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Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Writer's Life 5/8 - Yeoman

Last night MeTV, channel 33 on Cablevision in NYC, ran Calling Dr. Death (1943) on its Svengoolie program, a goofy, endearing celebration of old horror films and Hollywood trivia. Lon Chaney turned in one of his tortured character performances. The director's name was completely unfamiliar, which led me to his page at IMDb. Reginald Le Borg was born in Austria-Hungary, now Austria. His family lost its fortune in the stock market crash of '29. He worked in regional theater for a while, then found his way to Hollywood, where he accumulated 90 credits at the helm. He began directing music shorts in the 1930's, went on to B movies, and spent the last part of his career in television. He made a couple of appearances as an actor and wrote five screenplays (three shorts, two full length). His most notable work is The Mummy's Ghost (1944). He also did seven films in the Joe Palooka series. His career spanned from 1934-1974. He was one on Tinseltown's unsung yeoman. Here's a quote attributed to him: "It was an atrocious script, and a silly idea anyway. But, again, I was under contract. If I had refused it, I would have been suspended without pay, and I wouldn't have gotten anything good anymore. You had to play ball with the front office."

I've often mentioned my fascination with the wonders that occur in MLB, where 30 teams play a 162-game schedule plus playoffs. Last night in San Diego, the NY Mets portly pitching wonder, Bartolo Colon, 42, became the oldest player to have ever hit his first big league homer. Before the blast, he was a career .089 hitter in 225 at-bats, striking out 119 times. When he reached the dugout, he found it empty, his teammates' pranking him. And who is the oldest player to have ever hit a homer in the major leagues? Julio Franco at 48.

And on the eighth day the gloom lifted and the sun reappeared -- and it was good. My thanks to the old-timer who bought thrillers by Scott Turow and Robert Ludlum, the only sales of today's session of the floating book shop.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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