Category Archives: sleuths

Resolve: January Monthly Post

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Resolve: it means a few different things to each person. Sometimes,

it means what will get you to keep a few of your January “New Year’s

Resolutions.” I also like the meaning of being strong and sticking to

one’s convictions. This definition fits this the best: “Decide firmly on

the best course of action.” Following through is implicit in this one.

Great attributes to pass on to your children, while others around you

may see this outstanding characteristic in yourself. It is not pointless

to set goals, I believe. It means you are going to try something new,

let others know your choices for change and set personal expectations

of your goals.

This ‘resolution’ can be something you have added to your resolutions

annually or can be a brand new one. Life is busy. Never so much so to

not fit one more activity, exercise, habit or ‘tradition’ into your routines.

After all, you may have doctor appointments and job responsibilities, but

you may just open and see your  2015 calendar  as a ‘blank slate,’ ready for

exciting and new possibilities.

 

JANUARY, 2015

Flower: Carnation           Birthstone/Gemstone: Garnet

Already, I like the month’s flower, which has such a great and unique scent.

The color of garnet is red, which is also vibrant and snappy for this colorless

month we are facing in our Midwest. Hope your corner of the world will have

both color and beauty in it.

 

January 1-

Happy New Year!

 

January 2-

Bank Holiday (Scotland, England/UK).

“Statutory Day” or “Stat Day” for New Zealand and possibly Australia.

 

January 5-

Full Wolf Moon.

 

January 6-

“Epiphany” or when the Three Wise Men reached the manger to see

the King of Kings, some who worship Jesus Christ will find this day

a special remembrance. Thanks, Doris, for the important reminder!

Feliz Navidad!

 

January 8-

If Elvis Presley had lived, this would be his 80th birthday. I listened

to several of his Gospel songs, some with Christmas in them, over the

holidays. He was a fantastic singer with a lot of heart. If you happen

to live close to Tupelo, Mississippi, you may go enjoy a piece of

Elvis’ birthday cake, served at 1:00 p.m. This was where Elvis was

born.

If you live closer to Graceland, you may go there almost all day, to

receive a piece of his 80th birthday cake, starting at 9:30 a.m. when

the cake-cutting begins! (You may enjoy this live streaming from

http://graceland.com )

 

January 10-

Celebrate Rod Stewart’s #70 birthday. Happy Birthday, dear Rod!

Last year, 2014, while on his world tour, an interviewer asked him,

“Do you ever tire of singing some of your classic songs?” (I still love

listening to ones like, “Maggie Mae.”)

Rod answered,

“I still love to sing ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ and added: ‘It’s so joyous.'”

 

January 13th-

Last 1/4 Moon.

 

January 16- The Persian Gulf began in 1991.

 

January 17-

Benjamin Franklin’s birthday.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests in celebrating Ben, to purchase a

Benjamin fig plant/tree, which helps to remove toxins from indoor air

spaces. (Ficus benjamina).

 

January 19th-

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Schools, public offices, the Post Office and libraries are usually closed

on this day in U.S. I have attended city and town breakfasts which give

the money for the meal to needy causes, in MLK, Jr.’s honor.

 

January 20-

New Moon.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, (2015) suggests this month to “plant bulbs

and destroy weeds during full moon times,” then during new moon to try

a different kind of house plant during the winter months. This month’s

featured plant, the air plant. This is like Spanish moss in its ability to

survive without much care of nutrients. Plant nurseries and some shops

have glass globes which can be suspended in small offices, along with

homes on clear plastic ‘threads’ of varied lengths. This creates a very

decorative and appealing January sight. Care includes, ‘light misting’

and feeding using a folian fertilizer, along with placing where it will

receive bright, indirect light. (Fluorescent offices are perfect in this

respect, while you may separate ‘offspring’ to create more plastic or

glass globes, helping spread positive oxygen into spaces.)

 

January 21st-

Evil Squirrel reminded me this is Squirrel Appreciation Day,

wherever you live in the world that has squirrels!

 

 

January 27-

Australia Day.

Celebrate with the Aussies you know!

 

January 29-

Celebrate Tom Selleck’s #70th birthday, with a viewing of one of

his older performances in “Magnum P.I.” (television series), one

of his ‘new’ performances in “Blue Bloods,” with a fine and well

rounded cast of policemen role models, along with a character

that plays his father as a past Police Commissioner and his

‘daughter’ is the District Attorney. This television show is one

which has a huge following, among whom are police around the

country. Tom’s fun character in “Magnum” made him a fixture

in our household television shows and now, “Blue Bloods” is part

of my Mom’s (and when I am home on a Friday night) my own

favorite shows. You may have followed Robert Parker’s mini-series,

where Tom played “Jesse Stone,” from R.P.’s past books. Sadly,

the author, Parker, died so the series must end. This can be found

at the library, in individual. Jesse Stone releases. I like the setting

of New England and there are a couple ‘bizarre’ murder mysteries.

In his personal life, you rarely hear anything about his life, since he

married his wife (Jillie Mack) in 1987. He is not known for too many

controversies, although, he has stood up for the N.R.A. which means

he supportsgun rights.

As far as movies with Tom Selleck go, my all time favorite has to

be the fun one he made with two other special men, Steve Guttenberg

and Ted Danson, called, “Three Men and A Baby.” My children and

grandchildren are very amused with this wild and unbelievable plot

line, but it is also heart-warming and sweet. I liked him in the comedy,

“Her Alibi,” while “Lassiter” and “Quigley Down Under” are good

action movies. (This became a rather long monthly tribute to the actor,

Tom Selleck!)

Happy 70th Birthday, dear Tom!

 

As always, you may add some dates that mean something to you or

your country in the comments for the month of January.

Thank you for making this monthly visit a fantastic one. I enjoy

all the additions I received last year to this monthly post.

 

Sir Basil the Great quotation:

“He who sows courtesy, reaps friendship.

He who plants kindness, gathers love.”

(Greek Bishop who lived from 329- 379 A.D.)

 

What challenges will you set out, for you or even your family?

Help get us motivated by sharing this with us, please.

 

I will make a friend out of an ‘enemy’ or one who I have had past

disagreements with.  I will give to a new, special charity, along

with continue to find more positives in my life than negatives.

 

A time of new beginnings, promises and resolutions is emphasized

in this Flavia, (poet and inspirational writer) 2003 quote:

“Our time on earth is woven of infinite moments,

Each holding a promise and its own exquisite beauty.”

 

In honor of the New Year of 2015,

Thanks to T. S. Eliot:

 

“Not fare well,

But fare forward, voyagers.”

 

 

 

Loss of a Fine Crime Novelist: age 94

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Famed detective crime novelist, P. D. James passed away peacefully

in Oxford, England on Thursday. This was in America, Thanksgiving

Day- Phyllis Dorothy James White lived from August 3, 1920 until

November 27, 2014. I had always been fascinated by Phyllis’ personal

life details. She had some similar paths which I had taken, eldest of

three children and having been on her own for quite some time. Her

husband, Ernest C.B. White and she had married while she was 22

years’ old, so had I.

From her father’s civil servant position, to my father’s government

job, the differences became much more apparent when she grew up

to age 16. Phyllis left school at the Cambridge High School for Girls,

choosing jobs at hospitals. When her husband went off to join the

war, (WW II) she had children. The obituary says she had two girls

along with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I had just mentioned to someone in my comments’ section that P.D.

James had re-imagined a sequel to the wonderful “Pride and Prejudice,”

with Jane Austen’s characters, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, having become

estranged from her sister and husband, they were arriving through the

woods to a Ball planned. Murder in the forest, led her sister’s husband

to be accused while Elizabeth worked on solving the mystery. This

was on PBS “Masterpiece Theater,” in October, I believe.

While Phyllis’ husband was a doctor, Phyllis became a medical

administrator with the National Health Services in England. Phyllis

took three years to write her first book, “Cover Her Face,” which may

make some take comfort in their own writing and publication pursuits.

Her next three crime novels, focused in on medical terminology, hospital

setting and procedures.  In 1963, “A Mind to Murder” had these medical

details, along with 1971, “Shroud for a Nightingale,” which had realistic

plot line, and the last medically based novel, “The Black Tower,” included

the hospital setting. Certainly, Phyllis D. James White utilized her 19

years of being an administrator to her advantage in crime-solving.

 

P.D. James wrote thirteen novels about murder and mystery, seven of

those books became part of “Mystery!” series episodes on PBS. Adam

Dalgliesh, her most familiar character, was a Detective of Scotland Yard.

His introspection and inner poet made this him a complex and intriguing

man.

When her husband, Ernest, died, she was only 44 years old and she spent

the next 50 years beloved by family but never remarrying.

 

We shall all be mourning the loss of P.D. James. We may be happy that

her life was filled with many years of successful parenting, writing along

with contributing to England’s National Health Service with her fine

even-handed administration.

 

A life well led, she included a sense of humor in her personal interviews.

P.D. James’ favorite line was that from childhood on, after hearing the

old Nursery Rhyme of,  “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty

had a great fall. . .” Phyllis said, “When I first heard that Humpty Dumpty

fell off the wall, I immediately wondered, ‘Did he fall or was he pushed?'”

 

How fortuitous, or showing quite some premonition, to the craft of her

morbid story-telling. P.D. James was one of my favorite female authors

who could draw me into her webs of complex characters and dynamic actions.

Her ability to continue pursuing learning, outside of schools, along with her

accomplishing so much after leaving academia at age 16, all make P.D. James

a fascinating woman who should motivate us all.

 

“Be still, my heart”

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Stop, breathe and exhale! I am almost ‘breathless’ in anticipation…

for the new Pierce Brosnan movie to come out: “The November Man.”

I can say that he is happily married, so I won’t try to be too silly about

my ‘crush’ on him. I never would dream of trying to take away a happily

married man.  Nor could I! Since his wife Keely Shaye Smith is simply

gorgeous!

She has been his wife for over 13 years, the mother of his two younger

daughters. They live on a tropical island in Hawaii. Their life style is

what he considers a calm, simple life. He claims that he and his family

are content to just bask in the sun, swim, boat and lead their ‘out of

the limelight’ life.

I believe him. He and his wife are rarely seen, except during Academy

Award shows and other special events.

They don’t seem like ‘party-goers.’ It makes him even more special

to me! Also, additionally positive about this couple, Keely and Pierce,

is that they are environmentalists, supporting many causes for the

natural world.

 

Oh, and that expression, Be still, my heart!” comes from a shortening

of a phrase, in some resources. The original one was, “Oh, be still,

my beating heart.” This was from Victorian days, where a person

may be describing or thinking of someone who took their breath

away or made them, “swoon.” It also can be traced back as early as

when Virgil in 1697:

“When from the Goal they start,

The youthful Charioteers with beating heart,

Rush to the race.”

Sting (the musician) wrote a song, “Be Still My Beating Heart,” and

gives Shakespeare credit, but not sure of the source. One source,

gives a passage from “The Tempest.”

 

I don’t talk about my birthday very often, and don’t mention it on

my blog, as in ‘today is my birthday (it’s not!)’ But this man, Pierce,

who has my Scorpio birth month’s name in the title of his next movie,

is simply, extraordinary.

Since he hit the scene of television, on “Remington Steele,” he has

been in my vision and dreams. No offense, ex-boyfriends and

ex-husbands!

I would like to share some facts that I have acquired from a few

sources. No, I have not been stalking him!

Pierce is over 60, he looks like 45 or 46, tops. His birthday is May 16,

1953. He is a wee bit older, by only 2 years, than I am. He is a Taurus,

which is compatible with my sign. How do I know? Well, there was a

period of time, where he was a widower with three boys. I was a

single mother with two girls and a boy, at around the same time.

Back to some of his childhood experiences. Pierce admits to being

teased as a child. He was raised by a single mother who took him

from his birthplace. He was born and lived a short time, along the

River Boyne, in Ireland. His father left his mother and him when

Pierce was only 2 years old. It was tough on his mother, since the

Catholic Church ‘shamed her’ due to her divorce. She chose to move

to where her parents lived, in England.

Once there, Pierce was called all the mean words for Irish immigrants,

“Mick, “Paddy” and later, “Irish.” If you can find a photograph of him

while a young child, you will see a sweet boy who was a little more

husky than his present lean self, displays now. His mother was taking

nursing classes, quite busy and unable to afford child care. So, she

chose to leave him full time with his grandparents.

Pierce’s first love was for drawing and painting. He loves art still and

continues to practice painting in the back yard of his island home. He

wanted to be a graphic artist, his dream and ‘escape’ from some of the

name-calling and torments of his childhood.

Once Pierce entered high school, he was drawn to the drama department,

where the theatre students embraced him. It was such a wonderful, new

experience. A ‘change’ from being an ‘outsider,’ helping him to become

more confident. He left ‘comprehensive school at age 16, ‘ still seeking

education in the field of commercial illustrations.’ Once he determined

there were other options, he did change his interests back to what he had

followed in high school. Pierce studied acting at the London Drama Centre

for three years after his stint with drawing.

Interestingly enough, in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, (8/10/14),

mentioned his first movie he ever saw was James Bond’s “Goldfinger.”

It was a thrill for him to see the character of ‘007’ played by Sean Connery.

It also was a fortuitous, possibly foreshadowing, event of his life.

Pierce had his ‘first call’ after drama school for the movie, “The Long Blue

Friday.”

Try-outs for the casting of this movie, meant they suggested for the male

leading role to bring a bathing suit. He jokingly says in his interview, that

he showed up in a Speedo and got the part. He played a killer/assassin and

this role made an impact on the studios.

Another interesting fact is that his first wife, Cassandra Harris, was in a

Bond movie, with Roger Moore cast as ‘007.’ They had three sons together,

along with her daughter. They shared acting as one of their interests, as well

as their desire to keep their personal lives out of the tabloids. Unfortunately,

Cassandra developed cancer, dying at the age of 43.  Another sad event in his

life years later, his close step-daughter, who he had raised with Cassandra,

died also of  cancer, at age 42. It was hard on Pierce, reliving the tragedy of

the loss of his wife and then, later someone he considered to be, his oldest

daughter.

It took many years for Pierce to get through the stages of grief. I think this

is why he seem devoted and grateful for his present wife, Keely and their

serene family life.

As part of a spy agency, with the assisting role that Stephanie Zimbalist

played, Pierce Brosnan came into our homes, as”Remington Steele.” The

television series lasted from April, 1982 until October, 1987. This was a

form of escapism, since my first child was born in 1980 and my last one

was in 1985. Television, once the children were asleep, kept me engrossed

in the interesting plot twists and guest stars.

Pierce became a popular name and more familiar to all audiences. This

role of being the suave and debonair spy, led directly to his being cast

as ‘007’ in his first role as James Bond. Along the way, he was cast as

a thief, in the remake of “The Thomas Crowne Affair.” The original

characters were played by Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

One of the many humble comments that Pierce Brosnan mentions in

CBS Sunday television interview was that he is ‘grateful’ and is filled

with ‘gratitude’ for his wife and family, his mother, grandparents and

being cast as the famous character that Ian Fleming created. He was

in four popular James Bond movies.

He also mentioned that his life has been ‘easier, more relaxed’ since

he met Keelley. He has acting in his ‘blood,’ always thinking about

the next movie, whether he may produce or direct it, too. A man of

many talents, who has still the quiet presence of a kind man.

The most ‘fun’ movie I ever saw Pierce Brosnan in was “Mama Mia!”

I enjoyed the singing, the way the plot twists went, with Meryl Streep

playing a woman who could potentially have three prospects for

her daughter’s father. The daughter invites, without informing her

mother, all three of the men to her wedding!

Which man of three is her father? I’ll never tell!

It has ABBA music throughout, lots of atmosphere on a beautiful

Greek island, with the sweet voice of Amanda Seyfried. There is also

the British actor, Colin Firth, as one of the potential fathers. The

third possible choice is played by Stellan Skarsgard. Seeing Pierce

Brosnan belt out, “S.O.S” with Meryl Streep filled me with an

inexplicable joy.

Pierce mentioned in the CBS interview, that his two younger

daughters got ‘sick’ of him singing it everywhere he went, trying

to practice while listening to his Ipod with ear buds in. If you

just want to enjoy a carefree, musical movie, this will be one of

your favorites, trust me on this!

Another lighter movie that Pierce made was, “Mrs. Doubtfire,”

with Sally Fields and Robin Williams; now 22 years ago. He

has posted recently and spoken about who he considered the

great and close friend’s death. I enjoyed seeing Pierce Brosnan

“lose” in the movie, to Robin Williams, in the battle for Love.

If you ever want to see a unique plot and interesting character,

check out Pierce Brosnan in the film, “The Tailor of Panama.” He

is a tailor who is asked to be a British spy, based on the novel by

John Le Carre. The other actors in this movie, Jamie Lee Curtis

and Geoffrey Rush are fascinating in their roles. I have watched

this film more than once, high praise indeed!

Coming Soon! . . .

“The November Man.”

Is it your kind of movie?

Will you watch it at the movie theater, rent it or skip it?

Originality is a Plus

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I have always enjoyed quirky, unique characters. I have had a lot of friends

who could not be ‘pigeon-holed’ into any certain group. One thing or another

led us to each other, some for a season, like a poem says, and others for Life.

I have very eclectic taste in my television and movie watching, as well as my

book reading. It takes only something different to pull me in!

 

Here are some criteria: eclectic characters, different settings, weird or unusual

plots, mysterious going’s on, along with some humorous qualities. In other words,

‘one of a kind’ television or movies.

 

I prefer the descriptive words, “Unique” over “Cute,” any day of the week!

 

When the show (or movie) is over, you may feel like you had a visit with distant

family members, who you will ponder upon for awhile. If the show really captures

your heart, you may miss the people when they are gone. . .

 

Examples from the past include, “Barney Miller,” “Taxi,” “Seinfeld,” and “I Love

Lucy.” When we remember Robin Williams, we can think of his earlier t.v. show,

“Mork and Mindy.” Ray Walston created an alien in “My Favorite Martian,” but

no one could do improvisational comedy and ‘wing it,’ like Robin Williams.

 

The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” along with its spin-off, “Rhoda,” included a

lot of diverse persons, along with strong female roles. For a mild, kind and

dry humored, soft-spoken man, I loved, “The Bob Newhart Show.” (Both of

them, in fact!) Bob, in his farmhouse Inn,  had some strange neighbors, 3

handymen (were they Darryl, Larry and Larry? Who remembers this trivia

fact? Let me know!), the dentist and his wacky receptionist in the first show.

Both wives (from the 2 shows) were beautiful and very patient with good ole’

Bob. Many fell in love with them, wondering how he managed to capture each

of them.

 

I liked movies like the Thin Man series, along with ones starring Charlie Chaplin

and Errol Flynn. Way too many of the ones from the black and white era, up to the

newer color ones, to list my ‘favorites of all time!’

 

For comedic variety shows, I enjoyed the “Carol Burnett Show” and “Rowan and

Martin’s Laugh-In.” Each one had a purpose: the first was to entertain families

and the second one was to be a ‘sign of the times.’ Many iconic quotations had their

roots in these shows. They managed to attract many famous comedians, for guest

appearances on both of these shows. Totally different styles, but both met my quirky

and strange criteria.

 

More recent favorite t.v. shows featuring quirky characters were:

“Northern Exposure,” “Still Standing,” and “Gilmore Girls.”

 

I finished one whole season of Robin Williams, with Sarah Gellar playing his character’s

daughter,  in “The Crazy Ones.” If you wish to see funny, then you want to go with the

‘best’ comic in his time. The episodes with the baby ducklings, promoting roasted coffee

and McDonald’s ‘feel good’ commercial which their father/daughter advertising agency

made were all hilarious. Now that he is gone, many of us will value the talent, energy and

unique ‘crazy’ characters, that Robin William created.

 

I have some favorites that I have wondered if anyone else out there is watching currently,

on their televisions?

1. I  have been watching and enjoying, on Sunday evenings, “Last Tango in Halifax.”

This PBS story that unites two outrageously different families in marriage, via two

characters who knew and loved each other over 50 years ago, is quite addicting.

The older couple is unsure which home to live in after marrying, one of their

children murdered someone, in self defense, there is a gay woman who longs for

her soul mate, another woman to fall for her, and other plot twists. The scenery

and the dialogue are quite interesting!

 

2. I have been watching and laughing at Amy Poehler’s writing and her brother,

Greg Poehler’s acting in, “Welcome to Sweden.” This is on regular television on

Thursday evenings. A bonus is Lena Olin, in the cast. Greg plays an accountant

who marries a gorgeous blonde Swedish woman and had to find a job, among

other things, in Sweden.

 

3. I have my dental hygienist and my youngest daughter watching, “Hart of Dixie.”

If you start on the first show, it explains how someone from the North, from a big

hospital  ends up in little “Bluebell” town. The characters are played by fairly

familiar actors/actresses, Rachel Bilson, Tim Matheson, with two handsome men

playing a lawyer named George and a bar keeper named Wade. The character of

the black mayor is well done, along with an uptight but sometimes sweet and soft

as a marshmallow is named Lemon.

 

4. “The Goldbergs” is hilariously about the 80’s. It is like another kind of “Wonder

Years.” It has George Segal, who always will be part of my favorite memories of an

ensemble cast in, “Just Shoot Me.” He plays a grandfather living with the family.

I like the intergenerational ‘feel’ to this show.

(In “Just Shoot Me,” also were comedians, Wendy Malick and David Spade.)

“The Goldbergs” is told from the ‘nerdy’ son’s perspective who has a big ‘jock’

brother and a popular big sister. He has different problems, with girls, with his

interests and sometimes within his family. The plot line that is a good example of

funny stuff is when the son wants to make a film, his dad being cast as, “Alien Dad.”

He requests lots of bottles of ketchup and other different stuff to help him make

this. His father has to adjust to this idea, it is a tough one, he is more accustomed to

his older two’s interests. In the end of each show, as this one does, you find out there

are ins to each episode to the climate of the times, like “Say Anything” movie, the

boy uses a big boom box, to help get a girl’s attention. In another episode,  how he

studies the movie,”When Harry Met Sally” to try and understand girls. The message

he gets from it is one that will bring chuckles.

 

5. On Hallmark Channel, I have fallen for “Signed, Sealed and Delivered,” and now

must wait a season for the continuing story. There are mail clerks, one boss and

the staff need to read letters that come down the shoot/chute from the Lost Mail

Department. Each letter holds a story, not all love ones, either. They have been to

different parts of cities, using partial labels on envelopes and other ways and means

to track down one or both parties on the envelope. It reunited a couple, it brought

death to someone who had hoped the other was alive, it brought parent with child

together, etc. The way I got started is, I had read the scripts were by the author of

“Touched by An Angel.” I also saw that good old Rhoda, from the “Mary Tyler

Moore Show,” Valerie Harper, was guesting in the first couple of shows. The main

boss was from the show, “Ugly Betty.” (My mother liked this one, due to the Spanish

connection and liked the way America Ferrara’s family used their heritage in their

decorating and there were sometimes chances for Mom to practice using her own

Spanish.)

 

6. When they come back there are a few female-driven shows, with interesting topics,

along with great ensemble casts like “New Girl,”  “The Mindy Project,” and “Rizzoli

and Isles.” My Filipino friends like the show with Cloris Leachman playing a silly and

forgetful grandmother in, “Raising Hope” and also the three families in “Modern Family.”

I still enjoy the show with Patricia Heaton in, along with the husband who played the

janitor in, “Scrubs,” in the show about mid-American incomes, homes and families:

“The Middle.”

 

I called my two friends who are dear to me, that have battles with depression, which

can sometimes lead to addictions last night. I asked them each had they heard about

Robin William’s death?  One said, “I’m good, at least for today. I know you are worried

about me. When Robin Williams decides this world is not where he belongs, it makes

you consider whether you need to stay here anymore. But, I’m good.”

The other one answered with a little sob, she was not so good. She had heard the news,

immediately knew I would be wondering whether she was taking it well, coping with

her life, as it is a struggle for her. She stopped her moment of crying, I could hear the

‘wheels spinning,’ and she finally let me in on her thoughts,

“I think I won’t take my medications tomorrow and clean the bedroom and bathroom,

then do the laundry. I need to ‘feel’ and action will keep me moving forward.”

 

If you would like to talk about Robin Williams, your favorite movie or anything, you

may do so.

 

If not, I had the idea of sharing our favorite television shows, current or past. . .

 

What are you watching on television that may be of interest to all of us? Do you

mind giving us an example of a plot or story line?

 

 

 

Sleuthing Around

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Small Town Murder, case on “Cold Justice” television series, 8/1/14.

I watch the show, “Cold Justice,” on Friday evenings, when I am not out and

about. If there are grandchildren, an event or special occasion, I don’t like to

sit down and watch t.v. on weekends. I sometimes think to myself, “That is a

form of ‘defeat!”‘ The last straw, in being a free woman, is to just put my p.j.’s

on, watch t.v. and get up during commercials and make popcorn on a Friday

night.

Anyway, last Friday, I was tired. We acquired some stores back from Remington,

Indiana, at the warehouse. Apparently their fledgling distribution center is not

able to handle their orders. We have had ten hour days during the week, instead

of our four nine hour days and a half day, on Friday. We worked 6 hours last

Friday, making it a 46 hour week. Unfortunately, this week we just completed 48

hours. I may just have to get a library movie, or try my luck with another “Cold

Justice” show!

There are my excuses, but I have to admit, I did feel happy to see that their newest

‘cold case’ was one from 8/27/91.

It was from the small, quaint town of Cambridge, Ohio. The person who had been

murdered was a Robin Stone. There were ‘signs’ I was meant to watch this show!

Although she was found to be pregnant when they examined her dead body, the

police had never established who the father was, nor had they found who was the

one who had killed her.

Twenty-three years later, we are much more modern, there is DNA evidence that

could help solve this ‘cold case.’ The women on “Cold Justice,” are not actresses,

they have been hired and are filmed, using their ingenuity and their experiences

to solve crimes. Kelly is a former prosecuting attorney and Yolanda was a crime

scene investigator.

If you wish to read more about Kelly and Yolanda’s background and personal

stories, you may look up the show on the internet. I wish to imagine that I am part

of this team, along with another blogger, who shall remain anonymous. We have

talked about joining forces, to become an extraordinary detective ‘duo.’ We would

use our interest in detective, police and mystery shows, along with our combined

knowledge to become private investigators.

The one who was most suspected in the original time frame of the murder, was

her longest boyfriend and her declared ‘love.’ Her sister and mother were part of

the people who were re-interviewed for this show. The sister was weeping, with

her last words that Robin said to her repeated for the cameras.

Robin had just gotten off the telephone with someone and said to that unknown

person,

“I’ll be there.”

Robin  walked out of the house with those words left hanging in the air. She had

attended her first day of school and there would have been homework to do. But

she left her house with no explanations on where she was heading.

It was Robin Stone’s senior year of high school in Cambridge, Ohio.

Robin’s history of many dates, some different journal entries including how far

she had progressed with each, had been examined back in 1991. Lee Savage was

the name that appeared most often and more consistently than others.

Lee’s father, Jack Savage, was interviewed first in the newest investigation. His

words had been horrible showing disdain for Robin, in the original case notes

revealed as,

“I hope she is dead. She’s welfare trash.”

Jack’s contempt for his son’s ‘off and on again’ girlfriend, was shown again, in the

current interview, even when brought to his attention that his grandchild had been

found dead in her uterus.  DNA evidence proved it, with a high percentage number

that it could have been either Jack’s or Lee’s. A new theory was being formed.

Lee Savage acted like the ‘good ole’ country boy,’ while seemingly cooperative in

the case. He was willing to give his DNA, no concerns about his innocence being

questioned.

To add a counterpoint to this television series, I thought I would mention a famous

man, Dr. John George Spenzer who died in 1932. He was a faculty member of Case

Western Reserve  University. He taught medicine and chemistry courses, having

reached his PhD. in the early 20th century.

Dr. Spenzer, was Ohio’s Sherlock Holmes, having been a consultant on several

murder cases. One sensational murder case in 1908, was of a woman named Ora

Lee. The accused murderer was Guy Rasor. (Don’t these names remind you of

a James Bond tale? The attractive woman, Ora Lee, the ‘bad’ man Guy Rasor?)

Dr. Spenzer was able to use crime scene samples to use as additional proof in this

case. Dr. Spenzer was known for his careful notes, the care taken with specimens,

along with his ability to preserve the specimens with glass plates and plastic

bags. This fascinates me, that he was way ahead of his time, in this, considering

the above case, in a small town in Ohio, where they did not pursue evidence well.

Dr. Spenzer’s specialties were in poisons and toxicology. He was a professor, often

consulted by the Cleveland police force. In one of these cases, toxicology was a

part of the crime. At the Kiser trial, he was used as a professional witness/expert.

This was a 1916 case, where it occurred in Fremont, Ohio. A husband was accused

of murdering his wife, Dr. Spenzer was able to prove otherwise. The husband was

found by the jury to be ‘innocent.’

 

Dr. Spenzer was interested in the Crippen trial, which was held in England, in 1910.

This involved an American doctor who was accused of murdering his wife while

visiting in that country. Dr. Spenzer requested the court transcripts, (later found,

amongst his donations to Case Western.) He took meticulous notes, written in

long hand, with his own opinions and suggestions. Although he was not called in

as a witness or expert consultant, it is interesting that he was studying the case.

This is what he must have considered his ‘craft’ that he was ‘honing.’

Technology in factories and industrial advances contributed to this period of

time’s criminal investigations. Along with the industrial age innovations, crime

scenes were starting to be handled differently. This was the beginning of what we

call Forensic Medicine.

These inventions came to impact the Forensics’ area:

~Victorian goggles. You can imagine these being good while looking at a corpse.

~Microscopic slides. For blood, hair and sediment samples. Also helpful with

arsenic poision, part of toxicology.

~Wimshurst electro-static generator, 1880’s.

Turn of the century pharmaceuticals and medical techniques were changing

drastically the way of approaching crime scenes and enabling eye-opening

new procedures.

~Blood typing.

~Finger printing.

In amongst Dr. John G. Spenzer’s boxes of notes, journals, case files, slides and

examples of evidence, there were some newspaper clippings of Sherlock Holmes.

These donations were exhibited earlier this year at CSWR. While Dr. Spenzer

was consulting for the Cleveland police I venture to say, he had bigger dreams of

expanding his detective work. Those articles on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Scotland

Yard detective would be my first argument that he was wishing to go beyond his

world of academia. I think Dr. Spenzer was fascinated by this side line of his, but

consulting was not satisfying enough. I have no second argumental ‘proof’ but I

think Dr. Spenzer yearned to go beyond the walls of his professorial role, into his

own adventures of being Ohio’s own famous detective.

 

Or maybe those are my far-fetched fantasies. . .

Meanwhile, I will be watching the detective shows and studying the evidence.

 

 

Have You Ever Been Framed?

Standard

Super sleuths and detectives face the possibility that

the ones who are the accused in some murder mysteries

may actually have been “framed!”

I would like to analyze the definition of “framed.”

As an adjective, it has only two meanings in a modern

dictionary:

The first one says,

“Of a picture or similar, held in the frame.”

And the second one says,

“Of a building, having a frame of a specific material.”

Then, if you look farther, you can find the word,

“framed” being used in film and the industry. Another use

of the word can be on a computer. In photography, you

may use a bright scene at the end of the tunnel, using

the dark tunnel as a frame. Or a window or doorway can

also “frame” a picture. I have “framed” a beautiful

photograph in my collection, using an old, battered

gray doorway of a barn, looking out on a pastoral

scene.

In literature, this definition is one which we, as

writers, may utilize. You can use “framing” as a

literary device, where a secondary story or stories

are embedded in the main story. I think sometimes this

is a wonderful and very fascinating way of writing

(and reading another’s work.)

Since the period of 1895 (or around the 1900’s), the

phrase, it’s a “frame-up” first appeared. I like this

‘slang’ usage by sleuths and police detectives the best.

I am such a murder mystery fan! The primary suspect in

most murders is the spouse or a family member. This

person sometimes can be “framed.” I am sure that you

know this reference and it is a great way to throw

people ‘off the track’ of the true murderer!

In this case, when someone who is not guilty, is being

“framed,” it is being used as a noun. The meaning is a

“fraudulent incrimination of an innocent person.”

The next part of this post, is my own inventive way

of playing with both the words, “frame” and “framed!”

I did not find this somewhere else, I created this

fun way of wordplay.

There is always your “frame of mind.”

Another way of looking at things is to change

your “frame of reference.”

We have all been “framed” in photographs on our

parents’ walls, from childhood until we graduate

and ‘do them proud!’

Do you wear glasses? My “frames” are forever

getting bent, since I like to lie down while

viewing television.

I take my “frames” off, to read a book or look

at the needle to thread it, in sewing.

Children with bangs and some adults, look nice

while their face is “framed” with their hair.

When a parent or lover holds your face in his

or her hands, it is “framed” with love.

When we “framed” in the second house I ever lived

in, it was in Bretton Ridge development, North

Olmsted, Ohio. We loved collecting pop bottles

and turning them in for penny candy, at Szarka’s

Delicatessen.

This was while I was in third grade, the last

picture taken in elementary school, before my

parents invested in glasses “frames” for me.

After that, my “frames” ranged from being black

with white sparkles, cat-like in appearance,

to a crazy and bold red pair.

When I “framed” my three children in their senior

year high school photos, I chose three individually

unique picture “frames.”

My oldest daughter had an ornate cream-colored

ceramic “frame,” with her artistically posed photo

of a Roman column she is leaning against.

Carrie is wearing a black, gray and white ‘floaty’

print dress she bought at an antique dress shop,

that is no longer around Delaware. It used to be

a place to get costumes for theater productions

and it was called, “Captain Betty’s.”

Captain Betty had a huge poster with famous band

members’ signatures who had visited in Central

Ohio and chosen to stop in to purchase one of her

fantastic vintage clothing items. These ranged from

the Flapper age through the seventies. That poster,

“framed” in black, is a wonderful piece of memorabilia!

Might bring a ‘pretty penny’ to the family!

I dropped off a big box of my seventies’ clothes,

donated to her shop, for all the times she had

helped Carrie choose a special outfit for a dance

or play. (I am afraid she had been ill, possibly

passed away… My friend says only a few months

ago.)

The second senior photograph is in a rugged pine

“frame” and holds my son, James, sitting in a

large armchair, where the photographer threw a

white sheet over. He is ‘posed,’how I asked him

to sit. The photographer allowed me to “frame” him

in this chair. With his bare feet and lovely toes

I used to tickle and even, while he was a baby,

nibble on. Jamie’s pose is a natural one.

The last “frame” is a golden one. If you ever saw

my youngest daughter, Felicia, you may understand

why I chose this frame. She has golden hair, a

throw-back to my Swedish Grandpa Mattson. She was

a runner-up for Homecoming Queen, a soccer player,

a long distance runner when they benched her in

soccer, and third place winner of Cross Country

regionals.

When she was in high school they called, Felicia,

“Fox.” She was called that, as she placed a mini-

microphone into people’s faces, interviewing them

for her high school news channel. “Fox on your side.”

Then, like a different spin on that, she was using

for awhile this ‘brand’ for her blog, “Finding Your

Fox.” She has been, even at age 28, fighting and

winning her battle against her rheumatoid arthritis.

She was diagnosed at age 13, (called JRA) and we feel

it may have started at age 11.

How do you best enjoy the word, “framed?”

Have you chosen special photographs to place in

a prominent place on your walls or mantel?

How did you match the subject matter or their

occupants with the “frames” you chose?