“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Estate in Philly…

October 22nd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   The Philadelphia home where Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly grew up and accepted a marriage proposal from Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1955 is now in the hands of the royal family. Her son, Prince Albert of Monaco, has confirmed to People Magazine that he was the recent purchaser of the six-bedroom, 2.5-story Colonial home in the city’s East Falls section.


                           GRACE KELLY

   The estate sits on a 0.69-acre parcel that features gardens and a private backyard. Inside, the home boasts a formal paneled dining room, finished basement, and a barroom. The home was built in 1935 by Kelly’s father, John B. Kelly. He was a three-time Olympic gold medal-winning rower in the 1920s, and later, a prominent businessman active in Philadelphia politics. Grace Kelly left Philadelphia at age 20 for Hollywood, but remained adored by Philadelphians through the years. A sign posted outside designates the structure as a Pennsylvania historical landmark.

   Prince Albert said he has early memories of visits to the home, such as staring out an upstairs window, or rolling around on the living room carpet. The prince told the magazine he planned to visit Philadelphia on Tuesday as he considers plans for the home. One idea is to partially use the property for Kelly-related museum artifacts; another is to create office space.

   Real estate agent John O’Connell of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors said the home sold for $754,000.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Slippers Need a Touch-Up…

October 18th, 2016

Manny P. here…

375px-ruby_slippers   The ruby slippers that whisked Dorothy back to Kansas at the end of The Wizard of Oz, which for more than 30 years have been one of the most beloved items at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, were crafted almost 80 years ago by the MGM prop department. Like most movie props, they weren’t built to last. Now, the frayed shoes aren’t even ruby-colored anymore — they’re a dull auburn.

   The shoes are the most recognizable prop for the beloved 1939 musical, their deep red hue dazzling audiences when the movie made its dramatic transition from black-and-white to Technicolor. They have been on display since anonymously donated to the museum in 1979.

   The Smithsonian have asked the public to help save the slippers, launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $300,000. In addition to keeping the shoes’ color from deteriorating, the money will go toward a technologically advanced display case that will preserve them for future generations.

   Their age is showing, and preserving them is more complicated than it might appear. The slippers contain a dozen different materials. The sequins are made of gelatin with a primitive plastic coating, and many are no longer red because the coating has flaked off, in part because of decades of exposure to light and moisture. The undersides of the sequins, or portions that did not have direct exposure to light, have retained more of their color. The shoes also include glass beads and red felt on the soles that was used to muffle their sound when Judy Garland wore them during dance sequences. The museum will research the ideal conditions for the various materials that make up the shoes. The new case is likely to contain a gas other than oxygen, with controls on temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure

   The Smithsonian’s museums are federally funded, but the institution frequently solicits private and corporate contributions for major projects that its budget doesn’t cover. This is the Smithsonian’s second Kickstarter campaign. In 2015, the National Air and Space Museum raised $700,000 through the crowd-funding site to preserve the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon.

   As of Tuesday afternoon, donors had pledged nearly $80,000 on Kickstarter. If the museum does not reach its $300,000 goal in 30 days, no one will be charged. Donations start at $1 and, depending how much they give, contributors can receive rewards including t-shirts and tote bags created by William Ivey Long, a Tony Award-winning costume designer.

   If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, the slippers will be the second-most-researched item in the museum’s collection, behind the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner.

   Best wishes over the efforts of the Smithsonian.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Return of Santa’s Village…

October 17th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   The long-closed but fondly remembered Santa’s Village may open early next month — but only on a limited scale. Developers of the 153-acre Skypark at Santa’s Village, in the Lake Arrowhead community of Skyforest, have asked San Bernardino County to issue a temporary use permit to operate on the footprint of the former amusement park, which opened in 1955 — the same year as Disneyland — but closed in 1998.


alan-ladd  The 220-acre park was one of Southern California’s biggest tourist attractions. It boasted rides, including a bobsled, monorail, and ferris wheel; a petting zoo; live reindeer; and shops that included a bakery, candy kitchen, and toy shop. It was a place where Santa Claus was equally at ease hanging out with the Easter Bunny, or a Hollywood celebrity like Alan Ladd (right). At one time, David Nelson, son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, who had a popular television show in the 1950s, produced Santa’s Village commercials.

   A management staff has been hired, and crews are preparing Santa’s Village with fiber optics and cash registers. There is also work being done to bring some of the original 18 1950s-era structures into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. As the work at the park is getting done, some nearby Santa’s are also preparing for what could be in store. Leaders at Rim of the World High School are looking forward to working with park officials.


   The environmental document for the entire project could not be completed and approved in time for the Christmas season, so the focus shifted to opening just the Santa’s Village portion. The mountain biking, fly fishing, campgrounds, and other additions that will make Skypark a year-around destination will be pursued as part of the environmental review process and become operational next year.

sv4   San Bernardino County has no estimate on when an environmental report might be completed to allow for the entire Skypark project to move forward. A phased approach to opening Skypark is partially the result of requests from both the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Lahontan Water Quality Control Board. Both want more specific information about development remedies in the county’s preparation of an environmental document.

   In the meantime, the Holidays will have a new Southern California outlet, which is great news, indeed!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Indiscretion…

October 14th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   A rags-to-riches story of an individual who made a career in business, and decides to enter politics. He offers a populist message that resonates with selective constituents, and the businessman is on track to win his election. His campaign is derailed when an indiscreet affair is revealed, and he doesn’t care. Despite the revelation, the candidate feels he is sure to win. He doesn’t. And, I’m not talking about the election of 2016…

330px-citizenkane   The above cautionary tale was a scene in a screenplay written in 1939 for a production that was released in 1941. Citizen Kane was written by Orson Welles and Herman Mankiewicz, and the pair earned an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for their efforts.

   The quasi-biographical film examines the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, played by Welles, a character resembling the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Chicago tycoons Samuel Insull and Harold McCormick, and aspects of Welles’s own life. Mankiewicz based the original outline on the life of Hearst, whom he knew socially, and came to hate after he was exiled from Hearst’s circle.

   Kane’s career in the publishing world is born of idealistic social service, but gradually evolves into a ruthless pursuit of power. Kane’s marriage disintegrates as he begins an affair with amateur singer Susan Alexander while he is running for Governor of New York. Both his wife and his political opponent discover the affair, and the public scandal ends his political career.  The character of his opponent, political boss Jim W. Gettys, is based on Charles F. Murphy, a leader in New York City’s infamous Tammany Hall political machine. The character of Susan Alexander was based on actress Marion Davies (and mistress of the newspaper publisher) was a major reason Hearst tried to destroy the production. Hearing about Citizen Kane enraged Hearst so much, he banned any advertising, reviewing, or mentioning of it in his newspaper chain, and he had his journalists actually libel Welles. In 2012, the Hearst estate agreed to screen the Citizen Kane at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, finally breaking with Hearst’s ban of the movie.

citizen-kane-welles-podium   citizen-kane-welles-collins

                                 ORSON WELLES       RAY COLLINS (as JIM W. GETTYS)

   An interesting aside… The News on the March newsreel scene presents Kane keeping company with Adolf Hitler and other dictators, while he smugly assures the public there will be no war. This reflects the political chatter between intervention and isolationism that was being waged in the United States; the motion picture was released six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, while President Franklin D. Roosevelt was laboring to win public opinion for support of the Allies prior to World War II. In the rhetoric of Citizen Kane, the destiny of isolationism is realized in metaphor: Kane’s own fate, eventually dying wealthy, lonely, and surrounded by his collection of artifacts.

330px-wendell_willkie_presidential_campaign_poster_1940   As an epilogue… Anyone who claims: 2016 is the strangest year in politics, only has to return to 1941 when Citizen Kane was released; the year that Roosevelt earned a third term as our president, defeating in a landslide a maverick businessman Wendell Willkie, the Republican dark horse candidate, who crusaded against FDR’s perceived failure to end The Great Depression, and his supposed eagerness for entry into war. Roosevelt carried 38 states; Wilkie won only 10 states.


                                     MANNY PACHECO

   May I remind you to vote responsibly this November…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Visit to Del Mar…

October 13th, 2016

Manny P. here…

 Rotary-Wheel-3d-150x150  Today, I spent a relaxing day in Del Mar, California. The seaside town shares a rich relationship with Hollywood’s Golden Age. And, the afternoon did not disappoint.

   I made the trip to offer my Forgotten Hollywood Oral Presentation to the Del Mar Rotary. Del Mar’s legacy as a Hollywood playground ensured that I was going to enjoy a special day. It began as I drove down Jimmy Durante Blvd.

   Rotarian Brett Mattei met me at St. Peter’s Church. He proceeded to offer a walking tour that included an incredible scenic view of the Pacific Ocean and the legendary train station. We strolled through the historic downtown village to beautiful landmarks, historic buildings, the hotel, and homes. I saw vintage photos of Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, Esther Williams, and Mickey Rooney. In 1963, Jimmy Durante famously paid tribute to his adopted home town, referencing San Diego in an early scene in It’s a Mad Mad Mad World.

bing-crosby-pat-obrien   When the Del Mar Fairgrounds opened in 1936, it became the home of the San Diego County Fair, attracting thousands to Del Mar. The final touch was the mile-long oval racetrack, made Del Mar an exciting destination. Under the leadership of Bing Crosby, Del Mar Turf Club ushered in a new era of horse racing. Pat O’Brien became the Vice President. Crosby greeted the first  fan through the gate as Del Mar opened in 1937. Bing’s song Where the Turf Meets the Surf opened every day of racing in the early days. On August 14th, 1945, O’Brien announced to the assembled racetrack patrons that Japan had surrendered.   BING CROSBY / PAT O’BRIEN  –>

   For decades, racing season brought in crowds and Hollywood celebrities to Del Mar Racetrack, including Durante, Lucy and Desi Arnaz, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickenson, and the Dick Van Patten family, all who built homes in Del Mar. Since Seabiscuit won his famous race in 1938, Del Mar Racetrack has hosted exciting thoroughbred racing.

330px-jimmy_durante_1964   desi-lucy


   After my daylong trip and an afternoon of fellowship with the Del Mar Rotary, I headed home feeling I had just taken a vacation.

   And so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- OK to Use “Who’s On First” Routine…

October 11th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   An appeals court says producers of a Broadway play can use Abbott and Costello’s famous Who’s on First routine over objections by the comedy duo’s heirs. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled in favor of the production. The heirs had sued Hand to God producers.

   A lower-court judge ruled last December that the play’s use of the routine was so transformative that it constituted fair use of a copyrighted work. The 2nd Circuit disagreed with that reasoning. But, it said the heirs could not win their claim because they could not prove they owned a valid copyright.

   Who’s on First is descended from turn-of-the-century burlesque sketches that used plays on words and names. Abbott’s wife recalled him performing the routine with another comedian before teaming with Costello.

ac_banner   After they formally teamed up in burlesque in 1936, he and Costello continued to hone the sketch. It was a big hit in 1937, when they performed the routine in a touring vaudeville revue called Hollywood Bandwagon. In February 1938, Abbott and Costello (right) joined the cast of The Kate Smith Hour radio program, and the sketch was first performed for a national audience that March. They did the routine for President Franklin D. Roosevelt several times. The duo reprised the bit in their 1945 film The Naughty Nineties, and it’s considered their finest recorded rendition.

   In 1956, a gold record of Who’s on First was placed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. A video (taken from The Naughty Nineties) plays continuously on screens at the Hall.

    On a personal note, I performed the routine in high school in 1974, playing the Bud Abbott part. The performance still resonated with the youngsters in the audience

   In the recent play, an actor uses a sock puppet to perform part of the famous routine, almost verbatim. The parties didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Indie Author Day in Duarte…

October 8th, 2016

Manny P. here… indie-author-day-design15

   I’ll be spending Indie Author Day in the city of Duarte, California. As part of my book tour through the County of Los Angeles Public Library system, I’ll spend treasured time at the local branch. Here are the details:


1301 Buena Vista St., Duarte, CA

October 8th

Saturday 1p – 3p

LA COUNTY LOGO  Duarte Library Logo

   Come by and enjoy my oral presentation, and pick up autographed copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.

Forgotten Hollywood cover   FINALfrontcover-sonofforgottenhol

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Handprints are Visible Again…

October 7th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   A major victory for preservers and defenders of classic Hollywood occurred, as the TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly, known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) acquiesced to a public outcry over souvenir peddlers setting up shop in front of the venue. The vendors, who have long camped on the front sidewalk area of the theatre, were set up directly over many of the famous handprints that take up real estate all around the theatre. A photo posted last week showed the state of things, with racks filled with tacky hats and tourist-trap t-shirts sitting on top of handprints belonging to Hollywood legends like Jean Harlow and Lana Turner.

   After the photo went semi-viral, a petition was set up and garnered more than 2,600 signatures in only a few days. The petition not only pleaded with TCL, but asked for the help of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.




   While it is unknowable what part of the uproar specifically spurred action by TCL, something worked, as it only took a few days for them to be removed, and the handprints to be visible to the public once again. Maybe someone realized that the vendors will only have business as long as people are flocking there to check out the handprints. Neon and glittery souvenirs are just as Hollywood as those handprints. It remains unclear where the vendor carts will go, though a source indicated they may be relocated to the nearby Hollywood & Highland mall.

   Over the past 85 years, some 200 film stars have left their hand and footprints there. As of yesterday, there were already people milling about and enjoying the handprints again, proving that the draw remains long after many of these stars have passed on and people become less familiar with their films.


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Film Noir at Union Station…

October 6th, 2016

Manny P. here… los_angeles_union_station_04

   Metro Art and the Film Noir Foundation are joining forces to present three classic cinema screenings at Union Station in Los Angeles. And, at least a portion of each production was shot inside the building. Because of Union Station’s beautiful and classic art deco design, it has served as the backdrop for many more movies since.

   Here is the schedule:

~ Union Station (1950) – October 7th at 8p. Starring William Holden and Nancy Olson, it was directed by Rudolph Maté. Writer, historian, cinematic programmer, and film noir expert Alan K. Rode will to introduce the flick.

~ Criss Cross (1949) – November 4th at 8p. The iconic motion picture stars Burt Lancaster, Richard Long, Yvonne De Carlo. It was directed by Robert Siodmak.

~ Too Late For Tears (1949)December 2nd at 8p. It stars the alluring Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea. It had nearly disappeared, as many of the original 35mm prints have been lost. The Foundation did find one, however, and was been able to repair it.

lultima_preda_film_1950   criss_cross_1949_trailer_2   publicity_still_for_-too_late_for_tears-_1949


   The Film Noir at Union Station’s screenings take place in the ticketing hall and are FREE to the public, with seating first-come, first-serve. What a family-friendly treat!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Honors for David McCullough…

October 5th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Acclaimed author David McCullough can add a quirky new title to his resume: honorary park ranger. The two-time Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner became an honorary ranger in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon in Boston. It’s the highest civilian honor awarded by the National Park Service, reserved for noted individuals who have made exceptional contributions.

   McCullough has been nicknamed a citizen chronicler, and is known for 11 books about luminaries ranging from John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt to Harry Truman and the Wright Brothers. His familiar story about our second president was adapted into an award-winning HBO production that starred Paul Giamatti.

david-mccullough-1-13-14-012   He’s also being presented with the Saint-Gaudens Medal, awarded to people who have made significant contributions to the arts. The Saint-Gaudens Memorial selected McCullough. They run a national historic site in Cornish, New Hampshire, named for the famed American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.   MANNY PACHECO / DAVID McCULLOUGH —->

   I’m proud the eloquent McCullough owns copies of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. His influence led to my paperbacks being added to the New York Public Library system. David is a genuine scholar and an iconic American historian.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Billie Burke Award…

October 3rd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Winners will soon be announced for the 2016 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. The Ziegfeld Club, one of New York City’s first performing arts charities to benefit women, is proud to announce a Second Annual award to honor a female composer in musical theatre.

   The recipient will be honored in November, 2016 at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and will receive a prestigious grant of $10,000, plus a year of professional mentorship. The recipient will be selected by an expert panel chosen by The Ziegfeld Club Board of Directors. Two honorable mentions will also be noted.

   The grant which aims to celebrate an emerging female composer, or composer / lyricist who compellingly demonstrates financial need, professional initiative, and outstanding artistic promise in musical theatre was inspired by a noticeable lack of female composers being produced on Broadway today. The Ziegfeld Club enables the recipient to put the grant to the best use possible to help further the composer’s creative endeavors.

billie-burke   Billie Burke was an American actress remembered for her sparkling comic technique and distinguished career on stage and screen. Making her stage debut in 1903, Burke starred in dozens of Broadway and West End plays, as well as silent and talking films. In 1914, Burke wed Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., the Broadway impresario whose legendary series of Ziegfeld Follies—featuring statuesque show girls with elaborate feathered headdresses. Upon Ziegfeld’s death in 1932, Burke continued to honor her husband’s legacy through the establishment of The Ziegfeld Club Inc. in 1936. She also produced the 1934 and 1936 editions of the Ziegfeld Follies.           BILLIE BURKE —->

   She was a beloved character actress during Hollywood’s Golden Age, and was nominated for a 1939 Academy Award for her performance in Merrily We Live. The recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she is recognizable to generations as Glinda, the Good Witch in MGM’s The Wizard of Oz; and the dizzy wives of Lionel Barrymore and Roland Young in Dinner at Eight and the Topper series of films.

   The recipient of last year’s inaugural Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award was composer / lyricist Masi Asare, who in addition to the cash prize, received a years mentorship from Tony Award winners composer Jeanine Tesori and producer Daryl Roth.

    This is an accolade of note that may shape Broadway for decades to come.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Man Behind the Wiener…

September 30th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   He was the individual who got generations of hot dog lovers singing. Richard D. Trentlage helped solidify a company’s hot dogs as a piece of Americana with the words:

Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener. That is what I truly love to be. Because, if I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener. Everyone would be in love with me…


1855899_profile_pic   Submitted as part of a contest, Trentlage (right) finished composing the tune in about an hour and recorded it in his living room. The jingle he wrote appeared in a 1960s television commercial featuring cartoon kids  marching along and singing. The song would become the sound of Oscar Mayer for 45 years, until the company retired it in 2010. It went on to be heard in 21 English-speaking countries (including all 50 states), and even played by symphony orchestras. Oscar Mayer used the jingle as an underlying theme that promoted, among other things, the wienermobile.

800   330px-wienermobile-bologna


   Trentlage was born in Chicago and began penning jingles as a high school student. He later transformed his home into a makeshift recording studio, inviting his own children to sing on audition tapes. They even recorded on-air sessions.

   However, he was no one-hit wonder, writing:  WOW! It sure doesn’t taste like tomato juice for V8; Buckle up for safety, buckle up! for the National Safety Council; and McDonald’s is your kind of place! for the burger chain.

   The very clever Richard D. Trentlage was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sex Returns to Broadway…

September 29th, 2016

Manny P. here… 330px-mae_west_lat

   This month, Sex is back in the Big Apple:  An infamous play written by, and starring, budding starlet Mae West (right) in the 1920s. Although conservative critics panned the show, ticket sales were hot. The sultry production did not go over well with city officials, who had received complaints from some religious groups, and the theater was raided, with West arrested, along with the cast. After a 10-month run on Broadway in 1927, the play was deemed by a grand jury to be such obscene, indecent, immoral, and impure drama that it might corrupt the morals of youth. West was sentenced to 10 days in jail for obscenity. She traveled to the pokey in style; garlanded in roses, wearing silk underwear, and riding in a limousine. She was released after 8 days.

   The notoriety helped the actor. Several years after the Sex scandal, Paramount Pictures offered West – then aged 38 – a studio contract. She went on to become one of the best-known and best paid stars of the era: legend has it, by 1935, she was the second-highest paid person in the United States behind publisher William Randolph Hearst. Even more impressive than West’s salary, or her age when she commandeered Hollywood, was the control she held over her career. The breezy, bawdy characters she played were partly of her own design, thanks to a deal she negotiated with Paramount allowing her to write her own lines.

   Now, the play that propelled West into the spotlight is coming back to New York, where it will be performed as a staged reading (through October 2nd). It’s being produced by the feminist theatre group, the Dirty Blondes. A key feature will be the special events taking place after each performance. Guests are invited to take part in talk-backs, such as artist Juniper Fleming – who has previously directed, produced and performed in a revival of Sex. Other guests include historian Linda Ann Loschiavo, an expert in West; feminist poet Maya Osborne; and burlesque dancer Veronica Varlow.

   The play is a somewhat unusual choice for the Dirty Blondes, which typically focuses on work with and by living artists. Since being founded in Brooklyn in 2012, it has produced 15 pieces of new theater, and worked with more than 340 artists. And now, they are using Mae West’s career as inspiration to create their own legacy.

   Goodness, what a scandalous career. But, as Mae West once surmised:

Goodness had nothing to do with it!


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- White House Goes for the Gold…

September 28th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Shortly after Jesse Owens returned home from his snubbing by Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics, he and 17 other black Olympians found a less-than-welcoming reception from their own government, as well. On Thursday, relatives of those 1936 African-American Olympians will be welcomed to the White House to shake the president’s hand — an honor Owens and the others didn’t receive, the way some of their white counterparts did, after they returned home from Berlin 80 years ago.

olympic_sprinters_owens_metcalfe_and_wykoff_1936   raabu099

   At the 1936 Olympics, Owens won four Gold medals. But, it was the message Owens’ victories sent by winning in Nazi Germany and undercutting Hitler’s white-supremacy dogma that stood as the lasting memory of those games. Owens returned to a segregated America where he had trouble finding steady work, and where, according to his interviews in later years, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, never sent him any words of congratulations, or an invitation to the White House.

   Athletes didn’t return from the Olympics to lucrative advertising and product endorsement campaigns in those days, and Owens supported his young family with a variety of jobs. One was of special significance – playground director in Cleveland. It was his first step into a lifetime of working with underprivileged youth, which gave him his greatest satisfaction. After relocating to Chicago, he devoted much of his time to underprivileged youth as a board member and former director of the Chicago Boys’ Club.

   Owens traveled widely in his post-Olympic days. He was an inspirational speaker, highly sought after to address youth groups, professional organizations, civic meetings, sports banquets, PTAs, church organizations, brotherhood and black history programs, as well as high school and college commencements and ceremonies. He was also a public relations representative and consultant to many corporations, including Atlantic Richfield, Ford, and United States Olympic Committee.

   Decades later, Owens was acknowledged and honored at the White House. In 1976, President Gerald Ford presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Owens died of lung cancer in 1980. Since then, a street and a school have been named after him in Berlin, two United States postage stamps have been issued in his honor, and a memorial park has been opened in Alabama. Earlier this year, Race, a wonderful bio-flick about the life of Jesse Owens, brought needed attention to the initial snub.

   Owens daughter, Marlene Owens-Rankin, will be among the relatives visiting the White House. The stories of the other 17 blacks on that team were less-widely known. Thursday’s event was meant to give overdue White House recognition to those athletes, who accounted for 14 of America’s 56 medals in Berlin.

john_carlos_tommie_smith_peter_norman_1968cr   United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun announced the upcoming visit at a Team USA Awards ceremony. The announcement came on the same night the USOC invited Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who were booted from the 1968 Olympics for their gloved-fist protest on the medals stand, to be part of the awards show. Smith and Carlos hadn’t been involved in an official USOC event since being sent home from Mexico City. The Gold and Bronze medal-winning sprinters will be at the White House on Thursday, as well.

   The recent protest by NFL players during the National Anthem also brought attention to the 1968 sprinters that pioneered this way of making a statement during the raising of our colors.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Harry James Orchestra Still in Tune…

September 27th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   The Rona Barrett Foundation is thrilled to announce the legendary Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke will perform at the Foundation’s Big Band Celebration Ball fundraising gala on Saturday, October 8th. The event will support the needs of vulnerable seniors through the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village.



   The history of the Harry James Orchestra began when Harry James formed the Music Makers with the financial backing of Benny Goodman. The years that followed for Harry James were successful, and included a recording with the young Frank Sinatra that became a million-record seller. After, James’ interest in movies grew, and he served as technical advisor and played all trumpet parts in Young Man with a Horn.

   Following James’ death in 1983, the band continued the mellow arrangements and fine rhythmic playing that first made it famous, now under the direction of Harry James’ lead trumpet virtuoso, Fred Radke. The Harry James Orchestra has performed in major venues and continues to tour extensively throughout the world under the direction of Radke, whose trumpet playing is indiscernible to Harry James’ style.

   The Rona Barrett Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide a solution to affordable housing and supportive services for at-risk seniors. The Foundation is celebrating the Grand Opening of the Golden Inn & Village, an affordable, dignified, and enriching senior campus in the Santa Ynez Valley, offering senior residency and a variety of care that meets their needs as they age.

   To learn more about the Golden Inn & Village, please visit:


   Sponsorship opportunities are available for the October 8th event. To secure a sponsorship or for more info, contact (805) 688-8887, or email:


   This sounds like a great way to spend an evening, while helping seniors-in-need.

Until next time>                               “never forget’