Thursday, December 30, 2010

The New Bohemians

If I had to apologize to a building for the insistence of a face lift, I think this is as good a candidate as any.
After it was a hotel and before it's current state as a law office, this building was the Fremont Public Library...of the microfiche era. Its first surgery I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, was in the late 60s, which is about the time it began this not so quiet, fancy pants aesthetic.
Put it this way, if you were new to Fremont and had a homework assignment that required some research, chances are you were not going to mistake the only white, stucco-ish, faux facade in a town built almost entirely of brown brick, for the dry cleaners.

Mrs. Hunt, the librarian if I recall, made many a trip upstairs to shush me and my friends as we plowed through stacks of National Geographic with utmost maturity, four of us, crammed into one side of a study carrel. The upstairs also served as a meeting place and semi hangout when parents poo-pooed the almost junior high aged, pre make out, never without another friend in tow, mating ritual.

More importantly, the upstairs was also the home at one time to Addie's Book Nook. Almost as close as Fremont was ever going to come to welcoming the sinister hippies (except for Ted's older sister's paper and bong emporium of course, which lasted about a minute). Addie, was married to one of the town's veterinarians, and rumor had it that their parties were, well, different. I always thought her husband was just a little too grumpy and unhippy-like when ever we brought our hysteric, Irish Setters in for shots.
She, Addie, of the hairy eyeball, kept close tabs on us when ever she felt like we were spending a little too much time rummaging through the Raquel Welch posters.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back Seat Systems Analyst

If you guessed this vehicle is a 1996, Honda Odyssey, you guessed right. This highly sought after vintage treat has at least two obvious identifiers in this photo, as you collectors well know.
The first of course being the missing, or shall we say modified, rear interior, hatchback door panel. It doesn't necessarily boost the aerodynamics per se, it just makes life easier when you have to continually lube up the latch mechanism on a daily basis.
And of course the other is the pre-Garmin, onboard navigator, which, if not factory installed, can now be found as an after market item.
This particular unit is called a DD, or Duke Of Dickaround as it states in the manual. What separates this from the modern day GPS is the alarm. If you as much as slightly go off course on your way into town for the daily pee-walk or make a quick, off-the-cuff decision to avoid that pesky school bus, instead of the flashing lights with abrasive buzzers or horns, you get a mild, somewhat anxious, repetitive whimpering sound as if to say, "Why the hell are we not taking the exact route we always take?"

Haircut by Joan And Company
Hat, the models own.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good *&%$#@ Morning

Day before yesterday I drove most of the way toward Milwaukee with a soda straw between my fingers. Occasionally drawing an imaginary pull from the non-filtered end. Stopped to get gas at the oasis where I pumped $15 dollars in with $5 conveniently left over from a twenty dollar bill and bought a pack. It sits in a cup holder and remains unopened.

I figure why hide from the bastards. If I really want one I'm gonna have one whether they're right there or I bum one off somebody.
It's probably similar to other addictions, however serious, where all the triggers check in to say hello. Followed by many different styles of excuse and justification or hell, what if it's JUST TIME TO HAVE A SMOKE!

Party Spoilers

In Sunday School, I had met my match as class cut-up/loudmouth/all around shit. He was stealing my thunder. I believe this may have been the first time I instilled in myself the adage: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

So I befriended him by pointing out our obvious similarities, or rather our celebrity status as nitwits of the congregation. I quietly kept score by trying to gauge the direction of the Sunday School teacher's harsh. And I'll admit, I pushed to become friends for another reason. Some may call me a social climber for this but, his folks had a color TV. His dad was a doctor so they happen to be one of the few in town that had a color set.

So one Sunday afternoon, after a highly successful bout of post church, verbal napalm, I wrangled my way over to his house. I was given the obligatory tour of his room and his brother's, probably for comparison's sake. That or he wanted to prove that he too was capable of having friends. I tra-la-la'd down the hall toward the kitchen with one eye open for the living room or den. I could tell boredom was setting in and quite possibly the realization that, beyond being attention mongers, we didn't really have much else in common. I had no choice, time was running out, I pulled out all the stops and just went for it,"Hey, wanna watch TV?

And there, in full on technicolor, was Marlin Perkins' Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. When it was over I called my ma, she picked me up and got the hell out of there.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pretenders ('78-'82)

By the time I was discovering the Pretenders, two core members, James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, were already dead and gone. And of course this late seventies-early eighties
line-up turned out to be my favorite, all cliches aside. Why? Probably the swashbuckle Farndon added aesthetically, along with the kindred bashing and navigation through mix and match time signatures with rhythm partner, the speartip- mutton-chopped Martin Chambers. Dang, they had the whole package.
And then there is Chrissie Hynde who I adopted an immediate, delusional bond with after I learned that, not only was she the only yankee in a band of Brits, but a yankee from Akron, Ohio. A measally 300 plus miles away. Thats like next door.

Pretenders live from

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


What a great sign, I hear tell it's one of the best in town.

Friedman's Army-Navy Outdoors
2101 21st Avenue S. Nashville, TN

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Charles Oland Gerber

To me, he was Uncle Charles. His wife, Louise, was my mom's best friend. They lived about half a block down the street. I used to go there with my mom after school and they would send me to the living room to watch the 3 Stooges while they gossiped about such and such. Sometimes, Kay White or Phyllis Yakee, a couple of the neighbor ladies would stop by. It was only like 4 in the afternoon when all this took place, but it must have been happy hour somewhere.
Sometimes I would sneak down into their basement where they had, what I now know as, the most righteous tiki-bar. It had slat floors and fake palm trees and also served as a screening room when they had movie night.
But what I hold dear in my heart was the guest bathroom. Far enough away from everyone else that I could seclude myself for....well, a while. But when it became just a little too quiet in the living room, and they'd start calling for me, I guess that means it's time to flush the toilet and quietly emerge from the back of the house and just what the hell is a bidet anyway? But it was there, in that bathroom, that Uncle Charles kept his Playboy Magazines. And for a 3rd or 4th grader, or whatever I was... I hit the proverbial jackpot.
And for the longest time, I mean we're talking years, I thought every women had tan lines.

More later on McGees Woods.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I can tell a call has reached its 10 or 15 minute mark by the pull to take this conversation outdoors, so I can puff a smoke. But then the "nurse" from the Quit-The-Nic program, who happens to be who I'm speaking with, might find some irony in the answers I'm giving her as to just how I handle certain moments when the urge hits to fire one up. So then I dismiss it.
That is until another 10 minutes or so ticks by and I'm talking myself into thinking she won't figure it out. I'll cough when I light it. I'll hold the phone away when I exhale.
My favorite part in Old School is when Juliet Lewis' character is talking with Luke Wilson's character after he comes home and busts her for entertaining some people she just met in a chat room. And you can almost hear it when her lips pop off the butt of the cigarette while doing the tight, pursed lip exhale and still apologizing all very seamlessly.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gotta Move While It's Still Fun

Drove by here the other day but didn't see it quite quick enough to frame it well. Just before showtime one night Mitch, Jack and I and maybe Greg or Kevin...anyway, we walked, or actually surfs upped through about 2 inches of urine. And that was in the lobby, on our way to see the Spensive Winos where we witnessed Waddy, Steve Jordan and Charlie Drayton, among a couple others, bring down the house.
Happy times.

Aragon Ballroom, Chicago

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big Al's Boot City

I seem to exhibit a marked propensity for footwear, boots specifically. A boot whoor of you will. The bad boy pictured is Eastland Shoe's Hemlock. Eastland ran toe to toe with LL Bean in the 70s with their camp moccasin. Either you were an Eastland or you were an LL Bean.
Either way you swing, this is one handsome boot.

From $90

Monday, December 6, 2010

'74 Lamborghini Espada

I saw one of these in yesterday's Sunday New York Times, only it was pink. I'm not crazy about pink really but I can't remember the last time I've seen one of these. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen one of these, but it sure is pretty. Long as a football field with a 350 horse, v-12 5 speed. A 4-seater with a trunk the size of a small pantry. Nice ride Ms. Stern. Car Pool anyone?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Driving home in the snow from Chicago, everybody on the interstate hunkers down to a 45 mph trudge. Its the first snow that sticks so its best to give the road the benefit of the doubt. Of course every now and then some nut job in a big ol fatcat of a pickup truck blows by as if its sunny and seventy. I've got one hand on the wheel, peering over the dash while I'm reaching on the floor, searching for some take me home tunes and out comes Kindred Spirits.
My knowledge of Charlie Robison has been limited up to this point but his take on
Don't Take Your Guns To Town just wales. The way that dirty Fender kerrangs on the intro and that crying pedal steel with that great little story on top of it. Nice work, Charlie.
Dwight's horn driven opener, Understand Your Man is a great rave-up with a warm an punchy bass and kick drum pounding on your chest.
Speaking of rhythm sections, Jesse Boyce on bass and John Ferraro on drums cook nicely with Little Richard on Johnny's Get Rhythm. It's not difficult to single these two out on this cut, they're the ones responsible for your thrusting pelvis.

This being a Marty Stuart project, he turns up through out and contributes this diesel train's
Hey Porter.
Springsteen gives a haunting Give My Love To Rose and Steve Earle's story teller, Hardin Wouldn't Run wrap up my favorites on this disc.
This record stands up well for being 8 years old.
Nice work Marty Stuart. And bless you Johnny Cash!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Keef 'Splodin Through The Phillips

"'Flash!' Shit, what a record! All my stuff came together and all done on a cassette player. With "Jumpin Jack Flash" and "Street Fighting Man" I'd discovered a new sound I could get out of an acoustic guitar. That grinding, dirty sound came out of these crummy little motels where the only thing you had to record with was this new invention called the cassette recorder. And it didn't disturb anybody. Suddenly you had a very mini studio. Playing an acoustic, you'd overload the Phillips cassette player to the point of distortion so that when it played back it was effectively an electric guitar. You were using the cassette as a pick-up and an amplifier at the same time. You were forcing acoustic guitars through a cassette player, and what came out the other end was electric as hell. An electric will jump live in your hands. It's like holding on to an electric eel. An acoustic guitar is very dry and you have to play it a different way. But if you get that different sound electrified, you get this amazing tone and this amazing sound. I've always loved the acoustic guitar, loved playing it, and I thought, if I can just power this up a bit without going to electric, I'll have a unique sound. It's got a little tingle on the top. It's unexplainable, but it's something that fascinated me at the time.
In the studio, I plugged the cassette into a little extension speaker and put a mic in front of it so it had a little breadth and depth, and put that on tape. That was the basic track. There are no electric instuments on "Street Fighting Man" at all, apart from the bass, which I overdubbed later. All acoustic guitars. "Jumpin Jack Flash" the same.
Charlie Watt's drums on "Street Fighting Man" are from this little 1930s practice drummer's kit, in a little suitcase that you popped up, one tiny cymbal, a half size tambourine that served as a snare, and thats really what it was made on, made on rubbish, made in hotel rooms with our little toys."

From Life
Photo nicked from

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Keef On John

"I liked John a lot. He was a silly sod in many ways. I used to criticize him for wearing his guitar too high. They used to wear them up by their chests, which really constricts your movement. It's like being handcuffed. 'Got your fucking guitar under your fucking chin, for Christ's sake. It ain't a violin.' I think they thought it was a cool thing. Gerry & the Pacemakers, all of the Liverpool bands did it. We used to fuck around like that: 'Try a longer strap, John. The longer the strap, the better you play.' I remember him nodding and taking it in. Next time I saw them the guitar straps were a little lower. I'd say, no wonder you don't swing, you know? No wonder you can only rock, no wonder you can't roll."

From the Keith Richards book, Life
Photo nicked from

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keef Kwote #1

"There was an unforgettable dressing-room scene during the tour. I like Tom Jones. I first met him on that tour with Little Richard. I'd been on the road with Little Richard for 3 or 4 weeks, and Richard was not hard to get along with and still isn't, and we'd have a laugh together. But in Cardiff, guys like Tom Jones and his band the Squires were still living 5 years behind. They all walk into Little Richard's dressing-room, and they've still got the leopard skin coats with the black velvet collars, and the drapes - a procession of teddy boys all bowing and scraping. And Tom Jones actually kneels in front of Little Richard as if he's the pope. And of course Richard rises right to the occasion: "My boys!" They don't realize Richard is a screaming fag. So they don't know how to take this. "Well baybee, you're a Georgia peach." This total culture clash, but they were so in awe of Richard that they would take anything he would say. And he's giving me a nod and a wink.
"I love my fans! I love my fans! Ohh baby!" The Reverand Richard Penniman. Never forget he comes from the gospel church, like most of them do. We all sang Hallelujah at one time or another. Al Green, Little Richard, Solomon Burke, they all got ordained. Preaching is tax free. Very little to do with God, a lot to do with money."

Quote from the book Life.
Photo from

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey, Watcha Doin Next Weekend?

Looks like they could use a hand.

Undated photo from Fremont Chamber of Commerce.
Late 1800s maybe?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Battalion Of Saints

In an important attempt to place a time on just what it was that pushed my friend Jack and I across the tracks to bad-assville, it could only have been the photographs. And I think a good guess would be photos we ogled in Spin magazine.
Why Spin? Well, for that answer, I've got to back track a little.

Rolling Stone was my mainline through- out much if not all of the 70s. Creem was important too but in more of a comic book sort of way. And here it was a Detroit publication. You'd think, being from Michigan, I'd show a little solidarity. But in fact, in the late seventies, it was probably Creem that somehow led me to Trouser Press, which at the time, I thought was much darker in tone with all this hoopla over the "punk" movement in London and New York. Scary, disenchanting stuff for a young buck in his early 20s from a farm town of 3,000. But, like a car wreck, I still looked.

For me, in the early 80s, Rolling Stone had lost much of it's luster, but not enough to stop picking it up twice a month.
Then, in 1985, Spin magazine announced itself to the masses. I have to admit, I wasn't quite ready to have this shiney new rag from the son of the vice president of soft porn knock Jann Wenner off the porcelain lounger. But it was good, in many different ways it was good. And like the music scene at the time, it was transformative. Punk, new wave(punk light), country, hip hop, jazz and folk all mixed and siphoned through college radio. At that time, Spin was commercially expanding on reems and reems of what Rolling Stone wasn't. And the Photos....

My long winded point here are the photographs. The photos more than likely from Spin magazine are what drove Jack and I to buy our first Schott Perfecto, motorcycle leathers, long before we were aware of Schott's relevance in the leather jacket pantheon. This was in the mid 80s when we bought them from an unlikely men's store in a mall in Tragic City, Michigan.

So just what the hell was all this about? Well, after some 25 years, I now work for Schott.
Funny isn't it...kind of? No?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ace Motorcycle And Scooter Company

Ace is great little shop tucked back in off Jackson Blvd. in Chicago. The type of destination you pop into on a Saturday afternoon just to ogle all the scoots. My guess is you won't walk out without a tee-shirt. Or who knows, you might want to bring a trailer, or a helmet even, or two.
I didn't want to( actually couldn't) squeeze in to take a better pic of this Yama-bobber so your getting kind of an ass shot. It's a killer ride though.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Henry IV

This is Henry (Hank), the lovliest, most beautiful, get-in-trouble-ist, semi naughtiest, ladykiller grandson in the world
Git 'em, Hank!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Purple Haze

Hard to believe anyone would live above a bowling alley. Those must have been the "corporate" offices upstairs.
Fremont Bowling, Teen Town, which was more than likely the stepping stone to the Purple Haze.
Too young to enter but not too young to marvel at the 8x10 glossy photos posted outside of the current and upcoming bands coming through town. Seems like I remember Tommy James and the Shondells maybe, maybe not. I'm pretty sure there was some decent regional fare going through but I'd have to ask someone with better recall. I just remember standing there, straddling the center bar (guy bar) of my Schwinn, trying to catch a glimpse of the goings on through the open front door.
Those places where I wasn't allowed were exactly the places I wanted to be. Kind of like Chuck's Barber Shop (where my dad would call in before I got there with hair cut instructions). My family always went across town to the Buitendorp brother's barber shop. But Chuck's is where I wanted to go. He was old school Navy, tats galore. And he'd buzz your scalp with a lit Lucky hanging from the corner of his mouth.
But that wasn't the attraction, hell no, I wanted to grow my hair long. The trade off was Chuck's choice in reading material. I'd happily get a buzz cut with a little patch in front for a quick glimpse of a True Crime or better yet, a Playboy, carefully tucked inside a Field And Stream.
The not so secret secret was out amongst us 13 year olds, the place for pulp was Chuck's.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nashvintage / Finale / Venus And Mars

I know I inherited this thing for clothes from my dad. He wasn't outwardly fancy, just what I would call classic, impeccably classic actually.
I don't know what they called guys like that back then..., stylish maybe? I'm pretty sure nobody ever called him a clothes whore.
Nobody ever calls me a clothes whore either, to my face anyway. Maybe I'm not. Maybe I just like to think I am. That would be a little embarrassing, to call yourself a clothes whore when really nobody else ever thought that.
And here I am in the clothing business. I have to go into men's clothing stores all the time. It's like a nurse with more than just a passing fancy for morphine.

Venus And Mars was pretty incredible. The woman's end I thought much more so than the men's.
But that might have had more to do with my wife talking me out of everything I picked out for myself. So I ended up rifling through the women's racks right along with her as she was pulling out these stellar, 60s elephant bell, one piece pantsuits (is that redundant?) that were museum quality. They were crazy just to look at.

This has got to be a mecca for motion picture and theatre production, wardrobe and stylists.
And to top it off, Talvin Beville, the store manager working the till, was a gracious and genuine host.
I like it when people like their jobs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nashvintage, Tennessee / Part Dos / Katy K's

It's really almost better to arrive at Katy K's alone. For me It's like the New Release section at the video store, I've got to see everything. And if it takes an hour, it takes an hour.
I hadn't been there for a few years and was giddy to start scouring only to discover after 20 minutes that my ride was pounding the horn in the parking lot, ready to shove off. They have no idea how badly I wanted that red t-shirt with the Shirelles on the front, maybe it was the Ronettes, but it was sure cool. Ain't nobody got one of those back home.

I don't want to sound like a comment on a yelp page, but when you're in Nashville, you absolutely must stop at Katy's. It's almost as much of an institution in Nashville as Nashville gets. I'll let her website do the talking.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nashvintage, Tennessee / Part Uno

Young buck Ian, greeted us, and gave us the nickel tour at Imogene+Willie, the Nashville gas station turned one part denim factory, one part retail store, and one part event space.

You can buy the I+W brand off the table or have them custom made to fit right there on site. Measured, patterns cut, then sewn and detailed... boom, out the door you go. I didn't say it was going to be cheap.
Refurbished boots galore line the shelves. Sprinkled with racks of Ralph Lauren's RRL, APC, bags, belts, blankets and the brands own namesake tees and thermals.

The only items that raised an eyebrow were the old and used, beater pairs of Red Wing boots with $255 price tags. I understand and appreciate the aesthetic, but I think I'll continue to buy mine new and beat 'em up myself because I might get just a few more miles out of them.

Beyond that, all in all, a great store I know I'll come back to.
As for Ian, oddly, we found out he grew up in a town just down the road from us.

Next Up: Katy K's Ranch Dressing / Part Dos

Photo: Thomas Petillo

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bouffants, Beehives And The Five Finger Discount

Just the other night, Dave, Arnie, Carlos and I were reminiscing over some of the stores in town that are no longer. And about the old-lady clerks who patrolled the aisles, who all coincidentally sported big bouffant or beehive (if there is a distinction, I don't know what it is) hair-dos ( actually, hornet's nest would be more accurate) and black cat's eye framed glasses.

I didn't frequent the Home Town Super Market much because the gas stations really had the corner on candy, though the lady who ran the cash register, she was tall anyway but she had this swirling, Marge Simpson like, vertical mound of red hair and black horned rim glasses. She really pulled off the tall, scary, Sunday school teacher look quite successfully. And I think Mr. Dykman, who ran the store, kinda dug it.

But now the Ben Franklin store was a treasure trove of both candy AND toys. Everything from the latest plastic army guys (Germans if you were lucky) to the latest Ed"Big Daddy" Roth series of Rat Fink models. But this store's particular ol' lady clerk, who had to be a direct relative of the scary Sunday school, grocery store lady next door only this lady's bee's nest was blond (sorry Mike Fre-holy, hope she isn't your mom) was ALWAYS on me like stink on poo.
I don't remember ever lifting anything from this store, how could you. Not with this Nazi storm-trooper on patrol. They also had this elevated office area at the back of the store where they could look out over the aisles like a machine gun post in a guard tower. You actually felt guilty without ever taking anything. But I loved that store too much to ever want to be banned from it.

Now, about that old lady at the Oz Theatre...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer Breeze (Not For The Squeamish)

For all the proper direction from denim purveyors aimed at keeping rigid, anti-fit, feels and looks like aluminum siding, Levi's 501s in their original just-store-bought state, it might be wise to also impose a caveat as to the length of time the wearer takes before finally drowning them in soap and water.
Or in my case, before my wife liberally douses them in kerosene and strikes a match after practically being brought to tears by the fermented, smells like ass fumes burning through her nostrils from opening a drawer full of jeans that hadn't been opened after one of the warmest, muggiest summers on record. And all I could come back with was,"But Honey, They Said"...

Lesson learned: Think about wearing your crispy 501s through-out fall, winter and spring. And if you have a specific drawer you store your jeans in, make good friends with a box of those Fabreze, dryer cloths. That, or maybe its finally time to change the aluminum siding?

Photo: Nicked from

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shut Thine Piehole

Stone Temple Pilots, nope. Shirt Tail Press, not even. Scientifically Treated Petroleum, yes sir!
Back in '54, Charles Dwight (Doc) Liggett, Jim Hill and Robert DeHart from St. Joseph, Missouri, cooked up and packaged this automotive stew in a garage at night, then sold it out of their car trunks by day.
Studebaker-Packard , with Andy Granatelli at the helm, bought STP in '61 and soon signed a sponsorship deal with Mario Andretti's Indy-Car race team. Nine years later, STP jumped the fence to NASCAR, which began their long time association with stock car legend, Richard Petty.

History from:

Monday, September 13, 2010


I honestly had no intention of recruiting my own kids into a life of crime, but since I was fired from the sales floor at Danny's. I fell into bankruptcy, moral bankruptcy.
It began innocently enough over a few laughs and beer at how I'd make ends meet. Then one afternoon, we were no longer laughing, we were planning.
And then we did it.
We started out small and unassuming by knocking off a pet grooming place a couple of towns over.
Then we laid low for a few weeks, after the shock of how easy it was. Then we hit a small insurance agency only to find out they don't carry any real cash. But we did take something away from that little hiccup...we developed a taste for "it."
The adrenaline rush I once felt playing Streets Of San Francisco as a kid, returned.

This is a 3-D photo is of us at a secluded boot camp. Probably very similar to what you go through in a covert-ops, security contractor's training exercise, like that one that's in the news all the time, Blackhole Sun, or whatever.
The reason I describe it as a 3-D photo is because of the way my gut just kind of comes right at you. You know how in those movies where you want to flinch or duck. Kind of like that.

That's one proud Poppa right there!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


For those times when you track that squirrel from woods to water and he's given you no choice but to take aim from the port bow of your 1930s, 22 foot, triple cockpit Chris-Craft. These Sperry Topsider, Cloud Logo, Authentic Original, 7-Eye boots are, in a word...sweet.

-Genuine Handsewn Tru-Moc Construction
-360 degree Lacing System with Rust Proof Eyelets
-Shock Absorbing EVA Heel Cup
-Non-Marking Rubber Outsole with Razor Cut Wave Siping for Ultimate Wet/Dry Traction


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ye Olde Community Building, Fremont, Michigan

This undated top photo is remarkable in that I wasn't yet "of this earth" when it was taken. So, for me, it serves as a window into what was, before I was. 1940s maybe?
In the forefront right, is the romanesque Community Building, which held many a community activity such as
The Lions Club Pancake Supper, "Whatdya have son, patty or links?", The Rummage Sale ( a treasure trove before I knew what a treasure trove was).

The next photo, which resembles more of a rendering, is what they called the library or reading room within the community building. It was in this room where the serving tables were set up for the pancake supper, and if I remember correctly, where the cots were set up for the local blood drive. When the nurses were finished extracting and if you played your cards right, you'd sit up and act a little woozy ( I remember somebody actually instructed me to do that,"remember to act a little woozy") just so I could get my hands on a few of the donuts they had on hand for just such an emergency.

The last photo is taken from the southwest corner much later in the building's heyday. The single doorway marked the entrance to the local police department. The bad guys were always taken through the garage door down farther to the left, without much ceremony, because, you know, they were evil-doers. And you don't parade evil-doers through the front door,
And for this reason, the Community Building always lacked a Let Your Hair Down/Kick Your Boots Off kind of ambiance, with the potentially uptight, Johnny Law right downstairs.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tastee Freez

In the spirit of Old Fashion Days. No date attributed to this photo either, but I've got to think, judging by the cars, late 50s, early 60s. The Tastee Freez became the ice cream joint by default for me as the Waldo Family's Frosty Freeze, where this bad fella spent his pre-adolescent days hanging with my o-so-bad Mom and Pop. Because, you know, at eight years old, it was tuff to find a bro who had access to wheels.
The Waldo family was our town's version of an entertainment conglomerate. (If I'm lucky, somebody might read this who knows and will chime in) but, I think next to the Waldos Frosty Freeze were some small, individual size trampolines, possibly there to jump on as you were eating your cone (no real danger there). They were one of those familys who had their finger on the pulse of summertime.
I put some time in at the Tastee Freez, pictured above, in high school when the Dekleva family owned it. After they closed at night, I'd wait to clean the fryers till my buds dropped by and I'd fix 'em a choice burg and some soft serv for dessert. And then people would stop by, who I wouldn't exactly call friends, and I'd spit....just kidding.

Monday, July 19, 2010


If we're lucky, once a year, one of us puts some time and effort into planning an adventure that neither one of us has experienced. That's the idea anyway. One year it was a hot-air baloon ride, which kind of tanked. Another year, the two of us took a bi-plane ride over Lake Michigan. Then a few years ago we went sky diving. And last year we bought kayaks.
This year, adventure-girl took me down to the air show in Dayton, Ohio. To do what? Well, she kept it to her self as I requested, till we parked. Then she p
ulled out a gleaming, laminated photo from a folder of a true, Viet Nam era, Bell UH-1 Iroquois, or, as it's more commonly known as, the Huey.
And we were going for a ride.

She kept asking if I was excited and I replied, "Of course, but you know, we got in late to the hotel last night and we got up at 5 to hit the road early, so, you know, I may not look excited, but I am." So we happened over to the gates and followed the signs. It was no small trek to the fenced off field where three US Army Hueys and a Huey Cobra were powering up

We weren't first but we were close. First we had to sign a release, of course, with one eye on the first group boarding amid the thundering, ground shaking, classic Huey rotor's WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP, that can be heard for miles. Then we went through some seat belt instruction from a veteran of Viet Nam, Huey pilot who chorteled about the emergency landing they had to make a few years back and how if this were to happen again, everyone should stay inside the cockpit no questions asked, until the rotors come to a complete stop.
The funny thing is, there are no doors on these, just a big wide open space on both sides. Which is pretty cool, I think, sort of.
Okay, we're next. And I think I feel a pucker or two.
But I don't show it, nosiree.
We duck under the whining, turbo powered rotors that instill a feeling of menace in their own right and they're barely engaged while we're being loaded. From walking across the street- to buckling in-to hovering maybe 80 feet up took about three minutes. They stay in a holding pattern immediatly after lifting off to get their ques from the tower. I of course opt for the seat closest to the big open space thinking this will be a pretty cool view.
Well, less than a minute or two out and it's HHHOOOLLLYYYSSSHHHIIITTTT, the pilot banks to the left and completes a wide circle that lasts like for frikkin ever, than levels off. My stomach is somewhere beside me then HHHOOOLLLYYYSSSHHHIIITTT, the pilot banks to the right this time, completing another wide circle. The crew chief, sitti
ng across from us has a smile on her face. She's more concerned, as should be, with the elderly couple who cut in line in front of us while we waited to board and who now look like they would rather be just about anywhere but in this helicopter.
Remember, it's nothing but wide open space on either side of this warhorse with houses, swimming pools and interstate highway below us. We also declined the earplugs for maximum effect. So this is what Robert Duvall felt like leading the charge.
I casually look around, trying to figure out if we're headed back yet or not when HHHHOOOLLLLYYYYSSSSSHIIIITTTT, this time the pilot points the nose almost staight down and then slowly back up. When we level off again, the top half of me is stretched across my wife's lap. And after the third HOLY SHIT, the crew chief who is seated
directly across from us, mouthed the words "Are you okay?" I yelled back, "I bet you hear HOLY SHIT a lot!"
Its weird though, I never felt like I was actually slipping toward the door at any one time. And weirder yet, there is absolutely nothing to hold onto, like bars or handles or anything, so I grab the front of the seat by my crotch with my right hand and just let my left hand hang there...searching.

As we were receiving seat belt instruction on the ground before hand, the pilot also asked who would like to volunteer for the gunner seats. Those are the seats pointing outward at the back of the passenger area. I'm damn glad we didn't take those. Those folks were screaming there asses off, you bunch of Cedar Point wussies (just kidding). It was all pretty cool though, I discovered, after it ended, about an hour later.
And then I ate a hot dog.

credits: profile seat shot from Danie van den Berg,
attack formation from

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Gerber Guest House

The Gerber Guest House, the site of several torrid, murder mysteries (with dinner included of course), is actually two homes conjoined. The first home, or the west side, was built by Frank and Pauline Gerber during WW I. Then, son Dan and his wife Dorothy, built along side to the east in 1923.
It is said that in the kitchen, of which home I'm not sure, while Dorothy (I guess that might make it the home on the east side) was straining and canning fruits and vegetables for their children, that there may well be a need for such a product in finished form as a handy resource for mothers and their babies. And Gerber Baby Food was born.

I think the idea for murder mysteries, of the Orient Express type, should be resurrected, whether at the GGH or someplace else. Sure, it may not be a novel idea, and it's most likely occurring around here anyway and we just haven't been invited, but what a great way to spend an evening, sharing a wonderful meal, then trying to unravel some messy, cheesy love triangle gone horribly wrong...with your friends.
I mean, how heinous is that?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Ryan's Hotel

This place looks like it's straight out of L.A. Confidential. A drug den, or hangout for hoodlums of petty crime. Smokers of crazy weed and such. Or worse yet, the recently divorced. Probably a lot of quick exits out the back window and into the woods.
Doesn't look like the house-keeping team would've been made up of many. This was actually located about where the Harrington Inn is now, or close. Must be something about this particular patch of land that holds something for travelers...gypsies...drifters or Dad, freshly booted out of the house.

credits: Photo From Fremont Historical Archives

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Billy F. Gibbons

Billy F. Gibbons is one bad motor-scooter. Dusty is slightly obscured by water cascading down over, oh wait, I guess that's somebody's hair.
Taken by an attendee who waited patiently for an opening, or...perhaps thought that over time, guilt would set in on my part, which it did cuz, you know, hell hath no fury.
I like how the speaker stacks are rigged to look like they are in mid-topple. Frank Beard's drum accoutrements were certainly aggressive against his laid back, shufflin' swing. That's the Top for you though, raw, simple and well dressed.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thems Handsome Apples

This could have turned into a Homer painting, or Rockwell maybe. This is Lewis from Fremont. That much we can tell. A handsome, hardworking man, sits proudly behind his apple display. What I don't know is if "Wolf" something er other is the brand of apple, or possibly the name of the farm. Wolf Rivers maybe, I don't know.
You Tell me.

Undated and semi-indentified

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Boogie Beatniks

I'd put Billy F. Gibbons somewhere in the same graduating class as Keef. Of course these fellas don't graduate from anything besides birthdays, they both ooze a genuine bohemian snarl no institution would ever provide.
Being a card-carrying member of the microwave society, meaning, unless some action is practically at my doorstep, I'm probably not going to experience the experience. A 30 minute drive? I'm in.
Plus I was piqued by some news I dug up about the Toppers teaming up with Rick Rubin a couple of years ago to rejuvenate the Tres Hombres era ZZ. Have yet to hear a peep about that. Maybe something didn't gel. Maybe a beard thing.
(On a side note,I think Rick Rubin and T-Bone Burnett should get together and form a production alliance. They could tackle all the dudes who strayed for one reason or another, like Stephen Stills, who absolutely, could potentially howl on a blues-rock canvas. But no, sadly, he was Graham Nashed somewhere along the way).
To my delight, Billy, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard sauntered on stage and greeted us with the charming gut-bucket, Got Me Under Pressure and the Bus/Jesus medley.
It's a well-oiled show, as it should be, when Billy introduces the band, "For 40 years, the same three guys, for 40 years, the same three chords."
Their synchronized swim style dance steps and bro-code signage along with Gibbon's honkin and sqawkin, delta raunch via Marshall stack (reference mine) only reaffirms what we all would expect. That they are still the rightful heirs to the throne of the Boogie Nation.

credits: Photo of Rare Japanese Vinyl From
Bottom Photo From

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

My daughters will be here soon in honor (honor sounds a bit much), lets just say to enjoy Father's Day. And since its that day, I feel compelled to not do much of anything but be with the kids. This photo has no Identification or date, but I really enjoy the simplicity and how stark it is. I was going to say how I enjoyed the starkness, but thought that sounded weird. The starkness of it. I guess that sounds alright
Could be a Father's Day from another time. Let's just say it is.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wilson's Mobil

That Forrest Wilson had some business savvy. His gas station was right across the street from the high school parking lot and a good 20 to 25 second, downhill glide on the Schwinn Typhoon from my house.
He had a tow-truck too and often hauled grizzly, car crash remnants to the back of his station. On Sundays, when no one was around, we'd sneak back there and look for blood on car seats.

"Forrey" had it all; 25 cent Coke machines; candy bars for a nickel; pop-sickles and ice cream sandwiches in that big, trunk like cooler with the glass door on top. And then, in a shrewd move to appeal to the students revolting against hot lunch, he brought in Stewart frozen sandwiches, with that little Stewart sandwich sized oven with a Stewart 5 minute timer. On the Stewart display board that sat above the oven were the choices, prices and suggested cook times for the food-like items.
My favorite was the Chuckwagon. It was the biggest and the baddest and therefore, required the full 5 minutes on the dial. And what did you do during that 5 minutes? Well, you bought other stuff to eat.

When I ran out of lawn mowing scratch and unable to locate my mom's coin purse, we (and I say we because I did not act alone and I WILL NOT rat-out my friends) turned to petty crime.
Just outside the restrooms and underneath a few tall pine trees at the filling station, was a small newspaper rack with a coin box. Whether there was 2 or 3 or 4 of us, we were always loitering around the place anyway, whether we were filling our bike tires or just stopping in for a pop. So it was no big deal to be hovering around the Coke machine outdoors. Only now we were also acting as lookouts for Johnny Law or Forrest himself while one of us turned the newspaper rack on end and shook the shit out of it till all the coins fell out.

I'd never seen so much loot. And where do you think we spent it? It's not like Forrey lost money. We just moved it around a little, like from one account to another. OK, so maybe the newspaper lost money, but we didn't know them.

That Forrey Wilson, he was a rough and ready old guy. His gas station was full service so he was always under the hood, at the till or on a wrecker call. They had those rubber ropes that rang a bell in the garage whenever somebody ran over one in front of the pumps. He'd quickly trot out while wiping the grime from his hands on the red rag he kept in the back pocket of his blue work pants. He had old sailor tats on his arms you only saw in the summer when he rolled up his sleeves. And he always sat straight up, stiff as a board when he'd ride that dirty, old Harley into work. There was a mechanic named Link there for a while. And one by the name of George. George was a high school drop-out, but the girls thought he was cute...and kind of dangerous.
And then there was Forrest Junior, who looked just like his dad, minus the glasses.
I don't think they liked us much, us neighborhood hooligans. But I think they must have liked our money.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Streets O' Fremont

Streets O' Fremont, pretty arty hunh? I didn't take that summer school theatre class with Sue Brothers back in 1967 for nothin'.
I wrangeled a disc of random photos from the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. So I thought it would be cool (I know,I should'nt use the word cool)(replace cool with nifty) to post some from time to time. There are 1500.
If you know people I make fun off, please don't be offended. I will take back any comment that is apparently unfit, unkempt, or otherwise just really not that funny (to you).
The real downside is that most of these are not dated or identified, so if someone out there can lend a hand, please do so.
The photo above? I'm thinking there probably isn't anybody alive to help with this one.
Anyway, enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Meet Rudy, The Duke Of Dickaround

A lovely fellow plucked from a lab rescue one year ago. Try as we might to emotionally prepare ourselves for any tell-tale signs of abuse or wayward learning curves, we love, accept and welcome him into our home.
Turns out, it's the normal, everyday Lab stuff that'll drive you nuts.
Rudy, like most males, is a sniffer. My God is he a sniffer. And very very picky about which corner or square foot shall be designated as a powder room (his attention to detail is unsurpassed).
One of the minor adjustments was being reminded that there is no dashing off at the last second to run an errand if he hasn't already "been out." One should never expect the Duke to perform his business on any other schedule than his own.
Unlike the Mrs., who's bladder requires relief in a nano-second, and who will dodge behind the nearest dumpster or wood pile, Rudy's search for epic real estate is deliberately slow and methodical. Every blade of grass examined. Every past doo-doo acknowledged and accounted for.
Finally, when his stride becomes a quick, stuttering shuffle, he stops to squat. Oops, nope, not there. Pacing ensues. He looks at me periodically,"I'm looking, I'm looking." Aaaaaahhhhh, here we go.
I notice his eyes rolling back a little. He blinks in slow motion. Then he peers up at me again as if to say, "Do you mind?"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Bandt

Really good to see the Dutches this weekend. Really, really difficult to sit and watch and not play and not smoke. Thank you kid bartender for keeping a keen eye on my diet coke levels. And for the straw, thank god for the straw. Idle hands are, as you know, the devil's playground.

Dutch Henry

Saturday, May 29, 2010