March 30, 2007

The House I Live In (1945)

The House I Live In (1945) was a short film written by Albert Maltz and starring Frank Sinatra. It was made to oppose anti-Semitism and prejudice at the end of World War II.
Albert Maltz

Maltz was one of the The Hollywood Ten, a group of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment by Hollywood movie studios in the 1940s and '50s due to their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected.

Here is the complete film (all ten minutes of it). See and hear Frankie, in full, Columbia-era bloom, performing the title tune and "If You Are But a Dream" (lovely!). The bald gentleman with the pipe at the beginning is Axel Stordahl, Sinatra's arranger and conductor during his Columbia years:

March 29, 2007

Grand Theft Auto IV like I'll be getting a PS3 after all. The graphics on this one are stunning. With the GTA games, the way the in-game cinemas look is usually the way the games look, as well (unlike most other games). And there may be a terrorism/terrorist-related story (much scarier and menacing than the Mafia).

Check out a nicer quality version of the trailer here.

The main character, with a vaguely Eastern-European accent. Perhaps a terrorist?

And rampant speculation as to the location can now end; the series returns to Liberty City.

Screencaps from GTA4.TV

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant, Texas (population 13,935), is the Titus County Seat, and 115 miles E of Dallas, 61 miles SW of Texarkana.

Titus County Courthouse (redone in the 1940s with the Moderne/Art Deco facade seen today): "Inside a modern monster, a 19th Century beauty is crying to come out" ( - some consider this to be the "Ugliest Courthouse in Texas."

1900 F.W. Fitzpatrick buidling

Confederate soldiers memorial

dr. pepper sign in mt. pleasant
Although clearly touched up, based on the fact there's a period after "Dr" and the horizontal and vertical lines, this is from the 1940s.

Dr Pepper's approach hasn't changed too much.

Former Borden's milk factory? But why would there be a smokestack?

Dates back to at least 1951

The former Martin Theater, built in 1913, which at one time was only theater between Texarkana and Dallas.

Former Mount Pleasant High School building (c. 1927)

Genuine Genuine "Bull" Durham Smoking Tobacco ghost

Corner of 2nd and Jefferson

Nothing particularly fancy or significant, but I thought the color combo was purty. Although, they have been in Mount Pleasant since 1941, and the sign has been there, at their new location, since 1964.

As I was leaving, I noticed their "Welcome to the Heart of Mount Pleasant" marquee/sign make mention of Wal-Mart for some reason, so I took this from my car at a stop light. I felt it was a bit ironic - you know, Wal-Mart supposedly has destroyed small town downtown areas such as Mount Pleasant's and all...

March 27, 2007

"The Love Boat"

In the days before Dancing with the Stars or VH1 programming, has-been celebrities would be put out to pasture on The Love Boat (1977-1986). And celebrities who didn't make the Love Boat cut would find solace on the show immediately following The Love Boat every Saturday night, Fantasy Island. But that's another story, for another post...

Jack Jones

"The Love Boat" was composed by Paul Williams and Charles Fox, and was sung by the ultra-smooth Jack Jones. From 1985 onward, Dionne Warwick sang the theme. Here is the Jack Jones era version, along with the opening credits sequence (talk about a potpourri of guest stars - Mike Connors, Elke Sommer and Halston?):

I know you'll be singing this to yourself for the rest of the day now (as I will be - loudly and proudly), so you might as well know the actual lyrics:

Love, exciting and new
Come aboard, we're expecting you
Love, life's sweetest reward
Let it flow, it floats back to you

The Love Boat soon will be making another run
The Love Boat promises something for everyone
Set a course for adventure
Your mind on a new romance

And love won't hurt anymore
It's an open smile on a friendly shore
Yes love...
Welcome aboard it's love...

The theme would be used for comedic purposes (how else could it be used?) in Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), with Jack Jones making a cameo appearance. More recently, it was parodied in the South Park episode "Red Hot Catholic Love." Via the South Park site, here is a little bit of their version.

March 26, 2007

Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs, Texas (population 14,551), 78 miles E of Dallas, is the Hopkins County Seat.

From The Handbook of Texas Online:

The town was originally known as Bright Star when stores and a hotel were first built at the site, which had become a popular camping place for teamsters hauling commodities west from Jefferson. ... A post office named Bright Star was established in 1854 ... Bright Star was incorporated possibly as early as 1852. Dr. O. S. Davis deeded the public square to the county when the town was rechartered and became the county seat in 1870. The name was changed to Sulphur Springs in 1871, when the mineral springs in the area were being advertised to make the town a health resort.

Hopkins County Courthouse (c. 1895), Romanesque Revival style

Masonic lodge sign and entrance

First Baptist Church

First Christian Church (c. 1963)

First Presbyterian Church (c. 1920)

Sulphur Springs Public Library

Hopkins County's Sacrifice (my title)

Nelson's Corner Drug

March 24, 2007

Stuck on Tatooine

From (via TheForce.Net):

"One of the most iconic scenes in the entire six-movie Star Wars saga features Luke Skywalker on his home planet of Tatooine, peering at the twin setting suns. As the Force Theme swells in the background, Skywalker ponders his destiny. Over the past 30 years, millions of Star Wars fans the world over have been touched by that scene, and inspired to look to their own personal horizons."

The poster is for Star Wars Celebration IV , the big Star Wars convention being held in Los Angeles in May of this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the original film.

This is my tribute of sorts to the scene I did a while back entitled "Evolution of a Scene":

March 23, 2007

Waffle Shop

This beautiful shot (and much more) is from Shorpy - the 100-Year-Old Photo Blog.

Book a Table and the Maitre D's

McLemore Avenue

From Wikipedia:

In 1969, Duck Dunn and Booker T. Jones, in particular, had become enamored with The Beatles, especially their work on Abbey Road. The appreciation was mutual, as The Beatles had patterned a lot of what they did on the M.G.'s. John Lennon was a huge Stax fan ("Glass Onion" from The Beatles was named in honor of "Green Onions") who fondly called the group, "Book a Table and the Maitre D's." Paul McCartney, like Dunn, played bass melodically, without straying from the rhythm or the groove. It was obvious through each of their playing that they admired one another. And as the story goes, after being locked away in the Memphis studio, when the company embarked on the "Hit the Road, Stax!" tour of 1967, The Beatles sent limos to the airport and bent down to kiss Steve Cropper's ring. The M.G.'s had no idea, until then, of the impact they were having on the rest of the world.

In 1970, Jones, Dunn, and Jackson recorded McLemore Avenue, named for the street where Stax was located. Jones later taught Cropper, who had not heard Abbey Road, what to play. They covered thirteen of Abbey Road's songs, condensing twelve of them into medleys, and released a cover of George Harrison's "Something." The cover, pictured above in this article, is indeed an intentional spinoff of The Beatles' Abbey Road "street crossing" album cover.

Here's a little taste: "Medley: Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End/Here Comes The Sun/Come Together"

Track listing:

1. "Medley: Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End/Here Comes The Sun/Come Together"
2. "Something"
3. "Medley: Because/You Never Give Me Your Money"
4. "Medley: Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window/I Want You (She's So Heavy)"

Their interpretation of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is particularly cool.

Pictures I took four years ago of the STAX Museum of American Soul Music on a crappy Kodak disposable camera

March 22, 2007


Grindhouse looks sort of cool, no? These movie posters have piqued my interest:

There are lots of other production pics here. It premieres next Wednesday (March 28) here, in Texas.