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Jimmy Dean Has Died

Sad news.  The singer, actor and pitchman Jimmy Dean has died.  He touched my childhood in two ways, though I never knew his name, or connected the dots to the two pop phenomena he was involved with.  He sang the song "Big Bad John" which I recall playing non-stop on the car radio when my family drove down route 66, from Montreal to California, in 1974.  That was the summer when Mama Cass died.

A few years before, he had starred in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), which, perhaps oddly, my mother took me to as a six-year-old.  It was my first film, and I loved it.  It made a huge impact on the rest of my life I confess, and I particularly enjoyed the utterly-weird (and Pinteresque) aphorism-quipping queer hitmen Mr Wint and Mr Kidd - "if God had wanted man to fly he would have given him wings" -the brutal fight in the lift (I have never looked at a fire extinguisher the same way since), the cremation scene, and Jimmy Dean as the mysterious Hughes-like millionaire Willard Whyte, who gets to say the immortal lines: "Baja! I haven't got anything in Baja!" - the accent is priceless.  Cue the trip to the oil-platform-cum-doomsday-weapon-platform run by Blofeld - befiore BP became the villain of choice.
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The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
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