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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments

message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Peggy Cummings
Actress of the Cult Hit- Gun Crazy
Never heard of her but she had a pretty interesting life and even dated JFK.

message 3: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments I'm with you, Julie, i didn't know about her and am unfamiliar with her best known movie. Sometimes i feel so out of the loop. :-)

RIP Cummings

message 4: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Fred Bass, Who Made the Strand Bookstore a Mecca, Dies at 89

Fred Bass, on the phone, at the Strand Bookstore in the early 1970s.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said Leigh Altshuler, the Strand’s director of communications.

Mr. Bass was 13 when he began working at the Strand, founded by his father, Benjamin. At the time, it was one of nearly 50 such stores along Fourth Avenue.

Except for two years in the Army, he never left, until retiring in November 2017.

A year after taking over as manager of the store in 1956, he moved it from Fourth Avenue to its present location, on Broadway at 12th Street, where it occupied half the ground floor of what had been a clothing business. He set the Strand on a path of unstoppable expansion, taking over the entire first floor, then, in the 1970s, the top three floors, and adding an antiquarian department.

Following his father’s playbook, he pursued a policy of aggressive acquisition.

“At first I used to think he was crazy,” Mr. Bass told the cable news channel NY1 in 2015. “Why are we buying extra books? We haven’t sold all these. But we just kept buying and buying. It was a fact — you can’t sell a book you don’t have.”

The 70,000 books in the Fourth Avenue store swelled, at the Broadway site, to half a million by the mid-1960s and 2.5 million by the 1990s, requiring the purchase of a storage warehouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. By the time Mr. Bass bought the building for $8.2 million in 1997, the Strand had become the largest used-book store in the world.

Into his late 80s, Mr. Bass stood behind a counter, appraising books and authorizing payment on the spot to book-laden sellers cleaning out their apartments, critics offloading surplus review copies and the down-at-heel looking to collect a few dollars.

“We’re the last place left besides a pawnshop where you can walk in the door and sell stuff,” he told the newspaper The Villager in 2010. When he was not behind the counter he sat on a stool at the front of the store, a perch that allowed him, as he put it, “to promote smooth traffic flow.” On weekends he attended estate sales, amassing even more books.

“It’s a disease,” he told New York magazine in 1977. “I get an attack, something like a panic, of book-buying. I simply must keep fresh used books flowing over my shelves. And every day the clerks weed out the unsalable stuff from the shelves and bins and we throw it out. Tons of dead books go out nightly. And I bought ’em. But I just have to make room for fresh stock to keep the shelves lively.”

Fred Bass was born on June 28, 1928, in Manhattan, a year after his father, an immigrant from Lithuania, had opened the Pelican Book Shop on Eighth Street, near Greene Street. Ben Bass had developed book fever browsing the stores on Fourth Avenue during lunch breaks from his job in a nearby fabric store. Fred’s mother, the former Shirley Vogel, was an immigrant from Poland who died of cancer when he was 6.

Ben Bass, who died in 1978, did not thrive in his new occupation. He was forced out of his Eighth Street premises in 1929 and opened the Strand on Fourth Avenue with $300 in savings and another $300 in borrowed money. The cash register was a cigar box. In the early days, to keep expenses down, he slept on a cot in the back of the shop.

It was not a successful concern, and the onset of the Depression made it even less so. Destitute, he placed Fred and his daughter, Dorothy, in foster care with a couple in the East Village.

After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, Fred enrolled in Brooklyn College, earning a degree in English in 1949. He attended classes by day and worked for his father in the afternoons, as he had since the age of 13. He swept the floor, organized the shelves and visited private homes to scout out books, which he carried on the subway to the Strand, by then at 81 Fourth Avenue, between 10th and 11th Streets.

“I got the dust in my blood and I never got it out,” he told McCandlish Phillips, a New York Times reporter and the author of “City Notebook: A Reporter’s Portrait of a Vanishing New York” (1974).

Mr. Bass was drafted into the Army in 1950 and posted to West Germany. In 1952, while serving stateside in New Jersey, he married Patricia Miller. She survives him, as do their daughter, Nancy Bass Wyden, who now owns the business; his sister, Dorothy Bass; a half sister, Eleanor Allen; and three grandchildren.

Ms. Wyden, whose husband is Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, took over the store on her father’s retirement.

The Fourth Avenue book district, which ran from Union Square to Astor Place, was flavorful, its dozens of bookstores run by eccentrics who often seemed to regard customers as an intrusion. Many a patron left with the distinct impression that his or her purchase had been grudgingly tolerated rather than encouraged. Rising rents inexorably thinned the ranks, leaving the Strand the sole survivor of what had been one of New York’s most distinctive neighborhoods.

Mr. Bass offered another reason for the demise of Booksellers’ Row to NY1. “What happened to Fourth Avenue, essentially, it was run by a lot of very interesting, strong, self-centered individuals, including my dad, and very few of them imparted knowledge to the younger generation,” he said.

Competition was not friendly. When the Strand moved to Broadway, booksellers on Fourth Avenue refused to tell confused customers where to find it.

After taking over management of the store, Mr. Bass introduced a number of innovations. He established satellite Strands in kiosks outside the entrance to Central Park on Fifth Avenue at Grand Army Plaza and downtown in the South Street Seaport. In 2013, the Strand opened an outpost in the Flatiron district. In 2016, the Strand opened a summer-season kiosk in Times Square.

Most famously, Mr. Bass created a literary quiz for prospective Strand employees to take when filling out their applications. “I thought it was a quick way to find if somebody had any knowledge of books,” he told The Times in 2016. Applicants had to match 10 authors with 10 titles, and maneuver around one trick question, in an exercise that became a cherished bit of New York lore.

Prodded by his daughter, who joined the business in 1986, Mr. Bass consented to a major renovation and expansion of the store in 2005, adding an elevator and air-conditioning and streamlining the floors to make browsing easier. The Strand began selling merchandise like T-shirts and tote bags, which now account for about 15 percent of total revenues, and, tentatively at first, began offering new books at a discount.

Mr. Bass liked to tell journalists that the Strand, just one of many bookstores in its infancy, contained more books and had more employees than the rest of the stores along Booksellers’ Row combined in that district’s heyday.

“My dream was to get a big bookstore, which I’ve achieved,” he told NY1. “I’m very happy about that.”

message 5: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments Interesting article about the man but also about the early bookselling/buying experience. I had no idea, as it always seems like such a polite business to me. Wouldn't you like to see that prospective employee test? As a book person, i'd like to think i could pass but it probably depends on the decade in which it was created.

R.I.P. Fred Bass...and thanks for the memories

message 6: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments I love that story about the book test. If you have ever encountered a clerk in a Barnes and Noble who seems to know nothing it reminds me that there were once people who cared.

message 7: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments True, Bobbie. I keep expecting the B&N clerks to ask, "Do you want fries with that?"

message 8: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments madrano wrote: "True, Bobbie. I keep expecting the B&N clerks to ask, "Do you want fries with that?""

I do miss Borders on Park Ave and 57th in NYC. The clerks were quite knowledgeable.

I have to say I've been in a B&N were some of the clerks were also quite knowledgeable and have gone out of there way to help me. I recall one time I was looking for a book on Saint Teresa of Avila. I was asking where they might be. The clerk led me to another clerk on another floor because that person knew all about St. Teresa and which book to recommend. :) She did !

I've also been in the few local indie bookstores that only dealt with bestsellers and they knew nothing beyond those books.

So I guess it really depends on the individual store.

My neighborhood really has no book stores. Now that is a sad state of affairs. :(

message 9: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments Interesting about your indie experience. I don't know if it's because Dallas is the headquarters of Half Price Books but there are always at least 3 employees in every store i've visited. In them, the clerks know quite a bit about books. I supposed that since they were a chain and appear to hire off the street that employees wouldn't know much more than customers. For me the opposite has been true, which is impressive. The flagship, where the local (Dallas area) bought books are delivered, is even more so, as it's a huge store and clerks in one distant corner can tell me about books in the other distant corner. Clearly, i'm impressed by this!

message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments I saw this on another site.
Jerry Van Dyke
Actor and brother of Dick Van Dyke

message 11: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 06, 2018 04:58PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Julie wrote: "I saw this on another site.
Jerry Van Dyke
Actor and brother of Dick Van Dyke"

I'm sorry to hear this. :(
I didn't hear about his car accident.

message 12: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments Funny man. He was probably his best on "Coach", a show i didn't exactly watch but my husband did. When i saw Van Dyke on the show, i would linger.

RIP Van Dyke.

message 13: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments Alias Reader wrote: "madrano wrote: "True, Bobbie. I keep expecting the B&N clerks to ask, "Do you want fries with that?""

I do miss Borders on Park Ave and 57th in NYC. The clerks were quite knowledgeable.

I have t..."

For sure it depends on each store and for that matter any individual clerk. Years ago I was in the B&N on 86th St. in Manhattan. The man in front of me asked the clerk to tell him where Michener's books were located. She didn't know who he was talking about -- he then said, Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean. She then said -- oh, you mean geography. He and I had all we could do not to bend over in laughter.

message 14: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments I can imagine! Good story.

This is not a book store story but yours has me thinking of my past. While on a cross-country bus ride to meet up with my family in Las Vegas i read Erica Jong's Fear of Flying. Twice nearby passengers began telling me about their stories on airplanes. I didn't have the nerve to explain what i was reading, only nodded as they spoke. Given the cover (it was the paperback with the exposed stomach), i wonder what they thought the book would suggest.

Thanks for the laugh, Bobbie...and the memory.

message 15: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Bobbie wrote: The man in front of me asked the clerk to tell him where Michener's books were located. She didn't know who he was talking about -

Wow. I don't think I've read a James A. Michener book. Though I certainly have heard about his books. I guess you can't be too picky if you only pay minimum wage.

message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments madrano wrote: "While on a cross-country bus ride to meet up with my family in Las Vegas i read Erica Jong's Fear of Flying. Twice nearby passengers began telling me about their stories on airplanes..."

Wow. That was on the bestseller list for ages. I guess we forget that not everyone is a reader.

message 17: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments True. What surprised me was that Jong's book was quite talked about for a couple of years. That it drew a blank from riders was interesting...or maybe they were "yanking my chain".

message 18: by Dru83 (last edited Jan 09, 2018 01:36PM) (new)

Dru83 | 220 comments We lost a famous astronaut a few days ago. John Young was the first astronaut to fly in space 6 times, he walked on the moon, and he was the only astronaut to have flown in the Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle spacecraft.

NY Times' John Young Obituary

message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Dru83 wrote: "We lost a famous astronaut a few days ago. John Young was the first astronaut to fly in space 6 times, he walked on the moon, and he was the only astronaut to have flown in the Gemini, Apollo, and ..."

Sorry to hear this, Dru. Thank you for sharing that.

I have a few astronaut books on my TBR list that I hope to read this year.

message 20: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments I am sorry to say i only vaguely remember his name despite my determination not to forget the names of those who walked on the moon. Interesting that he was considered one of the top pilots in the space program. Great autobiography title, too.

R.I.P. Young

message 21: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments madrano wrote: "I can imagine! Good story.

This is not a book store story but yours has me thinking of my past. While on a cross-country bus ride to meet up with my family in Las Vegas i read [author:Erica Jong|..."

I'm chuckling imagining that.

message 22: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Dru83 wrote: "We lost a famous astronaut a few days ago. John Young was the first astronaut to fly in space 6 times, he walked on the moon, and he was the only astronaut to have flown in the Gemini, Apollo, and ..."

I read his obit and I should remember him but I cannot recall his time in space. Such a shame-he had a quite interesting career in space.

message 23: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments It's such an All-American name, too. I wonder if that is why it is easily forgotten.

message 24: by Julie (last edited Jan 15, 2018 08:40AM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments John Tunney
US Senator who was the inspiration for the film The Candidate

Doreen Tracey
Former Mouseketeer
I barely remember The Mickey Mouse Club but I know my older sisters watched it. Interesting obit.

message 25: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11615 comments Wow, i totally didn't recognize Tunney's name when i saw it on the Wiki list of 2018 dead. Thanks for refreshing our memory.

Doreen was the first Mouseketeer (for me) who seemed to "break the mold" as far as Disney's kids were concerned. I only remember her from the "role call", however.

RIP Tunney
RIP Tracey

message 26: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Peter Mayle
British Author

Peter Wyngarde
Actor that inspired the character-Austin Powers

message 27: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Julie wrote: "Peter Mayle
British Author"

I read A Year in Provence a long time ago. Sorry to hear of his passing.

message 28: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Wyngarde was clearly having a riot of fun with his bio. Interesting that so many contradictions to fact didn't ruin him. Or maybe reporters then just took him at his word.

Dan read Mayle's book & was sorry to hear of his death, too. I never read it, which is probably why his desire to see Provence is larger than mine, eh?

RIP Wyngarde
RIP Mayle

message 29: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Dorothy Malone
Actress from Peyton Place
I thought she was long dead but she lived a long life. Interesting bio.

message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments I am not familiar with her work. Pretty lady.

message 31: by Dru83 (new)

Dru83 | 220 comments Ursula K. Le Guin passed away on Monday, she was 88. I haven't read much of her books, but I did read her young adult book Gifts last year and it was a pretty good read. It's part of a trilogy and some of the characters in Gifts have unique special powers that I haven't encountered in any other story, so she certainly had a lot of originality even in her later books. She seems to have been one of the standard setters for fantasy novels in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Obituary from MSN/NY Times

message 32: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments World's oldest romance novelist dies at 105

Her 124th and 125th novels, romances set in the Regency period, are due for publication next year.

LONDON — Ida Pollock once said she was born to write. And so she did — millions of words over more than seven decades, spinning tales of impecunious young women romanced by handsome older men in far-flung locations.

The centenarian author of more than 120 books, believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.

Daughter Rosemary Pollock — also a romance novelist — said the writer died Dec. 3 at a nursing home near her house in Lanreath, southwest England.

Born in London in 1908 and raised by a single mother, Pollock had her first stories published while she was in her teens, and went on to write scores of books under almost a dozen pseudonyms. Her output included some 70 "bodice-rippers" for romance publisher Mills & Boon, the British arm of Harlequin Enterprises.

Pollock's daughter said writing was her mother's passion, but romance was not her original genre.

"I think she would have liked to be a thriller writer," Rosemary Pollock said. "She enjoyed reading thrillers, more than romantic fiction.

"She told me about one or two rather grim stories she wrote when she was very young — one was about a Japanese woman in a garden who strangled her lover with her hair.

"(But) my grandmother was always saying, 'Why don't you write something pretty? That's the way to get on.'

"Then she thought, love stories — Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen — she could go with that."

After an adventurous early life that included a solo trip to Morocco while still a teenager and work in London during the Blitz, Pollock took up writing intensely to support her family after her husband went bankrupt in 1950.

"And then she was happy," her daughter said. "She was a lovely, charming mother but she was in a dream until she got back to her writing — and then she was herself."

Ida Pollock said she could finish a book in six weeks and produced 40 in one five-year period.

Her novels — written as Susan Barrie, Rose Burghley, Marguerite Bell and others — had titles like White Heat, 'The Devil's Daughter and The Sweet Surrender. They stuck to the formula of sparring but ultimately happy unions between inexperienced young heroines and dashing older men.

"Her heroes were always strong and I think father figures, because I think maybe that's what she wanted herself," her daughter said. "It's not that the heroines were weak. They usually had a few troubles and were alone in the world. ... They were drifting as perhaps she had."

Ida Pollock said her books were "full of hope and romance rather than sex" and always contained one crucial element: "A happy ending is an absolute must."

She also published a memoir, Starlight.

Her 124th and 125th novels, romances set in the Regency period, are due for publication next year.

Pollock's husband was the soldier and publisher Hugh Pollock, who had previously been married to children's writer Enid Blyton and edited Winston Churchill's book The World Crisis.

"Even though he had edited Winston Churchill, he wasn't allowed to edit my mother," Rosemary Pollock said.

Hugh Pollock died in 1971. Ida Pollock is survived by Rosemary.

A funeral is being planned for next week in Lanreath.

message 33: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I was surprised to learn that Malone was from Dallas & died here, too. I have seen a couple of the films she was in but don't necessarily recall her roles. She led a long life.

Pollock's story is remarkable for the longevity of her career. I hadn't heard of her or her aliases but her genre isn't one i have read much over the years.

Le Guin is an author and woman i have long respected. Indeed, just recently i posted on our board about her blog and the recently published book based on it. I still haven't read it, as there is a long waiting list for it. Soon. No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters She was active in the peace movement and it was from reading about those efforts that i realized i would love to live in Portland, OR. And we did.

RIP Malone
RIP Pollock
RIP Le Guin

message 34: by Julie (last edited Jan 25, 2018 01:11PM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Dru83 wrote: "Ursula K. Le Guin passed away on Monday, she was 88. I haven't read much of her books, but I did read her young adult book Gifts last year and it was a pretty good read. It's part o..."

I can't remember if I have ever read anything by her but her name is so familiar. Probably a good time to put her name on my reading list.

I am not familiar with Ida Pollock either.

message 35: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I've read following four novels by Le Guin:

The Left Hand of Darkness, which, along with The Dispossessed are probably her best known & most often read

The Lathe of Heaven, a short but good one about power

City of Illusions, which i see now is #5 in the Haimish series. This may be why i just cannot recall a thing about it. Maybe it needed the preceding books?

Very Far Away from Anywhere Else, which is a YA. It is an excellent coming of age story, imo.

The Left Hand is the most interesting of these but it took me time to get used to the way it was written, for some reason. Still, if you are only going to read on, i would select it or Dispossessed.

No tips on Ida Pollock, though. :-)

message 36: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Mort Walker
Mort Walker
I am a big cartoon fan so I am so sad to read about the death of Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey

message 37: by Dru83 (new)

Dru83 | 220 comments Thanks for posting that, Julie. Beetle Bailey has long been a favorite of both my mother and I. It was good to read about the man behind it. I'm glad that he made it a family thing and that his sons will be able to continue Beetle Bailey.

message 38: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments While my dad liked Beetle Bailey very much, i was a Hi and Lois fan, finding much humor in both. What i didn't know until reading about Walker after his death is that Lois was Beetle's sister! How about that?!

R.I.P. Walker

message 39: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Julie wrote: "Mort Walker
Mort Walker
I am a big cartoon fan s..."

That's sad. However, 94 isn't so bad.

message 40: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I'll be honest with you--we were surprised to learn he was still alive. We obviously had him confused with another cartoonist.

message 41: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Jack Ketchum
Horror Author
I don't think I ever read anything by him but some of his books have been made into films.

Simon Shelton Barnes
Voiced Tinky Winky in the Teletubbies
My daughter was too old for this show but I remember watching this with my son.

message 42: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I didn't recognize either name but realize i've seen a couple of the movies based on Ketchum's books. My children were too old for Teletubbies when the show appeared here in the states. I'll admit to liking it and watching bits when i'd flip the dial.

R.I.P. Ketchum
R.I.P. Barnes

message 43: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Dennis Edwards, a lead voice of The Temptations, dead at 74

Dennis Edwards, who brought a fresh voice to Motown legends The Temptations in 1968 and led classic songs such as "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," died Friday. He was 74.

A representative for his management company, 21st Century Artists, confirmed his death without providing details.

Baritone Otis Williams -- The Temptations' sole surviving original member, who had at times clashed with Edwards -- said he was "very sad" at the passing of "our brother."

"We acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to The Temptations legacy, which lives on in the music. Temptations Forever," Williams wrote on Facebook.

By the time Edwards joined in 1968, The Temptations were already major stars with hits such as "My Girl," and were known for layered vocal harmonies as well as their finely choreographed stage moves in their dapper suits.

But original frontman David Ruffin was increasingly annoying his bandmates and management with his lavish lifestyle, including insisting on limousines and developing an addiction to cocaine -- which would later contribute to his death in 1991.

Edwards, who had gained notice as the singer of another Motown group, The Contours, recalled that Ruffin, a friend, knocked on his door at 4:00 am and asked him to replace him.

"I was like, 'Wow, replace you?' It was quite the conversation we had. I thought he was joking. He was a little tipsy," Edwards recalled in a 2013 interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

- 'Timing and practice' -

Edwards said he initially did not believe he could keep up with The Temptations' fast footwork.

"But once I got into the group, I learned it was timing and practice, and choreography to make it look like it was really difficult," he said.

Edwards, whose voice possessed a similar wide range but was gruff compared with Ruffin's silkier texture, initially was quite literally in the shadow of his predecessor.

Ruffin would show up unannounced at Temptations concerts and jump on stage to join, leading the band to alert security to keep him away.

Along with "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," Edwards led The Temptations on hits such as "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" and "I Can't Get Next to You."

Starting with "Cloud Nine," Edwards' first single with The Temptations, the Motown band began to experiment, bringing in some of the psychedelic soul and funk of rising bands such as Sly and the Family Stone.

Frictions again rose as producers pushed Edwards' voice to the forefront of the group.

He left in 1977 but returned three years later. He also pursued a solo career but without reaching the same stardom as with The Temptations.

The Temptations - Papa was a rollin stone

message 44: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I wasn't aware of his name but knew the music.

R.I.P. Edwards

message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments John Mahoney, who played cranky dad on 'Frasier,' dies at 77

LOS ANGELES — A representative for John Mahoney says the actor known playing the cranky dad on Frasier has died. He was 77.

Mahoney's longtime manager, Paul Martino, said Monday that Mahoney died Sunday in Chicago after a brief hospitalization. The cause of death was not immediately announced.

Mahoney played Martin Crane, father of Kelsey Grammer's Frasier and David Hyde Pierce's Niles. The series, a hit spinoff of Cheers, aired from 1993 to 2004.

Mahoney's recent roles included guest appearances on Hot in Cleveland and a 2015 episode of Foyle's War. He is an acclaimed stage actor who won a Tony Award in 1986 for best featured actor in a play for The House of Blue Leaves.

The British-born Mahoney made Chicago his adopted hometown.

message 46: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments Alias Reader wrote: "John Mahoney, who played cranky dad on 'Frasier,' dies at 77

LOS ANGELES — A representative for John Mahoney says the actor known playing the cranky dad on Frasier has died. He was 77.


So sad!

message 47: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments He's one of those guys who was mostly a character actor, then became recognizable from a popular tv program. Those lives are fascinating...i mean, he didn't start acting until he was much older than most people start.

R.I.P. Mahoney

message 48: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments I wan't a regular Frasier watcher. The show was good. I just don't watch much TV.

I didn't realize he was British.

message 49: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments We learned he was British when we were in the UK last year. It was on one of their trivia programs. I wasn't a Frasier viewer either but my husband liked it (& will still watch reruns) and he was quite surprised. The character/dad just seemed so All-American. That'll teach us. ;-)

message 50: by Alias Reader (last edited Feb 07, 2018 09:32PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18812 comments Naomi Parker Fraley, the Real Rosie the Riveter, Dies at 96

Unsung for seven decades, the real Rosie the Riveter was a California waitress named Naomi Parker Fraley.

Over the years, a welter of American women have been identified as the model for Rosie, the war worker of 1940s popular culture who became a feminist touchstone in the late 20th century.

Mrs. Fraley, who died on Saturday, at 96, in Longview, Wash., staked the most legitimate claim of all. But because her claim was eclipsed by another woman’s, she went unrecognized for more than 70 years.

“I didn’t want fame or fortune,” Mrs. Fraley told People magazine in 2016, when her connection to Rosie first became public. “But I did want my own identity.”
Continue reading the main story
Recent Comments
Dov Todd January 23, 2018

I decided to look up the lyrics of the song. I had not seen them in full before.
Bob January 23, 2018

A few thoughts. Thanks to all the women who helped "fight" the war against facism. Sad that some of the Progressives with Trump...
T. Walters January 23, 2018

When my dad joined the Navy in the fall of 1942, he left a wife and 4-year old daughter behind. Mom had to find work and got a job on...

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Continue reading the main story

The search for the real Rosie is the story of one scholar’s six-year intellectual treasure hunt. It is also the story of the construction — and deconstruction — of an American legend.

“It turns out that almost everything we think about Rosie the Riveter is wrong,” that scholar, James J. Kimble, told The Omaha World-Herald in 2016. “Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.”

For Dr. Kimble, the quest for Rosie, which began in earnest in 2010, “became an obsession,” as he explained in an interview for this obituary in 2016.

His research ultimately homed in on Mrs. Fraley, who had worked in a Navy machine shop during World War II. It also ruled out the best-known incumbent, Geraldine Hoff Doyle, a Michigan woman whose innocent assertion that she was Rosie was long accepted.

On Mrs. Doyle’s death in 2010, her claim was promulgated further through obituaries, including one in The New York Times.

Dr. Kimble, an associate professor of communication and the arts at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, reported his findings in “Rosie’s Secret Identity,” a 2016 article in the journal Rhetoric & Public Affairs.

The article brought journalists to Mrs. Fraley’s door at long last.

“The women of this country these days need some icons,” Mrs. Fraley said in the People magazine interview. “If they think I’m one, I’m happy.”

The confusion over Rosie’s identity stems partly from the fact that the name Rosie the Riveter has been applied to more than one cultural artifact.

The first was a wartime song of that name, by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb. It told of a munitions worker who “keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage / Sitting up there on the fuselage.” Recorded by the bandleader Kay Kyser and others, it became a hit.

The “Rosie” behind that song is well known: Rosalind P. Walter, a Long Island woman who was a riveter on Corsair fighter planes and is now a philanthropist, most notably a benefactor of public television.

Another Rosie sprang from Norman Rockwell, whose Saturday Evening Post cover of May 29, 1943, depicts a muscular woman in overalls (the name Rosie can be seen on her lunchbox), with a rivet gun on her lap and “Mein Kampf” crushed gleefully underfoot.

Rockwell’s model is known to have been a Vermont woman, Mary Doyle Keefe, who died in 2015.

But in between those two Rosies lay the object of contention: a wartime industrial poster displayed briefly in Westinghouse Electric Corporation plants in 1943.

Rendered in bold graphics and bright primary colors by the Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, it depicts a young woman, clad in a work shirt and polka-dot bandanna. Flexing her arm, she declares, “We Can Do It!”

(In 2017, The New Yorker published an updated Rosie, by Abigail Gray Swartz, on its cover of Feb. 6. It depicted a brown-skinned woman, sporting a pink knitted cap like those worn in recent women’s marches, striking a similar pose.)

Mr. Miller’s poster was never meant for public display. It was intended only to deter absenteeism and strikes among Westinghouse employees in wartime.

For decades his poster remained all but forgotten. Then, in the early 1980s, a copy came to light — most likely from the National Archives in Washington. It quickly became a feminist symbol, and the name Rosie the Riveter was applied retrospectively to the woman it portrayed.

This newly anointed Rosie soon came to be considered the platonic form. It became ubiquitous on T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters and other memorabilia.

The image piqued the attention of women who had done wartime work. Several identified themselves as having been its inspiration.

The most plausible claim seemed to be that of Geraldine Doyle, who in 1942 worked briefly as a metal presser in a Michigan plant. Her claim centered in particular on a 1942 newspaper photograph.

Distributed by the Acme photo agency, the photograph showed a young woman, her hair in a polka-dot bandanna, at an industrial lathe. It was published widely in the spring and summer of 1942, though rarely with a caption identifying the woman or the factory.

In 1984, Mrs. Doyle saw a reprint of that photo in Modern Maturity magazine. She thought it resembled her younger self.

Ten years later, she came across the Miller poster, featured on the March 1994 cover of Smithsonian magazine. That image, she thought, resembled the woman at the lathe — and therefore resembled her.

By the end of the 1990s, the news media was identifying Mrs. Doyle as the inspiration for Mr. Miller’s Rosie. There the matter would very likely have rested, had it not been for Dr. Kimble’s curiosity.

It was not Mrs. Doyle’s claim per se that he found suspect: As he emphasized in the Times interview, she had made it in good faith.

What nettled him was the news media’s unquestioning reiteration of that claim. He embarked on a six-year odyssey to identify the woman at the lathe, and to determine whether that image had influenced Mr. Miller’s poster.

In the end, his detective work disclosed that the lathe worker was Naomi Parker Fraley.

The third of eight children of Joseph Parker, a mining engineer, and the former Esther Leis, a homemaker, Naomi Fern Parker was born in Tulsa, Okla., on Aug. 26, 1921. The family moved wherever Mr. Parker’s work took him, living in New York, Missouri, Texas, Washington, Utah and California, where they settled in Alameda, near San Francisco.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 20-year-old Naomi and her 18-year-old sister, Ada, went to work at the Naval Air Station in Alameda. They were assigned to the machine shop, where their duties included drilling, patching airplane wings and, fittingly, riveting.

It was there that the Acme photographer captured Naomi Parker, her hair tied in a bandanna for safety, at her lathe. She clipped the photo from the newspaper and kept it for decades.

After the war, she worked as a waitress at the Doll House, a restaurant in Palm Springs, Calif., popular with Hollywood stars. She married and had a family.

Years later, Mrs. Fraley encountered the Miller poster. “I did think it looked like me,” she told People, though she did not then connect it with the newspaper photo.

In 2011, Mrs. Fraley and her sister attended a reunion of female war workers at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, Calif. There, prominently displayed, was a photo of the woman at the lathe — captioned as Geraldine Doyle.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Ms. Fraley told The Oakland Tribune in 2016. “I knew it was actually me in the photo.”

She wrote to the National Park Service, which administers the site. In reply, she received a letter asking for her help in determining “the true identity of the woman in the photograph.”

“As one might imagine,” Dr. Kimble wrote in 2016, Mrs. Fraley “was none too pleased to find that her identity was under dispute.”

As he searched for the woman at the lathe, Dr. Kimble scoured the internet, books, old newspapers and photo archives for a captioned copy of the image.

At last he found a copy from a vintage-photo dealer. It carried the photographer’s original caption, with the date — March 24, 1942 — and the location, Alameda.

Best of all was this line:

“Pretty Naomi Parker looks like she might catch her nose in the turret lathe she is operating.”

Dr. Kimble located Mrs. Fraley and her sister, Ada Wyn Parker Loy, then living together in Cottonwood, Calif. He visited them in 2015, whereupon Mrs. Fraley produced the cherished newspaper photo she had saved all those years.

“There is no question that she is the ‘lathe woman’ in the photograph,” Dr. Kimble said.

An essential question remained: Did that photograph influence Mr. Miller’s poster?

As Dr. Kimble emphasized, the connection is not conclusive: Mr. Miller left no heirs, and his personal papers are silent on the subject. But there is, he said, suggestive circumstantial evidence.

“The timing is pretty good,” he explained. “The poster appears in Westinghouse factories in February 1943. Presumably they’re created weeks, possibly months, ahead of time. So I imagine Miller’s working on it in the summer and fall of 1942.”

As Dr. Kimble also learned, the lathe photo was published in The Pittsburgh Press, in Mr. Miller’s hometown, on July 5, 1942. “So Miller very easily could have seen it,” he said.

Then there is the telltale polka-dot head scarf, and Mrs. Fraley’s resemblance to the Rosie of the poster. “We can rule her in as a good candidate for having inspired the poster,” Dr. Kimble said.

Mrs. Fraley’s first marriage, to Joseph Blankenship, ended in divorce; her second, to John Muhlig, ended with his death in 1971. Her third husband, Charles Fraley, whom she married in 1979, died in 1998.

Her survivors include a son, Joseph Blankenship; four stepsons, Ernest, Daniel, John and Michael Fraley; two stepdaughters, Patricia Hood and Ann Fraley; two sisters, Mrs. Loy and Althea Hill; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

Her death was confirmed by her daughter-in-law, Marnie Blankenship.

If Dr. Kimble exercised all due scholarly caution in identifying Mrs. Fraley as the inspiration for “We Can Do It!,” her views on the subject were unequivocal.

Interviewing Mrs. Fraley in 2016, The World-Herald asked her how it felt to be known publicly as Rosie the Riveter.

“Victory!” she cried. “Victory! Victory!”

A 1942 photograph of Naomi Parker Fraley that was the likely inspiration for the Rosie the Riveter poster.

Mrs. Fraley in 2015 with the Rosie the Riveter poster that became a feminist touchstone.

Mrs. Fraley, right, in September 2016 with her younger sister, Ada Wyn Parker Loy.

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