We’ll get to what’s in the above photo, in just a bit. But first, since I didn’t link to James Lileks’ review of Mad Men’s season five kick off last week, here’s a belated link, in case anyone on the right is still watching the show after the sucker punch hit to Romney’s father. (From the character who’s working for John Lindsay, who will soon run Manhattan deep, deep into the ground.) Also, after Lileks’ recommendations over the years both at the Bleat and at PJM, I went back and rewatched the first season of Michael Mann’s Crime Story series from 1986-’87 on Netflix, which Lileks once described as the dark Deep Space Nine to the sunlit Vice’s ST:TNG. Crime Story had great drive to its stories, and much more consistent writing than Vice, even if they tended to be somewhat formulaic cops-versus the mob at the core. But Dennis Farina and Anthony Denison as Elliot Ness and Al Capone Mike Torello and Ray Luca are classic cop and gangster adversaries. And the season finale is…explosive, to say the least. (The show’s Wikipedia page gives it all away, if you’re interested.)
Last September, when the networks were all rolling out their Mad Men rip-offs (did any of these survive past 13 weeks?) Crime Story would have been the easiest high-concept series to pitch to a network: “Boys! It’s Mad Men with guns!” “Sold—give me 13 weeks; let’s hit the links!”
As I mentioned when my mom passed away at age 87 in mid-February, I brought a treasure trove of photos and memorabilia back to California from her home in New Jersey. (Dad passed away in 2006.) And speaking of the Mad Men era, after the page break, which I’m putting in to ease page loading, and to not waste the time of those who are here (understandably) just for politics and the like, here are a few snapshots of mom and dad from the Mad Men era, followed by the matchbooks from a few of their favorite restaurants in the ’70s and early ’80s.