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May 2019
Lawrenzi, Jr.

The City Slicker

Crystal's track record as a performer was amazing. He starred in the hugely successful When Harry Met Sally, along with dozens of other films and was a success as a standup comedian in Las Vegas and around the U.S. He had appeared as a guest on game shows and had been a hit on the “Johnny Carson Show.”

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Polio and the Movies

Not addressing the treatment of polio and the frantic search for a vaccine in the years in which it was so rampant and so frightening, to me is like cranking out a slew of movies during the early 1940s and hardly mentioning World War II.

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Perhaps the most striking drama I can recall involving polio as a plot element was not a movie, but an episode in the old Loretta Young Show on television, called “Earthquake,” originally aired in October 1953.

April 2019
Sam's Side

My Age-old Musical Madness

I imagined him thinking, “What’s this old guy doing listening to this? Shouldn’t you be buying a Don Ho record somewhere?” But again, with a red face I persevered because I liked what I heard and wanted more.

Just Sayin’

Front Page Flash: Snowgirls and a Western Flyer Sled

What do we miss when we “save time” by computer shopping or quickly reading digital news? Could it be that while we are staring at our iPad, phones, and computers, we missed a delicate snowflake falling to the ground below?

Levine's Levity

Why Do I Plan to Attend My 50th Reunion? Let Me Count the Reasons

Our class’s aggregate consciousness will dig up memories of all the old shop signs of Newton Center in the 1950s and ’60. This means that we will see GARB DRUG where the CVS sign is today. We will remember – instead of CVS’s goldfish crackers and caramel-based Turtle’s candy – GARB’S offerings of real goldfish and pre-salmonella-days pet turtles.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Easter Noir – Dead Reckoning

One last image of a billowing parachute in the blackness is seen, carrying the weird juxtaposed themes of afterlife, parachuting, guilt and punishment, but oddly without of any suggestion of redemption, which would be all we need to tie up the Easter message. But this is where the noir finally kicks in: there is no redemption in film noir, just settling scores.


To EPCOT and Back to the Fair

EPCOT's space ride couldn't duplicate the fascination and wonder I felt when I saw on television American astronauts stand on the moon. The ride into the future had been done weekly on television's "The Jetsons,” and advertiser sponsors' logos were reminiscent of the World's Fair. I guess I expected to be transported into magic not media.   

March 2019
Lawrenzi, Jr.

Wearing Nothing but a Smile

There was a building up ahead on the left and I decided to stop and ask directions.  I pulled the VW to a stop and hurried into the building, leaving the engine running. An attractive young woman was seated behind a desk. She was wearing nothing but a baseball cap and a smile.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Alice Faye’s on the Phone: Hello, Frisco, Hello

Alice Faye sings on the telephone a song of long-distance love and longing to which every pair of lovers during the years of World War II could relate. The scene became instantly modern, an incandescent moment forever linked more to the 1940s than to the turn of the 20th century.

Vintage Vibes

April Fool’s Bull

In one of those sudden, creative inspirations that April 1st seems to bring out in me, I impulsively said, “I’m so glad you called because something’s wrong with T-Bone (the bull’s oh- so-original name). He’s lying out in the pasture with his feet up in the air, and hasn’t moved for an hour.”

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