Friday, October 23, 2009

My Uncle Bill, a D-Day Vet, who once saw Larry Fine in Los Angeles

Those of you who are long-time readers of my website, Women Who Run With the Stooges, may remember a little piece I posted many years ago. It's my Uncle Bill Meisburger's memory of a close encounter with Larry, one of our beloved Three Stooges.

Uncle Bill died last week. His son Danny composed his obituary, and I thought I'd print it here, so you can see for yourself what a great guy he was.


William "Bill" Meisburger, 85, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2009, in Sun City, Arizona. Bill was born on March 7, 1924, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bill’s love of country and of adventure saw him entering the U.S. Army Air Corps at the age of 17. He quickly completed Officer Training and became one of a small, but brave group of Glider Pilots. He proudly and courageously flew Glider Missions into Normandy on D-Day, and, subsequently, into Holland and Germany, in the Allies' efforts to win World War II. His experiences during the War years were some of his proudest, and his love of flying continued throughout his life.

After the end of the war, Bill worked as a newspaper reporter in Kansas and in New Mexico. He later became a police officer and a highway patrolman for the state of Missouri. He met his beloved wife, Marjorie, in Jefferson City, Missouri, and they were married there on February 1, 1949.

With three young children, they decided to move to Montana, settling first in Billings, and then later in Great Falls. Adding two more children to the family, Bill changed careers and became an Attorney. After being elected to the position of County Attorney for Rosebud County, Bill moved his family to Forsyth in 1966, where they lived until 1994. He was the City Attorney for Forsyth for many years, as well as having a private law practice. In 1975, Governor Thomas L. Judge appointed Bill to the Montana Coal Board. He served for five years, the last two as Chairman. During his tenure, the Coal Board awarded over $19M in grants to Rosebud County towns. Projects included new schools in Forsyth, Colstrip, Ashland and Lame Deer. After retirement, Bill and Marjorie moved to the warmer climate of Arizona .

Bill had an amazing and very full life. He and his family were active members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. He loved to golf and was a long-time member of the Forsyth Golf Club. Bill owned an airplane and spent many happy hours flying with his good friend George Tillitt. He was also a prolific artist; he loved to draw cartoons - often using his family members and friends as the subjects! In 1994, he wrote and illustrated a children’s book, "The History of Papa Frog", that was published in both English and Spanish.

Bill is survived by his wife, Marjorie, of 60 years; his sons, Dan (Donna) Meisburger of San Jose, CA and John (Lori) Meisburger of Tacoma, WA; his daughters, Susan (Bob) Hart of Portland, OR, Loretta Meisburger of Seattle, WA and Laura Meisburger of Sundance, UT, and ten wonderful grandchildren. He also leaves one brother and two sisters and numerous nieces and nephews.

Should friends desire, they can make donations to The Alzheimer's Association or to a hospice of their choice. Services will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, at a later date.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to the Stooges!

OK, enough history and melodrama. This is a blog about the STOOGES, after all!

Here's some info at imdb about the upcoming Farrelly Brothers movie.

Looks like Jim Carrey is no longer slated to play Curly. Ummmm ... good? Because frankly, I never saw it.

Though I guess it was a good idea not to just look around for "a fat actor" to play him. Let's face it - our Curly was MUCH more than just a "fat guy", wasn't he?

Friday, September 11, 2009

My 9/11 Diary, Part Two

(Continued from Part One here - my diary entry from September 11, 2001, that "day that will live in infamy" - and keep in mind I'm writing this at about 10 a.m. California time):

The ride home on the subway seemed to take forever, even though it was the normal 20 minutes. I tried to read my book ("The Perfect Storm"), but really couldn't concentrate, so just gave up and stared out the window. When I got back to North Hollywood I walked to my car feeling what we were all feeling that morning, I'm sure - walking wounded.

I drove back to my apartment. At first I thought about going over to the cemetery and just watching my little TV for a while, but I had to go to the bathroom, and anyway I wanted to call my folks and let them know I'd gone home. I parked my car and started towards the building when I noticed a beautiful yellow-and-white cat sitting a few spaces away. I smiled and wiggled my fingers, and it sat down, but didn't approach me. I cautiously walked towards it but it sprinted under a parked car, so I gave up and went inside (see, I'm always hoping to get a stray cat to follow me home - and this would be a good day for it.)

After picking up my mail (Mom's invitation to Grandpa's birthday party) I went upstairs and into my apartment. Tried to phone Mom but her line was busy. So I got online and sent her an e-mail to let her know I was home and OK. Then I tried to find some news, but Yahoo and Drudge were down.

I went to Internet Infidels' chat group and saw a few posts but after making my own statement, I just decided to sign off. Called Mom again and this time got through. We rehashed all the news and I asked about Laura. Was VERY relieved to hear - she was OK. Her furniture store is only 5 blocks from the Towers, but she didn't go there. She was watching it from a rooftop - I guess from her apartment building. I was so relieved she was OK. Then Mom said she'd heard something about shopping malls being closed. Even in the horror we were able to joke - that if we can't go shopping we KNOW it's serious!

I don't really know what else to write. I'm sitting here watching TV and wondering what else is going to happen, just like everyone else. But it seems like, if I could somehow send this notebook back in time, even just a few months ago, it would seem like a science fiction story. It still seems like that now, as I'm watching the pictures. Just unbelievable.

But it really did happen.

And now - life goes on. I'm hungry. I'm going to "nuke" a frozen dinner and totally go off my diet today. Because the whole world has changed. But I'm hungry.

I have to add this - I just switched to The Weather Channel to get a break from The Terror - and the weather guys are very somber, wearing black suits, and saying things like, "Weatherwise, at least, it's calm on the East Coast." They look very sad.

Oh, and I'm happy to report all the news stations have already got their graphics up - CBS's is "Attack on America"; CNN - "America Under Attack"; Ch. 7 (ABC) is also using "America Under Attack"!. Other networks will follow suit, I'm sure.

Bits & pieces:
  • The MTA is closing the Red Line at 1 PM for one hour. Good thing I'm home.
  • All the amusement parks are closed - Disneyland, Knotts, Universal.
  • Three of the 4 planes that crashed were bound for L.A.
  • The schools are still open - poor kids!
  • The U.S.-Mexico border is closed. Ha! That made me laugh. If it doesn't stop the gardeners, it's not gonna stop the terrorists! (They just said it's reopened, but slow.)
My feeling about the plane that went down in Pennsylvania - that wasn't the plan, it was aiming somewhere else but failed. Maybe the crew, the passengers, stopped it from reaching its goal. And they just said, someone in the plane called 911 on his cell phone to say they were being hijacked.

Wow - QVC, the shopping channel, has suspended its broadcast "in light of these events." Now you know it's big when they stop selling! (HGTV too, and the Food Channel)
And that ... is where my 9/11/01 entry ends. There are more entries, another one on 9/14 where I repeat the phrase everyone else was saying, "The whole world changed this past Tuesday"; and this:

We're now saying, "the attacks of two weeks ago", and soon it'll be "last month", "last year", "ten years ago" ...

And here we are, dear Stooges Women (and Men), at the 9 year anniversary, and what has changed? Do you feel any safer? I don't, really.

And yet it's certainly NOT because there aren't brave men and women out there, putting their lives on the line every second, trying to keep us safe. So to them, and to their counterparts who died on that day, I have two words that are totally inadequate, yet heartfelt:


My 9/11/01 Diary, Part One

Long-time "Stoogeswoman" fans know that I took 9/11 VERY SERIOUSLY. There wasn't anything to laugh about on that horrible day. Which is why I'm so grateful to CNN for giving us a much-needed chuckle this morning. Thanks, guys & gals, for truly being the "Check News? Never!!" network!

In some ways it seems like 9/11/01 was a long time ago - and then you come across something that brings it all back. This morning I found a diary entry I'd written. This was before I had multiple blogs to do this sort of thing in.

The entry is in a notebook I'd bought, according to my first entry on 9/3/01, to chronicle my very confused love life. At the time, I had just broken up with a guy I didn't really care about that much, and was still nurturing forlorn hopes that I might get back together with another guy I'd really been seriously in love with. As things turned out, he was the "Mr. Big" to my "Carrie", only with one of the "alternate endings" in which he dumped her.

But I was still hopeful, and according to my diary entry of 9/3/01, "Until the pain of NOT being with him outweighs the pleasure of BEING with him - I'd rather take my chances. Am I nuts or what??"

(Um ... "what", dear Stoogeswoman of the past, definitely "what"!)

Anyway - flip the page, and here's the next entry:

September 11, 2001 ... (about 10 a.m.)

"... day that will live in infamy ..."
and we are all wondering what's next.

I woke up to the radio at 5:30 a.m., as usual. KNX 1070, my favorite station. I listened to the headlines. Nothing major, no dead movie stars or anything. So I hit the snooze alarm and got an extra 9 minutes of pleasant drowsing. It would be the last pleasant minutes of the day ...

When the radio came back on I heard the words "breaking news ... we're switching live to our affiliate in New York ...", a lot of confusion, voices, then the startling news that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers. Hmm, well, very sad, I thought, and flashed onto an old "Simpsons" episode - the one where Homer's car is illegally parked at the Towers and he's running back and forth trying to get to the bathroom before he gets another ticket. I've never been to NY so that's the most vivid image I have of the Twin Towers. I get up, dress and get ready to go to work, still listening. It's still at the point where it's "oh, too bad, a plane crash; hope no one's hurt."

(I just had to stop writing because on Fox News they showed a tape of people leaning out the windows of the building, still hoping for rescue - then, the announcer said, a lot of them just jumped out to end their misery. God, oh god.)

Anyway ...

I gt in my car and drove through the quiet streets of North Hollywood to the subway station, still listening to the radio. I switched from KNX to 89.3, the NPR station, but they weren't talking about it so I switched back. Now, of course, the 2nd tower had been hit and the reporters were obviously getting caught up in "ohmigod" mode. So it seemed pretty serious. I wondered if I should get on the subway, but figured they'd have shut it down if there were a serious threat.

When I got to the office I decided to go upstairs and get my little portable TV out of my desk so I could watch the news while I ate my breakfast. See - even at this point - I still thought - as bad as it was - that it was "just" a plane crash. A really bad one of course, but still, planes do crash so ...

When I got to my area, Theresa
[my boss] was there and listening to the radio. She told me that the Pentagon had been hit, and that's when I understood it was a lot worse than "just" a plane crash. This was war. This was the beginning of something.

As Theresa was talking, my phone rang - a double ring for an outside call, so I answered it. It was my mom. She was worried about me being at work and wanted to know if I was watching all this. I told her I was still finding out what was going on but that I was sure we would be okay. I told her I'd talk to her later.

I went downstairs to my little "hiding place" - the cot room next to the coffee room on 45, taking with me a "vending machine" breakfast - two Rice Krispies bars and a Coke. (I got the REAL stuff - caffeine and NON-diet - figured I'd need it!), then I settled in and started watching the unbelievable - but very real - horror in NYC. I couldn't believe it, just kept saying out loud, "God, oh my God, oh Jesus, oh shit." Just like the rest of us at that point.

Then - as I was watching ABC with Peter Jennings - the 2nd Tower collapsed. They were both gone. I'd never gotten to visit them - only seen them in a cartoon - and now they were gone.

And the worst part was knowing all the people who were there, inside. People like me, just trying to make a living, just going to work and doing their best. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

It was 7:30, and I didn't have to start working till 8, but I couldn't watch any more, so I just decided to go back upstairs, start working, and maybe they'd let us leave early. As I headed for the elevator, I passed 3 men coming in to work, talking about it. I told them the 2nd Tower had just collapsed, and they were shocked.

I want to be very honest here, as sometimes you read stories about historical events and you have a hard time identifying with the people involved. So maybe this will make it more real to you, if I tell you that even as horrified and sad as I felt, I also felt kind of a perverse pleasure at being the bearer of bad news to people who hadn't heard it yet. I knew it was awful to feel that way even at the time, but I still felt it. I'm sorry ...

Anyway ...

When I got back upstairs Theresa was still listening to the radio and I went to my computer to get online. Yahoo! News was still up at that time but only had one brief story - "Plane hits World Trade Center," nothing else. I checked my email, then went to my chat board and wrote a little message asking everyone, no matter what their beliefs, to pray/send good thoughts or whatever, for all the people who were suffering. As I finished, Carolyn Mertes
came over and told us the building was shutting down, and that Greg Moore (managing partner) had confirmed we should all go home.

Carolyn needed a taxi voucher so Theresa decided to stay a little while longer in case anyone else needed one. I was only too glad to get out. Everyone on the elevator was talking about it, and I got to be the 1st one to offer the cliche about how this must be what Pearl Harbor was like. At that point till I got back to my car, I got overwhelmed by sadness and fear. I met a few co-workers coming up the hill, told them about the closure and some of them turned around to go back (Dee Bunce was one). Some people, who obviously hadn't heard the news, thought it was a joke and went on. I shrugged - they'd find out too soon.

(Go to Part Two here)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to get out of a boring conversation!

I keep getting cornered by people (some of whom I'm related to) who think that their long-winded monologues are of interest to me; and because I was raised to be polite (and also because I'm basically cowardly), I've never quite mastered the art of politely and tactfully conveying the message: "Could you please stop, because I have something more interesting I need to do, like working, or pounding sand down a rathole."

But just now in the coffee break room, I found myself in that situation, and tried something that actually worked: I waited till there was a lull in the monologue, and started in on my OWN monologue.

The perpetrator in question was describing an episode of "CSI" (I forget which city) he'd recently seen involving a woman who ate a seed which made everything taste sweet, and naturally that meant she ate a cup of arsenic and died a horrible death.

Now I wouldn't have minded that brief description, but he was going into excruciating detail, like describing every moment of the episode from beginning to end, including commercials.

So when he got to the second commercial break, I jumped in with a long-winded description of a similar situation in the movie "Suspicion", starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, which was based on a far superior book by Francis Iles called "Before the Fact".

I described how the protagonist, Lila, had met a mystery writer who revealed to her that she knew of a substance which everyone had in their kitchens which was instantly poisonous and completely undetectable to medical examiners, and then described how that information was used, both in the book and in the movie.

By the time I got to the point of describing how the producers of the movie had gotten cold feet and refused to allow Cary Grant to actually go through with committing murder, as opposed to the book version, my companion had discreetly gulped down his coffee (still hot and presumably quite sweet), wished me a happy holiday weekend, and beat a hasty retreat.

I'm going to try this on some of my relatives this weekend. If it works, I'll let you know. Hmm - maybe I'll write a self-help book about it! Keep your eyes on Amazon - nyuk nyuk!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Three Stoogettes!

OK, so here's the basic plot:

Mona, Lori and Curly Joanna are three beauticians who really, really shouldn't have made it through cosmetology school. But they all have rich, indulgent parents, all of whom own stock in the school, so the teachers decided they'd rather license total incompetents than lose their jobs.

So Mo, Lori and Curly set up their own beauty shop, right smack dab in the middle of Beverly Hills. On their first day of business, they offer free permanent waves to all walk-in customers. What a deal! I can't see anything going wrong with that - can you? (nyuk nyuk)

Let's see how the guys handled a similar situation:

Monday, June 1, 2009

We interrupt my plans for an all-female Three Stooges movie (The Three Stoogettes) to bring you ...

... this amazingly cool video which I found on Youtube today!


Meanwhile, the plot's thickenin' - that's "th", not "s" (nyuk nyuk!) - in re: the Three Stoogettes movie! In case you've forgotten, in my last post wayyyy off in the distant past, I promised to reveal my proposed cast.

Well, I'll do that next time. However, let me just say that after her unfortunate breakdown following the RIDICULOUSLY STUPID failure of "Britain's Got Talent" to award her their top prize, I've decided not to cast dear Susan Boyle in the "Larry" role, as I'd originally planned.

Not that I don't think she'd do a super job, but frankly, it looks like she needs some time away from show biz.

Hang in there, sweetie! The whole world knows you got done dirt! Don't let it keep you from recording your album - some of us have already put in
our pre-orders!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Stoogettes, or Why Not Me?

As long-time readers of my website know, there are plenty of women out there who not only LIKE the Three Stooges, they totally IDENTIFY with them.

Who among us hasn't had a day when she feels like Moe - surrounded by idiots?

Or Larry, who TOTALLY understood the trauma of the Bad Hair Day?

Or Curly, often misjudged because of his weight, even though he was a LOVELY dancer!

Yes, we women have a LOT in common with the Three Stooges!

So why this constant insistence by misguided males like Randy Fiedler of the Waco Tribune that we don't?

I say it's time for a new Three Stooges movie. But unlike
the Farrelly Brothers, I have a vision for something even greater:

The Stoogettes!!!

Yes, that's right - a brand new Three Stooges movie with an all-FEMALE cast!

Why not? I've already picked out two of the leads - and have a modest proposal for the third.

All of which I'll reveal - next week! Nyuk nyuk!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Susan Boyle: The Revenge of Hyacinth Bucket!

Wow, Stooges fans and others - have you seen this video of Susan Boyle yet?

If not, go ahead and watch - I'll wait.

[thumbs twiddling]

Oh, you're back? Great! Well, wipe the tears from your face, and tell me if that isn't the most WONDERFUL thing you've seen in a long time? Because I know it sure is for me!

I have watched that video so many times I've lost count - and I always, ALWAYS cry at that wonderful moment when the music comes up, Susan begins to sing, and the jaws start dropping!

Which made me think - one of the reasons people may have been skeptical about Susan being a good singer (before she opened her mouth!) is that she bears a striking resemblance (IMHO) to one Hyacinth Bucket:

So when the judges saw her, they were sort of primed to react like Emmett - as were we all!

But Susan, wonderful Susan, proved to be Hyacinth's Revenge!

See, there's this idea that us horizontally challenged women over a certain age are just naturally objects of ridicule. Of course it's unfair. But it's the way things are.

Until now!

Susan, you did it! When you broke through that wall of contempt and made that audience your own, you did it for all of us Hyacinth Buckets* out there!


(* Sorry - that's BOUQUET!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

How the Internet Works

For those who, like my dad, wonder just how this Internet thingy works, as far as finding any useful information at all - here's what happened during the space of about half an hour, last Friday:

I was reading this thread at the MobileRead forum about a new book by Joss Whedon. I didn't really know who he is, so I Googled him and got his Wikipedia entry.

Among other things, it said he was an atheist. For whatever reason, that made me think of Antony Flew, the atheist philosopher who became a deist. So I navigated to Antony Flew's Wiki page.

At the bottom, there was a link to a section called "Former atheists and agnostics". I was surprised to see Ted Turner listed there, as I hadn't heard anything about his converting. But sure 'nuff, his Wiki page says that he's "made peace with organized religion, prayed to God daily, and had joined with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and the United Methodist Church to fight malaria.[11] ", so there!

And of course, I remembered that his wife, Jane Fonda, had had a much more well-known conversion to Christianity. So I clicked on Jane's link.

And since "Nine to Five" is the movie I know her best from, I clicked on that link and, among other things, read about the short-lived TV series, in which an actress named Valerie Curtin had played Jane's role of "Judy Bernly".

Valerie Curtin's link gave a little more info about the TV series - specifically, that during the third season, James Komack took over as executive producer.

Well, gee, I remember James Komack very well! See, when I was 12 years old, I had a HUGE crush on the late, great Bill Bixby, but came close to getting a crush on Jimmy Komack as well, when I saw him as "Norman" in "The Courtship of Eddie's Father".

So naturally, I clicked on James Komack's link, and was a bit surprised to read the following:

Komack was widely believed to be the illegitimate son of Milton Berle. In his autobiography, Berle describes an encounter with the producer of a hit 1970's show, (probably Welcome Back Kotter) and got pitched for a role in another series (probably "The Man" in Chico in the Man). Berle said he didn't know the guy already had a hit show and was probably trying to hustle him to get a leg up as a producer. He wrote that it wasn't until later that he learned that this was the illegitimate son whom he had pined for ever since he'd had an affair with a would-be movie starlet back in the 1920s. By the time he came around, the role was cast with someone else - probably Jack Albertson.


See, I actually read Milton Berle's tell-all-but-don't-use-any-real-names autobiography, which was published in 1975. Though I was just a slip of a goil (nyuk nyuk!), I remember quite very well Uncle Miltie's story about his fling with a beautiful starlet who got pregnant, dumped him, and married someone else, allowing Milton's son to be passed off as his.

Miltie (and his ghost writer, Haskel Frankel) went to great pains to disguise the identities of everyone involved, but apparently whoever wrote the Wiki entry did some excellent detective work, or at least is one hell of a good guesser.

Now ever since I read Berle's book, I wondered if I'd ever find out who his mystery son was. When he died, in 2002, there was a little talk about it, but it didn't go anywhere. His adoptive son, Billy Berle, wrote a really disgusting and almost unreadable bio of his dad which shed no light on the subject at all. And after that, no one really seemed interested anymore.

I found a couple of photos of the gentlemen in question:

I can see a resemblance - can you? It seems plausible to me!

And that, Dad, is how you find information on the Internet!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tired of all those "very special episodes" of ER?

Here's the antidote!

Nyuk nyuk! Thanks, on Youtube!
MinisodeNetwork at Youtube!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zen Moe-an

While reading the following ancient parable in Alan Watts' "The Way of Zen" (1957, Pantheon Books) I was suddenly enlightened:

The Stooges were Zen masters!

Don't believe me? Read it for yourself:

On one occasion Moe and Curly were out for a walk, when they saw some wild geese flying past.

"What are they?" asked Moe.

"They're wild geese," said Curly.

"Where are they going?" demanded Moe.

Curly replied, "They've already flown away."

Suddenly Moe grabbed Curly by the nose and twisted it so that he cried out in pain.

"How," shouted Moe, "could they ever have flown away?"

This was the moment of Curly's awakening.

(It'd sure wake ME up, nyuk nyuk!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Farrelly Brothers and MGM making new Stooges movie!

WOW! A new Three Stooges movie is in the works over at MGM - and produced by the (in)famous Farrelly brothers!

Now, this could be really good ... or really awful.

Kinda like that Gawdawful Kevin James movie, "Mall Cop" (shudder), which I VERY reluctantly plugged back on the old side ... and really wish I hadn't).

So ... we'll see!

I do kinda like the idea that it's not another biography of the Guys, like the one produced by Mel Gibson back in 2000.

Which was actually pretty good. So I see no reason to reinvent the wheel. (Unless you just have nothing better to do - always a possibility in this economy!)

So good luck, Farrellys! We hardcore, never-say-diet Stooges fans wish you only the best!

Just don't blow it, knuckleheads!!!

Welcome to the Stoogeswoman's Blog!

Hi, friends and neighbors! As you may or may not know, my name is Christine Lehman, and I run an (in)famous website called Women Who Run With the Stooges!

Yep, that's right - I've decided it's finally time to move into the 20th century and get me a blog. Who knows, if it woiks out, I might even get into that Twitter thing too (nyuk nyuk)!

Anyway, welcome aboid, knuckleheads! Tell your female Stooge-lovin' pals to come on over! (Stooge-lovin' guys welcome too - but behave!)