Sunday, June 20, 2010

June 20, 2010
Bob Brink lent me his copy of The Publisher: Henry Luce And His American Century and I finished it last night. Brilliant, but weird guy. Of course, he co-founded Time magazine, created Life magazine, Fortune and Sports Illustrated, and he made a gazillion dollars, but he sure seemed like a lonely, depressed guy. He was married to Clare Boothe Luce, who comes off like a total nut job. A prominent psychiatrist gave her LSD in 1958 to help cure her depression and she liked it so much (and took numerous trips) she encouraged Harry to take some for the sake of their marriage. Dr. Sidney Cohen accompanied Clare to Phoenix where the Luces had a home in the Biltmore. The doctor dosed the publishing magnate, and took notes. This is Harry's trip, described by the doctor, after taking 100 Gamma of LSD: "at 11:45 Harry sat at his desk, lit a cigarette, and began reading Lionel Trilling's biography of Matthew Arnold, interrupting himself occassionally to discuss the relationship between Arnold and Cardinal Newman." it goes on, and he does see some vivid colors about two hours later, but that is some strange, but bland trip, no?

Speaking of strange trips, I told my kids yesterday at an early Father's Day dinner at our house, that I have felt like Scrooge in Christmas Carol with all these people out of my past revisiting me. First, Andy Opsal contacted me on Facebook (he Googled Swea City, Iowa and my bio came up). Andy asked if I remembered him being our neghbor in Swea City and I responded, "I don't think I would forget the kid who told me there was no Santa Claus." He had no memory of it, but it really freaked me out (bad trip!). I didn't know who to turn to but when I got home from college I asked my mother what the deal was. No, just joking. I was seven, but probably still too old to be believing in Santa anyway. In the good news department I learned to ride a bike on Andy's front lawn with his parent's pushing me along until I finally got the hang of it. A very vivid memory.

A day or so after hearing from Andy, an old dorm suite mate from Cochise Hall at the University of Arizona contacted me. His name is Mike Roberts and he was a walk-on middle guard for the Wildcats in 1965, got kicked off the team for throwing a smoke bomb in Apache Dorm, got transferred to our dorm and almost immediately ordered a whole bunch of pizzas with an old checkbook he had found in his roommate's belongings (his roommate was Don Wilhelm, also on the football team and a kicker who held the record for the longest field goal for quite some time). My Kingman roommate, Steve Burford and I were appalled by this larceny, but I seem to remember we ate some free pizza. Later, Mike got into trouble again, didn't have any money to go home to Pittsburg so I took him home to Kingman on Spring Break. We went to Sam's Pool Hall on Front Street, next to the Beale Hotel and according to Mike he sank the nine ball twice, once on each break—in a friendly game of nine ball. Some tough (Chicken Esquibel?) wanted to take him apart, but Mike claims I interceded and saved his life.

Mike joined the marines and came back to the U of A in 1969 and as he was walking across the mall, he heard a rock band and, in his uniform, came striding up to see me playing drums (probably on Born to Be Wild). He said I called him out on the microphone. I don't remember this, but it does have the ring of semi-rock-band-probability to it.

Next up, another U of A neighbor, Tim Coury, called me and said he had some stuff I might want. He came out and we went to lunch at El Encanto. He brought me a whole stack of stuff. I recently posted his collection of old Dick Matric comic strips I created and that ran in the daily Wildcat, along with photos of me and him on dirt bikes, and he also saved my Sociologist 101 notebook (Kathy thinks is really weird). And, for good measure, Tim gave me a stash of old Life magazines (more on that in a minute).

Rolland Serrano, who got his first job washing dishes for 50 cents an hour at the Tideway Cafe in Kingman saw the photo I posted of Al Bell's Flying A and the Tideway Cafe, and contacted me. We haven't seen each other in 40 years. Then, out of the blue, in comes Alan Tapija and Tommy Acuna to my office. Both Kingman kids. Alan was an excellent second baseman and we were both on the first Kingman Little League team to win the Northern Arizona Championship in 1959. We both laughed remembering when we got kicked out of the Weatherford Hotel in Flagstaff because one of our teammates threw water balloons from our room on the second floor, hitting businessmen and a woman on the street.

On Friday I had lunch with Linda Smith and Rachel Bonza, two Kingman honeys, and they told me, among other things, they had lunch recently with Chuck Pectovitch, who, amazingly, is the guy who threw the water balloons and got us kicked out of the Weatherford Hotel.

So, this morning I spied the old Life magazines at the foot of the bed and I thought I would take a look and see what was going on in 1961. "The Recession Is Over" was one headline, and "terrorists" in France killed a mayor and injured a dozen more with a bomb. The "insurgents" were fighting over who would represent Algeria. Soviet dancers created a "socialist satire" on rock n roll called "Back to the Monkeys," which ironically predates the Beatles and the Monkeys. John Steinbeck wrote a piece on an oil rig in the Pacific digging "to get core samples of the earth's never-before-penetrated second layer" at 601 feet below the water! Wow! Wonder if that will ever be beat?

Wince City
Big ads for Royal Typewriters, the '61 Buick ("as fine, as new, as you can go"), the Argus self-threading movie projector (under $100), a transistor RCA Victor radio that will fit in your pocket ($24.95) and this gem: "How sugar helps dieters put the brake on appetite." (there are only 18 calories in a level teapsoonful of sugar). Brought to you by Sugar Information, Inc, a non-profit organization.

"Blessed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!"
—Lydia M. Child

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments