IF: farm

farm livin' is the life for me

When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why God? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, “There’s just something about you that pisses me off.”

— Stephen King

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DCS: darine stern

sisters are doing it for themselves

Statuesque Darine Stern was an in-demand, high fashion model throughout the 1970s. She was represented by Ford Models, Nina Blanchard, Ellen Hart and Shirley Hamilton Models of Chicago. Her compelling beauty, as well as her voluminous Afro, afforded Darine the respect of her peers.

Darine’s career began in a notable, yet unusual manner. In October 1971, she became the first African-American woman to grace the cover of Playboy magazine by herself. Nearly two years earlier, Playmate Jean Bell, the second African-American centerfold, appeared on the magazine cover in January 1970, but she was accompanied by three other ladies. Darine’s solo cover was the springboard for her modeling career.

Darine passed away in 1994, at the age of 46.

In 2009, the November cover of Playboy featured a nude Marge Simpson striking Darine’s pose.

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DCS: ken nordine

dark brown

His name may not be familiar, but you have heard Ken Nordine’s soothing, rich baritone.

Maybe it was on Word Jazz, the weekly show he hosted on Chicago Public Radio for over forty years. Perhaps it was on a commercial for Taster’s Choice Coffee, Levi Jeans, Flair Pens, Kraft Caramels or Gallo Wine. Maybe you heard his light-hearted reading of “My Baby” as Fred Astaire tap-danced on a 1960 television special. Could it have been his narration for several Maurice Sendak animated shorts, as broadcast on Sesame Street? Or was it on one of his 15 spoken word recordings or the over 30 guest recordings on which he appeared? Ken even coached young Linda Blair on her vocalizations for her role in the horror classic The Exorcist.

On February 16, 2019, Ken passed away at the age of 98. His mellifluous voice silenced after eight decades.

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DCS: jani lane

make a grown man cry

Jani Lane conquered the local music scenes in Cleveland, Orlando and Los Angeles before breaking out with Warrant, the popular glam-metal band. With Jani’s songs and charismatic persona, Warrant scored big with four Top 40 hits in 1989. Their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich went double platinum. Warrant’s follow-up album Cherry Pie, also produced four Top 40 singles including the risque title track, which peaked at Number 7 on Billboard’s Top 200. Cherry Pie also sold 2 million copies. Jani Lane was a certified superstar and a darling of the MTV crowd.

But fame is fleeting.

On August 11, 2011, Jani Lane was found dead in a room at the Woodland Hills Comfort Inn. The cause of death was determined to acute alcohol poisoning. He had at note in his pocket that read “I am Jani Lane” along with a phone number. Jani was 47.

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DCS: margaret polk

bombs away

 

Before Captain Robert K. Morgan flew his first of 25 missions in the massive Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, he decided the aircraft needed a more familiar nickname. He chose “Little One,” the pet name he had for his sweetheart, Margaret Polk, back in Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan and his copilot Jim Verinis saw the John Wayne – Joan Blondell film Lady for a Night, in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the Memphis Belle. Morgan suggested the name “Memphis Belle” to his crew and all were in favor. The captain contacted noted pin-up artist George Petty for a cheesecake mascot to adorn the nose of the bomber. The artist obliged with a figure from a 1941 issue of Esquire Magazine.

Corporal Tony Starcer, the official artist for the 91st Bombardment Group, copied the pinup girl on the forward fuselage of the B-17F. It was a perfect duplication, but bore little resemblance to Captain Morgan’s Memphis girlfriend. The “nose art” later included 25 bomb silhouettes , one for each mission credit, and eight swastika designs, one for each German aircraft shot down by the crew. Crew names were stenciled below the station windows on the aircraft after Memphis Belle‘s  tour of duty was completed.

 

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IF: health

new pornographer

“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.”
— Gustave Flaubert

The celebrated French author Gustave Flaubert  lived a life of outspokenness and debauchery and suffered from venereal disease most of his life. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 58.

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