Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Footnotes: Mary Poppins' Matthew Garber and other forgotten friends from our childhood. Why Abraham Lincoln hated slavery.

The Kid Who Played Michael Banks, Matthew Garber, Got Paid Extra To Film The Rooftop Scenes.

Matthew Garber was so scared of heights, producers offered him an extra 10 cents for every take.

Dick Van Dyke and Family at the Premiere

    Julie on the set with her baby. 

Harry Cohn of Columbia Studios as evil a man as any who ever lived.

A little known story. Harry Cohn of Columbia Studios was the Harvey Weinstein of his generation. He had a casting couch and all new young female stars to be were expected to give in. Catholic Gloria Henry refused his advances and he black-balled her. When Harry died, Screen Gems head Jackie Cooper, called her and offered to help her find work. Screen Gems was a division of Columbia Studios. Jackie considered it his job to undo damage Harry caused.  This led to Gloria being cast as Dennis the Menace's mother. Jay North said she was a source of solace, a gentle, kind soul, while his aunt and uncle who accompanied him to the studio and acted as his guardians treated him as a possession. His abusive aunt would not let him talk, hang around with or be friends with the other kids on the show. To 10-year-old Jay North success on a hit TV Show meant loneliness and abuse.

Harry Cohn also screwed the Three Stooges the biggest money makers for Columbia. Cohn set each Stooge's contract to expire in a different year, so they could never unite in salary negotiations, this helped him keep their salaries low. The Stooges made huge profits for Columbia and the Stooges received only peanuts. In fact, the Stooges were the main reason Columbia didn't go bankrupt during the Great Depression.

 Cary Grant as a boy

In Cary's defense, the girls bathroom was empty. Rosalind Russell, his co-star in the My Girl Friday, got the use of the Rolls, for a price. She was perplexed and amused.  Here is Rosalind Russell on the game show "What's My Line".  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR6ZF5YzXLA

Rosalind Russell with Cary Grant in one of the funniest movies ever made "His Girl Friday" (1942) about a less than honest newspaper publisher and his #1 FEMALE reporter. 

Jim Carrey 

Jim Carrey's Dad, Percy Carrey, used humor to get his family through tough times, especially after he was laid-off from his job as an accountant, which caused the family to lose their home. Jim loved his Dad, taking him to meet famous people after Jim began to achieve some success. One day Jim took Dad to meet his hero Rodney Dangerfield. For those who don't know, Rodney liked a blunt once in a while "for his glaucoma". So visiting Rodney in his dressing room, Rodney asked Jim's Dad if he would like a toke off his joint. Jim's Dad responded, "No Thank You, if I get started, I'll be up to two packs a day in no time." Rodney rolled on the floor laughing, saying what the hell do I pay my writers for?

Jim Carrey is one of Hollywood's most successful actors and very wealth. He could have allowed himself to get caught up in  his own success. Jim made the choice to not let success change him. Jim has campaigned to save Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the environment and opposed draconian Republican Budget Cuts, affecting mostly the elderly and poor. The credit goes to Jim's Moms and Dad. Jim's Dad was laid-off from his job as an accountant, the family lost their home during a severe recession of the late 1970's. While Canada was in a recession, the Carrey family was experiencing their own GREAT DEPRESSION. At one point  the family was forced to live in their van. They were forced to all get jobs, sometimes meals consisted of ketchup packets from fast food restaurants. But Mom and Dad always kept the family going by using humor to survive, allowing them to navigate the perilous shoals of despair during the dark times. When Jim's Dad died, Jim put a check for $10,000,000 in his casket as a way of thanking him. Today that check would have sailed through Jim's account.

Why Abraham Lincoln opposed Slavery

The Lincoln Family was poor, barely surviving on income generated by their small Kentucky farm. Abraham was an extraordinarily hard working boy, putting in hard labor from dawn to sundown. For which he was never paid, since his family had no money to pay him. Nor did Abraham ever offer one word of complaint. But then his Dad, Thomas Lincoln hired Abe to work on other people's farms. All the money of which went to his Dad. Years later Abe told his friend Josh Speed that was why he opposed slavery, because, as a kid, he had been one, working long hours for someone else for no pay. Abraham Lincoln was lucky in one regard, after his mom died, his stepmom, Sarah would work extra jobs to earn money to buy Abe books to read. She was a gentle soul who appreciated Abe's
character, diligence and desire to improve himself.

“I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse,” Grant wrote in his eloquent memoir.

Sam Houston was and is Texas greatest hero, he fought for and won Texas Independence, then championed joining the American Union. While born in Virginia and one of Tennessee's first governors, Texas was the great love of his life. Sam Houston warned his fellow Texans about joining the Confederate States who were doomed to failure, because their cause was unjust, slavery, and they were opposing an implacable opponent. "Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win southern independence, but I doubt it. The north is determined to preserve this union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates, but when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche."

Confederate General Joe Johnston

Confederate General John Bell Hood

A photo of General Sherman during the Siege and Battle of Atlanta in 1864. Sherman said the luckiest day of the Georgia campaign was when Jefferson Davis replaced brilliant General Joe Johnston with General John Bell Hood. Johnston followed Roman General Fabius and the tactics he used successfully battle Hannibal during the Punic War. Instead of pitched battles, Johnston would use constant skirmishes and flanking maneuvers stretching Sherman's March from Chattanooga Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia to months. Johnston's subordinate Hood had been secretly been badmouthing his commander, Johnston, angling to get his job. On July 17th 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced General Johnston with General Hood. Sherman began his march on May 4 1864, by July Johnston had withdrawn to Atlanta's suburbs. Upon taking command, Hood unleashed four reckless attacks on Sherman's forces, losing all four, which cost him the Battle of Atlanta by September 2, Atlanta was surrendered to Sherman. Later Hood launched an ill advised attack at Franklin Tennessee, in which he destroyed what remained of his army. Veterans of Johnston's Army of the Tennessee never forgave Confederate President Jefferson Davis or General Hood for the debacle of replacing General Johnston.

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