News of the Week: August Thoughts, a Submarine Found, and 50 Years of Woodstock (the Bird)

The news for the week ending August 9, 2019, found a WWII submarine, a grateful condolence card, two reasons to relax, a lot of peaches, and more.

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The Beginning of the End

I love August. I mean, I hate August, but there is one great thing about it.

It’s the last month of summer.

Oh, sure, you’ll tell me that summer doesn’t officially end until September 23 and there’s still plenty of time to relax and get some sun and do all those fun summer things, but we all know that’s not really true. The back-to-school commercials have already started, the beach balls and sunscreen at the supermarket are being replaced by notebooks and Halloween candy, and they’re even airing promos for the new fall TV shows. The college kids will soon be moving into new digs, summer homes will be closed up, and Labor Day will be here before you know it. Summer is pretty much over, even if we’ll continue to wear shorts for the next few weeks.

I’d start dancing in the streets in happiness, but I know I’m not going to be able to put away my stupid fan for a little while still. Also, I’m not a very good dancer.

USS Grunion Found after 77 Years

The USS Grunion, a submarine carrying 70 sailors, vanished on its first patrol in 1942. After sinking two Japanese boats in June of that year, the submarine was on its way back to an Alaska naval base when it encountered trouble. It was declared lost four months later. Last October, the Lost 52 Project — dedicated to finding the 52 submarines that are still missing — found the remains of the Grunion 2,713 feet down off the Aleutian Islands. Last week they released 3D images of what they found.

Good Thing He Wasn’t Named “Newport Jazz Festival”

I’m rather embarrassed to admit I didn’t know that Woodstock, Snoopy’s buddy in the Peanuts strips, was named after the 1969 concert. Yeah, I should have known — it’s somewhat obvious — but for some reason I never put two and two together (most writers aren’t good at math). It’s the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the bird in Charles Schulz’s comic, and CBS Sunday Morning takes a look back at his creation with a trip to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, and an interview with Schulz’s widow Jean.

Woodstock, Snoopy’s devoted bird friend.” Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Sunday Morning.

By the way, Jean Schulz keeps a terrific blog over at the Schulz Museum site.

RIP Toni Morrison, D.A. Pennebaker, Martin Mayer, Dorothy Olsen, and Barry Coe

Toni Morrison was the acclaimed author of such novels as Beloved, Song of Solomon, Sula, The Bluest Eye, and Jazz. She won many awards for her work, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She died Monday at the age of 88.

D.A. Pennebaker was a documentary filmmaker known for Dont Look Back, which followed Bob Dylan on his 1965 tour of Britain, and The War Room, his look at Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. He also focused his lens on people like John Lennon, Elaine Stritch, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, and Duke Ellington, and was the first person to win a lifetime achievement Oscar for documentary work. He died last week at the age of 94.

Martin Mayer was a prolific writer. He wrote 40 books on such topics as banking, the law, education, advertising, and classical music, was an editor at Esquire for many years, wrote novels, and contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He died last week at the age of 91.

Dorothy Olsen was one of the last surviving members of the WASPs (the Women Airforce Service Pilots), the female pilots who flew non-combat domestic missions during World War II. She received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009. She died last month at the age of 103.

Barry Coe starred in the movie version of Peyton Place (in the role later played by Ryan O’Neal in the TV series). He also appeared in shows like Follow the Sun, Bracken’s World, The Fugitive, Bonanza, the Elvis Presley movie Love Me Tender, and was “Mr. Goodwrench” in a series of commercials in the ’70s and ’80s. He died last month at the age of 84.

Mr. Goodwrench ‘Ka Thump!’ Commercial (1978).” Uploaded to YouTube by Bionic Disco

Quote of the Week

“Please assure Miss Manners that you meant a letter of condolence, not a thank-you note. Otherwise, she would not like to hear the backstory.”

Miss Manners, to a letter-writer who wasn’t sure how to address a “thank-you note” to a friend whose husband had just died

This Week in History

Marilyn Monroe Dies (August 5, 1962)

In 1956, the Post’s famous celebrity profiler Pete Martin interviewed the actress, and the piece was accompanied by a great picture of Martin taking notes on a couch while Monroe sat on the floor.

Richard Nixon Resigns (August 8, 1974)

Sure, Nixon was certainly a flawed president, but maybe he was also…a great one?

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Chef Boy-Ar-Dee Ad (August 3, 1957)

Ad for Chef Boyardee, featuring a pizza.
Chef Boyardee ad published in the August 3, 1957 issue of The Saturday Evening Post (SEPS)

There’s not nearly enough cheese on that pizza.

August Is National Peach Month

I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe — not one — that involved peaches. Not even this Peach Johnnycake or this Rustic Open-Faced Peach Pie. I’ve never made a Pulled Pork Salad with Peaches and Cilantro, and I’ve never attempted to make my own Spiced Peach Jam. I’ve never had Peach Soup or Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Honey either. It all sounds delicious, though.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Lazy Day (August 10)

National Relaxation Day (August 15)

I’m not really sure what the difference is between Lazy Day and Relaxation Day. Maybe on the latter you’re resting from all of the work you did in the four days since the former.

Featured image: Shutterstock.com

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Comments

  1. Summer’s a drag Bob, and still has a long way to go (for me anyway) probably through October at least. Aren’t you jealous? Heat, humidity, shorts and fires! Hate to say it, but you’d think everything that could’ve, would’ve burned out here by now, but no.

    Interesting feature on Woodstock (Snoopy’s pal) on ‘Sunday Morning’. Still, Snoopy is my favorite ‘Peanuts’ character. I have some vintage (50’s-80’s) stuffed Snoops at home for atmosphere along with the lava lamps and pricey die-cast cars; but I don’t care for the 90’s-present version with the sad, slit eyes and no snout anymore. Yes, no beautiful snout anymore. Forget it!

    On the other Woodstock, LIFE has a new reprint softcover book on the 50 year event out now if you wish to buy. It’s a lot smaller and more expensive than the actual magazine reprint from 2004 they did. No shock there!

    Thanks for remembering President Nixon today, and including the links! Speak for yourself on that pizza, Bob. Cheese is NOT necessary for a great pizza—at all. Don’t all faint at once now y’all! Check out Amy’s (brand) roasted vegetable, cheese-less pizza. It’s healthy, delicious and you won’t miss that damn cheese one iota I promise! In the frozen pizza sections of Sprout’s and Whole Foods, to name two.

    As far as National Relaxation Day goes, I kind of already took that on August 7th by texting in sick. The heat and humidity sent me back to bed, escaping behind the wall of sleep for hours. Summer IS more unusual for that as (generally) hibernating’s a cold, dark, winter’s day indulgence.

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