Manning the door on Halloween is absolutely no fun with an alert dog, who interprets all of this hubbub as a continued assault on the den. Wave after wave. The doorbells pings. The streets are thronged. We did it in shifts, with me upstairs with the dog behind closed doors while Wife handed out the goods. She is always keen on the kids having a Good Time, so the lawn has the requisite totems of death and decay, and they're spotlit for maximum terror. We had 260 pieces, with a two-piece limit. As of this writing - 6:24 - the pace is picking up.

There's no sign of life down at the Triangle, which is odd. We got a flier saying there would be a gathering down there, as always, but the people who arranged it when we first moved here are gone, and we don't know who's handling it now. There used to be police barricades dropped off a day before, a sign of the revelry to come. A few years we had massive lights strung across the intersection, thanks to a neighbor who worked sets for movie and TV production. One neighbor always made chili - and we're talking cooked it for three days before chili. Everyone brought something. Fires and comraderie. The occasional dog foraging under the table. Fog machines. A bouncy castle, once.

For a while, everyone posted signs on their doors saying the candy was down at the triangle, where we conmingled our bags. That stopped when people showed up in cars and sent their kids out to scoop up 20 pieces at a time. Tragedy of the commons and all that.

As I said, we got fliers, but there's nothing down there. No boombox with Halloween songs or creaking dungeon sounds. Some nights the menfolk would sit around the fire and drink beer and listen to music until waaaay past midnight. There was a core of guys in the late Oughts and Tens. Steady guys with interesting jobs, finance guys (you could tell by the salesman personality and the always-ready joke), the out-of-neighrborhood friend who had no family, the occasional guy heading fast towards retirement. Circumstances and changes pulled it all apart. I wonder if they miss it too, or if the ones who got divorced just put it out of their minds, a life that belonged to someone else.

Around ten I should send Natalie the traditional picture. Wonder if I sent it last year. I almost forgot.

I can still whistle the music from this episode. It has a quality most of the kid's Halloween shows lack: it's actually scary. If you're very young.

LATER: We had about a hundred kids come through. One actual adult woman with a chain-smoker voice, all by herself. Odd. The last was a man with a very small toddler at 9 PM, and I can only assume he just got off work and was doing what a dad does.

Not a bad turn out. Too many pumpkin-pie KitKats left over, though.

Wonder what will happen to those.












I forgot I had HULU and I forgot they carried the Mary Tyler Moore show. This is the Ur Show for me, the reason I am where I am. Living in Fargo, it showed me the great metropolis where I would find my fortune and fame.

And so it turned out. This elevator?

I took it to my job in the television industry, just like Our Mar. Okay, I worked at TV Guide, but still. And of course I work now for the paper she's holding.

If you're from here, you know this was the building across the street:

I know that skyway. I have never ducked like that, though. No one ever did. Even know when it’s all emptied out.

I never wore canary-yellow suits while I flounced across the Nicollet Mall with insouciance, though:

I did, however, walk past Gray’s Drug every day - as did Mary and Phyllis.

Anyway. I dropped in to the 5th season, where they have a consultant to get the ratings up. He’s played by Richard Masur. Here’s an example of his soulless, cheap, exploitative suggestions:

It’s proof that Mary, Lou, and Murray were bad at their jobs.

The network news would cover that, right?

Right? But now I realize that the WJM existed in a strange unaffiliated world where there wasn’t any network news. There didn’t seem to be a network attachment at all. Ted regularly did national and international news.

The consultant was absolutely correct to kill the Indian Student Riot in favor of the purse snatching. He had video of the event.  It was local. That's the job of a local station.

In the end, of course, he quits for bigger challenges, and everyone agrees that it’s okay to be last in the ratings, as long as they’re happy at their jobs and everyone cares for each other.

In a few years, they’d all be fired.



It's 1899. Close enough.

NOTHING! And we mean, NOTHING! No other garment has these trouble-eliminating aspects.

No trace of Hank's empire remains, alas.

Be Patriotic!

Patriotism and good-sense go together in choosing hats.

I don't know why.

There's a building today at 750 Broadway - obviously - and it could be the office. It's One Astor Place now. It ought to be the Stetson House, right? The Astors have enough stuff.

They are overly anxious:

Their garmenbts were made upon honor.

I’m surprised to find Kuppenheimer has been defunct since the 90s. Men’s Wearhouse bought it in 1997.

Trivia: they supplied Rod Serling’s suits for “The Twilight Zone.”


Men of taste, distinction, and impossibly small feet:

Here’s their letterhead, from an eBay auction.

Philadelphia didn’t have a triumphal arch like this, as far as I can tell.


“Publishers of the Telegraphic Cypher Code.” There were many of those.

The address is one of several remarkably slender commercial structures.

Perhaps one of the upsides of the end of office life is the preservation of these structures. Although I'm probably wrong, and they'll be gone in ten for a monolith.

Note the stylish get-up!

“The brains in this establishment are never idle.” Meaning, they’re already working on something to make this new style the old style.

  Uh -
  Er -

They’re sample ads. Subscribers could use them in local papers, to assure everyone their hats cost three dollars, instead of two.

The company name is fictitious.




That'll do - and here we are in November.

Well, nothing to do but ride it out.





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