All these famous (or infamous) folks have something in common with me

I was musing the other day, while trying to come up with something amusing for your blog.

One of the things I like to do is make lists.  I wrote an article a few decades ago on the list of 20 books I would want if I were on a deserted island.  That’s an example.

On my all-time movie list, I have “Gunga Din.”  Sam Jaffe played the titular role.  “You’re a better man than I am.” 

One of every Catholic’s favorite movies was “Going My Way.”  Barry Fitzgerald was outstanding as the gruff, old Fr. Fitzgibbon.  He won an Academy Award for his performance.

While James Mason was one of my favorite actors (“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “North by Northwest”), it was his ex-wife Pamela Mason I’d like to mention.  In 1981, I was her seatmate on a plane from D.C. back to L.A.  We were at Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural; she as a close friend and me as a security supervisor.  We became friends.  I enjoyed several visits at her home, one of which was fascinating, but that’s a story for another day.

Chuck Norris is one of my favorite TV actors.  I don’t believe I ever watched “Walker, Texas Ranger” when it was first on, but I watch a dozen re-run episodes each week.  While he is a political conservative and spends most of the shows beating up or killing bad guys, it’s interesting how many liberal themes are in each episode.  He strongly supports minorities and those of the underclass who are less fortunate and victims.  In the most recent episode I watched, he helped foster serious young criminals, giving them a chance to avoid prison.   It was heart-warming.

If I were to list my favorite and least favorite musical genres,  Traditional Country and Do Wop would be at the top and Rap and Jazz would be at the bottom.  The  No. 1 all-time Country Music D.J. was Ralph Emery.  He hosted “Nashville Now,” a great show.  Bix Biederbecke had a neat name, but his acclaimed cornet play did not beckon me.  I would just bide my time if he were cornetting.

I’m a big fan of the Olympic Games, most likely because there is not a single event in which I could defeat Don Knotts.  Irina Press was an amazing Russian athlete and two-time Gold Medal winner (1960 and 1964).  It was a big surprising that her sister, Tamara, won three gold and one silver medal in the same Olympics, in the shot put and discus.  Tamara was 5-11, 225.  Irina was 5-6, 165.  They held 37 World Records between them.  Both retired from athletics before mandatory gender verification came in (1967).  It appears that they may have both been injected with male hormones.  The Russkies were known to cheat in those days.  Some things never change.

Speaking of Sports, as Howard Cosell used to say, the greatest player in the history of Notre Dame Basketball was Austin Carr.  Period.  Paragraph.  Caitlin Clark is getting all kinds of (well-deserved) heralding for her career scoring average of 28.5 ppg.  Austin averaged 34.5 points per game.  He stepped it up a bit in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 41.3 over 7 NCAA Tournament games.  He also holds 3 of the top 5 games in the NCAA.  And, not only does his 61 points still stand as the record for an NCAA tournament game, but game films have shown that nine of his baskets came from the three-point line distance, which didn’t exist back then.  Seventy points would be ludicrous to imagine today.  Quite a player and an ever better person.

One of the great sports commentators was Heywood Hale Broun.  Like my dad, he was in the Army Artillery during WWII.  Heywood produced a lot of 5-minute features for CBS News.  All classics, whether big or small — from Ali-Frazier to the Left-handed Golf Championship.  One biographer described him as “merry mustache, his loud jackets and his suitcase full of words, oh what words.” 

Turning to another area which is always of interest — glamorous women — there is Sharon Stone and Shannon Tweed.  I never cared for Sharon.  Stone left me cold.  BTW, the Cold Stone Creamery NEVER disappoints.  But that’s a story for another day.  I met Tweed on a few occasions when I was a guest at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, in L.A.  She was the 1982 Playmate of the Year and Hefner’s companion for more than a decade.  A lovely lady.  BTW, she was quite tall, around 5-10.  During my time in L.A., I was around several female stars who were that tall or taller (Kate Jackson, Lynda Carter, Gena Davis, and Angela Lansbury), but I digress.

Because I spent a lot of time in Law Enforcement and have taught courses in Counter Terrorism, I am familiar with the profiles of a lot of evil men.  Two of the most evil were James Earl Ray and Osama bin Laden.  The former snuffed out the life of one of the greatest Americans of the 20th century.  The latter changed (for the worst) many things about our great country.

The final figure on my list is not accustomed to be listed anywhere except near the top.  When Edward Antony Richard Louis was born, he was third in line of succession to the British Throne.  Somehow, Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, is now only 14th in line.  Beats me.

So, what do the above historical figures have in common?  They were all born on March 10th, the same day as Capster Maxiumus, well-known Bill Moor contributor.  Eddie Fourteenth in Line recently turned 60, two decades behind me.