Daily Dirt: Pasta, “Pound Town” and Tarzan

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Daily Dirt for Aug. 9, 2021

By Steve Eighinger, Muddy River News Minister of Culture

With my love of pasta, there are days when I feel like I should be an honorary Italian. That feeling tends to surface each day around noon. Warning: The following could result in weight gain. Welcome to Vol. 32 of the Daily Dirt:

1. In recent years, I’ve come to enjoy pasta more than ever before. I’m not sure why, because I have never found myself classified as any sort of health nut, but I pound down quite a bit of it these days over the course of an average week. My favorites:

A. Ravioli has made great strides on my personal list, thanks in large part to the Tiramisu restaurant in downtown Quincy. That marvelous Italian eatery has a “ravioli salsa rosa” offering hat features ravioli stuffed with mushrooms. The word “marvelous” does not do it justice. (The Little Woman surprised me at home the other night with a baked ravioli/sausage dish that could rival Tiramisu. Major props to The Little Woman.)

B. Spaghetti, with a meat — and not marinara — sauce is exquisite.

C. Penne is highly underrated, and can be used in numerous dish styles.

D. Fettucine’s flat, ribbon-shaped style is an excellent choice for most sauces.

E. Fusilli, that crazy corkscrew-like pasta, simply feels good on the palate.

2. My favorite home run call among MLB announcers belongs to analyst Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s. It’s short, simple and always brings a smile: “Welcome to Pound Town!!!”

3. If you’re old enough, you probably remember growing up watching Saturday afternoon and Friday night movies based on the life of Tarzan the Ape Man, many of them starring legendary Olympic swimmer Johnny Weismuller. Tarzan, Jane and their son, Boy … now those were some great films.Weismuller, however, was not the only Tarzan in film history. Here’s a breakdown:

Elmo Lincoln (3 movies) and Frank Merrill (2) had lead roles in the silent-movie days.

Johnny Weismuller (12), who debuted as Tarzan in 1932.

Bruce Bennett (1) was originally cast as Tarzan before Weismuller, but broke his shoulder prior to filming … and the rest, as they say, was history. (FYI: Bennett’s real name was Herman Brix.)

Lex Barker (5).

Gordon Scott (6).

Jock Mahoney (3).

Mike Henry (3).

Ron Ely (NBC TV series in 1966).

Miles O’Keefe (1).

Christopher Lambert (1): His lone Tarzan film, in 1984, saw Andie MacDowell play Jane.

Wolf Larson (he starred in the French-Canadian-Mexican series “Tarzen”.)

Travis Fimmel (he starred in a 2003 TV series on the WB).

Alexander Skarsgard (1). He was the most recent, appearing in a 2016 film.

Steve Eighinger

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