- Spring 2018 -

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Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Erratic Eruption
Sept 2017- March 2018

9-6 Great birthday dinner with Kathe Schreyer and hubby David in Calabassas. (Oh yeah. His birthday, too.) Also on hand, David’s son Maxx and his wife Piper. We are family.

9-7 Lunch with Jessie Fein. Too rare, so wonderful.



Evening; Out of town (Michigan-based) old friend John Means came to town and WE went to town, with dinner and a performance by Billy Vera and what seems like a 20-piece band at the Catalina on Sunset. Good times. Like grown-ups — in the 1940s.

9-10 Hollywood Blues Destroyers at the Redwood, downtown. They’re working off their schedule, to return in new form soon.

9-13/14/15/16 A dozen near pass-outs, like dying and coming back. It’s a love loss; it will pass.

9-17 Ray Campi and Big Jay McNeely (Ray, 82, the youngster) at Viva Cantina. Mike Vernon too. Played live, and I want it!

9-25 Lunch with Kathe & David again. I must seem undernourished. Or loved.

9-28 Found Spike, fixes old Macs. (This one is the 2004 Macbook. The new one is a 2012.) A godsend.



10-01 TWO Skip Heller shows. Bicycle Cafe with Birdie by the river in the a.m. HBD in the evening at the Redwood, downtown.

10-06 Thom Yearsley Band, Darrin Stout, at Molly’s saloon in Encino.

10-09 First visit to daughter Jessie’s residence, old house in Silver Lake Hills.


10-10 Terrific dinner with the Wallers and the Sasanos at DeDe & Tom’s home in Encino. They’re, in the main, children of my dear friend Ken Sasano, late of this earth, and Clair who’s with him.

10-12 Seeing Chris Sprague’s band The Outta Sites at Viva, along with his brother Frank and wonderful wife Cerise.

10-15 Lux Interior Tribute Show at Viva Cantina. Place was packed.

10-17 Rip Masters at Joe’s in Burbank.

10-21 Seeing Freebo and Alice Howe at Viva Cantina.

10-24 Five more near pass-outs (near-death is kinda good, when you consider the alternative). Dodger game-watch at friend Harold Bronson’s.

10-26 Lunch at Barney’s with Dan Perloff. I’m supposed to give him a clip of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins on my tv show. I am not entirely of a sound mind, and retrieving it among the many things in my storage unit (s) has been daunting.

10-29 C C Adcock at Cheeta’s, Hollywood Blvd close to downtown.

11-4 Cindy Lee Berryhill, early afternoon at the Federal in North Hollywood. That night: Hollywood Blues Destroyers, Redwood again.



11-8 With Skip, south of downtown to spend the day with Barry Hansen, the ol’ Doc (Demento). We traded stories at his record-filled house, and dined elsewhere.

Some doctor visits are awesome!



Mexican food for famished Dementites!

11-12 Various record industry vets spoke at McCabe’.. On hand: Mike Stoller, Felice Mancini, Artie Butler, Harold Bronson, Artie Ripp, Mickey Shapiro, Alene Sarner, Richard Foos, Doctor Demento. Quite the gathering!



Also caught the energetic Lance Lipinsky at Joe’s

11-13 Lunch with visitor Mark Leviton, then at 4:00 Chuck E. Weiss squaring up the round table at Gelson’s with Skip and Jim Dawson.

11-15 Glasses (distance, occasionally needed) finished a year after I wanted them, at Lenscrafters, Burbank. In 2016 I tried bifocals, in their fancy frames. Gave me a headache, I asked for a re-fill. They said tough luck, sucker, you bought’em. This day they refilled them with the single Rx, as I had wished 12 months earlier. They aim to serve, as little as allowed.

11-17 Billy Altman, visitor from afar.

11-18 Paul Body birthday bash, at his home. A wonderful time up there. (Paul & Nancy live on a hillside.)



Paul "The Wanderer" Body and John "Hawkeye" Tottenham.

11-23 Curiously without a family on Thanksgiving, I again attached myself to my next of kin, my late friend Ken & Clair’s kids and their families in Winnetka, a ‘valley’ suburb. It was a warm familial thing, which I needed very much. Wonderful second family.

11-25 Skip at the Spoke at 9:30 am. More computer repair with Spike at 11:30. A few more blackouts 6:50. 1:55, 6 pm, 10:35 - and that was the end of THAT! (I thought.)



11-28 Rare appearance by Ruby Friedman at the Jackrabbit, off Hollywood Blvd. Sensational. Sat with friend King and lovely Ginger, there for their debut exposure.



12-3 Visit, with Skip, to Frank & Cerise Sprague in Disneyland-adjacent. Wonderful food, wonderful friends. (And dig that December weather.)

12-12 New doctor, Cedars. Brain test. I passed.



12-14 Visit w darling daughter Jessie, still moving in.



12-16 Xmastime gathering at the WASPY Tam O’Shanter in Burbank with King and Ginger and their cohorts. Christmas carolers on site.



12-24 Xmas Eve: Three Wise Men in the parking lot behind Denny’s on Sunset and Gower. AF/SH/JD

We got wise to the fact that service wasn’t so hot, so went to the other Denny’s two blocks east. Those Hollywood Nights!



12-25 Xmas gathering with extended family in The Valley. Nice indeed, and appropriately chilly, just like in a real city.

Dede, AF, Corey, Jeremy. A family for which I’m grateful.



Who relaxes al fresco on a chilly Xmas night?

12-28 Social visit in Pasadena with literary agent Kay Diehl. She lost her husband in the fall. A fine lady.

12-31 A wonderful evening at the Roxy, presented by Swamp Dogg’s daughter Jeri Williams, MD, with the enormous and unusual bill of Swamp Dogg, and Billy Joe Shaver with Norm McDonald. Part of proceeds went to Michael J Fox Foundation. A wonderful New Year’s Eve, an ever-rare Swamp Dogg set!



Swamp at keyboard

1-2-18 Shit! Four more moderate blackouts. I thought that was over!

1-4 Cedars hospital, 8 am, more tests. I passed, nuthin’ wrong.



Carnival Of Soul-men relax after a taxing set at Cafe NELA. Drummer Howard Greene is moving to Portland. He will be sorely missed, in music and more.

1-7 Day-ahead Sunday celebration for Elvis’s birthday, installment number … 35? Each year is uniquely wonderful, though this one was especially spiritual. Packed house, between 4 and 8 pm at Joe’s in Burbank. Money raised went to Union Rescue Mission, downtown LA.

Paul Body, Steve Stanley

Harry Orlov rips it up.



Those Groovy Rednecks!

Jason



Ray Campi, fit, trim and multiple-21.



Mister Masters - what else? - Rippin' it up!



Carnival of Soul



The unstoppable Troy Walker !



Jason Gutierrez Enemble

Jimmy Angel closes the show.

1-9 Rain. It happens.

1-10 Took “visitor” (LA native) Mark Leviton, down from his home in the hills to the North, to Hollywood Forever Cemetery - a must stop on my tours with O-O-Towners , but new to him! The place has some new developments, but Mark was most jazzed to spot, as we left, the wall tomb of Yma Sumac. (Come on - her name is Amy Camus backwards.)

1-11 EEG, at Cedars. Looked through my head, found nothing. (Ha!)

1-15 With Skip, coffee at the converted train station in North Hollywood. Then at 5, flu shot at the drugstore!

1-20 Poker at Charles’s. Unike the Jerry Lee/Hank Williams song, I DON'T win again. What’s happening to me?



1-21 Lunch with Swamp Dogg and his daughter, Dr. Jeri Wiliams, who practices medicine in her Bakersfield office during the week. The cafe — Butcher, Baker, Cappuccino Maker — on Sunset Strip is quite the draw for young sociables. Warm and sunny, this mid-January day.

1-25 Went to see the Simon Stokes Tribute (he’s alive) at Taix, but the volume from behind the closed concert-door hurt my ears so I demurred. (Maybe I’ll see him at Gelsons. Love him.)

1-31 Birthday gathering for Gene Sculatti at Michelangelo’s, Silver Lake area. There I snapped open my car-door remote and lost half. Replacement from Honda is $280. But the generic one I bought for $25 won’t work. (Dinner was great, I sat at one end with Andy Paley and a couple of other bounders.)



2-8 Dick Blackburn wows the crowd at Book Soup on Sunset, reading from his bop-crazy record-collector thriller “Record Weasels.”

2-9 Lunch with pal Richard Fannan.

2-13 Coerced Skip to help rearrange junk in storage unit #3. Such productive work, not at all like running in place.



Then MORE coffee with Dawson, at Gelson’s.


2-14 While Jurgen Koop re-combed through my 45’s in storage (in Texas, where Jurgen lives, 45s are weapons), I took his pal, 85-year-old Jerry K. Greene, into Hollywood to Dunkin Donuts, parking on Vine right by the Capitol Tower. Jerry is a country singer who first recorded in 1953, and was delighted to be in the heart of Hollywood. I snapped plenty of pictures for the folks at home.


King, and his Court


2-17 Out to see King Cotton’s Aggravation at Viva Cantina, a “really big show.” Went on more’n an hour, big fun.




2-18 Hit Jonny Whiteside’s thang at Joe’s and caught the persistent pulse of The Zip Guns.

2-20 Lunch with old pal Richard Foos, at Chan Dara on Larchmont.

2-22 Lunch with ol’ Alias Means at the 101 Cafe. Great friend.

2-24 To the Japanese-American Museum in Little Tokyo for a presentation of “Our Man in Tokyo: The Ballad of Shin Miyata” with friends Richard Fannan and Billy Branch. The short film explored the exploits of Miyata, a character whose love for L.A. Chicano music has led him to be its chief Japanese importer and promoter.



2-28 Dupar’s with rainy day arrival Paul Hampton at Farmer’s Market. He’s in town for good, uprooting after 30 years in NYC, now in Palm Springs-adjacent.

3-2 Did not go to Laura Jane Willcox’s party with Thom Yearsley in Oceanside, probably good caution. I was dying to go, but my health has been .. not quite precarious, but more goddam light pass-outs; passout-ettes. Damn, I thought they were gone, but they’ve revisited once or twice. Falling apart is not the fun it’s supposed to be.

3-4/5/6/7/8 More blackish-outs. They’re fainter; I’m on the mend!

3-5 Canter’s Deli, with Paul Hampton, immigrant.

3-6 New blood at Bernie’s. Newbies join the breakfast club with old-timers me, Skip, Arhshag Chookoorian and Lissa Morrow.

Beloved invaders Eliot Easton, Mark Linett plus Skip, Dave Gold.

Late lunch at Talleyrand, Burbank, with daughter Jessie, on break from work. It is so wonderful to see her. Also, seldom-seen wife Jenn.

3-7 Boy wizard (one side of 50) Don came over to see if we (!) could get the 7800 typewriter pages I’d digitally photographed ($700, 2017) converted to editing-ready. In fact, his first try bore fruit, but that technology is only so good - many pages looked exploded. More’n half transferred right. But it cost nothing, not 700 more dollars.

3-9 With my lightweight (maybe it was heavy when new) Levi-brand western shirt, for the gym, on its last legs (the shirt, not the gym), I went to the recycled clothes place on Hollywood Blvd with faint hope of getting a good Levi-brand one, but on the sale rack, there it was - perfecto, and marked down from $40 to $10. Now of course, I’ll look for another: this one’s too nice for the gym.

3-11 Considered going to the monthly Pasadena swap meet, but was met with rain and reconsidered. Did go to the Ivar “farmers market” in Hollywood and bought figs. Then another day in the apartment alone.




3-14 Hied on down to the Love Song Bar to see Carnival of Soul (successors to Hollywood Blues Destroyers) play. A fine night out, on downtown’s respectability-emerging edge. With Jim Dawson.

3-18 Caught the latter part of Jonny Whiteside’s all-girl review to-do at Bob’s, with the Lovey Doves.

3-21 Gelsoning at 6 pm w/Skip (Dawson downtown seeing the Billy Vera bio-pic), in walks Chuck E. Weiss, and sits with us a spell.

3-22 Took no-drive Skip to his guitar tech, Robert DeLange, in the Valley. His guitar, too.


—— Long Time No See ———

Music

* When two Beatles were on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1967, two things were wrong. Carson, no Beatle expert, was on vacation, so their interviewer was sportscaster Joe Garagiola. (Typical question: “So do you get kidded a lot about your hair?”) Cost-conscious NBC re-used that night’s tape, erasing the 2-Beatle interview. No full or even decent-partial record exists … Stan Ross, of Gold Star’s, son wrote a docu-drama celebrating his dad’s years there. Dave Gold will not sign permission to use his name because, he says, he is not portrayed accurately… The Four Seasons “New Gold Hits” had hardly any hits, but quite a few perfect songs that never got into circulation …

* What are ob-STICKLES? Johnny Nash sang about them in ‘I Can See Clearly Now” … From my notes. In 1973, I called the Lennons at the Bev Hills Hotel. I’d taken their picture there, and thought, since I was no longer with Capitol, maybe they could get me a couple of bucks from Capitol. (Negs stolen, 2000.) Yoko left a message on my machine saying the label wouldn’t do it, and John hadn’t been working much lately. (This was on my Phone-Mate for a couple of months, but I had no means of transferring and ultimately erased it) …

* I caused a little stir on FB when I pointed out that some copies of “Bye Bye Love” have a guitar ‘outro’ extending into the runoff groove. It depends where the record was pressed, as some pressing-plant operators held close to the given play-time, and others, probably accidentally, let it go to the faded finale … My friend’s wife has an interesting rock & roll “relative” history. Her father was two grades behind Roy Orbison in high school in Wink, and served time in the same jail with Chuck Berry … The first ‘wall of sound’ record was “Red River Rock” by Johnny & The Hurricanes. Incredibly dense. I will argue it in court …

*After I met Dr. Demento in 1972 at a nightclub in Hollywood, I heard “I Wonder,” the WWII ballad by Pvt. Cecil Gant, and went mental trying to find it. Even without the internet I located a few (!) versions, but none sounded right, so I called (“Someone call a Doctor!”) him and went to his house in the Valley and he played me four versions, and I found the right one. The original, of course … Songs run through my head all day, and some of them I don’t like a lot (few I hate, tho). I can only deduce that those are ones I don’t think about, demanding my attention … “Stone Cold Dead In The Market” is a late ‘40s Louis Jordan calypso song about a guy who’s killed at a bazaar by his girlfriend. I’ll bet Louis overheard someone at Decca’s marketing department say that about a musician whose records stopped selling ..

* Sure is a big whoop-de-do over the proper age for sex. When I cite Jerry Lee Lewis, people jump up and down. But women in the Lewis family, like SO MANY people in poor families in the south and elsewhere, married young. One of his sisters wed at 14, another at 12. It was the way things were done in the Civil War carried over to recent times. No arrests were made, or wanted. Without counselors to tell them they were victims, they ignorantly lived full lives … My friend Rip spent a lot of time in NY in 1967 palling around with Eric Clapton when Cream first arrived to play on the Murray the K show. Eric called again when he came back as a solo, and asked Rip if he wanted to go with him to the Monterey Pop Festival. (I keep him disguised: everyone knows I know five Rips) …

* Competition among live-show deejays was ferocious in Jamaica in the 1960s. When one would go to New York, or elsewhere, and bring back something nobody had heard, he’d scrape off the label so no other deejay could see … A company was assembling a Bo Diddley comp, two or three CDs. The guy showed me the song list. I said “Where’s ‘Bo Diddley’s A Gunslinger’”? He looked at me with irritation and said “We are already using ‘Bo Diddley’ and ‘Hey Bo Diddley.’ We don’t want him to look like a fool.”
Someone did.

Globs of Positioning


Area codes, born in 1963, start at 2 in the east and winnow up as they go west. (“Our” 213/415 predates that scheme.)

When I was researching the rock sites book in 1990, I got most of the addresses I needed, but was stumped finding the home of Captain Beefheart northwest of The Valley in the mid-1960s.

The downtown library had a (213) LA phone book for that era, but I wanted one covering the hinterlands. Ultimately I gave up.

Only this century did I realize that California had two area codes in 1965 - 213 and 415. All I’d needed was the south book.

Words

When someone writes that something gratis is complimentary, I expect a word of praise … ‘Let’s hang out’ must be a male-born term … When you try to get rid of an ad on FB, they give you options. One is “See more like this.” Wonder how often that gets punched … The long-longtime restaurant, Taix, on Sunset near downtown has a puzzling name. French, it should be .. Tie? Tay? But nobody in LA speaks french, so years ago the place settled on calling itself “Tex.” Yee ha! (Aimee McSemple McPherson’s temple is below, south and little west, up from Echo Park Lake. Phillipe’s French Dip provides another soupçon of cuisine francais, down by Union Station) … Of course you can have your cake and eat it. You can’t eat your cake and have it …

TV

* Jordan Klepper has a long way to go … An ad for an Infiniti car is shot on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, by the bridge, and no mention is made of the locale. Maybe it’s cheaper than shooting on either coast. Or the ad agency is there …

* Jon Stewart pops up on Comedy Central here and there looking haggard. He left at the top, too soon … Colbert is just too programmed. I know he’s been through musical training and all sorts of theater, but the real him is not enough. Big stars are not rushing to the show.


* The Science shows on cable have always featured real eggheads, not date bait. Lately pretty/handsome faces have crept in.

* Faces on docs are cut off at top so they fill the screen vertically from forehead to chin. To ‘read’ better on cellphones, I guess. Or watches. Or heads of pins.

* One of life’s little yuks is when the tv ‘reporter’ on-scene in front of a fire finishes yapping and stands aside so you can see the fire that you hadn’t noticed, fascinated by their talk.

Cars

Slow burn. Cedars Sinai hospital parking lot is rife with spaces marked “Compact,” as if the 1960s have returned. They add valuation — “We have 1200 parking spaces” — making drivers squeeze into slots that cannot fit their cars …

I put a long bar between the hooks left and up high on both sides of the back seat of my CRV, to carry numbers of clothes on hangers. Left it there, and a week later a back-seat passenger thanked me for the overhead step-down exit “hand-bar” …

In LA, double parkers use their emergency flashers to block 50% of a street just to wait. They think they’re on a donkey path in the old country, but they’re the asses.


Business

Mexican Cokes cost a dollar. Sugar, yeah, but things from Mexico cost LESS … When ejecting an ad on FB, “See more like this” is one of the options. Wonder how many times that gets pressed.

The independent bakery in the local posh grocery, Gelson’s, installed a tip jar last year. It disappeared quickly. I imagine the cashiers in the store asked for a tip jar too … I signed on to a gym in 1991, and it later became LA Fitness. When I lost my tag, I learnt I was on another fam member’s canceled plan, and the club demanded I join. I balked at the $100 till the clerk said “You’re only paying $9 a month.” I use that place a lot. (So you think I’m healthy?) ….

The 99 Cent stores here have enlarged sight lines by lowering the top of their aisle shelves. Now untall people (not me, I’m 5’8”) can almost see around the store. Wonder what that trouble was … I know what it is at the grocery on Western & Hollywood Blvd. Formerly you’d ask a cashier for the code for the men’s room, now you have an employee let you in. I asked why and the guy said “Chicken bones.” I paused, stared. “We found chicken bones in there. People were taking fried chicken from the deli and eating in the toilet.” (This store is not in Beverly Hills, where they probably do the same with caviar.)

I haven’t heard it claimed yet, but look for the airline industry to announce that its latest passenger-seat reduction (“Two less inches between seats”) is an admirable push for people to get healthy, lose weight … Anything charging money to ease a problem will betray its promise. The original selling point for pay-tv (cable) was no commercials … The TV industry fought “Space Command” remote controls because people could turn off the sound on ads. People did. Maybe the industry got the government to kick back a couple billion for their loss …

When I was next in the checkout line at Costco, card submitted, a woman next to the cashier brightly hollered “Art!” and I looked panickedly for a sign of acquaintance. When I neared her she said “You know, with your volume of purchasing, you’ll benefit by joining our Preferred Customer program for only twenty dollars.” The bitch! Taking info off my card, playing on ‘familiarity,’ making me think real hard “Where do I know HER from?” I said, Amber!, having read her tag, “I don’t spend that much here” (she might have seen the $500 I spent for tires) and she receded, not without reading my withering glance …

Rice cakes seemed like a nice way to get your … rice. Once sold only at health food stores, they roared into groceries in the 1970s, with Quaker Oats and other majors getting in on the act. Now, everywhere I go the stock is limited. Used to be variations - cheese, etc. Seems to have cooled off in the marketplace, like cable


Suspension of disbelief happens in movies, by agreement, but also in many restaurants, where kitchen workers constantly slam dishes with sharp clatter and we eat and talk like nothing’s wrong … What is my motivation for self check-out? Get out of the store faster? Why don’t they have adequate cash-register staff? I have asked sincerely if I get a discount, like just 1%, for doing their work … Elon Musk’s rocket returning to its launch pad, homing down bottom-first, was the most breathtaking thing I ever saw.

I needed a circular battery, and went to the hardware store, where I encountered many batteries with many prices. Since the expiration dates varying from 2008 to 2018 exhibited no relation to their price nor the calendar, I pondered a bit - til realizing they were product numbers. When the 2000’s arrived, didn’t SOMEONE say “Let’s re-number these things”? … "Used paint" can be useful if you’re just covering something. Stores mix paint color to a customer’s instruction and sometimes botch it, and set the can aside to sell it for less than original value. So what if your fence-post is pink-aquamarine?



Photography

* If you’ve seen mid-century family photos, you may have seen that grand-dad often ‘cut off the head’ of your ancestors. He held the square black Kodak at waist level and looked at a reflected image. He lined up the family, and pressed the shutter button at the right.

It’s no mystery: the thumb pressing the shutter caused the camera to dip forward. The result; decapitation.

* I am on the horns of a dilemma. I don’t like my automatic digi cameras because they don’t stop action. I have considered buying a good SLR for an unconscionable amount of money, but then when I see someone wave their phone and get beautiful shots I wonder whether staying true to cameras is a good idea.

“Coming out” party

When I switched high schools junior year, I leapt from a working class (homeowner) neighborhood south in Chicago near Midway Airport to Skokie, the first suburb north, known for Nazis marching in 1970 to make a point, so you figure the dominant religion.

I was not a ‘hood,’ but I wasn’t a college-bound bermuda-short wearing short-haired striped-shirt dweeb. No, I held to Chicago clothes like iridescent tapered slacks, black pointed toe shoes, ban-lon pullover shirt and Elvis-aspiration hair. Hood lite, way out of step with my confreres whose college mien struck me as unmanly.

I coasted through 11th grade, gaining a few friends who mostly would talk about cars and records. I got OK grades. Senior year we took the SAT or whatever, and when my name was announced as third-highest in the class, those assembled murmured “Who?” when I came up to get my read-out. This ‘award’’ had an unpredictable salutory effect. What ever else would explain geek friend Craig, a couple days later, running at me in near hysteria saying “Sue likes you!”?

Who was Sue? She was one of the popular girls, short-black-hair, black-dressed girl with white tennies, a college-bound cheerleader type - a sylph. Huh?

We met. Craig drove us to my (parents’) apartment one day after school. (I may be truncating this.) There we got in my single bed and I undressed her like I’d done that before. Of course, I was rising firmly, unprecedentedly, and she took hold of the situation and brought it to a finale. Near the entrance.

We ‘dated,’ but god knows how I fit into her schedule. She was a hot chick with college guys buying her beer and all, I was a dolt with a hard-on for her, my first focussed.
Somehow, and I cannot figure out why (good deeds in a previous life?), in the spring we started cutting school every Thursday to cavort at her house, the family dwelling. I’d get there at 9:30 am and we’d go at it. More than once. Weekly. For quite a while.

All good things must come to an end. She was pledged to Dick (his nickname, “The”), a college boy who knew not of our dalliance. Toward the end of our term, he came over one afternoon unannouncedly. Sue said “Get in the closet” and I did, but Dick figured it out and I emerged. As I was a simple high school boy, and did not cut much of a figure (visually!), he presumed we were class-cutting schoolmates, perhaps playing spin-the-bottle, and I brushed by and headed out.

Speak up for my woman? Are you kidding? She once asked “What would you do if I got pregnant?” and I thought “I’d like to get a drivers license first.” It was the end of me and Sue. I was downgraded.

Three years later, she called me during summer college break, and asked to come to my family apartment the next morning. One for old times sake? Alright ! But my actual girlfriend dropped in unexpectedly at 9 for a visit, and I called Sue and said I was delayed, could she make it noon. The girlfriend left, and Sue came over, but she sensed something saying succinctly “Sorry, I’m not interested in sloppy seconds.” This was a tremendous loss to me, and I never heard from her again.

As a fella of blooming sexual maturity, I could summon up the moxie for three go-rounds in a long session, a record that slipped further and further out of reach as time passed. Latterly, looking back, I would reminisce about my 16-year-old power. But recently, I came across some scrap paper from back then, and learned that my actual rate on those Thursdays was FIVE times.

Brother. Why is life structured so unevenly? What 16-year-old devoid of the opportunity KNOWS such a thing can be done? He’s not likely to find a gal for this in high school, and that’s my point.

Sixteen-year-old boys - men, really - should be loaned out to middle-age housewives for “day calls.” Both parties need it. But there’s no justice in this life.

Etc

* The Cincinnati Reds baseball team changed their name to the Redlegs in the 1950s so as to not glorify Communism. In the ’60s their senses and their old name came back. During the communist takeover.

* Not-watching TCM, Abbott & Costello ‘Lost In a Harem,’ I caught “Slowly I turned, step by step” and nearly leapt from my chair. I’ve had that in my head for a half century. Never knew whence it came.

Then, in a 1942 road picture (Morocco?), Crosby is rolling cigarettes loaded with knockout drops, and Hope runs one under his nose and says “Reefer?” (Back then they were called Progressive Pall Malls.)

* Bought a pair of Contigo hot/cold drink canisters. The instructions (!) post a warning that, in use, the contents are often hot (!), and tell you to not overfill, be careful about this and that. However, the really alarming warning is for you to pre-wash the cup in a soap bath for 10 minutes before using. Is the factory in China staffed with lepers?

* Has anyone besides me ever heard of a workplace romance? Marrying the boss? The workplace has always been a meeting place. Happy people aren't posting about such circumstances. Workplace fraternization is now a crime, at least for men.

* Good riddance to a bad year. I was devastated in January by the end of a 7-year relationship, and suffered deathlike fainting spells throughout the year alongside certified loss of brain cells.

That said, I have several good friends, and don’t lack meaningful pursuits. My life lacks intimacy. I crave a life less lonely.

What for tat?

Why does anyone desecrate, I mean decorate their flesh with dark-blue lines? You’ll have blue lines on your skin soon enough.

Old Man And The Siege

I’ve one foot in the 20th-century.
Maybe a whole leg. Have CDs, and digi copies.
Use simple cellphone, don’t text but can.
Prefer camera to phone.
I’ve written lengthily, personally, to close friends on email, and got back “Sorry” or “Yes, I see.”

They read on a phone, and run.

Recently I made plans, on FB.
That day, no friend.
Later I get “Don’t you TEXT?”
I don’t carry a cellphone at home, but the land line rings.

Must I join every club?

I’m not the first person to rue the split-attention of modernists.
Their eyes shift from you, to their device.
I keep a book handy, and dart glances when they speak.
Futile, but tit for tat.

Keep your phone tethered to your person 24/7.
It’s the new freedom everyone’s talking about.

Memories are made of … I can’t remember

Up north with fr Carol, she gave me the town name, and I spied it and turned off the highway. Parked, and walked a bit. Sat down at ice cream parlor.
She said “Do you know the name of this town?”
“Smart ass. Of course not.”

Like I need this

Reading notes 1980-2008.

In 1998 my friend Doug, seeing my record collection, vids, etc, said “Life is letting things go.”

“You hold them, then release them. At the end, you let go of life.”

He did, and I think I see it coming …

- 57 -

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