Things That Didn’t Happen

If you are both a movie lover and a history lover like me, then you probably enjoy the occasional historical film or biographical flick. The only problem is most of these movies tell you that the film you are watching is simply based on true events, but who has time to read the small print? So if you were planning on writing your history paper based on a movie you say, here’s something to consider.

BTW: this is an article I made in 2016 for Odyssey but I really like it and I may do another, so I wanted to post it here.

1) Selma Lord Selma – Jonathan Daniel’s Death

The 1999 Disney movie depicts the civil rights events in Selma, Alabama in 1965. The Episcopal seminary student and civil rights activist, Jonathan Daniels is played by McKenzie Astin in the film. There is a scene in the film that shows Jonathan walking alone on the street trying to register people to vote, when an angry segregationist approaches him and shoots him, leaving him to die alone on the street with no witnesses. In reality Jonathan was standing outside with a group of protestors when a segregationist pointed a gun at the crowd. Jonathan jumped in front of a young girl by the name of, Ruby Sales, essentially sacrificing himself. While the movie does make it clear that Jonathan was shot down in broad daylight, it is even more shocking to know that he was murdered in front of witnesses while saving a life, and yet his killer still walked.

2) The Butler – Cecil Gaines

Most people who watched this movie ended up feeling very connected the the star, Cecil Gaines, played by Forrest Whittaker. We cried for him, rooted for him, and everything in between. However, it may be worth mentioning that Cecil Gaines is not an actual person. His character was loosely based on a man by the name of Eugene who served the White House for 34 years and became the head butler in 1981. While some of the movie resembled his real life, some of the most gripping moments were not true. His wife was not known to be an alcoholic, there is nothing to suggest his father was murdered, and he did not have a son die in Vietnam. Basically Eugene Allen’s life was more of a jumping off point for the creators of this film.

3)The Untouchables – Frank Nitti

In the film, ittalian American gangster, Frank Nitti is played by Billy Drago. Nitti is show to be responsible for the death of officer Jim Malone. That was the first falsehood. None of Elliot Ness’s “Untouchable” agents were ever murdered. Not to mention it would be impossible to kill a man that didn’t exist, but we’ll come back to that. There is a scene in which Elliot Ness is shown throwing Frank Nitti off of a roof; this never happened. Frank Nitti committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in 1943. Also, killer or not, government agents can’t just launch people off of rooftops and still make it home for dinner.

4) The Untouchables – ….The Untouchables

The team we came to know, love, and in some cases mourn, were made up of fictional characters. Jim Malone, Oscar Wallace, and George stone, played by  Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, and Andy Garcia respectively, were all fictional characters. Also the movie shows the team as being four people while Elliot Ness’s biography says there were ten.

5) Boys Don’t Cry – Death Scene

In the 1997 movie,  after Lotter and Nissen murder Brandon Teena(played by Hilary Swank), Brandon’s girlfriend Lana cradles his lifeless body making for an emotional scene. However, Tisdel was not present during or after the murder. Although another person was present; a  young man by the name of Phillip Devine was also murdered in the house that night.

6) Bonnie & Clyde 1967 – Blanche Barrow

In the movie, Blanche Barrow is portrayed as a screaming, useless preacher’s daughter, who had no idea Frank was an escaped convict. Blanche negates all of this. Also Blanche and Bonnie were around the same age but Estelle Parsons (Blanche in the movie), was almost twenty years older than the film’s star, Faye Dunnaway.

7) Cadillac Records – Leonard Chess’s death

In the movie Leonard Chess is shown leaving his record studio after shutting down the business. Apparently stricken with grief he keels over in his car of a heart attack not even a block away from the studio. Really Leonard Chess died a few months later.

8) Guyana Tragedy – Jim Jones & Father Divine

James Earl Jones’s picture dawns some versions of the cover for the film, Guyana tragedy. This would lead you to believe he had a prominent role in the film, which he did not. Maybe the movie producers were trying to keep a theme going, as a fictional scene of a meeting between Rev. Jim Jones and Father Divine made it seem as though Father Divine played a larger role in Jones’ life. In reality Jones never met with Father Divine for counsel, instead he attempted to take over Divine’s ministry after Divine’s death claiming to be a reincarnated version of the spiritual leader.

9) Sweet Dreams – Patsy Cline’s death

The movie comes close to it’s end with a very climactic scene. Patsy Cline’s (played by Jessica Lange) airplane malfunctions and the last word to leave her lips is the name of her beloved, Charlie; right before the plane hits a mountain. While her romantic “last words” are nothing but pure speculation, the larger error is the fact that the plane did a nosedive in a forest, and not into a mountain. There were no mountains in the area where she crashed.

While the film’s actors did a good job with the script, apparently there were several errors from relationship details to the last moments of the singer’s life. Her husband Charlie, who is portrayed by Ed Harris in the film was quoted as saying, “”It’s a great film – if you like fiction”, for a 1985 People’s magazine article.

10) Mommie Dearest – …..No, not the wire hangers.

I know what you’re hoping, but sorry folks, Christina Crawford still maintains that the wire hanger incident indeed took place. Though that’s not to say the younger Ms. Crawford didn’t take issue with the film. Christina Crawford actually wrote a script for the film titled after her book, but the producers decided to go with their own. One of the falsehoods in the movie is the infamous rosebush scene. The film suggests that Joan went into a rage after being labeled “Box office poison” for MGM and took it out on her innocent flowers.

While Christina says Joan did take an axe to her flowers at one point or another, it wasn’t because of her MGM plummet. Seeming as though Joan was labeled poison in 1938, which was two years before she adopted baby Christina. So Christina wouldn’t have been able to fetch any axes. The film also neglects the fact that Christina Crawford and her younger brother Christopher were two of five children adopted by Joan. Joan also adopted another little boy and named him Christopher but he was soon reclaimed by his birth mother. Joan later adopted twin girls, Cindy and Cathy in 1947.  

As for the truth of the subject matter all together, there is a longstanding debate. While Christina felt the movie was poorly done, it still doesn’t stray too far from the picture of abuse she paints in her book. Her brother Christopher supported her claims while her younger sisters Cindy and Cathy denied them. Several celebrities who knew the family -and several fans who didn’t- have both taken up post on both sides of the fence. The world may never know just how historical Mommie Dearest actually was.

Having A Little Fun

It was 11 something at night and I had spent much of the night watching, Love and Hip Hop: ATL. One of the things that happens when I watch something involving either music or dance is that I get inspired to make my own music or dance. I’ve sat down to try and write a song or a rap multiple times but it is so so hard.

I have the ultimate respect for any songwriters, because it is a pain in the neck. Catching the beat, making it flow, making it make sense, etc. If I could just mumble cadences to the rhythm it would be a breeze!

But the other night, I made it happen! I made myself write a verse to the instrumental of, Crush on You by Lil Kim. I pushed through it and honestly it was the first really creative thing I’d completed in a minute. I’m very proud of it.

I don’t think it’s the best verse in the world and I’m definitely not coming for anyone’s crown. That being said, I think I did a pretty good job!

Again, I am nowhere near a rapper. So, take this as your cue to do something out of the box and creative!

Also…follow me on YouTube 🙂

Stream Of Consciousness

So, shout out to my friend Chelsea because she suggested I do this. I’ve been having a very hard time with my writing this month but it probably has to do with a lot of things. Some good and some not so good.

My phone just dinged and distracted me. It was just that generic iPhone ping sound. I like to assign sounds to different people but too many different sounds make it hard to remember so now only like three people have their own sound.

My phone made another sound. It was the sound it makes when I have a facebook notification. It reminded me that I’m supposed to play a game with a friend but they never got back to me with the details.

As I sit here typing, Bob’s Burgers is playing in the background. I often have Bob’s Burgers on. There are a lot of shows that I love but Bob’s Burgers is my favorite to play through, I don’t know why.

It’s hot in this house. I don’t know what the temperature is but I’m always hot, my mother is always cold. It makes for very weird moments where she is shivering in a blanket and I’m sweating in a T-shirt and shorts.

I shaved my legs once during this covid shutdown which is like really weird, because I always wear jeans so I never shave my legs. Sometimes I still avoid it if I feel like where I’m going in shorts is not well lit. But I was bored so I nair-ed my legs. I like the way they feel freshly hairless.

It just got a little cooler, I suppose the A/C turned on.

Anyway, I don’t know if I’ve done this right but I’ve been writing for ten minutes, so I will stop now. We’ll see if it opens me up creatively.

I hope everyone is staying safe right now.

Love you all!

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

Book Review: May by Kelli Green — Sav’s Review

May is a tender and heartbreaking novel that won my heart. This is a story about perseverance and love, it’s one I won’t be forgetting for a long time. May is a coming of age story about a 16 year old girl who runs away from home and starts a new life in a new […]

Book Review: May by Kelli Green — Sav’s Review

I reached out to Sav’s Review, for a review of my new book, May and they posted this beautiful and glowing review that I am very thankful for! I totally recommend following them for other book reviews!

Have You Unpacked Yet?

A few days ago I was sitting in my living room and my shelf decided it had had about enough and buckled a bit. I looked up and it was leaning to the side, just barely hanging on.

So my mom and I went ahead and gently removed the weight from the struggling piece of furniture. As soon as we removed the last book, the shelf took its final bow.

A couple of days later my mother bought things to replace, reorganize, and rearrange. So then our living room was decorated with boxes and displaced books.

As I was sitting on our couch I took a random picture that I felt looked cool in a sort of …indie album cover way; but as I looked closer at the photo I noticed our poor homesick books & the half open box sitting on my couch. I thought, I should title this photo, “unpacking” because the scene reminded me of what our home looked like when we first moved to this house.

original photo taken by Kelli Green

I personally take way too long to unpack, because to be honest…I don’t want to.

It’s work…

…but it’s work that has to be done.

So , I do it because clearly I can’t really get around if I don’t.

And, while I understand that when speaking of boxes, and books. Tonight I’m thinking of it on a different level.

I got hit with some news yesterday. I lost someone very important to me. I lost my father.

A thousand and one feelings came at me at the same time when I heard the news. Long story short… during a much needed heart to heart, it was suggested that I write a letter to him.

For me the letter helps me acknowledge my own feelings and part of me hopes he’s in the next realm listening/reading along to whatever I’m writing.

What I wrote is not the point of me sharing this story. That part is something very personal for me, my father, and the people I’m closest to. That being said…my letter, my collapsed shelf, my infamous night time overthinking…all of it put a message on my heart, and I wanted to share it.

UNPACK

While writing my letter, these random feelings came spilling out and it made me want to write more letters; and maybe I will. Because I realize that I leave a lot of things unsaid, and that is including what I say to myself.

In a way, this loss and the things I’ve done very recently to deal with it made me feel like that shelf inside of my Livingroom.

Did my shelf show signs of being worn down? Was it overloaded? Were some of the books too heavy? Maybe some of the heavier books should have been moved to the lower shelves? The shelf was a bit old, maybe a lot needed to be taken into consideration. Either way, it broke.

We continuously gave it things to hold and never wondered how it was handling the pressure. Once you slide that book into its place it’s supposed to be fine.

But it wasn’t fine and I’m left standing amongst a sea of books.

Books I forgot about.

Books I’ve never seen.

Books I used to love.

Books I never liked.

Books that aren’t even mine.

Books that I still can’t quite comprehend.

Books.

Have you ever waited so long to unpack a suitcase that you pull something out of it and go, “now what is this?”

Maybe you aquired it on that trip and forgot all about it.

I wonder how many of us are mindful about the scattered books, and forgotten items we packed inside our own emotional inventories.

Because let me tell you, I’m a packer…and today has been one heck of a moving day.

There are feelings and thoughts we jam down inside ourselves because we didn’t like them, or we didn’t think other people would like them if they saw them in us.

At least, that’s my way.

But the way my pen flowed through my letter, and the fog I’ve been in right now is evidence that forgetting to unpack is a problem.

We are the shelves, and it’s okay to hold on to our books…but we should be mindful.

Which books are too heavy to hold, which books are unfamiliar? I think a healthy shelf gets to know all of their books and decides how to hold them in a way that doesn’t lead to its own demise.

Maybe there are some books I should give away. Perhaps there are a couple of books I should share and read out loud.

Perhaps there are books that I want to keep closed, but even those I owe it to myself to take a look inside even if I don’t particularly care for the cover.

Because at the end of the day, I don’t want my shelf to fall.

I know my metaphors are a little loose here, but it’s 2 in the morning and I’m still unpacking.

Why So Gloomy?

Photo by Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash

Why does so much of what I write end on a sad note?

I think most people would describe me as a generally cheery person. I mean, I do have resting grumpy face; but I also smile a lot. I love sparkles, shiny things,and colors! Don’t get me wrong, I also love dark colors and sad songs. If you asked me, I’d say that I love both equally, but that rarely comes across in my writing.

A while back I sent a short story to my grandmother to read. Since I first started writing seriously, I’ve always shared my work with her. The story I sent her this time was titled, Alternative Fairy Tales. It’s a short piece about a woman visiting her father’s and looking back on her life. When I asked her how she felt about it she told me that she enjoyed it, but it was sad. 

I responded, “yeah, it is.” 

My grandmother then asked, “are you ever going to write something that ends happily?”

Yikes! I remember being a little shocked by her response. I mean, I knew it was sad but I didn’t think anything of it. She went on to say that the story was really good and I shouldn’t change it or anything; but maybe I could write a happy one one day.

The very first short story I ever wrote was in fifth grade. We were told to write something fictional relating to Black History Month. So, I made up a story about a young girl babysitting for Martin Luther King Jr.’s family. The character was present when the bomb went off during the bus boycott. That one technically ended happily, because the character had hope for a better future.That being said, I think that was the last time I wrote a short story with a happy ending.

If I look back on the fictional poems and stories that I have written since I was about 11; I can honestly say that about 80% of them are kinda gloomy. In 7th grade I wrote a wonderful poem from the point of view of a broken leaf. I loved that poem (I mourn the fact that I haven’t been able to find it in years) and other people loved it too; but the first person I showed it to tried to send me to the guidance office. 

That same year, we were told to write a poem using words that don’t normally work together like, “big shorty, or sunny fog.” I think the idea was to make a sort of silly piece. Well mine was filled with crimson snow, screeching silence, and black tunnels of light.I named it, “Suicidal Paradise” or something close and I couldn’t have been more proud of it. As far as I was concerned, I followed the rules of the assignment and made something unique. My mother and probably some others were a bit more on the concerned side; but they still said it was good.

In my opinion I’ve brightened up a bit since then, after all I was just a child getting started. It’s true that there are certainly heavy themes represented in my stories like: abuse, racism, and death; but I wouldn’t call my stories dark. Okay, Alternative Fairy Tales, is pretty dark (I still like it though)…but Elizabeth and Kayla’s Day aren’t, at least not in my opinion. They both end on a low note, but they both have elements of beauty and light in them. That’s life, isn’t it? There is both good and bad in the world and it is often woven together. I write about families, and people and the things they go through. I never intend to bring anyone down, but I write it how I see it in my head. 

My favorite book is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. If you sit there and pull out all of the “heavy” content then you’d have a pretty full bag. You name it, Fried Green Tomatoes probably has it. 

Accidental death, murder,racism, domestic abuse, homelessness, sickness, racism,depression…

…and the list goes on; but it is my favorite book of all time. It has been my favorite book since I was twelve. It’s my favorite because of what exists between the tears. I would never just say that Fried Green Tomatoes is a book about pain. I would say that it is a book about friendship, love, family, community, perseverance, womanhood, and also the heavy subjects. 

But as a personal challenge, and a gift to my grandmother, I have decided that the first novel I publish will have an ending that should make the reader smile. I make no such claims for what they will encounter in the middle the pages; nor will I offer any apologies. Though I do hope that between the tears, they see the love and the happiness I poured into the story. 

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

Oh, if you were looking for an answer to the question this article began with…I’ll tell you as soon as I find one. In the meantime, please take a gander at my stories.

Who Am I and Why Should Anyone Care?

Well, I hate to disappoint you but my typical answer to questions like this is a big shoulder shrug and a groan. Since grade school I have found it very difficult to write anything about myself. Imagine my dread when I realized I would always have to introduce myself. Interviews, auditions, new neighbors, dating websites, new doctors, etc. It never ends. There is always a blank box waiting for me to explain myself…GOSH!

ME 🙂

Okay so if you stuck through my paragraph of complaints, then you’re a trooper and I owe you this bio / introduction. 

I realize the polite thing would have been to start by telling you my name. Well, now is as good a time as any. I’m Kelli Green also known as keloggs8495plus on social media (Instagram, Twitter & Facebook). I am a writer who also loves to act, sing, swap history stories, watch too much tv, and teach. 

I guess I would say that writing is my main focus right now. I love creating stories and characters. I also write the occasional non-fiction piece, I prefer people centered stories. I also enjoy throwing my unsolicited opinions into the void, so writing really comes in handy. 

So that’s pretty much what you can look forward to from my blog. Most of what I post will be related to my writing or otherwise creative projects. I’ll also post lifestyle related stories, and of course my random thoughts. It is my hope to connect with people, so please feel free to comment and talk to me. I was raised as an only child, so I crave interaction…I’m also intimidated by it but we’ll work on that. 

So with that, I thank you for reading my first official blog post, and I hope to bring you future content that you find enjoyable! 

Until next time, 

Kelli Green

* Follow Me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @keloggs8495plus *