Here’s One for Gypsy Rose Lee Fans

Teatro Colon, El Paso, Texas.

Teatro Colon, El Paso, Texas.

There’s a hilarious story in Gypsy Rose Lee’s memoir about what happened when she and the troupe of girls that her mother put together, following her sister June’s defection from their old vaudeville act, and played at a Spanish-speaking theater in Texas.

Gypsy fans know this one, but for anyone who doesn’t, they decided to translate their act into Spanish for the sake of this audience.  Gypsy had been singing a song since childhood called, “I’m a Hard-Boiled Rose.”  Finding a Spanish equivalent of the idiom – which referred to a girl who was a “toughie” – wasn’t easy, however.  The translation she presented was at the theater was, “Yo soy una gancha.”

It meant the very last thing she, let alone her mother, would have wanted to present to an audience in any language – “I am a Hooker!”

Here’s Gypsy Rose Lee with the girls in the act:

Gypsy Rose Lee is on the far right.  These were the girls in the act.

Gypsy Rose Lee is on the far right. Yo soy una – WHAT??!!!!

Here’s the song – in English!  Fair warning, it may stick in your head for hours:

Anderson Cooper and the Mischievous Bonobos

One of the beckoning Bonobos seen on "60 Minutes."

One of the beckoning Bonobos seen on “60 Minutes.”

Want to see Bonobos, the world’s cutest monkeys?  Click here:

Take a look at the joyous clip above from “60 Minutes Overtime” if you want to make your day!  They certainly seem to have made Anderson Cooper’s.  One of the monkeys even keeps climbing up his back and taking gleeful leaps off his head.  In all the years I’ve been watching Anderson Cooper’s fine reports, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look so happy.  The Bonobos can do that to you.  There’s happy faces on almost every human in this video.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen monkeys anywhere near as cute as these little Bonobos from the Congo in Africa.  They share 98.7% of our DNA with us, and they’re beyond adorable, too.

The Bonobos are cared for at a sanctuary founded by the terrific Claudine Andre of France, a veterinarian’s daughter, called Lola Ya Bonobo in their native country, Congo.  They were at risk of extinction.  Many of the monkeys in the video became orphaned – and traumatized – when their mothers were hunted and killed.  They’re so cute I wish I could take them all home and love them, so how could anybody hunt them?  They’re sweetie pies!

The sanctuary takes care to alleviate any conditions these little ones may enter with.  The staff at Lola Ya Bonobo also assigns a human “mother” to each of the little Bonobo orphans under their care.  Their new mamas nurture them, helping them to bond.  The human mothers treat them just like babies.  Particularly playful and funny ones!  Much later, many of them are strong enough to get released back into the wild.

The Bonobo sanctuary and further information can be found here:  Lola Ya Bonobo  Please take a look.  They’re irresistible.  There’s more videos, and plenty of ways are listed there with ideas for helping these little wonders, too!

Take a look at this little one with the flower blossom. So cute!

Take a look at this little darlin’ with the flower blossom. So cute!


Carter Presidential Museum and Library, Atlanta

Lillian Carter in India.

Lillian Carter in India.

Last week I had a wonderful time on a visit to my friends Karen and Jeff Thomas in Atlanta, and while there, for the first time ever, I got the chance to visit a Presidential Museum.  It was the Jimmy Carter Museum, and it was stunning!

While I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went in, I certainly was impressed by the time I emerged, after an entire day, since I arrived before it opened and left as it was about to close.  It was so much fun to learn about Jimmy’s “Peanut Brigade” (he was a peanut farmer, for those who may be too young to remember) comprised of his wife, friends and family members who went door-to-door in states all over the country to help him win his party’s nomination, and once that was secured, get voted President.

But what I found especially wonderful was learning about all of  the good that Jimmy Carter has done for poor people all over the world, particularly following his days as President, when he could have rested on his laurels but didn’t, is just plain amazing.  In particular, I was very touched by the videos of his work at eradicating diseases in Africa.  Fortunately this is one instance where a man’s good has been adequately rewarded by the world: Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.  It’s there on display.  BRAVO!

My “hardest” task of that beautiful day at the museum was to decide on which of the many terrific books available in the Gift Shop I wanted to bring home with me.  There were about six, and since I had arrived in Georgia with an already packed-to-the-rafters tote bag filled with clothes for the entire week, it would not have been a good idea to weigh it down further with more than one book.  Besides, I can always buy more of them later.  Ultimately I decided on “AWAY FROM  HOME: Letters to My Family,” by Carter’s colorful and gutsy mother, Lillian, an RN, and his sister, Gloria Carter Spann.  Remember the wonderful Miss Lillian?  She joined the Peace Corps and went to India to help the poor.  The letters to her family are from her two years there.  They people she met can only have been enriched by her presence.

As for the book…it is hilarious!  It’s one of the best reads I’ve ever had the privilege to enjoy, and I highly recommend it.  Miss Lillian “tells it like it is” and pulls no punches, and the book has me on the floor.  What an inspiration she is, too!  No wonder her son grew up inspired to be a part of the solution to some of the world’s most challenging problems!  And how positive it was, especially these days, to be in a place where the word “presidential” wasn’t a synonym for “controversial,” too.  As one of my old teachers told me over Facebook, those days were such a different time…

I brought home a peanut to grow, too, from the gift shop, and a pair of earrings that were replicas of ones President Coolidge’s wife wore during the 1920s.  They carry a line of replicas of presidential wives’ jewelry.

Next up, I want to read more of Jimmy Carter’s books, particularly “CHRISTMAS IN PLAINS.”  I want to read several more of this President’s books as well.   The more the rest of us can learn about the experiences of those who grow up to be great, the better!

If you’re going to be in Atlanta, this museum is well worth a visit.  More information can be found here:  Meanwhile, here’s a sample of how fantastic the grounds of the Carter Museum and Library are – enjoy!

Entrance to the museum.

Entrance to the museum.


Jimmy Carter: an inspiration!

Jimmy Carter: an inspiration!


The gorgeous grounds of the Carter Museum and Library. Wow!

The gorgeous grounds of the Carter Museum and Library.  Atlanta skyline in the background.  Wow!


Another view of the grounds.

Another view of the grounds.  Pretty reflecting pond!  This place was a class act.


This was such a lovely Southern scene, like something out of a movie!

This was such a lovely Southern scene, like something out of a movie!


Pretty walkways.

Pretty walkways.


Photos about "The Peanut Brigade."

Photos about “The Peanut Brigade.”


One of many lovely gifts the Carters received from dignitaries of other countries during Jimmy Carter's presidency.  I loved this one.  Those little figures on the boat have such personality!

One of many lovely gifts the Carters received from dignitaries of other countries during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. I loved this one. Those little figures on the boat have such personality!


President Carter's well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize.

President Carter’s well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize.


Rose garden.

Rose garden.


Who's that in the "Oval Office?"

Uh-oh, who’s that in the “Oval Office?”  Yours Truly at the Carter Oval Office replica in the Carter Museum.  You know me, folks!  No way could I resist taking this selfie!



Two Stunning New Images by Artist Sheila Smith

A beautiful study in orange by Sheila Smith.

A beautiful study in orange by Sheila Smith.

New York City artist Sheila Smith’s images are always a treat!  These latest two studies in orange are particularly gorgeous, and intriguing too.

The one above seems to contain so many visual secrets that I can hardly stop looking at it.  I see flowers, sunsets, a moth, the inside of a ripe clementine, vanilla frosting, and several fairies – and that’s just in the first glance!  These images aren’t just beautiful.  They’ve got a magical quality and they’re fun!

If the first one is full of curves, the second has more lines and movement.  I see an Olympic runner on a rainy track, a bird of peace, and a butterfly at an angle.  What do you see?


Sheila's second orange beauty.  Wow!

Sheila’s second orange beauty. Wow!

The F.B.I. Closes the D.B. Cooper Case, But He’s Still Out There…

Sketch made from eyewitness descriptions of hijacker D.B. Cooper. have YOU seen this man?

Sketch made from eyewitness descriptions of hijacker D.B. Cooper. have YOU seen this man?

I consider this a crying shame: the FBI is closing the D.B. Cooper hijacking case, and not because they caught him.  They didn’t.  They’re closing it because they failed to find him!  For shame, FBI!

Do you remember the story?  It happened on November 24, 1971.  A man calling himself “Dan Cooper” – the name was later misreported in the media as “D.B. Cooper,” and that’s how he became known – boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines plane in Portland, Oregon.  Cooper said he had a bomb onboard, and took all the passengers hostage and would ransom them for $200,000 – which was a lot of money in those days.  The plane landed at Seattle Airport.  The hostages were released, thankfully unharmed.  Then D.B. demanded another plane, two parachutes, the moolah, and a free flight to Mexico.

Somewhere over the state of Washington, he jumped from the plane and parachuted to freedom, complete with the money.  The powers that be at the time didn’t think he’d survive the drop.  Apparently, he did.  You might think  it doesn’t take a criminologist to figure out that he was almost certainly a member of some nation’s paratrooper division, but think again: he jumped out of the plane at night and over a Washington forest, the last place an experienced parachutist would have chosen to eject.  Later, bills that were to be part of the ransom money were found by the Columbia River, but Cooper wasn’t, not dead, not alive,  but hey, he’s got to be somewhere!

This inspired me to write the following limerick – okay, with a LOT of input from my mother and father – in Mr. Cohn’s fifth grade class at Victor Mravlag School 21 in Elizabeth, NJ:

“There once was a hijacker named Lord

who hijacked a plane while onboard.

He got all the loot,

And a big parachute,

But alas!  It had no rip cord!”

In my version, he didn’t get away with it, but now, he did!  They’re giving up the long hunt for D.B. Cooper!

Are we going to sit back and let that happen?  Take a look at those drawings.  Who knows?  He jumped from that plane in Washington State.  He obviously had a brain, enough so that he masterminded what is considered “the perfect crime,” so I doubt he would have stayed in the Washington or Northwest vicinity.  He’d be elderly now.  He sounded Midwestern.  Did he go back home?  Might he be living in relative obscurity in, say, the Ozarks?  Is he sipping Starbucks in Indiana?  Or did he go towards the ocean?  Is he that old man on the beach towel beside you at the seashore?  Look closely.  He might be your neighbor, your boss, or even your best friend…

Age-enhanced photo of D.B. Cooper.  Look closely...have you seen this man?

Age-enhanced photo of D.B. Cooper. Look closely…have you seen this man?


Wanted poster, with full description. He had an olive complexion and sounded Midwestern...who was he?

Wanted poster, with full description. He had an olive complexion and sounded Midwestern…who was he?

Meet the 2016 Olympic Mascots: Two Adorable Ambassadors of Happiness

Vinicius and Tom, the 2016 Olympics Mascots who are dedicated to bringing the world together!

Vinicius and Tom, the 2016 Olympics Mascots who are dedicated to bringing the world together!

Here they are, world – Vinicius and Tom, the new Olympic Mascots for the 2016 Rio games!  Look at those adorable and mischievous little faces.  How could anyone see the two of them and not burst out in smiles?

The “biographies” of the mascots say they were born “out of the explosion of joy following the announcement on the day in 2009 when Brazil found out they’d be hosting the 2016 games.”  Vinicius is a composite of all the Brazilian animals, and Tom’s representin’ all the plants.  Their mission?  “To spread joy throughout the world and celebrate the friendships that flourish between people from all over the planet at this incredible sporting event.”  Wow!  I love how their names were chosen by Brazilian vote: they pay homage to two great composers of Brazil: Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim, the creators of Bossa Nova.  They wrote “The Girl from Impanema.”  It was a big hit circa 1960 and introduced a dance craze.

Two mascots, named after Brazilians who created the Bossa Nova!  I have a feeling these particular Olympic Games are going to be absolutely spectacular.  I can already imagine what an Opening Ceremony they’re going to have.  The event starts on August 5, not a moment too soon, since we all know the world needs to start coming together at this moment in time.  Vinicius and Tom, teach us how to do the Bossa Nova, and let the Games begin!

Here’s “The Girl from Impanema”:


Ready to dance: Vinicius and Tom!

Ready to get the world dancing the Bossa Nova: Vinicius and Tom!


An Olympic torch-bearer having a fabulous time!

An Olympic torch-bearer having a fabulous time!


REAL Friends Don’t Tell Friends What to Think, How to Feel, or Who To Vote For

My new masterpiece!

My new masterpiece!

As all those who know me can tell you, there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that I find more offensive than people telling me who they have “decided” I should vote for.  I was raised in a family of Independents, where politics rarely ever came up as a topic, which was the classy approach.

These days, however, people can’t stop putting their political stances in one another’s faces, both on social media and in person, which is the opposite of classy, to put it mildly, and I, for one, have had enough of it.  Have you?  If so, have I got a tote for you!


don’t tell friends

what to think, how to feel,

or who to vote for!

Here’s the link.  Get yours now, available from Logosportswear: