Yesterday's banner, today. BTW, I don't know what happened yesterday, but we were down. And now we're not!

When I went outside Halloween night to take one last little snippet of video for the monthly assemblage of ordinary life (I’ve been shooting a little bit every day all year long, and it’s a record of quotidian sameness, but that’s okay) I heard voices down at the Haunted Triangle. That’s the plot of land that used to be attached to Jasperwood, decades ago, before the city put a road through it. On Halloween in years past there was always a big party on the spot, with tables of food, fantastic chili, kids and dogs, sometimes a bouncy castle, some years lights strung across the street. Some years it was freezing; some years it was warm. One year everyone in the neighborhood put up signs at their houses to point the kids down to the Triangle, where there were kettles of candy. (This lasted one year, since kids from out of the neighborhood came up in cars and took bushels.)

As I stepped outside - about 11 PM - I heard voices down at the Triangle, and lo: a fire! A knot of ten people or so. Loud voices and laughter, with the distinctive laugh of our across-the-street neighbor.

So I headed down. Great fun. Everyone was deep into serious, er, revelry. Met neighbors old and new, and had a great chat with a guy who’s developing a property up the street, and that led to talk about architecture and property and such. At 11:30 I noticed a car stop outside of my house, and kids got out and headed up the walk.


So I walked back up, arms out in the what-the-hey posture, and the kids scampered down the lawn and into the car. There were three of them, a convoy gleaning what they could, but at 11:30? Really? The cars seemed confused by the knot of people and the unfamiliar streets. Eventually they passed on, the drivers looking straight ahead, no sign of acknowledgement.

11:30! Who takes their kids out trick-or-treating in a residential neighborhood at 11:30? Do they actually think people will be up, handing out candy?

I left at 12, content and cold, although warmed by a bit of bourbon. I had taken down a glass, my Bee glass I bought in Southwold, a bit of England I use for the Tuesday wee dram. Finished the Poirot movie and went to bed with the wind moaning softly outside the window. Woke to thinking that the snow might be gone, that it was all a dream and really we were not wrapped tight in the deathtrap of winter, but it was gray and the lawns were white. Ah well.

Ah well.

And now, our weekly internet peregrination, as we go . . .

  How do we get from the here, a building detail . . .

To there?



Last week’s look at Denise Darcel had a suggested YouTube link. Well, of course, What’s My Line is always welcome here.

It’s early in the run. Arlene notes that she is sitting next to the man from whose lips drips the quips:

The guy on the end of the panel.

Harold Leonard Block (August 3, 1913 – June 16, 1981) was an American comedy writer, comedian, producer, songwriter and television personality. Although Block was a highly successful comedy writer for over 15 years, today he is most often remembered as an original panelist of the television game show What's My Line?

John Daly notes she is French and hence should beware:

Watch this:

Block was fired from the show in its third season, reportedly for inappropriate on-air behavior. You can see why he grated on the show’s producers. He wasn’t handsome and he wasn’t suave. He wasn’t sophisticated or charming.

So he couldn’t get away with naughty.

Block is a controversial figure in the history of television, denounced by some, while praised by others as a writer and for contributing to the original success of What's My Line?

Bennett Cerf thought he was “a clod.” He had a low sense of humor, and it didn’t go with the show’s elevated tone. He was bounced from the show after too many single-entendres, and doing things like chasing women guests around the desk. Anything for a laff! After that, more TV, drunk-driving arrests, a career in “investments.” And more:

In 1954, Block wrote and performed the satirical song "Senator McCarthy Blues”.[ The song's theme was about a man who had lost his girlfriend to her obsession with watching the McCarthy hearings on television.


This is the only entry for the Tony Borrello Orchestra, it seems. So I’ve no idea where to take that. So let’s go back to Miss America, who was a knockout.

Miss Macon, then Miss Georgia, then Miss America. Wikipedia notes that "Ms. Langley's first television appearance as Miss America was on What's My Line (September 14, 1952) as the mystery guest."

She got married in 1955 and had four kids. It should be noted that she was a musician:

She won the Miss America talent award with her rendition of Toccata by Khatchaturian. One of the judges was the famous New York Times music critic Deems Taylor who admired her “strong left-hand”.

Ah. Well:


You may recognize him in the role that made him seen by more classical music scholars and critics than anyone else in human history.

Him we still remember. Block, not so much. Or at all.












One thousand, one hundred souls. Give or take. As you might expect, there's not a lot. Entirety of the Wikipedia "History" section: "Wood River was first laid out in 1868, but when the railroad moved the depot, the town followed it, and moved to its current site in 1874." The whole town!

Now why on earth would I clip this?

It’s blurry, so that usually means there’s something startling about the current version.


Well, I guess no one has to worry about dodging traffic anymore.

Apron. Cigarette break. Captured for all time

One building, except it’s three

The one on the left is the closest to the original view. The purist!

Ancient off-the-shelf ornamentation to go with the pressed-tin facade.

The builder wanted it to be nice.

I have many questions.

But I'm in no hurry to have them answered.

“Well, turned out that after everyone in town got a piece, we still had some of the dragon’s skin left over. D took it.”

“Town was really booming in 1906, and we got a lot of Dutch folk in. Tall people, they are. The womenfolk, they all got with child around the end of the year.”

  Ahh, this explains it. Rapid expansion for the invaluable fraternal organization.


I wonder if they finished redoing the windows and thought “damn, poor guy looks startled now."

"Hello, name's Wilson. If you’re finished at the Dunn block, stop by and talk, I’d like to see your rates."

Has to be the same contractor.

A stretched copy of the building we saw above - the one that was split into three.

Not a lot of originality in town, but that’s okay.

"Now the way I see it, folks get too much light, they take to squintin’, and then they need glasses. But if you don’t have any light, they squint for a different reason. You only need one window. That’s my theory and I believe it’s scientific."

“Course, the Masons, they came around to a different conclusion.”

And that’s it. Not much. Never was.




Now two ways to chip in!

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




blog comments powered by Disqus