Monday, September 28, 2015

Dark Shadows

Robbinsdale High School, in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, a northwest suburb of Minneapolis, was at one time the largest high school in Minnesota. I was a graduate of RHS in the class of 1962.

In the RHS class of 1961, there was a girl, Marlene Kringstad, who was named best actress of her graduating class. After high school, she moved to New York City, changed her name to Kathryn Leigh Scott, and became a Playboy Bunny (to survive financially) while she was attempting to break into a career as an actress.

In 1966, DARK SHADOWS debuted as an ABC-TV afternoon gothic-horror soap opera series set in the late 1700s and including storylines which involved a vampire theme. Kathryn Leigh Scott was one of the feature players where she portrayed Maggie and Josette DuPres, the doomed fiancée of vampire Barnabas Collins. Kathryn also starred in the 1970 MGM film HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and had a leading role in THE GREAT GATSBY movie in 1974, starring Robert Redford.

DARK SHADOWS went on to become a cult classic TV series into the mid 1970s. In 2006, Warner Brothers made a DARK SHADOWS movie, starring Johnny Depp.

Kathryn Leigh Scott has a very extensive movie & TV resume which can be seen on her website

I have seen her on many TV shows. It's always a surprise and pleasure to watch a person from your high school on a TV episode. Some of her TV appearances include Hawaii Five-O, Baretta, Return of the Saint, Little House on the Prairie, Quincy M.E., The Incredible Hulk, Magnum P.I., Police Squad, Rockford Files, Phillip Marlowe Private Eye (multiple episodes), Cagney & Lacey, Shadow Chasers, The A-Team, Hotel, Knots Landing, Mr. Belvedere, Dallas (multiple episodes), Dynasty (multiple episodes), Star Trek: The Next Generation, 21 Jump Street, Matlock, Jake and the Fat Man, CIS, The Goldbergs (multiple episodes), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (in opening episode in 2015), etc., etc . -- 71 actress credits in all.

Kathryn Leigh Scott is also a writer and owns a publishing company called Pomegranate Press, Ltd. (New York and Los Angeles). She and her husband live in Beverly Hills and London.

Recently, I sent a few of my books to Kathryn and she sent three of her books to me (listed below)

  • Dark Shadows, Return to Collingwood (by Kathryn Leigh Scott and Jim Pierson) -- a large coffee table book (photos & stories) about the original TV series and subsequent highlights of the Dark Shadows continual productions through 2012.

  • The Bunny Years (by Kathryn Leigh Scott, with a Forward by Hugh Hefner) -- "The Surprising Inside Story of the Playboy Clubs: The Women Who Worked as Bunnies and Where They Are Now" -- numerous stories of the Bunny personal experience by original Bunnies, including Susan Sullivan (actress), Lauren Hutton (supermodel & actress), Gloria Steinem (writer), Deborah Harry (musician) and many, many more -- it has sold over 165.000 copies..

  • Dark Passages (novel by Kathryn Leigh Scott) -- a terrific piece of fiction about an actress from small midwestern town caught up in the Playboy Bunny and acting scene in NYC while dealing with an intriguing supernatural subplot -- it had my attention throughout -- Kathryn is a superb writer.

Kathryn's recent novel is titled Down and Out in Beverly Heels. She is currently working on another novel titled Jinxed and her memoir titled Last Dance at the Savoy.
Other works by Kathryn Leigh Scott from Pomegranate Press:

  • Dark Shadows Memories
  • Dark Shadows Companion
  • Dark Shadows Almanac
  • Lobby Cards: The Classic Films
  • Lobby Cards: The Classic comedies

Kathryn Leigh Scott is one of my heroes -- she had a purpose in life and made it work

Break a leg, KLS

Quote for the Day -- "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Bill Shakespeare

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where the purpose in life is food, clothing, shelter, and becoming one with the Universe and beyond.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Pack of Crazed Junkyard Dogs

Once again, fall is upon us -- it’s the time of the year when the sweltering heat of the summer gives way to more moderate temperatures and the leaves turn from a monotonous green to a marvelous mix of reds and yellows.

It’s also the start of football season, when men can be men and women can be cheerleaders.

In the summer of 1961, I was eagerly looking forward to entering my senior in high school in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. In my junior year, the mighty Robbinsdale Robins were Minnesota state high school champions in football and wrestling. But I was too busy hanging out in a local pool hall to join team sports, shooting nine-ball for a buck a rack.

Also in the summer of 1961, the Minnesota Vikings had been created as an expansion team in the National Football League (NFL) -- one year after the Dallas Cowboys became the first expansion team in the modern era of professional football in the NFL.

Norm Van Brocklin was the first Viking coach and the players were mostly castoffs from other teams who were deemed too old or too raw or not good enough to make it in professional football.

Van Brocklin ran one of the toughest training camps. In the end, he was more concerned about character than he was about talent, which was a good strategy considering he had little talent to work with that first year.

Any player who could survive a Van Brocklin training camp was probably capable of eating a box of ten-penny nails for breakfast.

On opening day, the Vikings faced the defending NFL champion Chicago Bears, also known as the Monsters of the Midway, coached by the legendary George Halas.

"Don't do anything in practice that you wouldn't do in a game." George Halas

The expansion team of outcasts played like a pack of crazed junkyard dogs and defeated the Bears 31-13.

Coach Halas was furious.

Everybody in Minnesota, including me, has been bleeding purple ever since.

“Anybody who watches three games of football in a row should be declared brain dead." Erma Bombeck

The Vikings went on to struggle through their first season, as all expansion teams do, but always played hard and left a lasting impression on their opponents.

With the birth of the Vikings, their division, which has always included the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, became known as the Black and Blue Division.

The Vikings have been to four Super Bowls and have lost each time. No big deal -- if you live in Minnesota and are able to survive the winters, you can survive just about anything, including losing a sporting event and coping with swarms of mosquitoes every summer.

Even though I no longer dwell in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I expect the Vikings to be in the next Super Bowl and finally win the big enchilada -- of course, I expect that every year.

Bleeding purple is fine by me, as long as the Vikings still play like a pack of crazed junkyard dogs -- life is not about winning or losing, but rather how hard you try.

Quote for the Day -- “Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” Vince Lombardi

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where football is a great way to avoid your family on Thanksgiving.