I'm taking the day of for the holiday. Enjoy your day and remember to take time to honor our fallen and currently serving heroes. Back next week!
Monday, May 31, 2021
Monday, May 24, 2021
Nathan "Nearest" Green: Ex-Slave/Master Distiller
Nathan “Nearest” Green was a slave whose services as a distiller were rented out to a Tennessee preacher, Dan Call, in the 1850s. It was Green, research by black author Fawn Weaver shows, who mentored Call’s protege, Jack Daniel, in the making of the famous spirit that would bear his name.
While he went on to serve as Jack Daniel’s first master distiller and, as a free man, became prosperous in his own right, Green’s contributions have largely been missing from the company’s success story, even as they remain common knowledge in Lynchburg, Tennessee, Ms. Weaver said.
“To this day I don’t know how Nearest ended up being hidden. I really don’t,” she told the Mail. “Because when Jack was alive he never hid him. When Jack’s descendants ran the distillery, they never hid who he was or what he did. The relationship between Jack’s descendants and Nearest’s descendants were one that was rare between blacks and whites. They would’ve stood out. In Lynchburg, they always knew.”
Ms. Weaver said that her research shows that Daniel and Green’s business relationship was remarkable for its mutual respect across racial barriers, particularly for the time. “His family was fully integrated after the Civil War. Jack and his family did not see a difference between Nearest and his family and their own,” she told the Mail.
Indeed, the closeness between the Green and Daniel families is recognized in the name of the new whiskey label, Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey.
The name refers to a southern tradition of “referring to teachers, mentors or others close to a family as ‘uncle, aunt or cousin’ out of respect,” the Mail reported.
“If you are in Lynchburg, everyone calls each other uncle, aunt, cousin so and so, whether you’re black or white,” Ms. Weaver said.
For more information on Nathan "Nearest" Green, check out Wikipedia.
I'd never heard of Nathan "Nearest" Green, had you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!
Monday, May 17, 2021
Where Love Has Gone
It's said that truth is stranger than fiction. So perhaps that translates to a fictional work becoming a sensational bestseller, or a movie becoming a spectacular box office smash, when based on a true story.
Last week, I posted the scandalous account of mobster Johnny Stompanato's death. He was the abusive boyfriend of Lana Turner, who ended up dying at the hands of her fourteen year old daughter, Cheryl Crane.
That murder transpired in 1958. By 1962, Harold Robbins had penned the novel, Where Love Has Gone, loosely based on the Turner /Stompanato scandal. By 1964, a feature film was released under the same title, starring grand dame Bette Davis, tempestuous Susan Hayward and sultry Joey Heatherton.
The plot is a little more involved than the scandal it's actually based on, but you have to have something to fill up the pages of a book, or the time on the big screen! I haven't seen Where Love Has Gone, but it is now on my to watch list!
Courtesy of Wikipedia, here's the plot:
The film begins with headlines stating that 15-year-old Danielle Miller (Joey Heatherton) has murdered a man, Rick Lazich, who was the latest lover of her mother Valerie Hayden (Susan Hayward). Dani's father, Luke Miller (Mike Connors) describes the events that led to the tragedy.
Near the end of World War II, Army Air Forces hero Miller is in San Francisco for a parade in his honor, and meets Valerie Hayden at an art show where one of her works is being exhibited. He is invited to dinner by Valerie's mother, Mrs. Gerald Hayden (Bette Davis), who offers him a job and dowry as an enticement for him to marry Valerie. He storms from the house but is followed by Valerie who says she is unable to go against her mother's wishes but that she admires him for having refused her. A relationship develops and the two marry, although a former suitor, Sam Corwin (DeForest Kelley) predicts that the marriage will fail.
I'm looking forward to watching! Are you?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!
Monday, May 10, 2021
Lana Turner and the Death of a Thug
I've been watching episodes of E's Mysteries and Scandals and the other day I saw the one involving actress Lana Turner. I'd heard about this scandal from my mom when I was a kid, but it happened a few years before I was born. True crime junkie that I am, I read Detour, written by Cheryl Crane, the assailant of the thug, and she was only fourteen at the time of the crime.
Here's the gist of the story: Lana Turner, one of Hollywood's most glamorous stars of the Golden Age, began dating and then living with Johnny Stompanato, a small time gangster with mob connections. Turns out Lana was rather fickle when it came to men, and when she decided to break things off, Stompanato became violent. Apparently the mob had wanted Stompanato to eventually become Mr. Lana Turner so that the mob would have access to her money.
|Lana with daughter Cheryl Crane|
Stompanato became physically abusive to Lana on several occasions and refused to leave the home he shared with her. Ms. Turner began to fear for her life, as Stompanato had held a gun to her head more than once. Desperate, she told her 14 year-old daughter Cheryl that she was afraid and needed her help. Most likely she meant, call the police if things get out of hand with that monster.
On one particular evening while Stopananto was beating Ms. Turner, he threatened her by saying, "If you were a man I'd cut off your hands, but since you make a living with your face, I'll cut that up instead!" Cheryl woke up upon hearing the beating and her mother's screams. She went to the kitchen and got a butcher knife, then went upstairs terrified, holding the knife and stood outside her mother's bedroom.
|Lana with Johnny Stompanato|
When Stompanato had had enough of beating and threatening Ms. Turner, he left the bedroom, only to walk straight into Cheryl's knife, which plunged straight through his abdomen. Needless to say, he died. A heinous thug brought down unintentionally by a frightened 14 year-old girl.
Cheryl Crane says she doesn't even remember going to the kitchen for the knife. Then she stood frightened outside her mother's bedroom unsure of what to do, but she knew her mother needed her.
If you enjoy true crime check out Detour, and for more on the case of Johnny Stompanato's death, click here. Were you familiar with this story?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!
Monday, May 3, 2021
Jane Russell: More Than Just a Sex Symbol
However, the documentary I watched told me so much more about Jane Russell and what an amazing woman she really was! Below I have excerpts from an article featured in Lifesupernatural.com. Be sure to click on the link for the entire article!
“I love the Lord” is a beautiful statement that summed up Jane Russell’s philosophy. While she was best known for musicals, Westerns, and adventure films, too little has been said about her strong belief in God and how she has practiced her faith.