Uptown Girl

I know I am verging on “get off of my lawn” territory…


At least in the 1980’s we had style….

Nothing, to me, illustrates this more than the two video’s below.

One is the original official 1983 video for Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” with Christy Brinkley….

That was an uptown girl who knew how to dress!

The other video is from a recent concert.  We won’t talk about how badly Billy has aged…

Instead, let’s look at the difference in how “Uptown Girls” are viewed….

Christy was definitely Uptown.

I love Jennifer Lawrence and friends but…..

There ain’t nothing uptown about these 2015 girls…..

Uptown Girls seem to have had an erosion of both class and style….

I may be elitist. but I still think there is a time and place for style…..

Classic style…

Like Uptown Girls used to represent…

Even when they played with Downtown Boys….

And I might add, there ain’t nothing wrong with Downtown Boys….

But that is another story…..

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A Horseman Riding By….

My partner and I have been watching this excellent mini-series from 1978 on DVD.  Taken on it’s own, it is great entertainment.  From what I have seen so far, it is also a little disturbing….

As I watch this, I’m reminded more and more of the fact that I was raised to be a good Southern Gentlemen, educated at Washington and Lee University in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when it was an all boy’s school,  and how similar that education was to being raised to be a good British Gentleman in the early 1900’s.

I’ll never forget my first day in my first Political Science course my Freshman year at W&L.  My professor started the class by saying:  “Gentlemen, you are all anachronism and the product of white privilege.  Your day has passed and you don’t even know it.  But we must soldier on….”

That may have been the first clue that my education at Washington and Lee, conservative as it may have been, was going to challenge so many beliefs I was raised to accept.  Intellectually, it was eye opening, but socially it took more time…..

Well, we were still taught noblesse oblige and that even if, financially, we might not be in the upper middle class.  We were taught that we were still intellectually exceptional.  And we were taught to honor what that under-rated Australian writer Colleen McCullough called, that “most indecent of obsessions” duty.

More than once in my 56 years I have done my duty and I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  It’s not always easy, but it does feel good when it’s over.  It means something to know you have done the right thing even though it cost you financially, emotionally and psychically.

We may be the last generation to ever understand that it is worthwhile to do it the hard way.  To put others first….

To do one’s duty….

To be challenged and think things through….

To embrace change after an intellectual struggle….

To appreciate order, but be willing to change….

To ultimately do the right thing for the most people….

To wear Brooks Brothers at the barricades…

I wouldn’t change a thing.

I am who I am….

And I don’t think the British or Southern Gentleman who came before me would do so either….

Ultimately, we do this best we can with who we are….

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Happy 95th Birthday, Maureen O’Hara

I always loved Maureen O’Hara and it makes me happy to think of her still being here today on her 95th Birthday.

She was one of those incredibly real, photogenic actresses who never seemed to get their due.

And she has had a hell of a career.

In the from the 1930’s when she was the ingenue in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in  1939 to “Miracle on 34th Street” in the 1940’s to “The Quiet Man” in the 1950’s on to the totally politically incorrect and sexist, but great fun rift on “Taming of the Shrew” that was “McClintock” and the original Disney “The Parent Trap” in the 1960’s.

She may not have been the best actress, but she was made for Technicolor with her red hair and creamy skin.

And, in the five films they made together,  she almost made John Wayne seem human and likable.  Almost….

She once said: “I made John Wayne sexy.  I’ll take credit or that.”

God help her for that….

She always seemed real, feisty, down to earth and fun.

And she is one of the few greats from the Golden Age of Hollywood still with us….

I’m glad she’s still here and hope she has a great Birthday wherever she is tonight.

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The Bestway

I hope I didn’t totally ruin my image tonight.  I went to the Bestway grocery store in  old, baggy khaki shorts and a Bernie Sanders for President T-Shirt.  I did wear real shoes….

There is something about the Bestway that brings out both the best and the worst in me…

It’s just so comfortable and convenient….

I’ve even gone there a couple of times in my bedroom shoes in the winter when I forgot to change….

I feel like I can let the image slip while I dash in for a quick purchase….

It may be because I am in there almost everyday.

In case you haven’t figured this out by now, I can be an uptight white boy.  I did go to Washington and Lee University…

But I love our funky, eclectic neighborhood and being within walking distance to the bars and restaurants on “The Corner” at Walker Avenue near our house.  Home is a multi-block radius where I can let may short gray hair down a bit…

I’ve lived in Greensboro for more than 25 years and I’ve stumbled into the Bestway, in various conditions, over most of that time.

The Bestway is a little neighborhood grocery store.  When I first moved here, it was a place to go for cigarettes and cheap beer late at night.  It was a glorified Quick Mart.  God forbid you bought food there as most of what was there was stuff that had been there for ages or was manufactured to be inedible.  It wasn’t very attractive, but it was close to where I lived and you could stop by late at night on your way home.

Now, gentrification has set in, but in a good way….

It’s still funky, but you can find almost all the food and cooking items you need as long as you don’t want to buy meat .  It has the best selection of beer and cheap wine in Greensboro….The new owners have done a wonderful job of upgrading the stock and atmosphere without losing the charm.

The kids who work there are great.  They are young and covered in tattoos and just about the nicest kids you could hope to meet.  Friendly and open.  Really sweet kids.

It’s one of the central focus points for our neighborhood.  It’s like our “Rick’s Bar” in “Casablanca.”  Sooner or later, everyone ended up at Rick’s and, sooner or later,  everyone in our neighborhood ends up at the Bestway.

It’s always fun to go to the Bestway.  You see such an eclectic group of people.  Everyone has a good attitude and is a little laid back.  It’s a comfort zone place for everyone.  I’ve been there late at night when “YMCA” was playing on the Muzak and people were dancing in the isles….

It’s one of the unique things I value most about our neighborhood.  Funky, convenient and offering almost everything the residents of our little world could want.  It perfectly reflects the balance between being unpretentious, but a little bit upscale and a little bit downtown and a little bit funky and artsy that makes our neighborhood so unique.

We may still need to make our occasional pilgrimages to Trader Joe’s, Costco, Deep Roots or, god forbid, Harris Teeter. for some items, but not too often if you plan right.  And one of my major goals in life is to avoid the big, pretentious Harris Teeter with horrible parking.   The Bestway makes that possible for weeks.  It’s lovely to have a neighborhood market that fulfills 90% of our grocery needs.  Especially in a neighborhood where good, cheap wine and a massive beer selection are of paramount importance….

A place you can walk to if you’ve had a little too much to drink and need a couple of things to have an impromptu dinner party for your friends who have done the same and the restaurants on “The Corner” are so packed you just have to eat at home…

And it’s nice to have a place an uptight white boy can wander into in his Brooks Brothers work clothes or beat up khaki shorts and a left-wing t-shirt and feel equally at home.

But that’s our neighborhood and the Bestway is both an integral part of and a reflection of it all….

A little bit upscale and a little bit artsy and funky….

I just hope it the neighborhood and the Bestway continue to stay in sync….

And we can keep this balance in the ‘hood.

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Karma….The Duggars Edition

I truly hate the Duggars….

No, that is too strong.  I just find them stupid and disgusting…

I have a real issue with people who flaunt their religion for cash…

Especially, when they have really bad hair and really low IQ’s …

But some people still look up to them…

The Duggars are like very unattractive Christian Porn Stars who never delivered the money shot….

They made a lot of cash for, well, doing one thing…

And now it’s all over….

Bye, bye…

From Addicting Info:

After years of making her older children responsible for a great deal of the parenting duty to the younger children, Michelle Duggar is discovering just how much of a bad idea it was to have sex 19 times without using birth control or telling Jim Bob to put a raincoat on it.

In a post on the family blog, Michelle whined about having to stay up until 2am to do laundry after doing all the chores that she should have seen coming while popping out kid after kid, claiming that she broke down crying and then she claimed that God spoke to her and inspired her to keep folding until the work was done. Yes, apparently God has nothing better to do than talk to Michelle Duggar about laundry. Because it couldn’t possibly be simply hearing voices in your head or having hallucinations after a day of exhausting work.

More:   Addicting Info – Michelle Duggar Can’t Handle Parental Responsibility, Discovers Why Having 19 Kids Was A Bad Idea.

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Clothes Porn

I’ve always been a clothes horse….

One of the hardest things about getting older and gaining weight has been not looking good in clothes……

Now I focus on shoes….

You can’t look bad in good shoes…

But thank god for good clothes porn…

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Remembering Harry Chapin

I’ll get back to politics eventually….

I can’t resist it, but I am enjoying a vacation…

I have Sirus/XM radio in my car and it’s really been reminding me of artists I had forgotten.

Harry Chapin is one of them.

A great poet, singer-song writer of the 1970’s-80’s.

Another one gone too soon.

I love the poetry and stories of his song.

They are so much a part of my generation….

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Happy Birthday, Mike Douglas

I always loved the Mike Douglas show.  It was full of celebrities on their best behavior being charming and superficial….

There is a lot to be said for superficial if you compare Mike Douglas to his arguable follower Jerry Springer.

And his guest list was so eclectic….

This clip is a brief interview with one of may favorite stars, Natalie Wood, and with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez, Jr.

There was a lot of back story going on, but no one mentioned it…

They left that for the tabloids that one never mentioned…

Mike Douglas would have been 90 years old today….

I do miss him and the kind of stars who graced is stage….

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To Sir, With Love

Remember when they made movies about heroic teachers and how they positively met challenges and made a difference in their students’ lives?

Before they were paid poverty wages that they had to reinvest in classroom supplies….

Before they were demonized by radical Republicans and the Tea Party….

Back when they were respected professionals whose contribution to society was valued….

And they were actually paid a living wage and appreciated…..

And education was valued….

I do remember….

And I’m sure Lulu does too….

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Remembering Julie London

I really discovered Julie London when I was in my ’30’s….

I, like most of my generation, really only knew her as Nurse Dixie McCall on “Emergency.”  This was a TV show that was popular when I was a child.

I remember watching it with my Father in the den and him saying:  “No one remembers this, but Julie London was a helluva singer.  Everyone just thinks of her of now for this TV show.  But, that dame could sing.”

He was right.  She and her husband, Bobby Troupe, who was also on “Emergency”, where major jazz musicians.

Years later, I bought a Julie London CD on a whim in a discount bin and was blown away.  She truly owns “Cry Me a River.”  This was back when we were all switching from albums to CD’s and this was one of my maybe two dozen CD’s.  So, I played it a lot….

I heard her singing today in my car, on my satellite radio station that mainly plays Sinatra.  And I was blown away again…

I wish more people remembered Julie London, the singer….


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