Hollywood director Lee Daniels is busy these days casting actors to play the parts in a new movie about Eugene Allen, the butler who served in the White House under eight presidents. Tell a military veteran that Jane Fonda was chosen to play the part of Nancy Reagan and you will hear four-letter words that you probably haven’t heard since high school.
Miss Fonda gained as much prominence as an anti-war activist during the Vietnam era as she did as a Hollywood actress. She was a staunch opponent of the war, and in 1972 she visited Hanoi. There she was photographed sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery, sparking controversy, and earning her the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” She has since expressed regret over her actions, but many patriotic Americans still hold a grudge.
One of my neighbors spent more than 18 months in ’Nam during the 1970s spit on the ground and shouted, “I wouldn’t spend a dime to see that (expletive) playing the part of a wonderful first lady.”
“Even if it’s a terrific movie? Why deny yourself?” asked another neighbor. “Do like so many of our friends will be doing. They will buy tickets for a different flick and then stroll into the wrong theatre.”
Hmmm. What’s your thinking on this?
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The big joke on TV at the same time was that if Hanoi Jane will portray Nancy Reagan, Daniels should hire Michael Moore to portray President Reagan.
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According to the people at Gallop, Americans rate Ronald Reagan as the best president of the past half century. Of those asked, 69 percet say that the Gipper will go down as “above-average or outstanding.” How will President Obama rank? We are told that it is best to evaluate a presidency at least one or two decades after the day he leaves office. There are lots of us that cannot wait for that day to come.
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Without looking it up, what is Mitt Romney’s first name? Six of every 10 that are asked will say Mitchel. WRONG! His real name is Willard Mitt Romney. Ask the gal at the next desk.
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Congratulations to longtime Brooklyn residents, Laraine and Sal Grande, on the birth of their grandson. Being a grandparent is the best portion of our lives. It’s the only part that lives up to its advance hype. Everything else, no matter how wonderful, has a downside. For example:
• “Wait until you graduate from college.” Now you have to look for a job.
• “Wait until you get married.” Now you have to share a bathroom
• “Wait until you own your own house.” Now you are responsible to fix the leaks from the roof.
But when you hear “Wait until you are a grandpa.” You hold the baby, you hug him, you sing to him, you love him, and at five-0-clock, when it’s time to leave, it’s “Here kid. Take your baby. I’m heading home.”
You knew that last line was coming, didn’t you? I am [email protected] wishing all grandparents a great big mazal tov!
Stanley P. Gershbein's column appears every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.