More on Jan Clayton

Prior to Lassie, Clayton was a big star on Broadway. Producers utilized her better than on that silly TV show. Jan had leading roles in Show Boat, Brigadoon, and Carousel. In 1953, NBC in a TV special showed excerpts from various Broadway plays. This included Carousel starring Jan Clayton and John Raitt. The background on stage was exactly the same as it was during the actual performance. Jon Raitt and Jan Clayton sang beautifully either alone or as a duet. Jan’s facial expressions during Raitt’s singing were priceless and touching. They are now on You Tube and you will want to see it over and over again.

Jan Clayton as Julie Jordan in Carousel depicts the the loneliness and desperation that would become part her personal life after Lassie. Mary Martin hosted the show. Martin was of course a fixture on Broadway for many years. I never understood this. Martin was neither beautiful nor talented. Fans will tolerate seeing Mary Martin if Jan Clayton is in the wing.


Jan Clayton

Lassie first owners

Jeff Miller played by Tommy Rettig;
Ellen Miller, Jeff’s mother, played by Jan Clayton
Gramps, Ellen’s Father played by George Cleveland
Timmy, Jon Provost

I was never fond of animal stories. There is nothing like owning a dog and I like basset hounds. The Lassie series was never a favorite to me. Nevertheless, Jan Clayton was a very special movie star and singer, who touched the hearts of fans everywhere. She was pretty and talented. Clayton projected both sweetness and strength required for Motherhood. I saw the last program transitioning Lassie to a husband and wife, who became the new co-stars. This was on December 1, 1957. These two adopted little John Provost.

Timmy came in the series earlier that year. He stayed with Ellen and Jeff because his real parents were unfit and they did not want him anyway. George Cleveland in real life died a few months earlier. Lassie’s producers worked this into the show as Gramps died. The story begins at the funeral with visitors, both adults and kids, making remarks about how wonderful he was as a Father to Jan, Grandfather to Jeff, and a friend to everyone. In his prayers, little Timmy asked God to take special care of Gramps.

Without her father, Ellen must run the farm alone, which is simply too much for anyone. Previously Jeff wanted to enroll in a boarding school and Ellen agreed with his plans. Enter a new couple to take over the farm and adopt Timmy. With most goods already sent to their new home, Ellen and Jeff pack up the car. Jeff initially wants to take Lassie with him and Timmy hides his crying. Quickly, Jeff realizes he has promised Lassie to Timmy and the dog would be happier on a farm than in a city. Tears well in Ellen’s eyes as Jeff tells Lassie to take care of her new Master, Timmy. Ellen and Jeff drive away with the new couple waving at them.

Prior to Lassie, Jan Clayton was a big star on Broadway. That really was more worthy of her talent.

Philadelphia 54 Bears 11

Like all of the lopsided wins for the Eagles, the above game was a delight. I have seen the highlights on You Tube. It was a games of class and pride. Nevertheless, the Chicago Bears may have underestimated the Eagles effort. By the time they figured out they were wrong, it was to late to gear up.

To show again:

Philadelphia’s record after 14 games was 8-6, one full game over the Cowboys who were 7-7. Had the Cowboys lost earlier that day and the Eagles won, Philadelphia would have clinched first place in the AFC East. The Eagles at 9-6 would have been two games better than the 7-7 Cowboys with one game left. However,

Dallas did win for 8-7 record. Had the Eagles lost their record would have been 8-7 setting things up for the final and deciding game. With the win they 9-6, one game ahead of the Cowboys. An Eagles loss to Dallas would result in a 9-7 for both teams but with Dallas having the tie breaker.

Conservatives in the 60s

Here is a background of what happened to the Conservative Movement and How it started in the 60.

Three Big Points

1. 1961-John Tower became the first Republican Senator from Texas.
2. 1964-Strom Thurmond became the first Republican in the Deep South since the Civil War.
3. 1969-John Lindsay Lost the Republican Nomination for Mayor of New York City.

I am writing this with a big lie. Remember I was only 16 in 1964 and did not really think these things through.

Many point to Barry Goldwater in 1964 as the beginning of the Conservative or Right Wing mood. I never believed that. Here to me are the crucial points to making the Republican Party almost 100% conservative

1961-Conservative Victory-Lyndon Johnson ran both as Vice President and Senator in 1960. He defeated the underfinanced John Tower easily and ran ahead of the National Ticket. The following April, Tower won a special election once again on a scant budget and served until 1984. John Tower was the first Republican from Texas since Reconstruction. In later years Tower, though still a conservative, criticized the Christian Right and its influence on the Republican Party.

1964-the Goldwater Nomination was not really a the Conservative Victory . Looking back, I hoped that President Eisenhower would endorse Nelson Rockefeller, Henry Cabot Lodge, or even William Scranton for President. Ike had some issues with Goldwater such as voting against the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963 and the Civil Right Act in this year. In 1957, Senator Goldwater called Administration’s Budget a “Dime Store New Deal”. On the surface at least, Eisenhower feared that Goldwater might use military force before exhausting all peaceful means to any crisis. Nevertheless, Ike wanted to remain above intra-party politics and then endorse the Republican nominee. The nomination here was not really the start of the movement.

1964-Strom Thurmond of South Carolina became a Republican. He walked out of the Democratic Convention in 1948 after Hubert Humphrey suggested a strong Civil Rights plank, which was adopted. Thurmond ran for President on a Third Party similar to George Wallace in 1968. Thurmond won Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Truman held on in Georgia. Thurmond also had supported Eisenhower for President both in 1952 and 1956. Strom Thurmond was the first Republican from the Deep South in the Senate in 100 years.

1965-Liberal Victory. John Lindsay, a Republican Congressman from the 17th District, won the election for Mayor of New York; In addition, Lindsay had the support of the state’s Liberal Party .

1966-Liberal Victory. Republicans gained 47 seats in House and three in the Senate . The three new Senators were Charles Percy of Illinois, Mark Hatfield of Oregon, and Edward Brooke in Massachusetts. In state wide elections mostly Moderate and Liberal Republicans prevailed. Republicans discovered that their Old Plank “Reduce Spending, Cut Taxes, Balance the Budget, Leave to Private Enterprise” does not work. 1966 was the year of Republicans not of the Conservatives.

Conservative Victory. Ronald Reagan won his first term as Governor of California. At that time, good Old Leonard said that this was an isolated victory. Conservatives would be just a nuisance not a threat. Reagen cut against the GOP Mood at the time.

1967-Liberal Victory but With Mixed Reviews and a Real Mess. President Johnson eliminated the draft exemption for Graduate Schools and asked for 6% Income Tax Surtax Retroactive to January 1. College students did not like it since they could not escape the Draft by going to Graduate School. Liberals claim it was a war tax. Conservatives, some very selfish, claimed it is for wasteful social spending.

The Draft was a great leveler making for common ground among social classes. Upper and lower income families could sympathize with one another. Both groups did not want to serve in the military especially during a war. Now there is little group inter-action and not enough civilian control of the military. In addition, it is far too easy both for the President to send troops into battle and for the military to spend money.

1967-Liberal Victory. Senator Eugene McCarthy said he would challenge President Johnson for the Democratic Nomination. A few months later he showed how deep the opposition to the war really was.

1968-The President Election is almost impossible to analyze since two Wild Cards were involved. Dixiecrat George Wallace really hurt Richard Nixon. In Texas, Wallace pulled enough votes from Nixon to give the Vice President the state by a Plurality not a Majority. Wallace also won Arkansas and four out of five Deep South States. Strom Thurmond was of course the reason Nixon won in South Carolina. Newscasters said that Nixon would have won these states but for Wallace and the election in a landslide.

However, the second Wild Card involved the Paris Peace Negotiations just about a week before the election. Nixon asked Madame Cherauat, a wealthy South Korean married to a French citizen, to intervene with the South Vietnamese representative. The message-delay any possible agreement at the the Peace Talks until after the election; you will get a better deal from a Nixon Administration. A book published just a few weeks ago mentioned this as a new discovery. Most readers has seen this in Theodore White The Making of a President-1968. This book hit the stands in November of 1969. I hope the author did not think he was saying anything new.

Getting this news at the White House, an angry President Johnson called Nixon campaign headquarters. After that, he called the National Democratic Headquarters and left the decision on what to do with the news to Vice President Humphrey. The Vice President, in a statesman’s act, did not want to hurt any chances for peace. He said nothing and lost the election.

1969. Conservative Victory. In New York City, John Lindsay lost the Republican Primary for Mayor to State Senator John Marchi. Lindsay did get the Liberal Party nomination and won in November.

Los Angeles Rams 1959 and 1962

The first signature  team in the NFL was the Los Angeles Rams. They has some great players all on offense.

–Woody Strode-Later he was a great western film star mostly with legendary director John Ford;

–Bob Waty

In 1959, the team took a vertical drop and had losing seasons until George Allen came in 1966. Here were the lone bright spots in the two worst years.

1959. The Rams were 2-10 with both victories on the road. The second week saw them defeat the Chicago Bears; the following week they destroyed the Green Bay Packers. In this Vince Lombardi’s first year the Packers were 7-5.

For the Rams, Bill Wade completed 16 of 21 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Two touchdown went to Del Sofner and one to Red Phillips. Ollie Matson carried 20 times for 121 yards and a 49 of the yards were on a touchdown run. Final Rams 45 and Packers 6. Vince Lombardi was really asking for patience after this loss.

1962 The Rams were 1-12-1 with the victory coming at San Francisco. The 49ers were 6-8. For the Rams, Zeke Bratkowski completed 10 of 17 passes for 244 yards. Dick Bass carried 24 times for 95 yards. Lyndon Crow returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown. Rams 28 49ers 14. The Rams front office fired Bob Waterfield as head coach at mid-season replacing him with Harland Svare.


Jason Avant Goes Else Where

The Eagles feel they have to make changes at Tight End and Jason Avant has become a free agent. I hope he does real well wherever he goes. This guy has been a willing blocker and a great pass receiver. Avant made a great block in the Snow Bowl for Shady McCoy on a touchdown run.

In 2012, Jason made three great pass receptions and all of them led to scores in that win at Tampa Bay. That feeling was really treasured after eight consecutive losses. The first two were in the second quarter and the third catch was on the winning drive.

–If there was a better catch anywhere all season I would like to see it. The catch was on the sideline just inside the Tampa 20. Avant leaped, caught the ball by the nose with one hand, secured it going down, and landed on his back. I have it on Itunes and suggest all Eagle fans buy that tape. This led to a touchdown and the Eagles went ahead 7 to 0.

–The second catch saw Avant just in bounds on the Tampa 8. There was no one near him but he did a great job just to stay in bounds. This led to a Field Goal.

–The third grab was good for 25 yards down to the Tampa two. Nick Foles spiked the ball. Jeremy Maclin caught the winning pass.

Jason Avant had some great years with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Don Shula in 1970-First Year as Coach of the Dolphins

The Baltimore Colts fired Don Shula after the 1969 season. Just exactly why the ownership did this was a mystery. From 1964 to 1968, Shula was on a par with Vince Lombardi. Miami eagerly sighed Shula prior to 1970 season. Since their inception in 1966, the Dolphins never had a .500 record. 1969 was really bad at 3-10-1. In 1970, the Miami Dolphins were 10-4, or a six and a half game improvement. The next year would began the Dynasty of three consecutive Super Bowls:

The Miami Dolphins:
lost 24 to 3 to Dallas in 1971,
won 14 to 7 over Washington in 1972, and
won 24 to 7 over Minnesota in 1973.

1970 Season Recap

–The Raiders won four of their first five games; the biggest win was 20 to 13 at home to the Perennial Powerhouse Oakland Raiders 20 to 13. Raider Issac Curtis intercepted two passes.

–After the 4-1 start, the Dolphins had a three game night mare. Just how this happened is a mystery to their management and fans. At least we can say this. The Dolphins crammed their sloppy play into a three week period. I have mentioned this before in minute detail so here is a quick summary.

Week 6. Cleveland Browns at home. Browns 28 Miami 0. Browns record in 1970 was 7-7.
Week 7. At Baltimore. Colts 35 Miami 0. Colts record in 1970 was 11-2-1. Baltimore won the Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys by a 16 to 13 score.
Week 8 At Philadelphia. Eagles 24 Dolphins 17. Eagles led 24 to 0 after three quarters and withstood a fourth quarter rally. Philadelphia finished at 3-10-1.

The Miami Dolphins did not score at all in 11 consecutive quarters. The Dolphins corrected the problems and won six in a row after this three week drought to finish at 10-4. By far the biggest win in that span was 34 to 17 at Baltimore. The Miami Dolphins finished at 10-4 and were the Wild Card of the AFC. They lost to the Oakland Raiders in the first round 21 to 14. As often happens, they had defeated the Raiders during the season 20 to 13 .