Thursday, January 31, 2013
Yesterday's Milestones: Birth, Marriage, Anniversary, and Death
by Pa Rock
Yesterday, January 30th, 2013, witnessed the advent of several cultural and historical milestones, most of which made the news. One (significant to me primarily because of the piece that I posted on this blog two days ago) was the 76th birthday of actress Vanessa Redgrave. (I told the story of Ms. Redgrave’s birth being announced on the stage of the Old Vic by Laurence Olivier.) Sadly, her birthday was not deemed newsworthy by the mainstream media. Of course, that same media failed to point out that it was also the birthday of my favorite United States President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The other three milestones did make the news. First, on January 30th, 2013, Jim Nabors, television’s Gomer Pyle, announced that he had married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader. That’s right – Gomer married a man! Shazam! What would Aunt Bea have said about that?
Yesterday was also the 80th anniversary of the Lone Ranger. The masked man and his faithful Indian sidekick, Tonto, made their radio debut on January 30th, 1933. A new movie version of the Lone Ranger is scheduled for release this summer with Armie Hammer in the title role and featuring Johnny Depp as Tonto. (I predict Depp’s Tonto will be a bit quirkier than the one presented on television for many years by the late Jay Silverheels.)
And finally, Patty Andrews, the lead singer for the iconic trio, The Andrews Sisters, died at the age of ninety-four. She had been the last surviving member of the sibling singing group. The Andrews Sisters entertained more troops during World War II than any other individual or act, with the notable exception of Bob Hope. In addition to singing, they also had their own radio show and were featured in several movies. Some of the group’s classic songs were “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else but Me,” “Drinking Rum and Coca-Cola,” “Apple Blossom Time,” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.”
In summation: Laurence Olivier was right when he announced the birth of a “great actress,” Stan Cadwallader has made an honest man of Jim Nabors, the Lone Ranger rides again – and has been doing so for eight decades, and a little bit more of World War II has slipped from our grasp. Time and the River Styx roll on.