News of the Week: Glenn Frey, the Lost Art of Handwriting, and the Perfect Peanut Butter and Jelly

Don Henley’s farewell to Glenn Frey, National Handwriting Day, the PB&J debate, and more in this week’s pop culture roundup. Allison

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Glenn Frey
By Steve Alexander (originally posted to Flickr as Glenn Frey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
January is turning out to be a bad month for classic rock. First we had the passing of David Bowie, and this week came the death of Glenn Frey of the Eagles.

Besides his work with that iconic band, Frey had a lot of solo success too, with songs like “Smuggler’s Blues” and “You Belong to the City,” both of which were used on a show Frey appeared on as an actor, Miami Vice (and yes, the city Sonny Crockett is walking in is New York City and not Miami).

Frey had been ill for the past year and a half, and passed away from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. He was 67. Here’s Don Henley on the passing of his friend and band mate.

National Handwriting Day

How’s your handwriting these days? (Note to younger readers: Handwriting is what everyone did before iPads and clicking things.) When I started writing my monthly letter for readers, I found that my handwriting needed a lot of work. While I take a lot of notes by hand, those notes aren’t usually in cursive, so the only cursive I regularly have practice with is my signature. That’s not enough to keep your handwriting up to date. I actually had to learn again how to write certain letters, like q and the dreaded z.

There’s a lot of talk these days about schools no longer teaching handwriting because younger students are growing up in a digital world and that’s all they know. Maybe these kids won’t need handwriting by the time they’re adults. Everything will be done on tablets and even a signature can be done with the click of a button (I’ve noticed that even on some contracts I’ve signed online). But tomorrow is National Handwriting Day, and maybe we can help bring back this lost art. A lot of experts believe it could help with memory, and wouldn’t it be nice to write an actual letter to people once in a while instead of a quick email, text, or Facebook post?

Is Charles Osgood Leaving CBS Sunday Morning?

I certainly hope not. CBS Sunday Morning without Charles Osgood would be like The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson without Johnny Carson. Of course, if he wants to make the decision to retire, while that’s sad, if he wants to then that’s his decision.

But The New York Daily News is reporting that it might not be his decision. Citing sources, the paper says that Osgood is undergoing contract negotiations with CBS and that the network might want to replace him later this year. That same source says the network wants to “kick him to the curb,” which is a rather nasty way of putting it. CBS hasn’t commented on the matter, so I think we have to take any talk of curb kicking with a grain of salt.

People who could take over as host include three who often guest host for Osgood (currently taking a few weeks off for knee surgery), Jane Pauley, Anthony Mason, and Lee Cowan. All three are fine fill-ins, but if the choice is one of those three I’d go with Pauley. It would be nice to see her regularly on morning TV again.

This Is Jeopardy!?

It’s not every day that all three Jeopardy! contestants get the Final Jeopardy! question wrong, but all three of them also bet all of their money. Usually when there’s a tie, both winners come back the next day. So who gets to come back the next day as the champion when all three have no money? Here’s the clip, and to be fair it’s not an easy question:

Read Jeanne Wolf’s interview with Alex Trebek from the Jan/Feb 2016 issue.

Playboy Mansion for Sale (but Hef Gets to Stay!)

Czar of the Bunny Empire, April 28, 1962

How would you like to own the Playboy Mansion? It’s five acres in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, and if you have $200 million dollars, it’s yours! There’s one catch though: If you buy it, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner gets to stay! I don’t know how that would work out, but maybe you and Hef could be roommates. As a guy, something tells me Hef would be an excellent roommate to have.

If you have the money, it might be a great purchase. Also, if you indeed have that much money, I’d also spend a bunch on cleaning the place, including the grotto and hot tubs. Especially the grotto and hot tubs.

Click here to read 1962’s “Czar of the Bunny Empire” by Bill Davidson from the Post archive.

There’s a Cloverfield 2?!?

Did you know that producer J.J. Abrams made a sequel to his 2008 monster movie Cloverfield? I don’t think anyone did (well, except Abrams and the stars and probably the studio). The official title is 10 Cloverfield Lane. Here’s the trailer:

Looks like fun, and this trailer also looks a lot like the season two opener of another J.J. Abrams project, Lost, only with “I Think We’re Alone Now” instead of “Make Your Own Kind of Music”:

The Perfect Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

This Sunday is National Peanut Butter Day. Let’s talk about one of God’s perfect meals, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is how you make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It starts with the bread. You can’t use a bread that rips and tears easily, like Wonder, because that just makes a mess. You need a hearty bread, like Canadian white. You put peanut butter (smooth or chunky, it’s your call) on one slice of bread and then you put the jelly on the other side of the bread. Don’t put too much jelly or it throws the peanut butter to jelly flavor ratio out of whack.

This is actually controversial, one of those age-old debates. A lot of people put the peanut butter and jelly on the same slice and then simply put the other slice on top. I don’t think this is as visually appealing and just makes the knife a sloppy mix of peanut butter and jelly remnants. I also don’t cut mine in half because I’m no longer 7 years old and can actually handle a whole sandwich.

How do you make yours? However you make it, make sure you wash it down with milk. One time I didn’t have any milk and had to wash it down with Diet Pepsi. I’ll never make that mistake again.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Founding of the National Geographic Society (January 27, 1888)

The Society’s website is a lot of fun, and you can become a member just like young George Bailey.

J.D. Salinger dies (January 27, 2010)

Yup, the Catcher in the Rye author wrote several short stories for The Saturday Evening Post.

Space Shuttle Challenger explodes (January 28, 1986)

It’s the 30th anniversary of that horrible day. Here’s CNN’s live coverage of the event.

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven published (January 29, 1845)

Poe’s famous short story The Black Cat first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in August 1843, and we also printed several poems by him.

Jackie Robinson born (January 31, 1919)

Here’s SEP Archives Director Jeff Nilsson on the baseball player’s “grace under pressure”. Jackie Robinson’s groundbreaking interview with Branch Rickey is featured in our Baseball Special Collector’s Edition, now in its third printing.

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  1. Glenn Frey’s passing away is still a shock. 67 or 68 (like Bowie) is too young to be gone, but when an ailment takes over as in these cases, a still youthful age isn’t always enough. I enjoyed his music both with the Eagles, and as a solo artist and was very glad to have seen him and Don Henley in concert for ‘The Long Run’ tour in 1980, then in their own concerts between 1982 and ’89.

    The loss of handwriting is more serious than you might think. When your signature is literally scribble, it’s pretty sad. Because so many people really can’t do either very well today, those that can are noticed in a good way. When you need to fill out a job application, all that’s left of you when you leave, is what’s on that paper and may determine if you get an interview and hired, or not.

    My mother had beautiful handwriting, and I really wanted to learn it after seeing the Declaration of Independence on the classroom wall in the 2nd grade.
    I was mesmerized by those signatures. To this day (shame on me, I know) the signatures are still more captivating than what they were signing.

    I got away from handwritten letters 20 years ago with the internet, but have gotten back into it partly due to a feature in the Nov./Dec. 2014 POST. My first handwritten letter in years was to none other than the publisher of the POST herself, shortly afterward.

    There are a lot of answers I don’t know on ‘Jeopardy’, but knew the answer to that particular question as I was watching the other night. No shouting it out, but in my mind, yeah.

    The Playboy Mansion for sale, for a mere 200 million. Online pictures are the closest I’ll get to Hef’s home. I just went to a concert last week in Beverly Hills, but am not sure where Holmby Hills is, exactly. At some point I’ll find out. I’ve probably been near it and didn’t know it; strange but true.


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