Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s September 20, 2016, and you know what that means: it’s Sophia Loren’s 82nd birthday! (It’s also National Rum Punch Day, but that’s a much inferior holiday.) Below are three pictures of my father and other Army officers with La Loren in Athens; she was there to film Boy on a Dolphin, released in 1957, also starring Alan Ladd and Clifton Webb. It was the first Hollywood movie shot in Greece. The photos below were probably taken in 1956, which would make Loren only 22.  The occasion for the pictures? My dad helped the movie company get vehicles and gasoline, still hard to procure 11 years after the war, from the Army motor pool. In return, Ladd and Loren schmoozed with the officers. In the first shot below, my dad is second from left. The photos are taken on the Acropolis, in a toy shop, and on a balcony, respectively.




Everything else is anticlimactic. On this day in 1519, Magellan set out on his voyage west, leading to the first circumnavigation of the globe. Sadly, Ferdinand didn’t make it, as he was killed by a local tribe in the Philippines. And, on September 20, 1962, James Meredith was refused admission to the University of Mississippi because he was black. He finally got in, but was shot four years later during an anti-segregation march; luckily, he survived.

Notables born on this day, besides Sophia Loren, include Upton Sinclair (1878) and the great editor Maxwell Perkins (1884), who “discovered” Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe. Those who died on September 20 include Jim Croce (1973; plane crash), Steve Goodman (1984; leukemia), and Simon Wiesenthal (2005). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is prowling by the Vistula, trying to look graceful:

Hili: Did you notice the elegance of my movements?
A: Of course.
Hili: Try to capture it in the picture.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy zwróciłeś uwagę na elegancję moich ruchów?
Ja: Oczywiście.
Hili: To spróbuj to uchwycić na zdjęciu.

And in the wilds of Winnipeg, where walruses waddle, Gus is playing with his staff:

One of Gus’s games. He loves to hide in the slot between the wall and the tv stand. Then I slide toys past and he snags them.





  1. Posted September 20, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Er … conceived on the Winter Solstice!

  2. Posted September 20, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    That Gus is the cutest. Those ears make him look like an adult kitten.

  3. GBJames
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    You have a dad!

  4. Alpha Neil
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Magellan should have checked his privilege instead of trying to appropriate their culture.

  5. davidintoronto
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Ms Loren looking VERY fine.

  6. rickflick
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Sophia Loren is still acting in films. In 2014 she made “La Voce Umana”:


  7. Mike
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Sophia Loren, I’m lost in reverie.

  8. busterggi
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Must be my age – the cat pictures got my attention more than Sophia did.

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Are you too young, or too old? Actually, I did not think a guy could be too old.

      • busterggi
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Too old – I don’t remember what parts to ogle anymore.

        • Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          I just ogle all of them.

          • busterggi
            Posted September 20, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            Honestly I don’t even remember how to ogle, all I can do is squint.

          • Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Have you heard of the three old gentlemen seeing a young lady pass by their bench?

            The first one: “Such a girl is to be hugged, hugged…”
            The second one: “And kissed, kissed…”
            The third one, thoughtfully: “There was also something else, something else…”

            • Diane G.
              Posted September 21, 2016 at 1:08 am | Permalink


            • bluemaas
              Posted September 21, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

              O, that is just great ! A mighty fine guffaw !


  9. Kev
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    ‘La Loren’ appeared on TV in the presentation of ‘Miss Italy’ a few years ago, the show that helped ‘discover’ her in the 1950’s.
    A friend of mine, who was working for the RAI on that show, said they were all terrified that Loren would come to grief because of the high stiletto’s she had chosen to wear while going up a staircase on live set at about the age of 70.

  10. Kevin
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Anticlimactic is an understatement. In the presence of Sofia…if only.

  11. Roger
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I read that Cary Grant was madly in love with her. I also read that Cary Grant dropped a lot of LSD too.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 29, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      I also read that Cary Grant dropped a lot of LSD too.


  12. Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the old photos, beautiful!

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