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Sept 30, 2006 Flat Foot Floogie
September 30th, 2006

Today Oscar Grillo in London sent me a painting in his inimitable style, accompanied with a cut of music. Today it was a Swing era tune by Slim Galliard popular with G.I's in World War Two called Flat Foot Floogie (1938). It jogged a memory for me.


My father George Sito loved Flat-Foot Floogie with the Floy, Floy and used to sing it in our family car in the 1960s. When a young teenager he was a real Jitterbug. He had a Zoot Suit with the Reet-Pleat, pants worn high above the waist and a long key chain and Pork Pie hat with obligatory ostriche feather. He was from a Polish immigrant family of ten children and had to drop out of school when his father died to work in a factory near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He kept his zuit soot in a locker for fear his co-workers would laugh at his ridiculous outfit. But after work he would go out to bars and do dance demonstrations for money, twirling and throwing girls in the air.

He's 85 now and retired, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard area is now all upscale Yuppie restaurants, I'm told. But when such a melody as Flat Foot Floogie comes on, he smiles and recalls the days when it was Awlreet, Awlreet, Lay me some skin, Jackson!

Birthdays: William Wrigley the Chewing Gum king 1868, Truman Capote, Eli Weisel, Lester Maddox, Buddy Rich, David Oistrach, Deborah Kerr is 85, Angie Dickinson, Marylin McCoo, Len Cariou, Johnny Mathis, Rula Lenska, Eric Stolz, Monica Bellucci, Jenna Elfman is 35

1791- Mozart's opera "Die Zauberflotte, The Magic Flute" premieres at Emanuel Schiknader's theater in Vienna. One of the theories about Mozart's death was that he enthusiastically put so much FreeMason's secret ritual into the Magic Flute that the Masons did him in for violating their secrecy. The Papageno-Papagena duet when they meet at the end was Schiknader's idea. Mozart gave pyrotechnical trills to the coloratura aria of the Queen of the Night, but privately he laughed at such singing, calling it “Cut Up Noodles”.

1846- Dr. William Morton first pulled a tooth using ether as an anesthetic.

1868- Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women first published in installments.

1919- The Fleischer Brother's first Out of the Inkwell cartoon featuring Koko the Clown. Koko was rotoscoped- meaning traced from live action like Motion Capture is done today. Dave Fleischer put on the clown suit, created by their mother and was filmed by his brother Max. Dave joked that if the cartoons failed he could use the suit to change careers.

1930- Death Valley Days show premiered on radio, sponsored by Twenty mule Team Borax powder. When it moved to television in the 50’s the host was Ronald Reagan.

1935- George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess premiered at the Colonial Theater in Boston.

1947- The first World Series Game on Television- New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-3. Gillette and Ford paid $65,000 to sponsor the entire series.

1952- This Is Cinerama, showcasing the widescreen film process, opened in theaters.

1955-James Dean (24) dies when his Porsche Spyder crashed head on into a pickup truck on Highway 41 outside of Paso Robles, .California. He was driving 85 mph at dusk without his headlights on and two hours earlier had been given a ticket for speeding. Until now the American public had only seen him in one movie- "Rebel Without a Cause" and some t.v. work. Giant and East of Eden had yet to be released, yet the legend endures to this day. In an errie coincidence Dean filmed a public service announcement promoting automobile safety. His last lines were:”Remember, the life you save may be mine!”

1960-Hanna Barbera's "The Flintstones" debuts. For six seasons in prime time the inhabitants of 301 Cobblestone Lane, Bedrock, was one of the most successful tv series ever. Originally going to be named the Flagstones, then Gladestones, before Flintstones. Ed Benedicts' designs with Alan Reed as the voice of Fred, Jean Van Der Pyl the voice of Wilma, Mel Blanc doing Barney and Bea Bernadette doing Betty. Trivia: Wilma became the first character on television to appear visibly pregnant. Lucille Ball went through her pregnancy on TV in 1953, but she was not allowed to be seen as such, covered with a lot of big clothes and filmed from the neck up.

1982- The TV comedy Cheers premiered. The Beacon Street Bar in Boston where everybody knows your name. It made stars of Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Kirstey Alley and Kelsey Grammar.