Friday, May 31, 2013

Here's Johnny's birthplace & other stuff

Among the south of Iowa's claims to fame, sort of, is the fact that Johnny Carson was born in Corning --- three county seats west --- on Oct. 23, 1925. His parents moved a lot so they also lived in Avoca, Clarinda and Red Oak before moving to Norfolk, Nebraska, when Johnny was 8. The link is just a little tenuous.

Kind of like Winterset and John Wayne --- He was born there as Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907, but the family moved soon after to California. The issue of John Wayne's birthplace did become a little confused a couple of years ago when Michele Bachmann famously declared that he was born in Waterloo, but she was thinking of John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer. John Wayne without the "Gacy" really was born in Winterset.

Anyhow, Corning has been working for some years to turn the Carson birthplace into a tourist attraction --- much like Wayne's in Winterset --- and there's an interesting post about that this week on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's PreservationNation blog.

The post focuses on Dan Riedemann and his Nineteenth Century Restorations LLC. After finishing up in Corning, Riedemann's next project will be rebuilding Woodie Guthrie's birthplace in Okema, Oklahoma. Go take a look at the blog post if interested.


I ran into someone else out at the cemetery over the weekend who had given up television when it went digital a few years ago and access to clear free signals was lost. So I'm not alone.

But giving up television doesn't mean one has to give up the addiction --- now I watch what I want streaming from Netflix, including during the last couple of weeks the first season of Longmire, an A&E series now beginning its second season. Hooked, I'm hooked.

It's a Western, and these are rare any more; the acting's good; the plots typically implausible --- and bloody, but no more so than those of my favorite British mysteries. Plus there are great shots of scenery --- New Mexico pretending to be Wyoming (for some reason, nothing set in Wyoming ever is filmed in Wyoming).

If you're a Netflix subscriber, you too can watch the first season there. Those episodes have been jerked recently from the Longmire A&E Web site (probably to encourage video sales), but you should be able to watch the current season here if you don't have cable access to A&E. Warning: The introductory soundtrack that accompanies the Web site is really annoying.


Finally, here's a link to an MSNBC story about Christian dads who are yanking their kids out of Boy Scouting after that orgnization's recent policy shift that eliminates heterosexuality as a criterion for membership --- until a kid turns 18.

It's reassuring to see conservative Christians capitalizing on this setback by turning it into a learning experience for their children. We sometimes forget that hatred for our fellow humans is not a naturally occurring phenomenon --- it has to be carefully taught.

A guy always expects the worst from this end of the Christian spectrum and quite often we're not disappointed. Way to go!


Anonymous said...
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Mark McVey said...

Frank, you can still get free, over the air broadcasts after the conversion to digital occurred, if you have the right equipment. I have an extra converter box you can have if you like, but we will also have to make sure your antenna is up to snuff! Let me know on Facebook, I'm under Mark McVey.