Chamblee54

Tallulah Bankhead And Billie Holiday

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on January 18, 2020

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Tallulah 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 is that the evidence strongly suggests they probably first met in the early 1930’s during Bankhead’s Harlem rent party and nightclub-slumming days, 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 ailse 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 where liquor was being served had been revoked (and not renewed) she was forced to earn her living in gruelling 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. (Eleanora Fagan was the birth name of the chanteuse. Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was the real name of the thespian.) 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!”

The first part of this story 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.” Picture of Billie Holiday from The Library of Congress.

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From The Heart Of Atlanta To Tyler Perry

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on December 27, 2019

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There is an old saying, what goes around comes around. When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind. The thing is, it is not always obvious what is payback for what. Moreton Rolleston Jr. filed a lawsuit to have the Civil Rights Act declared unconstitutional. Forty years later, a Black man, built a mansion on the site of Mr. Rolleston’s home. The fact that this Black man earned his money by playing Black women, in movies, is icing on the cake.

When the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, Moreton Rolleston, Jr. owned the Heart of Atlanta Motel. He filed a lawsuit, trying to have the law overturned by the courts. The case went to the Supreme Court, which upheld the law.

The legal justification of the Civil Rights Act was a law giving the U.S. Government the right to regulate interstate commerce. Mr. Rolleston argued that this use of the commerce clause went too far.
“‘The argument that this law was passed to relieve a burden on interstate commerce is so much hogwash. It was intended to regulate the acts of individuals.’ If the commerce clause can be stretched that far, declared Rolleston, ‘Congress can regulate every facet of life.'” (PG supports all citizens having the right to housing, education, etc. He also wonders if we are on a slippery slope. The government keeps taking more and more freedom away.) (The link for the quote no longer works.)
In 1969, Tyler Perry was born. From humble beginnings, he has been incredibly successful. His signature character is a woman named Madea.

In 1985, Mr. Rolleston was involved in a real estate deal that went sour. He was sued. In 2003, Mr. Rolleston was evicted from his Buckhead home. In 2005, the property was sold to Tyler Perry. Mr. Rolleston sued Mr. Perry, claiming that 2035 Garraux Road was still his property.

Mr. Rolleston , was disbarred in 2007. The Veteran’s History Project shows his race as “Unspecified.” Moreton Mountford Rolleston, Jr., born December 30, 1917, died August 29, 2013.

HT Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub.. This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.

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War Between The States

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on December 7, 2019





It is a truism that history is written by the winner of the war. This seems to apply to the naming of the conflict. There was a horrific armed struggle in North America between 1861 and 1865. The name used most often is Civil War. To many in the South, it is the War Between The States. In PG’s humble opinion, WBTS is a better name.

In fifth grade, PG had to write an essay about the Battle of Atlanta. The essay was a device for teaching grammar, utilized by the english teacher, Miss McKenzie. The contest was sponsored by the Daughters of the Confederacy . The expression “Civil War” was not permitted. The proper name for this conflict was War Between the States.

In many ways, this conflict started as soon as the United States became independent from Great Britain. The South was an agrarian society, with slaves to work the fields. The north was becoming an industrial society, with a need for an independent work force. The north wanted high tariffs to protect her industries, while the south wanted to sell it’s cotton to Europe. There were plenty of ways for this conflict to manifest.

Slavery was a very important factor. The south wanted to keep “the peculiar institution” intact, while many in the north were horrified. There were numerous compromises over the years, as Congress struggled to keep the Union intact. This ties in with a central dilemma of the american experience … how much power to give to the states, and how much power to give to the federal government.

The phrase civil war is defined as “A war fought between factions of the inhabitants of a single country, or the citizens of a single republic”. By the time the shooting started, the southern states had left the union. They formed a confederacy of independent states, rather than one monolithic union. It was, indeed, a war between the states.

This is a repost. Pictures, of Union soldiers, are from The Library of Congress.





The recent destruction of #SilentSam, was defended by a quote from the 1913 dedication speech. Here is something else that Julian Carr said that day: “In the knowledge of subsequent developments, the progress, peace and prosperity of our united, common country, victor and vanquished now alike believe that in the Providence of God it was right and well that the issue was determined as it was. And the people of all sections of our great Republic, moved by the impulse of sincere and zealous loyalty, of fervent and exalted patriotism may say: “All is well that ends well.”

The demonization of the Confederacy has intensified lately. Yes, slavery was a wretched institution. However, much of the rhetoric today does not take into account many of the other causes of that war. And it forgets that *the war is over.* The early twentieth century was a time of reconciliation between the north and the south. Yes, there was Jim Crow, and white supremacy. People of color (both black and non black, both north and south) were treated horribly. Creating a more perfect union is a slow, and uneven, process.

Part two of today’s feature is a double repost. Part one is based on an interview with Shelby Foote, where he goes into some of the points made above. If you get a chance to listen to the link, you can hear Mr. Foote talk for an hour in a luxurious Mississippi accent. The second part of today’s feature goes into some of the financial causes of the War Between The States. It is an old truism that all wars are about money. The causes people are told about, both at the time of the conflict and historically, are not always the real reason for the war. Look at how WMD was used to justify “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” WMD was the excuse for the conflict, not the reason.

PG spent a pleasant Saturday afternoon editing pictures from The Library of Congress (which illustrate this post) and listening to a 1994 interview with Shelby Foote. There was a book to be sold, and Mr. Foote made the necessary appearances to sell the product. The gentleman has a handsome Mississippi accent, and is a delight to listen to. There is a transcript, aka the lazy bloggers friend.

A few of the things he said are timely. When this show was taped in 1994, Mr. Foote spoke of healing from the War Between the States. Today, we seem to be regressing. Trash talk about the Confederacy is back in fashion. It is a good time to revisit these comments. Shelby Foote died in 2005, and can no longer comment.

“Slavery is a huge stain on us. We all carry it. I carry it deep in my bones, the consequences of slavery. But emancipation comes pretty close to being as heavy a sin. They told — what is its million or 7 million people, “You’re now free. Hit the road,” and there was a Freedman’s Bureau, which was a sort of joke. There were people down here exploiting them. Three-quarters of them couldn’t read or write, had no job, no hope of a job, no way to learn a new job even, and they drifted back into this peon age system under sharecropping, which was about all they could do.

To this day, we are paying and they are paying for this kind of treatment. I don’t mean there should have been a gradual emancipation. I mean there should have been true preparation to get this people ready for living a kind of life. They were free and should have been free all along, but they were not prepared for living in the world. They’d been living under conditions of slavery, which kept them from living in the world…..”

“The Civil War, there’s a great compromise, as it’s called. It consists of Southerners admitting freely that it’s probably best that the Union wasn’t divided, and the North admits rather freely that the South fought bravely for a cause in which it believed. That is a great compromise and we live with that and that works for us. We are now able to look at the war with some coolness, which we couldn’t do before now, and, incidentally, I very much doubt whether a history such as mine could have been written much before 100 years had elapsed. It took all that time for things to cool down….”

(Booknotes host Brian) LAMB: “Was the Civil War inevitable? FOOTE: I think that it was necessary. I do not believe that those differences could have been settled without bloodshed. The question is the horrendous amount of bloodshed. That was not necessary. That could have been stopped at some point. God knows. But there apparently were differences so profound between the abolitionists in New England and the fire-eaters of South Carolina that dragged the rest of the country into this conflict that I’m inclined to agree with Seward, who called it an irrepressible conflict….” (Chamblee54 recently published a post, Why Was The War Fought?. about the financial aspects of the War. Follow the money, and find the truth. The post is seen below.)

LAMB: “From what you know now and your own political philosophy, if you had a voice and you lived back there, which side would you have been on? FOOTE: There’s absolutely no doubt. I’m from Mississippi. I would have been on the Confederate side. Right or wrong, I would have fought with my people. LAMB: Why? FOOTE: Because they’re my people. It would have meant the end of my life as I had known it if I fought on the other side. It would have been a falsification of everything I’d lived by, even if I opposed it. No matter how much I was opposed to slavery, I still would have fought for the Confederacy — not for slavery, but for other things, such as freedom to secede from the Union.”


Last week, this slack blogger found a tweet. The tweet said that Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy fought the Federal Reserve, and both were killed. I did a little research, and found something that questions the conventional wisdom about the War Between the States.

Before getting to the quote, a disclaimer is in order. 100777.com is a sketchy website. What is says cannot be taken as literal truth. However, the statement about WBTS does raise some questions.

“One point should be made here: The Rothschild bank financed the North and the Paris branch of the same bank financed the South, which is the real reason the Civil War was ignited and allowed to follow its long, and bloody course.”

Maybe it was not the Rothschild Bank that financed WBTS. Somebody did. War is a profitable enterprise. People are going to egg on the combatants, knowing that there is money to be made. Someone encouraged the southern states to secede. Others encouraged the north to take a hard line on slavery, knowing that it would lead to a profitable war. Was slavery the reason for this war, or the excuse? Follow the money.

Rhett Butler was a central character in Gone With The Wind. He was a blockade runner, bringing in supplies to the south. He said this: “I told you once before that there were two times for making big money, one in the up-building of a country and the other in its destruction. Slow money on the up-building, fast money in the crack-up. Remember my words.”

It should be noted that slavery was a big money operation. “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.”

When the thirteen colonies declared independence, they were not creating a union. The idea was to kick out the British. The concept of a federal union, made up of more-or-less independent states, was fairly new. States had conquered other states, and formed empires, for a long time. A federal union of states was a new, and controversial, idea. Many European states wanted to see this federal union fail. These states encouraged the south to secede. Some people say the War Between the States began the day the British left.

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library “… a collection of images of downtown Atlanta streets that were taken before the viaduct construction of 1927 – 1929. Later, some of the covered streets became part of Underground Atlanta.”

Henry Woodfin Grady

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on December 5, 2019


Before yesterday, PG did not know much about Henry Woodfin Grady. He saw the statue downtown, and visited people in the namesake hospital. PG knew Mr. Grady was a newspaper man, and a pioneer salesman of Atlanta, Inc. There was something called The New South Address.

That all changed Wednesday morning. Editorial: Mayor Bottoms, tear down this statue! was the headline at the Signal, Georgia State University’s student newspaper. Someone at the University of Massachusetts read the New South Address, and found some amusing quotes.

“What of the negro? This of him. I want no better friend than the black boy who was raised by my side, and who is now trudging patiently with downcast eyes and shambling figure through his lowly way in life. I want no sweeter music than the crooning of my old “mammy,” now dead and gone to rest, as I heard it when she held me in her loving arms, and bending her old black face above me stole the cares from my brain, and led me smiling into sleep. I want no truer soul than that which moved the trusty slave, who for four years while my father fought with the armies that barred his freedom, slept every night at my mother’s chamber door, holding her and her children as safe as if her husband stood guard, and ready to lay down his humble life on her threshold. History has no parallel to the faith kept by the negro in the South during the war.”

This is one of the nicer parts. About half the speech is about the Negro, and what the White man should do about him. When PG finally read the speech itself, he was amazed. The rhetoric was much worse than PG expected. If you want to get your woke knickers thoroughly twisted, read between page 23 and page 33. (The speech starts on page 21.)

The well meaning GSU students printed a dose of contemporary rhetoric, about a speech given October 26, 1887. PG summarized this on Facebook. Editorial: Mayor Bottoms, tear down this statue! The GSU Signal cranked up the purple prose machine for an attack on Henry W. Grady. “A monument to Henry Grady and his accomplishments on Marietta and Forsyth streets — also named Henry Grady Square — still stands today. Etched into his plaque are three celebratory words: “Journalist, Orator, Patriot.” Let us be clear in recognizing that Grady, as a journalist, promoted racism. Grady, as an orator, promoted racism. And Grady was certainly no patriot — he was simply a racist.”

A facebook friend, who we will call Macon, asked “What part of it do you disagree with?” 28 comments later, PG got on his digital horse, and rode into the sunset.

The initial response was about the the comment “Grady was certainly no patriot — he was simply a racist.” The New South Address was in 1887, 22 years after the War ended. Before that hideous conflict, the states were seen as separate entities, with helpful guidance from the Federal government. When the Confederate states left this union, a ghastly was ensued.

After the south was conquered by the north, there was little doubt. The states were governing districts, under the control of the mighty federal government. Most people today take this arrangement for granted. The truth is, it has been controversial over the years. In his landmark address, Henry W. Grady was calling for an economic union of the south and north, to go along with a militarily-enforced political union. 22 years after a horrific war over secession, a southerner was calling for a stronger union with the north. To PG, this is patriotism. The fact that Mr. Grady said impolite things does not change this.

Macon responded “… but he was a racist …” A few comments were exchanged. Macon said what Macon wanted to say. PG said what PG wanted to say. PG was ready to walk away, and go to the gym. Before leaving, PG said: “I note that you have not addressed the patriotism issue. You asked me what I disagree with, in this assessment of Henry Grady. I replied that working for a strong Federal Union, less than a generation after the War Between the States, was an act of patriotism. You have not responded to this.”

When PG got back, he saw where Macon had posted a series of lurid quotes from the NSA. What PG missed, at first, was the comment “I agree it was patriotic.” Since PG had missed this comment, he continued to hammer away at the patriotism issue. Finally, Macon said “Yes, was Sen. Joe McCarthy a patriot? Was Hitler? … ” Godwin’s Law is now in effect. Adult conversation has left the building.

What to make of all this? It is apparent that Mr. Grady said some unfortunate things. Does this negate all the good that he did? Looking back, it seems that the main contribution made by Henry W. Grady was as a salesman for the south. In Atlanta, a town built on marketing, this makes him a publicity patron saint. Now we are learning about exactly what Henry W. Grady said. G-d is in the details. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Fifty Six Years

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics by chamblee54 on November 22, 2019

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Fifty six years ago, John Kennedy went to the oval office in the sky. The bullets hit Mr.Kennedy at 12:30 pm, CST. He arrived at the hospital at 12:37. He had a faint heartbeat on arrival, but quickly succumbed to his wounds.

In Georgia, PG was nine years old. He was in Miss Mckenzie’s fourth grade class. There was going to be an assembly soon, and the class was going to perform. There was a rehearsal in the cafetorium, and some of the kids were acting up. They went back to the class, and PG thought they were going to be chewed out about the misbehavior in the cafetorium. Instead, Miss Mckenzie came into the room, and told the kids that President Kennedy had been shot during a parade in Dallas Texas. She did not say anything about his condition. One kid cheered the news.

School let out at the regular time, and PG walked home. His mother and brother were crying. He was told that the president had died. The cub scouts meeting that afternoon was canceled.

Later that night, a plane arrived in Washington. The tv cameras showed a gruesome looking man walk up to a microphone. He was introduced as President Lyndon Johnson. This may have been the worst moment of that day. Photographs for this repost today are from “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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The Burning Of Atlanta

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 14, 2019

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Around this time 155 years ago, Atlanta was on fire. General Sherman was preparing for his March to the sea, and wanted to destroy anything of value in the city. The fire is reported as being on 11-15 of November, depending on what source you use.

The November fire was the second great fire in Atlanta that year. On September 2, the city was conquered by the Union Army. The fleeing Confederates blew up a munitions depot, and set a large part of the city on fire. This is the fire Scarlet O’Hara flees, in “Gone With The Wind”.

After a series of bloody battles, the city was shelled by Yankee forces for forty days. There were many civilian casualties. General Sherman was tired of the war, angry at Atlanta, and ready for action. This is despite the fact that many in Atlanta were opposed to secession.

Click here to hear a lecture by Marc Wortman at the Atlanta History Center. Mr Wortman is the author of “The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta”. The hour of talk is fascinating. This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress

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About this time every year, there is a post about the burning of Atlanta. One of the sources is a lecture by Marc Wortman. If you have an hour to spare, this talk is worth your time. One of the stories told is the tale of Mr. Luckie.

“According to folklore, two stories abound as to how Luckie Street was named. The first is that its moniker came from one of Atlanta’s oldest families. The other, probably closer to the truth, regales the life of Solomon “Sam” Luckie. Luckie, as it turns out, wasn’t so lucky after all. When General William Tecumseh Sherman first came marching through Atlanta in 1864, Luckie, a free Black man who made his living as a barber, was leaning against a gas lamp post in downtown talking to a group of businessmen. A burst from a cannon shell wounded him; he survived, but later died from his injuries. Folklore suggests that he may have been one of the first casualties of the assault on Atlanta. Luckie Street, an extension of Auburn Avenue, was later named in his memory.”

Marc Wortman wrote a book, The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta. The one star review, and comments to that review, are unusually detailed. Here is a selection.

“…People forget – or were never taught in school – that most Confederate soldiers descended from Revolutionary War patriots or were up-country poor sons of farmers. Many Confederate soldiers were relatively recent new arrivals to the U.S., semi-literate dirt poor immigrants from Ireland and Scotland who’d never had the chance to own even an acre of their own land in Europe. In the mix were well-educated, elite merchant business owning French Huguenot refugees of the Catholic Bourbon genocide of Protestants. These immigrants had nowhere else to go, 9 times out of 10 never owned a slave, and fought for the CSA to keep what little they’d hardscrabble carved out over a decade of arrival into the U.S.”

The War Between The States continues to be a source of controversy. After the Charleston church killings, many comments were made about the Confederate battle flag. (If you can’t talk about gun control or mental health, you talk about a symbol.) This led to discussions about the war itself. There were ritual denunciations of slavery, assumed to be the sole cause of the conflict.

The notion of autonomous states in a federal union was novel when the United States Constitution was written. The debate over federalism versus states rights continues to this day. States that want to legalize marijuana may be the next battleground. (Few are expecting secession over bong rights.) Many in the CSA saw the Union as being a conquering army, and fought to defend their homes. While slavery was certainly a factor in the creation of the CSA, it was not the only Casus belli. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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Arlo Guthrie

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on November 3, 2019

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This is a rerun post, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The original post was half about Arlo Guthrie, and half about Ralph Reed. Today, only the part about Arlo Guthrie will be shown. If you absolutely must read about Ralph Reed, you can follow the link above, or read Lisa Baron And Ralph Reed TMI.

The entertainment today is about Arlo Guthrie . Thanksgiving is intimately connected to Mr. Guthrie. Unlike the turkey, Mr. Guthrie has gone on to have a flourishing career. He probably will not come down with Huntington’s Disease, which killed his father Woody Guthrie.

The video that goes with this text was the first time PG saw Arlo Guthrie. This was broadcast January 21, 1970. PG was an unhip fifteen year old, who had not heard Alice’s Restaurant, seen the movie, or been to Woodstock. He did see the Johnny Cash show this night, or at least the part where Arlo Guthrie did the motorcycle song.

To quote the digital facility PG is borrowing from:
” Born Arlo Davy Guthrie on July 10, 1947, in New York, NY; son of Woody (a folksinger) and Marjorie Mazia (a dancer; maiden name, Greenblatt) Guthrie; married Jacklyn Hyde, October 9, 1969; children: Abraham, Cathyalicia, Annie Hays, Sarah Lee.” Abraham and Sarah Lee play in Arlo’s touring band.
The Alice’s Restaurant Masacree is a part of Americana now. There are two bits of knowledge, that are as true as anything told to a Persian king. When trying to dispose of some garbage, and finding the city dump closed, Arlo found some litter by the roadside, and made a value judgment…One big pile of garbage is better than two little piles.

The second is about the draft, and the business of choosing people to fight our wars. There is a regulation today that says that Gays and Lesbians are not supposed to be soldiers and sailors. In the tale of the thanksgiving dinner, it was litterbugs. (There was also a draft, and a different war. Lots of Americans were coming home in boxes.) The bottom line: Mr. Guthrie is confused about not being considered moral enough to kill people, because he was a litterbug.

A few years into his career, Arlo Guthrie had a hit record called “City of New Orleans”. It was about a train, and said “Good Morning America”. “City of New Orleans” was written by Steve Goodman, who is no longer with us. Mr. Goodman also wrote the perfect country and western song .

PG heard a story about Steve Goodman.
“The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ”I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd. PG is not sure if he believes this, but it is a good story.” ( A biographer of Mr. Goodman said said that the candidate was Edmund Muskie. He also says that David Allen Coe had nothing to do with the last verse of the perfect country and western song.)
As previously noted, this is a repost from a few years ago. In that time, the policy against gay people serving in the military has been dismantled. The Ralph Reeds of the world are more upset about the concept of gay marriage, than by gay people killing Muslims. Vietnam is a peaceful country, and is enjoying economic good times. The draft is something old fogies remember. The current fashion is to support war by demanding a tax cut.

Arlo Guthrie continues to make music. USA Today had a feature recently, Arlo Guthrie celebrates 50 years at ‘Alice’s Restaurant’. Arlo Davy Guthrie has a twitter account, @folkslinger, and a full head of white hair. His wife of 43 years, Jackie Guthrie, died Oct. 14, 2012. The Lenox Square theater was torn down to make way for a food court many years ago.

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Cemetery Blues

Posted in Georgia History, Poem by chamblee54 on October 27, 2019









PG and Uzi had their usual Sunday phone call, and agreed to go to “Sunday in the Park”. It is a festival in Oakland Cemetery, with live music, people in costumes, open mausoleums, and lots of good clean fun. It wasn’t until that evening that PG learned that today is Dead Poets Remembrance Day. Edgar Allan Poe met his maker on this day in 1849.

There was a Chamblee54 post about DPRD two years ago. The idea is to go to a cemetery and read a poem. An effort will be made to do that tonight, although promises about dead poets are notoriously unreliable. The 2010 post is included as part two of this feature.

The first poem read that afternoon was “Looking for the Buckhead Boys” by James Dickey. In the intervening two years, PG listened to a podcast with Christopher Dickey, the son of the writer. Sometimes bard is short for bastard.

So PG, Uzi, and Hazmat went to a festival in Oakland Cemetery. Like everything else, it is more popular and expensive. You had to pay to park, which Uzi generously took care of. The brick walls around the boneyard have been repaired, and no longer look like they are going to fall down. Those walls are important, because people are dying to get inside. This is the second time that PG and Uzi have attended the October festival in Oakland Cemetery.

There are always things that you need to see at Oakland. Margaret Mitchell, the Lion Statue, and the mausoleums are important stops. PG followed the signs to the grave of Bobby Jones. It had golf balls and a putter, which was not necessary.

Don LeVert was a member of the Atlanta Sky Hi Club for many, many years before his departure in 1997. PG and Uzi always seek him out, and it is usually a bit of an adventure finding him.

After visiting Don, PG found the marker for “Brother John Wade”. His time on earth was September 23, 1865 to January 15, 1916. This was from the autumn just after the War Between the States until 37 days before PG’s father was born in Rowland, North Carolina. There was a renewed sense of connection to the stone monuments.







The facebook friend said “Today is Dead Poets Remembrance Day, Oct. 7th, the day Edgar Allan Poe died. Be sure to visit a graveyard and read some poetry today”. PG didn’t have anything better to do.

The first obstacle was finding a book of poetry. PG is not a poetry person. A look at the shelf turned up a paperback, “125 years of Atlantic “. Poetry was to be found between those covers.

The book had two stickers, both saying 69 cents. At the old Book Nook, this meant that the book was half the price on the sticker. With tax, that would be 38 cents.

125YOA had stayed in PG’s car for a few years. Whenever he was stuck somewhere with time to kill, this book was waiting. One afternoon in 1998, there was a slow day at work. PG read a remembrance by Gertrude Stein, about life in France at the start of World War II.

The cemetery of choice was connected to the Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist Church. PG has driven by this facility thousands of times. He walked past the graves until he found a fallen tree to sit down on.

The first poem was “Looking for the Buckhead Boys” by James Dickey. PG began to read out loud, and soon could smell the drug store air of Wender and Roberts. The author bought fifty cents worth of gas at a Gulf station. Today, fifty cents might buy a tablespoon of gas, and Gulf was long ago bought out by BP. Wender and Roberts became a bar, which was torn down, to make way for a shopping destination.

Buckhead is not what it used to be. When Mr. Dickey was the bravest man in Buckhead ( he took a shit in the toilet at Tyree’s pool hall), PG was not even thought of. The traffic jams on Peachtree Street are still there, as the blue haired ladies follow poets into the ground.

When PG finished reading Mr. Dickey, he put a teal postit in the book, where the poem stood. PG looked up, and the graveyard seemed different. Maybe the sun had sank a bit in the sky, and maybe the poem had changed PG in a way he could not put into words. Maybe another poem was the answer. Take the glasses off, open the book at random, and turn the pages until a poem shows up.

On page 404…the historic Atlanta area code…was “The Wartime Journey” by Jan Struther. The 1944 work was unknown territory. A group of people are traveling on a train. The wounded vet, the untried recruit, the salesmen shared the space with a lady, taking a baby for her soldier husband to meet. The theme of the rhymes was that America was totally at war, and that war is different from peacetime. Today’s war in Babylon is not like that.

Halfway through the reading, a freight train pulled by. Today, passenger trains are a novelty, and freight rules the rails. The shipment today was double decked containers, ready to pull off and slap on an eighteen wheeler.

Deaths are said to come in threes, and reading poetry in a graveyard should be the same. PG went on a random search for a Moe, to go with the Curley and Larry already digested. A page of poems by Emily Dickinson was the result. These pages left PG unmoved. It was as if he was back in the sixth grade, with a horrible English teacher forcing him to memorize Hiawatha. It was time to go home.






Whiteness On YouTube

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 24, 2019



What would happen if you were to type *whiteness* into the youtube search engine? PG hears a lot of talk about whiteness. Almost none of it is positive. Maybe an education is needed. A couple of comments before we start. (1) Only videos lasting less than ten minutes will be considered. Panel discussions lasting seven hours are too much work. (2) While listening to videos without a transcript, it is easy to misunderstand what people say. What is reported here is a good faith representation. (3) There is a lot of talk about whiteness on youtube. Most of it is either boring, or annoying. This feature will try to weed those out. If you want to see more, you are encouraged to type whiteness in the youtube search engine. Pack a lunch. This is a repost.

Franny Choi – Whiteness Walks into a Bar A young lady, of Asian descent, reads from a phone. The poem takes “walks into a bar”, and turns the preacher, priest, and rabbi into whiteness. “whiteness walks into a bar with a golden retriever, the golden retriever promptly takes a (shit) on the floor, the bartender’s like what the, whiteness says whoa-oh-oh-oh, tone, meanwhile the dog is started to run, as the shit’s spraying wet feces everywhere, and whiteness is like, you know if you want me to respect you and your cause you could try being a little less confrontational”

The Expanding Definition of Whiteness This is boring. A black lady talks about how Irish and Italian people were not considered white, until they were. She then moves on to Jews. At 3:23, something “took away the racial taint from Jewishness.” What does the perineum have to do with Jewish whiteness? This performance is neither educational or entertaining.

THE HISTORY OF WHITENESS Kat Blaque is a piece of work. She once went off on PG, who said he did not like the sound of cis-. In this show, Miss Blaque discusses history. She begins by saying that Spanish slave traders invented something called “scientific racism.” This was in the 17th century. The term racism was not used before 1933 In this history based talk, a lot of *facts* are thrown out, in rapid succession and high volume, with a few links for documentation. It is tough to say how much of this chatter is true. What is easy to say is that Miss Blaque does not say what whiteness is, except a system of laws and cultural norms that benefit white people. Whiteness has an elastic definition. It means whatever the speaker wants it to mean.

Everything Wrong With “Whiteness” is a catchy title. Edwins Generation read an article, The Video of the Man Saving the Rabbit From the Fire Captures Everything Wrong With Whiteness in 30 Seconds. EG wondered if the article was satire. Gizmodo websites are often confused for satire. The article is about a man saving a rabbit from a forest fire. “maybe the whitest thing I’ve ever seen.” The battle cry to Examine Your Whiteness just got more complicated.

Jon Hamm ‘White Thoughts’ This is a mock infomercial for a product called “White Be Gone.” WBG will eliminate whiteness from your lifestyle. Is this over the top (under the bottom) white self loathing, or is it a satire? After a while, is it worth worrying about? A response video, How to fight “Whiteness,” takes WBG seriously for 45 minutes.

At 4:23 in “White Thoughts”, a black choir sings behind the talent. Mr. Hamm says that whiteness leads you to wear sheets, and burn crosses. A picture is shown, of a white pride after party in Coweta County, GA. A white peoples march had been planned, and fizzled. A few of the whitebois went to a field, and burned a swastika. The “participation trophy” rally is the picture shown at 4:23.

STEPS TO HEAL YOUR TOXIC WHITENESS is another fake commercial. It refers to a program at Everyday Feminism, Healing From Toxic Whiteness. – 10-Week Program “Learn how to free yourself from toxic whiteness to begin developing an anti-racist white identity. Price $297.” The EF program is promoted by VICE. Want to Heal Yourself from ‘Toxic Whiteness’? This Class Can Help “The people behind the self-help/intersectional feminism publication Everyday Feminism are offering a course that aims to educate people of privilege so “individual people of color don’t have to.”

‘It’s Impossible to Imagine Trump Without the Force of Whiteness’ It is inevitable that we would talk about Donald Trump today. In this video, Ta-Nehisi Coates talks. “…endorse someone who had only whiteness to offer.” PG had to listen to that gem three times, to make sure he got it right. So, all that Donald Trump has to offer is whiteness? Really? Is it the quality of DJT whiteness, or the quantity? After all, most of the other candidates were white. Mr. Trump “ran on whiteness as his sole attribute.” This video is released along with an article, The First White President. The article has lots of zesty quotes about DJT, and whiteness.

The Fire This Time: Claudia Rankine on Whiteness as a Brand This post started out as a good idea, but got boring fast. Thank you for reading to the end. What better way to end this than with Claudia Rankine, whose work is being discussed on this blog. “One of the things that we don’t say explicitly is that whiteness is a brand.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Georgia Voter Registration

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on October 15, 2019


This is a repost. This time last year, the election from hell was in hyper-demagouge mode. Stacey Abrams was handed a potent issue, and worked it to death. It wasn’t until after the voting that many of us learned that the counties count the votes, and register voters. While tales of voter suppression cannot be completely ignored, it now appears obvious that we were repeatedly lied to.

@LEBassett “1.Brian Kemp is running for GA gov against Stacey Abrams (a black woman) 2. Kemp is in charge of elections & voter registration 3. Kemp made a new “exact match” rule that is holding up 53,000 voter registrations…. NEARLY 70% OF THEM BLACK 4. THIS IS ALL I WANT TO TALK ABOUT” There is nothing like getting your news from twitter.

Voting rights become a flashpoint in Georgia governor’s race The story gets attention. Georgia is holding up 53k voter registrations. 70% of these registrations are black people, according to an undocumented AP story. These registrations are in the Secretary of State’s office. The current SOS, Brian Kemp, is the Republican candidate for Governor. Mr. Kemp is white. His Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, is black. As you might imagine, the sensation-driven media is in outrage mode.

“An analysis of the records obtained by The Associated Press reveals racial disparity … the list of voter registrations on hold with Kemp’s office is nearly 70 percent black.” No link is provided for the analysis, which is likely to be true. Assuming that is factual … a dangerous proposition three weeks before an election … the next question should be How do they know.? Is the race of the voter on the voter registration application?

STATE OF GEORGIA APPLICATION FOR VOTER REGISTRATION is your basic government form. On line 4, after telephone number, date of birth, and gender (a two check box male/female), we have race/ethnicity: White, Hispanic/Latino, Black, American Indian, Other (with a blank space), Asian/Pacific Islander. Qualifications include: “Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.” Does this requirement apply to candidates?

“Why must I indicate my race or ethnic group? The federal government requires South Carolina to document race or ethnic group for voters by the National Voter Registration Act.” This is the standard answer. The documentation for Georgia can be found at Voter Registration Statistics. If you are a statistics junkie, here is your fix for today.

Georgia has an regulation requiring voter registration to have an “exact match” with information already on file with the Georgia Department of Drivers Services (DDS) or Social Security Administration (SSA). “In 2017, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 268, which codified a voter registration database “exact match” protocol that had been already shown to disproportionately and negatively impact the ability of voting eligible African American, Latino and Asian American applicants to register to vote.” The regulation was not created by Brian Kemp.

Georgia Knew Its Voter Roll Practice Was Discriminatory. It Stuck With It Anyway. The implication of the recent stories is that applications are being targeted by race. Of course, many, if not most, of the clerks reviewing these applications are black. And how would the state know if the voters were black, if it was not on the application?

New FPCA Form Eliminates the Obnoxious Race Question takes a look from another perspective. Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is designed to help military personnel overseas obtain absentee ballots. With regards to the *race question*, authorities here give the standard answer: “Also, many states ask that you provide your race or ethnic group in order to demonstrate that they are complying with the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act.” This sentence has a footnote. “I have reviewed both the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“Motor Voter”), “), and I do not find any provision requiring the states to report to the Federal Government on the race of voters.” The article goes on to describe a Texas election. Absentee ballots were disputed because they were cast by non-Hispanic voters.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

25 Things About Georgia

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on October 8, 2019

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These daze, there is more media than messages. People need things to write about. One popular theme, at least in itp/otp, is lists about life in Georgia. A web facility that should know better, thought catalog, recently put out 25 Things You Need To Know About Georgia.

25TYNTKAG was written by Jeremy Populus Jones. He seems to be the CEO of something called GAFollowers. (@GAFollowers on twitter) From the fine print:
“GAFollowers was created on a “strength in numbers” foundation, finding a creative way to use free online social networking sites to strengthen the “bond” between people in Georgia to help better form this state. … GAFollowers is one of the largest twitter accounts in the state of Georgia that spans nearly every corner of the region.”
These lists about Georgia life usally have a few common comments. There is the heat, the bugs, the traffic, the multiple Peachtrees, and southern accents. They seldom mention the shameless corruption, religious mental illness, rampant obesity, or racial pandemonium. Lets take a look at 25TYNTKAG. Mr. Jones will be in blue, and Chamblee54 in green. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
1. The weather here is just as inconsistent as your ex-girlfriend. Not really. It gets cold in January, hot in July. Your ex-girlfriend is staying out of this.
2. We call all interstates in Georgia, “The Highway”. Most people use the number.
3. Only in Atlanta is everything named “Peachtree” without a single tree with peaches around. Peachtree is all over OTP.
4. Terio and Honey Boo Boo were born and raised here. You couldn’t do this without google. Terio is a chubby kid who dances. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
5. “Knuck if you Buck” is the song we will always get hype to no matter the age. Yuck.
6. White girls wear Nike shorts with big t-shirts covering their shorts. (How many can you spot?) Maybe there was a sale on big t-shirts at Walmart.
7. Zaxbys is what you eat. The TC comments said this is not accurate. They mentioned a certain spelling challenged company, that specializes in overpriced chicken sandwiches. At least the son of Mr. Zaxby doesn’t run off potential customers with his big mouth.
8. We call it a “rag” not a “washcloth”. Do people up north say a woman is on the washcloth?
9. Going outside at anytime during the summer instantly guarantees a minimum a 7 bug bites. This is mostly true. Who is counting?
10. In Georgia when someone ask, “Where you from?”, people usually reply with a county not a city. In Atlanta, when you say “Where are you from?” it is almost always somewhere outside of Georgia.
11. The speed limit is 65 mph but if you’re not going at least 80 mph you’ll be ran off the road. This is also true on surface roads. In hilly Atlanta, there are few places to pass on two lane roads.
12. In Georgia it’s not a shopping cart, it’s a buggy. Do people really say shopping cart? At Kroger it is a bascart. The stores have a bascart corral.
13. We get more inches of pollen in a week than inches of snow in a full year. Pollen season hits in early spring. It is rough for many people. The rest of the year gets relatively little pollen. There is a good ice/snow storm every ten years or so. This one is probably true.
14. You say Georgia, we say Jawja. Others say George-ah. To untrained ears they sound the same.
15. Sweet tea is our water. Very few people wash cars with sweet tea.
16. The night has been a success if you ended up at Waffle House. This is especially true if you are scattered, smothered, and covered.
17. In Georgia it’s necessary to look at the weather before picking out an outfit. A reason not to do numbered lists. Just think of what you have to say, write it down, and hope it is not copyrighted.
18. We pray that we get snow during the winters. The people who pray for winter storms are merchants. They have an inventory of batteries, milk, ice, and eggs to sell.
19. We are the creators of, “Turn Up”. You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.
20. Here in Georgia white girls can twerk. No Miley Cyrus. Ditto reaction to number 17. What was PG thinking of when he decided to do this post?
21. You will usually be 30 minutes away from just about every destination that you’re heading to. 22. There’s a Waffle House in walking distance of every Waffle House. These two have been combined, for obvious reasons. Do people proofread these lists before sending them out?
23. Any dark soda is simply called “Coke”. Many say Cocola, without the second syllable.
24. We pronounce it “Atlanna”. Whatever. Sometimes the second t is audible, sometimes not. It definitely is not the ATL, except to radio shouters.
25. Braves, Falcons & UGA are the teams we really care about. Tech fans may disagree. Ditto taxpayers, who don’t care if Rankin Blank gets a new stadium.

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091119

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on September 11, 2019


This is my 911 story. I repeat it every year at this time. If you saw it last year, it has not changed. Every year I say this will be the last time. The wars started after 911 are still going on. This year, 91119 is a palindrome. Sarah Palin is getting a divorce. Few knew who she was in 2001.

I was at work, and someone called out that someone had run a plane into the World Trade Center. I didn’t think much of it, until I heard that the second tower had been hit, then the Pentagon, then the towers collapsed, then a plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

I focused on my job most of the day. There was always drama at that facility, and concentrating on my production duties helped to keep me saner. This was roughly the halfway point of my seven year tenure at this place.

One of the other workers was a bully for Jesus. He was a hateful loudmouth. After the extent of the damage became known, he shouted “They are doing this for Allah,” and prayed at his desk. The spectacle of the BFJ praying made me want to puke.

I became alienated from Jesus during these years. Once, I had once been tolerant of Christians and Jesus, as one would be with an eccentric relative. I began to loath the entire affair. I hear of others who found comfort in religion during this difficult time. That option simply was not available for me.

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. “This item is part of a collection of images of downtown Atlanta streets that were taken before the viaduct construction of 1927 – 1929. Some of the covered streets became part of Underground Atlanta.”