Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday's Film Adaptions: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg


Summary:
Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a now-classic novel about two women: Evelyn, who’s in the sad slump of middle age, and gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode, who’s telling her life story. Her tale includes two more women—the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth—who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, offering good coffee, southern barbecue, and all kinds of love and laughter—even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present will never be quite the same again.



THE WEEMS WEEKLY
(WHISTLE STOP, ALABAMA'S WEEKLY BULLETIN)
June 12, 1929
Cafe Opens
The Whistle Stop Cafe opened up last week, right next door to me at the post office, and owners Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison said business has been good ever since. Idgie says that for people who know her not to worry about getting poisoned, she is not cooking. All the cooking is being done by two colored women, Sipsey and Onzell, and the barbecue is being cooked by Big George, who is Onzell's husband.

If there is anybody that has not been there yet, Idgie says that the breakfast hours are from 5:30-7:30, and you can get eggs, grits, biscuits, bacon, sausage, ham and red-eye gravy, and coffee for 25 [cts.].

For lunch and supper you can have: fried chicken; pork chops and gravy; catfish; chicken and dumplings; or a barbecue plate; and your choice of three vegetables, biscuits or cornbread, and your drink and dessert--for 35 [cts.].

She said the vegetables are: creamed corn; fried green tomatoes; fried okra; collard or turnip greens; black-eyed peas; candied yams; butter beans or lima beans.

And pie for dessert.

My other half, Wilbur, and I ate there the other night, and it was so good he says he might not ever eat at home again. Ha. Ha. I wish this were true. I spend all my time cooking for the big lug, and still can't keep him filled up.

By the way, Idgie says that one of her hens laid an egg with a ten-dollar bill in it.

... Dot Weems ...

ROSE TERRACE NURSING HOME
OLD MONTGOMERY HIGHWAY
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
DECEMBER 15, 1985
Evelyn Couch had come to Rose Terrace with her husband, Ed, who was visiting his mother, Big Momma, a recent but reluctant arrival. Evelyn had just escaped them both and had gone into the visitors' lounge in the back, where she could enjoy her candy bar in peace and quiet. But the moment she sat down, the old woman beside her began to talk ...

"Now, you ask me the year somebody got married ... who they married ... or what the bride's mother wore, and nine times out of ten I can tell you, but for the life of me, I cain't tell you when it was I got to be so old. It just sorta slipped up on me. The first time I noticed it was June of this year, when I was in the hospital for my gallbladder, which they still have, or maybe they threw it out by now ... who knows. That heavyset nurse had just given me another one of those Fleet enemas they're so fond of over there when I noticed what they had on my arm. It was a white band that said: Mrs. Cleo Threadgoode ... an eighty-six-year-old woman. Imagine that!

"When I got back home, I told my friend Mrs. Otis, I guess the only thing left for us to do is to sit around and get ready to croak.... She said she preferred the term pass over to the other side. Poor thing, I didn't have the heart to tell her that no matter what you call it, we're all gonna croak, just the same ...

"It's funny, when you're a child you think time will never go by, but when you hit about twenty, time passes like you're on the fast train to Memphis. I guess life just slips up on everybody. It sure did on me. One day I was a little girl and the next I was a grown woman, with bosoms and hair on my private parts. I missed the whole thing. But then, I never was too smart in school or otherwise ...

"Mrs. Otis and I are from Whistle Stop, a little town about ten miles from here, out by the railroad yards.... She's lived down the street from me for the past thirty years or so, and after her husband died, her son and daughter-in-law had a fit for her to come and live at the nursing home, and they asked me to come with her. I told them I'd stay with her for a while--she doesn't know it yet, but I'm going back home just as soon as she gets settled in good.

"It's not too bad out here. The other day, we all got Christmas corsages to wear on our coats. Mine had little shiny red Christmas balls on it, and Mrs. Otis had a Santy Claus face on hers. But I was sad to give up my kitty, though.

"They won't let you have one here, and I miss her. I've always had a kitty or two, my whole life. I gave her to that little girl next door, the one who's been watering my geraniums. I've got me four cement pots on the front porch, just full of geraniums.

"My friend Mrs. Otis is only seventy-eight and real sweet, but she's a nervous kind of person. I had my gallstones in a Mason jar by my bed, and she made me hide them. Said they made her depressed. Mrs. Otis is just a little bit of somethin', but as you can see, I'm a big woman. Big bones and all.

"But I never drove a car ... I've been stranded most all my life. Always stayed close to home. Always had to wait for somebody to come and carry me to the store or to the doctor or down to the church. Years ago, you used to be able to take a trolley to Birmingham, but they stopped running a long time ago. The only thing I'd do different if I could go back would be to get myself a driver's license.

"You know, it's funny what you'll miss when you're away from home. Now me, I miss the smell of coffee ... and bacon frying in the morning. You cain't smell anything they've got cooking out here, and you cain't get a thing that's fried. Everything here is boiled up, with not a piece of salt on it! I wouldn't give you a plugged nickel for anything boiled, would you?"

The old lady didn't wait for an answer ".... I used to love my crackers and buttermilk, or my buttermilk and cornbread, in the afternoon. I like to smash it all up in my glass and eat it with a spoon, but you cain't eat in public like you can at home ... can you? ... And I miss wood.

"My house is nothing but just a little old railroad shack of a house, with a living room, bedroom, and a kitchen. But it's wood, with pine walls inside. Just what I like. I don't like a plaster wall. They seem ... oh, I don't know, kinda cold and stark-like.

"I brought a picture with me that I had at home, of a girl in a swing with a castle and pretty blue bubbles in the background, to hang in my room, but that nurse here said the girl was naked from the waist up and not appropriate. You know, I've had that picture for fifty years and I never knew she was naked. If you ask me, I don't think the old men they've got here can see well enough to notice that she's bare-breasted. But, this is a Methodist home, so she's in the closet with my gallstones.

"I'll be glad to get home.... Of course, my house is a mess. I haven't been able to sweep for a while. I went out and threw my broom at some old, noisy bluejays that were fighting and, wouldn't you know it, my broom stuck up there in the tree. I've got to get someone to get it down for me when I get back.

"Anyway, the other night, when Mrs. Otis's son took us home from the Christmas tea they had at the church, he drove us over the railroad tracks, out by where the cafe used to be, and on up First Street, right past the old Threadgoode place. Of course, most of the house is all boarded up and falling down now, but when we came down the street, the headlights hit the windows in such a way that, just for a minute, that house looked to me just like it had so many of those nights, some seventy years ago, all lit up and full of fun and noise. I could hear people laughing, and Essie Rue pounding away at the piano in the parlor; `Buffalo Gal, Won't You Come Out Tonight' or `The Big Rock Candy Mountain,' and I could almost see Idgie Threadgoode sitting in the chinaberry tree, howling like a dog every time Essie Rue tried to sing. She always said that Essie Rue could sing about as well as a cow could dance. I guess, driving by that house and me being so homesick made me go back in my mind ...

"I remember it just like it was yesterday, but then I don't think there's anything about the Threadgoode family I don't remember. Good Lord, I should, I've lived right next door to them from the day I was born, and I married one of the boys.

"There were nine children, and three of the girls, Essie Rue and the twins, were more or less my own age, so I was always over there playing and having spend-the-night parties. My own mother died of consumption when I was four, and when my daddy died, up in Nashville, I just stayed on for good. I guess you might say the spend-the-night party never ended ..."

Film
A nursing home patient spins a tale of friendship against all odds.

Release Date: December 27, 1991
Release Time: 136 minutes

Cast:
Kathy Bates as Evelyn Couch
Mary Stuart Masterson as Imogene "Idgie" Threadgoode
Mary-Louise Parker as Ruth Jamison
Jessica Tandy as Ninny Threadgoode
Cicely Tyson as Sipsey
Chris O'Donnell as Buddy Threadgoode
Stan Shaw as Big George
Gailard Sartain as Ed Couch
Timothy Scott as Smokey Lonesome
Gary Basaraba as Grady Kilgore
Lois Smith as Mama Threadgoode
Danny Nelson as Papa Threadgoode
Jo Harvey Allen as Women's Awareness Teacher
Macon McCalman as Prosecutor
Richard Riehle as Reverend Scroggins
Raynor Scheine as Curtis Smoot
Grace Zabriskie as Eva Bates
Reid Binion as Young Julian
Nick Searcy as Frank Bennett
Constance Shulman as Missy

Awards:
1991 Academy Awards
Best Adapted Screenplay - Fannie Flagg and Carol Sobieski - Nominated
Best Supporting Actress - Jessica Tandy - Nominated

1992 BAFTAs
Best Actress - Jessica Tandy - Nominated
Best Supporting Actress - Kathy Bates - Nominated


Trailer

Clips




Author Bio:
Fannie Flagg began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films, and the theater.

She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as Fried Green Tomatoes), Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, Standing in the Rainbow, and A Redbird Christmas.

Flagg’s script for Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for both the Academy Award and the Writers Guild of America Award and won the highly regarded Scripters Award. Flagg lives in California and in Alabama.


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Rana: Teenage Queen by Liza O'Connor

Title: Rana: Teenage Queen
Author: Liza O'Connor
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 6, 2017
Summary:
Rana was only sixteen when she became queen. Her first challenge was quelling an internal coup while a massive army stormed the gates of her castle. Her enemies thought her a child, but she had powers they never suspected. She also had great dreams for her people, and she would do whatever was necessary to make them happen, even marrying a prince she did not want.


Claiming the right to be queen and becoming ruler of Stronghold turned out to be two very different things. Upon locating the bodies of the king and queen, the first point became established as fact.

However, the ministers wished to declare her a child, incapable of ruling Stronghold.

“I may be small in stature, as my mother, but I am a woman and if you call me a child again, I will have you thrown in prison.”

Minister Jerome sneered and shook his head. “Listen to her! Only a child would make such a threat. We have laws. One cannot be thrown in jail for speaking the truth.”

“General, arrest this man for treason.”

General Collins did not budge from her side, but with the slightest nod, two of the general’s soldiers moved quickly to secure the errant minister.

The minister attempted to break from their hold. His attempts would have been laughable if the situation was not so dire. “You cannot arrest me for treason just because I speak the truth! And who are these men? They are not of our army. Where is General Hack?”

She waited until the man was gone before addressing the others. “General Hack assassinated my father.”

“Do you have proof?” Another minister challenged.

“You have my word on the matter. I was there. I saw it all. He ordered his men to fire into the tower, claiming it had been overrun with the enemy. Only he knew that was not true since he had just left the tower. He knew the only two people within were myself and his king.” She eyed the ministers, waiting for further traitors to identify themselves by arguing with her.

Unfortunately, the remaining ministers, whether for her or against, had the sense to keep their mouths shut.


Author Bio:
Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

You have been warned.


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Cover Reveal: Crossing the Line by Kimberly Kincaid

Title: Crossing the Line
Author: Kimberly Kincaid
Series: Cross Creek #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date: August 8, 2017
Summary:
Cocky farmer Eli Cross plays twice as hard as he works. When his latest stunt drums up a heap of negative PR for the family farm, he grudgingly agrees to play host to an ambitious New York City photographer. Her feature on Cross Creek could be just the ticket to show the country what the Cross brothers do best…which is more problem than solution for Eli.

Scarlett Edwards-Stewart has photographed everything from end zones to war zones. She’s confident she can ace this one little story to help her best friend’s failing magazine. At least, she would be, if her super-sexy host weren’t also so tight-lipped. But the more Scarlett works with Eli, the more she discovers he’s not who he seems. Can his secret bring them closer together? Or will it be the very thing that tears them apart?


Scarlett’s pulse kicked in a burst of realization. “You’re going to be my point of contact at the farm for the whole four weeks?”

Looked like she’d unknowingly managed to piss off karma after all. But come on. She needed a blockbuster, not a ball buster. She had to be stuck with the cockiest Cross of the bunch?

That unsettling smirk worked its way back over Eli’s mouth. “Yes ma’am.”

Greeeaaat. “Scarlett,” she said. “And I’m not going to keel over from heat exhaustion.” She was hardly a delicate freaking flower.

Eli lifted one shoulder halfway before letting it drop. “That’s what everyone says right up ’til they do it. But just because you don’t plan on something doesn’t mean it isn’t gonna jump up and bite you on the…”

“Ass?” Scarlett supplied, filling in the obvious blank from where Eli had abruptly trailed off. No, really? They didn’t even swear all the way out here in God’s country? Fuck, she was hosed.

Chagrin flickered over his sun-bronzed face, there and then gone. “Yes ma’am.”

“Scarlett,” she reminded him, pulling a breath full of hot air into her already tight chest. Story. Story. You’re here for a story. “Okay. Any other house rules I should know about?”

“We start early ’round here.” He angled his boots over a branch on the path, heading toward a long, skinny barn-looking structure.

Wait… “How early?”

His smile paved the way for his answer. “Five-thirty.”

Oh, ow. “You do know that’s inhuman, right?”

“You do want the ‘authentic experience’ of farm life, right?” Eli volleyed, slinging air quotes around the words she’d used earlier, and shit. Shit, shit, sleepless shit. He kind of had her there.

Not that she was conceding defeat of any kind. “So no flip-flops, hydrate, cover up, and be ready to roll at oh-dark-thirty. Is that all?”

The slight lift of his dark blond brows was the only betrayal of his surprise. “It’ll serve for now.”

“Excellent, because I’ve got a couple rules of my own.” Scarlett jammed her flip-flops to a halt on the path, staring Eli down even though he stood a solid foot taller than her in those banged-up boots of his. “I’m here to do a job, and I don’t intend to take any half measures, which means, yes, I’m going to take a lot of pictures, and yes, I do want to experience farm life authentically. I’m fine with hard work, and also fine with any suggestions or guidance you’re willing to offer while we get that hard work done. What I’m not cool with”—she lifted a finger to send her point all the way home—“is you underestimating me. These features are going to do a lot for your farm, and I’m a damned good photographer, not to mention a pretty smart woman. Now, are we going to play nicely together for the sake of this magazine layout, or are you going to keep leading the way with your cocky attitude? In truth, I’m fine with either, but if you want to go the arrogant route, be forewarned. I bite back.”

Crossing Hearts #1
Summary:
Hunter Cross has no regrets. Having left his football prospects behind the day he graduated high school, he’s happy to carry out his legacy on his family’s farm in the foothills of the Shenandoah. But when a shoulder injury puts him face-to-face with the high school sweetheart who abandoned town—and him—twelve years ago, Hunter’s simple life gets a lot more complicated.

Emerson Montgomery has secrets. Refusing to divulge why she left her job as a hotshot physical therapist for a pro football team, she struggles to readjust to life in the hometown she left behind. The more time she spends with Hunter, the more Emerson finds herself wanting to trust him with the diagnosis of MS that has turned her world upside down.

But revealing secrets comes with a price. Can Hunter and Emerson rekindle their past love? Or will the realities of the present—and the trust that goes with them—burn that bridge for good?

Author Bio:
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to ├ęclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2015 RWA RITA© finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital Line series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also the author of the Pine Mountain series, which follows small town singles as they find big-time love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.


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Crossing the Line #2

Crossing Hearts #1

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