Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Sorry to see the Euro Café in the mall has closed. It will be re-opening after renovation as a health-food restaurant. No more chicken breasts in creamy pesto sauce – alas!

It will be interesting to see how the new owners go in reaching a whole new customer demographic. I remember the health-food hamburger shop that used to be in Murray Street; it lasted about six months.

My family had been patronising Euro for many years under the previous oswners Martin & Winnie. He was head chef at Wrest Point when my sister was a gaming inspector there and his Austrian background gave him an engaging Arnold Schwarzennegger accent (in fact I think he might have known Arnie in the old country.

But, as they say, the only constant in life is change.

We're now into September and the geese are nesting at Julie's house. Over at my house, Zelda has repeated last Spring's routine and has built herself a nice little nest from scraps of this and that right at the far end of the house.

I remember last year we hardly saw her for a couple of weeks. Twice a day I would take her out some food and water. She would have a little bit then lose interest, driven by the overwhelming forces of instinct to care for those eggs.

One of our neighbors has returned home after a long trip away. Ted and his son went back to Poland to trace his roots. He told me that in his life he's spent more of his life in Britain and Australia than he ever had in his own country.

It seems unbelievable to us, but I guess it's not that unusual. For people born in a certain part of the twentieth century, being driven from your homes was a normal part of life.

He would have enjoyed his trip back home more if he hadn't slipped on the tiled floor of the hotel when he first arrived and hurt his hip.

When we saw him, he told my sister he brought her back some souvenirs – wooden silhouettes of barnyard animals and a carved wooden bird. Oh yeah, he's got her number all right!

The Fibber McGee & Molly Unofficial Home Page had an announcement to make recently:

Fans will be very excited to hear about a tremendous discovery: over 425 broadcasts from "The Fibber McGee and Molly Show," the fifteen-minute version of the program which aired on NBC between 1953 and 1956, most of which have been unheard since their original broadcast over fifty years ago!

Originally aired between January 1954 and February 1956, these programs are from the series' later five-a-week daily version. Most of these shows had been thought irretrievably lost, discarded along with thousands of other recordings when NBC's landmark Hollywood and Vine headquarters was demolished in 1964.

This is a tremendous "find" for fans of the McGees and also for radio historians. Original network disks are always a treasure, but to find this many of a single show - and one that has been considered lost for so long - is a real thrill.

The discs were found by the First Generation Radio Archives, an organization which, over the past few years, has become known as the source for some of the best-sounding radio programs ever made available. Working with original transcription disks and master recordings, their straight-from-the-source audio restorations have become the standard for just how wonderful OTR can sound when treated with care, respect, and state-of-the-art digital audio equipment and techniques.

The Archives has just released the first programs in this newly-discovered run: forty full-length shows dating from between January and April 1954, all fully restored for sparkling audio quality. (I've ordered mine!)

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