Celebrity Bag Day at Publix

Celebrity Bag Day at Publix

Celebrity Bag Day at Publix

Relay For Life Fernandina Beach/Yulee team “Paula’s Fighting Pirates” are holding a Celebrity Bag Day fund raiser at Publix on Amelia Island, Saturday, November 22, 2014, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Local celebrities will be bagging your groceries and earning tips for the American Cancer Society.

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper will be defending his title from competitors such as Fernandina Beach Police Chief James Hurley, Dr. Annette Bell, Dr. Joanna Steele, and YMCA Director Jon Dearolf. Who will earn the most tips?

Put together your shopping list and join the fun as these local celebrities lend a helping hand by “bagging for life”.

Relay For Life Fernandina Beach/Yulee is a 12 hour, community celebration taking place in the spring where teams take turns walking a track, relay style, to raise funds to fight cancer while celebrating survivors and remembering those lost to this horrible disease.

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Irving Berlin Remembered by Jud Traum

Irving Berlin and James Cagney

Irving Berlin and James Cagney

Images and content by: Jud A. Traum
(This is copyrighted material, used with permission from the estate of Jud Traum. Please do not copy or reprint the following without expressed written permission from the copyright owner.)

There is not much that can be said of Irving Berlin and James Cagney that hasn’t been told before. The two superstars turned out to be the most camera shy introverts in my photographic experience. They would turn away at the sight of a camera. By perseverance, and following the techniques of the Paparazzo, I was finally able to capture a few candid shots. The one of Irving Berlin and James Cagney together was taken in the Broadway Theatre, wehre Berlin’s show, This Is the Army, was palying. They never knew the picture was taken, as it was shot from a distance without a flash.

Irving Berlin never took a lesson, and couldn’t read or write a note. It is strange to learn that he played on the black keys only. It was aspecial piano set to play in F sharp. By stepping on the foot pedal he could change the key, but play on the black notes only. It was on this piano that he composed about 2,000 songs, of which over 1,200 were published. Among them were such international classics as White Christmas, God Bless America, Easter Bonnet and so on. The piano is now on exhibition in the Smithsonian Institute.

Irving Berlin’s office, still located on Broadway, zealously guards his copyrights and other properties. They fight every infringement, real or fancied. Rarely is anyone given permission for use without the fee. The vast estate controls the rights of his 32 shows and 21 motion picture properties.

Josh Logan invited me to listen to the musical hearing of the score of his forthcoming musical, Annie Get Your Gun. Attending were the producers, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, composer Irving Berlin, writer Dorothy Fields and director Josh Logan.

The singers and musicians reached the part of the score where the leads, Ethel Merman and Ray Middelton, sang a duet chastising each other. Josh suddenly stood up and stopped the song. There was a huddled conference of the principals, with muffled talk. Josh addressed Berlin, advising they all agreed a stronger arousal-defiance lyric was needed to portray the dispute. Could Berlin provide it? In a huff, Berlin rose and, without a word, hurried from the theatre. The rehearsal continued through Act II. About 20 minutes later, Josh was called to the phone, and grinning from ear to ear, he returned humming the tune. Reporting to his astonished associates, Josh sang an entirely new challenge lyric called, I Can Do Anything Better Than You.

“When did he write this?” Rodgers asked.

“On his way home, of course, 20 minutes in the cab,” was the reply. The song turned out to be a big hit in the show.

About the author
Julius Traum (a/k/a “Jud” and “Juddy”) was a manufacturer of lamps and lighting fixtures, an originator of the TV lamp, and reproductions of Tiffany lamps back in the 1950’s. He made a film called The Art of Lampshade Making which was shown in Macy’s window during the depression to generate sales. His true love however was theatre and film and he was a true theatre buff as well as an avid photographer. He was best friends with veteran Broadway and film Producer Joshua Logan, and Josh asked him to take photos of many stars and celebrities. Memorable photos he took included James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Irving Berlin, Maurice Chevalier, Tyrone Power, June Havoc, Peggy Lee, Dagmar, Jayne Mansfield, Jerry Lester, Henny Youngman, Morey Amsterdam, Mary Martin, Jerome Robbins, and Guy Lombardo. Traum helped finance the feature film Singing In The Dark starring Lawrence Tierney, Kay Medford, and his best friends Joey and Cindy Adams. Also for Josh, he filmed the making of “This Is The Army” starring Ronald Reagan, both behind the scenes of the movie making, and rehearsals showing the cast marching on the streets of New York in preparation for the Broadway production.

Jud wrote a huge yet unpublished manuscript called Photo Tales of the Stars compete with his photographs and anecdotal stories.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the Oscars folks) have received photos and text on Marilyn Monroe, Irving Berlin, Jimmy Cagney, June Havoc, and Tyrone Power. The material will be part of the A.M.P.A.S. archives and their Margaret Herrick Library.

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Marilyn Monroe Was it Drugs, Suicide or Murder

Marilyn Monroe Was it Drugs, Suicide or Murder

Click to enlarge image

Images and content by: Jud A. Traum

(This is copyrighted material, used with permission from the estate of Jud Traum. Please do not copy or reprint the following without expressed written permission from the copyright owner.)

Lee Strasberg, the most renowned drama coach in the world, was Marilyn Monroe’s mentor and good friend. She honored him by leaving all her personal possessions to him in her will. Unaware of this, he eulogized her at her funeral:

For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine.
She was more than a sex symbol of her time.
She was talented, worthy of superstar acclaim.

Born Norma Jean Baker in 1926, Marilyn Monroe was to become the woman who electrified the world. Through trials and tribulations, her charm, beauty and perseverance captured the affection of presidents John F. Kennedy and Sukarno, as well as hordes of the rich and famous. Her early life was as much a mystery as her baffling death. In her youth, neighbors characterized Marilyn as the girl next door. Fellow performers found her an extremely complicated person.

At the age of sixteen, starved for love and affection, she married twenty-one year old James Daugherty. While he was serving in World War II, in debt and in need of money for rent, she agreed to nude photo sessions, showing the world everything in her famous erotic poses. Her career as a sex symbol was launched. Searching for her real true self, but thwarted by the media and movie moguls, she continued her fruitless quest.

Later in 1956, I was introduced to Marilyn Monroe by my friend, Josh Logan, while he was directing her in the Twentieth Century film, Bus Stop. During the frequent pauses between takes, I had the opportunity of speaking to her. We were joined by Josh for lunch in her private dressing room on wheels. She appeared nervous and withdrawn as she picked lightly at her salad. Josh kissed her reassuringly on the cheek, saying she was doing great, excused himself and left. Being alone off the set with Marilyn made me feel out of place and uncomfortable. Her demeanor was cold and her mind miles away. It was difficult getting through to her with show biz conversation or small talk. I was saved by a knock on the door and a call to her for a take. As I left, I heard her call out, “I’ll come when I’m good and ready.”

I took some photos and Josh Logan supplied the rest of them to keep and use. When he gave them to me, he explained they expressed her many moods. She was a victim of inferiority and insecurity complexes, had short concentration periods, and had difficulty in memorizing her lines. When there were several lines, she would remember one or two and forget the rest. Josh handled it wisely by instructing the cameras to continue grinding on. He would then piece the good sections together so an award-worthy performance would result. Hope Lange, who worked with her in Bus Stop, claimed Marily was always late and very nervous and frightened before takes. Despite this, Josh Logan was capable of getting the best out of her, so that the critics considered Bus Stop her best performance. Josh claimed Marilyn Monroe was the greatest star with whom he ever worked, despite her phobias. Her acting was natural, charming and beautiful.

The Greatest Star I Ever Worked With.

What a tribute! Josh Logan, one of the world’s greatest producer-showmen, chose Marilyn Monroe for this tribute from all the superstars he directed and worked with. Among them were Helen Hayes, Mary Martin, Bette Davis, Ethel Merman, Dorothy Gish, Nina Foch, Nanette Fabray, Jane Fonda, Kim Novak, Joanne Woodward, Marlene Dietrich, Rosalind Russell, Leslie Caron, Anne Jackson, Mitzi Gaynor, Vanessa Redgrave and Betty Hutton.

Some critics of the time disagreed with Josh Logan. They felt her singing and dancing were not adequate. It is possible they didn’t see or review Irving Berlin’s production of There’s No Business Like Show Business. It would dispel any doubt as to her brilliant acting, singing and dancing expertise. in working with her fellow stars, Ethel Merman, Mitzi Gaynor, Donald O’Connor and Dan Daily, she not only held her own, but received rave reviews for her dancing, her singing and her love scenes. She truly stole the show.

In the early 1950’s, the studios claimed that Marilyn Monroe was their most famous Kinescope star, but failed to admit that she was the most ill-used and underpaid one. Her callous bosses caused her much suffering. As their biggest drawing star, she was cast in mediocre roles strictly for box office reasons, such as those in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch. Her treatment by MGM drove her to alcohol and barbiturates.

It is a strange coincidence that Marilyn Monroe’s tribulations and untimely death paralleled closely that of her predecessor, the blonde sex symbol of the 1930’s, Jean Harlow, who died at the age of twenty-six. Like Marilyn, Jean Harlow was affected by MGM’s bad treatment. She was also badly underpaid, and was cast in sexually-oriented, profitable “B” pictures. Both their marriages were failures, and the mysterious aspects of their tragically short lives provoked speculation and worldwide interest.

MM – as Marilyn Monroe was so often referred to, is still in vogue thirty years after her death. In 2962, in her last interview with Life Magazine Associate Editor Meriman, Marilyn said, “I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. I feel that beauty and femininity are ageless – I think that sexuality is only attractive when it’s natural and spontaneous. It is a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.”

The five years preceding MM’s death were her most dramatic. Affaires d’armour were purported to have involved Robert and Jack Kennedy, mob boss Sam Giancana, Frank Sinatra, and others. It was said Peter Lawford arranged their secret rendezvous. Documented for posterity in TV pictures is MM in Madison Square Garden singing, Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy. The expression on her face and quiver in her voice attest to her feelings for him. Many columnists and writers were convinced that her love for the President led to her bizarre death.

On August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe mysteriously died. Leads pointed to and headlines throughout the world asserted that it was a suicide. The airwaves were clogged with radio and TV theories. Dozens of books came off the press with myriads of suppositions – all with theories and solutions by so-called Marilyn Monroe authorities.

If the lines of type and publisher’s galleys were laid end to end, it was estimated they would reach from coast to coast.

One actress-author who had a solid basis for her book is Susan Strasberg, daughter of Lee Strasberg, famous dramatic teacher and friend of MM. In a book published in 1992 she writes that while a student, Marilyn lived in the Strasberg home. She verifies how whacked out and near death MM was on doses of pills. Her wracking guilt about her abortions, her failed loves and the studios’ lack of interest in her well-being destroyed her.

Joe DiMaggio, the baseball immortal, MM’s second husband and best friend, took over at her funeral. He ordered several people, including Frank Sinatra and Peter lawford, turned away from the gates. Although it appeared MM conspired to be her own worst enemy, too many other facts led to unanswered questions.

It is interesting to note that when Marilyn married writer-author Arthur Miller, she studied Judaism. This was so that they could have a second marriage ceremony in the Jewish faith. Their divergent careers, which kept them apart much of the time, and sexual inadequacies, were reported to have caused the end of their five-year marriage. Arthur Miller’s published quote of his “abject humility” obviously referred to his perfunctory performances. Similarly, Marilyn was plagued by her own problems. The studios had built her up as the greatest sex symbol of the time. How could she live up to that reputation? Would her fantasizing lovers expect more than she had to give? Would they expect earth-shaking thunder and lightning, ringing bells and an explosive climax? She complained to a friend that she couldn’t possibly live up to her public reputation.

Was it Suicide, Drugs or Murder?

After 30 years, Marilyn’s passing still leaves many unanswered questions. What happened to critical police records? To where did certain medical and autopsy reports disappear?

The following synopsis supplies clues to some of the questions. One can draw one’s own conclusions from the maze of evidence, conjectures and facts.

According to Marily Monroe’s housekeeper, Eunice Murry, on the night of Marilyn’s death, Marilyn put her phone in another room, covering it with pillows so a not to be disturbed. Taking sedation, she put on an eye shade, and wearing only a bra, fell into a drug-induced sleep.

That was Saturday. Earlier that evening she had called Peter Lawford with this cryptic message, “Say goodbye to Jack, and say goodbye to yourself because you’re a nice guy.” Certainly a timely farewell message. Earlier, Bobby Kennedy had discovered Marilyn’s little red diary. He had learned that if kept secrets of her affairs, including both his and Jack’s. According to her maid, he had words with her, insisting she get rid of it. The diary was never found.

Marilyn’s friend, Jeanne Carman, said she had talked to her about being First Lady. Rumor was that Robert Slatzer, MM’s former lover, was heard to tell that she was going to hold a press conference and blow the lid off the whole damn Kennedy thing – not an idle threat. She never lived to do it.

The Kennedy family was said to have put pressure on all media to squelch stories concerning Marilyn, Bob and Jack.

It was found that Marilyn’s house had been bugged, presumably by the mob. Microphones and tapes were also located in Peter Lawford’s Santa Monica home, purportedly used as a rendezvous by Marilyn and the Kennedys.

The CIA, at the request of the government, was supposed to have Giancana arrange to have Marilyn killed. This was reputed by author James Spad in his book. There were still some students of crime that felt Giancana was involved – that he had sent two of his thugs to murder her. About 10:15 that Saturday night they made their move.

Abe Landau, Marilyn’s neighbor, place the time of her death at 1:00 AM. Other witnesses gave varying times from 11:00 PM to 3:00 AM. Jack Clemmons, first officer at the death scene, in his version, said that everything in the room was cleaned up. When the body was found, the phone was back in the room. Everything had been rearranged, including the barbiturates and pills. The finger of suspicion pointed to Sam and Chuck Giancana. Immediately a wide-ranging cover-up was orchestrated by an unknown source.

When questioned, the ambulance driver claimed he picked up the body a little after 10:30 PM. and was ordered to return it to the house about midnight. From midnight to 3:00 AM the cover-up was well under way. At 6:04 AM, the White House log shows that Peter Lawford made a call to President Kennedy. Word circulated that Marilyn Monroe died from an overdose of barbiturates.

John Miner, head of the medical-legal section of the District Attorney’s office, was present while Dr. Maguchy did the autopsy. he tried to determine the cause of the overdose. There were no needle marks and the stomach contained no residue of any drugs. He interviewed Dr. Greenson, Marilyn’s psychologist, then wrote a report clearing up many inconsistencies. He reported that Marilyn had not committed suicide. His reports also mysteriously disappeared, in the same way as had her little diary.

John Meyer, who attended the autopsy, tried to find out how she had ingested the lethal drug overdose. He too believed she hadn’t committed suicide. There was, however, a distinct area of purplish discoloration of the lower part of the colon. This could indicate the drugs were introduced rectally, possibly through an enema. Unfortunately, there could be no further tests. All tissue samples and papers have also vanished.

What did Marilyn Monroe know? What was suppressed in this true-life mystery?

This condensation is the result of research of authors, authorities, columnists, pseudo detectives and experts. You can draw you own conclusions.

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Hollywood Mirrors Society

And now there is only Betty White left

The passing of Rue McClanahan comes as a shock to many.  So many times the people we become used to and grow old with, we think they will be around forever.  I am/was a big fan of “The Golden Girls”, mainly because the cast was so real. They portrayed real life events, things that actually may have happened to you and me. It was easy to connect with each and every story line. This series gave us so many good times and laughs, it brightened our world every time it aired.

I will miss Rue McClanahan, she was a fun actress who knew just how to hold your attention and make you sit on the edge of your seat waiting for her next line. I still watch the Golden Girls every chance I get and learn something new from the quick-witted dialogue.  There are some things you just can’t get too much of.  She was 76 when a stroke caught her and frankly these days many don’t consider that old.  It really doesn’t matter, to lose a great lady like Rue is a loss for all.  The only Golden Girl left now is Betty White who lost her co-actors on the show in 2008, Estelle Getty; in 2009, Beatrice Arthur and now Rue McClanahan. Miss White who turned 88 in January this year has seen a resurgence in her career in recent years with a surprise hosting of Saturday Night Live a couple of months ago.

In other news from Hollywood super stars are stepping up to help the oil crisis in the Gulf.

Victoria Principal, the former “Dallas” star has stepped up to the plate with a $200,000 donation towards clean up efforts in the Gulf Oil drama. She is one of several celebrities together with James Cameron and Kevin Costner who are getting involved in the clean up process.

I remember the Haiti disaster and how people from around the world donated money, time and goods to that small country to help them in their time of need. I also do believe that charity should start at home and this Gulf crisis is a national crisis. I think the quicker they get the oil shut off, the sooner we will see clean up efforts doing some good. The biggest problem we are seeing in the Gulf right now is that no matter how much you clean a beach, or marsh area of the oil, more is coming in every hour of every day.

The more people get involved, the more we can collectively attack the leak and the spill problems. So my hat goes off to Hollywood, may celebrities step up to the plate.

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Who is Justin Bieber

Who is Justin Bieber

Who is Justin Bieber?

Who is Justin Bieber? If you have a teenaged or pre-teen girl in your life, you listen to pop radio or perhaps you watched Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago, you already know that Justin Bieber is the new teenage heart throb making young girls swoon around the world, including Tina Fey on SNL.

Bieber had his homemade video performances of his entries in a local singing competition, called Stratford Idol, posted on YouTube so his friends and family could see them. He was 12 years old and finished in second place, but the videos racked up over 10,000,000 views and were seen by music manager, Scooter Braun, who quickly penned a management deal with the talented youngster and introduced him to Usher, who offered him a great deal to sign with Island Records in October of 2008. His colleagues now include artists like Hoobastank, Mariah Carey, Melissa Etheridge and Fall Out Boy.

Born March 1, 1994, the young singer released his first single “One Time” in 2009 and it was quickly found, within the top thirty, on music charts in over ten countries. His new producers were the talents behind Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, and with superstar vocalists, Usher and Ludacris, appearing on his records… he has some powerful music industry support.

Justin Bieber on the Today Show

Justin Bieber on the Today Show

I was first introduced to his music, which resembles the talents of a young Donny Osmond, when I borrowed my brother’s truck that only had AM radio and I was forced to listen to Radio Disney, in which Justin Bieber was a guest on the show. I asked my teenage daughter to turn off her I-Pod, take off her headphones and listen to Radio Disney with me as they were nearing the end of the weekend countdown. She squealed with delight when I revealed Justin Bieber was on the show. I’ll admit, I was impressed with his Radio Disney Total Access accoustic version of the song, “U Smile”. This unprocessed and raw display indeed shows talent, but he sounds and looks younger than his years and that could keep him in Disney’s favor longer than other celebrities his age.

Now, that Justin is 16 years old and on top of the world, what is next for him? Well, his “My World 2.0” is still sitting in the #1 spot for the week of May 1st on the Billboard 200 Chart, and according to Nielsen Soundscan, Bieber had sold 768,000 copies after just a month in stores. I suppose this makes Bieber’s “Uncle Usher” rather proud. Because he has already taught himself to play the trumpet, guitar, drums and piano, I’d say this teenaged heart-throb’s opportunities are unlimited. I just hope someone reminds him that you are never too big to fail!

Celebrity Sightings in Fernandina Beach

Celebrity Sightings in Fernandina Beach

Celebrity Sightings in Fernandina Beach

Celebrity sightings are fairly common in Fernandina Beach, and on Monday afternoon Arsène Dupin will be on Amelia Island. Returning home to Austin, Texas, from the Florida Renaissance Festival in Key Biscayne, Dupin will be making a detour to our seaside village.

Dupin has been performing magic and comedy around the world for over 30 years. He is also a gifted juggler and mime. His talent has awarded him some top notch gigs in the entertainment industry such as performing at the White House for President George and First Lady Barbara Bush, being featured at Disney World Village for the special production of The New Vaudeville, starring in Las Vegas at the Show Boat Hotel and directing The Flaming Idiots on Broadway.

Why is Arsène Dupin coming to Northeast Florida? He is coming to see the new petanque courts at the Fernandina Beach marina playground. Several local players have accepted the challenge to play this champion from 3:00 PM until sunset. As it turns out, he is the President of the Heart of Texas Petanque at Austin, Texas, and has developed ties to the International Federation of Petanque.

The afternoon weather is supposed to be in the mid 70s, so come on down and make him feel welcome. I have it on good authority that two artist friends are traveling with him, so be prepared for some impromptu comedy.

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Airport Restaurant Donates Profits to Children’s Charities

sammys-beach-bar-and-grillWhen your travels take you through the Las Vegas Airport, there is a fun little restaurant called Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill and they donate all of their profits to local children’s charities. This restaurant is owned by Sammy Hagar, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hagar’s personality adds to the casual, beach inspired decor and memorabilia from his musical career, including time spent as a member of Van Halen, adorn the walls.

Sammy Hagar finally found worldwide success in the food and entertainment industry with his chain of Cabo Wabo Cantinas and a tequila company. Opening an establishment in McCarran International Airport appeared to be the logical encore performance. By adopting the thought, “You are never as tall as when you kneel to help a child” Sammy Hagar has dedicated his profits from this restaurant through the Hagar Family Foundation, a private non-profit organization that was established in 2008, knowing that he can make a difference by helping kids in need.

Hagar also has a Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill located in Harrahs, in St. Louis, where once again 100% of Hagar’s profits from the restaurant are donated to St. Louis through his Family Foundation.