Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida on August 7, 1984 · Page 17
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Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida · Page 17

Tallahassee, Florida
Issue Date:
Tuesday, August 7, 1984
Page 17
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c r Tallahassee Democrat Tues., Aug. 7, 1984 Gazelda, 3 Advice, movies, 5 Television, 7 T7 YTt SDAY Camera never captured power of Burton's voice or talent By Rick Lyman Knight-Riddof news service One remembers the voice, of course the power of it, the unnerving ferocity. "It's a kind of animal quality," fellow actor Anthony Quayle once said. "Maybe it has something to do with sexuality." : Richard Burton used his voice with power and subtlety in a distinguished stage career and then wasted it, again and again, in a self-destructive and disappointing screen career that peaked 20 years ago and produced, out of more than 70 films, only a handful of superior performances. His immense capacities for eloquent rage and heart-breaking rumination were rarely tapped in three decades before the camera. Nicholas Ray did it in 1958's rarely seen "Bitter Victory." John Huston did it in 1964's otherwise unwieldy "Night of the Iguana." Martin Ritt did it with 1965's "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold." And Mike Nichols with 1966's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? That's about it. More often, and increasingly in the last 15 years, Burton seemed to be walking or stumbling through his parts, booming forth with much hamminess and little thought. The other great British actors of his generation, Peter OToole and Albert Finney, undoubtedly had their share of lesser, even embarrassing, performances. But no other actor of Burton's caliber could top his long, grim string of film travesties, including "Bluebeard" (1972), "Hammersmith Is Out" (1972), "The Klansmen" (1974), "The Medusa Touch" (1978) and, worst of all, "Exorcist II: The Heretic" (1977). His story was a tragedy, to the end. Burton's early reputation was made through a series of stage triumphs in London's West End, from Shakespeare to the great works of the "Angry Young Men," particularly John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger." Many critics consider Burton's "Hamlet" to be the best since Laurence Olivier's. In a review of one of Burton's Shakespearean performances in the early '50s, critic Kenneth Tynan said of him: "A shrewd Welsh boy shines out with greatness." A shrewd Welsh boy, indeed. And perfectly suited to the stage. Burton liked the scope and immediacy of the theater, the instant gratification. He seemed to flourish in the grand spectacle. His voice played well to the back rows of the most-distant balcony and his great, moody silences could make an audience quiver. When Burton walked on the stage, everyone knew immediately that the star had entered. In his early years in Hollywood, he was trapped in a lot of inferior costume dramas, from "The Robe" (1953) to "Prince of Players" (1954) to "Alexander the Great" (1955). He made them seem better than they were. But only with his 1960 Broadway triumph as King Arthur in the musical smash "Camelot" did Burton's See BURTON, 3C Etc. Tallahassee in print Three historical, turn-of-the century prints of Tallahassee by Museum of Florida History artist Ed Jonas are now available at any Andrew Jackson Savings & Loan location. ' Sale of the prints, in numbered sets priced at $170, will benefit the Volunteer Center of Leon County. For more information, call the volunteer center's Dawn Hoffman at 222-6263 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. rmr " si Shamu gives Trinity Kimble a kiss Kiss and tell How many of you have been kissed by a killer whale? Have a picture to prove it? On Sunday, Sept. 2, Orlando's Sea World is holding an unusual reunion for those who've been bussed by Shamu, the killer whale that's been kissing the famous and the not-so famous since the marine-life park opened 10 years ago. To celebrate the opening of its $15-mil-lion, killer-whale stadium, Sea World is offering free admission to anyone who has the snapshot received as a memento of the lip-smacking occasion. Members of the kissee's " party will be admitted at $1.50 off regular admission. If you have your photo, arrive before noon to take advantage of the offer. Want to know more? Call Judy Fabiszak at 1-800-327-2420. Today you may... Improve your interview skills at the Career Readiness Series sponsored by the Creative Employment Foundation. The seminar is from 1-3 p.m. in Room 22 of First Presbyterian Chruch, 110 N. Adams St. TV's best bets Tonight - "XXIII Olympics." Something for everyone tonight: boxing, diving, vollyball, basketball and horses. Channels 13 and 27 (cable 7 and 13), 7 p.m. Wednesday "Man on a Swing." Good 1975 cop thriller involving a murder investigation and a self-described clairvoyant. Cliff Robertson and Joel Grey star. W17AB Channel 17 (no cable), 8 p.m. n What paranormal entity was it that kept an Ohio family under siege? By Joel Achenbach Knight-Ridder news service COLUMBUS, Ohio Fred Shannon sensed it, something across the room, something . . inhuman. An entity. Or more like . . . an "aurora." This strange force surrounded Tina, the disturbed girl of mysterious parentage. Tina, the 14-year-old haunted girl, the girl in whose presence telephones flew through the air, chairs danced, glasses shattered. Tina, the creepy girl reputed to have The Power 3 swer. oiW Fred Shannon, 63, y V id never been so 4 : t Z. Ov. v ui.W table is descended from an inorganic lump or matter STStn3 that somehow got fired up several billion years ago V t?M ' V'-'' s'V'i v'r-N have had a problem confronting ghosts. f A ha scared in his life. A pho tographer for three decades with the Columbus (Ohio) Dis patch, a devout Catholic, a believer in God and the Devil and the forces of darkness, he knew this was no ordinary photo assignment. This was a horror story. Seven times. Shannon later recalled, he saw a telephone zoom through the family room of the house : at 5242 Blue Ash Road. A Kleenex box candle went airborne with the sound of a freight iftj i ' train. A rug leaped off the floor and draped itselt fft; over Tina's head. 't1 "This thing did not want to be photographed," he remembers. "I felt whatever that force was, was conscious of what I was trying to do. And then I realized that the two of us had a game going ": . . I decided I'm going to outfox the ghost." He wanted to get that phone, that flying phone. His was a sly strategy.: Peering through the lens at Tina, he set his 35mm Nikon at f8, 125 shutter speed, ready for fast action, then slowly lowered the camera to waist level, trigger finger still poised. Now let's see that sucker fly, he thought. Suddenly he glimpsed a white flash. The phone. His finger tensed. Got it. "Strange Happenings Unnerve Family" screamed the headline in the March 6, 1984, Dispatch; Shannon's photograph ran underneath in color, and within days John and Joan Resch and their adopted daughter Tina had become planetwide celebrities among those who believe in the unseen, the unknown and the unspeakable. Their fame could be measured in the obscurity of the addresses on the incoming letters: To Joan and John, Columbus, Ohio, Home of Flying Objects. "The way I see it, your house is demon-possessed or cursed by a real witch . . . Satan is saying, 'Wow! She and the family (don't) believe in me and my demons, so I'll stay in this house and drive them away, etc.'" Satan. Demons. Exorcists. The Bad Seed. The members of the Resch family father John, mother Joan and six kids, including Tina had entered into a strange area here, a zone somewhere between the goofy and the loathsome. "Why couldn't it have happened to somebody who believes in it?" begged John. . Their tale offers no middle ground. There are really only two possible conclusions: . Conclusion One holds that a 14-year-old girl is possessed of a chaotic power over which the known J i Fred Clark Democrat laws of physics have no jurisdiction, a power that can make heavy objects like stuffed chairs tumble end over end and chase people around the house, a power that has perhaps gone so far as to cause eggs to pass through a closed refrigerator door and spatter against the ceiling. The world, says this first view, is rife with the paranormal. Conclusion Two holds that this same girl got her picture on the front page of newspapers around the globe because she managed to convince her parents, family friends, religious leaders, psychologists and innumerable journalists to adopt Conclusion One. People, goes this second theory, will swallow anything.. The choice is an old one. Before God had a name, Stone Age Man believed in unseen powers. A beguiling notion, ghosts. Many people want to believe in them. To them reality has never been very satisfying, and ghosts suggest an unseen world, even an afterlife. But scientists the same scientists who have had no problem telling us that everyone at our breakfast Fir Rnhort. .TflHn. who has studied oaranormal phenomena as dean of the Engineering School at v Princeton University, compares the psychic world to a vast, primordial swamp, ever shrouded in A 'J mist, where bizarre phenomenological creatures ' y unexpectedly writhe out of the ooze just long . f( enough to baffle and bedevil their witnesses. V On March 3, 1984, according to Tina Resch,' f . . . 1 C ll. - 1 1 one oi tnese creatures emergea irom me uog mm invaded her home. This was not a warm fuzzy creature from the shallows; this one came from the murky depths where science has been afraid to explore. -A poltergeist. Poltergeists usually haunt a person, according to legend. Plumb the person and you may begin to understand the Doltereeist. And so: Who is i"f . i m- -r-m 1 1 " a C 1 A. J i tnis gin una rtescn, suDject oi so many shoii u 'V inconclusive newspaper and magazine articles? k John and Joan Resch found the girl abandoned , in a hospital, barely 10 months old. They had i dealt with sick or unwanted children before; since A'the 1950s, they had cared for 250 foster children. k But Tina got special treatment, an adoption. She has had a troubled childhood. Two and a half "i years ago she was pulled dut of school by her par-;v ents. Neither she, her parents nor the school board rc s- . , i f , . ... T ... a f-fi will say why. since then, sne nas naa a tutor, juasi September the Resches decided to send their daughter back, but Tina had made too many enemies among her classmates over the years, and four girls beat her up on the second day of class. She hasn't returned since. And recently, Tina has been haunted by the mystery of her real parents. Efforts to track them down have been unsuccessful. It's a mystery Tina thinks she may never solve. On Saturday morning, March 3, a gloomy, hazy late-winter day, all the lights in the house seemed to turn on at once. Curious, thought Joan Resch as she stood in the kitchen. Then the dials started to move too fast on the washing machine. The wall clocks raced. Upstairs, water faucets turned on. No one, Joan insists, was up there. Just the poltergeist. Scared, Joan huddled the foster children around her. At 10:30, John came home. "You won't believe what's going on," Joan said. John, indeed, was baffled. "Nobody thought anything about no ghosts or nothin'. We thought it was all in some crazy power feed," he recalled. Two workers from the power company' came by. but found nothing wrong. When they left, the oddities resumed. If John and Joan are to be believed, they saw a television and a radio working even after John yanked the cords out of the wall. John decided to call another electrician, Bruce Claggett, whom he knew from work. 'V A regular churchgoer, Claggett remains shaken by what he saw that day in. the Resch home.. Weeks later, he said he didn't want to believe in the supernatural, but no longer felt he had a choice. "I'll tell you this," he said as his family listened, enraptured, "she's got some POWER." Claggett initially assumed something had gone haywire in the switchbox at the house. He didn't believe John's story about the TV and the radio. "You'd better watch what you're drinking," Claggett said. "What you're describing can't happen." To Claggett'8 dismay, the lights kept coming on. He finally turned to Tina and Joan. "OK, which one of you is trying to drive John psycho, playing games with him?" .wrT-;: i. They pleaded innocence. Then Claggett heard the garbage disposal crank up. No one was near, the switch. The kitchen light came on. He saw no culprit. Claggett, flustered, decided to put Scotch tape over See GHOSTS, 4C Nashville musician returns to Quincy alma mater to perform school benefit uy marc crown Democrat staff writer Robert F. Munroe School alumnus Harold Dean (they call him 'Billy' in Nashville) is scheduled to perform a second annual benefit concert Thursday in Quincy for his alma master. Proceeds from the 8 p.m. show at the Leaf Theater will help to hire a new music teacher this fall. Last year, Dean's performance raised $5,000 for the small, private school. The money was used for musical and electronic equipment. ; Dean is a 1981 Monroe graduate. Since then he has pursued a music career in Nashville where he initially found a job as a writer with Collins Music Co. He and several other former Collins' writers now have their own company, New Clarion Music. Dean and his partners call their brand of music "progressive country," a sound featuring elements of jazz, rock and rhythm and blues. Local musicians, including George and Gil Johnson, Crystal May, Kelly Cumbie, Andy McKeown, Pat Jones and Steve Flournoy also will perform. Rep. James Harold Thompson, D-Quincy, will repeat his role as master of ceremonies. Tickets are $5, with any donation over that amount tax-deductible. Patron tickets are $25 and include up-front seating and a pre-show buffet at the home of Hentz and Sandra Fletcher. Tickets are available at Wilson's Department Store, West End Lounge, the Horseshoe Lounge and Donaldson's Drugs in Havana. To make a contribution to the school's music-instruction fund, mail your checks to Robert F. Munroe School, Rt. 5, Box 35, Quincy, 32351. For more information about the concert, call 856-5500 weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. V ;- - L Study shows black families feel at home in white suburbs By Glenn Collins New York Times news service Quincy's Harold Dean, Nashville's 'Billy' NEW YORK - New research on the social and psychological world of middle-class black families living in predominantly white suburbs has found that family members feel accepted in their neighborhoods while maintaining strong ties to the black community. Black children in these families have many white friends, feel at home living in white society and grow up with a positive self-image about being black, according to the study. These findings challenge the view that members of racial and ethnic minorities living within white communities run the risk of being alienated from or rejected by both the minority and majority communities, according to the research project's director, Dr. James A. Banks. "This has long been a presumption of many social scientists," said Banks, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. A team of 17 investigators studied 64 black families living in the Seattle area in nine suburban communities where only 0.38 percent to 2.5 percent of the residents were black. Among the findings were the following: Most of the black suburban children studied had not absorbed See BLACK, 2C X

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