Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Degenerate Art Exhibit

Exhibition catalogue
Opening July 19, 1937, "Entartete Kunst" or the Degenerate Art Exhibit opened in Munich. In an attempt to eradicate modernism, the Nazis seized over 5,000 pieces of art deemed threatening to the New Order. However, as in all things, Nazis were scholars of the past and established breathtaking, new forms of propaganda which have served as templates for every generation since.

Rather than simply destroy the offending works, they were put on display for the mockery of the general public, hung the wrong-way-round in some cases, improperly lit, cramped together, the walls festooned with mocking graffiti. "Insolent mockery of the Divine under Centrist rule" and "Deliberate sabotage of national defense" are two refrains which strike me as not-unfamiliar to today's vocabulary.

In this way, modern artists were denied any kind of martyrdom -- their worthlessness was firmly established in the public mind as thousand lined up to see the "degeneracy" and freely make up their own minds as to whether the work was offensive, obscene, immoral, blasphemous, or just plain bad. We curate, you decide.

"Self-Portrait as Soldier"
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1915
Following the exhibition, the works were auctioned off, purchased by museums and individuals desperate to save them before they were destroyed. Though many works were lost, while living in Los Angeles in 1991 I had the opportunity to witness a touring exhibit of surviving pieces. If I had not already become driven to the brink of a nervous breakdown after four weeks in L.A. this experience put me right over the edge and I returned home to Cleveland for good soon after.

One example, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Self-Portrait as Soldier (1915) shows the artist, a World War I veteran, his painting hand severed. Kirchner had not actually lost an appendage during the war, rather the piece (painted during convalescence following a nervous breakdown) expresses his feelings that his war experience would rob him of his craft. The naked woman suggests he feared other war-related inadequacies.

"Self-Portrait With Hat"
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, 1919
639 of Kirchner's works were confiscated by the Nazis. This work was retitled Soldier With Whore for the Degenerate Art Exhibit. Kirchner died by suicide in June 1938. Fortunately for us, this work survives and you can visit it at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin.

This work by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (left) is part of the permanent collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art, also saved from the 1937 exhibition in Munich.

We saw Cabaret last night. It was very moving. There were no drunken, existential rants before bedtime. The first act closes with a spirited, patriotic round of Tomorrow Belongs To Me. My mother, seated next to me, remarked, "The Nazis did write good music," adding swiftly, "of course, they just stole a bunch of folk songs and changed the words."

(Great Lakes Theater, 2011)

Friday, September 23, 2011

The "Chains" Exercise

The lesson plans of the Great Lakes Theater School Residency Programs are a closely guarded secret. But I can tell you we do put students in chains and parade them around their school.

In 1999 they were piloting the lesson plan for The Crucible at Lorain Central Catholic H.S. and Residency Supervisor Daniel Hahn thought it was missing something, that the students were failing to emotionally connect with the kind of humiliation and shame engendered in the scene where Elizabeth Proctor is forcibly taken from her home in chains.

Daniel said, "Why not put chains on the students?" Education Director Kenn McLaughlin was appalled at that idea, and said so. And he added, "Let me know how it works out when you try it."

It's not an exercise we take lightly. The Crucible is a troubling piece of work, it's not merely about the fear of witches or dark forces, or Theocracy or Communism. It's about totalitarianism in all its forms, the loss of the basic freedoms upon which this country was founded. The devastation of relationships, reputation, simple human dignity.

Yesterday we performed the exercise with our actor-teachers, who are now completing their rehearsal process and will begin teaching in schools on Monday. Some were surprised by their reaction to it, which ranged from giddiness and embarrassment to outright boredom and irritation. That's okay. It's not supposed to be fun.

Facilitating the exercise, I do not yell. I do not make them perform acts to humiliate. I do not say please or thank you. I do not make it personal. We simply lead them from place to place, make them stand and wait, keep silent ... in the case of the actor-teachers they were led through a Starbucks. We don't do that to the students, they never leave the school.

How can you restore a reputation? What labels can never be erased? What is your definition of justice? What do you think?

Salem Witch Trials Memorial
UPDATE 9/12/2012: It was recently brought to my attention that Residency Supervisor Daniel Hahn and actor-teacher Jeffery Allen were in the hallway together with a number of students, waiting for Jeff's partner to finish coaching a scene from "Crucible" with the rest of the class, that one of them got the idea to chain up the students waiting in the hallway and march them around the school. 

Who originally came up with the idea is a little cloudy. However, it was Jeff who originally facilitated the "Chains" exercise. I stand mute before history.

UPDATE: 9/1/2019: The "Chains" exercise has been eliminated from the lesson plan.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Joel Grey

Joel David Katz (b. April 11, 1932) was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Heights High Class of '50. His father, Mickey Katz was a successful musician in a comical vein, performing for a time with Spike Jones. Joel got an early start in show business, performing the role of Pud in On Borrowed Time at Cleveland Play House at the age of 9. After graduating high school, he began a career in New York City under the name Joel Grey.

The role that has defined his career is that of the Emcee in the original 1966 Broadway production of Cabaret and the 1972 film version, for which he won a Tony and an Oscar for his performances. Grey returned to the role in 1987 for a Broadway revival.

Based on Christopher Isherwood's "semi-autobiographical" novel Goodbye to Berlin, which details his experiences in the Weimar Republic, Kander and Ebb's Cabaret long ago entered the kind of American pantheon of musicals which can safely be produced in high schools. My best friend from college performed the role of Emcee at Beachwood High in the mid-1980s. The most chilling moment of that production was the final image of the Emcee himself raising his hand in the Nazi salute ... with a swastika painted onto his palm, as if anyone in the room missed the point.

In 1993 Sam Mendes re-imagined the production for a new century, transforming the Emcee from Grey's androgynous elf into Alan Cumming's powerfully gay rentboy. Instead of a cheekily naughty dancehall, the Kit Kat Club was now a dangerous lair of sex and drugs. Berlin then, as always, is where you dance as fast as you can.

My girlfriend (at that time) and I visited New York City in 1998, another point is history where we were all feckless and gay, and when Nazis were again about to take power. A friend was swinging through Cleveland from Detroit and offered a ride, and so I got to enjoy the New York Times in its entirety, which that day happened to include the entire Starr Report. What the fuck was happening?

Mendes' Cabaret was in the midst of its hugely successful run on Broadway, Natasha Richardson had moved on and on the date in question Alan Cummings had excused himself from the matinee. No matter, the show was rock-solid with understudy Vance Avery in as the Emcee and replacement lead Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sally Bowles. Do not cry for me, I adore the JJL.

The devastation at the end of the show, however, is complete and left my date and I to squint in the late afternoon sun as we made our way to the Algonquin to have a few too many martinis. I spent a trying evening consoling her as the gin and the Holocaust and Van Gogh and Kenneth Starr reduced my partner into a howling mass of sad. The next morning we took a hungover bus ride all the way Uptown to Fort Tryon Park where I asked her to marry me.

This weekend the wife and I are going to see Cabaret when it opens this Saturday night at Great Lakes Theater. Wish us luck.

Cleveland Heights History (

Monday, September 19, 2011

Berthold Brecht

Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (February 10, 1898 – August 14, 1956) was the greatest playwright of the 20th Century. Wait, let me rephrase that. Berthold Brecht was the playwright of the 20th Century. That's more accurate. The darkest, bloodiest period of human history. A century so packed with misery, betrayal and horror, we ended it a year early. And Brecht knew it, and wrote plays about it.

Life of Galileo, 2011
Cleveland Play House
Yes, for those of you paying attention, the inaugural production of Cleveland Play House in the newly redesigned Allen Theatre was written by Berthold Brecht, though they have worked very hard to make sure no one knows that (see marquee, right.)

Originally written in the late 1930s, and revised during Brecht's time in California during the late 1940s, this Cleveland Play House production of Life of Galileo is painfully relevant. It could have been written today. Seriously. That does not mean the rap sequence was necessary, I really wish they hadn't done that.

(Capsule review: Paul Whitworth is delightful and heartbreaking in the lead role, and he is well-supported by the professional company, and a highly satisfying design team. Go see it. For real.)

Galileo discovers the moons of Jupiter. The fact that an interstellar body can have its own satellites thrown into question an Earth-centered universe. When he invites the powers-to-be to gaze into his telescope, as evidence, as proof, to define fact, they ask "Why?"

And so it is today. Why look? What is the reason? What is the result of learning truth? What will happen if we discover that everything we know is wrong? What will happen? Better not to look.

In the United States, Brechtian is a word which can mean all kinds of things; cold, stagey, artificial. Apparently, though Brecht loved the theater, he thought audiences should have a miserable, awful time at the theater. This is of course nonsense. His texts belie this fact. He stood in opposition to "realistic" theater, where we are supposed to forget we are watching a play. But stagecraft is a central concern of his work, and the best productions of his plays are those which are active, passionate, aggressive, hilarious -- alive.
Caucasian Chalk Circle
(Théâtre de Complicité, 1997)

My wife and I saw Caucasian Chalk Circle at the National Theatre:
"… produced with a great sense of play, humor, and adventure. In the round. A large company playing lots of roles … some of them were only there to be musicians, but they also joined in for crowd scenes and to help create “the set” … using long, study poles, they made spears and guns, but also a rickety bridge and even made a river using them.

"The creative use of props and movements. You can be anywhere."
- personal journal, June 15, 1997
Brecht was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and did appear on October 30, 1947 where he denied membership in the Communist Party. The very next day, he left the United States forever, eventually settling in East Berlin. As Brecht illustrates in Galileo, fear is a much more powerful motivating factor than honor, nobility or compassion.

Then again, in Caucasian Chalk Circle he suggests the opposite.

Cleveland Play House presents "Life of Galileo" by Berthold Brecht at the Allen Theatre in Playhouse Square, September 16 through October 9, 2011.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Federal Theatre Project In Cleveland

Triple Bill: A Little Fowl Play, No Left Turn, United We Sat (Repertory Unit, 2/29/36)
The Living Newspaper (Repertory Unit, 3/11/36)
Mississippi Rainbow (Negro Unit, 4/18/36)
Marionette Show: Three Wishes (Children’s Unit, 5/15/36)
Triple-A Plowed Under (Repertoy Unit, 6/2/36)
The First Legion (Repertory Unit, 6/24/36)
Double Bill: End of the Row, Soul Gone Home (Negro Unit, 6/27/36)
The Trial of Mary Dugan (Repertory Unit, 7/20/36)
Conju’ Man Dies (Negro Unit, 8/12/36)
The Bad Man (Repertory Unit, 8/17/36)
R.U.R. (Repertory Unit, 9/7/36)
Noah (Negro Unit, 10/5/36)
It Can’t Happen Here (Repertory Unit, 10/27/36)
Nathan Hale (Repertory Unit, 2/17/37)
Chanticler (Repertory Unit, 3/13/37)
Chalk Dust (Repertory Unit, date unknown)
The Emperor’s New Clothes (Federal Theatre for Youth, 4/24/37)
Sir Frog Goes A-Travelin’ (Federal Theatre for Youth, 10/1/37)
Shepherd In The Distance (Federal Theatre for Youth, 11/17/37)
A Christmas Carol (Federal Theatre for Youth, 12/6/37)
Remember The Day (Federal Theatre for Youth, 2/27/38)
The Ivory Door (Federal Theatre for Youth, 8/25/38)
Pinocchio (Federal Theatre for Youth, 10/14/38)
Twelfth Night (Federal Theatre for Youth, 3/28/38)

The Federal Theatre for Youth was based at 1224 Huron, and 2362 Euclid Avenue.

Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Festival of the WPA, 1992 (John Vacha)
George Mason University Libraries

Friday, September 16, 2011


Today was truly the longest day of the longest month. Rehearsals for the Great Lakes Theater School Residency Program are in full-swing. Expansive hours in a vacant office in the Hanna Building (not the site of Edith’s studio - she was in a penthouse on the top floor) training four new actor-teachers how to illuminate the classics for a potential 16,000 students in Northeast Ohio during this school year.

Last night it was Curriculum Night at Noble Elementary, attended now by not only my daughter but my son. My wife and I are members of the PTA. Please Vote Yes On Issue 6. Heights schools depend on it.

There is a great deal of theater in my future. Sunday we will be present for a matinee of The Life of Galileo at the Allen Theatre, the new home of Cleveland Play House. Next week in the Hanna Theatre, Cabaret opens Great Lakes 50th Season, and The Taming of the Shrew opens the following week.

Before the first half of 2012 comes to a close, I will have been playwright, actor and director for three different shows at three different companies.

Meanwhile, I am still attemtping to conduct my exploration of Cleveland during different points in history. Recently I have been looking into the fifties … however, with the impending staged reading of It Can’t Happen Here, we will be dipping back into the year 1936 … as if that weren’t already apparent.

Last year, during the first weekend of September, I took a 24-hour writer’s holiday with the intention of completeing an entire play. I wrote one act, which while shy of my goal was not something I was unproud of.

… what a dizzying array of double-negatives, now where wasn’t I ?

It is my intention to jump back onto that train very soon, hopefully in the form of another retreat at my parents home in Lakewood. Having had a year to meditate on the second act, purgation is definitely in order. But not this weekend. Or the next. Nor the one after that.

Let’s say October. New play in October. Someone hold me to that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Allen Theatre

Euclid Avenue, 1927

The Allen Theatre opened its doors on April 1, 1921, just four days after the Hanna, rounding out the five primary theaters of what was soon after referred to as Playhouse Square.

This 2,500 seat house, named for Canadian-born owners Jay and Jules Allen, was constructed to be exclusively a movie palace. It was long and narrow, with a vast, deep balcony, and absolutely no stage or backstage space. The original capacity was for an audience of 3,000.

"With the house lights on, the ceiling suggested a cloudy blue sky; when the lights dimmed, twinkling stars appeared. In place of boxes, six side windows were softly lit from behind to suggest twilight outside." - John Vacha, Showtime In Cleveland
When the city was deteriorating, the Allen was the first Playhouse Square theater to close, in March 1968. The Ohio, State and Palace followed soon after. When these other Euclid Avenue theaters were saved and restored during the 1970s and 80s, the Allen's fate was still unclear. In the 1990s a new developer wanted to make it a parking lot.

Yes. Really. Still, even in the 1990s, there was talk of taking down buildings to create that all so unavailable parking in downtown Cleveland. In any event, it didn't happen, cabaret shows kept the place occupied for a time, before an actual theater space (stage, backstage, fly system, &c.) was created in 1998 for the musical Jolson. Or The Lion King, if you believe the woman who led my tour the other day. The Allen played home to the Cleveland Orchestra during is 1999-2000 season, while Severance Hall was being renovated.

Lady said "Lion King."

Unfortunately, the auditorium of the Allen was never truly reconfigured for live performance. The balcony ran almost half the length of the hall, making seats beneath it feel cave-like and a bit dreary. For a hall built in the 1920s, it was remarkably well-suited for rock music, and a popular concert venue. One of the few times I have ever attended a performance there it was a few years ago when Josh and I went to see The Musical Box, a Genesis cover band recreate the 1975 Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour.


This weekend, the Allen takes on new life as the home of Cleveland Play House. Abandoning the home they now refer to unceremoniously as simply the 8500 Space, the Play House is taking a bold new step, joining forces with PlayhouseSquare and becoming part of a downtown Cleveland landscape which, in spite of any apparent or rational economic explanation, continues to grow.

Of course, Clevelanders are notorious sticks-in-the-mud. We despise change. And CPH Artistic Director Michael Bloom has had to deal with two issues on that front; selling a move into the heart of darkest downtown to subscribers who haven't been there since Stokes was elected, and also adapting a space with its own rich history and beauty.

Allen, before redesign.

How the successfully the first challenge is addressed remains to be seen. As for the Allen, the project director of the design firm was quoted in Cleveland Scene:
"We always wanted to maintain a visual link to the historic walls of the original structure, and that is the most unique aspect of the new Allen Theatre, where we are inserting a modern aesthetic while preserving many of the traditional details and elements."
So how do you take a 2,500+ house, reduce capacity to a fifth that size, and preserve the original design elements?

First, you paint it orange.

To be continued ...

Showtime In Cleveland
Cleveland Scene

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Intimate Bar

Emily Pucell as Dare Wright
Photo courtesy of Cassie Neumann

Do Do That Voodoo
Sept. 10, 2011
Pandemonium 11

Toni K. Thayer ... The Living Newspaper
David Hansen ... William F. McDermott
Emily Pucell ... Dare Wright
Joshua D. Brown ... Orson Welles
Geoffrey Hoffman ... Bernard Schrader
Eric Perusek ... your bartender

McDermott chats up Dare at the Intimate Bar in the Alcazar Hotel.

We had two great performances Saturday night, the "Lose Me Lodge" space had, perhaps 30 chairs in it which were filled at 8 PM and we were SRO at 8:55.

At the end of the brief performance, Toni was to hand out copies of McDermott's actual PD review of the "Voodoo" Macbeth, but she did one better and actually calling out the banner. Every audience member took one! And they had Josh's poster for It Can't Happen Here on the reverse.

Orson Welles shares a laugh with his driver ... or is Bernard yawning?

It was a sheer delight working with this team, even for only a few days. Having Josh back in town was a thrill, and he took the opportunity to play Orson Welles with great joy. Mr. Welles was in rare form that night ... it was hard for me to play half in the bag and focus on the other actors' faces, but I looked up at Josh one time when I was going off on some rant and he had this maniacal grin on his face, it was tremendous.

Welles quizzes the theater critic as he phones in his review.

This was my first time working with Geoff, and I hope to again.

I was ostensibly the "director" of this piece, I wrote it, it was short, our time was short, so I just told everyone what I wanted.

But he graciously offered several spot-on suggestions, which in the whirlwind of our time together I was extremely grateful to receive.

He really gave me an excellent note for the delivery of my last line which really put a nail onto the last moment. Well, the penultimate moment. The last moment was his, and that was super, too -- especially to our older crowd, who really got it.

This event also gave me the chance to do some revisions.

Photos courtesy of Margi Herwald Zitelli

After our second performance, it was time for dessert, to check out a few of the other shows ... and to finally get that Magic Hat.

Did I mention CPT received a one million dollar grant from The Kresge Foundation’s Building Reserve Grant program? So it was a good night for everyone.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pandemonium 11

Photos from the performance of Do Do That Voodoo.

12:10 AM Home again. Cannot tell you (yet) how satisfying that event was. Pictures will come, and stories. There was no time to get back to blogging to report as it was happening, that should be a sign of how successful it was, for everyone.

Thank you, so much, to Emily, Josh, Geoff, Eric, Toni, our stage manager Rose and our two capacity audiences and all of our friends at the event, and CONGRATULATIONS TO CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE and anyway I need to go to bed.

I feel good.

6:49 PM Places.

Backstage make-up action.

6:10 PM Okay, one secret revealed ... I may dance.

35 minutes to places, we have concluded working the opening presentation. I need to eat something or I will never get the chance. And then then I must dress. The Levin is now loud and excited with performers.

The Gordon Square. Soon it will throng.

5:27 PM SHIT! Official schedule says our first performance is at 8:00 o'clock sharp, not at 8:05. Not what I meant by "expect the unexpected."

But the skies are clear, the actors are bustling, the Muses just went downstairs (that sounds ominous -- they're just actors, dressed like Muses) and there is an awful lot of food around here.

5:14 PM In the holding pen in the Levin, sitting with our stage manager Rose. Waiting for my wife to arrive. The question is whether or not I choose to get dressed up and join the "Big Surprise" rehearsal. I almost said what it is. That would give away the surprise.

Christine Howey is sitting two tables to my right, wearing one of those pitch helmets that have a fan built into it.

4:24 PM Tweet much? #pan11 to find out what others are saying about the big gig tonight.

... that picture down there really makes me unhappy.

2:32 PM The less-than-sexy part of the day, while I am sorting props in the rehearsal hall. Right now I am fantasizing about all of the free Magic Hat I will be drinking tonight between the 8:05 and 8:55 presentations of that scene I wrote.

Tim teaches Eric the "Romeo/Paris" fight.

Kelly teaches lady actor-teachers how Juliet stabs herself.

11:56 AM Great Lakes actor-teachers traditionally spend the first Saturday of rehearsal period learning stage combat from Kelly Elliott, who (with her husband Josh, seen below) created the fights we use for the Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet residencies. She also leads the actors in hand-to-hand instruction to use in drama workshops, and for new residencies like Midsummer and Othello.

Last year we went al fresco, out in Star Plaza, to pick up the movies. Today, like most days this week, it's raining, and we are in the Salon at the Hanna Theatre.

Almost every actor-teacher is performing at PANDEMONIUM tonight, in four or five different shows. I told you, every performer in Cleveland wants to be part of this party ... especially the young ones.

"Tut, tut ... looks like PANDEMONIUM."

11:09 AM And we're out. Time to head back to actor-teacher rehearsals. Tight little act we've got ... no idea how long it is, somewhere around five minutes. Don't be late! Geoff expressed aloud if we might perhaps offend some people. I always assumed when a drunken asshole of a character starts making racist comments you aren't necessarily supposed to assume the playwright holds the same opinions. Unless it's Mamet.

Dan, Geoff, Emily, Josh, David, backstage at the "Lose Me Lounge."

10:37 AM Rehearsing DO DO THAT VOODOO in the Storefront. Power was out in Gypsy Bean ... and the Storefront when we arrived, apparently the lights went out on Wednesday. Looking forward to performing by candlelight tonight! Happy to have Josh back in town with us, first time running the scene with all of our actors ... except the bartender. Crap.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do Do That Voodoo

For those of you jonesing for a piece of this new play Centennial! ... the first public performance of one short scene from my unofficial history of Cleveland theater will be presented as part of Cleveland Public Theatre's annual benefit extravaganza -- PANDEMONIUM!
In 2003, then-Artistic Director Randy Rollison had the brilliant idea to kick out all the stops and create a mammoth benefit which would not only entertain and intoxicate (in all sense of the word) as many monied patrons as possible, but also to show off as many square inches of CPT's burgeoning campus as possible. At the same time, he solved the seemingly unending bane of the theaterworld -- mooching artists. Why yes you can have a free ticket! But you have to perform.

And we do. And we love it. Because no one wants to miss this party.

That first year Randy asked me to shepherd some actors together to present Neo-Futurist plays in the scene shop. And so for one night Magdalyn, Josh, Kelly and I were the New Guerrillas presenting Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (by permission) an attempt to perform ten plays in ten minutes. A dozen audience members were seated in the freight elevator at the Levin lobby, were handed a menu of plays, dropped down to ground level, the doors swung open and the four of us started shouting at them for which play they wanted to see. After ten minutes a buzzer went off, the doors closed and the audience went away. It was such a hit we were asked to reprise it several additional times during the evening. Yes, I kissed Christine Howey on the mouth. Yes, I paid her two dollars.

What we were unaware of, sequestered in the bowels of the theater, was how expansive the rest of the party was. We simply hadn't seen it. After we were released, we went above and found a huge dance party going on in the Gordon Square and out into the then-unpaved parking lot. It was huge! Since then, we the acquisition of the Church and Fellowship Hall spaces, it has gotten even bigger.

In 2005 we were about to open the revival of The Vampyres and I provided a cutting from that play ... which was presented out of doors on a platform stage. It was just one of those cases of bad planning on my part, I was unable to participate in any of the technical preparations and just distanced myself from the entire event. It wasn't the year for it for me, with a two year-old and a new baby at home. When Beth asked if I was interested in providing something this year, I made sure the scene fit the venue.

Two years ago, my wife wrote a piece especially for the event, a tribute to the goddess Kali in the form of a Mary Kay party, a scene I was delighted to have participated in. Last year the theme for the night was Wild Thing and though I was unable to attend, I was very happy to send the actor-teachers from Great Lakes to teach happy, adult partygoers how we coach first graders to perform Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are. Apparently, it was quite a hit.
This year, my scene Do Do That Voodoo takes place in the Intimate Bar at the Alcazar Hotel following a performance of the Federal Theatre's Negro Unit touring production of Macbeth, directed by Orson Welles.

The scene will feature Toni K. Thayer as the Voice of the Living Newspaper, Emily Pucell as Dare Wright, Geoff Hoffman as Bernard Schrader, Joshua D. Brown as Orson Welles, Eric Perusek as the bartender ... and your truly as William F. McDermott.

Saturday, September 10. Pandemonium. Be there.

Evan Palazzo
"You Do Something To Me"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ford 1953 Customline Country Sedan

There's always room for one more in a FORD Ranch Wagon!

Now four Ford quick-change artists … and each with the smooth, agile “Go” of Ford’s modern V-8 engine!
If your family’s young and rambling, you’ll find room aplenty in Ford’s new Mainline or Customline Ranch Wagons. Both are 6-passengers big, yet convert to cargo haulers by merely folding the “stowaway” seat into the floor. Ford also offers the 4-door, 8-passenger Country Squire and Country Sedan.
No matter which Ford “wagon” suits your needs, you may have the most modern V-8 engine in the industry (most modern Six, if you prefer) … new Ball-Joint Front Suspension … colorful new interiors … and a host of other “Worth More” advantages which make Ford your smartest station wagon to buy!
Worth More when you buy it … Worth More when you sell it!

My father-in-law had this number towed out of some guy’s garage when he bought it a few years back and got it running again. It had only 70,000 miles on it.

“We live miles from a shopping center which means a lot of hauling and a station wagon was essential for us.” … The Ford Country Sedan hauls a half ton with ease yet it converts into an 8-passenger sedan in seconds.
Source: The Saturday Evening Post

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns was founded in 1946 by Arthur B "Micky" McBride, and area real estate developer, the owner of a fleet of taxicabs, a printing company and he was a bookie -- erhm, he owned a wire service that provided information to bookmakers. Unarguably the most important decision he ever made in establishing his team was in bringing on Ohio State Buckeyes coach Paul Brown as vice president, general manager, and head coach.

The Cleveland Browns was either named after Brown himself, or was shortened from the name "Brown Bombers" which was the winner of a naming competition. Depends on who you believe. Brown preferred the name "Panthers" but that appellation had already been trademarked by someone else. The Cleveland Panthers. All right.

1954 was a good season for the Browns. They were NFL World Champions, clinching the conference with a 9-3 record before defeating the Detroit Lions for the championship (56-10.) This, in spite of the Browns' humiliating defeat by the Pittsburgh Steelers during their first matchup of the season, losing 55-27. This remains the most points Pittsburgh Steelers has ever scored in a single game against the Cleveland Browns.

Until December 8, 2011. Go Brownies.