MORGAN BRITTANY: Marriage and The Two Actor Household

Actress and political commentator Morgan Brittany and stuntman Jack Gill first met in 1980 when they were both working on the successful TV series The Dukes of Hazard. Morgan had been warned that stuntmen were nothing but trouble. When Jack tried to chat her up, he recalls, “She was a bit frosty.”

Once Morgan and Jack started talking they never stopped. These two straight-arrow actors had a proper “no living together” engagement, followed by a big family wedding. That was over 30 years ago. They never stopped working, and they never stopped being married – to one another. Morgan and Jack even raised two children who are “in the biz.”

In a world of Hollywood shack ‘n’ rack relationships and cheater scandals, these two have as normal a life together as you could imagine. I just had to ask, “How do you do that?”

Morgan attributes the success of their marriage to having only actually been together five out of the 32 years of their marriage.  They have very busy schedules that often keep them miles or continents apart. One of the drawbacks of a two actor household is that you can never really make plans. Things change and plans require instant rearranging by a very understanding partner. Fortunately, Morgan and Jack understand one another, and the love each has for their craft.

Morgan considers herself fortunate to be married to a guy who is not only well respected in his craft, but is well respected in his personal life. It is a very good life.

And that’s a wrap!


Trustees Hear from Students Trapped At Cerritos College


It was standing room only as the Cerritos College Board of Trustees assembled to hear student comments in support of adding classes to the upcoming summer session.  More than 100 students packed the room and the crowd spilled out into the courtyard.

Many of the students attending wore red squares on their clothes in support of the newly formed Social Equality Club.  Club President Jennifer Ovalle and co-founder Jimmy Valdez said the Club was on hand to represent students who could not be part of the political process.

Club member Earvin Chavez gave a comprehensive PowerPoint that outlined the reasons for adding classes.  Not to leave the issue without a solution, the Club presentation included information from the Chancellor’s Office and the Adoptive Budget sighting numerous existing, funded sources that could be tapped to provide the necessary monies to pay instructors and cover other fees associated with the addition of classes.

At the heart of the plea for additional classes is the fact that students cannot get the Math 40, 60, 80, and English 52 and 100, all of which are required to graduate or transfer to another school.  Student Catarina Morales has been at Cerritos for seven years, Matthew Gill has been here five years.  Neither student can move on because they lack the required core classes.  Year after year, they show up in classes that are closed, hoping to get a slot.  Thus far, they have been unsuccessful.

Jimmy Valdez told the Board, “Being here changed my life.”  Without the education he is getting, Valdez would be on a totally different track that includes being involved with gang activity.  For him, being stuck at Cerritos is almost counter productive.

Jesse Pelayo pleaded for the addition of classes for a very personal reason.  “My son is coming here.  I don’t him to be restricted.”

Board Member John Paul Drayer suggested polling the students to see what classes they need most.  “We survey students for food vendors.  Why not summer school?”

When asked why there was a problem with a computer science student getting a required math class,  Math Chair Scott O’Neil said, “There is a 50% failure rate… students have to repeat the classes.”  This situation necessitates wait listing spring, summer and fall classes.

The last slide in the Social Equality Club presentation was the Cerritos College Mission Statement.  “Not adding these classes,” said Chavez, “fails to support student success.”


Do The Math – Cerritos College Needs More Classes Or Student’s Fail

April 2 – Norwalk, CA

The Cerritos College Board of Trustees meeting tonight was anything but dull.  It was standing room only and the line extended out the door into the courtyard.  Tonight’s Hot Topic: whether or not to add 100 extra classes to the Summer Semester.

One reason for the capacity crowd was the large number of Social Equality Club members and concerned students who turned out in support of adding extra classes to the upcoming schedule.  Club President Jennifer Ovalle and co-founder Jimmy Valdez presented an impressive PowerPoint outlining the cost of added classes and the various funding resources the Board can utilize to overcome any lack of funds required to make the classes a reality.

Several board members stated that adding classes had already been done with little or no effect on the problem.  Scott O’Neil, Chairman of the Mathematics Department, revealed that while he has capacity classes, the Department also has a 50% failure rate.  That means students are required to take the class again or they will not matriculate to the next level.

Several current Cerritos College students recounted that they have been at the campus between three and seven years, but are unable to graduate because they cannot get the Math and English classes required to transfer to university.  One girls said she shows up every semester, standing in the back of a capacity classroom only to be turned away – again.  A former gang member named Johnny felt that coming to Cerritos College saved his life.  For him, not being able get the required classes to complete his education means he cannot move on with his life to get further away from a deadly past.

Ian Adams, editor of the campus magazine Modern Corsair, came out to support the Social Equity Club and protest recent tuition increases.  Adams believes the Board has raised the cost of tuition beyond affordability for most students. “If they (students) can get Financial Aid,” Ian said, “it still won’t cover the cost of tuition, books, fees, transportation and housing.  They need that education to survive!”

Many students entering Cerritos College directly out of high school are unemployed.  Add the ever increasing cost of transportation and housing to the normal costs of education and it becomes clear that higher education is now beyond the reach of most students.  The current Catch 22 at Cerritos College is an unexpected nightmare for them.

While the Board listened politely, they seemed unprepared to deal effectively with an issue that continues to present itself.  Apparently, nothing they heard was news.  They even requested information from the Social Equity Club that had already been presented in previous meetings and documents.  The Board’s resolution for tonight was to resolve to have additional information to present in two weeks at the Wednesday, April 16 meeting.


PDS Gypsy Awards 2014

PDS Gypsy Awards 2014


When I started this blog, I never dreamed that I would be too busy to write it. I thought I could check in every week and drop a pearl of wisdom or at least a pebble of insight that would encourage you to “Get going!” and “Hang in there!” or at least “Switch off the tube!”

After roughly 60 days, I find the homework quotient to educate this old dog is somewhat overwhelming. Having never been a full time student, I had no idea how much studying and paperwork was involved. I thought I was organized and committed – this would be a piece of cake. Reality check!

I feel guilty about struggling to keep up the pace. I rise at 4 a.m. and go to bed at 11:30 p.m., I only nap Monday afternoons for an hour, and I have missed so many episodes of Big Bang Theory, I feel estranged from the gang. My TV experience now involves catching up on Fallon’s Hashtag Wednesdays and reviewing global news. A Tweet or retweet may be included, but don’t count on it.

I wondered if this is worth the effort. I wondered if I could go a full four years.

One of my original questions was whether I am relevant in this generation, do I have anything to say worth hearing. I was on the verge of issuing a resounding, “No!” However, a friend suggested that perhaps I was here to help change the way others look at the world, no matter how skewed my perspective may be.

During my second debate in Radio & TV class, I was gifted with an unanticipated occurrence. I was opposed to “free Wi-Fi for all” based on security issues and the possibility of government censorship/takeover. When I finished my dissertation, a classmate said that my reasons for opposition were something he had never thought about, that I had given him a new perspective on several issues. Others agreed with him.

I was humbled to think that, whether or not they agreed with my position, at least my classmates had begun to think outside the cage. That is a very good thing, indeed

SAMII’S MIAMI – Blast from the Past

I grew up in Ft. Wayne, Indiana – a beautiful farming community at the junction of three rivers. I loved the green of spring, the bounty of summer harvest, the crisp Autumn breezes… and I loathed the freezing cold winters. Folks, I lived my entire childhood dreaming of sitting on a dock in Miami Beach, Florida. It was warm there. It was sunny there. The breezes were tropical there. I knew that if I could just make it to Miami, I would be happy forever.

In January 1977, I got the chance to go to University of Miami to take audio classes. I sold everything I owned and drove my little Gremlin as fast as I could to Miami. Did I mention it was 15 degrees below zero with a -45 degree windchill the day I left the Fort? Well, let me tell you, my first day in Coral Gables was beautiful. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and it was the coldest it had been in South Florida in decades. Yep, I was freezing. It mattered not because I was in Miami. Who am I kidding, I WAS FREEZING IN MIAMI! Fortunately, things got better, ie. warmer. I spent four wonderful years living my dreams of being an audio engineer and sitting on a dock in the warmth that is Miami Beach. I hope you enjoy this map of some of my favorite places in the sun.

La Mirada Symphony Hosts Morgan Brittany

The La Mirada Symphony Orchestra recently hosted actress Morgan Brittany for a unique presentation of the “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Copland. Under the direction of Conductor Robert Frelly, Brittany read narration for the piece, which features excerpts of Abraham Lincoln’s great documents, speeches and letters, including the Gettysburg Address.

“When my friend, Joe Yakovetic, asked if I would be interested in performing the narration,” said Brittany, “I looked it up on YouTube.” The highly patriotic piece has been performed by Henry Fonda and Kathrine Hepburn, among others. “America. Abraham Lincoln. How could I not be involved?”

Brittany, who played Katherine Wentworth on “Dallas,” is politically active and has high hopes for the future of America. As a member of the “Politichicks” alternative news program, she has her finger on the pulse of America. Brittany and the other “Chicks” are currently working on a book entitled “What Women Want.” “The political system can be very confusing,” she stated. “I just want to help women understand it all so they can be more involved.”

“Lincoln Portrait” was originally composed by Copland as part of the World War II patriotic war effort in 1942. Brittany, Frelly and the symphony received a standing ovation from a capacity house at the La Mirada Theatre Performing Arts. The performance is part of Symphony’s “Sunday’s with Music” series.  All performances are free, with a suggested donation of five dollars.

Photo Story of Morgan Brittany