On Being a Humphrey Bogart Fan

I honestly can’t remember when I became a fan of Humphrey Bogart or Casablanca but it’s been quite a ride, certainly not what you read in Hollywood fan magazines. An early recollection of seeing a Bogart movie was in the summer of 1973, a year before President Nixon resigned. I was near a divorce. Adding to the mood of this particular day, it was thundering and raining. All of a sudden, I heard Bogart’s voice on TV; I ran to the den and was transfixed to Key Largo. An early movie tech noir scene: Bogart and Lauren Bacall on a wooden dock in Key Largo, Florida, just before a hurricane and a few minutes before meeting Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), the gangster. The ending was predictable in this non-socially redeeming movie but something (a favorite word) told me that one day, I’d have to find that wooden dock and stand on it, barefoot, to absorb Bogart’s molecules. Maybe this fixation was sentimentality because the movie was made in 1948; the war was over, I was three, and my parents were young, alive and nurturing; dreamy innocent days of hope and promise. Even now, I still stare often at old Bogart black and white photos; a cigarette always in hand and a handkerchief fluffed out of his sport coat pocket. Maybe if I was older back then, we could’ve been friends.

When technology brought the VCR, I acquired a copy of Casablanca, which ushered in an obsessive-compulsive stage of my mid-life. I realized how much I loved everything about Bogart; how great the movie; how magical the screenplay; how tender the love story between ‘Rick’ and ‘Ilsa.’ Rainy days and Mondays for years to come would find me watching Casablanca. Of course along the way, I absorbed other Bogart movies even when he played a negative guy as in Treasure of Sierra Madre.

Cut to early summer in 1998. While an eyeglass sales manager, something (that word again) made me start writing a novel about oil; I knew nothing about writing nor oil so perhaps attributes of synchronicity and spirituality? And if I was an antenna, responsive to universal direction, then I thought it was time to take my writing on location and at the same time, look for that wooden dock and fulfill a promise to find Bogart molecules. I flew to Miami and drove to Islamorada, right next to Key Largo and spent a few days writing, relaxing and searching. On the last morning, just off a highway, I found a saloon which advertised the actual dock from Key Largo was around the back. Surreal surroundings; a few birds overhead, no people, blue sky and a decaying old wooden dock greeted me as did Goosebumps. I really did it. However, I had to change an image around. The dock where Bogart and Bacall stood was so badly decayed that I was afraid to stand barefoot on it and absorb molecules so I stuck my bare big toe and still felt molecularly injected and inspired. It was worth the trip. I love being a Bogart fan.

Cut to March 2004. My oil novel reached 400 pages and a bottom desk drawer; abandoned for six months. A rainy Sunday morning: my outdoor tennis game was cancelled and I had pent-up energy. What could I do? For the 50th time, it was Humphrey Bogart and Casablanca. Some folks say, “Why bother watching, you know all the lines.” In the last scene, Bogart shoots the bad guy; Claude Rains picks up a bottle of French mineral water, Vichy Water, to celebrate. During the 1940’s, anything with ‘Vichy’ in it was connotative of conspiring with the Germans, so Rains throws the bottle of Vichy Water into a metal garbage can. Synchronicity and spirituality abound again. The moment the Vichy Water hit bottom, I screamed, “My goodness!” My wife thought I was having the big heart attack like Fred Sanford from TV. A novel had suddenly appeared in my field of dreams, involving Bogart and my favorite movie Casablanca. My novel, Vichy Water, was published in 2010. ( http://vichywater.net ) I owe a lot to being a Humphrey Bogart fan.

Post-script. Bogart passed in 1957. A few years ago my son got awfully close to the aura. A long story; he escorted Lauren Bacall for six New York City blocks then she hugged and thanked him but my son never mentioned me or Humphrey Bogart or Vichy Water. Maybe Ms. Bacall is on HooplaHa now as we speak.

5 New Year's Resolutions to Make Every Year

With every new year comes a clean slate and the opportunity to make your next 365 days as meaningful as possible. What are some of your resolutions? We came up with some ideas for resolutions for this year and every year after.

From our OGTV family to yours, Happy New Year!

Keep reading... Show less

Blind Waiter Serves Up Diner Classics and Life Lessons

** As we wind down to the final days of this difficult year, OGTV is tipping our hat to all of the essential workers on the front lines with this uplifting story about a New Jersey man who has found a way to do this difficult job for years, even without his eyesight! **

The flickering neon sign reflects eerily off the aging, chrome exterior; a long smooth marble counter with spinning stools draws your gaze left and right as you enter; the checkered linoleum floor seeps under the rows of back-to-back leather booths enveloped by the rain streaked wrap-around windows. You may think you've entered a typical American roadside eatery, but your experience here will be anything but ordinary.

You have just stepped into the Bendix Diner, a staple in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey since the 1940's. It's no surprise that The Bendix can serve up a sizzling Burger with deep fried onion rings and a frothy chocolate shake. What is unique about this meal is the waiter who delivers it to your table – his name is John Diakakis, and he is blind.

Keep reading... Show less

How to Reduce Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness - Ask The Doctor (E7)

During these incredibly stressful days, OnlyGood TV is excited to launch a new series - Ask The Doctor - that explores the questions and provides guidance for finding the road to achieving emotional, psychological, and spiritual wellness.

Hosted by Dr. Stacy Berman, each episode will help you navigate through these rough times and find your way to a happier and healthier life. Feeling lonely and isolated during quarantine? In this episode, Stacy reminds us that we are all wired to be part of a social community and offers a simple, self-soothing exercise to fill that connection gap that we are all experiencing.

Keep reading... Show less

Are You A Christmas Trivia Expert? - Not Your Average Joe

Everyone could use a few more smiles in their daily lives…and watching a funny video will often do the trick! OnlyGood TV videos help make your life fun, more manageable, happy and stress free!

Joe Leonardo is an improv actor from New York City. For our new "man on the street" series, Not Your Average Joe, he traveled through Times Square asking New Yorkers trivia questions about Christmas! Check out this hysterical video and see which city pedestrians know their facts and which don't... Keep track of your own answers too! Happy Holidays!

Keep reading... Show less

Chefs Honor Sailors and Their Families With a Holiday Feast to Remember (Random Acts of Cooking E1)

What would be a unique way to honor the service of 400 hungry sailors and their families for the holidays? You contact Chef Plum, have him round up his crew of top flight chefs and grill masters, bring in enough food to feed…well…the Navy, spice it up with a dash of top flight entertainment, and you have all of the ingredients for a memorable evening of food, love, and family!

Keep reading... Show less

Sullivan the Therapy Dog Helps Make A Christmas Movie - Sullivan's Travels

** OGTV is celebrating the first day of winter and the holiday season by inviting you to join a golden retriever named Sullivan on one of his many adventures. **

Do you ever wonder what a day in the life of a therapy dog is like? In the OGTV Original Series "Sullivan's Travels," a golden retriever therapy dog named Sullivan Travolta takes us along with her as she assists folks in all kinds of settings. Having been trained at Project Chance in Jacksonville, Florida, Sullivan provides support and happiness to kids and adults in schools, nursing homes, classes, and any other program where she's needed.

Keep reading... Show less

* OGTV Top Videos *

Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube


Get your Only Good TV Newsletter