Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Well! Jack Benny

One of my favorite comedians since my youth is Jack Benny. Recently our PBS station started running some of his 1960s tv shows and it was great seeing them in their pristine condition.

Benny had quite a career, spanning vaudeville, radio, film and television. He lived next door to Lucille Ball in Beverly Hills and they were good friends. Jack had a great sense of humor and once he wandered into Lucy's house while she was having dinner, played his signature violin and sauntered back out without saying a word.

I've read many bios of Jack through the years and am always in wonder of those innocent Hollywood years. Both Jack and Lucy's homes were right on Roxbury street, very easily accessible to the fans. Jack's daughter Joan once wrote that people would simply knock on the door and they would hand out autographs! Those days are gone forever.

Years ago I visited Beverly Hills and snapped a pic of Jack and Lucy's mansions. Across the street was Jimmy Stewart's place. The UPS man went up to Jimmy's front door and an elderly lady opened it. Perhaps it was Gloria Stewart?!

I was introduced to Jack Benny through his old 1940s/50s radio shows when I was a kid. Our local library offered cassette tapes of his programs. It was like visiting with family every week as his show ensemble had so many memorable characters, from his butler Rochester to his announcer Don Wilson.

There is a wealth of Benny info at www.jackbenny.org. Radio and tv programs are available there. You can find lots of show clips on Youtube as well. I even found a treasure trove of Benny material at Wal Mart not too long ago....a dvd collection of not only his comedy shows but appearances in dramas in the 1950s. Unfortunately I've never seen an official release of any of his television shows. I guess they just don't think there would be enough demand. Sad.

We will never see the likes of another Jack Benny. His comedy was unique and couldn't be copied by anyone else.

pics of Jack Benny above include a postcard of his home, one of his appearance on The Lawrence Welk Show, and with his neighbor the iconic Lucille Ball.

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