Something I forgot to mention last week: this is the approximate time of year I began the Bleat. The Daily Bleat, as it was called. All the popular kids were putting up Home Pages on AOL and other such sites, the names of all of which escape me, and I figured I would do my part to fill the internet with content. I took one longish hiatus in 1997 when the radio show ate into my free time, but other than that it’s been a steady fixture for twenty years.
There are a few that have lasted this long, but not many. Doesn’t mean it’s good, just that it’s old.
I’m pleased with how it turned out. The style may be archaic, but it has a certain clean look - and you’ll have to admit that if one thing isn’t to your liking there’s usually something coming along that’s better. There’s no general objective, other that:
1. This was today.
2. Here are some things that happened long ago, and deserve to be remembered.
Anyone been along since the start? Just curious. If so: thanks. If you’re new: thanks as well! As the Tonight Show interstitial cards said, More to Come.
Saturday was Tour the U Day, for Daughter. Don’t know if she’ll go there; hope she will, but my hopes on this matter and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee if it’s 1966. Or would that be enough for toast and eggs too? I think so. Coffee hit a quarter in the early 70s, I think. But not if it was bottomless.
Where could you get a bottomless cup in Dinkytown? A few places, but we’ll get to that.
Woke nice and early, skipped the usual ornate weekend breakfast, and headed to the U. Parked in a ramp and paused for a while because Daughter had fallen sick and looked like something from The Walking Dead.
She thought she’d be better today, since she had felt better the night before, but today - just bone-deep fatigue and a headache she described as “the devil is screaming his name in my head,” which she said was her own line. I thought was that was pretty - damned - good.
You don’t mean literally though.
Okay, well, tell me if ever gets literal though.
As we walked through the campus she asked where everyone was. I said it was Saturday and they were all hungover, huddled in small cells shuddering and trying not to smell the drool on their pillows. Also, it’s a commuter campus. Also, it’s Saturday; why would they be marching around the great broad mall, swinging their arms, looking for knowledge?
I’d given her the chance to reschedule before we left the house, but she persisted, as they say. En route to Jones Hall we agreed that maybe it was better if we went to the office to register and reschedule.
On the way out I looked through the crack of the room that used to be my morning Art History class with Professor Canady. It was dark, but it was always dark. The first class of the day, MWF, sitting in a close black room looking at Giotto frescos splashed up on the screen as the Prof paced back and forth and told stories and imparted lessons. On the way back I pointed out to sick Daughter, who really couldn’t have cared less, why this building was horrid and this one was great.
I know the U’s architecture; I used to live there, after all. It had been a while since I saw the grotesques on Pillsbury Hall, though. This must have been someone.
The noses have been vandalize on most of them. Shame on those people.
Now compare that - the sculpture, the stone, the hues - with this piece of shite from the Underground Brutalist era. They built the bookstore and administration building underground to save energy, and because we were all going to live in bunkers after the war, or something. They spaced the wood frames for the concrete so it would slop out and form ridges, which would shred your skin if you leaned against them. It’s architecture that hates you completely.
“It’s like a setting for a dystopian movie,” said Daughter, echoing my old point about how the buildings of the 60s and 70s made perfect sets for all those movies about the wretched future to come.
Look at this thing.
Now look at the context - the concrete below, and the plainspoken Jones Hall in the background, the old Student Union on the left.
Then we went home. She crashed and I opened a drawer to find something - my wife’s drawer in the kitchen. Always a mistake. She is the sort of woman who is always on top of absolutely everything in life, but this leaves little time for organizing drawers. So I dumped out everything on the table, realized I should probably vacuum it out -
Four hours later I was still cleaning and fixing and polishing and arranging. It was immensely satisfying, but I needed to get the Dr. Strange movie. So I went to the Not Redbox at the grocery store. It was out. On to other errands, including getting one (1) screw at the hardware store - I had them make some keys, because I ate a bag of popcorn and that probably cut into the screw profits. There are now two dogs at the hardware store, the new one being a lab pup who spends most of his time trying to get the ball from the older lab. It’s adorable, and it’s why you go to your neighborhood hardware store. They call me by name and they have dogs.
Went to Lunds for supper; checked the Redbox for Dr. Strange. They didn’t have it. I mean, they didn’t even say it existed. Odd. Some dispute, no doubt. Then I remembered that Daughter had requested one of those little cups of single-serve ice-cream, so I drove back to the first grocery store. Checked the Not Redbox: Dr. Strange had been returned in the interval!
And so that’s what I am about to watch now. As for the bottomless cup of coffee: there’s a project I will tell you about in a few days. One of the things it yielded was the following clip from college. No idea why this existed but I’m happy it does.
The back pages of newspapers had lots of syndicated content, just like today. The difference? Density.
Also style. IMDB, of all places, says: "Walt Mason was a Canadian-American humorist and poet famous for his "Rippling Rhymes" column. Written mostly in pros, Rippling Rhymes" was one of the most widely read newspaper columns of that period."
Mostly in pros, eh?
That's a lot of work, and he did it daily. More as the week goes on.
After the bad days of organized crime, appending "Inc." to somthing indicated something unsavory.
As you know, or should be now, these aren't usually reviews - it's a look at the details and forgotten faces. The story's B- quality, promising skimpy outfits and tawdry behavior, but it's mild all the way.
The heroine - the nice girl who gets sucked into the devious clutches of MODELS INC -
Colleen Gray. Or Doris Jensen, as she was born. She came from a tiny hamlet - Staplehurst, Nebraska - and went to college in St. Paul MN. Notice how muc younger she looks in the shot below:
Like a kid trying to act older.
Anyway that shot dates the movie, doesn't it? PHONES. You need PHONES? Here are the PHONES.
The bad guy:
Howard Duff. You can tell he's a dangerous sort of guy by his art: he's thrown off Western pictoral traditions, baby, and doesn't care who knows it.
This bartender looks suspicious . . .
. . . but he's really just performing his usual role as That One Guy You Sort of Remember From a Similar Role in another movie. Eddie Max. Did some TV after movie roles dried up - Mannix, Green Acres. Scant bio on the web.
Anyway, once our heroine is lured into the glamorous world of Models, Inc., she's taken on a whirlwind shopping trip in the most fashionable LA boutiques:
That's how they shopped for clothes: a fellow took your order and brought out women wearing the dress. You could, and did, spend all afternoon just drinking and looking.
But it's all a sham! The company's really about supplying women for trade shows!
The glamorous life of a Bathing Suit Buyer, I guess. Anyway, that's not why we're here. It's this.
When I saw that. I wondered: can I find out where that was? Of course; Cinema Treasures would surely help. And so:
That helps with all the other locations. Up the street:
Today: happier, but not as . . . grown-up.
Here's the neighborhood again. Can you find them?
That'll do; see you around. Here's to the next 20 years!
Okay, well, let's not tempt fate. Ten.