When I was a kid, I was in love with Barbara Eden, aka “Genie”. Perhaps you remember her, too. She was in the television series, I Dream of Jeannie. The premise of the story was simple enough: an astronaut (played by Larry Hagman – perhaps best known for his role as J.R. Ewing on Dallas) was stuck on a small island for a while after one of his returns from space when he happened upon a bottle buried in the sand on the beach. He rubs the bottle and, voila!, out pops a 2000-year old genie! (Barbara Eden certainly didn’t look like she was 2000 years old, but I guess that maybe genies don’t show their age like we humans do!)
He takes the genie home with him in her bottle and the show basically talks about their humorous adventures as he tries to hide her identity and as she used her powers to pull tricks on people or to get even with them for some slight. Eventually, they fell in love and got married. The show aired for five years and had 139 episodes.
I think that every red-blooded American male of the right age was in love with her, so I had plenty of company.
At the Greek Festival we attended a week ago, there were some vases on sale and I took this picture. I thought they were very colorful and I wouldn’t have minded having one, but I was afraid there might have been a genie inside of it and I wasn’t sure how I’d explain that to my wife if there was a genie in there!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1948, Betty Ferreri killed her husband, Jerry, in their Los Angeles, California, home with the help of house caretaker Alan Adron. When Jerry, a notorious womanizer, brought a young model to the couple’s home in the upscale Hancock Park neighborhood, Betty became upset and threatened him with a large wrench. Although Jerry fled, Betty was worried that he would return in a violent state, so she asked for Adron’s assistance. When Jerry later returned, he began dragging Betty by her hair. Adron shot him twice, but the gun jammed before he was dead, so Betty finished him off with a meat cleaver, striking him in the head 23 times.
Betty and Jerry met in New Jersey in the early 1940s. Although Betty’s parents disapproved, she and Jerry, a small-time thief and the son of a well-connected New York politico, eloped and moved to Los Angeles. Jerry rarely worked, but his parents gave them enough money so that they could buy a 15-room house in Hancock Park.
But their marriage had more than its share of problems. Beating Betty on a regular basis, Jerry once asked his wife to have sexual relations with an auto mechanic to pay off a bill he owed. When she refused, he ruptured her eardrum. Then, angry about the doctor’s bill, he struck her other ear, reportedly saying, “Maybe he’ll give you two for the price of one.” On another occasion, he brought a puppy home for the couple’s young child but then killed the poor animal with a baseball bat in front of the boy. Despite the clear evidence of abuse, prosecutors decided to charge Betty Ferreri and Alan Adron with premeditated murder.
At first, the defendants’ attorney wanted to claim that Adron was mentally incompetent and unable to stand trial. But Adron refused and hired his own lawyer, who argued that he was only insane at the time of the killing. Due to the salacious details about Jerry’s prodigious exploits with other women, the trial became the talk of the town.
In 1949, both Betty Ferreri and Alan Adron were acquitted.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The NSF estimates that a human brain produces as many as 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day, depending on how deep a thinker a person is. Most of the so-called random daily thoughts are about our social environment and ourselves.