The Feature Gods, those strange and capricious deities that either make things happen when you’re reporting a story or withhold their balm for reasons no mortal can discern, smiled on me Thursday. I was at the Fair, wandering around, looking for something to shoot. Anything. Gods, hear my plight. I mean, there’s so much to shoot, but pulling it all together into a story is different, and I - have - shot - everything over the years. I put the sticks on a manhole cover to shoot a scene I did last Tuesday, for a before-and-during look. I was shooting the Stratosphere ride, which is the newest most RADICAL and EXTREME and so on. Looks like another goes-way-up-spins-around; we’ve had one nearly every year, but now it’s at the gate, instead of the in the middle of the Midway.
I noticed: it’s not moving. I noticed: there are people up there. I thought: it’s stuck.
And stuck it was. So I shot the ride . . . not moving, then the rescue of the stranded people. Was down to my last minute of card space; frantically deleted old stuff so I had bits left for interviews. When I was talking to someone who’d been stuck, a reporter from channel 9 just barged right in. Well, I got what I needed. And now to edit.
Earlier in the day I was sitting on the back porch of the StarTrib booth, thinking this is why the Fair is different for me. I have a place. I have a home base, a nook to store my things, a place to grab water and shade, a porch where I can put my legs up and take the weight off. Or put my legs off and take the weight up. It’s my choice. Woman walks by wearing a T-shirt:
SH*T DIFFERENT ISLAND
And I thought: there’s a vacation destination with a marketing problem. But they’re embracing it. You might think the island’s just another ratty-arse run-down place with a thin crust of tolerable facilities where the ships dock and the tourist go, but in case you want to wander into town, you won’t find the same old crap. Different sh*t. (I censor only because I rarely swear on the blog, and it would just look jarring. Right?) Or it’s a place where people just excrete in a novel fashion. Then she got closer, and I saw the word SAME on the top. Oh. Right. The jaded tourist’s complaint. Sold by someone sitting in a shop, watching the same pasty parade with a few bulky lobsters who overdid it on the first day out, pawing through the merchandise, flush with cash and hooch, staggering back to the ship at four to be fed and transported to another place where they don’t have to work. By all means, see my home in terms of indistinguishable feces.
What fascinates me is this: the woman went through her clothes that morning, and chose that shirt to tell the world: THIS IS ME.
Stopped at the bottle shop, and saw this. You've heard the phrase "top shelf"? This was bottle shelf:
I was surprised to see it. That's about the oldest label I've ever seen - looks like old labels. Is it? Or a retread? Copyright 1945, but perhaps it died long ago, and was brought back to capitalize on that growing market segment that wants some whiskey that's half alcohol and costs less than eleven dollars.
Funny label very yellow and oily but really enjoyed it.
You can tell its not spent long in the wood but it still has that Heaven Hill taste.
From the same fellow two weeks later:
I now find this stuff utterly undrinkable
So I'll listen to the voice of experience. Another site has it featured under the heading "Today's Mistake." Details: "Unbelievably harsh. Imagine the worst whiskey you’ve ever smelled, then remove the 'whiskey' part and that’s what’s left."
And I'm not having any. But some brown fluid tomorrow, I suspect. It's been a long day - got up, dropped off daughter and friend at church to go to Valleyfair, home, podcast, file column, drive to University of Minnesota to park for Fair, bus to fair, interviews, shooting, the Ride malfunction, bus to car, car to home, dinner, radio interview, edit movie, add music, and this. Yee haw! Same joy. Different day.
Today there's some new old Wards 1961. Have a grand weekend, and I'll see you around!