Wow You Guys! This is so amazing! I can believe I've finished nine chapters. Three more to go. But I still have so much more to do today. According to my outline I'm going to learn a lot about the music and sports Mr. Steve knows about in this chapter. I hear Pigeons cooing.
Based on the length of the shadows leaning to the east I would say it's about four thirty in the afternoon. I smell a Sage plant. According to my book two outline it looks like I'm also going to write about the history of "Horror"in this tenth or third to last chapter too.
A breeze just came in from the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. The chimes above me are ringing. Hey God! Holy Spirit! Is it You Guys again? Yesterday I thought for sure that I felt Your presence whenever the chimes rang. Daisy thinks it was You Guys.
Hey God! I really do hope that someday when Mr. Steve reads my three books he likes them. Thank all You Guys for helping me for two days. But I still have a lot to do today and then one more book to write tomorrow. Oh! I just picked up the scent of a Rosemary plant.
Hey Blessed Mother! Is that You again? I'm looking to the east beyond the three Sheds and I can see a few Birds flying around. I can still feel the breeze and the chimes are still ringing so I think I feel You again. Rudy the Roadrunner ran bye just behind the back fence.
Dais thinks we're lucky that Mr. Steve likes and listens to many types of music. She says we get to learn more about different styles of music. But Daisy will go into our boss's Bedroom so she gets to hear even more music than I do. The chimes have stopped ringing.
Mr. Steve is interested in how one type of music often influences another kind of music. Some time back he met a guy who's convinced that "Classical" composers like Richard Wagner and Gustav Holst inspired later "Hard Rock" bands. Dais says both were from Germany.
RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883) GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934)
Our boss hears Wagner's power in the German band SCORPIONS song "Sails of Charon." That song to him sounds like Wagner in the 1970's. I'll write more about that in book three in talking about a Jewish band from New York City called BLUE ÖYSTER CULT.
From what our boss one time told Daisy and Millie, KING CRIMSON, BLACK SABBATH, DIAMOND HED and METALLICA all used the "Dissonant" or "Unsettling" sounds of what's called the "Tritone." So Gustav Holst must have influenced them too.
My Dictionary says a Tritone is a "Harmonic Progression" of three notes that includes what's called a "Diminished Fifth;" Da, Da Da. Mr. Steve had a female teacher in College, who didn't even like Hard Rock, who first made him aware of the Diminished Fifth.
During the Middle or "Dark" Ages the Diminished Fifth was forbidden to be played as being the "Devil's Chord" or "Devil's Interval." In Latin the phrase "Diabolus en Musica" or "The Devil in Music" was what they called it. Dais told me it does sound kind of ominous.
SCORPIONS KING CRIMSON
Mr. Steve says in the early 20th century Gustav Holst used a Tritone to begin his song "Mars, Bringer of War" in his "Planet Suite." Dais tried to explain to me what the Tritone sounded like one time. Someday I really want to hear it for myself. I can't wait for that day.
Dais told me that in the mid-1970's our boss saw this English "Progressive Rock" band KING CRIMSON at the Hollywood Palladium. They ended their show she said with Holst's "Mars." Mr. Steve told her this really made a big impression on him. Heathcliff just crowed.
My boss, and now Daisy and me, like the British band BLACK SABBATH. Many years ago Mr. Steve heard that their guitarist, Tony Iommi, accidentally cut off the tips of his middle and ring fingers on his right hand while working in a steel factory in Birmingham, England.
Just like DEFF LEPPARD'S drummer later, for that guy Tony Iommi this was what our boss calls a big "Trning point" or "make or break" moment. For him it was a "Game-Changer," or Ggut-Check" time. As that guy Charles Darwin would say, either adapt or "fall."
Mr. Steve tries to play along to some of BLACK SABBATH'S songs. He knows he'll never be as good as that guy Bill Ward. But oftentimes as he plays he thinks about how, in the early part of the 1970's, for Tony Iommi, it was what they call "Crunch Time" or "Do or Die."
TONY IOMMI DJANGO REINHARDT
Mr. Steve told us at first Tony Iommi was naturally depressed. But, luckily for him, his friend from work came to his house and told him about this one French "Gypsy" Jazz guitarist named Django Reinhardt. Jack the Jackrabbit just whizzed bye in front of the Sheds.
Tomorrow I plan on writing about the "Roma" people in book three. I'm so tempted to do it right now but I better wait. Dais says our boss is interested in their history and thinks that, to a certain extent, Heavy Metal music was in part inspired by Gypsy "perseverance."
Django Reinhardt, who was right-handed, had his left hand badly burned. His fingers were kind of melted. So he could only use two of the fingers on his fingering hand. He had a choice, either adapt or "Fall by the Wayside" as they say. I hear a Crow cawing.
From what Dais told me, to survive, that guy Django Reinhardt had to make lemonade out of lemons. And because he was tough and had an instinct for survival he adapted. Luckily, Tony Iommi was able to do the same thing Mr. Steve thinks. I hear Pigeons cooing.
I wrote down a French phrase Mr. Steve mentioned; "C' est la vie" or "That's life." I almost named this second book C' Est La Vie because that sounds like something Dais would say. I'm so glad I have these Dictionaries. A Thrasher Bird just ran under Moe.
Hey God! As You know, Sister Rita Joseph told her 6th Grade class at Saint Ferdinands that tragedy and unfairness is often part of life. She thought You sometimes let bad things happen in order to test people like Tony Iommi and that other guy Django Reinhardt.
Django Reinhardt had to create a new way to play or he would have been in big trouble our boss says. He had to adjust fast. It was what's called a "Watershed Moment." But he adjusted. One thing he did was switch from "Gut" guitar strings to steel so he'd be louder.
Mr. Steve thinks sometimes, to survive, you have to admit you can't do what you once could. Muhammad Ali was probably the fastest Heavyweight Boxer ever; fighting on the "Balls of his Feet" able to "Dance Away" whenever he wanted. I'm sort of like that too right now.
That Boxer Muhammad Ali seems smart Mr. Steve told Daisy. He did what it said to do up on the wall at Delphi. When he fought that one guy George Foreman in 1974 and regained the Championship he knew he didn't have the same movement as he had before.
When he was young Muhammad Ali was fast and used a lot of hand and feet movement. He could land punches from a distance or out of range. Sometimes he could even go for a long time in a fight without being hit even once by his opponent. I smell a Bunny Rabbit.
JIM PLUNKETT LUIS TIANT
Earlier today I wrote about Jim Plunkett and that other guy Luis Tiant. They had to adapt the way they played their sports because they weren't young anymore. Jim Plunkett was a slow runner later in his career and Luis Tiant couldn't throw nearly as hard as he once had.
Earlier today I forgot to write a few things about Luis Tiant. As I mentioned, he was from the island of Cuba. When he pitched later in his career instead of "blowing the ball bye" hitters he even developed a "hesitation" pitch. The shadows are leaning away from me now.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie how, to survive in his career; Luis Tiant "changed his delivery." I mentioned it earlier. Mr. Steve says sometimes Luis Tiant would even twist around and turn his back on the batter during his "Windup." I smell a Lizard.
CHE GUEVARRA / FIDEL CASTRO
As I wrote about earlier today, in 1959 Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra led a revolution in Cuba. Since the end of the Spanish-American War of 1898 Cuba had been under the control of the United States. Cuba became a Communist country like in China and Russia.
From what is says here in this one Encyclopedia, President Eisenhower didn't like having a Communist country only ninety miles from the United States. So his Administration supported some angry Cuban "exile refugees" in trying to go down there to take Cuba back.
"BAY OF PIGS" INVASION (1961)
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says that President Kennedy was elected in 1960 so "inherited" President Eisenhower's Cuba invasion plan. Daisy says that our boss thinks he had only reluctantly gave that plan his okay. It turned out to be a "complete disaster."
I guess Luis Tiant was in the United States playing Baseball in 1961, the year of what is now called the "Bay of Pigs" invasion. A map in my Encyclopedia shows where the Bay of Pigs is. I can see just how close the State of Florida is to Cuba. A Duck quacked next door.
A picture next to the map in my Encyclopedia shows Fidel Castro's soldiers celebrating their victory. They captured or killed almost all of the invaders; who felt betrayed by America for not supplying enough Air support. I can now hear some Crows cawing faintly.
Earlier today I mentioned how Mr. Steve's Niece Stephanie has a boyfriend named Rich. As I also said, his parents were part of that original wave of Cuban exiles when Fidel Castro came into power. Andy and Helen the Ground Squirrels just ran under Moe the middle Shed.
Because of the Bay of Pigs "debacle" some people think that the survivors hated President Kennedy and were somehow involved in his assassination two years later. Daisy says our boss doesn't believe it so neither do we.
Well, back to writing about that Boxer Muhammad Ali. I kind of got off subject a little bit but sometimes ideas just come into my mind and I remember things Mr. Steve is interested in. I've done that now for two days and Daisy says it's okay to add things as I go.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy, that guy George Foreman was one of the hardest punchers ever; like Rocky Marciano. So Muhammad Ali knew that over there in Africa he'd have to come up with something unexpected to beat George Foreman. He used "Rope-a-Dope."
Mr. Steve Daisy that in Zaire, in order to beat George Foreman, Muhammad Ali had to "play Chess." He knew it was suicidal to what they call stand "Toe to Toe" with him; so he used the ring ropes as an aid. I see the Rabbit over there next to Moe the middle Shed.
MUHAMMAD ALI / GEORGE FOREMAN (ZAIRE / 1974)
I guess Muhammad Ali didn't tell his Trainers that Rope-a-Dope meant he intended to lean back on the ropes to let George Foreman "punch himself out" so to speak. But before that he'd have to block some really heavy punches with his arms. It was a risky tactic.
Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fought in the African country of "Zaire" in 1974. It was promoted as the "Rumble in the Jungle" and held in an outdoor Soccer Stadium. On the night of the fight it was a hot and humid. That Rabbit is running out into the desert.
One time Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that Muhammad Ali's overall strategy against that guy George Foreman was to "empty his gas tank" so to speak. But for a few rounds he had to absorb a lot of punishment. Daisy told me that George Foreman hit so hard!
In Zaire Muhammad Ali's Trainer Angelo Dundee did not like Rope-a-Dope. At first he was kind of upset when he saw what was going on. At least that's what our boss told Daisy. He said leaning on the ropes was way too dangerous against a puncher like George Foreman.
Back in the late 1980's Mr. Steve met Angelo Dundee. Dais says he even shook his hand. And on another occasion he met and shook hands with Muhammad Ali too. Both were friendly and seemed like really nice guys. Rudy the Roadrunner is jogging bye right now.
ANGELO DUNDEE (1921-2012)
PHOTO BY NEIL LEIFER
A picture of Angelo Dundee in my Encyclopedia shows him taping Muhammad Ali's hands. I guess he was Italian from Philadelphia but is more associated with the State of Florida now. He lived and worked in Florida for most of his life. A Thrasher Bird just ran bye.
Just like what Mr. Steve told Daisy, it says here that back in the 1960's Muhammad Ali had great "lateral" movement and was almost impossible to catch. But in his later years he had lost foot speed so to beat that guy George Foremen he changed the way he fought.
As famous as Muhammad Ali is for being a good Boxer, he's now just as well known for what he did in 1967 when he refused to go into the military to fight in the Vietnam War. From 1966 through 1970 he was forced to be what's called "Inactive." I smell a Creosote bush.
Hey God! As You know, our boss thinks Muhammad Ali probably lost the most "productive" years of his career by not wanting to be "Drafted" into the Army and possibly being sent to fight in Vietnam. But his "Conscience" wouldn't let him do what he thought was wrong.
Even though I'm scheduled to write more about Muhammad Ali tomorrow in book three I just have the irresistible urge to do it right now. That's okay. Isn't it Lord? I can go "Out of Order" as they say. Muhammad Ali had to adapt like Tony Iommi had to adapt.
Wow Everyone! I can't believe I'm almost finished with two books! I feel so good. No snacks for us again today I guess. I'm hungry. I wonder what we'll have for dinner? I sure hope Mr. Steve puts some of that Spam in with our regular food. I can almost taste it now.
CASSIUS MARCELLUS CLAY (1810-1903)
My Encyclopedia says Muhammad Ali's original "birth" name was Cassius Marcellus Clay. He and his father were named after this one 19th century politician from "Kentucky;" where they're from. But Muhammad Ali decided he didn't like his "given" name.
Even though his own family owned some Slaves, from what it says here in this Encyclopedia, the original Cassius Clay was what's called an "Abolitionist." That means he didn't believe one person should be able to own another person. I can smell a Ground Squirrel.
This Encyclopedia says that the first Cassius Clay, in the mid-1840's, fought in the Mexican War as a Captain. So he must've known about knives and things like that. It says here because he wanted to abolish Slavery there were a number of attempts made on his life.
I guess that man Cassius Clay carried a big Bowie knife with him just in case someone tried to kill him. Daisy told me that in his office our boss has a Bowie knife that is similar to the one Cassius Clay most likely carried back then. I see the Squirrel. I knew it was Andy.
Some Abolitionists back then in the mid-19th century thought the only way to get rid of the "Institution" of slavery was through violence. In book three I'll write in more detail about that guy John Brown. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are flying bye above me.
Daisy says that our boss told her and Millie that in the 19th century a lot of people in America thought that anything "Roman" was "Cool." So Cassius Clay's middle name was "Marcellus." Even some Slaves were given Roman names. Andy the Squirrel is gone now.
Oh! This is so interesting. According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, that man Cassius Clay, one of the "Republicans" who replaced the "Whigs," was almost selected to be the Vice President to run with Abraham Lincoln in 1860. I'll bet Mr. Steve knows that.
Well, Dais was so right. She said our boss told her and Millie that during the American Civil War Cassius Clay was "Appointed" to be "Ambassador" to "Czarist" Russia. That was a time when many of the poor Russians were starting to really dislike the Czar.
Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie one time that President Lincoln told Cassius Clay his main job was to convince the Czar not to officially recognize the Southern Confederacy as an independent country. And he ended up doing a really good job I guess. I smell a Cholla cactus.
This Encyclopedia "confirms" what our boss told Daisy and Millie that time. Cassius Clay is now "credited" with getting Russia to threaten war with England and France if they recognized the Southern Confederacy. Dais says our boss seems to think this was important.
Little did that first Cassius Clay know, a century after he lived, this black kid with his name would become so famous. He's the only three time Heavyweight champion. My Encyclopedia uses the words "controversial" and "polarizing" to describe Muhammad Ali's life.
Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel are flying bye right now. They're way up high in the sky and look like a good team in the way they move along together; in what they call "Formation." No wonder Mr. Steve and Daisy like looking at Birds so much. I do too now!
Tomorrow in my third book I'm scheduled to write about this group called the "Nation of Islam" and a guy named Malcolm X. Before he was Malcolm X his name was Malcolm Little. Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X joined the "Black Muslims" by the early 1960's.
MALCOLM X (1925-1965)
PHOTO BY ROBERT HIGGINS
Tomorrow's Saturday and in book three one thing I'll write about is this one guy named O.J. Simpson. He probably killed two people our boss thinks. "O.J." and Mr. Steve share the same birthday. In dealing with his 1995 trial I'll talk about the history of "Civil Rights."
Dais said our boss told her and Millie he read that when Cassius Clay was twelve someone stole his Bicycle. He was so mad and wanted to beat that person up. He met this one Policeman who also trained kids to be Boxers. I hear our neighbor's Ducks quacking.
I guess that Policeman told Cassius Clay if he was going to fight the person who stole his Bike then he needed to know how to fight. So that's how Cassius Clay began his life as a Boxer. I can hear Dawn and Blinky barking faintly next door. I can smell a Creosote bush.
CASSIUS CLAY (AGE TWELVE)
There's a picture in my Encyclopedia of Muhammad Ali, or Cassius Clay, when he was just a young boy growing up in Louisville, Kentucky. Who knew the kid in this picture would become champion of the whole world three times. Max the Hummingbird just whizzed bye.
Seeing Max makes me think about how Mr. Steve said Muhammad Ali was fast when he was younger. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that Muhammad Ali used to get in really good condition because it took a lot of energy to fight in the style he did. I smell Sage.
DREW BUNDINI BROWN (1928-1987)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
One time, in 1985 he thinks, Mr. Steve met this one man named Drew Bundini Brown at a "Press Conference" at the Forum. He was what they call a "Corner Man" for Muhammad Ali. He "motivated" Muhammad Ali when he was tired. He was tall and smiled a lot.
Daisy says Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, "Bundini" was an entertainer. He's the one who made up the poems Muhammad Ali recited before fights. The most famous one was; "Float like a Butterfly and sting like a Bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see."
I just looked up "Sugar" Ray Robinson. Gary, the Barber who lives in San Fernando; has at times discussed "Sugar Ray" with Mr. Steve. Nat Fleischer, the Editor of Ring Magazine; says Sugar Ray Robinson was the best "Pound for Pound" Boxer in history. I smell Sage.
Before he went to work as a Trainer for Muhammad Ali that guy Bundini Brown worked for Sugar Ray Robinson. In the mid-1980's, just a few years before he died; Mr. Steve was able to shake Sugar Ray Robinson's hand. I just picked up the scent of that old Joshua tree.
"SUGAR" RAY ROBINSON (1921-1989)
Two pictures in my Encyclopedia show Sugar Ray Robinson fighting a guy named Carmen Basilio. He was Italian and Mr. Steve's father thinks he was one the toughest fighters he ever saw. Carmen Basilio is one of the few people who ever beat Sugar Ray Robinson.
The caption below the pictures of the Carmen Basilio, Sugar Ray Robinson fight says they're from 1957; the year Mr. Steve's brother Rock was born. Oh! That fight was held at old Yankee Sadium; where Mr. Steve and his brother saw that Yankees game back in 1977.
I just noticed how in the upper laft-hand corner of the second picture from the 1957 fight at Yankee Stadium there's a Ring Magazine logo. I'd be willing to bet Mr. Steve drew that logo at one time or another. Ah! I just picked up the scent of that one old Sage bush.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy, that guy Bundini laughed a lot and was very friendly. Mr. Steve says during some of Muhammad Ali's fights you could hear Bundini Brown's loud voice as he yelled encouragement. Max the Hummingbird just flew bye again.
Daisy says a few years ago Mr. Steve did some artwork for this lady from Florida. It turned out that her family knew Bundini Brown's family. She said Bundini Brown got into a bad Car accident and then fell down one time. He died from that fall she told our boss.
Mr. Steve told Dais Bundini Brown used to joke that when Muhammad Ali was young he was so fast he could; "Turn off the light switch and be under the covers before the lights went off." Boy! That is fast! Ah! Max the Hummingbird just went out into the desert.
CASSIUS CLAY (1960 ROME OLYMPICS)
According to this one Encyclopedia, as Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali won a Gold Medal in the 1960 Olympics. Those particular Olympics were held in Rome, Italy and Cassius Clay won a Gold Medal in the "Light Heavyweight" Division. A Thrasher Bird just ran bye.
There's a picture of Cassius Clay in my Encyclopedia. The photo was taken after he won the Gold Medal at the Olympics over there in Rome, Italy. I notice that in "Amateur" Boxing the fighters wear shirts. I can hear our neighbors Ducks quacking over there next door.
I guess after Cassius Clay won the Olympics he came back to America and "Turned Pro" as they say. And he did so good that by 1964 he got a "Shot at the Title" against the Heavyweight champion named "Sonny" Liston. I just picked up the scent of a Creosote bush.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie Sonny Liston was such a hard puncher a Sportswriter joked; "He could knock you out with a jab." A jab is often not intended to be a really powerful punch. It's meant to be more of a "Range Finder" for harder punches.
CHARLES "SONNY" LISTON (1932-1970)
It says here in this Encyclopedia that Sonny Liston was "intimidating." He does look kind of scary in this one picture. He spent time in Prison and had knocked out this other Boxer named Floyd Patterson twice; each time in just one round. Some thought him "unbeatable."
Sonny Liston fought right-handed so "jabbed" with his left hand. It says here that he had a reputation for having a "Jackhammer-like" jab. Muhammad Ali, who was also right-handed, had a "Razor-like" jab. It stung an opponents face. A Crow just cawed faintly.
Muhammad Ali "flicked" his left jab out and cut people's faces "like a razor." Mr. Steve told Daisy that's how he once heard it described. It says here this one writer named Roger Kahn compared Ali's jab to a Lizard's tongue or a "Rapier" sword. I smell new Juniper.
When I get over my fear of going down the Hallway I'll see Mr. Steve's Office. Dais says he has swords and spears in there. One sword is a replica Rapier like just those used by the French Three Muskateers back in the 18th century; when that guy Louis XIV was the King.
In the Korean War Mr. Steve's father was an artillery "Spotter" who looked through strong binoculars to give the people shooting the cannons the range and "bearing" so they could blow up and kill the enemy. Dais thinks you probably need to know math to do that job.
This Encyclopedia has a picture where Marines like Mr. Steve's dad are firing their cannon at the Chinese. That's what it says in the caption. "Shells" are like big bullets. In the photograph, one of the Marines is about to load a Shell into the back of the cannon.
Dais says sometimes in war a smaller cannon like the one in this picture is used in the way a Boxing jab is; to "probe." This Encyclopedia says, once "Zero'd in" on the target bigger guns can "pound" and "rain down" greater levels of destruction in their bombardment.
Dais says during World War II sometimes a first wave of Bomber Planes was used like the jab in Boxing. They drop their bombs which make smoke or start fires. This is intended to show the later waves where to drop their way more powerful bombs. I hear Crows cawing.
I'm still thinking about Boxing and how that guy Muhammad Ali surprised everyone when he beat Sonny Liston and won the championship. He kept yelling out to the audience after the fight was over; "I shook up the world! I shook up the world!" I smell a Sage plant.
Gary, the Barber who lives down there in San Fernando and knows a lot about the history of Boxing, said people noticed that Sonny Liston's left arm was more muscular than his right arm. So even though he fought right-handed his left jab and hook were his best punches.
Wow! Sonny Liston was born in 1932 like Mr. Steve's father; but he died young in 1970. Mr. Steve was in the ninth grade at Alemany High School in 1970. Daisy told me that was the year when Mr. Steve and his friend Paul went out for the Football team. A Crow is cawing.
Daisy told me that in Football, before the season starts there's a two week period when all you do is exercise. Mr. Steve and his friend Paul knew it wasn't going to be easy because it was called "Hell Weeks." In 1970 during August it was really hot Mr. Steve told Dais.
One thing that makes Hell Weeks hard I guess is that there are two "Conditioning" practices each day. Dais says the Coaches first see how hard you work and how tough you are before they even try to find out how much talent you have by throwing, blocking or catching.
During those two really hard weeks of conditioning Mr. Steve and his friend Paul helped each other. Mr. Steve's father, who had gone through a "Boot Camp" in the Marines; told him; "Just don't be last." Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are flying bye right now.
Dais says what Mr. Steve's father meant when he said don't be last was that when you're out there running the Coaches notice who's behind everyone else. And they often use those people to make the other's do extra running. Luckily, Mr. Steve and Paul were never last.
I guess during a conditioning practice you run from one spot to another and do particular exercises when you get there. When the whistle blows you then run fast to another area and do a different exercise. At least that's what Daisy says our boss told her and Millie one time.
Not only are there two practices every day for two weeks Mr. Steve told Dais; but in 1970 the Coaches thought it was bad to drink too much water. Now everyone knows about "Hydration" a drink called "Gatorade." It was hard but Mr. Steve and his friend Paul made it.
As Daisy and I know, our boss throws and catches a Football pretty good. It's so great when he plays "Catch" with other people. It gives Daisy and myself an excuse to run around too. And thinking about it makes me feel like running right now. Oh! Heathcliff crowed.
Dais and I have noticed how much our boss likes having kids run "Routes" so he can throw them passes. He shows them how they have to be able to get to a certain spot and then catch a ball that was thrown even before they made their last move on the defender.
I guess, from what our boss told Daisy and Millie, after two Hell Weeks Football players get fitted for equipment like a helmet and "pads." Mr. Steve was a Receiver. But even though he always caught the ball it quickly became obvious to him that he was way too small.
Right away Dais says, Mr. Steve was getting what they call "Bone Bruises" and cuts all over his body. And even though he was five feet eleven inches tall he was skinny. Daisy says our boss chuckles when he thinks back at how skinny he was back in the 9th Grade.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve now realizes that, "more often than not;" in order to play Football it's an advantage to be what they call "Big-Boned." Daisy says our boss chuckles when he thinks about how thin he was in 9th Grade. Birds are flying bye way up there in the sky.
Hey Holy Spirit! From down here on this Patio I think that group of Birds flying to the north are Pigeons. But it's kind of hard to tell. I sure wish I could smell those Birds. The clouds way up there make me think about how Daisy would like to be able to fly. But not me!
Dais says in 1970 our boss decided to quit the Alemany "Junior Varsity" Football team. He knew he'd eventually break a bone. By that point in his life he'd broken a few bones. He thinks sometimes in life that old saying is right; "Discretion is the better part of valor."
Mr. Steve's friend Paul was big-boned. That's what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie. He was big and became a good "Offensive Lineman." His main job was to block so the Quarterback and the Runners and Receivers can have the time to do what they need to do.
I guess,, from what Daisy told me; an Offensive Lineman in Football has to block so that his Quarter back can have time to pass it to the Receiver. But on other plays he has to block so that the Running Backs can run and make some "Yardage." I smell Andy the Squirrel.
Earlier today I wrote about the first Super Bowl which was played in 1967 down at the Los Angeles Coliseum. There were two pictures in my Encyclopedia of the Green Bay Packers; who had a really good Offensive Line. Andy and Helen the Squirrels are looking at me.
From what I read this morning, that one Coach Vince Lombardi had teams that preferred to "run" first "pass" second. So their big Offensive Linemen had to block for Runners doing what they call a "Power Sweep" where the Runner goes to the outside instead of "Up the Middle."
Mr. Steve's sister Susan's boys Dalton and Austin like the New England "Patriots" Football team. Mr. Steve had a customer, who was about his age; who followed the Patriots from when they were in the A.F.L. His favorite player during all those years was John Hannah.
Dais says John Hannah was one of the best Offensive Linemen when blocking for a pass or an inside running play. He was even better at "pulling" to run ahead of the runner to "clear the way" for him. Andy and Helen just ran around the northeast corner of the house.
Mr. Steve chuckled when that Parts Manager, who lives in Connecticutt like Susan and her boys; when he said it would be really scary to see John Hannah coming at you if you were trying to tackle the Running Back. Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie John Hannah was big.
At Alemany in 1970 the primary color was "Burgundy." Daisy told me one time how some call it "Maroon." And Alemany's secondary colors were gold and white. The helmets were gold like U.C.L.A. but their jerseys were Burgundy just like the ones U.S.C. wears.
Oh! A fresh breeze just floated in from behind the three Sheds to my front. And now I hear the Chimes ringing. I hope it's all You Guys coming to make me feel good and keep working on this second book. Wow! I smell an old Sage bush and a new Rosemary plant.
CHUCK WEPNER / SONNY LISTON
Well, back to writing about Boxing. I like learning new things about Sports. Daisy says our boss told her that in 1964 some people thought Sonny Liston might kill Cassius Clay in the ring. Sonny Liston was the one who cut up that guy Chuck Wepner's face so badly.
This one Encyclopedia says that guy Sonny Liston had "destroyed" other fighters by the time he fought Cassius Clay. He knocked out one guy Floyd Patterson twice and both times he did it just one round. I see a big Lizard over there standing just to the side of the big tree.
Hey You Guys! I think I feel Your presence. That breeze feels great so thank Everyone for that. I like taking in or inhaling deep breaths. Hey Holy Spirit! Looking out to the desert to the east I think I can sense You right now. Oh! The Chimes stopped ring.
Well. back to writing about Muhammad Ali when his name was Cassius Clay. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie one time about how Muhammad Ali talked a lot in order to "Promote" his fights. I guess some people said he was "Cocky." That Lizard just ran away.
Going into the fight against Sonny Liston Cassius Clay was always yelling things like; "I am the greatest!" But he went in a big "Underdog" anyway and many gave him almost no chance to win. I just saw Jack the Jackrabbit run bye out there in the eastern desert.
A while back Gary, the Barber and Boxing Historian from San Fernando, told Mr. Steve he heard that someone told Cassius Clay Sonny Liston didn't fight well when he was angry. I smell a Ground Squirrel. But looking around I don't see any Squirrels around here.
Some thought the main reason why Cassius Clay was acting so weird in the weeks leading up to their fight was that he was afraid of Sonny Liston. Daisy says Mr. Steve thinks he was just "Hyping" the fight. Aha! I see the Squirrel over there underneath Moe the Shed.
GORGEOUS GEORGE (1915-1963)
Daisy says one time our boss told her and Millie about how, as a kid, Cassius Clay watched Wrestling on tv. So he saw this one guy called "Gorgeous" George who used to brag and boast in order to try to get everyone to hate him. That Squirrel just ran out into the desert.
There's a picture of Gorgeous George in this one Encyclopedia. The caption describes him as what they call "flamboyant." Dais says our boss heard that Gorgeous George really influenced Cassius Clay. Gary the Barber said he read the same thing. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve wonders if Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali wore white shoes because he saw Gorgeous George doing it. Most Boxers only wore black shoes then. Because he likes the Oakland A's and how they wear white shoes Mr. Steve notices things like that.
Mr. Steve thinks Gorgeous George did everything he could to be a "Villain" so a lot of people will pay money hoping to see him lose. He acted like a self-centered, conceited and vain person because he knew most people hate that. Many people like to hate Mr. Steve thinks.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, all of the crazy "antics" that Cassius Clay went through leading up to the first Sonny Liston fight might've just worked. Sonny Liston didn't look like the invincible fighter he had been up until then. I smell a Juniper bush.
Mr. Steve was told by Gary the Barber that when Sonny Liston was in Prison the only people he was "wary" of were those he thought "genuinely crazy." And some people think he might've thought Cassius Clay really was one of those "Lunatics." I hear Dawn barking.
CASSIUS CLAY / SONNY LISTON
I guess it turned out Cassius Clay was way too fast for Sonny Liston. Unlike when he fought George Foreman years later in 1974, after he'd lost his speed, Cassius Clay embarrassed Sonny Liston by "Running Circles" around him. Two Pigeons are flying in from the desert.
There's a picture in this Encyclopedia that shows Cassius Clay landing a hard left jab right on Sonny Liston's right eye. The captions describes it as a "stinging" or "rapier-like" jab. You can see that Sonny Liston has been cut under his left eye. I smell a Juniper bush.
Sonny Liston chased Cassius Clay all around the ring but couldn't catch him Mr. Steve says. This Encyclopedia says Cassius Clay's left jab is what cut Sonny Liston's face. He was not used to that I guess. Usually it was he who cut up other fighters; like that guy Chuck Wepner.
Mr. Steve told Dais he and that guy Gary the Barber think Sonny Liston got so frustrated by Cassius Clay he just quit or gave up. This Encyclopedia uses the word "befuddled" to describe how he looked in that fight. Oh! A little Jackrabbit just zoomed bye right now.
ROBERTO DURAN / "SUGAR" RAY LEONARD
I just thought of something I want to write about even though it's not on my outline. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that the most famous fight in which a Boxer quit was in 1983 when Roberto Duran said "No mas" against this guy named "Sugar" Ray Leonard.
In Spanish no mas means "No more." I just looked it up in my Spanish Dictionary. That's what Roberto Duran supposedly told the Referee in his second fight against Sugar Ray Leonard. I guess Sugar Ray Leonard was named after that guy Sugar Ray Robinson.
Mr. Steve told Daisy his friends Ralph and Gary the Barber think Roberto Duran was one of the best fighters ever. I guess for a while he was considered by a lot of Boxing experts to be the best pound for pound fighter. I hear some Wrens singing happily out in the desert.
Nat Fleischer's "pound for pound" formula allows you compare Boxers no matter how much they weigh. One time when Mr. Steve and his brother Rock were visiting their Uncle Marty's family in San Diego his Uncle said; "Pound for pound Jockeys are the best athletes."
Roberto Duran was from a Central American country called "Panama." Some people like Gary the Barber think he was the greatest "Lightweight" in history. Roberto Duran's nickname was "Manos de Peidra." I just picked up the scent of one of the new Creosote plants.
According to this Spanish Dictionary Manos de Piedra means "Hands of Stone." Roberto Duran was one of the hardest punchers in history. He had beaten Sugar Ray Leonard before but will always be remembered for quitting in their second fight. I hear Crows cawing.
One time in the mid-1980's Mr. Steve and his friend Armando drove downtown so they could see Roberto train at the Main Street Gym. He was preparing to fight this Mexican Boxer named "Pipino" Cuevas. Both were very impressive to watch as they worked out. I smell Sage.
Seeing Roberto Duran use a "Jump Rope" was so incredible Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie. And it was what they call "Jaw Dropping" when he used his head on the "Speed Bag." Those who witnessed it cheered when he finished. They could not believe what they saw.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
After Roberto Duran was finished with his workout that guy Pipino Cuevas came in to do his own training. At the time he was the "Welterweight" champion. When he was using the Speed Bag he hit it so hard the bag kept flying off. That's what Mr. Steve told Dais.
Mr. Steve says that guy Pipino Cuevas, as hard as it is to believe, could hit even harder than Roberto Duran. Daisy says, wearing these big "pillowy"sixteen ounce gloves he "dropped" a "Sparring Partner" with a Left Hook. Mr. Steve has a pair of sixteen ounce gloves.
I guess "Sparring" is when Boxers practice in the ring. They wear protective "Head Gear" so they won't get hurt. But still Daisy told me, Pipino Cuevas almost knocked out that sparring partner. And yet, Roberto Duran ended up winning their fight by "fighting smart."
ROBERTO DURAN / MARVIN HAGLER
PHOTO BY ARMANDO AGUIRRE
About a year after beating Pipino Cuevas Mr. Steve's friend Armando attended a big "Press Conference." It was announcing a "Middleweight" championship fight between Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler. Two little Ground Squirrels just ran under Jack the big Shed.
Mr. Steve says that Roberto Duran started as a Lightweight; about one hundred and thirty pounds. He knocked almost everyone out. But as he got older he gained weight so had to go up. By the time he fought Marvin Hagler he weighed one hundred and sixty pounds.
As a Lightweight Roberto Duran was almost unbeatable because he punched so much harder than anyone of that size. But as he went up in division he had to be a better boxer as opposed to just a devastating "Knockout Artist." He beat Marvin Hagler by "outboxing" him.
Well, back to writing about Muhammad Ali. I guess, after that guy Sonny Liston gave up in 1964 Cassius Clay ran around the ring shouting; "I am the greatest!" Some people hated him after that Mr. Steve says. But he had won "Fair and Square" as they say.
Because their first fight ended with Sonny Liston not wanting to continue fighting, there were a lot of people who wanted to see a "Rematch." So a second fight was arranged. Many couldn't believe that Sonny Liston had lost. Fannie and Freddie are flying bye right now.
In the time between the first and second fight Cassius Clay joined the "Nation of Islam" and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. The rematch turned out to be one of most "controversial" fights in history. It lasted less than one round. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye.
MUHAMMAD ALI / SONNY LISTON
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that on the day of the second Ali / Liston fight he spent a few hours taking the shells off of Piñon nuts. He wanted to eat them as he listened to the fight on the radio. By the time of the fight that evening he had a big bowl full of Piñon nuts.
Well, from what Daisy told me, and says here in this Encyclopedia, Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston with a "phantom" punch in the first round. The caption under this picture of Muhammad Ali standing over a fallen Liston says he's "taunting" him to "get up."
Hey God! As You know, because that second Ali / Liston fight was so short many thought it had been what they call "Fixed." Some even said that Sonny Liston must've been paid to "Take a Dive" as they say. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are flying bye right now.
Someday I want to see that second Ali / Liston fight God. Daisy and Millie saw it one time so they're so lucky! Dais says Muhammad Ali landed a short and straight right hand on that guy Sonny Liston's jaw. In "Slow Motion" you can see how quick he was. I smell Sage.
Hey God! A you know of course, Mr. Steve had planned on eating all the Piñon nuts a little at a time while listening to the fight on the radio. It was scheduled for fifteen rounds. But, "like an idiot" he told Daisy, he ate all of them at once because of how short that fight was.
Piñon nuts are very "rich" so Mr. Steve got sick later that night God. He joked with Daisy in saying You might've sent him a message. While he was laying in bed with a bad stomach ache he thought about how he should've saved some of those Piñon nuts for another time.
Hey God! Mr. Steve felt bad wasting all of those Piñon nuts. He didn't throw up but felt bad so didn't even enjoy them. He could've saved some for later or so other members of the family could've eaten some too. Now he tries not to waste food. Dais and I never waste food.
One thing good about not being homeless is that food is easier to "come by" as they say. Mr. Steve jokes that with Daisy and I around he doesn't waste as much food. But that's why Daisy and I wonder why we didn't get any snacks yesterday; and now today too.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, Muhammad Ali successfully defended his title a few times after the second Sonny Liston fight. He went into the first Sonny Liston fight with a record of 19-0. And he won all of his fights right after that period too.
ERNIE TERRELL / ALI FLOYD PATTERSON / ALI
This is interesting. It says here that in two of his "Title Defenses" Muhammad Ali beat other black fighters who refused to "address him" by his new Muslim name. One was that guy Floyd Patterson who Sonny Liston beat twice. The other guy was named Ernie Terrell.
Muhammad Ali called Floyd Patterson and Ernie Terrell names like "Uncle Tom" during the fights. He would punch them and yell; "What's my name?" Then he would hit them again. Mr. Steve has a copy of that famous book called "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Daisy told me.
MUHAMMAD ALI/ KARL MILDENBERGER
This Encyclopedia says that after 1964, for about three years, Muhammad Ali defended his Heavyweight "Title." He fought a really tough Canadian Boxer named George Chuvalo and a British fighter named Henry Cooper. In 1966 he went to West Germany to fight.
There's a picture in this Encyclopedia that shows Muhammad Ali fighting a German Boxer named Karl Mildenberger. The caption below the picture says Karl Mildenberger was the first left-hander ever to fight for the Heavyweight Championship. I smell a Bunny Rabbit.
You can see in this Encyclopedia picture why they call a left-hander a "Southpaw." I guess that guy Karl Mildenberger was the European Heavyweight champion from 1964 through 1968. Muhammad Ali had a hard time figuring out his left-handedness and got frustrated.
One time in the late 1980's Dais says our boss gave a tour of the San Fernando Mission to a family from Germany. They were from the city of "Frankfurt" so he then mentioned the Ali / Mildenberger fight; which took place in Frankfurt. The Rabbit is under Moe the Shed.
The husband of that German couple knew right away about that fight in 1966. This was even though he hadn't been born yet. He said his father told him and his brothers about it and knew it was the first time Germany ever "hosted " a Heavyweight Championship "Bout."
A few years ago Daisy says our boss was able to watch a film of the Muhammad Ali fight in Germany. He says he noticed that Muhammad Ali, who at that point was really hard to hit, got hit with some good right hooks by that guy Karl Mildenberger. The Rabbit is gone.
I guess, from what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, Muhammad Ali landed some pretty good punches on Karl Mildenberger but he was really tough. One thing that was kind of unusual Mr. Steve said was that Karl Mildenberger landed a lot of hard jabs to Ali's body.
Usually a right-handed Boxer is not hit by right jabs to the body. Landing powerful jabs to the sides and stomach of Muhammad Ali "threw him off" so to speak. Mr. Steve told Daisy you could tell Muhammad Ali was getting frustrated by being hit with right jab "Body Shots."
Karl Mildenberger was brave but Mr. Steve says, little by little, Muhammad Ali "wore him down" as they say. And finally, in round twelve, he caught up with Karl Mildenberger and then landed some really hard "Combinations." Fannie and Freddie are flying bye.
Because he was taking so much punishment the Referee "stepped in" and stopped the fight between Muhammad Ali and Karl Mildenberger. Dais says that when a Boxer is not knocked completely out but is getting hit too much the Referee has the right to stop the fight.
Daisy told me that when a Boxing Referee stops a match it's called a "Technical Knock Out;" or T.K.O." for short. And that's exactly how that guy Karl Mildenberger ended up losing to Muhammad Ali in 1966. I can now smell one of the new Spring Creosote bushes.
This is interesting. Nat Fleischer, the Editor of Ring Magazine who I wrote about earlier, was one of three Judges for the Ali / Mildenberger fight in Germany. Daisy told me that our boss has his father's old Ring Magazines from the 1960's. I hear Dawn barking faintly.
My Encyclopedia says Muhammad Ali in his later years told people Karl Mildenberger had been one of his most difficult opponents. And that's what that Barber named Gary, the Boxing historian from San Fernando, had told Mr. Steve. I smell a Ground Squirrel.
Boy! Muhammad Ali saying that Karl Mildenberger was one of his hardest fights is "saying a lot." He fought Joe Frazier three times; and a lot of other really good fighters too during his long career. I just picked up the faint scent of one of the Juniper plants nearby.
Daisy says Gary the Barber told our boss what makes the Karl Mildenberger fight even more impressive is the fact that at that point Muhammad Ali was at his in his "Prime." He was what they call "dominating" opponents. I can see the Squirrel near the big tree.
By 1966 the "Vietnam War" was going on. People were being "Drafted" into the military to go fight in that war. Muhammad Ali was drafted but refused to join the army. So a lot of people got even more mad at him and even accused him of not being "Patriotic" enough.
Oh wow! There's a really good quote by that guy Muhammad Ali here in this Encyclopedia. He didn't want to kill the North Vietnamese soldiers saying; "I ain't got no quarrel with the Viet Cong. No Viet Cong ever called me Nigger!" That one Squirrel just ran away.
LYNDON BANES JOHNSON (0000-0000)
I still have more to write about Muhammad Ali but I feel like mentioning President Johnson who was in power then. He was from Texas and my Encyclopedia says his full name was Lyndon Banes Johnson. He did not like it when Muhammad Ali refused to be drafted.
President Johnson "inherited" being the President in 1963 when John F. Kennedy had been killed. This was because he had been the "Vice President" which means he was what they call "Second in Command." One of those long-beaked Thrasher Birds just ran bye.
I suddenly feel like reading about 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated. I'll come back to Muhammad Ali after I read a little bit about President Kennedy and President Johnson. Samson and Delilah the Crows are flying bye; high up there in the afternoon sky.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that sometimes he wonders about the "Conspiracy" theories that have existed since 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated. Mr. Steve thought about things like that when he stood up there in the window of the School Book Depository.
In the picture from my Encyclopedia it shows President Kennedy and his wife sitting in the Car that was taking them around Texas in November of 1963. The caption says in the front seat is the Governor of Texas named John Connally. I smell a Lizard somewhere nearby.
A few years ago Mr. Steve had a customer in Texas who said he thought Lee Harvey Oswald was actually trying to kill Governor Connally and not President Kennedy. He said that Oswald's Address Book was found later and in it was this page that supposedly said; "I will kill."
I guess on that page in the Address Book there were four names listed and at the top of the "Kill List" was Governor Connally. And Lee Harvey Oswald had drawn a knife with drops of blood on it near his name. I can see the Lizard now over there near the big tree.
According to Mr. Steve's customer over in Texas, a Secret Service Agent handed Lee Harvey Oswald's Address Book over to the F.B.I and Warren Commission. But years later he found out that the page with the names on it torn out. I can hear some Crows squawking faintly.
Lee Harvey Oswald, like Mr. Steve's father; was in the Marines. Both got what they call an "Honorable Discharge." But Lee Harvey Oswald went to over to Russia or the Soviet Union so they changed his Discharge to "Undesirable." That Lizard is looking at me right now.
From what that one guy in Texas told Mr. Steve, Lee Harvey Oswald didn't really like it in the Soviet Union so decided to come back to America. By then he was married to a Russian girl and they had a baby too. He worried a lot that it would be really hard trying to get a job.
I guess it turned out that it was hard for Lee Harvey Oswald a job to support his family. He wrote a letter to Governor Connally for help about his Discharge but was sent back what they call a dismissive "Form Letter." His wife later said this got her husband really angry.
Mr. Steve told Daisy the Kennedy's were from the State of Massachusetts; which is right next door to Connecticut where his sister Susan lives with her two boys. Standing up in the 6th Floor window of the School Book Depository he thought about the Kennedy family.
Tomorrow in book three I'll write about Americans before World War II who did not want the United States to enter the war. They were called "Isolationists" and Joseph Kennedy, the father of President Kennedy, was one of them. So was that one Pilot named Charles Lindbergh.
Mr. Steve says he can see how Lee Harvey Oswald could have made the third shot that killed President Kennedy. He had already hit President Kennedy in the back with the second round. I just heard a Crow squawking faintly; way out there in the northeastern desert.
A picture in my Encyclopedia shows President Kennedy and his wife "Jacqueline" in the back seat of an expensive Car called a "Limousine." They're smiling at all of the people on the sides of the roads. The caption says President Kennedy's wife was called "Jackie."
The picture of the President and his wife must've been taken right before he was hit in the back with the second shot. The caption below the picture says Texas Governor Connelly and his wife are riding in the seats in front of the Kennedy's. I smell a Creosote plant.
As I mentioned yesterday in my first book, when Mr. Steve's brother Rock took him to Dealey Plaza to see the famous area; it was a hot and humid July day. But Mr. Steve wanted to jump up onto that little wall where the "Zapruder" film was made. I smell a Finch Bird.
Oh my God! My Encyclopedia shows a "Sequence" of four photographs where you can see the exact moment when President Kennedy was killed. The bullet from that third and final shot is hitting President Kennedy in the head. I feel sorry for his wife. Hey! I smell Rosemary.
Blessed Mother! Are You thinking of me? I'll bet You felt bad back in 1963 when President Kennedy's wife had to be there when her husband died. As You know Holy Mother, Dais thinks something like that happening would be hard to forget or "get over" as they say.
This sequence of four pictures is so amazing! That girl Jackie is looking at her husband in worry and concern. He had already been hit from the back by the second shot and was slumped over in her direction. I 'm sure she sensed that something was wrong.
The caption below the four images says frame number two is where the bullet "arrives." This is so amazing! Now I know why some people think the "Kill Shot" came from the front right of the President's Car. It looks like the bullet is hitting him in the front and not from behind.
Dais says our boss said part of President Kennedy's skull was blown off and landed on the Car's trunk. Mrs. Kennedy must've been in what they call "Shock" because she crawled out of her seat and tried to "retrieve" it. But the Secret Service Agent pushed her back inside.
LYNDON JOHNSON BECOMES PRESIDENT (NOVEMBER 1963)
This picture in my Encyclopedia shows Lyndon B. Johnson taking the "Oath of Office" and becoming the new American President. Mrs. Kennedy is standing next to him and looks so sad. Lyndon Johnson's wife is right behind him the caption says. A Crow cawed.
Hey God! I notice that in this picture of Lyndon Johnson he's raising his right hand and has his left hand resting on a Bible. The caption says they're in an Airplane going from Texas back to Washington D.C. Mrs. Kennedy is still wearing a "blood-splattered" dress I guess.
That guy President Johnson didn't like "Communism." That's what Mr. Steve told Daisy. So as President he "escalated" the war in Vietnam. A lot of people back in the 1960's were afraid that Communism would spread from China down into Vietnam. I smell a Snake.
In 1966 when Muhammad Ali got drafted to go into the military he "declared" himself to be what they call a "Conscientious Objector." This got President Johnson kind of mad and he was not the only one angry with Muhammad Ali. I can smell one of the Joshua trees.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve says before World War II the area now called Vietnam was a Colony of France called "Indochina." Germany conquered France in 1940 and then the Japanese came in to occupy Vietnam. I see the Gopher Snake in front of Moe the middle Shed.
I'm scheduled to write about the Vietnam War tomorrow in my third book but I think I'll do it right now. And I can write about the Vietnam War tomorrow too if necessary. Mr. Steve was almost drafted to go fight in the Vietnam War. He still even has his "Draft Card."
This is interesting. According to this one Encyclopedia, Indochina became a French Colony on October the 17th in 1887. And looking it up on my list of the birthdays in our family I see that Mr. Steve's brother Rock was born on October 17. That Snake is gone.
I'll write about the Vietnam War tomorrow in book three when I talk about our boss's friend Mr. Cliff. He fought in Vietnam and "has the scars to prove it" he jokes. Mr. Cliff was there in 1968 during the "Tet Offensive." One thing he knows about is "Meteorology."
I like this one map of the area called "Southeast Asia." The country of Vietnam is colored in green. Before World War II Vietnam was a colony of France called "French Indochina." But when Germany conquered France in 1940 the Japanese decided to invade the area.
Right now I think I'll look up what has happened to French Indochina, or Vietnam, since the end of the Second World War in 1945. That's when the French Government was "restored" in Europe and they wanted Vietnam back as a colony. A Crow just cawed faintly.
My Encyclopedia says after World War II the French tried to "reassert their authority" in Vietnam. But the Vietnamese said "No Way!" and revolted against them. It says here that their main leader was a man named Hó Chi Minh. I'll write more about him tomorrow too.
HÓ CHI MINH (1890-1969)
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, that guy Hó Chi Minh was the leader of this one group called the "Viet Minh." In their attempt to gain independence from the French the Viet Minh were at times supplied with weapons by Soviet Russia and China.
By 1954, the year before Mr. Steve was born, "push had come to shove" as they say. A big battle happened at this one place called "Diém Bién Phú." This Encyclopedia says that Diém Bién Phú was actually not just one single battle but a series of battles and a siege.
This Encyclopedia says that in 1954 at Diém Bién Phú a big French army was trapped and defeated over the period of a few months. Normally the Viet Minh fought a "Hit and Run" war but in 1954 they were able to surround the French army sent out to destroy them.
Ho Chi Minh's soldiers surprised the French by lifting these cannons up onto the hills which surrounded Diém Bién Phú. From that "Platform" they positioned the cannon in a way that the French cannons couldn't hit them but they could "systematically" destroy the French below.
GENERAL VÓ NGUYÊN GIÁP (1911-2013)
Ho Chi Minh "entrusted" General Vó Nguyên Giáp with beating the French back in 1954. He knew Szun Tsu's book The Art of War. Mr. Cliff now thinks he was a really smart General. He beat the Americans later too. Oh wow! He died only a year ago.
Our boss and Mr. Cliff have at times wondered if that guy General Giáp ever read Karl von Clausewitz's book Vom Krieg? Daisy says Mr. Steve lent The Art of War and Vom Krieg to Mr. Cliff one time. Jack the Jackrabbit just went under Manny the far right Shed.
That guy General Giáp beat a big French army at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. It says here in my Encyclopedia that his men captured over ten thousand French soldiers. And I guess they killed a few thousand Frenchmen too. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are flying bye right now.
There's a good picture in this one Encyclopedia that shows thousands of French soldiers who have been captured by the Vietnamese "Armed Forces." They're being "marched into captivity" as prisoners of war. Crows are squawking in the eastern desert behind the three Sheds.
President Johnson wanted to win the war in Vietnam so bad. During the Vietnam War North Vietnam was Communist and was being helped by the Russians and Chinese. The United States what they call "supported" South Vietnam. I can still hear those Crow cawing faintly.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy, the U.S. ended up losing the Vietnam War mainly because the North Vietnamese and "Viet Cong" were tough and they were really smart by tunneling into the ground. Oh my God! I just picked up the faint scent of a Gopher around here.
I notice in my Encyclopedias that "L.B.J." stands for "Lyndon Banes Johnson" and "J.F.K." is short for "John Fitzgerald Kennedy." Mr. Steve's friend Randy joked that if Dais and I were "Rappers" Daisy could be known as "D.C. 1" and I could be "M.C. 2."
Oh my God! A Gopher just came up out of the ground just to the right of the big tree. Wow! That Gopher must be so brave. I can even see its little paw with those long claws on them. Right now that Gopher's sniffing the air. I'll bet it notices me soon. I hear Dawn barking.
Dais is right. Gopher meat must taste really good because so many things like to eat it. Cher the Cat would love to see what I'm seeing right now. That Gopher over there is sticking way out of the tunnel. Ah! It just smelled me and went back down under the ground.
One time Dais told me our boss still has his Vietnam War "Draft Card." It's in a "Baggie" but it's a bit "worn" around the edges. Tomorrow I plan on writing more about how Mr. Steve came close to having to go into the military. He would've if he'd been drafted Dais says.
JOHN F. KENNEDY / LYNDON B. JOHNSON
Well, I might as well finish writing about guy from Texas President Johnson. Mr. Steve says he did some good things like finally getting the black people their "Constitutional" rights. In my Encyclopedia there's a picture of President Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
The caption below the picture of J.F.K and L.B.J. says the photo was taken when Johnson was the Vice-President. They're both smiling even though I know they hated each other. Dais told me our boss says Lyndon Johnson really hated J.F.K's younger brother Robert.
I hear Pigeons up on the Patio roof above me. And because it's getting later in the day I can see their shadows on the dirt in front of me. There are two Pigeons on the roof and I can tell by the shadows that they're walking back and forth. Oh! They're flying away now.
Even though by today's standards Lyndon Johnson would be considered a racist Mr. Steve says, he did help black people in America; even if it was for a selfish purpose. Mr. Steve told us almost all of the Presidents by today's standards would be racist. I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve told Dais he thinks, unfortunately for him, Lyndon Johnson is thought of as only a "mediocre" President. This is mainly he says because he got the United States into a losing war in Vietnam. Two Finches are flying away to the southeast; towards Libby's Corral.
Hey Blessed Mother! I smell a Rosemary plant again. Whether You're here or not smelling Rosemary makes me think of You. Sometimes I go off on a tangent in my writing because I will think of something or change my mind. But that's okay Holy Mother. Isn't it?
Well, I did it again. I kind of wrote more about Vietnam than was on my outline. Back to Muhammad Ali. I'll write more about the Vietnam War tomorrow. As I mentioned yesterday, our boss almost had to go fight in it. I can still smell Rosemary Blessed Virgin.
This is interesting. This Encyclopedia says that in 1966 when Muhammad Ali refused to be "Enlisted" or "Conscripted" into the military he was "stripped" of his Heavyweight Title. He was then forced to retire even though he was undefeated. A Crow just cawed.
For about four years Muhammad Ali could not fight so couldn't make any money. But then in 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his "Conviction" for "Draft Evasion." They said it was okay for him to claim to be one of those "Conscientious Objectors." I smell Sage.
JERRY QUARRY / MUHAMMAD ALI (1970)
This Encyclopedia says that in 1970, the year before the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, Muhammad Ali was given a license to fight by the city of Atlanta. So he went down to Georgia and fought a guy named Jerry Quarry. I'll write about Jerry Quarry tomorrow.
Once the Supreme Court overturned his conviction Muhammad Ali could again go to fight in any city he wanted to. Joe Frazier was the Heavyweight champion then. He was a really hard puncher who, fighting right-handed, threw powerful, sweeping "Left Hooks."
So, in 1971 Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier agreed to fight each other at that place Madison Square Garden back there in New York City. As I mentioned earlier today, in 1977 Mr. Steve and his brother Rock drove past that round building a few times. I smell a Mouse.
PHOTO BY DANIEL ACKER
That Muhammad Ali / Joe Frazier fight in 1971 at Madison Square Garden was the first of three fights they'd have against each other. Mr. Steve was in the 10th Grade at Alemany High School. He remembers the girl he liked and associates both things with that year.
To promote their fight Muhammad Ali said things about Joe Frazier that were kind of mean. He called Joe Frazier Uncle Tom and other things like that. He even said Joe Frazier looked like an ugly Gorilla. Mr. Steve thinks he went a little bit too far. I see the Mouse over there.
JOE FRAZIER / MUHAMMAD ALI (1971)
Dais says our boss told her oftentimes in Boxing a fight turns out be not as good as everyone had expected. In other words, the "Hype" doesn't measure up to the actual fight. But that first Ali / Frazier fight sure did Mr. Steve said. The Mouse just ran under a big rock.
There's a picture in this Encyclopedia of the third Ali / Frazier fight in the Philippines. It shows Muhammad Ali landing a hard right hand to Joe Frazier's head. You can even see Joe Frazier's sweat flying all over the place. That must have hurt. I hear Crows cawing.
Because of Muhammad Ali's three years away from Boxing the 1971 Joe Frazier fight was the only time ever that two undefeated Heavyweight champions met each other. So the match did not need to be "sold" to the public as much. A Thrasher Bird just ran bye.
Daisy says our boss thinks at times Muhammad Ali went "overboard" in the days leading up to his fights with Joe Frazier. Mr. Steve thinks Joe Frazier never forgot or forgave him for some of the things that happened. I can hear some Crows squawking at each other.
Mr. Steve was told by Gary the Barber what made Muhammad Ali's antics worse was the fact that Joe Frazier had helped Muhammad Ali during the time when he was forbidden to even fight. Joe Frazier got mad when Muhammad Ali called him the "white man's champ."
In 1971 Daisy says our boss bet some friends of his at Alemany that Joe Frazier would win. Almost everyone at that time thought Muhammad Ali would win but Mr. Steve says he just had a feeling. He thought Joe Frazier would be angry at some of the things Ali said.
There are two pictures of that first Ali / Frazier fight in my Encyclopedia. The first shows Joe Frazier landing a hard left hook right on Muhammad Ali's jaw. The second photograph is what happened after that punch. Boy! Muhammad Ali got hit so hard! Ouch!
Ugh! You can tell by the blank look on Muhammad Ali's face that Joe Frazirs left hook hurt him bad. Stunned, he's falling backward trying to get away before he gets hit again. Two Crows are really yelling at each other way out there in the northeastern desert.
According to what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, all three Ali / Frazier fights were good but the first and last were the best. And one reason why is because Joe Frazier hated Muhammad Ali. Joe Frazier said a few times over the years that he wanted to "tear his head off."
Wow! The second Encyclopedia picture of the first Ali / Frazier fight shows the Referee is "escorting" Joe Frazier to a "neutral" after he landed that vicious left hook. It's the 15th round and you can tell that Muhammad Ali was hurt bad. His face even looks sort of puffed up.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that nowadays fights are limited to only twelve rounds. It's thought that fifteen rounds is way too dangerous. In 1971 when Joe Frazier knocked Muhammad Ali down in the fifteenth round in that "sealed the decision" for him. It was Ali's first loss.
That first fight against Joe Frazier showed that the three year layoff had effected Muhammad Ali's speed. That's what Mr. Steve says. So by 1974 in order to beat George Foreman, who had slaughtered Joe Frazier, he had to adapt in some way to the new circumstances.
Over there in Africa in 1974 Muhammad Ali's strategy was to wear down George Foreman and get him tired. The tactics he would use were later called "Rope-a-Dope." Instead of moving around the ring he would lay on the ropes and let Foreman "punch himself out.
George Foreman threw some powerful punches in Zaire. But Muhammad Ali blocked most of them. And he eventually beat George Foreman by getting his exhausted in the extreme heat of Africa. The crowd was chanting "Ali Bumaye!;" which means "Ali kill him!"
I just thought of something I kind of feel like writing about right now even though I already mentioned him back in chapter seven. That's Ted Williams. Mr. Steve says he might've been the best hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. I smell a Squirrel around here.
Ted Williams played for the Boston Red Sox but grew up out here in San Diego. I see that he was a left-handed hitter from this one picture in my Encyclopedia. Like Muhammad Ali, he lost some of the best years of his career but in his case it was because he joined the military.
There's another picture of Ted Williams sitting in a Jet he flew during the Korean War. Like Mr. Steve's father, he was in the Marines. But not only did Ted Williams lose a few years to the Korean War, before that he lost time because he fought in World War II too.
In order to fly a Jet Fighter Plane you have to have good eyesight Mr. Steve told Daisy. Ted Williams had unbelievable eyesight. Supposedly, he could see the spin and seams on a baseball that was coming toward him. Boy! That's kind of like the eyesight of a Hawk.
Even though I'm writing a little bit about Ted Williams now; I'll still write more on him later when I talk about Joe DiMaggio. Those two are "linked" together the way Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier are connected in memory. One of those Thrasher Birds just flew bye.
Hey God ! As You know of course, those guys Muhammad Ali and Ted Williams both lost a few valuable years of their athletic careers. But they did it "willingly" due to moral beliefs. Mr. Steve thinks this is important. Do You cause things like that to happen God?
I hadn't planned on writing as much on Muhammad Ali and then Ted Williams. But that's okay. I've now been doing that for two days. Sometimes thinking about one thing will make me think about another thing. Or I'll just remember something. I smell a Sage plant.
According to my outline I see that I still have more to write about that guitar player named Tony Iommi. I hadn't planned on writing so much about Muhammad Ali and the Vietnam War either. But that's okay. I was planning on writing about those things anyway.
This one Encyclopedia says that after the first Ali / Frazier fight Muhammad Ali went on to regain his championship three years later. That was when he traveled over there to Africa so he could fight George Foreman; who had "demolished" and "destroyed" Joe Frazier.
JOE FRAZIER / GEORGE FOREMAN
Wow! A picture in this Encyclopedia shows Joe Frazier laying flat on his back. The caption says George Foreman, who knocked him down, is "looming" in the background. Dais and Millie saw that fight on tv. She told me that guy George Foreman is big. I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie George Foreman is from Texas where his brother Rock lives with his sons Rocky Michael and Jacob. He used to have a customer near "Houston" which is where George Foreman grew up. Dais says Mr. Steve met George Foreman one time.
In 1984 Mr. Steve's father was on the Los Angeles Olympic Committee. So he got tickets to many events. The family attended those events and so did some of his relatives who came from New Mexico. Mr. Steve shook George Foreman's hand at the Sports Arena.
Daisy says our boss told her Joe Frazier was not easy to knock out. But George Foreman hit so hard he knocked him down easily. Dais says on one of the knockdowns he hit Joe Frazier so hard with a right "uppercut" he actually lifted him into the air and he flew a little bit.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
One time in the mid-1980's Mr. Steve was working as a photographer for a Boxing show at the Country Club in Reseda. He took a picture kind of like the one of Joe Frazier being knocked out. In both cases the beaten fighter is almost out the ring. I smell a Lizard nearby.
Mr. Steve's picture shows a fighter from Pacoima named Dino Garza. His brother Jaime was the world "Bantamweight" champion. The image shows Dino Garza just after he's knocked his opponent out of the ring. One of those curve-billed Thrasher Birds just ran bye.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie how most Boxing rings have four "ropes" around the actual ring. I guess they used to only have three but it was dangerous. I see the Lizard near the sliding glass door; standing on the wall. Lizards do pushups even on a wall.
From what Mr. Steve told Dais, because most Boxing rings have four "Strands" of ropes now a photographer has to use a wide-angle lens and take pictures from below the bottom rope. But at the Country Club in Reseda the ring is pushed right up against a concert stage.
Because the Country Club ring is next to that stage Mr. Steve stood in a "Neutral" corner to take pictures. So the guy knocked out by Dino Garza was laying on the stage and Mr. Steve was above him. A Neutral corner is where neither of the fighters sits between rounds.
JACK DEMPSEY / LUIS ANGELO FIRPO
Tomorrow in book three Dais has me scheduled to write about that South American country called "Argentina." And one of the things I'll write about is a really famous Heavyweight fight between Jack Dempsey and an Argentine Boxer named Luis Firpo. I smell Creosote.
Wow! There's a good picture in this Encyclopedia that shows that guy Jack Dempsey being knocked completely out of the ring by Luis Firpo. I notice there were only three ropes around the ring in those days. Dais was right. She said Jack Dempsey won that fight.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
I just thought of something Daisy said. Mr. Steve told her that back in the early 1980's when this Reporter asked George Foreman if he was the hardest puncher in Boxing he said; "No, it's that kid from a town in California called Pacoima." He was referring to Jaime Garza!
Oh! I just noticed that on my outline there's a little bit more to write about Muhammad Ali. Hey God! As You know, Mr. Steve doesn't like some things about what's called the "Institution" of Your Churches. He thinks many people can be too easily "corrupted."
Remember God when Mr. Steve met that really nice old Black man named Lester over at the Sylmar Library? He was from Pacoima so knew about the Garza brothers. He told our boss a funny story about Muhammad Ali. I just noticed that Lizard on the wall is gone.
Daisy says that man Lester told Mr. Steve that one time this Bus carrying some of the people in Muhammad Ali's Training Camp had to wait. Someone suggested Muhammad Ali say a few "Religious" words while they waited to leave. I hear the Ducks quacking next door.
I guess Muhammad Ali stood up in the aisle of that Bus, held his hand out and said solemnly; "Give me your money." Hey God! As you know, Dais says Mr. Steve thought that was so funny. He and that man Mr. Lester agreed Muhammad Ali was more than just an entertainer.
After upsetting George Foreman in Africa I guess Muhammad Ali was able to fight for a few more years. And he even ended up winning the Heavyweight Championship a third time. But Mr. Steve and that man Lester thought he didn't retire soon enough. I hear Crows cawing.
TREVOR BERBICK / ALI LARRY HOLMES/ ALI
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that Muhammad Ali might've been the best Heavyweight in history. But in his last two fights he took bad beatings from Trevor Berbick and this other guy named Larry Holmes. I just picked up the scent of one of the new Spring Sage plants.
There are pictures of Muhammad Ali's last two fights in this Encyclopedia. And in both he's taking left jabs like the ones he used to punish opponents with. Mr. Steve told Daisy that Larry Holmes even demanded the Referee stop the "One-Sided" fight. I like the smell of Sage.
MUHAMMAD ALI (1996 OLYMPICS)
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, some people think Muhammad Ali suffered a lot of brain damage from being a Boxer. He has this thing called "Parkinson's" disease so his hands shake. But he was still able to light the fire which started the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Wow! I wrote more about Muhammad Ali than I planned on. But that's okay. Mr. Steve will like reading about him. I think Dais will agree with me. But now I have to go back to my outline and finish writing about BLACK SABBATH'S guitar player Tony Iommi.
Mr. Steve admires how Tony Iommi didn't give up! Once the tips of his fingers were gone he had to do like that guy Charles Darwin said; adapt or fall by the wayside. Daisy thinks it must be so painful to have the ends of your fingers, or toes, cut off. I smell a Creosote bush.
This English Dictionary says that two of the definitions of "Adversity" are; "misfortune" or "obstacles to be overcome." Dais told me our boss thinks this is a very important thing in most lives. You get knocked down but how do you get back up? A Crow jut cawed.
That guy Tony Iommi seems smart. He "fashioned" two fake fingertips out of plastic bottle caps which were then like the "thimbles" people wear when sewing. Because he's left-handed it was his "fretboard" or right hand that needed extending. But it worked!
Other adaptations Tony Iommi was forced to make were; using lighter "gauge"strings and then what they call "De-Tuned" his guitar. I guess that means he reduced the "String Tension" so that made it so less finger pressure is needed to play. I smell a Lizard.
From what Mr. Steve read in a Magazine, after Tony Iommi did those things to his guitar his notes sounded "fatter" or "heavier." So then BLACK SABBATH'S bass player named "Geezer" Butler tuned down too and a new sound was born. That's what our boss says.
Dais says our boss was told another adjustment Tony Iommi made was to use a bass amplifier instead a regular guitar "amp." When Mr. Steve lived down in Sylmar this kid Michael played a guitar through a bass amp and it sounded pretty good he says. I see the Lizard.
BLACK SABBATH (TONY IOMMI, GEEZER BUTLER, BILL WARD, OZZY OSBOURNE)
On a wall inside the closet of the guest bedroom Dais says there's a "Poster" of the members of BLACK SABBATH standing in a field. Some of our boss's High School friends said he looked sort of like bass player Geezer Butler in that picture. That Lizard just ran away.
The name BLACK SABBATH sounds kind of scary! But Mr. Steve thinks it fit the new type of heavier music they made. He and his friend Rick liked BLACK SABBATH right away when they first them back in the mid-1970's; when they were still in High School.
Dais says one time our boss told her and Millie he read the members of BLACK SABBATH saw this one Boris Karloff movie called "Black Sabbath." The thought occurred to them that if people paid to see a scary movie maybe they'd pay for scary music too.
Our boss likes "Horror" movies from the 1930's. He told Daisy and me that Boris Karloff was originally from England just like the members of BLACK SABBATH. And according to my Encyclopedia his real name was William Henry Pratt. I smell a Joshua tree.
BORIS KARLOFF (1887-1969)
On my outline I was scheduled to learn and write about that guy Boris Karloff a little later when I discuss Lon Chaney Sr. and his son Lon Chaney Jr. But I kind of feel like doing some of it right now instead. Jack the Jackrabbit just stuck his nose out from under Manny.
My Encyclopedia says that Boris Karloff came over here to America from England when he was kind of young. And at first he struggled. From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, for a time he had to do like Nikola Tesla did to make some money. He dug ditches.
I guess some of Boris Karloff's family had good Government jobs so he thought they would be embarrassed to have a member of their family be an Actor. He thought they would think it was "beneath them." That might've been the reason he took a "Stage" name.
Oh! Mr. Steve was right. He told Daisy that it turned out that Boris Karloff's family were not ashamed of him. When he did finally get some jobs as an Actor they were all proud of him for being such a hard worker. Jack the Jackrabbit just ran out into the desert.
"THE KING AND I"
Oh! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? If he doesn't he'll be interested. It says here that one of Boris Karloff's female relatives wrote a book about the Royal Court of the King of "Siam" in the 19th century. Siam is now called "Thailand." I hear Blinky barking next door.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, in 1956, one year after our boss was born, they made a movie called "The King and I" based on Boris Karloff's relatives book about Siam. It describes the 1860's. Over here in the 1860's America was in the Civil War.
I guess Boris Karloff was not one of those what they call "Overnight Successes." It says here that when her first got here he was kind of poor so did a number of jobs. Blackbeard and Anne are flying bye. They look like a team the way they fly together in formation.
Hey! For a time Boris Karloff worked as a Railway "Baggage Handler" just like Mr. Steve's Grandpa Trujillo did for over forty years. I'll write about our boss's Grandparents tomorrow in my third book. I can't wait! That Baseball player Satchel Page was a Baggage Handler.
Daisy says our boss doesn't really like movies like The King and I where there's a lot singing or dancing. But a lot of girls do like those kind of movies so over the years he's had to go see a few of them. Rudy the Roadrunner just ran around the northeast corner of the house.
Mr. Steve one time told Daisy and Millie that he doesn't mind "Musicals" like the King and I now. In fact, some are pretty good. One of the actors in The King and I is named Yul Brynner. Our boss likes some of his other movies better. At least that's what Dais says.
Oh! This is interesting. It says here that guy Boris Karloff stuttered and spoke with what they call a "lisp." And he was bow-legged too I guess. But he overcame his disadvantages like Tony Iommi did. My Dictionary says that lisp means; "To speak imperfectly."
Oh my God! I just turned the page and in my Encyclopedia there's pictures of Boris Karloff dressed as Frankenstein and the Mummy. Daisy says those were two of his best monster movies. Now I really want to overcome my fear of going too far into the house.
Boy! I can see from these two pictures what a great actor Boris Karloff must've been. It says here he did other kinds of acting too but being in scary movies was what he was most famous for. They even made a Postage Stamp with his images on it. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Daisy told me one time that in the movie "The Mummy" Boris Karloff plays a very realistic Egyptian Mummy who comes back to life and chases people around. She says it's so scary that Dog Millie wanted to really run away. Blackbeard and Anne just flew bye.
Mr. Steve went to Saint Ferdinands with this boy named James. Everyone calls him "Jim" now. His father ran a "Mortuary" near the San Fernando Mission and Jim had an office even though he was just a kid. He had a lot of Comic Books and things like that.
Our boss told Daisy and Millie that guy Jim was interested in the subject of Horror movies or Gothic Horror books like the ones Edgar Allen Poe wrote. I'm going to write about Edgar Allen Poe and this girl named Mary Shelley a little bit later. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Even though he hasn't seen Jim for years, Mr. Steve told Daisy he occasionally thinks about him. Jim had a good sense of humor according to our boss. So did their mutual friend named Paul. Paul could have been a Comedian Mr. Steve thinks. That's what Dais says.
The last time Mr. Steve saw that one guy Jim was at Jim's father's funeral. That was at the "Mission Cemetery" where Mr. Steve's Grandmothers and his sister Celina are all buried. It's right near the Mortuary where Jim's father used to manage. I hear Pigeons cooing.
Tomorrow when I write my third book, near the end, I'm scheduled to write in detail about the Mission Cemetery. Mr. Steve's parents have already paid for their "Crypts" there and our boss thinks he'll most likely end of at that cemetery too. I can smell some Sage.
Whenever Mr. Steve and his family go visit the graves at the Mission Cemetery our boss says he also looks across the street at the Jewish cemetery where his old boss Steve Banks is buried. He also goes and visits the grave of his friend Rick's son Gino. I see a lot of Birds.
Mr. Steve once met a guy who was studying to be what they call a "Mortician." That's what Daisy told me. So of course that one guy knew quite a bit about "Embalming" and things like that. He knew a lot about Egyptian Mummies like the one Boris Karloff played.
Oh wow! It says here that Boris Karloff was the "voice" of the "Grinch" in that cartoon Daisy told me about. She told me that it was one of the greatest cartoons ever. She says it showed you the real spirit of Christmas. Two of the Pigeons are flying bye right now.
Dais told me about the cartoon called "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" She says that it's mainly about this green Grinch who lives in a cave with his Dog above a town. He doesn't like it when the people of the town give presents and have feasts at Christmas.
From what Daisy told me the Grinch is kind of mean to his Dog but that Dog is still loyal to him anyway. During the night before Christmas he even helps the Grinch sneak down into the town to steal all the gifts. Then the Grinch wants to throw them off of a cliff.
But Dais says, just as he's about to destroy all the gifts, the Grinch hears the people down in the town singing. So, all of sudden, his heart grows and he turns into a nicer person. He returns all the gifts and everyone is happy. Boy! Someday I want to see that cartoon.
According to what our boss told Daisy and Millie, the 19th century Victorian writer Charles Dickins wrote a Christmas story where the man who turns into a nice person is named Ebenizer Scrooge. I wonder if the guy who wrote the Grinch, "Dr. Seuss," knew about that?
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie he thinks How the Grinch Stole Christmas was a satire like what Aldous Huxley wrote; only for children. It "Critiqued" the "Crass Commercialism" or what's called "Materialism." Mr. Steve doesn't like the "Consumerism" either.
In chapter twelve I'm going to talk about how at Christmas Mr. Steve has stopped giving or getting gifts. Instead, he prefers to donate money to some "Charities." Daisy says our boss does not like that Christmas has been turned into a "Commercial" holiday.
My Encyclopedia says that Dr. Seuss's real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel. His family was German. So "Seuss" was his middle name. It says here that he "adopted" his "Pen Name" as a kind of "inside joke" because his parents really wanted to be become a "Physician."
This is interesting. It says here Dr. Seuss was a Lutheran. Mr. Steve's Niece's Samantha and Cristina went to Lutheran schools in the city of San Fernando. Dais says our boss told her that Lutherans in some ways are kind of like Catholics. I smell one of the new Sage plants.
THODORE SEUSS GEISEL (1904-1991)
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, that man Dr. Seuss was born back east in the State of Massachusetts; near where Mr. Steve's sister Susan lives with her boys. During World War II Dr. Seuss worked as an artist for the Government. I smell a Sage plant.
I guess after World War II was over Dr. Seuss and his wife came out here to California to live in the city of "La Jolla." That's down south near San Diego. Mr. Steve used to have a customer near La Jolla. My Spanish Dictionary says La Jolla means "The Jewell."
I guess most people pronounce Seuss as "Suse." But in German it's more correct to say it as "Zoice." At least that's what it says here. I'll bet our boss knows that. He's pretty good figuring out how to pronounce other languages. Rudy the Roadrunner just ran bye.
Well, Mr. Steve was right. He told Daisy he'd heard that even though Dr. Seuss wrote books for kids; he really didn't like being around children. And it says here when someone asked him why he never had kids he said; "You have them and I'll entertain them."
Oh! This is interesting. It says here in this Encyclopedia that the last time Boris Karloff ever wore his Frankenstein costume was in 1962 when he appeared on a tv show called "Route 66." John F. Kennedy, who was killed about a year later, was the President then.
Route 66 is important to some people who live around here in the High Desert. That's mainly because that old Highway used to run through Barstow and Victorville. I'm going to write even more about Route 66 later. Ah! I can smell a Gopher Snake around here.
Even though it's not on my outline I feel like writing about this one English girl named Mary Shelley. Writing about that band BLACK SABBATH and the Boris Karloff movies makes me think about the girl who wrote the original story about the Frankenstein monster.
According to this one Encyclopedia, a British girl named Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote a book the Boris Karloff movie was based on. And she did it way back in the 19th century when many thought females inferior to males. She lived at about the same time as Jane Austen.
MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY (1797-1851)
Wow! Mary Shelley had a sad life! She died at the age of fifty three and before that three of her children had already died. Mary Shelley started writing Frankenstein soon after her half sister committed suicide. Her husband drowned. I can hear some Crows cawing.
Boy! That girl Mary Shelley was probably really smart. According to this one Encyclopedia her husband and father were both Philosophers. So it wouldn't be too surprising for her to have been intelligent. I see Libby over there in her Corral. We like watching Libby.
This is interesting. It says here that nowhere in Mary Shelley's book does Mary Shelley ever call the Monster "Frankenstein." And I guess her first version the monster talks and is kind of smart. This is sad. The monster commits suicide by floating away on an Iceberg.
Well, just like with that other girl named Jane Austen; at first Mary Shelley's Frankenstein had to be published anonymously. I guess the main reason why Mary Shelley wrote her famous book was because of what they call a "Writing Contest." I smell some old Sage.
My Encyclopedia says that in 1815 a big Volcano blew up near Indonesia. Just like when that Meteor landed in Yucatan sixty five million years ago and killed off the Dinosaurs; this Volcano blew "debris" up into the sky and blocked out the Sun. I hear a Crow cawing.
This is interesting. It says here that in 1815 the giant Volcano's "material" not only blocked out the sunlight in Indonesia but floated around the whole world too. It wasn't as bad as it was sixty five million years ago but it was still pretty bad. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye.
In Europe, where that girl Mary Shelley lived in 1816, the lack of sunlight resulted in what they call "Crop Failures" and things like that. In fact, I guess 1816 is now even called "The Year With No Summer." Rudy the Roadrunner just ran under Moe the middle Shed.
Mary Shelley and her husband visited the country of Switzerland in the Summer of 1816. A friend of their named Lord Byron went with them. It was so cold outside that everyone had to stay indoors. Lord Byron, a good writer; suggested they each write a Horror story.
I guess it was then that Mary Shelley thought of the story for her Frankenstein book. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that he wouldn't be surprised if she was hoping to impress her husband just like I'm partially writing my three books to make our boss proud.
My Encyclopedia says Mary Shelley is now considered to be one of the first writers to do what they call a "Gothic" novel. I remember Dais saying how Mr. Steve told her and Millie that Mary Shelley was good at describing cold, dark atmosphere. I hear some Crows cawing.
It says in this Encyclopedia that Mary Shelley had a "Mind of her own" as they say. She did not always agree with her father and husband on everything. I just noticed that Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are sitting on the group of Joshua trees just to the right of Manny.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was meant to be a "Cautionary Tale" about the "excesses" of Science. Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that he read some people think Frankenstein was the very first Science Fiction book.
I just thought of something. I was going to write about this American writer named Edgar Allan Poe earlier today when I wrote about how "Intelligence" was one of the biggest factors in helping the Allies win World War II. I can hear those Duck quacking next door.
EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)
Earlier in this second book I totally forgot to mention how some of the Second World War "Code Breakers" were influenced by Edgar Allan Poe. But I can just fit it in here to because Edgar Allan Poe, like Mary Shelley, wrote scary stories. I hear a Crow cawing.
My Encyclopedia says Edgar Allan Poe is famous for "Macabre" horror stories but for some he's the "Father of the Detective Fiction." And I guess in those books he sometimes used Codes and Ciphers like those the Code Breakers worked on back in the 1940's.
So, Edgar Allan Poe was interested in the subject of ""Cryptography." Dais told me that our boss thinks, like Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe was also an early Science Fiction writer. I guess another way of saying Cryptography is "Cryptology." I smell a Squirrel.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve and his mother sometimes visit this one place called the "Huntington Library." I'm going to write more about the Huntington Library tomorrow in book three when I talk about this other place called "Descanso Gardens." I see the Squirrel.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, at the Huntington Library one of the things they have on display is a "hand-written" copy of a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. Mr. Steve, who has good handwriting himself, says Edgar Allan Poe had beautiful "Penmanship."
Boy! From what it says here in this Encyclopedia Edgar Allan Poe, just like that girl Mary Shelley, had a sad and difficult life. His father abandoned his family soon after Edgar Allan Poe was born and his mother died right after that. That Ground Squirrel just ran away.
Oh! Lord, I know Mr. Steve will be interested in this. It says here that the last words Edgar Allan Poe said before dying were; "Lord help my poor soul." Daisy says our boss read one time that Edgar Allan Poe was an Alcoholic and might've taken drugs too.
Well, I did it again. I sort of wrote more about Boris Karloff, Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe than I was planning on doing. But, that's alright. I learned new things. According to my book two outline, I still have more to write about that band BLACK SABBATH.
BACK SABBATH are from the English city of "Birmingham;" where the MOVE and Judas Priest came from. For a time BLACK SABBATH and the MOVE both had the same Manager and even "toured" England together Mr. Steve told Daisy. I small a Challa cactus.
That manager was the father of this smart lady named Sharon who was later Ozzy Osbourne's wife and manager Mr. Steve told us. Years later, for a short time, the MOVE'S Bev Bevan played drums as a member of BLACK SABBATH our boss once told Daisy and Millie.
It's funny how things like seeing a Boris Karloff movie can influence history Mr. Steve says. At the time the members of BLACK SABBATH needed to make some money. So they changed from a Blues band and kind of invented their own unique type of music.
Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie an old saying; "Necessity is the mother of invention." He thought that saying might apply in the case of BLACK SABBATH . I remember he told us that Frank Zappa's band was called the MOTHER'S OF INVENTION.
Mr. Steve's friend Dave thinks that the main slow "Riff" at the very beginning of BLACK SABBATH'S song called "Black Sabbath" was influenced by Gustav Holst's" Mars." Someday I want to hear that song. Daisy says at the beginning you can hear rain falling.
Another thing Mr. Steve's friend Dave suspected was that BLACK SABBATH also used the three notes of the Tritone on their song "Children of the Grave."
Another reason why BLACK SABBATH developed a darker form of music was because of where they're from our boss thinks. They grew up in Birmingham, England which is a "gritty," gray factory town of "belching" smoke and "industrial noise" he says.
Mr. Steve told us that during the 1960's in America the "Hippie" movement developed. The Hippies preached "peace, love and understanding." Our boss jokes that there most likely wasn't much of a Hippie movement in Birmingham England during that time.
Mr. Steve once told Dais and I that in the 1960's, here in California, Hippie "Flower Power" "sprang up." Young people rebelled against society and some of them even went to live in these places called "Communes." New Mexico had some of those communes.
In 1985 Mr. Steve and his Tour Group visited a Jewish "Kibbutz" on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where You used to live Lord. He says a kibbutz is kind of like a commune but the people who live in them were definitely not really like Hippies.
The JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and GRATEFUL DEAD were popular bands in the 1960's our boss says. They came to symbolize the Hippie ideas. Both bands "came out of" the San Franciso Bay area. Jack the Jackrabbit just sprinted past. He's going really fast.
Dais says Mr. Steve told her and Millie one time that, because life is dual in nature, as many good things that came out of Hippie Flower Power, some bad things developed out of it too. Up high in the sky I can see Fannie and Freddie gliding bye in perfect formation.
In California in 1969, our boss told us that this bad man named Charles Manson led what's called a "Cult." This means he had people who blindly followed him like a God. And then one time in 1969 he told them to kill some other people and they went out and did it.
Daisy thinks Charles Manson's followers must have been what's called "Brainwashed." Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that he thought about Pavlov's Dog's and also Aldous Huxley and George Orwell when he read this one book about Charles Manson.
According to our boss that man Charles Manson was at first a Hippie up in San Francisco. But then he moved down here to Los Angeles and ended up having his followers kill people. Mr. Steve thinks Charles Manson was an example of a mean Hippie. A Crow cawed.
Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and that Dog Millie about this other bad man named Jim Jones. He came to San Francisco in the late-1960's and started a Cult called the "People's Temple." The Bay Area is also where Charles Manson started his "Family."
Mr. Steve told us that 1977 has turned out to be a significant year in his life. He was going to C.S.U.N. then and worked for Laser Images in Van Nuys. And it was in 1977 when that man Jim Jones moved his Cult down to this country in South America called "Guianna."
JIM JONES (1931-1974)
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that in 1977 Jim Jones ordered nine hundred of his followers to move from San Francisco and go down to "Jonestown" in Guianna. Late in that same year he ordered all of them to commit suicide. And they did it Daisy told me!
Our boss says either in 1977 or 1978 that he and this girl named Monica drove his Chevelle up the Pacific Coast to see a concert by the GRATEFUL DEAD. This was in Santa Barbara and was on the campus Football field of this one college called "U.C.S.B."
U.C.S.B. is short for "University of California Santa Barbara." Mr. Steve's sister Susan later went to this school for "Interior Design." It's one of the most beautiful campus's he's ever been to. I just looked up in my Spanish Dictionary how to spell Santa Barbara.
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE GRATEFUL DEAD
The GRATEFUL DEAD, who what they call "headlined" that concert in 1978, were from the city of San Francisco. So were JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. Daisy says they had a girl singer and Mr. Steve thought she was very talented. Two of the Pigeons are flying bye.
San Franciso is Spanish for "Saint Francis." I just looked it up in my Dictionary. Mr. Steve told us that the Grateful Dead concert in 1978 was outdoors on U.C.S.B's Football field. It was on a warm Summer day and evening our boss told us. I smell a Joshua tree.
For years our boss's family used took annual Summer vacations in Santa Barbara right near U.C.S.B. so our boss knows the area pretty well. And because his girlfriend Sandy's family went to this nearby town called "Carpenteria" on vacations he knows that area too.
Dais says Mr. Steve told her and Millie that sometimes when he thinks about Santa Barbara he thinks about how back in 1993 it was one of the last places he and his girlfriend Harriet ever visited before she broke up with him. I smell one of the new Spring Sage plants.
From what Dais says it was New Year's Eve that our boss and Harriet "parted ways" as they say. They went to a party in downtown Santa Barbara. The band that played that night had the bass player from the GO-GO'S in it. I just noticed Libby over there in her Corral.
This Encyclopedia says that U.C.S.B. campus sits on a "Peninsula" that sticks into the Pacific Ocean; just like Spain sticks into the Atlantic Ocean or Italy extends out into the Mediterranean Sea. One of the twenty one Alta California Missions was established in Santa Barbara.
This is interesting. It says here U.C.S.B. is what they call a "Research" University. It was established in 1944 near the end of World War II. But, I guess "overall," it's been a "Teacher's College" since all the way back in 1891. I just picked up the faint scent of Juniper.
For many years Mr. Steve wondered how U.C.S.B.'s sports teams "acquired" the nickname "Gauchos;" which are "Cowboys" from Argentina. But then Daisy says, he did some artwork for a girl who knew the answer to that question. I hear Dawn barking sadly next door.
Hey God! As You of course know already, that was Dawn's sadness howl. I wonder why she did that? Hearing her doing that howl makes me feel like I should be sad too. I really feel like responding to Dawn by doing my sad howl too. But, I better just keep working.
Mr. Sreve told that girl a "Vaquero" from the "American Southwest" was like a Cowboy. A Gaucho was like a Vaquero. Tomorrow in book three I'll write a lot more about the 19th century American Cowboy. Dawn is still barking. But it's not her alarm bark so it's okay.
Hey God! A while back Dais told me Mr. Steve did artwork for a girl who went to U.C.S.B. like his sister Susan. He made her one of his "Name Frames." Tomorrow in my third and last book I'll explain what those are. A little gray Mockingbird just zoomed bye.
When Mr. Steve was making that girl's Name Frame they both wondered why the U.C.S.B. sports teams are named for an Argentine Cowboy. This seemed very strange. Was that name somehow associated with Argentina? Blinky is now also barking next door.
The main reason why Mr. Steve and that girl discussed the color scheme of U.C.S.B is that she had to pick a color for the frame around her Name Frame. She finally decided to use "Royal" blue like what the Los Angeles Dodgers use as their primary color. I smell Creosote.
Mr. Steve told that girl in the material he and his parents read as San Fernando Mission Tour Guides it said in 1818 a French Pirate named Hipólito Bouchard used "Argentine" Ships to try to attack and raid Santa Barbara like Vikings. But he failed. I hear Crows squawking.
In 1818, four years before Mexico broke away from Spain, the Alta California Missions were still run by Franciscan Priests. And I guess those Priests and the Indians who were living at the Santa Barbara Mission "scared off" the Pirates. I see Libby over there in her Corral.
Dais says our boss for years has noticed that sometimes the color scheme at U.C.S.B. was to use "Sky" or "Powder" blue as their primary color. Yellow and white have always been their secondary colors. Argentina's flag is sky, white and yellow. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Mr. Steve noticed that at other times in history the U.C.S.B. sports teams substituted "Royal" blue as their primary color. That girl told our boss that U.C.S.B. does not have a Football team any more. Oh! Jack the Jackrabbit just ran bye really fast in front of the three Sheds.
Boy You Guys, I really feel like chasing Jack. But I better not. I have too much work to do on this second book. I think I have at least about four more hours of work to do today. I wish we would have had a few snacks but that's okay. Dinner is going to be so great!
I still have to finish writing about why the U.C.S.B. sports teams are called Gauchos. That girl did some "Research" like what Mr. Steve was going to do. She found out that in 1927 this Actor named Douglas Fairbanks did a "Silent" movie called "The Gaucho."
DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS "THE GAUCHO" (1927)
From what that girl found out, the students who were going to U.C.S.B in the late 1920's liked Douglas Fairbanks movie The Gaucho so much they voted to name the sports teams Gauchos. I see a picture of that guy Douglas Fairbanks from that movie in my Encyclopedia.
Tomorrow toward the end of book three I'm scheduled to write about this house in Beverly Hills called "Pickfair." It was built by Douglas Fairbanks and his wife Mary Pickford. Both of them were really famous Actors before the movies were made with sound in them.
In the mid-1980's Mr. Steve attended a few Sales Meetings at Pickfair. This was because at that time it was owned by Jerry Buss; who also owned the four different sports teams Mr. Steve worked for then. I'll write more about Pickfair tomorrow in book three.
1927, the year the Douglas Fairbanks movie The Gaucho came out, was two years before the Stock Market Crash and start of the worldwide Great Depression. It was the end of the Roaring Twenties; a time in which the economy was so good so people were overconfident.
I think it's the same Centipede that was here yesterday that is now moving bye right; below me on the Patio floor. This time it's not slowing down but is moving in a straight line toward my left. Daisy says you usually you don't see Centipedes out during the daytime.
Looking at Libby over there in her Corral makes me think of Cowboys. In Piñon Hills we have people who ride Horses. Right up the road from us is this place called "Mustang Spirit." They rescue Horses and sometimes have what they call "Fund Raisers."
At Mustang Spirit this girl named Tanya tries to help Horses, Donkeys and Mules that no one wants anymore. Dais says our boss told her at Mustang Spirit they have "Obstacle Courses." He's told his sister Susan she would have liked it when she was a young girl.
When she was a girl growing up down there in Sylmar Mr. Steve's sister Susan had this Pony named "Dinky." Dinky liked to jump over "Barriers" and as a team Susan and Dinky entered and won what they call "Competitions." Libby is looking over here in this direction.
The Native people living in the Santa Barbara area during the 18th century when the Spanish first showed up were called "Chumash" or "Barbareños." This is interesting. Santa Barbara Mission is the only one of the twenty one missions still run by Franciscans Priests.
As Guides at the San Fernando Mission Mr. Steve and his parents also read about the other twenty missions. So they knew Santa Barbara was the tenth mission established. Father Serra started the first nine but died in 1784. America was breaking away from England then.
It says here Santa Barbara Mission was set up in 1786 by a "Basque" Priest named Fermin de Lasuén; who took over after father Serra died. Padre Lasuén named it after a Greek Saint who's head was cut off by her father because she wouldn't quit being a Christian.
FATHER FERMIN DE LASUÉN (1736-1803)
PAINTING BY MARK CHURMS
My Encyclopedia says that Father Lasuén was born on July 7th; two days before Mr. Steve's birthday. So they're Cancers. And I guess he's called the "Forgotten Friar." Father Lasuén was the second "Presidente" of the Alta California Missions. I smell a Lizard nearby.
It says here that when Father Serra set up the first nine Missions he didn't really care about what a building looked like; as long as it was "Functional." In my Encyclopedia it says Father Serra was more of what they call a "Strict Utilitarian." I see the Lizard over there.
According to this Encyclopedia Father Lasuen brought up "Artisans" from Mexico to make the Missions he established look a little better. The red tiles like the ones we have up on the roof of our house is now called part of "California Mission style." That Lizard ran away.
From what it says in this Encyclopedia it was Father Lasuén who also introduced "Mudéjar" or Moorish Muslim designs to the California Missions. Mr. Steve and his parents used to point out windows in bedrooms at the San Fernando Mission that were made in this style.
SAN FERNANDO MISSIOM / "MUDÉJAR" WINDOWS
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve thinks that whenever people from around the world come to California and see the red tile roofs and arches in the exterior architecture of buildings; they're kind of seeing Father Lasuén's legacy. He was the one who started the California Mission style.
When people come over to our house one of the first things they notice are the red tiles up on our roof. Tiles like that keep a house cooler in Summer. But, as our boss says, good coming with bad and bad coming with good, the house is colder in Winter. I smell Sage.
I can see from my outline the next thing I want to write about is this one Indian girl Daisy told me about. She says Mr. Steve told her and Millie about a girl named "Juana Maria" who lived at the Santa Barbara Mission for the last years of her life. I hear Birds chirping.
Of course Daisy says, Juana Maria was only that girl's Spanish name. And according to my Encyclopedia she was living alone on one of the Channel Islands east of Catalina Island when the Spanish rescued her. Juana Maria was the only person left of her "Nicoleño" tribe.
Dais was right. She said that in the early 19th century that girl Juana Maria's tribe lived on an island the Spanish named "San Nicolas." At that time there were about three hundred people in the tribe. All but a few were "wiped out" as they say. I just heard a Crow caw.
In this Encyclopedia it says that in 1814 some Russian fur traders and other Native American Sea Otter hunters invaded San Nicolas Island and had a battle with the Nicoleño's. After killing most of Juana Maria's tribe they stole fur pelts and all the surviving women.
I guess those Russians and Indians had sailed down all the way from Alaska. It says here that by 1835 only five Nicoleño's were still alive on that island. Oh! this is interesting. In 1835 the Franciscan Priests in San Pedro "dispatched" a ship out to San Nicolas Island.
Those Spanish sailors were told to rescue the five surviving members of Juana Maria's tribe. The ship was named "Peor de Nada" which, according to my Spanish Dictionary, means "Better than Nothing." Ah! Max the Hummingbird just flew past going really fast.
It says here exactly what Daisy said our boss told her and Millie. When that girl Juana Maria got on the boat she realized she had left her baby behind. I guess she panicked and jumped off of the boat and swam all the way back to shore to be with her baby. I smell a Gopher.
A big storm came up so the Captain of the Spanish ship decided to just leave without Juana Maria on board. Oh! How terrible! It says in this Encyclopedia that the legend is that some wild Dogs ate Juan Maria's baby before she could get there in time. I see the Gopher.
For almost twenty years that girl Juana Maria lived alone out on San Nicolas Island. Daisy says she even made a house out of Whale bones. It says here she wore clothes "fashioned" as they say out of Bird feathers. The Gopher is sticking his nose out of his hole in the ground.
It says here that after eighteen years Juana Maria finally went back to the mainland with another Spanish ship sent by Priests; this time the Padres in Santa Barbara. She was about fifty years old by then. Oh! There goes Blackbeard and Anne the Crows flying bye.
Juana Maria lived for years at the Santa Barbara Mission. She's buried at the cemetery there because she was a "neophyte." Daisy says that means she became a Catholic. Daisy says we're also considered neophytes. I can see that Gopher now sniffing the air outside his hole.
Just as Mr. Steve told Daisy, because even the other Indians couldn't speak her language no one knows what Juana Maria's real name was or what her tribe was called. But like our boss said, the Nicoleño's were obviously not what are called "Tongva" Indians.
Our boss told Daisy and Millie he's always liked the cemetery and Gift Shop at the Santa Barbara Mission. That Gift Shop is named after Father Serra and has been run for years by two nice ladies who are what they call "Sisters-in-Law." I smell a Cholla cactus.
Mr. Steve's sister Susan learned things at U.C.S.B. which later allowed her to work in the what they call the "Entertainment Industry." In the 1980's she worked on tv shows like Bill Cosby and Roseanne. I'm going to write more about that tomorrow in my third book.
Now that she's living back east in Connecticut, Mr. Steve's sister Susan uses her knowledge in "Interior Design" to do her own job. She's designed the interiors of Mortuaries and things like that. Max the Hummingbird just zipped bye; and now veered off into the desert.
Dais thinks Mr. Steve's sister must be very talented. Our boss says she definitely is. One time she worked on this movie called "Kickboxer" so used a lot of Mr. Steve's Boxing pictures. These photos were hung on a wall which was supposed to be a Boxing Trainer's office.
MR. STEVE'S SISTER SUSAN WITH SONS
Our boss's sister Susan lives back east in Connecticut with her two teenage boys, Dalton and Austin. They own a twenty acre forest. Mr. Steve tells us they even have their own little pond. Sometimes Dalton and Austin hunt things like Turkeys. That Gopher is gone now.
At the end of his life that writer Mark Twain lived with his family in Connecticut just like our boss's sister Susan does. But when he and his brother named Orion first came from where they grew up in Missouri they lived for a time in a place called "Virginia City" in Nevada.
SAMUEL CLEMENS ("MARK TWAIN")
A few years ago Mr. Steve and a friend named Ron visited Virginia City. They went to a Gift Shop above Mark Twain's original newspaper office where he ran the "Territorial Enterprise." Ah! Out of the corner of my eye I just saw a Snake go under Moe the middle Shed.
In Virginia City a lady told our boss most people think Mark Twain got his "Pen Name" from his time as Mississippi riverboat Pilot. "Mark Twain" means the river is "two fathoms" deep. But it could mean buying two alcoholic drinks at once but putting them on credit she said.
Mr. Steve has been to the area up in northern California near the city of Sacramento; where gold was discovered back in 1848. Mark Twain even tried to find gold near there. But in 1864 he lived in "Calaveras County" to the east of San Francisco. I hear Birds chirping.
Years ago at the Oviat Libaray at C.S.U.N. our boss met a lady from Calaveras County. She told him about the time Mark Twain spent there. He was so broke he wrote a letter joking that he might have to commit suicide if his luck didn't improve soon she said.
Daisy says that lady from Calaveras County told Mr. Steve it was in Calaveras County where Mark Twain decided to become a writer and developed his "Deadpan" delivery. His first story was about a jumping Frog contest; a contest that they still have every year.
THEODORE JUDAH (1826-1863)
Dais says that lady from Calaveras County knew about this man named Theodore Judah. He was what's called a "Surveyor" and he figured out the best route for a Railroad across the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. George Washington was a Surveyor.
Hey God! Mr. Steve told that lady he bought a book about Theodore Judah in 1995 when he was up in Sacramento. He thinks it's sad how Theodore Judah did all of that really hard work hiking in the mountains and then ended up dying before he could make money.
ANNA JUDAH (1828-1895)
"Pacific Railroad" 1869 1900 miles central pacific union pacific
Boy You Guys! I kind of keep getting off track again today. It looks like that will be the same pattern for all three days. Are You Guys secretly guiding me? Daisy thinks You might be and I want to believe her. Oh! Our four Pigeons are flying to the north; over the desert.
Well, back to my outline. I still have more to write about that GRATEFUL DEAD concert back in 1978. It was a hot day as Mr. Steve and that girl Monica walked around the U.C.S.B. campus. It was clear so they could see the Channel Islands offshore. I smell Sage.
Another thing Mr. Steve told Daisy and me he remembers about that day in 1978 was that this guy named Elvin Bishop "opened" up the show. The second act, Warren Zevon, was booed by some in the audience that day. Our boss said he and Monica felt kind of bad for him.
Dais says Mr. Steve once played for she and Millie a Warren Zevon song called "Werewolf in London." I really want to hear that song! Daisy says it's about this man who turns into a Wolf when the Moon is full and has some good piano playing in it. A Sparrow is singing.
The main reason why I want to hear Werewolf in London is because Dais told me it has some howling-type singing in it. She thinks it would be a good song for me and Dawn to sing. Dawn was howling this morning as a matter of fact. I am interested in the subject of Werewolves.
LON CHANEY JR. (1906-1973)
My Encyclopedia says that Lon Chaney Jr. was an actor like his father. Both were in Horror films. It says here his father played in "The Phantom of the Opera" and also "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Those were "Silent" movies with no sound Dais told me.
Dais is right. If I ever get over my silly fear of going in the house at night I could see Horror movies. She tells me about them but I sure would want to see them for myself. That would be so great! A group of Finches just landed in the Joshua trees next to Manny.
Seeing these pictures in my Encyclopedia makes me want to see some Horror movies even more. Lon Chaney Jr. was in this one movie called "The Wolf Man." Daisy told me about it and says that other Dog Millie got really scared seeing a Wolf who was a man too.
It says here Lon Chaney Sr. was a "genius" at applying his own makeup to play his "silent" film roles. He looks scary in this picture from The Phantom of the Opera. I hear Crows cawing behind the Sheds out in the desert. Mr. Steve's Niece Stephanie is a makeup artist.
LON CHANEY SR. (1883-1930)
This is interesting. I wonder if Mr. Steve knows that Lon Chaney Sr. would have played the part of "Dracula" instead of that guy Bela Lugosi if he hadn't died at age forty seven. I just now noticed that Samson and Delilah are floating bye; way up there in the sky.
From what it says here that my the 1930's when Lon Chaney Jr. started playing monsters and things like that the movies had sound. This is interesting. It says here that Lon Chaney Jr. later played "The Mummy" and in some Frankenstein movies; just like Boris Karloff.
Mr. Steve thinks it must've been hard to be Lon Chaney Jr. He was in the same situation as Hank Williams Jr. Both had to "follow in the footsteps" of their fathers. So no matter how good you are people are going to naturally compare you to your famous father.
In 1978 when Mr. Steve and that girl Monica saw the GRATEFUL DEAD concert, the Hell's Angels had a red "Chopper" motorcycle up on the stage. During the day the Sun shone off of it's chrome. Mr. Steve has a miniature Chopper model in the guest bedroom Dais says.
JERRY GARCIA THE GRATEFUL DEAD
Our boss told us that the GRATEFUL DEAD had a large "following." They "Toured" for years; until this guy named Jerry Garcia died. Mr. Steve thinks The GRATEFUL DEAD were very talented. But in his subjective opinion they play for too long. I smell a Gopher.
In his early twenties Dais says our boss wore "Muttonchop" sideburns like that guy Ambrose Burnside. And people told him he looked like Jerry Garcia when he was young. But he jokes that now he's starting to look like Jerry Garcia when Jerry Garcia got fatter.
The GRATEFUL DEAD had had two drummers. Our boss says you don't see that too often but on that same Football field he and his friends saw this one "Southern" Rock band called the ALLMAN BROTHERS. They also had two drummers. I see the Gopher over there.
Sometime in the late 1970's Mr. Steve and his friends saw a concert on the U.C.S.B. Football field by a band called LITTLE FEAT. The main guitar player had been in Frank Zappa's band but was kicked out because he wrote a song about drugs and Frank Zappa didn't like it.
LITTLEFEAT are from Los Angeles. From what our boss told us they not only played Rock and Roll but also Jazz, Funk, Soul and Country music too. Jimmy Page of LED ZEPPELIN and that this other guy named Van Halen liked their music Mr. Steve says. The Gopher's gone.
Daisy says that when our boss heard LITTLE FEAT play a song called "Oh Atlanta" up at U.C.S.B. it brought back fond memories of he and his father's 1972 trip to Georgia. He couldn't really hear or understand the lyrics but he knew he heard the words "Peach Street."
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time about how that band LITTLE FEAT were on some tv shows like "F-Troop" and "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C." Someday I want to see those shows but I would have to overcome what Dais calls my "irrational" fear of going down the hallway.
Even though I've already talked a little bit about our boss's favorite tv shows, in book three I'll write more on that subject. I'm tempted to do it now but I better hold off until tomorrow. I have enough things to look up and then learn about today. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Dais says our boss told her that after The Grateful Dead had played for about three hours on that night in Santa Barbara Mr. Steve could tell that girl Monica wanted to leave. So he told her they were going home. She was happy. Some would think they were crazy.
Years later our boss was told that many of the people at that GRATEFUL DEAD concert in 1978 had taken a drug called "L.S.D." Dais says she's heard that "Acid" is a really strong drug and sometimes bad things happen if you take it. It makes you act crazy.
Daisy told me that now our boss jokes the reason why he and Monica left that GRATEFUL DEAD concert early was they were probably the only ones not on Acid. But he was able to leave the Parking Lot easier and he and Monica had a nice talk on the way home.
Mr. Steve jokes Daisy and he are beginning to look like Jerry Garcia because of their graying hair and "expanding waistlines." Dais has gray hair around her mouth but her fur is still black. Our boss has dark hair on his head but his goatee is turning kind of gray.
Hey God! The next thing to write about according to my outline are called "Piers." I guess they're kind of like wooden bridges which stick way out into the ocean. Daisy says our boss likes the "Atmosphere" of beaches where three things, sound, water and air come together.
Daisy says Mr. Steve has noticed that in Jane Austen's books very often when a person got sick the Doctor's would recommend they go to a beach to breath in the "Sea Air." He wants to think that sea air is "restorative" in some way. But he also likes walking on Piers.
Right near the U.C.S.B. campus is a Pier called "Goleta." One time Mr. Steve went there with his friend who fished off of it. He told our boss that the reason there were so many types of Fish around Goleta Pier was this "Artificial" Reef that was created there.
To the south of Santa Barbara is the city of "Ventura." Mr. Steve has been to one of the two Ppiers there. Further south are the "Malibu" and "Paradise Cove" Piers which he's walked on. They made some surfing movies near them he told us. I smell a Joshua tree.
Someday I really want to see this old movie about this girl named "Gidget." Our boss told Dais and Millie that there was also a tv show about Gidget. The actress who played her later played the part of a Nun with a special hat that allowed her to fly Dais told me.
Ever since he was a kid Mr. Steve has enjoyed going to the city of Santa Monica. His mom used to drive he and friends to the beach there. He remembers sitting in the sand when for the first time he heard this one Rolling Stone's song called "Brown Sugar."
On a few occasions our Chief went with his brother Rock and their friends to "fish" off of the Santa Monica Pier. Daisy would like to go there because it has so many interesting things to do according to our boss. And we'd both like the good food they have there.
SANTA MONICA PIER
This is interesting. It says here in my Encyclopedia the Santa Monica Pier is where that famous road "Route 66" ends. And I guess that it's the only West Coast "Amusement Park" on a pier. Route 66 goes by kind of near us to the east in the city of Victorville.
Mr. Steve says he's also been to the piers at Venice, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. But he's never been to the one in Hermosa Beach. At Manhattan Beach pier you can pet a little "Leopard Shark and Redondo Beach has good "fireworks" on the 4th of July.
Other piers our boss has been to are Cabrillo and Huntington Beach. But there are a few in that area he'd like to see. The one at Newport Beach was built in the 19th century it says here in this Encyclopedia. You can see Catalina Island from Huntington Beach Mr. Steve said.
Mr. Steve says one of the most interesting piers is the "Crystal" pier down in San Diego. This Encyclopedia says it was built back in 1930; which was at the beginning of the Great Depression. There are little houses right over the Pacific Ocean on the Crystal pier.
When he and his mom had their Art Exhibit at the San Juan Capistrano Mission in the 1990's Mr. Steve drove over to this pier in "San Clemente." From what he told Dais, San Clemente is a beautiful coastal town. San Clemente is Spanish for the name "Saint Clement."
Mr. Steve told Daisy San Clemente is called the "Spanish Village by the Sea." He and Mark Ritter's friend Mr. Doug has surfed in that area. A while back a girl told Mr. Steve how there is now in San Clemente a Museum that is totally devoted to the subject of Surfing.
That one girl, who grew up near San Clemente, also told Mr. Steve about this one place called "Casa Romantica." Daisy says it's now what they call the "Cultural Center" of San Clemente. Mr. Steve's mom would like it because it has artwork and also gardens Dais told me.
Every time he hears about the town of San Clemente Mr. Steve cannot help but think about this one Baseball player named Roberto Clemente. He was from "Puerto Rico" and played all of his professional career for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Puerto Rico means "Rich Port."
As I mentioned yesterday in my first book, Mr. Steve's friend Rick's family were originally from Pittsburgh. So, over the years our boss and Rick have watched that guy Roberto Clemente because he played for eighteen years for the Pirates. I smell a Sage bush.
In Mr. Steve's subjective opinion that guy Roberto Clemente was the best player he ever saw play in person. And he and Rick saw Willie Mays and other really good players. But they now realize that at the time they just took seeing Roberto Clemente for granted.
ROBERTO CLEMENTE (1934-1972)
Any Baseball player who gets three thousand hits in his career is really good. To get that many hits is a very impressive and difficult thing to do. At least that's what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time. I have an uneasy feeling that I'm being looked at right now.
Hey God! Did You make it so that guy Roberto Clemente got his three thousandth hit in the very last regular season game he ever played in? Daisy thinks You might have. She told me our boss told her many good ballplayers are Puerto Rican. Aha! I see a Lizard looking at me.
Daisy says Mr. Steve thinks so many good Baseball players have "come out of" Puerto Rico mainly because of poverty. He and Rick, and also his brothers Rock and Sam, have seen many of the Puerto Rican players. But Mr. Steve thinks Roberto Clemente was the best.
I guess in Baseball players are judged on five what they call "Categories;" Running speed, Arm strength, Hitting for average, Hitting for power and Fielding. The best players are what they call "Five Tool" players. The Lizard is gone. I smell a Squirrel now.
HANK AARON MICKY MANTLE WILLIE MAYS
Except in hitting for power, Dais says Mr. Steve and Rick think Roberto Clemente was better than Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays. And even in hitting for power he thinks at times it could be argued Roberto Clemente was their equal. I smell Juniper.
I guess if you play professional sports in a big city like Los Angeles or New York you get more attention. But if you play in "lesser markets" like Pittsburgh or Oakland not only do you not get as much "publicity;" you're paid way less too. I just noticed the Ground Squirrel. 3000 HITS (1972)
As I mentioned, on the last day of what turned out to be his last season Roberto Clemente got his three thousandth hit. Then in the "Off Season" a big earthquake happened in this country called "Nicaragua." Roberto Clemente decided to go help them. A Crow just cawed.
Dais says Roberto Clemente rented a Plane and filled it up with supplies to take to Nicaragua. But, sadly, the Plane crashed in the ocean and disappeared. No one ever found that Plane or any of the bodies people. That Squirrel just ran out into the eastern desert.
Hey God! Did You have a purpose for Roberto Clemente's crash? Dais says Mr. Steve read an article in which Roberto Clemente's wife said he always told her he though he was going to die young. He even said one time; "God will tell you how long you're supposed to be here."
Oh! There's a really good picture of that guy Roberto Clemente here in this Encyclopedia. It shows him ready to hit the pitch. Now I can understand why Mr. Steve told Daisy that Roberto Clemente was like a "Coiled Spring." He was such a good hitter our boss says.
It says here in my Encyclopedia that Roberto Clemente's first Major League game was in April of 1955; the year Mr. Steve was born. This was just a few years after that one guy Jackie Robinson broke the "Color Barrier." I can now smell one of the Joshua trees.
Wow! It says here Roberto Clemente was at first in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization but they let him "get away" to the Pirates. He played for the same Dodgers Minor League team in the city of Montreal that Jackie Robinson played on; the "Royals." A Crow cawed.
Roberto Clemente died in 1972 but was what they call "Inducted" into the Hall of Fame the very next year. I guess that's rare. But he retired with a career batting average of over .300 and also earned a "Gold Glove" for fielding his position twelve seasons in a row.
Dais says that our boss once told her and Millie about how he and his friends liked watching Roberto Clemente "Warm Up" before the game. Just witnessing him "go through his paces"in making his practice throws was worth paying to see the games. A Thrasher Bird ran bye.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, that guy Roberto Clemente had a really strong "throwing arm." One writer called it "cannon-like" and Mr. Steve thinks that was a good way to describe it. Very few runners dared to even challenge Roberto Clemente's arm.
Mr. Steve occasionally helps kids on Little League teams warm up before a game. He still enjoys "Fungo" practice; hitting some "grounders" to all the Infielders and "Fly balls" to the Outfielders. Daisy told me a Fungo bat is skinnier than a regular Baseball bat.
Mr. Steve thinks that like most things the California Hippie movement of the 1960's was both good and bad. It promoted positive things like peace and love but also produced bad things like the Peoples Temple and Charles Manson. Mr. Steve says some Hippies ruined their lives.
Our boss has told me and Daisy that Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison of the Doors and later Jimi Hendrix died from drugs and alcohol. He thinks this was probably because they did things to excess and didn't know themselves. They didn't moderate! A Crow just cawed faintly.
JANICE JOPLIN (1943-1970)
Janice Joplin was a very talented singer our boss thinks. Her voice was kind of unique. She was definitely influenced by Blues music he told us. Dais says our boss has one of Janis Joplin's albums in his bedroom. She told me Millie liked that girl Janice Joplin's singing.
Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie how he used to have a customer near "Port Arthur" Texas where Janice Joplin was originally from. But then the economy went bad and in the year 2010 that Auto Dealership decided to stop selling apparel. I smell a Joshua tree.
Mr. Steve one time told Dais and Millie that it was a shame that Janice Joplin died so young. But she "partied" way too much he thinks. Mr. Steve told Daisy about a time when he and some friends went to a place called "Barney's Beanery." That Dragonfly just flew past.
I guess on the night she died from drugs Janice Joplin went to Barney's Beanery and also this other place called the "Troubadour." From what Daisy told me that one time, our boss has been to the Troubadour a few times too. I can smell one of the old Creosote bushes.
Barney's Beanery is what's called a "Restaurant." Dais says it's where people go to have the food cooked for you. She says that Mr. Steve told her and Millie one time how Barney's Beanery kind of reminded him and his friends of one of these places they call "Truck Stops."
Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie how some people jokingly called Barney's Beanery a "Greasy Spoon Roadhouse." I guess grease is not good. That's what Daisy thinks. Barney's Beanery has three rooms in it. Some Sparrows are chirping happily out there in the desert.
I guess Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that Barney's Beanery had "multi-colored" "Booths" and what are called "License Plates" on the walls. We have License Plates on our two Cars and our Truck Rex. In my Dictionary it says a booth is; "A small area or Enclosure."
Mr. Steve and his friends were told by a "Waitress" at Barney's Beanery about a night way back in the late-1960's when that girl Janis Joplin hit Jim Morrison of the DOORS over the head with a bottle of whiskey. But some people have told our boss that story may not be true.
Daisy told me she's pretty sure a Waitress is what they call a girl who brings over your food at one those Restaurants. This is so you don't have to go get the food yourself and can just keep talking to the other people you're with. Oh! Heathcliff just crowed over there?
From what Dais heard; in a Restaurant if it's a boy goes to get you're food then he's called a "Waiter." If you go to a Restaurant you're called a "Customer." Dais heard you have to pay the Waiter or Waitress extra if he or she does a good job. I'd pay them extra!
That Waitress at Barney's Beanery also told our boss how at one time a big field of what are called "Poinsettia" flowers surrounded the building. When Route 66 was first built it ran right next to Barneys's Beanery she said. Wow! Heathcliff just crowed again over there!
That Waitress told Mr. Steve how many famous Actors used to come to Barney's Beanery. Even though it's not on this outline I think I'll look up and write about three of those Actors; Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth and Marlon Brando. I think Daisy will like this.
Boy! I'd sure like to go to a Restaurant. That would be so great! But Daisy says only people are allowed to walk around Restaurants. Ah! Maybe we could invent a Dog Restaurant! That new Spam meat would be a good thing to sell. We could make some money!
At Barney's Beanery Mr. Steve and his friends ate chili and played this game called "Pool." Some people call it "Pocket Billiards" Dais told me. Even though he doesn't really like the taste of that drink called "Beer;" Mr. Steve drank two beers on that night.
Dais says she me t a boy Dog who had actually tasted beer. He said it was awful! Water is way better by far. Daisy thinks people probably don't drink beer so much because it tastes good. They drink it because it can make them feel better. I don't think I'd like it.
From what Dais told me, in the game of Pool you use a long stick to hit a white ball that then knocks in holes the other colored balls. The Pool table has a green felt top so that the balls go straight when you hit them. I'd like to play Pool. I might be pretty good at it.
Hey God! As You know, Dais thinks it was You who gave our boss good luck on that night at Barney's Beanery. He won all the Pool games and was on a "Hot Streak." Dais says in sports it's called being in a "Zone." He told Daisy and Millie he was "Visualizing" well.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie he's pretty good at playing Pool or this other "Table Game" called "Ping Pong." He's also sometimes good at "Throwing Darts." But on some days he's terrible and loses badly he said. Two of the Pigeons just flew in from the desert.
On that one night in West Hollywood, where Barney's Beanery is at; Mr. Steve said he had the "Midas Touch." He "Could do no Wrong" as they say. I guess Midas was a King who could turn anything he touched into gold. Boy! That would be so great to be able to do.
Daisy says Ping Pong is like a small scale version of "Tennis." It's played on a table instead of a court and you hit a plastic ball instead of a tennis ball. In Ping Pong there's a net strung across the middle. I can smell that old Joshua tree over there near Libby's Corral.
I guess Mr. Steve used to play Tennis but hasn't done it in a long time. When he was young he at times played with his girlfriend Sandy's sister "Suzy." The last time he played was with his Niece Samantha at some courts in down in Sylmar. I still smell that old Joshua tree.
From what Daisy told me, in the Hallway of the house are two "Closets." Daisy told me that inside those closets are Mr. Steve's collection of T-Shirts, Jackets and Jerseys. And in one closet I guess he still has a few Tennis Rackets, Baseball Bats and other things like that.
In the 1960's Hippies were called "Flower People" our Chief says. There was even a famous song called "If You're Going to San Francisco" which mentioned "flowers in your hair." I guess that Hippies were hoping religiously for an unrealistic change in human thinking.
The members of Black Sabbath probably didn't see too many flowers growing up over there in Birmingham in the 1960's our boss says. But they probably did see a whole lot of gray smoke he jokes. Pittsburgh, where his friend Rick's family came from, was like that too then.
Mr. Steve says Black Sabbath seem a product of their "uncheerful" environment. He has a friend named Cliff who grew up in Gary, Indiana. Gary was also an "industrial" town. I just saw the Jackrabbit to the side of Manny the Shed. During the Vietnam War Mr. Cliff fought in a famous battle at this place called "Khe Sanh." This was back in 1968, just after this big thing called the "Tet Offensive." Mr. Cliff was hit in the neck by a piece of "shrapnel;" which is a jagged piece of hot metal.
KHE SANH (1968)
Our boss told Mr. Cliff that A's owner Charles Finley, as a teenager, worked in a steel mill in Gary, Indiana. Gary was like Birmingham Mr. Cliff said. The atmosphere was kind of gray and smoky much of the time. It was kind of "gloomy."
Mr. Cliff once asked our boss if he knew who Boxer Tony Zale was. Mr. Steve said he did and looked up Tony Zale in the "Pictorial History of Boxing" written by Nat Fleicher. Fannie and Freddie are flying bye now.
Daisy told me that guy Tony Zale must have been really tough. When he was fighting during the 1950's his nickname was the "Man of Steel" just like Superman. Tony Zale was from Gary just like Mr. Cliff. He was a hard puncher who "took a good punch" I guess.
"ROCKY" GRAZIANO / TONY ZALE
Our boss's father boxed while in the Marines. And he thinks Tony Zale was one of the best fighters he ever saw. In this Encyclopedia it says Tony Zale was a "Middleweight" and fought great fighters like "Sugar" Ray Robinson.
From what it says here Tony Zale's trilogy or three fights with Rocky Graziano are some of the best fights of all time. Mr. Steve thinks Boxing, especially in brutal fights, seems to allow a person to experience kind of an "ecstatic" feeling.
Mr. Steve thinks mankind has a side which likes violence. But in today's modern world you can't just come right out and say it like you could for most of history. Now many people need an excuse to take pleasure in seeing pain inflicted.
Our boss showed Mr. Cliff, who's older than he is, his "Draft" card. Our boss graduated from Sylmar High School in 1973 and if the Vietnam war had gone on longer he might have had to go fight over there. Dais and I know where Vietnam is on a map! I smell a Lizard. On his neck Mr. Cliff still has a white scar from a shrapnel wound. Mr. Steve has a few scars. He jokes he used to have one on the back of his head but then he went bald so now it doesn't show as much. Daisy thinks that's kind of funny. Me too. That Lizard is near the tree. Just as our boss's father still occasionally has nightmares about the Korean War, Mr. Cliff at times has bad dreams about Vietnam. He also dreams about his hometown of Gary in which he hears loud noises coming from factories and smells and sees gray skies.
I'm grateful I haven't had any nightmares lately. Daisy woke me up a few times when she used to sleep back here with me on the couch. Thank You Guys for Stanley. He protects me when Lilith shows up in my bad dreams. That Lizard just ran away. When fighting in the Vietnam War Mr. Cliff says he and some of the other soldiers listened to some of the same bands our boss likes; the Doors, the Kinks and Jimi Hendrix. And he also likes much of the same type of Country music Mr. Steve likes.
Just like I still occasionally have Nightmares about living out in that field, Mr. Cliff at times suffers from what's called "Shell Shock" or "Combat Fatigue." Mr. Steve says the more modern term for it now is "P.T.S.D." or "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome." A Crow is cawing.
Mr. Steve's father also at times still has bad dreams about his combat experiences during the Korean War. He sometimes flails around and our boss's mom has to calm him down. But luckily he hasn't had any dreams like that lately. I haven't either! Thank You Everyone.
One band from England Mr. Cliff and our boss like is LED ZEPPELIN. Their guitar player Jimmy Page played in another band called the YARDBIRDS before LED ZEPPELIN. At one time the YARDBIRDS also had guitarists Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck in their band.
In 1996 Mr. Steve worked for his friend Rick. He was sent over to Catalina Island's west side in order to do what they call a "Job Walk;" so their company could "draw up" and then "Bid" on a job. On the way over there he had a nice talk with a guy from "Downey."
On their way to Catalina that guy told our boss he knew where Sylmar was. And Mr. Steve said he'd been to Downey a few times. They discussed how this one "Rockabilly" band called the BLASTERS were also originally from Downey. Oh! Heathcliff just crowed again.
DAVE ALVIN OF THE BLASTERS
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Dais says one time in his Bedroom Mr. Steve told her and Millie that he likes that band the BLASTERS. He thinks their drummer is pretty good. The BLASTERS two guitar players are brothers name Dave and Phil Alvin Daisy says. I want to hear the BLASTERS.
That man going to the west side of Catalina Island did not know that one of the guys in the band METALLICA grew up in Downey. Mr. Steve once sold some advertising to this man who was what they call a "Financial Adviser." He lived in Downey. I hear Dawn barking.
That man from Downey was also on his way to do the job walk. He told Mr. Steve he knew someone who had seen the YARDBIRDS play a concert in Avalon at that round Casino. He said it was in 1966 and Jimmy Page was the guitar player in the band at that time.
Mr. Steve once told Daisy and Millie that one reason he likes the music of LED ZEPPELIN is because the drums were not "buried in the mix" as they say. That means when they recorded them they were more "out front" instead of sounding like they were off in a distance.
Daisy told me our boss still has an old vinyl record by the YARDBIRDS. And he also has a few records and CD's by LED ZEPPELIN. Daisy says he told her and Millie he was told that for a time LED ZEPPELIN were called the NEW YARDBIRDS. I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve told Dais the name LED ZEPPELIN was kind of a joke suggested by Keith Moon, the drummer of the WHO. Mr. Steve thinks that LED ZEPPELIN sounds like the names IRON BUTTERFLY or QUIET RIOT; names sounding both heavy and light.
Daisy has told me about Mr. Steve's big collection of music in his Bedroom. One of these days I'm going to "summon up" the courage and go in there; and his office too. Oh! Heathcliff next door just crowed. I also hear a lot of Crows cawing out in the field behind our house.
One of our boss's favorite LED ZEPPELIN songs is called "Immigrant Song," Daisy told me it's about Vikings and says it has "eery-sounding" singing at the beginning. Maybe one of these days Mr. Steve will play more LED ZEPPELIN songs on his Boombox.
Dais thinks I would like this other LED ZEPPELIN song called "Celebration Day" because I love to celebrate. She's probably right about that. I don't need much of an excuse to do one of my happy howls. I feel like doing it now but I better not. Oh! Dawn just barked.
One time Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie the "intro" to LED ZEPPELIN'S Immigrant Song is called "LA Drone" and is played using a violin bow on a guitar. Years ago one of our boss's friends named Dale tried using a violin bow on on electric guitar. I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve says his friend Dale found out how hard it was to use a bow on an electric guitar. It looked easy when Jimmy Page did it. One time our boss and his girlfriend Harriet were given the assignment of "reviewing" this unusual band called DREAD ZEPPELIN.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve and Harriet went and saw that band DREAD ZEPPELIN at this Nightclub called "Club Lingerie;" which down in East Hollywood. DREAD ZEPPELIN sound like they would be really unique Daisy thinks. We want to hear some of their songs. I smell a Squirrel.
DREAD ZEPPELIN played LED ZEPPELIN songs in a Jamaican Reggae style. And, believe it or not our boss says, their singer, who weighed about three hundred pounds, wore these fake sideburns and sang just like Elvis. I see the Ground Squirrel near Jack the Shed.
Mr. Steve told us the song he liked the best on that night when they saw DREAD ZEPPELIN was Immigrant Song. But they also covered songs by Bob Marley and the YARDBIRDS too. I'd like to see a DREAD ZEPPELIN concert. Daisy too. The Squirrel is gone.
Even though it wasn't on my outline I think I want to write about the history of the violin. I kind of just feel like learning about the violin. It seems so amazing to Daisy and myself to even think about how someone could have even invented such an unbelievable thing!
My Encyclopedia says the first "violin type" musical instrument is from 9th century Persia. It was a three-stringed "Kemanche." And in China they used a two-stringed instrument called a "Huqin." A big group of Finch's just flew past. They're going out into the eastern desert.
This is interesting. It says here the first "string instrument played with a bow" in Europe is from the 1100's and was "introduced" by the people from the Middle East. It's called a "rebec" and was followed during the late Middle Ages by this thing called a "vielle."
In this Encyclopedia it shows in pictures how the modern violin evolved to what it is today. I guess the first violin-type musical instruments that used a bow to play was from about 800 B.C. in Persia and China. In Persia is was the "Kemanche" and China the "Hiqin."
EVOLUTION OF VIOLIN FROM 10TH CENTURY A.D.
It says here that the Persian Kemanche, which has a round body like a banjo, had only three strings while the Huqin from China had only two. At the beginning of the Middle Ages violins had four strings. I guess the modern violin from Italy now has five or six strings.
In 1972, when he was in the 11th grade, our boss's friends saw LED ZEPPELIN play at this place called the "Long Beach Arena." Just a few weeks before that Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy had seen a Canadian band called BACHMAN TURNER OVERDRIVE there.
BACHMAN TURNER OVERDRIVE
BACHMAN TURNER OVERDRIVE, or "B.T.O." for short, were from Canada. At one time there were three Bachman brothers in the band. Turner, the singer and bass player, looked like a Football player. Daisy told me that he has a "gruff" and "gravelly" voice.
The main guitar player for B.T.O. was named Randy Bachman. He was also kind of a big guy too our boss told us. Randy Bachman wrote most of the songs and sometimes sang lead too. He had been in a band called the GUESS WHO before B.T.O. I hear Birds chirping.
Daisy says one time our boss told her and Millie that Randy Bachman left the GUESS WHO at the "height of their success." Many people couldn't believe it and thought he was making a big mistake. But it turned out okay because he did even better with B.T.O.
A Mormon man who lives near us told Mr. Steve Randy Bachman converted to Mormonism when he married his wife. That's what Dais says. And one of the reasons he left, or was kicked out of the GUESS WHO, is because he didn't want to drink or take drugs.
Daisy told me one time that she's noticed over the years how most Mormons seem to be what they call "family-oriented." I've noticed that too. Some of the families are big and have a lot of kids. Mr. Steve says it's been his experience that most Mormons are honest.
Mr. Steve, who used to try to play the Guess Who song called "American Woman," read that Randy Bachman one time helped Dread Zeppelin make one of their songs. Daisy told me Randy Bachman pretends to stutter on one of B.T.O.'s songs. A Sparrow just zoomed past.
Led Zeppelin started their concert at the Long Beach Arena by playing Immigrant Song. To this day Mr. Steve regrets not going but he was low on money then and his girlfriend and her friend preferred to see Bachman Turner Overdrive. I hear Dawn barking faintly.
Immigrant Song was about Vikings invading England Dais says. Mr. Steve told us that it was written while Led Zeppelin was in this country called "Iceland" where the Vikings used to live. Daisy's right! Iceland sounds like it would be too cold. I smell a Lizard.
Both Dais and myself prefer warmer weather. That other place called "Greenland" sounds a lot better to us than Iceland. Oh! I see a Jackrabbit in front of the big Shed. He's sniffing the air and will probably pick up my scent at any moment. Oh! There's that Lizard.
Jackrabbits are a "sure sign" the coldest weather is probably over for this year Daisy thinks. Last night was still a bit "chilly" as they say. But for four months the weather will be moderate. Dais says we should enjoy it until the hot Summer comes. There goes the Rabbit!
Sniffing the air I just picked up the slight scent of Sage. That brings back a memory of a year ago about this time. Daisy and I were up in the front yard sitting up on the little hill where the statue of the Chinese warrior Monk is standing. We both smelled Sage then.
Last Summer we had a few Thunder Storms. I thought about the Viking God Thor because he's the God of thunder and lightning. I shake and tremble during storms but Daisy helps me to calm down. And our boss petted me so I wouldn't scared. The Lizard's gone.
Dais always say no one can beat "Mother Nature" or "Father Time." The Vikings knew this too. Even Thor couldn't do it. Mr. Steve said the Vikings had a story called "The Three Tasks of Thor." Someday I'd really like to read that old story. I hear some Crows cawing.
In my Encyclopedia it says a King challenged Thor to the Three Tasks. First, he gave Thor a cup of beer but Thor couldn't drink it all because it was really an ocean in disguise. And then on his second Task Thor was told to try to lift the paw of a Cat. A Sparrow just sped bye.
I guess, because that Cat was really a giant heavy Snake disguised inside the Cat's body Thor couldn't even budge that Cat's paw at all. And the third and final Task Thor couldn't accomplish was to out-wrestle what looked like a small and really old lady. I smell a Gopher.
But, it says here what Thor didn't realize was that the old lady represented old age and no one can ever beat time. Dais was right! She thought that story about Thor's Three Tasks is meant to represent that no one beat nature. Ah! Heathcliff just crowed faintly.
I just noticed that on my outline I still have more to write about that man Gustav Holst. Like BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN seem to have been influenced him Mr. Steve thinks. In the early 1970's LED ZEPPELIN "sampled" Holst's Mars in a song called "Friends."
Dais explained to me that to sample means someone uses a section of your song in their new song. LED ZEPPELIN had a song called "Kashmir" which was later sampled by a "Hip-Hop" band our boss says. Heathcliff just crowed again. This time he was louder.
In the early 1980's, our boss told Dais and me that this other English band called DIAMOND HEAD did a song called "Am I Evil?" And as an introduction or "intro" they played an electric guitar version of Holst's Mars. Daisy says it sounds great! I want to hear it someday.
DIAMOND HEAD'S introduction to Am I Evil? is a hard rock version of Holst's Mars. Daisy and our boss like that song even though they're not evil. They just likes the it sounds and Mr. Steve enjoys trying to play it on the drums. Heathcliff crowed again.
A few years after DIAMOND HEAD did Am I Evil? METALLICA played their own version of it. A tv show our boss at times watches is called "The Metal Show." Mr. Steve saw an episode where METALLICA'S drummer was the guest. I smell a Bunny Rabbit around here. On The Metal Show METALLICA'S drummer told the three hosts that when METALLICA did Am I Evil? they didn't volunteer the fact that Am I Evil? wasn't their song. Mr. Steve says he probably would've done the same thing. Aha! I see the Rabbit near Moe. METALLICA
Mr. Steve thinks it sounds to him like both DIAMOND HEAD and METALLAICA, who now live up in San Francisco, "set up" the main body of Am I Evil? with their own "interpretation" of Gustav Holst's Mars. This creates a great sense of "anticipation" he says.
Creating a sense of anticipation with a good introduction often makes a song better Mr. Steve thinks. He told us about this music from the 1970's called "Progressive" Rock; or "Prog" Rock for short. Daisy says a band called GENESIS'S singer played the flute. I love flute! YES GENESIS
Dais says our boss thinks two of the better 1970's Prog rock bands were British; YES and GENESIS. He likes the YES song called "Roundabout" and to this day she told me, one of Mr. Steve's favorite albums is "Nursery Crime" by GENESIS. He calls it "Art Rock."
The other day Daisy told me that our boss recently read a newspaper article about the writer Ernest Hemingway's time during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930's. He later wrote a famous book about it called "For Whom the Bells Toll." I smell a Gopher Snake nearby.
Daisy says METALLICA have a song called "For Whom the Bells Toll." And it has a really good introduction she told me. Mr. Steve told her he thinks it was most likely inspired by Ernest Hemingway's book. In a book an introduction is often called a "Preface."
You know, I think Daisy's right! We're lucky we get to listen to so much good music whenever our boss plays his Boombox out in the yard. But she gets to listen to music in his Bedroom too. So many other Dogs probably never get to hear music. Thank You Guys!
In 1973 my boss told Daisy and I, he saw a concert down at the Forum in Inglewood by this a Progressive Rock band called Jethro Tull. They were from England and Mr. Steve says they took their name from an Englishman who lived in the 18th century. Mr. Steve says he thinks of Jethro Tull as "Medieval" Rock. I like their music because there's a lot of flute in it. But I've only heard a few of their songs and really do want to hear more of their music someday. I just love the sound of flute!
In 1973 this one girl named Angela asked our boss if he'd take her to see Jethro Tull at the Forum in Inglewood; where my boss later worked at in the 1980's. Jethro Tull was "touring" and "promoting" their new album which was called "A Passion Play."
Jethro Tull have become one of my favorite bands because I like the sound of flute so much. I really like that one song called "Bourée" and another song "The Third Hoorah." I could listen to them all day and never get tired of them; especially The Third Hoorah! I wish I had a Boombox like the one our boss uses out in the yard. Just like Mr. Steve listens to Vivaldi's Spring in the morning I'd listen to The Third Hoorah. It inspires and makes me feel like dancing. Daisy doesn't dance but likes that song too.
My Encyclopedia says that "Bourée" was a "dancing style" in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Mr. Steve told Dais Jethro Tull's song Bourée was their version of this German man named J.S. Bach's composition. Heathcliff just crowed; but faintly.
According to this Encyclopedia Bach was from the "Baroque" period; 1600 through 1750. It's so sad Bach's parents both died when he was ten years old but, luckily, by then had taught him a lot about music. He had a skill which could earn him a living. Skills are good.
JOHAN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Wow! Bach's first wife died after having seven children. Only four survived. With his second wife Bach had thirteen kids and six survived. Dais says we're lucky to live now because for much of history life was a lot more fragile and dangerous.
Bach lived at the same time as Isaac Newton and Jonathon Swift. He was influenced by his Baroque "contemporary" Vivaldi. Bach was so fortunate he could get jobs as a "Kappelmeister" even though; like Vivaldi, he was buried in what's called an unmarked grave.
My German Dictionary says Kappelmeister means "Director of Music." I guess in his lifetime Bach was known as a good keyboard player but was not recognized as a great composer until the 19th century. This often happens to artists. We know who Vincent Van Gough was. Daisy told me that Mr. Steve has this vinyl record from 1972 called "Switched On Bach." It was one of the first albums to use this thing called a "Moog Synthesizer." A "synthesizer" is an electronic keyboard that sounds so sharp and clear she says.
SWITCHED ON BACH
Someday I want to hear that album Switched On Bach. Dais says Bach's music sounds really good using the synthesizer. She says our boss once told her and that Dog Millie that when he was in High School in the early 1970's a lot of bands like the Who used those synthesizers.
Daisy told me about one of her favorite "Pop" bands called The Monkees. They were so talented she says that not only did they play good songs but they also had their own tv show and a beautiful custom car. She says they really didn't look like Monkees.
When young our boss had Chevelle's. But one of his friends had a car called a "Pontiac GTO." Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that the "Monkeemobile" was a "customized" 1966 GTO. Years ago Mr. Steve drew the Monkees guitar-shaped logo.
Our boss once read that in 1967 the Monkees were the first band to use a synthesizer on an album. And at a party the Monkees drummer introduced John Lennon of the Beatles to the synthesizer. He just "made weird noises."
Our boss told Daisy and Millie a synthesizer is smaller, cheaper and more reliable than the electronic keyboard instruments that came before it. He said he remembers how he was in 11th Grade when he first heard Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
Daisy says Mr. Steve told her and Millie this thing called a "Transistor" was better than what they call "Vacuum Tubes" for use on electronic musical instruments. In my Dictionary it says that a Transistor is a "compact device that controls current flow."
From what our boss told Daisy and Millie in the early 1970's a lot of bands started using a synthesizer. Even the Rolling Stones, who didn't really use keyboards at that point, used one on their records. Daisy told me about that one British band called The Who.
That band The Who sound so interesting! The guy who writes most of the songs is named Pete Townsend. He's mainly a really good guitar player Daisy says. I guess Mr. Steve liked the Who when they were what they called in England a "Mod" band in the late 1960's.
But Daisy thinks our boss liked The Who even more in the early 1970's when they had this one album called "Who Next." Daisy says he still has it on vinyl and played it for her and Millie a few times. She says it's really good and Millie liked it a whole lot too.
I really want to hear those Who songs "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." Dais has heard them and says they're so good. Both use what Mr. Steve told her were called "ARP" synthesizers. Pete Townsend is more known for guitar playing.
From what Daisy told me our boss said to her and Millie, The Who, in using synthesizers in the early 1970's, influenced later "Progressive Rock." Mr. Steve thinks sometimes keyboards add to a song even though some Rock "purists" don't like it. Dais and I like keyboards. Mr. Steve has seen a lot of concerts, in small nightclubs like the Whisky to big Arenas like the Staple Center. And in his opinion Jethro Tull, in 1973, succeeded in creating a great sense of anticipation before their concert. I smell a Field Mouse.
By 1973 when he and that girl Angela saw Jethro Tull's "A Passion Play" concert both had heard Jethro Tull's albums "Aqualung" and "Thick as a Brick." Dais says that our boss still has copies of those albums. Someday I really want to hear them! I see the Field Mouse.
Our boss told Dais and I that in 1973 there was a big screen behind the stage with the album cover projected onto it. But suddenly the bright lights went out and the twenty thousand people in attendance muttered and then went silent.
Mr. Steve says he thinks it was about this time that a small red dot appeared on the screen. It started to blink and with every pulse you could hear a "blip." And with each blip that one red dot got bigger and the sound was louder. The throbbing sound "blip, blip, blip" started out sounding like dripping water and evolved into a beating heart while getting louder with each blip. Our boss said there was a low murmur from the crowd at first but as the blips got louder you could've "heard a pin drop." In A Passion Play the main character is a Ballerina dancer. On the album cover she's upside down with her eyes open. That's what Dais told me. The Ballerina kind of looks like one of those mannequins Daisy says. A Sparrow's singing out in the desert to the east; behind the Sheds.
With each blip the red dot got bigger and more of the screen got redder. So everyone sensed that when the entire screen blipped red something would happen. Some "audibly gasped" when the entire screen turned red because the Ballerina's eyed blinked. Many people in the audience jumped when that dancer blinked. Then, in slow motion, the camera panned back for what they call a "wide angle" shot. The Ballerina stood up and began running slowly toward the camera. Mr. Steve says it was very exciting.
As the camera pulled back the Ballerina started to run faster. Suddenly a mirror or big pane of glass was seen up on the screen. When the Ballerina jumped and crashed through the glass many in the audience cringed and "ducked for cover" our boss told us.
Shards of glass seemed to be flying all over the place. The lights exploded on stage and the concert started. By then that girl Angela was holding tight to Mr. Steve's arm. Our boss says it scared both of them. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye.
By the time Jethro Tull "hit the stage" the crowd was cheering our boss told us. They then did a great concert. Besides playing the newer songs Jethro Tull also did songs from Aqualung and Thick as a Brick. Dais says Aqualung is Hard Rock.
In 1973 Jethro Tull played "Locomotive Breath and "Cross Eyed Mary" from Aqualung. A decade later in the 1980's Cross Eyed Mary was covered by that one band Iron Maiden. Daisy thinks I would like those songs because they have flute on them.
Daisy told the man who plays flute for Jethro Tull is named Ian Anderson. He also writes the songs and sings them too. Dais and Millie looked at the album covers of some Jethro Tull albums and told me that guy Ian Anderson used to have long hair. I smell a Field Mouse. Just like he thought Sparks would've been more popular, our boss thought Jethro Tull would be bigger but that never happened he says. In 1973 he and Angela came away impressed but now Jethro Tull tour almost as a "nostalgia" act our boss says.
Another thing Mr. Steve remembers about that 1973 Jethro Tull concert was the band Steeleye Span. They "opened up" for Jethro Tull. He says Steeleye Span were perfect because they did a kind of British folk music and were very "Middle Ages" sounding. I see the Mouse. STEELEYE SPAN
Daisy told me our boss has an old vinyl record by Steeleye Span. One of the songs is called "Jigs" she says and even has mandolin and banjo on it. I want to hear that song Jigs. Daisy says that, knowing me, it will probably make me want to dance.
Mr. Steve says one of Steeleye Span's singers is a really pretty girl who in concert played spoons on that song called Jigs; which has no singing on it. That girl from Steeleye Span is one our boss's favorite singers Dais says. That Field Mouse just ran away.
Daisy says Steeley Span have a song about Henry VIII and another one about a Black Cow. They have a song called "Gaudette" which is only singing. Daisy says they sing in Latin and that girl singer's voice is so pretty and beautiful.
Mr. Steve read that Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi plays the accordion and for a short time was a member of Jethro Tull. But he's glad Tony Iommi didn't stay in Jethro Tull because then there would be no Black Sabbath. The scent of Cholla cactus' is stong right now. JETHRO TULL / TONY IOMMI
The only thing Tony Iommi did with JETHRO TULL was a "lip synch" on this British tv show called "Top of the Pops." That's what Mr. Steve told Daisy. So he was only in JETHRO TULL for a short time. Mr. Steve thinks JETHRO TULL'S guitarist is really good too.
Mr. Steve has at times wondered why bands don't use more Classical music to set up their concerts; to create a sense of anticipation the way Jethro Tull did in 1973. One band who did do that was David Bowie's band the SPIDERS FROM MARS. I smell an old Sage bush. THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
Mr. Steve told Daisy he once saw a film of David Bowie's last concert with the SPIDERS FROM MARS. That final concert took place over in London in the mid-1970's and started out with a tape of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. I hear Birds chirping in the eastern desert.
About ten years after that final SPIDERS concert, in the 1980's; our boss took pictures of the SPIDERS guitarist Mick Ronson. It was at this one place called "The Palace" which is down in Hollywood. I just noticed Libby the Horse walking around over there in her Corral.
THE "PALACE" IAN HUNTER
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Daisy told me when Mr. Steve took pictures of that guy Mick Ronson at The Palace he was in a band with a singer named Ian Hunter. In the 1970's, at the time of the SPIDERS; he sang with this other band called MOTT THE HOOPLE. Dais says they were "Glam Rock."
Mr. Steve was with Harriet at The Palace. She wrote a good review of that show. Mr. Steve remembers it as the night when he lost a chance to take pictures of the singer and guitar player from that one band GUNS AND ROSES. Libby is nibbling the ground right now.
GUNS AND ROSES
Dais says on that night at The Palace Mr. Steve was using "Film." So he had to "Load" and then "Unload" each "Roll" of film. I guess now, with the digital cameras; you can take as many pictures as you want. You don't need to be "selective" like you did back then.
In the 1980's one roll of film usually had twenty four or thirty six what they call "Frames." And once you used those "that was it" Mr. Steve told Daisy. At The Palace the singer and guitar player "Slash" came out and did a song with Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson.
Mr. Steve excitedly went to get his last roll of film when he noticed that this one drunk guy had knocked open his bag and the roll had fallen on the floor. The Palace is a smaller version of The Palladium so there are no seats just a dance floor. I can hear two Crows cawing.
So Daisy says, someone, without knowing it; kicked the roll of film somewhere. Mr. Steve tried to find it but couldn't. Later he was mad at himself for not loading that roll earlier. But he didn't know GUNS AND ROSES were going to come out. Oh well he told Dais. Too bad!
For a little while on that night at The Palace Mr. Steve was angry and wanted to fight that guy. But then he "calmed down" and "thought better of it" as they say. At times he can almost see the pictures he would've taken. Dais and I think he would've taken good pictures.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie one time that Mick Ronson died a few years ago. After he was in the SPIDERS Mr. Steve says for a little while he as in a band with that guy Bob Dylan. I see a Mouse. I don't recognize its scent so it must be a new Spring Mouse.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve says on that video of the SPIDERS last concert our Chief noticed that before the band came out to play the sense of anticipation created by Beethoven's music was perfect. You could sense the audience getting excited. More bands should use Beethoven he thinks.
When we were putting together my three outlines Dais and I debated about where to write about that guy Beethoven. We know he's important to Mr. Steve. We decided it would be better to write about him tomorrow but I'll mention him here too. I just kind of feel like it.
According to my Encyclopedia Ludwig van Beethoven was German and is now considered to have been one of the greatest composers of all time. Dais says Mr. Steve has a lot of his music on vinyl records. Oh! Fannie and Freddie are flying bye; way up there high in the sky.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Beethoven lived a sad life Mr. Steve told us. It says here he was one of seven kids born to his parents but only he and two younger brothers survived. As Dais says, life was much harder for people and Dogs back in those days. That new Mouse just ran under a rock.
Our boss says Beethoven at times wrote love songs but girls thought he sort sort of ugly. Just like Albert Einstein, his hair was sometimes uncombed and he at times didn't care about how he looked. And he was kind of "abrupt" Mr. Steve says.
Beethoven's "Fúr Elise," or "Fuer Elise" in German, is one of our boss's favorite songs Daisy says. I've never heard it but Dais thinks it's sort of a sad happy song like the S.O.S. by ABBA. She says it's "sentimental." I see the Squirrel.
Our boss told us that duringis lifetime Beethoven was often low on money. And later he even lost his hearing; not a good thing for a musician Daisy says. But he adapted and adjusted to his situation and made some of his best music.
Dais says Mr. Steve read that David Bowie's real name was David Jones but he changed it so he wouldn't get confused with Davie Jones of the MONKEES. Daisy told me about this really good song by the SPIDERS called "Suffragette City." The Squirrel ran away.
"PRE-SPIDERS" DAVID BOWIE
I guess David Bowie took his "Stage" name from that famous 19th century knife fighter Jim Bowie; who was killed in 1836 defending the "Alamo" in Texas. Dais has me scheduled to write more about Jim Bowie and the Battle of the Alamo later. I can't wait to do it!
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, he thinks David Bowie was smart to quit playing the character of Ziggy Stardust when he did. The SPIDERS FROM MARS was a good gimmick but by then David Bowie probably knew the idea had "Run its Course" so to speak.
Mr. Steve thinks that guy David Bowie may've been afraid of being "Typecast" or becoming a caricature or parody of himself. The SPIDERS FROM MARS did a lot of good songs and now more people knew who David Bowie was. I smell a new Spring Jackrabbit nearby.
Hey Lord! As You know, tomorrow in book three Daisy has me scheduled to write about a SPIDERS song called "Man Who Sold the World." Mr. Steve likes that song and thinks it might be about Your Apostle Judas who betrayed You. Oh! I can see the little Jackrabbit.
I feel like writing about that guy Judas Iscariot now but I better just do it tomorrow. Boy Lord! If Dais and I could time travel back to when You were alive we'd do it for sure. Mr. Steve would could come with us so he could shake Your hand. I smell an old Sage bush.
Daisy says a few years ago this one guy from England told our boss about the band called RAINBOW. Mr. Steve already knew that Ritchie Blackmore, leaving DEEP PURPLE; started RAINBOW. Ronnie James Dio was RAINBOW'S singer. The Jackrabbit is gone.
PHOTO BY METAL BLOGS.COM
Daisy says that one guy from England told Mr. Steve how Ritchie Blackmore was very much influenced by Classical music. He said RAINBOW at times used music by Classical composers like Beethoven in some of the RAINBOW concerts. I hear some Wrens singing.
One time when Daisy and Millie were in our boss's Bedroom listening to music Mr. Steve played drums to a RAINBOW song called "Man on the Silver Mountain." Dais says it's a really good song. She and Millie also liked this other song called "Since You've been Gone."
"RAINBOW" BAR AND GRILLE
Dais told me about how Mr. Steve has been to the "Rainbow Bar and Grille." It's a place down there in Hollywood where you can get really good food. Mr. Steve liked these things called "Chicken Strips" according to what he told Daisy and Millie. I smell a Lizard nearby.
Mr. Steve says that in the late 1980's he and Harriet had some assignments to do reviews on bands who played at this Nightclub called the "Roxy." The Roxy is next to "the Rainbow"and Mr. Steve told Dais that guy Ritchie Blackmore used to go eat at the Rainbow.
Tomorrow in book three Dais has me scheduled to write about this guy named "Lemmy." Like Ritchie Blackmore, Lemmy is from England. He had a band called MÖTORHEAD. I've never heard any MÖTORHEAD songs. I just noticed the Lizard over there in the dirt.
Dais told me Lemmy also used to go eat at the Rainbow. One time Mr. Steve was introduced to him and says he was friendly. MÖTORHEAD have a good song about playing Poker Daisy says. Mr. Steve likes their song "Overkill." I want to hear MÖTORHEAD some day.
RITCHIE BLACKMORE WITH WIFE
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that guy from England who knew about Ritchie Blackmore said the band RAINBOW may've been named after the Rainbow Bar and Grille. He told Mr.
Steve Ritchie Blackmore now has a band with his wife. That one Lizard just ran away.
From what that one guy from England said, the type of music Ritchie Blackmore now plays is way different from when he was in DEEP PURPLE. It's more like Folk or Renaissance music. Daisy says RAINBOW did some songs about magic and sorcerers and things like that.
Daisy says that English guy said RAINBOW has this song called "Difficult to Cure." It's a tribute to Beethoven's 9th Symphony I guess. And on this other song called "Stargazer" Ritchie Blackmore's guitar playing sounds kind of Arabic. I really want to hear that song.
Daisy says back in the 1980's our boss knew someone who introduced him to a really good guitar player named Yngwie Malmstein. He's from that one country called Sweden where the Vikings used to live. He plays really super fast Daisy told me. I small a new Sage plant.
According to what Daisy says, our boss saw an episode of "The Metal Show." It's a show about the subject of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. And the guest was that guy "Yngwie." The three "Hosts" are experts on Hard Rock so did a good interview Daisy told me.
Dais says on The Metal Show Yngwie told the three interviewers about how his family was influenced by Classical music. He said he himself was influenced by that one German composer Johan Sebastian Bach and the Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini. A Finch is chirping.
JOHAN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Mr. Steve says on The Metal Show Yngwie admitted he once played something on the guitar which was so complicated he later couldn't even remember how he did it. Daisy told me our boss says Yngwie's keyboard player also played fast and was influenced by Classical music.
Recently on tv our Chief saw what they call a "documentary" about this small recording studio called "Sound City." This recording studio was located down in Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley; in a city called Van Nuys. In 1997 Mr. Steve went to Sound City.
Van Nuys, where Sound City is located, is about ten miles to the southeast of Sylmar where our boss grew up. For a few years in his current job our boss sold clothes and other things to an auto dealership called called Galpin Ford; which is near Sound City.
In 1997 Mr. Steve worked for what at the time was the seventeenth biggest flower company in the United States. Mainly his job was to "set up" advertising but also did many other things like helping to coordinate all the deliveries in southern California.
One day our boss told us, the flower company got a delivery to Sound City so Mr. Steve did it himself. This gave him the excuse to go over to see Sound City which he'd heard all about. It was very impressive he says to see all the gold records up on the walls. Another thing our boss did in 1997 was help write an ad which "ran" on this radio show called the "Howard Stern Show." Howard Stern, just like Mr. Steve's ex-girlfriend Emily, is from New York City. Howard Stern's radio show is broadcast out of New York.
Howard Stern, like Mr. Steve's girlfriend's Emily and Harriet, are what they call "Ashkenazi" Jews; who's families came originally from eastern Europe escaping persecution. They came into the United States at the beginning of the 20th century through Ellis Island.
ELLIS ISLAND STATUE OF LIBERTY
In 1977 Mr. Steve saw the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Our boss's ex-girlfriend Emily, before she got her job working in the Athletic Department at U.C.L.A., had a job raising money to "refurbish" the Statue of Liberty. Daisy thinks Emily sounds like a smart person.
Our boss says, even though Sound City is small, many famous bands made albums there using Sound City's "mixing board." Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Ronnie James Dio and Neil Young worked there. Even Johnny Cash once recorded an album there.
STEVIE NICKS (FLEETWOOD MAC) RONNIE JAMES DIO
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve says Sound City's mixing board produced really clear drum recordings. In that documentary Dave Grohl, the drummer for Seattle "Grunge" band Nirvana, and now guitarist for the Foo Fighters, bought the mixing board when Sound City went out of business.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and me Dave Grohl now lives in Los Angeles and has his own studio in Northridge near where his niece Stephanie lives with Rich and Cristina. He took the mixing board out of Sound City and then installed it in his studio.
It'is rare our boss says to go from playing drums in one band and then playing guitar and singing lead in another. Mr. Steve thinks that this makes Dave Grohl unique and being able to go from one instrument to another is impressive. Daisy likes Nirvana's music.
Our boss told Daisy and me he doesn't know every band in history, but he can't think of too many times when someone has done what Dave Grohl did. He thinks this is a good "indicator" of just how good a musician he obviously must be. Mr. Steve says he is not very familiar with the Foo Fighters songs. He knows of the songs on Nirvana's "Nevermind" album though. He tells us he's read Dave Grohl even writes most of the Foo Fighters songs! Daisy wants to buy a Foo Fighter album.
Daisy and I know that a "Foo Fighter" is an "Unidentified Flying Object," or "U.F.O." from the time of World War II. In the 1970's Mr. Steve told us, he and his friends sometimes listened to a band from England called UFO. Dais says they had some good songs.
Mr. Steve has a UFO vinyl record Daisy says. In High School he and friends "tried" to play a UFO song called "Doctor, Doctor." I want to hear that one UFO song about when London was bombed by the Germans in World War II; and that song dedicated to You Blessed Mother.
My boss says that he's noticed lately that, in order to raise money, on many weekends some group or organization is having a "Car Wash" in Phelan. Sometimes it's the Serrano High School Cheerleaders and on other days it's the local 4H Club.
Mr. Steve usually cleans our vehicles on the cement "slab" in front of our Garage. Daisy and I play in the "spray" of water from the water hose. But, there are times when our boss pays to have our cars cleaned by one group or another.
Sometimes, when Mr. Steve is washing one of the vehicles, I purposely allow myself to get within range so my boss can hit me with water. I then run away as if he's surprised me but Daisy knows the truth. She makes fun of me later.
Daisy will just stand there and let the water go right on her. Someday I hope I develop the courage to do that but, at times I'm still afraid. But until then I'll just keep getting used to water being put on me little by little. I do love to drink water!
Mr. Steve has noticed lately that near the roads are signs advertising everything from "Backhoe" services to selling firewood. Many are low on money so, in desperation, put up signs! Our boss says there are a lot of people barely making it or just "scraping by."
Daisy and I are sure glad we don't have to worry about money! Mr. Steve has a "sales" job that he does out of our house. He's been doing this job for over ten years; even before he moved way up here. Mr. Steve uses the phone to do his job.
My Chief sells mostly "apparel" and "promotional products" to car dealerships around the country. But in the last few years, because of the bad economy, it has become a lot harder to do. Money, like many things, is dual in nature; it can be good and bad.
PIÑON HILLS POST OFFICE
Unlike when he lived down in Los Angeles, the Postal Service will not deliver mail to our house. So, we have a "Box" in a Post Office below the main highway to our south. To the side of the Post Office entrance a man who cleans carpets sometimes sits in his Van.
The carpet cleaner puts a sign out, hoping to get work. Our boss knows from experience that, if this man doesn't get any jobs in the morning, he'll relocate to Phelan; near the Post in town. As Satchel Paige said; "A man's got to do what a man's got to do."
Mr. Steve's father, as well as his lifelong friend Rick, both of whom he's worked for at one time or another, say; "whatever it takes." My boss jokes that his Dad and friend both should have that chiseled on their gravestones as an "epitaph."
Mr. Steve cleans his own carpets but, at times, has thought about hiring the carpet cleaner. Daisy feels sorry for him too and votes to hire him for a day. But Mr. Steve says the carpet cleaner hasn't been around lately. We've been wondering where he went?
Daisy and I hope that carpet cleaner didn't give up! He may have a family relying on him. It's too bad money doesn't grow on trees. I wonder why some smart person like Issac Newton never invented a money tree? After all, he was an "alchemist."
ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1766)
Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that one of the things an alchemist does is try to turn lead into gold. Issac Newton tried to figure out a way to do it but failed. Boy, if someone ever does do that they'd be so rich! I sure wish we could figure out a way to do it!
Our boss says the government prints money "out of thin air" every day. Isaac Newton or Mr. Peabody should've created money trees! It would be so valuable! Mr. Steve told us about Isaac Newton's three things that effect what's called "gravity" are; mass, force and motion.
Oh! I just smelled that new Ground Squirrel which has been hanging around here lately. But I don't see him. I'll bet he's under one of the Sheds and when he thinks no one is watching, he'll run as fast as he can across the open ground. Aha! There he goes!
Sometimes at night, behind our house on Primavera Road, Recreational Vehicles park. They obviously have nowhere to go. In the morning they leave before anyone notices. But Mr. Steve notices. So do Daisy and I. Our neighbors Dogs notice; especially Blinky.
Because Mr. Steve has sympathy for the people in the R.V's; he doesn't chase them off. But the next morning he goes out to check if they “dumped” anything. So far they haven't. For some reason those R.V.'s haven't shown up lately.
In his "heart of hearts" our boss is kind of glad those R.V.'s aren't around. He knows they could never park there "indefinitely" and eventually something would have to be done. Daisy says she sure hopes those people found a house to live in.
A while back, in the middle of the night, a man and his girlfriend or wife were out on the road in front of our house arguing. Daisy and I, as well as Blinky and Dawn, were barking at them. Mr. Steve woke up and walked out there to see what was going on.
As he neared the front fence we heard the man yell at the girl; "And you didn't tell me about those credit cards!" They had been so busy screaming and yelling at each other that they didn't even notice my boss walking up to them with his biggest flashlight on.
When Mr. Steve said, "Hey, hey, what's going on out here!" the couple turned in surprise. The guy said,"Oh, we were just leaving." The girl ran for her car parked in front of the guy's F-150 Ford truck. She "burned rubber" out of there.
The guy then jumped in his truck and tore out after her. In the back seat of the car you could see the outlines of two little kid's heads. That guy was sure mad! I hate to think of what may have happened when that guy caught up to that girl.
Our Chief says the difference between sympathy and empathy was explained to him by Sister Rita Joseph. Sympathy is feeling sorry for another's bad situation whereas empathy is when you understand that bad situation because you've experienced the same or similar thing.
Another way to explain empathy Mr. Steve told Daisy and me is that you've “walked in their shoes” so to speak. A while back he was discussing this exact same thing with this guy who also trusted someone he shouldn't have and lost money. I smell a Lizard around here.
Mr. Steve has experienced both sympathy and empathy. So have Daisy and I. Lately, more and more, there seems to be an awful lot of abandoned Dogs like Blackie running past our house out on the road. I have both sympathy and empathy for them. I just saw the Lizard.
Those abandoned Dogs usually seem scared or, as that Led Zeppelin song says, “Dazed and Confused.” They don't know what to do; or which way to go. I also sometimes think about Led Zeppelin's song "Friends" because I know those abandoned Dogs have none.
In High School in the early 1970's our boss liked Led Zeppelin; not only for their Hard Rock but also their softer "folkish" songs. Mr. Steve likes traditional Folk music. Just as he hears the Middle Ages in Jethro Tull and Steeleye Span; he hears Celtic in Led Zeppelin.
Mr. Steve has given money to people in situations he's never been in but also to people who've made bad decisions like those he's made. He's experienced both sympathy and empathy. And he jokes, he's definitely “made a few bad decisions.” That one Lizard just ran away.
Our boss thinks it's very likely that most, if not all of those Dogs that run past our land were "dumped off" to "fend for themselves" by owners who couldn't afford to feed them any more. Or maybe those people just got tired of them?
We sure hope Mr. Steve never gets tired of us! I want to be what Daisy calls "indispensable." I just looked that up in my Dictionary. And Daisy explained to me what it means to have to "fend for yourself" or be "left to your own devices." I know that's hard.
Two "keys" to life are trying not to make the same mistake twice and moderation. And, as it said up on that one wall at Delphi, it's important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Daisy is teaching me every day to follow these rules so I won't make so many mistakes.
Every few weeks Mr. Steve drives down to Los Angeles, or Sylmar. Lately he's noticed more and more "vendors" from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, to make money, selling Tamales right out on the street! Not all of them are doing it legally.
As much as he can our boss tries to buy things from the poor people. Some, in order to hide what they're doing from the police, even sell tamales out of baby strollers. Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie about this flavored shaved ice called "Raspado."
Using my Spanish Dictionary, I think the reason why that flavored ice is called Raspado is because "raspar" means to "scrape." Daisy thinks that before they put the liquid flavoring onto the ice it's first scraped off of a block of ice. I'll bet she's right. I smell a Squirrel.
Because he thinks they're doing the best they can with what they were given, our boss at times buys Tamales; even though his own mother also makes really good Tamales too. In fact, Mr. Steve, Daisy and I actually like his mom's better. But we're biased.
There are now people right here in Phelan selling Tamales! This is great for Daisy and I. As that old saying goes; "One man's misfortune can be another man's good fortune." In our case it's Daisy and I's good fortune as we just love Tamales! I just saw the Squirrel.
Daisy and I love food! Eating is one of our favorite things to do. We both so look forward to eating; whether dry food or leftovers. We're not picky eaters. If Mr. Steve puts it in our bowls we eat it all; no questions asked! We havn't had any snacks again today so far.
Mr. Steve, Dais and I don't have to worry about the “basics” the way many people and Dogs do nowadays. Our boss thinks we live in the most affluent and prosperous place in all of history. We're very grateful to be what's called "middle class." The Squirrel ran away.
Another noticeable change lately is how many people ride motorcycles up and down the road in front of our property. Mr. Steve thinks this could be partly because gas is expensive and more and more people are low on money. Two Crows are squabbling out in the desert.
Yesterday in book one I wrote about the 1985 trip to Italy and Israel that Mr. Steve's parents organized through Saint Ferdinands Parish. And I mentioned how our boss noticed a lot of the people in Italy riding those "Vespa" Scooters. Mark Ritter knew a lot about Scooters.
A kid rides a Vespa Motor Scooter up and down the road in front of our two acres. Dais and I noticed how it's smaller than the regular Motorcycles. Mr. Steve told Daisy Scooters get better what they call "Gas Mileage." Daisy likes the cute little wagon he pulls behind his Scooter.
In the 1980's Mr. Steve's parents organized a number of trips to Italy and Israel; not just the one in 1985. All were done through Saint Ferdinand's Parish. Mr. Steve first saw a Vespa in 1985 when he and part of his family visited Italy and later Israel with their Tour Group.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that at one time, in the the late 1970's he had a motorcycle. But he sold it to his friend Tim because Tim needed to save money on gas. Also he told us, Tim was a much better motorcycle rider than he was. In 1985 my boss took "slides" of that trip to Italy and Israel. Over the years he's given what he calls "informal" slide shows using this incredible device called a "Slide Projector" which allows him to show his pictures big, right onto the wall! Daisy says it's so amazing!
VESPA'S (ROME / 1985) COLISEUM IN ROME
PHOT BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
When my boss shows his slides people often comment on how many "motorcycles" there seem to be in Italy. He tells them in 1985 gas was about six dollars a gallon there. Mr. Steve says he was surprised at how "run down" many things seemed to be in Italy.
In 1985 our boss says gas was also expensive in Israel so there were many scooters there too. Daisy says she sure would like to see and smell some of the Old and New Testament sites over in Israel that Mr. Steve got to see. Me too. That would be so great!
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Hey Lord? As You know Dais thinks Mr. Steve is so lucky! In Israel he went to the Jordan River where Your cousin John the Baptist baptized You. And they took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where You walked on the water! Boy! I'd like to see that!
In 1985 our boss ate lunch and rode a Camel at an "oasis" near "Jericho;" where the ancient Israelites under Joshua first entered the "promised land;" after "wandering" in the desert for forty years. Daisy thinks it's sad Moses never got to live in Israel. I think it's sad too.
In 1985 my boss saw King Herod's coastal city of Caesarea. According to my Encyclopedia that man King Herod used Roman engineering to built an artificial harbor and city in honor of Caesar Augustus. Blackbeard and Anne the Crows just flew past right now.
Oh! This is interesting. It says here that using "concrete," even under water; King Herod had built one of the most amazing ports in history. Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her that it was "unbelievable!" I can hear a lot of Sparrows chirping to the east out in the desert.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
I guess at Caesarea there are still the remains of this big "Ampitheater;" as well as what they call an "Aquaduct" which brought fresh water to the coast from inland. Mr. Steve told Dais that he really enjoyed walking all around what's left of Caesarea.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia Caesarea is still being "excavated" by people called "Archaeologists." Daisy and myself are not at all surprised that Mr. Steve liked going over to Caesarea because we know he's interested in Archaeology.
KING HEROD (73 B.C.-4 B.C.)
It says here that that Jewish King Herod was kind of like a "puppet" of the Romans. He's now known for constructing big buildings and fortresses; and not just at Caesarea. King Herod built that fort up on a mountain at "Masada." Later I'm going to write about Masada.
On the day they visited Caesarea Mr. Steve's group later went to what's called a "Kibbutz." Dais told me they ate "Saint Peter's Fish" from the Sea of Galilee. Because they were small and bony my boss ate only one; just to say he did it. We'd both like to eat a Saint Peter's Fish.
SEA OF GALILEE
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
For a few days back in 1985 Mr. Steve's group from Saint Ferdinands stayed at a Hotel in this old Roman city called "Tiberius." On this map I can see that it's on the west coast of the Sea of Galilee. Our four Pigeons just flew bye up high. They're moving to the northeast.
Dais says our boss told her that from Tiberius, which of course was named after the Emperor Tiberius, they could go other places. Hey Lord! One was a town called "Capernaum" where You and the Apostles lived. They went to a site that might've been St. Peter's house.
CAPERNAUM (SYNAGOGUE) ST. PETER"S HOUSE
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In Capernaum Mr. Steve's group stopped at the ancient Synagogue. To many in the group this was exciting because it is likely You walked around there Lord. The Archaeologists were, and probably still are, working on this location and other sites in Capernaum.
In 1985 in Italy the economy was bad! Now Italy is a member of the "European Union" so uses the “Euro” as "currency." But in the 1980's they used the “Lira” and "inflation" caused everything to cost "thousands" of Lira. Mr. Steve says the Italian economy still bad.
According to Mr. Steve, in 1985 the Italian economy was so bad that their Penny was almost worthless. He brought back from that trip some of what he calls “joke”coins. The Penny was so worthless it was pressed inside the middle of the nickel! I smell a Mouse.
Mr. Steve also has these joke Billion dollar “Notes” from Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Yugoslavia. They're a joke but they're real! My boss says he hopes we never have inflation like that! Food would be too expensive! Well, some Ants are walking past me.
Dais says one time our boss told her and that Dog Millie about someone he knew who had a "banknote" from Zimbabwe for 100 Trillion! It was from 2008. And that same guy showd Mr. Steve a Yugoslavian banknote for the same amount from 1993. I see the Mouse.
In this Encyclopedia it says that after Germany lost World War I their government was what they call a "Republic." And it was called the "Weimar" Republic because that was the name of the city where that government was located. The Mouse just ran away.
I'll bet that Mr. Steve already knows about how, right after the First World War, Germany was in a bad Depression. First, that big Spanish Influenza epidemic broke out so many people died. Then the money or "currency" became almost worthless.
WORTHLESS GERMAN MONEY
Daisy told me our Chief told her and Millie how in the early 1920's people had to bring a lot of money to the store just to buy a loaf of bread. Some even used a wheelbarrow to carry in their money. Some people used the German money as wallpaper.
From what Dais told me Mr. Steve has a real Weimar German banknote from 1923. It says on the front that it was worth 50 million "Reichmarks." Boy, it's too bad those banknotes aren't really worth that much. We'd be so rich! We could help ourselves and others!
I have an idea! Mr. Steve says the Federal Government is printing money out of thin air now and the country is eighteen trillion in debt. Wouldn't if be way cheaper if the government were to just give one million dollars to each of the 310 million American citizens?
I told Daisy about my idea but she doesn't think our boss would like it. She says he probably would think that it would just make many people lazy. And besides that Daisy says, then all of the other six billion people would try to break in so they would be rich too.
Oh! Dais was right. She told me our boss once told her and Millie how after after the hard times of the early 1920's in Germany American banks loaned a lot of money to them So in the second half of the 1920's the Weimar Republic started to to better.
But, according to what it says here in this Encyclopedia that man Adolph Hitler kept warning Germans that those American loans would end up not being a good idea. And in October of 1929 when the American Stock Market crashed Hitler looked like a prophet.
Mr. Steve told us that back in 1985 the price of a gallon of gas in Italy was equal to about six dollars a gallon! That's why so many rode Vespa's. Hopefully, the price of gas will never get that high here! Mr. Steve says if it does our country's in big trouble.
Thinking about those Vespa's makes me realize just how scared I am to ride inside a car. I've only done it once and that wasn't exactly fun. Maybe someday I'll do it again. I can tell that Mr. Steve is getting kind of annoyed at me. I know someday I'll have to do it.
But one thing I know for sure, if our boss can't go anywhere in the vehicles because gas is too expensive then Daisy and I will get less food; even though Mr. Steve says we have enough food and water for over a month. That big Dragonfly just zoomed past. I heard it coming.
After Dais and I did our obligatory barking at that skinny man pushing his wheelbarrow on the road we can rest. I came back here to sit on our couch again. It's where I get some of my best thinking done; what our boss would jokingly call “musing.”
Sometimes my boss as a joke calls me "Flaco," which is Spanish for "skinny." It's usually after he see's that skinny man pushing his wheelbarrow. I was really skinny too when I first came to live here. But now I'm more "filled out." Daisy's sure not skinny!
I love this old couch! There's no place I'd rather be than right here! But I wonder why it's taking so long for Mr. Steve to give us a snack? I'm getting kind of hungry. I know Daisy is also getting hungry. It's been six hours! Oh well. I'll just keep working on our story.
Very often, after we bark at someone or something Mr. Steve hears us and it reminds him to give Daisy and I a snack; sometimes hotdogs and at other times Dog biscuits or even leftovers. He must be unusually busy today. I'll bet he's in his office. We love cold leftovers!
It could be any minute that my boss will call or whistle to come and get a snack so I'll have to be careful that he doesn't see me writing my book. He usually calls from the front porch but every once in a while he'll come to the back patio. But I always hear him coming.
I'm sure Daisy's in the garage laying on her blankets in front of the door to our Utility Room. On really cold days she shares her blankets with me; even her precious "Barney" blanket. But on hot days she likes to lay right on the garage floor, because it's cooler cement.
Sometimes I lie next to Daisy on the garage floor; usually when it's hot. Mr. Steve backs the 1993 Lincoln into our garage so then we can lay under the back bumper where we feel even the slightest breeze funneling under the car toward us. Daisy figured this out!
Mr. Steve has a "Washer" and "Dryer" in the "Utility Room" next to the garage. Dais and I like it when our boss washes our blankets. They smell good and are so warm right out of the Dryer! At first I was afraid of warm blankets but now I really like them.
I get excited waiting for our boss to put my blankets back on this couch after taking them out of the Dryer. They're so warm! Mr. Steve explain to us about "germs" and "bacteria" but I'm still a little unclear on it. This old couch is old but it's so comfortable.
We have a good truck named "Rex." He's a 1977 Chevrolet "half ton" with a 350 Small Block motor and a stick shift near the steering wheel. Rex was given to Mr. Steve by his brother Sam. We just bought Rex four tires from Hugo who has a Tire Shop up on the highway.
Mr. Steve uses Rex only for trips to the Dump. This is because of the high cost of gas. And, Rex is a good back up vehicle if something happens to our cars. Also, my boss says, Rex has two twenty gallon gas tanks which would be useful for storage if a Depression hits.
Another reason our boss keeps Rex around is if we have a big earthquake and our house is damaged he can clean Rex's "bed" and use it for sleeping at night. This would be good because it's "elevated" off of the ground where there are Scorpions and things.
During the Winter we do get some really cold nights around here. But not as cold as it gets back east where Mr. Steve's sister Susan lives with her two boys. Daisy once explained the joke behind the term a "Three Dog Night." A lot of Birds are flying about to the east.
THREE DOG NIGHT
Daisy says one time she and Millie were in our boss's bedroom listening to music and he told them about an American band from the early 1970's called Three Dog Night. He said that they had three really good singers and a talented drummer too. I smell a Joshua tree.
From what Dais told me our boss said the phrase a "three Dog night" was kind of like a joke which referred to when people were in the wilderness on such cold nights that they needed three Dog's bodies around them to keep warm from what they call "body heat."
Snakes usually come out more at night to hunt Mice and Lizards. Most are not poisonous; except for Rattlesnakes. That's why I love this couch. I can sleep here where it's elevated and I can hear, smell or see things from a safe place. I think I just smelled a Horned Toad!
Normally I might've gone to look for that Horned Toad but right now I'm too busy doing something more important. I have have to keep writing while I have the momentum. So far this has been a very produtive day. Aha! There's that Horned Toad over there.
It's unusual to see a Horned Toad. Most of the time they're buried in dirt. It was so funny that one time Dais stepped on one and jumped in surprise. Horned Toads have little spikes on them like Dinosaurs. Yup! That Horned Toad just burrowed into the ground.
There's this nice Mormon kid named Patrick who's a "mobile" auto mechanic. Daisy likes him because he pets her. He works on our cars. Patrick was Fire Fighter for the State but was "laid off" by Governor Schwartzenegger. Some of his friends also lost their jobs.
Patrick and his friends made good money. But Patrick was the only who "payed himself first" on paydays. So, when is buddies scrambled to sell the Boats and things they still owed money on, Patrick used some of his savings to buy tools and a Van to work out of.
Some of Patrick's friends were like Ulysses Grant. They also had to move back in with their parents. And like Grant, some of them had families. So it was even more embarrassing. But, like my Chief says, "whatever it takes." Daisy would agree with that statement.
Patrick can not only work on more modern cars but also on older cars too. Rex, like all older cars, has a Carburator which mixes air and gas. Cars like our 1993 Lincoln and our little Ford Escort Barney don't have them. I see one of those Cow Birds near the tree.
Since that guy Patrick knew how to "rebuild" Carburators Mr. Steve hired him to do Rex's. Now our Truck runs great! My boss says there aren't many people now who even know how to work on a Carburator. But Patrick has skill! Carburators mix gas and air.
On many nights Daisy sleeps in the garage while I sleep on this couch out here in the back patio. Our boss bought this old couch years ago from his friend Mark. This couch moved with him up here from Sylmar. I'm sure glad Mr. Steve decided to bring it. I smell a Gopher.
My boss says Mr. Mark and his family now live far away in a place called "Hawaii." Dais and I know about the Hawaiian Islands. We know what a volcano is. Millions of years ago there were volcanoes near us. You can still see them but thank goodness they're "dormant" now.
Mr. Steve has been thinking about his friend Mark who lives over in Hawaii lately. This is because he's been hired to do some artwork for a guy who danced on that show Soul Train just like Mark did. Mr. Mark and his family live on the "Big Island."
The guy who hired our boss to do some artwork for him likes the music of of these guys named Prince and Jimi Hendrix. Those are two of Mr. Mark's favorite musicians too. Daisy says Mr. Steve has some vinyl records by Prince and Jimi Hendrix.
I'm looking up the history of Hawaii in this Encyclopedia. When our boss told that guy he's doing art for about Mark and his family over there in Hawaii he asked if Mr. Steve would help his son do a report on the history of the Hawaiian Islands. He said yes.
Daisy says one time her and Millie were in our boss's bedroom listening to music and he played songs by Jimi Hentrix and Prince. Mr. Mark plays the guitar so likes Jimi Hendrix and Prince is from Minnesota which is near where he grew up in Wisconsin.
JIMI HENDRIX PRINCE
Mr. Mark, who's Black, likes Prince's music but also identifies with him because he's from Minnesota and Mark is originally from Milwaukee. Many now consider Jimi Hendrix to have been one of the best guitar players ever. Daisy says he could even play with his teeth!
According to Dais that guy Jimi Hendrix was left-handed. And because he was poor he just learned to play a right-handed guitar upside down. Later on, he "strung" all his upside down guitars the correct way Dais says.
Our boss told Daisy and Millie that guy Jimi Hendrix was so talented. Even though he grew up in the state of Washington he became famous over in England. His three piece band was one of the best bands to come out of that era Mr. Steve thinks. I smell a Gopher.
Jimi Hendrix died at the age of twenty seven. Dais says our boss thinks it partly had to do with the fact that he "partied" way too much. Jimi Hendrix was so good Daisy says; he could play his guitar behind his back! Boy, I'd sure like to see that! I see the Gopher. Dais told me that Jimi Hendrix often played a really nice white guitar she says. I think I've pretty much decided that I'm right-handed; at least when it comes to writing. That Gopher just disappeared back down into his hole.
JIMI HENDRIX "EXPERIENCE"
Mr. Steve has albums and CD's by Jimi Hendrix from the late 1960's when he had these two British musicians in his band. Daisy says they were called the Jimi Hendrix Experience. I'll bet it was quite an experience to see Jimi Hendrix play live. Our boss told Mark in Hawaii that he read Jimi Hendrix said before he died the guitar players he admired were Terry Kath of Chicago and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. Dais told me that guy Terry Kath, like Jimi Hendrix, died early. He accidentally shot himself.
TERRY KATH ZZ TOP
Dais says Mr. Steve saw ZZ Top play and has records by Chicago and ZZ Top. He plays along to them but admits he's not as good as those drummers. Daisy likes a Chicago song called "25 or 6 to 4" which has "Horns" on it. I guess Both Prince and Jimi Hendrix are associated with the color purple; Prince for his movie "Purple Rain" and Jimi Hendrix for the song "Purple Haze." Dais says our boss has used purple in artwork he's done using images of Prince and Jimi Hendrix. Well, I kind of got off the path in my writing a little bit. But I suddenly wanted to write about Jimi Hendrix and Prince. But now I think I'll go back to my outline and start writing about the Hawaiian Islands where Mr. Mark lives with his family. It says in this Encyclopedia that Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959. Like New Mexico in the 19th century, it had been a Territory until then. I guess the name "Hawaii" means "homeland" in Polynesian. Oh! A small Ground Squirrel ran past Manny the far right Shed.
According to this Encyclopedia the original Polynesians who first came to live in Hawaii arrived in about 800 A.D. And that British man Captain James Cook arrived in 1778; at a time when we were fighting the British for our independence. I smell Libby the Horse.
From what it says here Hawaii was its own "Kingdom" from 1810 througth 1893. But it had always been a land dedicated to warfare. "Koa" warriors would die to acquire "Mana" which is "spiritual power." Their weapons were made of stone and Koa wood before the British came.
Hey Holy Spirit! From what is says here Mana sounds kind of like You. It's said to be the "life force" or "life essence." The Chinese concert of "Chi" also sounds like Mana. I guess the Koa warriors thought the best way to gain Mana was to kill enemies in war.
Mr. Steve met first met his friend Mark in 1984 when they both started working for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. They sold "Season" tickets and advertising for this company called California Sports Inc. which was owned by a man named Jerry Buss.
LARRY BIRD / "MAGIC" JOHNSON
PHOTO BY ANDEEW BERNSTEIN
To this day the Lakers wear purple,white and yellow. My boss says colors are subjective; I like it, you don't. Purple is subjective. Some love it some hate it. Purple in ancient Rome, even the Byzantine empire later, was the color of what they call "royalty."
JERRY BUSS (1986)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In the 1980's Mr. Steve and Mark's boss Jerry Buss also owned the Kings Hockey team. The Kings, like the Lakers, wore yellow as their secondary color while purple was their primary color. Both teams played their home games at a place called the "Forum."
JACK KENT COOKE THE FORUM (1984) GROUNDBREAKING (1967) PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Jerry Buss bought the Kings and Lakers from a man named Jack Kent Cooke; who built the Forum in 1967. Mr. Cooke also sold Jerry Buss the Forum. Mr. Cooke later owned this Los Angeles newspaper called the Daily News where friends of our boss worked.
CHICK HEARN (1985) PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve told us Jack Kent Cooke picked purple, white and yellow for the Lakers and Kings. He insisted everyone, even Chick Hearn, call purple "Forum Blue" and demanded the Forum be called the "Fabulous" Forum. People who worked for Jack Kent Cooke feared him!
JACK KENT COOKE
Over the years Mr. Steve has met people who worked for Jack Kent Cooke; some when he owned the Forum, others who worked for him at the Daily News newspaper, and a few were "employees" of his when he owned the Washington Redskins Football team.
Our boss told Daisy and me that many people think Mr. Cooke was a "tyrant." It seems he says that anyone who worked for him has some "horror" story about how hard it was to work for him. Daisy and I are sure glad our boss is not a tyrant!
Since the 1980's Mr. Steve tells Daisy and myself, he's associated his friend Mark with the color purple. He also associates Mr. Mark with the show "Soul Train" because he danced there, and that one dating game called "Love Connection" on which he once appeared.
Both Mr. Mark and our Chief started working for California Sports in 1984. Besides selling Season tickets they also sold advertising for the Lakers, Kings, Boxing, Indoor Soccer and also the Strings Team Tennis. Mr. Steve also did sports and music photography. I smell Sage.
From what Dais says our boss took a lot of pictures back in the 1980's. Many of them, as well as the "Negatives" from which they came, are in Milk Crates inside of Jack the big Shed. I just now noticed that there's a small Mockingbird sitting on top of Jack.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In 1988 on a night when the Forum was hosting its "Strohs" Boxing Tournament my boss was at "Ringside" taking pictures. Suddenly there was a cheer and everyone turned to see what was going on. I can hear our neighbors Ducks quacking over there next door.
It turned out that on that night in 1988 this one Boxer named Mike Tyson was sitting up there in what they call the "Cheap" seats. At the Forum, like in other "Arenas," the lower section is the "Loge" while up above is called the "Colonnade." I smell a Joshua tree.
Mike Tyson had just won the World Heavyweight Title. He was the youngest person ever to do that. He was in town and looked in a Newspaper for something to do and saw that there was a "Fight Card" that night at the Forum. So took a Cab ride over to Inglewood.
When Mike Tyson was dropped off at the Forum he then bought a ticket from this guy in the Parking Lot called a "Scalper." Daisy says our boss told her and Millie that when people in the Loge realized who it was up in the Colonnade they cheered. I smell a Squirrel.
Dr. Jerry Buss, who owned the Forum, was sitting at ringside kind of near where Mr. Steve was sitting. He waved for Mike Tyson to come down and sit next to him. So then Mike Tyson did come down, and by pure luck; Dr. Buss decided to sit him right next to Mr. Steve.
Hey God! As You know, Mr. Steve shook Mike Tyson's hand and then they had a nice talk as Mr. Steve took pictures of the fights. Our boss felt fortunate if it was You who made that night happen. Mike Tyson was the World Heavyweight Champion. I hear Birds chirping.
It turned out to be sort of a fun night for Mr. Steve Dais says. The fights were pretty good and Mike Tyson was friendly. A lot of people came over to say hello to him. He also signed a few autographs. I can see some fluffy white clouds hanging over the desert.
SYLVESTER STALLONE TONY DANZA / DICK VAN PATTEN
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Daisy told me what a "Paparazzi" photographer is. She says our boss would never want to be one of those; even if they paid him. Mr. Steve has taken pictures of so-called "Celebrities." I recall when Dais first told me that a celebrity is a "famous person." I smell Sage.
Mr. Steve told Daisy, instead of just taking pictures of famous people without even asking, it's better to introduce yourself and ask if it's okay to take their picture. "More often than not" as they say, the person will not mind doing it. Dais and I really like the way clouds look.
It's better to ask a person before taking their picture. Besides getting a posed picture where the person is looking into the camera, you can shake their hand thanking them afterwards. And just like Mke Tyson, most famous people are friendly. At least that's what Mr. Steve says.
On the night Mr. Steve took pictures of that girl Cyndy Lauper at the Wrestling Card he had spoken to her Manager earlier in the evening. He asked if it was alright to take her picture and the Manager said; "It's up to her. You'll have to ask her when she gets here."
An hour later Mr. Steve was sitting in the tunnel at the Forum which leads to the Dressing Rooms. A friend named Jimmy glanced toward the left and kind of pointed with his head in that direction. Cyndy Lauper was standing at the end of the tunnel with her Manager.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Down at the end of the long and winding tunnel Cyndy Lauper was standing next to not only her Manager but also this other girl Wrestler Daisy told me. They were getting ready to go out and be introduced to the crowd before that one girl Wrestler's match. I smell a Lizard.
Mr. Steve's friend Jimmy said; "Go get her." So Mr. Steve stood up from the chair he'd been sitting on and started to walk down the tunnel toward the three people at the far end. He was a little nervous as he made his way toward Cyndy Lauper's group he said. I smell Juniper.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy, he'd walked up and down that long tunnel a few times but on this occasion it sure seemed a lot longer. As he got about halfway to Cyndy Lauper he heard her ask her Manager; "Who's that?" I see the Lizard over there next to the big tree.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that when he heard Cyndy Lauper's Manager say; "He's cool" he felt a bit relieved. As he walked up to them and introduced himself they smiled and were very friendly. I just picked up the faint scent of one of a new Spring Sage plants.
To this day our boss remembers when that girl Cyndy Lauper said; "Sure, no problem" when he asked her if it was alright to take her picture. She even posed and made it easier for him. She was what they call "gracious." That one Lizard just ducked under a big rock.
Mr. Steve told Dais if Cyndy Lauper had been a mean person and said no to taking some pictures it would have been embarrassing. He would've had to walk all the way back down the tunnel "like a Dog with it's tail between its legs." I have a tail but Daisy doesn't.
One time Mr. Steve's girlfriend Harriet got a job working for a magazine called "American Fitness." So she asked if it was okay for Mr. Steve to do the photography for an assignment they gave her. They said yes so they went to an Elementary School in West Los Angeles.
The assignment was to cover an event in the Gym conducted by the "Governor's Council on Physical Fitness." This was in 1992 and California Governor Pete Wilson was there with some famous athletes. One of them was this guy named Arnold Schwartzenegger.
ARNOLD SCHWARTZENEGGER / GOVERNOR PETE WILSON
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Back in 1992, as he always did, Mr. Steve went up and introduced himself and Harriet to Arnold Schwartzenegger. He explained who they were, why they were there and if it would be okay to later take some pictures. The answer was; "Sure. No problem."
That's the exact same thing that guy Mike Tyson said that night at the Forum when Mr. Steve asked if he could take his picture. And some of those photos ended up being published in Boxing Magazines; one time all the way over there in Japan. I smell a new Juniper plant.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
On that night in 1988 at the Forum when Mr. Steve asked Mike Tyson if they could take pictures later up in the ring. Tyson replied; "I'll take whatever pictures you want as long as you get one with me and the old man." He meant Jimmy Lennon Sr. A Wren is singing.
Mr. Steve did end up taking a picture of Jimmy Lennon Sr. and Jr. with Mike Tyson. Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie one time how Mike Tyson knows a lot about the history of Boxing and has even studied film of the greatest fighters. I hear something buzzing faintly.
CHICK HEARN / MIKE TYSON
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Later in the evening when it was time to take pictures Mike Tyson patiently posed with Chick Hearn and many others. Everyone wanted their picture taken with him because he was the new world Heavyweight champion. Some of the new Spring Wasps are zooming bye.
Aha! I knew I was being watched! I just noticed Jack the Jackrabbit looking at me from under Moe the middle Shed. I know it's him because I now smell him. But I also know it's Jack by seeing that spot on his face. I can hear some of the Ducks quacking next door.
JIMMY LENNON JR. / TYSON / JIMMY LENNON SR.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Daisy told me that in the picture our boss took of Mike Tyson with the Lennon's, Mike Tyson is in the middle and has his arms draped over Jimmy Lennon Jr. and Sr. He's smiling too. Dais says he usually looks really mean. I hear Pigeons cooing above me up on the Patio roof.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that, until his death, Jimmy Lennon Sr. was probably the most, famous "Ring Announcer" in Boxing history. Many who hear his voice recognize it immediately; even if they're not Boxing fans. Jimmy Jr. is a good Ring Announcer "in his own right."
JIMMY LENNON JR. (1989)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Jimmy Lennon Jr. is a good example of the duality of life. That's what Mr. Steve told Daisy. His father, being one of the best ring announcers; was both good and bad. Dais says our boss has a signed picture of that guy Jimmy Lennon Jr. looking down at him from the ring.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy, Jimmy Lennon Jr. was a good Ring Announcer too but how can he ever "Measure Up" when his father was one of, if not the best Ring Announcers in all of history? I can still hear those Pigeons up there on the Patio roof above me.
JIMMY LENNON SR.
Jimmy Lennon Jr. is in a difficult position Mr. Steve told us. His father is an "Institution" in Los Angeles sports history. It would be like being Chick Hearn or Vin Scully's son. No matter how good you are many will naturally compare you to your famous father.
Our boss says to a lesser extent and on a much smaller scale; he's been in that position. His father over the years did so many things in the Northeast San Fernando Valley community. He was on the "Earthquake Commitee" in 1971 that helped people after the earthquake.
There's a Hospital down there in Sylmar called "Olive View." It was really damaged after the earthquake of 1971. At first they were not going to repair it but Mr. Steve's dad and some others convinced the government to spend the money to get it "Up and Running" again.
Mr. Steve told Dais he and his family knew this other family who's mother worked at the Olive View Hospital. Because their Great Dane Dog named "Alcindor" was acting up she was late for work that day. The Pigeons on the Patio roof are flying out into the eastern desert.
From what Daisy, says that one lady worked in the "Wing" of the Olive View Hospital which collapsed and killed some people. So her Dog Alcindor kind of saved her life even though at first she was upset with him. I can now hear a small Plane going bye up there in the sky.
The reason that Dog was named Alcindor is because the father in that family was what they call a "Gardener" who worked on the U.C.L.A. campus. At that time one of their Basketball players was named Lew Alcindor. I can smell a Lizard somewhere around here.
Tomorrow in book three Dais has me scheduled to write about this Boxer named Muhammad Ali. He converted over to Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay. Lew Alcindor did the same thing. From then on his name has been Kareem Abdul- Jabbar. I smell Sage.
Dais told me Kareem Jabbar is really tall. He's seven feet tall so plays this one position called "Center." When Mr. Steve worked at the Forum "Kareem" was on the Lakers. He turned out to be one of the greatest players in history I guess. Aha! I see the Lizard over there.
I was going to write about Kareem Jabbar tomorrow but I can do part of it here too. Daisy says one time she and Millie were in our boss's Bedroom and watched an interview with that guy Kareem Jabbar on tv. And I guess Mr. Steve kind of liked some of his ideas.
Mr. Steve told Dais September 17th is "Constitution Day." Kareem Jabbar told this one girl interviewer he'd like to see Constitution Day made into a "nationally" celebrated holiday. This is because he thinks the American Constitution is so important. That Lizard is gone.
I guess Kareem Jabbar admires what the Founding Fathers did in the late 18th century when they broke away from England. He even called the Constitution the "greatest political document ever written." At least that's what Daisy told me. I smell that one old Joshua tree.
Daisy says one time this man said to Mr. Steve; "If you're half the man your father is you'll be great." This is because Mr. Steve's father had helped his family after that big 1971 earthquake. Daisy's kind of afraid of earthquakes. And me too! I don't like when things move.
"SYLMAR" EARTHQUAKE (FEBRUARY, 1971)
Daisy says, even though Mr. Steve's father is what's called a "Democrat," he worked with a Los Angeles "Supervisor" named Mike Antonovich to get "funding" for Olive View Hospital to be repaired. That guy Mike Antonovich is a "Republican" Dais told me.
Another thing Mr. Steve's father did was help get Mission College a "permanent" campus. Mission College is this "Junior" College. Before then they held classes in locations all over the Northeast Valley. I've mentioned how Mr. Steve went to "Valley" College in Van Nuys.
Well, I got off on a tangent again. I wasn't going to to write so much about Mr. Steve's family right here but it's okay that I added it in. But I have to go back to writing about the Lennon's. They're not related to the BEATLES' John Lennon; who I'll write about tomorrow.
THE LENNON SISTERS
Jimmy Lennon Jr. and Sr. are related to the LENNON SISTERS, who sang on the Lawrence Welk "Variety" show in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Some of those shows were filmed at the Hollywood Palladium and a few out there on Catalina Island at the round Casino.
There's a good picture of the LENNON SISTERS here in this one Encyclopedia. They look friendly. Mr. Steve told Dais that they were good singers whose voices complemented each other in their what they call "harmonies." I can smell a Lizard somewhere around here.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that the LENNON SISTERS are not the only talented musicians in the Lennon family; who mainly live in "West Los Angeles." One time he and Harriet were given an assignment to cover this band called VENICE whose members are Lennons.
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says the LENNON SISTERS were first "introduced" to the American public by Lawrence Welk in 1955. In book three tomorrow I'm scheduled to write more about 1955 because that's the year our boss was born. I smell a Sage plant.
According to what our boss told Daisy and Millie, he gets the impression that Jimmy Lennon Jr. and his large, extended family are good, basically decent people. They seem to have Christian Family Values. I see the Lizard over there standing on a rock under the big tree.
Mr. Steve's Grandparents, both Trujillo and Córdova, loved that Lawrence Welk Show! When Mr. Steve visited New Mexico he watched it with them. They really liked the sound of an accordion. Daisy likes it too. Someday I kind of want to hear an accordion.
When Mr. Steve was sitting at ringside with Mike Tyson that one night at the Boxing matches he mentioned mentioned the Lawrence Welk Show to him and he said, Oh yeh!" Mr. Steve told Daisy Mike Tyson seems to know about history. That one Lizard is gone now.
Daisy says one time she and Millie were in our boss's Bedroom and watched what they call a "Highlight Film" of Mike Tyson's fights. It was unbelievable she told me. Mike Tyson used to knock out his opponents "cold" as they say. I can smell a Squirrel around here.
According to what Dais said one of the narrators on the highlight film described Mike Tyson "swarming over" opponents "like a World War II German Panzer Division." Not only was he faster than his opponents; his power overwhelmed everyone he faced. A Crow cawed.
MIKE TYSON / EVANDER HOLLYFIELD
Daisy says that guy Mike Tyson has a reputation for ferocity and violence. He did some bad things. One time he even bit an opponent's ear! But back then in 1988 Mr. Steve says he seemed friendly. Dais says she wouldn't fight Mike Tyson unless they paid her a million dollars!
Before he went to fight in the Korean War Mr. Steve's father boxed in the Marines. This was down there at a place called "Camp Pendleton;" which is near San Diego. Mr. Steve and his dad have visited Camp Pendleton over the years. A Thrasher Bird just flew bye right now.
Camp Pendleton is where Mr. Steve's father did his "Basic Training" for the Marines. Some people call it "Boot Camp" Daisy says. We can't figure out why they call it Boot Camp. Maybe it's because you have to wear boots when you live there Dais says. Mr. Steve has Boots.
In a Boxing match Mr. Steve's father had his nose broken by an opponents "Head Butt." He didn't realize it had been broken until many years afterward when the cracks filled in with this thing called "Calcium" and he had a harder and harder time breathing.
They had to re-break Mr. Steve's father's nose in the 1970's. This was so they could fix it and clear out all the calcium. After that it was easier to breathe but it has never gone back to what it was originally. Jack the Jackrabbit just ran out into the eastern desert.
Our boss thinks Mike Tyson, at five feet ten, two inches shorter than himself, was like Rocky Marciano who fought in the 1950's. Both were short, right-handed Heavyweights so fought in a "swarming" style. Daisy jokes their nicknames should have been "Blitzkrieg."
"JERSEY" JOE WALCOTT / ROCKY MARCIANO
This one Encyclopedia has three pictures of that guy Rocky Marciano landing right hand punches on this other guy named "Jersey" Joe Walcott. Two of the photos are of the exact same punch; the one which knocked Jersey Joe Watcott out. Dais jokes he was "Put to Sleep."
You can tell what a hard puncher Rocky Marciano was by the three pictures of him hitting Jersey Joe Walcott. The knockout punch literally distorts his face to where he kind of looks like one of the French Gargoyles. Ah! I just picked up the faint scent of a Lizard.
The caption below the three pictures of Rocky Marciano fighting Jersey Joe Walcott says the knockout punch "contorted" Jersey Joe Walcott's face. I wonder if Jersey Joe Walcott is from New Jersey? Mr. Steve's Niece Stephanie's boyfriend Rich is from New Jersey.
ROCKY MARCIANO / ROLAND LASTARZA
Well, Dais was right. She said Mr. Steve told her and Millie one time that Rocky Marciano was from a town in the State of Massachusetts called "Brockton." He used to have a customer kind of near Brockton. I just noticed a little gray Lizard over there near the big tree.
Another picture of Rocky Marciano shows him about to hit this other fighter named Roland Lastarza. Daisy told me our boss said Rocky Marciano broke all of the blood vessels in Roland Lastarza's arms; from blocking punches. Eventually, he couldn't hold them up anymore.
JOE LOUIS / ROCKY MARCIANO
Oh wow! A picture in this Encyclopedia shows Rocky Marciano fighting that guy Joe Louis. It looks like he's missing a really hard right "Uppercut." It's a good thing he missed Joe Louis's head on that punch. He would've probably knocked him out. The Lizard is gone.
The caption below the picture of the fight between Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano says Joe Louis was "past his prime" when he fought Rocky Marciano. He had been one of the greatest champions in history. Oh! I just picked up the faint scent of a Juniper bush.
Tomorrow in book three I'll write about Joe Louis. I'm tempted to do it now but I better not. Daisy's right. She said I should try to keep to my outlines as much as possible but sometimes it's okay to just add things into my books even though they're not on my original outlines.
It's too bad Daisy's not here to smell the Juniper plants. Now I can really smell them. That reminds me of when Molly the Mule was sticking her head over the fence and sniffing around. Dais thinks she liked the smell of Juniper. I see Libby over there in her Corral.
Even though I'll mainly write about him tomorrow, I feel like I need to say that Joe Louis was World Champion during the 1930's Great Depression. Then, during World War II he put on what they call "Exhibitions" to help the Government raise money to fight the war.
Mr. Steve told us Gary the Barber in San Fernando said Joe Louis would even donate his what they call "Purses" to the Government. Daisy thinks purses means his pay. Tomorrow I'll write about two of his fights against a German Boxer named Max Schmelling. I can't wait!
Mr. Steve's friend Ralph read that Mike Tyson's hero was a Boxer named Henry Armstrong. During the Great Depression of the 1930's Henry Armstrong held three titles "simultaneously;" all three in smaller weight divisions. I can smell one of the new Spring Sage plants.
That guy Mr. Ralph thinks Mike Tyson was a bigger version of Henry Armstrong; but with crushing, devastating power! Mr. Steve's father once described Henry Armstrong's style as a "swarming"
When he was young Mike Tyson was uniquely fortunate to have a Manager who collected Boxing films so he got to study many of the old fighters. That's what Mr. Ralph told our Chief. There couldn't have been too many of other Boxers in the world who could do that.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie he read that when he was a kid in New York City Mike Tyson raised Pigeons. We're so lucky to have our four Pigeons around here. They make us feel good just hearing their soothing voices. I can smell one of the old Sage bushes.
Hey Holy Spirit! Was it You who arranged it so, of all the places on earth, our Pigeons picked our two acres to make their home. Of course, as Daisy points out; they have free food and water so what Bird wouldn't want to live around here. I know I sure would if I were a Bird.
Mr. Steve told us about how a while back he met a Belgian man from Queens; which is an area in New York City. They discussed "Pigeon-Keeping;" which his family has done since the 1950's. I can now hear Dawn and Twinky barking faintly over there next door.
That guy from New York City told Mr. Steve there are fewer and fewer Pigeon "Coops" up on the roofs now. The main reasons are the cost of rent and also that the rich people want the land to use for themselves. They call that "Gentrification." I smell a new Rabbit.
Being around Pigeons is "therapeutic" that man said. It takes a lot of work to raise Pigeons. You have to carry the heavy bags of Bird feed up to the roof and keep the cages clean. And You also have to give the Pigeons "Vaccines." That means shots with medicine in them.
That one Belgian man said sometimes your Pigeons come home from flying around and bring back other Pigeons called "Strays." So the rule is you get to keep the new Pigeons. Oh my God! Just when I'm writing about Pigeons who do I see? Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel!
Our four Pigeons just flew in from out in the eastern desert and are now walking around up on the Patio roof above me. And I just noticed Rudy the Roadrunner out there behind the fence and I can see that he's got either a half-eaten Snake or a Lizard in his mouth.
Dais says that our boss and that man from Queens talked about Mike Tyson raising Pigeons. That guy told Mr. Steve there used to be way more people raising Pigeons in New York City but now there are probably less than one hundred. I hear our Pigeons cooing above me.
"ON THE WATERFRONT"
Back in the 1950's there was a movie called "On The Waterfront." The Actor named Marlon Brando, who played "Don Corleone" in the Godfather movies; was in On The Waterfront too. He played this ex-Boxer who raised Pigeons. That's what Mr. Steve told Daisy and I.
That Belgian man from New York City told our boss how his father was influenced by that movie On The Waterfront. He made a deal with his Landlord to maintain the roof in return for being able to raise Pigeons. And his sons took over the same deal when he died.
One time Mr. Steve's father talked to that guy Marlon Brando on the phone. Marlon Brando called and discussed using Vitamins as Insect Repellents. Mr. Steve told us about how Marlon Brando owned his own island in the South Pacific. Boy! He must've been so rich!
Daisy usually guards the front yard at night. I keep an eye on the back. During the day Daisy and I sometimes share this old couch which has become like a friend to us. We would never agree to get rid of him; not even for a million dollars!
On this couch is where I first started to feel relaxed so; I now have an emotional connection to him. Daisy just likes the way he feels. I feel almost protected here, as if I'm in a "safe zone" or something. for some reason Daisy and I think of this couch as male!
Behind our house, to the east, stand three Sheds, one big and two small. Mr. Steve jokingly calls them "Manny, Moe and Jack" after the "Pep Boys" Auto parts stores. They sit in front of the rear fence; their backs to the morning Sun. Our half acre is behind them.
Just in case of a “Flash Flood” Mr. Jeremy Sr. built the Sheds elevated a few feet off of the ground. We've never had any floods and I sure hope we never do. My Chief says he also hopes there's never a flood because his insurance doesn't cover floods.
Daisy and I love when Jackrabbits or Quail run under one of the Sheds. I get excited when this happens! The game begins! I circle round and round, barking, trying to “flush” them out so Daisy and I can chase them. It's so much fun!
Whenever a Jackrabbits or Quail try to hide under one of the Sheds, Daisy and I go into "game mode." Daisy takes up position off to the side, hoping I can make the Rabbit or Quail “Make a Break” for it. I try to "coax" them out.
We're so lucky to be able to play this fun game! At first, when Jackrabbits or Quail ran under more than one Shed I had a hard time deciding which one to circle. But Daisy showed me how to circle all three Sheds in a bigger arc. At times Daisy reminds me of Mr. Peabody.
When younger, Daisy liked to dig for Gophers and Ground Squirrels; but now tries to save energy for more important things. Mr. Steve thinks hat she looks like a Badger or one of those Wolverines when she's digging. He jokes Daisy used to have “Plow Horse stamina.”
My boss says at one time Daisy could “move dirt” quickly like a relentless, “well-oiled” machine. He didn't have to convince me as I've personally witnessed Daisy's digging. Our boss was “Preaching to the Choir” so to speak.
That's why I really do think we should try to find that gold mine up on the mountain behind the Post Office. If anyone could find it, Daisy would! And I'd help her too. It would be worth it. Maybe our boss could even hire a Backhoe to give the man work!
It's an impressive thing to see Daisy dig! Dirt flies out behind her in a steady and powerful stream. Our boss jokes it looks like “sawdust flying from a Buzzsaw.” I really don't like to dig that much any more; in fact, hardly at all.
I used to dig a lot more than I do now. In part, I dug because Daisy used to dig for Ground Squirrels and Gophers and I really wanted to impress her. What! Just when I was thinking about them I see Ground Squirrels over there looking at me.
But, at this point, as far as digging is concerned, I can “Take it or Leave it.” I'm glad Daisy doesn't dig as much. Mr. Steve is really happy we don't dig as much too! He used to get kind of upset with us; especially Daisy because she was older.
The other day Daisy reminded me of how fortunate we are. We have two acres to go to the bathroom wherever and whenever we want. We have plenty of room to spin around to "align" in a north-south direction instead of east to west which is not as comfortable.
Daisy says everyone is “weird” in some way. Because she kicks dirt backward after going to the bathroom, our boss jokes she's like a Rhinoceros “marking" her territory” by spreading her scent around or; like a Cat covering up any evidence of being there.
Also like a Rhinoceros, Daisy's near-sighted so squints a lot. But she sure can hear and smell really good. Like a Rhinoceros, if Daisy picks up a scent she doesn't recognize and one ear tilts forward; you better start running. Daisy taught me how to stay “Down Wind.”
One time Daisy started to tunnel near the big Shed; trying to get at a Quail. Because our boss was busy in his office he didn't stop her until she had "excavated" a big hole. He caught her just in the “Nick of Time” as they say. I hear our neighbors Ducks quacking.
Daisy had gotten so “Carried Away” she almost “Undermined” our big Shed. She seemed to be in one of those "Altered States" you always hear about. I didn't know how to react. Daisy seemed like she was "on a mission from God" like those Blues Brothers.
One time Daisy and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom and watched a funny movie called the "Blues Brothers." A few years ago Mr. Steve's brother Rock met one of the main Actors whose name is Dan Akroyd. Rudy the Roadrunner just darted out into the eastern desert.
Mr. Steve likes this Armenian band called System of a Down. For years an Armenian man from Glendale named Ara prepared his taxes. He gave our boss a tape of S.O.A.D. in the early 1990's; to get his opinion because he knew Mr. Steve took pictures for magazines.
Our boss liked the S.O.A.D. tape; and over the years has come to know their music better. He says their songs are beyond his playing ability on drums. Their form of Hard Rock is unique he says. At times he thinks they sound kind of like operatic "Middle Eastern rock."
A while back my Chief read that the lead singer of S.O.A.D. went to C.S.U.N. And then a few years ago an employee at this retirement center in Mission Hills asked him if he had ever heard of S.O.A.D. He told her he wasn't an expert on their music but had two C.D.'s.
This girl said the elderly father of the singer was staying there. Well, years ago my boss, then working for the San Fernando Sun community newspaper, was given the assignment of writing a press release for the opening of that same exact retirement center.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN
S.O.A.D. had two albums in 2011. The first was called "Hypnotized while the second was titled "Mesmerized." My boss now jokes that Daisy was mesmerized and hypnotized when she was tunneling under our Shed that day.
Mr. Steve joked that if he hadn't stopped Daisy from digging she might've tunneled all the way to China. She really was in a sort of trance! Daisy had what's called "Tunnel Vision." She was determined to get that one Quail!
All the time, when Daisy was “mining” as Mr. Steve says, I stood there watching in utter amazement. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. My boss says "befuddled." Somehow, I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that our boss would not be happy.
Sure enough! Mr. Steve came rushing out of the house and was yelling and shouting. He kept saying; “Bad Daisy! Bad Daisy!” Good luck saved that Quail because Daisy was closing in on it. I hope that Quail thanks it's “Lucky Stars.”
You didn't want Daisy to get that Quail did you Lord? Maybe your mother or even Saint Francis was protecting him? I think it was a boy Quail but I'm not sure. It's very hard to tell if a Quail is male or female. But I'm sure there are ways.
Like Daisy, I want or prefer to believe that everything happens for a reason. That way I can now more easily accept life's difficulties and ups and downs. As my boss's parents and the Nuns at Saint Ferdinand's said, life is "peaks and valleys" and "highs and lows."
As our boss used his favorite shovel with the turquoise duct tape to in fill Daisy's tunnel near the Shed he scolded her. He gave her a “Tongue Lashing!” Now, both Daisy and I know that it's “verboten” (German for “forbidden”) to dig near the Sheds.
But, that doesn't mean we can't still play our game with Jackrabbits and Quail. I just love our game! We're so lucky to have such a great game! But we've never actually caught any of the Quail or Jackrabbits when they run from under a Shed. I don't mind!
At night, if I sense something in the back half acre, I give my alert bark. Sometimes, I howl. Then Daisy comes from the garage. I always feel better when Daisy comes ambling around the southeast corner of the house. She's like the “Cavalry” riding to the rescue.
Mr. Steve says Chief Tecumseh once said, “A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong!” Daisy and I are like a bundle of two but, it's a very strong bundle! As Daisy says, if we fight smart we can hold them off until our Chief can take over.
In Sun Tzu's old book The Art of War one of the things he says is that one had to try to take advantage of your strengths while lessening your weaknesses. In other words our boss says, you have to"Know Thyself" as it said up on the wall at Delphi.
YO NGUYEN GIAP
Mr. Steve says one of the reasons the United States lost the Vietnam War, which he almost had to go fight in, was because of North Vietnam's smart General, Yo Nguyen Giap. Giap read Sun Tzu and knew the strengths and weaknesses of his side and the Americans.
General Giap knew the North Vietnamese and "Viet Cong" could not beat the United States in a "conventional" war so fought a hit and run "guerilla" war instead. You might say he was given lemons so he made lemonade. He "played the hand he was dealt."
Daisy says the word guerilla comes from that Spanish word "guerra" or "war." And that term originated in the early 19th century when Napoleon fought the Spanish who, just like the North Vietnamese later, frustrated and outlasted Napoleon in a war of "attrition."
The Vietnam War ended in 1972 when our boss was in eleventh grade. Had it lasted a year or two longer Mr. Steve probably would have had to fight in it he says. He still has his "Draft Card" from 1973; the year he graduated from High School.
When I wake Daisy up on a "false alarm" I feel kind of bad. A few times Hoot Owls tricked me out behind our house and I woke up Daisy. But she never gets mad at me! I'm very thankful for her understanding. Thank all of You Guys for Daisy.
One good thing came out those false alarms. I'm now an expert on all Owl sounds. I can even tell which of the three Owls living out in our back half acre is hooting. One time that light gray Owl got stuck in our Garage; probably looking for a Rat our boss thinks.
I always have to be alert, in case Daisy calls on me. You never know when something might come up! I remember that one night when I smelled an unfamiliar odor. It turned out to be a big, ugly, brown Bat; with pointy teeth sticking out! It also screeched!
When I looked up from the couch and saw that Bat near the roof of the patio I almost had a heart attack! But I was calm until I starting calling for backup. Daisy was even scared when she first smelled and then realized what we were faced with.
Mr. Steve told us at night Bats make sounds which bounce off of things and then come back to them. Then they can tell all about what's ahead of them. It's kind of like "radar" which was first used a lot during World War II. A cool breeze just came in from the desert.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie he read that in South America there are Bats which pick up sounds that certain plants make. The sounds also guides them in the dark. Bats are just like Hummingbirds which eat flower nectar ant the pick up pollen to take to another flower.
But one good thing did come out of that night. Daisy and I now know all about Halloween. But as we waited for Mr. Steve to come out of the house that night Daisy and I barked and at least acted fearless! I remember there was no moon that night. It was dark!
Mr. Steve told us during World War II the Military considered dropping Bats fiitted with delayed reaction "incendiaries" called "Bat Bombs"on Japan. Most houses in Japan were wood and the Bats would roost in them during the day. But they used Nuclear bombs instead. ZZ TOP
Mr. Steve's Grandma Trujillo was born on Halloween. He jokes that he should dress Daisy and myself up with long beards like ZZ Top for Halloween. He's also told us that there was a band from Germany in the 1990's called Halloween.
Our boss knows about a type of Hard Rock called "Shock Rock." Most of these bands rely on what in classical music would be called "Theatrical Pomposity." This band called Slipknot wear scary Halloween-like costumes in their concerts.
Slipknot once made an album at Sound City in Van Nuys. In the late 1980's Mr. Steve saw another Shock Rock or "Horror" band called Gwar play at the Hollywood Palladium. But he says they were kind of "corny" and in his opinion their music was mediocre.
ALICE COOPER BAND WHITE ZOMBIE
Two Shock Rock bands Mr. Steve likes are American. He told Daisy and me Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie's band White Zombie have some good songs. Since High School he's played drums to a song by Alice Cooper called "Halo of Flies." It's still one of his favorite songs.
As I mentioned yesterday in book one when I wrote about that kid Jason who plays guitar; sometimes Daisy and I make ourselves out to be meaner than we actually are. That's because we have the duty and responsibility to protect our two acres of land. I smell a Lizard.
I feel a lot more courageous with Daisy next to me. If we're ever outnumbered we'll try to fight "taking each other's back" like the ancient Greeks used to do in combat. Greek soldiers were called "Hoplites" according to this one Encyclopedia. A Finch is singing.
As I've mentioned, the ancient Greeks lived in "City-States." This means they were kind of like independent countries only small. Tomorrow in book three I'll write more about the Italian City-States like Florence and Venice who existed during the 16th century Renaissance.
NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI (1469-1527)
As I've mentioned before, the countries of Germany and Italy did not exist until late in the 19th century. Tomorrow in book three Dais has me scheduled to write about an Italian writer named Niccolò Machiavelli. Two of the Pigeons just flew out into the desert.
During the 16th century at the time of the Renaissance, when "Machiavelli" lived; in what is now Italy City-States like Florence and Venice often made war on each other. Daisy told me how our boss has read this short "handbook" called "The Prince" by Machiavelli.
Just as the Italian City-States of the 1500's had their own armies and fought each other all of the time. That guy Leonardo da Vinci was not just a good artist but also the designer of deadly weapons of war. Samson and Delilah flew bye. They were talking with each other.
As I mentioned yesterday in book one when I wrote about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle; two of the most important ancient Greek City-States were Athens and Sparta. I see the Lizard I've been smelling for the last few minutes. It's standing to the right of the big tree.
Ancient Athens is where the idea of "Democracy" started; even thought the females had few rights and Athenians "held" Slaves. I mentioned that yesterday too. I'll probably mention it again tomorrow when I learn about the 18th century Enlightenment and Masonry.
Sparta "on the other hand," was what this Encyclopedia calls a "Warrior Culture." Daisy says Mr. Steve would probably call their society "Cold-Blooded." From the time a Spartan boy was born he was raised to be a warrior. That Lizard just ran under a big rock.
According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, when a Spartan baby was born it was examined and if there were any obvious deformities he was killed. Imperfect girls were also killed. In effect Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie; the children belonged to Sparta.
From infancy until the age of seven a boy lived with his mother. But because it was thought that the "softening" effect of a female was a bad influence in raising a strong warrior; love was discouraged. At seven Spartan boys began training to be a soldier. A Crow cawed.
In my Dictionary it says the word "spartan" means "simple living." And "Spartan" has come to be associated with traits conditioned into an ancient Greek Spartan warrior; self-denial and self-discipline. Jack the Jackrabbit just ran bye out there in the eastern desert.
From the age of seven until he's twenty a Spartan boy lived a "harsh" and "rigorous" life. They learned to fight; either with weapons or fists. And a Spartan boy had to be able to endure tremendous pain and "survive on his wits" as they say. I smell an old Sage plant.
One time in the Living Room Daisy and Millie watched a tv show on the ancient Spartans. She said it was really good. It showed how Spartan boys, and girls too; had to be really tough. Boys went barefoot to condition their feet for pain. The older boys beat them often.
PAINTING BY JEAN-JACQUES-FRANCOIS LE BARBIER
There's a good 19th century painting in my Encyclopedia that shows a Spartan mother "sending her son off to war." That's what the caption below it says. As she hands her son his shield she tells him; "E tan e epi tas." Fannie and Freddie are flying bye right now.
E tan e epi tas is Greek for; "With this shield or on it." And that meant unless her son was victorious he should die out on the battlefield. He had to use all of his years of martial training to either "Kill or be Killed" so to speak. I can smell Libby over there in her Corral.
CONQUEST OF MEXICO (1519-1521)
Yesterday in book one I wrote about how that guy Hernán Cortéz conquered the Aztec Empire back in the early 16th century. As I mentioned, after he and his Spanish soldiers first arrived on the eastern Mexican coast in 1519 he sank his Ships. Crows are cawing.
Just like with the ancient Spartans, Cortez was basically telling his Conquistadores it was either "Victory or Death." There was "No Turning Back." It was like when Julius Caesar and his army "Crossed the Rubicon" river. Those Crows are still squawking at each other.
Earlier today I wrote about how, during the American Revolutionary War; that guy George Washington said it was victory or death at the Battle of Trenton. And in a few minutes I'll write about the 1836 "Battle of the Alamo." I can smell that one old Cholla cactus over there.
WILLIAM BARRET TRAVIS (1809-1836)
Another movie I want to see some day is about the Battle of the Alamo. Daisy and Millie got to see it one time in the Living Room. Dais told me the star is this one guy named John Wayne. It's one of Mr. Steve's favorite movies. I'll write about that battle in a few minutes.
The commanding officer inside the Alamo was William Barret Travis. He and all the others defending the Alamo died in the final Mexican assault. He wrote a letter to this guy named Sam Houston asking for reinforcements saying it was "victory or death." And it was death.
I guess when a Spartan male turned twenty he took some tests to become a Citizen. At that age he was also assigned a wife so they could have start having babies and make new warriors. Because of where the Sun is right now the shadows are now leaning toward the east.
That one Thrasher Bird who's been hanging around here all day is back. He or she is again going over to sit on that Creosote plant just to the left of Jack the big Shed. And I just noticed a tiny Lizard doing pushups on one of the big rocks around the bottom of the big tree.
Tomorrow in book two Daisy has me scheduled to write about how that guy Adolph Hitler was able to take over leadership of one of the most advanced and modern counties in the world. He had been homeless in his country of Austria in the period before World War I.
Tomorrow I'll write about how Adolph Hitler in some ways tried to create a modern Sparta. Boys and girls were in groups that were kind of like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Daisy says. And both were expected to be tough and well-conditioned; able to take a lot of pain.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie how the Nazis hoped to create generations of warriors like the Spartans. Part of being a male teenager in the 1930's was learning how to use weapons. I guess they even had a program to "breed" better warriors; just like the Spartans.
On that tv show about Sparta that Daisy saw there was a story of a Spartan boy who caught a Fox. He hid it under his cloak so the older Spartan boys wouldn't see it. Fannie and Freddie are are flying bye. They're squawking at each. I smell Libby over there in her Corral.
Rather than give away that he was hiding a Fox Dais said, the Spartan boy had the discipline to not yell when the Fox bit and clawed him under his cloak. So the older boys never even knew he had it. But sadly that boy, rather than show pain; died from all of his injuries.
Earlier today when I wrote about the Bataan Death March when thousands of American soldiers were killed by their Japanese captors. As I mentioned, the Japanese soldiers believed in the Samurai "Bushido" Code for warriors. The Spartans had a similar Code I guess.
Daisy told me that Mr. Steve as a kid drew the Spartan logo. From what she remembers the upside down "V" is ascually the Greek letter "L." And this one Encyclopedia says it stands for the name of the region in Greece where Sparta was located called "Lakedai Mðnion."
I guess, just like the Italian City-States in the 16th century; the ancient Greek City-States also fought each other a lot. So Athens was often at war with Sparta. Daisy says our boss told her and Millie a "Truce" was declared whenever they held the Olympic Games.
From what Daisy said our boss told her and Millie, there were a few times when the various Greek City-States cooperated to fight invading forces like the "Persians." I mentioned in book one yesterday how Persia is where the modern country of Iran is now located.
Wow! A map in this Encyclopedia shows just how huge the ancient Persian Empire was back in those days. You can also see how small Greece is. Persia then included the area now called Turkey and they had Egypt too. Blackbeard and Anne are flying bye.
Daisy told me about how, on that one tv show about Sparta; they talked about this famous battle which took place in 480 B.C. It was called the "Battle of "Thermopylae" and was fought between 300 Spartans and a really huge and gigantic Persian army. I smell Sage.
HERODOTUS (484-424 B.C.)
I guess one of the things that famous Greek Historian named Herodotus wrote about were what they call the "Persian Wars." The Battle of Thermopylae took place in 480 B.C and was in the "Second Persian War." I can hear Dawn barking faintly over there next door.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, the Battle of Thermopylae was fought in a narrow mountain pass. And just like Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie; the Greeks used the land or "terrain" as what they call in the military a "Force Multiplier." I smell Sage.
For three days an army of Greek soldiers, among them 300 Spartans; defended a mountain pass against a giant Persian army. The leader of the Greeks sent to defend the mountain pass was led by the Spartan King "Leonidas." I smell Andy and Helen the Ground Squirrels.
Daisy says in that one tv show about Sparta; when Persia invaded Greece King Leonidas led seven thousand Greek Hoplites to intercept them in the skinny mountain pass at Thermopylae. I just noticed out of the corner of my eye Andy and Helen over there under Jack.
Dais was right. She told me how on that one tv show about the Spartans they said the main reason why the 300 Spartans did what they did was to gain time for the other Greek armies. But all 300 died. Even though it's getting later in the day the Sun is still bright.
If we ever have to defend our land or boss Daisy and I want to be just as brave as those 300 Spartans who died defending that mountain pass from the invading Persians. But, instead of 300, Mr. Steve, Daisy and I would be only 3 defenders. But we'd fight really hard!
This other map in my Encyclopedia shows in a black line on a map the route of the invading Persian army back in 480 B.C. At the end of that line is a black dot that tells you where the pass at Thermopylae was. Andy and Helen are still resting under Jack. A Wren is singing.
As I mentioned, usually the different Greek City-States didn't like each other. And I guess in 480 B.C. they needed more time to "mobilize" for war. That's what Dais told me. "Stalling for Time" was what King Leonidas' and his seven thousand Greeks were sent out to do.
LEONIDAS (DIED 480 B.C.)
As I've mentioned before. There are so many things I've missed because I'm too afraid to go all the way down the Hallway. One night when I was out here sitting on Elvira Daisy got to see a good movie about the Battle of Thermopylae. But she told me all about it later.
Oh! There's a good picture of the Spartan King Leonidas in this one Encyclopedia. And the caption says it's from the movie Dais saw that one night. Boy! I really have to get over my fear of being trapped in an enclosed area. Andy and Helen just ran out into the desert.
This is interesting. According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, that guy King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans all died on August the 11th. And as I've mentioned before, Mr. Steve's mom was born on August the 20th. Dawn is barking over there next door.
Daisy told me how our boss has a little miniature Spartan helmet on the divider between the Kitchen and the Dining Room just to my right. I see my water bucket over there near the sliding glass door. And on the other side of the glass door I can see the Kitchen table in there.
XERXES (DIED 465 B.C.)
This Encyclopedia says the King who led the Persian invasion force in 480 B.C. was named "Xerxes." There's a picture of a stone "Bah" relief wall carving of him here. As I mentioned in book one yesterday, we have a few Mesopotamian-themed steles on our two acres.
I guess the Persian Empire began or was "founded" in 550 B.C by "Cyrus the Great." And the Persian invasion of 480 B.C. was not the first time they tried to conquer Greece. 480 B.C. is now called the "Second Persian War." I hear some Crows cawing out in the desert.
In the "First Persian War" of 490 B.C. the Greeks beat the Persians under a King named "Darius." In that war the greatest Greek victory took place at a place called "Marathon." I mentioned that earlier today. Rudy the Roadrunner just jogged bye out in the desert.
Earlier today I wrote about how, in the early 1990's; Mr. Steve's brothers Rock and Sam ran in the L.A. Marathon a few times. Mr. Steve and his then girlfriend Harriet drove them back after the race when they were sore and tired. I like to run fast not far.
I mentioned earlier how the reason why the distance of the Marathon is just over twenty six miles is because that's how far Marathon was from Athens. So that's how far the messenger ran from the battle site to announce the victory. But too bad then he died of exhaustion.
HANNIBAL BARCA (247-183 B.C.)
In book one I wrote about that one General from Carthage named "Hannibal." In his day Rome and Carthage were sort of like Greece and Persia in being rivals. Rome and Carthage fought a few times. Blackbeard and Anne are flying bye. They're in perfect formation.
Yesterday I forgot to write some things about the 215 B.C. "Battle of Cannae." So Daisy said I should just add it in here. Then I'll go back to writing about the 300 Spartans who died in defending the pass at Thermopylae. I see one of those white vapor trails up in the sky.
HOMER LEA (1876-1912)
Yesterday in book one I wrote about that guy Homer Lea. And Dais has me scheduled to write more about him tomorrow. He was a disabled person who studied military history and wrote some very influential books about it. He was dropped as a baby.
Oh! Homer Lea was born on November 17. As I wrote earlier when I wrote about that guy Erwin Rommel; Mr. Steve's Niece Samantha's birthday is November 15. Too bad Homer Lea died young at thirty six. He predicted some things correctly before World War I.
Daisy says our boss read that Homer Lea thought Hannibal was just as good a General as Alexander the Great or Napoleon Bonaparte. At the Battle of Cannae Hannibal, whose army was totally outnumbered; used tactics to defeat the Romans. I hear a Crow cawing.
There's a drawing in this Encyclopedia that shows how Hannibal used the idea of "Double Envelopment" to beat a Roman army of over fifty thousand soldiers. At first he had his front ranks purposely stick out to attract the Romans to attack them. I can smell a Lizard.
I guess, Hannibal told his front lines to pull back once the Romans "engaged." They were hoping the Romans would chase them into one of those "Killing Zones." The Romans thought the Carthaginians were retreating but they were actually bending like a rubber band.
BATTLE OF CANNAE (215 B.C.)
The diagram of the Battle of Cannae shows how, when the Romans were in far enough; the Carthaginian wings collapsed on them. And Cavalry units came in behind them and sealed them into the Killing Zone. The Roman Legionaires were completely trapped.
With the Roman soldiers "Bottled Up" inside that huge Killing Zone, the Battle of Cannae became a total slaughter I guess. This Encyclopedia says that almost all of the fifty thousand Romans were killed. Samson and Delilah the Crows are cruising bye right now.
Yesterday I wrote about that guy Genghis Khan. In the 13th century his Mongol Horsemen conquered an empire that was probably even bigger than the Persian Empire which attacked the Greeks at Thermopylae during the Second Persian War. I can smell a Juniper plant.
As I mentioned yesterday, the Mongols under Genghis Khan at times used Hannibal's idea of Double Envelopment. But they did it on Ponies. A good painting in my Encyclopedia shows how Mongols could even shoot backwards while riding their galloping or running Horses.
Libby's walking slowly around her Corral. There aren't too many Flies around her. Maybe that's a good sign that there won't be so many Flies this year. I know Daisy is sure hoping that's the case. And me too! Well, it's back to writing about the Second Persian War.
As I said yesterday, near the entrance to the front door of our house is a four hundred pound statue of an Assyrian winged Horse with a human head. My Encyclopedia has a picture of ruins from an ancient Persian city. I can see Libby right now over there in her Corral.
The photograph in this Encyclopedia shows huge walls that look like the statue near our front door; but much bigger of course. As I wrote yesterday, Dais says on a bookshelf in his Office our boss has a statue his mom made in College of that winged Horse with the human head.
ARTWORK BY FRANK MILLER
Yesterday in book one I wrote about how that guy Alexander the Great used troops massed in "Phalanxes." That means they all bunch together to either form a wall on defense or a battering ram for offense. Daisy thinks that Mr. Steve would like to have a Greek shield.
There's a good painting in this Encyclopedia that shows how the Spartans formed up in a defensive formation to meet the Persians under King Xerxes. King Leonidas knew in the narrow pass at Thermopylae the Persians couldn't use their many more soldiers all at one time.
Herodotus said in 480 B.C. Xerxes' Persian army was over a million men. Daisy says our boss and his friend Mr. Cliff don't believe it. They think it was more likely about fifty thousand or the size of the Roman army at Cannae. It's way harder to feed such a huge army.
Earlier today I wrote about the American Civil War and the year 1864; when that one guy General Sherman captured Atlanta. Then his army made the famous "March to the Sea." In His Union Army "cut of their supply lines" and "lived off of the land" as they say.
NAPOLEON (1709-1821) RETREATS FROM RUSSIA
Daisy and Millie watched a tv show on Napoleon Bonaparte one night in the Living Room. She remembers the part where it showed what happened when he attacked Russia in the early 19th century. It was a total disaster Dais told me. Thousands of French soldiers died.
According to this Encyclopedia, Napoleon's "Grand Armee" numbered over four hundred thousand men when he attacked Russia. By the end of that "catastrophic" campaign about twenty thousand French soldiers made it back to France.
Napoleon won all the battles but lost the war. Like Adolph Hitler a century later he was beaten with the help of the severe Russian Winters.
found out in the early 19th century, the bigger the army the bigger the job it is to keep them fed and supplied. I wrote about Napoleon Bonaparte yesterday in book one. He found out how difficult it is to keep a big army fed. The Pigeons are cooing.
He took four hundred thousand French soldiers to attack Russia and like the Germans a centote ury later; miscalculated the "logistics" badly. It was a disaster.
When the Persians attacked
Daisy told me about this other famous battle fought in Texas back in 1836. It was called the battle of the "Alamo." The people living in Texas broke away from Mexico and this man named Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna tried to force them to stay a part of Mexico.
The Alamo was a fort that had originally been a Franciscan Mission in the 18th century. The almost two hundred men inside defended it against Santa Anna's two thousand soldiers for about two weeks before finally all being killed on one morning.
This man named William Barrett Travis led the men in the Alamo in 1836. In a letter from inside the "besieged" Alamo Travis said it was "victory or death" in defending against a Mexican army led by Santa Anna. It turned out to be death for them Daisy told me.
This is sort of like Cortez sinking his ships before conquering the Aztecs in 1519 Daisy thinks. So, for the defenders of the Alamo Santa Anna's soldiers had trapped inside it would either be win or "die trying" as that old saying goes. And they all did die!
Daisy says our boss is interested in the Battle of the Alamo. She told me Millie was like me in getting "fired up" sometimes. She was also a really good guard just like us. We wish we could go back in time to meet Millie. Oh! And to meet Lucy too.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that in 1836 the white "Texians" and Mexican "Tejanos" all worked together to fight against Santa Anna's Mexican Army. They were all under Travis, the famous knife fighter Jim Bowie; and later Davy Crockett.
Daisy says the Alamo is located outside this town called San Antonio. Mr. Steve's uncle Marty and his family at one time lived in San Antonio before they moved to Morristown, New Jersey where our boss and his brother visited them in 1977.
Many don't know that the o Alamo's defenders flew the Mexican green, white and red "1824" flag. Mexico broke away from Spain in 1824. Mr. Steve has a little 1824 flag and also Mexico's current "bandera;" which is "flag" in Spanish. I might start collecting flags too!
Oh! I just noticed a big Scorpion go running past the patio out on the dirt. Looks like he's going to hide under our big tree. Mr. Steve built a "basin" around the bottom of the tree so that water can't "run off" as they say. Yup! There he goes between the rocks!
I wonder if Insects ever fight battles like people do? Daisy told me she and Millie one time watched as two groups of Ants seemed to be fighting. We have some big Ant hills this year and they sort of look like little forts just like the Alamo.
Daisy says in 1836 the job of those inside the Alamo was to hold up or delay Santa Anna and his Mexican soldiers. When he arrived in Texas Daisy told me Santa Anna was in really bad mood because he and his army had marched all the way north from Mexico City.
The reason why Travis and Bowie, along with the frontiersman and former Congressman Davy Crockett, had to "stall for time" was so this other man named Sam Houston could raise another army. But this would require a "sacrifice in blood" and Travis knew it Daisy says.
In 480 B.C. at the narrow pass at Thermopylae it was the Spartan King Leonidas' job to hold up a giant Persian army under this other King named Xerxes. This was so Athens and the other Greek city-states would have more time to prepare for war.
In 1836 Travis, Bowie and Crockett were given the same task as the Spartans at Thermopylae. They would "buy time" for Sam Houston. And like the Greeks at Thermopylae, they all likely knew it would be bought through their suicide Daisy told me.
SAM HOUSTON (1783-1863) THERMOPYLAE (480 B.C.) SANTA ANNA (1794-1876)
Santa Anna ended up killing all of the defenders of the Alamo but later Sam Houston would beat him near the "San Jacinto" river. But before that Santa Anna also massacred another three hundred captured prisoners at a place called "Goliad."
At the battle near the San Jacinto river Sam Houston's soldiers caught Santa Anna's army by surprise and what they call "routed" them. Santa Anna tried to escape but had to surrender to Sam Hosuston under a tree. A wounded Sam Houston was laying on a blanket.
BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO (1836) SANTA ANNA SURRENDERS
Mr. Steve told us that Texas, or "Tejas" in Spanish, was part of Mexico in 1936. In fact, they were just a part of the state of "Coahuila." At first the Texans were not seeking independence but just more of a say in their own affairs. But after the Alamo things changed.
Daisy told me our boss said after killing everyone at the Alamo, and then slaughtering those three hundred prisoners at Goliad Santa Anna "sowed the seeds of revenge" as they say; just as the the Persians made Thermopylae a "rallying cry" in 480 B.C.
I looked up "matanza" in my Spanish Dictionaryand it means "slaughter." In 1995 Mr. Steve and his friend Armando visited a place in Saint Augustine Florida called "Matanza Bay" where the Spanish killed French Catholics called "Huguenots"on the beach.
Daisy told me at San Jacinto in late 1836 Sam Houston's "ragtag" force yelled "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad" as they killed Mexican soldiers; some Indians forcibly "conscripted" by Santa Anna. Some Mexican soldiers drowned Daisy says.
At Thermopylae three hundred Spartans under Leonidas held up the Persians for three days before dying. In 1836 the Texans had about two hundred defenders inside of the Alamo. They held out for thirteen days. Like the Spartans, they all died.
WILLIAM. B. TRAVIS (1809-1836) JIM BOWIE (1796-1836)
The Texans under Travis, Crockett and Jim Bowie, the man David Bowie took his stage name from, did the best they could with what they had to work with back in 1836. The three of them now symbolize what's called a "heroic struggle against impossible odds."
Boy, sometimes I wonder what I'd do if I were ever in a situation like that? But I know for sure that Daisy woudl be brave if we ever have to defend our territory. Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Peabody has ever been in an acutal "full on" fight?
Mr. Steve says that, on that cold final morning before the final assault at the Alamo, Santa Anna flew what they call a red "blood flag." And he ordered his buglers to play "Deguello" or "no quarter" before the final assault. This means "no prisoners!"
"Alamo" means "Cottonwood" in Spanish. The Alamo was not really a fort at all but an old "run down" 18th century Spanish Franciscan Mission. The San Fernando Mission where Mr. Steve and his parents gave tours was also run by Franciscan Priests.
A few years ago Mr. Steve told Daisy there's a funny movie called "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." In one scene this guy named Pee Wee Herman was supposed to be visiting the Alamo. But our boss recognized right away that it was filmed at the San Fernando Mission.
For many years the legend was that Davy Crockett and his men from Tennessee were among the last to be killed and "went down fighting." But my boss says one of Santa Anna's Colonels later wrote that Crockett survived the final massive assault.
DAVY CROCKETT (1786-1836)
This Mexican Colonel, Enrique de la Pena, said Crockett and others were captured but then Santa Anna ordered them "sliced" to death or killed with sabers. At first some of the Mexicans refused but then others did; to please Santa Anna.
My boss has a Bowie knife like Jim Bowie's! But what he'd really like to get is a "replica" Spartan sword like the one used by King Leonidas and his Spartans! But so far he says they're too expensive in the catalogs. But maybe one day they'll go on sale!
ANTONIO LOPEZ DE SANTA ANNA
My boss has some good books on the Alamo and one is about Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. He had one amazing life!
Mr. Steve has been described as “logical and calm.” Daisy is also logical and calm. I have a tendency to to be a bit too emotional.” I'm what some might call “High Strung.” I really do have to watch that part in myself. This writing makes me relax.
I'm learning to not panic, or at least not show it so much. Our boss says that panicking usually just makes things worse. He tells Daisy and I it's even more important to “hold it together” in a crisis or emergency. He says anyone can handle normal situations.
Our boss thinks many females tend to be “Risk Averse.” I know what he means but, when Daisy and me are protecting our territory, we do become braver! Daisy and I know about Word War II and the Japanese “Kamikaze” (“Divine Wind”) pilots.
The Japanese Kamikaze suicide pilots believed; “It is better to die than live as cowards.” I know what a coward is! I don't want to be one. But who knows if I'd be that brave if an enemy actually broke into our land. It's never happened yet.
Daisy and I are familiar with the scent of Ground Squirrels, Rats, Gophers and Field Mice but, the smell of that Bat was new to us. This creature was like a rat bird! It looked just like a small monster or a ghoul. I'll never forget it's scent!
Mr. Steve says there's an animal called a “Possum” down in the San Fernando Valley. Because they also have sharp teeth and claws, they look mean! Possum's are harmless but, as a “Defense Mechanism,” have evolved a look which makes predators hesitate.
Sometimes a “Split” second makes the difference between life and death! Also as a defense mechanism my boss says, Possum's can be as “still as a rock.” You know what? Daisy can do this too if necessary; and she's not even a Possum!
I'm getting better at staying still. For a long time my first impulse was to bark and jump about. I still find it very hard to stay still. I have a lot of what our boss calls “nervous energy.” Daisy and Mr. Steve's calming influences are helping me.
I don't like staying in one spot for too long! I feel much better moving about. I'm kind of like Mark and his Yorkie Karma in Phelan in that way. I could never be a Possum but, I'd sure be curious to see, smell and hear a real Possum. Mr. Steve says you can eat Possum.
Daisy says one of our boss's favorite tv shows was the Beverly Hillbillies. She and Millie used to watch it in the bedroom. Daisy says this family goes from poor to rich by accidentally finding oil on their land. The "Clampett" family have this old Dog named Duke.
The Beverly Hillbillies was made in the 1960's. The Clampett family used to eat Possum all the time Daisy says. I'd eat some Possum if I had to in an emergency. I'd eat anything if I was starving! But of course we'd have to cook the Possum first.
In 1994, in Las Vegas, my boss and his father met Max Baer Jr. who played "Jethro" on the Beverly Hillbillies, at a convention in Las Vegas. Mr. Steve's father, in the 1930's and 1940's, had been a big fan of Max Baer's father who was a famous Boxer.
Mr. Steve owns a big book called the "Pictorial History of Boxing;" written in 1975 by Nat Fleischer. Nat Fleischer, until he died, published "Ring" magazine; the "Bible of Boxing." If Nat Fleischer said it in this book it's "Gospel" to people who know Boxing.
MAX BAER SR. ON COVER OF RING MAGAZINE NAT FLEISCHER / HENRY ARMSTRONG / JOE LOUIS
Nat Fleischer wrote, "Max Baer had the finest physical equipment a ringman could want. Unfortunately, he never took boxing seriously, clowning and depending upon his right hand to end matters. Greatness might have been his had learned to box and set up a defense."
Well, I'm getting close to finishing book two. Judging by the way the shadows are now leaning away from me I'd say it's about seven in the evening. I have about a half an hour to go. Thank Everyone for giving me the stamina and focus to do this. I'm almost done today.
I'm so hungry and I'm sure Daisy is too. For the second day in a row we got no snacks. This is unbelievable. I wonder if Mr. Steve is mad at us? Nah! He's just been busy that's all. I know that's what Daisy would say. Oh well. I'll just finish and do what I need to do.
I see that, according to my outline, I'm now going to learn about a subject Mr. Steve knows a lot about; Sharks, Whales and other Sea creatures. Daisy's told me a few things that our boss has told her over the years about things that live in the giant Oceans. I smell a Lizard.
Hey You Guys! Just as I kind of worried beforehand about doing a good job in writing about the American Civil War, I've been worried about this section too. From what Dais told me, our Chief has been studying about the Oceans and Seas since he's been a young kid.
The other day Mr. Steve bought a small metal Shark at a Garage Sale near Wrightwood. He brought it home and cleaned it up. Now sits in our Living Room on one of the coffee tables; next to the statue of the Marlin he bought in Florida. I just noticed the Lizard.
Dais says when Mr. Steve was young he read as much as he could about Sharks. When he was twelve years old there wasn't much he didn't know about Sharks I guess. He one time told Daisy and Millie that Sharks are the only known Fish than can blink with both eyes.
Mr. Steve told Daisy he now realizes that since a young age he's had a “Subconscious” fear of Sharks. So, in the dumb way a twelve year old thinks he says, and as ridiculous as it sounds; he wanted to know "On Sight" which Sharks were dangerous. The Lizard is still there.
It amuses our boss when he thinks about when he was a kid Daisy told me. He really wanted to know all the Sharks just in case he ever found himself swimming in a salt water Ocean; even though the "Bull" Shark goes up fresh water rivers. That Lizard is doing some pushups.
Hey You Guys! Thank you for helping me write about the American Civil War this morning. And please help me now in writing about Sharks and things like that. I really want to impress Mr. Steve. He'll like it that I learned so much about something he knows about.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie the biggest Fish in the world is the "Whale Shark." It can grow to be fifty feet long and weigh fifty thousand pounds. But the Whale Sharks are totally harmless because they only eat this thing called "Plankton." The Lizard is gone.
Wow! There are two good pictures in this one Encyclopedia that shows people swimming near Whale Sharks. The Sharks could easily eat those guys in one bite. But it says in the caption that Whale Sharks are "Filter Feeders" who only eat plankton. I smell a Juniper plant.
In my Dictionary it says that plankton is; "Microscopic animal and plant life found floating in bodies of water." Dais says Whale Sharks swim along and when they want to eat plankton they just open their mouths wide and the plankton just automatically goes inside.
According to what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time, out there in the Oceans there's another really huge Shark called a "Basking" Shark. But, just like the Whale Shark, it only eats plankton too. The four Pigeons are flying in from being out there in the desert.
A while back Daisy brought up a good point. She said, even though a Whale Shark does not eat Dogs; what if you just happened to be swimming along and a Whale Shark came by with its mouth open? You could easily go in the Shark's mouth and stomach by accident.
This is so amazing! In looking up plankton in my Encyclopedia it shows a picture of this thing called a "Jelly Fish." In the definition of plankton the word "microscopic" is used. That means they're so small you can't see most of them; except things like Jelly Fish.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia Jelly Fish are a giant form of plankton. I guess their heads are made out of jelly and their long arms which hang down are called "Tentacles." Wow! Jelly Fish have been floating in Oceans for five hundred million years!
In this other Encyclopedia there are paintings of an "Octopus" and a "Squid." The also have those tentacles like a Jelly Fish. But from what it says here the Jelly Fish has "Stingers" on its tentacles while Octopus and Squid have "Suction Cups" to hold their prey.
Boy, Dais was so right. Some of the things that live down there in the Oceans kind of look like monsters. She says our boss thinks some of the stories about Sea Monsters might've been either giant Octopus' or giant Squid. I just picked up the scent of a Creosote bush.
I'm tempted to write about the "Giant Squid" called "Architeuthis" now but I think I'll wait and do it when I look up "Sperm Whales. I'll just stick to my outline and the next thing to talk about are "Blue" Sharks. There's a good picture of one of them in my Encyclopedia.
, Dais remembers when our Chief told her he was ten when he first read about Blue Sharks. They're blue and silver color makes them one of the prettiest of Sharks Mr. Steve thinks. Their teeth don't even show at all. I'm looking to the east at a beautiful blue evening sky.
A few years ago Mr. Steve had a customer in Florida, a Service Manager, who told him that even though the Blue Shark doesn't have a reputation for being dangerous to people, his friend was attacked by one. His hands got badly cut; and his left foot was almost bitten off.
Our boss told that guy in Florida he read Blue Sharks sometimes look lazy and what they call "lethargic." But when they need or want to Blue Sharks can move really fast. And even though you don't see their teeth; Blue Sharks are like all Sharks in having sharp teeth.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time that Blue Sharks, unlike many other Sharks, prefer cooler water. My Encyclopedia says Blue Shark females are bigger than the males. Some get to ten feet long it says here. Jack the Jackrabbit just whizzed bye in front of the Sheds.
Many types of Sharks are "Solitary" which means they live by themselves until it's time to go have some babies. But Blue Sharks seem to
"GRAY REEF" SHARK "SAND TIGER" SHARK
Mr. Steve told Daisy some of the most harmless Sharks in the Ocean, like “Reef” and "Sand Tiger" Sharks, look scary with pointy teeth showing and sticking out all over the place. There are pictures of them in this Encyclopedia and they do look dangerous. I smell a Gopher.
From what our boss told Daisy, most Sharks can be dangerous depending on the situation and if they're hungry. But one Shark that's almost always dangerous is the "Great White" Shark. It is often aggressive and can grow to be over twenty feet long. I hear Crows cawing.
"GREAT WHITE" SHARK
There are three pictures of White Sharks here in this Encyclopedia. I can see why Mr. Steve is so afraid of Sharks. In one picture you can see how big they get by comparing it to the cage in the water with people inside. And another one shows their huge jaws and sharp teeth.
Wait until Daisy sees this picture of the White Shark with its mouth open. I'll bet she'll be so amazed. If that Shark bit me I would be sliced right in half but Daisy has her thick fur which might protect her a little bit. But we'd both easily fit inside a White Shark's mouth.
Someday I'd like to see an Ocean but, I don't think I'd want to be in the water with a Shark, or a Crocodile, or even an Alligator! The thought of being "shredded" to death by something you don't see coming is one of my boss's biggest fears. It's now mine too!
Mr. Steve knows about this famous book called "The Divine Comedy" which was written in the early 14th century by Dante. In it the author describes what the "afterlife" might be like. In the nine circles of Hell each soul spends an eternity in their particular torment.
Hey Blessed Mother! As You know, for Mr. Steve the worst Hell would be to be swimming in an Ocean on a pitch black moonless night. In daytime you can see a Shark coming and at least say a quick Hail Mary and throw a few punches before being eaten. But not at night.
Mr. Steve told Daisy one time about what happened at the end of World War II; in late July of 1945. This American "Cruiser" the U.S.S "Indianapolis" delivered parts that ended up being used on one of the Atomic bombs dropped on Japan. I hear some Crows squawking.
PAINTING BY TED EASLEY
According to this Encyclopedia, after making its delivery of "Components" the Indianapolis then left but was sunk by two torpedoes from a Japanese Submarine. And incredibly Mr. Steve told Daisy, no one even noticed for four days. Oh! Crows are circling over the desert.
Wow! I guess there were about twelve hundred American Sailors on the Indianapolis when it went down. Almost nine hundred would end up dying; many of them eaten by Sharks who made easy meals of them as they floated in the open Ocean. It was a real-life nightmare.
It says here the Indianapolis sank in just twelve minutes. Three hundred men did not escape in time. So about nine hundred of the crew went into the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the four days floating on the ocean about three hundred survived. I hear those Crows cawing.
Because the U.S.S. Indianapolis sank so fast the men weren't able to use as many of the "Life Rafts" as they could. So there was not enough room on the Life Rafts for everyone. Only a few lucky ones got inside. Boy God! It must've been so terrible. I would've prayed.
Dais says for Mr. Steve what happened to those men from the Indianapolis would have been his worst nightmare. He says he probably would've died of stress if it had been him. Mr. Steve is a calm person but it would have been hard for him not to panic Daisy thinks.
ARTWORK BY CECIL TROTTER
This is so amazing! What happened to those poor Sailors was so terrible. In burning hot Sun for four days they floated out there in the ocean. Of course eventually Sharks arrived. For them this was a "Gold Mine" of food. Oh! Samson and Delilah just showed up.
As I mentioned before when I talked about the Dead Sea in Israel and the Great Salt Lake in Utah; Daisy told me you'll die if you try drinking salt water. Hey God! Daisy is right. There are times when it's kind of hard to understand why You have things happen.
For four days and nights those Sailors died of thirst, heat and Sharks. Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie most Sharks a loners but out in the middle of a big oceans some Sharks become like a pack of Wolves when there's plenty of food around. I smell that old Juniper plant.
PAINTING BY ADRIAN SUTTON
There's a good painting in this Encyclopedia that shows a Tiger Shark. It has markings that kind of look like the stripes of a real Tiger. I guess some think Tiger Sharks may grow to be over twenty feet long. Oh! Samson is chasing away all of the other Crows right now.
Mr. Steve told us about a documentary he saw on what happened to the U.S.S. Indianapolis in 1945. In it some of the three hundred survivors said they thought a few of their shipmates had been eaten by some Tiger Sharks; based on some of the stripe patterns they saw.
OCEANIC WHITE TIP SHARKS
PHOTO BY BRIAN SKERRY
Mr. Steve told us about these other Sharks called "Oceanic White Tips." There's a picture of one in my Encyclopedia. And the caption says it's being accompanied by a group of what they call "Pilot Fish." Whit Tip Sharks prefer warm water in the middle of deep Oceans.
Samson and Delilah are now landing out there in the eastern desert. Samson is so big he can scare away the other Crows without actually having to fight. So now, he and Delilah can eat all of whatever those other Crows were circling above. I smell a new Spring Creosote plant.
I guess White Tip Sharks are Stocky and have rounded instead of pointed Dorsal Fins. All of their Fins are white at the edges. Some survivors of the Indianapolis say there were times when there were so many White Tips around they seemed like a hunting pack of Wolves.
Mr. Steve says White Tip Sharks never seem to rest. They hunt all the time; even at night too. Pilot Fish follow them around and eat parasites off their bodies and also the scraps of food that float around after the Shark kills something. I hear Dawn howling next door.
There were some mornings in 1945 when the men who were lucky enough to be on one of the Life Rafts woke up to find out that in the middle of the night Sharks had eaten the bottom half of those sailors out there in the water. I wonder if Dawn is howling for Heathcliff?
CHARLES B. MCVAY (1898-1968)
Yup! Just like Mr. Steve told us. It says here in this one Encyclopedia that after the war was over they had trials and ended up blaming everything on the U.S.S. Indianapolis' Captain. His name was Charles B. McVay and Mr. Steve's friend Cliff thinks he was "Railroaded."
Mr. Steve agrees that Captain McVay was made the "Fall Guy" or scapegoat for the disaster in 1845. It was kind of like how those guys General Short and Admiral Kimmel got blamed for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor back in 1941. A Crow just cawed faintly.
This Encyclopedia says, in 1968 Captain McVay killed himself. That was in 1968; when Mr. Steve was thirteen. Wow! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? Captain McVay's birthday was on July the 30th; the exact same date that his Ship was sunk. What a coincidence!
Oh! This is good. My Encyclopedia says Captain McVay was "Exonerated" back in 2003. But, just like that painter Vincent van Gogh might've died thinking he was a failure; Captain McVay died before being "cleared of blame." I'll write about van Gogh tomorrow.
Mr. Steve told Daisy how in 1974, his first year of College; a movie called "Jaws" came out. He and his girlfriend Sandy went to see it. Daisy and Millie saw it in Mr. Steve's Bedroom and I guess it's about a huge "Great White" Shark that eats people at a beach on the east coast.
When that one movie Jaws came out in the 1970's it was a big hit. That's when Mr. Steve realized there were other people afraid of Sharks too. Daisy says it was such a good movie and Millie really liked it too. It had some scary parts I guess. I smell that old Cholla cactus.
Since he's been a kid one of Mr. Steve's favorite documentaries was about White Sharks. It was called "Blue Water, White Death" and the first time he saw it was when he and his brother Rock were visiting their Uncle Marty's family when they lived down in San Diego.
When Jaws came out Mr. Steve found himself explaining to other people about Sharks and in particular White Sharks. The same thing happened when the movie "Gettysburg" was in the Movie Theaters. Daisy told me that movie Jaws is so amazing. I smell a Lizard nearby.
Daisy says in Jaws there's this one scene where the giant White Shark eats a boy and the people panic and run out of the water to escape onto the beach. In another scene the Shark bites a man and his leg, with a shoe still attached; floats down to the bottom of the water.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie the movie Jaws was based on a book whose author may've known about this time when people were killed by Sharks in New Jersey. That was in 1916, the second year of World War I. A Lizard is standing on the wall near the sliding glass door.
In Jaws the Mayor of the beach town doesn't want to scare away the Tourists who bring in the money so tries to "downplay" the danger. He tells the local Sheriff to hire someone to go out and kill the White Shark Dais told me. And the man he hires is named "Quint."
QUINT FRANK MUNDAS (1925-2008)
Mr. Steve had a customer in "Key West" Florida; where the writer Ernest Hemingway lived. That Sales Manager and his family are Fishermen. He said that the character Quint in Jaws was probably based loosely on this other man named Frank Mundas. The Lizard is gone.
Aha! I knew I was being watched! I just noticed Libby the Horse over to my right looking at me from her Corral. She's probably wondering why yesterday and today I'm spending so much time sitting out here on Elvira. I see a few Flies over there. We don't like Flies.
FRANK MUNDAS (1964)
Daisy says the Sales Manager in Florida told our boss how, back in 1964; Frank Mundas caught a White Shark that weighed four thousand five hundred pounds. And he did it by using a "Harpoon" spear like the ones used to kill Whales. I smell a Cholla cactus.
I guess, from what Mr. Steve told Daisy; that guy Frank Mundas was a Fisherman from New York City. He made a living by taking people on his Boat to Fish out in the Atlantic Ocean. And later in life he was a "Conservationist" who protected Sharks from being slaughtered.
I just used my Encyclopedia to look up where "Montauk" New York is. That's where that one man Frank Mundas lived. Oh wow! A map shows "Long Island" in white while the State of Connecticut in light green. Mr. Steve's sister Susan lives in "Stonington," Connecticut.
Long Island is the part of New York City that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Montauk, which sounds kind of like an Indian name; is an area at the very eastern tip of Long Island. Mr. Steve's old girlfriend Emily's family are from another place in Long Island. I smell Sage.
Boy! I didn't plan on writing this much about the movie Jaws. I kind of added a new few things that weren't on the outline Daisy and I put together. But that's okay. I don't have to go exactly by what my three outlines say. Wait until Daisy sees what I've done.
Daisy says in the movie Jaws it turns out that Quint, the man hired to kill the Shark; was a survivor of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. So he really hates Sharks just like Captain Ahab hated the the Whale Moby Dick. He wants revenge for 1945. I hear some Crows cawing.
Someday I really want to see that movie Jaws. Daisy says Millie liked it too. She told me the story is like Moby Dick in some ways. Just like that big white Whale ended up killing Captain Ahab; the giant Shark sank Quint's boat and ate him too. Dais says it's so scary.
Daisy says one difference between Jaws and Moby Dick is that in Jaws the Shark is blown to pieces and dies too. The giant white Whale Moby Dick survives and so does the main character Ishmael; who used a wooden coffin as a life Boat. I can hear Dawn barking next door.
Hey God! I sure hope that someday I can see Jaws. But first I'll have to overcome my fear of being enclosed. Daisy thinks I'm being too silly. She says you can walk right out of the Bedroom any time you want to and you're never totally trapped inside the house. I smell new Sage.
Dais says there's a scene in Jaws that shows a Shark going from the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean into the fresh water of what's called an "Inlet." Mr. Steve told her and Millie that in real life there is a Shark that does that. It's called a "Bull" Shark. I can smell Creosote.
Mr. Steve's customer in Louisiana saw a Bull Shark going up the Mississippi River one time. And Mr. has talked about Bull Sharks with Julio; who embroiders the apparel he sells. Julio's wife is originally from Nicaragua where there are a lot of fresh water Bull Sharks.
As I wrote about yesterday in book one; back in 1993 Mr. Steve and his mom had a year-long Art Exhibit down at the Natural History Museum next to the Coliseum. Mr. Steve, his mom and a friend of his named Cliff set everything up. Oh! Heathcliff just crowed next door.
That guy Cliff who helped set up the Art Exhibit is not the same Cliff that Mr. Steve knows now. That other guy Mr. Cliff was what they call a "Tenant" who rented a warehouse from Mr. Steve's father down there in Sylmar. A small Ground Squirrel just sprinted bye.
Mr. Cliff was a "Machinist" originally from the State of "Nebraska." Dais says our boss has a few customers up there in Nebraska. Mr. Cliff had been in the Navy. In 1993, besides working as a Machinist, he raised "Earthworms" and had this big Truck they used that day.
Daisy told me that on the day Mr. Steve and Mr. Cliff helped his mother "hang" the many pieces of art the Museum was what they call "Closed to the public." So that made it a lot easier to move things around on wheeled "Dollys." I can smell one of the old Sage bushes.
It took a few hours, from early in the morning until late afternoon to finish "Hanging" the Art Exhibit. Everyone was tired. Throughout the day our boss and Mr. Cliff kept rolling things past this one big container off to the side that was labeled "Mega-Mouth" Shark.
From what Daisy told me, our Chief got more curious as the day went on. He mentioned it to that guy Cliff. Finally, after a long time, Mr. Steve walked over to that big container and he then looked down inside. He now jokes about how he almost had a "Heart Attack."
"MEGA-MOUTH" SHARK (1976)
Daisy say our boss thought he knew a lot about Sharks. But he hadn't really studied them in detail since about 1970. So he didn't even know that back in 1976, off of the coast of Hawaii, the first Mega-Mouth Shark was accidentally caught in a net. I smell a Joshua tree.
Our boss says if he'd been swimming in an Ocean and looked down and saw a Shark he had never seen before coming he probably would have "died of fright." Looking down into that one container; his worst nightmare flashed in front of him. I hear a Crow cawing.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that occasionally he still has dreams about that moment when he looked down into that big tank with the Mega-Mouth Shark inside of it. It was dead of course but it was over ten feet long. Fannie and Freddie are flying in from the desert.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, he now knows more about Mega-Mouth Sharks. In this Encyclopedia it says that, like Whale and Basking Sharks, Mega-Mouth Sharks are not dangerous at all and are only the third known Shark that eats only plankton.
It says here in this Encyclopedia what Mr. Steve told Daisy. Because Mega-Mouth Sharks usually stay way down deep in the Ocean almost nothing is known about them. Seeing one of them is so rare. Only a few pictures have been taken of live Mega-Mouth Sharks.
Looking at these three pictures of the Mega-Mouth Sharks in my Encyclopedia, it looks like they have really big heads and kind of rubbery lips. And from what it says here, Mega-Mouths may grow up to twenty feet long. But nobody really quite knows for sure.
I'm sure Mr. Steve know this. Since 1976 only a few Mega-Mouth Sharks have been caught. There's a good photograph of people in the Philippines all standing around a dead Mega-Mouth. can see why Mr. Steve is so afraid of Sharks. They're so huge with big mouths.
Now I want to write about another rare Fish. It's called a "Coelacanth." Mr. Steve told Dais about it and when she told me I added it to my book two outline. In this Encyclopedia it says the Ceolacanth was thought to have been totally extinct; like that little Horse Eohippus.
According to what it says here in my Encyclopedia, in 1938, the year before World War II started, one of those Coelcanth Fish was caught off the coast of South Africa. Everyone was so surprised. Ah! I just picked up the scent of a Field Mouse somewhere around here.
I guess until 1938 all of the Scientists believed that the Coelacanth had died out about sixty six million years ago. And they evolved into their current form about four hundred million years ago. The United States is not even two hundred and fifty years old by comparison.
My Encyclopedia says that since 1938 a few more Coelacanth's have been caught; near India and also in"Indonesia." The story of the Coelacanth makes me and Daisy wonder sometimes if a Eohippus Horse might someday be found too. I see the Mouse over there.
I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? It says here that those Coelacanth's have what they call "Lobed" fins and there's only one other kind of known Fish that have those; the "Lungfish." I guess some people think that, over millions of years, lobed fins evolved into legs.
PHOTO BY JOEL ABROAD
There's a picture of a Lungfish in this Encyclopedia. It has marks on its skin that sort of look like what a Leopard has on its fur. The caption says Lungfish can not only live in the water like a regular Fish; but can also breath air. No wonder it's survived for so long.
This is interesting. According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, before animals like us Dogs called "Vertebrates" lived on land our ancestor Amphibians could only live down there in the water. But then eventually some of them crawled up onto the land.
I'll bet the main reason why millions of years ago some of the Amphibians came out of the water was for food. Food is the answer to why so many things have happened on Earth. At least that's what Mr. Steve thinks. It might have been easier to find more food on land.
Wow! I guess when a drought hits, like the one we're in right now, a Lungfish can dig down into the dirt and lie dormant until more rain comes. Then they seem to miraculously come back to life. I can hear Blinky and Dawn barking faintly over there next door.
The way that Lungfish can seemingly wake up right out of the ground kind of reminds me of what Daisy told me. She and Millie went into Mr. Steve's Bedroom and watched the movie Lord of the Rings. They saw an "Orc" named "Uruk-hai" be born from inside the ground.
Someday I want to see that movie Lord of the Rings. I wonder if the writer Tolkein knew about Lungfish? Daisy says in Lord of the Rings there's a "Dark Lord" named "Sauron." His soldiers are really mean Orcs like Uruk-hai. I can hear some Crows squawking.
Well, now I can see from my outline that the next thing I want to write about are Whales. Mr. Steve is also interested in them too. Daisy told me some Whales are as big as our house or some of the Dinosaurs. Our boss has seen some Whales before Dais says.
There's a picture in my Encyclopedia that shows people standing in front of a giant Fish Tank at Sea World in San Diego. And I can see that one Fish inside the big tank is one of those Whale Sharks. That one little Mouse just ran and went under a rock near the tree.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that, using Pavlov's idea on conditioning, Trainers down at Sea World use those black and white Killer Whales to entertain audiences. One time our boss got wet when one of the Killer Whales jumped up and fell hard into the water.
On that one Boat trip to the west side of Catalina to do the job walk for his friend Rick Mr. Steve saw a "California Gray" Whale. He and that guy from Downey were standing at the back of the Boat leaning on the rail and talking. Blackbeard and Anne just flew in. CALIFORNIA GRAY WHALE
From what Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie, he and that guy from Downey were looking to the east toward Long Beach Harbor. Then, all of a sudden a big California Gray Whale came up out of the water and then went back under. They were both totally shocked.
Mr. Steve and the man from Downey turned around and saw that everyone else on the Boat was looking to the front or sides. So nobody else saw the Whale. They chuckled and shook their heads. Daisy would really like to see a real Whale. Not me. That would be way too scary.
Oh my God! There are two pictures of a "Blue" Whale here in this Encyclopedia. In one of them a Diver is swimming along right next to the Blue Whale. The Blue Whale is so huge! Wait until Dais sees this! A Sparrow is singing out there in the desert behind the three Sheds.
According to what it says here in my Encyclopedia, the Blue Whale is the biggest thing living on the Earth right now.
Now I want to look up this other kind of Whale that has a horn sticking out of it's head. It's called a "Narwhal" Dais says and lives in freezing cold water near the "North Pole." The only reason they can do it is because of this thing they're made of called "Blubber."
DRAWING BY MAURIZIO WURTZ
Wow! In this Encyclopedia there's a black and white drawing of a Narwhal. No wonder it's called the "Unicorn of the Sea." The horn is like a long pointed spear growing out of its nose. A Narwhal looks sort of like "Unicorn." I can smell a new Squirrel around here.
This is interesting. It says here the Narwhal's horn is actually a "Tusk" like an Elephant or a Walrus. It can grow to be six feet long and I guess most of the time it's only male Narwhals that grow tusks but sometimes a female will grow one too. I hear the Ducks next door.
Narwhals hunt and eat things like Fish, Squid and Shrimp. Oh! Sometimes a Narwhal will grow two tusks. Daisy will be interested to know that Narwhals have a "flexible" neck so they can even turn their heads from side to side like a Rat. Ah! I see the Squirrel.
According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, some Narwhals live to be fifty years old. They're described as "medium-sized Whales whose blubber or fat "makes up about half of its body weight." I notice in the drawing of the Narwhals that they have spots on them.
Another thing I notice is that a Narwhal does not have one of those dorsal fins sticking out of its back. Like all Whales, Narwhals have to breath air. It says here that sometimes the thick ice seals or traps them under the water so they drown. That Squirrel just ran away.
Boy! I wasn't planning on writing so much about Sharks and Whales. But at least I learned some new things. But I still have to write a little bit more about that time when the Bat showed up back here in the Patio. I just picked up the strong scent of an old Creosote bush.
The fear I felt seeing that Bat that one night was the same nervous fear I felt living out in that field when it dawned on me I could be attacked from above by Hawks! I really don't trust Hawks or Crows; except for Fanny and Freddie of course.
Daisy and I were relieved when Mr. Steve scared away that Bat by first turning on the patio lights and then shining a big bright flashlight in it's eyes. Flashlights are so astounding! What human's won't think of. Imagine being able to control light!
I feel sorry for that Bat. Our boss says it looked like an old Bat. It had grey on its face and it's eyes looked glazed over. Mr. Steve says you know something is wrong if the Bat so easily allowed us to see it. It sure made some mean faces!
Just like Coyotes, in normal times we would have never seen a Bat. But this old Bat was probably finding it harder and and harder to find food and water so was getting desperate and taking chances. I wish we could have saved him. He's probably dead by now.
After the Bat was gone I went back to bed; but I couldn't sleep. I felt uneasy and kept recalling the pressure of living in that field. I don't know why I kept dwelling on those awful times out in that field. Thankfully, I was given a second chance.
Mr. Steve says, in Golf, a “Mulligan” is when a player gets to take a bad shot over with no penalty. In a sense, Daisy and I's lives are like a Mulligan. In fact, one of the many joke nicknames our boss has for Daisy and I is “my two girl Mulligans.”
One person who got a second chance in life but didn't handle it well was Marilyn Monroe. In 1985, Mr. Steve's father was the Los Angeles Grand Jury Foreman. He was asked by some on the Board of Supervisors, mainly Mike Antonovich, to look into her death.
MIKE ANTONOVICH / MR. STEVE'S FATHER (1985)
Marilyn Monroe died in 1962. My Chief says that it was listed as "accidental suicide" on the Autopsy report written by Coroner Thomas Naguchi. She overdosed on Nebutal which are very strong sleeping pills. But Naguchi said there were no pills in her stomach.
In the years leading up to her death in 1962 Marilyn Monroe took Amphetamines, "uppers," when tired, and Barbituates, "downers," when she wanted to sleep. And, she had already tried to kill herself on a few occasions before Mr. Steve told us.
Dais told me Mr. Steve's father was not allowed to re-open the Marilyn Monroe case and was even fired for trying. He came away thinking she was killed because she was a "Loose Cannon" talking way too much about powerful people. I can smell a new Lizard nearby.
Sam Giancana was the head of the Chicago mob in the 1950's. He was kind of powerful Dais says. Mr. Steve told her and Millie he probably helped John F. Kennedy get elected President in 1960. Samson and Delilah are cruising bye high up there in the darkening sky.
My boss says that the night before she died Marilyn Monroe was at his Cal-Neva Resort. And so was Sam Giancana. Others later said she was drunk and "blabbing" way too much for her own good.
Marilyn Monroe had affairs with not only Giancana, but both John and Robert Kennedy as well. Robert Kennedy, most likely trying to "show off," told her things he should not have. But the Kennedys tried to dump her and she got really angry at that.
Mr. Steve's father believes Giancana had Marilyn Monroe killed and had this one man named Johnny Roselli do the "dirty work." Roselli was later killed too. Because she was making wild threats some have assumed it was the Kennedy's who killed Marilyn Monroe.
But my boss's father doesn't believe that. He does think the "shenanigans" after her death by Police Chief Parker may have been to cover things up as a favor for Joe Kennedy; the father of the Kennedy brothers. Her internal organs were destroyed and her Diary disappeared.
SAM GIANCANA JOHNNY ROSELLI
Marilyn Monroe said she remembered her mother trying to smother her with a pillow when she was an infant. Her mother later went crazy and Norma Jean Baker then, became a "Ward of the State." Daisy said this meant California had to take care of her.
MARILYN MONROE WITH MOTHER
Shuffled from one orphanage or foster family to another; Marilyn Monroe never felt at home anywhere. Mr. Steve believes she never got over it. No matter how confident she looked after she was famous she actually was very insecure. I have empathy for that!
At age sixteen Marilyn Monroe was "pawned off" or married off to this young man who really wasn't that keen on the idea. But her then family wanted to move back east and they didn't want her anymore. Also, she didn't want to go back in an orphanage.
Marilyn Monroe married Jim Dougherty in 1942 at the beginning of World War II. He joined the Merchant Marines and he and his young wife moved to Catalina and lived in Avalon for a while. But while he was away at sea she, almost by accident, became famous.
It is my boss's belief that Marilyn Monroe had a lot of mental problems. Understandably, she didn't trust completely yet when she did she seemingly trusted the wrong people. She was used to being taken advantage of and what they call "exploited."
Marilyn Monroe was married three and maybe four times. One was to this one famous writer Arthur Miller and another to the New York Yankees Joe Dimaggio, one the best Baseball players ever. Mr. Steve and his father got to know this other man named Robert Slatzer.
"Bob" Slatzer claimed he married Marilyn Monroe in Tijuana in 1952 but others said he was lying. Mr. Steve's father did not agree with him that the Kennedy's killed Marilyn Monroe but thinks the later "coverup" may have been to help the Kennedy's.
Marilyn Monroes's first husband was "away at sea" during World War II so she got a job in a factory. A photographer went there to take pictures for the "war effort" showing women helping to win the war against Germany, Italy and Japan. He spotted her right away our boss says.
Marilyn Monroes's first husband Jim Dougherty was twenty one when they got married in 1942. But when he got home after the war his wife had been "discovered" at the defense plant inspecting parachutes. Mr. Steve she "outgrew him" so they broke up in 1946.
JOE DIMAGGIO / M.M. ARTHUR MILLER / M.M.
After Marily Monroe died Joe Dimaggio still cared for her enough that he "coordinated" her funeral. Even though he hit her after seeing her do the famous "skirt scene" in that movie called the "Seven Year Itch" he still did what he thought was right when she died.
One of Marily Monroe's biggest fears was being put in an Insane Asylum like her mother. When she was "commited" in the late 1950's it was Joe Dimaggio who got her out. After she was buried until the day he died he always had flowers put at her gravesite.
Mr. Steve was happy when, in 1969, they hired Joe Dimaggio as a hitting coach. For many years he had been out of the "limelight. Those guys Simon and Garfunkel even wrote this song that says; "Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio?"
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL
There's an Elementary School about a mile from us. One “Sign of the Times” seems to be that there are way more kids riding their bikes to and from school. And sometimes their parents are with them and are also on bikes. This might be to save gas Daisy thinks.
Daisy and I would never take anything for granted! Like Mr. Steve, we try to know ourselves better and be moderate like it said at Delphi. Our Chief told us about this man in ancient Rome named Horace who also urged moderation. Horace was what they call a poet.
HORACE (65-8 B.C.)
Horace was the first known person to write an autobiography Mr. Steve says. He grew up at a time when students were "flogged" or whipped but Horace didn't believe in that. And during his lifetime Rome, after much bloodshed, changed from a "Republic" to an "Empire.
Wanting to keep the Republic, Horace sided with Brutus, one of the Senators who assassinated Julius Caesar. But they lost to Augustus who luckily he gave Horace an amnesty even though he lost everything. Horace later fought for Augustus at the naval battle of Actium.
In ancient Rome you could work your way out of slavery which is what Horace's father did. Horace, who influenced Jonathon Swift, admired his dad and said; "If my character is flawed but otherwise decent and moral, my father deserves all of the credit."
Lord, our boss told us in the Book of Mathew You said; “Inasmuch as you have done unto the least of these my brethren, you have done unto me.” That's why he gives money to Mr. Mark and Karma and that man Eddie Spaghetti who plays drums even though he has no arms.
The other day Mr. Steve mentioned the word "downtrodden.” I just looked it up and Daisy was kind of right. She thought it might mean someone who is being taken advantage of but has now power to to anything about it. My Dictionary says it means "oppressed."
Even though I'm writing our story for a few selfish purposes like learning to read and write and also to tell about our family, I also want to teach others like Daisy says. Hey You guys up there. Could You all please protect the three of us down here?
God? I hope You don't mind that Daisy and I say more "Hail Marys" than "Our Fathers." I'll pray now; Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, Amen.
Lord, as You know, Daisy and I decided to be good and try to make it into Heaven. But if it turns out Heaven is only for people we'll accept that too. But Lord, could You please give us just enough time before dying to say a quick Hail Mary; asking Your mother for help?
Blessed Virgin? You know I can speed think just like Mr. Steve does and recite my prayers really fast! Daisy is practicing that too just in case our time to die comes. We got the idea from our boss who first thought about it from the Nuns at Saint Ferdinand's.
I just thought about Mother Teresa. She worked among the poorest sick people in Calcutta but died what they call "naturally." Daisy and I are so convinced that she must have had some protection. Was it You who protected her Blessed Mother?
Daisy says not only does Mr. Steve admire Mother Teresa, but one time he told her and Millie about this other Catholic lady named Dorothy Day. She lived back east and, like Mother Teresa, also helped the poor. Dorothy Day died a few years ago Daisy says.
Our boss told Daisy and Millie that one of his father's biggest regrets is that he never visited that lady Dorothy Day when he visited New York City. She helped found this thing called the "Catholic Workers" organization to assist those who need some help.
Daisy thinks that lady Dorothy Day is nothing but the American version of Mother Teresa. I think she's so right about that! Mr. Steve told us that there's a "chapter" of Catholic Workers near us in Apple Valley; where Roy Rogers and his family lived.
From the 1930's during the Great Depression, until she died in the 1970's, Dorothy Day tried to help the poor. Mr. Steve told us he thinks both women are examples of basically decent women who "left their mark" on society. Both "will be missed" he told us.
Another person who lived in India was named Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Steve told us that he's come to symbolize non-violence because he helped the people from India break away from the British after World War II without a lot of people dying. That is very unusual.
India was what they call a "colony" of England for many years our boss told us. They used to force the Indians to buy British cloth so Mahatma Gandhi asked the people to weave their own clothes because that would hurt the English without violence.
And even though Gandhi looked poor because he wore shawls and sandals he was actually a lawyer who had studied in another British colony called South Africa before he went back to live in India. When he was young Gandhi wore suits and dressed up all the time.
Even though there was little violence when England let the Hindus in India start their own country, some Hindus and Muslims then killed each other. So Muslims were also given two areas which became the countries of "Pakistan" and "Bangladesh."
Gandhi was very disappointed when Muslims and Hindus fought each other. He told both of the religions that they should try to "get along" as they say. But for saying this he was shot and killed by a Hindu man who our boss said was what they call an "extremist."
Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that the last words Mahatma Gandhi said was; "He Ram!" which means "Oh God" in English. He says Gandhi was born on August 20 which is also his mother's birthday. Daisy thinks she's also a very wise person and I agree.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself he read that Mahatma Gandhi liked to be around women and children. Gandhi used to sit with the women and weave cloth just like they did. He seems to at times have preferred the company of women and children our boss says.
Daisy says it seems like lately there have been harder times for everyone. One day a flood of traffic went past our property out on the road. It was obvious something was going on. It turned out Police had chased this kid from the city of San Bernardino to our south.
The Police finally caught the kid on the main highway. In order to arrest him they blocked the roads and diverted traffic. We all noticed immediately that there was an unusual amount of cars streaming to the north. Blinky was wondering what was going on.
Sadly, the young man shot himself rather than surrender to the Police. He was only twenty one years old! Mr. Steve's friend Paul, who's a Police Officer, told him that, because of the bad economy, more people are committing suicide over money or loss of hope.
Mr. Paul says that, more and more, people are committing what's called “Suicide By Cop.” They do something which forces the police to shoot and kill them. My boss thinks that's likely what happened generally in this particular case.
Because his family is better off than most of the world, for the last few years Mr. Steve has told them that, at Christmas, rather than exchanging gifts, he preferred giving money to charity. There are a lot of people who are living "on the edge."
About 30 miles to the east of Pinon Hills is a city called Victorville. Victorville used to be on the famous “Route 66.” Like the San Fernando Valley, or Los Angeles, Victorville seems to have a lot more “For Lease” signs now.
One charity to which we give money helps the growing number of “Motel kids.” Another charity group sends what are called “Care” packages to troops all around the world. In the High Desert there are many “ex-military people.”
Mr. Steve requests the Care packages we buy be given to soldiers in “K-9” units. That is, soldiers with Dogs. Daisy approves of this donation. She thinks of Underdog as kind of a Dog in the Military or Police. She likes a Dog in a uniform!
Mr. Steve does much of the never ending yard work needed on our two acres. But there are times when he “contrives” a job for someone who desperately needs money. Of course, Daisy and I keep an eagle eye on these workers while they do their job. One can't be too careful.
Life is never perfect! And, at times, it can be suffering and struggle. But, it could always be worse! Daisy and I are grateful and satisfied with what we have. Mr. Steve tells us that he thinks there's no such thing as being totally “at peace” with the world.
Being "At One With" life seems impossible my boss says. It's just a goal or “aspiration.” But one thing Daisy and I now believe; this two acre parcel is definitely where we belong! It's where we feel most at peace and like a "piece of the puzzle."
Sometimes I think about what that man Friedrich Nietzsche said about that which doesn't destroy you makes you stronger. It was true in the 19th century when he said it and Daisy thinks it's still true now. She says living out in that field made me stronger!
Daisy and I agree with that statement by Friedrich Nietsze! We know it's usually true. Look at Mr. Eddie or the drummer for Def Leppard; or Tony Iomi. They didn't give up. Life is often unfair but they just worked even harder. That's what I try to do.
Mr. Steve says that living out in that field made me “unconventional” but what's so bad about that? To many, our boss is unconventional. The famous writer Thoreau wrote about "marching to the beat of a different drum." That's us alright!
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
In 1999 Mr. Steve went through difficult financial times. He says it was his own fault for trusting a person he shouldn't have. It was one of his dumbest mistakes. He's just glad he got through it and it didn't end up even worse than it turned out.
One good thing about 1999 was that my Chief was single. He says it would have been worse if he'd had a family. When your alone you just "tighten the belt" and "make due." Luckily he got his current job in September of that year and Steve Banks helped him "come back."
Mr. Steve will always associate 1999 with that song called "Smooth" by Carlos Santana. It sounded so "bluesy" to him; but in a "Hispanic" or "Latino" sort of way. In Spanish the word is for sad is "triste." Mr. Steve was sure sad during most of that year!
Dais said Millie liked Carlos Santana's music. She says Mr. Steve once read a description of his songs as "spiritual" and "sensual." Carlos Santana was born on July 20th so he's a Cancer like our boss; and at one time thought about going to C.S.U.N. like Mr. Steve did.
Our boss now thinks his hard times in 1999 and then 2000 made him stronger even though, if you would've told him at the time there about a “Silver Lining” he would have thought you crazy. It seemed to all black! He didn't even tell his parents until later.
Since he was eleven years old in 1966 Mr. Steve's favorite Baseball team has been the Kansas City and later Oakland A's. The main reason was because in 1966 his Little League team wore green and he saw a "Sports Illustrated" magazine with an A's pitcher on the front.
Almost the instant Mr. Steve saw that magazine he wanted to buy it. But he didn't have any money so his mom bought it for him. He didn't know a pro team wore green like his team. Dais says to this day our Chief still has that magazine. There goes Heathcliff crowing again.
The pictures on the front cover of that Sports Illustrated magazine showed Jim "Jumbo" Nash wearing the three new Kansas City A's uniforms. When Mr. Steve saw him wearing white shoes he really liked that too Daisy says. Fannie and Freddie just arrived back.
At that time in 1966 my boss was a member of a team at S.I.B.L. called the Pirates. They wore green and white. The A's wear green, yellow and white. Green is now Mr. Steve's favorite color. He even wanted to wear white shoes on his Little League team.
The other day Mr. Steve read about, and then told Daisy and I about a player who played for the A's. His name is Johnny Gomes and according to the Newspaper article he has a tattoo that says; “Tough times go away, tough people don't.” I smell a Squirrel somewhere.
A while back our boss read us a saying which has the same idea as Johnny Gomes' tattoo. It said; "When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I want to believe in that idea. As Dais says, if you were a Boxer you have "just get up off of the canvas" if knocked down.
Mr. Steve says it's possible half of the 6 Billion people on earth live in poverty; or what they call a "hand to mouth" existence. Most have no hope of ever “controlling their own destinies” the way we three do. It's called “self-determination.” Heathcliff crowed again.
There's no such thing as "official" slavery any more Mr. Steve says. But there's still plenty of what they called “involuntary servitude” he told us. Economic slavery still exists in most parts of the world. The four Pigeons just flew in from the desert to the east.
Our boss owns Dais and I but we kind of like it. We don't mind at all but; of course, we're not human. Mr. Steve sometimes jokes that the 3 of us live in a "Socialist Utopia." As long as Daisy and I do what he wants, he'll take care of us from "cradle to grave."
We're not rich but our boss says the 3 of us have the luxury of feeling more “Peace of Mind” than most. No one is ever without problems our Chief says but at least our house and vehicles are paid off and we don't have much debt. We're better off than most Dais thinks.
Also, the three of us have each other! We have "strength in numbers" and that number is 3. You'll never hear me or Daisy complain when things don't go our way. We'll just work through things and be grateful. See Everyone tomorrow. There goes Heathcliff again!
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