Ever wake and feel as if the entire day has been spoken for, as if the wheels will be up to the axles in the ruts, and the entire interval of consciousness will be a predictable ration of the same old same old? It’s enough to make you hit the snooze and hope your brain comes up with some devilish twist that’ll make the day intriguing. But there is no snooze. There is just the commandment to rise, and get dressed and make the bed by the tenth bell.

The tenth bell? Wait for it.

When Al starts to sing, a bell rings ten times, noting the hour. By the tenth bell I should be up, dressed, the bed made, the windowshade drawn, ready to tell Siri to stop. I need a new alarm song, though. Cheery tunes from the 30s have the right mood to start the day. I wake easily and with no complaints, because I know that coffee and sausage are nigh. Read a tweet thread today about boosting your energy and strength through the day, and one of the suggestions was to avoid coffee for the first 90 minutes to let your body reach some sort of equilibrium.

We did not invent coffee so we could wait for coffee. If anything spurs the invention of the replicators they had on Star Trek, it will be the need for coffee, now. Don't tell me to wait for a K-Cup to do its business. I mean now. But,as it stands now, I turn on the pot in a morning fog and forget I did it, which means I'm just delighted when I finish cooking the eggs and see there's coffee. Now how did that happen.

The greatest thing you can do to show your faith in the day to come, and your concern for your future self, is to set up the coffee before you go to bed.

Anyway, I was right: the day proceeded exactly as I knew it would. I cast about for a few things to break the routine and the duties, but it was just the Wednesday plod and slog. Bright spot: seven chapters away from finishing the final revision of the book, the one I wrote ten years ago. The good news: I love it. The bad news: maybe I shouldn't.

Our weekly example of the happy pasttime of our era: clicking and clicking with no objective in mind. Where do we start? Where do we go? And how . . .

  . . . do we get from here . . .
  . . . to here?

Well, it’s TV, so it shouldn’t be that hard. But O what a journey.

One of the 2023 prediction pieces that start each month's Bleat was written by a fellow with a familiar name: Burbank. If you’re my age, or older, or you’re a student of influential televised inanity, you know the city from its TV references. It was the nadir of urban life, a soulless place that existed to be ridiculed by the sophisticates. They never quite said so, but you got that impression.

Beautiful downtown Burbank.

In Burbank Washington, there’s this.

I wonder how many know. As for the California version, I took a look on Google Street View, and there’s nothing wrong with downtown Burbank. Oh, the banks might be a little too California . . .

And you might find a guy jaywalking . . .

And raising his hand as if to say I know, I know or perhaps screw you, I’m walkin’ here

But the City Hall is beautiful.

Can’t quite figure out the bas reliefs, though.

Good thing the city provides a description:

According to notes on the rear of the photo, the untitled west wing panel represents “free men bearing the body of peace while an eagle hovers in the background; at right soldiers [are] on guard [while] mechanics work on an airplane.”

It’s the work of Bart Mako. This site says:

Born in Budapest, Hungary on June 19th, 1890- Bartholomew Mako was one of the most prolific artists that you’ve likely never heard of. His works are scattered around Los Angeles, in a wide array of mediums- he painted, sculpted, drew, used watercolors, created murals, and more.

Here’s one of his bas reliefs on an elementary school:


Nowadays we say . . . who? Or rather, Hoo? Some guy, I don’t know. Louis Hoover. No. This is long, but worth it:

Lou Hoover (née Henry; March 29, 1874 – January 7, 1944) was an American philanthropist, geologist, and First Lady of the United States from 1929 to 1933 as the wife of President Herbert Hoover.

Throughout her life, Hoover supported women's rights and women's independence. She was a proficient linguist, being fluent in six languages, and she was the primary translator of the complex 16th century metallurgy text De re metallica from Latin to English.

Also the first woman in the US to hold a bachelor’s degree in geology. But no one would hire her.

When African American candidate Oscar Stanton De Priest was elected to Congress, Hoover initiated a meeting for tea at the White House with his wife Jessie De Priest, as was tradition for the wives of all incoming Congressmen. Hoover was responsible for planning the event to ensure its success. She arranged the scheduling so that only women she trusted would be attending the event, and she alerted White House security that Mrs. De Priest was to be expected and not barred entry.

The event became part of a larger debate on racial issues as southern voters protested the invitation of a Black woman.

It further complicated Hoover's relationship with the press, as she deemed Southern newspapers to be responsible for the criticism. The Hoovers would reinforce the precedent by inviting the Tuskegee Institute choir to the White House.

Odd how the word “Tuskegee” is most often connected now with the Experiment. The school was, and is, a historically black college.

Anyway. A few press clips on the De Priest Tea Scandal.

  The main paper in Chattanooga highlighted an upcoming speech:
  Marshall, Texas: just the facts.

The Casper paper ran an editorial making fun of the outraged:

OCR reading, if you wish:

Many of the southern papers are raising a terrible howl because the black wife of a black congressman from Illinois was invited to a White House tea by Mrs. Hoover, along with the wives of other congressmen. There is nothing strange about the colored lady sipping tea at the White House. It has been the custom for generations for wife to, at some time during the year, wives of congressmen to tea at the White House. They are taken in batches of thirty or forty, or whatever is convenient. The black wife of the black congressman from Illinois, Oscar DePriest, came along in the natural order.

Nothing so strange about that. It would have been strange had she been subbed and her name stricken off the list.

Taking the wives of congressmen as they come, the colored lady had De invited. This does not recognize the social equality of the races, It establishes no new order of things. It was a circumstance which the Hoovers had to face. Teddy Roosevelt, while president, entertained Booker T. Washington at breakfast, and the social status of the races was not changed. Many blacks and tans and saddle-colored gentlemen of the diplomatic contingent at Washington are entertained by the white folk of Washington almost every day in the year, and nothing is thought of it. The incident means nothing except that a colored lady broke a cracker and took a sip o' tea with the white folks Washington.

So don't worry, I guess. Odd how even the progressive voices rushed to assure the audience that the social order hadn't been disrupted.


Wait a second.

Hold on, hold on.

James Kilgallen?


How did I not know this? Perhaps I did, and forgot.













Our second look at Grenada. If you remember last week’s visit, it was standard-issue depopulated small towns with the usual regrettable rehab decisions. Let’s see if it gets better.

Last time they get Eddie Hopper to drive the Google Street View cars, I think.

Hmm. This suggests I saved the worst for last.

At the end of the block:

Is that a painted sign underneath the paint on the old abandoned computer store?

You don’t get to say “old abandoned computer store” very often, although there’s lots of them. They just left no trace of what they were.

Uh oh, 2007 shot


Another view of the corner building in 2007:

The view you usually associate with a lost war.

Some surprising colors revealed. Did they redecorate in 1957?

It looks sick, like a bird with ruffled feathers and a downcast head, wishing you would just to away and leave it to perish in peace


Looks like an old chain, possibly a Woolworth’s.

Gomez & Fester, Attorneys at Law


This has to be the phone building.

Oh, he says, seeing AT&T sign, no one will believe me when I said I thought it was the phone building based on its architectural style and the lack of windows. But it's true!

I’m sorry we had to go back.

I really am.


Now two ways to chip in!

That will do. Time to explore the rise and fall of a Florida restaurant in three images. See you around.





blog comments powered by Disqus