11/10/2010

item 1 >>> Answer to yesterday’s TV questions…David Niven’s only try at an episodic series was “The Rogues” in 1964, as one of a trio of suave con-men with Charles Boyer and Gig Young. He also hosted the dramatic anthology series “The David Niven Show” in 1959, and appeared in one episode. Mel Brooks created the pilot for “Get Smart” with Buck Henry, but had no connection to the series after that. He also created “When Things Were Rotten,” a Robin Hood spoof in 1975. Critics loved it, viewers didn’t, cancelled after 2 months. And while Boris Karloff hosted and sometimes acted in suspense anthologies “Starring Boris Karloff” and “Thriller,” his only regular series role was as “Col. March of Scotland Yard,” a syndicated half-hour show from 1957. Ever seen a picture of Karloff with a black eye-patch? That’s it…

item 2 >>> Dunno if you’ve noticed, but Crayola crayons now have the color name on the label in English, French and Spanish, to streamline marketing in Canada and Mexico. “Cotton Candy” in French is “Berbe a Papa,” or Father’s Beard…neat.

item 3 >>> You should not confuse Yellowstone Kelly with Yellowstone Kelley, altho I can certainly see how it could happen. The former is fur-trapper Luther Kelly, played by Clint Walker, in the 1959 Disney live action film “Yellowstone Kelly.” The latter is a red-headed friend of Barbie, part of the mid-70s “Sport Set” series, which included Newport Barbie, and I think one other that escapes me at the moment.

item 4 >>> One of these things is not like the others:  Danvers, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dorchester, Dover, Dracut, Dunstable, Duxbury.  (answer below…)

item 5 >>>  Dear Dr. Geography: Was Reading ever part of Essex County? I’m guessing you’ve been helping your kid or grandkid with their homework, and really getting into it, from the sound of it. Wussy journalists today would say it’s “unclear,” but I will come right out and state emphatically that I honestly don’t know, altho I think it likely the answer is no. On May 10, 1643, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was divided into 4 “shires,” what we would now call counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex. This is Old Norfolk County, different from the current Norfolk County, see item 6.  And bear in mind, Plymouth Colony, today the South Shore, was separate and distinct from Massachusetts Bay, so not involved in any of this. Anyway, one of the communities designated for Middlesex County was described as “Linn Village (Reading).” Now Reading was not officially incorporated, hence separated from Lynn proper, until over a year later, June 10, 1644, so I can see the confusion. But regardless, it certainly looks like that burg was for all intents and purposes not part of Essex County, whether or not technically within the boundaries of Lynn. Satisfied? Me too, sorta.

item 6 >>> One of the 4 shires, the original Massachusetts counties, was Norfolk…it comprised the towns of Salisbury, Haverhill, Hampton, Exeter, Dover, and Portsmouth. When the Province of New Hampshire was formed in 1679, Salisbury and Haverhill were absorbed by Essex County, the others of course becoming part of the new colony. This region is today called Old Norfolk County…the “new” Norfolk Country didn’t come along until much later, 1793, split off from Suffolk County, which is why “Nor” is south of “Suf,” see?

item 7 >>> Were there ever any Major League Baseball teams in New England besides the Red Sox and the Braves? Depends…some consider the National Association of 1871-1875, the precursor of the National League, to be a Major League, and if so, you have Elm City of New Haven, the Hartford Dark Blues, and the Mansfields of Middletown, Connecticut. Hartford continued in the National League 1876-77 (see item 8).  Also in the National League were the Providence Grays 1878-85 and the Worcesters 1880-82. Do I hear the baseball historian asking: What about the Lynn Live Oaks? They played in the International Association, along with the Manchesters from New Hampshire. Most consider the IA the first Minor League, altho at the time it was intended as a rival to the National League, so you make the call. Not for nothing, but the first black in pro ball, Bud Fowler, played for Lynn in 1878.

item 8 >>> As a National League team, the Hartford Dark Blues played for 2 seasons, 1876 and 1877. In 1877 however, their home games were played in Brooklyn, altho they were still known as the Hartfords, which shows you New Jersey Giants/Jets fans this sort of thing has been going on for quite a while.

item 9 >>> Here are some phrases that would convey more meaning if people said the whole thing, which they almost never do: Don’t burn your bridges behind you…Happy as a clam at high tide…Naked as a jay-bird before it got it’s feathers…Speak of the Devil and he’s sure to appear….There’s no use crying over spilled milk, its wet enough already.

item 10 >>> You might be a Baby Boomer if…you just thought Truman Capote just talked funny, that’s all.

Wicked Ballsy


Answer to item 4: All are cities or towns in Eastern Mass. except for Dorchester, which is part of Boston. It was once separate, but was annexed in 1870, as you can see from this excellent summary…which also explains why South Boston and the South End are in the northern part of the city.

shameless plugophilia…

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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