Saturday, July 30, 2016

Nostalgia (part 6) - Dear Eleanor

Eleanor Roosevelt/

The 1960s were tumultuous.

Cold War. Vietnam. Counter culture. Hippies. US vs USSR Space race. Iron Curtain. Civil Rights. Assassinations. Not to mention: Drugs. Sex. Rock N Roll.

But the early 1960s were almost an extension of the perceived calmer, more innocent 1950s. Leave it to Beaver. Happy Days. Kennedy and Camelot.

And the year 1962 is the setting for Dear Eleanor (2016). The recently released movie, on DVD and internet, captures the spirit of those times.

It begins in California as the Ellie Potter's mother leaves the house that day to give an introduction to former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Only Ellie's mother is killed in a car accident along the way. The same day Marilyn Monroe died.

While Ellie's dad shrugs off his parental responsibilities and sinks into depression,  Ellie takes on the roll as Little Mom as the oldest girl. But Ellie's best friend Max the Wax has ideas. And convinces Ellie to ditch school for a road trip cross country. From California to New York.  To deliver her mom's speech to Eleanor Roosevelt in person.

During this "Thelma and Louise" type road trip, the Cuban Missile Crisis grips the nation, the girls unwittingly find company with an escaped convict from Alcatraz, and they pick up Max's Aunt Daisy, a dancer in Las Vegas. That is, Las Vegas, New Mexico. Not Nevada. Meanwhile, Ellie's father and the boy next door discover the girls' plans and are on their tail to bring them back home.

The extended movie trailer below sums it up pretty well.

It's a shame the movie didn't get a wider release. Based on what I've seen in the theaters these days, this would make it in the top ten percent or higher. And much of the songs, pop culture, news of the times, are interwoven in the story. At bit of nostalgia. Like Forrest Gump (1994). Only far more realistic of a story.

It was an uplifting movie with a good message. During difficult days, the heroines dream big and they go for it. Though it didn't turn out as they had hoped, they all were enriched by the journey.

And this movie has a special meaning for me. One of its writers  is Amy Garcia. Before I retired, I had the privilege of working with Amy's father. And I learned from him that his daughter had worked very hard over the  years, overcame many obstacles and setbacks, to see this project through.

To all creatives out there, this is encouraging. Take the risk! Go for it!

And never give up!


Previous Posts in the series:
 Nostalgia (part 1) - A Father's Thanksgiving Prayer  (2014)

Nostalgia (part 2) - Christmas Past in War and Peace (2014)

Nostalgia (part 3) - Something Old, Something New  (2014)

Nostalgia (part 4) - VJ Day Kiss - 70 years ago (2015)

Nostalgia (part 5) - Big Band and World War II  (2015)


Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt/

Friday, July 15, 2016

CC2 (part 1) - Counting Coup

cover art by Davis Creative

Counting Coup?  

What the heck is that?

As you see from the cover above, it is a Native American Indian kind of thing. Here is a definition, according to the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains: Counting Coup

And below is an excellent explanation in this Montana History Minute as the prerequisite of a Chief and ranking within a tribe:

And that gives an insight to the theme of Book 2 of The Commander and Chief series called ...

Counting Coup

Here is a teaser as to what it's all about.
Art by Davis Creative

Dr. Nova Orlovic, known as "the Chief" - she's half-Cheyenne - is on the warpath again. After her team uncovered the inconvenient truth as to how her second husband had died, President Lincoln Todd circles his wagons in major damage control. And it's payback, big time, for the Chief when she's indicted for the murder of her first husband eleven years ago.

Then a tyrant, eager to rebuild his weapons of mass destruction, gives Nova an offer she can't refuse. In exchange for her expertise in nuclear physics, he tempts her with new revelations about both her husbands' deaths, perhaps clearing her name. But by "counting coup" with her enemies on both sides of the ocean, will the Chief lose the Commander, her latest love, as well as unwittingly unleash the dogs of war? 


The coup stick, Star of David, British and American flags in the image above have meaning in this latest story.

If this has piqued your interest, please feel free to read the book.

Counting Coup, now available:

* Paperback:  CreateSpace

* eBook:   Kindle

And please check out the First Book of the series,

His Tribe of One, now available:

Paperback:  CreateSpace

eBook:   Kindle

Latest news at:

Your readership is much appreciated. 

S. K. Smith


For other posts in His Tribe of One, Book One of the series:

CC (part 1) - The Commander and the Chief: His Tribe of One (2014)

CC (part 2) - Universe in a Glass of Wine  (2014)

CC (part 3) - Happy Bill of Rights Day  (2014)

CC (part 4) - Stories and the Brain (2015)

CC (part 5) - Audie Murphy  (2014)

CC (part 6) - Pavle Orlovic (2015)

CC (part 7) - Buzz Aldrin  (2015) 

 CC (part 8) - Little America (2016)    

CC (part 9) - Buffalo Bill's Wild West (2016)

CC (part 10) - Little Big Man (2016) 


Photos: art work by Davis Creative