Monday, November 20, 2023

Favorite Pic of the Day for November 21st

Tom Turkey by Lights On Studio
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~Check out today's BIRTHDAYS HERE:~

Seasonal Sightings:

The Pumpkin Patch:

'What happens in the pumpkin patch, stays in the pumpkin patch.'

Philippe Bélanger

I used to wonder why it was called the pumpkin patch and not the pumpkin garden.  When I was growing up, our neighbour had a large vegetable garden.  The main garden was full of the usual suspects, lettuces, carrots, radishes and cucumbers.  At the end of the garden was where they planted rhubarb, and a few feet away was the pumpkin patch.


A patch I learned, was just an area of land, and for pumpkins, you needed quite a bit of space.  Because pumpkins 'vine out' when they grown, you can't really plant them with the rest of the garden, but in a separate patch of space.  They only grew a about a  half a dozen pumpkins, but they patch of ground they used was almost as big as the space used for the rest of the garden.

One year, when my neighbours were on vacation, some of my older brothers friends decided to 'raid' the garden.  Usually it was just racoons or deer that raided the local vegetable gardens, but sometimes, idiot preteens can be just as destructive.  They didn't really eat any of the vegetable's, they just picked them and threw them around the yard.  I remember being really upset, and being sad for my neighbours.  I also remember not saying anything.  I was a little intimidated by some of my brother's friends, and worried they'd turn their energy on me if I said anything.

I ended up being quizzed by nieghbours when they returned home.  They wanted to know if I'd seen anything, or knew who did that to the garden.  I felt incredibly guilty, but didn't tell them that I knew who did it.  I felt really guilty about it, especially when they gave us our pumpkin, as they did every Halloween.  Because the pumpkins were at the end of their property, they didn't get around to destroying them, and they were spared the same fate as the cucumbers and carrots. 

Leandro Malaquias

Thanksgiving mark's the end of pumpkin season, and is usually the last time gardeners do much work in the pumpkin patch.  They're planted in the late spring, and harvested in mid to late autumn.  Although pumpkins made beautiful decorations in October and November, by the time Thanksgiving is over, no one wants to see them.  it's like seeing people with their outside Christmas lights still turned on in February or March. 

Mark Montello

Next week, everyone' s pumpkin will be thrown out, to the back of the lawn, a compost pile, the compost bin.  Many, for those who live in rural areas,  will get taken to, or picked up for farms for the chickens, but mostly the pigs, to enjoy.  Before the season ended however, I wanted to take one last trip to the pumpkin patch, well the last one, until next year. 

12 Days: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

'But there's nothing dirty going on!'

There really wasn't anything too dirty going on in 1982's The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  Well, maybe by 'Dolly Parton' standards it was a bit racy, but looking back today, the film pretty much Disneyfies the depiction of a whorehouse, with minimal nudity, and no drinking aloud, because as we're told, they get a nice quiet crowd...

Adapted by the Broadway musical of the same name, The film was actually, 'sort of' a Thanksgiving movie.  I didn't pick up the holiday connection the first time I saw the film on television, but most of the main action occurs on Thanksgiving day, and the Thanksgiving weekend.  The holiday is certainly  mentioned several times in the film, but there's not really many visual nods to the holiday.

As the story goes, the annual game between rivals, the University of Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies takes place on Thanksgiving Day.  As part of the story, the winners, thanks to alumni association of the winning school, celebrate with a trip to Mona's place, the chicken ranch, to celebrate the win with a sexual release of athlete energy.

If you've seen the film, those athlete's don't really look much football players to me.  They're athletic for sure, but the casting director obviously hired dancers, not football players, given their big number is a big song and dance number after the game.  Thankfully however, that number also includes a shower scene, which his why the film makes it onto FH's 12 Day's list of Holiday films.   I stated in the preceding piece that this scene is one of two Parton projects with male nudity.  The other was also a locker room scene in Steel Magnolias, which I previously featured HERE:

It was also noteworthy that given this was 1982, they were still hiring about 1 black actor per every 12 of 15 white actors.   There was one black football player on the team, I guess to match the one black woman working at the chicken ranch.  There was also one Asian woman working for Mona. (Parton)  Looking back at the film, this 'minimal inclusion' casting really bugged me.  I know it was common during the time period, but it looks so obvious, and unrealistic and stands out, and not in a good way.

Parton has been quoted as not enjoying her experience on the film.  She said she enjoyed working with Burt Reynolds, and the rest of the cast,  but shared she was ill at the time.  I also think Parton struggled a bit with the role, given she's a made a career of making smart, but usually safe choices when it comes to her image.  Although Parton could be a little 'naughty' with her public persona, it was very much in the 'Betty White' school of safe and harmless naughtiness.

Speaking of Reynolds, the 1982 film, although a hit, seemed to kickstart a bit of decline in his career.  It was fun seeing him singing with Dolly, and he looked good in his bikini briefs, even if we only saw him them for a split second.  Reynolds was really the star of this film though, that was Dolly, and his scenes, despite the talented supporting cast, lacked the energy a musical requires. 

The film did mark the film debut of Parton's song 'I Will Always Love You', sung near the end of the film.  This song was added to the film, and not part of the original Broadway show.  This was exactly 10 years before Whitney Houston belted it out in The Bodyguard.  I loved Houston's version when it first came out, and played it over and over.  Today however, I really only listen to Parton's.  Maybe I just over played Houston's version, or maybe it's because as I get older, Parton's version really has the stripped down heart and emotion without all the musical handstands and theatrics. 

My favorite song from the musical however, is Hard Candy Christmas.  I remember listening to Dolly's solo version before realizing it was sung by the women of the Chicken ranch in the film.  The song is beautiful, and reminds me of my mom listening to it in the kitchen on an old tape recorder when I was s kid.  Usually she on Dolly Parton when she was cooking or baking for the holidays. 

Got to love a musical number with naked men!  Although they didn't look much like a football team, the guys they choose to strip down in the locker room were all hot and fit.   The homoerotism in the locker rooms scenes is not exactly subtle. Despite the the fact the film was about a whorehouse, given the way most of the film was film was rather tamely shot, it was a nice surprise to have the shower scene.  

We might have to thank director Colin Higgins, who directed Dolly in both this film, as well as her film debut 9 to 5.  Higgins was openly gay, something that seems quite rare for a director of main stream films in the 1980's.  Higgins was diagnosed with HIV in 1985, and a year later, in 1986, established The Colin Higgins Foundation to provide support for gay and transgender youth.

Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear!

Lights On Studio: Hard & Feathered

'Pluck Me!'

Today, most of us don't think too much about the time and work that goes into bringing a big bird into our homes and spreadeagled on our dining room table. The connection from farm to home isn't a direct one, and there are many barbaric steps in the middle.  When it comes to plucking a turkey, you have to start by boiling the bird.  If you don't moisten the skin, you'll tear the meat apart when you yank out the feathers.

While plucking a turkey is work and unpleasant, feathering a hot piece of meat is a lot more fun.  Many of you know the history of Thanksgiving Turkeys, FH and photographer Tom Nakielski from Lights On Studio.  It began back in 2019 when I asked Tom if he'd actually consider photographing a nude male model with a real turkey for the holiday. 

There were actually a couple of reasons why I asked Tom such a challenging task.  The first, was my inspiration.   If you Google, 'vintage Hollywood Thanksgiving', you'll see dozen of images of actress's from vintage Hollywood, posing with real turkeys for Thanksgiving promotional photos.  I often search for vintage holiday imagery for the site, and became a little fixated on replicating one of these shots with a nude male model.

I was also aware that Tom had used birds and animals in previous shoots for the site.  This stemmed from Tom's early work shooting children and calendars, and using baby chicks and rabbits for the shoots.  Tom had connections with farms and pet stores, and the shoots usually ended up finding the furry and featured models homes.  If anyone knew where to 'rent' a live turkey for the day, I was sure it was Tom.

Some of you might remember from a story back in 2019, (Tom Turkey) that the shoot 'almost' happened.   Tom had a turkey connection, and actually picked up the turkey from a farm and had it home in his garage.   Unfortunately, the model, the skin wearing human male model, not the feather donning male model, had to cancel at the last moment.  Despite his attempts to find another model, no one was able to come that day.   

Although the turkeys seemed quite chilled, and was bonding with Tom, (could have been the blueberry treats Tom was giving him)  we didn't want to create any additional stress on the bird, so decided it was best to return him to the farm.  No worries, the turkey wasn't going to be plucked or eaten, he was part of a fun farm that kids and families visit. 

Well, then I had had another one of my brilliant ideas and believe it or not, this created more work for Tom, than dealing with an actual turkey.  It meant finding turkey feathers, lots of cardboard, and hours and hours of burning his finger tips using the glue gun.  The results however, were spectacular as most of you saw when I featured Tom's work with Tony and his Turkey costume back on Thanksgiving in 2021. 

As much time, work and creativity as it took, feathering up Tony was a lot less painful, and a lot more fun, than plucking a bird for Thanksgiving dinner.  So.. if there's a lesson here it's this.  Order Tai or Chinese food, save a turkey, and find a hot naked hunk to hard and feather instead.