This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Service Chevrolet, 2928 North Harlem Avenue at Diversey.
Yes, that’s what we looked like in the late Seventies. Wonder if those are the owner’s daughters?
We’re back on Standard Time here in the US, meaning it’ll start getting light at 7 AM and dark before 6 PM. I can live with that. Let’s see if I can do this in less than a thousand words.
It was time for the annual Hallowe’en post, and while it’s not my favorite celebration, I managed to put together a pretty good list of Hallowe’eny (it’s a word now) songs. Joey isn’t into Hallowe’en, either, and Arlee said that, while at one time Hallowe’en was his livelihood, he could care less about it now, and blocked off the stairs and turned off the lights, kind of like I did. The set seemed well-received by everyone else; Guitar Spotting said he’d never heard the original “Love Potion #9,” and didn’t know that Lieber and Stoller had written it. More on L&S later.
Jo Stafford was this week’s artist as I continued my feature on Chanteuses. Dan commented that he didn’t remember Jo, and said he would have to ask his mother if she’d heard of her. I can understand that; Jo’s work was done in an earlier period than I had intended featuring, and she didn’t have any singles that charted after 1959 (nearly every other artist I’ve featured had singles that charted in the Sixties and after). Still, Dan and I agree, Jo had a wonderful voice.
My latest battle is a showdown between Barbra Streisand and Chris Botti and Sting, the women’s and men’s winners in my last two battles, to see who does the best job of “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?” You have until Monday night to listen to the competitors and voice your preference. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, though I think most of the votes are in.
I featured a quote from the Father of the United States, George Washington, on the problem with political parties. Deborah wished for a little more cooperation between the parties going forward, though I think the days for that are long past. Fabulous Auntie Jill weighed in and said she hates the primaries, where she has to go in and declare whether she’s a Democrat or Republican. I think, after this election, both parties will think long and hard about whether the primaries are worth it. My good buddy Mark, who will vote for a third-party candidate, said third parties (Libertarians, Greens, etc.) don’t get the attention because they don’t get the poll numbers, and it’s a Catch-22: you need good poll numbers to get attention in the media, but you need attention in the media to get the poll numbers. Gary Johnson has gotten some attention, as has Dr. Jill Stein; whether it’s enough to make a difference, I don’t know. We’ll know Wednesday morning. Maybe. Uncle Jack reminded me that “God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy,” something I think we should always remember, both during election cycle and after. Birgit was surprised at the number of people in this nation who don’t vote. I told her I think we need to be able to say “none of these” and make the parties choose new candidates if “none of these” wins.
The prompt was to share a picture and a story from my past, and I shared a picture of my parents and I at my Aunt Jinx’s wedding, where I was the ring-bearer. I mentioned in the article that my family would correct me on some of the details, and both my cousin Mimi (Jinx and Cas’s daughter) and Fabulous Auntie Jill came through: the wedding was in August 1962, so I was six and both my parents were thirty, and the reception was at the Orrington Hotel in Evanston, coincidentally the site of my Senior Prom. Almost all the other comments were about what an adorable little bastard I was. Dan said nowadays people have the rings carried by their dog or a Roomba, and was apparently struggling with autocorrect, because he kept typing “dog” and autocorrect kept replacing it with “fog.” I’ll say it again: if I ever meet the creator of autocorrect, he’s getting a knee in the groin. As a rule, I turn off spell and grammar checkers and autocorrect when I start using a program that uses them.
I featured your “smoke” songs this week. Many thanks to Dan, Uncle Jack, Arlee, Jeffrey, and Janie for their recommendations. Arlee said “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die” reminded him of a friend of his who died, after which his widow invited everyone over to eat his ashes. Jeffrey said it could have been worse, the widow could have cooked the ashes into food and served it to them. It called to mind a scene from The Help, which I definitely will NOT get into, but those of you who have seen it will know which one I’m talking about. Dan said he didn’t realize that “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” was a song as well as a Broadway musical, and that the show didn’t include the song. If I had written it, the song would play every ten minutes or so, kind of like the 1944 movie Laura (with Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, and Vincent Price), where the theme song is played all the time. I don’t care, it’s a beautiful tune.
The prompt for this week was “novel,” and my stream of consciousness took several interesting turns, from writing novels to the World Series win by the Chicago Cubs. Then I realized “novel” spelled backwards is “Levon,” a song by Elton John. A couple of you, both here and on Facebook, like the word “smartassery,” so I say we call Merriam-Webster and demand that it be put in the dictionary.
That wraps it up for this edition of The Week That Was. This week, all the regular features, including the winner and grand champion of “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?”, and maybe a few surprises. Join us then!