Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall Harvest Time

It was cloudy and tad humid when I got up this morning. The clouds started to break up a bit as I played this week's American Top 40 re-run. Casey returned us to the 80s as we made our way into mid-October 1982. Hits that fall included "Abracadabra" by The Steve Miller Band, "Gloria" by Laura Brannigan from the Flashdance soundtrack, "Eye In the Sky" by The Alan Parsons Project, "I Ran" by A Flock of Seagulls, "Heart Attack" by Olivia Newton-John, "Heartlight" by Neil Diamond, "Gypsy" by Fleetwood Mac, and "Break It to Me Gently" by Juice Newton. John Cougar (later Melloncamp) had the top spot that week with one of his earliest and most iconic hits, "Jack and Diane."

I headed out as soon as "Jack and Diane" ended. There was a lot going on this week, including a ton of yard sales. I didn't need to run up to Haddon Heights to find them this time. I passed by at least two in Oaklyn and one in Collingswood just on my way to the Farm Market. Didn't find anything at the ones in Oaklyn, but I did get a blank journal for a dollar from the Collingswood sale.

The Farm Market was bustling, even as several booths disappeared, and others are on their last weeks. The Farm Market will probably only be open for another month or so. The Saturday before Thanksgiving is usually their last week. Despite this, the fall harvest is at its height. Tons of people were buying greens, squash, beans, tomatoes, eggplants, cranberries, apples, pears, radishes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts for their sports parties and cold-weather meals. I didn't really need much this week. Just bought pears (bosc this time; the bartletts I bought last week got mushy too fast), tiny gala apples, mushrooms, and an onion.

(There were fire trucks on Atlantic Avenue as I did my shopping, much to the delight of several children. I have no idea what was going on. I didn't see any smoke. Someone said they saw the fire fighters go into a house; I hope everyone was ok.)

Spent the rest of the morning riding around Collingswood, Haddon Township, and Audubon. My first stops were three yard sales in the neighborhood behind Haddon Avenue, across from Yogawood. The first sale on Woodlawn Terrace had three boxes of awesome records. I ended up with:

Jimi Hendrix - The Essential Jimi Hendrix

Carole King - Her Greatest Hits: Songs of Long Ago

George Benson - Shape of Things to Come

A Peter Pan book-and-record with two Wonder Woman stories

A yard sale a few streets down advertised a huge collection of vintage dolls, including AG items. I was disappointed when I arrived. Most of the dolls were vintage but were in lousy shape. There were a Felicity, Kirsten, and Samantha in decent shape...but she wanted $100 per doll. They weren't in THAT great of a condition. The few AG things she had left were mostly for the "Bitty Baby" baby dolls. I did get Josefina's straw summer hat (packaged with a rose wreath, for some reason) for $10.

Headed down to Haddon Township next for a block sale on Belmont, then down to Kraft Court across from the Rite Aid in Westmont. No luck in either place. A sale on South Barrett in Audubon didn't have much, either. I had more luck with a church yard sale in Haddon Township a block from the the Clyde S. Jennings Elementary School. This sale yielded a coffee-table book from Reader's Digest called 20th Century: The Way We Lived, an adorable Polite Panda Care Bear (I know I've been trying to avoid the Care Bears, but Polite and her brother Perfect are hard to find...and Polite is a talking bear, though she only says one phrase), a candy corn and pumpkin-topped cupcake, and some nice conversation with the older women running the bake sale.

Since it was on my way home, I made the Oaklyn Library my next stop. They were fairy busy with people on the computers, possibly because of the in-and-out cloudy weather. I mostly organized the DVDs and the kids' books. With nothing to shelve, I was out in a little over a half-hour.

When I got in, I had the last of the chocolate muffins and an apple for lunch, then swept the porch. The porch really, really needed it. Though the trees haven't really shown it, it is fall, and the leaves are starting to come down in great numbers. The acorn crop is really heavy this year, too.

Dubbed Kid Millions as I ate and did my chores. This 1934 Eddie Cantor/Goldwyn extravaganza was the first of two Goldwyn musicals to pair him with, of all the unlikely people, Ethel Merman. Merman is a singing shop girl whose sleazy boyfriend wants to take her to Egypt to collect the money of her ex-lover, an archaeologist who recently died and left 77 million dollars in his will. Cantor is the true heir, a gentle Brooklyn resident who is beloved by local kids but constantly bullied by his adopted brothers. When Cantor heads for Egypt to get his millions, Merman and her man follow and somehow convince Eddie that Merman is his mother. (Don't ask how.) Also on Eddie's trail are a southern gentleman, his daughter (Ann Southern), and her swain (George Murphy). When they do finally get to Egypt, Eddie runs afoul of a sultan who considers the money to be cursed and his own unmarriable daughter. It'll take all of Eddie's own cunning and good luck to keep him and the others out of the stew pot and get the ice cream factory of his dreams.

Strange, but generally cute. This is my first encounter with Cantor's vehicles beyond a few moments of Whoopee! I've caught online. You really need to be a fan of his frantic, pop-eyed brand of humor to be able to enjoy these. A nice Irving Berlin score and a good supporting cast (though Merman and Southern are underused) help. While the "Mandy" minstrel number is far from PC (Cantor wears his traditional blackface), it does feature an early performance by a very young Nicholas Brothers. Also watch out for that crazy Technicolor finale in the ice cream factory.

This is one of only two Cantor-Goldwyn musicals currently on DVD (Whoopee! is the other). If you're a fan of Merman, Cantor, or the fanciful Goldwyn musicals, head to the Warner Archives and check this one out. 

Since the weather was holding out, I went for a walk to CVS for brush picks after the movie ended. While it wasn't the sunniest day in creation, it was breezy and relatively warm for mid-October, probably into the mid-60s. I wasn't the only one out and about. I saw little boys on bikes, parents chatting on lawns, and others doing lawn work or playing games with their kids. Fall flowers - mums, asters, the last of the roses - and Halloween decorations are out in full-force now, too. While most people in Oaklyn settle for pumpkins and wreaths with fall flowers, some go all out and festoon their front lawns with skeletons, graves, fake cobwebs, headless brides, and other gruesome sights.

CVS itself was actually rather busy. Good thing all I needed was brush picks. There was a line, and there didn't seem to be much help. I hurried straight home after that.

I was tired out from my trip yesterday and this morning's bike ride. I spent the rest of the day inside. I made CranApple Muffins (replaced part of the brown sugar with honey - yum, so sweet and moist), had salmon in red wine vinegar sauce with mushrooms and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner, and dubbed the 12-chapter serial Zorro's Fighting Legion. This interesting continuation of the Zorro stories has the famous masked Californian fighting in a newly created Mexico with a band of men he calls his "Legion." They're up against Don Del Oro, a huge god-like-statue who has convinced the local Indians to rebel. Zorro believes that one of the other men on the council with him are really Don Del Oro. He dodges a runaway carriage, a flash flood in a cave, and lots of explosions to discover just how human this "god" is.

I've enjoyed the three Republic serials I've dubbed, and this one was no exception. There was a lot of nice work in this delightful tale, especially from Reed Hadley as Zorro himself. A must for any serial fan, especially those who love historic westerns or Zorro tales.

No comments: