Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lee on her birthday

Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

To Kill A Mockingbird
~ Harper Lee

Sunday, April 26, 2009

life imitates old sitcom

I was watching an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Rafe Hollister Sings, earlier tonight and was thinking about the similarities between the storyline and the Susan Boyle phenomenon.

In the episode, from 1963, the earthy Rafe was portrayed as different and 'seedy' and unacceptable by the high brows when he wins a singing audition, mirroring the audience that scoffed at Susan. The only way they'll let him be the showcase at The Ladies Musicale is if Andy cleans him up and stuffs him in a tight suit fit for burial to make him more presentable.

But no:

Rafe and Susan - a perfect duet..
don't you suppose?

one phone call allowed

The phone rang last night and it was a collect call from Ty. I don't know anyone named Ty so I declined. Ty was in the County Jail and used his one phone call, under law, to call me. What a nice man. I was in just the right mood for good conversation on a warm Saturday night to talk to just about anyone, so I almost accepted the charges. Although, I don't know what in the wide wide world of sports Ty would've wanted to talk about except maybe bail. I doubt he would've wanted to talk about the first 100 days, or even the beautiful weather. Hope you're a free man soon, Ty.

Friday, April 24, 2009

lonesome as a pine

The boys harmonize about love on Arbor Day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ten movie characters I love

Well, make it eleven instead.
I have about 300 favorite movies,
so I just chose a few I love.
Thanks, Marc, this was fun!

Bobby Dupea wants toast..

Vito Corleone...


John W Burns...Lonely Are The Brave

Rufus T Firefly...

Chance the Gardener

Xiao Mei...Zhang Ziyi,the blind dancer

The Great McGonigle!...
The Old-Fashioned Way

...and lawyers...lots of lawyers...

Atticus Finch...

Paul Biegler...Jimmy Stewart

Henry Drummond...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

forget your cares, little vagabonds...

Monday, April 20, 2009

end credits

Imagine the audible gasps in the dark or the synchronized double takes if just once as the end credits rolled a message stating 'four horses, two dogs, and a cat were killed during the making of this motion picture.'
Or maybe it would be less shocking if it popped up at the conclusion of an animated short a few seconds before Porky cries 'th th that's all folks!' But then again...all those crying children leaving the theatre. Oh, the humanity.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

ad free

All ads removed.
Just an unsuccessful attempt to bring in a few nickels and dimes in these hard times for a vagabond.

However, the corn stays.
After all...I AM from Indiana.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I took down the plastic cylinder-shaped feeder to clean and just obliviously wandered away without refilling and returning it to its rusty nail under the eaves. Maybe because I was thinking what a terrible plague would spread without proper cleaning and rinsing, and imagining if I was arrested I would be brought up on charges of spreading a deadly plague surpassing the infamous day when that wayward meteor stuck earth with flying spores shutting out all light and dropping allergy sensitive dinosaurs from sneezing. Then we'd have to start allllll over again. All blamed on my dwindling attention span.
A few sparrows landed nearby for brief seconds and swiveled their heads, others glided in to the rusty nail, hovering backwards like colorless hummingbirds. But what I missed most the two days the feeder was out of service in the shadow of the cement porch were those faithful kissing cardinals. No no not like a hilarious Monty Python sketch, but I mean when the girl waits patiently on the porch fence and the guy crushes the black sunflower shell and hops the inner morsel over to her and she turns and tilts her pale head and he mirrors her move perfectly and they meet even more natural than in the movies but without the benefit of sharing a string of spaghetti.

Friday, April 17, 2009

torture technique #4

Facial slap

With the facial slap or insult slap, the interrogator slaps the individual's face with fingers slightly spread. The hand makes contact with the area directly between the tip of the individual's chin and the bottom of the corresponding earlobe. The interrogator invades the individual' s personal space. The goal of the facial slap is not to inflict physical pain that is severe or lasting. Instead, the purpose of the facial slap is to induce shock, surprise, and/or humiliation.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

nineteen hundred and twelve

Lolo (Michel) and Edmond Navratil, survivors of the Titanic disaster whose father went down with the ship.
Lolo, the last remaining male survivor of the Titanic, died in 2001.

Dave Moore does a great version of Blind Willie Johnson's, God Moves On The Water, that you can listen to from APHC(2002).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

so it goes...still

Not much has changed two years on, sir. I'm almost finished with everything I can find of yours. Like you, in a way, I've become childish in my fiftieth year. Although I don't draw assholes. But, let's see, yes, men are still butchering other men. Even closer now, sir. Why, just a little south of our border, down Mexico way, wide-eyed heads are literally rolling in our direction, right up against where there should be a fence. You know, speaking of invisible fences, those things really work, sir! Why, just the other day, a fraggle-toothed attack puppy came sprinting up to me at a strangers house, and damn if it didn't slam right into where the manicured lawn met me at the edge of the sidewalk.
That reminds me! You'll never guess, sir, who I saw departing a bus down at the station last Tuesday! He didn't stay long, but I was glad to see him for the first time in my life! He was only here a few fleeting seconds. At the bottom step the elderly gentleman turned to me and asked where in the Hell he was, and I hesitatingly answered, Mr. Trout, you have truly now arrived in Indianapolis, the asshole of the universe. As the bus smoked slowly southward, vanishing into the mist, he tossed down at my shoes from the tinted window a ragged copy of his latest failed book, So It Goes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

a little kindness

Friday, April 10, 2009

post cards

Washington, 1924.

I suppose you could say Mr. Foster was a search engine back in the day. If so, I bet he was an engine that smoked.

Strolling into the Remembrance shop you could ask something like, "Mr. Foster, what is the meaning of it all?"

And he would look befuddled over the top of his wire-rim glasses, then smile pointing to his postcard display and answering it could only be deciphered from a message scribbled onto the back and sent between friends, saved in a cigar box and treasured many times.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

diversion to pickpocket

Naw, actually this is pretty sweet don'tcha know....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

on this day in arrogant American history..


The Japanese battleship Yamato, the biggest battleship ever built, a fortress-of-the-sea thought to be unsinkable, was destroyed off Kyushu, Japan, on this day. One member of the arrogant, desmissive, and derisive US fighting force, a William Arthur Elings, Ensign, U.S. Navy (Reserve), was awarded the Navy Cross for piloting a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in to close range through adverse weather conditions and intense enemy fire contributing materially to the complete destruction of the Yamato a short time later.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a dad blasted good dance

I don't dance, but if I did, it'd probably be of an age such as Henry Fonda in John Ford's My Darling Clementine...

A dad blasted good time.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I thought they were blue. She was sorting and stacking a pile of books on a squeaky cart, piled so high you'd of thought if she'd just take one old book down it would change the orbit of the spinning earth, hurling all mankind screaming, just like the unmovable tonnage of those old bug-infested boxes of National Geographics in the damp cellar. Moving out of a slow day of Summer into the archaic bookstore with waxed wood floors, sporting a window pyramid display promoting a dusty pastel display of Willow Beyond The Pampas Grass, she turned to me a few moments beyond the door chime, elbowing the stack of a million words silently crashing to the floor. She let out a blue sigh like it'd happened before. We were down on our knees, sorting the wayward children into balanced stacks, and breathing evenly as we came face to face, I kissed her. And then we kissed each other. Before I could say anything in the awkward silence written all over me afterwards, she unblinkingly told me, yes, her soft reflected pearls were blue in days when she used to be kissed quite a bit.

Friday, April 3, 2009

five minutes to three

"Gotta get all these mail sacks punched and install grommets in five minutes. Ah, geez!
All those postcards waiting to be dropped in.
Ah, geez!!"

From the Harris & Ewing
Photo Collection, Washington, 1918.

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