As Garrison Keeler may say, “it was a quiet day at… Lake Wobegone where all the woman are strong and children good looking.. “It was also a quiet week at Enemy Swim Lake in northeastern South Dakota. To say that where our cabin located is off the grid is to assume there is even a grid out here which there isn’t. The weather was about as perfect as one could expect for June. My neighbor’s string of court cases about developments, roads, erosion, roads, easements, etc. have settled down enough so that he could plant trees on one of his back forties. The monotony was only interrupted by the solitude which had some tranquility interspaced.
This monotony also took over Olaf, as nothing seemed to stand out for this week’s essay. I have been busily writing a new novel, “The Collective.” Which I will finish by Monday, I will post a teaser then. I wanted to comment something pithy about the Wisconsin recall election but in the end, I just didn’t care. I thought about some other things but those really didn’t interest me. I watched orchard orioles in my tree but to be honest except for real birders, orchard orioles are not that interesting….mundane, yawn, snooze. I needed to get my family doing things to stop the boredom.
The Danielson clan painted decks, raked the beach, planted shrubs, mowed the lawn, got in boats, and watched our stash of old movies. These were some old favorites and others, the random Netflix classic that I had put on a list so far back, I usually can’t remember why or for that matter what I was thinking about. Monday night’s classic was a movie entitled “Promises, Promises,” starring Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay. This non-digitally remasterred Holleywood release included the first nude scene by an American actress. It actually included three scenes but for some silly reason, the director showed them multiple times, over and over again. As a big fan of Brigit Bardot, there was nothing here she hadn’t shown years earlier in French films so it was more funny than erotic. As movies go, it was a little lame. But it did cause me to search the internet. Jayne had won some awards as an actress, could sing pretty well and had also done well on Broadway. Most people remember her almost unnatural measurements, 40- 21-34, which some say Mattel used to build their doll after. To say Jayne Mansfield was well endowed was an understatement. So she supplemented her acting with Playboy centerfolds and the such. I guess one has to market the assets one has.
Mickey Hargitay, her husband and co-star of this movie (they did four together) was a Hungarian resistance fighter who took up body-building and became Mr. World in 1955. He traveled with a group of performers under Mae West. It was at one of these that he met Jayne Mansfield and the two later married. Sort of a match of the perfect male and female human specimens. Jayne’s last child in this union was Mariska, Mariska Hargatay of Law and Order SVU, the sassy, smart no holds barred police woman, whose name is also part of Mike Myer’s “The Love Guru,” Hindu Greeting “mariskahargitay.”
Hollywood is a strange place, I would never have guessed that she was Jayne Mansfield’s daughter. But there is more to Mariska Hargitay than just being her daughter. You see she would only briefly know her mother. On June 29th, 1967, when Mariska was three, in a Buick Electra, driven by a driver, with the driver, Jayne, and her lover in front, and Mariska, with her two older siblings in the back, driving to New Orleans in the early hours tragedy struck . The car hit the back end of a mosquito fogging truck, killing the three adults in the front seat and sparing the lives of the three Hargatay children. There was wildness in the press that Jayne had been decapitated and rumors of a wild cover-up that somehow occulting activities had been part of the accident that exist even to this day. There was some good that came out of the high profile pointless death. After her death, the NHTSA began requiring an under-ride guard (a strong bar made of steel tubing) on all tractor-trailers. Jayne was the second blonde bombshell that would not survive the 1960s and her and Marilyn Monroe would be reminders of a bygone era in the cinema.
So maybe when you see Mariska on the TV looking angry at the world, the bad guys, and even herself, it could be that she is, she has reason to be. As Hollywood people go, however, she is one of the good ones. She donates time for victims of sexual assault and seems to be a genuinely quality person, despite her past and who her parents were.
Yawn… maybe I’ll add SVU to my Netflix queue, or maybe we’ll just watch the Love Guru tonight, yes, I can put my hands together with Mike Myers and say, “mariskahargitay!” Now back to writing the Collective. I’ll do better on next week’s post.
Mariskahargitay my friends,