Category Archive 'Americana'
07 Sep 2017

Holler Girl

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The West Virginia memories of Amy Gentry illustrated with photography from Travis Dewitz.

link

27 Aug 2017

York Wallpaper Company Was Surprised

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Daily Mail:

A wallpaper company in Pennsylvania was shocked when it received an order from the White House earlier this month.

So shocked, in fact, that the owners at York Wallcoverings actually thought it was some sort of prank, Fox 43 reported.

It wasn’t, and the company quickly realized they had a long day ahead of them – the White House wanted the wallpaper delivered by 7pm that same day.

And to throw another complication into the mix, the print the White House requested, which was hand picked by the President himself, had been discontinued in 2014.

Though it was a difficult task – the company was up for the challenge, as it meant their wallpaper would hang in the Oval Office.

The wallpaper was part of the extensive White House renovation which included an new HVAC system, a paint touch-up and a total replace of all of the carpeting, among other changes, according to CNN.

RTWT

11 Jul 2017

America

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P.J. O’Rourke:

I was having dinner… in London… when eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about “Your country’s never been invaded.” And so I said, “Let me tell you who those bad guys are. They’re us. WE BE BAD. We’re the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go. You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying ‘Cheerio.’ Hell can’t hold our sock-hops.

We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.”

From Sarah Hoyt.

17 May 2017

Post-War New York City

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Photo by Elliott Erwitt, 1950.

06 Feb 2017

Death Takes a Holiday

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From Reddit:

Gurrb17 19 hours ago

Sometimes death is busy and just says, “Fuck it, I’ll get them next time.”

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topoftheworldIAM 18 hours ago

In this case death just sat on the grass and wished he was a kid again.

04 Feb 2017

Best Political Speech in Years

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Classic Virginia. Delegate Matt C. Farris (R-Campbell) debates HB 1900, an anti-hunting bill which would impose a $100 fine per dog in cases in which hunting dogs stray onto a property where they are unwelcome. A Virginia fox hunt might go out with several dozen hounds, so you can imagine what a case of accidental trespass by a pack might cost.

No embed, FB link.

02 Oct 2016

From Shorpy’s

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1919copwcoffee
Washington, D.C. Cop gets cup of coffee, 1919.

The older fellow smiling in the automobile looks like he may be the policeman’s father. Note the Salvation Army building in the background.

19 Sep 2016

Welcome to Wisconsin

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wisconsinsign

21 Jul 2016

Western Road Sign

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SlowDown

09 Jul 2016

36 Photographs of Indian Girls, Late 1800s to Early 1900s

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11 Jun 2016

Oregon Rancher Foils Bike Theft

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RancherLassoes

The Guardian:

An attempted bicycle theft in a Walmart parking lot was foiled by a cattle rancher on horseback, who chased the thief down and lassoed him until the local police in southern Oregon could arrive.

The bicycle was stolen from a bike rack outside a Walmart in Eagle Point, a town about 170 miles south of Eugene, Oregon, at around 10amon Friday morning. The woman who owned the bike and several others gave chase on foot but were unable to catch him.

Then a rancher named Robert Borba brought his horse out of its trailer, mounted up and chased the thief down, according to Chris Adams, an officer with the Eagle Point police who responded to the 911 call about the theft.

“When we arrived, there was a large crowd standing around a younger gentleman who was on the ground, the rope around his ankle, hanging on to a tree,” Adams said. Victorino Arellano-Sanchez was arrested and charged with theft, the police said.

30 Sep 2015

14 Most Inebriated Pennsylvania Counties

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ArmstrongCounty
Kittaning, county seat of Armstrong County

Only in Our State

Clinton County (County Seat, Lock Haven) comes in first. (Applause!)

Lackawanna (Scranton), Luzerne (Hazleton), Monroe (Stroudsburg), and Huntingdon (Huntingdon) all get in there. Sadly, my native county, Schuylkill, does not even make this list. It would have in the old days. My hometown in its prime had more barrooms than Philadelphia, typically six per block: each corner building and one in the middle of the block on either side of the street.

06 Sep 2015

Top Slang Word in All 50 States

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USSlangmap

Most popular slang words in all 50 states: Federalist Papers

30 Jun 2015

The Thrill of Forrest Fenn’s Chase

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ForrestFenn

Taylor Clark, in California Sunday Magazine, has a helluva story about a still-ongoing treasure hunt arranged for his own amusement by a colorful millionaire art dealer.

Five years ago, a legendary art dealer left his home in Santa Fe, traveled to an undisclosed location somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, and hid a 42‑pound chest filled with priceless treasure.

In the summer of 1988, not long after doctors removed his cancer-plagued right kidney… late one night, Fenn had an idea… He would stuff a treasure chest with glittering valuables, write a clue-laden poem that would point to its location, and then march out to his favorite spot on earth to take some pills and lie in eternal repose with the gold, like a doomed conquistador in an Indiana Jones movie. All he needed was someone to write and publish the book in which he’d place the poem. “Because there was no point in hiding it if no one knew I hid it,” Fenn said.

“Forrest told me the idea at lunch one day,” recalled the bestselling author Douglas Preston, a longtime friend and one of the first writers Fenn approached. “His plan was to inter himself with the treasure, so that anyone who found it could essentially rob his grave. I said, ‘God, Forrest, that’s a terrific story — ​you’re the guy who’s going to take it with you!’” Still, Preston didn’t go for the idea… and neither did any of the other writers. “I think they didn’t like the idea of me dying out in the trees someplace,” Fenn said.

Fenn’s failure to launch this scheme was no great disappointment, however, for the simple reason that his cancer treatment worked. Yet he couldn’t let go of his treasure idea. He held on to the chest he’d bought, an ornate bronze lockbox, and spent years filling it. Fenn tinkered with its contents constantly, aiming to create a stash that would dazzle anyone who opened it: gold coins, Ceylon sapphires, ancient Chinese carved-jade faces, Alaskan gold nuggets the size of chicken eggs — some of these items coming from his own private collection, others acquired just to add to the hoard.

For the next 20 years, Fenn kept the chest in a vault in his Santa Fe home, covered with a red bandanna. Occasionally, he’d test out its amazement quotient on friends, who tended to view the whole thing as just another amusing Fennian lark. Certainly, few of them expected he’d actually hide it. For one thing, the man was a born raconteur who readily admitted to embellishing his stories. For another, the treasure was worth a fortune — seven figures, most likely — and not even Fenn was crazy enough to just give something like that away. And after so many years of talk, if he was really going to do it, wouldn’t he have done it already?

Then, sometime around 2010, Fenn did it. Without even telling his wife, Peggy, he slipped out and squirreled away his chest — to which he’d added a miniature autobiography, sealed with wax in an olive jar — somewhere in the wilds of the Rockies. It took him two trips from his car to get all of the treasure to the hiding spot, because it weighed 42 pounds and he was in the neighborhood of his 80th birthday by then. For a while, Fenn kept what he’d done secret. His own daughters didn’t find out about it until he self-published his memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, complete with the poem he’d spent years refining.

Read the whole thing, and bring your shovel.

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The author serves up an anecdote from his first meeting with Fenn, which illustrates beautifully that grand eccentric’s philosophic approach to collecting historical artifacts.

I tell you what,” Fenn said at the end of our first afternoon together, hoisting himself up from the leather sofa. “I’ll give you a treat.” He shuffled over to one of the floor-to-ceiling bookcases that line his library and pulled out an old green bottle that I recognized immediately from Too Far to Walk, one of the nine other books he’s written.

“This is the Jackie Kennedy brandy,” I said, startled.

In June of 1984, Fenn lodged Kennedy in the guesthouse of his gallery, where she was a model visitor. “A lot of people stayed at my guesthouse, and she’s the only one who left my cleaning lady a $50 tip and a two-page handwritten letter,” he told me. When Kennedy departed, she left behind a mostly empty bottle of Korbel brandy, which now enjoys pride of place next to Fenn’s Air Force medals. In the past 30 years, he has offered sips from the bottle to only two people. He unscrewed its top and extended it to me.

“Now, you take a big swig, I’m gonna punch you out,” he warned.

I held the bottle for a moment, hesitating. Wasn’t this, in its way, a piece of American history? I took the tiniest volume of liquid that could plausibly be called a sip into my mouth, held it for a moment, and swallowed.

“So, do you feel different now?” Fenn asked.

I couldn’t say that I did. History tasted pretty much exactly like old brandy. Yet for the rest of my life, I’d be able to say I shared a drink with Jackie Kennedy.

“See, when I look at you taking a sip of this, I would think of you feeling like you’re on a different plateau,” Fenn said, grinning. “Because you’re part of it now. Instead of being a spectator, you’re a player.”

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