In Our Community
During the golden days of radio, there were many detective radio programs to grace the airwaves.
Hardboiled detectives like Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe and some that never left their chair like Nero Wolfe. Others used unusual names to identify themselves from the other radio detectives. Those coming to mind are The Falcon and The Saint. Let’s see what was so different about radios The Falcon.
The Falcon, Drexel Drake’s suave detective, came first to the screen in a slick series of RKO Radio Pictures. From there, it was one step to radio with Berry Kroeger playing the role on ABC in the fall of 1943. On July 3, 1945, The Falcon emerged on the Mutual network as a Tuesday night mystery series. James Meighan starred as Michael Waring, “that freelance detective who’s always ready with a hand for the oppressed men and an eye for depressed women.” Waring, for reasons more dramatic than practical, was known to friend and foe alike as The Falcon. The format was built around the telephone. The show began with the phone ringing; inevitably there was some gorgeous dish on the other end. Waring’s greeting was smooth, laced with a slight trace of British put on, and very identifiable. Always addressing women as “angel,” he begged out of a date each week, with such excuses as, “I’ve got to teach some gangsters that you can’t get away with murder, especially since the murder they want to get away with is mine!”
Waring’s style was somewhere between Ellery Queen and Richard Diamond. He had a fine eye for detail, but was usually on the outs with the cops. Little matter; in this show, as in many detective thrillers of the air, the cops were stupid anyway. The Mutual series was sponsored by Gem Razors and Blades, and contained one of the most memorable commercials of the era. Meighan played the title role for several seasons, then passed it to a succession of actors most notably Les Damon. Mutual moved the series around to different evenings of the week, and with Kraft Cheese as a sponsor for awhile. General Mills sponsored the series in 1952-53. The Falcon was last heard on Mutual in 1954.
Listen to AM 1370 KDTH’s Big Broadcast Sunday nights from 6 to midnight and you might hear the two radio detectives with the halo and the wings, The Saint and The Falcon.
Vets Stranded When VA Drops the Ball
A small home-health service in New Hampshire had to stop taking care of its 15 veterans when the Department of Veterans Affairs stopped paying the bills. Unlike major corporations, this small company was brought to its knees when unpaid invoices grew to $60,000.
The problem? Lack of complete Social Security numbers on the paperwork. For years it’s been standard in many areas of life to use only the last four digits of a Social Security number; but suddenly, without warning, the VA required complete numbers. Except there was no written notice, only a recent voicemail that, truthfully, could have come from anyone. Additionally, many of the unpaid invoices go back to last year, before the new procedure took effect.
After putting a lot of their own money into the company to pay staff, the owners had to stop services. When they phoned VA, no one could help them even learn the status of their invoices. They did learn, however, of the circuitous path the invoices take across the country before actually getting to a payment department ... which cannot be reached by phone.
Where are the veterans meanwhile? Right back where they started before this home-care company came into their lives ... alone, with no meal preparation, no housekeeping and in many cases unable to get to appointments. The company owners acted as responsibly as they could, giving personal notice to each veteran, and not abandoning them, yet not daring to risk the financial health of their whole business.
Meanwhile, after the story made the news, the VA jumped up and said they would hold some seminars for care-company owners. What, one wonders, would be imparted in those seminars? Hopefully, it might include the phone number of the payment department that cuts the checks.
© 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.
Sowing and Reaping
We have a paper-mache sculpture in our living room of a Mexican farmer holding a basket brimming full with grain. I can’t decide if the farmer is going to sow the seed or if he has just harvested the seed. Farmers do both.
At first I was dissatisfied with not knowing whether the farmer sculpture represented sowing or harvesting. I’ve since come to a peace about not knowing. Depending on how I feel on a given day, or even hour, I can take it whichever way I find most helpful to me at the time. Sometimes I need to be motivated to sow the seed of something good; at other times I need to be thankful for something good that’s come my way. Gumption to sow or gratitude in reaping, I need both in my life.
In fact, I usually need to be sowing and reaping at the same time. There are some areas of my life, we could call them fields, where I need to be sowing something good in what seems to be a barren landscape, those areas of life where not much good, if any, seems to be happening. Usually, if I look carefully, I can see an area, another field of my experience, where there is something good that can fill a basket of gratitude. I may not be seeing results in a certain facet of my life, and so I need to persevere at planting something good while at the same time I can see I’m harvesting the blessings of encouragement from someone close to me or seeing some positive results in another area of my life.
Yes, I like my statue of a Mexican farmer who is sowing, or is he reaping? His silent words are loudly spoken; I need to be always sowing in hope and reaping with gratitude!
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ... a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted...”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 2b
“Did You Know” Knippel’s is Closing After Over 100 Years
In Iowa, and other places, the winter of 2018 will be remembered as vicious and unforgettable. There was so much snow and so many freezing days that people became anxious and fearful about traveling anywhere. So many people couldn’t even make it to work for days and days. But, most of us survived and waited patiently for Spring to arrive. I prefer Autumn, but Spring is a welcome time too. Yet, my springtime after such a terrible winter was not exactly what I hoped for.
In the spring, only one plum-colored purple iris bloomed, but was toppled shortly after its flower opened up. It only shared its beauty for one day. I don’t know what broke its stem.
My son-in law, Joe had transplanted some of his iris bulbs from his garden a few years ago. One year we had 23 blossoms. But, this year, my one iris didn’t even have time to share its sweet nectar with any of nature’s insects.
Also, this spring only one peony bloomed in my yard. It had one perfectly petaled pink fragrant flower which was surrounded by bright greenery. It was breathing-taking. Ironically, we had originally planted nine plants and they bloomed for years but in time they wore out, just like you and me. Actually, one summer it was so hot that some of them died that year.
But I have been compensated for my disappointment of not having a multitude of flowers, by my one charming cottontail rabbit. The camouflaged rabbit comes several times during the day and evening to eat from the wrought iron, bird feeder stationed off the ground. It often lays at the base of the feeder, between legs that support the stand that holds the pie pan container of seeds. Some of the feed consists of nuts, cracked corn, and berries.
My visiting rabbit is not like Peter Rabbit from the children’s literature story. And I am not like the farmer, Mr. Mcgregor, the man who chased Peter out of his garden. I am like a fairy godmother serving nature’s children. I know my wild, cottontail rabbit will not be a permanent “yard guest” but for now it’s a pleasure to enjoy my one little rabbit.
I think it is remarkable that the birds, squirrels, and rabbits all eat at the same feeder, yet they seem to respect each other’s survival habits. Oh, yes, there are squabbles and unfriendly pecking and chasing away from the feeder but they all come back and eat again. I wonder whom we should take life’s lessons from.
Curiosty...endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will.
The Miracle Season
The Miracle Season is a perfect film for the entire family. It is rated PG; it is heartfelt and inspiring; it is based on a true story written by Coach Kathy Bresnahan.
On August 11, 2011 tragedy struck the Iowa City West High volleyball team. 17-yr-old Caroline “Line” Found, the team’s captain, the team’s setter and star player, died when she was involved in a moped accident. The team was poised to repeat as state champions with Line at the helm on the court. Now a new captain, setter, and court general must be found to re-cement the team for the upcoming season and help ease the grief and sense of devastating loss felt by each of Line’s teammates. Those challenges will fall on the shoulders of Line’s best friend, Kelley.
Two weeks after Line’s death her mother lost her battle with cancer and passed away. In that short span of time Line’s father Ernie lost his kind-to-everyone daughter and his beloved partner in life.
The film is anchored with the acting talents of Helen Hunt as Coach Bresnahan and William Hurt as Ernie Found. Both Hunt and Hurt have an Oscar on their mantles for performances in prior films.
It is impossible to hold back the tears as the fans sing Sweet Caroline and wear their LIVE LIKE LINE t-shirts.
This must-see film is available at most