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Cab Calloway at the World's Fair

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OK. I lived in Heidelberg, W. Germany from 74 to 78. My dad worked for IBM and took care of the mainframe computers on US Army installations in Heidelberg. I graduated from Heidelberg American HS in 78 and got a summer job with the Army in the JAG office. (that's when I learned that the federal government was exempt from minimum wage laws!) Anyway, one of our lawyers - Capt Duffy - was about to PCS back to the States. He has just bought a copy of 'Inside the Third Reich" by Speer. He knew that Speer lived in Heidelberg and asked me if I could locate him and get him to autograph the book. After an intensive search (he was listed in the local phone book) I got up the nerve to call him and ask. I used my best German - but his English was much better. I made an appoitment with him and drove up to his family estate a couple of days later. He was very gracious. The whole event lasted about 10 minutes. I had no idea at the time what impact this man had on the lives of millions - how his work both prologed the war - but then at the end spared untold thousands and helped to prevent the destruction of infrastructure needed to rebuild germany.

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Sehr interessante Geschichte ueber Speer, Cartier. Vielen Dank!

Here's my list -

Bill Clinton

Kevin Spacey (with Bill)

Janet Reno

James Carville

Kerry Kennedy Cuomo

Robert Kennedy Jr.

Ralph Nader

Gene McCarthy (For the youngsters: He was a presidential candidate in '68 and '72)

Doris Kearns Goodwin

B.F. Skinner

Walter Cronkite

Morley Safer

Al Franken

Michael Moore

Tom Wolfe

Terry Waite (British hostage negotiater kidnapped in Lebanon)

Charles Spencer (Princess Di's Brother)

Sir Desmond Guinness (think of beer and Ireland)

Leonard Nimoy

Katia and Marielle Labèque

Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg

Paul W. Tibbets (Pilot of the Enola Gay)

Oliver Sacks

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Thanks, BP, great story! He was a fascinating guy, and a mass of contradictions as you pointed out.

BTW, did you like D-land? Do any tourism?

We visited Heidelberg in '65 to visit a GI family, the place was packed with Americans then.

Dad used his NAFI ID-card to get into the PX in Wurzburg all the time. IIRC, we weren't allowed to take any Germans with us as guests, but we bought them certain American items that they loved and couldn't obtain there. One item sticks in my mind: shoe polishing pads pre-impregnated with "shine juice". GIs used them for getting that spit-shine look on their boots. Our German folks thought they were the cats pajamas! Ahh, good old days.....

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There is a Cronkite/Nimoy thing going on here.....

MB

Both of these people are remarkable for their durability and public accessibility.

Cronkite has been around a long time and as a reporter, his profession literally puts him in touch with many people. Nimoy has also been extant for some time, albeit less than Walter. However, Nimoy has been active in Democratic politics for over 30 years and has campaigned personally for some candidates, at least as far back as '72 when he worked for George McGovern and met with McGovern supporters in the small town I lived in at that time.

Thus, I am not surprised that more than one of us has met both people.

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Here's a few more names that I couldn't remember until today. That's what happens when you have only two dozen brain cells left!

Earl Holliman (actor in The Twilight Zone "WHERE IS EVERYBODY?"). I think that was the first in the long T Z series. We chatted for a quarter of an hour while waiting for the valet parking guys to bring our cars following a charity event in Hollywood.

Van Williams who played the role of Brit Reid in the original TV series, "THE GREEN HORNET". For a time, he had a radio communications business in Santa Monica and he became one my customers after a long sales meeting in his office.

Jack Lemmon....We said hello to each other as he was filming a car scene in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater for "Save the Tiger".

Foster Brooks... known for his inebriated conventioneer role as seen dozens of times on Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, etc. He was signing into the Sahara Hotel , Las Vegas as I stood next in line. He smiled and said "thanks anyway" when I offered to help him find the elevator.

Sinbad... an outstanding example of contemporary stand up comedy without the smut. He and his date were on the same Motion Machine ride on Universal's City Walk. We were together racing hopped up cars on the Indianapolis Speedway in that theater.

Anna Lee and Olive Deering, actresses noted for their many stage, TV and screen roles.

Ray Dashner (Remembering the past and looking forward to the future!)

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"Foster Brooks...Roasts..Martin..."

Oh yes LOL

"Thank you Slammy..."

I am now remembering a lot of stuff I won't type in here from those roasts but ...FUNNY

I always regret not meeting Jackie Gleason

MB

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OOps, that's another one I forgot to mention.

I was in Miami Beach for the King Orange Parade on New Years Day 1986. Jackie Gleason was the Grand Marshall. I decided to record the parade on my UHER 4000 portable recorder. I still have the narration on tape as Jackie and the rest of the parade passed by.

Later, I went to his favorite restaurant (Wolfie's) which was next to the theater where the Jackie Gleason Show originated and had dinner at his favorite table.

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Wasn't she the one who ran for Governor of California, along with Gary Coleman (come to think of it, I've met him!) and seemingly everybody else in Hollywood?

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Wow! That is cool! Lucky you - that must have been great to see him. I recognize the photo of Gleason on the right wall just from the thumbnail - one of his personal publicity shots - I must have sold probably 7-10 of those signed in the last few years. When I started dealing, 8x10's of his sig (not common but by no means rare or even somewhat scarce - just a lot of forgeries out there ) were about $45-$60 (when I was 12 they were $5!); I was looking at some auction results recently and he is bringing $300 or so these days just for these common head shots! I still have a few Gleason sigs and I ought to sell them - one is a signed liquor list! I paid, for my collection, $100 for an 8x10 bus photo signed by all 4 in NY at the Museum of TV or whatever it is called from when the Lost Episodes were released, and sold all my single vintage signed studio portaits. Another thing I have I have in my Honeymooners collection is a sheet of contact photographs oif the Honeymoners in rehearsals for the very last b/w episode called "The Adoption" - an hour special. This I found for $5 on 26th Street

Best,

MB

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Randy, I too considered running for governor, but when I heard that Angelyne was also running, I decided that I didn't have a chance, so I took my hat back out of the ring.

Elsewhere on these PTU forum topics, I posted about my Angelyne sighting. Text of that posting is repeated below.

One of the most remarkable of all of Hollywood's famous personalities is ANGELYNE, who in her younger days manufactured celebrity status for herself by simply putting her reclining image on billboards. I once rode aside of her while on the eastbound 101 Freeway as she tooled along in the right lane in her pink Corvette. I kept my speed the same as hers and soon I was rewarded with a sequence of puckered lips as she smiled over to my side. Actually sighting ANGELYNE in Southern California is considered a landmark event. Her license plate "ANGELYNE" clearly announces it's really her in that hot Corvette.

Her cute web site tells the whole story. Anyone can achieve celebrity status in this world... just get a rich uncle to rent a billboard and paste your picture on it.

<a href="http://www.angelyne.com/tc.html" target="_blank">http://www.angelyne.com/tc.html</a>

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Hi, as to Cab Calloway, my musical mentor, J.C. Johnson, wrote a couple of songs C.C. performed, I believe at the Cotton Club. I also staged managed for C.C. in the 70s 2 or 3 nights - he was very nice to me and the band, even though he was clearly tired, which showed a lot.

On another note, I'm attaching a letter of appreciation J.C. received from the 1940 NY World's Fair "National Committee for the Participation of Negroes" (!!) for his participation in something called the "American Common" (was that a show or a one day pageant or event- anyone know?). I hope the letter comes out, so you can read it! Enjoy!

post-63-125511312271_thumb.jpg

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Hi Gary H,

The American Common, a second-season-only Fair feature, was located where the impressive Soviet Pavillion was. It was billed with the theme "For Peace and Freedom", and you could only fly American flags there - nothing else. Also mentioned in the guidebook is "the fusing of bloodstreams that begot the Union". All this "freedom" was then fenced in by the "Gallery of Honour". There was a bandshell and amphitheatre as well. This whole thing accomodated about 3,500 people. Also, not to be confused with the "American Jubilee".

Best,

MB

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Latest additions to my previous list:

David Horowitz (Fight Back with David Horowitz & Ray Dashner shown on national NBC-TV Network, 1988).

Huell Howser (California Gold with Huell Howser & Ray Dashner shown on national PBS TV, 2005).

More recently, a friendly meeting with Teller, the silent partner of the Penn & Teller duo. (Pic attached, March 29, Las Vegas).

Ray D.

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Okay-- as a working member of the entertainment industry-- it's usually bad for business, so I try not to ever kiss and tell. Therefore, rather than name names, I've decided to simply sit in silence and watch my original "Cab Calloway at the World's Fair" post slowly fall prey to a classic case of PTU Topical Slide.

But Ray-- this is too much!

You mean to tell me you've not only MET California's own legendary HUELL HOWSER, but you've actually APPEARED ON THE AIR WITH HIM?!

As Huell himself would say... "Wowwwww! That's Uh-MAYYYYZING!"

g-huellhowser.jpg

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Randy, I think that the "Topical Slide" began at post #4.

My 1/2 hour "California Gold" program with Huell Howser took over 6 hours to film. The topic was "The Original Busch Gardens" in Pasadena, but we started filming at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Van Nuys at 9:00AM. Then we traveled to Pasadena to film the original Busch Gardens artifacts, still existent in Pasadena.

DVD or Video Cassette copies of the program are available by calling KCET-TV, Los Angeles.

Details of this remarkable section of Pasadena can be seen at my web site devoted to the Original Busch Gardens. <a href="http://home.earthlink.net/~draydar/" target="_blank">http://home.earthlink.net/~draydar/</a>

Ray D.

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Actually, I was lamenting missing my chance to see Cab Calloway perform live in post #4, albeit in a roundabout manner I still regret not seeing him. What I meant was, out of all those things, it was this old legend I should have seen.

MB

Everytime I see or hear "Busch Gardens" I think of Chef and Apocalypse Now.. oops....drifting....

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My 1/2 hour "California Gold" program with Hewell Howser took over 6 hours to film. The topic was "The Original Busch Gardens" in Pasadena=

About a week ago I saw a couple of neat old postcards on eBay, that showed the Pasadena Busch Gardens.

I think they dated back before World War I.

When I saw them, I remembered Ray's web page.

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Oh my God, Ray! That was YOU! How great! I kept that episode on my Tivo for the longest time (I never miss one of Huell's many shows) and I often pass the old Busch plant on the 405 and think about it. In fact, I was also just thinking about Busch Gardens recently when a very large flock of probably 30 or 40 wild parrots landed in a tree beside my office making an infernal racket for several hours. Not sure if it was in that episode of CALIFORNIA'S GOLD or not-- but I thought I remembered hearing somewhere that many of the wild birds from Busch Gardens were simply released after it closed and now account for a fairly sizeable population of decidedly non-indigenous tropical birds who've taken up roost all across Southern California.

Regardless, what is Huell really like? Is he really as infectiously nice as he seems? That guy has a true gift for getting me interested and excited in some of the most random and even occasionally ridiculous things! Even though most people outside of our state have never heard of him, that man is a real California treasure, in my opinion.

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Huell Howser is originally from Tennessee; lives in Palm Springs now.

I think his shows are interesting, but my wife can't stand to watch, because of his interview style. She's a life-long SoCalian, and 'folksy' seems foreign to some folks.

Huell's signature style goes something like this:

Interviewee: And that's how the bridge was built.

Huell: Do you mean that THAT is how that bridge was built?

Interviewee: That's what I just said Huell.

Huell: So, RIGHT HERE, on this VERY SPOT, they actually built a HUGE BRIDGE???

Interviewee: (to himself: "is this guy for real?")

Huell: GOLLY! I can't BELIEVE that I'm standing right here, where- fifty seven YEARS ago, THIS BRIDGE was built.

Interviewee: It's just a bridge Huell.

Huell: [to his longtime cameraman Louie]: Louie, get a closeup of this rivet. This is just fantastic!

Huell: So, what you're saying is, until this bridge was built people had to cross the river on a hand-drawn ferry? And then for five decades they were able to cross in seconds on a two-lane bridge? This is specTACular!

Interviewee: Are we starting this interview over again?

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Ha-ha-ha-haaaaaa... it's all so very true, Randy. And yet, I still can't help watching Huell Howser. His enthusiasm may indeed be corny, but it's consistently infectious and always feels genuine. Also, it seems to me like he always goes out of his way to make people feel special-- and not just the people he's interviewing, but also the folks he randomly approaches with his microphone and "Louie" the invisible cameraman in tow. As a So Cal transplant myself (22 years ago) I've learned an awful lot about this great state from him.

Plus for fair fans-- he did a nice episode a few years ago about the surviving Pan Am Clipper pilots and crew who used to fly in and out of Treasure Island at the G.G.I.E. He's also covered San Fran's immortal Palace of Fine Arts from the P.P.I.E. And he's visited Balboa Park and the great Spreckel's Organ that was installed for San Diego's own 1915 Expo.

Of course, I'm now tempted to apologize to all of our East Coast PTU pals who have no idea who or what we're talking about-- but hey, since it was my Cab Calloway post that was originally hijacked--

californiasgold.gif

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