Tag Archives: Titanic

Movie Wisdom – Bernard Fox Edition

16 Dec

Bernard Fox passed away. Most people probably remember him as Dr. Bombay on Bewitched, but I have always been a fan of The Andy Griffith Show. That is where he played Malcolm Merriweather, the Englishman who showed up on a few episodes to take care of the Taylor family.bernard-fox

He appeared in a ton of great television shows, but he also appeared in some great movies. In honor of Bernard Fox, here is some words of wisdom that can be found in his movies.

By the way, can you find the similar trait of two of the movies.

From A Night to Remember

People first, things second.

From The Longest Day

Anything mechanical, give it a good bashing.

From Big Jake

You shouldn’t butt into things that aren’t your business.

You know what the problem with money is? Somebody’s always trying to take it from you.

From The Rescuers

Faith is a bluebird, we see from far. It’s for real and as sure as the first evening star, you can’t touch it, or buy it, or wrap it up tight, but it’s there just the same, making things turn out right.

From Titanic

Our choices are never easy.

From The Mummy

No harm ever came from reading a book.

 

The Tennessee Bucket List

29 Mar

We spent Saturday afternoon roaming around Nashville. We ate lunch on the patio at Burger Republic and played around at Centennial Park. In between, we browsed through some shops. It was while browsing that I found a book called The Tennessee Bucket List: 100 Ways to Have a Real Tennessee Experience. Actually, it only lists 99 ways because the last one is something that a writer would put in there when he could not think of anything else to add.

Anyway, I bought the book because I wanted to know how many of these I had done. Heck, I have lived in Tennessee my entire life. I must have done most of them. Also, buying the book meant I could write a blog post.

Here goes the list of my real Tennessee experience.

See a Show at the Grand Ole Opry – I have seen the Opry at the Opry House and at the Ryman Auditorium. Thanks to a former student my wife and I were lucky enough to see the Opry backstage at the Ryman. She got her picture with Riders in the Sky.

Behold the Beauty of a Tennessee Walker – We have had box seats at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration since I was a kid. Most people go to Shelbyville for the horses. I go for the donuts.

Watch a NASCAR Race – Actually, I have been to a NASCAR race in Alabama. I will be at the Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time in the Fall, and that will be for a football game.

Sip Moonshine – Everyone has done this, right?

Wander the District – You cannot have the full Nashville experience without going to this part of town.

Explore a King’s Mansion – The TV Room is my favorite part of Graceland. The Outlaw Josey Wales is playing all of the time.

There are three tv's. I left out the one showing the trivia answer.

Be a Part of an Archaeological Dig – I am not sure how much digging is done in Tennessee, but there was once a dig on my family’s farm.

See a Civl War Reenactment – The dad of one of my friends took me to a reenactment of the Battle of Stones River. It was surreal to see people pretend that they were living in the past.

Enjoy a Goo Goo Cluster – You have not had candy until you have had a Goo Goo.

See Seven States at the Same Time – Rock City is an old-time roadside attraction that has survived into the 21st Century. If you are near Chattanooga, then you have to, as the barn roofs say, See Rock City.

Take a Walk Down Music Row – You may not see a famous person, but you will pass buildings where awesome music has been created.

Walk the Field at Shiloh – Almost 110,000 Americans fought on this land. There were more casualties in this battle than in all of America’s previous wars combined. It is a haunting place.

Explore Cades Cove – When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was formed, land was taken from people who had lived in the mountains for years. This community has been preserved in its rustic state.

Stroll Down Beale Street – The Blues was not born in Memphis, but this is where the great Bluesmen gained fame.

See the Sunsphere – In 1982, the World’s Fair was held in Knoxville. It is the last World’s Fair to make a profit, but the Sunsphere is all that is left.

Buy a Pair of Boots – I admit that I have done it.

Stand in the Footsteps of History – Everyone should visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. It is housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. A few years ago, I took my family.

Explore the Titanic – Yep, the Titanic is in Tennessee. Specifically, it is in Pigeon Forge. It sounds strange, but it is an awesome museum.

See a Shark – Yep, sharks are in Tennessee. Specifically, they are at an aquarium in Gatlinburg, which is down the road from Pigeon Forge.

Hear Al Green Preach – I am cheating on this one. I have never heard Al Green preach, but I have heard him sing.

Visit Franklin on Foot – Downtown Franklin is a great place to visit. The city has found the right combination of preservation and enterprise.

Behold the Statue of Athena – Actually, we saw this on the same day I bought the book. Nashville has the Parthenon because it used to be known as the Athens of the South. Inside the Parthenon stands Athena.image-10

Strum a Guitar – Everyone has done this, right?

See a College Football Game – I have seen games at Neyland Stadium, Dudley Field, Nissan Stadium, the Liberty Bowl and Cumberland University’s Nokes-Lasater Field. However, the coolest one was Chamberlain Field in Chattanooga, which opened in 1908. When it closed, it was the second oldest college football stadium in the country.

Play Miniature Golf – It is one of my favorite things to do. The best place to do it? Hillbilly Golf in Gatlinburg.

Spend the Afternoon Shopping – The book talks about Opry Mills. However, the Mall at Green Hills is the best.

Savor a MoonPie – It is an awesome snack, but it is best paired with a RC Cola.

Visit the Grave of Meriwether Lewis – This is the Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame. He met a mysterious end in a tavern along the Natchez Trace.

See a Bear in the Woods – I saw a bear with her cubs at Cades Cove. Luckily, I did not end up like Leo DiCaprio.

Go Line Dancing – Everyone has done this, right?

Spend a Day at Dollywood – I have been to Dollywood after it was called Dollywood. I have also been there when it was called Silver Dollar City. I have also been there when it was called Gold Rush Junction.

Watch the Marching of the Ducks – The Peabody Hotel in Memphis is a nice hotel. It is also the home of some cool ducks.

Go Whitewater Rafting – Everyone has done this, right?

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame – We try to go there each time they open a new exhibit. It is a great museum

Explore Market Square – This is a part of downtown Knoxville with a lot of cool restaurants and shops.

Pig Out of Memphis-Style Barbecue – Nashville people do not like to give Memphis credit for anything. However, they are tops when it comes to barbecue. Go to Rendezvous.

See an Eagle – A few wild ones can be seen around here.

Discover the Mighty Mississippi – At times, I have just sat and watched it flow by.

Ride a Sky Lift – For years, it has been a Gatlinburg landmark. Everyone has to ride it at least once.

Visit the Jack Daniels Distillery – Jack Daniels is produced in Lynchburg, which sits in a dry county. You cannot buy alcohol where the most famous whiskey is made.

Sit in the “Scopes Monkey Trial” Courtroom – One of my greatest moments as an educator was talking about the Scopes Trial in the courtroom. It is worth a visit to Dayton.

Sing “Rocky Top” – I have sung it thousands of times at the top of my lungs. However, I cannot bring myself to sing the “WOO” part.

Tour a Plantation – They are everywhere.

See a Lady Vols Basketball Game – I have seen a bunch of games and seen a bunch of victories. However, it is not the same without Pat Summitt.

Tour the Home of a U.S. President – There are three. I have seen two. Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk.

Ascend the Space Needle – It is a ride high over Gatlinburg.

See a Titans Game – I have done this a bunch. It was fun when they were winning. These days, it is not as much fun.

Cheer on the South (or North) – When I went to the Dixie Stampede, we were late and could only get tickets on the North side. I was told that the North never wins. That night they won.

Take a Riverboat Cruise at Night – Nashville’s General Jackson is a great ride on a Summer night.

Enjoy an Orchestra – We love going to the Nashville Symphony. They are awesome.

Sink Your Teeth into a King Leo Peppermint Stick – I am not crazy about them, but they are a Christmas tradition.

Walk to the Top of Clingman’s Dome – It is Tennessee’s highest point. Just watch out for the fog. They do not call them the Smoky Mountains for nothing.

Listen to a Country Music Concert – Everyone has done this, right?image-11

Visit a Fort – There are forts, but they are not as cool as forts in the American West.

There is my list. I will not write about the things that I have not done. I am sure the author of the book would love for you to buy a copy to see what else is in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listeria – Going to the Picture Show

2 Jul

The folks at Entertainment Weekly just came out with a bunch of lists. The 100 greatest television shows. The 100 greatest novels. The 100 greatest albums. The 100 greatest lists of great things in popular culture. It is perfect fodder for “Listeria”, the ongoing examination of our fascination with lists.

This is an examination of the magazine’s list of the 100 greatest movies, or, as my dad used to call them, the picture show. When I was a kid, he would ask if I wanted to go to the picture show because he knew it drove me crazy. For those who don’t know, the picture show was a southern term for the movies. He said a lot of other things to drive me crazy, but that one was a sure thing.

Never fear, I am not going to write about 100 movies. I am going to list the ones that I have seen. To add some texture, I think I will include my favorite thing about each one.

Oh, there will also be a little trivia at the end.Ward Bond

1. Citizen Kane (1941) – The line, “A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows – his own.”

2. The GodFather (1972) – The line, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

3. Casablanca (1942) – Rick’s Cafe

6. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – The floor that separates to form an indoor swimming pool

9. Nashville (1975) – The song, “It Don’t Worry Me”

10. Gone With the Wind (1939) – The coolness of Rhett Butler

12. The Searchers (1956) – Monument Valley

14. Bambi (1942) – Thumper

18. Jaws (1975) – Quint’s story about being on the USS Indianapolis

19. Pulp Fiction (1994) – The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.

24. The Sound of Music (1965) – When it was over

25. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – The music

28. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – The Red Brick Road (where does it go?)

29. North by Northwest (1959) – Mount Rushmore

33. The Graduate (1967) – Katharine Ross

41. The Road Warrior (1981) – The kid with the decapitating boomerang

43. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – Gandalf

49. Goldfinger (1964) – The Kentucky Fried Chicken in one of the scenes

52. Titanic (1997) – The wreck

53. Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Darth Vader

56. Schindler’s List (1993) – The last scene in the cemetery

59. All the President’s Men (1976) – Jason Robards

61. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Hannibal Lecter’s cell

62. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – The flying bicycle

63. Network (1976) – The line, “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

68. GoodFellas (1990) – The music

69. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – Slim Pickens riding the bomb.

78. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – The melting face of the Nazi

81. Blade Runner (1982) – Pris

83. The Wild Bunch (1969) – The Front Porch Massacre

85. Dirty Harry (1971) – The line, “I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

88. The Dark Knight (2008)Batman riding away at the end

89. Woodstock (1970) – The crowd shots

93. A Face in the Crowd (1957) – All of it

94. Brokeback Mountain (2005) – Randy Quaid

99. There WIll Be Blood (2007) – The line, “Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I’m so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that’s a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake… I… drink… your… milkshake!”

Trivia – Ward Bond (pictured above) was in at least 5 of the top 1oo movies. This includes 3 of the top 12.

Class, Convocation and County Government

28 Aug

This day turned into the typical first day of class, but there were a few twists involved. I walked into my 8 o’clock class and, shock of shocks, everyone was there. This never happens on the first day. Heck, it never happens on any day, so I was pleasantly surprised. I went over the syllabus; laid down the law; and talked about the stupidity of Titanic, the movie version I mean.

That’s when I asked if anyone had questions about the class. A guy wearing shorts and a t-shirt raised his hand:

“Do we need to dress up for convocation?”

“If I was you I would wear long pants.”

“Is this shirt ok?”

“I think it will be. It’s not too wrinkled.”

As I stood there wondering what this had to do with class, a woman raised her hand:

“Where can I get a cup of coffee around here?”

Honestly, I don’t understand why people drink this stuff.

By now, I am figuring that my message got lost somewhere along the way, but I answered anyway.

“There is a coffee kiosk downstairs. It claims to be Starbucks, but I wouldn’t expect that. But, I don’t know. I only get the chocolate milk.”

With that, I dismissed class and went downstairs to get said chocolate milk.

This is me before I drink the milk.

Between classes, a student came by to drop a class. That’s a problem since I am not her advisor. Apparently, her advisor wasn’t around, and she came to me because she was in my class once. I had to explain that I couldn’t help her and asked if she could wait for her advisor to arrive.

“I don’t want to. They teach the class that I want to drop.”

Eventually, it became time for the afternoon class. It’s the same course as the earlier one, and that causes problems now and again. I always try to say the exact same things, and I never fail to realize that I forgot to say something to the first one. In this schedule, the second class always gets my best stuff.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, this class did not have any questions. I guess they already found the coffee place.

Next, the entire school went to the gym for convocation. I was correct in the last post. Speeches were made. The Alma Mater was sung. However, they didn’t break out the gowns. I was disappointed because it’s fun to see people in regalia. If you squint your eyes, then it looks almost like Hogwarts.

Harry must be making a speech or singing the Alma Mater.

That was pretty much it for the academic world, but the day was not over. I ran some errands before dinner and checked out Twitter to see what was happening in the world. In the local world of my county, our esteemed elected officials were voting on a property tax increase. This is not something I am in favor of because, well, I own a lot of property. And, that property has lost a great deal of value in recent years.

The county commission decided that it would be a good idea to raise taxes without lowering property values to the corrected level. I could go on and on about this, but, hell, government is government. It will not give up until it gets everything. My rant is going to be about a certain aspect of the meeting.

The vote to increase the tax ended in a tie, and the procedures dictate that the County Mayor break the tie. He says that one person should not make the decision for the entire county and refuses to go along. To me, this is ridiculous. He was elected to this position and should have realized that this might happen. He took the job but didn’t take the responsibility. That, my friends, is not what an elected official should do. Make a decision, whether popular or not, and stick with it. Don’t straddle the fence.

Udder Destruction

I’m not sure how we went from school to government, but I wonder if this cow produces chocolate milk.

Birthday Celebration

9 Jun

Tonight, we belated celebrated my youngest nephew’s 15th birthday. It was actually on June 6, which most of the world knows as D-Day. Our family also knows it as B-Day, Bronson’s Day. To honor his day of birth in the blogging world, here is a list of events from the year he was born.

On the big screen:

Titanic made a triumphant return from the depths and dominated the film industry.

– Val Kilmer and Elisabeth Shue starred in The Saint.

– James Stewart passed away.

– Robin Williams won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Good Will Hunting.

In the athletic arena:

– the Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

– Tennessee beat Old Dominion to win the NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship.

– Mike Tyson bit a piece off of the ear of Evander Holyfield.

– Tiger Woods won the Masters for his first win in a major.

On the boob tube:

The Crocodile Hunter debuted on Animal Planet.

South Park first aired on Comedy Central.

– Jacques Cousteau, famous for marine documentaries, passed away.

The Simpsons passed The Flintstones as the longest running prime-time animated series.

In the music world:

– Elton John re-recorded Candle in the Wind to honor Princess Diana.

– Paul McCartney became Sir Paul McCartney.

– Colonel Tom Parker, the manager of Elvis Presley, passed away.

– The Bee Gees, the Jackson 5 and others were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For the literate people:

– Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie was published.

– Harry Potter looked for the Philosopher’s Stone.

– James Michener, writer of sweeping epics, passed away.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was removed from the English curriculum in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Scientifically:

– the Pathfinder landed on Mars.

– the United States barred federal funding for research on human cloning.

– Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov in a chess match, the first time a computer defeated a grand master.

– the domain name Google was registered.

A lot of other stuff happened in 1997. Perhaps, you can list a few in the comments.