I Remember…


Charlton Heston, Epic Film Star and Voice of N.R.A., Dies at 83

Charlton Heston, who appeared in some 100 films in his 60 year acting career but who is remembered chiefly for his monumental, jut jawed portrayals of Moses, Ben~Hur and Michelangelo, died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 83.

Charlton Heston had been suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Charlton Heston posed with his Oscar statuette after winning the 1959 Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Ben~Hur.

His death was confirmed by a spokesman for the family, Bill Powers, who declined to discuss the cause. In August 2002, Mr. Heston announced that he had been diagnosed with neurological symptoms “consistent with Alzheimer’s disease.”

“I’m neither giving up nor giving in,” he said.

Every actor dreams of a breakthrough role, the part that stamps him in the public memory, and Mr. Heston’s life changed forever when he caught the eye of the director Cecil B. De Mille. De Mille, who was planning his next biblical spectacular, “The Ten Commandments,” looked at the young, physically imposing Mr. Heston and saw his Moses.

When the film was released in 1956, more than three and a half hours long and the most expensive that De Mille had ever made, Mr. Heston became a marquee name. Whether leading the Israelites through the wilderness, parting the Red Sea or coming down from Mount Sinai with the tablets from God in hand, he was a Moses to remember.

Writing in The New York Times nearly 30 years afterward, when the film was re-released for a brief run, Vincent Canby called it “a gaudy, grandiloquent Hollywood classic” and suggested there was more than a touch of “the rugged American frontiersman of myth” in Mr. Heston’s Moses.

The same quality made Mr. Heston an effective spokesman, off screen, for the causes he believed in. Late in life he became a staunch opponent of gun control. Elected president of the National Rifle Association in 1998, he proved to be a powerful campaigner against what he saw as the government’s attempt to infringe on a Constitutional guarantee, the right to bear arms.

In Mr. Heston, the N.R.A. found its embodiment of pioneer values, pride, independence and valor. In a speech at the N.R.A.’s annual convention in 2000, he brought the audience to its feet with a ringing attack on gun-control advocates. Paraphrasing an N.R.A. bumper sticker (“I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands”) he waved a replica of a colonial musket above his head and shouted defiantly, “From my cold, dead hands!”

Mr. Heston’s screen presence was so commanding that he was never dominated by mammoth sets, spectacular effects or throngs of spear waving extras. In his films, whether playing Buffalo Bill, an airline pilot, a naval captain or the commander of a spaceship, he essentially projected the same image muscular, steely eyed, courageous. If critics regularly used terms like “marble monumental” or “granitic” to describe his acting style, they just as often praised his forthright, no~nonsense characterizations.

After his success in “The Ten Commandments,” Mr. Heston tried a change of pace. Another legendary Hollywood director, Orson Welles, cast him as a Mexican narcotics investigator in the thriller “Touch of Evil,” in which Welles himself played a murderous sheriff in a border town. Also starring Janet Leigh and Marlene Dietrich, the film, a modest success when it opened in 1958, came to be accepted as a noir classic.

But the following year Mr. Heston stepped back into the world of the biblical epic, this time under the director William Wyler. The movie was “Ben~Hur.” Cast as a prince of ancient Judea who rebels against the rule of Rome, Mr. Heston again dominated the screen. In the film’s most spectacular sequence, he and his co~star, Stephen Boyd, as his Roman rival, fight a thrilling duel with whips as their horse drawn chariots careen wheel~to~wheel around an arena filled with roaring spectators.

“Ben~Hur” won 11 Academy Awards, a record at the time, including those for best picture, best director and, for Mr. Heston, best actor.

He went on to star opposite Sophia Loren in the 1961 release “El Cid,” battling the Moors in 11th century Spain. As a Marine officer stationed in the Forbidden City in 1900, he helped put down the Boxer Rebellion in Nicholas Ray’s 1963 epic “55 Days at Peking.” In “Khartoum” (1966), he played Gen. Charles (Chinese) Gordon, who was killed in a desert uprising led in the film by Laurence Olivier’s Mahdi. When George Stevens produced and directed “The Greatest Story Ever Told” in 1965, there was Mr. Heston, back in ancient Judea, playing John the Baptist to Max von Sydow’s Jesus.

He portrayed Andrew Jackson twice, in “The President’s Lady” (1954) and “The Buccaneer” (1958). There were westerns (“Major Dundee,” “Will Penny,” “The Mountain Men”), costume dramas (“The Three Musketeers” and its sequel, “The Four Musketeers,” with Mr. Heston cast as the crafty Cardinal Richelieu in both) and action films aplenty. Whether playing a hard bitten landowner in an adaptation of James Michener’s novel “The Hawaiians” (1970), or a daring pilot in “Airport 1975,” he could be relied on to give moviegoers their money’s worth.

In 1965 he was cast as Michelangelo in the film version of Irving Stone’s novel “The Agony and the Ecstasy.” Directed by Carol Reed, the film pitted Mr. Heston’s temperamental artist against Rex Harrison’s testy Pope Julius II, who commissioned Michelangelo to create frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Mr. Heston’s performance took a critical drubbing, but to audiences, the larger than life role seemed to be another perfect fit. Mr. Heston once joked: “I have played three presidents, three saints and two geniuses. If that doesn’t create an ego problem, nothing does.”

Mr. Heston was catapulted into the distant future in the 1968 science fiction film “Planet of the Apes,” in which he played an astronaut marooned on a desolate planet and then enslaved by its rulers, a race of anthropomorphic apes. The film was a hit. He reprised the role two years later in the sequel, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes.”

    Son of the Midwest

It was all a long way from Evanston, Ill., where Charlton Carter was born on Oct. 4, 1924, and from the small town of St. Helen, Mich., where his family moved when he was a small boy and where his father ran a lumber mill. He attended a one room school and learned to fish and hunt and to savor the feeling of being self reliant in the wild, where his shyness was no handicap.

When his parents divorced in the 1930s and his mother remarried, his stepfather’s surname was Heston, the family moved to the Chicago suburb of Winnetka. He joined the theater program at his new high school and went on to enroll at Northwestern University on a scholarship. By that time, he was convinced he had found his life’s work.

Mr. Heston also found a fellow drama student, Lydia Clarke, whom he married in 1944, just before enlisting in the Army Air Force. He became a radio gunner and spent three years stationed in the Aleutian Islands. After his discharge, the Hestons moved to New York, failed to find work in the theater and, somewhat disenchanted but still determined, moved to North Carolina, where they spent several seasons working at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Theater in Asheville.

When they returned to New York in 1947, Mr. Heston got his first big break, landing the role of Caesar’s lieutenant in a Broadway production of Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” staged by Guthrie McClintick and starring Katharine Cornell. The production ran for seven months and proved to be the high point of Mr. Heston’s New York stage career. He appeared in a handful of other plays, most of them dismal failures, although his performance in the title role of a 1956 revival of “Mr. Roberts” won him praise.

If Broadway had little to offer him, television was another matter. He made frequent appearances in dramatic series like “Robert Montgomery Presents” and “Philco Playhouse.” The door to Hollywood opened when the film producer Hal B. Wallis saw Mr. Heston’s performance as Rochester in a “Studio One” production of “Jane Eyre.” Wallis offered him a contract.

Mr. Heston made his film debut in 1950 in Wallis’s “Dark City,” a low grade thriller in which he played a small time gambler. Two years later, he did his first work for De Mille as a hard driving circus boss in “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Throughout his career he studied long and hard for his roles. He prepared for the part of Moses by memorizing passages from the Old Testament. When filming began on the sun baked slopes of Mount Sinai, he suggested to De Mille that he play the role barefoot, a decision that he felt lent an edge of truth to his performance.

    Filmography: Charlton Heston

Preparing for “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” he read hundreds of Michelangelo’s letters and practiced how to sculpt and paint convincingly. When filming “The Wreck of the Mary Deare” (1959), in which he played the pilot of a salvage boat, he learned deep-water diving. And he mostly rejected stunt doubles. In “Ben-Hur,” he said, he drove his own chariot for “about 80 percent of the race.”

“I worked six weeks learning how to manage the four white horses,” he said. “Nearly pulled my arms right out of their sockets.”

As the years wore on, the leading roles began to go to younger men, and by the 1980s, Mr. Heston’s appearances on screen were less frequent. He turned to stage work again, not on Broadway but in Los Angeles, at the Ahmanson Theater, where he played roles ranging from Macbeth to James Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” He also returned to television, appearing in 1983 as a paternalistic banker in the miniseries “Chiefs” and as an oil baron in the series “The Colbys.”

Rifles and a ‘Cultural War’

Mr. Heston was always able to channel some energies into the public arena. He was an active supporter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., calling him “a 20th century Moses for his people,” and participated in the historic march on Washington in 1963.

He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1966 to 1971, following in the footsteps of his friend and role model Ronald Reagan. A registered Democrat for many years, he was nevertheless selective in the candidates he chose to support and often campaigned for conservatives.

In 1981, President Reagan appointed him co-chairman of the President’s Task Force on the Arts and Humanities, a group formed to devise ways to obtain financing for arts organizations. Although he had reservations about some projects supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Mr. Heston wound up defending the agency against charges of elitism.

Again and again, he proved himself a cogent and effective speaker, but he rejected suggestions that he run for office, perhaps for a seat in the Senate. “I’d rather play a senator than be one,” he said.

He became a Republican after Democrats in the Senate blocked the confirmation of Judge Robert Bork, a conservative, to the Supreme Court in 1987. Mr. Heston had supported the nomination and was critical of the Reagan White House for misreading the depth of the liberal opposition.

Mr. Heston frequently spoke out against what he saw as evidence of the decline and debasement of American culture. In 1992, appalled by the lyrics on “Cop Killer,” a recording by the rap artist Ice T, he blasted the album at a Time Warner stockholders meeting and was a force in having it withdrawn from the marketplace.

In the 1996 elections, he campaigned on behalf of some 50 Republican candidates and began to speak out against gun control. In 1997, he was elected vice president of the N.R.A.

In December of that year, as the keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary gala of the Free Congress Foundation, Mr. Heston described “a cultural war” raging across America, “storming our values, assaulting our freedoms, killing our self-confidence in who we are and what we believe.”

    A Relentless Drive

The next year, at 73, he was elected president of the N.R.A. In his speech at the association’s convention before his election, he trained his oratorical artillery on President Bill Clinton’s White House: “Mr. Clinton, sir, America didn’t trust you with our health care system. America didn’t trust you with gays in the military. America doesn’t trust you with our 21 year old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don’t trust you with our guns.”

He was in the news again after the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in April 1999, when he said that the N.R.A.’s annual membership meeting, scheduled to be held the following week in Denver, would be scaled back in light of the killings but not canceled.

In a memorable scene from “Bowling for Columbine,” his 2002 documentary about violence in America, the director, Michael Moore, visited Mr. Heston at his home and asked him how he could defend his pro~gun stance. Mr. Heston ended the interview without comment.

In May 2001, he was unanimously re~elected to an unprecedented fourth term by the association’s board of directors. The association had amended its bylaws in 2000 to allow Mr. Heston to serve a third one year term as president. Two months after his celebrated speech at the 2000 convention, it was disclosed that Mr. Heston had checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation program after the convention had ended.

Mr. Heston was proud of his collection of some 30 guns at his longtime home in the Coldwater Canyon area of Beverly Hills, where he and his wife raised their son, Fraser, and daughter, Holly Ann. They all survive him, along with three grandchildren.

Never much for socializing , he spent his days either working, exercising, reading (he was fond of biographies) or sketching. An active diarist, he published several accounts of his career, including “The Actor’s Life: Journals 1956~1976.”

In 2003, Mr. Heston was among the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President Bush. In 1997, he was also a recipient of the annual Kennedy Center honors.

Mr. Heston continued working through the 1990s, acting more frequently on television but also in occasional films. His most recent film appearance found him playing a cameo role, in simian makeup, in Tim Burton’s 2001 remake of “Planet of the Apes.”

He had announced in 1999 that he was receiving radiation treatments for prostate cancer.

He had always hated the thought of retirement and once explained his relentless drive as an actor. “You never get it right,” he said in a 1986 interview. “Never once was it the way I imagined it lying awake at 4 o’clock in the morning thinking about it the next day.” His goal remained, he said, “To get it right one time.”

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Thank you AP news and ROBERT BERKVIST
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I am sure that all of you Baby Boomers out there have seen all of Charlton Heston’s movies and it would be hard to pick out one that was truly your favorite. AS they were all so good and he was a master at his craft.

Mr. Heston was a Civil Rights advocate and was very Philanthropic work through out his life time.
I will miss him and will continue to re~watch his movies.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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King slaying stained Memphis for years…

2209074400_9cf42be901_m.jpg The Motel when Dr King was slain.

In MEMPHIS, Tenn., Joe Warren dropped his head to his hands, sobbing as he remembered back 40 years to the bitter garbage workers strike that drew Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis and to his death.

Warren, 86, was one of the 1,300 black sanitation workers who walked off the job in 1968 with a strike that tore at the foundation of the city’s white only rule.

“They talked to you like you were a dog, and they worked you like a dog,” he said, his shoulders trembling. “But I couldn’t find a job nowhere else.”

The 65 day strike for the right to unionize ended with a victory for the workers. But King’s assassination stained this Southern city for years, limiting its prosperity and hurting its reputation worldwide.

“It took a decade of growth out of the Memphis regional economy,” said David Ciscel, a University of Memphis economist. “It was a time of fairly rapid growth in the South, and it was a time when Atlanta and Nashville kind of left us behind. People just didn’t want to associate with us.”

The city’s fortunes eventually improved, thanks largely to a young cargo airline named Federal Express that in the early 1980s showed that Memphis could still be a good place to do business. The airline grew into today’s FedEx Corp.

“It rescued Memphis,” Ciscel said.

The sanitation strike and King’s assassination made clear to blacks and whites alike that “the old plantation mentality had to be dumped,” said Michael Honey, author of “Going Down Jericho Road,” a history of the Memphis strike and King’s struggle for economic justice for the poor.

In the 1960s, close to 60 percent of black families in Memphis lived in poverty, Honey said, and few jobs other than manual labor were open to blacks.

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Today the city has a poverty rate of nearly 24 percent overall, almost twice the national figure, and 30 percent among black residents.

But the good jobs, in government and the private sector, are no longer reserved for whites. Memphis, which was 40 percent black in the 1960s, is now more than 60 percent black. It has had a black mayor since 1991.

The strike began in February 1968 after two sanitation workers were crushed by a trash compactor when they climbed in a garbage truck to get out of the rain.

The accident was blamed on faulty equipment, but it inflamed tensions that had festered for years over low wages, poor working conditions and racist treatment of black workers by white superiors.

The garbage workers had to wrestle with tubs and cans of all shapes and sizes, some so heavy it took two or three men to lift them. In the sweltering Memphis summers, the containers were prime breeding grounds for maggots that tumbled onto the workers.

“You’d have to tie a rag around your head to keep them from going down your back. That’s rough work, but you couldn’t say anything or they’d fire you,” Warren said. “We were men, but they treated us like boys.”

Pay ranged from $1.65 to $1.85 an hour for garbage crew members, just above the federal minimum wage of $1.60. Workers got no breaks or overtime pay and could be sent home without full pay when it rained. White supervisors drew full pay, rain or shine.

Looking back on the indignities endured by the workers still brings tears to Warren’s eyes, but the pain is softened by memories of organizing the strike and taking to the streets under the banner “I Am A Man.”

“I had a sign on my front and my back,” he said, “and I was walking around saying, ‘I am a man. I ain’t going to be quiet no more.'”

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King was cut down April 4 by a rifle slug that tore through his jaw and spine as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. James Earl Ray, a petty criminal and prison escapee, pleaded guilty to the murder. He died in prison in 1998.

After King’s death, with the National Guard patrolling the streets, worried Memphis residents began calling for an end to racial hostilities.

“In the beginning, there was chaos,” said Fred Davis, one of three newly elected blacks on the 13 member city council in 1968. “But it brought people together who had never talked to each other to try to deal with a community problem.”

Twelve days after King’s death, the strike ended with the city council recognizing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees as the workers’ union. The workers got a pay raise of 15 cents an hour, promotions based on seniority and the right to file on~-the~job grievances.

Though King’s killer was not from Memphis, the city was seen by much of the rest of the world as a cultural backwater responsible for the murder.

“People in Memphis have always been pretty sensitive of what outsiders think,” said history professor Charles Crawford of the University of Memphis. “It caused a deliberate change, maybe not in the true feelings of a lot of people, but at least in the expressions of them. The black community could see the collapsing of resistance to their aspirations.”

The National Civil Rights Museum opened at the Lorraine in 1991 after private citizens saved it from foreclosure and demolition. It is now a tourist attraction and a shrine to the civil rights movement.

“Most people say the assassination, set the city back hugely in terms of economic development and tourism and all that,” said Honey, the author, who is also a professor of labor and civil rights studies at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

“They’re now trying to turn that minus into a plus by acknowledging what happened and trying to highlight the history of the black freedom movement.”

For many people, Memphis has become “kind of hallowed ground,” Honey added. “It’s a place where important things happened and people want to connect to that.”

2208278331_4ddf44cf96_m.jpg Boarding house across the street from the Lorraine Motel where James Earl Ray fired the shot that killed Dr. King

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Thank you AP News and WOODY BAIRD, Associated Press Writer
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How many of you, red, yellow, black or white could work in these kind of conditions and still feel like a human being…I applaud those of you who fought for your basic human rights and those of your families.

So much tragedy, so many gone, some long gone.

Memphis will be remembered for Dr. King, Dallas forever for President Kennedy and NY for 911.

World peace, should start at home.
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

You could travel to auto shows around the world to see the latest breakthrough concept cars, customized hot rods, and classic roadsters. Or you could sit on your couch and watch these ten awesome autos.

auto_bttf.jpgauto_bttf.jpg DeLorean DMC~12

As Seen In: Back to the Future Part I, Part II and Part III
Modified by: Dr. Emmett L. Brown
Key Technical Specs: Goes from 1985 to 1955 in under three seconds.Before Doc Brown’s breakthrough mod, the flux capacitor, the iconic DeLorean DMC~12 was the “it” car for movie producers, record execs and other dirtbags. But this car is capable of so much more. Not only can you impress the ladies along the Sunset Strip, but you can also outrun terrorists, thwart high school bullies, and resolve oedipal issues.
Available Options: Deluxe edition runs on trash and doesn’t need roads.

Back to the Future | Back to the Future Part II | Back to the Future Part III

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auto_deathproof.jpgauto_deathproof.jpg 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

As Seen In: Grindhouse: Death Proof and Vanishing Point
Key Technical Specs: 375 horsepower Magnum V~8; seats six: two in front, three in back and one on the hood.If you absolutely, positively have to get away from Kurt Russell, this is the car for you. This 440 cubic~inch beauty is the car of choice for reckless adrenaline junkies everywhere. Perfect for a nihilist race across the American west or pursuing a serial killer through Tennessee’s rolling hills.
Available Options: Comes with matching stuntperson E~Z grip gloves.

Grindhouse: Death Proof | Vanishing Point

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auto_tumbler.jpgauto_tumbler.jpg Wayne Industries Tumbler

a/k/a The Batmobile
As Seen In: Batman Begins
Key Technical Specs: Chevy 5.7~liter V~8 engine; genuinely frightening to see in your rear view mirror.It’s the latest vehicle from Wayne Industries’ lead engineer, Lucius Fox. Sure, the Tumbler lacks the stylistic flourishes of previous models, no tail fins, bubble windshields or neon lighting here. Instead it delivers pure, jet boosted power. This ride will shock and awe any evil doer into submission.
Available Options: Stealth~mode. Rocket launchers. iPod input.

Batman Begins | The Dark Knight

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auto_bullitt.jpgauto_bullitt.jpg 1968 390 GT V8 Ford Mustang

As Seen In: Bullitt
Key Technical Specs: 325 horsepower; turns the hilly streets of San Francisco into the American Le Mans.This pine green hunk of steel and attitude gets more air time than Michael Jordan in a shoe ad. It is the ride for running a Dodge Charger filled with mafia hit men off the road. This car has proven to be so iconic that 40 years later Ford has revived its look and feel for the 2008 Bullitt Mustang.
Available Options: Allows you to look cool in a turtleneck/blazer combo.

Bullitt |

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auto_transformers.jpgauto_transformers.jpg 2009 Chevrolet Camaro

Modified by (or into): Bumblebee
As Seen In: Transformers
Key Technical Specs: 5.7~liter LS1 V8 engine; becomes a 17 foot tall robot.If you’re a socially awkward adolescent aiming for a girl who’s way out of your league, this car is for you. Not only can this coupe dispense well timed dating advice and mood music, but it can also turn the driver into a hero of an epic intergalactic fight between good and evil. The ladies dig that.
Available Options: Deluxe edition fires laser cannon while being towed.

Transformers | 

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auto_bond.jpgauto_bond.jpg 1963 Aston Martin DB5

Modified/Weaponized by: Q
As Seen In: Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye and Casino Royale
Key Technical Specs: 282 hp 4.0L straight~6; passenger ejector seat.Aston Martin has been the make of choice for MI~6 agents for years, but this remains the gold standard. The DB5 is ideal for fleeing sinister henchmen on Alpine by ways or mowing them down with the .30 caliber machine guns hidden behind the tail lights. Remember: do not drink martinis and drive.
Available Options: New double~0 agents can upgrade to the DBS V12.

Goldfinger | Casino Royale

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auto_mini.jpgauto_mini.jpg 2002 MINI Cooper S

As Seen In: The Italian Job
Update of: Austin Mini Cooper S MkI seen in 1969’s The Italian Job
Key Technical Specs: 1.6L 4~cylinder; ample trunk space for stolen gold.The Mini Cooper has long been the preferred car for bands of thieves both on the Continent and here in the States. Whether you’re winding your way through the streets of Turin or the subway tunnels of Los Angeles (not recommended), you won’t find a groovier ride that the MINI.
Available Options: Buy in bulk for your (funky) bunch of crooks.

The Italian Job | The Italian Job (1969)

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auto_bueller.jpgauto_bueller.jpg 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California

Modified/Destroyed by: Cameron Frye
As Seen In: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Key Technical Specs: 240 horsepower V12 Engine; plays the Star Wars theme. Looking to get the attention of an emotionally distant parent? Slamming one of these through the glass wall of an elevated garage might just do the trick. Since only 45 of these babies were ever made, the going price is in the neighborhood of $2.5 million. So unless you’re looking to get throttled or disowned, find another set of wheels for your “sick day” joyride.Available Options: Deluxe edition had odometer that does run backwards.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  

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auto_furious.jpgauto_furious.jpg 2002 Nissan 350Z Fairlady

As Seen In: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Key Technical Specs: 287 horsepower 3.5L V~6; runs on gas, not (Vin) diesel.A lot of cars are fast. Some are furious. But few cars combine speed with anger management issues like 350Z Fairlady. With its custom paint job and fine tuned suspension system you’ll be drifting like a Tokyo crime lord.
Available Options: Discontinued Paul Walker add on is available again.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift You could travel to auto shows around the world to see the latest breakthrough concept cars, customized hot rods, and classic roadsters. Or you could sit on your couch and watch these ten awesome autos.
DeLorean DMC-12
As Seen In: Back to the Future Part I, Part II and Part III
Modified by: Dr. Emmett L. Brown
Key Technical Specs: Goes from 1985 to 1955 in under three seconds.Before Doc Brown’s breakthrough mod, the flux capacitor, the iconic DeLorean DMC~12 was the “it” car for movie producers, record execs and other dirtbags. But this car is capable of so much more. Not only can you impress the ladies along the Sunset Strip, but you can also outrun terrorists, thwart high school bullies, and resolve oedipal issues.
Available Options: Deluxe edition runs on trash and doesn’t need roads.

Back to the Future | Back to the Future Part II | Back to the Future Part III

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auto_herbie.jpgauto_herbie.jpg 1963 Model 117 Volkswagen Type 1 “Beetle” Deluxe

As Seen In: Herbie: Fully Loaded
Key Technical Specs: 34 horsepower, 1.1L 4~ cylinder engine; sentience.Ever longed for a set of wheels that handled like a dream, was fuel efficient, and would follow you around like a love hungry golden retriever? Well, this is the car for you. It’s sporty enough to compete in NASCAR, yet so dependable even Lindsay Lohan can drive it without endangering others.
Available Options: May develop a romantic interest in a New Beetle.

Herbie: Fully Loaded | 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

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Thank you Yahoo News
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I haven’t seen all the movies in the world…But I don’t think I would vote the Mini Cooper as on of the coolest…maybe one of the cutest!

PLEASE just give me the cars/motorcycles in Jay Leno’s garages!

Face it Baby Boomers…there are a lot of cooler cars in movies…but these are designed to sell you, THE BABY BOOMERS…cars that are out there for you to pick off the lots.

Just another way to sell the MAIN STREAM, the Americam public automobiles! Buyer beware.

BUY FUEL EFFICIENT CARS OR YOU WILL BE PAYING FOR IT AT THE PUMPS!

Green Peace Out…
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Richard Widmark, who made a sensational film debut as the giggling killer in “Kiss of Death” and became a Hollywood leading man in “Broken Lance,” “Two Rode Together” and 40 other films, has died after a long illness. He was 93.

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Richard Widmark was known for performances in films such as “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Widmark’s wife, Susan Blanchard, says the actor died at his home in Roxbury on Monday. She would not provide details of his illness and said funeral arrangements are private.
“It was a big shock, but he was 93,” Blanchard said.

After a career in radio drama and theater, Widmark moved to films as Tommy Udo, who delighted in pushing an old lady in a wheelchair to her death down a flight of stairs in the 1947 thriller “Kiss of Death.” The performance won him an Academy Award nomination as supporting actor; it was his only mention for an Oscar.

“That damned laugh of mine!” he told a reporter in 1961. “For two years after that picture, you couldn’t get me to smile. I played the part the way I did because the script struck me as funny and the part I played made me laugh. The guy was such a ridiculous beast.”

A quiet, inordinately shy man, Widmark often portrayed killers, cops and Western gunslingers. But he said he hated guns.

“I know I’ve made kind of a half-assed career out of violence, but I abhor violence,” he remarked in a 1976 Associated Press interview. “I am an ardent supporter of gun control. It seems incredible to me that we are the only civilized nation that does not put some effective control on guns.”

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Two years out of college, Widmark reached New York in 1938 during the heyday of radio. His mellow Midwest voice made him a favorite in soap operas, and he found himself racing from studio to studio.

Rejected by the Army because of a punctured eardrum, Widmark began appearing in theater productions in 1943. His first was a comedy hit on Broadway, “Kiss and Tell.” He was appearing in the Chicago company of “Dream Girl” with June Havoc when 20th Century Fox signed him to a seven-year contract. He almost missed out on the “Kiss of Death” role.

“The director, Henry Hathaway, didn’t want me,” the actor recalled. “I have a high forehead; he thought I looked too intellectual.” The director was overruled by studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck, and Hathaway “gave me kind of a bad time.”

An immediate star, Widmark appeared in 20 Fox films from 1947 to 1954. Among them: “The Street With No Name,” “Road House,” “Yellow Sky,” “Down to the Sea in Ships,” “Slattery’s Hurricane,” “Panic in the Streets,” “No Way Out,” “The Halls of Montezuma,” “The Frogmen,” “Red Skies of Montana,” “My Pal Gus” and the Samuel Fuller film noir “Pickup on South Street.”

In 1952, he starred in “Don’t Bother to Knock” with Marilyn Monroe. He told an interviewer in later years:

“She wanted to be this great star but acting just scared the hell out of her. That’s why she was always late…couldn’t get her on the set. She had trouble remembering lines. But none of it mattered. With a very few special people, something happens between the lens and the film that is pure magic. … And she really had it.”

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After leaving Fox, Widmark’s career continued to flourish. He starred (as Jim Bowie) with John Wayne in “The Alamo,” with James Stewart in John Ford’s “Two Rode Together,” as the U.S. prosecutor in “Judgment at Nuremberg,” and with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas in “The Way West.” He also played the Dauphin in “St. Joan,” and had roles in “How the West Was Won,” “Death of a Gunfighter,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Midas Run” and “Coma.”

“Madigan,” a 1968 film with Widmark as a loner detective, was converted to television and lasted one season in 1972~73. It was Widmark’s only TV series.

He also was in some TV films, including “Cold Sassy Tree” and “Once Upon a Texas Train.”

Richard Widmark was born December 26, 1914, in Sunrise, Minn., where his father ran a general store, then became a traveling salesman. The family moved around before settling in Princeton, Illinois.

Widmark’s film “Madigan” became a short-lived TV series in the early ’70s.

“Like most small-town boys, I had the urge to get to the big city and make a name for myself,” he recalled in a 1954 interview. “I was a movie nut from the age of 3, but I don’t recall having any interest in acting,” he said.

But at Lake Forest College, he became a protege of the drama teacher and met his future wife, drama student Ora Jean Hazlewood.

In later years, Widmark appeared sparingly in films and TV. He explained to Parade magazine in 1987: “I’ve discovered in my dotage that I now find the whole moviemaking process irritating. I don’t have the patience anymore. I’ve got a few more years to live, and I don’t want to spend them sitting around a movie set for 12 hours to do two minutes of film.”

When he wasn’t working, he and his wife lived on a horse ranch in Hidden Valley, California, or on a farm in Connecticut. Their daughter Ann became the wife of baseball immortal Sandy Koufax.

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Thank you AP News

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What a great life and one that will be surely missed.

Richard Widmark was one of those actors that made you wonder what was he like in real life…to me, that is what makes an actor real.

I think that Broken Lance was my favorite Richard Widmark film.

R.I.P.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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The American War: The U.S. in Vietnam

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Pinky and Bunny explain “The American War: The U.S. in Vietnam”

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You should not watch the first you tube with out watching the second.

Agent Orange and it’s effects…

To this day, I still hear opinions about Vietnam. That there was no such thing as Agent Orange and that they do not understand why Vietnam Veterans have P.T.S. If you look to see the madness…it, to me is quite understandable and that our soldiers were effected with Agent Orange as well. Germicides do not know the difference between a Vietnamese or an American.

I see Iraq as I did Vietnam…where are the weapons of mass destruction? I only see a war that was NOT NECESSARY!

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I pray for World Peace on Easter,
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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Hello Baby Boomers and I hope that you enjoy these blasts from the past.

I am an old fashioned girl, who prefers vintage and antiques to the new and modern.

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May all of you have a joyous Holiday!
~~~~~~~Sharon~~~~~~
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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In WASHINGTON…Protesters blocked traffic and government buildings in Washington, acted out a Baghdad street scene in Syracuse, N.Y., and banged drums in a parade through San Francisco on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

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Protesters blocked traffic and government buildings in Washington, acted out a Baghdad street scene in Syracuse, N.Y., and banged drums in a parade through San Francisco on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

In other, more somber observances, organizers set up a 2 mile display of about 4,000 T~shirts in Cincinnati, meant to symbolize the members of the U.S. military killed in Iraq, while in Louisville, Ky., demonstrators lined rows of military boots, sandals and children’s tennis shoes on the steps of a courthouse.

Laurie Wolberton of Louisville, Ky., whose son just finished an Army tour of duty in Iraq, said she fears the worsening U.S. economy has caused Americans to forget about the war.

“We’re not paying attention anymore,” she said. “My son has buried his friends. He’s given eulogies, he’s had to go through things no one should have to go through, and over here they’ve forgotten. They just go shopping instead.”

On previous anniversaries, tens of thousands of people marched through major U.S. cities, and more than 100,000 gathered on several occasions leading up to the invasion.

Only a few hundred mustered for one of Wednesday’s largest gatherings, in Washington, the crowds’ size perhaps kept in check by a late winter storm system that stretched the length of the country.

Dozens of people were arrested, most of them at demonstrations in San Francisco, Washington and Syracuse.

At the Internal Revenue Service building in the nation’s capital, about 100 protesters led by a marching band gathered at the main entrance. Several jumped barricades and sat down in front of the doors and were immediately detained. The demonstrators said they were focusing on the IRS, among other institutions, because it gathers taxes used to fund the war.

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Brian Bickett, 29, was among the first arrested. The high school theater teacher from New York City said he had never engaged in civil disobedience before.

“We need to find lots of different ways to resist the war, and I decided to try this,” he said.

About 20 protesters were arrested about a block from the U.S. Capitol after blocking traffic. In some cases, police had to drag the protesters off the street.

In Syracuse, police arrested 20 protesters who blocked traffic by creating a mock Baghdad street scene. One person dressed in camouflage lay on the ground. Another was covered in a white sheet with red markings and a woman leaned over as if grieving. They were from a group of more than 100 demonstrators who marched downtown in a steady rain over the lunch hour.

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In Chicopee, Mass., eight people were arrested when they blocked a gate at Westover Air Reserve Base, police said. Five people were arrested In Hartford, Conn., for blocking the front door of a federal courthouse.

On the West Coast, San Francisco police arrested about 100 protesters by early afternoon for blocking traffic and chaining themselves to buildings, police said.

The rallies, which drew hundreds to the city’s busy financial district, were mostly peaceful, though some demonstrators threw glass Christmas ornaments filled with paint at police, said Sgt. Steve Mannina, a San Francisco police spokesman.

Black balloons were tied to trees along San Francisco’s main downtown thoroughfare, and protesters at a table offered coffee, oranges and “unhappy birthday cake” to passers-by.

A few hundred protesters banging drums and waving banners that read “Was it worth it” took to the streets for a parade that blocked morning traffic.

In Anchorage, Alaska, vandals dumped a gallon of red paint on a war veterans memorial, police spokesman Lt. Paul Honeman said.

Demonstrators also converged in Ohio, where more than 20 vigils, rallies, marches and other events were planned.

In New York City, women sang songs and counted out the war dead outside the military recruiting station in Times Square, which was recently the target of a bomb.

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Half a dozen war protesters in Miami dressed in black placed flowers outside the U.S. Southern Command during rush-hour Wednesday morning.

Outside a military recruitment office in Washington, protesters were met by a handful of counterdemonstrators, one of several shows of support for the war and the troops.

Colby Dillard, who held a sign reading, “We support our brave military and their just mission,” pointed to some red paint that one of the war protesters had splattered on the sidewalk.

“The same blood was spilled to give you the right to do what you’re doing,” said Dillard, who said he served in Iraq in 2003.

Earlier, about 150 people, mostly with the group Veterans for Peace, marched down Independence Avenue. Many of them carried upside~down American flags, which they said symbolized a nation in distress.

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Daniel Black, who was stationed in Fallujah with the Marines in 2004, said he came to believe the war was a mistake after he returned.

“The more I read the more it just didn’t add up,” said the 25 year old, a student at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

A couple of miles away at the American Petroleum Institute, protesters chanted “No blood for oil!” and tried to block traffic by sitting in the street and linking arms. At least once, they were dragged away by police.

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Vandals in Milwaukee damaged the front door of an Army recruiting center and spray painted anti~war graffiti across its front windows. Milwaukee police said the vandalism occurred Monday night or Tuesday.

The Iraq war has been unpopular both abroad and in the United States, although an Associated Press-Ipsos poll in December showed that growing numbers think the U.S. is making progress and will eventually be able to claim some success in Iraq.
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Thank you AP NEWS, Sarah Karush, AP writer and those who contributing to this report: Associated Press writers Karen Mahabir in Washington; Dave Collins in Hartford, Conn.; Laura Wides-Munoz in Miami; William Kates in Syracuse, N.Y.; Marcus Wohlsen in San Francisco; Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee; Stephanie Reitz in Springfield, Mass.; Will Graves in Louisville, Ky.; and Deepti Hajela in New York.
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Gainesvilee, Florida…Uof F
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Reporting from Gainesville, Florida, and the University of Florida…The Baby Boomer Queen is pleased to report that the peace~niks were on their corner of University and 13th. They varied from age and size but the hearts were all the same. The majority that I saw were Baby Boomers.

There are still those of us who pray for peace and still make a stand for it.

It was interesting to see those that went by with their horns honking, with their fists raised and those that went by with their horns honking and their peace fingers up.

Bring our soilders home…but not in baskets or strechers!

Peace out
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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~~~~~~~~~~~IMAGINE~~~~~~~~~~~

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