Monthly Archives: February 2011

TV Shows: Goodson-Todman Productions

 

Among the many game shows Goodson-Todman created were What's My Line, Family Feud, Password, I've Got a Secret, The Price Is Right, To Tell the Truth, Card Sharks, and Tattletales.

To watch television today, you’d believe that the daytime hours have always been dominated by talk shows and judge shows. But for most of the medium’s history, the day was dominated by soap operas and game shows. And the people who produced many of the most memorable game shows were Mark Goodson and Bill Todman.

Uploaded by loti.com.

The pair began their careers producing radio game shows in 1946. While the pair also created dramas (The Rebel, with Nick Adams and Branded, with Chuck Connors were the most successful), they will always be remembered for producing some of the best game shows of all time. Their creations include:

  • Beat the Clock
  • What’s My Line
  • I’ve Got a Secret
  • The Price Is Right
  • To Tell the Truth
  • Password
  • Match Game
  • Tattletales
  • Family Feud
  • Card Sharks

The two men worked the same way throughout their careers: Goodson would develop the game, then Todman would refine the rules and work out the financial aspects. While Todman died in 1979, Mark Goodson lived to receive an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement in Daytime Television in 1990, and a star on Hollywood Boulevard.

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Kid Stuff: Baseball Cards

 

Every middle-age man thinks he'd be rich now if only his mother hadn't thrown out his baseball card collection. Sorry, fellas, but chances are they weren't in collectible condition. But you might actually like them better that way. Uploaded by zeprock.com.

Don’t pay any attention to all those bandwagon jumpers who decided in the mid-80s that baseball cards were the investment of the future. Their interest was as wide as the outfield and as deep as the chalk on the baselines. Real baseball cards have a historic and visceral appeal that transcends dollar values.

Uploaded by uk.ebid.net.

Not that it isn’t fun from time to time to pull out, say, the 1958 Al Kaline card and ponder its value. But I honestly get more of a thrill just looking at Al’s mug against that bright red background than I could ever get by selling it. I remember the smell of the gum that Topps inserted in each pack. And how it was often stale, and broke into pieces when you tried to chew it.

Baseball cards are a small part of what makes America special. Kids today look for rookies, embossing, and swatches from game-worn uniforms. But you can’t beat the old cards. They were from a simpler time. A sweeter time.

Originally posted April 3, 2009

Kid Stuff: Bridge to Terabithia

 

Bridge to Terabithia won the Newberry Medal for children's literature in 1978. It was made into a feature film in 2007. Uploaded by reelingreviews.com.

I read lots of great children’s stories to my boys when they were growing up. Made up quite a few, too. I don’t know if they remember them after all these years (Guys?), but I remember Bridge to Terabithia best because it’s the one that got to me as I read it.

Uploaded by usedbooks.co.nz.

I don’t want to spoil the plot if you haven’t read it, so I won’t do much of a  summary. The story revolves around a boy and girl, friends and neighbors who are both very creative and enjoy fantasy stories. So they create a “magical kingdom” which they name Terabithia, in which the boy (Jess) is king, and the girl (Leslie) is queen. Let’s just say that a tragedy occurs, and that’s where I broke up. After all these years, I still remember that moment.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is a beautiful book that won the 1978 Newberry Medal for children’s literature. Paterson, a Christian, was asked whether her faith influenced her writing. She answered, “C.S. Lewis said that the book can’t be what the writer is not, and I think you write out of who you are.  In fiction, you don’t start out to teach a lesson (because that’s propaganda, that’s not fiction), you start out to tell a story.  What you believe deeply will come out and the story will reveal you, whether you mean for it to or not!”

Food: Faidley Seafood, Baltimore

 

Looking for atmosphere? A romantic evening out enjoying delicious seafood? You'll have to go somewhere else for the ambiance, but you'll definitely fall in love -- with the crab cakes at Faidley's. Uploaded by adamfriedberg.com.

Here’s a simple test: The reason to go to Faidley’s is: A) Atmosphere  B) Location  C) Crab cakes. I guess the fact that this is in Baltimore pretty much answers this question, huh? First of all, Faidley’s has no atmosphere, unless you’re a big fan of eating while standing at a counter. And it’s neighborhood can be generously described as “interesting.”

Photo by roadfood.com.

But boy, those crab cakes. When the subject comes to local restaurants, you can turn to Yelp, or Chowhound, or Trip Advisor. But to me, the real authority is Michael Stern, the guru of Roadfood.com. Here’s an excerpt from his review (you can read the whole thing here):

Forget all the spongy, bready, fishy blobs that pass as crab cakes elsewhere. To know the paradigm, you must eat in Maryland, at Faidley’s in particular. In this eat-in-the-rough market on one side of the boisterous, centuries-old food emporium known as the Lexington Market, a crab cake is a baseball-sized sphere of jumbo lump crab meat held together with minimal crushed-Saltine filler and a whisper of mayo and mustard that is just enough to be a foil for the marine sweetness of the meat.


Music: Miles Davis

 

Miles Davis played with the who's who of jazz musicians from the 1940s through the 1990s. Or, to be accurate, they played with him. Uploaded by fantastiksports.wordpress.com.

During the 20th century, if at any time you wanted to know what was currently the coolest, most innovative form of jazz, all you had to do is find out what Miles Davis was playing. He led the way from bebop to cool jazz to jazz fusion.

Uploaded by ivy-style.com.

Miles’ dad gave him a trumpet at age 13, and Miles was playing professionally in a band by the time he was 16. He went to New York to study at Julliard (Great American Things, Aug. 6, 2010), but dropped out to play in local clubs, often with the Charlie Parker Quintet. After Parker’s well-documented drug problems ended his band, Davis went on to play at different times with some of the best-known jazz musicians ever:  Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and more.

Davis’ most famous and best-selling album is Kind of Blue (1959), which has now earned quadruple platinum status. Perhaps no other jazz musician has had quite as much influence on rock music as he had. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll said this about him: “Miles Davis played a crucial and inevitably controversial role in every major development in jazz since the mid-’40s, and no other jazz musician has had so profound an effect on rock.” He received eight Grammy Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Travel: Manteo, NC

No matter where you are on Roanoke Island, you're never far from beautiful water. And you're even within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean. Uploaded by marsheslight.com.

Manteo is the primary town on Roanoke Island, nestled inside North Carolina’s Outer Banks. You may know about its history — Sir Walter Raleigh was granted a charter to settle the area by Queen Elizabeth I in 1584. Several groups of colonists tried to make it through the hardships, but when a supply ship returned after leaving the settlers for three years, it found no one alive on the island. Virginia Dare, the first child born to English colonists in the New World, had also disappeared.

Uploaded by city-data.com.

Today, that story is told in a seasonal outdoor drama called The Lost Colony (Great American Things, June 7, 2010). But that’s just one of the incredibly charming things about the little town of Manteo. I’ve done two posts on this site about the best small towns in America, and I won’t claim that Manteo is better than many other similar towns. I’m sure there are others with a restored lighthouse, Elizabethan garden, and a reproduction of a 16th century ship. But few have the Atlantic Ocean within walking distance, I’m fairly certain of that.

Naturally, Manteo is most alive in the summer, when tourists come to the famous beaches of Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Hatteras Island. But it’s probably more interesting during other seasons, when Manteo Booksellers (the prototype of a charming, independent bookstore) isn’t crowded, and you can get a specialty coffee across the street at the Coffeehouse on Roanoke Island. If everything breaks our way, it’s where I’d love to retire. It’s a beautiful, quiet, very special place.

Book: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

 

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (note no "The"), published in 1885, is one of the very first books written in the style called Local Color Regionalism. Uploaded by mattytrescott.com.

Who decides which books are the best of all time? Recently, W.W. Norton and Co. (the Norton anthology people) asked 125 of the greatest living writers to make their top ten lists, then crunched the numbers to get a consensus top 10. According to these people, who are a pretty good sample, Huckleberry Finn is the fifth greatest book of all time.

Uploaded by blog.eastmanhouse.org.

Mark Twain published Huckleberry Finn in 1885, and it’s one of the first American books written in the style called “local color regionalism.” Oh, there’s lots of color in the book, all right. So much that some super sensitive souls can’t handle it, and want the book banned. These people are on both sides of the political spectrum, showing that you can be a fool with any political leaning.

Actually, the book was controversial from the beginning. The Concord, Mass. library refused to carry it, saying “…the whole book being more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people.” And writer Louisa May Alcott took time out from writing books like Little Women to say that if Twain couldn’t “think of something better to tell our pure-minded lads and lasses he had best stop writing for them.”

Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed – then and now. Yes, there are parts of the book that are uncomfortable to read. But its place in the history of American literature is secure, regardless of those who would tell us what we should think.

Sports: The Harlem Globetrotters

 

In their 80+ years of existence, the Globetrotters have played more than 20,000 games in 118 countries. And they've almost never lost. Wow - these guys must be good. Uploaded to Flickr by New Jersey State Library.

The first whistled notes of “Sweet Georgia Brown” let you know that basketball wizardry — and more important, lots of laughs — are coming. The Globetrotters are in the house.

They’ve been around since the late twenties, and are reported to have played more than 20,000 games in 118 countries. Their usual opponents are the greatest optimists in sports, the Washington Generals. The Globetrotters’ record in this series: 13,000+ wins, 6 losses.

 

Uploaded by write2us.net.

During their early years the team was a showcase for black basketball players who couldn’t play against white teams. The Globetrotters have actually retired several numbers, including Wilt Chamberlain (played for one year before being accepted into the NBA), Meadowlark Lemon, and Curly Neal.

Over the years, entertainment became their focus, and today they’re one of the best family-friendly acts touring the country. If you’ve never see them, take a kid and go. I promise it’ll be an immensely enjoyable experience — but don’t be surprised if you enjoy it more than the kid.

Originally posted April 18, 2009

Americana: The Gallup Poll

 

Here, George Gallup appears to be showing an early television audience that his research indicates Tom Dewey would defeat Harry Truman in the presidential election of 1948. Ruh-roh. Uploaded by mercuriusdigital1.wordpress.com.

I may not know what you think. And you may not know what I think. But since 1935, we all know what we all think – thanks to George Gallup and the Gallup Poll. Gallup first gained credibility by correctly predicting Franklin Roosevelt’s victory over Alf Landon, although today you’d have to say a trained monkey could have picked that race. Even so, Gallup set a standard for the public opinion industry by not accepting advertising, thereby making its findings more credible.

Uploaded by thegalluphouse.com.

Today, there’s hardly any social or political issue for which Gallup can’t give a reliable indicator of public sentiment. And not just in America, but in some 140 countries around the world. On any given day, Gallup can tell you the President’s approval rating, the percentage of Americans who exercise regularly, whether or not the job market is growing, whether people believe their standard of living is improving, and dozens of other fascinating subjects.

Of course, no one is infallible, and neither is Gallup. Like every other organization, it failed to predict the Harry Truman upset of Thomas Dewey in the 1948 presidential election. It also expected Gerald Ford to defeat Jimmy Carter. But polling methods and science has made huge strides since those mistakes, and Gallup will probably never make that mistake again.

Probably.

Song: “What’s Going On”

 

When Marvin Gaye presented the finished track to Motown, the label refused to release it. Berry Gordy thought it was too jazzy, and that people didn't want to hear socially relevant music. Fortunately for us all, he relented. Uploaded by 45cat.com.

When we listen to the early Motown songs released by Marvin Gaye (Great American Things, April 2, 2009) and his duets with Tammi Terrell, we hear a pop singer at the top of his game. But with the release of “What’s Going On,” we hear something more – an artist who doesn’t follow the popular style, but who leads the way to a new approach.

Uploaded by userserve-ak.last.fm.

Gaye looked at the crucible that was the 60s (which didn’t end until the fall of Saigon) and felt compelled to produce music that addressed the pressing problems of the day. “What’s Going On” is the title song of a concept album that dealt with drug abuse, poverty, the environment, and the Vietnam War. Gaye recorded the song with some of his friends talking, giving it a live, party feel. And he included the distinctive saxophone riff that Eli Fontaine had played while “just goofing around.”

Motown executives, especially Berry Gordy, hated the song and refused to release it. Gaye said he wouldn’t record for Motown again unless Gordy changed his mind. The label eventually relented, and realized that their singer knew what he was doing. “What’s Going On” made it to number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100, and was a number 1 hit on the Soul Singles chart. Rolling Stone ranked it the fourth greatest song of all time.

Film: North by Northwest

Cinematographer Robert Burks (and Alfred Hitchcock, of course) created two iconic images for this movie: The pursuit of Cary Grant by a crop duster, and the concluding chase scene across the faces of Mount Rushmore. Uploaded by artsmeme.com.

Alfred Hitchcock directing. Cary Grant starring. Music by Bernard Herrmann. Script by Edward Lehman. I’m sure with such credits it’s possible to make a bad movie, but it wouldn’t be easy. And North by Northwest is in the pantheon of the best movies of the 1950s, a surprisingly good decade for films.

Uploaded by static.guim.co.uk.

I didn’t mention cinematographer Robert Burks, because his career is so intertwined with Hitchcock’s. But in North by Northwest, Burks captured two of the most iconic images in Hollywood history. The first is when Cary Grant (Great American Things, June 16, 2009) is buzzed and then shot at by a biplane that’s “dusting crops where there ain’t no crops.” The second is at the film’s conclusion when Grant and Eva Marie Saint are desperately trying to escape their pursuers and make their way across the faces on the Mount Rushmore monument – a chase scene Hitchcock said he’d always wanted to film.

Despite all the luminaries mentioned at the beginning of this post, only Lehman received an Academy Award nomination. Ben-Hur dominated the 1959 Oscars, and Hitchcock was never given his proper due by the Hollywood crowd. The American Film Institute knows better, however. In its listing of 100 Years…100 Movies, North by Northwest was ranked number 40. And in the sub-list 100 Years…100 Thrills, it came in at number 4.

 

Singers: Steely Dan

 

At a time when power guitar bands dominated rock, Steely Dan won fans with a jazzier, smoother rock sound. Uploaded by asunnierfog.wordpress.com.

Although other members have drifted in and out of the group, Steely Dan is essentially Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Their music is strongly jazz-influenced, a little more cerebral than most pop, and self-consciously avoids the guitar-driven  rock that has proven to have more crowd appeal. Fagen and Becker don’t seem to mind; they strive for perfection in each song, and their fans would argue they come awfully close to achieving it.

The partners played background (Jay and the Americans), tried songwriting (Barbara Streisand recorded one of their numbers), and finally put together a band. Their first album came out in 1972, and though they’ve had some modest chart success, they’ve earned more of a cult following than mainstream success.

Uploaded by strictlysocial.com.

Some of their top songs include:

  • “Do It Again” (1972)
  • “Reelin’ in the Years” (1973)
  • “My Old School” (1973)
  • “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (1974)
  • “Peg” (1977)
  • “Deacon Blues” (1977)
  • “FM” (1978)
  • “Josie” (1978)
  • “Hey Nineteen” (1980)

The guys broke up in 1981, but got back together and recorded again in 1993. One of the albums recorded after their reunion, Two Against Nature, received four Grammy Awards in 2001, including Album of the Year. Steely Dan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Great American Things, August 31, 2009) in 2001.

TV Show: The Andy Griffith Show

Everyone has a favorite episode. Mine is "My Fair Ernest T. Bass," in which Andy tries to change the wild Ernest T. into a presentable gentleman. The mountain man courts the lovely "Romeena" and says to the hostess, "How dew you dew Miss-us Wi-lee?" Uploaded by tvsquad.com.

Start with Barney Fife, only the best sitcom character ever. Add the sweetness of Aunt Bea, the innocence of Opie, the absentmindedness of Floyd, the foolishness of Gomer and Goober, and you get — well, you get the most grounded, most heartwarming sitcom in TV history.

Of course, the show would have gone nowhere without the down-home wisdom and  ever-genial personality of Andy Griffith. A native of nearby Mt. Airy, NC (which styles itself as the model for Mayberry), Andy is the father/friend we all wish we had. I know he later played Matlock, but I don’t think of them as the same person. I think Andy’s dad came along to play that role.

Uploaded by kansasmediocrity.wordpress.com.

Everyone has a favorite episode of the show. Mine is My Fair Ernest T. Bass, in which Andy tries to change the wild Ernest T. into a presentable gentleman. The mountain man courts the lovely “Romeena” and says to the hostess, “How dew you dew Miss-us Wi-lee?” Hard to believe, but Ernest T. only appeared in five episodes of the series.

Wait — I think I hear the theme song being whistled. Time to catch another episode. Maybe I’ll hear Ernest T. wail, “She called me a creachter!”

Originally posted April 20, 2009.

Actor: William Holden

 

While he had the good looks of a leading man, William Holden's specialty was playing disaffected loners trying to find their way through life's complications. Uploaded by geocities.jp.

William Holden was what some people call a “man’s man.” Not in the John Wayne shoot-em-up kind of way, but in a solid, securely masculine way. He seemed to dominate any scene he was in, which must be the highest compliment a movie star can receive. Yet he often wasn’t a “hero”; he frequently played cynical or detached men who fought against established forces. He made some terrific movies, and was one of the leading actors of his time.

He made two dozen movies before his breakthrough part came in Sunset Boulevard. His memorable films include:

Uploaded by actors.pick2web.com.

  • Sunset Boulevard (1950 – Nomination)
  • Born Yesterday (1950)
  • Stalag 17 (1953 – Academy Award)
  • Sabrina (1954)
  • The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954)
  • Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
  • Picnic (1955)
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  • The Wild Bunch (1969)
  • Network (1975 – Nomination)

Looking at that list, the obvious omission is Holden not receiving an Oscar nod for The Bridge on the River Kwai. (His co-star Alec Guiness earned Best Actor.) In the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Years…100 Stars, Holden appeared at number 25.

Check out this charged dance scene (of all things!):

 

Travel: Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is, um, a whale of a facility. When its new dolphin exhibit is complete, it will have more than 9 million gallons of water and more than 100,000 fish and other sea creatures. Uploaded by wikipedia.org.

Ever been snorkeling or scuba diving? Seeing the wide variety of marine species up close and in their natural habitat is hypnotizing and habit-forming. But when you can’t get to a reef, get to Atlanta – the world’s largest aquarium lets you see some species you’d never see on your own. And you don’t have to change out of your street clothes.

Uploaded by unitedstatesdestinations.com.

First, let’s look at the amazing facts. The Georgia Aquarium has more than eight million gallons of water… more than 100,000 fish and sea creatures … more than 60 exhibits… and some species viewable almost nowhere else. These include four whale sharks from Taiwan, great hammerhead sharks, beluga whales, and hammerhead sharks.

That the Georgia Aquarium exists at all is thanks to an amazing $250 million gift from Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot. His company grew up in Atlanta, and he wanted to “give something back” to the city for its support. He also wanted to help revitalize downtown Atlanta, which the Aquarium surely has. Since its opening in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium has attracted more than 11 million visitors. That number will continue to rise, especially with the completion of a new dolphin exhibit, featuring an additional 84,000 sq. ft. of space and adding another 1.3 million gallons of water…

Sports: David Robinson

 

David Robinson is a 2x NBA Champion, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Hall of Famer. But his character is even more impressive than his résumé. Uploaded by basketwallpaper.com.

There are two kinds of athletes we cheer for. First are those who perform for our favorite teams, easily identified by their team uniform. Much rarer are the players who we root for because of the kind of persons they are away from the bright lights. David Robinson is more than a Hall of Fame basketball player; he is a true role model not for athletics, but for character.

We saw this at the beginning of his NBA career, because it was delayed two years so he could fulfill his obligation to the US Navy following his graduation from the Naval Academy (Great American Things, July 18, 2010). Robinson’s service earned him his nickname “The Admiral.” Listing his basketball accomplishments would take a post all its own, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Rookie of the Year
  • NBA Champion (2x)
  • Most Valuable Player
  • Defensive Player of the Year
  • NBA 50th Anniversary All-Star Team
  • Olympic Gold Medal (2x)

Uploaded by timesnewsnetwork.com.

But as great as Robinson’s basketball career was, all who know him recognized that his character was even greater. Just one example – in 1991, Robinson visited some fifth graders at an elementary school in San Antonio. He promised that he would give a $2,000 college scholarship to all who stayed in school. In 1998, he made good on his promise – but he gave them $8,000 instead. Robinson’s main charitable effort has been the Carver School in San Antonio, a free private school for underprivileged children. To date, he and his wife have donated $11 million to fund the academy.

Greg Popovich, Robinson’s coach in his final years with the Spurs, had this to say about his star player: “He’s got much more sense than to stay involved in basketball. He’s got a lot of interests that actually have impact on the world and have some value, unlike the rest of us. He’s way too committed to real life to do something as silly as basketball the rest of his life.”

Food: Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin, which specializes in a French presentation of seafood, is ranked the number one restaurant in NYC by New York Magazine, and number one in America by the reader-reviewers of Zagat. Uploaded by boston.com.

This elegant restaurant, located in midtown Manhattan, is consistently ranked as one of America’s finest restaurants. Since its opening in 1986, it has consistently received raved reviews from the food press – and from satisfied diners.

I’ll admit right off that Le Bernardin is above my pay grade. I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting its gourmet fare, so I’ll let the food and wine press speak to its merits:

Chef Eric Ripert. Uploaded by nytimes.com.

From Gourmet: “There is a reason why Le Bernardin is constantly rated at the top of every New York restaurant poll: It may be the most perfect combination of France and America that can possibly be achieved in a restaurant.”

From New York: “The city is full of ornate restaurants, but none of them manages to exude the glamour and class of Manhattan the way this one does, without any overweening glitz.”

From Zagat: “Everything in (Chef Eric Ripert’s) elegant French seafood-based cuisine – from the bouillabaisse to the raw/almost raw fish and seafood selections, to the extensive wine list and dreamy desserts – conspires to ensure an unforgettable experience.”

From Forbes: Le Bernardin remains the gold standard of seafood restaurants.”

Person: Ronald Reagan

It was said by some that America didn't support Reagan's policies, but he was such a great communicator that he sold his ideas. Reagan said, "I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things." Uploaded by renovomedia.com.

This has never been a political blog, so please don’t misinterpret the inclusion of our 40th President as a departure from that principle. He was a great man, and the things which made for his inclusion on this list aren’t political.

For example, Reagan was optimistic about our country and our future. He took office just six years after Nixon resigned in shame and immediately following a crisis in which Americans were held hostage for a year in Iran. His belief in our institutions, our people, and our Constitution were contagious – and very much needed.

 

Uploaded by thehypertexts.com.

And it isn’t just his Presidency that is worth honoring. He was a good actor – not great – and retained a lifelong nickname of The Gipper from his role as George Gipp in 1940’s Knute Rockne, All-American. He became familiar on the small screen as well, serving as a spokesman for General Electric on The General Electric Theater, then later hosting Death Valley Days as well.

 

It’s sometimes said by his detractors that Reagan’s policies weren’t all that popular, but he persuaded people because he was such a good communicator. In his farewell address, he refuted that idea. “I wasn’t a great communicator,” he said, “but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation — from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in principles that have guided us for two centuries.”

Kid Stuff: Dr. Seuss

 

Wouldn't it be an incredible legacy to have created as many smiles on both children and adults as Theodor Geisel did through his books? Uploaded by drseuss.wikispaces.com.

Interesting fact 1: The father and grandfather of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) were both brewmasters. You don’t think those fanciful rhymes were helped along by the family recipe, do you? Nahhh.

Uploaded by architecturaldigest.com.

Interesting fact 2: Dr. Seuss was an advertising art director for fifteen years, working primarily on the Standard Oil account. Knowing some wildly creative art directors myself, I’m not surprised one whit.

Interesting fact 3: During WWII, Dr. Seuss made propaganda films with Frank Capra, where he first learned animation.

Okay, enough facts. Time to conclude with some sparkling verse:

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch.
With a nauseous super-naus.
You’re a crooked jerky jockey
And you drive a crooked horse.
Mr. Grinch.

Originally posted April 21, 2009

Architecture: The Guggenheim

 

Frank Lloyd Wright thought New York was a bad choice for the Guggenheim Museum. Too crowded, too many buildings for his masterpiece to stand out. But Mr. Guggenheim prevailed, and those who love NYC are delighted he did. Uploaded by fanpop.com.

Isn’t it odd how a unique building can divide people initially, then later be revered as one of the country’s greatest works of architecture? That’s the story of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, usually called The Guggenheim. It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s last major design, and it polarized the New York creative crowd. Several artists even signed a letter, saying their works couldn’t be properly displayed in such a limited space.

Uploaded by thedesignfiles.net.

There’s no question that this isn’t The Metropolitan Museum. Wright worked on the drawings for 15 years before settling on the design. Unfortunately, neither Mr. Guggenheim nor Mr. Wright survived to see the building open. When it entertained its first visitors in October, 1959, it transformed the block at 89th Street and 5th Avenue on which it’s situated. And the amazing thing is that it doesn’t look dated at all. It could have been created today, and been just as beautiful and startling as it did more than a half century ago.

But, as I said earlier, this success didn’t come without significant opposition. Many expressed concern that the building would overpower the art inside. Wright answered, “On the contrary, (the purpose) was to make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the World of Art before.”