Mrs Eastwood and Company

When I first read about this ‘reality’ television program that would be featuring Clint Eastwood‘s ‘last’ wife and family and that he would be dropping in on the occasional episode, I thought it was somebody’s idea of a bad joke. Surely Clint wasn’t happy about this idea and surely he wouldn’t lower himself so much that he would actually appear.

Would he?

It turned out that I was wrong on all counts. First of all, it isn’t a bad joke, although I can’t really say that with any real certainty as I haven’t seen the program yet. But it premièred in May this year and it turns out that Clint will be appearing on the odd episode, well three  according to IMDb and their episode listings of the program.

I sat here thinking about why the Eastwood’s would even consider such a venture. Do they need money that badly? I would have thought that a man with Clint’s stature in the Hollywood hierarchy would have more than enough money to see him through his retirement, if and when he decides to take it. I know he’s still working, he was over here in England last year fine tuning  his latest directorial effort.

Was Dina thinking of leaving Clint and wanted to get a nest egg set up? Or is the program primarily to help her ‘sell’ her newly discovered South African vocal group. What better way to drum up much needed publicity for your new musical protégées than to have a weekly program that they can be trotted out regularly for inspection on.

Of course the other thing I immediately wondered about was how his other children felt about the reality show. Clint has a pretty big brood. He may have only been married twice, but he’s fathered seven children with five different women. Shy and retiring  he ain’t. I just wonder if his other kids might not get jealous at this ‘special’ attention paid to the ‘newest’ additions to his family.

Checking with IMDb, and before you ask no I don’t own stock or get remuneration for mentioning the site,  Kyle seems fairly busy. So he probably doesn’t need the extra attention, but as I said before, neither does dad Clint. Daughter Alison seems to be a bit busier that Kyle so she probably doesn’t need the extra coverage either. I will admit that I didn’t check any of the other Eastwood offspring. I’m curious all right but I’m not nosey.

Of course both Kyle and Alison have worked with dad in films. Kyle does music for the Eastwood productions among other things and Alison has worked fairly steadily without having to resort to working for dad. So maybe they aren’t too bothered about the reality program. Of course if the whole Eastwood clan get along well and the reality show runs more that just a season or two, they might still consider appearing in the odd episode.

Unfortunately, considering the competition in the reality realm, I don’t think the Eastwood and Company show stands much of a chance. In a world where Keeping up with the KardashiansThe Real Housewives of New Jersey, America’s Next Top Model and all the other ‘must see’ reality programs already provide enough ersatz drama to fill the Rose Bowl stadium, I don’t know if Mrs Eastwood has much of a chance.

English: Clint Eastwood at the 2010 Toronto In...
English: Clint Eastwood at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Call me cynical, but I get the idea that this brain child is all of Mrs Eastwood’s creation. I can imagine Dina collaring Clint at the breakfast table.

“Clint.”

Yes, Dina?”

“You know how you got Kyle and Alison started in the business?”

“Yes Dina.”

“Well, since you’re not acting any more and you’re not directing that many pictures…”

“Yes Dina?”

“Well, just how are you going to give our kids a start in the business? I was just thinking that a good way to get the kids noticed, and me, would be to do one of those ‘reality’ shows. You’d be helping the children and be helping me get my new band noticed. Be a darling and talk to some of your network friends, will you?”

“Yes Dina.”

The above conversation works a lot better if you can imagine Clint answering in a sort of tired Dirty Harry voice.

I might be wrong of course, but it does kind of stand to reason. After all, how are they going to get a start in the business if not through this program. Besides, looking at the ‘last’ Mrs Eastwood, how could Clint say anything but “Yes Dina.”

English: Dina Eastwood, wife of Clint Eastwood
English: Dina Eastwood, wife of Clint Eastwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Pasadena 4th of July or Babe’s in Hollywood-Land Part Two

English: Rose Bowl
English: Rose Bowl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

**All of the folks I talk about here are, as they say, real people but as I don’t know their whereabouts to ask permission to include them in my little story I’ve changed their names.**

My first wife and I wound up living in the old Pasadena Music Conservatory. This old clapboard house, just one block over from N. Los Robles Avenue on the north side of the Foothill’s Highway, had been turned into a ‘four-plex’ a long time ago. The house itself was large and quite pretty. It had a huge covered veranda that ran all along the front of the house. The apartment next to ours had double French doors that the occupant used as a front door.

Our apartment was a two room affair. It boasted a huge kitchen (it had actually been the kitchen of the original house) a bathroom and the front room, which was huge, had a sofa-bed. Behind the house was a separate little house on the plot. The area between our house and the little one was our communal back yard. It was bare of any grass, mostly dirt with a few weeds here and there to give it a bit of character.

It was a perfect place to start us off. We met all our neighbours within the first few days of living there. The first neighbour we met was Nathan. It was the Fourth of July and we were sitting on the front porch watching the sporadic ‘illegal’ fireworks that dotted the sky. Nathan came wandering down and introducing himself, gave us both a Coors and said, “I’ve got some rockets up stairs, I’ll get em and we’ll celebrate your  first Southern California Fourth of July.”

We sat sipping our beer and waited for Nathan to return. While we were waiting we met Martin, the guy who had the cool French Doors as his entrance, he was only passing by, but he wished us a happy fourth and said that if you went around the back of the block you could see the Rose Bowl fireworks for free. Nathan came back looking a bit dejected. His rockets weren’t there and he decided he’d have to go buy some. With promises of a speedy return he drove off.

We decided to go around the block and see if you really could see the Rose Bowl fireworks. We locked our front door and walked around the corner. The house sat on the front corner of a city block that was divided into two different territories. The ‘top’ of the block was ‘ruled’ by the Diablos and our section by the Bloods. We weren’t aware of this quaint little gang custom until later. But appearances to the contrary, this was one rough neighbourhood.

There were a few other people out and about when we walked to find a good Rose Bowl viewpoint. They all spoke and we sort of meandered up the sidewalk. We kept stopping and looking at the occasional sky rocket and talking excitedly about our first ‘Fourth’ away from home. We kept an eye out for a new apartment complex on the corner. That building was our cue to turn right and start looking for the free fireworks.

We stopped just before we reached the corner. We could see what we thought might be the Rose Bowl display and we talked about how cool it was that we could see it for free. While we were talking, two little old ladies chattering like magpies passed us and went around the corner we were about to turn down. Seconds after they turned up the road and out of sight, we heard screams.

My wife and I stood frozen for what seemed like ages. We then bolted around the corner. One of the ‘little old ladies’ was lying on the sidewalk blood streaming from her forehead. Her friend was anxiously darting around her as one or two  people came running our of their houses.  As I ran up to the little group, one of the men looked at me suspiciously. “Did you see anything?”  This was asked as he advanced menacingly towards us.

“No, no. They were around the corner. They didn’t do anything.” This was from the friend of the unconscious lady. After giving me a look of disdain the man went back to the ladies and said he was going to call the police. We stood there feeling helpless. This was outside of our limited experience. We did find out that as the two old dears turned the corner a man jumped out of the dark and smacked one of the ladies in the forehead with a brick. He then grabbed both their purses and ran.

While we stood waiting for Pasadena‘s finest to arrive, we realised that if we had not stopped when we did, we would have gone around the corner before the little old ladies. We both went a little shaky at that thought. It should have been one of us lying on the ground and bleeding. After talking to the police just long enough for them to realise that we would be no help. We walked back home.

The lovely glow of the place we’d just walked up had changed. We walked slowly and looked carefully at the shadowy areas by the path. When we got back to our little apartment, we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. It would be another two weeks before my brush with the gentleman with the black robes and scythe. He was very interested in me on that night, offering me two chances to take a trip with him.