By Ray Knapp
Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott and Batman?
It was sad to hear of the passing of Adam West who had the starring role as Batman and saved Gotham City from any number of heinous villains over the years. You know you’re getting old when Batman dies before you – and you saw his first movie and/or TV show.
I thought it was pure genius when I first saw Batman on TV with the words, “Biff, Pow, Ouch, Oww, Crunch, etc.” shown on the screen like words in a comic book. It makes you realize that all things come to an end when your hero dies. Even the timeless Hollywood heroes like John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Adam West (Batman) and Christopher Reeve (Superman,) have all transitioned to the great-beyond. But things happen that way if you live long enough.
Being a senior citizen has it draw backs. For instance, my daughter-in-law, Joan, was (“So excited!”) as they like to say on Facebook. She had tickets to a Bob Seger concert. I said I would like to go except I didn’t know who he was. Her friends thought I must be joking, “Everyone has heard of Bob Seger,” they replied. Yep, I’m getting old; I had no clue if he was a stand-up comic, or a musician. It’s good to have the internet to find out who’s who and what they do. I guess Joan’s friends thought I had just crawled out from under a rock. Actually, people that prefer Beethoven and other classical genres have never heard of him either. – So there, you Bob Seger fans!
Music in general is not my forte as I’m tone deaf and have a hard time carrying any tune. There’s some stuff I like, such as Marty Robbin’s Gunfighter Ballads (1959); Boy from New York City (1964) – don’t know who sang it. But it starts out, “Ooh wah, ooh wah cool, cool kitty tell us about the boy from New York City. It turns out Kitty really liked the guy because he had the finest penthouse in town and kept his pockets full of spending loot. Then there’s Laura’s Song from the movie, Doctor Chivago. I also like a few country singers, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Willy Nelson, also a few local bands that play mainly blue grass and gospel, other than that, you can keep your Rap, Heavy Metal, Goth, Punk, and other unintelligible stuff that is supposed to pass for music.
Of course there’s some gospel music and songs that catches everyone’s attention: Amazing Grace; Handles Messiah, and The Battle Hymn of the Republic to name a few of the most popular, and among my favorite gospel songs. Speaking of gospel songs, a lot of them could be used for a sermon as there is something a lot of people don’t know about them. Or at least I didn’t know during my first half century is a majority of the songs are from, or inspired straight from the Bible. “The Old Rugged Cross,” for example, was inspired from Philippians 2:8, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; Amazing Grace, while written by the former Capitan of a slave ship, John Newton in 1792, was inspired by John 9:25 which reads, ”One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Most Hymnals have this information right under the song’s title, or just following the end of the hymn.
Music aside, movie actors and entertainers have always held a certain fascination for some. My mother used to talk about old movie stars that I have never seen on the silver screen, Douglas Fairbanks for instance, who played the first ‘Zorro.’ Then there was the greatest lover of all time, Rudolph Valentino; Clara Bow – the “It” girl, Charles Chaplin, and other silent screen actors with as much enthusiasm as Joan mentioning her ticket to see Bob Seger. I guess actors and entertainers of all genres; even musicians play a role in all our lives. If not our hero, or alter ego, they at least take us into another dimension where we can forget our cares for a while.