Last year, 22-time Emmy award-winning reporter John Stofflet posted this news video he created for KING-TV in 2004, featuring Paul Smith and his artistic talents.
Winter in New York City, 1947 © Art Whittaker
Before I return to New York portraits, I want to share some portraits and stories that I gathered on an unscheduled side trip that I took to Jerusalem. Because of the hastily arranged nature of the trip, I worked with some unorthodox interpreters, including an extremely bright sixteen year old Palestinian boy. He approached everyone quite confidently, until we got to this group, and suddenly he got fidgety and clammed up. “Um, I don’t know,” he said. “They, um, will probably say no, um, maybe we should ask someone else.”
"Obey Your Air Raid Warden" a fun song about what to do during an air raid, from 1942
Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
When Norma Shearer was a real-life Jezebel
Carole Lombard was the hostess of the annual White Mayfair Ball. Gentlemen were insisted to wear white ties and tails and ladies were instructed to wear all white as well. An hour into the party Norma Shearer arrived. Heads turned. ‘Why, that fucking bitch!’ muttered Carole. Norma was wearing a bright Crimson red gown.
‘Daaarrling!’ exclaimed Norma. ‘Thanks so much, Norma darling.’ growled Carole. Norma laughed and made her way among the crowd.
‘Wanna dance?’ said Clark Gable who was amused at Carole’s anger. ‘Did you ever see such a bitch with so much nerve?’ said Carole as she motioned to a giggling Norma. ‘She’s a good kid.’ answered Gable. ‘I go for you, Ma’ he smiled. ‘I go for you too, Pa.’
Lady Godiva of Coventry
Lady Godiva was the lady, wife of Leofric, the Earl of Mercia. Earl Leofric was one of the all-powerful lords who ruled England under the Danish King Canute. His wife Lady Godiva was a rich landowner in her own right and one of her most valuable properties was Coventry.
Leofric was a tyrant, he tyrannised the Church and did not hold the same religious convictions as his wife, nor her fondness for the Midlands and its populace. He mercilessly demanded from the people of Coventry an oppressive tax called the Heregeld. This tax paid for King Canute’s bodyguard and Leofric made sure that the people of Coventry paid it!
Lady Godiva pleaded with Leofric to stop this hated tax and he is reputed to have said, “You will have to ride naked through Coventry before I will change my ways”. He was quite sure that his demure, modest wife would never do such a thing.
But Lady Godiva took him at his word, and on Market Day in Coventry she rode naked, veiled only by her long golden hair. As her hair was long enough to cover all her body, only her face and legs could be seen.
Leofric was so stunned by the whole incident that he believed it was a miracle that no one had seen his wife’s naked body, and he immediately “freed” the town from paying the hated Heregeld, and at the same time ceased his persecution of the Church. [x]
“You live all the time with things you can’t see. You can’t see electricity, can you? You can’t see radio waves, but you accept them”
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
David O. Russell
"We weren’t expecting it. We were expecting him to be a little chubby, or have big ears, or be a little funny looking, but we weren’t expecting him to have Down syndrome. They had been telling us that all the tests were normal. We were devastated at first, but we decided to take the bull by the horns. And it actually brought us closer together. We’d been growing a little apart before he was born, but he gave us a common goal to focus on. We spent two months at the hospital together when he got pneumonia. And he’s turned out to be a blessing. There’s no evil in him. He’s either happy, or sad, or mad, but he never conceals and always expresses just how he feels."
(Mexico City, Mexico)
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