Chamblee54

Are You An A$$hole?

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 10, 2019


A facebook friend recently displayed the results of an online test, Are you an asshole? When PG clicked on the link, he was told to sign in with facebook. Going to a clickbait site, and being told to drag in the zuckersphere, is more trouble than it is worth. Fortunately, google has the answer to “are you an asshole?” The fact that google is a corporate sphincter should be disregarded. Today we will look at the page one results. Pictures for this contemptible waste of your time are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

How Much Of An Asshole Are You? gets the top spot. Buzzfeed paid for it. This is a typical online quiz. The multiple choice answers never quite seem to fit, so you choose one to get the results you want. “You got: NOT AN ASSHOLE AT ALL!”

Are You An Asshole?, also from Buzzfeed, asks “Have you ever…? There is a list of 22 items. “You checked 4 out of 22 on this list! Don’t worry. You’re a good person. There’s a chance you’ve been a little manipulative or dishonest, but for the most part, it was probably unintentional. The world could use more people like you.”

Are You A Certified Asshole? is a bit of self promotion by Bob Sutton, aka @work_matters. Self promoter is a synonym for asshole. “Are You A Certified Asshole? Find Out With the Asshole Rating Self-Exam (ARSE) A 24-Question Self-Exam by Bob Sutton. Click here to buy the classic “The No Asshole Rule.”” The questions deal with the workplace. “4 to 5 “True”: You don’t sound like a certified asshole, unless you are fooling yourself.”

How Much Of An Asshole Are You? is the facebook tainted thingie at the start of this post. What Kind Of A**hole Are You? has little value. There are more multiple choice questions that have no good answer. At the end, you have to click on an unknowable link, if you want the results. 8 Telltale Signs You’re An Asshole is a further descent into clickbait hell. There are eight items, many of which never occur to anyone over twenty five. Number eight is the catch all: “You don’t think you’re an asshole.”

ARE YOU AN ASSHOLE? is a devolution of the multiple choice concept. “IN YOU’RE SPARE TIME YOU…? HANG OUT WITH BUDS, CUT YOURSELF, PLOT ASSASSINATIONS, EAT SMALL CHILDREN, KILL STUFF.” When you get to question 5 / 9, you see this: “WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? This question is under review, please proceed ahead.” When you try to move ahead, you are told “Please select an option.” The Belorussian hackers have work to do.

ASSHOLE Quiz is another import from ProProfs. “Your walking down the street and you see a man on the ground and his head is blown off. What would ya do? Ask him if he is O.K., Fain, Call the cops.” After you answer the question, you are told if you gave the correct answer.

Are you an asshole? and The Asshole Test are the last two results on page one. Both are useless. “You’re a good person. You’ll help your friend if he needs you, you’ll buy him a beer if he forgot his purse, and you won’t blame your girlfriend for listening Justin Bieber just because you don’t like this stupid ass faggot. People love you.” There is nothing like validation.

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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Why Did The 1956 Legislature Change The Flag?

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on October 6, 2019

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What Stacey Abrams said about burning the Georgia flag in 1992 The New York Times decided to show a picture of a younger, slimmer Stacey Abrams burning the Georgia state flag. The year was 1992. The state flag had the Confederate battle flag embedded. People were asking the legislature to change that. Miss Abrams was a student activist. This is a repost.

The NYT article sparked a twitter dogpile, about the motives of the Georgia legislature in 1956. PG remembers 1993, when the initial proposal to change the flag was made. Changing The Flag is an account of those years. If you have a minute, you should read that post before going any further. The people who wanted to change the flag introduced an argument. They said that the legislature changed the flag, in 1956, as a protest against integration. PG never believed that. One afternoon in 1994, PG found a newspaper article that supported his point of view. After that, PG did not think much about the issue. The flag was changed in 2000 and 2003.

The issue has a few shades of gray. The reason given in 1956 was honoring the Confederacy. In 1993, the 1956 legislature was said to be protesting integration. The emotions of honoring the Confederacy, and denouncing integration, are not entirely separate. Many of the same people, who are proud of the Confederacy, are white supremacists. To an outsider, they can seem like the same thing. PG can understand how someone not familiar with Georgia could mistake the two.

The debate, over the motive of the 1956 legislature, was never necessary. The flag, featuring the Confederate battle flag, was seen as a symbol of racism. Many people were offended by this flag. Why not just say we should change the flag for this reason, and not worry what the legislature was thinking? However, this was not good enough. People needed some more ammunition for their fight. The notion that the flag was changed as a protest against desegregation was born. PG never heard, before 1993, that the flag was changed as a protest against integration. People believed this notion without any evidence, just because somebody said so. 1994 was 38 years after 1956. Very few people in 1994 were active in 1956. The argument in favor of the changed-to-protest-integration notion had two parts: (1) Because I said so, (2) if you disagree you are a racist idiot.

@KevinMKruse No, she burned the old *Georgia* flag, which had been designed specifically by white supremacists as a show of defiance to desegregation in 1956. Let’s dig in. @chamblee54 The Flag was not changed as a protest against desegregation. Changing The Flag @KevinMKruse I literally wrote a book on this, but congratulations on finding a blog post. @chamblee54 I wrote the blog post. If you read the post, you will see I did research. Did anyone say at the time that the new flag was a protest? Do you have a link to this?

@jdtitan Luther, would you say you’re a racist idiot, or more of a stupid racist? @whoopityscoot Hahahahahahah. I just read your blog post. Sir, you are a moron. @ashleystollar That’s like saying the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery. @Duranti “emotional pride for the traitors to America” @The_SquidProQuo You found one old newspaper article and felt compelled to argue the point huh? Stupid is a hell of a drug. @theDiff_Kenneth I read your blog post and I would like that 10 minutes of my life back. Your “evidence” was an announcement article that supported the flag change and omitted any overtly racist comments. Your writing style is close to unreadable and your investigative skills do not exist. @kingbuzz0 If you ever find yourself in the position of arguing of (insert subject) in the South had nothing to do with (insert stand in for outright racism), you have a bad argument. It’s all racism, always, every time.

@JoshCStephenso You found a single article? Maybe you would trust a paper written by the Deputy Director of the Georgia Senate Research Office – a chamber that is majority R? This tweet was helpful. The report was written in 2000, before the a new flag was driven through the legislature. If you have the time to read the complete report, it is worth your time. If not, a few quotes will be posted here, along with a few helpful comments.

The first Confederate flag looked a great deal like the Union flag. In early battles of the war, the two flags were often confused. “The commanding Confederate officer at the Battle of Bull Run, General P.T.G. Beauregard, determined that a single distinct battle flag was needed for the entire Confederate army. Confederate Congressman William Porcher Miles recommended a design incorporating St. Andrew’s Cross.”… “The St. Andrew’s Cross – the flag’s distinctive feature – had its origin in the flag of Scotland, which King James I of England combined with St. George’s Cross to form the Union Flag of Great Britain. It is believed that St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland since A.D. 750. and brother of the apostle Peter, was crucified by his persecutors upon a cross in the shape of an “X” in A.D. 60. White southerners, many of whom traced their ancestry to Scotland, very easily related to this Christian symbol.” “Other flags such as State regimental colors were used by the Confederacy on the battlefield, but the battle flag, although it was never officially recognized by the Confederate government, came to represent the Confederate army.”

At first, use of the battle flag was restricted to historic events. It wasn’t until the fifties that the flag began to be used by those who fought integration. In 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education was handed down by the Supreme Court, ordering the integration of schools. The Georgia legislature went into resistance mode, and spent a lot of time denouncing integration. The senate research office devotes page after page to these efforts. Finally, “In early 1955, John Sammons Bell, chairman of the State Democratic Party … suggested a new state flag for Georgia that would incorporate the Confederate Battle Flag. At the 1956 session of the General Assembly, state senators Jefferson Lee Davis and Willis Harden introduced Senate Bill 98 to change the state flag. Signed into law on February 13, 1956, the bill became effective the following July 1.”

“Little information exists as to why the flag was changed, there is no written record of what was said on the Senate and House floors or in committee and Georgia does not include a statement of legislative intent when a bill is introduced – SB 98 simply makes reference to the “Battle Flag of the Confederacy.” … “Many defenders of the flag, including former governor Ernest Vandiver, who served as the Lieutenant Governor in 1956, have attempted to refute the belief that the battle flag was added in defiance of the Supreme Court rulings. Vandiver, in a letter to the Atlanta Constitution, insisted that the discussion on the bill centered around the coming centennial of the Civil War and that the flag was meant to be a memorial to the bravery, fortitude and courage of the men who fought and died on the battlefield for the Confederacy.”

This is where it gets murky. It is apparent that the legislature was obsessed with integration. The circumstantial evidence, of the flag being changed as a protest of integration, is there. However, there is no smoking gun. There are no apparent statements, from 1956, saying that this change was made to protest integration. This detail seems to have sprung up in 1993, without having been widely mentioned in the 37 years since 1956. The newspaper article PG found does not mention a protest against integration, and does mention a desire to honor the Confederacy.

“The argument that the flag was changed in 1956 in preparation for the approaching Civil War centennial appears to be a retrospective or after-the-fact argument. In other words, no one in 1956, including the flag’s sponsors, claimed that the change was in anticipation of the coming anniversary. Those who subscribe to this argument have adopted it long after the flag had been changed.” This is contradicted by the newspaper article, and statements by “Governor Griffin’s floor leader, Representative Denmark Groover … “anything we in Georgia can do to preserve the memory of the Confederacy is a step forward.” As for the after-the-fact argument, you could say the same thing about the notion that the flag was changed as a protest against integration.

“There was also some opposition to the change from the state’s many newspapers. The North Georgia Tribune argued that: “….There is little wisdom in a state taking an official action which would incite its people to lose patriotism in the U.S.A. or cast a doubt on that part of the Pledge of Allegiance which says ‘one nation, unto God, indivisible…’ So far as we are concerned, the old flag is good enough. We dislike the spirit which hatched out the new flag, and we don’t believe Robert E. Lee…would like it either” “The Atlanta Constitution also thought that the flag change was unnecessary for the simple fact that “there has been no recorded dissatisfaction with the present flag.” The newspaper article PG found in 1994 was from the Constitution. Even though they were opposed to the change, they did not attribute this change to a desire to protest integration.

“When the flag change was first proposed, it received resistance from groups that one would think would have highly favored the change – various Confederate organizations including the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). “They made the change strictly against the wishes of UDC chapters from all the states that form our organization,” said Ms. Forrest E. Kibler, legislative chairwoman of the Georgia UDC. … The Executive Board of the Georgia Division of UDC had passed a resolution on January 11, 1956 opposing the proposed changes to the flag, citing that the Confederate battle flag belonged to all the Confederate States – not merely to Georgia – and placing it on the Georgia flag would cause strife. … Also opposing the new flag was the John B. Gordon Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This group protested against all uses of the battle flag except in commemoration of the Confederacy, or by the official use of the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Sons of the Confederacy, and the Children of the Confederacy.” This opposition was touched on in the newspaper article. This is one of the more confusing aspects of this affair.

“While many questioned the political and philosophical motives of the flag change, there were others who considered the change to be an unnecessary expense that would burden taxpayers, since Georgia law required every public school, and all public institutions to fly the state flag. In voting “no,” Representative Mackay said that the present flag was “a symbol of sacred memory” and that “the change puts every flag owner in Georgia to unnecessary expense.” Alleviating the financial concerns of many, sponsors of the bill pointed out that those institutions required to fly the new flag will replace the old flag with the new one only as present flags wear out. Questions were also raised on whether anyone had a copyright on the flag design which would entitle them to royalties – a charge denied by John Sammons Bell and Representative Groover.”

John Sammons Bell is a name that keeps coming up. From 1954 to 1960, Mr. Bell was Chairman of the State’s Democratic Party. He was, by all accounts, an enthusiastic segregationist. One of the jaw dropping moments in the senate report was this: “Bell, a one-time supporter of Governor Ellis Arnall, once had the reputation of being a “liberal” on race issues.”

When the state senate report was issued, in 2000 (6 years after PG found the newspaper article, and dropped out of the argument,) Mr. Bell had a few comments. “He wanted to forever perpetuate the memory of the Confederate soldier who fought and died for his state and that the purpose of the change was “to honor our ancestors who fought and died and who have been so much maligned.” He has also argued that the flag was not redesigned in reaction to and in defiance of the 1954 Brown decision… “Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth … every bit of it is untrue. ”

“On March 9, 1993, (Denmark) Groover moved many Georgians when he stood in the House well to address his colleagues on the subject of the state flag. In an emotional speech, he acknowledged that the flag is offensive to some and conceded that, “I cannot say to you that I personally was in no way motivated by a desire to defy. I can say in all honesty that my willingness was in large part because … that flag symbolized a willingness of a people to sacrifice their all for their beliefs.” Mr. Groover offered a compromise, which included a smaller version of the battle flag. A flag similar to that was adopted in 2000, only to be changed again in 2003.

To sum up, the Georgia state flag was changed in 1956. The new flag contained the Confederate battle flag. Many people were offended by the 1956 flag. PG thought it was ugly. Many others saw it, with some justification, as a symbol of racism. For some reason, speculation about the motives of the 1956 legislature. 18 years after the passage of a new flag, people are still arguing over the motives of the 1956 legislature. Pictures for this gratuitous waste of bandwidth are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. .
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Factotum

Posted in Book Reports, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on September 14, 2019

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PG was in a seedy chinese buffet, when he realized that only a page remained on Factotum. Should he go back, and get a second cup of ice cream? The scene was far removed from the Charles Bukowski/Hank Chinaski tale of alcoholic Los Angeles. The time is World War II, a conflict that is seldom mentioned. Hank does not seem to miss anything.

There is a barber shop a couple of shops down from the chinese buffet. PG took his brother, GP, to get a haircut there. 082719 – Took GP to the barber shop. Since the basement barber shop has closed, GP wanted to go to Eliot’s Barber Shop in Chamblee Plaza. There has been a bs in that spot as long as PG can remember. The barber pole may be the original one. It looks like it has taken direct sunlight, and the red white and blue is now pink gray and lavender. Below the pole were paper boxes for the fishwrapper and CL. They are seldom used now.

A parking spot was open in front of the bs, and PG took it. Next door was a UPS store. There must have been four or five vehicles to park next to him, in the twenty minutes or so that it took the barber to cut GP’s hair. The last one was a red pickup, with big tires and a Forstyth county plate. The book was Factotum by Charles Bukowski. The young man is in New York and Philly. Every time a truck pulled into the parking spot, young Hank has gotten another crappy job, and left it to get drunk. PG was beginning to notice a pattern when GP came out of the bs.

Hank Chinaski is not an inspiring character. He is a drunk. No one knows how many jobs he got fired from in Factotum. It is like counting how many drinks George and Martha enjoyed in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? “I always started a job with the feeling that I’d soon quit or be fired, and this gave me a relaxed manner that was mistaken for intelligence or some secret power.”

Hank is a hetero. Jan is the lady Hank keeps coming back to/coming in to. Jan drinks as much as Hank, and has a nasty mouth. “She was compulsively unfaithful – she’d go off with anyone she met in a bar, and the lower and the dirtier he was the better she liked it. She was continually using our arguments to justify herself. I kept telling myself that all the women in the world weren’t whores, just mine.” Jan did have one redeeming quality. “jan was an excellent fuck… she had a tight pussy and she took it like it was a knife that was killing her.”

“You know, I’m not a clothes man. Clothes bore me. They are terrible things, cons, like vitamins, astrology, pizzas, skating rinks, pop music, heavyweight championship fights, etc.” “We all sat there and looked at each other and didn’t look at each other. We chewed gum, drank coffee, went into restrooms, urinated, slept. We sat on the hard benches and smoked cigarettes we didn’t want to smoke. We looked at each other and didn’t like what we saw.”

“That scene in the office stayed with me. Those cigars, the fine clothes. I thought of good steaks, long rides up winding driveways that led to beautiful homes. Ease. Trips to Europe. Fine women. Were they that much more clever than I? The only difference was money, and the desire to accumulate it. I’d do it too! I’d save my pennies. I’d get an idea, I’d spring a loan. I’d hire and fire. I’d keep whiskey in my desk drawer. I’d have a wife with size 40 breasts and an ass that would make the paperboy on the corner come in his pants when he saw it wobble. I’d cheat on her and she’d know it and keep silent in order to live in my house with my wealth. I’d fire men just to see the look of dismay on their faces. I’d
fire women who didn’t deserve to be fired.”

“I remembered my New Orleans days, living on two five-cent candy bars a day for weeks at a time in order to have leisure to write. But starvation, unfortunately, didn’t improve art. It only hindered it. A man’s soul was rooted in his stomach. A man could write much better after eating a porterhouse steak and drinking a pint of whiskey than he could ever write after eating a nickel candy bar. The myth of the starving artist was a hoax.” This book report was fueled by coffee, a bowl of basmati rice, and canned black bean fiesta. An craftsman should choose the tools that work best for him. The rice was $1.39 for a five pound bag, on the close out table at Kroger. Being cheap doesn’t have to be evil.

Hank Chinaski gets to the bottom line of the human condition. He got yet another ill-fated job. This one included working as a janitor. The importance of this job soon became manifest. “Nothing is worse than to finish a good shit, then reach over and find the toilet paper container empty. Even the most horrible human being on earth deserves to wipe his ass.”

Early in the book, Hank goes to jail for public drunk. His father… immortalized in Ham on Rye … asked him “What? You’d dare drink right after getting out of jail for intoxication?” To which Hank replied “That’s when you need a drink the most.”

PG went to Kaycee’s for dinner. It is a buffet on LaVista road, across the way from the mall. It is your basic buffet… fried chicken every night, veggies out of a can, and best of all, carrot and raisin salad every time. You go in, pay, tell the lady what you want to drink, and get your food.

Tonight the lady was a tiny asian named Busybee Helen. She brought a couple of glasses of tea, and then asked PG if he wanted some ice cream. Naturally, He said yes. Factotum is still the reading material. Hank met a lady in a bar, and wound up back at her house, along with a drunk named Wilbur, and two other ladies. Wilbur Oxnard is a closet millionaire.

The four of them go out to sea in Wilbur’s boat. Wilbur gets mad at Hank and the girls, and leaves them. The boat has plenty of food and drink, so they are not too broken up, except that it is getting cold. One by one, the girls crawl up into Hank’s bunk to get warm. In the process, they get more than warm, thanks to Hank’s pecker. Meanwhile, the other girls protest that they are friends, and that Hank shouldn’t be doing this. Did this really happen, or is it the overactive Bukowski imagination?

The ice cream never does come out. Busybee Helen asks if PG wants more tea. He says no thank you, and leaves. Life is what you make of it.“The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. supplies the pictures today.

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What Is In That Picture?

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 12, 2019

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“Cam you are killing me with all of these uncaptioned photos. Inquiring minds want to know.” The picture had been posted on facebook to promote a post at chamblee54, An Old Farmer’s Advice. There were three young ladies playing musical instruments, while a beer drinker expressed opinions in the background. The only caption used was a credit for “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Here is how you get the information on a picture.
1 – Right click on the picture. Choose “Open Link in New Tab.”
2 – Note the url of the picture. For this image, it is https://chamblee54.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/n54-011_az.jpg This information is going to be helpful.
3 – Note the number at the end: n54-011_az.jpg. Disregard the .jpg. Disregard the z at the end. This was added by the editor, to let him know this is not the original image.
4 – You are left with the identifier number: n54-011_a.
5 – Click on the link to the GSU library. “ This usually provided in the text of the post.
6 – In the field that says “Enter Search Terms,” paste in the identifier number. Since an exact match is required, copy/paste is suggested. Click “Search.”
7 – Click on the thumbnail to get to the big page. This picture: Title Pontiac Motor Division, General Motors event (reception,) Identifier N54-011_a, Date of original 1971-10-12, Decade 1970s, Description Envelope description: Pontiac Motor Division; General Motors Corporation [GMC];; Lenox Towers East; The Pontiac Team on the Move, 1971

Most of the GSU pictures at chamblee54 are from two collections: Tracy O’Neal Photographs. “The Tracy W. O’Neal Collection consists of about 31,500 4×5 inch acetate negatives which are housed in 10,814 envelopes.” The identifier number for the O’Neal pictures starts with N.

Lane Brothers Photographs is the other GSU collection you usually see on chamblee54. “The Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection consists of about 258,100 (196,800 4×5 inch and 61,300 2 1/2 inch) acetate negatives which are housed in 43,486 envelopes.” The identifier numbers for the Lane Brothers pictures start with LB.

The GSU library has a different link every year. Sometimes, chamblee54 does not provide the current link. If this happens, go to google and request “tracy o’neal gsu” or “lane brothers gsu.”

The Library of Congress. is the other major source of pictures for chamblee54. Looking up pictures in the Library of Congress is very similar to GSU. One exception is that the LOC link never changes. One posted in 2010, when chamblee54 started to raid this collection, works today.

1 – Right click on the picture. Choose “Open Link in New Tab.”
2 – Note the url of the picture. For this image, it is https://chamblee54.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/8b15288x.jpg This information is going to be helpful.
3 – Note the number at the end: 8b15288x.jpg. Disregard the .jpg. Disregard the x at the end. This was added by the editor, to let him know this is not the original image.
4 – Many LOC pictures were divided into more than one image. 8b15288xa is an example. With these, you will see a letter after the x. This is not a part of the identifier number. Disregard this letter when searching for more information about the picture.
5 – You are left with the identifier number: 8b15288
6 – Click on the link to “The Library of Congress.” This usually provided in the text of the post.
7 – In the field that says “Search All,” paste in the identifier number. Since an exact match is required, copy/paste is suggested. Click “Go.”
8 – Click on the thumbnail to get to the big page. Waiting for stoplight. Washington, D.C. Creator(s): Myers, David (David Moffat), photographer Date Created/Published: 1939 July.

Historic Pictures is a page at chamblee54 with more information on these collections. Pictures today were from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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An Old Farmer’s Advice

Posted in GSU photo archive, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 12, 2019

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Many of you have heard “An Old Farmer’s Advice”. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong. Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled. Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight. Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. You cannot unsay a cruel word. Every path has a few puddles. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. The best sermons are lived, not preached. Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway. Don’t judge folks by their relatives. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time. Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none. Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got. The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’. Always drink upstream from the herd. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in. If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to G-d!

Know one knows who the old farmer is, or what he grew. Some say he really worked in an office writing ads for Massey Ferguson. Some say he had a bull farm, and believed in the product. In this age of industrial strength commodity wisdom, or glurge, the first reaction of some is to look to google. In this case, you can go to a forum at Snopes. No one claims to be the grandson of the old farmer.

My father in law is an old farmer. He’s given me some advice. It was more like: Don’t try to fix a broken porchlight in a rainstorm. corrolary: Disconnect power to the sprinkler system before fiddling with the wiring. If you wear longer socks, the chiggers won’t bite you. Cool Whip makes everything taste better. Do whatever your mother in law says.

quote: A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. ~ Yeah, but you try getting a bumble bee to plow your fields. With the tiny little plows attached to their wings, it could take days.

quote: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly… ~ And above all else, verb adverbly … There’s my problem, I’ve been living deeply, loving simply and speaking generously.

quote: Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. ~ I’m not sure of the lesson here…you should leave a bunch of tree stumps in your farm fields? But then you lose valuable real estate, the crops have to compete with the tree roots, and combine harvesting is significantly more dangerous. Maybe, if you take just a little time to remove the stump properly, it pays dividends and saves you time and energy in the long run. … But life is a lot cooler, and more productive if you go down to the general store, buy a few blasting caps, and blow that mother to kingdom come.

The sentiments aren’t too bad, but they missed “Now get orf moy laaand!” from the end…

quote:Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway. ~ Oh, so I shouldn’t worry about not being able outrun a bumble bee on my John Deere tractor? Thanks.

quote: Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. ~ But not when the waitress is asking what you’d like on your pizza. … Unless the question is “what’s the maximum decibel level a human can stand.” … Especially if you are passive-aggressive.

quote: Always drink upstream from the herd. ~ But, unless your at the absolute source of the river, there’s always another herd further upstream.

This reminds me of the episode of Frasier where he first got paired up with the Standard Issue Sassy Black Woman (SISBW) who kept trotting out mindless aphorisms from her fictional uncle. Never have I felt so much sympathy for the character.

quote: The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’. ~ I knew it. I knew that SOB had a camera in there. I’m going to the police.

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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.”

Governors Of Death

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Politics, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on August 30, 2019


This is a repost from 2011. Some of the links no longer work. In the last eight years, Governor Big Hair has tried to run for President, and failed with distinction. He is currently the Secretary of Energy.
Rick Perry, known by The Field Negro as Governor Big Hair, wants to be the next POTUS. Some people say he enjoys executions. As one popular story shows, this might be an asset.
“Veterans of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s unsuccessful 2010 primary challenge to Perry recalled being stunned at the way attacks bounced off the governor in a strongly conservative state gripped by tea party fever. Multiple former Hutchison advisers recalled asking a focus group about the charge that Perry may have presided over the execution of an innocent man — Cameron Todd Willingham — and got this response from a primary voter: “It takes balls to execute an innocent man.” (One person thinks people are making too big a deal out of this quote. “Besides, it’s not like Texas is lacking for other perfectly good things to mock!”)
The case of Mr.Willingham is mighty controversial. Some say the Governor of Texas has little to do with who does or does not get executed, (There is a school of thought that the Governor of Texas is weak, with little ability to do much. If this is the case, the much touted economic miracle in Texas has little to do with the Governor.) Governor Big Hair did replace the chair of the Forensic Science Commission two days before a hearing about the Willingham execution.

Playing politics with executions seems to be a recent tradition for state Governors who want to be POTUS. In 1992, Bill Clinton went home to Arkansas to make sure that Ricky Ray Rector was executed. Mr. Rector had severe brain damage, and did not know what was going on. During his last meal, he put a slice of pecan pie to the side, and said he wanted to save it for later.

In 1999, George W. Bush was the Governor of lethal injection happy Texas. A lady named Karla Faye Tucker was scheduled to be poisoned. The Governor gave an interview.
In the week before [Karla Faye Tucker’s] execution, Bush says, Bianca Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Tucker. “Did you meet with any of them?” I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. “No, I didn’t meet with any of them,” he snaps, as though I’ve just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. “I didn’t meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real difficult questions, like ‘What would you say to Governor Bush?’ ” “What was her answer?” I wonder.“Please,” Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, “don’t kill me.”
Mr. Bush got lots of blood on his compassionate conservative hands during eight years as POTUS. BHO (who never ordered an execution) wasted Osama Bin Ladin, and a few women and children in Stanland. Governor Big Hair will probably get a few more Texecutions before next years election.

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Here is one more quote: “Here in Texas we believe that juries are wise as Solomon when it comes to deciding who needs to die but dumb as posts when it comes to figuring out damage awards.”

Tiki Torch

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 18, 2019


This is a repost from 2017. There was a wild weekend in Charlottesville VA. You probably heard about it. The media… corporate, social, anti social … is not known for restraint. The click bait happy datamongers go crazy when a racial conflict emerges. Social media swarms with virtue signalling, as the insecure/insincere masses leap at the opportunity to be seen “on the right side of history.”

The tiki torch boys enjoy bad press, and see it as as proof that they are cool. People see negative reaction as an affirmation of their virtue. One example is this purple prose headline: Procter & Gamble Release an Ad About ‘the Talk,’ and White People Respond With the Wettest, Saltiest, Stupidest White Tears Ever. A soap company decides that the hardships faced by black people are a good marketing gimmick. It is assumed that some white people will not like it, and will make stupid comments on facebook. It is all part of the game.

The white people parade friday night was breathlessly reported. The alt-right children were routinely labelled nazis. The original nazis almost conquered Europe, killed twenty million Soviets, and were one of the fiercest war machines ever created. The star performer saturday flunked out of the US Army because he could not meet their standards. Why do people routinely label these obnoxious children nazis? The Germans had standards.

Let’s do a bit of speculation. What if the tiki torch parade had been ignored? Let the idiots have their parade. Surround them with law enforcement, and keep antifa away. Repeat this on Saturday. Keep the alt right far away from antifa. Have a media blackout… don’t give these clowns, both alt right and antifa, the attention that they crave. Let the counter protesters have their sign waving party. When the rally is over, James Fields will get in his Dodge Challenger and drive back to Ohio. Everyone can go back home, eat hamburgers, and be happy. White idiots will get less attention.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. The democrats made racism a campaign issue. The slimy crookedness of DJT was ignored, and replaced by screaming racist, racist. When he won, anything perceived as racist is suddenly his fault. The black people feel more alienated than before. The lingering liberals blame anything they don’t like on the bottle blonde butthead. People are blaming the tiki torch antics, of the slobbering mob, on Donald Trump. Critical thinking is called for.

America loves to talk about police brutality. The police had a slow day Saturday. Deputies shoot, kill man who lunged at them with knife, official says. A non African American, Hispanic, man, Eduardo Navarrete, was beamed out on meth. He lunged at police with a knife, with fatal results. This was the only officer involved shooting reported on Saturday.

The role played by antifa, or anti fascism, is uncertain. Apparently, they wanted to give the alt right a fight. Since this makes the alt right seem virtuous, the offer the fight was accepted. When you wrestle with a pig, you get dirty, and the hog has a good time. The alt right is taking the blame for this mess, along with DJT, the police, and, of course, racism. Antifa is getting a free ride. If antifa had not been there on saturday, the alt right would have had to fight with themselves. Maybe antifa, whoever they are, and whoever is funding them, needs to be held accountable.

This too shall pass away. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.” The spell check suggestion for antifa is Tiffany.

Racism Double Feature

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Library of Congress, Quotes, Race by chamblee54 on August 17, 2019


There was a comment thread on facebook. Here is the comment that started it. “I have a Facebook friend, who is a black Trump supporter, who says he doesn’t care “if he’s racist or not.” I don’t know what to think about that. Maybe there are a few of my black friends who can help me with that?” There were a lot of comments, which is not surprising. Race, and not liking Donald Trump, are two popular topics of conversation.

The conversation started with a link to When Someone Says They Still Support Trump, I Instantly Know 6 Things About Them. The six items, with a parenthetical summary, are: 1. You want to be ruled, not governed (authoritarianism,) 2. You are not someone I would trust to do business with (business ethics,) 3. You’re either a racist or an enabler of racists (racism,) 4. You have issues with women (misogyny,) 5. You aren’t quite as “Christian” as you claim to be (religious exploitation,) 6. You are anti-constitution (respect for rule of law,)

While those six items are more or less true about Mr. Trump, it is a stretch to say they apply to anyone who supports the man. (Many of these character traits are present in people who don’t like Mr. Trump, especially authoritarianism.) What is disturbing to PG is the way that racial attitudes dominates the conversation. This is a problem in a lot of ways. The obsession with screaming racist helped Mr. Trump get elected. Insulting potential voters is not a good campaign strategy.

There seems to be a national verdict that Donald J. Trump is a racist. A non compliant racial attitude is worse than authoritarianism, crookedness, and mental instability. If you are white, and you question this orthodoxy, then you are a racist. If you are black, and don’t believe without question, then you are asking to be insulted.

The Trump-is-racist meme follows a cynical decision to make Mr. Trump’s racial attitudes a campaign issue. The best evidence cited is a 1973 complaint, involving discrimination in renting apartments. Other evidence… attacks on nationalities, attacks on religious groups, support of unseemly white people … utilize an elastic definition of racism. Others disagree.

There was a comment: Martin C Ezeonu “Lol… I don’t like Trump cuz he is an asshole. On the other hand we know exactly where there country stands now because of him. This country is still racist as hell. these past years nobody addressed is just politicians smartly covering it up. But now to move forward something has to give. And I like that. Let people stop being deceived. Don’t care if he is racist or not I like the fact that he is not a politician and couldn’t play the game. That’s why both parties want him out.”

Mr. Ezeonu is from Nigeria. He might have little in common with most African Americans, other that his skin tone. That is all many people see. People fail to appreciate the amazing diversity in today’s African America. In the comments, Mr. Exeonu was called an idiot, mentally ill, and many other things. Not agreeing with a national consensus is dangerous.

Mr. Trump has numerous problems. In the list of six things, we see authoritarian tendencies, and ethical shortcomings. Many feel the Democrats made a mistake by screaming racist, instead of focusing on his shady business practices. Many white people were alienated by this campaign tactic. After the Trump victory, many black people feel alienated by his election. The race situation gets worse and worse. Saying that Donald Trump is a racist does not help.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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One of the touted TED talks in the weekly email is Color blind or color brave? It is by Mellody Hobson, a POC in the investment business. It is the standard call to talk more about race. Talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. The word listen is not used.

At the 3:13 mark, Mrs. Hobson makes a remarkable statement. “Now I know there are people out there who will say that the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity, right?” (Yes, this is a TED talk.) It is possible that someone has said that. There are also people who say the earth is flat.

PG asked Mr. Google about this. The top two results are about the TED talk. The third result is an article in Forbes magazine, Racism In America Is Over. It is written by John McWhorter, one of the “black guys at Bloggingheads.tv.” Dr. McWhorter does say racism is over, sort of. The problems that remain are a lot worse. Too much food for thought, for a population with intellectual bulimia.

There is a quote in the Forbes article that is pure gold.
“When decrying racism opens no door and teaches no skill, it becomes a schoolroom tattletale affair. It is unworthy of all of us: “He’s just a racist” intoned like “nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!””
There are a lot more results. PG is getting tired of looking. If you want to see for yourself, google “the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity.” Except for a rogue title editor at Forbes, almost nobody has said that. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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She Always Carries Jonquils

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on August 14, 2019






PG found Archival Atlanta: Electric Street Dummies, the Great Stonehenge Explosion, Nerve Tonics, and Bovine Laws : Forgotten Facts and Well-Kept Secrets from Our City’s Past at the Chamblee library. There are always more stories to be heard. This repost has pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. It is written like Margaret Mitchell.

In the 1840s, the Western and Atlantic railroad wanted to hook up with the Central of Georgia railroad. The spot for the meeting was called Terminus. One idea was to name the town for William Lumpkin, a former Georgia Governor and a railroad executive. Lumpkinville sounded bad in the mouth, and the new town was named “Marthasville”, after the daughter of the Governor. (Martha is buried in Oakland Cemetery.) Few people liked this name, and someone decided that the feminine form of Atlantic was Atlanta. Unlike the state flag, this is unlikely to change.

The new town prospered, and recovered from the unpleasantness of 1864. In 1875, there was a problem with stray cows. The answer was the “1875 Cow Ordinance”. The law required that cows be kept in a pen at night. A fine of two dollars was assessed for every stray cow that was caught.

About this time, there were a few very busy railroad tracks going through downtown. People were getting tired of waiting for the trains to go through. One by one, viaducts were built over the tracks, creating a forgotten ground floor. This was built up into Underground Atlanta in the sixties, which was red hot for a while, then cooled off, and is now so so.

In 1897, J.W. Alexander was the first person in town to own a “horseless carriage”. One day, he decided to take a ride to East Point. A mule objected, and kicked man and machine into a ditch.

It is a rule that all history books about Atlanta have to discuss Coca Cola and Gone With The Wind. There are only so many stories to go around. This book tells of an Alpharetta farmer who bought the Tara set from MGM. He stored in a barn, the location of which was a secret. Betty Talmadge wanted to buy it, and the price went from $375k to $5k. After a while, the sale was finalized. There was only one problem…the farmer died, and never told anyone where the barn was. Mrs. Talmadge got the money from her husband’s overcoat, went to Alpharetta, and found the barn. The set was moved into another secret location, where it was in 1996, when Archival Atlanta was published, at an undisclosed local location.

Sam and William Venable owned Stone Mountain, and had a quarry there. (The Ku Klux Klan held meetings on the mountain.) (The spell check suggestion for Ku Klux is Kook Klutz.) Sam built a large granite house at 1410 Ponce de Leon Avenue, and stocked it with ammunition. He thought a race war was on the way, and wanted to be prepared. One night, a chimney overheated. The roof caught on fire. The explosives in the attic exploded, and took the roof off. The house was repaired, Mr. Venable died, and the house became part of a Lutheran church.

One of the few ante bellum houses in Atlanta is near Grant Park. It was once owned by Lemuel Grant, who donated the land for the park. He stays in a large marble house in Oakland Cemetery now. The Grant Park house was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John Marsh, in partnership with Boyd Eugene Taylor. After the death of Mrs. Marsh (also known as Margaret Mitchell), she was known to visit the house.
“Margaret just wanders through the house, looking things over. She never talks, and she always carries jonquils. The first night she came I was very shocked. I went out to her grave at Oakland Cemetery the next day. I’d never been to the house before. But I was almost certain of what I’d find. The plot is covered by a bed of jonquils.”






The Funeral Of Elvis

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 11, 2019


This is a repost. PG was going to write about some depressing subject. People that are not kind to each other. People in Israel and people in Gaza just don’t seem to get along. Somebody driving a “faded red F-150 pickup truck” in Livonia MI was mean to a little girl. (HT to Neo Prodigy.) < Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

There is a saying, “if a story seems too bad to be true, it probably isn’t”. PG tried to google that phrase, and got confused. Then he seemed to remember reading it in a column by Molly Ivins. Another google adventure, and there was this video. Miss Ivins, who met her maker January 31, 2007, was promoting a book. She sat down with a bald headed man to talk about it. PG could only listen to 24:30 of this video before being seized with the urge to write a story. There is a transcript, which makes “borrowing” so much easier. This film has 34 minutes to go, which just might yield another story.

Molly Ivins was a Texas woman. These days there is a lot of talk about Texas, with Governor Big Hair aiming to be the next POTUS under indictment. Mr. Perry claims that his record as Texas Governor qualifies him to have his finger on the nuclear trigger. Miss Ivins repeats something that PG has heard before…
“in our state we have the weak governor system, so that really not a great deal is required of the governor, not necessarily to know much or do much. And we’ve had a lot of governors who did neither. “ It makes you wonder how much of that “economic miracle” is because of hair spray.
Texas politics makes about as much sense as Georgia politics. For a lady, with a way with words, it is a gold mine.
“the need you have for descriptive terms for stupid when you write about Texas politics is practically infinite. Now I’m not claiming that our state Legislature is dumber than the average state Legislature, but it tends to be dumb in such an outstanding way. It’s, again, that Texas quality of exaggeration and being slightly larger than life. And there are a fair number of people in the Texas Legislature of whom it could fairly be said, `If dumb was dirt, they would cover about an acre.’ And I’m not necessarily opposed to that. I’m–agree with an old state senator who always said that, `If you took all the fools out of the Legislature, it would not be a representative body anymore.'”
We could go through this conversation for a long time, but you probably want to skip ahead and look at pictures. There is one story in this transcript that is too good not to borrow. For some reason, Molly Ivins went to work for The New York Times, aka the gray lady. In August of 1977, she was in the right place at the right time.


Mr. LAMB: And how long did you spend with The New York Times as a reporter?
Ms. IVINS: Six years with The New York Times. Some of it in New York as a political reporter at City Hall in Albany and then later as bureau chief out in the Rocky Mountains.
Mr. LAMB: Would you take a little time and tell us about reporting on the funeral of Elvis Presley?
Ms. IVINS: Oh, now there is something that when I’ve been standing in the checkout line at the grocery store and if I really need to impress people, I just let fall that I covered Elvis’ funeral. And, boy, people just practically draw back with awe. It may yet turn out to be my greatest claim to fame.
I was sitting in The New York City Times one day when I noticed a whole no–knot of editors up around the desk having a–a great scrum of concern, you could tell. It looked sort of like an anthill that had just been stepped on. And it turns out–The New York Times has a large obituary desk, and they prepare obituaries for anybody of prominence who might croak. But it turns out–you may recall that Elvis Presley died untimely and they were completely unprepared.
Now this is an enormous news organization. They have rock music critics and classical music critics and opera critics, but they didn’t have anybody who knew about Elvis Presley’s kind of music. So they’re lookin’ across a whole acre of reporters, and you could see them decide, `Ah-ha, Ivins. She talks funny. She’ll know about Mr. Presley.’
So I wound up writing Elvis’ obituary for The New York Times. I had to refer to him throughout as Mr. Presley. It was agonizing. That’s the style at The New York Times–Mr. Presley. Give me a break. And the next day they sold more newspapers than they did after John Kennedy was assassinated, so that even the editors of The New York Times, who had not quite, you know, been culturally aton–tuned to Elvis, decided that we should send someone to report on the funeral. And I drew that assignment. What a scene it was.
Mr. LAMB: You–you say in the book that you got in the cab and you said, `Take me to Graceland.’ The cabbie peels out of the airport doing 80 and then turns full around to the backseat and drawls, `Ain’t it a shame Elvis had to die while the Shriners are in town?’
Ms. IVINS: That’s exactly what he said. `Shame Elvis had to die while the Shriners are in town.’ And I kind of raised by eyebrows. And sure enough, I realized what he–what he meant after I had been there for awhile because, you know, Shriners in convention–I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a whole lot of Shriners in convention, but they were having a huge national convention that very week in Memphis. And they tend to wear their little red fezzes, and sometimes they drink too much and they march around the hotel hallways tooting on New Year’s Eve horns and riding those funny little tricycles and generally cutting up and having a good time. That’s your Shriners in convention, always something very edifying and enjoyable to watch. But they–every–every hotel room in Memphis was occupied with celebrating Shriners, and then Elvis dies and all these tens of thousands of grieving, hysterical Elvis Presley fans descend on the town.
So you got a whole bunch of sobbing, hysterical Elvis fans, you got a whole bunch of cavorting Shriners. And on top of that they were holding a cheerleading camp. And the cheerleading camp–I don’t know if your memory–with the ethos of the cheerleading camp, but the deal is that every school sends its team–team of cheerleaders to cheerleading camp.
And your effort there at the camp is to win the spirit stick, which looks, to the uninitiated eye, a whole lot like a broom handle painted red, white and blue. But it is the spirit stick. And should your team win it for three days running, you get to keep it. But that has never happened. And the way you earn the spirit stick is you show most spirit. You cheer for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You cheer when the pizza man brings the pizza. You do handsprings end over end down the hallway to the bathroom. I tell you, those young people will throw–show an amount of spirit that would just astonish you in an effort to win that stick.
So here I was for an entire week, dealing with these three groups of people: the young cheerleaders trying to win the spirit stick, the cavorting Shriners and the grieving, hysterical Elvis fans. And I want to assure you that The New York Times is not the kind of newspaper that will let you write about that kind of rich human comedy.
Mr. LAMB: Why?
Ms. IVINS: Because The New York Times, at least in my day, was a very stuffy, pompous newspaper.
Mr. LAMB: What about today?
Ms. IVINS: A little bit better, little bit better than it was.
Mr. LAMB: And…
Ms. IVINS: Has–has–it has a tendency, recidivist tendencies, though. You–you will notice if you read The Times, it–it collapses into pomposity and stuffiness with some regularity.
Mr. LAMB: Why did you leave it?
Ms. IVINS: Well, I–I actually got into trouble at The New York City Times for describing a community chu–chicken killing out West as a gang pluck. Abe Rosenthal was then the editor of the Times and he was not amused.
Mr. LAMB: Did–but did they let it go? Did they let it…
Ms. IVINS: Oh, no. It never made it in the paper. Good heavens, no. Such a thing would never get in The Times in my day.
POSTSCRIPT PG found some pictures, marked up the text, and was ready to post the story. He decided to listen to a bit more of the discussion between Molly Ivins and the bald headed man. When he got to this point, it became apparent that he could listen to Molly Ivins talk, or he could post his story, but he could not do both at the same time.
Ms. IVINS: Oh, well, of course, I’m gonna make fun of it. I mean, Berkeley, California, if you are from Texas, is just hilarious.
Mr. LAMB: Why?
Ms. IVINS: Well, of course, it is just the absolute center of liberalism and political correctness. And it is a veritable hotbed of people, of–bless their hearts, who all think alike, in a liberal way. And, of course, I’m sometimes called a liberal myself, and you would think I would have felt right at home there. But I just am so used to–I’m so used to Texas that I found the culture at Berkeley hysterical.