The Galaxy Gang Welcomes You!

George Haloulakos

October 2017

Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Sidney Poitier's Hat Trick

In hockey, when a player scores three goals, it is called a "hat trick."  Sidney Poitier accomplished the equivalent if not more on the big motion picture screen in 1967 by starring in three (3) classic films: "To Sir With Love," "In the Heat of the Night" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."  Poitier was the top box-office draw as he achieved peak performance in both artistic and commercial terms.

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Poitier had already won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in the 1963 film "Lilies of the Field" and achieved Broadway acclaim in 1959 by starring in "A Raisin in the Sun."  Yet, the best was still to come when Poitier achieved legendary status in 1967 for his poignant performances in three major films involving issues of race and race relations set in the same year.  Not only was Poitier a star in these landmark films that ultimately are remembered themselves as "stars" but he very nicely complemented his legendary co-stars who rounded out a stellar ensemble.  Here is a precis on each film.

"To Sir With Love" featured Poitier as a high school teacher in London's East End;

"In the Heat of the Night" had Poitier solving a murder mystery in Mississippi;

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" involved inter-racial marriage.

All three films achieved critical acclaim and commercial success.  Lulu made her film debut in "To Sir With Love" and also sang the film's title song which was Billboard magazine's Number One pop single for the year.  Rod Steiger won the Academy Award (Best Actor) for "In the Heat of the Night" as the police chief playing opposite Poitier's detective character.  Katherine Hepburn won the Academy Award (Best Actress) for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" that included Spencer Tracy in their ninth and final pairing on the big screen as future in-laws to the medical doctor portrayed by Poitier.

Yours truly viewed each of these films when they were originally released into theaters, and then later when shown on network TV as the Movie of the Week and then much later when aired on the Late Late Show!  They stand the test of time as artfully crafted films featuring Poitier conducting himself with honor, dignity and integrity.  His 1967 film performances as a teacher, detective and medical doctor showcase him as a transcendent role model for one and all.  Yet what has been written in this Blog entry is merely a sample of remarkable lifetime achievement.  We invite GNN listeners to check out Mr Poitier's impressive record of achievement as an artist and human being that dates back to the early 1950s and before.

If you have any special memories about Sidney Poitier or the wonderful motion pictures released in1967, we invite you to post them on the GNN Facebook page or send your remembrances to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing directly from anyone in our GNN following.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
For those who are part of LinkedIn, please visit or connect with me at:

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September 2017Riders on the Storm - Baseball in the Summer of '67

The summer of 1967 triggers memories of music (e.g., The Doors), anti-war demonstrations, civil strife and social rebellion.  Yet riding the summer heat wave fifty years ago were two iconic baseball teams -- the Boston Red Sox and the St Louis Cardinals -- whose storybook seasons and legendary lineups not only reflected the era but also brought people from all backgrounds and social strata together for the Fall Classic.

The Boston Red Sox won the American League pennant on the final day of the season despite Las Vegas bookmakers laying 100-to-1 odds against their success.  The storybook season was even more remarkable as the Red Sox (led by Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski) defeated the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox in a summer-long 4-way race in which the standings changed daily.  While the Vietnam War was raging in full force, star Red Sox players such as pitcher Jim Lonborg and outfielder Tony Conigliaro were doing double-duty in the military and on the diamond by concurrently serving in the US Army Reserves while also playing baseball.

Meanwhile, the St Louis Cardinals were a role model of excellence on the field while breaking down social barriers with a racially and ethnically diverse team (Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Orlando Cepeda, Roger Maris, et al) that eventually made the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine for their stellar play, social harmony and boasting the sport's highest payroll at that time.

Fifty years later, in remembering a World Series that went the limit as St Louis held off the "Cinderella" Red Sox 4 games to 3, we also celebrate how both teams were able to hold our interest despite the oft riotous atmosphere at home and abroad.  Yours truly recalls sitting in the outside lunch shelter listening to the game at school with my fellow students, and then getting updates when resuming class from those who had earphones for their pocket size transistor radios.  When the series finally ended, we all felt the autumn wind in the air as summertime came to a close.  The Red Sox and Cardinals not only gave baseball fans everywhere a season to remember but were able to successfully ride the storm by truly exemplifying the very best of what is still nostalgically referred to as the national pastime.

If you have any special memories about baseball and the summer of 1967, we invite you to post them on the GNN Facebook page or send your remembrances to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing directly from anyone in our GNN following.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
For those who are part of LinkedIn, please visit or connect with me at:
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August 2017-50 Years After the Running Stopped
August 29, 1967 is recalled by viewers of classic TV as "the day the running stopped."  This is because after four years, Dr Richard Kimball (played by David Janssen) was finally exonerated of the false conviction for his wife's murder.  This occurred in  the series finale which was broadcast that same day, August 29, 1967.
File:David Janssen Richard Kimble 1963.JPGOver the course of 120 episodes that spanned four years in "real time" from 1963 - 1967, Dr Kimball scoured the nation in search of the one-armed man (played by Bill Raisch) who murdered his wife while on the run from the law led by police Lt Philip Gerard (portrayed by Barry Morse).  Although relentlessly chased by the authorities who wanted to capture him, Dr Kimball often found himself compelled to help others while on his journey.  In many instances,  poignant if not meaningful relationships were formed with those he encountered.  The series was a fusion of "Les Miserables"  (substitute Lt Gerard for Chief Inspector Javert) and the Dr Sam Sheppard case (substitute Dr Kimball for Dr Sheppard).

At the end of the fourth season (Spring 1967), viewers were left in suspense wondering what would become of their hero in search of justice.  The answer would come later at the end of that summer when it was announced publicly the series would end as Dr Kimball would finally catch the one-armed man and bring him to justice.  In an earlier podcast, we cited Part 2 of this series finale as being the highest rated TV episode up to that time (45.9% of US households with a TV set tuned in, which translated into a 72% share).  You can learn more about the final episode of "The Fugitive" along with other beloved programs in the Galaxy podcast titled "Series Finales From Past TV Series" - posted September 27, 2015.  Be sure to access this podcast via the GNN Podcast Library and relive childhood memories of iconic TV shows from the past.  One final note:  TV Guide magazine ranked "The Fugitive" as the best dramatic series of the 1960s.  The series finale which we commemorate this month -- the day the running stopped -- placed an exclamation point on this historic TV program.

If you have any special memories of "The Fugitive"  or other classic TV series, we invite you to post them on the GNN Facebook page or send your remembrances to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing directly from anyone in our GNN following.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
For those who are part of LinkedIn, please visit or connect with me at:
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July 2017
B-29 Superfortress - 75th Anniversary
In a year which marks so very many World War II 75th anniversary dates (most recently the Battle of Midway as well as the Mighty Eighth US Air Force), it is worth noting the 75th anniversary of the bomber aircraft that Air & Space magazine (2015) noted as having "ended the war and the only one ever to drop atomic bombs in combat."
There were 3,970 B-29s built and it was one of the first military aircraft to have a pressurized cabin as the cylindrical design of the fuselage helped fulfill this requirement.  Its intercontinental range, payload and versatility made it a game changer that not only helped end the war but make further contributions during the post WWII era.  The most famous B-29s were the 65 examples of the "Silverplate" series that were modified to deliver atomic weapons.  This included the "Enola Gay" and "Bockscar" that were used respectively, on August 6th and 9th in 1945, to strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
However, the B-29 Superfortress contributions were not confined solely to combat but adaptation for in-flight refueling, antisubmarine patrol, weather reconnaissance and rescue duty!  Other significant variants of the B-29 enabled it to conduct testing for fire control systems, cold weather operations and launching experimental aircraft and rockets that presaged manned space flight and also helped to make safe commercial air travel accessible to mass markets.  Last year, yours truly interviewed Brig Gen Bob Cardenas, who piloted the B-29 that launched Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1 on the flight that broke the sound barrier!  Gen Cardenas spoke highly of the B-29 Superfortress and its historic role.
Before its retirement from service in 1960, the B-29 again saw heroic military action in Korea (1950-53) as it confronted new adversaries: jet fighter planes and electronic weapons!  Now for you Galaxy Nostalgia Network fans, here is a fun fact about the B-29 not generally known: a number of B-29s were also used for flying relay television transmitters under the name of "Stratovision" thus making the Superfortress an important asset in the development of broadcast technology.
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If you have any special memories of the B-29 Superfortress or other World War II milestones, we invite you to post them on the GNN Facebook page or send your remembrances to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing directly from anyone in our GNN following.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
For those who are part of LinkedIn, please visit or connect with me at:

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June 2017
40th Anniversary ~ Renaissance in Sci-Fi Film
The year 1977 marked a renaissance if not resurgence in Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) film with the release of "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."  This dynamic motion picture duo also helped to affirm the iconic status of their respective creators George Lucas ("Star Wars") and Steven Spielberg ("Close Encounters").
Film poster showing Luke Skywalker triumphantly holding a lightsaber in the air, Princess Leia sitting beside him, and R2-D2 and C-3PO staring at them. A figure of the head of Darth Vader and the Death Star with several starships heading towards it are shown in the background. Atop the image is the text "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." Below is shown the film's logo, above the credits and the production details.
"Star Wars" was a fusion of science fiction and fantasy as it combined the style of the Buster Crabbe 1930s film series "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon" with the up-close aerial combat scenes associated with World War II news footage.  "Close Encounters" leveraged the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) theme into a very realistic, you-are-there atmosphere as first contact with visitors from outer space is seen through the prism of people from every day life.  Both films had stirring if not rousing sound tracks plus a host of memorable scenes that are indelibly carved into the pop culture landscape.  Two such examples: the "Star Wars" cantina or bar scene featuring an eclectic group of intergalactic patrons and the "Close Encounters" utility repairman (played by Richard Dreyfuss) shaping his mashed potatoes into a miniature version of Wyoming's National Park Devil's Tower monument where he has been summoned to greet the visitors from outer space.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) theatrical poster.jpg
These blockbuster films sparked not only a resurgence in Science Fiction film but helped accord a new found respect for this genre as a story telling vehicle.  Later in 1977, the classic 1956 masterpiece "Forbidden Planet" was re-released on the big screen and in 1979, "Star Trek" made the transition from television to full-length motion pictures!

The success of these two films also served to later bring together the talents of Lucas and Spielberg as the two collaborated in launching the "Indiana Jones" film series beginning with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981.  Interestingly enough, Indiana Jones was portrayed by Harrison Ford, who had played the swashbuckling Han Solo in the "Star Wars" films.
If you are looking for a great double-feature to view at home or while traveling, watching these wonderful films will either bring back good memories or spark interest in the Sci-Fi genre.  One more related item: the ME television channel is bringing back the original 1978-79 ABC Network "Battlestar Galactica" series that was inspired by "Star Wars."  It starts on June 3rd, so check your local listings!If you have any special memories of "Star Wars" or "Close Encounters" we invite you to post them on the GNN Facebook page or send your remembrances to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing directly from anyone in our GNN following.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
For those who are part of LinkedIn, please visit or connect with me at:
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May 2017 - 60th Anniversary of Classic TV's "Perry Mason"Perry Mason Title Screen.png
This year marks the 60th anniversary of one of, if not the most well known fictional criminal defense attorneys featured on television -- Perry Mason!  This classic TV series ran on the CBS network from 1957-1966 and viewers were enthralled at how Perry Mason (played by Raymond Burr who won two Emmy awards in this role) was able to overcome rather daunting and sometimes overwhelming odds on behalf of his client -- all within the span of one hour!



Perry was ably assisted by his confidential secretary Della Street (played by Barbara Hale who also won an Emmy for this role).  The series and this duo proved so popular that they were reunited twenty years later in the 1985-86 TV season to begin a run of 26 full length made-for-TV movies until Mr. Burr's passing in 1993.  These movies introduced Perry Mason to a whole new generation of fans and helped to maintain strong interest in the original TV series (still featured on the ME TV channel).  In turn, the continuous showing of these episodes have spurred renewed interest in the made-for-TV movies that are now featured on the Hallmark TV channel.
The plot lines of all the episodes and movies tend to be multi-layered with a twist or surprise ending to place an exclamation point on the courtroom drama.  As such, it is difficult to pick a favorite episode or movie.  But one thing remains enduring: the chemistry between Perry and Della along with the great ensemble of supporting characters always promises something that will surprise or baffle you while keeping you in suspense regarding how the case is ultimately resolved.
If you have any special memories of Perry Mason, be it from the long-running series or the made-for-TV movies, we invite you to post them on the GNN Facebook page or send your remembrances to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing directly from anyone in our GNN following.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
For those who are part of LinkedIn, please visit or connect with me at:
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April 2017
75th Anniversary of The Doolittle Raid - A Major World War II Milestone Event
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/Army_B-25_%28Doolittle_Raid%29.jpg
The B-25 Mitchell is an iconic World War II aircraft that is perhaps most popularly associated with the Doolittle Raiders of April 1942. Four months after the
bombing of Pearl Harbor a group of 16 B-25Bs led by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan in a mission that lifted American spirits by demonstrating that the USA could project its air power across the Pacific, thereby demolishing the perception that the island nation of Japan was invulnerable. This caused the Japanese to deploy more troops for home defense during the remainder of the war.

This mission was significant because while its material damage was minor, the psychological damage was irreparable. Since the Pacific Theater was a very wide combat area spread out over thousands of miles amidst tiny islands, the unexpected diversion of resources attributed to the psychological impact of the aforementioned Doolittle Raiders proved to be a decisive game-changing event because it changed the adversary’s conduct of the war.

B-25 Mitchell Bomber
In commemorating the 75th anniversary of this historic event, the Galaxy Nostalgia Network takes this opportunity to not only salute everyone associated with the Doolittle Raid but give thanks to all members of the US armed forces for their heroic service to our nation.  If you have any special memories of Jimmy Doolittle, the B-25 Mitchell or related events from World War II, we invite you to post them on the GNN Facebook page or send your remembrances to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing directly from anyone in our GNN following.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com

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March 2017
John Wooden - The Greatest Coach of All John Wooden.JPG
During the annual March madness in which people are busy filling out their brackets for the NCAA Basketball Tournament, we take this opportunity to remember John Wooden (1910-2010), who coached the UCLA Bruins to an astonishing 10 national championships during the 1964-1975 period.  Wooden's UCLA Bruins won championships in 1964 and 1965, and then reeled off seven consecutive championships from 1967 - 1973.  In 1975, the Bruins won their 10th title in 12 years under Coach Wooden.  He retired immediately after winning that championship thereby forever cementing himself as a legend of the game.
Yet Coach Wooden's legacy goes beyond the court as he first and foremost, viewed himself as a teacher.  In this role he helped to inspire and impart the discipline and knowledge to what would become some of the most talented, celebrated athletes in history -- a roll call that reads like a "Who's Who" of basketball.
Hall of Fame basketball player Ann Meyers Drysdale (whose brother, Dave, was a star player on Wooden's final championship team) notes in her autobiography You Let Some Girl Beat You? that Wooden's famous "Pyramid of Success" was based on integrity, hard work and commitment to excellence.  His impact on people who were blessed to be associated with him was so great that he was a father figure to them.  In fact, Ann Meyers Drysdale knew him as "Papa."
Coach Wooden is credited with many important sayings about sports and life.  But perhaps his most notable is one that reflected his own personal values and philosophy: “Talent is God-given.  Be humble.  Fame is man-given.  Be grateful.  Conceit is self-given.  Be careful.”
As you keep track of the NCAA Tournament throughout March updating your brackets either as a casual observer or serious fan of the game, take a moment or two to read about the life and career of this remarkable man.  Thoughts or reminiscences?  You can either send your memories to the GNN Facebook page or to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing from anyone in our listening audience.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
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February 2017
Best Loved Books
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Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) once wrote "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away."  In the spirit of these immortal words and in anticipation of an upcoming podcast on remembering "Book of the Month" clubs, this month we invite Galaxy Nostalgia Network followers to share with us their most favorite books and how it influenced their lives.  You can either send your memories to the GNN Facebook page or to the GNN e-mail address.  As always, I am also receptive to hearing from anyone in our listening audience.  Write to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
For yours truly, there are three books which had a lasting, significant impression upon my life.  One was classic literature, another was a 1970s best-seller and the third a personal finance book.  The books are: (1) The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss, (2) What Really Happened to the Class of '65? by Michael Medved and David Wallechinsky, and (3) Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joseph Dominguez.
I read Swiss Family Robinson while in 5th grade with my interest stimulated by the Walt Disney film and TV's Space Family Robinson in Lost In Space.  At over 300 pages, it was the first lengthy novel I read.  It took several months as I read it during recess periods and at lunch while in school.  However, it was a joy to be a part of the Robinson family every day and it cemented a lifelong love for reading!  Upon completion of the book my teacher awarded me credit for having read three books (instead of one) so that I was able to fulfill the assigned quota of books we were required to read for our English class!  No one else in our class had undertaken such a long book, opting instead for books that were 100 pages or less!
I read Class of '65 during my freshman year of college and the haunting account of what happened to such a promising group of high school seniors during the 1965-75 period was informative, educational and sobering.  It affirmed the importance of having clear-cut goals and the work ethic equal to them.  My favorite chapter was the one about an architecture student who completed both her bachelor's and master's degrees on time and then directly embarked on a successful professional career without any detours.
Years later, after I had worked in the investment field and then started my teaching and writing career (in conjunction with my ministry), I read Your Money or Your Life.  This book addressed how to balance life, work and finance.  The central theme was that money is what we obtain in exchange for the most precious resources we have -- our time and life energy.  Dealing with such a daunting choice requires having a personal financial plan aligned with your life purpose and values.
Do any of you have a particular book or books that are of special meaning to you?  If so, please share your thoughts with us, and stay tuned for the upcoming podcast on remembering "Book of the Month" clubs.

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January 2017
Celebrating America's Manned Space Program




In keeping with the "Echoes of Success" theme from the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade, this month's Blog entry celebrates the USA's manned space program through the prism of one of its significant contributors -- my father, Dr V.E. (Bill) Haloulakos.  As a scientist, engineer and professor, Dr Haloulakos was part of landmark space flight programs from the 1960s through the 1990s.  His career and life path intersected with those of astronauts Neil Armstrong (they were classmates at USC), Pete Conrad, Fred Haise, Gordon Fullerton and others as he provided critical input on rocket propulsion for the different space vehicles they all piloted.


  









Two important books authored by Dr Haloulakos -- MATHEMATICS, THE LAYMAN AND DAILY LIFE and ROCKET PROPULSION FUNDAMENTALS -- have been reprinted and are now available for purchase by the general public. The math book is a reader-friendly presentation on the history of universal mathematical concepts and how they relate to our daily life. The propulsion book focuses on nuclear rockets and shows how our favorite sci-fi epics were / are a window into the future of science fact! To learn how Dr Haloulakos was involved with NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application), how major sci-fi epics such as TV's "Lost in Space" (1965) and the original motion picture "Planet of the Apes" (1968) reflected the scientific protocols he helped develop that would later take flight with the DC-X rocket (long before SpaceX and Blue Origin), please read his books about an exciting era in American history.



Both books are available on a “print-to-order” basis exclusively through UC San Diego Bookstore. Since it is “print-to-order” this means you must pre-pay in advance of the printing (i.e., at the time you place your special order). The selling prices are $19.25 for the math book and $15 for the rocket propulsion book, plus shipping & handling. When ordering, be sure to include the title, author name and ISBN.

Order online at: www.ucsandiegobookstore.com
Order by phone at: 858-534-4557

If you encounter difficulties in ordering, please contact me, George Haloulakos. Cell (voice & text) 425-241-5016 or e-mail: Haloulakos@gmail.com
Finally, if anyone would like to contact my father to discuss these and other projects he was involved with, please let me know and we will make it happen.  Also I could arrange for signed book plates to be sent to anyone in the Galaxy family that gets a copy.  Dad is a huge fan of Galaxy Nostalgia Network and just loves being able to share this living history with everyone having either passing or serious interest.
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December 2016
Charles Dickens's Other Christmas Classic!


In prior December Blog entries we have written about various tributes to the true meaning of Christmas -- the birth of Jesus Christ.  In keeping with that spirit we submit, for your consideration, another such tribute.  This particular tribute comes from none other than Charles Dickens.  Most of us know of Dickens's classic "A Christmas Carol" -- a popular tale of mercy and redemption that continues to inspire adaptations in various artistic venues.
However, did you know that Dickens also wrote a book about the life of Jesus Christ exclusively for his children?  This book is titled "The Life of Our Lord" and was written during the years 1846 to1849 just about the time he completed "David Copperfield."
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"The Life of Our Lord" is a retelling of the life of Jesus Christ adapted from the Gospel of St. Luke.  Dickens wrote this book to teach his children about religion and faith.  He faithfully read this book aloud to his children every Christmas.  Dickens refused to allow publication since it was exclusively written for his family.  For 85 years this manuscript remained a closely guarded family secret as it was passed down from generation to generation.  Prior to the 1933 Holiday Season, Sir Henry, then the only living child of Dickens, passed away, leaving his father's manuscript to his wife and children.  Sir Henry had bequeathed to them the right to make the decision whether or not to publish the manuscript.  By majority vote, Sir Henry's widow and children decided to publish the book in 1934.  Since then, "The Life of Our Lord" has found its way into our hearts and under our Christmas trees every year.
This amazing book by the author most associated with the Christmas season reflects what we now term Dickensian humor as well as Victorian attitudes.  With his hallmark clarity and concision, Dickens sums up the Christian message of love, kindness, mercy and goodness expressed through the person and ministry of Jesus Christ in a way that shines forth for all generations.  Ironically, "The Life of Our Lord" is still unseen on lists of Dickens's work but may be the best example as to why his literary star continues to shine.
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November 2016
Veterans Day, Blue Angels and the USMC Reserve

Veterans Day, an official United States of America holiday, is celebrated annually on November 11 in honor of military veterans -- all those who served in the United States Armed Forces.  Here at the Galaxy Nostalgia Network, we have hosted a number of GMNS episodes that pay tribute to the members of the US Armed Forces.  In this Blog entry, we observe that in celebrating Veterans Day, there are two major anniversaries in 2016 worthy of our remembrance because they affirm our appreciation to those in military service.  These anniversaries are: the 70th anniversary of the US Navy Blue Angels flight team and the 100th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps Reserve.  Each of these milestone anniversaries were highlighted in late September at the annual MCAS Miramar Air Show here in San Diego, CA.
The Blue Angels exemplify excellence and service to our great nation by showcasing the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.  This fast-paced, high-performance flight team has flown various generations of Blue Angels aircraft such as the F-9 Cougar, F-4 Phantom (shown in the photo below), A-4 Skyhawk and the F-18 Hornet. Inline image 1
The United States Marine Corps represents our nation's best with the USMC Reserves reminding us that those who stand at the ready are an integral part of our defense for liberty and freedom.  The
inspirational message (shown below) that reads “SEMPER FI USMCR 100 YEARS" is a sky-billboard that was posted by Skytypers, Inc. on a sunshine filled Southern California Saturday afternoon during the MCAS Miramar Air Show.
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On Veterans Day, join us in celebrating these major milestone anniversaries as we salute all those who serve or have served in our US Armed Forces.  If you have special memories you wish to share in honor of our Veterans, please send us an e-mail or post on the GNN Facebook page to share with one and all.


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October 2016
"The Voice of Summer" Calls it a Career!

Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Vin Scully who has faithfully called Dodger baseball games for the past 67 years, has finally called it a career after being an integral part of our lives on both the East and West Coasts.  The lifelong Dodger play-by-play announcer who began his career in 1950 when the team was based in Brooklyn and then moved out to the West Coast in 1958 when both the Dodgers and Giants left New York City, is a touchstone uniting generations of baseball fans past and present.   Vin Scully's voice is forever associated with baseball and summertime.  Scully climbed the Mount Rushmore of his profession as Curt Smith rated him the #1 ranked baseball announcer of all-time in his 2005 book Voices of Summer.  This is quite an accomplishment when we consider that Scully broadcast in the same city and era as New York Yankee announcer Mel Allen and alongside Brooklyn Dodger announcer Red Barber -- two legendary figures themselves!


With the Dodgers games being broadcast on 50,000 watt, clear channel KFI (640 AM) following their move to LA, it was possible to walk up and down the neighborhoods in Southern California [from the San Fernando Valley to the beaches to the San Gabriel Valley to the deserts] and never miss a pitch as nearly every household was tuned in, especially when Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax were pitching.  Since games were infrequently televised during the early years after Dodgers' westward move, and there were no all-news or all-sports TV stations, Vita Pact Orange Juice, a Southern California based citrus company, would sponsor Dodger final score updates on TV for every game throughout the season.  As it turned out, during the first decade of Dodger baseball in Los Angeles, Southern California was not all that different from Brooklyn as one could go about from homes, automobiles, public venues, stores and restaurants and still hear the radio voice of Vin Scully calling the play-by-play of the games just as he had done while the team was on the East Coast.  Only instead of being confined to Brooklyn neighborhoods filled with brownstones and row houses, the sense of unity spanned all of Southern California!  Roger Angell, who has written about baseball for more than 50 years for The New Yorker magazine noted that Vin Scully’s voice could even be heard throughout every Los Angeles Dodger home game.  This tradition started during the Dodgers first 4 years in Los Angeles (1958-1961) when they played in the LA Memorial Coliseum and its cavernous environs required that fans get the word’s eye view from Scully.  Even after moving to Dodger Stadium in nearby Chavez Ravine, fans continued to bring their transistor radios perhaps to verify what they were actually watching!

The Galaxy Nostalgia Network salutes Vin Scully, whose wonderful life has greatly enriched everyone who has come to regard him as an extended member of their own family.  If you have a favorite memory associated with this remarkable man and his great career, please send us an e-mail or post on the GNN Facebook page to share with one and all.         

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September 2016
Celebrating the Golden Anniversary of "Star Trek"
( or Time Travel Through the Back Door)
                      
             
In early September 1966, "Star Trek" (The Original Series) premiered on network TV.  Since then, this franchise has grown through four spin-off TV shows, a Saturday morning animated series plus numerous motion pictures with the latest rendition being a reboot of The Original Series in an alternate timeline.  This latest reboot is appropriate because the most popular episodes throughout all the "Star Trek" variants have involved time travel.
In the spirit of time travel, this column commemorates a 1968 episode from The Original Series that was a "back door" pilot (i.e., a stand-alone episode that provides a segue into a possible new series) that aired at the end of the second season (March 29, 1968) but was not accepted by the network for full scale production.  "Assignment Earth" was the title for both the episode and proposed spin-off series created by Gene Roddenberry.  It featured Robert Lansing as Gary Seven and Teri Garr as his assistant, Roberta Lincoln.  The proposed new series was to chronicle the adventures of Seven and Lincoln on present-day Earth as they battled extraterrestrial invaders called Omegans.
             Assignment: Earth title card

                    RobertaLincolnTypewriter 
The story line for the pilot was as follows: Gary Seven (aka Supervisor 194) was a human raised on a distant planet and returned to Earth in 1968 on a mission to help humanity from destroying itself in a nuclear arms race.  His assignment was to cause a malfunction of an orbiting nuclear weapons launch platform in such a way that it would frighten the Earth's nations to refrain from further deployment of such weapons and be the catalyst for creating worldwide peace, if not relaxation of warlike tension.  Roberta Lincoln unknowingly became employed in what was a"front" organization located in New York City that provided necessary cover for her mysterious boss.  The USS Enterprise had time-traveled back to 1968 on a research mission to gather information on how humanity was able to survive that tumultuous era.  The plot thickened when the Enterprise crew [namely Captain Kirk and Mister Spock] helped Gary Seven avert nuclear war in 1968.  In the epilogue, it is revealed to the viewing audience that the USS Enterprise had participated rather than interfered with Gary Seven's mission during the history of that period!  The promise of a much deeper and personal involvement between Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln is also implied as the Enterprise crew prepares to return to the future while leaving hints about what lies ahead for the intrepid agent and his lovely assistant.

                     Spock and Kirk, 1968
This episode represents the very best of "Star Trek" in terms of interesting characters, exciting adventure and the added element of time travel.  Kirk and Spock set the stage for what could have been a most interesting series in which past, present and future could have repeatedly intersected while blending romance and intrigue.  While "Assignment Earth" did not materialize as a series, its high quality content was a standard to be oft repeated in the decades that followed with the "Star Trek" variants.
Do you have a favorite "Star Trek" episode or perhaps a particular character that you enjoyed?  If so, please send us an e-mail or post on the GNN Facebook page to share your special memories.




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August 2016Great Rivalries
Baby boomers have enjoyed observing many great rivalries in all types of venues -- especially sports.  These rivalries have tended to reflect the pop culture over the decades and other such factors that we often associate with when champions clash in the realm of competition.  Some of the more well known rivalries include Ali vs Frazier (Boxing), Magic vs Bird (NBA Basketball), Evert vs Navratilova (Tennis) and more recently, Manning vs Brady (NFL Football).  But perhaps one of most intense and closet of rivalries occurred over the Chess board!

chess pieces: Head to head - knights on a chess board, in blue duotone.  Shallow depth of field.
From 1984 - 1990, we were treated to one of the very best of any rivalries in the persons of: Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov, as these two world champions battled it out over the course of five world championship matches.  Both of these men were polar opposites by every measure -- style, demeanor and philosophy -- but like all great rivalries, it inspired both players to ever higher levels of achievement and excellence.  The first match was aborted after six months as neither player was able to reach the necessary threshold of victories required to win the contest.  As for the remaining contests, Kasparov was able to win three of the matches and the other was a tie.
Kasparov was offense-minded while Karpov was defense-oriented.  Both were equally brilliant in their respective play as the match results did not fully reflect just how close this rivalry was.  How close was it?  The two Chess titans played 144 games over these five contests in which Kasparov won 21 games, Karpov won 19 and 104 games were drawn!  In every game, both men were playing to win while operating on the precipice of defeat.  Truly amazing!
Do you have a favorite rivalry that has inspired you or perhaps just gave you viewing pleasure?  If so, please send us an e-mail or post on the GNN Facebook page to share your special memories.  As you think about this, be sure to have a wonderful summer and take care!
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July 2016
Alternate Endings for Favorite TV Shows and Movies
A favorite pastime associated with summer is binge watching your favorite classic TV shows along with great movies from the past as well as the present.  When doing this with friends or loved ones it is fun to sometimes imagine alternate endings to various TV episodes or movies.  As it turns out, sometimes there are (or were) in fact, alternate endings either filmed or on paper, but for numerous reasons never quite reached the final stage or were revised at the last minute.  Quite often we may find that we like the alternate ending even more than the final release!
Two such examples that come to mind directly related to prior GMNS podcasts involve The Twilight Zone ("Twilight Zone: Still Frightens and Dazzles Decades Later" and "Twilight Zone Revisited") while the other is the 1937 version of Lost Horizon (covered in the "Adventure Movies" podcast).

In our Twilight Zone podcasts we noted the episode titled "A Game of Pool" featuring Jonathan Winters as a long deceased billiards champion coming back to play a life-and-death match against a very strong current pool hustler portrayed by Jack Klugman.  The Klugman character is given the opportunity of becoming the greatest of all time by defeating the Winters character in a winner-take-all contest.  The viewer understands that the champion, Winters, holds the crown even while now being in a celestial place and is obligated to return to defend that crown against all living challengers.  The ending that was released had Klugman winning the match in a back-and-forth contest with both players at different times holding the upper hand.  In typical, ironic Serling fashion, Klugman finds out after his own eventual departure from this linear realm that having beaten the deceased champion, Klugman now becomes obligated to defend his title against all challengers in his own after life.  The message here is to beware of what you wish for because you may end up winning more than what you bargained for!
Pictures & Photos from "The Twilight Zone" A Game of Pool (TV Episode 1961) Poster
The alternate ending was a bit grittier with Winters winning the match and a defeated Klugman bracing himself for a painful death -- ostensibly the penalty for losing.  However even this alternate outcome featured an ironic twist.  The Winters character informs the Klugman pool shark that he will indeed, die, as all people do.  However, he will be doomed to die buried and forgotten, as all "losers" are.  Had Klugman won, he is told he would have lived forever!  This alternate ending fades out with Klugman vowing to keep practicing and getting better to once again challenge Winters for the championship.
For the 1937 film Lost Horizon we are left with leading man Ronald Colman climbing up the snowy mountainside and viewing the entrance of Shangri-La, his paradise once lost, and now regained.
Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt in Lost Horizon (1937)
The alternate ending [now a special feature in the updated DVD version of the film] has an even happier ending.  As Colman is climbing up the mountainside he is spotted by his love interest played by Jane Wyatt, who has been faithfully keeping watch and awaiting his return.  She calls out to him and alerts the other residents of Shangri-La of Colman's return.  This alternate ending promises that the couple will live happily ever after while in the final version it is left to the viewer's imagination.
Do you have any favorite TV shows or movies with alternate endings?  Or perhaps do you have your own alternate ending you might have liked to have seen instead?  If so, please share them with us via e-mail or post directly to the GNN Facebook page.  In the meantime, have a wonderful summer!
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June 2016
Remembering Some of Our Favorite TV Fathers

The month of June is a great time to remember some of our favorite TV fathers as we celebrate Father's Day!  Our attitudes about pop culture have been influenced by watching television and relating it to our own situation, either real or imagined.  As such, this is a topic that is highly subjective, so therefore we invite our GNN listening audience to submit their own favorite TV fathers by sending us an e-mail or posting to the GNN Facebook page.  To get this started, here is a sample of notable TV fathers from yesteryear.

> Sheriff Andy Taylor ("The Andy Griffith Show") --
Andy Griffith portrayed a single father who with the help of his Aunt Bea, raised his son Opie (played Ron Howard).  Sheriff Taylor was a loving, caring father that sought to inspire his son to adhere to high moral standards and proper behavior with young and old alike.

> Professor John Robinson ("Lost in Space") --

Guy Williams Lost in Space 1965.jpg
Guy Williams was the patriarch of the Space Family Robinson on a mission to colonize a distant planet in the star system Alpha Centauri.  Prof. Robinson was extremely intelligent, strong, brave and always accessible to his children while trying to be a good role model and leader of this band of space pioneers.


> Charles Ingalls ("Little House on the Prairie") --

Michael Landon portrayed the quintessential pioneer and farmer father helping to raise three daughters.  Charles was an exemplary community leader while offering words of wisdom and encouragement to everyone in his circle.

> Jim Anderson ("Father Knows Best") --
Robert Young
Robert Young portrayed an insurance salesman who along with his wife Margaret (played by Jane Wyatt) was a hands-on father who was very much involved with the lives of his children (school, friends, extra-curricular activities) that was loving yet respectful of their independence.


There are many, many others equally deserving of mention.  But this partial list is just a start to a wonderful conversation.  Whether you are a fan of classic TV or more inclined to the more modern sensibility in recent decades, there is no doubt of the high regard we hold for those TV fathers that either evoke wonderful memories or inspire us to uphold the ideals we we were taught about parenthood.

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May 2016 - Remembering Our Favorite Teachers
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

Henry Adams
During the first week of May we take time to honor teachers who have informed, educated and inspired us during our lives.  On this occasion, we invite you, the Galaxy Nostalgia Network audience, to share your personal memories of a special teacher in your own life by either sending us an e-mail or posting to the GNN Facebook page or both!  In sharing your remembrance, please state what made that particular teacher so special and provide any context or lessons learned to give readers some personal insights.  Here is my remembrance.

My Favorite Teacher and What Made Him Great

For yours truly, the teacher who inspired me the most was Prof. M.Chapman Findlay, III -- Chairman of the Finance Department for the USC Marshall School of Business. I had the honor of being his graduate assistant during my final semester while completing my MBA, after having been a student in his Corporate Financial Theory course. What made him so great was his integrity, scholarship, and unsurpassed ability to clearly explain both theory and practical applications of the subject matter. He remained a friend and mentor in the decades that followed. Quite simply he was the best of the best!
         Prof. M. Chapman Findlay, III  (1944 - 2008)

Context: Thoughts on Graduate Business School
For those who are unfamiliar with the rigor of graduate business school, it is worth noting that a Master's in Business Administration degree program is not designed to make you happy or make you perfect -- it is designed to prepare you for reality.  Upon graduation I was fully prepared to compete at the highest levels in commerce and finance, in large part to having such a great mentor in Prof. Findlay.
Lessons Learned From My Favorite Teacher
> In finance and in life, have a timetable (with a margin of flexibility) and a well-crafted exit strategy.  Know when to walk away while you are ahead and/or cut your losses.
> If you are really serious about answering the call to teach in a business school setting, remember that you will need to first have real world experience before you can be in a position to show others how it is done!
> Numbers may provide guidelines or rules of thumb
but in the real world where human behavior
comes into play, actions and outcomes do not
necessarily conform to a statistical norm or numeric
formula.
As one who has now been teaching graduate business school courses for nearly 20 years, I strive to pass along the art that was given to me by my beloved professor.  It would be fun to know how others of you in the GNN audience honor the memory of your favorite teachers!


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April 2016  -- Opening Day: Time to Play Ball! 

Hello Everyone!  This familiar refrain signals the start of baseball season in which new memories that will mark lifetimes and personal relationships are to be created in the spring, summer and early autumn months ahead.  For all of the attention given to scores, standings and statistics, it is the shared memories with special people in our lives that make baseball a time-honored pastime.  The start of a new season is a catalyst to remember those special memories, and I would like to share mine.http://www.cardboardmemories.com/photos/drysdale062bb.jpg
My father took me to my first major league baseball game in June 1968.  We saw Don Drysdale set the record for consecutive shutouts.  The game also marked the first time my father sang the national anthem word-for-word in public.  He had obtained his U.S. citizenship just a few years earlier.  Several days before the game, I wrote out the words of “The Star Spangled Banner” on a small index card so that he could sing it.  Twenty-five years on the occasion of Drysdale’s unexpected passing, Dad and I reminisced about the game.  It was then that I learned Dad was still carrying that small index card I had prepared for him in his wallet.
http://www.totalprosports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/don-drysdale-dodgers-595x714.jpg
Our mutual love for baseball, and especially for one of our all-time legends of the game, was the basis for our article we later co-authored on Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax published by the Baseball Past and Present web site and the Galaxy Moonbeam Night Site episode titled "Baseball, the Great American Pastime" [available for free download in the GNN Podcast Library].  May each of you be blessed to one day look back and have similar memories of your own favorite players.  To the Drysdale family, I pray that each of you are comforted by the knowledge of how your loved one continues to be a role model spanning many generations!


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March 2016  -- The Glory Road of March Madness

   > 50th Anniversary of Texas Western Miners <
1966 NCAA Men's National Basketball Champions

As people of all ages and in all walks of life take time to fill out their brackets for predicting the outcome of college basketball's annual national championship tournament, it is also worth taking a brief moment to celebrate a milestone event that is a fusion of sports, pop culture and social justice.  Texas Western [later renamed UTEP - University of Texas at El Paso] not only achieved athletic fame by culminating a 23-1 regular season record with a surprising 72-65 victory over the Number One ranked Kentucky Wildcats, but made history in the championship game by starting five African-American players against an all-white team while the civil rights movement to end institutional segregation was in full swing.

http://gloryroad.utep.edu/50thlogo.png
During this era in the city of El Paso,Texas, a melting pot of cultures on the US - Mexico border had existed for many years, so race was not an issue for the Texas Western college basketball team.  Winning was.  The Miners were led by Coach Don Haskins, who was able to weave together a tight-knit but culturally and racially diverse group of players.  Haskins, who was nicknamed "The Bear," was a man of integrity that based his selection of starting players solely on merit while defying the prejudices of the day.  After winning the 1966 national championship, Haskins endured death threats and hate mail.  But the breakthrough season of the Miners and Haskins' leadership inspired other colleges throughout the nation to follow their example by being more inclusive and end years of racial segregation.  The achievement of Haskins and the Texas Western Miners were documented in the 2006 film "Glory Road."
http://gloryroad.utep.edu/images/front-team.png
As we enjoy this annual championship ritual we call "March Madness" be sure take a few moments to celebrate this historic milestone by reading or viewing the accounts from a special moment in time.

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February 2016

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Super Bowl
                     Super Bowl logo.svg
With America's biggest party marking the half-century milestone, I thought it might be fun to share favorite personal memories associated with this great game.  It is hard to believe how fast time has flown by as yours truly recalls that the first Super Bowl -- held in the LA Memorial Coliseum in January 1967 -- was rather underwhelming in terms of fan support.  The game did not sell out and so it was "blacked out" on local TV for much of the Southern California area.  But it did not take long for the Super Bowl to gain popularity as NFL Football has been on a steady upward trajectory since the mid-to-late 1960s with this world championship game hosted by various cities all over the USA.
No doubt that everyone's memories, happy or sad, are associated with particular teams, favorite players and those moments that ABC's Wide World of Sports described as the "thrill of victory" and "the agony of defeat."  My own personal favorite concerns the Rams, who are returning to Los Angeles later this year after having been in St. Louis since the mid-1990s.  Yours truly followed the Rams while growing up in Southern California and regularly attended their home games with my father during the 1970 season.  Once the Super Bowl era began in 1967, it seemed that the Rams were destined to be eternal bridesmaids -- always coming up short despite having excellent teams.
                          
St. Louis Rams logo
It reached the point where someone once said to me that the likelihood of the Rams ever winning a Super Bowl was as remote as my being ordained into the ranks of the clergy.  In other words, it was not ever going to happen!  Hmmmm.
As the years passed, yours truly finished school and  moved far, far away to start a new life.  Later the Rams vacated LA to make their new beginnings in St. Louis.  While striving to fulfill my lifetime goal to be a Renaissance Man [i.e., simultaneously engaged in a variety of personal, professional and spiritual pursuits], I continued following NFL Football, including the Rams.  Eventually my spiritual path would converge with the Rams championship hopes.  On Sunday, January 30, 2000, the Rams finally won the Super Bowl.  Exactly seven days later on Sunday, February 6, 2000, yours truly was ordained into the Holy Diaconate for the Orthodox Church in America.                          
                              OrthodoxCross(black,contoured).svg
At the time, neither yours truly nor the Rams were based in Southern California but it did not diminish the joy and fulfillment I felt.  Now that we are both back in Southern California, having come full circle in our respective odysseys, it is fun to recall a most special moment in time.
If you have any special memories connected with Super Bowl, whether it involves family, friends, favorite recipes, memorable TV commercials and so forth, please share them with us by sending an e-mail to the Galaxy Nostalgia Network.

 
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January 2016
Happy New Year Everyone!
January 28th marks the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger's in-flight breakup and destruction that claimed the lives of its seven crew members.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3f/Challenger_flight_51-l_crew.jpg/220px-Challenger_flight_51-l_crew.jpg
Eerily, the Challenger's destruction occurred 19 years and 1-day after Apollo 1 (AS-204) caught fire during a preflight test that also claimed the lives of its three crew members!
Insignia for Apollo 1 with spacecraft and names of astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee.Over the years we have paid tribute to America's manned space program here on the Galaxy Nostalgia Network marking the anniversary of major milestones as well as individual biographical tributes to the men and women who have inspired generations with their courage, bravery, insatiable curiosity and willingness to risk it all in the exploration of new frontiers.
The Space Shuttle Challenger was notable for its inclusion of science teacher Christa McAuliffe who while preparing for launch poignantly noted “I touch the future.  I teach.”  When the United States of America successfully landed a man on the moon and returned him safely to Earth in 1969, it was noted that our nation stood on the shoulders of giants named Grissom, Chaffee and White whose ultimate sacrifice made this accomplishment possible.  In a tribute that blended history, pop culture and science fiction, the iconic 1986 motion picture "Star Trek: The Voyage Home" noted in its opening credits  "The cast and crew of Star Trek wish to dedicate this film to the men and women of the spaceship Challenger whose courageous spirit shall live to the 23rd century and beyond..."
The spirit of both the Space Shuttle Challenger and Apollo 1 are captured in our 1-hour program that celebrated the 1969 Apollo 11 Manned Moon Landing [available for download on the GNN Home page by scrolling down along the right side and clicking on the color photograph of the moon walk under the caption "Apollo 11 Moon Walk Remembered"].

As we start the New Year resolved to embark upon new challenges may all of us draw inspiration as we pause to remember those brave individuals who in the words of John Gillespie Magee Jr. [author of the poem "High Flight"] waved farewell as they "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" to "touch the face of God."

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"A Charlie Brown Christmas" - 50th Anniversary!
December 2015
Hello Everyone!
This month we mark the 50th anniversary of an iconic annual Christmas TV special.  In earlier Holiday Season episodes of Galaxy Moonbeam Night Site [2010 and 2011] we have discussed "A Charlie Brown Christmas" along with other favorite TV programs, but on this occasion we single out this Christmas special because of its time honored, perennially relevant message of love and friendship.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is based on the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz.  The program addresses the secularism and commercialization of Christmas while reminding viewers on the true meaning of Christmas [the birth of Jesus Christ].  Schulz was able to simultaneously convey both adult and childhood themes through an eclectic mix of characters, including but not limited to Charlie Brown and his pet dog Snoopy, neighborhood pals Linus and Lucy, piano player Schroeder and many others.
A memorable soundtrack, featuring the up-tempo "Linus and Lucy" theme by Vince Guaraldi and the rather wistful "Christmas Time is Here" sung by a children's choir have both become Holiday favorites.  Among the memorable scenes in this 25-minute production include Linus reciting from memory the Gospel of Luke (2:8-14) and the transformation of a humble, small Christmas tree into a symbol of love and friendship.
From the beginning, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" drew critical acclaim including the New York World-Telegram hailing Linus' narration of the Nativity as the "dramatic highlight of the season."  The program first aired on December 9, 1965 and was viewed by 45% of those watching television that evening which placed it at number 2 in the ratings behind "Bonanza."  "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was honored with both Emmy and Peabody awards but perhaps more importantly continues to be a Holiday classic for all generations.
What are your special or favorite moments from this TV special?  Please send us an e-mail sharing your thoughts and know that we wish all of you joy and blessings during the Holiday Season and New Year!


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The Game of the Century

Remembering November 1966
Michigan State Spartans vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

<strong>Not published in LIFE.</strong> Spartans and Fighting Irish leave the field after their "Game of the Century" 10-10 tie, 1966.
Baby boomers who love college football know that November produces the games we all remember!  In today's 24/7 digital media age, we have the opportunity to watch practically every game either on various cable sports channels or streaming via the Internet.  The focus is on national rankings and playoff berths.  However it was not always this way and we can attribute many of the attributes of today's game to a milestone game played on November 19, 1966 at East Lansing, MI.
The contest was noteworthy for having two top-ranked undefeated teams playing so very late in the regular season -- an event that had not occurred in decades.  Michigan State was coming to the end of a dynastic run in which the Spartans had won or shared six national titles (1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965 and 1966).  Notre Dame was in a resurgent mode as a perennial national title contender following its dynastic runs during the decades of the 1920s and 1940s.  Since the game ended in a 10-10 tie, both teams would share national honors for 1966 but more importantly was the lasting impact on American pop culture and the sports world.  What the casual and serious sports fan alike now take for granted was made possible in large part by this landmark gridiron classic.  Here are some interesting facts that affirm its historic impact.

> This game was cited as an example for making overtime a standard for all college football games thereby eliminating ties and setting the stage for an eventual play-off system to decide the national championship (though such changes did not finally go into place until the 1990s);
> During the 1950s and 1960s Michigan State was a pioneer in breaking down racial and social barriers by recruiting a significant number of African-American players from the South and even boasted a barefooted place-kicker from Hawaii; national recruiting is now a standard practice for all college football programs, especially those with a strong brand name.
> Notre Dame, which had long eschewed playing in the post-season used this tie-game to change its no-bowl policy that had been in effect since the late 1920s and become a regular participant in bowl games beginning with the 1970 Cotton Bowl;
> Of the 44 starting players for both teams, 25 would receive All-America mention and 33 would go on to pro careers; this is a staggering measure of gridiron excellence for all generations.
> At that time, each team was allotted one national television appearance and two regional appearances versus today's unlimited worldwide video coverage;
> Due to the historic nature of this contest, the game ended up being broadcast nationwide but was on tape delay for the West coast and South (a compromise made to comply with the standing regulations of the day); originally ABC did not want to broadcast the game anywhere but the Midwest but a letter writing campaign numbering over 50,000 letters gave the network sufficient reason to air the game nationally.
> This was the first college football game to be broadcast to U.S. troops in Vietnam;
> The popularity of this particular contest was so great that its TV ratings exceeded the first ever Super Bowl held two months later in January 1967;
<strong>Not published in LIFE.</strong> Fans during the 1966 "Game of the Century" between Notre Dame and Michigan State.
In sum, this game is a snapshot of how many baby boomers and their parents remember college football as it was from the 1920s through the 1960s, and before a great deal of national unrest took hold in the late sixties.  College football has changed a great deal since then and continues to change now as "games of the century" have now become an almost routine weekly autumn event.  The impetus for change came in large part from this historic match-up of two iconic powerhouse programs.  Much of this game is available for viewing on YouTube and baby boomers will fondly recall ABC TV announcers Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson.  As you root for your favorite team this month, take a few moments to look back and remember the way we were!

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October 2015
Cold War Memories and the Soaring Sixties

Are you a reader of recent history? Do you or your parents enjoy getting a new perspective on the 1960s and the Cold War era? Get a fresh perspective on history and the impact of an aircraft that changed the world from yours truly, George Haloulakos, with my newly released book, CALL TO GLORY - How the Convair B-58 Hustler Helped Win the Cold War.
Inline image 1
The history of this iconic record-setting aircraft whose service life exactly spanned the period of 1960-1970 symbolizes both the highs-and-lows of a decade characterized by feats of daring-do and expanding the frontiers of knowledge at supersonic speed.  As an exclusive nuclear strike weapon, the B-58 Hustler remains shrouded in mystery yet has become embedded into the pop culture of that period.  Here are just a few examples:
> In its featured role as the fictional Vindicator bomber in “Fail Safe” the B-58 is only fleetingly shown in various action shots but its image in delivering its deadly ordnance at the film's climax is indelibly framed in our collective memory.  In the classic Twilight Zone episode "King Nine Will Not Return"  the B-58 Hustler is never seen by the viewing audience but its reference by the leading character is a critical moment in resolving the plot line.
> The B-58 Hustler was the difference maker during the Cuban Missile Crisis for the USA in its October 1962 showdown with the USSR.  Ironically, this gave rise to an urban legend:  While the leaders of the USA and USSR were engaged in a potential nuclear showdown it was later said that a pair of B-58s did a fly-by over the Kremlin while the two leaders were talking to each other on the “hot line.”  This story is not supported by any empirical work that I am aware of.  The “hot line” did not get installed until after the Cuban Missile Crisis and such an event would have required an Emergency War Order for a USAF bomber to enter into Soviet airspace.  Yet there are people who believe the legend to this very day!
> In one of his final public speaking appearances on November 22, 1963, President Kennedy extolled the strategic importance of the B-58 Hustler as the most powerful Cold War bomber in the world before his Fort Worth, Texas audience.

All of this and much more is covered in CALL TO GLORY.  Yours truly was able to interview pilots, navigators and defense systems operators who piloted the B-58 thus making this book a veritable time capsule suitable for general audiences.Galaxy Nostalgia Network listeners can buy signed copies of CALL TO GLORY [ISBN: 9780692475454] three ways:
(1) The book is available at UC San Diego Bookstore [the university is my publisher].


(2) To order by phone - 858-534-7326
ask for customer service specialist Christine Blaylock who will handle your orders;

(3) To order online click on this link:
https://ucsandiegobookstore.com/p-76905-call-to-glory-not-returnable.aspx


If anyone in the Galaxy Nostalgia Network audience buys a copy, please send me an e-mail so that I can send you special commemorative CALL TO GLORY bookmarks!  You can reach me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
As always, if any of you have memories of the Cold War, the missiles of October or a B-58 Hustler sighting, please share them with us via e-mail.
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Remembering James Dean
September 30, 1955 -- The End and The Beginning
The numeric sequence 9-30-1955 is indelibly associated with the late great James Dean - whose short but accomplished life came to a tragic end sixty years ago in an automobile accident but ignited a worldwide following that continues to this day!
James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.jpg
His starring roles in "East of Eden," "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant" earned two Academy Award nominations plus the Golden Globe Special Achievement Award and the Jussi Award for Best Foreign Actor.  The American Film Institute ranks Dean as the 18th best male movie star on its 100 Years - 100 Stars list.  Dean was attractive to both men and women as he personified the angst and ambivalence that teenagers of all generations have felt at one time or another.  Despite the on-screen image of social estrangement and disillusionment he was a charismatic persona who is fondly remembered as sometimes shy, yet friendly and accessible to his fans.
My mother's best friend met James Dean in person at a bull fight in Del Rio, Texas in September 1955 as he was completing his role in "Giant."  She recalled Dean as having a friendly but quiet intensity that provided a perfect accompaniment to the jeans and cowboy boots he wore both on and off screen for his larger-than-life role as a Texas cowboy who became an oil tycoon!
James Dean
Ironically, my mother's friend noted that cosmetically he appeared to be much older than his 24-years as the closing sequence of "Giant" featured Dean in a much older version of his character.  When he was killed just a weeks later, he was still in that cosmetic state of old age because his hair was still shaved and partially gray to give the appearance of a receding hairline in the film.
Much has been written about Dean over the years, including an unpublished college term paper yours truly wrote in my 1975-76 freshman year at USC that not only earned a letter grade of "A" but proved to be the most fun research project I was ever involved with!  Watching his great films and reading the seemingly endless accounts of his friendships, romantic relationships and his commitment to the acting profession was truly inspiring.  That Dean accomplished so very much in such a short life is a tribute to talent, hard work, good fortune and nerve.  In a business known for consuming its stars, he played to win rather than play not to lose.  His lasting image as a rebel remains forever young, and we are left with wonderful memories.  This, and more, are the subject of an upcoming GMNS broadcast in which we remember James Dean as one of the ultimate Galaxy Nostalgia Network icons!
If you have any special or favorite memories of James Dean, please share them with us via e-mail.
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The Dog Days of August and Summer Reruns -
August 2015

Hello Everyone!
How many of you recall the "reruns" that once dominated the TV network airwaves during the summer months long before
​ ​
the era of specialty cable channels and YouTube?  Yours truly fondly recalls how during the 1960s this afforded the opportunity to watch TV shows that I missed during the school year as they usually aired well past my bedtime.  In addition, it was fun to once again watch episodes of favorite shows that left a strong favorable impression.  My favorite summer reruns from the 1960s were "Star Trek" (The Original Series) and "Lost in Space."  Programs that I watched in the summer that I had missed during the school year were "The Fugitive" (1963-1967),"The Big Valley" (1965-1969) and "Twelve O'Clock High" (1964-1967).  The latter three programs were considered "adult" content and aired later in the evening!  However, summer was a time in which we did not have school night curfews for TV viewing, so this was a fun activity especially during those hot August nights in the San Fernando Valley [just outside Los Angeles].
Lost In Space.jpg
"Lost in Space" (1965-1968)

Not to be confused with "syndication" in which various local TV stations would rebroadcast various shows - often under different titles to avoid conflict with programs still aired on the three major networks - reruns were synonymous with summer!  Two such examples of syndication were the long-running TV series "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968) and "Bonanza" (1959-1973).  While both of these programs were aired on network TV, earlier episodes were shown concurrently on local stations under the titles "Andy of Mayberry" and "Ponderosa" which allowed viewers to make the connection as well as distinction between new and old episodes.  Unlike the traditional summer reruns these syndicated episodes were usually aired in the mornings or afternoons.
One feature that is rarely seen nowadays on network TV during the summer is the "series finale" airing at the end of August [marking the end of summer vacation and the start of the school year].  Two classic series finales were "The Fugitive" [in which Dr. Kimball finally caught up with
​the
one-armed man and exonerated himself from the false murder charge] and "Hawaii Five-O" [Steve McGarrett finally books and jails his arch-enemy Wo-Fat after 12 years].  Both aired at the end of August prior to the start of a new TV season.
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"The Fugitive" (1963 - 1967)

One of the more memorable periods that involved a "replacement" instead of "reruns" was the summer of 1968 in which "The Jackie Gleason Show" was replaced by the mysterious series "The Prisoner" featuring Patrick McGoohan in a limited run of 17 episodes.  This presaged the current practice of ongoing seasons throughout the calendar year for all types of series whether on network or cable TV.
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"The Prisoner" (Summer 1968)

If you have any favorite TV "rerun" memories, please send your reminiscences to us via e-mail.  Also be sure to listen previous GMNS programs that covered the "spy genre" and "series finales."


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NEW HORIZONS Flyby of Pluto --  July 2015

From Science Fiction to Science Fact !
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This NASA flyby mission completes the reconnaissance of the classical solar system and is the latest example of American exceptionalism for it makes the USA the first nation to have sent a space probe to every planet in our solar system -- from Mercury to Pluto!

Appropriately it occurs in the month of July in which we mark the 50th anniversary of the Mariner 4 Mars probe which sent back the first-ever close up photos of another planet taken from outer space as well as the 46th anniversary of the Apollo 11 manned moon mission in which human beings first walked on the moon.
The Galaxy Nostalgia Network has featured many programs and Blog entries commemorating how our favorite science fiction stories - whether in print, TV or film - have presaged the remarkable scientific accomplishments that have been witnessed by Baby Boomers.  It is moments like this in which we reflect upon how the strength of the human spirit is on full display as we seek to expand new frontiers of knowledge through patience, persistence, courage and curiosity.  Astronomer Carl Sagan once said that "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.  But without we go nowhere."  The New Horizons flyby mission to Pluto is the latest example of how human imagination and ingenuity has taken us to where no human has gone before.  Yet in saluting this latest accomplishment in science and exploration we know that the journey continues!  If you have a favorite memory about space flight and how it has inspired you, please send us an e-mail with your thoughts.

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June 2015 -- Where Does the Time Go?
This familiar refrain is heard when we look back wistfully at decades gone by and ponder where it all went as well as how fast the time seemed to fly.  What makes this question so poignant is when we realize that events or characteristics that at the time seemed so important pass from the scene rather quickly or are superseded by new developments that render those characteristics as commonplace, obsolete or no longer relevant.  Consider the decade of the 1990s.  How many of you remember the following?
> AOL diskettes in your mailbox?
> Pagers or beepers?
> Mega size book store chains?
> Cable TV news programs usurping the headlines of the day from traditional weekly magazines?
> Novelty of gourmet coffee and related beverages?

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The 1998 romantic comedy-drama film "You've Got Mail" featuring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan now seems like a time-capsule of the 1990s as it incorporated the aforementioned items and more in what was an updated version of the the same plot line in the 1940 film "The Shop Around the Corner" [with James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan].
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In "You've Got Mail" we witness the two main characters as Internet pen-pals who happen to both be in the book selling business.  Mr. Hanks family owned Fox Books represents a Barnes & Noble / Border's supermarket bookstore chain while Ms. Ryan's Shop Around the Corner is a throwback to the neighborhood bookstore owned-and-operated by a single proprietor.  The concept of product placement has never been more evident as the film's title is taken from the trademark greeting AOL subscribers hear when they receive e-mail transmissions.  The film reaches a most satisfying conclusion but along the way we bear witness to several awkward if not humorous social encounters at a grocery store, office party and a gourmet coffee outlet as we observe various work/life challenges associated with the 1990s lifestyles. 
Seventeen years later after this film's release we note that AOL's dial-up service was long ago surpassed by wireless technology and that same technology has rendered many cable news TV programs along with their newspaper/magazine predecessors either obsolete or marginalized.  Beepers/pagers are now a nostalgia item from the last century while the same mega size bookstore chains that pushed aside the small neighborhood bookstores have now themselves been pushed aside by readers and book buyers increasingly shifting their preference to Internet venues.  Gourmet coffee is now commonplace as other competitors have entered into the fray.
As time marches on, it makes one ponder how we will look back at the present day twenty years from now!  While you think about this question, you might take an opportunity to view both "You've Got Mail" and "The Shop Around the Corner" as a reminder that even with the passage of time and the inexorable advancements in technology, a good storyline that features likeable characters that we can all relate to at one level or another never goes out of style!

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May 2015 [or is it 1985?]
Hello Everyone!
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic time-travel film classic "Back to the Future."  Released on July 3, 1985, it was the most popular film that year in terms of box office receipts while earning widespread critical acclaim.  It is hard to believe that 30 years have passed - the same length of time in which teenager Marty McFly [played by Michael J. Fox] accidentally travels back in time to 1955 where he meets his future parents while in high school and inadvertently becomes his mother's love interest!  With the help of Dr. Emmett Brown [portrayed by Christopher Lloyd] Marty must repair the damage done caused by his accidental time travel by getting his future parents to fall in love and return to the year 1985 in the time machine created by Dr. Brown!

The poster shows a teenaged boy coming out from a nearly invisible DeLorean with lines of fire trailing behind. The boy looks astonishingly at his wristwatch. The title of the film and the tagline "He was never in time for his classes... He wasn't in time for his dinner... Then one day... he wasn't in his time at all" appear at the extreme left of the poster, while the rating and the production credits appear at the bottom of the poster.
One of the most endearing aspects of this film was its fusion of pop-culture from the decades of the both the 1980s and 1950s.  Examples include, but are not limited to:
> The modified 1980s DeLorean automobile [featuring gull-wing doors] as an atomic powered time machine;
> Scenes of Marty skate-boarding in the film occurred during the infancy of the skate-board sub-culture;
> Marty singing "Johnny B. Goode" [before its release] at the 1955 high school dance with Marvin Berry and his band, and then Marvin telephoning his "cousin" Chuck Berry to share with him that special sound he has been looking for;
> Every time Marty characterizes a topic of conversation as being "heavy" this prompts Dr. Brown to inquire if somehow the gravitational field in the future has been altered since Marty so frequently uses the term "heavy;"
> When ordering a soft drink at the local diner in 1955, Marty alternately asks for a "Pepsi-Free" or a "Tab" [presaging the diet soft drink trend that became a global market in the 1980s but non-existent in the 1950s] only to have the server respond that if Marty is going to have anything he must pay for it, and then points out he cannot give him a check ["a tab"] until he has actually ordered something!
> And how about witnessing "full service" at the gas station as a car is simultaneously cared for by several attendants in 1955 versus the self-serve model that became the norm in the 1980s?

There is much, much more!  Perhaps you have a favorite moment in this film?  If so, please send along your memories to us via e-mail.
Finally, it is interesting how Messrs. Fox and Lloyd were able to leverage their small screen TV success [during the 1980s Fox starred in "Family Ties" and Lloyd in "Taxi"] into even greater fame in the motion picture venue.  This has now become quite common for stars from both venues to shift back-and-forth, but in the 1980s it defied long-standing industry norms.  Thirty years later, we now can see how this film helped define our past, present and future!

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April 2015
Hello Baseball Fans!
Springtime marks the start of a new baseball season and this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of perhaps the greatest year any pitching duo ever had -- Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax won a combined total of 52 games [49 in the regular season and 3 more in the World Series] to pitch the LA Dodgers to their 3rd World Series Championship in 1965 following the team's transcontinental move from New York in 1958. During the 1965 regular season, both pitchers achieved a level of perfection rarely seen. On May 25th after the lead-off batter hit safely in the first inning, Drysdale pitched a perfect game the rest of the way by retiring the next 27 consecutive batters! On September 9th Koufax retired all 27 batters to record a perfect game. In an earlier 1-hour GMNS episode we examined the 1960s era of Major League Baseball through the prism of the Hall of Fame careers of this remarkable "righty-lefty" pitching duo.
With the passage of time we have come to appreciate the greatness of these two gentlemen not only by their athletic accomplishments, but by their humanity. Both men put team above self and were profoundly grateful to their fans everywhere. When the Dodgers would play the Giants in San Francisco, Drysdale would always take time at the ballpark to meet with a deaf-mute couple by the name of Hammerlund [Source: "Drysdale's Double Life" by Jim Murray, LA Times, August 23, 1961] and converse with them by scratch pad. Drysdale's kindness extended to all of his fans, especially with kids who recall his accessibility and friendliness. Koufax is remembered for answering to a higher authority than his manager by refusing to start the Game One of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. [Source: "Sandy Koufax - A Lefty's Legacy" by Jane Leavy; Harper Collins Books, 2002].
Fifty years later, Drysdale and Koufax remain role models of honor, dignity and integrity. For yours truly and many others, the careers of these men were our childhood. Do any of you have a favorite baseball player or two from your childhood that still inspire you to this day? Please write to us and share your treasured memories.

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March 2015

This month marks the 50th anniversary for the release date of "The Sound of Music," one of the most beloved family films of all time!  Winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture, "The Sound of Music" evokes innumerable memories for Baby Boomers.
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Here are some fun miscellaneous facts about this musical not generally known:
> "The Sound of Music" was a favorite of the late Hall of Fame NFL Football Coach George Allen!  Who would have expected this from an iconic gridiron figure who was the architect of the famed defense for the 1963 NFL Champion Chicago Bears, the LA Rams Fearsome Foursome of the late 1960s and the Washington Redskins Over-the-Hill Gang in the 1970s?  But this inspiring and uplifting musical touched him deeply!
> The song "Edelweiss" was neither a traditional Austrian song nor the Austrian national anthem.  It was expressly written for the musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein!
> Angela Cartwright [who played daughter Brigitta von Trapp] and Kym Karath [who played daughter Gretl von Trapp] ended up starring in the iconic TV science fiction show "Lost in Space" during its inaugural 1965-66 season in the episode "The Lost Civilization."  Cartwright was a series regular as daughter Penny Robinson.  Karath was a one-time guest star featured as the Princess, but she and Cartwright did not appear together as this particular episode focused on the male members of the Robinson expedition encountering a highly advanced civilization led by Karath.

The legacy of this great musical continues as the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA holds an annual sing-along in which the film is shown with the lyrics underneath the screen!  The film is also shown every year on network TV around Christmastime, and this may be a contributing factor as to why one of its signature songs -- "My Favorite Things" -- is associated with the Yuletide Season even though it was never written as such.  In 2010, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer ["Maria" and "the Captain"] plus the film's seven child stars reunited for a guest appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Do any of you have any favorite moments or scenes from "The Sound of Music" ?  My personal favorites are when Maria and the children sing "Do-Re-Mi" and later in the film when Maria and the Captain declare their love for each other.  And who can ever forget when the film takes a very serious tone as the von Trapp family flees the Nazi soldiers and then hiking over the Swiss Alps into Switzerland and to freedom?  As we remember and celebrate this wonderful film, please e-mail us your favorite memories of "The Sound of Music."

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February 2015
How many of you recall or can name the first "mass-market" paperback?  While paperback books have been around since the mid-1800s, "mass-market" paperbacks have been in vogue since the 1930s.  Since then, this concept has enabled readers of modest means to purchase books they might not otherwise be able to afford while being able to carry them around in their coat pocket!  As it turns out, the first such book was James Hilton's Lost Horizon [1933] that proved so popular it was made into a classic film starring Ronald Colman [1937].
Lost Horizon (James Hilton novel) coverart.jpg
The success of this story both in-print and on-screen started a popular trend that continues to this very day [i.e., capturing the public's imagination via the printed word and then taking it to the motion picture venue featuring major box office stars].  As we celebrate Valentine's Day during this month, it is nice to reminiscence about Lost Horizon as it is a story that combines adventure, romance and fantasy.  Regardless of what you do first -- read the book or see the film -- it is hard to imagine anyone else other than Ronald Colman as Conway the British MP who finds love, inner peace and renewed sense of purpose in Shangri-La, a fictional lamasery located high up in the mountains of Tibet.  While the book and film have different endings, we are left with the wistful feeling that all of us in the course of our own life's journey may hope to find our own Shangri-La.  Its message of love and kindness resonates down through the decades.
Whether you are in the mood to read a literary classic or view a classic Black & White film, Lost Horizon promises a memorable experience.

And for those who may wonder what happened later to the characters in this haunting book and film, then check out Shangri-La: The Return to the World of Lost Horizon, written in 1996 by my friend Eleanor Cooney and her co-author Daniel Altieri.  For those who love adventure, romance and fantasy, Ms. Cooney and Mr. Altieri have combined the very best from both the book and the 1937 film in what may be one of the best sequels ever!

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January 2015 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hello everyone --
The inspired life of Louis Zamperini has been celebrated in print [Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 best selling biography Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption], on film [Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie in 2014] and on New Year's Day 2015 as the Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal.  Although Mr. Zamperini had passed away unexpectedly at age 97 several months earlier, the Tournament honored their commitment to him by having his family ride in the parade followed by a riderless horse.
A member of America's "Greatest Generation," Mr. Zamperini's life story has captured the imagination of people both young and old alike from all walks in life.  He was a record-setting college track star at the University of Southern California and participated for the USA at the 1936 Olympics.  During World War II he was a Captain for the US Army Air Force in the Pacific Theater serving as a B24 Liberator bombardier earning the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and Prisoner of War Medal for his wartime record.  While these are stellar accomplishments in and of themselves, it is what took place in the ensuing years that continues to inspire people.  Mr. Zamperini overcame the adversity of a most harsh imprisonment during the war and the post traumatic stress that followed thereafter.  Through a recommittment to his Christian faith he found that love and forgiveness enabled him to lead an inspired life that would provide a beacon of hope and encouragement to others.  In a world seemingly cruel and harsh, Mr. Zamperini was able to bring light and inspiration to others by sharing his faith over the span of 65+ years.
Whether you learn about this remarkable man by reading Ms. Hillenbrand's stirring biographical account or view the screen version directed by Ms. Jolie, do know that your time will be well spent.  We honor the memory of Mr. Zamperini on the Galaxy Nostalgia Network because he exemplifies what it means to take the best of the past while helping to advance the future!
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December 2014

"Wonderful" Trivia About The Origin of a Classic Holiday Film
Perhaps one of the most well known if not popular films associated with Christmastime is the 1946 classic "It's A Wonderful Life" featuring James Stewart in the starring role.  The story of a man who gave up his dreams to help others, but then become so disillusioned that he contemplates committing suicide on Christmas Eve -- only to change his mind after his guardian angel shows how important his life has been for all those he had helped  --  has now become part of classic American pop culture.
Its A Wonderful Life Movie Poster.jpg
While this film may have suffered a bit from "over exposure" during the mid-to-late 1980s [being shown multiple times daily during the entire month of December on multiple TV channels], its message of love and friendship remains timeless.  In the spirit of goodness and kindness that has made this film so heartwarming, here are some fun but not generally well-known trivia items about the origin of "It's A Wonderful Life."
> Produced and directed by Frank Capra, the film was inspired by a short story titled "The Greatest Gift" written in 1939 by Phillip Van Doren Stern [1900-1984].  Having been unable to find a publisher for his 21-page story, Mr. Stern printed up 200 copies of his own and gave it out as a Christmas Card style gift to family and friends in December 1943.
> Ultimately it ended up in the hands of RKO producer David Hempstead.  RKO then paid $10,000 for motion picture rights to Mr. Stern [worth about $124,000 today].  There were several versions written but RKO did not make it into a film.  Instead, the screenplay version was sold to Frank Capra's production company [also for $10,000] who subsequently made further revisions before releasing "It's A Wonderful Life" in 1946.
> In 1944, "The Greatest Gift" ended up actually being published in Reader's Scope as well as Good Housekeeping magazines.  The Good Housekeeping version featured it as "The Man Who Was Never Born" -- an apt title for it concisely sums up the plot line for Capra's classic film!
> Stern was finally able to get his story published in book form during this same period with illustrations done by Rafaello Busoni.
> "The Greatest Gift" turned out to be the start of a wonderful writing career for Stern as he later became a renowned Civil War historian, publishing over 40 books during a stellar life of achievement.
As we look back on "It's A Wonderful Life" and how it was inspired by "The Greatest Gift" we take comfort on how it reminds us that when faced with adversity or dark forces, we can always light a candle of goodness and kindness to inspire others while conveying the spirit of this Holy Season!




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November 2014
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We love a parade!

The Thanksgiving Holiday weekend is a time of two iconic parades.  In New York City there is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and in the Hollywood community of Los Angeles there is the Hollywood Christmas Parade.  Having lived on both the west and east coasts has given yours truly a special appreciation for both parades.  Interestingly enough, I also associate both parades with a long-time favorite actress, Natalie Wood!
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was first held in 1924, and has continued every year since with the exception of 1942-44 when World War II supply concerns over rubber and helium temporarily suspended festivities.  In pop culture Santa Claus' arrival at the finale of the Macy's parade traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas season and is a greatly anticipated event.
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This was immortalized in the 1947 film "Miracle on 34th Street" that featured then-childhood actress Natalie Wood who comes to learn the meaning of Christmas through her encounter with Kris Kringle, who is not only the Macy's Santa Claus but the "real" Santa himself!  The film also was a contributing factor in making the Macy's parade a national event as actual footage from 1946 festivities were incorporated into the storyline.  The parade is also famous for its signature giant-size balloons, notably animal shaped, that were first introduced in 1927 when the Felix the Cat balloon made its debut.  The first Mickey Mouse balloon appeared in 1934.  It did not take long for the popularity of the parade to soar as crowds in excess of 1-million people were lining the streets by 1933.
The Hollywood Christmas Parade started in 1928, and was originally known as the Santa Claus Lane Parade.  It was held on Thanksgiving Eve but eventually was moved to the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Hollywood Blvd. transformed into Santa Claus Lane, circa 1950. Courtesy of the Photo Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.Like its east coast counterpart, this parade was also suspended in the midst of World War II during 1942-44 but reopened to record crowds in 1945.  While not having the same national audience as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Hollywood Christmas Parade was well known for its film and music celebrities that included cowboy actor/singer Gene Autry on horseback who reportedly wrote his famous song "Here Comes Santa Claus" after hearing children along the 1946 parade route cry out these same words awaiting Santa Claus!  Mr. Autry was Grand Marshal in 1980.  Given its local character, this parade often featured lots of regional high school bands and other local talent involving performing animals and the like.  One of my favorite memories was when our next door neighbor's pet bulldog was part of the parade since it served as the live mascot for Burbank High School.  A perennial feature of this parade was a grown up Natalie Wood along with husband Robert Wagner and their daughters always in attendance.  Their stalwart presence was honored when they were named Grand Marshals of the parade in 1979.  Sadly, Natalie Wood passed away unexpectedly in an accident on Thanksgiving Weekend just two years later, but their her vibrant presence is still associated with this parade just as she is associated with the Macy's parade in her starring role in the 1947 version of "Miracle on 34th Street."
Both parades have maintained a sense of tradition but have also adapted to the changing pop culture of each decade featuring new performers and characters while always bringing people together in a celebratory fashion.  If you have any special memories of either these parades or another favorite Holiday Season parade, please send us an e-mail.

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October 2014

Prime-time animation, thanks in large part to "The Simpsons," has now become commonplace on television. But it was not always so! Baby boomers may recall "The Flinstones" which aired on prime time from 1960-66 as a popular evening show for the entire family, but this type of program was a rarity as animation was largely relegated to either weekday afternoons when kids would be arriving home from school or Saturday mornings. This year, we mark the 50th anniversary of a short-lived prime-time animated series that not only left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of adventure minded viewers from all generations, but helped to make animation more acceptable to the general viewing public: "The Adventures of Jonny Quest."
This amazing program was the first cartoon series to ultimately air on all three major networks, but it first debuted on prime-time during the 1964-65 season for ABC. "Jonny Quest" was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for Screen Gems, and was created and designed by comic book artist Doug Wildey.File:Jonny-quest-opening-title.jpg
Although "Jonny Quest" was later revived for two subsequent series in both the 1980s and 1990s, along with two made-for-TV films, it is the original series that viewers remember best. There were 26 half-hour episodes in which our heroes [Jonny; his father, Dr. Benton Quest; Hadji, an Indian orphan adopted by the Quests; Roger "Race" Bannon, their bodyguard, pilot and friend; and their pet bulldog, Bandit] traveled the globe investigating mysteries, performing rescues and battling nefarious evil villains. The series allowed parents and their children to enjoy story lines that appealed to both young and old alike while vicariously visiting exotic locales.
"Jonny Quest" featured high-technology such as its signature Dragon Fly supersonic jet as well as its VSTOL [Vertical Short Take-off and Landing] aircraft that ferried the Quest clan the world over. Lasers, computers, hand-held communication devices were among the gadgets that became a staple of this adventure series. Bandit the pet bulldog was noted for his mask-like eye markings, Hadji had special abilities and mysterious powers, and invariably the Quest clan would encounter their arch enemy and most notorious villain, Dr. Zin.
For those who enjoy trivia, here are some more fun facts about this memorable TV series that remains perennially relevant 50 years after its debut:
> The show was inspired by radio serials and action genre such as "Doc Savage" and Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars;"
> "Race" Bannon was actually modeled after action film star Jeff Chandler [1918-1961] including his signature white hair;
> While the characters and tone of the series were action-oriented, academic excellence and scholarship were equally valued along with athletic prowess;
> Dr. Quest was a single father - a widower - striving to fulfill his professional obligations while raising his son;

Do any of you have favorite memories or special episodes of "Jonny Quest" that still capture your imagination to this day? Yours truly enjoyed the three episodes featuring the VSTOL jet aircraft along with the one in which the Quests investigated the mystery of an Egyptian mummy coming back to life as well as the robot spy -- a giant mechanical spider that piloted a flying saucer! Please write to us with your recollections of "Jonny Quest" as we celebrate a half-century of fun and adventure. And yes, the original series is available on DVD!

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September 2014

Hello everyone!  This month we celebrate the 50th anniversary of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." which featured Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as secret agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.  How many of you recall what U.N.C.L.E. stood for?  Or how about its chief adversary, THRUSH?  [The answers will be revealed at the end of this Blog entry!]
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The TV series ran from 1964-68 consisting of 105 episodes with the first season filmed in Black & White and the remaining three seasons in color.  Solo and Kuryakin proved to be a dynamic duo that capitalized on the popularity of the "James Bond" series shown in motion picture theaters worldwide.  In fact, Ian Fleming, the creator of "James Bond" initially contributed to the show's basic concepts that even included consideration of incorporating his name into the title of the series [first conceived as "Ian Fleming's Solo"], an idea that was obviously dropped.

The titles for the various episodes often included the word "Affair" as part of its signature sophisticated style.  Examples were "The Vulcan Affair," "The Ultimate Computer Affair," "The Monks of St. Thomas Affair" and many others.  Solo and Kuryakin were skilled in martial arts and used a wide range of electronic gadgets for reconnaissance, espionage and defensive purposes.  Most notably was the pocket radio disguised as a cigarette pack [and then later as a fountain pen] used with the call-sign "Open Channel D" when connecting with headquarters.
Here are some more interesting tidbits about this amazing TV show: during its 4-year run, there were 8 "Man From U.N.C.L.E." films released in neighborhood theaters worldwide [these were TV episodes featuring extra footage - often with more adult content to capitalize on the "James Bond" phenomena]; a host of board games, books, comics, toys and related merchandise for children of all ages; a "who's who" gallery of major TV and film stars in guest roles; a rousing theme song; it started as the only spy show on TV in 1964 but inspired competition as nearly 12 spy shows were on network TV by 1966; a spin-off featuring Stephanie Powers and appropriately titled "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E." which further augmented the U.N.C.L.E. franchise as a part of the 1960s pop culture.
Various exhibits, including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the Central Intelligence Agency Museum and other such intelligence gathering agencies display artifacts associated with the U.N.C.L.E. series.  Its lasting popularity inspired a 1983 TV reunion movie featuring Vaughn and McCallum in their familiar roles that included a cameo by George Lazenby - who played James Bond in the 1969 film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."
And now the answers to the earlier trivia questions:
U.N.C.L.E. stands for United Network Command for Law Enforcement.  THRUSH, according to several of the
U.N.C.L.E. novels authored by David McDaniel, stands for Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.

If you have a favorite episode, guest star or special memory of this TV series to share, please write to us!
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August 2014 -- The Dog Days of August

Hello everyone --

Summer is a great time, especially in the month of August, for families and friends to get together at the beach to relax and have fun.  Baby boomers nostalgically look back at the mid-1960s when "beach party" movies were box-office hits giving everyone the chance to vicariously enjoy the pleasures of sand, surf, sun and an occasional song!

There are different versions of the beach party genre ranging from "Gidget" [Sandra Dee] to "Blue Hawaii" [Elvis Presley] to "Ride the Wild Surf" [Fabian].  But perhaps the most popular and well remembered are the seven films produced by American International Pictures released during the 1963-66 period featuring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.  The common storyline in these films revolved around boyfriend [Avalon] and girlfriend [Funicello] having fun with their friends on-and-off the beach and periodically having someone break out into song.
File:Beach Party Annette Funicello Frankie Avalon Mid-1960s.jpg

This year, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of when these films were at their peak as three of the seven were released during 1964.  Here is the timeline:
  • "Beach Party" - August 1963
  • "Muscle Beach Party" - March 1964
  • "Bikini Beach" - July 1964
  • "Pajama Party" - November 1964
  • "Beach Blanket Bingo" - April 1965
  • "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" - July 1965
  • "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini" - April 1966
The perennial popularity of the Avalon - Funicello duo in the ensuing decades sparked the 1987 Paramount release "Back to the Beach" in which the couple played off their original roles and subsequent careers.  A sequel was in the works but never materialized as Funicello began to experience health problems due to multiple sclerosis that would afflict her for the rest of her life.

The "beach party" movies are all available in DVD and shown periodically on various cable TV channels.  For those of who grew up in Southern California it is fun to note that many of these films were shot at Paradise Cove in Malibu, CA.  Do you have a favorite "beach party" movie?  My favorite is "Beach Blanket Bingo."
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This was memorable for its spectacular sky-diving shots, seven songs [with two lip-synched by future "Dynasty" star Linda Evans but actually sung by Jackie Ward], future "Lost in Space" star Marta Kristen as Lorelei the mermaid, Harvey Lembeck as the motorcycle group leader plus silent film star Buster Keaton as well as comedians Don Rickles and Paul Lynde!  If you have any special or favorite memories of these fun films, please write to us.  In the meantime, enjoy the summer!


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July 25, 2014

Come Fly With Me!

Hello everyone -- Summer is a popular season for air travel and also to play trivia.  So in the spirit of fun with a purpose, here are a few questions to ponder as you fly here, there and everywhere!

> Can you name or identify this aircraft? [The answer is posted at the conclusion of this Blog entry.  No peeking!]
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4a/YB49-2_300.jpg/302px-YB49-2_300.jpg
> Can you name the jet aircraft whose footage was shown as the fictional Vindicator Bomber in the 1964 film "Fail Safe" and again in the 2000 made-for-TV remake of that same film?
> The astronauts in the 1968 film "Planet of the Apes" ended up back on Earth 2,000 years in the future while only aging 1-1/2 years themselves during a high-speed space flight.  Is such an event really possible?  Or is it just science fiction?

> What World War II bomber flown by the United States Marine Corp [USMC] was known as "The Flying Nightmare" for helping pave the way for victory in the Pacific Theater?
The answers to these, and other questions are provided by yours truly -- George Haloulakos -- in my new book titled HIGH FLIGHT, that profiles various iconic aviation programs over the years from World War II to the Cold War plus looks at manned space flight.  HIGH FLIGHT is based on a lifetime appreciation and association with aviation.  In writing this book I have sought to honor the past and inspire the future.  While doing research, I  interviewed a gallery of heroes from the ranks of the USAF, USMC, RAF plus former US astronauts and even members of the US Congress.
And Galaxy Nostalgia Network fans, here is an extra treat: two Galaxy Moonbeam Night Site programs -- "Man, Moon, Media and Myth" and "Technicolor and the 55th Anniversary of the Boeing 707" -- are given special citation in HIGH FLIGHT because these two programs discuss content that comprise the first and last chapters of the book.  My Galaxy buddies, Excellence in Journalism Award winners Gilbert and Mike, are also mentioned for their great work along with URL information for those GMNS episodes.
To learn more, including how you may obtain a copy or two, please visit my HIGH FLIGHT website at:
http://www.skytypers.com/highflight.htm

As you will note by reading the web page [and it is a quick, easy read] HIGH FLIGHT has received favorable reviews and partial proceeds will help support USMC aviation heritage at MCAS Miramar in San Diego, CA.

To read an-depth, detailed book review, please go to: 
http://businessthinker.com/book-review-of-high-flight/
Finally, here is the answer to the first question: If you guessed the aircraft pictured earlier was the B2 Stealth Bomber, you are close but not quite on target!  Believe it or not, the aircraft shown is the ancestor to the B2.  It is the Northrop YB49 Flying Wing -- an experimental aircraft that never went beyond the prototype stage.  In HIGH FLIGHT, you will learn that actual test flight footage of the YB49 was featured in the 1953 film "The War of the Worlds" dropping an atomic bomb against the invading Martians.  If you guessed right, then you are definitely a "flying ace."

Stay tuned for an upcoming Galaxy Moonbeam Night Site program in which Gilbert and Mike interview yours truly on HIGH FLIGHT as we share memories of different aircraft and the legacy of an industry that has had a life-changing effect for all of us.  And please write to us and share your memories about manned flight and space exploration!
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July 2014
This month is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in which the first human beings set foot on the moon.  This epic accomplishment fulfilled the goal established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 when he set forth the challenge that the USA would land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth before the close of the 1960s.  The Apollo manned moon mission is the quintessential example of American exceptionalism for it not only fulfilled the goal set forth by President Kennedy, it also fulfilled the prediction made a century earlier by French science fiction author Jules VerneIn his companion novels From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and ‘Round the Moon (1870),  Verne extolled Yankee ingenuity, pioneering spirit and can-do attitude when he successfully predicted that Americans would be the first to reach the moon 100 years prior to the Apollo 11 manned moon landing!  In fact, the Apollo 11 command module bore the name "Columbia" - the same as in Verne's epic novels.
This was the subject of an earlier Galaxy Moonbeam Night Site episode titled "Man, Moon, Media and Myth" in which we explored how science fiction became science fact.  But in a greater sense, Apollo 11 also represented not only the hopes and dreams of our nation but the aspirations of all mankind.

Appropriately, the plaque left on the moon to mark this historic event -- with the names and signatures of American Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin plus USA President Richard Nixon -- and shown here, affirms that our entire planet -- led by Yankee ingenuity and a pioneering spirit -- made this journey!
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/A11.plaque.jpg/529px-A11.plaque.jpg
Please join us in a forthcoming Galaxy Night Site podcast as we look back at the Space Race of the 1960s and all that led to the Apollo 11 moon landing!


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June 6, 2014 - 70th Anniversary of D-Day

As we remember this historic event in which members of the Allied armed forces made the ultimate sacrifice that made possible the survival of human freedom, this classic photograph of General Dwight Eisenhower addressing a US airborne division just prior to take-off captures the seriousness of purpose and strength of character of everyone involved.  Below this photograph, are the words of General Eisenhower written 70 years ago this very day describing this scene.
Picture of General Dwight Eisenhower giving orders to American paratroopers in England on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
"Yesterday, I visited British troops about to embark and last night saw a great portion of a United States airborne division just prior to its takeoff.  The enthusiasm, toughness and obvious fitness of every single man were high and the light of battle was in their eyes."

As part of the Galaxy Nostalgia Network's tribute to D-Day, a segment of our follow-up program was taped at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at Point Loma in San Diego, CA. 
Fort rosecrans cemetery.jpg
In gratitude and loving memory, I would like to share the following poem written by Stephen Spender as we recall all those who not only participated in D-Day, but everyone who has served in defense of our nation.
"I think continually of those who were truly great.  The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
Born of the sun, they traveled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honor."

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May 7, 2014

Sixty years ago this week, Roger Bannister became the first sub-4 minute miler. In today's 24/7 digital media age where new athletic records are only briefly celebrated or perhaps viewed with a cynical if not skeptical eye due to the pervasive use of performance enhancement drugs, this record accomplishment by a most remarkable man is still held in high regard by baby boomers all over the world. Sir Roger Bannister is synonymous with not only athletic prowess, but honor and dignity associated with an ethical life. After finishing in 4th place in the 1,500 meters at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Bannister's record-breaking run two years later is now heralded by Sports Illustrated magazine as the the most significant athletic feat of the 20th century.
Bannister.jpg

Interesting trivia for our GNN audience: Bannister was the first Sports Illustrated Man of the Year in January 1955, and -- little known fact -- he initiated the first testing procedure for steroids!

Roger Bannister

Bannister later became a distinguished neurologist and regarded his clinical work and research his greatest life accomplishments. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1975 for his contributions to medicine, he remained connected to the sports world by chairing the British Sports Council and involved with government committees encouraging sports participation as part of a well-rounded life. Sir Roger carried the torch at the 2012 London Olympics and has lived in Oxford with his wife of 59 years. We salute him as a role model and "a man for all seasons." Do any of you have a favorite sports hero from childhood who continues to have a place of honor in your book of memories? Please share your reminiscences with us by sending us an e-mail.


------------------------- April 4, 2014-----------------------------
In a recent Galaxy Moon Beam Night Site podcast in which we shared remembrances of Easter and Springtime, we also discussed Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 film "The Ten Commandments." With the upcoming celebrations of Passover and Easter later this month [and this year both Western and Eastern Christian Churches will celebrate Easter on the same day] I thought it might be fun to share some further trivia about "The Ten Commandments" as it has become a 40+ year tradition! Believe it or not this film has been broadcast on the ABC network annually since 1973, traditionally during Easter and Passover. Despite its length [217 minutes], the film has usually been shown in one evening rather than splitting it over two days, with 1997 being the only exception when the first half was aired on Easter Sunday and the second half the next day.
10Command56.jpg
With its cast of thousands, its "A" list of "leading" film stars is legendary with such luminaries as Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Edward G. Robinson, et al. But what is equally impressive but less known is the cast of other "supporting" film stars who had loyal followings and would leave their eventual mark in other venues - namely music and TV. For Baby Boomers looking for a reason to watch the film for perhaps the umpteenth time, keep a close eye to see if you can catch the following people in their respective supporting roles:
> Herb Alpert [musician & founder of A&M Records] as a Hebrew drummer;
> Carl Switzer [Alfalfa of the 1930s film series"The Little Rascals"] as a slave;
> Michael Ansara [Cochise in the "Broken Arrow" TV series] as an Egyptian overseer and taskmaster;
> Mike Conners [TV detective "Mannix"] as an Amelekite herder;
> Robert Vaughn [TV secret agent "Man From Uncle"] as a spear-man and Hebrew;
> Clint Walker [TV cowboy "Cheyenne"] as a Sardinian captain;
In an uncredited role, Cecil B. DeMille was the film's narrator. And finally, in a 2004 interview, Charlton Heston [who played the role of Moses] admitted he was the "voice of God" heard in the film!

Do any of you have any remembrances about "The Ten Commandments" to share? Where and when did you first view this iconic film? Before it reached the small screen, the first time I saw the "Ten Commandments" was at the Pickwick Drive-In Theater in Burbank, CA during the mid 1960s. My mom made sure we had pillows and blankets to watch the film in comfort while viewing from the family car. One of my favorite memories is later seeing the "Parting of the Red Sea" attraction while on the tram tour of Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Please send us an e-mail with your memories about this film!
3/4/14____________________________________________
How many of you remember this familiar TV theme song that began with these opening lines:
"Just sit right back
And you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day,
For a three hour tour,
A three hour tour.
"
Gilligans Island title card.jpg
Of course, this is the opening for "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island" and perhaps the longest three hour tour in maritime or TV history!  Believe it or not, this year marks the 50th anniversary of "Gilligan's Island" and with TV Land cable channel now running multiple episodes nightly this is a great opportunity to become reacquainted with our favorite castaways.  On a poignant note, these reruns started not long after the passing of Russell Johnson (11/10/1924 - 1/16/2014) who portrayed the Professor in the original series (1964-67) and the subsequent made-for-TV film sequels from 1978-1981 plus numerous reprisals of his role such as his guest appearance on "ALF' (1987).
Russell Johnson
I was particularly moved by the news of Mr. Johnson's passing as I learned about his distinguished WW II combat record serving as a bombardier on B25 Mitchell bombers in the Pacific theater that earned him a Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Bronze Star, the World War Two Victory Medal and three service stars.  [Note: Yours truly is currently in the midst of publishing a book on aviation history that includes a section on the B25 Mitchell, the very same type of aircraft in which Mr. Johnson served.]  The role of the Professor was a positive role model who inspired young viewers to pursue science and math while being diligent in their studies.  As Gilbert and Mike have noted, we have recently lost a number of distinguished members of America's greatest generation known to Baby Boomers for their entire lives.  It is important for us to not only remember them for their wonderful work, but for how they made a positive difference over the course of their entire lives, as did Mr. Johnson.
One more thought about "Gilligan's Island" and this concerns its connection with the assassination of President Kennedy [profiled in a recent GMNS podcast].  The final scenes of the pilot episode were filmed on Friday, November 22, 1963.  In the opening scene of the show's first season [the black & white episodes] as the Minnow is leaving the harbor and heading out to sea, an American flag flying at half-mast can be seen in the background.  As you watch the black & white episodes on TV Land be sure to look carefully and you will see this permanent reminder connecting a favorite TV show with a tragic event in our nation's history.  If you have any special memories of your favorite castaways, please send us an e-mail!



2/6/14
On February 14th, Valentine's Day is celebrated in countries all over the world. It was during the High Middle Ages that the day was first associated with romantic love, as the tradition of courtly love blossomed. In 18th century England the gift-giving of flowers, confectionery delights and greeting cards (popularly referred to as "valentines") became widespread and continues to this day!
Antique Valentine 1909 01.jpg
Do any of you recall how in elementary school a Valentine's Day party was usually held in which students would exchange cards with their classmates by depositing those cards in paper bags (usually decorated by each person in his or her own hand) that served as a "mail box" taped to their school desk? Often, some students might include tiny candy hearts with a message or would express romantic sentiments anonymously as a "secret pal" or "secret admirer." As we grew up, classic films such as "An Affair to Remember" (featuring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr) became very popular for couples to watch on Valentine's Day. In the early 1990s, there was renewed interest in this film due to the popularity of a more recent classic "Sleepless in Seattle" (featuring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) that drew inspiration from the Grant/Kerr vehicle as both films centered around a romantic liaison on top of the Empire State Building.
File:AffairtoRemember.jpgSleepless in seattle.jpg
What memories or favorite films do you associate with Valentine's Day? Although not a Valentine's Day themed film, a personal favorite of mine is "Random Harvest" (featuring Ronald Colman and Greer Garson) about a World War I veteran (Colman) falling in love with a music hall celebrity (Garson). If you have a special memory or favorite film that you would like to share with the Galaxy Nostalgia Network, please contact us. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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1/3/14

January 2014
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We hope you all have enjoyed a joyous Holiday Season. As we begin the New Year, are you ready for America's biggest party -- the Super Bowl?  This is the time when casual and serious football fans alike, along with non-sports fans, gather in homes and eating establishments all over the world sharing favorite recipes for food and drink, watch the latest TV commercials, and amidst this celebratory atmosphere also watch a football game!

This month marks the 45th anniversary of the biggest upset in Super Bowl history: the underdog New York Jets defeated the favored Baltimore Colts 16-7.  What resonates in the memories of baby-boomers from this game is pop-culture icon and Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who made good on a bold prediction guaranteeing victory despite being a 17-point underdog.  This event marked a demarcation point of when the Super Bowl left the realm as a mere gridiron match and became cosmic theater.  Namath's personality - cool, hip and irreverent - provided a study in contrast to his flawless on-field leadership.  This poolside photograph taken of Namath giving a pregame interview several days prior to the contest, along with the photo of him
holding up one-finger signifying the Jets "super" triumph immediately following the outcome, is a moment in time marking a new era: the emergence of the celebrity sports star who was a super athlete, advertising icon, TV and film star.




Interestingly enough, this game marked the first time the term "Super Bowl" was actually used.  In the annals of sports history, the first two such championships were called the NFL-AFL World Championship, but for this occasion, it was designated as "Super Bowl III."  This tradition using the Roman numerals has continued to this day!  Following this contest, and in the years that followed, Namath was seemingly everywhere: the football field, TV, motion pictures, stage and as a Madison Avenue advertising star!  Do any of you have a favorite memory about this game or perhaps a TV or film performance by Joe Namath?  Yours truly fondly recalls his guest appearance on "The Brady Bunch" and his 40+ years as a volunteer for the March of Dimes.

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12/4/13



Christmas novelty songs have been a long-time staple of baby-boomers during the holiday season, and this year marks the 60th anniversary of Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" - a perennial favorite.  Every year since 1953 as local radio stations play holiday music from Thanksgiving through Christmas, this tongue-in-cheek song delivered in sultry tones by this iconic screen and stage star has delighted listeners.  "Santa Baby" gives us a peek at an extravagant gift list that includes sables, yachts and decorations from Tiffany's.  This was a big hit for Kitt who noted it was one of her favorite songs to record and she reprised it in the 1954 film "New Faces."  In 1963 Kitt re-recorded "Santa Baby" in a more up-tempo style that provided the basis for Madonna's popular 1987 rendition of this novelty holiday song.  An interesting bit of trivia: the song writers credited are Joan Javits (niece of US Senator Jacob K. Javits), Philip and Tony Springer.  Here is a photo of the 1953 cover from the single release through RCA Victor.

What are your favorite Christmas novelty songs?  Two of my favorites are "The Chipmunk Song" and "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas."  It would be fun to hear from anyone who has a favorite that brings back special memories!


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11/8/13



Forty-five years ago, Christmas 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, were the first to pilot a manned space vehicle that left Earth's orbit and the first to orbit the Moon.  This manned space flight, noted for the astronauts jointly reading "In the beginning God created heaven and earth....." (Genesis 1: 1-8) was a positive, life affirming exclamation point on a year remembered for war, riots and assassinations.  As such, the Apollo 8 astronauts were named by Time magazine as "Men of the Year."







This historic

triumph of faith, courage, innovation and engineering is vividly recounted in Robert Zimmerman's Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8: The First Manned Mission to Another World

In this book the reader learns that the astronauts were aided by a computer less powerful than today's most sophisticated hand-held calculators and their mission was viewed as having no better than 50-50 odds of success.  With the USA in the midst of the Cold War, America's space program and its ambitious goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth before the close of the 1960s,

was seen as a life-and-death struggle for freedom and liberty versus the forces of tyranny and collectivism.  The inspiring words spoken and read by the astronauts on their lunar orbit resonated in our pop culture and remain indelibly


engraved in our

memories down through the decades.


Mr. Zimmerman's insightful narrative has the effect of transporting the reader back in time to a golden age of aviation and space technology, but simultaneously provides an uplifting vision of the future characterized by man's insatiable desire to explore new frontiers all the while looking heavenward.


----------------------------------------------------


10/15/13

Looking Back at 1983
Thirty years ago, the personal computer and video games were just entering into our daily lives. How many of you remember such names as Osborne, Coleco, Commodore and Atari? Back in 1983, these were among the premier names in the world of computers, with Adam Osborne having pioneered the "portable" laptop computer (shown in this photo). How about such video games as Donkey Kong, Defender, Pac-Man, Centipede or Asteroids? These games were among the most popular as young people spent hours (and lots of quarters) playing these games either at video arcades or on the personal computers produced by some of the companies just named.
For a nostalgic look back at this era, check out the 1983 film "War Games" which starred Matthew Broderick as a high school computer whiz who accidentally hacked into the Department of Defense strategic weapons control and launch systems while attempting to play the latest video games offered by a Silicon Valley based high-tech firm. In this film, we are able to see the latest gadgetry of the day and from the vantage point of the 21st century it is like a time capsule featuring technology that by today's standards seems quite obsolete. But in 1983 it was leading edge, and as it turned out, it was the foundation for all the wonderful technology (e.g., Smart phones, I-pods, I-pads, streaming video games from the Internet into our living room TVs, and other such items that are now regarded as quite commonplace) that we now use at work, home and while traveling all about.
The personal computer companies named at the outset of this writing no longer exist as stand-alone firms. Some either went out of business or were acquired by other high tech firms. The video games cited by yours truly are now regarded as "classic" and have been supplanted by role-playing games that are played by people from all over the globe in cyberspace via the Internet. If any of you have any remembrances of these companies or the video games from that era, or even better, if you have or know others who still have such equipment and games from the early 1980s, please pass along your thoughts to us here at the Galaxy Nostalgia Network. And for those who go back further to the early1970s, it would be fun to hear from anyone who remembers the "Pong" video game, or its basketball version!





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8/30/13

Remember Rod Serling's weekly introduction to his classic TV show?
"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead—your next stop, the Twilight Zone."

From 1959-64, baby boomers enjoyed this weekly anthology of science fiction / fantasy / paranormal / futuristic stories that typically featured a plot twist and a moral. Here is a small sample of memorable lines of dialogue (with the episode italicized and in parenthesis):

"We never left the earth. That's why nobody tracked us. We just crashed back into it!" (I Shot An Arrow Into the Air)
"Wherever I go, there he is. Wherever I stop, I see him." (The Hitch-Hiker)
“Room for one more, honey.” (Twenty Two)

"It's a cookbook!" (To Serve Man)

If any of you enjoyed this amazing TV show and have ever wondered about the person who created it, then you will find Anne Serling's As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling to be an informative, insightful and touching tribute. Included in this memoir are excerpts from letters that Serling wrote to his family while serving as a paratrooper in World War II, the bi-coastal life style from the 1950s to the mid-1970s (working in Hollywood during the school year, summering in upper state New York while having his wife, daughters and pets with him in both venues), family activities as well as the challenges a creative soul faces when working in the corporate world, and more.

One of my college professors was a neighbor to the Serlings in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood in West Los Angeles and he had wonderful things to say about Mr. Serling and the entire family. This book affirms my professor's remembrance and the impressions I felt when enjoying Mr. Serling's work over the past 50 years.

As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling

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8/8/13




Baby boomers have witnessed the sea-change that has occurred in how readers access or obtain news of the day, as we have gone from prestigious mass-media publications such as Life magazine to digital media via the Internet.  Now when headlines change due to news-breaking events, the digital media is able to easily accommodate this, but this was not always so.  Fifty years ago, Life magazine was scheduled to issue a cover story (with the cover date of November 29, 1963) on the 1963 Heisman Trophy winner, Roger Staubach, but it was removed from circulation because President John Kennedy was assassinated November 22.  Interestingly enough, there were two (2) versions (with and without a sidebar) and a few issues made it into circulation before it was withdrawn in favor of the eventual cover commemorating President Kennedy.  Here are the photos of the aforementioned covers.  Yours truly has a copy of the one featuring the President, but am wondering if anyone in our audience has actually seen or owns either of the Staubach cover versions?
http://www.dtmagazine.com/life112963staub.jpg

http://www.dtmagazine.com/life112963stauba.gif

http://www.dtmagazine.com/life112963.jpg



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7/23/13


During the late summer / early fall of 1973, as our nation was preoccupied with the Watergate scandal, the hangover effect of the Vietnam War, the ending of the Apollo moon missions and war in the Middle East, everyone's spirits were lifted by the "Amaysing" New York Mets and their veteran on-field leader, Willie Mays, in his final season of a career that spanned the 1950s, 60s and early 70s.   In this program we look fondly back at a team known as the champion of underdogs and the farewell performance of the "Say Hey Kid" in the World Series.


6/13/13
This year marks the 55th anniversary of the first commercial delivery of the Boeing 707, a pioneering aircraft that helped launch the jet age and forever changed global travel!  I have just co-authored a finance paper on the behind the scenes story on how Boeing literally bet the company to design-and-build the 707.  To put this in context, Boeing's capital investment on this program was 25% larger than the total net worth of the entire company!  


To commemorate this anniversary we will examine how the Boeing 707 had a life-changing effect on everything from pop culture (including TV, film and books), personal life style, business, travel and leisure, plus each of us on the Galaxy Nostalgia Network will share what it was like to experience jet aircraft travel for the first time.  If anyone would like an advance copy of this landmark case study, please send your request directly to me at: Haloulakos@gmail.com

3/6/13

George Haloulakos' Latest Show Prep Notes



FAVORITE SECOND BANANAS / SIDEKICKS ON TV
Common characteristics:
1) Cast in supporting or co-star role, but becoming more popular than the lead actor due to combination of style, action-sequences, aura of mystery and being more "relatable" to fans.
2) Very popular with female audiences.
3) Bringing honesty and realism to their portrayals.

Barney Fife (Don Knotts) on “The Andy Griffith Show” – Deputy to leading man Andy Griffith on the “Andy Griffith Show” from 1960-65; 5-time Emmy award winner (Best Supporting Actor over same period); periodic guest appearances thereafter including an episode (international summit in Mayberry, NC) among highest rated ever. Ostensibly he was Andy’s cousin (noted in Season 1), loveable bumbler whose facial expressions (whether attempting to recite the Preamble to the US Constitution or writing tickets for traffic & related violations) literally stole the scenes from his co-stars. Returned for TV reunion movie in 1986 in which he married his former girlfriend Thelma Lou (played by Betty Lynn) who was featured regularly in the series from 1960-65.

Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood) on “Rawhide” – Ramrod to leading man (Trail Boss) Eric Fleming (who played Mr. Favor) in “Rawhide” from 1959-66; set in post Civil War USA in 1860s; young and impetuous, he was initially kept under tight rein by Mr. Favor but over time was given enormous and growing responsibilities (eventually becoming Trail Boss in the series’ final season). Very popular with female audience members, Rowdy was involved with various ladies throughout the series (1965 episode with Julie Harris was among the most memorable) and periodically had to take over as Trail Boss or was able to lead his own herd for a couple of special episodes, and then resumed his second-in-command role.

Major Don West (Mark Goddard) on “Lost In Space” -- There were two pilots shot for the Lost In Space series that ran from 1965-68. The original 1964 pilot (“No Place to Hide” and covered in an earlier GMNS episode with yours truly appearing on the show first time as a guest) was much different from the pilot that aired and the episodes that followed in the actual series. In the original, the Don West character was a scientist (astronomer) who had rocked the scientific community with his theory on other planets’ suitability for human colonization. There was a blossoming romance between Don West and Judy (played by Marta Kristen), the eldest daughter of the Robinson family, but his feelings were usually implied rather than openly expressed. The Major West character often held many episodes together by virtue of his fiery personality and questioning what was going on around him. Author James Van Hise (The 25th Anniversary of Lost In Space) noted that Goddard brought special honesty to his role because he always seemed to be a real person! The leading man was Prof. John Robinson, played by Guy Williams (TV’s“Zorro) who headed up the space expedition, but it was Goddard who fans wanted to see more of (esp. the romantic pairing with co-star Marta Kristen). When the movie version was released in 1998 (with Goddard in a cameo role as the General) the Major West character was at the center of action throughout the film (in all the critical sequences or junctures) and the romance with daughter Judy developed more fully!

Mister Spock (Leonard Nimoy) on “Star Trek” – Science Officer and Second in Command to Captain Kirk (William Shatner) from 1966-69. In the original pilot (“The Cage” featuring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike) Spock was science officer but junior grade, third in line of command and more animated (emotional) versus later portrayal as more stoic, but often punctuated with acerbic if not dry humor. His mixed lineage (half-human / half-Vulcan) and his remoteness made him very attractive with young audiences, especially females who found the mystery most attractive. Spock’s character was viewed as being equally important, and on occasion, even more important than the Captain Kirk (Shatner) presence, but this was cyclical during the TV series and the later big-screen films from 1979-1991 where they were featured together and took turns in directing some of those films.

Arthur Fonzarelli – aka Fonzie (Henry Winkler) on “Happy Days” –Motorcyclist, hot-rod driver, one-time gang leader, friend of lead character Richie Cunningham (Ronnie Howard) from 1974-84; a secondary player that eventually dwarfed his co-stars. At outset of the series, he was a high-school drop-out and was gainfully employed as an auto mechanic. He later earned his high school diploma via night school, and then later became a full-time teacher in his field (auto mechanics) at the local high school. He had a great deal of integrity – a chivalrous ladies’ man, showing loyalty to his friends, defending the underdog, and while teaching his friend Richie (Ronnie Howard) about the ways of the world he learned from Richie about what it meant to be part of a tight-knit family. (e.g., The Christmas episode when Fonzie was invited to a family celebration so that he would not be alone.)


GREAT COUPLES ON THE CLASSIC FILM SCREEN
The Tom Hanks / Meg Ryan films of the 1990s (“Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail”) hearken back to a day when couples dazzled audiences on the big screen. The on-screen chemistry between the Hanks/Ryan characters is a rarity these days, but it was not always so. For this reason we look back at some of the most memorable big-screen pairings. In no particular order, here is a personal selection:
1) Humphrey Bogart / Lauren Bacall – 4 “four-star”films [“To Have and Have Not,” “Key Largo,” The Big Sleep” and “Dark Passage.”
2) Rock Hudson / Doris Day – Awesome trilogy pairing Hollywood’s hunkiest leading man with the girl-next-door. “Pillow Talk,” “Lover Come Back” and “Send Me No Flowers” were filmed and released during 1959-64.
3) William Powell / Myrna Loy – “The Thin Man” series – 6 films starring a husband/wife detective duo solving crimes on the east and west coast; comedy of manners; crisp dialogue with perfect timing.
4) Spencer Tracy / Katherine Hepburn – 9 films together with “Pat and Mike,” “Desk Set,” “Adam’s Rib” and “Guess Who’s Coming to the Dinner” as fan favorites addressing male/female relationships in both serious and often humorous style.
5) Alan Ladd / Veronica Lake – Film noir era couple appeared together 5 times notable in “The Glass Key,” “The Blue Dahlia,” “This Gun For Hire” and “Saigon.” Lake had the famous peek-a-boo hair style and stood at 4’11’’ while Ladd stood at 5’5’’. Great pairing!
6) Johnny Weismuller / Maureen O’Sullivan – The definitive “Tarzan and Jane” couple in 6 films (1932-42). My favorite – “Tarzan’s New York Adventure (1942).”
7) Fred Astaire / Ginger Rogers – Ten (10) films in which they were a dancing duo. “Top Hat” and “Swing Time” among most memorable. Katherine Hepburn observed that he (Astaire) gave her (Rogers) class, and she gave him sex appeal.
8) Richard Burton / Elizabeth Taylor –Appeared in eleven (11) films together with “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (most critically acclaimed) and the epic “Cleopatra” (the one that brought them together) as most memorable.
9) Errol Flynn / Olivia de Haviland – Nine (9) films with “Robin Hood” (the definitive Robin Hood – Maid Marian couple) and“Captain Blood” as fan-favorite swashbuckler films. The studios did not create films to promote them as a pair, but their on-screen chemistry is undeniable. In four of films, they live happily ever after, and in three, Flynn’s character dies in three others.
10)Glenn Ford / Rita Hayworth– five films together; best known film is “Gilda.”
Other notable couples:
John Gilbert and Greta Garbo: five films together; most remembered“Flesh and the Devil.”
Clark Gable and Jean Harlow: six films together; most remembered“Red Dust.”
William Holden and Audrey Hepburn: only two movies together but the sizzled in “Sabrina”
James Stewart and Jean Arthur: Two films together --”Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “You Can't Take it With You.” Good chemistry!
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward: “Long Hot Summer,” “Paris Blues” and “Winning” are the memorable films done together. Newman also directed Woodward in “Rachel Rachel.”
Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald – Best remembered singing duo (operatic style). Eight (8) films with “Rose Marie” best remembered and oft spoofed. (e.g., Dudley Do-Right cartoon in early 1960s).
Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland – Nine (9) films, notably as teenagers in “backyard musicals”plus the “Andy Hardy” series with Garland as the girl-next-door.


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10/18/12

Hi Baseball Fans and members of the Galaxy Nostalgia Network Family! If you would like to make a return trip to an era of baseball's storied past, then please read my brief history of the split finger fastball through the prism of the careers of multiple pitchers who used this to lead their teams deep into the postseason. Since we are in the midst of play-off baseball, this is in keeping with the season! Here is the web link:http://baseballpastandpresent.com/2012/10/15/history-split-finger-fastball/

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10/12/12

Christy ("Chris") Lembesis, a special friend and extended member of the Galaxy Nostalgia Network family, passed away on September 6, 2012. Chris was born August 14, 1944 and his life's journey was a reflection of the depth and breadth of the baby-boomer generation. He was a decorated member of the US Army, design engineer for the aerospace industry, distinguished old-time radio historian, professional sound restoration engineer, hobbyist, published author and collector. Of particular interest to the GMNS audience, at one time Chris owned the entire collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs books (first edition) including the Tarzan and John Carter series. His lifetime work with old-time radio (including restoration and curator-related tasks as well as teaching in the Orange County, CA community college system) enabled him to build a collection that eventually exceeded 10,000 shows and co-author books on two popular programs: Quiet Please and Dragnet. In a future broadcast, we will share personal memories of this unique person, who was a longtime friend to Gilbert Smith and Godbrother to George Haloulakos.

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8/31/12

Hello Baseball Fans and members of the Galaxy Nostalgia Network family!

Baby boomers will note that when the Bronx was burning in the late 1970s as the New York Yankees re-emerged as baseball's best team, the resurgence of the legendary franchise was led by pitching ace Ron Guidry.   For an up-close look at this Yankee great, please read my new article "Another Look at Ron Guidry's Hall of Fame Case."  Here is the web link:
http://baseballpastandpresent.com/2012/08/29/ron-guidrys-hall-fame-case/


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4/12/12

George's Notes on our most recent shows:

Titanic - 100th anniversary of its tragic maiden voyage> Literary Perspective: The definitive book is "A Night to Remember" written by Walter Lord in 1955 as it is based on interviews with actual survivors.
> Cinematic Perspective: The 1958 docudrama "A Night to Remember" is the gold standard -- clear, concise and faithful to the book upon which it is based. Look for future TV/film stars Honor Blackman, David McCallum and Sean Connery. No fictional drama, just the facts based on real life personal accounts.


> Astronomical Perspective: The convergence of three astronomical events on 1/4/1912 greatly strengthened the tidal force on Earth's oceans (explained below). Notably, the extreme Lunar perigee on 1/4/1912 was the Moon's closest approach to the center of the Earth during a period of more than 1,400 years!! Extreme tides + excess icebergs = Tragedy. Here is what happened:






  • Tidal convergence of 3 astronomical effects on 1/4/1912 enhanced the strength of the tidal force on Earth's oceans - The Moon was on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, thus making it a full Moon (creating a spring tide). The Moon was at its closest point to Earth (perigee) which strengthened its gravitational pull on the Earth. Earth was near its closest point to the Sun (perihelion) in its yearly orbit, which increased the Sun's gravitational influence. Increased tidal forces on 1/4/1912 coupled with close perigees (12/6/1911 and 2/2/1912) may have re-floated the iceberg that eventually drifted south right into the path of the Titanic on that night to remember 4/14/1912.
  • Moonless night on 4/14/1912 - At night, lookouts typically watch for waves breaking around the exposed portion of an iceberg, with the white surf making a berg easier to spot. But there was no Moon. Therefore, had there been moonlight, it might have made whatever foam there was a little easier to see. By the time the lookout shouted "Iceberg, right ahead!" it was too late....
  • Excess icebergs - long cyclical weather patterns resulted in a higher than average number of icebergs being created that particular period 1911/1912.

The super marionette programs -- Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlett and Thunderbirds -- (all developed by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson) shared common characteristics:
1) High-tech orientation;
2) Cast of central characters ("our heroes") that are highly educated with great technical skills, brave, strong and ethical;
3) All had rousing theme songs -- "Fireball XL5" was the best known, but "Aqua Marina" for Stingray was popular as well;
4) Zany pets -- Mitch the monkey in Supercar and Zooney the space monkey in Fireball XL5 and Oink the pup seal in Stingray;
5) Exotic women -- Venus in Fireball XL5, Marina the mermaid in Stingray, Penelope in Thunderbirds
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1972 sports and looking back 40 years later (still the best of the best)
World Chess Championship between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. The match of the century made the game popular worldwide. Spassky was noted for sportsmanship while Fischer was noted for gamesmanship. Both remained lifelong friends until Fischer's passing in 2008.
Los Angeles Lakers - 33 consecutive wins and their 1st NBA world championship in LA was the beginning of the "Showtime Lakers" which remains present today.Miami Dolphins did the unthinkable. They won all 17 games (14 regular season, 2-playoff games and the Super Bowl). 


 This record remains unmatched.The "Swinging" Oakland A's were the first team to sweep the World Series (3 in a row from 1972 - 73 - 74) since the NY Yankees of 1949-53. These A's defeated the most well-known and some of the very best teams of the era in winning 3 straight World Series -- the Big Red Machine in '72 and the Miracle Mets in '73 both lost in 7-games to the mustache crew from Oakland. Then in '74, the Babes of Summer Dodgers went down in 5-games. Baseball has rarely seen a better "team" than those Oakland A's.Collegiate sports had its most famous dynasties peaking in 1972 -- on the basketball court the UCLA Bruins were in the midst of winning 10 out of 12 NCAA Championships during the 1964-75 period; on the gridiron the Southern California Trojans had one of the greatest football teams ever with a team that averaged 39 points a game and never trailed in the second half of any game; on the baseball diamond the Southern California Trojans were in the midst of winning 5- consecutive NCAA championships (1970-74).

Triumph and Tragedy at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany -- Mark Spitz won 7-gold medals, but this triumph was tempered by the death of 11 Israeli athletes in a terrorist raid on the Olympic Village in which ABC Wide World of Sports reporter Jim McKay sadly and poignantly noted when he said on the airwaves "They're gone."
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2/10/12

Baby boomer football fans will remember Greg Cook as a wonderful player whose career was all-too short but whose meteoric rookie year left an indelible mark in the annals of the gridiron.  


Greg Cook (born November 20, 1946) an American collegiate and professional football quarterback passed away on January 26, 2012 from pneumonia.  


Cook was the American Football League (AFL) Rookie of the Year in 1969 following a stellar collegiate career at the University of Cincinnati where set 15 school records and had a share of two others. In his senior year as a collegian Cook led the nation in total offense with 3,210 yards was 2nd in passing.  


His signature collegiate game was setting an NCAA record 554 yards passing against Ohio University in 1968.  His professional career essentially lasted one season in which he led the AFL in passing in 1969 and set two rookie records that still stand: 9.411 yards per passing attempt and 17.5 yards per completion.  





He permanently retired from professional football in 1973 after three operations proved ineffective in resolving his injury.  





He led the Cincinnati Bengals in their 2nd year of existence to upset victories over the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, the two leading AFL teams during that season.  A torn rotator cuff and limited medical technology at that time ended Cook's playing career in the midst of his record-setting rookie year.  


Cook, who majored in art while in college, continued to paint and eventually had his works on display in the Ohio Governor's Mansion.  Following his playing career he also worked for United Parcel Service and as a motivational speaker with Worksite Information Network. 
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1/12/12

Remember those exciting times in the 1960s when Dodger Stadium was packed with fans rocking with exhortations of "Go...Go...Go" that were the antithesis of today's stereotyped, laid back Southern California fan?  Relive those days by reading my latest baseball article on former Dodger great Maury Wills and how his base stealing helped make LA a baseball mini-dynasty.




With 2012 marking the 50th anniversary of Maury Wills' record-setting National League MVP season, readers will learn about:


How he overturned baseball's "power" structure by re-introducing the stolen base and switch hitting as in important weapon in the Dodgers' offensive-arsenal during his 6-year consecutive reign as the NL Stolen Base king;


The story behind the story regarding his use of hypnosis to help him cope with the physical and psychological pressures of holding an athletic championship;


Behind the scenes of his exile from the Dodgers following the 1966 World Series and how his triumphant return not only helped restore the Dodgers as perennial pennant contenders, but provided the transition from the ALL switch-hitting infield of Parker-Lefebvre-Wills-Gilliam (a major league first) in the 1960s to the record setting (in terms of longevity) infield of Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey in the 1970s;


A play-by-play account of Wills' final act of playing field glory as Dodger team captain;


This was a fun article to write, and like my articles on Drysdale, Koufax and Maglie (all featured on the same web site, Baseball: Past and Present) provides an informative, insightful look at an era through the prism of a noteworthy player's career.
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12/22/11
Here is George's preview notes and summary of the Christmas Show we recently aired on our podcast:



1) During the mid-to-late 60s and in the very early 70s, on Christmas Eve, the 1961 film "King of Kings" starring Jeffrey Hunter was always shown in Los Angeles on the local TV station.  Now, this very same movie, can only be seen on Cable TV - specifically TCM (and not local TV), and not at Christmas, but Easter!  This film, in contrast to other films in the same genre, was particularly uplifting and deemed more suitable for Christmas - in which we celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


2) Similarly, "It's A Wonderful Life" could only be seen on the Late, Late Show (again on local TV in Los Angeles) and usually on Christmas Eve.  Since the film revolves around events that occurred and culminate that same day, it was also deemed as timely and  uplifting in its message.


3) The Christmas specials of the 50s and 60s were "family" affairs.  All of these programs strongly emphasized that the basis for these celebratory family gatherings that included such activities as -- attending church services, singing Christmas Carols, showing acts of charity, mercy, kindness and goodness to others, drinking Christmas Wassail (and Wassailing around neighborhoods), visitation to to the sick and shut-ins -- are all centered about celebrating the birth of Christ, as He is the role model for such conduct!  


This also included the head of the household, or someone designated by the head of the household (usually a father figure) to read the Gospel according to Luke (just like Linus did in "Charlie Brown Christmas").  Programs like Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman were meant to be fun accompaniments and NOT replacements for shows that depicted the religious aspect of Christmas.


4) In a Christian tradition, the family is regarded as the "domestic church" with Christ as the head of the family.  And so families gather at the Nativity to honor his birth by being united in love and faith.  This is what these Christmas specials represented.  One could sit and watch (while enjoying holiday cookies or popcorn or hot chocolate) and experience a "virtual" family Christmas in a near idyllic setting.  


Lots of programs like "Father Knows Best," "Ozzie and Harriet," "Donna Reed" and the like always had a Christmas episode that emphasized the aforementioned themes.  The Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Andy Williams specials provided the same, and much more because of their musical and singing skills.  The Christmas skits that were integrated into these shows served to offer an object lesson on the true meaning of Christmas -- the birth of Jesus Christ -- in the manner that the aforementioned family TV shows illustrated with their own episodes tied to the holiday season.


5) Secular holiday programs began to take hold as the programs and family specials gradually exited from scheduled programming, and there was no clear line of succession.  The secular programs placed emphasis on human relationships (reuniting estranged family members, rediscovering a lost love or finding a new one, and so forth) that ostensibly reflected the "spirit" of Christmas, but not necessarily the reason why it is celebrated.  


As such, this gave way to replacing religious movies like "King of Kings" with films like "The Sound of Music" that addressed positive values, but only fleetingly referencing the reason for the season.  Similarly, when Turner Broadcasting emerged nationally, a whole generation discovered "It's A Wonderful Life" with its endless cycle of daily reruns for the entire month of December until people eventually got weary of it.  This is when other "made for TV programs" came into being that continued to water down the Christmas theme, making it more about human relationships rather than how human beings relate to each other in the Lord.  This included remakes or modifications of such classics as "Little Drummer Boy" that had the same effect in which we are told it is the season for mercy and grace, but with the omission of the reason for the season.  Remakes of Dicken's "Christmas Carol" essentially recast Scrooge into different characters young and old, male and female, and while emphasizing the values perspective, it did so without reference to the Judaic Christian values upon which such stories / programs were based.


And this sums it up: programming evolved from forming the direct connection between why Christmas is the season for mercy and grace -- the Nativity of Jesus Christ, who Himself is the embodiment of those virtues -- and instead into emphasis on positive human behavior but without reference to the religious basis for why we do so.
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11/21/11

Hello Baseball fans --
My new article on the legendary pitcher Sal Maglie (aka "The Barber") has just been published.
 Click Here:


George

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11/17/11
Hello everyone!  My name is George Haloulakos and I am very excited about this opportunity to participate and contribute to the Galaxy Moonbeam Night Site and Galaxy Nostalgia Network.  


Gilbert Smith and Mike Bragg have created a wonderful program that informs and educates the public about the best of the past so that we can look to the future with inspiration by passing that heritage to other generations.  




I was recently honored to be a featured guest on podcast #69 "Man, Moon, Media and Myth" in which we discussed the technology of space flight in two classic sci-fi productions: the 1964 unaired pilot of "Lost in Space" titled "No Place to Hide" and the 1968 motion picture "Planet of the Apes."  This program was based on a paper I co-authored with my father on the subject of the Science of Space Flight in Classic Sci-Fi Cinema.


Yours truly is a Renaissance Man in that I have a wide variety of interests including, but not limited to, sports (baseball is my favorite); classic films, television and old time radio; collectibles (especially books and trading cards); aviation; and history (most notably biographies).  


In upcoming columns and programs, these and other related topics will be examined through the prism of human interest.  Specific examples of coming features will be a look back at when Major League Baseball arrived on the West Coast as seen through the careers of the Dodgers dynamic pitching duo of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax and united everyone in Southern California into one huge community of baseball fans following the games on their portable transistor radios.  


We will also take a trip down memory lane with a tribute to "the stars beyond" as we visit the grave sites of movie stars and other celebrities.  For those who remember the classic adventure / fantasy films that preceded the "Indiana Jones" genre, we will take an up-close, behind-the-scenes look at such timeless films as "Lost Horizon," "King Solomon's Mines" and "Valley of the Kings."  



This is just a sample of upcoming featured articles and/or programs that I look forward to sharing as well getting to know you, the wonderful audience.  Please contact me anytime at: Haloulakos@gmail.com
http://baseballpastandpresent.com/2012/01/11/maury-wills-revolutionized-game/Click Here for Article

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