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Thursday, March 30, 2023

 APRIL 2023

George Raveling & Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr
- Crossing Paths at the March on Washington -
By Rev Protodeacon George A. Haloulakos

Each year the first week of April brings to a conclusion the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) while also marking the anniversary of the assassination of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr.  Interestingly enough, as we reflect on the amazing life and ministry of the Rev Dr King, we find there is a unique connection with collegiate basketball in the person of Hall of Fame coach George Raveling.  Therefore, recounting the story behind the life paths of a pioneering basketball coach and a Nobel Prize winning Civil Rights leader intersecting at a unique moment in history is especially timely during the first week of April.

In August 1963, several days before the March on Washington, Raveling was having dinner at a friend's home in Claymont, DE.  The father of Raveling's friend, encouraged both young men to attend the upcoming event while providing them travel money and the use of one of his cars to drive to Washington, DC.  Upon their arrival, Raveling and his friend volunteered to serve as security guards thereby ending up standing a few feet away from the Rev Dr King on the podium at the Lincoln Memorial.  As Rev Dr King was nearing the close of his historic speech, the famed Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson was heard in the background saying "tell 'em about the dream, Martin, tell 'em about the dream."  Ms Jackson was familiar with this theme as she had heard King talk about this in his previous speeches at Selma and Detroit.  At this point, in a moment of inspiration, Rev Dr King went off script -- (i.e., the "I Have A Dream" passage is NOT in the original typewritten hard copy of the speech he had in his hands when speaking at the Lincoln Memorial) -- by ad-libbing the "I Have A Dream" part because he realized his prepared remarks were not fully rising to the spirit of the occasion.  This spontaneous addition was the signature portion of a magnificent speech.  As Rev Dr King took the papers with his prepared remarks from the podium, he came face to face with Mr Raveling, who asked him "Dr King, can I have that?"  King handed the speech to Raveling just moments before a throng of people came between the two men.  Raveling folded up the papers and kept them on his person as the March on Washington concluded.

It should be noted that several hundred copies of King's prepared speech had been distributed to reporters, but ALL of these copies -- except for the one King himself had at the podium and then gave to Raveling -- had an official stamp.  The only markings on this document are the underline and asterisk Raveling later inserted to indicate where King had deviated from his prepared remarks.

In the decades that have followed, Mr Raveling has had a wonderful life and career in mentoring others through a Hall of Fame basketball coaching career.  When sharing his remembrance of this amazing moment in time, Raveling is humbled to be the keeper of such a precious document.  He continues to help others prepare for life by teaching them to be ready for the right moment that can come at any time!  The pursuit of the Dream expressed by Rev Dr King continues through the life and works of George Raveling and reminds all of us to always strive to be at our personal best.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

 MARCH 2023

TIME TRAVEL via "Star Trek"
- Remembering Favorite Journeys In Time -
By George A. Haloulakos

This month we talk about a perennially interesting topic - Time Travel!  The concept of Time Travel has been a recurring theme in literature, film and television that goes back nearly two centuries.  For example, Charles Dickens used Time Travel via the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future in his classic morality tale "A Christmas Carol" published in 1843.   In 1895, H.G. Wells wrote a science fiction novel, "The Time Machine," that was later made into a full length motion picture (1960) to be followed by several remakes.  Time Travel has been adapted by lots of TV shows and made-for-TV movies, but perhaps the most successful franchise to employ Time Travel has been the "Star Trek" franchise in all its variants for more than 50 years.  The various "Star Trek" series and movies have all used Time Travel to various degrees, and often with critical success.  A good number of these plotlines seem to involve very dramatic, major historic events, often incorporating noteworthy heroes and heroines from recorded history.  In each case that was related to a major historic event or public figure, the Time Travel theme is used by the "Star Trek" characters to save humanity or perhaps the galaxy!   No doubt many of you in our GNN audience have your own favorites, and so we invite you to please share it with us by either posting to the GNN FACEBOOK page (and "liking" us when doing so) or send it directly to the Galaxy Nostalgia Network at:

When submitting your favorite Time Travel themed "Star Trek" episode or movie, be sure to include your reason or reasons for doing so.  This is a fun topic for people of all ages, backgrounds and with various interests.  My personal favorite Time Travel "Star Trek" episode is "Timeless" - the 100th episode of the "Star Trek - Voyager" series (with an original air date of November 18, 1998).  My reason for this choice is that it is one of the few Time Travel themed episodes that did not involve a major historic event but was far more personal in nature.  "Star Trek" in all of its variants exhibited its greatest attribute when it highlighted strength of character.  In this particular episode it begins fifteen years in the future where First Officer Chakotay and Operations Officer Harry Kim discover their spaceship Voyager frozen in ice following a crash landing in which all crew members aboard were killed on impact.  The only survivors, Chakotay and Kim, avoided the disastrous accident because they were piloting a small scoutcraft leading the larger spaceship (Voyager) using slipstream quantum technology in an attempt to return to Earth in a matter of moments rather than decades.  The slipstream technology was unstable, and this resulted in the scoutcraft reaching Earth safely but leaving Voyager behind to spiral out of control and crashing on the aforementioned ice planet.

The crash sequence along with Chakotay and Kim recovering the remains of the crew fifteen years later are truly haunting.  Chakotay and Kim have returned to recover the body of Seven of Nine, a Borg drone with technology able to receive messages from the future.  Using a stolen Borg temporal transmitter, Chakotay and Kim hope to send a message back in time to avoid the accident that killed all of their crewmates.  Aided by Voyager's holographic medical doctor (who is activated by a mobile emitter recovered from the crash site) and Chakotay's girlfriend, Tess, they send a message back in time using Kim's new instructions aimed to help Voyager safely reach Earth, but this has no effect in correcting the quantum slipstream and Voyager is destroyed a second time!  Kim's follow-up attempt, this time using new instructions designed to cause the slipstream to fail prematurely so that Voyager will simply power down and not crash, is successful and tragedy is avoided.  The entire Voyager crew along with Chakotay and Kim, return safely to normal space, unharmed, and ten years closer to home (in what is a 75-year journey).

What makes this a compelling story is how Kim deals with survivor guilt in trying to make things right.  While Chakotay has seemingly moved on with his life, his girlfriend Tess -- knowing full well that if they are successful, the timeline in which she and Chakotay meet and fall in love, will be erased -- provides him the encouragement to do whatever is necessary to reverse Voyager's disastrous accident because she knows Chakotay's heart will always be with his beloved crewmates!  This selfless act of love is both inspiring and sad because it is evident that Chakotay and Tess are a strong couple who realize they have truly shared a very special moment in time.  Finally, when the timeline is restored, Kim learns his future self sent to his past self an encoded message along with the operational instructions directed to Seven of Nine.  As Kim watches the message from his future self on the viewscreen, his facial expression imparts a poignancy as he realizes the enormity of his actions in the alternate timeline.  The result is a significant increase in self-confidence and respect that Harry Kim had not yet experienced in his career, thereby giving him a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

While any story concerning Time Travel raises a host of "what-if" questions about how seemingly trivial events and unimportant people can have major impact on the historic timeline, "Timeless" is an episode in which its characters are taking action solely out of love for their comrades and friends that were left behind in a horrific accident.  Chakotay and Kim were willing to risk it all for personal reasons.  In my opinion, this is what makes this Time Travel episode so very special, and ultimately, my favorite in the "Star Trek" franchise.  What is your favorite?  We look forward to hearing from you, our wonderful Galaxy audience!

Saturday, February 4, 2023


- How Did It All Begin For You? -
By George A. Haloulakos

This month we reflect upon our love of reading and call for you, our wonderful GNN audience, to share how your love of reading began!  Since the dawn of recorded history -- be it inscribed on stone tablets, papyrus rolls, paper or in digitized form -- love of reading has been associated with an array of benefits that include, but not limited to personal enrichment, academic achievement, upgraded skills in comprehension, writing and spelling, along with stronger motivation and confidence.  Reading opens up our horizons in a manner that can take us on journeys through time and space that are limited only by our imagination.  Reading makes knowledge accessible to anyone who has the desire and curiosity to explore new pathways.  For example, the "Harvard Classics" - a 50 volume collection of the classical works of world literature, important speeches and historical documents -  was created to offer individuals in the comfort of their own home to learn from the greatest minds in recorded history, and in doing so, obtain the equivalent of a four-year baccalaureate liberal arts degree!

Do you enjoy reading?  How did your love of reading unfold for you?  Perhaps it was a parent or other adult role model in your life that read aloud to you during your formative years?  Or was it storytime at your neighborhood library? Maybe it was inspired by viewing a classic film adaptation of a famous novel?  For yours truly, it was a combination of the aforementioned factors plus something else -- Classics Illustrated Comics.  Classics Illustrated was/is an American comic book series that featured very accurate adaptations of literary classics such as Moby DickA Tale of Two CitiesThe Three MusketeersHamlet, et al. These special comic books not only presented the story exactly as in the full length novels, but also included an author profile, related educational supplements and a catalogue of titles in the Classics Illustrated format. Most notably, at the end of every edition, there was an exhortation to the reader that if he or she enjoyed what they just read, to go to their neighborhood library and check out a copy of the written edition.  In doing so, the reader would invariably learn that there was much deeper context and detail that would further enrich the story.  In my case, it not only inspired me to read the full editions, but also seek out other titles by favorite authors.  The love of reading became a lifetime journey that would include visits to bookstores carrying both new and used editions and at an early age, enabled yours truly to have meaningful conversations with the adult role models in my own life.  Interestingly enough, of the original 169 editions of Classics Illustrated produced between 1941-1969, the most represented classic author was one of my favorites, Jules Verne!  There were ten (10) Jules Verne novels adapted by Classics Illustrated that included some lesser known but equally entertaining works.  As you can imagine, it provided further incentive to acquire other titles by the man who is often credited with inventing the future!

What is your story in how you developed a love of reading?  How has that love of reading evolved with the vast advancements in technology such as audio books as well as electronic digital versions?  Please share it with us by either posting to the GNN FACEBOOK page (and "liking" us when doing so) or send it directly to the Galaxy Nostalgia Network at:

Saturday, December 31, 2022


- Roses, Heroes & Heroines -
By George A. Haloulakos

Happy New Year from all of us here at the Galaxy Nostalgia Network!  This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the 1963 Tournament of Roses Parade & Rose Bowl.  Under the theme "Memorable Moments" the reigning Queen for the Rose Parade was Nancy Davis Maggio, whose tenure was to include a date with the quarterback of the visiting team from the Midwest.  The annual gridiron classic was a landmark game that featured the Wisconsin Badgers versus the University of Southern California Trojans.  Part of our retrospective examines this unique moment in time through the prism of Badger Quarterback Ron Vander Kelen, whose late game heroics helped his team score 23 points with just 14-minutes remaining before time ran out.  Southern California held on for a 42-37 victory, but Vander Kelen earned Co-MVP game honors as he set records for pass attempts (48), pass completions (33) and yards passing (401).  The January 1963 Rose Bowl marked the first bowl game in college football history that featured the Number 1 ranked team (Southern Cal) versus the Number 2 ranked team (Wisconsin).  As just one example on how far we have come since this bygone era, a Number 1 versus Number 2 bowl game matchup has become largely commonplace, if not expected. 

But there is much more to unpack here, especially now with the advent of NIL (Name-Image-Likeness) licensing for collegiate athletes, national college playoffs, astronomical professional football salaries, beauty pageants that provide a segue into professional entertainment and so forth.  This was a time in which the annual meeting of the Midwest and Pacific Coast was truly an important pop culture event for Baby Boomers and prominent student athletes who were preparing for lifetime careers beyond the playing field was more a norm than an exception.  As the year 1963 was to later close on a tragic note with the assassination of President John Kennedy, the innocence of that New Year's Day becomes even more poignant.

By the standards of today, the events of New Year's Day 1963 seem almost quaint.  The game itself ran longer than expected -- over 3 hours -- and ended in almost complete darkness.  Today most football games run 3-1/2 to 4 hours and stadiums are equipped with much better lighting.  Vander Kelen's late game heroics resulted in not only sharing MVP honors but led to what at the time was considered a financial windfall.  Moreover, the humorous reaction by Trojan head coach John McKay helped secure his lasting reputation as a legendary wisecrack artist.  McKay stated in the post-game interview that Wisconsin head coach Milt Bruhn had Vander Kelen for 4-years and all the legendary Badger QB got was a college education while McKay had Vander Kelen for 4-quarters and got him $60,000 (the result of pro-football offers that came forth after his co-MVP performance on New Year's Day)!  Interestingly enough, Vander Kelen was able to parlay his Rose Bowl performance into a 5-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings, mostly in a reserve role.  This was followed by success in the advertising and marketing industries and later in college admissions (University of Minnesota), thereby making Vander Kelen a role model for leading a well-rounded, inspired life.

With the game ending in darkness, the day ended with Vander Kelen fulfilling a date with the Rose Queen, Nancy Davis Maggio.  It was of course, for the reasons already noted, a late date!  Ms Davis Maggio recalled her date with Vander Kelen as one of her fondest memories as Rose Queen.  She had competed against a field of over 2,000 contestants to win her title, and this led to guest appearances on "The Lawrence Welk Show" and "The Andy Williams Show."  Such public appearances on family variety TV shows for such award recipients was a commonplace practice throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  In the two previous Rose Parades, 1961 and 1962, Ms Davis Maggio had marched as a flag twirler for the Pasadena City College Band as they were the official Rose Parade Band at that time.  Thus her post-game date with the visiting QB added further glamour to this annual meeting of the Midwest and Pacific Coast.  Ms Davis Maggio later became a published author, with her most notable work being "Babysitting Mama," a journal she kept about caregiving her mother for nine years.

This retrospective is offered as a Baby Boomer remembrance of how things were, and how far we have travelled in the ensuing decades.  It is not mere nostalgia but a historic examination through the prism of what seemingly are the lives of ordinary people doing extraordinary things that illustrate the magnitude of the journey we make in a lifetime.  We wish all of you a Happy New Year and hope you will share your New Year's Day memories by posting to the GNN FACEBOOK page (and please "like" us when doing so) or send them to us via the GNN g-mail address.

Thursday, December 1, 2022


- Classic TV Holiday Memories -
By George A. Haloulakos

This month's GNN Blog pays tribute to perhaps the most unique episode from the classic TV series "Gilligan's Island" (1964-1967).  Believe it or not, there really was a Christmas show for the famous situation comedy program, but you would never know it by casually browsing the titles in the episode log.  It was the twelfth episode in the first season and was aired December 19, 1964.  The name of the Christmas episode --"Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk" -- refers to incidents that occurred in the series pilot, and this is one of the major characteristics that makes this such a special holiday themed program.

With "Jingle Bells" playing as the episode opens, the castaways are shown celebrating Christmas by decorating a palm tree!  Gilligan wishes they could be rescued, and it seems this holiday wish will come true when a radio report indicates that a US Navy destroyer has spotted castaways that it believes may be the castaways from the SS Minnow!  In their joy of anticipated rescue, our favorite castaways reminisce about the troubles they encountered during their first few days on the island.  It is here that the audience is treated to a re-cut program that combines footage from the official pilot "Two on a Raft" and nearly every single Gilligan-and-Skipper (Bob Denver and Alan Hale) scene from the unaired pilot "Marooned."  The significance of this fusion of the two pilot episodes is that it features several panoramic, long range shots of the beach that shows full length views of the SS Minnow and the castaways sitting on the sand as well as on the boat itself!  A portion of this scene was shown up close in the closing credits for the first season, with the Minnow partially visible in the background and the castaways sitting together nearby.  But this Christmas episode provides deeper context with this extensive footage that provides full length shots of the boat as well as Gilligan casting his fishing line along the beach in front of the crashing surf, all of which was not shown in either the second or third season.

Another fun bit of trivia is that in the opening scenes when Gilligan and Skipper wake up after the Minnow was beached, original cast members from "Marooned" can be seen in the background.  But these cast members (playing the roles of the Professor, Bunny and the original Ginger), while shown briefly in this sequence, were not seen afterward because they were replaced by Russell Johnson, Dawn Wells (playing the Mary Ann character instead of Bunny) and Tina Louise!  As the castaways think about those first few days following their shipwreck, we are treated to watching Gilligan cast the radio and transmitter out to sea and learning how the radio was later recovered, but the transmitter ultimately destroyed.  This sequence of events (which involve birds and fish) is the basis for the name of this episode, which gives no hint of a Christmas theme!

After waiting a while, the crew and passengers of the SS Minnow learn from a news update that the US Navy had rescued other castaways that had been stranded for eleven years on a different island!  On Christmas Eve, the disappointed and tired castaways are shown gathered around a campfire as they realize they will not be home for Christmas.  All of the group is present except the Skipper, who is out gathering more wood for the fire.  In these final moments of the episode the castaways are visited by the REAL Santa Claus (who looks like the Skipper and appropriately is played by Alan Hale).  Santa Claus reminds the group to be grateful for what they have: they are not lost at sea, but on an island with food and water, plus he reminds them about the deep friendships they have formed since being marooned.  As the castaways' spirits are visibly lifted, Santa disappears and the real Skipper returns from gathering firewood in the opposite direction.  There is only a brief moment to ponder the true identity of their midnight visitor as everyone is filled with good cheer and heartily wishing each other Merry Christmas as the sound of Santa's sleigh bells along with a repeated chorus of "Merry Christmas" (ostensibly Santa and his elves) is heard flying over the island!  This is truly a magical ending for it evokes feelings of mercy, grace, renewal and gratitude.

With that in mind, we wish everyone in our wonderful GNN audience a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  If you have any special memories of holiday themed episodes from your favorite TV shows, please post them on the GNN FACEBOOK page (and please "like" us when doing so) or send them to us via the GNN g-mail address.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022


Requiem for a Heavyweight & Friday Night Fights
- Remembering Jerry Quarry -
By George A. Haloulakos

This month's blog arose out of a very recent text message exchange with my friend and fellow Galaxy Good Guy Mike Bragg in which we reminisced about Friday Night Fights at the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium.  Our "conversation" brought back memories of a local Southern California favorite and world renowned fighter Jerry Quarry (1945 - 1999), who we remember as "The Bellflower Bomber." Quarry became a nationally known prize fighter at age 19 by winning the 1965 National Golden Gloves Championship by knocking out each of his five opponents in the tournament, a feat unmatched.  He turned professional later the same year after having over 200 fights in his amateur career.  Quarry was undersized for a heavyweight standing six feet tall and weighing between 190 to 200 pounds, similar to any other father or adult male figure you might have known in your own neighborhood.  Today he would have been classified or designated as cruiser weight.

In the context of professional fighting, Quarry was regarded as a durable and smart counter-puncher / action fighter.  Fearless and courageous, Quarry was the #1 rated contender during his professional career as he fought during what is considered the "golden age" of boxing (1960s-1970s).  Quarry fought against world heavyweight champions Ali, Ellis, Frazier, Patterson and Norton.  He defeated Patterson, but lost to Ali, Ellis, Frazier and Norton while giving a most honorable account of himself in each of those contests.  In addition, Quarry defeated legendary knockout artists / sluggers Foster, Lyle, Mathis and Shavers.  Aside from having the bad luck to compete in an era replete with the greatest fighters of all time, Quarry had a tendency to cut easily but commanded the respect of his peers.  Ali noted that were it not for his own speed, the outcomes of his contests with Quarry would likely have been very different.  After their second fight while still in the ring, Ali spoke quietly with Quarry while having his arms around his opponent in a gesture of sportsmanship offering encouragement and good wishes.  Frazier stated that Quarry was "A very tough man. He could have been a world champion, but cut too easily." Long before high-tech social media, Quarry built a world-renowned personal brand that began in full earnest at the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium as a local favorite who forever was accessible and friendly to his fans - win, lose or draw.  In reading the many online tributes that have been posted for Quarry, such long lasting respect and adoration was not merely confined to Southern California or the USA, but worldwide in such places as the United Kingdom as he fought against the best fighters from all over the globe.  So great was his personal brand, that at his peak, Quarry was rated by Ring Magazine as the most popular fighter in the sport for four years in a row (1968-1971).

His popularity arose from being relatable to people of all ages.  In the era in which Baby Boomers came of age, Quarry appeared like our own fathers, who stood at a similar height and weight.  Yet this courageous and tough man could stand toe-to-toe with the world heavyweight giants while showing versatility elsewhere.  On the athletic field, Quarry made the Finals in the ABC Superstars competition in which he bested many NFL stars.  He had a passion for poetry and sang the "Star Spangled Banner" at various public events!  Yet through the ups and downs of fame, Quarry never forgot his humble if not tough upbringing when he remarked that he had led a "Grapes of Wrath" life.

With the passage of time and life experience, what we witnessed as young people can now be properly understood as to what led to a brutal if not horrible finale in the late 1990s.  At his induction into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995, it was evident that something was very wrong with our popular fighter who seemed largely unaware of the surrounding events as the cumulative effect of all those amateur and professional fights had resulted in battle-boxing related dementia.  When I observed this myself, my mind flashed back to the Norton fight in 1975 when Quarry stepped in to battle the soon to be heavyweight champion with only eighteen days notice.  Norton (who was taller and weighed more than Quarry) had been preparing for this match for five months, but when two other opponents who were in line for this opportunity backed out, Quarry took the risk to try for the crown one more time.  While fighting valiantly, it was apparent that Quarry lacked the punch resistance, movement, reflexes and agility he had shown in earlier such contests.  Sadly "The Bellflower Bomber" was no longer the top-rated fighter he had been at his peak, and this was made even worse by little training beforehand.  In retrospect, one can easily discern that the aforementioned punch resistance (i.e., taking so many vicious hits) led to his tragic condition of physical and mental decline that led to his passing in 1999.

In reflecting on a unique era through the prism of Jerry Quarry's life, I found this rather poignant self-reflection that Quarry said about himself just prior to his decline.  Essentially, it is own epitaph:  "I've been in the ring with the best of all men / Some say the best of all time / I gave my all, round after round / And the world knows I tried / I fought with heart / But needed much more / A bridesmaid but never a bride . . ."

Do you have any special memories about watching the Friday Night Fights or perhaps the heavyweight matches that were aired on ABC's Wide World of Sports during the 1960s and 1970s?  If so, please send them to us via the GNN web site or post them into the GNN FACEBOOK page (and be sure to "like" us when doing so).  And remember the message of Theodore Roosevelt who in his "Man in the Arena" speech noted that those who put themselves on the line risking failure while daring to do great things will never be with those timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.

Monday, October 3, 2022


Halloween and the Art of Horror
By George A. Haloulakos

Although celebrated on the last day of the month, Halloween dominates October from start to finish as Baby Boomers enjoy revisiting classic horror films designed to entertain, surprise and scare the audience.  In this month's GNN Blog, we pay tribute to filmmaker Val Lewton, who is best remembered for his signature work, the 1942 film "The Cat People."  This landmark film is a case study of high-quality low-budget filmmaking that captivates its audience through implied rather than explicit horror.  Lewton's masterful use of sound, shadows and low lighting in "The Cat People" easily surpasses today's reliance on computer graphics with its shock-and-awe approach.  Moreover, it provides a sharp contrast to the blood and gore of the 1940s violent slasher films or terrifying monsters (think Universal Studios with The Wolf Man, Dracula, Frankenstein, et al).

This is because Lewton created suspense along with a sense of terror by focusing on the unknown or the unseen such as a feeling of being followed, watched or stalked by an unknown presence or force.  Despite operating on a $150,000 budget (a rather low sum even by the industry standards of the 1940s), Lewton created a taut, psychological thriller that continues to scare its audience decades after its release while affirming filmmaking -- especially the horror film -- as an art.

In this month's GNN Blog, yours truly will try to refrain from major spoilers regarding the plot of this vintage horror classic.  However, with the hope of stimulating the interest of those who have not seen "The Cat People" I will offer the following as a teaser.

The main character, Irena Dubrovna (expertly portrayed by Simone Simon) is NEVER shown in cat form but there are a couple of notable scenes where the power of suggestion and the film viewer's imagination provide moments of sheer terror.  For example, supporting character Alice (portrayed by Jane Randolph) is shown walking at night in New York City alongside a large wall bordering a park with the sound of her clicking heels growing ever louder as Alice feels she is being stalked and starts to walk at a more brisk pace.  Was that a gust of wind that rattled the bushes overhead along the wall?  Or was something or someone there?  Later as Alice is swimming in an indoor pool, are the shadows in the dimly lit swimming area a giant cat, reflections of the water or perhaps a trick of the eye?  When Alice emerges from the pool, she finds her terry cloth robe torn to shreds as if a large animal (perhaps a feline) with very sharp claws had gotten hold of it.  Irena (Simone Simon) suddenly emerges from the shadows and surprises Alice (as well as the film audience) making a seemingly innocent query as to the whereabouts of her (Irena's) husband.

The clicking of heels on pavement and the echoing of screams in an indoor pool from the two aforementioned scenes, are demonstrations of great film noir as the sharp contrast of black-and-white film, fog and shadows are equally important to the plot in helping to create a memorable horror movie.  The ambiance is terrifying while still evoking empathy for Irena, who feels haunted by the curse of "The Cat People" from her native Serbia.

As testimony that profit and artistic filmmaking are not mutually exclusive, "The Cat People" ended up costing $134,000 (well below its $150,000 budget) while grossing $4 million in box office receipts -- a nearly 30x return on investment!  In sum, "The Cat People" is a film noir aficionado's Halloween delight, a triumph of filmmaking artistry and a great financial success.

What are your favorite horror films that you enjoy watching to celebrate Halloween?  Please share them with us either through the Galaxy Nostalgia Network (GNN) website or go to the GNN Facebook Page (and please "like" us when doing so).  From all of us here at GNN, Happy Halloween!