Paramount logo inspiration: Mt. Ben Lomond, in Utah

July 1, 2012

This is mostly an encore post — a tribute to Paramount Pictures in the company’s centennial year.

There’s a geography exercise and social studies bell ringer in this somewhere [links added]:

Ben Lomond Peak towers above Ogden. The mountain is believed to have inspired the Paramount movie logo, below, in use since 1914. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

From the Deseret News: “Ben Lomond Peak towers above Ogden (Utah). The mountain is believed to have inspired the Paramount movie logo, below, in use since 1914. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

What is the most “paramount” mountain in Utah?

How about Timpanogos Peak, Kings Peak, Mount Nebo, Mount Olympus. Lone Peak or Twin Peaks?

It’s none of the above because one of Hollywood’s most familiar images — the famous Paramount Pictures logo — was inspired by Weber County’s Ben Lomond Peak.

As such, Ben Lomond — not even the highest summit in Weber County — may be the most famous mountain in the Beehive State.

The peak is given credit for prompting creation of the majestic but fictional mountain in the popular Paramount design, based on two histories of the motion-picture company.

According to Leslie Halliwell’s “Mountain of Dreams,” a biography of Paramount, founder William Hodkinson grew up in Ogden and the logo was “a memory of childhood in his home state of Utah.”

Compare it to the Paramount Pictures logo now:

Paramount Pictures logo

Paramount Pictures logo

Teachers may want to hustle over to the Deseret News site to capture the story for classroom use — the online version includes a short set of slides of a hike to the top of the peak (it’s a climb most reasonably healthy people can make in a day – “reasonably healthy” to include acclimated to the altitude).

What other geographic features have become commercial logos? How do images of geography affect our culture?

For my money, I still like Timpanogos better, even if the Osmonds did use it.

Mt. Ben Lomond, in Utah, from a Flickr file

This image of Mt. Ben Lomond looks more like the Paramount logo, some might say.

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Spring flowers in Dallas

July 1, 2012

From our kitchen table, the view on April 15 of this year.

View from kitchen, April 15, 2012 - photo by Ed Darrell

Colors muted by shooting through glass, but you see the advantages of having a flower-loving gardener for a spouse. Kathryn’s garden provides delights in every not-frigid month, with many stunning moments like this one.

Coffee is always better with a sweet view.


Churchill versus his legend

July 1, 2012

Cartoon on unveiling of Churchill's statute, Michael Cummings - Who is that chubby little man?

Who is that kindly, chubby little man meant to represent? – 1954 cartoon by Michael Cummings, on the unveiling of a monumental portrait, a tribute to Winston Churchill. Churchill, the “roar to the lion” of the British people during World War II, was turned out of office after the war. Churchill’s personage seems dwarfed by his reputation, in the painting.  Cartoon from the collection of Churchill’s granddaughter, Edwina Standys.

Sometimes life doesn’t seem to measure up to its reputation.

At the Trout Museum of Art in Appleton, Wisconsin, we caught the Winston Churchill exhibits, including this 1954 cartoon by Michael Cummings.

Churchill, the hero of Britain in World War II, lost his post as Prime Minister to his former aide, Clement Attlee, after the war.  Britons appeared to think Attlee better suited to lead the peace.  Tributes continued to pour in for Churchill, however.

Poking fun at the situation, to the amusement of Churchill himself, Cummings inked this cartoon on the unveiling of a great portrait to Churchill.  The larger-than-life painting dwarfed the real-life Churchill.

History does that sometimes.  The people who turn out as heroes, later on, seem so real, so non-heroic, and even small, in person.

One trick of living is to see the heroes under the small exteriors.

The Trout continues the exhibit through July 29, 2012.

P.S.:  The portrait by Graham Sutherland did not please Mr. Churchill a lot; so far as is known, it was destroyed on orders from Lady Churchill.

P.P.S.: In the first version of this post, for some unexplainable reason, I called the portrait “a statue.”  Fixed now.

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