Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Tribute to Mel Blanc

I've been asked many times what my favorite epitaph or gravestone is. And while I do really like "I told you I was sick," I cannot say that it's my favorite. My favorite epitaphs is carved on a grave I have never seen in person. Mel Blanc's in Hollywood forever. I know no more fitting an epitaph than his:

"That's All Folks"
Mel Blanc
Man of 1000 Voices
Beloved Husband and Father

Today's tribute to Mel Blanc is not just because of his grave marker. It's because of the man. After my daughter and I came home this morning from picking up doughnuts, we found that my husband had put in a documentary about Mr. Blanc. I believe it's from the Looney Tunes Golden Collection. I didn't realize that he did so many Hanna Barbera voices as well. He was the voice of Captain Caveman! My favorite! I love how Captain Caveman would just randomly pull things out of all the hair covering his body. Anything from a club to a piano or something.

Garry Owen (announcer and voice of Space Ghost) called him "the top voice in the history of animation." I completely agree.

Mr. Blanc, you are dearly missed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

RIP Louie Belson

As you may know, jazz musician (drummer and composer) Mr. Louie Bellson Jr. passed away on Feb. 14, 2009.

While he was born in Rock Falls, Illinois, Mr. Bellson grew up in my hometown, Moline, Ill. Mr. Bellson was a 1942 graduate of my high school alma mater, Moline High School. His last performance in the Quad Cities was at the Redstone Room in Davenport, Iowa. He was born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni on July 6, 1924.

Referred to by Duke Ellington as "the world's greatest drummer and musician," he has the "second highest number of appearances at the White House (only Bob Hope had more)" and was acclaimed by music greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and more.

Honestly, I don't know a lot about Louie Bellson or his music. I just knew that he made Moline very proud, and that people who did know him were happy they did.

As a Moline native as well as the wife of a singer and musician, I'm posting this to honor a man who brought joy to many people and whose music will continue to do so for years and years to come.

Mr. Bellson was buried in my neighborhood in Riverside Cemetery in Moline. These photos were taken the day after his burial on March 4. He has been laid to rest beside his father, Louie Bellson Sr.

Rest in peace.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Field Trip to Springfield, Ill. - May 2, 2009

Field Trip to Springfield, Ill. - May 2, 2009

**Note: We were originally going to visit the Museum of Funeral Customs, but I recently discovered that it has closed. So the trip has changed a bit. I have contacted a representative with "Reflections: The American Funeral" mobile exhibition. This exhibition travels around to various areas that "rent" it. I looked into the possibility of it coming to the Quad Cities, but it costs around $4,000 for a three-day minimum stay. Yikes! It will be in Springfield for a funeral director convention on May 2, and prior to that it will be in Oregon. This is an excellent chance to see this traveling exhibition.** is hosting a field trip to Springfield, Ill., leaving from Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday, May 2. Though details are still being confirmed, the trip itinerary will include:

- Depart from Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Davenport, Iowa @ 8:30 a.m.
- Arrive in Springfield @ 11:30 a.m.
- Lunch @ 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
- "Reflections: The American Funeral" mobile exhibition @ 12:45- 1:45 p.m.
- Oak Ridge Cemetery and Lincoln's Tomb @ 2-4:30 p.m.
- Dinner @ 4:30-5:15 p.m.
- Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore @ 5:30-7 p.m.
- Depart Springfield
- Arrive back in Davenport @ 10:30 p.m.

We'll be renting 1-2 large passenger vans for the trip.

15 participant minimum for the trip, so invite your family and friends!

Departure time from Davenport, Iowa: 8:30 a.m.
Estimated return time to Davenport: 10 p.m.

Cost will be $45 per person, including Lincoln's Ghost Walk fee (through Springfield Walks). Meals are not included.

Registration and payment must be made by April 15. Send an e-mail to Minda to reserve your spot, and a PayPal invoice will be sent to you (payment may be made via PayPal or check).

If you live outside the immediate area, you may also join us on the field trip for the discounted price of $22 per person. E-mail Minda for details:

I hope you can make it!

Minda Powers-Douglas
Epitaphs Magazine
PO Box 1163
Moline, IL 61266-1163

Friday, March 6, 2009

If I post more, will you follow me anywhere?

I may not have posted for a while, but I've got a good post coming up. In fact, if you miss it and don't tell all of your online and offline friends to follow me, you will sooo be missing out. It's a tale of intrigue, love, lust and debauchery. It's the best of times, it's the worst of times. It's the final nail in the coffin.

What is it? I haven't thought of it yet. But when I do, it will be awesome!!!!!