Saturday, May 12, 2018

Class Act

     (Eugene) Hugh Beaumont, who played "Beaver's" father, died 36 years ago, on May 14th, 1982.  This blog is running a retro feature on this solid citizen.
     Mr. Beaumont was bon in Lawrence, KS, in 1906.  He spent a lot of his childhood moving because his father was a travelling salesman.  He eventually started college at the University of Chattanooga, where he played football. He later went on to study at the University of Southern California, obtaining a Master's of Theology Degree in 1946.  Besides acting, he was a licensed Methodist minister.
     Mr. Beaumont began performing in various media in 1931. He first performed live and on radio. He got into the movies in 1940, but his movie roles are largely forgotten.

     Leave it to Beaver ran from 1957-1963.  One "back story" about the father, Ward, was that he'd been a Seabee (CB; Construction Battalion) during World War II.  Hugh was slightly on the older side to have really done this, but the story line didn't really come into question.  Hugh and his family lived in Minnesota.  At one point, Hugh flew from MN to Hollywood. His wife, son and mother-in-law drove. They were involved in a serious car accident that killed his mother-in-law and badly injured his son. The cast of the show noticed that Hugh often seemed to be going through the motions as he tried to get through this phase of his life.
     Later into the Petty Coat Junction series, Hugh had the repeating guest role of Steve the pilot's father in 1967.  This made him the father-in-law of read-headed daughter, Betty Jo. 
    He largely retired from show business in the late 60s.  He became a Christmas tree farmer in Grand Rapids, MN, his adopted "home state."  However, he did continue to do a few guest starring roles.  Most notable during the early 70s Hugh were a few Mannix episodes. 
    Besides really being a minister, he occasionally took on the role of a minister.  He did this in the movie Member of the Wedding.  He played Rev, Randy Roberts on a TV episode of The Loan Ranger.  There was a TV series called Crossroads, which featured fictionalized stories of American clergy.  Mr. Beaumont played Rev. Clifton R. Pond in one of these episodes.  He had another guest -starring role as a minister in Letter to Loretta.  He was a "Father" on Cavalcade of America and a "Padre" in Four Star Playhouse
     Mr. Beaumont also played in a religiously-themed movie, put together by some Lutherans.  Reaching for Heaven (1948) does not have the highest critical ratings. In it, a new immigrant is hit by a car, and the townspeople face some things about themselves. Hugh plays a construction foreman.  Regis Toomey is not given the best reviews in his role as minister.  Margaret Hamilton, the "Wicked Witch of the West" in The Wizard of Oz, is a ridiculous, cranky, gossipy secretary. 
     Mr. Beaumont was not able to spend many years in Christmas tree farming.  He had a stroke in 1972, from which he never fully recovered.  He was only married on time, to Kathryn Adams [later "Doty"].  She divorced him in 1974. They had three children together.
     Mr. Beaumont died in Munich, Germany.  He was there visiting his son.  His ashes were scattered in Minnesota.
     Besides providing seeming stability to those around him, Mr. Beaumont is a reminder of how church and Christianity were once more favorably treated by various media --- before things heated up on both sides in the later decades of the 20th Century and beyond.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Alphabet Soup

Apparently, I'm friends with 25 letters of the alphabet.  I don't know "why"....  ūüėČ 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Theodosius the Atrocius

It's real popular with a certain crowd of conservative Christians to talk about creating "a Christian nation" here in America.  Talk about misguided!  That's never commanded in the New Testament.  We're supposed to get on with our work of sharing the Good News of Jesus through private endeavors.

In fact, an early attempt to create "a Christian nation" did not turn out well.  The Roman Emperor Constantine is somewhat well known for making Christianity legal. Before this, Christians had suffered episodic persecution.  Then Theodosius came along and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Theodosius did some really foolish things as emperor.  Though his rule was not the final cause of Rome's fall, it did add to it.  Plus, the Christians turned around and persecuted the pagans, something we were never told to do.  In fact, both Jesus & St. Paul had given us such injunctions as "put up your sword [in regards to religious matters]", "shake the dust off your feet [just go on your way]", and "as much as it is possible for you, live in peace with others."  

It seems to work better to use the economic benefits that come from well-run governments and societies to support the Christian Church privately.

It's interesting that Rome fell AFTER it became "officially Christian."  This should be a warning that creating a Christian nation is not going to guarantee an easy life.  Read on:

Theodosius I- Wikipedia

Theodosius I- Encyclopedia Britannica

Plus, you had people "glomming on" to Christianity to curry favor with the Emperor and other high officials. Christianity lost its glow as a movement of grace and love, first God's towards us, then Christians' towards each other.

It also led into centuries of forced state church religion in Europe. After warfare done in its name, a lot of Europe has shed Christianity.

This is NOT the way to go.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Redskins' QB History

Per my son, the epic fail of the Washington Redskins in 2017: 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

An Ephesians Ethic

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only such talk as is good for building up in need, so that it will give grace to those who hear."  Ephesians 4: 29

"Neither should there be filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving."  Ephesians 5:4 

                      --St. Paul (by the Holy Spirit)

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Nuremberg is an absolutely beautiful city in Germany.  These photos are from the Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady (the Virgin Mary).  Nuremberg also stands as a stark reminder of other things. Because this city had a primary palace used for important events by the Holy Roman Emperor ("The Second Reich"), Hitler chose it for his Nazi rallies. Because of this, Nuremberg was nearly bombed out of existence by the Allies towards the end of World War II.  The Germans did rebuild it, but there are things that were never rebuilt. Some of this was intentional, as a perpetual reminder of the evils of Naziism.

This, of course, was also the scene of the post-war Nuremberg trials. The Allies found a venue which was not destroyed to host them.

As some of our foolish U.S. population toys with Nazi rhetoric, even daring to borrow German phrases when they probably don't speak the language, it is important to remember that eventually justice comes to those who oppress and terrorize others.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Weltschmerz von Lebens

Just back from Germany.  Thought it would be fun to share some words that cannot be exactly translated into English.  Some would be great in the American mental health lexicon! 

1) Weltschmerz (n.): mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state.

2) Kummerspeck (n.): excess weight gained from emotional overeating. The literal translation is 'grief bacon.'

3) Torschlusspanik (n.): the fear, usually as one gets older, that time is running out and important opportunities are slipping away.  Literally, 'fear of the gate closing.'

4) Fremdsch√§men (n.): the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are.  From 'stranger shame.'

5) Backpfeifengesicht (n.): a face that cries out for a fist in it. 

6) Erklärungsnot (n.): the state of having to quickly explain yourself

7) Treppenwitz (n.): the things you should have said but only occur to you when it is too late.  Literally 'stairs joke.'

8) Vergangenheitsbew√§ltigung (n.): the struggle to come to terms with the past.  'Past cheer coping.'

9) Handschuhschneeballwerfer (n.): a coward willing to criticize and abuse from a safe distance.  Literally, 'a person who wears gloves to throw snowballs.'

10) Allgemeinbildung (n.): everything that any adult capable of living independently can reasonably be expected to know.   The English phrase 'common sense' is roughly equivalent, but this fun word is 'general education or foundation' and is just fun to know.