Monday, November 28, 2011

Another beauty I want to write about here is Natalie Wood.  Tomorrow, Nov. 29, is the 30th anniversary of her death by... misadventure?  Actually, I believe she was murdered.  There was a huge fight between Natalie and her husband Robert Wagner.  Davern, the skipper on their yacht, said he never saw them fight like this.  They were in their bedroom and it sounded like they were throwing things around.  Everyone on the yacht was drunk.  Natalie had been drinking the whole day.  She also had Darvon, a pain narcotic, in her system.  Robert Wagner was plasterred.  Next, the skipper saw "R.J," and Natalie outside on the deck.  Next, he saw Natalie with her coat on.  Then, Wagner came inside and Natalie wasn't out there anymore.  Wagner said to the skipper, "I've been trying to find Natalie for a half hour.  She must have taken the dinghy and gone ashore.

This was ludicrous.  Natalie couldn't swim and feared the water.  Also the Dinghy was tied to the external wall  of the yacht.  Someone, 5'1 and weighing 90 lbs, would have a struggle to get it down, especially when drunk and angry.  The skipper suggested they turn on a large exterior light and look for her, but Wagner said no.  The skipper suggested, "We have to call for help."  RJ said no.  It wouldn't look good for his image.  And besides she'll learn a lesson."  The 2 men kept drinking.  Around 5 am, Wagner called for help and when the first help got there Wagner said, "We didn't call for help earlier because she was probably on another boat fooling around.  That's the type of girl she is."

Natalie Wood was found floating near shore in her red down coat, dead from hypothermia and drowning.  The dinghy was close by.  The ignition was turned to off.  She never made it into the dinghy.  The coat was allowing her to float, but it was preventing her from getting into the dinghy.  The authorities found fingernail impressions from Natalie holding onto the dinghy for dear life.

Robert Wagner was never charged.  The skipper relied on Wagner for his keep.  The full story didn't come out then.  But it's coming out in a new investigation.  The authorities have reopened the case.  They say Wagner isn't a suspect.  Wagner already has his lawyers.

After that experience, I would never touch another sip of alcohol for the rest of my life.  But Wagner went on drinking.  Let's see what happens.  RJ is 81 now.  He's had 30 years to think about that night.  He's felt safe.  I hope the courts do the right thing.

This is the 48th Anniversary of the death of Karyn Kupcinet.  She was an actress in Hollywood the last 3 years of her life.  Her death has never been solved.  She laid dead on the sofa in her apartment where she just moved for 3 days.  It is a long story and this is just part of it.  She started acting on stage in Chicago when she was 13.  She studied for a time with Lee Strasberg at his Actor's Studio.

This girl had no luck whatsoever.  She was short and was big boned like her father.  She had her father's facial features.  His name was Irv Kupcinet.  He was the most well-liked man in Chicago.  Everyone knew Kup.  He worked as a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and hosted his own late night talk show once a week, until talk ran out.  Later he would make his show 90 minutes and towards the end it went 1 hour long.  Sometimes I was able to get the show on TV in NJ.  I didn't know about the tragedy then.  When Karyn died 1500 mourners went to the funeral.  Irv had a lot of pull.  But it did not help his daughter.

Karyn was 22 years old when she passed.  She was found nude on her sofa.  As time has passed, there's a general notion that she may have committed suicide.  But they say women who commit suicide are not found in the nude.  A bathrobe laid on another chair.

She was discovered on Nov. 30, 1963 by her actor friend, Mark Goddard, who later rose to fame on Lost in Space.  Lost in space would make a great description of Karyn's life, especially her last year.  Karyn's mother had Karyn memorizing lines before she could read, the story goes.  Essee Kupcinet gave Karyn her first diet pills.  Essee would get mad if Karyn put on weight, according to their housekeeper, who'd been with them for decades.  But Karyn couldn't help it; she was big-boned to begin with.  It became an obsession to her.  Everyday she would start in he diary/address book what she weighed that morning.  When she spoke to reporters she'd tell them her diet woes.  Big-boned people always look thicker and for them to lose weight or keep weight off is an unhealthy thing to do.  She wanted people to see how thin she was, and for that in her last year she was taking methamphetamine, a drug called Desoxyn.  When the police showed up, they found pill bottles in her medicine chest.  One she had refilled 2 days before her death, on the National Day of Mourning for President Kennedy.  The bottle said it contained 100 pills.  It was empty.  Where did they go?

The apartment looked ransacked, but nothing was missing  --- except for the 100 pills.  Her furs were there, her jewelry.  She was buried in the white gown she'd worn as a Hollywood Debutante. 

The coroner concluded she was strangled because her hyoid bone was fractured.  But the coroner, named Kade, was often drunk (though his son denies it).  He was fired when 2 women were exhumed to see what they'd died from.  Neither woman had been strangled.  He had a fetish for strangled women.  The case went to court.  He had joked once that "At least I didn't break the hyoid bone on that one."  Whose hyoid bone was he speaking of?  This had to have gotten back to Irv Kupcinet.  You could not go near him, though and say maybe she committted suicide.  This would put him in a homicidal rage.

Obviously, this is a case I've followed for 32 years.  There is much more to this story and when I have time I'll share it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Joe Frazier died yesterday of liver cancer.  It was his generation of boxers that I know best.  Muhammed Ali stated what a good boxer Frazier was and that they were friends.  But friends of Frazier said he hated Ali till the end.  Which I think is sad.

I used to watch boxing.  Of course, Cassius Clay, later Muhammed Ali.  The newspapers I read today kept comparing Ali to Frazier and Ali came out on top.  Frazier had a street mentality.  He was darker than Ali.  And it's true that Ali has Irish blood in him.

Generations back, an Irish slave-owner had sex with one of Muhammed's ancesters.  His mother was light skinned.  But it was Frazier who died, yet Ali gets all the attention as usual.  Ali didn't care that he wasn't as black as Frazier, but to Frazier it meant everything.  Muhammed Ali's used to taunt him on the Mike Douglas Show and Howard Cosell.  On Mike Douglas, Ali would call Frazier "boy."  Frazier would get up and say, "Don't call me boy."  And Ali would cower in his chair and say, "I said Roy."  It was funny as hell.

Another boxer I admired was the Bayonne Bleeder, Chuck Wepner from NJ.  He went 15 rounds with Ali.  He didn't win but to me that was a major accomplishment.

A friend and I went to a closed circuit showing of Ali's fight with George Foreman.  Ali went on shows and told the audience how the fight was going to take place.  He was going to allow Foreman to punch him while he covered himself up with his mitts.  He called it "The Rope a Dope."  He said that by the 8th round Foreman would be punched out and then Ali would knock him out.  It happened exactly the way Ali predicted.

I had a Great-Uncle named Jackie Farrell who was a PR man for Jack Dempsey and later for the Yankees.  When asked about the upcoming fight with Frazier, my uncle said, "To me they're both bums.  And neither one of them could step in a ring with Dempsey."

I met Joyce Carol Oates at a book signing.  She had earlier written a book about boxing.  We had a nice conversation about it.

Frazier is dead yet the publicity still swirls around Muhammed Ali, who to me is the best boxer ever.  Ali suffers from Parkinsons, which might have stemmed from a fight with Frazier.  It was a God awful punch.  Ali's head almost spun.  Was this the unfortunate happenstance that brought on the Parkinsons?

It's still all about Ali, one of the best athletes we've ever had.  Sharp-witted and lovable.  Smart as a whip.  And still so pretty.

                                                             Foreman, Frazier and Ali

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's Next for Howewives of NJ?

I have been distracted of late and that's why I haven't been too active on
this website.  I want to respond to the Housewives of NJ's Reunion Show.  It's obvious to me that Andy Cohen hates Teresa.  Hates!  He zoomed in
on her for the most part during the 2 hour show.  Is it because her
husband used a gay slur and Andy's gay?  Or she made a crack about her Jewish friends telling her to leave her husband?  Teresa couldn't conceive of it.  That says a lot about her.  And Teresa's legal problems and money problems  -- stay out of it.  It seemed like a personal vendetta.  Andy
Cohen is Jewish.

So I saw another side of him.  Usually he's cute, upbeat, funny.  He has
big teeth, a big smile and is cock-eyed but looks good like that.

Now I want to address Caroline Manzo.  Who the hell is she to take such
an attitude to Teresa?  She thought it was a disgrace that Gia sang a song
re all the commotion going on between family members.  So what? 
When Teresa was flipping the table, Caroline was hysterically laughing.  She always found Teresa's company entertaining.  Now she says she's
been trying to get her out of her life for 2 years.

She was no friend to Teresa.  Everyone has trouble in their family.  Stay
out of it.  Possibly Teresa chasing Danielle through a country club,
pushing people and breaking glass and not caring, began to turn her off.  Teresa's language could be rough too.  And husband Joe with his guilt
about not paying his partner for half of the business.  Caroline sure
knows how to look down at people.  I think Teresa is a great mother. 
She loves her husband and her 4 daughters.  Caroline and Teresa went on trips together!

So now Caroline's friends with Teresa's in-laws and cousins but not
Teresa.  (I've noticed that Teresa gets rambunctious after a few drinks.) 

I don't know what happened with Jacqueline.  She's been going through a
bad time because of her daughter.  I think they should realize that depression is an illness.  So she goes out at night with a friend or two, but sleeps all day.  She can't hold onto a job.  She didn't do well in school.  I think they should back off of her awhile.  It's not like they're economically strapped and need her income.  Back off .  She needs to see a doctor or nurse practitioner who can try anti-depressant medication.  It's hard to forge an identity when you suffer from depression, and often the kid
doesn't let on how deep it is or what caused it.  Maybe she was rejected.  You never know.

I know she treats her mother horribly.  I think this wanting to go to California is a means to get away, escape.  Otherwise, I don't know how to fix a mother and daughter.  And she never does anything to help around
the house.

I must say, with all their money I would have thought they'd have servants.  That's not a criticism just what I thought looking at the size of those houses.  I used to live 15 minutes from Franklin Lakes.

I wonder now if there's going to be another round of The Housewives of NJ.  Jacqueline has quit and I don't think Andy Cohen wants Teresa on anymore.  He just kept bombarding her and I could see his dislike.  That might be it for Franklin Lakes and The Housewives of NJ.