Category Archives: Entertainment

Visiting bookshelves

visiting

I’ve seen a quotation on Pinterest, something to the effect of: Before we become friends, I’d like to take a peek at your Pinterest boards.

They’re like a mini-resume of a personal nature.

Likewise, whenever I go to a person’s home, I always find myself looking at their books’ titles.

Once in a while I see something familiar, and occasionally even spot ones that are on my own shelves. What are the odds of that when you consider just how many books there are in the world?

I’ve spent a lifetime with books; reading them, collecting them, reading reviews. Even reading books about books because I love them so.

Unfortunately, sometimes I see books in homes that give me more informations about their interests or lives than I’d care to have. For instance, once when we were overseas, we were invited to a couple’s home. There were large bookshelves in their dining room, and right out in the open, the husband had books about certain problems with wives (of an intimate nature). Very embarrassing.

And no, I didn’t pick them up and browse through them. The very title was descriptive. Maybe that’s why the wife spent most of our visit drinking whiskey in the kitchen by herself.

Thankfully, that kind of experience is rare.

Our home is small, and even though we have books in every room in the house (except for the littlest room), most of our volumes reside in the living room. Several years ago, one of our sons mildly chastised me for having political books right out in the open.

He’d had some friends over, and they didn’t like my choices; neither in politics nor reading material.

They were offended by my books about President Reagan and by William F. Buckley.

People are funny that way.

*Note: The quotation on my photograph is a paraphrased one. I can’t remember the original but if I knew the author, I’d credit them.

If anyone knows the original source, please leave a message and I’ll give the correct notation.

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Filed under Books, Quotes, Vicissitudes of Life

Letter to Audrey Hepburn


Once upon a time (about 3 years ago) there was a perfectly marvelous independent bookstore in Weatherford, Texas. And my kind husband bought this perfectly marvelous book for me there.

The Audrey Hepburn Treasures by Ellen Erwin and Jessica Z. Diamond.

It’s a totally different kind of book than I’d ever seen before. Not just prose. Not merely prose + photographs.

Each chapter has a glassine envelope with reprints ranging from contracts to letters to the program from one of her early shows to greeting cards she sent. And lots, lots more.

Such an interesting format.

And here is the reprint of an early fan letter she received. I think it’s touching that she kept it.


Here’s the lovely lady playing a cigarette girl in the 1950 film “Laughter in Paradise”.

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Filed under 1950, Actresses, Bookstores, Ephemera, Femininity, Letters and Correspondence, Non-Fiction

Old Books

“If one has to choose between reading the new books and reading the old, one must choose the old: not because they are necessarily better but because they contain precisely those truths of which our own age is neglectful.”
― C.S. Lewis, C.S. Lewis Essay Collection & Other Short Pieces

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Filed under Books, C.S. Lewis, Quotes

Dancing Jane Austen Style


(Click on image to enlarge)

The dances described in “Pride and Prejudice” are described as being glorified square dances, “in which three or more couples, the men and women in separate lines some four feet apart, facing one another, danced their way through a series of figures.

A figure was merely a sequence of movements, like those in square dances in which men and ladies opposite one another advanced and then retreated, or locked arms and swung around, or do-si-doed (from the French dos-a-dos), or wove their way through the other dancers.”

“Quadrille – Originally a card game played by four people with forty cards that was the fashionable predecessor of whist. Also, the dance that became popular in the mid-century, which had five figures, or sets of movements. It was basically a slowed-down square dance, involving four couples who started from the four points of an imaginary diamond. Even couples who started from the four points of an imaginary diamond. Even by the mid-century the dance had slowed down practically to a walk. It was used as the lead-off dance at almost all dances and balls, the waltz and the polka following.”

The Sir Roger de Coverley, although common in Dickens literature was mentioned as early as 1695. It is defined as: “A jolly type of country dance used to finish off dances and popular at Christmas. It involved the first man and last lady and last man and first lady from two lines of parallel men and women swinging out and then back, then swinging round, then weaving their way through the lines and then promenading, etc. The dance is known in the United States as the Virginia Reel.”


Excerpts are from “What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew – from Fox Hunting to Whist~the Facts of Daily Life in 19th-Century England” by Daniel Pool (1993).

The illustration of The Five Positions of Dancing is from the book “Jane Austen” by Brian Wilkes.

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Filed under 1800s, Books, Dancing, England, Fashion, History, Jane Austen, Jane Austen

Nuns and Me

Sound of Music abbey



The Trouble with Angels

Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows
The Singing Nun
A Nun at the Crossroads
The Flying Nun
The Nun’s Story
Lilies of the Field
Yours, Mine and Ours
The Sound of Music
A Change of Habit
(and countless episodes of television programs when religious people were sincere and not the perps, for instance: Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Big Valley.)

My friend Mo and I were talking about the Christian faith, and she mentioned that her mother had been a nun before she married Mo’s dad (obviously it was before, but I didn’t know how else to phrase the sentence). I knew Mo had gone to Catholic school, but wow, this was a really fascinating aspect to my friend.

I told her that if I hadn’t been Southern Baptist, I would’ve become a nun. Certainly I would’ve if I’d been Catholic.

Nuns were absolutely fascinating to me as I was growing up; in fact, they still are. Women who devote their total lives to serving Jesus, whose very clothing is a constant reminder of who they are and what they are about.

Beginning in the mid-60s, my friend Carol Ford and I went to the movies together a lot. And if it had nuns in it, that was a sure thing. I even drug her to “A Nun at the Crossroads”, an Italian/Spanish film dubbed in English with very violent themes.

Sometime about midway through that list of movies at the top, Carol and I became candy stripers (teenage volunteers) at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa. It’s the largest one in town and I was more familiar with it than the others, and well, if you’re 14 and you can’t be a nun, it just seemed the thing to do.

At least I could be around them.

Before or after duty, I would go and sit in the chapel and pray. There was such a holy atmosphere in that place and I really loved it.

In fact, I loved nearly everything about St. Francis and for someone who can’t stand anything squishy or biology or health class or science in general (and specific), that’s pretty good.

Many people I’ve known have an aversion to hospitals but I never did – until last year. After 17 days in one and all the pain and misery and lack of privacy and dignity, well … to quote Long John Silver, it “just plain gives me the shivers.”

But, nuns?

I still love nuns.

P.S. Oh, Carol who was more Assembly of God than Baptist, married a Catholic, converted, played a nun in her church’s production of The Sound of Music and sent her children to Catholic school.

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Filed under 1960's, Faith, Movies, Television

Judy Garland Paper Dolls

When I was in elementary school at Mingo, one of the local television stations would broadcast The Wizard of Oz on Easter weekend. I don’t know what TWOO has to do with Jesus’ resurrection, but there it is.

This was way before personal movie collections, video rental, cable television or even home video recorders. If you wanted to watch something, then you’d better catch it when it was broadcast because it might take a long, long time to have a chance to see it again.

We didn’t even get to see It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas.

But we did get to see The Wizard of Oz every Easter.

And if you were blessed enough to have a friend like Mary Jane Matthews, you got to watch it in color. (Mary Jane was a bright and lovely girl in her own right, quite aside from having a color television).

This set of Judy Garland paper dolls are from the book Glamorous Movie Stars of the Thirties Paper Dolls, by Tom Tierney, 1978.

Unfortunately, a few years ago I wrote the year of each movie under the title and it looks a bit messy.

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Filed under 1930s, Actresses, Easter, Ephemera, Fashion, Movies, Paper Dolls

Patty Duke and Cathy Paper Dolls, Part I

Patty Duke, Whitman 1965

Cathy, Whitman 1965

I apologize for the slanted view and cropped off part of Cathy’s hair. It was the only way I could see to scan it at full size, however, I’ll give it another try later and update this post if I’m successful.

Patty's clothes

Patty's clothes

Patty's clothes

Patty's and Cathy's clothes

Cathy's clothes

Most of the paper dolls that I buy are used and so I assume that there are pieces missing (unless the owner was very tidy and careful). Cathy doesn’t have nearly as many clothes in this set and I wonder why. Were her clothes prettier and became too worn and tattered to keep? Did the owner spill something on them (there are no stains on the dolls or other dresses)? Or did the family dog eat them along with her spelling homework?

Scanned page

Again I apologize for the quality of these pictures with printing being cut off on the side. It’s very difficult to scan these books without completely breaking the spine (which I don’t want to do, of course). Photographing them is only slightly better because, again, the pages won’t lie flat.

For legibility, click to enlarge, then click again. The print will then be clear enough to read.

Photographed page

The green page is from Carol Nichols book: Paper Dolls of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s: Identification and Value Guide, 2005, printed by Collector Books, P.O. Box 3009, Paducah, Kentucky 42002-3009.

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Filed under 1965, Actresses, Childhood pastimes, Ephemera, Fashion, Paper Dolls