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OVER 4 MILLION Readers Weekly Nationwide!



June 11, 2011

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by Patricia L. Cook

Trains have fascinated people since they started rolling on the rails many years ago. One group of people in particular, hobos, made trains a big part of their lives, even though they weren’t authorized to do so! • During the latter 19th century and early 20th century, many people could not find work. The worst time was during the Great Depression years, from 1929 to 1940, when more than 2 million men and around 8,000 women became hobos. • The word “hobo” is generally meant for an itinerant (wandering) person that’s willing to work. Some say the word was derived from “hoe-boy,” which meant someone looking for farm work, hence willing to hoe cotton or other crops. Another possible origination was from the intersection of Houston and Bowery Streets in Manhattan, New York, where “hobos” were known to congregate. There are other theories about the word as well, but it was a word that came into use when trains provided a way to move about the country.

Issue 6

Dr. Nathan Tanner is here to serve you as one of the most gentle, accurate and reliable dentists in the area.

Gentle, Honest and Reliable

w w w. d r t a n n e r. c o m Excellence with a smile

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Located in the Allen Creek Shopping Center off of Redwood Highway, this classy, yet comfortable restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes that will please every palette and price range. For those with dietary concerns, The Vine offers an array of wonderful GLUTEN-FREE, VEGETARIAN & HEART-HEALTHY dishes. We look forward to serving you soon!

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1. LANGUAGE: What is the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle called? 2. HISTORY: In what city’s harbor was the U.S.S. Maine sunk, one of the precipitating events of the Spanish-American War? 3. MOVIES: Actor James Dean was a leading man in how many movies before he died in a traffic accident? 4. ANIMAL KINGDOM: Chinchillas are native to what continent? 5. TELEVISION: What was name of the lead character on the “The Flying Nun” television series? 6. FAMOUS QUOTATIONS: Who once said, “Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil”? 7. INVENTION: What invention made Cyrus McCormick famous? 8. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: The famous Native American Crazy Horse was a chief of what tribe? 9. CRIME: By what nickname is Albert DeSalvo better known? 10. GEOGRAPHY: What modern city is built on the site of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan?



Never Before have I actually felt good about going to the dentist! Everyone at Dr. Tanner’s office makes you feel more than welcome. Dr. Tanner is very efficient and quick, before you know it, he is done and with less pain than most anticipate. I am so glad I’ve become a patient of Dr. Tanner & his wonderful office staff. Leona L. Clary

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HOPPING THE RAILS (continued) • Hobos found that the easiest way to get to a different city or part of the country was to hitch a ride on a freight train. Even though this was illegal, railroads were kind to hobos and generally saw them as harmless people who just needed transportation. • As time passed and more people, mostly men, tried to hop rides on freight trains, problems developed. Many hobos were dirty, some appeared to have mental health issues, and some just appeared to be lazy bums! Some hobos became radical and tried to characterize their way of life as a freedom that they deserved. Hence, railroads sought to stop the free rides. • Chicago was known as the hobo capital of the United States. Hobos gathered in groups for food and shelter. They developed a hobo code of ethics and even devised symbols as a way to spread information and warnings to their comrades. • The hobo life was not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination. When deciding to “hobo,” many would see it as an adventure, but the reality was that it was hard to find work. Money was hard to come by, which also meant food, clothing, hot baths and many other basic needs and wants were not met. Lastly, it was a dangerous way of life. • Reports from the Interstate Commerce Commission show that from 1929-1939, 24,647 trespassers were killed and 27,171 were injured on railroad property. • Hobos were what some call the “original migrant workers.” They would follow harvests in the American West. Hay, corn, wheat, hops, fruit, vegetables and cotton harvests were all potential jobs that hobos would seek. They traveled from Chicago and other Eastern cities to California, to the Rocky Mountains, to the Pacific Northwest, the South, the Southwest and back to Southern California seeking the crops and weather that would provide work.

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Diabetes, The Dance Week Six Life is not a destination, it is a journey. It is lived through the motion of putting one foot in front of the other. You can step carefully and never falter. You can rush forward accomplishing much but enjoying little. But another path is to step, ball, change. In other words, to dance, skip, hop and crawl when necessary. We need to savor the varying steps, forgiving ourselves when we falter. Diabetes is a challenge. The dance steps are intricate. You must choreograph a whole new relationship to nutrition and lifestyle. The patterns you have formed since childhood will no longer sustain you. Growing up, food became my best friend. I ate to celebrate, I ate for fun, I ate to satisfy longings and cravings that June 7, 2011 had nothing to do with nutrition. When entering a restaurant I would think “what sounds good”? It never occurred to me to ask, “what would nourish my body”? But now, my dance must be played to the sound of health in order to obtain happiness. It is a new dance for me. If you would like to go dancing with me in order to ditch Diabetes, please give me a call, Chris 541-450-0940.

Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before beginning any new program of diet and/or exercise.

541-955-CLUB 2 5 8 2



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1. In 2010, Mark Teixeira became the second player in New York Yankees history to have three homers against the Boston Red Sox in one game. Who was the first to do it? 2. Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer became the oldest major-league pitcher to record a shutout when he blanked Atlanta in 2010. How old was he? 3. Who is the all-time NFL leader in kickoff returns for touchdowns? 4. What two teams in Division I men’s college basketball combined for the most overtimes in one game? 5. When was the last time before 2010 (Florida’s David Booth) that an NHL player took at least 14 shots in a game without scoring a goal? 6. How many consecutive World Cup skiing overall season titles had Lindsey Vonn won before her streak ended in 2011? 7. Who was the last PGA player to win the final tournament of one season and the first tournament of the next season?


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HOPPING THE RAILS (continued) • One of the first acts signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in March 1933 created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). By July, 250,000 young men were put to work in forest and park camps. Many of these young men had been hobos, jumping on trains looking for work wherever they could find it. The CCC program helped to “encourage conservation of our natural resources and the salvage of our young men.” • Starting in 1925 “brushless shaving cream” from Burma-Shave was advertised on small red and white signs using wit and wisdom. Over 7,000 Burma-Shave signs dotted the roadsides across America at the height of their popularity. There would be several signs in succession, with the punch line on the last one. The last new signs were made in 1963 and have now disappeared from our roadways. A series of signs in 1951 read: “The hobo lets his whiskers sprout. It’s trains – not girls, that he takes out! BurmaShave.” • Movies helped to romanticize railroads and hobos, and stories of hobos often made riding the rails look fun and easy to do. Operation Lifesaver is a program that started in Idaho with the Union Pacific Railroad in 1972. This program has more to do with the safety of highway traffic

Best Dog Breeds for Allergy Sufferers By Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: There are dogs that do not cause allergies because they have hair, not fur. My stepmother has one, and no one has a reaction to it. Here’s a list of potentially hypoallergenic dog breeds: --Basenji --Bedlington Terrier --Bichon Frise --Border Terrier --Chinese Crested Hope this helps! -- Brooke S., Barre, Vt. DEAR BROOKE: Thanks so much! This is good list to start from and represents a variety of different breeds. For example, the Chinese Crested is considered a toy dog, very small-framed like a Chihuahua, but with either a soft, straight double coat of hair or no hair at all, depending on the breed. Meanwhile, the Bedlington Terrier is small to medium-sized with the classic curly Terrier coat. When kept groomed, this good-natured breed is less likely to set off allergies. Grooming, even of supposedly hypoallergenic breeds, is a key to preventing allergic reaction. If you have allergies and are considering getting a dog, find out if its coat will need to be kept trimmed short in order to lessen the amount of shedding. Another interesting fact is that some people are actually allergic to a dog’s saliva, not to its dander. This isn’t always easy to discover, since petting a dog and getting licked by that dog tends to be a package deal. People with allergies who still want a dog should do their research and, ideally, take the opportunity to get up close to one of these hypoallergenic breeds to see if their allergies stay under control. Send your pet questions and tips to, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Find more pet advice and resources at

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“The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral -- and How It Changed the American West” by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster, $27) Reviewed by Larry Cox The shootout in Tombstone, Ariz., on a crisp October day in 1881 is one of the most sensational events in the history of the American West. Although dozens of books have been written about the shootout, much of what we think we know about it is simply not true. For starters, the gunfight didn’t happen in the enclosure of the O.K. Corral, but rather at a vacant lot on nearby Fremont Street. More to the point, the event was simply an arrest gone wrong. Jeff Guinn, a former investigative journalist and award-winning author, serves up a riveting narrative

that provides a new take on both the gunfight and the people involved. According to Guinn, Wyatt Earp was a much more complex man than many historians have assumed. He was arrested for horse theft when he was a young man and broke out of jail while awaiting trial. He worked as a pimp in many of the river towns in Illinois. Later, during his sporadic service as a police officer and deputy marshal in Kansas and Arizona, he remained technically a fugitive from the law. He was never a full sheriff. Guinn is convinced that in the confusion of the shootout, Wyatt shot and seriously wounded his brother Morgan. He backs up this theory using Wyatt’s own diagram of the battle -- a diagram included in the book. The gunfight became in pivotal moment in Western history because, according to Guinn, the “misunderstandings, exaggerations and outright lies about it provided impetus for future generations to form a skewed, one-dimensional view of history.” He adds that the event represented an unintentional, if inevitable, clash between evolving social, political and economic forces, though the Earps, Clantons, McLaurys and Doc Holiday had no notion of that when they began pulling triggers.



● It was British novelist and playwright Somerset Maugham who made the following sage observation: “I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay others to do for me.” ● You may not be surprised to learn that, according to a poll conducted by The Associated Press, Americans hate math twice as much as any other subject. ● If you’re planning a trip to Wisconsin this summer, be sure to stop in the town of Middleton. This is where you’ll find the Mustard Museum, billed as “home to the world’s largest collection of mustards and mustard memorabilia.” The museum is the brainchild of Barry Levinson, a former assistant attorney general for the state of Wisconsin, who says that in October of 1986, after his favorite baseball team lost the World Series, he was wandering the aisles of a grocery store in the wee hours of the morning looking, as he puts it, for “the meaning of life.” He says that as he passed the mustards he heard a voice saying, “If you collect us, they will come.” And so he did. This summer is a good time to visit, since Aug. 6 is the 20th annual Mustard Day. ● Do animals grieve their own? Perhaps so -- at least, some animals. When an elephant dies, other elephants in the herd will cover the body with leaves and branches and often will stay with the body for days. ● If you own a sport utility vehicle, beware: Statistics show that they roll over three times more often than other passenger cars. Thought for the Day: “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” -- Groucho Marx

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HOPPING THE RAILS (continued) at railroad crossings than it does hobos, however, a large function of the program is educating the public that railroads are private property. Education, Enforcement and Engineering, the three E’s, have been used to reduce fatalities on railroads in the last 30-plus years. The program is now used all over the United States and Canada. • The Original Hobo Nickel Society (OHNS) is a club for collectors and carvers of nickels. The hobby of carving nickels started years ago with hobos. Some of the oldest carved nickels are worth thousands of dollars today. • The Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire, is a popular tourist train that is great for kids and adults, whether hobos or not. They offer a Hobo Picnic Lunch, which, of course, comes with a souvenir bindle stick. • Hobo Jim is a singer/songwriter who is an Alaska legend. Not a real hobo, he spent many years as a commercial fisherman, logger and cowboy before being named “Alaska’s state balladeer” in 1994 by the state legislature and governor. • The 5th annual Rail Fest will be held September 16-18, 2011, in North Platte, Nebraska. Why is North Platte important in railroad history? The main line through the town is the busiest freight corridor in the world. More than 150 trains and 10,000 rail cars are processed at Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard every 24 hours. Bailey Yard is about eight miles long (12.9 km) and up to three miles wide (4.8 km). The festival has free tours of the massive freight

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Cheesy Cauliflower-Rice Casserole You may want to “invite” this easy slow-cooker dish to your family potluck. It just could become the hit of the meal and the start of a new family favorite. 2 cups cooked rice 2 1/2 cups frozen cut cauliflower, thawed 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 (4-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup 1/3 cup no-fat sour cream 1/3 cup water 1 cup frozen peas, thawed 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese 1. Spray a slow cooker container with butter-flavored cooking spray. In prepared container, combine rice, cauliflower, onion and mushrooms. Stir in mushroom soup, sour cream and water. Add peas and Cheddar cheese. Mix well to combine. 2. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Mix well before serving. Makes 8 (1 cup) servings. ● Each serving equals: 152 calories, 4g fat, 9g protein, 20g carb., 438mg sodium, 2g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1 Meat, 1 Vegetable.

Poetry Corner

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Through snow or sleet or hail ... TIDBITS


AWAKENING Trudging through the woods, the mist so thick Lost in a tangle of dew drenched roots and vines The darkness swarms around my soul Darkening my view Forlorn and alone in this place of fear Unseen forces pulling me under My breath catches on a twig, my will falters Alone and afraid I stumble forward falling to my knees Aghast at my monumental failure A distant beam scatters light in my way Behold, A Sunny Day By Christie Lynn June 7, 2011

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For Advertising Call (541) 450-0940 HOPPING THE RAILS (continued) yard as well as real and model train exhibits, a carnival and other activities — including a Hobo Contest. • Another annual gathering of hobos that has been held for two decades is the Pullman Hobo Fest in the historic Pullman area of Chicago. This festival occurs on the factory grounds of the defunct Pullman Company, which manufactured passenger rail cars for 100 years. Free camping is allowed on the grounds, called the “hobo jungle,” which is what typical hobo grounds are called. • There are 10 to 12 weekend gatherings across the United States every year that welcome old and new hobos as well as those curious to see the way hobos lived. • This is the end of this little “bit” about hobos. Since hobos never say goodbye, we’ll just end as a hobo would: “Down the road!”

Sylvia Lee

Licensed Esthetictician

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The Tidbits Paper is a Division of Tidbits Media, Inc. • Montgomery, AL 36106 (800) 523-3096 • E-mail: • All Rights Reserved ©2008 ®

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Tidbits is a local weekly entertainment paper distributed all over the Grants Pass area where ever people wait, wait, waiting. Our first magazine will be out the end of April. We are adding new locations daily.



1 50 SUPERIOR LOCATIONS RESTAURANTS Elmer’s Black Forest Train Depot Herbs

Si Casa Flores Hong Kong Restaurant Powderhorn Cafe Eddy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers Jelly Donut

Muchos Gracias Denny’s Abby’s Donutland

MARKETS Fred Meyer Albertson’s Super Mini Mart & Deli Rite Aid (2)

Safeway Town & Country Market Grocery Outlet Crown Market

Toy trains have been around since the beginning of railroads. Some of the earliest were actually made to be used as promotional tools for early railroads and subsequently ended up as toys. • During the Victorian era, the reign of Queen Victoria in England from 1837-1901, toy steam engines were very expensive and therefore, only for the wealthy. Other popular toys were pullalong trains in all shapes, materials and sizes and clockwork (wind-up) trains. • Most of the inexpensive toy trains were made in Germany, while Britain and France built the better class steam engines for the aristocracy. The U.S. industry was starting to use more cast iron for model trains. • None of the early toy trains were made as systems or sets with cars and tracks. When tinsmith Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Marklin started making and promoting sets that could be started with one or two pieces and then expanded, the marketing of model trains sets was on its way. Marklin actually got his start making tinplate dollhouses in about 1860. • Marklin’s popularity grew as did another German company, Bing, the country’s largest toy manufacturer, that focused more on accessories to go along with the train sets. • The first model train sets were quite large, but HO train sets are the dominant size for model trains in all countries today, except Britain, where the slightly larger 00 size reigns in popularity. HO train sets are 1/87 the size of real trains. • Following World War I, most people of the world refused to buy German imports, including toy trains. During this time, other non-German toy makers started making their marks with consumers.






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TOY TRAINS (continued) • Lionel Trains in the United States, Hornby Trains in Britain and JEP in France were all toy train companies that came on the scene either before or shortly after World War I. They capitalized on the anti-German sentiment and came up with terrific products that developed large followings in the toy train market. The 1930s saw great improvements, and popularity grew for toy trains - but then World War II changed the world, including the world of toy trains. • Toy manufacturers in Europe were greatly affected by the war, but of course, the United States, across the ocean from the conflict, did not suffer as much. Toy trains continued to make great gifts for kids and the adults (mostly men) who loved them. The trains, mainly Lionelmade, could be found in many homes, seen on tabletops and around Christmas trees. Even though popularity waned in the 1960s and 1970s, today many collectors are alive and well. Men have passed the love of trains on to their sons and grandsons. • Many toy train enthusiasts belong to clubs and share their love of the hobby. There are two well-known model railroad museums in the United States: The Golden State Model Railroad Museum in Point Richmond, California, and the Smoky Mountain Train Museum in Bryson City, North Carolina.

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an empty tissue box next to my dryer. When the clothes (and the used sheets) come out, I stuff them down in the box, and they are ready whenever I need one.” -- B.J. in Arizona ● Keep medication bottles to hold buttons, spare change or even hand lotion. Be sure to clean well before reusing. ● “Stuff boots with clean foam egg cartons to keep them from flopping over between wearings. If the leg material is not heavy, you can even cut a carton in half lengthwise. Rolled-up magazines also will work for this purpose.” -- I.Y. in New York ● “Used fabric-softener sheets can be used to shine faucets and to clean the tub. I use mine for dusting around the house too. To keep a steady supply, I put

● A chef’s trick to keep cooked spinach green is to make sure the pot is not covered while cooking. ● “When cooking shrimp in a bouillon, put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before cooking. They will cook up nice and tender. I have had success with this when grilling too. When putting shrimp on a skewer, I use double skewers, which hold about five shrimp. When I thread the skewers side by side, the shrimp are easier to turn over, and they do not spin on the skewer.” - R.R. in Florida ● To keep cheese blocks moist and mold-free, place a piece of napkin dampened with white vinegar in with the cheese in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

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Q: I recently found a 1930 edition of “The Secret of the Old Clock” by Carolyn Keene, which I believe is the first book in the Nancy Drew series. It is missing its original dust jacket, but appears to be intact and in excellent condition. What is it worth? -- Myra Lou, Franklin County, Mo. A: According to “All About Collecting Girls’ Series Books” by John Axe (Hobby House Press), the first edition of “The Secret of the Old Clock” is worth about $300 with cover. Q: I purchased an old railroad lock manufactured by Wilson Bohannan of Brooklyn, N.Y., at a garage sale, and I wonder if it has any value. I have searched the Internet, but have not been able to find out anything about either the company or the lock. -- Pat, Sun City West, Ariz. A: According to David J. Thebodo, an Iowa-based railroad appraiser, two sources that might be beneficial are the National Railway Historical Society, P.O. Box 58547, Philadelphia, PA 19102; and Key, Lock and Lantern, a club for railroad collecting enthusiasts. Dave Hamilton is the contact person for the club, I don’t want to derail you, but Thebodo pointed out that most railroad locks are marked with the name of the line. For example, a Southern Pacific or Santa Fe lock is identified as such. The pictures you sent me show no such ID marks. Q: I have a coin bank that was a United Bank and Trust premium in St. Louis in 1951. It is configured in the shape of a rocket ship and globe. -- David, Salem, Mo. A: Kathy and Walter Easterbrook are advanced collectors of diecast metal banks and might be able to help you. You can contact them by writing Eastco Banks and Collectibles, P.O. Box 412, Hancock, NY 13783. Q: My brother discovered four glasses marked “Mission,” which he believes are from the Red Cross. Are they valuable to anyone but me? -- Tina, Lombard, Ill. A: Not really. Your glasses were issued by the Mission Brewery of San Francisco, and they are worth about $15 for the set.

1. Punt 2. Havana 3. Three 4. South America 5. Sister Bertrille 6. J. Paul Getty 7. The mechanical harvest reaper 8. Lakota 9. The Boston Strangler 10. Mexico City

1. Lou Gehrig, in 1927. 2. He was 47. 3. Josh Cribbs of Cleveland, with eight. 4. Cincinnati and Bradley combined for seven overtimes in 1981. 5. Philadelphia’s Eric Lindros, in 1996. 6. She had won three consecutive titles. 7. Tiger Woods, in 1999-2000.

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1. Name the female singer who released “The Way We Were.” 2. Which one-hit-wonder group recorded “Nobody But Me” in 1968? 3. What was the original name of the group B.T. Express? Name its 1974 hit. 4. Which group was Peter Cetera in before going out on his own? 5. Name the singer who released “Undercover Angel.” 6. Who was the original drummer for the Eagles? What year did he start? Answers at bottom of page


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“Our law firm has 14 offices throughout Oregon and Washington. The feedback from our clients about the Boardroom facilities and staff has been positive without exception. Any professional considering an office in Grants Pass would make no mistake with the Boardroom.” –Eric Olsen, OlsenDaines, Attorneys at Law “Moving into The Boardroom increased my productivity in a very significant way and was one of the best business moves I’ve made.” –Joe Torsitano, “Leadership Management International works with business owners to turn ideas into actions and actions into measurable results. The Boardroom provides the best possible venue for our operations: superb services including friendly receptionists, business mail box, and upscale conference rooms.” –Valentina Shamova, President, LMI of the Rogue Valley

STOP BY AND TAKE A TOUR. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED. The Boardroom Executive Suites, LLC 1867 Williams Hwy., Suite 110 Grants Pass, Oregon 97527 Tel: (541) 244-2650 • Fax: (541) 244-2651

● On June 15, 1215, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter,” a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteeing that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church and maintain the nation’s laws. Four original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 exist today. ● On June 16, 1738, printer, publisher, postmistress and patriot Mary Katharine Goddard is born in New London, Conn. In 1777, when Congress decided to print the Declaration of Independence, including a complete list of signatures, it chose Mary Goddard as printer. ● On June 17, 1885, The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, arrives in New York City’s harbor. The dismantled statue was enclosed in more than 200 packing cases. Its copper sheets were reassembled, and the last rivet of the monument was fitted on Oct. 28, 1886. ● On June 19, 1905, some 450 people attend the opening day of the world’s first nickelodeon, located in Pittsburgh. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron 5 cents. Its usual offerings included live vaudeville acts as well as short films. ● On June 14, 1968, Dr. Benjamin Spock is convicted in Federal District Court of conspiring to aid, abet and counsel draft registrants to violate the Selective Service Act. Spock, a physician, was the famous author of “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.” ● On June 13, 1971, The New York Times begins publishing portions of the 47-volume Pentagon analysis of how the U.S. commitment in Southeast Asia grew over a period of three decades. The publication of the “Pentagon Papers” precipitated a crucial legal battle over “the people’s right to know.” ● On June 18, 1984, radio talk-show host Alan Berg, the self-described “man you love to hate,” is gunned down in the driveway of his home in Denver. Berg’s story provided the loose inspiration for the 1988 film “Talk Radio.” 1. Barbra Streisand. The song was on the soundtrack of the 1973 film by the same name and won multiple awards. 2. The Human Beinz. 3. Brooklyn Trucking Express. “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied)” rose to No. 2 on the Billboard charts and No. 1 on R&B. 4. Chicago. His first solo, “Glory of Love,” was the theme song to the film “Karate Kid Part 2” in 1986. 5. Alan O’Day, in 1977. While he’s not especially well-known for his singing, he’s written a wealth of material for other artists, as well as National Geographic and “Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies.” 6. Don Henley started when the Eagles formed in 1971 and stayed until 1980, when the band broke up. He came back when they regrouped in 1994.

Q: I have seen previews for a new movie called “Meet Monica Velour,” and I couldn’t believe that the main character was the usually glamorous Kim Cattrall! She looked like a completely different person. Why did she decide to take it on? -- Trina R., via email A: I talked with Kim recently and asked her what most appealed to her about the role. Kim said she was attracted to the part of Monica Velour because it was so against-type for her. “It was an uncompromising, multidimensional role, and not a hooker with a heart of gold, which I was just so sick of,” she said. “Where do these women go when they are done, and they’re not so pretty anymore and not so perky? The same thing happens in Hollywood. It’s just a bigger version, a dramatized version, of what happens to women -- not just in show business, but many businesses. “This woman is in the gutter, and I wanted to get inside of that, because I always play such a strong, powerful woman. What about a woman who doesn’t have any of those choices or any of those opportunities? Where does she go? I’ve never been given a role like that. Until now, I had never fought for a role like that.” Q: Will “Blue Bloods” on CBS be back for a second season? I really hope so, because it’s one of my favorite shows of the season. -- George F., Sacramento A: The Tom Selleck-starring police drama will be back for a second season on CBS this fall. In fact, you can see the entire CBS line-up, as well as many other networks’ shows, at Just click “Fall 2011 Network LineUps” for the scoop on the new and renewed shows

that will be back this fall. Q: I can’t wait for the new “X-Men” movie to come out this summer. What can you tell me about it? -- Frank S., Atlanta A: I spoke with “X-Men: First Class” star (and “Twilight” alumnus) Edi Gathegi about the movie, and this is what he revealed: “’X-Men’ is definitely the thinking-man’s action movie, which in my opinion makes the best kind of action movie. We’ve got a fiercely talented cast. “Kevin Bacon: He’s Hollywood royalty. He’s a brilliant actor and the nicest guy. He’s the most noncelebrity celebrity you’ll ever meet. And then James McAvoy, he’s just got crazy skill. We did a read-through on one of the first days, and I was just in awe of him. Michael Fassbender is a real actor -- he’s a man’s man; he’s got a lot of talent.” Q: Is it true that Gwyneth Paltrow is pursuing a music career? -- Barbara W., via email A: Since her roles in “Country Strong” and “Glee,” Gwyneth certainly has been veering in that direcAtion. Her representative told the New York Post, “[Gwyneth] still has not decided if she wants to record an album ... [it] is still something she is considering.”

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