Saturday, May 30, 2009
I recently found a postcard I had been looking for for quite a while. The Best Western Kelloff's Movie Manor Motel in Monte Vista, CO combined two of my favorite things, roadside motels and drive-in theaters. How awesome would it be to watch a movie from your comfortable motel room?
The back of the postcard says it all. MOVIES FROM YOUR ROOM-FREE TV & FM MUSIC-Children's Playground-Phones-Electric Heat-Academy Award Dining Room-Comedy Lounge-Coffee Shop. Private airport with two runways 5000 ft and 3400 ft. Refrigerated air conditioning. Overnight campground.
So the next time I feel like going to the drive-in to see some stand up comedy, I'll use my Doc Brown time machine to go back in time and fly my new fangled jet out to Colorado so I could park next to this fabulous motel and catch a flick at the drive-in movie manor.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
One of my favorite pastimes is reading oral histories of World War II. There are many great books by a lot of good writers but my favorites are the books by noted World War II historian Stephen Ambrose. The first one I was aware of is the famous Band Of Brothers. Chronicling the exploits of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, it's a riveting book that was made into a great HBO miniseries.
Ambrose didn't stop there, however. He wrote, in my opinion, the definitive book on the D-Day invasion. It's the most in depth book about the war I've ever read. It's fantastic. It gives an even greater appreciation of what these American heroes did 65 years ago.
Ambrose did more to showcase the individual soldiers than any other author of the time. Citizen Soldiers is a great example of this. It gave me greater insight of what these men went through to defend our country against Germany and Japan. There was supposed to be a version set in the Pacific theatre but Ambrose passed away before it could be completed. It's a shame that we can't get any more fantastic books from this great author. If you have any interest in World War II, these books are must reads.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
My parents always talked about the time they went to see Ray Charles after they started dating. I think this might be the ad for that show. It's around the same time period. I'll have to ask my dad for sure. Even if it wasn't the same show, this would have been a great show to see. The Music Hall is a great concert venue and Ray was in his prime at this point. I always regret never seeing this legend of the music business. This ad is from the 3/3/63 Kansas City Star.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
My wife and I went to see the Kansas City Royals play the Baltimore Orioles last weekend. It was my first time in the newly renovated Kauffman Stadium and I must say they did a fantastic job with the renovation. I'm a big fan of stadiums and have been to several stadiums around the country and this one is right up there with the very best. The new HD scoreboard is the icing on the cake. It's just incredible.
There are plenty of things for the kids to do now in the new outfield play areas. There's a cool 5 hole mini golf course and a carousel for the little Royals fans to bide their time before or even during the game.
You can also have a bite to eat at the new Rivals Sports Bar in right field, alongside the statues of my two favorite childhood Royals, Frank White and George Brett.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I heartily recommend a night at the ballpark this summer.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Will Ferrell hosted the season finale of Saturday Night Live last night and it was one of the better shows of the year. I always thought he was one of the best people ever to appear on the show and it was good to see him come back. A Will Ferrell appearance isn't complete without an appearance by Alex Trebek hosting another edition of Celebrity Jeopardy.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I saw the new Star Trek movie this past weekend and I was very pleasantly surprised. I had zero expectations for this film and I must say that the filmmakers captured the essence of the original series very well. The new actors did a very good job and the film looked great. There were a few things I wasn't crazy about but in the grand scheme of things they were pretty minor. If you're into Star Trek at all, I definitely recommend the movie. It promises to be one of the better movies of the year.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I was very saddened to learn of the death of one of my favorite childhood comedians. I loved Dom DeLuise in everything he was in. He was fantastic on the Dean Martin Show in the 60's and his appearances on the Tonight Show in the 70's with Johnny Carson were just awesome. I remember my parents laughing hysterically at Dom and Burt Reynolds' antics with Johnny when I was really little. He was also amazing in Blazing Saddles, which I think is the funniest movie ever made. My favorite Dom DeLuise film however, is Cannonball Run. Whenever he turned into Captain Chaos to save the day brought tears of laughter to my eyes every time. I thought I'd pay tribute to this great actor by imbedding these classic bloopers from Cannonball Run. How can you not love that laugh? He'll definitely be missed.
One of my beloved childhood theaters reopened this past weekend after sitting dormant for 24 years. The former Empire Theater in downtown Kansas City was one of the premier movie theaters in Kansas City since 1921. In 1978, my dad took me there to see Superman, which I still remember vividly. AMC Theaters did a fantastic job restoring the place, which had fallen into severe disrepair. One of the few things remaining from the original theater was the staircase to the upper balcony.
AMC has turned the Mainstreet, which was the theater's original name, into a state of the art, all digital, modern cinema. The screens are pretty good sized with great sound and very comfortable, all leather seats. In fact, there are subwoofers embedded in each seat which kind of puts you in the action of the movie.
I'm thrilled to death that there are movies being shown downtown again. While I wish that they would have tried to recreate the original movie palace, the results are breathtaking and well worth the extra money and a trip downtown.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I've recently become fascinated by Seattle's iconic Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle is very indicative of the groovy 1960's. I've collected a few postcards of the place and I think a visit to this historic place might be in the future.
I also have a postcard of the restaurant at the top of the Needle. Regardless of the quality of the food, it would be cool to eat there.
It's great that the Needle is still a big part of Seattle. It's one of the coolest monuments in the United States.