Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Review - It's a Wonderful Life: A Memory Book

In my book reviews, I give my brief thoughts on what I read. Sometimes I will expound on those thoughts, but more often than not, I will just give a brief opinion. I could go into detail about what the book is about, but a lot of people have already done that. You can read their descriptions of the book, plus the official description on Amazon.

 It's a Wonderful Life: A Memory Book, by Stephen Cox. 2005.

This book is fantastic. It includes rarely-seen photos, still photos and bits of script from scenes that were cut for the film, and interviews with all of the Bailey children. There are interviews with descriptions of several of the other actors, as well.

This book is worth the investment, effort and look. It's a fast read, but it's full of new least it was new in 2005.

4.5 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

News Clips Part 5 - It's a Wonderful Slice

This cartoon about did me in for the Simpsons. I found if offensive, disturbing, and completely outside of the spirit of the film. In fact, I found it mean-spirited and in extremely bad taste. 

I took my concerns to my editor at the time, and based on this cartoon and my concerns, he pulled the Simpsons from the Sentinel. This was the last Simpsons strip to appear in the Sentinel-Tribune.

I post it here not because I think its cool or funny or fun.  It is here because I am a compete-ist. I believe in total inclusion.

What do you think? Is this funny or offensive?

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Monday, March 21, 2016

News Clips Part 4 - The Simpsons

I love the Simpsons cartoon because of its attention to pop culture. There is almost always a reference to a pop culture icon. For a while, there was even a Simpsons cartoon strip. I cut this one out of one of those strips that appeared in the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune on an unknown date.

This panel makes several references to It's a Wonderful Life, as well as several references to Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra's other films and works. Can you find them all? Comment below! I have included a close-up of the specific panel below, as well as the entire page that the strip appeared on.

Click on the cartoon to make it larger and easier to read.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

News Clips Part 3 - Movie lover's Christmas list

Here is another story I wrote while I was on staff at the Sentinel-Tribune regarding Its a Wonderful Life. Click on the picture to read it.

Monday, March 14, 2016

News Clips Part 2 - After all these years, it's still a wonderful life

Here is another story I wrote about It's a Wonderful Life that was published in the Sentinel-Tribune newspaper when I was on staff there. Click on the images to read the story.

Here is the full-page layout

Friday, March 11, 2016

Photo Friday - Bells Part 45

Welcome to Photo Friday. Here, I one or more photos related it to It's a Wonderful Life.

This week's Photo Friday features the bell at Northwood High School, in Northwood, OH. This photo was taken October 5, 2015.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

News Clips Part 1 - Why I Love It's a Wonderful Life

From 1997 to 2009, I worked at the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune.

In its heyday, it was a GREAT paper. The staff had been there for a long, long time, we all got along. When I was laid off in 2009 during the economic rug-out-from-under-all-of-us suck years that was a death knell for newspapers as they had been since the invention of the printing press, I had the lowest seniority in the office....with 12 years of service. Technically, that was not true, since there were sports writers who were newer than me, but of course, sports are on their own special little platform, taking up 1/4 of the entire paper at that time, and were "held harmless." Whatever.

Recently, the publisher allowed the Second Amendment to trounce all over the First Amendment, and there has been a lot of deserved negative fallout from that, as it became a national story.

Anyway....back when the Sentinel was great, I wrote this story. Click on the image to make it larger so you can read it.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A new book about It's a Wonderful Life

I'm a little excited and a little nervous about the prospect of there being a new book on the way about It's a Wonderful Life.

That's right...a new book. I learned about it from the one and only Richard Goodson, who seems to have an inside track about all things Wonderful Life. It's uncanny. And I am so very grateful to be under the umbrella of his sharing tree.

Last week, he told me about a new book coming out in May. It's called "Zuzu's Petals," and is by a high school AP English teacher named Jeff Jarot. This book doesn't examine the film (like my book), and it doesn't retell the story of It's a Wonderful Life if something had changed, like The Last Temptation of Clarence Oddbody by John Jughead Pierson.

Instead, this book looks at a modern family in which the father has a bit of an unhealthy obsession with It's a Wonderful Life. It hits a little close to home. In fact, I joked with Goodson when he told me about it. My response was, "Sooooooo......Is this book about you or about me? And is that an honor or is that offensive?"

But all ego aside, this book looks to be a great examination of obsession and love. Where does interest cross the line of hobby? Where does hobby cross the line of obsession? When does obsession cross the line to insanity?

You can read more about the book and about the author here.

You can get a feel for what his book will feel like by downloading his thesis and dissertation here.

I'm really looking forward to the book. What do you think?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Photo Friday - Bells Part 44

Welcome to Photo Friday. Here, I one or more photos related it to It's a Wonderful Life.

This week's Photo Friday features the dinner bell at the Pemberville, OH fire department. These photos were taken March 15, 2015.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Collection Part 12 - It's a Wonderful Life Cookbook

Here is a book in my collection called It's a Wonderful Life Cookbook, by Sarah Key.

There is no fanfare here...just a few stills from the film, a few quotes, and several (but not a lot) of recipes with clever names related to the film.

And that's about it.

My copy of It's a Wonderful Life Cookbook