News of the Week: School Thoughts, Grocery Stores, and Let’s Watch a Bunch of Dominoes Fall Down

In the news for the week ending September 16, 2022, are a grocery store saved, a record broken, a question answered, and the other ‘ER.’


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Random Notes

The start of the school year brings back memories …

I remember the day my mom dropped me off for the first day of first grade. She stood in the doorway until I got in my seat and then waved goodbye and I started to cry. Not too loud, more of a soft blubbering. When the teacher, Mrs. Hinckley, came in, she said something to the class, and I leaned over to the kid next to me and said to him, struggling to get my words out through the tears, “What … did … she … say?” It’s one of the very few things I remember vividly from that age.

School lunches have always gotten a bad rap, but I loved them! Well, some of them. Sometimes there would be odd stews or hashes I wasn’t sure about, but I loved the pizza and the burgers. They also served a fantastic whipped pink dessert, and I can’t remember what that was called. Any help?

Remember those brown paper covers kids put over their textbooks? I never did that. I don’t know why; maybe I didn’t want to bother because I thought it would be too difficult. I never used a backpack either. When I was a kid, that hadn’t become a “thing” yet. We just carried our books and other things home in our hands.

When I was walking home from school one day, someone hit me in the head with a rock. Lots of blood. Got to the hair salon where my mom was and the hairdresser took me to the hospital where I got stitches. Never found out who did it. Same thing happened to me a couple of years later, and that time I knew exactly who did it.

I still have one of my report cards. All very good marks except my teacher said that I sometimes had trouble being too boisterous. She meant sometimes I wouldn’t shut up.

My elementary school burned down when I was in fifth grade. My mom woke me up to tell me that there was no school that day because the school was on fire. In my half-awake state I didn’t believe her, but then I raised the shade of my window (my school was just a block from my house) and saw it in flames. The entire building was destroyed. I still remember the smell of the smoke and ash. We had to finish the year in a room at the middle school, where the “big” kids were.

Seriously, what was that pink dessert called?

Does Anyone Drink Hot Coffee Anymore?

That’s the question asked in this New York Times article, and I’m going to say the answer is “yes.”

How One Town Saved Its Only Grocery Store

I’ve never really thought about this before, but it could actually be a problem. What happens if a (very) small town is about to lose its only grocery store? One solution is to just buy it, as the town of Erie, Kansas, did.

Dominoes Deliver

There’s something both soothing and exciting about watching a bunch of dominoes fall. This is the new Guinness World Record for “Largest Domino Wall.” Imagine the precision and patience something like this must take.

Uploaded to YouTube by Guinness World Records

RIP Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Starr, Marsha Hunt, Mark Miller, Gary Nelson, Anne Garrels, Jack Ging, Sonny West, Wayne Grace, and Mavis Nicholson

Jean-Luc Godard was a star of the French New Wave style of directing, helming such films as Breathless, Alphaville, A Woman Is a Woman, Contempt, and many short films. He died Tuesday at the age of 91.

Ken Starr was the independent counsel whose investigation of President Clinton led to his impeachment. Most recently he was part of President Trump’s legal team. He died Tuesday at the age of 76.

Marsha Hunt was an actress and activist who appeared in such movies as Raw Deal, Pride and Prejudice, Cry ‘Havoc,’ Johnny Got His Gun, and The Grand Inquisitor, as well as TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Twilight Zone, and Murder, She Wrote. She died last week at the age of 104.

Mark Miller starred in the ’60s TV series Please Don’t Eat the Daisies and Guestward Ho! He made appearances on The Andy Griffith Show, The Twilight Zone, The Name of the Game, and other shows. He also wrote several movies and TV episodes, acted on stage, and was the father of actress Penelope Ann Miller. He died last week at the age of 97.

Gary Nelson directed such films as The Black Hole and Freaky Friday, was an assistant director on Rebel Without a Cause, The Searchers, Guys and Dolls, and Funny Face, and directed such shows as Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Nanny and the Professor, and Early Edition. He died in May at the age of 87.

Anne Garrels was a veteran foreign correspondent for NPR. She died last week at the age of 71.

Jack Ging was a regular on such shows as Riptide, The A-Team, Mannix, Tales of Wells Fargo, and The Eleventh Hour and appeared in several movies. He died last week at the age of 90.

Sonny West was a rockabilly star who wrote the Buddy Holly songs “Oh Boy” and “Rave On.” He died last week at the age of 85.

Here’s Holly and the Crickets performing “Oh Boy” on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan wanted them to sing another song because he thought the lyrics were suggestive. Holly refused, so Sullivan had the producers mess with the sound of his guitar, which is why you really can’t hear it, especially during the solo.

Uploaded to YouTube by the Ed Sullivan show

Wayne Grace appeared on such TV shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Frasier, Seinfeld, and The Lazarus Man, as well as several movies. He died in August at the age of 82.

Mavis Nicholson was a British interviewer and commentator. She died last week at the age of 91.

This Week in History

JFK’s “Moonshot” Speech (September 12, 1962)

President Kennedy’s call for America to land a man on the moon was echoed this week in President Biden’s call to find a cure for cancer.

E/R Premieres (September 16, 1984)

The George Clooney show set in a Chicago hospital lasted only one season. Wait, you remember it running longer? This is actually a half-hour comedy/drama that ran on CBS for 22 episodes (Clooney didn’t join the cast until episode 14). The NBC show ER didn’t come until 10 years later, and it also starred Clooney and was also set in a Chicago hospital.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Separation Anxiety (September 11, 1948)

This scene was painted at Bennington College in Vermont, in their nursery school. The crying girl is the daughter of the artist, George Hughes.

Hot Coffee!

No matter what Starbucks’ figures are or what The New York Times tells us above, I think that there are quite a number of people who like their coffee hot. The cold weather is about to start so here are recipes for five hot coffee drinks you might want to try.

AllRecipes has the Mayan Mocha Powder, made with ground red pepper and pumpkin pie spice, while The Spruce Eats has the New Orleans Cafe Noir, made with chicory. Midwest Living has a Vanilla Cafe Latte, while the Nutella Hot Coffee from Seasoned Sprinkles is made with … well, you know.

And A Couple Cooks has a recipe for Spanish Coffee, which has Kahlua, rum, and orange liqueur and obviously isn’t something you pack with your kids’ school lunch.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Constitution Day/Citizenship Day (September 17)

This day celebrates both the signing of the U.S. Constitution and the naturalization ceremonies for new citizens of the country.

Fall Begins (September 22)

If you’re wondering, it begins at 9:04 p.m. ET. (Even if you’re not wondering, it still begins at 9:04 p.m. ET.)

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  1. Bob M: No, I think it was just a scoop of pink something, the same shape as a scoop of ice cream. It wasn’t quite pudding, it was firmer in texture. It’s going to drive me crazy.

  2. Well, it sounds like the first day of the 1st grade was a little rough. I don’t remember mine. I think the kindergarten was an important bridge between pre-school and grade school. It had gotten me used to the routine of ‘real’ school up to a point. I’m sorry that you had that attack walking home from school, just minding your own business. Hopefully whoever did that was punished.

    I remember covering various schoolbooks with the brown paper bags. It was strong paper, and effective at keeping the books nice, especially if they were new or new-ish. Sorry to hear your school burned down. I wonder if it was arson? I still have a report card from the 4th grade. The one time it was mostly A’s and a few B’s. Most of the time, B’s and C’s. 4th grade was the only time I really liked school, and the teacher. It makes a huge difference.

    I don’t know the name of that pink dessert either. To make sure we’re thinking of the same one, is it the one that’s pink beneath a white foam (1/2 “) on top? Just wondered.

    Thanks for the longest domino wall topple link enclosure. It’s astonishing and captivating, to say the least. It’s like a difficult math equation where it has to be perfect 100% or it won’t work. Anything along the way could have messed it up, but no, they nailed it.

    Fortunately it’s been cooler even out here, so it makes it a little easier to believe Fall starts in 5 days. Still, there’s a couple of weeks left this month, and October can be quite hot, despite the visual cues of falling leaves. We’ll see. I love the George Hughes cover here. The teacher (facially) kind of reminds me of actress Jessica Lange.


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