Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Puzzle Within the Castro Theater's May Calendar

After posting the answers to Castro's April calendar, I was anxiously awaiting the May calendar to see if I could "do it again."

On the day it was posted on-line, I was able to identify 3 out of the 4 actors without much trouble.

May 6 - I recognized Edmond O'Brien quickly but not immediately

May 13 - I immediately recognized Brian Dennehy

May 20 - I initially thought this was William Bendix but after settling on Edmond O'Brien, I realized this is Pat O'Brien.

May 28 - I didn't know who this is.  Finally, I went to IMDB and searched "Brian" under Names.  There were 200 results.  I visually inspected the list; excluding anyone with a credit past 1990 and anyone not listed as an "actor."  I saw a name with a credit for I Confess from 1953.  The name didn't ring a bell with me.  It was Brian Aherne and the face matched the Castro calendar.  I was lucky because his name could have been Bryan or O'Brien.  I don't think I have seen any of this actor's films (he was quite active in television during the 1950s).  I vaguely recall seeing Titanic (1953) but I would say it's been 25 years or more.

Whereas I identified the first three actors within 5 minutes, I didn't zero in on Brian Aherne until many hours after the calendar was posted and with the invaluable assistance of the internet.

It is clear that Brian or some derivation of that name is the clue.  Those names indicate Irish heritage.  I wasn't sure what the link to May was either.  What events to I associate with May?  Cinco de Mayo?  Memorial Day?  V-E Day?  Bay to Breakers?  May Day?  Seven Days in May?

The day after the calendar was posted, the answer came to me.  A famous San Francisco landmark is the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, one of the last remaining WWII Liberty ships.  It may be the last seaworthy Liberty ship in existence.  It made the voyage from San Francisco to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994.  What is significant about the O'Brien in May?  I could not find any significant ship milestones (can seacraft and aircraft have milestones?) or anniversaries in May.  Going to the ship's website, the answer hit me in the face.  On Saturday, May 18, the Jeremiah O'Brien is having Greatest Generation Memorial Cruise from noon to 4 PM.

As long as I was poking around the website, I was curious as to who Jeremiah O'Brien was such that he had a ship named after him.  All the Liberty ships were named after people...and fairly obscure people.  I only recognize a handful of eponyms.  By the way, Adolph Sutro (as in Sutro Baths) had a Liberty ship named after him.  The SS Jeremiah O'Brien was "named for the first American to capture a British naval vessel during the Revolutionary War."

Castro Theater Calendar - May 2013

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