Ask Mr. Know It All

Q. Between 1959 and 1963, I served aboard four U.S. naval ships. Could you please tell me their fates? They are the USS Shangri- La, USS O’Bannon, USS Jenkins and USS Sproston.

R.A., Bartonville, Ill.

A. Unfortunately, none of your ships are around anymore. I say that with complete empathy, since the two ships I served on are gone as well. It was very painful when I learned they met the salvage-yard fate.

The aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La was decommissioned July 30, 1971, and berthed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard as part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. On July 15, 1982, it was removed from the Naval Vessel Register, but became a spare parts vessel for the USS Lexington. On Aug. 9, 1988, the Shangri-La was sold for scrap and towed to Taiwan to be demolished.

The USS O’Bannon was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy List on Jan. 30, 1970, in a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was sold for scrap on June 6, 1970.

The USS Jenkins was decommissioned in February 1969; removed from the Navy List on July 2, 1969; and sold for scrap Feb. 17, 1971. USS Sproston was decommissioned Sept. 30, 1968; stricken Oct. 1, 1968; and sold for scrap Dec. 15, 1971.

Q. I have been watching reruns of “Adam-12.” Will you please give me some information on Kent McCord, the actor who plays Jim Reed? I have noticed in some shows he wears a wedding band, in others he doesn’t.

L.E.S., Peoria, Ill.

A. Kent McCord was born Kent Franklin McWhirter on Sept. 26, 1942, in Los Angeles. He attended the University of Utah on a football scholarship. While in college, he met Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley. He began his acting career on the Nelson family TV show, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” He also acted in three of Elvis Presley’s movies, in addition to many bit parts on TV and film. McCord starred in “Adam-12” with Martin Milner from 1968 to 1975.

In July 1962, McCord married his high school sweetheart. They are still married and have three children. McCord served on the Screen Actors Guild’s board of directors for 11 years beginning in 1972, and he later spent four years as its first vice president. The Screen Actors Guild honored him with the Ralph Morgan Award in 1999. In October 2010, McCord retired as a reserve police officer from the Los Angeles School Police Department.

Q. I am 83 years old, and I was born and raised in Chester, Pa. I just read your article concerning actor John Aniston, the father of Jennifer Aniston. I would love to know the name of the restaurant his parents owned in Chester.

W.P., Wallingford, Pa.

A. John Aniston was 2 years old when his parents, Stella and Antonios Anastasakis, opened the Rialto Restaurant at Ninth and Morton streets in Chester, Pa.

Q. I’m fascinated by the hats of Queen Elizabeth II. Who makes them, and what does she do with them?

J.J., Springfield, Pa.

A. Over the years, many milliners from different countries have designed the queen’s notable hats. In the early years, Simone Mirman did most of her hats, along with those of the Queen Mother’s. Marie O’Regan and Aage Thaarup of the Netherlands also designed for the queen. Sally Victor, an award-winning milliner from Scranton, Pa., created hats for Queen Elizabeth II. Londoner Frederick Fox became her favorite in the 1960s and made hats for her for many years. In the 1990s, Philip Somerville took over as the head milliner. Philip Treacy designed the hats for the royal wedding.

What is done with the hats is not disclosed. However, in 2003 for the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s crowning, there was an exhibition, “Hats and Handbags: Accessories From the Royal Wardrobe,” in Kensington Palace. The exhibit had 100 of the queen’s hats, dating from childhood to the present. This leads me to believe the hats are kept safe and sound. Queen Elizabeth has worn more than 5,000 in her 60 years on the throne.

Q. Other than the “Thin Man” series, how many movies did William Powell and Myrna Loy star in together?

R.L.B., Wiota, Wis.

A. Powell and Loy starred in 14 films together — eight of them not as Nick and Nora Charles: “Manhattan Melodrama” (1934), “Evelyn Prentice” (1934), “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936), “Libeled Lady” (1936), “Double Wedding” (1937), “I Love You Again” (1940), “Love Crazy” (1941) and “The Senator Was Indiscreet” (1947).

Q. What is the origin of the term “OK”?

G.T., Atchison, Kan.

A. There is more than one possibility. According to my American Heritage Dictionary, the most popular explanation is that it came from a slogan of the Democratic Party’s O.K. Club of 1840. The O.K. stood for Old Kinderhook, the nickname of President Martin Van Buren, who was born in Kinderhook, N.Y., in 1782.

Q. I once saw a poem written in calligraphy. The opening words were, “The day a child realizes that all adults are imperfect.” The poem is not long, and it goes on to describe the growing up of that child. Do you know the entire text?

M.L., Aiken, Ga.

A. “The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” It was written by Alden Nowlan, poet, novelist and playwright (1933-1983).

Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

2012 Gary Clothier

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