Chamblee54

091118

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Politics, War by chamblee54 on September 11, 2018


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.

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.”

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Wonderful Tonight

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on August 25, 2018


Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me is the book for Pattie Boyd. Ms. Boyd has the copyright to herself, with presumed ghostwriter Penny Junor given *with* credit. The former Patricia Anne Boyd has had quite a life.

Ms. Boyd was born at a young age. Her family moved to Kenya, where they had many cool adventures. Her parents split up, her mother remarried, and her stepfather was a horrible man. The Boyds, who by now included several more children, moved back to England. Pattie went to convent school, then went to live in London. She got a job in a beauty salon, when one day someone suggested she try modelling. At times, this story sounds like a movie.

Pattie was working as a model, including some TV commercials. Richard Lester noticed her, and hired her as a school girl in “A Hard Days Night.” George Harrison noticed her, and they were soon an item. Meanwhile, swinging sixties London was in fast forward mode. Pattie Boyd plugged herself into the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle, and had her share of good times.

George wrote “Something” about his glamorous young bride. His pal Eric Clapton took note, and wrote “Layla.” Eric was in pursuit for many years, writing many beautiful love letters. Finally, as her marriage to George was winding down, Pattie took up with Eric. It was great fun for a while, until Eric’s alcoholism spoiled things. Pattie left Eric, came back, got married to him, and stuck around until Eric got another lady pregnant. (Conor Clapton died tragically in 1991.) The story goes on, and on, until the book was written in 2008. According to wikipedia, Pattie is going strong in 2018. She married Rod Weston, husband number three, in 2015.

Wonderful Tonight is a fun book to read. Penny Junor knows how to tell a story. The life of Pattie Boyd is full of struggle, as well as glamour. Many of the people, including Pattie’s sisters, struggle with addiction. One gets the sense that this, like many autobiographies, puts the subject in the most flattering light possible. There is probably another side to many of these stories. If they can be told as skillfully as this one is, these stories would be worth reading.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. “Winter bathing, Smiths Casino, Miami, Feb. 6, 1921″ W. A. (William A.) Fishbaugh, copyright claimant … No renewal found in Copyright Office.

Julian Carr And Silent Sam

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race, War by chamblee54 on August 21, 2018










A Confederate monument was torn down last night in Chapel Hill NC. The statue, known as “Silent Sam,” was intended as a monument to students who left school to fight in the War Between the States. “In 1913, the Daughters of Confederacy, after four years of fundraising, paid sculptor John Wilson, a Canadian, $7500 for the statue. Wilson used a Boston-man, Harold Langlois, as the model. It’s unclear, however, if those attending Silent Sam’s dedication knew they were celebrating a Yankee’s profile. Silent Sam was among many “Silent Sentinels,” – statues of soldiers without cartridge box, soldiers who could no longer fire a shot – that were manufactured and bronzed in the North and then sent down south for public display. Many of these statues look remarkably similar. Like Silent Sam, they also face north, toward the Union.”

Many of the comments today quote a speech made at the 1913 unveiling. The speech was by Julian Carr, a prominent businessman and philanthropist. Mr. Carr is considered, with some justification, to have been a white supremacist. A Confederate veteran, Mr. Carr appears to have been a complex man, who did both good and harm.

This tweet is typical of today’s discourse. @jjones9 “From white supremacist Julian Carr’s speech at the dedication of Silent Sam in 1913.” The tweet features a screen shot, of a quote from the 1913 speech. “I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”

What was the rest of the speech? A bit of research turned up a transcript, Julian S. Carr, “Unveiling of Confederate Monument at University. June 2, 1913.” The rest of the speech has little in common with the “one allusion.” The speech sounded like the memorials to fallen soldiers in many other wars. “They served, they suffered, they endured, they fought, [and died – crossed out] for their childhood homes, their firesides, the honor of their ancestors, their loved ones, their own native land.”

Mr. Carr’s theme is defense of a the homeland. When the War broke out, the concept of a United States, ruled by a strong federal government, was less accepted than it is today. Many people in the South saw it as a failed experiment. Slavery was an important issue in the decision to secede, along with economic matters that do not get twenty first century people worked up. Slavery is not mentioned in the 1913 speech.

“Of the students and alumni of the University of North Carolina, about 1800 entered the Confederate army … . The University had in the service 1 lieutenant-general, 4 major-generals, 13 brigadier-[page break 8] generals, 71 colonels, 30 lieutenant-colonels, 65 majors, 46 adjutants, 71 surgeons, 254 captains, 161 lieutenants, 38 non-commissioned officers and about 1000 privates. I regard it as eminently appropriate to refer briefly at his point to the magnificent showing made by our state in the military service of the Confederacy. … The entire Confederate loss on the battlefield was 74,524, of which North Carolina’s share was 19,673, or more than one-fourth; 59, 297 died of disease, and of these, 20,602 were North Carolinians.”

“And I dare to affirm this day, that if every State of the South had done what North Carolina did without a murmer [sic], always faithful to its duty whatever the groans of the victims, there never would have been an Appomatox[sic]; Grant would have followed Meade and Pope; Burnside, Hooker, McDowell and McClellan, and the political geography of America would have been re-written.”

There are three other noteworthy quotes in the speech. “Even the great Northern universities – Harvard, Yale and Princeton – furnished quotas of soldiers for the Confederate ranks. From Harvard came 257, of whom 58 were killed in battle and 12 died in the service, and in this large list appear 8 brigadier-generals and 5 major-generals. Of the graduates and students of Yale, 48 entered the Confederate service, and of these 8 were killed in battle or succumbed to disease. At Princeton 55 men left the University, early in 1861, to enter the Confederate service, and from the somewhat incomplete records of that University it appears that a considerable percentage of these young men were killed in battle, or died from disease.”

“Permit me to refer at this point to a pleasing incident in which that distinguished son of the South, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, had the leading part. A year or two ago diplomas were given by our University to all the students who had interrupted their studies to enter the military service of the Confederacy. Mr. Wilson, then President of Princeton University delivered these diplomas. One man only of the Class [handwritten – that Matriculated in 1862] wearing the Confederate uniform, came forward to receive that highly prized token. It was the humble individual who now addresses you. At the dinner, later in the day, Professor Wilson greeted me with the remark that in many years nothing had so much touched and warmed his heart as the sight of that Confederate uniform.”

The speech went on and on, and sounded much like any other memorial. Once again, it should be noted that defense of the homeland received much more notice than a defense of slavery. The speech ended with these words: “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.”

“Again, dear Daughters of the Confederacy, I thank you in the name of the eighteen hundred brave, loyal, patriotic, home-loving young student soldiers who went out from this grand old University to battle for our Southern rights and Southern liberties, five hundred of whom never came back. God bless every one of you, and every Daughter of the Confederacy in our dear Southland.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.









Coat Of Many Colors

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on August 21, 2018








PG saw a story, and thought about the song, “Coat of many colors”. The b side was by Porter Wagoner, “Coat of many sequins”. COMC is about a woman who is too poor to buy her little girl a coat at the store, so she makes a quilt. The other kids make fun of her, but little Dolly knows that the coat is really made of love.
The song talks about a story in the Bible. PG had heard about the story, but didn’t remember the details. He must have been daydreaming in Sunday School when that story was taught. With the help of google, Genesis 37 appears, as if by magic. Pass the popcorn.

2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age:
and he made him a coat of many colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Ok, hold on for a minute. Israel had at least two wives. The Biblical definition of marriage must be between a man and two women.
The story gets a bit weird here. Joseph has this dream, where he becomes the boss hog brother. The other brothers decide something needs to be done, that Joseph needs to die. Reuben tries to help Joseph, and has a plan to save him. Joseph is stripped of the coat of many colors, and placed in a pit, with no water. Before Reuben can sneak Joseph out of the pit, a camel caravan comes by. Twenty pieces of silver change hands, and Joseph is sold into slavery. The brothers decide to pull a cover up, and make it look like Joseph was dead. Reuben made another sandwich.

31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said,
This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him;
Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted;
and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

This feature was originally posted in 2012. The pictures, from The Library of Congress, are 6 years older. Dolly Parton is 6 years younger.







August 16

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on August 16, 2018


This morning brought the sad news about Aretha Franklin. The lady was a national treasure. It is tough to imagine the United States without the Queen of Soul. Rest in Peace.

August 16 has been a busy day for the grim reaper. In 1977, Elvis Presley met his maker August 16, 1977. Other famous people to die on August 16 include Robert Johnson, 1938, Babe Ruth, 1948, Margaret Mitchell, 1949, Bela Lugosi, 1956, and Idi Amin, 2003.

As a partial replacement for Elvis and Aretha, Madonna was born August 16, 1958. Other births on August 16 include T. E. Lawrence, 1988, Charles Bukowski, 1920, Fess Parker, 1924, Eydie Gormé, 1928, and Julie Newmar, 1933

August 16 “is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar.” On August 16, 1858, “U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal forces a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Hiroshima 73 Years Later

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on August 6, 2018

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At 8:15 am, August 6, 1945, Hiroshima got nuked. It was the start of a new era. Since Japan is 13 hours ahead of Georgia, and standard time was used, the literal anniversary is 8:15 pm, August 5.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was working in Hiroshima when the bomb hit. He survived, and found a train to take hime to his home town, Nagasaki.

The device dropped on Hiroshima, the Little Boy, had an estimated force of 13 kilotons of Trinitrotoluene, or TNT. A kiloton of TNT is roughly a cube whose sides are ten meters. This device is fairly tiny compared to many of the warheads developed since. Many of the modern appliances are measured in megatons, or millions of tons of TNT. The Soviet Union had a bomb with a capacity of 50 megatons, or 4,000 times the size of the Little Boy.

The largest weapon tested by The United States is the Castle Bravo. This device destroyed Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The two piece swimsuit was named for this island. The Castle Bravo device had a yield of 15 megatons of TNT. This is roughly 1,000 times the power of the Little Boy.

The decision to drop the bomb has long been controversial. There are a lot of factors and gray areas, and the issue does not lend itself to sound bite solutions. The conventional wisdom is that Japan surrendered because of the nuclear attack. This meant the war was shortened by at least a year, there was no invasion of Japan, and many lives were saved. PG is scared by the moral calculus involved in a decision like this….do 100,000 civilian deaths prevent the deaths of 500,000 soldiers? PG suspects that even G-d herself would lose sleep over that one.

There is also evidence that the bomb was not needed. Japan was whipped in August 1945. The air raids were conducted in daylight with little resistance. A debate was going on in the Japanese government on whether to continue the fight.

An event happened the day between Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, which influenced the Japanese decision to surrender. The Soviet Union had agreed to help the United States with the war against Japan. On August 8, The Soviet Union invaded Japanese occupied Manchuria. There are indications that Japan knew the fight was hopeless at this point, and would rather surrender to The United States than The Soviet Union. This is one of the gray areas that never seems to be mentioned.

The United States wanted the war to end quickly for obvious reasons, and a few subtle ones. America did not want to share the spoils of Japanese war with The Soviet Union. There were already tensions between the two allies, and the cold war was not far off. Many felt The United States used the Little Boy as a warning to The Soviet Union.

When you get your moral software out, you might want to figure in the effect of opening the nuclear Pandora’s box. Would the nuclear bomb have been developed by other countries if America had not led the way? The science is not that complicated…after all, America hit paydirt with the Manhattan Project fairly quickly. Nonetheless, there is karma involved in using a terrible new device on a civilian population. The United States started the wind of the arms race, and has yet to feel the whirlwind.

This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress. Ansel Adams took pictures of Japanese Americans, in a World War Two internment camp. The ladies in the bridge game are Aiko Hamaguchi, Chiye Yamanaki, Catherine Yamaguchi, and Kazoko Nagahama.




The Worst Vice Presidents Of The United States

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 27, 2018






PG wrote a post yesterday. One of the topics was the “Siamese Twins”, James Buchanan and William Rufus King. (The article is reposted below.) While researching the feature, PG googled his way to a Time magazine article about the Worst Vice Presidents in American History. PG is well known for his negative attitude, and writing about the worst things in life always appeals to him. This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress

The first name on the list is Aaron Burr. He had a problem with Alexander Hamilton, and shot him dead in a duel. Elbridge Gerry (the namesake of Gerrymandering) served under James Madison for twenty months, and died. John C. Calhoun served under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, and managed to get Mr. Jackson so upset that Mr. Calhoun was fired.

Richard M. Johnson served under Martin Van Buren, and was bad at PR.
“Johnson scandalized his colleagues by taking one of his slaves as his common-law wife; as a result, he barely garnered enough support to serve in Martin van Buren’s administration. While in office, he proposed an expedition to the North Pole so Americans could drill to the center of the Earth, believing the planet was hollow (his resolution was defeated). Evidently van Buren’s experience with Johnson soured him on vice presidents altogether — when he ran for re-election he dropped Johnson from his ticket and didn’t bother replacing him. Instead, he ran alone.”
William Rufus King was VP under Franklin Pierce a mere six weeks before he died. There is no word on the status of his relationship with James Buchanan at the time. The Time magazine article has a picture of Fernando Wood , which was mistakenly thought to be of Mr. King. (Wikipedia uses the same picture to illustrate an article about Mr. King.)

The VP under James Buchanan (there is no word on who was top or bottom in the Buchanan-King household) was John Breckinridge. During the War Between the States, he left the Union to fight for the Confederacy. Mr. Breckinridge was charged with treason after the war.
“The town of Breckenridge, Colorado is named in his honor — although it altered the spelling of its name after the Civil War, so as not to be associated with a traitor.”
Andrew Johnson did not make the list, but maybe should have. He was drunk at his inauguration, and made a fool of himself. Mr. Lincoln had nothing to do with him, until a meeting on April 14. This was Good Friday. Mr. Lincoln went to the theater that night.

Johnson had been marked for death by the conspiracy, but Wilkes Booth had little confidence in the man assigned to kill Mr. Johnson. The afternoon of the assassination, Mr. Booth was at the Kirkwood House, where Mr. Johnson stayed. Mr. Booth left a note for Mr. Johnson at the desk of the hotel…
“Don’t wish to disturb you. Are you at home. J. Wilkes Booth”. The idea was for the police to find the note, and implicate Mr. Johnson in the killing of Mr. Lincoln. This mini plot was spoiled by the secretary for the Vice President, who collected the mail that afternoon. He took the card with him. The secretary had met Mr. Booth a few years earlier, and thought the note was for him.
The other three Vice Presidents who took office after the boss was murdered… Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson… were not mentioned in the Time article. All three are mentioned in conspiracy theories about the killings that promoted them into office.

When Theodore Roosevelt was elected to a full term as President, his VP was Charles Fairbanks.
Teddy once ordered a noisy and distracting crystal chandelier removed from his office because it disturbed him. He ordered it to be installed in the office of the Vice President to keep him awake.”
Getting back to Time’s honor roll, Hannibal Hamlin was Lincoln’s first VP. Thomas A. Hendricks survived nine months under Grover Cleveland, before passing away. Thomas Marshall served two terms with Woodrow Wilson, and refused to take over the office when Mr. Wilson had a stroke. Calvin Coolidge did little while waiting for Warren Harding to die. Henry Wallace was, and will be, the only third term VP in our history. He acquired a few enemies, and was replaced by Harry Truman.

Richard Nixon was ok once he got elected, but almost managed to blow that. There were charges of financial shenanigans, and some thought he should be kicked off the ticket. After the Checkers Speech he was on his way to stardom. (After Mr. Nixon died, PG saw a large flag flying at half staff. The flag belonged to a hamburger chain called Checkers.) When Mr. Nixon became President, his VP was Spiro Agnew. Once again, there were charges of financial shenanigans, and much, much more. While the nation wallowed in Watergate, Mr. Nixon needed a diversion. It was suddenly discovered that Mr. Agnew had taken bribes. He was pressured into resigning.

Dan Quayle was VP for George H.W. Bush. He was widely regarded as an idiot, although his damage as VP was minimal. The last VPOTUS on the list is Dick Chaney. For some reason, he was regarded as having more power than the President, George W. Bush. Mr. Chaney was said to be one of the major promoters of the wars which have damaged America so much during the last ten years.

2018 UPDATE: Joe Biden said the F word at a press conference, and did not run for President when Barry retired. The jury is still out on Mike Pence.











Fun loving Dick Yarbrough is up to his old tricks. The neighbor newspaper nabbler penned a post about California education. . It seems there is a new law, in the falling into the ocean state,
“that will require schools to teach at all grade levels about the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.” Our buddy does not think this is a good idea.
The story goes on to say
“Our children will find out that President James Buchanan and Vice President William R. King were more than, shall we say, good friends,” she said coyly. I didn’t want to tell Gay that the first thing the teachers need to do is tell the students who James Buchanan is before they talk about what he did. Not many people have ever heard of him. That is because he didn’t do anything while president.” Holy historic revisionism.
To start off, The Vice Prez under Mr. Buchanan was John C. Breckinridge. Mr. King was elected to back up Franklin Pierce. Mr. King died after six weeks in office. If a President has ever bumped gooberheads with his Vice President, the walls of the White House have kept quiet about it. Those rumors about John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson are too gruesome to contemplate.

Mr. King and Mr. Buchanan lived together for a number of years. Neither was married to a female, although Mr. Buchanan had been engaged. (There is speculation that his fiance’, Ann Caroline Coleman, died of an overdose of laudanum.) There are numerous indications that Mr. King and Mr. Buchanan were *good buddies*.

Mr. Buchanan was the last President before the War Between the States. It is possible that he could not have done much to prevent that unpleasantness. Historians are not kind when talking about the man, and rank him as one of the worst Presidents. Perhaps Mr. King could have helped.

The newspaper that Mr. Yarbrough opines for is delivered, free of charge, on Wednesday. (This weeks edition has not arrived. Any connection between this late delivery and the opinions of Mr. Yarbrough, is uncertain.) Some of these free papers are not taken inside by the resident. Often, a driveway will have several weeks of free adrags left behind. Soon, the rain soaks these newsprint droppings. Some are washed into the street and run over. The result is an ugly mess.

Chamblee54 had a previous discussion with Dick Yarbrough. Mr. Yarbrough is still publishing columns in 2018. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.





Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on July 25, 2018


A few weeks ago, PG was at the library. He had a story to take home, before going over to the biography section. There he found Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell. At least with fiction, you know you are dealing with a made up story. With biography, you have to use judgment.

It is a familiar story. Joni was born in the frozen north, was a rebellious girl, and got pregnant. She gave up the daughter for adoption, only to be reunited many years later. Joan Anderson gets married to, and divorces, Chuck Mitchell. Joni sings, writes, tunes her guitar funny, becomes a star, gets too weird to be popular, makes and loses money, smokes millions of cigarettes, and becomes an angry old lady. There is a bit more to the story than that. Reckless Daughter fills in a few of the blank spots.

Millions of cigarettes might be an exaggeration. Joni started smoking when she was nine. When she was a star, she was almost as well known for her constant puffing as her pretty songs. When Joni was in a Reagan era slump, she was going through four packs a day. Just for the sake of statistics, lets call it two packs, or forty fags, a day. Multiply forty by 365 and you get 14,600. If she started at 9, and had her aneurysm at 72, that gives you 63 years of nicotine abuse. If you assume that there were forty fags a day for 63 years, that gives you 919,800 smokes. IOW, while seven figures is not out of reach, it is rather unlikely that Joni smoked more than 2,000,000 cancer sticks.

The author of Reckless Daughter, David Yaffe, is a problem. He talks about the mood of America in 1969, four years before he was born. Mr. Yaffe goes to great lengths to show us that he knows about making music. Some readers will be impressed. There are mini-essays on Joni songs from her golden years, the time between “Ladies of the Canyon” and “Hejira.” And gossip, gossip, and more gossip. Joni is well known for her celebrity lovers.

We should make the point that PG enjoyed Reckless Daughter. The inside stories are fun, and pages turn over without too much head scratching. Maybe this is a statement about the career of Joni Mitchell. You enjoy the music for many years, and then complain about the details. Reckless Daughter follows the trajectory of other celebrity biographies. The star is born, takes up a craft, gets a break, becomes successful, goes over the mountaintop into a long decline. With Joni, nothing after “Mingus” was well received. The chanteuse was broker, and angrier, by the minute.

On page 13, Joni hears Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This is the piece that makes her want to be a musician. One page 129, we learn the story of A&M studios in Hollywood. At one time, The Carpenters were in studio A, while Carole King was recording “Tapestry” in studio B. Joni was recording “Blue” in studio C, which had a magic piano. One time, Carole King learned of a break in the studio C booking, and ran in. Three hours later, “I feel the earth move” was recorded.

A few years later, Joni was on the Rolling Thunder tour with Bob Dylan. One of the concepts was support for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, whose story can be found elsewhere. Joni became disillusioned with Mr. Carter. When Joan Baez asked Joni to speak at a benefit concert, Joni said she would say that Mr. Carter was a jive ass N-person, who never would have been champion of the world. Joni later got in SJW trouble for posing in blackface, for the cover to “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter.”

On page 251, we learn that Bob Dylan does not dance. Other items include “Free man in Paris” being written about David Geffen, and Jackson Browne writing “Fountain of Sorrow” about Joni. Mr. Brown is a not-well-thought-of ex of Joni. As for Mr. Geffen…. Joni stayed at his house for a while, at a time when Mr. Geffen was in, and out, of the closet. Did they make sweet music together?

So this book report comes to an end. Joni is recovering from a brain aneurysm, and will probably not produce anything else. The book is going back to the library, and PG will move on to something else. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Middle Names

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on July 6, 2018







This is a double repost, about the custom of middle names. It was published in this format in 2011. Today, a middle name is like a body part or an excuse.. everyone has one. It has not always been that way. The part about Presidential middle names was written during the 2008 campaign. Pictures are from The Library of Congress .

With the commentary about the middle name of Barack Hussein Obama, perhaps it is time for a look at the lessons of history. George Washington did not have a middle name. Nor the rest of the early Presidents. The first one to have a middle name (or initial) is John Quincy Adams. J.Q. Adams is the first son of a president to hold the office. The second one proved to be unfortunate.

The next POTUS to show a middle initial was William Henry Harrison. He was the first victim of the Zero Factor, in which Presidents elected in years ending in zero died in office. This tradition was ended by Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Another Zero Factor President, Abraham Lincoln, did not have a middle name. Ulysses S. Grant was born Hiram Ulysses Grant. One legend has a mistake on a school application giving him the middle name Simpson, after his mother’s maiden name. Moving into the twentieth century, William Howard Taft was referred to by all three names.

In many ways, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president of the modern age. For some reason, his middle name was frequently used, and the initials FDR became popular. Presidential initials did not become popular again until JFK and LBJ. After FDR went to the fireside chat in the sky, Harry S. Truman became president. The S stood for nothing.

The next president whose middle name was frequently used was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Could this be a subtle dig at his Irish background, much as the current noise about Barack Hussein Obama? As for Baines and Milhous, those middle names both seemed to fit the personality of the man.

After Lightbulb Lyndon, the use of Presidential middle names went into decline. Gerald Rudolph Ford would be a good trivia question. George Herbert Walker Bush downplayed his quadruple initials, perhaps knowing that many people don’t trust a man with two middle names. George Walker Bush is frequently referred to by his middle initial.

In the 2008 election, we had a dark skinned man with a Muslim middle name. We had a white haired republican with the middle name of Sidney. And we had a married woman, who uses her maiden name as a middle name. Her original middle name is Diane. 2012 saw Willard Mitt Romney try to get elected. In 2016, Bernard Sanders was a Democratic challenger. Mr. Sanders does not have a middle name, leading to an unflattering set of initials.







While researching this feature, PG noticed that many of the early presidents did not have middle names . Apparently, before the American Revolution, middle names were seldom given. For some reason the custom caught on during the 19th century. When America started to draft men for World War I, the draft papers included a space for the middle name.

One possible reason for middle names was population density and increased family size. Many people began to have the same first name (or Christian name) and last name (Surname). Middle names were a way to distinguish between Jimmy Bob Jones and Jimmy Joe Jones. There was possibly a bit of status involved in having more than one name.

Women have long used the maiden name as a middle name after marriage. Girls were often not given middle names for this reason. The hyphenated Maiden-Married name is a fairly recent custom (Which this author hopes is a fad that will go away).

While middle names were originally a decoration, many are now used as a primary identification. PG is referred to as a diminutive of his middle name, which can be confusing when authorities insist on using his first name. The middle name is also a handy alternative for someone who gets tired of the name they are called by. There is also this thought …”I think parents give kids middle names so the kids will know when they are really p****d at them.”





Page 99

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on July 1, 2018


PG woke up one Sunday morning, and started to look in his archive. He found a post from July 2009, Genius And Heroin Part One. The G&H book had been mentioned in a couple of blogs, The Page 69 Test and The Page 99 Test. Both of these blogs are still publishing nine years later. The idea is to critique a book by what is on page 69, or page 99.

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell is a book PG adopted from the Chamblee library. A journalist had a series of interviews with Joni, and morphed a book out of it. Maybe a look at pages 69 and 99 will give us some text to go between the pictures.

On page 69, Joni is a young lady, performing in Miami Beach. She has had a baby, left her husband, and is trying to make it as a musician. One night in a club, David Crosby saw her, and saw the future. The two became a couple, which did not last very long. Joni and David went to California, where David introduced her to some buddies in the music business. David produced Joni’s first album, and apparently did not know what he was doing. Both of them moved on.

On page 99, Joni has put out her second album, and is gaining momentum. It is 1969, and America is in turmoil over Vietnam. The author, David Yaffe, goes into some detail about the mood of America in 1969. Mr. Yaffe was born in 1973. Why does he discuss the mood of 1969?.

Pictures, for this Sunday morning space filler, are from The Library of Congress. The Montana photographs were taken by Marion Post Wolcott in August, 1941.

The Last Night Of Judy Garland

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on June 21, 2018






“In march of 1969, Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Devinko, better known as Mickey Deans, a gay night-club promoter. Judy had an unfortunate habit of marrying gay men. They lived together in a tiny mews house in Chelsea, London. The evening of Saturday June 21 1969, Judy and Mickey were watching a documentary, The Royal Family, on television, when they had an argument. Judy ran out the door screaming into the street, waking the neighbors.
Several versions of what happened next exist, but the fact remains that a phone call for Judy woke him at 10:40 the next morning, and she was not sleeping in the bed. He searched for her, only to find the bathroom door locked. After no response, he climbed outside to the bathroom window and entered to find Judy, sitting on the toilet. Rigor Mortis had set in. Judy Garland, 47, was dead.
The press was already aware of the news before the body could be removed. In an effort to prevent pictures being taken of the corpse, she was apparently draped over someone’s arm like a folded coat, covered with a blanket, and removed from the house with the photographers left none the wiser.
The day Judy died there was a tornado in Kansas…. in Saline County,KS, a rather large F3 tornado (injuring 60, but causing no deaths) did hit at 10:40 pm on June 21st, that would be 4:40 am, June 22nd, London time, the morning she died. I know the time of death has never been firmly established, but since Rigor Mortis had already set in, I think this tornado may very much be in the ballpark in terms of coinciding with time of death…. Other news articles suggest the tornado struck Salina “late at night” which could certainly also mean after midnight on June 22, or roughly 6:00 am London time…

The Toledo Blade for June 24th, also in an article located right next to a picture of Garland, in a write-up on the Salina tornado noted that “Late Saturday [June 21] and early Sunday [June 22, another batch of tornadoes struck in central Kansas.” So it seems the legend seems confirmed.”

The text for this story comes from Findadeath. You can spend hours at this site. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






The Kinks

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on June 20, 2018

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Dangerousminds brings the sad news that Pete Quaife, the original bass player for The Kinks , passed away yesterday. He was 66, and had been in dialysis for several years. Maybe it is time for Chamblee54 to do a post about The Kinks. This is a repost.

Battling brothers Ray and Dave Davies are the core of The Kinks. (The name is pronounced like the american Davis, as though the e did not exist). Ray was the vocalist, writer, and rhythm guitar player. Dave was the lead guitarist, and sparring partner for his brother. The fisticuffs were not restricted to the brothers. This led to the band being barred from performing in the United States between 1965 and 1969. The sixties happened anyway.

There were several hits in the early days, most notably “You really got me”. (This later became a signature tune for Van Halen). The band had numerous adventures, but never became the superstars that other British bands of that era did. Ray Davies developed as a songwriter, with many witty tunes, full of social commentary and britishness.(spell check suggestion:brutishness)

In the seventies The Kinks kept trooping on. They did an album called Preservation Act, which became the basis of a theatrical presentation. The next album was called Soap Opera, with a theater like production. This is where PG got to see The Kinks.

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It was sometime in the spring of 1975, at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. Elvin Bishop was the opening act. The Kinks had started when PG arrived, buying a $4.00 balcony seat. Alex Cooley was in the box office counting money, and broke open a roll of quarters to make change for a five.

The band was playing “Celluloid Heroes” when PG walked into the auditorium. There was no one on the door checking tickets, so PG walked onto the floor and found an empty seat on the 13th row. The next number was “Lola”.

Ray Davies introduced the song by saying
” If you are a man, sing LO. If you are a woman, sing LA. If you are not sure, clap your hands”. The next number was about demon alcohol. There were lights shining on the crowd during this number, as Ray Davies asked if there were any sinners in the audience. The band did several more songs, ending the first half of the evening with “You really got me”. Dave Davies got some spotlight time with a rave up intro to this number.
The second part of the show was a theatrical presentation of “Soap Opera”. The band wore rainbow colored wigs, and stood at the back of the stage while Ray Davies told the tale. “Soap Opera” was about a rock star who traded places with Norman, who lived a boring life. The flat Norman lived in has pictures of ducks on the wall, which drove Ray/Norman to scream
“I can’t stand those f*****g ducks”. This led into a rocking ditty called, predictably, “Ducks on the Wall”.
As the show dragged on, Ray/Norman was embarrassed by the mess he was in.
“You can’t say that in front of The Kinks, they are my band, and that is my audience.” The audience lights were turned on again, and the band played a medley of hits from 1964.
Finally, the real Norman came back to reclaim his wife, put the ducks back on the wall, and kick out The Kinks. The band gave up on theater before much longer, and were popular for the rest of the concert happy seventies. Ray Davies was the babydaddy for Chrissie Hynde . Eventually, the band quit performing, and continued to cash royalty checks.

Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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