A spring-fresh potpourri mix

Published 10:22 am Friday, May 8, 2015

A “Wizard Of Oz” thought: Today, if Dorothy met men with no brains, no hearts and no courage, she wouldn’t be in Oz, she would be in Congress.

Alan Alda, of “M*A*S*H” fame, had this to say: “You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing.”

I love quotes like that from people who succeed in showbiz ’cause daddy was a star. His pop was actor Robert Alda.

Here’s the tale behind the immortal country ballad about Casey Jones: The engineer worked for the Illinois Central Railroad. As a boy, John Luther Jones lived near Cayce, Kentucky.

On April 30, 1900, he was killed when his passenger train, the Cannonball Express, collided with a stalled freight train in Mississippi on a foggy, rainy night. His dramatic death, while trying to stop the train and save lives, made him a hero.

He was immortalized in song by his friend, who was a wiper, keeping the engine clean. The friend was Wallace Saunders, an African-American.

One more showbiz note. This is from Ringo Starr: “Go and have a look in my bedroom. It’s covered with Gene Autry posters. He was my first musical influence.” Who would have thunk it?

And finally, a few parting shots:

I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, “Hey, look! That one is shaped like an idiot.”

“Without my pets my wallet would be full, my house would be clean, but my heart would be empty.”

Amen to that.

Closing up shop with some thoughts: Always be tolerant of a person who disagrees with you. After all, he has a right to his stupid opinion.

Americans spent more money on doctors last year than ever before, and it’s working. More doctors are feeling better.

During a 60-year career spanning newspapers, radio and television, Frank Roberts has been there and done that. Today, he’s doing it in retirement from North Carolina, but he continues to keep an eye set on Suffolk and an ear cocked on country music. Email him at froberts73@embarqmail.com.