Guestbook - Volume 16

April 2004 to September 2004

Before leaving the Sandcastle V.I. Guestbook,
please add your comments by sending an email to:
arnoldvb@islands.vi

To see what others have had to say, please read on . . . with one note of caution:
Because many of the Guestbook messages date back several years,
it is very likely that many of the links in the messages are no longer active.

Date: Wed Sep 29, 2004
From: Linda
Subject: Disney World Trip Report

Just spent a lovely hour or so reading your Disney World trip report. My family -- husband and 2 kids 16 years and 10 years -- are due to visit this year December 13th until after Christmas. How do I get tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party? I live in the UK and enquiries so far have drawn a blank. Do you really feel it is worth doing or would we see just as much by just visiting on a normal day during Christmas week? Any special tips appreciated.

Best wishes,
Linda

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Linda, the easiest way to get tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is to call the Disney World reservation line at 407-W-DISNEY (407-934-7639). Another number to try is 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). Of course, these would be international calls for you to the United States. If I remember correctly, the tickers were $25US per person.

My wife and I had a very nice time at the Party last year. They have several live stage shows, a night-time version of the Very Merry Christmas Parade (which is normally run at the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon), cookies and cocoa, and snow on Main Street just before park closing. Some of this stuff you can do on a normal day during the Christmas season, but the night-time party atmosphere just seems to make it all seem special. But then again, I'm a "Disney freak", so maybe that's just me. Also, during the Party the crowds are much smaller for the rides than on a normal Christmas time day.

As for other tips, keep in mind that because Christmas falls on a weekend this year, it's likely that many Florida residents will take the time to visit Disney World -- especially as a treat after all the recent hurricanes they have suffered. So, if you plan to visit a park on Christmas Day (Saturday) or the day after (Sunday), make it a point to get to the park at least 1/2 hour before opening time. This way you can get a lot done before the crowd gets unbearably large.

Hope this info helps, and have a great time at Disney World. I'd enjoy hearing about your trip after you get back.]


Date: Wed Sep 22, 2004
From: Darril
Subject: Additions to Ventures International Discography

From my holdings:

Groovin' with - LP: HUA Sheng KHS-4187 - 1968 (China (Taiwan)?
Same as $1,000,000 Weekend + 2 songs: El Greco, Down the Road

Super Psychedelics - LP: Crown CR-3054 - 1969 - Taiwan
Same as US version

On Stage Encore - LP: Hua Sheng HS-4088 - 1967 - Taiwan
Same as Japanese version

I assume these are all Taiwan made since I got them from the same person.

Keep up the good work,
Darril

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for the info, Darril. I've updated the International Discography accordingly.]


Date: Thu Aug 5, 2004
From: Carol
Subject: Booklet with Fingering Diagrams

Do you know if this booklet of "Walk Don't Run" or other songs is still available from someone.

Thanks,
Carol

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Carol, there are two music books of Ventures songs available directly from the Ventures' web site. Go to http://ventures.safeshopper.com/12/cat12.htm?714 to order. I have the book called "Pipeline." This one has 25 songs including "Walk Don't Run." I don't have the other book called "The Best of the Ventures", so I don't know what songs are in it. Hope this helps.]


Date: Mon Aug 2, 2004
From: Mike
Subject: Carriers: Airpower at Sea

Hi,

I've been browsing through this and have found it very interesting. There are a great number of other texts available that cover this subject, but there is certainly a niche for a well written, shorter text that can serve as a reference and reminder for the knowledgable reader or a good introduction to the subject for a newcomer. I think you've nailed it. The only errors I've noticed are slight grammatical ones such as 'the' HMS Invincible in chapter 3 (arguably a forgivable error from a yank, though ;-)

I'll come back and read in greater detail later. Good stuff. I especially liked the Enterprise pages! I'd love to find a picture of the current HMS Enterprise in company with the USS Enterprise, but I fear that our respective governments would never permit it on propaganda grounds! Oh well, perhaps I can Photoshop one.

Cheers,
Mike

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Mike, thanks for your very kind letter about my naval history texts. I'm glad you found them entertaining and useful. On the use of "the" before HMS..., it didn't strike me until a few minutes ago why that isn't correct grammar. Of course, it would be okay to say "the United States Ship Enterprise" but not to say "the Her Majesty's Ship Enterprise." I guess I should try to make the effort sometime to go back
through my text and make the corrections.]


Date: Thu Jul 22, 2004
From: Steve
Subject: The Ventures

Hi,

around 1981, or so, I arranged background vocals (a la early beach Boys) and sand backups on two songs by ayoung Japanese girl singer, featuring the Ventures backing her on both tracks. The session was done in LA with the group present in the studio and was contracted by David Carr (he played keyboards on some Ventures records).

The A&R person/producer was in the studio as well. He worked for Alpha Moon Records, Japan. Photographs of the overdub session were taken that day to be used for the picture sleeve of the proposed 45.

This is not much to go on, but do you know of this record? I have been trying to find out if it ever came out, who the artist was and the title of the songs?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, let me know.

Steve

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Steve, I know that at one point the Ventures had a girl singer with them named Leisha. She sang backup on some of the Ventures' instrumentals and also sang some vocal versions of songs during Ventures live concerts in Japan in the late 1970s. I wouldn't be surprised that she also made some recordings of her own -- maybe the ones you were involved in. Sorry I can't be of more help.]


Date: Fri May 28, 2004
From: James
Subject: Ventures Japanese Single

Hi there, I'm James.

I was perusing you amazing Ventures Discography, and had a question I hoped you could answer for me. I have a copy of the "Let's Go Ichiro" CD single, not the promo copy. I was wondering if this is at all rare or out of print. This if for personal knowledge, to satisfy my curiosity. Any info you could provide me would be incredibly helpful.

Thank you.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: James, I don't think that "Let's Go Ichiro" would be considered rare or o ut of print, because I've still seen it listed on some online music stores. But it isn't a widely-known recording. Hope that helps.]


Date: Mon May 3, 2004
From: Jay
Subject: Regarding Bond, James Bond

Arnold,

I really enjoyed your James Bond site and have gained a greater appreciation for the diversity of the actors. For what it's worth, since Roger Moore was the first I saw on the big screen, he's "my" Bond, though I recognize the great following that Sean Connery has and his general primacy as "the original." I too think that Brosnan is an excellent choice and, in addition, outside of the Bond role seems to have a movie career worth keeping up with.

Notwithstanding geography, I think of Niven as "the imposter" more than Lazenby though...he [Niven] just seems so ill suited to the role!

I guess I'd better see "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" again, and hopefully appreciate it more!

Jay

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Jay, thanks for your comments. I think that all of the actors who have played James Bond in the official releases (that is, excluding "Casino Royale") did an excellent job. I think that Pierce Brosnan has really become the equal to Sean Connery and Roger Moore in his portrayal. But it's been rumored recently that he may not be back as 007 again. I really hope that rumor turns out to be false. Lazenby played 007 kind of "tongue in cheek" by referring to "that other guy" -- Connery. But OHMSS is perhaps my favorite Bond film because of the development of the character through his truly falling in love with Tracy, as played by the incomparable Diana Rigg.]


Date: Wed Apr 28, 2004
From: Stacey
Subject: Disney Trip Report

I have read many Disney trip reports preparing for my September trip to Disney, but I have enjoyed your report the most. I enjoyed the detail and the obvious love you have for all things Disney. Thanks for allowing me to go on vacation with you and your wife.

Stacey

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Stacey, thanks for the comments about my Disney World trip report. I'm glad you found it entertaining and informative. Have fun during your September trip.]


Date: Tue Apr 27, 2004
From: Robert
Subject: Sandcastle Racing

I am a Canadian motorsport history writer looking to document some of the Canadian pony cars- Gord Dewar ran the third Javelin at several Trans Am in the 1969 year and supposedly returned the car to AMC at year's end where it was given to Penske. Some of these Cars went to the Grand American series but I don't have a source for the results. I note that you have a fairly decent listing of the Javelins results. Is there a source online that I could use to track the Canadian cars??

Thanks..

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert, my sources for the info on the AMC Javelin race history were the following books:

Amazing AMC Muscle
by Edrie J. Marquez
Motorbooks International, 1988

AMC Muscle Cars
by Larry G. Mitchell
Motorbooks International, 2000

Trans-Am: The Pony Car Wars 1966-1972
by Dave Friedman
Motorbooks International, 2001

Unfortunately, I don't have any other information on the NASCAR Grand American series other than what's in my Javelin Racing pages.]


Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004
From: Tom
Subject: Dan Gurney

Hello-

I am collecting model cars of machines driven by Dan Gurney, and your series on both Dan and his AAR team have been of incredible value to me. It has also led me to several questions that I would like to ask you, if you don't mind.

I cannot find any record or pictures of his early races in 1956-57 in his TR-2, Porsche or Corvette. Do you have any idea of the appearance and numbers of these, or where I might find a photo? I also have found a slight reference to his driving a Denzel owned by Louise Cano, who became Louise Bryden-Brown, his entrant in a Lotus 18 in England during 1961-62; however I have found no other info on this.

The Ferrari 250GT he drove in Phoenix in 1958; any idea on the details of that car? I have checked a Ferrari chassis number registry with no luck.

The 1958 OSCA at Nurburgring; any idea of chassis number or details? There is a picture of the car in Karl Ludvigsen's book and I assume it is Italian racing red as it is entered by Scuderia Centro Sud.

Again in 1958, on his way to winning the USAC road racing championship, he finished 2nd in a race at Watkins Glen; one source says it was a Ferrari 335 s/n 0700 owned by George Tilp (that car went on to be quite successful driven by John von Neumann). But I have also found a reference to the car being a Ferrari 290MM s/n 0628 on the same date. Do you know which is correct and do you know any details of the car(s)?

In 1962, he practiced in Belgium in a Lotus 24-BRM owned by Wolfgang Seidel but did not attempt to qualify it. I have tried to find a photo of this car but have had no luck. Any suggestions?

I am sure there are many other questions I have, but I do not want to bother you. This has been a fascinating project, as I have uncovered some obscure cars from Dan's racing resume, such as the Jag E2A that was on pole at LeMans in 1960, a drive in a Jag lightweight E-type in a support race at the 1964 British GP, some drives in a Ferrari 250 GT with Andre Guelfi in Europe in 1958, a couple of Maseratis and even a few demonstration laps in the Mustang I project car at the USGP in 1962.

Thanks for any help you may be able to offer, and if you know of some other obscure races in his career I would love to hear of them.

Sincerely,

Tom
Florida

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Tom, you seem to already have a lot more information about Dan Gurney's early racing career than I have. My two main sources were the book "Dan Gurney: The Ultimate Racer" by Karl Ludvigsen and career info on Dan's All American Racer's web site. I'm sorry that I can't be of more help, but if you're able to track down the missing info, I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me know.]


Date: Fri Apr 16, 2004
From: John
Subject: Mel Taylor

Hi Arnold,

Hope you're enjoying a great week, with warm Spring weather, and good health.

If you don't mind, I'd like to ask about a Ventures related record? I recently won an auction on eBay, of Mel Taylor's CD "In Action" which I'm looking forward to listening to when it arrives. I thought it had arrived today, however when I opened the package, instead of my Mel Taylor CD, was a Mel Taylor 45 record.

It was released by Warner Brothers, and is on red see-through plastic. The titles are: Spanish Armada and Bang Bang Rhythm.

The numbers are:
BR-1583 (J15289) - Spanish Armada
BR-1583 (J15290) - Bang Bang Rhythm
(Manufactured by Toshiba Musical Industries LTD)

Is this an unusual or rare record? If it is, then I might ask the seller if he wishes to sell it to me, (and send my CD, of course.)

Thanks,
John

[EDITOR'S NOTE: John, I have that Mel Taylor 45 record listed in my Ventures Solo Discography as having been issued by Warner Records out of Japan in 1966. I would imagine that it's pretty rare, but I'm not really certain I'm not an avid "collectible record" collector. For your info, the two songs on the 45 are also included in the Mel Taylor "In Action" CD.]

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Last Updated: October 3, 2004