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Mary Reno (6)

UNITED STATES—The fingers of the bearded guy in the driver's seat fondled the gold chain. Mary Reno's heart clenched. She stood, knees trembling in the gutter. Mary blurted out, "The chain means a lot to me. My dog found that." The guy's nervous hands and eyes kept probing the gold chain. He let out a sigh. "And I lost my dog,"...

Mary Reno (4)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno twirled her heels on the baking sidewalk. She was still smarting from the loss of the figs.  Yes, she was. Add to that the nagging hunch that something else was wrong. Mary had lost the bundle that had her money folded up in one corner. A coolness pervaded her toes through the open toes of her...

Mary Reno (3)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno stopped and stared at the fig bush. It looked more like a tree now that it had been severely hacked since Mary first saw it a few days ago and was filled by anticipation for ripened figs. She was crestfallen. All the bulbs from the fig branches about to turn purple-black had  been pruned away, and all...

Mary Reno

UNITED STATES—The hot wind blows through the stillness, already superheated before the sun peeks out from the east. The weeds are way overgrown, having their heyday in the cracks of a dusty lot that the market economy has jilted, even though they've got permits to build a new wing to the abandoned glass and brick office building. It all looks...

The Laughing Keys (3)

UNITED STATES—There was a manly surrender in heading back on that freeway from the Westside. The phantom set of keys that would let Irma into her new quarters might be on the bed stand where she'd housesat near downtown. They might not. My job was to flush thoughts of defeat out of my head and drive. We got through the...

Mad Cinerama Dome: A Landmark For Tourists From The Future (11)

UNITED STATES—The Cinerama Dome is a geodesic souvenir. The Buckminster Fuller thing was supposed to run wild, architectural hubris being what it is, so it is unique, modest, and iconic in terms of what the sequel to 1962 brought us. It has been immortalized in Quentin Tarantino’s valentine to Hollywood and the summer of 1969—and now young hip tourists...

Mad Cinerama World: A Piece Of Work (10)

UNITED STATES—It is ironic. “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” the epic comedy often dismissed as juvenile or lowbrow by folks who consider themselves aficionados of British comedy. It was a Missouri-born American who joined a Canadian regiment three years before America got into World War II. After the war, Bill Rose stayed on in England and penned...

Mad Mad Cinerama Dome: Diversity? (Contains Spoilers) (8)

UNITED STATES—Let’s tackle from today’s woke perspective what would be called diversity in it’s “A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” In a way it’s a cynical look at humanity, a story of greed and temporary insanity. And you had these European screen writer’s, an Anglified American and his professional and personal partner (William and Tania Rose) extrapolating from their...

Mad Mad Cinerama World: European Perspective (7)

UNITED STATES—Tania Rose (1924-2015) was co-screenwriter, creator of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” along with her husband William Rose (1918-1987), an American who stayed on in England after World War II service. Rose penned “The Ladykillers” in a stellar string of Ealing Studio Comedies. The one screenplay for which both husband and wife are credited is “It’s...

Mad Mad Cinerama World: Not Your Usual G-Rated Movie (5)

UNITED STATES—When “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” was re-released in 1970, it got slapped with a G-rating. Heck, I was seven years old and already had a sense that a G-rating was bad yawning Disney juju, fun for the whole family. Like Jerry Seinfeld has said, “Fun for the whole family seldom is.” But MMMMW this is...
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