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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Writer's Life 6/20 - Slants

The Supreme Court voted 8-0 to allow Asian-American rock band The Slants to keep its name, which some find offensive, a victory for common sense.

I came across a new term in today's NY Post: Triparenting, which is when a child has three legal parents. Do I hear four? How 'bout five?

RIP comedian Bill Dana, who in the '50's & '60's had folks laughing through his character, a Latino of limited English. His tagline, offered whenever he was confused by a question, was imitated countless times: "My name .... Jose Jimenez." I remember a sketch when he wore a baseball uniform. The interviewer, who I believe was Steve Allen, asked something like: "What do you throw when Mickey Mantle comes to bat?" And Jimenez replied: "When Mickey Mantle comes to bat ------- I throw up." He had an eponymous sitcom, which shot 42 episodes, and had 22 credits as a writer, including the famous meeting of Archie Bunker and Sammy Davis Jr. on All in the Family. These days his act would probably be deemed offensive by the thin-skinned. Thank you, sir.

I woke at 2:30 AM and immediately realized my mind was on a negative jag. Knowing I wouldn't get back to sleep, I turned on the TV, which always helps in that situation. At one point while channel surfing, I chuckled as I spotted Hollywood stalwart Gale Gordon, whose specialty was curmudgeonly characters. I looked him up at IMDb. There are only 46 titles listed under his name, but he was a regular on many series. He did 130 episodes as Eve Arden's foil on Our Miss Brooks, 44 of Dennis the Menace as the replacement Mr. Wilson when Joseph Kearns passed away, 111 of The Lucy Show, 140 of Here's Lucy, and 13 of Life with Lucy, as well as multiple appearances on other sitcoms. In the 1930s he wrote two books: Nursery Rhymes For Hollywood Babes, co-authored with Gloria Gordon, who I assume was his sister, and Leaves From Story Trees, two one-act plays. He was married to wife Virginia from 1937-'95, when she passed away. He followed her a month or so later. He was 89. Kudos, sir.

The NY Mets have been struggling mightily this season, so things did not bode well last night when they faced Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw, perhaps the best pitcher of his generation. They hit four home runs, the first time the superstar has allowed that many in a game. Alas, they'd fallen into a 0-7 hole, and lost 6-10. Kershaw got the win and is now 10-2, ERA only 2.61 despite last night's uncharacteristically weak performance. The game was especially notable for the accomplishments of rookie Cody Bellinger, who has split time in leftfield and at firstbase for LA. He socked two homers, bringing his total to 21 in his first 51 major league games. That betters the mark of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who had 20 in the same span last year.

I hadn't seen two of my best customers for months - and both showed up today and bought a bunch of books. My thanks to Jimmy, who took a lot of weight off my hands, and to Kinesha, who wheeled along the new edition to her family, a beautiful baby boy. As usual she selected an eclectic mix, including Billionths of a Lifetime. My thanks also to Ira and Arlene, who purchased three books between them, and to Tanya, who donated four, including a collection of Saul Bellow's short stories. And to top it off, Red Berries Special K and Wild Cherry Pepsi were on sale at CVS.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

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