So long Jerry Lewis and thank you for all the laughs by Michael Limon

21 Aug

A true comic genius and one of my childhood heroes has passed away.  Jerry Lewis, died at his home in Las Vegas on Sunday morning, August 20, 2017, at 9:15 a.m. He was 91. I was so disappointed with several local news stations in Los Angeles who chose to focus on  gathering protestors instead of paying tribute to this great man.  I decided to do something about this and to  write this brief biography on his life. It is for both those of us who grew up watching him as well as other younger readers who may have only heard of the man. You may find something here that you didn’t know about the man.

Jerry Lewis was a man of many talents, but mosty a comedian who wanted to make people laugh, and boy, did he!  You see Jerry explained the laughter himself on so many occasions and to many interviewers. They would ask him why he chose to act so zany. His answer was very simple and one that I and many other people could relate to. He spoke of being a nine-year old boy trapped in an adult body. Jerry chose to remain nine which allowed him to get away with many of the crazy antics that he did. He told those who chose to listen of a need that he had to make people laugh. It was something that he never truly understood but he just knew that he had to do it. Jerry truly enjoyed the sounds of people laughing. He knew this when he was just sixteen and started out with just a song on a record player to which he would mime the lyrics of a song.  It was the laughter that he had in mind one night in 1946 where he was performing in the Atlantic City’s 500 nightclub when owner Skinny D’Amato needed a replacement singer for the regular club  singer who was unavailable. Jerry suggested a man whom he has just met a year ago in 1945, Dean Martin. Their first show was not well received and after being threatened by the club owner (he would toss them in the East river with cement shoes)  Jerry quickly borrowed bits from his successful father Danny Lewis’s nightclub act. He quickly wrote a few skits down on the brown paper wrapper that his deli sandwich had been delivered in. He explained to Dean what he wanted him to do, and the rest they would just ad-lib. According to Jerry, the duo did so well that their act went of for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  This began a ten-year highly sought after and very lucrative nightclub act. They were the highest paid act in show business at that time.  In six weeks, they went from making $175 a week to six thousand a week. Month later they were paid twenty- thousand per show at the Capital Theatre. When they ended their ten year run, they had $250 million in contracts according to Jerry.  Their act was very different from other comedy acts at the time due to them relying on their interaction and not any planned skits. While Martin would sing, Jerry dressed as a busboy, would come in and suddenly drop plates on stage. Jerry would do his best to interrupt Dean as he tried to finish his song. The two men would chase each other on stage with Jerry picking up props and making up jokes on the spot.  The audience convulsed with laughter.  I wasn’t even born yet, but I would love to listen to my mother, who was in her teens, tell me how hot these two men were and how everybody wanted to see them perform. She never got the chance to see their nightclub act, but she heard them on the radio. From 1949 to 1953, the starred on “The Martin and Lewis” radio program. They also made several television  guess appearances which led to NBC giving them their own TV show, “The Martin and Lewis Show” in 1949. Also that year, they began making several films for Paramount starting with “My Friend Irma.” Sadly, the duo broke up after a ten-year nightclub run to the day and on July 24 1946, they gave their last live performance in the Copacabana Room on the East coast.  In 2005, Jerry wrote a book, “Dean and Me: A Love Story,”  in which he credits Dean with being the best straight man around, and for being the real star of the show while his monkey partner joked around at his expense. He wrote about loving Dean who was closer than a brother and how much he missed Dean when he died in 2005.

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Jerry went on to direct and write some very successful movies including my personal favorite, The Nutty Professor.  He has a ten million, seven-year movie contact with Paramount Studies earning 60 percent of the film’s gross profits.  During the making of the film The Bellboy, director Jerry Lewis used a “video assist” method by using a video camera and a monitor which enabled him to see exactly what the camera just shot. This method is still widely used in Hollywood today. Jerry Lewis spent a lot of his time hosting telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association which was very dear to him. It has been reported that he helped to raise 2.6 billion dollars over the years until 2010, when the MDA reported that he would not longer be their national chairman or host their telethons any longer.

Jerry Lewis was plagued by many illnesses, which included two heart attacks, diabetes, prostrate cancer, double bypass heart surgery, and he suffered from severe back pain from all the pratfalls that he took during his years with Dean Martin. He became addicted to the painkiller Percodan for thirteen years. Eventually, he would have an neurostimulator surgically implanted in his back to relieve his pain.

Jerry Lewis is survived by his second wife SanDee, five sons Gary, Ronnie (adopted) , Scott, Christopher, and Anthony and his adopted (1992) daughter Danielle, who after having six sons,  “changed my life forever.”   His youngest son Joseph Lewis  passed away in 2009 from a drug overdose. and his daughter Danielle whom he adopted in 1992.

Actor, director, writer, philanthropist, Jerry Lewis has contributed much to his profession over the years but the voice of that nine-year old boy who wanted to make people laugh is no longer with us. Thank you Jerry Lewis for everything you did, but mostly, for making all of us laugh when we needed it the most.

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“Thank You” to my friends at The Ventura Fire Department by Michael Limon.

8 Jul

′′Today, Saturday, July 8, 2017 is almost over and it has been yet another very busy day for the Ventura City & County Fire Department, American Medical Response (ambulances), the Coast Guard, and Ocean Rescue. Today alone, these firefighters have handled numerous 911  calls including a call where two ultra light aircraft fell from the sky and crashed into the Pacific Ocean in Oxnard, with two patients that had to be pulled out of the water, and one of the patients needing CPR immediately as the victim was in distress. Most of the general public has no idea of what you go through on a daily basis, but I sure do! I’ve been very fortunate because of my involvement with the Ventura Fire Department to see up close what you go through everyday. I’ve been there standing right next to you on a 9-1-1- emergency call, (sometimes because I placed the call and started medical treatment immediately) watching you do what you must to try to save a victim’s life. I’ve offered whatever emergency treatment that I’ve been trained to do, but I gladly allow you to take over, and you’ve always turned to me afterwards and said, “Thank you Mike for the assist, or great job on this save buddy!”  But you are the professionals, not me. You’ve been trained to save lives first, then property. I’ve been there visiting my firemen friends and watching you train. I see what you go through and how hard you work. The general public has this misconception that firemen just hang around the fire station all day with nothing to do but polish the fire truck. drink coffee, and to try and look busy.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Often times during my brief visit, I don’t even get a chance to talk to you because you are too busy training, or another emergency 9-1-1 call comes in and you have to go. I just want to take a moment to publicly say, “Thank You,” mainly because you don’t hear it often enough, or sometimes, not at all. We expect you to answer our call and to get there quickly! We expect you to work your magic and get us out of that wrecked car, or sometimes we watch as you perform CPR on our loved ones.

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So  this is my opportunity to publicly say “Thank You” to all my friends at the Ventura City & County Fire Departments. Thank you for responding so quickly when we call 9-1-1 and need immediate assistance. Thank you for coming to our aid (usually within three minutes of the call depending on the traffic)  for a traffic accident, or someone has burned themselves, drowned, or the many others types of emergencies where immediate help is needed. Yours is a very dangerous job, but you’ve always been there day or night, rain or shine, whenever we needed you. Thank you for working on a holiday. When most  people should be home with their families, you are with your ‘other’ family. The men and women you work with everyday. You do this everyday without fail. You do it because you love helping others and because your are very good at what you do! My friends, please be careful out there because we need you!

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These Great Affects A Book Review by Mike Limon

1 May

Andrew Toy has written a phenomenal love story in “These Great Affects,” from Endever Publishing. It is a story of a troubled fifteen -year- old  girl named Adelle Hitchins who is almost run over one day by a boy by the name of Trill Vikus.  Just as a romance starts to blossom, Trill breaks his neck in a freak accident and dies.  Trill returns to her as a ghost that only she can see and hear. This is a very interesting story and Toy has really captured the thoughts of a teenage girl in love as he wrote this heart warming story. I really enjoyed reading this book and following this story as it  was both unique and different. I would have never come up with this story idea, but I sure am grateful that Andrew Toy did! Very clever.  I look forward to reading more books by Andrew Toy. Get this book and add it to your collection. You won’t be disappointed. A great read!

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A Long December A Book Review by Mike Limon

1 May

I fell in love with reading in the third grade. I found myself reading mostly short stories. As a teenager growing up in the 1960’s, I really enjoyed watching TV shows like The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits. I started reading plenty of horror short stories. Like many other fans of the genre, they fascinate me. I don’t remember how I found Richard Chizmar’s short stories a few years ago, but boy, I sure am glad that I did! I really enjoy reading his work. I recently read his book, ” A Long December.” This is one of the best short story books that I have read in a long time. Each story was different and I was fascinated reading this collection.  It is a collection of 35 of his short stories, and is incredible to read! The author takes you on a roller coaster ride with each story. They start out slow and gain momentum and then you need to hold on because you know something is coming, but you’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen! Many times I finished reading the story thinking to myself, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!” Chizmar writes about everyday people like you and me but something horrific happens in their lives. In “The Box,” a mother discovers a horrifying  secret that one of her children has been hiding in a box in the teenager’s closet, but there’s another shocking discovery! In “Ditch Treasures,” workmen along the freeway in Maryland discover treasure everyday that people have discarded. One workmen makes what he thinks is an incredible find that will bring him fame and fortune, but as he takes a closer look at what he found, he is shocked and wishes he had never laid eyes on this terrible thing. I encourage you to check out this book. Each of these stories is unique in their own way, but as a reader you can sympathize with the characters and what is happening to them!  You will find yourself thinking about these stories long  after you put the book down.

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A long list of famous people that died in 2016 and why it matters to so many of us. By Mike Limon

29 Dec

2016-deaths

Last night, Wednesday, December 28, 2016,  news broke out on social media informing us  that Debbie Reynolds had passed away after being taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. This shocked many of us because we were just getting over the news that her daughter, Carrie Fisher, had passed away the day before. These deaths hit us hard because they were so sudden and they came one after another.We barely had time to process the death of one celebrity when news of another one passing away had hit us. All over the world, people die everyday. You just don’t hear about it unless it’s somebody famous. But why does the news of somebody famous dying affect so many of us and how? My personal belief is that even though we may have never met these celebrities, they are a part of our lives. Whether they were singers, actors, athletes, astronauts, etc, they entertained us in one way or another. They made an impact on the world. We can all relate to the songs, movies, and characters that they played in movies, and when the celebrity passes away, we somehow feel that a part of our lives is somehow now missing. Could it be because we won’t see them on the screen or TV anymore? For many of us, we grew up watching and listening to these people, so in essence, a part of our childhood is now gone, and that’s why it affects us so deeply. Plus the fact that we admired so many of these people, and the talent that they had. I felt this way when my mother passed away, and then my mother-in-law passed away. Two important women in my life had gone.Though they weren’t famous, they mattered to one person; me. I knew that I wouldn’t be seeing or talking to them anymore.

But there is good news in all of these sudden deaths. We can still see the movies that these actors made. We can still hear the music that these musicians created. Yes, life will go on for the rest of us, and more famous people will pass away, but hopefully it won’t happen like it did in December of 2016. So sudden and so quickly. Rest in Peace to all of our celebrity friends who passed away, whether you knew them personally or not, they were people, and many of them great personalities. They will be missed, but their contributions in making this world a better place will continue for a very long time!

  1. Robert Stigwood, 81
  2. Pierre Boulez, 90
  3. Kitty Kallen, 93
  4. Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, 55
  5. Pat Harrington Jr., 86
  6. Angus Scrimm, 89
  7. Keith Emerson, 71
  8. Phife Dawg, 45
  9. Mike Minor, 75
  10. David Bowie, 69
  11. Harper Lee, 89
  12. Sir George Martin, 90
  13. Vilmos Zsigmond, 85
  14. David Huddleston, 85
  15. Alan Rickman, 69
  16. Kevin Meaney, 60
  17. René Angélil, 73
  18. Dan Haggerty, 74
  19. Noreen Corcoran, 72
  20. Monte Irvin, 96
  21. Abe Vigoda, 94
  22. Glenn Frey, 67
  23. Paul Kantner,74
  24. Maurice White, 74
  25. Katie May, 34
  26. Denise Matthews, known as Vanity, 57
  27. Matt Roberts, 38
  28. Cara McCollum, 24
  29. Fred Hellerman, 89
  30. George Kennedy, 91
  31. Pat Conroy, 70
  32. Joey Feek, 40
  33. Garry Shandling, 66
  34. Patty Duke, 69
  35. Zaha Hadid, 65
  36. James Noble, 94
  37. Bob Elliott, 92
  38. Merle Haggard, 79
  39. Daisy Lewellyn, 36
  40. Doris Roberts, 90
  41. Chyna, real name Joan Marie Laurer, 46
  42. Prince, 57
  43. Billy Paul, 80
  44. Pete Fountain, 86
  45. Jon Polito, 65
  46. Richard Libertini, 82
  47. Madeleine Lebeau, 92
  48. Guy Clark, 74
  49. Morley Safer, 84
  50. Nick Menza, 51
  51. Gordie Howe, known as “Mr. Hockey,” 88
  52. Muhammad Ali, 74
  53. George Gaynes, 98
  54. Christina Grimmie, 22
  55. Lee Reherman, 49
  56. Theresa Saldana, 61
  57. Ann Morgan Guilbert, 87
  58. Ron Lester, 45
  59. Anton Yelchin, 27
  60. Bernie Worrell, 72
  61. Bill Cunningham, 87
  62. Bill Nunn, 63
  63. George Burton, 78
  64. Stanley Dural Jr., known as Buckwheat Zydeco, 68
  65. Curtis Hanson, 71
  66. Ryan Jimmo, 34
  67. Jim Harrison, 78
  68. Larry Drake, 66
  69. Frank Sinatra Jr., 72
  70. Bud Spencer, 86
  71. Buddy Ryan, 85
  72. Juan Gabriel, 66
  73. Attrell Cordes, 46
  74. Pat Summitt, 64
  75. Elie Wiesel, 87
  76. Michael Cimino, 77
  77. Michu Meszaros, 77
  78. Michelle McNamara, 46
  79. Noel Neill, 95
  80. Garry Marshall, 81
  81. Gloria DeHaven, 91
  82. Jerry Doyle, 60
  83. John Saunders, 61
  84. Kenny Baker, 81
  85. John McLaughlin, 89
  86. Steven Hill, 94
  87. Scotty Moore, 84
  88. Gene Wilder, 83
  89. Anna Dewdney, 50
  90. Ken Howard, 71
  91. Alexis Arquette, 47
  92. Charmian Carr, 73
  93. W.P. Kinsella, 81
  94. Kimbo Slice, 42
  95. Edward Albee, 88
  96. The Lady Chablis, 59
  97. Hugh O’Brian, 91
  98. Jean Shepard, 82
  99. Jose Fernandez, 24
  100. Arnold Palmer, 87
  101. Michael Massee, 64
  102. Phil Chess, 95
  103. Dylan Rieder, 28
  104. Julie Gregg, 79
  105. Leonard Cohen, 82
  106. Robert Vaughn, 83
  107. Leon Russell, 74
  108. Gwen Ifill, 61
  109. Ron Glass, 71
  110. Florence Henderson, 82
  111. Joseph Mascolo, 87
  112. Fritz Weaver, 90
  113. Tommy Ford, 52
  114. Gloria Naylor, 66
  115. Margaret Whitton, 67
  116. Dr. George Nichopoulos, 88
  117. Dave Mirra, 41
  118. Van Williams, 82
  119. William Schallert, 93
  120. Andrew Sachs, 86
  121. George Alaskey, 63
  122. Alan Young, 96
  123. Darwyn Cooke, 53
  124. Will Smith, former New Orleans Saints’ player, 34
  125. Billy Chapin, 72
  126. Greg Lake, 69
  127. Sharon Jones, 60
  128. Alan Thicke, 69
  129. Bernard Fox, 89
  130. Craig Sager, 65
  131. Ricky Harris, 54
  132. Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99
  133. Richard Adams, 96
  134. George Michael, 53
  135. Carrie Fisher, 60
  136. Debbie Reynolds, 84

Other notable public figures who died in 2016 include:

  1. Nancy Reagan, 94
  2. Janet Reno, 78
  3. Tom Hayden, 76
  4. Youree Dell Harris, 53
  5. Fidel Castro, 90
  6. Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88
  7. Rob Ford, 46
  8. Uhmberto Eco, 84
  9. John Glenn, 77
  10. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93
  11. Antonin Scalia, 79
  12. Edgar Mitchell, 85
  13. Dale Bumpers, 90
  14. Mike Oxley, 71
  15. Mother Mary Angelica, 92

The Grief Frequency by Kealan Patrick Burke. A book review

24 Nov

The Grief Frequency by Kealan Patrick Burke is a short story where the main character Paul, finds out first hand the true meaning of grief under terrible circumstances. His wife is killed when he tries to drive home through a storm much to her objection. It’s bad enough that he is carrying this tremendous guilt, but he suffers from nightmares and haunting reminders from his father-in-law who pushes him over the edge in the tradition of The Twilight Zone. Soon Paul had trouble trying to figure out what is real, and what isn’t. Burke allows the reader to feel the grief that Paul is experiencing in his writing. No man should ever have to go though this terrifying experience. This page turner is a great read! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  This is the 4th book that I have read by this author. If you like reading horror, and you are not familiar with his work, I highly recommend you add his name to your list. You won’t be disappointed! 

 

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Rest In Peace Ventura County Firefighter Ryan Osler

21 Sep

Ventura County Firefighter Ryan Osler, 38 of Moorpark, lost his life in a traffic accident while he was on his way to fight a fire near Lompoc, California early this morning, September 21, 2016. Ryan had been called to help with a fire in another county away from home.ryan-osler

Ryan was a passenger in a “water tanker” truck which was on its way to put out “hot spots” at the fire.  While I never got a chance to meet Ryan, I know many other of his fellow firefighter brothers at Ventura County Fire. One thing about firemen  they all have the same traits. Like all people, each one of them has different likes and dislikes and are different in that regard. However, each and every one of them also display similarities which are unique to firemen. They exhibit unique bravery in time of fear, an eagerness to get the job done, calmness during an emergency, and they know their jobs, and do them very well.fire-black-band

From fighting fires to answering calls for medical help, they all put on their uniform, report for duty, and never know what type of day  or evening they are going to have. They spend time together at the fire station with their “other family.” Their fellow firefighters. They will spend at least two days away from their own families, living at the fire station, sleeping, eating, working out, washing fire trucks, and mostly  responding to 911 calls for help.  They have no guarantee that they will be coming home to their loved ones. Not every call that comes in is the same. One reoccurring theme that is present with each and every firefighter I have ever met is this: They continually put their own lives at risk to help others.  During a fire, when your mind screams at you to run away from the fire, that’s when they go to work.  Why? Because that’s what they have been trained to do. To them, it is all about saving others. You mention the word hero to a firefighter and they blush. They will be the first to tell you that they are not heros, but rather, just somebody who likes helping people, and trying to save lives. To them, that matters more than being called a hero. Firefighters are a very close-knit type of family and it shows. Today, when Ryan lost his life, his fellow firefighters parked their firetrucks on freeway overpasses from Santa Barbara to Ventura, California. They all saluted Ryan as the hearse carrying his body quietly passed by underneath them on the freeway. They didn’t all have to know Ryan personally or even have worked with the man. All they know is that “one of their brothers” had lost his life, and would be coming home for the last time. No longer would he be required to respond to the fire alarm call for help. His job is now done. The last time I saw a tribute this touching was when the hearse carrying the body  of former President Ronald Reagan was on his way to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley to be honored and buried there. Once before,firefighters had lined up on those overpasses to pay respect for their fallen leader. Ryan Osler was a married father of two children. He was a son, father, brother and husband. Thank you Ryan for being a firemen. Thank you for your service. You could have chosen any other profession but like your father before you, you chose this one. You helped countless number of citizens. Now it’s your time to rest big guy. Rest in peace. Your brother firefighters have it from here. ryan-2ryan

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