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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Saturday Night with Ice Skating Star Sonja Henie

     Lately our Saturday night entertainment consists of watching "Me TV", a station that plays old tv shows including Lost In Space and Star Trek. It's light fun watching the antics of Dr. "oh the pain" Smith and Captain Kirk.

   A few weeks ago we came out of our 1960s time warp to visit our friends who have Netflix. We were amazed at the number of movies that were at their fingertips. I was even more amazed when they all agreed to go back to 1945 for a Sonja Henie movie called "It's A Pleasure."  You can watch it on Youtube here.   I think Kolby slept through most of it, but the rest of the family was entertained.
 Sonja Henie was a three time Olympic champion ice skater from Norway who dazzled the entertainment world with her charming personality and spectacular ice skating.  Can you imagine an ice skater being one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood? Maybe not now, but in Sonja Henie's day she was it. Not only did she rake it in at the studios, she also put together dazzling ice shows at places like Rockefeller Center in NY. She brought in millions (of dollars and probably fans) with her shows, movies and tie ins like Sonja Henie dolls.
 The movie was entertaining to watch (despite what Kolby says) and although it is dated, the clothes and stylings still ooze class. I can imagine going to the theater in 1945 to watch Miss Henie. Unfortunately like so many other stars she wasn't as friendly as she appeared on the screen. She was obsessed with money and sex. She also alienated Norwegians for her rumored friendship with Hitler.
Several years ago I was lucky enough to visit The Sonja Henie museum in Oslo, Norway. I am fascinated with Norway and the museum was one of the highlights of my visit there...I say one of the highlights as there is SO much to see and do in Norway, but we'll save that for another time and place! Visit the museum's internet page for some bio info about Sonja and her great art and memorabilia museum.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jeannie Out Of The Bottle

    I was amused and bemused that someone named Tiffany M. did a blog posting about The Nostalgic Rambler. I guess that means I'm famous now. Cool.  The blog entry featured a pic of a young Elvis. Perry Como would have been more appropriate but that's ok. Elvis looks like the sex symbol I could only hope to be. Tiffany M. psychoanalyzed me which was great fun to read about. She said I have a "Ubiquitous voice." Is that a good thing? According to my Webster's,  ubiquitous means "everywhere at the same time." Sounds like a world of clones to me. Well, as long as they are interested in what I'm interested in, we'll get along. To quote Miss Tiffany (as she writes about me) my "idea of a Golden Era is crippling him and his life in the present day." Actually Tiffany, it's the other way around. Life in my "Golden Era" is fun, it's the rest of the world that is (to quote my dearly departed grandpa) "nutty as a fruitcake." Anyhow Tiffany thanks so much for your blog. You made my day. Sorry it took me four months to discover it, but I'm so glad you enjoy my non pedantic eloquence. As Morticia Addams of the "Addams Family" would say "Isn't that sweet?!"


And now on to another Nostalgic Rambler rambling......

I have discovered the fun of listening to audio books of some of the great stars of the past. Bob Barker reading his biography about his fascinating career was excellent. After watching him for years on "Truth or Consequences" or "The Price Is Right," it was like spending several hours with an old friend telling us about his life.  The most recent audio bio I've listened to is one by another friend we spent hours of television viewing with, "Jeannie" aka Barbara Eden.

 Barbara still seems to be "our kind of people." She is truly down to earth despite her Jeannie counterpart that was out of this one. As always life isn't fair and her share of sadness was doled out in dollops. She shares her ups and downs in her book and hearing her tell the story really makes it all the more personal. You almost shed a tear when she tells about her loser husbands and losing her beloved son to drugs.

 Her on the set memories of "I Dream of Jeannie" were a riot. Larry Hagman who became a big star with "Dallas" always played second fiddle to Barbara and his on set shenanigans were hard to believe and amusing at the same time. Can you imagine peeing on the set or throwing up on if you didn't get your own way? The actor who played Dr. Bellows apparently was the only one who could control Larry.

Barbara also shed some light on her guest appearance with Lucy and Desi on "I Love Lucy." Lucy was a generous memorable woman. Desi on the other hand made Barbara run for the dressing room whenever she saw him. He was memorable for the wrong reasons. 

Barbara does a lot of "Jeannie Blinks" as she calls them in the book, going from one various memory to another. It works so well I wonder if The Nostalgic Rambler could do a "Jeannie Blink." We'd blink Barbara over for lunch. I'm sure she'd be great fun to meet in person.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Life With Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon

 Biographies have always been high on my reading list. It never ceases to amaze me how the people who seemingly have everything in their lives...from money to fame to beautiful families, most always seem to "louse it all up" . ("Louse it up." When was the last time you heard that outdated phrase?!)
I highly recommend a relatively new read, "Dear Cary" by Dyan Cannon. Cannon was married to Cary Grant after a lengthy courtship/relationship. It is intriguing to read how Cary saw her on a tv show and pursued her until she fell in love with him.
 The old studio system really protected the images of their stars. Today you still hear people say they "don't make them like that anymore." That is only partially true as Cary Grant was certainly a manufactured star and he had a lot of character flaws. One was attracting wives and then driving them away. Did you know Cary Grant's mom was locked away for years and he didn't even know it?  Did you know he was into using LSD?!
 He more or less insisted that Dyan try the drug or their marriage would fail. It failed anyhow and Dyan ended up in a mental hospital after having a nervous breakdown!
The book is a great look into the private life of a guy that oozed class onto the movie screen but in real life was a skeleton in his own closet (isn't that a clever line!?).

Dyan Cannon has long since gotten over her life with Cary Grant and has gone on to lots of interesting things in her show biz life. This book is an easy and fascinating read on one of our legendary favorites.