Sybil's "Rosh Hashanah Mishaps of Yesteryear"... Episode 1...

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... I'm reminded of the time that I was invited to my friend Millie Murmelstein's lovely home for a wonderful Rosh Hashanah dinner. Millie had family and friends coming, about 20 of us sitting at a gorgeously set table. It all started out beautifully, but then it began to run late. We noticed weird humming and then screechy singing coming from the kitchen, finally punctuated by several crashes and yowling laughter... we all ran in to find Millie's new cook, Miss Galena O'Grady, thoroughly drunk and "tasting the main cairse to see if i' twas goood enoof for the nice gaists", as she put it. Apparently, Millie had hired Miss O'Grady from an agency that specialized in burlesque, circus, and carnival performers who "had fallen on hard times". Miss O'Grady's specialty had been as a... um... Carny Geek. You can imagine the kerfuffle that ensued!... Oh well, I wish all of you a L'shana Tovah!

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Sybil's "Fun & Funny Stories From The Revolution!"...


The bonfire is the only decent home for him now... along with his bug-wife and the entire skank-litter. Under NO circumstances should any of them be separated from the others as families have been broken up at the Mexican border. No! They should remain united as they're... um... "relocated" into the flames. Period…

His bug-wife has begged to be spared, and after all, what has she done other than to be a cheap naked floozy from Vulgaria, or Snatchatola, or... Akron... whatever. No. Since she is friendly with her lady-parts, give her a balloon and a feather and let her do the hootchy-kootch for the USO…

His two oldest sons are clearly either rabid or mentally deficient... or both. Look at their drooling, hang-dog expressions, the flatness in the grinning eyes, and the neighing and mumbling when they speak. They are fit only to be used as piñatas and to be hit with sticks until either candy or poops come out. Period…

His younger children from an assortment of floozy-mothers and collaborators are also an issue. Are they guilty of any actual crimes? I say NO!... BUT! They are perfect for the factories where they can knit sweaters... or labor near huge machines with whirring gears, banging levers, and sharp edges. Or perhaps they enjoy circuses and carnivals!!! Are there no Dunk-The-Clown booths that need... um... "dunk-ettes"?... "dunkle-tinas"... "dunskins"...whatever. Take them away.

I feel I must draw the Revolutionary Tribunal's attention to the fact that his so-called "personal attorney" has been examined. He was discovered just this morning in his prison cell to be sporting a pair of horns and a bright red tail with a sharp point at the end. We suggest that both the horns and tail should be immediately scissored OFF, with or without anesthesia. Sadly, there is nothing we can do about the sulfur smell in the cell. Does anyone on the committee have a can of Febreze? (to be continued)

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Sybil's "MY MERRY MEMOIRS"... my sister Dagmar and her mischief...

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That is my identical twin sister Dagmar pushing our younger brother Hector in his new toy Isotta-Fraschini race car. It had a real motor and ran on either extra-virgin olive oil from the Corleone groves or on Guerlain's "Perruche Dérangée", 6oz. per mile. Sadly, the Guerlain perfume was highly flammable and we lost the little car in an explosion right after this photo was taken, when Dagmar managed to push it and little Hector under the wheels of that Monsieur Softée Ice Cream truck driven by Kenny Snodgrass. It was never clear why exactly an eleven year old would be driving an ice cream truck through Paris at rush-hour, but then with child labor laws at that time, it's hardly surprising, is it? Fortunately, when the Isotta-Fraschini exploded, little Hector was thrown clear, and he was easily comforted with several Creamsicles from Kenny's wrecked ice-box… And don't worry! Kenny was fully insured. The Snodgrasses were nobody's fools.

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SYBIL BRUNCHEON'S "THIS DAY IN HISTORY!"... On September 22, 1893...


Magdalena "Boom Boom" Oshpenski was born to a family of Vaudevillians. She grew up to be a famous "dessert-ecdysiast"; that's the girl who jumps out of a Birthday cake!... with... um... frosting arranged in just the right places. Sadly, after 34 years of several party appearances every day, she developed a horrible allergy to butter-cream and died face-down in a pan of cupcakes. ...All of Akron mourned.

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A perfect day to make beef stock. First, I toss the ingredients in olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper, and roast them at 450 degrees. ...Onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, and beef and marrow bones straight from the butcher with meat still on them. ...20 minutes or until golden brown! Then all of it and the juices into the stock pot full of boiling water with peppercorns, garlic, and two bay leaves. 8 to 12 hours (maybe more!) on a very slow simmer. "Low and slow" is the rule here!! To be honest, this amount of meat and vegetables is making almost TWO pots of stock!..... (Mummie sometimes gets a little carried away shopping and cooking!)

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A New Sybil's "WHO'Z DAT?"... PORTER HALL (September 19, 1888 – October 6, 1953)

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Darlings! Mummy has made a decision! After reading dozens of posts and having hundreds of conversations with well-meaning folks who just don't know about the great CHARACTER actors who gave films the depth and genius that surrounded and supported the so-called "stars", I am going to post a regular, special entry called SYBIL'S "WHO'Z DAT??"....there'll be photos and a mini-bio, and the next time you see one of those familiar, fabulous faces that you just "can't quite place".......well, maybe these posts will help. Some of these actors worked more, had longer and broader careers, and ended up happier, more loved, and even wealthier than the "stars" that the public "worships"......I think there may be a metaphor in that! What do you think???.... while you’re reflecting, I’m inviting into our hallowed hall one of my very favorite people in show biz!!! OH! And speaking of which, he IS a Hall, PORTER HALL (September 19, 1888 – October 6, 1953), one of the most recognizable actors ever to grace the silver screen!

Born in Cincinnati as Clifford Porter Hall, his father, W. A. Hall, headed a cooperage business that ended because of prohibition in the United States. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Hall worked for the Fleischmann Company while also directing and acting in little theatre productions in Cleveland. Hall began his career touring as a stage actor with roles in productions of THE GREAT GATSBY and NAKED in 1926. His Broadway credits included THE RED CAT (1934), THE DARK TOWER (1933), THE WARRIOR'S HUSBAND (1932), COLLISION (1932), IT'S A WISE CHILD (1929), NIGHT HOSTESS (1928), LOUD SPEAKER (1927), NAKED (1926), and THE GREAT GATSBY (1926).

Hall made his film debut in the 1931 drama SECRETS OF A SECRETARY at the age of 43, and he made his last onscreen appearance in the 1954 filmRETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND, which was released after his death. But between those films, he appeared in over seventy-six other movies.  

He was probably best remembered for five roles: a senator in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) with Jimmy Stewart, Claude Rains and several other major stars directed by Frank Capra, an atheist in GOING MY WAY (1944) starring Bing Crosby, the nervous, ill-tempered Granville Sawyer, who administers a psychological test to Kris Kringle in MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947), a train passenger who encounters a man (Fred MacMurray) who has just committed a murder in DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), and the title character's lawyer in THE THIN MAN (1934) with William Powell and Myrna Loy. Along the way, he was so respected and valued that he worked repeatedly with some of the greatest directors in the industry (Capra, Howard Hawks, George Seaton, Billy Wilder, W. S. Van Dyke). Hall worked along side Oscar nominated and winning stars; Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard in THE PETRIFIED FOREST (1936), Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) and has the distinction of having been in six films that were nominated for Best Picture; THE THIN MAN, THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR (1936), MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, GOING MY WAY, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, with GOING MY WAY winning Best Picture. When reviewing his career and the casts and crews Hall worked with, it’s astounding how many times he worked with the same people again and again; a tribute to his talent and the joy he brought to the industry and his co-workers.

For over two decades, Porter Hall made a career out of playing a wide range of sinister villains, pompous snobs, sharp smart-alecks, and comically incompetent fools. His movie career was not a mirror of his real life, however. He was well known as a generous and outgoing person who was well-liked by almost everybody he knew. It is ironic that the role he is most often seen in today is that of an atheist in GOING MY WAY - ironic because Hall was a deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. He married actress Geraldine Hall in 1927 and had two children, David and Sarah Jane. He died of a heart attack in Los Angeles at 65 years of age. He was interred in Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills.

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A late visitor to the Summer house... September 16th, 2018...

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So I'm starting to pack up our little place in Cherry Grove for the season, and we're rushing around the house figuring out what goes where and when, and a giant shadow appears on the curtain to the deck! Now you all know how Mummie can be... um, "disturbed" by large bugs jumping out and surprising her (often deliberately and even with some malice!), but it was immediately clear that this shadow was that of a praying mantis!... the only one I've seen all season. And there he (or SHE) was inside, INSIDE my house where it would have starved to death while we were gone this week... especially because I just cleaned out the refrigerator! Imagine! And I'm known for being a thoughtful hostess too. I would have returned and found a houseguest (invited or not) dead on the floor! That sort of thing just isn't done! My mother taught me so!

So! Here is my little interloper, carefully "invited" out onto the deck where he (or SHE!) can decide the best hunting is. I feel so blessed to have seen this little soul in the very last leg of the season, and to have rescued it out of the house and into the bright sunshine where its journey can continue. I can't begin to tell you how loaded this little event is for me, but those of you that know me know how seriously and deeply I feel about flowers, trees, animals, and all of nature and how I am trying more and more as I get older to honor and cherish them in this increasingly callous and destructive world.

Enough said. Go out into this bright, beautiful day, little being. How lucky and honored I am to have seen you and rescued you in the nick of time so that your journey can continue in whatever way it may. You have changed my life as much or more than I have changed yours. I will never forget you...and I will always be grateful.

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It's "Sybil Bruncheon's Games Galore" from Highlights Magazine... in your dentist's office!


Hi there, Boys and Girls! Are you waiting to go into the nice dentist and have him hurt you? You're very scared right now, aren't you? Well, look over at your Mommy or Daddy! They're probably smiling at you and saying, "Don't be afraid, sweetheart."... well, don't be fooled! They get scared sh*tless themselves! Don't believe me? Tell THEM to go FIRST! That'll settle their hash!... while you're waiting, let's play a funny little game! Look at these photos and match the caption that goes with each one... what does "caption" mean? It's a story-ette! Does that help? Here ya go...

a) Three nice ladies have just broken out of Women's Prison after machine-gunning four guards and the warden. They raided a drag-bar and stole three pretty luncheon outfits from the star, Boom-Boom Big-Barbara Bailey, and decided to have root beer floats before they shoplift some mascara and lipsticks from the notions counter... and rob a bank.

b) Miss Friskie, happens to be a kitty from another planet... but then 93% of all the kitties on Earth are aliens. That's why they act the way they do... and kitties that are actually from the Earth are considered stupid, lazy, drooly, and desperate for attention by their alien brothers and sisters. They're called "dogs"...

c) Mr. Wilbur Henderschott of Plumpton Falls, Ohio has just gotten home from the barber shop and seen what Happy Frank did to his hair! "Oh no!" he thinks. "All the people in the company cafeteria will make fun of me because I look like Alfalfa!"... sadly, Wilbur has a complete schizophrenic breakdown and is taken away to the Akron Institute of Electro-Convulsive Therapy & Wellness... you know the one?... with all the rooms with rubber-padding?

d) Sam just got home from the office. He'd been called into the special room where a friendly lady gave him a pink slip and said that he should get a cardboard box from the mailroom to pack his things. He parked his car in the garage and remembered that he'd left the ladder out to fix some shingles on the roof this weekend. Now he can do something else up there.

e) A man came over to visit a Mommy during the day while the Daddy was away on a business trip. The man and the Mommy told the children to go out and play for an hour and gave the children an egg timer from the kitchen so that they would know NOT to come home till the little bell rang. Everything was very nice until the Daddy remembered that he didn't kiss Mommy "good-bye". He turned his car around and came back to the house. Later, the hat was the first thing the police saw when they stepped over the bodies.

f) Two ladies watching a scary monster movie didn't notice that their man-friend has swallowed his tie and is choking. Sadly, the Heimlich Maneuver hasn't been invented yet. And the Mormon Church will be very angry that they didn't save their "blesséd lord and master".

g) Do you remember what you did last year? Last month?... or even yesterday? That's why people keep a diary! That's a book where boys and girls can write down fun and funny things they do every day, sometimes with crayon pictures of friends doing naughty things or just cartwheels... but with no clothes on. And don't forget to always put the date down with each memory... and even the time and place, in case the police ask later.

h) Do you like to play cards? Sure, who doesn't? But sometimes Grandma might teach you a new game like Cribbage, or Canasta, or Rummy, or Strip poker, and then change the rules right in front of you. I hate when that happens, don't you? That's when some children push Grandma off the stepstool while she's getting down the cookie jar... the one with the fig newtons and the "silly-cigarettes".

i) Do you know a friend who likes to be a boy one day and a girl the next? Sure, who doesn't? And maybe YOU like to be a girl and a boy, sometimes at the same time and with a name that works for both... even in a cemetery.

j) Have you ever done a puppet show in your backyard! Lots of children do, and they write their own stories and make all the props, scenery, costumes, and puppets too. Some plays are about a tea party, or pirates, or a tea party with some pirates who act like ladies, or a janitor with an ax. Sometimes the puppets have parts that break off... or catch fire... during the tea party late at night. What sounds like fun to you?

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SEPTEMBER 10th, 2001…

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…Eighteen years ago: An absolute END-OF-THE-WORLD thunderstorm on the night of the 10th with Hudson Street's gutters flooding from the non-stop downpour! I was trapped at the Caffe Sha Sha there at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, and it was amazing. The towers of the World Trade Center dimly shining through the driving rain, their tops disappearing into the low rolling clouds! Flashes of lightening, deafening cracks of thunder, and a deluge...

No wonder the city sparkled the next morning. Literally sparkled. Every leaf on every tree was emerald green! Every window, every surface, every street….even the SKY was scrubbed immaculately clean, a clear cloudless turquoise... all set... for what was about to start...

Back in the early 70s, I had watched as these buildings went up on the Hudson River. They were built during a terrible time financially for the city. ...a terrible time financially, and reputationally! New York City was still reeling from the decades of "urban blight", West Side Story, Kitty Genovese, and the "I don't want to get involved" mentality. The suburbs were full of "nice people" who had given up on cities, (all cities!), and were becoming part of Nixon's so-called "silent majority".

And so, even as NYC was crumbling, and political assassinations, Viet Nam, and Watergate had corroded the national morale, we New Yorkers displayed our usual chutzpah by daring to build the "world's tallest building"!.... Not once, but TWICE! Imagine, the President of the US basically tells the city to drop dead as it nears bankruptcy, and we build the two tallest buildings in the world...right next to each other!! When New Yorkers get it right, they get it right!!.... You know when someone "gives you the finger"? Well, this was as if all of NYC had given the world TWO fingers! "Ya think we're down? Well, take THAT!"...

While so many others despaired about "how ugly they were", "how boxy", "unimaginative", "so plain", "grim", "cold", I rejoiced every time I saw them! In every season, every kind of weather, any hour of the day...or night. They were gorgeous to me!!... from the highway, flying into the city, during a snowstorm, in the fog, looking up at them, across to them from New Jersey or Brooklyn, or from the top looking down. My one regret?... that I didn't take the hundred photos that I could have over the years when the sun or the moon, the rainbow, the whatever was "just right"... Those towers never bored me. I never took them for granted. I watched as they climbed to the sky, and came alive with tenants and life.... and I watched as they died... right from my street corner in Greenwich Village... on Greenwich Street, the street that literally lead right to the plaza at their feet. They will always mean so very many things to me, but one thing most of all…that New Yorkers, my fellow New Yorkers, with all their neuroses and faults, their hubris and narcissism, dared to be broke…and built two, count 'em TWO of the world's tallest buildings right there on the Hudson River…at the edge of the ocean, for the entire World to see… and stand... stunned.

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Wedding News From Around the World!... Prayerful Corners, WY.

DATELINE! ....Prayerful Corners, Wyoming..... The On-Your-Knees Sepulchre & Souvenir Emporium is celebrating the once-a-year festival of Smile Day when brides-to-be, high school graduates, and Spelling B Finalists are allowed to wear colored clothing, prints, and even fabrics other than burlap. The mayor of Prayerful Corners cut the ribbon for the 24 hour parade and party on the traditional thirdThursday in July, when the normally somber citizens toss their black and grey garments to the floor and take their first baths of the year! Then it's every man, woman, and child for themselves! Many have saved up loose change and found pennies to buy fabric, Elmer's glue, and office staplers to put together any shreds of whimsy they can manage in the short time they have. It's a mad dash to weddings, award ceremonies, pie eating contests, piñata breaking, three-legged races, and karaoke barbecues! Because by midnight on Friday everything must be tossed into the giant Bonfire Of Stinky Sinfulness in the town square, and the holy vows of glad-to-be-gloominess begin again. Yes! Laugh it up ladies!.... in a few hours it's back on your knees, and NOT to catch a crepe paper bridal bouquet!

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