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Ted Turner helped shape who I am

Yes, that Ted Turner and no I've never met the man and I don't know the man personally. Image courtesy of tedturner.com A couple of days ago I was thinking about who I am as a person. I’m normal, yet strange. I feel like I am a fair mix of both of my parents, with a dash of my grandparents and a few quirks of my own. If I sat down and described myself to you, I would do so with a list of my favorite things. I would say, my name is Nikki and here is a shortlist of my all-time favorite things (not including my family and friends and all the dogs in the world), classic movies, baseball, the Three Stooges, Saved by the Bell, Paul Simon, and Robert Redford. There is so much more to me, but this is the list I would give. I feel that this list of random things says a lot about who I am as a person. As a classic film lover, I would say that I am ‘old school’ and ‘classic.’ I think baseball says that I’m romantic and low maintenance, give me a hot dog, an

TCMFF 2017 Day Five, Part Two

The last night of the film festival was coming to a close, and it's probably my saddest night of the year. I liken it to Christmas night. You look forward to it all year long and then its over just like that, and you know that you have a whole other year to wait. The film I had been most excited about had been pushed back a few hours, and I had all but given up on seeing it. I wanted to make it to the closing party and see some friends, so I chose to see  Red Headed Woman  and forget my beloved film. Call it luck or even fate, but  Red Headed Woman  ended as  Speedy  was being introduced. Brian and I ran as fast as we could to make it to the intro. Released nearly 89 years ago to the day,  Speedy  stars my favorite actor, Harold Lloyd. I've written several times about my affection for the local actor and how I came to fall in love with him. Harold Lloyd was born in Burchard, Nebraska on April 20, 1893. I’ve read nearly every biography about him and spoken several times

TCMFF 2017 Day Four

Saturday, April 8, was a day Brian and I were both looking forward to the most. The day’s line-up was going to be amazing, and I was going to be spending most of the day in the famed Gruman’s Chinese Theater. Last year I didn’t see one film there, so I was excited to get the chance to see several movies there this year. Brian and I got up around 6:30 a.m. after about two hours of sleep. We had spent hours trying to get into the theater to find Brian’s phone. We lucked out that morning because our first film was in the same theater that Brian had lost his phone the night before. We went back, and while I got in line, Brian asked if he could search around. He still came up with nothing.  Brian waited at the front desk for them to open and was relieved to have it waiting at the lost and found. We hopped in line and waited for our next film  The China Syndrome.  There were several films that we wanted to see during this block. It was a last-minute decision to attend because Michael

TCMFF 2017 Day Three, Part Two

Brian and I had just run across a very busy Hollywood Boulevard to get to the next big screening of the day. Mel Brooks was introducing his Hitchcockian classic,  High Anxiety . We left the screening of ‘Baby Jane’ early to get better seats for Brooks, but over 300 people had the same idea, as we ended number 314 and 315. Luckily Grauman’s Chinese theater seats 1,152, so we were in good shape. As we stood for the next hour, we watched hundreds of other people file in behind us. Soon the line went as far as I could see. My pal Danny and his wife were only a few people behind us, so we were able to pass the time chatting with them. Danny had been my line partner the year before when we were in the high 500’s to see  Manchurian Candidate.  Once we made it into Grauman’s, we still ended up much further away from Mel Brooks as I would have liked to have been but to be honest, I would have preferred to be seated on his lap for his introduction. I have always really loved Brooks’ sense

TCMFF 2017 Day Three, Part One

Our third day in Los Angeles was packed full of events. Brian and I got up bright and early to attend the Ginger Rogers film,  Rafter Romance . The film was at the Egyptian Theater, which was the furthest from our hotel. We opted for breakfast at the hotel because nothing beats a free hotel waffle in my opinion. We chatted about our day, checked our schedule and made the sudden decision to attend the Hand and Footprint Ceremony. This year Rob and Carl Reiner were honored in front of the historic Grauman's Chinese Theater. Once we started thinking about who could be in attendance, we decided to get in the long line for the once in a lifetime event. We stood in line for a couple of hours before we were ushered into our standing room only section. We waited hoping to catch a glimpse of someone we knew and loved. Rob Reiner walked by and greeted us, and that was pretty great. Rob, 70, directed several iconic films you may have seen.  Stand by Me, A Few Good Men, This is Spinal T

TCMFF 2017 Day Two

Day two of my 2017 TCMFF adventure was much different than the previous year. It was Thursday the official start day of the Festival. Brian, my friend Angie and I all went to Starbucks for a snack and coffee before we attended a morning Q&A with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. As we stood to wait for our coffee, I noticed the man behind us was a sunglass-wearing Ben Mankiewicz. All three of us stood staring at him trying not to act as giddy as we were. He looked at us and our passes and starting talking to us like we were old friends. He asked if we were attending the Q&A and thankfully we were. Last year I spoke to Ben and had my photo taken with him, but this year after chatting with him at Starbucks I really got a feel for who he was. He came across as down to earth, kind, generous with his time and not at all as pretentious as he should be. I mean this man’s uncle wrote  Citizen Kane , he’s big stuff to us film fans. His family's also a big deal to the political fans (me

TCMFF 2017 Day One

On Wednesday, April 5, Brian and I woke up at 1:30 a.m., after a restless two hours of sleep. It was chilly, and it rained on us from the time we left our house until we made it to Kansas City International Airport. I had dressed for sunny L.A. weather, so I looked goofy in my romper as we waited with several other travelers for our shuttle in the cold, cold rain. After a smooth flight we landed in warm sunny L.A. The very first day of our trip had been scheduled to be a bit slower than the rest, but it didn’t work out that way. A few days before we left Brian was informed that he won a contest he had entered as a member of  TCM Backlot  the week before. He along with a guest (me) and four other people were given a private tour of some of Debbie Reynolds costumes and our host? Well, that would be Debbie’s son, Todd Fisher. Before we could go on this tour, we had to make it to our hotel and the venue. To our horror and surprise, we were given quite the detour/tour on the way to o

One week until TCMFF 2017

The moment I returned from L.A. last year, I started saving money for the 2017 Festival. Exactly a week from today I'll be headed to Hollywood! Besides being ready for a week-long vacation, I’m prepared for another set of incredible classic films. The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival theme is ‘Make ‘em laugh; Comedy in the movies.’  The line-up is incredible. I made sure that I have every moment scheduled down to every meal. We won’t follow the schedule, and it will be tossed out the window the moment we get our feet on the ground, but it's a good map to have as a back-up. Unless there is unexpected tornado activity near the KC Airport again this year, we plan to head out early Wednesday morning. The agenda is a bit open on that day, and all I know for sure is that I’d like to eat at Pink’s Hot Dog stand or Carney’s Sunset Strip. I love hot dogs in a way that only children would understand. I crave hot dogs often, and Pink’s was on my list to visit last year. I ran out o

So long old pal

There have been some really wonderful men in my life. Many I’ve known since birth, others I’ve only known for part of my life, and a select few I feel like I've known for a hundred years. This post is about a man that I’ve never even met. This man by all accounts is a smart, talented and kind person. I dreamed of meeting this man someday, but today that dream died. I found this man in 2002. I had seen his face before, but I never paid him any attention. On this night I was in a tremendous amount of paid from the car accident I was involved in the night before. I opted not to go to the hospital and save some money, so I was healing with the aid of over the counter medication. My bruised face was filled with glass, and my chest stung each time I took a breath. Sleep was off the agenda for the night, so I turned on the television. I flipped through channel after channel, until I found a handsome man in horned-rimmed glasses having fun at Coney Island. It was a silent film, an