Monday, August 31, 2009

Spanish-American War Cannon in Galena,Illinois-- Part 1

Came across an article about cannons in Grant Park, and one of them was a captured "magnificent trophy of war" captured from the Spanish cruiser Vizcaya at the Battle of Santiago Bay during the Spanish-American War.

Less than a year later, after efforts by US Congressman Robert Hitt, a rail car arrived in Galena carrying a 5-ton, 19-foot long cannon. It was dedicated at Galena's annual Grant Birthday Celebration April 27, 1899. It was rededicated in 1999, on the hundredth anniversary.

There are two other captured Confederate cannons from the Civil War in the park as well as a captured World War I German howitzer.

I've never heard of Grant Park despite visiting Galena many times over the years. I'll definitely have to go there he next time I'm in town.

From the Spring-Summer 2009 Galenian.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Galena, Illinois's, a Historical Town

Tuesday, we visited Galena, Illinois, where we went on our honeymoon 36 years ago. It is sometimes called the "Town That History Forgot."

At one time it was bigger than Chicago and the site of a lead boom back in the 1840s, its riverfront crowded with steamships. After the lead boom went bust, time more or less forgot the town and its main street began a long, slow period of decline.

That is, until the late 1960s, when Galenians and others began to realize the architectural heritage they had. Old buildings were bought and converted into antique and upscale souvenirs, restaurants opened, and people began flocking in large numbers to the town, in northwest Illinois, very close to Iowa and Wisconsin.

Today, a walk down Main Street is to walk back into the 1840s.

And, then there is that wonderful terrain out in this part of Illinois, which makes it especially beautiful come fall when the trees change. New England doesn't have anything on us.

The Town that Time Forgot. --Cooter

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dead Page: Flamingos and Dells

JOHN E. CARTER 1934-2009

In Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Twice

Chicago native John E. Carter was in two important R&B groups, the Flamingos and the Dells. He is best-known for the Dells hit "Oh What a Night." He died August 20th.

In 1952, at age 18, he formed the Flamingos. The group eventually had nine national chart hits including "I Only Have Eyes for You" and "I'll Be Home" about a serviceman promising to return to his girlfriend. Shortly after this, he was drafted himself.

When he returned, the Flamingos had replaced him. In 1960, he joined the Dells founded by friends from Thornton Township High School in Harvey. Their biggest hit, "Oh, What a Night" was about a party thrown for the band and had been written in 1956. It was rereleased in 1969, with Mr. Carter singing back-up vocals and reached #1 on the R&B and top ten on the pop charts and sold over a million copies.

This lineup continued recording together into the 1990s and they were the inspiration for the 1999 movie "The Five Heartbeats."

I have the Dells single, several of their albums as well as a Flamingos.

Kind of strange, but as I am typing this, I'm listening to John FM on the internet, playing Beach Music out of the Georgia and South Carolina coast, and they just played "Wear it On Our Face" by the Dells. How strange is that?

From August 24th Chicago Tribune

Sunday, August 23, 2009

HMAS Sydney Court of Inquiry

Last week, an Australian Commission of Inquiry released its findings on the sinking of the HMAS Sydney on November 19, 1941. The ship was lost because of the "almost inexplicable" error of the Sydney's captain.

It dismissed all the conspiracy theories such as a Japanese submarine sinking it, but kept secret because Japan had not yet entered the war.

Also dismissed was that the Kormoran tricked the Sydney calling that there was an emergency and machine-gunned the survivors in the water.

What it did find was that Captain Joseph Burnett did not order his crew to battle stations when the German raider Kormoran (disguised as a Dutch freighter) was seen. Burnett knew that a German raider had been seen in the area shortly before the tragic day.

The Kormoran used the surprise to rake the Sydney with more than 80 high explosive shells and a torpedo. The German ship was irreparably damaged with 80 of the 400 crew killed. The ship had explosives set and was then scuttled.

AFP August 14th.

Thus Ends a Sad Part of Australian History. --Cooter

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sinking of HMT Bedfordshire Off Ocracoke, NC-- Part 1

Since I have been on the subject of the U-boat war fought off the east coast of the United States in World War II, I will continue with another story, this time about the loss of the HMT (His Majesty's Trawler) Bedfordshire May 11, 1942 with the loss of all hands. I mentioned it in yesterday's entry about looking for World War II wrecks off North Carolina's coast.

The Bedfordshire was a British armed anti-submarine trawler, built in 1935 as a commercial fishing trawler and acquired by the Admiralty in 1939 and armed with a 4-inch gun, machine gun, and depth charges to be used against German U-boats. It weighed 443 tons, was 162 feet long, and had a 27 foot beam.

Things were going badly for Allied ships off the US coast in the early part of World War II. In January 1942, 35 ships were sunk. The US was ill-prepared for submarine warfare at the time. Between February and April, another 45 went down. Only one submarine, the U-85, was sunk during this time.

Britain decided to help the Americans and detached 24 ships to the US, including the Bedfordshire.

On May 10, 1942, the HMT Loman and HMT Bedfordshire were dispatched from their base in Morehead City to look for a U-boat seen off Ocracoke Island. It turned out to be the U-558.

From Wikipedia.

More to Come. --Cooter

Britain's Last Surviving World War I Veteran

July 27th Australian.

Anne Pow interrupted her 80th birthday party celebration to call her father, Claude Choules that he was now the last British survivor of World War I. But Choules, 108, did not seem too impressed. "Everything comes to those who wait and wait," he replied with a smile.

He sreved in the Royal Navy and now lives in Perth, Australia. Harry Patch, the last trench veteran died July 25th and his friend, veteran Henry Alligham, died the week before at age 113.

Choules served aboard the HMS Revenge and witnessed the surrender of the German Imperial Navy in 1918 and its scuttling at Scapa Flow.

He told his children that war has some moments of extreme danger, but is boring most of the time. He worked 41 years as an explosives expert and served in both World Wars. In 1926, he seconded to the Australian Navy and served in it until 1956. (Not sure what seconded means.)

He was married to Ethel from Scotland for 80 years. She lived to be 98.

He is now at the Perth Graceland Hostel and lived on his own until just a few years ago. He also was a noted dancer.

Mrs. Pow said her father was quite a fiery person in his youthful days, but has calmed down in his later life, which she says enabled him to live as long.

He was born in Pershore, England in March 1901. At age 15, in 1916, he joined the Royal Navy and served aboard the HMS Impregnible.

The only two other remaining World War I veterans are Frank Buckles, 108, from the US, and John Babcock, 109, of Canada, but living in the US. Neither saw combat in the war.

The Noblest Generation. Both of My Grandfathers Were in World War I as Well. --Cooter

Dead Page: "I'll Never Understand Why I Chased Sound All My Life"-- Part 3

LES PAUL 1915-2009

In 2005, Les Paul was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

He dubbed this new electric guitar, "The Log."

Besides the guitar, Mr. Paul worked with multi-track recording.

After getting together with future wife Mary Ford in the 1940s, he found a way to overdub and echo oh her voice and their two guitars, laying multiple layers on a recording, thus creating a "New Sound."

He and Mary Ford then had a string of hit songs, often rerecordings of old standards: "Mockin' Bird Hill," "The World is Waiting for Sunrise," "Bye Bye Blues, "I'm Sitting on Top of the World," and "Tiger Rag." And then there were those two giant hits: "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios."

At one point, 13 straight tunes by them sold more than 500,000 copies. But once Rock and Roll got started in the late fifties, that was the end of their chart success.

He was born Lester William Polsfuss on June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Waukesha is not too far from us. Hope they open a museum for Les Paul.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking for World War II Wrecks Off North Carolina Coast

When people thing of World War II wrecks, they think the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic closer to Europe and Africa. But quite a few ships met their end off the east coast of the US, especially in the waters off North Carolina.

The August 7th Wilmington Star News had an article "Expedition aims to find and preserve lost WWII wrecks."

A three-fourths-size replica of the German submarine U-352 is part of the Living Shipwreck exhibit at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.

Local historian Wilber Jones remembers finding war debris washed ashore at Wrightsville Beach.

These wrecks and their remains are being lost very quickly as 60+ years under water are taking their toll.

An expedition has a three week mission to survey what remains.

U-boats found easy prey along the Carolina Coast, so much so that the stretch from Cape Fear to Norfolk became known as "Torpedo Junction. Ships were torpedoed frequently, often within sight of the coast.


WRECKS

Some of the wrecks:

Tanked John D. Gill sunk March 1942 off Southport. I wrote quite a bit about it over the last few days.

U-353-- sunk off Cape Lookout

Three other U-boats

Several British merchant and military vessels

HMT Bedfordshire sunk off Ocracoke Island in 1942

It will be interesting to read about what they found. I'll definitely write about it.

Always Interested in Sunken Ships. --Cooter

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Night to Remember: The Sinking of the John D. Gill-- Part 5

The submarine that sank the Gill, the U-158, was sunk itself west of Bermuda on January 30, 1942 with no survivors.

The hospital staff at Southport worked 20 straight hours. "We didn't think that even half of them hardly could live," said Josephine Laughlin, 80, a volunteer Red Cross nurse, as the 11 survivors were being treated.

Sixteen bodies were brought in. "They were burned so bad their flesh would come off in your hands," said Joseph Laughlin, then 15 and whose father was hospital manager.

Tingzon was among the dead. Efforts were made to find his family in the Philippines, but they failed, and he was buried in Southport's cemetery.

And, some believe that the US Merchant Marine doesn't deserve credit for their service in World War I. How could they not?

The John D. Gill is loacted in 70-90 feet of water about 25 miles off the Cape fear River's mouth.

Let's Honor These Brave Men as Well. --Cooter

A Night to Remember: The Sinking of the John D. Gill-- Part 4

"We really wanted to get at least one shot off, but the sub would have come up outside the fire and we wouldn't have seen it anyway. The fire was too bright,: said Gary Potts.

Flames from the burning ship came ever closer to the ammunition box which began to bubble. Their officer said, "Let's get the hell out of here."

Lifeboats were in flames, so they they jumped overboard into the fire.

Potts did not jump as was the prescribed method. He dove. Had he jumped straight down, he would have broken both feet on the hull of an capsized lifeboat. As it was, his toes clipped it.

The ship's propellers were still turning and Gardner watched two men get pulled into them.

Most of the survivors had at least third degree burns.

The Gill sank at 9 AM and the men spent all night in a lifeboat until picked up by Coast Guard cutter USCGC-186 at 7:05 AM.

A Story of Valiant Men. More to Come. --Cooter

Another Woodstock Album

After the success of the first triple LP "Woodstock" album, Cotillion Records came out with a follow-up 2 LP album in 1971, "Woodstock II," featuring a bunch of naked kids playing a drum set and photos of the aftermath.

I have this one as well.

The songs on the four sides.

SIDE ONE

1. Jam Back at the House-- Jimi Hendrix
2. Izabella-- Jimi Hendrix
3. Get My Heart back Together-- Jimi Hendrix


SIDE TWO

1. Saturday Afternoon/Won't You Try-- Jefferson Airplane
2. Eskimo Blue Day-- Jefferson Airplane
3. Everything's Gonna Be Alright-- The Butterfield Blues Band


SIDE THREE

1. Sweet Sir Galahad-- Joan Baez
2. Guinnevere-- CSNY
3. 4 + 20-- CSNY
4. Marrakesh Express-- CSNY
5. My Beautiful People-- Melanie
6. Birthday of the Sun-- Melanie


SIDE FOUR

1. Blood of the Sun-- Mountain
2. Theme for an Imaginary Western-- Mountain
3. Woodstock Boogie-- Canned Heat
4. Audience During the Sunday Rainstorm Let the Sunshine In

I understand there is a new CD set out with several more hours of previously unreleased music. I may have to check into it.

Would've Liked to Have Been There. --Cooter

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dead Page: "I'll Never Understand Why I Chased Sound All My Life"-- Part 2

LES PAUL 1915-2009

Special to Tribune Newspapers by Claudia Luther. August 14th

"Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist, entertainer and relentless innovator whose drive to produce the sounds he wanted for his recordings and instruments helped pave the way for rock 'n'roll, died Thursday. He was 94."

After leading the house band on Chicago's WJJD radio, he became very popular in the 1950s with songs recorded with wife, singer Mary Ford, in songs like "Vaya Con Dios" and "How High the Moon."

INVENTIONS

However, it will be his inventions that put him a step above. They include an early electric guitar and multi-tracking.

"Ironically, the onset of rock 'n' roll--with its heavy emphasis on the electric guitar--ended Mr. Paul's and his wife's prominence on the music scene."

ELECTRIC GUITAR

In the early 20s, many were trying to figure out how to amplify a guitar. Paul tried using a phonograph needle, telephone mouthpiece, and a radio speaker and it got louder, but developed problems with feedback. He realized the guitar's hollow body was the culprit and wouldn't be needed.

Solution? Fill it with something. Mr. Paul tried socks and shirts and even plaster of Paris, which caused other problems.

Then, it came to him. How about a solid piece of wood? He attached electric pickups and strings to a 4-by-4 piece of pine about 12 inches long and he got what he wanted. But, did that ever look stupid. Solution? Cut the guitar in half lengthwise and bolt wood to the back of it. Electric Guitar invented.

Such a Genius.

Dead Page: "I'll Never Understand Why I Chased Sound All My Life." --Part 1

LES PAUL 1915-2009

Guitarist's fiddling changed rock 'n' roll

Inventor and musician made sound innovations

By Claudia Luther, special to Tribune Newspapers

I've grown up always hearing about Les Paul and his contributions to Rock and Roll, but other than knowing he had some songs and invented what we know as the electric guitar, I didn't know that much about him.

That is because the very thing that enabled rock also led to his fall from the recording star category. I saw a special on PBS Saturday about his life, and this is one man I would have liked to meet.

He was quite a character,even into his nineties. We can only hope he died with an electric guitar in his hands.

More to Come.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Night to Remember" The Sinking ofthe John D. Gill-- Part 3

The Story of the Sinking

The night of March 11, 1942, the Gill put into Charleston, SC after planes spotted a sub tailing it. At 12:45 the next day, they were given the all-clear to continue on to the Atlantic Refining Company in Philadelphia.

Herbert Gardner, 22, a wiper on the Gill, was sitting in the mess about 10 PM and wondering what he would do if the Gill were ever torpedoed. At 10:15, he got his answer. "When it hit, it was like it picked the chair up and moved it out from under me. We knew what had happened."

Outside, someone had thrown a life preserver into the oil slick. It was equipped with a self-igniting carbide flare, which burst. "When this happened..., we started burning. That was West Texas crude; it had a very high gasoline content, said Floyd Ready.

Ready, Gardner, and Potts made their way to the stern where a 5-51 breech-loader gun was and met the rest of the crew. They stayed at their post 15 minutes after the rest of the crew had abandoned the ship.

Sailing on board a ship loaded with potentially explosive oil through U-boat infested waters is not my idea of something I would like to do.

Continued. --Cooter

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Night to Remember: The Sinking of the John D. Gill-- Part 2

The HMdb, Historical Marker Database had a Marker of the Week located in Southport, North Carolina. The article said that World War II markers in the US, other than memorials are rare because with few exceptions, the war didn't reach our shores.

But, there is a marker here for a Filipino mess boy and others who died in the 1942 sinking of a US Merchant Marine tanker off Fort Fisher and the Cape Fear River by a German U-boat.

The marker is dedicated to the memory of Catalino Tingzon who was on the tanker SS John D. Gill which was torpedoed and sunk off the Cape Fear by the U-158, March 12, 1942. The citizens of Southport cared for the survivors.

This article got me to researching more into the sinking.

More to Come. --Cooter

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"War Isn't Worth One Life."-- Part 2

he route the procession for Harry Patch took covered a mile from the nursing home where he died to the cathedral. After the service, he was buried where he was born, in the mining village of Combe Down, twenty miles northeast of Wells.

When war was declared in 1914, Mr. Patch felt no desire to enlist, but he was drafted two years later and sent to France with the 7th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. He was part of the British offensive which began July 31, 1917 at the Third Battle of Ypres. During the month of August, it rained all but three days in what Patch described as "mud, mud, and more mud mixed together with blood."

He was wounded September 22nd in a shell blast that killed three members of his gun team. The offensive went on until November 6th when the British command claimed victory after having advanced five miles and captured what was left of the Village of Passchendaele. Nearly 600,00 were killed and wounded on both sides.

In 2007, Mr. Patch wrote a book of his experiences with historian Richard van Emden, called "The Last Fighting Tommy." "Tommy" is the name British soldiers are often called. On November 11, 2008, Mr. Patch joined two other British veterans of the war, Henry Allingham and Bill Stone at the National Remembrance Observance of the 90th anniversary of the end of the war. Since then, all three have died: Allingham at age 113 the week before Patch, and Stone at age 108 on January 10th.

Getting Near the Last of the Noblest Generation.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Night to Remember: Sinking of the John D. Gill in WWII-- Part 1

Three survivors, then in their 70s, returned to Southport, NC, in 1994, to commemorate the sinking of the tanker ship John D. Gill, torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II off the North Carolina coast.

The ship was hit amidships and Texas crude came from the hole. Within a minute, an oil slick coated the sea and an instant later, it erupted in an inferno. Fifty-eight men scrambled for their lives. Only 26 made it. Eleven were brought to Southport to recuperate at Dosher Memorial Hospital.

Sixteen bodies were brought ashore and one, Catalino Tingzon, was buried at Northwood Cemetery where a monument was dedicated March 12, 1994, to him and the crew of the Gill.

This is just one story about the largely forgotten, but extremely dangerous war played out off the eastern coast of the the United States during World War II. Many merchant ships were sunk and sailors killed in the effort to keep our troops supplied with weapons and supplies.

Sadly, even to this day, those Merchant Marine sailors and officers who risked their lives are still having to fight for the recognition they so rightfully deserve.

From "SS John D. Gill: A Night to Remember."

It's Time to Give the Credit They Deserve. --Cooter

Friday, August 14, 2009

"War Isn't Worth One Life."-- Part 1

Britain's Final WWI Infantryman Honored at Funeral.

By Robert Barr, AP

"He was a soldier, a survivor of the trenches--and, in later years, an advocate for peace." Harry Patch only began talking about his experiences in the trenches the last few years of his long life. He was buried in Wells, England, having survived two wives and two sons. He had an honor guard from the Rifles Regiment, successor to his WWI unit.

Patch claimed he never shot a German in combat, but did shoot at the legs of a German soldier charging with his bayonet., "He called out something to me in German, I don't suppose it was complimentary, but for him, the war was over. I've often wondered whether he realized that I gave him his life. He was no more than fifteen yards away when I shot him. I couldn't miss, not with a Webley service revolver, not at that range."

Of the 8.5 million who died in the war, "Too many died. War isn't worth one life."

As We Come Up on the 40th Anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival-- Part 5

Continuing with the great triple LP Woodstock album

SIDE FOUR

Crowd Rain Chant

1. Soul Sacrifice-- Santana

Stage Announcements

2. I'm Going Home-- Ten Years After


SIDE FIVE

1. Volunteers-- Jefferson Airplane (Morning maniac music)

Max Yasgur-- (I'm just a farmer)

2. Medley: Dance to the Music/Music Lover/I Want to take You Higher-- Sly & the Family Stone (Who's stoned?)

3. Rainbows All Over Your Blues-- John Sebastian (Again, who's stoned?)


SIDE SIX

1. Love March-- Butterfield Blues Band

2. Star Spangled Banner-- Jimi Hendrix

3. Purple Haze & Instrumental Solo-- Jimi Hendrix (Scuse Me While I...)

Now, There's Some Really Good Music!! --Da Coot

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chicago and the John Hughes Connection

The August 7th Tribune also had a map of Chicago's North Shore and sites that played parts in his films.

He attended Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, and he definitely returned to his roots for these movies.

1. "Home Alone" MACALLISTER HOUSE, 671 Lincoln Avenue., Winnetka
2. "Uncle Buck"- FAMILY HOME, 2604 Lincoln St., Evanston
3. "The Breakfast Club" SHERMER HIGH SCHOOL, Illinois State Police Station, 9511 Harrison Street, Des Plaines

4. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"- HIGH SCHOOL, Glenbrook North High School, 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook
5. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"- BEACH, Glencoe Beach, Park and Longwood Avenue, Glencoe
6. "Sixteen Candles"- CHURCH, Glencoe Union Church, 263 Park Ave., Glencoe

7. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"- CAMERON'S HOUSE-- 370 Beech Street, Highland Park
8. "Sixteen Candles"-- HIGH SCHOOL--New Trier High School, 385 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka
9. "Uncle Buck"-- SCHOOL-- New Trier Extension, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield

And These Are Just Some of the Chicagoland Areas. Cooter

Dead Page: Director Really Put Chicago on the Map-- Part 2

Any list of movies from 1983 to 1990 would prominently feature his name as either writer (W) or director (D). He was prolific in this period. As I said, I liked all these movies, and especially the ones with asterisks (*).

1983 Mr. Mom (W)
1983 Vacation (W)*
1984 Sixteen Candles (W, D)
1985 European Vacation (W)
1985 Breakfast Club (W, D)*
1985 Weird Science (W, D)
1986 Pretty in Pink (W)
1986 Ferris Bueller's Day Off (W, D)*
1987 Planes, Train and Automobiles (W,D)*
1988 The Great Outdoors (W)*
1989 Uncle Buck (W, D)*
1990 Home Alone (W)

This guy was hot. He also used one of my favorite actors, John Candy, in Vacation; Planes Trains and Automobiles, and the Great Outdoors.

Often, it was of rich North Shore kids, teen angst, and some pretty dumb teachers and administrators. As a teacher, I didn't know about the dumb teachers.

But anyway, the world was a much more enjoyable place with Mr. Hughes a part of it. Thanks, John.

Dead Page: Director Really Put Chicago on the Map

JOHN HUGHES, 59

I just barely know the names of actors and actresses today, and most of them I have never even heard of. I'm even worse when it comes to directors, even though I am familiar with some of their names. Just ask anyone when I'm playing NTN, any question about directors and their movies, and I'm dead in the water.

I must admit that I had heard of John Hughes before, but couldn't have told you the names of any of his movies, but I definitely knew his movies. Many of them were in my absolute favorite category.

Even better, many of his movies were filmed in and around the Chicagoland area.

His death last Thursday in New York City came as a shock, especially with his age of just 59.

The August 7th Chicago Tribune ran a special obituary in the entertainment section by Mike Caro.

He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and worked at Leo Burnett advertising in Chicago before writing the screen plays of "Mr. Mom" and "National Lampoon's Vacation" in 1983. After that came a slew of great movies that he directed like "Breakfast Club," ""Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

I'll Have More of His Movies .

What's in a Name: Get to the "Shack"

The August 9th Chicago Tribune had an article "What's in a Name" by Wailin Wong talking about when companies change their names and why.

RADIO SHACK said its changing its name to just The Shack in order to become more relevant as a lot of people don't even know what radio is anymore. Hey, can I download it?

PIZZA HUT was originally going to be Pizza Shack, but they didn't have enough room on the sign, so iot became Hut.

OLD NAME-- NEW NAME, AND WHY

KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN-- KFC--to push its non-fried offerings. Fried is very limiting. Hey, we grill as well.

GALVIN MANUFACTURING CORP-- MOTOROLA--As an update of its image to emphasize a hit product, in this case, Motorola was a hit car radio introduced in 1930. Dropped founding family name, Galvin in 1947.

MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO.-- PANASONIC CORP.-- Matsushita was founded in 1918 and wanted to unify its image under its popular Panasonic brand. I always thought it was just Panasonic. Change became official just last year.

VALUJET AIRLINES-- AIRTRAN AIRWAYS-- ValuJet acquired AirTran in 1997 and took that name, no doubt to forget about the 1996 ValuJet crash near Miami that killed all 110 aboard.

Guess I Have to Update the Cooter's History Thing Blog Name. How About "The Coot's Hoot?" --Cooter

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

As We Come Up on the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock Music Festival---- Part 4

Again, 40 YEARS ago, give me a break. There is NO WAY it could have been that long ago!!!

In case it's been awhile since you listened to your three album Woodstock album, these are the songs. I'd play every first side then flip it over and play all the second sides. Then repeat the process again, again, and again.

Liz's dad, upset about the nudity and drugs, actually destroyed her first album of Woodstock. She had to get afferent to buy a new copy and then had to keep it hidden from him.

SIDE 1

1. I HAD A DREAM-- JOHN SEBASTIAN
2. GOING UP THE COUNTRY-- CANNED HEAT (Could they have sung it any worse?)

Stage Announcements

3. FREEDOM-- RICHIE HAVENS
4. ROCK % SOUL MUSIC-- COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH
5. COMING INTO LOS ANGELES-- ARLO GUTHRIE
6. AT THE HOP-- SHA NA NA

SIDE 2

1. THE "FISH" Cheer/I-FEEL-LIKE-I'M-FIXIN'-TO-DIE-- COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH
2. DRUG STORE BTRUCK DRIVIN' MAN-- JOAN BAEZB FEATURING JEFFREY SHURTLEFF
3. JOE HILL- JOAN BAEZ (Two by Joan, none by CCR!!)

Stage Announcements

4. SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES-- CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
5. SEA OF MADNESS-- CROSBY STILLS & NASH


SIDE 3

1. WOODEN SHIPS-- CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
2. WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (FROM "TOMMY"-- WHO

Stage Announcements

3. WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS-- JOE COCKER

Rainstorm, Crowd Sounds, Announcements & General Hysteria

And, It's Not Over Yet. --Cooter

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Billy the Kid Back in the News

Back on August 7th, I wrote about Billy the Kid being really right-handed despite appearing left-handed in the famous photograph.

The August 6th Chicago Tribune had an article by Deborah Baker of AP "His notorious hand also gripped a pen" about a letter that has been found written by one William H. Bonney, one of the aliases used by Henry McCarty, also known as Billy the Kid, Scourge of the West.

He wrote it to the territorial governor of New Mexico, Lew Wallace, of Civil War and Ben Hur fame. It began, "Dear Sir, I wish you would come down to jail and see me." At the time, Billy was being held in jail. Four months later, he was shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

This March 1881 letter and another one are now on public display at the Frey Angelico Chavez History Library in Santa Fe.

They were written in the aftermath of the "Lincoln County War, a bloody five-month shootout in 1878 between mercantile interests in the town of Lincoln, New Mexico. Billy said he'd testify in court about a murder he witnessed if, in return, he was protected from his enemies and indictments against him dropped.

Hardly the stuff of a really hard, bad guy.

Poor Old Billy. --Coot

As We Come Up on the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock-- Part 3

My all-time favorite group, Creedence Clearwater Revival performed on Saturday, but for some reason, were cut out of the movie and album. Too bad. Plus, it would have been good to have had the Beatles reunite and Rolling Stones play there.

Wikipedia has a complete set list of all the groups who appeared. Since the powers that be didn't include anything CCR, here is what they played:

1. Born on the Bayou
2. Green River
3. Ninety-nine and a Half Won't Do
4. Commotion
5. Bootleg
6. Bad Moon Rising
7. Proud Mary
8. I Put a Spell on You
9. Night Time Is the Right Time
10. Keep on Chooglin'
11. Suzie-Q

Shouldn't Have Left Off JF and Crew. --Da Coot

As We Come Up on the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock-- Part 2

Country Joe McDonald appeared by himself on Saturday without his band, the Fish. He did the "Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die-Rag). He did it again on Sunday, but this time with the Fish. The FISH Cheer, "Give me an F" normally was just that, spelling out the word FISH. However, at Woodstock, it became a swear word. In 1970, he was arrested for obscenity for the swear word version.

The "Fixin'-to-Die-Rag" is also known as the "Vietnam Song," and is well known to my age group. I remember while at Quantico, Virginia, my platoon getting into big trouble with the drill sergeants singing it on our way to Washington, DC, to see the Marine Drill Team. We sure paid for it the following day at PT, which was particularly intense.

Give Me an "F!" --Cooter

Monday, August 10, 2009

As We Come Up on the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock-- Part 1

This weekend will mark the actual weekend and the 40th anniversary of a music celebration that brought the music home, Woodstock.

I'll be spotlighting it some. I didn't really know anything about it beforehand, until I heard about it on the radio and TV who were talking about the crowds and traffic jams. When I came across a list of the performers, I decided I would really like to go.

Living in Palatine, Illinois, I knew there was a nearby town in McHenry County called Woodstock, so that must be where they were holding it. I drove there, but for some reason could not find it. Then, I found out it was in Mew York.

Well, That Explained It. No Wonder I Couldn't Find It. --Da Coot

Saturday, August 8, 2009

World War II in August

The August monthly calendar of the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor features a poster for joining the Marines from WW II. It shows a chiseled USMC sergeant in dress blues, hands clasped behind his back with the words "Ready-- Join US Marines-- Land Sea Air. Apply, or write to nearest recruiting station."

The two pictures had one of Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr, pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, waving from the cockpit before take-off, 6 August 1945.

The second picture shows "Gaunt allied prisoners of war at Amori camp near Yokahoma cheer rescuers from US Navy. Waving flags of the United States, Great Britain and Holland." Japan, August 29, 1945.

Some World War II Events:

August 6, 1945-- Atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima
August 7, 1942-- US Marines land on Guadalcanal
August 9, 1945-- second atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki
August 14, 1945-- VJ Day (Victory Over Japan)-- It's FINALLY over!!

Sure Am Enjoying This Calendar. Hope They have the Same Format Next Year. I'll Be Sure to Get One.

www.pacificaviationmuseum.org

Real Public Enemies-- Part 2

5. "TERRIBLE" TOMMY O'CONNOR was convicted of killing a Chicago cop and was awaiting the hangman in 1921, but got ahold of a gun (possibly smuggled into jail in a pork chop sandwich) and escaped. He then did several car-jackings before disappearing for good. The good city of Chicago held onto the gallows until 1977 in hopes of using them to execute O'Connor, but he was never seen or heard from again.

6. NAT TURNER was a desperado, but also a freedom fighter. Guided by visions, he led a Virginia slave uprising in 1831 that massacred 55 whites before he was captured and hanged. In 1821, Turner had escaped slavery, but returned in order to free the slaves.

7. DILLINGER was behind bars when BONNIE PARKER and CLYDE BARROW were robbing banks. He became annoyed that they were hitting only small banks and complained that they were "giving bank robbing a bad name."

Well, there weren't ten.

Will the Real "Terrible" Tommy Please Stand Up? --Da Coot

Friday, August 7, 2009

Real Public Enemies-- Part 1

The June 28th Chicago Tribune's "Ten Things You Might Not Know" column was about Desperadoes in honor of the release of the movie Johnny Depp. Again, Mark Jacob does a great job compiling a list of interesting facts and pictures.

Search Chicago Tribune 10 Things You Might Not Know for more of his excellent columns. This would be a good way to approach history in schools.


1. A Wyoming bad-guy was known as "Big Nose George" Parrot who tried to derail a payroll train by removing the spikes on the rails. He and an accomplice killed two members of a posse that went after him. Captured and hanged in 1881, a local physician skinned his body, tanned it, and made it into a pair of shoes.


2. The famous photo of William Bonney, Billy the Kid, shows him holding a Winchester carbine in his right hand and a pistol holstered on his left hip, leading folks to deduce he was left-handed. But the photo is a tintype, which means the photo reversed. So Billy used his right hand to shoot the pistol.


3. The lady in red, Ana Sage, who helped the FBI ambush John Dillinger outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, wasn't wearing red. She had on an orange skirt that looked red under the marquee lights.


4. The movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" had them dying in 1908 in Bolivia. But, it is not certain that Butch met his end there. His sister said he visited her in 1922, and others suspect he was known as William Phillips and died in Spokane, Washington, in the 1930s.

More Bad Guys to Come. -- Da Bad Coot

A Look at GM-- Part 2

Comparing General Motors at its peak, in 2008, and in the future with the "New GM."

US EMPLOYEES-- 1979- 618,365; 2008- 35,100; Future- 27,200

PLANTS-- Not available; 2008- 47; Future 33

DEALERSHIPS-- 1956- 18,500; 2008- 6,224; Future- 3,600

MARKET SHARE-- 1954-- 54%; 2008- 22.2%; Future- 15.4%

PRODUCTION-- 1978- 7,653,821; 2008- 3,258,413; Future- ?

US SALES-- 1978- 6,902,728; 2008- 3,563,991; Future- ?

NET INCOME-- 1995- $6.88 billion; 2008- Loss of $30.86 billion; Future- ?

Pretty Sad Numbers Indeed. --Cooter

A Look at GM-- Part 1

The June 2nd Chicago Tribune had a graphic on General Motors as they were declaring bankruptcy.

US Annual Sales for 2008

Chevrolet-- 1.8 million
GMC-- 361,739
Cadillac-- 161,159
Buick-- 137,197
Hummer-- 27,485
Saturn-- 188,004
Pontiac-- 267,348

I would think that they should have, based on sales, dropped Cadillac or Buick before Pontiac. But Pontiacs are pretty close to Chevies, only sportier.

Years in operation for GM. The start dates were in five year increments on the bar graph, so might not be exact.

OLDSMOBILE-- 1905-2004
PONTIAC-- 1910- phased out 2010
BUICK-- 1905-present
CADILLAC-- 1909-present
GMC-- 1909-present
HOLDEN-- 1934-present
GM CANADA-- 1916-present
DAEWOO-- 2003- present (Woo What?)
SAAB-- 1990-present
VAUXHALL-- 1926-present (never heard of it)
OPEL-- 1929-present

How the Mighty Have Fallen. --Cooter

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Other Events of 1969-- Part 4

Continuing with 1969 events and how they stacked up against the Moon Landing in accordance to me.


"THE BRADY BUNCH" PREMIERS-- > I hate to admit this, but I had a crush on Marsha, plus, I only watched the Moon Landing once, this, many times. Hanging my head with shame.

BEATLES RELEASE "ABBEY ROAD" > What can I say, MUSIC again, even though I definitely liked the pre "Rubber Soul" Beatles better.

METS WIN THE WORLD SERIES-- = This would have been a >, but after the Sox collapse in 1967, I wasn't following baseball as closely. Otherwise, the Cubs '69 collapse would have been traumatic. I probably wouldn't have watched the World Series anyway. Who did they beat?

ARPANET DEBUTS-- > Until 2000, it would have been <, but that is when we got computers at school. After all, I'm the guy who does four blogs. Love that internet. What a great way to do research and keep up on items of interest. I have about twenty alerts.

WAL-MART INCORPORATED-- > Love my Wal-Mart. Probably stop at one later today in McHenry. Who'd have figured they would have beaten out K-Mart?

"SESAME STREET" PREMIERS-- < Very rarely have watched this, but did like the Muppets.

Thanks Tribune and Ron for getting me to thinking.

What's Your Take On These Events? --Da Coot

Other Events of 1969-- Part 3

Earlier this month, I wrote down the 12 other things of note that happened in the year 1969 and Tribune reporter Rob Manker's observations as to whether it affected him more, less, or equal to the moonlanding.

Here are my thoughts on the subject. > more, < less, = equal

ALBUM "LED ZEPPELIN" RELEASED-- > Even though I didn't really hear this one, I sure heard the second album by them, and music was already a big part of my life.

RICHARD NIXON SWORN IN-- > At least he got us out of Vietnam, regardless of what you think of him. Since I had a draft lottery number of 22, I was going once I got out of college. I graduated in May 1973 and we were just out of the mess.

BOEING 747 TAKES FLIGHT-- < I might have flown on one once, but don't remember. Until recently, however, I flew a lot.



PONTIAC TRANS AM DEBUTS-- > Definitely more. Even though I have never had a Trans Am. I did have a '67 Firebird convertible and still have an '85 Firebird. I am a 'Bird fan, big time. Disappointed that GM didn't bring back the Firebird as well as the Camaro. Plus, you had to love that "Smokey and the Bandit" movie.

WOODSTOCK-- > Definitely as well. Music was, and still is a big part of my life.

FIRST ATM-- < To this date, I have never, ever used one of these. I wouldn't have any idea. I always take out as much as I need when I go to the bank.

More to Come. --Old Coot

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thanks to Depp, JD's Hot Again

Thanks to Johnny Depp's "Public Enemies" movie, the prices of John Dillinger items at auction have really increased dramatically. The August 5th Chicago Tribune had an article by Colleen Mastony "Depp film adds to Dillinger's Draw."

She said that in July, a letter penned by Dillinger sold for $60,400, more than ten times the preauction estimate. At the same auction, a revolver used in the shootout at the Biograph Theater sold for triple what was expected, $36,400.

A derringer pistol found in his sock during a 1934 arrest sold for $95,600, more than double.

The State Theatre in South Bend, Indiana went up for auction last month with a starting price of $600,000, but was taken off the block. It still has bullet holes from a Dillinger shootout.

This past April, I saw Dillinger's grave in Indianapolis. Very plain, but I did like the coins people had placed on it.

This is a Stick Up. --Cooter

Monday, August 3, 2009

Other Events of 1969-- Part 2

Continuing with Manker's Events of 1960 and impact they had on him as compared to the Moon landing

"The Brady Bunch" premiers Sept. 26th "Here's the story...." (<)

The Beatles release "Abbey Road" Sept. 25th-- Some think this last recorded as a group was their best, despite Yoko. (>)

Mets win the World Series Oct. 16th. "Significant because it came in just their 8th season and after the Cubs' epic collapse." (<)

ARPANET debuts-- Oct. 29th--"Defense Department's Internet forerunner, and thge first message crashed it. You thought dial-up was bad." (=)

Wal-Mart incorporated Oct 31st. "Symbolic start of the big-box era showed little indication of what was in store." (>)

"Sesame Street" premiers Nov. 10th. "How have Cookie Monster,, Bert and Ernie helped us learn? Let us Count the ways." (>)

I will have my own personal ratings soon.

Let's See.... --Cooter

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Other Events of 1969-- Part 1

July 20th was the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing. Here are some other things that happened in 1969.

Chicago Tribune reporter Rob Manker even went so far as to rate each one as to whether the moon landing or the other event had a greater impact on your life. His rating is shown after the event (<) less than the Moon landing, (>) greater than.


Jan. 12th-- Debut album for Led Zeppelin released. Heavy metal thunder. (<)

Jan. 20th-- President Nixon sworn in. (<)

Feb. 9th-- First flight of Boeing 747. Wide-bodied jumbo jets. How do they get something that big in the air. (>)

March 8th-- Pontiac Trans Am debuts. Known for use in "Smokey and the Bandit" and "Knight Rider." Love those Firebirds. Sure miss the Firebirds, and, after next year, I'll miss Pontiac. (<)

August 15-18th-- Woodstock-- seminal music festival. I'll be writing more about this. (>)

Sept. 2nd-- First US ATM installed. At a Chemical Bank in New York. I've still never used one. (=)

From July 19th Chicago Tribune.

Quite a Year That 1969. --Cooter

You Can Put It On the Board!! Perfect Game!!!

As Hawk Harrelson would say, it was absolute perfection, thanks to Dewayne Wise's fantastic catch in the ninth. White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle threw his second no-hitter, this time perfectly. Not one single Devil Ray got to first base, in other words, a perfect game.

And, for only the second time in Major League history. And, even better, it was a White Sox player, my favorite team.

We got quite wet on the way back, as we were in a boat. We knew a storm was on the way, but when I heard Harrelson say Buehrle had retired 20 straight batters, we knew we had to stay until Tampa Bay got a hit.

It was worth the wet.

SOME COINCIDENCES

** Buehrle's perfect game was played in 2 hours, 3 minutes.
** Buehrle's 2007 no hitter against the Texas Rangers was played in 2 hours, 3 minutes.

** Josh Fields hit a grand slam Thursday (the first ever in a perfect game.
** Sox slugger Jermaine Dye hit a grand slam in Buerhle's 2007 no-hitter.

** The home plate umpire Thursday was Eric Cooper.
** The home plate umpire for the 2007 no-hitter was Eric Cooper.

* Both Cooper and Buehrle wear No. 56.

Thanks to the Chicago Tribune for the coincidences.

Mighty Fine Sox Effort. --Cooter

The Funeral of Henry Allingham

The BBC reports that it was held Thursday. Henry Allingham was one of the last surviving World War I veterans (there are now three). There was a flyover by five World War I replica aircraft since Mr. Allingham was a member of the Royal Naval Air Service and afterwards, one of the first members of the RAF (Royal Air Force).

His coffin was carried by three Royal Navy and three Royal Air Force personnel. Two great grandchildren carried his medals.

He was quite a character, even in his older years. At age 93, he visited the US. An attendant went to get him with a wheel chair, and then they appeared with Henry pushing the attendant and a big smile on his face.

Church bells tolled 113 times, once for each year of his life.

Harry Patch, who died this past Saturday, will be buried this coming Thursday.


A BRIEF HENRY ALLINGHAM TIMELINE

1896-- born Clapton, east London
1916-- Witnesses the Battle f Jutland
1918-- transferred to RAF, celebrates Armistice Day in Cologne, Germany
WW II-- worked on aircraft weapons
1960-- retired at age 65
2003-- first met Queen Elizabeth II
2009-- died in sleep at age 113

The "Noblest Generation." --