The Legendary Strand Bookstore Sure Looks Like It Will Soon Be Out Of Business
The Writing Is Not On The Wall, But On The Shelves
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was playing over the sound system at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway and 12th Street this week. It’s a classical composition heightened with drama and a dirge-like quality. And unfortunately it suits the current state of Strand.
The atmosphere of Strand now resembles a morgue. It’s a shell of what it has been to generations of New Yorkers.
Fred MacMurray & Carole Lombard Skeet Shooting Between Takes
More Deadly Than The Male!
Carole Lombard, blonde screen star, killed two kinds of birds with one gun in this skeet shooting match against Fred MacMurray and writer Claude Binyou while on location with Paramount’s “True Confession” company at Lake Arrowhead. Not only did Carole blast the clay pigeons with unerring accuracy. She also bagged two masculine egos, thoroughly puncturing the pretensions of MacMurray (waiting to shoot) and Binyou (operating the trap) to superior marksmanship. photo: Tom Evans for Paramount 1937
Among the many things that drew Clark Gable to Carole Lombard was that she was one of the guys. Lombard was also a favorite among studio stagehands and technicians.
In Gable & Lombard & Powell & Harlow, 1975 (Dell) by Joe Morella and Edward Z. Epstein the following story illustrates the sort of loyalty that made Lombard so appealing. Continue reading →
Greer Garson – Acting Talent Does Not Equate To Being A Good Talk Show Guest
Greer Garson (1904-1996) was a fine and talented actress. Anyone seeing her deeply moving performances in Goodbye Mr. Chips or Mrs. Miniver can attest to that.
Garson won the Academy Award for her portrayal as the title character in Mrs. Miniver. Six additional Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role affirm that her colleagues appreciated Garson’s acting skills.
But according to Craig Tennis, a former talent coordinator of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from 1968-1976, Greer Garson was not great when it came to spontaneity. Continue reading →
Jack Benny and Wife Mary Livingstone Dine At Ciro’s 1955
Jack Benny and his wife Mary, enjoy an evening at Ciro’s in Hollywood. Benny started his career in the entertainment world as a doorman at a theater in Waukegan, Illinois, his birthplace. The Benny’s have been married 28 years. photo: Inside Hollywood by Nat Dallinger for King Features Syndicate week of August 12, 1955
Some Facts About Siegel Cooper – The Big Store 1898
Siegel-Cooper Department Store has been gone for over 100 years. But in 1898, Henry Siegel and Frank H. Cooper’s emporium was the Amazon of its day.
In the 1890s Siegel and Cooper successfully operated a department store in Chicago before setting their sights on an expansion in New York.
What Siegel, the driving force of the concern, conceived in New York was not just a department store, it was the “Big Store.” The Siegel-Cooper Department Store was built on Sixth Avenue between 18th and 19th streets. It was a great location, then being New York’s primary shopping district known as the “Ladies Mile.” Within a half mile stretch of Sixth Avenue between 14th and 23rd Streets could be found the giants of retailing including Macy’s; Altman’s; Hugh O’Neill’s; Adam’s Dry Goods;, Ehrich Brothers; and Simpson, Crawford & Simpson.
The Siegel-Cooper Big Store building opened on September 12, 1896 and was an instant smash with the public.
Siegel-Cooper provided the nineteenth century shopper with a incredible array of goods, from abdominal bands to zephyrs and everything in between. Perhaps the most unusual article available for sale was “Baby”, a live, baby female elephant. Baby was sold within two weeks of the store’s opening for $2,000.
The Mysteries of The Paramour, The Manuscripts & Her Family’s Strange Behavior
The Theories On Her Disappearance
Today we conclude the story of one of New York City’s greatest unsolved missing person cases. At the end of part one of the story, on December 12, 1910, Dorothy Arnold said goodbye to Gladys King, an acquaintance she had bumped into on Fifth Avenue. Gladys was the last person to see Dorothy Arnold alive.
From They Never Came Back by Allen Churchill (Crime Club, 1960) is part two of The Girl Who Never Came Back.
Return now to the Arnold home. Never had the well-brought-up Dorothy skipped a meal without warning the family ahead of time. Now when she failed to return for dinner an increasingly worried group ate without her, then began making discreet phone calls to Dorothy’s close friends asking if the girl had dropped in on them. Told she had not, the Arnolds begged that no mention ever be made of the phone call. Later they asked the same girls not to discuss the case with reporters, and it is indicative of the vast difference between society girls then and now that none of the girls ever did.Continue reading →
110 Years Ago Today, Wealthy Dorothy Arnold Went For A Walk In Midtown New York & Vanished Forever
Murder? Suicide? Kidnapping? Or Run Away & Start A New Life?
The Strange Disappearance of A Young Woman Who Seemingly Had Everything….Including A Secret Life
In the annals of missing person cases few are as baffling as Dorothy Arnold.
Time has erased the Dorothy Arnold case from the public’s memory. But for decades, Dorothy Arnold’s disappearance ranked among the most speculated of mysteries in New York’s history.
Dorothy Arnold disappeared on December 12, 1910 after leaving her house to go for a walk and do some shopping in midtown Manhattan. To make finding her whereabouts more complicated a report that she was missing was not filed with police until weeks after her disappearance. Continue reading →
The 130th Anniversary of The Birth Of Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx in 1931 photo Eugene Robert Richee for Paramount
There are at least five comedians I wish were alive now to comment on the state of the world. If interviewed they could put current events into perspective. They are George Carlin, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor and Groucho Marx.
Each humorist was intelligent, sardonic and biting in their outlooks on life.
My all-time favorite was Groucho Marx.
Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was born on October 2, 1890.
There are literally thousands of stories about Groucho and the Marx clan. Rather than rehash his life I’ll throw out one little known fact about Groucho from brother Harpo’s autobiography, Harpo Speaks! (1961, Bernard Gies Associates). Continue reading →