Jan Merlin: Statuesque Among the Stars, 1925-2019

  Jan with his Emmy Award!

My co-author and most important literary collaborator has gone from this world.

Jan Merlin might be recognizable to a generation or two of film and TV fans as the villain who populated a hundred TV shows. He made movies with Ann Sheridan, George C. Scott, and Woody Allen. He starred in two 1950s TV series, The Rough Riders—and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, with Frankie Thomas.

A veteran of the Navy in World War II, Jan went from the military during the big war to the Neighborhood Playhouse where he learned the craft of acting, though he had many talents. He always thought his acting fame was a lesser role. He was always the antagonist to some western star, or some dubious military man.

Yet, despite playing dastardly villains almost constantly, with his Aryan looks (Polish American out of New York City), he was a genteel man with a sense of art and brilliantly self-educated. Like a generation of those who were never able to attend college, he more than made up for it with a dozen books to his credit. He loved fiction—drawing  upon his movie background, or his experiences in Japan after the war.

Together we did a half-dozen books of which I am most proud. We did only one work of fiction, The Paid Companion of J. Wilkes Booth. Most of our Hollywood history tales were based on his insider knowledge of how a set work, from knowing nearly every star of the 1950s and 1960s. He laughed they were all “six feet tall,” no matter what the truth might be.

We wrote about Boys Town, Billy Budd, Reflections in a Golden Eye, among other films, giving a unique perspective on daily life during the studio shoot. He knew Brando, Taylor, Clift, James Dean, in ways that others could never understand. He threw James Dean out of the Pier Angeli house at her mother’s request.

When we did not write books together, he gave me editorial and research insights for my books on James Kirkwood and Audie Murphy. Oh, he knew them too.

Now he is gone, irreplaceable in my life and in Hollywood history, with all those insights and memories. He had stories he would not tell about the damaged figures of show business. He took those secrets with him, as much as I wanted to hear them. He was loyal to the memory of the business he loved and hated.

Once I called it ‘Tinseltown’, and he reprimanded me: it was a cherished professional location, not a frivolous tabloid fantasy to him. He introduced me as his “son” on occasion, which amused me–and made movie star Frankie Thomas look at me with quite an impression.

Goodbye, dear Jan. I am so lucky to have known you and to have worked with you. I have been left a treasure trove of his life, and maybe one day I will tell what he told me. He was my touchstone to a bygone era and glorious movie history.

Forgiving Dr.Mengele???

DATELINE: Shocker from Holocaust Survivor

 Preaching Forgiveness Eva Kor

We have to admit the moment we saw the title for this documentary about Mengele at Auschwitz, we were baffled and shocked. What kind of Nazi propaganda was this? It turns out the film is told from the viewpoint of Eva Kor, a survivor twin of the Mengele experiments. Her story makes a compelling version of Forgiving Dr. Mengele.

Her idea to forgive (not forget) the people who harmed her has infuriated other twin survivors—and Jews in general. She argues that their anger and hatred are destructive to themselves and their own healing.

She meets with a Nazi doctor—and she writes him a letter of forgiveness. They go to Auschwitz together, elderly and frail, holding onto each other. It is startling.

What a tale she has to tell. And, if she forgives the evil Nazi doctor, we want to hear why she has come to this conclusion.

From 2006, this film is brilliantly cut, swirling back and forth between modern Terre Haute with its placid environs, and the horror of black and white footage. Eva, now a realtor, walks along a luxury pool that turns into a puddle she walks around when she visited the camp in 1984.

She is survivor in every way. As a ten-year old child, she saw her first dead body in the dirt, unattended and naked, and she swore she would never give up life. Each day she willed herself to live through horrid experiments and deplorable conditions.

Fortunately, she was rescued in ten months—though she and her twin were damaged by the trauma, as expected. Once arriving at her destination, her mother was ripped away—and she never saw father and sisters again. Only she and her twin sister were together: saved for Mengele’s dastard medical plans.

When the Soviets freed her camp, she and her sister were the first two to march out of the barbed wire on film, a famous piece of celluloid.

Her life in America came after she married another Holocaust survivor. They raised three typical American children in the heartland of America—but she never leaves food on her plate and sleeps with her purse under her. These are holdovers from losing everything.

When she tackles forgiveness, she becomes a lightning rod in Israel, Germany, and the United States.

She and her husband subscribe to the notion that you can only transcend such a life-altering horror by forgiving the enemies who tormented you. It works for her, and she is a hard-working, admirable woman who laughed when they said she could not sell real estate because she had an accent.

What a remarkable person.

 

 

A Tale of Two Titanic Survivors

DATELINE: Never Told Story?

Emilio Portaluppi.    &     Charles Joughlin

One of the segments of the recent TV series UnXplained featured the mysterious survival story of Charles Joughlin, the chief baker on the Titanic. It went so far as to suggest that supernatural forces were at work when it came to this man’s miraculous escape from death.

The story of Joughlin was made famous, or infamous, on the movie A Night to Rememberwhen notable character actor George Rose played him for comic relief. When he discovered the ship was sinking, baker Joughlin started drinking heavily and was totally drunk as the ship went under.

He spent his last minutes aboard ship, in his chef’s white smock, throwing objects into the ocean for those in the cold water to hold as buoyant rafts. He himself went into the frigid waters that killed people after ten minutes. Only he did not die.

After a short time in the North Atlantic among chunks of ice, he was pulled aboard the lifeboat of Officer Lighttoller and lived.

How miraculous was that?

Not quite as amazing as the story of Emilio Portaluppi, a second-class passenger who lived in Milford, New Hampshire, and worked there as a stonemason. He too was tossed into the ocean as Titanic sank, and he too survived being in the frigid waters that killed so many so quickly. Yet, his story has not really been told.

What’s the difference?

Perhaps, the key ingredient was nationality: Joughlin could readily speak to journalists and told a tale that bemused even other survivors. Portaluppi was an Italian immigrant who moved to Milford, New Hampshire, likely spoke poor English and returned to a small New England town and lived unobtrusively for years. No movie character ever depicted his intriguing story.

Joughlin was older by eight years, and he was in his mid-30s, married with two children, when he was chief baker on the White Star Lines. Portaluppi had no listed famiy in America. In fact, he was on a holiday in Italy to see his parents when he booked passage on Titanic in France to return to America.

Both men lived years after Titanic became folklore, but Joughlin was British and managed to find his tale in Walter Lord’s famous book, A Night to Remember.Portaluppi, by that time, had left New Hampshire to work in Brooklyn for a contracting company. Though Joughlin died in the 1950s, Portaluppi lived until 1974—and was available to talk to anyone interested in Titanic.

Apparently, he never did. The few news stories about him seem to offer details and dismissive skepticism. He said he was in the water for about two to four hours, and he floated among dead bodies until a rescue vessel came by after dawn and found him. He was one of four still alive in the waters. This superseded Joughlin by many hours!

How did Portaluppi survive the hypothermia? There are no tales of his drunkenness being the root cause. The officer who led the rescue claimed he never spoke to those whom he saved, and they never spoke to him even after being fished out of the water. No thanks, and no explanations. One could presume they were half-dead, in shock, and perhaps Portaluppi knew little enough English.

Thus, Portaluppi’s tale was truly supernatural, but for over fifty years, he lived quietly, even as films were made and TV specials passed him by. Perhaps he blacked out and did not recall what happened. Perhaps he suffered from post-traumatic syndrome and never wanted to discuss it. He went into a kind of seclusion usually afforded New Yorkers like Greta Garbo. He was in the biggest metropolis of media for 35 years, and when he died, his body was sent to Italy for burial.

You mean no journalist found a story here worth telling?

Patrick Swayze Remembered!

DATELINE: Gone 10 Years!

 I am Patrick Swayze!

Has the Dirty Dancing Ghost star been gone for ten years?

The documentary put together by those who loved him (wife, brother, costars, friends, agents) is powerful its use of one word: “heart.” It seems to crop up regularly from a variety of people. He had it and he gave it.

The film description said he “challenged Hollywood’s notion of masculinity,” which perplexed us, as he seemed instead to epitomize it. He could play a cowboy, a dancer, a roadhouse thug, in action films where he did his own stunts. He was vibrant, and only handsome incidentally. He was an athlete or a ballet dancer, and from that root came everything else. This is one of a series of biographical films, this called I am Patrick Swayze.

His mother was the ultimate stage mother: she ran a Texas ballet school, and it was obvious Patrick Swayze would be part of that world. Knee reconstruction from football injuries put him in pain whenever he did those roles thereafter.

He did not want to be a teen idol, though his roller blading was stunning, and his dirty dancing made him internationally famous.

Friends talk of his soul of a poet, how well-rounded in arts he was. Rob Lowe and C. Thomas Howell were teammates, rivals, and friends, from the Coppola movie The Outsiders. He costars noted he was mild and dynamic at the same time.

We always found him watchable and curious about what he might do: sometimes he took on roles that did not interest everyone, but he was his own man in that regard. Then, he was sick with pancreatic cancer and gone abruptly. It now appears to be a grave injustice of the universe to take away a person who epitomized life.

He wanted to prove there was life beyond being a sex symbol, which led him to do sky-diving stunts in Point Break and brutal fight scenes. He was not wanted for one of his great roles, in Ghost.The director had to be convinced, but Patrick Swayze always convinced anyone who put his attentions on.

Like the proverbial meteor, he came, shined by in the firmament, and went away. Like many others, after seeing this film of his life, we miss him too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump’s Mantra: “Off with their heads!”

DATELINE: Trump as Queen of Heartless

If you remember your literature, you know it was the queen of Hearts that constantly solved all royal court problems by shouting, “Off with their heads.”

It’s now the mantra of the Trump administration.

If you cross the President, he wants you fired. There’s nothing new in this as he made it his tagline on TV where he starred as a buffoon in an American business satire.

Now he has taken the royal pledge of vindication to new heights, or depths. He has now started to emulate the Queen of Hearts, sending out his Mad Hatter, Wilbur Ross, secretary of commerce, to threaten to fire weathermen for saying a hurricane is not imminent.

Imagine! You are fired for doing your job. “Off with their heads,” and their paychecks. It is nothing new under the rainy reign of Trump.

Thousands of Bahamians have lost everything in Hurricane Dorian that nearly missed Alabama, but Trump won’t give them aid or assistance. They have lost their passports, and now he wants their heads on a silver platter. Let them die in misery is his motto.

“Off with their heads,” we expect that slogan to echo through his campaign rallies to come. Political opponents? Off with their heads! Musicians wives? Off with their heads! Media journalists? Off with their heads.

We can hardly wait for the worm to turn, and have the Congress vote for impeachment while shouting, “Off with his head!” That would make us a wonderland of a banana republic, which seems to be Trump’s fondest wish.

Halston: Fashionista with Un-Common Touch

DATELINE: Clothes Make the Woman

 Halston, Taylor, Minelli at Studio 54!

Fashion designer extraordinaire, Halston was part of a generation that self-immolated by 1990. Most of them were gone: trend-setting, pop culture icons:  notably Halston (he only needed one name, like Liberace). A fascinating documentary aptly named Halstontells the tale.

The 1950s gave young talents like Halston and Warhol a youthful connection to fame, but it was by the 1960s they took charge of their lives. Halston was a gypsy of America, living in no true fixed abode. So, he was likely to be self-made.

He was ambitious and flamboyant, ready to take his energy and ideas into all kinds of creative realms. He was the pioneer who made Europe take note of American fashion, though he was later given rivals like Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein.

Halston tried to stay ahead of the curve, branching out into aesthetics like perfume with bottles as arty as popular. He melded movies and fashion together, finding that his association with people like Liza Minelli and Elizabeth Taylor were ways to grow socially and artfully.

It started to go wrong when he splurged into Studio 54 with Warhol, Capote, and the raft of disco dollies. It was, some said, the beginning of a dissolution.

The documentary never says much about his aging, but it’s there: clearly losing youth to something harder. He became as hard as his looks, or perhaps his looks took on his personality: moody, bossy, self-centered.  It wasn’t pretty, when he started to be less pretty.

Others thought his greed was the deciding factor that led to his destruction: he sold out to J.C. Penney, going from class to mass appeal. It alienated his well-to-do friends and undermined his name. He actually sold his own name, and lost control of it.

The end featured more intrigue that Ancient Rome, as he was pushed out (literally locked out) of his own empire by locksmiths and Playtex bra people who bought his name. A few thought it was drugs that did him in, if not promiscuity.

It was the 1980s and the deadly virus that swept through art circles in theatre, fashion, music, especially in New York, took him too. Andy Warhol once said that he’d want Halston and Elizabeth Taylor as his chums because they were so nice.

This celebrity name-dropping documentary may stir memories in a generation grown old. Halston was loved by many people who felt he epitomized tragedy by the end.

 

 

 

 

UnXplained Ends Too Soon?

 DATELINE:  Shatner Show Sort of Ends…

 Survivor Mysteries!

For the first batch of the UnXplained series, Shatner hosted a bunch of tales of survival and unusual, perhaps supernatural, abilities that caused people to overcome the worst odds. Now, the most extraordinary of these survival oments came when a commercial interrupted the series, and William Shatner himself promised us that the series is not done, after all, and will return “soon.”

Such a threat actually became a delight.

The series brought its limited run to another intriguing close with an episode that again brought disparate episodes into a kind of cohesive pattern.

We saw a six-year old boy, lost in wilderness, who walked 18 miles overnight to find a road to safety. He felt something was following him: coyotes, or something else. How he chose to make the right turns is something inexplicable all right. But he did it.

One of the hosts ofAncient Aliens recounted his boyhood experience, also unusual, when time stood still and he was able to rescue a 13-year old friend from going over a waterfall to certain death.

Another tale, close to our heart and chilling to our personal experience, related to a Titanic survivor, one of the bakers, whose story is often recounted in movies as an episode that many would call fictionalized. The wonderful scenes are from A Night to Remember!

Yet, the baker who was soused, inebriated, managed to survive in below freezing water for two hours when most others who fell into the Atlantic died, of hypothermia, in ten minutes.How did it happen? Why? No one can explain.

There was the tale of the man whose parachute did not open, and he fell three mile—defying all physical laws to end up with a broken spine (that also miraculously healed) and he was able to walk away from what should have been sure death.

And, one of the other tales told a weird, extra-sensory experience about a British woman, Clare Henry, whose avoidance of a foggy car crash that should have killed her was owed to a casual friend who had recently died in a car crash.

Yes, that friend was Princess Diana who appeared before Clare and directed her to pull off the road before she would have been killed in multi-car pileup.

 

The moments gathered together all featured some rising above physical laws and physics to areas of puzzling survival. There are hints of guardian angels and directive spirits, protective forces, and other dimensions, yet as some of the experts note:  these things have not been studied by science enough to figure out if there are forces in the universe that transcend our world.

 

Yes, we want old bill Shatner’s show to return.

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Monarch

DATELINE: Birth & Rebirth

Seasons come and go, and so does life. We were surprised to see a late season chrysalis on the nearby tree. We waited for the inevitable cycle of birth and transformation. The beautiful green cocoon with its threaded gold leaf like a zipper held firm in the wind.

And so we waited for the inevitable blackness to befall it.

 

Usually within 24 to 48 hours after turning black, the chrysalis will start to crack open like an egg, and the inside beauty shall emerge—depending on weather and dryness. But it was chilly lately, the end of a coolish summer.

   Our last vision was of the Monarch flying south for the winter, heading for Mexico, perhaps, as long as ICE did not stop him at border!

Dorian Blows Trump’s Mind!

DATELINE: Hard Blow to Blowhard

With Hurricane Dorian threatening the United States, we have had political opportunist Trump leading the charge to show his humanitarianism. Talk about fake news!

After denigrating the hurricane when it seemed about to hit Puerto Rico, he charged the political hacks of the island had willed the storm to hit them. Of course, it veered away, and so did Trump’s inane and malicious comments.

Now we expect Trump to request that a nuke be dropped into the eye of the hurricane—but only when it reaches Baltimore.

Next, Dorian was poised to hit Trump’s beloved Winter White House, the former Post estate, now labeled his golf course of choice.

This gave the President an opportunity to wax eloquent about the great people in Florida for whom he cared so much—especially since he needs the state and its voters for re-election.

Cynics may charge that his concern for the “average voter” corresponds to self-interest. That might be unfair until the Imbecile-in-Chief held a press conference and announced that Dorian was going to put the great Trump state of Alabama in harm’s way.

This caused some widespread consternation among meteorologists: the storm is nowhere near Alabama, but its voters are on the pea-brain of Trump. He was corrected about his geographic idiocy, but he managed to repeat the wrong assertion again later in the day’s tweets. He is, at best, slow on the uptake.

If that is not enough to roil your storm warnings, Trump said that he had never heard of a Category 5 hurricane before this week. However, enterprising reporters uncovered a half-dozen times he said the same thing over the past three years.

It seems you cannot teach an old dog much of anything.

Our Worst Fears about Gronk

DATELINE: Water on the Brain?

Gronk (retired New England Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowsky) gave a rather humorless presser the other day in which he made some fairly peculiar statements in layman terms.

He alarmed us greatly when he began to talk about liquids in his brain, caused by football injury.

In his own simplistic way, he may have spoken about a hideous condition that surely means he would be mad to return to football. He discussed the ways you may recover and find some balm for the body and mind after the cruel sado-masochism of playing a game that makes jousting in armor appear to be civilized.

Gronk used terms that reminded us of the old phrase, “water on the brian.” You don’t hear it much anymore. It was a misleading term about spinal fluids unable to flow out of the head region. Doctors mght have called it “hydroencephalus” many decades ago.

Today it might better be explained in terms of concussion sysdrome: that repeated brain injury that has led former players to die too young, too suffer too much, to kill themselves, and to become violent shadows of their pleasant selves.

We think of former Patriot Junior Seau. Some players have donated their brains to research. It is frightful.

Gronk admitted that his brain injuries have given him mood swings already. He is not yet 30. If anyone wants to encourage him to return to the place that is already making his future a nightmare, they are greedy, mindless fans of a bloodsport.

We hope it is still early enough for full recovery for Gronk, though we fear that damage to the brain has been done and even in healing there will be scars, both mental and physical.

Liquids in his head and water on the brain, the end product of hydroencephus or concussions, is the horror no one in the NFL wants to face directly. Yes, they are men paid handsomely for the privilege of being media stars and marvels of physical heroism.

The price, we fear, may be far more devastating. It might make young stars like Gronk a shadow on the Moon, like a werewolf or cursed creature of night.

We do not think his simple declaration about strange liquids in his head should be dismissed as a childlike and preposterous notion. It is deadly.

 

Time to Cancel the Trump Show!

DATELINE:  Limited Series Ratings Down

Donald Trump once infamously said that he wanted each day of his presidency to be like a TV series episode. The Trump Show is not Another World, or even As the World Turns. It is stomach-turning overkill.

What fat old soap star failed to understand, among a million misunderstood points, is that even a soap opera is only on for five days per week, and it usually moves at a snail’s pace. The main characters may not appear every day. Trump violated his own comprehension of what his White House should be.

Even Dallas or Dynasty was on only for twenty weeks of the year—and then took a hiatus. It built toward a stunning climax. It did not try to create a climax each day. That is bad plotting, as Casca and Cassius might tell Brutus.

It certainly is what any decent soap writer would tell the notorious bed bug hotelier.

Trump’s show has no co-stars and no one receives a good bit of dialogue. Woe to them who ad lib, because they will find themselves out of the series post haste. Just ask Mattis, Scaramucci, Spicer, and Sessions. 

If the villain wins in an episode, Trump must put on a superhero outfit and damn the Kryptonite of collusion.

Even the good wife (or wives as it were) must be a Stepford robot, unable to speak out that she never met people he says she adores. And, most of the women are like J.R. Ewing castoffs: blondes who don’t cut it more than a guest episode or two.

You might yearn for the episode that asks who shot J.R.? You won’t find it in the Trump teleplay. He’s the one who can go out on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone (likely a black Baltimorian) and get away with murder.

He can lock up children like Richard III and not ask for a horse to help him get away. 

We do expect the forces of the empire to all turn against him in the final page of this bad show—much like they did to Laurence Olivier when he played that Son of York: chopped liver would be too good for Trump.

Quantum Physics & Paranormal

DATELINE: Orbs of Travel

One of the post-séance images in the library. A white smudge, quite large, likely a sphere with a diameter of several feet sat atop a cushion on the bench next to the chess table.

 

If there is any new scientific breakthroughs, it is in the field of quantum physics that have direct bearing on the issues of ghosts, orbs, divining rods, and electro-magnetic energy of light.

What is happening in this field may revolutionize the superstitious concepts around the idea that people who have died are in another dimension—or some kind of creature that represents them are.

Quantum physics may be about to take the para out of paranormal and remove the super from supernatural. Already the concept of a séance has been called “remote viewing,” and may also be regulated by laws of relativity only hinted at by visionary scientists like Einstein.

Government and private groups studying “remote viewing” have already discerned that orbs seem to be devices that travel around dimensions of the universe, including crossovers from a parallel time and place. They have called the creatures or beings within orbs “Pp” or a designation abbreviation for para-people.

One basis for the science now proposed is a principle that is called quantum “entanglement.” This condition indicates that two particles can be linked—regardless of their position in the universe or out of it. This is a connection between two items that illustrates a change in one particle in the universe may be seen in another no matter how far away it stays or goes.

This entangled pair makes it possible to know a great deal about the unseen particle from the one that is visible and within observable universe. If it sounds like a medium and the connected spirit, there is surely more than metaphor at work.

As a result of this pairing, a quantum radar device may be able to see what is happening out of sight by watching the captive item. This will provide radar with new, richer, deeper information. In some ways, the notion of such radar can be seen in the parallel of a remote viewer watching an event in the distant past, or in the distance of geography.

This new quantum radar in development will focus on photons—electro-magnetic light energy. The result of this new process can reveal much more knowledge about the unseen than all other radars have provided.

In today’s radar process, the targets are blobs, masses, or ill-defined orbs. Quantum radar will be able to see altitudes, conditions, and even passengers, and other physical aspects in what is a featureless blob of energy. It can be applied to technological mysteries like UFOs, or even to supernatural mysteries like spirit orbs.

The purpose of quantum radar will be to identify signals and other electro-magnetic characteristics that emanate from the orb target.

If the science of sighting orbs is applied to quantum physics, will there be an admission that these are actual objects that can be studied as part of the laws of the universe?

In some ways, we have already proven today with sensitive infrared cameras and electronic audio devices that something is afoot in the universe, perhaps from another “fifth” dimension, not a fantasy of “sixth” sense.

Since studying this phenomenon, the author in his contact with orbs has become more convinced that conscious orbs are an actual and natural situation outside our limited and primitive explanations of the cosmos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Act of Life: Terrence McNally

DATELINE: Surviving Show Business

 Terry McNally & Eddie Albee back when….

In all my connections to Broadway writers, Terrence McNally never came up much.

Now James Kirkwood would talk about everyone in show biz! We gossiped about them all. Yet, there is no memory of him mentioning McNally.

Oh, they knew of each other: gay writers winning friends in great theater. Kirkwood certainly knew Edward Albee who was McNally’s first important boyfriend, but McNally may have been too openly gay for Jim Kirkwood. It’s the only conclusion to make.

Every Act of Lifeis a documentary on the life of McNally who worked with every actor imaginable since the death of Jim Kirkwood in 1989, and that may be the survival of your reputation in show business. Richard Thomas, Nathan Lane, Rita Moreno, F. Murray Abraham, Angela Lansbury, all share memories of their careers and personal ties to McNally and his funny and varied plays.

All Jim’s closest actor friends, like Sal Mineo, are long gone. One young writer once said to me: “Wow, I didn’t think any of Kirkwood’s friends were still alive.”

McNally survived, though people like Robert Drivas, his tempestuous and exotic actor boyfriend after Albee, died of AIDS in 1985 in the first wave of notable show business deaths. Drivas was a closet case, and yet it was open and flamboyant McNally who still lives nearly forty years later.

There is no accounting for survival, but you have to admire it when it shows up at your door. The film on the life of McNally is likely a tonic and a fizz for gay people who need superior role models. If you die too soon, you can’t be much of a mentor. If Jim Kirkwood were here, I might say you should never have told me to write your autobiography and play coy about your gay life. Yet, he did.

McNally, had I known him, would never have said such a thing, but those plays and characters never quite grabbed like Jim Kirkwood’s creations.

Oh, it’s too late now to do much about it, but we can celebrate the life of Terrence McNally, albeit a tad on the late side.

 

Dr. William Russo wrote Riding James Kirkwood’s Pony, available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.

Cousy Loses Mettle over Medal

DATELINE: Tarnished Hero with Feats of Clay

 Chump or Champ with Cousy?

On a night when when usually are talking about Ancient Aliens, we find ourselves facing a true abduction crisis and missing time. It seems that Boston Celtics legend, Bob Cousy, has been taken prisoner to the White House, turned back the clock to the years before the Civil Rights movement, and now he has become the voice of white racist America in the Oval Office.

Yes, Bob Cousy who reconciled whatever differences he had with fellow NBA legend Bill Russell has rekindled the fires.

He received a pat on the back from the President he most admires apparently in his lifetime. What happened to the Celtic legend?

Well, his Jesuit roots of Holy Cross conservatism emerged. Perhaps you can write him off as the aging hero outliving his standards of integrity. Growing old does not always mean you die of Alzheimer’s. Sometimes you simply become the epitome of everything you lived through and fought against.

Time makes us all doddering fools and blithering idiots. You can outlive your usefulness and your own personal values. It’s called betrayal by younger idealists, but it is far more powerful than that.

Cousy once teamed with Tommy Heinsohn on the parquet floor of the Boston Garden, and they were both brilliant and talented men beyond the game that made them famous. One season in retirement years they were even teamed up as fellow commentators for a season of Celtics games on TV. It was extraordinary to behold.

When they grew furious with each other, now and then, they simply called each other, “Thomas,” and “Robert.”

We wonder if Tom has started calling his friend of lifelong years, “Robert.” We know that William Russell may be doing so, if he is even speaking to his one-time nemesis in the locker room. Time wounds all heels and we have an Achilles heel ripped  apart by the President Medal of Freedom. 

Perhaps Couz showed his mettle by doing and saying whatever needed to receive his Medal. 

He stood next to a man who wants to give himself the Congressional Medal of Honor. Heaven help our old heroes from their blithering end of days.

King of the What?

DATELINE: Jesus Express to Penthouse?

 A Wailing Wall!

There was a time in history when it was not a politically smart move to be called The King of the Jews. It could end your career, but Donald Trump is delighted to be given the title by a Jewish supporter: there is no word yet whether this guy is a Pharisee, or just an idiot.

Jesus found the title a little onerous when the governor of a local province took issue with it.

As for Trump, he has no worries that King Herod or his son Herod Antipas (no, not antipasto) will take umbrage. Trump thinks his political opponents are the antipastos.

 Herod, as you may recall from your history, murdered the Innocents, killing newborn babies. Trump merely puts kids in dog cages and denies them flu shots. How many die is yet to be determined.

Herod Antipas was the womanizer who like young girls, like Trump’s dear friend Jeffrey Epstein: you may recall that Antipas asked pre-adolescent Salome to dance without her seven veils—and then gave her the head of Barrack Obama, or someone like that.

So, the latest king of Israel would rather be a kingpin in Greenland where he denies he would build a gaudy skyscraper along the glaciers. He has even cancelled talks with Denmark because Erik the Red wanted Trump towers all over his island; sort of a thousand year old Green Plan.

We thought there was a law against American presidents accepting foreign titles of royalty, but no matter when it comes to Trump: he may not be president much longer if the insanity clause of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution is invoked.

Any Jew who votes Democratic is a traitor to God and Country if you hear the King of Jews in his latest tirade. Bernie Sanders, son of a Jewish immigrant, takes issue with the comment that all Jews who vote against Trump ought to be shot at sunrise by white supremacists.

Jesus denied he was King of the Jews, but Trump is not having any second thoughts. He revels in the notion that he can walk on water and change Greenland’s ice water into gold.