Poolsharks & Hustlers

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Rudolf Wanderone Jr. aka Minnesota Fats the professional pool player entertainer was and still is one of the most recognized people not only in the billiards industry but in the world. Fred Walther one of Minnesota Fat’s closest friend being privileged to hear all the fascinating stories told by his friend wrote the book, Minnesota Fats – Never Behind the Eight Ball. This book provides an insightful look into the life of one the greatest pool players that every lived. A truly entertaining book for any billiard enthusiast. Order From Amazon.
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Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats in The Hustler (view trailer),1961.

Ventriloquism For Dummies

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The ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and part of the ’60s … those were the days when being entertained by a ventriloquist and his dummy sidekick was as close at hand as the end of your fingertips. When simply walking into your living room and turning a dial could magically make them appear just for your entertainment. At first it was the dial of the family radio and the voices of Edgar Bergen and his wooden sidekick Charlie McCarthy drifting from those grand speakers to fill the room for the whole family to enjoy. Later it was the television set and the voices and moving images of Jimmy Nelson and Danny O’Day and Farfel … or … Señor Wences and Pedro and Johnny … or … Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff … or … Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy. Yes the days when ventriloquism was as near as flipping a switch or turning a dial. Those were the Days … those were the “Dummy Days.”
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Gerry Mulligan 1957

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I first heard this LP at the local library when I was 14 years old and it changed my life in a big way. It was my first introduction to Gerry Mulligan, Sweets Edison, Herb Ellis, and most significantly, the Dizzy Gillespie composition “Woody’n You”. It also features Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Art Farmer, and Louis Bellson. Long out of print, not reissued on CD that I’m aware of (although a couple cuts have sufaced on Verve compilations), this album is well worth seeking out on vinyl.

Man’s First Surf Trunks

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In the late 1950s, Nancy and Walter Katin were in the business of making canvas boat covers, and the “multi” billion dollar surf wear industry of the late nineties and beyond was all but unimaginable. Yet one day a young man came into the Katin’s shop in Surfside, California, complaining of the difficulty in finding a pair of swim shorts durable enough to stand up to the then-quirky pastime of surfboard riding. Walter focused on a vision with his sewing machine and some of the sturdy boat canvas previously used for boat covers and whipped up the first pair of Kanvas by Katin surf trunks . The surfer was stoked. Word of Nancy and Walter’s creation quickly spread up and down the coast, and the Katin’s were suddenly in the surf trunk business. The American surf wear industry was born.
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Katin Online Store

Mind Controlled Sex Slaves And The CIA

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by Tracy R. Twyman – With Additional Material by Commander X, and Nick Redfern, Tim R. Swartz, and Tim Beckley (Paperback – Jul 4, 2008)
A Very Scary Read
The admittedly beyond-controversial subjects of mind control and sexual slavery are dealt with surprisingly rationally in this new offering from Global Communications. It’s been said that paranoia can be entertaining, but perhaps that is still inadequate to describe this particular tome, which pushes past some barriers in ways that the reader may have trouble dealing with.

How To Properly Identify Roadside Muffler Man

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Physical Characteristics
Material: Fiberglass. Knock on his leg to see if he’s hollow.
Height: From bottom of shoe to top of head or hat, between 18-25 ft. tall
Head: Well-chiseled facial bones, prominent brow and squarish “lantern” jaw. Crack a beer bottle over this guy’s noggin and he wouldn’t be fazed. Eyes may appear to stare blankly into the middle distance, or may be painted to leer down at visitors. Exceptions: Halfwits and Indians
Torso: Broad-shoulders, and familiar design of fake shirt folds. Pockets, suspenders, shirt patterns sometimes painted on. Exceptions: Indian models often barechested.
Arms: Short-sleeved shirt, well-articulated veins bulge on forearms. Bent at elbow, left palm faces down, right palm faces up — with an open grasp to hold an ax, muffler, golf club, etc.
Shoes and legs: Big, blocky shoes measure about 4-ft. from heel to toe. Pants exhibit familiar pattern of folds and creases.
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Rip Kirby-Private Dick

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Rip Kirby was a comic strip featuring an eponymous character, created by Alex Raymond in 1946.
After World War II, Raymond did not return to work on any of his previous successful comic strips (Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, Secret Agent X-9) but instead began work on a new strip starring an ex-marine private detective named Rip Kirby, based on the suggestion by Ward Greene that Raymond try a “detective-type” strip. The daily strip was first published on March 4, 1946. The strip enjoyed enormous success and Raymond received the Reuben Award in 1949.

Hollywood Roots

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Accounts of the name, Hollywood, coming from imported English Holly then growing in the area are incorrect. The name in fact was coined by Daeida Wilcox. On a train trip to the east, Wilcox met a woman who spoke of her country home in Ohio named after a settlement of Dutch immigrants from Zwolle called “Hollywood”. Daeida liked the sound of it and upon returning to Southern California, bestowed the name to the family ranch.
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’40s Femme Fatale Star Ann Savage Dies At 87

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LOS ANGELES – Anne Savage, who earned a cult following as a femme fatale in such 1940s pulp-fiction movies as “Detour,” has died at 87. The actress died in her sleep at a nursing home on Christmas Day from complications following a series of strokes, said her manager, Kent Adamson.Her Hollywood career had largely been over since the mid-1950s, but she had a resurgence over the past year with a starring role in Canadian cult filmmaker Guy Maddin‘s “My Winnipeg.” Full Article

Film Noir And The Femme Fatale

Eartha Kitt R.I.P.

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“I am learning all the time.
The tombstone will be my diploma.”-Eartha Kitt
In an era when manufactured “celebrities” are as common as drab backyard sparrows, Eartha Kitt, who died on Christmas day of colon cancer at age 81, was the kind of strange, wondrous, exotic bird you lay eyes on once and never forget.
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Eartha Kitt Official Site

Brando Vs. Dean

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It’s been said that James Dean idolized Marlon Brando to such a degree that Brando became annoyed with him. Dean even took up conga drumming because of Brando’s love for Afro-Cuban percusiion.