Thursday, October 28, 2021

Strolling Through The Park One Day

In between miles one and twenty-four of the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon last Sunday, I wandered through Balboa Park and shot some photos, taking advantage of very few people being around. This was the first time in ages that I have seen the fountain outside the Natural History Museum actually working.

These arched corridors are some of my favorite things to shoot in the Park. Depending upon the time of day, they look different each time I photograph them.

The House of Hospitality has a number of meeting rooms. When my Mom attended San Diego State University in the 1950’s, her sorority held their gatherings here.

I’d never really paid much attention to these doors; a recent restoration/cleanup?

In the courtyard of the House of Hospitality is this very interesting fountain:

Nothing new; as you can see from this 1950’s image, the fountain has been around for quite some time:

A closer 1950’s view:

Back to the present, more arches:

The Theatre District of Balboa Park, with The Old Globe, Sheryl and Harvey White, and Lowell Davies Festival Theatres.

Got your tickets for the Grinch yet?

The Museum of Us (formerly the Museum of Man) and the California Tower:

I went down a never-explored pathway to get this back shot of the building:

And saw a sign for Punky’s Park. My nickname for Willis is Punky; I wonder if he’d be allowed here?

As I exited the park, the gateway to another side of the Museum of Us was open. I ducked in for yet another previously unseen shot from this angle:

And there you have my Sunday exploration of the Park!

See more Balboa Park photos at my main website.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and Endora

Born the daughter of a Presbyterian Minister, actress Agnes Moorehead (best known as Endora in “Bewitched”) made her movie debut in Orson Welles’ classic, “Citizen Kane” (1941). Not a bad start! She made the most of her small part, playing the mother of the title character. Agnes and Orson had met previously through her radio work on “The Shadow” and “March of Time.” Welles soon invited her to join him and Joseph Cotten as part of his Mercury Theatre on the Air, which included the famous 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast. As a result of that show, the Mercury players ventured out to Hollywood.

The Shirley connection began with the 1944 David Selznick wartime epic, “Since You Went Away.”

In this scene, the two Hilton sisters (Shirley and Jennifer Jones) tell off their mother’s friend, Emily Hawkins (Agnes).

Moorehead was excellent playing a snobbish socialite who loves to gossip about all the other women in the community. In the scene below, she is with Joseph Cotten (former Mercury Theatre costar) and Claudette Colbert; Irving Bacon plays the bartender in the background.

Just four years earlier, Bacon was serving Shirley soda in “Young People”:

Back to Agnes. Here she is in a fashion publicity still for “Since You Went Away,” looking very stylish!

From the accompanying blurb:

SYMPHONY IN BLUE Agnes Moorehead…goes out “stepping” in this stunningly but simple suit of turquoise blue wool. Across the front of the suit is an intricate design of sliver thread and turquoise sequins, surrounded by raindrop sequins. With the suit, Miss Moorehead wears long gloves, crushed at the wrist, and a grosgrain envelope bag and feather pouff of matching royal blue.

Agnes and Shirley worked together again in 1958. From Agnes’ biography, I Love the Illusion: The Life and Career of Agnes Moorehead by Charles Tranberg:

Agnes made the first of three appearances on “Shirley Temple’s Storybook” in the fall of 1958, as a witch in an hour-long adaptation of “Rapunzel.” Miss Temple didn’t appear in the play itself and the leading role of Rapunzel went to a young newcomer, Carol Lynley. Miss Lynley had happy recollections of her time working with Agnes. She recalled Agnes as “great company always — funny, feisty, witty, direct and very professional; just a fabulous lady.” But she never really got to know her, despite working with her again the next year in a General Electric Theater presentation with Ronald Reagan, and future meetings at social events. “We never socialized on a personal level. There was a big difference in our ages. I think the only person she ever really socialized with who was much younger than she was Debbie (Reynolds).” While they certainly did get along, “She was a private person, she never volunteered information regarding her private life and she never invaded your privacy.” Miss Lynley never even knew that Agnes had a son. Still, she cherishes the memory of their professional collaborations. “I think she was one of the all-time great Grande Dames of Hollywood.” “Rapunzel” did well in the ratings and won favorable reviews, including this one: “In view of the approach of Halloween, ‘Rapunzel’ was an appropriate choice for the TV screen. There probably was no new moral lesson in this fairy tale. But if there happens to be a rampion garden in the neighborhood, it probably won’t be invited for a long time by young adventurers. Miss Moorehead might just happen to be hiding there.” Carol Lynley was applauded as “lovely and sympathetic.” Agnes was not Endora in ‘Rapunzel,’ but a more evil cousin. Some of the dramatic gestures that she uses in ‘Rapunzel’ may remind one of the witch she would immortalize within a decade, but this witch was ugly where Endora was glamorous, evil where Endora was mischievous. 

In 1960, Shirley revamped her series and retitled it, “The Shirley Temple Show.” Agnes starred in two episodes, including the first one, “The Land of Oz.” Agnes played yet another witch, this one named Mombi, who she chose to give a cockney accent. Interesting to note that Bill Asher produced this episode and “Bewitched,” which starred his wife at the time, Elizabeth Montgomery.

The scenes in “Oz” with wacky comedian Jonathan Winters and Agnes are a delight to watch. And yes, Shirley fans, that’s Shirley’s childhood movie costar Arthur Treacher on the left.

Not surprisingly, good triumphs over evil and Queen Ozma (Shirley)…

punishes wicked old Mombi by taking away her magical powers.

Agnes next starred with Shirley in “The House of the Seven Gables,” which aired December 11, 1960.

Jonathan Harris, who played Dr. Smith on “Lost in Space,” later recalled working on that episode with Agnes and Shirley:

That was a very interesting piece with Bob Culp and Aggie Moorehead, bless her dead heart. Oh, God I loved her so! I did a couple of other things with her, including “Bewitched”! Aggie was a wonderful actress. She loved purple. Everything about Aggie was purple. The dressing room was a series of purple: lilac, purple, deep… she loved purple! And her clothes were that way, and her hair was orange! And she was one of the best actresses I ever knew in my whole life. Wonderful, wonderful! There are highlights of doing that show that I remember; the Shirley Temple thing. I’ll never forget, because of her and because of the fact that this divine child actor became a non-actor! We had a scene in the “Anne of whatever Gables” that we were in which I attempted to throttle her, and Arthur Hiller directed it, and when the take was over, the cameraman came to me and said, “You were wonderful in that!” I said, “Thank you!” So I decided to be very magnanimous, and I went to Shirley and I said, “The cameraman said that we were wonderful in that!” And she glared at me and said, “He didn’t tell ME!” And I was going to say, “Because you were not wonderful, you were terrible!” but I didn’t!

And then also, Aggie and I had lunch everyday and came back to the studio roaring with glee; we adored each other! One day, we were met by Miss Temple, saying, “You never asked ME to go to lunch!” So we sort of poked each other and I said, “Would you like to have lunch with us tomorrow, Miss Temple?” “Yes!” That’s the way she talked!

It would seem that Harris was every bit as bitchy and catty as his character from “Lost in Space.”

My final photo of Agnes is a publicity shot from “Bewitched” for the July 1965 “Just One Happy Family” episode with costar Maurice Evans. Her work as Endora is unmatched, making her an integral part of the show’s success. One more little Shirley tidbit from Agnes’ biography:

On October 7, 1965, Agnes heard from Shirley Temple Black regarding coming to San Francisco as a guest star at the opening of the ninth annual San Francisco Film Festival. As an honored guest, she would attend a black tie dinner and be introduced onstage at the opening night of the Festival, and then attend a post-opening supper dance at the Fairmount Hotel. The Festival would also fly Agnes and a companion to San Francisco and put her up at the Fairmont Hotel. In a postscript, in a handwritten note to Agnes, Shirley writes, “Please, please come! Last time you were here I tried to contact you, but you were probably too involved. This time, I’ll have many interesting people to introduce you to. Fondly, Shirley.” Agnes did attend and, while she had a good time, she would later say she was “embarrassed” by all the attention.

Moorehead died of cancer in 1974. Many believe that the cancer originated from her making the movie “The Conqueror” in 1956. Unbeknownst to the crew, the film’s Nevada location had previously served as a nuclear testing site. Many others involved in the film also died of cancer, including Susan Hayward (1975), John Wayne (1979), and director Dick Powell (1963). The fact that all of them smoked didn’t help either. You be the judge.

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Marathon Monday

I haven’t run a race in over three years; the pandemic put a stop to most of the half marathons, but I’m not sure whether I would have done more or not. The last half I did in 2018 was not all that spectacular, and I find myself not wanting to put the training time in to get a good result. But…my friend Angelo did the San Diego Marathon yesterday. Knowing how getting to the starting point can be a pain because of blocked off streets, parking, etc., I offered to drop him off. Hearing the thundering music and seeing the runners heading to the starting point, I could feel the old excitement. Today, people call it “FOMO” or “Fear of Missing Out.” I don’t have fear; I would say “regret” is a better word. I decided to follow Angelo on the race tracker and try to get some shots of him along the way. As you can see, others had the same idea. I wonder if seeing Michael Myers helped some runners go a little faster?

I saw Angelo after he’d completed about six miles (out of 26!). The guy still looked fresh; unbelievable. I’m lucky if I can look good for the photographers during the first mile and a half. I learned the hard way that the tracker was behind by about 30 seconds. I had to run myself to catch up with him after just missing him by a block the first time around.

It was a beautiful day out, so I thought what the heck; walk around, take some photos, and get him towards the finish line, too. I headed towards downtown where the race was going to end.

After sitting about ten minutes, I got antsy. Why not walk along the race route and catch him a little sooner? I also encountered one of the bands, the naked i.

I think I’d prefer some dance music; rock 'n' roll does not stir me to go faster. Unless it’s super bad; then I’d want to get away from it.

Next thing I knew I was walking along the shutdown 163 at mile 25. Here’s a view of the runners from the overpass:

And the band playing overhead:

Ooh…an interesting stamp in the concrete along the bridge!

Back to the race… I finally saw Angelo at mile 24. Still looking fresh. Life is not fair.

He was feeling good, but glad to be only a few miles from the finish.

Later this week I will post the shots of San Diego that I snapped during my stroll. Will I do another half? I might. I do miss the excitement and the competition of a race. Maybe a 5k or a 10k first. And most of all, I need to finish my book first. So much to do…

Congrats to all who finished yesterday!

See more photos at my main website.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Carrots for Friday

I am semi-obsessed with the Disneyland Pack Mule attraction. To think that “live” animals and an unpredictable element were ever at the Park is difficult to comprehend now. This little girl from June 1961 must have been obsessed with carrots, and she was not afraid to let the world know. A carrot on her shirt, and a pair of capri pants LOADED with carrots. I bet she had good teeth and vision.

This previously posted July 1962 image shows the same area, but from a wide-angle. I like covering all the angles.

You can see that the obscured sign in today’s first image is for wagon repair. Better go there quick; I hear parts are taking a long time to ship these days.

See more Disneyland Pack Mule photos at my main website.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Temple Tuesday: Shirley Speaks Out!

When the name “Shirley Temple” comes up, most people think of the little girl that cheered up movie audiences during the 1930’s Depression with her songs, dances, and positive attitude. In 1972, Shirley performed an even greater service by speaking publicly about her breast cancer surgery. While this may not seem like much in an era of over-sharing, Shirley’s bravery was incredible as breast cancer was a taboo topic that many women were too embarrassed about to mention in public. Accompanying this publicity shot was the following caption:

11/6/72 STANFORD, CALIF: Shirley Temple Black, former child movie star, disclosed 11/6 that she has undergone surgery for removal of a breast because of Cancer. Mrs. Black is shown recovering at the Stanford medical Center here 11/6. She had the operation last Friday.

My memory was jogged about this courageous action when Shirley expert supreme, Rita Dubas, put a video on her youTube channel showing Shirley’s May 25, 1973 appearance on “The Mike Douglas Show.” Guests included Tony Bennett, Muhammed Ali, Corbett Monica (comedian), and Lorna Luft, (daughter of Judy Garland). “As a child, a star that the whole world adored,” Douglas said in his introduction. “As an adult, a concerned American and special assistant to the chairman of the President's Council of Environmental Quality. Here is Mrs. Shirley Temple Black.” Predictably, Shirley’s entrance was accompanied by a piano arrangement of “On the Good Ship Lollipop.” Douglas immediately mentioned a previous appearance on his show where they had shown a movie clip from one of her childhood films. “What kind of feelings does that evoke?” “I feel all of 45 years old,” Shirley replied, “which is what I am!” Shirley was not one to wallow in the past or rest on her laurels of long ago.

Just a few months before, Shirley had written an article about her experience with breast cancer that appeared in the February 1973 issue of McCall’s magazine.

Douglas asked her why she announced the news in this fashion. “It was a shock to me to find out that I had this malignant problem, and I had one day to make a decision between the biopsy and the mastectomy…in other words, the removal of a breast. And so, during that one day between the biopsy and the operation itself, I thought, ‘What can I do to help my sisters in the United States and in the World?’ And I talked to my daughters and my husband, and my son, and decided that it would be best to announce that it happened to me, and maybe that way I could help my sisters to check for unusual lumps, and unusual symptoms, and to go to the doctors regularly, and to do self-examinations.” Shirley received 50,000 letters in just two short weeks after the surgery. She wrote the article the day she got home and finished it in two weeks. “I hope that ladies will read it.…I titled it, ‘Don’t sit home and be afraid’ because I’ve got three girlfriends at home right now that have lumps, and they are afraid, and they’re not going to the doctor, and I keep calling them up. They don’t like to hear me on the phone anymore! But you know, if you don’t make the decision to do this, the alternatives are worse, because you die. It’s that simple.”

The episode shows a very poised and knowledgeable woman who answered candidly all the questions that Douglas asked about her experience. With humor when it was appropriate, Shirley showed all of the world that she was a brave woman who had much to do with her life and was not about to let cancer get in the way. Here is Shirley’s portion of that show; definitely worth watching.

In chatting back and forth about this episode, Rita remembered a recipe that Shirley had shared on television once (probably on an earlier Douglas episode) for Shirley Temple Black’s Quick Dinner. Rita recalls it being a delicious mixture of chopped beef, tomato paste, and vegetables in a skillet. Her mom sent away for the recipe, but it has been lost to the ages. Anyone out there recall or have this treasured recipe?

See more Shirley Temple Black photos at my main website.