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Who can turn the world on with her smile?

Hazel Frederick and Mary Tyler Moore

Hazel Frederick, that’s who. She’s the lady in the picture with the scarf and the scowl. When they filmed this shot for the title sequence of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the crew kept the camera as concealed as possible so that bystanders would behave naturally. So there’s Hazel doing what comes natural when a grinning nutcase stands in the middle of a busy downtown intersection and flings her hat in the air. Probably hopped up on goofballs.

Mary Tyler Moore statue

I must say, I’ve had a few happy moments in my life, but I’ve never experienced such a general feeling of well-being that I was overcome with the overwhelming compulsion to fling my stuff in the air while crossing a city street. I can’t help feeling I’ve missed out. Note to self: buy more goofballs.

In an ironic juxtaposition, TV Land paid to erect this large bronze statue near the spot. It’s a chilling interpretation of the Mouth of Hell from Dante’s Inferno. Abandon hope…I know I did!

I’ve just bought the first two seasons of MTM on DVD. I still think of it as “the new thing that lady from the Dick van Dyke Show is doing.” It holds up very well, actually.

I cribbed most of this from Wikipedia, natch. According to the article, the people who owned the house used in the exterior shots of Mary’s apartment got so irritated with the attention, they hung an “impeach Nixon” sign outside to discourage picture takers. This was the reason she moves to a high-rise in the fifth season: they couldn’t take any more exterior shots of the house. Which sort of implies they never had a contractual arrangement with the owners and just banged around Minneapolis taking pictures of cozy houses.

In conclusion: happy Columbus Day!

October 8, 2007 — 2:33 pm
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