Thursday, July 14, 2016

1976: Carter, Ford, and Rebuilding Trust in the Presidency

Democratic Party: James Carter (Georgia) and Walter Mondale (Minnesota)
Republican Party: Gerald Ford (Michigan) and Robert Dole (Kansas)

Election Results
Carter/Mondale: 297 electoral votes, 40.83 million popular votes
Ford/Dole: 240 electoral votes, 39.14 million popular votes

The Watergate scandal and the storm clouds swirling in Washington, D.C. did a massive amount of damage to the relative unity created in the Nixon landslide election of 1972. Nixon’s paranoia and fear of the regrouping of Democratic politicians led him to utilize his campaign organization, CREEP (Campaign to Re-elect the President), to bug the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Building in Washington, D.C. Nixon also did much to discredit rumors of his involvement in the break-in and distance himself from the uproar over a possible cover up. However, the evidence against his staff and the hours of Oval Office tapes that incriminated Nixon in planning the break-in built up toward his resignation from office in the summer of 1974. Nixon’s accomplishments and legacy were tarnished by a scandal that destroyed trust by the American people in the White House.

Stepping into the role of president was former House Speaker and vice president Gerald Ford. Ford, who had ascended to the vice presidency after Spiro Agnew resigned due to allegations of misconduct while governor of Maryland, brought an air of accountability and honesty to the White House. Though Ford was not known for being innovative in his politics, he was a loyal Republican who had clout among former Congressional colleagues. However, Ford’s period of goodwill with the nation did not last long. A year after taking office, Ford decided to pardon Nixon and other Nixon associates in order to get past what he called “our national nightmare.” As well, his plan to fight inflation and stagnation in the economy was a failure and the American recognition of Russian interests in Eastern Europe made Ford’s brief agenda more difficult to force through. Within his own party, there was discontent over how Ford was functioning as president and a primary challenge by former California governor Ronald Reagan. However attractive Reagan was as a candidate for the presidency, the Republicans did not want to appear divided to the nation and re-nominated Ford as the Republican candidate.

The Democratic nomination process was far more stable and clean than in past elections. Dark horse candidate James Carter, the former governor of Georgia, defeated more popular candidates like Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on his way to the top of the Democratic ticket. Carter, whose folksy charm and moderate approach to politics, seemed to be an antidote to the corrupt insider politics of Washington, D.C. Carter utilized his background as a peanut farmer, his propensity for quoting Bible verse, and his relative inexperience to the ways of D.C. politics in order to defeat Ford, who appeared as a stand-in president more and more by the day.

Tags:1976: Carter, Ford, and Rebuilding Trust in the Presidency

1969 Harlan County Jane Doe Mystery

TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host): I’m Todd Matthews. This is Missing Pieces and tonight we have Darla Jackson. Welcome, Darla.

DARLA SAYLOR JACKSON (Guest, Author of ‘Harlan County Haunts’): Thank you.

TODD: How are you doing?

DARLA: I’m doing great.

TODD: You’re a Southerner, right along beside of me, Harlan County.

DARLA: Uh-huh.

TODD: I’ve been there a few times; I didn’t know you were there, actually, and I didn’t know you had a Jane Doe.

DARLA: Oh, yeah. Yeah, we do. Harlan County has its own Jane Doe.

TODD: Well, nobody else knew it, is one of the problems. I actually saw a newspaper article that featured you and your book, ‘Harlan County Haunts’ and that’s what did this; that’s what changed everything. That book and that newspaper article brought this to the attention of a lot of people. I actually saw the article posted; I didn’t know you had a Jane Doe and I contacted the medical examiner, Dr. Emily Craig, anthropologist for the state, you know they didn’t know, this has not been fully reported. This was before the current State Medical Examiner system was in place and basically it’s outside the jurisdiction…

DARLA: Right.

TODD: …so I have contacted your coroner, and I think there is a possibility with ‘Caroline,’ as you guys call her…

DARLA: Uh-huh.

TODD: …and a lot of it is just because you finally got somebody’s attention. There was a passage in your book that says, “I have spent hours going over every Jane Doe network and cold case website on the Internet. I have posted messages in Fayette, Ohio forums and basically exhausted all Internet sources. This murder is not listed with the Kentucky State Police Cold Case website. The ‘Tent Girl’ found near Lexington is a popular Jane Doe case and so is the ‘Lady in Black’ found murdered outside a hotel in Harrodsburg in the 1830s, but no one seems to be interested in Caroline.” Well, I am! (Chuckles) Actually, I did work with the ‘Tent Girl’ and that’s what actually began my work with missing and unidentified persons, was the ‘Tent Girl.’

DARLA: Uh-huh.

TODD: So I was really glad to see this.

DARLA: Yeah, that is one of the most amazing things is that this is such an intriguing story and it just seemed that absolutely no one knew about it and I just couldn’t believe it.

TODD: Well, you had a great account. Now, from what you wrote in your book, you know the vital statistics are there, and were able to get quite a bit of information from that. You know your coroner doesn’t have a lot of data, it seems to have been lost over time…

DARLA: Right.

TODD: …but there are so many possibilities, and I’m working with NamUs now, that the national missing and unidentified persons database, it’s part of the Department of Justice, There are possibilities out there for this Jane Doe, when I ran it through as a trial for that system, there are women that basically resemble this, but without proper dental records, DNA, there’s no way to make any kind of match…

DARLA: Right.

TODD: …so I’m hoping that we can convince your coroner to basically exhume this body at some point in time, gather DNA samples, and process it. Hopefully it can be handed over to the state and passed along to that jurisdiction; that would be my hope, so that possibly we can identify her.

DARLA: Right.

TODD: I’m surprised I didn’t hear from you earlier, as a matter of fact, or seen you earlier.

DARLA: You know, I saw your website, because every time I would search for ‘Caroline,’ or search for someone, searching for this girl, I would always come up with the ‘Tent Girl,’ and then I’d always see where you solved that and I nearly sent you her information, I bet a half a dozen times, but then I kept thinking, “You know, I really don’t have enough information,” you know, I have a ghost story, but as far as just really great information, I didn’t really have any…

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: …so I didn’t know what to do. I tried to get anyone locally, that I possibly could, interested, but I never could get anyone interested really in this so, you know, the book…creating a book for this, was really my only hope of getting the word out to people who would be interested.

TODD: Well, I think you did that with this, so that was really impressive. You went to a lot of lengths with that and I understand where you’re coming from with it, and you might be surprised to know, I read quite a bit of your book, basically mainly this part of it and I do intend to read the rest of it. I love ghost stories more than anything, but a lot of the things, and I know you’ve probably…this is quite a wild story, at times, but I had a lot of similar experiences with the ‘Tent Girl.’

DARLA: Oh, okay.

TODD: And I’ve always been reluctant to tell people about some of the experiences because I don’t know if it was obsession, I don’t know what happened to me, but there were similar events that happened with me when I tried to research the ‘Tent Girl’ and it went on for a number of years and there were times that I thought, “I’m going to completely lose my mind…

DARLA: Right.

TODD: …but when I read that, you know when I first saw the article, I thought, “Wow, you know, Jane Doe,” and then I got to looking at the ghost story involved and I thought, “Well, hmm, I still have a lot of things I’ve never really told anybody.”

DARLA: Yeah, well, you know I’d always…I had heard of this…I grew up very near where the body was discovered…

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: …so I’d always heard my family speak of this.

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: I was born in 1969, so I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever, because that’s when she was discovered, but in 2000, when my aunt called me and told me about what my uncle was experiencing, while living beside of her grave, now that is when it just really…it really has really become a part of my life for the past 8 years now.

TODD: You know, I’ve struggled talking about my experience with a lot of people; I’ve blurbed it out with a few media and I’ve gotten to do quite a few things; I’m working as the Media Director for Doe Network now, we have a forensic reconstruction project (Project EDAN), which I started; I work with ‘Outpost For Hope’ and, you know, there are so many doors opened, and not always easy doors, but I always didn’t want to risk my credibility by explaining what happened at that time. And, you know, now I feel like I got to a point where I feel comfortable telling the rest of the story, because I’ve never really explained what happened exactly to myself and my connection to the ‘Tent Girl.’ I never really knew, and it’s forty years ago May 17th of this year, that my father-in-law found her body…

DARLA: Uh-huh.

TODD: …so this is an important time. So, seeing this, at this time, is a really interesting to me, to see this, and I’m really glad. I feel like you’re a long-lost relative.

DARLA: Well, great. Well, great. That is so good to hear, and that is…I totally agree with you, I’ve had…I’d even considered contacting you at one point. I have attempted to contact the detective, but what I didn’t want to get into, is all I had basically, which was a ghost story.

TODD: Which, basically, that was the ‘Tent Girl’ too. You know, there was not enough data to exhume that body and no reason to exhume the body back in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s until the tentative ID had come up and that gave Dr. Craig enough of a reason to do that. But, now, things have changed even more because this is 10 years ago now, and good enough reason now is to possibly gather DNA for a future match while the DNA is still there.


TODD: So, we’ve got a good enough reason to do it, and you know, I’ve talked to your coroner and I think he’s willing to look at some opportunities to do that and I think it would be a good thing. What I faced with the ‘Tent Girl,’ when I dug her up, she was gone. You see, that grave that I visited for so many years, suddenly she was gone, and it bothered me, and I was so glad when they put her back in that same grave. It was a relief, and I didn’t know that it would bother me that much when we would pick her up and give her to her family, and I thought, “But, wait a minute, I’m losing her if I do that,” and so you can imagine the relief I had, and I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people listening, but she was family.

DARLA: Right. Well, you know, I don’t know if this gets…if she gets identified, one of the strongest messages my uncle received is, that this young girl does not want to be in that grave. She wants to go home, and if she was ever identified, I think I would…I think I would be more comfortable…

TODD: …to send her where she’s supposed to be?

DARLA: Yeah, or where she wants to be.

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: But she showed…she showed discontent there, and I guess just her whole situation, you know, such an injustice. You know, unidentified girl, killer never brought to justice, and just simply forgotten on the side of a hill in Harlan County.

TODD: I think she’s very identifiable if we get the proper data; the dental records, you know, and the coroner did tell me he did want to make an effort. And don’t get me wrong, Kentucky is the most excellent state, as far as their State Medical Examiner system, I can’t find one that I would say is any better than that state.

DARLA: I’ve heard that before. I’ve heard that before, I sure have.

TODD: And I actually got quoted in another article about another subject at one point in time. I thought the interview was over for a newspaper, the quote that he took away was a quote that I made after the interview I thought was over. I said, “I hope if anybody kills me, they throw me out in Kentucky.” That was the quote he used, but…

DARLA: That’s great.

TODD: …you know, I was afraid I was going to be in trouble for that, but apparently everybody took it well and, you know, it’s the truth. You know I could have been a little more tactful in the way I presented it, but it was the truth.

DARLA: Well, yeah, I have heard that there is a very good system here in Kentucky. Another thing that happened with this young girl…this happened in 1969…

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: …and Harlan County is still a secluded area, but back then, it was totally secluded…I think the articles that I have printed in my book, is the only media coverage it got, and I had even heard…I had spoken with people just in surrounding counties; Leslie County, Bell County, these border counties and they had never heard of it before, so it got little, if any, media coverage.

TODD: I feel like it’s the ‘Tent Girl’ all over again. You know I didn’t know that it was possible that another existed so cut off from the system, you know I just assumed Kentucky, beside ‘The Lady Who Danced Herself To Death,’ and I think you called her ‘The Lady In Black’…

DARLA: Right.

TODD: …you know I thought, well, she’s a little, you know, genealogically, it is still possible to make some type of identification on her, and then there’s ‘Some Mother’s Boy’ buried near the ‘Tent Girl’ and he’s from much earlier in the 1900s, you know I still think there’s hope for those, maybe not in the current DNA, fingerprint and dental record system, you know it’s not going to happen that way, but maybe we can find somebody missing somewhere from a spot in time in genealogy records that they could be this person.

DARLA: Yeah, check census reports…

TODD: Yeah.

DARLA: …and when that person is absent.

TODD: And there is a possibility for ‘The Lady Who Danced Herself To Death’ or ‘Molly Black’…

DARLA: Yeah.

TODD: …there is a possibility, you know, but will we ever know? Does it matter? Who cares? I don’t know, but to me, I do care, and it adds to the legend, but I don’t want the Harlan County Jane Doe to become…to fade away into urban legend. I think there is still a lot of a possibility. I was told with the “Tent Girl,’ when I was looking, when nobody wanted to listen to me, “There’s nobody alive that remembers her.” Well, her daughter is only slightly older than me, and I’m 38, and she’s not much older than me, she was an infant when she (‘Tent Girl’) died, so with this one it’s the same thing, there’s very likely somebody alive that remembers her. She might have a very proper missing person report and this is the other end, it never went into the system properly. I’m going to try to do that. I want to try and help make sure that that happens and hopefully I’ll get to meet you some time soon.

DARLA: Oh, great. Absolutely. Yeah.

TODD: And your coroner, and there are things and maybe I can help create some opportunities for you guys and make this happen.

DARLA: Well, that would be…that would be, really me reaching my goal. The goal, when I wrote the book, that was goal, is to get someone capable…I’m not…I really don’t feel capable. I’m not an investigator. I’ve never done anything like this before, and until this incident, until I became interested in this young girl, you know I’d never really had any experience with anything like this before. So, to have someone that has done this before, successfully, is just…it’s a dream come true really.

TODD: Well, I mean, you definitely got the word out. You might have done it in an easier way, but you took the long road and it worked. Now, your coroner, he’s a really nice man, and I don’t think he’s done this before; I don’t think many people have done this before, but he’s very open to, you know, telling me what needs to happen and what are the possibilities. But in Kentucky, the coroners are not MDs, they’re not medical doctors; they’re elected officials, and they’re not necessarily somebody that would have the knowledge in hand to deal with something like an older case like this. And Emily Craig told me that this was a case that she hadn’t been aware about before now, so that was interesting too because you know that lady’s got it all together in Kentucky, and this was just never brought enough to the surface so that she could have heard about it until now.

DARLA: Very few people know about this…

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: …and many, many people have come up to me after reading the book and said, “You know, now I do remember this, but I had forgotten about it,” and that seems to be almost what everyone did, I guess, except for maybe just a handful of people; me and my family, and then I have had some other people, Joe Mahan, who recovered her body, he owned Colonial Chapel Funeral Home at the time, he says he thinks about her ‘most every day.

TODD: And it’s the same thing that happened, you know, a casket was donated, a tombstone was donated, you know so many different things happened, just so much the same.

DARLA: Yes. It really is to a point that it’s unusual because, like I said, every time I searched for my girl, I would always…on the Internet, I would always get the ‘Tent Girl,’ and so I was interested because it was so similar, and I totally agree that the era and how it all seemed to happen, it’s just so similar and really, the Lexington-Georgetown area is about 3 hours away from here, so that’s not all that far away.

TODD: Well, if it hadn’t have been…you know, if the ‘Tent Girl’ would have been in a more isolated place, but she was near the bigger town of Lexington, and that helped.

DARLA: Absolutely.

TODD: You know it helped. There were a lot more people that could contribute, you know they got her a headstone, which really struck clear into my heart when I saw it, and her faced was etched on it, you know. I remember the first time going there and it was just like you walked into your own destiny somehow. She was so strangely familiar when my wife, (she was then my girlfriend), first told me about it back in ’87, it was all…and she moved to Tennessee from that area of Kentucky, and it was like she was telling me something that was already familiar to me, and I don’t know why, but I feel like I’ve known her forever. I feel like I knew Lori forever, she was so familiar to me. It was just odd. It was just like I started a ‘déjà vu’ that lasted for…I’ve been married 20 years this year, and it just went like that forever.

DARLA: Uh-huh.

TODD: So, I’m hoping, I think you’ve definitely got some opportunities for your Jane Doe opened up, and it’s amazing work. You’ve certainly put a lot of time and effort in it.

DARLA: Well, thank you. I really…I wanted the novella ‘Caroline’ to be its own book…

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: …but, you know, quickly into it, it didn’t have an ending, of course…I wanted to have an ending, I wanted to find her and I wanted to have the book complete, and after five years…six years, I thought, “You know, people are getting older. Her family is getting older.”

TODD: Yeah.

DARLA: “I need to make a move.”

TODD: Yeah.

DARLA: So, I began creating a book that I thought people would be interested in, and made sure that she was the feature of the book, because this girl…someone knew of this girl’s existence. That’s what’s so maddening. You cannot live your life, I think maybe 19 or 20 years, without someone knowing of your existence.

TODD: No, it’s just…

DARLA: Someone knows her.

TODD: Man, you’re going through the same things that I went through, you know. It’s just so strange to encounter something like this again.

DARLA: Yeah, it is. It’s just…you can become obsessed over it. I mean, it just becomes part of you, because you just know that, you know, this young life was just taken…she was so young, and she was somebody’s child.

TODD: Well, you know, you’ve got a paranormal investigator, and I don’t usually…this is not something that I just loosely recommend, Patti Starr, (Episode 9), and she is a paranormal investigator and she’s based in Lexington, Kentucky. You know, we’ve talked about the one I call, ‘ The Lady That Danced Herself To Death,’ you know, there are so many different cases that we tried to look at, especially the older ones, and she’s a really nice lady and she hadn’t heard of this one. I showed it to her and it was definitely interesting to her to read that.

DARLA: Well, good. Yes, I think any help…I think psychics can be extremely accurate, amazingly so, and I do put a lot of faith in that sort of thing because psychics have solved many a crime…

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: …which, you know, the scientific investigation could not.

TODD: Well, anything is possible.

DARLA: Absolutely.

TODD: You have to look at everything, you know. It’s not the first thing that I suggest to somebody, but if somebody has findings, you know, I rarely go and say, “Hey, I need a psychic on this,” but usually I’ll hear from that person, the psychic, that says, “Hey, I think this could be this,” and you know, it either checks out or it doesn’t. I’ve seen things that have been like very possible, and then other things, it’s just way off base and you don’t know what’s motivated that person, maybe they just wanted some attention…who knows?

DARLA: Exactly.

TODD: You know, so you have to get somebody who has a credibility built up, and you know, somebody that just woke up and had a vision, you know it’s hard to believe that person and say that person’s good. But now, you have an account that you’ve actually written all of this stuff out so, I mean, to me it’s worthy of a look, and if nothing else, you have got statistical data on this Jane Doe put out to a spot to where I could actually get to it, whereas otherwise, I didn’t even know she was there.

DARLA: I tried to put every bit of fact that I knew, which is very little, but everything that was actually printed in the newspaper…

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: …I tried to put every bit of that I could. I put the speculation in it, and then I also put a psychic account, but I wanted the facts out there. And, you know, the other information, it may not be correct; some of it may be, some of it may not be, but she gave quite a story and really, I guess, maybe this was her goal too. Maybe, you know, the information that was actually psychically given, it may not be correct, but it got a story out there.

TODD: It helped. I mean…

DARLA: It gave me a story.

TODD: …that’s going to be interesting. What if what she said was correct? How will that make you feel?

DARLA: Well, I don’t…I’ve thought about it before and I saw it both ways. What if it’s all correct?

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: How completely eerie would that be? And then I thought, “Well, what if it’s all wrong?” But, you know, either way, either way it doesn’t really matter to me.

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: I would just like to see her found. Some people pick up wrong messages. Some people are just simply so overwhelmed, that they’re just so touched by something, that they feel like they’re picking up things. I feel like my uncle picked up something, no doubt. You know, I wouldn’t be talking to you if he did not, because that was…it gave me a way to get this story out there. It’s a good story and it’s true. This actually happened to my uncle; he actually lived just with this grave in his yard for nearly a year, about 8 months, and he really did experience this.

TODD: Well, I can tell you, it’s absolutely solvable. It is. I mean, like I said, the other end of the spectrum, the missing person, can have every report known to man done, everything done correctly, 100% DNA in the DNA database just waiting, and none of it means a hill of beans until this lady’s data goes into that system, so at the very least, we can work to make that happen. You know, like I said, the system kicked out during a trial entry, a couple of possibilities, and I don’t know if it will play out or not, but I know we’ll never know unless it’s looked at, you know. So, I definitely want to work with your coroner a little more and try to make her a little better off and give her hope for the future, give whoever she belongs to, hope that she can be put back in the future. I’m sure it will happen at some point in time, and we’ve just got to get the data up and out there.

DARLA: Okay. Sounds good.

TODD: And I definitely…I’ve not told anybody what it is yet, but I do have a new media opportunity that’s going to go beyond the radio show a little bit. I’m going to get a writing job for a national media outlet that’s going to be a weekly thing and this is going to be…I’ve already written a draft for this particular story, to be used in that, and hopefully I’ll have more information that I can actually tell people about this week, but it will definitely get the information out to the entire planet. So, hopefully, fingers crossed…I’m so glad to have read your article and I’m so glad to have read your book, and to have met you and talked to you now.

DARLA: Well, I am so glad you found the article too.

TODD: And next time you think about emailing somebody, go ahead. (Laughs)

DARLA: Okay. (Laughs also)

TODD: But, you know, maybe this book needed to be written. Maybe a shortcut wasn’t meant to be. Who knows?

DARLA: Right.

TODD: I rarely look back and regret. I try to look forward and think, “You know, maybe I did all that for a reason and maybe it was important for a reason,” and just try to be positive, and try to never think I wasted my time doing anything.

DARLA: Well, you know, I’m a firm believer in ‘everything happens in its own time.’

TODD: Uh-huh.

DARLA: For years, and it just seemed that the book was released at the perfect time. You know, maybe I was supposed to take the hard road, and that’s okay. That’s okay.

TODD: Well, I’m hoping that if anybody else out there in your counties, in Tennessee, Kentucky, or whatever state you’re in, if you’ve got a Jane Doe like this one, that seems to be completely forgotten, especially from the ’60s or ’70s, where it’s very, very solvable if the data is out there, you know, ask, inquire, write to somebody, talk to your county coroner if you have a coroner; talk to somebody. You know, write to the show if you want to, and definitely, surely, I will know somebody that I can help connect you up with, but if there is a case like this out there, they do belong to somebody, and they are solvable. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. I had people laugh at me with the ‘Tent Girl’ and I felt like a fool, you know, when I would even try, and I won, though. It worked out, you know, so I won’t ever feel like that ever again, and you definitely did a lot of justice to this girl. Nobody will ever forget that girl because of what you were able to do now.

DARLA: Well, that’s…I hope so. I hope so. If that is the case, then I’ve done…I’ve done what I needed to do.

TODD: Things will happen. That’s for sure. I can’t say that we’ll get to send her home, but I definitely…I am positive that we can put her in a better situation, at least have a proper report made and get her into the right hands, and have the data in the right hands. We’ve just got to work together, but you’ve kept the candle burning, and finally somebody saw it and we’ll work on it.

DARLA: Okay. Great.

TODD: And, hopefully, I’ll get to meet you in the near future; I plan on coming up there.

DARLA: Okay. Sounds good.

TODD: And I hope everybody will check out your book. We’re going to add a link to your book, where people, if they want to purchase this book, it’s got a lot of heart and soul in it. I guarantee you, it’s a good book to read, and hopefully a few people will pick that up, it’s well worth it. It’s well worth it. There’s an online version, you can get a hard copy version, and I hope people will take a look at it. And we’ll be in touch, and I’ll send you the link to this show. It’ll be transcribed and you can use it in any way you want to, to try to promote your efforts, it’s for you to do what you want to with.

DARLA: Okay.

TODD: Well, hopefully I’ll be back in touch with you by email and get some updates from you and we’ll maybe redo this interview and add to it as news changes and hopefully get to see you really soon.

DARLA: Did you say you were 38?

TODD: Yeah.

DARLA: I’m 38.

TODD: Yeah, but you’re older than me.

DARLA: Oh, really?

TODD: Yeah. You were born in the ’60s; I held out ’til the ’70s.

DARLA: ‘Til the ’70s?

TODD: Yeah.

DARLA: You’ve been married 20 [years]; I’ve been married 19 years.

TODD: Wow, we’re 20 in July, so we’ve hung in there really good.

DARLA: That’s great. That is great.

TODD: Well, hopefully we’ll see you soon then.

DARLA: Okay.

TODD: All right. And thanks for being here.

DARLA: Okay, thanks.

TODD: All right-y. Bye-bye.

DARLA: Bye-bye.

1969 Harlan County Jane Doe Vitals:
Date Found: June 05, 1969
Location Found: Harlan County, Kentucky
Sex: Female
Race: White
Estimated Age: 20’s
Hair: Reddish/Blonde
Height: 5′ 3″
Weight: Unknown, medium build.
Medical: Healed broken collarbone.
Other Information: May be from Ohio or visited the Cincinnati Ohio area. Order ticket from Cincinnati Ohio restaurant was found near the body.

Tags:1969 Harlan County Jane Doe Mystery

1980 Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Remains Favorite All-Time Sports Memory

Nearly 30 years have passed and the event, or shall we say series of events, still bring tears to my eyes. The gold medal won by the United States Men’s Hockey Team at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, NY will always remain my all-time favorite sports memory.

Ice hockey had always been the poor brother of the major sports in the United States, running a distant fourth behind baseball, football, and basketball. Yet, I loved the sport, having virtually grown up in the old Chicago Stadium in the era of Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Tony Esposito. I lived and died with the sport during each NHL season. When the Olympics came along every four years, I dutifully watched the American team, hopeful, but not confident that the no-names would make a credible showing.

That year was no different from any other, except for the fact that the games were played in the United States and much of the hockey would be live on prime time television. No one really knew much about the rag-tag Americans, except that a few, including Dave Christian, whose father was on the 1960 Olympic Gold Medal team, were NHL prospects.

At the time, I remember my then-fiance, now husband, and I thinking how wonderful it would be if the Americans could squeak by with a bronze medal. Even that seemed remote given the Americans’ performance in pre-Olympic exhibitions, yet when the U.S. team managed a 2-2 tie with Sweden thanks to a late goal by Bill Baker, our hopes remained. Momentum continued to build as coach Herb Brooks’ crew went undefeated in the initial round, subsequently defeating Czechoslovakia, Norway, Romania, and Germany.

Those victories set up the desired meeting for the first game of the medal round, the U.S. versus the U.S.S.R. Although the match took on greater significance for most Americans because of the international tension over Afghanistan, for hockey buffs it was a heightened continuation of the Face Off at the Summit series that had begun in 1972 when the NHL professionals initially began playing the Soviets in a number of exhibition games. The fact that the players were now American amateurs was a minor point.

What a lot of Americans don’t remember is that the first period of the game was not televised live. The U.S. came out of that period tied 2-2, thanks to a long shot by Dave Christian that was initially disputed by the Soviets. With that goal, legendary Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak was relegated to the bench for the remainder of the game with backup Vladmir Myshkin performing between the pipes.

While the scoring heroics of the U.S. team is what most often comes to mind, the feat that kept the Americans in the game was the goaltending of Jim Craig. The Americans managed a measly two shots on goal during the middle frame, while Craig faced an onslaught of Soviet shots. Color man Ken Dryden, the former Montreal Canadien goalie, and another somewhat forgotten memory of the Games, dutifully noted the level at which Craig was playing. Craig turned away all of the shots, except for a breakaway goal by Alexander Maltsev. Yet, the Soviets were only ahead 3-2 after two periods, still well within striking range.

The third period went down as probably the most famous 20 minutes in hockey. Having come home from work as a store salesperson during the intermission, I sat down with my father in front of the console television in the living room, hoping against hope that the Americans could score a goal and eke out a tie. The unthinkable happened as the Soviets made two defensive mistakes. First, Mark Johnson scored on a power play goal to tie the game. Then Mark Pavelich broke up a clearing pass by Vasily Pervukin, which allowed captain Mike Eruzione to pick up the puck and snap a 25-foot wrist shot past Myshkin to give the American a 4-3 lead.

Ten minutes remained in the third period-in other words 10 minutes of stomach-churning horror for hockey fans. It was hope beyond hope. You couldn’t move away from the television even if you wanted. This was the time before text messaging, internet messaging, email, you name it. You had to talk to someone on the phone, and there were few cordless phones at the time. My fiancé and I watched separately, yet together.

As the Soviets scrambled and the final seconds ticked down, announcer Al Michaels uttered the words that made him immortal:

“Eleven seconds. You got ten seconds, the countdown going on right now. Five seconds left in the game! Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

Listen closely and you can hear Dryden saying, “Unbelievable,” just after Michaels’ pronouncement.

The medal was not won that evening. It came two days later in a game against Finland. My memories of that day are actually more vivid than of the Friday night Soviet game.

The day was sunny, but cold, typical for a Chicago winter. Churches were deserted that Sunday morning. Everyone I knew had opted to go either the evening before or on Sunday evening. It was another game where one was glued to television. This time my fiancé and I watched together. Because of the format in place at the time, the Americans needed to win to be assured of the gold medal. If they did not win, they could drop as low as fourth.

After two periods, I felt dismal. The U.S. was behind 2-1. My fiancé shook my arm, trying to cheer me up during the intermission. Nothing could cheer me, except American goals. And they came. Three of them in the third period, one each by Phil Verchota, Rob McClanahan, and Johnson. As the seconds ticked down I felt a swell of pride of being an American that was only eclipsed in November 2008 when Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency.

As Al Michaels said, the impossible dream had come true as the rag-tag Americans defeated Finland 4-2 to win the gold medal. True to form the Americans pioneered another first-after the Star Spangled Banner was played at the medal ceremony, Captain Mike Eruzione, in his everyman manner, called the rest of his teammates to squeeze in with him on the podium. Who can forget the sight of all those hands flashing the number one? Now the medal ceremonies for team sports include room for all of the participants thanks to Eruzione’s actions.

Ten years later, I had the opportunity to speak to Eruzione on the phone, as my husband was writing a feature on the anniversary of the gold medal. Eruzione called our house at about 9 a.m. one morning. My husband, having worked the night before was still asleep.

“Naaaaah, don’t wake the poor guy,” he said in the Boston accent I remembered so well. “He needs his sleep.”

We chatted for a few moments asking questions about the other person. He wasn’t Mike Eruzione, Olympic hero, he was Mike Eruzione, regular guy. When it came down to it, that’s what they all were-regular guys, the likes of whom we will probably never see winning an Olympic team medal ever again.

Tags:1980 Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Remains Favorite All-Time Sports Memory

1970's Movie of the Week Review - "Three Days of the Condor"

In researching the films of the 1970’s that I hadn’t seen I came to a surprising realization that I had never seen 1975’s “Three Days of the Condor” front start to finish and un-cut. I was a bit too young to see an R-rated thriller when it was first released but how I had gone almost 38 years without seeing it was beyond me. So I set out to make it my next retro review as I try and watch as many movies from the 1970’s as I can, when I can.

“Condor” stars Robert Redford, then at the height of his enormous popularity, as a reader for a small organization that is a front for the CIA. What does he read? Books and magazines that may have hidden codes and messages in them that could be considered a threat to the security of the government and to the nation.

As the film opens Redford arrives at work for another day on the job, only this isn’t going to be another regular day on the job. What he (and the rest of the office) doesn’t know is that their building has been targeted by assassins and soon everyone is wiped out. Luckily, Redford was (literally) out to lunch at the time so when he returns he finds an office filled with dead bodies.

Redford immediately escapes the building and calls into CIA headquarters (where we discover his CIA code name is Condor) and, reasonably so, asks to be brought in safely. He is instructed to stay underground for several hours and to call back. The CIA then sets up a meeting with Redford and an old friend he can trust but then the friend is shot dead and Condor is on the run. The movie then becomes a sharp thriller about how one man stays alive, growing paranoia and, in the process, tries to uncover a major conspiracy within the CIA.

I imagine that in 1975 this film’s underlying theme of paranoia within the government agencies was quite ripe what with the Watergate scandal, stories of bugged hotel rooms and Richard Nixon’s resignation. The film’s impact is a bit less powerful in 2013 but director Sydney Pollack crafts a suspenseful thriller that still resonates. Pollack made a wise decision in backing Redford up with some strong supporting actors, most effectively Max Von Sydow as the head assassin (a woman stares down Von Sydow’s gun and tells him, “I won’t scream” to which he replies, “I know” before shooting her dead). Cliff Robertson is also strong as an operative trying to aid Redford’s save return to the agency. Or is he? John Houseman appears briefly as a top man who wants things done quickly and cleanly. Faye Dunaway plays the film’s heroine, a role that could have been effective but the screenplay takes a left turn with her character and grinds the film to a halt.

In the midst of hiding, Condor kidnaps the woman and gets her to take him back to her apartment. He ties her down on the bed and explains his situation. She is terrified at first (naturally) and thinks he is nuts but soon she begins to warm up to him (after all this is Robert Redford in his prime) and believes his story. Not long after they are making love. Now what woman in her right mind is going to allow a stranger, who is spouting conspiracy and murder stories, to do that? I don’t care who he looks like. The sequence is so ridiculous I was taken right out of the story. I imagine with two top stars such as Redford and Dunaway (both of them in their prime), director Pollack was probably forced to put a love scene in the film but it’s all wrong and totally unnecessary.

Thankfully Dunaway’s character becomes an asset to the Condor and he uses her very well in a few scenes when he is close to finding out the truth. Pollack keeps the suspense level up when the chase is on. Two of his most effective scenes are when Redford and Von Sydow take an elevator ride together. Both men size the other up with their peripheral vision but say little. It is obvious that each man knows who the other is. How Redford gets out of the dilemma is simple but very ingenious. The other scene involves an assassin dressed as a mailman getting himself let into Dunaway’s apartment and having a fight to the death with Redford. The scene is well choreographed and edited.

This was Redord’s fourth collaboration with Pollack (This Property Condemned; Jeremiah Johnson; The Way We Were being the first three) of what would be eight total films. Obviously the two had a great work relationship with one another. I wish they had taken even more chances with this film and eliminated Dunaway’s character altogether. There are great moments in this movie and, as it stands, it’s still a pretty effective thriller. What it should have been was a masterwork by a top director and his favorite star.

Tags:1970’s Movie of the Week Review - “Three Days of the Condor”

1980's Hotties

1980’s hotties

We were so cute back then

Mom and Dad
Jody and me

You tried so hard with us kids
We always tried your patience
Never giving you time alone

I’m sorry for always making you get up for the Smurfs
Mom and Dad
I’m sorry for chiming in your bedroom
Like a screechy alarm clock

Thankyou Mom for making me piano lessons
Every damn saturday morning
You would set the VCR to record the Smurfs

My Jody
Thankyou for always scrinching up your face
To make me giggle
You are still my angel
Please move home
Please move home
I know you read these poems
Please move home
Call me
Pack the van and move home!!!!!

Thankyou for working so hard
Thankyou for working for us
That Mom could stay home and teach us
Thankyou for sacrificing your own life for us
I can’t tell you how much that means

I love you all
1980’s hotties

Tags:1980’s Hotties

1957 Chevy Bel Air Sport Coupe in Black & Light Blue

Do you see the picture of the two beautiful 1957 Chevy Bel Air Sport Coupes, one in black and the other in light blue? These cars are true classics.

Classic has great sketches of all the different types of 1957 Chevrolet cars sold. The author of that site lists some of the 1957 styling highlights that include a front grille, fins, both front and rear bumpers, and the hood birds. I especially like the “anodized aluminum body panel” along the side of each 1957 Chevy Bel Air. For me, that really enhances the look and feel of the car. The author indicated that this car would have sold for only $2299 back in 1957. Today, these collector cars sell for several thousand.

My husband told me, “Everybody knows about ’57 Chevy’s.” The author of agrees. They both talked about the large number of high school kids longing to own one of these cars. If they can’t own one of these cars, they at least want to ride in one. The 1957 Chevy has been called “the most popular used car in history.” The author quotes one of the more alliterative of the Chevy ads that stated that this car was “sweet, smooth, and sassy.”

There were only 47,562 Bel Air’s created. It makes me wonder why they only created that few or that many. In other words, why that specific number? The 1957 Chevy’s traditionally had six-cylinder engines; although, a V-8 engine was an option. The car could produce 115 horsepower. I especially enjoy that sleek look of the two-tone paint scheme and the two-tone interior. Also, notice the hood ornaments in the picture above and the rear tailfins. Is it any wonder that this car came to be regarded with so much esteem?

So, where can you find cars like these? Have you ever visited a vintage car show? Every now and then, you see them in malls and downtown streets.

On the 27th of June of 2009, my husband and I happened upon a vintage car show in downtown Greeneville, Tennessee, as we headed to one of our favorite breakfast spots called Tipton’s Café. We had to go the long way around and walk a few blocks as several of the roads had been blocked off for the 19th-annual Saturday Nite Out Downtown Cruise-In on West Depot Street. We passed by all kinds of beautiful cars on the way to eat. We also passed several tents set up to sell tee shirts, food, homemade ice cream, and crafts. Car enthusiasts were sitting in lawn chairs, browsing the cars, and sharing information and favorite car anecdotes. With eager anticipation, we reserved the treat of getting a closer look at our favorite cars after the meal.

The vintage car show was scheduled for 2:00 to 9:00 p.m.; therefore, we didn’t get to see all the cars that would be shown. As we walked, the occasional vintage car came rolling by to delight the senses. The show was hosted by Main Street, the Greeneville Auto Club, and the Volunteer State Auto Club.

Of all the cars on display, which type cars would you most like to see? Which cars would you most like to own? What are your favorites? Please feel free to share your preferences in the comment box below. Check out my slide show on Associated Content to see photos of the cars that my husband and I liked the best.

Among the over 300 cars spotlighted, we saw those two beautiful 1957 Chevy Bel Air Sport Coupes that I mentioned above. My husband went crazy. He said that this was one of the most famous cars ever made – a true classic. They really are sleek and a delight to the eye. According to Wikipedia, the 1957 Bel Air is “among the most recognizable American cars of all time.” After getting a close-up view of the two 1957 Chevy Bel Airs, I can see why car enthusiasts and collectors would be eager to get their hands on one of these two models.

Many people are not only eager to own or drive a ’57 Chevy, that car has also been spotlighted in movies and television shows. Hot shares his list of the 40 greatest car movies of all times. I checked his selections to see if any of those movies included a ’57 Chevy. The 1958 movie called Thunder Road, starring Robert Mitchum and Gene Barry, shows the cops driving a ’57 Chevy that “grabs onto the suspect’s vehicles’ bumpers.” He mentions that the 1980 movie called Hollywood Knights, starring Robert Wuhl, Tony Danza, and Michelle Pfeiffer, is filled with “more great-looking hot rods and street racing than virtually any other movie.” Naturally, that group of hot rods included a ’57 Chevy. The last movie he mentions that highlights a ’57 Chevy is the 1980 movie called Used Cars, starring Kurt Russell, Jack Warden, and Deborah Harmon. The author states that “wanton destruction includes a ’57 Chevy driven with lunacy to induce a heart attack.” describes 18 pages worth of multiple movies and television series that include a Chevrolet Bel Air from the 1950’s (i.e, 1953 models through 1959 models). He includes links to full details about the media offering plus pictures. You will find a visit to his site definitely worth your time.

The movies that include a Chevrolet Bel Air from the 1950’s only as a background vehicle include:

  • À bout de souffle, 1960
  • A Bronx Tale, 1993
  • Against All Odds, 1984
  • A Hole in the Head, 1959
  • Altrimenti ci arrabbiamo, 1974
  • American Body Shop, 2007-2009
  • American Graffiti, 1973
  • American Hot Rod, 2004-2007
  • American Me, 1992
  • Anatomy of a Murder, 1959
  • Animal House, 1978
  • A Perfect World, 1993
  • A pied, à cheval et en voiture, 1957
  • Att angöra en brygga, 1965
  • Back to the Future, 1985
  • Bad Timing, 1980
  • Barrio Cuba, 2005
  • Bellamy Brothers: The Best of the Best, 1993
  • Beverly Hills, 90210, 1990-2000
  • Big Wednesday, 1978
  • Blast of Silence, 1961
  • Blood Feast, 1963
  • Blow, 2001
  • Blue Jeans, 1958
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961
  • Buena Vista Social Club, 1999
  • Bullitt, 1968
  • Capote, 2005
  • Carnival of Souls, 1962
  • Cars on Route 66, 2006 (a documentary on multiple car types)
  • Ce soir, je dors chez toi, 2007
  • Chances Are, 1989
  • Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, 1980
  • Che: Part One, 2008
  • CHiPs, 1977-1983
  • Cléo de 5 à 7, 1961
  • Comme un cheveu sur la soupe, 1957
  • Corrina, Corrina, 1994
  • Crazy in Alabama, 1999
  • Criminal Xing, 2007
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 2000-2009 (uses multiple car types)
  • Dale, 2007
  • Dancer in the Dark, 2000
  • Days of Wine and Roses, 1962
  • Dazed and Confused, 1993
  • Dead Poets Society, 1989
  • Devil’s Messenger, 1961
  • Die Another Day, 2002
  • Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika, 1958
  • Diner, 1982
  • Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, 2004
  • Dom kallar oss mods, 1968
  • Don’t Come Knocking, 2005
  • Dragnet 1967, 1967-1970
  • Dreamgirls, 2006
  • Échappement libre, 1969
  • Ed Wood, 1994
  • Evening, 2007
  • Evel Knievel, 1971
  • Far from Heaven, 2002
  • Fastlane, 2002-2003
  • Fifth Gear, 2002-2009
  • Fireball 500, 1966
  • First Man into Space, 1959
  • Forrest Gump, 1994
  • Gangster Story, 1960
  • Ghosts of Mississippi, 1996
  • Gone in 60 Seconds, 1974
  • Goodfellas, 1990
  • Grease, 1978
  • Grease 2, 1982
  • Habana Blues, 2005
  • Hairspray, 1988
  • Happy Days, 1974-1984
  • Heart and Souls, 1993
  • Hearts in Atlantis, 2001
  • Hollywoodland, 2006
  • Homer and Eddie, 1989
  • Hopscotch, 1980
  • In Cold Blood, 1996
  • I.Q., 1994
  • In Cold Blood, 1996
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2008
  • Inventing the Abbotts, 1997
  • It, 1990
  • James Dean, 2001
  • J’irai cracher sur vos tombes, 1959
  • Kennedy, 1983
  • Kings of Rock n Roll, 2004
  • Klassikko, 2001
  • La Bamba, 1987
  • L’abominable homme des douanes, 1963
  • La Donna nel mondo, 1963
  • Lady Gaga: Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say), 2009
  • L’âge ingrat, 1964
  • La grande sauterelle, 1967
  • L’aîné des Ferchaux, 1963
  • La leggenda di Al, John e Jack, 2002
  • La Nationale 7, 40 ans après, 2005
  • La nuit américaine, 1973
  • L’arbre de Noël, 1969
  • L’arme à gauche, 1965
  • La vie à deux, 1958
  • Leave It to Beaver, 1957-1963
  • Le clan des Siciliens, 1969
  • Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, 2001
  • Le gentleman d’Epsom, 1962
  • La métamorphose des cloportes, 1965
  • Leave It to Beaver, 1957-1963
  • Le majordome, 1965
  • Le petit soldat, 1963
  • Les bricoleurs, 1962
  • Le Schiave Esistono Ancora, 1964
  • Les tricheurs, 1958
  • Les Triplettes de Belleville, 2003
  • Les uns et les autres, 1981
  • Lethal Weapon 3, 1992
  • Le tracassin ou les plaisirs de la ville, 1961
  • Le Vicomte règle ses comptes, 1967
  • Lille Fridolf och jag, 1956
  • Lolita, 1962
  • Love Field, 1992
  • Madventures, 2002-2009
  • Mafioso, 1962
  • Mission: Impossible, 1966-1973
  • Mississippi Burning, 1988
  • Mitt hjärtas Malmö, 2005-2007
  • Mondo Bizarro, 1966
  • More American Graffiti, 1979
  • Natural World, 1988-2009
  • Nice Time, 1957
  • Northfork, 2003
  • Ocean’s Eleven, 1960
  • Out of Time, 2003
  • Oz & James’ Big Wine Adventure, 2006-??
  • Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, 1985
  • Peggy Sue Got Married, 1986
  • Phantasm, 1979
  • Phantasm IV: Oblivion, 1998
  • Pillow Talk, 1959
  • Pride, 2007
  • Problem Child 2, 1991
  • Quantum Leap, 1989-1993
  • Quiz Show, 1994
  • Raging Bull, 1980
  • Rapport till himlen, 1994
  • Red Dwarf, 1988-2009
  • Richard Hammond Meets Evel Knievel, 2007
  • Roadracers, 1994
  • Running on Empty, 1982
  • Scarecrow, 1973
  • Selma & Johanna – en roadmovie, 1997
  • Shag, 1989
  • Shaker Run, 1985
  • Simon Birch, 1998
  • Sliders, 1995-2000
  • Smultronstället, 1957
  • Something Wild, 1986
  • Sous le signe du taureau, 1968
  • Soy Cuba, 1964
  • Stacked Like Me, 2006
  • Svindlande affärer, 1985
  • Take That: Back for Good, 1995
  • Tendre voyou, 1966
  • The Andromeda Strain, 1971
  • The Andy Griffith Show, 1960-1968
  • The Bank Job, 2008
  • The Bellboy, 1960
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, 1982
  • The Best of British: The History of Jaguar, 2005
  • The Buddy Holly Story, 1978
  • The Crimson Kimono, 1959
  • The Darkling, 2000
  • The Devil’s Hand, 1962
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood, 2000
  • The Flamingo Kid, 1984
  • The Flash, 1990-1991
  • The Food of the Gods, 1976
  • The Fugitive, 1963-1967
  • The Good Shepherd, 2006
  • The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery, 1959
  • The Gruesome Twosome, 1967
  • The Intruder, 1962
  • The Killing, 1956
  • The Mechanik, 2005
  • The Outsiders, 1983
  • The Princess Diaries, 2001
  • The Producers, 2005
  • The Right Stuff, 1983
  • The Saint, 1962-1969
  • The Sandlot, 1993
  • The Soul Snatcher, 1965
  • The Twilight Zone, 1959-1964
  • The Wanderers, 1979
  • The Wild Ride, 1960
  • The World’s Fastest Indian, 2005
  • This Boy’s Life, 1993
  • Thunder Road, 1958
  • Tintin et le mystère de la Toison d’Or, 1961
  • Top Gun, 1986
  • Topkapi, 1964
  • Totally Awesome, 2006
  • Tout l’or du monde, 1961
  • Un drôle de dimanche, 1958
  • Used Cars, 1980
  • Veronica Mars, 2004-2007
  • Vertigo, 1958
  • Voici le temps des assassins, 1956
  • Voodoo Swamp, 1963
  • Vous n’avez rien à déclarer?, 1959
  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, 2007
  • Walk the Line, 2005
  • We Were Soldiers, 2002
  • What’s New, Pussycat?, 1965
  • Wicked, Wicked, 1973
  • Windsplitter, 1971
  • Wired, 1989
  • Yank Tanks, 2002
  • Zoom, 2006

The movies or television series that include a Chevrolet Bel Air from the 1950’s as a minor action vehicle or used in only a short scene include:

  • Abgefahren, 2004
  • A couteaux tirés, 1964
  • Alias, 2001-2006
  • American Graffiti, 1973
  • Attack of the Giant Leeches, 1959
  • Back to the Future Part II, 1989
  • Birdy, 1984
  • Blast of Silence, 1961
  • Carambolages, 1963
  • Columbo: Identity Crisis, 1975
  • Crocodile Dundee II, 1988
  • Dale, 2007
  • Danger Man, 1960-1961
  • Dead Poets Society, 1989
  • Den bästa sommaren, 2000
  • Der Tunnel, 2001
  • Die Halbzarte, 1958
  • Do widzenia, do jutra, 1960
  • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, 1993
  • Edgar Wallace – Die Bande des Schreckens, 1960
  • 8½, 1963
  • Eine hübscher als die andere, 1961
  • Ein Toter hing im Netz, 1960
  • Ei ruumiita makuuhuoneeseen, 1959
  • El Santo contras las mujeres vampiro, 1962
  • ESPN’s Ultimate NASCAR, 2006
  • État de siège, 1972
  • Every Which Way But Loose, 1978
  • Experiment in Terror, 1962
  • First Man into Space, 1959
  • F.I.S.T., 1978
  • Fröhliche Zukunft! – Wünsche, Wunder und Visionen, 1988
  • Fuzz, 1972
  • Gangster, 2007
  • Gangster Story, 1960
  • Grind, 2003
  • Heart and Souls, 1993
  • Hooper, 1978
  • Infamous, 2006
  • Jeremy Clarkson’s Motorworld, 1995-1996
  • Johnny Hallyday: Dans un an ou un jour, 1992
  • Kaasua, komisario Palmu!, 1961
  • King of the Hill, 1997-2009
  • Knight Rider, 1982-1986
  • L’ennemi dans l’ombre, 1960
  • Le petit soldat, 1963
  • Les veinards, 1963
  • Le tracassin ou les plaisirs de la ville, 1961
  • Lilla Jönssonligan och cornflakeskuppen, 1996
  • Los Días de Cabirio, 1971
  • Losin’ It, 1983
  • Lost, 2004-2009
  • Massive Speed, 2006
  • Matlock, 1986-1995
  • Michael Jackson: Thriller, 1983
  • Mississippi Burning, 1988
  • Motylem jestem, czyli romans czterdziestolatka, 1976
  • Nice Dreams, 1981
  • Night of the Ghouls, 1959
  • North by Northwest, 1959
  • Northfork, 2003
  • Obsession, 1976
  • Perry Mason, 1957-1966
  • Quantum Leap, 1989-1993
  • Rapport till himlen, 1994
  • Reptilicus, 1961
  • Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, 2003
  • Riding in Cars with Boys, 2001
  • Secondhand Lions, 2003
  • Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird, 1985
  • Shania Twain: That Don’t Impress Me Much, 1998
  • Shag, 1989
  • Sin City, 2005
  • So ein Millionär hat’s schwer, 1958
  • Swedish Teens Run Wild, (no year listed)
  • The Bridges of Madison County, 1995
  • The Cars That Ate Paris, 1974
  • The City of the Dead, 1960
  • The Cool and the Crazy, 1958
  • The Fugitive, 1963-1967
  • The Hudsucker Proxy, 1994
  • The Intruder, 1962
  • Knight Rider, 1982-1986
  • The Iron Petticoat, 1956
  • The Man Who Captured Eichmann, 1996
  • The Outsiders, 1983
  • The Protectors, 1972-1973
  • The Saint, 1962-1969
  • The Secret Life of Bees, 2008
  • The Simpsons, 1989-2009
  • The Wild Ride, 1960
  • The World’s Fastest Indian, 2005
  • 2 Fast 2 Real II, 2006
  • Une balle dans le canon, 1958
  • Villervalle i Söderhavet, 1963
  • Weird Al Yankovic: Dare to Be Stupid, 1985
  • Wheels: The Joy of Motoring (a documentary on multiple car types)
  • Yank Tanks, 2002
  • Zodiac, 2007

The movies or television series that include a Chevrolet Bel Air from the 1950’s as a vehicle used by a character or in a car chase include:

  • A pied, à cheval et en voiture, 1957
  • Auf Achse, 1978-1996
  • Capote, 2005
  • Charlie’s Angels, 1976-1981
  • Coastlines, 2002
  • Comptes à rebours, 1971
  • Cool Cars of the ’50s, 2005 (a documentary on multiple car types)
  • Corrina, Corrina, 1994
  • Crazy People, 1990
  • Cuba, 1979
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm, 2000-2009
  • Dark Skies, 1996-1997
  • Dirty Dancing, 1987
  • Dr. No, 1962
  • Ein Engel auf Erden, 1960
  • Family Guy, 1999-2009
  • First Man into Space, 1959
  • Fleur d’oseille, 1967
  • Gangster Story, 1960
  • Halloween II, 1981
  • Hells Angels on Wheels, 1967
  • Heimweh nach dir, mein grünes Tal, 1960
  • Hot Rods to Hell, 1967
  • Il était une fois un flic, 1971
  • In Cold Blood, 1967
  • I.Q., 1994
  • It Runs in the Family, 2003
  • Johannisnacht, 1956
  • Kaiki daisakusen, 1968-1969
  • Knight Rider, 1982-1986
  • La chasse à l’homme, 1964
  • La grande sauterelle, 1967
  • Le grand restaurant, 1966
  • La Môme, 2007
  • La vengeance du serpent à plumes, 1984
  • Les bonnes causes, 1963
  • Les félins, 1964
  • Love Lies Bleeding, 2008
  • MacGyver, 1985-1992
  • Mad Max, 1979
  • Maigret voit rouge, 1963
  • Mon oncle, 1958
  • Nionde kompaniet, 1987
  • Planet Terror, 2007
  • Quantum Leap, 1989-1993
  • Riding in Cars with Boys, 2001
  • Shocker, 1989
  • Spy Hard, 1996
  • Taken, 2002
  • Take the Money and Run, 1969
  • Terrain vague, 1960
  • The Baron, 1966-1967
  • The Dale Earnhardt Story, 2004
  • The Heavenly Kid, 1985
  • The Right Stuff, 1983
  • The Sadist, 1963
  • The Space Giants, 1966-1967
  • Time Lock, 1957

The movies or television series that include a Chevrolet Bel Air from the 1950’s as a vehicle used a lot by a main character or for a long time include:

  • American Graffiti, 1973
  • American Hot Rod, 2004-2007
  • A Perfect World, 1993
  • Cypress Hill: Lowrider, 2001
  • Dark Skies, 1996-1997
  • Diner, 1982
  • Drei Mädels vom Rhein, 1955
  • Eddie and the Cruisers, 1983
  • Golgo 13, 2008-2009
  • Knight Rider 2000, 1991
  • Losin’ It, 1983
  • Mischief, 1985
  • Olsen-banden ser rødt, 1976
  • Olsen-bandens sidste bedrifter, 1974
  • Overhaulin’, 2004-2009
  • Pimp My Ride, 2004-2009
  • Return to Macon County, 1975
  • Roadracers, 1994
  • Simon & Simon, 1981-1988
  • Smokey Bites the Dust, 1981
  • The World’s Fastest Indian, 2005
  • Thunder and Lightning, 1977
  • Un drôle de dimanche, 1958
  • Yilmayan seytan, 1973

The movies or television series that include a Chevrolet Bel Air from the 1950’s as a vehicle that is part of the movie include:

  • Olsen-banden gar i krig, 1978
  • Olsen-banden over alle bjerge, 1981
  • Olsen-banden overgiver sig aldrig, 1979
  • Olsen-bandens flugt over plankeværket, 1981

The author of also lists movies and television shows where he describes the vehicle role of a Chevrolet Bel Air as unknown. This list includes:

  • Absolutamente Certo, 1957
  • A Scream in the Streets, 1973
  • Blind Horizon, 2003
  • Der Fluch des schwarzen Rubin, 1965
  • Down With Love, 2003
  • Oh, diese Ferien, 1958
  • Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth, 2000
  • Strange Behaviour, 1981
  • The Last Ride, 2004

The listing put together by must have taken an incredible amount of time and expertise. It makes me feel inspired to not only watch a bunch of these movies, but to divide my attention between the actors and the vehicles they drive. What about you readers? Have you seen any of these movies or television series? Did the role the car played in any of them impact your life in any way or remind you of a car story of your own? If so, please share them in the comment section below. I would love to hear them!

While researching this story, I was delighted to find some actual footage of 1957 commercials advertising the ’57 Chevy Bel Air. Here’s the links to some of those commercials for you to enjoy: This YouTube movie called 1957 Chevy Commercial includes details that the ’57 Chevy was the first official Auto Decathlon Champion.

This YouTube movie called 1957 Chevrolet safety – Commercial focuses on weight distribution and the car coming to a smooth stop:

This YouTube movie called 1957 Chevrolet TV Ad: A Story for Grown-Ups is quite entertaining:

Check out the YouTube movie called 1957 Chevrolet TV Ad: Birthday!. A wife receives a ’57 Chevy Bel Air for her birthday. This advertising ploy is cleverly disguised as the husband and children naturally wish to show off all the key features of the interior and exterior of her new car:

Enjoy the picture of these two cars. Does it make you recall the songs called 57 Chevrolet and 57 Chevy? Check out my video footage showing off different views of the cars in much greater detail. When you get a chance, visit a car show of your own to enjoy the rock and roll music, the food, the camaraderie, and the car feast for the eyes.


Tags:1957 Chevy Bel Air Sport Coupe in Black & Light Blue

1973 World Series Game 1 Ticket Review & Stub Appraisal

The 1973 World Series was won in 7 games by the Oakland A’s over the New York Mets. Both teams featured young All Stars including; Reggie Jackson, Rusty Staub, Rollie Fingers, Tom Seaver, Vida Blue, and others. Game 1 was won by the A’s behind pitcher Ken Holtzman. Attendance was 46,021. For complete boxscore information check here at

The 1973 World Series tickets produced by the Oakland A’s are among my favorites due to their design with the donkey Charlie O. on the ticket showing him kicking the “National League” behind him. The colors are very retro and the overall ticket is unique compared to other team’s designs in the 1970’s.

Although the design of the ticket receives a good review, these tickets have not gained much attention by collectors, and carry a low overall value. The Mets tickets from the same series have seen significantly more action during online auctions. The events during game one were uneventful, although the fact that this was the opening game of the series does have some significance.

The overall ticket is in rough shape although from a distance it still displays well. The creases throughout the ticket and bent corners lower the value. Pen scribbles on the back turn off many collectors as they seek out the best tickets in regards to condition on the front and back of the ticket.

As always I determine my appraisals based on recent market prices (online using several sources and offline if present at the auction) and based on all of the information I have available on the ticket itself, the market, and other relevant information. Although an online price guide generalizes the value of the 1973 Oakland A’s home World Series tickets at $45-75, the ticket is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay, and my appraisals reflect that. Recently a full unused ticket from this same game went for only $29.99 on eBay, far below the estimated value of $85-100.

Appraisal Value: $15-20

Sold on eBay for $18.00 on 11/27/10

Tags:1973 World Series Game 1 Ticket Review & Stub Appraisal

1950s Foldex 20, a Folding Bellows Camera

If you lived in the 50s and 60s like I have, you likely have owned or knew someone who owned a Foldex 20 camera, or a similar model, that had the big flash attachment and opened up so that the lens moved forward on a folding bellows. Sweet.

The 1950-1953 Foldex 20 had a synchronized shutter too. What more could you ask for? Well, perhaps an 86 mm Octvar lens would be nice, and is. For novices like me, there are only two adjustments for shutter speed; 1/50 and time settings. When using the 1/50, point, click and it automatically opens and closes the lens. When using the time setting, use a tripod attachment to steady the camera. Push down on the button, hold, and then release after 1 to 15 seconds (a light meter might be handy to use for the correct timed exposure). Frame your photo shot through the viewfinder. Wind the film to set up the next shot. Note that the shutter is protected by glass.

This amazing folding camera was manufactured in the Chicago area by Pho-Tak Corporation. Pho-Tak was just one of several news companies in the 50s who made and sold camera models in Chicago, New England, and NY. They also made Scout 120 Flash for the Boy Scouts of America and a single box camera named the Traveler 120. It used 120 film whereas the Foldex uses both the 120 and the 620 film. The resulting photos are 3 ¼ x 2 ¼ inches. The camera is black with aluminum dials, etc. Did you notice that the camera folds together, making it an early version of today’s “compact” cameras. Funny.

Per all Foldex cameras are built like “battleships.”

My camera had the rare attachment bulb flash. As I recall, we bought these in packs and got one flash pop per picture. Since there are only 8 exposures on the film, we needed 8 flash bulbs per roll of film. With each snap, they went from bright light to burned out.

A good Foldex 20 find today is considered to be one with no chipping or paint loss to the finish or, the less issues the better. Many can’t be sold other than “as is” because most owners no longer have the bulbs and the film to make magic with old cameras. We just do our best as we manuever through our digital world.

About this same time, the Rollex 20 camera was introduced which was very similar to the Foldex 20. The Rollex 20 was manufactured by the United States Camera Co., which many believe was either Pho-Tak under a different name or United States Camera was subcontracting from Pho-Tak with the variation in name. Both companies were supposedly Chicago based.

So I have learned more about this very interesting folding, compact, camera. Hope you have too. Comments are welcomed below. Please consider following my writings.


Tags:1950s Foldex 20, a Folding Bellows Camera

1967 Mustang Shelby GT350 Sells at Mecum

In the high-octane setting of televised auctions, very few recognize the behind-the-scenes work necessary to prepare a car for its trip across the stage. During Mecum’s Kissimmee auction, we followed a genuine classic, a 1967 Shelby GT350, through the entire auction process, beginning with its arrival, and ending with its transfer to the new owner. This was only 1 of almost 3,000 stories that played out during this ten-day event, in what turned out to be the largest collector car auction in history.

Its Arrival

We spotted the 1967 Lime Gold Shelby, with white Le Mans stripes, just as it rolled out of the car hauler. In the bright Florida sun, the car looked as new as the day Carroll Shelby’s team first created it. Greg, the owner, told us that work on the Shelby had been ongoing until right before its shipment to Mecum. Terry, who was responsible for its restoration, had been working nonstop to get it ready for the auction. Therefore, he slept during most of the ten-hour drive from North Carolina to Kissimmee, while Barbara, his wife, drove the truck that pulled the car hauler.

Checking In

Although the distance from the unloading area to the Mecum check-in tent was only a few hundred feet, Greg said that was the farthest the car had been driven since the completion of its restoration, only hours before. At the check-in tent, Mecum’s inspector verified that the VIN number and odometer reading on the car matched with the paperwork Greg previously submitted. After the Shelby passed inspection, it was taken to a display tent, where it, as well as other high-value cars, could be viewed by potential bidders. As soon as it was parked, Greg performed final detailing, he set up a plaque that summarized the car’s features, and he positioned mirrors to show the pristine condition of the car’s underside. Undoubtedly, the GT350 was impressive, but there would be a lot of competition from the neighboring rows of Stingrays, ‘Cudas, and other highly-prized muscle cars.

Auction Day

Timing can be very important when auctioning cars, and Greg was fortunate enough to get a good time slot for his Shelby – early afternoon on Saturday. Also, he was allowed to move the GT350 to the staging area outside the auction hall Saturday morning, well in advance of the sale time. This placed his car in a prime spot, since serious bidders go to this staging area to get a last look at cars, before they head to the auction block.

Although Mecum drivers typically move the cars around the auction complex, Barbara was given the honor of driving the Shelby across the stage. A very boisterous 1968 Pro Touring Camaro was in front of her, and behind her was a 1972 Olds Hurst Indy Pace car. However, despite the Camaro’s strong sounding engine and the special edition graphics on the Olds, neither of these cars met their reserve prices, so they left the auction hall unsold. But, when the Shelby took center stage, it was apparent from the onset that there was serious interest in the car. The bids quickly increased, until reaching the $100,000 mark. Then, in the final seconds, the last and winning bid was placed, and the hammer fell at $110,000. After Barbara drove the Shelby out of the auction hall, she, Greg, and Terry shared a bittersweet moment. They knew this might be the last time they’d see the car. But, as Terry said, “It’s time to move on to the next project.”

The New Owner

The Shelby was driven back to its original display tent for temporary holding. After going by the Mecum Auction Office, Bob, the new owner, decided to take another look at his newly acquired Shelby. He couldn’t wait any longer — he started it up, drove it a few feet, and then reparked it. He was looking forward to returning to Indianapolis, where he anticipates spending quality time with it this summer and many summers to come. He told us that although he has a late model Shelby, he also wanted one of the classics. It’s gratifying to know this GT350 has a good home, with someone who appreciates the significance of its pedigree.

Tags:1967 Mustang Shelby GT350 Sells at Mecum

1950's Man

1950’s man sort of
He’s got the idea

Jack Lemmon he loves

Tony’s got it going on I’ve got to say
His release is simple


1950’s man
Walking around in tweed

Hanging out in downtown Columbia dipping Converse shoes in the rain

Jack Lemmon he loves

Tony’s got it going on I’ve got to say
His ideas are simple


1950’s man
Roaming with brush-fire beard

Hanging around reading Moby Dick

(The book he thought he would always hate, until I read it aloud to him)

Tony’s got it going on
Everyone who knows him must agree

He’s the 1950’s man

Who’s hot in tweed

This is a totally true poem for Tony. I think he approves this message except I don’t think he wanted me to admit that he wears tweed! LOLOLOL!!!!

Tags:1950’s Man

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