True Or False With Christmas

IMerry Christmas! thought that this time on the blog we would play a game of True or False. We do this from time, however, normally the topic is a person, place or even a thing. This time we play our game with Christmas. Do you know your facts? Take a moment and see.

Q1 – The word Mistletoe actually means “Dung On A Stick”?

Answer: While not the exact translation this is true! Most people think of mistletoe as being romantic, but it isn’t, not really. The name derives from mistletan, which means a twig of mistle; the seeds of the plant are propagated through the excrement of birds, notably the mistle thrush. If you now take account that the old Germanic word ‘mist’ means dung, mistletoe’s name translates as Dung plant.

Q2 – The modern image of a fat, red-suited Santa Claus was invented by the Coca-Cola Company.

Answer: Not true although one would think it was. In 1931 Coca-Cola commissioned the artist Haddon Sundblom to create images of Santa Claus drinking from a bottle of Coke. Sundblom depictions of Santa became very, very popular, but it’s not the modern image of Santa. By the early twentieth century, Santa was already commonly being depicted as a fat, jolly, red-suited, long-bearded old man. For instance, a greeting card drawn by Louis Prang in 1885 shows a Santa essentially identical to the one we know today.

Q3 – The bones of the original Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) are preserved in a church in Italy.

Answer: This is true! St. Nicholas was a fourth-century bishop who lived in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Upon his death, his bones were preserved in the town of Myra, but in 1087 these bones were stolen and moved to the town of Bari in Italy. They remain there to this day, located in the church of San Nicola.

Do you like this? You can find more of these true and false blogs at Ron’s Amazing Stories – The Blog. Just click-here to see the entire catalog of articles.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have three more stories sent in by you, two special science fiction tales from those 50’s pulp magazines, and a Christmas story from Tom. One of the stories sent in by Lizzie is on my top list of most scary ever! You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey.
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Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

True or False with Boris Karloff

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Blog, we will explore the American icon, Boris Karloff. We will do this with a good old-fashioned game of True or False. Can you guess the answer before you read it?

Boris Karloff 1950William Henry Pratt, better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor who was primarily known for his roles in horror films. He portrayed, most famously, Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939).

Q1 – Sure he was a great character actor, but could he… would he… do Doctor Seuss?

True – His best-known non-horror role was as the Grinch in the animated television special, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). For his contribution to film and television, Boris Karloff was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Q2 – Boris has a blood link to the movie The King and I?

True – His mother’s maternal aunt was Anna Leonowens, whose tales about life in the royal court of Siam (now Thailand) were the basis of the musical The King and I.

Q3 – It is said that Borris took his stage name from a mad scientist character,”Boris Karlov”, in the novel The Drums of Jeopardy.

False – That book was not published until 1920 and he was already using his stage name by then. Karloff always claimed he chose the first name “Boris” because it sounded foreign and exotic, and that “Karloff” was a family name from his Slavic roots. However, his daughter Sara Karloff publicly denied any knowledge of Slavic forebears. One verified reason for the name change was to prevent embarrassment to his family. His brothers were all dignified members of the British Foreign Service. He was considered the “black sheep of the family” for having become an actor or at least Karloff apparently worried they felt that way. He did not reunite with his family until he returned to Britain to make The Ghoul in 1933. He was worried that his siblings would disapprove of his macabre world fame. Instead, his brothers jostled for position around him and happily posed for publicity photographs. After the photos were taken, Karloff’s brothers immediately started asking about getting copies of their own. The story of the photo became one of Karloff’s favorites.

Q4 – The last time Boris donned the monster make-up was for the television series Route 66?

True – Karloff donned the monster make-up for the last time in 1962 for a Halloween episode of the TV series Route 66.  As part of the story Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Peter Lorre meet to discuss whether their old monster costumes, they used in films, would still scare a TV audience today.

Q5 – Borris worked in Comic Books?

True – Karloff lent his name and likeness to Gold Key Comics based upon the television series Thriller. After Thriller was canceled, the comic was retitled Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. An illustrated likeness of Karloff continued to introduce each issue of this publication for nearly a decade after his death. In fact, the comic lasted until the early 1980s.

Q6 – Borris delivered his only child in full monster makeup.

True – He married five times and had one child, daughter Sara Karloff, by his fourth wife. At the time of his daughter’s birth, he was filming Son of Frankenstein and reportedly rushed from the film set to the hospital while still in full makeup.

Boris Karloff was truly a special actor who graced us with some of our greatest tales and horrible nightmares. He spent his retirement in England at his country cottage named Roundabout in the Hampshire village of Bramshott. He contracted bronchitis in 1968 and was hospitalized at University College Hospital. He died of pneumonia at the King Edward VII Hospital on 2 February 1969, at the age of 81.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the show this week we will replay one of my favorite episodes from 2017. It is called Tales from Development Hell. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

June 21 – RAS #333 – Growing Up!
June 28 – RAS #334 – Mason Henry Blue
July 05 – RAS #335 – The Adolphus Bride
July 12 – RAS #336 – Replay Episode #291
July 19 – RAS #337 – Growing Up 2!
July 26 – RAS #338 – Detective Week

True or False with Ray Milland

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Blog, we will explore the American icon, Ray Milland. We will do this with a good old-fashioned game of True or False. Can you guess the answer before you read it?

Ray Milland - Actor - 1905-1986Ray Milland was born on January 3rd somewhere between 1905 through 1910 in Neath, Wales. He migrated to the United States in 1930 to find work as an actor. He worked in movies as both director and actor until 1985. He won several awards for his craft including an Emmy and Oscar.

Q1:  Ray Milland’s real name was Alfred Reginald Jones?

True: Of all the name changes I have seen in a movie career this has to be most different from the original. Another source has his real name listed as Reginald Truscott-Jones. Also, no one can seem to agree on his birth year. So it is listed as 1905-1910. I guess records were not a big deal in early 20th century Wales.

Q2: Ray’s military career was as a Cavalryman?

True: Milland served in the Household Cavalry of the British Army, becoming a marksman, horseman, and airplane pilot. As an expert shot, he became a member of his company’s rifle team, winning many prestigious competitions, including the Bisley Match in England. While stationed in London, Milland met dancer Margot St. Leger, and through her was introduced to actress Estelle Brody. Brody queried Milland’s commitment to an army career, which led to Milland buying himself out of the forces in 1928 in the hope of becoming an actor. His first major role was in The Flying Scotsman (1929).

Q3: Milland worked as an assistant manager for a Shell Oil Gas Station?

True: Milland found life in Britain difficult with little regular work. Having no options left he moved to California and found a small flat on Sunset Boulevard. With little prospect of finding acting work, Milland took on several odd jobs that included working for a bookie. He decided to find regular employment and became the assistant manager of a Shell gas station on Sunset and Clark.

Q4: Ray Milland won his only Oscar for the classic movie Rich Man, Poor man (1976)

False: While he did win an Emmy for his work in Rich Man, Poor man his Oscar came for his portrayal of Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend (1945). This was considered to be the pinnacle of Milland’s career. Milland’s first concern with taking on the role was that he might overact and look amateurish. Milland quickly realized that he needed to understand alcoholism. Milland was allowed to spend a night in a psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital, where the patients were suffering from alcoholism and delirium tremens. He found the experience extremely disturbing and left at three in the morning. Milland spoke with the book’s author Charles R. Jackson to gain insight into the illness. His performance was so convincing, Milland was beleaguered for years by rumors that he actually was an alcoholic. The actor claimed he was not.

Q5: Ray Milland was considered quite the playboy in Hollywood with ties to even Grace Kelly.

False: While he did date Grace Kelly, Milland was married to Muriel Frances Weber from 1932 until his death in 1986. They had a son, Daniel and adopted a daughter. Milland became a naturalized American citizen in the 1940 and supported the Republican Party.

Q6: After his death, he instructed that his body be cremated and his ashes spread in Wales?

False: Almost true. He died at the age of 79 of lung cancer at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, on 10 March 1986. In-line with his instructions, no funeral was held. His body was cremated, and its ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Redondo Beach, California.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we will feature Ray Milland in an excellent Suspense story called, After The Movies. We also have two new listener stories from Jim and Melissa. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

April 26 – Throwback Thursday – RAS #325
May 03 – These Are Your Stories – RAS #326
May 10 – At The Movies – RAS #327
May 17 – Sci-Fi Week – RAS #328
May 24 – Mystery Week – RAS #329
May 31 – RAS #330 or HE #21

True or False with Maureen O’Hara

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Blog, we tackle the amazing life of actress Maureen O’Hara. We will do this with a good old-fashioned game of True or False. Can you guess the answer before you read it?

Actress - Maureen O'HaraWe will start with this Truth: O’Hara’s birth name was Maureen FitzSimons. She was an Irish actress and singer. The famously red-headed O’Hara was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, often in westerns and adventure films. She worked on numerous occasions with director John Ford, longtime friend John Wayne, and was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Question 1 – Maureen was the only “Read-Head” in her family?

Oddly True: She states that she was “born into the most remarkable and eccentric family I could have possibly hoped for”. O’Hara was the second oldest of six children, and the only red-headed sibling in the family. Her father was in the clothing business and bought into Shamrock Rovers Football Club a team O’Hara supported from childhood.

Question 2 – She was quite the athlete and even played football?

True: O’Hara was so keen on Gaelic football that at one point she pressed her father to find a women’s team, and professed that Glenmalure Park, the home ground of the Rovers, became a second home. [Gaelic football is an Irish team sport. Players advance the football, a spherical leather ball, up the field with a combination of carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing. In the game, two types of scores are possible: points and goals.]

Question 3 – O’Hara had a black belt in Kung-fu and Taekwondo?

False:  But you may be impressed to know that she enjoyed fighting, and trained in judo as a teenager. She later admitted that she had a jealousy towards boys in her youth. She hated the freedom they had. She said, “They could steal apples from orchards and not get into trouble.”

Question 4 – O’Hara first audition went famously bad!

True: During the screen test, the studio adorned her in a “gold lamé dress with flapping sleeves like wings” and heavy makeup with an ornate hairstyle, which she deemed to be far from satisfactory. O’Hara detested the audition, during which she had to walk in and pick up a telephone. She recalled thinking to herself, “My God, get me back to the Abbey”. The abbey is where she trained to act in her youth.

Question 5 – She did quite a few bit parts until had her first major role in 1939 with John Ford?

False: Well, that is almost true. O’Hara’s first major film role was that of Mary Yellen in the film, Jamaica Inn (1939). It was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  O’Hara portrayed the innkeeper’s niece, an orphan who goes to live with her aunt and uncle at a Cornish tavern.

Question 6 – O’Hara became known as the “Queen of Technicolor”?

True: She professed to dislike the filming process as it required special cameras and intense light which burned her eyes, giving her klieg eye. She believed that the nickname negatively affected her career, as most people viewed her solely as a beauty who looked good on film rather than as a talented actress. [ Klieg Eye – a condition marked by conjunctivitis and watering of the eyes resulting from excessive exposure to intense light.]

Question 7 – She was a superstar in every way!

True: As Ireland’s first Hollywood superstar, O’Hara paved the way for a future generation of actresses seeking their own voice. With her mahogany hair and her whip-smart delivery of lines, she created a character prototype that seemed to define her country of origin. She was loved for her naturalness and lack of the diva quality. She placed great emphasis on work ethic and punctuality. Insisting on doing her own stunts, O’Hara became so prone to injuries that her colleagues remarked that she should have been awarded the Purple Heart. Maureen O’Hara passed away peacefully on October 25th, 2015.

This Week’s Podcast:

The RAS is now on the Amazon EchoOn the podcast this week with will feature Maureen O’Hara and the date July 25th, 1943. Come and see how we will do this! You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

March 29 – The King of Bones and Ashes – RAS #321
April 05 – The Jovian Jest – RAS #322
April 12 – The White Rose Murders – RAS #323
April 19 – Science Fiction Week – RAS #324
April 26 – Listener Story Week – RAS #325

True or False with Alan Ladd

Alan Ladd - ActorOur target of this truth versus fiction exercise is known for being a Hollywood hunk, but that was not always the case. Who is our subject? It is Alan Ladd.  Alan Walbridge Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the only child of an actress and a freelance accountant. His father died when he was four and that left his mother in a bit of a pickle. How to raise a son when you have no income?

Q1 – While playing with matches he burnt down his apartment?

True – While playing with matches as a child, he burned down the apartment where he and his mother lived. By the time he was eight he had jobs picking fruit, delivering newspapers and sweeping floors. Their poverty also led to his suffering from malnutrition-related stomach ailments.

Q2 – With few opportunities available to him, Ladd opened his own restaurant?

True – Ladd opened a hamburger shop after graduating high school called Tiny’s Patio; “Tiny” had been a nickname given to him while in school due to his height.

Q3 – Ladd’s army career was cut short?

True – He was drafted in January 1943 and discharged in November with an ulcer and double hernia.

Q3 – Hollywood recognized his greatness right away and immediately gave him starring roles!

False –  His introduction to the entertainment industry included working as a grip for Warner Brothers and as a faceless reporter in the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane. Throughout the 1940s his tough-guy roles packed audiences into theaters and he was one of the very few males whose cover photos sold movie magazines. After making a name for himself as a screen bad guy, he took on what proved to be his best-remembered role in the 1953 classic Shane.

Q4 – Despite his success, Alan Ladd was never considered one of the Hollywood Elite.

False – Ladd was among the top money-making stars in 1947, 1953 and 1954. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and two golden globe awards. I think that qualifies him for Hollywood elite.

Q4 – Alan Ladd died in 1964 from suicide.

False – In November 1962 he was found unconscious lying down with a bullet wound near his heart, a probable suicide attempt. In January 1964 he was found dead, apparently due to an accidental combination of alcohol and sedatives.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the show, we have a Suspense story starring Alan Ladd.  We also, debut a brand new segment called, Is it true? You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer radio? We are heard every Saturday night at 6:00 pm (EST). Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

February 01 – Who is Helen Huber? – (RAS313)
February 08 – The Bear Trap – (RAS314)
February 15 – Suspense Episode – (RAS315)
February 22 – (HE #20 or RAS316)