Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Eli Wallach as Tuco in The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Actor Eli Wallach died at age 98. He was in two of my favorite Westerns, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, as well as an appearance on Batman as Mr. Freeze.

His death reminded me of a somewhat odd conversation about Wallach with legendary Springfield journalist/blogger Ron Davis at a going away party for Tony Messenger, when he was leaving The Springfield News Leader to go to The St. Louis Post Dispatch. Ron mentioned that Wallach had once shared a slow dance with Marilyn Monroe and how we, as journalist, would like to ask him what it was like to dance with Marilyn.

How did we get off on that subject? Ron brought up Wallach because of a strange incident that involved Tony Messenger from about a week or so earlier. It happened at what was supposed to be a panel discussion on immigration.  One of the participants on the panel besides Tony was a local talk radio show host with a huge cult following, even though this host had the mental stability of the proverbial outhouse rat. This guy is the reason I started the old blog. This guy had gotten into some battles with me on Ron's Chatter blog and Missouri Radio Message Board. I decided to start my own blog, so I could fully poke fun at this guy and make satirical comments on other news topics of the day. A person, who worked in the news department at the radio station that carried his show, told me that when he would read my blog he would fly into a mad fit cussing and throwing things. That makes me proud to find out i had that effect on him.
Franco Nero in Django

Back to the story. This host had showed up at this panel discussion dressed like Franco Nero in the movie Django. He ranted, raved and accused a local group that helps Mexican immigrants in the area of sneaking Al Qaeda terrorist into the country and changing their names to "Juan and Jose." Then he hurled a brown paper bag with two tennis balls at Tony, telling him it would be "the only sack of balls he would ever have."  As Dave Barry would say, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

We began discussing why did this talk radio host dress in this Spaghetti Western outfit, when Ron Davis put forth an intriguing idea. "Maybe he thought he would be allowed to hang Eli Wallach like in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly."

And that is how we got off on the subject of Eli Wallach. 

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