The Great Speckled Bird

Posted in Georgia History by chamblee54 on January 25, 2013

One day in the eighth grade, PG had a sore spot in his eye. They called it a stye. One afternoon, he got out of school, walked to Lenox Square, saw a doctor, and got some drops to put in his eye.
When he left the doctor’s office, there was a man, standing in front of Rich’s on the sidewalk, selling a newspaper. He had dirty blond hair down past his shoulders. PG asked what the newspaper was. Mostly politics, the man said. PG gave him fifteen cents for a copy of “The Great Speckled Bird”.

The Bird was an underground newspaper. It was so bad, it needed to be buried. If you are under fifty, you have probably never seen one. These papers flourished for a while. The Bird was published from 1968 to 1976. The April 26, 1968 edition was volume one, number four. This was what PG bought that day.
The Georgia State University Library has a digital collection. Included in it are copies of The Great Speckled Bird. Included in this collection is edition Number Four . PG went looking for that first copy. He needed to be patient, for the GSU server took it’s time. Finally, the copy he asked for came up. It was mostly politics.

When PG saw page four, he knew it was the edition from forty four years ago. “Sergeant Pepper’s Vietnam Report” was the story of a young man sent to Nam. It had a paragraph that impressed young PG, and is reproduced here. The rest of the article is not that great, which is typical of most underground newspaper writing.

A couple of years later, PG spent the summer working at the Lenox Square Theater. The number two screen was a long skinny room. If you stood in the right place, you could hear the electric door openers of the Colonial Grocery store upstairs. The Bird salesmen were a feature at the mall that summer, which not everyone appreciated. This was the year of the second, and last, Atlanta Pop Festival. PG was not quite hip enough to make it. He was back in the city, taking tickets for “Fellini Satyricon”. The Bird was printing 26 pages an issue, with lots of ads, pictures, and the distinctive graphics of the era.

Stories about hippies, and the Bird, can be found at The Strip Project.
Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library” .
This is a repost, written like H.P. Lovecraft.

Global Belly Laugh Day

Posted in The Death Penalty, Uncategorized, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 24, 2013








The previous post is about the morbid custom of putting death notices in newspapers. Part of the festivities was noting famous fatalities that occurred on January 24. It is a diverse crew. “Grim reaper recruits on January 24 include Caligula (41). Ira Hayes (1955), Winston Churchill (1965), William Griffith “Bill” Wilson (1971), L. Ron Hubbard (1986), Ted Bundy (1989), Chris Penn (2006).”

Ira Hayes was born into an Arizona tribe, Akimel O’odham. In World War II, he joined the Marines, and was included in the famous picture taken on Iwo Jima. After the war, Ira Hayes became a drunk.

Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister during that same conflict. He is considered a hero, even if his most famous speech was made by an actor. Mr. Churchill was also fond of alcohol. “Madam, you are ugly” “Sir, you are drunk” “Yes, but in the morning I will be sober.”

Bill Wilson was the original of Anonymous Alcoholic. He has a lot of friends.

The synchronicity between Caligula, L. Ron Hubbard, and Ted Bundy is a bit more subtle. Caligula was a historic figure, and anything said about him is subject to dispute. He might have really been a warm, fuzzy kind of guy. L. Ron Hubbard was the founder of Scientology, and Ted Bundy was a serial killer. Chris Penn is the brother of Sean, and his character in Reservoir Dogs fired a lot of shots.

January 24 is a lot of things. It is the birthday of Oral Roberts (1919) and Neil Diamond (1941). January 24 is also Global Belly Laugh Day. On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud.








Obituary Mambo

Posted in History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 24, 2013

Andrew Sullivan had an uplifting feature, the other day, about obituaries. As is his custom, he found an article at another site, threw out a juicy quote, and moved on. It is up to Chamblee54 to provide more detail, and put up pictures for the text averse. These pictures today are from the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church cemetery. This is a repost.
It is a common practice to look at the obituaries (aka “Irish sports page”) first thing in the morning. If the reader is not included, then the day can proceed as normal. This custom does not take into account the possibility that you have died, and your family it too cheap to purchase a notice.
The article in question is THE DEAD BEAT CLUB Ten things you don’t know about the obit biz. It starts off by saying that the family members are usually happy to help the obit scribe. They have stories about the recently deceased, like
” Eddie “Bozo” Miller boasted of regularly drinking a dozen martinis before lunch, yet he lived to age eighty-nine.”
Newspapers take different approaches to obituaries. Some assign rookies, or use the death beat as punishment for troublemakers. Others give the job to their best writer. The paid notices are usually written by family members, with the help of the undertaker.
Of course, there is the occasional oddball. Alana Baranick, obituary writer for Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer and lead author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers , likes to visit every municipality in the United States named Cleveland.
One oft repeated saying is that obituaries are about life, not death. As the source puts it:
“The British “quality” newspapers — The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Independent, substantiate the old chestnut about obituaries being about life, not death. These papers rarely mention the cause of death, focusing instead on presenting a vivid account of a lived life. American papers have an unhealthy fixation on death. It’s common for “complications of chronic pulmonary disease” or “bile duct cancer” to show up in the story’s lede, never to resurface.”
Only one obituary has won a Pulitzer prize.
” Leonard Warren, a Metropolitan Opera baritone, dropped dead mid-performance in 1960. Sanche de Gramont (who changed his name to Ted Morgan), a young rewrite man at the New York Herald Tribune, banged out the obit in under an hour and won a 1961 Pulitzer in the Local Reporting, Edition Time, category.”
There is an The International Association of Obituarists. The headquarters is in Dallas TX, presumably near a grassy knoll. They have an annual convention, which is said to be a lively affair. The 2005 conference was in Bath, England. The 2007 conference was in Alfred NY. There is also the Society of Professional Obituary Writers.

IAO was founded by Carolyn Gilbert, the lady who puts the bitch in obituary. Ms. Gilbert collaborates on a page, Remembering The Passed. RTP has a series of podcasts. They require an apple app to listen, which is too much work for PG.
Death is a part of life. Every language has a word for it, and English has a number of slang expressions. An incomplete list would include :
““passed on”, “are no more”, “have ceased to be”, “expired and gone to meet their Maker”, “are bereft of life”, “have ceased to be”, “rest in peace”, “push up daisies”, “whose metabolic processes are now history”, “are off the twig”, “have kicked the bucket”, “shuffled off their mortal coil”, “run down the curtain” or “joined the Choir Invisible”
Columbia Journalism Review (Motto: Strong Press, Strong Democracy) has a feature about Obit.
“Krishna Andavolu is the managing editor of Obit an online magazine intended for those interested in obituaries, epitaphs, elegies, postludes, retrospectives, grave rubbings, widow’s weeds, and other such memorabilia of expiration. Part eulogistic clearinghouse, part cultural review, Obit purports to examine life through the prism of death. Founded in 2007 by a wealthy New Jersey architect who sensed an exploitable niche after seeing a middle-aged woman distraught over the death of Captain Kangaroo, the site is a locus for enlightened morbidity.”
OM is worth a visit. The top story features a picture of Betty Ford, who survived Breast Cancer, Alcoholism, and The White House, to die at 93. The site has an ad from, with the creative suggestion to Trade In Your Old Bridesmaid Dress & Get a New Little Black Dress.
OM has a popular feature called Died on the same day. Grim reaper recruits on January 24 include Caligula (41). Ira Hayes (1955), Winston Churchill (1965), William Griffith “Bill” Wilson (1971), L. Ron Hubbard (1986), Ted Bundy (1989), Chris Penn (2006).
No google search is complete without someone trying to make money. Obituaries Professionally Written says
” … we believe in honoring a life with respect, dignity and integrity. When needed, euphemism is used liberally. “
OPW content provider Larken Bradley says
“”Obituary writing is an honor, a privilege, and great fun … I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.”… After she dies she expects her obit headline will read, “Obituary Writer, Six Feet Under.”

The Book

Posted in Book Reports, forty four words, Uncategorized, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 23, 2013


Irving Stone was promoting Depths of Glory,
a book about Camille Pissarro.
Mr. Stone said:
“The book is the great creation of man. It is greater than cement, the wheel, or running water.”
He died four years later.
Pictures: “The Georgia State University Library”.

The Grapes Of Math

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 23, 2013







It was another day of converting pictures, and listening to the internet. Fiction was called for. Mr. Google supplied the Pulp Fiction Podcast.

The pictures today are by Chamblee54. They were taken at Short Mountain Sanctuary, during the 2012 fall gathering. SMS is an “intentional community”, located in Cannon County, TN. You will find the salt of the earth here, as well as various other condiments.

The night before featured a live person speaking, instead of the disembodied sputter of the computer. It was strange to not be multi tasking, but to focus on the speaker. The time was well spent, but no pictures were produced that evening.

After a while the stories were not fun. An interview with Elaine Steinbeck was next. The author of John Steinbeck, she talked about the impact of “The Grapes of Wrath”. It also was revealed that the dog in “Travels with Charley” had belonged to Elaine.

In 1980, PG lived in a hostel in Seattle WA. One of his roommates was Peter DeGroot, a PhD candidate from the University of Utah. Mr. DeGroot had just read “The Grapes of Wrath”, and went out picking strawberries one day. That afternoon, the bus stopped at a store, and all the pickers went inside and bought wine. Mr. DeGroot bought a beer. “I thought it would be good form.”

After this, it was time to get out. Put a few layers on, and ride the bike through the cold air. Before leaving, PG looked at the blog stats. By 4pm, 19 people had clicked on Migrant Mother. This post is about a famous photograph from the Great Depression. The Pretty Bad Depression continues.







No More Jesus

Posted in forty four words, Religion by chamblee54 on January 23, 2013







A radio show, The Bitter End,

About how people want to die.

PG does not want preaching.

Too much misery from Jesus during life.

PG wants to die without verbal abuse.

G-d will take care of his soul.

Pictures from The Library of Congress.







The Second Term

Posted in History by chamblee54 on January 22, 2013







The Wall Street Journal has a feature today, Unlucky (Lame) Ducks? It is about the tendency of re-elected Presidents to have horrible problems in the second term. The POTUS known by PG, from LBJ to GWB, certainly testify to this. BTW, LBJ is Lyndon Baines Johnson, not LeBron James.

The WSJ sets out to show that the second term curse is a myth. They do not quite succeed. Rhe fourth paragraph contains a gem. Put your coffee down before you read this. “Two presidents, Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley, were assassinated in the first year of their second term. But both were arguably successful in the short time they served.”

There have been thirteen Presidents to serve two full terms in office. This includes Grover Cleveland, who served a term, was defeated, and won a second term four years later. Five of the first seven Presidents were eight year men. Three of the four Presidents before BHO served two full terms. By coincidence, we are now in the second longest period of not having a President die in office. If the cigarettes don’t kill BHO, this record will be broken in 2015.

On Tuesday, November 13, 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to William S. Smith. He wrote “God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.” Twenty years later was the middle of Mr. Jefferson’s second term as President. There was no rebellion.

Looking back on the last hundred years, the second term is not pretty. It makes you wonder why anyone would want to seek reelection. Let’s break it down.

Woodrow Wilson got America in World War I. He campaigned for reelection in 1916 by saying he kept us out of this conflict. He suffered a stroke in 1919, and was incapacitated the last year of his administration. The Republicans won the next election easily.

Calvin Coolidge became POTUS when Warren G. Harding died, and won a full term in 1924. He was very popular, and could have won a another term in 1928. This would have put him in office at the start of the Depression, which his policies helped to create. Scandal wise, did not get caught.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had battles over trying to enlarge the Supreme Court. Many of the New Deal programs were ruled unconstitutional. Europe and Asia were a mess.

Harry S Truman became POTUS when Franklin D. Rooseveltdied. He won a full term in 1948. The Korean War turned ugly, there were scandals, and Joe McCarthy had a good time.

Dwight D. Eisenhower had numerous scandals in his second term. His golf game suffered.

Lyndon B. Johnson became POTUS when John F. Kennedy died. He won a full term in 1964. He is the last VPOTUS to have the boss die in office. The War in Vietnam got ugly in his full term.

Richard M. Nixon won a landslide over hopeless Democratic opposition. Ethical issues caused him to resign in 1974. He spoke in a monotone.

Ronald W. Reagan had the Iran-Contra-Cocaine affair in his second term. The problems caused by the government financing terrorist armies, by importing cocaine, are still with us.

William J. Clinton could not keep his pants on. This was before, during, and after his second term.

George W. Bush saw his wars go sour in the second term. Tax cuts were used to pay for these wars, causing economic problems.










The Narco State Rag

Posted in History, Politics by chamblee54 on January 22, 2013

This feature was written July 13, 2010. The situation in Afghanistan is little better. If we leave, the country falls into chaos. If we stay, we spend money we don’t have. It is a bitch.

Some people euphemize bitch by saying that something is a bear. 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 for the powers that be 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”.

Forty Four Word Archive

Posted in forty four words by chamblee54 on January 21, 2013

10 qe097






Here is the product of Forty Four words.
Euthanize the separate blog
And it is all over
The pictures do not need to be wasted.
The beltline and L5P is reality.







This is a new blog, forty four words.
Produced by PG, just like chamblee54.
The posts will be 44 words, or less.
Include photo credit, but not title
Numbers are one word.
Complete sentences are optional.
Correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling is preferred.







There was a check.
He looked in his bag,
the car,
the coat pocket.
The paper check was nowhere.
Panic was about to set in.
There was an envelope behind the pill bottles,
On the desk.
Where the check was.
Breathe easy now.







PG was going to use 750 words to count the 44 words.
The password was forgotten.
The email account was set up on internet explorer.
IE has been taken over by virus.
It was supposed to be easier this way.







Best picture at Trifecta contest,
Village boy on Tractor
Crop, color balance, allow for wide screen,
Put picture on desktop to grok.
Too much light in the background.
Try to say something positive.








Posted in History by chamblee54 on January 21, 2013

The happy historians at backstory have a timely feature, Four More Years: Presidential Inaugurations in America. There are a few stories.

George Washington was afraid of acting like a king. No one knew just how the office of President would turn out. Honest George stood on a New York balcony, took the oath, and gave a tasteful speech.

Probably the most exciting inaugural was in 1876. The country had endured eight years of Ulysses Grant, and was ready to elect a Democrat. The Republicans were good at dirty tricks, and got Rutherford Hayes elected, despite losing the popular vote. The Democrat, Samuel Tilden, had a power base in New York, and was rumored to have an army. The possibility of an armed fight over the election was real. Cooler heads prevailed. Mr. Hayes was allowed to take his ZZ Top beard into the oval office.

In 1865, the country had endured four brutal years of internal war. Abraham Lincoln wanted to start the recovery process. His speech is regarded as the best inaugural speech ever.

Backstory makes a point that few have thought about. They said that Mr. Lincoln was a lousy public speaker. The reason his inaugural speech is famous today is because copies of the text were printed in newspapers. This makes sense, as less than an hundred people probably heard his unamplified, or recorded, address. This would also account for the popularity of the Gettysburg Address.

Today, it is the medium, rather than the message. We are inundated with clever words, designed to uplift, improve, educate, and motivate. With everyone screaming, no one is heard. It is tough to imagine an inaugural today having the impact of the ones in history.

This feature was written like H. P. Lovecraft. The pictures are from The Library of Congress. The images are Union soldiers, from the War Between the States.

Return To One Blog

Posted in forty four words by chamblee54 on January 21, 2013






Having a second blog is not a good idea.
Forty Four word posts can continue on Chamblee54.
Forty Four words will be a dogatory.
Traffic can flow better to one destination.
It is better to fix this now.
Sometimes you make a mistake.







She Said He Said

Posted in Uncategorized, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 20, 2013








Female……Any part under a car’s hood.
Male……..The strap fastener on a woman’s bra.

Female…..Fully opening up one’s self emotionally to another.
Male…….Playing football without a cup.

Female..The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one’s partner.
Male….Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys.

Female…….A desire to get married and raise a family.
Male………Trying not to hit on other women while out with this one.

Female……A good movie, concert, play or book.
Male……..Anything that can be done while drinking beer.

Female……An Embarrassing byproduct of indigestion.
Male……..A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding.

Female……The greatest expression of intimacy a couple can achieve.
Male……..Call it whatever you want just as long as we do it.

Female…..A device for changing from one TV channel to another.
Male…….A device for scanning through all 375 channels every 5 minutes.

9. THIS IS A repost. Text is from Funny Jokes.
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.