Missed you, Willie!


This happened in probably 2000.

Patty and I were in Atlanta visiting my best friend since junior hijinks days, John Klingler. After a great visit, on our way to Savannah, I insisted, much to Patty’s chagrin, that we swerve over to Statesboro. I am a huge (dieting don’t help) fan of Willie McTell.

Mr. McTell had lived in Statesboro, Georgia, having moved there with his mom in about 1907 when he was 9 years old. He had lost his sight a few years before that, and went to a school for the blind in Macon, Georgia.

He was a brilliant guitar player, mostly using inexpensive 12-srings in the Piedmont blues style, and he sang all kinds of tunes. His “Statesboro Blues” was by no means the best of what Willie wrote and sang, but it was covered in spectacular fashion by Taj Mahal.

Here’s Willie’s version from the 1920s:

And here is Taj’s cover from his 1968 album:


The Allman Brothers lucked out when they covered the Mahal version as closely as they could on their 1971 Live at the Fillmore East album.

All good!

We finally rolled into Statesboro, which is an agricultural community; the Ford dealer’s front row of offerings contained as many tractors as cars.

We drove through the little town, which was just about the same as any other Georgia or North Florida (where I’m from) town. We pulled into a breakfast place and I was so excited to be in STATESBORO!!! Patty was less excited, but nice about it.

When our young waitress came to get our order, I was babbling about how great it was to be in Statesboro. She asked why, and I told her that Blind Willie McTell had written a famous song about her town, which was made famous by some others.

She asked me, “Is Willie McTell playing here tonight?”

I replied, “No; he died in 1959.” The waitress looked startled.

We enjoyed our breakfast and continued on our way to Savannah.

Bob Dylan wrote an evocative song about Willie McTell.

It could have happened . . .

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I often have this little fantasy dream in which, on Saturday, July 6, 1957, when Paul McCartney met John Lennon, there was a little bit where the two of them were alone together. John asked Paul, “Okay; you’re good. What would you bring to my band?”

And Paul gives out with this 6-1/2 minutes and says, “Because 12 years from now, our music together will conclude with that.”

And John says, “Lemme think about it . . .”

Shopping fun in the 1950s!

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Since opening in 1930, Publix Supermarkets have been a Florida favorite. Shopping there is still a pleasure, and many of us worked there in our high-school days and beyond!

First Publix in Winter Haven, Florida, 1930.

Typical Publix in the late 1950s.

Just for fun, AND NOT FOR CURRENT-DAY PRICING, here’s a Publix ad from September, 1956. For those who may never have seen it before, the “C” after the price indicates “cents,” so a pack of hot dogs priced at 39c meant they cost thirty-nine cents! Easy and fun, right?

And, for those unfamiliar with the concept, S&H Green Stamps were a neat little freebie dispensed at the checkout based on your purchase total; so many stamps per dollar spent. You pasted those Green Stamps in a little booklet and redeemed them for nifty household items. I’m still using the drill I “bought” with Green Stamps back in 1968! Not only Publix gave these to customers; so did gas stations and other stores. There were a few different kinds of stamps, too. I remember Top-Value stamps. But S&H Green Stamps were the biggies.

Lick those stamps, paste ’em in a book, and buy a lamp or a TV set!


You’re welcome!

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So without getting political about it, the attached may soon be of real value. Not crypto-currency; let’s call it comi-currency.

If the attempted use of this gets you in a jam, please don’t come crying to me.

Advance knowledge; use wisely

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Using my powers gained as an original inhabitant of the planet Valdosnort, I watched the Super Bowl a day early.

I’m not a big football fan, but the nice thing that will happen tomorrow is that those two groups of brawny and aggressive men will, mid-game, stop, think it over, and decide to go to a movie and have pizza afterwards.

If you are the kind of person who embraces wagering, you can use this advance knowledge to make a few extra bucks. Not that any of us need additional wealth.

He ain’t heavy; he’s my Les Paul!


This won’t be a full-blown review, but simply a post to show some photos of my 1981 Les Paul Custom I was lucky enough to find on Reverb.com a few years ago. Bracing myself for Patty’s sweet little “You bought another WHAT?!?!?!?” comment, I waited as best I could for the FedEx guy so I could slide that packing box into the garage unseen. Didn’t work, never has! Wives can smell a new guitar.

Anyway, this lovely unit is darn near mint and so lovely. For the folks who know about such niceties, it has Tim Shaw pickups, and the seldom-seen speed-wind tuners and the diamond-shaped strap knobs. It’s so clean and unmodified; the “gold-plating” on the hardware is still pretty-much intact and that stuff goes away if you just look too hard at it.

It has the low and wide frets, not unlike my old Mosrite, and they don’t bother me a bit.

According to a 1981 Gibson price list I found online, this baby cost $1,049 and another $99.50 for the chainsaw case. Thanks to whomever bought this baby, played it for a month or so, and then slid it under their bed!

Only problem is that it weighs 10-1/2 pounds. Well, I play sitting down, anyhow. ENJOY THE PHOTOS!!!

Why have you gone, Joe Dimaggio, and take this stuff with you!!!

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Slip on these anti-static slippers and turn the temp down; these computers run hot! Plug into an orange outlet and let’s welcome the day by saying goodbye to some old friends:

Goodbye to QuarkXPress, Aldus Freehand, Pagemaker, WordPerfect, Word Star, Ventura Publisher, Harvard Graphics, Corel Draw, Digital Darkroom, ColorStudio, ImageStudio, Aldus Persuation, Lotus 123,Lotus Symphony, StuffIt . . .

And to our old pals, Digital Nation, Apple eVillage, and Compuserve.

It’s been fun, floppy disks, Winchester drives, Zip disks, SyQuest disks, Jaz disks.

I still have my Mac Portable but I waved bye-bye to my Apple IIe, my Apple Newton, my Apple Lisa, and my Timex/Sinclair! I never could afford the Next!!!

My wife made my toss the little aquarium I made from my original Mac after our second replacement beta fish died

Whirlpool makes me feel like a whirled-class fool!

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In our former home in Maryland, the Kenmore dishwasher we had was amazing. We replaced certain minor parts in it, like a rack element or a water-spinning arm, but the appliance was over 25 years old and worked well, day in and day out. We could find the parts needing replacement ourselves online and could do the repairs when needed.

The folks who bought our home may still be using that Kenmore dishwasher for all I know.

In our new Florida home, we replaced our dishwasher at the end of November, 2021 with a Whirlpool unit from Loew’s. It got pretty good reviews, it fit the space, and it was white, like our other appliances. We couldn’t find a suitable Kenmore.

The Whirlpool dishwasher cost $496.44 and the install was an additional $175.00.

This new Whirlpool dishwasher has never seemed as good as our old Kenmore, or the Frigidaire dishwasher it replaced. The Whirlpool is noisy, finicky, and the cleaning cycles were very long. Once the machine did its thing, it seemed that the dishes weren’t really clean.

A week or so ago it finally stopped working at all. One month after the warranty expired! Seems like a tired old punchline, doesn’t it?

The repair (replacing the motor) cost us $454.75, which was 91.6% of the purchase price!

So far, so bad. But here’s where it gets good: The very next day after the repair, I got an email from Lowe’s Protection Plus, with this banner promoting an extended warranty on this dishwasher!

As Lincoln used to say, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. But don’t bother to ask me if I’ll ever buy a Whirlpool product again.

Here’s some parting advice to Whirlpool:

Don’t let your customers be in charge of your quality control. They already control your reputation.

UPDATE: 4/3/2023: Now the circuit or control board on this POS Whirlpool dishwasher has failed, and will cost $300 to fix. No. We will replace it with a new GE dishwasher and pay $30 to have this Whirlpool hauled off.

I can’t believe a once-great company now sells products this bad. WOW! And we are still getting emails from Loew’s asking if we want to extend the warranty on this unit.

There’s gold in them there Moxies!

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I happen to like Moxie soda and no, I’m not from New England. It has a unique taste and isn’t very sweet for a soft drink.

You’d better listen to this guy!

The taste can be an off-putter to some, I guess. Their slogan is “Distinctively Different.” It is that, and I’ve heard that’s from the Gentian root in its recipe. Moxie was originally (it came out before Coca-Cola!) promoted as a “nerve food,” and we all can use that nowadays.

A few years ago, Coca-Cola bought out Moxie, which originally was produced and sold only in New England.

You can’t make this stuff up, Ladies and Gentlemen!

When our kids were little, Moxie (ordered from Amazon.com or elsewhere online) was the only soft drink I could keep in the fridge without it disappearing!!! The kids hated the taste.

The Moxie website states that the stuff is sold in Florida now, at Publix. Not in the ones in our area, and we’ve looked.

So to get it I have to still go online. The 12-pack of Diet Moxie cans I bought this morning was $30.00. Thank goodness the shipping is free with Amazon Prime.

Modernized, but still commanding . . .

Who Killed William Desmond Taylor?

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William Desmond TaylorWilliam Desmond Taylor

I know; I haven’t posted in ages and I usually post about comics or music, but this month is the 101st anniversary of the murder of film director William Desmond Taylor and I was reminded of a wonderful book centered on that compelling mystery.

This book set off a whole culture of amateur investigators and researchers, still going strong today, and how it came to be a book is also fascinating.

In the 1960s, a well-respected retired film director, King Vidor, got in touch with Colleen Moore, a brilliant actress from his days (1920s-1940s) and said, “I want to know who killed William Desmond Taylor.” Taylor had been a top actor and director, actually living a double life, who had been mysteriously murdered in 1922.

Vidor and MooreVidor and Moore

Vidor never completed his investigation and a writer researching Vidor’s career found all this research stashed in Vidor’s Hollywood home’s garage. Anyway, this book started the whole Who Killed WDT deal, which goes on to this day, especially since the Internet got started.

Colleen MooreColleen Moore

So, to whet your curiosity, here’s a great article about Ms Moore, and it’s where I got the photos in this post:


And here’s a link to A Cast of Killers on Amazon.com. There are other great books about this fascinating case, and an astonishingly informative website devoted to the case (https://silentera.com/taylorology/index.html):


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