Invasion of the Yellow Jacket Wasps …

18 Sep

See this guy? Some of you will know him well. He’s called a Yellow Jacket Wasp. And sadly, he has been a problem these last 2 years around here. Seems like anytime you have a hot dry Summer you get a lot of these guys. ?? Last year they built a nest under our back step. I tried to co-exist with them, but after a while it just didn’t work. They were getting into the house. We couldn’t barbecue or sit out back either – they would land on our food – or us. Their sting is pretty bad. I once got stung by one and I could still feel it 2 years later.

Finally, I decided I had to do something about them. I tried to block the hole to their nest – hoping they would re-locate. Didn’t work. Then I sprayed Wasp Killer into the hole when they were asleep. That didn’t work either.

Finally, a friend told me about this stuff.

Rescue Yellow Jacket Killer

It’s made by an outfit named Rescue and called Yellow Jacket Killer. I didn’t really want to kill them – or anything … but …

Fill the bag half way with water and hang it up, he said. “There’s something in there that attracts them.” DON’T hang it near your door, barbecue or picnic table though, he advised.

I was skeptical …

But then … I was amazed. They were swarming around it instantly. It started killing them … and killing them. They couldn’t wait go in there and die. I felt like Mickey with the magic broom sticks … like it was out of control … it was Yellow Jacket BootHill … in my backyard. The guys under the steps disappeared pretty quickly. But others kept coming. The neighbor accused me of Yellow Jacket genocide …

It’s slowed down a bit now, but hasn’t stopped. You see that black mass in the bag? That’s dead Yellow Jackets. Hundreds of them.

I pray that Yellow Jackets don’t hold some essential place in the balance of nature? But why else would they exist?

If they’d just built there nest some place else …

I’m open to any solutions that might get rid of them without killing any. ??

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / To the Last Man / Part 2

16 Sep


the circle / byrds 

To the Last Man / 1933

Now … where was I? Oh yeah, To the Last Man Casting. I’ll get back to Shirley in a minute because she’s worthy of a lot more space.

Meanwhile:

Our Hero, 35 year-old Randolph was a pretty terrible Actor in 1933 – very wooden. But became very good later on and is indisputably one of the greatest Western Movie Actors of all time –  Starring in over 50 Westerns.

Esther Ralston plays a pretty hard bitten gal in the movie (guess that’s how Grey wrote it). But she’s not short on looks.

Noah Beery is a back shooting badguy – again – with his hillbilly partner John Carradine.

Colorized Lobby Cards.

Some bad karma chases our hero all the way back to his youth.

Jack LaRue plays a lecherous thug.

Fuzzy Knight supplies some comic relief.

A Review or Two

Original book cover

Illustrations by Frank Spradling

Next … Part 4
To the Last Man

So long Facebook …

15 Sep

I’ve had my issues with Facebook over the years. Frankly, my main issue is that I’ve never felt safe on there. Now I recently learned that your Facebook account can be cloned. People can create another site that appears to be yours – without your knowledge or permission – and use it for whatever purposes they wish – and people will think it is you.

Since Facebook apparently can’t stop this, I’m getting out. I suppose it’s not Facebook’s fault – the Net is rife with crooks – and perhaps the chances of such a thing occurring are slim – but, for me, this is unacceptable.

Too bad.

 

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / To the Last Man / Part 1

11 Sep


only time

To the Last Man / 1933

“The Law of Vengeance is the Law of the Land!”

“A Lawless Breed in a Lawless Land!”

“A Fight to the Finish … which could only lead to … Death!”

You might think that these old Westerns are pretty formula – same Director, same Cast, etc. But when you dig a bit deeper you’ll find something special about each one. And To the Last Man has a couple of surprises. 

To the Last Man / 1933

It’s 1933 – the Great Depression – the Dirty Thirties – and Henry Hathaway has just completed To the Last Man – the last of 5 Westerns that he Directed in 1933 – 4 of which Starred young Randolph Scott.

One special feature of all of these movies was that they were created from books written by legendary Western writer, Zane Grey. This assured us a good yarn, with strong characters and dialogue – unlike many of the pulp Westerns of the era.

This sometimes made for some unusual story telling. For instance, Scott (the Star of To the Last Man) doesn’t make his appearance in the movie until about the 23:00 minute mark! – and the movie is only 1:08 minutes long. Very few films would hold back the appearance of it’s Star for that long!

The Cast

Yes these movies often used a cast of Stock players (Scott, Noah Beery, Buster Crabbe, Harry Carey, Raymond Hatton, Fuzzy Knight …)
BUT … let’s look at bit closer at the Casting list for To the Last Man

Notice anything special? Any names that jump out at you?
If you say John Carradine I’ll definitely give you point.
BUT that’s not the name I’m talking about.
Waaaaay down on the list among  the Uncredited Cast names …

See her?

Holy Doodle!
It’s Shirley Temple!

Yes, this was one of Shirley’s very first movies!
5-year-old Shirley is not a Star yet (obviously) and despite a line or two of dialogue
she gets no Credit.

I’m pretty sure that nobody at that time had any clue that in about 2 years Shirley would become one for the Biggest Movie Stars in Hollywood History
and the Movie Box-Office Champion for the consecutive years 1935-36-37-38.

Twinkle Twinkle … 

Next … Part 2
To the Last Man

Bluenose … a photo essay … Part 5

1 Sep


The Old Captain / Brillig

From bow to stern …
Yesteryear

One more turn at the wheel.

Frank McCarthy / Western Artist Part 2

29 Aug


Long Hard Ride / Marshall Tucker Band / 1976

After a while Frank was encouraged to go purely to Western Fine Art Painting. He did – and turned out a huge amount of quality work. I’m posting just a few of his images here.

Frank McCarthy

Western Paintings

Amazing! You can see the brilliance of his work. 

A great Western Artist.  

 

Frank McCarthy / Western Artist Part 1

29 Aug


Heard it in a Love Song / Marshall Tucker Band

Just to get something up on my board I thought I’d post some images of Western Art. Of course, it turned into a mammoth project. But a good one.

There is a lot of great Western Artwork around – and many excellent Western Artists. In fact, if I was to dedicate this blog to Western Art alone, I would have enough material to exhibit on a daily basis for a very looong time.

Among the many exceptional Western Artists was a guy named Frank McCarthy.

Frank McCarthy

Biography

Born in New York City, he studied under George Bridgman and Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League of New York then attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Types of works

McCarthy began his art career as a commercial illustrator, opening his own studio in 1948. He did illustrations for most of the paperback book publishers, magazines, including ColliersArgosy, and True, movie companies, and advertisements.

Among McCarthy’s film poster work were The Ten CommandmentsThe Great EscapeThe TrainThe Glory GuysThe Dirty DozenDark of the SunDay of AngerOnce Upon a Time in the West, and in conjunction with Robert McGinnis ThunderballYou Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

McCarthy left the commercial art world in 1968 in order to concentrate on Western paintings. In 1975 he was invited to join the Cowboy Artists of America. His 1972 painting “The Last Crossing” was used by The Marshall Tucker Band in 1976 for the cover of their fifth studio album, Long Hard Ride. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997.

Death

McCarthy died of lung cancer in 2002 at his home of 30 years in Sedona, Arizona.

Frank McCarthy Western Movie Posters



“All glory is fleeting.”

 What could be more Western that Cowboys fighting dinosaurs?

%d bloggers like this: