Crickets in the dark, 80 degrees: I’m liking fall so far. Another sign of the season to come: the indistinct booming distorted voice of the football game announcer at the nearby high school. Seeing the lights on when I walked Birch in the twilight was one of those things that ticked another box.
Well, it’s the weekend, and it’s a long one. I might go to the Fair. I want to see the lights. It’s not a summer unless you’ve seen the neon against the twilight. One of the rides has an astonishing array of LED lights:
But it doesn’t have the soul of neon. Nothing does. LED lights displace the dark; neon enhances it. LED is a fact; neon is a poem. I remember when neon was making a comeback, supposedly. Does that happen every 10 or 15 years? It was a mainstay of 80s music videos, because it meant the night and excitement in the city and all those things that went with fog, wet streets, minxes marching in high boots and electrified hair.
That said, I’m not sure I believe in personal neon. Seems like an affectation. Look at me. I have a drink sign. A little piece of something that belongs outside stuck indoors, like a bird in a cage.
Oh who am I kidding. If I could redo my studio in a stark and spare white fashion, there’d be an illuminated sign, and I’d regard it as a reproduction of a holy relic. Come to the OK Used Car sign, that we may find peace in contemplation.
Well, it was a good week, and things were done. Now to do more things. Any plans? I’ll never forget the old tradition of watching the Labor Day Telethon, and thinking this was swank and grown-up because Ed McMahon was involved. Ed was from the Tonight Show! Jerry was always off-putting, but it was fun to see him go ragged. Now, you suspect, there were pills and butt-shots of B-12 involved. It was always something different to have the TV show outlast you, to know it was still going on after you turned it off, exhausted. There would be TV at 3 o’clock in the morning! And if you got up, you could catch the end, and watch him slump on the stool and sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” a curious choice for something that threatened to make its sufferers never walk, period.
Is it still going on? No. It got shorter every year, going from 21 hours to two.
The 1976 telethon was also perhaps the most memorable one in the MDA's history, highlighted by the emotional reunion of Jerry and his former partner, Dean Martin, arranged by frequent telethon guest and mutual friend Frank Sinatra. It was the first time Martin and Lewis were seen together publicly since they separated their act in 1956.
Martin is really drunk, isn’t he?
The 1976 telethon also was one of the most-watched, drawing more than 85 million viewers, according to the A.C. Nielsen ratings service.
Yeah, so what? The Burns and Schreiber reunion in 1985 drew 110 million.
Detritus-wise, what's been hanging around in the folder of things that cannot possibly matter . . . Ah.
An update on the very important elevator situation. We have signage to help everyone deal with the new controls for Schindler's Lift.
They are elevating . . . me
Enjoy the ride. That's the part I love. Enjoy your elevator ride. Imagine telling someone have a nice elevator ride. Imagine getting off, and someone asks: how was your ride?
Very nice, would do it again, five stars
The interesting part: the PORT system learns which floor you usually take, and chooses it for you. But sometimes you want to go to another floor. For example, after a walk I might want to go up to 13 instead of 12, to get a soda. Which I do not do, but imagine if I did. It doesn't like it if you push 13. You have about half a second to select 13 before it says "well, it's 12 for you, me bucko," and then there's no convincing it otherwise.
At least the elevators appear almost immediately now. You wonder where they were before. Hanging around in the middle of the building, waiting for a customer?
While watching the Vikings game last weekend at the Giant Swede's, the dish lost the bird. Great thick sheets of rain knocked out the signal. I had to take a picture of the screen's last image, becaue it was like the result of a text-prompt AI image generation program. A picture of a pickup truck in a commercial, in the style of the Impressionists.
The Scary Genre of radio seems campy and juvenile now. It probably made the grown-ups roll thier eyes back then, too.
A show needed a hook. A gimmick. A creaking door, perhaps. A host with an attitude. The Sealed Book, which ran for half a year, imagined that all the stories of mankind were written down in a ponderous tome. It was Sealed! Except that every week it was opened.
Every week the portentious host said the same thing, ending with Ahhhhh, and the name of the story. Which he'd apparently heard before.
Wikipedia: "Although this anthology series did not have recurring characters (other than the Narrator and the Keeper of the Book), the writers often used the same names for different characters from week to week, including "Hester", "Drake", and most especially "Roger".
There were a lot of Rogers about in old radio, now that I think of it.
1022: I'm going to see this through to the end, my misgivings aside. Here's a popular singer with her biggest hit of the year, Sweet Indiana Home. More sentimental bunk:
In 1920 she was a hit in New York City in the revue show Silks And Satins and made the first of her numerous recordings the same year.
Many of her records sold well at the time. According to Joel Whitman, her most successful early recordings included "My Mammy" (1921), "Sweet Indiana Home" (1922), both written by Walter Donaldson.
Lost her pile in the crash. And then:
Around 1931 Stanley moved to London, where she made more records for HMV from 1934 through 1937, and once confided "strictly entre nous" that she unwittingly ended her own romance when she introduced Wallis Simpson to Edward, Prince of Wales, at the home of Thelma, Lady Furness.
Grains of salt may be needed for that one. But it's possible.
It's 1979. Ads have a new naturalness, as you'll hear.
Man, did we hear a lot about eggs in those days.
No Bleat on Monday; taking the day off. I'm actually taking the week off, technically, to burn some PTO, but I'll be here T-F. Have a nice long summer weekend!