Cloudy and cool, but the sprinklers are going. I’m not sure those two things fit, at least not to you; it just came right off the top of my head. Translation: doesn’t feel like sprinkling weather, but it must be done because there’s grass to grow. The seeds are lying in the new dirt, and I expect they will continue to just lie there. I raked, covered, watered, fertilizer, and as I did this as I have done so many years before I thought the same things:

1. My motorized spreader A) should have an app with bluetooth controls, and b) it should be trade-named Onan

2. Nothing will work because the Ground is Sowah! Sour, in a Maine accent. That’s Fred Gwynne from “Pet Sematary.” When I was a kid I only knew him from the Munsters, and he was an astonishingly apt Monster of the Frankenstein variety. I also watched the Addams Family, which I liked more. I wished the Munsters was funnier. It was like most TV. Everyone on the TV did the laughing for you while you sat there stone-faced through a predicable series of misunderstandings.

3. I will have to experience sprinkler remorse. New technology has better heads, and I keep telling myself to look into that. In fact, let me look into it right now.

Okay, whatever. The Rainbird 9934-iX7 has a 270 degree radius with a 7 foot reach. Yes, but what about the grass that’s between the far reach of the water and the nozzle? Because as far as I can tell they all throw water in an arc and irrigate a 7 inch crescent-shaped patch.

Or not. Professionals installed it, so I’m sure they knew what they were doing. The lawn is huge, so there are many zones, and they cover everything. I had such a feeling of satisfaction when the system was installed. It made me so proud to stand on the cliff and see them chick-a-chicking below. Automated! Like a resort! I had low-voltage lighting along the cliff and in the bushes, and sprinkling at the touch of a button! I loved this house.

I still do, so very much. THAT SAID I was walking around last night with a high-power flashlight, trying to get the system to come to life, finding valves that needed to be reset, nozzles that needed coaxing. The unit on the side of the house was shooting out water in distress, because it couldn’t find anywhere to direct the water. And then in the distance I heard something go GACK like a cat barfing up a hairball, and then the hiss. It’s alive! It’s alive!

Whether it will keep everything perfect, I don’t know. The lawn looks better when you drive past; walking on it reveals bare spots galore, and I’ve always taken that as a personal failing. It should be lush. This is America. But then I drive past neighbors’ homes who have patchy lawns, and I am forgiving, and almost grateful. You, too, have the shade issue. Why do we try? Why do we submit annually to the fiction of sun-and-shade blend? Yet we hope. Surely science has this one figured out. Surely science has invented a grass that needs no sun, but picks up photons reflected from other surfaces.

The banner above is the backyard, which looks good. Until it’s mowed, and then it’s a desert. I’ve patched and added dirt and done the usual back here - but there’s no sprinkler system in the back yard. I’m still moving a regular old back-and-forth around the yard. There’s a particularly verdant patch that was sod, once; I laid it down after I took down Daughter’s playhouse a few years back. It looks like a grave.

But but, but - no, it’s all lovely. Last year we (me, mother-in-law) bleached all the stones in the back patio, so everything looks bright. The gazebo is built for the ages, and provides a stately presence. You get used to a place you love and start to see the imperfections, and you find yourself looking at the one thing that’s wrong instead of the 25 things that are right.

It’s a good place to be. It was, it is, it will be. Okay, I’m done drifting into veiled metaphors that are really an attempt to talk myself into getting past this summer. Ding! Next customer please

And now, the Department of Misc presents . . .

That's actually what the feature was called in the 1922 movie magazine. Why hadn't you heard of them? Because they were all working in Mexico.


Keep in mind that the front page of newpapers just six years before had been full of Pancho Villa and banditry. Mexico had a rep.

If it wasn't bad enough that it had no good theaters, the movies weren't in English!


But they had stars. Yes, I know, this infringes on the Sic Transit GloriaSwanson Mundi site, but it's different. It's Mexican!

Maria Tubau:

Uh . . . really? Wikipedia says Maria Tubau was an actress, but she spent all her time in Spain and died in 1914. There was another, who has one entry in Imdb for a USA movie.

We have more luck with Maria Conesa:

Wikipedia, to state the obvious

María Conesa, also known as La Gatita Blanca (The White Kitten) (December 12, 1892 – September 9, 1978), was a Spanish-born Mexican stage, television, film actress and vedette. She was one of the principal stars of the Revue and Vaudeville in México and Latin America in the early 20th century.

Now it gets fun:

Political events in Mexico made her return to Spain in 1912, but she was an institution in Mexico, and returned in 1914 with a great excitement by review and public.

In the heart of the Mexican Revolution, María continued the function. She had said: The bullets respect me. From 1915-1923, Conesa acted in the most important theaters in Mexico City and toured the interior of the republic. She was known as the vaudeville star of the Revolution. The Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa fell in love with her when she cut a button of his shirt in the representation of the play La espercheleras. He tried to kidnap her, but she managed to slip of the revolutionary.

Whoa. Tell me there's a movie about her life, because it sounds like a great adventure.

Search for her on YouTube and you'll find some interesting things that remind you how other cultures have an entire parallel universe of cultural references you'll never know.

Christina Pereda:

The text said she'd done movies in the US, and indeed she had - The Woman and the Puppet, was one. That's the only credit listed.

More next week - if only for informational purposes, assuming you know as little about this as I do. If you know more, perhaps you're pleased we're giving them their due?



Aurora, an arrowhead town of 1600 souls. Wikipedia delves deep into its history: "Aurora was laid out in 1898. A post office has been in operation at Aurora since 1903. The city was incorporated in 1903.” And that’s it. But there was more; Jeno Palucci was born here. He’d go on to invent Chun King and some other 60s “ethnic” foods, but he had to leave first.

The Tacoma theater:

Here’s a lobby picture from Foursquare.

There doesn’t seem to be anything on the web about its history. No recollected tales, no old guy who used to be an usher as a kid, no projection geek talking about what they used and what kind of bulb it had. Nothing.

Speaking of which:


What I love about these places: that’s about as functional and non-ornamented building as you’ll find. Purely utilitarian. But they still took care to make the facade look balanced and symmetrical.

Bad Buckaroo Revival, but it’s always bad:

The Other Garage. I’m not getting the reference, unless it’s “we’re all full, you’ll have to take your car to the other garage.” It’s a curious name; admitting you’re everyone’s second choice.

Nice stark brickwork, but man . . .

. . . that shingle salesman came to town and sold everything he had, including the samples.

“Heck yeah I got some boards in the shingle truck. They come in pre-weathered grey, too!”

The windows are too grand for a school. What do you think its purpose might be?


City Hall, of course. You can imagine the interior meeting rooms with those nice windows . . . and you can imagine someone in the 50s deciding that a drop ceiling and florescent lights would be better.

I’m not sure when, exactly, the USPS decided that Post Offices should cease to be embassies of civic virtues and history.


But I’m pretty sure they thought it was a great idea.

The shingle salesman tried to keep his cool, but his head was spinning with the commission on this one:


And he passed a long a tip to a guy who knew who traveled the small towns selling faux stone.

“I’d like some insurance in case I am lured to a catacomb with the promise of drinking a rare Amontillado”


It seems no one made those bricks anymore. Anywhere.

“Say there, Mr. Salesman, everyone's talkin' about you. I like what you’re doing for the town. But I’d like something different. You got any wider shingles?”


"Well, mister, I’d love to buy more of your shingles for the whole top story, but my brother-in-law’s in the siding business.”


It has to be a public building of some type. But what? Visit, and learn.

Okay, spoiler. It's a public water facility.

Almost Friday! Hoo-rah! he said unconvincingly. See you tomorrow with an update on the Skyway Banner Matter. Yours Truly, YGH.



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