“WHEE-LO” was a handheld toy with a plastic wheel that rolled along the length of a frame you could tip at different angles to make the wheel spin faster. The design, based on the forces of energy and gravity, was actually pretty simple but… back in the days before computer and video games… the toy could provide hours of fun! The original toy was introduced in the 1950s and versions are still in production today.
“Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce was #1 on the Billboard Chart, reaching the top of the chart 14 weeks after the singer was tragically killed in the crash of a small plane taking off at night from an airstrip in Louisiana. Jim Croce was just 30 years old when he died. Lots of us first heard “Time in a Bottle” when it was featured in the made-for-television movie “She Lives,” about a young woman with terminal cancer. Prior to establishing himself as a professional musician, Jim worked as a special education teacher's assistant. As the story goes… Jim often played music while teaching and was supposedly fired after continuing to bring music into the classroom after being told to stop.
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The first broadcast of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” aired in 1962 and stayed around until Johnny decided to retire… three decades later. Johnny’s first guests were Rudy Vallée, Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks, and Joan Crawford. Robin Williams and Bette Midler were the guests on his last show, which aired on May 22, 1992. TV Guide ranked "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” at #12 on its list of the “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” and #22 on its list of the “60 Best Series.” The show’s finale ranked at #10 on TV Guide's list of “TV's Most Unforgettable Finales.”
Remember drive-in movie speakers? In the “good old days,” those clunky gray metal boxes stuck in car windows were the only way to hear what was happening on the drive-in’s big screen. Of course, not all drive-in speakers provided decent sound so we usually had to pull into a few spaces to try out different speakers until we found one to our liking. Positioning a speaker was a real process too. It meant cranking down the window by hand, grabbing the speaker off its post, fitting it in place, and rolling the window back up. There was always a little open space left… just enough to let in some humid air.
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“Driving Miss Daisy” debuted in theaters back in 1989 and quickly won people’s hearts. It also earned four Academy Awards as well as three Golden Globe Awards. The movie spans a quarter of a century in the lives of its two main characters who build an unlikely but deep and strong friendship. The story, based on Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, touches upon some difficult subjects like racism, antisemitism, and aging through the eyes of a maturing white Jewish older Southern woman named Daisy Werthan and her African-American chauffeur named Hoke Coleburn. As their bond grows stronger over the years, the two teach and learn from each other. Morgan Freeman is masterful as the wise, perceptive Hoke and Jessica Tandy shows Daisy’s fragility hidden beneath her stubborn, stern exterior.
Some folks called them blackboards while others called them chalkboards, but it really didn’t matter. Whatever you called them, you probably spent your school days watching teachers write across them with chalk. Then either the teacher or a student would use one of those gray felt-covered erasers to wipe it all away. Every now and then, someone would have to "clap” a couple erasers together to loosen and release all the built up chalk dust. Plenty of us enjoyed clapping erasers and erasing blackboards when we got the chance. And...remember how many times somebody would grab an eraser filled with chalk dust and leave an imprint of it on the back of a friend or foe’s clothing?