June 13th, 2005

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Tom Kershaw : Turtle, Terminator and Kahuna - a legendary library employee

Having been a resident of South Florida since 1973,
Tommy Turtle may have performed a few story times for
me and I was not aware of it. As I have aged, Tom
Kershaw remained a big kid.

If I would get too serious about library theory,
Kershaw found a way to puncture through the cloak of
self-importance without demeaning one’s dignity. I
often think of Kahuna Kershaw with his little
specialty candies and listening to OutKast from an
Internet website.

Our relationship was that of middle school maturity,
we would call each other by our last names and talk
about really important subjects, like sports and
action movies. For such a gentle soul, the Tom loved
battle scenes in the movies. We would rag on about
Brad Pitt’s acting in “Troy,” but would enjoy the
pretty boy’s technique with head chopping.

As I have learned recently, Kershaw had many
nicknames. I called him “the Kahuna,” in respect to
his ability to bring the beach culture into a stuffy
library setting. One day we witnessed some sort of
authortative nonsense that resulted into some sort of
bureaucratic turf war. I beseeched the Kahuna for
his words of wisdom on the matter. He summed it up
and I asked him to write those wise words on the dry
erase board in the 3rd floor Main Library RIS workroom.
Almost two years later those words were not erased and they serve was a
good piece of advice to every one

“It does not hurt to be nice.”

Merrie Meyers-Kershaw has requested donations in his
honor be sent to the Broward Public Library
Foundation/ Tom Kershaw Memorial. Send to:
Broward Public Library Foundation
Main Library
100 S. Andrews Ave, 8th floor
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," a future cult hit

One of the most attractive visions of beauty that I
have witnessed was from my college years. Those blue
jean clad Lady Seminoles from Florida State University
dressed in a garnet and gold t-shirt. It was an
understated look that became sexy and attractive by
not trying to be sexy and attractive. Fashion trends
and fads come and go every three months, but blue
jeans have remained reliable since the dawn of
America. "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"
celebrates fashion merchandising that even a man can
understand.

Friends since birth, four best friends find a way to
cement their bond through a pair of magical blue
jeans. These blue jeans are magical because they fit
all four ladies with a variety of body shapes. Carmen
(America Ferrera) is a Puerto Rican with a plus size
booty, Bridget (Blake Lively) is an uninhibited
athlete whose mother died. Lena (Alexis Bledel) is the
most inhibited and is shy around boys. Tibby (Amber
Tamblyn) is the nonconformist rebel artist with an
earring in her nose.

It is the summer of their junior year from high
school. For the first time, these four gals are going
on separate vacations. In order to stay in touch with
one another, the four gals decide to share these blue
jeans and mail them to each other after a week. Since
she is a visiting relative in Greece, Lena becomes the
first steward of the sacred denim.

Lena almost drowns as a result of wearing the blue
jeans, but is rescued by a Greek fisher boy. The next
week, Tibby receives the blue jeans and the jeans jinx
her artistic temperament. While shooting a
documentary about the angst of life, Tibby is saddled
with Bailey (Jenna Boyd), a precocious 12 year old who
is a more creative artist than Libby. Carmen receives
the blue jeans while visiting her divorced father in
Charleston, South Carolina. Upon her arrival, this
Latina Chica is surprised to learn that her father is
planning his next wedding. Carmen feels out of place
with her WASP stepmother and stepsiblings. Bridget
the soccer sensation receives the jeans just in time
to flirt with the soccer coach.

While "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” does
suffer from three false swartzy moments, the four
characters are so endearing that it is fun to share a
seat with them. Each interaction with the blue jeans
provides consequences, both good and bad for the
protagonists. Whether blessing or a curse, each
character matures. As Carmen, America Ferrera has the
most emotional centerpiece and breakdown. Tibby grows
out of her Goth phase because of the pain of others.

Fortunately director Ken Kwapis uses humor to deflect
consistent gloom. Like some of the best episodes of
"Everybody loves Raymond,” there is a fine line
between emotional pain and the belly laugh humor of
such a wounded situation. Kwapis and his cast pull it
off.

Like "Lords of Dogtown," (which also features America
Ferrara in a cameo), these films will find a cult
audience on DVD. Like "Dead Poets Society" 16 years
ago, "The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants' is one of
these little gems that will fly under the radar and
will be an influence on today’s teenagers.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

For Father's Day, see "Cinderella Man"

Twenty-eight years ago my Dad took me to go see the
original "Rocky." It was a great experience and the
Deerfield Beach Ultra Vision rocking chair cinema was
rocking that night. The people cheered the Italian
Stallion and celebrated the movie destined to win the
Academy Award for best picture. One can almost relive
the same thrill with "Cinderella Man," the true story
of James J. Braddock that could have inspired all
sports movies, from “Rocky” to “Seabiscuit.”

In 1928, James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) is a light
heavyweight boxer with potential. Five years later
during the height of the Depression, Braddock barely
has enough money to support his wife and three
children in a Jersey tenement. With his best days in
the ring behind him, Braddock is forced to fight with
a broken arm. Considered a bum because of a listless
performance in the ring, Braddock has his boxing
license suspended.

With less income, Braddock seeks work on the docks of
New Jersey. The creditors are closing in and the
Braddock Family is forced to obtain public assistance.
Things go from bad to worst when one of the Braddock
children develops a fever and nasty cough.

With some help from his old manager Joe Gould (Paul
Giamatti) Braddock is given the opportunity for one
last payday in Madison Square Garden. While on the
under card to the Primo Canera-Max Baer championship,
the underdog Braddock makes short work out of his
opponent. Within a year, Braddock finds himself
challenging Max Baer for the heavyweight championship
of the world.

The crowd I saw this movie with really got into this
movie, especially the fight scenes. I could hear one
man from the World War II Generation say in the middle
of the movie, "I know how this ends, but this is
exciting!" Avoiding the manic editing so common with
modern action sequences, Director Ron Howard creates
a visual narrative that feeds the story.

The character development is strong with understated
performances by Crowe and Zellweger. As Joe Gould,
Giamatti steals the show as the tough manager with a
heart of gold. Given his snub by the academy awards
the last few years, Giamatti is likely to be Oscar
nominated for his work in "Cinderella Man." Look for
a cameo by Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard’s
trainer, Angelo Dundee, in Braddock's corner.

I am fortunate that my Dad and I had another bonding
experience with "Cinderella Man" that was similar to
that of "Rocky." "Cinderella Man" is the best Father's
Day gift one can share.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Jan Herma

The Facts:
Janice Herma, 63, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, formerly of Hempstead, New York passed away on Friday, April 29, 2005.
The daughter of Ruth and Ed Herma, Janice's life was full of friends and family. She was a graduate of C.W. Post College on Long Island. For 10 years she was a Media Specialist in schools throughout Europe for the U.S. Air Force. Janice finished her career in 2000 as a Media Specialist after 21 years in Forest Hills Elementary School in Coral Springs, Florida. For many years Janice supported Kids in Distress in Fort Lauderdale. Janice is survived by her brother, John (Susan); niece Kyle; nephew Drew all of Elm Grove, Wisconsin and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She is also survived by her dear friends, Terry and Bernice Funk of Boca Raton, Florida; and other wonderful friends, cousins, and Godchildren.

The Feeling:
Ed and Ruth were my surrogate grand parents, but Jan Herma was a friend at different stages of my life.
We attended movies together since I was 14 years old and she saw me perform at Parker Playhouse in 1980. I was the Royal Guard for the King of Siam in Rogers and Hammerstein's "The King and I." The King and I remained friends through the years and we recently connected. Jeff Crevier is the Minister for the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale Florida and he produces their Annual Christmas Pageant. http://www.christmaspageantvideo.com/

Jeff made arrangements for me to take my parents and Jan to a performance of this annual event. One of the highlights featured "The Grinch," a Jan Herma Christmas staple for Elementary Schools. The Second Act features the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Certainly appropriate.

Jan also got me tickets to the NCAA National Championship Game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Florida State University Seminoles in 1994. My alma mater finally won a National Championship that night and shortly thereafter I returned to Florida State to pursue graduate studies. After several years of professional hardship, that silly football game symbolized a change of my life in a positive way.

Jan Herma was a friend because she was there for me in both good and bad times.
Then again, that is what friends are for....