Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt Dies at age 81

Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81.

Kitt, famous for her catlike purr, was one of America's most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and nabbing a third nomination. She also was nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.

Her career spanned six decades, from her start as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe to cabarets and acting and singing on stage, in movies and on television. She persevered through an unhappy childhood as a mixed-race daughter of the South and made headlines in the 1960s for denouncing the Vietnam War during a visit to the White House.

Her role as Yzma in the 2000 Disney animated feature "The Emperor's New Groove" is a favorite in our household. It was one of the first movies Haley, Nancy and I went to see in the theater.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What I'm Reading....Now!

I got this from one of my aunts around the time Nana died. I forgot I had it. I also forgot how much I like this guy's stuff.

Did Yankees overpay for overweight CC?

As reported on from a Boston Globe story...

One baseball executive offered an observation that seemed to bear truth with word of CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal: The Yankees will have to overpay to get any major free agent.

One general manager said, "It's just crazy. Seven years for a pitcher?" The Yankees have always had money to burn and have been burdened with big contracts that are eventually useless over time.

Sabathia is a terrific pitcher, perhaps the best in the game right now. He's lefthanded. Still, his big body worried every major suitor even though he's been amazingly durable.

"As he gets older, he's not gonna get skinnier," said the GM.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Robert Prosky dies at age 77

Robert Prosky, a character actor with hundreds of credits on stage and screen including "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Hill Street Blues," has died in a Washington hospital. He was 77.

Prosky appeared in more than 200 plays on Broadway and with Arena Stage, a regional theater company in Washington. He appeared in 38 films and numerous television shows.

A native of Philadelphia, Prosky studied economics at Temple University and served in the U.S. Air Force.

His role as Judge Henry Harper in the 1994 remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" is a favorite in our household.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..."

From the address given by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., on December 8, 1941:

"[On] December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific."

The next day my grandfather turned 19. My recollection is that shortly after he learned the news, he made the trip from "The Farm" in Hartford, VT to Rutland, VT to enlist.

I can't even begin to comprehend how he, and the millions like him, were able to do what they did afterwards.


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