I think I set aside this Bleat banner two years ago. The day would come.

The day has come.

I hardly remember my graduation ceremony, and I was the speaker. It was not a popular speech. I think the yearbook described it as speech that deviated “from the tradition of speaking for the class,” or something like that. I took my generation to task for having lousy cultural values and no sense of history. Jeez, what a pill.

Nice to know some things never change, eh?

The ceremony is at 8 PM tonight. I expect to be dry-eyed. I don't know why - as noted before, I factored this in to the ride a long time ago. This is just the first of the sharp curves.

As I said, this is a busy week - double the workload AND houseguests, so if you'll excuse me, here's something else that just happened to pop up this week to remind us all that the innocent schooldays are fleet of foot.

Another batch of Goldens and the like. I saw this movie when I was a kid - on TV, I'm sure; too young to have seen it in the theaters. I think I didn't like the book because the Professor looked like an alcoholic hobo compared to the movie guy:

That's supposed to be Fred MacMurray? Really? It looks like some guy they got from Skid Row and hosed off. If it's not Fred, why isn't the book "The Absent-Minded Professor" instead of "The Flying Car?"

One of the things about childhood back then: you saw cartoon characters you didn't know from TV, but suspected were from TV anyway. Where else would they be from?


Loopy De Loop was the only theatrical cartoon short series produced and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera after leaving MGM and opening their new studio, Hanna-Barbera Productions. The series, distributed to theatres by Columbia Pictures, ran from November 5, 1959 to June 17, 1965.

Loopy is a gentleman wolf who mangled the English language in his bid to converse in a French-Canadian accent, and always wore a characteristic tuque knit cap. A self-appointed good Samaritan, he dauntlessly fought to clear the bad name of wolves and would open every episode with his trademark introduction "I am Loopy De Loop, the good wolf." Though he was always kind and helpful, his exploits usually got him beaten up or chased out of town by the very people he had helped, all for no other reason than the prejudice of being a wolf.

Loopy is a gentleman wolf.

Yes, of course, we have an excerpt.


This, to be frank, fascinated and repelled me.

I loved the Supercar, but the marionettes were creepy as hell and they bothered me a lot. They stared with such intensity. You have to love the theme, though.

Good ol' Barry Gray. Also wrote the Supercar Twist. If there's anything more pre-hippie 60s, it's twisting to a song about a Supercar that's the Marvel of the Age.

That's probably Jimmy Page on guitar.


Finally: the back of some of the books.

None of these struck one as particularly compelling.

Not even Christopher John's Fuzzy Blanket.




Seven thousand five hundred souls.

I’m thinking this isn’t a particularly auspicious omen for what we’re going to find. Texas small towns can be incredibly depressing - “Last Picture Show” material, but 70 years on.

Is that square in the pavement a space for a long-gone tree? See what I keep telling you about trees?

And what’s that little pole about?

Well, that’s interesting.

Looks as if they hollowed out the bottom floor for a restaurant, one upon a time. Weedy sidewalk. Another strange short pole.

Annnnd you know what this was.


Nothing else it could have possibly been.

C'mon, there has to be something here.

Yes! The Civic Center looks nice. So that’s where the money goes.


t’s like something you’d build in preparation for the sun to go nova.

Or something you’d build after it did.

J. T Riddles Carpet and Furniture:


He got you coming and going:

“(In) 1910 J.I. Riddle opened a furniture and funeral business in Mexia.  1935 was a significant year for the funeral home. J.L. Blair became associated with the firm that year and also Riddle Burial Association was established one of, if not the first burial associations in Texas.”

A burial association, eh. What a merry trade.



No. It’s missing a letter. Which one? Of course.

The existence of a Rotary - in full Buckaroo Revival here - indicates that they might be part of the student exchange program. Some kid from Europe might end up here. That would be something of a surprise.On the left, it looks like someone ran a bar out of the ground floor. Bars of the era never had plate-glass window. You wanted to keep the world at a safe distance.

On the left, it looks like someone ran a bar out of the ground floor. Bars of the era never had plate-glass window. You wanted to keep the world at a safe distance.

This might not be a going concern.

What was it? And what’s the yellow plug? For the former, I'd say grocery store. For the latter, perhaps a plinth for a sign.

Neither matters now, alas.

It’s not entirely closed. What is it?



Well, half a window is better than none.

Finally, the Last Picture Show:


The original marquee - it has a slumbering man wearing a sombrero.


This is the town Anna Nicole Smith got out of.

Motels await! See you tomorrow, dazed and stunned with a frozen grin on my mug.



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