Category Archive 'Americana'
01 May 2019

From Justified: “Not a Bad Eulogy for Any Man of a Certain Age, Is It?”

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HT: Vanderleun.

13 Apr 2019

The Motorcycle Art of David Uhl

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The artist David Uhl specializes in chicks, bikes, and nostalgia, loads of Harleys and Indians, often being ridden by pretty girls.

Design You Trust

02 Apr 2019

At the Mississippi Legislature

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Then he ought to have done “Dixie.”

23 Mar 2019

West Texas Railroads

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Sterry Butcher has a very nice piece in Texas Monthly on the romance of the railroad in West Texas.

It began this summer, when we slept with our windows open. The first time it happened, I awoke in the middle of the night not knowing what I’d heard. It sounded like loony laughter from a dozen different souls, some of them clapping weird noisemakers, before their demented hilarity abruptly ceased. Moonlight streamed into the room. The Catahoula at the foot of the bed listened too, eyes shining and ears pricked. The train’s horn blew from the tracks a mile away, a winsome four-blast call: “I’m here; I’m here; here, I’m here.” Immediately the party erupted again, but now, with my wits about me, I recognized the troublemakers. Coyotes. Coyotes howling and yipping in answer to the train.

Why these coyotes accompany the train’s wail, I do not know, but they’ve continued in the months since, always in the gloaming or cloaked by night, sometimes quite close to the house, which sets the Catahoula to lift a lip and rumble meaningfully. A strange, long string of interspecies communication has thus evolved: the train warning people of its approach, the coyotes calling to the train, the dog cautioning the coyotes that home, this place, is off limits, while I lay a comforting hand on the dog’s paw in the dark.

RTWT

14 Mar 2019

Fair Haven, Vermont Elects Goat for Mayor

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The Burlington Free Press reports:

[O]n Tuesday night, March 12, just before 7 p.m., the small Vermont town officially swore in a goat as mayor.

The vote had been a close one.

Town Manager Joe Gunter came up with the idea as a way to raise money for a school play ground. Kids throughout the town were allowed, for a modest $5 fee, to nominate an animal of their choice for the position of Mayor. All told, more than a dozen made the run for office, even a dog named Stella who liked to suck a baby pacifier.

Some in town are not convinced that voters made the right choice.

“It’s been baaaaad so far,” joked one municipal employee, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation — of butting heads — with the new administration.

But on Town Meeting Day, Lincoln the goat was the clear winner, beating out the pack (… or herd?) with 13 votes.

And although the swearing in was a success, within minutes of assuming office, the police chief was already dealing with the Mayor’s first mess; he grabbed a broom and dust pan after her Goatness couldn’t wait for a bathroom.

“Note the crap,” joked Mark Gutel, owner of local coffee shop Kinder Way Cafe. “It’s just like any other meeting.”

RTWT

A step up from Bernie Sanders, in my humble opinion.

02 Mar 2019

Best Proposed Caption: “Honey, Can You Stop for Groceries on the Way Home?”

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The motorcycle is a very early Harley-Davidson.

14 Nov 2018

Chico May Be in California, But It Is Still Part of America

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Gerard van der Leun, now a refugee burned out of his home, with the loss of everything, by the fire that swept over Paradise, California, is in Chico and reports that the good people of that town are acting like real Americans.

Near closing time in the men’s Clothing Clearance Corner on the first floor of Penny’s at the Chico Mall, a young girl is replacing the piles of tossed clothing left by the numbed shoppers from Paradise frantic for cheap basic clothing. Some of them are camped in tents somewhere close by the mall; for how long nobody knows. But this young, quietly lovely girl is putting the Clothing Clearance Corner back in apple pie order as the store’s dismal day closes. I take my few finds from the Clothing Clearance Corner and, leaving, say, “That seems like a thankless task.”

“Not at all,” she replies. “Not at all.”

“Really? Why the hell not?”

“Hey, I do this job every day in this store. It’s my assigned task and usually its okay but I only do it for the money because it gets really monotonous, meaningless.”

She’s a student, I perceive.

“But today those people really needed these clothes in this corner because of the price. And tomorrow more people like that will really need them too. And so I want to make this the best I can for them. So I’m going to put it all back on hangers and arrange them by size. It will be right by the morning. You better go. We’re closing. Thank you for coming in.”

Just a young girl working late in the Clothing Clearance Corner. Doing one of those little jobs; one of those jobs that actually make the world turn. She was leaving it all on the field.

At the ends of the neighborhood streets, I see people setting up tables and I see the people of the neighborhoods coming out onto the main streets and putting out whatever they have to give there for the taking if needed. They are literally leaving it all on the field.

At the Elks Lodge after I picked up some bedding and a few new pillows and looked out over acres of goods being laid out for the taking, from flats of pet food to cribs and playpens (someplace safe to rest your baby that is not on your hip). As I was leaving to see the East Avenue Church scene an Elk (My late father was a member of this lodge up until his death in 1972); a brother, I say, of my father waves me over and opens the back seat of my car and puts in two cases of one liter bottles of San Pellegrino . The Elks are leaving it all on the field.

In the 24-Hour Walgreens Pharmacy on East Avenue, the pharmacists have been working overlapping shifts since the fire swept over Paradise last Thursday. These people and their back up staff work seemingly rock solid for hours on end. They fill and file and dispense medications which people from Paradise do not have with them. This is a demanding and thankless and exhausting task. And yet — I am the witness — they have been doing this without letup. Many have come in from surrounding towns, from Redding, to help and to keep the medications needed by a town of 30,000 displaced into a city of 80,000. Yes, the Walgreens pharmacists are leaving it all on the field.

RTWT

13 Nov 2018

It Was Bound to Happen

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I’m wondering if Trump will feel complimented, or if he’ll sue the pants off them for brand infringment.

04 Nov 2018

Arkansas Father’s Wedding Speech

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18 Oct 2018

Sears Used to Sell Schoolhouses

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I knew that Sears a hundred years ago would sell you a kit to build a house, but a schoolhouse? Amazing.

HT: Iowahawk.

15 Oct 2018

Hagerstown, Maryland 1937

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Visit an older America here.

14 Oct 2018

1938: (At or Near) Cumberland, Maryland or Cumberland, Kentucky

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https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8c02008

A mystery from Shorpy’s.

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