When a big-name band came to our humble town, it was like a visit from the roving pagan gods of ROCK, man. We waited for the moment when the singer said “How are you all doing tonight . . . FARGO-MOORHEAD AREA,” and we would dissolve with joy: they have recognized our statistical metropolitan area, we are COOL.

I don’t know if we lit Bic lighters; perhaps that tradition was yet to come. We may have rubbed sticks together to get a flame. It was that long ago. But I still remember driving past the sign outside the Civic Center, proclaiming the glorious night to come: BLUE OYSTER CULT. Buck Dharma himself, the magnificent guitarist, his limbs fringed with white leather, would descend unto us, and yea verily, we would rock.

Flash forward four decades and change, and I’m sitting in a restaurant in my neighborhood last Thursday having dinner with Buck. It’s a long story; we became acquainted along the way, and while we’re having a perfectly normal conversation the 17-year-old in the back of my head wishes I’d removed the middle tines of the forks so they made the classic index-finger-and-pinky salute heavy-metal.

But that'll be Monday. Sorry! Just back from dinner and I have a column to write. I will note this: he remembered the gig in Fargo and remembered how much he liked Fargo. New York boy seeing the great beyond. I said man, if you'd only told us from the stage we would have ascended into heaven. No, HELL! Because that would be METAL!

So forgive the shortness; deadline pressing and NO ideas.



From my ersatz Richard Estes collection, the recently remodeled building of the AT&T tower.

You can't tell from this, but it's a horrible mistake. It's now clean and bright and empty and indistinguishable from all the other modern spaces - a firepit! A grouping of chairs to facilitate impromptu collaborations!

Before it was one of the most unique spaces downtown, a strange blend of late 80s and the Wizard of Oz.

I nicked this pic from the developer's website; they used to be proud ot it. I'm not saying this is the BEST LOBBY EVER but it's different and stylish, and if they'd given it 20 years it would be an icon.


As always, we note the arrival of upcoming seasons with the packaging of prefab confections. It would be sacreligious to say "he is risen," but he is made of dough:

Knackered a right royal knees up naff have a gander complete mare, numpty Northeners red telephone box copped a bollocking fancied a flutter, ever so lovely grub's up could be a bit of a git.

  I don't know why they switched to "unnerving mode" for the elves but they did.


Remember this feature? We never met Bela Lanan himself. We never will.

This was a daily feature, with the solution on Saturday. We'll do it the way they did it then - one entry per day, with the expectation that you'll be following the story.



Solution is here.




A break from Casey, so it's fresh and exciting when we return. (Narrator voice: it will never be fresh and exciting, like Anchor Hocking Glass!)

For years I've enjoyed Lum & Abner, a deceptively clever piece of rustic comedy that holds up very well, I think. Norris Goff and Chester Lauck worked with each other for decades, and even after all the years of doing their characters, they could still craclk each other up.

It's usually Lauck who loses it.



In this next clip, there's a reference to a bygone product.

I think it could be a hair tonic. Naughty kids put it on a dog's butt, and he'd run. Like turpentining the cat.







Chester Lauck, who played Lum, also played the cantankerous Grampap Milford Spiers, an excitable, indolent, self-serving, tiresome old man. You rarely heard Lum mix it up with Grampap, because switching back and forth with the voices was more work than necessary.


Sometimes they’d slip. This is one of those mistakes - but Lauck covers with sotto-mutterings for the rest of the bit.




2019 returns to the bins, and the records dumped back into the world when someone dies and the kids give the contents of Mom and Dad's entertainment system to the Goodwill.

Man, this stuff.


  • His choral group, The Merrill Staton Choir, appeared on several 1960s Columbia Masterworks studio recordings of classic Broadway shows, such as "Show Boat" (1962) with John Raitt, Barbara Cook, Anita Darian and William Warfield, "The Student Prince" (1963) with Roberta Peters, Jan Peerce and Giorgio Tozzi, and "Oklahoma!" (1964), with Raitt, Florence Henderson and Phyllis Newman.

Harpsichord for that special touch.





1943. Might as well toss in a L&A ad.


Screwed up the redirect, so here's yesterday's Restaurant Postcards, if you didn't find them. Four pages of Bleat+ for members. Thanks for showing up; it's been a fun week, and I'll see you Monday.

And remember, Bleat+ members - three pages of updates. If you haven't gotten your credentials, send me an email - my last name @ icloud dot com - with the subject line DILLWEED. I appreciate your contribution and want to make sure everyone gets to experience the most exciting site on the Internet.



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