As usual for a post-trip Bleat, I have an entire week of stuff that happened during the week I was telling you what happened the other week. Perhaps I should just use this week to describe last week, and next week to describe this week, and so on in perpetuity so the site’s always well-stocked. But: I have to run up to Fargo for a day, and that puts a future Bleat in jeopardy. Do they have internet up there?
No. They do not. At least not at my dad’s house. Oh, the computer is connected for email; his wife used it, but she’s gone, and I don’t think she was emailing much the last few years. For all I know he cancelled the internet, because he’s never used it himself. I got him on the internet years ago and did a search for his old WW2 ship, and up popped - on the first link - a picture of his ship, and his shipmates, and himself on the deck. First page he saw. Probably all downhill from there, so he’s never bothered to go back. Why would he?
What does the internet have that he’d want?
I love the banner picture this week. It's the Friday we all work for, in some form. It's from an outboard motor ad, was shot in Minneapolis.
Everything except the greyish building above the car in the middle? Gone.
Actually, I don't have a whole week's worth of stuff. Nothing happened. Daughter was gone at camp, so the week just was a long yawn without consequence, with one exception. I led a walking tour downtown for the paper, a promotion for our Streetscapes feature. Then and Now. Two groups of 35 people with headphones; I had a mike and an inordinately heavy pack of electronics. Took an hour; no script, really, and lots of fun. Something to do; something to fill the hours for everyone. It’s fun to talk about the past and feel some enthusiasm, because A) it’s important to remember what was, and B) it’s good to feel enthusiasm, period. So much of every day is driven by routine, which requires the manufacture of enthusiasm to various degrees if you want to be happy. And you do, don’t you? So you smother the gargoyles that mutter doubts and fears and imprecations, stop up their grinning maws with the thick wet towel of Routine and Process, and elbow through the soupy hours, the deadlines, the small meaningless things that are given height and breadth and weight because we’ve all agreed that things have to Be Done, and the day’s labors constitute a goodly swing of the axe that chips away the great stone face of your mortal allotment.
That’s a dark way of putting it, I suppose, but it’s not the only way. The day is littered with dozens of compensations, each of which draws you to the moment. The dog’s pleasure in bursting a red plastic ball that appeared in the backyard for no reason.
The ball was just there, because things are just there now and then and you chew it and see what you can make of it, and if it pops, surprise. If it deflates, then it’s something else now. HEY SQUIRREL and the balloon is forgotten, until you remember oh right that, and return to it - but with less interest, perhaps, it being a Known Thing, and punctured.
Every day has a red balloon, somewhere; it just depends whether you’re looking for it, or allow yourself to see it.
The internet my father abjures specializes in presenting red balloons, but they’re pictures of soap bubbles. Nothing you can really chew.
So. Avoiding it. Peg Lynch died. I’ve written about it elsewhere on the workblog and there’s more to the story to come, but I’ll have to hold up a palm to say: just wait. (The movie that’s playing in my headphones just called for someone named “Ethyl.”) That was news I got as soon as I reconnected after Alaska. A few days later I got a box in the mail: something her daughter found on her table of projects. She always had projects. She was always putting together Blue Books to send to fans: pictures of where she lived, what she did, what the press said, the poses she struck. I got one a year or so ago.
This box was different. It had a picture frame with various photos from her life, and there I was in one of the panes, a shot of the two of us from two summers past. She made that for me. A javelin to the sternum, that was. A flare gun from the other side. A different kind of red balloon.
As I said, I'll have more. Soon.
A summertime treat for the kids: rock and roll in movie form!
Bring your friends to the "Drive-In" and do all the latest dances on the roof of your cars! It'll leave marks! Dad'll kill you!
As I always say, these aren't reviewx. It's a look at the places, actors, tropes, noir cliches, and so on. "Jamboree" is just an excuse to show groups lip-syncing their hits, and what plot exists vanishes like morning dew upon recollection. It begins with New York, and I think we all where this is:
Hey, I saw Bogata Revolt at the 7th Street Entry in '81.
THE LAW NEVER SWEEP! REFUSE INTO STREET! It's like a sign based on Al Sharpton's TelePrompter readings.
The picture makes it look like there's a theater called the RKO Palace-Embassy showing NEWSREELS, but of course they're different. The Palace was, and is, the great destination of Times Square, and the Embasy was part of the Bond Clothiers / Pepsi Bottle building.
Once the movie starts, we get crazy teens dancing to that way-out sound:
Not all that teenish. We meet a couple of kids thrown together to make a song, and of course they fall in love, but will they ever fight, or marry, or have a second hit? These questions I cannot answer, since I tuned out any non-musical portion of the movie. But here's a review of their first song:
"Neil Hefti arrangement." I wonder if those words meant anything to the movie's target audience.
Here's the reason I decided to do this one. Not the music bits. No, it's the Disk Jockeys who appear to introduce America's Singing Sweethearts as they sweep the nation. It's a way of letting the kids see their radio heroes - and discover that they're all pretty much middle-aged guys.
That's Zenas Sears. He owned the station. Says this site:
Zenas "Daddy" Sears (1914-88), a white man known for his progressive views in regard to both music and social issues, began his career as a disc jockey after being exposed to black music via the Armed Forces Radio.
Zenas was PD of the station until he died; now it’s “urban talk.”
KXOX had Ed Bonner:
This St. Louis history page says: “all the kids knew E.B., Ed Bonner. They heard him on KXOK from 1951 to 1958 and WIL from 1958 to 1962, but his work involved a lot more than his airshifts. It seemed as though he spent every spare minute with his listeners, doing up to four personal appearances per week." That's what it took. You had to be out there among 'em.
Minneapolis's own Sandy Singer!
Radio Man, Magician, and character. WDGY is still around - and it's an oldies station, so it probably plays some of the songs from this movie. Its owner - Dr. George Young - is not around, though.
It's time to go Bobbin' with the Robin:
Robin Seymour. Hey, do I have his sign-on? I do.
Everybody fly sky high.
This guy, I can't place.
Don't know what happened to him.
Hey, kids! Your radio friends are OLD MEN.
That would be Ray Perkins. Billboard said he left his job at KIMN in 1958 over a programming dispute - the rise of “Top 40” format that put less emphasis on the DJ’s choices and personality.
Somehow they never could get rid of all the DJs. Radio is a personal medium. The people who run seem confused by that fact some times.