The first wife.

So Ivana Trump is dead. Huh. Seventy-three seems a young age to have your heart just give out, but then, we don’t know much about the first Mrs. T, no matter how much of her life she “shared” with the rest of us. I use quotes because, to me, sharing implies a certain desire or gratitude on the part of the person being shared with: “Want half my sandwich?” “Sure.” And I don’t recall asking to learn anything about Ivana, even though she and her loathsome ex-husband were seemingly in my grill for most of the ’80s.

I recommend the Personal Life section of her Wikipedia page:

Trump married four times. Her first marriage, to Alfred Winklmayr, was for the goal of securing Austrian nationality, according to a biographer. She was married to Donald Trump from 1977 to 1992, and had three children with him: Donald Jr. in 1977, Ivanka in 1981, and Eric in 1984.

Trump married Italian entrepreneur and international businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli in November 1995. They divorced in 1997. That same year, she filed a $15 million breach of contract suit against Mazzucchelli for violating the confidentiality clause in their prenuptial agreement, while Mazzucchelli sued Ivana and Donald Trump in a British court for libel. The suit was later settled under undisclosed terms.

In the summer of 1997, she began dating Italian aristocrat Count Roffredo Gaetani dell’Aquila d’Aragona Lovatelli. The relationship continued until his death in 2005.

Trump dated Italian actor and model Rossano Rubicondi for six years before they married on April 12, 2008. The marriage to Rubicondi, 36, was the fourth for Ivana, then 59. The couple’s $3 million wedding for 400 guests was hosted by ex-husband Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago with daughter Ivanka as her maid of honor. The wedding was officiated by Donald’s sister Judge Maryanne Trump Barry. Although Ivana and Rubicondi divorced less than a year later, their on-again, off-again relationship continued until 2019, when Ivana announced they had once again “called it quits”. Rubicondi died on October 29, 2021, at the age of 49.

Trump had ten grandchildren. In the late 2010s, she reportedly split her time between New York City, Miami, and Saint-Tropez. She stated she was fluent in German, French, Czech, and Russian. She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988.

So many shudder-y lines in that, but my favorite passage is the entirety of paragraph four, and my head can’t help but imagine that ghastly wedding, of an Italian “actor and model” marrying a woman more than 20 years his senior, as the guests of her ex-husband, with her monstrous children in attendance, all officiated by her former sister-in-law. Then the topper: “Although Ivana and Rubicondi divorced less than a year later…”

Rubicondi died young, at 49 (melanoma). I went a-Googling for news about him, and was vastly unsurprised to read this:

When Rossano Rubicondi married Ivana Trump at Mar-A-Lago — the luxury Palm Beach club and resort owned by her second spouse, Donald Trump — in 2008, the Italian left made it clear he viewed himself as a champion-grade husband.

“Rossano trotted down the big spiral staircase and onto the outside terrace, where around 400 guests” — and a 12-foot-tall wedding cake — “were in attendance. He was fist pumping to the ‘Rocky’ theme,” R. Couri Hay, the press agent who was a guest, told The Post. “Usually the bride enters from there and gets all the attention. But Rossano was such a proud peacock that he couldn’t help himself. Some of guests were appalled.”

Another priceless line: “Some of the guests were appalled.” Really? I’d have thought the entire company would be up and applauding. The appalled ones must have ended up in the Trump administration.

I’m sure people will say nice things about her, because that’s what we do when people die, but let me add some shadow here: What Ivana Trump was, was a woman who fucked her way out of a Soviet satellite, found her equally mercenary match in the man she had three children with – somehow this is another instance where “sharing” doesn’t quite fit – got dumped/dumped him depending on who you talk to, then found a fondness for Italians. They must have found her quite the rare bird, with that brassy bouffant and a face that suffered from repeat plastic surgeries. She was never the “top model” her second husband claimed she was, although she had some fine features to pass on to her daughter, mainly the height and long legs and Slavic cheekbones (improved with implants, yes, obviously). And I guess we can appreciate what she is reported to have said when her old man packed his mistress along on one of the family vacations to Vail or some other ski venue out west: Confronting Marla Maples on the slopes, she said something like, “Are you Moola?” Which is funny.

She divided her time between New York, St. Tropez and Miami, all rich-people slums. A silly woman who lived a silly life and replicated her silly DNA three times.

No one ever said life was fair.

This will be it for me, then. Let’s keep the Trumps in our thoughts and prayers, and if we’re lucky and pray hard enough, maybe the next obit we read will be you-know-who’s.

Posted at 5:14 pm in Current events |

72 responses to “The first wife.”

  1. LAMary said on July 14, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    I liked the episode of Ab Fab when Patsy met Ivana and they had the same hair and makeup.
    Donny Jr. once bragged that he inherited the genes of an Olympic skier mother and a brilliant father.

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  2. Deborah said on July 14, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Wow, she really had bad taste when it came to husbands.

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  3. Deborah said on July 14, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    Tomorrow Ivana’s kids were supposed to be deposed in NY about their Dad’s business.

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  4. Suzanne said on July 14, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    I have been watching The Sopranos and along with the chemo, my brain is a bit scrambled, but when I heard Ivanka had died on the eve of a Trump family deposition, my mind went right to believing this wasn’t a coincidence. I still believe it. Trump & Co have no sense of loyalty to family or anyone else, just like Tony Soprano. If it fit their needs, they’d off Ma in a heartbeat. It’s just business.

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  5. David C said on July 14, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    I thought the same thing Suzanne. Sometimes coincidences take some planning or scheming in their cases.

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  6. Little Bird said on July 14, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    I totally think she was taken out. And I nominate Jared as the one who organized it. He’s soulless enough.

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  7. nancy said on July 14, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    The NYT is reporting they’re investigating whether she fell down the stairs, hmmm.

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  8. nancy said on July 14, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Ahem: The New York City police were investigating whether Ms. Trump fell down the stairs at her townhouse on the Upper East Side, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the matter. One of the officials said that there was no sign of forced entry at the home and that the death appeared to be accidental. A spokeswoman for the city’s chief medical examiner’s office said it would investigate the death.

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  9. beb said on July 14, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    The thing about the Supreme Courts Dobb decision is the idea that Roe was not part of American history and tradition. How long does a law or ruling have to be in place to be a part of tradition? I would think that 50 years — two generations — would be long enough. Citing European witch-hunters from centuries past seems total nonsense. We’re not Europeans and we’re not witches (I’d say we don’t believe in witches but that’s not true). As for when life begins, the decision is that worst example of the “Slippery Slope” fallacy. Arguing that maybe someday a fertilized egg may become a human is terrible logic. In fact it’s not logic but religious dogma. Since neither fertilized egg, nor embryo, nor fetus can survive outside the womb that seems the only logical moment when life begins. With that first breath.

    I just read about John’s Carpet House blues festival in Deadline Detroit today. It sounds like a fun event. My wife and I love the blues and carnivals. If only we weren’t turning into old, cripple people.

    It’s a sad world where when you read than Ivana Trump died ans think death took the wrong Trump.

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  10. Little Bird said on July 14, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Why wouldn’t she invite Jared inside?

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  11. LAMary said on July 14, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    beb, remember when Elvis died and someone in the music business said, “Good career move.”
    I don’t think any of the kids would do it themselves. They probably know someone who does that sort of work. I remember when I first moved to NYC I worked for a printing supply company and we got a new boss who was a horribe person. A real asshole. He threatened someone in the office and this guy, who had worked there for a few years, said, “you don’t talk that way to someone who can find a junkie who will kill you for 50 bucks.” That was in 1978 so I’m sure the price has gone up considerably.

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  12. Dexter Friend said on July 14, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    No thoughts and prayers for the trumps.
    Here’s a non sequitur: as rotten as the trumps are and have been, I still say Ronald Reagan was worse. I seem to be in the minority, but I never will forget that son of a bitch.

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  13. A. Riley said on July 15, 2022 at 1:18 am

    Thank you, Nancy, for putting your finger on why it’s so annoying when someone says “share” to mean “tell” or “say.” Thank you!

    Can I tell about another sign of the end of civilization? People — paid professional writers, with editors — keep making their verbs agree with the wrong noun. The verb has to agree with the subject. The object of a preposition can’t be the subject. E.g., “A bouquet of roses were placed . . .” Nope. Bouquet is the subject and that calls for a singular verb: But what about those pretty plutal roses? They’re theobject of a preposition, so they can’t be thre subject. “A bouquet of roses *was* placed . . .” (That was the caption of the feature photo on the Neiman homepage.)

    And don’t get me started on compound subjects and their verbs. Jeez. If only sentence diagramming hadn’t fallen by the wayside years ago. If only.

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  14. ROGirl said on July 15, 2022 at 5:33 am

    I figured the NY Post would have more information about it than I ever cared to know, and that appears to be the case. Plus Cindy Adams.

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  15. Dorothy said on July 15, 2022 at 8:30 am

    A 49 year old died of melanoma? That’s scary. Because my husband just found out last week that one of the five moles he had removed from both forearms on June 30 is melanoma. He’s currently trying to get scheduled with a dermatologist earlier than the first week of October. You’d think doctors would have a healthy supply of urgent sorts of appointment needs. This is cancer #3 for him. We’re trying not to feel grim about all of this but it’s not really working.

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  16. nancy said on July 15, 2022 at 9:30 am

    Lordy, I had forgotten what a terrible, terrible writer Cindy Adams is. She must be 90 years old by now, and appears to have forgotten how to construct a sentence longer than five words. (This may be NYPost style, too, given the level of their readership.)

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  17. Jeff Gill said on July 15, 2022 at 9:39 am

    The deposition is a tempting proximate cause, but I suspect day drinking and increasing balance issues with age and having so much botulism toxin injected in the area around your ears will account for it all.

    Tragedy is the news of the day on so many levels, but I decided to attend a baseball game anyway, and found out my senior status got me a bleacher section ticket. There I sat with a large group of city parks kids & their college age group leaders, eating an Italian sausage, Cracker Jack, and bottle of water that all told cost twice the ticket price . . . but it was a glorious day. Home team won, too, 7-0.

    Last thread, I hope a few of you got to the link and the line “smells like salmon for most of the summer.” Our national introduction to a local figure in pursuit of Ivana’s glamour, if only by way of fragrance. I guess she found it.

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  18. Icarus said on July 15, 2022 at 9:42 am

    another sign of the end of civilization
    You’re in good company. Eric Zorn gets miffed when someone stretches a word’s meaning outside of the strict confines of its definition.

    Unlike some congressional representatives, I know the difference between a verb and a pronoun. But when it comes to identifying prepositions, compound subjects, and gerunds*, let’s just say that sentence diagramming was the final nail in the coffin of my high school English course grade of F; my cursive writing being the initial dagger. (Amazingly once the word processor became more accessible my grades shot up to As and Bs. Funny that.)

    I don’t break many grammar rules but over time language is updated. It evolves and changes, and we know this is true because none of us say thou in our daily speech.

    I feel passionate about a great many things, but this isn’t one of them. You have to respect those who do, however, even if it may seem a bit, oh, much. I’m glad my ideology is still a little more flexible.

    * actually I think I learned that gerunds end in -ing, and even I raise an eyebrow when someone says “I’ll be coming by later” when they could share say “I’ll come by later”.

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  19. Dorothy said on July 15, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Was that the Clippers game yesterday Jeff? If so – my son was there too! A co-worker’s birthday party. We haven’t been to the park yet but I’m hoping to get to a game this summer. I love baseball!

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  20. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2022 at 10:17 am

    Okay, if I’m charitable enough to say the kids didn’t do it, I’m uncharitable enough to mention that Daddy put a fundraising button on the page announcing Ivana’s death. The NYT story strongly suggests she was the real brains behind their business, which he then ran into bankruptcy. Possibly.

    Speaking of killings, Joe Manchin has axed all but a teensy bit of Biden’s economic agenda. Eff him.

    Anyway, I’m taking CPR classes this weekend. Here’s hoping I’m not expected to kneel on the floor, as Ms. Left Knee no longer bends like that, oh no, she wants to be coddled.

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  21. dull_old_man said on July 15, 2022 at 12:00 pm


    Gerunds are nouns. Speeding is against the law. In that sentence, ‘speeding’ is the subject. The speeding car splashed the pedestrian: In that sentence, ‘speeding’ is an adjective. (Believe it or not, I learned that a gerundive is an adjective.)

    I’m sorry some teacher messed up your life. Gerunds are important in Latin, as I recall. I recommend you forget all about them.

    ‘I’ll be coming’ is future progressive. It is different from the simple future, ‘I’ll come.’ I am happy that I have forgotten the will/shall rules.

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  22. Deborah said on July 15, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Sentence diagraming reminds of the English teacher I had in 7th grade, Mr. Sieg (or Seig, but pronounced seeg) He was absolutely ruthless about teaching sentence diagramming. He also wore his pants up so high we said he had to pull down his zipper to blow his nose, which also gave him flood pant cuffs, of course. I remember being OK at the diagramming but it didn’t help me to be able to write better sentences later.

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  23. Jeff Gill said on July 15, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    Dorothy, yes, the Clippers: love those 12:05 games! But I hadn’t been to one since 2016. Ohio State Fair coming up soon . . .

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  24. Jim said on July 15, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Dorothy: stay optimistic. My son had a melanoma removed when he was 17, and is doing really well at nearly 40. They removed it, he took Interferon for several months, and has never looked back.

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  25. ROGirl said on July 15, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    Did anyone call him Mr. Sieg Heil?

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  26. David C said on July 15, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Dorothy, Melanoma treatment has come a long way in a few years. My cousin had stage IV melanoma. Things weren’t looking good. It had spread to his brain and liver. He was writing letters to his daughters for big events in their lives that he would miss. He was at that stage a little over four years ago when they gave him a new treatment. It’s the same one Jimmy Carter received for his melanoma. In another year they’ll be able to declare him cancer free.

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  27. Brandon said on July 15, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    “Her St. Tropez trip was going to be her official return to the world.”

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  28. Deborah said on July 15, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    Dorothy, we have at least 5 friends in Abiquiu around our age who have melanomas and they are getting treatment and doing well, it’s a lot different now, much better outcomes.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Dorothy, cancer is such a scary word, especially if you’ve had it twice, as Mike has. Waiting until October seems ridiculous. When you’re waiting for a diagnosis, you want it tomorrow.

    My last biopsy was supposed to be six weeks after the visit, but when I went to scheduling, the doctor was on vacation that week so was completely filled both the week before and after. So six weeks became eight, and then of course it had to go to the lab. That’s why I really appreciated that she contacted me as soon as she had the results, on a Sunday afternoon. I felt cared for. I sense that you and Mike aren’t feeling that right now.

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  30. linda said on July 15, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Wildest thing I saw on Ivanna’s death from an Australian news service: the announcement of her death with a pic of….Donald and Marla Maples. Got to keep those blond trophy wives straight.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on July 15, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    If Ivana deluded herself that she raised three good kids, she was as delusional as the orange tumor. All of them are hideous human beings…parasites and posers…with no discernable values.

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  32. LAMary said on July 15, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    D.O.M. My maiden name is a gerund: Sinning. Really, that’s my name. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Sinner. No lie. And the organist at my parents’ wedding was named Sinn. A gerund/noun and verb name trifecta.

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  33. Sherri said on July 15, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Was it a cool, wet spring/early summer here? We’ve just completed the first week without precipitation since early February!

    Very much enjoying the sunshine!

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  34. Bitter Scribe said on July 15, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    I wonder if Ivana falling down the stairs is going to give rise to any conspiracy theories.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on July 16, 2022 at 1:21 am

    I follow Liverpool football news via The Echo. Some sentence construction makes me think something’s wrong; here’s a example. “Liverpool are being linked with Lille midfielder Amadou Onana…”
    I would write “Liverpool is …”, since The Reds are a team, as a singular noun.

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  36. Suzanne said on July 16, 2022 at 8:14 am

    Bitter, I have read to much about Trump’s ties to the Russian mob, and watched too many episodes of The Sopranos to not think that the former Mrs Trump didn’t accidentally fall down the stairs is simply conspiracy. How many Putin enemies have “accidentally” fallen out of windows?
    Nah. This was no accident but a message.

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  37. alex said on July 16, 2022 at 9:58 am

    This was no accident but a message.

    Or a favor.

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  38. Deborah said on July 16, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Wouldn’t Ivana have had maids and cooks etc? I read somewhere that someone connected with the building found the body. Seems like an older, single, rich lady would have some kind of live-in help.

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  39. beb said on July 16, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    Was Ivana Trump murdered? Opinions vary…. Since her death has delayed the deposition that Trump mob, er, clan was trying to avoid, it’s not entirely out of the question.

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  40. Deborah said on July 16, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Have any of you watched the series “Dark Winds” on AMC+? I finally watched the trailer and we hope to watch the first episode tonight. It’s based on a Tony Hillerman novel and filmed in NM. From the trailer I noticed a lot of the scenes were shot in Abiquiu, especially in this area across the mountain from us called The White Place.

    The show has gotten some criticism by Navajo people, especially when their language is spoken. There are few Navajo actors in it, but all of the actors that are supposed to be Navajo are played by Native Americans which is another reason for the criticism, that Native Americans aren’t interchangeable. The actor Zahn McClarnon plays Lieutenant Leaphorn. I saw McClarnon once a few years ago at Whole Foods when the filming of Longmire was happening in NM. He’s a good actor.

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  41. Jeff Gill said on July 16, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    I am told that the Navajo/Dine language has gotten better in later eps, but it’s interesting to me that the promo materials all talk about where the filming was done on Native American land, which I’m sure is true for most of the interiors and some of the outside shooting, but landscape-wise, you can’t hide Pedernal. Clearly they did a bunch of shooting at Ghost Ranch and around Abiquiu.

    If you know the Hillerman books, it’s jarring. Online, McClarnon and other actors, plus Anne Hillerman, have said the characters will end up more where we have come to expect them, but there have been twists that made me wonder why’d they even use the names from the stories. And when they showed a Mormon family all drinking RC Colas driving down the road, it was clear they didn’t check their story for almost any contextual issues, Native or LDS or otherwise.

    Still, it gives me a view of New Mexico every week, so there’s that! And the story on its own terms is interesting enough if you can put Tony Hillerman’s creations out of your head.

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  42. Mark P said on July 16, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    I’m willing to cut some slack for a film adaptation. There were some things in the first episode of “Dark” that rubbed me the wrong way, including the characters that I knew and loved in the books, but so it goes. It’s not as bad (so far) as the first season of Asimov’s Foundation novels on Netflix. I was willing to cut them a lot of slack because I don’t think the novels were cinematic, but they took all the slack and ran in circles around the novels.

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  43. Sherri said on July 16, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    I think I’ve figured it out, the whole ‘pregnant person’ vs ‘woman’ and personhood on the fetus thing.

    You see, a pregnant person becomes a woman the instant she gets pregnant, and then she ceases to be a person having rights, and instead, the clump of cells inside her becomes a person! So, 10 year old pregnant child is not a child, but a woman who should see the wisdom of carrying her baby to term.

    Still trying to understand what really counts as an abortion.

    Is is just me, or has the gaslighting gotten really bright lately?

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  44. Deborah said on July 16, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    So we watched the first two episodes of Dark Winds, you definitely have to forget the details and sequencing of the Hillerman novels. It’s pretty good storytelling so far. The scenery is very familiar. Jeff tmmo is right, you can’t hide Pedernal the iconic flat topped mountain near Abiquiu that we clearly see from our cabin.

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  45. LAMary said on July 17, 2022 at 12:46 am

    Sherri if you figure out what counts let me know. I’m not sure if that woman was serious or if she was a moronic as the politician who said that the body knows when when there is legitimate rape so a pregnancy can’t be the resultof rape.

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  46. Deborah said on July 17, 2022 at 12:54 am

    Jeff G, I just noticed that your comment ID is no longer tmmo. I noticed the RC Cola drinking by the Mormon family but I interpreted that by the way the mother kept looking slyly at her bottle and singing along with the music with her family that they were being naughty but they were on vacation and being silly so it was ok. It will be interesting to find out what ultimately happened to them. I was screaming at the TV when Manualito and Leaphorn were inspecting the Mormons’ car to “look in the trunk”.

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  47. Dexter Friend said on July 17, 2022 at 5:05 am

    Deborah, in “Big Love”, the wives drank tea to be naughty. They’d hide outside and gather to be SO bad by having some caffeine. (It’s been awhile…the show was about Mormons.)
    McClarnon isn’t hurting financially. He’s the go-to Native American in seemingly every show with a Native American role. He must answer every casting call with “here I am! You others can leave now.”
    I don’t think I have AMC+. I have most every other streamer.

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  48. Jeff Gill said on July 17, 2022 at 8:15 am

    Y’all will have to fill me on tonight’s “Dark Winds,” I’m going to be at my father-in-law’s.

    Deborah, I only became “TMMO” aka “the mild mannered one” because in the midst of the Goeglein ruckus in 2008 we had not only cousin Borden but a third Jeff kept posting for a while, who was agitated and pro-Goeglein, so I started tacking on the additional for clarity about which Jeff was speaking . . . 14 years later, it’s just the two of us Jeffs. My autofill kept it going, but someone pointed out it was kind of pointless and I agreed.

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  49. Dave said on July 17, 2022 at 8:18 am

    I’ve been watching Dark Winds and Dexter, I think the episodes may all be available on AMC without subscribing to AMC+, for a limited time. Tonight is the final episode.

    It is rather jarring if you’ve read the books and I, too, thought the writers didn’t quite try hard enough to keep the era honest, just little things. There’s a scene where Jim Chee stops to help an old Indian fellow broken down along the road and the old fellow says he should trade off his old vehicle for something newer like his brother did and then says his brother got rid of his old beater Pinto. This series is set in 1971 and that was the year Pintos were introduced.

    Zahn McClarnon is always the Native American cop, isn’t he, Dexter? He was the cop in the show about the Native American kids living on the reservation, the name of which escapes me right now.

    Another show I’ve watched recently is The Old Man with Jeff Bridges. I went to the library and the book was there. The producers that created this show bought the characters names and, other than the broad outline of the book, created their own plot, the tv show is wildly divergent from the book.

    Jeff, my auto fill hasn’t worked here for a long time, I always have to fill in my name and e-mail address. One day, it simply didn’t work and hasn’t since.

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  50. Mark P said on July 17, 2022 at 8:59 am

    I suspect the Pinto reference was some younger writer who said, “What’s a stupid old car? Oh! Pinto! Hahaha. Pinto!”
    After all, 1971 was probably way before they were born.

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  51. LAMary said on July 17, 2022 at 11:57 am

    A former co-worker who was coverting to Mormonism defended his continued coffee drinking by saying the church only said “hot” beverages and that hot in that case could mean spicy or alcoholic.

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  52. Deborah said on July 17, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    I bought some gorgeous sunflowers yesterday at the Farmers Market, they have white petals and golden centers. They’re about 5″or so in diameter. I had never seen sunflowers in those colors. I Googled it and I had no idea there were so many variations of sunflowers. We have sunflowers growing in the condo yard now under bird feeders where we had a mix with sunflower seeds. Sunflowers are wild in NM. Unfortunately we had to quit feeding the birds for a while because the dropped seeds were attracting ants, lots and lots of ants. Hopefully we can get back to feeding the birds after we figure out how to get rid of the ants. It has been quite rainy in Northern NM as I’ve mentioned before and ants seem to like that. Love the rain but now we have to take the good with the bad. Still not enough rain to fix the drought but much better than it was last summer.

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  53. Sherri said on July 17, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    When I advise candidates, I remind them (and their supporters) not to respond to everything their opponent says. I may steal this idea.

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  54. Dexter Friend said on July 18, 2022 at 2:01 am

    Dave, it was “Rez Dogs.” McClarnon will take on any role; I watched a show a few months ago and he played a hard-assed gangster. Usually he is a side-kick deputy, like a Festus or Chester.
    I bought a shiny new Pinto wagon in early January, 1974. My ’68 VW Bug had frozen up as my wife at the time was driving back from Fort Wayne; the brakes just froze and she nearly wrecked the Bug, so I traded it off for something more modern.
    The steering column was crooked, making the steering wheel oddly at an angle. Somehow I did not notice this until all the papers were signed and I was halfway home. I took it back and Max Platt, the owner of the Kendallville dealership, agreed it was abnormally crooked, shrugged, and said, well, nothing can be done about it. I had no idea how to fight it so I adapted. I took it to the late Jack Hannes, the master mechanic, and he disconnected the awful seatbelt bell and also removed the catalytic converter, something we all did then, as it slowed acceleration and interfered with gas mileage, and this was before all that was enforced; it may have been illegal but nobody was prosecuting anyone.
    This was the vehicle I took to LA in the hot June summer, and crossed the Mojave at noon with no AC in the car, and probably nearly heat-stroked out. I was young and thought the warnings to not do that were overblown and exaggerated. Don’t do it! Thankfully I found water and lemonade at a Needles diner. I believe the Pinto car was solely the model that blew up upon rear impact. But then I never got rear-ended by anyone in my wagon, only almost was when somehow I pissed off a Los Angeles city bus driver who was right in my rearview mirror blasting his goddam horn…I never figured out what I had done wrong. He maybe hated Hoosiers and my license plate gave me away.

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  55. ROGirl said on July 18, 2022 at 7:50 am

    Sherri, I enjoyed the bingo card. Buzzword bingo for business meetings is a good one, too.

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  56. JodiP said on July 18, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Deborah, so glad you’ve discovered all the different sunflowers! One of my favorites is another creamy one with dark centers, Italian White. My wife loves sunflowers, so we grow some of the shorter, multibranched ones every year.

    I’m functioning at about 40% today, but that is just fine–got back at midnight from an action-packed 5 days in NYC. We saw the Book of Mormon which was super funny. We stayed at a Dutch-owned hotel called CitizenM and loved it. Lots of art, places to hang out and the staff are amazing. The company provides great benefits as well: free healthcare, and just $100/month if you add a spouse. 18 days of PTO to start, which is good by American standards. (We chatted with one of the bartenders one evening)

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  57. basset said on July 18, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    When Mrs. B and I first met, she had an exploding-variety Pinto (no safety shield on the gas tank to protect it from collision damage) with a full set of Firestone Radial 500s. the ones with the peeling tread.

    About that same time I was driving a Pinto station wagon for work up north in Michigan, have a picture here somewhere of it sitting next to abou a ten-foot snowbank.

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  58. Joe Kobiela said on July 18, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Currently at O’Hare on the way to Oklahoma City to pick up a plane we left for maintenance, I have flown 8 airline legs since July 5, thru Atlanta, Charlotte,and now Chicago, all my flights have been full but all have left on time and arrived early, my suggestion is fly the legacy airlines, Delta, United, or American. I have been on all 3, and try and get the first flights out,be patient and treat the gate agents and crews respectively.
    Pilot Joe

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  59. Julie Robinson said on July 18, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Nancy is probably updating as I type, but for Fort Wayne peeps, I just saw that John Crawford died at 73 of a heart attack.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on July 18, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    We’re getting ready to paint a couple rooms and had some serious sticker shock at the Sherwin Williams store. Their cheapest paint is $42/gallon with the premium at $110. I knew it had gone up but good grief.

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  61. LAMary said on July 18, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    I’ve got some Italian White sunflowers in my yard as well as a few varieties whose names I don’t know. I ordered a lot of different seeds and my son planted them sort of randomly around the yard. There are wild Mexican sunflowers outside my fence. They grow wild and although the flower is a little smaller than the domesticated ones they self-propagate all over the place along with the wild mustard, making for some lovely hillsides.

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  62. Dave said on July 18, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    My father bought a 1971 Pinto to drive to work, he wanted something economical to drive the 40-odd round trip miles. The gas tank never exploded, it survived a couple of fender-benders, we didn’t know it was so dangerous but we’d also had pickup trucks when they built them with the gas tank behind the seat, another potential catastrophe.

    Wow, glad we’re not shopping for paint, Julie, I can imagine your shock.

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  63. Deborah said on July 18, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    My sister’s first car was a 1971 Pinto, she had just graduated from college and had a job teaching near Bay City, MI. She drove it out of the dealership after taking possession of it, went to a grocery store and when leaving her parking spot she had it in drive instead of reverse and plowed into the the store. I don’t remember what happened after that, she’d had the car about a half an hour.

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  64. Julie Robinson said on July 18, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    Friends have pointed us to Behr, which we used here originally, and one certain Benjamin Moore store. “Tell them Ms. Evi sent you”.

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  65. LAMary said on July 18, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Definitely look at Behr. It’s not cheap but it’s not $42 bucks a gallon either.

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  66. Deborah said on July 18, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Someone on Twitter suggested this: if it ever comes to a ban on crossing state lines for an abortion, everyone should present as someone about to get an abortion in another state, no matter your age or gender. Let them have to investigate us all.

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  67. LAMary said on July 18, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    In yet another contract job and I’m looking at the map of the area around one of my previous employers. Forest Lawn is across the freeway from the location. On this map they label the locations of seven famous persons’ graves: Lee Van Cleef, Fritz Lang, Godfrey Cambridge, Don Rickles, Forrest Tucker, Stan Laurel and Bob Saget. That is a really random list. Adjacent to Forest Lawn is Junior Achievement of Southern California. I guess the kids get a nice view of the crypts.

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  68. Deborah said on July 18, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Having visited Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris many times at Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and always encountering devotees and messages and leavings it was surprising when we visited Frank Sinatra’s in a Palm Springs cemetery, no people, no messages, no leavings, nothing. Although apparently Morrison’s remains have been removed from Pére Lachaise because the lease ran out, I don’t remember when that happened but it has been a while. We also visited Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein at Pére Lachaise, and more don’t remember everybody. It’s a great cemetery, families have picnics there.

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  69. Deborah said on July 18, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Our mailboxes at the Santa Fe condo had mail theft recently and according to our regular mail guy it’s happening all over town, even the multi-million $ places in the foothills. Porch pirates are a big problem too, with UPS and Fed-ex drop-offs. We have been looking into locked mailboxes and a new less remote, closer to the building location for the mailboxes but we have to get it approved by the local postmaster, of course they are not in any hurry to get back with us. Do any of you all have these issues in your communities? I would think so, what with the proliferation of internet mail order purchases now-a-days.

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  70. tajalli said on July 18, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Home Depot has Gliddon (they also carry Behr) at $24/gal. Paint sales are held Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day, so timing counts. Who needs gold-plated paint prices, jeez.

    Just finished Bill and Ted Face the Music to lift me out of the pervading deadly serious mood, literally some comic relief. Did the trick. 🙂

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  71. tajalli said on July 18, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    My credit card company has rescinded purchase security (for damage or theft) which makes sense to me.

    Our stuff gets left helter skelter in the common room within our locked building, but still this isn’t terrific.

    Amazon, FedEx, and UPS all have secure pickup locations available and some folks are using PO boxes for their mail.

    And now, back to the Bill and Ted mood.

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  72. basset said on July 18, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve visited Bill Monroe’s grave in rural western Kentucky with a pack of hounds running by just at dusk… and stood before Hank Williams’ marble monument in Montgomery to the sound of kids playing ball nearby. My parents and one brother are buried about thirty yards from Hoagy Carmichael in Bloomington, dunno how that happened.

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