On the treadmill today I was watching a documentary about Errol Morris diluting his credibility re: the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case. You know the story. I've always thought that the most damning piece of evidence against the guy, the prime proof that he was not attacked by a group of hippies, was the phrase they supposedly wrote on the wall: ACID IS GROOVY KILL THE PIGS. I mean. This is what you'd find in a Robert Crumb comic satirizing people who hated hippies. This is what you'd get if you paged through Newsweek a year before.

What's interesting is the documentary snippets at the start. We see Walter Cronkite get it wrong. He says it's "Acid is great, kill the pigs." Maybe Cronkite never said "groovy" in his life.

You wonder if any murder-cult hippies who had a sense of humor and went with "Marijuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb."

Anyway. I watched the whole thing, wondering what got Mr. Thin Blue Line to go sideways on this case. Didn't get an answer. Doesn't matter - we all have that one thing we believe against the evidence and settled conclusions. The problem is when you have hundreds of them.

What's mine? Hmm. For a while I had the counter-narrative belief that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but that's no longer regarded as particularly outre. Possibly that Saddam had all sorts of chemical weapons, but shipped them to Syria before the war, but that's too recent. Roswell? Too Mulder. I don't believe in conspiracies at all. I believe in incompetence and technocrat keister-covering, and perhaps the last three years brought more into that particular worldview.


Some highlights from Natalie's excursion in England and Europe. A long ways from being a toddler on the floor at Jasperwood. Buda and/or Pest:

In the Apple Not Falling Far department:

These often show up in a shared folder without explanation, mysterious dispatches from the other side of the ocean. OMO, among others, is still made, but "Nap Powder" doesn't turn up anything.

Sounds like a mild soporific.

She snapped that in Cardiff, by the way. She sent a message last Friday that simply said "I'm in Cardiff" and I told her to give my regards to the Giant. Who, of course, was in America. Then famous fraud.

I didn't know this: my newspaper was once owned by a fellow who bought the Giant and put it in his rumpus room. A conversation piece. He had the opportunity to put it on top of the StarTribune building and he put it in the room for rumpusing.

Anything else to report? Warm day. Lost a glove. Had a nice nap with the dog. It's always nice to have a nap with the dog, if he doesn't wake and decide to slorp at his parts. Up early on Tuesday to take Wife to the airport for a brief jaunt, so tomorrow's going to be a blurry foggy slog requiring lots of coffee. The problem with the office pot: it cools too quickly. The problem with the home machine: the hot plate isn't particularly hot, which I suspect is some energy-saving / anti-scalding feature installed for my own protection. This is wrong. Coffee should not be served at a temperature that permits chugging.







We continue with the nonessential Columbo inadvertant documentary.

I’m fascinated by grocery stores of the 60s and 70s. I suspect they would seem almost completely familiar to people today. Many familiar brands - which makes you wonder how many items from 1923 could be found in the grocery stores of 1973. There might be more fresh items, more faddish items that have less of this or more of that, but basically you have your canned aisle, your cereal aisle, your coffee area, your red sauce section, and so on.

We could find our way around and get what we needed without blinking an eye.

The ceiling is typical for the period - accoustical tile and that awful lighting.

Robert Culp is in this one, and Columbo buttonholes him to bounce some ideas off him. You know, things that bother him.

What’s familiar about this? Right. It’s been a half a century, and we know the brand over Columbo's shoulder. The color and the location - chilled, not frozen - tells you. You wonder how many other things are unchanged, for the most part. Ketchup, yes. The color of Maxwell House. The red-and-white livery of Boyardee.

Oscar Mayer was still an independent company at the time of this show. Oscar Mayer, the founder, was born six years before Lincoln was assassinated.

He died fourteen years before this Columbo ep aired.

Ah, before forget again:

  I will endeavor to not forget this going forward.






It’s 1953.

Imagine yourself watching these things! You won’t be alone.

It's quite the story.

In 1937, Walters opened his first nightclub, Latin Quarter, with a partner, E.M. Loew. The venture took his entire savings; on opening night he had only 63 cents to his name. The club was very successful, and within three years was grossing more than $500,000 per year. Walters moved his family to Miami Beach, Florida, where he took over the Palm Island Club from Earl Carroll and relaunched it as another Latin Quarter.

Two years later, in 1942, Walters opened a Latin Quarter nightclub on Times Square in New York City. The club was extremely popular, and in its first year grossed over $1.5 million. Over 5 million people visited the nightclub during its first ten years in operation.

Good for Lou! Bet he just coasted on that, banked his money, and retired to a nice soft life in Florida.


Walters sold his share of the Latin Quarter chain to Loew in 1956 for $500,000. He was convinced that he could recreate his success with a new chain of clubs called Cafe de Paris. He opened the first in Miami in 1957.

A combination of poor national economy and unusually frigid Miami winter resulted in a sharp decline in the number of tourists who visited Miami that year. The Miami club failed to attract enough visitors and closed after its first season.

So, cut your losses and take it easy, right?


A second version of the Cafe de Paris opened in New York in May 1958, in the former Arcadia Ballroom. It was the largest nightclub in New York, able to seat twelve hundred people. Both of the Cafe de Paris locations were very close to the existing Latin Quarter nightclubs. Loew won an injunction that prevented Walters from advertising his ownership of either of the Cafe de Paris nightclubs.

Although opening week was successful, the club was too large, and the rent too high, for Walters to cover his expenses. Facing bankruptcy, Walters attempted suicide in June 1958.

Then it's lawsuits and povery. Is there a happy ending? Doesn’t look like it, does it?

In Miami, Walters regained his equilibrium. The Hotel Deauville hired him to produce their nightly shows. That work led to an offer from the Tropicana Las Vegas to manage their stage shows as Entertainment Director. At the Tropicana, he introduced the Folies Bergère to Las Vegas. This was the first time the Folies had been licensed outside of Paris. This became the longest running theatrical production in the world.

In 1965, Walters returned to managing the Latin Quarter chain, now as an employee rather than owner.

He retired in 1967, and died ten years later.

No 20% tax? I wonder what that meant.

Small place. A picture can be found here.


Wave not, WAC-wise:

Imdb: "A shallow society matron is urged by her senator father to join the Women's Army Corps."

Okay. Interesting credit:

Wonder if he got scale.

Another smash laff-hit with hot-blooded love-song action!

You didn't know exactly what you were getting, but it would have LURF SCENES and mad flashing eyes and bright colors, so, sure.

So it’s airing every night? That all you got, Beacon Wax?

Esther’s name might still have rung bells in ’53:

At her peak, she she became one of the industry's highest-paid silent stars in scores of dramas, comedies and westerns, notably opposite Hoot Gibson and Tom Mix. . . . She earned a fortune from investments but eventually lost it due to the stock market crash of 1929. Forced to find work outside of the world of entertainment in the 1950s and 1960s she appeared on radio shows and TV commercials. In the ensuing years she was employed as a department store salesperson and talent executive.

Her big hit was "American Venus."

This is fascinating. Looks like there’s some two-strip color in there as well:


The Bellows family was in the colonies in 1635; a descendent started selling hooch two and a half-centuries later. Seems they had ups and downs, swell fat years and bankruptcies.

So many bygone whiskies.

The same whiskey site writes:

Carstairs, McCall issued a blizzard of whiskey brands, among them (with trademark dates) “American Club” 1897; “Belle of Pennsylvania,” 1896; “Carstairs Monogram,” 1894; “Carstairs Rye,” 1905; “CMC&C,” 1884; and “Invincible,” 1905.  Not registered were “Carstairs No. 6,” “Diplomacy Rye AAA,” “Monongahela Monogram,” and “Orator Rye.”  For retail sales the company packaged their whiskey in both quart and flask sizes.  

Particularly arresting is the label on Orator Rye, showing a stump speaker in full throat who apparently is being fueled by the whiskey on the dais with him.  It likely depicts Edwin Dickenson Baker, a noted American orator killed during service as a Union officer in the Civil War.

Not just an orator: a US Senator. The only sitting senator ever killed in combat.

Now two ways to chip in!


That'll do - see you tomorrow! And thanks for stopping by.



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