Saturday, October 03, 2009

Weekend Update

This has been a long week. I am happy to report that Friday we finished cataloging the adult nonfiction books in our town library and we start cataloging juvenile nonfiction on Monday.

I am unhappy to report that I was ill for three days with a stomach virus that has been making its way through our local population. This did give me a chance to watch the Milestone Film & Video edition of Phantom of the Opera (1925).

This two disc collection includes both the 1925 silent film and the 1929 sound re-release. Both have their merits. No, they don't. The 1929 release is terrible with the story butchered, new sound sequences filmed to replace some of the original silent scenes, and new badly written dialogue dubbed over other scenes. Maybe I am being harsh, the 1929 version is better looking than the 1925 version and it does have a few of the original technicolor scenes.

Naah, I don't care how good it looks, it's still a butcher job done by people with no feeling for storytelling.

Below is a photo of actor Lon Chaney Sr. as The Phantom of the Opera. I am sure he does not look that scary to you but to my slightly feverish mind he was very creepy.

Now, let us flash forward two days to me back in the library cataloging books. We have a very good collection of books about Kansas history including privately published memoirs, pamphlets and booklets. Some of these I would flip through as I worked stopping to look at the photos and maps I found inside. One booklet, titled TEEPEES TO SODDIES:Southwestern Nebraska and Thereabouts, had this page of photos:

The second I saw that photo of Jake Haigler, 3 Bar Ranch, I fervently wished I had never opened the book. I did not know you could take photos in hell. This face, I knew, would replace Lon Chaney's Phantom in my nightmares. Yikes!

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