Happy Labor Day, you all. I am so glad, grateful and thrilled to have spent recent weekends working in front of a camera for a TV pilot. If this project gets picked up, I could make a joyous return to America's workforce. How I long to kick unemployment to the curb! In my broadcast career, I've encountered two kinds of folks. One kind ignores the obvious but wants me to think it cares and is here to help me. The other kind sees what I can do and recruits me to do it. That kind truly helps me. There's a TV producer who has known me since I was the first African-American to host his own prime time weeknight celebrity talk show on VH1 back in the late '80s. My talk show work earned me a rave review one Sunday in the Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times. When he was still likable and a big movie star, Mel Gibson was an entertaining half-hour guest on my show. He told me why he rejected several offers to be the next James Bond.
Besides my cousin, I have been humbled and healed by the help received from other relatives and by friends since I was cut from the workforce and severely wounded by the Recession in 2009. I feel like I'm starting to recover. In the meantime, I'll continue my Labor Day ritual of watching William Holden carbonate the hormones of a Kansas house full of frustrated women in the film version of the hit Broadway play, Picnic. He's the sexy, butch buddy of a local well-to-do college grad. He drifts into town on Labor Day in hopes of getting hooked up with a job. He doesn't get a job, but he does get the town babe played by Kim Novak. But she's been seeing the well-do-to college grad buddy. This works the last good nerve of her disillusioned mother (Betty Field), and the old maid high school schoolteacher who lives with them (Rosalind Russell). His presence, however, fascinates Madge (Novak) and her sad bookworm sister (Susan Strasberg).