Stanley and Iris: ALIVE at the Movies


Stanley and Iris is a movie that sneaks up on you. While you may or may not be able to relate to middle America, most of us somewhere in our background at least had a taste of it.

This delightful movie puts you right there in the middle of it. Every day factory worker, Iris King (Jane Fonda) get ups, gets the kids ready and then rides the bus to her job mass producing bakery goods. One day while riding the bus her purse is stolen and she gives chase. Going toe to toe with the big bruiser, she is knocked down and he gets away with her purse and devastatingly, her paycheck. Stanley Cox (Robert DeNiro) pursues the two but arrives moments to late to save the day. This marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Stanley works in the canteen at the same company and has noticed Iris while dishing out mashed potatoes.

Iris is recently widowed, harried and trying to make ends meet. Her sister Sharon (Swoosie Kurtz) and brother-in-law Joe (Jamie Sheriden) have moved in with her, her teenage daughter has just found out she’s pregnant and her son is still missing his dad.

Stanley is bright and kind and…illiterate. He rides a bike because he can’t read. When his beloved father passes away he can’t even sign the death certificate. He has lost his job because he’s deemed a liability in the kitchen where he works. He digs ditches, cleans toilets and works in a car wash to support himself. The angst and humiliation are warring within him as he waits for Iris outside the factory in the pouring rain. He starts to ask, stops, tries again but just can’t get the words out. Finally, through his pain as she starts to get on the bus, he blurts out his secret desire, teach me to read.

Thus, the journey begins. After many hours of sitting at Iris’ kitchen table starting from the beginning, while the life of a family surrounds him, Stanley learns to read and write and a beautiful and steadfast friendship blossoms.

Stanley and Iris
, often simplistic and perhaps even naïve, is a story that could be played out in any home in any industrial city. While it never saw an Oscar nomination this movie is honest and direct and entertaining.

Robert De Niro’s gentle underplaying in the central role gives it believability. Jane Fonda brings a pent up desire for things to go back the way they were before her husband died, knowing that can’t be, she is going through the motions of living. While this may sound like a “downer” movie it truly isn’t. Stanley and Iris is about hope, friendship and finally love, abiding love.

I like this movie. I’ve watched it several times in the last 20 years and I am never disappointed. I’ve been privileged to live in an area where illiteracy doesn’t often rear its ugly head and for that I am thankful, but it’s out there and the fact won’t be denied. I am blessed and if you are reading this, you are as well. As always, I welcome your comments at Chastings@rockcliff.com.

2011 Ford Flex – The New Family Transport!


Conveying our family and belongings from one location to another has existed forever. The vehicle of choice to make the trek has changed over the years. First, there was the horse and buck board, some years later emerged the station wagon, suburban, van, minivan, SUV, and now the Ford Flex. Ok, yes, I know I might have skipped a generation or two; however, you get the picture!

In the 1980’s the popular family transport shifted from station wagon to minivan; by the mid-90’s the minivan was re-labeled as the “soccer mom” vehicle. After Ford dropped its Windstar minivan in 2004 it was time to create an exciting people-mover. In 2009, Ford created the all-new seven-passenger Flex.

The Ford Flex is a full-size crossover utility vehicle, built from a version of the same car-platform as the Taurus and new Explorer crossover. The Flex can accommodate up to seven adults within its three rows of seats that can be configured in two layouts 2-3-2 or 2-2-2. Even with the third row of seats in an upright position, there is still plenty of room for luggage, groceries, or other items we lug from here to there. You can also fold down the third and second row seats for even greater cargo hauling.

For those readers unfamiliar with what constitutes a “crossover”, here is a brief description: merge the attributes of an SUV – tall ride height and very versatile for carrying people and cargo – with the comfortable ride and fuel economy of a car. What you get is a crossover – half utilitarian and half car.

The model lineup for the 2011 Ford Flex is as follows: SE ($29,075), SEL ($31,875), SEL AWD ($33,725), SEL AWD with EcoBoost V6 engine ($36,720), Limited ($37,845), Limited AWD ($39,695), Limited AWD with EcoBoost engine ($42,690), Titanium ($40,340), Titanium AWD ($42,190) and the top-of-the-line Titanium AWD with EcoBoost engine ($45,185). Our test model was the front-wheel drive Titanium trim.

My impression of the Flex is that it has a fresh and totally unique styling. It won’t get lost in the crowd of typical crossovers or SUV’s. Looking at the profile of the Flex, think Mini on major steroids. Similar to the Mini, the exterior can be customized with the roof being available in white, silver, body color, and on the new Titanium trim – tuxedo black. The windows and pillars are blacked out creating the image that the roof is floating.

The boxy design, which I like, can be polarizing for some; however, on a personal note; I find it bold! Originally, Ford had thought about placing sliding rear doors similar to a minivan, and then decided not to create a reason for possible “minivan bashing”.

The exterior shape of the Flex is a positive that’s reflected in the extremely spacious interior environment. You don’t feel cramped in any of the multiple seating arrangements or feel like you have given up either leg or storage room to accommodate the third row of seating. Going beyond the vast amount of cosmos in the Flex, the interior is also rich in material quality, elegant ambiance, technological components, and overall comfort. The Flex was designed to be upscale and from the moment you sit inside, the sense of luxury is apparent.

In testing the Titanium model, we were spoiled with soft leather-trimmed 10-way powered front driver (6-way power passenger) seats, navigation system, Sony premium audio system with SYNC voice-activated system and Sirius radio, power adjustable pedals, reverse sensing and rear camera, ambient lighting, Mykey system and optional dual headrest DVD entertainment system.

Ford has been impressing drivers everywhere with its new engines. The 2011 Ford Flex delivers two spectacular V6 engine options. The base motor is a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 262 horsepower with 24 highway mpg (FWD). Then comes the EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 that bangs out V8 power of 355 wild horses and still manages 21 highway miles per gallon while mated to Ford’s all-wheel drive system. The twin turbo EcoBoost liberates the smoothest acceleration I have ever experienced.

Room for improvement:

  • No push-button start


Cool Features:

  • SYNC Voice Activated System
  • EcoBoost Twin-Turbo V6
  • Power Liftgate

The 2011 Ford Flex is packed with safety features including driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags, canopy side-impact airbags, perimeter alarm, reverse sensing, anti-lock brakes, seatbelt pre-tensioners, passive anti-theft system, AdvanceTrac electronic traction control, RSC Roll Stability Control and electronic brake force distribution.

In Summary – The 2011 Ford Flex is a larger crossover with style and distinctiveness. It is extremely capable and comfortable with more rear legroom in the second row of seats than most, if not all vehicles in its class. The interior is saturated with upscale trim, soft touch-points, and high-tech amenities. The 2011 Ford Flex is perfect for the family needing lots of space; however, not necessarily looking for a minivan, and also cares about style and wants a fun-to-drive vehicle.



Specifications

2011 Ford Flex Titanium

Base price: $40,340 as driven: $43,505 (including destination)
Engine: 3.5-Liter 6-cylinder
Horsepower: 262 @ 6250
Torque: 248 pound-feet @ 4500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front Wheel-Drive
Seating: 7-passenger
Turning circle: 40.7 feet
Cargo space: 83.2 cubic feet
Curb weight: 4471 pounds
Fuel capacity: 18.6 gallons
EPA mileage: 24 highway, 17 city
Wheel Base: 117.9 inches
Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper
Also consider: Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, Lexus RX, and Volkswagen Tiguan

There is Always Going to be Something to Worry About

Earthquake in Japan, nuclear meltdown, tensions in the Middle-East, rising gas prices, high unemployment, soaring deficits, and the European debt crisis—wow, what an incredible list of things to worry about! Yet, the equity markets continued to move higher. How can this be? I would argue that seeing the market go up during times of worry is nothing new. There has rarely been any period of time when there was not something going on in the world that made us worry. As investors we need to accept these constant worries as a normal part of the human experience. If your plan is to wait and get invested “when things calm down,” I am afraid you may be waiting a long, long time. We cannot let current events, no matter how awful they seem at the time; distract us from our long term investment plan. There is no disputing the fact that when a crisis hits it is scary. The markets generally will go down. Expect this. How we deal with it is the key. We must remind ourselves during these scary times that a down market is an illusion. It never lasts. The markets have a very long and predictable record of recovering from crisis, making new highs and rewarding long term investors. That is as long as you don’t panic out during the downturn and let the emotions of the crisis get the better of you.

Change your focus. We can always take solace by focusing on what we are invested in. What is the market? What do you own behind the names of your funds and the numbers on your statements? When you have a globally diversified portfolio, you have ownership in the great companies of the U.S. and the world. Why would you ever want to sell these? Are all of the great companies of the U.S. and the world going to go out of business? Are all of the great businesses that provide goods and services to you, me and billions of people across the globe everyday going to become worthless? Of course not. There will be ups and downs. This is normal and can create opportunity. There will be times when certain asset classes are more attractively valued than others. Today, many countries are growing their economies at faster rates than others. These are the things that an investment professional can help you navigate.

In the end, however, each investor must manage all the things there will always be to worry about. I don’t see the list getting shorter anytime soon. One of the greatest golfers of all time, Bobby Jones, once said, “Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course…the space between your ears.” I think he very could have been talking about investing as well.

Damien helps individuals invest and manage risk. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a principal of Walnut Creek Wealth Management. These are the views of Damien Couture, CFP® and should not be construed as investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Your comments are welcome. Damien can be reached at 925-280-1800 x101 or Damien@WalnutCreekWealth.com.

Funny Side Up – Peace Between Exes in the Dugouts of Life

Peace Between the Exes

I sat there freezing my buns off wondering if I would be safe or not. I convinced myself it’s just a Little League game and those rugrats are only eight-years-old. Dangerous would certainly not be the word description I was looking for here.

That is, until a ball flew out of no where and landed right next to my expensive cup of java. Okay that’s it. I decided to move my camp to behind the chain-linked fence.

Reorganized with my bag-o-seeds, shades and shorts with goose bumps to match, I nestled in a folding chair that was closer to the ground than I cared to be. My new friends were ants. From this vantage point it was hard to see my son, number eight, swing, make contact with the ball, then run to first base like I was chasing him down with cough medicine. He must’ve made it since he didn’t come back to the dugout to pull grass with all the other gardeners, I mean players.

It was evident the sugar-coated breakfast I lovingly fed my son was the same all the other kids ate, since the energy level was high enough to make a small explosive. The yells from the parents were aimed at their precious little ones to pay attention, but it was as useless as a screen door on a submarine – isn’t that a song?

I yelled the loudest when my son hit another ball to outfield. I was proud until he started teasing the second baseman, and the two got yelled at from one of the coaches. That’s when he went from ‘my boy’ to ‘his dad’s son.’

“My boy” looked so cute in his purple jersey, spiked black shoes, knee-hi socks that reached his thighs and his white see-through polyester pants revealing his action-figure underwear. It’s no secret where he gets his super-hero strength.

I look at him and I see scholarship. I could do it; I mean he could with encouragement, practice, good grades and good looks. A little cute never hurt anybody. But maybe I don’t want him to be a jock, or maybe he wants to be something else when he grows up – I’ll let him decide. Maybe.

So I sat there, safe behind the fence mapping out my son’s future when all of a sudden a bat flew towards me as if it were a newspaper thrown like the paperboy’s best shot to the wrong house. Bringing me back down to earth and out of my dreamlike zone, I gave the nearest coach a growl. If I can keep from spitting and scratching, then the least he could do is keep the little sluggers from random acts of bat-tossing.

I decided to make conversation with the other moms. They were shocked to find out that the coach was my ex, my son is an alien, and I am a pro-basketball player. The latter two seemed to make sense to them, but they found it hard to believe how a divorced couple could be so civil at a social sporting event.

Call it luck or call it a blessing, either way my son is the one holding the four-leaf clover. Literally, he’s out in left field looking for clovers because the batter thinks the ball on the tee is supposed to stay right where it is.

Honestly, the less strife between his dad and I, the greater the chances our son will hit a grand slam in the future “I” pick out for him!

Charleen Earley is a veteran freelance writer, comedienne and high school journalism teacher. Please visit her website at www.CharleenEarley.com.

Legal Lines – Getting Organized

When I see new clients, one of the first things I ask them is whether they have any existing estate planning documents. Is there a Trust, Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directive? Often I find out that clients have to search through their files to bring me the requested paperwork. Documents are missing pages, several copies of the same thing—many with no signatures. Some people are fearful of throwing anything away; others are foes of clutter, shredding everything in sight!

It is important to keep a copy on hand of each of these documents, and to keep the Original Signature Documents in a Safe Deposit Box or Fire Safe. Unsigned copies should be shredded, to avoid creating confusion. Only the most current documents should be kept, and the rest shredded. ONE EXCEPTION: you should never shred your original Trust, unless it has been revoked. Changes to your Trust, such as Amendments or Restatements should be kept with your Trust, since they are tied to the existence of the original Trust.

Your Executor/Trustee should know that you have a Trust and your Attorney’s information. One of my clients was a niece helping her very ill uncle. The only way we found out that he had a Trust was to look at the title for his house. Then she had to hunt through all of his records to find the documents. Since she was able to find his Trust and Power of Attorney, I was able to help her take charge of his accounts for his benefit very quickly; otherwise we would have had to go to Court to apply for a Conservatorship, which defeats the purpose of having your Estate Planning documents done in the first place.

Tax season is over. Now is the time to make a point of organizing all your paperwork while we are in between seasons and busy holidays.

More on Short Sales

Q. My spouse and I live in Blackhawk. Our home has significantly decreased in value since the peak market a few years back and now we are thinking of ‘short-selling’ it. I’ve heard that the success of a short sale depends heavily not only on the amount of the mortgage forgiveness but also on the specific bank or lender – is that true?

Yes, you are right. The bottom line is that some financial institutions cooperate greatly and some are ‘black holes’ that will consume your time, energy and sanity as you try to work within their system. The amount of lender cooperation or frustration is actually tracked on a monthly basis by third party short sale facilitators who typically assist homeowners and Realtors through the rigorous short sale approval process. For example, if your loan is with Wachovia, Wells Fargo Financial/Home Equity or Patelco, the initial response time for a short sale approval can be 30 days or less; however, if you loan is with PHH, US Bank or SunTrust, the response time can be a whopping four to six months. And this is only for first mortgages, not seconds, where it can get much more convoluted. As always, my advice is to navigate the short sale waters with a professional Realtor who specializes in the short sale market as that will provide your best chance of success.

Q. I have a friend at work who may be selling his home. I referred him to my preferred Realtor but he’s also thinking of using an agent he worked with in the past who now lives out of the area. My friend is concerned if he works with this non-local agent that the local agents may tend to ‘boycott’ the listing and not show his home because he chose to work with someone from the outside. Is that how it works? Your thoughts?

Your friend should have valid concerns from a couple of different aspects. The ‘boycotting’ thing could be a minor factor however the biggest concern should be trying to sell while being represented by an agent who is not intimately involved, day in and day out, with the dynamics of our 2011 local marketplace. This is a tough market and sellers need every possible advantage to come out ahead in the marketing of the property—the negotiating of the contract and the closing of the transaction. More transactions are falling apart (or worse yet, headed to litigation) at the eleventh hour in today’s market because sellers are choosing listing agents who aren’t assertive enough by nature or skillful enough by experience to get the job done—quite simply, they don’t do a thorough job up front of qualifying the buyer’s ‘loan-ability’. Mortgage lenders today are scrutinizing every aspect of the buyer’s qualifications, right up until the funding of the loan, which is too late in many transactions to right the ship if the lender ultimately denies the buyer’s loan. The bottom line: it’s never been more important or critical to sellers for their listing agent to find the RIGHT buyer for their home, not just any buyer. And many agents out there don’t even know the right questions to ask. Also, unless a seller has a strong negotiator in his corner, the inspection phase of the transaction can cost the seller dearly during the repairs negotiation. Lastly, I firmly believe that the daily marketing and networking of the property will suffer without a strong local agent; it’s a 24/7 job in today’s market. To summarize, your friend is wise to question the effectiveness of utilizing an out-of-area agent; my recommendation is to interview at least one credentialed local Realtor and then compare the service and skill level differences of the two agents prior to making such an important decision.

Tom Hart

Tom Hart

Tom Hart is a practicing Real Estate Broker and a partner at Empire Realty Associates in Danville. He is a Certified Master Negotiator by the University of San Francisco and a Certified Master Strategist by HSM Harvard Program on Negotiation. He is past president of the Contra Costa Association of Realtors (2005) and past president of the Realtors’ Marketing Association of the San Ramon Valley. Tom is in high demand as a speaker & trainer inside & outside the real estate industry.

On the Green: Expectations and Patience

It happens to all of us: new golfers, expert golfers and professional golfers. One good shot followed up with a bad shot. Good one day, bad the next. Lowest round ever and the next time you go out it’s as if you haven’t touched the club in a year. Holing every putt on the front nine and then missing them all the back nine. A great front nine score followed up with a horrible back side score. It goes on and on!

If you have played golf for awhile you have gone through this probably several times. You have even come to know that this is part of golf, part of life. That’s the perspective that keeps you sane but it is still very, very frustrating. If you’re new to golf and you start seeing how erratic you are with golf, you might think this only happens to you. Well, it doesn’t. It happens a lot to everyone.

Rory McInroy can attest to that. He is the European and PGA Tour sensation that shot rounds in the 60’s at last year’s British Open and followed up with an 80. At the Masters just this year he shot three rounds in the 60’s and had a horrendous day on Sunday. Point is, we all do it and it’s frustrating and perplexing. Tiger Woods was being interviewed when this very subject was brought up. “Why can’t you play great all the time and hit the ball consistently well?” His reply was, “Too many moving parts in the swing to coordinate and time.” You remember Tiger Woods, best player on the planet who has, um well, taken a turn “backwards?”

Sports psychologists have had a field day with athletes who are trying to unlock these mysteries. I wonder if all the knowledge that they have and in all the wonderful advice they give if they don’t ever experience for themselves the ups and downs in performance that all athletes encounter? My guess is that they do too. They are human just like us. Not immune to emotions and challenges in their thinking that create changes physiologically.

I am not a sports psychologist but have met several. I have attempted plenty of times to understand why we go through so many rollercoaster rides and have befriended other players who have had tremendous success at the highest level in the sport of golf. I can tell you that it is mostly psychological for them and me, and probably you too. I believe the breakdown exists, for many, in the way they are thinking.

In a nut shell, here is what I do think happens when we start playing the “yo yo game.” Very quickly when you play a good round or front nine our expectations or hope rises. When this happens, our patience drops. We do this unknowingly. When things start going well we feel great, trust takes over, confidence rises and when all this “good stuff” happens, this is when we become vulnerable. Instead of staying in the moment we wander in our thinking. “I hope I can keep this up for the back nine; I could have my best round ever. Wow I can win this tournament because I am playing so well.” All of the sudden you are out of the moment. One mistake kills that momentum and suddenly you panic, and your patience goes next. You hear it a lot when players are being interviewed. They talk about staying in the moment; not thinking ahead; not thinking behind. Here is some advice: when you catch yourself doing this, stop it. Bring yourself back to what you need to do on the very next shot. Sound easy? It takes conditioning your mind and it’s the biggest challenge I have ever personally had with golf. You need to become aware of what’s going on in your head to ever have a chance of understanding where the breakdown is. Better control of your focus will lead to surges in your concentration and before long you will be sustaining that for longer periods of time. This is a huge challenge for all golfers but it’s what professional golfer’s do well most of the time.

Baseball Research Convention Comes to California This Summer

The last six months have been nirvana for Bay Area baseball fans. The Giants won the World Series, the championship trophy toured the region to give fans an up close look, spring training was a six week party, the World Championship banner is hanging from the flag pole, and the players received their diamond encrusted rings to the cheers of adoring multitudes.

Super-serious fans can put one more event on their calendar. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is having its annual convention in California for the first time since 1998 from July 6-10. A short trip from the Bay Area to Long Beach will put attendees into an alternate universe where eating, sleeping, drinking, and thinking about baseball is all there is.

Your correspondent has been to ten of these events. They generally feature four dozen presentations of member research, panels of former players and other official personnel; small group meetings of people with specialized interest in the esoterica of ballparks, umpires, 19th century baseball, the Negro Leagues, trading cards and more; a banquet with a notable baseball figure delivering a keynote address (this year super-agent Scott Boras is the featured speaker); a trivia contest with spectacular knowledge on display; and a major league and minor league game or two.

Research presentations can range from a history of baseball-related Peanuts comic strips, to an analysis of the affects on the 1962 National League expansion draft on league balance in subsequent years, to how to precisely measure fielding skill among big league infielders. In small group meetings members share research techniques and discoveries, and when you go to a game with this group far more people keep a scorecard than do not. As you might imagine, these people boo the wave.

Convention registrants range in age from about 12-90. Perhaps 20 per cent of registrants are women, and many attendees bring the family and take time out to see the local sights. When my wife went with me to the 2009 Washington D.C. convention she took advantage of her first trip to our nation’s capitol and visited the national monuments and took a first hand look at how the Federal Government operates, while I was involved in more important matters with my SABR brethren back at the hotel.

Many veteran convention goers say the best moments take place at the hotel bar. There you will find tables full of people trying to remember who replaced Babe Ruth in the Yankee outfield in 1935 (George “Twinkletoes” Selkirk), figuring out new ways to more accurately evaluate player performance, or debating how well Satchel Paige would have done if he were allowed to play in the pre-Jackie Robinson all-white major leagues.

So how does one take advantage of this opportunity to enter baseball heaven? Visit www.sabr.org and click on the SABR Convention 41 icon. Once you explore the schedule you can register for the convention at the online SABR store. The Long Beach Hilton is the official hotel, and there is a convention rate of $119 per night. Those in Alive East Bay country can either book a Jet Blue flight directly from Oakland to Long Beach and land 15 minutes from the hotel, or make that five-hour drive down I-5.

However you get there, be prepared for total immersion in our National Pastime.

Dirt Gardener – Snail Bait & Orchids


Q. Do snails become immune to snail bait?

A. Snails do not build up immunity to the typical baits. This can occur with some insects when they are repeatedly exposed to non-lethal dosage of a chemical. Their immune system builds up a resistance over several generations. This is not the case with the Brown Garden Snail. They are controlled with liquid or granular baits using a cereal, based attractant, usually wheat. Since the 1930’s, metaldehyde has been the primary active ingredient in snail baits; however, Iron Phosphate has joined it today. Stale beer can also be effective because of the hops and malt. With metaldehyde, snails ingest the tainted material and even the smallest amount is quickly fatal by dehydration. The results are quickly seen the morning after an application as the area is littered with shells. Thus, there are no opportunities for the immune system of snails to build up immunity and then pass it on to the next generation. Metaldehyde is highly toxic by inhalation, moderately toxic by ingestion and slightly toxic by handling it. Hence, there are concerns with pets, kids and vegetable plants with the metaldehyde baits such as Corry’s, Buggetta and Deadline. Iron phosphate, unlike metaldehyde, is safe around kids, pets, and wild life. With vegetables, it can be used up to the day of harvest. Iron phosphate is a compound that occurs naturally in the soil. Because of its relatively low toxicity, it can be used in ‘organic’ gardens, where pesticides are typically avoided. Snails are attracted to the bait, ingest the material, return to their habitat and stop feeding. There is no mass carnage the next morning. The snails die from a fatal case of food poisoning rather than a type of chemical poisoning. This concerns folks, as there are no visual signs of any victims. Sluggo is the primary iron phosphate brand being sold today. On average, an adult snail lays eighty-five eggs every four to six weeks from February through October. It takes a snail about two year to mature. After the rainy season concludes, bait monthly in the dark, moist breeding areas to keep the population under control

Q. I was given a Cymbidium Orchid plant. I haven’t had good results with any orchids in the past. Would it be better to plant it in the garden or keep it in the pot?

A. Cymbidium Orchids are one of the hardiest of all the outdoor grown orchids. They grow best in morning to early afternoon sun but the foliage can burn with hot temperatures and they do suffer with cold winter nights. While they could be grown in the ground, it’s not recommended because they’ll never flower again. Cymbidium orchids must have their roots crowded or restricted in order to bloom. In addition, you can move them around to enjoy the flowers or protect them during those warm and/or cold periods. Now, the biggest concern is keeping them moist, as they’re watered daily or every other day, now through October.

Trivial Matters

Since the euphoria of the Giants first World Championship, the sports scene has become something of a bummer. The two sides of the Pro Football dispute are nowhere close to an agreement. We just witnessed maybe the worst NCAA final basketball game ever. The reigning home run champ is on trial. Let’s see if we can “get happy.”

  1. Who did an immortal job of singing “Get Happy” in the movies “Summer Stock”?
  2. Who was the center fielder for the infamous Chicago “Black Sox” in 1920?
  3. What was FDR’s campaign song in 1932?
  4. Who made a hit of this song in the early 60′s?
  5. What ex-governor was the commissioner of baseball in the late 1940′s?
  6. Who directed most of the chapters of “Happy Days”?


April Answers

  1. Ruben Gomez
  2. Mickey Rooney
  3. Jean Stapleton
  4. Peggy Lee
  5. William Conrad
  6. Thomas Eagleton

WIN LUNCH ON BEN!
The first person to email or mail, no calls please, the correct answers to all of the above questions will win a $25 gift certificate at The Uptown Cafe in downtown Danville, compliments of Ben Fernandez!
Entries must be received by May 20, 2011. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn at random. Please email your answers to info@aliveeastbay.com, or mail to ALIVE East Bay, 199 East Linda Mesa Avenue, Suite 10, Danville, CA 94526. Employees and family members of employees of ALIVE East Bay are not eligible.
Restaurant may be changed without notice.