Sunday, May 22, 2016

William Backer - Created TV Ads

William Backer spent his career developing some of the most iconic television ads. It began in 1971 with an ad for Coca Cola featuring a chorus singing "I'd Like To Buy The World a Coke". It became a cultural icon.

He also developed the "Miller Time" theme as well as the Miller Lite "Tastes Great, Less Filling" banter. Lowenbrau beer featured his "Here's to friends, tonight is kind of special".

Backer died On May 15, 2016 after complications for colon cancer surgery. He was 89.

He spent many years working on ads for Coke, Buick and Exxon before he started his own company in 1979.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jerry Dior - Logo Designer

Jerry Dior was a free-lance artist who worked on designing packaging for various companies including Nabisco, Kellogg's and Howard Johnson's. His most well known work was the logo for Major League Baseball in 1969 to commemorate 100 years of the game.

The trademark has remained unchanged over the years. Fans see it all the time on all player uniforms, hats, jackets, sanctioned merchandise and anything else dealing with the corporate identity of baseball. It prompted other sports to create their own logo.

Dior was paid a flat fee for his work and never got any royalties. Many of his designs changed over the years, but MLB stayed the same.

Mr Dior died on May 10, 2015 at his home in Edison, NH. He was 82.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Noreen Corcoran - "Bachelor Father" Actress

The acting career of Noreen Corcoran was rather brief. Her greatest role was playing the niece of John Forsythe in the 1960's comedy "Bachelor Father" which aired from 1958-1962.

In 1965, she had a lead role in the movie "The Girls on the Beach" and appeared in a number of television shows before she retired in the late 60's.

Ms Corcoran died on Friday, January 22, 2016 from cardiopulmonary disease at the age of 72 in Van Nuys, California.

After leaving acting, she worked for the Lewitzky Dance Company behind the scene for more than a decade. She later faded away from public view.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mary Keefe - Rockwell Model

Mary Keefe was the model for Norman Rockwell's iconic "Rosie the Riveter" painting in 1943. It symbolized the millions of American women who went to work in factories during World War II.

She died on April 21, 2015 in Simsbury, CT after a brief illness at the age of 92.

Ms Keefe met Rockwell when they both lived in Vermont. She was a 19 year old telephone operator when the painting appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 23, 1943. Rockwell exaggerated some of her physical features, giving her large arms, hands and shoulders. He later apologized to her. She was paid $5 for the two morning sessions needed to photograph her for the painting.

The magazine cover was used extensively in ads to sell war bonds to the general public. She spent her career as a dental hygienist in Vermont and later in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Betty Willis - Sign Maker

Betty Willis spent her career as a commercial artist, but will always be remembered for the iconic "Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada" neon sign that sits on Las Vegas Boulevard, south of the strip. When she created the sign in 1959, few thought it would become such a popular tourist attraction and symbol of the city. It was added to the National Historical Register in 2009. She passed away on April 21, 2015 at the age of 91. She spent her career in Las Vegas in an industry dominated by men. Several of her signs appear at various casinos.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Luke Martin JR - Son of Ex-slave

Luke Martin Jr was the son of an ex-slave and former Union soldier who fought in the Civil War. Martin died on January 25, 2015 at the age of 97 at his home in New Bern, NC.- 179 years after his father was born.

Martin Sr was a slave at a plantation near Plymouth, NC. During the war, he became a member of 35th US Colored Troops. He fathered Martin Jr when he was 84 years old.

Martin JR spent his entire lifetime in the house his father built in the 1890's.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Two Left

Over the next two weeks, we will se the final NFL playoff schedule fall into place. So many teams are on a short leash this weekend. It will end very badly for some.

All you can ever hope as a fan is for your team
to make the playoffs.

Who knows what happens after that.

Ken Weatherwax - Child Actor

Ken Weatherwax appeared as "Pugsley" on the "Adams Family" television series which ran from 1964-1966. He would spend the rest of his career in show business, working as a grip on several Hollywood productions.

Mr Weatherwax passed away on December 7, 2014 at his home in Box Canyon, CA from a heart attack. He was forced to retire a few years ago due to medical reasons.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Theodore Van Kirk - Crew Memeber of Enola Gay

Theodore Van Kirk was the last surviving member of the crew of the Enola Gay, the B-29 airplane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He died on July 28, 2014 in Stone Mountain, GA at the age of 93. Van Kirk was selected for the secret mission after distinguishing himself as a navigator during 58 combat missions in Europe. The devastation caused by the bomb forced Japan into ending World War II. He left the military with the rank of major. He enrolled at Bucknell University, graduating with a bachelor's and master's degree in chemical engineering. He spent his working years at Dupont where he became a marketing executive.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Conrado Marrero - Oldest Major League Player

Conrado Marrero of Cuba held the distinction of being the oldest former Major League Baseball player until his passing last week in Havana at the age of 102. He missed his 103rd birthday by two days.

He was a star pitcher in the Cuban League before making his MLB debut with the Washington Senators in 1950 at the age of 39. He compiled a 39-40 record over five seasons with an ERA of 3.97 and 296 strikeouts.

After he was released by the Senators in 1955, he returned to Cuba where he played through the 1957 season. He continued to work into his 80's as an instructor and coach and was honored as a Hero of the Republic of Cuba.