I read the news today, oh boy
Dec. 8, 1980 was my own JFK moment. As I wasn’t alive at the time of Jack Kennedy’s assassination, my first vivid memory of where I was at the time I learned of a historic event was when John Lennon was shot and murdered.
Howard Cosell announced it to the world on “Monday Night Football” (unheard of at the time to announce a news bulletin during a sporting event), which I wasn’t watching because it was past my bed time. I first learned the news in English class at 8:45 a.m. with my initial reaction being shock and then disappointment that the four Beatles would never play together again.
One of the earliest songs I remember as a child was “Yellow Submarine” and later “Let It Be.” I became a fan of the Fabs when I entered my preteens because there was always a Beatles’ vinyl album wrapped up under the tree, which in those days was a real treat because an album cost around $10. Slowly, as I worked my way through their catalogue, I branched out to their solo material.
I don’t think I would have liked John Lennon if I knew him personally. Like many artists, he was brilliant, but complicated.
But, where would popular music be without “In My Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “A Day in the Life,” “Imagine, ” “Revolution” and “Jealous Guy?” The fact teenagers are buying Beatles’ music, 50 years after it was released, is a true testament to the quality of their work.
Between then and now, very little has changed. Celebrities are more cautious about their own safety (Lennon was foolish in many ways because he trusted people and would travel without bodyguards), but gun deaths and mass shootings in the United States are more prevalent than ever.
If a group of well-spoken, intelligent and passionate teenagers from Florida can’t change the system, nobody can.
Jim Taylor, whose column usually runs in this spot or below, has the week off. He will return Dec. 15.
If you watched the highlights of the George H.W. Bush funeral, talk about awkward.
When the 45th president and his wife arrived, they were seated in a row of past presidents and across the aisle from George W. Bush and Jeb Bush and their wives. So what is Trump’s track record? He at various times insulted two generations of Bushes (George Sr., Jr. and Jeb), was convinced Barack Obama wasn’t born in the States, and called out both Bill and Hillary Clinton so many times, we’ve all lost count.
Using hockey as a comparison, have you ever noticed that the cheap-shot artists in men’s recreational hockey are always the first ones to whine to the referees when they get cheap shotted by another player?
The 45th president can dish out wrath on just about everybody (John McCain, Gold star parents, disabled journalists), but then doesn’t like it when anybody criticizes him.
Also in attendance were Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. I love them! Fortunately, Trump has never — as far as I know — spewed venom on the Carters.
Ah, an oldie but a goodie. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” scored a very respectable 18th place in last week’s Nielsen ratings — not bad for a TV special that’s more than 50 years old.
How can they say “Dancing With the Stars” is a ratings failure when they have an average of 8.5 million viewers? Yes, it has dropped out of the top 10 and might not be as popular as it once was, but tons of people still watch it. My suggestion to the producers for improving ratings is get better stars. Many are lame.
The City of Penticton was able to purchase the old Greyhound bus station and for a very reasonable price. Although it has yet to be decided what the city plans on doing with the property, the guess is it will eventually become a parking lot. I’m hoping that they reopen the restaurant. For those who are unaware, the bus station’s cafe had one of the best breakfasts in Penticton.
I’m going to have a cameo in Soundstage Productions forthcoming presentation of “Newsies,” the Tony-nominated musical based on the New York City newsboys strike of 1899.
I haven’t been on stage for a couple of years, but with “Newsies” celebrating print media, I wanted in. The show plays for four nights and one matinee in January at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and tickets are now available from the resort. I’ve previously appeared with Soundstage in “Hair” (and no, I wasn’t in the nude scene ... they cut it from the script), “Chess,” “Evita,” and “Whistle Down the Wind.” For a sneak preview of “Newsies,” a taped performance of the Broadway show is now playing on Netflix.
As much as I admire Colin Basran and most of Kelowna city council, taxes have gone up more than 20 per cent since Basran first took office in 2014, including an anticipated jump of 4.4 per cent for next year.
Somebody needs to slam the brakes on tax increases. Food is expected to go up in the New Year by almost four per cent. Gas is rising, rents are rising.
Not everybody can afford tax increases. Trust me, I’m a journalist.
Thank you to Heather and John Raybould from West Kelowna for their kind words extended to me in a Christmas card. I don’t get a lot of fan mail these days so words of encouragement are always appreciated.
James Miller is managing editor of The Kelowna Daily Courier and valley editor for Okanagan Newspaper Group. To contact the writer: [email protected]