C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gina's Jewels

The actress in her heyday, wearing the famous pearl earrings.
Click to enlarge.

Here's something fabulous to look at:
Legendary screen icon Gina Lollobrigida discusses the highlights of her incredible multi-faceted career, as well as the exquisite jewels from her collection. The collection features important Bulgari jewels of the 1950s and 1960s, worn by Miss Lollobrigida at landmark moments in her career.
The jewels went under the hammer on May 14, 2013, and fetched nearly $5 million altogether, with the pearl earrings going for about $2.4 million.  Miss Lollobrigida stated that the proceeds would go to support stem-cell research.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stourhead in September

Click to enlarge.

The news these days is just too sad and too bad to dwell on. Instead, perhaps you will find some refreshment in contemplating the beauty of Stourhead, one of England's loveliest old stately homes, and its exquisite gardens. Just put all your worries and troubles on pause, and savor the peaceful harmony of the place:




Or if you need a chuckle, perhaps you will find one in this short clip of a daft old gardener playing tour guide:



I wonder if my truckbuddy Tim can tell us what sort of accent the old man has?  Seems rather West Country to me with all those pirate noises, but I'm no expert.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 9/15/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Drive: Cinderella


The heat has finally broken here - it was up to 100 on Tuesday, but last night it was down to 50 degrees here in Texas. The summer is rapidly fading away, but its sunny dreams live on.

You could do worse than to spend part of your Sunday watching the 21-year-old (!) Julie Andrews perform the title role in Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, broadcast live on March 31, 1957, over CBS and viewed by 107 million people - over half the population of the United States, an extraordinary event.

This clip contains one of your Head Trucker's favorites: "In My Own Little Corner." If you want to continue on with the whole show, the playlist feature should automatically take you through all the segments. Enjoy.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

What a Way to Go


Today I'm dreaming of a happy voyage somewhere, sometime. These films show how it was done once upon a time, by ship, by train, and by air. Lovely scenes, lovely thoughts - so different from the mad, vulgar, barbaric world we live in now.



RMS Queen Elizabeth, 1948:




Santa Fe's Chief, 1954:




TWA Super Constellation, 1956:



I'm thinking of getting up a little tour group, as soon as my new time-space modulator arrives from Amazon. Who wants to go with me?



Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

45 Years Together: An Arizona Love Story

Via Joe.My.God., Lambda Legal presents this clip about a couple denied the dignity of marriage even in death:
Fred McQuire and George Martinez, both veterans, were married in July 2014 after 45 years together, but their marriage is not respected in Arizona. In recent years, both Fred and George battled life-threatening illnesses. George passed away on August 28, 2014 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.



Read more about the couple and the court case here.


Update, 9/12/14, 9 p.m.:  Today, U.S. District Court judge John Sedwick ordered Arizona to issue a death certificate for George which shows him as married, with Fred the surviving spouse.  Unfortunately, it seems that Fred will not be able to draw Social Security or veteran's benefits on George, because they were married for such a short time.  But the court recognized that Arizona's marriage laws violate the constitutional rights of the couple.  Full text of the ruling here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Drums of War in the Middle East - Again

President Obama's speech tonight on the American response to the threat posed by the Islamic State:




Full text here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Better Late than Never

Grab a box of tissues and learn about these two lesbian couples who recently got married after many years together.


First, up in Iowa, the Quad City Times reports on the wedding of two nonagenarians:
Vivian Boyack and Alice "Nonie" Dubes say it is never too late for people to write new chapters in their lives. Boyack, 91, and Dubes, 90, began a new chapter in their 72-year relationship Saturday when they exchanged wedding vows at First Christian Church, Davenport. Surrounded by family and a small group of close friends, the two held hands as the Rev. Linda Hunsaker told the couple that, “This is a celebration of something that should have happened a very long time ago.”

The two met in Yale, Iowa, where they grew up, and moved to Davenport in 1947. Boyack was a longtime teacher in Davenport, directing the lives of children at Lincoln and Grant elementary schools. . . . Over the years, the two have traveled to all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada, and to England twice. “We’ve had a good time,” Dubes said. Boyack added it takes a lot of love and work to keep a relationship going for 72 years.

And from North Carolina, the Associated Press has this report of two ladies who recently married out of state after nearly fifty years together:



The couple have been active in the fight to overturn North Carolina's marriage ban.  An independent filmmaker has made a movie about Lennie and Pearl, entitled Living in the Overlap, which you can read more about at the official website here.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 9/8/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:




Judge Richard Posner, a 75-year-old Reagan appointee, writing for the Seventh Circuit in last Thursday's ruling on marriage cases in Wisconsin and Indiana, made some memorable observations, including this one:
The harm to homosexuals (and, as we’ll emphasize, to their adopted children) of being denied the right to marry is considerable. Marriage confers respectability on a sexual relationship; to exclude a couple from marriage is thus to deny it a coveted status. Because homosexuality is not a voluntary condition and homosexuals are among the most stigmatized, misunderstood, and discriminated-against minorities in the history of the world, the disparagement of their sexual orientation, implicit in the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, is a source of continuing pain to the homosexual community. Not that allowing same-sex marriage will change in the short run the negative views that many Americans hold of same-sex marriage. But it will enhance the status of these marriages in the eyes of other Americans, and in the long run it may convert some of the opponents of such marriage by demonstrating that homosexual married couples are in essential respects, notably in the care of their adopted children, like other married couples.

And this hilariously blunt comment:
Indiana has thus invented an insidious form of discrimination: favoring first cousins, provided they are not of the same sex, over homosexuals. Elderly first cousins are permitted to marry because they can’t produce children; homosexuals are forbidden to marry because they can’t produce children. The state’s argument that a marriage of first cousins who are past child-bearing age provides a “model [of] family life for younger, potentially procreative men and women” is impossible to take seriously. . . . Heterosexuals get drunk and pregnant, producing unwanted children; their reward is to be allowed to marry. Homosexual couples do not produce unwanted children; their reward is to be denied the right to marry. Go figure.

Read the full ruling here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Drive: Sweet Sounds

Just for fun, a little compilation of sugared songs from my early life. First up is one from 1958 by the McGuire Sisters that was a hit when I was just a tiny fellow, and one of the first songs I remember hearing:




Next, from 1964, the incomparable Julie Andrews singing one of everybody's favorite tunes from Mary Poppins, which was released fifty years ago - can you believe? - on August 27, 1964, to universal acclaim:




The Four Tops, led by the late, great Levi Stubbs, had a number-one hit in 1965 with this next one, which remains my all-time favorite dance tune:




As I remember it, this next song swept to the top of the charts just about the time school was starting in 1969. I remember I'd get up every morning in the early darkness and play this record over and over again on the living room stereo while getting dressed - and my mom walking in from the kitchen and yelling at me: "For God's sake, turn that damn thing down, you'll wake up all the neighbors!" Oh but I just couldn't get enough of this bouncy, catchy number - here's studio singer Ron Dante performing all the parts for his nonexistent group, and very convincingly too:




And the following year, Canadian group The Guess Who cut down on the sweetness with this plaintive number about the absence of sugar, whatever that might mean:






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