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The Eye Test Tags: aging  eyesight  doctors 
Added: 14th August 2007
Views: 2411
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Posted By: Naomi
Collyer Brothers - Famous NYC Recluses On March 21, 1947, New York City police received an anonymous telephone call reporting a dead body at the Collyer home in what was once a fashionable section of Harlem. The brownstone house was shared by Homer and Langley Collyer, two brothers who gained a measure of celebrity for living like hermits in New York City. The sons of a physician, the Collyer brothers were once prominent and productive citizens. Homer, the older sibling, was an admiralty lawyer. Langley was a concert pianist. Both were Sunday school instructors. Upon the deaths of their parents, though, the brothers shut off themselves from the outside world. They stopped paying taxes and lived without utilities for nearly 30 years. Homer went blind due to hemorrhages and later became paralyzed. Langley became Homer's caregiver. He cooked food on a portable kerosene stove and carried water in buckets from a public park four blocks away. Langley also became a notorious pack rat and scrounger. Venturing out of his house only in the dead of night, he'd shop for whatever food he needed for the day and pick up discarded items of all sorts. He retained newspapers for years so that Homer could catch up on his reading once he regained his sight. He occasionally befriended newspaper reporters who wrote stories about the reclusive Collyer brothers. Langley often fed Homer 100 oranges per week in the hope it would help him regain his eyesight. Fearful of burglars, Langley turned the Collyer house into a maze of pathways and crawl spaces amid the numerous junk and refuse that collected in the house. He built booby-traps to ensnare potential intruders. Based on the anonymous phone tip in March 1947, police broke into the Collyer home and found Homer, clad in a tattered robe, dead in a chair from malnutrition. Nearly a month went by before Langley was found amid the 140 tons of items that had been piled haphazardly throughout the house. Langley's body was found by sanitation workers under a mountain of debris only about 10 feet from where Homer's body had been found. Police theorized that Langley had accidentally tripped one of his own booby-traps and died of suffocation. Helpless and with no one to care for him, Homer slowly died of starvation about two weeks later. Among the wide variety of items found in the Collyer house were 14 pianos, most of a Model T Ford, tons of newspapers, thousands of law books, sexy pin-up posters circa 1910, dressmakers' dummies, unopened mail, 34 passbooks for various bank accounts, and unused tickets to a church function from 1905.
Tags: Collyer  brothers  pack  rats  hermits  NYC 
Added: 7th October 2014
Views: 1475
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Posted By: Lava1964
Harold Lloyd Bomb Mishap - 1919 On August 24, 1919, ascending silent movie comedian Harold Lloyd arrived at Pathe Studios to begin a publicity campaign to celebrate his new contract. He was posing for some publicity stills--unaware that such a seemingly benign activity was about to dramatically change his life. In one posed shot Lloyd was supposed to light a prop bomb with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. (The image supposedly played up Lloyd's typical devil-may-care attitude in his films.) Unbeknownst to anyone in the studio, some actual bombs from another film--which had been rejected for being too dangerous--had been placed in a box among some dummy bombs. The photographer innocently handed Lloyd one of the live bombs. When the fuse was lit, Lloyd sensed something was mildly wrong because it produced excessive smoke that would surely ruin any photographs. Just as Lloyd discarded the bomb on a nearby table, it exploded. Miraculously Lloyd was not killed as the blast ripped open a a 16-foot swath in the room. Nevertheless, Lloyd suffered numerous facial injuries and temporarily lost his eyesight. Only when extreme pain set in did Lloyd become aware that his right thumb and forefinger had been severed. He spent six weeks in a hospital recovering. He was overwhelmed by the number of fan letters which he said helped him overcome his depression about the accident. In all his subsequent films Lloyd wore a special prosthetic device concealed within a white glove to make it look like his right hand was absolutely normal. Lloyd did not want to dwell on his injury as he did not want moviegoers to watch his films due to pity. Lloyd continued to engage in very active physical comedy routines despite the handicap. His famous building-climbing scene in Safety Last occurred after the bomb accident--making it all the more incredible. Some years ago I posted Lloyd's 1953 mystery guest appearance on What's My Line. His deformed hand can clearly be seen when he shakes hands with the WML panelists as he departs.
Tags: Harold  Lloyd  bomb  injury  hand 
Added: 20th April 2015
Views: 2743
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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