Tag Archives: musings

Disambiguating Gratitude

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’m sure all of you are preoccupied, sneaking around every waking moment putting together all the things you’re thankful for in your lives so’s to not forget anything come Thursday.  I don’t want to interrupt that, but I’d just like to throw in a suggestion:

Try to keep it simple.  Try retain your sense of taste and perspective while you’re acknowledging all the things you’re grateful for.  Sure, you’re grateful for not being downrange of any presidential war of the moment, naturally you’re glad you’re not a Palestinian and the neighbors aren’t likely to bomb your home, set fire to the nearest hospital, nor come kick you out of the house so’s good Baptists can move in.  Of course you are.

But you don’t have to say all that.

Truth is you’re almost certainly dwelling on how damned lucky you are to have legitimate citizenship in this country because it took in the destitute downtrodden souls including your ancestors without asking a lot of questions instead of patting them on the back and sending them off to starve in the place they escaped from.

And naturally you’re thanking your lucky stars the multi-national corporations haven’t sent your particular job to some third-world cesspool where people work for a nickle a week.  Probably because you’re a cop or other government worker and they haven’t figured out how to outsource the scowling clerks doing their fingernails and talking on phones down at Department of Motor Vehicles to Chinamen.

All I’m trying to say is keep it simple this Thanksgiving.  Be glad nobody at the table is being held in a US penal institution at the moment getting anally raped by other Thanksgivers.  Be glad you’ve got a motor vehicle in the driveway you’ve never produced enough of anything during any decade of your life worth the sticker price of it.  Be thankful you’ve got at least another year of life ahead before all that Japanese radiation forces you to wonder whether all those nuclear power plants  were all that great an idea.

Maybe it’s a good time to really bundle up on Thanksgiving:  “I’m grateful for everything that’s ever happened to me in this lifetime.  I’m grateful for everything happening right this moment.  And I’m grateful for everything that is going to happen to me from now until I croak.”

That way you’ll have plenty of time to sort out the specifics without boring yourselves to tears.

Old Jules

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Hitler’s car, Dillinger’s car and The Last Supper

Hi readers.  When Keith Kelt and I were kids in Portales there wasn’t a heluva lot to do.  But occasionally a sideshow in a tractor-trailer would show up and park on the city square.  Word spread quickly and lines of Portales adults and kids who could afford, what?  A nickle?  Must have been because I wouldn’t have been able to afford much more.

Anyway, one of those transit shows was Hitler’s car:

http://www.sideshowworld.com/a/at/atshitler.html

 

Hitler’s Car or should I say will the real Hitler’s Car please stand up!

I am looking for a photograph of Pete Sevich’s Hitler’s Armor-Plated Limousine display. I would also be interested in any other Hitler Car sideshows photos.Rick West, Nacogdoches Texas
Rick, as I was researching to answer your question I found that at the end of World War II, Many Mercedes Cars were imported from Europe and put on display on midways as Hitler’s personal limousine. I was unable to find a picture of Pete Sevich Armor Plated Limousine display but I have included three photographs. One of a Hitler Car on display in France and two others of Hitler in his personal limousine. In 1948 Christopher Janus first exhibited a Hitler car which drew large crowds while on display at the New York Museum of Science and Industry. The Amusement Corporation of America started their summer fairs in Springfield, III with his attraction. The car was supervised by Cliff Wilson and was driven to the Springfield fairgrounds. A newspaper reporter from Chicago rode along and it was reported that there were crowds of 5,000 people daily at 50 cents for Adults and 25 cents for children. There was also a photograph of Hitler in Berlin in 1941 riding in his car.

The description on display with the car stated, “All the glass on the vehicle is an inch and a half thick, right side front door is a built in case that holds a Luger pistol. Behind the rear seat is a leather covered sheet of armor that cranks up manually. The car has a 153 inch wheel base making it a long car. It is also heavy, weighing 9,500 pounds. It has an eight cylinder overhead valve motor capable of developing 230 horsepower. The transmission consists of five speeds forward and one reverse plus an overdrive that can be used at speeds up to 125 miles per hour. The large gas tank holds 60 gallons.”

The Hennies Brothers Shows exhibited the car in April of 1949 when they opened their tour in Little Rock Ark.

In 1972 the Miami Herald reported that a 770 K Mercedes was to be auctioned in Scottsdale Az. It was a car that Hitler, Mussolini and Mannerheim had ridden in on state occasions. The car was later shipped from Finland to Sweden so it wouldn’t be captured by the Russians. It was later traded to an American firm by the Swedish government.

Pete Sevich had his Hitler car on the World of Mirth shows in Pennsylvania. It was not the only Hitler car touring at the time. “Adolph Hitler’s Genuine Personal Armored Limousine” and, in parentheses, “Not One That He Just Rode In.” The Prospect Association which was the owner of this Hitler car mounted it in a semi trailer and sold 229,000 paid admissions at one exhibition. In 1957 the car was touring in Texas its owner put it up for sale advertising to the best offer over $3,500.

Pete Sevich on the 1957 World of Mirth Shows midways billed his exhibit as “Hitler’s $35,000 Armored Limousine.” Pete was still booking his car as late as 1966. The trailer it was exhibited on had a 28 foot display area for the car with an eight foot living area over the fifth wheel. Bill Hall bought the trailer so he could display his model of the World of Mirth Shows. Bill was a carnival showman, collector and did band organ restoration. He said the car later was proved to be a fraud and was taken off exhibition and sold for $30,000.
The War Museum in Canada which reported to have one of two real Hitler cars in North America. Their car was first exhibited to raise money to help pay off the war debt. The car was sold in 1956 and 14 years later it was acquired by the museum after it was shown at the Montreal exhibition Man and His World.
There was only one other authentic Hitler car and it had been on display at a Las Vegas casino called the Imperial Palace in there Auto Collection, which included rare models and dozens of vehicles once owned by the rich and infamous. There’s Czar Nicholas II’s 1914 Rolls Royce, Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s 1935 Packard and Adolf Hitler’s 1939 Mercedes. You can also see the cars of several US presidents, and Howard Hughes’ 1954 Chrysler (the air purifier cost more than the car). About 200 vehicles are on display. The museum is located in the Imperial Palace casino, on The Strip.
The owner of the Imperial Palace Ralph Engelstad who started the Auto Collection was a big fan of Nazi memorabilia and had a private “War Room” full of the Nazi Collectibles. He got in big trouble with the Nevada Gaming Control Board for having private parties celebrating Hitler’s birthday that included swastika cakes. He was investigated by the FBI for connections to Neo-Nazi groups. He died in 1993 and since then the Auto Collection has sold off some of there coolest cars, including the Hitler and Mussolini cars. I contacted The Auto Collection at the Imperial Palace which now only sales cars. I was told that 4 years ago the museum closed and they didn’t know where the Hitler Car or what the owner did with it.
There is also a car that might have been owned by Hitler on display at the roadside attraction “The Thing” in Arizona. “The Thing is … we can’t prove it”. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/AZCOCthing.htmlJohn Robinson Sideshow World

Some information derived from AL Stencell Seeing is Believing

Another I recall was John Dillinger’s Terraplane.  In those days it was black, though as I remember it.  Interesting thing about it was the ash tray in the back seat opened to a tube he could pour roofing nails into.  They’d exit from an exhaust-like pipe in back to give flats to pursuers.

 The getaway car used by gangster John Dillinger in 1934 is on the move during this 77th anniversary of the infamous outlaw’s death.

Dillinger’s 1933 Essex Terraplane now is at the Richmond, Va., convention center, where it’ll stay until late next year. It had been on display 18 months at the Baltimore airport,

The car, valued at about $150,000, is on loan from the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, D.C. It was displayed there from 2008 until early 2010.

Dillinger escaped from the law several times before he was tracked to a Chicago theater and shot to death by police as he went for his gun when leaving the theater July 22, 1934.

Dillinger bought the Terraplane in March 1934 from the Potthoff Bros. Motor Co. in St. Paul, according to a history compiled by Brotman Winter Fried Communications, promoting the car’s exhibition. Dillinger and his brother, Hubert, crashed it into a farm field April 7, 1934, according to the history.

The dashing red Terraplane was more flamboyant than the infamous gray 1934 Ford V-8 used by robber Clyde Barrow and girlfriend Bonnie Parker at about the same time:

Barrow stole his ride, though, rather than buying it, and ran up some 2,500 miles before the end.

Barrow loved the car and wrote a letter to Henry Ford on April 10, 1934, to “tell you what a dandy car you make.

“I have driven Fords exclusively when I could get away with one. For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned, and even if my business hasn’t been strictly legal, it don’t hurt anything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V-8.”

Parker and Barrow were gunned down by police in a Louisiana ambush May 23, 1934. Their bullet-riddled Ford sedan has been a prized collector’s item and display piece.

The third one I remember was a lifesize rendition of The Last Supper.  Hell, there might have been a lot more I didn’t get to see, or might have forgotten.

Jeanne remembers seeing one when she was a kid in Overland Park, Kansaas, that had props from popular movies.  She only remembers the shoes Dorothy wore in Wizard of Oz.

If those were going around today they’d have to charge $25 per head to pay for the fuel and the local cops just to set up shop anywhere.

Old Jules

 

 

 

 

 

Forcing 18 year old women to sign up for Selective Service [Draft]

Hi readers.  I know it makes women feel more equal and better about themselves, but I’m wondering whether this Executive Order extending Selective Service registration to females is a good thing.  Might be a sign of bad things coming down the pike, or they mightn’t do something to remind everyone there’s always a Draft Law hiding in the wings to snap up youngsters once the all-voluntary military folks have all sold themselves to Blackwater and other Mercenary groups for more money.

Is it not written, “For God, country and my babeeee”?

Are we going to give all that up, all it implies, all every adolescent could hope to believe, just to make girls feel more equal?  Give them the right to get conscripted into the military for a couple of years no matter what they’d rather be doing?  Give them a lead-pipe cinch to be raped half-to-death if they’re captured?

Well, I hadn’t really thought about it that way.  Now that I do, I guess it’s actually a good thing, though still probably a dose of bad news in what it implies.

Old Jules

Damned treadmill distractions

Hi readers.  I was on the treadmill down at the Olathe Community Center around 0530 this morning, walking to New Orleans, Fats Domino style when some guy in an orange jump suite completed the preliminaries to get his head chopped off.  Fairly unexpected thing on my end.  He explained his loss was a consequence of the US foreign policy in the Middle East.

But the guy in the black Ninja-like garb might have coerced him to say that.  Might have told him there were other body parts could be cut off in advance if it weren’t properly explained for viewers.  Afterward he offered up another guy in an orange jump suit and asserted he’d be next, depending on the activities of the US wossname, president in the White House.

Luckily the guy in the Ninja suit spoke with a British accent.  Gives the prez and all the lackeys an opportunity to send a drone to knock off someone we don’t like in the British Isles.  Maybe snag the British Museum and haul it off just to teach them a lesson.

But the fact is, the guy in the orange jumpsuit is probably not in a position to judge who’s at fault for his demise, unless it’s the Ninja.  Nobody ever said running around in pestholes full of poisonous human beings was going to be without some measure of risk.  Maybe it’s his own fault he was there, the orange jump suit guy.  If it was the fault of his government, I hope he had time to ask himself whether the fault existed back before the day he was kidnapped.  And if it did, was he aware of it.  And if he was cognizant of it, was it his own fault he didn’t beat feet out of harms way?  Or was it the fault of a government comprised of scum who aspire to run the United States?

I’m in a mood to say it was his own damned fault.  If he didn’t know it was a good place to get your head chopped off, he should have.

Same with all these damned US troops who reenlist after having gone over there already and seen it if they were too stupid to know before they enlisted the first time.  When one of them gets killed, hell, it ain’t as though he wasn’t asking for it.  Begging for it.

Too bad.  Maybe, though, it’s better in the long run.  The damned human gene pool doesn’t need any more stupidity than it’s already got, with a lion share in governments, pulpits, Pentagon-like places, and the Middle East.

Harmless stupidity takes place in safe environments.  Stupidity that gets people killed gets people killed.  Condolences to the kinfolks and hope you teach your other kids to use their heads instead of getting them chopped off.

Old Jules

“If those Japanese could have held out through one more atomic bomb we wouldn’t be eating this crap!”

Hi readers.  Here’s wishing you a fulfilling independence from having the British for your bosses ordering you around and making you drink their damned tea.  If our ancestors hadn’t won their independence from the British we’d have had to fight on their side during WWI and WWII, the way their other colonies did.

Anyway, that WWI museum got me thinking about what GIs used to eat.  There was a long shelf of displays of their mess kits, carved fancier than a POW would do.  Beautiful designs and artwork produced while their feet were rotting off in trenches between having the bejesus shelled out of them and being sniped at across no-man’s-land.

 In Korea, at least in the First Cavalry Division, what we ate in 1963-1964 whenever we were on field rations was all left over from WWII.  1945ish WWII.  K Rations.

Breakfast Unit  Canned meat product Biscuits Compressed cereal bar Powdered coffee Fruit bar Chewing gum Sugar tablets Four cigarettes Water-purification tablets Can opener Wooden spoon

Breakfast Unit
Canned meat product
Biscuits
Compressed cereal bar
Powdered coffee
Fruit bar
Chewing gum
Sugar tablets
Four cigarettes
Water-purification tablets
Can opener
Wooden spoon

Camp Howze, Korea, had an enormous bunker chock full of K Rations of the nostalgic variety dating from before the Japanese surprised us with a surrender while we still had an atomic bomb and one-hell-of-a-lot of K Rations left.  I can testify from personal experience the US Army was patriotic and continued eating those rations 20 years after the premature and cowardly surrender of Japan.

Dinner Unit  Canned cheese product Biscuits A candy bar Chewing gum Powdered beverage Granulated sugar Salt tablets Cigarettes Matches Can opener  Wooden spoon

Dinner Unit
Canned cheese product
Biscuits
A candy bar
Chewing gum
Powdered beverage
Granulated sugar
Salt tablets
Cigarettes
Matches
Can opener
Wooden spoon

 Our quonsot hut had a corner filled with Ks still in the cartons so we could fill those long winter nights with partying song, beer, and anything worth eating in a crate of Ks.

Supper Unit Canned meat product Biscuits Bouillon powder Candy Chewing gum Powdered coffee Granulated sugar Cigarettes Can opener Toilet paper Wooden spoon

Supper Unit
Canned meat product
Biscuits
Bouillon powder
Candy
Chewing gum
Powdered coffee
Granulated sugar
Cigarettes
Can opener
Toilet paper
Wooden spoon

The cigarettes in ours weren’t Chesterfields.  Ours were Lucky Strikes in a Green package.  As in the old radio WWII jingle, “Lucky Strike green has gone to war!”  Lucky Strike changed colors after the war to red and white, but Luckies kept right on fighting in green until all those damned Ks were consumed by GIs.

Ahhh.  Nothing like sparking up a Lucky out of a carton of Ks, working fast to inhale a little tobacco smoke before it burned down to your fingertips.  Those smokes were 20 years old and we never found a way to add enough moisture to keep them smoking instead of burning.

And the chocolate!  The godforsaken chocolate turned white with age.  We didn’t care.  Everything in those Ks got tried and nobody ever died from them.  And I never heard of anyone getting drunk from them.

Fact was, a person with extra money could go to the PX and get crackers, but if he did he’d have to share with the whole hooch.  Same with sardines.  And we had KATUSAs in our hooch.  Four of them.  Korean Augmentations to the US Army.  And those bastards could go through a case of crackers, cans of sardines, quicker than you could make a grab for a can before they were gone.

But even the KATUSAs couldn’t make remarkably short work of a case of Ks.  There was always enough for everyone, along with some leftovers to munch on guard duty.

Damn.  These modern all-volunteer military guys are spoiled.  Except maybe in Korea.  Hell, in Korea they might still be eating Ks and wishing to hell the Japanese had gutted out another atomic bomb.

Old Jules

Yong Dong Pollywood, Sollywood and Pusaniwood

Heck readers.  They’re calling the India foreign film industry Bollywood.  At least the part happens  down Bombay-way.  And they’re calling the Nigerian foreign film industry Nollywood.

But Korea, yeah, Frozen Chosun, has as good, possibly better foreign film industry than those.  And nobody’s assigning it any names with wood on the end.  So I’m nominating Yong Dong Po llywood as my favorite, because Yong Dong Po was OFF LIMITS when I was in Korea.  I enjoyed some great, but risky times in Yong Dong Po.  But failing that, Sollywood [Seoul] or Pusiwood [Pusan] works fine.  Further north foreign filmeywood might house Pyongyaniwood.

Welcome to Dongmakgol, 2005 NR 132 minutes , In a village in war-ravaged Korea, fate brings together a crash-landed U.S. fighter pilot, three North Korean soldiers and two South Korean soldiers. Starring:Jae-yeong Jeong, Hye-jeong Kang, Director:Kwang-Hyun Park, would make a nice debut for Pyongyangiwood, for instance.

The Warrior , 2001 R 158 minutes, Korean envoys on a diplomatic mission to China refuse to accept their fate when they’re accused of espionage and sent to a remote desert to die. Starring:Woo-sung Jung, Sung-kee Ahn
Director:Sung-su Kim, I’d hand over to YongDongPollywood.

And so on.

Just a suggestion, though.  What the hell do I know.

Old Jules

 

Post-Pyramidial and Post-Mass-Grave grave concerns

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates.  However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere.  A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates. However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere. A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

Hi readers:

The grave markers depicted here are located in the Olathe, Kansas, Desoto, Kansas and Lawrence, Kansas [Oak Hill] cemeteries.  Lawrence is probably best remembered for the Quantrill raid and massacre of the men and boys of the town slaughtered by Quantrill’s Irregulars during the Civil War.  The town was burned to the ground and most of those killed are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in a mass grave.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here.  Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc.  I'm guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another.  However, Jeanne tells me this one is a 'deaf person' sign.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here. Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc. I’m guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another. However, Jeanne tells me this one is a ‘deaf person’ sign.

cable grave

This stone and the one below have been selected by geographers to serve a dual-purpose. Initially they both merely marked the location of buried telephone cables, as noted on the orange tape. But later circumstance conspired to make them useful as markers for human burial locations as well.

Phone cable memorial marker

Limestone or marble markers are probably inexpensive, but they are prone to become unreadable in a century, century-and-a-half. The stone dissolves in acid rain, accumulates lichens and moss, and break more easily than granite, steel, or wood of most types. This is unworthy of concern unless the people placing the stone intend the grave to be identifiable over a period longer than a few decades.

bookout

A person who went through life being called by the name, King David Bookout, probably won’t object to large granite stone sitting above him a few centuries afterward. Nothing any stranger says while looking at the stone generations later is likely to be original. It all got said while he was alive.

sitar or oud teachout

Patricia Ann evidently played the oud or sitar during her life and someone considered it enough a part of her to be noted on the stone. The name Teachout would be less intriguing if the grave were located further from that of King David Bookout. A Bookout buried 50-100 feet from a Teachout seems more coincidence than needed in death.

Finding a purpose in death isn't necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life.  Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

Finding a purpose in death isn’t necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life. Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family.  Probably it's actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family. Probably it’s actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

Here's an example of what happens to limestone when it's utilized as burial marking material.  Fortunately there's nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Here’s an example of what happens to limestone when it’s utilized as burial marking material. Fortunately there’s nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: "She never met an animal she didn't like."

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: “She never met an animal she didn’t like.”

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

If those people killed in the Quantrill raid had survived they might have accomplished great things.  Some might have been able to be part of the Wounded Knee incident.  As the song says, “Only the good die young.”

Old Jules