Woke repaired, the back all fine. The Spinal Fairies had done their magic in the night, I guess. Providing you believe in spinal fairies, which no one does, and I’d be suspicious if anyone insisted they did. C’mon. Small magical creatures who arrive in the night and repair delicate, complex nerve systems? Based on what knowledge?

Uh - fairy knowledge? Sorry. I think your basic fairy would know the ways of the woods and little else. Such as “how to avoid being eaten by a bird.” It’s not like they’re all friends in some Disney sense; it’s more likely that they would have developed self-defenses against birds that might involve some sort of weaponry.

No, they’d use . . . magic! Who says they’d have magic? It’s one thing to believe in fairies, but adding magic really pushes it into the realm of preposterousness. No, they might be forced to invent some sort of weapon that can kill a bird while it’s en route to eat them, something easily deployed. A gun. You wouldn’t hear it. Just a small pop, and a fairy death averted. It’s probably a desperate life, and the nighttime? Bats. So no I don’t think there were Spinal Fairies attending me while I slept.

The Victorians had a fairy craze, if I recall, and trick photography made it seem as if there were such things. An odd society, that one. We believe in small woodland sprites, and are also capable of mowing down Boers on the other side of the planet.

So the day was better, being devoid of piercing agony, and of course you forget the agony right away. That was yesterday’s bother, soon washed away as you revert to mean. I wrote something for this site, and will probably post it when the 50s site is up some day, about the necessity of retroactive rewriting for a balanced mind. Let go of all the troublesome and angry and sad memories - well, keep some sad ones, they count and deserve a place in your past. Some of the troubles too; they’re instructive, and remind you what it took to get where you are. But for heaven’s sake, forget the grudges and anger. Forgive.

Except for that one person, who really shivved you. In my case it was professionally, and I have never forgiven her, and only deliver my canned speech about the injustice once or twice a year, in my head, while walking the dog. It’s so good now, that speech; when I deliver it her face melts like the Nazis at the end of “Raiders.”

Perhaps you should hold on to one nuclear grudge; after a while, it actually provides a source of amusement. But in general, it’s easier to be happy to tomorrow if you believe you were happy yesterday. Even if you weren’t, there’s probably something back there you’d fondly recall or wish to repeat. Every now and then we do something for the last time, and have no idea it’s done for good. Just as well. Ignorance is often a necessary component for sanity.

A shoe company put out these quizzes for their celebrity-mad customers. They're real tough! Put on your thinking caps. You know, the headgear that facilitates memory and insight. That one.

  Hey - we can't even see her ankles.

That has to be Jimmy Derandahs, right?

Tommy Splenandas?


  A 17-year-old columnist? Would that be Billy Barve?
  Once again: total lack of ankles, hence I dispute that this is, in any way, an accurate calibration of one's Ankle IQ.

If you're ready, we can meet the Famed Owners of the Completely Obscured Ankles.

#1 is still with us; she's 91. She had a TV show for a year, brought to you by Embassy Cigarettes!


Royes had a long career, and perished in 1980.


Harve Fischmann - no idea. One of those Quiz Kids that never repeated their early glory days. I mean, he saved Star Trek, but aside from that, I don't know.

Betty Cornell is on Facebook. Sort of.








Just the right side to have a wrong side - under 50K. Wikipedia: "In the late 19th century, Mishawaka became known as the 'Peppermint Capital of the World', since the area's rich black loam produced great quantities of mint." I'm assuming that's wikipedia, since I would never write a line like that. Sounds too much like Wikipedia. Anyway:

Boss, I’ve got good news and bad news.

What’s the good news?

The cornice arrived.

What's the bad news?

PHENIX is usually your guarantee of a previous fire. Sure enough: in 1872, a deliberately-set fire in a hayloft devastated the town.

In September 1872, a fire destroyed three quarters of Mishawaka’s business district. However, the citizens rebuilt and attracted new industry.

This one went up three years later. This newspaper story calls it the Phoenix, but obviously that’s not the case.

As for the strange cornice . . . well, take a look at the picture.

Sometimes the hardest part of art is knowing when to quit:


That’s uniquely horrible and everyone involved should look down at the ground, chastened.

What sort of giant lived on the second floor?

You can tell the building on the left - our horrible building discussed above - was quite old. Not just the thin windows, but the thin staircase leading up to the residential portion. And you can still read the old purpose from the exterior, despite the renovation.

An old phase of American architecture, not too popular - and hence the examples are rare.

Rusticated dark stone and columns. It was a transitional style. The Masons built, by the way.

Like a handsy uncle who likes to put an arm around your shoulder and draw you close and give you advice

I wonder if this is Doc Pierce’s place

Therein hangs, as you probably guessed, a tale.

Doctor Ray Vaughn Pierce was a traveling medicine man at the turn of the century with a simple perspective on life, health, + family: The woman is the provider of life and the caretaker of the home. Therefore, when the woman is happy, the home is happy. Witnessing regularly the stressors of childbearing and the duties of serving a household, Doc Pierce made it his priority to find a cure-all for the young women he encountered. And thus the "Golden Discovery" was born, a medley of herbs with the slightest tincture of what was once used in strains of liquid opium. It's possible that this medical discovery kept the young ladies he doctored fairly buzzed... But if his goal was to keep women and the family happy, what a better solution than a strong drink, all the more enjoyed around a table with hearty food, laughter, + conversation with friends + family. 

Yeah, uh huh. Wikipedia:

Pierce engaged in the manufacture and sale of patent medicines and established the Invalids' Hotel and Surgical Institute. His manufacturing business started with "Doctor Pierce's Favorite Prescription", which he followed with other medicines, including Smart Weed and Dr. Pierce's Pleasant Pellets. His venture proved a success, with nearly one million bottles of Dr. Pierce's Smart Weed and other preparations shipped annually.

He was a member of the New York State Senate (31st D.) in 1878 and 1879. Pierce was elected as a Republican to the 46th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1879 to September 18, 1880, when he resigned.

Smart weed, eh.


The Y is a bit much and the letters look as if they’re going to slide off and clatter to the sidewalk, but great old signage like this is rare.

None of their rehabs seem quite right, do they?

It’s like the guy wanted the entire upper floor for his office, and wanted a window where he could stand, hands clasped behind his back, and consider the world like a captain of industry. And a door he could use if there was a crash, and he wanted to step out of his office and fall to his death.

I’m not blaming Gene.


The materials are interesting, and I like it - but again, it’s just a bit odd.


Why did we go here? I was doing ads, or matchbooks, or clippings, or something, and ran across mention of Red Ball Shoes. I remembered those from my youth, and was curious to tour the town where they'd been made. Wikipedia:

The Dodge Manufacturing Company, Perkins Windmills and the Mishawaka Woolen and Rubber Company (later Ball Band, then Uniroyal) all helped the town to prosper.

The factory site today.

That'll do. Thanks for the visit, and I'll see you hither and or thither. Possibly yon.




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