Showing posts with label the 1950's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the 1950's. Show all posts

Monday, May 15, 2017

One mad sentence from Neal Cassady

by Jack Brummet

Here is one sentence from madman Neal Cassady's autobiography, The First Third. NC was the star of Kerouac's On The Road and Kerouac was deeply influenced by Cassady's kaleidoscopic, profane, frenzied, letters and writings. Neal went on to drive Furthur, Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters psychedelic bus, and linking up the 50s beats and 60s hippies into one continuum.
"Like here it was that I entered that stage when a child overcomes enough to realize an adult's emotional reaction as somethimes freakish for its inconsistencies, so can, on his own reasoning canvas, paint those early pale colors of judgement, resulting from initial moments of ability to critically examine life's perplexities, in tentative little brain-engine stirrings, before they faded to quickly join that train of remembered experience carrying signals indicating existence which itself far outweighs traction effort by thinking's soon slipping drivers to effectively resist any slack-action advantage, for starting so necessitates continual cuts on the hauler - performed as if governed lifelong by the tagwork of a student-green foreman who, crushed under on rushing time always building against his excessive load of emotional contents, is forever a lost ball in the high weeds of personal developments - until, with ever changing emphasis through a whole series of grades of consciousness (leading up from root-beginnings of obscure childish inconscious soul within a world), early lack - for what child sustains logic? - reaches a point of late fossilization, resultant of repeated wrong moves in endless switching of dark significances crammed inside the cranium, where, through such hindering habits, there no longer is the flexibility for thought transfer and unloading of dead freight that a standard gauge would afford and thus, as Faustian Destiny dictates, is an inept mink, limited, being in existence firmly tracked just above the constant "T" biased ballast supporting wherever space yearnings lead the worn rails of civilized comprehension, so henceforth is restricted to mere pickups and setouts of drab distortion, while traveling wearily along its familiar Western Thinking right-of-way. But choo-choo nonsense aside ...”

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Playground rhymes of my youth

By Jack Brummet (High school class of 1971)

[to the tune of "On Top Of Old Smokey"]

On top of spaghetti, all covered in blood,
I shot my poor teacher with a 40 foot stud.

I shot her with glory, i shot her with pride,
I couldn't have missed her she was 40 feet wide.

I went to her funeral, I went to her grave,
Some people threw flowers, I threw a grenade.

I opened her coffin--she wasn't quite dead,
So I took a bazooka and blew off her head!


Everybody's doing it, doing it, doing it.
Picking their nose and chewing it, chewing it, chewing it.

Jingle bells,
Batman smells,
Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile lost a wheel
And Joker took ballet.

Engine Engine Number Nine
Going down Chicago line
If the train falls off the track
Do you want your money back?

Whistle while you work.
Hitler is a jerk.
Mussolini bit his weenie.
Now it doesn't work.

Whistle while you work
Hitler is a jerk
Rosellini bit his weenie
And now it will not squirt.

[Albert Rosellini who died a couple of years ago at age 100 was, until  his mid-90's, still practicing law in Seattle! He was governor of Washington State in my formative years from, 1957-1965.]

Tra la la boom de-ay
There was no school today.
Our teacher passed away,
She died of tooth decay!
Tra-la-la Boom de ay!
I took your pants away...

Tra-la-la Boom de ay!
Baffaro passed away
We threw him in the bay
And watched him float away.

[Peter Baffaro was the longtime principal of Kent Elementary, Kent, Washington]

Pants are on fire!
I don't care,
I don't care!
I can buy another pair!

Johnnie had a steamboat, Johnnie had a bell,
Johnnie pulled the wrong cord and blew it all to
Hello operator, give me number nine,
If you disconnect me, I'll kick you in the
Behind the 'fridgerator, there's a piece of glass,
Johnnie slipped on it, and it went up his
Ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies,
If you ever get hit with a bucket of s**t
Just be sure to close your eyes. 


Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream
Throw the teacher overboard and listen to her scream!

School's out, school's out,
The teacher let the monkeys out.
One went in, and one went out,
And one fell in the sauerkraut.

[At around the time I heard, and sang this ditty, Kent, Wash. was one of the largest sauerkraut producing regions in the country. I remember taking several tours of the Libby Sauerkraut plant. And they weren't alone...there were others. Not many Germans or Eastern Europeans lived in Kent, so I have to assume it was because Kent was a prime cabbage-growing area.]

It's Howdy Doody time
It ain't worth a dime
We'll turn to Channel Nine
And watch Frankenstein

Lincoln, Lincoln, I've been thinking,
What the hell have you been drinking?
Taste like beer smells like wine.
Oh my God it's Turpentine.

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I live in a Garbage Can.
I eat all the worms
And I spit out the Germs
I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man.

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I live in a frying pan
I turn up the heat
And I burn up my feet

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I live in a frying pan
I turn up the gas
And burn off my ass
I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I like me spinach and eggs
I like to go swimmin'
With bow-legged women
And swim between their legs 


[to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic] 

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the burning of the school
We have tortured all the teachers,
We have broken every rule
We have barbecued the principal,
And destroyed the PTA,
Our school keeps burning on.
Glory, glory hallelujah.
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I met her at the door with a loaded .44
Now she won't be teaching anymore! 


Saturday, February 07, 2015

This week marks both the birth and death of Neal Cassady

By Jack Brummet, Counterculture Ed.

It is the anniversary of Neal Cassady's birth and death this week.  Most articles talk about him being the basis for Dean Moriarty is Kerouac's On The Road. That's true. But Neal Cassady's writing style strongly influenced Kerouac and even caused him to abandon his Thomas Wolfe-style expansive prose for his more rollicking and open ended style of writing. Check out Neal's wonderful, sad, and insane autobiography The First Third (which includes a selection of the letters that caused Kerouac to adopt his "spontaneous prosody"). 


Monday, May 05, 2014

Kent, Washington's El Rancho Drive-In

By Jack Brummet, Green River Valley Ed.

There were three drive-ins in Kent, but we mostly went to the El Rancho, because it was cheap. They showed whatever was cheap to rent, like spaghetti westerns, scary movies like I Saw What You Did And I Know Who You Are, monster movies like The Blob, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or ass-kicking movies with Billie Jack, Charles Bronson, and Clint Eastwood.

If you were lucky, you might see an R-rated potboiler by Russ Meyers, like Vixen, or The Stewardesses.  There were also the memorable exploitation movies like Wife Swappers.  This is where I saw my first Woody Allen movie—Take The Money and Run.

There were several other El Ranchos around the country.  One survives in Nevada, at 555 El Rancho Dr, Sparks, NV 89431.

There were two other drive-ins in Kent: The Midway, on West Hill, which still exists, as a swap meet location (the screen has long been dead), and the Valley Drive-in (which closed in the last two years). 

The fantastic marquee out front showed a gigantic cowboy on the range, cooking bacon in a cast iron skillet over a campfire. At $3.50 a carload, so you could see a movie for about seventy-five cents.

Lining the street in front of the drive in were a row of stately Lombardy poplars. The El Rancho was torn down in 1975, but you can still see a few of those poplars, in between the concrete tilt-up buildings and warehouses.

More drive-ins close every year, but a few remain in Washington State, but a few remain:

  • Samish Twin Drive-In Theater, Bellingham
  • Auto Vue Theatre, Colville
  • Dayton Drive-in Theater, Dayton
  • Puget Park Drive-In, Everett
  • Your Drive In Theatre, Longview
  • Rodeo Tri Drive-In Theatre, Port Orchard
  • Blue Fox Drive-in Theater, Oak Harbor
  • River-Vue Drive-In, Pasco
  • Skyline Drive-In Theatre, Shelton (with an actual Indian totem pole at the entrance)
  • Wheel-In Motor Movie, Port Townsend
  • Vue Dale Drive In Theatre, Wenatchee
  • Country Drive In Theatre, Yakima

one of the two murals in front of the theatre

An aerial land survey view of the El Rancho before it was demolished

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It's Great To Be Alive—The Official Safety Manual

By Jack Brummet, Ephemera Editor

Sure, the cover of this little instructional booklet makes it look like an upbeat little tome.  But once you open it up, the casualties are high: deaths, maiming, molestation, chemical burns, suffocation,  and even a shoot-out.  This little pamphlet operates on the same principles as Red Asphalt: scare the little buggers into safety.  It almost feels like Jack Chick was a creative consultant on this one...

After the appearance of the police officer on page 2, the real mayhem begins.


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

J. Fred Muggs, TV's most famous chimpanzee, still alive and well in Florida at age 61

By Jack Brummet

The year I was born, one of the big stars of that fairly new medium television was a chimpanzee—J. Fred Muggs.

J Fred Muggs with Dave Garroway and Phoebe B. Beebee

J. Fred Muggs (born March 14, 1952) was the chimpanzee mascot for NBC's Today Show from 1953 to 1957.  Dave Garroway's show faltered in the ratings race (there was one?), but with the addition of Muggs, viewership soared and ad money started pouring in.  Muggs appeared—for obvious reasons—in diapers, 
The Russian newspaper, Izvestia, described J. Fred Muggs, as "a symbol of the American way of life", and said, "Muggs is necessary in order that the average American should not look into reports on rising taxes, and decreasing pay, but rather laugh at the funny mug of a chimpanzee."

A finger painting by Muggs appeared on the cover of Mad #38, and was the first celebrity to be featured on the cover of that magazine. However, around that time the chimp bit Mad editor Al Feldstein, and was apparently blacklisted.

J Fred Muggs is now 61 years old and lives with his longtime girlfriend Phoebe B. Beebe in Citrus Park, Florida.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Backlink of the day: Uncle Guy, more hillbilly cred, and living a good life

Jack's sister, Loa, Uncle Guy, and Jack

The backlink of the dayUncle Guy, more hillbilly cred, and living a good life—originally appeared here in January, 2006. Click here to read the story.