Chamblee54

Harry Hay And Joe Pyne

Posted in Library of Congress, Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 16, 2021


Joe Pyne was a notoriously abrasive TV personality. He pioneered many of the things that today’s shock jock hosts do, before his death in 1970. One of his guests was Georgia Governor Lester Maddox. While writing a blog post about Lester, PG did a bit of research on Joe Pyne.

Wikipedia had an intruiging comment. “Gay activists Harry Hay and John Burnside—who were a couple from 1962 until Hay’s death in 2002—appeared on Pyne’s show in 1967.[citation needed]” Harry Hay is a seminal figure in certain “radical” communities. Mr. Hay had a sharp tongue, and might have given the combative Pyne a bit of pushback. PG decided to look for the video.

[citation needed] is the key phrase. Youtube has a few dozen videos of the Joe Pyne Show (links below.) None of the ones here include Harry Hay. The internet archive has a collection of Pyne tapes, but no Harry Hay. A google search provides many mentions of this interview, but no more details. Many of the references were apparently copied, verbatim, from Wikipedia.

There is a possibility that Harry Hay was never on the Joe Pyne show. There are other urban legends about Joe Pyne. The most famous involves Frank Zappa. It is helpful to know that Joe Pyne had a rare form of cancer in 1955, and part of his left leg was amputated. In the story, Mr. Pyne asks Mr. Zappa if his long hair makes him a girl. Mr. Zappa replied, does your wooden leg make you a table? No record of this exchange is available.

TV Party might have a reason for the missing video. “Most, if not all, of the syndicated Joe Pyne programs still exist on videotape in the archives of Hartwest Productions, Inc. Here’s what Hartwest tells us: “The tapes are 2″ Quads, meaning that they are so ancient that you only get one pass before the oxides flake off. That one pass is fine to make a new digital master, but the cost (including two digital clones) comes to about $600 a show. So far, we have only transferred three shows, with the cost being paid for by people who were either in the show, or who were making a documentary, or who now seem to worship one of the guests (and I mean the last literally).”

The research turned up another story. It is from “Remembering Harry and John”, by Mark Thompson on the occasion of Harry’s 100th anniversary “I remember the night we were socializing at the San Francisco Art Institute at a gala tribute for James Broughton. Harry (Hay) and James had sparked briefly as Stanford University undergraduates, but didn’t meet again until fifty years later at a faerie gathering. Few people knew that James had fathered a daughter with esteemed film critic Pauline Kael during their bohemian Berkeley days, but Harry was alert to the fact. Kael and Broughton were having their own reunion at the moment when, with typical impudence, Harry interrupted the conversation by loudly asking, “So, who was the mother and who was the father?” The stunned silence was punctured only by the whoosh of Kael’s furious departure.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Youtube has several videos from the Joe Pyne Show. There is a series, LOST JOE PYNE TALK SHOW PART 1 – PART 7 “This is from a 1967 kinescoped “demo reel”, used to sell “THE JOE PYNE SHOW” in syndication to local stations at the time.” 1 2 3 Helen Gurley Brown 4 5 7 Here are some other guests:
Amy White Fixler Christine Jorgensen Anton LaVey F. Lee Bailty
Godfrey Cambridge Lester Maddox Paul Krassner Jerry Rubin
Lewis Marvin Jack Anderson James Meredith Joel Fort M.D. Iceberg Slim

DG-GD

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, The Internet, Uncategorized by chamblee54 on October 14, 2020


PG was listening to disgraceland episode#64, about the grateful dead. He was at a stopping point with multi tasking, and decided to look something up. The show mentioned the first show by the warlocks, later known as the grateful dead. This was 50 years before “dead name” was a dirty word.

“On May 5, 1965 ‘The Warlocks’ … played their first show, at Magoo’s Pizza Parlor in Menlo Park, California” This was the day before PG turned 11. Lyndon Johnson was settling in for his elected term as President. The Braves were playing their lame duck season in Milwaukee. Combat troops had been in Vietnam for a little over two months. This was the start of the escalation. “By the end of 1965, more than 184,000 American troops were in Vietnam.”

Multi tasking is full of pitfalls. Whenever there is a break, you are tempted by facebook and twitter. Like this tweet: “The audio excerpt in this article is incredible: Part of a multi-movement work called “PASSOVER” by Rick Burkhardt. Musicians speak while playing, seated around a dinner table. From the collective @ensemblethingNY” The answer is to make a note of the link. Maybe you go back later and listen. Maybe you don’t. The focus should be on the first entertainment/chore. The dg-gd episode has a half hour to go. UPDATE The audio excerpt is pretty good. It is under seven minutes long. People of a certain age may feel old while listening to it.

At 27:44, dg-gd dropped an item that could not be ignored. The warlocks had to find a new name. Someone else was called the warlocks, and there were complications. It seems as though the warlocks … a pretty obvious name … was also an early name of the velvet underground. Other early vu names included the primitives and the falling spikes.

“When they (vu) finally did come across a name which stuck, it was thanks to a contemporary paperback novel about the secret sexual underworld of the 1960s that Tony Conrad, a friend of John Cale, happened across and showed to the group. The novel, written by Michael Leigh, remains in print most likely thanks to the band which appropriated its title.”… “Had Lou Reed and John Cale not seen a copy of this book in a New York City gutter (fittingly) and decided to use its name for their group, this little volume would have been justly forgotten. Written in a style which titilates while decrying the scene it describes, it’s a piece of blue-nosed junk.”

The rest of the show rolled on. Jerry stuck his finger in a dictionary at random, and found grateful dead. It was the name of a story. The band played at the acid tests, which mostly went well, until they did not. Pigpen drank rotgut to excess, until it killed him.

PG was editing pictures out of a folder labeled pa41. The images were shot by John Vachon,in June 1941. The last picture, while the 27 club end of Pigpen played over the speakers, was Women washing clothes in utility building at FSA (Farm Security Administration) trailer camp. Erie, Pennsylvania. Another picture, from January 1941, is Pinochle game in Czecho-Slovak Dramatic Club. Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Both pictures are included in this feature.

Babe, Hank, Barry, And Joe

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on July 24, 2020







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. He had never heard this said out loud before, 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, 2016, 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.






Krog Tunnel

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on July 10, 2020


PG had some time to spare downtown. The 2019 pictures from the krog tunnel had run out. In the thirteen months since he was there last, the tunnel had accumulated a few layers of paint.

It was down to a routine. You make two trips, back and forth. The first time, you focus on the outer walls. The second time, you take in the columns, with the cars going past you. When you finish the west side, you move on to the east.

The pictures in this gallery are from the east side columns. It was the last of the four rounds. PG was getting tired, his bike-wreck damaged shoulder was complaining, and the vehicle was not in a safe parking spot. By this round, PG was not trying to chronicle everything he saw, but going for the highlights. A few shots of the column supports, with the rest of the tunnel in the background, began to appear. That is what this gallery is today.

We Can Forgive The Arabs

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 4, 2020


The facebook meme showed a quote about American deaths in a mid-east war, and how Israel is willing to make the *scarifice.* PG remembered a quote from long ago. Something about how the thing Israel hates most is being forced to kill Arab children. Who said it, and when? Veteran readers of this blog should know where this is going. This is a repost.

Golda Meir is a matriarch of the State of Israel. Her wikiquote page has this: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” The attribution says this: “as quoted in A Land of Our Own : An Oral Autobiography (1973) edited by Marie Syrkin, p. 242.” There is a remarkable second attribution. “Harvey Rachlin was unable to find a primary source for this quote and the one below. The Mystery Of Golda’s Golden Gems”

” The one below” is wiki-listed as a “variant” of the first quote. “We can forgive [them] for killing our children. We cannot forgive them from forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with [them] when they love their children more than they hate us.” “As attributed in an Anti-Defamation League advertisement Ad that ran in the Hollywood Reporter.” The source: “Golda Meir (1957.)

The ADL Ad was reported on August 19, 2014. This was during an Israeli visit to Gaza. It was preceded by Bob Schieffer, on a CBS broadcast in July 2014. “Last week, I found a quote of many years ago by Golda Meir, one of Israel’s early leaders, which might have been said yesterday. “We can forgive the Arabs …” Mr. Schieffer did not give a source for the quote.

When dealing with a quote, you should ask questions. Did they really say it? When and where did they say it? What was the context? What was the original language, and can we trust the translation? Many, many famous quotes fail these simple tests. Brainy Quote is not a valid source.

The Mystery Of Golda’s Golden Gems takes a critical look. It turns out that the Schieffer/ADL team was using a combination of two quotes. These were the quotes investigated by Harvey Rachlin. “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”

“… many of these cite as their source A Land of Our Own: An Oral Autobiography. … The quote appears, along with several others, on the last page of the book’s text (before the index) under the heading “On Peace.” Its source is given as: National Press Club, Washington, 1957. I wrote to the National Press Club in an effort to obtain a copy of Meir’s 1957 speech. The response I received was that Meir, who at the time was Israel’s foreign minister, did not speak there in 1957….”

“…Curiously, most of the books I looked at, as well as Meir’s own autobiography, My Life, contained no mention of these two most famous Meir quotes. Nor was either of them included in The New York Times’s 4,883-word December 9, 1978 obituary of Meir – although Times reporter Israel Shenker found room for more than three dozen other quotes from Meir.”

“My investigation took a turn when I found a 1970 collection of Meir quotes titled As Good As Golda: The Warmth and Wisdom of Israel’s Prime Minister. In this book there are two quotes that bear close resemblance to the pair in question: “Peace will come when Nasser loves his own children more than he hates the Israelis” and “What we hold against Nasser is not only the killing of our sons but forcing them for the sake of Israel’s survival to kill others.”

“Strangely, there are no citations for any of the quotes in the book, and while I found these two exact quotes in other books (all published in or after 1970) none of the citations were from original sources. Even more bizarre is that As Good As Golda was compiled and edited by Israel and Mary Shenker – yes, the same Israel Shenker who several years later would write the massive New York Times obituary that contained dozens of Meir quotes but, notably, not her two most famous ones. …”

“… In August 2014, in the wake of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza, the ADL placed an ad … The ad had both Meir quotes strung together with the singular attribution “Golda Meir (1957).” The ADL did not respond to repeated requests from The Jewish Press for a statement as to whether the organization possessed any verification of the quotes and why they ran together, as though they were part of the same statement.”

Harvey Rachlin comes to the conclusion that there is no way to verify these quotes from Golda Meir. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Sixty Five Years Twelve Presidents

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on May 31, 2020


This is a repost from 2012. It is about the twelve Presidents, one fourth of the total, who have helped themselves served over the last sixty five years. Barack Obama got re-elected, and killed lots of people. The less said about Donald J. Trump, the better.

Every four years, someone will say this is the worst choice ever. Every four years, someone will say this is the most important election ever. They are always correct. The choice in 2016 was between Donald John Trump and Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. Choosing between those two idiots was challenging. The good news is that most people live in states where the electoral votes are conceded to one of the duopoly parties. These voters can focus on local elections.

Listening to the news shows that came on before the cartoons, PG heard the phrase “President Eisenhower”. As a friends explained to him, G-d made everything, but the President is Eisenhower.

When he was six, PG moved to a new house, and started first grade. There was an election that fall, and someone named Kennedy became President. PG wasn’t old enough to pay attention to the news yet, except when it looked like the Russians were going to kill us all in 1962.

The first news story that PG clearly remembers was the day when his fourth grade teacher, Miss McKenzie, told the class that President Kennedy had been shot. One of the worst moments that weekend was the moment when a plane landed in Washington, and the new President spoke on television. THAT was the new President? Yuck.

Lyndon Johnson was a larger than life figure, and was hated by millions of Amuricuns. While there was some good done by LBJ, it was overshadowed by the War in Vietnam. When he left office in 1968, the voters had a horrible choice …Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, or George Wallace.

Tricky Dick Nixon is another larger than life figure, with millions of Americans screaming for his impeachment. For some reason, there were others who passionately admired the man.

In 1973, the oil companies tried to say there was an oil shortage. Later that year, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attacked Israel, and the Arab oil producers cut oil to the USA. After this embargo, OPEC was in charge of the oil supply, and the price of gasoline increased 200%. The era of big money oil was on. What a convenient war.

After the ethical shortcomings of Mr. Nixon became too obnoxious to ignore, Gerald Ford became President. On a policy level, Ford was like all the other Presidents…some things he got right, some things he got wrong. On a personality level…the show business part…Ford excelled. His family provided harmless fodder for the gossipmongers. He was a likable man, a welcome break from the meanness of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

When PG was a kid at Ashford Park School, there had never been a President from Georgia. It seemed impossible. When Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter announced he was running, it seemed like another ego tripper running for President. The funny thing is, he won. It still seems a bit unreal, like having the Olympics in Atlanta.

Jimmy was a Democrat, with attack Republicans fighting him every step of the way. This is a problem later Democrats in the Oval Office will have. On the policy level, he did better than many realize. Many of his achievements only bore fruit after he left office. On the show biz front, his down home Georgia routine did not appeal to many Yankees. In 1980, he was defeated by an actor.

PG was worried when Ronald Reagan took office. With America’s nuclear arsenal, and the Soviet Union wheezing it’s threat, many thought that Ronnie would start the war to kill us all. The good news is, this war never happened. Whatever tough talk came out of Washington was not matched by military adventurism abroad.

Reagan was the master of show business. He was an actor, playing the greatest role of his career. It was said that if America had a figure head monarch, Reagan would have been terrific. On the policy front, taxes were cut, and the budget increased. The national debt went over a trillion dollars, which was seen as a horrible moment. (The annual budget deficit is now over a trillion dollars.)

When Mr. Reagan’s two terms were over, George H.W. Bush took over. This was an era where the Democrats could not do anything right on a national level. Bush presided over a war, and brought the troops home when the mission was over. His image never appealed, and the whiners were not pleased. A computer salesman named Ross Perot decided to run as a third party candidate.

In the winter of 1992, PG had a little job downtown. One day, there was a rally at the CNN center for a little known Presidential candidate. PG went, and said to a friend, If this guy gets elected, you are going to regret not going to see him. At the time, War Winner Bush seemed unbeatable, and PG said that with high sarcasm.

When he got to CNN center, it was obvious that a big money event was unfolding. The place was packed, with school children bused in to fill all the seats. Finally, the speakers blared “Twist and Shout” at top volume, and Bill Clinton walked on the stage. PG was not especially impressed.

Clinton inspired toxic hatred, but managed to keep the boat floating. He won reelection, with the Republicans seeming to self destruct. The economy was going good, the budget was balanced, and the haters went wild. After a entertaining sex scandal, the Clinton years were over.

A couple of weeks before the 2000 election, PG liked neither candidate, and did not think it made much difference. (With Georgia’s electoral votes certain to go Republican, PG did not have a vote.) He listened to someone talking, who thought that it was important that Gore won. PG remembered that conversation often during the next eight years.

George W. Bush was a disaster. It is possible that 911 was a personal vendetta against the Bush family, and would not have happened if Gore was President. The reaction of Bush to this tragedy was to start two wars that we have not been able to finish. In 2016, we are still in Afghanistan.

Next was Barack Obama, the first dark skinned President. He continued the war happy ways of the Bush regime. BHO was reelected in 2012, and given four more years to wage war. He managed to avoid the second term scandals that crippled Mr. Nixon and Mr. Clinton.

In the next election, the democrats decided that calling people racist was a good campaign strategy. As a result, Donald J. Trump was elected. America is more racially divided than ever, which the election of Mr. Obama was supposed to remedy. With the nation distracted by screaming racism, the congress has cut taxes, and produced a multi-trillion dollar budget deficit. America might survive. Pictures for this feature are from the The Library of Congress.

Charcoal Grills In Oakland Parks

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on May 28, 2020


Woman Calls Police On Black Family For BBQing At A Lake In Oakland You have probably heard about this story. There is a series of *viral memes* featuring the caller, a well fed white woman. While the optics of the situation are unappealing, “BBQ Becky* might be right about one thing.

The City of Oakland has published a guide to barbecuing in the park. It clearly states “Non-Charcoal Portable Grilling: Allowed in designated areas only.” Find BBQ Locations in Parks goes into more detail. “Charcoal grilling is only allowed in designated areas where stationary grill pits have been installed. Please do not remove hot coals from pits. Non-charcoal grilling is only allowed in designated areas. You may bring in your own portable non-charcoal grill. Your grill can not be wider than 27 inches. Please note: Charcoal grills are not allowed in non-charcoal designated areas.” This prohibition is not race specific. Being black does not give your special charcoal burning privileges.

Is Oakland unique in regulating charcoal grills? A google search is inconclusive. DeKalb County does not appear to have any charcoal ordinances. Atlanta has “Rules Applicable to Piedmont Park Only: Grilling is allowed only in designated areas and only in grills provided. No portable grills or ground fires are allowed.” Massachusetts states “Only a few state parks allow you to bring in charcoal grills. … When using a charcoal grill, be sure to cool and dispose of your used charcoal in a fireproof container.” Burning charcoal is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Why would a government want to restrict use of portable charcoal grills? Sacramento enacted a barbecue ban once. ““The parks facilities continue to become drier and increase our fire risk,” said Sacramento County regional parks director Jeff Leatherman. “This would prevent people from walking to an open space and setting up a barbecue.”

“Why might charcoal grilling be limited? Here are some potential reasons. Charcoal is carbon based and can be a polluter. A recent American Lung Association report suggested that the combination of traffic, dry weather, and wildfires have led to more soot in California. In fact, SFgate.com writes, “The Bay Area was alongside parts of the Central Valley, which after years of improvement saw increases in the number of days with unhealthy levels of soot between 2012 and 2015, the report shows. The Bay Area ranked among the country’s 10 worst regions for what is known as particle pollution.”

“Particulate matter is typically designated by its size. Particle mass concentrations with a diameter less than 2.5 (10) micrometers is called PM2.5 (PM10). By the way, the average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates PM2.5 because smaller particles can penetrate deeper into our lungs causing respiratory and/or cardiovascular issues. Through the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), guidelines are set for levels of certain pollutants over a given period of time. Places that exceed these standards may be deemed nonattainment areas, which could have significant health, economic, or political ramifications.”

According to a Huffington Post article comparing charcoal and gas grills, “Charcoal is dirtier, but can come from renewable resources; gas has a smaller carbon footprint, but is derived from non-renewable fossil fuels. Most charcoal is a funky amalgamation of things like sawdust, corn starch and lighter fluid; when it’s burned, it can result in 105 times more carbon monoxide than burning propane and lots of harmful volatile organic compounds. But, “real” charcoal, also commonly known as “chunk charcoal,” doesn’t have the nasty additives, and burning it is carbon neutral.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Dorothea Lange took the pictures in California, in September 1939. The spell check suggestion for BBQing is Bobbing. This is a repost.

The Surfer Part One

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on May 9, 2020

Atlanta Rising

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 21, 2020

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Atlanta Rising: The Invention of an International City 1946-1996 is on the shelf at the Chamblee library. This book is a history of Atlanta in the modern era, written by former fishwrapper scribe Frederick Allen. This is a repost from 2014. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

The story begins in 1948. AR is weighted more to the older part of the story. The main text is 248 pages. On page 124, Ivan Allen has just built a controversial roadblock on Peyton Road, which would be in 1962. The further along in the story, the fewer details are included. The first big story is when Georgia had two governors. This is one of the best descriptions of the two Governors controversy around, and does not mention Ben Fortson’s wheelchair cushion.

The mayor at the start of the story is William B. Hartsfield. “Willie B” was a leader in creating the Atlanta Airport, and in building it into the powerhouse it is today. He was mayor until 1961, when Ivan Allen Jr. moved into the office.

AR has many moments of unintentional irony. When you read a book 18 years after it was written, and fifty years after the events in the book, you see things that could not have been imagined before. In 1960, many of the political-business elite thought it was time for Mr. Hartsfield to retire. Among his shortcomings was an indifference to sports. Mr. Hartsfield thought that a new stadium would be too great a drain on the city’s taxpayers. Fifty four years, and three stadiums, later, the power elite is going to build another stadium. Atlanta Stadium cost eighteen million dollars. The Blank bowl will cost over a billion. (In the past year, a plan to move the Braves to Smyrna was announced.)

One of the big stories here is civil rights. Atlanta came out of that struggle looking pretty good. It was a combination of image conscious businessmen, enlightened black leadership, and a huge helping of dumb luck. In 1961, the city was under federal pressure to integrate the schools. The state was firm in opposition, and the city wasn’t crazy about the idea anyway. Then, another federal court ordered the integration of the University of Georgia. Since the people would not stand for messing with their beloved University, the state laws forbidding integration were quietly repealed. The city schools were integrated with a minimum of fuss. (The book tells this story much better than a slack blogger.)

The controversy about the 1956 model state flag was going full steam when AR was written. The book has some legislative records, which for some reason never made it into the fishwrapper. There is no clear cut answer as to why the legislature changed the state flag. It was mentioned that at the national political conventions, you could not have a written sign, but you could wave a state flag. This controversy provided a diversion from gold dome crookedness, and hopefully has been laid to rest.

A man named Lester Maddox sold fried chicken, and ran for public office. AR describes Lester as looking a bit like an angry chicken. Through a series of constitutional convulsions, Lester was elected Governor in 1966. The state survived his tenure. In the seventies, when Jimmy Carter was running for President, Lester said a lot of rude things about Jimmy, helping the smiling peanut farmer get elected. In another turn of fate, Lester Maddox died June 25, 2003. This was two days after the eternal departure of Maynard Jackson, the first black Mayor of Atlanta.

The book ends with the 1996 Olympics looming over the city. Billy Payne led a smart campaign to secure the games for Atlanta. One of his moves was to keep Jimmy Carter and Ted Turner out of the action. After the 1980 boycott, and the Goodwill Games, neither person was popular with the I.O.C. The book was published before 1996. The Olympics were a blast.

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Zoom

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 13, 2020


With the world one month into covid19 lockdown, I decided it was time to broadcast. Everyone was having virtual meetings online. It was time for this neo-luddite to join to show. But how?

I don’t have a smart phone, or a laptop. My phone is an ATT flip phone, which I am told is really a smart phone. Finding the app online is too much work for this device. If I am going to zoom with the zoomers, I need to get a microphone. I had a 2000 era webcam, which can serve until something better comes along. Or so I thought.

Hank Green suggested a microphone. Amazon said “Get it as soon as April 22 – 27 …,” which was not helpful. An hour or so later, I find a mic at a local retailer. I place the order, and get the confirmation. I drive to Marietta, and ushered into the retail facility. Everyone is wearing a mask, and acting nervous. They do not accept cash. The package is handed over, the credit card swiped, and I am on my way home. The rude, aggressive drivers are not staying home.

Now, to get a camera. The web cams I see online look a lot like regular cameras. This does not mean that a Finepic T-400 will work online. That golfball shaped webcam, from 1999, quit working around the time of Windows Vista. It looks like a camera is going to be needed.

A few minutes later, a few webcam options turn up. Unfortunately, none of them are in stock, anywhere. Apparently, I am not the only person trying to play zoom catch up. Finally, I see a computer shop downtown. The lady seems to say that she has a webcam, but is closing the shop in a half hour. I run down there. The lady says that she can have the camera for me the next day. Twenty six hours later, I get a phone call. I go back downtown, and get a cheesy box, with a device inside.

A community I am in is having a virtual heart circle. I plug the camera in, and figure out how to make it stay on top of the monitor. I plug the microphone in, and click the link. I am now a part of the zoom generation. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Uncle Quagmire

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 4, 2020

Mardi Gras

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 25, 2020

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It is fat tuesday again. For someone who lived most of his life in Georgia, it is just another day.

In 1990, PG went to carnival. He rented sleeping bag space in a house on Marigny Street, just outside the quarter. It was like nothing he had ever seen.

This was 14 months after PG quit drinking. If he had life to do over, he would have gone to Mardi Gras first. He did feel good about going through that much drinking without being tempted to participate.

By the end of the Rex Parade, PG was getting tired of the whole shebang, Mob scenes of drunks, in costume, can get old. PG has not been back.

Two years later, the Grateful Dead was playing at the Omni, and the camp followers were in the parking lot. PG would go on his lunch hour and observe. A young lady walked by, and PG said Happy Mardi Gras. She gave him a string of beads.

Five years after that, PG had a boss from New Orleans. He looked like the Grinch who stole Christmas. He also hated Mardi Gras. PG did not know this, and greeted him Tuesday morning with a cheerful Happy Mardi Gras. If looks could kill, PG would have dropped dead. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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