Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And the song of the gen-set will be heard throughout the subdivision...

Quick note. Had no power for 3 days, came though ok, except the shallow root ball tree(as most trees do around here) that fell over had the cable line running through it. No cable (inc. computer) til further notice; be at least a week 'til it is restored. Hence, my stealing time on my employer's machines. More later.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little minds: Two years at Ralph Talbot Elementary School.

My beloved brother who is a good man and needs a job if anyone needs a highly trained mechanic, knowledgeable i.e. having worked on: HVAC, commercial electrics, and high speed food production machinery maintenance and repair,as well as clean room experience; an excellent ‘we’ll cobble something up’ (but never a dubber) guy, has sent two of my report cards from Ralph Talbot elementary school. He found them while rooting through papers.

O baby; if they had short buses then, I would have been a passenger, judging from the comments made by Mrs. Bresnahan, and the grades earned by young master RR. The first marking period in November is the worst. RR has been torn from Vermont and plunked down in S Weymouth, MA. People drink ‘tonic’ there. I did not know how to write cursive. Social progress was cool: no check marks in ‘needs to improve in’ boxes. Down in flames in arithmetic the first three grade periods. This grade 2 report in music was grim: ‘fair, fair, fair, does not show too much interest’, consecutively. Mrs. Bresnahan is silent on art activities in the June marking period. On the bright side, RR’s reading grades went from D to C, then another C; B was earned the last period. Give a little whistle.

Thus the tone was set for an undistinguished academic career.The other report card is from grade 4: should be hitting stride now, work habits formed. Teacher M.E. Gauld is not remembered. Marks are poor to middlin’: many c, enough ‘b’s to keep parental units hopeful. Arithmetic is still abysmal. F. Must have really liked history and geography: 5 boxes out of 8 are ‘b’. Never tardy, RR is absent 7 days over the year. Music and Art are ‘Satisfactory’ across the board. A foolish consistency is recognized as The Way: head down, be the faceless rabble in the halls. No outbursts.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Movie House of Memory: Hey! Who moved the furniture?

Trying to jumpstart a stalled theme, I reached back into memory for movies seen early on, and found broken connections. I could not remember the title of one, though it made an impression. Another apparently faded out of existence, and I was just plain wrong about the last title. Jarring to one who values a here-to-fore excellent memory.

A single detail of the first could be recalled; the title eluded me. Dog-like creatures in cages of fire attacking a planet. I didn't say the thing was worth remembering. A slog, not a 'surf', on the web was called for. Cycling through the list of 'sixties science fiction films, one sparked a memory. A still photo later, and I had it. The title is "The Phantom Planet", released in 1961. Young master RR was enthralled, there in the dark, watching the Solarites attack the planet where a tiny astronaut was marooned: tiny because the atmosphere had a shrinking effect on people. Rubbish, but magic to a nine year old kid.

No problem remembering the next movie. Details could be recalled, as well as the title: "Puss n' Boots". There are many versions out there: this one was unique. 'Live' actors, in costume, absolutely creepy. A vivid bit branded onto my brain: Puss, drinking with the evil sorcerer, convinces him to show him what he can do. The sorcerer, in his cups, changes himself into a mouse. Puss chases him around the joint, grabs him, and eats him. Whoah! The thing is, a search of IMDB listed several versions of the tale ,but not this one. As we librarians say: "If we can't find it, you don't need it". I needed this title. I dug more and found the movie and the interesting story behind this title. You can read about it here.

The last, and to some the least, was a Three Stooges film. The problem:it was presumed to be one of their late films, with Joe Besser. I ordered it from Netflix, and it was different. Back to the interweb. I had details mixed up. The one I remembered was not a feature movie, but a short ("Space Ship Sappy"), indeed with Joe Besser. "The Three Stooges in Orbit" with Joe DeRita, the film I ordered, was an entirely different kiddle of fish. Maybe the blending of details and titles was proof of the caution our parents gave us when we watched the boys: "that stuff will rot your brain". Or the ravages of time and too much rubbish. That is okay: at least I got to see and remember them this long, even if I was wrong.