SPRINGTIME…REALLY??? by Ellie Schmidt of Santa Rosa, CA. ~

Just Chillin G

ullywasher aſter gully- washer in our fair area! Scary indeed. And

what, you may ask, is a “gul- lywasher?” Now, that reminds me of long ago teach- ing college classes days, when stu- dents would ask me: “What does …???.. mean, please?” (Yes, my students were thoughtful back then, even kind, to faculty.) Or: “Hey, that’s cool! You use that local phrase, too?” Tat’s probably because during all of my moves from NYC to the west coast, I’ve managed to teach and write my way across the USA. Mostly, you’ll hear

folks in different parts of our coun- try describe an aw- fully heavy rain as a “gullywasher” in areas that are prone to flooding. De- pending on if you live in the north- east, south, or mid- west, you might even hear such storms called: “a downpour,” “cloudburst” (NYC),


name describing how heavy the rains have been is merely a weak effort to try to bring back some comic relief. Reaching for

a smile,--what a thought--, makes me nostalgic. Ten, I think way back to what was a “great treat” most week- ends, particularly during winter months, when there weren’t technolog- ical marvels


have you noticed how vocab- ularies of everybody have di- minished since the heavy use of mobile phones? I mean, ‘do u cr abt sp?’ (Yes, doggone it. Probably, because also long

pecially children tended to bounce around in their seats. Aſter all, a body needs to move on a regular basis to avoid cir- culation stopping altogether. And, it is true, some of those movie “palaces” repeated the whole program over and over until late into the night. What used to be called “cheapskates” oſten made it a habit to stay and watch all that stuff over again. Got to admit folks like that had a lot of patience. I tend to remember what

pleased me a lot when I was one of those bouncing kid- dies. A series of short films that comedy producer Hal Roach made from 1922 to 1944 was called “Our Gang.” Notable was the ingenuity and resilience of those kids and the ap- pearance of being really themselves. Evidently, they were encouraged to improvise and oſten looked as if they were having a genuinely fine time play acting together.

When even a

“duck drowner,” or “a toad strangler” (Memphis and espe- cially Texas), and even a “turtle floater” (Minnesota and Iowa.) If you need to feel nit-picky, a “gully” is the channel cut into earth by running water and debris. Can get really ugly. Such a “hullabaloo!” Now

that word merely means a big fuss or commotion over a mat- ter of small importance. Te frightful reality is that flooding was real, horrible, damaging, life-threatening, but any old

ago, for a brief time, I worked as a newspaper proofreader. Spelling and such is not that horrible.) No tvs, but definitely radios

in most homes, way

back when. Te “great treat” was going to a neighborhood movie theater. Double features, newsreels, short subjects, how- to hints, travelogues, episodes of Westerns, mysteries, an oc- casional bingo game or


performances, --packed hours of one terribly long aſternoon’s entertainment, all for the price of a ticket, under a dollar a piece. Small wonder that es-

the shorts evolved over the decades, they were re-titled “Te Little Rascals”

for new, young tv audiences. Jackie Cooper and Robert Blake kept going on to long, successful film careers. Tese days, in reading inter-

esting writings about that time period of film making, the na- tional interest in getting tal- ented young kids to be hired in to be included as actors in the series resulted in fiercely com- petitive auditions. Funny to read that two future big-time movie stars, Shirley Temple and Mickey Rooney, failed in their auditions. Extraordinary

“Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources” ~ C.E.M. Joad

Shirley Temple—who had an April 23, 1928 birthday!—was America’s darling child actress from 1932 to 1938. She retired from films in 1950! An aston- ishing woman, in her adult life she even served as a diplomat, when named U. S. Ambassa- dor, first to Ghana and a de-

...continued on page 27

Facts & Trivia # 1

The world’s leading pro- ducer of cloves is the island of Pemba, 30 miles off the east coast of Africa, and is part of Tanzania.

There are several edible species of locusts, and they are important food sources in some areas, especially Africa. They can be grilled, roasted or boiled, and also ground to a paste.

West Africa is the source of 70% of the world’s cocoa beans.

527-7277 - open Mon-Sat 9-5

225 West College Ave., Santa Rosa UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • APRIL 2019 • Pg 5

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