item 1 >>> Growing up relatively close to Canada, we saw Canadian coins in change, even a few “large” cents, slightly larger than a quarter. Well, not in circulation, but certainly in your parents’ or grandparents’ “junk drawer.” The last large Canadian cent was issued in 1920. Canada had no official coins until 1858, and then it was decimal like ours. Prior to that, they followded the British pound/shilling system. Circulating coins were tokens issued by banks, and among them were half-cents and farthings (quarter-cent.) And didja know that in the UK, farthings were minted until 1956, so some exist with QEII. They were legal tender until Dec 31, 1960.

item 2 >>> Speaking of Canada, as we say goodbye to all the special Mercuries over the years…Marauder S55, Comet Speedster, plexiglass-roof Sun Valley, Colony Park woodies, Cougar Eliminator and Dan Gurney Special…don’t forget the Mercury pickup trucks, rebadged Fords, made for Canada from 1946-1968. They still turn up here ands there, too…

item 3 >>> Was “Days of Our Lives” set in Salem, Massachusetts? Wiki sez: “It is located in the Northeastern United States, though the state is never mentioned. […] Originally set in New England, the vague setting was moved to somewhere in the Midwest in the 1970’s.” Thus, Salem, Illinois holds an annual Salem Days fest with cast members, Chicago is often mentioned along with area code 312, the industrial harbor susggests the Great Lakes, altho apparently the flag of Missouri popped up in a recent courtroom scene. But…a synopsis of the first 5 episodes from 1965 make reference to several scenes being set in Boston, so there you go.

item 4 >>> BTW, I was a GHer all thru the “MacGyver” years, Luke & Laura, Demi Moore, John Stamos, Rick Springfield, but kicked the habit over 20 years ago. Actually, I got hooked on soaps after college in 1973 with “The Secret Storm,” altho it was canceled after watching for 6 months. So when I heard of DOOL’s Salem Strangler arc, I figured, that makes sense…or as Pussy said to Chris on the Sopranos, “You know who had an arc? Noah!”

item 5 >>> And on that subject, what did I think of the infamous blackout ending? Not much. It was a feckless cop-out, all the more bewildering for the series’ reputation for story-telling…a cliff-hanger with no hope of resolution? And after all that had gone before? I just didn’t get it, except to note that this was also the way the 1982 movie “Gandhi” ended, and we all know what that meant.

item 6 >>> And re Gandhi…I was always a terrible speller, got better as the years went on throo dum reppetishun But my mnemonic devise for remembering how to spell that name is to say Hi! to Gand-hi.

item 7 >>> Anybody remember the cartoon “Colonel Bleep”? With his puppet pal Squeak and caveman Scratch…on Zero-Zero Island. Minimal animation, but beautiful atomic 50s googie style. You can get episodes on DVD, like most everything else. It was one of the first shows I remember watching when we got our 1st TV in 1957…then came a commercial for the flick “Attack of the Puppet People”…sweeeeet…

item 8 >>> “Hamilton’s Invaders” were toy sets by Remco in 1964. Giant insects battling blue plastic army men w/jeeps and helicopters. “Horrible Hamilton” was the head bug, desinged by someone who had obviously never seen a $10 bill.

item 9 >>> You might be a Baby Boomer if…you remember when the only man who had an earring was Mr. Clean!

item 10 >>> You might really be a Baby Boomer if…the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins just don’t seem like “real” baseball teams, probably never will, sorry. In fact, even the “newest” team, the Washington Nationals, feels more like a “real” team, know what I mean? You do? Then today’s wicked Ballsy is for you…

Wicked Ballsy

Before there was Yaz, there was Maz, Pittsburgh Pirates 2nd-baseman Bill Mazeroski, and his dramatic game-ending (we didn’t have “walkoff” yet) home run to win the 1960 World Series against the Yankees. It was believed the NBC telecast of that 7th game was gone forever…radio and photos were all that remained. Till now…the reels of film have been discovered in the cellar of one of the then Pirates co-owners, guy named Bing Crosby. The MLB network is set to air the game after this season. And maybe then we’ll find out more about The Boy Without a Face. In pictures today (on left), his visage does appear a wee bit clearer, tho not as detailed as the happy gentleman next to him. (Right, bottom) is a picture more like what I grew up with, and no face, just about. Who was he? Is he still with us? Did his faced grow in? Something to look forward to, for sure.

shameless plugification…
Podcasts at
http://stolfpod.podbean.com and http://thewholething.podbean.com
Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com and https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com
More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi
Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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