Chamblee54

091121

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on September 11, 2021


This is my 911 story. I repeat it every year at this time. Every year I say this will be the last time. This year is a mess. We are destroying the village to save it. The action part of 091101 was over by 11 am. This quagmire drags on and on. Nobody knows how things will turn out.

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.”

Was Mae West A Man?

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 5, 2021








August 17 is birthday 128 for Mary Jane “Mae” West. Of course, she died in 1980, so the party is off. PG saw a note on facebook, and made the comment “She was rumored to be a man.” One right click google search later, this post started to take shape. This is a repost.

There is a blogspot site, maewest.blogspot.com. It is still published. Five years ago there was a post, Mae West: Penis Rumors. It seems as though Miss West liked to say, to the press, “When I die, you are going to be very surprised!”

A hollywood gossipmonger had a story, Was Mae West…A Man?! Much of her information comes from the tasteful findadeath site. The story here is that Mae West died in 1950, and the death was kept quiet. Her brother made appearances in her place, until the final death in 1980. This would have been quite a feat, considering that John Edwin West died in 1964. That doesn’t stop people from talking.

“…the real Mae West died somewhere around 1950, give or take a couple years, and rather than let the show stop, it was announced that not Mae, but her brother, died. Of course, the brother then became Mae West and carried on until November 1980. If you look carefully at photos from around 1950 on it definitely looks like a different person not to mention the big hands and masculine features, bone structure, etc. I may not have all the details 100% correct but I would almost put money on the fact that the ‘Mae West’ ‘who died in 1980 had a weenie!!”

The hands were mentioned by Raquel Welch. The two were in Myra Breckinridge, the first movie Miss West had made in 27 years. (Miss West appeared on Mr. Ed in 1964.) Miss Welch appeared at a film festival in 2012, and had stories to tell.

“When I went over to say hello to her (one day) I said, ‘Hi, it’s Raquel, remember?’ She sort of extended her hand to me and I went to kiss the ring and one false fingernail painted silver fell to the floor. I looked at the hand and I thought, ‘Oh, I’m getting a vibe.’ I really think she’s a man! At this point in her life all bets are off and you’re not going to be able to doll it up that much. I would say it’s pretty accurate that she resembled a dock worker in drag.” …

“I had this beautiful dress and it was black with a big white ruffle around the neck and a black velvet hat … Apparently Mae got wind of the fact that I was wearing this exquisite dress and I went to the studio that day for our scene together. I got coiffed, got my hair done and went to the closet to get the dress and it wasn’t there. I asked my dresser what happened to the dress and she said, ‘It’s been confiscated. Mae does not want you to wear that dress. You can wear the red dress that you wore in the last scene!’ … Welch was so outraged that she stormed off the set and refused to return until the dress was back in her closet. … “For the scene, we never appeared in a two-shot together. She left after she did her lines and I had someone off-camera reading her lines and I had to pretend she was there.”

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









William McKinley

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on September 3, 2021





One hundred years before nine eleven, President William McKinley was near death. He had been shot September 6, 1901. Medicine at this time was primitive compared to today. During surgery after the shooting, the bullet was not removed. The University of Buffalo makes this comment:
“Dr. Mann and the others were neither trained trauma surgeons nor did they bother with disinfection, not even wearing gloves. The first bullet had done little harm; the second entered McKinley’s abdomen. The physicians used improperly sanitized probes and when Mann could not find the bullet, he closed the incision without draining the wound. It was a fateful decision.”
After surgery, the President was taken to the home of John Milburn. He seemed to be recovering, but took a turn for the worse and died September 14, 2001.

President McKinley had been shaking hands at a reception. The meet and greet was at the Academy of Music, as part of the Pan American Expostion in Buffalo, New York. A letter to “The Nation” has this viewpoint.
“Whatever other results may flow from the assassination of President McKinley, let us hope that that object-lesson may be sufficient to put an end to our national habit of promiscuous handshaking in public. It is hard to conceive of a spectacle more fatuous and less edifying than that of a horde of country bumpkins, criminals, cranks, idlers, and curiosity-mongers standing in line waiting for a chance to grab and squeeze the hand of the unhappy Chief Executive of this country.”
There were anarchists in 1901, who had murdered several European leaders. Several of McKinley’s advisors did not think the reception was a good idea, and forced him to have extra security. A writer in the Buffalo Courier observed on September 5
“The surrounding of President McKinley by a body-guard of detectives when he appears in public, is probably as distasteful to himself as it is to abstract American sentiment, but as long as the earth is infested by malevolent cranks and unreasoning Anarchists, the precaution is entirely proper.”
A young man named Leon Czolgosz (pronounced CHOL gosh) managed to wait in line with a concealed weapon. He was seen to shoot President McKinley. He was immediately captured, and executed October 29, 1901.

Lew Rockwell speaks of a rivalry between John Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. Rockefeller man McKinley was replaced by Morgan supporter Roosevelt, who promptly began to break up the trusts. Another historian, connected to Lyndon LaRouche , speaks of British interests, and the rise of Confederate power. McKinley was a target of media superstar William Randolph Hearst. An editorial printed in the April 10, 1901 Journal asserted that
“If bad institutions and bad men can be got rid of only by killing, then the killing must be done.”
Some say that a murder one hundred fifteen years ago does not affect us today. However, an argument could be made that the death of McKinley set in motion events that led to the establishment of the Federal Reserve System, and American participation in World War I. Both of those events have had effects lasting until today.

It is curious how President McKinley is mostly forgotten today. Some say he was most popular President since Lincoln . McKinley had been a wartime President, who won. His successor, Teddy Roosevelt, is on Mount Rushmore, and is a superstar President. Mr. Roosevelt also ran as a third party candidate in 1912, and helped to elect Woodrow Wilson. (Mr. Wilson was alleged to be a member of the “Omega Group,”rumored to be behind a McKinley conspiracy.) Mr. Roosevelt’s popularity is very different from the other three Vice Presidents who were promoted by the murder of the President. He was good at dealing with the press.

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







Julian Carr And Silent Sam

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on August 7, 2021





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.” This is a repost.

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.




Hiroshima 76 Years Later

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on August 6, 2021

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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.




Babe, Hank, Barry, And Joe

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on July 29, 2021







Barry Bonds was about to break the lifetime record for home runs. Folks said the record was tainted because of steroid use, and because Mr. Bonds was not a nice man. There were calls for an asterisk in the record book. This was odd to PG, who was in Georgia when Hank Aaron broke the home run record in 1974. Back then, the line was that Babe Ruth had fewer at bats than Mr. Aaron. A lot of hateful things were said about Mr. Aaron before home run 714.

PG decided to take a look at the metrics. This post is the result. As a bonus to the reader(s), Joe Torre and Hank Aaron gets a summer rerun. It is based on a column by Furman Bisher, who went to the press box in the sky March 18, 2012. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

There is a certain controversy these days about the eminent breaking of the lifetime home run record. Currently held by Hank Aaron, the record is threatened by Barry Bonds. Before Mr. Aaron held the title, Babe Ruth was the owner.

Controversy about the lifetime home run record is nothing new. In 1974, when Hank Aaron was about to break the record, the admirers of Babe Ruth said that Mr. Ruth had fewer at bats than Mr. Aaron did. Many attributed this criticism to racism, with a black man besting a white man’s record. The current controversy is two fold. There are allegations that Mr. Bonds took steroids to make him stronger, and that he “cheated”. There are also concerns about the personality of Mr. Bonds.

PG does not think steroid use is a big deal. Ballplayers are abusing their bodies to perform, and if they take the risk of using steroids, that is their business. Many people disagree.

A good question to ask is, would Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron have used steroids if they had the chance? Mr. Ruth was a wildman, who drank during prohibition, and was known for undisciplined behavior. Mr. Aaron played in an era where steroid use was not as common as it is today. The answer to the first question is (Mr. Ruth) probably and (Mr. Aaron) who knows.

While you are keeping hypocrisy statistics, Mr. Aaron and Mr. Bonds played on television, where beer commercials were constant. While alcohol is *now* legal, it is a very damaging drug. Any ballplayer who plays on television promotes its use. This is both steroid users, and non users.

As for personalities, there is the widely circulated story about the college team that Mr. Bonds played on voting 22-3 to kick him off the team. At the very least, he does not charm sportswriters.

In 1917, Babe Ruth was suspended for hitting an umpire. He was known for his outlandish behavior throughout his career. It should also be noted that he played in an era when the press did not scrutinize the behavior of players. How would today’s media treat Babe Ruth?

PG once heard a radio show caller say that Hank Aaron was a mean racist, who would just as soon cut your throat as look at you. PG had never heard this said out loud, but had heard hints about Mr. Aaron’s personality over the years. People who achieve great things are not always friendly.

Mr. Aaron is the only one of the three that PG met, however briefly. In July of 1965, the Milwaukee Braves came to Atlanta to play an exhibition game in Atlanta Stadium. After the game, PG was allowed to wait outside the clubhouse, to get autographs from the players as they left. Joe Torre saw the crowd, hid behind a truck, and made a quick getaway. Hank Aaron came out, patiently signing every autograph, while smoking a cigarette.

The fact is, all three men played in different eras. Babe Ruth never played at night, never flew to California, and only played against white players…many of the most talented players of his era were in the Negro League. Hank Aaron played before free agency, interleague play, the DH, and widespread use of steroids. The only way to determine who is the home run champion is to count how many homers are hit, and award the prize to the man who hits the most.

Which of the three made the most money? Barry Bonds, by a wide margin. He played in the free agent era. Babe Ruth had the best line about his salary. In 1930 Ruth was asked by a reporter what he thought of his yearly salary of $80,000 being more than President Hoover’s $75,000. He replied “yea, but I had a better year than he did.”

Who played on the most teams to win a World Series? Babe Ruth 7, Hank Aaron 1, Barry Bonds 0.

The career of Babe Ruth was a long time ago. He made a greater impact on America that the other two combined. He was one of the first sports superstars, as America emerged from the carnage of World War One. Mr. Ruth broke the single season home run record, he hit 29 homers. The next year, he hit 54. There is a possibility of a livelier baseball.

Babe Ruth captured the imagination of America like few personalities ever have. Playing in New York (which dominated the press) did not hurt. He was a man of his times…it is unlikely than anyone could have that kind of impact on today’s superstar saturated America. While his record has been broken, his place in the history of baseball is the same.

UPDATE: As of July, 2021, the lifetime home run leaders were: Barry Bonds, 762, Hank Aaron, 755, Babe Ruth, 714, Alex Rodriguez, 696. Mr. Rodriguez is said to have used steroids.







Furman Bisher has a piece at the fishwrapper site about Joe Torre. (The link no longer works.) The punch line is that Mr. Torre “grew up” when the Braves traded him to St. Louis. PG was a kid when this was going on, and did not hear a lot of what went on.

In 1965, the Braves played a lame duck year in Milwaukee before moving to Atlanta. One night, there was an exhibition game at Atlanta Stadium, the Braves against the Yankees. PG got his oh so patient dad to take him to the clubhouse after the game, to get autographs. In those days, you could go into the bowels of the stadium and wait outside the locker room. Hank Aaron signed dozens of autographs while smoking a cigarette. Joe Torre came out, hid behind a truck, and took off running.

Mr. Torre was a raccoon eyed catcher for the Braves. In the first regular season game in 1966, he hit two home runs, in a thirteen inning loss. Soon, the novelty of big league baseball in a toilet shaped stadium wore off. Mr. Torre got at least one DUI, and a reputation as a barroom brawler. He was traded to St. Louis in 1968. Mr. Torre hit .373, and won the national league MVP in 1971.

The comments to the feature by Furman Bisher were interesting. Cecil 34 contributes
“The reason that Torre was traded is because on the team’s charter flight back to Atlanta back in 68, a drunken Torre got into a fistfight with Aaron. Aaron popped off to Torre, and thus the fight was on, broken up by the other players. Since Aaron was the face of the franchise at the time, Torre was traded. There had been bad blood between them for years before this incident anyway. Reasons vary. But the final nail in the coffin was this fistfight. I was told Torre could pack a punch and Aaron came out on the worse end of it.”
There has been whispering for years about Hank Aaron and his attitude. Furman Bisher made hints once or twice, but there was never anything of substance. It seems that Mr. Aaron does not lack for self confidence. Mr. Aaron was the subject of much racially based abuse while chasing the home run record in 1973, and some anger is justified.

Hank Aaron was known to not get along with Rico Carty. Mr. Carty is a dark skinned man from the Dominican Republic, who was popular with fans. Mr. Carty was eventually traded. Rico Carty had a barbecue restaurant on Peachtree Road in Chamblee, next door to the Park and Shop.

Joe Torre was the manager of the Braves in the early eighties. The team won a divisional title in 1982, but lost the NLCS. This was after Ted Turner bought the team. Mr. Turner fired Mr. Torre in 1984.

Getting back to the comment thread, Misterwax contributes
“Turner cut Joe Torre loose because Ted was in love with Henry Aaron and Aaron thought Joe Torre was a white supremacist….A hangover from the clubhouse days when they were teammates…still does today. And THAT is the only reason he was cut…because Hank Aaron said so.”
Hank Aaron was recently quoted on Barry Bonds and Steroids. Joe Torre retired as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. He won four World Series as manager of the New York Yankees. Furman Bisher outlived Bear Bryant by 26 years, passing away March 18, 2012. Selah.






The Whitman To Ginsberg Express

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on July 27, 2021


“… I’ve slept with Neal Cassady who slept with Gavin Arthur who slept with Edward Carpenter who described sleeping with Whitman to Gavin Arthur. [The “Gay Succession”]” Allen Ginsberg was fond of his place in a line of gay succession. This is a repost.

A 1974 interview makes the same point about Whitman-Carpenter-Arthur, but does not mention Cassady-Ginsberg. Could anyone be telling stories? The Carpenter-Arthur connection happened in 1924, but is described in wonderful detail by Mr. Arthur in 1967. There are few details about the Arthur-Cassady link in the chain. As a BBC interviewer said to Mr. Ginsberg in 1994 “Both Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac, I think, described you as a “con-man extraordinaire”. What did they mean?” AG: “Oh, maybe they were projecting their own goofiness on me.”

“Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was a writer and gay mystic and lived in England all his life. Although ordained an Anglican priest in 1869 he soon renounced religion and became a Fabian socialist. Among his works on social reform is Towards Democracy (1883-1902), a long, un- rhymed poem revealing the influence of his friend Walt Whitman. He edited the first gay literary collection, Iolaus: An Anthology of Friendship”

Mr. Carpenter exchanged letters with Mr. Whitman. “Although Whitman was not a socialist, his writing had a profound effect on Carpenter, who made the long trip to America primarily as a pilgrimage to his literary and spiritual inspiration. He visited the poet for several weeks in 1877 and again in 1884. In 1906 he published an account of his visits to America, Days with Walt Whitman, writing a respectful, even somewhat glorified, portrait of his idol.”

“It was not until the 1966 publication of a memoir by Gavin Arthur entitled The Circle Of Sex that the intimate details of Carpenter’s visits were revealed. Arthur slept in bed with Carpenter … leaving us with our only description of Whitman’s sexual behavior, an area otherwise shrouded in mystery and controversy.” In later years, we learned that Mr. Whitman possibly spent a happy afternoon with Oscar Wilde. Mr. Whitman was also fond of cruising the Brooklyn Waterfront.

Gavin Arthur (born Chester Alan Arthur III; March 21, 1901 – April 28, 1972) is a key link in this chain. As often noted, he was the grandson of Chester Arthur. The elder Mr. Arthur was elected Vice President in 1880, and promoted after the death of James Garfield.

The younger Mr. Arthur was a piece of work. In the early 1920’s, Mr. Arthur dropped out of Columbia, got married, and moved to Ireland. Mr. Arthur somehow got to meet his idol, Edward Carpenter. At the time of this meeting, Mr. Arthur was 23, and Mr. Carpenter was 80.

THE GAY SUCCESSION “… is a document given me by Gavin Arthur in 1967.” The story goes into extravagant detail about the meeting between Mr. Arthur and Mr. Carpenter. One wonders how the elderly Mr. Arthur remembers all this 43 years later.

EC – “No, Walt was ambigenic,” he said. “His contact with women was far less than his contact with men. But he did engender several children and his greatest female contact was that Creole in New Orleans. I don’t think he ever loved any of them as much as he loved Peter Doyle.”
GA – “I suppose you slept with him?” I blurted out half scared to ask.”
EC – “Oh yes–once in a while–he regarded it as the best way to get together with another man. He thought that people should ‘know’ each other on the physical and emotional plane as well as the mental. … the best part of comrade love was that there was no limit to the number of comrades”
GA – “How did he make love?” I forced myself to ask.”
EC – “I will show you,” he smiled. “Let us go to bed.”
Mr. Arthur spares few details in what happens next.

Chester III renamed himself Gavin. After losing the financial support of his family, Mr. Arthur moved to San Francisco. For a while, he sold newspapers on the street. “And he delved deep into both astrology and sexology. Gavin took his star charts very seriously: When one self-administered reading told him he was heading to prison soon, he immediately drove to San Quentin and took a job as a teacher, the better to prevent going in as an inmate.”

“By the 1960s, Gavin Arthur had become a well-known and respected astrologer. In 1966, some Bay Area activists, cultural and political, began to plan a transformative event. They wanted to unite the cultural radicals of the Haight, and the political radicals of Berkeley. Those plans led to the Human Be-In. In order to have maximum astrological impact, its organizers asked Arthur to determine the most auspicious date. Arthur determined that January 14, 1967, would have the greatest impact.”

“I had a flashback to the time I spent with Ginsberg in Cambridge, MA, in 1982, when he told me that I was part of an erotic lineage that connected me to Whitman … a quick Google search identifies Arthur as ”a certain astrologer and San Francisco character, Gavin Arthur … gave lectures at San Quentin while Neal was a prisoner.” Another entry reports that he studied astrology with Ronald Reagan before Reagan started his political career.”

“In 1958, he (Neal Cassady) was arrested after being caught using marijuana at a San Francisco nightclub. He was sentenced for two years at San Quentin State Prison.” This was when Mr. Arthur was teaching at San Quentin. Mr. Cassady mentions him in two letters to his wife Carolyn. (For those who just got here, Neal Cassady was the model for Dean Moriarty in On The Road. Mr. Cassady also drove the bus “Further,” for the Merry Pranksters.)

August 13, 1959 from San Quentin to Carolyn Cassady “Last Saturday, “Uncle Gavin” Arthur, grandson of our twenty-first President who, Republican though he was, could hardly have been more conservative than is Gain underneath all his Occult Astrology, failed to show (again, for the third time in six weeks) to teach our class in Comparative Religion and Philosophy, about three dozen regularly in attendance, on account of a death in his group at the Global House, which he bought by selling papers on Market Street for ten years; so again it was my pleasurable duty to instruct the boys in Cayce-hood [Edgar Cayce]”

Septetmber 22 1959 from San Quentin to Carolyn Cassady “Uncle” worry-wart [Gavin Arthur] missed showing up for the class again last week and I hear, probably unfounded, rumors that it is to be discontinued, too bad if true, because it was fun to hear the old geezer expound, without at all remembering he had, on the very same things week after week. I mean his examples, and their wording were always so alike one could not only anticipate, but, with any memory at all, give in advance the exact sentence he would be about to pronounce: it was sort of a game.” Eight years later, the “old geezer” described a 1924 tryst in clinical detail.

San Quentin broke Neal Cassady. The railroad would not take him back, and Carolyn divorced him. “He, however, felt now he had utterly failed in his mission, and he knew he could never go back. He died inside; only his body survived. This he did his best to destroy. He no longer believed in suicide, but he did all he could to be killed. … He told me he swallowed handfuls of pills anyone offered, even not knowing what they were. Is this not an obvious death-wish? He admitted it was.”

During this down and out time of his life, Neal Cassady apparently connected with Gavin Arthur. In a 1974 radio interview, Allen Ginsberg recalls “That was already the ’60’s, but there was that atmosphere back in San Francisco, around Gavin Arthur, particularly. Arthur was a great friend of Neal Cassady, slept with him all the time, or whenever Neal had nowhere to go he’d wind up in Gavin’s house, sort of falling asleep, exhausted, in his bed.”

The Neal Cassady to Allen Ginsberg connection is well documented.

“A second, serendipitous event further spurred (Joey) Cain’s interest in researching Gavin Arthur. Cain found a used copy of Carpenter’s “Towards Democracy” in a used bookstore for $3.00. It had a lot of writing in it. Cain noticed the following lament among the notes in the book, “This is one of my Bibles, please return. This volume is the third I have had to buy, people being so dishonest about books.” Then he looked below and saw Gavin Arthur’s signature and address. The writing belonged to Arthur. The book in his hand had once belonged to Gavin Arthur. He went up to the cashier who said, “It’s a shame about all this writing in it.” Cain replied, “Let me pay for it first, and then I’ll tell you about this writing.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Founding Babydaddies

Posted in Georgia History, History, Politics by chamblee54 on July 25, 2021





People often try to justify their opinions by saying that the “founding fathers” agree with them. They often are guilty of selective use of history. A good place to start would be to define what we mean by the phrase founding fathers. This is a repost

The FF word was not used before 1916. A senator from Ohio named Warren Harding used the phrase in the keynote address of the 1916 Republican convention. Mr. Harding was elected President in 1920, and is regarded as perhaps the most corrupt man to ever hold the office.

There are two groups of men who could be considered the founding fathers. (The fathers part is correct. Both groups are 100% white male.) The Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence, which cut the ties to England. Eleven years later, the Constitutional Convention wrote the Constitution that governs America today. While the Continental Congress was braver, the Constitution is the document that tells our government how to function. For the purposes of this feature, the men of the Constitutional Convention are the founding fathers.

Before moving on, we should remember eight men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and later attended the Constitutional Convention. Both documents were signed by George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, George Read, Roger Sherman, and James Wilson. George Wythe left the Convention without signing the new document. Elbridge Gerry (the namesake of gerrymandering) refused to sign the Constitution because it did not have a Bill of Rights.

The original topic of this discussion was about whether the founding fathers owned slaves. Many people wonder about this. If you go to google, and type in “did the founding fathers”, the first four answers are owned slaves, believed in G-d, have a death wish, and smoke weed.

The answer, to the obvious question, is an obvious answer. Yes, many of the founding fathers owned slaves. A name by name rundown of the 39 signatories of the Constitution was not done for this blogpost. There is this revealing comment at wiki answers about slave ownership.

“John Adams, his second cousin Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Paine were the only men who are traditionally known as founding fathers who did not own slaves.
Benjamin Franklin was indeed a founder of the Abolitionist Society, but he owned two slaves. Franklin’s newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, routinely ran ads for sale or purchase of slaves.
Patrick Henry is another founding father who owned slaves, although his speeches would make one think otherwise. Despite his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, he had up to 70 slaves at a time. He did apologize from time to time. He knew it was wrong, he was accountable to his God, and bemoaned the “general inconvenience of living without them.”

Patrick Henry was a star of the Revolution, but not present at the Constitutional Convention. The author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was in Europe during the convention. Mr. Jefferson not only owned slaves, he took one to be his mistress, and kidsmama.

One of the more controversial features of the Constitution is the 3/5 rule. Here are the original words. “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” In other words, a slave was only considered to be 60% of a person.

This was a compromise. It The agricultural southern states did not want to give up their slaves. The northern states did not want to give up Congressional representation. This was the first of many compromises made about slavery, ending with the War between the States. This webpage goes into more detail about the nature of slavery.

The research for this feature turned up a rather cynical document called The myth of the “Founding Fathers” . It is written by Adolph Nixon. He asks : “most rational persons realize that such political mythology is sheer nonsense, but it begs the question, who were the Founding Fathers and what makes them so great that they’re wiser than you are?” (The link for this information keeps changing. Here is the latest. This is not a reliable source.)

Mr. Nixon reviews the 39 white men who signed the Constitution. He does not follow the rule, if you can’t say anything nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all. Of the 39, 12 were specified as slave owners, with many tagged as “slave breeders”.

The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, have served America well. However it was intended, it was written so that it could be amended, and to grow with the young republic. It has on occasion been ignored (when was the last time Congress declared war?). However fine a document it is, it was created by men. These were men of their time, who could not have foreseen the changes that America has gone through. Those who talk the most about the founding fathers know the least about them.




James Baldwin And The Word

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on July 10, 2021






In the spring of 1963, KQED filmed a show, “Take this hammer”, about James Baldwin. The snippet in the video above seems to have been the last three minutes of the show. Here is a transcript. Mr. Baldwin discusses a six letter insult. The n-word is more about the speaker, than the spoken of. A 2010 blogger had this to say.

“I’ve often felt that people’s projections of me are oftentimes just that – their projections. However, Baldwin’s ending sums up a solution to this perfectly: “But you still think, I gather, that the n****r is necessary. Well he’s unnecessary to me – he must be necessary to you. Well, I’m going to give your problem back to you…you’re the n****r, baby…not me.”

It is now 2021. (All discussions of race must mention the year.) The TV show was fifty eight years ago. A few things have changed. To many white people, overt expressions of racism are seen as bad manners. The n-word is taboo in polite company. The overall attitudes may not have changed, but most white people are careful how they say things.

This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These men are Union soldiers, from the War Between the States.





A few weeks ago, this blog published a feature, James Baldwin And The Six Letter Word. At the center was selection of James Baldwin talking about the n word. There was a transcript available, which makes today’s exercise a lot easier.

Mr. Baldwin was discussing this nasty word, and offered an insight into who the user of this nasty word was really talking about. Now, there is another nasty word being casually tossed about these days. This other nasty word is racist. What would happen if you took Mr. Baldwin’s talk, and substituted racist for nasty? It is an interesting way to look at things. What follows is not a perfect fit, and may be offensive to some. A few times, it is very close to the truth.

Who is the racist? Well i know this…and anybody who has tried to live knows this. What you say about somebody else (you know) anybody else, reveals you. What I think of you as being is dictated by my own necessities, my own psychology, my own uhm fears…and desires. I’m not describing you when I talk about you…I’m describing me.

Now, here in this country we got somebody called a racist. It doesn’t in such terms, I beg you to remark, exist in any other country in the world. We have invented the racist. I didn’t invent him, white people invented him. I’ve always known, I had to know by the time I was seventeen years old, what you were describing was not me and what you were afraid of was not me. It had to be something else. You had invented it so it had to be something you were afraid of and you invested me with it.

Now if that’s so, no matter what you’ve done to me I can say to you this, and I mean it…I know you can’t do any more and I’ve got nothing to lose…and I know and I have always known you know and really always..…I have always known that I am not a racist…but if I am not the racist…and if it is true that your invention reveals you…then who is the racist?

I am not the victim here. I know one thing from another. I know that I was born, am gonna suffer and gonna die. And the only way that you can get through life is to know the worst things about it. I know that a person is more important than anything else. Anything else.

I’ve learned this because I’ve had to learn it. But you still think, I gather, that the racist is necessary. Well he’s not necessary to me, so he must be necessary to you. So I give you your problem back. You’re the racist baby, it isn’t me.




July 3, 1981

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 3, 2021

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July 3, 1981, was another day before a holiday. The new President, Ronald Reagan, was recovering from gunshot wounds. There was talk of an era of conservatism, with possibly severe repression.

There was an article in the New York Times. RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS. “Doctors in New York and California have diagnosed among homosexual men 41 cases of a rare and often rapidly fatal form of cancer. Eight of the victims died less than 24 months after the diagnosis…”

This was the media debut of AIDS. It would not have that name for a while. Almost nobody thought, on that summer day, just how bad AIDS would be. In five years it was obvious how serious AIDS was.

article-02 PG was on another trip to the west coast. It was becoming obvious that this would be a vacation, rather than a relocation. He was riding a bicycle, with a milk carton overloaded with camping gear. Some kids told him to get saddle bags, and carry the weight lower. If you have the weight on top, you would lose control coming down a big hill. PG did not listen to the kids.

On July 4, PG left Patrick’s Point state park, about 300 miles north of San Francisco. Coming down the first hill on highway 101, the bike shook, shook harder, and flipped on its side. PG was thrown off. The front wheel was bent beyond repair. PG gathered his gear, left the bike behind, and got a ride into the nearest town.

PG got a bus ticket to Seattle. That city was in an economic downturn, with less than half a page of help wanted ads. PG found a auto delivery service, and got a VW bug going to Oak Ridge, TN. In a few days he was in Atlanta. A few days later, a temp agency came up with a job as a driver for a blueprint company. PG worked for that company, in one form or another, for the next 24 years.

As for the gay men with Kaposi’s Sarcoma … in all probability, the patients mentioned in that article were all dead within a year. AIDS has become a dominating story in our time. At its worst, it was claiming 50,000 lives a year. With the advent of wonder drugs, the death toll has been greatly reduced. The impact of AIDS on American life cannot be adequately described. This is a repost.

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Lawrence K. Altman is still writing articles for the New York Times.

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The Kinks

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on June 25, 2021

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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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The Wisdom Of William S. Burroughs

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 24, 2021

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The word advice, for all the condescencion implied, does have a neat composition. Ad is short for advertisement, and vice is a forbidden pleasure. Unless you are talking about Vice President, who should be forbidden.forgotten, and fornicated, with his wife in the room. For some unknown reason, the subject of discourse today is advice from William Seward Burroughs. No, the TV station on Peachtree Street was not named for him.

Before we reprint this tasteful consultation, (Chamblee54 did not write the advice) we should ponder the concept of William S. Burroughs, and wonder why anyone would ask this man for advice.

Mr. Burroughs is the namesake grandson of the man who invented the adding machine. He left his heirs a bunch of money. The young Burroughs wound up in New York, and became friends with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

Mr. Burroughs was married twice (to women). The first was a platonic relationship with Ilse von Klapper, a Jew who wanted to get out of Europe. In 1936, this counted as a good deed.

The second wife, Joan Vollmer, helped make his life interesting. She is the mother of William S. Burroughs III, and was fond of speed. Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs were living in Mexico in 1951, when they decided to play William Tell. Mr. Burroughs missed the apple, and Mrs. Burroughs died.

Mr. Burroughs went on to write a few novels, including Naked Lunch. He was famous in hipster circles, and gave lie to the saying “there are no old junkies”. Mr. Burroughs settled in Lawrence KS, and lived to be 83. This leaves out a few inedible details.

Today’s entertainment is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. If you want to read more about Mr. Burroughs, there is always more.

People often ask me if I have any words of advice for young people. Well here are a few simple admonitions for young and old. Never interfere in a boy-and-girl fight.Beware of whores who say they don’t want money.The hell they don’t.What they mean is they want more money. Much more. If you’re doing business with a religious son-of-a-bitch,Get it in writing.His word isn’t worth shit. Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.

Avoid fuck-ups. We all know the type. Anything they have anything to do with, No matter how good it sounds, Turns into a disaster.Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill. Tell them firmly: I am not paid to listen to this drivel. You are a terminal boob.

Now some of you may encounter the Devil’s Bargain, If you get that far. Any old soul is worth saving, At least to a priest, But not every soul is worth buying. So you can take the offer as a compliment. He tries the easy ones first. You know like money, All the money there is. But who wants to be the richest guy in some cemetery? Money won’t buy. Not much left to spend it on, eh gramps?

Well time hits the hardest blows. Especially below the belt. How’s a young body grab you? Like three card monte, like pea under the shell, Now you see it, now you don’t. Haven’t you forgotten something, gramps? In order to feel something, You’ve got to be there. You have to be eighteen. You’re not eighteen. You are seventy-eight. Old fool sold his soul for a strap-on.

Well they always try the easiest ones first. How about an honorable bargain? You always wanted to be a doctor, Well now’s your chance. Why don’t you become a great healer And benefit humanity? What’s wrong with that? Just about everything. Just about everything. There are no honorable bargains Involving exchange Of qualitative merchandise Like souls For quantitative merchandise Like time and money. So piss off Satan And don’t take me for dumber than I look.

An old junk pusher told me – Watch whose money you pick up.

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