Wednesday, February 08, 2017

"Professor" Irwin Corey (1914 - 2017)

"Professor" Irwin Corey, the classic comedian billed as the World's Foremost Authority, died Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. He was 102.

The centenarian funnyman was known for a decidedly weird routine. Dressed in the garb of an absent-minded professor – wild hair, a shabby suit, and sneakers – he'd wander onstage distractedly. He'd consult his notes, maybe laugh at something he saw there, pocket the notes, consult them again … finally, the first word of his routine, always the same: "However …" What followed was a masterpiece of doublespeak, improvised by Corey and thoroughly confusing and amusing his audience.

One oft-quoted snippet of a Corey routine started: "However ... we all know that protocol takes precedence over procedures. This Paul Lindsey point of order based on the state of inertia of developing a centrifugal force issued as a catalyst rather than as a catalytic agent, and hastens a change reaction and remains an indigenous brier to its inception. This is a focal point used as a tangent so the bile is excreted through the panaceas."

Corey sprinkled more recognizable aphorisms among the 50-cent words, and these quotable quotes were so perfect that some have entered the lexicon as clich├ęd phrases, with few who repeat them knowing who coined them. Here's how Corey turned a phrase:

"Wherever you go, there you are."

"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."

"You can get further with a kind word and a gun that you do with just a kind word."

The distinctive routine came from the brain of a man who had an unconventional childhood and young adulthood. Born in Brooklyn July 29, 1914, Corey was one of six siblings who grew up in an orphanage despite not being orphans. Abandoned by her husband, Corey's mother struggled to support her children while working and also attempting to recover from tuberculosis. The Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum was a solution born out of desperation – she could work enough to send them money for the children's care while also recuperating from her illness.

It was Corey's home until he was 13, and it was where he started his long comedy career, performing to amuse the other children. But then the young teen joined the tide moving west, riding the rails to California in search of work. He returned to New York as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps, working his way across the country and, in his spare time, taking up boxing and becoming a featherweight champion.

Back east, Corey began performing as a comedian, working the Catskills circuit as well as New York City clubs. As his career burgeoned, World War II interrupted. Corey was determined not to serve, first seeking 4F status and then, when he was drafted nevertheless, convincing his superiors he was a homosexual and being discharged after six months.

Postwar, Corey honed his Professor persona and ramped up his path to fame, appearing on many of the hottest shows of TV's early days. He was a regular guest of talk show hosts including Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, and Ed Sullivan. Through his surreal stand-up routine, he influenced many of the next generation of comics as they got their start: Lenny Bruce, Jonathan Winters, and George Carlin were just a few of the stand-ups who looked up to him. He occasionally acted, too, as when he guest-starred on an episode of "The Phil Silvers Show" and, later, in movies such as "How To Commit Marriage" (1969) and "Car Wash" (1976).

Alongside his stage and screen career came a number of odd stunts, not least of which was his 1960 bid for the presidency of the United States as part of Hugh Hefner's "Playboy" ticket. His campaign slogans included, "Vote for Irwin and get on the dole" and, "Corey will run for any party, with a bottle in his hand."

In 1974, attendees of the National Book Award ceremony were perplexed as Corey arrived onstage to accept the award on behalf of its actual winner, Thomas Pynchon, author of "Gravity's Rainbow." His acceptance speech was much like one of his "professorial" comedy routines. Just as the audience was at its most bewildered, a streaker ran across the stage – not associated with Pynchon or Corey in any way; he was just a random sign of the times. Corey knew the more serious contingent of the literary world was annoyed by his appearance, but he didn't care: As he told interviewer Jim Knipfel, "I got paid $500 for it, and I had a good time."

In his 80s and 90s, Corey undertook an unusual mission. Walking the streets of New York City, he sold newspapers to drivers for a dollar or a handful of change. According to The New York Times, those papers were often free ones that he took from public newspaper boxes. Unkempt and repeating his mantra – "Help a guy out?" – Corey appeared like any other panhandler, though some recognized the comedian. What they didn't know was that he donated all his proceeds from these escapades to a charity that provides medical supplies for children in Cuba. He even had the autographed photo of Cuban President Fidel Castro on his apartment wall to prove it.

It was one of many ways in which Corey was politically and socially conscious. A far-left liberal, he loved relating his favorite example of his radicalism: "When I tried to join the Communist Party, they called me an anarchist," as he told The New York Times. He was blacklisted in Hollywood for his support of the party, a consequence that continued to affect his career for years after the end of the McCarthy era. But he remained active with his leftist views, supporting causes including the Mumia Abu-Jamal defense fund and Palestinian relief efforts.

Of his political activism, Corey told interviewer Kliph Nesteroff, "I was never aware that I was a political commentator. It just happens. You just do it. You breathe, but you're not conscious of breathing. When I did my act, I wasn't conscious that it was political."

Corey was married for 70 years to the former Fran Berman, who preceded him in death in 2011. He was also preceded in death by their daughter, Margaret, and he is survived by their son, Richard.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

WWII sailor Joe Hittorff, with roots in Kent, is laid to rest at last

Contributed photoEnsign Joseph P. Hittorff Jr.
Contributed photoEnsign Joseph P. Hittorff Jr. 
Editor’s note: About two weeks ago, The Register Citizen was notified by a local funeral home that the recently identified remains of a WWII sailor, lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, had arrived in Connecticut for burial. Not long after, a representative from POW/MIA CT Forget-Me-Nots, Inc. contacted us on behalf of Ensign Joseph P. Hittorff Jr.’s family asking that we not seek an interview. The family, however, provided a great deal of information about Hittorff’s life and service. Hittorff served on the USS Oklahoma and his long-overdue funeral will take place in Kent on June 18. Hittorff’s cousin, Dianne Lang, wrote the following piece about her relative and how his remains came home.
As a baby boomer who missed World War II by a few years, I never thought much about how the war had impacted the older generation who lived through it. We certainly studied it in school, but it somehow seemed remote to me. I do remember the infrequent occasions when my uncle, Robert Keene, would reluctantly talk about the time he spent in an army tank. I just knew it had been an awful experience for him. I also remember my father, Philip Camp, talking about the rough treatment farmers were given during the last call for recruits before the war ended. He was the sole support for a multi-generational family unit, and a food producer, so had been deferred up until that point. Farmers were almost considered anti-American by some in the military as they had not been expected to serve. No one spoke much about those times, and I felt disconnected from that period in history.
Then everything changed. My mother, Marie Camp, was contacted by Robert Valley, Volunteer Coordinator of the USS Oklahoma families. Information had been uncovered by a researcher that led him to believe that the remains of my mother’s first cousin, Ens. Joseph Parker Hittorff, Jr. could now be identified.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Everybody tells me not to hit back at the lowlifes that go after me for PR--sorry, but I must. It's my nature.

Monday, October 31, 2016

I can't take it anymore (Clinton/Trump)

I can't take it anymore...

'Bill Clinton cheats on his wife. Impeach him. Trump proudly brags about sexual assault (and has cheated on his wives). Elect him.

Hillary oversaw the department of state while 4 people died in an embassy attack. Put her in jail. 2 Republicans were in office while over 200 people died in embassy attacks. No problem.

Immigrants don't pay taxes. Round them up and kick them out. Trump doesn't pay taxes. He's a business genius.

Hillary's foundation only spent 87% of their donations helping people. She's a crook. Trumps foundation paid off his debts, bought sculptures of him, and made political donations to avoid investigations while using less than 5% of funds for charity (and he got shut down by NY State). So savvy... Put him in the white house.

Trump made 4 billion dollars in 40 years, when an index fund started at the same time with the same "small loans" he received would be worth $12 billion today... without a trail of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits and burned small business owners. He's a real business whiz. Hillary took a loss of $700k. She's a criminal.

Trump is the first candidate in the modern era not to release his tax returns, and took a billion dollar loss in 1 year. Genius. Hillary takes responsibility for private email servers and apologizes. Not credible. Trump denies saying things (on the record) he actually said (on the record), he's just telling it like it is.'

To those who support him:

Your arguments are thin. Your ignorance of reality is shocking. Your double-standards are offensive, and your willingness to blindly support him and recycle the rhetoric is absurd. Your opinion is not fact. Your memes are not news articles. And your hypocrisy is not a platform.

#rantover #imwithher #proudnastywoman

Sunday, August 14, 2016


HANNAY--Margaret Lois Patterson, died on August 11, 2016 after a four-year struggle with brain cancer. She was born in Rochester, NH, on December 20, 1944, the eldest child of Dr. Lois Kunz Patterson, biologist, and Rev. Dr. Ralph Patterson, pastor in New England with summers as a Christian camp director, mostly at Deerfoot Lodge in Speculator, NY. Margaret had two brothers, Ronnie who died as a 'blue baby' on the day of his birth, and Ken, a Vietnam Veteran and Chief of Operations of the Portland, OR District Navigation and Hydrographic Survey Missions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He died less than a month after his diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme at age 49.

Margaret received the same diagnosis in October 2012, but advanced cancer care gave her a much longer life. She was very grateful for the excellent care of her doctors, home health aides, and Community Hospice of Albany County. Margaret went to Wheaton College in Illinois, where she had an excellent education in English literature; she met David Hannay when they were 18, and he was the love of her life. They were married at age 20 and spent more than 50 happy years together. Both Margaret and David continued with graduate school through the Ph.D. and became professors, Margaret in English Literature at Siena College and David in Computer Science at Union College.

Along with David, she was proud of their daughters Deborah Hannay Sunoo, a Presbyterian pastor married to Ken Kyung Sunoo, and Catharine Hannay, a teacher and creative writer married to Eric Peterman, and of their granddaughters Rebecca Catharine Jin Sunoo and Alina Margaret Yun Sunoo. She felt blessed to live near so many of David's family, raising their daughters in a home inherited from David's grandparents in Westerlo, NY.

Dr. Hannay was Professor of English at Siena College from 1980 to 2013. Her specialty was the literature of early modern England, and she frequently taught Elizabethan Literature, English Renaissance Literature, and Shakespeare, as well as the Honors Great Books class for first year students. In 2000 she received the first Raymond Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award from the College. At Siena she served as chair of the core curriculum committee, chair of the committee to establish the Honors program, and chair of the English department. Her publications include more than fifty articles and seventeen books, including biographies of C.S. Lewis, Lady Mary Wroth, and Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke; seven volumes of editions of works and correspondence by the Sidney family edited with Noel Kinnamon and Michael Brennan; and essay collections, most recently the two-volume "Ashgate Research Companion on the Sidneys, 1500-1700," edited with Michael Brennan and Mary Ellen Lamb (2015). Her books have received various "Book of the Year" awards, and her volume on Dorothy Sayers was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America.

Over the years Margaret received a number of research fellowships including three from the National Endowment of the Humanities and three from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. She has served on boards of the Modern Language Association, as Council Secretary of the Renaissance English Text Society, and as national president of the Conference on Christianity and Literature. She was a founder, secretary, and then president of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, from which she received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She was secretary and president of the International Sidney Society, which gave her the Jean Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award. Each of these things, she said, was a great joy; she loved teaching, caring for students, attending conferences on the English Renaissance, and sleuthing in the archives in England and Wales for her research.

With David, Margaret was an enthusiastic member of First Presbyterian Church of Albany, NY. She served on session, taught classes, and was most recently on the welcoming Membership Committee. She was blessed to have such good friends and pastors in this historic church that welcomes all people and strives to serve those in need. She was most grateful for the similar ministry of Franciscan ideals at Siena College, and for the deep friendship of colleagues there. She also treasured her friendship with colleagues across the English- speaking academic world who shared her research interest in early modern writers.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 362 State St., Albany, NY 12210, on Sunday, August 28th at 1:00pm. Memorial donations in Margaret's honor may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Albany for Mission and Outreach.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Marie Camp obituary

Camp, Marie Anna.

Marie Anna (Neels) Camp of South Kent, CT died unexpectedly on April 15 at the age of 97. She was the daughter of Gustav and Matilda (Hittorff) Neels. Marie was born on December 24, 1918 in the Bronx. Birch Hill in Kent became her full-time home in 1933. Marie graduated as the valedictorian of her class at Kent High School in 1935 and then from Crandall's Secretarial College in Danbury. .

Marie married Philip W. Camp at the Kent Congregational Church on October 18, 1942. She helped her husband as a farm wife, worked at Nellie Rothe's Kent Inn, and was a secretary for South Kent School, Kent School, and the Town of Kent. Marie was an 82 year member of the Kent Congregational Church and a member of the Kent Historical Society, the Monday Morning Art Group, the Kent Informal Club, the Kent Library Association, and the Merwinsville Hotel Association. .

Her friends all enjoyed her paintings, especially her yearly Christmas card with birds on it. Marie loved to spend time researching her family tree and families from Kent. .

She is survived by her two children Philip W. (Bill) Camp, Jr. ( Brenda) of Myrtle Beach, SC and Dianne Lang (Philip) of South Kent, CT; two grandchildren Robert Camp of Myrtle Beach, SC and Charles Camp of Staunton, VA; one great grand-daughter, Colleen Marie Camp; and Marie's sister, Amy Nissen of Nassau, NY. She was predeceased by her husband. A memorial service will be held on June 19, 2016 at 2:00 in the Kent Congregational Church, Kent CT. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Contributions can be made to the Kent Historical Society or the Kent Congregational Church. .

Published in News Times from Apr. 20 to Apr. 29, 2016 -

Obituary: Joseph Hittorff Jr.

Ensign Joseph Parker Hittorff, Jr., was born in Kingston, NJ on December 2, 1916. He died 25 years later on the Oklahoma after it was bombed in Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941. Joe (or Bud, as his older sister Marion called him) was the son of Joseph Peter Hittorff and Ethel (Van Wagenen) Hittorff.

Joe’s family resided in Springfield, MA for a brief time where his father was a commercial traveler for a coffee company. Marion, Joe, and their parents then moved to 211 Virginia Avenue in Westmont, NJ. When Joe was a junior in high school, his mother died. In 1934, Joe graduated from Collingswood High School. He had managed his high school football team during his senior year and had attained the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduation, he attended Brown Preparatory School for English and math. Joseph had always wanted to go to sea, and so he chose to start a career in the Navy.

In June of 1936, he entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and graduated in 1940. His initial assignment was serving on board the battleship USS Oklahoma, a 583 foot battleship attached to the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. Joe had completed all of the requirements for being promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade but his commission had not come through at the time of his death.

Joe sent frequent letters home. In one from November 2, 1941, he expressed concern that there were war clouds on the horizon, and he was "expecting the worst -- and hoping for the best." On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The Oklahoma sank, and Joe was among the casualties along with 395 enlisted men and 19 other officers. Seven days later, a telegram was sent to his parents and sister saying, "The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, Ensign Joseph Parker Hittorff, Jr., United States Navy, was lost in action."

Joe’s Naval Academy ring was recovered from the wreckage at a later time. Also returned to the family was a ceremonial sword from Annapolis. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the American Defense Medal.

On March 7, 2016, seventy-four years and three months later, Joe’s remaining family members were notified that his remains had been identified after being disinterred from the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Hawaii. Sadly, his oldest living relative, Marie Camp of South Kent, CT passed away early this April. Marie, her sister Amy Nissen of Nassau, New York, and cousin Norma Medlicott of Zephyrhills, FL were all first cousins of Joe and Marion.

A funeral has been planned for June 18 at 11:00 in the Kent Congregational Church, Kent CT with burial immediately after in the Kent Congregational Cemetery.