Monday, July 16, 2018

Passion for Change with Clinical Trials

Ancient Clinical Trial
There's nothing new under the sun, including clinical trials. Wikipedia says, "The concepts behind clinical trials are ancient. The Book of Daniel chapter 1, verses 12 through 15, for instance, describes a planned experiment with both baseline and follow-up observations of two groups who either partook of, or did not partake of, 'the King's meat' over a trial period of ten days. Persian physician Avicenna, in The Canon of Medicine (1025) gave similar advice for determining the efficacy of medical drugs and substances."

According to Wikipedia, "clinical trials are experiments or observations done in clinical research. Such prospective biomedical or behavioral research studies on human participants are designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions, including new treatments (such as novel vaccinesdrugsdietary choicesdietary supplements, and medical devices) and known interventions that warrant further study and comparison. Clinical trials generate data on safety and efficacy."
Lisa McKenzie
Creating Change Through Clinical Trials
In my opinion, one must be brave as well as passionate in making a difference in the cure and treatment of medical diseases, such as Lisa McKenzie who has been  participating in clinical trials of multiple sclerosis for over ten years. During this time, she has put her body on the line to help researchers understand more about this devastating disease.

In addition, she is creating change by blogging about life with MS, and by collaborating each day with other bloggers to improve quality of life issues faced by all those with MS. Follow Lisa's Ms. Lab Rat blog here, and join me in endorsing her for the #WEGOHealthAwards Patient Leader Nomination here.

Lisa has been a great friend to me for over a dozen years, as well as an amazing writing teacher to me and many other students! While she has battled MS, Lisa has never stopped giving of her time and talent to her students, and through clinical trials she's providing even more to the medical community and those afflicted with MS.

Have you ever participated in  clinical trial? If so, did your participation create a change? Thanks for visiting and have a great week! And don't forget to endorse Lisa!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hair Care Through the Ages


I just found a ranking of the Top Five Shampoos for 2018:

1. REVITALIZE & RESTORE by Hair La Vie
2. "HYDRATE" SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER by Pureology
3. WEN CLEANSING CONDITIONER by Wen
4. TEA TREE SPECIAL SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER by Paul Mitchell
5. KERASTASE NUTRITIVE BAIN SATIN 1 SHAMPOO by L'Oreal

Click the link for the complete article and as to why these are considered the best. After finding this information, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at hair care through the ages. Here's a a fascinating article from Myhairdressers.com:

Most of us take health and hygiene seriously and wash and cleanse our body and hair on a daily basis. But it wasn’t always so. Throughout history, different civilisations have had different approaches to sanitation and cleanliness, and hair care was often pretty low on the scale of importance. Much of the emphasis was placed on reducing unpleasant odours and dressing.

So, let’s take a journey back in to the mists of time to discover some of the odd potions and techniques our ancestors used for their historical hair care.

1. ANCIENT EGYPT HAIR CARE
Ancient Egypt was a hot, dry place in the desert. A bit like modern Egypt. Hair moisturisers gave protection from the arid climate, and Egyptian women would use a healthy dose of castor oil and almond oil, which they believed also promoted hair growth by massaging it into the scalp.
 2. ASSYRIAN HAIRSTYLING TIPS
Assyrian kings and nobility around 1500 BC liked curly hair, and to achieve the look they had their hair curled with iron bars heated in a fire, starting a trend that lasts today – albeit a little more safely.

3. RENAISSANCE HAIR CARE
An early Renaissance era hair gel recipe from around 1300 used lizard tallow blended with swallow droppings. Tallow is rendered from the fat of animals. Like the soap in Fight Club. Women also conditioned their hair with dead lizards boiled in olive oil.

4. ELIZABETHAN HAIR CARE IDEAS
In the 1600s, at the time of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I, women would set their hair with lard. The smell would attract rats at night, so they would sleep with nightcaps, or in more extreme cases, with cages over their heads to ward off the little nibblers.
5. FINE FRENCH HAIRDRESSING
Try this recipe for a French pomade from the 1700s:
“Take some beef marrow and remove all the bits of skin and bone. Put it in a pot with some hazelnut oil and stir well with the end of a rolling pin. Add more oil from time to time until it is thoroughly liquefied. Add a little essence of lemon. Bear grease can be a substitute for bone marrow.”

6. WIG POWDER
Lice were a major problem during the Enlightenment, so men would shave their heads and wear wigs instead. In the 18th Century the predominant style was for the wig to be as white as possible. If you were poor, this meant adding copious amounts of flour to the wig. The rich would use a combination of starch and pleasant smelling oils such as lavender.

7. THE WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIAL SHAMPOO
A German chemist named Hans Schwarzkopf developed a water-soluble powder shampoo and sold it in his pharmacy. It was an instant hit and he soon was taking orders from every pharmacy in Berlin, then Holland and Russia. He followed this up with the first liquid shampoo in 1927, establishing Schwarzkopf as the world’s first hair care business empire.

8. NEW YORK TIMES HAIR ADVICE
In 1908 the New York Times printed:
“…specialists recommend the shampooing of the hair as often as every two weeks, but from a month to six weeks should be a better interval if the hair is in fairly good condition.”

It went on to recommend white castile soap or tar soap, while split ends could be treated by singeing and clipping.

I'm glad I missed out on all those time periods! Any thoughts? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

I just read an interesting  article in Marieclaire.com that discussed Meghan Markle's diet now that she has become a member of the royal family. Although she's allowed to eat anything behind closed doors, while in public acting in a royal capacity, certain dietary restrictions apply:

As a royal, Meghan is not allowed to eat garlic while traveling—at least not while she's on official royal visits anyway. 

Per Sunday Express"Garlic is banned from being included in foods eaten by royal family members. With many meetings between official visitors, it is thought to be advised against to prevent any awkward bad breath."
Shellfish is restricted as well: 

Members of the royal family are also not allowed to eat shellfish while traveling for royal visits, due to the high risk of food poisoning associated with the dish...

It's certainly nice to be able to eat what you want, when you want including this tasty garlicky recipe I found at Diethood.com. I love garlic, so if you do too, I'm sure you'll enjoy this easy Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken!


Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken



Ingredients
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup low sodium ketchup
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Instructions


  1. Arrange chicken thighs on the bottom of your slow cooker; set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano and parsley; whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
  4. Close with a lid and cook for 4 to 5 hours on LOW, or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.
  5. Remove lid and transfer chicken to a serving plate.
  6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  7. Serve.
Did you know the royals had to restrict their diets in some circumsatnces? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, June 25, 2018

An Unforgettable Feel Good Story


I saw this story over the weekend and wanted to share it today. It's definitely heartwarming and hard to forget. If you didn't see it over the weekend, take some time to enjoy it now as reported by Cnn.com
A 15-year-old is being widely praised for an act of kindness during a cross-country flight.
Clara Daly was traveling with her mother Jane from Boston to Los Angeles on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this week. During the six-hour flight that included a layover in Portland, Oregon, Clara volunteered her skills in sign language to help a blind and deaf man by forming letters with her fingers while he "read" them with his hands.
Clara told CNN a flight attendant asked on the plane's speaker whether anyone knew sign language. The teenager, who has been studying American Sign Language communication techniques and says she has "always been fascinated by sign language," pressed the call button to ring a flight attendant.
The flight attendants were looking for someone who could communicate with Tim Cook, a blind and deaf man who was on his way to Portland after visiting his sister in Boston.
    Clara used fingerspelling to help Cook throughout the flight.
    "I went to [Cook] a total of three times, once to get him water, another to tell him the time, and the last hour of the flight to just talk to him," Clara said.
    During their conversation, in which Clara had to sign each letter in every word so that Cook could feel her hands, the teenager learned about Cook's past as a salesman, and he asked her about her life.
    "We talked about our family in Massachusetts and he asked me about my plans for my future," Clara said.
    Clara's generosity didn't go unnoticed. A passenger named Lynette Scribner took a photo of one of the moments Clara was communicating with Cook and shared it on Facebook.
    Have you already seen this story? With all the bad things going on in the world today, an act of kindness like this is quite refreshing! Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, June 18, 2018

    Jack Benny and Eddie Anderson: A Solid Friendship

    I guess I'm showing my age if I say I remember Jack Benny. I don't remember his show; I'm a little too young for that. But I do remember him being a guest on various talk shows or variety shows and he always made me laugh. 

    Since I know a few things about the early days of television, I knew that African-American actor Eddie Anderson played his valet Rochester on Benny's comedy series The Jack Benny Show. What I didn't know was that the two men maintained a solid friendship.

    Here's a portion of an article from Americacomesalive.com that I hope you'll enjoy!

    The humor and energy between Jack Benny and Eddie Anderson led to the development of a 20-year collaboration that delighted radio, television, and film audiences.

    The men’s relationship was solid on air and off. Jack Benny refused to tolerate poor treatment of Anderson. In 1943 the company arrived in St. Joseph, Missouri, where they planned to do one of their radio shows. Anderson and his wife were denied a hotel room, and only at Benny’s urging did the hotel management find the Andersons a room.

    Another time in New York, a Southern couple complained about a black man staying in the hotel so the manager approached Anderson suggesting he find a room elsewhere. The show’s producer told the manager Anderson would leave the hotel the next day. The next morning all 44 members of the cast and crew checked out with Anderson and moved to another hotel.

    During World War II, Benny often remarked on-air about African American contributions to the war effort. In 1948 after the show re-used a script from the early 1940s that contained issues that were racial stereotypes, Benny was displeased and ordered his writers to refrain from any sort of racial stereotype or slur. Rochester was to be considered an integral part of the show, and as his role evolved it became typical for Rochester to cut through Benny’s pomposity with comments like, “What’s that, Boss?”). African Americans warmed to the character and appreciated that Anderson had broken a barrier—he was a black man playing the role of a black man; not a white man playing the role in black face.

    Here is a classic scene with Rochester carrying the humor of the scene.

    Do you remember Jack Benny? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, June 11, 2018

    John Gavin: Before Multiculturalism Was Popular


    Actor John Gavin 

    I was looking for something interesting to post today and ran across this interesting tidbit from Thoughtco.com about classic celebrities who passed for white. 
    I was familiar with the other celebrities featured in the article, but I didn't really know that much about John Gavin. He wasn't a huge star, but I've seen a few of his movies. However, I had no idea he wasn't 100% Anglo! Read on...
    John Gavin was born John Anthony Golenor Pablos in Los Angeles. He has Irish and Mexican ancestry and speaks Spanish fluently. But unlike Anthony Quinn, who was also half-Mexican and played characters of various ethnic backgrounds, Gavin consistently played white characters during his tenure in Hollywood.
    The leading man is known for his roles in the 1960 films “Psycho” and “Spartacus” as well as for 1959’s “Imitation of Life,” a remake of the 1934 version with Fredi Washington. While that film chronicles the plight of a young mixed-race woman who passes for white, Gavin’s mixed-race background is never referenced in that film or in others, despite his dark hair and swarthy skin.
    In 1981, however, Gavin’s heritage resulted in former actor and President Ronald Reagan appointing him the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Gavin served as ambassador until 1986. 
    I never would have guessed!  Would you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, June 4, 2018

    Say it Like a Man!


    If you’re a female writer, have you ever mistakenly made your male characters speak like women?  I have!  As women, we emote; our language tends to be a bit more flowery, as well as effusive! 

    My husband says, “Verbosity is unbecoming in a man.”  So now, whenever I write a scene involving a man, or men, doing  most of the talking, I read it to hubby, and he tells me if my men sound manly enough!

    Not long ago, I attended a fantastic  workshop at my OVRWA monthly meeting, presented by writers Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens of Storywonk.com, entitled Writing Men, for Women.

    The workshop provided instruction to women, on how to write their male characters more effectively.

    My favorite part of the workshop encompassed dialogue.  A few tips I learned are listed below:

    Men use absolutes, rather than relative language. For example, “She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” is more realistic for male dialogue, instead of “She has to be one of the most beautiful women I‘ve ever seen.”

    Men will not use long sentences. I once wrote a scene where an older man talked to his long lost son, and it went something like this: “I’m just glad you’ve accepted me. For a long time, I was afraid you wouldn’t.  So now our relationship, and where it goes, is up to you.”  My husband suggested replacing all those  rambling sentences with only one: “So...where do we go from here?”

    Men use simpler vocabulary with fewer modifiers.  So rather than the hardened criminal saying, “I feel as if I could easily remove that ugly face of yours,” he’d probably exclaim, “I ought to rip your face off!”

    Dialogue is action and action is dialogue for men.  In general, readers don’t trust male characters who talk a lot.  We wonder what a talker is hiding.  Heroes take action rather than talk.  Instead of discussing a way to save the heroine, the hero plans and executes it.

    Hope you find this advice helpful!

    Originally posted 5/21/12.

    Monday, May 28, 2018

    Saving Private Ryan


    Memorial Day Greetings, and a huge thank you to our Military Men and Women who  
    serve and protect our country!

    If you're planning on  watching a movie today, I'd suggest Saving Private Ryan. I saw it 
    listed in a group of ten great Memorial Day movies.

    It came out twenty years ago, was quite well-received and won lots of awards. 
    I wanted to see it then, but never did. 

    I've posted just a bit from Wikipedia. I didn't want to read the whole plot summary 
    since I haven't seen the movie yet. But perhaps I will today! 

    From Wikipedia:

    Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is notable for its graphic portrayal of war, and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which includes a depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. It follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and a squad (Tom SizemoreEdward BurnsBarry PepperGiovanni RibisiVin DieselAdam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooperPrivate First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the last-surviving brother of four servicemen.

    In the current day, an elderly veteran visits the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial with his family. Upon seeing one particular grave, he falls to his knees overcome with emotion. The scene then shifts to the morning of June 6, 1944, as American soldiers land on Omaha Beach as part of the Normandy Invasion. They suffer heavy losses in assaulting German defensive positions of artillery and machine guns raining down intense fire on the American forces. Captain John H. Miller of the 2nd Ranger Battalion assembles a group to penetrate the German defenses, leading to a breakout from the beach. Elsewhere on the beach, a dead soldier lies face-down in the bloody surf; his pack is stenciled Ryan, S.

    I didn't read any further so I wouldn't ruin it for myself! Click here for the complete plot.

    Have you ever seen Saving Private Ryan? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, May 21, 2018

    Meghan Markle's Wedding Tiara

    Although I didn't get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to watch the Royal Wedding, I have been reading about it all weekend. The bride's dress was indeed beautiful, but I was much more fascinated with her tiara! Here's the scoop from People.com:
    Meghan Markle‘s royal wedding tiara holds as much — if not more — significance as the gown she wore down the aisle. While some speculated that Meghan might skip the tradition altogether, Prince Harry‘s bride followed royal protocol and paid homage to her new family through the meaningful, sparkling accessory which has been in the British royal family for decades.
    According to Kensington Palace, the English tiara, which features diamonds set in platinum, was made in 1932 and features a center detachable brooch made of ten diamonds dating back to 1893.
    The tiara is “formed as a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds.”
    The palace confirms that the diamond bandeau was a present to the then Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York, who would become King George V. The bandeau and the brooch were passed down by Queen Mary to The Queen in 1953. The queen’s sister Princess Margaret famously wore the piece to events.
    To read the entire article, click here. Did you watch the wedding live? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Balsamic Chicken with Capers


    I've been experimenting with Mediterranean cooking and recently ordered The Mediterranean Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone. I love this book! Here's a healthy recipe I made last week and served with rice and a salad. It's really delicious and Hubby gave it two thumbs up. Did I mention that it's really easy to make? That's my favorite part. Enjoy!

    Balsamic Chicken with Capers

    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    2 T Dijon Mustard
    2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped (I used 1 t garlic powder)
    1 T chopped fresh rosemary (I used 1 t dried rosemary)
    2 T drained capers, chopped
    Salt and freshly ground pepper (I used 1 t of each)
    4 pounds of bone-in chicken breasts, legs and thighs (I used 3 lbs of boneless, skinless thighs)

    Spray the insert of a large slow cooke rwith non-stick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, rosemary, capers, 1/2 t salt and pepper to taste. Dip the chicken pieces into the mixture, turning to coat on all sides. Place the chicken in the cooker and pour on any remaining sauce.

    Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours, or until the chicken is very tender and coming away from the bone.  Serve hot.

    Do you like Mediterranean food? Thanks for  visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, May 7, 2018

    Korla Pandit — Disguising Identity: From Black to Indian

    http://www.nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/34_43/ae_korla.jpg
    Korla Pandit
    In searching the Internet for something interesting to blog about, I stumbled upon this fascinating celebrity named Korla Pandit. I'll start by saying before there was Liberace, there was Korla Pandit. Check out this captivating article by Andrew Hamlin from Northwest Asian Weekly
    Two hands hold a large censer.  A voice speaks of wisdom and rubies.  A deep, slightly scraggly voice.  The action fades-in to a man in a turban with a jewel mounted between his eyes.  Fixing his eyes upon the camera, Korla Pandit begins his act.
    And his act was the Hammond Organ, augmented with a Steinway piano to his right.  Playing mostly organ, occasionally piano, sometimes one with each hand, Pandit played for fifteen minutes on Los Angeles’ KTLA-TV from 1949 until 1951.  He did not rock and roll and he did not get down and dirty with the blues, but he flitted easily between all other types of music, playing popular tunes, show tunes, traditional, and ethnic music from around the world. He was one of the first television stars, but he never spoke on camera.  The narrator off-screen was someone else.
    And Korla Pandit had reason to never speak.  Speaking might have given away his secret.
    John Turner’s film “Korla” covers the organist’s life from start to finish, but not in that order.  He starts with the censer, the myth, the exotica (for Korla Pandit was a pioneer of “exotica”) and goes considerably into Pandit’s keyboard skills combined with his elegance and mystery, his easy way of wining over an audience.  Pandit’s work grew popular with folks who ironically were into tiki torches and vintage cocktails, folks who wanted to overlook rock and roll or step into a time machine and come out back before rock and roll first rolled.
    But Pandit’s work, cheesy as it could get, transcended kitsch. He knew how to play to the camera and reach his audience through the camera, with his galvanizing eyes bolstered with the glinting jewel, the white of the turban combined with the milk chocolate of his skin.  He hammered down Hammond keys with the heel of his hand, his palms, and even his forearms. He took chestnuts such as “Over The Rainbow” and gave them fresh illumination with rapid runs, melancholy swells, double-time breaks, and piano intermezzos.
    Pandit never admitted to anyone that he was not actually Indian—not from India or elsewhere.  He was not from the Far East or the Near East.  He was born John Roland Redd, in St. Louis in 1921.
    The “exotic” persona came partially from his wife, a white lady Beryl June DeBeeson, and partially from a film the future Pandit’s sister appeared in—a film featuring a black man disguised as an Indian.  With a turban and a jewel.
    And the fascinating, damnable thing was that passing for Indian worked wonders for him.  He was no longer a black man, but he was one of the first black men to have his own TV show.  His birth certificate lists him as “colored”; his death certificate asserts he was “white.”  His family appears to have gone along with his fake background, although his wife and older son have since died, and his younger son, for whatever reason, does not appear in the film.
    He exploited the exotic background story for his own ends and to that extent must be deemed selfish.  But not solely selfish.  Many black people who could, passed for white.  And as Pandit/Redd demonstrated, passing as anything was preferable to being black.
    He preached the universal language of music.  He was a fraud, but he was a spiritual optimist.  And as Carlos Santana remarks, he opened vortexes.  Anything seemed possible when he pressed the keys.  Any dimension, any identity.  Any form.  Any triumph.
    I had never heard of Kora Pandit. Had you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, April 30, 2018

    West Side Story: How it All Began


    Yesterday, hubby took me to see what we thought would be a theatrical production of West Side Story. I've actually seen it onstage before, but I prefer the motion picture. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out what we'd be seeing was the movie with live orchestral accompaniment! There's a new technology that strips the music from the vocals of the film, so a live orchestra (in this case The Cincinnati Pops) can play the score. Needless to say, it was quite an enjoyable experience! But something I learned from our program was that West Side Story was originally conceived as East Side Story and the two conflicting sides were Catholics and Jews. I had to find out more, so here's what I discovered in Wikipedia:
    In 1947, Jerome Robbins approached Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents about collaborating on a contemporary musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. He proposed that the plot focus on the conflict between an Irish Catholic family and a Jewish family living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, during the Easter–Passover season. The girl has survived the Holocaust and emigrated from Israel; the conflict was to be centered around anti-Semitism of the Catholic "Jets" towards the Jewish "Emeralds" (a name that made its way into the script as a reference). 
    Eager to write his first musical, Laurents immediately agreed. Bernstein wanted to present the material in operatic form, but Robbins and Laurents resisted the suggestion. They described the project as "lyric theater", and Laurents wrote a first draft he called East Side Story. Only after he completed it did the group realize it was little more than a musicalization of themes that had already been covered in plays like Abie's Irish Rose. When he opted to drop out, the three men went their separate ways, and the piece was shelved for almost five years.
    In 1955, theatrical producer Martin Gabel was working on a stage adaptation of the James M. Cain novel Serenade, about an opera singer who comes to the realization he is homosexual, and he invited Laurents to write the book. Laurents accepted and suggested Bernstein and Robbins join the creative team. Robbins felt if the three were going to join forces, they should return to East Side Story, and Bernstein agreed. Laurents, however, was committed to Gabel, who introduced him to the young composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim auditioned by playing the score for Saturday Night, his musical that was scheduled to open in the fall. Laurents liked the lyrics but was not impressed with the music. Sondheim did not care for Laurents' opinion. Serenade ultimately was shelved.
    Laurents was soon hired to write the screenplay for a remake of the 1934 Greta Garbo film The Painted Veil for Ava Gardner. While in Hollywood, he contacted Bernstein, who was in town conducting at the Hollywood Bowl. The two met at The Beverly Hills Hotel, and the conversation turned to juvenile delinquent gangs, a fairly recent social phenomenon that had received major coverage on the front pages of the morning newspapers due to a Chicano turf war. Bernstein suggested they rework East Side Story and set it in Los Angeles, but Laurents felt he was more familiar with Puerto Rican immigrants and Harlem than he was with Mexican Americans and Olvera Street. 
    The two contacted Robbins, who was enthusiastic about a musical with a Latin beat. He arrived in Hollywood to choreograph the dance sequences for The King and I, and he and Laurents began developing the musical while working on their respective projects, keeping in touch with Bernstein, who had returned to New York. When the producer of The Painted Veil replaced Gardner with Eleanor Parker and asked Laurents to revise his script with her in mind, he backed out of the film, freeing him to devote all his time to the stage musical.

    And the rest is history! For more on the story, click here. Have you seen the movie version or a stage production of West Side Story? It's one of my favorite movies! Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    Monday, April 23, 2018

    Ava Gardner: Beauty Privilege

     I love old movies and reading about Hollywood's Golden Era. I lived in North Carolina for a number of years and regret that I never made it to Smithfield to visit the Ava Gardner Museum.

    Although I admire her work, I'm not a huge Ava Gardner fan and I haven't seen too many of her movies, but there's certainly no doubt she was a superstar and a true beauty! Nowadays people talk about certain types of "privilege." Ava had what I'll refer to as beauty privilege. 

    Wikipedia says: Gardner was visiting her sister Beatrice in New York in 1941 when Beatrice's husband Larry Tarr, a professional photographer, offered to take her portrait. He was so pleased with the results that he displayed the finished product in the front window of his Tarr Photography Studio on Fifth Avenue.


    A Loews Theatres legal clerk, Barnard Duhan, spotted Gardner's photo in Tarr's studio. At the time, Duhan often posed as an MGM talent scout to meet girls, using the fact that MGM was a subsidiary of Loews. Duhan entered Tarr's and tried to get Gardner's number, but was rebuffed by the receptionist. Duhan made the offhand comment, "Somebody should send her info to MGM", and the Tarrs did so immediately. Shortly after, Gardner, who at the time was a student at Atlantic Christian College, traveled to New York to be interviewed at MGM's New York office by Al Altman, head of MGM's New York talent department.

    With cameras rolling, he directed the 18-year-old to walk towards the camera, turn and walk away, then rearrange some flowers in a vase. He did not attempt to record her voice because her Southern accent made it almost impossible for him to understand her. Louis B. Mayer, head of the studio, however, sent a telegram to Altman: "She can't sing, she can't act, she can't talk, She's terrific!" She was offered a standard contract by MGM, and left school for Hollywood in 1941 with her sister Beatrice accompanying her. MGM's first order of business was to provide her with a speech coach, as her Carolina drawl was nearly incomprehensible to them.
    There was certainly more to Ava Gardner than her sultry good looks, so to read more about her, click here.
    Are you an Ava Gardner fan? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!