News of the Week: Baseball Season, Mr. Blandings, and Cap’n Crunch Was Never a Captain (But He Is Now)

In the news for the week ending August 4, 2023, are Mr. Subway, Captain Crunch, Mr. Ice Cube, Mr. Blandings, and more.


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Take Me Out to the … Tennis Match

I used to love baseball, but I don’t anymore.

This isn’t the most important news of the week, but it occurred to me the other day, right smack in the middle of baseball season, that I don’t care about baseball anymore. And this is surprising, since much of my childhood and part of my adult life was consumed by it. I played baseball when I was a kid (someday I’ll tell you about the game where I not only hit a grand slam but also a bases-loaded double!), as a young teen I kept score at my brother’s softball games, and as an adult in 2004 I cried when the Boston Red Sox finally broke the curse and won their first World Series in 86 years.

Today I couldn’t tell you who plays for the Red Sox. Maybe one or two players, but that’s only because I’ve heard their names on the local news in a story about a new contract or trade. I haven’t watched a baseball game in ten years.

How did this happen? Well, first off, tennis took over my sports world. I started to play tennis every week in the early ’90s and watched every tennis tournament broadcast on television (I’m not kidding). I stopped playing tennis almost a decade ago (physical things happen when you approach 50 and some of my doubles partners moved or didn’t want to play anymore), but watching it remains my only real sports interest.

Second, the announcers on the Red Sox broadcast changed, there were more than a few years where they weren’t doing that well, and I just decided I wasn’t that interested anymore. I can name more tennis players now, even the ones who are ranked 150th in the world.

Chris Sale! That’s one name I know, but only because he’s always injured.

Maybe I’ll get back into it as I reach 70 or 80. I’ll long for those lazy summer days when you just sit back on the couch and watch a long baseball game. Of course, the game will probably be unrecognizable to me then. It probably already is, with their new pitch and batting clocks and new weird rules for extra innings. When I’m 80 the game will probably be played with AI or holograms or something. Maybe that will give us all a chance to see Babe Ruth pitch against Mike Trout, in an AI-generated old Yankee Stadium, with Harry Caray and Bob Costas doing the play-by-play.

Change Your Name to Subway, Get Free Subs for Life

I guess there are chains that would be worse choices for your name, like Potbelly or Blimpie.

Cap’n Crunch Was Never a Captain (But He Is Now)

Turns out the Cap’n has been a cereal liar all these years.

The 60th anniversary of Cap’n Crunch cereal is next month, and to celebrate, Quaker Oats is finally going to fix a mistake that has bugged fans for years. He has been shown with only three stripes around the sleeve of his uniform (in early incarnations he only has one or two), when a real naval captain has four. They’re giving him a brand new uniform so now he’ll be official.

Now if they’ll only explain why his eyebrows are still on his hat.

75th Anniversary of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

When the entertaining Cary Grant/Myrna Loy comedy about a Manhattan family buying a broken-down house in Connecticut was released in 1948, Warner Bros. built 73 dream houses in various cities across the United States. Some of them are still standing.

Uploaded to YouTube by Warner Bros.

Site of the Week

I’ve become a little obsessed with the YouTube series Hollywood Graveyard, where host Arthur Dark visits the graves of famous celebrities and gives a little bio on each person and also a history of where they’re buried. I particularly love the fact that he not only talks about the big stars but also character actors and people you may not know.

It’s surprisingly not ghoulish or depressing, it’s actually quite respectful and also fascinating and one of the best regular video series you’ll find online.

In the latest, Dark visits Chapel of the Pines, where the cremated remains of some very famous people reside. It’s a different type of episode but if you have an interest in old Hollywood or just history in general you’ll love it. The amount of remains here is astonishing, and the never-before-seen basement vaults hold many surprises. Dark and librarian Jessica Wahl even solve a mystery, the whereabouts of the remains of the star of one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time.

Uploaded to YouTube by Hollywood Graveyards

RIP Paul Reubens, Randy Meisner, Bo Goldman, Angus Cloud, Inga Swenson, Stu Silver, Julian Barry, Lelia Goldoni, Edward Sexton, Marc Gilpin, and Bill Cunningham

Paul Reubens was best known for his character Pee-wee Herman and the TV show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, which began as a stage show and won 22 Emmys. It spawned three movies. He also appeared in numerous other films and TV shows. He died Sunday at the age of 70.

Randy Meisner was the bassist and co-founder of The Eagles. He sang lead on “Take It to the Limit.” He was also a member of Poco and played on their first album. He died last week at the age of 77.

Bo Goldman won Oscars for writing the screenplays for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Melvin and Howard. He also wrote The Rose, The Paradine Case, Shoot the Moon, Scent of a Woman, and Meet Joe Black. He died last week at the age of 90.

Angus Cloud starred on the HBO drama Euphoria. He died Monday at the age of 25.

Inga Swenson played Gretchen the cook on the Soap spinoff Benson and appeared in such movies as The Miracle Worker and Advise & Consent, as well as many Broadway plays, including Baker Street and 110 in the Shade. She died Sunday at the age of 90.

Stu Silver wrote the screenplay for Throw Momma from the Train and created the sitcom It’s a Living. He also wrote many episodes of Soap and Webster. He died last month at the age of 76.

Lelia Goldoni appeared in such movies as Shadows, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, The Day of the Locust, The Italian Job, and the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. She died Saturday at the age of 86.

Edward Sexton provided clothing for many celebrities during the 1960s and ’70s. Except for George Harrison, the Beatles wore his clothes on the cover of Abbey Road, and he also clothed David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Eric Clapton. He died last month at the age of 80.

Marc Gilpin played Roy Scheider’s son in Jaws 2 and made appearances on several TV shows. He was the brother of Frasier actress Peri Gilpin. He died Saturday at the age of 56.

Bill Cunningham was not only the founder of one of L.A.’s first voice-over and commercial talent agencies, he was the first voice of Barbie’s boyfriend Ken in commercials and on records. He died last month at the age of 96.

This Week in History

President Harding Dies (August 2, 1923)

Harding had heart problems and was suffering from pneumonia. He passed away while his wife was reading to him the Post article about him titled “A Calm Review of a Calm Man.”

First Billboard 100 List (August 4, 1958)

The number one song on the magazine’s chart was “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Tea Peps You Up” (July 29, 1939)

It was so humid a few days last week that I didn’t want to move. I just sat there on my couch, feeling like I was hit by a bus. Okay, maybe not a bus, but at the very least a shopping cart. I had no energy at all.

And I was drinking iced tea too! This ad says that iced tea PEPS YOU UP, but I didn’t feel any PEP. It was cold and delicious though.

I want to know more about this Mr. Ice Cube. Seems like he never reached his full product mascot potential and probably met the same fate as Frosty the Snowman.

August Is National Panini Month and National Sandwich Month

But it’s not National Sub Month, though a sub is also a sandwich, so maybe it is?

Let’s start with a panini from Curtis Stone, this Tomato and Avocado Panini with Mozzarella Pesto, and this Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Panini from Cuisinicity. Food Network has the Ultimate Ham Sandwich, Oh Sweet Basil as the Best BLT, and My Recipes has a recipe for a Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwich, which you can have next week (for reasons you’ll see below).

By the way, if you change your name to Panini or Sandwich, you won’t get anything but weird looks.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Fresh Breath Day (August 6)

Shouldn’t every day be Fresh Breath Day?

Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day (August 8)

In addition to big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have to mention this one every year just for the name alone.

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  1. My gosh! I hadn’t heard that Swenson had died! Loved her playing the villain on “Soap” (which is still funny!) As for Harding, my late Husband worked at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel where Harding died. He said, “most hotels only have a Presidential Suite where a President slept…”

  2. Honestly Bob, if you hadn’t pointed out Cap’n Crunch was never a real Captain, I’d have never known. Glad the new, improved forthcoming likeness fixes that, even though I scarcely see a difference. That’s good though because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Thanks for the link of the ’48 Cary Grant/Myrna Loy comedy trailer. I’ve heard of it, but have never seen it. The ‘Hollywood Graveyard’ series looks pretty interesting based on having watched this one. It’s very in-depth and well done to say the least. The cataloging done here is very challenging and seemingly never-ending with well its organized vaults, new discoveries and re-locations done as needed.

    Paul Reubens was a great entertainer who was much more than his most famous and brilliant creation. Randy Meisner for his Eagles work in contributing to their special sound (besides ‘Take It to the Limit’) from the beginning through ‘Hotel’ and after that with some great solo albums. He was unfairly under appreciated.

    The ‘Tea Peps You Up’ ad is interesting because it’s generically promoting tea instead of a particular brand, which is unusual. I wonder how much caffeine was in a typical glass of tea back then. There can be a fine line between feeling refreshed and it being too much. Hot or cold, I prefer de-caf.

    EVERY day should be fresh breath day, with freshly brushed teeth as well.

  3. First, what more can be added for Pee Wee Herman? My daughter loved his TV show and had a Pee Wee Doll with a pull string for voice. She wore it out!
    Second, Randy Meisner was not only the most talented Eagle with the best voice, but he was so underappreciated and underrated as an artist in general. “Take it to the Limit” is my absolute favourite of all Eagle’s tunes. No one has ever been able to replace him.
    Third, what an interesting fact about the passing of Warren G. Harding! That was most quite interesting on what he and his wife were doing as he passed away.
    Finally, that Tea ad was great too. I’m not sure how many are like me and opt for tea instead of coffee for a pick-me-up.

  4. Regarding the baseball and tennis story, I started playing Little League baseball in 1967 and immediately became a big
    fan of M.L.B. I played through high school, and was a huge fan of the Dodgers and Angels.

    Also in high school, my brother dragged me onto a local parks tennis court so he could practice and impress his new girlfriend’s

    At least he gave me that wooden Wilson tennis racquet. After he lost interest in tennis, I started using that tennis racquet as
    my “air guitar” while listening to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.

    I still have that wooden Wilson tennis racquet, and
    it still works ! 🙂

  5. Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” was my favorite song through all those of the 1950’s and 1960’s; still is. That’s all. Just had to say it.


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