Flags and a Major Award

Happy 5th of July everyone!  Hopefully no fingers were blown off yesterday.  Actually, at least a few times in my younger (and dumber) years, I have had firecrackers go off in my hand.  I can tell it to you straight that it hurts like a $#!@#@**&!, but, temporary pain aside, all ten of my fingers are still right where they’re supposed to be!

In keeping with an informal tradition of a handful of years, our neighbor joined us for a simple dinner at our favorite local spot, after which we retired to the deck of the Chateau Working Stiff for too much excellent California wine. We did light off a few packs of Black Cats and a small assortment of other spinning, whizzing, and spark-shooting things out in the street in front of the house.  Apart from that we retired without bothering to catch any of the major firework displays that must have been airing on all the networks.  One of the firecrackers must have somehow gotten inside my skull, because I remember having to get up at about 2:30 to take a Motrin.  Or maybe that was the wine.

I was in Cape May last week for a 24-hour visit to help my stepmother out with a few things in the house. I managed to get in some time to stroll around town with my camera and got a few decent pictures, including a few flag pictures. Then just yesterday, I took a foot-spin through our own neighborhood to get a few pictures of the various ways people have their flags displayed.  Please enjoy the small display of flag pics!

Now, as to the picture at the top of this blog entry – that is my recent major award.

Mrs. Working Stiff and I have a membership at a local not-for-profit movie house, The Ambler Theater. The Ambler Theater is what most people would call an “art theater,” meaning that they show lots of foreign, independent, or otherwise small or quirky films.  That is not where you would go to catch the latest Star Wars installment or the Baywatch movie.  Check out their website – Ambler Theater.

One thing they do that I really love, is a program called “Summer Nights at The Movies.” From around late May through most of September, they have one or two mostly classic, mostly older films each week.  There will be one show only, so we always look at the summer schedule and make a note of the Wednesday or Thursday nights that we need to get down there.  They seem to have an annual showing of both Casablanca and The Big Lebowski, and those nights are always popular.  Most summers they show one of the old James Bond films, and that is something I always look forward to.  To be able to see From Russia With Love (1963), or Thunderball (1965) on the big screen brings joy to the heart of The Working Stiff.  The Bond feature for this year will be On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).  That will be late August and we will be there to catch George Lazenby’s single appearance as agent 007.

So – back to my Major Award! Last Thursday, the special summer movie was Jaws!  The 1975 release, one of Steven Spielberg’s first films, is generally considered to be the first “summer blockbuster”.  It was based on the hit thriller by Peter Benchley, who had based the book on a real series of deadly shark attacks along the New Jersey shore in 1916.  (By the way, author Benchley has a cameo as the newscaster on the beach around the middle of the film.)

As they do on occasion for a particularly fun or special film, several staffers came out on the stage before the show and asked a half dozen or so Jaws trivia questions of the audience. All the winners got the Major Award shown above, as well as a bag of candy gummy sharks.  The question that got me my Major Award was “How many fake sharks were built to create the special-effects shark in the film?”  The answer is three, one to show the left side and one for the right, and then one for head-on and whole-body shots.  I forget what the other questions were, but I and many others knew most of the answers.

So a fun night at the movies and a Major Award to boot! What more could anyone ask?

We are getting close to our Europe trip and I will be writing more about that soon. It will be London and Paris, with a one-day side trip from Paris to Bruges, Belgium.  I plan to take my laptop and so some short blog entries during our trip.  It is coming up fast and we are looking forward to it!!


I am off to Raleigh, NC tomorrow for a long weekend with my brother at his cool pad in the historic Boylan Heights neighborhood. He and his wife are planning a move to the St. Augustine area soon so I wanted to get in a last visit.


More soon – enjoy summer and keep those fingers attached!


The Working Stiff

2 thoughts on “Flags and a Major Award”

  1. Enjoyed this latest posting, Mr. Working Stiff. It led me to reminisce about the summer I spent at what was then an active classical music part of the Ambler Festival. In checking their present website, no classical music is featured. I was engaged to perform an incredibly difficult piece – “Circles” be Luciano Berio for voice and percussion. It took me a long time to recover! But the highlight of the summer was hearing Ella Fitzgerald and her trio – live! She performed in their outdoor bandshell and was absolutely fabulous. It was hideously hot and humid; she sweat profusely and changed her dress for every set! Such a generous and gracious performer – always stepping back to credit and name her fellow performers when not singing! I’ll never forget it.

    1. Ella live – wow! Thanks for sharing that memory. Mrs. Working Stiff and I will need to keep this Ambler Festival in mind for the future. Apparently we have already missed it for this year. Maybe we’ll catch the next one. If so, I guess I will need to write about it! – TWS

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