Happy Father’s Day from Queensboro!

Father’s Day is almost upon us, and in the spirit of this special day for Dad, some of the Queensboro staff has shared some of their favorite quotes, advice and memories about their Dad and fatherhood in general.

Happy Father’s Day!

timtaylor

Melissa, Marketing

Favorite Advice From Her Dad: “I am very much my father’s daughter, and choosing just one favorite thing about my Dad would be impossible. I will say, the greatest gift he has ever given me is the ability to believe in the impossible, the improbable, the hard to reach dreams. He taught me to live without limits. Any success of mine is a direct success of his, simply for encouraging my imagination…(he might regret that sometimes! :) ) “

dad1

Jenn, Marketing

Favorite Memory of Her Dad: “Playing catch with my sister with our Dad coaching; I was maybe 6 and demonstrably left-handed in eating/drawing, etc. Left-handed, I threw “like a girl”. At one point, Steph and I switched gloves for fun and started throwing that way. I was much more successful throwing right. The next thing we knew, Mom was asking Dad where he was going. “Going to get Jenn a new glove – she throws like a rocket right-handed!” Dad continued to be my softball coach for the next few years.”

Carl_winslow

Claire, Customer Service

Favorite Memory of Her Dad: “My whole life my father has been the funniest man I have ever met, sometimes intentionally but most of the time unintentionally.  So it was no surprise when this year I asked him what he would like for Father’s Day, and he responded immediately with “Undying Adoration”. He already has it, of course, but he just wanted to make sure we knew how good we have it.  Although I don’t know how to gift wrap or mail that, it does always make me smile at my lame yet witty dad who I adore. “

red-forman-picture

Matt M., Marketing

Advice About Fatherhood: “No one on their deathbed will say, ‘I really wish I spent more time at  work.’ Cherish the time you have with your kids, and make more time if  you can.”

ray-romano

Matt H., Customer Service

Favorite Father’s Day Memory: “You hear so many stories about how having children changes your life, how it’s the greatest thing that could ever happen to you, and how the day they are born is the greatest day you will ever experience.  Most of this is true.  I am the father of a precious little girl, who continues to melt my heart with each smile, laugh, and new word spoken.  The moment I saw her I felt a new passion for life and I knew I would never be the same again.  Yes, that day was extraordinary, but equally challenging.  I would have to say that the day I met my wife was the greatest day of my life.  I met her on a day hike to Gregory Bald in Great Smoky Mountains National Park; a mountain-top pasture known for an amazing display of hybridizing azaleas each June.  Ironically, I met her on a Father’s Day and greater forces were certainly at work.  The weather was perfect and I was enjoying my fellowship with nature.  I ran into a group at a trail junction, where we all thought it would be a good place for a water break.  She immediately caught my eye.  It wasn’t the “love at first sight” that you often hear about in songs and film.  But, my heart stirred and I knew something was different about this day.  The group asked that I join them for the remainder of the journey.  Although I enjoy the peace of a solo hike, I was glad to oblige.  Her smile was intoxicating.  For the purpose of keeping the story short and sweet, I’ll spare you the details.  It’s quite simple actually:  we bonded, we dated, we fell in love, and eventually decided to spend our lives with one another.  Now, we marvel at the new life we created and love our little family deeper each day.  But, I still think back to that Father’s Day and how a little walk in the woods changed my life forever.”

What’s your favorite Father’s Day memory?

Fun With Holiday Movie Classics – Part IV: A Christmas Story

At 8:00 pm on Christmas Eve, TBS will kick off their 24-hour “A Christmas Story” marathon. It estimated that over 40 million viewers tuned in to this event at some time between December 24 and December 25 last year.

To help you prepare for your annual visit with the Parker family and their neighbors in Hammond Indiana, we are about to embark on a “behind the seams” look at what has become a true holiday movie classic.

The first thing to know about “A Christmas Story” is that it wasn’t actually filmed in Hammond or any other town in Indiana. Director Bob Clark sent his location team to 20 different towns and cities in hopes of finding a place that resembled an Indiana town in the 1940s. He finally chose Cleveland, Ohio as his main shooting location.

Additional parts of the film were shot in Ontario, Canada.

MGM did not have a lot of faith in the commercial viability of this movie. It was released in only 900 theaters about a week before Thanksgiving in 1983. Despite a moderately decent 1983 box office take of $19 million dollars, it was pulled from theaters to make way for “bigger” holiday movies like “Scarface” and “Christine.”

MGM’s lack of faith was confirmed in 1986 when it sold the rights to Warner Brothers as part of 50 movie package. “A Christmas Story” was thrown into the deal just to make the 50 movie quota.

Before we move on to the curious quirks you can discover when you rewatch this amusing and heart warming wonder, I like to note that the original home used for the exterior shots of the Parker family home still stands at 3159 W 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio and has been converted into the “A Christmas Story” museum. Take that, MGM!

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for during your next “A Christmas Story” viewing experience.


  • Different Radio Orphan Annie decoder badges were made each year from 1935-1940. The one Ralph receives is the 1940 “Speedomatic” model, indicating that the movie takes place in December, 1940. The following year, decoders were made of paper.
  • Watch the background during the famous flagpole scene and you’ll see several 1980s cars pass by. For those who would like to know how they created the illusion of Flick’s tongue stuck to the pole, I’m told it was done with a hidden suction cup.
  • If you pay close attention when “the old man” pulls the leg lamp out of the box, you’ll notice that there is no electrical cord attached. Somehow, he manages to plug it into a wall socket seconds later. It just goes to show that no job is too tough for a man who does battle with a furnace on a regular basis.
  • Ralph was quite the sharpshooter! In the scene where he defends the home against Black Bart, he shoots three times and hits three thugs. When the scene ends, however, there are four thugs lying dead with x’s over their eyes.
  • In a case of quick kitchen remodeling, you won’t see a cabinet under the sink in the Black Bart fantasy sequence or when “the old man” gets water for the Oldsmobile. It is magically installed in time for Randy to hide behind when he is crying “because Dad is going to kill Ralphie.”
  • Watch the pickles! After the family opens presents on Christmas morning, Ralph goes outside and we see  his mother basting the turkey in a roasting pan at the kitchen table. In the next shot, a canning jar of pickles has appeared beside the roasting pan. The following shot shows that the jar of pickles has disappeared from the table and we see Ralph’s mom carrying the jar of pickles as she comes up from the basement.
  • When Ralph’s mom first “breaks” the lamp it is in her lap in three pieces. The camera goes to his father then back to his mother and the lamp is now one piece but broken vertically. On a side note, listen for the crash of glass when the lamp first breaks. Later, you’ll hear Ralph’s mom mention that the lamp was made out of plastic.

  • The role of the dim-witted neighbor Swede, who admires the leg lamp from outside the house was played by director Bob Clark.
  • The scene at the Christmas tree lot was shot in Toronto. If you need proof, you’ll see one of Toronto’s trademark red trolleys driving by in the background.
  • If you sit through the closing credits, you’ll notice that Flash Gordon was played by Paul Hubbard and Ming the Merciless was played by Colin Fox. This is curious because we never see Flash or his evil nemesis in the movie. These credits refer to a deleted scene in which Ralph saves the Earth with his trusty Red Ryder BB Gun.

I have one additional note of interest to mention before we end our “behind the seams” look at this holiday classic. Peter Billingsley, who starred in the role of the young Ralphie Parker, went on to become a director and a producer. He was recently executive producer for the superhero blockbuster “Iron Man.”

Well, that just about wraps up today’s “behind the scenes” post. I hope our time with the classics helps you get a little more enjoyment out of the holiday movies we’ve featured this week. Thanks for taking the time to visit and I hope you’ll drop by again real soon.




Fun With Holiday Movie Classics – Part III: White Christmas

White Christmas” starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen was the highest grossing picture of 1954. Over a half-century after it was released, it continues to earn new fans every time it is broadcast on television.

Whether you’re a fan of the music, the jokes, the story, or just love the idea of spending the holidays in a small inn in Vermont, this is one of those movies that brings people back year after year.

Today, we’re going to look “behind the seams” of this holiday classic. So, grab a soul satisfying cup of hot chocolate and settle in to absorb some of the curiosities of this Technicolor musical tale.

  • The “Sisters” comedy act wasn’t in the original script. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye were goofing around on the set one day and director Michael Curtiz was so amused by their antics that he had this segment written in.
  • Rosemary Clooney reported that the “midnight snack” scene in which Crosby’s character Bob Wallace goes into a long riff on what type of foods cause what type of dreams was almost entirely improvised by Bing Crosby.
  • In the movie, Betty, played by Rosemary Clooney is the eldest of the Haynes sisters. In real life, Rosemary Clooney was seven years younger than Vera-Ellen who plays her “younger” sister Judy.
  • The train that transports the four performers from Florida to Vermont is shown as being of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in one sequence. In a different sequence it is shown to be of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Actually, either one was impossible as neither line ran trains on the east coast of the United States.
  • Somebody must have made a long trip to pick them up at the train station. The Columbia Inn Station Wagon that picks them up at the train station has a black and yellow California license plate!
  • Keep your eyes out for the vanishing orchestra trick. A full orchestra can be seen in the orchestra pit at the beginning of the dress rehearsal for “The Minstrel Show” number. When the song is finished, the entire orchestra has disappeared, despite the fact we heard them playing just moments before.
  • A very distinctive red bass drum is used in the scene where Captain Wallace sings the movie’s title song in Monte Cassino, Italy. Several years later, in movie time, that same red bass drum can be spotted outside the Haynes Sisters dressing room at the Florida Theater.
  • Somebody must have planted trick candles in General Waverly’s cake. At the beginning of his surprise party, he blows the candles out. At the end of the movie, you’ll notice that the candles are lit again.

Well, that concludes our “behind the seams” look at “White Christmas.” I hope you’ve had a good time. Please take a moment to let us to tell us about your favorite holiday movies.

Drop by again soon!

Fun With Holiday Movie Classics – Part II: A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens began writing the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s evening adventure in October of 1843. He completed the task in about six weeks.

First published on December 19, 1843, it remains one of the best known Christmas stories and the inspiration for dozens of films.

The first movie adaptation of the Dickens tale was a 1901 British silent movie short titled “Marley’s Ghost.” It contained four scenes and was about 11 minutes long. The first full length attempt to depict “A Christmas Carol” on the silver screen was not made until 1916.

New Zealand-born Rupert Julian not only starred as Scrooge but he also directed the film. Unfortunately, I can’t report how well he did in either role since all prints of this version, titled “The Right to Be Happy,” are now presumed lost.

Most versions of Dickens durable tale, though, have survived; some for better, some for worse.

Reginald Owen and Alastair Sim turned in two of the definitive portrayals of Ebenezer Scrooge in 1938 and 1951, respectively. These versions are probably the most familiar, having been shown numerous times on various television stations.

If you get a chance to see the 1984 made-for-television adaptation starring George C. Scott as Scrooge, I highly recommend taking the time. Some critics consider this one of the best versions of the story ever to appear on a screen of any size.

Of course, if you prefer a lighter take on this ghostly adventure, you might enjoy Scrooge McDuck’s portrayal of his namesake in 1983′s “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” or Michael Caine’s take on the role in 1994′s “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”

Animation fans looking for an all-star voice cast might want to seek out the 1997 animated feature starring Tim Curry as Scrooge, Whoopi Goldberg as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Michael York as Bob Cratchit, and Ed Asner as Marley’s Ghost.

British film fans might prefer the 2001 animated version titled “Christmas Carol: The Movie.” It stars Simon Callow as the voice of both Charles Dickens and Ebenezer Scrooge. Kate Winslet voices Belle, Nicolas Cage voices Jacob Marley, and Rhys Ifans lends his voice to the role of Bob Cratchit. Michael Gambon, the actor who played Dumbledore in the majority of the Harry Potter movies, is the voice of the Ghost of Christmas Present in this colorful version.

These mentions just skim the surface of your “A Christmas Carol” viewing choices. We haven’t even mentioned the recent Jim Carrey and Robert Zemeckis collaboration nor have we explored “Barbie in A Christmas Carol,” “A Flintsones Christmas Carol,” “A Diva’s Christmas Carol,” or “Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol.”

Whichever version you choose, I hope you take some time to feel the wonder and the magic of the season. If I have missed your favorite version of this holiday classic, please let us know in the Reply section.

Thanks for taking the time to visit us “Behind the Seams.” It has been fun telling the tales, I hope you’ve found some enjoyment in reading them.

Fun With Holiday Movie Classics – Part I: It’s A Wonderful Life

With the arrival of December, television stations across the spectrum are digging into their vaults and hauling out the holiday movie classics. Some of these films have been showing up on television screens since most folks only had access to three stations and you had to walk to the set to change the channel.

As an early holiday gift to the folks who visit us “Behind the Seams,” I thought it might be fun to revisit several of these perennials and point out a few things you may have missed the first few times you watched them.

Our series kicks off with one of the most viewed holiday films of all time.  “It’s A Wonderful Life” was released in 1946. Jimmy Stewart said that playing George Bailey was his favorite role. Frank Capra said that of all the films he directed, this one was his favorite.

Unfortunately, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” was not an immediate favorite at the box office. It actually lost money in its first release. Nominated for five Academy Awards, it managed to win a grand total of zero.

Time, however, has validated the opinions of  Mr. Stewart and Mr. Capra. Each year, millions of people take time during the holiday season to visit the mythical town of Bedford Falls and root for Clarence to get his wings.

Whether you’re planning to pop in the DVD sometime in the near future or watch the NBC broadcast on Christmas Eve, here are few curious events you may want to catch within the movie.

  • If you look closely during the Charleston contest scene, you can see Jimmy Stewart’s toupee slip off when George and Mary fall into the pool.
  • Pay attention to the dilapidated house George and Mary stop at on their way back from the dance. When George throws his rock, the window Mary is supposed to aim for is not there. It magically appears when she is ready to throw her rock.
  • In the scene where George approaches Bert and Ernie by Ernie’s taxi, and then all three watch Violet walking down the street, you should be watching the background. If so, you’ll see one woman in a print dress walk by five times in 30 seconds while holding the brim of her hat.
  • When George crashes his car into the tree, you’ll notice that there is very little snow on the car. However, when he gets out of the car to check the damage, there is an awful lot of snow on the car. Talk about your sudden snow squalls!
  • When George and Clarence are drying off in the bridge keeper’s shack, keep your eye on the postcard hanging by the thermometer on the wall next to the door. It vanishes and reappears.
  • Take a good look at Uncle Billy’s pet bird. He is a veteran actor. Jimmy the Raven made an appearance in every film that Frank Capra directed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek “behind the seams” of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  Drop by soon for a look at how a short book written in about six weeks inspired dozens of film adaptations.

What Are The Odds?

Las Vegas is home to the largest hotels in the United States.  In fact, 15 of the 20 largest hotels in the world can be found within Las Vegas. The size and scope of these glittering, pleasure palaces demonstrate  that many people enjoy challenging the odds.

Of course, the slot machines and gaming tables of Vegas aren’t the only places people wager against chance. Those folks who enjoy playing with numbers, spend a lot of time calculating the odds of various events that happen in our world.

Some of their results are quite startling.

For instance, according to Golf Digest, the chance of an amateur golfer making a hole-in-one work out to about 1 in 12,750. A PGA Tour pro has a 1 in 3,756 chance of scoring an ace.

If you’re an amateur golfer who dreams of hitting two holes-in-one in one round you should be informed that Golf Digest reported that the “odds of an amateur making two holes-in-one in a round are 9,222,500 to 1.”

If you prefer alleys to fairways, you might be interested to know that the United States Bowling Congress estimates that the average male league bowler has a 1 in 11,500 chance of rolling a perfect game.

The odds against a high school varsity basketball player taking the court in an NBA game are projected to be 11,759 to one. The odds of finding a four-leaf clover on the first try are said to be 10,000 to one. I’m told that the odds of getting a royal flush in poker on first five cards dealt are 649,740 to 1.

Your odds of being struck by lightning are 576,000 to 1. The odds of being killed by a lightning strike are 2,320,000 to 1.

Your chance of winning the Powerball Grand Prize are a steep 1 in 195,249,054 against. On the bright side, the odds of a meteor landing on your house are said to be 182,138,880,000,000 to 1.

Back when Kate wrote the first “Behind the Seams” blog post on August 21, 2008, I thought the odds of us ever posting 300 entries were pretty long. Well, this little scribble brings us up to 303 posts since that date.

I’d just like to take a moment to thank the team members who have contributed their time and energy on this project, the customers who have let us feature them, the guest bloggers, and, most of all, you. Without your attention, comments, and suggestions, this venture would never have survived.

Thanks for helping us beat the odds!

What are the odds that you could save a bundle off the market price of quality products with your unique logo? If you click on the logo below, I’d say they are pretty good. Give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised.


Thanksgiving Quotes and Smiles

The short work week before Thanksgiving can be a hectic time here at Queensboro. We’re working extra hard to make sure that we get our customers’ orders out the door before we depart to spend time with family and friends.

I’m sure things are probably pretty busy in your world too this time of year.

With that in mind, I thought this might be a good time to post some thoughts about Thanksgiving that I’ve come across in my travels. I hope you find a few useful tidbits and a few smiles in this collection.


“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.”

Irv Kupcinet


“Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths.  At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.”

J. Robert Moskin


“None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude.  Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy. “

Fred De Witt Van Amburgh


“It was dramatic to watch my grandmother decapitate a turkey with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with ‘gourmet’ status.”

Russell Baker


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

George Bernard Shaw


“You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out.”

Jay Leno


“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

William Arthur Ward


“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”

W. J. Cameron


“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They are consumed in twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence.”

Erma Bombeck


“May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!”

Author Unknown


Your faithful blogger and the rest of the Queensboro crew would like to extend our warmest wishes to you and yours for a Happy Thanksgiving.

If you have a moment, please share some of your favorite Thanksgiving quotes and smiles in the Reply section below. I’m sure your fellow readers will appreciate them. I know I will.

Thanks again for visiting  us “behind the seams” and I hope you’ll drop by again soon.









First Thanksgiving Menu

The turkey is skinny and it seems to have more dark meat than white. There are no mashed potatoes, no candied yams, no cranberry sauce, and there isn’t a marshmallow in sight.

Looking around for your dessert prospects, you discover that there are no pies, no cakes, no cookies, not even a few brownie crumbs to sate your sweet tooth.

What type of Thanksgiving dinner is this, anyway?

It is the first Thanksgiving feast celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The guests included the 53 surviving English immigrants and about 90 members of the neighboring Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation. This three day feast included games, musket firing, and other forms of celebration.

The recent English immigrants had good cause to celebrate.

During the spring and summer, the tribe had taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn and other native plants in the rocky New England soil. The previous winter, half the Pilgrims who crossed the stormy Atlantic had died due to disease and poor provisions.

This year’s harvest was bountiful. Although they knew the winter would again be harsh, they faced it now with hope and faith.

History records only two first hand accounts of that first Thanksgiving. The first was written by Edward Winslow shortly after the event. The second was done by governor William Bradford years later. Neither gentleman took the time to write a detailed menu.

Winslow mentions a successful fowl hunt that took place after the harvest and mentions that Wampanoag people “went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others.”

Bradford concentrates on the food gathered during the summer, including great quantities of fish. He mentions waterfowl, wild turkey, venison, and Indian corn but never really gets around to giving any details about the  feast they celebrated with the neighbors that fall.

Outside of venison, waterfowl, and possibly wild turkey, we can’t be certain what dishes were actually served during the first Thanksgiving. Roasted pumpkin, squash, cornmeal, grapes, dried berries,  and shellfish are all quite probable, but nobody is really sure.

We are, however, positive that certain dishes did not make their way to the table in 1621.

There were no potatoes of any kind. Outside of a few botanists, white potatoes were virtually unknown to the English at this time.  The few sweet potatoes that were imported into England in the early 1600′s were reserved for the ultra wealthy who prized them for their purported aphrodisiac properties.

In 1621, the term “wealthy Pilgrim” would have been an oxymoron.

There were certainly no apple pies or pumpkin pies at the feast. Wheat flour and butter were both in short supply in Plymouth that fall. Sugar was an incredibly expensive import during this time period. To seal the deal, the Pilgrims hadn’t yet built an oven.

Cranberries may have been used to add tartness to some dishes but cranberry sauce was an invention that arrived 50 years after the first Thanksgiving.

After a winter of starvation and disease, I suspect the Pilgrims were quite grateful for the bounty set before them and had no regrets about missing out on that after dinner slice of apple pie a la mode.

This Thanksgiving, as you gather together with family and friends, I hope you find it in your heart to feel the same spirit of thanks that was felt back at the original feast. It is better to be grateful for what we have than to grumble about we lack.

Here at Queenboro, we’d like to wish each of you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Thanks for visiting our blog. I hope you come back and visit us soon for another look “behind the seams.”