Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We all will miss the sweet Jo McLaney

It's a sad day when we have to say goodbye to such a sweet friend. And indeed, the rest of "The Dukes of Hazzard" world mourns with us. Miss Jo McLaney of Covington, Georgia, whose flower shop originally supplied flowers to the "Dukes" filming in Georgia, an avid fan of the show who was such a fixture in its world, and whose collection of "Dukes" memorabilia wowed fans for years at the A Touch of Country shop in Covington, has passed away.

Jo was more than a friend to this author. She was a sweet presence, an inspiration. She loved others, and others loved her. She was very active in the "Dukes" community, an advocate for the show and an important keeper of a slice of "Dukes" history. But more than that, she was a gentle soul and a kind person. I first met her at A Touch of Country, at one of the Saturday meetings she would hold there for fans of the "Dukes" or "In the Heat of the Night," which also filmed there in Covington. She was so helpful in the production of the "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" reference guide. I saw her often over the years and kept in touch. We chatted at the first Hazzard Homecoming, 2011, and I was able to shoot a little video of her. Jo talked about her "Dukes" collection, and showed us all of the "01" items she was wearing -- earrings, bracelet -- even fingernails!

Rest peacefully, dear one.

And BRBTV offers prayers of peace and comfort for Jo's family.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rest in peace, James Garner, gone at age 86

You wouldn't think that "The Rockford Files" would appeal to a little girl of the 1970s, but indeed it did, with this author, as she watched from the 13" black-and-white television atop her bedroom dresser, the TV she had just gotten for Christmas or a birthday and the TV which had significantly broadened the horizon of childhood. All of a sudden, I didn't have to watch what anybody else in the house was watching. I had control, autonomy. I could explore any new world that the Big Three networks (and perhaps one or two independents) would afford me from my post in rural mid-Michigan. And one world I happily explored was that of James Rockford.

He was strong and assured, smart but ordinary, that James Garner. The role wasn't his first but definitely one of his most noteworthy. Did he remind me of my dad? Yea, probably. And my dad liked him and watched the show, too. But James Rockford was just so interesting in his own right. A solid, manly build. Strong features. Not pretty-boy handsome, but more ordinary-guy handsome, and it's the latter that this girl prefers. Hot without trying to be. It was his very indifference that seemed to have such an appeal. The wit, the sarcasm, the tolerant disgust with the workings of the world around him. Piecing together an existence here and there, with his private-detective business, basically down on his luck but getting by. The underdog, I guess. And the rough-hewn background of James Rockford mirrored, in a sense, that of James Garner. It all added up to such a nice package. He wore it well.

I loved James Garner and followed his career through the years, after those days of viewing in the 1970s. I felt a certain kinship with him, as we had an important date in common, though regrettably I never got to meet him. And seriously, did he really sustain a decades-long marriage -- since 1956, the year my mom graduated from high school? Garner deserves a gold medal for that. Nobody in Hollywood does that. "Marriage is like the Army," Wikipedia quotes him as saying, "everyone complains, but you'd be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist."

BRBTV offers condolences to Garner's wife and family. The actor was found dead at his home of apparent natural causes last night. Read more about Garner's career at Wikipedia, Fox News and CNN.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons, public domain, and Alan Light, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Lynda Carter talks "Wonder Woman" on "Katie"

Classic TV's "Wonder Woman" made an appearance on the "Katie" show this week. Lynda Carter, looking good as always, talked with host Katie Couric on Monday about her time on the superhero series of the '70s. She said she can't believe sometimes that people still recall her as "WW."

In talking about the iconic outfit she wore on "Wonder Woman," Carter admitted that she asked for the waist to be loosened up. "My mother had that waist, and it just made me look like somebody had yanked (hand motions), and then it made my hips look big."

Carter discussed the end of the "WW" series and the transition in her life.

"I eventually decided to move to Washington. I was still doing a series at the time, and Maybelline Cosmetics at the time and a lot of work, but fell in love with a great guy from your area," she told Couric, "a native of Washington. You were from Virginia, right?" she asked the host.

Did Carter miss acting, at that point? "I actually did a lot of work in acting. I did a lot of different movies during that time and guest appearances. A couple of series. But I did this series in Vancouver and I missed my daughter's fifth birthday, and I said I'm not doing it again. I'm not committing to something long-term. And I really gave up singing because the road is no place for a child. It's a terrible place for a child."

Couric showed a clip of Carter's recent appearance in "Two and a Half Men" (where Carter said she felt like giggling every time she got close to her co-star, Ashton Kutcher: "You remind me of my son, and this is too weird!" she quipped). Carter has also embarked on a new tour, "The Time of Your Life." Couric showed a clip from Carter's last tour, singing the Queen hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."

How does Carter feel about passing on the lasso of truth to Gal Gadot, who will soon appear as WW on the big screen? "Well, they didn't ask me," she joked. "I kinda wanted to keep it, but ..."

Kidding aside: "The truth is that I wish her well. I think to play a superhero is kind of thankless in a lot of ways, and as long as they don't write it for a guy and put a girl in there, you know, grrr, because that's not Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman's about heart, about kindness, about righting wrongs. It's like all of us, right? It's where we live. It's all of the places we live. And that's really who Wonder Woman is. All of the things we do. And then there's still that secret self that wants to come out and act every now and then. So we come in all shapes and sizes, and I really do hope that she can bring that kind of heart to the character."

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth of July from BRBTV!!!!

Perhaps you've seen the recent holiday photos on this very blog celebrating the collection of plush Scooby-Doos at BRBTV headquarters. There was the Halloween photo, the Christmas, the Valentine's Day, even the Easter photo. And if you've seen any of those, you of course realize that this collection keeps growing!!! We are most definitely Scooby-Doo fans here at BRBTV, seeing this character and his TV show as among the most marvelous ever on television. We also happen to have someone around who is mighty good at that whole claw / crane game thing at the grocery store, at the mall, at the local carnival, at our friendly neighborhood Dave and Busters ... And that mighty, mysterious Claw Game Avenger Who Shall Remain Unnamed has set out to rescue Scoobies everywhere (at least from many parts of Michigan, with a little darts and coin-pusher assistance here and there from BRB) ...

So here's what we're looking at now, for this special Fourth of July edition of the BRBTV News Blog. And yes, they all do have names. And yes, we're going to give you those names!!!!!

OK, so ... (we can't believe we're doing this) ... starting from the arm of the sofa on the left, the Christmas Doos: Nutcracker-Doo, Candy-Doo, Santa-Doo, Antler-Doo, Candy-Too, Rudy-Doo, Santa-Too. Then the checkered Doos: Justice-Doo, Honor-Doo, Equality-Doo (aka Ebony and Ivory Doo), Courage-Doo, Valor-Doo. Then the Valentine Doos: Sweety-Doo, Hearty-Doo, Lovey-Doo and Mama-Sweety-Doo. On the right arm: Floppy-Doo with Squirty-Doo on his back.

Moving to the back row of the soft, left side, the Marley family: Papa Marley and Uncle Doobie, with Marley-Doo, Doobie-Doo and Hippy-Doo. Jingle-Jangle-Doo and Manhattan-Doo are in front of them. Then along the back, it's the Fruity Doos: Limey-Doo, Apple-Doo, Grape-Doo, Blue-Doo, Kiwi-Doo, Cherry-Doo, Blueberry-Doo. To the right of Blueberry is ole Grampa-Doo, then the other brown Doos: Smiley-Doo, Bucky-Doo and Chippy-Doo.

In the bucket is Scrappy-Doo, and next to him the recently added Rocky-Doo. Moving back across the sofa from the bucket, across the front it's the Gangsta Puppies, G-Doo, O-Doo, B-Doo and P-Doo (the brand-new neon Doos -- we're right on the claw-game cusp with these!). Next to P-Doo is Old Yeller Doo. Then in back of the puppies we have the spotted Doos: Spotty-Doo, Snotty-Doo, and close sisters Dottie-Doo and Diva-Dottie-Doo. Just in back of them is Pinky-Doo.

OK, front row now!!!! From left, it's My Big Boy and My Bigger Boy (not in that order), plus the Easter Doos: Baby-Bunny-Doo and Bunn-Ana-Doo with Hoppy-Doo and Bunny-Doo in front. Then it's King Kong Doo with Fuzzy-Doo in front (another most recent acquisition, whom we discovered during this very photo shoot actually talks when you press his ear!!!!). Finally, it's Delivery-Doo, Isotope-Doo, Radioactive-Doo with Scooby-Boo in front of him, and THEN ... the one that's in front of Isotope-Doo???? You'll never guess!!!! It's .... Scooby-Doo.

Were you counting? That's 61. And that won't be all. We just have no idea how we're going to take the next photo.

Have a wonderful Independence Day celebrating the freedoms we are blessed to have.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
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