Kate and I had some bidness in Royal Oak last night, and started for home right about the time this happened. I’d estimate we were moments behind the action, which if you don’t want to click, is this, in summary: A tanker truck crashed on I-75 about 8:30 p.m. and burst into flames, involving another semi and a car. The fire melted and collapsed the 9 Mile Road overpass and, as the journos like to say, sent a roiling plume of heavy black smoke 200 feet into the air.

We weren’t on 75, but I-696, another freeway that crosses it, about a mile north. From that overpass we were able to briefly see the whole thing — the smoke, the terrible fire, the location. About this far away, but in the other direction.

So what did I do? Called Alan at work, told him to tell the city desk. I’ll be calling the damn city desk until I die. When I was in Fort Wayne, at the beginning of my time there, we still had stringers to cover the rural areas, paid them a pittance to be there when tankers crashed and burned in their neck of the woods. Most of them were old, veterans of days when being a newspaper reporter meant something (which is to say, barely more than it means today). But they brought real enthusiasm to the job — no one could cover all the angles of a feral dog pack terrorizing rural sheep herds — and, by our eyes, real comedy, sometimes.

Our man in Adams County was Simon Schwartz. (Carrying that name in that neck of the woods is like being called Abe Goldberg in New York City. It’s an insider’s name.) He was well into his 80s, and had health problems that sometimes took him off duty for a spell. But at least twice a week, he typed up the week’s news on onionskin paper, on a manual typewriter probably as old as he was, addressed them with a quavery hand and always added a note off to the side on the envelope: RUSH. The editors got a kick out of that one, but I’ll tell you, when a natural-gas explosion in Berne took out a house and burned its occupants, man, Simon dragged his old bones out of bed and got to a phone, dictated the news on deadline and filed a follow by mail, which was rushed to the metro desk.

As I recall, he added a cover note to the editor with whom he’d been working, whom he addressed as Miss Montgomery: “They say (the burn victim) is suffering terribly. It must be like the way sinners will suffer in the fires of Hell. A useful reminder to prepare for Eternity!”

I’m sure Simon is in Eternity by now, and I hope, wherever he is, he’s not suffering. Any man with that kind of work ethic can’t be all bad.

Anyway, the fire is still smoldering here in Detroit this morning. Love quotes like this: “There’s still something burning under there,” (a fire chief) said. “We poured water on the section that collapsed and it boiled.” The freeway will be closed indefinitely, and the overpass, which was brand-new, will have to be rebuilt. Cause of the crash? Still unclear, but it looks like speeding. A car lost control on the curve. A useful reminder to slow down.

I don’t have much bloggage, but I have some:

The Brits have had our language longer than we have, which is how they can come up with so much great slang.

Chickens as art objects.

And now time for breakfast, and the gym. I spent hours at the keys yesterday. Time to spend a few hours away, eh?

Posted at 9:30 am in Popculch |

53 responses to “Fire.”

  1. brian stouder said on July 16, 2009 at 10:05 am

    So what did I do? Called Alan at work, told him to tell the city desk. I’ll be calling the damn city desk until I die.

    One would think that the news business is a straight-forward affair, really; and yet on occasion it strikes me as utterly inscrutable. Take this local story, about a police action shooting of an aggressive dog, which got different treatment from the two newspapers. Here’s the JG story

    and then here’s the News-Sentinel story

    The Journal Gazette didn’t just bury the ‘lede’ (by my lights); they ignored it altogether! At least the good ol’ News-Sentinel mentioned the thing that grabbed me about the story: it took SEVEN SHOTS for one of our police officers to kill the dog? In a residential area, no less? (one would hope some shoe leather is getting spent on a follow-up, regarding target practice, this particular officer’s proficiency with weapons, rules and guidelines for firing a weapon in a neighborhood, pepper spray alternatives for animals, and so on)

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  2. velvet goldmine said on July 16, 2009 at 10:08 am

    I always hated the way our paper treated our old-timers — two columnists and a stringer. The columnists, in particular, had the big-time, NYT or WaPo stints under their belts, as did our publisher. But the editor himself just grunted at them, mocked them behind their backs, and declined to talk to them when they tried to engage him about rumors they’d heard around town.

    One of the columnists was a friend of Ralph Nader’s, who came back to town for his funeral. Unfortunately, the funeral was just a few months after my editor had dropped his column. Ralph Nader glared at the editor during the entire funeral. Unnerving.

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  3. MichaelG said on July 16, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Call CC Myers. He’ll fix your freeway.

    I kinda wonder about Ms. Sandrow and her rooster and the “rooster’s elaborate needs”. Sounds a tad kinky.

    Madonna looks worse than awful.

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  4. coozledad said on July 16, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I think the elderly stringer might find that image of Madonna “a useful reminder to prepare for eternity”. I think they called images like that “ars moriandi” in the middle ages.
    We used to have a couple of Polish Hens who had heads feathered similarly to Shinnecock, except the feathers drooped slightly more over the eyes. I couldn’t understand why they bred birds like that. They were always getting raped by the other breeds of roosters, and were at a distinct disadvantage when a hawk or possum showed up. Which sort of brings me back to another barnyard avian analogy for Madonna: That woman’s a stew-bird.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on July 16, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Bingo wings–love it!! I never, ever go sleeveless.

    My Dad was a stringer for a couple of larger papers. Since he was covering all those stories anyway for the radio station it was easy cash. His personal ethical code meant he never used the long distance at the station but always made the calls from home. He knew everyone in the community so the papers got good value from their payments.

    He got up at 3:30 to work his sources before signing on at 5 and was on the air until noon. Almost every night was a sports event for the local college or two high schools or a city council meeting. Is it any wonder he mastered power naps?

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  6. LAMary said on July 16, 2009 at 10:55 am

    MichaelG, I thought of that company too. It was remarkable how quickly they got the 10 up and running in 1994, and didn’t they finish that job up north ahead of schedule?
    Love the photo of Madge. She’s managed to exercise and starve herself into creepiness.

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  7. Jason T. said on July 16, 2009 at 10:58 am

    and, as the journos like to say, sent a roiling plume of heavy black smoke 200 feet into the air

    Would you consider that a “conflagration,” Nance?

    Also, I was disappointed that neither paper worked the word “span” into the headline, as in: “TANKER BLAST FELLS 9-MILE SPAN”

    … sorry, I’ll get me hat.

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  8. Heather said on July 16, 2009 at 11:00 am

    “Bingo flaps” is hilarious, but I also have a soft spot (pun intended) for “hi Helens.”

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  9. MichaelG said on July 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

    There was a tanker truck blow up a couple of years ago on the 580 Bay Bridge approach which took down an overpass. CC Myers got it fixed way ahead of schedule. He made big money on bonuses for both jobs. Also he redid a big section of 5 here in Sacto last year with similar ahead of schedule scoop up the bonus results.

    “Stew bird.” Nail on the head as usual, Cooz.

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  10. Dorothy said on July 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

    When Jamie Lee Curtis was on campus last year, she gave a delightful talk about aging. And one of the things she made fun of, about herself, was her own “bingo wings” (she didn’t call them that of course.) She named hers after her grandmothers, one of which was Helen and I forget the other one’s name. She had on a sleeveless black, form-fitting top, but she also wore a crocheted white short-sleeved sweater over it. She looked fab, regardless of the droopy skin on her upper arms. I think Madonna’s wouldn’t look half so bad if she put on a few pounds.

    And I’m glad you and Kate were a few moments behind that accident, Nance. I actually thought of you when I saw the report on the news last night. I just missed being involved in a 4 car bang-up at the main entrance to Kenyon two weeks ago when I had to run into town to pick up my hubby at work. I hope all of my procrastinations will wind up that way.

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  11. ROgirl said on July 16, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Cooz – you might be thinking of the term “memento mori.” Artists would depict skulls in paintings or on tombs to remind the living that their current state was merely temporary. Madonna’s face is looking rather skull-like these days.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on July 16, 2009 at 11:46 am

    That would make mine Eva and Besse.

    When we saw The Reader among the many things that struck me was Kate Winslet’s appearance. And no, Brian Stouder, not the sex scenes, the lack of makeup (except the aging stuff). And by the end she looked pretty bad. She is that comfortable with herself and what the role needed.

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  13. coozledad said on July 16, 2009 at 11:53 am

    ROgirl: You’re right. It’s been awhile since I read Philipe Aries. Ars moriendi is apparently a book about how to die “the good death”.
    I was also thinking about Madonna as a transi -the transtional figure between living being and skeletal admonishment.

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  14. Catherine said on July 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Favorite British slang: “Stupid git.” Used liberally by the Weasley brothers in Harry Potter.

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  15. brian stouder said on July 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

    She is that comfortable with herself and what the role needed

    Hah! – and, agreed! I DO appreciate that she’s a wonderful actress; and indeed, that she’s comfortable with being naked on the big screen – which if you think about it, has to be terrifying beyond words (even if also very pleasing to hound-dogs in the audience, like me).

    And what’s the movie she’s in opposite Leonardo? We were going to redbox that one recently, but it was out

    PS – unrelated and off-topic, but Pam and I attended a company event at Parkview Field last night, and it was really, truly wonderful. And the funny part? No fewer than four people who were unreservedly opposed to the whole ball park initiative down there were moved to say (variations of) “I was against this project, but it sure did turn out well”

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  16. Dorothy said on July 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Revolutionary Road is that movie, Brian. I haven’t seen it. I heard it was a very depressing movie. If I see it at all, it’ll have to be on HBO or Showtime. I won’t intentionally rent a movie that’s gonna make me in a bad mood.

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  17. Sue said on July 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I like the British slang word “wanker”. Sort of like “jerk” or “jag” with the same origins (add an ‘off’ to either word). A blog I read on Jane Austen uses the phrase “Lord High Mayor of Wankerville” to describe favorite “love to hate” characters in Austen, as well as Austen fans and critics who’ve gotten too big for their britches.
    And here’s the abbreviated scenes from when Kate Winslet was on “Extras”. What a good sport.
    Edit: don’t watch it at work!

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  18. whitebeard said on July 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    When my wife and I worked at rival newspapers in Montreal, we always called our respective city desks whenever we saw something happen downtown during our daily walkabouts (we both worked nights), e.g. bank robberies (including a favorite detective called Kojak North, who shaved his head and wore a loose overcoat even in the summer to conceal his heavy-duty weaponry), building fires, mailbox surrounded by bomb squads, plain old city bus filled with police in full SWAT gear, you know, common stuff like that.

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  19. MarkH said on July 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Let me get this straight: she does two-hour workouts every day, but ignores the triceps? Or is it that, at a certain age, nothing helps? My wife does moderate workouts, and other than a slight weight gain that comes with age, hers look great.

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  20. Dorothy said on July 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    How old’s your wife, Mark? Madonna is the big 5-0. I think her problem is she doesn’t have enough meat on her bones. Someone who works out like that and weighs the correct amount for their height shouldn’t have flappy underarms.

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  21. MarkH said on July 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Deb and I are both (gulp!) 57, Dorothy. You’d think her (Madonna’s) trainer would know about a “lack-of-meat” problem and prescribe a bulk-up diet of some sort. But, what do I know….

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  22. MichaelG said on July 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    My Ex is 56 and doesn’t have any flappy areas on the undersides of her upper arms. She’s pretty active, though. There are plenty of others. On the other hand, you will see the phenomenon on many men as well.

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  23. MarkH said on July 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Hey, Dorothy (and Jason T.) —

    Back to yesterday’s radio discussion for a bit. Who did you listen to in Pittsburgh growing up? Before I left in the late 60’s it was mostly KQV, later 14K, Dave Scott, Chuck Brinkmann, others. Parents mostly had KDKA on, with Clark Race, Bob Tracey, Art Pallan and one of the funniest morning men EVER, Rege Cordic. Brinkmann is still working an oldies show in Dallas.

    This guy is a Pittsburgh (and general radio) legend, but I didn’t listen to him much, did you? He was Allan Freed before there was Allan Freed, and he’s now in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame:

    Still going at 90+, too.

    Speaking of KQV in Pgh., anyone here know who their most famous ex-DJ is? Was fairly popular, but got fired in ’74, went by the name Jeff Christie, and is doing other things on a national level now. Dorothy and Jason T. will know this, whether they like him or not.

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  24. LAMary said on July 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Wanker is a pretty rude word. Be careful using it in polite company. I almost said “tossing it around” but tossing is rude too and means the same thing as wanking. I like the term “jolly hockeysticks.” It describes woman who is enthusiastic and game for everything and ho ho who cares if it’s ten below let’s go hikingish. Too much so. Sarah Ferguson before she became Eurotrash was very jolly hockeysticks. She had the jolly hockeysticks look too.

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  25. basset said on July 16, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Porky even had a basketball team named after him… quoting here from ESPN’s website:

    Consider that in order to get the greatest of the young big men, they raided the Porky Chedwicks of Pittsburgh’s YMWHA circuit. That netted Connie Hawkins, who’d been banned from the NBA and became the ABA’s first MVP while leading the Pittsburgh Pipers to the title.

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  26. Dorothy said on July 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Mark you are referring to none other than Rush Limbaugh, that big old bag of gas. I listened to KQV and then WDVE growing up for the most part. Jimmy Roach was pretty big at ‘DVE then. KDKA also had Jack Bogut, a favorite of my mother’s for sure. I remember Rege Cordic, too. He was a class act. I can still recognize a lot of old songs I heard playing on KDKA when I’d come home from school. My mom would have it on and she’d be ironing or making dinner. I didn’t even know there were other radio stations on AM radio when I was growing up. KDKA was the only one that was ever on.

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  27. Jason T. said on July 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    MarkH., Jeff Christie was a fun-loving, somewhat rotund young man from Cape Girardeau, Mo., who also worked at WIXZ in my fair city of McKeesport.

    In fact, I wrote about Mr. Christie here.

    I’m too young to have grown up with Porky (though I recently worked with him, or at least at the same station).

    My era was more O’Brien and Garry on WTAE (“Wah-tay,” as they would say), Trish Beatty on KDKA, Quinn and Banana on B94 (WBZZ) and Jimmy ‘n Steve on WDVE-FM (and later WRRK).

    When I was just a little shaver, my mother was a fan of the aforementioned Jim Quinn on WTAE … long before he went from wild ‘n crazy rock jock to conservative talk show host.

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  28. Jason T. said on July 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Dorothy, as you may know, Jack Bogut is still going strong and still getting out of bed at 4 a.m., five days a week, to host the morning show at WJAS (1320) in Pittsburgh.

    And he sounds as good as he did in 1973, or ’83, or ’93.

    Bogut naturally has a website, too, where you can order his CDs.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on July 16, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Revolutionary Road is depressing but in a different way from The Reader, which led to good discussions afterwards. I couldn’t find anything positive in RR, or anything I wanted to talk about. Subjugation of women in the 50’s and the idea of giving up your youthful desires for the financial needs of raising a family? The movie didn’t have any fresh perspectives and drug us down along the way. Was the acting wonderful? Maybe, but how hard is it to fight for two hours? I didn’t see the chemistry between Leo and Kate either.

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  30. Peter said on July 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Deb, just saw your comment on yesterday’s thread about picking up WLS in Georgia and it reminded me of a Blackhawks broadcast of many years ago.

    Back in the day, the Hawks could really rock the old Chicago Stadium. Games were carried on WIND (560), and during one game, Pat Foley introduced two guys who had heard the Hawks game on their radio – in Saskatchewan. They thought it was so cool, they decided to get in the car right then and there, drive to Chicago, and attend the next Hawks game. They parked in front of the Stadium and stayed in their car for two nights before the ticket window opened (talk about taking your life in your own hands!) They told their story to the ticket agent, who told someone in the office, and they wound up on the radio.

    The part I’ll always remember was Pat Foley asking them: “You mean to tell me you drove all the way to Chicago just to go to one Blackhawks game?” and one of the guys said “No, we got tickets for Wednesday’s game too”.

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  31. Dexter said on July 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Bingo wings? That’s a real corker!
    Mom was a phone-stringer for the local paper for a few years, meaning she dug around town via the telephone inquiring who visited whom and what kid was shipped off to Vietnam or had just completed freshman year at Ball State (where the precious darling went to become a teacher).
    I remember stories of people visiting sick folks in hospitals hither and yon, as well as mention of huge Sunday dinners and the complete attendee list.

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  32. Jen said on July 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I love going through old newspapers and looking at all the great things they would publish, like whose grandchildren visited from out of town and who had been admitted to the hospital and things like that. We still do birth announcements in our paper, but the family has to send them in – the local hospital can’t do it because of HIPAA. We still also list all of the marriage licenses and divorces in the county, which is a wonderful source of information in this small town. One of our weeklies also lists all the people who end up in traffic court, but the daily doesn’t do it anymore. We still list every arrest, though.

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  33. Dorothy said on July 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Jason my favorite thing O’Brien and Garry would do was when they’d talk about the morning traffic. “There’s a breakdown on the Fort Pitt Bridge” one of them would say, and then the other one would start to pretend to sob uncontrollably, imitating a “breakdown” on the air. It was funnier than it sounds here, I swear. I miss them a lot. They were clean-funny, unlike Bob & Tom, who just sort of make me sick anymore. I’m glad I can no longer pick up a station that carries them. Even if I could I wouldn’t listen anymore. They’re much too juvenile for my tastes.

    Oh and BTW, Jason, Michelle Michaels is still a presence on ‘DVE at lunch time. Here in Columbus I hear someone calling herself Michelle Michaels on a station as I drive to work. I feel pretty sure it’s not her real name, which makes me wonder if Michelle Michaels in Pittsburgh is going under an assumed name. And when did it become commonplace for morning sidekick gals to all be called “Christie”?? That’s the name of the girl on Bob & Tom, but I know it’s a fake name. Because they’d mention once in awhile that she was a real estate agent, and she used her real name when she did her real estate business. I swear every other station I listen to when punching channels in the morning has a news girl named Christie. Market research I assume??

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  34. Dexter said on July 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Dorothy, I didn’t know about Christie. Radio management assigns names to the disc jockeys, or used to. Rush Limbaugh was one of many, many “Johnny Williams” dj s. Limbaugh was in Pittsburgh, CKLW had a “Johnny Williams” , and I heard yet another JW just the other day.

    My mulberry tree finally quit producing fruit. I ate mulberries every day since the first of June. This never happened before.

    Our old veternarian would send an expensive Hallmark-type card when a pet died.
    The new vet, a young guy, now sends out the folded computer printout, no color, and hand scribbled graphics by a young hand, probably embarrassed that the boss is such a fucking cheapskate.

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  35. alex said on July 16, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Yesterday Dex or somebody mentioned Chicago radio personality Yvonne Daniels. She was familiar to me from the 1980s/’90s, and had one of the richest throaty voices on the air until her smoking habit took her life.

    Her last gig was with WNUA, the station that pioneered the “smooth jazz” format. (I continued listening to it online after leaving Chicago, but the station went to a Spanish-language mariachi music format earlier this year.)

    These days I just listen to iRadio through my computer at home. It’s just like Sirius — lots of ad-free uninterrupted music in whatever format you please. One of my neighbors is a local radio personality and a very nice guy who relocated here from out of state and it’s kind of embarrassing when he talks shop because I’ve never once heard him on the air. Local radio just isn’t a habit anymore, or any ambient music in the car, for that matter. I must be turning into a fogey.

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  36. coozledad said on July 16, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    One of the local papers we used to have a subscription to featured a regular society column by a woman who operated a small branch of the county library. She usually opened her weekly essay with a description of the birds at her feeder, and how they were a comfort to her now that her saintly husband had passed (I carried their mail: Before he died her sainted husband would meet me at their mailbox, checking his watch and grimacing. It was a comfort to me thinking I may have been one of the irritants that leveraged him into that better world). One of her columns went on to discuss how a barn swallow had flown into the library, and was soiling the walls and the books. She and some of the associates chased the bird around for an hour or so until it was exhausted. I figured at that point she’d say they released the creature back into the wild, but hell no. She was proud that she was the only one who thought of crushing it with an unabridged dictionary.
    Evelyn Waugh couldn’t have written that stuff.

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  37. moe99 said on July 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    C’dad, I swear you have Faulkner beat all to hell these days. I am in awe.

    As a partial frolic and detour, here’s a recipe for chocolate chip cookies you can bake on the dashboard of your car.

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  38. Dexter said on July 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Twenty years ago I read in the Trib about Norris Alfred, an old guy who ran a one-man newspaper in Polk, Nebraska, the “Polk Progress”. Mr. Alfred was a liberal man who always gave hell to Ronald Reagan in his weekly editorial.
    I subscribed for my dad and myself, and had several years of reading of Mr. Alfred’s Sunday morning bird-watching expeditions along the Platte River. He was a helluva man.

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  39. caliban said on July 16, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I’ve got some connection with you and your daughter, Nancy. I have a daughter, she’s 28 now, and she’s close to being perfect as far as what a parent could expect.

    She excelled in undergrad, except for some idiot grad student that didn’t think she wrote well enough, I used to work for the Univerity aof Georgia athletic Department as a tutor. We have a pretty good J School named for Henry Grady. You know, that guy that risked his life to expose bone racists like Jeff Sessions. When this idiot that had no clue about grammar or syntax or choice of vocabulary tried to intimidate my child, was she an idiot or was she trying to ingratiate herself with some sort of creepo professor? Seems kind of obvious.

    So when Lindsay Graham thinks Sonia Sotomayor should question her beliefs or her past actions, is he a condescending prick or just a pamoered moron? Here’s onedeal. Sessions is a Klan idiophant, Lindsay is limp, and the lady makes the two bastards look like eeasels. When you get right down to it, empathy is sort of funny. Because these nitwits don’t actually understand the difference between sympathy and empathy, and Alito and that toad that likes to shoot animals with Cheney are incabable of defending theirr empathy votes.

    Scalia shitcanned the Florida vote. What’s his precedent. There is no precedent. There is no precedent. Asshole just decided with no conceivable basis a twit was president.W? Grover Norquist approves.

    Think about 2004. W ran like a creepy bastard from serving. Kerry served. These assholes want you to believe Kerry derved to endanger himself so he could run for President sometime in the future. Sure. He saved compatriots. But he thought that aout ahead of time. Like W thought about gailing?

    When you gewty right down to it the assholes that jad neyyer tjhings to do slandered Kerry andthey should be groought to court. AThe swiftboat shit was such crap it was a joke except Americans seem to be idiots. As it was, Kerry won the election and it got stolen straight out in Sandusky County. Judges imposing themselves, Gore beat that asshole. Kerry beat that asshole too, but Ken Blackwell stole the election.

    Are you all so dumb you forgot the srovepipe. Cheney believed if you stole the election you could impose the Project for the New Century. Isarael can do no wrong. International law don’t mean shit,Palestinians arem’t even second class ditizems. They’re canon fodder and Israel can just blow up Leganon and fet awa7 with it.

    That is what Israel did. They sit on nukes they refuse to acknowledge. They threaten every other state in the middle east. They threaten peace, constantly. They occupy territory in contradiction of international law. They
    re defending themselve’s. They threaten everybody. Admit to the nukes at Cremona, you bastards.

    Here’s the deal. Iran has signed on to international treaties, including the nonproliferation accords. Israel has actual nukes and won’t sign. Which country is threatening peace? If Israel won’t back off the wettlement, who’s threatening peace? The settlements are so clearly illegal, no matter how you look ar it, wgat the hell are the Israelis talking about? This is clearly apartheid.

    DThere is no way of getting around this. They’re treating the Palistinians as Bantu, they’ve set up Bantustans, and the racist implications are unavoidable. Israelis claim a special situation. They claim jews were singled out for horrible treatment. Palestinians are being singled out for singular treatment identical to what Israelis claimed. They should be allowed to act like animals towards others bewause somebody acted that way toward them?

    No joke. The Israeli state is sitting on a bunch of nukes. They got those nukes by pallin around with South Africa. The State of Israel learned about apartheid from South Africa. Palestinians deserve a state as much as Israelis do. The United States ddoesn’t owe dick to Israel. We have created the state and made it last with spectacular ingusions of cash with no questions asked. They’ve got nukes they got by sharing with DeKlerk?

    Iran signed the non-proliferation treaty It only makes sense that they are interested in nuclear power. Their absolute right. Israel is sitting on nuclear bombs. They couldn’t care less about strategic considerations of the USA. They spy on us. Israel doesn’t really exist without American aid. If Israel threatens Iran, who’s the scarier partner?

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  40. alex said on July 16, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Funny you should mention Waugh, C-dad. This morning I wracked my brain for funny Britishisms I’ve heard in the past and couldn’t summon any. But the names Waugh gave to characters in his satirical work kept popping up. Like Jock Grant-Menzies. Teeny Atol. Minnie Blackwater. And the scene you describe calls to mind the one where the animal rights activists are throwing crumbs to the starving dogs in Ethiopia and then kicking the dying children for eating them.

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  41. MarkH said on July 16, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I knew Dorothy and Jason would come through. It was indeed the old Rushbag. And leave it to Jason to source his WIXZ roots. That McKeesport station (nice piece on McKeesport radio, by the way) was a favorite of my cousin who lived in Penn Hills back then. My older sister worked at WEDO for a time as well in ’62.

    Sure feel old seeing the radio names you both brought up that were popular after I left. If you don’t know Rege Cordic, here’s his obit:

    Jason, don’t know if I ever relayed to you that my genuine roots are in McKeesport, where my mother grew up, lived on Lee St. near the library. She was MHS Queen of the May in ’35; photos of her are in the ’36 Yough-A-Mon. Lots of great memories watching and listening to the steel mills on the Monongehela where Grandpa worked. Does the Menzie Dairy still exist? My dad was from East McKeesport where his dad had a dry goods store and we lived till I was five. Keep the Tube City Almanac going, my family loves it.

    WJAS: When I was a kid, that was Johnstown radio and TV.

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  42. basset said on July 16, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Cooz… you da man. my 19-year-old son is still laughing about the unabridged dictionary…

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  43. brian stouder said on July 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Say, a non-sequitur, but I gotta say the new Eddie Murphy movie called “Imagine That” is superb!

    The girls and I just got back from the $3 movie, and it is not too much to say that that movie was the best one I’ve seen in years.

    Honestly, I had no expectations at all – or if I did, they were somewhat negative expectations, when I saw that it was a Nickleodian movie.

    But forget all that; it’s a tremendously good movie with surprising depth and (I’ll say it) artistic truth.

    Four Stars, baby!

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  44. caliban said on July 16, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Naancy. You really think Iggy is worth taking to the grave. MC5 was way better. Seriously, those twin guitars were so much better than Ron Ashford it was not close. But the Quackenbush brothers were better. I was there. SRC was the best.

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  45. caliban said on July 16, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Thank. god you are both ok. I mean that with all my thoughts and prayers. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything, but it can’t hurt.

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  46. caliban said on July 17, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Bo joke.

    Fiona is so so awsome. I’d marry her in a moment. But there’ something wrong. There’s the Vincent Black Lightning consideration, and Bonnie and Clyde.

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  47. Danny said on July 17, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Caliban, MC5 sucks hind tit and Cheney and Bush were way braver than that pussy, Kerry. There, that oughta keep ya busy…

    Hey, Nance, I was at the zoo a few weeks ago and we were checking the Pandas (yes the World Famous San Diego Zoo, of course) and one of the keepers and I were chatting. She said that the Panda was indeed a bear and that if it felt threatened it would attack.

    The reason I mention this is I seem to remember a few years ago that you said that a certain editor whom you were fond of sent you a little blurb (cartoon panda with a thought bubble?) on your copy explaining how it really wasn’t a “panda bear.” Was that because your usage of the word “bear” was incorrect with the word “panda” or was it because the editor thought it was a sloth and not a bear?

    The things that rattle around in my memory…geeesh.

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  48. del said on July 17, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Re Madge: Garrison Keillor referred to them as “auxillary arms” in one show. Liked that.

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  49. Dexter said on July 17, 2009 at 12:41 am

    And yes, good timing. I frequently think of August 16, 1987, and the crash of the MD-82 aircraft that was Northwest 255. 155 deaths plus 2 on Middlebelt Road.
    We had just driven past on I-94 an hour and ten minutes before the crash, not much of a connection, but still, I never forgot it.
    It’s sort of like how I never forgot Saturday, June 10, 1989. I rode Amtrak to Chicago for a Cubs game , taking the el-subway to Wrigley. At the station where I entered the subway, just about ten minutes after I walked down to wait for a train, some thugs stabbed a man to death; the victim was taking his dog to the vet, and those creeps killed him for $80 and a one-way ticket straight to hell.

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  50. Jason T. said on July 17, 2009 at 1:36 am

    MarkH … have your sister contact me. I’ve been collecting stories from former WEDO employees, including Adam Lynch.

    In Johnstown, you’re thinking of WJAC … or as we used to call their newscasts, “We’re Just Auto Crashes.”

    And Menzie Dairy, sadly, took a turn for the worse (“in fact, it died”*) in about 1976. I seem to remember that a strike shut them down, and they never recovered.

    * — joke for Pittsburgh insiders

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  51. Scott Lemieux said on July 17, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I was actually in Royal Oak earlier this year…

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  52. MarkH said on July 17, 2009 at 4:08 am

    Thanks, Jason, I’ll pass it along. Thanks for the link to that hilarious newscast blog!

    And, yes, of course, it was WJAC I was thinking of.

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  53. Linda said on July 17, 2009 at 6:32 am

    I love British slang. They have the best words for useless people– tit, git, wanker (yeah, I know that means something else, but it transports well). But “bingo wings” is so widespread here that I don’t know that it qualifies as British.

    Madonna’s problem is that age is age, and there is only so much you can do about it. The dilemma with women who never want to age is that you can only appear ageless by having zero body fat, and then you look like a tough, scrawny sailor. Madge, you fought the good fight, but you hit the wall, as we all must if we are lucky enough to live past 50.

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