Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuscaloosa Tornado 4-27-2011

And the trucks kept on rolling out on the interstate.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The St. Philip Apartments 612 St. Philip Street New Orleans Louisiana Robert Stone Author Of HALL OF MIRRORS set in New Orleans And His Wife Janice Lived There In 1960

612 St. Philip Street in New Orleans, Louisiana is now called The St. Philip Apartments.

Click and double click to enlarge the map above. X marks the location of 612 St. Philip Street in New Orleans.
A colorful past and a rich history. Click on the link below to read a history of 612 St. Philip Street in New Orleans.

Someone I know just came back from a visit to New Orleans. They stayed in a one bedroom apartment in this building(612 St. Philip St.) in the French Quarter. It costs about 250 dollars a night. You can click on the link below to read all about it and see photos of the newly renovated rooms and what they now cost.
In 1960 the author Robert Stone and his wife Janice lived in this building where he began getting the material for the book that became A HALL OF MIRRORS. It is a novel set in New Orleans. It was made into a movie called WUSA around 1970. Stone writes in his memoir A PRIME GREEN that Hollywood created a full scale replica of 612 St. Philip St. on a soundstage in Hollywood.

Click and double click to enlarge and read the page from A PRIME GREEN shown above.
More on PRIME GREEN in the link below.

  Back in 1960 Stone and Janice would have paid about 60 dollars a month for an apartment in 612 St. Philip St.

I think if Robert Stone went  back to 612 St. Philip Street in New Orleans now and found out it was an apartment hotel for corporate types and the apartmemt he lived in looks sleek and modern he would be just as shocked if not more so than when Hollywood built a replica of it on a soundstage in Hollywood. He would have another " peculiar frisson".

   The owners of the building should put a plaque on the wall outside that says, "In 1960 the author Robert Stone lived in this building with his wife Janice. He is the author of A HALL OF MIRRORS and DOG SOLDIERS which won The National Book Award."

Above is a picture of the Hotel Luxembourg Parc in Paris.
Below is a picture of the plaque on the side of the building that tells William Faulkner lived there
in the autumn of 1925.

   That is what they do in Paris. They put plaques on all the buildings where famous authors lived.
There is one on the Hotel Luxembourg Parc near the Luxembourg Gardens where William Faulkner lived in 1925. It is also now a fancy expensive hotel. At one time it was a stable for the horses of the King of France.

   Now 612 St. Philip Street in New Orleans is a sleek modern apartment hotel that can be rented for a night or a week or a month.  You can see their website in the link below.

And below is a link to gallery of photos of 612 St. Philip Street.

Elsewhere on this blog are some posts about Robert Stone and WUSA. There is a link to watch the entire movie via YouTube. And if you watch the movie you can see the Hollywood replica of 612 St. Philip St. in New Orleans. Here is the link for the movie.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Two Hospitals Two Psychopaths Two Of My Most Interesting Cases As A Juvenile Court Probation Officer In New Orleans 1965-1966

1963 Oschner Clinic New Orleans
Below is a link to a fine history of Oschner Hospital.

This case was about a 16 year old kid posing as a doctor at Oschner Hospital in New Orleans in 1965.
  He had gotten his hands on some doctor's clothes and a stethoscope which he put around his neck.
And he would walk around the hospital acting like he was a doctor.

   He had somehow met a young woman and convinced her he was a doctor. And convinced her mother as well because they were planning a big wedding costing thousands of dollars. They had already paid for the wedding as I remember.
But the mother called the hospital one day and they told her they had no such doctor on the staff at their hospital.
They called the cops and he was busted. I wrote up a case history on him and he went before a Juvenile Judge. I don't remember the disposition of the case.

   I think this is the same kid who I saw standing near our apartment on Ursulines Street a few months later. He was leaning against a building. I went over to him and said hi. I asked him what he was doing since he was just leaning against the building doing nothing.

   He replied he was watching a car parked on the street and that he had gotten a job repossessing cars and that he was going to repossess that car he was watching. I wished him good luck and left him there. I never saw him again.


The next case involved a young man who was caught in stolen cars. His mother came down to the Juvenile Probation Office to talk with me about her son. She told me she was hearing voices in her head and that the radio was telling  her what to do.
   We were sitting in a tiny cubicle of an office. She told me she would scratch my eyes out if I did anything to her son.

Charity Hospital New Orleans.

    I had to go see him at Charity Hospital where he was been held in the psychiatric ward. It happened to be on the day Hurricane Betsy was bearing down on New Orleans in 1965.
   I found him in the psychiatric ward with adults. They had put him there for observation. He begged me to get him out of there. He claimed he had never stolen any automobiles.

I talked with a psychiatrist at Charity Hospital and tried to convince him to let the kid out.
Instead the shrink told me the kid was a sociopath or psychopath. A convincing liar.

The shrink told me to read a book called THE MASK OF SANITY by Hervey Cleckley which is the #1 textbook about psychopaths. I did read the book. There is another good book titled PSYCHOPATHS by Alan Harrington.
   The kid did not get out of Charity Hospital that night. I think both he and his mother ended up in Mandeville at the State Mental Hospital.

    I had just bought a used car(1955 Studebaker black in color with 4 doors)that afternoon. I drove home to the French Quarter from Charity Hospital as the sky was getting darker and darker.

   That night Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans hard. We stayed in bed and could hear the slate breaking loose from the roofs in the French Quarter. In the morning we found pieces of slate embedded in bricks in the walls of the houses across the street.
Click on the link below to read my post about Hurricane Betsy.

American Routes Radio Show About The Mississippi River And You Can Listen To It Online Right Now


As The Big Muddy floods in May of 2011 you can listen to a 2 hours of music about Old Man River. And you can listen right now on your computer. Click on the link above. And you can view a complete playlist as well. Also check my other posts about the current flood seen below and Nick Spitzer's great show on American Routes from 2005 about the disaster after Katrina. He found many great songs about floods,breaking levees and how The River Is Gonna Go Where The River Gotta Go. The link to that show is below.

The link below is to my post about the current flooding of the Mississippi River and a collection of songs that I picked myself about the Mississippi River and High Water Everywhere.

Friday, May 20, 2011

P D East Editor Of The Petal Paper And Author Of The Magnolia Jungle Told Me Of His Visit With William Faulkner In Oxford Mississippi


More information on P D East.
P D East was the editor of The Petal Paper in Petal Mississippi. He was a crusading editor in the time of trouble in Mississippi in the civil rights era. I got to know him because we both had been students of Dr. Wilbur White Stout at the University of Southern Mississippi.

    East had graduated long before I met him. He wrote a good non fiction book called THE MAGNOLIA JUNGLE about his trials and tribulations as a liberal editor during the times of the civil rights movement in the Deep South.
     He is mentioned in John Howard Griffin's book BLACK LIKE ME. He gave Griffin a place to stay in Hattiesburg, Miss. when Griffin was posing as a black man.

 Later East moved to Fairhope, Alabama. He married the daughter of the people who owned The Haunted Bookshop in Mobile Alabama.
   I went to visit P D East in Fairhope, Alabama in the summer of 1971 not long before he died.
     He told me some interesting stories. One was he had been thrown out of the Fairhope Yacht Club because of his liberal views. He told them he wrote not what he really believed but what his editors in NYC wanted to hear. They didn't buy that. A friend of mine said he should  have been thrown out for saying what he said. P D was a hard man for some people to like.

But I wanted to hear the story of his visit to Oxford, Mississippi to visit William Faulkner.
Here is what P D East told me.
     He said he and William Faulkner were going to start a magazine called SOUTHERN REPOSURE.
And that Faulkner had invited him to come to Oxford to talk about this project.
   Before East went he talked to some people who told him how to approach Faulkner. They said don't say anything to him until he speaks to you.
  East went to Oxford and Faulkner told him they were going to go out on Lake Sardis in Faulkner's boat. So out they went. East said he did not say anything to Faulkner and was waiting for Faulkner to speak. But Faulkner never said anything so the both of them just sat there saying nothing.
East said Faulkner had to worst case of BO he had ever smelled.
I said said did you say VO? East said no. BO Body Odor.
 I thought maybe Faulkner had a case of VO on his sailboat.
Finally Faulkner took the boat back to dry land having never said a word.
   Finally he spoke. He said, "East do you want a coke"? Meaning a Coca Cola. Or what some Mississippians call a CO COLA.
   East said yes. But East told me that Faulkner had no money on him when they got to the coke machine so East had to pay for the cokes.

  Link below the photograph  is to The Magnolia Jungle on line.


How I Helped LBJ Fight The War On Poverty In The Summer Of 1966 In Mound Bayou Mississippi

Click to enlarge the photos above.

 In the summer of 1966 I took a job with the old OEO(Office Of Economic Opportunity) and LBJ's War On Poverty. I was hired to teach illiterate blacks in Mound Bayou, Miss. to read and write. Mound Bayou is an all black owned and operated town in Mississippi started after the Civil War.
The link below is to photographs of Mound Bayou Mississippi on FLICKR.com

The classes were at the local Catholic church. The poor blacks were paid 35 dollars a week by the federal government to learn to read and write and count numbers.

I was paid by the federal government as a teacher. I was paid twice as much as a public school teacher would have been making in Mississippi at that time. I was the only white person working there. Also no whites would sign up for the program.

I went to the welfare office to find whites on welfare and was told no whites are on welfare.

We went to a few homes of whites and were told to get off their property.
The link below provides information on Mound Bayou Mississippi.

And the link below this is information about the history of OEO.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Martin Savidge Of CNN Reports On Highway 61 And The Flood Along The Mississippi River 2011

  Click on the link above to see Martin Savidge's first report from Memphis last week.
The video begins after a short commercial.

Search (CNN Martin Savidge) to see his other video reports on CNN. He started in Memphis last week and is following the flood south along the Mississippi River through the Delta and Greenville(see my post below)and Vicksburg and points South.
   See his report from Eagle Lake near Vicksburg below.

Below is a link to the great weekly radio show by Nick Spitzer called American Routes which can be listened to online. The show below is the one he did after Hurricane Katrina. You can see the playlist. On hour #1 is a great song by a group called Gator Beat. The song is titled THE RIVER'S GONNA GO. Check it out for what is happening in the current flood of the Mississippi River.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cabin On Lake Ferguson Outside Greenville Mississippi 1966 Now Most Likely Under Water In The Flood Of 2011

Click and double click to enlarge the above photo.
   This is a photograph of the cabin on Lake Ferguson outside of Greenville, Mississippi where we lived in the summer of 1966.

This is a photograph of the inside of the cabin. Click and double click to enlarge.

Martin Savidge of CNN did a story last Sat. (5-14-2011) about Lake Ferguson and the flooding Mississippi River. I can't find his video of Lake Ferguson on the web but it showed all the houses on Lake Ferguson 90 percent under water from the flooding Mississippi River. Lake Ferguson at one time was part of the Miss. River and then it got cut off when the river changed course.
All the homes on Lake Ferguson are built on the "wrong" side of the levee.
  I just found the video mentioned above by Martin Savage at Lake Ferguson in Greenville on 5-14-2011.
Click on the link below to see his video on CNN.

    Next to us was a millionaire(you can see part of his greenhouse in the photo above) who retired from the lumber business in Arkansas and built a mansion on the wrong side of the levee. He also had a yacht he kept at his dock.  He told us he wasn't worried about flooding since he had studied high water marks for the last 100 years and he was certain he was high enough to stay dry.
  Last I heard he had moved back into Greenville some years ago.

      If you enlarge the picture you can see the picnic table in front of the cabin. When I first moved in I was there by myself. I was pleasantly drunk and napping in the sun on the picnic table when I heard a voice speaking to me. It was the next door millionaire neighbor come to check out his new neighbor and introduce himself. I was slightly irritated that he disturbed my nap. But I got up and spoke to him in a friendly neighborly way. He seemed satisfied and finally left. I went back to sunbathing. I was not interested in him or his million dollar mansion. Though it always seemed a bit like The Great Gatsby story to me.
I had no tv or phone there when I first moved in alone. I was sitting there one night in the dark Mississippi night wondering how safe it was to be so far from town. Outside it was pitch black. No lights of any kind.
   I was just wondering what I would do if someone came by when I heard footsteps crossing the gravel driveway. It seemed like a bad movie or comic book horror story.

   Then a knock on the door. I went and opened it and in the porch light there stood a pretty young girl. Just like in the movies and the horror comics.

   She asked if she could use my phone. I told her I didn't have one. She told me she had been parking with her boyfriend and he had told her to put out or get out so she got out of the car and was now on foot.
She then asked me if I would drive her into town(Greenville)which was 10 or more miles. I said sure I would drive her home. During all this conversation she did not seem worried in the least.

  When the lake water would rise up to the level of the picnic table we would see many snakes swimming around. Water mocassins also known as cotton mouth mocassins would be left behind in our front yard when the waters of the lake would recede.

    I had gotten a 22 caliber rifle at a pawn shop and we would shoot the snakes. My wife shot one. And once I was sleeping and she was sitting on that fence outside and saw a snake she called to me and woke me up to come shoot the snake so she could get off of the fence.  I got the 22 rifle and shot the water moccasin.

  My wife was pregnant with our first child at the time.

    The summer of 1966 was what I used to refer to as "That Pregnant Summer". We had a cat that had a litter of kittens. Everywhere I looked that summer I seemed to see pregnant animals. Dogs, cats, people, you name it.
   When the summer was over we left Lake Ferguson. And now in May of 2011 from all I can learn all the houses on Lake Ferguson are under water. Including, most likely, the cabin shown in the picture above. If it is still there 46 years later.

Some pictures of flooded Lake Ferguson on the link below.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

William Faulkner Outside Notre Dame Cathedral In Paris 1925

Click and double click on the above photos to enlarge them.
Click on the link below to go to Flickr.com and see the same statues as above and the same fence.
Click on the name William Faulkner in the Label box below to see many more of my posts about Faulkner. There are 19.
Click on the link below for another picture of William Faulkner in Paris 1925. Taken in the Luxembourg Gardens. Same photographer. Same hat, same coat, same pipe, same beard. Must have been taken the same day.
Here is that picture.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Comfort Of Strangers Part One....At 5:56 In Video Below You Can See The Carpaccio Paintings Written About In The Post Below This One

Double click on the above video to watch full screen.
You can also find the rest of the movie on Youtube.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Carpaccio Paintings In Venice Italy At The Scuola San Giorgio degli Schiavoni

Click on the above picture for a great enlargement


Sports Illustrated First Issue August 1954 Eddie Mathews Milwaukee Braves On The Cover Topps Baseball Cards Foldout 3 Pages Inside

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

William Faulkner Writes About Seeing His First Ice Hockey Game In Sports Illustrated January 1955

The link below is to an article William Faulkner wrote about seeing his first ice hockey game for Sports Illustrated in Jan. 1955.
  He describes the hockey players as looking like tiny bugs on a pond.
"Then it was filled with motion, speed. To the innocent, who had never seen it before, it seemed discorded and inconsequent, bizarre and paradoxical like the frantic darting of the weightless bugs which run on the surface of stagnant pools."
     To me the ice hockey players look like angry hornets swarming around a nest.
Here is some video from You Tube from  the game last night between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pippa Passes And All's Right With The World

The year's at the spring,

And day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven;

The hill-side's dew-pearled;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in his Heaven—

All's right with the world!

The link below is the full text of Pippa Passes by Robert Browning.