News of the Week: New Books, Flying Cars, and the Best Halloween Candy Is …

In the news for the week ending October 15, 2021, are books, candy, chili, old TV, new basketball, and the most famous writer you’ve never heard of.

Flying cars in a futuristic city

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Read This!

Some fall books you might want to pick up (and also read):

The Boys by Ron and Clint Howard. The former child actors talked to Jeanne Wolf about the book, which chronicles their time growing up in Hollywood.

Going There by Katie Couric. This memoir by the former Today host is already stirring controversy for her frank opinions about people like Martha Stewart, Ashley Banfield, Deborah Norville, and talk show host Larry King.

A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris. This is the second volume of the humorist’s diaries, which covers the years 2003 to 2020.

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci. This memoir by the self-described food obsessive covers his life in the kitchen (complete with recipes) and his recent battle with cancer.

Beat Bobby Flay: Conquer the Kitchen with 100+ Battled-Tested Recipes by Bobby Flay. This isn’t just a cookbook featuring recipes from the food competition show, it might be a collector’s item, since it looks like Flay is leaving the Food Network after 27 years.

We Were Promised Flying Cars

Maybe they’re a little closer to the mainstream now (maybe), as this CBS Sunday Morning feature shows.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Sunday Morning

Candy Corn? Seriously?

It’s that time of year again, the days of black and orange decorations, bingeing on scary movies, and the ranking of Halloween candy from various sites. This one from BuzzFeed isn’t bad, I guess, even if I would put Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups first. But how in the world can they say that candy corn (!) is better than Junior Mints, Mr. Goodbar, and Smarties?

The Retro TV Site

What a fantastic idea: a site where you can watch TV shows and commercials from the ’60s to the 2000s on a retro television set. You can even control what genres you want to watch, the year, the volume, even the color and brightness. (Warning: You’ll probably spend several hours here. I know I have.)

The Most Famous Writer You’ve Never Heard Of

My friend James Lileks mentioned a writer on his blog that I had never heard of before: O.O. McIntyre. I bet you’ve never heard of him either, so it might surprise you to find out that at one point he was one of the most popular writers in the country.

O.O. (for Oscar Odd, but he went by Odd) came to New York City from the small town of Gallipolis, Ohio, after working for several newspapers in Ohio. He wrote a pop culture column, “New York Day by Day,” sort of a letter back home about his experiences in the city, that was syndicated in over 500 papers across North America. He was making $200,000 a year, an incredible amount for the 1920s and ’30s (or 2021, for that matter), got to live at the Hotel Majestic in exchange for doing their publicity work, and became friends with people like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rudolph Valentino, and Charlie Chaplin. A rather intriguing guy.

If I can add another book to the above reading list: An Odd Book, by R. Scott Williams, a biography of McIntyre that includes many of his writings. Williams says in the book that McIntyre wrote for the Post, but I can’t find anything. Williams does say that McIntyre “joked that his submissions to The Saturday Evening Post were rejected so fast, he wondered if they sent someone from Philadelphia to New Jersey to intercept and return them before they were opened.”

But Joseph Bryan III wrote an extraordinarily long profile of McIntyre for the November 20, 1937, issue of the Post. He owned 60 pairs of pajamas (30 for the day and 30 for sleeping in).

Headline of the Week

“Workers Call Police after Woman Causes Scene at Troy Store Because She Doesn’t Like Song Playing”

RIP Gary Paulsen, Paddy Moloney, Bob Herron, Patrick Horgan, Juli Reding, Ruthie Tompson, Deon Estus, John Ashton Thomas, and Dottie Dodgion

Gary Paulsen was a writer of autobiographical young adult adventure novels, including the Hatchet series. He also wrote other series, including The Tucket Adventures and The Culpepper Adventures. The three-time Newbery Medal runner-up and Margaret Edwards Award winner also competed in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1983. He died Wednesday at the age of 82.

Paddy Moloney was the co-founder of the Irish folk band The Chieftains. He died Tuesday at the age of 83.

Bob Herron worked on an astonishing number of films and TV shows (too many to list here) and was a founding member of the Stuntmen’s Association. He died Sunday at the age of 97.

Patrick Horgan appeared on many soap operas, including The Doctors and Guiding Light, as well as shows like Star Trek and The Gentle Falcon, and movies like Zelig and the original The Thomas Crown Affair. He died last week at the age of 92.

Juli Reding appeared in the cult horror film Tormented as well as episodes of Dr. Kildare, 77 Sunset Strip, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Sea Hunt, and Big Valley. She died last month at the age of 85.

Ruthie Tompson was an animator and scene planner who worked for 40 years on Disney films, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins, The Aristocats, and The Rescuers. She died Sunday at the age of 111.

Deon Estus was the bass player for Wham! and also played with Elton John, Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, and Frank Zappa. He had a solo hit single with “Heaven Help Me.” He died Monday at the age of 65.

John Ashton Thomas was orchestrator or arranger on many films, including Black Panther, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Avengers, Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and the Bourne movies. He died last week at the age of 60.

Dottie Dodgion played drums with many well-known musicians, including Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, Tony Bennett, Zoot Sims, and Marian McPartland. She also had her own trio, playing with them until 2019. She died last month at the age of 91.

This Week in History

Eleanor Roosevelt Born (October 11, 1884)

For the August 24, 1935, issue of the Post, the first lady wrote about the importance of being curious.

I Love Lucy Premieres (October 15, 1951)

Yes, it has been 70 years since the classic CBS sitcom debuted on a Monday night at 9 p.m. It dominated the Nielsen ratings for years, and the colorized episodes that CBS airs every holiday season still bring in millions of viewers.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS

Turner Classic Movies just launched the third season of their “The Plot Thickens” podcast, and it focuses on the life and career of Lucy.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Truck Stop Diner (October 10, 1953)

Truck stop diner at night
Truck Stop Diner
October 10, 1953

It doesn’t say it on the sign, but I bet this place serves chili, which is good timing because …

… October Is National Chili Month

I’m not even sure if it’s “chili weather” yet — it has been around 70 here the past several days — but it’s coming, so tuck into this Southwestern Chili from Curtis Stone. If you want to try something a little different, try this Turkey Pumpkin Chili. And if you want something really different, try this Chocolate Chili from Paula Deen.

By the way, I don’t know if you use the phrase “tuck in” where you live (I heard it for the first time just a few years ago), but it’s British slang and means to “eat enthusiastically or hungrily.”

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Dictionary Day (October 16)

Why do people only read dictionaries when they absolutely have to? Why don’t more people read them for pleasure, like they do books by David Sedaris or Katie Couric?

NBA Season Starts (October 19)

The 75th anniversary season begins on TNT at 7:30 p.m. ET, as the defending champs the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Brooklyn Nets (though don’t expect Kyrie Irving to play).

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. Just to clarify in my paragraph 4 response to Fran, the incident was back on a hot 4th of July afternoon after I’d worked hard setting up tables, chairs, table cloths, placements etc. for a 4th party several hours away. Helen was supposed to be at the limited-release theater with a couple of friends for 2 or 3 hours.

    So a half hour after she left and I was done setting up, and prepping the barbecue, I went for a swim and decided to make it more fun. Left my trunks on the pool ‘lip’. 10 minute later Jerry scampers off with them; far enough I’d have to get out to retrieve. 10 after that, as Murphy’s Law would have it, Helen came bursting in at the side gate in her walker, smoking, as I’m at trying to get the trunks back on, falling into the deep end. Of course she didn’t see things from the back!

    The ‘damage’ was done. One of her friends didn’t feel well, so they all left and dropped her off. Had she come through the front door, Kathy could have distracted her, giving me more. Anything but what happened. And by Thanksgiving? Hadn’t even thought about it. But after a couple of drinks, she’ll blurt out whatever “it” is. After 15 seconds of broadcasting I went over to her side of the table to get her to stop by giving her a hug, and telling her she’s wonderful! Didn’t work. That was the first face slap where I sheepishly went back to my seat, acting, talking to the other guests as if nothing happened, with smiles and laughter. Lighter variations of this happened later, but I’d explained to everyone. Once one of the female guests asked her why she likes bringing it up, she stopped, but I can never be sure.

  2. Bob Taylor, you make excellent points about Gracie Allen. I’m very familiar with the 50’s ‘Burns and Allen’ TV series on Antenna-TV several years ago. Her ying and yang with George was flawless. It was largely their vaudeville act from years earlier, updated for modern television age. George was always up=to=the=minute.

    Gracie’s best friend ‘Blanche’ played by Bea Benaderet was wonderful, always being thrown for a loop by Gracie. It might never have happened if Bea had gotten the ‘Ethel Mertz’ role on ‘I Love Lucy’ instead of Vivian Vance. Lucy and Desi both wanted her as Ethel, but fate had other ideas (a fascinating story in itself) and of course what was meant to be happened. Having watched Bea on Burns and Allen, I can see why they wanted her, and she would have been very funny getting caught up in Lucy’s capers.

    I’ll have to look the show up on You Tube and start watching them again! Interestingly enough, Eva Gabor’s role on ‘Green Acres’ was really a successor of sorts to Gracie in her role as Lisa Douglas. The same vaudevillian humor, only this time it was spread out to even more characters, driving Eddie Albert crazy most of the time. I’ll have to check out the 1954 Lucy episode out of What’s My Line?, for sure. Gracie derserves a new day in the sun. I’m thinking about how that could be done. If there’s a will, there has to be a way,


    Fran, I intentionally called the President by the wrong name because Manchin might as well be now. He and Sinema have hijacked the Democratic party 100% working against the American people; only out for themselves, environmentally destroying companies, trillions for unnecessary wars, and too much to get into here, they’re that bad. So no. No compassion there!

    Regarding Lucy, I mentioned some pretty scary stuff she encountered in certain episodes just to show how far she went above and beyond giving it “her all”! Didn’t mention ‘chocolate’ or ‘vitamin’ episodes because everybody knows them. They’re 2 of my favorites, but she did a lot of great episodes that are right up there, too; overlooked.

    As far as The Holidays go, millions of people (of course) are going to go whole hog on Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s their choice, and it’s fine. No disrespect intended. The pandemic has broken an automatic pilot mentality for me, and I would hope others of basically the same Holiday routine of turning themselves into pretzels, would follow.

    You have a good memory on my embarrassing Thanksgiving table family encounters (a few years back) with my ‘sort of’ mother-in-law including her slapping me across the face after announcing my (cough) swimtrunk ‘malfunction’ because her Boston Terrier ran away with them from the poolside. I can’t believe you feel I’d be “missing out” on that! It was like a scene out of a movie and funny in a dark humor way, but don’t want to repeat it in risking having it possibly be brought up again. I can see it happening. No!

    But yes, the whole pressure cooker of the Holidays is too much for reasons you actually state yourself above, Fran! The pandemic is about a lot more than Covid. It’s changed, altered everything permanently. The less I have to be in the car with gas pushing $5 a gallon, the better I like it. Sleep is a great rejuvenation gift to give yourself instead of constant unhealthy caffeine (which I never did anyway) for artificial go, go, go due to lack of sleep. Use the pandemic to re-examine everything and re-calibrate your life.

    I definitely will be getting Christmas cards out, but make no mistake, the POST (mainly renewals) are my Christmas presents of choice. Top quality publishing for your learning, fascinating continuing education and entertainment to last the whole year through, every other month. Happy Holidays, just make sure they’re on your terms, not other people’s. You should be less uncomfortable now.

  3. Bob McGowan , Jr. I don’t approve of your calling the President by a different name when surely you know better! I don’t see compassion there, but do with the lost and found child. Your mentioning of Lucille Ball’s on set scary encounters make me very uncomfortable. Why couldn’t you have talked about when she was working on the chocolate assembly line, or the vitamin commercial?

    You have also disrespected the traditional ways we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yes, there’s a lot of hard work and stress involved and not much thanks in return, so you want to chuck the whole thing by doing nothing other than giving your friends and family subscriptions to the Post? That’s fine, but opting out, sleeping? I remember you wrote of embarrassing things your mother-in-law said in front of the other guests at the table a couple of times a few years ago. You’d be missing out of that, for one thing.

    This is part of our American Holidays, taking the good with the bad. I hope you’ll at least send out Christmas cards in addition to giving the magazine. It seems you’re using this pandemic as an excuse to toss everything away and do nothing! A couple of years ago, you wouldn’t have done that. I know so. Bob Sassone, maybe you can talk some sense into him.

  4. Hey, Bob McGowan, Jr, about those flying cars: they’re likelier to kill the awful people who are rich enough to buy them than they are innocents.

    The little boy who was found five miles away from home is a kindred spirit: at age 3, I took off in my pushpedal car to see the world. I got safely across the two busiest streets in town, one a thoroughfare, before my “displeased” mother caught up with me.

    I love Lucy, too, but I adore Gracie Allen. Life is unfair. Though Gracie was rightly beloved by audiences and, with husband George Burns as straight man, was a huge radio and TV star for twenty years, the vast majority of living Americans have never heard of her. If you’re in that category, fix it: as far as I’m aware, the entire “Burns and Allen” TV series is still available for free on YouTube.

    Gracie Allen was what every true star is: an original, and therefore, irreplaceable. Thank God we had radio and TV to record her career for posterity. ( Imagine how many brilliant performers there must have been before the 20th century whom we have no sense of, at all. )

    Lucy fans, there’s something on YouTube which approaches what I imagine a psychedelic experience must be like, Lucille Ball’s turn as the Mystery Guest on a 1954 episode of “What’s My Line.” It’s one of the most amusing pieces of entertainment I’ve ever seen. Lucille Ball was a genius.

    The woman in the store who wanted the music OFF!! and I should get married. She’s American of the Year as far as I’m concerned.

  5. One of the things I enjoy most about the Halloween season is the availability of candy. My fave is Junior Mints in the individual boxes. So handy to put into a book bag or purse or just to enjoy at home. I always make sure to buy a bag as soon as they appear in the grocery stores.

  6. No offense to CBS’s ‘Sunday Morning’ or Jane Pauley of course, but the flying car idea is another toy for the ultra rich that will crash, crash, crash on innocent people and places. Yes, the idea of people inside one like President Joe Manchin, Krysten Sinema, the 3 Dirty Laundries and their attorney ‘going away’ is very appealing, but “flying cars” are just another take on private planes that have terrible track records for crashing and killing since at least the 40’s. The restrictions mentioned here will be abused by the “entitled” rich, and WE’LL be the ones being killed. HORRID idea.

    If my home were destroyed by one of those things crashing down on it, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE with any associations to it will be sued to the max. Vicious shark time of huge legal fangs; no ‘settlements’. SOAK THEM!

    In some good news this week, 3 year old Christopher Ramirez was found safe (though dehydrated) after 4 days of being lost in the Texas woods. Thank you God, literally for keeping this child safe. Where are the answers as to how he got 5 miles away, what he was thinking and doing during that time?! The fact he’s fine is the bottom line, yes, but what about these important questions? This is a boy barely older than a toddler, and had to have been terrified despite “okay” appearances. Experts need to ask the right questions in a gentle manner with his parents there.

    Congratulations to ‘I Love Lucy’ at 70; more popular than ever. She gave that show everything she had and then some. Aside from almost choking/drowning in the ‘stomping grapes’ episode, she had a justifiable panic attack in the episode where she was stuck in the box needing to prove her identity for travel. The one where her delivery doctor i.d.’d her and did a little dance to ‘Skip to My Lou’. Being the professional she was, and sheer will power, she got through the prolonged scene. She had another scare on’The Lucy Show’ where she and Viv were up against rising water in a shower they were trying to repair (I think).

    Thanks for the link of Lucy’s podcasts. There’s always new and fascinating things to learn about this amazing woman!! Great Prins cover with ‘Truck Stop Diner’. At first it made me think of all the portal ship slowdowns on the east and west coasts.

    Use this time and justifiable nightmare inflation & shortages to take the stress out of the Holidays completely by making your only gift The Saturday Evening Post! No dinners to cook, no fussing and fighting my friends. Let Covid and the shortages be YOUR ticket to ride OUT of all this grueling nonsense from now on. Read the Post, and get all the extra sleep you want and need. Turn the tables by turning off, tuning out, and DROPPING out of the Holidays. You’re exhausted. Do it. You know you want to, and should.


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