Category Archives: YouTube

The love affair with automobiles

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Experts agree that almost everyone born in the US between 1950 and 1960 was conceived in the back seat of a Ford, General Motors, or Chrysler automobile.  The overwhelming majority of the comparative few exceptions were mainly Studebakers because of the convenience of the suicide-style back doors opening forward to allow more horizontal legroom.   The highest percentages go to the 1949 Ford Club Coupe, the 1954 Chevrolet Sedan, and the 1956 Ford Crown Victoria.

But I’ve digressed.  My point is, almost nobody was conceived in a pickup or passenger car with a floor shift or bucket seats.  And nobody, not one pregnancy resulted from sexual congress in a hotrod.  Which is the reason parents allowed youngsters of the day to build and drive them.  A young man with a hotrod had little time or need to devote himself to the pursuit of female company.

Naturally the music industry approved this means of birth control and tried to the best of its ability to stimulate interest in and sing the virtues of coffins on wheels, speed, running from the law and other non-sexual avenues of endeavor for young men.

Red Foley’s, ‘Hotrod Race‘ was the first of these:

After a tasteful passage of time this was answered by Charlie Ryan’s, ‘Hotrod Lincoln‘, claiming to be the person driving the Model A who passed Foley and the car he’d been racing against in ‘Hotrod Race’.

George Hamilton IV, in “If You Don’t Know” attempted to combine an interest in girls and hot cars by driving a ’54 souped up Ford Deluxe with high compression heads and overdrive, which succeeded for speed but had mixed results with females.

The Beach Boys were a bit late off the starting line with “Little Deuce Coupe” in 1964 because the sexual revolution had come along allowing babies to be conceived elsewhere than the back seats of automobiles.  However, I mention it here to demonstrate the lingering nature of fads, once begun.  Long after hotrods were no longer needed to protect the virtue of young men in the US, the sound of a burned out muffler still caused a faster heartbeat.

Robert Mitchum followed the formula in Ballad of Thunder Road, combining fast cars and running from the cops with filling up the spare space in the automobile with mountain whiskey instead of females.  The song led to many a high-speed chase around the cities of America providing thrills to both police, and teenagers.  And frequently ambulance and hearse drivers.

When the Nash Rambler hit the market nobody mistook it for a cool aphrodisiac setting for launching future generations.  The car was considered ugly, though it appealed so a certain type.  But since it wasn’t for the one thing, it must be for the other.  At least in the minds of the music industry:

Although I doubt many children begin their long journey toward birth in modern automobiles now, there are a lot of similarities to the hotrod part of the 1950s love affair.  People love being seen in Hum Vees and dooley trucks.  Everyone wants a SUV.  And a person still sees the occasional racy sports car.

Mostly today the guys don’t roll up their pants cuffs, though, and some do find themselves attracted to women.

Old Jules

Cats can’t sing either

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Old Hydrox has become a frequent singer in his dotage.  Jeanne described the ones happening several times per night lately as ‘annoying’.  And I haven’t found a way to discourage him doing it, nor thought of any explanation.

I tend to think he misses being around several cats, possibly [especially] Niaid, his litter-mate who went on permanent mouse patrol slightly over a year ago in Andrews, Texas.  We were all together 17 years, so I’d imagine if a cat’s capable of ‘missing’ another creature Niaid is one of his night songs.

On the other hand, it’s clear Shiva is a part of all this.  He’ll walk over and sit on the floor in front of the chair where she’s sleeping and begin the serenade until he runs out of lyrics.  Sometimes it’s Sweet Betsy from Pike, other times Otis Redding or Roy Orbison.  Fortunately that usually happens during the hours of daylight.

The night songs seem to be triggered by dreams, or by Shiva creeping through the living room where Hydrox and I bed down.  She has to go by here on the way to the litter box, a few laps of water, or to check out the food dishes.  And there’s no way she’s getting past here without the keen ears of Hydrox detecting it, head jerking around to stare.

Usually he’ll contemplate what he’s seen until she passes on her return trip.  Then he’ll jump to the floor and follow her with his immortal prose or a few stanzas of Pretty Woman Walk on By.  Or My Girl.

If he had a better command of English and had ever shown any signs of being susceptible to reasoned argument or persuasion I’d try it.  But a whispered 2:00 am yell at him only results in a brief pause and stare.  Getting up and chasing him around also only gets me back under the blankets with my teeth chattering and him carrying on where he left off.

Maybe I misinterpreting the song.  Hydrox might just be saying, “This getting old is hell.  I surely do miss ambition.”

Cyrano de Bergerac remembering the moon.

Old Jules


Immigration reform

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Later this year when the petrodollar crashes and burns most of you will probably be hoping the Mexicans will revise their immigration laws.  Likely you’ll recall the last time the US economy fell on really hard times how US workers drifted to Mexico and further south looking for work.  It wasn’t a lot better there, but there was less English speaking competition for jobs.

Here’s an example from the Bogart movie, Treasure of Sierra Madre:

Things haven’t really changed much, have they.  Except the guy doing the hiring and cheating them out of their pay is a gringo in Mexico instead of a gringo in the US.

I’m betting those Mexicans will be tickled pea-green to have gringos coming down to work.

Old Jules

Firecrackers Day Celebrations – Name Your Poison

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

A while back I was talking on the phone with my bud, Rich, in North Carolina.  He’d just returned from a visit to the Georgia Guidestones and was telling me about them, and the general history of the area where they’re located.  One anecdote involved the local hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Seems there was a woman settler in the area famous enough for her contribution to be recognized as a hero and locally a focus of veneration.  She got a bunch of British soldiers drunk and murdered them while they slept.

I don’t doubt a few more dead enemy soldiers was a boon at the time, but I found myself wondering how the woman felt about it after the dust settled, say three, four decades later.  It ain’t as though your average British soldier was a lot different than the people he was fighting against at the time.  Just grunts, following orders, doing what they were told to do, same as soldiers everywhere.  Probably it’s possible to assemble a set of reasonings to appreciate the impact the event had on the outcome of the Revolution, but it’s less easy to bring up any admiration for the lady who did it.

In fact, I’d guess her neighbors and husband were careful not to offend her during her time around them later.  A person who’d do what she did is nobody to be trifled with.

But thinking about all that led me to consider the whole issue of the way we humans celebrate history.  Fairly bizarre, when you consider it carefully.  The British celebrate a guy who attempted to blow up Parliament, but was thwarted, for instance.  Lots of fireworks, but I wonder if they’re cheering the attempt to do it, or the failure of the effort?

For that matter, I wonder if they do much celebrating out on the Rez, shooting off fireworks and cheering the ethnic memory of, say, Custer’s Last Stand.  Or the slaughter of Fetterman’s troops during the Red Cloud uprising.  If they don’t, are they being sufficiently true to their own tribal histories?, I speculates.

Or, at least as grotesque, are the black citizens of the projects all over the US going to be cheering for the institution of slavery that brought their ancestors to this geography so’s to allow them to be here, not Africa?  Whatever the shortcomings of life in modern US ghettos, probably the average modern resident of their ancestral homelands would gladly change places.  Can I hear a few “Amens!” for the institution of slavery in this land concurrent with [gulp, sigh] remembering our noble founding fathers?  Their unselfish efforts and sacrifices along the avenue toward ‘freeing themselves’ from British oppression and tyranny?   

Is anyone in Georgia going to be singing, Marching Through Georgia tomorrow?  Cheering Sherman’s scorched earth burning of Atlanta, and churning across the state burning and looting the citizenry, civilian and military, all the way to Savannah?

Fact is, it all comes out of the same cauldron.  Sip a spoonful of it and you have to either like the overall taste, or focus on the flavor of the meat while ignoring the onions and garlic.  Here, and everywhere else.

For instance, the Japanese probably have enjoyed their post-WWII / pre-tsunami affluence, freedoms, non-involvement in military adventures.  They’d never have gotten any of that without Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Okinawa, the Bataan Death March, the Rape of Nanking, Midway,  Tarawa, et al.  The destruction of the Japanese Empire.

But I’m betting they don’t have a day of celebration for it.

Probably somewhere in Georgia there’s a community of UK citizens visiting, or living out their lives.  Or folks who came here from the UK and became US Citizens.  Maybe tomorrow would be a good day for them to visit the Georgia Guidestones, wave a US flag around to acknowledge that history’s a different place for them now, than it used to be.  In any case, maybe they ought to be conscious of how much they drink and where they do their drinking.  Georgia still has woman patriots.

History’s not an overly hospitable environment without some selectivity and flexibility.  Going out tomorrow and killing a few Brits, Japanese, Yankees, whites, Mexicans, Spaniards, Germans, Vietnamese, Apache, Navajo, Lakota, maybe a few Russians for good measure would help everyone remember, better, what patriotism’s all about.  Or get’em drunk and cut their throats.

At least it wouldn’t be as boring as a parade.  An honest tribute to our ancestors, whomever they might have been, would help us make the same mistakes they did.  Which we will.

Old Jules









Who needs fireworks anyway, when you can have the real thing?


Jeb Stuarts, Jeb Stuart MacGruders and the Fallen

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I’m five years older than old Bob Lee was when he had his little problem at Gettysburg.  I’ve fingered a lot earlier than when I was 65 that I could have avoided what happened to him if it had been me, instead of him dealing with a particular horse soldier.  Jeb Stuart, or Jeb Stuart MacGruder, I think it was.

Bobby Lee should have had the good sense to follow the advice of Longstreet and not become an invader, I always figured.  Should have stayed the hell down in Virginia, fought in defense of his home soil.

Lee was plenty old enough to know the great majority of the leadership on both sides was composed of the spiritual kinfolk of Stuart, Lincoln, Custer, Fetterman, Hooker, and other dandies too absorbed in what the newspapers were saying about them to keep their eyes on the ball.

Bobby Lee didn’t think that way, but he got the smell of blood in his nose anyway.  The men following his orders and getting shot to hell would have been just as happy defending Vicksburg, but they trusted his wisdom, they had the smell of blood in their noses, too. 

Same as these today.

But while I was thinking about that last night the damn tree fell on the storage building, so I don’t know where I was going with it.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Escape from Reality?

Old Jules, why is escaping reality ultimately harmful?


Pardon Me, Roy, . . .

Roy Rogers had a new pair of boots made for him by the best bootmaker in California.  But it was raining when he got back to the ranch and they got muddy on the way to the porch, so he took them off and left them there on the steps.  Later, when he came out to clean them he found they’d been ripped to shreds by a bobcat. 

Roy took his good dog Bullet, hopped on Trigger and went after that cat with a rifle.  In a while he rode back to the ranchhouse with a bobcat draped across his saddle.  Dale Evans came out on the porch, sang:

“Pardon me, Roy,

Is that the cat-that-chewja new shoes?” 

To the tune of the song below.


Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:   Plan for Life?

Old Jules, what’s your plan for life?

Betting on Future Sheep, or Locating the Moth Balls

While you earthlings are fretting over whether your next king is going to be friendly to your preferred nuances of greed, waste, envy, scorn and target identification, you might want to squeeze in a few minutes to find those moth balls.  The days for protecting your brass monkeys might not be completely over for the year, but keeping the emphasis on the right syllable is as important now as it ever was.

Even though those Pendleton blankets might seem anachronistic today, and knowing there are plenty of sheep still out there grazing, there’s going to be another October and November eventually.  Betting on the come, figuring you can just toss the holey blankets and buy something Chinese to replace them might problematic by then.

There’s a rumor going around the Chinese plan to devote the entire planetary wool production to their world-wide-near-monopoly on steel.  Chinese statisticians and accountants have discovered crescent wrenches and pliers made of wool will do the job as well as the ones made of steel they’re selling now.  And they’ll be worth as much as the dollars US consumers use to pay for them.

Save some of those moth balls for your toolbox.  Next year that might be where you’ll find your Pendleton blankets.

Old Jules