Monday, May 30, 2016

Famous Actors Who Served in the Military

On this Memorial Day, I want to extend many thanks to the brave men and women who have served and are currently serving our country. 

During World War II, many actors put their careers on hold to serve, and the most decorated American soldier of WWII returned home a hero and became an actor! Below are listed just a few celebrities who served from a list on
 Audie Murphy - Murphy was a true American hero and the only actor to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. In fact, Murphy was the most decorated American soldier of World War II who, besides receiving the CMOH, was also awarded 32 additional U.S. and foreign medals and citations, including five from France and one from Belgium. He later went on to appear in 44 films—mostly westerns and a few army films—before he died in a plane crash near Roanoke, Virginia three weeks shy of his 46th birthday. Not surprisingly, he was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
James Stewart - Stewart was an up and coming actor when he chose to give it all up and join the Army Air Corp in 1942. Considering how dangerous the skies over Europe were and the very high rate of attrition suffered by allied pilots, it’s a miracle he survived at all. Flying no fewer than 20 combat missions over Germany at the controls of the famous B-17 bomber, he received six battle stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal and even the famous French decoration, the Croix de Guerre with Palm. He even stayed active in the U.S. Air Force reserve after the war, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before retiring in 1968.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. - Few would have guessed the dashing actor and first husband to Joan Crawford would give up the sparkling lights of Hollywood to serve his country, but that’s exactly what he did. Commissioned an officer at the outbreak of World War Two, the actor served on Lord Louis Mountbatten’s staff in England where he observed the British make cross-channel raids on German positions designed to confuse and deceive the enemy. Taking that knowledge back to America, he was made part of a unit called the “Beach Jumpers” whose job it was to make bogus beach landings designed to confuse the enemy as to the location of the real landings. Serving in this capacity in North Africa, Sicily, and France, he was awarded several medals for bravery, chief among them the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the British Distinguished Service Cross, and even the French Croix de guerre. Fairbanks stayed in the Naval Reserve after the war and ultimately retired a captain in 1954.
For all 10 actors featured in the article click here. I knew that some of these actors had served, but I wasn't aware of all their accomplishments. What about you?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mildred Washington: A Life Cut Short

If you're like me, you've probably never heard of Mildred Washington. As I was looking for something to blog about this week, I stumbled upon her name. Check out the article below from

The name Mildred Washington isn't remembered because she appeared in less than 15 films in only small parts. But her stage presence, finesse, beauty and vivacious personality weren't small. Mildred Washington was a popular Black actress and dancer in the 1920s and 1930s. She began on the stage appearing in musicals for many years and later conquered California nightclubs and theaters becoming a full-fledged entertainer who was called the sensation of the West. 

She was headliner and dance director for many years at the legendary Sebastian's Cotton Club. Mildred was a skilled dancer who knew how to wow a crowd by amazing them with her dancing ability and lively stage presence. On the side, she appeared in Hollywood films because it was her dream to be in movies. 

In Hollywood, Mildred played the role of maid in pre-code era films. This meant she wasn't forced to be demeaned or stereotyped. In the pre-code era there were no rules, so Blacks were actually a part of the film, not just the maid or servant. Mildred added a sense of humor, spark, and simply glowed. On screen, she educated her white employers on life, and lifted their spirits when they were feeling down. Beautiful, scintillating and engaging, Mildred often stole scenes from the leading white players. 

Hearts in Dixie was one of the first black films made in Hollywood in which Mildred starred.  She was said to have given an excellent performance, but sadly the film is lost. Her best role was in Torch Singer, starring Claudette Colbert. She played a maid/confidante to Colbert.  

Mildred was a well educated and cultured woman who graduated from Los Angeles High School as valedictorian. She attended the University of California at Los Angeles for two years and also studied at Columbia University. In addition, she was fluent in French and Spanish. Off screen she lived well and dabbled in real estate.

By 1933, Mildred was on her way to becoming a full-time actress as studio heads were satisfied with her previous work and beauty. But it was her untimely death that stalled her escalating career. During a major earthquake in the spring of 1933, Mildred developed appendicitis after she fell running for cover from Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Her death was caused by peritonitis following appendicitis. She died on a Thursday afternoon at the White Memorial Hospital during surgery. She was 28 years old. Her funeral was a star-studded affair with many black and white stage and screen stars in attendance.

She sounds like an amazing lady and I'd love to see some of her films! Sad she died so young. Had you ever heard of Mildred Washington? 
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, May 16, 2016

General Tsao's Chicken

The election is going strong and no telling who will end up in the White House! However, I'd be willing to bet all three of the remaining candidates, Donald, Hillary and Bernie, can agree on one thing: that Chinese food is delicious!

I just discovered and found a great looking recipe! It's Chinese, which my kids love (and perhaps the candidates too), and the prep time is fast, which I love! 

This recipe is for the crock pot, which also makes it a winner. I'll be trying it out this week with steamed rice, Szechaun green beans, and (store bought) dumplings. I know right now my kids will love it (and if a presidential candidate drops by for dinner, he or she will too)! Thanks Frugal Girls!

Crock Pot General Tsao's Chicken by The Frugal Girls

Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  3 hours 30 mins
Total time:  3 hours 35 mins
Serves: 4 - 6

   4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed
   1 bottle House of Tsang General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce {12.6 oz.} - or use Trader Joe's General Tsao Sauc
   8 dried Thai Chilie
   2 chopped Green Onions
   Optional: Sesame Seeds
1.     Cook chicken and dried Thai Chilies in Crock Pot on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours {covered}
2.     After 3 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW, drain juices from Crock Pot.
3.     Remove chicken, cut into cubes, then transfer chicken back to Crock Pot. (retain Thai Chilies in Crock Pot - they add great spice, but I never eat them because they're crazy hot!)
4.     Pour General Tsao Sauce over chicken, then cook on HIGH for 30 more minutes {covered}, or until done.
  5.     Serve over cooked White Rice, Garnish with Green Onions and Sesame Seeds, and ENJOY! 

Thanks again to The! Be sure to visit them if you want some fabulous sounding, quick and easy recipes! Do you like General Tsao's Chicken?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, May 9, 2016

A "Scandalous" Old Navy Ad

I must thank my friend Lisa for today's subject matter--thank you, Lisa! She brought this "controversial" story to my attention.

I was amazed to learn about this Old Navy ad that appeared last week featuring an interracial couple and the backlash that occurred! If you missed that story, here's an excerpt of an article from CBS News:
America's demographic fabric is changing, and marketers are taking note by increasingly portraying diverse families in their ads.
But as a new Old Navy advertisement is demonstrating, such campaigns may not be embraced by everyone, although Americans are increasingly lending their support to brands that embrace inclusivity.
The brouhaha started when the apparel maker on Friday tweeted an image of an interracial family wearing its clothes, unleashing negative comments from some people espousing racist views.
.@OldNavy Stop pushing race mixing, you degenerates. #OldNavy#SoniaSyngal #BoycottOldNavy
— End Cultural Marxism (@genophilia) May 2, 2016
Then Twitter fought back. Supporters of Old Navy's ad campaign, including many interracial families and friends, tweeted messages with the hashtag #LoveWins, a term that went viral last year after the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling. Fans of Old Navy's message took the hashtag to heart and tweeted messages of support as well as personal photos showing their own diverse families.
American families are increasingly diverse, with Pew Research Center finding that 12 percent of newlyweds in 2013 married someone of a different race, a record high. 
For the complete article, click here. The times they are a changin'. Too bad some opinions aren't.
Any thoughts? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Real Ty Cobb

So what comes to your mind when you hear the name Ty Cobb? I don't know that much about baseball history or trivia, but when I hear that name, I think rotten guy/racist. Remember the reference made to him in Field of Dreams? Cobb wasn't invited to the ghostly cornfield reunion of old time ballplayers because, according to the Shoeless Joe Jackson character, "No one liked liked that son of a bitch."

Before I go on, if you've never heard of Ty Cobb, here's a snippet of who he was from Wikipedia:

Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb (December 18, 1886 – July 17, 1961), nicknamed "The Georgia Peach", was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder. He was born in rural Narrows, Georgia. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the last six as the team's player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1936 Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes (98.2%); no other player received a higher percentage of votes until 1992. In 1999,editors at The Sporting News ranked Ty Cobb 3rd on their list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players"

Rumors have abounded about Cobb being a murderer, racist and all around bad guy, but author Charles Leershen has finally set the record straight with his new book, Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. 

Cobb's memory was bastardized soon after his death by a sports writer named Al Stump, who wrote several sensationalized articles and books about Cobb. When Leershen dug beyond the writings of Stump, he discovered the truth about this extraordinary ballplayer.

I'll only address the issue of racism in today's post, and this quote is from a speech Leershen presented during a program at Hillsdale College on "Sports and Character":

How could someone born in Georgia in 1886 not be a racist? What I that Cobb was descended from a long line of abolitionists. His great-grandfather was a minister who preached against slavery and was run out of town for it. His grandfather refused to fight in the Confederate army because of the slavery issue. And his father was an educator and state senator who spoke up for his black constituents and is known to have once broken up a lynch mob.

Cobb himself was never asked about segregation until 1952, when the Texas league was integrating, and Sporting News asked him what he thought. "The Negro should be accepted wholeheartedly and not grudgingly," he said. "The Negro has the right to play professional baseball and whose [sic] to say he has not?" By that time he had attended many Negro league games, sometimes throwing out the first ball and often sitting in the dugout with the players. He is quoted as saying that Willie Mays was the only modern-day player he'd pay to see and that Roy Campanella was the ballplayer that reminded him most of himself. 

I was quite surprised to read that! For more on the real Ty Cobb, check out Charles Leershen's Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. 

Is this news to you about Ty Cobb? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!