Saturday, August 05, 2017

Farm Market Summer

Though the porch was wet when I finally rolled out of bed this morning, the sky was sunny and bright. I must have just missed the rain. Celebrated the lovely weather with more Happy Days. Richie and the guys want to protest the new 10 PM curfew imposed by a super-strict cop. Fonzie thinks seeing the train Elvis is taking to join the Army would be a perfect way to protest it. But it turns into a lot more "Jailhouse Rock" than Richie planned when he and his buddies wind up in prison after getting stuck in Arnold's and being accused of breaking and entering.

I couldn't believe how gorgeous it was when I finally headed to the Collingswood Farm Market around quarter after 11. Though it remained a bit humid, it was also windy and much cooler, in the mid-70's. Even that late, the Farm Market was bustling with people enjoying the late summer produce. Blueberries and raspberries are gone, but I saw the first Chinese Beans, apples, and melons of the year. I bought a small cantaloupe, Chinese beans, tiny yellow apples, a tomato, and blackberries.

It was such a beautiful day, I rode home across Newton Lake Park. Despite the rain last night, the park is starting to show signs of the usual late summer dryness, with quite a few brown patches in the grass and more than a few yellow leaves, although it's not as pronounced as usual for this time in the summer. Stopped at the CVS on the border of Oaklyn and Collingswood for a drink and to pick up Dawn dish washing liquid on sale.

Continued with Happy Days while making Blackberry Flummery and having the last of the shrimp salad on a bed of red lettuce for lunch. Mr. Cunningham's birthday turns into "Howard's 45th Fiasco" when Richie, in an attempt to cheer his father up, reminds him of just how old he is when he turns his birthday party into a riff on This Is Your Life. He claims he's going to run off to Tahiti to be an artist, until Fonzie reminds him of how much his family loves him.

Everyone's favorite greaser is "Fonzie the Flatfoot" when the local cops recruit him to stop a rumble between his old gang the Falcons and a rival group, the Dragons. Fonzie recruits Richie and the boys to help him encourage them to try sharing the territory or doing other activities.

"A Date With Fonzie" launched Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams) into their own show. They're the sophisticated women Fonzie brings over to jolt Richie out of a dating slump. That would be great...if Richie's parents weren't out of town and didn't suddenly show up just in time to see a "sophisticated woman" with their son.

Headed to work as soon as the girls went home. Work was on-and-off busy, when I came in, a bit surprising for a nice day. It slowed down considerably as the afternoon went on. I cleaned the bathroom, gathered baskets and the indoor trash, and did carts. Had plenty of help, too. A college boy did the carts when I arrived. A teenager helped me out later. The head bagger was around as well.

I went home down Nicholson Road and Atlantic Avenue, just to be able to enjoy the weather a bit longer. Though there was a little traffic around Wal Mart, it wasn't bad. Nicholson and Atlantic were practically empty. Guess everyone went to the shore once it was clear that the nice weather was here to stay.

Finished out the second disc of Happy Days when I got in. Richie, Potsie, and Ralph are "Three On a Porch" when they rent a cabin at a popular lake resort and discover they've only rented the porch. Their protests lessen when their neighbors turn out to be three cute girls. The trio pose as rich businessmen from Tunsia to impress them.

The racial climate of the 50's and the 70's is addressed for the second time in the series in "Fonzie's New Friend." Fonzie's enlisted his new buddy to play drums at Richie's Hawaiian-themed party. Everyone but Fonzie, Richie's family, and his two best buddies bail out when the drummer turns out to be black. Richie's determined to have his party, no matter what the guests look like.

Had swordfish fillet, sauteed Chinese beans, and corn on the cob for dinner while watching Mannequin. This 1987 comedy-fantasy takes us back to Philadelphia, where Jonathan Switcher (Andrew McCarthy) has been fired from a series of low-level jobs. He lucks into a position at a grand old department store when he helps out it's kindly owner (Estelle Getty). He's initially just a stock boy alongside the flamboyant Hollywood (Meshatch Taylor) when he encounters the mannequin he'd made during one of his other jobs. The "mannequin" is actually Emmy (Kim Catrall), an Egyptian princess fleeing an arranged marriage across time and space. They create windows that are the talk of Market Street...and attract the attention of the store's rivals, including Jonathan's jealous ex-girlfriend Roxy (Carole Davis) and her sleazy boss (Steve Vinovich).

Critics have always savaged this one, ever since it came out...and I've never understood why. I think this is a charming and creative romantic comedy, with a fine cast of character actors having a marvelous time on the big screen. Nice music too, including the massive hit "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." If you love high-concept romantic comedy, the cast, or the late 80's, you may have just as much fun with this one as I always do.

A very different McCarthy returns for Weekend at Bernie's. We skip ahead two years to 1989 and head an hour north to New York City. Here, McCarthy is Larry, the more party-hearty of a pair of normal guys working for an insurance company. The other is Richard (Johnathan Silverman), who insists they work overtime to discover who's been scamming the company. They bring their findings to the head of the company, Bernie (Terry Kiser), who invites them to his expensive house by the beach. Turns out it's all a ruse. Bernie's the one doing the scamming and wants to have him killed...but the mob boss he's really working for (Louis Giambalvo) orders him killed instead. When Larry and Rich show up at the Hamptons, they find Bernie stone-dead and a hitman on their trail. In order to avoid ending up in the same state as Bernie, they pretend he's still alive as they try to figure out how to escape the killer and convince the girl Richard has his eye on (Catherine Mary Stewart) that Bernie is dead and they're not crazy.

Like Mannequin, this is another old favorite of mine. McCarthy in particular is having a ball playing against type as the goofier of the two. If you like black comedy or the cast, you may have a lot of fun with this one.

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