item 1 >>> I hear that greyhound racing is now illegal in Mass. Remember when it was a big feature of the Topsfield Fair? They built a $50,000 track in 1950…and it lasted at least thru the 1970s. Dogs would come up from Wonderland in Revere. And the papers always ran pictures of dogs posed with local beauty queens. Dunno why, but I miss that…no, not the races, I mean in the paper…

item 2 >>> Speaking of Revere…the oldest public beach in the USA, did you know that? It opened in 1895 and became known as “The Coney Island of New England.” I wasn’t a big beach person, don’t think I was ever there…Sandy Beach on the Porter River in Danvers when I was real little, later Crane Beach in Ipswich was the spot.

item 3 >>> Speaking of Coney Island, John Steinbeck said it’s where the surf is one-third water and two-third people.

item 4 >>> Been trying to identify the Tarzan movie that had dinosaurs, and what movie they lifted those scenes from, with no luck. Can anybody help? But I did find out an interesting thing: Merian C. Cooper, the creator of King Kong, wanted to produce a sequel called “Tarzan vs. King Kong”…but discovered to his dismay that he didn’t own the rights to the name King Kong…thank you, lawyers…cats who settle disputes between mice.

item 5 >>> Yeah, among my friends, Tarzan movies were almost as popular as monster movies…especially the quicksand scenes…whoooooa…

item 6 >>> Another North Shore/North Country connection…the battle over what burg is the true Birthplace of the US Navy. Claimants are Philadelphia, PA…Providence, RI…in Mass., Beverly and Marblehead…and in Upstate NY, Whitehall, on Lake Champlain. Reminds me of when 2 towns claimed to be the site of the Witchcraft Hysteria, I name no names.

item 7 >>> Dunno how things were at your house, but when I was a kid the 3 worst things in the world you could do were: (1) Throw rocks at someone…(2) Track dog-doo into the house…(3) Tell your brother or sister to “shut up!”

Item 8 >>> Or if you absolutely had to throw rocks, don’t aim at their temple, cuz they could die, which actually is pretty good advice. Because remember: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but word will never hurt me.” (Oh, shut up!)

item 9 >>> The longest interstate highway in the USA? That’s easy, it’s I-90, the Bay State part of which is the Mass Pike. It runs from Boston to Seattle, a wee bit over 3020 miles.

item 10 >>> Update on yesterday’s Balch Salute: I give my heart and my hand to my country; one country, one language, one flag. A Colonel Balch wrote the pledge in 1889. He ran a free kindergarten in New York City for immigrants, hence the part about language. The origin of the stiff-arm salute came from the recitation of the Balch pledge: the kids would point to their heads, their hearts, then the flag. Funny thing, I vaguely remember “head, heart, and flag,” and also the pointing part…did we do it in the 1950s? Seems unlikely, and yet…

Wicked Ballsy

Robert “Capt. Bob” Cottle hosted the “Magic Window” art drawing program on Boston TV. He made it big nationally, hosting NBC’s Saturday morning “Ruff and Reddy Show” in 1962. He took over from Jimmy Blaine and puppets Rhubarb the Parrot and Jose the Toucan, ring a bell? Seen here with his pals Jasper Jinx (right) and Gramps (left.) And of course Ruff & Reddy, Hanna-Barbera’s first cartoon made for TV, surrounded by robots from Munimula.

shameless plugotronics

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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