The Week of Meh comes to an end. I could plumb the depths to fish out a reason, but a) that's a waste of time and b) I know the answer. Sometimes you feel energized and directed, full of Missions and Objectives, and sometimes you feel old and stuck, appalled at yourself for not doing more, not changing things, not finding some noisy diversion to drown out the mutterings of your brooding brain. Shut up, harbinger of unavoidable realities! Let me enjoy this hard pelting rain.

To be honest, I did; it was a good early Fall rain. Later ones will knock the leaves off the branches - see, there I go again, Mr. Optimism - but this just made everything feel refreshed, but also cozy because it was cool, and inside the house it was warm, and these things + angle of the sun at this time of day = deep instinctive feelings of contentment. Daughter agreed when I picked her up; she loves fall, and the rain made the cafe where she works feel even more cozy. The lights came on. When it's high summer the idea of lights at 5 PM seems a million years away, but then comes a day, and it's so damned soon, when they pop on at 5 and suddenly you're okay with it. You're starting to make the mental shift to indoors.

Our indoors is different, because of the new furniture. I put a lamp in the corner from the spare bedroom, and showed it to the wife: what do you think?

"Nice!" Pause. "Boy that's really a big crack in the wall."

"I know."

"How long as that been there?"

"A long time. You never see it because there wasn't a light in the corner. I'll have to paint it over."


"Well, should we repaint the whole room?"

It never ends. That's what you tell yourself on those days you think of course it will; everything does.

Including the rain. Walked outside:

Daughter was so excited she grabbed her phone and the dog leash and took Scout up to the Water Tower hill and took a picture. And then she came back full of enthusiasm and wanted to go to the store to buy some baking stuff to bake cookies for her friends, so we did, and that was great, it was fun, and she sprinkled autumn-colored tiny leaf-shape sprinkles on the cookies and the day was just - great.

In retrospect, I've no argument. Great it was.


Here's something that will not make sense, or it will.

This was an ad in the Sunday paper. It had the intended effect: I had to google to figure out what this meant, because I had no context.

Go head. Guess. The implication of the whole campaign is rather off-putting; you know it's not really what he's seen. It's what he's heard.


Continuing on with the biggest project downtown. at the moment: The KA Block rises another floor. Seems like spring when it was a parking lot. Hey, it was just spring.


This doesn't look like anything under contruction . . .


. . . but it is. The street is being redone. The Nicollet Mall renovation. It looks horrible now, but it's not a main artery; buses and cabs only. (And bikes.)

This was all empty two, three years ago. Nothing there. Well, a parking ramp on one block. Last week I saw crews prepping a vacant lot, and I think construction begins soon on a 30-story tower - residential, of course, because GOD FORBID anyone builds an office tower downtown these days, but I'll take it.




Back to music cues for "The Little Things in Life," Peg Lynch's last continuously running sitcom. The cues run from substandard 60s cues to cringingly 70s, and I'm surprised at how few there were. I think I'm already repeating what I previously played. In fact I know I'm already repeating the fact that I think I'm repeating myself, but on we go: this is the sound of narrative radio in its strange last gasp.

No cues today; clips. Even though Peg had moved away from Minnesota many decades before, references continued to pop up in her scripts into the 70s. Aunt Maggie namechecks the local water-park family Vegas:


Not that interesting, Mags.


This wouldn't mean anything to anyone except for four or five people: Dodge Center was a few miles from Kasson, the town where she grew up.


But she never forgot it.



Finally, something for Minneapolis:



Why did she remember that part of town?



In '58 the stereotype of the Texas Oilman was still in vogue.


Texas-style stereo.




Oh boy.

First google hit leads to a site that bears her name, and has some rather appalling information. Booze, pills, bad judgment, bad men. Bad times.

Space Age Pop concentrates on the music:

Her press releases call it a combination of "the veracity of Jerry Lee Lewis and the flamboyance of Liberace," but TV Guide more accurately quipped that, "Jo Ann Castle doesn’t tickle the Ivories, she hammers them—as if she is building the piano instead of playing it."



Come and listen to a story, won't you?


But SpaceAge can't avoid getting around to the Bad Patch:

Once divorced and raising a daughter with cerebral palsy, Castle had married again in 1967 and quickly had two more children. But the married soured not long after she left Welk, and "As a result, my career went to hell in a handbasket," she recalled. The Silent Majority that made up her audience hunkered down for the seventies, bookings became scarce. Soon she was grateful to be playing to boozers and losers in a Vegas cocktail bar. She lost her first daughter, divorced, married again, discovered her first husband was abusive, lost her house, took to drinking and eating, and within a few years was up to 300 pounds and sleeping on her sister's couch. She moved her family to Arkansas and spent the next few years just getting by.

She got better. The article notes that she cut the only Hawaiian Ragtime album in the space-pop era, and I'm afraid to look it up. It can't be as bizarre as it sounds in my head. (Update: it isn't.)

Thanks for stopping by this week; hope you enjoyed the show.



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