Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for the ‘Memories & Milestones’ Category

Make Someone Happy ! ! !

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Call an old friend.

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Received one from one of mine dating back to my teens and had a fun time recalling fond memories. Make a list and call one a day.

It’ll do you good, too

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 8, 2022 at 3:00 am

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An Audience To Remember

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By Tom Morrow

There are times in one’s life when unexpected pleasures come flooding in. One of them occurred back in 1979, while a cast member of the venerable stage play, The Philadelphia Story at the Patio Playhouse in Escondido.

I was cast as Uncle Willie, one of the supporting characters. The movie version was a favorite of mine. The 1940 Oscar-winning film featured Cary Grant, Katharyn Hepburn, James Stewart, and Ruth Hussey.

A friend told me Miss Hussey was living in Carlsbad and had her phone number. The actress had been nominated for an Oscar for her role as the photographer Elizabeth Inbrie in that movie.

It occurred to me it would be something of a coup having this movie star attend one of our Escondido stage performances. I called her and she accepted without hesitation. And she asked if she could she bring some of her Hollywood friends.

I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.

Ruth Carol Hussey was born Oct. 30, 1911, in Providence, R.I., and worked as a model before landing a number of stage roles with touring companies. MGM signed her to a contract and she made her film debut in 1937. She quickly became a leading lady and usually played sophisticated, worldly roles. In 1941, exhibitors voted her the third-most popular new star in Hollywood..

Some notable movies Hussey starred in include Flight Command (1940) with Robert Taylor, Northwest Passage (1940) with Robert Young, Tennessee Johnson (1942) with Van Heflin, The Uninvited (1944) with Ray Milland, The Great Gatsby (1949) with Alan Ladd, Stars & Stripes Forever (1952) with Clifton Webb, and The Facts of Life (1960) with Bob Hope.

She made more than 60 films and numerous radio and television appearances during a career that stretched from 1937 to 1973 and in 1967 she was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

Miss Hussey appeared in early television dramas such as “Marcus Welby, M.D,” “The Jimmy Stewart Theater,” “Jane Wyman Presents,” “Studio One,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,”and “The New Perry Mason” as well as many other TV shows and commercials.

She also was active in Catholic charities, was noted for painting in watercolors, and was a lifelong Democrat although she did vote for Republican Thomas Dewey in 1944,, and for Hollywood friend and former co-star Ronald Reagan in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections.

In 1942, she married talent agent and radio producer C. Robert “Bob” Longenecker at Mission San Antonio de Pala here in San Diego’s North County. They raised three children: George Robert Longenecker, John William Longenecker, and Mary Elizabeth Hendrix.

With the birth of her children, Hussey focused much of her attention on raising a family and, in 1977, she and her husband moved from their Brentwood home to Rancho Carlsbad. Her husband died in 2002 shortly after celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

After she watched our Patio performance, I introduced the 18-year-old young lady playing the photographer. The youngster not only had never seen the Academy Award-winning movie, she had no idea who the Oscar-nominated star was.

Among the friends Miss Hussey brought that evening was her film producer-husband and Dick Simmons, known to the world as Sgt Preston of the Yukon. Ruth Hussey died April 19, 2005, at the age of 93, from complications from an appendectomy and was interred in Westlake Village, Ca

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 29, 2021 at 3:00 am

Start Thinking About . . .

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. . . resolutions for the New Year.

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Last year, at a brief transcendental rite involving writing a word of resolve on a small white stone, I chose “Listen.”

This year’s feels like it’s going to be a bit more complicated but haven’t picked one yet. So, maybe more later.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 28, 2021 at 3:00 am

How Times Have Changed . . .

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. . . really hit my tablemate during his Christmas Day dinner with family.

When he was growing up, he faked his age as under 11 until he was 16 so he could ride trains and buses on a child’s fare.

During his festival visit with the relatives, he heard his 14-year-old grandson brag about getting his driver’s license so he could drive his family’s car by faking his age as 16.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 27, 2021 at 3:00 am

Nostalgia to Now

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By Tom Morrow

When you reach that momentous eighth set of 10-year periods you figure it’s okay to doze off in front of the TV set. Speaking of which, do you remember when it took at least two to three minutes for the TV to warm up. How many of you sat watching the test pattern before the day’s programming began? Or watched the Air Force fly-bys as the “Star Spangled Banner” was played to end the day’s programming.

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In Middle-West America, Dad always left the keys to the family car in the ignition and some family homes were never locked. Everything America seemed to change after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and we went to war in Vietnam.

Where I grew up, nobody owned a purebred dog.

A quarter was a decent weekly allowance and Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces. You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking … all for free every time you filled up. If you bought premium (also known as “Ethel”) you got your floor boards swept out with a small whisk broom. If your tires needed a check, you didn’t pay for any pumped air. And sometime you got trading stamps.

Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels included inside the box.

At school, being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited you at home. Teachers kept kids back a grade if they were failing.

We played softball with no adults around to help with the rules of the game.

Most of us kids were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, or gangs. It was for fear of getting polio or the Russians dropping “the bomb.”

Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-moe.’ Consumables from the drug store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.

Home milk delivery was in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers, newsreels were shown before the movie, and telephone numbers had a word prefix…(Blackburn 5-2857).

Didn’t it feel good to recall those days?

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 17, 2021 at 3:00 am

I’m 87 Years Old Today . . .

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. . . and it’s been a marvelous trip.

No one has been luckier than I starting with having parents who were simply giving, friends galore who were worth more than I realized at the time, a family that supported me through my errors, a career that allowed me to learn something new every day, and genes that have supported my health over the several rocky decades I traveled.

This day, and every other day of the year, is one to be thankful for and to be enjoyed to build more memories.

And thank you to everyone who helped me get here.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 2, 2021 at 3:00 am

There is no Word for . . .

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. . someone who loses a child.

But the word widow or widower

for someone who has lost a spouse

has no real definition because it has no ending.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 16, 2021 at 5:15 am

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Mother’s Advice . . .

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. . . was among the topics covered during my weekly phone chat with brother Lou.

I recalled ma’s admonition, “You can’t swim in there, it’s too deep.”

He dredged up, “You can’t go swimming in the rain, you’ll get wet.”

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 17, 2021 at 9:25 pm

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Talking with Cris on her birthday yesterday …

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… burst a balloon of memories like the hole left in our home when she went off to graduate school, toddler tumbling on the living-room floor with her two younger brothers, a fun and proud Detroit Vanguard Theater afternoon ruined by an officiousCanadiancustomsofficer (all one word), and abruptly stopping laughing and giggling when she realized she’d taken her first steps on her own in a small apartment we rented in another galaxy.

There were more but that’s how they started.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 4, 2021 at 5:30 am

Family Fun …

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… at Sunrise poolside Hawaiian hula night.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 11, 2021 at 2:27 pm

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