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Chicago Art

For those of you who have wondered where the writer disappeared to, I’ll let you in on the secret. I’ve been drawing.

Like many people in the world of the arts I too enjoy the pleasure of more than one form of expression. Semi-consistently now for the past year I have been putting pen to paper and creating different scenes from Chicago’s present in the form of not words but of sketches.

Perhaps there will come a day when the scene I have recreated will no longer exist. When/if that day comes I will have given the world a slice of history. Since by and large most of my sketches are representations of photographs I’ve taken I already have found that some scenes no longer exist as new buildings have been added that where not there before. So history already has changed.

Please join me on this journey as well.

I can be found on Facebook as

and on Instagram at @Chicago_ sketchbook

Here are just a few examples of what you’ll find there.

I hope to see you there soon.

As a semi-professional drive who makes their living be driving, I’ve noticed a few things. The most obvious is that entirely too many people do not know how to drive properly. They make a lot of mistakes and if yo are not paying attention at all times, you can easily end up in a collision or pile up. To avoid this, I offer a tongue-in-cheek how-to guide for the best ways to crack up. If you follow this advise I promise that sooner or later you will be in an accident but since you wee the one driving in the following ways, you also will be to blame. Have fun in court. Oh, and be sure to employ a crooked lawyer. You’ll need it. Ok, here goes…

On the subject of speed…

  • Remember that speed limits are really just suggestions. If no one else is around feel free to drive as fast as you want. Don’t worry. No one will ever enter from a side street.
  • When you see a red light ahead there is no reason to slow down. The signal knows you are coming and when you get closer to it, it will change for you. So speed towards it.
  • Driving bumper to bumper is advisable at all speeds. So go ahead and fly at someone at high speed. They won’t stop or slow down, ever!
  • Driving at high speeds with your foot on the brake routinely is a positive sign that the car is still on. It’s being courteous to the driver behind and letting them know the car is still in operation.

On the subject of Turning

  • While you might not have known it, Turn Signals actually turn the car, not the steering wheel. That steering wheel story is just a myth.
  • No one but no one is ever supposed to know where their turn is. When you see it, you turn.
  • Always, always switch three lanes at once on the highway. It’s a cardinal rule.
  • Another cardinal rule is that you never pass only one car when you can pass two at once.
  • Naturally if you can cut someone off within a block or two of your turn, you do it. There’s extra points giving if you do it with only half a block left.
  • When you see a cement inter-median and the place you want to be is one the other side, you don’t have to drive to the corner, you simply cross over it. It might be a little bumpy but go ahead and do it.
  • Of course when you see a giant puddle in your lane and you can simply go around it, you don’t. You hydro-plane through it.

In closing…remember this…

  • The feud between Chevy and Ford is real! You will be required to take a side.

  • If the car you drive in is not an American brand it is not a car.

  • Getting tickets are badges of honor.

  • Totaling your car is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s really just being initiated.

Safe Driving!?! Don’t forget if you want to be safe-do the opposite of everything here.

Remember it’s a dangerous world out there in driver-land. Be safe. Follow the rules set down in your real driver’s guide book. You don’t want your car to look like these.



Orville: An Adult Fairytale

Orville wasn’t the smartest. He was the first to admit it. He had made a lot of mistakes, though he would honestly tell you it wasn’t always his fault. His dad was partially to blame. There were a few things his dad never told Orville. Like don’t eat the bar food. Yea, now that would have been good advice. But Dad never told him and now Orville was hooked on the stuff. It was like his own personal drug. Not that Orville was into drugs, mind you. He wasn’t.

It all started one gloriously muggy night. He’d been scouting the area looking for a meal when the hum of the neon light above a bar door caught his attention. The light had that funny eerie glow that he liked and the sound of the humming bulb was like a siren’s song. It beckoned him, called him onward in a way that he couldn’t resist. He would tell you in his own way that that night had been a turning point for him. That summer night would always be with him.

The people outside the bar smoked their cigarettes and laughed obvious to what was going on. They paid little heed to Orville that night. Later, he realized that many of them might not have even noticed he was there. They were so high on alcohol he thought even a flying cow might have escaped them, much less a little brown bat.

Orville happily ate his fill that night of the mosquitoes humming about outside the bar. They tasted oh so good. In fact, they were the best tasting he’d ever had. His stomach that night was very happy and he went to sleep at the crack of dawn with a smile on his little face. He had found a new hunting area and he planned to go back the next night.

All that week Orville returned to The Drinking Shamrock and ate his fill and every morning he returned to his cave happy as a, well happy as a bat. He wanted so desperately to tell his family and friends about his new discovery but he didn’t dare. What if they joined him some night? There wouldn’t be enough mosquitoes for everyone. And while the people were so drunk they didn’t notice him fluttering about above them, he doubted very much that a swarm of bats would be unnoticed. Someone would look up, they’d scream and all the people would run away in terror and then those sweet mosquitoes would disappear forever. He couldn’t let that happen! So, Orville kept quiet.

Then one night something happened. He didn’t understand it and he found himself in a lot of trouble. He’d never had this kind of problem before and to say he was confused would be putting it mildly.

He remembered going to The Drinking Shamrock and eating the mosquitoes as they came off the people standing outside the bar. There was nothing unusual about that. Then he remembered flying away and heading home but the entrance to the cave seemed to have shrunk. He thought it odd at the time but he was so tired he’d decided to investigate it better the next night when he woke up. Only when he woke the next evening he found that he wasn’t in his cave as he’d thought. He didn’t know where he was or even what it was that he was roosting on. It felt squishy and his claws seemed to be stuck in it. He’d never been scared in his life before but he was scared now.

Orville tugged and wiggled this way this way and that until he finally got his claws freed but there was still something stuck between his toes. It was long and soft and skinny and he knew it would be a long time before he got himself free of it. The darn thing tickled too when he moved.

He circled, looking for the entrance to the strange cave he found himself in. Everything he bounced his radar at came jumping at him faster than he could register it. He was lost and confused. Something was very wrong. This new cave was not to his liking. Then he caught a signal and followed it out to what appeared to be another cavern in the cave. He thought it funny how the shapes of this new cavern was the same as the last.

Orville flew and flew but he remained confused. He couldn’t seem to find his way out. He’d never had this trouble before. Then, all of a sudden he found another a tiny exit. Actually it was more like a crack in the cave but on the other side he registered that he’d be free of the strange bouncing radar signals. Hurriedly he flew to the crack and wiggled his way to the other side. Everything was normal again. But where had he been? What was that confusing cave? He knew he never wanted to go there again.

He grabbed a quick bite to eat at the bar and headed home early. His stomach was still in knots. Whatever that place had been he never wanted to return.

This, he was not afraid to ask of the elders. “Where was I?” The answer he got was a scary one. “You were in a house,” they told him. If he wasn’t scared before, he was now. Suddenly he was  a little bat again and he could vividly hear his mother warning him to stay away from houses. She’d harped at him as many times as the mosquitoes he could eat in five minutes and Orville could eat a lot in five minutes. “Those are the most dangerous things in the world,” she’d told him. “Some of your cousins have gone into houses and never come back. If houses where good they’d have come back and told us and perhaps we’d all live in them.”

He shuddered just thinking where he’d been. It was the most dangerous place a bat could ever go. After all, it was light at all hours of the day and night in houses. Sleeping in a house could be very difficult. There was a decided lack of food too. A bat could starve in a house! And then there was the humans. Humans tended to hate bats. He couldn’t understand this part at all since his kind ate the mosquitoes that the humans hated. He would have thought that they would have been happy to see a bat but his mother warned him that humans didn’t think with logic. “Stay away,” she’d warned him. “They are dangerous. The humans killed your Uncle Hubert.” As a kid he’d never quite believed her but then Uncle Hubert never did return. So maybe she was right?

Orville went hunting again at The Drinking Shamrock and everything was fine. Nothing happened and he arrived home to his family cave, stomach full and ears dancing. Whatever had happened the night before he decided had been put behind him.

That’s what he’d thought. Until the next night when he again woke up inside a house! Fluttering here and there looking for the way out he suddenly found he had a new danger. The family who lived in this house had a dog and the dog was barking and chasing him. Orville was scared out of his wits. Things were not going well. He flew and flew until he thought his wings would fall off. His radar kept bouncing back too quickly and he was confused and the dog kept chasing him in erratic zig-zags and alternated between yipping and growling.

Then he heard the sound of a car door and the dog suddenly vanished. Orville gave up trying to find his way out and quickly hid in the folds of what he now knew where curtains. He’d be safe there. He went to sleep that night tired and hungry. Every time he’d lifted his head above the top of the curtain and thought it might be safe to try and escape the house he’d heard the dog enter the room and Orville burrowed deeper into the material that smelled of stale mothballs and wilted flowers. He vowed he’d make his escape as soon as the dog fell asleep.

When Chester, as he’d discovered the dog’s name was, finally fell asleep Orville slowly peaked around the curtain. No one else was about and the dog’s loud snoring confirmed that he was indeed asleep. Orville flew and flew until he found the exit and just about dropped from the sky in shock when he broke free and the sun hit him in the face. He was instantly blind and he lost all sense of direction. He hadn’t an antenna of a mosquito’s clue which direction he was headed in. He hoped the cave but his luck wasn’t good these days. For all he knew he was headed straight into another building. Quickly he found a tree and roosted there. It was safer. At night he would get something to eat and head home. At the moment he didn’t have any energy. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to focus his dreams on happy thoughts but all he could see was Chester barking at him. His little ears hurt and it was a long time before he fell asleep.

Orville wasn’t sure what to do when he woke that night. He flew around in a few quick circles until he got his bearings and knew where he was and then he headed back to The Drinking Shamrock. There was a huge swarm of mosquitoes and he thankfully gobbled them up. He hadn’t eaten in over a day and he was starved and lacked much energy. He decided to head home early. He’d be one of the first to arrive back to the cave but that was just fine. He didn’t really feel like talking to anyone.

For the next month everything was normal again. No more houses. No more barking dogs. No more waking up to confusion and not knowing where he was. Everything was normal. He got up at night, ate his mosquitoes at The Drinking Shamrock and headed back to his beloved family cave. Everything was as it should be, except for some reason there were less mosquitoes at the bar. He still was the only bat hunting there, so that was good.

Then one night he woke up and knew something was wrong instantly. His first hint was that he wasn’t sleeping upside-down. He wasn’t even in the folds of a curtain. He was outside, thank God, but he was sleeping on his side. His wing was stiff and when he moved to get up he almost rolled off the ledge he was on. How he’d gotten there he had no clue and where was there? He remembered going to The Drinking Shamrock and getting his full but he couldn’t remember anything after that.

Once in the air he did a circle and found he was still at The Drinking Shamrock. He’d never left. Somehow he’d slept on the windowsill. By the soreness in his shoulder and wing joint he knew that he didn’t want to do that again. Flying back to the cave he tried to remember the night before but he couldn’t. He decided that something was wrong but he couldn’t put a claw on what it was. He didn’t used to have this problem. So what had changed?

Orville went back in his mind to when the problems all began trying to learn what was new. The only thing he could think of made him sick. He prayed that what he was beginning to suspect was wrong but he had to know and he didn’t want to ask anyone just in case he was wrong.

The next night Orville didn’t head to his beloved Drinking Shamrock. Instead he headed to another bar and flew around. He was the only bat. His ears flicked with tension and he headed across town to another bar. Again, he was alone. There were plenty of mosquitoes but no one was there eating them up. He checked two more bars to find the same results, loads of mosquitoes present and not a single bat in sight. Here, he was afraid, was the answer. It looked like all his recent problems where related to his food.

He went home that night feeling rejected. It appeared that bar food was the problem and yet no one in his cave had ever talked about it. This he couldn’t understand. His family talked about so many things but not this. Orville went to seek out an elder. In minutes he finally understood. So many of his brothers, sisters and cousins had already discovered the side effect he hadn’t noticed and didn’t talk about it because they too had done strange things and didn’t feel comfortable talking about it.

“Bar mosquitoes make you drunk and when you’re drunk you do funny things,” the elder told him. “It’s okay to go for special occasions from time to time but then you simply eat responsively.” Orville was happy to hear this. He’d fallen in love with those sweet tangy mosquitoes and he couldn’t bear to give them up forever. He decided to eat only a swarm or two but not every night. That way he’d be safe from houses, dogs and apparently humans who set you outside on windowsills where you could roll off. Orville would be all right now but he would no longer be a drunken bat.

Lana Wood Artwork 2

Meet the Grown-Up BOND GIRL!!!

Lana Wood Artwork

Lana Wood in Person


Woods Sisters

John & the Wood Sisters


For more information please check out the following article. Lana will be a appearing at the Pickwick Theater in downtown Park Ridge, IL on Sept. 15, 2016!



Click HERE to watch the Theatrical Trailer!

Click HERE to read what Turner Classic Movies has to say about the screening.

The Searchers is not just a tale of the Old West based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May. It has been suggested by film critics that its basis comes from the true story of nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker who was kidnapped in 1836. The similarities between Debbie Edwards in the film and Cynthia Ann are undeniable and yet the real life incident and the movie are not carbon copies of each other.

The movie starts out with the peaceful return of Ethan Edwards to his brother Aaron’s home in Texas. Homecomings aren’t always what you expect them to be and the next day Lars Jorgensen (a close neighbor) and the Texas Rangers arrive at the Edwards’ homestead to get help in hunting down the Comanches who have rustled cattle from Jorgensen. It is decided that Jorgensen, the Rangers, Ethan and the Edwards’ adoptive son Martin Pawley will leave to investigate and that Aaron Edwards will remain home with his family to protect them in case the need arises.

The hunting party doesn’t get far before they discover it was a ploy to pull the men away from their homes. While they aren’t far from either the Jorgensen or the Edwards homesteads, they are too far to simply turn around without killing their horses in the process of getting back. When they do return they find that the Edwards homestead was the target and they are too late. The buildings are in flames and the family is dead with the exception of the two daughters, Lucy and Debbie.

In anger Ethan, Martin and Lucy’s intended Brad Jorgensen set out on a search for the girls. It is a search that will never end until all answers are found. Lucy, is found dead in a canyon and in a rage Brad rushes to avenge her alone with disastrous results.

The search carries on. Ethan and Martin continue to look for Debbie. Here is where The Searchers and history depart ways to a fashion. While Debbie Edwards in our film was searched for by her adoptive brother Martin and her Uncle Ethan for five years, Cynthia Ann’s Uncle James W. Parker spent twenty-four years looking for her. Debbie had no children but was living as an Indian Chief’s wife. Cynthia Ann married a Comanche war chief and had several children. Debbie was torn between leaving the Comanches and staying with them. Cynthia Ann had no intentions of leaving. Both ladies were rescued, Debbie submitting to going home and Cynthia Ann against her will.

To read Cynthia Ann’s story and learn more about the making of the film pick up a copy of The Searchers by Glenn Frankel.


Shot in VistaVision The Searchers was released March 13, 1956. Instantly it was considered a commercial success. With a production budget of $3.75 million dollars and rental fees of $4.8 million in its first year of release here in the US and in Canada, The Searchers made both its production company (C.V. Whitney Pictures) and its distributor (Warner Brothers) happy.

To this day the film has continued to gain accolades from fans and film-goers alike. In 2007 The Searchers became #12 in the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time and the following year the Institute named The Searchers the “Greatest American Western.” Different organizations in the film industry both here and abroad have placed The Searchers on their lists and always its at the top.

John Wayne


John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1909 in Winterset Iowa. His heritage of English, Scotch and Irish blood could have made for a rough and tumble temperament. His upbringing in the Presbyterian church would make a hearty stand for the opposite. By 1916 the family had moved twice and had settled in Glendale California where his father became a pharmacist.

Eventually Hollywood would beckon but not in the usual way. As a student of the University of Southern California he played football. Then a surfing accident resulting in a broken collarbone ended his football career and his scholarship, without which he would be forced to leave college. Luck would be with him as coach Howard Jones liked Wayne and had given actor Tom Mix tickets to the games. Mix owed Jones and Wayne lucked out with a job. Through Mix and his close friend John Ford, Wayne was hired as a prop boy and a sometimes extra.

His big break came in 1930 when the unknown Wayne was cast as the lead in The Big Trail after being spotted by director Raoul Walsh when he was moving furniture. Despite the epic proportions of the film, shooting it in two formats (35mm & 70 mm Grandeur film) to the tune of over $2 million, the film was a flop. Wayne would be downsized to leads in A-films where he would stay until 1939 when John Ford cast him in Stagecoach. This time the film was a success. He would now get the roles his talent deserved.

The Searchers is regarded by many to be his best performance. Wayne even named his youngest son Ethan after the character he portrayed. Despite the many roles and instrumental films he made it wouldn’t be until 1969, almost the tail end of his acting career, that he would win an Oscar for his performance in True Grit. He granted many interviews including one with Playboy Magazine in May of 1971 in which he told the world what his friends already knew, exactly how he saw the world. He didn’t make everybody happy but he did remain true to himself.

Of the more than 170 films Wayne was in, he was the lead in 142 of his films, of which 83 were westerns. He worked until 1976 when working through stomach cancer became too difficult. He died on June 11, 1979.

Lana Wood


Lana Wood was born Svetlana Gurdin on March 1, 1946 in sunny Santa Monica California to Russian parents. She became a child actress starring normally as small and bit-parts in her sister Natalie Wood’s pictures. Her film debut came in 1956 when she landed the role of the younger Debbie Edwards to her sister’s older Debbie Edwards in The Searchers. In the 1960’s Wood came into her own doing television appearances in many well known shows including, Bonanza, The Fugitive, Mission Impossible, Peyton Place and many others.

In April of 1971 she agreed to pose for Playboy and later that year she landed the role of Plenty O’Toole in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. During her career she has done more than 20 films and appeared on over 300 television shows. She retired from acting in 1982 and concentrated on producing instead. Then she returned in front of the camera in 2008 and has stayed there in different rolls to the present day.

For more information please visit Park Ridge Classic Film.


The Searchers (1956)

With Special Guest:

Lana Wood seen in this film as the young Debbie Edwards and known to James Bond fans as Plenty O’ Tool in Diamonds Are Forever.


September 15, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 6:30 PM

Feature Starts Approx. 7:30 PM (119 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL


To Celebrate the Film’s 60th Anniversary


2 PM (Feature Only) All Seats $6

7 PM (Feature + Organist & Guest Appearance) – Day of Show $10 / Advanced $8

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Welcome again to the Pickwick Classic Film Series. This TUESDAY (and yes, I’m stressing TUESDAY because we usually have our shows on Thursday) we’re giving you the royal treatment. Our guest is none other than Rory Flynn, daughter of Errol Flynn – the star of our show. Rory will be in the lobby before and after the show greeting all who join us before she takes the stage and gives us some of her personal memories of her father. It’s going to be another one of those special once in a lifetime events.

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll also be celebrating Olivia de Havilland’s  centennial a few weeks ahead of her July 1st birthday.

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More surprises and treats will be found in the lobby. We’ll have a treasure chest of wonderful loot waiting for some lucky winner. As always tickets are only $1 and they go toward bringing these events to you. As you can well imagine it takes quite a bit to put on these shows and to bring in our special guests who live all over the country. We do it because YOU are worth it and we want to give you the very best we are able. So please, if you can, stop by our table and give it a try. These raffles are always events in themselves.

Oh, and did I forget to mention we have another surprise guest? Taryn Power, Tyrone Power’s daughter will also be with us. Where else can you go and see two Hollywood Princesses in the same room outside of Hollywood? Only the Pickwick Classic Film Series brings you these events. So please… join us this Tuesday for our season Finale.

Click HERE to watch the Pickwick Theater’s very own Captain Blood Trailer! Or HERE to see the original trailer.

Then click HERE to listen to Program Host Matthew C. Hoffman discuss this upcoming program on WGN’s own Nick Digilio Show.

Our Guests

Rory Flynn & Taryn Power

Born June 20, 1909 Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn was destined to be the King of Swashbucklers. He had everything it took and then some. His energy and smile were infectious, put a  sword in his hand and you had a man who could take the world upon his shoulders and win every time. He wore the mantle of the past as if it were present day and we believed him. He was Errol Flynn!Errol-Flynn

All of us exhibit traits said to come from our families. We have the hair color of our father, the shape of our eyes comes from our mother and the last name of our forefathers. In young Flynn’s case he also inherited a life long love of the sea and any craft who could be set afloat. His mother Lily Mary Young known as Marelle (she had her name changed after being married) came from a sea-faring family, his father Theodore Thomson Flynn was a marine biologist. During his lifetime Flynn would own many vessels including several yachts. At times he forsook the land and lived aboard ship. It seems fitting that his first screen role was that of Fletcher Christian in the Australian film In the Wake of the Bounty. Then in Hollywood he would skyrocket to the top after only five films (mostly as a bit or small supporting roll) as Peter Blood in the Warner Brother’s blockbuster Captain Blood.


1935 was indeed a busy year for Flynn who accomplished much. In that year he migrated to the United States, made two films and married his first wife Lili Damita. But the world of American Women were hungry for more and Flynn had what it took. In many ways his on screen persona mirrored that of his real life. Above all, Flynn was an adventurer. This trait along with his love of women and the sea would stay with him his whole life.


As a young man before the lure of Hollywood and acting hit him Flynn had a wide variety of jobs which often led to adventures. In 1927 his adventures took him to Papua New Guinea where he’s thought to find riches but instead spent five years doing everything imaginable. By his own accounts he became a police constable, a sanitation engineer, a coconut plantation overseer, a fisherman and ship-master for hire and all because he’d hoped to be a treasure hunter.

Life in Hollywood gave him the fame and fortune he’d hoped to find in that strange land. New Guinea instead left a lasting impression in the form of vast skills acquired; many of which he would later emulate on the screen, thus giving his role more credibility. It also would give him the sickness of reoccurring bouts of malaria.

On the silver screen Flynn found his true calling. Warner Brothers found him to be everything they’d hoped for. His persona filled the screen and money continued to roll in. Flynn, they discovered was dynamite in period pieces and he fit in westerns just as well. Give him a screw-ball comedy and Flynn seemed at home. However,  the Swashbuckler would be his lasting legacy.


Flynn seemed to embody the pirate like no other had since Douglas Fairbanks Sr. He was an outlaw that the movie going audience liked and rooted for. He also was the man to get the girl. His most frequent leading lady was none other than Olivia de Havilland who co-starred with him in his first leading role in Captain Blood. It was her first leading role too!

In the eight films the two made together it was very much apparent that the chemistry seen on the screen was real. However the timing hadn’t been right and a six year relationship stayed where it’d started, that of a deep and abiding true friendship. Each went their own way and each made a name for themselves but it is possible that these two virtually unknown stars at the time can thank their lucky stars that Warner Brothers took a chance and gave them a chance. Captain Blood turned out to be Warner Brother’s highest grossing picture of the year and the eighth highest grossing picture industry wide.

So… All that said and done, please join us this coming TUESDAY (Yes, I’m stressing TUESDAY again. I just don’t want you to miss it.) as the Pickwick Classic Film Series brings you its series finale with Captain Blood. It’s a tale of piracy on the high seas and a tale of gentile manners with great ladies and men of honor. Bring your “Mate” and be prepared to “Roll with the tide.”


The Eight Films Flynn & de Havilland Made Together Include:

  • Captain Blood (1935)
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  • Four’s a Crowd (1938)
  • Dodge City (1939)
  • The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
  • Santa Fe Trail (1940)
  • They Died With Their Boots On (1941)


Captain Blood (1935)

With Special Guest: Rory Flynn – Daughter of Errol Flynn


May 17, 2016

Doors open at 6:30 pm

Live Organ music by Chicago’s Formost Theater Organist Jay Warren at 7:00 pm

Feature starts approx. 8:00 pm (119 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL



Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6



Shared from WordPress

The Pickwick Theatre Classic Film Series’ Screening of Thunderball –

Sitting at her desk Cynthia struggled to come to a decision. The story was done. There was nothing more she could do to change it. It was what it was. The characters were completely fleshed out. The story had a beginning, a middle and an end. Nothing was missing. She knew that and yet she hesitated.

Should she change that one word here or there? Did her character’s name roll off the tongue easily enough? After all, it was a unique name. Maybe she should change it. Or maybe she was just second guessing herself.

Cynthia stared at the email she’d written. It was good. The agent would see her clearly. The words she’d chosen gave a complete picture of the woman who’d written them. Jammie Bendwick would read Cynthia’s words and know her to be a plucky woman with a sense of humor and a strong business ethic. A woman who you could count on to get the job done.

Everything was there. The email was complete. The story was typed in 12 Point Times New Roman font. The margins were at .5. There were no indents as requested in the agent’s specifications. She’d followed the rules. Her story followed the guidelines.

So why was she sitting in her small office terrified that she was making a mistake when she knew she wasn’t? Because she was a new writer and this was her first try at publication. What if she never heard back or if she got a rejection notice? Both would be dramatic. Both would be terrifying, even traumatic.

But what if she didn’t send it out? Would she be any less a failure? The reality was staring her in the face. If she didn’t send it out, she might be safe from being told, “No,” but she’d be saying, “No,” to herself. She wouldn’t be giving herself a chance.

Thinking of it that way, she didn’t like the outcome. She was being the judge and jury of herself and if she didn’t let the story go – she’d be pronouncing judgment on herself and become a failure. She didn’t want that. Even if the story came back, she’d given it a chance to live. She could always play with it later and make it better so that someday it would live again. That sounded hopeful.

Taking a few deep, calming, breaths and sending a prayer heavenward, Cynthia, reached out and clicked the SEND button. It was done. The story was sent on its way and Cynthia had just taken her biggest leap towards publication. She was a writer. And she’d sent her work out.

There is no greater superhero than the spy. He is real. He is daring and he risks his life for his country.

That is the premise of our Hero shall we say. We call him James Bond. 007 for short. He is licensed to kill and he does. He also does as he pleases which makes him the man we all wish were were given permission to be or to meet.

Created in 1953 Bond has graced the screen over two dozen times. Thunderball  would be the first Bond film shot in widescreen Panavision. Almost a quarter of the film was shot under water making for a very unusual Bond film.Thunderball Concept artwork james bond

This film almost didn’t become a reality as a lawsuit threatened to keep it from the screen. Settled out of court, it was resolved by letting the suing party retaining some rights and the film’s producers being titled as Executive Producers instead. Despite this hurdle, the film entered the world with a bang as it earned a total of $141.2 million worldwide, eclipsing the three previous Bond films. Adjusting for inflation, Thunderball remains the top grossing film in the series today.

So… I’m not going to give you any spoilers. I won’t tell you what the plot is, I won’t tell you how Bond succeeds as you know he must, or how many women he will have in his life. I’ll let you come to the Pickwick and experience it all yourself. I will tell you that it’s going to be terrific!


The Cast of Thunderball

e54cb7dd1cd746aeef677bce3fc3242f         Our Hero: Sean Connery as 007: Bond, James Bond!

Our Bond Girls: Naughty and Nice

Claudine Auger as Domino       claudine-auger-domino-thunderball-hot-29

8d1bb1c97d7b17eda767bcf67c0f156e              Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona

Martine Beswick as Paula              full-martine-beswick-9fdc36f630e16c00b36f786523b47f17-large-1059937

adolfo_celi And Our Villan Adolfo Celi as No. 2: Largo

Our guests on this special occasion will be Colin Clark of the Ian Fleming Foundation who will bring with him many special props used in the actual filming of the movie. The biggest and most impressive item will be the actual Vulcan Bomber that was in the movie! This will be a once in a lifetime experience for all Bond aficionados.

Colin will talk about the making of this 4th Bond film and give us some insight and behind the scenes stories.

Joining Colin will be author Raymond Benson who has authored over 35 books including six original 007 novels. He has also written three film novelizations and three short stories making him an expert on Bond.

If you think that’s not enough you haven’t heard the best. The first 100 patrons through the door will get a chance to win a tour of the James Bond prop facility in Kankakee, Illinois!!! Yes, that’s right!!! You could be a winner!!! You could be sitting in a real Bond car. Or, you could be me when I went and sit ON it!!!11411631_10204748585096060_2342298776180647643_o

There will also be a raffle basket chock full of Bond items. It’s valued at well over two hundred dollars and it could be yours for only the price of one raffle ticket. My advice, buy several because we’re expecting a packed house and you don’t want to miss your chance to win.

CLICK HERE to see the Trailer for the 50th Anniversary showing of Thunderball

HERE is what the Chicago Tribune had to say about our upcoming event: Classic Film Series having a ‘Thunderball’ at the Pickwick

For more information on this event please check out the official website Park Ridge Classic Film


Thunderball (1965)


April 21, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7pm

Feature 7:30 p.m. (125 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL


50+1 Anniversary Screening


Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

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It’s that time again for watching zaniness in action. Join us at the Pickwick Theater for a rollicking laugh fest. It’s time for the Marx Brothers!!!!


It’s time to hear Groucho make some cracks and ad-lib his way out of trouble.

It’s time to watch Chico in action as he sells a singer’s voice.

Marx Brothers (A Night at the Opera)_09.jpg

It’s time to watch Harpo chase some pretty girls or play some music for them before the chase.


This Thursday (March 10, 2016) we want to find out how many people we can pack into the Pickwick Theater Lobby. Then we want to see if we can fill the theater. It’s going to be a time for side-splitting laughter as we watch the boys go through their round-about way of getting their way.


Don’t forget to come early and hear Chicago’s Foremost Organist Jay Warren tickle your musical ear. Then we’ll have a Laurel and Hardy short for you. See what “Fine Mess,” the boys get themselves into in the Hal Roach Short, Thicker Than Water.



A Night At The Opera (1935)


March 10, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7pm

Feature 7:30 p.m. (92 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL



Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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