A few weeks ago, PG was riding his bike on a sunday afternoon, and found the remains of a yard sale. The items which had not sold were left behind. PG scored a few books. Outside of the library, and the dumpster behind a used book store, this is the best way to get reading material. The first book to go before eyes (or be read by four eyes) was 1941 — The Greatest Year In Sports: Two Baseball Legends, Two Boxing Champs, and the Unstoppable Thoroughbred Who Made History in the Shadow of War. What are publishers thinking of with these eternal titles? For purposes of this book report, the book will be known as 1941.
There are five stories in this book. The background tale is the world going over the edge with World War II. A horse, Whirlaway, won the triple crown. Two boxers, Joe Louis and Billy Conn, had a fight. Joe Joe DiMaggio hit safely in fifty six consecutive games. And Ted Williams hit .406.
This was thirteen years before PG was born. It seems like more than that. People took trains to travel. When a major event took place, you went to a neighbor who had a radio, and you listened. When you got in a war, you drafted men, and they died. (On PG’s birthday minus thirteen, Hank Greenberg went into the army. Athletes served in the military.) The internet, unmanned aircraft, and millionaire ballplayers would be considered science fiction.
PG has been an off, and on, sports fan for a while. It has been mostly off. With ball games, it is easy to pick up where you left off. You can watch a few minutes of a game, and know what is going on. 1941 was easy to follow, and a fun story. It was like being a twelve year old reading Sports Illustrated. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
The appropriately named dangerousminds has a video up about Iggy Stooge, who still has a full set of teeth at 62. The video is worth watching, even if it is mostly people like Henry Rollins telling how Raw Power changed his life. I guess the jokes on Henry, he thought they were talking about The Eagles, and the video folks cleverly edited in the references to Mr. Osterberg.
Getting back to Iggy , and music merchandising, he has a new collection of music coming out. Included in this package is a show he did at Richards, across the street from Grady Stadium. One night Iggy was singing at Richards, when Elton John appeared onstage wearing a gorilla suit.
The greatest achievement of Mr. Pop is living so long. ( He was born April 21, 1947). He has done heroin by the kilo, jumps off stage into crowds of punk rock fans, and is a general mess. As the video shows, he still has a great smile, although it is not known how many of those teeth are his own.
One night in 1980, PG saw a performance by Iggy Pop. The site was the 688 club, a storefront on Spring Street across the expressway from Georgia Tech. 688 Spring Street had been the site of Roses Cantina, where PG had seen George Thorogood, The Fans, and some blues band that did Amphetamine Annie with the original lyrics…instead of speed kills, they said love gun.
Roses was a cool place, a long narrow space with the performers in the middle, and a pool table behind the stage. Nightclubs are a tough business for capitalists, and Roses shut down.
At any rate, by the time PG got back from Seattle, some brave investors decided to have a punk rock club at 688 Spring Street. Soon, Iggy Pop would be playing a week there. In the seventies, the bands would play for five days at the great southeast music hall or the electric ballroom, two shows a night, and if you were really cool you would go on a weeknight before it got too crowded. Soon after that, it was one night in town only, and you either saw it or you didn’t.
PG had a friend at the Martinique apartments on Buford Hiway. There was someone living in the complex known as ZenDen, who sold acid. You would go to his place, wade through the living room full of grown men listening to Suzi Quatro, and purchase the commodity.
On to the the 23 Oglethorpe bus, and downtown to 688 Spring Street. Before anyone knew it, the band was on the stage. A veteran of the Patti Smith Group, named Ivan Kral, was playing bass. Mr. Kral sneezed, and a huge cocaine booger fell across his face. He was not playing when the show ended.
There was a white wall next to the stage, and someone wrote the song list on that wall. That list of songs stayed on the wall as long as 688 was open. “I want to be your dog” was on the list, as well as the number where Iggy pulled his pants off and performed in his underwear. Supposedly, in New York the drawers came off, but the TMI police were off duty that night.
The show was loud and long, and had the feel of an endurance event…either you go or the band does. Finally, the show was over, and PG got on the 23 Oglethorpe bus to go home. You got the northbound bus on West Peachtree Street. You could look down the street and see the Coca Cola sign downtown.
Thirty years later,PG, like Iggy Pop, has a full head of teeth, which, in PG’s case are his own. PG has a full head of white care, as apparently does Mr. Pop, although he does appear to touch up his hair. Maybe he really is a blond. This post should be over, but if there are 37 more words then we will have 688. The space on Spring Street is still standing, which is pretty good for Atlanta. It is now an emergency room, or something.
This is a repost. The original was posted four years ago. Iggy is still alive. So is PG. 688 Spring Street stands. 23 Oglethorpe is the answer to a trivia question. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
Years ago, PG worked with someone who liked to say “and a ru hu hu.” This was shortened to ru, and was usually said very loud. Ru became a greeting.
About this time, Ru Paul was living in Atlanta. Many people remember her (“RuPaul Andre Charles, best known mononymously as RuPaul”) as a spectacular self promoter. Ru Paul would sit in an apartment balcony, and wave at cars passing by. Posters for her band, Wee Wee Pole, were on telephone poles up and down Ponce de Leon Avenue.
One night, Ru Paul was working as a gogo dancer in a club called Weekends. During a break, PG went over to talk to her. The use of ru as a greeting was mentioned. Soon, some people came over, and PG started to leave. Before PG could get away, Ru Paul turned to PG, lifted her index finger, and said “Keep on saying my name.”
Ru Paul went on to become famous. Weekends was torn down, and is the site of the Federal Reserve Bank. PG is PG, with occasional excursions into R and NC17. PG does not watch much TV, and has never seen an episode of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” This is a TV show about a TV.
There is a recent controversy about RPDR. It seems that the phrase shemale has been used. Some people are offended by this. The expression is no longer used on the show.
PG has only one trans person friend. Sashia is the first person that PG heard use the expression shemale. PG does not know if Sashia still uses this expression. It has been a while since PG learned this expression, and ideas about language do change. Spell check suggestion for Sashia: Hashish.
The use of offensive language is to be avoided. If you know something is going to hurt people, then you should avoid saying it. There is a good possibility that Ru Paul knew what she was doing, and just didn’t care. The problem comes when you haven’t received the latest update from the language authorities. Keeping up with with is cool to say can be a full time job. Is it still ok to say ru?
Pictures from The Library of Congress. The images are of women, training to be bus drivers and taxi drivers. This was in Washington DC, November 1942. The photographer was Andreas Feininger, working for the Office of War Information. The picture of a dipstick demonstration is #8d36666.
It was dead saturday 1973, the day between good friday and easter. PG and his friend Gibson have traveled from Athens GA to Charlotte NC to see a rock concert. The plan was eight bands in a crowded football stadium.
PG had never been to an outdoor concert, and had some ideas about how it would be. They were in the house early, and set up a blanket about thirty feet in front of the stage. For the first part of the day, the crowd stayed off their turf.
The first electric act was Brownsville Station. The first thing they did was encourage the audience to crowd in front of the stage, resulting in a mob scene for the rest of the day. BS played loud heavy metal, with a guitar/vocals guy painted like a clown. They were a three piece band that day, as their bass player had gotten a job selling furniture in Kansas. “Smokin in the Boys Room” was a hit for this ensemble later that year.
The concept of multiple stages had not hit North Carolina, and there was a long wait between acts. The next band was Mason Profit. “you are talking about boogie, you don’t know shit about boogie.
By this time, the crowd was getting off on their downers, the sun was shining, and PG was out of water. It only got better as the day went on. The scheduled next act was Captain Beyond, but they canceled. The replacement was Marshall Tucker. They were good, but not really memorable.
The afternoon went on and on. Goose Creek Symphony came and went, followed by Wet Willie. WW had a routine where this pretty girl was walking down ___ street, which in Charlotte was Independence Boulevard. Eventually, the sun went down, and ZZ Top came on stage.
ZZ Top was the high point of the day. The beards were only about four inches long. They introduced one song, saying ” this is something you might know about, song called beer drinkers and hell raisers”. They were the only band to do an encore, with “Francine”.
The next act was Mahavishnu Orchestra, which PG was convinced was the greatest band that ever lived. The stadium crowd was not conducive to their style, but they delivered a good show. John McLaughlin played a twin necked guitar, which PG found a bit disconcerting. The electric violin player, Jerry Goodman, was a stand out.
By the time MO finished, PG wanted to get away from the front of the stage. He took to wandering around the back of the stadium while the Allman Brothers played. The back of the house was full, although there was room to walk around. Before long, it was time to hit the road back to Georgia.
Pictures for this repost are from The Library of Congress.
An internet facility (IF) called Mind Openerz recently posted a feature, Charles Bukowski’s Top 10 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life. Hank writes enjoyable stories and poems. This does not make him a role model. Even if the tales of degenerate lifestyle were exageratted for public consumption, as many suspect, the butt ugly drunkard is nothing to aspire to.
One thing to admire about Hank (a publisher thought that Charles would be a better selling pen name) was the volume of product. He would write dozens of poems, with the lines popping out “like hot turds the morning after a good beer drunk.” Keep the quantity up, and the quality takes care of itself.
Many of the rules for living were taken from his short stories. PG recently stumbled through Tales of Ordinary Madness, and recognized a few. Hank would toss words of wisdom into stories about being arrested. One time, it was for threatening to rape a lady with a codfish. You can’t beat fun at the old ballpark. Of course, Hank hated baseball, and hated poetry that rhymes. PG writes rhyming poems, with pictures of dogs in the background. Hank is dead, and his opinion doesn’t count.
The fun starts with rule number eight. “8. Have confidence in yourself. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts.” You are awesome, and all you have to do to let your true talents shine is believe that fact. Have complete confidence in yourself and you might be surprised with all you can achieve.”
Several of the stories of ordinary madness involve people who think they are poets, show work to Hank, and are insulted for the lousy ouput. The line in number eight was familiar, but PG was too slack to go looking through ordinary madness to find it. This is where you ask Mr. Google for help. The full quote: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
This is a double repost, from april of 2009. It deals with the dominant religion of our culture, Jesus Worship. This is a religion of beliefs, not practices. There is a love of argument, and attempts at conversion. Jesus Worshipers believe that their ideas about life after death justify this abuse. Sometimes, the death part starts a bit sooner than necessary. Pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”
The other day Father Tony posted a video at Bilerico (ba LAIR i co) about how to argue. He acknowledged that he is a venomous person. FT used to be employed by the Catholic church. That is how he got his handle. PG thought on this for a while, and saw a connection. A little more thinking, and PG pondered that crowd pleaser, the religious argument.
Jesus Worship is a religion of beliefs, rather than practices. One of their key beliefs is the notion that you should convert those who disagree with you. If these people don’t agree with you about certain things, they go to hell. This lust to “evangelize” leads to a lot of arguments.
One of the rules for living/arguing that Father Tony expresses is that, yes, you are going to argue. This is especially true for romantic partnerships, but includes all sorts of human relating. How does this relate to religion? If you believe in a religion, does this mean you are compelled to argue with those who you disagree with?
Religious belief can be a source of strength and comfort to those lucky enough to be in the loop. For many of the rest of us, Religion (especially the Jesus Worship variety) is a source of venom. The endless arguments that believers loudly put forth spoil whatever benefits these beliefs can have. It is enough to make you wish you would never hear the word Jesus again.
PG got wound up today about a report involving super glue eight time zones away. Meanwhile, an 11 year old man, who stayed a few exits down the perimeter, hung himself.
The story was that the other kids at school gave him a tough time. “They called him gay and a snitch,” his stepfather said. Jaheem Herrera was from St. Croix in the American Virgin Islands. The picture shows that he had light skin. Dunaire Elementary School is on South Indian Creek Road in Stone Mountain. The area is predominantly African American.
PG does not know any of the kids who bullied Mr. Herrera. He suspects that many are Jesus Worshipers. The Jesus Worship Church has preachers that verbally abuse the congregation. The Jesus Worship Church has a book which teaches the hatred of homosexuals. They call it “The Word of G-d”.
The Jesus Worship Church has a phrase…”shame the devil”. PG wonders if “devil” was one of the things Mr. Herrera was called, along with gay and snitch. He looked different than his abusers, and was from a different place.
PG worked for seven years with an abusive professional Jesus Worshiper. He clearly remembers the time that “Pastor” streaked in front of him.
“Pastor” shouted down and humiliated PG one day, in the name of Jesus. After the mugging was over, “Pastor” got a phone call. He picked up the phone and screamed ” I never felt better in my life”.
Jesus Worship is an aggressive, angry business. Sometimes the results are fatal.
In the time between 1980 and 1994, if you lived in Atlanta you heard about Lewis Grizzard. Some people loved him. Some did not. He told good old boy stories about growing up in rural Georgia. Many of them were enjoyable. He also made social and political commentaries, which upset a few people.
PG had mixed feelings about Lewis. The stories about Kathy Sue Loudermilk and Catfish were funny. His opinions about gays, feminists, and anything non redneck could get on your nerves. His column for the fishwrapper upset PG at least twice a week.
In 1982, Lewis (he reached the level of celebrity where he was known by his first name only) wrote a column about John Lennon. Lewis did not understand why Mr. Ono was such a big deal. PG cut the column out of the fishwrapper, and put it in a box. Every few years, PG would be looking for something, find that column, and get mad all over again.
The New Georgia Encyclopedia has a page about Lewis, which expresses some of these contradictions. If Grizzard’s humor revealed the ambivalence amid affluence of the Sunbelt South, it reflected its conservative and increasingly angry politics as well. He was fond of reminding fault-finding Yankee immigrants that “Delta is ready when you are,” and, tired of assaults on the Confederate flag, he suggested sarcastically that white southerners should destroy every relic and reminder of the Civil War (1861-65), swear off molasses and grits, drop all references to the South, and begin instead to refer to their region as the “Lower East.” Grizzard also wore his homophobia and hatred for feminists on his sleeve, and one of the last of his books summed up his reaction to contemporary trends in its title, Haven’t Understood Anything since 1962 and Other Nekkid Truths (1992).
In the end, which came in 1994, when he was only forty-seven, the lonely, insecure, oft-divorced, hard-drinking Grizzard proved to be the archetypal comic who could make everyone laugh but himself. He chronicled this decline and his various heart surgeries in I Took a Lickin’ and Kept on Tickin’, and Now I Believe in Miracles (1993), published just before his final, fatal heart failure.
As you may have discerned, Lewis McDonald Grizzard Jr. met his maker on March 20, 1994. He was 47. There was a valve in his heart that wasn’t right. The good news is that he stayed out of the army. At the time, Vietnam was the destination for most enlistees. The bad news is that his heart problems got worse and worse, until it finally killed him.
Sixteen years later, PG found a website, Wired for Books. It is a collection of author interviews by Don Swaim, who ran many of them on a CBS radio show called Book Beat. There are two interviews with Lewis Grizzard. The first one was done to promote My Daddy Was a Pistol and I’m a Son of A Gun. This was the story of Lewis Grizzard Senior, who was another mixed bag.
PG found himself listening to this chat, and wondered what he had been missing all those years. The stories and one liners came flowing out like the Chattahoochee going under the perimeter highway. Daddy Grizzard was a soldier, who went to war in Europe and Korea. The second one did something to his mind, and he took to drinking. He was never quite right the rest of his life. His son from adored him anyway. When you put yourself in those loafers for a while, you began to taste the ingredients in that stew we called Lewis Grizzard.
PG still remembers the anger that those columns caused … he has his own story, and knows when his toes are stepped on. The thing is, after listening to this show, PG has an idea of why Lewis Grizzard wrote the things that he did. Maybe PG and Lewis aren’t all that different after all.
The pictures for this feature are from The Library of Congress. While picking out the pictures, PG listened to the other Lewis Grizzard show with Don Swaim. They both have last names that are often mispronounced. When Lewis wondered where Klansmen get those pointy hats… at the KKK mart, perhaps… PG had to stop the broadcast and write a postscript. This is a repost.
April 15 is the day income tax returns are due. Many self anointed conservatives make noise on this day. 364 days a year they loudly celebrate American exceptionalism. When it is time to pay for it… One popular blogger had a story along those lines today. The chamblee54 comment: In paragraph one you say “full paragraphs necessitate the formation of full thoughts, which only come to those who write because they actually have something to say.” Paragraph five was “Fine. Maybe not.”
PG spent this April 15 with another tacky, but necessary, civic obligation: jury duty. During the educational video, SCOTUS parasite Samuel Alito said, in effect, that if you were on trial you would want someone, like yourself, on the jury. PG has a functioning BS detector. The average lawyer would not want PG in the same zip code as the jury room, if his client were on trial.
The day started at 5am. PG made breakfast, took the week’s trash to the street, and published a blog post about drones. This is the sort of expensive, big government activity that the conservatives don’t seem to mind. Drones kill children, and right to lifers say nothing.
The plan was to take marta to Dickhater. PG gets tired of driving all the time. When the time came to go to the station, PG slipped off the driveway, and tore up a slice of earth. He stopped to cover the skid mark with mulch. He got to the marta station in time to see the train leaving for downtown. The plan then became a drive to Dickhater. The parking deck was reached at 7:53am. The summons said to arrive at 8:15 am. Spell check suggestion for Dickhater: eradicate.
The entertainment did not begin until 8:37 am. PG probably could have caught the next train. There was little to do except watch the video, read a book, and wait. At 9:20 am, the MC asked a list of people if they had Safeway insurance. At 9:25 am, they were led to the courtroom, and the rest of the jurors were given a break until 10 am. At 10:21 am, the rest of the jury room was sent home.
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a wonderful facility, offering downloads of thousands of public domain photographs. The LOC is a function of big government, and is supported with tax revenues. It’s annual budget would pay for a three drone strikes. The last statement was a made up statistic, and should not be used in any serious discussion. This collection of working women was taken in Philadelphia, PA. The photographer was Jack Delano, and the time was June 1943.
A giant art installation in Pakistan got some attention. An international committee displayed a large picture of a child, in an area that receives many drone strikes. The idea is to make drone controllers more aware of the human life on the ground.
A few days later, a commentary appeared, This Giant Art Piece in Pakistan Won’t Be Making Drone Pilots Feel Empathy. The author said the *target audience* of the piece was the empathetic public, not the drone controllers. There is a link to an article, where the psychological impact of drone warfare, on the controllers, is discussed. People in Yemen have a different perspective.
The drone war has been going on for some time now. It began under George W. Bush, and was intensified under Barack H. Obama. The “right to life” moving lips have been strangely silent. There are indications that fewer children are being killed now than before. Since the drone war is conducted by the secrecy oriented C.I.A., there is little way to *confirm or deny* these reports. Nor is it possible to determine the financial cost of this program. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
Dear Grand-daughter, The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper sticker . I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting.
So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn’t notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t honked, I’d never have noticed. I found that lots of people love Jesus!
While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, ‘For the love of God!’ ‘Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!’ What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!
There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing. Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!! Praise the Lord!!!
A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection. I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared.
So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!! Will write again soon, Love, Grandma. This repost is written like J. D. Salinger. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.