Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kute Kunning Kittenettes - Memorial Day Weekend 1918

This Memorial Day week, Harry Steppe, the original Top Banana was playing at the Gayety Theater. Harry was one of Bud Abbott's first partners and he introduced Bud to Lou Costello in 1934.

Harry credits himself with not only the term, "top banana" but "second banana" also and he penned the Pokomoko (aka Niagra Falls) Routine: ("Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch. . .")

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ghostly Newspaper

Not much is required of the front desk on third shift. Enter a few wake-up calls. Hold on to the keys for parked cars until the valets come back on duty. Run the night audit and reconcile the cash sales for candy and cigarettes. And the newspapers. The arrival of the newspapers is one of the major events of the shift. New York Times. Wall Street Journal. Chicago Tribune. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. I divvy each day's delivery to the various departments: men's athletics, women's athletics, the barbershop, the ladies in the linen room, the restaurant, the table in the library - each gets their allotment. I get first crack at the headlines.

Despite the continued reports of the demise of the newspaper industry, or maybe because of it, I so enjoy perusing the fresh paper copy. Frequently, it will already be old news as Facebook will have already touted pertinent stories. But I don't mind old news, in fact I've fallen into the habit of scouring the genuinely old news with the addictively entertaining Google News Achive Search.

So: let me tell you what I've been reading in the papers.

The Booth Street fire reported on the front page occured right in my neighborhood. The husband was to have started teaching at

Riverside High School that very week. His wife was 19. He was 23.

None of this is mentioned in

Robert Bonner's recent obituary.