Jim Siergey: Roger Moore

May 24th, 2017

I know that Roger Moore, excuse me, Sir Roger Moore, first hit renown portraying Simon Templar aka The Saint in a British TV adaptation of Leslie Charteris’ novels.

I also know that he portrayed super British secret agent 007, James Bond, in seven, count ‘em seven James Bond movies.

However, to me, he will always be known as Cousin Beau from the American TV series Maverick.

I suppose that is because my first introduction to him was in that role. The whimsical western, Maverick, aired from 1957-1962. The stars were James Garner and Jack Kelly, although Garner was really the star. The two would alternate between episodes and I was always disappointed when one starring only Kelly would come on.

Garner left the series after three seasons and was eventually replaced by Roger Moore, a “cousin” of the Mavericks. He explained away his accent by the fact that he had spent the past three years living in England. Moore brought a light-heartedness to the role that was similar to Garner’s approach but the show was gasping and panting as it struggled to finish a fifth and final season.

That was my introduction to Roger Moore. He would pop up now and then on other TV shows like 77 Sunset Strip and The Roaring Twenties. Years later, reruns of the British TV show The Saint would appear on American television.

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Roger Moore: 1929-2017

 

To me, he always seemed to play the same role, a suave and debonair gentleman with a devil-may-care attitude who came complete with a twinkle in his eye and a smirk in the corner of his mouth.

That’s how he played James Bond too.

At least, I suppose he did. I never could stomach the idea of him as 007. I was unable to ever make it all the way through an entire one but I watched parts of a few of his Bond films. To me, he was never James Bond, he was Roger Moore.

A’course, my introduction to James Bond films was Sean Connery. In high school I read all of the Bond books and Connery fit Ian Fleming’s description of the spy to a T. So, he was and always will be 007.

I liked the other actors who came after Connery i.e. George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. I recently watched my first Bond film in many a year starring the new guy, Daniel Craig, and he was all right too.

Moore….was less. At least, for my eyes only, he was.

Apparently, Moore was a good guy in un-reel life. He abhorred guns, worked for UNICEF and PETA and had a self-deprecating view of himself. One other point in his favor is that he began his career in animation.

I came across a quote from Sir Roger and it agrees with my description of his acting. Here it is…

“In theatrical terms, I’ve never had a part that demands much of me,” he added. “The only way I’ve had to extend myself has been to carry on charming.”

Charming he was, sometimes to a fault, but it worked fine as Cousin Beau.

 

Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Home, Tweet, Home

 

 

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Randolph Street: Take To The Highway

May 24th, 2017

1jon8nosharp15x10

Baseball–Blue Grass, Iowa

 

These pictures were made from 1975 to 1982. Highway 61 ran from New Orleans to Thunder Bay–along the Mississippi up to St. Paul then along Lake Superior to Thunday Bay, Ontario, where it ended.

 

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Man & Dog–Vicksburg, Mississippi

 

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Trailer Boy–near Burlington, Iowa

 

4PorchdollAAA

Porch–Blytheville, Arkansas

 

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Paper Hat–New Orleans, Louisiana

 

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Demolition–Thunder Bay, Ontario

 

All photos © Jon Randolph

jonrandolph.com

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Randolph Street: Looking Good

May 20th, 2017

1DSCF1245 copyCouple–Uptown

 

2DSCF0952Woman in WhiteLakeview

 

3DSCF1282Rest–Art Institute

 

4DSCF1278Wait–Art Institute

 

5DSCF1247 copyCouple 2–Uptown

 

All photos © Jon Randolph 2016

jonrandolph.com

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Jim Siergey: Home, Tweet, Home

May 20th, 2017

Once I saw a little bird
Come hop, hop, hop…”
—Mother Goose rhyme

Hanging in our backyard is a metal birdhouse that was probably purchased at a flea market somewhere. It’s been there so long, we can’t remember from where it came.

One afternoon as I was outside, sitting on the deck, I noticed a sparrow fly into the round opening on the front of the little house which is adorned with a tiny metal fence and a variety of metal flowers on the wall. It has a very suburban feel to it.

The bird would periodically poke its head out and spew flecks of twigs and other effluvium, as if it was house cleaning. The house had been used as a nest at some time in the past but this was my first viewing of a bird in action with it.

This went on for a while and then the fastidious little feathered creature began carrying twigs that it had gathered into the house. He was quite diligent about it. Back and forth and back and forth he went.

For three days I espied him at work. And I suppose he espied me not at work.

At one point he carried a very long piece of twig that was way too big to easily fit through the portal. He adeptly used his beak to move down it like a person would one-handedly move his grip further down a pole or a baseball bat and was able to get part of the object into its newly acclaimed home.

He went inside and secured the long wispy twig so that, despite most of it protruding outside the house, would not fall away. Days later, it was still protruding and, in fact, had been joined by another long spindly twig.

I assumed that it served as a decorative device or perhaps a sign or symbol that this house was ocupado. Hands, er, wings off, you other sparrows—squatter’s rights!

Birdhouse 3Home to the birds…

 

Sometimes he would sit atop the house and sing out a variety of chirps. Once in a while another sparrow would join him. I assumed it was his mate, there to inspect his handiwork and, being female, suggest rearrangements.

I kept referring to the nest featherer as a he so I decided to look up info on sparrows to see what I could learn.

The bird is officially called a House Sparrow and it makes its nest in man-made structures like buildings and…birdhouses. The nest building and mating begins in the spring. The male is the nest-builder and will stand atop its newly furnished abode and chirp loudly to attract a mate.

So far, this wildlife experience has been going directly by the book.

When the sparrow is out there at work, I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time just sitting and watching. I feel like a National Geographic voyeur.

I’ve even found myself trying to figure out what kind of protective shading device I can erect to protect that metal hot box of a house from the blazing sun when we are in the middle of one of our torrid heat waves. But, I think I’m getting carried away.

Nature always finds a way to persevere. It doesn’t need any interference from me.

‘Tis best if I just sit and observe. One should always stick with what one does best, eh wot?

 

Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Czech, Please

 

 

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Randolph Street: Heart & Soul

May 17th, 2017

1DSCF7158Buenos Aries

 

2DSCF9187Buenos Aires

 

3card_MG_6190Wrigley Field

 

4IMG_2937Lincoln Park

 

5DSCF8519Buenos Aires

 

All photos © Jon Randolph 2015

jonrandolph.com

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Jim Siergey: Czech, Please!

May 15th, 2017

A few years ago I was in Prague. I was there with my wife, sister and cousin.

One evening, as we were standing in the street outside of two neighboring restaurants, deciding which of two we would dine at, we heard English being spoken to us and not English with a Czech accent either, it was the King’s English.

I looked over to see who was speaking and I could have sworn it was John Cleese!

It wasn’t but it was a decent likeness of a younger version of the man— a tall, gangly British chap with a wisp of a moustache, matching the wisp of hair covering his forehead, speaking in clipped phrases and slightly jerking his body about in a manner eerily reminiscent of the great Mr. Cleese.

We exchanged a few sentences and I quickly invited him to dine with us.

It turned out that he was a priest. Father Thomas is what he called himself and he was affiliated with The New Church of England. At least, I think that was the denominational moniker, all these offshoots are a bunch of jibber-jabber to me.

He was a pleasant bloke to share dinner with but he continued to remind me of the Monty Python alum throughout our conversation-laden repast. For those keeping score at home, I dined on roast duck and sampled a tasty new dark brew called Merlin (with the accent on the second syllable).

It was…magical.

The women I was with were much more up on religion than I was so they peppered Father Cleese…er…Thomas with questions. Things began to take a downward turn as it was revealed that women had little to no role in this New Church of England organization.

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He looked just like John Cleese….

 

Despite his youth (or, at least, youthful appearance) Father Thomas was quite all right with the subservient treatment of women. He had his hands full debating the strong-willed American women.

Fortunately, the discussion was carried out in a civilized manner and no fisticuffs or fork-stabbings took place. Since I had very little interest in the sexi-spiritual symposium that was taking place, I glanced about the room and noticed that we were now the only people seated in the cavernous dining room, which looked even more cavernous with the emptiness that was surrounding us.

We realized that no waitstaff had come by for quite a while and now that we wished to pay our bill, we could espy no one.

We politely waited a bit more for someone to show up and I wondered if Father Thomas might go a bit Basil Fawlty with impatience but he did not.

In fact, he joined in with us as we began a series of subtle sounds—throat-clearing, humming and finger-drumming before commencing upon hallooing the house. No one showed. It was as if we were abandoned.

We decided to form a search party. There was an adjoining room so we arose en masse (pun intended) and sauntered in that direction.

The dining area in that room was also bereft of people. We continued on into the kitchen.

There we found a small group of waitresses, cooks and other staff cloistered together with their backs to us. As we grew nearer we could see that they were cloistered in front of a small portable television set.

They were watching hockey.

The Czech people take their hockey very seriously. The World Hockey Championship was taking place and the staff was glued to the TV screen watching the final seconds of the Czech Republic-Canada match.

The Czechs had valiantly scored two goals in rapid succession and were only one goal from tying the Canadians as the seconds ticked away. Despite many shots on goal and the emphatic cheers and urgings of the huddled staff, the homeland lads fell short.

Only then were we able to settle our bill and traipse back onto the saddened streets of the city. We parted company with Father Thomas and as I watched him depart, I was disappointed to see that his walk was not funny at all.

 

Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Spider Man

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Letter from Milo: Love & Life

May 15th, 2017

I have a friend who fell in love with a one-legged woman. Despite her missing appendage, which she lost in a freak accident, she was very attractive, with a lush figure and a knowing, sexy demeanor. My friend adored her. He went a bit crazy when she dumped him.

My wife and I were friendly with a couple who were into real estate in a small-time way. They owned a couple of two-flats on the North Side, one of them had a storefront on the first floor. The wife decided she wanted to open a shop in the storefront. The husband, deeply in love with his wife, agreed to spend tens of thousands of dollars rehabbing the place. On the day the last workman left the shop, when all the work had been completed to the wife’s exacting and expensive specifications, she told him she wanted a divorce. She got the storefront building in the settlement.

One of my platoon commanders in Vietnam, a young Lieutenant, was madly in love with his college sweetheart and she, apparently, was devoted to him. She sent the Lieutenant four or five letters a week, including photographs, which he sometimes showed me.

“She’s a beauty, Sir.”

“She sure is. We were thinking about getting married before I left the states, but I decided it would be better if we waited until I got back. Know what I mean?”

“That’s sound thinking, Sir. Anything can happen over here.”

One day the Lieutenant got a letter from his girl saying that she and a few of her friends were going to some sort of rock festival in upstate New York, near a town called Woodstock. The Lieutenant never got another letter from his sweetheart.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. This is not a screed about faithless or perfidious women. I’m no mathematician or social worker, but I figure that roughly 50% of all relationship problems are caused by men.

I wasn’t always a famous and wealthy blogger. There was a time when I was a man of the people, just a regular guy, subject to the same existential slings, arrows and woes that afflict the average Joe. And, like so many average guys, I got taken to school by women, on more occasions than I care to mention.

There was a woman, let’s call her Jane, who worked me over pretty good (to paraphrase a Warren Zevon tune). She was a beauty who hung out with the same North Side crowd I did, back when I was in my 20s. Jane had just broken up with her long-time boyfriend, Craig, and, for some reason, decided that she wanted to spend some quality time with me. I don’t know why Jane chose me. I wasn’t much to look at in those days, but I was clean, earnest and had a decent sense of humor, which must have carried some weight with her.

I knew, going in, that it was just going to be a fling. It was sure to be a lot of fun, but there was no future in it. I told myself to play it cool and not get emotionally invested. It was great advice. I should have taken it. Instead, I got hooked.

I couldn’t help myself. She was a great looking woman with a sweet personality and a joyous laugh. She was also a performer, an actress, someone used to putting on a show and pleasing her audience. Plus, she had certain amatory skills that were above and beyond anything I had yet encountered. Things were going along wonderfully. I hoped it would last a bit longer. Then, about two months into the affair, we had this conversation:

“Milo, honey, Craig called me and wants to have dinner.”

“Uh, huh.”

“He says he has to talk to me. He wants to get a few things straight in his mind. You know, we have a history together.”

“Sure, no problem.”

“Sweetie, I hope you don’t mind. I mean, I owe him something after all those years. You do understand, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I’m getting the drift.”

That was it, the fling was over. She eventually married Craig and had a couple of children. I hear they are still together.

Like most guys that get dumped, I did a few stupid things in the next couple of months. I drank too much, made some phone calls I regret and spent way too much time feeling sorry for myself. It hurt but I eventually got over it. If I learned any lessons from that episode, I’ve already forgotten them. Life, in all its majesty, goes on. Unfortunate things happen to people all the time.

I know a guy whose girlfriend left him for a woman, came back, then left him for another woman.

I ran into a guy in North Dakota whose wife left him for the pastor of their church. I believe he was Episcopalian.

I met a guy…

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