Visiting Ancestrial America

February 18, 2011
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Visiting Ancestrial America

In the summer of 1973, preceding my senior year in college, I arranged a special sociological field work project to take place in and around Duluth, Minnesota. The topic of my research paper was the American Indian and the recent cultural clashes with U.S. authorities and, moreover, the current state of reservation affairs. For companionship I took along my then girlfriend. I’m a quarter American Indian (my grandmother on my father’s (father #1) side) and so it was more or less a natural inclination to want to learn something about my own cultural heritage. If you see my oh,...
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Mea Culpa Poodle

February 9, 2011
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Mea Culpa Poodle

It’s probably unnecessary to publish a formal correction to an earlier essay since that’s really only applicable if you’re a news reporting agency. In addition, this corrects a case of misremembered identity of a dead dog so I’ve probably got no obligation there either. However, my since of fairness in a universe that doesn’t have any is the great overriding governor of my ethic so I must make amends. In the story, 10 More Musical Bookmarks, where I related the tragic tale of record destruction at the paws of my toy poodle, Pepe, I mistakenly named the wrong perpetrator...
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Rec Room Rectory

February 4, 2011
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Rec Room Rectory

And that title pretty much sums it up because throughout my youth the rec room in our basement was a sometimes room for entertaining but, more importantly, a sanctuary where I carried out my studies in music. The only child’s goto move is ‘alone time’ and much of that was spent sifting through mountains of albums, unconcerned with genre or style, breathing it all in like fresh air on a spring day. When I was old enough to play my dad’s records and, moreover, when I was old enough to buy them myself, I listened to anything and everything...
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10 More Musical Bookmarks

January 27, 2011
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10 More Musical Bookmarks

It was so much fun the first time that I’ve unleashed 10 more of my life’s musical bookmarks, songs or themes that will forever be associated with a time and place: 1) Ry Cooder – “Yellow Roses”: I’ve had an irrational love for this 1955 Hank Snow classic ever since I started tooling around the streets of Portland, Oregon and playing my 1976 cassette of Cooder’s Chicken Skin Music; caterwauling at the top of my lungs, “But I’ll still love you, though yellow roses say goodbye”. It’s the quintessential broken hearted dirge that is chock full of schmaltz and...
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Lunch at Linebaugh’s

January 20, 2011
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Lunch at Linebaugh’s

The late, great, John Hartford (bluegrass/songwriter) was an early musical inspiration of mine and in 1972 we were both working on our hippie persona, mine in college and his as a recording artist, releasing some of his most clever and creative albums. One of the songs on his Morning Bugle album of that year was something called “Nobody Eats at Linebaugh’s Anymore”, a melodic lament about the Grand Ole Opry moving from Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium downtown out to its new home within a theme park. Linebaugh’s sandwich shop and a couple other references were adjacent to Ryman and...
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The ‘Toby’ Home Defense Kit

January 13, 2011
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The ‘Toby’ Home Defense Kit

When I was 8 years old, an elderly friend of my mother’s, Mrs. Smith, passed away and we agreed to adopt her beloved dog, Toby, a Spaniel of some sort. Not being especially adept at breed identification, I wouldn’t be able to offer much else about his origin. On the other hand, if Toby were behind a screen, like on The Dating Game, I’d be able, judging by his responses (if he could speak), to pick him out of a crowd based on his eccentricities. Toby was about 13 at the time we got him, and I think that...
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10 Musical Bookmarks

January 5, 2011
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10 Musical Bookmarks

Music denotes points of interest along the road of life, bookmarks if you will. We’ve all got events, significant or outright mundane, that are made memorable because of a song or piece of music that will forever elicit a memory. Since I’ve become quite a fan of randomness, here are several of mine in no particular order: 1) Chris Montez – “Let’s Dance”: Me and a buddy were always looking for a place to ‘camp out’ since that gave us the go ahead to talk the puberty talk and speculate on what we would do if we did have...
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Alone Again, Naturally?

December 15, 2010
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Alone Again, Naturally?

Because there was no father on hand and because my mother tried to have a life even while caring for an only child, I did a lot of things on my own that would probably have been more enjoyable in a larger family environment. But at the time I didn’t have anything to compare it to so when Christmas time came around I began to plot the blossoming of the yuletide environment in our house. I looked forward to it because I loved the decorations, the ritual of trimming the tree and the holiday accoutrement that would bring the...
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Set ‘Em Up, Joe: The True Story of Rudolph

December 8, 2010
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Set ‘Em Up, Joe: The True Story of Rudolph

There’s been plenty of speculation over the decades as to the source of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’s nice shiny red schnoz and most of it centers around some kind of lazy DNA. Thanks to 2009 being the last year of Rudolph’s legal suppression of the true story, this December it can finally be told in its entirety (or as much as we’re privy). Originally meant to be published in the December 2010 edition of Stag Magazine, the mag’s previous demise has canceled this clause of the ‘Rudolph Contract’ leaving the story completely open to whomever has the gall...
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