The ‘Hello, My Name is Jose Jiminez’ Eye Opener

When William Szathmary died on June 15, 2017, in Nashville, Tennessee, millions of fans who knew him, did not know him by his birth name.

Eleven years prior to his death, meeting American comedian Bill Dana was a complete surprise, because I had completely forgotten about the entertainer.

Like many baby boomers growing up in the 1960s, Dana would make America laugh with his signature, “Hello, my name is Jose Jiminez” astronaut routine. It was so popular, another celebrity, a country and western singing star, would adapt his own stage introductions with “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash!”

In 2006, I had the pleasure of meeting Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra, Gene Krantz, and other space related notables at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

Among some of the “celebrities” I talked with were movie and television stars James Drury (The Virginian, Disney’s Toby Tyler), Lana Wood (The Searchers, Peyton Place, Diamonds Are Forever) Clint Howard (Gentle Ben, Apollo 13), and Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet). It was certainly an unexpected eye opener to spend some time with Bill Dana.

“Okay, José, you’re on your way!”


With those words, radioed to Alan Shepard as he lifted off to become the first American astronaut to fly into space on May 5, 1961, Bill Dana’s role in NASA history was sealed.

Because of his popularity portraying “José Jiménez,” Dana was bestowed the title of being the eighth of the Mercury 7 astronauts.

When he died on that June 15th in 2017, Dana was 92.

“He’ll be missed not only by the astronaut family, but many more around the world,” said Tammy Sudler, president and CEO of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. “Bill Dana was lovingly known as our honorary Mercury 8 astronaut.”

First created in 1959 for “The Steve Allen Show” and later appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” José Jiménez held several positions, including an elevator operator, a bobsled racer, a Navy submariner and a lion tamer, but it was as the shiny-spacesuited, reluctant astronaut that the Bolivian character became famous (Dana was of Hungarian-Jewish ancestry in reality).

“What do you consider the most important thing in rocket travel?” asked Ed Sullivan, playing the straight man during one of Dana’s better-known skits.

“To me the most important thing in the rocket travel is the blast-off,” said Dana.

“The blast-off…” repeated Sullivan.

“I always take a blast before I take off. Otherwise, I would not go near that thing,” Dana quipped as Jiménez.

Dana’s José Jiménez routine was later released on record albums, rising to the Top 20 on the Billboard charts, which drew the attention of the real-life Mercury astronauts.

“The astronauts, especially Shepard, absolutely loved the record, and listened to it in the office after intense training sessions,” author Neal Thompson described in “Light This Candle” (Crown, 2004), his biography of the first astronaut. “Shepard even tape recorded the album and during lulls between training exercises or during test launches at the Cape would play the tapes at full volume near the Mission Control loudspeakers.”

The astronaut and comedian first met at a Cocoa Beach night club, where Shepard — from out in the audience and without the prior knowledge of Dana — took on the role of the straight man, setting up Jiménez’s replies. Soon, fellow astronauts Wally Schirra and Deke Slayton joined in.

Dana, 3rd from left with Mercury astronauts



“The club was roaring as the three astronauts took turns,” wrote Thompson. After the show, Dana hurried to a phone to call his producer in New York.

“‘They know us. They know every word. And they love us,” exclaimed Dana, as described by Thompson.

Shepard and the other astronauts’ fondness for Dana and his character led to José Jiménez becoming the unofficial mascot of the Mercury program.

In addition to inspiring the 1961 launch call between Slayton (in the blockhouse) and Shepard (on top of a Redstone rocket), Dana performed at President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural ball with Shepard in attendance.

The comedian also inspired a “gotcha” – a practical joke – that Shepard arranged in secret for John Glenn to discover once aboard his Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft. Opening up a pouch while in orbit, Glenn was surprised by a small stuffed mouse floating free, a reference to the “leetle mice” Jiménez would cite as fellow test subjects in his routine.

Sammy Davis, Jr. Meets Archie Bunker

One of the most celebrated televised episodes of the classic and controversial All in the Family aired in 1972. It’s the tale about the time entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. stopped by to visit the Bunkers.

It begins with a briefcase he left in Archie’s cab and ends with the kiss of infamy. Very few people are aware that the writer of this episode was Bill Dana.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS



🔹Born William Szathmary in Quincy, Massachusetts on Oct. 5, 1924, Dana served as a gunner and mortarman in the U.S. Army during World War II.

🔹He began his career in comedy as a page and a writer for other comedians’ stand-up routines.

🔹Dana was also a screenwriter for television and movies, writing the Emmy-Award-winning “All in the Family” episode, “Sammy Davis Visits Archie Bunker” (1972), penning jokes for the “Donny and Marie” show (1977-1978), and co-writing the script for the “Get Smart” film “The Nude Bomb” (1980).

Dana also showed up as José Jiménez in a number of TV cameos, including as part of a 1966 episode of “Batman,” appearing alongside the late Adam West and Burt Ward.

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What Bill Clinton’s Ex-Lover Said About Hillary

Prior to the 2016 Presidential Election between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton’s ex-lover, Sally Miller sent me a very exposing email on January 5, 2016. –by Jack Dennis, CLEVERJOURNEYS

Sally Miller had previously told me about how Clinton “henchmen,” or operatives had threatened her on numerous occasions if she revealed information that could place Hillary in a bad light as the election campaign proceeded.

Miller believed that Clinton associate (and former chief of staff) Betsey Wright was in charge of Hillary’s “bimbo patrol, ” — goons who tracked down women who had affairs with, or men who knew too much about Bill, to shut them up.

It is well documented that Miller, the 1958 Miss Arkansas, and then Governor William Jefferson Clinton were frequent lovers. State troopers have since come forward collaborating with others about the arranged liaisons at nearby Little Rock hotels. In Miller’s instances, it was usually in her home.

Sally Miller, 2016

One of Miller’s most notorious reveals was when Clinton laid next to her, “grinning real big,” during one of their trysts and blurted,”Damn, you need to come over and teach Hillary a thing or two about sex.”

“She’s not that wild about sex?” Miller laughed.

“Nah, the only time she is at all interested is when she snorts something up her nose,” he replied. “But don’t worry about Hillary. She’s busy. Hell, she has eaten a lot more p**sy than I have.”

While writing for Examiner in 2016, Miller and I corresponded often by phone or email. I found her to be quite open, but cautious, until she felt she could trust me.

“Hillary does plenty of drugs to get herself in the mood for sex,” Miller told me. “That’s the only time that she would entertain the idea – again, this is what Bill said to me.”

“Our love affair lasted five months, from August through December of 1983,” Miller revealed. “I suppose I’m classified as one of the ‘bimbos’ Hillary classifies us as, but the fact remains he came to my home at least a dozen times during that period.”

JANUARY 5, 2016 E-MAIL

“I don’t know if Hillary is a lesbian. Frankly, I don’t care who Hillary sleeps with or what type sex satisfies her.  I only know—for certain—I never slept with Hillary.

I’m thinking about writing a letter to Hillary.  I want to thank her for the Power she exercised in getting me fired more than a few times; the Power she used in reducing my lifestyle to food stamps; and her relentless Power when ordering guns fired in my direction.

“Hillary’s Power proved so persuasive, she convinced my family to abandon me.  And, Hillary deserves a standing ovation for demanding private investigators keep digging until they found me in China.

It wasn’t enough to destroy me in my own country; as First Lady, Hillary used her Power to travel across the ocean and personally “put me on notice.” Hillary’s Power tested my survival skills far beyond what I ever experienced on my long journey of China’s Great Wall.      

Because of Hillary’s Power, I will never take my safety and well-being for granted; her Power added a new dimension to my fear.  Yes, Hillary has a power that can only be found among the most politically-connected and the most vengeful of women.   Hillary’s Power allows her to get what she wants.  Yes, Hillary’s Power remains unforgettable to me.

 “Looking back, maybe I should have slept with Hillary. But, watching her Politically- Inspired “song and dance routine” on television; studying her mouth when she screams, threatens, lies and denies….I’m sure Hillary can’t kiss as well as Bill. 

Sally Miller, Miss Arkansas 1958   (one of Hillary’s Bimbos)”

Miller did indeed pen an open letter to Hillary Clinton which I posted on Examiner. She labeled her “completely evil, heartless, and totally selfish.”

“Like the rest of us, you’ve grown older, experienced health problems and today— your lies are less convincing; your promises less believable and—sadly for your tough-woman-persona— your aging appearance exposes your vulnerability…Quite honestly, Hillary, you are just a pathetically fragile and tired-looking old woman.”

Sally Miller

Miller later wrote in her book “The Beauty Queen: Let no good deed go unpublished,” more elaboration on her affair with Clinton and his numerous vices, including the regular smoking of marijuana and snorting of cocaine.

In 2005, Miller received a $90,000 settlement from the West Chester Friends School following termination from her position as the school’s director of fund-raising and public relations after revelations surfaced that she was one of the women involved in Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs.

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Interviewing Gentle Ben’s Owner and Ron Howard’s Brother

Or How to Tick Off My Teacher Without Really Trying…

Or Finding My Porpoise in Life

“This time find a book with porpoise, Jackie,” Ms. Nancy Lewis instructed me in 1965.

Purpose?

The previous time I checked out a book from the Harlandale School District Book Mobile, it was a brand new novel by Walt Morey entitled Gentle Ben.

Ben was a big brown bear in Alaska who befriended a boy named Mark. I imagined the boy looked similar to my fifth grade classmate, Mark Kuykendall, because he was somewhat adventurous.

Well, I supposed Ms. Lewis was upset about my book choices because she obviously didn’t think my Gentle Ben skit—performed in front of her fifth grade class in lieu of a book report— was as brilliant as the class did.

“GET MY PADDLE”

The week before, I had seen Ms. Lewis use her “discipline paddle” on Kenneth Andrews. Ken was upset because the recess bell rang– meaning we were to get back to class. It went off just as he had stepped up to bat during an exciting softball game.

I was playing second base when pitcher David Cardenas took the ball and walked back towards the second wing of Gillette Elementary School in south San Antonio that day.

The words that red-headed Kenneth screamed in anger, for not having the ball pitched to him, was dialect unfitting to a 5th grader, Ms. Lewis determined.

“Jackie, go get my paddle,” she directed me.

Why me? Kenneth is my friend. I don’t want to see his butt blistered by her spanking paddle.

I ran to our classroom and obediently brought out the paddle.

“What porpoise does that serve to cuss like that?” she asked Kenneth before the WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!

His buttocks were seared. All I knew was I wanted to make certain I had a good porpoise for anything I did around Ms. Lewis.

The next time the Book Mobile came to our school I made sure my book had porpoises in it.

I wasn’t certain what she had against bears, but as long as I never was on the receiving end of the teacher’s paddle, I would learn as much about porpoises as required.

CLINT HOWARD

A couple of years later, Gentle Ben became a TV series and the boy in that show didn’t look anything like the adventurous Mark Kuykendall at all.

The actor was Clint Howard, younger brother of Ron Howard, “Opie Taylor” of Mayberry and Andy Griffith fame at the time.

It was an okay show, but as long as Ms. Lewis wasn’t my teacher anymore it was all right by me.

Fast forward forty years later. It’s 2006, and I finally know the difference between Ms. Lewis’ pronunciation “porpoise” and the word “purpose.” That year I had the pleasure of meeting Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra, Gene Krantz, and other space related notables at the St. Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio.

Among some of the “celebrities” I talked with were movie and television stars James Drury (The Virginian, Disney’s Toby Tyler), Lana Wood (The Searchers, Peyton Place, Diamonds Are Forever), comedian Bill Dana (Jose Jiminez), Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet) and more.

It was certainly an unexpected eye opener to spend some time with the one and only Clint Howard. Although known to Baby Boomers for his role in Gentle Ben, he was at the Space conference for his part in the Ron Howard movie, Apollo 13.

The real life Apollo Mission control commander, Gene Krantz was nearby and in passing, called out to Howard: “Afternoon Sy!”

Clint Howard grinned and explained his role in Apollo 13 was the part of Sy Liebergot, a key member of the Mission Control crew under Krantz.

Howard loved the role acting with Ed Harris who played Krantz:

Sy LiebergotFlight… I recommend we shut down reactant valves to the fuel cells.

Gene Kranz: What the hell good is that gonna do?

Sy Liebergot: If that’s where the leak is, we can isolate it. We can save what’s left in the tanks and we can run on the good cell.

Gene Kranz: You close ’em, you can’t open ’em again! You can’t land on the moon with one healthy fuel cell!

Sy Liebergot: Gene, the Odyssey is “dying”. From my chair here, this is the last option.

INTERVIEW

Howard was kind enough to place his signature on a photo alongside his brother Ron Howard’s autograph and was willing to be interviewed for a few quick questions. Ready go:

Biggest influence?

My dad, Rance Howard is definitely my biggest influence. He has taught both Ron and I attributes of being a good man of the earth type solid human beings. We’ve learned to apply this to our work, the entertainment business.

The work can be hard enough in the morning but it is especially grueling by the end of a very long day on the  set. Through Dad, we learned to remain focused because all time counts.

I’m sure you’ve been asked this often, but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t ask, how was it working with Gentle Ben?

Yeah, that’s a good question. I’ve never really heard of that question before (He winked and grinned).

Gentle Ben was really Bruno the Bear and he actually was a gentle bear. I remember he smelled bad and enjoyed drinking Coca-Cola and eating candy, especially lemon drops and sometimes Tootsie Roll.

I was already accustomed to acting and wasn’t starstruck at that age, but co-starring with a bear was cool. My dad was always on set with me down on a ranch in the Everglades, so I was away from my mom for a bit. When we would come back for Christmas break, our house was decorated to the max for the holidays. Good memories.

I would describe you as a character actor, with a diverse set of many different roles. How do you describe your acting persona?

That’s right on. You know, my great brother Ron, five years my senior, basically played all similar roles. There is Opie (Mayberry), Ritchie (Happy Days), Chad (The Smith Family) and the character, Steve from American Graffiti, basically.

We both started very young. By the time Gentle Ben was around, I had years of experience. I’m in my fifth decade of acting and now find myself in the position in my career as a character actor with a lot of experience.

When I walk on set and I think people look towards me, somewhat for some of a bit of guidance and mentoring. Now, I don’t stick my nose somewhere where it doesn’t belong. I’m there to act, my job. Thats my thing. I’m not going to step on anybody’s toes and automatically mentor. It is not my responsibility. But I realize now that some people do look up to me, and respect my experience. So I keep that in mind when I work on any project. I will be a leader and positive influencer for the director, crew, the actors if and as needed.

Like I said, I grew up with wonderful parents. My Dad mentored and I remain grateful.

Note: At the time of this interview Rance Howard was alive. He passed away on November 25, 2017. Clint’s mother, Jean Frances Speegle Howard, died on September 2, 2000.

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Rudy Giuliani Talks About September 11, His Cancer and Prayer

Rudolph Giuliani is best known for being mayor of New York during the September 11, 2001 attack. In 2008, Jack Dennis had the opportunity to meet Giuliani in San Antonio, Texas.

The American leader expressed his thoughts on his personal change, compassion, hope and faith during the disaster.

“Most people are surprised to know that I changed more from having prostate cancer than from September 11,” Giuliani stated, backstage at the Alamodome, where he was to give a speech later. “Dealing with the cancer forced me to gain the wisdom about the importance of life and the lack of control we have over death.”

“I needed the confidence and character I gained from coping with the cancer to prepare me to deal with, and even survive, the trials of September 11,” the former mayor said.

Giuliani found himself surrounded by firefighters, police officers and emergency workers on that fateful day in 2001. The worst attack on American soil became the most successful rescue operation in our country’s history under his leadership.

That evening, as Giuliani prepared for bed, he found solace in the words of Winston Churchill and “realized that courage doesn’t simply materialize out of thin air.”

Giuliani attended hundreds of funerals and visited Ground Zero daily.

“I grew physically and emotionally exhausted,” he recalled. “When I saw the families of the victims, I was revived knowing if they can do this, I can do it.”

“Courage begins years before, sometimes in our early childhood, as we develop our character,” he spoke. “Every choice we make in life can strengthen or weaken our character.”

Here are highlights of Mr. Giuliani’s views.

“When I was in my teens, I seriously planned to become either a priest or a doctor as I have always been faithful and enthusiastic about my faith in God and helping others. Religion was a favorite topic I enjoyed talking with my teachers about. Prayer and faith in God provided me with the strength I could not acquire from any other source. When things are tough, it’s always a good idea to pray for the guidance and strength necessary to get us through.”

“Most of my time as mayor was spent under the maxim that it’s better to be respected than to be loved. September 11 unlocked compassion in me that I typically reserved for my family and very close friends. I discovered that revealing your love and compassion does not weaken leadership. It makes it stronger.”

“Allowing doubt, fear and worry to overtake us is an inevitable path to failure. I could not afford failure after September 11. It was very necessary to reach inside and push the doubts away, and even out, of my thinking.”

“I’ve spent much of my reading on learning about how great leaders that I admired grew up and forged the character each had to deal with different substantial challenges. Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt came to mind. ‘Then only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’”

“Love can spark deep moments of profound goodness. When I saw the love of our heroes in New York who looked beyond their own safety or what was best for themselves and focus on the lives and safety of others, I learned that love can help us push aside differences to share our humanity and those things that we have in common.”

“I prayed with these brave men and women. I became very close and was able to learn from these firefighters, police officers and emergency responders, not to mention ordinary every day civilians. At the root of all of this, it was love, and not so much the sense of duty, that caused those firefighters to run into the flaming towers to save those he or she had never met. Love can so powerful it can help us be kind to even those who are cruel to us.”

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Whistleblower Account of VP Pence, Chief Justice Roberts and Epstein

Interviews, conducted from January 9 through March 1, 2021 with Georgia Attorney Linn Wood’s office literally gave me nauseous shivers when I first read them two years ago. Since then, mainstream media has tried to silence this information with some degree of success. Here is a portion of the interviews regarding Vice President Mike Pence, Supreme Court Justice and their connection to Jeffrey Epstein.

“This is an interview with Ryan
Dark White,” the Interviewer announced so the transcriptionist, Kimberly H. Nolan, could hear properly. “This is an interview for Attorney Lin Wood. This is Saturday, January 9th, 2021.”

“Now, VP Pence hated President Trump because he had taken his slot as rightful president — he felt that he did — and Paul Ryan was actually — considered running as well for the vice presidential slot, and Mitt Romney was also involved. But they don’t — they thought President Trump was an outsider who has not paid his dues; they just didn’t like him.”

Pence, a Compromised White House Mole

“So, once VP Pence was in there, once President Trump was elected — and obviously Vice President Pence, he just walked away and everything became very quiet. That was their mole inside, so he could run interference and make certain things and just keep tabs on the president and manage him.”

“There was leverage on Mike Pence because of surveillance from way back in the 2013 range. They had gotten FISA warrants to exploit, and Rod had that.”


Rod Rosenstein “wanted the vice president slot himself. Then if they could remove President Trump, Vice President Pence becomes president, and Rod felt that he would be the natural selection for it. Paul Ryan felt differently, as did Mitt Romney, but unfortunately that was the overall goal, each one of them vying for the vice presidential slot.”

Rosenstein

“Rod thought he was the clear winner because of his legal brilliance and his management of the Mueller investigation and special counsels and things, you know, he would be the one to remove the president, damage him so thoroughly he could be removed, and he deserved it.”

The Interviewer asked, “Do you know what type of leverage would’ve existed over the vice president?”

Pence

“The vice president has had homosexual relations in the past — it’s not a problem. Many of them were adults,” White revealed. “This is something he had done throughout his time in the Congress. When he became governor he had thought that he was free to explore them more.”

“There were two specifically that they had recorded. One gentleman roughly 20 years his junior. They had a fairly
steady relationship.”

“There was one about half his age that was much more sporadic, because it was more dangerous, harder to get time alone. This person would introduce others, bring people with
him. He’d have people waiting when he showed up.”

“And it was that second one that introduced younger and younger people, ‘This is whomever, he’s 17’ and he’s really 15, ‘This is whomever, he’s 15’ and he’s really 13.”

“And Rod and Roberts, Chief Justice Roberts — a lot of the younger people involved, the ones that were brought as favors, were supplied by Jeffrey Epstein’s channels, through his channels, his people.”


“We were able to get FISA warrants because Chief Justice Roberts had vice court and helped prepare them, but it was also — Epstein was an intelligence asset of some type to various agencies around the world.”

“They used his information. They exploited it for their own good. So, when he was here, or his people were here, it was easy enough to justify a FISA warrant on them.”

“You know, they would enact a warrant, surveil everything, document it, but they would not help and they would not save the child.”

“They would not, you know, reveal it, it was more important for them to have the leverage on everything. And, of course, this was under their own corrupt ideas, but under Rod, his tutelage. And they wanted the leverage.”

Jeffrey Epstein and John Roberts first met when Roberts “was under Bush, not too long after he was appointed, somewhere along in there, just meeting powerful people, something like that. He did help him with his adopted children.”

“From what was said there and what was, you know, discussed openly in this little Dirty Trick Squad, the children are not genetically brother and sister, but they’re raised that way,
so that’s more valuable to them.”

“One if not both were originally from Wales, but they were in the Epstein channels and were easily removed
from their version of foster care to Ireland, which has much more open adoption type records.”

“He facilitated this for Roberts so he could adopt them both at the same time. There was a little gap, but it
was just paperwork. And Epstein had done that for him. So, they met, they worked together, and he was doing favors at some point.”

Children Used as a Commodity

“Children are often used as the commodity, a way to buy yourself into certain inner circles. And these people are all wealthy, they’re all powerful, and they don’t trust you unless you’re as compromised as they are. So, you provide children to them, your children, adopted children, whatever.”

Epstein and Clinton

“This is how they trust you, you’re as dirty as they are. You cannot be exposed because you can’t expose them, they can’t expose you. If everybody’s just as dirty, you know you’re safe.”

Is there any documentation to prove this?

“Yep Yanni [phonetic] has copies of the videos from the FISA surveillance. It was discussed — but I can’t prove it — that Roberts had a copy. Rod Rosenstein certainly has a copy. Shawn Henry of CrowdStrike, who was FBI at the time, he took two copies back to the FBI with him.”

“So, the copies were made and then — that was actually Shaun Bridges who encrypted them and gave them keys.
So, there are copies out there.”

White said Roberts, Pence and their homosexual lovers and victims would be on the videos, tapes and copies.

“This was mostly in the country, illegal surveillance, with Roberts’ children and whomever they were
with. They’d set it up. They knew that they weren’t going to be exposed because it’s Chief Justice Roberts’ children. And please keep in mind that these children have been abused since birth, and I don’t want anything else happening. They’ve already lived through hell. They don’t need anything else. But they were getting loaned out for these different groups, and they did surveil many of them.”

Bridges

Plot to Kill Supreme Court Justices

The Interviewer then asked about a known plot that “Roberts was allegedly a part of where they discussed murdering other judges on the Supreme Court under the Hillary Clinton administration.”

“This is something the FBI set up under their guidance, their political people, going to be a false flag. This had gone out two years almost before the election. And it was a sovereign citizen group.”

“Obama did not want any terrorism unless it was white terrorism, so this is a sovereign citizen group that the FBI had infiltrated and armed and instigated against other targets. They were for the most part pro-America, but they were racist in some of their origins. They were — a lot of them were divorced fathers with a grudge against the court system anyway, and the FBI people had infiltrated and exploited this.”

“They moved them up to the level of assassinating federal judges, political people, things like that. You want the names, I can tell ya.”

“So, anyway, part of their (inaudible) was various types of attacks on the Supreme Court, to take down as many
judges as they could, and Roberts was aware of this. He actually provided some scheduling, because apparently the justices are not all there at one time, they come and go as they please, and these three would be working on something, these three — and he provided this to the group so they could finalize their plan…the maps, they had the weapons, they had everything planned.”

Were these assassination teams American or foreign?


“No. These were Americans. A third would be the sovereign citizen group and two-thirds would be FBI people, or people working with the FBI. They were gonna get rid of them anyway. And, actually, I have recordings of their planning on the phone with me as, you know, part of this group.”

“And then they did not hang up the phone, they did not kill the phone, and we were listening to them talk about killing me and my wife, things like that. And another time they actually butt-dialed me and they were talking about — he was on the phone talking to various people about their plans, about who they were going after and what they were gonna do to us because we knew too much and we were outside at the time.”

“So, they could not do their plan. We got the people under surveillance. We saved them, got credit for saving them. They were very upset that their plans had gone to crap. They were very upset with me, especially when they came and picked me up, but it stopped it.”

“Their plans were written out. They were — they had maps, they had surveillance, they had quite a bit of
equipment.”

“This would be right after — within the first year of Hillary Clinton’s presidency. She was not supposed to lose.”

“So, this was all planned up and — it was more than just then. It was twofold. They wanted to pack the court and take out as many as they could.”

“Roberts was actually helping because he didn’t wanna be one of them, and he wanted some choice in who would serve on the bench after that. He wanted to maintain some form of control, so he did provide information.”

“But this was to be done within the first year of Hillary Clinton’s campaign so that they could ban firearms as well and impact the Court, so they’d have plenty of time to do that. That was their two main goals.”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
Visit the Johnny Cash Museum

JOHNNY CASH MUSEUM

CleverJourneys 2nd Anniversary: Thanks to Our Readers

Loralyn “Dodie” and Jack Dennis wish to thank all of our faithful readers for your support. On the eve of our second anniversary for our CleverJourneys blog, we reached 1,110,011 unique viewers. Our best yet.

We began on May 1, 2020. Although I previously wrote articles for Examiner, AXS Entertainment, The Rowdy and my own News Legit, CleverJourneys is my dream come true (well, one of many thanks to God).

This is not too bad for two young seniors that have known each other since our first year of school way back when. To celebrate, we hope you enjoy these:

Here are some our regular features in leadership popularity order.

JackNotes: Summaries of books, classes, conferences, speeches and knowledge of over 40 years.

Another of our most popular articles series are JackNotes, executive summaries of books, articles, speeches and other useful information that may save you the expense and trouble of reading the entire publication….or it may spur you on to seek more information from the original source.

TRUE CRIME STORIES

Another feature, Accounts of the Old West is a tribute to Jack’s great, great uncle Charlie Bassett, the first marshall of Dodge City, Kansas…and James Allison Morgan–a cattle driver and cowboy, Jack’s great grandfather. (You thought TV’s ‘Marshal Matt Dillon’ was the first didn’t you?) We feature tales and history of the Old West.

EXPLORE FURTHER
Travel, Road Trips, Destinations, Tips
Food, recipes, restaurants, cooking

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

President Trump’s Message to America About Piers Morgan’s Deceptive Ad

Mainstream fake news is at it again against President Donald J. Trump, but this time it has royally backfired against their propaganda.

The screaming mockingbird media headlines boomerang back at them today as Trump made certain a separate camera filmed an interview to be shown on Fox Nation. In a 30-second ad, the media have dishonestly portrayed Trump as walking out of the room angrily.

Fake News at it Again:

Dishonest headlines were blasted virally
Bottom of the barrel news
Rolling Stone actually changed their tune from this…
…to this belligerent propaganda after they were caught lying again.
Totally fake!

Trump tore up TalkTV host Piers Morgan’s lies in a statement released Wednesday evening in connection to a “deceptively edited” trailer for “Piers Morgan Uncensored” that falsely portrayed him as being in a rage and storming out of an interview set to debut on Fox Nation on April 25.

Piers Morgan, like the rest of the Fake News Media, attempted to unlawfully and deceptively edit his long and tedious interview with me. He wanted to make it look like I walked out on the interview when my time limit of 20 minutes went over by an hour.

The good news is that the interview was taped by us as a means of keeping him honest. The interview was actually very strong on the 2020 Election Fraud, with me calling him “a fool” if he truly believed those results. The evidence is massive and irrefutable (check out Truth the Vote and the Dinesh D’Souza documentary, which will all be coming out soon).

For those who want to make Piers look bad, compare his video promo and how it was doctored to the real thing. Hopefully they will now be doing some big changes to their final product. It just shows, however, what I have to deal with in the Fake News Media. He went out of his way to deceptively edit an interview and got caught. That is a big story, isn’t it?

After being caught, many media outlets suddenly changed their headlines and reports using words like “apparently,” “may have,” “looked like,” etc. in an attempt to soften their dishonesty.

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Las Vegas Comic-Magician Amazing Jonathan Dead at 63

The bizzare and original comic-magician Amazing Johnathan died at his home in Las Vegas on Tuesday, 2-22-22.

Johnathan (AJ) whose legal name was Johnathan Szeles, passed away about 11:30 p.m. with his wife, the sideshow stunt artist Anastasia Synn, by his side.

Although I enjoyed his performances four times over the years at the Golden Nugget and Sahara, it was after a show at the Koval Theater at Miracle Mile Shops in 2007, I was able to interview him and meet his then sidekick, the kooky Psychic Tanya, Penny Wiggins.

Jack Dennis with the Amazing Johnathan and Psychic Tanya, Las Vegas, 2007.

“These shows take the breath out of me,” AJ, obviously tired, wisecracked as he apologized for cutting my time short “Maybe I will need to renegotiate my contract to have more time off.”

Little did he know at the time a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy was in his future. First diagnosed in 2009, as his heart muscle weakened and became more degenerative, doctors told AJ that he only had a year to live. In November 2014, he told an audience at an ENTSpeaks event at Inspire Theater in downtown Las Vegas the sobering news.

He stunned the crowd by stating, “The greatest time of my life was spent here. I made millions of dollars, I have two beautiful houses, and everything came crashing … down. And I was told I have a year to live.”

A single laugh came from the crowd, and A.J. said, “It’s not a joke…So. Um … I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry, but, it’s very scary,” his voice quivered. “My heart is failing. My wife says it failed long ago. But it is actually failing, for real.”

“The last thing I said to him was, ‘I love you, honey, I’ll be with you when you get up from your nap,’ ” his wife Anastasia Synn said almost midnight Tuesday night. “We were feeding him oranges and strawberries. He was so peaceful. He said, ‘Yay!’ He had the most pure and sweetest look on his face.”

Johnathan did not wake up from that nap.

“For the next 36 hours, he was unresponsive,” Synn said. “We spent that time snuggling with him.”

The Las Vegas Journal-Review reported “Synn, Magic Castle official and longtime family friend Erika Larsen, and caregiver Stephanie Castellone of the BurlyCares nonprofit medical assistance organization, were with him at the end. Castellone is herself a performance artist, a contortionist, and was in A.J. and Synn’s wedding in June 2014.”

Anastasia and Johnathan

“I did my best to keep his medicine in his system, clean his foot wounds, do everything a nurse would do and I’m not a nurse. But I loved him so much,” Synn said. “He wanted to pass at home. For the past six months I was begging him to go the hospital, but he absolutely hated going there.”

Born in Detroit on Sept. 9, 1958, Johnathan act was in line with my wicked sense of humor. Before many of his shows a camera would focus on audience members projecting putdowns, bizzare accusations and sick captions. These were definitely adults only performances.

AJ was hands on, inviting unsuspecting members of the audience on stage for saucy humor. If an innocent onlooker was reluctant, he would often go into the audience for a one-on-one routine. I’ve seen him appear to magically swallow his eyeball, skewer his tongue with a spike and take a swig of Windex.

Since the mid-1980s, AJ appeared on “Late Night With David Letterman” and Fox’s “Comic Strip Live.” He was extremely popular on Comedy Central and hosted his own variety specials.

In January 2016, he reunited for a final time with Wiggins, who played Psychic Tanya for more than 15 years, to host a midnight variety performance at Baobab Stage at Town Square.

AJ with Wiggins

At the top of the show, Wiggins greeted A.J. with a line he’d actually written, “Weren’t you supposed to be dead two years ago?”

Wiggins, an outstanding comic actress in her own right, cried late Tuesday remembering Johnathan as “the nicest man and one of the funniest people I knew.”

Mac King, currently performing at Excalibur and currently the longest-running headliner on the Strip, posted, “So sad to lose my friend Johnathan, absolutely one of the funniest guys in the world. Thanksgiving will never be the same.” A.J. was a frequent guest at King’s holiday party.

Johnathan is survived by his sisters, Nancy Rogers and Gail McGuire, and his first wife, Sandra Bowing. A.J. had been saddened over the recent death of his mother, Doreen Szeles.

“He was so loved,” his wife said. “I want him to have the biggest celebration, with everyone who loved him tell the stories of the pranks he played on people. There was nobody else like him.”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Mexican Drug Gangs Are ‘Laughing at Americans’ Under Biden

Why The Price We Pay For Avocados & Other Produce Is Forced By Drug Cartels

A special report by Jack Dennis

During the Obama presidency, I was often reporting about the problems of illegal immigration and drug smuggling on the Texas-Mexico border. One of the most revealing interviews was with a man who had escaped cartel torture and death and was working at a downtown San Antonio restaurant.

“La Cota”

I learned avocados and lime costs imported into the U.S. from Mexico were subject to a drug cartel tax, or “la cota.” Carlos, himself a former cartel member, revealed in 2011, provided I did not reveal his real name.

The then 28-year-old Mexican national moved to the San Antonio area to escape cartel torture, death and “before they killed the only family I have left.”

“I started out picking, ‘quadrillero.’ Later, I was being forced to turn over everything–my home–my family. They gave me a choice of plata o plomo, silver or lead,” he gestured with his finger touching his temple like a gun.”

“They charge those farmers and packers ‘la cota’ for each truck they send out,” Carlos explained. “And before the trucks make it to the distribution, they might get stopped three or four times for la cota.”

“Those rich drug traffickers bought out all or most of the avocado plantations, especially in Michoacán (state) where most of them are grown,” he said. “They make money many ways–selling and taxing, and laundering money too.”

Carlos described what happens to anyone that doesn’t pay the tax.

“They call it Mexican insurance,” he said. “They tell you they know who your wife is, or your mother, or your daughters and you better pay or we will rape and kill them.”

“They pay the cartels what they want, like a toll road,” Carlos observed. “We charged about 600 or 700 pesos for each truck about five years ago, but I don’t know any more what it is. It’s a common thing.”

“Americans think the drug gangs just make their money from the drugs, but they make money off of your food and imports that come from Mexico too,” claimed Carlos.

“Sometimes those terminals in Mexico and even here in Texas wait for the trucks to get there, but if the drug gangs don’t get paid, those trucks will not get there,” Carlos said. “You ask any of them (distributors or terminals) and they will tell you this is more common than people think.”

“Halcones”

Carlos said the distribution companies have attempted to change their routes to prevent stolen equipment and kidnapping, “but halcones (or mules, a Mexican term for lookouts) are always watching.”

“They even use GPS (and other tracking technology) to know where the trucks are all the time,” Carlos elaborated. “Hell, they have hundreds of halcones here in Texas watching (Highways 181, 37, 35, 90, and 16 at the truck stops and gas stations coming into San Antonio all the time so they know where their drug shipments are and can tell them if the police or immigration is nearby.”

“…laughing at the Americans…”

Carlos shook his head about what he sees on television news and from state congressmen and some mayors. sai

“That’s politician talk” and the reality is “those gangs are laughing at the Americans because you don’t think there is a war on you.”

“They recruit your kids.”

“They recruit your kids in the schools, they take over your ranches, they even make your food costs go up,” Carlos was serious. “They are buying up your policemen, your businesses, and laugh that you let it happen.”

Laredo border.

Before the Trump administration began construction on Border Wall, almost two-thirds of criminal activity in Texas was gang related and Mexican cartels were escalating their recruitment of U.S. school-age children.

“Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment,” an independent study by former military generals Barry McCaffrey and Major-General Robert Scales noted, “They want these kids to do the dirty work.”

“They are sacrificial,” Carlos explained. “They pay them $500 or $1000 to cross the border into Texas because they know the patrol doesn’t think American kids are going to smuggle that much drugs in, but with that kind of money, and excitement, they can find students willing to do it.”

“When the other kids see someone driving a car and spending money and buying their girlfriends jewelry and clothes, it’s not hard to recruit others,” Carlos said.

In just 18 months, six of seven cartels established headquarters in Texas cities, according to testimony form the Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McGraw.

At least 22 murders, 24 assaults, 15 shootings and five kidnappings were traced to cartel activities on the Texas side of the border during that period.

Carlos says “these cartels are very sophisticated and are run like a military or a business.”

“They provide ‘insurance’ to the farmers,” Carlos outlined. “If the farmers continue to harvest and provide marijuana for a very cheap price, then their wives and children will continue to live. That is Mexican cartel ‘insurance.’”

“They pay a few dollars for a pound of marijuana,” said Carlos. “They have up to six levels of people on their payroll who make sure it gets into the U.S. cities because they can sell it in San Antonio or Houston for like $250 or $300 a pound, but in New York or Chicago, it might be $1500 or $1600, and that’s a big profit that no one is going to stop as long as the U.S. allows them to keep on going.”

The generals’ report stated the cartels objectives “are relying increasingly on organized gangs to provide expendable and unaccountable manpower to do their dirty work.”

Smuggling people.

“These gangs are recruited on the streets of Texas cities and inside Texas prisons by top-tier gangs who work in conjunction with the cartels,” the report continued.

During the Obama presidency, Department of Public Safety reports showed that in 2010, the Texas prison gangs associated with the Mexican cartels increased from four to 12.

When Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples released the report, it revealed these cartels were building a “sanitary zone” about one county deep within the U.S. along the Texas border. The plan was use this zone to escape Mexican law enforcement and provide an area of safe movement for drug smugglers and human traffickers.

Texas was the “tactical close combat zone and frontline in this conflict. Texans have been assaulted by cross-border gangs and narco-terrorist activities.”

“Washington keeps telling us our border is more secure than ever, but this detailed military assessment, by two of America’s top generals, offers proof to the contrary,” Commissioner Staples said about the Obama administration. “It’s time to shed the cloak of denial and protect our citizens and national security.”

“It’s time for Washington to uphold its constitutional duty to protect Americans on their home soil,” Staples added.

The report offered a military perspective on how to best use “strategic, operational and tactical measures to secure the increasingly hostile border regions” on the border.

“Under the Biden Administration, with Barack Obama’s instructions, the border crisis has returned with a vengeance,” said Eduardo Portales, a lifelong farmer located between Harlingen and McAllen, Texas. “My relatives and friends have resorted to banding together to keep a 24 hour watch on our property because of the increased break-ins, theft and crime this past year. I blame Obama and Biden. No wonder so many in the (Rio Grande Valley) voted for Trump.”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Murder at Gunter Hotel Room 636

In February of 1965, San Antonio’s largest unsolved mystery would take place at The Gunter Hotel in downtown in East Houston Street. Each evening, when my father returned home from his shift as a city police officer, he would brief our family on the day’s investigation status.

Albert Knox checked into the historical Gunter on February 6th. He was a blond man, said to be quite handsome. A charmer, really.

According to some, Knox was coming off a drinking binge. According to others, Knox was still in the thick of that partying run, content to thrive on the chaos until he sobered up and went back home to his parent’s house.

For two days, guests of The Gunter saw Knox come and go with a tall woman. The inquisitive gazes that followed the couple labeled the woman as a call girl–a prostitute– though no one will ever know for certain that she was. And so the party raged on.

On February 8th, one of the hotel’s housekeepers was bringing some items to Knox’s hotel room: Room 636.

Maria Luisa Guerra noted the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, but paid it no attention. Most people tended to forget to take it down, even just before they were ready to be checked out of the hotel.

Guerra pushed open the door, only to stop dead in her tracks.

Standing at the foot of the bed, Knox stood with a bloody bundle in his arms. Blood splattered practically every inch of the guest room, like a mosaic of death that needed no explanation.

In the face of Guerra’s horrified expression, Knox lifted one finger up to his mouth. “Shhh.”

The housekeeper’s mouth parted on a scream, and Knox used that moment to dash past her and out of the room. It took forty minutes for Maria Luisa Guerra’s report to make it to management. By that time, Albert Knox had disappeared.

The evidence remaining in Room 636 was clear: somebody had died…and it was brutal.

In a 1976 interview about the crime, I interviewed my father for an article about the murder. I was writing for the University Star as student reporter at Texas State University (in the 1970’s, it was known as Southwest Texas University).

Dad, or Detective Walter “Corky” Dennis, passed away in 2011, but I will never forget his words.

“It was the bloodiest place I had ever seen up until then. The bathroom was especially bad and just sticky with blood all over the place. We [he and the other detectives] noticed the bathtub had a red ring around it like it had been drained of blood.”

(Some wonder if, after murdering the woman with his .22 caliber-weapon, Knox then butchered the body and flushed her down the toilet and bathtub).

The San Antonio police suspected dismemberment, and one of the witnesses description only further pushed this idea.

The day before the murder, Knox had visited the local Sears Department Store on Romaine Plaza in search of a meat grinder. When the Sears employee informed him that they didn’t have the larger size that Knox wanted, the employee offered to order one from the warehouse. For Knox, however, that would take much too long. He stormed off in a huff.

Little evidence was found inside the room. A lipstick-smeared cigarette, brown paper bags, and luggage from the San Antonio Trunk & Gift Company. The purchase for the suitcase had been made by a check from John J. McCarthy . . . who happened to be the stepfather of thirty-seven-year old Walter Emerick.

Emerick had disappeared on one of his “drinking bents” at the end of January and had stolen his parent’s checks and some of their items.

Police scoured the city for the woman’s body, so sure were they that someone had been murdered. They checked construction sites, and even sections of streets where cement was being laid down.

On February 9th, a blond man walked into The St. Anthony Hotel, just one block away from The Gunter. He came with no luggage. And when he requested to book a room, he made it known that he wanted Room 636. That particular room was not available, and after some arguing, he settled for Room 536. He checked in under the name Roger Ashley.

But the man had aroused the suspicions of the front desk attendants, and after tipping the San Antonio Police that the murderer might have just checked in to their hotel, the detectives rushed over.

They hurried up to Room 536. Banging on the door, the police tried to apprehend Emerick for the crimes. But as they struggled to open the door, they heard the single, hollow sound of a gun shot.

Walter Emerick had killed himself, and taken whatever information he had with him to the grave.

It’s now over fifty-five years that have passed since those fateful nights.  The woman’s identity has never been discovered and no missing reports have ever surfaced. About 20 years ago, however, the formal general manager of The Gunter received an envelope with no return address. It was directed to “The Gunter” (not the Sheraton Gunter as it is identified now) and the zip code dated to 1965. Inside the envelope was an old room key, the one for Room 636, and was the kind used during that period.

A bit of folklore to add to an already strange story? No one is quite certain, but many people have witnessed the murder replay in the years since then, as though the imprint of that devastating death has no choice but to reenact the scene over and over again.

Staff and guests both have reported such paranormal phenomena–one guest even witnessed seeing a ghostly woman who held her hands out and stared at the guest with a gaze that appeared almost soulless.

When I lived across the street above the Majestic Theater from 2007-2011, I would take guests to the hotel for sightseeing. In one case a clairvoyant from Florida wanted to explore the murder room. What she didn’t know was that room 636 today is not the same one it was in 1965. The original room has been remodeled and is now two separate suits. Current 636 is around the corner at the end of the hallway.

As we passed the murder location, she suddenly said “STOP!”

The lady placed her hand on the wall exactly where the doorway was in 1965.

Over the years, I have interviewed police officers, detectives, witnesses and hotel staff who were involved during the murder. Some of the most interesting people I’ve met were actual guests (that had no clue there was ever a murder there) who have experienced strange occurrences: screaming, crying, furniture movement, loud walking on the carpet floor and even ghostly images.

Today, the Gunter is a must see stop during guided downtown ghost tours that begin at the nearby Alamo.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

The Most Fundamental Lesson Good Writers and Bloggers Must Know

It was fun interviewing and meeting performers (Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Clint Eastwood, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, and Jackson Browne, to name a few).

In journalism school at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) University, I started out as University Star Fine Arts Assistant Editor my sophomore year.

Especially rewarding were lessons I took away from writing reviews of concerts, theatrical performing arts, books and art. Committed to learning all I could to hone writing skills, I paid particular attention to Journalism and English professors who endured my thirst for knowledge in and out of class.

One of the more prominent lessons was the “Three Act Narrative.” Today, we have the Internet, but I wouldn’t trade the value of learning from brilliant teachers and good ol’ trial and error.

In screenplay writing, I’ve learned movie plots go by a formula called “The Hero’s Journey.” However, in practically every story you’ve ever read or seen has more in common than you think.

What if I said that a bloodcurdling horror movie with zombies and a Shakespeare play has the same building blocks? Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? But it won’t be once you understand what narrative structure is.

Plot vs Narrative

You may have heard of the word plot and the word narrative, but they are not one and the same.

🔹‘Plot’ refers to the summation of events in any given story.

🔹 ‘Narrative’ refers to the way the plot is structured and presented to the reader.

Detective novels involve the investigation recounting what actually happened in the mystery. While the plot would involve these details regardless of where they appear in the text, the narrative offers the reader clues along the way and saves the big reveal for the end.

By cursory glance, the structure may seem inconsequential. But in truth, the narrative is what makes every story satisfying.

As readers, we love to piece together the details of any story ourselves before its revealed at the end. We also love when the writer peppers foreshadowing throughout the novel, as it makes the ending that much more satisfying. Even twist endings make sense in some way. But why is that?

This is because of a concept most writers use called the three-act structure. The concept is simple; your story can be divided into three, clearly defined or not, acts, each serving a different purpose. At its simplest, a story must have a beginning, middle and end. But how the writer structures these three has a large impact on how the story itself is read.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theater

Act I: The first act has all to do with the setup. Also known as the expository act, this part of the story establishes everything we, the reader, need to know.

Where is this story set? If it’s not a real-world setting, what are the rules by which the universe operates? Who is our main character? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What is the main conflict our hero must overcome? These are all questions the first act must answer.

The first act also features an ‘inciting incident’ that sets the story in motion and slowly builds towards a major plot point.

Act II: The second act starts right after the first major ‘incident’ in a novel. In The Wizard of Oz, this would be when Dorothy reaches Munchin Land for example, and the first major plot point was Glenna the Good Witch telling her to “follow the Yellow Brick Road.”

The second act’s role is to build towards the big climax by adding additional details that will become relevant later and include a second major plot point. Some novels may even feature a ‘midpoint’ – this is where the protagonist is at their lowest or the farthest from achieving their goals.

Act III: The third act packs the biggest punch of all – the climax. But before the climax, there must be something called a pre-climax. This is the part where the protagonist is working towards the climax in which they face their primary conflict head-on.

In The Wizard of Oz, this would be the lessons learned along the way with Scarecrow, Tinman and the Cowardly Lion to be overcomed before Dorothy confronts the Great and Powerful Wizard.

The third act is usually the shortest act in any novel because it moves so fast. Following the climax, the novel quickly offers a resolution that wraps everything up.

Freytag’s Pyramid

The 19th-century German writer Gustav Freytag adapted the three-act structure into what is now known as Freytag’s pyramid.

According to Freytag:

🔹‘Rising action’ is where the stakes are continuously raised and the key to building a satisfying climax.

🔹‘Falling action’ is when the big conflict is conquered and the story either winds down for a resolution or resets for a sequel, as is the case with most children’s books.

The name ‘three act structure’ comes from the fact that most dramas, especially dramas in ancient Greece as well as most of Shakespeare’s play years later, followed the three-act structure almost religiously.

Aristotle, in his seminal work ‘poetics’, where he explains the mechanics of what makes a good story, explains the important way to keep a story moving is its “cause and effect beats”. Every scene in a story must feed into the scene that happens next and not seem like standalone episodes.

The three-act structure is especially important in cinema, which must fit a remarkable amount of plot points, rising action and character growth into two hours or so.

Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay writers rely on the three-act structure to help them pace their movie in a way that keeps the audience engaged as well. The three-act structure really took off in the film industry after Syd Field’s pioneering book ‘Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. This book has served as a reference for some giants in the industry like James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood and in writing their own movies too.

The three-act structure has become so prevalent that it has also influenced the way TV shows are written. You may have noticed that when your favorite television show ends on a cliffhanger, the next season quickly resolves the cliffhanger so it can move on to building up the story again.

A narrative that is just as intense throughout the story with no build rarely has a satisfying ending. So what these TV show creators are doing is something like a soft reset. They are slowly building conflict again so that the season finale can be the most exciting point in the season.

Once you realize the basics of the three-act structure, it’s not that hard to spot. Whether it’s in books, movies, or TV shows, the three-act structure is everywhere.

A common topic of discussion in our family after watching a movie or seeing a play include questions like Where did the writers go wrong? Was there not enough exposition? Was there too much exposition? Did they drag out the middle?

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Queen: Remembering Freddie Mercury 30 Years After His Death

“It would be so boring to be 70. I’ve lived a full life and if I’m dead tomorrow, I don’t give a damn,” said Freddie Mercury, perfectly summing up his life – and famous attitude.

Mercury died from complications of AIDS at age 45 on November 23, 1991, just one day after announcing to the world that he’d been diagnosed with the disease.

Widely regarded as one of the all-time great rock singers and frontmen, Freddie used his powerful vocals, flamboyant persona and dynamic performing style to help Queen become among the most popular and successful bands in the world.

As an aspiring journalist, I met the flamboyant Freddie on March 20, 1974 backstage at the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas during their Sheer Heart Attack tour in the United States.

Leading Queen’s performance onstage, was Al Stewart and a group called Brownsville Station. Freddie was upbeat, wearing a Fedora type hat with red and white foot long feather plumes poking out. The autograph I acquired from him remains promently placed in a large glass frame in our home.

I recall him saying he was happy to be in Texas, as they had played in New Orleans and Miami just days before. Dallas would be their next stop after San Antonio.

They blew the Alamo City crowd away. Even today, 47 years later, I will run across someone who was at that concert who will say “That blew my mind,” or “Could you believe them? How did so much music come from basically three players?”

While Freddie played some piano and tambourine, he was backed by the original members Brian May (electric guitar, backing vocals, banjo),
Roger Taylor (drums, backing vocals),
John Deacon (bass guitar, triangle)

The once-shy boy, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946, went on to become one of the world’s most eccentric frontmen. Mercury’s range – both vocally and in terms of his character remainslegendary. B2018’s hit biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

A legendary songwriter, music producer, and all-around theatrical entertainer, Mercury was one of the 20th century’s best-known lead signers, who sang for Queen from 1970 until his death. 

Freddie also co-wrote Queen’s classic 1981 collaboration with David Bowie, “Under Pressure.” Mercury’s performance with Queen at London’s Wembley Stadium at the 1985 Live Aid festival is considered one of the highlights of that historic event.

Mercury also released a pair of solo albums during the 1980s.

Following Freddie’s death, May, Taylor and Queen manager Jim Beach co-founded the Mercury Phoenix Trust in his honor. The charity supports AIDS-related causes.

Mercury was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Queen in 2001. His legacy continues to make its mark on the rock and pop world.

Click For Queen Video

Known for challenging the parameters of pop and rock, Mercury was willing to take any musical risk to prevent him from being mainstream. He unapologetically pushed artistic boundaries and was the life of all of the band’s live performances, ensuring no two shows were the same.

Electric and eccentric, he worked across a range of genres, but the songs were always poetic and heartfelt, filled with melodies you wanted to hum and witty metaphors you couldn’t help but remember. 

From perhaps his most famous song, Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975, through to We Are the Champions in 1977 and then Crazy Little Thing Called Love in 1979, which pays homage to Elvis Presley’s rockabilly styling, Mercury took music to bold new heights. 

A six-minute-long banquet, Bohemian Rhapsody involved a lavish mixture of production, vocal layers and choral overdubs. Described by Mercury as “mock opera”, it topped the charts for weeks. And rightfully so.

Mercury possessed a voice so powerful and expressive it would be hard not to want to listen to him sing. His excellent pitch and incredible vocal control, array of note choices, dynamics, tones and vocal effects were astounding.

Queen’s live performances were iconic, with one of their greatest generally acknowledged as being their Live Aid Concert at London’s Wembley Stadium in July 1985. Mercury was phenomenal on stage, controlling the entire crowd of 72,000, who were all clapping along to the rhythm of We Will Rock You. Their set was electrifying. 

Click for Queen Video 2

Years of touring had given him “an arsenal of stagecraft prowess, strutting, holding poses, dressed in his glam-rock style” and the audience adored his flamboyance. 

Thirty years later, Mercury continues to influence many musicians, such as 12-time Grammy award winner Lady Gaga, who has said the inspiration for her stage name came from the Queen song  Radio GaGa. In the past decade, Queen’s Somebody to Love was used in film soundtracks for Happy Feeet (2006) and Ella Enchanted (2004).

Mercury will always be remembered as the powerful songwriter with the magnetic stage presence who was taken far too soon. But his legacy, of course, will continue to live on. 

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey