Saturday, February 24, 2018

Gabrielle Carteris of Beverly Hills, 90210

Early in her acting career, Gabrielle Carteris landed the role of Andrea Zuckerman on tv's Beverly Hills, 90210.  She was with the show from 1990-96, with returns in 1998 and 2000.
She was so too often overlooked on the show.  Shannon Doherty, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen were viewed as the beauties, while Gabrielle was the brain.  A role on such a popular series is always rewarding, but it would have been nice to see her get more credit.
This might sound contradictory to a lot of opinions.  Actors want to be judged for their talent and not just their looks.  I'm sure it is a fine line at times.  I'm not taking anything away from the other women on the show.  I'm just stating a case for Gabrielle.
If I wasn't convinced already, seeing her in person at REWind Con sealed the deal.  The woman in the picture below was 55 at the time we met.  She showed no signs of major "improvements" either.  She looked to be natural.
I guess more important, Gabrielle was very sweet at the convention.  She is married with two children and still active, although lately mostly on television.  She is also President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
I was happy to see Gabrielle get a much attention as castmates Spelling, Garth, Luke Perry and Jason Priestley at the convention.  It was cool seeing the gang back together.  They seemed to be having fun, too.
Gabrielle Carteris and me in Bloomingdale, IL-November 2016.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Batgirl at C2E2 2016

Superman had Lois Lane.  Batman sort of had Catwoman.  Why can't Aquaman have Batgirl?  No, don't ask why Robin couldn't have Batgirl.  That's just silly.
I always liked Batgirl better than Catwoman anyway.  Of course, I also like the old-school Batgirl garb, before she (and every other superhero it seems went black).  Was it the purple leather?  Was it the red hair?  Was it Yvonne Craig (who portrayed her on tv's Batman)?
Whatever the reason, I like Batgirl.  I always try to get pictures with anyone dressed as any version of Aquaman at conventions.  I also do the same if I see the old school Batgirl.
I'm tired of the abundance of Catwoman characters at cons.  Let's see some imagination.  Let's see more Batgirl!
The lovely lady in the pic below did a fine job as Batgirl and I sealed the moment photographically.  Aquaman and Batgirl make a nice looking couple.
C2E2 2018 runs April 6 through April 8.  You can get all of the info including the celebrity guest list, ticket prices, scheduling and more at
Batgirl and me in Chicago, IL-March 2016.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

On the Beat at The Resistance Chapter One: Creation

The Resistance debuted last Saturday and it was a great start for the new wrestling company.  I was optimistic about Chapter One: Creation, but I didn't really know what to expect.
I did know that co-owners Jacques and Gabe Baron were working hard to make The Resistance unique and really fan-interactive.  I saw a lot of online polls and voting for wrestlers, matchups, stipulations and other fun stuff.  I saw a lot of social media hype from the incoming wrestlers, most of whom I had never previously seen in person.  Still, it remained to be seen how it would all come together on show night.
I am happy to report that Chapter One: Creation surpassed my expectations.  The show was exciting from start to finish and the fans were really into it.
Aside from being the debut, this show presented other challenges.  The Baron brothers introduced a wheel, which selected fans would spin to determine match stipulations.  With 24 options on the wheel, there really was no way for wrestlers to prepare for their match.  They had to deal with whatever the wheel spin produced.  As exciting as this was for fans, it was a challenge for the wrestlers, but they all did great.
I have to applaud all of the wrestlers a bit more.  They were all very polite and fan-friendly.  They seemed very happy to be there.  It was a lively, positive group.
The crowd was a bit bigger than I expected.  They were all hoping to win one of the raffles to actually be part of the action.  Longtime wrestling fans Eric Joseph Larkin and Jim Strong got to be a manager and a ring announcer, respectively.  I talked to them afterwards and they were legitimately giddy about the experience.
Another interesting thing about the fans was how they cheered.  As my broadcast partner Tommy Else and I talked about in our interview below, there were a lot of times when the fans seemed to be cheering for everyone.  I think that speaks to the wrestling talent and how hard they were working.  Nobody took the night off one bit.  The fans just cheered for it all.
Despite the frenzy of the first show,. I was able to get some great interviews.  We lead off with John Skyler, the Heavyweight champ  of The Resistance.  We also got co-owner Jacques Baron to give us his thoughts.  The very unique Darwin Finch gave us a few minutes of his time to discuss his style in and out of the ring.  Last (and not least), I got Tommy's thoughts on the night as we wrapped up the show.
It was an excellent first event, but of course, The Resistance has a lot of work to do to keep the momentum going.  Fortunately, I truly believe they will.  There was a real buzz in the air Saturday.  I have a lot of faith in the Baron brothers and everyone else involved.  I think they have created something unique and I am excited to see this all develop.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Or Else Podcast-Episode 6 Special Forces With Col. Jesse Corgan

The new episode of The "Or Else" podcast is up on Soundcloud and we are very excited to have our first guest on the show.  Colonel Jesse Corgan joined us to lend his uniwue insight into Resistance Pro.
I liked the concept of Jesse joining us for the episode for a lot of reasons.  Jesse is a great guy and a friend, but also as Billy's brother, I felt he had a similar experience as Tommy.  They both faced a bit of resentment at not "earning" their place.  I don't agree with that mindset, but I some people did feel that Tommy and Jesse did not "pay their dues" to land their spot on the card.
As has been previously discussed, Tommy earned a spot on an RPro show via an open audition.  One show turned into a six year run with RPro.  He earned his permanent place on the roster through hard work in and out of the ring.  He was one of the most popular wrestlers in RPro.
Jesse got his first spot in RPro because of Billy, but he, too, earned a more regular role.  Jesse worked hard to improve every aspect of his performance.  We had a lot of fun with him repeatedly declining my interview requests and he came up with some of the ideas for those bits.  I know he sought out advice in and out of RPro.
Neither Tommy nor Jesse would have kept a spot in RPro if they did not deserve it.  Both were true professionals.  Both were determined to improve.  Also, both got over with the fans.
Jesse had some interesting thoughts when he joined us for podcast.  In typical Jesse fashion, he worried that he would do okay on the episode, which was unnecessary, because we knew he would do great and he did!  He gave us everything we wanted and more.  Well done, Jesse!
You can listen to all of the "Or Else" podcast episodes at The Or Else Podcast on Soundcloud.  You can also go directly to Episode 6 Special Forces With Special Guest Col. Jesse Corgan.
Jesse Anderson and me in Merrionette Park, IL-February 2014.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Friendly Encounters: Lights and Jim Strong

Friendly Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.

Valerie Anne Poxleitner is a Canadian musician better known as "Lights."  She started playing music while still in high school and has gone on to having two gold certified albums (The Listening and Siberia).  She has a beautiful voice and an interesting look (as you can see).
I have to hand it to my bud Jim.  He gets around.  He sees more singers and bands than most people I know.  Usually they also involve attractive women, but I cannot deny the talent of these women either.  Jim's a good guy and goes for the music and friendship (he has befriended several musicians).  Their beauty is just an extra bonus.
I have been at many wrestling events and celebrity appearances with Jim, but I have yet to make it to a concert with im.  Maybe that will happen in 2018.
It's too soon to have her 2018 schedule on, but I'll be checking to see when/if she is coming to Chicago.  O course, I can probably just ask jim, because I'd bet he will go, too.
Lights and Jim Strong in Des Plaines, IL-August 2017.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy Birthday Sam Kolb!

Today, I celebrate my niece Sam's birthday!  It's also her first as a married woman.
Sam is such a great young lady.  I could go on and on about all of her great qualities, but I'm going to focus on the picture below.
Look how happy Sam is (Kyle, too).  I love this picture.  Of course, it is their wedding day and people are usually happy on their wedding day, but this was different.  This was special.
It's one thing for the bride and groom to talk about how special the day was, but I will say it, too.  It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony.  The couple wrote and spoke their own vows.  They were funny and loving.  I teared up several times throughout the day.
Sam and Kyle have been together for many years.  They have moved across the country and back.  They have experienced more than most their age and they have come through smiling.  I'm just so happy for them.
Happy birthday, Mrs. Kolb!  I hope it is the best ever!
Sam and Kyle Kolb in Lemont, IL-September 2017.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Celebrity Jersey Cards #362 Carrlyn Bathe & LaTrycee Fowler

Celebrity Jersey Cards is a regular series in which I create virtual trading cards for celebs wearing sports jerseys. Because it's cold in Chicago and the Blackhawks and Bulls are struggling, we need some sunshine from out west.

Carrlyn Bathe has been involved with the Los Angeles Kings for several years in many roles.  As an in-arena host, she entertained fans at the game.  Her work at Fox Sports has allowed her to entertain many more fans via television.  Of course, she is wearing a Kings sweater for her Celebrity Jersey Card.
LaTrycee Fowler is a former member of the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew.  She has since embarked on an acting career and has a few roles already on her resume.  She was also the National Spokesperson for the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation.  For her Celebrity Jersey Card, she stayed loyal to her Kings!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The 2018 Chicago Auto Show

Last week, I had a great time covering the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.  I openly admit that I am not a car guy, but I couldn't help but get into it because of the over 1,000 vehicles on display on the 1 million square feet of floor space, as well as all of the other attractions.  My report appeared online for Global Traveler at The 2018 Chicago Auto Show.
As you know by now, I am a bit of a star chaser and I got to talk to many stars at the show.  Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer Bobby Hull, Blackhawks legend Eddie Olczyk, Chicago Bears receiver Dontrelle Inman, WSCR sports radio's Mike Esposito, Steve Rosenblum and Matt Spiegel, many broadcasters from the ABC 7 news team and Chicago Cubs mascot Clark were just some of the interesting people there.
One last person I need to mention is John Hennessy.  Hennessy is the Chairman of the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.  I ran into him by accident, although I had wanted to meet him.  I was hanging out by the WSCR booth as they were doing a live broadcast and suddenly Hennessy appeared to do a segment on air.  That was a case of great timing.
After his bit was over, I introduced myself and thanked him for granting me access to the event.  I always try to thank the appropriate people.  I don't take press credentials for granted and I want the organizers to know that I appreciate the opportunity.
We talked for a few minutes about Global Traveler magazine, travel in general, the show and Chicago sports.  Obviously, Hennessy was really busy during the show, but he took the time to talk to me.  He was even patient as I fumbled trying to get a selfie with him.  I need to work on my selfie skills.
The 2018 Chicago Auto Show runs through Monday, February 19.  I hope o add a few more celebrities and memories to my experience.  For my first time covering this event, I got so much done and had a fantastic time.  I even checked out a few cars!
John Hennessy and me in Chicago IL-February 2018.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Still Missing Christy Hemme

There was a time when I would see Christy Hemme at least a couple times a year.  I had the pleasure of interviewing her a few times, too.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen her in a few years.
Christy was a wrestler and ring announcer.  She was unique among the beauties in the sport.  She had a great look, charisma and talent.  She also has dabbled in the music industry.
Christy had a baby in 2015 and in September of 2016, she announced she was expecting quadruplets.  While I certainly am happy for Christy and her husband, five infants does not bode well for Christy making appearances in the near future.
Christy was always very cool with me.  She was always good for a laugh and some fun chitchat.  I always looked forward to seeing her.  Last year, I listed Christy among my top ten of people I wanted to see again and she remains on that list and will stay there until we do meet again.
For now, I will have to be content watching the Johngy promo she did for me.  That can be seen in the left hand column.  It was one of the best and most excited promos I've ever gotten.  Of course it was.  It was from Christy!
Christy Hemme and me in Novi, MI-May 2009.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cards That Never Were: Jack Marin 1977-78 Topps

Cards That Never Were is a recurring series in which I create virtual trading cards for players missed in various sets.  It is a concept I have borrowed from too many others to mention, but I appreciate all of their efforts.
Jack Marin was selected fifth overall by the Baltimore Bullets in the 1966 NBA Draft.  He made his debut in the 1966-67 season and stayed with the Bullets through the 1971-72 season.  He spent a season and a half in Houston before joining the Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clippers).  He played with the Braves until early in the 1975-76 season when he joined my beloved Chicago Bulls.  He finished that season and played one more, before retiring after the 1976-77 season.
Marin appeared on his first Topps card in their 1969-70 set.  He got a card in every set through the 1976-77 set.  The first two misses are hard to correct.  Coverage of the NBA back then was scarce.  I did find a couple nice pictures for Marin's "career capper" 1977-78 card with the Bulls.  I don't usually create 2 cards from the same set, but I liked both of these images and Marin was one of my favorites.