News of the Week: Bob Hope’s Letters, Deep Nostalgia, and What’s the Best Girl Scout Cookie?

In the news for the week ending March 12, 2021, are new books, old pictures, ranked cookies, weird games, robot fears, and more.

A tray filled with various types of Girl Scouts' cookies
Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock

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New Books

Amazon senior editor Al Woodworth has picks for great fiction and nonfiction in our current issue. Here are five more you might like.

Dear Bob… by Martha Bolton and Linda Hope. Comic and USO performer Bob Hope would get thousands of letters a week from the soldiers he entertained during World War II. This is a collection of some of those letters and his responses.

The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes by Sam Sifton. Of course, you can’t have a recipe book without recipes, so even though this has “no recipe” in the title, it has recipes, only they don’t have exact measurements for the ingredients and the instructions are looser.

You’re Leaving When?: Adventures in Downward Mobility by Annabelle Gurwitch. The actress and writer has had an interesting past few years. Her marriage ended, her parents died, her child left for college, her health insurance went from $600 a year to $1200 a month, and when she went in for a COVID-19 test, she found out she had stage IV lung cancer. This book is a series of witty essays on how she’s dealing with it all.

The Empathy Diaries by Sherry Turkle. This is both a memoir by the MIT professor and a look at the past several decades of technology changes and what they’ve done to us.

Churchill & Son by Josh Ireland. As the press release says, this is “the intimate and untold story of Winston Churchill’s enduring yet volatile bond with his only son, Randolph.”

Deep Nostalgia

This is the new app everyone is talking about. You upload old photos, even if they’re photos of dearly departed loved ones, and they animate them so it looks like they’re moving their head and mouth.

This is one of those things where you say, “Wow, that’s so cool!” and also “Wow, that’s one of my the most terrifying things I’ve ever seen!”

Girl Scout Cookies, Ranked

This may be more controversial than talking about politics or sex, but I think Lucas Kwan Peterson is absolutely correct with his choice for the best Girl Scout cookie. I mean, it’s not even close!

And if this isn’t enough food controversy for you this week, The New York Times says the best bagels can be found in … California.

Something I Learned This Week

I had all of the classic games when I was a kid: Monopoly, Clue, Operation, Stratego, even that frustrating Mouse Trap game, which I could never get to work. But for some reason the game Pie Face completely flew under my radar. If the commercial is any indication, I don’t think parents would have been too thrilled with the game.

Uploaded to YouTube by

By the way, it’s still available!

Headline of the Week

“The Robots Are Coming for Phil in Accounting”

RIP Roger Mudd, Joan Weldon, Norton Juster, Frank Lupo, Bud Cardos, Gil Rogers, Michael Stanley, Roger Englander, and Merrill Jonas

Roger Mudd was a veteran anchorman and correspondent who over a four-decade career worked for CBS, NBC, PBS, and The History Channel. He also taught at Princeton. He died Tuesday at the age of 93.

Joan Weldon was the scientist who battled giant ants in the classic monster movie Them! A singer, she hosted This Is Your Music and appeared in several westerns and TV shows like Perry Mason, The Millionaire, and Maverick. She died last month at the age of 90.

Norton Juster wrote the classic children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth. He died Monday at the age of 91.

With Stephen J. Cannell, Frank Lupo created and produced a ton of popular TV shows, including The A-Team, Riptide, Stingray, Wiseguy, and Hunter. On his own he created Raven and Werewolf. He wrote many episodes of those shows and also for Battlestar Galactica, The Greatest American Hero, and Magnum, P.I. He died last month at the age of 66.

John “Bud” Cardos was not only a veteran director and actor, he also did stunts and even helped train animals for movies and TV shows. He died in December at the age of 91.

Gil Rogers was known for his work on soap operas like The Guiding Light and All My Children, among many other TV and movie roles. He died last week at the age of 87.

Cleveland’s Michael Stanley had hits in the ’80s with “My Town” and “He Can’t Love You.” For the past 30 years he was a disc jockey and TV personality. He died last week at the age of 72.

Roger Englander produced the popular Young People’s Concerts that ran on CBS from 1958 to 1972. He died last month at the age of 94.

Merrill Jonas was the casting director responsible for putting Karl Malden in American Express commercials and the “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” line for M&Ms, along with hundreds of other ads. She was in many commercials herself. She died last week at the age of 96.

This Week in History

Birds Eye Frozen Foods First Go on Sale (March 6, 1930)

My mom used to work for Clarence Birdseye — the headquarters used to be in my hometown — and the very first product sold was spinach, at Davidson’s Market in Massachusetts.

Clare Boothe Luce Born (March 10, 1903)

She not only wrote the classic play The Women, she also had a seat in Congress, was an ambassador to Italy, and was a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner.

(By the way, the fact that both This Week in History subjects this week have names that start with “Clare” is a total coincidence.)

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “No Desserts” (March 12, 1949)

Woman on diet passing by desserts
No Desserts
Constantin Alajalov
March 12, 1949

This Constantin Alajálov cover came about when he and another man from the Post were having dinner in a restaurant. The idea hit home with our Post man because he was on a diet at the time himself.

Pi Day/Pie Day

This Sunday is Pi Day (because it’s 3/14), but it’s also Pie Day, which calls for pie recipes.

Here’s a recipe for Another Banana Pie (along with a few other banana recipes). Food Network has this Classic Apple Pie, while AllRecipes has recipes for a Chocolate Chess Pie and a Buttermilk Chess Pie. And if all of that isn’t enough, here are 5 tutti-frutti retro pies from the ’50s.

Note: Throwing any of these pies into your own face is entirely optional.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Daylight Saving Time Begins (March 14)

Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night, unless you want to be an hour behind everyone else, that is.

March Madness Begins (March 14)

And it begins with the selection show on CBS at 6 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

Here’s an interesting Post article from a few years ago, “How America Invented St. Patrick’s Day.”

Featured image: Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock

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  1. Bob, how do YOU like the Deep Nostalgia? I think it’s pretty cool, especially if the loved one was attractive. It gives you a realistic, and just long enough, look at the person you may have never known when they were that age, or at all. It seems to me they’ve taken every effort not to make it seem ‘creepy’ at all. Anything though can always be misused, as we know. Wasn’t there some tech thing (regarding the deceased) a few years ago that was weird?

    By the way, I can pinpoint the first woman as to between 1964-’66. The MID-60’s is something unto itself, definitely. Okay, now onto those cookies. I’m not seeing any Girl Scouts with their moms selling any outside any stores in my area, which is frost-free compared to most of the country. Anyway, yeah. I like the S’mores sandwich cookies best, probably followed by the caramel chocolate chips. The Samoas are delicious but shhhhh, too rich and fattening.

    I don’t remember Pie Face either, but the clothes and hair styles of the kids? Yes indeed. Clare Boothe Luce was one remarkable woman of many accomplishments. My favorite though was the creation of LIFE magazine. That was HER idea her husband Henry made happen in 1936. Scary to think it’ll be 50 years in 2022 that the weekly was shut down.

    LOVE that Alajalov cover all lit up online. Maybe, just maybe, the Post will run a cover of HIS sometime. Just a thought. Love the all the realistic ‘pastry detail’ Constantin puts into it. And we have to give this woman credit for just saying no, even if its just this one time. I hate Spring Forward. It’s cold out, time to hibernate Sunday under that Sunbeam electric blanket.


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