Monthly Archives: September 2013

New Blog for Kids!

The creator of this blog recently published a new blog called YeahBuddy!.

Here at YeahBuddy! we want to provide kids with a safe place to have fun online.”

Visit blog here.

The blog features posts about things to read, animals, Disney and more!  The YeahBuddy! team is busy preparing more and more posts to publish on a variety of topics which will interest any kid.

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3 Gobblers…A Film Based on a True Story

3 Gobblers

3 Gobblers is a upcoming film set in 1935 about three brothers after being run out of Texas during the dust bowl.  The brothers live in a camp in California with hardly any food.  The story begins a few days before Thanksgiving, when the boys overhear their parents talking about not having anything special for Thanksgiving dinner.  Determined to find a solution, the brothers head out and happen to find three turkeys wandering around near a farm.  They decide to clobber the turkeys and take them home to surprise their mother.   Consequences come when the sheriff arrives.

It is based on a true story written by Joe and June Bussard.  3 Gobblers screenplay was written by Ashley Scott, who is also directing the film.

The cast includes Michael J. Smith as the boys’ father, Ollie Bussard, and Grayson J. Smith as the oldest brother, Ralph Bussard.  Grayson J. Smith recently appeared in the world premiere production of Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure at The 5th Avenue Theatre and will be performing as The Artful Dodger in The 5th Avenue’s upcoming production of Oliver!.  The son of Ralph Bussard, Harold Bussard, is the Executive Producer for the film, as well as part of the cast.  Victoria L. Smith, author of The By Kids for Kids Series, is also in the film as a camper.  Benson Kain will be portraying Joe Bussard, the youngest brother.

Grayson J. Smith is my younger brother, and we are so excited to begin shooting!

To learn more and to contribute to the making of the film, click:  “3 Gobblers Arctic Star Productions”

To view production photos and see what else Arctic Star Productions is up to, visit their Facebook page here.

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Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure

On September 7th at 8pm at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington the world premier musical, Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure performed for the very first time.

Based on the 2003 movie, young Walter is sent by his mother to live with two grouchy great-uncles he’s never met, he feels all alone.  But then Uncle Garth tells Walter a tall tale of his and Uncle Hub’s adventures in foreign countries to raise his spirits.  The story fills Walter’s summer with excitement.  It’s a tale of a princess, a sultan, treasure, sword fights and true love!  The story is so extraordinary, could it actually have happened?

The stellar cast includes Johnny Rabe as Walter, Gregg Edelman, Mark Jacoby, Jason Danieley, Jenny Powers, Kevin Earley, Kendra Kassebaum, and Sophia Anne Caruso.  A stunning ensemble backs up the leading characters.

Grayson J. Smith, recently seen as Michael Hobbs in ELF – The Musical at The 5th Avenue Theatre, is in the show as Walter’s understudy.  He also appears nightly as part of the ensemble.

The book is by Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes with music and lyrics by Zachary and Weiner.

I have seen the show twice, and it is truly astounding and wonderful!  Don’t miss out on this amazing adventure!  Tickets are being sold for the remaining performance.  Click the above Secondhand Lions picture to visit the 5th Avenue’s website.

Many criticize the fact that there is no lion in the show.  If we recall, the lion plays a very small part in the movie.  Some may argue that the lion saves Walter from Stan, Mae’s evil boyfriend.  In the musical, the uncles save Walter from Stan.  This result is even more satisfying.  The uncles are given a new fight, they protect their great-nephew without regard for the personal cost.  The lion in the movie was an interesting addition, but not a necessity for the musical.  This is evident, because the absence of a real lion in the musical does not damage or confuse the story line.

In reality, the logistical difficulty of a lion on stage is enormous.  A lion on stage with dozens of actors, crew members, and over 2,000 people in the audience, would create an unmanageable safety issue for all concerned.  It would be far too dangerous. Furthermore, if not a lion, some have suggested use of a puppet lion.  If one saw a puppet lion on the stage you would criticize it’s unrealistic appearance far more than no lion at all.  The title is Secondhand Lions, so why don’t you expect two lions then in the movie?

Metaphors are common in the arts, and the metaphor in Secondhand Lions is clear to me. I will explain the meaning of the title.  The “lions” the title refers to in both the musical and the movie are the two uncles who are grizzled and worn.  They fought a score of battles long ago, but now, old and grey, they can’t fight great battles anymore.  Walter turns up and gives them something new to live for.  They are “secondhand lions”, used already and being used once more to raise Walter into a fine man.  The title does not refer to a lion with four paws and a mane, as those without an ounce of imagination believe.

Below are links to performances of numbers from the musical by the cast:

See Zachary and Weiner perform “Sand” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure. 

See Johnny Rabe perform “Do Something for Me” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure.

See Johnny Rabe perform “Just Right” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure.

See Kevin Earley and Jason Danieley perform “Unlike Anyone I’ve Ever Known” from Secondhand Lions: A New Musical Adventure.

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Colors in Italian

COLORS (English, Italian)

blonde (haired)        –             biondi

blue                 –                       blu

brown /  dark (haired)   –     neri

brown             –                      marrone

gold                 –                      oro

grey                 –                      grigio

orange             –                     arancione

pink                 –                      rosa

purple              –                     viola

red                    –                     rosso

white                –                     bianco

yellow               –                    giallo

See earlier post “Things to Say in Italian” for a pronunciation guide.

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The World Passes Bye

This poem is by my great-grandfather, who was born in Minnesota 1906 and traveled across the prairie in a covered wagon with his parents and older sister.  A section of the book A Life Well Lived by Jim Gwinn features a story on him.  Click here to view the chapter online.


The World Passes Bye

IV The Hand Writing on the Wall

by Orin Phelps

Written in 1995 at the Age of 90


 On to an ungodly king and kingdom

how surely and swiftly the axe did fall

when meaning was given by the prophet Daniel

to the handwriting on the wall.

Again God Directed the hands of men to write

of the fate that would befall

to those who would not turn to

Jesus in answer to His call.

That great day of reigning could come so soon

that the life span of many would not be run.

Think not that you have tomorrow,

for even now the countdown could have begun.

It will all happen so quickly

in the twinkling of an eye.

First the dead in Christ shall rise

and be transported to the sky.

Then the redeemed among the living

all join them to be with the Lord in the air,

what a reunion that will be,

for the saints will all be there.

Forgotten now are the sorrows

the cares and the pains.

Forgotten are the concerns about ourselves

and our worldly gains

Before the throne of God we came

like a mighty crystal sea.

Praise the Lord you were there

and thank God there was room for me.

There was a note of sadness though

for among the redeemed no one was worthy

to take the scroll and open the seals,

that held the events that would soon transpire

that had so long been concealed.

Then a new song we sang

‘Worthy is the Lamb of God

and worthy of all praise,

for He has redeemed us by His blood,

and saved us by His grace’.

One by one the seals, He opened

that all that were present might know

that the earth was in tribulation,

and great was the distress and woe.

From the earth below far and near

there were sounds of bitter wails

that resound from the crowded corridors

and out along the lonely trails.

The echoes from the hills

will just repeat their awful cries

‘We could have been among the redeemed

but we passed the Savior bye’.

Then mighty horses and riders

roamed at will across the

length and breadth of the land

spreading war and famine,

death and destruction on every hand.

Were the Lord God not to intervene

all life on earth would be lost,

in those final days of judgment

in that mighty holocaust.

If any should read these words,

whose lives are lost and deep in sin

Jesus said ‘I am the way the Truth and the Life

but you must be born again.’

Now if the Lord should tarry

and you are still in sin and sorrow;

then accept Him today with delay,

that you may have a joyous tomorrow.

It makes no difference who you are

nor how hard you try

you cannot enter heavens portals

and pass the Savior bye.

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