Chamblee54

Billie Holiday And Tallulah Bankhead

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 20, 2022

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Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was born January 31, 1902 in Huntsville AL. She had a year-older sister, Eugenia. Their mother died February 23, 1902. Legend has it her last words were
“Take care of baby Eugenia. Tallulah can take care of herself.” This is a repost.
The father of the actress was Will Bankhead
. He was a prominent politician, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington. Mr. Bankhead was on the short list of Vice Presidential candidates for Franklin Roosevelt, but was passed over. The Bankhead national forest, and the Bankhead Highway, are both named for Will Bankhead.
Tallulah Bankhead was an actress, radio show hostess, and personality. She went to London in the early twenties and became a stage sensation. Returning home, she became a Broadway star with “The Little Foxes.” She made movies, but saved her best public performances for the stage.

Miss Bankhead was known for being sexually active, with both men and women. Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammie in Gone With The Wind, was rumored to be one of her “friends”. Her introduction to Chico Marx went like this:
“Miss Bankhead.” “Mr. Marx.” “You know, I really want to fuck you.”. “And so you shall, you old-fashioned boy.”
One legend has Miss Bankhead at a dinner party with Dorothy Parker and Montgomery Clift. As might have been expected, the cocktail hour went on most of the evening. At one point, Mister Clift had his head in Miss Parker’s lap. “oh you sweet man, it’s too bad that you’re a cocksucker. He is a cocksucker, isn’t he?” Miss Bankhead replied “I don’t know, he never sucked my cock.”

Her most famous movie role was in “Lifeboat”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her co stars complained that she was not wearing panties under her dress. Mr. Hitchcock posed the question, is this a matter for wardrobe, or for hairdressing?

In the fading days of radio, Tallulah was the host of “The Big Show”. She became known for her deep voice, and for saying “Dah-ling”. More than one guest got big laughs by calling her Mister Bankhead. After “The Big Show” ended, Miss Bankhead remained active on stage and television. She died December 12, 1968.

Miss Bankhead was a staunch Democrat, as is fitting for the political family she was raised in. During the McCarthy era, an actress friend of hers was accused of being a communist. Miss Bankhead made a statement of support for the actress on the radio, and then asked her, are you a communist? The actress said that her daddy was a republican, and so she guessed that was what she was. Miss Bankhead was horrified.
“A republican! That’s worse than being a goddamn communist.”

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One of Miss Bankhead’s more explosive friendships was with Billie Holliday. “The truth of the matter suggests they probably first met in the early 1930’s, well before Holiday ever became famous. What is known is that by 1948 they were bosom buddies. A year earlier, Holiday entered the Alderson Federal Reformatory for Women to serve her famous “one day and a year” sentence, after being found guilty on dope charges. Four months after her release in 1948, Holiday was appearing at New York’s Strand Theater with Count Basie on the first leg of a cross-country tour. At the same time, Tallulah Bankhead was nearby on Broadway starring in her hit play, Private Lives. Bankhead caused quite a commotion every night thundering late down the aisle during Billie’s show to sit in her special seat to stare in amazement at the gifted & stunningly beautiful Lady Day. Because Holiday’s license to perform in nightclubs had been revoked, and she was forced to earn her living in grueling tours on the road. For months after the Strand performance, Bankhead traveled with her whenever she could. Also on the tour was dancer/comedian James “Stump Daddy” Cross – nicknamed after his wooden leg, who joined the two famous ladies to make a treacherous threesome.”

“…it appears that during the late 1940s she and Holiday were also lovers. Perhaps they had been all along. Holiday later told William Dufty, who ghostwrote her autobiography, that when Tallulah visited backstage at the Strand Theatre, the thrill she took in exhibitionistic sex made her insist on keeping Holiday’s dressing room door open. Holiday later claimed that Tallulah’s brazen show of affection almost cost her her job at the Strand.”

Before long, Miss Holiday got busted again. Apparently, Miss Bankhead made a phone call to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, asking for leniency. There is a remarkable thank you – you’re welcome correspondence between Miss Bankhead and Mr. Hoover. “As my Negro Mammy used to say ‘When you pray, you pray to God don’t you … I had only met Billie Holiday twice in my life … and feel the most profound compassion for her … she is essentially a child at heart whose troubles have made her psychologically unable to cope with the world in which she finds herself … poor thing, you know I did everything within the law to lighten her burden”. “A giddy and twitterpated Hoover wrote back, “Your comments are greatly appreciated, and I trust that you will no hesitate to call on me at any time you think I might be of assistance to you.”

At some point, the two became less intimate. Miss Bankhead had her own legal headaches, and put some distance between her and Miss Holiday. When “Lady Sings the Blues” was being prepared, Miss Bankhead got an advance copy, and was horrified by what she saw. A fierce note was sent to the book’s publisher, and scenes were edited out. Miss Holiday was outraged. The letter that resulted is a poison pen classic. “My maid who was with me at the Strand isn’t dead either. There are plenty of others around who remember how you carried on so you almost got me fired out of the place. And if you want to get shitty, we can make it a big shitty party. We can all get funky together!”

This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. “Members of the Atlanta Woman’s Club, during a luncheon for retiring president W.F. Milton, in the AWC banquet hall, in Atlanta, Georgia, March 5, 1937.” The picture of Billie Holiday is from The Library of Congress.

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#1619Gate Part Four

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes, Race by chamblee54 on January 19, 2022


@nhannahjones “I was invited to give an MLK speech today and a small number of members of the group hosting me wrote and then leaked emails opposing my giving this speech, as it dishonored Dr. King for me to do so. They called me a “discredited activist” “unworthy of such association with King”” “So, I scrapped my original speech and spent the entire first half of it reading excerpts from a bunch of Dr. King’s speeches, but without telling anyone that I was doing so, leading the audience to think King’s words were mine. And, whew, chile, it was AMAZING.” … “Oh, the uncomfortable silence as I read Dr. King’s words at a commemoration of Dr. King’s life when people had no idea that these were his words. When I revealed that everything I said to that point was taken from his speeches between ’56 and 67… Can you say SHOOK!”

Nikole Hannah-Jones is up to her orange-haired mischief. A twitter thread details her latest adventure. The adoring media heaps uncritical praise on her antics.

At least one person did ask where the speech was given. @nhannahjones Replying to @BlueCrew2018 “NO! That’s next week. And I intentionally did not say whom because my hosts were very gracious.” The “next week” reference is probably Northwestern University. UPDATE: The MLK Day speech was given at Union League Club of Chicago.

Mrs. Hannah-Jones is also speaking at UW-Madison. “The speaker’s fee to bring Hannah-Jones to campus is $55,000, which is on par with past speakers for this event, McGlone said. Gift funds will be used to pay the speaker’s fee.” Another appearance will be at University of Colorado Boulder. Between speeches, Mrs. Hannah-Jones is a tenured professor at Howard University.

A search on youtube does not turn up the speech. This search did reveal two fun items. A robot voice describes Mrs. Hannah-Jones as the “author of the best selling book, the one thousand six hundred nineteen project.” Another video announces “Activist Ida B. Wells gets her own Barbie lookalike”.

Somebody needs to question this. Who, outside of nit-picky historians, is publicly calling Mrs. Hannah-Jones a “discredited activist”? Even if those leaked emails exist, how does that justify the cheap stunt Mrs. Hannah-Jones is boasting about? Presenting the words of Dr. King as your own, and then bragging about it on twitter, does not honor the legacy of the civil rights leader. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Dolly Parton And Paula Deen

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on January 19, 2022

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Dolly Parton celebrates a birthday today. The internet is a love fest for her, and deservedly so. Miss Parton has given joy to millions, with her singing and acting.

Paula Deen was born on the same day, one year later. While her star did not shine quite as bright as Miss Parton, Mrs. Deen made her contribution to american life. The only problem was a bad boss lawsuit against a company Mrs. Deen invested in. A lawyer got Mrs. Deen to admit, under oath, the she had said the n-word. Paula Deen became a pariah.

Dolly Parton and Paula Deen have a few things in common. Miss Parton is married to Carl Thomas Dean, and her legal name is Mrs. Dean. Both ladies are from the south, the hills of East Tennessee, and the flatland of Albany, Georgia. Both grew up in an era where the n-word was what white people called black people.

What if the story had been different. What if it was a restaurant at Dollywood where the manager was not happy? What if this white woman, who was treated better because she was a white woman, decided to claim racial discrimination in her bad boss lawsuit? (Page 153 of deposition.) What if the disgruntled employee’s lawyer was smarter than Dolly Parton’s lawyer? We might have had tabloids screaming nonstop that Dolly Parton said the n-word.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress, taken at “Annual “Bathing Girl Parade”, Balboa Beach, CA, June 20, 1920.” No one asked these ladies if they ever said the n-word. This is a repost. Other celebrities born on January 19: Robert E. Lee (1807), Edgar Allan Poe (1809), Jean Stapleton (1923), Janis Joplin (1943), and Desi Arnaz Jr.(1953.)

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Examine Your Whiteness

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on January 18, 2022


Is the Owner of Popular Atlanta Drag Bar a Racist? This article started the current controversy. A “former employee” of Burkhart’s sent some screen shots to a local publication. The shots allegedly came from the facebook page of the bar’s owner, Palmer Marsh. The first post that you saw said “Obviously Vladimir Putin thinks that Barack Obama is a stupid (magic word). He just might be right.” The pearl clutching started immediately.

PG noted that the screen shot did not have a date or time. Three other shots were shown in the initial presentation. None of the other comments had a fraction of the offensive power of the Putin comment. The showpiece comment was suspect.

If you are going to have a public controversy about someone’s racial values, you need something strong to get people’s attention. Stories about poorly treated employees or customers will not do this. Facebook comments like “I used to think that NYC was the most intimidating place on Earth. Thanks to Mayor Rudy Giuliani … ” do not have the explosive power of the magic word. If you do not have the comment about Putin, you do not have a controversy. The ex-employee does not get their revenge.

For all the talk about institutional oppression, the public debate on racism remains very shallow. Style rules over substance any day. If you talk about economic equality, equal housing, or access to education, the audience will ignore you. Talk about police brutality, and mass incarceration, will get you a bit more attention. Palmergate is none of these things. It is about an old man, who owns a popular business, saying things on facebook that people do not like. The most spectacular of these comments is impossible to prove or disprove.

A few days later, there was another facebook thread about the comment. PG noted “Did anyone see the Obama/n-word post when it first appeared? What was the time and date? Is there a cached copy available? Do you realize how easy it would be to fake that screen shot? If an incendiary post like that appeared, why wasn’t it noticed at the time?” There was a vigorous reaction.

“this is racist apologist trash. there could be video of him typing the words in and y’all would still be like “that could be someone in prosthetics and a wig. you don’t know for sure!” ~ “Here’s a screenshot of a screenshot posted closer to the original occurrence. Is it so hard to believe that an older white man is racist?” ~ “This is on Palmer Marsh’s FB page now. You can go take a look yourself if you think I’m faking it. Doesn’t necessarily mention the racism, but is a good indicator:” ~ ‘This is also still on his FB wall. Go take a look yourself if you think someone is faking it:” ~ “And someone calling out his racism in 2013. Also on his wall. Go scroll down and look:” ~ “Do you need more? I’m happy to keep scrolling if you’re too lazy/afraid to confirm the truth yourself” ~ “alleged” I can’t with you. Look at my posts. I advise you do some research before making a public comment that makes you look like a racist apologist. I’m out.”

There are arguably racist comments on Mr. Marsh’s facebook page. (“Here in Brunswick, GA there is a billboard that reads, “Blue lives matter.” Indeed!”) Mr. Marsh went on a bit of a facebook binge sometime in 2015, and said all sorts of things. ( “I have been drinking so much liquor that I do not know what I have been saying. My apologies to those of whom I have offended. Now would probably be a good time to shut the blank up.”) However, none of these comments are evidence that he made the Putin post. They are not nearly as explosive, or overtly racist. They don’t have the same tone as the Putin comment. Also, how many people were talking about Vladimir Putin in 2015? It just does not add up.

It should be noted that there is a possibility that the Putin quote is legitimate. There are rumors that Mary Marsh, the wife of Palmer, “basically confirmed by making a status the other day saying Palmer was drunk and that she gave him hell at the time.” (PG has not seen this comment.) However, showing far less offensive posts, from the same account, is not convincing evidence.

“Do yourself and the POC in your life a favor and Examine. Your. Whiteness. Examine why its so hard to believe an old white man said the n word. Examine why you are so invested in defending a man who by all accounts was an outspoken racist. Examine why you are calling this so deeply into question.” Logic is not always a facebook friend.

After a while, PG took a break from the action. When he got back, he decided to look for cached copies. It seems that the Internet Wayback Machine does not have copies of this facebook account. The Putin post remains impossible to prove, or disprove.

Palmer Marsh on facebook is up. What has not been deleted is easy to look through. Some of the comments are still up. Some posts are arguably racist. (“If the South had won, we would be a hell of a lot better off.”) There are also some comments that contradict the racist narrative.

“Because of love, part of my heritage is West African. Some tings you cannot change. I treasure my heritage.” “I am from McIntosh County Georgia. The first dialect of English that I spoke was Gullah-Gitchee. It was a fantastic beginning as I have a perspective of the Third World that few Anglo-Americans understand. Now I feel more at home in the Bahamas than I feel at Home. I like turning back the clock.”

For those who are new here, Gullah-Gitchee is a dialect used mostly by African Americans. Does this sound like something a racist would say?

The truth is a bit more complicated. Palmer Marsh has posted some things that rub liberal fee fees the wrong way. A man from the Georgia coast, who has been around black people all his life, probably has some complicated feelings about this whole racism thing. Not everyone falls into the racist/woke binary. If we are going to have a public debate, on the statement Resolved: Palmer Marsh is a racist, the we should do a better job of examining the evidence. Don’t just accept a screen shot from a former employee. Maybe it is none of your business.


There have been some new developments in the Burkhart’s melodrama since Examine Your Whiteness was published. For those who are new here, a facebook screen shot appeared, showing the owner of a popular Atlanta bar saying the magic word. A community hissy fit followed. The drag queens who performed at the establishment quit. PG questioned the validity of the screen shot. Global warming got worse, Atlanta traffic slowed down, and Donald Trump got a haircut. It was a bad week.

Someone finally talked to Palmer Marsh, the bar owner with a facebook habit. Yes, he did say the magic word on facebook. He took the post down soon after, but not before a cunning employee got a screen shot. The evidence would prove handy.

Mr. Marsh made another noteworthy comment. “Marsh says his son-in-law is black, as are several of his own grandchildren.” This puts a new spin on the old saying… I can’t be racist, some of my best grandchildren are black. The people upset about the facebook post were not impressed. Don’t confuse me with the facts, the man is a racist, because I said so. The issue remains unresolved, as well as the issue of why anyone should care.

Racist is the one of worst things you can say about anyone. It is also tossed around casually, with no proof, or thought, required. Once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. If you defend someone accused of racism, you are considered racist yourself.

Racism is not an either/or binary. Many people have conflicting feelings on the matter. While the facebook post is apparently valid, what is in Palmer Marsh’s heart remains a mystery to most observers. Maybe he is a racist, and maybe he is not.

Why does a person need to be politically correct to own a queer bar? Historically, bar owners have been shady characters, who settled disputes with contract killing, and convenient fires. The business revolves around selling alcohol, a deadly, addictive, legal drug. People often misbehave under the influence, and the bar will use brute force to resolve the issue. Enemies are made. It is a tough, dirty business. And now we are supposed to shun an bar owner, because he used the magic word one time on facebook. (Full disclosure: PG is a retired drunk. He has been sober since 1988.)

Anti racism can be highly superficial. Lip service is paid to high minded definitions of racism: “Rather, according to the newly uncovered formula, racism = prejudice + power (or “prejudice + privilege” in some trendier renditions). White people are the ones with all the power and privilege here, so, per the formula, they cannot possibly be the objects of racism.”

That is good in theory, but boring in practice. When there is a racism controversy these days, it is frequently because someone said the magic word. (One exception is when the police kill someone.) Honest to G-d oppression is boring, and will not get attention. Catching someone saying the magic word gets attention. The ex-employee, who leaked the screen shot, wanted attention.

The other development is the sale of the bar. Supposedly, a group was planning to buy Burkhart’s. This group included the General Manager, Don Hunnewell, who gave a statement soon after the original screen shot emerged. “Yesterday it took everything I had to soldier on and not terminate my employment agreement.” A few days later, he was part of a group trying to buy the bar.

You might ask, how does a complicated sale like that happen so quickly? The answer is, it doesn’t. The owner of The Jungle, a now closed cha cha palace, is said to have made an offer. The Jungle got in SJW trouble a few years ago for hosting a performance by Sharon Needles. For the foreseeable future, Palmer and Mary Marsh own Burkhart’s.

An ex-employee had a problem with the club. Ex-employee leaked the screen shot to the press, and the fun started. Now, there are three possible motives for the ex-employee. 1 – Someone was offended by racism at the club, and wanted to call attention to it. 2- Release of the screen shot is somehow connected to a sale of the bar. It is not known if the ex-employee was part of the group that was going to buy the club. 3 – The ex employee had a problem with the club, and wanted to get revenge. Number 3 is the most likely, although all are possible. All things are possible in a world without G-d.

Where does this put the performers who quit, and the pearl clutching public? If this is motivated by sincere concern for racism at Burkhart’s, then people are entitled to the self congratulation. OTOH, if this whole mudbath is just part of the proposed sale, or a shot at revenge by an embittered ex-employee, the the pearl clutchers are being played.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Part one and part two are reposts. Part three is boring.

Toxic Drama

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on January 17, 2022


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Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 Outcomes Among Persons Aged ≥18 Years Who Completed a Primary COVID-19 Vaccination Series — 465 Health Care Facilities, United States, December 2020–October 2021 ~ @jessesingal 1/ Thread about the latest episode of BARPod, which just went up for our Primos: Anyone who looks into the tumult in the young-adult fiction world will come to the same conclusion: What is really driving the drama, the cancelled books and ruined careers and general atmosphere ~ Luther, These posts from Chamblee54wordpress are very misleading. The pictures may very well be from Georgia in the 50’s but the text is usually something totally unrelated. Please refrain from posting items not specific to Georgia. ~ “No amount of evidence will convince an idiot” Mark Twain This turned up on facebook. Unfortunately, there is no apparent source. People are going to believe Mr. Twain said it. A lack of evidence will convince an idiot. ~ Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) Hocus Pocus (1990) ~ @ChristianWalk1r I literally started listening to Joe Rogan because of all the hate from the media. ~ @chamblee54“he didn’t talk the way walter younger would have spoken as a man who grew up in chicago” Nor did Barack Obama sound like someone who grew up in Chicago @GlennLoury ~ pictures from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

Conversations I Am Tired Of Having

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on January 17, 2022

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There was a post a while back, 10 Conversations On Racism I’m Sick Of Having With White People The original started at The Chronicle, but LiveJournal is kind of weird, so a mirror image will have to do. There are comments, at the sourced post, that illustrate some of the points covered today.

I got to thinking about “10 Conversations”, and a reply began to take shape. I started a list of conversations the I am tired of having, and before you could say toxic masculinity, there were a dozen items. Many of these incidents have involved people of color, or POC. Many others have not. Often, the ethnicity of the other person has little importance to the discussion. Therefore, the title of this feature will not be racially specific. This monolog will probably not go viral, or even bacterial. Washing your hands might be a good idea when you are finished reading.

Meetings where one person does all the talking The word conversation implies that more than one person says something. Often, this does not happen. One person will talk for a while. Before person two finishes a sentence, person one will interrupt them.

This does not work. When the other person is talking, listen. Don’t be thinking of your clever comeback, but pay attention to what the other person is saying. What the other person says is just as important as what you say.

Listening is not valued in our culture. It is seen as a loss of control, a sign of weakness. It is really a sign of strength. If you are weak, you don’t want to allow the other person to say anything. Have you ever heard anyone boast about the clever things that they say to someone? Of course you have, just like you never hear anyone talk highly about himself because he is a good listener.

My question is not an excuse to make a speech. Some people have an agenda. Whatever you say is an obstacle to the message they want to broadcast. When you ask a question, some people think you are handing them the talking stick, to do whatever they want. When your eyes glaze over, they plow on, in total disregard to your discomfort, and lack of comprehension. It is almost as if they are talking to hear the sound of their own voice.

I’m not talking to you. If you are screaming something, anyone with earshot can hear you. Do not get offended if there is a reaction to your words, especially if it is subtly directed at the person you are not talking to. This applies to the internet as well, where all of humanity is *privy* to your innermost thoughts. Keep the farmyard meaning of *privy* in mind when sharing your innermost product.

Conversations should be with people. If you are a business, and you want to tell me something, send me a written message. Please refrain from using robocall machines. I feel very foolish talking to a machine, especially one that doesn’t understand southern english.

You don’t have to shout. The amount of truth in a statement is not increased by the volume of expression. If you are standing next to me, the odds are I can hear you in a normal tone of voice. If you are across the room, come stand next to me, rather than shout across the room. If your normal tone of voice is shouting, then you have a problem.

The same principle goes to controlling your temper. When you choose not to control your temper, you show disrespect to yourself, and the person you are talking to. There is no situation that cannot be made worse by angry speech.

Privilege Racial polemic is getting more subtle these days. We are not quite post racial, although there are rumors of a PostRacial apartment community. The phrase that pays these days is Privilege. This is always something owned by the group you do not belong to. Last summer, I heard this quote in a discussion, and nearly fell out of my chair.

This is getting longer than the attention span of many readers. It might be continued at a later date. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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The Sausage Vat Murder

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on January 16, 2022


The case of Adolph Luetgert is mostly forgotten today. In its day, the story was a sensation. “Adolph Louis Luetgert (December 27, 1845-July 7, 1899) was a German-American charged with murdering his wife and dissolving her body in acid in one of his sausage vats at the A.L. Luetgert Sausage & Packing Company in 1897. … After the news of the trial became public, rumors spread that Luetgert had actually turned his wife into sausage and sold the “sausage” to unknowing consumers.”

Is it possible to explain what is in sausages without making it erotic? A twitter thread got PG thinking about a sausage story he read in 1989. The Fairy was in Gaily, Gaily, by Ben Hecht. The story originally appeared in Playboy. “In a 1962 article for Playboy collected in his rollicking 1963 memoir Gaily, Gaily — the legendary Chicago reporter Ben Hecht recalls a murder case that sounds suspiciously similar to the Adolph Luetgert case. Hecht describes an story that apparently occurred sometime during the five years after he began working as a reporter in Chicago in 1910. He writes: “Fred Ludwig, a popular North Shore butcher, went on trial before Judge Sabath for the murder of his wife. The wedding band with its romantic inscription had turned up in one of the sausages manufactured by Ludwig and sold to one of his customers, Claude Charlus, a well-known financier and epicure.” In the Hecht story, Mr. Charlus was the bf of Mr. Ludwig. When it was time to execute Mr. Ludwig, young Mr. Hecht went to a whorehouse, to borrow a makeup kit. Mr. Ludwig painted his face before he went to the gallows.

“Adolph Luetgert (originally Adolph Ludwig Lütgert ) came to New York in around 1865 or 1866 when he was about twenty years old.” … “He married his first wife, Caroline Roepke, sometime between 1870 and 1872. She died on November 17, 1877. He married his second wife Louise Bicknese, two months after Caroline’s death, on January 18, 1878. Luetgert had six children—two with Caroline and four with Louise. Only three of his children survived past the age of 2.”

“Louisa Bicknese was an attractive young woman who was ten years younger than her husband. She was a former servant from the Fox River Valley who met her new husband by chance. He was immediately taken with her, entranced by her diminutive stature and tiny frame. She was less than five feet tall and looked almost child-like next to her burly husband. … As a wedding gift, he gave her a unique, heavy gold ring. Inside of it, he had gotten her new initials inscribed, reading “L.L.”. Little did he know at the time that this ring would prove to be his undoing.”

After a while , the couple started to bicker. “Despite his coarse appearance (one writer vividly describes him as a “Falstaffian” figure with “a face of suet, pig eyes, and a large untidy moustache that was a perfect host for beer foam”), Adolph was something of an womanizer. … Claiming that he needed to keep a round-the-clock eye on his factory, he had taken to spending his nights in a little room beside his office, equipped with a bed that he frequently shared with his twenty-two-year-old housemaid, Mary Siemering, Louisa’s own cousin. … He was also conducting a surreptitious courtship of a wealthy widow, Mrs. Christina Feld, sending her amorous letters in which he rhapsodized about their rosy future.” (During the murder trial, “Mrs. Christina Feldt, … testified that Luetgert often expressed his hatred for his wife and intimated that he would get rid of her.”)

“At around 10:15 on the evening of Saturday, May 1, Louisa was seated in the kitchen, chatting with her twelve-year-old son Louis, who had attended the circus that evening. The boy was excitedly describing some of the wonders he had seen—a giant named “Monsieur Goliath” and a strongman who juggled cannon balls—when Luetgert appeared and told his son to go bed. Precisely what happened between the two adults after Louis retired to his room is unclear. Only one fact is beyond dispute. After the boy bid goodnight to his mother at about 10:30 P.M., she was left alone in the company of her husband.” … “Mrs. Luetgert wore only a light house wrapper and slippers, although the night was cold and rainy. It never was shown that she had taken with her any of her belongings.”

“When questioned by his sons, Luetgert told them that their mother had gone out the previous evening to visit her sister. After several days though, she did not come back. Finally, Diedrich Bicknese, Louisa’s brother, went to the police. The investigation fell on Captain Herman Schuettler, … “an honest but occasionally brutal detective”.

“Frank Bialk, a night watchman at the plant … saw both Luetgert and Louisa at the plant together. Apparently, Luetgert sent him out on an errand that evening and gave him the rest of the night off.” There is another version of the Bialk story. “Frank Bialk … testified … Luetgert instructed him to bring down two barrels of caustic potash and place them in the boiler room, and that Luetgert then poured the contents of both barrels in one of the vats. The watchman was instructed to keep up steam all night and at 10 p. m. he was sent by Luetgert to the drug store after some nerve medicine.”

“The police also made a shocking discovery; they came across bills that stated that Luetgert bought arsenic and potash the day before the murder. … the detective was convinced that Luetgert had killed his wife, boiled her in acid and then disposed of her in a factory furnace.”

“… Luetgert’s night watchman, Frank Bialk, approached the police and told them that, on the night Mrs. Luetgert disappeared, his boss had been acting suspiciously, busying himself with one of the large steam-vats down in the factory basement. Following up on this tip, investigators checked out the vat, which—despite having been cleaned two weeks earlier—still contained a residue of a thick, greasy fluid, reddish-brown in color and giving off a nauseous stink. When the fetid slime was drained from the vat, the detectives discovered tiny pieces of bone along with two gold rings, one of them a wedding band engraved with the initials “L. L.” More bone fragments, as well as a false tooth, a hairpin, a charred corset stay, and various scraps of cloth turned up in a nearby ash heap.”

Luetgert was arrested, and charged with the crime. “On October 18, the case was submitted to the jury and after deliberating for sixty-six hours they failed to agree, nine favoring a conviction and three voting in favor of an acquittal. On November 29, 1897, the second trial began. … The trial resulted in a conviction and on May 5 Luetgert was sent to the Joliet State prison for life.”

“July 27, 1899, Luetgert left his cell and returned shortly afterward with his breakfast in a pail, but just as he was about to eat it, he dropped dead from heart disease.”

“… Frank Pratt … asked Luetgert if he wanted his “hand read.” The latter consented and Pratt told Luetgert that he possessed a violent temper and at times was not responsible for his actions. Pratt stated that Luetgert then virtually admitted that he killed his wife when he was possessed of the devil. … It is said that Luetgert also made similar admissions to a fellow prisoner.” Pictures for this true crime story are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

New Law About Voting

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 15, 2022

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Democrats have proposed a new law about voting access. Grandpa Brandon thinks denouncing “voter suppression” is the way to build support. Unfortunately, the debate has centered around toxic, race-pandering rhetoric. Almost nobody is talking about what the proposed new law would do. A bit of googling turned up a document from Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. If you get tired of the chamblee54 version, you can go to the original source. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.”

Most of the proposals are the federal government telling states how to run elections. The IANAL masses might wonder if this is constitutional. Another feature of this bill is that the instructions are given to the states. In Georgia, the elections are mostly run by the counties. This did not stop Democrats, or Donald J. Trump, from blaming the Secretary of State for inconvenient election results.

Lets take a look at some of the specific proposals. With regards to early voting, the bill requires the states to offer early voting for a specified time period. No-excuse absentee ballots are subject to a national standard, along with other regulations concerning mail-in voting.

Election Day holiday: “The bill would make Election Day a legal public holiday…” This sounds good in theory, but may be troublesome to many employers. One thing that might help here is to move ED to Monday. Voting on Tuesday is a holdover from days when farmers went to the county seat on a horse. Voting on Monday would make things a bit simpler.

“Voter validation: The bill would promote a national standard for states that have an identification requirement for in-person voting, allowing for the use of a wide range of forms of identification (including electronic copies) and alternative options for voter validation. States that do not impose an identification requirement would not be required to have one.” Voter ID is widely denounced as being racist. If this passage is any indication, Voter ID is here to stay. (In the controversy over Georgia’s SB202, the ID requirement was widely seen as a feature of Jim Crow on steroids. It turns out that SB202 calls for the voter writing their driver’s license/ID number on an absentee ballot application.)

“Cracking down on deceptive and intimidating practices: … It would also establish federal criminal penalties for deceiving voters…” If it was a federal crime to deceive voters, every politician in America would be in prison.

“Voting rights restoration: The bill restores federal voting rights to formerly incarcerated citizens upon their release … removing the vestiges of restrictions born out of Jim Crow.” Kentucky had a law disenfranchising felons in 1792. This was a hundred years before the Jim Crow laws were passed. There are arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. It should not be addressed with misleading racial arguments.

“Countering long lines and related discriminatory practices: The bill creates protections for individuals subjected to excessive lines on Election Day — most often Black and Latino voters — by requiring states to ensure that lines last no longer than 30 minutes …” This is more gratuitous race baiting. While the idea of lines less than 30 minutes is appealing, one wonders exactly how the feds are going to enforce this requirement. Also, since the elections are usually administered by the counties, what are the states supposed to do?

“Requiring paper records and other election infrastructure improvements: The bill requires states to replace old, paperless electronic voting machines with voting systems that provide voter-verified paper records and provides grants for states to purchase more secure voting systems.” Georgia is going to a system with a backup paper ballot. When you cast your vote, a laser printer prints out a sheet of paper with your vote, represented by a QR code. This paper is then fed through a roller into a receptacle. To this uninformed voter, that seems like a lot of moving parts. While the new system MIGHT work in a high volume election, there is a high potential for screw ups. These are Georgia elections we are talking about here.

There are sections of the bill devoted to Campaign Finance Reform, and Gerrymandering. You can look at the Brennan Center document for more information. While the new bill has good intentions, the suspicion here is that the proposals will make things worse. God is in the details.

“The bill would require strong, uniform rules for congressional redistricting, including a ban on partisan gerrymandering and strengthened protections for communities of color.” Gerrymandering is like the weather … everyone has opinions, but relatively few know what they are talking about. If you create a black district, then the districts surrounding it are going to get whiter. If you tinker with the districts to favor one group, another group is going to be unfairly affected. The bill has good intentions, that might not be well thought out. God is in the details.

“Automatic voter registration: The bill would make automatic voter registration (AVR), which 19 states and the District of Columbia have already adopted, the national standard.” In Georgia, when you get a drivers license, you are automatically registered to vote. This eliminates any of the “exact match” issues that Democrats made so much noise about in 2018. The DMV is an exact match operation. Also, paperwork at the DMV is typed. Illegible paper applications were a major reason that registration applications were thrown out in previous elections. Illegible applications were also a problem with the New Georgia Project, a voting registration program directed by Stacey Abrams.

“Same day voter registration: The bill requires states to offer same day voter registration … SDR permits eligible voters to register to vote and cast a ballot in federal elections on the same day.” The sense here is that this is not a good idea. What happens when you move, and want to vote in another precinct? Will your old registration be cancelled? How do the states/counties keep up with all this? Is there a national database, that tells Georgia to cancel your Atlanta registration because you have moved to Alabama? And how are we going to process all of this while people are waiting in line behind you to vote? Once again, SDR might be a good idea, but there are a lot of details to work out.

“Protections against unlawful voter purges: The bill provides safeguards to prevent unlawful, faulty, error-prone methods for purging voter rolls … Further, states would be required to notify within 48 hours any individual removed from the list of eligible voters of their removal, the reasons for their removal, and how they can contest the removal.” In 2018, before voters were removed from the rolls, they were sent a post-card, and asked to reply. If they did not reply, they were removed. Now, if the state could not get in touch with them before, how are they going to reach these voters now? The feds do not always think these things through.

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Hangout Part Two

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on January 14, 2022

Harry Hay And Joe Pyne

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 13, 2022


Joe Pyne was a notoriously abrasive TV personality. He pioneered many of the things that today’s shock jock hosts do, before his death in 1970. One of his guests was Georgia Governor Lester Maddox. While writing a blog post about Lester, PG did a bit of research on Joe Pyne.

Wikipedia had an intruiging comment. “Gay activists Harry Hay and John Burnside—who were a couple from 1962 until Hay’s death in 2002—appeared on Pyne’s show in 1967.[citation needed]” Harry Hay is a seminal figure in certain “radical” communities. Mr. Hay had a sharp tongue, and might have given the combative Pyne a bit of pushback. PG decided to look for the video.

[citation needed] is the key phrase. Youtube has a few dozen videos of the Joe Pyne Show (links below.) None of the ones here include Harry Hay. The internet archive has a collection of Pyne tapes, but no Harry Hay. A google search provides many mentions of this interview, but no more details. Many of the references were apparently copied, verbatim, from Wikipedia.

There is a possibility that Harry Hay was never on the Joe Pyne show. There are other urban legends about Joe Pyne. The most famous involves Frank Zappa. It is helpful to know that Joe Pyne had a rare form of cancer in 1955, and part of his left leg was amputated. In the story, Mr. Pyne asks Mr. Zappa if his long hair makes him a girl. Mr. Zappa replied, does your wooden leg make you a table? No record of this exchange is available.

TV Party might have a reason for the missing video. “Most, if not all, of the syndicated Joe Pyne programs still exist on videotape in the archives of Hartwest Productions, Inc. Here’s what Hartwest tells us: “The tapes are 2″ Quads, meaning that they are so ancient that you only get one pass before the oxides flake off. That one pass is fine to make a new digital master, but the cost (including two digital clones) comes to about $600 a show. So far, we have only transferred three shows, with the cost being paid for by people who were either in the show, or who were making a documentary, or who now seem to worship one of the guests (and I mean the last literally).”

The research turned up another story. It is from “Remembering Harry and John”, by Mark Thompson on the occasion of Harry’s 100th anniversary “I remember the night we were socializing at the San Francisco Art Institute at a gala tribute for James Broughton. Harry (Hay) and James had sparked briefly as Stanford University undergraduates, but didn’t meet again until fifty years later at a faerie gathering. Few people knew that James had fathered a daughter with esteemed film critic Pauline Kael during their bohemian Berkeley days, but Harry was alert to the fact. Kael and Broughton were having their own reunion at the moment when, with typical impudence, Harry interrupted the conversation by loudly asking, “So, who was the mother and who was the father?” The stunned silence was punctured only by the whoosh of Kael’s furious departure.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost. Youtube has several videos from the Joe Pyne Show. There is a series, LOST JOE PYNE TALK SHOW PART 1 – PART 7 “This is from a 1967 kinescoped “demo reel”, used to sell “THE JOE PYNE SHOW” in syndication to local stations at the time.” 1 2 3 Helen Gurley Brown 4 5 7 Here are some other guests:
Amy White Fixler Christine Jorgensen Anton LaVey F. Lee Bailty
Godfrey Cambridge Lester Maddox Paul Krassner Jerry Rubin
Lewis Marvin Jack Anderson James Meredith Joel Fort M.D. Iceberg Slim

LATAWNYA, the Naughty Horse

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 12, 2022

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Today’s feature is a repost from 2014. Awful Library Books is still going strong. One of their current favorites is Teen-ager, Christ is for You. Bad books about religion will always be with us. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Awful library books is one of the actors in this drama. It is a good waste of your time. On top of the shelf today is Lee the Rabbit with Epilepsy. Other uplifting volumes on the front page include Isn’t One Wife Enough?: the Story of Mormon Polygamy and When Cavemen Go Bowling.

The book that Awful Library Books chose to “weed” was Latawnya, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say “No” to Drugs. The links in the original post no longer work, so google was enlisted to find a replacement. Believe it or not, this galloping tale has a wikipedia page.

The original book was targeted at African American youth. The author has daughters named Latawnya and Chrystal. The author has sued amazon, wikipedia, and urban dictionary.

A possibly illegal reproduction is found using the link. One of the comments tells a cautionary tale:
” It seems that many of these comments are viciously lampooning the work of a genius. I, however, see the visionary work of Mrs. Gibson. This insightful masterpiece presents the very real dangers of horse peer pressure. Just last week my daughter, Amber, was walking to school on a normal, idyllic day in suburbia. Then out of nowhere a Clydesdale galloped brazenly over to my precious princess and offered her a 40 oz bottle of Olde English 800 and a marijuana cigarette.”
Clydesdales have long been used to promote the products of the Anheuser-Busch company. (When you click on that link, a page pops up: WE NEED TO CHECK YOUR ID YOU MUST BE OF LEGAL DRINKING AGE TO ENTER THIS SITE) When PG was younger, he worked on the mall maintenance crew at Northlake Mall. One day, the Budweiser Clydesdales made a visit. PG was given a shovel and bucket, and told to walk behind the horses.

One of the reasons for the drug problem is drug education. Many of these programs, while well intentioned, make the problem worse.

Courtesy of Awfullibrarybooks, we can see today “LATAWNYA, the Naughty Horse, Learns to say “No” to Drugs“. This uplifting story is about the afternoon when Latawnya goes out to play with her sisters Daisy and LaToya. Suddenly they meet four strange horses, Connie, Chrystal, Jackie, and Angie. They like to drink and smoke drugs.

The author of this tale was born in Mississippi, and lives in California. She says “Thank you, G-d”.

In 1986, there was an oversupply of cocaine coming into America, and new ways of using the product were needed. Someone had the idea of making crack. The media did its part, by running scare stories about the new drug sensation. “One puff makes your head feel like it is exploding”. The stories had the combined effect of scaring parents, and making crack cocaine irresistible to certain people. Crack became a part of the life.

The first time PG heard about oxycontin was a drug education flyer at work. It promised an overwhelming rush to the user who injected the substance. PG imagined the reaction of some of the druggies he had known to this promise…where can I get some?

PG is in the detoxed, old fogey stage of his life. Millions of others are not. When they read stories about horses who drink and smoke drugs, they learn to believe the opposite of what the drug educators tell them. Many will not live to be detoxed old fogeys.

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The Narco State Rag

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on January 11, 2022

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This feature was written July 13, 2010. In the past year, the United States has withdrawn from Afghanistan. Like most of that war, the withdrawal did not go smoothly.

Across the frontier from Afghanistan, the Russian bear is dealing with a heroin epidemic. Some say the United States suckered the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan in 1979. The disastrous war that followed led to the fall of the Soviet Union. We are still dealing with the karma.

Tom Dispatch has an audio feature about Afghanistan, and the many unanswered questions about our war there. We invaded Afghanistan to get revenge for 911, and looked for a reason later.

At the 3:06 mark on the tape, when Tom makes a comment Afghanistan being a narco state. PG had a flash of understanding about the reason behind this war. This may even have been powerful enough to ignore the reports about a terror strike in September 2001, and let 911 happen.

The rumors of CIA involvement in drug trafficking are wide spread and long term. When planes went to Central America in the eighties to bring arms to the contras, they came back to the United States loaded with cocaine. There are stories of collusion with the government in Cuba. There are many, many more stories about connections between the US government and the drug trade.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they cracked down on the poppy farmers. Much of the raw opium for heroin/morphine/opium is grown in Afghanistan. This was not a pleasing for the CIA.

Could it be that the real reason for our involvement in Afghanistan is to ensure the flow of narcotics into the hungry world? This would be a big cash cow for the CIA, although not enough to justify the amounts of money being spent on the conflict.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.” TomDispatch is still operating in 2022. @TomDispatch is the twitter version.

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