Warm, waterless, skeetery: this June is getting on people's nerves a bit. And that seems so ungrateful! Isn't this what you wanted? Strong sun and blue skies? Yes of course but now that I have it I would like to adjust the terms of the arrangement. Sorry! You wanted hot and blue, you got hot and blue.

The weather app says "light rain starting in 27 minutes," and then after 27 minutes it says "light rain starting in 49 minutes," and then ten minutes later it says nothing at all about light rain, and just stares at you with concern like you're going mad.

But - but it said there would be rain!

Bolla. You are not well. You must rest.

No, I swear to you, Gray-gorry, I saw it! Rain! It said there would be rain!

Bolla! You're becoming hysterical.

Now, you're thinking, isn't it Paula? Not Bolla? Are you gaslighting me about Gaslight? No; the way Charles Boyer said her name always sounded like "Bolla" to me. He actually said a strange European blending of B and P, but if you want to do a good Boyer, lay on the B.

Oh, don't thank me! It's just part of the public service I hope to do here daily. Like, read the internet!

Even the Chinese internet is dunking on 'white people food,' which people say made them realize how drab and dreadful life can be

Chinese blogs and social media are awash with people trying out "white people food," or veggie-heavy meals cobbled together with whatever's in the fridge.

"The point of the white people's meal is to learn what it feels like to be dead, but I've taken two bites and it was so bad it made me realize how alive I am," wrote one poster who tried a serving of plain crackers, cheese, and ham.

"Ah, the intoxicating white people's meal," wrote another sarcastically, posting a photo of sliced tomatoes and a banana.

Okay, I'm so sorry. I love the formulation: even the Chinese! I mean, we know it's bad because caucasity amirite, but news of its soulless infamy has reached Cathay! And they must be right, because, you know -

Here's my bold assersion: every culture has some delicious food. right? That's safe. And inclusive! Assertion #2: American food is the best, because it is the most diverse. And "white people," that undifferentiated mass of humanity, will eat it! White people in Fargo, which is as whitepeople as you can get, will eat it! I think this sentiment might work for the pale ectomorphic credentialed class of Western culture-castigators, because they get to look down on Fargo. But will they rise to defend the antiseptic purity of our Euro-betters?

"A video posted on May 28 by a Chinese woman in Switzerland showed a European woman making her lunch on a train with just a bag of lettuce and slices of ham."

You know, we need a Joey Swoll for everything.

Anyway. An ordinary day in every possible respect and I'm sure it shows here. Sorry!

So: another account of an internet peregrination, as we go . . .

  How do we get from the here . . .
  To there?

Like this:

Before there were YouTube videos, there were how-to booklets. Anyone can learn any new skill! All it takes is practice and the proper instruction. Yes, you too can. . .

I didn’t scan the interior, for some reason. It’s possible I only have the cover. (This is from a scanning batch from a while ago, and everything’s in deep storage now.) Perhaps the cover is the only interesting part, with its parade of Famous Baton Twirlers.

I’d like to show you more about Mr. Boothe, but the article on him is on a rather unfriendly site. There's one other fellow we'll get back to.

  Some kid prancing around with an overly-serious expression. Probably the greatest thing that ever happened to him! Aw, okay, I’ll google . . .

Holy crow.

Frederick Fennell (July 2, 1914 – December 7, 2004) was an internationally recognized conductor and one of the primary figures in promoting the Eastman Wind Ensemble as a performing group. He was also influential as a band pedagogue, and greatly affected the field of music education in the US and abroad. In Fennell's New York Times obituary, colleague Jerry F. Junkin was quoted as saying "He was arguably the most famous band conductor since John Philip Sousa."

Phillip Burman, Twirling artist:

  Helpful arrow shows you which way it goes. See? You're already learning!

Larry Hammond, a very serious twirling artist:

  Teacher, too. Now imagine this guy was your shop teacher, or gym teacher, and then you saw him in this get-up.

Back to Ray in the group picture.

  Phillip Burman. Turns out he was famous for . . . model plane box art.

Of course there’s a webpage devoted to his work.












Twelve thousand souls. History: flashpoint for 1960s Civil Rights strife. (It now has a Black mayor and majority-black City Council.) Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane crashed nearby.

So . . . the town’s been abandoned for, what, 40 years now?

Let’s start on the right side. I assume the Jacob’s / Falstaff is a palimpsest . . .

. . . and the building is cold storage.

Someone cared to make this a handsome and civilized addition to the street.

The person who did the lower floor in the 50s / early 60s had other ideas.

The meeting hall for the not-so-secret societies, with a nice little shop next door.

In its prime, this was an impressive block.

Well, that’s an unusual effect; looks as if the various segments should go up and down like pistons.


Before its demotion, a picture of an ancient sign and the building’s original purpose.

The building on the right would be good as new after a sandblasting.


The one of the left has that hideous late 60s / early 70s swoop awning, and you can see the crude blinding of the storefront window.


OUMB in its marrow, in its DNA.


You know it was the local department store.

The ground floor renovation had the decency to harmonize with the upper floor. Alas, it looks as if it’s fire-damaged and ready to go.

Held together with screws. Lovely facade; shame to lose it.

Just put this one out of its misery.

Here’s another example of a “modernization” that ended up making everyone unhappy. The cornice was stripped, and the ground floor . . .

It just doesn’t fit.

And it looks cheap when the old building asserts itself.

It was modernized once, long ago. Those black dots indicate glue, and I’d guess they held panels of metal or Vitrolite. Some new modern style.

The mausoleum:

Love those inlaid shop fronts. Come in, ladies, for all the latest smart styles! Oh right, you’re all gone.

I don’t know why, but I want to say . . . grocery store.

The two doors would argue against that, but the style, the arches, sometimes says grocery store.

That’s a nice refit, and shows it’s a going concern.

Unfortunately, it’s a pawn shop.

Time is the fire in which we all burn. Also, fire is the fire in which we all burn.

Just knock it down. Let it go.

The motel we’ll meet tomorrow.


If you have to tell people “no, that’s not a prison,” you’ve hired the wrong architect.


Now two ways to chip in!

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




blog comments powered by Disqus