News of the Week: Willie Mays’s Catch, Wood’s American Gothic, and Why 7-Eleven Plays Classical Music

In the news of the week ending June 28, 2024, are classic baseball, classical music as deterrent, and some not-so-classic Fourth of July recipes.


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A 2024 Baseball Game (1954-Style)

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the amazing catch Willie Mays made in the 1954 World Series, Fox did a rather neat thing for the Giants/Cardinals game: They recorded an inning of the broadcast the way it looked and sounded on TV 70 years ago.

Uploaded to YouTube by Fox Sports

Why Does 7-Eleven Play Classical Music Outside Their Stores?

If your first guess is because classical music is quite beautiful and timeless, that’s not it. It’s actually because the stores believe that music as sophisticated as classical will keep away undesirable loiterers, like teenagers and homeless people, and help prevent crime.

They’re not the only stores doing it. Some Walgreens and abandoned department stores are doing it too, some for decades. But they always have to contend with those rare teens who drink cheap beer but also happen to like Debussy.

Who is Alex Trebek?

The late Jeopardy! host got his own stamp this week, and they made the sheets look like the board from the game show.

Something I Learned This Week

I always assumed that the people in Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic were husband and wife. But they’re actually supposed to depict a father and daughter! And to make things even more interesting, the models for the painting were Wood’s daughter and…his dentist!

RIP Kinky Friedman, Bill Cobbs, Frederick Crews, Al Schultz, Russell Morash, Spencer Milligan, Taylor Wiley, and Tamayo Perry 

Kinky Friedman was a singer, songwriter, columnist, and satirist. His band opened for Bob Dylan, he wrote several novels (featuring himself as a detective), and he even ran for governor of Texas in 2006. He died Wednesday at the age of 79.

Bill Cobbs was one of the most recognizable character actors over the past 50 years. He appeared in such films as The Hudsucker ProxyThe BodyguardThe Color of MoneyThe Cotton ClubSilkwoodAir Bud, and the Night at the Museum films. On TV you saw him on I’ll Fly AwayThe Drew Carey ShowGo OnThe SopranosThe Slap Maxwell StoryKate & Allie, and dozens of other shows. He died Tuesday at the age of 90.

Frederick Crews was an author, essayist, and critic. He died last week at the age of 91.

Al Schultz was a top makeup artist who worked on such shows as The Carol Burnett ShowAll in the FamilyThe Sonny and Cher ShowThe Dean Martin Show, and The Merv Griffin Show. He was the husband of actress Vicki Lawrence. He died last week at the age of 82.

Russell Morash created the PBS shows This Old House and Victory Garden and was a director/producer on Julia Child’s iconic show The French Chef. He died last week at the age of 88.

Spencer Milligan played Rick Marshall on the ’70s show Land of the Lost. He died Saturday at the age of 86.

Taylor Wily was a former sumo wrestler who became an actor. He was a regular on the Hawaii Five-0 reboot and appeared in many other shows. He died last week at the age of 56.

Tamayo Perry was a champion surfer and actor who appeared in such movies as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and TV shows like Hawaii Five-0. He died Sunday at the age of 49.

This Week in History

First Scholastic Aptitude Test (June 23, 1926)

It was given to 8,040 students. Here are a few of the questions from that test.

I did rather well on the reading part of the SAT. I’d rather not talk about the math part.

Dark Shadows Premieres (June 27, 1966)

It’s weird to think that there was once on TV – on a major broadcast network, every single afternoon – a soap opera about vampires, ghosts, and time travel. I was really into this show when I was a little kid, even though the theme song used to freak me out.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: French’s (June 27, 1953)

I’m not sure if you can zoom in to see those recipes – you can if you have a subscription to the Post – but they’re for Frenchwise Potato Salad and Frenchwise Barbecue Sauce.

Fourth of July Recipes

In addition to those recipes from French’s, here are more to try next week.

The Beef Checkoff gives us this recipe for Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers, and our own Curtis Stone has a Veggie Flatbread Sandwich with Feta-Yogurt SpreadCountry Living has recipes for Salt-and-Pepper BBQ Ribs and Root Beer Baked Beans. For a patriotic dessert, Food Network has a Flag Cake and a Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle. And you can wash all of that down with a Frozen Cherry Coke Slushie or Homemade Lemonade, both from Delish.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Wimbledon Begins (July 1)

A guy on Jeopardy! last week lost money because he said Wimbleton instead of Wimbledon. Happens all the time. ESPN will have full coverage every day and Tennis Channel will rerun the matches you may have missed.

The Dog Days of Summer Begin (July 3)

It’s not just a general phrase. There are actually official dog days, from July 3 until August 11.

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  1. Thanks for the new/vintage Giants/Cardinals game. I’m sorry Willie Mays just—just missed the anniversary of his amazing catch in the 1954 World Series. He would have been very touched. Wish I could hear some classical music in stores.

    It’s either nothing or something bombastic. I normally don’t go to the 7-11. Being a ‘convenience stores’ the prices are already higher than high. I’m sooo sick of long lines in the damn grocery stores with only one checkout open!

    The ‘Jeopardy’ postage stamps are kind of neat. I wonder if one of the answers is for when was the post office NOT in financial jeopardy? Grant Wood knew what he was doing when he chose his models for ‘American Gothic’. He and Norman Rockwell could have swapped some interesting stories on getting just the right people and more.

    Gee Bob, how old WERE you when you started watching Dark Shadows as a little kid anyway? It went off in 1971, so you’re older than I thought, or not? Never mind. I appreciate your including the Post’s 2020 DS online feature link. That’s several years ago now itself; geez!! Not much to say other than I still haven’t seen the June ’66 to March ’67 episodes, ever, leading into April, so it’s time to see those now say I.

    Mark, you’re right about the above French’s ad! I’ve got a couple of choices for 4th gatherings. I’ll bring potato salad to one, and my delicious Spanish rice to the other. That’ll work. OH! The debate Thursday night? Not to worry. As long as Joe stays on the ticket (he will) with the VP, then everything should all work out for the best.

  2. Loved the old French’s ad. You just can’t beat French’s mustard and worchestershire sauce. I’m actually going to try the potato salad and barbecue sauce recipes. Happy 4th. of July Bob.


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