Miguel Dieppo: Memoirs of a Penitent Heart

DATELINE: A Lost Generation  

You may never find a more flattering sense of duty and obligation than to have a niece who barely remembered you as a child make a documentary of your life 30 years later. The little documentary is called Memoirs of a Penitent Heart.

Cecilia Aldarnondo was on a mission. Only after making her film did she seem to have second thoughts about letting the dead stay dead. She uncovered more than the tragic death of an uncle who passed away from AIDS during the height of the epidemic.

She tracked down his lover, a former priest who spent twelve years with the young Puerto Rican transplant to New York. They might have been an odd couple, but the family of Michael had no use for him, never followed up on his whereabouts, or even his name. It was for a niece to dredge it all up: to discover an old man who still carried the flame for his lost lover.

Father Bob had saved everything; the love of one’s life is like that.

 

What Cecilia discovers is the fanaticism of religion and how it set up terrible and irreconcilable conflicts between mother and son’s lover. She even tells him on his death bed to remove the friendship ring or he will be denied entrance to heaven.

The director sticks it to her own mother for abandoning her brother Miguel. No one is spared from the hook.

This is a personal film, showing conflicts between gay and straight, between living la vida locain Puerto Rican and immigrating to New York. It shows the genetic horror of learning about a parent’s own sexual secrets.

The film may seem irrelevant if you are not a Catholic, a Puerto Rican, gay, or even promiscuous. Yet, it is relevant and it is moving. The past is always with us, ever changing—and the future is immutable. It’s called irony.

 

Hitler Steals the Beetle

DATELINE: Ganz & Losses 

 Photo of Hitler by Ganz.

Joseph Ganz never received the credit he deserved: as a Jew in Hitler’s 1930s Germany, he had his ideas stolen and barely escaped with his life.

Born in Vienna at the turn of the century, he likely walked the same streets in pre-World War I as Hitler. Both served in the German army, and Jew Ganz believed in his homeland, perhaps he was naïve.

By the 1920s he was a happy, creative engineer. As this documentary gathers together two young researchers: one a German journalist and the other a Ganz descendant. They share a love of the Beetle auto and a fascination with Ganz’s genius.

By 1923, Ganz became editor of an automobile magazine and advocated cars for the people. IN Europe of the age, cars were Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche, made for the elite. He wanted an economical car for the people.

Ganz studied car accidents, chasing them down, concluding where they tipped over, what broke or was inadequate. He incorporated all his findings into creating a small, lightweight car. He wanted an economical and streamlined.

His design and prototype model is clearly recognizable as a Volkswagen. It impressed Mercedes and BMW to hire him as a technical consultant. By 1932 his star was rising, but it may have been a fool’s world of success. He took on the rising Nazi who has libeled him in one of their magazines. He sued and won: it did not endear him after he won the lawsuit.

Hitler took power in 1933 and ordered a German car show in Berlin. He admired Ganz’s people’s car, and in fact, Ganz took photos of Hitler looking at the prototype. By March of 1934, he was fired by BMW, under government orders, and his name was erased from documents.

Hitler gave the ideas to Porsche who suddenly was designing Ganz’s Volkswagen. Ganz was arrested and held for a month. Upon release, he left for Switzerland and never returned to Germany.

How he ended up living in Australia after 1951 is both sad and infuriating. He saw his car start to become an icon of the hippie generation—and help Germany recover its post-war economy.  This documentary by Suzanne Raes is impressive.

 

 

 

 

Exoplanets, The Next Gold Rush?

DATELINE: Intelligent Life Comes to Earth

Dr. Kaku

Ancient Aliens takes a turn toward Ancestry.coml and, and we may need to take a cheeky swab from one of those little gray space aliens. It may be the only way to find out whether he is one of our distant cousins.

Yes, our favorite show is wrapping up the bottom of the barrel of ideas. This time it takes aim at those exoplanets that have been “discovered” by astronomers over the past decade. Can that exoplanet millions of light years away be our future home?

With the discovery of the Goldilocks Zone, there are now thought to be 400 billion exoplanets at the minimum. A couple of hundred years ago, you’d be burned at the stake for saying such.

Of course, Ancient Aliens admits that intelligent life forms may be limited: there are likely just one-cell things out there. And, intelligent life may have been civilizations that have risen and fallen millions of years ago.

Proxima B is a gem of rock and similarity habitable. They expect photos will be coming soon. It’s only 4 light years away. You won’t be getting there anytime soon. Michio Kaku is no kookoo, but he thinks we are going soon.

Yet, the fact is that Earth is not unique—and visitors likely have arrived here at some point, especially if they were forced out by a Supernova in their galaxy.

Interstellar space time may be the journey of a worm through a hole. Send a robot instead. But, why would the visitors come here? It’s not exactly paradise, but you are seeing a distant past when you look up to the stars. We might be attractive if your sun is dying.

However, we end up with Nibiru—a planet that may come by every 3600 years, making it a skip and hop to Earth every few thousand years. Planet X may be our home away from home. The Sumerians thought so. And those folks came here for the gold, which came from asteroids.

And a gold rush to the asteroid belt might be in the offing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Montgomery Clift

DATELINE: Extraordinary Film

The man who turned down the lead in Sunset Boulevard and East of Eden made it possible for other stars to have their great moments. Montgomery Clift played down his refusal to do those films, but we think he would have reached latitudes and heights later denied to him.

Monty Clift’s nephew Robert has made a biographical film documentary to correct decades of misinformation and misjudgments. It is better late than never and tries to address the legend that he was a self-hating, self-destructive homosexual.

The charges against Clift, salacious and mean-spirited, may have been vestiges of homophobia he constantly encountered, even from sadistic directors like John Huston (our late friend Jan Merlin who made List of Adrian Messenger with Huston confirmed this—and we have been dunned for saying it).

Robert Clift interviews those still around so many decades later—like Jack Larson (Superman’s Jimmy Olson) and his mother Eleanor Clift. They report Monty was a funny creative man with a giving personality. He was an actor and used life experiences all the time in his art.

Brooks Clift, Monty’s brother, collected and kept everything about his brother to the point of obsession and taped conversations. Yet, it was he who was duped into providing info that would disparage the man he most loved and admired in life.

Robert Clift is to be highly commended for sorting through all this data to give us a more balanced, kindest view. Robert was born long after his uncle died, and he does not have the benefit of a personal relationship. Yet, the trove of collectibles, never seen or heard, provide insights that might only come from sitting down with Monty.

Most people looked at his later performances as biography, not art. He loved being alive and enjoyed being artistic, but it was a world of cruelties and harsh realities.

This is a brilliant work, worth your time and should send you scurrying for any Montgomery Clift movie you can find.

Closer and Closer on Oak Island

DATELINE: Muddy Waters

 Magical 13 Branches?

For the seventh season, we feel more and more that it is just like many of the previous seasons—except results now are becoming more compelling.

Digging in the swamp has now proven a wooden shaft or structure that is man-made. By whom? That remains the constant conundrum.

Several other factors give us our déjà vu moment, again and again. This time they are talking about a bladder coffer dam to hold back sediment. It seems like the fourth season again.

Lagina Nephew Peter Fornetti remains omnipresent and omni-silent. But Alex Lagina is now speaking more forcefully, like a true star of the show.

If there is a striking element here, it is the rise of the second bananas over seven seasons: these individuals now sit regular at the big discussion table. They are integral to the search: Paul Troutman, Laird Nivens, Doug Crowell, Gary Drayton, and now the overweight big man of the bulldozers, Billy. Each has earned a following among fans.

However, the bobby dazzler himself, Gary Drayton continues to be the mover and shaker of all discoveries. This week is not unusual. He locates on the west side of the island some kind of brooch: a leaf on coils of rope. He contends it is quite old and was a rich soldier’s bauble, perhaps a uniform pin.

Once cleaned up, it proves to have 13 branches on the fern: but is more like the tree on George Washington’s flag. It is a Masonic and Templar symbol. It may have been the symbol of the American Revolution that wanted to bring Nova Scotia into the original colonies of the United States.

Carbon dating is more frequently turning up dates in the 1700s, often parallel to the American Revolution. It hints that Oak Island may have more to do with the Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin and ties to the French allies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Failed Memory Blows Over Ancient Aliens

DATELINE: Fox News & Ancient Aliens Fail Us! 

 Fake Interview?

As the latest series arc comes to its covenant with space darlings, we return to the U.S. Navy and a government coverup. “Countdown to Disclosure” featured Fox News Tucker Carlson interviewing Trump who dismissed the idea, claiming he never heard about it.

Nick Pope did not do his homework, nor did Tucker Carlson: Donald Trump’s uncle was one of the driving forces behind government secrecy, having confiscated the Tesla papers after the great scientist died.

Tucker Carlson is a believer. Nick Pope interviews him about his Trump interview. It is peeling an onion. Carlson, one of Trump’s biggest defenders, claimed he did not think Trump was telling the truth on this!

According to the famous series, this line of questioning proves that the ridicule associated with the topic is fading.

The public wants serious answers.

Now we hear that the US government is prepping the public to ready the truth. This will undercut shock and panic.The new reality is that pilots can report unknown aircraft with impunity.

We hear again that the movie industry and TV has been exposing the viewers to extra-terrestrials and their reality. Again, Ancient Aliens contends there is a shadow government—and it seems to be coming undone. The counter-intelligence started years ago, creating a massive denial policy.

Continued discredit programs seemed to be developed to stop whistleblowers like Bob Lazar. This policy is traced back to a 1960 Brookings Institute report, which may be out of date, but still stands as the foundation of government policy.

So, what is the reason for secrecy? The government does not want to transform the economic systems of Earth if UFOs gve the world new technology. Billionaires would suffer, and owners of the planet would lose their fortunes.

Several nations, like Chile and Belgium, are moving toward disclosure—but they are under tremendous influence from the United States to withhold aid and permission. Ancient Aliens believes that privatization of the space explorers like Musk and Branson makes disclosure inevitable.

They seem to forget Trump’s uncle John of the CIA was one of the architects of keeping big secrets to protect money interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hindenburg Revisited

DATELINE: Disaster Cause

That marvelous PBS series, Secrets of the Dead, has a streaming episode called What Happened to the Hindenburg!

It takes a refreshing new look at the blame game that for sixty years or more has dismissed hydrogen as the culprit. Not only was the gas made to be considered unsafe, it ended the short reign of the airship, Zeppelin balloons, as a form of luxury transportation.

Most of us know the pompous and unprofessional radio broadcast that lamented the “humanity” of a disaster, but this documentary is far more horrific in giving us the details, and far more credible than the 1975 movie with George C. Scott and the Nazi conspiracy notion.

It certainly didn’t help the German mode of transportation in the years before the World War that it was a favorite project of Adolph Hitler. In fact, the Hindenburg was almost christened the Hitler, after the mad dictator. It was a ship that was an air version of Titanic, but with 35 deaths and fewer than 100 passengers, it measured up in microcosm.

Only years later when NASA used hydrogen in its space shuttle launches did a scientist named Dr. Addison Bain decide to take his free time to the archives. There, he found the dismissal of sabotage and the scapegoat of hydrogen somewhat unlike his own professional study of the gas.

When he began to investigate the conspiracy theories dismissed and the faulty investigation, partly the lack of sophistication in the era, that he saw new possibilities.

His clever detective work discovered the airship was painted with a highly flammable concoction that was an ingredient of solid rocket fuel! Powdered aluminum: Bingo!

Once again, the PBS series gives us something special in merging good science techniques with intelligent documentary filmmaking.

 

 

 

 

 

Storming of Area 51 Non-event!

DATELINE: Ancient Aliens Self-Congratulations!

 He’s Back!

Ripping an episode of Ancient Aliens from the headlines of this past summer, the series went for Storming of Area 51, the media and Internet viral event of 2019.

As an alleged joke, Matty Roberts posted a call to arms on Facebook, demanding a generation of Millenials gather together and demand to see the whites of the alien eyes.

What was supposed to reach a few friends quickly became a sensation that caught up a million people in its vent. They would come to Rachel, Nevada and prepare to put a mob on the grounds of Area 51.

As you might expect, Ancient Aliens wants to take credit for the new generation of protest, but it also wants to be careful not to upset authorities too. It makes for an interesting tightrope walk.

With a deranged government threatening to bomb a large mob of Americans demanding to see their tax dollars at work, it became clear that secrecy is not dead—and something big must be hidden at Area 51 for the military to threaten to kill protestors as terrorists.

As its wont, Ancient Aliens gave us a history of the Groom Lake site. It was selected by the original researcher who brought us Lockheed and Skunk Works: Kelly Johnson in 1955 scouted the place and oversaw the operations. For 20 years there was no acknowledgement of what was there.

Word seeped out that there was an official top-secret weapons site and an unofficial aliens and reverse engineering location.

From. here it was a short jump to bolster the credibility of whistleblower Bob Lazar—and they come up with corroboration of his veracity.  There is also a paranoid leap to indicate the government is out of control, lying to us for 100 years, and up to no good with mistrust.

Lazar’s rehab by the Aliens show poetic justice.

On the one hand, they want to expose the truth. And on the other hand, they do not want to kill their viewers. The Area 51 storm subsided with restraint in the summer of 2019.

But a sea level change may have occurred: a new generation may not tolerate the coverup much longer.

 

 

 

 

In Search of… Nazi Loot

 DATELINE: Nazi Mysteries

 Remote Nazi Hunter?

Whether the History Channel take sus to the Philippines to look for lost gold of World War II, or if Bob Barr is chasing the legend of Adolph Hitler, or whether we are back in Germany to uncover the stolen cash and jewels of Nazis, we are hooked.

Now, the high-powered antennae of this top-drawer series is going to give us the scoop. Only about half the Nazi gold and treasures was ever recovered after the war. Some thought minor pilfering by American soldiers took off shavings, but the vast amount has simply been taken in the style of an inside job.

There is no rehash here in the world of rehash mysteries on TV. We give credit again to this marvelous series for their original research and new insights into old problems.

While Quinto himself does not go diving or climbing into tunnels, there are a battery of experts in Europe to oversee the search for sunken supersonic U-boats, a stolen room (not its contents, but the room itself), and the ubiquitous piles of gold bullion.

Showing the elaborate Nazi tunnel system is tantamount to finding the Knights Templar technology: how on earth did they have time to build this stuff while fighting a war? Slave labor jumps to mind.

Quinto points out that the Nazi crimes included kidnapping the best minds to do their research, pilfering every art collection, and other untold secrets. In all, the show estimates billions in today’s estimate has never been recovered.

You begin to wonder where Gary Drayton is with his knack for finding treasures!

The show also finds a submarine that left Germany on the day before the war ended: its cargo is unknown, but laws designate the U-boat is a gravesite that cannot be explored inside. So, if it held gold, artwork or the body of Adolph Hitler, it is not for today.

Nevertheless, this remains the single-most and most consistent of History’s mystery shows.

 

 

Cores De-Valued on Oak Island

DATELINE: Digging and Drilling Continues, Season 7

 Not a Sledge!

 

If boring down again seems familiar, this time it is in the notorious swamp where no boredom is deep. If you seem to have a sense of deju vuall over again, we can understand it. Between the recaps that dominate the series almost three or four times per show, we are now re-enacting the re-enactments.

That’s not to say the Curse of Oak Island is not compelling! Though Marty Lagina seems to use the same expressions repeatedly, they are applied to different situations. He just makes it feel like we are re-living a previous episode.

They are now in the swamp, drilling down, to use a phrase for those irksome Matty Blake specials on the topic. What first hits them is the expensive floating drill machine, boring into some unknown hard substance,

The core samples are all clay, of varying hardness and dryness. However, that is not their goal: they want to find the wood of a Spanish galleon. Well, it does nto seem to be cooperating.

They move the floating feast of drill bores to another spot and again strike a waterproofing capstone. A rock formation appears to be there to keep out the water. Once again they may have struck pay-dirt without knowing why.

In the meantime, on a second Western front, ground penetrating radar finds a tunnel system on a part of the island that has not been explored.

 What?

You mean there are areas that have not been dug up. It is a revelation to viewers after six full seasons. Yes, there are tunnels where you don’t expect them, and a fresh faced geologist tells them their swamp is not prehistoric, but only in the range of 300 years old.

Fortunately Gary Drayton is still on the job and he locates what looks like primitive sledgehammer heads: two of them in close proximity. He claims they are quite old. His assessments are now regarded with less skepticism than in previous years. We have noticed the absence of Jack Begley, and the unannounced appearance of Peter Frenetti, another nephew this week.

Bring on a new fresh face: Carmen Legge, the local blacksmith historian who has delivered all the good news for two years. Now he is on set in the War Room: he has made the cut.

And, now he tells them their sledgehammer heads are actually tunnel sharpening devices that date back to the 1400s.

Who needs a Spanish galleon when the ground is like a mole’s delight: filled with tunnels everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Travel Back Centuries on Oak Island!

DATELINE: Gary Drayton Finds Another Gem!

  Two Islands Become Merged!

Curses aside, is it the year we finally hit paydirt? You need two hours for the first episode of the new season.

The seventh season premiere of The Curse of Oak Island is highly anticipated if only because of those promos that are promising the treasure steps to nirvana.

You could say everything is ship-shaped to begin the new year. There is a 200’ long ship apparently buried in the swamp. And, even more interesting, there is a road or wharf made of stone next to it.

The swamp now appears to be man-made and artificial for sure.

Yet, it is the team of Gary Drayton and Alex Lagina who find more beachfront artifacts. They had already been a team and good workers on the other gold digger show about the lost Civil War treasure.

Now they go out to a rocky locale to discover a spike of sorts. Once again, Drayton is the key and his uncanny insights date the item as quite old, despite not having any corrosion. He also finds a silver button, clearly belonging to someone of wealth or importance.

This stuff must go to more specific experts. A conservator is brought in to clean up the button

And, the old spike is brought to an expert who looks it over and sees it is used for stone carving, back in the 1300s. Of course, a tool made then could be used for hundreds of years.  Blacksmithing expert in Nova Scotia thinks it was a stonemason tool.  We are talking Templar and freemason connections. Again.

Had they found the actual tool that carved the infamous 90’ stone that led to the original search for the treasure?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Mountain of Martinique

DATELINE: Trouble in Paradise

Rubble and bodies, after pyroclastic flow!

In May of 1902 was, perhaps, the most devastating and bizarre volcanic explosion ever known in world history. On a paradise of pleasure in the Caribbean, the entire town of Saint-Pierre was wiped out in 3 minutes.

Only one man survived, and he was in a prison cell with walls over a meter thick. He was found 4 days later with terrible burns. There had been a shock wave first that raced through the town before pyroclastic gas choked victims.

People died of burns, with their clothes fully intact. It was bizarre.

Thirty thousand people died hideously in place:  no lava, no ash buried them: they died from gas flows of 1000 degrees that rushed down the volcano. Some people burned up and fell down on Sunday morning, attending church on a holy day to end Carnaval season.

Some people blew apart from inside their bodies: it was a pyroclastic flow, relatively unknown back then. This was not your classic volcano out of Hollywood special effects. It was more like Dante’s Inferno.

For weeks there had been cannon-fire explosions, lightning storms, and the officials of the town refused to order an evacuation.

Back then, Mont Pelee was considered the “debonair” volcano: placid, sleeping, and seldom doing much damage apart from the horrid smell of rotten eggs that permeated the area.

When Mont Pelee awoke, it killed everything in eight square miles. It must be a haunted area.

This documentary even features actual photos and movie newsreel from that May of 1902. It was considered divine punishment for the revels and immorality of the week before when Mardi Gras outrages included lifting up the skirt of a statue of the Blessed Virgin.

If you want to see a disaster that has been little documented, listen to expert volcanologist Mark Davis as he relates the devastation. A fascinating and horrific hour depicting three minutes of hell.

 

 

 

Disaster on the Bay: 1906 Quake

DATELINE: California Nightmare

 All $ Burned UP!

Not another documentary on the San Fran earthquake that features “never before seen” footage? The San Francisco Earthquake and Firestays clear of re-enactors, and for that we are grateful in an age of stand-ins who are emoting history with guesses of human reaction.

If Trump had been president back then, he would have refused to send military assistance and accused the state of mismanagement. Actually, the worst mistakes were made by the US Army.

We suspect ancient footage you have never seen is never before seen by a few. Perhaps you are one of them. The still -pictures are spectacular and assembled with effectiveness.

As for this little documentary, it is distinctive and rather clever in its use of old photos. It seems to us that we have seen better, longer, film footage, but the still pictures here are stunningly collected.

We have a gripe, as usual, because many early film clips could easily be from 1920 or 1925, not 1906. There is no identification placed on where and when the pictures show old trains, old buildings, streets, etc. It could be the city on the bay, but it could be somewhere else.

The timeframe of four days is played out, starting first with marvelous pictures of the night before the quake, featuring Enrico Caruso and the opera company that was a social and artistic event of note. Caruso survived the quake, but the company’s set and costumes were totally destroyed.

Caruso vowed never to return to the stronghold of faults. He never did.

Since everything burned in a misguided and incompetent attempt to handle fire without water, the biggest info loss occurred with money, insurance papers, stocks, and other tangible assets lost in flames. You not only lost an identity of birth certificates, but your financial evidence of wealth.

Much time is spent on the horrible conditions for Chinatown and the Chinese who were victims of Nativists with their Exclusion Acts.

The quake montage of one full minute, with an overlay from a seismograph is nicely done, original, and gives a real-time experience as the pictures shake more and fly by at breakneck pace.

It is a director’s tour de force, but the rest of the documentary does not hold up to the bravura moments of the actual quake depiction.

Narration is almost purple in its prose and prosaic in its tenor, not exactly Hearst journalism. Yet, for novices to the historical tragedy, this film is a worthy entry in the pantheon.

Food of the Gods: Yum-Yum, Eatum Up!

DATELINE:  Blood to Let?

  Platter splatter?

Whether you consider the menu of godly appetizers to be forbidden fruit, Ancient Aliens offered us a repast of great delectable items.

Yes, our favorite show about those ancient space creatures who fiddled with our DNA has turned our stomachs upside down with the apple of knowledge.

Forget Jennie Craig, dieters. “The Food of the Gods” is what you need on your shopping list.

Forget salt. Aliens apparently have an aversion to salt, and when one contactee provided the CIA and Project Blue Book with a cracker a generous alien provided, it was salt-free.

Can you make manna on your Cuisinart? Or do the crackers of aliens fall from heaven? When the episode begins to suggest that blood-drained animal mutilation is tied into immortality, you begin to see ET as a new variation on Dracula. Swallow hard, Adam’s apple.

Yes, ambrosia is some kind of fluid or food that helps you travel for centuries on space craft. Eating it on earth helped Adam, Moses, and Noah, live to be about 1000 years old. So, Ancient Aliens is hot on the trail of the magic elixir.

Yes, aliens farm blood out of Homo sapiens. Yes, we have no bananas.

It isn’t long to jump to trans-substantiation or making the blood of Jesus out of wine. It would appear that ancient aliens need this stuff—and it is what will sustain humankind when they venture out into space

The problem with the series is that it often forgets its previous findings. Yes, there is a supply of blood to be let by abducted people, but the aliens originally came to Earth for its gold deposits.

There is your ambrosia, manna, wine of gods, soma, and all the rest on Gilligan’s Planet.

 

Oak Island’s Cutting Room Floor!

DATELINE: What You Missed Over Six Seasons

 Old Friends Meet at Nursing Home! 

The final “special” Oak Island pre-season show may be the most intriguing and interesting of all. This one billed itself as 25 moments you have not seen because they are the clips that never made it into the series.

That makes it fresh and revealing. We suspect that it may be the Gary Drayton show, as he was the one who found so much and knew instantly what it meant. His vast knowledge of archeology transcends scholars easily. So, we were prepared to find 25 moments of Drayton.

Alas, the episode quickly devolves into the antics of the Lagina Brothers, to remind us that the second bananas are not your stars.

Some of the incidents relate to tragedy, such as interviews with the son of a rescue worker who witnessed the deaths of the Restall father and son. There is also a visit with one of Dan Blankenship’s coworkers, and all of these were deemed not worthy of viewership during the series. So, we are happy that they are now included in the official record.

You may well wonder who decided not to show the moment they learned one of the bits of human bone 160 feet below ground belonged to a woman. You may also find exasperating when they find evidence that someone was chained to a post in one of the tunnels.

Bad news and unpleasant truths are avoided by series, and not to show the two black descendants of Samuel Ball’s visit to the island is puzzling.

In a lighter vein, there is the omission of Dan Blankenship’s 95thbirthday party! It was something that should be assembled in a biographical tribute to the man they praise not enough.

It certainly ended these pre-season specials on the highest note.