because they were going to profit from it if the movie was successful." Popwatch
28-Feb, Jane Russell, age 89: American actress and model and one of Hollywood’s leading sex symbols in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Her first movie, Outlaw, experienced a three year delay before its general release due to censorship over the way her cleavage was displayed.
Bob Hope introduced her as “the two and only Jane Russell” and quipped, “Culture is the ability to describe Jane Russell without moving your hands.”
A popular pin-up of her during World War II was a photo of her on a haystack. She starred opposite Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Eventually she formed a production company with her husband and they responded with Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. They also produced The King and Four Queens, Run for the Sun, and The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown.
Russell also formed a gospel group that performed against the backdrop of an orchestra, recording “Do Lord” followed by “The Magic of Believing.” In 1964 she made an appearance in Fate Is the Hunter in which she is seen as herself performing for the USO in a flashback sequence.
28-Feb, Rev. Peter Gomes, age 68: American preacher, theologian, and professor at Harvard University’s Divinity School. Regarded as one of the most distinguished preachers, in 2009 he represented Harvard University as lecturer to The University of Cambridge, England, on the occasion of its 800th anniversary.
Queen Elizabeth II appointed him to membership in The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. In 2000 he delivered The Millennial Sermon in Canterbury Cathedral, in England.
Gomes had embarked on a campaign to rebut literal and fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he was fascinated by the pilgrims. He was also gay, black, Baptist, and Republican—for most of his adult life. A DNA test shows that was related to peoples of West Africa. He’s also descended from Portuguese Jews. He prayed at President Reagan’s second inaugural and preached at the inauguration of George H.W. Bush. He also gave a sermon following the attacks of 9/11 that has remained in people’s minds.
On December 10th, 2010 he suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. He was hoping to return to the pulpit, possibly in time to give the Easter 2011 sermon. He died from a brain aneurysm and heart attack February 28th.
01-Mar, Hazel Rowley, age 59: British born Australian author and biographer; she wrote about famous people of the 20th century. She found her widest audience by examining other people’s love lives. Her account of the relationship between French intellectuals Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir as a couple who were committed to one another but led a series of secondary affairs won international attention.
Her most recent book, Franklin and Eleanor, shed light on the American political couple whose partnership endured political ambition, illness, and love affairs to become “one of the most interesting and radical marriages in history.”
In an essay written in 2007, she compared writing biographies to being in love. “Much energy and empathy goes into putting yourself into someone else’s shoes; you inevitably become obsessed.” Whenever she finished a book, she felt lost… as if it was the end of an affair.
Dr. Rowley suffered a series of strokes in February and passed away March 1st. At the time of her death, she was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She had arrived in the U.S. with a three-year visa but easily received a green card in the category of “Alien of exceptional ability.”
01-Mar, Blair River, age 29: spokesman for Heart Attack Grill where they serve Bypass Burgers and Flatliner Fries, River died of pneumonia following a bout with the flu. He weighed 575 pounds. Described as a creative genius, he was planning on being part of a promotional spot called, “Heart Attack Grill: The Musical.”
01-Mar, Leonard Lomell, age 91: World War II hero from Toms River, Lomell was the single individual other than Eisenhower most responsible for the success of D-day. He was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Point Pleasant Borough on the Jersey Shore, working summers at Jenkinson’s Beach before going away to college.
After the war broke out, he joined the Army and volunteered for the elite Ranger unit. As a 24 year-old staff sergeant and platoon leader with the Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, he was trained to scale the sheer, 100-foot-high cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. The men practiced at Fort Dix and in the mountains of Tennessee. They performed amphibious exercises in Florida. When D-Day arrived, "he was shot in the side before he even reached the beach and nearly drowned as he left the landing craft. Having to duck heavy fire, he still managed to climb hand-over-hand on ropes that were rocketed up to the top, in a nearly suicidal mission to silence a deadly coastal gun emplacement threatening the lives of thousands.”
At the top of the cliff, they discovered "the guns" that had been revealed in reconnaissance photos were really just telephone poles positioned to look like guns, so they went in search of the real thing. They found them in an apple orchard and destroyed them. (Mary Ann Spoto / The Star-Ledger, nj.com)
01-Mar, John Michael “Mike” Lounge, age 64: born in Denver, Colorado, Lounge was an American engineer, U.S. Navy officer, Vietnam War veteran, and NASA astronaut. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, he spent the next nine years in a variety of assignments. He completed flight officer training in Florida and went on to advanced training as a radar intercept officer in the F-4J Phantom II.
With NASA, he completed 3 space shuttle missions. The first mission aboard Discovery included the deployment of a communication satellite and operation of the "Remote Manipulator System".
His second mission, also aboard Discovery, was the first flight that followed the Challenger disaster in which they successfully deployed the "Tracking and Data Relay" Satellite.
His third and last flight aboard Columbia was dedicated to "astronomy with observations of the Universe" being collected by the ASTRO-1 untraviolet telescope and Broad Band X-Ray Telescope.
01-Mar, Ryan Hawks, age 25: a freeskier and part of the group called Green Mountain Freeride who were participating at the North American Freeskiing Championship. Hawks threw a back-flip off a large cliff on Kirkwood’s Cirque and crashed on landing.
On the group’s website, Hawks once wrote, “My father always said, ‘A skier carries his own skis,’ so I learned how to carry my batman skis by the age of two and have been skiing ever since. “
04-Mar, Charles Jarrott, age 83: British film and television director, best known for costume dramas, among them Anne of the Thousand Days which earned him a Golden Globe Award. Although Anne was nominated for several awards, critic Pauline Kael wrote in her book Reeling, that as a director, Jarrott had no style or personality, and that he was just “a traffic manager.”
Selected filmography includes Mary, Queen of Scots, Lost Horizon, The Dove, Escape from the Dark, The Other Side of Midnight, The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, Condorman, The Amateur, The Boy in Blue, The Secret Life of Algernon, and Turn of Faith.
04-Mar, Johnny Preston, age 71: American pop music singer. Born John Preston Courville in Port Arthur, Texas, of Cajun ancestry, he sang in high school choral contests and formed a rock and roll band called The Shades. The group was seen performing at a local club by J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.
Richardson offered Preston the chance to record the teenage tragedy song he had written, titled “Running Bear.” The song was released after the Big Bopper’s death in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. It entered the U.S. Hot 100 in October 1959, reaching number one in January 1960. It went on to become a transatlantic chart-toper, reaching #1 in the United Kingdom in March 1960.
He followed with more singles: “Cradle of Love,” “Feel So Fine,” “I’m Starting to Go Steady,” “Charming Billy,” “Free Me,” and “Leave My Kitten Alone.”
06-Mar, Jean Bartel, age 87: Miss California and Miss America 1943. At 5’8” she was the tallest pageant winner at the time. Comparisons were made between her and a popular blond actress, Carole Lombard. Bartel initially entered the pageant after learning one of the judges was W. Horace Schmidlapp, a Broadway actor and producer.
In the pageant, talent counted for 50% of the score and she thought it was a way to open doors. The tactic worked. Not only was she chosen Miss America, after a vocal performance the press hailed as a “forceful and dramatic style,” she landed a career on Broadway.
In 1943 she sold more Series E bonds than any other United States citizen. She was also the first college student to win the title of Miss America. While traveling and visiting sorority sisters around the country, she and her traveling companion developed the idea of awarding scholarships to those who competed in the Miss America Organization; it’s now the world’s largest provider of scholarships for women in the world.
In 1946, she appeared on stage in The Desert Song.
06-Mar, Mike DeStefano, age 44: Bronx born comedian, rehabilitated drug addict-turned drug and HIV/AIDs counselor, placed fourth on the NBC reality competition, Last Comic Standing, in the prior season. DeStafano died of a heart attack at his mother’s house in Throgs Neck. His uncle, Jack Callaghan, said his nephew was a good comedian, but a better person. “He helped people and that’s going to be his legacy.”
Growing up, DeStefano knocked around Throgs Neck with his three brothers. He swam at the White Cross Fishing Club off Clarence Ave. and played the class clown at St. Francis de Chantal School and Lehman High School. His mother said he was a happy-go-lucky kid that could make people laugh. She also said she was “absolutely floored” when she discovered her son’s heroin habit, which he picked up as a teen. (Daniel Beekman, NYDailyNews.com)
08-Mar, Mike Starr, age 44: American musician best known as the bassist in Alice in Chains, with whom he played from 1987 until 1993. The group originally called themselves Diamond Lie and gained attention in the Seattle area.
After changing their name to Alice in Chains and signing a record contract they enjoyed extensive success in the grunge rock movement of the early 1990s. Starr was with them for the Facelift and Dirt albums as well as the SAP EP.
He left the group, citing "a difference in priorities," while it was touring behind the album Dirt. Former singer, Layne Staley, said the others in the group wanted to continue intense touring and press, while Mike was ready to go home.
Starr himself mentioned on an episode of Celebrity Rehab that he was kicked out of the band due to his budding drug addition. The unreleased track, “Misery, Crack Pipes, and Gothic Main Lines” from this time frame allude to Starr’s drug use.
He went on to play bass for the band Sun Red Sun, which featured Ray Gillen and Bobby Rondinelli, both former members of Black Sabbath. Their project was cut short by Gillen’s death in 1993.
In 2010, Starr was featured in the third season of the VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew which documented his treatment for methadone addition at the Pasadena Recovery Center. His time in a sober living environment was then documented on the spinoff Sober House. He returned to Celebrity Rehab in the eighth episode of season four, along with fellow recovering addicts Mackenzie Phillips and Tom Sizemore, to provide testimonial to the patients. Starr marked six months and seven days of sobriety.
His former band-mates criticized the show but expressed hope that Starr would turn his life around. Sean Kinney thanked Starr, along with all other members of Alice in Chains, both past and present, with the liner notes of Alice in Chain’s album, Black Gives Way to Blue.
On February 18, 2011, Starr was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance. On March 8, 2011, police were called to a home in Salt Lake City, where they found the musician’s body.
09-Mar, David Broder, age 81: Political columnist for The Washington Post. In 1973 both Broder and The Post won Pulitzers for their coverage of the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation. He was able to communicate the fallout in a clear and compelling way.
11-Mar, Gary Wichard, age 60: Sports agent who, at least in the college ranks, was probably best known for his involvement with former UNC assistant John Blake and "that whole NCAA debacle in Chapel Hill." Wichard died after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. In the wake of UNC’s NCAA scandal, he was suspended by the NFLPA for 9 months. Federal investigators reported they plan to go through his financial records dating from 2009.
“Obviously, every man’s life can be, and often is, viewed differently depending on those who have been impacted by that person. Wichard will unfortunately be known among the college football community for being a part of one of the more significant scandals of the past year.”
“Still, our condolences and thoughts go out to Wichard’s family and friends, who I’m sure have a far different memory of him.” (Ben Kercheval, NBCsports.com)
11-Mar, Hugh Martin, age 96: American composer-songwriter died from natural causes at his home in Encinitas, according to his niece, Suzanne Hanners.
Martin and his songwriting partner, Ralph Blane, co-wrote “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Trolley Song,” and “The Boy Next Door,” for the musical Meet Me in St. Louis.
Additional songs for other film and Broadway musicals include, “Best Foot Forward,” “Make a Wish,” "High Spirits,” and “Hooray for What!”
He was nominated for Academy Awards in the category of Best Original Song in 1944, for “The Trolley Song” and in 1947 for “Pass the Peace Pipe” from Good News.
11-Mar, John Studebaker “Jack” Hardy, age 63: “The Keeper of the Flame,” an American singer, songwriter, and playwright who strongly identified with New York's Greenwich Village folk music scene.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, Hardy hosted Monday-night songwriter's circles and pasta dinners at his apartment on Houston Street (pronounced "HOW-stun"), a gathering famously open to both established artists and novices. He also began a small, informal songwriters' group at The English Pub in Greenwich Village, which later became a more formal songwriters' night at the Cornelia Street Cafe in December, 1977. This group would later evolve into the Songwriter's Exchange, releasing an album on Stash Records in 1980.
Eventually the group formed a cooperative, led by Hardy, and in 1981 took over the booking of the Speakeasy, which became a thriving venue for songwriters. Hardy was also the founder and first editor of Fast Folk Musical Magazine in 1982.
Although more popular in Europe than in his native America for much of his career, the end of the 20th Century brought a reignited interest in his music on his native shores. Hardy was a lyrical writer; his songs were political, although usually subtly so. His music was often tinged with a Celtic flavor, although his last few albums took on more of a country & western style. Both budget-conscious and disdainful of self-important artistic egos, Hardy recorded all of his albums (almost 15 of them, in a 40-years career) in the same manner: by rehearsing a small band and then recording the entire album "live to tape" in a period of 48 hours or less.
In the last few years of his life, Hardy toured with long-time friend and fellow songwriter David Massengill as a duo called the Folk Brothers.
In songwriter circles, Hardy was as well-known as a teacher and mentor as he was as an artist. When songwriters gathered at his hallowed Houston Street apartment to play their latest (and usually unfinished) work, they came to face criticism from Hardy and their gathered peers. The sessions were famous for the artistic and political conversations that flowed in them and the large number of remarkable songs that emerged from them. Jack suffered neither egos nor nerves, and when the introduction to a new song got too long and/or apologetic from a songwriter, Hardy would bark, "Shut up and sing the song."
The hundreds of songwriters who frequented Hardy's apartment gatherings over the years included names both unknown and famous. Mention of the weekly sessions made it into a number of songs by Hardy alumni, including "Jack's Crows" by John Gorka, the title song of Gorka's second album, and "Boulevardiers" by Suzanne Vega. The group was also immortalized in fictional form in Christian Bauman's 2008 novel In Hoboken, which included two chapters that took place in the Houston Street apartment, and a character named "Geoff Mason" who bore a striking (and, according to a public radio interview with Bauman, intentional) resemblance to Hardy.
While Hardy's name never achieved the level of fame as some of his cohorts, he continually built on his substantial catalog of literate, well-crafted songs.
Hardy attended college at The University of Hartford and assumed the role of editor of The News-Liberated Press. In 1969 he was arrested and convicted of libel after publishing a lewd cartoon that attacked then president, Richard Nixon. Hardy was convicted and paid a $50 fine. While the conviction was later overturned on appeal, Hardy remains the only person in the history of the United States that has ever been arrested and convicted of libeling the President of the United States.
His discography includes: "Jack Hardy," "Early and Rare," "Mirror of My Madness," "The Nameless One," "Landmark," "White Shoes," "The Collected Works of Jack Hardy/Part I, Volumes 1 - 5," "The Cauldron," "The Hunter," "Retrospective," "Through," "Two of Swords," "Civil Wars," "Songs of Jack Hardy(tribute)/Volume One: Of the White Goddess," "The Collected Works of Jack Hardy/Part II, Volumes 6 - 10," "The Passing," "Omens," "Bandolier," "Coin of the Realm: Songs for the New American Century," "The Tinker's Coin - Celtic Anthology," "Noir," and "Rye Grass."
Hardy was predeceased by a brother, Jeff, who played bass in Jack's band and appeared on many of his recordings. Jeff Hardy, who worked as a chef for a financial services firm located in the World Trade Center, died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
11-Mar, Frank Neuhauser, age 97: in 1925 he won the first U.S. national spelling bee with the word “gladiolus.” Neuhauser was 11 years old at the time. His prizes included $500 in gold and a trip to the White House to meet President Calvin Coolidge.
Gemstone Connection: Gladiolus are known as the "sword lily" for the shape of its leaves. The English used the gladiolus stem base as a poultice and for drawing out thorns and splinters. In the movie Leap Year, while Anna and Declan are standing on the shore of a lake she tells him she knows who he is. He's a beast; a beast in pain. Like a lion with a thorn in his paw.
Neuhauser won the spelling bee the same year the Sabian Symbols—word phrases—were given to each of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac.
In 2011, March 11th was the day Japan was rocked by a 9.0 earthquake at 5:46 a.m. UT which corresponds to the exact time it was in Tucson when Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept 11th, 2001. The Chinese woman who was nursing the baby that appeared in the Sabian Symbols on 9/11/2001 returned in the Sabian Symbols of 3/11/2011 as a Child and a Chinese Servant:
Sun Pisces 21: A Little White Lamb, A Child and A Chinese Servant
Moon Gemini 1: A Glass-Bottomed Boat Reveals Undersea Wonders
The tsunami that followed Japan's earthquake not only ravaged local coastal areas, waves sped across the Pacific Ocean, sweeping over portions of Midway Atoll—the world's largest albatross sanctuary—where an estimate of 110,000 albatross chicks and 2,000 adult birds were killed.
The good news is that Wisdom, a 60-year-old Laysan Albatross who is the world's oldest documented wild bird and lives in the sanctuary, was seen feeding her chick 9 days later. Wisdom survived because she'd built her nest further inland and on higher ground.
Midway Atoll is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, though not officially belonging to Hawaii. Early 19th century visitors were often castaway crews of large sailing vessels whose survivors would build small huts on the treeless islands and wait for passing ships.
During World War II, Midway became a major military base and was attacked twice. The first occurred on December 7th, 1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the second became the pivotal Battle of Midway six months later, which turned the tide of the War in America's favor.
The wreck of the USS Macaw, a Chanticleer-class 250-foot submarine rescue vessel lost in 1944, marks the site of historic wartime events. The submarine ran aground while trying to salvage the USS Flier. Three weeks later the Macaw capsized and was swept into deeper waters during a fierce storm.
During the Cold War Era, Midway served as the staging point for defensive air patrols along the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line. As satellites were put more and more into use for observation, the strategic naval base was turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be managed as a National Wildlife Refuge. A massive cleanup was undertaken to remove tons of debris, leaky fuel tanks, lead paint, as well as rats. Source
It's worth noting that it was May 1st in the United States when the death of Osama bin Laden was announced. May 1st is known as May Day, originally a Celtic or pagan celebration which has taken on numerous meanings. However from another observation point the word "mayday" is a distress call used by people in trouble at sea or in flight, similar to dialing 9-1-1 on land. The events of 9/11 include radio contact from Captain Jason Dahl on United Flight 93, yelling "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" To which an air traffic controller responded, "Somebody call Cleveland?"
"Chanticleer" is the name given to roosters, which are known for announcing the arrival of a new day. As mentioned earlier, the rooster's crow in the movie Leap Year repeated a significant detail of a story found in the New Testament, however the denials that occurred, according to the Master Storyteller's perspective, have been directed toward God himself.
"Macaw" is also the name of a bird, which is sometimes referred to as the New World parrot. And as a reminder, the Sabian Symbol of the Moon the moment at which all trains in Madrid were stopped out of fear on 3/11/2004, was 19 Scorpio, "A Parrot Listening and Then Talking, Repeats a Conversation He Has Overheard."
The sunken Macaw now takes on prophetic meaning: at the dawn of the New World, "the parrots" may well find themselves joining bin Laden in the depths of his watery grave. We can add this notion to details we've already acquired, particularly the detail of strata that drops to the floor that was acted out in The Family Stone.
The list of people who have died and their details continues . . . Click to Keep Reading
Photo by "cowfish" obtained from www.flickr.com - Use of the photo does not imply endorsement of this blog.