Friday, July 29, 2011

Patsy Cline In The 1957 Shenadoah Apple Blossom Parade In Winchester, Virginia

In the video above there are many good pictures of some of the best Pasty Cline LPs.
The picture above must be from another parade since she is wearing different clothes.
Patsy Cline's Restored House Opening August 2, 2011 in Winchester, Va.
Link below is a complete history of the Shenadoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Va.
It lists all the past grand marshals and celebrities that have ridden in their parade.
The link below tells how Patsy was not always appreciated in her hometown. It has taken over 45 years for her home to finally open as a museum. I remember driving by there over 40 years ago.
Many of these hometowns of famous people choose to ignore their own until it becomes possible to make money off them. Then then go all out to exploit their hometown celebrities. A case in point is Oxford, Mississippi where as long as he was alive William Faulkner was referred to as "Count No Count". A nickname locals had for him. A short version of "Count No A Count".
Now they have festivals in his name and put a statue of him on a bench in the courthouse square.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Is It Hot Enough For You? We Are Having A Heat Wave Ella Fitzgerald

Click on the video to read about Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe and their friendship.
It has been hot around here lately. 105 degrees yesterday and 103 the day before. And today it will hit 101 degrees. Down South people used to say and some still say, "Is it hot enough for you?"
    And below is Ethel Waters singing Heat Wave with even better lyrics.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dizzy Dean The Wabash Cannonball And Daddy Claxton
Somebody asked me this morning who Daddy Claxton was in the song The Wabash Cannonball. I used to enjoy Dizzy Dean singing this song during his baseball telecasts in the 1950s and 1960s. So here it is.
Who was Daddy Claxton? It is very complicated and there are many versions of where the name came from.
Click on the link below to read more about this.

And here below is the Carter Family version of the song. Note: They sing Daddy Cleaton not Claxton.

And below are more high energy versions of The Wabash Cannonball. It is the University of Texas Cheerleaders dancing to the song.

And below the UT Pom girls dance to The Wabash Cannonball.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meeting Allen Ginsberg And William Burroughs Outside Lisner Auditorium At George Washington University 1977

I went to see and hear Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs read at Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University in Washington D.C.
   It was one their first reading tours in 1977.
     They both gave excellent performances.
Afterwards I was out on the sidewalk by the side of the Lisner Auditorium and I saw Allen Ginsberg standing there all alone. I went up to him and told him I was a friend of Bill Burrough Jr. He seemed really pleased about meeting a friend of Billy's. He and I talked about Billy who was living in Boulder, Colorado at that time.
   After a few minutes William Burroughs came out and Allen told him that I was a friend of Billy. Bill Sr. also was pleased to meet a friend of Bill Jr.'s.
I said something to Allen that made William Sr. smile and even chuckle or laugh a little bit.
I told Allen that during the Vietnam war period I thought that he(Allen)should have sat on top of the Washington Monument until the war was over.
And also that I always felt that he (Allen) should be reading his poems at half time at the Super Bowl.
I saw Burroughs smile. He got the jokes but Allen didn't.
Allen said that he had done his part against the war. "I was tear gassed", he said.
   Click on the labels William Burroughs and William Burroughs Jr. below to read more of my posts about them.

William Burroughs Paris Review Interview Fall Of 1965

I remember buying this issue in New Orleans in the Fall of 1965. I remember walking along Poydras Street reading it. Except that I remember the weather was really hot and the glaring sun was being reflected off of  the chrome on cars so maybe it was the the spring of 1966 when I first got my copy and read the interview.
Here is a link to the full interview.  These Paris Review Interviews are generally the best and most in depth interviews with authors you will find anywhere.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

William Burroughs House In Algiers, Louisiana 509 Wagner Street And Death Of William Burroughs Wife Joan Vollmer Burroughs In Mexico City

Click on the above link for a good photo of 509 Wagner Street in Algiers, Louisiana. Home of William Burroughs in 1948 and 1949.  I have always wanted to know what this place looked like.
For a really good 360 degree look go to google maps and type in 509 Wagner Street Algiers, Louisiana.

Link below to page about William Burroughs home in Algiers, La. Contains interview with Burroughs about his home at 509 Wagner St. in Algiers, La across from New Orleans. Contains a picture of the house also. And of the historical marker that was placed by the house in 2007.

Good link to best article I have ever read on the death of Joan Vollmer Burroughs.

Go to google maps and insert the address below to see a 360 degree view of the apartment building at 122 Monterrey Street in Mexico City where the shooting took place.
Eje 2 Poniente Monterrey 122
Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de México, DF, Mexico

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Remembering William Burroughs Jr. Billy Never Lived Long Enough To Use The Internet But He Would Have Loved It So Here Is A Letter From Him To Me From Nov. 1973

Above is the cover of Billy's second book Kentucky Ham.
Below is a link to a recent book about Billy Burroughs Jr. titled

Billy was a friend of mine.I knew him at Green Valley School in Orange City, Fla. in 1972 and afterwards until his death in 1981. I think this book tells his story the way he would like. Literary Outlaw is the other good bio of Bill Burroughs, Sr. in which Billy's life is well told. Read both of these books and you will know the Burroughs. The old man was a genius and a great writer but a lousy father. The son was cursed from birth(that title is something Billy wrote himself and signed a letter with to his father).
Above is a photo of Bill Burroughs Jr. taken in the late 1960s or early 1970s at Green Valley School in Orange City, Florida. This is the way Billy looked when I met him in 1972. And it is the way I like to remember him.

I tried to tell Billy to change his name in 1972. I thought that would be his only chance of surviving the Burroughs name. But of course his course was set. He was and would always be a Burroughs. To have your father kill your mother when you are 4 and then to be sent to grow up with your grandparents(abandoned by your father)and then to learn in your teens that your father is the notorious junkie homosexual genius author of NAKED LUNCH well how would you handle that? So self destruction was Billy's fate. This is an excellent book and anyone who is interested in either father or the son should enjoy and learn from it. One thing though. Billy enjoyed his life VERY MUCH until he got sick. So his life was not that short and was certianly not all unhappy. Just the last ten years.

Below is a letter Billy wrote to me from Atlanta in Nov. of 1973. Click and double click on the pictures to enlarge and read the letter.

Click and double click if necessary to enlarge and read this letter from Bill Burroughs Jr. to me from Nov. 1973.

Bill Jr. never had a chance. Not as long as he

played the part of Burroughs,Jr.

In the summer of 1972(I think it was) Esquire

Magazine printed a bit of the unpublished Kentucky

Ham. Reading this piece which is the chapter on Green

Valley I became interested not only in Bill Burroughs,

Jr. but Green Valley School. I had heard some 3 years

before of the school and had read GVH's book(How To Live With Your Special Child) that

year. And years before(maybe 1969)I had seen GVH on a

noontime talk TV show in Washington, D.C. Needless to

say he was interesting. So adding all those things up

I decided to go to GVS(Green Valley School) as a staff member in late

August 1972. But it was always in the back of my mind

that I wanted to meet Bill Jr. I really lucked out on

that because Bill and Karen had left GVS for good

sometime before my arrival. It was only because Bill

Jr. decided to leave Dobbs Ferry,N.Y. and come to

Deland, Florida to finish Kentucky Ham that I had a chance to

meet him.

I was in the Big House(administration building)front

room when in walked a young man who I had never seen

before. I over heard him mention his name to the

receptionist. I introduced myself and we adjourned to

the kitchen of the Big House to have some coffee.

Bill Jr. asked to see GVH. He was told GVH would

not see him. When he asked the person to ask why. I

think it was Cathy  told Bill that GVH said Billy

would not follow instructions. And no one will ever

dispute that.

My first conversation with Billy went like this:

Me: "Have you ever thought of changing your last


Bill: "Yes on the drive down here from New York I saw

a sign that said SNEAKER CITY. I think I will change

my name to that."

I told him in regard to his vices that he could

change vices. I told him "one vice is as good as

another". Bill Jr. used that line in his dedication of

Kentucky Ham to GVH.

Later Bill,Jr. gave me a signed copy of the hardcover

first edition of Kentucky Ham. Which I am glad to say

I still have. Nice dustjacket too.

 Bill Burroughs Jr and I ran around together in Deland, Orange

 City, and Green Valley School in the Fall of 1972. Much drinking

 ensued. I met Karen and her parents in Savannah when I

 stopped there to see Billy in Jan. of 1973 on a field

 trip with 8 GVS students to Washington D.C.

Bill and I exchanged many letters. For some reason he

 liked to write long letters to me. I saw him one last

 time in the summer of 1974 when he and Karen were in

 Atlanta. She was managing a bar. They were getting

 ready to split. All three of us went out to a lake

 outside of Atlanta to a house owned by the owner of

 the bar to spend the weekend.

 Karen was a really splendid looking young woman. She

 told me that she wanted to sun bathe nude and that the

 locals were looking at her and what should she do. I

 suggested she climb up on the roof of the house so they

 could not see her. That is what she did.

 Bill and I went to see Jeremiah Johnson(the movie)at the local

 movie house. He loved that movie. Before the movie he

 said, "Listen to them". I said what? He said, "Listen

 to them chomping on the popcorn". Billy really did

 have sharp sensitive hearing. He mentions his acute

 hearing in Kentucky Ham.

 I knew him at Green Valley School when he came down from Dobbs

 Ferry,NY to finish Kentucky Ham in the fall of 1972.

 He was staying at the Motel. Some time later he got an

 apartment in Deland.

 One night after we had been drinking we came back to

 GVS and he drove in odd S curves on the way back. More

 off the road than on. Once we got back to GVS I

 declined to get back in the car when he wanted to go

 out for more music and drinking.

 The next day I got a note from the receptionist in

 the Big House to call Billy at the hospital in Deland.

 He had been in a car wreck but survived it OK. He

 asked me to bring him some cigarettes and science

 fiction books. I did both. But then he wanted me to go

 to the drug store and get him some paregoric which I

 refused to do. I asked him what he was going to do

 with it. He said he would soak the cigarettes in it

 and smoke them. I said no way. He felt the doctors

 were cutting back on his pain medication. I told him

 to listen to his doctors.

 I like to remember Bill Jr. like he was in the Fall

 of 1972 and the way he was in 1973 and 1974.

 When he and Karen split in Atlanta he went to

California and fell on really hard times. And also in

 Boulder. He was in great pain the times he called me

 on the phone over the next few years. I met his old

 man twice here in Washington D.C. Once at a reading

 at Georgetown University and again at Lisner

 auditorium on the G.W.University campus after a

 reading with Allen Ginsburg. Both of them were

 friendly and happy to meet a friend of Billy's.

 But he really was cursed from birth.

 The first time I met him in the fall of 1972 in the

 Big House kitchen I suggested he change his last name

 to something else. But obviously his whole career was

 being the son of William Burroughs. Before he died he

 told his father that he(Billy)had ruined

 his(Billy)life trying to be like him(the old man).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4th 2011 Weekend At Deep Creek Lake In Far Western Maryland

I went with Charlie to get the whole hog that was 5 feet long and weighed 127 pounds. We went to the Butcher's outside Oakland, Maryland. They brought it out on a pulley and wrapped it in plastic and put it in the back of Charlie's SUV.
  Back at his house we put the whole hog in a refrigerator in his garage. We stood him straight up.
He was cooked the next day for 7 hours over a wood fire and a motor driven turning spit.

Click and double click on the pictures to enlarge them.
All the photos here were taken by Rachel Stewart.

You can click on the two videos above to watch full screen. Both videos were made by Rachel Stewart.

On Sat. we saw a strange green paint like slick moving down the lake. It was bright green.
Rick swam out and brought back a small plastic bottle. The green dye had come from that small plastic bottle and made a bright green streak over 40 yards long. Charlie told us that fishermen use that green dye to dip their worms in and it makes them bright under water.

In the photo above the police come to investigate the strange green thing in the water.
I came in the house one time on Sat. and in the living room everyone under the age of 50 was on some kind of electronic device. Cell phones, laptops. i pads, etc. One woman was on her laptop and cellphone at the same time and later I saw her doing the same thing while walking down two flights of steps from the deck to the ground which was also rocky and uneven.
Two teenage girls were sitting side by side on a couch with the their laptops open.
An middle aged man asked them "Are you two emailing each other so no one will know what you are talking about?"
They made no reply.
   Here are some more photos from Deep Creek Lake 4th of July weekend 2011.
Click and double click on the photos to enlarge them.

Coffee 'n Confusion Washington D.C. Beat Coffeehouse Late '50s and Early '60s

Click on the photo to enlarge it.
Coffee 'n Confusion Beat Coffee House Washington D.C.
Coffee 'n Confusion is written about in the book shown in the link above.

This was a famous Beat(0r Beatnik)coffee house in Washington D.C. in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
This is the first photograph of the place I have ever seen.
Two of the owners were Lester Blackiston and Bill Walker who I have written about before on this blog.

The story of how I met Lester Blackiston goes like this. In New Orleans we knew a guy named Wally and his wife. Wally worked at NASA. It was Wally that first told me about Lester Blackiston when Wally knew him in Richmond, Va.  They both hung out at the Village Cafe in the fan district of Richmond near the college which is now called VCU.
Wally and his wife were nice enough to let us watch one of the Mardi Gras parades of 1966 from their apartment balcony which was on Royal Street across from Pirates Alley.
I have a photo of a young man from Richmond, Va. I nicknamed "The Stranger" who came for that Mardi Gras and stood in the window with his guitar. I never saw him again after that.
Here is that photo of him from 1966. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

When we moved to Washington D.C. Jim Fuhrman and I decided to drive to Richmond in 1967 to meet Lester Blackiston. We found him working in a clothing store on Broad Street selling hip clothes to a black clientele. Lester was the real deal. He was a poet and lover of art in all its forms. He surrounded himself with musicians and artists of all types young and old.

Sometime in 1968 Lester and Bill Walker came to George Washington University along with other poets from the old Coffee 'n Confusion days to do a reunion poetry reading.
After the poetry reading during which Lester kept playing with an open knife at the lecturn we all went over to The One Step Down bar and jazz lounge on Pa. Ave nearby.
Lester had copies of his new book of poetry. We were seated at a table in the bar. I told Lester I would help him with distribution. He said "Distribution. Here is some distribution." And he proceeded to throw a large number of copies of his new poetry book backwards over his head toward the bar. He also told me he had left another stack of his new poetry books in the Men's Room.
Later we all went to our apartment on P St. near Dupont Circle. We had a party there and I remember Lester's wife did not like a bright light bulb and proceeded to break it.
Bill Walker was back in the kitchen working on a poem and did not want to be disturbed.
We also went over to The Admiral Benbow Bar on Conn. Ave. This place was run by a woman named Ellen and she later changed the name to Ellen's Irish pub.
When her lease ran out the building was torn down and replaced by a new building which housed The American Psychiatric Institute. The two places both served the same purpose.

At some point we all went back to P St. and went to sleep. Lester had found nothing alcoholic left to drink in our refrigerator so he drank the remaining pickle juice in a jar of pickles.
The next morning we all awoke. I found Bill Walker in the kitchen. He said he woke up in the middle of the night and saw everyone sleeping and thought we were all dead. He told me he thought he had killed everyone. And then he went back to sleep.

Here is a link to the two posts I have formerly written about Lester Blackiston, Bill Walker, and Coffee'n Confusion. Click on the link below and scroll all the way down to read the two posts.

The final bit of co incidence and it is a small world indeed about all this is the D.C. policeman named in the article above later was my boss at The Washington Plaza Hotel.  And I never knew of his connection to the bust at Coffee 'n Confusion until I read the article above.