Mike Nichols, RIP.

So sorry to hear about Mike Nichols. It’s the sorriest Mike Nichols news since he married Diane Sawyer, in fact, but there’s no accounting for taste. (You just hate to see artists you genuinely admire fall for former Nixon staffers with a fondness for those steamed-shower-door soft lenses.) Anyway, rest in peace, Mr. Nichols, and thanks for Mrs. Robinson.

I know Mrs. Robinson was a creation of many people, including Charles Webb, who wrote the novel “The Graduate” is based on; Buck Henry, who wrote the screenplay; Anne Bancroft, who played her; and Nichols, who directed her performance. Like Roger Ebert, I saw “The Graduate” when I was young and thought it was about one thing, and then watched it years later and realized it’s all about another thing, i.e., Mrs. Robinson.

I recommend clicking through this not-too-long slideshow at New York magazine, an appreciation of Mrs. Robinson’s “scary chic.” I was ashamed that I never noticed all her leopard prints until now. Nothing happens on a movie set by accident, so I have to assume it was deliberate, to underline either a) her sexiness (the writer correctly points out that was pretty much the only choice for mid-’60s lingerie that needed to telegraph that message), her wild-animal spirit (she’s a very, very bored lioness), or maybe something else. The term “cougar” to describe a sexually aggressive older woman hadn’t been coined yet. Maybe Nichols was ahead of his time that way.

(Oh, and as to the “older” thing: Bancroft was 36 when she played the part, and the character was probably about 40-42 — she got pregnant in college and has a college-age daughter. Ebert explains she was aged with shadows and makeup, but wowsa, that’s one sexy broad.) Ebert:

“The Graduate,” released in 1967, contains no flower children, no hippies, no dope, no rock music, no political manifestos and no danger. It is a movie about a tiresome bore and his well-meaning parents. The only character in the movie who is alive–who can see through situations, understand motives, and dare to seek her own happiness–is Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Seen today, “The Graduate” is a movie about a young man of limited interest, who gets a chance to sleep with the ranking babe in his neighborhood, and throws it away in order to marry her dorky daughter.


Roy has a little more on his theatrical career, as well as his glorious early days with Elaine May.

I also loved “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and …most of the rest of his work. You just knew he was going to bring it.

Have a great weekend, all. I’ll be…working.

Posted at 7:00 pm in Movies |

68 responses to “Mike Nichols, RIP.”

  1. Dexter said on November 20, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    “…Virginia Woolf” was the ultimate Nichols. I was young when I saw that and it was unforgettable. Richard Burton and Liz Taylor just unleashed and unhinged, both of them.
    “The Graduate” was made in ’67 , released at Christmas, but really blew up in the summer of 1968 when it was everywhere. I remember walking in the Loop (Chicago) in late June and the theater was selling out every show…long lines , people crowding to get in. This was before advanced theater ticket sales for movies in most places…a great popular film would be jam-packed with turn-aways every showing.
    I saw it later that summer at the big-screen Holiday Theater in Fort Wayne. The music was perfect just perfect. The Simon and Garfunkel album is still worth a listen.

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  2. Leo Hall said on November 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I was young, too young I guess to see Mr’s Robinson for the first time. But it was maybe the most important movie of my youth. O don’t get me wrong there were some great movies when I was dropping out but not quite yet. My parents were still hoping Church, and my love of classical music and my Cello, would stick…ooops. Well, it didn’t long and my first cougar was soon to become history. My lips will always be sealed, and thanks Mike!!

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  3. Jolene said on November 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Fact I learned today: Anne Bancroft was only six years older than Dustin Hoffman.

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  4. Dexter said on November 21, 2014 at 12:52 am

    “Plastic” became an instant code word. Funniest scene was the Jewish kid locking the wedding party into the church…with a huge cross. Benjamin’s car was cool as hell. http://www.destinationhollywood.com/movies/graduate/images/graduate_car.jpg

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  5. Basset said on November 21, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Doesn’t do anything for me. This, on the other hand, really is cool as hell even though we’ll never see it:


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  6. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Basset – the VW looks like a converted minivan!

    As such, if they DO build it, I bet it would sell

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  7. Dave said on November 21, 2014 at 9:40 am

    They (VW) made a pickup truck way back when that looked like a VW van with the back cut down, our hometown plumber had one. That had to be circa 1960-65.

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  8. adrianne said on November 21, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Mike Nichols was one of only a dozen people to win an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy. What a talent!

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  9. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

    He got the EGOT, and won’t be forgotten

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  10. MarkH said on November 21, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Basset – that car “Doesn’t do anything for me.”?? You have no soul.

    Boattail Duettos are now in-demand high priced classics. Interestingly, that seemingly slippery design in the rear was less aerodynamic than the sedan offered alongside it. The Giulia Super had a significantly lower drag coefficient than the Spider. From 1986 through ’90, Alfa Romeo decided to capitalize on its film fame by offering ‘The Graduate’ as its entry level version of three Spiders. We have owned our ’89 excellent example for ten years. My wife commandeers it most of the time, while I had to sell our ’67 Giulia Super last year.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on November 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I dig Alfa Romeos. I interviewed a guy several years ago who had an Alfa and the steering wheel was carved out of a single block of wood. I bought a Fiat 500 Abarth last summer because I love Italian cars. Now, I’m wondering if I’ll be able to own the Alfa Romeo roadster Fiat plans on selling in the U.S. The sales price has been variously quoted at $50K to $65K, but I’d be up for used one.

    He had a few clunkers, but by and large, Mike Nichols made movies that actually were about things. He’s dead and Michael Bay is alive and, well, that’s life.

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  12. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 11:17 am

    The movie I’m greatly tempted to spend full-tix price to go see is the Hawking movie.

    Our 16 year old will surely want to see the new Hunger Games installment, so I see a deal in the making

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  13. Deborah said on November 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

    In Chicago we still have our 17 year old beemer but my husband says if something happens to it and he’s forced to get a new car he’d get a Fiat 500. They look like good solid little cars. It wouldn’t work for us in New Mexico because it’s too low to the ground and our land in Abiquiu is super rough. We have a Jeep there.

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  14. Charlotte said on November 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Deborah — that’s the bind I’m in — would love a Honda Fit or that Fiat 500, but I couldn’t get to the cabin in the winter (there’s a flat hayfield at the bottom where the snow blows in). So, there I am in my perfectly servicable, if grubby, 2004 Subaru Outback.

    And could never watch Virginia Woolf — I grew up with unhinged alcoholic parents. That movie scared the pants off me.

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  15. MarkH said on November 21, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I envy you the Abarth, Jeff. A buddy here has one as well; it’s a blast, emerging reliability issues be damned.

    Having figured out what Ebert did about the film, I watch The Graduate now only to take in the Alfa. There were three Spiders used in the film. The only known survivor is a retired race car, now orange, sitting in a garage in west Denver. The father of an Alfa mechanic I know (the best one in the West outside Portland/Seattle) bought the car a year after the film wrapped and it’s been in that family ever since. It only comes out for car shows.

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  16. Connie said on November 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Ebert went back and viewed and reviewed The Graduate in 1997. He was only sort of impressed then. Mostly by Anne Bancroft. http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-graduate-1997

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  17. Scout said on November 21, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I love The Graduate and have always been an Anne Bancroft fan. I adored both her and Shirley MacLaine in The Turning Pointe. You don’t even have to be a balletophile to love that one.

    Whenever the “favorite car you ever had” question comes up I don’t even hesitate. It was my beloved 78 Fiat Spyder that broke my heart when I had to sell her because my daughter became of driving age. Back then if there was a 16 year old in your house your premium went through the roof even if she never got within breathing distance of the car keys. I got pulled over and let off with no ticket more times than I can count with that car.

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  18. Sherri said on November 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    one of the friends I visited in California on my trip has a Fiat 500e, the electric Fiat, and I enjoyed it. It was a nice zippy car, unlike my husband’s Prius, which I hate to drive, because not only is it ugly, it has no acceleration. Of course, the downside of the 500e is that you don’t get that many miles on a charge. I guess what makes it feel so zippy is that they didn’t load it down with batteries.

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  19. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Connie – that was an excellent Ebert column you linked to, regarding Ebert’s evolution of thought on The Graduate.

    One thing he sort of implies, is that Mrs Robinson is matter-of-factly presented as a character to be feared – an empowered woman.

    Ebert mentions the severe makeup, and then the transformative ‘look’ of Ms Bancroft (and therefore, Mrs Robinson) when she’s in a drenching rain and the excessive makeup is washed away.

    Now I’ll have to watch that movie again, with an eye toward out-dated(?) gender politics – especially as we approach the ascendancy of very powerful politicians who happen to be women, such as Mrs Clinton and Mrs Warren.

    BTW, I was taken aback by Ebert’s dissing of Simon & Garfunkel!

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  20. alex said on November 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I want a Fiat 500 L. I love driving a stick and there aren’t too many good choices left, I’m afraid.

    Watched a clip of Mrs. Robinson’s seduction scene last night and it was different than I’d remembered. (It may have been edited as it didn’t show the clever camera shot of Benjamin from Mrs. Robinson’s point of view , or rather the point of view from underneath Mrs. Robinson’s dress, framed by a garter snap that sort of winked as she rolled her hips.) I remember this from a 25th anniversary re-release that I think contained a lot of extra stuff not in the original release.

    First saw the movie with my mom when I was a young child and remember her laughing out loud the whole time while I sat there fidgety and bored and not understanding what was so funny about it. What had been most memorable for me was the wedding elopement scene because it was the end of the movie and I was glad for it.

    VW had another pickup, Dave, sort of an El Camino-ish contrivance based on the Rabbit or Golf back in the ’70s.

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  21. Deborah said on November 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I know we’ve talked about this here before, manuals vs automatics. I have never owned an automatic, the only time I’ve ever driven them is in rental cars. I’m not sure why exactly but they make me uncomfortable, like I’m not in control of the car. I agree Alex it is hard to find sticks anymore.

    I saw The Graduate the first time on the big screen at the old theatre in the small town in Nebraska where I went to college. It had been out a few years already, they never had first run movies there. I was mesmerized, to me it was the best movie I’d ever seen up to that time. I loved the score, everything about it. I watch it every couple of years on DVD, I still like it but nothing compares to that first viewing.

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  22. David Edelstein said on November 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    all due respect for the dead that’s a perverse reading of The Graduate. Benjamin might have been a cipher–he is contrived a such–and Mrs. Robinson might have been precursor to the zipless-f**k heroines of Erica Jong’s fantasies, but she is pretty clearly a demonic banshee in the film’s second half, trying to protect her daughter from a man who must be inadequate given that he slept with her. That might make her a poignant dramatic figure, but it does not make her the heroine.

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  23. Scout said on November 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I am totally a manual girl, have always driven stick. We still have one car that is manual – a 98 Honda Civic. However I must defend the Prius, our other car. The reason people think they are sluggish is because they haven’t discovered the GO button. I always have it on POWER MODE on the highway and still get great gas mileage.

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  24. Sherri said on November 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Yeah, Scout, I know about the GO button, but it’s my husband’s car, and he insists on ECO MODE. In ECO MODE, I always feel like I’m going to have to get out and push the thing up our hill.

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  25. Dexter said on November 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I never could consider an Alfa Romeo but like I often reminisce…driving my VW Karmann Ghia was the most fun I ever had in any vehicle. The Micro Buses were a different experience. Tom Waits: “…I’d buy a used car lot, drive a different car every day—dependin’—on how—I feel.”

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  26. MarkH said on November 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Dexter, my first car was a ’66 Ghia coupe and yes, the most fun I had in a car until I discovered the Alfa GTV I got in ’71. It permanently took my heart. But while I had it, the VW was my own version of a Porsche 356.

    Clutch-operated manual trannies are a Rube Goldberg relic of the past, fading away in favor of clutchless sequential manuals. I doubt they’ll be completely gone in my lifetime, though.

    My younger sister loves her 8 year old Prius. Gets 47 mpg regardless of Go/Eco mode.

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  27. LAMary said on November 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    The household acquired a 2012 VW Jetta a couple of months ago. Stick shift. The dealer seemed to be very happy to get rid of it. I have an automatic because when I was looking I couldn’t find a stick anywhere, so it’s fun zipping around in the Jetta.

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  28. Connie said on November 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    My first car was a 69 Volkswagon Fastback automatic. I saw one a few years ago and wow was that car ugly. My favorite car was the 1964 Chevy Belair in dark turquoise metallic that I drove in college. My father bought it from the proverbial little old lady original owner for $200.

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  29. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Connie – turquoise must have been “in” in the early ’60’s.

    I recall a turquoise ’58 Chevy my dad had (and then a beige ’61 Ford Galaxy); definitely lots of iron and sheet metal

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  30. Basset said on November 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    First car for me was a mud brown – no, make that “metallic fawn” – ’63 Chevy II I bought out of an estate – had an Indiana tag on it and unused, still in the wrapper Indiana and Florida tags under the front seat.

    MarkH, I have a soul, just not that kind. Used to walk past a Fiat 850 Spyder every day on my paper route, I remember the clutch and brake pedals were about the size of silver dollars.

    Dave, VW did indeed sell a 4-door pickup here but I think the one based on the Vanagon only got here on the gray market. Alex, you’re right about the Rabbit pickup, that was around 1980 more or less and the diesel version would get 50 mpg. Those came from a now-closed VW plant in New Stanton, PA, which as far as I know never did work out its serious quality issues. I had a 79 Rabbit sedan from there that was probably the most fun and the least reliable car I have ever owned. Living in Mississippi and buying a car with a black interior and no a/c seemed like a good idea at the time, not so much when summer came around though.

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  31. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm


    And now I’m adding the name Jonathon Turley to the list of people who have achieved fame, as an end unto itself.

    Sort of like Ed McMahon, or (speaking of the old Tonight Show) Charo

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  32. Basset said on November 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Dave, this is what I meant:


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  33. Deborah said on November 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I drove a ’62 beige Falcon when I was in high school. I hated it, it had been my dad’s. No radio, sticky plastic bench seats, my sister and I shared it but she never drove. I’d give anything to have that car now just for the sake of nostalgia. Before that car my dad had a 56 Pontiac that was two toned, cream and a light yellowish green. It had leather seats, a real beauty. I loved the good ornament on it.

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  34. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I like the utility door ahead of the rear fender! I think I’d keep an extra pair of pants there, and maybe a ballcap, and a ball peen hammer

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  35. Deborah said on November 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Hood ornament.

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  36. brian stouder said on November 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Deborah – I’m thinking my dad’s turquoise Chevy was also two-tone; turquoise and white

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  37. Jeff Borden said on November 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Those of you who love stick shift should be aware that we account for less than 10% of all cars sold these days. In fact, I think it’s in the low single digits, but am too lazy to go look on Google.

    I have no idea how well the Abarth will hold up, but I’m not expecting much. I’ve been spoiled by the longevity of my beloved Honda products: my 1980 Accord, which Nancita will remember, lasted almost 12 years and 134,000 miles before the motor mount rusted through and the transaxle tumbled onto Clybourn Avenue. And I unloaded our 1999 Acura TL this spring at 164,000 when too many things started going south. The Fiat is just so damned lightweight and the interior is all plastic and fabric. It’s hard to see it lasting as long as those mighty Hondas.

    Whatever, it is one huge blast to drive and I do not feel guilty for buying it, despite its impracticality. I smile when I get in it. BTW, “Car and Driver” has described the very loud and very distinctive exhaust note as sounding “like Satan’s little brother.”

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  38. Dexter said on November 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Deborah…in 1976 while looking for anything than would run to use strictly as a “go to work car” , I visited all the Fort Wayne back-lots, and I found a gem…a really well-preserved 1964 Falcon Wagon with amber running lights all around the bottom interior panels. The Ford dealer had it and let it go for peanuts just to get rid of it. It was a fun car to drive and it ran well. It was just odd, because few Falcons survived 12 years, but this was a freakishly great vehicle. While returning from the 1977 Atlanta NCAA men’s basketball tournament , I flew into Toledo and was driving through West Unity , Ohio and I was T-boned by a mentally challenged teenager who was out of his mind and had gone off his meds and was just ramming around town, a waiting catastrophe. Total loss and a bruised leg , strained neck and back, and a week-long headache. 🙁 The messed-up teen (who looked like a modern-day made-up Marilyn Manson) didn’t have a scratch.

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  39. Dexter said on November 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    MichaelG…totally different atmosphere at the VA today. I have my VA Healthcare initiated, I will eventually get a low-end disability (Agent Orange compensation) monthly lifelong check, and by spring I’ll have dental once again. I had a VA ID card made, and I was treated with respect and friendliness…not like yesterday when I was almost bum-rushed outta da jurnt!
    My check will be enough to make payments on a new car…but I’ll use it to maybe buy an old pickup truck and junk one of my old vans.

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  40. MichaelG said on November 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    My first car was a ’66 VW that I bought in ’68 while I was in the Army. Wrecked it at Ft Bragg NC. Actually Laurinberg, NC. Favorite car to this day was a ’69 BMW 2002. I also had a 62 Falcon four door wagon. It had their smallest six and three on the tree. That was a very nice little car. I drove a stick all my life until just recently. When I was in Spain in September, I noticed that everything is stick. I can’t recall seeing a single automatic although there must be some.

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  41. MichaelG said on November 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Fantastic news, Dexter. I was at the VA today as well to take a pulmonary function test. I’m also looking for Agent Orange compensation. Should have done it years ago. I got soaked in that shit at one point. I worked for a month or so driving around a Vietnamese crew in a 3/4 ton with a trailer filled with drums of the stuff. They were spraying it on perimeter fencing and razor wire and so forth at MACV compounds around the the Phang Rang area. I was a kid and too stupid to realize how bad that shit was.

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  42. David C. said on November 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    My first car was a ’78 VW Scirocco. It was the most fun and most frustrating car I’ve ever owned. It went through an exhaust about every year and a half and through brake pads in about a year. I got so I could swap out a set of pads in about 20 minutes. I had to keep spare fuel pump relays and thermo-time switches in the glove box. They went out often and randomly. My current is a Kia Rondo. Boring as shit, but the most reliable car I’ve ever owned. I guess I’m to the point in my life where I see cars as little more than appliances. So welcome one more boring git to the world.

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  43. basset said on November 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Brian, since you noticed the utility door on the Doka… how about a pocket door?


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  44. Dexter said on November 21, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    MichaelG…Our helicopter unit beside our medical Quonset hut went in and out of Phan Rang constantly to pick up our wounded and chopper them to Cam Ranh. Imagine how much of that damn A-O those rotors stirred up? So now everybody who served in-country is assumed to have been exposed to A-O, and if we have any of the diseases on a big list the VA has, we get money. So now I push the buttons, make the Toledo appointments, and see what comes to fruition. I know this take a lot of time, so that’s all for a while about this.

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  45. brian stouder said on November 22, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Basset – the pocket doors look cool; they have a little bit of that Sean Connery-era James Bond look….but I’m thinkin’ I wouldn’t like it the first time we plunged into a northern Indiana winter, with powdery snow and/or caked-on ice

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  46. Basset said on November 22, 2014 at 5:15 am

    At least the body’s fiberglass, so only the fittings would rust.

    Don’t have much to contribute to the Vietnam/Agent Orange discussion, having been just a little too young to go, turned 18 in September of 73… but I did grow up outside the gate of a big naval munitions factory down in Martin County, and as you might imagine, the war meant lots of work on “the depot.” No Agent Orange that I’m aware of, but one of the explosive products or maybe a component of it was known as “Yellow D” and the men who worked in it were stained a bright yellow, no telling what aftereffects they’re having now.

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  47. Deborah said on November 22, 2014 at 8:27 am

    The agent orange thread reminds me of a time recently when Little Bird and I were driving back to Santa Fe from Abiquiu, we saw a car driving along with lots of graphics on it which included a website for something about Cold War workers. So we looked it up and it turned out it was an organization for people who had worked in the nuclear weapons industry who might have been harmed by it. Santa Fe is near Los Alamos so I assume there might be quite a few people around there who worked with the stuff. Anyway I thought it was interesting that the name of the organization used the term “Cold War” instead of nuclear weapons or something like that. I found the name confusing and neither of us had a clue what it could be until we looked it up.

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  48. Deborah said on November 22, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I should add, the name was “Cold War Patriots”.

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  49. Deborah said on November 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

    The site is http://www.coldwarpatriots.org

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  50. Connie said on November 22, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Bassett we are the exact same age and birthday month.

    As a newlywed I replaced my AMC Matador with a brand new Chevette, which I drove until the floor rusted out of the front seat. It needed a new alternator every year or so. It wasn’t the alternator that was the problem it was the bolt that held it on that consistently wore through.

    My husband also has agent orange experience and has just started talking about going to the VA.

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  51. Basset said on November 22, 2014 at 10:37 am

    September 2, 1955 in Linton, Indiana , early in the morning I think…

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  52. Connie said on November 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    September 3, 1955, Zeeland, Michigan early afternoon.

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  53. brian stouder said on November 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    March 19, 1961, at Parkview Hospital (which is being reborn, itself), in the wee hours.

    Say – remember a day ago or so, when we gabbed a little about the question whether the 2014 Republicans can honestly say they’re still the party of Lincoln?

    Amy Goodman said something on the Melissa Harris Perry show that I found arresting, and which I had not heard before.

    I went to her website,


    and you can see what point she made (and has been making for awhile, which was news to me):

    Just miles down the road from the scene of protests in Ferguson, we’re hearing a lot about Florissant. Just down Florissant is the grave of Dred Scott, who’s buried in the Calvary Cemetery on West Florissant Avenue. Born a slave in Virginia, Dred Scott sued in a St. Louis court for his freedom. The case went to the Supreme Court, resulting in a landmark Supreme Court decision that’s called the worst ever. In 1857, the court ruled African Americans were not citizens of the United States, and therefore had no rights to sue in federal courts. The court described blacks as, quote, “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,” unquote

    Isn’t that amazing? I do believe that the United States is ‘one nation, under God’, and that God has no shortage of irony (and/or a relentless – and humbling – sense of humor)

    So Fox news and the Flying Monkeys of the rightwing airwaves can rant and rave all they want, but the term “RINO” (Republican in name only) actually applies to every one of those shit-heads

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  54. Linda said on November 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Former or current Indiana residents: how dumb/non self aware can the Indy Star be: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/indy-star-erred-in-publishing-immigrant-thanksgiving-cartoon

    Do they realize we had a first Thanksgiving because the original landowners didn’t kill off all the squatters?

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  55. Deborah said on November 22, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Brian, that’s pretty amazing. I lived in St. Louis for 23 years and never knew that Dred Scott was buried there. How did I not know that? I did know that the Dred Scott trial was in the old St. Louis courthouse downtown and when the pope came to St. Louis in the 90s he talked about the stain of that trial being in that city (as an aside when the pope came he stayed in a building across the street from where we lived on Lindell Blvd. We lived on the 15th floor and could look down and see the pope mobile go in and out during his visit). As I’ve said here before St. Louis is a very segregated place, I was astonished how bigoted it was when I lived there. I fear that there will be pain and suffering when the results of the grand jury are announced there. Also, for those who don’t know, St. Louis city is not in St. Louis county, they are completely separate. The county surrounds the city but doesn’t include it.

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  56. Linda said on November 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Deborah, I’m not surprised by you not knowing that. I read a story many years ago by a St. Louis native who compared notes with another (African American) St. Louis native. The landmarks they assumed everybody knew were in fact entirely different between them, and had no overlap.

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  57. Jolene said on November 22, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Gary Varvel, the creator of the Indy Star cartoon, is, in my view, a very mean-spirited cartoon. This cartoon is nasty, but I’m not sure it’s worse than lots of others that he has published during the Obama administration.

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  58. Dexter said on November 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Notre Dame wins their first 6 games and loses 4 of the next 5, including tonight’s vs. Louisville Cardinals. Michigan loses in A2 to Maryland, who had never beaten M before. Purdue was trounced. IU lost big to Ohio State after leading late in the game. What a horrible sports Saturday. My DQ hot fudge sundae soothed my aching.

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  59. Joe K said on November 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Taking some r&r at the mouse house and turned on the ucla vs usc football game, those poor usc cheerleaders need to have a fun raiser and buy new uniforms, it looks like someone shrunk their sweaters in the wash.
    Pilot Joe

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  60. MichaelG said on November 23, 2014 at 12:02 am

    It was me, Joe. I regularly shrink cheerleaders’ sweaters. You should be grateful instead of kvetching.

    This is where we part ways, Dexter. Any day Notre Dame loses is a good day. This is just a lost season for Michigan. And Cal. I will root for Stanfurd most times except when they are playing Cal. I’m ready to start Sonny Dykes’ packing for him. How many teams are in the one time Big Ten these days? Can anyone name them? The Pac Howevermany is just as bad.

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  61. Sherri said on November 23, 2014 at 12:23 am

    The Big 10 has 14 teams: Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Nebraska. The Pac-12 has 12. The Big 12 has 10. The SEC has 14, and the ACC has 14. The Pac-12 almost went to 14, when they tried to lure Texas and Oklahoma into the conference, but in the end, Texas having its own TV network was too big an obstacle. The Big 12 had to put up with that or face total implosion, so Texas stayed put. In terms of power, the Big 12 is really Texas and the nine dwarfs.

    The way to understand conference alignments is to think in terms of football and TV markets. The Big 10 has its own network, but lacked big markets, so they poached Rutgers and Maryland from the ACC to get a foothold into the NYC and DC markets. The SEC was starting its own network, and wanted into Texas. Conveniently, Texas A&M was tired of being one of the dwarfs in the Big 12, and was happy to leave. The Pac-10 also wanted to start up a network, and needed to get bigger, so they picked up Utah and Colorado, and made a play for Texas and Oklahoma. The ACC picked through the leftovers of what was left of the Big East after everybody was done, and made a deal for Notre Dame to sort of join. And thus were born the new “Power 5” conferences, who are in the process of writing their own rules. Not that it’s a totally bad thing – some of the rewritten rules will actually benefit the athletes for a change, like guaranteeing scholarships for 4 years instead of year to year.

    Seems a little early to give up on Dykes; it’s only his second year. It’s not like he was taking over a program that was doing well.

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  62. Dexter said on November 23, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Hell, MG…who knows what conference any of these teams are in any more after the recent money grabs? I am not excited at all about the NCAA 4-team playoff. The only team I am hoping for is Ohio State, to make it to the 4-team finals, but then again I’ll be fiercely rooting for M next week in the Big Game here, OSU-M. This year it is in Columbus, and at the end of the IU game today, the Buckeye fans started their shit…”we don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan…we’re from Oh high-I-O”. A year after 9-11, the OSU admin set up a deal saying they had to search the entire M bus caravan for bombs or some such shit. Before allowing Lloyd Carr’s lads to enter the stadium to get ready for the Big Game, these fucking pigs took all the luggage, all the equipment trunks..everything..and scattered it all over the roadway and walkways by the buses. Opened everybody’s bags and just trashed everything, rifling through it like the assholes they were/are. It cost Lloyd’s boys an hour of pre-game prep time… this was 2002

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  63. Dexter said on November 23, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I hit “submit…” to soon. Obviously Sherri knows. Thanks for the tutorial, S.

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  64. Dexter said on November 23, 2014 at 3:39 am

    I was an 18 year old baseball player in 1968, having hooked up with a traveling team that was the last remnant of the franchise known as the Indianapolis Clowns, which before organized baseball integrated,was a team in the old Negro Leagues. When I played, a few of us whites had been chosen to be on the team. We were a true barnstorming team, entertaining fans in professional minor league parks everywhere east of the Mississippi River mostly, with one major ballpark date at Chicago’s Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox. We stayed at the New Michigan Hotel on Cermak Road, which we found was the old Lexington Hotel in the old days…yes, Al Capone’s residence for years. We had a pygmy dwarf named Dero Austin on the team (he entertained fans with his antics) and he had been with the team for years. He demanded Room 530. This was Al Capone’s suite! I remember going in that room and gawking around. All the fancy stuff was long gone, the gold plated faucets replaced by hardware, but this was it alright. Just unforgettable. In the Batt’s Coffee Shoppe in the lobby, an old man hung out sipping coffee all day long. I questioned him about the old days…he had seen it all. He told me and a friend how to get to a hidden staircase where we could see where a gunfight had rubbed out a few gangsters back in the late 20s. I saw the bullet holes with my own eyes…what a strange place! All gone now. http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/id6.htm

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  65. Deborah said on November 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

    That’s quite a story Dexter.

    A few years before I retired the company I worked for went after a project at the Big10 headquarters in Chicago. It was a dismal place in an office building in the loop which they wanted to Jazz up. We were asked to submit some ideas before we even interviewed, which we did, this wasn’t unusual to do to get a job. Then they wanted more free ideas after the interview, which we refused. Basically they wanted us to work for free. I don’t know if they ever hired anyone to redesign their ugly space.

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  66. Sherri said on November 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Deborah, sports organizations are notorious for wanting work for free. They do it because they often can sucker people into doing it because sports!. And while the money at the top of sports is big, at the bottom end, the pay is bad and the hours are long.

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  67. Deborah said on November 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Sherri, I know what you mean. One of the guys in my department was salivating to get that job. He was really disappointed that we refused to do more free work for them. He kept trying to get the big bosses to let us do it. The thing is, if they were that chintzy to begin with, they probably would not have ended up spending the money on our design solutions anyway so it wouldn’t have been anything we could have at least photographed for marketing purposes for other jobs.

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  68. MichaelG said on November 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you, Sherri for an excellent summary and a lucid cataloging of things. I actually haven’t totally given up on Dykes. I’d give him another year but I’m doubtful. The Golden Bears don’t seem to be playing up to potential and are inconsistent. Both of which are coaching problems. I haven’t actually started his packing yet (my fingers are itching) but I wouldn’t advise him to buy a house. After what they paid to get rid of Tedford the alums are going to be sorely pissed if there isn’t significant progress next year.

    Boy, Dexter. You and I are on different sides of the stadium again. I went to U of Ill. That means a deep serious dislike of Ohio State is ingrained. I will certainly root for Michigan against OSU.

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