Sunday, September 17, 2023

My Mom, the Typist

By Margaret Sizemore Clark

     During World War II while my father was overseas, my mother worked at the War Department in Washington D.C. as a typist.  When the war was over my father returned, and by late 1947 my parents had two children and were living in Indianapolis, where he worked for the Navy as an electrical engineer.

  In 1950 my father accepted a job at the Naval Ordinance Test Station at China Lake, CA.  China Lake is about 150 miles north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert, and if it sounds odd to have a Navy base in the desert, it was. The base was started in the 40’s and was very isolated, with limited housing, few amenities, and there was no lake!!  But China Lake was a major player in the development of weapons for defense, and at that time the Cold War was foremost on the minds of our country’s leaders. In the early days of the 60’s Russia had success with a man-made satellite, Sputnik.  There was also a very real threat from the island country of Cuba, who was backed by Russia, of launching nuclear missiles aimed at the not-too-distant United States. The scientists at China Lake were working hand-in-hand with the Navy to create the weapons and ordinance (bombs and missiles) needed to prepare the United States for any such attacks.  They were also developing much of the hardware needed for the space race, and time was of the essence.


It was difficult, to say the least, to convince young scientists to uproot themselves and their families and relocate to this unheard-of place.  Many of these men had gone to school on the GI Bill and were in the process of getting post graduate degrees in their given fields.  Online degree programs were not an option in the 60’s, so it took a lot of courage and risk to commit to a position at China Lake and the work being done there.  It was also a golden opportunity!  Where else could one work and learn under the tutelage of recognized scientists, be part of cutting-edge technology, and have the ability to witness first-hand the results of the work and hypotheses that were being tested?  It was an opportunity many of these young men couldn’t pass up, but they would also need to work on their theses and most of them were not typists, much less statistical typists that could include formulas, mathematical equations, and scientific symbols in their papers.

I don’t how the word got out that my mother had been a typist, but it did and somehow it was negotiated with the Navy that my mother would go to work as a statistical typist, but work from home. Unheard of at that time.

 One day a grey Navy truck delivered a desk to our home, along with a Dictaphone and a brand-new IBM electric typewriter.  It had several metal balls covered with letters, symbols, and numbers that could be inserted into and out of the typewriter.  She set up the desk, typewriter, and the other equipment in a corner of the living room.  She may have been able to get some of the work done during the day, but what I remember is after getting the five of us kids tucked into bed (and hopefully sound asleep), she would plug the Dictaphone into her ear and begin her typing.  She would type the pages and then send them to the author via a courier on the base.  The author would edit them, and get them back to Mom to be revised and retyped. As a result of this close association, she became friends with many of the doctoral candidates. My older sister even babysat for a few of them!

Mom performed this job for a number of years but eventually went to work full time in the Research Department and then the Technical Information Department on the base. When she retired in the 70’s she was given a send-off that included a party attended by numerous colleagues, a plaque that honored her contribution to the base, and the grateful thanks of those former PhD candidates that found a statistical typist in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

Margaret Sizemore Clark, the newest member of the Galaxy family! Margaret joins us on this show to share details of her life growing up on a military base in the 1950s and 60s. Her recollections of that life, the fun activities of that era, family trips, growing up with her siblings, and many more memories she will share with us. Margaret joins us as a guest on our programs, and also will add to our web page.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

We Welcome Gil Tisnado:

Galaxy Nostalgia Network is pleased to welcome Gil Tisnado as a regular contributor to our blog posts.  Gil's wonderful stories of his life, from his childhood to his adult years have charmed readers who regularly see his stories on Facebook.  His ability to engage readers within his stories makes you feel you were right there with him.  As a fellow baby boomer, we can relate to many of the nostalgic anecdotes he shares with us. Here, Gil introduces himself, and tells us how he began writing about his life. He follows with the first of his stories, "A Movie Kind of Love".

I think I may have always been a writer, but just never realized it. When I was a boy, I swore that when I grew up, I would write a tell-all book about all the things I witnessed in our home and couldn’t reveal. “Don’t tell the family business” was our daily affirmation. My book would become a mega-best seller, just like Peyton Place. But somehow that idea got pushed aside about the same time I started appearing in “Tiny Town Ranch” a weekly live TV children’s variety show in San Diego for three years. However, at thirteen, I was a show biz has-been.

At fourteen, I fell in love with my high school sweetheart who would later become my wife. Suddenly I was a husband and teenage dad at seventeen. Miraculously, we’re still married fifty-seven years later. Unlike me, my wife kept the hundreds of letters I wrote to her in high school, which is a pretty thorough documentation of my teenage years. In my twenties, thirties, and forties, I kept extensive journals, not because I was a writer, but because I found it was a good way to help me figure out all this growing up business. 


For twenty years I was a graphic designer/art director, culminating in having my own design firm. Through volunteering with a non-profit organization working with homeless and at-risk children, I was inspired to change careers in midlife and became an elementary school teacher. When I retired from teaching in 2012 at age sixty-two, I began taking a memoir writing class. Suddenly I found my new passion: writing. Since that time, I’ve written about 300 vignettes and short stories. I like to say that they are 300 stories in search of a book. 


I love writing about my childhood, especially growing up in San Diego. Incidentally, I’m long past the need to write that Peyton Place type revenge book; I think age and therapy has gotten me past that need. Instead, I like to focus on the best and golden nostalgic times of my baby boomer youth. I was honored when asked to become a contributor on Galaxy Moonbeam Night Site, and I’m very much looking forward to sharing my stories with you.

“A Movie Kind of Love” (Part One)

My dad left when I was ten. Being surrounded with two sisters and my mom, I knew the world through the lens of very strong womanhood. For a short time, I was the “man of the house” which meant I had to do all the crappy work. (Yeah, literally the crappy work of cleaning up the enormous piles of poop from our large Lassie-lookalike Collie dog.) Plus, if there was a strange noise outside, I was expected to go outside and check it out. Being the youngest, smallest member of the family, this made absolutely no sense to me; however, I pumped up my scrawny chest and bravely went on reconnaissance for monsters stalking outside my sisters’ windows. However, I was smart enough to always take my large, intimidating dog with me.

Things would change when Bill entered our lives—first as my mom’s boyfriend, and then as her husband. I welcomed him as my stepfather. Compared to my dad, he was a breath of fresh air. There was no doubt in my mind, why my mom would fall in love with him and prefer him to my dad. My dad was kind of a stick-in-the mud, who rarely smiled or laughed. He was usually pretty cranky and a strict disciplinarian. As an adult, I understand him better. Money was tight, and he often worked two jobs. Since English was not his first language, I think he had a hard time with me being such a precocious, fast-talking kid. Strange as it may sound, I think my dad was frustrated because he couldn’t verbally keep up with me, then out of his frustration, he used his adult power to simply shut me down.

Unlike my dad, Bill was very sophisticated. He had been an officer in the Navy, and had lived in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. Bill had traveled all over the world, and had dated singer, Patti Page. While my dad was an airplane mechanic, Bill flew fighter jets. He was a bon vivant who shared great stories. But here’s the biggest difference between my dad and Bill: My dad was so concerned about me “talking back” that there wasn’t a lot of conversation between us. Bill, on the other hand, welcomed my stories. Relished them, encouraged them, and laughed whole-heartedly at my boyish adventures. Since he treated me like an adult, I always tried to rise to his level of maturity and sophistication. Bill seemed to always enjoy my company in such a relaxed way. It was such an important lesson for me to see that adults could treat children as equals. Suddenly, I had a positive image of manhood.

Before my dad left, I could always sense the tension between my mom and dad, just by observing them from the middle of the backseat of our car. Plus I can’t recall ever witnessing any signs of affection in their relationship. When Bill came into our lives, my mom suddenly blossomed. It was the simple things I noticed, like her putting her hand on the nape of his neck while he drove. And suddenly there was laughter—lots of laughter—something that was rarely heard from the adults in our house before. And of course, there was the dancing . . .

Being a very urbane and cosmopolitan guy, Bill decided to teach my mom how to dance. Besides how could he take her dancing to the Admiral Kidd Officer’s Club in Point Loma if she didn’t know how to dance?

Mom, Bill, and I would move the heavy, maple coffee table and roll up the braided area rug to transform our living room into their own personal mini-ballroom. I would be the DJ in the corner taking their song requests. Their favorite dance song was “Everyone is Somebody’s Fool” by Connie Francis. My job was to pick up the arm of the Webcor record player and replay that song from my Connie Francis album over and over. I loved watching their bodies move in perfect harmony and rhythm. But more than anything, it was a thing of beauty to see my mom so damn happy. It didn’t take a genius —or an adult—to see that these two people were passionately in love.

As a young boy curled up in the corner with my arms around my knees, I would watch Mom and Bill dance for hours. Outside of the movies, this was the first time I had observed what romantic love looked like in real life. Bill was not only affectionate towards my mom, but also warm and affectionate towards me. I guess we were both starved for affection.

Besides being charming, Bill was a handsome man. He had classic All-American good looks. When he first moved into our house, my neighborhood friends would say, “Your stepdad looks just like John Wayne.” Yeah, he kind of did. Unfortunately, like many a Marlborough Man, Bill would get throat cancer. Too much booze and endless chain-smoking would contribute to his demise. However, to the very end, he remained upbeat and positive about the future, never losing his sense of humor and his ability to hit one-liners out of the ballpark!

Bill would be the first person I ever saw suffering through the ravages of cancer. It was a long, brutal battle. Even in his last days at the San Diego V.A. Hospital, he never gave up the hope of going home and returning to life with my mom, whom he always said, “Was better looking than Marilyn Monroe.”

I was twenty and Bill was fifty-one when he died in 1970. It was a strange dichotomy to feel so young and seeing my life ahead of me, while his life had ended. I loved him and missed him, but I never realized his huge influence on my life until many years later. Of course, my favorite memory will always be of Mom and Bill dancing together in the living room of our Rolando Park home. With me sitting in the corner, thoroughly enthralled, thinking that perhaps true love really could exist . . . just like in the movies.

Friday, September 1, 2023


- The Rise & Fall of General Electric -
By Rev Protodeacon George A. Haloulakos

Few companies in history have exemplified excellence at a consistently (and often spectacularly) high level in manufacturing, marketing, innovation and ingenuity than the General Electric Company (GE).  GE is a company that is woven into the tapestry of American history because of its development and mass production of inventions such as the light bulb and jet engines that have become commonplace if not taken for granted.  Its inextricable connection with the American lifestyle was expressed in the longtime Disneyland attraction "The Carousel of Progress" (sponsored by GE) which chronicled the advancements throughout the 20th century that GE was able to bring to everyday life at attractive price/value points thereby creating mass markets for consumer & industrial products on a global scale.  Moreover, its operational excellence translated into financial results that made the GE stock one of the very best performing investments for both individual and institutional investors over the same period.  This became firmly ingrained into American consciousness in the 1950s as Bing Crosby would regularly read excerpts to his listening audience from GE's latest financial reports on his nationwide radio show during commercial breaks.  Mr. Crosby extolled the virtues of GE both for its excellent products and its investment merits in a manner that made it understandable to people from all walks of life.  Concurrently, the corporate spokesperson for GE during the 1950s and 1960s -- who travelled the nation to all of General Electric's facilities and was a fellow actor to Mr. Crosby -- was a future US President in training!  Any idea of who I am referring to?

With the passage of time, GE became the most admired and valuable publicly traded company -- creating a reputation for leadership and financial success that helped shape business education and management practices worldwide.  In sum, GE was the ultimate business conglomerate.  Yet as of this writing, GE is currently in the process of splitting up into three separate companies -- focusing on aviation, healthcare and energy.  This three way split comes on the heels of a major downward spiral whose origin can be traced to when GE was at the height of its prestige and influence in pioneering the doctrine of shareholder value.  William Cohan, a renowned financial journalist has written a most insightful and important book titled Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon in which he deconstructs the 130-year of the company whose slogan was "to bring good things to life."  As every American household in one way or another featured or incorporated GE products, such a claim was not so far-fetched.  Yet Mr. Cohan demonstrates that the root cause of failure can often be traced to the very qualities and characteristics that created a foundation of success.  Blind spots, hubris and avoidable mistakes are a treacherous, deadly combination for one and all.

There is a voluminous amount of content in Power Failure that makes it a compelling read for both a general audience as well as those versed in various disciplines of business administration.  To paraphrase what I learned a long time ago from my father, the greatest or most successful companies as well as individual people, can succumb to the overconfident counterfeiter syndrome -- in which the person or persons in charge think so highly of themselves that they place their own likeness on the One Dollar Bill instead of the likeness of George Washington!  Mr. Cohan's Power Failure is a well written cautionary tale on the perils of unbridled ambition and the importance of integrity.  Check it out!

Friday, August 25, 2023

We Welcome Margaret Sizemore Clark:

Thanks for checking out my blog post! 

I was born in Ridgecrest, CA in 1954, and am the middle of six children.  My parents worked for the Navy as civil servants, having arrived at China Lake in 1950, and all six of us graduated from the same high school.

   I attended grade school on the base until second grade when we moved out to the town of Ridgecrest.  I went to junior high and high school there, graduating in 1972, then went to West Hills Junior College in Coalinga, CA where I met my future husband.  After receiving my AA degree, I transferred to Cal State Bakersfield for a year, then transferred again to Cal State University, Fresno where I earned a BA in History and a teaching credential.

   We had three children and after they were established in school, I went back to college in 1998 to earn my multiple subject credential. I taught Kindergarten, First, and Second grades for 16 years, then retired in 2014.  I became a substitute teacher and when my husband retired, we moved to Washington State where we enjoy traveling and spending time with two of our five grandchildren.

Writing…and Receiving a Letter

Something that has sadly gone by the wayside with the advent of electronic mail and the cell phone is the hand-written, newsy letter. It might have been that letter from home that would catch one up with all the happenings.  Or it may be a letter from that one far away who is filling you in on all the events and happenings in their part of the world.

   Was there a pen pal in your past?  I can remember having a pen pal who lived in Ireland.  I looked forward to her letters and the stamp on the envelope that didn’t look like the stamps we had here in the US.  What a thrill to go to the mailbox and find something addressed just to me!  

   After graduating high school, I went away to a junior college that was four hours from where my family lived.  I did not have the luxury of having a car like many of the other kids had, so being able to go home on a weekend was not an option.  And, like lots of other teenagers who leave home, homesickness was becoming a very real thing as the weeks passed without seeing my family. In those days long distance had a cost to it, the call had to be made during certain hours, and it had to be initiated from a payphone since cell phones were non-existent and even having your own rotary-dial phone in your dorm room was unheard of.  

   Now, I must come clean on the reason for starting to write letters: I had a boyfriend “back home”. Ah yes, the angst of being away from him was the real motivation for writing long, newsy letters.  And since I’m being forthright, there were some letters with mushy stuff but nothing torrid or gushy, like love letters were portrayed in the movies. My letters were short to begin with and included details about my new roommate in the dorm, the classes I was taking, new people I had met, and other general topics.  He in turn wrote about the people in our town, his job, his family, and his beloved car that he was working on.  As my letters became a little longer, I started embellishing them with little drawings and stickers which I added to the pages inside the envelope and to the outside as well.  This was when my addiction to paper began; If I had the means I should have invested in Hallmark because this was the beginning of a lifelong pattern that still hasn’t ended!  I started looking for cute stationery with pictures on the pages, or tablets that featured several different colored papers and had matching envelopes (that were sold separately.) I dropped into the local Hallmark store about once a week to see what was new, and I purchased so many stickers that I had to start keeping them together them in a box so that I wouldn’t forget what I had available to me. There were also the cute little enclosures that I could slip into the envelope along with my letter. The possibilities were endless!

   Like a lot of long-distance relationships, my boyfriend and I eventually stopped writing to each other, but that didn’t end my letter-writing!  I had made good friends at college so when the summer came and everyone went home, letters started going back and forth.  Every day I would watch for our mail lady to come down the dirt road, stop at our mailbox, then move on.  I would run to the mailbox (partly out of anticipation of a letter from a friend, but mostly because we lived in the desert and the sand was HOT on my feet.  Shoes were for school!)  The box was yanked open and the mail pulled out.  There was a quick return run to the house where the mail was gone through and I would scan it for familiar handwriting.  If I happened to receive a letter that day, I would savor its contents in the privacy of my bedroom and take in all the details coming from the writer.  Then I would get out my boxes of stationery and would immediately compose a response so that it could be mailed the next day.

   Many years later a special friend from college with whom I had kept in contact related to me how she had always looked forward to my letters and the envelopes in which they had arrived.  The part she remembered even more clearly were the pages inside that shared our lives after we left school.  The letters gave way to phone calls, and even those became fewer as we became “busy” with children and careers.  This year I lost that friend to cancer but I have several of her cards and letters she sent over the years, so I still have a part of her with me.  

   Today communication is so easy!  Pick up the phone and call any time of the day.  Send a text (with a picture to boot) whenever you feel like it.  Write an email and receive an immediate response…or not.  But there are still those times when I feel like writing a good, old-fashioned, hand-written letter complete with illustrations and stickers.  It’s like finding an old friend that’s just been waiting for me to take the time to sit down and let the words flow.

   Give letter-writing a try sometime!  It can be therapeutic and it reminds the recipient you were thinking of them in a special way.




Tuesday, August 1, 2023

 AUGUST 2023

- Around the World With Ivan Tors -
By Rev Protodeacon George A. Haloulakos

The dog days of August is an opportunity to take a trip to far away places in another time through the magic of the classic TV programs and films of Ivan Tors.  Today's television viewers are immediately able to identify and connect the names of well known producers, screenwriters and/or directors with a specific genre, especially since the 1980s.  Two such examples are Donald Bellisario ("Magnum P.I.," "Quantum Leap," "JAG" and "NCIS") and Dick Wolf (the "Law and Order" franchise).  However, long before Messrs Bellisario and Wolf became household names, viewers of both classic film and television flocked to theaters or gathered in their living rooms to watch the programs of Ivan Tors, who is inextricably connected with emphasizing non-violent but exciting science fiction, underwater adventures and stories involving animals.  A partial list of classic Ivan Tors TV shows reads like a roll of honor for fun family fare:  "Sea Hunt" (1958-1961) starring Lloyd Bridges, "Flipper" (1964-1967), "Gentle Ben" (1967-1969), "Cowboy in Africa" (1967-1968) featuring Chuck Connors and "Daktari" (1966-1969).

"Sea Hunt" helped popularize the sport of scuba diving while the animal themed "Flipper" (dolphins) and "Gentle Ben" (bears) helped raise awareness about the innate intelligence in the animal kingdom.  "Daktari" and "Cowboy in Africa" were both set in Africa while providing a fusion of exotic animals, adventure and the importance of preservation of rare species.  The popularity of these TV shows arose from their big screen success as Mr Tors would typically make a film first, and then develop a show from that film. This double-play combination of big screen films that translated into successful TV series proved to be a financial bonanza.  A partial list of these films makes the connection with their corresponding TV series self evident: "Flipper" (1963), "Flipper's New Adventure" (1964), "Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion" (1965), "Gentle Giant" (1967) and "Africa Texas Style" (1967).  The combined success on both the big and small screens helped create unforgettable animal characters -- Flipper the Dolphin, Ben the American Black Bear, Clarence the Lion and Judy the Chimpanzee -- that are indelibly framed in the memories of Baby Boomers who were avid movie goers while coming of age watching the classic TV shows of the 1960s. 

Mr Tors created programs that were popular with both adults and children.  Indeed, they were excellent shows that were watched by the entire family, especially during prime time.  Moreover, the big screen films were events that parents could enjoy with their children as there was just the right balance between serious but non-violent themes.  Since most of the stories involved animals, this made them all the more endearing.  Mr Tors not only had a keen sense of delivering high quality content that was entertaining for all ages, but he was a successful entrepreneur.  He developed a sustainable business model based on syndication of his different programs when there were limited spots on the major TV networks.  This has now become more commonplace, especially with the availability of streaming.  But to be able to reach mass market audiences worldwide without the major networks in the 1960s exemplifies true ingenuity.  The life of Ivan Tors (1916-1983) is a true American success story, and we would commend our Galaxy Nostalgia Network audience to learn more about this amazing person whose contributions span multiple generations.  Please share your thoughts about your favorite Ivan Tors film or TV show by posting to the GNN FACEBOOK page (and "liking" us when doing so) or write to us directly at:

Thursday, June 29, 2023

 JULY 2023

- A Galaxy Summer Under the Stars -
By Rev Protodeacon George A. Haloulakos

This month's blog entry is an opportunity for you, our wonderful Galaxy Nostalgia Network audience, to help write the script for "A Galaxy Summer Under the Stars."  Over the past 20 to 25 years, it has become a summer tradition in either private or public venues to binge watch classic films (in both outdoor and indoor venues) with either a unifying theme or dedicated to a particular film star.  What are some of your favorite films or motion picture stars who delivered memorable screen performances but perhaps with the passage of time are overlooked or underappreciated by mass market audiences?  Summertime is the season in which we can share and enjoy cinematic gems, so we invite you to please share your recommendations either by posting to the GNN FACEBOOK page (and "liking" us when doing so) or writing directly to us at:

To get us started, I will offer up a combination theme of unique Academy Award Winners while celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1973 in Film.  In last month's GNN Blog, we marked the 50th anniversary of Bruce Lee's unexpected passing that occurred just weeks before the summer release of his signature film "Enter the Dragon" (regarded as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time).  A Galaxy Summer Under the Stars would certainly be a fitting venue to binge watch various Bruce Lee martial arts films.  As a continuation of this celebration of great media stars, I would offer two unique 1973 films -- both featuring very special Academy Award winners in supporting roles -- that encompass the spectrum of the oldest and youngest winners by an actor and actress.
We begin on the "older" side of the spectrum by saluting John Houseman (1902-1988), who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Professor Charles Kingsfield in the 1973 film "The Paper Chase."  Houseman's portrayal of a Harvard Law School professor and his impact upon his students was so convincing, that he reprised the role in the TV variant of "The Paper Chase" that aired during 1978-1979 and 1983-1986.  His was a more intimidating and formidable version of what is often referred to as a "Mr Chips" teacher persona.  Houseman's award winning performance truly exemplified that a supporting actor is the pedestal upon which the lead actors are able to shine forth.  This is consistent with his earlier behind-the-scenes collaborative work with actor/director Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater, "Citizen Kane") and writer Raymond Chandler in "The Blue Dahlia."  At age 71, rather than retiring to a quiet life, Houseman literally became a legendary film and TV star front-and-center to new generations of fans after having made his reputation as a skillful behind the scenes professional.  Whether on screen or off, he provided the foundation for memorable film and TV performances for multiple generations.
Our Galaxy Summer Under the Stars would not be complete without a salute to Tatum O'Neal (born 1963), who in the same year (1973) at age 10 became the youngest person to win a competitive Academy Award for her portrayal of Addie Loggins, a child con artist in "Paper Moon" opposite her father, Ryan O'Neal.  Fifty years later, Tatum's memorable performance is differentiated by the dynamic of working with her real-life father in a film that was shot in Black & White to give it a vintage look.  The spontaneity of this pairing continues to resonate especially as it vividly reflects the Midwest during the Great Depression Era.  The real life tribulations later experienced by Ms O'Neal (e.g., divorce, narcotics addiction, arrest) make her Academy Award winning performance all the more poignant by providing a striking contrast between cinema and real life.

The 1973 John Houseman / Tatum O'Neal Academy Award winning duo spanning opposite ends of the age spectrum is a reminder of the magic of Hollywood.  It is this magic that is celebrated in Our Galaxy Summer Under the Stars.  What films, actors and actresses bring magic to your heart?  We look forward to receiving your special memories as we gather together with a box of popcorn to celebrate our favorite screen stars!

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

 JUNE 2023

- "Be Water, My Friend" -
By Rev Protodeacon George A. Haloulakos

Bruce Lee (1940-1973) was a transcendent martial artist and one of the most enduring pop icons from the 20th century.  As an actor, director and teacher, Lee's magnetic, graceful and lethal presence in film & television plus his philosophy helped to popularize martial arts worldwide during the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Half a century after his unexpected passing, Lee's influence continues to shine forth spanning across all demographics and cultures.  In honor of his pioneering work and continuing influence, Time magazine named Bruce Lee one of the most important people of the 20th century.

Most baby boomers were first introduced to Bruce Lee when he co-starred as Kato in ABC's The Green Hornet (with Van Williams in the title role) during its 1966-67 single season run.  It was during this time that Lee demonstrated the strength of character that enabled him to become a pioneer in film & television, as well as in martial arts.  Eschewing the show director's instructions to fight in American style with fists and punches, Lee insisted on fighting in the style of his expertise.  Lee was so fast that he had to slow down his movements so they could be captured on film for the viewing audience!

When The Green Hornet was cancelled after one season in 1967, Lee found himself out of work.  So he focused on creating, developing and refining his Jeet Kune Do martial arts style that emphasized flexibility, practicality, efficiency and speed.  Lee remained in Hollywood where he became a private teacher to legendary film, television and sports stars that included but was not limited to James Coburn, Steve McQueen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Sharon Tate.  As a teacher of martial arts to the stars, Lee was able to refine his skills in martial arts, acting and eventually directing, while he concurrently upgraded his professional network.  His entrepreneurial instincts and willingness to take risks in the venue of international cinema enabled Lee to break through a variety of barriers and become an enormous success on the big screen culminating with the 1973 film Enter the Dragon, that forever established him as a martial arts legend.

Bruce Lee's philosophy that enabled him to become a transcendent, lasting influence is expressed in his exhortation "Be Water, My Friend."
"Empty your mind.  Be formless, shapeless like water.  You put water in the cup: it becomes the cup.  You put it into the teapot; it becomes the teapot.  You put water into the bottle; it becomes the bottle.  Now water can flow, or it can crash!  Be water, my friend."  [Source:]

Lee's star power is not only exemplified by having his "star" immortalized on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Hong Kong's Avenue of Stars, but his gravesite in Seattle's Lakeview Cemetery remains one of the most frequently visited tourist sites in the Emerald City.  As tip of the hat to being a teacher (sensei) to the stars, legendary action-film actors James Coburn and Steve McQueen served as pallbearers for Lee's burial service in Seattle.  At the conclusion of the memorial service, Coburn and McQueen tossed their white gloves into the grave with Lee's casket while paying tribute to their sensei.

This summer as we mark the 50th anniversary of Bruce Lee's passing, please share your favorite memories of this legendary figure by posting to the GNN FACEBOOK page (and "liking" us when doing so) or writing directly to us at: