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Matty Simmons, a Force Behind 'Animal House,' Is Dead at 93

Matty Simmons, who helped launch National Lampoon and was instrumental in bringing its most famous side project, the 1978 movie “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” into being, died on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 93. His son Michael announced his death.

In his 2012 book, “Fat, Drunk and Stupid: The Inside Story Behind the Making of ‘Animal House,’” Mr. Simmons gave a succinct version of his unusual career path.

“The Diners Club begat Weight Watchers Magazine,” he wrote, “which begat the National Lampoon and that begat ‘Animal House.’”

... Weight Watchers asked him to help turn their corporate publication into a general-interest magazine, which he did in 1968, to considerable success. His company, he said, had a half-share stake in the new magazine, and with the profits he began looking to invest in other magazine projects. The president of a magazine distribution company introduced him to three young men from the student publication The Harvard Lampoon: Henry Beard, Robert Hoffman and Douglas Kenney.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/01/business/media/matty-simmons-dead.html
Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri May 1, 2020, 04:34 PM (1 replies)

'And then, boom': Outbreak shows shaky ground as Texas opens

PARIS, Texas (AP) — Barely a week ago, rural Lamar County could make a pretty good argument for Texas’ reopening on Friday.

Only a handful of the 50,000 residents here, right on the border with Oklahoma, had tested positive for the coronavirus. None had died. The mayor of Paris, Texas — a pit stop for drivers passing through to snap a selfie with the city’s miniaturized Eiffel Tower — had drive-thru virus testing in the works, just to give locals peace of mind. Some wore masks but many saw little reason to bother.

Then an outbreak at a nursing home turned up over the weekend.

Now at least 65 people are infected, and everything has changed. A courier drove 11 hours through the night to pick up testing kits and stores are second-guessing reopening as Lamar County becomes a cautionary tale of the fragility of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to get Texas back in business faster than many states. And on the eve of every retailer, restaurant and movie theater being allowed to let customers back in the door, Texas set a single-day record high for COVID-19 fatalities Thursday with 50.

“We don’t know what it’s going to do here,” said Taylor Wright, owner of Aden Ann’s, a women’s boutique in Paris. Word of the sudden outbreak at Paris Healthcare Center, she said, shelved her plans to reopen over fears of exposing her staff and family. “We don’t know where it’s all spreading,” she said...


Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu Apr 30, 2020, 08:05 PM (30 replies)
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