Chamblee54

Now Forbidden

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on March 31, 2019

Truman Capote

Posted in Book Reports, Commodity Wisdom, Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 30, 2019


Truman Capote was a phenomenon of the TV talk show era. If he hadn’t existed, someone would have had to invent him. He was known as much for his sissy voice as his writing. Becoming famous in the late forties for “Other Voices, Other Rooms”, he worked on a screenplay for “Beat the Devil”. When he met the men accused of killing the Clutter family in Kansas, he impressed one by telling him he worked on a movie with Humphrey Bogart. These chats led to the book “In Cold Blood”, which was probably his biggest triumph. “Breakfast at Tiffanys” became a movie starring Audrey Hepburn.

He was on the Dick Cavett Show the same night as Georgia Governor Lester Maddox. After Maddox got offended and walked off the show, Mr.Capote remembered the time he ate at Maddox’s Pickrick restaurant.
“All I can say is that it wasn’t finger licking good”.
Mr. Capote was the darling of certain New York socialites. They unwisely told him some stories about their lives. In 1975 Esquire magazine published “La Côte Basque 1965”. It was a chapter from “Answered Prayers”, the book he received a large advance for and took his time writing. (It was finally published three years after his death) .The chapter published told some sordid tales about his jet set friends, who immediately ostracized him. It was a stepping stone on his road to ruin.

One chapter of “Answered Prayers” involves a dinner party in New York. Three of the guests were Dorothy Parker, Tallulah Bankhead, and Montgomery Clift. The evening never got past the cocktail hour, much to the distress of the hostess. At one point, Miss Parker was tenderly touching the face of Mr. Clift. She purred “He’s so beautiful,sensitive. So finely made. The most beautiful young man I have ever seen. What a pity he’s a cocksucker. Oh Oh, dear, have I said something wrong. I mean, he is a cocksucker, isn’t he Tallulah? Miss Bankhead replied ” Well d-d-darling, I r-r-really wouldn’t know. He’s never sucked my cock.”

In the spring of 1976, Mr. Capote gave a speech at the University of Georgia. At the time, there was a comic strip called “Don Q”, which has long been forgotten. It showed people in medieval clothes making comments on current affairs. On the day of the speech, the comic featured two characters. One was Richard Nixon. The other was as lisping little man, apparently based on Truman Capote.

The scene that evening was magic. The lecture was given on the steps of Memorial Hall, with the audience in the quadrangle in front of Reed Hall. Mr. Capote’s contract specified a pink spotlight, and a wicker chair behind the podium. Mr. Capote spoke for a while, and read a section out of “A Christmas Memory”. After a break, he returned to answer questions. The questions were written on file cards, and read by a student. The last one, and the one the reader said best typified the attitude of the evening, was “What does Johnny Carson look like in person?”

After this, Mr. Capote asked for questions from the crowd. PG raised my hand, and Mr. Capote pointed to him.
“Mr. Capote, did you see the comic strip Don Q this morning?” “No, what was it about?” ” It was about you, and Richard Nixon” “I don’t know who Don Q is, and I am beginning to not know who Richard Nixon is.”
Mr. Capote went downhill from this point on. He did a series of profiles for “Interview” magazine, which formed the basis of his last book ” Music for Chameleons”. His drinking and drug taking, always a problem, got worse. He became an embarrassment to those who once flocked to his side.

Truman Capote died in 1984. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress


PG wasn’t really doing anything, and was in the mood for a google wild goose chase. This led to an amazing article, Sweet as Sugar, Rude as Hell, My Lost Interview with Truman Capote’s Aunt. A writer for the fishwrapper went to a mobile home in Hudson, FL. He talked to Marie Rudisill, who was best known as Truman Capote’s “Aunt Tiny.” The meeting took place in 1997, and was not what the writer expected. A family friendly version of the meeting was published The journalist received a slice of fruitcake in the mail. Everyone concerned went on with their lives.

Marie Rudisill died November 3, 2006, after becoming famous as the Fruitcake Lady. As for the journalist: “When I left The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2009, I stashed 27 years of old newspapers, tapes and ephemera in my garage. Nothing is more depressing to me than those boxes of old newspapers. It’s my own private morgue — replete with the sickening scent of dust and roach pills…. When I finally mustered the courage to dig around, I found the Lewis interviews — as well as a cache of other recordings. Three of the tapes had Rudisill’s name scribbled on them. I was not quite ready to listen, though. I put them in a box and labeled it.”

In 1924, Truman Streckfus Persons was born in New Orleans LA. His mother, Lillie Mae (Aunt Tiny’s older sister) left here husband behind, and took the boy to Monroeville AL. They lived in a wild household. A neighbor was Harper Lee, who wrote “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Miss Lee was a close friend, as was Sook. This is Truman’s cousin, the fruitcake chef herone of “A Christmas Memory.”

After a while, Lillie Mae married Joe Capote, who adopted the boy. They moved to New York, where Aunt Tiny joined them. Truman was sent to military school. Everyone, except Lillie Mae, thought this was a terrible idea. The effort to butch up young Truman did not work.

Aunt Tiny wrote a book, Truman Capote: The Story of His Bizarre and Exotic Boyhood by an Aunt Who Helped Raise Him. It was published in 1983, a year before Truman died. “The book scandalized Monroeville — and Capote. He told The Washington Post: “If there are 20 words of truth in it, I will go up on a cross to save humanity.” Said Harper Lee: “I have never seen so many misstatements of fact per sentence as in that book.”

There is one story that sticks out…. “Rudisill breaks down just once during our interview. It’s when she recalls “the first time Truman ever had a sexual encounter with a priest.” She was living in Greenwich Village, having followed Lillie Mae and Truman to New York. “He was sitting on my doorstep when I came home from work, and he had blood all in his pants, and then he told me about this priest. And nobody, I don’t think anybody in the world ever knew that but me.”

There is more to the story. If you have the time, you might enjoy reading the full article. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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It is 3:15 am in a midtown office building. PG is spending his dinner break in an unused cubicle, almost out of speaker range for the break room tv. A flourescent light fixture is hard at work, playing an essential role in the drama to follow.

Thirty seven years ago, Truman Capote spoke in Athens GA. Before taking questions, he read “A Christmas Memory.” There was a line, with the words oh, and carnage, that got a big laugh.

Wednesday afternoon had been the first time to turn on the window AC unit. Outside, it was over ninety, with the Georgia humidity doubling the effect. The next two months will be miserable.

During this early morning dinner, after the first day of summer megaheat, PG is reading “A Christmas Memory”. An old lady, and the seven year old cousin she calls Buddy, are going to make fruitcakes. They need to buy supplies.

The previous summer, someone gave Buddy a penny for every 25 flies he killed. “Oh, the carnage of August: the flies that flew to heaven”. It is now 3:28. In two minutes, it will be time to go back to work. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The fruitcake lady was the aunt of Truman Capote. This is a repost.

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Is Dennis Prager Dennis The Menace?

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 29, 2019


The Left Ruins Everything is a recent offering from public nuisance Dennis Prager. It is a doozy. If you want to see the video, you can follow the link. Prager University (PU) has a transcript, and a study guide. The original concept of this post was to work with the study guide, and answer questions like “Why do you think that the Left destroyed the Boy Scouts?” Before we could get to those questions, there is an internet rumor to consider.

Did Dennis the Menace grow older, and become Dennis Prager? As some of you know, cartoonist Hank Ketcham really did have a son named Dennis. “The comic-strip Dennis was conceived … on an October afternoon in 1950, when Ketcham was finishing a drawing at his home studio in Carmel, Calif. The Ketchams’ son was supposed to be resting but instead had spent his naptime quietly dismantling his room — the bed, mattress, springs, dresser, drapes and curtain rods.”

“When the accidental load he carried in his underpants was added to his collection of plastic toys, cookie crumbs and a leftover peanut buter sandwich, it formed an unsuual mix,” Ketcham wrote in his autobiography. “Enough to drive an Irish mother to the brink.” Alice Ketcham stormed into his studio, fuming “Your son,” she declared, “is a menace!”

“But the years have not been as kind to Dennis, the cowlicked kid who innocently launched a cartoon empire. Now 46 (in 1993), he works as a tire retreader, living with his second wife, Janet, a part-time office cleaner, in a trailer park in Grove City, Ohio, just south of Columbus.

It is more than just geography and lifestyle, though, that distance father and son. For the past 28 years, they have barely seen each other and spoken only occasionally by phone. “I hear from Dennis about once a year, mostly when he needs money,” says Hank tersely. “I don’t want a closer relationship—nor do I want a confrontation.” “Dad can be like a stranger,” counters Dennis, who has never met his two half-siblings. …

” … Alice meanwhile, was “caught up in luncheons, teas and bouts with demon rum,” as Hank once said, and became an alcoholic. In 1959 she filed for divorce, and as her condition deteriorated, Dennis, then 12, was sent to a boarding school near Carmel. “I didn’t know what was going on,” says Dennis, “except that I felt Dad wanted me out of the way.” A few months after he left for school, his mother died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and barbiturates at the age of 41.”

“Shaken by his wife’s sudden death, Hank could not bring himself to break the news to Dennis over the phone. Nor could he even tell him in person—until shortly after Alice had been buried. “Mom had always been there when I needed her,” says Dennis. “I would have dealt with losing her a lot better had I been able to attend her funeral. …”

“…In 1966 he joined the Marines; during his subsequent year-long tour of duty in Vietnam, he says, “my grandmother and aunt sent me letters. But never Dad.” Hank insists he did write to his son. Discharged in 1970, Dennis underwent three months of counseling for post-traumatic stress syndrome at a VA hospital and drifted through a succession of jobs—ranch hand, poultry-farm worker, prison guard.”

Meanwhile, Dennis Prager was born August 2, 1948 into an Orthodox Jewish family in New York City. Through various twists and turns, he became a radio superstar. Mr. Prager, known for hawkish military opinions, apparently did not serve in the United States military. This contrasts to Dennis Ketcham’s service in Vietnam. In all probability, Dennis Prager is not Dennis the Menace.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Russell Lee took the pictures in April, 1941. Ironing. Family on relief. Chicago, Illinois WPA (Work Projects Administration) work on playground on southside of Chicago, Illinois

Respect The Enemy

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on March 28, 2019

Badly Nervous

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on March 27, 2019

Anita Aretha and Elton

Posted in Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on March 26, 2019

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In the early nineties, PG had too much free time. On March 25 of one year, he looked in the fishwrapper, and found a list of famous people with birthdays.

There was an unlikely trio celebrating that day. This would be (in order of appearance) Anita Bryant (1940), Aretha Franklin (1942), and Elton John (1947). All three have been paid for singing. The three have a total of five husbands, with Miss Bryant and Mr. John currently attached (Not to each other). Miss Franklin has good taste in hats.

Several other people have arrived on planet earth on March 25. They include , in 1911, Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald (d. 1967) (They don’t say alleged when it was on live TV). 1918 produced Howard Cosell, American sports reporter (d. 1995). Flannery O’Connor (d. 1964) arrived in 1925. 1934 gave us Gloria Steinem. To make room for all this talent, Buck Owens died March 25, 2006. On August 16, 2018, Aretha Franklin was heaven bound.

March 25 is after the spring equinox, and has been Easter. A few noteworthy events have gone down on this day. In 1894, Coxey’s Army departed Massillon, Ohio for Washington D.C. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 garment workers in New York City. In 1939 Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli becomes Pope Pius XII, to the delight of Adolph Hitler. 1955 saw the United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” as obscene. In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.

HT and applause to wikipedia. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.



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Restraining Order

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on March 25, 2019


The display of a link on this page does not indicate approval of content.
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Prayer For Entertainment

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on March 24, 2019


The facebook friend made a comment “Did you know that Christians are washed in the blood of the lamb? That sounds delicious!”. There was a link to a church message. And I was taken back to a visit to the bathroom, thirteen years ago. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

This post is written in first person. Religion is a personal thing. There is imagery that is very meaningful to some people. This same imagery began a trip to hell for me. This story has been told before, and might be told again.

My mother passed away on December 18, 1998. She was a Christian, I am not. Over the years, we had learned to look past this difference, and to understand some of the reasons for it. We were on good terms when she left. Losing her was tough.

Three weeks later, I was at work. A co worker was an aggressive Jesus worshiper. He played a little radio, tuned into an am Christian station. The radio was on a table, outside the door to the bathroom.

When I was washing my hands (I do not remember what I did before that), I began to think about my mother. I missed her, and felt sad that I would never hear her laugh again. When I walked out of the bathroom, a woman was praying for entertainment on the radio. “The blood of the lamb has cleansed my heart”. I freaked out.

Don’t yell about bleeding lambs. Bleeding lambs are gross. They may mean something to you, but I don’t want to hear your condescending explanation. Do not spray lamb’s blood on me when I am coming out of the bathroom.

I stormed out of the room, and said to the operations manager, “I hate Christian Radio”. He talked to the preacher, and the radio was turned off the rest of the day.

The next day, the radio was turned on. The preacher did not say anything. He also played a second sound device. He listened to a taped message with an earplug. During the seven years of struggle over the preachers need to be entertained at work, he never once said why he wanted to play two radios at the same time. As for asking him, I could never get a word in. Or, I was so weary, of the nightmare of listening to his hatred, that I was afraid to ask.

The radio played softly in the background. I could not hear it clearly, but could hear the sound of rice crispies all day, every day. The only break came at eleven thirty, when a preacher came on the radio to shout. I was operating a cranky machine at the time, and had to listen to the sounds it made. When you run a printing machine, you are always listening to it. The sound of rice crispies in the background was very annoying.

Finally, the day came when I had to confront the bully. I asked him to turn his speaker radio down, and all hell broke loose. He had a loud temper tantrum at me, talking about G-d, Jesus, and the bible. He used Jesus as a tool of his anger. He got on the phone, and told everyone who would listen what happened. He went to the management, and said he would file a lawsuit if he could not play two radios at the same time.

This conflict continued for the next seven years, until I was laid off. When I was cleaning out my workspace, after losing my job, a visitor stood next to me and shouted the word “Jesus”.

1- I learned to see Jesus in the way his believers treat me. There is the historic Jesus, and the spirit that lives in the hearts of his believers. The best way to know this spirit is through the words and deeds of his believers. What I see, and hear, does not speak well for Jesus.

2- Prayer should be a private, reverend communication with G-d. It should not be performed, for vulgar entertainment, on the radio.

3- The image of the blood of the lamb might mean something to Jesus worshipers. It might mean something else to others. To me, talk about bleeding lambs was the gateway to hell.

4- The emotions aroused by vigorous preaching are very powerful. To have these emotions used against you, over a petty personal conflict, brings shame to Jesus.

5- Another comment in the facebook thread was “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” What about a man who is persecuted, in the name of Jesus, because he asked a Jesus worshiper to turn down his radio?

6- Jesus worshipers like to be forgiven. They do not like to forgive. There are exceptions.

7- You should not wrestle with a pig. You will get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it.

8- If you choose to pray for me about this, please keep it to yourself.

The Golden Word

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on March 23, 2019

Slavery And Global Warming

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 22, 2019

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Have you ever wondered why your ancestors owned other human beings? How can you justify something this cruel? In an NPR interview to promote a new book, 1861: The Civil War Awakening, Adam Goodheart has an answer. This is a repost.
It was economics.
“But I think we think of it differently when we realize that the value of slave property, some $4 billion, enormous amount of money in 1861, represented actually more money than the value of all of the industry and all of the railroads in the entire United States combined. So for Southern planters to simply one day liberate all of that property would have been like asking people today to simply overnight give up their stock portfolios, give up their IRAs.”
Mr. Goodheart compares it to the situation today with fossil fuels.
“many of us recognize that in burning fossil fuels we’re doing something terrible for the planet, we’re doing something terrible for future generations. And yet in order to give this up would mean sort of unraveling so much of the fabric of our daily lives, sacrificing so much, becoming these sort of radical eccentrics riding bicycles everywhere, that we continue somewhat guiltily to participate in the system. And that’s something that I use as a comparison to slavery, that many Americans in the North, and even I believe sort of secretly in the South, felt a sense of guilt, felt a sense of shame, that knew that the slave system was wrong but were simply addicted to slavery and couldn’t give it up. “
When the economic pressure is there, people will find a way to justify their actions. Slavery was justified in a number of ways. Today, there are people who deny the ill effects of using fossil fuels, and they have an eager audience. The payback for the environmental horror is in the future. This is similar to the way people today are paying … with racial turmoil … for slavery.
Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Every Life

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on March 21, 2019

David Bowie A Life

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 20, 2019


David Bowie: A Life was sitting on the biography shelf at the Chamblee library. It is an “oral biography.” Dylan Jones gets the blame, and the copyright. He took a bunch of interviews, and curated salient passages into a narrative. It is a fun book to read, full of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

The Amazon one star reviews beg to differ. Guitar Gregg “I thought this would be biography not assorted comments. Very few comments from David Bowie. Who cares what Debora Harry or hundreds of “Joe blows” have to say? No pictures? 500 pages? Too much too little. Buy his cd’s instead.” worst read ever “Belongs in the fire … worst read ever!”

PG enjoyed DBAL. At some point, the lurid tales of depravity got too quotable, and PG started keeping a list. In this book report, we will use this list, until the list, or the reader’s attention span, is exhausted. There may be another installment. Part one was published last week.

“There’s one instance — probably included just so it would be cited — about someone calling Bowie’s room in New York with an offer of a still-warm corpse. “The town had never seen anything like David before,” says onetime groupie Josette Caruso. “And he obviously looked like such a freak that some sick people thought he might be into necrophilia.” (He wasn’t.) (Page 142)

Page 146 “He (Lou Reed) had an auteur complex, and Bowie didn’t fit into that. Lou was also a prime member of the awkward squad. He could lose a charm competition with Van Morrison.” In 1972 David had gone through years of struggle, and was starting to make it. After the Ziggy Stardust tour, he was hot. At this time, David wound up helping two struggling artists, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop

The Elton John/Rolling Stone article was published during one Iggy phase. “May 1975 — It’s four in the morning, Hollywood time, and David Bowie is twitching with energy. … Bowie clutches his heart and beams like a proud father watching his kid in the school play. His whisper is full of wonder. “They just don’t appreciate Iggy.” he is saying. “He’s Lenny fucking Bruce and James Dean. When that adlib flow starts, there’s nobody like him. It’s verbal jazz, man!” … Bowie and Iggy never did make it back into the studio. Pop slept past the booked time, called up drunk several nights later and when Bowie told him to “go away” — meaning “hang up” — Iggy did just that. Now he’s disappeared. “I hope he’s not dead,” says Bowie, “he’s not a good act.” Iggy will show up later in this story.

Page 151 has stories from the Ziggy tour. In Seattle, the entourage went to a gay bar, and someone invited David to a party. When the next day came, and the tour needed to go to the next city, David was nowhere to be found. When he finally called the hotel, all he knew was that he was in a house, with a lot of trees around it. A hotel employee talked to David on the phone, and they managed to figure out where he was.

Page 155 Lori Mattox was a fifteen year old rock fan in 1972. “We got to the Beverly Hilton, and all went up to Bowie’s enormous suite. … We were getting stoned when, all of a sudden, the bedroom door opens and there is Bowie in this beautiful red and orange and yellow kimono … “Lori, darling, can you come with me? … Of course I did. Then he escorted me into the bedroom, gently took off my clothes, and de-virginized me.”

There is a lot of text about David’s sex life. The boy got around, in spite of, or because of, his open marriage with Angela. Apparently, nature was generous with David. While performatively gay during this era, David made plenty of exceptions with ladies. DBAL is an entertaining book.

Page 176 Ava Cherry was a girlfriend who stuck around. “… and yes, we did have some fun together. We were staying at the Sherry-Netherland one night in New York, where David had given a party for Rudolph Nureyev. At the end of the party, everyone was gone apart from me and David and Mick, (Jagger) so it just ended up with the three of us sleeping together.”

Page 263 87 pages later, David has burned out on American rock stardom, and is living on top of an auto parts store in Berlin. This is the phase which produced Low and Heroes, two creative, though non commercial, efforts. Iggy Pop is back in the picture. Longtime assistant Coco Schwab never left. Iggy Pop : “There’s sevent days in a week: two for bingeing, two for recovery, and three more for any other activity.” Coco Schwab “I remember one elevated subway ride where you ride into East Berlin with no checkpoints and then back out with Absinthe into the west. Trust Jim (Iggy) to find that one.”

Page 277 David meets Adrian Bellew, who is in Frank Zappa’s band. David is talking to Adrian about doing a tour with David. At some point, the two go to a restaurant, where they run into Frank Zappa. “…David tried to strike up a conversation with Frank, saying “This is quite a guitar player you have here” And Frank said, “Fuck you, Captain Tom.” David persisted, and said “Oh come on now, Frank, surely we can be gentleman about this?” And Frank said, “Fuck you, Captain Tom.” … so David said, “So you really have nothing to say?” To which Frank said, “Fuck you, Captain Tom.”

Picture are from The Library of Congress. Russell Lee took the photographs in April, 1941. The setting was Chicago, IL. The bar at Palm Tavern, Negro restaurant on 47th Street. Chicago, Illinois Having fun at roller skating party at Savoy Ballroom. Chicago, Illinois