We Began The Day With A Little Nostalgia
It's Christmas Day 2014 and we begin with some nostalgia... We had to see "It's A Wonderful Life" because, after-all, it is!
Ain't it the truth!!!
All smiles... It was a simpler time
Off To The Panda Inn In La Palma
Our celebration of Christmas Dinner at a Chinese restaurant is because we enjoy sharing special times with friends. The Panda Inn was very accommodating of our requests and did an outstanding job!
We also remember that Hanukkah ended on Christmas Eve this year and we want to share the joy of our Jewish friends!
Believe what you will in terms of your religious beliefs but it is a special time of the year for us to be together and share our special relationships with each other!
Let the fun begin.
But first.... How did the tradition get started? This segment of "A Christmas Story" began it all. The Bumpas' dogs ate the Christmas turkey so the family headed out to eat... The Chinese restaurant was the only place in town open!
Do you remember the duck????
We understand.... Christmas Day is more than that... A lot more
Bernie rode with us so he got there early
The Inn was open and General Manager Steve took super care of us!
Bernie fits right into this crowd!
Food in one hand and wine in the other
Oh oh... The wine glasses look empty
"The Christmas Story" kept playing all evening
The movie played and others watched
Hans and Kerstin had great seats... They could see everyone
Did You Know? - In 2005 the original home used for the exterior shots of the family home was put up for auction on eBay, and avid fan of the movie Brian Jones purchased it directly from the seller for $150,000. Jones then spent the following year restoring the home to the way it looked on screen.
The exterior was completely restored and the interior was renovated to match the interior of the home shown in the movie (parts of the interior were actually filmed in a Toronto studio). On November 25, 2006, the home finally opened its doors as a tourist attraction.
Jones spent close to $500,000 in preparation for this grand opening. In addition, he also purchased the house next door and converted it to a gift shop and museum dedicated to the film and the house.
David hears the latest old jokes
We never saw nutting!
It was horrible... The leg lamp broke
Did You Know? - The piece of music that plays after Ralphie says "fudge", and after the lamp breaks for the second time, is the opening of "Hamlet" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Red is "the in color"
Kerstin makes sure everybody is having fun!
Ghislene enjoying all the non-sense
Did You Know? - It has long been thought that The Old Man's first name was "Hal". When The Old Man is in front of the house admiring his major award/lamp, his neighbor, Swede, comes up to him and says "Damn, hell, you say you won it?" Some fans believed that Swede said "Damn, Hal..." leading them to believe that "Hal" was The Old Man's first name. But according to the script, Swede actually says, "Damn, hell," not "Damn, Hal".
We were so happy to have the Rodeckers join us today
Bob seems to be happy to see everyone!
We would get one for Hans but it would slide off his head
Where Did It Occur?? Let's Visit
Did You Know? - The real house used during filming can be found at 3159 W 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. Pictures and a "Street View" of the house can be seen on Google Maps. A nearby street that intersects with W. 11th St is Rowley Avenue, one block south of the location shown on Google Maps.
Right adjacent to Interstate 71
As seen by Google Street View
Did You Know? - Ian Petrella, who played Ralphie's kid bro Randy, lived in the Christmas Story House for a few months.
The child actor quit acting a few years after the film came out and transitioned into a graphic designing career. During a cast reunion at the Christmas Story House, Petrella befriended Brian Jones and kept in touch with him.
In 2010 Petrella was living in San Francisco and felt wayward about his life, but after talking to Jones one day, Petrella decided it'd be a good change of pace to temporarily move into the Cleveland home and give tours.
Petrella moved into the house's closed-to-the-public third-floor space and went to work performing meet-and-greets with the visitors.
Meanwhile Back At The Panda Inn
We have the French, English, and Germans represented this afternoon
The Panda Inn people were so helpful! Great food and service
Did You Know? - The LOOK magazine used by Ralph Parker to insert his Red Ryder promotion for his mother's observation was a December 21, 1937 edition with a cover featuring Shirley Temple pouring tea for Santa Claus.
Reminds us of a song....
"It must have been the magic in that old pointed hat she found...
For when she put it on her head she began to dance around!"
Kerstin's eyes just light up! Her personality is contagious!
Did You Know? - Although he occupies the most screen time in the film Peter Billingsley only has about ninety-three lines of dialogue.
The TV News Program flashed an alarm when Kerstin pushed the power button
Double Dog Dares lead to serious problems
It's getting serious now
Did You Know? - For the scene in which Flick's tongue sticks to the flagpole, a hidden suction tube was used to safely create the illusion that his tongue had frozen to the metal.
"What happens after a Double-Dog-Dare??"
Jan and Bernie trade stories
"... did you hear about the guy who...."
Polishing off the little fried worms
Ralphie is about to use the "Fudge Word"
Did You Know? - Much of the snow in the movie is artificial. It was a rather warm winter in Cleveland that year, so when production began the crew had to generate white stuff for the parade sequence.
They used an admixture of potato flakes, shredded vinyl, firefighters' foam, and a wind machine to make it "snow." When production moved up north to Canada, the crew ran into a similar problem.
A dearth of snow almost caused the flagpole scene to be delayed, when on the last day of filming at the school a cold front moved in and brought snow and subzero temperatures. So, it was literally cold enough for Flick to get his tongue stuck.
Bob is secretly praying that Ralphie does not say "the word"
Alas... Ralphie did not learn
Did You Know? -
Lifebuoy was introduced by Lever Brothers in 1895 in England as the second oldest soap brand, after the Ivory (soap) from Procter and Gamble. Originally a carbolic soap containing phenol, different varieties were later introduced without the medicinal carbolic smell such as the coral-colored Lifebuoy during the late 1950s and Lifebuoy Minty Refresher in 1966.
Although Lifebuoy is no longer produced in the US and UK, it is still being mass-produced by Unilever in Cyprus for the UK, EU, US and Brazil markets, in Trinidad and Tobago for the Caribbean market, and in India for the Asia market. Unilever in Cyprus and Trinidad and Tobago is manufacturing the Red Lifebuoy Soap with a carbolic fragrance, but it no longer contains phenol.
The Lifebuoy soap manufactured in India for other markets including South and South East Asia has been updated to use red and other colours with ‘modern’ aromas.
Lifebuoy soap is today imported to the UK by Jupiter Imports, owned by Richard Langham, former recording engineer at Abbey Road Studios.
Shhhhh - Ralphie gets the decoder ring
Did You Know? - The Orphan Annie radio decoder pin that Ralphie receives is the 1940 "Speedomatic" model, indicating that the movie takes place in December, 1940. Different decoder badges were made each year from 1935-1940. By 1941, the decoders were made of paper.
Speaking of pins... Greg got his Official Disneyland Tour Badge
Careful there Greg
"You did well Greg... I see no blood"
That deserves a hug
Bernie is just finishing his third wine...
Show us your tooth Bernie
Published the year Bernie was born...
The Panda Inn food was delicious
Having a good time!
Brian and our noisy chicken sing with help from Ghislene
Dang... Enough food for an army
Nick is missing the fun!
We took over the entire bar area
Sue checks up on everyone
Did You Know? - During the filming in downtown Cleveland, the antique automobile club members, whose cars were used, were given a route to follow on Public Square. They were instructed to continue circling the square until otherwise instructed. Road salt was a major concern for the car owners and the cars were pressure-washed after each day's filming and parked underground beneath the Terminal Tower.
Bob demonstrates the proper way to hold lug bolts when changing a tire
Wally and Leon compare note about the finer point of Chinese foods
Fun with friends
The million dollar smile
Greg does his scary look
"I am going to eat the whole thing!"
"Do you like my new Christmas hat?"
Careful... Bernie has the candid camera out
The evening gets funnier as we go
Thank you Jan for leading the cheer!
Now this is a REAL Christmas dinner...
Spending quality time with family and friends
The Head Elf says it is OK to leave but drive carefully