by John Walters

Starting Five

Bye, George

The world’s second-loveliest Phyllis has passed away. Phyllis George, the progenitor of all that was to follow of women in sports broadcasting, passed away at the age of 70.

George, who began as a co-host on CBS’ NFL Today a few years after winning Miss America, was the first and remains the most charismatic of women in sports broadcasting. It was the mid-1970s. The networks ruled television and CBS ruled the networks: All In The Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Carol Burnett Show, M*A*S*H, 60 Minutes and The Waltons. A murderer’s row (Dallas would come couple years later).

Then on Sunday, at 12:30 p.m., Brent Musburger and Irv Cross were joined by George, who was not only stunningly beautiful (“George-ous”) but charming and savvy. A true Texan gal. She was the first, and she’s still the best.

It’s Not Nice To Fool (With) Mother Nature

Yesterday, in The New York Times, Thomas Friedman said everything I wanted to say (and plenty that I already have, I believe).

Hold The Mayo!

Mayo, Reagan, Nelson

We caught the 1952 film She’s Working Her Way Through College on the TCM the other night, which was utterly charming and cornball. But, and we know it would be better to tell you about movies before we’d watched them so that you could see them, too, think of this as a reminder to watch it the next time it comes around. Items:

–The title is a misnomer. The “She” in the title, Angela Gardner, played by Virginia Mayo, has already worked and earned enough money, on her own, to attend college. Now she’s simply attending college.

–Mayo was 31 when this film was released. Known better as the selfish wife in The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946), Mayo is dazzling here as a dancer (it’s a musical) while playing a smart, independent woman. She reminds us of someone we know and she’s terrific.

–Near the end of the film, Ronald Reagan, as the professor who is defending Mayo’s honor, delivers a speech that helps you to understand why he would later be such a natural in the White House. It’s also a cleverly disguised speech against McCarthyism.

–The school is named Midwestern State, the football uniforms are blue and gold, and there’s a sign held aloft at a football rally that reads, “Beat Michigan.” No wonder I loved this film.

–A word here for Mayo’s co-star, Gene Nelson. Man, this dude was talented. He’s an incredible dancer but there’s also a scene that allows him to show off in a 50’s style gymnasium (and I don’t think they used a double) where he proves himself to be a top-flight gymnast, boxer and even basketball player—all while singing. I know they dubbed Mayo’s voice, but I’m not sure if they dubbed his. Either way, I don’t know why he wasn’t a more major star.

–Mayo’s nemesis, Ivy, is played by Patrice Waymore. In real life Waymore was married to Errol Flynn at the time, which was its own special brand of connubial hell. The two were wed from 1950 until Flynn’s death in 1959. At the time Flynn died, of a sudden illness while flying to Canada, he was traveling with a 17 year-old girl as his companion.

–If, like us, you grew up watching Happy Days but had not lived through the Fifties, you’ll see where Garry Marshall “borrowed” an Easter Egg or two from this film. For instance, the place where young couples go to “neck” is named Inspiration Point.

So, yeah, we liked this film plenty. And Ronald Reagan does a wonderful job. Put him in a film on a college campus and he always delivered.

Olive and Mabel

“913 squirrels chased, none caught…” That’s Scottish sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter, who has touched a nerve (or a funny bone) with these videos starring his two pooches, one who is a “very good dog” and the other who displays a “lack of focus.”

Animals are the best. We’re lucky we have them to save us from one another.

Sports Year 1894

On July 22nd the world’s first competitive motor race is staged in France, from Paris to Rouen. The winner of the 78-mile race, driving a Peugeot, is Albert LeMaitre.


Injuries, due mainly to the flying wedge formation, lead to four players being crippled during the annual Harvard-Yale game (now known as the Hampden Park Blood Bath). The Big game will be suspended until 1897 and the Army-Navy game will be suspended until 1898 for similar reasons.


The Baltimore Orioles win the first of three National League championships. A postseason championship series, the Temple Cup, is introduced, pitting the N.L.’s top two clubs against one another. Seems fine, right?

No. After four years and with the regular season runner-up winning three times, it is disbanded. Fans think of it as unfair that the regular season champ is not rewarded appropriately. What a novel concept.


4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. SO happy you’re back & not just because I have another question for you! 🙂 But before I get to that question, I have some queries about that 1st car race you mention (see, I DO usually read all the way down!) – how fast did the winning car go? Was the mechanic in the car too or did the driver have to do his own repairs? Hmmmm, 1894, could cars go faster than 20 miles/hour?

    Now for my other question (s). Have you changed your opinion on the stock market probably plummeting again fairly soon? Logically, I think you are correct BUT a certain “party” desperate to continue their ruinous reign of greed/corruption/power seems hell-bent on manipulating reality, which specifically includes the stock market. If I wasn’t scared shitless, I’d possibly take the moral high ground & refuse to “profit” while this is happening, but I need to take care of myself. (At least *I* do not go into stores without a mask. In fact, except for the grocery store at 6AM once every 3 weeks, I don’t go into any store!)

    Anyhoo, my overall investments are still down 4.8%, but compared to being down 33%, it’s been a fairly freakin miraculous rise since 3/23. (Some may say this was “God ordained” as it was during the Easter season while others say that’s “blasphemy!”…). Consequently, I’ve been thinking a bit (only 24/7) the past couple weeks if I should move some of the money in my 4 largest 401-K funds to the safety of cash. You may remember, I had planned to move 19% of each of these funds back on 2/20 & did not. While these funds are still below their peaks on 2/19, overall my 401-K is back to its Xmas total & if we ARE going to experience another Tower of Terror “ride” soon, I think I want a fatter safety “cushion of cash” this time. I’ve ALMOST made up my mind to move some of the money (only between 5-10% this time & I’m leaning towards 7% at the moment) but every day, the continual parade of “experts” on CNBC TV & website continue to contradict & confuse. So, I’m a “deer in the headlights”. What say you? Have you altered your opinion?

    The other reason I hesitate is that 3 of those funds have done almost all the heavy lifting in my 401-K the past 2 months & taking away some of that money, means any future lifting will be less. If I was Jacob’s age or even 50, I wouldn’t touch anything but just keep shoveling more into the account. But as you like to remind me, I’m “old” & my date of “portal transfer” is only a little over 3 years away. That, of course, could change to farther out or even closer. Have to be prepared either way.

    Finally, I’m assuming that you’ve finished your work project? Congrats! Will ‘freeloaders’ such a myself be able to read one day? 🙂

  2. “Will ‘freeloaders’ such a myself be able to read one day?”

    I certainly hope not.

    You didn’t need to put that term in quotes, Susie B. That’s exactly what you’d be if you did that. I don’t know, for someone who hates scumbag Republicans for exploiting the working class, you sure don’t seem to have a problem exploiting my labor.

    • ‘Exploiting” your labor? I’m just subtracting from “what I owe you” for all the times you have NOT answered one of my questions. YOU owe ME money.

  3. Hey now! I feel like we need The Fonz to come mediate this comment section.

    Waymore has to be the best screen name, across many sectors.

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