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Christian and Jewish Holiday Movies


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I?m glad your ancestor saved himself or you might not be here today.

 

Thanks. I wouldn't be since I'm a direct descendant. I grew up in Plymouth County, MA so nobody fooled around with the story behind Thanksgiving in our neck of the woods. That stone soup story sounds familiar though, I think I heard something about it before. It's amazing though how some teachers are **** history. Last year, I read something about an elementary school level textbook where they claimed that Columbus' navigator was an Arab muslim. Nevermind that the real navigator's name and ethnicity is known and recorded in History and he wasn't Arab.

 

Speaking of holidays, you'd think TCM would have had at least one Lincoln movie on today.

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The 'Stone Soup' scenario was first introduced to me during my childhood as a rather generic fairy tale relating to how teamwork can overcome the odds, the odds in this case being hunger. In my version a little old lady had the stone. While there may be an American Indian story that's similar why bother? I was told the story about the Pilgrims and how the Indians brought that cornucopia full of corn to save the starving immigrants. That seems to be a noble enough narrative to satisfy any revisionalist. Before the heat starts, I must say that I live in the state with the most dense Indian population and am a card-carrying Cherokee. I don't think that gives me right to carry a chip on my shoulder though.

 

Let me change this sentence; "I live in the state with the most dense Indian population..." I meant there are a lot of us. Some of us have red hair and don't gamble.

 

And I think I saw a Lincoln movie on last Friday, Abe Lincoln in Illinois. (Not a word about his being gay in THAT one.) It is regrettable that some of our truly great men are not valued by today's culture. Come to think of it I can't remember ever seeing a movie about George Washington. Something tells me there must have been one. To me, this guy is un-spinnable.

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Susanb,

 

My great grandmother was full-blooded Algonquin, I don't know if that's enough for me to carry a card. The Wampanoag were the indians that helped the pilgrims. They saved them from starvation by teaching them to farm eventually, rather than supplying them with food directly. Before that, the pilgrims had to stretch their food the first winter there and the indians would show up and expect to be fed, as guests. The mayor William Bradford complained about this to the Wampanoag chief Massasoit, because they didn't want to be rude and were running out of food. Massasoit made the tribe bring their own food whenever they visited the pllgrims after that. It's unfortunate that people feel the need to change that story because it was more than just indians giving food, it shows a lot of co-operation and a deeper relationship between the two people. The Thanksgiving feast actually lasted three days. I don't know how the turkey became the holiday staple, they ate venison at the original feast.

 

I think there were some silent movies about Washington. Other than that, there was a newer Jeff Daniels movie and some TV movies and mini-series.

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Fred-YES! Thanks for bringing up the Goldbergs! I had completely forgotten about them...I did not hear them in their original broadcasts but in recordings and rebroadcasts over the years.

 

Now the "Mama" series I don't recall...was it a a program based on the play and film of "I Remember Mama?" It was long before we ever had TV out in our part of rural Nebraska. Have you ever seen any episodes-are there any recordings left?

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Why work for the man? Build a gaming facility.

 

The Wampanoags have a doozy of a casino in CT. Maybe I'll go back north and become a croupier. I wonder if the indians have a mob now that they're in the casino business.

 

No, although the movie is dark, there's no crystal.

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And I think I saw a Lincoln movie on last Friday, Abe Lincoln in Illinois. (Not a word about his being gay in THAT one.)

 

That piece of historical crap is about the most shallow interpretation of a life that I have ever heard! It is a complete misreading of the 19th century way of life and the way humans lived together...I heard a great historian who said that in Lincoln's time men often slept together in the same bed in roadside inns-especially circuit judges and lawyers who had to go from courthouse to courthouse to hold trials. Judges always got a bed of their own...lawyers had to double (and even triple up) in bed. The downside: having to share a bed with other men-and for a man as tall as Lincoln who often had to lay diagonally across a bed to fit in-a real discomfort. Add to that the general standard of hygiene and I can't imagine it to be a wonderful experience. The upside of course is that the men would be nice and warm in rooms that typically had NO heat.

 

Also as to the emotionally intimate letters of Lincoln to some of his male friends again it looks "queer" only froma 21st century perspective. In the middle east it is common for men to hold hands as they walk and caress and kiss---and I suspect there is nothing sexual going on there since it can be a capital crime in some Islamic countries to have homosexual relations.

 

Historical revisionists make me crazy left ot right. There are revisionists on the conservative side as well.

 

I think there has been a hesitation to make films about Washington because inspite of his fame and many of his great accomplishments of which there were many we know so little about the inner makings of the man since he (unlike almost everybody else in his time) wrote no autobiography, his diaries are little more than weather reports and records of appoinments and list of things done with no personal observations, and Martha burnt all of his personal letters as well as her own before her death. Other letters he wrote that survive are formal to the extreme and reveal nothing of his character. In other words he is too enigmatic to capture.

 

I think also there is the "Halo" effect...a subject is so highly revered that it seems disrespectful to try and present him on the stage and screen.

 

Lincoln, on the other hand, is such a contradictory, complex and facsinating man-whose heroic struggle and tragic end simply cries out for presentation.

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MattHelm,

 

"I wonder if the indians have a mob now..."

 

Within a 10 mile radius of my residence are:

Modoc, Quapaw, Miami, Eastern Shawnee, Seneca and a couple of other tribal casinos. Two more 'gamers' are under construction.

 

Your comment has been the topic of discussion in my household several times. My opinion? No mob here but, maybe, string-pullers.

 

Rusty

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The "historian" that claimed that Lincoln was gay, was gay. Coincidence?

 

One of my best friends is a descendant of Cpt. Derrickson, the soldier Lincoln was alleged to have a gay relationship with. There was another friend of Lincoln's that he was supposedly "involved" with that most of those letters were to, I forget the name. But this friend was a manic depressive, as was Lincoln, and their friendship was based on that they understood each other's mental illness and were glad to have someone to talk to, who understood. My friend says that in the Derrickson family, there's a long history of mental illness and suicide. After learning that, I had the theory that Cpt. Derrickson may have been a manic depressive himself, and Lincoln could have been close to him for that same reason he was close to the other friend. Another descendant of Derrickson, I later found out, is the director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose that came out last Fall. He says he made that movie because of the mental illness that he was aware of running through his family's history. My friend and the director have never met or knew about the other's existence. I'm thinking that my theory might be true.

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> ... An Irish friend

> asked me why Americans eat corned beef and cabbage on

> St. Patrick's Day ... they never touch the stuff over

> there.

 

That's because it's and Irish-American, not Irish dish.

 

http://www.argonaut.uidaho.edu/archives/031403/art5.html

 

That's just one essay I pulled up. I do actually remember being told that it was invented by some Jewish deli owner in an Irish neighborhood in Boston, but that story may be apocryphal.

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Yeah, it was a poor Irish-American tradition, it's just funny to see that since most think it's an Irish custom, to get the Irish's take on it. I asked him what they do eat on St. Patrick's Day and he said nothing special, whatever you'd have on any other night.

 

The corned beef tradition is said to originate in the Lower East Side of NYC. I wish it was Boston.

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HGL3,

I barely remember the two shows. We did not have a TV until 1953, but in the late ?40s we lived in Montana and Nebraska. We traveled around a lot. Every now and then we would go into a bar or restaurant that had an early TV. Hoffman was one of the early models back then. I remember the opening of ?I Remember Mama? show, I remember family people talking about family things, and I also remember Molly Goldberg?s family too. At the end of that show, Molly would often have a few minutes left over and she would talk to the audience and tell a little story. These shows were two of the earliest TV shows, so I guess I got them mixed up. I didn?t understand either one of them because they were filled with adults talking. I didn?t think TV would ever become popular because the shows contained no gangsters shooting at cops, no cowboys and Indians, and no wars with big explosions. Finally they invented the Howdy Doody Show and Pinky Lee and I knew television was here to stay.

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FredCDobbs,

 

Yiddish radio. A few years ago, NPR played some recordings of radio shows originally broadcast to NYC Jewish neighborhoods (low power AM(?) stations), post WWII time frame.

 

Like most local radio of a long time ago, the programming was: news of local interest, interviews of local inhabitants and music of interest to locals--a lot of Klezmer music.

 

I listened to some of the stuff (Yiddish translated to English or, English? I don't remember) until the Klezmer started--five minutes of Klezmer music satisfied me for the rest of my life.

 

Rusty

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That?s a good idea. I alway get the impression that the old artist who paints the leaf on the brick wall is Jewish. What do you think?

 

Yup, he's Jewish.

 

I kind of like klezmer, zydeko (however you spell that!) and Tex/Mex polka bands. And when you put all three together it's even better!

 

There used to be a band in the 80s from Texas called "Joe "King" Carasco and the Coronas" they were kind of a punk rock/polka band...really a trip.

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Yes, there is some Klezmer music that sounds like old Dixieland Jazz and some that sounds like Zydeco and bluegrass. There is some Tex-Mex that is definitely patterned after Cajun music. I?ve got some tapes off of Univision Mexican TV that has a Tex-Mex band that plays Cajun music in Mexico.

 

Among Cajun music, regular ?Cajun music? tends to be white oriented while ?Zydeco? tends to be black oriented. (Them Cajuns from Canada got around when they moved into South Louisiana.) I don?t care a whole lot for modern Tex-Mex, but I do go for the old corridos and ranchers from the 1930s, ?40s and earlier. There is a peculiar type of ?Mexican? music from the ?30s, which sounds a lot like French cabaret music from the ?20s, and I learned that both are actually supposed to be based on Portuguese ?fado? style folk music.

 

Here is a link to some Klezmer music from the Arhoolie record company:

 

http://www.arhoolie.com/titles/309.shtml

 

Check out the other sections on that website.

 

One time I ordered a Russian Jazz record from a book store in Chicago. It was the Leningrad Dixieland Jazz Band,

 

http://www.ldljazz.com/

 

and it contained some ?folk music? on it that sounded a lot like American bluegrass. Back in the 1980s I did a lot of traveling in the South and interviewed a lot of people about their family history. It turns out that ?****? are NOT all ?Scotch/Irish/English?, they are from everywhere in Europe. The immigrants with the most ?foreign sounding? names Anglicized their names when they came over here and moved in to the South.

 

So, it turns out that a lot of the famous ?****? families from the Deep South actually had ancestors who came from Eastern Europe, Russia, Germany, France, Greece, and even Spain, (in addition to Scotland, Ireland, and England), and some of the Southern country music comes from old European folk music of various countries. And I suspect that the ?mandolin ?in old country music bands could have originally been a balalaika from Russia, since some Russian folk music tends to resemble Bluegrass music more than Italian folk music does. Another little known fact is that some Jewish families moved into the South to set up stores. They were all over the place well before the Civil War. And without synagogues being available everywhere, some of the family members gradually lost interest in keeping the old ?traditions,? and some of them became **** like everyone else. I was doing a news report in a little Pentecostal church in Mississippi one time and I was introduced to one of their new church members who they told me was a real ?Hebrew.?

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There are all sorts of people in the south is true. There's the Cajun "diaspora" - all sorts of people from Texas to Alabama with mangled, mispelled or mispronounced French names. Andy Pettitte (MLB pitcher) from southeastern Texas. Brett Favre, from southern Mississippi. I would love to know if Texans Ross Perot (whose family had pronounced the name "Pee-row" for generations) and Tom DeLay have Cajun ancestry.

 

Then there were the radical Polish nobles who left Poland after 1776 to fight for the colonies in the Revolution. Pulaski and Kosciuszko were the most famous. Pulaski, at least, settled in the south after the war. There are towns and counties named Pulaski all over the south.

 

You may know about parts of the Appalachian south which were strongly pro-Union during the Civil War (and have ever since been some of the most strongly Republican towns and counties in the country). Many of these were predominantly German areas. Garrett County, Maryland is one of those, and in the past year TCM played some movie that took place in the 1830's (primitive train travel was emphasized in the film) and there was a scene when they were in western Maryland and the locals were German. Some screenwriter did his homework. The areas around Fredericksburg, Lukenbach, and New Braunfels Texas are like Appalachia in many ways: Rock-ribbed Republican Germans living in poor soil with no mineral resources.

 

Southern Jews: Dinah Shore, and the people who bought the NY Times in the 1890's (Ochs and Sulzburger) were all Jews from Tennessee. Elvis Presley has a Jewish ancestor.

 

To make this post on-topic, Jewish-themed films could include Hester Street, Avalon and Liberty Heights, although the latter two are too new/maybe not quite good enough to be considered classic.

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Fred-

 

Thanks for the links to the music. West Virginia owes its existence to the Civil War. When Virginia Seceded they seceded from Virginia...for a month the State was called "Kanawha"-no offense to Kanawhaites but I think that would have been the ugliest name in the Union!

 

I went to college with a man whose family were "hill people" but they had moved from Virginia territory into Southern Ohio sometime in the early 19th century and said that they maintained many of the "old ways" among his people. Apparently he was among the first in his family to become college educated. He was as **** as he could be but man could he play Shakespeare!

 

Yes the history of the "Hebrews" as the southerners are wont to call them (in their most genteel way!) is interesting and sometimes sad. Lillian Hellman was from the south (Louisiana) and judging from "The Little Foxes" and "Another Part of the Forest" understood the south quite well.

 

Then of course there was the infamous case of the most famous Jew of the south Leo Frank in Georgia. Has that story ever been made into a film? Should be but it is too sad a story to tell...

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?Then of course there was the infamous case of the most famous Jew of the south Leo Frank in Georgia. Has that story ever been made into a film? Should be but it is too sad a story to tell...?

 

Yes, they made a fiction film around this basic plot. It?s called ?They Won?t Forget?. It is an excellent film but a sad one. They changed the Jewish character to just being a ?Yankee?.

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?You may know about parts of the Appalachian south which were strongly pro-Union during the Civil War?

 

There were areas of the South where there were large pockets of war resistors. They didn?t fight for the North or the South. They just wanted to be left alone.

 

There was a group like this in Southeastern Mississippi. Hollywood made a film about them titled ?Tap Roots? with Van Heflin and Susan Hayward. The film mentions the actual towns and county areas where those people lived. I knew some of their descendants. They still live there.

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Yup Fred, I forgot about "Tap Roots". I keep hoping it will pop up on TCM! It's about Jones Co. in southern Mississippi. It's gets a minute or so in Ken Burns' Civil War documentary. It was called "The Empire of Jones". Similar counties were Winston in northern Alabama and Fannin in northern Georgia. People came from all over the deep south to Winston and Fannin (esp. Fannin, which had been mostly settled by people from Pennsylvania ~1800) to enlist in the Union army.

 

There's a great movie to be made here. Something way beyond the scope of Tap Roots. I dream of making a documentary called "Ahead of Their Time" about Republicans in the south before about 1948. It better be done soon, or else you'll lose the opportunity to interview folks who were voting R down there during the 30's and 40's.

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There was also a good tv movie from 1988 called "The Murder of Mary Phagan" about the Leo Frank case. Peter Gallagher played Leo Frank and Jack Lemmon played the governor of Georgia.

 

The story was also made into a Broadway musical a few years ago called Parade.

 

Sandy K

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