Joan Jennings Scalfani: The Century Girl, or, if you prefer…The Girl of the Century

PenneyVanderbilt

Frank Sinatra called her “doll” and mesmerized her with his blue eyes. President Harry Truman cheerfully asked her to join him and his wife, Bess, for breakfast. But Ernest Hemingway was uninterested in her greeting, and Lena Horne, though beautiful, seemed icy.

Getting ready to reprise her role as a “Century Girl” for the 20th Century Limited express passenger train brought back these memories and more for Joan Jennings Scalfani.

“It was a fabulous job because I love to talk and I love to listen,” said Scalfani, 80, recalling her days in the early 1960s as a hostess aboard the historic line. “Those were happy days.”

The Williamsville resident returned to New York City’s Grand Central Station recently as a featured guest for one of the events of the iconic hub’s centennial celebration. A collection of railway cars, including an observation car from the 20th Century Limited, was on display.

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Oh, Now You Let Us Speak

No Facilities

In response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, the voices in my head will be speaking on my behalf today.

Yeah, we’re speaking, ‘cuz you got nothin. All week long, you’re all meeting, meeting, meeting, conference call, “quiet, quiet, I gotta think about these measurements…” blah, blah, blah. Then, Friday night comes around and you got bupkis, and you’re all “hey, do you guys want to take a stab at Linda’s prompt?

Pfffft!

We got better things to do. Well, OK, we don’t, but that doesn’t matter. You should have planned to let us do this all along this week. No, you thought you could pull off a bar conversation, after working three days and spending two in the garage building stuff, and talking to yourself, but not us. Yeah we heard you: “29.2°, 29.2°, 29…” how many times do you have to…

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Freshie 4: In the Round

Wide Awake But Dreaming

With this title I feel a little like Yes back in the day when they performed on the rotating stage.  Though I can’t image they moved as fast as me.

Our last Fresh Meat practice, 25 July, 2017, was a bit light.  Ashley headed south to see her brother graduate from the Marines.  Rachel was out with tonsillitis, Jackie was also sick, and Rachel Rey and Tara were out with family issues.  Emily was MIA and Gwen, we learned yesterday, is moving to Pittsburgh and hopes to join a team out there, which leaves us with the possibility that one day some of us will have the opportunity to knock her on her ass during a game.

And Grace?  Last night was mandatory practice getting the team ready for our bout on 6 Aug, and as I remarked last night, she’s moved up to the “adult table” and scrimmaged with…

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One Weak Show

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

In other news, the US Senate failed to pass anything. This hardly seems like news given that they fail to get anything done nearly all the time. But the botched repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, is a special new level of failure.

Normal procedures are completely gone. There is no committee report and there is no estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Stuff is being whipped together in a few hours and thrown onto the floor.

The chaos is much more important than the bills themselves because it seems the Republican leadership, especially Sen McConnell (R-KY) must know better. That can only mean they aren’t even trying. So what, after all, are they doing?

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A Talking Dog that Cares About Grandmama

thepracticalhistorian

This week brought with it at least two stunning pieces of news. The first is that highly decorated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps does not swim as fast as a great white shark, even if he wears a simulated shark skin wetsuit and a ridiculous fin. The second, equally shocking revelation, is that within ten years, our dogs could be speaking to us.

According to consumer futurologist William Higham (whose job is not nearly as made up as it sounds), the market demands a product that will allow the translation of dog barking. And it turns out Northern Arizona University biology professor emeritus and author of a book called Chasing Dr. Doolittle: Learning the Language of Animals, Con Slobodchikoff thinks it may be possible. And frankly, his job sounds way less made up.

Alexander_Graham_Bell Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the talking dog. And the telephone. By Moffett Studio, Public Domain, via…

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