Humid, with crickets. Lots of them, band-beatingly cheeping away. We had a Satanic wife-thrashing shower after dinner, which -

What, you don’t use that phrase? I’ve no idea why I do. It rains while the sun is shining, the devil is beating his wife. I’ve said it enough around the house that no one ever stops to ask why, or where I got the idea that the devil was married. She can’t be too happy about it. You’re never home, you’re always out making evil, and when you are home you’re down in the pits sticking pitchforks into the newcomers’ fundaments. You have imps for that. You’re the boss. You need to know how to delegate.

I’m sure there’s a different phrase for that in every culture, except for Eskimos, who have 57 phrases, one for each type of snow.

Yes, yes, I know, the term Eskimo is outdated, and the idea that they have many words for snow isn’t necessarily true. I tell you, some days I shouldn’t even start.

Point is, it rained, and things lushed up a little bit, but not in the Dean Martin sense. I heard a Dean Martin tune while I was looking at some slides at Hunt and Gather, and for a second I couldn’t place the voice. Uh oh alzeheimer-Os but then it snapped in. Wasn’t one of the famous songs, that was why. It was one of those performances where he put that weepy tiny glissando at the end of a line, and I find it cloying when overdone. Odd: the Matt Helm pictures came up in conversation at the National Night Out party on Tuesday, when the guys were standing around talking. We all knew the sound of Lee J. Cobb’s phone and we all agreed that when we were kids we thought the movies were not only awesome, but serious, not spoofs at all. And while Bond was the best, Flint had something special. Flint was cool and Flint was smart.

“What was the name of the government spy organization in the Flint movies?” I asked. No one knew, and I did, and felt better about not immediately placing Deano. “ZOWIE,” I said. But the only reason I know that is because one of the swank Capitol Lounge CDs we used for Diner bumper music had “Your Zowie Face,” a tune from the movies.

It’s Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage, if you’re curious. Tough to remember. SHADO is easier.


Of course, it’s Riddle. (Arrangement. Goldsmith melody.)That organ. It’s so mid-60s.

Anyway, did I mention slides?

In one corner in the back room there are a thousand worlds. Okay, maybe . . . 472. It’s hard to get a good guess by eyeballing. Let’s just say it’s a lot.

A medium as doomed as the wax cylinder and microfiche. No one wants slides anymore. People who inherit a box of these often despair - how do I make copies? I have to buy something that digitizes them, feed them one by one - augh, the trouble. So they end up here, unwanted, waiting for someone who will find them interesting.

I placed a few up against the light and took pictures. It feels a little invasive, somehow - these people didn’t consent to this, but no one cared to let us know who they are.

The nubby sofa, the hard drapes, the plastic over the lampshade: I grew up in this era.

Someone’s party. The woman on the left isn’t having the best of times, it would seem.


It’s not the famous Mattel clown jack-in-the-box. Looks like a chipmunk. Alvin tie-in? And what’s the cylinder? Believe me, searching for “1960s Walrus cylinder” doesn’t help. Then there's the script logo of the department store bag.


Then there's the script logo of the department store bag.

That meant something to the locals.


The unknown folks in the back. Headless.


There are several cartoon strips, intended to tell a story in six panels. They’re as you’d expect from the era.

Any idea who this guy is?

Clyde Crashcup is a fictional character from the early 1960s animated television series The Alvin Show. He is a scientist in a white coat who tends to "invent" things that had already been invented; his experiments invariably fail. He usually invented by penciling the concept in air, with the picture becoming the actual object. The character has also appeared in comics and other Alvin and the Chipmunks works after The Alvin Show.

Also in the Wikipedia entry: "In Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman, the Chipmunks and the Chipettes go to school at Clyde C. Crashcup Elementary School, a school that could be named after him."

Why yes I think that is indeed a possibility.

There were others, just as rote and unfunny:

Although no one could really not like Magoo.

Six-panel Dick Tracy adventures:

Oh for heaven's sake.

They are from the Kenner Give-A-Show projector.

Absolutely no idea.

Poor kids got dragged to this, I think.

Well, someone knows what all this stuff is.

I love the colors; looks like one of those posed WW2 factories-for-victory shots.

This one was store-bought: it says it's the 1932 LA Olympics.

Google image search and reverse search doesn't pull this one up. Hey, maybe this is its first time on the internet!

An apparition from the past:

Location unknown. Suburban route. Color and car style more or less consistent with Chicago.

All the generations.

You suspect that the care of these fell to the smallest of the group.












It has the look of a boom town that faded, and never quite matched its early successes.

Yesterday we read the news. There must have a Times newspaper as well.

In fact, there still is a Times Newspaper. The Times-Clarion, the local rag. Can’t find any internet presence, though.

It’s the satellite dish that always brings you up short.

Such decay, and also a piece of metal that listens to an object in space.

The big hotel:

Recently spiffed?

Wikipedia explains the look of the town:

The Graves Hotel is a historic hotel located at 106 South Central Avenue in Harlowton, Montana. A. C. Graves, a leading figure in Harlowton's early development, had the hotel built in 1909; it was one of the first businesses to be built after a fire destroyed much of downtown Harlowton in 1907. The hotel was the first sandstone building in Harlowton, though the stone eventually became a common building material.

True, as we’ll see.


A well-preserved bank, although . . .

It looks as if it has an annoying sidekick who trails along and asks a lot of irritating questions.

Two museums so far!

Better that than the usual dusty junk-filled antique store, I suppose.

Again, you suspect two owners . . .

. . . one of whom ain’t going to do a damned thing about his side, because it’s fine and he ain’t got the scratch.

“Well, I’ll show him. Edna, had me the catalog for the Bay Window company, they say they can have one out on the next train.”

The one on the left has a more attractive storefront, since it’s the original. The REMEDIES building looks a bit overloaded.

Modern for a while; a sign of the outside world’s trends and fashions coming to down.

Appears to be gutted and waiting to fall down.

City Hall. Could’ve been a bank.

Interesting how they kept the hue of the stone, even when they worked in brick.

Ah, now there’s a sign. What does it say?


Not the word you associate with Montana, but people got the idea. It was cool inside, and there were liquids.

As I said: it had a boom, and then the money moved on. Left all the nice little buildings, showing us what they liked a hundred years ago.

There’s a sign. STOCKMAN’S.

I suppose you were a Stockman’s drinker, or an Oasis drinker.

More to come: next week has a remarkable, if disheartening, artifact.

Now two ways to chip in!

That should hold you until tomorrow. Now go check in. Free TV!




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