Monday, April 7, 2014

One Adam 12 & Dirty Harry

It would be very difficult to imagine a more striking contrast in images of American law enforcement than Officer Malloy of “One Adam 12” and Clint Eastwood’s character of Dirty Harry Callahan.  Officer Malloy was LAPD’s version of Dudley Do Right.  Dirty Harry, on the other hand – well, consider the original ad for the first Dirty Harry film featured the line “Two stone cold killers. Harry’s the one with the Badge.”  

I recently learned that Martin Milner, officer Malloy’s real life alter ego, started acting when he was in the army at Fort Ord, California and he achieved considerable success in Route 66, The Swiss Family Robinson and a number of other films until finding his role in the Jack Web production.  Ironically enough, while he was still stationed at Fort Ord, Martin Milner got to be friends with a very tall, athletic guy named Clint Eastwood; who he encouraged to pursue an acting career and the rest is history.  No word whether Milner and Eastwood ever shared a squad car.

Erin Nicole’s Good Influence

Once many years ago back when Bush 41 was president I finished a transpacific voyage when the ship I’d been teaching on, the U.S.S. Cape Cod, pulled into San Diego and I had the chance to visit with some of my favorite people in the whole world: Mark and Barbara and their beyond adorable three children.  One of the high points of that trip was when Mark did the “take-the-family-to-work” thing.  He took me and the rest of his family on a tour of Marine Recruit Training Depot San Diego where he was serving as a Chief Drill Instructor. When we were all bundled up into the van, I heard a six-year old voice sounding from the far back seat, “Your seat belt’s not fastened, Daddy.”  After a pause, I heard that voice a whole lot more stridently, “Your seat belt’s not fastened, Daddy!”  I thought, “That has got to be one of the bravest and bossiest six-year olds I have ever heard in my entire life.”

I hope Erin Nicole will be pleased to know that, more than 20 years later, every time I drive downtown on the Columbus freeway I can hear her six-year old voice in my ear making the same observation.  Even after all this time, Erin Nicole is a good influence on me.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor is known today as a punch line — one of Hollywood’s few celebrities who does not do a good impersonation of herself.” A common gag amongst speakers about to give a lecture on a mundane topic is to say, “I feel a lot like Zsa Zsa Gabor’s 9th husband:  I know what to do, but I’m not sure if I can make it interesting.” The thing that strikes me about Zsa Zsa Gabor is that when she was born in Budapest, back in 1917, she was the subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; all under the House of Hapsburg, a regime that had lasted 300 years, but only had another 22 months to run.  All of modern history is just one lengthy lifetime long.