Blue Christmas

Dedicated to Blog Buddy, Don Ostertag and Family :
Don Ostertag Off Stage

Blue Christmas / Doye O’Dell / 1948

Blue Christmas?

Most people think that this is an Elvis Presley song.
It’s not.
This song was first recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948.
(Elvis was 13 at that time)
Elvis‘ was 22 when his version came out in 1957.
There were 8 recordings (Hits?) of Blue Christmas before his.

But now there are over 1000 recorded versions of Blue Christmas.
This not only makes it one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time,
but one the most popular modern SONGS of all time. Period.

Blue Christmas” is a Christmas song written by Billy Hayes and
Jay W. Johnson and most famously performed by Elvis Presley; it was first recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948. It is a tale of unrequited love during the holidays and is a longstanding staple of Christmas music,
especially in the country genre.

“Country”? I’d say this is one of those
songs that ‘Crosses Over’.

There are many nice versions of Blue Christmas, but most don’t really do
anything special with the song and very few match up to Elvis.
Here’s a couple that I like though.

OK folks … hope this isn’t too early for ya.

Doye O’Dell was the first artist to record this Christmas standard. Doye had a long recording history from the 1930s to the 1980s and was still performing into his 80s. Doye replaced Tim Spencer in some later Sons of the Pioneer recordings and movie and personal appearances. Doye also had parts in many other TV shows and movies. He had his own TV variety shows that ran for many years on KTLA in Los Angeles and was a household name in California. Doye’s records are sought-after collector’s items today.

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, “1923”


Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren

Yellowstone prequel set to ride …


December 18 on Paramount:

Official synopsis:

“1923 focuses on the Dutton family’s next two
generations as they struggle to survive historic drought,
lawlessness and prohibition, and an epidemic of cattle
theft; all battled beneath the cloud of Montana’s great
depression, which preceded the nation by almost a


Roger Miller … King of the Road

  Rose loves this song … 
so this Post is for her.

I always loved Roger Miller myself.
His effortless way and humor hid his genius.

One of MANY artists that died WAY too young.
Died at age 56 from lung cancer.

But judging from his songs I surely believe
he squeezed a lifetime worth of living into that time.
Hope that goes for the rest of us.



GST Scam Alert

My wife just got an email from these scammers.

“Scammers are targeting individuals by text message or email, claiming that the CRA is sending them a GST/HST tax refund or credit, and are requesting personal information to proceed.
How to recognize it: The fraudulent text message or email claims to be from the CRA. Scammers ask individuals to reply or click on a link to complete an attached application form by an urgent deadline to receive their refund or credit.”

Scam Infomation:

You can check out most any scam going on by doing
a simple search on Google.

Stay well.

Winter 2022 … Game On …

In the video you can hear me puffing
because I had just come in from shovelings our sidewalks.

This was more a blizzard than a snowstorm – the difference being the wind – which was fairly strong – and causes snowdrifts and dangerous visibility problems if you are driving. The snow was also wet – not fluffy – which makes it heavy and hard to shovel or push around.
Rose said that they reported there was a car accident every 4 minutes.
That’s makes it one of those days that
you should just stay home if you can.
So we did.

Tony Curtis : Action Hero / Part Two

“I’ve made 122 movies, and I daresay there’s a picture of mine
showing somewhere in the world every day.”
– Tony Curtis

Soooo … after The Prince who was a Thief (1951) was a hit 
we got Son of Ali Baba (1952).

Pretty good posters.

Son of Ali Baba: The Trailer:

Tony continues his rise to Action Hero Stardom with several Swordfights. He was starting to show his prowess with the blade.

But most sword fighting choreography in those days wasn’t very good.
And many Swashbuckler Movies had mob scenes of fights with a bunch of costumed Extras flailing away with prop swords and hoping nobody got poked in the eye. They were fun, but wouldn’t pass muster these days.

Large fight scenes can be tricky because despite all precautions
some people likely got hurt.

Sadly, without buying the movie I was unable find any useful footage of the climactic duel between bad guy Hugh O’Brian and Tony.

Son of Ali Baba (1952)

The Bad Guy: Hugh O’Brian.
Hugh went on to have a pretty good film career, including starring
in TV’s “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (1955),
which ran for 6 seasons. Hugh ‘owned’ that role. 

Hugh O’Brian / “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” / 1955

Son of Ali Baba (1952)

Below: Tony and Hugh practicing.
For safety reasons alone all fights are choreographed.
Fight Choreography in itself has become an art form in most
any Action Movie.

Son of Ali Baba (1952)

Tony practicing in blue jeans. Those odd boots are likely the footwear he used in the movie. 

Choreography? Let’s not forget the dancing girls of Tangiers!
Mandatory for all movies such as this.
Not really complaining. 

“Yonda” … that famous misquote:

In Son of Ali Baba, Piper Laurie and Tony Curtis stop their horses on a
mountain trail and look down on a castle in a valley. Tony points at it and says: “This is my father’s palace. And yonder lies the Valley of the Sun.” Those lines later came to be famously misquoted as
“Yonder lies the castle of my fodder.”

But, like my friend Garry says:
By the time things get fixed the lie is already a fact.

If interested, I did a whole series of posts on Hugh O’Brian back a ways:

Hugh O’Brian ____________ Not your average Cowboy Part 1

Hugh O’Brian __________ Not your average Cowboy Pt 2

Hugh O’Brian ____________ Not your average Cowboy Pt 3 The Shootist


Winter … It’s on the way …

Winter here always kindly sends us a warning: 
“I’m coming. Get ready.”
Often those warning are not a soft snowfall in the evening.
They are a bitter thrashing:

Record snowfall in Calgary over the weekend

A snowy street in Calgary on Oct. 22, 2022.
A snowy street in Calgary on Oct. 22, 2022

“After an unseasonably warm start to the fall, Calgary saw a record-breaking dump of snow over the weekend.
The snowfall began Friday night and continued Saturday.
Environment and Climate Change Canada says 19 centimetres (about 8 inches) of snow was recorded at the Calgary International Airport on Oct. 22 – breaking the previous snowfall record for that day,
set in 1939, by one centimetre.
In total, 23 centimetres (about 10 inches) of snow fell from Friday night
to Sunday morning.”

Other places were also brutally hit:

Trans-Canada Highway slowly re-opening after Sask. hit with first snowstorm

Regina Leader-Post – Monday

The first snowfall of the season was a heavy one as parts of the Trans-Canada Highway were closed Monday morning.

“The storm hit Moose Jaw particularly hard. The city announced Sunday evening that there would be no transit service Monday morning. It rescheduled waste and recycling pickup “due to the snow accumulation and numerous trees down in alleys.”

Later Monday afternoon, the city said transit would remain offline Tuesday morning.

“We are hoping to be back up and running mid-day tomorrow, as soon as progress has been made on the Priority 2 snow plow route, which covers the remainder of our bus routes,” a City of Moose Jaw news release said. “We will provide an update tomorrow morning.””

Saskatchewan truckers stuck in lineup.

We all know Winter can be mean.
But in the Age of Climate Change
we’re not sure to expect?

The Great Blue Heron / Rose’s Shots

Blue Skies / Willie Nelson / 1978

Rose went after Heron 1:
But we didn’t know if we would be able to get any shots at all?
We are not Pro photographers with Pro equipment.

Incredibly!! nearly every shot Rose took was a winner!

Nice work Rose!

Return of the Great Blue Heron / Part 2

Song Sung Blue / Neal Diamond / 1972

So we walked all the way around the pond and didn’t seen any Herons.
We weren’t really expecting that we would. Just hoping.

Still in a few got some decent Fall shots though.

Serene and beautiful.

A gorgeous Fall day.

As we headed back to the car we stopped on the footbridge.
And when we looked into the water …
I was astonished to see literally hundreds and hundreds of fish!!
You can see them in the pic below – those black dots.

I could understood why Herons would want to hang out around here.
And just as I was thinking this … !!!
Two Great Blue Herons flew in together !!!

We couldn’t believe it!

A little bit closer – Beautiful. They look awesome in flight.

Then they immediately separated and went to different ponds.

Rose followed Heron 1 and I went after Heron 2 …

Coming Up … Closeups of Great Blue Herons!

COVID and other things …

Mr. Spaceman / the Byrds / 1966

Rose says it will take a week to a month to get over our COVID.
I’m close to a week now, but I still don’t feel right. I’m still tired a lot
with occasional headaches. But, for me, I think the worst is over?
Rose is still coughing quite a bit.
Doesn’t look like we’re going to die though.

Meanwhile …

Some folks think their Comments aren’t coming through.
Let me assure you that all your Comments are coming through.
It’s not working properly though.
I now have to Approve every Comment. I didn’t Set it this way, but
it must be due to the Spam attacks I was getting.
So Comments aren’t coming through like they used to.
Also, I cannot REPLY to Comments like I used to.
All my Replies are manifesting as a separate Comment
– which is not the way it’s supposed to work.
To fight this I’ve been putting my Replies inside
your Comments. I don’t like to do this,
but haven’t figured out any other solution so far …
Please continue to Comment. That’s very important to me.
I’m not quite ready to Blog in a vacuum.


Happy Birthday Chris …

One of these Days / Neil Young /1992

“Peace, love, dope. Now get the hell out of here.”
– Terence Mann (James Earl Jones)
Field of Dreams / 1989

Left to Right:
Brother Bruce, Brother Chris, Brother Richard,
Me (Jeremy), and Brother Doug.
1970 … 


COVID update …

The Moonbeam Song / Nilsson

Soooo …
We sleep.
We sleep in the morning.
We sleep at night.
We sleep during breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Sleep, sleep, sleep …
When I wake up I never know what time it is,
or what day it is?
If it wasn’t for occasional toilet breaks …
I wouldn’t bother getting up at all.

When this all winds down at least I’ll be ‘well rested’.

I’m getting tired just thinking about it.

Return of the Great Blue Heron / 1

Harvest Moon / Neil Young

Rose thought it would be a nice idea to go back to
the beautiful pond where we had photographed the
Great Blue Heron in early Summer.
I had no confidence that lightning would strike twice,
but it was a beautiful day and we could at least
hope for a few good Fall photos.
Off we went.

This park is in the middle of new community in South Calgary.
It’s called Mahogany Wetlands Park.
It’s beautiful and  never crowded.

Lots of geese here today.

They were enjoying the sunshine and tranquil conditions.

Signs of dogs.

Signs of people.

You’d think all these houses would diminish the beauty
of this place? But it doesn’t.

Coming up … Great Blue Herons.

Finally caught COVID


Ripple / The Grateful Dead

It started rather strangely. I noticed my hands and wrists
seemed cold. Figured this was a blood circulation issue?
Then I felt very tired.
Decided to have a nap.
When I woke up a couple of hours later
it was ‘game on’. I was sicker than a dog.
My body ached – I had a headache – and a fever.
It still took us a while to figure it out.
Rose got out the COVID test kit and confirmed it.
It was COVID.
Never thought I’d get it at this point.
So I slept, fitfully, for many  hours.
Got up and ate something. Went into sweats.
Laid down again. Woke up later and I was soaked.
Hopefully I was sweating it out.
I feel better now. Seems to be passing quickly.
Good thing because I know this has killed a lot of people.
Moving forward.


“Yonda stands da castle of my fodda”

“Yonda stands da castle of my fodda” ?

Blogger friend Don Ostertag  of Don Ostertag: Off Stage (a wonderful Blog!)
offered this famous (infamous?) humorous film quotation attributed to Tony Curtis in The Prince Who Was a Thief (1952)

Not knocking you Don, (thanks for the Comment) but to my great surprise
(and regret) it seems that this famous quotation – which I also believed was true all these years – NEVER actually happened. It’s one of those
Hollywood myths! (Among several hundred).
The quote is mostly attributed however to another Curtis’ film
The Black Shield of Falworth (1954)

Here are a few Articles detailing how this myth quotation
dogged Curtis even up to the time of his death in 2010:

Wikipedia sums it up like this:
“The Black Shield of Falworth: False quotation:
The film is famous for an apocryphal line, attributed to Tony Curtis and rendered as “Yonda stands da castle of my fodda” or similar. The plot details above show that this would not fit the story: there is no “castle of my father”. The line is said to have come from a remark made by Debbie Reynolds on television magazine attributed the line to Curtis while performing in the 1951 film The Prince Who Was a Thief. “

Another article:


“If you ever happen to see the Tony Curtis costumer The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), you will probably be looking forward to hearing him deliver the now legendary line, ‘Yonda stands the castle of my fodda’, in his thick Bronx accent. Well, you will be disappointed – because he never said it. Not in this picture, nor in any other. The line is said to have come from a remark made by Debbie Reynolds on a television talk show and poor Tony then spent the rest of his life denying he ever uttered it.”

Snopes article: Lies the Castle of My Father
Snopes offers a quote from a conversation Curtis says he had
with Hugh Hefner (Playboy):

“Years later, Hugh Hefner came up to me at a party and said,
“Yonder lies the castle of my fodda.’”
I looked at him coolly. “Hef, I never said that.”
“Then don’t tell anybody,” he said. “It makes a great movie story.””

MFW: Don’t worry Tony. Those stories never die.

Tony Curtis : Action Hero / Part One

Occasionally I go onto YouTube and watch excerpts from Action Movies.
(Kind of a ‘guilty pleasure’)
One of my favorites is this brilliant swordfight scene between
Tony Curtis and Ross Martin
from the film “The Great Race” (1965).

You can’t fake this stuff. These guys were great.

But it got me thinking …

Tony Curtis, 1925 - 2010 on Notebook | MUBI

Most anyone who came along at the end of Tony Curtis‘ career probably wouldn’t know that Tony was a HUGE Action Hero during the 60’s –
making several notable films in the genre that are now
considered to be Action Classics.

Starting out Tony paid his dues with minor roles in several films for Universal Pictures which included three Westerns, Sierra (1950), Winchester ’73 (1950) and Kansas Raiders (1951), before getting his break with a
starring role in the swashbuckler
The Prince Who Was a Thief
(1951), with Piper Laurie.

Trailer below:

Epic! LoL!
But I just watched it for the “Dancing slave girls of Tangiers.”

The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951) - IMDb

Not sure how they discovered Tony was going to be good at this?
But in those days the Studios trained their stable of Actors in Dance, Gun Handling, Swordfighting, Horseback riding, and other skills.
Curtis proved to be agile and athletic. A natural.

The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951) - IMDb

The start of brilliant entertainment career.



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