Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Eastwood Matters: Old School Star Reflects American Grit, Greatness


A scene from this year's blockbuster "The Avengers:"

Loki, the film's villain: I have an army

Tony Stark AKA Iron Man: We have a Hulk.

The Democratic Party may have virtually every celebrity in its hip pocket, including arguably the biggest star around, George Clooney.

The GOP has Clint Eastwood.

No contest.

Eastwood is the so-called "mystery speaker" slated to address the GOP faithful tonight during the final moments of the party's national convention. His speech represents more than just a slight uptick in the star power featured at the GOP convention.

It's a nod to the grit and greatness of America from an actor who has epitomized both for more than 50 years.

Today's stars may be younger, prettier and more commercially viable than Eastwood. The acting legend is 82 and rarely appears on screen these days - the upcoming "Trouble with the Curve" marks his first role since 2008's "Gran Torino."

Eastwood remains a legend for all the right reasons. His body of work reflects the actor's hard work, sound instincts and ability to tap into the national zeitgeist in a way few artists can.

He embraced law and order to its extremes with the Dirty Harry film series at a time when the country was roiled in the Vietnam War - and its aftermath. After cementing his name with violent movies he examined the nature of such actions with "Unforgiven," carefully reshaping his screen persona without abandoning its essential decency.

Even as his advancing years prevented him from playing the lead, his prosperous directorial career ("Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby") kept his star white hot.

And, most of all, Eastwood never talked down to his audience. The longtime Republican didn't insult those who preferred a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. He never felt compelled to lecture his massive fan base or use divisive language in interviews.

He just kept on working. He still is.

Tonight, Eastwood will use every ounce of his considerable gravitas to make the case for Mitt Romney. It's hard to imagine a Clooney or even Tom Hanks mustering a fraction of Eastwood's good will to make a similar case for President Obama.

Follow Christian Toto on Twitter @TotoMovies

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hanwha Eagles Manager Quits...

Eagles manager resigns

Former Hanwha Eagles manager Han Dae-hwa holds a record of 147-218-2 in his three-year managerial career. / Yonhap
By Kang Seung-woo

Even a former big-league pitcher, a franchise slugger and Major League-caliber southpaw were not enough to prevent Hanwha Eagles manager Han Dae-hwa from quitting Tuesday .

According to the Daejeon-based club, the 52-year-old tendered his resignation Monday and assistant coach Han Yong-duk will serve as interim manager for the remainder of the season from Tuesday. The Eagles have 28 games left in the 2012 season.

“I apologize to fans for our bad record,” Han said. “I have realized I am not a competent manager. I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to leave the team but it is too bad this had to happen during the season.”

Han was in the final year of a three-year contract.

As of last week, the Eagles had the worst record in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) at 39-64 with two draws, 22 games behind the league-leading Samsung Lions and 15 games off fourth place, the lowest slot for the playoffs.

There was a bright outlook for the Eagles, which finished last in 2010 and tied for sixth in 2011, after adding former Major League hurler Park Chan-ho and slugging first baseman Kim Tae-kyun to a roster that included left-handed fireballer Ryu Hyun-jin, who is currently on the big-league clubs’ radar.

The 39-year-old Park has a 5-8 record with a 4.65 ERA and Kim is eyeing becoming the first player in 30 years to hit .400 in the Korean league. Ryu is also 5-8 with a seventh-best in the league 3.20 ERA.

However, a sluggish offense, sixth in team batting average, and poor performance from the bullpen have dashed the Eagles’ hopes of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2007.

Han was one of a few star players-turned-managers in the league.

Known for his go-ahead, three-run home run against Japan in the final of the Baseball World Cup in 1982, Han made his professional debut with the OB Bears, the forerunner of the Doosan Bears, in 1983. But his heyday was from 1986 to 1993 with the Haitai Tigers (now the Kia Tigers), which won the Korean Series six times in that stretch.

The third baseman also helped the LG Twins win the league championship in 1994. The Daejeon native hung up his cleats in 1997 with 163 home runs, 712 RBIs and a career batting average of .279. He also won eight Golden Gloves.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

a class mate from the class of 1984 Denison High School.


Becky (Neasbitt) Wright (1965-2012)

10 entries
  • "My thoughts and my prayers are with the family through this..."
    - Mitzi Badgett Massie
Becky Sue Wright, 46, went home to be with the Lord following a brief illness Monday, June 18, 2012 at Texas Health Presbyterian-WNJ.

Becky was born December 27, 1965 in Denison, the daughter of Richard Neasbitt and Vonceil (Hubbard) Neasbitt Stiles. She graduated from Denison High School. Becky married John Wright. Her love of people led her to work for many years as a certified nurse assistant. She was a member of Hyde Park Baptist Church. Becky was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Becky is survived by her beloved family: husband, John Wright of Denison; son, David Williamson, daughters, Dara Wright and Tatelyn Wright all of Denison; grandchildren, Dylan, Elyse and Benjamin; mother and stepfather, Jay and Vonceil Stiles of Celina, Texas; father and stepmother, Richard and Sue Neasbitt of Corsicana, Texas; sister and husband, Shelley Hill and husband, John of Denison; brother, Michael Neasbitt and wife, Debbie of Denison.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 21, 2012 at Fisher Funeral Chapel with Brother Jody Shires and Brother Cliff Lester officiating. Interment will follow in Cedarlawn Memorial Park. Family visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at Fisher Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be John Wright, Michael Neasbitt, David Williamson, John Hill, Ken Smith and Ron Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be Jacoby Melton, Joshua Neasbitt, Scotty Neasbitt and Ty Perkins.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Serenity House, 150 Orange Street, Abilene, TX 79601.

Condolences may be registered online at