The Beginning of the End
It seems that summer just gets started and immediately the days start to get shorter.
July 4th cookouts and parades and fireworks can be seen as both the beginning of the warmest season and the beginning of the end of the warmest season. We’re losing daylight every single day already. For example, in Boston, the sun sets tonight at 8:23. Tomorrow it’s 8:22. Next Tuesday it goes down to 8:21, and next Friday it sets at 8:19. After that we start to lose about a minute every single day.
As someone who hates summer, this makes me happy. But not as happy as I’ll be in September, when the sun goes down before 7:00, and especially in November, when it gets dark at 4:30.
But for you summer-lovers, don’t fret. It’s only the first week of July, so there are still plenty of hot, sticky, miserable days coming up. You have almost two whole months to enjoy your sweating and bugs and sunburn.
Christmas Tree Shops Are Closing
I’ll admit that I only visited a Christmas Tree Shop once, many years ago, but it’s still sad to see them close all 70 of their stores.
I didn’t know that until a few years ago they were owned by Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which this week saw its name taken over by the online shopping site Overstock.com.
Wheel of Ferris
It was invented in 1893 by George Washington Gale Wheel Jr. Just kidding! His last name actually was Ferris, though. Here’s CBS Sunday Morning on its history.
The advantage of a Ferris wheel over a roller coaster? If there’s a problem, at least you’re not stuck upside down.
Headline of the Week
RIP Alan Arkin, Lowell Weicker, Frank Field, Susan Love, Mo Foster, Paul Justman, Dick Biondi, and Marvin Kitman
Alan Arkin won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine. He also appeared in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Glengarry Glen Ross, Havana, Argo, Grosse Pointe Blank, Freebie and the Bean, and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, among many other films. He recently starred in the TV series The Kominsky Method. He died last week at the age of 89.
Frank Field was the first TV meteorologist in New York City, for WNBC, where he was also a health reporter for many years (he helped popularize the Heimlich Maneuver). He was a frequent Tonight Show guest. He died last weekend at the age of 100.
Lowell Weicker was a three-term Republican senator from Connecticut, as well as having been the state’s governor, a state representative, and a first selectman of Greenwich. He made a name for himself during the Watergate hearings. He also formed the A Connecticut Party in 1990. He died last week at the age of 92.
Susan Love was a doctor and researcher who wrote a bestselling book about breast cancer. She died Sunday at the age of 75.
Mo Foster was a session bassist who played with Phil Collins, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Dusty Springfield, Ringo Starr, Sting, and The London Symphony Orchestra. He also had his own band, Affinity, and played on the soundtracks to two James Bond movies, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy. He died Monday at the age of 78.
Paul Justman directed acclaimed documentaries on Motown, Deep Purple, The Doors, and other subjects. He also directed music videos for The Cars, Rick Springfield, and the J. Geils Band. He died in March at the age of 74.
Dick Biondi was a disc jockey for 67 years and the first to play the Beatles on American radio. He died last month at the age of 90.
Marvin Kitman was the TV critic for Newsday for 35 years, a satirist, and the author of several books. He died last week at the age of 93.
This Week in History
Mr. Zip Introduced (July 1, 1963)
The Retrologist has become one of my favorite newsletters, and this week he has a great post about Mr. Zip, the mascot created by the United States Postal Service to help introduce zip codes to the country in 1963.
Zip stands for “Zone Improvement Plan.”
Amelia Earhart Vanishes (July 2, 1937)
There are approximately 47 different theories on what happened to Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “What’s Your Favorite Picnic Sandwich?” (July 2, 1949)
Well, this is one of the most surprising “This Week in Saturday Evening Post History” plot twists.
I originally chose this ad because it has a hot dog in it (you’ll see why in about 30 seconds), but then I noticed the woman in the upper-left corner. I always like to find out what happened to various people when I see them mentioned in the pages of the Post, so I did a little research on this woman, BeBe Shopp, who was crowned Miss America in 1948. (She went up against future actresses Lois Nettleton and Vera Ralston!) Not only did I find out she’s still with us, I also found out …
… she lives five minutes from me.
Hot Dogs and Beans
You could shove 62 hot dogs (and buns!) into your mouth as quickly as possible, like Joey Chestnut did, but if you want to eat just one or two in a civilized manner, here are a few variations to try.
(By the way, July is National Hot Dog Month and U.S. Beans Month.)
The Pioneer Woman has a recipe for Pretzel Dogs, and Baker Mama has one for Grilled Cheese Hot Dogs. These Chicago-Style Hot Dogs from AllRecipes have tomatoes and pickles and peppers (but don’t you dare put ketchup on it or you won’t be allowed to enter Chicago). If you’re looking for something a little bit different, try the Hot Dog Casserole or the Chili Cheese Dog Casserole, both from Taste of Home.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
MLB All-Star Game (July 11)
This year’s game will be played at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. It airs at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. (The home run derby airs the night before on ESPN at 8 p.m.)
National Nude Day (July 14)
Make sure you celebrate the day! (Legally.)
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