#GeorgeSantos Says he was the first man to walk on the moon. Plus starred in the movie Jailhouse Rock. And gave Willie Nelson his first big break in country music. What a guy!
#GeorgeSantos said he was the first male contestant to win the ‘Miss America’ contest. And was awarded the ‘Miss Congeniality’ trophy. You should see him in a two-piece swim suit.
#GeorgeSantos said he was the first to successfully perform a heart transplant and graduated from both Harvard and Johns Hopkins medical schools. Plus, he was the ‘Love Child’ of Florence Nightingale. Can you believe it!
#GeorgeSantos said he co-authored the book “Grapes of wrath.” And is a regular contributor to the New Yorker. He should be offered a seat on the House Ethics Committee.
The trouble with Homelessness is the wrong people get involved. Land developers, real estate brokers, and ambitious architects. Not to mention over anxious freeway and parking lot builders.
This might sound funny but it is true. The city comes up with available building space and before you know it others with dollar signs on their minds try to take over. Take over by restricting building codes or applying for luxury apartments or condo permits. Hoping to build large and costly structures to sell at maximum price. And these people have the most money, lawyers, and influence. So more often than not they win and the homeless loses.
All the homeless want is a small structure about 600-square feet with two bedrooms, a bath, and kitchen/living room /dining room combo. Either a single dwelling or high-rise apartment building. Something with low maintenance, low rent, and ease of upkeep. But with a city park nearby.
It makes so much sense. But to the real estate developer it doesn’t. For the homeless sake, the big sellers of land and structures need to be left out of the mix. This is not anti-capitalism but prohomeownerism. Pro homeowner for the homeless. What do you think? What would you recommend? What should be done with folks who do not want a home but just to be left alone in a tint or car.
Birthdays and holidays.
I think it is dishonoring prominent men in history when celebrating their special day on a subsequent Monday instead on their actual birthday. Martin Luther King’s birthday was on Saturday this year. Parades could easily be on a Saturday rather than the following Monday.
As we did in my school days, I’d rather celebrate Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays on their real birthday. Never mind this ‘Presidents’ day crap. I absolutely do not want to celebrate every American presidents birthday and for good reason. Just give me a day off on George’s and Abe’s actual birthday.
Now what about celebrating prominent American women’s birthday as well. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think we have a holiday for any American Foremothers birthday. Abagail Adams deserves a special day of celebration. Someone should check Wikipedia to see when she was born and celebrate that day in the year with her own holiday. Elanor Roosevelt also should have a day of celebration on her birth date. What a huge presents and influence she was in American history. Susan B Anthony should be honored on her birthday. Possibly even Mary Tyler Moore. What do you think?
Many decades ago, I would ride along with my dad to his job to pick up his weekly paycheck. We drove through what was known as the Vernon meatpacking district of Los Angeles. Food processing plants with adjacent feedlots with about a dozen cows or hogs in each roaming in its confines. We would pass packing plants like Oscar Meyer, Armour Star, Farmer John, Swift and Co, and others. You would catch the sense of the place by its distinct feedlot odor. But the odor was somewhat localized. One could quickly drive away from the smell.
But the book I have recently read talks about industrial strength odor. Odor so bad one would drive for miles to escape the horrid smell. Therefore, we are talking about huge industrial hog farms in North Carolina. Farms with open slues of hog waste and fluids. Slues wreaking odors so strong nearby neighbor’s eyes would burn and clothing would be splattered with floating droplets of waste.
This book narrates how small communities of mostly minorities went to war against the industrial hog farmers. Mainly Smithfield Foods. A consortium of large hog farms with legions of attorneys with little concern of the farms mega odors and the spraying of polluting mist across vast acreage spilling into neighbors yards and on houses.
The book title: Wastelands: The true story of farm country on trial by Corban Addison and John Grisham. Non-fiction true crime 2022.
From the book jacket:
“The once idyllic coastal plain of North Carolina is home to a close-knit, rural community that for more than a generation has battled the polluting practices of large-scale farming taking place in its own backyard. After years of frustration and futility, an impassioned cadre of local residents, led by a team of intrepid and dedicated lawyers, filed a lawsuit against one of the world’s most powerful companies–and, miraculously, they won.
After reading this expose, you may never eat another slice of bacon again. Read it. You might like it. Sorry no romance but lots of tears and hugging.
I would often go home after school with my friend Ron. Ron lived with his grandmother in an apartment near our high school where Ron and I attended. I knew her as Mrs. Powell, a savvy senior woman and an up-to-date on current pop culture. And for certain a good cook. I was invited to dinner more than once and accepted her invitation.
Sometimes after finishing a nice meal cooked and serve by Ron’s grandmother, we all would move to the living room and watch a daily TV serialized cartoon of The Bullwinkle Show with Rocky the Flying Squirrel. The squirrel’s real name was Rocket J. Squirrel. An afternoon cartoon show enjoyed by adults as well as children. Full of double meaning humor. Ron’s grandmother sat there a laughed out loud as Ron and I did. The producers of the hilarious series want a voice for Rocky like that of a “clueless Boy scout.” They got that right. Included in the thirty-minute program was a Canadian Mounty named Dudley Duright, a bumbling Russian couple named Boris and Natasha, and my favorite…Sherman and Mr. Peabody. All filled with adult and children’s humor. Adventure, Melodrama, intrigue, and a look back at history using the “Way back Machine.”.
If you come across this series either download them or buy from Amazon or iTunes. You’ll be glad you did. We all laughed and laughed and laughed some more.
The things you see on television.
My friend Jim and I stopped at a Motel Six in Albuquerque to spend the night. Our travels started in Oklahoma City and we were on the way to Los Angeles driving route-66. Headed home for the semester break. Later that same evening I turned on the TV to watch the Jack Parr Friday evening show. Parr says he wants to show a filmed clip of a singing group soon to be coming to America from the UK. And so there they were. A bit different from the Beach Boys or Elvis. Four guys in what looked like suits too small and haircuts shaped like bowls covering the ears. It was mid-January 1964. They were to appear on the Ed Sullivan show sometime in February. I would watch almost anything that evening to forget the horrific Kennedy assassination. So, we watched with some amazement.
My sorted and reckless past
When a senior in high school on some weekends I would catch the metro bus and ride a fair distance which included a transfer in downtown Los Angeles headed to Hollywood. About an hour trip traveling about 30-miles. I lived on the east side of L A and Hollywood, where my cousin lived was on the west side. There I would stay the weekend in his tiny studio apartment but walking about visiting some of the attractions. He lived a half block off Hollywood Boulevard which was an easy stroll to see some of the often-visited attractions. Grohman’s Chinese Theater, the Hollywood walk of Fame, Hollywood and Vine, etc. I would pass Vic Tanny’s health spa and muscle parlor with huge muscular men of a different orientation wearing tight athletic shorts lifting heavy weights inside the display window. Just a few doors down was Fredricks of Hollywood. A women’s apparel shop for women who knew no modesty. Then further down at the corner of Hollywood and Vine you could easily see the famed and distinctive round Capitol Record building. Frank Sinatra and Nat ‘King’ Cole recorded there.
On one weekday trip I was able to obtain tickets to see TV programs being performed and video recorded. One such TV program was Queen for a Day. Yes, Queen for a Day. I just wanted to see how they set up and video recorded the entire production. Never mind the content. It was the technical aspect I was interested in.
Then later that evening I went with my cousin to see how they performed and recorded the daytime drama Divorce Court at the ABC studios, just north of Hollywood Blvd. When time came the handlers chose a few of us to sit in the courtroom gallery. Others sat at a distance in bleachers. But anyway, my cousin and myself sat in the mock-up gallery and was told under no certain terms “do not ever look at the TV camera lens with the bright red light.” Always focus on the judge actor. So, a few days later and after school I saw my cousin and myself on national TV. There I sat on big time national television wearing a dark brown V-neck sweater over a white crew neck T-shirt. Looking like the Okie dork of the month. Please, fade to black.
So here is how it all began.
I was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California. East Los Angeles to be precise in a working-class neighborhood. An unincorporated section of the greater Los Angeles area east of the all-concrete Los Angeles River. And in a community just east and downwind of the B F Goodrich tire factory. And a bit closer and Across the back alley was the Willard Battery Factory. There was a magnificent silhouette view at sunset from our front window of the Willard Battery water tower. I wish I had a photo of that.
But anyway, We lived in East L A for the first ten years of my life. I had two Okie parents, an Okie brother and one Okie sister. My youngest sister and I were born in L A. My parents called my sister and me ‘prune-pickers.’ Not sure why.
So, as you can tell there were six of us. Six of us in a 750-square foot two-bedroom adobe house on Simmons Avenue. And I’m sure you can tell we were a bit cramped. So, in 1954 we moved east to a little suburb called Montebello. A town with oil wells in the hills just north of us and a large industrial area to the south. A mix of blue collar, small business owners, and young entry level professionals.
But anyway, we moved into a larger newly built three-bedroom two bath house. For my sister and me the hard part was changing schools. We didn’t want to change.
Before I continue, let’s back up and describe where our family began. Literally a spot on the gravel Countyline road indicated by a half dozen rural mail boxes across from a one room school house. Known to the locals as Post Oak in Carter County Oklahoma. Just south of the former oil boom town gone bust of Wilson. My folks and my older brother and oldest sister lived in a four-room wood slatted unpainted prairie house across from the school on the side of the road with the crooked leaning mail boxes. At the corner where the narrow dirt road meets the wider graveled county line road.
To be continued.
January 1, 1999 Pasadena California.
I was invited by the City of Pasadena, along with five other guests to sit in the front row at the curb to view the annual Tournament of Roses parade. This was offered to visually impaired and family. So, Ronda, her sister and brother-in-law, our youngest daughter and a friend, myself and my guide dog Axle came early that morning and was met with cups of coffee and donuts. All a tremendous offer no one could refuse.
But let me back up. We arrived in Pasadena the evening previous, rented a car, and made our way to our hotel. Once settled we all jumped in our rented car and decided to cruise down Colorado Boulevard and view the crowd. They say by New Years morning there are approximately a million parade viewers. Some sitting out from the curb and behind the blue caution line. Some sitting on blankets, sleeping bags along with picknick baskets, deep friars or camp stoves cooking up fish, burgers, and maybe chicken. A mass of people all along the five-and-a-half-mile parade route. A gathering of people to rival that of when Moses was in the wilderness.
But anyway, our cruising down Colorado Boulevard passing the throngs of humanity was quite eventful itself. As we slowly drove pass celebrating crowds our car was being splattered and pelted with shave cream, marshmallows, spray string, and flour tortillas. Then our next stop was at the self-serve car wash.
Now back to this parade thing. We found our seats and prepared ourselves for some great parade viewing. I had a headset with a FM radio receiver and listened to a couple of guys sitting up behind where we sat as they described each float, marching band, and equestrian unit. Using a low powered FM broadcast station.
My brother-in-law mentioned he came along to satisfied his wife’s insistence. But once the D1 bombers flew over at the start of the parade his attention was seriously focused on viewing the parade. None the less, the floats were spectacular with flower, leaf, seeds, and anything grown organically. The Grand Marshal was Shirley Temple Black, the famed child actress.
But carrying on, the highlight of our trip the next day was when we drove to the city park to view up close the flowered floats. We parked our car and walked around the huge display of flower and motorized frames. Then when we returned to our rented car, we quickly realized Ronda had left the keys in the ignition switch with the motor running and the doors locked. After an hour and a half of waiting, the automobile club came and flip open the locked door. Thank goodness for triple-A. Happy New Year.