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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Monday, June 9 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster45 years ago this month...
From my scrapbook: Teen Events, a column from the Nanty Glo Journal in June, 1958

Having come up with no current topic to discuss today, and inspired by a couple of dozen photographs sent to me by Ron Weekes of last week's Blacklick Valley High School graduation ceremonies and party (which I hope to add to the site later in the week), I decided to keep a long-ago-made promise and use one of the old columns I wrote in the Journal years ago. I picked June 1958, being 45 years ago, just because that seems like a round number. And I chose my column about my first-ever celebrity interview, with Dean Jones, because you probably remember Jones for many Disney movies throughout the years (he's the one on the right in the Love Bug poster shown here). Yes, the teen columns actually used words like "Flickersville" meaning Hollywood, though apparently in this instance it was borrowed from Dig magazine.

"Flickersville's fastest rising star, Dean Jones...is a young man whose rise in the entertainment field has been meteroic," said an article in the January issue of Dig magazine. His rise has been so meteoric since that article appeared, that this shooting star has finished one whole picture, "Handle With Care," and is now shooting another, "Imitation General." And from your requests, it is evident that our teenage world has taken notice of this handsome six-foot troubadour.

Like many other top Hollywood names, Dean was first a singer before becoming an actor. So in a recent post interview we asked: "Do you prefer singing to acting or vice versa?" Replied Dean: "I'm a singer. However, since doing 'Handle with Care,' I prefer acting. Confused? So am I!" Then he added that he most preferred to work before a live audience.

With one step ahead of Pat Boone, Dean practiced as a lay minister in his home town of Decatur, Alabama. Said he: "Yes, it's true I was a Methodist lay preacher for a year while in high school. There was a vacancy and no one to fill it. I was active in the youth work, and they asked me to take over as an unordained minister. It was a great experience. I was able to keep my local radio show too (WMSL). In fact, all the kids from the church used to come to the station to bolster me!"

You may remember Dean's singing voice from his recording of Silhouettes, a big seller. And as for acting, chances are you'll remember him as he appeared in "Jailhouse Rock" as the deejay who gave a hand to the rising Presley; as Tom's one friend in "Tea and Sympathy," or for any of his other roles...in "10,000 Bedrooms" with Dean Martin or "The Great Amewrican Pastime" and "The Wilder Years."

His biggest role to date is the leading male in "Mock Trial," the story of a small college town investigation that puts the spotlight on the much-loved mayor and arouses difficulty for Jones, the college investigator.

What's the secret of the Jones success? Undoubtedly it's personality. Nowadays, it isn't necessary, in Flicellulodia, to be an off-beat, or oddball, to be accepted by the public and the box office. And Dean Jones is one of the many present top personalities who is proving this every day.

Peronality, real basic, human personality, is the main attraction today. Dean illustrates this by the fact that he is one of today's few artists who promises to answer all his fan mail personally. And this showed when he told me: "Any character who has something to say to this generation" is the kind he prefers playing, and then, by adding, "Unfortunately, parts like that are hard to come by."

And the result of all this? First: A contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and eight movies in two years; a second contract with the same company which is fast making a top recording artist of him, and, third, 32 fan club chapters, life insurance to the rising star.

But the success of any star depends upon your reaction. For, after all, it is you, the teenager world, that makes a star by attending his movies, and even more important, showing your applause. Somewhere, among the 13 thousand of you out there, there might be someone who would like to cast his vote for a big star with a big personality.

Maybe Dean's 33rd fan club could originate in Nanty Glo, Cresson, Portage, Gallitzin, or even Twin Rocks. If you'd like to do something about that, you're invited to drop a line to Dean Jones, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Culver City, California.

And while you're at it, why not drop us a line at the same time? Maybe we could get together on this. Dean deserves it for he is honestly and simply, as he told me, "A guy trying to find out enough about life to be an actor." He's succeeded.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Things I've learned from my children

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh," it's already too late.
8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
9. A six-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
10. Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a four-year-old.

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?

— Irv Kupcinet

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