CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE STUMBLED INTO "THE SHALLOW ZONE." WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCKS. SOME OF THEM ARE SHARP.
If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.

About Me

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT
Not that there's any weight to it...
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
VIDEO OF THE MONTH

Monday, August 6, 2012

LOOK FOR HIM IN THAT ULTRA-DELUXE APARTMENT IN THE SKY: TV ICON SHERMAN HEMSLEY DEAD AT 74


It is with a sense of shallow (and yet sincere) sadness that I dedicate this brief post to an iconic face of 1970s American television who passed away recently...very quietly...and yet leaving in his wake a huge pop culture hole that isn't likely to be filled any time soon. I'm talking about Sherman Hemsley, better known, perhaps, as "George Jefferson", the one-time (black) thorn in Archie Bunker's side who, through his good business sense and sheer determination of will managed to move himself, his family (wife Louise and son Lionel), and his maid (yes...Florence!) "on up" out of Queens and into "that deluxe apartment in the sky" on the East Side of Manhattan (although the opening sequence of the show was actually filmed in Santa Monica, California).


SHERMAN HEMSELY...AKA "GEORGE JEFFERSON"

The Jeffersons, which began as a spin-off of All In The Family, ran on CBS from 1975 until 1985, and has the distinction of having been the longest running television series with a predominantly black cast in the history of American television, (Sorry, Good Times and Cosby!) Although at times controversial (George Jefferson used the terms "honky" and "nigger" during the course of the series), the show's eleven season run is a testimonial to its popularity with mainstream TV audiences, who, I assume, identified with Goerge and "Weezy" Jefferson not because they were black so much as because they were ordinary people who had managed to make good despite their humble beginnings. Plus George was sort of the Simon Cowwell of his day, never shirking from saying exactly what was on his mind, no matter where he was, or who the unfortunate recipient of his honesty might be.


HEMSLEY WITH LONG SUFFERING TV WIFE ISABEL SANFORD

Of course, Hemsley did play other roles besides the snarky and ill-tempered George Jefferson. Born in South Philly in 1938, and raised by his single mother (he didn't meet his father until he was 14), Hemsley dropped out of high school to join the air force, in which he served for four years. After being discharged from his military duties in the late 1960s, Hemsley left Philly for New York, where he labored as a postal worker by day whilst attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts at night. Hemsley's hard work and commitment to his chosen craft paid off. In 1971, whilst performing on Broadway in the musical Purlie, Hemsley received a call from TV producer Norman Lear, who wanted Hemsley to play the role of "George Jefferson" in his new sitcom...All In The Family. Although initially reluctant to leave Broadway, Hemsley eventually made the shift to television, a move which brought him fame and a new level of wealth, but which also, unfortunately, typecast him for the remainder of his career. Following the cancellation of The Jeffersons in 1985, Hemsley's work consisted mainly of appearances on TV shows like Amen and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, although a series of popular commercials for The Gap, in 2000, which reunited Hemsley with former TV wife Isabel Sanford, brought the pair a fresh burst of nostalgic appreciation. Hemsley was also a singer, performing an original song, "Dark Eyes", from his album "Dance", on Soul Train in 1992. In recent years, however, Hemsley, who never married and had no children, had been living in El Paso, Texas, where he had become something of a recluse, granting only one interview (video) since the demise of The Jeffersons, to The Archive of American Television, in 2003. In the interview, Hemsley said that playing George Jefferson "was hard for me", but that "he was the character. I had to do it."


Hemsley strutting large in "Purlie" on Broadway in 1972

Sherman Hemsley died of apparent natural causes at his home in El Paso on July 24. He was 74.

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