In Our Community
Several years ago I attended a gathering of golden age radio performers who were going to do an reenactment of The Great Gildersleeve. The event was called an Afternoon with The Great Gildersleeve. In attendance was Willard Waterman (The Great Gildersleeve),
Mary Lee Robb (Marjorie) and Shirley Mitchell
For the first half of the afternoon, the performers answered questions from the audience. They then reenacted a Gildersleeve program from the 1950’s, since that’s when Waterman took over the
Focusing on Shirley Mitchell (Leila), Shirley was audibly etched in radio annals as the widow Leila Ransome,
the good natured, vivacious girl friend of Gildersleeve. Mitchell enjoyed other running parts as lovable, albeit ditsy, characters in the lives of Rudy Valle (as Shirley Whirley), Fibber McGee (Alice Darling), Red Skelton (Mrs. Willy Lump Lump) and Jack Benny (Mable, the telephone operator). She was also featured in roles
for Bing Crosby, Jack Carson, Phil Silvers and Amos and Andy.
Starting out on WSPD’s Children’s Hour, Shirley
later went on to study at the University of Toledo and Michigan. She appeared at the Cleveland Playhouse but switched to Chicago radio in 1942. First Nighter
was her first network show. She had many parts, but relocated to Los Angeles in the 1950’s where she
found many roles on radio and television. Shirley
was born in 1920 in Toledo, OH and died November 11, 2013 at age 94.
The Great Gildersleeve is regularly heard on AM 1370 KDTH’s Big Broadcast on Sunday nights from 6 to midnight. We will be starting a new season with Gildy and you might hear “L E I L A.”
New GI Bill Boosts Benefits
A new GI Bill has been in the works, and now it’s here. Dubbed the Forever GI Bill, it corrects many of the problems and inadequacies of previous veteran education-benefits legislation. In an amazing show of cooperation, both the House and Senate pushed through the final bill in only a few weeks. There was snarling along the way, but they got it done.
The biggest change? There will no longer be a 15-year limit on using educational benefits. Veterans who have been out for years and realize they need more education to progress in their careers will now be able to do it.
Here are some other changes:
• The Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides benefits to surviving spouses and dependents of service members who died in the line of duty, are expanded.
• Veterans who were partway through their education when their school abruptly closed will be able to have benefits restored for any credits that don’t transfer.
• Reservists and Purple Heart recipients will now get their benefits.
• Veterans who seek degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) will get more benefits, either a lump sum or nine extra months of benefits.
• Schools will be required to train those who help enroll veterans, and to provide more campus vocation and educational counseling.
One potential glitch: To pay for all this, living stipends will be decreased so they’re equal to active-duty service members’ housing allowances.
None of this happens today. Some changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2018, and some next August. Some might not happen for a few years. But it’s there; it’s
If you hear the legislation title The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 and wonder who Colmery is, he was the commander of the American Legion who originally wrote (by hand) the GI Bill ... back in 1944. You have him to thank.
© 2017 King Features Synd., Inc.
Passion and Purpose
We’re new to Florida gardening. Who knew you couldn’t grow tomatoes in Florida from April through September like you do up north? It’s the rainy season, so I wouldn’t have to water them, and it’s very warm and sunny most of the time (unless it’s raining). We planted a couple of tomato plants in late spring and a month later they were spindly, nearly leafless plants barely holding on to life.
About the same time I was reading the Q&A feature in a Florida gardening magazine. Some person, also new to Florida gardening, had asked the same question I had on my mind, why were our tomatoes dying? The answer in the Q&A column was that you can’t grow tomatoes in the heat of the Floridian summer. You need to plant them in February. Of course that wouldn’t work up north, they’d freeze in two minutes, but here in Florida it’s the best time to plant tomatoes.
The failed Floridian gardening experience was a reminder that there’s a time for everything. We can do the right thing at the wrong time, which often isn’t any better than doing the wrong thing at any time.
God, in His infinite wisdom, as the Grand Gardener, has perfect timing; we, on the other hand, don’t. This is why God often uses a third option in answering our prayers other than “yes” or “no.” He sometimes says, “wait.” In our impatience we want our requests granted now but it’s another instance in which God wants us to yield our will to His. We’re called upon to exercise the faith of waiting.
You and I are also called upon to use good timing in our relating to each other. We can do the right thing at the wrong time. We may be right in our need to have an honest conversation with someone but if we don’t do the work of determining the best time to bring up the subject we’ll sabotage our good intentions. Even saying something nice or doing something good for someone can be more effective if our timing is good. Empathy means, in part, to understand what would be the best time to speak or act.
I found out the hard way that good timing is key to fruitful gardening. Living a fruitful, productive life also requires good timing, yielding to God’s good timing and expressing good timing in our relationship with others.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
The News Media is a great provider of popular words and phrases. Recently, the word “patch” had been spoken at least three times in the past 24 hours. Once it was used to mend an argument between two late night talk hosts. A second time it was used in the way of a compromise between two Eastern nations. And the third “patch” reference was used to repair a broken relationship between two Hollywood movie stars. Actually, the News Media used the word “patch” with sophistication. I use the word more casually.
I like to think of a patch of golden, yellow daffodils resting in a bed of springtime flowers. They wave
back and forth with nature’s gentle breeze and a melody of song fills the silent air with humming.
Also, when you patch a crying child’s favorite
stuffed animal, or an “injured” doll’s broken leg, the teardrops just seem to melt away. Actually, you are repairing a child’s broken heart and teaching them about compassion.
We once had to patch a broken side window of our car with a flap of cardboard because it was raining and we were camping and had no other item to use for patching. We could stay dry in our tent because it didn’t leak but the thought of driving into town the next day in a wet car wasn’t an option.
Do you remember when patching blue jeans was a way of life? And, it wasn’t so long ago when blue jeans were patched just for decorations. They didn’t actually have holes in them. They were simply patched for looks.
When I was a young child, I use to watch my brothers mend their bike tire tubes with rubber patches. They would ride their bikes on stony country roads and always get a lot of tire pops. They became experts in the field of “speedy” tire repair.
This written conversation just couldn’t end without mentioning the patch square quilt. It seems like forever that people have been creating beautiful hand sown quilts with measured squares that came from past worn garments of all kinds. So many of these quilts are now treasures in many homes and some museums.
Perhaps the most important “patch” definition would be the one that means “repair.” Imagine, if a patch could repair and heal all the open wounds of the whole world, that one big patch, could blend together all the broken pieces forever. Be this negativity or hopefulness. I pick the latter.
This Beautiful Fantastic
This Beautiful Fantastic is described by many as a modern-day fairy tale and I totally agree. For me, it is the key ingredient of the film’s captivating charm.
The story goes that life began for Bella Brown as a baby being left in a box by a river where she was watched over by protective ducks. A kindly old man discovers her and takes her to nuns to raise. As an adult (played by Jessica Brown Findlay) she works in a library in order to support herself while dreaming of becoming an author of children’s books. Her neat-nik tendencies and extreme obsession with details and order, which borders on OCD, makes her a perfect fit for knowing where everything is located in the library.
Unfortunately those organization skills do not include the garden in the backyard of the house she rents. After several complaints she is given 30 days to clean up the mess or face eviction. Thus begins an unlikely alliance with her rich, old and grumpy neighbor (played by Tom Wilkinson) who is an expert on flowers and gardens.
The fairy tale flavor is apparent throughout the whole movie. When you think about it, fairy tales are still wonderful even at our age. I think it’s something we never outgrow. They still warm our hearts and put smiles on our faces, and that’s always a good thing.
This film is rated PG and is available at several
Dubuque Specialty Care