Week before last your were lamenting about not being able to find a post card that "Ed Byrnes" had signed. I to have been searching for a photo. One taken at the 1990 LHS Class reunion, of those of us who attended Pulaski Pike Elementary School back in the 1957-58 School year. Well, I found it and as you can see, we had a pretty distinguished 5th grade class. Also found my personnel class photo in the envelope where I had these photo's from the re-union stored.
Can't help but look at Judy Scarborough and remember that cold winter morning when my dog Corky chased after our school bus after I had gotten on. I kept yelling for him to go back home and he kept chasing after the bus. We had to cross memorial parkway during rush hour traffic to get to the other side of Lakewood. I was scared to death he would be hit by a car and by this time crying and hollering out the window at my dog. When the bus stopped to pickup Judy, I got off the bus and ran to my dog who was by this time about to drop from exhaustion. Judy's mother felt so sorry for me and the dog she told the bus driver she would bring me to school, after taking my dog back home. I was so grateful to Judy's motherand have never forgotten that incident or that dog for that matter. That will be 57 years ago come this fall.
Memphis, TN - Hope all is well with you folks this week. I've been busy working around the house doing some things I have been putting off. Sill working on my new book and still watching www.vacationstogo.com each week to see if there are any cheap cruises coming my way. I booked a cruise for next year already with Sue and I planning to cruise from New Orleans to Boston on a repositioning cruise. Later this summer Sue and I will fly to Denver and then take the California Zephyr train to San Diego. It is a belated birthday present from Sue.
Wife of Stephen Fussell
Aug. 24, 1954 - June 23, 2014
Carla Fussell of Huntsville left this life Monday June 22, 2014 at home surrounded by loving family. Carla was a loving mother, grandmother, wife, friend, dedicated nurse and follower of Christ. Survivors include her husband Stephen Fussell, daughter Kristen Eaves, son Stephen Scott Fussell Jr. and wife Raven; in-laws William and Alma Fussell; sisters Deborah Springer (Don), Vicki Beaver (Buddy); brother Tommy Patton (Charlotte); four grandchildren, Sydney Elise Fussell, Lainey Claire Fussell, Greyson Mitchell Eaves, Mary Elizabeth Fussell, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. A Celebration of her Life will be held at 2:00PM, Saturday June 28, 2014 at Cornerstone Community Church, 8100 Whitesburg Drive, Huntsville, AL. Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to Cornerstone Church, or the charity of one's own choosing. Berryhill Funeral Home is assisting the family.
TV Westerns of the 50s and 60s
"Wanted Dead or Alive"
The Western series "Wanted: Dead or Alive" starred a young Steve McQueen as bounty hunter Josh Randall. It was a black-and-white half-hour series that ran on CBS for 3 seasons, 1958-1961, producing 94 episodes. Steve McQueen, who was only 28 years old when the series began, became the first television star to cross over to comparable success on the big screen. Action roles in films during the 1960s and 1970s earned him the nickname "King of Cool."
The character Josh Randall is a Confederate veteran and bounty hunter with a soft heart, often donating his earnings to the needy and helping his prisoners if they have been wrongly accused. During the 1960 season, Randall had a sidekick named Jason Nichols (Wright King), a former deputy sheriff turned bounty hunter. Like many cowboy sidekicks, the two shared a brotherly chemistry that audiences enjoyed.
In December 1987 Four Star International colorized "Wanted: Dead of Alive", making it the first vintage TV series to be completely colorized. Also in 1987, New World Pictures adapted the series into a low-budget ($4.5 million) feature film starring Rutger Hauer as a bounty hunter searching for terrorists. In 2009, Mill Creek Entertainment acquired rights to the series and released an 11-disc box featuring all 94 episodes on DVD for the first time.
TV Trivia Questions:
1) Josh Randall carried a special sidearm; describe it. It also had a special name; what was it?
2) In 1959, Steve McQueen co-starred with Yul Brynner in "The Magnificent Seven," his first big-screen triumph. Can you name the actors who played the other five?
3) In the same film, what actor played the villain? (Hint: he just died this past week at age 98)
4) In 1986, "Wanted: Dead or Alive" became a hit song, reaching #7 on Billboard's Top 100 chart. Who performed it? Can you name the album in which it first appeared?
Answers to last week's "The Rifleman" trivia questions:
1) Born Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors to am immigrant Catholic family in Newfoundland, Canada, growing up in Brooklyn, the nickname Chuck arose from his habit of playing first base and repeatedly chattering to the pitcher: "Come on Baby, chuck it to me, chuck it to me." In addition to first base, he also often appeared as a pinch-hitter. A natural righty, at the plate he was a switch-hitter. Chuck Person, the Auburn basketball star who played in the NBA, was named for him.
2) In "The Rifleman" Lucas McCain's wife, and mother of Mark, had died of smallpox, of which there were many point-source outbreaks in the 19th Century, and for which there is still no anti-viral treatment. Because of the success of vaccines, the last known "wild" case of smallpox was in 1977, prompting The World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the world free of smallpox. In about 1985 there were a couple of cases in Level 4 lab technicians who got careless, much e recent Anthrax accident. There are only two known places on earth where Vaccinia (the live virus) is known to exist: the CDC here in Atlanta, and Moscow. After 9/11, I served as Medical Director of Biological Warfare and Bioterrorism for Promina Healthcare Systems, then an alliance of 14 hospitals in Metro Atlanta. Because the CDC headquarters are located here, Atlanta was considered to be high on the list of cities at risk for terrorist attacks. Sorry if I have digressed from "The Rifleman" but as an Infectious Disease Specialist, this is a subject close to my heart.
3) In a breakthrough episode (for the times) titled "2 Ounces of Tin" the major character was played by perhaps the first African-American to appear in a significant role in a TV Western series, one Sammy Davis, Jr.
Reflections on The Rifleman
I give John Drummond another tip of my Stetson for his research and interesting article on what became my favorite TV western, The Rifleman. As John recounts, by the time the show appeared in 1958 most of us were veteran tv western watchers, and producers needed to come up with a new approach to capture viewers. With The Rifleman, Americans got their usual ration of fire-power but also a new theme, the story of a widowed father as a mentor, a guide to life and a moral education. It wasn't just about the varieties of frontier justice; the show was about a teen becoming a good man--something that many of us fellows might have been concerned about then.
Consider the authority of the title: The Rifleman. It conjures up the lore and the myths of the Old West all by itself in an imposing fashion. He's an abstract, larger-than-life figure.
The rifle, ah, the rifle. Surely it was the weapon of TV westerns. Only Steve McQueen's "Mare's Leg" Winchester in Wanted: Dead or Alive came close in mechanical ingenuity, but he didn't fire the thunderbolts of Zeus that Lucas McCain did. By the time the show came out, I was almost thirteen, too old to play childish western adventures, but I wanted one of those rifles. My younger brother, Gunter, got one for his birthday or Christmas, so I had my fun, too.
Final comment: my son is named Lucas.
John's questions: 1). Connors played first base. 2).Even though John gave us a good clue, I was not able to remember what killed McCain's wife. 3). Sammy Davis Jr. was the black actor in "2 Ounces of Tin."
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Four Seasons
Paula Spencer Kephart Smith
When I was at UNA, then Florence State University, Patty Pagano, Cindy Powell, and I went to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in concert. The university had a concert once a year and in 1967, I believe, we went to that concert. Several others from our class also attended: Pam Grooms, Toni Ivey, and many boys who went to LHS also attended. The concert was crowded in a small coliseum, but was very good and we loved it, needless to say. Bought albums, which many still have, I'm sure. Memories still are fresh in my mind, though not as clear as I'd like them to be. Believe it was still cool weather, but was warm inside because of the large crowd and we were so excited to have a popular group come to our little corner of the world. We didn't get too many big groups in such a small place, but were glad when we did and talked about it forever. Am sure the people I mentioned remember this. I know I do and am glad I attended…was fun, music great, memories live on…What more can we ask for? Thanks for reminding us about this group!!! Liked their music. Always upbeat…
I remember "Sherry "when the song came out my girlfriend was Sherry Pontious, she moved the following summer to Cape Canerveral.
Subject: Calvin Brown
R.W. Smith, Atty
Looking for Calvin Brown..he graduated 1969…any idea how to locate?
Sherry to me was Sherry Stanley who was related to Elvis through another wife of Vernon's. That video was great. They were playing live and singing into an overhead boom mic. These kids today could never sound that good that way.
Subject: The Rifleman
The "Rifleman" site at www.therifleman.net shows all of the rifleman episodes, and will allow the viewing of most of them.