Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner

Forty-three guests for Thanksgiving and you forgot how to roast a turkey?  Don't fall apart.  Listen to me.  Here's what you do.
First, get a grip.  Say a quick prayer.  Or just stand there wondering what that spot on the ceiling is.
Get the stuff out of the fridge.  Ignore the guy who just came in the kitchen, or else put him to work.
Sautee the onions and celery.  Come on, come on.  We haven't got all day.
Stuff the turkey.  Any way you can, even if it's not pretty.
See?  Nothing to it.  Now go change.  And do something with your hair.  They just pulled in the driveway.
Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Americans.  Now tell me who these cooks are and from what movies?  Answers next week.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Requiescat in pace et in amore.


Continuing our observation of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, this noticed in a recent Twitter stream, tweet by Paula Ebben.   I grew up in an era when you could expect to see Jacqueline Kennedy on the cover of a magazine very often.  I don't think there was ever a photo of her more beautiful.  May she rest in peace and love.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

JFK - 50th Anniversary - The Weekend at the Movies

Today we draw our attention to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but in terms of what our world was like with a view towards the movies that were playing in theaters at that time.
Most people who remember that awful four-day event of shock and mourning from Friday to Monday remember where they were and what they were doing, almost in detail.  Most, I suspect, were not at the movies.  Most were either at communal mourning services or firmly planted in front of their television sets watching a new era of chaos born from the weird and terrible string of events that occurred that weekend.  Television and radio took the lead and were the real chroniclers of our experience that weekend, not the movies, and perhaps the movies never would be again the forefront record of our popular history.  Radio and TV cancelled all regular programs and devoted the entire weekend to the national emergency and the protocol, newly learned for all of us, of national mourning.
We can see in these movie ads a lot of fluff, a lot of eager, daring attempts at sexual situations--which may seem somewhat sophomoric now, certainly more innocent than what was to come later. 
We look like a country that didn't take much seriously.
It was a world still of grand downtown movie palaces, such as the Loew's Poli in Springfield, Massachusetts.  It was a world where we still had plenty of drive-ins, though most would close in the northern parts of the country for the winter--and eventually for good.
This drive-in below even advertises electric heaters, which is a plus in November in New England, though exactly how that worked, I'm not sure.  I'd love to know.
There was still a Cinerama theater in Hartford, Connecticut at this time, a movie process and selling gimmick we should probably tackle someday.  As far as I know, there were only three Cinerama theaters in New England: including one in Boston, the other in Providence, Rhode Island.  If any reader can correct me or fill me in on more, please do.
For the most part, we see in these ads a lighthearted and superficial world that surely could not really have been. Perhaps we were blind to social strains and movements, a tense undercurrent that was there all along, unknown to us until we were forced to see.
If you remember what you were doing and who you were at that time, that weekend, I'd love to hear from you. 
The JFK anniversary is also discussed on my New England Travels blog this week.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Winner and some other stuff...


Congratulations to Janet, who wins the paperback copy of my latest novel, DISMOUNT AND MURDER, the third in the "Double V Mysteries" series.  Thanks so much to everybody who entered the contest.


We visited the Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit, Maine, here in this post. Recently, a drive has been started to help the Leavitt adapt to the new digital projectors that are so costly, and without which many small independent movie theaters, like the Leavitt, will go out of business.  Here's the press release that was sent to me.  I thought you might like to have a look, and help out if you can.
As many as 10,000 movie screens in North America could go dark by Dec 31st, 2013!


By Dec. 31st Hollywood will cease distributing films to all movie theaters on celluloid reels in favor of digital prints. America's movie screens have been forced to buy digital projectors that can cost as much as $100,000. An estimated 10,000 screens – one in every five screens in North America – will go dark because they can't afford to convert.

Over 1000 independent old-school, mom-and-pop-owned movie palaces in small towns are struggling to come up with the price of conversion. They lack the cash and resources of big chain cinemas.
And to make matters worse, the film companies are helping subsidize the large multiplexes' conversions but not the single screen movie houses.

The Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit, Maine (est. 1923) is one of these theaters. A beautiful, classic, independent, family owned movie theater that has been showing first-run films for 90 years, they must go digital by Dec 31st or go dark!

Please click on the link below to find out more about a new KICKSTARTER drive. The Leavitt Theatre has just 25 DAYS (until Nov 30) to raise $60,000. They need help!

 Please spread the word, even if you are unable to donate.

Thanks everyone!


Also on Facebook

Thursday, November 7, 2013

WIN A FREE COPY of Dismount and Murder

This is to announce another giveaway for another book, this time my newest novel, Dismount and Murder.  Just send me an email to: with the message I WANT THE BOOK.  I pick the winner's name out of hat, and then I email the winner and get the address where to send the paperback book.  No addresses or emails will ever be published on the this blog.

I'll pick the winner next Thursday morning, the 14th.

Dismount and Murder third in the Double V Mysteries series is now available in eBook, and paperback.  Elmer and Juliet continue their tentative relationship while investigating murder at a wealthy estate in Litchfield, Connecticut, in the summer of 1950, while a horse show on the grounds covers the tracks of a number of suspects.  Elmer, an ex-convict, is now off parole, the Korean War has just started, and television antennas are starting to spring up on rooftops all over the place. 

And then there's that missing corpse.

It's the dawn of a new, unsettling day.

The nifty cover is by your friend and mine, the talented Casey Koester, AKA Noir Girl.
Available in eBook and paperback online here:
And other online merchants.
You can find the two first books in the series, Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red and Speak Out Before You Die also at the above online shops -- and in all of them, except currently for Amazon, the first book -- Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red -- is FREE as an eBook for a limited time.


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