Daily Update: Sunday, October 30th, 2016

10-30 - War of the World and Voodoo Music and Arts Experience 2016

Today is the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time. With no Saints to honor today, we note that on this date in 1938 the Mercury Theatre On The Air production of Orson Welles broadcasting his radio play of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds brought Welles instant fame. Today is the third and last day of the three-day VooDoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans. It was on this date in 2000 that Richard was hired by the casino. We do not have Early Voting in Louisiana for the Open Primary Election, the Presidential Election, and the Congressional Election today, as today is a Sunday.

The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast of the radio play, with the action transferred from England to contemporary Grover’s Mill, an unincorporated village in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, were presented as a series of simulated “news bulletins”, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a ‘sustaining show’ (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the program’s quality of realism. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The program’s news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode secured Orson Welles’ fame. (In 1998 a monument was erected commemorating where the Martians in the broadcast landed in Van Nest Park, Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.) Returning to New Orleans, The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience concludes today. It was once known as the Voodoo Music Experience, but has evolved to highlight the local art and culture of New Orleans. The headliners for this final day this year will be the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Band of Horses, and Arcade Fire; last year the festival’s last day was cancelled due to inclement weather (and the weather has to be inclement indeed, to cancel a New Orleans festival day). And in 2000 Richard was hired by the casino as a part-time dealer. He later became a Full-Time dealer, along about 2002, and has always worked on the Graveyard shift. We do not have Early Voting in Louisiana for the Open Primary Election, the Presidential Election, and the Congressional Election today, as today is a Sunday.

Last night our New Orleans Pelicans lost their away NBA game with the San Antonio Spurs by the score of 79 to 98. Our New Orleans Pelicans (0-3, 0-1) will next play a home NBA game with the Milwaukee Bucks (1-1, 0-0) 0n November 1st.

I removed the polish from my toenails (for the last time this year), and did my Book Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. At the casino for the last day of the two-week pay period, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow; he broke an overflow Blackjack table once at the beginning of our shift, broke the Four Card Poker table once before they closed that table, and broke Four Card Poker again once they reopened it at 8:30 am. I was on Mini Baccarat all day (except for forty minutes, when the dealer on Pai Gow asked to switch for a bit so she could sit down), and had three players at the beginning of the shift, no players from 4:00 am to 10:00 am, and two regular players after that. On my breaks I finished reading the September 26th, 2016 issue of my Jesuit America magazine via a PDF file on my tablet, and continued reading Trace by Patricia Cornwell via Overdrive on my tablet.

On our way into town we stopped at Wal-Mart so that Richard could get a funnel (he is going to empty out several bottles of bottled water, make iced tea, then funnel the iced tea back into the bottles), and stopped at Winn-Dixie for booze for him and me to drink while we are on vacation. Once home I read the Sunday papers and ate my lunch salad while watching the beginning of the home NFL game between our New Orleans Saints (2-4, 1-1) and the Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1, 1-1-1) . The New Moon arrived at 12:40 pm. I started packing, and got about half-way through. I then watched the last quarter of the game, and our Saints won, 25 to 20. Our New Orleans Saints improve to 3 and 4 (1-1 in their division), and will play an away NFL game at 3:05 pm with the San Francisco Forty-Niners. And I will now finish this Daily Update, get to a good stopping point in my reading of Trace by Patricia Cornwell via Overdrive on my tablet, read a couple of chapters in The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde, and go to bed for the duration.

We have no Saints to honor, but tomorrow is Halloween. Tomorrow is also World Savings Day. Early Voting continues in Louisiana for the Open Primary Election, the Presidential Election, and the Congressional Election. Tomorrow is also the birthday of my favorite (and only) sister, Liz Ellen in Eastern Kentucky (1960). It will be the first day of the new two-week pay period at the casino, and we will work our eight hours. On my breaks I will continue reading Trace by Patricia Cornwell via Overdrive on my tablet. After lunch I will finish packing my stuff, and I will do my Daily Update before 4:30 pm, so that immediately after Jeopardy! Richard and I can go to bed.

Our Parting Quote on this Sunday afternoon comes to us from from Al Molinaro, American actor. Born as Umberto Molinaro in 1919 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, his father was an Italian immigrant who was a prominent tavern/restaurant/hotel owner and a leader of the Kenosha Italian community who financially sponsored hundreds of Italians to immigrate to the United States. In later life Molinaro’s brother Joseph was Kenosha County’s longest-serving district attorney and retired as a municipal judge, and his brother George served 30 years in the Wisconsin State Assembly, including one session as Speaker. At school a teacher suggest that “Albert” was a better name than “Umberto”, and while at school he discovered a talent for public speaking, although he struggled at high school, staying on an extra year to graduate, and not taking any extracurricular classes in drama. In 1940 he left home, taking a bus to seek fame and fortune as an actor in Los Angeles. In 1948 Molinaro got married, and he and his wife had a son. Once in California he worked odd jobs on the edge of the television industry, finally saving enough money to start his own collection agency. He eventually sold his business and became interested in southern California real estate speculation. His investments paid off when one of his properties was purchased by a conglomerate which used the land to build one of the largest retail shopping malls; the money from that sale provided an income to launch a career in acting. As a result, Molinaro was already financially independent when he finally decided to pursue his longtime dream of being an actor. In 1954 he had a part in the film Love Me Madly; he found out upon the film’s release that the parts of the film that he was not in were what was then X-rated, and vowed to never be in a production that he could not bring his mother to see. In the 1960s and 1970s Molinaro studied acting and was offered guest roles and bit parts on TV sitcoms, including Bewitched, Get Smart, Green Acres, and That Girl. He took an improvisation class, in which Penny Marshall was one of the other students. In 1970 Marshall introduced him to her brother, producer Garry Marshall, who offered Molinaro the role of police officer Murray Greshler on the TV sitcom The Odd Couple, which starred Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, based on Neil Simon’s play; during which time he lived in a hotel in midtown New York City. The show aired for five years until 1975. In 1976 Molinaro was hired by Garry Marshall to replace Pat Morita on another sitcom he produced, Happy Days. Molinaro’s character was the owner of Arnold’s malt shop, Al Delvecchio, who was known for the sighing catchphrase “Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah…”.; the malt shop was soon renamed “Al’s” . Molinaro was proud of his role on Happy Days and defended its anachronistic look as authentic and a genuine show that did not sentimentalize the past. Its success was due to syndication of the series into a franchise that was marketed around the world in many countries. In 1978 the series was going to have an episode entitled “My Favorite Orkan”, with Richie Cunningham and the Fonz doing battle with an alien. The actor hired to play the alien quit in disgust just before shooting, and Garry Marshall appealed to the cast to suggest “someone funny”. Molinaro suggested a fellow acting student of his named Robin Williams, and “Mork” was born. Happy Days ran for eleven seasons, from 1974 to 1984; during that period Molinaro divorced his wife and remarried, and left Happy Days in 1982, when tapped by Garry Marshall to play the Al Delvecchio role on the short-lived Happy Days spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi, then returned to Happy Days. Molinaro starred in a failed TV pilot called The Ugily Family (1982) as the patriarch of an unattractive clan who is constantly correcting mispronunciations of his surname as “ugly”. Molinaro was a frequent guest on the Don and Mike Show, a nationally syndicated radio show that aired from 1985 to 2008. In 1987 Molinaro and fellow Happy Days cast member Anson Williams opened a chain of diners called Big Al’s, but the business went defunct. He revealed in 1990 that he declined acting roles in movies offered to him by Garry Marshall (such as Young Doctors in Love (1982)), because even after his mother’s death he still did not want to be associated with movies that he could not have taken her to see. Starting in 1990, Molinaro played grandfather Joe Alberghetti on the CBS sitcom The Family Man, which was canceled after one season. The show was produced by Miller-Boyett Productions, which had produced Happy Days. In 1992 he appeared in the Happy Days Reunion Special on ABC. Molinaro reprised his role as Al Delvecchio from Happy Days in Weezer’s 1994 music video of the song “Buddy Holly”, which was set in Arnold’s diner. He introduced the band by saying, “OK kids, Arnold’s is proud to present Kenosha, Wisconsin’s own Weezer!” He retired from acting in television and films in the early 1990s, but continued to appear in TV commercials until the early 2000s. He appeared in 42 commercials for On-Cor frozen foods between 1987 and 2003. He also starred in television advertisements for Cortaid hydrocortisone cream and Mr. Big paper products. He did not participate in the Happy Days: 30th Anniversary Reunion, which the network aired in 2005 (died 2015): “I spent 20 years here before I got anything going, and from that I got lucky. It takes a lot of luck in show business, too. You’ve just got to be lucky and in the right place at the right time.”

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