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Let's Talk About That Girl...



I should have a brand new blog ready in September... 8, September to be exact... that is the 7th year anniversary of me starting my blog writing experience... (I'll give you a hint... it's about music) As I said last month I was posting here from Blogger and today is the third most read blog in my archives... (It shocked the hell out of me) but enjoy...


First of all I want to apologize for falling behind here and letting the entires slip by for a month... but life has been life and hectic and pseudo-frantic to say the least but I'm trying to remain focused and in the moment.
Last night we had the last portions of the best stuffed cabbage I have ever made... whenever I make stuffed cabbage I always think about Ethel Merman & Marlo Thomas...
If you don't know why it's because... on 7, September 1967 Ethel Merman made a guest appearance on the television show  That Girl starring Marlo Thomas and part of the plot was Ethel Merman (who played herself) made stuffed cabbage for Ann Marie & Donald Hollinger (Marlo Thomas and Ted Bessell's characters on the show)... I remember watching this episode and thinking some day maybe Ethel Merman will teach me how to make stuffed cabbage--- But I'll get back to this...
That Girl premiered on ABC in September of 1966 and continued through 1971... if you have never seen it and don't know the story it's about a young woman who moves to New York to be an actress and get into several adventures and misadventures along the way... it was part of what ABC at the time called it's Friday night lineup... of Bewitched - Love On A Rooftop and That Girl... I hated to see it end but the writers and producers made the decision to end the show when it needed to end despite the networks wanting to continue with it because it was a top rated program. (The actual story was the sponsor insisted that the character get married and Miss Thomas and the producers fought it and refused to go forward with the show)
I loved all three shows but Friday night was not a night I was usually home watching television and I caught most of these three shows on re-runs and syndication. There are 136 episodes of That Girl and I have watched all of them thanks to technology and the invention of the DVD. (I can't recommend the DVD sets highly enough because they have added bonus material including commentary of Marlo Thomas and Bill Persky who wrote and created the show with Sam Denoff) I've recently watched all of them again... and what I'm still left with and what remained with me from the first time I saw the program is how it was a show built on relationships... Ann Marie is full of life and spirit and is warm and genuine... her boyfriend Donald is smart and warm and kind... and her parents Lew Parker and Rosemary De Camp loved her and worried about her...
Looking back on the scripts it was one of the first shows to deal with racial equality, and important social issues that other sitcoms in the mid to late 60 were not dealing with. With the dawn of the 70's there was focus on the women's movement and ecology and essentially most all of the important social issues that could be confined to a situation comedy script at the time... During the run of the show they had an amazing ensemble of guest stars  from Ethel Merman, Billy De Wolfe, Mabel Albertson, Jack Cassidy and the early performances of Richard Dreyfuss, Regis Philbin and Cloris Leachman. But more than anything it is one of the best time capsules for fashion history of this era...
This black velvet and lace dress was named by Harper's Bazaar as one of the top "Little Black Dresses" of the 20th century.... I had a friend in college who copied it and remade it as part of a costume  assignment and it was stunning... in the show it was one of the Cardinali creations worn for a holiday program. Cardinali was designed by Marilyn Lewis (She and her husband  Harry Lewis were the owners of the Hamburger Hamlet  restaurant chain in Southern California) Marilyn Lewis designed and ran Cardinali (the name was an homage to her Italian grandmother) from 1968 until 1977.
One of the things that most inspired me about her philosophy was she was "logo averse" she wanted her designs to have a "whispering signature". Her collection was a very important part of the merchandise selection at Bergdorf-Goodman and I. Magnin (you know as much as I know about fashion and fashion history I really should have had a more important role in the industry in my opinion... but I will tell you from first hand experience it's way more fun to be an I.Magnin customer than an I.Magnin employee)
Marlo Thomas wore the most amazing clothes on the show and she chose them herself and through the run of the program wore  Daniel Werle, Oscar de la Renta... and one of my all time favorite Andre Courreges  from the sunglasses to the Go-Go boots and everything in between... But perhaps one of things that stand out to me most is she was the first (that I'm aware of) to mix and match designer clothing...
Halston blouse pared with Saint Angelo skirt

I'm a real stickler for continuity in movies and television (I would make one of the most amazing script supervisors for any production if I do say so myself)
But one of the things that impressed me most in the production is they did outdoor shots in New York City and all the studio work was done at the  Desilu Studios in Los Angeles... one of the biggest things for me... was the apartment... in the first season it was seen on the East River at 78th Street and FDR Drive... and then later it was scripted  as 627 E 54th Street(that would put it in the east river actually) and finally as 344 W 78th Street apartment D... I've been to all three locations but like every other sitcom residence it does not really exist except in the minds of the creators and writers of the program... Even now as I'm looking for the next place to call home I would love that walk-up with the two-way fireplace and the amazing butlers pantry and kitchen... so if you know this apartment let me know... it's been like the finding The Holy Grail  house hunting in New York City.
Someone once said to me that the show was unrealistic  and I was setting myself up to be disappointed if I had expectations that living in NYC would be like this show... Well the point is I think you have to have high exceptions of yourself and the people you surround yourself with to have the life you want... Sure Ethel Merman never made stuffed cabbage for me (I'm still kind of holding out for Patti LuPone or maybe Bernadette Peters is a safer bet).. frankly I could probably teach them a thing or two about making stuffed cabbage... but the fact of the matter is since moving to NY I've lived in some pretty swell places... and I was on the consideration list for Vanity Fair's Best Dressed List (twice)... and I've had some amazing Big Apple adventures and misadventures... but maybe most importantly I wound up with someone sweeter, kinder, smarter and more handsome than Donald Hollinger... and on top of all that... I know how to make the best stuffed cabbage in the world...From the beginning of the show when we waited for the delivery line of...
To the end of the credits to see the production  logo...
I loved every single thing about .... That Girl ... and btw... some of the first things I did when I moved to NYC was walk through the theatre district...stroll through the sidewalks at Lincoln Center and fly a kite in Central Park (I'm not kidding)
See you in a couple weeks... go out and make some ripples!

Edited by Kawika

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hey Kawika, i enjoyed watching That Girl as well!! it was a good show, especially considering i  was only 15 years old. being more of an average day joe, i didn`t see watch it for the fashions, i just liked watching it. now, at 71 years old, i cannot remember any of the plots for any of the episodes. except maybe the opening to the show, what they set up the scenario for any given, then they`d point to Marlo Thomas as an example of what they were looking for and say That Girl, and they`d do a closeup of her face. in a way, i think it was mirrored in Mary Tyler Moore`s show. except the part where they`d point to her and say That Girl, was replaced it with Ms. Moore throwing her hat into the air. 

i know stuffed cabbage better as cabbage rolls, and i do love them. unless there is a difference between them i am unaware of, that is!! i love cabbage in any stage, be it cabbage soup, cole slaw, or cabbage rolls!! even boiled cabbage topped with a dollop of butter that's allowed to melt down and come out onto the plate like a sauce. 

i have people stopping me on the street telling me they see me walking every day, and always offer me encouragement to continue. i have taken food i cooked myself into the gym and shared it with the staff, and they love it. i`m always being complimented on how good a cook i am. 

last time i took food to the gym, it was focaccia bread. i added basil, oregano, and thyme to the dough, and when i make the individual loaves of it, i top them with a light sprinkle of more basil, oregano, and thyme, before i bake them in the oven. 

what i love about making any of my breads, is that they are all made with the same recipe for pizza dough. i add what even is needed to make it into something else, but no one is really aware that it is all made from the same pizza dough recipe. with love from Wes!! Hugs!!! 

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Thanks for reading Wes... your focaccia sounds awesome. I'm going to try it first chance I get.

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