Derek Jeter, thanks for everything. Even if you are a New York Yankee

Yes, we’ve come to that time of year when summer sports come to an end. The last rites of the cricket season are being played out over here, and in the US, the last week of the regular baseball season is doing the same thing. And yes, this blog is more related to the latter, shall we say.

Tonight, for the last time in Yankees Stadium, Derek Jeter will play for the New York Yankees at home. Seriously, in these days of free agency, and transfers, he has played for the Yankees, his only team, since 1995, quite a record. Ironically, given the rivalry between the 2 teams, its ironic that his career will end with 3 games at Fenway Park, against the Boston Red Sox. Even more remarkably, given the history of the 2 teams, they are likely to be 3 meaningless games, unless the Yankees win both their last 2 games at home, and Kansas lose both of theirs!

Yes, to a degree myself (I follow Boston), and my friend Kate (passionate fan) hate the Yankees for all the obvious reasons. But one person, the thoroughly likeable Derek Jeter almost transcends all this.

My biggest Jeter memory, would be his 3,000th hit for the Yankees. I knew he’d been creeping up to the landmark, and by sheer luck, the magical moment occurred on a game being carried by ESPN over here. Within a few minutes of getting home from work, and switching on the TV, Jeter came to bat, and proceeded to hit the ball out of the park, and make a mark on history. Thats right, not just a hit, but a home run!

I’ve never seen him play live, only on TV, so I was denied that pleasure. But all in all, I’m delighted to have seen him play many times, and even more delighted when the Yankees lost, sorry, Derek. To say he’s a Hall of Fame certainty, is to put it mildly, the only talk seems to be whether he will get the highest percentage of votes ever, quite likely, I suspect. Lets just say that next season, it will be funny watching the Yankees play, and not seeing Jeter there, ever again.

Thanks for many memories, all the same

The video, a very late Monkees number

Developing the whole Harlow style

Well, it looks like the next few months could see the whole Harlow image thing develop in an interesting way for me.

You may, or may not, depending on how long you’ve been reading all this, you might remember that a while back, I had a photo session done, just outside of Leeds, and in a sense, thats where the whole Harlow thing took off from for me. I mean, at that time, I wasnt even thinking about that, but by the time I got to about the tenth comment that I looked like Harlow, that I started to investigate it all more deeply. And before very long, I could see they were right!

So fine, gave me a nice image to go with, so I’ve done so ever since. And yes, I have to say it, its a lot of fun. No, I havent taken up smoking, and I certainly only drink in moderation, and as for sex…no, I cant match her on that either lol! But the look, and the confident attitude…oh yes!

Anyway, I’ve continued to support the studio on social media, and recently I won a free shoot, which will be done very soon. The big difference this time around of course, we are planning to play up the whole ‘Jean Harlow’ thing in advance! So the outfits might be a bit more glamorous this time around, I suspect! Talk is, that the vast majority, if not all, will be done in black and white, to really give it a 30’s tone. And yes, I’m really looking forward to doing that.

Then on top of that, I read something about past life regression. Now, put together a hypnotherapist looking for volunteers to try this, combined with all the comments about me being a Harlow lookalike, and curiosity gets the better of me. Now, I know that somewhere there must be the reincarnation of Harlow (assuming you believe in past lives, of course), but the chances of it being me, hmm…? Of course, her mother looked very much like her (for understandable reasons) so I could be her, I guess? If I am Jean (junior, in the sense her mother was Jean, she was actually named Harlean, of course), then someone might need smelling salts, or something!

The interesting factor in all this of course, is that under hypnosis, you do ‘play’ with the mind somewhat. And I know a few people (including myself, I guess) who wouldnt mind me being made to believe that I was either her reincarnated, or just made to think I was Jean! Lets face it, I dont think my mind would resist such suggestions!

Lastly, in January, I’m getting permanent make up done, by a person I know from a previous job, and no prizes for working out where the suggested look comes from. Hey, I’m even getting a beauty spot done! So by then, it might be an advantage if I think like/think I am Jean Harlow!

Should all make for an interesting trip to Hollywood, though I suspect there might be more interest if I looked like a modern star, not a 30’s glamour queen, but anyway…Would make me the perfect guide for tours of the Golden Age of Hollywood there, assuming there are any?

Alright, I’ll keep the Harlow video to a brief one, there are plenty of links to longer ones, if you want them! 😉

How long before its not just passports that are chipped?

I’ve actually had one of those passports, with a chip in it for a while, but this holiday has been the time where I’ve really noticed the difference it makes.

At Atlanta, last Saturday, because I had one of those, and because I had an ESTA thing for entering the US, I did pretty much all my immigration stuff by machine. Finger prints, photo, the works. I did still spend a few moments of ‘interrogation’, though I suspect that was as much to check I’d done everything correctly, than anything else.

But yes, it speeds things up, and I hope Philadelphia is set up in the same way, to be honest, its much easier.

Today, flying back through Manchester, there werent just 2 options to pass through passport control, but 3. Yes, the standard ones (EU and non-EU for simplicity sake), but a third one for those of us with chipped passports. Again, slide the passport into a reader, have the image checked, and through!

Of course, the question you have to ask, in this age of technology, is how long will it be before its not just the passport thats chipped, but the passenger as well! Strictly I suppose, as long as it only identified you, and nothing more…?

Fine, I enjoy the reduced waiting time, but there are limits! Didnt entirely help, as my case was one of the last to appear on the baggage carousel, ah well…

Personally, I suspect ‘personal chipping’ is still some way off, and given that I suspect that in 10-15 years time, my long distance travelling will pretty much be over, due to age and health, but who knows? By then I might be a chipped ‘robot’ with a stunning new body lol!

The video, well, I guess this might be how female air travellers could be defined, sometime in the future

Union Station, Kansas City. Quite literally, I stood in Jean’s footprints

Today was the last ‘proper’ day of the holiday, given that tomorrow starts the journey home at an early hour. So today, I ended up heading to somewhere where I know I was following in Jean’s footsteps. Union Station, Kansas City.

See, the station has been there a century, so its the same building that Jean would have used when travelling by train, to and from Kansas City, to Los Angeles. There are a number of photos of her boarding, and disembarking trains, and back then, there really wasnt any other way to travel long distances. Mind, Union Station was a lot busier back then, obviously! Nowadays, there are just 3 trains each way a day, 2 to and from St Louis, and one from Chicago to Los Angeles.

But the station hasnt changed, it has such a feel of history to it, when you step into the building. And though I might have failed to literally stand in Jean’s footprints, I made a good effort.

After that, a trolley car tour of the city, a really nice meal in a restaurant, then back here, for the last night in town. I’m glad I came to her home town, its been a marvellous experience for me. Next year, all things permitting, I’ll pay my respects at the other end of her life, in Hollywood.

In between, a Thanksgiving trip to Albany, but for now…

Oh fine, how else could I end this trip to Kansas City, but with a little bit of Jean!

Making contact with people

Given that nothing terribly exciting for the readers has happened the last 2 days, lets look at a fun issue thats happened this holiday, putting voices to words (and in some case faces), and indeed, in one case, meeting someone I knew through Facebook, but now know her a lot better.

This is all on top of meeting up with Kate again, speaking to James again, before you ask. Both of these wonderful people are very special to me, and I appreciate all they do for me, or will do for me in a couple of months time.

And yes, I’ve already mentioned that wonderful lady in Cherryvale, so lets focus on those not mentioned before.

Already this week, I’ve spoken on the phone to 3 people I’d never spoken to before. All of them I’ve had a long written contact with, read their work (and all 3 are very good authors, in their style), and in 2 cases at least, seen photos of them. But to hear them speak, one to one, a wonderful thing.

No, I’m not going to mention names, though 2 of them have been mentioned on here before. But at least now, I can put voices to the words/names, if nothing else.

OK, a brief round up of events. Yesterday was a quiet day, though we ended up at 5 Guys, a really good burger restaurant, and ‘Jean’ decided to try fluttering her eyelashes at the 1 guy she got to meet. No deal, no discount, ah well…lol!

Today, after saying goodbye to Kate, I headed towards Kansas City, on the bus, to see what I could find. I got as far as the Country Club Plaza, though I plan to go right into town tomorrow. Posh shops = expensive prices = no purchases lol! I only wish I had a Jean Harlow type budget lol! Ah well…

But yes, one of the delights of this holiday has been getting to know people better, which gives me the excuse to include this blast from the past in the video, that should have been a bigger hit

A little city in South east Kansas, the birthplace of 2 famous actresses

Yes, somewhere over the state line, in the South eastern corner of Kansas, sits a little city called Cherryvale, I have mentioned it once or twice before in blogs, as the birthplace of Vivian Vance, as well as a young lady named Mary Louise Brooks.

Yesterday, I got there, so glad.

Now, this isnt a big city, total population of just over 2,200 people, but for me, it was one of those places I so wanted to visit, but getting there is a challenge for non drivers, unless you have a special friend like Kate to drive you there.

We got to Cherryvale shortly after 1.00, and I rang Tina, my local contact there, to let her know we’d arrived. She was one block or so away, and very soon a car pulled up, and we met up. What followed was a wonderful guided tour of Cherryvale, showing us all the landmarks, relating to Brooks, Vance, and general Cherryvale life, both past and present.

A picture of the first home Louise Brooks lived in

Louise Brooks 1st home in Cherryvale

Her second home

Louise Brooks 2nd home in Cherryvale

Then, while we waited for the Museum to be opened (just for us, I might add), we were taken up to the nearby ‘Big Lake’ to admire the view, and for me to get my picture taken

Me, at the lake, Cherryvale

After that, back into town, and while Kate settled into businesswoman mode, I took a tour of the museum. Lots of Vance, plenty of Brooks, and far more relating to life in, and around Cherryvale. We even managed to find some pictures of Jean in the old magazines of the 20’s and 30’s too!

Last, but not least, an ‘I was there’ photo, outside of the museum

Me, at the museum, Cherryvale

Yes, the lady in the background, in green, is Kate, my heroine for getting me there!

Finally, just before 3.30 we headed out of town, realistically my one, and only visit in my life to Cherryvale, but I got there. I know Louise would probably just say “so what?” or something along those lines, but I’m so glad I did it.

Finally, huge thanks to Tina for all she did for us, and thanks also to the lady who guided me around the museum, whose name I cant remember. Cherryvale, thanks for such a wonderful day.

Under the circumstances, there were only 2 video options. Given this is probably the ultimate Kansas song, and all that…No, not the Garland version, but Eva Cassidy, a version that I personally far prefer

I do like Monday’s

Well, the plan was for today to be a fairly quiet day, to give Kate a relative break, before the big drive to Cherryvale tomorrow, the home town of Louise Brooks. I suspect they dont get a huge number of visitors, even less so from the UK, so it will be quite something tomorrow, I’m sure. But thats looking into the future, so…

About 11.30 we headed off to the Westport district of Kansas City, home to a vintage clothing store that Kate had been tipped off about. It was sound advice, I must say. It didnt take me long to find a gorgeous Harlow like cape, and dress, but in a size so small, I would never get into it, without losing at least 10 pounds, and I’m not a big girl! And then I saw it, the dress, and cape, so absolutely perfect, I didnt want to look at the price tag, especially as it was in a larger size, that I would get into. Pleasant surprise, $100 including a cape/jacket, so now what could go wrong?

Seemingly, nothing. I tried it on, it fitted, it looked gorgeous, and I ended up getting 20% off, on top of that bargain price. So, brooch, and clutch bag later (same discount), I left the store, absolutely thrilled. In theory, I need a hat, but Kate is working on that. If I get a picture of the dress during the week, I will post it.

After that, my first taste of mid west barbecue food. Loved it, pork ribs, the meat literally falling off the bone, and all that.

Then late afternoon, back here and a relaxing evening. Oh, a delight I dont normally get, Monday Night Football. Because for me, its silly hours of Tuesday morning football! Got a reminder of just how gorgeous Jon Gruden is because of that, swoon.

So, Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way

Tomorrow, Cherryvale, birthplace of Louise Brooks, looking forward to that.

Jean and Louise, at the baseball

Given that there was no major league baseball team in Kansas City before 1955 (now the Oakland A’s), and that the Dodgers didnt move to Los Angeles until the 50’s, its highly unlikely that Jean Harlow ever saw a baseball game in her short life. Its possible (while in New York) that Louise Brooks did, but given it was never mentioned, and nor, back then was it considered a woman’s game (mind, that would make the perverse Brooks more inclined to go), I wouldnt imagine she did.

None of that mattered today, as 2 passionate baseball fans (myself, and Kate) headed to Kaufman Stadium, for a game between the local, Kansas City Royals, and the Boston Red Sox, most definitely Kate’s team! As seemingly is the modern trend, the football park is literally a few hundred yards away.

The weather was gorgeous, as was my company, Kate, and excellent service was provided by the Royals staff. In front of me, as I type this, sits a replica Royals batting helmet, which contained Nacho’s, sauces, and other things, and must have been hell to clean. But one young man did just that, and I have it as a lovely souvenir to take home. Wonderful touch.

Oh, fine, the result, the Red Sox won!

The wonderful holiday continues, and tomorrow the plan is to head to a vintage clothing store, no idea why lol! I think the aim is to make me look Harlow like, though anything more wouldnt surprise me in the slightest.

Yes, I’m having lots of fun!

Jean and Louise get together again

Alright, fine, me and Kate get together again, or did last night at least. Sadly her bob isnt quite as good as it was a fortnight ago, and fine, my curls have been a bit beaten up by 2 nights of sleep, but all the same…

The journey across was smooth, and pretty much on time, and customs and immigration was pretty easy too. Well, fine, they have an automated system now at Atlanta, which a 30’s girl like me had ‘fun’ with, but otherwise…very much easier than I’m sure Philadelphia will be in a couple of months time! Heck, even security was smooth and pretty fast, scary stuff.

OK, the fun stuff starts today, with the baseball game, more on that later, I’m sure.

But for now, the most entertaining thing, the driver was aiming at West 105th street, and the hotel is on East 105th. Apart from that, nothing much…yet.

At present, its still me in my mind, not Jean, but for how much longer lol?

Oh, my hotel bed, it might not be quite as big as this, but its not far off it. No, I havent yet got that nightwear, sadly

Harlow reclining

The video, a real oldie, the clue in the blog title. One rare thing here, a 70’s group actually performing live in a studio!

Jean Harlow goes back to Kansas City

Well, fine, OK, not literally. Unless her spirit is planning to make the journey at least, and to be honest, nothing would totally surprise me on that front! But yes, this version of Jean will, tomorrow set off for Kansas City, her birthplace, with a transit in between in Atlanta.

You’re right, I cant wait!

Even supposing (faint chance?) I am Jean Harlow in her next life (or whatever number), I wouldnt expect to recognise Kansas City, lets face it, its nearly 100 years ago that she left, and a lot will have changed since then, to put it mildly! But agreed, if I see any of the landmarks she knew (some of her homes there still stand), will any faint recognition happen for me? Who knows?

No expectation, but we will see…

But I must say, it will be something special to visit a city, so precious to a young Harlean Carpenter (as she was then), if only to see what its like now. This time tomorrow (if you ignore the time zone jump), I will be there. Strictly, I’ve only just arrived in Atlanta, but if you ignore that 6 hour thing…

The other special thing for this trip will be going to a small city in Kansas, named Cherryvale, birthplace of a certain Louise Brooks. No, I dont look like her, and I hope to goodness I’m not as awkward as she could be, but… Will be so special to see where she first grew up, I must say.

So here I am, at a hotel next to Manchester Airport, from where I will set off in the morning, via Atlanta, to, as Jean would say, go home. Really looking forward to it, and meeting up there with Kate again.

In the meanwhile, the video is something Jean would definitely be saying about tomorrow, so who knows, maybe I am too? A live version, from Jon Anderson, recorded this year, showing he hasnt lost a trick, and the fact he can talk forever, given the chance.

The next blog will be from Kansas City. Whether its from me, or from Jean, lets just wait and see!