Back in the days of not so long ago, my folks were friends with a man named Kirby Sullivan who was part of the advertising business. From what I recall from this person, he started out at some kind of entry level position (mail room perhaps?) at Leo Burnett, perhaps was the most known (and prestigious) ad agencies in the nation that wasn’t based in New York. He created spots for such brands as Clearasil, Kellogg’s Raisin and All Bran, Sears Allstate tires, and others that was part of the Leo Burnett portfolio. (Some of those brands are still there to this very day!) He was young-ish, perhaps in his middle 30’s, wore thick black framed glasses, and was supposedly married! (I have no recollection of ever seeing his wife since when he came over to my folk’s place to have “grown up” time, he always arrived alone!) And holding to the tradition with other “Mad Men” of his era, he smoked and drank! The ashtrays that were around the living room area of my humble home were usually reserved for him, my aunts, and other guests that paid a visit. By the time he left for the evening, the ash trays (yes–trays) were loaded with spent Winston’s along with a nice pile of ashes nestled inside! His favorite drink were “7&7s”–Segreums 7 and 7-Up! We had a bottle of Segreums 7 sitting in a liquor cabinet just awaiting for him, while mom always had bottles of 7-Up for all! (Although my folks did drink occasionally, it was just that–occasionally!)
For what I remember from this guy, he had an interesting quote he would say once in a while. When he would compare somebody in age, he would say something to the effect of “I own suits older than you are!”, meaning that either the person he was speaking of was very young, or his closet was loaded with a lot of old suits! He would say that line half jokingly while getting a good laugh form anyone within earshot to hear it. When he told that to me for the first(?) time, that wasn’t too astonishing since I was only six years old at the time, and nearly everything that was located in the living room where he and the folks would chat, drink and smoke (He was the only one smoking), was older than me since all of the furnishings came from the previous decade. (1950’s) It wasn’t modern furniture per se (Sorry, no Eames pieces!), but it was something that made the room look good for company, and was the type of furnishings if used today, would be ideal for any set decorator to use for dressing a 1950’s/60’s period piece TV show or feature film!
This article isn’t really about my living room of the 60’s or about Kirby himself. It’s about the comparing of people and how other objects are older than they are. That praise really caught my attention from those long forgotten family visits, as I slowly began to use various forms of that phrase over the many years. I would alter a few things (the phrase, not the suits), but in all, the meaning and ideas remained the same.
Today, I compare people’s ages by not what’s in my closet, but what sits on the shelves around my office space. The place where I do all of my work (and where I’m typing this very article), is a room in my home domain that was (is?) meant for a bedroom, complete with clothes closet with sliding doors. It’s the smaller room of a two bedroom unit. (The other bedroom space is used as a –surprise–bedroom!!) But it’s ideal for having a place where one can work.
Along two of the four wall spaces are shelving units that nearly reach the “popcorn” a.k.a. “cottage cheese” surfaced celling; the kind of ceilings that were popular in the 1960’s and 70’s. On those shelves are videotapes, mostly as 3/4” U-Matic tapes that were of commercial quality that TV stations used from the 1970’s until the 2000’s. The cassettes themselves are the size of a hardcover book, and contain a lot of TV and related programming I keep and archive. I would have to state that the ages of these tapes are of the period noted above. (My oldest 3/4” tape dates back to 1972). But many of them are also from the 1980’s and 90’s. This generally means that these clunky tapes are anywhere from ten years old to around 40 years. (And in spite of what other sources that have stated about these tape’s lasting value, about 95% still play well on any 3/4” VTR–assuming you can still find one of those puppies!)
So my phrase that I use to date a person time wise is to say “I own videotapes older than you!” And as time passes over those many years, I tend to use that line more and more, either because I come across more younger folks, or my videotapes are just getting too damn old!
I also have a selected of vintage VHS tapes as well as a few beta cassettes. (Yes, I own a pair of working Betamax VTRs that’s used when I view those tapes–when I ever get around to it!) The beta tapes date back to the 80’s, while the VHS tapes are a bit newer, but mostly from the 90’s.
In the few blogposts I ever bother to read, I found one post written by a person that until recently, handled publicity for one of the playhouses that exist in the LA area. This article or actually, a “rave” since its style of writing appeared to read as a frantic rant than more of a human interest type of amusing news, noted that the writer would be turning 27 years old that year. For some reason of another, this meant something to that person since being 27 isn’t too different that turning 26 or 28. It’s usually the milestone years (30, 40, 50, and so on) that is the cause of anxious worry! Although I’ve never expressed my personal notations to the writer, I can easily add a nice comment that I own dozens of videotapes that are older than 27 years featuring program content that was created long before this person started to breath! And looking at the tapes, they don’t have any old time appearance to them, except on a few of the cassettes, there are addresses and phone numbers printed on the cassette labels that are either disconnected or the company listed has since moved from the located as printed.
I can’t say whatever became of Kirby Sullivan. When he left Leo Burnett around 1972, he relocated somewhere else and ever came around to visit my folks again. But the line he used still lingers on in the same way that the cigarette smoke hovered within in that living room. Ditto for the classes used for those many 7&7’s consumed by all of the grown ups. However, good ol’ Kirby would be pleased to know that I still remember him from a line that I use and misuse after all of those years. Then again, maybe his famous line was used by somebody else. He must have liked it so much, he ran it up the flagpole to see if anyone would salute it. I guess I took my pledge of allegiance!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Currently performing at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre is Octavio Carlin’s HOLLYWOOD PARTY, a comic farce where two guests at a lavish Hollywood get together discover that a murder plot is being hatched while they deal with some of the of the antics that only can take place in Tinseltown!
It’s the roaring 20’s, and the moving picture industry is in full swing, in spite of the fact that those same moving pictures have yet to learn to talk! Alberto Samaniego & Rodrigo Altamirano (Nino Alicea and Kelly Brighton), a pair of ambitious actors and long time friends, are attending a Hollywood party (in the Hollywood hills no doubt) in celebration of the premier of Greta Garbo’s latest vehicle, “The Mysterious Lady”, directed by Fred Niblo (Les Williams). While to two duck out in a side room of the lavish home where the party is taking place, they discover that two attendees are present that plan to murder one of the stars also attending the event. As they try to reveal the person behind the “whodunit to be”, they must first inflict with the others attending this orgy of sorts raging from such matinee idols as John Gilbert, Joan Crawford, William Haines, etc., to a shady jewel thief, along with drunken guests, a cross dresser, the ever loving press that would tell all, and a nosey butler added to the mix. It’s just another night where movies are movies–and then some!
This comical caricature takes aim on Hollywood of the 20’s where the jazz is hot, the booze flows freely, and everyone is ready for their close-up! The action that take place in this one act performance is fast paced, complete with mistaken identities, folks running in and out of doors, and other shenanigans that gust out faster than one could count. It features a well heeled cast that place the sprit of the movie life when Photoplay and Modern Screen told the real insight to what goes on when the camera are rolling or not. (Or at least those mags appear to tell the real story!) In addition of Nino Alicea and Kelly Brighton as the two leads, it also stars Terrence Gene Taylor, Max Hambleton, Danny Menendez, Calli Ryals, Christina Lemon, and Matthew Saylor. (Some performers play multi roles.)
Playwright Octavio Carlin not only presents a very funny play, but also directs this piece, along with its costume design where the players don themselves in sparkling evening ware, with the likes of smart looking tuxes to splashy evening gowns. It shows off when stars work hard, they play hard too!
Of course, this play isn’t an actual depiction to one of those outrageous parties that took place right before the sound era, but that’s not the point! The comical antics make its mark as shown, and the fast pacing adds to its flavor! That’s the point of this play. Hollywood is all about make believe, and seeing is believing! Put on your tux and tails, sport that sequined dress with the fringe, pour a glass of gin or two, and celebrate the movies in style!
HOLLYWOOD PARTY, presented by Teatrio De La O, and performs at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, until October 19th. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For reservations or more information, call (323) 960-4418, or visit the website at https://www.Plays411.com/HollywoodParty
LEONARD MALTIN’S 2015 MOVIE GUIDE (published by Signet)/Penguin Group) is back with 3000+ new entries of feature length films that holds all of the elements one would want in finding a bit of material of a film released in the “modern era” of movies; titles released between January 1st, 1965 through June 30th, 2014, although a hearty selection of time tested classic films are also included for reference, such as “Gone With The WInd”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Casablanca”, and many others! (For those that are looking to find out about older features including silent pictures, one should refer to Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide 2nd Edition, published by Plume, a division of Penguin Group.)
There is a bit of irony to this latest edition, published almost every year since 1969–long before the rise of cable television, home video, multiplex theaters, and video streaming via the ‘net. The 2015 edition will be its last-at least as a print version! Just as watching movies both old and new becomes available at one’s reach that holds access to a ‘net connection, so are the information points behind the movies. It seems that choosing an overly thick paperback book doesn’t seem to cut it in this post modern wired age. However, millions of movie fans have turned to this guide to find out about flicks through its list of stars, its running time, its quality rating as chosen by Maltin and his staff (four stars to BOMB), to see if it’s available on DVD, was available on VHS and/or 12” laserdiscs, as well as having a thumbnail synopsis of what the vehicle is all about–never taking itself totally serious! Even professionals have also used this handy dandy guide to look up details on a film title! (Many back issues of Maltin’s guide have been spotted by this reviewer sitting on the shelf at the Motion Picture Academy film archive in–where else?–Hollywood!)
Although the print guide itself will be no more, Mr. Maltin will still continue to become involved with his labor of love that made him the nation’s biggest movie fan! And in this age where movies can be seen at home at one’s fingertips, or at an old fashion moving picture house, fans will still flock to see the latest blockbuster tentpole pic, or take a look at the independent film or that art house selection. So plop down in a front row seat, grab a bucket o’ corn, stock up on a box of Jujubes, wash it down with an ice cold cup of soda pop, keep this movie guide on hand, and we’ll see you at the movies!
LEONARD MALTIN’S 2015 MOVIE GUIDE, available where better books are sold, both in store and on line.
TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
Watching Jay Z and Bey’s on the Run Tour. Bey is bad!!!!!
Time to hit the hay. Got hit the farmer’s market in Buena Park tomorrow to buy from one of the newest, and probably the cutest, employees at Sola Foods, my daughter Kellee.
Spending the day with my lovely best friend and my amazing momma prepping for the homecoming dance
Had a couple 12th man beers tonight and got to hang out for a bit with Chad and Amanda. Good low key Friday night
As of September 22nd, Tiffi has 2,264 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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