August 19th, 2020

storyteller doll

Catch-up Part 1

Celebrity Death Watch: Charles Evers was the mayor of Fayette, Mississippi and brother of Medgar. Joan Feynman was an astrophysicist who did a lot of work re: space weather, including auroras. Bo Black directed Summerfest, a major music festival in Milwaukee. Rene Carpenter was the ex-wife of astronaut Scott Carpenter who became a columnist and television personality. Zheng Shouren was the chief designer of the Three Rivers Dam. Peter Green founded Fleetwood Mac and wrote songs, including “Black Magic Woman.” John Saxon appeared in a number of Westerns and horror movies. Bill English was a co-developer of the computer mouse. Bent Fabric wrote the song “Alley Cat,” which we used to dance to when I was a child. Irene Pollin co-owned the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards. Reese Sconfeld was the president of CNN in the early 1980’s and founded the Food Network. Andre Ptaszynski was a British theatre producer. Lou Schwechheimer was an executive for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Balla Sidibe founded Orchestra Baobab, an influential Senegalese band. Karen Berg co-founded the Kabbalah Centre. Herman Cain was the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a tea party politician. Sir Alan Parker was an English film director, known for such movies as Midnight Express. Ruth Weiss was a beat poet.

Wilford Brimley was a character actor, best known as the spokesman for Quaker Oats. Leon Fleisher was a pianist, best known for playing one-handed for many years, due to a neurological injury. Michael Peter Smith wrote the song “The Dutchman,” best known for Steve Goodman’s cover of it. Doris Buffett was a philanthropist (and the sister of Warren). Frances Allen was the first woman to become an IBM Fellow and to win the Turing Award. Elmer Petersen sculpted the World’s Largest Buffalo. Pete Hamill was a journalist, who wrote numerous pieces about New York City. Horace Clark played for The Source of All Evil in the Universe. James “Kamala” Harris was a wrestler. Carroll Hardy was the only person ever to pinch hit for Ted Williams. Trini Lopez was a singer, best known for his performances of “If I Had a Hammer” and “Lemon Tree.” Russell Kirsch was a developer of the scanner. Belle du Berry was the lead singer of Paris Combo. James R. Thompson was the longest serving governor of Illinois. Howell Binkley was a Tony-winning lighting designer. Robert Trump was the younger brother of His Orangeness. Claire Shulman was the first woman to serve as Queens borough president. Ben Cross was an actor, best known for playing Harold Abrahams in the movie Chariots of Fire. Marvin Creamer was the first person to sail around the world without aid from navigational instruments.

Regis Philbin was a talk show host and game show host. He held the record for most hours on U.S. television.

Olivia de Haviland was an actress, most famous for playing Melanie in Gone With the Wind. She earned me 17 ghoul pool points.

John McNamara managed the Red Sox from 1985 through 1988. That includes 1986, when he made a few dubious decisions in the World Series, resulting in Bill Buckner’s fielding error in Game 6 and the disaster of Calvin Schiraldi ‘s relief pitching in Game 7.

Brent Carver was a musical theatre actor. He originated the role of Leo Frank in Parade and won a Tony for his performance as Molina in The Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Eric Bentley was a theatre critic. He was primarily an advocate for European plays and his reviews of, say, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, were generally negative. He earned me 16 ghoul pool points.

Brent Scowcroft was the National Security Advisor under Presidents Ford and Bush 43. While I may not have agreed with his actual recommendations, I thought he was well-qualified and thoughtful. Comparisons to recent incumbents in the position are too depressing to write about.

Adin Steinsaltz translated the Talmud into modern Hebrew and English. His edition is almost certainly the most widely used one and is widely praised for its accessibility.

Quick Political Note: She wasn’t my first choice, but I am comfortable with Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate.

Placeholders: Among the things I still need to write about are the storytelling conference I went to in early June and the genealogy conference I went to last week. Also, Saturday was Lollapuzzoola , my favorite crossword tournament.

Virtual Visit to Armenia: I have been to Armenia (back in 2003). Last night, my alumni association had an on-line event with the Armenian ambassador. It would have been nicer to have been able to actually go to the embassy and enjoy Armenian food and wine (and, especially, cognac). But it was still a good event. He started with three things people should know about Armenia. Those were unsurprisingly: 1) Christianity, 2) Mount Ararat, and 3) the Velvet Revolution. He talked a lot about wine, economic improvements, and relations with other countries. Over all, he was a good speaker and it was worth zooming into. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.