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July 12, 2006

Comments

Kevin Wolf

I'm so out of step with my age group that I'm more familiar with June than with Syd.

Nice tribute.

The Fat Lady Sings

Pink Floyd was a staple of mine throughout High School and College (1970's). I wasn't as familiar with Syd as I was with his replacement Gary Gilmore (he famously shaved his eyebrows when performing music from The Wall). But as with Brian Jones from The Stones, or Bon Scott from AC/DC - Syd Barrett charted Pink Floyd's direction and was responsible for their success - even if the majority of that success was achieved after his departure (Scott and Jones died – Barrett just faded away). The Wall was all about him - his decent into madness - exacerbated by drugs, paranoia and god alone knows what. They say he died of cancer. I think he was dead long before this.

Kevin Wolf

I'm so out of step with my age group that I'm more familiar with June than with Syd.

Nice tribute.

The Fat Lady Sings

Pink Floyd was a staple of mine throughout High School and College (1970's). I wasn't as familiar with Syd as I was with his replacement Gary Gilmore (he famously shaved his eyebrows when performing music from The Wall). But as with Brian Jones from The Stones, or Bon Scott from AC/DC - Syd Barrett charted Pink Floyd's direction and was responsible for their success - even if the majority of that success was achieved after his departure (Scott and Jones died – Barrett just faded away). The Wall was all about him - his decent into madness - exacerbated by drugs, paranoia and god alone knows what. They say he died of cancer. I think he was dead long before this.

Len Bourret - Poet and Writer

=================================
L e o n a r d J . B o u r r e t
4 0 - B P a s c a l L a n e
M a n c h e s t e r , C T 0 6 0 4 0 - 4 6 2 6
P h o n e : ( 8 6 0 ) 6 4 7 - 9 6 0 6
e - M a i l : Len9876@juno.com
=================================

August 7, 2006

To: RutaLeeWebbLowe@aol.com
Ruta Lee
The Thalians
http://www.thethalians.com/

Dear Ruta:

Subject: Lifetime Achievement Award for June Allyson - As per my e-Mail message dated
07/27/2006, it would be an honor, if The Thalians would posthumously offer a Lifetime
Achievement Award for June Allyson, to be accepted by Dr. David Ashrow (the late June
Allyson's husband), Pamela Powell (the late June Allyson's daughter), or Dick Powell, Jr.
(the late June Allyson's son).

June Allyson was not only a legend as an actress, but as a spokesperson for Hollywood's golden
years, and educator about the problems of incontinence. She was loved by multitudes of fans, both
young and old. Additionally, both June Allyson and Dr. David Ashrow have supported the Judy
Garland and James Stewart Museums (June Allyson was a close friend of James Stewart and
Judy Garland, often co-starring with these and other Hollywood legends).

Furthermore, the late June Allyson (along with Dick Powell) and Dr. David Ashrow, as Ojai
residents, have made positive contributions to The Thalians and the Hollywood community.
Please advise, and thank you.


Awaiting Your Reply,


Len Bourret
Poet and Writer

P. S. - October 7th, date of The Thalians Ball, is June Allyson's birthday!

========================================================================

Tribute to June Allyson...

Down On Your Heels, and Up On Your Toes!
by Len Bourret (Copyright 2006)

She was the girl GIs gravitated towards, the kind of woman every man wanted to marry, and the special friend everyone wanted to know. She loved people, and they loved her back. She exuded positive energy and a sunshiny smile that was uplifting--and, somehow, just being around her was uplifting and made people feel better. She was, and shall always be, "Good News" itself. Harry James' trumpet (from "Two Girls and
a Sailor") is blowing in the heavens, and one can hear and see June Allyson exuberantly singing, "He's the young man with a horn!"

To know "Junie" (as she was personified by her closed friends), one only had to become familiar with Ella
Van Geisman, the little girl from the Bronx. She was a hard worker, and a powerhouse. She danced her
way out of poverty and, on a dare from her schoolchums, learned to dance like and eventually befriended
her #1 heroine, Ginger Rogers. And, out of a Third Avenue el, she learned to follow in the footsteps of her
#1 hero, Fred Astaire. She had a distinctive voice, and a winsome personality. And, it was not an accident
or coincidental that she became destined to become the actress and human being that everyone wanted to
emulate and have as their nextdoor neighbor. Hers was a rags-to-riches story, a kind of Shirley Temple
real-life doll (more than merely on paper), a Jo March tomboy with feminine grace. She was a princess,
who married a prince, Richard Ewing Powell. And Richard, or Dick Powell as he is known to the world,
was a kind man who loved kids. But, he was--and taught June Allyson to be, strong as a redwood--
and this served to be her strength, after Richard's passing. And, indeed, June Allyson went through an
extremely difficult period from 1963 (after Richard passed from this earth) to 1976 (when she married
an equally-kind man, David Ashrow). But, during this time of magnificent independence, the little girl became quite a woman. And, she was a loyal friend and partner (she was married to Dick Powell for
almost 20 years, and was married to David Ashrow for almost 30 years).

When I was a little boy, Dick Powell used to call me from Four Star Television (where he became a
still-respected Louis B. Mayer kind of television mogul), and he gave me a 16m.m. print of "Sister
Mary Slugger" (a segment I loved from early-television's June Allyson Show). I deeply cherished
and faithfully preserved the print, for years, and presented it to June Allyson on videocassette. And,
at the Judy Garland Festival in 2002, I had the rare opportunity to read my poetry to June Allyson.
Some people are fortunate to meet their heroine once in a lifetime. I was privileged and proud to
meet June Allyson on four special occasions: once when she was appearing in "Goodbye Ghost"
(in Coconut Grove, Florida), twice when she was appearing in "Forty Carats" (on Broadway), thrice
when she was appearing in "No No Nanette" (in Hollywood), and at the Judy Garland Festival (an
annual event held to honor June Allyson's friend in Judy Garland's hometown of Grand Rapids,
Minnesota). But, this shall not be yours and my final meeting. We shall see June, Judy, and Richard
at the rainbow--and June Allyson will be dancing and singing The Varsity Drag (from MGM's
"Good News")!

Author's Note: How about an award, or two, for June Allyson's performance in "Good News" and
"The Glenn Miller Story"?

========================================================================

More About June Allyson...

Re: http://daily.greencine.com/archives/002165.html (the NON-mythical June Allyson), and
http://www.reeljewels.com/allyson/fanarticle1.htm

In the New York Times, Aljean Harmetz recalls Janet Maslin's review of Allyson's autobiography in which Allyson came off sounding "like someone who has come to inhabit the very myths she helped to create on
the screen."

Interestingly, June Allyson was everything she appeared to be, and was the embodiment of a REAL-
life Jo March (an athletic-loving tomboy with feminine grace), Calamity Jane, and Annie Get Your Gun.
She was anything but the psychologically-disturbed woman stereotype, who loved younger men. June
had some rough times with older man, Dick Powell, who was strong as a redwood. But, she gained
strength through this relationship and, after Dick Powell's passing, found peace with Dr. David Ashrow
June originally wanted to become a doctor, and helped put her brother, Dr. Arthur Peters, through
medical school (Lucille Ball was the matchmaker for Dick Powell, and Dr. Arthur Peters served as the
matchmaker for Dr. David Ashrow). She was happy most of her life, and was a particularly-bright light
to those around her. With the exception of an impoverished childhood and the period from 1963 (after
Dick Powell's death) to 1976 (when she married Dr. David Ashrow), June Allyson did have (quote) "a charmed life" personally and professionally, even though she appeared to (quoting Janet Maslin) "inhabit
the very myths she helped to create." June Allyson experienced problems with an absent father and an
abusive husband (Glenn Maxwell), alcoholism, and depression after Dick Powell's death. But, struggles
made her stronger and more determined. She attributed her recovery to Dr. David Ashrow (an extremely kind, loyal, and understanding husband). Dick Powell, like Louis B. Mayer, was a father figure for June.
But, in the 13 years following Dick Powell's death, a cute little girl (MGM's very-own version of Shirley Temple) learned how to become a distinctive woman with her own voice, while gaining strength and overcoming fragility. She became an avid spokesperson for Hollywood's golden years, an educator for overcoming the problems of incontinence, and a sounding board for senior citizens. Even with her passing, June Allyson is still very much loved by multitudes of fans, young and old, with a new generation of fans becoming exposed to and enjoying her movies--including "The Glenn Miller Story", "Good News", "Little Women", and "The Stratton Story". June Allyson, more than average or fair-to-middling, continues to be
an exceptionally-bright star, not only to dream about, but to reach for.

========================================================================

mandt

Stairway to Heaven

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