Fly the Naked Skies
Labels: Life's Rich Pageant
Labels: Life's Rich Pageant
HOLDERNESS -- Robert W. Boyd, 68, died Nov. 12, 2009, at his residence.I raise a glass to you, Robert W. Boyd! I am happy to note that he is survived by several family members, including a son named . . . Robert W. Boyd.
He born in Danvers, Mass., to Robert W. and Delia Cecile (Langlais) Boyd. He graduated from Salem State.
After several years of teaching high school in Danvers and Peabody, Mass., as well as serving on the Danvers Police Dept., he moved to Alaska where he spent 22 years teaching in Bethel schools and in outlying fishing villages.
A lifelong outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping and all that Alaska had to offer.
Upon retiring to New Hampshire in 2004, he pursued gardening, as well as raising poultry and livestock. (Union Leader, November 17, 2009)
Labels: Life's Rich Pageant
Since "conservatism" has had such bizarre associations in the United States for a long time now, I thought I'd give brief accounts of the three breeds that I most often think of in connection with the classical sense of conservative (that is, the sense that still has something to do with the meaning of the word).With that caveat, though, I think these are pretty good ways to think about conservatives--and funny (if you like your laffs extra-dry). I'd like (but dread) the same taxonomical look at liberals.
The Reef is bi-racial. The light and dark meet here. Generally speaking, the odd numbers, on the east side, are dark, the even numbers light; but the exception proves the rule.
You can buy practically anything here. Whisky, gin, wine, beer, a one-hundred-and fifty-dollar suit [about $1200 today, according to the BLS], firearms, a four-bit flop, a diamond bracelet that will look equally good on the arms of a chaste woman or a fun-gal. You can buy fried catfish on Catfish Reef. You can buy reefers on the Reef.The Catfish Reef chapter has several stories about music in Houston; for instance, young boogie-woogie players recording at Martin Nelson's photo, recording and shoeshine parlor. He also uses these columns to try his hand at a little bit of black hipster dialect, such as in this sequence where Gafftop Powell, who has found a diamond ring on the floor of a dancehall, takes it into Marv Bernhard's jewelry store. to be appraised. Bernhard looks at it with his loupe and declares it worthless.
"This," he said, holding out the ring, "is one hundred percent fertilizer." ["fertilizer" is one of Byrd's many humorous euphemisms for more earthy phrases--these columns were written for a family newspaper, after all.]Byrd tells a number of stories set in the rough waterfront dives on 75th Street (aka "Six-Bit Street") north of Canal. There we get tales of foreign sailors, old Wobblies, and the hookers in tight jeans who would sit next to the sailormen at the bars. The corner of Hill and Lyons was known as "Pearl Harbor" for its violence--it was in the middle of the Fifth Ward, also known as the "Bloody Fifth." One of the best stories there is the one about the sorrowful Handsome Easley--released from jail on parole, his most beloved hobby was acting as an unpaid roadie for the jazz acts that came through town. He had been looking forward to handling the Duke's instruments--Duke Ellington would soon be playing in Houston. But Handsome was about to be taken back to prison for breaking parole by drinking beer with a hooker in a bar. But the story has an unexpected denouement:
"Well, I ain't gona lose my cool over it," said Gafftop, taking the ring. "I found it on the floor at the gloss house."
"You might win the favors of an idle fun-gal on an off-night with that," said Mr. Bernhard. "But in cash money, I wouldn't give you a rough for it."
"I ought to have knowed," said Gafftop, looking down at the circlet of rhinestones. "These-here rocks is too big. [...] Do you rebop, Mr. Marv?"
"I rebop," said the jeweler. "When easy rocks come too big, or the big rocks come to easy, they won't get you two. Look, I'll show you the difference."
From his wallet, Mr. Bernhard took an envelope, from the envelope a pill of lovely blue ice, the kind that doesn't defrost, even from its own red, white, and blue fire.
"Lagoo-oo-oon!" said Gafftop, his eyes as big and round and white as hundred-watt globes.
Handsome was at the City Auditorium, unpacking the Duke's instruments, like he'd always done. The Board of Pardons must have read that story about Handsome, because they had given him a full pardon just in time to let him be with the Duke and Johnny Hodges and the other musicians when they got to town.This bit comes from a record store conversation about the inventor of boogie, Pine Top Smith, and his death by being stabbed in the back (while playing piano) in a Galveston night club. Others disagreed and said he was shot in Chicago. (For the record, that's what Wikipedia says as well.) Of course, the point was not the facts but the discussion among enthusiasts, killing time at the record store.
Hugh “Skip” McGee III is not happy. The former Lehman Brothers head of investment banking/current Barclays employee of the same title is specifically not happy with the hippies at The Kinkaid School. You see, kids, The Kinkaid School is an institution Skippy spends good money to send his children to and lately? The commune seems to be poisoning the McGees’ minds in a dangerous way. And to be honest, Skip has had it. He’s held his tongue ‘til now but not anymore. So what’s going to happen, is Skip is going to sit down and lose his shit in a letter to the school, demanding the dismissal of a whole buncha personnel, and come seriously close to giving himself a hernia. You wanna know why? Skip’s got three reasons:Whoa! Read the whole thing.This teacher may have been unfair to investment bankers, but Skip McGee didn't do them any favors with this letter. Hoo-hah!
1. The school made a bunch of high school boys very upset (not just upset, “humiliated”) when it wouldn’t let them dress in drag for a pep rally.
2. Something about “a gay female coach” (Skip’s original draft: “fucking dyke”) who The Skipper wants fired.
3. (The pièce de résistance:) History teacher Leslie Lovett should also be fired because she injects her ‘leftist invective’ in the curriculum and said mean, hurtful things about investment bankers, particularly those working for Lehman and Barclays, and made Skippy’s son cry. Luckily, Skip Jr. wiped his eyes, stood up to Ms. Lovett and said, you are wrong about my dad! He wanted to save Lehman. He wanted to save Lehman so bad!
A police report said the 21-year-old Denton woman answered a knock at her door by someone who claimed he was doing field work for a massage class.
She let the man into her apartment and allowed him to massage her, but became suspicious when he asked her to keep taking off more clothes Monday.
Police say the woman finally got the man to leave, but not before he asked her to go on a date.
She called the massage school and was told the man was not enrolled. She then called police. (The Houston Chronicle, 12/3/09)