Saturday, December 31, 2011

Johnnie Phelps via Elisa Rolle

Johnnie Phelps (1922 - December 30, 1997)

Joining the first WAAC battalion during WWII, Johnnie Phelps first served in the South Pacific and later under the occupation forces in Germany under Eisenhower. Wounded in action, she received the Purple Heart, awarded to soldiers injured due to enemy action.

She was counselor/board President for the Alcoholism Center for ...

Read more about this pioneering woman at...

Elisa Rolle's My Reviews and Ramblings

New Releases at MLR Press!

New Releases at MLR Press!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Charley Parkhurst via Elisa Rolle

Here's a biography of one extremely fascinating character I'll bet you've never heard about. I know I hadn't until now. Here's a small bit...

Charlie Darkey Parkhurst, often Charlie/Charlene/Charlotte or Parkurst, born Mary Parkhurst (1812–1879), was an American stagecoach driver and early California settler. Born female, Parkhurst lived as a man for most of his life and may have been the first biological female to vote in California.

Parkhurst, also known as One Eyed Charley or Six-Horse Charley, was born Mary Parkhurst in 1812...

Read it all, see pictures, and find references for more material on Charley at Elisa Rolle's My Reviews and Ramblings.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Green River Review




Lisa at Top2Bottom Reviews has read and written about my 1938-set, ghostly mansex tale, Green River. Here's a snippet from her review:

"This is the story of their budding attraction to each other, not in the romantic aspect but in the primal draw they feel to each other’s masculinity. These are simple, plain spoken men whose lust ultimately led to a relationship that spanned nearly four decades."

More about the short story Green River is at the Jardonn's Erotic Tales book page.

Lisa's full review is at Top2Bottom Reviews.

Monday, December 26, 2011

William Haines via Elisa Rolle

Charles William "Billy" Haines (January 2, 1900 – December 26, 1973) was an American film actor and interior designer. He was a star of the silent era until the 1930s, when Haines' career was cut short by MGM Studios due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality. Haines never returned to film and instead started a successful ...

read the remainder of this well-researched biography which includes many pictures from his film roles and interior designs... here's your link...

Elisa Rolle's LiveJournal Site.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Gallery of Hairy Beasts

This refers to photo sets I posted at Jardonn's Erotic Tales featuring fascinating furry creatures of the male variety.

Okay, I'll tell you straight... it's pictures of cavemen, burly men, majestic men, all carpeted with varying degrees of hair. I call it...

The Gallery of Hairy Beasts. Here's one for example:

John Pizzarelli

Fast-fingered John Pizzarelli and his band smoke a holiday number on Conan's show, jazz-guitar style.

SLEIGH RIDE

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jasper Say 122111

Some people want to be leaders, not because they have an important message to share, but because they want to feel important. Their ego is their agenda.

Christmas Crabs


Looks to me like these two grouches have had their fill of holiday hullabaloo.

As observed on THE HAIR HALL OF FAME.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bill Tull's Economy Holiday Tips

Making the most out of Coffee Filters

Touchless Love


My first audio excerpt from this book, Jardonn's The Good Shepherd features two guys in a Nazi POW camp who must make due with the facilities available to them.

I call my ten-minute audio, TOUCHLESS LOVE. You'll find the mp3 link under the Theater of the Erotically Absurd banner.

Conan Clip 122111

I love when a rock band knows its instruments and clearly enjoys playing them.

DEER TICK

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Ralph MacDonald, R. I. P.

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Ralph MacDonald, R. I. P.: NY Daily News : Ralph MacDonald, the Grammy-winning writer, producer and percussionist who worked with everyone from Luther Vandross to Amy ...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Good Shepherd 1



Today, December 18, is release day for Jardonn's WWII ebook story, The Good Shepherd, and this is the cover created by its publisher, MLR Press.

As promised, here is the third excerpt. Harold and Frank exit the latrine and walk the yard inside their POW camp, trying to figure reasons for a particular guard dog's unusual behavior.

* * * * *

We didn't talk inside. I peed a little, and the only reason I stayed with Harold was in case other guys started asking him questions about us being singled out. The Nazis frequently put plants amongst us prisoners. Germans acting like Americans hoping to hear useful information, and I didn't want Harold to go it alone if he was accused by the prisoners of being such. Fortunately, nobody said a word to either of us.

"What do you think about that dog?" I pondered as we exited the building. "What confused him?"

We drifted about the yard walking slowly to nowhere in particular. "I don't think he was confused." Harold seemed to have limbered up from his soreness, moved with more ease. "The dog's eyes told me he wants out of here. Like he knows the Nazis's days are numbered."

"His eyes?"

"Sure. Animals have expressions same as we do."

"Hmm. Guess I've never noticed."

"Well, I have. Growing up on a farm, you get to know what animals are thinking. Or at least tell whether they're happy or sad. Or angry, which comes in handy when you're dealing with a thousand pounds of Hereford bull."

"I'll be damned. So, you think this dog's ready to abandon ship?"

"Yes, I do."

"Then, why did he approach us? Any ideas on that?"

"Don't know. Maybe he felt sorry for us. Knew they'd take us into a well-heated room for a search and we could warm up."

I laughed at that one. First time in many a week. "If that's the case, I hope he stops by to see us every day."

"Me, too."

We came to a spot where down a corridor between buildings we could see the kennels. The dogs, all males, had their own fenced yard and wooden houses for shelter. Harold stopped, grabbed my arm. "Do you see what I think I see?"

The Germans had a dog on a leash attacking a man protected by a helmet and face mask, plus padded coverings roped to his limbs and torso. "Looks like a training session."

"Or retraining," Harold knudged me with his elbow. "Can we get closer without getting shot at?"

"Sure, but let's not go between buildings. Follow me." I circled back to an open area where we could view the fenced pen without drawing attention, caddy-corner and about twenty feet away. "Think it's him?"

"I'd put money on it. The Nazis are afraid he's lost his nerve. No longer aggressive."

"Guess they're wrong. He'd eat that man alive if he could get at him."

"If I could get a better look at his tail, I'd know for sure."

I took a few baby steps closer. "His tail?"

"Yep," Harold craned his neck. "His black turns gold on top before ending at the tip. Usually it's black all the way." He inched a bit closer, a few steps ahead of me. "That's him. I guarantee it."

"Good. He's proving himself so he can stay." I grabbed Harold's sleeve, tugged him back. "We better go. Don't want to get him in trouble. I'd hate to lose the only Nazi who's ever been friendly to me."

"Ex-Nazi, Frank."

* * * * *

The Good Shepherd is now available in ebook formats at MLR PRESS.COM

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Good Shepherd 2



What say we start at the beginning of the story? This excerpt nearly leads to yesterday's posted piece.

* * * * *

You belong to me, Harold Tripp, and you are beautiful.

On the day Harold's plane went down, Lady howled all night long. Made sense. Animal sense, you know, like when all the beasts ran for the hills hours before the Indian Ocean tsunami crashed ashore.

Lady was Harold's dog more than mine. He picked her out from a litter of four pups. He named her, and from her puppy years to full-grown, she followed him everywhere. Lady and I got along fine, too, until Harold joined the Air Force and shipped out to Korea. During Harold's tour of duty, Lady had very little to do with me. Kept her distance. Staked herself out a spot in our yard thirty feet from the house where a barbed wire fence bordered our west pasture. At feeding time, she'd stand by the fence watching me while I filled her bowl on the back porch. Calling her did no good. Only after I'd gone back inside would she approach the house and eat.

The dog shelter Harold and I built for her sat near our house, but she never used it after Harold left, and so as winter approached I loaded the damned thing into the pickup's bed and moved it out to her spot. Couldn't bear the thought of her shivering in the Illinois cold, and my gesture worked. She slept in her dog house. Crawled inside when she needed to warm herself or get in from the rain, but otherwise most of her time was spent sitting by the fence and looking west, toward Korea and Harold. Understanding her need, feeling it myself, I turned her house so her doorway faced west.

Through the winter of 1950, I rarely saw Lady. It was almost as though she thought I'd done something to Harold. Taken him away so she could never see him again. I sympathized, because in actuality Harold had taken himself away from me and from her.

After we both returned safely from Europe and our service during World War II, Harold and I enjoyed five years together. Five glorious years, no doubt, but when news broke that the communist north had invaded the south of Korea, I knew he'd be joining in the new fight. Nothing could keep Harold grounded. Not Lady. Not our southern Illinois farm and home. Not me.

Harold Tripp grew up on a farm but was born to soar. After eighty-two missions of piloting B-17's over Nazi-occupied territory, all successful save one, Harold itched to be back in the air for a worthy cause. I needed him to be happy. How could I possibly hold him back and expect our love to be the same as before? Doesn't work. Misery of one partner infects the other until hatred consumes both. Besides, Harold and I had both seen our share of misery.

I like to say Harold was my Christmas gift, delivered to me December 15, 1944.

When the Germans dragged Harold into our seventeen-man Stalag barracks, I took notice like never before. In my three-plus months as a prisoner of the Nazis, I'd seen several downed airmen brought in to join us, but Harold affected me differently. Could have been pity more than infatuation. He'd been roughed up pretty good. Lacerations marred his face, hands and arms. Purple bruises colored his left eye socket.

After his two-man-German-guard escort unceremoniously pushed him through the door and slammed it shut, several airmen rushed to his aid. Guided him to his bed, a two-feet-wide plank of wood with a two-inch-thick mattress recently vacated by a man dead from dysentery. They removed his prison-issued shoes. Laid him down. Tucked him under a thin grey blanket of wool, and then the entire gang, all Americans from downed B-17's, surrounded him.

end excerpt from The Good Shepherd by Jardonn Smith. My MLR Press holiday story is scheduled for release this coming Sunday, December 18.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bibrary Book Lust: REVIEW: Best Bondage Erotica 2012 edited by Rache...

Bibrary Book Lust: REVIEW: Best Bondage Erotica 2012 edited by Rache...: I must say, the good folks at Cleis Press have really spoiled me this year. First it was the five-star transgender collection,  Take Me Ther...

The Good Shepherd 3



Frank Jenkins says Harold Tripp was his Christmas present, delivered to him December 15, 1944. Unfortunately, both men were in a Nazi POW camp at the time. My fictional U.S. airmen arrived at different times after having survived the downing of their B-17 bombers. Their friendship is instant. Their relationship with a Nazi attack dog is highly unusual.

The Good Shepherd is scheduled for release by MLR Press on December 18th. That's three days away, and so I'm posting one excerpt per day until the ebook's release. I made this cover photo. MLR Press will make their own cover, which I will also post on release day. Here is today's snippet, as Frank and Harold get acquainted.

excerpt:

I strolled to my bed while gazing down at him. His eyes were open, staring at nothing. Arms outside the blanket, hands folded atop his chest.

"Needing a snooze?" I asked, taking a seat on my bed to his left.

"Probably," he sighed, forcing a half-hearted grin. "Doubt if I can, though."

"Yep. I know the feeling. Too much thinking about how things could turn so bad so quick." I stood over him, extended my hand. "Sergeant Frank Jenkins. Turret gunner on the Lucy Lu out of Cheshunt."

His grip was stronger than mine. "Lieutenant Harold Tripp, pilot of the Yankee Pride out of Nuthampstead."

I sat on my bed, scrutinized his cut-up face. "Tell you what, Lieutenant Tripp..."

"Harold," he gave me permission.

"Sure, sure. Call me Frank. Are you thirsty?"

"Very," he gingerly drew back his blanket.

"No. You stay put. I'll get it." I dropped to a knee, reached under his bed, pulled out his washpan with a tin cup, bar of soap, toothpaste and brush, shaving razor, and a towel inside, his one-week supply, courtesy of the Red Cross. "I'll be right back," I said with cup in hand. Upon my return, he greedily gulped while I supported the back of his head with my palm. "Want another?"

He wiped his mouth with his fingers. "No, thank you. That will do."

"All right, Harold," I put his cup into the pan and pushed it under. "Try to rest. That's what I'll be doing right here next to you."

"Can do, Frank. Thanks again."

True to my word, I laid down and kept quiet, but only for a minute or two. That's when Harold rolled onto his side and faced me. "Frank?"

"Yeah."

"Every man here is skinny as a rail. I'm guessing you didn't come in that way."

"True." I turned onto my side so I could see his reaction to what I had to say. "They're starving us, Harold. Slowly but surely. We get water in the morning. Soup and a chunk of black sawdust bread for supper. We call it that because there's more sawdust in it than flour. Most men don't eat it. Those that do get stomach cramps something awful. Soup is a rutabaga boiled in water. Every now and then we get a potato, but either way each man gets about ten swallows of soup, one tiny piece of vegetable."

"How long have you been here?"

"Since September. I'm guessing I've lost thirty pounds or better. There's no man here who's been in camp more than a year. They're all dead. Dysentery or starvation, take your pick." I waited, taking his silence to mean he wanted to hear more. "Some of the officers and enlisted men who were in bad shape got shipped down to Luft 3 last spring. That's Goehring's quality camp for airmen, or so I'm told. The one the Germans show off to the outside world so they'll think all prisoners are in a good place. This camp here, Harold, is not a good place. I don't even know why it's called a Luft. Only Luftwaffe I've seen is the Commandant. Rest are regular Army or SS." I reached for the corner post of my bed. "See this?"

"Yeah."

"Been sawed off. These used to all be tripled-decker bunks. This was once a forty-eight man barrack, according to Jack."

"You mean the barrack's rep?"

"That's him. He's been here since May, and he said that's when the Germans came in and cut off all the top bunks. Chopped them into firewood for their stoves. Officer's quarters and soldier's barracks."

Harold stared blankly toward the floor, and then locked eyes with mine. "Think the guys here can make it another month or two?"

"Yeah. I heard you telling them our men are in Belgium and the east side of France."

"Some are saying we'll be inside Germany by first of the year."

"Well, I know it's getting rough on the Nazis. Our portions of grub shrink every day. I mean, how desperate are they? Can't even spare a few rutabagas for their prisoners. Tell you something else I've noticed."

"What's that?"

"Fewer guards. Like they're taking soldiers out of here to be used somewhere else."

"Maybe east. The Russians are closing in, too."

"Could be. All I know is, if I see a way out of here, I'm running. Hell, before long I'll be too weak to stand. I'd rather take my chances roaming the countryside than to stay here and starve."

"Hmm... I don't know, Frank. This camp might be liberated by New Year's. Can you hold out a few more weeks? No use getting shot when the end is so near."

"Well, Lieutenant, you know more about it than I do, so I'll hang with you for now. All right?"

"Sure, sure. We'll stick together."

Funny how he made it sound as though we needed each other on equal terms. After all, I was the three-month veteran of prison life. Of course, that also meant he was stronger than I by three months. Guess it all evened out.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Conan Clip

BASIC CABLE NAME THAT TUNE

Don't know which is more funny - the songs and schmaltzy singer, Brian LaFontaine, or the prizes given out by Andy. The industrial painter is worth a look, regardless.

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Today's Western Movie Poster

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Today's Western Movie Poster

Mary Renault via Elisa Rolle

Mary Renault (pronounced /rɛnoʊlt/ Ren-olt) (4 September 1905 – 13 December 1983) born Eileen Mary Challans, was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece. In addition to vivid fictional portrayals of Theseus, Socrates, Plato and Alexander the Great, she wrote ...

Read the rest with pics at Elisa Rolle's LJ site.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tallulah Bankhead via Elisa Rolle

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an award-winning American actress of the stage and screen, talk-show host, and bonne vivante. Bankhead was also known for her deep voice, flamboyant ...

read the rest with pics at Elisa Rolle's LJ site.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Emanuel Goldenberg 1893-1973



He would be 108 today. There's no need to get into the lengthy biography of this man who appeared in well over 100 films. Just know that he was born December 12, 1893 in Romania, came to the United States as a child and learned his craft in the New York Theater.

I suggest you get his excellent autobiography, nearly finished before his death and published posthumously in 1973. It's titled "All My Yesterdays" and covers every aspect of his fascinating life, including his amazing collection of fine artwork he was forced to sell in a divorce proceeding, as well as his unwarranted blacklisting during the McCarthy witch hunts. Here is a link to the book at Amazon: All My Yesterdays.

Initially, Emanuel Goldenberg hated Hollywood and felt movies paled in comparison to theater as a medium for artistic expression, but with the exhorbitant amounts of money offered him, only a fool would turn it down. So, he commuted for several years, working in limited film roles between stage appearances in New York Theater runs.

That all changed in 1931 when he was cast as Rico in Little Caesar. This 5'5" snarling little actor defined the role of gangster not only for himself but for all others who came after him. Tough nut with a gun, Edward G. Robinson's Rico would just as soon shoot you as look at you, and although he would reprise similar characters in countless Warner Brothers films, the leverage gained from this success allowed him to demand other roles as well.

Robinson soon learned, however, that elements of theater did not work well on film. Stage acting is far too bombastic for a camera lens. One fine example of an early EGR film where he demanded a theatrical scene that failed miserably is 1932's Two Seconds. An otherwise fine performance is made comical with the ending scene of a convicted man's plea for mercy before a judge preparing to pass upon him a sentence for murder. Lesson learned, he rarely if ever again interfered with a director's vision for his films.

There's a fine line between dominating a scene and commanding it. Robinson did the latter regardless of whether he was playing lead or support, and in the process he elevated the actors around him. Given a mediocre script, he salvaged the scenes from disaster; given a meaty script, he sank his teeth into it and transformed words into fine art. Like the paintings and cigars he collected, his acting skills increased in value with age, and I cannot name one film I've seen where the presence of Edward G. Robinson didn't improve the product. I'll try to cull my favorites down to a workable number and explain why I love this actor in each.

Bullets or Ballots (1936) - Tricky role in which EGR plays good cop turned bad cop who's really still a good cop gone undercover. The goal is to bust a gang led by Barton MacLane with Humphrey Bogart his strong man. EGR infiltrates the mob, and does so in such convincing fashion that he not only fools the bad guys, but the viewer as well. Five Star Final (1931) - He plays editor of a newspaper faced with a tough decision: ruin the marriage of common girl to socialite man by exposing past crimes of girl's mother, or bury it and let some other newspaper print the scoop. He goes with the story, and the girl's mother commits suicide. Robinson maintains his tough demeanor, but just beneath the surface is his disgust with the industry, its need for tabloid sensationalism and resulting tragedy, all symbolized by Robinson washing his hands in office lavoratory. Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) and The Stranger (1946) - Similar roles as Nazi hunter, but the first is pre-war while the second post. Cool, calm and calculating, EGR meticulously gathers his information before out-foxing the foxes. His subtle underplaying convinces both his adversaries and viewers of the film that he might not be quite smart enough to foil the plots, so when he does the drama explodes on screen. Orson Welles stars in and directs the latter film.

Speaking of meticulously coy, EGR's role as insurance adjuster Barton Keyes in 1944's Double Indemnity epitomizes playing stupid to catch the smart. His persistent nagging of Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in regards to her husband's supposed suicide is a classic performance in a classic film of noir. The questions he asks seem to be easily answered and accepted, but all the while he's adding up the particulars towards murder without ever giving away his process to the criminal minds, or ours.

A man spiraling towards insanity marks two of my favorite EGR roles. First is The Red House (1947) where as Pete Morgan, EGR tries to protect his adopted daughter Meg from learning of his horrible past. It all took place in the now-abandoned Red House, and as Meg and her new boyfriend get closer to the answers, Pete's fear drives him to measures ever-increasingly desperate. This film is frightening, thanks to EGR, who, performing as though he walks on wooden leg, begins as a loving father, but gradually deteriorates into a raving madman. The Sea Wolf (1941) features EGR as Wolf Larsen, captain of a ghost ship, a pirate ship whose captain is so obsessed with control of his crew that his cruelty knows no bounds. He loves to read and analyze, is an intelligent man but self-taught and highly resentful of those with formal education. Worsening his bitterness is the fact he's slowly going blind. EGR skillfully portrays this difficult character, deftly shifting between a man thoughtful and introspective to one of intense sadism and vindictiveness, until his hatred destroys both him and all around him.

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945) is Edward G. Robinson at his most poignant. A Norwegian farmer in WWII Wisconsin, the love he shows for his daughter Selma, seven-year-old Margaret O'Brien, is ably and repeatedly displayed. In fact, the film is comprised of one scene after another with Robinson heaping affection on her without spoiling her. Finally, I must list The Cincinnati Kid (1965 with Steve McQueen and Karl Malden) as the quintessential film on poker. All these wannabees on the countless television poker (Texas Hold'em?) contests would do well to take lessons from Mr. Robinson and subtleties of the face. No sunglasses or goofy costumes of intimidation are needed here, as EGR's Lancy Howard keeps us guessing until the final card is turned. He's old and tired, challenged by the upstart youngster McQueen in a high-stakes game of five-card stud for serious money, but is he in trouble? To think that such drama could be built around a simple card game is hard to fathom, but not in the hands of these two capable actors.

These examples merely scratch the surface of an incredible film career. Tough guy? Sure, but he's so much more. Edward G. Robinson is one of the finest actors to ever grace the screen, and I challenge you to watch some of these films without being moved.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rainbow Awards Winners Announced

This year was really HUGE! more than 300 books, more than 100 judges, all over the world (even for the first time Australia), and many, many submissions, from indie publishers, from mainstream publishers and a lot of self-published authors. I loved it, and I know the judges

Read it all at Elisa Rolle's LJ site.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jardonn Christmas Tale Giveaway



Want to get a free PDF copy of this book?

Top2Bottom Reviews is helping me gift my short story, Furlough Bridge, set in the U.S. homefront of December, 1944.

All you have to do is read the post featuring the story's main character, Forrest Barton, at the Top2Bottom Reviews site, and follow the directions at the end of the post.

Shore Leave

A very special, Navy-related picture from the Hair Hall of Fame

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

frequently felt*: Lame Porn from the 70s

frequently felt*: Lame Porn from the 70s: Actress Thora Birch (you may remember her from movies like American Beauty , and Ghost World ) is the daughter of two former porn stars: bu...

Aaron Copland via Elisa Rolle

Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. He was instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, and is often referred to as ...

Read the rest at Elisa Rolle's LJ site.

frequently felt*: The Xmas Tuggie

frequently felt*: The Xmas Tuggie: XMas Tuggie. Yes, it’s a Snuggie for his c**k! So he can keep his hands free and his nuts toasty while watching “A Christmas Story.” Brill...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Judy Lewis, R. I. P.

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Judy Lewis, R. I. P.: NYTimes.com : Her mother was Loretta Young. Her father was Clark Gable. Yet Judy Lewis spent her first 19 months in hideaways and orphanage...