Holliday Travels: Star-struckWritten by Roger Holliday Claudia Fischer | | email@example.com
The joyous birth of a bright new “Star” in the Northwest Ohio media galaxy got us thinking about some of the other stars we have known…and loved…
Like London’s Evening Star.
Growing up in the UK capital in the 1940s and 50s, we had three competing evening newspapers. The Evening Standard, The Evening News and the Evening Star. And I still remember the Cockney cries of “Star, News and Standard!” coming from news vendors huddled outside every single Underground station in the metropolis.
Then in October 1960, The Star was merged with The Evening News which in turn was folded into The Standard.
Finally…hurrumph…in August of last year, a former Russian spy, Alexander Lebedev, bought The Standard, which had been serving Londoners since 1859, and turned it into a free paper. Which probably makes it a cousin of sorts…
A star of another stripe was heard–rather than seen–in Antwerp, Belgium in 1973 when a friend–who was actually a choral scholar from Cambridge University and should have known better–took me along to a Rolling Stones concert.
The grand finale, accompanied by appropriate pyrotechnics and weird smelling smoke, was a song called “Star, Star”. But the fans, who knew it’s real title, went wild joining in the chorus of the raunchiest song in the Stones’ repertoire…which is sadly unfit to print in this august newspaper. You’ll have to use your imagination!
Another star in the Belgian firmament traces its roots back to 1388 and is still massively popular.
In 1926 Stella (Italian for star) was “married” to Sebastian Artois–a famous 18th century brewmaster–thus creating Stella Artois, now one of the world’s best selling lager beer brands.
The beer is marketed in Belgium today under the line, “My home is where the Stella is”. But we’ve always known it as “Stella for the Fellas”!
Still, Belgium doesn’t have a lock on stars.
Germany also has some. One of them is the “Stern” (or Star) magazine, a popular weekly that began in 1948 and now has over 1 million readers. The Stern became internationally famous–or infamous–in 1983 when it printed the so called “Hitler Diaries” which turned out to be nothing but clever forgeries.
France’s best known star can probably be found in Paris at the confluence of twelve radiating avenues. It’s the “Arc de Triomphe d’Etoile” (Star) which was built in 1833 and at a height of 162 feet is both the world’s largest triumphal arch…and the most blood chilling memorial to drive around!
To travel to Paris from London these days, the best and quickest way by far is the 186 mph TGV train known as the “Eurostar”, which makes the trip between the capitals in a tad over two hours including twenty minutes under the English Channel.
But trains are not the only conveyances with star power.
As early as 1898, the Star Motor Company of Wolverhampton, England was building cars. They were followed in 1903 by the Star Automobile Co., of Cleveland, the Star Societe Torinese de Auto in Turin, Italy in 1905, the Star Automobile Company of Peru, Indiana in 1908 and finally in 1923 the Durant Motor Co. of New Jersey began marketing a car called “The Star” as a competitor for the Model T.
Stars have also been a mainstay of the British-made BSA motor cycles since 1932 with models ranging from Blue Stars, Silver Stars and Shooting Stars to Empire Stars, Royal Stars and Gold Stars. Today, Yamaha has taken up the mantle with their Star brand of bikes.
On this last Sunday night at the Oscars there was certainly no shortage of superstars on the Hollywood stage. But as bright and a beautiful as these earthlings certainly were, they pale in comparison to the cosmic display we once witnessed in the Australian outback near Ayers Rock, our favorite star memory to date.
Following a champagne reception, all lights were suddenly extinguished and in the total darkness a stargazer pointed out the brilliant constellation of stars overhead…some hundreds and even thousands of light years away.
And at the end of the light show, the eerie and beguiling sound of didgeridoo came to us out of the desert…
So today, another “Star is Born” (1937 movie, remade in 1954 and ‘76). It’s big. It’s bright. And it’s beautiful. But the best news is that it doesn’t cost a single penny…and it didn’t take 175 years to get here!
Tags: Holliday Travels