The toolkit.

I was reading Mitch Albom’s stupid column today, and —

But why do you read Mitch Albom’s stupid column, Nance? you’re asking. Because I enjoy picking scabs and scratching the patch of eczema on my left palm that won’t go away, mainly because I keep clawing at it, that’s why.

So anyway. I was reading Mitch Albom’s stupid column today, and it occurred to me that I should make a list of Columnist Tropes, that toolbox of pundit tricks that can be reliably deployed in service of getting something filed by deadline. The Open Letter, the Notes From My Vacation, that sort of thing.

I’m calling Mitch’s today the Buck Up, Buttercup, in which he deploys his hard-won wisdom to tell his readers not to be so naive. The topic is the college cheating scandal, which Mitch pronounces old news, using another crowbar from the Trope Toolbox, the “Casablanca” lead:

There’s a famous scene in “Casablanca” where the corrupt police chief played by Claude Rains shuts down Humphrey Bogart’s casino.

“I’m shocked — shocked — to find that gambling is going on in here!” Rains deadpans.

A croupier then hands him a wad of cash. “Your winnings, sir.”

“Oh, thank you,” Rains says.

You can tell what an effortless and instinctive word-count-padder Mitch is by that “famous.” I used to tell my students, if an expression, quote or what-have-you is truly famous, you don’t have to say “so-and-so famously said.” And then to explain the whole joke, as though there might be a single person in the readership who doesn’t know that scene — that’s champion-level padding, right there.

He goes on:

Are we really shocked — shocked! — to learn that a small group of very rich people paid stupid money to make their kids look smart? The college scandal dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” has been a huge story this past week, but are we really that stunned that 33 parents are accused paying a con artist named Rick Singer to hire a phony test taker or bribe college coaches in order to open “side doors’” for their kids’ admission?

Um, yeah?

To judge by the headlines — and the breathless class-warfare commentaries — you’d think this was the first time someone tried to improperly get into a college. Try that idea on any veteran sportswriter. You’ll get a laugh.

Then on to the well-known college-athlete recruitment scandals, then on to this just-asking-questions riff:

Has every applicant written his or her own essay? Or did they get help?

Has every applicant only gotten letters of recommendation from people who truly knew them or employed them — or did family friends and connections earn them more impressive endorsements?

Has every applicant truly done the stellar community service they claim on their form? Or did they exaggerate with someone’s blessing? Did they only join certain clubs or associations for the illusion of being well-rounded?

And this, of course, simply proves that the entire process is so, so wrong, that outrage is “simply disingenuous.” I guess as takes go, this one is maybe slightly above room temperature, but on second thought, maybe not.

I shouldn’t let this stuff bug me, and generally I don’t. But I just finally, finally found the courage to start doing our taxes, only to find the SSN on one of my W-2s is incorrect. On the one hand, got to shut down TurboTax and start this blog. On the other? Another chore to handle in the next month.

Hope everyone’s weekend and St. Patrick’s Day was good. I repotted an orchid, got some reading done, and had the right impulse on our taxes, at least. Also, I made Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake. Haven’t tucked into it yet, but I expect it’ll be delicious, because duh, chocolate cake. I also started doing some very preliminary research into our next big vacation, which I hope will be next fall — to Morocco. Anybody with experience in that part of the world, chime in.

I also spent some time on Twitter, and saw this:

These people. Sigh.

Good week ahead, all. I’m hoping for some peace and quiet. But right now I’m-a make some chicken pot pie with a homemade biscuit crust.

Posted at 5:54 pm in Media |
 

70 responses to “The toolkit.”

  1. Bitter Scribe said on March 17, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    So…getting help writing your entrance essay is the same thing as having Mom and Dad bribe the school’s sailing coach to say he recruited you?

    Gawd. The more I hear about this guy, the more he seems like Bob Greene without the lechery.

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  2. Suzanne said on March 17, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    I saw the GOP Beto O’Rourke thing on Twitter earlier. There.Is.No.Bottom.
    I really am losing hope because I know too many people who would look at that GOP tweet and wonder what all the fuss is about.

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  3. LAMary said on March 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    I’m having one of those wash all the quilts, blankets, throw rugs sort of days and listening to NPR while doing it. Trump has been tweeting more ugly disgusting crap than usual today and I’m looking for something better than the joy of clean throw rugs to stave off rage.
    And yes, no shit people have been helping their kids get into college in less than pure methods. That is not the same as bribery, cheating on SATs, and flat out lying. Am I ok with Trump’s family or Kushner’s family doing big cash dumps on prestigious schools so their slow children can get in? No. I’m not ok with that game including more tools like laundering money through fake charities and money going to “consultants” who have a network of shady test proctors working with them.

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  4. ROGirl said on March 17, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    When I went to my college orientation, there was a girl who bragged to a large group of people that her mother worked in her high school office and went into her daughter’s files and changed her grades.

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  5. brian stouder said on March 17, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    I’ll ask my son (Grant) for a few Morocco tips, as he spent a week there just before graduating from IU-Fort Wayne

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  6. Deborah said on March 17, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    My husband has a saying similar to “buck up, buttercup”. But his is “buck up, fuck nose”.

    I have wanted to go to Morocco for ages, when the itch first hit me I started reading Paul and Jane Bowles. Haven’t yet made it to Morocco but I think I’ve read everything ever written by Paul and Jane.

    Went to a Cubs spring training game in Arizona today, which they lost. Sat in the intense sun for the first half hour or so, until we were finally in shade. It was fun but went on too long for me to stay interested.

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  7. alex said on March 17, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Lori Loughlin is sort of Mitch Albom’s equivalent, a nothing-special actress to his nothing-special writer who, like him, gets paid exorbitantly to grind out crap for mass consumption. Maybe one day they’ll meet in Heaven — in a Hallmark Channel movie.

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  8. Alan Stamm said on March 17, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Inspired analogy and kicker, Alex.

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  9. LAMary said on March 17, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Excellent analogy, I agree, Alex.
    Reading Paul Bowles is a good idea. I would stay away from A Distant Episode, though.
    I have The Road to Morocco stuck in my head now. Bing Crosby and Bob Hope singing, “just like Webster’s Dictionary, we’re Morocco bound.”

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  10. Dexter Friend said on March 18, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Einstein or beer stein? Everyone deserves a chance …er…maybe luck or a bump on the head? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XS-xvTY2zU

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  11. basset said on March 18, 2019 at 6:34 am

    We made the cake too, on Saturday to go with the corned beef & cabbage. Next tine we’ll bake it for 45 minutes instead of an hour… and a little Bailey’s in the frosting is a nice addition.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on March 18, 2019 at 9:25 am

    The wrong SSN happened to our son once, too. He was in high school and the owners kept telling him they had sent the correction but not following through. It was getting close to tax time and finally my hubby went to their house and told them he wasn’t leaving until they produced the correct W-2. After many hours he got it. Lawdy, what a mess. Hope fixing yours will be smoother. And faster.

    Bitter at #1, what makes you assume there isn’t lechery?

    Alex at #7, that Hallmark Movie is already playing…in hell.

    We went to a concert Saturday night by our local orchestra and I don’t have enough superlatives to describe it. The first half was a John Adams piece, written right after 9/11 and played at concerts around its first anniversary. He works in the atonal, minimalist style, which means he doesn’t use melodies and harmonies, or even normal time signatures; not really my usual style. But it worked for this piece, and indeed I found it cathartic after the New Zealand massacres. I had to hold back my tears because I could tell if I started I couldn’t stop.

    The second half was Beethoven’s 9th, which contains the Ode to Joy (hah! I almost wrote *famous* Ode to Joy). Written towards the end of his life, when he was almost deaf, it’s a joyful celebration of humankind and truly uplifting. The fourth movement has singers–there were maybe 80 in the chorus–and the whole thing explodes at the end–you can hear fireworks in your head. The audience also exploded with joy, in a 10 minute ovation (standing, of course, this being Fort Wayne). Whew!

    Back in mumble, mumble, 1975, I got to sing this as part of a new music building dedication at my hometown university. The building is old and decrepit now, but Beethoven’s music is eternal.

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  13. Icarus said on March 18, 2019 at 9:36 am

    The Venn Diagram of people who think Operation Varsity Blues is no big deal and think Affirmative Action is evil is an overlapping circle.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on March 18, 2019 at 9:52 am

    All I got on Morocco is a line from a classic Simpsons episode:

    Homer: What a dump! How can Princess Grace live here?

    Lisa: Dad, that’s Monaco.

    Homer: D’oh!

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  15. FDChief said on March 18, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Albom…meh. Exhibit 1,001 in the “The law, in its impartial majesty…” case. Key to ensuring that the serfs know their place is reminding them that the sort of skeevy, low-rent chicanery that the Golden Ones use to ensure the positions of their spawn is just business-as-usual. I’m sure there was a Sumerian counterpart of ol’ Mitch cranking out clay tablets justifying why the god-king got a tenth of the grain despite being as worthless a human being as a tampon in a typhoon. There’s never been a shortage of these human remoras…

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  16. Heather said on March 18, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I have been looking at a group tour to Morocco–I’m a pretty intrepid solo traveler but I’ve only been to Western countries, so I’d prefer some company if I venture to Africa. It’s a 13-day trip though, and you have to share a room–a bit of a gamble. I decided that if I don’t get a new job by June, I’m going to book something.

    I used a prebrined Trader Joe’s corned beef brisket and it turned out very well, with cabbage, turnips, carrots, and potatoes cooked in the liquid too. My friends were impressed.

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  17. basset said on March 18, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    There are a lot of other places I’d go before Morocco.
    Cleaning out the storage locker… a box of Whole Earth Reviews, maybe a few Coevolution Quarterlies as well. Any ideas on what I might do with em? ebay is probably not an option, shipping would be too much.

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  18. Minnie said on March 18, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Made Nigella’s cake, also, to finish off home-corned beef and trad vegetables. Like Basset, I’ll cook mine a few minutes less next time. Oven must have been running hot. Research reveals that cures for a slightly dry cake include poking holes in it and saturating it with sugar syrup. But what I like about this cake is that it’s not disgustingly sweet. I’m contemplating poking holes and filling them with Kahlua or similar. Suggestions?

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  19. Brandon said on March 18, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Lori Loughlin is the poor man’s Cindy Crawford.

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 18, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I may be missing a major thread of the narrative on the so-called admissions scandal, but it sounds to me like it’s more a new instance of the brokenness of most major college athletic departments. No Division III schools I’ve heard of, and most of the fraud (yes, along with some gaming of test taking, which is external to admissions offices) has been to bribe/induce assistant coaches to exert themselves to use one of their sport’s “slots” for an undeserving student. So they’re getting in a pseudo-athletes on a non-scholarship but admissions-based exemption, because in bigger schools various teams get a certain number of “we need this kid” openings they can claim.

    But has any of it been an outright admissions office malfeasance? Again, I may have missed it, but I think the scandal leans more (again) towards the brokenness of collegiate athletics than to schools still making legacies and donors an easy in. And yes, I have a reverse axe to grind here, but my wife has told me plenty of stories over the last twenty years of how various alumni, board of trustees members, and senior staff have been shocked and angry over how they could NOT get their scions into the school. I think the system, from what I see and hear in private liberal arts schools in Ohio anyhow, is much less cooked than it was pre-1990s, when “legacy” or “board member kid” or “family of capital campaign donor” were all literally number entries into the admissions formula. No more.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 18, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    As usual, The Onion beat me to it.

    https://sports.theonion.com/ncaa-launches-investigation-into-why-it-wasn-t-making-m-1833381271

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  22. Dorothy said on March 18, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    What a day. Spring break is over and it’s wild in my office today. Reading this page keeps me centered but it’s taken me like 2.5 hours to get back to it after opening it on my lunch break, and then got interrupted a bunch of times.

    Morocco sounds so exotic so now my mentioning where we want to go in September to celebrate our 40th anniversary sounds so lame. But I have been so anxious to go to Ireland and Scotland with my hubby. We are planning to be gone two weeks which sounds like heaven on a day like today.

    Deborah and Jolene – I’m glad you enjoyed the video of Olivia ‘reading.’ She did that yesterday at her party while opening presents. She got lots of books as gifts. She opened one of them up and launched into her version of what was on the page (completely unintelligible but darling nonetheless). The room grew silent as she read and all of a sudden she looked around the room and realized we were all watching her. She got shy and slammed the book shut and grabbed a Moana doll instead. She’s extremely entertaining to be around, that little girl.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on March 18, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Dorothy, two weeks in the British Isles for your 40th doesn’t sound lame to me at all. Lame is what we’re doing for our 40th, also this year. We had planned a trip to NYC, but now have a family wedding in San Francisco added to the equation, along with a reunion in Minneapolis. The problem is the limited number of vacation days my hubby has. He uses most of them going to Orlando, and his boss is not amenable to unpaid days off. We’ll have to wait until he retires for our big trips. Enjoy your trip, and never think it is lame.

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  24. basset said on March 18, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    I’d much rather go to Minneapolis than NYC or Morocco. Some of you might consider that “lame.”

    A few drops of Jameson’s might work to moisten that cake up a little.

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  25. Jolene said on March 18, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    I second Julie’s view, Dorothy. I think two weeks in Scotland and Ireland sounds like heaven as well.

    My brother is, at this moment, traveling in Ireland with his wife, grown daughter, and sister-in-law. The particular timing of the trip was prompted by the 100th birthday of my now-departed Irish father, which is tomorrow. John thought it would be a kick to toast Dad on Ye Old Sod.

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  26. Jolene said on March 18, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    The NYT Cooking app recommends this Irish Cream Poundcake as a St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

    I think it sounds heavenly. Also, the picture is gorgeous.

    https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020076-irish-cream-poundcake?em_pos=medium&emc=edit_ck_20190316&nl=cooking&nl_art=4&nlid=29218405emc%3Dedit_ck_20190316&ref=headline&te=1

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  27. alex said on March 18, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    I can’t claim it as my alma mater because I didn’t stick it out until graduation. And I take issue with some of its assertions about excellence. (Okay, all of them.) But it’s heartbreaking just the same to see an institution of such longevity bite the big one after 135 years:

    https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/howe-military-academy-closing-after-135-years/1858710210

    Its founder, John Badlam Howe, native of Massachusetts, was an economist and author who wrote some influential books in his day. He was also a member of the state legislature in 1851 and one of a tiny handful to vote against the revised state constitution that year banishing all people of color from taking up residency in the state while imposing taxation on those already here in an effort to make them leave.

    There are a few buildings on campus of great architectural significance, particularly the St. James Chapel, with an intricately carved interior that has to be seen to be appreciated. Years ago the school sold off a bunch of real estate in its efforts to stay afloat, including John Badlam and Frances Glidden Howe’s first house, a sort of mini Greek Revival place that’s been badly effaced with aluminum siding at some point but was one of the first houses in the area with glass windows, which were the subject of much curiosity of the woodland natives who hadn’t yet been sent packing on the Trail of Tears.

    Some beneficent folks bailed the school out a couple of years ago but evidently it burned through the funds and never righted itself.

    I was there for a few years in the ’70s. At that point it was a place where Detroit mafia parked their kids for safe keeping and they pretty much could have killed with impunity, so I consider myself a very lucky individual to have survived there for four years from seventh through tenth grades physically intact (including my anal maidenhead — thank God I was an ugly child).

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  28. beb said on March 18, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Considering the crowd Albom is writing for I suspect that calling that scene from Casablanca “famous” and quoting the whole scene might, in fact, be necessary.

    While we’re obsessed with Bribegate, Trump has covertly called on his supporters to get more violent. As M. Cohen noted, Trump speaks in code. So when he suggests that his supports might get violent he’s actually telling them to get more violent.

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  29. Joe Kobiela said on March 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Alex,
    Will be interesting to see what happens to the property in Howe, close to the toll road, hopefully not a casino or another Shippshy.
    Pilot Joe

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  30. Deborah said on March 19, 2019 at 12:33 am

    I had not heard of poking holes in dry cakes and pouring in various liquors but wow that’s a great idea. I’m going to remember that.

    Dorothy, I’ve never seen a toddler do the reading aloud imitation that your granddaughter does, it’s hilarious and shows how observant she is.

    We’re at uncle J’s place in Tubac, AZ for a couple of days. His estranged wife pretty much cleared out the place, I got a few leftover things to take back to Santa Fe, mostly plants, specifically cacti. A few Navajo rugs which I couldn’t believe she didn’t take with colors that will go perfectly in the apartment. Some other things that will look nice on the patio.

    Tomorrow we’re going to do some sight seeing down here, maybe go to Nogales, and then maybe Bisbee. Then Weds morning we head back to NM with a car full of cacti.

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  31. Dorothy said on March 19, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Jolene my Irish grandfather was born today too! So your dad and Timothy McCarthy from Abbyfeale share a birthday – how about that! I’m not sure what year he was born. I think it was 1894.

    Last night I was daydreaming on my drive home from work about using sesame oil in the meat loaf I was going to make for dinner. Yes, I’m weird this way. So I Googled recipes for meatloaf with sesame oil and I found this one: https://thestayathomechef.com/korean-meatloaf/

    It was amazing and even smelled good RAW before I put it in the oven. I can’t recommend it enough. The ingredient “gochujang” threw me for a minute, so once again Uncle Google helped out. That’s chili paste, something we always have in the fridge. With a side dish of rice and also some edamame, our dinner was pretty fine last night if I don’t say so myself.

    I know our trip in September won’t be lame; I just meant compared to Morocco it wasn’t as exotic. I’m getting very excited to plan this trip. Also trying not to feel like I’m irreplaceable at the office for two weeks. I just need to train a fellow admin in some of the tasks that only I can do. Since retirement is not that far off for me, this will be good practice for when I train my replacement.

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  32. JodiP said on March 19, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Great timing: One of the Marketplace programs today has a bit about the status of women in Morocco (not great–80 percent are illiterate) and how one woman is getting them to do women-only tours. It starts at 4′ 30″

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  33. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Poke cakes were all the rage when our kids were little. You took a white cake, poked it with raw spaghetti, then poured over it a mixture of jello and sprite and refrigerated it. After the jello set up you topped it with whipped cream, read cool whip. It kind of makes me cringe now, but somebody had it at a birthday party and insisted they wanted it for their own. I’d eat it over a plain white cake any day.

    The Korean meatloaf sounds delish. Hubby is VERY attached to his mom’s meatloaf recipe so I might have to call it something else!

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  34. Minnie said on March 19, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Deborah, that chocolate Guinness cake perked right up after a shot of Kahlua. I may dry the next one out intentionally.

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  35. JodiP said on March 19, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    We love this ginger cake by Ruth Reichl. Scroll way down past all the commentary by the blogger.

    There is also a great chocolate cake recipe from the Moosewood Cafe in Ithaca that I love–not too sweet, easy to flavor with kahlua, Frangelico, whatever.

    We’re having friends over for dinner on Saturday–and all the cake talk is making me want to make a cake!

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  36. Suzanne said on March 19, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    I want to leave work this very second and go home, grease up my bundt pan, and make that ginger cake. Right this minute!

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  37. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Ginger cake, yummo. But I didn’t scroll, and I recommend her book. It’s been years since I read it, and it’s a lovely, shall we say, confection.

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  38. Deborah said on March 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    We’re having lunch in Patagonia, AZ where Jim Harrison spent his winters. I’m having homemade rhubarb pie for dessert.

    Next stop, Bisbee. We decided to skip Nogales, there were so many trucks on the highway.

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  39. Deborah said on March 19, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I asked the waitress at the cafe in Patagonia if Jim Harrison used to eat here because the food is quite good and he was something of a gourmet, she said no, that Harrison was a Wagon Wheel kinda guy. That’s the local bar where she used to see him all the time. Ha ha, figures.

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  40. Dave said on March 19, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Bisbee is a artist community, once the home of copper miners. The pit is mined out and tours are available but when I first went there in 1973, it was a going concern and there were no artists about. Also, Deborah, wasn’t it you who met the author J. A. Jance? She grew up there and went to school with a good friend of my aunt and uncle, who live only fifteen miles or so away.

    I’ve been to Nogales, I don’t think you’ve missed much by not going.

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  41. Deborah said on March 19, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    We visited Bisbee almost 30 years ago and my husband came down with the flu, was sick as a dog the whole time. I didn’t remember it being as touristy as it is now, but because my husband was so sick we didn’t see much except for the inside of the hotel room then. I don’t need to go back to Bisbee again, it’s quaint but way too many touristy places for me now.

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  42. LAMary said on March 19, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    I don’t remember any artists in Bisbee. There is one huge honking hole, that’s for sure. There’s also the Gadsden Hotel which is old and quaint.

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  43. Deborah said on March 19, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    There are some galleries in Bisbee but don’t know where the artists who show there are from, we didn’t go into any of them. There are a bunch of antique and junk shops. We didn’t walk around that much because the tourists were swarming and it was depressing.

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  44. Dexter Friend said on March 19, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    lame? I have lame for yas right here: I have a cuppa Twining’s Irish Breakfast Tea in my hand . Well, that’s all…I guess I could add my niece lived in Dublin for six years teaching music to teenage school kids while her husband became a medical doctor at the Dublin Royal College of Surgeons, and my old army pal Greg in Connecticut has made 6 trips to there and pines for a chance to live out the remainder of his days there on ye auld sod, but he lost his huge inheritance on a bad real estate deal. Ah, so. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1745&bih=852&ei=966RXMLfDOjUjwShl4jQCw&q=dublin+ireland+royal+college+of+surgeons&oq=dublin+ireland+royal+college+of+surgeons&gs_l=img.12…2216.15996..18621…0.0..0.113.3844.29j11….2..1….1..gws-wiz-img…..0..35i39j0j0i8i30j0i24.NGQEsB3i8sM#imgrc=4qsb5hYNi5Zl1M:

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  45. Sherri said on March 20, 2019 at 12:51 am

    I met J.A. Jance, at Nordstrom’s in Bellevue, WA.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, we were still getting snow. Today, we almost hit 80. Weather whiplash!

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  46. basset said on March 20, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Saw Denny Laine (ex-Moody Blues, ex-Wings) solo last night… he sold ninety tickets in a place that might hold 600 and refused to come out for shake & howdy afterward because he was unhappy about the low turnout. Didn’t have any merch or CDs for sale either, which is rare these days.

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  47. Jenine said on March 20, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Alex’s description of the chapel at Howe made me curious. Here’s a blog post with pix: St. James Memorial Chapel

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  48. susan said on March 20, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Wow, that stained glass of jeebus and Mary…how their imagery has changed! Guess it flows with the times.

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  49. basset said on March 20, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Yet another New Mexico mention, old photo of Taos from a car-spotter site. Sure does look Southwestern.
    https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2019/03/18/taos-new-mexico-1966/

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  50. LAMary said on March 20, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    The last time I was in Taos, about thirty years ago, it still looked like that.

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  51. LAMary said on March 20, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Go ahead, judge me. I wasn’t really a Fleetwood Mac fan back in the day, but this performance by Lindsey Buckingham speaks to me.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lindsey+buckingham+on+live+from+here&view=detail&mid=8D2B77695D40A0ECD3688D2B77695D40A0ECD368&FORM=VIRE

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  52. Deborah said on March 20, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Yep, Taos still looks like that, in that particular spot but it’s built up in areas immediately around the plaza unfortunately. The first time I went to Taos in 1988, I thought it was super tacky, but it grows on you, I love it now. It’s about 60 miles from Abiquiu, a beautiful drive.

    We’re back in NM, spending the night in Albuquerque because my husband flies back to Chicago early tomorrow morning. Rather than drive 60 miles on to Santa Fe and then back to the Albuquerque airport in the early morning, we decided to stay here https://lospoblanos.com/. We’ve stayed here before and they have an excellent restaurant where we’re headed in a few minutes. It’s a working lavender farm, they sell lavender lotion and potions that they make here, really a cool place, I recommend it if you’re ever out this way.

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  53. LAMary said on March 20, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Do bars and restaurants in Taos still have signs on the door saying that no firearms are allowed?

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  54. Deborah said on March 20, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    LA Mary they have signs like that everywhere now, in Chicago etc. it’s usually one of those pictograms with a gun surrounded by a red circle and a red slash through the circle across the gun. Like this https://www.shutterstock.com/search/no+guns+allowed?studio=1

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  55. Deborah said on March 20, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    We watched the super moon rise over Sandia Mountain at the Los Poblanos restaurant this evening. Lovely.

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  56. susan said on March 20, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    LAMary @51 – I’m kind of a purist when it comes to that song; from Rumours. Or a version L.B. sings with Stevie Nicks.

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  57. Dexter Friend said on March 21, 2019 at 12:09 am

    Lindsey Buckingham is still regarded as one of the very best guitarists around, and some say he is just the best. He’s likely the most humble, nice guy in music circles today; I say that based on several long interviews I heard on the sat-radio. I say that in comparison to the late Marty Balin, the songwriter and lead vocalist of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, who was bitter to the end about the credit Grace Slick received as leader of the bands. Many times in promotional videos , Grace would be shown singing but the voice was Marty’s. That really pissed Marty off. “Miracles” and “Ride, Ride the Tiger” are my favorites.

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  58. LAMary said on March 21, 2019 at 12:26 am

    I like the guitar in that video I shared. It was not long after he got the boot from Fleetwood Mac and I hear a lot of comment on that situation in the performance of that song. It also made me think of something I heard T Bone Burnett say in an interview on CBC. He was talking about what it was about certain performers or songs that he likes. The interviewer asked him if perfection was important and he said “Perfection is second rate. Autotune can give you perfection. Synthesizers give perfection.” That Lindsey Buckingham performance was more raw than the perfect Fleetwood Mac recording and I like it a lot.

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  59. LAMary said on March 21, 2019 at 12:41 am

    It’s been a while since I did one of my “LAMary brush with fame” postings and I’m sure they’ve been missed. My friend Bill the Roadie was working for the Beach Boys when they were touring doing stadium shows with Fleetwood Mac and Santana. When they were playing two concerts in Mile High Stadium in Denver Bill got me in backstage for both. I saw Stevie Nicks whirling around with her black shawl during Rhiannon. I saw Mike Love’s bald spot that he covered with a Greek fisherman hat and Dennis Wilson bummed Marlboros from me. Santana was quiet and polite to me. I was trying to stay out of the way and look sort of busy. All the bands walked right by me, some handing me stuff they didn’t want to bring on stage.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Sad to say my Fleetwood Mac story is no brush with fame. I was home from college for the summer and the neighbors across the street had an all-summer party. At full blast. All day. All night. All Fleetwood Mac. RheAAAAAAAAAnon! So I’m not clicking the links. Just cannot.

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  61. MarkH said on March 21, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    basset –
    Like you I get Hemmings Daily in the email. Saw this a few months back and assumed you would post here: A British car-spotting nerd’s lovefest, courtesy of a CIA surveillance training video from 1974.

    https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2019/01/27/the-most-difficult-form-of-surveillance-to-carry-out-undetected-the-cia-shows-us-how-to-tail-a-spy/

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  62. LAMary said on March 21, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Julie, I have a very similar Led Zeppelin issue. By_yi_ying a stairway to heaven for hours in the dorm room next door for hours.

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  63. MarkH said on March 21, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Also, basset —

    Speaking of Lindsay and Stevie, Do you remember this album from your IU campus radio days? Everyone’s favorite album cover at the OSU station, but the record, not so much. During an EOY purge, I managed snag the station’s copy, which I still have. In pretty good shape, too.

    https://d1w8cc2yygc27j.cloudfront.net/-3306428700175862551/3339655825973590801.jpg

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  64. Dorothy said on March 21, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I know very little about music but I’ve never heard that L.B. was a great guitarist. I always heard that about Eric Clapton. I have never been much of a fan of Fleetwood Mac. I can’t stand Stevie Nicks. She strikes me as a bubbleheaded weirdo. I do have a special place in my heart for “Tusk” though.

    Santana – now THAT’S music. Could listen to it all damn day. “Say It Again” is not terribly popular but it’s one of my faves. Just about everything they play is fab in my opinion.

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  65. LAMary said on March 21, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    L.B.is really good. According to the graffiti I used to see Clapton is God.

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  66. Dave said on March 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    This is where Prospero would have chimed in and mentioned how good Stephen Stills is, who he always called Stephen, like everyone would know exactly who he was referring to.

    Lindsay Buckingham was recently on “Live From Here”, the Prairie Home replacement show. He sounded very good to my uneducated ear. I never had a thing for the later versions of Fleetwood Mac, though, they went through a lot of transitions from their origins.

    Oh, I remember that album cover.

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  67. Deborah said on March 21, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    The best guitarist I ever heard was a really young kid who played before a Stones concert. For the life of me I can’t remember his name right now, but it was one of those 3 name names and Wayne was in there.

    We listened to a CD collection of the works of Eudora Welty on our road trip. In the age of Trump her writing has taken on new resonance to me, she was amazing at describing human behavior. She detailed disfunctional families, people living in mythological fantasy lands of god and country ravaged by fear and resentment, narcissist, racist and grifter assholes, white male dominance, resistance to change, you name it. She was a master and this stuff has been going on for a long, long time in America. The set is made up of 27 CDs, we only got through 4 of them because each individual story would spur a discussion between us about how apropos it was to describing behavior today. It’s the Collected Works of Eudora Welty and I got it through Barnes and Noble.

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  68. Jim Hersberger said on March 21, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

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  69. Deborah said on March 21, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    The guitarist’s name is Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

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  70. basset said on March 21, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    MarkH, I remember the cover but not the music. The radio-station album which really stuck with me was “Norman Blake Live at McCabe’s.”

    Deborah, when we lived in Jackson, MS, we had a basset hound named Eudora. Some of the locals we knew were honestly offended by that.

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