Well You Guys I'm back! I visited Daisy up front and as I thought she's still thinking about Heathcliff too. I told her about all of the things I've written and learned about today. I showed her the things I've crossed off on my book three outline. I feel a little better now.
I see that Cher the Cat is still up on the roof of Jack the big Shed eating the Field Mouse she caught for lunch. I can hear the crunching of the bones. I hear Blinky and Dawn barking next door. Libby's quietly grazing on some hay. I guess no snacks again today for us.
All morning in the back of my mind I've been thinking about how life goes on no matter who dies. I wonder if Cher, Blinky and Dawn and Rosie are feeling the same?" And, glancing down at the floor below me I see that the Ants are back. And I smell a Lizard around here.
It's hard to believe this will be my last afternoon writing. This is by far the hardest day but now it's "all down hill from here" as they say. I miss Heathcliff. About six more hours and I'll be finished with my three books. A breezed just blew in with the scent of Roses.
Hey God! As You know of course, Daisy and really always want to see the arrival of flowers as a good omen. And that's especially true today when we're thinking about how Heathcliff will never crow again. I just noticed the Lizard standing in the dirt near the big tree.
I mentioned those flowers called "Tulips" in book one. But Dais and I decided that I'd write more about them here too. And by coincidence God our neighbor's flowers just happened to arrive today! Oh! The Chimes are ringing. I just inhaled a big breath of fresh air.
I think I feel You again Holy Spirit. Looking at the eastern desert I feel so alive. It's too bad Heathcliff isn't around to enjoy this. But his last day yesterday was a nice warm day. He ended up dying on a beautiful day. I hear Pigeons cooing above me on the Patio roof.
All of a sudden Holy Spirit I just thought of what the Lakota Sioux warriors yelled in 1876 before they slaughtered George Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn; "Hoka Hey!" or "It's a good day to die." I can hear Crows squawking faintly.
As I mentioned in book one on Thursday, over the years Mr. Steve's mom has raised Flowers like Tulips. My Encyclopedia says Tulips grew wild in Northern Africa and the area now called Turkey. I guess Tulips only "bloom" for about ten days. I smell our neighbor's Roses.
This picture in this Encyclopedia shows how pretty Tulips are. No wonder so many people like them so much. This is interesting. Tulips start out as a "Bulb" instead of a seed like other types of Flowers. I just noticed that the Lizard I smelled and saw is now gone.
According to my Encyclopedia there are now about two thousand varieties of Tulips that have been "Cultivated" since the 16th century. In Europe they became like money and were a symbol of wealth; especially over there in the country of Holland. I love the smell of Roses.
Wow! It says here that Tulips were "introduced" to Europe in the late 1500's and between 1634 and 1637 in Holland an "obsession" with them "took hold." Some of the Dutch eventually even traded Tulips as if they were buying and selling stock or precious metals.
Too bad the Tulip market "crashed" in 1637 in Holland. It says here many people lost huge amounts of money. Dais says Mr. Steve told her and Millie that someday he thinks the United States' Stock Market might "crash" and we might go into a big economic depression.
Mr. Steve used to have a customer up there in the State of Oregon. He told our boss about the "Skagit" Tulip fields in Washington; near a town called "Mount Vernon." Back in 2008 Mr. Steve visited George Washington's farm which is the original Mount Vernon.
At Skagit they grow Tulips in big fields that are so beautiful when the flowers are "in bloom" as they say. That Parts Manager said his wife and kids loved going there in April to see the rows and rows of colorful Tulips. I still smell some of our neighbor's Roses next door.
Our boss told that Parts Manager in Oregon that here in some parts of the High Desert every year those orange flowers called "Poppy's" come out. I mentioned Poppy's on Thursday in book one. We have white or yellow wild flowers that grow up here in Piñon Hills.
Mr. Steve told that man in Oregon how people sometimes even travel here from other parts of the country just to see those orange Poppy's. Someday Dais and I would really like to go them them too. But first I'll have to get over my fear of riding in a Car though.
As I mentioned in book one, Mr. Steve and his mom have gone to see those orange Poppy's a few times. He says in some years they come out more than other years but when it's a good year he told Daisy and Millie, the fields look like "carpet" or "blanket" of orange.
Mr. Steve's mother knows about 19th century French "Impressionistic" painting. Thinking about what happened in Holland in the 17th century when people gambled on the Tulip makes me think about that man Vincent van Gogh. Ah! I smell the new Oleanders.
I wrote a little bit about "Van Gough" back on Thursday in my first book. He was from Holland but is now famous for living in France. He killed himself and died poor but today his paintings sell for millions of dollars. I sure hope God that we don't die poor.
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
As I said the day before yesterday, Vincent van Gogh is described in this one Encyclopedia as "Post-Impressionist." Mr. Steve's mom period too. I really like the way he painted himself in this one image. I like the way royal blue looks. Post means "After."
As I've mentioned yesterday in book two, Mr. Steve's mother got her College Degree in Art History from C.S.U.N. She still has most of the "Text" books she used at Mission College and then later for her classes at C.S.U.N. A Train just whistled faintly to the north.
I just knew I was being watched. There's a small Bunny Rabbit over there under Jack the big Shed. I can tell by its unfamiliar scent that Bunny Rabbit is new around here. Looking out to the eastern desert I see Birds zooming about. And I can hear some of them too.
Mr. Steve's mom likes how van Gogh painted Sunflowers. Three of those paintings shown here in my Encyclopedia tell you how talented he was. No wonder his artwork is world famous. The Rabbit is gone. I can still smell some our neighbors new Spring flowers.
This in kind of interesting. According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, the State of Kansas is called "The Sunflower State." Hey God! Dais and I sure do hope that we have some Sunflowers around here this year. That would be so great! I like the color yellow.
PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)
Dais says a while back she and Millie were in the Living Room at night and watched this good movie about Vincent van Gogh and his friend named Paul Gauguin. Paul Gauguin was a painter but also a writer too. He was French. I can now smell a new Juniper plant.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, Paul Gauguin, just like Vincent van Gogh; was not appreciated until after his death. Mr. Steve's mom likes how he was influenced by art from Africa and Asia. He influenced later artists like that guy Pablo Picasso.
I guess Paul Gauguin's father died when he was just a baby; or what they call an "infant." And his mother died when he was nineteen. He married this girl from the country of Denmark where the Vikings used to live. They had two children. I hear Finch's chirping.
Mr. Steve's mom also saw the movie about the friendship between Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gaugin. I guess it was what they call a "Love-Hate" relationship. There's a picture in my Encyclopedia that shows paintings of each of them. I smell an old Juniper bush.
From what Daisy told me Vincent van Gogh was not mentally well. He even cut off part of his ear one time. And then he ended up killing himself with a gun when he was only thirty seven years old. Too bad. Hey You Guys! Thank you for helping me not be sad any more.
I just looked down at the Patio floor. A row of Ants is marching along in a straight column; just like an army. From yesterdays outline I forgot to write about this thing Daisy once told me about called an "Anteater" so I think I'll do it right now. A Finch just landed on Man
Last year there were only three Anthills on our two acres. But the year before we counted five. Daisy joked that one really big Ant hill was their Capitol city. If someday in an emergency we might have to eat Ants? Dais says we'd kill them first so they wouldn't sting our tongues.
Oh my God! Dais was right. This picture of an Anteater shows that they are one of the most unusual looking creatures! The Anteater's head is so skinny! And it says here they have tongues which are two feet long! That Finch is looking over here at me and just chirped.
Now that I see what an Anteater looks like I think Dais was right. She thought it most likely Anteaters have such skinny heads so they can stick it deep inside an Ant nest. An Anteater's skin and tongue must be thick or they'd feel the Ant's stings. I smell an old Sage bush.
We don't have above ground Ant nests. The big Ants who live around us dig burrows like the Ground Squirrels or Gophers. Looking down at the Ants walking along below me makes me think about the last three days and how lucky we are. The Finch just flew away.
We have pretty big Ant holes. At least the part above the nest is big. But Dais told me that the part below is like a giant Iceberg that is showing only a small section. Dais noticed that one time our Chief called that area above the ground around the entrance a "Berm."
According to what it says here in Dictionary a Berm is defined as a "ledge" or "shoulder." In the case of Ants Dais says the Berm is made out of the "excavated" dirt brought up from deep underground; which the Ants have then deposited all around their entrance.
According to my Encyclopedia Anteaters only live in Central and South America. Mr. Steve has seen them at the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos. The Finch just flew off to the northeast but now I hear a Motorcycle going fast from south to north out on Primamvera Road.
Boy, it would be kind of scary if a real Anteater showed up around here. I've never seen such a long snout or bushy tail. It says here some Anteaters grow up to be six feet long. They also eat those Bugs called Termites. We have those Termites around here too. I smell new Sage.
I guess Anteaters long tongues are like tools for catching Ants to eat. It says here that their tongues are coated with sticky saliva and even have backward-pointing spikes just like the arms of a Praying Mantis. I just noticed a dark gray Lizard out on the dirt near the tree.
Our Ants make nests every year. By late Summer they'll be huge. Dais and I leave the Ants alone. I wonder if maybe millions of years ago there might have been Anteaters up here in the High Desert? I smell the marching Ants below me down there on the Patio floor.
This is interesting. Anteaters have six inch long claws because in Central and South America the Ant and Termite "Mounds" are hard like rocks. They use their claws to break open holes in the Ant Hills so they can then stick their tongues way inside to pull out Ants to eat.
Dais will be interested in this. Anteaters sound smart. They only eat some of the Ants so can come back on other days eat the newer Ants. Besides, they leave before the Soldier Ants start to attack and sting them. The Ants below me now look sort of like marching soldiers.
My Encyclopedia says that baby Anteaters ride on their mother's backs because the stripes on their bodies blend in with the stripes on their mom's back. This is to "hide" them from other animals who would want to kill and eat them. I just looked up the word "camouflage."
PHOTO BY CLIFTON ROBINSON
Wow! In my Encyclopedia there's a picture of this thing called a "Pangolin." It's another type of Anteater which has "plated body armor" on the outside just like a Middle Age Knight. Wait until Daisy sees this picture. A Pangolin looks sort of like a Dinosaur.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, a Pangolin can curl or roll up into a ball when threatened by something which wants to eat it. Then the "sharp scales" protect it because it's so hard to get through them. Pangolins can also eat Termites too I guess.
I think it's really starting to "sink in" on Dais that there will not be a Heathcliff tomorrow morning. We're both thinking more about mortality today; and just how fragile life is. And she told me I should write about that one time when a Volcano named "Toba" blew up.
From what our Chief says there have been a few times in Earth's history when all life was suddenly almost destroyed. My Encyclopedia says about seventy thousand years ago this giant "Super Volcano" named "Toba,"down there in "Sumatra," Indonesia exploded.
I guess, just like when that big Meteor hit the Yucatan Peninsula sixty five million years ago and killed off the Dinosaurs, when Toba erupted it threw up a lot of debris. This blocked out the sunlight so the plants died and then other living things too. Only a few people survived.
Another time when much of life was ended on Earth was two hundred and fifty million years ago. This was because a giant volcano erupted for thousands of years in Siberia; kind of near to where the Tunguska event happened in the early part of the 20th century.
Mr. Steve thinks many people today take for granted all of the good things in life. They can't imagine it ending. But it could end he says. There's an explosion out in space called a "Gamma Ray Burst" which is a pulse of energy that may have almost killed life on Earth before.
ARTWORK BY VINCENT AGUILAR
There's a good painting in this one Encyclopedia that shows what they call a "Supernova" explosion. The caption below it says Gamma Rays come off of powerful explosions which release tremendous energy. The sky is so blue now. I see Birds zipping about over the desert.
Our boss's friend Mr. Cliff thinks it's possible a Supernova explosion may have caused one or more of the "mass extinction events" which have happened to Earth since it was first formed in the Universe about 4.6 billion years ago. A Thrasher Bird just ducked under Moe.
One of the times when something happened to almost kill off life on Earth happened about four hundred and fifty million years ago. That's what it says here in this Encyclopedia. But in every extinction there are survivors. I hear our neighbors Ducks over there.
I guess, from what it says here in this Encyclopedia, a Supernova explosion is actually; "The violent death of a massive Star." In a Supernova explosion "debris" and also powerful beams of radiation flash from the area where the Supernovae happens. I hear a Crow cawing.
Mr. Cliff is interested in the subject of "Outer Space." He jokes, luckily for us down here on Earth, Supernovas that explode close enough to hit Earth are rare. But now that Astronomers and Scientists have better Telescopes they know Supernova's happen regularly.
From what Mr. Cliff told Mr. Steve, Scientists think if one of the Supernova explosions were happen within twenty six "Light Years" from Earth it would kill off most life here. Dais and I both hope that never happens God. That would be so terrible all You Guys up there.
Oh! One of those Bugs they call "Beetles" is walking bye. Mr. Steve told us that if another catastrophe ever happens on Earth some Bugs, and Rats, might survive. They've survived all of the other disasters which have almost ended life. A Crow just cawed faintly.
Our boss's friend Mr. Cliff says they've done "Laboratory experiments" with Rats that show why Rats are such survivors. Rats are like Crows. They can adapt to almost any environment. Oh! Just when I was thinking about Crows Fannie and Freddie are flying bye.
Mr. Cliff told our boss that in this one experiment it was proven empirically that Rats would be capable of swimming the twenty six miles from Long Beach Harbor all the way out there to Catalina Island. I just picked up the scent of our neighbors new Spring flowers.
As I mentioned in book one on Thursday, the day before yesterday; empirical means you can observe and take notes on, measure and document something like a Rat swimming. A map in my Encyclopedia shows how far a Rat would have to swim to get to Catalina.
Dais and I wonder what it's like to swim. Daisy's kind of heavy but Ships float. We'd both like to see what salt water is like. As I mentioned yesterday, The Great Salt Lake in Utah or The Dead Sea in Israel are even saltier than the water going out to Catalina Island. I smell Sage.
Yesterday I wrote about how those Sailors from the U.S.S Indianapolis who were eaten by Sharks. Some drank Pacific Ocean salt water so went crazy. Rats swimming to Catalina would have to be brave because of Sharks. And they couldn't drink any water.
From what our boss told us, if there ever is another Gamma Ray Burst close to Earth it will kill all the Satellites orbiting around us which allows modern technology. In just a split second everything will go dead and may never come back! I wonder if Crows would survive?
When he was in school Mr. Steve went on what they call "Field Trips" to this place near to Sylmar called "Jet Propulsion Laboratory;" or "J.P.L." for short. That's where they build and then keep track of many of the Satellites that have been sent up to "orbit" the Earth.
From what our Chief says one of the main reasons why Scientists figured out how all of the Dinosaurs were killed off was because of a J.P.L. Satellite. They could see from Outer Space the "impact crater" in Yucatan, Mexico. I can still hear a Crow cawing.
Mr. Steve has customers in Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota. He's discussed with the Parts and Service Managers how, because of what Satellites have seen, "Yellowstone" Park is actually one of the biggest Super Volcanoes in the world. I smell Flowers again.
PHOTO BY STEVE ORDOVA
Near J.P.L. is this other place called "Descanso Gardens" our boss says. I guess it's partly a really pretty Japanese garden with beautiful flowers. People like to just sit or walk around there Mr. Steve told us. I know Dais would sure like to go see it. And me too!
According to this Spanish Dictionary "descanso" means "place of peace." Mr. Steve told us that he was told a Japanese garden is in part intended to connect three things; earth, man and Heaven. He was also told about the long history of this Fish called a "Carp."
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia Carp Fish have been eaten and bred for their color for a few thousand years. Mr. Steve says Descanso Gardens has some beautiful Japanese garden ponds with lots of what they call "Koi" Carp swimming around in them.
I guess Koi is just short for "Nishikigoi;" or "brocaded Carp" in Japanese. And "brocade" means "an embroidered cloth with designs on it." I guess Carp now come in many colors; like orange, white or yellow. Mr. Steve says he sure like to see one the blue ones someday.
This is interesting. It says here the ancient Chinese and Romans raised Carp. Wow! I guess because Carp can survive in colder water they live about thirty years; but have been known to live for over a century! And they can get huge! Some are about four feet long.
As a wedding photographer Mr. Steve took pictures at Descanso Gardens a few times. And he says he always enjoyed it. One of those Monarch Butterflies just floated past; moving to the north. Every time I see one of them I think of how Daisy wishes she could fly.
Daisy says that our Chief told her and Millie that over the years he and his three girlfriends visited Descanso Gardens. He's also gone there with his mother. And they all went to this other place called "Huntington" Library which also has pretty flowers. I smell a Joshua tree.
"PINKY" "BLUE BOY"
Someday Dais and I would like to visit the Huntington Library. Mr. Steve says it has a good garden outside but inside the main building they have paintings and other things too. Two of the late 18th century British paintings there are called "Pinky" and "Blue Boy."
Hey Blessed Virgin! As You know, our boss for some reason thought of You when he first saw Thomas Lawrence's painting Pinky. And Lord! You know he thought of You when he first saw Thomas Gainsborough's Blue Boy. They face each other at the Huntington Library.
Mr. Steve's mom says Lawrence and Gainsborough painted beautiful "realistic" eyes on their "subjects" Lord. Mr. Steve says you can almost feel the "spark of life" in Pinky and Blue Boy's eyes. That's why he senses You and Your mother in those two paintings.
THOMAS LAWRENCE (1769-1830) THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH (1727-1788)
Mr. Steve's mom likes standing in front of good paintings and "taking them in" as they say. She's been to the "Metropolitan" museum in New York City. She was "entranced" the first time she stood under Pinky and the Blue Boy. Dais and I want to see them too!
I remember when our boss played that album "Muswell Hillbillies" by The KINKS on his Boombox. It's one of his favorite KINKS albums even though he says it was not a "commercial" success. That means it didn't "sell" that well. He drew the KINKS logo from that album. "MUSWELL HILLBILLIES" (1971)
Mr. Steve has fond memories of listening to KINKS albums on his Grandma Trujillo's stereo over in New Mexico. In fact, he told us a while back that he even had a dream about that. I've been having some really good dreams too lately. A Thrasher Bird just ran bye.
Daisy told me our boss has been playing drums to the song "20th Century Man" off of the Muswell Hillbillies album. Mr. Steve was sixteen when that album came out in 1971 and was in 10th grade in that year. I just picked up the strong scent of one of the old Joshua trees.
My Encyclopedia says that song 20th Century Man is about the "tensions" and "frustrations" of modern life. It's a "lament" about the "relentless march of technology and modernization." I wonder if that writer J.R.R. Tolkien ever heard any KINKS songs?
In 20th Century Man Ray Davies, who writes most of the KINKS songs, says; "You keep all your smart modern writers, give me William Shakespeare. You keep all your smart modern painters, I'll take Rembrandt, Da Vinci and Gainesborough." I can smell a Juniper plant.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that even when he was sixteen and first heard 20th Century Man he kind of felt that sometimes "progress for progress's sake" wasn't good. Like most things in life that are dual in nature there are good and bad "aspects" of progress.
Dais says one reason our boss likes Muswell Hillbillies is because it has so many types of songs on it. Some are Rock while others are influenced by Country music. And there are even 1920's and 1930's style horns on that album I guess. I can hear the Ducks next door.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that before Muswell Hillbillies The KINKS had "hit" songs like "You Really Got Me," "Sunny Afternoon" and "Lola." But Muswell Hillbillies didn't have any "singles" on it. I guess Muswell Hills is an area in the northern part of London.
My Encyclopedia says North London, where The KINKS grew up; was heavily bombed by the Germans back in 1940. That was after the Germans had defeated France and all of those other countries using Blitzkrieg tactics. That time was called the "Blitz."
On the front of Muswell Hillbillies is a picture of The KINKS inside what they call a "Pub" in Muswell Hills. On the inside of that album is a photo of The KINKS in front of this bombed out building that still had not been repaired from the Second World War.
One reason why our Chief likes Muswell Hillbillies is because it has songs about people in Ray and Dave Davies' families. There's one about their Grandmother. And one of the songs is about how bad alcohol can be. I hear Birds chirping way out in the eastern desert.
Oh! Mr. Steve was right. He was told the title Muswell Hillbillies came about because Ray Davies liked that tv show The Beverly Hillbillies; one of his favorite shows. And that's what it says here in my Encyclopedia. I just picked up the sent of that one old Cholla cactus.
Someday I want to see that show The Beverly Hillbillies. Daisy's seen it and thinks its so funny. She told me that other Dog Millie also thought it was good. This pretty girl named "Elly Mae" had a lot of pets including this one Hound Dog named Duke.
Oh! That black Beetle is back. But now he's going in the other direction. I wonder if it's out looking for food? Mr. Steve says in an emergency you can eat Bugs. When I living out in that field I almost ate a Bug one time. I guess I'd have to eat one if I were starving.
That black Beetle looks like it knows exactly where it's going. This is the first Beetle I've seen this year; just like this morning that Praying Mantis was the first one I've seen this year. I know that Beetles are harmless but Dais and I always leave them alone anyway.
According to this Encyclopedia Beetles have wings but don't fly. Dais had already taught me that. Some people up here in the High Desert call our Beetles "Tumble Bugs." The reason Dais and don't bother them is because they can spray you with a really bad smell.
This is interesting. Dais has at times wondered why Beetles are black because black absorbs heat. That's not too good up here when the temperature gets really hot. But is says here that a Beetle just hides in shade or inside of holes. A cool breeze just came in from the east.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that some Ants, Spiders, Bees and Birds use the Sun's light to "orient" themselves. But he says there are these big Beetles over there in Africa called "Dung Beetles" who use moonlight to guide themselves whenever they move about.
From what Dais says, when Animals like Antelopes or these Pigs called "Warthogs" go to the bathroom a Beetle will come along and take what they call the "dung" and shape it into a ball. Then they roll it back to its hole to eat it later. And they do it at night I guess.
Oh wow! There's a picture in my Encyclopedia of an African Dung Beetle rolling the dung back to its hole. Boy, I'd sure like to see that. This is interesting. Dung Beetles not only eat the dung themselves but the girl Beetles lay eggs in the dung so their babies can feed on it too.
When I was up front visiting Dais we saw that one little white round car drive bye. Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie it's called a "Volkswagon." That means "People's Car" according to my German Dictionary. I just noticed Cher. She's still sitting up on top of Manny.
I'm afraid to ride in Cars but if I did own a Car it would be one of those little Volkswagons. In this Encyclopedia it says Adolph Hitler gave permission to build a small inexpensive Car that most people could afford. Sitting in a Restaurant in 1932 he drew what he wanted.
From what Mr. Steve says, that guy Adolph Hitler admired this other American man named Henry Ford. And Henry Ford admired him too. Both came to dislike Jews and that's one of the things they had in common Mr. Steve told us. I hear two Crows yelling at each other.
So, I guess when someone suggested to Hitler that he build a Car most people could afford he liked the idea because that's what Henry Ford did in America. I just picked up the scent of that old Joshua tree near Libby's Corral. I like having that old Joshua tree around.
Daisy told me our boss has a book written in Spanish called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Mr. Steve's father bought it in a Bookstore in Mexico City in 1998. The book seller told him back then "The Protocols" and Hitler's Mein Kampf are "always very popular."
Well, Mr. Steve was right. He told us "The Protocols" was a "Hoax." My Encyclopedia says it was written in 1903 by the Russian Secret Police who worked for the last Czar, Nicholas. Back then many Russians persecuted Jews in those things they called "Pogroms."
My Dictionary says that a Pogrom is defined as; "An organized massacre." That book The Protocols supposedly proved that powerful Jewish people were trying to secretly dominate the world. I just noticed some pretty, wispy white clouds way up there in the sky.
This is interesting. I guess, in the 1920's Henry Ford published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion published in English. Mr. Steve told us that phony book is still very popular all over the world; from the Middle East to Japan. A lot of people still believe it's true.
As I mentioned earlier, Hitler got his idea for an affordable people's Car from what Henry Ford had done back here in America. From what Dais tells me, our boss has dealt with a lot of Ford Dealerships in the last ten years. I can smell a Bunny Rabbit around here.
HENRY FORD (1863-1947) WITH "MODEL T"
My Encyclopedia says Henry Ford built a Car called the "Model T" using this thing called an "Assembly Line" to build Cars faster and more affordable. For thirty years Mr. Steve's brother Rock built Cars working on one of those Assembly Lines. I now see the Rabbit.
Another man who built Cars was named Ferdinand Porsche. He was the one who Adolph Hitler told to make the Volkswagon back in the 1930's. Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie he used to have six Porsche Dealerships as customers but now has only one left.
FERDINAND PORSCHE (1875-1951)
According to this Encyclopedia that man Ferdinand Porsche "developed" many Cars over the years. And he also helped "design" things for war like that Elephant Tank. In fact, it says here that Tank was nicknamed the "Ferdinand." The Rabbit just hopped away.
I guess that German man Ferdinand Porsche was an "Engineer." He helped create not only his own Porsche cars but also some "Mercedes Benz" Autos too. He was "Apolitical" so never wore a Nazi uniform. Dais told me that our Chief has a few Mercedes Benz customers.
Someday when I'm not afraid to go all the way into Mr. Steve's Bedroom I really want to see this one movie called "The Love Bug." Daisy saw it with Millie and says it's so funny. It's about this really smart racing car named "Herbie." I just smelled the Rose bushes next door.
When I was up front Daisy made a really good suggestion. She said I should write about that movie The Love Bug. Writing about Volkswagons wasn't on my outline but Dais is right. I can do whatever I want to do and, in honor of Heathcliff, I can just "improvise."
I see that Cher the Cat is finished eating and is now laying on her side licking her paws and then wiping the top of her head. Then she'll probably take a nap. I'll bet Cher is wondering why I've been spending so much time back here laying on my couch in the patio.
According to what Mr. Steve told Dais The Love Bug movie was made in 1968. Our Chief is interested in 1968. His two Chevelle's were from 1968 and that show The Wonder Years was set in 1968 too. Oh! Rudy the Roadrunner is standing near Manny the Shed.
Dais says The Love Bug movie was made by the Walt Disney Company and it took place up in San Francisco. It's about an "Over the Hill" race car driver. He sees a British man named Peter being mean to Herbie so buys Herbie. Herbie has a "Mind of his Own" as they say.
Mr. Steve drew The Love Bug logo. When he lived down in Sylmar he sometimes sold things at this place called the "San Fernando Swap Meet." He sold a lot of kids drawings of the many cartoons, emblems or logos he's drawn over the years. Rudy is looking at me right now.
From what Dais says, in The Love Bug Herbie's new boss really needed to make money. So, to help him, Herbie starts winning Auto Races. But a man named Peter is also a race driver and is one of those what they call "Sore Losers." Rudy just ran off into the desert.
Dais told me in The Love Bug one time Herbie thought his boss didn't want him anymore so he got really sad and depressed. He even tried to drive off of this giant bridge called the "Golden Gate Bridge." But luckily his boss stopped him and said he really needed Herbie.
One thing Daisy and Millie liked about the movie The Love Bug is how that nice boss ended up being with this pretty girl. She even rode with him in the car sometimes; and so did this other funny man who was a Buddhist. Mr. Steve says that wouldn't be allowed in real life.
I guess in The Love Bug that guy Peter does a lot of "dirty tricks." At least that's what Daisy told me. One time they even had to weld Herbie back together when he was damaged in a crash. Mr. Steve told Dais The Love Bug was a success so Herbie was the star of other movies too.
Daisy said it was so funny when Herbie's boss beat that guy Peter in the last race. The part of Herbie welded together didn't hold up so, right near the "Finish Line;" Herbie started to come apart. Fannie and Freddie the Crows just sailed past way up there in the sky.
According to Dais, to "make matters worse" as they say, as Herbie and that guy Peter raced toward the Finish Line, Herbie got turned around backward! But Herbie wouldn't give up and won the race anyway. And because of what happened Herbie finished first; and third too!
DON DRYSDALE (1936-1993)
As I mentioned before, Mr. Steve plays slow pitch softball. When he lived in Sylmar on Hagar Street he did the same. A player from Van Nuys told him the reason Herbie the Car was #53 is because the main Actor in the movie liked a Dodgers' Pitcher named Don Drysdale.
Mr. Steve says Don Drysdale went to Van Nuys High School like Marilyn Monroe. He was a hard-throwing right-handed Pitcher who played on the same team as Sandy Koufax. Mr. Steve and his friends saw Don Drysdale pitch at Dodger Stadium. I smell an old Sage bush.
Wow! According to this one Encyclopedia that guy Don Drysdale died already. And he was born the year after Mr. Steve's mom and four years after his father. It says here that for a long time he held the record for the most consecutive scoreless innings pitched.
I guess the last thing I want to write about The Love Bug movie is how Daisy says our boss told her and Millie some scenes in The Love Bug were filmed at "Riverside Raceway" where he's been to. The outdoor "road races" were filmed up north near Yosemite.
Well, according to my outline, I still have more things to write about Mr. Steve's birthday in July. Most of the time July is the start of our really hot weather. And that's when we have the most Flies and other Bugs around. Ah! I already see a few Bees flying near the Sheds.
Hey You Guys. As You know already, Dais reminiscing about old Heathcliff makes me feel like writing about sadness; even though I really wasn't going to do too much more on that particular subject. I just heard a Motorcycle going up Primavera Road to the east.
Hearing the familiar sound of that Motorcycle go bye out there on Primavera Road makes me feel a little better but I'm still kind of thinking about Heathcliff being gone. It's Saturday so there will probably be more kids on Motorcycles today. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Dais is so right of course. Nobody wants to feel sad or what our boss calls "melancholy." We even try to distract ourselves from that. We think of sadness as not good but, believe it or not, sadness has some positive aspects. At least that's what Dais thinks.
I do want to believe that I have a Soul. So sadness might keep me in touch with parts of my Soul that normally I try to ignore. Daisy and myself, and I'm sure our boss right now, are kind of what they call "out of sorts" today. That big Dragonfly just zoomed past.
Daisy says our Chief told her once that nowadays it's normal for most people to see sadness as being "unhealthy." And what they call "Clinical Depression" is a form of sickness. But not having or feeling a "heavy heart" as they say. I smell Libby the Horse.
Mr. Steve believes that feeling a "heavy Soul" is not unhealthy. It can be an inward looking feeling of self-examination that Socrates encouraged. You slow down and are more likely to do what it said up on the wall at the Temple at Delphi; be moderate and know yourself.
During the time of the Middle Ages and then the Renaissance our Chief says people wanted feel the normal sadness that is part of life. That man Thomas More, who worked for Henry VIII but then had his head cut off; wrote about "listening to the Soul."
THOMAS MORE AND FAMILY
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie Thomas More in his book Utopia at times talks about how sometimes sadness is as necessary as happiness. Our boss says it makes him realize he's old now so can't do things he's always done; like standing in the hot Sun.
A while back our Chief took his Niece Samantha and her friends to this outdoor concert in a city called "Carson." It was held in the Stadium where the "Galaxy" play their Soccer games and was called the "Warped Tour." That big Dragonfly just zoomed past.
When he was young like Samantha and her friends Mr. Steve says he actually liked being out in the Sun for a long time. But not any more he told us. Since moving up here to the desert he's noticed that he can't take the extreme heat in the way he always used to be able to do.
Luckily Mr. Steve said, that Warped Tour had a tent where he could read his book and let his Niece Samantha and her friends go do what they wanted. They just had to "Check In" every so often. Three Sparrows just landed on Jack the biggest Shed. Now they're chirping.
Dais says our boss has this thick envelope from the 1980's filled with "literature." It's what they call a "Media Kit" and is from an outdoor event called the "US" Festival. It was one of the first "Festival" type concerts. Now every Summer they have more of them near us.
For a few years Mr. Steve was invited to the annual outdoor concerts held in places to our south like "Coachella" and "Indio." But he always thanked them but turned them down. Now they never invite him anymore. Those three Sparrows just flew off to the northeast.
Dais told me our Chief told her and Millie that many religions see sadness as necessary to be "whole" physically, mentally and spiritually. Some sadness is just as normal as happiness they says. Mr. Steve thinks that we have to accept life's sadness even though it can be hard.
Hey Lord! I'll bet You really had to face sadness when You knew for sure that You'd have to go through a lot of physical pain. You had to know what the Romans were going to do to You but You accepted the bad with all of the good You knew would come three days later.
Mr. Steve thinks that as bad as it is to ignore life's sadness; it's just as bad to allow heaviness of heart to "take over" as they say. There are those who use sadness as an excuse to not do the things they're obligated to do. Ah! Our four Pigeons just flew past the Sheds.
Dais thinks, with Heathcliff now gone forever, the sadness we feel might make us more fully appreciate our ordinary lives. Looking to the east toward the desert behind the Sheds makes me feel like I need to never waste time. I can see Libby the Horse over in her Corral.
Looking to my front near the big tree in front of the three Sheds I now can see a few Flies but not that many. And I see some of those Wasps flitting about. There goes that one big Dragonfly again. The heat and warmth of the early afternoon Sun makes me feel better.
Well You Guys, I think I'll make another sign of the cross and try to finish this third book. I still have maybe six hours of work left. I can see that on my outline I have listed to continue on writing about our Chief and how he was born in July. Ah! That slight breeze feels good.
That one girl Courtney Love is not the only "famous" person born on Mr. Steve's birthday. But when growing up he knew of only one born on July 9th; the Football player O.J. Simpson. So he looked closer at "O.J." and was fooled by his fake friendly "persona."
In 1994 and 1995 O.J. Simpson was "Tried" for "allegedly" killing his wife and this other guy named Ron Goldman. Mr. Steve thinks O.J. Simpson did it even though he was what they call "Acquitted." My Dictionary says that means; "To clear a person of a charge."
Mr. Steve says he doesn't remember how he found out that O.J. Simpson was born on July the 9th like he was. But it was when he was a young teenager. O.J. Simpson was one of the best Running Backs in Football history. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay area.
There's a good picture in this one Encyclopedia that shows that guy O.J Simpson running in a game against U.C.L.A. I notice that both teams are wearing their "home" darker jerseys and have no logos on the sides of the helmets. Also, the Face Masks are primitive.
I also notice that not only do all the players have little Face Masks, the U.C.L.A. players have small bars coming down from the front of their helmets. That must've been an idea that never "caught on." Or it turned out those little bars didn't protect like they were supposed to.
Daisy says our Chief has drawn many of the logos of both U.S.C and also U.C.L.A. One time he made a copy of a picture from the newspaper where it showed clearly the uniforms of a player from U.S.C. tackling a U.C.L.A. Running Back. The helmets have logos on the sides.
Mr. Steve, who likes to color, colored in this black and white picture. But he reversed all the colors. The U.C.L.A. player he put in the colors of U.S.C; burgundy or maroon as the primary color with white and yellow as the secondary colors. I smell a Lizard around here.
In that photo Mr. Steve put the U.S.C. player in U.C.L.A. colors; sky blue the primary color and white and yellow secondary colors. When he shows the colored picture to people most look at it but, even thought they know something is wrong, at first don't notice the difference.
When Mr. Steve points out the colors in the picture people laugh and want a copy. Mr. Steve thinks most people aren't very "observant." In fact, even though it was not on my outline, I feel like writing about it. I'll go back to O.J. Simpson afterward. I see the Lizard.
A few years ago someone switched labels on "K-Mart" and "Versache" clothes. Then they had people pick which ones they liked better. Almost all of them picked what they thought was Versache. They didn't even bother to examine the clothes and look more closely.
In book two I wrote about how most people, even those who say they "follow" Football, have never noticed how the Pittsburgh Steelers have a logo only on one side of their helmets. But Mr. Steve notices those type of things and now Daisy and I want to notice those things too.
ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Yesterday in book two I wrote about that painter Georgia O'Keefe. She was friends with that guy Ansel Adams. Ansel Adams, who was from San Francisco and had survived that gigantic earthquake, had his "Zone" system. I mentioned it yesterday. I smell Juniper.
One time some organization which Mr. Steve doesn't remember, wanted to find out how most people looked at things. They hoped to find out how observant people were. Ansel Adams was mainly a black and white photographer but did at times use color film Mr. Steve says.
PHOTO BY ANSEL ADAMS
Mr. Steve read in the newspaper that a photographer was sent with a cheap "Instamatic" camera up to Yosemite. It had "slow" color film in it. He was to go to the spot where Ansel Adams took one of his black and white photos and take a picture withe his camera.
Some Instamatic cameras are meant to be thrown out after the film is processed. I guess the photographer took a picture that was framed as close as possible to Ansel's Adam's original but he used "slow"color film instead. Jack the Jackrabbit just bounded bye right now.
It was a good sunny day so the photographer could get "Depth a Field" in his photo. And by using slow film there would not be a lot of "grain" in the pictures when they were blown up big. Ah! One of the Monarch Butterflies is fluttering bye right now. I like Butterflies.
Mr. Steve read that the Ansel Adams print was put on an easel and displayed right next to the color print which was also mounted on an easel. Then people were brought in to see them and pick which one they preferred. Almost everyone picked the color print.
Well, back to my outline. I still have a lot more to write about that guy O.J. Simpson. I've been thinking about this for a long time God; as you know of course. Just like yesterday when I wrote about the American Civil War, I want to impress Mr. Steve when he reads this.
Hey God! Remember when Daisy first suggested I start outlines and makes notes. She sure turned out to be right. I still recall when I ran back here and wrote down all the notes on that guy O.J. Simpson. Dais knew he would be really important in this third book.
A picture in my Encyclopedia shows O.J. Simpson with the "Heisman" Trophy he won in 1968. That's what the caption says. As I mentioned in book one writing about Doug Flutie, the Heisman Trophy is the "highest award given to a College Football player."
Because he was so good in College at U.S.C. of course a lot of professional teams wanted to get O.J Simpson. Because the Buffalo "Bills" had the worst record in the N.F.L. they got to take the first "Draft" pick. So they picked O.J. Simpson to go back east and play for them.
My Encyclopedia says O.J. stands for "Orenthal James." Mr. Steve says even though he went to U.S.C., based on some things he wrote, he seems to be what they call "Semi-Literate." He was bad at spelling I guess. Mr. Steve's Niece Samantha is really good at spelling words.
Even I know the difference between "their" and "they're" and I'm just a Dog who's learning to read and write. Our Chief says in some of his letters which were "introduced" as evidence at his Criminal Trial it was funny how O.J. Simpson didn't know the difference.
Well, I just looked up and I can see Fannie and Freddie the Crows sitting on top of one the Joshua trees to the right of Manny the far right Shed. And Blackbeard and Anne Bonney are standing on the ground just below them. I can really feel the warm sunlight now.
I just noticed that Freddie is using his sharp beak to tear the skin off of a Field Mouse. And Fannie is patiently waiting on that shorter Joshua tree. I'll bet that Blackbeard and Anne are hoping some of the Mouse drops down to the ground so they can eat it.
Oh! There's a Snake crawling slowly in the direction of Jack the big Shed. He better not let the Crows see him or he'll be food too. Oh! Seeing that Snake right now makes me remember the time when Samson the Crow caught a really big Snake in exactly that same area.
Dais is so right. It's amazing how Snakes and Lizards can stay so still and then blend into the background. I've mentioned it already when I wrote about that guy Charles Darwin and his one idea about Natural Selection; but it's worth mentioning again.
Unless you see it for yourself it's sort of hard to describe how you feel when you realize the shadow you're looking at has a Lizard in it. The first time it happens it's kind of scary but then you admire the Lizard. Hey God! Was it You who made Natural Selection?
Mr. Steve sells Baseball caps and other types of clothes but for cold weather he Babette and Susan sell what they call "Wool" hats. Some come in camouflage patterns like a Lizard. I guess there are a few types of wool hats. Mr. Steve's Canadian customers call them "Tukes."
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself, wool hats have many names; depending on the area. Some people call them "Beanies" and in other places they're "Stocking" hats. Some kids call them "Skulls" or "Lids." Someday I think I'd like to wear one of those Beanies.
I'd like to have a dark green Oakland A's hat like the "Flex-Fit" Baseball cap Mr. Steve has hanging near the front doors. Looking to the east beyond the three Sheds the main color I see is various shades of green. Green makes me feel good. Thank You God for green!
Hey God! Even though You know in my heart of hearts Royal Blue is my favorite color; I'm beginning to think green is more meaningful. Daisy is right God. If you think about it green is often the color when You're Sun's life-giving energy is sustaining life down here.
Today's Saturday and usually our boss doesn't call any of his Auto Dealership customers on weekends. But sometimes he does if they tell him to. Well, just like we didn't get to watch our cartoons this morning; I guess Dais and I won't be getting any snacks again today.
In Mr. Steve's subjective opinion O.J. Simpson was one of the greatest Running Backs ever; in college and later the pro's too. According to this Encyclopedia he "gained" or "ran for" over two thousand yards one year, becoming the first Running Back ever to do it.
Mr. Steve has a customer back east in Buffalo; where O.J. Simpson played for the Bills. One time he faxed a copy of the Bills logo to that Parts Manager so his kids could color them. That customer is a big Bills fan and so is his family. I smell one of the new Creosote bushes.
I wonder if Daisy is right? She thinks at one time there must've been a lot of Buffaloes who lived in "Up State" New York where our Chief's customer is located. Someday I want to smell a real Buffalo. Daisy's thick fur at times makes her look like a little shaggy Buffalo.
The customer in Buffalo is a "Subaru" Dealership. Mr. Steve's drawn the Subaru logo too. He and the Parts Manager have discussed how "ironic" it is that O.J. Simpson "got off" on the murder charges but is in jail for doing something totally unrelated to that.
Dais told me our Chief told her and Millie why O.J. Simpson is serving time in jail. I guess he tried to steal back some trophies and things like that which were stolen from him. Mr. Steve thinks he should have gone to the Police instead of doing such a dumb thing.
Hey Lord! As You know, Daisy thinks that guy O.J. Simpson might be a good example of the idea of Karma. You Yourself said that one "reaps what one sows." I guess, at least in the case of O.J. Simpson; what went around did end up coming back around. A Crow cawed.
Mr. Steve told us it's at times kind of hard to believe how far O.J. Simpson fell. In the 1980's he did tv commercials and was in some funny movies too. Mr. Steve had been looking at him a little closer than most people so noticed how famous he was gradually becoming.
As I wrote about yesterday in book one, in 1977 Mr. Steve and his brother Rock visited their Uncle Marty's family over there in Morristown, New Jersey. That was the same trip where they also went to New York City and Gettysburg. 1977 was a good year for O.J. Simpson.
When Daisy and I were putting together this outline for book three Daisy remembered how our boss told her and Millie one time how this thing called the "Book of Lists." And back then in 1977 the Book of Lists rated O.J. Simpson the "most popular person" in America.
That Parts Manager in Buffalo now works for the "Toyota" dealership owned by the same company. His name is Doyle. It gets really cold in Buffalo Mr. Steve says; way colder than we get even though it can get cold here too. Our boss has drawn the Toyota emblem too.
A few years ago Mr. Steve sent that man Doyle copies of pictures he took in 1989 at a Raiders game; when they played the Bills at the Coliseum downtown. The Bills lost that game I guess but our Chief got some good pictures of both teams on that Sunday afternoon.
Our boss likes walking around the U.S.C. campus; just like he likes walking around most of the campuses he's ever been to. He used to go to U.S.C. during the 1980's to photograph Track and Field events. In 1995 he was able to watch much of the "O.J. Trial" on tv.
From what Mr. Steve says it's rare to televise a trial except for this show called "The People's Court." The O.J. Simpson criminal trial was an exception. And the reason our Chief was able to watch most of it was because at that time his schedule had him working at home.
On most days our boss starts making dinner at four thirty. Then, either in the Living Room or his Bedroom, he eats at five while watching this one show called The People's Court. One time his sister Susan won a case on that show. Oh! I just picked up the scent of a Lizard.
JUDGE MARILYN MILIAN
Even though it isn't on my outline I want to write about that show The People's Court. Dais says our boss likes it a lot. Besides learning new things Mr. Steve jokes that he likes watching The People's Court just to look at the really pretty Judge. I see the Lizard.
Daisy told me the Judge on The Peoples Court is named Marilyn Milian and she's so smart. I guess she was born in New York City but now lives with her husband and three daughters down in the State of Florida. At least that's what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time.
A while back our Chief was told by this one lady that Judge Milian's parents came over here to the United States from Cuba. So did his Niece Stephanie's boyfriend Rich's parents. I see the Lizard standing perfectly still over there in the dirt below the big tree.
Mr. Steve once read a newspaper article about Judge Milian. He noticed that the oldest of her three daughters was named Cristina just like Steph's daughter. And they spelled their name exactly the same; "Cristina" as compared to the other way "Christina."
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie once Judge Milian is proof that females can be as smart as males. In the newspaper article it said that she graduated from college with a 4.0 grade point average; just like Mr. Steve's mom did. The Lizard just waddled away.
Another thing that Mr. Steve read about in the newspaper article about Judge Milian is how The People's Court is filmed in Connecticut; where his sister Susan lives with her boys. That's how Susan was picked to have her case heard. I smell some new Sagebrush.
Mr. Steve told Dais one time he was proud of how his sister, the "Plaintiff," won her case on The People's Court. She was very organized and logical while the man she was suing, what they call the "Defendant," seemed to be sort of unorganized and illogical.
Oftentimes our boss has noticed how a Judge like Judge Milian does not just go by what a person says. She looks at how he acts. In other words; "Actions speak louder that words" as they say. In his sister Susan's case this was also a "factor" in her "prevailing."
One time Mr. Steve had to sue in "Small Claims Court" this one Towing Company which had damaged one of his father's Cars. When the Judge said to the Tow Truck driver; "Okay, tell me what happened" the case was over even before our boss presented his case.
The Tow Truck driver looked over at Mr. Steve and his witness Tim and said; "Sir, if you'll remember." The Judge cut him off and told him; "Hey buddy, I think I need to let you in on a little secret. You don't have to convince him. But you do have to convince me."
The Tow Truck driver's "body language" had made it look like he had what's called a "guilty mind" I guess. So without having to even use his friend Tim to "testify" the case was "for all practical purposes" won my our Chief. Someday I'd like to see The People's Court.
In 1994 and 1995 at the time of the O.J. Simpson criminal trial our boss was living in his house on Hagar Street down there in Sylmar. And because the trial was televised he had the tv on in the background as he worked. Rudy the Roadrunner just jogged bye.
During the months of the O.J. trial Mr. Steve's schedule was that he would leave his house at twenty five minutes after seven in the morning. He would pick up his Nephews Rocky Jr. and Jacob; as well as their older sister Stephanie. He then took them to school.
In 1994 Stephanie went to Alemany High School and her brothers went to this other Catholic school called "Saint Didacus." After Mr. Steve dropped them off at school in the morning he'd then go back to his house and start work. He got there at at fifteen minutes after eight.
Then, at twenty five minutes after two in the afternoon our boss would go pick up Stephanie and her brothers. But during the day he watched O.J. Simpson's trial. He did this for "weeks on end" as they say because that trial lasted for months. I smell an old Sage bush.
Someday maybe Dais and I can visit Sylmar, even though I'm kind of afraid to ride in cars. I get scared and nervous moving when I'm not in control! But if we went down to Sylmar then we could go see where our boss used to live and also visit his family and their Dogs.
Besides being interested in O.J. Simpson because they shared a birthday, another reason our boss watched the trial was that one of Los Angeles City Attorney Marsha Clark's assistants was this girl named Cheri Lewis. She went to "Law School" with him back in the early 1980's.
O.J. SIMPSON PROSECUTING TEAM (CHERI LEWIS FOURTH FROM LEFT)
Mr. Steve says he's failed at many things in life. One is "flunking out" of Law School; where he first met his friend Grant and also his girlfriend Emily. In watching the O.J. Simpson trial he was reminded of being in Law School and remembered how smart Cheri Lewis was.
Just like Mr. Steve's mom is exceptional is graduating from college with a 4.0 grade point average, his friend Mr. Grant also did something most can't do. First, he was the only one who got into Law School without having earned a four year College degree.
Then, after graduating from Law School, Mr. Grant passed the California "Bar" exam on his first try. And he did it without paying for a "Bar Review" course. There are those who believe that this is impossible but he did it so saved a lot of money. I hear Pigeons cooing.
Daisy and I really like it when Mr. Grant and his blind Dog Miggie come over to our house to visit us. Miggie smells good. Daisy and I both like the scent of boy Dogs; even though Miggie is much smaller than us. Miggie's eyes are totally light sky blue in color.
Mr. Steve passed most of the courses he took in Law School and usually writes good what they call "essays." But one class he failed was "Criminal Law." And the main reason for that was because in essays he could never explain well enough a "352 Motion."
In this Legal Dictionary it says that in a criminal trial one of the things the Judge must do in deciding whether to "admit" or allow a piece of evidence to be "introduced"is whether it would be more "Prejudicial" to the person on trial or "Probative" of the case's issues.
This legal book says in California that decision is the 352 Motion. Mr. Steve says even though his own inability to adequately explain a 352 Motion was just the "final straw" in not making it through Law School he wouldn't be a good Lawyer anyway. But Cheri Lewis graduated.
O.J. SIMPSON "MUG SHOT"
The O.J trial was the last big trial to be televised. Now such trials are "blacked out" our boss says. One reason he thinks is because O.J.'s Defense Attorneys, his "Dream Team;" turned the trial into what they call a "Circus." That big Dragonfly just whizzed past.
Knowing the trial was being seen by the public, O.J.'s attorneys very effectively did what Mr. Steve calls "distraction." They cleverly "took the focus off" of the evidence. They used an old defense strategy that is kind of a joke but really isn't. I smell a Lizard nearby.
Our Chief told us Criminal Defense Attorney's often use a "three part plan" in trying to get a client "off." First, try to win on the "merits" or "Substantive" issues of the case. But if all the evidence is against you then try to win on what they call the "Procedural" issues.
In O.J.'s case that second part, the procedure, involved not arguing about whose blood was on the gloves found at the scenes; but that those gloves should not be "Admitted" into evidence as they were "illegally obtained" without the proper "Search Warrant." I see the Lizard.
Mr. Steve told Dais and myself that the third and often most important part of the three part strategy is; If the substantive issues are against you and you really can't win on the procedure either; then just "baffle them with nonsense." In other words, create a "Smoke Screen."
That third part of the "Formula" is just what O.J. Simpson's Lawyers did in order to get him "Acquitted" in his Criminal trial. Mr. Steve says that trial was one of the most famous cases in Los Angeles history. The Lizard went under one of the rocks below the big tree.
One of the biggest mistakes the Prosecuting team made in the O.J Simpson trial our Chief thinks is having him try on the bloody gloves that were found at the murder scene and also at his house; even though Mr. Steve says the Jury already had its "mind made up" anyway.
Mr. Steve says a "fundamental" thing a Lawyer never does is ask a question which he doesn't know the answer to. To a certain extent that's what the Prosecution did in the O.J. trial when they had O.J. Simpson try on those gloves. Two of the Pigeons just flew bye.
Our Chief told us even though the Prosecution had a "receipt" that showed O.J. had bought those exact same type of gloves it seemed like they didn't fit. But they had been wet a few times and might have shrunk in size due to all of the blood which was on them.
Mr. Steve thinks another reason why those gloves didn't seem to fit when O.J. Simpson tried them on in front of the jury was that he was also wearing some plastic gloves underneath them. That demonstration turned out to be a really big Prosecution mistake.
Even though he "got off" in his Criminal trial O.J. Simpson was later found "Liable" for the murders in what they call a "Civil" trial. That meant that he was told to pay millions of dollars to Ron Goldman and his ex-wifes family. But to this day he hasn't paid Mr. Steve says.
In the Civil trial photographs not available during the Criminal trial showed O.J. wearing shoes that were proven to have been worn by the person who committed the murders. Our boss says it's ironic that now O.J.'s in jail for something stupid he did later.
According to Mr. Steve a few years after his trials O.J. Simpson was "Convicted" of trying to steal back some things that were probably stolen from him. So maybe Karma does even up and sometimes in life "what goes around comes around" as that old saying goes.
It is my boss and Mr. Grant's subjective opinions that the Judge in O.J. Simpson's last trial used his what they call "discretion" and "gave" O.J. Simpson the "maximum" sentence he could "under the law." They would've they say. It's so obvious that he did it.
Our Chief said the only witness to who killed O.J. Simpson's wife and that guy Ron Goldman was a Dog. It's too bad that Dog didn't know how to write like I'm learning to do because then everyone would know who did it. I hear Dawn and Blinky barking next door. O.J SIMPSON "ACQUITTED"
Mr. Steve is convinced O.J. Simpson killed his wife. He thinks the evidence was what they call "overwhelming." And just the shocked look on that one man Robert Kardashian's face when the "not guilty" verdict was read "tells it all" our Chief says. I see the Ground Squirrel.
Mr. Steve says another joke version of the old three part formula that Defense Attorneys use in defending their clients says; "If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have the facts, pound the facts. But if you have neither one then just keep pounding the table."
In O.J. Simpson's Criminal trial the Prosecution "presented" over three hundred individual pieces of evidence; some of it "Unimpeachable" our boss thinks. In his opinion you just can't "plant" that much evidence in such a short time in order to "frame" a person.
Mr. Steve doesn't believe all the Detectives, Police Officers and Civilian Agencies involved in the O.J. Simpson Criminal case could be convinced to go to the effort it would require to make it look like he did it. And just because he's black and was married to a white girl?
In Mr. Steve's opinion another reason O.J. Simpson was "let off" by the Jury in his Criminal trial is because of what they call "Jury Nullification." For two centuries whites who killed blacks were set free by white juries who ignored the evidence. So this was "get even" time.
"LYNCHING" IN INDIANA (1933)
Oh my God! My Encyclopedia shows an actual "Lynching" of black men by white people. And some of the "spectators" are smiling and laughing. I guess this was a "Postcard" sold at the time as a "Souvenir" so people could celebrate or "commemorate" the event.
This is interesting. In the caption under this photograph it says that this "event" took place not in the "Jim Crow" South; but up north in the State of "Indiana." It was in 1933 during the Great Depression; the year Franklin Roosevelt and Adolph Hitler came into power.
"BIRTH OF A NATION"
Dais had me scheduled to write about this Silent Movie called "Birth of a Nation" yesterday but somehow I missed it. I was mad but then Daisy said just put it in here. So that is what I'll do. Mr. Steve knows a lot about that movie; which came out in 1915. A Crow cawed.
From what it says in this Encyclopedia, that movie Birth of a Nation is about those guys the Ku Klux Klan and is now known for being a racist movie which made blacks look bad. This one picture shows how KKK's Horses even wore disguises. I can smell a new Lizard.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that in spite of being a racist movie Birth of a Nation is now considered to be a huge "Turning Point" in the history of how movies are filmed. This is because the Director D.W. Griffith was a very creative and imaginative person I guess.
D.W. GRIFFITH (1875-1948)
My Encyclopedia says D.W. Griffith was born and is buried in the State of Kentucky. Mr. Steve says later movie Directors like Orson Welles were influenced by his work in Silent Movies. It says here his father was a Colonel in the Rebel army during the American Civil War.
This Encyclopedia says Birth of a Nation is now studied in the same way that Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane is studied. D.W. Griffith's use of cameras was "groundbreaking." Dais says our boss told her and Millie the battle scenes are impressive. I see the Lizard now.
I guess, because it was a Silent Movie; the musicians in the Theater used to play Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" as the Soundtrack during parts of Birth of a Nation. Someday I really want to hear Wagner's song Ride of the Valkyries. A Wren is chirping.
My Encyclopedia says Birth of a Nation came out two years before America entered World War I and "inspired" a "revival" of the KKK. Even President Woodrow Wilson, who was a "Liberal;" liked it. Even Liberals disliked black people back then. The Lizard is gone.
Hey Lord! Thinking about lynching reminds me about how, in the early 1840's; an angry mob broke into a jail to try to hang that Mormon man Joseph Smith. He and his brother were shot. I wrote about it on Thursday in my first book; the day before yesterday.
As I've mentioned before, given the "right circumstances" Mr. Steve believes most people can think like Nazis; especially if revenge is involved. He thinks this is hard to imagine in 2014 America because we're so wealthy and rich as a country. I smell that old Joshua tree.
Mr. Steve had a Professors in College who's Grandparents came to California from this one State called "Oklahoma." He told his class that during the Great Depression his Grandparents lost everything because of a huge drought that turned their farmland into dust.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
PHOTO BY DOROTHEA LANG
A picture in this Encyclopedia shows a sad lady with her children. The caption says it's a "destitute migrant mother" who's family came to California so her husband could work picking peas. They look like they're hungry. Destitute means poor. I hear a Crow cawing.
From what Mr. Steve's College teacher said, his Grandparents and their children moved out here to California in the 1930's. Their old Truck was piled up really high with things just like when the Beverly Hillbillies moved to California. I smell that Joshua tree behind Moe.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that during the Great Depression migrants were not at all welcome here in California. Signs were put up warning people to keep out. And at the Arizona-California border the Police sometimes beat people up. That Crow is still squawking.
Our boss thinks in 1995 some of the O.J. Jury members probably thought this was a good time to do what they call a "Karmic pay back." For about three hundred years Blacks had been "vilified" and "marginalized" by American society. So the O.J. case was symbolic.
Mr. Steve jokes that he thinks many of the O.J. Simpson Jury members would not have ever convicted O.J. even if they had seen a videotape of him actually committing the two murders. At a certain point the trial had become "more than a simple individual murder trial."
The different reactions of Black people and most of the rest of society to the announcement of O.J. Simpsons acquittal says a lot our boss thinks. The African-Americans cheered and wildly celebrated. Almost everyone else was visibly upset, shocked and even angry.
As I've mentioned before, Mr. Steve thinks revenge is one of the most powerful forces in all of mankind's history. And in 1995 it seemed to have been a good example of "retribution" against the white community for all of the injustice from the past three or four centuries.
O.J. Simpson was "Acquitted" in his "Criminal" trial brought by the city of Los Angeles. But later a Jury found him what they call "Liable" for the two deaths in his "Civil" trial. This one legal book says a civil trial is between "individuals" for money. I smell Sage.
This legal book says whoever "Sues" someone, whether the government or an individual, is called the "Plaintiff;" the person being sued is the "Defendant." I guess in a criminal trial the person is charged with a "Crime" while it's called a "Tort" in a civil case.
Our Chief told Daisy and Millie that in the civil trial the families of the people killed hired a a seemingly good Lawyer. Mr. Grant agrees with that. That one Lawyer's name is Dan Petrocelli. Mr. Steve went to Saint Ferdinands with a kid who had the same last name.
According to what our boss says, that guy Dan Petrocelli seemed to have been totally ready for anything at the time of the O.J. civil trial. He was well-prepared and, even though it's not so glamorous most of the time, preparation is the key to things like that Mr. Steve says.
O.J. SIMPSON WEARING "BRUNO MAGLI" SHOES
One advantage Dan Petrocelli had in the civil trial were pictures of O.J. Simpson wearing a pair of "Bruno Magli" Italian shoes. It was proven during the criminal trial that the person who killed Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman was wearing Bruno Magli shoes.
Whoever killed O.J. Simpson's wife and her friend wore size twelve Bruno Magli shoes. The reason they knew that was because of the blood on the bottom of the shoes. A trail of blood led away from the scene. O.J. Simpson denied ever owning Bruno Magli shoes.
Well, it turns out that a photographer found the "Negatives" of an event he took pictures of a few years before and they showed O.J. Simpson wearing Bruno Magli shoes. Mr. Steve says O.J. Simpson wears size twelve shoes. I can hear some Crows squawking at each other.
Mr. Steve thinks that one of the most ironic things about the O.J. Simpson case is that O.J. himself had to a large extent "distanced" himself from the black community and lived a life of privilege in the white community. He even said one time; "I'm not black, I'm O.J."
O.J. SIMPSON WITH WIFE NICOLE
During O.J. Simpson's Criminal trial sometimes when they would mention that O.J.'s wife was named "Nicole" he thought about how his friend Rick's daughter is also named Nicole. And a few years ago he worked with another girl with that same exact name.
This is interesting. It says here in my Encyclopedia that it was in 1977 that O.J. Simpson met his second wife Nicole. And I guess at that time she was working as what they call a "Waitress" in a Nightclub. Oh my gosh! That Nightclub was call "Daisy."
Mr. Steve thinks that one "unfortunate" thing to come out of the O.J. "Saga" are the many what they call "reality" tv shows that are now so popular. He doesn't watch them and he didn't like what he saw the one time he watched "The Kardashians. I smell a Mouse.
Sometimes in life our Chief thinks; "It's a matter of timing." And a few years earlier in Los Angeles there was another trial in which some Police Officers were acquitted of being too brutal to this other black guy named Rodney King. Blacks rioted "in the streets" as they say.
From what Mr. Steve told Dais, in 1991 Police chased Rodney King's Car all the way up the 210 Freeway from the Pasadena area toward Sylmar. Rodney King got off of the Freeway but the Police finally caught him in Lake View Terrace. I see the Mouse over there.
According to Mr. Steve, when the Police did catch that guy Rodney King they beat him up. He was kicked and hit with these things called "Billy Club" while he was on the ground. Dais told me that our boss has one of those Billy Clubs in his Bedroom.
I guess a Billy Club is sort of like a smaller Baseball bat. At least that's what Dais told me. I know what a Baseball bat looks like because Mr. Steve has some of those in our garage. Some are made of wood and others of a metal called "Aluminum." The Mouse is gone.
Mr. Steve and his brothers and sisters know Lake View Terrace well. In High School he and his girlfriend Sandy worked at a Pharmacy in the Lake View Terrace Hospital. "Hansen Dam" is in Lake View Terrace and so is the Golf "Driving Range" too. I smell Sage.
From 1989 through 1992 Mr. Steve worked for this company called "Pace." It's now called "Sam's Club." And his job as an "Outside Salesman" was to sign up what they call "Business Members." Many of those business's were in Pacoima and Lake View Terrace.
My boss thinks if it hadn't been for the fact that someone filmed Rodney King being beaten the Police would never have been put on trial. And when they were acquitted in 1992 riots broke out all over Los Angeles. A lot of buildings were burned down Mr. Steve says.
On the day that the Rodney King riots broke out our Chief told us he didn't realize it until he watched the News that evening. He and this guy Rex had been so busy fixing some plumbing that they were completely "oblivious" to what was happening in parts of the city.
So that guy O.J. Simpson was very fortunate that his trial happened when it did Mr. Steve says. Many blacks in the country were already what they call "predisposed" to believe that it's possible to "frame" a black man. I hear some Crows cawing out in the desert.
Wow! I hadn't planned on writing so much about O.J. Simpson. But that's okay. Today my writing is taking my mind off of how Heathcliff is dead. But, even so, I'm still kind of thinking about him. Oh! That same Centipede that's been around is curled up below me.
Seeing that Centipede makes me feel better; like our life's patterns are still the same even if bad things like Heathcliff dying happen. I know for sure that Daisy would think the same thing. We just have to go on and make each and every day as productive as possible.
Oh! I just noticed that I forgot to write about how Mr. Steve has come to kind of admire O.J. Simpson's first wife. She seems like one of the few people around her husband who did not try to "exploit" his bad situation for her own personal or financial gain he thinks.
O.J. SIMPSON WITH FIRST FAMILY
Wow! There's a picture in my Encyclopedia of O.J. Simpson with his first wife and their two kids. His wife's hair is huge! It's sticking way up in the air. That was just the style some Black people liked back then I guess. I wonder if anyone wears it like that now?
For a few years Mr. Steve's father was a "Stock Broker." In the late 1960's and early 1970's he even had a School for Stock Brokers. And during that time one person he discussed things like that with was O.J.'s first wife. She "came across" as an intelligent person he said.
In order to properly understand the O.J. Simpson trials you have to see them as being what might be called the "culmination" of the history of "Race Relations" in America. At least that's what our boss seems to think. Fannie and Freddie are flying bye up above.
The O.J. Simpson trials occurred against the general "backdrop" of the overall history of the United States our boss thinks; but also as a more particular or "specific" product of 1960's and 1970's. I just picked up the slight scent of some our new Spring Sage plants.
Because our boss has always liked the Oakland A's Baseball team he's also been interested in the history of the city of Oakland. And in 1966 this one group called the "Black Panthers" were created to fight against Police who were like the ones who beat up Rodney King.
BOBBY SEALE / HUEY NEWTON (1967)
This Encyclopedia says that two guys from the San Francisco Bay area named Bobby Seale and Huey Newton started the Black Panthers. That was back in 1966 when Mr. Steve was only eleven years old. Jack the Jackrabbit just zoomed bye out there in the eastern desert.
In the 1960's the Black Panthers "openly" carried guns around in public. And this picture in my Encyclopedia shows Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in front of their office with rifles in their hands. Ah! A nice cool breeze just came in from behind the Sheds.
This is interesting. It says here that one time the Black Panthers took their guns right into the California Legislature Building up there in Northern California. This scared the lawmakers so they passed a law against openly carrying guns. I smell a Lizard around here.
In the picture of Bobby Seale and Huey Newton they look sort of mean. But Mr. says that's mainly because the Blacks had no protection from the Police. I see that Blackbeard and Anne Bonney are flying bye right now. They're moving in unison toward the Southeast.
Mr. Steve knows people who are Police Officers. He grew up with some of them. Most are like everyone else, flawed but basically decent people. They have a hard job to do and it's hard not to have to see people at their worst all the time. I can smell a Juniper plant.
Over there in Texas Mr. Steve's Nephew Jacob is a member of a group who believe in the right to openly carry weapons. He and his friends "advocate" for the 2nd Amendment right to carry guns in the open the way they can in some other States. I see the Lizard.
I'll bet our Chief knows this. It says here in this Encyclopedia that during World War II a lot Blacks moved from the South to other parts of the United States. They wanted better jobs and were hoping to get away from racism. But that "was not to be" as they say.
Many people associate "Segregation" with the southern States Mr. Steve says. But the truth is it was almost as bad for Blacks in most of the other parts of the country too. So they ended up living in what they call "Ghettos." The Lizard ran away and went under Manny.
Well, Mr. Steve was right. He told Dais and Millie that instead of being influenced by the non-violent protests of that guy Martin Luther King, the Black Panthers were more influenced by what this other guy named Malcolm X had said earlier in his life. I smell Sage.
MALCOLM X (1925-1965)
PHOTO BY ROBERT HIGGINS
My Encyclopedia says Malcolm X converted to Islam and joined the "Nation of Islam." His original last name was "Little." He was an orphan just like that girl Marilyn Monroe and his Muslim last name was "Shabazz" A small flock of Birds is flying bye right now.
I guess Malcolm X's father was killed when he was just six years old. And from what it says here his mother went insane a few years later. That's just like how Marilyn Monroe's mother was also put into a "Mental Institution." I hear some Crows cawing faintly.
From what it says here that guy Malcolm X "preached aggressive self-defense" like the Black Panthers did later. I'll bet he influenced them. Malcolm X said it was okay for Blacks to fight for their Constitutional rights "by any means necessary." I smell some new Sage.
I guess Malcolm X, at least earlier in life, didn't really believe in "Civil Disobedience" like the writer Henry David Thoreau did in the 19th century. In the 20th century Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King preferred peaceful protest. Our Pigeons just flew bye.
MALCOLM X WITH FAMILY / MUHAMMAD ALI
There's a picture in this Encyclopedia that shows the Boxer Muhammad Ali sitting with the family of Malcolm X. He's holding a baby. You can kind of tell that they're Muslims by the way Malcolm X's wife and daughters are dressed. They're wearing head scarves.
Oh wow! I'll bet our boss will like this one Malcolm X quote; "There is no better thing than adversity. Every defeat, every heartache, every loss, contains its own seed, it own lesson on how to improve your performance next time." I just picked up the scent of Juniper.
What Malcolm X said kind of reminds me of that old saying by Friedrich Nietsche; "That which does not destroy me only makes me stronger." Daisy will like what Malcolm X said when I read it to her. I know for sure that she really likes those type of ideas.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1819-1892) JOHN BROWN (1830-1859)
Later today in chapter nine, when I write about this 19th century man named John Brown, I'll deal more with Henry David Thoreau. Unlike John Brown who was more like Malcolm X or the Black Panthers, Thoreau believed peaceful forms of protest were more effective.
This is interesting. It says here in this Encyclopedia that later in his life Malcolm X became a "Suni" Muslim. He went on a "Haj" or Pilgrimage to Mecca and then "renounced" the Nation of Islam. So I guess they killed him; probably thinking that he was a traitor.
Mr. Steve told us a few years ago he did some artwork for a girl from Victorville who, in the early 1970's in Oakland; was in the Black Panthers. She was fifty six years old like Mr. Steve's brother Rock over in Texas is now. And she was a fan of the Oakland A's too.
PHOTO BY PIRKLE JONES / RUTH MARION BARUCH
Mr. Steve knew a little about the Black Panthers but learned more about them from that one girl. She told him about how back in the late 1960's and early 1970's in Oakland there were as many females in the Black Panthers as males. Both sexes were important she said.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's the Black Panthers fed poor people and did a lot of good in the Oakland neighborhoods. That girl told Mr. Steve that she doesn't like it when the young generation don't know or even care about the Black Panthers. I smell a Squirrel.
That girl from Oakland told our Chief the Black Panthers eventually spread into other cities too. Her friend was a Black Panther from Seattle. To this day she says, the "Health Clinics" the Black Panthers established in Seattle and this other city called "Portland" are still there.
TUPAC SHAKUR (1971-1996) WITH MOTHER
Mr. Steve did not know that this singer named Tupac Shakur was originally from New York City but then moved to the San Francisco Bay area. But that's what that one girl told him. He knew that Tupac Shakur had made his most famous albums here in Los Angeles.
I guess that guy Tupac Shakur was named after the last Incan Emperor and also this other 18th century Indian from Peru who was executed by the Spanish for leading a revolt. And his nicknames were "2Pac" and "Makaveli." I hear the Ducks quacking next door.
"BIGGIE" SMALLS (1972-1997) / TUPAC SHAKUR (1971-1996)
One thing Mr. Steve had heard about and that girl from Victorville talked about was how in the mid-1990's a kind of war broke out between rappers on the east coast and those out here on the west coast. And Tupac Shakur and that other guy named "Biggie" were killed.
That girl told Mr. Steve the Black Panthers made a few mistakes and to a certain extent it was their greatest strengths which turned out to be their biggest weakness too. She believed the groups "principles" and "youthful enthusiasm" ended up being dual in nature.
According to what that girl told our boss, parts of the city of Oakland are changing. People who have lived there for generations are being "displaced" by "Gentrification." That means the poor are pushed out of an area by people who make more money on the land value.
The Black Panthers "went out of business" so to speak in the early 1980's. At least that's what that girl said. She also told Mr. Steve that in her subjective opinion a big reason for that was because of what they call "factionalism" or competing "Cults of Personality."
Well, I wrote more than I had planned on writing about those guys the Black Panthers. But I'm sort of glad I did. It makes me have to remember things our boss told us. And I learn a lot by doing that. Wait until Mr. Steve reads my three books. I can't wait!
The next thing on my book three outline to look up and then write about is this man named Richard Henry Dana; who was from Massachusetts near where his sister Susan lives with her sons Dalton and Austin. That big Monarch Butterfly just floated past.
My Encyclopedia says, in the 1830's Richard Henry Dana visited California and then went back home and wrote a famous book about it. One area where his ship "docked" is now called "Dana Point" and is where O.J. Simpson's wife was from. A Train just whistled.
RICHARD HENRY DANA (1815-1882)
It says here in my Encyclopedia that guy Richard Henry Dana was from a very famous and "influential" family. They were one of the original English "first families" to colonize the east coast back in the 17th century. Three Finch's just landed on top of Jack the big Shed.
I guess Richard Henry Dana was nineteen when, for "health purposes," took a Boat trip here to Alta California; when it was under Mexican rule. He went back to New England and wrote about California in "Two Years Before the Mast." I smell a Joshua tree.
In his famous book Richard Henry Dana wrote described San Diego in the south and Santa Barbara and San Francisco up north. And I guess he also wrote about the San Juan Capistrano area; near the Mission where Mr. Steve and his mom had their Art Exhibit.
One time our Chief told Daisy and Millie about how during the time of the O.J. trial he met this kid from Dana Point. That boy told Mr. Steve he had gone to the same exact High School as Nicole Simpson. I just picked up the faint scent of a Gopher nearby.
Aha! I see the Gopher poking his head out his hole near Manny the Shed. I can tell by it's scent that it's a different Gopher from the one's I've been smelling for the last two days. Well, that Gopher sure didn't stick around long. It just went back under the ground.
I guess, from what Dais told me, our boss and that boy not only discussed the O.J. trial but also how both of them at one time had considered becoming Tour Guides at this place called the Getty Museum; which is what they call "up the coast" from Dana Point.
Mr. Steve also told that kid how one time he and his mom went down to Dana Point so he could give a lecture and do a Slide Presentation about the history of the Missions. He did for a group of Girl Scout leaders and enjoyed it because had an extremely receptive audience.
Well, I can see that on my outline the next thing I have listed to look up and learn about is a lady named Anne Bradstreet. She was a"Puritan" Christian who lived in the 17th century and was a really good poet. A flock of Birds is flying bye way up there in the sky.
ANNE BRADSTREET (1612-1672)
Some time back Mr. Steve helped his Nephew Sammy Junior do a report on that lady Anne Bradstreet. It says here in my Encyclopedia that she was the first female to be "published" in the British Colonies back east. I just picked up the slight scent of a Lizard.
From what Mr. Steve says that lady Anne Bradstreet must've been really smart. Just like in the 18th century females like Jane Austen were discouraged from being writers, in the 1600's it was not considered "appropriate" for a girl to write poetry either.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia Anne Bradstreet was fortunate that her husband was more "open-minded" than most of the other men from that time. He encouraged his wife to write poetry. Oh! I jut noticed the Lizard standing over there in the dirt.
Oh my God! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? It says here that lady Anne Bradstreet was a descendant of Richard Henry Dana's. No wonder he had so much talent for writing. He must've inherited his talent from her just like our boss inherited his talent from his mom.
This is interesting. It says here that Richard Henry Dana's son married the daughter of the famous writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. And I guess that other guy Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick, was Dana's friend. That Lizard just ran under a rock.
Dais says one time our boss told her and Millie that when he was in Rome in 1985 their Tour Bus drove past a Protestant cemetery. The Guide mentioned that Richard Henry Dana was one of the people buried there. Fannie and Freddie are flying bye right now.
According to my Encyclopedia that guy Richard Henry Dana just happened to be visiting Italy when he died of Influenza. So, I guess back in those days it was too hard to bring his body all the way back here to America so they had to just bury him over in Rome.
Oh darn! I just noticed that I forgot to write one more thing about the O.J. Simpson trial. I guess I'll just have to put it in right here instead of going all the way back and then inserting it in the place it should've been in the first place. Oh well, that's okay.
On the day O.J. Simpson was acquitted in his Criminal trial our Chief and his Father were at Santa Rosa Church in San Fernando attending a Funeral for his father's best friend; a good man named Bill Garcia. That Lizard just ran around the corner of the house.
Mr. Steve has gotten up and said "a few words" at a number of funerals but at Mr. Garcia's funeral he regrets "chickening out." He also wishes he'd said something at his friend Rick's father's funeral. "Supervisor" Mike Antonovich did the main eulogy for Mr. Garcia.
After Bill Garcia's funeral, when Mr. Steve and his Dad walked into his parent's house down in Sylmar his mother met them in the Entrance Way and said, "Well, they found O.J. Simpson innocent." She had not followed the trial but instinctively knew he was guilty.
Hey God! As You know, Mr. Steve's father says if a person has one "really good" friend in his lifetime he or she is lucky. Some people never have even one he said. And Mr. Garcia was his very best friend. Thank Everyone up there for giving me two best friends.
I wonder if Heathcliff had a best friend when he was alive? I hear our neighbor's Dogs Dawn and Blinky barking over there next door. Ah! I think I just picked up the scent of one of those Horned Toads around here somewhere. They have what they call a "distinctive" smell.
Oh! I just noticed the Horned Toad in the dirt just over to my left; near the tree. It's going to dig down in the ground soon. Yup! There it goes wiggling itself and burrowing down in the dirt. And now you can't see it at all. It's amazing how Horned Toads bury themselves.
Wow! I just noticed that there are a lot of Birds flying back and forth out in our back half acre of desert; beyond the three Sheds. And now Samson and Delilah the Crows are going bye high up there in the light blue sky. I feel a lot better than I felt this morning.
In early 1994 my boss's girlfriend Harriet broke up with him. It was a very emotionally hard time he told us. A friend named Andrew, feeling sorry for him, introduced Mr. Steve to that nice girl named Debra; the girl who was related to Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.
Mr. Steve and Debra were "seeing" each other at the time of the O.J. Simpson trial. He still thinks about Debra and her daughter Talia. But in about 1996 Debra and Talia moved up north to a city in California called "Walnut Creek;" to live closer to Talia's father.
For a time after Debra moved she and Mr. Steve would talk occasionally on the phone. But they haven't spoken now in many years. Sometimes our boss wonders about Debra and Talia. He'd like to know how they're doing but their phone number was changed.
Our Chief has fond memories of Debra as being a "live wire" who had a "decent soul." He jokes she reminded him at times of a younger version of Granny Clampett from that show the Beverly Hillbillies. She had, and probably still does, a "mind of her own."
Mr. Steve's mother has at times used the word "feisty" when describing someone and that would be a good word to apply to Debra our Chief says. One time Debra's neighbor used the word "Spark plug" to describe her. Mr. Steve thought that was funny Dais says.
But, Debra smoked cigarettes. Mr. Steve admits he's not even close to being perfect but, he'd never been with a girl who smoked and, as much as he tried to ignore it, he just couldn't. He thinks Debra saw him as too "regimented" and "structured;" which he is he says.
At the time of the O.J trial Criminal trial, Mr. Steve helped Debra move from one place in West Los Angeles to another. At that time our Chief was driving what he calls his big "Boat Anchor" or 1978 Cadillac El Dorado which had been given to him by his parents.
In trip after trip Mr. Steve helped move Debra and Talia. That giant El Dorado carried a big load my boss says. Because of the cost of gas now Mr. Steve says it would be too "impractical" to drive such a large car today. He still has a soft spot for that old blue El Dorado.
When our Chief first met Debra and Talia they lived nearer to the beach in this area called "Sawtelle." But she moved into an apartment just to the south of the Santa Monica Freeway. In the years before and after World War II this area had been called "Little Osaka."
A few years ago Mr. Steve met a nice older Japanese-American lady who grew up in Little Osaka. She told him how at one time that area had been what they call a "tight-knit" community of Japanese people. This was before and then right after the Second World War.
I just noticed one of those vapor trails up high in the sky. I remember when Mr. Steve told us how that one painter Georgia O'Keefe said color was one of the things which made life "worth living." Looking to the east beyond the three Sheds I think I understand her.
I see so much green right now that I'm going to look up the word "photosynthesis." I meant to write about it yesterday but I had so many things crossed out on my outline that I overlooked it until this morning when Dais noticed it. Thank You Guys for Dais. You too Stanley.
My Encyclopedia says photosynthesis is Greek for "putting together with light." The reason why plants are green is because of "Chlorophyll." But, the scientific reasons why Photosynthesis happens is kind of hard to understand. All I know is I now sure like the color green!
That Japanese lady from West Los Angeles told our boss how, after Pearl Harbor, her family was "rounded up" and sent to "Internment Camps." Mr. Steve told her that his family doctors, Oda and Sakaguchi, were sent to those camps too. I smell a Mouse around here.
That Japanese lady told our boss they used to call Sawtelle "Soh te ru." They discussed how, in the early 20th century when her immigrant Grandparents first came to southern California these things called "Restrictive Covenants" were common in real estate contracts.
FORT MOORE PIONEER MONUMENT
As Dais and I understand it, a Restrictive "racial" Covenant in regard to land meant that only white people could live in most places. So for a long time Japanese were not allowed to live in Beverly Hills, Bel-Air or even in this town called Westwood. I see the Mouse.
Mr. Steve says Restrictive racial Covenants are now illegal. He and that Japanese lady talked about that. But now she told our Chief, it's kind of sad how Little Osaka has lost its Japanese identity. Oh! One of the Quail Companies is moving toward the desert with their babies.
Another thing Mr. Steve and that Japanese lady talked about was how from the mid-1930's during the Great Depression through the 1960's it was necessary for black people to travel with this thing called "The Negro Motorist Green Book." I can hear Crows cawing.
The "Green Book" was put out so black people would know which towns were okay to go to and not get beat up or insulted. And this wasn't a book about the South. It was a guide for the West when they traveled on Route 66. Fannie and Freddie are now flying bye.
I guess the Green Book also told black people which towns to not go into at night because you couldn't get a room there. Those towns were called "Sundown Towns" because you had to be out of the town by dark. Glendale and Burbank were both Sundown Towns.
Mr. Steve told that lady about how during much of the 20th century the public pool in the city of Pasadena, where Jackie Robinson grew up; had a thing called "Internatioan Day." That was the only day where blacks could go in to swim. I smell a new Creosote plant.
A lot of people associate racism in America with the Southern States; first during the time of slavery and then for the next one hundred years of what's called "Jim Crow." The Jim Crow era was a time "Segregation." That means whites and blacks lived separately.
During the late-1950's and early 1960's American whites resisted giving blacks equal rights; and it was not just down there in the South. From what our Chief told us that one time, in every part of the United States back then many if not most whites didn't like blacks.
MARTIN LUTHER KING (1929-1968) WITH FAMILY
Hey Lord! I guess that man Martin Luther King was a Protestant "Reverend." Dais thinks he was kind of like a Priest for us. He was important in getting the United States to finally give equal rights to African-Americans in the mid-1960's. I smell one of the new Sage plants.
From what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, Martin Luther King was also interested in getting more rights for the poor too. I guess he admired that guy from India Mahatma Ghandi. And I'm sure both of them knew about the ideas of that guy Henry David Thoreau.
Mr. Steve thinks that Martin Luther King probably modeled some of his own tactics on the non-violent ways Ghandi got the British to give up their power. In India and here in American many people were what they called "Second Class." A Crow just cawed faintly.
MAHATMA GHANDI (1869-1948)
As I mentioned yesterday; that guy Mahatma Ghandi shares a birthday with Mr. Steve's mom. My Encyclopedia says before he was famous Mahatma Ghandi was a Lawyer from South Africa; which was one of Queen Victoria's British Colonies just like India.
Martin Luther King's problem in 1966 was that many of the younger black "Activists" did not want to be non-violent. My Encyclopedia says people like Malcolm X were more "militant." To them "Passive Resistance" was weak. they even booed Martin Luther King.
From what it says here, in August of 1966 Martin Luther King went to the city of Chicago up there in the State of Illinois. He intended to challenge or "campaign" against poverty and what they call "De Facto" segregation in the North. I hear Blinky and Dawn barking.
When Mr. Steve and that Japanese lady discussed the Restrictive Racial Covenants here in Los Angeles he told her about what happened when Martin Luther King went to Chicago back in 1966. He got hit with a rock thrown by a member of a mob there to meet him.
A picture in this Encyclopedia shows the mob in Illinois attacking Martin Luther King. Mr. Steve says the people around Martin Luther King tried to shield him from the bricks and bottles being thrown at them by the angry crowd. Fannie and Freddie are flying bye.
I guess in 1966 the Police had to come in to protect Martin Luther King so he could make a speech. This was not the South. Chicago is up north. Mr. Steve says for a hundred years it was the white people who rioted and killed Blacks. Now it's the Blacks who riot more.
According to this Encyclopedia, when Martin Luther King was in Chicago in 1966 he heard white people chanting; "Two, four, six, eight! We don't want to integrate." My Dictionary says that to "integrate" means; "to bring separate parts together to make one whole."
In his fight against "economic inequality" Martin Luther King later said; "I have never seen, even in Mississippi and Alabama, mobs as hateful as I've seen here in Chicago." He described the way African-Americans were treated in the North as; "involuntary enslavement."
It says here in my Encyclopedia that during the Depression of the 1930's, before World War II; many blacks from the South moved. Some went to Chicago because they hoped to find better jobs and lives. But instead they found "Fire Bombings" and Restrictive Covenants.
Oh! There's a good quote here by that guy Martin Luther King; "For those of us who came to Chicago from Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, we found ourselves confronted by the hard realities of a social system in many ways more resistant to change than the rural South."
When they were talking about Little Osaka Mr. Steve told that lady how Mr. Grant and his wife Lori have a Condominium downtown in Little Tokyo. She knew that area well and said it's too bad there's so many homeless people there now. The Mouse just ran away.
That Japanese lady says she sometimes "reminisces" about the years before World War II when she and her family visited Little Tokyo on weekends. She told Mr. Steve about the open produce vendors selling apples, oranges and these Japanese pears called "Nashi."
From what that lady told Mr. Steve, Japanese have been living in downtown Los Angeles since the late 19th century. There were about thirty thousand Japanese-American people living in Little Tokyo in early 1942 when they were rounded up. I hear some Crows cawing.
Oh! This is interesting. This Encyclopedia says that President Franklin Roosevelt issued an "Executive Order" 9066 on February 19, 1942. That was to arrest and deport all of Japanese who lived in America. I think I'll use my Dictionary to look up the word "Incarcerate."
Looking at the list of important dates that Dais helped me put together I see that Mr. Steve's former girlfriend Harriet was born on February the 19th. Daisy says sometimes our boss thinks about Harriet on February 19th. Two of the Pigeons just flew bye right now.
Mr. Steve told us how at times he and his father have discussed the irony of how Franklin Roosevelt is now almost a "Deity" to the Liberal Left. Yet he really didn't like what he himself called "Orientals." And it seems like he didn't care a whole lot about Jews either.
Hearing our neighbors' Ducks quacking next door reminds me of how the lady from Little Osaka told Mr. Steve about eating Almond Duck at Restaurants in Little Tokyo. This was before the war. But that time ended suddenly and it would never be the same she said.
That lady said during the Second World War a lot of black people moved to Los Angeles for the jobs. By law they were not allowed to live in most areas so went to an Little Tokyo. The area was renamed "Bronzeville." Two of the Pigeons are flying in from the desert.
Mr. Steve told that lady he once met a man who knew a lot about the different Jazz clubs of 1940's and 1950's. He said he met his wife at one of them. Los Angeles has had so many really good musicians grow up here; or come out here to "make it" so to speak.
Another thing Mr. Steve told that lady is how he met a guy at C.S.U.N.'s Oviat Library who said his Japanese-American Uncle was in the 442nd Regiment that fought for the United States in World War II; even though his family was in an Internment Camp.
442ND REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
According to my Encyclopedia the "442nd" was a "Segregated" U.S. Army unit which was sent to fight in Europe against the Germans. That man at C.S.U.N. told our boss his Uncle saw a lot of combat in Italy after Benito Mussolini's government was "toppled" in 1943.
It says here that the 442nd Regimental Combat Team to this day is still the most "Decorated" unit in all of American military history! Oh! This is interesting. A "Senninbari" is a Japanese belt given to soldiers as a protective good luck "Amulet." I smell a Lizard nearby.
I just thought of something I also want to write about even thought it isn't on my outline; the "Tuskegee Airmen" of the Second World War. They were the first Black "Aviators" allowed to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Steve told us that they were really good Pilots.
My Encyclopedia says the Tuskegee Airmen got their name because they trained in Tuskegee, Alabama. And just like with the Japanese-American 442nd they were "subjected to the racial prejudice of the day;" so were "segregated" from white units. I can see the Lizard.
Mr. Steve says Sister Rita Joseph said no one group has a monopoly on either good or bad. And the Tuskegee Airmen proved that African-Americans can be as capable and courageous as any other race. I really like this painting of their Planes in this Encyclopedia.
"RED TAIL" P-51 MUSTANG
PAINTING BY COLIN PARKER
This painting shows the "Red Tails" escorting B-17 Bombers. I guess the Tuskegee Airmen flew a number of different kinds of Airplanes but gained fame in the P-51 Mustang. They were called Red Tails because of the "paint scheme" of their Planes. The Lizard ran away.
Mr. Steve told us that many people think the P-51 Mustang was the best Fighter Plane to "come out of" World War II; at least during the five years of war before the German Me-262 Jet showed up. When he was a kid our boss built a model of one of those P-51's.
KELLY JOHNSON (1910-1990) ADMIRAL YAMAMOTO KILLED
Yesterday in book two I wrote about Kelly Johnson who designed the P-51 and also the P-38 during World War II. The P-38, which shot down Admiral Yamamoto's Plane in 1943; was that one Plane which kind of looks like two different Airplanes combined together.
This Encyclopedia says President Roosevelt's wife Eleanor helped the Tuskegee Airmen try to "overcome" the "common view" that Blacks were "incapable" of flying Planes. She even flew in a Plane with one of the Tuskegee Airmen and said afterwards he was a good Pilot.
Now that I've learned about the Tuskegee Airmen I just thought of someone else I should also mention. His name is Booker T. Washington and he was a really smart man who was born a Slave just before the Civil War. Later he ran this thing called the "Tuskegee Institute."
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (1856-1915) WITH FAMILY
According to what my Encyclopedia says here that man Booker T. Washington learned how to read and write and eventually became highly educated. He was married three times because his first two wives died. But I guess all of them were really good partners in his life.
Oh! This an interesting quote by Booker T. Washington; "Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than around bad company." Boy, that really sounds just like what Sister Clara Joseph used to tell her class at Saint Ferdinands.
It says here that Booker T. Washington was the first black to ever visit the White House as a guest of a President. He was invited there by Theodore Roosevelt. It sure sounds like Booker T. Washington was a very smart person in a lot of areas. A Sparrow just landed on Moe.
Well, I kind of got off on a tangent again. But sometimes ideas just come into my mind and I feel like learning about them. Dais says that's perfectly okay because I can do whatever I want to do with my three books. But now back to talking about that guy O.J. Simpson.
Before O.J. Simpson was arrested for the deaths of his wife and that guy Ron Goldman he was involved in the now famous "Bronco chase." Dais told me a Bronco is not only a Horse but also a "Sports Utility Vehicle" made by that company called Ford. The Sparrow flew away.
I guess O.J. Simpson owned a white Ford Bronco. And when the Police tried to arrest him he tried to escape in it. This is when, on the "405" north or "San Diego" Freeway, many Police Cars were slowly following O.J. Simpson toward his home in Brentwood.
Well, it just happened that on that exact same day of the Bronco chase Mr. Steve went to visit Debra and Talia in West Los Angeles. It was a Friday and Mr. Steve left for Debra's at about six thirty in the evening. I just picked up the scent of a Squirrel somewhere around here.
Normally, to get to Debra's new place, our Chief would go south on the 405 Freeway; then west on the "10" or "Santa Monica" Freeway toward the beach. In the 1960's his mother used to drive them to that beach. He's had dreams about "Santa Monica Beach."
Going south from the Valley on the 405 Freeway, through the "Sepulveda Pass," Mr. Steve noticed there were no Cars going north in the opposite direction. So he knew immediately that something was wrong. He decided to "jump off" of the Freeway. I see the Squirrel.
Getting off of the Freeway on "Sunset " Boulevard, our Chief then took "back streets" over to Debra's house in West Los Angeles. Today that part of the 405 Freeway is always crowded, even on weekends my boss says. That Squirrel is standing next to Jack the big Shed.
Sunset Boulevard, where Mr. Steve got off of the 405 Freeway, is near U.C.L.A. But instead of going left towards U.C.L.A., he went west toward the beach. Then, when he got to "Bundy" he turned left or toward the south. I can now hear Blinky and Dawn barking.
Mr. Steve and Debra had planned on taking Talia and going out to dinner. But when my boss got to Debra's apartment at about seven she was watching the Bronco chase on tv. They both decided to order pizza and stay there. The Ground Squirrel just ran away.
Dais and I love pizza! But today, because I'm thinking about Heathcliff dying, I really don't have an appetite. And for the third day in a row we haven't had any snacks. Maybe we'll have cold pizza tonight. Sometimes Mr. Steve has left over pizza. I smell Juniper.
Some time back our Chief read about this Jewish female "Judge" named "Deborah." In the Old Testament she was written about in the "Book of Judges." Some people now call Deborah the "Mother of Israel." In Hebrew Mr. Steve told us, Deborah means "Bee."
Oh wow! Just when I was thinking about Bee's one flew past! Maybe a good sign? What with Heathcliff and all I want to believe that. Last year a swarm of Bees went into our Garage and gathered on the wall above Daisy's area near the Utility Room entrance.
As I've mentioned before, I'm still kind of afraid of things that sting. Even though Bees are small they're scary if you really look close at them. They have big eyes and a mouth that looks like it could bite hard. But the needle-like stingers in back hurt if they push it in you.
We have an electric Garage door that goes up and down. To get rid of the Bees that one time Mr. Steve closed the Garage door but left a small area open near the floor. And, little by little all of those Bees ended up flying out on their own. Dais was sure happy about that.
In my outline for this third book I had that girl Debra listed as one topic. And later I added to look up and write about that Jewish "Judge" Deborah. I guess back in those ancient days a Judge was a "Prophet" or "seer" like the Greek Sybil, Nostradamus or Edgar Casey.
DEBORAH (1107-1067 B.C.?)
The reason why I decided to add Deborah to my things to be written about is because she sounds sort of like Mr. Steve's Debra. And Dais says it would be a good idea to mention the old Deborah because she's just another example of a very able or capable female.
In my Encyclopedia it says Judge Deborah was "intelligent, strong-willed and independent." She must've been a good strategist in war our Chief says. Oh! I just noticed another vapor trail up in the sky. Dais and I really like looking at vapor trails. I smell a Joshua tree.
Mr. Steve told me that Dais is slowly going blind. If she lives long enough her eyes will turn sky blue just like Mr. Grant's Dog Miggie. That's why our boss says I'll be expected to help out Daisy a lot more as she ages. God! You know I plan on doing just that!
From what it says here Judge Deborah is mentioned in this one poem called the "Song of Deborah." This is interesting. Because it was probably written in about 1000 B.C. that poem might just be the earliest known example of what they call "Hebrew poetry."
According to this Encyclopedia that lady Deborah most likely lived in the 12th century B.C.; when what's called the "Bronze Age" was ending and the "Iron Age" was beginning. She was the 4th Judge of the time when the people of ancient Israel wanted a King.
In 1985 the Bus Mr. Steve's Tour Group were on drove near "Mount Tabor." This is where Deborah gathered her soldiers and told them how to beat the"Canaanites." And in that battle the Canaanite King was killed. Oh! I smell a Gopher somewhere around here.
Aha! I see the Gopher sticking his nose out of his hole just to the side of Manny the Shed. It's a big Gopher. That reminds me about that animal from Australia called a "Wombat." Dais says it's the biggest "burrowing" animal. Burrowing means to dig tunnels in the ground.
Even though it wasn't on my outline I feel like learning more about Wombats. It says here in this Encyclopedia that they got their name from "Aboriginal" people who lived in Australia before Europeans. Oh! Wombats carry their babies in pouches like a Kangaroo.
Oh my God! According to my Encyclopedia some Wombats can weight sixty pounds! That's almost as much as I weigh. I guess they mainly come out at night and the momma's baby pouch opens toward her rear so she can dig. That Gopher just went back underground.
This is interesting. A Wombat's front teeth never stop growing. Wombats are what they call "Marsupials." That means a Mammal which carries its babies in a pouch. Wombats look like they would be friendly but I'll bet they have sharp teeth. Their babies are cute.
Well, back to my outline and writing about that Old Testament Judge named Deborah. It says her she told her soldiers to lure the Canaanite chariots onto soft ground where their wheels got stuck. Then they slaughtered them. A cool breeze just came in off of the eastern desert.
This is interesting. I guess in North Africa in World War II the British General Montgomery had the story of the Judge Deborah in mind when he fought Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps back in 1942. He knew that sand made it hard to "maneuver" big heavy tanks.
For a long time O.J. Simpson was the only famous person Mr. Steve knew of who was born on July the 9th. But now he's learned out about other what they call "celebrities" who were born on that date. Some are entertainers. Sometimes I really wish I knew my birthday.
TOM HANKS AND WIFE DONALD RUMSFELD JACK WHITE
Some of the people who were born on July the 9th are; actor Tom Hanks, politician Donald Rumsfeld and musician Jack White. Mr. Steve says all three seem to be basically decent people; unlike O.J. Simpson who faked being a nice guy when it turned out he really wasn't.
Mr. Steve likes the band called the WHITE STRIPES. That's Jack White's band. It's kind of unique band because there are only two people in the band. Jack White plays guitar and does most of the singing. His wife named Meg plays drums and also sings at times.
Mr. Steve has a few customers in the State of Michigan. One is a Subaru dealer in the city of Detroit where the WHITE STRIPES are from. The Parts Manager has discussed the WHITE STRIPES with Mr. Steve. I smell Rudy the Roadrunner somewhere around here.
The only WHITE STRIPES album Mr. Steve knows about has a song called "Seven Nation Army" on it. Mr. Steve plays it on drums Daisy told me. Mr. Steve's Niece Samantha also likes that song I guess. And so do Daisy and I when we hear it on Mr. Steve's Boombox.
Seven Nation Army is such a good song. It's kind of like one of those Anthems and Dais told me sometimes the organ player at sporting events even plays it for the crowd to sing along to. It gives me energy right now hearing it in my head. I see Rudy under Manny.
It was Samantha who found out that Jack White was also born on July 9th. And she read he also thinks there's a lot of importance in the number 3; the band color scheme is red, white and black and there is only guitar, drums and singing on most of their songs I guess.
That one Subaru Parts Manager told our boss about how one of the Companies the WHITE STRIPES worked for was called "Third Man Records." And he said he heard that Jack White one time built his own three string guitar. Rudy is looking at me over here on Elvira.
Hey God! As you know, the Parts Manager at that Subaru dealership told Mr. Steve about how he read this quote by Jack White; "I have three fathers, my biological father, God and Bob Dylan." I can really smell Rudy now because a breeze is coming in from the desert.
Mr. Steve says one of the things he likes about the WHITE STRIPES is how uncomplicated their songs seem. They sound kind of like the "Garage Rock" songs he and his friends liked in High School. A Train just whistled faintly way out there in the desert to the northeast.
From what Dais says, our Chief thinks Jack White's wife is not what they call a "formally trained" drummer. It almost sounds he says like Jack White just showed her what to do and then he plays over the top of her "solid bottom." Rudy just ran out into the desert.
Mr. Steve told us that girl Meg White is a very good example of how you don't have to be a "Virtuoso" in music. In book two yesterday I wrote about that band SPARKS who write very simple but catchy and effective songs. Meg White provides the base for her husband.
JOHN / YOKO PAUL / LINDA
It's possible Mr. Steve thinks, that Jack White could just feel more comfortable with his wife around. The BEATLES John Lennon and Paul McCartney wanted their wives to be up there on the stage even though they weren't professional musicians. They simply felt better.
Over the years Mr. Steve has met men who preferred their wives being around. Yesterday in book two I mentioned the Basketball Lakers announcer Chick Hearn. Mr. Steve doesn't know for sure but has a feeling he might've been like that with his wife named Marge.
Daisy thinks our boss would enjoy what they call "jamming" with Jack White. He thinks it would be fun. Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself how he can tell that Jack White also likes many types of music. That one Thrasher Bird just zipped bye right in front of the big tree.
HANK WILLIAMS CAPTAIN BEEFHEART DICK DALE
Mr. Steve thinks, from what few WHITE STRIPES songs he knows; that Jack White likes everything from Hank Williams' Country music to Dick Dale's Surf Rock songs. That Subaru Parts Manager says he also once covered three of Captain Beefheart's songs.
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Steve doesn't believe that just because you share a birthday with someone you're going to be like them. But from what he's heard about Jack White he does kind of like some of the same things as Jack White. A Wren is chattering nearbye.
In book one on Thursday I wrote about how some musicians like Joe Walsh of the EAGLES and Neil Young prefer Analog to Digital. That Subaru Parts Manager told Mr. Steve Jack White feels the same way. He even likes to use some older guitars and amplifiers too.
IGGY AND THE STOOGES MC5
In book one the day before yesterday I mentioned that IGGY AND THE STOOGES are also from Detroit like Jack White. So is Ted Nugent and this other band called the MC5. Daisy says our boss has an old vinyl record of by the MC5. I hear the Ducks quacking next door.
"MC" stands for "Motor City" I'll bet. That's kind of like how the name "Motown" is short for "Mototr Town." Mr. Steve says a lot of good music has come out of Detroit. Daisy likes this other guy named Kid Rock. She says that he plays Hard Rock Rap music.
Well, I think I'll take a break and go see what Dais is doing. Judging by where the Sun is up in the sky it's about two thirty in the afternoon. Because the Sun is now on the other side of the house the shadow are beginning to lean away from me here sitting on Elvira.
Well, I'm back Everyone! I went to see Daisy and she says we probably won't be getting any snacks again today. Oh well, that's okay she says. I knew that she would be thinking about how Heathcliff won't be around tomorrow morning. Daisy is getting kind of old too.
Ah! Taking in a deep breath of fresh air I can smell those two Joshua trees out there in our back half acre. I sure do wish Roosters could live as long a Joshua tree. I wish Dogs could live as long as Joshua trees too. But I know that's an impossible thing to hope for God.
It's back to my outline for me. I've already finished seven chapters. Boy, this day, like the other two days; is going so fast. Looking at my outline I see that for the next two chapters I'll write about popular culture entertainment. I can still smell the two Joshua's.
Back in 1988 that tv show "The Wonder Years" came out. Our Chief never watches the current "Situation Comedies;" or "Sit Coms." But, as I said in book one; The Wonder Years was about the suburbs in 1968 and the main character was thirteen like he was.
As I mentioned on Thursday, at times Mr. Steve sees his own life in episodes of The Wonder Years. He saw so much of his brothers and sisters lives portrayed in that tv show. Someday I really want to see The Wonder Years! Daisy is so lucky! She's watched it a few times. THE WONDER YEARS
Mr. Steve later found out that Fred Savage, who played Kevin on The Wonder Years, was also born on July the 9th. He thought this was a coincidence. In 1968 our boss was also having to deal with things like trying to fit in, peer group pressure and playing sports. Dais says in one episode of The Wonder Years that kid Kevin wanted to impress this girl named "Winnie" by playing Football. Mr. Steve told us that at age thirteen you pretend to not like the "opposite" sex. But you really do so try to "catch their attention" as they say.
Trying to what they call "show off" that boy Kevin drops an easy pass and the Football then lands at the feet of that girl Winnie. She picks up the football and hands it back to him. And he tries to act like nothing has happened. She smiled at him Dais told me. Of course that boy Kevin is really embarrassed and some of the other boys laughed at him; especially his older brother who really "needled" him. Daisy says one time our Chief told her and Millie he had a similar experience at Saint Ferdinands. Knowing this girl Sheri was watching him play Kickball he made what should have been a "routine" catch in center field look like a more difficult "over the shoulders" Willie Mays-type running catch. But he hit a bench and fell really hard. Our Chief was so embarrassed. He cut the left corner of his mouth back toward the ear. Doctor Sakaguchi had to stitch him back together. But he joked that at least he didn't drop the ball; and later that girl Sheri was really nice to him too. I just smelled Libby. Mr. Steve says the theme of The Wonder Years was a Beatles song called "With a Little Help From My Friends" done by this guy from England named Joe Cocker. Our boss told us that in his subjective opinion Joe Cocker's version is better than the Beatles version.
Mr. Steve admires Joe Cocker. He wasn't good good looking, his voice was "rough" and he "contorted" all over the place when he sang. This comedian named John Belushi imitated him Dais says. But he was a "good sport" and even made fun of himself our boss told us.
From what our boss says Joe Cocker does better versions of other peoples songs; and not just the BEATLES. He blended Rock, Soul, Country and Blues into his own style. Mr. Steve says at times he reminded him of that one famous blind singer named Ray Charles.
JIMI HENDRIX CANNED HEAT
Joe Cocker played at Woodstock in 1969; just like CANNED HEAT and Jimi Hendrix. Our Chief read that as a Session Musician Jimmy Page played guitar on With a Little Help From My Friends. Joe Cocker did a good version of a song called " The Letter" Mr. Steve says.
Mr. Steve doesn't really believe in Astrology but some of the girls he's been with did. That girl Debra even paid this other girl to do what they call a "Chart" on their "compatibility." Of course our boss jokes, they were found to be very "good matches." I smell Sage.
Even though he doesn't believe in Astrology and would never use the daily predictions as a guide to his life, our Chief does like to look in the newspapers and see what happened and who was born on certain dates. That's why Daisy and I are now interested in that too.
A few years ago Mr. Steve's parents were walking around this place called the "Northridge Fashion Center." In a bookstore which our boss has also been to a few times they saw this book called an "Almanac." So they bought it for him. I smell some Quail nearby.
An Almanac can tell you who was born on your birthday and what events happened on that date. On their birthdays Mr. Steve likes to read those things to others. But he shows them that good and bad people have been and are born on the same date . I see the Quail.
I just noticed a Lizard standing in the shadow of our big Shed Jack. Because he's staying as still as a rock it's kind of hard to see him because he's blending in with that shadow. I just used my English Dictionary to look up the word "camouflage." I hear the Quail.
Not wanting to brag but, I have great what they call "Peripheral" vision. Daisy used to but now she jokes her eyes are "tired." Oftentimes, out of the "corner of my eye" as they say, I'll catch movement; even a slight movement. But I didn't see those Quail arrive.
According to my outline for this last book I still want to say a few things about that tv show The Wonder Years. I've never seen it but Dais has because she's not afraid to go all the way into our boss's Bedroom. It's on what they call "reruns." I just noticed a Lizard over there.
Daisy says The Wonder Years is only on at night. A since I'm afraid to go even into the living room when it's dark I can't watch it. Dais is right. Because of my what they call "unfounded" fears I'm missing out on so much. That Lizard just ran under Moe the Shed.
When she's watched that show The Wonder Years Daisy wondered if that kid Kevin was like our boss at that age. He was also born on July the 9th after all. She says from the episodes she's seen that kid Kevin seems like he'd probably be really nice to us Dogs. But it's hard to tell.
Dais says in one episode of The Wonder Years that her and Millie watched involved Kevin's best friend Paul. Mr. Steve says he kind of looked like Paul at that age because he wore black-rimmed glasses too. That one Lizard just ducked quickly under Jack the Shed.
The Nuns at Saint Ferdinand's taught our boss that everyone has the capacity for good and bad; no matter what date you were born on. It's how one resists wrong that matters they said. And Sister Rita Joseph told them; "a decent person repents after doing wrong."
Dais told me that in that episode she and Millie saw "repentance" was the issue. It was about how friends like Kevin and Paul sometimes do stupid things and fight with each other. But then she says, they each admitted they were wrong and just "made up" as they say.
Daisy says Mr. Steve thought it was funny when this man on the radio joked that Paul from The Wonder Years had grown up to be the singer Marilyn Manson. Dais saw a Marilyn Manson video once. It was kind of scary. Oh! There goes a Bronze Cow Bird.
From what Dsis told me, when our boss was young he wore black glasses just like the ones that kid Paul wore on The Wonder Years. Back then everyone who needed glasses did she says. Mr. Steve has a picture of himself wearing a Baseball uniform with glasses like that.
MR. STEVE (AGE 13)
If we could use Mr. Peabody's Time Machine Daisy and I would definitely go back in time to see what our boss was like when he was growing up. He jokes that as a kid he was "geeky" and at times too sort of "self-conscious" about being thought of as "goofy."
I'm still thinking about that girl Debra who Mr. Steve used to go out with. He told Dais that one reason he never married is, more than most, he's a creature of habit. This is both good and bad he admits. Oh! I hear a Helicopter coming and it's coming from the southeast.
There it is! The Helicopter just flew past our house and is moving toward the northwest. In our neighbor's property I can hear Dawn and Blinky barking at that Helicopter. And I see Libby the Horse just looked up at that Helicopter too. I'd be afraid to fly in a Helicopter.
Mr. Steve knows that most women would find him to be too boringly predictable in most of his routines. But Daisy and I like routines! In fact, we prefer it that way. One time our boss was away for six days and it was kind of scary not being in our normal routines.
Besides being too mundane a person, our boss jokes most women don't like it when he plays drums or music loud. Daisy and I like loud music; and soft music too. One of our favorite songs on the Boombox is Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." I hear it in my head right now.
Mr. Steve seldom loses things. One reason is because he's such a Creature of Habit. When he gets home after going out, if he doesn't put his wallet and keys in their exact ”spot” as soon as he enters the Kitchen he feels uncomfortable. A Train just whistled faintly.
Dais and I have noticed how our Chief has his tools, ropes, chains, and everything else in the Garage and house in their own particular spots. That's mainly because he doesn't like it when he can't find something. I just picked up the faint scent of one of the Sagebrush plants.
I'm so glad Dais found all of these notebooks, Dictionaries and pencils in that open file cabinet in the Garage. That was about seven months ago. that drawer is never open. Mr. Steve would have never left it open like that. There goes our four Pigeons flying toward the east.
Hey God? Maybe it was You who had the wind blow open that drawer? You know that Daisy thinks it was You. Mr. Steve believes that most of the time You don't "intervene" in the "Affairs of Men" as the say. But Blessed Mother, I want to think You sometimes do.
Well, just like in the last two days, just when I'm thinking of You Blessed Virgin, I suddenly smell a Rosemary plant. I can tell by the direction the scent is coming from that plant is out in the eastern desert beyond our three Shed. Two of the Pigeons just flew past.
In looking for something, Mr. Steve knows where it's "likely" to be. He doesn't like it when he can't find something. Daisy says that one of these days he'll probably go out into the Garage and notice that these notebooks and pencils are gone from that file cabinet drawer.
There's nothing that annoys our Chief more than when he can't find something. That's why he would never want to live with what they call a "Roommate." He says roommates may be good for making a little extra money but bad for losing a "measure of privacy.”
Dais jokes that she and I are sort of like our Chief's roommates. And she says we're so lucky that we all have our own privacy when we want it; like in the last three days as I've been writing my three books. Dais is "giving me space" as they say; so I can finish my work.
Mr. Steve told us of cases where friends ended up disliking each other after being roommates. Misplacing things is not something he does often and when something isn't where it's supposed to be he gets upset. Daisy calls it one of his “Pet Peeves.” Ah! I smell a Joshua tree.
Dais has influenced me to become more organized. We do this so our Chief will notice and, as Daisy says, because it's in our "best interest" to keep him happy. Plus she says, it's just logical to know where all of our bones and toys are, or should be, on our two acres.
I still haven't had to chance to chew on my new green ball which is still sitting over there. But I'll have plenty of time to enjoy it tomorrow when I'm finished with this third book; even though I'll probably feel sort of guilty having fun knowing that Heathcliff is gone forever.
I'm now in the habit of “stashing” things for a “rainy day.” Daisy taught me to do this. But, sometimes it's hard not to eat all of the meat on a bone or to save a ball or rawhide for later. My boss says "instant gratification" is usually not a good thing. I smell a Squirrel nearby.
Dais says we're lucky Mr. Steve sometimes hides rawhide bones and other things like that in places he knows our nose will take us. This creates a sense of surprise Daisy told me. And boy is she right! I really love finding good things just when you least expect it.
I'm showing how disciplined I am by not chewing on my green ball. I'd like to go chew on it now but that's okay. I'll delay because I'm too busy doing something which, in the "long run," will be more important to our family. My boss will be proud of me. I see the Squirrel.
This morning I tried to slow down when I ate. I can tell that Dais was kind of proud of me. She hasn't growled at me for looking at her food bowl in a long time. On those occasions Daisy sounds kind of mean when she snarls at me. I hear Birds singing faintly.
No matter what she does I know that Daisy's not really mean. Oh! I just picked up Blinky's scent from next door. And now I can smell both Twinky and Rosie too. I'm sure they've noticed that Heathcliff is gone. That Ground Squirrel just ran under Jack the big Shed.
I wish I could take my time when eating but, I just can't! I try to slow down but, I still have an uneasy feeling someone will steal my food before I finish. It's very hard to stop doing it. I'm still kind of nervous at times. Heathcliff dying has made me feel kind of nervous.
Oh my God! She's back! I see Max the Hummingbird and his girlfriend 99 is with him! What a good sign! I should put my things away and go up front to tell Dais. We've been hoping nothing bad happened to 99. So now, the Bluebirds and 99 are back. Hooray!
Max and 99 are playing together! Daisy thinks 99 has probably been busy building her nest lately. Dais says Hummingbirds build their nests out of plants, twigs and even some Spider web fiber. Max and 99 seem like best friends. You can tell how much they like each other.
Dais noticed that, like some other Birds, when a female Hummingbird has babies and then sits on her nest her color gets duller so she can blend in more with the plants around her. And she also becomes a whole lot more aggressive in defending her children.
When a Hummingbird defends it's nest Dais has noticed that females become just as agressive as males; maybe even more. My Encyclopedia says Hummingbirds usually have two babies but sometimes three. And it usually takes two or three weeks for the eggs to hatch.
According to Mr. Steve Hummingbird nests are usually hard to see because the parents disguise them so well. The eggs look just like little coffee beans our boss says. It says right here in this one Encyclopedia that a Hummingbird's nest is called a "Clutch."
This is interesting. I guess a Hummingbird mother has to eat her own "body weight" in food every day during the time she's sitting on and then guarding her little babies. Hummingbird's are tiny and so are their little nests too. Seeing Max and 99 play together makes me think of the tv show Get Smart. Mr. Steve thinks it was one of the funniest shows ever because it was satirical in such clever ways. He thinks that Jonathon Swift and Aldous Huxley would have thought it hilarious.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and me that in that tv show Get Smart Agent 99 really wanted to be a couple romantically with Maxwell Smart but he didn't know it. Dais says Agent 99 often secretly solved the problems while making it look like Max did it. I hear Dawn barking.
In reality Agent 99 was much smarter than Agent Smart but was happy to see him get all of the credit for things. My boss says this is kind of like his parents who are the happiest when the other one is happy. "Two halves make one whole" as they say. I smell an old Sage bush.
Ah! That startled me! Bonnie and Clyde the Birds just flew in and landed near their nest up on the ceiling of the patio. Now those baby Birds are starting to chirp for food. They've been so quiet today. I wonder if they were sad about Heathcliff. Nah! Probably not.
Seeing our Birds gives me the perfect excuse to write about the real Bonnie and Clyde from the time of the Great Depression. Dais had me originally scheduled to write about them in book one on Thursday but I missed it on my outline. A Bunny Rabbit just hopped bye.
My Encyclopedia says that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were "Gangsters." Like most people during the 1930's they were poor. Oh! This is interesting. I guess Clyde cut of two of his own toes in order to get out of a brutal "Work Detail" at a Prison in Texas.
The original Bonnie and Clyde were from Dallas, near to where Mr. Steve's brother lives with his sons rocky Jr. and Jacob. And just as Agent 99 was smarter than Max, Mr. Steve told us that Bonnie seems to have been smarter than Clyde. I see white wispy clouds over the desert.
"MACHINE GUN" KELLY (1895-1954) WITH WIFE
Another Gangster from the 1930's was a guy called "Machine Gun" Kelly. According to Mr. Steve his wife seemed smarter than he was. She bought him his first "Thompson" Machine Gun and was the one who created his image. Rudy the Roadrunner is near the back gate.
Mr. Steve says he read in this book he has on the 1930's that many of the people who got to know Machine Gun Kelly said the "Tough Guy" image his wife created for him didn't exactly fit him. They said he was more like a Banker or something. Rudy ducked under Moe.
From what Mr. Steve read in that one book Machine Gun Kelly's wife kind of liked most of the "better things in life." She's the one who convinced her husband to do that "Kidnapping for Ransom" that eventually got him put in prison. I hear the Ducks quacking next door.
"BABY FACE" NELSON (1908-1934) "PRETTY BOY" FLOYD (1904-1934)
Daisy and I noticed how some 1930's Depression era Gangsters have nicknames just like we do. "Machine Gun Kelly was just one. "Baby Face" Nelson and "Pretty Boy" Floyd were Bank Robbers who were both killed by Police in 1934. Rudy is looking at me from under Moe.
Looking up to see Bonnie and Clyde the Birds above me near their nest makes me think about how Mr. Steve thinks our Bonnie seems to be the "brains" while Clyde is the "brawn" as they say. Boy, those baby Birds sure are chirping loud now. Oh! I smell a new Creosote plant.
BONNIE AND CLYDE
Mr. Steve thinks no matter what else you say about them, it's obvious Bonnie and Clyde were extremely loyal to each other. Bonnie wrote a poem about it and Clyde protected her in the same way Underdog protects that girl Dog Polly. Rudy just ran back out into the desert.
During the Depression it was Bonnie Parker who helped create for herself and Clyde what's called the "Robin Hood" or "Jesse James" image of "David versus Goliath." I just looked up to see that Fannie and Freddie are flying toward the southeast over Libby's Corral.
Wow! According to this Encyclopedia Bonnie Parker was an "Honor Student" when she was in elementary school. Mr. Steve says he's no expert but, in his subjective opinion; he thinks she wrote some pretty good poems. And he noticed that she had good handwriting.
This Encyclopedia says the "Barrow Gang" killed nine people from 1932 through 1935. This was when they were what's called "On the Run." The last year of Bonnie and Clyde's lives were definitely not the glorious life shown in the 1960's movie about them Mr. Steve told us.
Mr. Steve and his friend John snuck in to see the movie Bonnie and Clyde way back in the 1960's; even though their parents had forbade them from seeing movies like that. The "Tidings" rated it "Condemned." The Tidings is one of the Catholic weekly Newspapers.
In that movie about Bonnie and Clyde Mr. Steve told us it almost seemed at times as if they were just out having fun. But in real life both were always worried and in physical pain. Bonnie had a bad burn on her leg after some of the "Acid" in a Car Battery spilled on her.
Oh! There's a good picture here in this Encyclopedia that shows the real Bonnie and Clyde right next to the Actors who played them. In both images the couple is "Goofing Around" with one of their shotguns. As I mentioned before; Dais says our Chief has a shotgun.
The caption below the pictures of Bonnie and Clyde says the Actor who played Clyde in the movie was over six feet tall. The Actress who played Bonnie was five foot seven. But in real life Clyde was five foot five and Bonnie five feet tall. Mr. Steve's sister Susan is five seven.
Rudy the Roadrunner is looking at me. I had a feeling someone was looking at me. Rudy is cocking his head to the side and looks puzzled. I'll bet he's wondering why I haven't been out there chasing him like I usually do. Ah! Rudy just bolted and is running away fast.
Mr. Steve says the most memorable scene in the movie about Bonnie and Clyde was the end when they got ambushed and killed. It was the first time he ever noticed what they call "Slow Motion." Oh! Samson and Delilah are flying bye; in almost perfect formation.
I just glanced up at the sky and see one of those white Vapor Trails going to the southeast. Libby's over there in her Corral just standing around. Her old skinny tail is moving back and forth. But I also see a few Flies. I hope that's not a bad sign for the year.
Hey God! As You know, later in life Mr. Steve admitted to his parents that as a kid he saw movies he wasn't supposed to see. Later this afternoon Dais has me scheduled to write about the music in these other 1960's movies about a Motorcycle Gang called the "Hell's Angels."
But "In the End" as they say, Bonnie and Clyde were blown apart. Mr. Steve told us Bonnie had a bullet go through one side of her jaw and come out the other side. He's seen some of the "gruesome" pictures of their "bullet-ridden" bodies and says they're pretty bad.
A Crow just cawed faintly way out there in the eastern desert. The 1930's had an effect on our family. But we're not at all unique. Many families can say that. An economic depression is definitely "No Fun" as they say. I hope we never go into one of those depressions again.
A picture of Clyde Barrow in my Encyclopedia shows him holding a "Browning Automatic Rifle;" or "B.A.R." Mr. Steve's father used those during the Korean War. And this one picture shows Clyde in front of a Car he probably stole. I smell that one old Cholla cactus.
When Mr. Steve's father fought in the Korean War his main "Duty" was to be what they call a "Spotter." This means he often stood up on a hill and looked through binoculars like the ones Mr. Steve has in the house. This was so he could tell the Artillery where to shoot.
Dais told me that our boss has a replica "Thompson" Machine Gun in his Office. But it only shoots little B.B.'s and is smaller than a real one. That was the gun Gangsters used during the the 1930's. It was the gun used to commit the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.
This Encyclopedia says it was during Bonnie and Clyde's time that the Ford Motor Company "came out with" the first eight cylinder motor in Cars. So Clyde stole those because he could "outrun" even the Police. A Squirrel just ran into our Neighbors Barn. Oh boy!
I just noticed a group of black Birds up there in the sky. They're flying toward the north. Wow! I can't believe God that Heathcliff's voice will not be there tomorrow to greet our day. I almost feel as though all of a sudden I'll hear him crowing. I already miss Heathcliff.
Oh well, back to book three. My Encyclopedia says Clyde with his B.A.R.'s was for a while able to "outgun" most Policemen. And in his stolen Ford's he could "outrun" them too. I guess in those days if you made it across a "State Line" the Police couldn't follow you.
Mr. Steve says, to a certain extent; Bonnie and Clyde "took advantage of" or "exploited" the fact that many people do not like Banks or what they call big "Corporations." And during the 1930's Great Depression people hated Banks even more than usual he told Daisy and I.
As I've mentioned before; one of Mr. Steve's favorite tv shows was the Beverly Hillbillies. He thinks it one of the best stories to use the "Fish out of Water" theme. Dais told me it's so funny. I smell a Ground Squirrel somewhere nearby. And I can tell it's new around here.
Daisy says the Beverly Hillbillies Actors were so talented. The man who played the greedy and what they call "Unscrupulous" Beverly Hills Banker "Milburn Drysdale" was an almost perfect stereotype of what many think a Banker is. Ah! I see the new Squirrel.
From what Dais says and I wrote down here in this outline; Mr. Steve thinks the writers on on the Beverly Hillbillies were good at writing what's called "Double Entendres." That means "a statement that can understood in two ways." Oh! I can smell some new Sagebrush.
Dais says "Mr. Drysdale" goes to "Great Lengths" to make sure "Uncle Jed" doesn't take his twenty five million dollars out of his Bank and go back home. He makes the Clampet's feel as though he's doing them a favor "guarding" their money. The Squirrel is gone.
Mr. Steve always thought for some reason that the Clampet's were originally from the State of Tennessee. But a few years ago this one pretty older lady told him how "Bug Tussle," where the Clampet's are supposedly from; is actually a real town in Kentucky.
Dais says another Beverly Hillbillies character was Mr. Drysdale's Secretary named "Jane Hathaway. I guess Mr. Steve thought she was really smart. Mr. Steve's parents thought it funny whenever "Miss Jane" tried to "Put a Reign on" her greedy boss's way of thinking.
Well, back to my outline. Oh darn! I forgot to write about the "War Memorials" our boss's family visited in 2008 when they visited Washington D.C. I was supposed to put it after talking about the Browning Automatic Rifles and how Clyde Barrow used them a lot.
Instead of going back and inserting this section where it was intended I think I'll just put it in right here instead. As I wrote about on Thursday in book one; in July of 2008 Steve's family visited Washington D.C. and saw a lot of the "Sites" and also the Museums too.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
One of the things to see in the "Nation's Capitol" are what they call "Memorials." Some of them are dedicated to those who died in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. When he was standing next to the Korean War Memorial Mr. Steve's father got emotional.
Mr. Steve's friend Cliff has never been to the Vietnam War Memorial. As I mentioned in book two yesterday; Mr. Cliff fought in the Vietnam War. So our boss showed him the pictures he took when there in 2008. Mr. Cliff knows a lot about 20th century American wars.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
From what Mr. Steve told us, probably the most famous of all the Memorials back there in Washington D.C. is the one dedicated to the 1945 World War II Battle of "Iwo Jima." It's a big statue that shows some Marines raising the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima.
Yesterday in book two I wrote about what happened on the day after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese also surprised General Douglas MacArthur and the American's in the Philippines. It was so embarrassing I guess. I hear two Crows squawking.
DOUGLAS MACARTHUR (1880-1964)
There's a good picture of that guy Douglas MacArthur in this Encyclopedia. I notice he's smoking one of those pipes. But I've never seen one like the one he has in his mouth. Daisy says our boss has an old pipe in the house that belonged to his Grandpa Trujillo.
As I mentioned yesterday when I wrote about that one man from New Mexico named Mr. Espinosa; the Japanese conquered a lot of land after Pearl Harbor. But by mid-1945 General MacArthur had taken back a large part of that "territory" stolen by Japan.
General MacArthur's "Island hopping" strategy against the Japanese was effective. By the middle of 1945 he had pushed the Japanese back almost all the way back to their main islands. I can now hear those two Crows way out there in the desert yelling at each other.
The map in this Encyclopedia shows how General MacArthur pushed the Japanese back to Japan. The red arrows representing American forces start at Pearl Harbor and then move in a westward direction toward Japan. Ah! I can smell a Field Mouse around here.
As I wrote yesterday, in early 1942 General MacArthur did not want to abandon men like that guy Mr. Espinosa in the Philippines. But he had to because President Roosevelt ordered he leave. So he promised the people of the Philippines he would return someday.
GENERAL MACARTHUR RETURNS TO THE PHILIPPINES (1944)
The caption below the picture in my Encyclopedia says the image shows General MacArthur "wading" ashore on a Philippino beach in October 1944. He was "fulfilling" his promise to come back to the Philippines. I just noticed a Mouse standing in the dirt over there.
I guess it took a lot of bloody, "vicious" fighting for General MacArthur's men to kick the Japanese out of the Philippines. My Encyclopedia says some of the combat was what they call "house to house" and "man to man." But eventually they "evicted" the Japanese.
Once General MacArthur freed or "liberated" the Philippines he went back to his strategy of moving toward Japan. And by February of 1945 he was getting closer. That's when it was decided to take the island of Iwo Jima. The Mouse just ran and hid under a rock.
Mr. Steve once met a man who's father fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. He said it was a "Hard-Fought" and bloody battle. I guess almost seven thousand Marines died in that battle. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny just flew in from the desert and landed on top of Manny.
USS NEW YORK SHELLING IWO JIMA (FEBRUARY, 1945)
From what that guy who's father fought at Iwo Jima told Mr. Steve, the Americans thought it would be easy to capture Iwo Jima. They had been bombing or what they call "Softening Up" that little island for a few months. No one believed anyone could survive.
I guess Iwo Jima was bombed from the air while Navy Warships "pounded" the Japanese from out in the Ocean. And they did it for a few weeks. That guy who's father was there said it was like "Hell on Earth." Blackbeard just cawed over there on Manny.
My Encyclopedia says the Americans didn't know that the twenty one thousand Japanese soldiers defending Iwo Jima had tunneled underground. Like the North Vietnamese during the 1960's, they dug into the mountains and just waited for the Marines to land.
FIRST FLAG RAISING SECOND FLAG RAISING
PHOTO BY SERGEANT LOU LOWERY PHOTO BY JOE ROSENTHAL
This is kind of interesting. My Encyclopedia says the Iwo Jima statue in Washington D.C. is based on a famous photograph. There's a picture of it here. But the caption says it was a picture of a second flag-raising. Blackbeard and Anne just lifted off and are flying away.
There's another picture in this one Encyclopedia that shows the first flag-raising on "Mount Suribachi;" which is on Iwo Jima. They wanted a bigger-sized flag so it could be then seen from further away. So the photographer took pictures of the second flag-raising.
From what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, the battle for Iwo Jima turned out to be a lot more difficult than the Americans expected. As usual the Japanese fought "fanatically" and only about two hundred of the twenty one thousand who started survived.
It says here that the battle for Iwo Jima started on February the 19th of 1945 but didn't end until about a month later. Thousands of soldiers on both sides died. Mr. Steve's ex-girlfriend Harriet was born on February the 19th. I smell that clump of Joshua trees over there.
A picture in this one Encyclopedia there's a picture of two dead Japanese soldiers who are dead. Mr. Steve says, as usual; the Japanese committed suicide rather than surrender. As I said yesterday, they believed in the Samurai Bushido Code. A Crow just cawed.
That guy who's dad fought at Iwo Jima told Mr. Steve that the Japanese had to be "rooted out" cave by cave. They even used "Flame Throwers" to burn them out. Sometimes they threw grenades into the caves. A Motorcycle just went bye out there on Primavera Road.
I remember Mr. Steve telling Daisy and myself that it's too bad the United States ended up not using Iwo Jima for Air Bases to attack the islands of Japan. That was supposedly the main reason for taking them. So in a way you could say a lot of men died uselessly he says.
If I had to bet on it I'd bet that Daisy is in the Garage laying in her area near the door to the Utility Room. For the last three days we've been alone more than usual. Normally we spend a lot time together. But I just have to keep on working and finish book three.
Bonnie and Clyde the Birds just flew in and are now up there in their nest feeding the baby Birds. They also spend a lot of time together too. Their babies have been kind of quiet today. I wonder if they know about Heathcliff dying. I wouldn't be surprised if they do.
From what Mr. Steve told us, the real Bonnie and Clyde were constantly together in the last years of their lives back during the Great Depression. Because they were running from the law they were together twenty four hours a day. Mr. Steve said it wasn't glamorous.
Like Fanny and Freddie the Crows, or Max and 99 the Hummingbirds; Daisy and I spend a lot of time together. That's usually good but sometimes bad. Daisy and I like being around each other but there are times when we want to be alone. I wonder what Dais is doing?
As compatible as we are, at times Dais and I get on each others nerves so; need “space.” But, we're lucky. On two acres, we just go off on our own. Many other Dogs live in "tight quarters" but not us! We have a whole two acres. Thank all of You You Guys up there!
I like to rest on the north side of the house in my dugout area when it's hot and here on this couch when it's cold. At times I lay near the front door on the porch. But, luckily for me, the feeling of being confined or “penned in,” isn't a problem I have. I smell a Lizard.
Mr. Steve once told Dais and I an old saying; "Familiarity Breeds Contempt." He says there's a "Grain of Truth" in that old proverb but "contempt" is too harsh a word. He jokes at times Daisy and I are like mixing "oil and water." But that's perfectly okay he says!
The famous American writer Mark Twain once joked that; "Familiarity breeds contempt and children." Mr. Steve read his books "Tom Sawyer" and also "Huckleberry Finn." Daisy thinks Mark Twain sounds like he would be a funny person. I see the Lizard near the tree.
Our boss told us that Mark Twain and his family for many years lived in Connecticut where his sister Susan and her two boys live. He and his three daughters liked Dogs he says. Mr. Steve thinks Mark Twain's wife was a good and decent woman who seems to have helped him a lot.
MARK TWAIN AND FAMILY
Mr. Steve says at the end of his life Mark Twain became a misanthrope like Jonathon Swift. This was after his wife and two daughters died. His older brother Orion also had his only son die in infancy. Mark Twain thought life was terrible. That one Lizard just ran off.
Dais says one time our Chief told her and Millie about a story that man Mark Twain wrote about time traveling. It's called "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" and is about this man who goes back to the time "Camelot." Ah! Now I smell a Ground Squirrel.
My Encyclopedia says in A Connecticutt Yankee in King Arthur's Court an "Engineer" gets hit on the head and goes back in time to Medieval England during the time of King Arthur. And the people from that time think he's a magician. I see the Squirrel near Moe the Shed.
It says here Mark Twain was born in Hanibal, Missouri. As I mentioned before, Mr. Steve has a customer named Bob who works at a Auto Dealership in Bolivar. Like Frank Zappa, he went to Antelope Valley High School. They've discussed Mark Twain over the years.
In 2001, when our Chief visited St. Louis he thought about Mark Twain when he was at the top of the Gateway Arch. He also thought about that man Hernando de Soto who's men actually saw the mound builder Indians in the 16th century. That Squirrel is running away.
If only we had a Time Machine! Then whenever we wanted we could go back in time like Mr. Peabody and Sherman do. Then I'd know my exact birthday and so would Daisy. We could also go back to 1968 to see what our Chief was like. I hear some happy Birds singing.
Dais and I are pretty sure Mr. Steve would go back to see for himself what life was like in the 16th century if he could. After all, he's studied that century quite a bit. And now, because of the last three days I'll know a lot about the 1500's too. Mr. Steve will like that Dais says.
I just noticed a Gopher Snake over to the right, kind of near the fence that surrounds Libby's Corral. It looks from here like it's crawling out into the eastern desert behind our three Sheds. It better be careful or it will become food for the Crows. I smell a new Juniper plant.
Well, in my book three outline Dais has me studying in this eighth chapter about the 16th century. Mr. Steve thinks the 1500's was one of the most periods in history; for both good and bad. It was the Renaissance but also one of the bloodiest centuries ever too.
Hey God! As You know, the main reason I've decided to to write about the 16th century is because Mr. Steve thinks it was so important. He's told us from 1500 to 1600 some of the most important things happened. But I'm also very interested in that period too!
Mr. Steve says a few years ago he met a pretty girl who went over to Germany to visit the towns where that guy Martin Luther lived. She showed him pictures she took of the Church in "Wittenberg" on which Martin Luther nailed his complaints of the Catholic Church.
From what that girl told Mr. Steve, the door to the Church where Martin Luther nailed his criticisms of corruption is now made of metal because in the 18th century the original wooden doors were burned up. Oh! Jack the Jackrabbit just ran out into Libby's Corral.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546)
Hey Lord! That girl told our boss how she and her mom even went to that other German town called "Erfurt." That's where Martin Luther was hit by bolt of lightning like St. Paul and almost died. But You Guys and St. Anne saved him. At least that's what Dais thinks.
I guess Lord, Martin Luther, when he was laying in that field; promised to become a Monk if You Guys saved him. And You did of course. As I've mentioned before, I'm kind of afraid of lightning and thunder too. I'd never want to get hit by a bolt of lightning. No way!
At first I didn't understand why our Chief thinks the 16th century was so important. But as Daisy says, it wasn't just the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation that happened; Columbus opened up a whole New World to be explored or defended. I wonder what Dais is doing?
I've decided to write about the 16th century in part from the "perspective" of this one man named "Süleyman the Magnificent." For forty six years he ruled the Ottoman Empire which lasted all the way until the end of World War I. He was what they call a "Sultan."
According to what it says here in my Encyclopedia that guy Süleyman was born in 1494; two years after Columbus' famous first voyage of discovery. And I guess he wasn't just the leader of the Ottoman Empire; he was also a really good artist too. That Snake is gone now.
It says here that in the year 1453 the Muslim Ottoman Turks conquered what was left of the once powerful Byzantine Empire. By that point the only part left of Byzantium was the city of Constantinople. And it was Süleyman's Grandfather who took the city.
PAINTING BY TITIAN
Boy, that man Süleyman sure wore a really big hat! The picture in my Encyclopedia shows him wearing a giant "Turban" which is what they call that hat. Daisy told me Mr. Steve knows a man from India who wears a turban. He's a member of the "Sikh" religion.
In the 5th century A.D. the western or original part of the ancient Roman Empire was finally destroyed over in Italy by barbarian tribes like the Vandals and Visigoths. So then the only part of "Rome" left was Byzantium based to the east in the city of Constantinople.
Two Crows just flew bye way up there in the blue sky. I think it's Fanny and Freddie but it could've been Blackbeard and Anne Bonney. I wonder if they know yet about what happened to Heathcliff? They had to have noticed that he wasn't around this morning.
Ah! Those two Crows just joined some other Crows in circling around out in the desert to the east. There must a dead body below or they wouldn't being wheeling around up in the sky like that. Yup! There they all go diving down towards the ground to eat.
Those Crows are lucky. It doesn't look to me like any of the other Crows have noticed what has happened. So those two Crows can eat as much as they want without being bothered by the other hungry Crows. Crows will fight really hard sometimes over food.
Seeing the Birds who live around here makes me feel a little better. As Mr. Steve often says, life just goes on no matter who dies. All we can do is make every day productive. Well, it's back to my outline and the subject of the 15th and 16th centuries. I smell a Cholla cactus.
My Encyclopedia says Constantine the Great established his Christian Roman Empire in the 4th century. As I mentioned earlier when I wrote about the Emperor Justinian and his smart wife Theodora, the Byzantine Empire lasted until the year 1453. A Crow just crowed.
From what it says here, by the 15th century the Byzantine Empire, which had lasted for one thousand years; had many enemies and was small in size. And their most powerful enemy, the Ottomon Turks, had that one giant cannon I wrote about this morning.
In 7th century Arabia the Prophet Muhammad started his new religion of Islam. And after he died the Muslims started spreading out and conquering areas like the Middle East, Northern Africa and eventually parts of Europe like Spain. They also wanted Byzantium.
In my Encyclopedia there's a map of all the land that guy Süleyman conquered during his long lifetime. But I see that he was never able to get Spain back. In 1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had re-taken Spain from the Moors after seven centuries. A Crow just cawed.
As I mentioned this morning, for centuries the forces of Islam tried to conquer Byzantium but failed because of the tall, thick walls. By the mid-15th century, the city of Constantinople was all that was left of Byzantium. Süleyman's Great-Grandfather took Constantinople in 1453.
SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE (1453)
PAINTING BY ANGUS MCBRIDE
As I mentioned this morning, one of the the main reasons the Muslim Turks broke through the walls of Constantinople in 1453 was that giant cannon. The holes it blew in the wall meant that the Turkish soldiers could charge through and just slaughter everyone.
From what it says right here in this Encyclopedia the fall of Byzantium was what they call a "Turning Point" in history. From then on Muslims controlled some of the most important trade routes to the east. It sounds like two Crows are yelling at each other out in the desert.
The loss of those trade routes into Europe was so huge. I guess that's one of the reasons why about forty years later Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella gave Christopher Columbus permission to try to sail west in order to reach the east and its many products.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, that man Süleyman the Great " really expanded " the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century. He had already inherited the area called "Anatolia" which is where modern Turkey is now located. I smell Juniper.
Studying this map in my Encyclopedia I see that Süleyman had Israel and then conquered a lot of North Africa. And he invaded Europe a few times. It says here Süleyman was a talented "Calligrapher." That means he was good at doing "attractive handwriting or lettering."
Mr. Steve does a lot of artwork. And looking at these two images of that man Süleyman's calligraphy I see why our boss likes it too. Mr. Steve says he's not bragging when he says he can copy almost anything. He once copied some of Leonaardo da Vinci's drawings.
Even though he was one of the most powerful rulers of the 16th century Süleyman had many enemies. But from what it says here in this Encyclopedia his biggest "nemesis" or "adversary" was King Charles V of Spain. Their armies fought each other a few times.
CHARLES V (1500-1558)
PAINTING BY TITIAN
I guess that King Charles V was not only the ruler of Spain but also the Austro-Hungarian Empire too. And he was a "devout" Catholic who not only had to oppose Muslims like that guy Süleyman but also the leaders of those new Protestant Christians in Europe.
In the early 1500's King Henry VIII was the leader of England. He was a Protestant leader who didn't like Catholics like Charles V. And later on in the 16th century, in 1588, it was his daughter Elizabeth I who defeated the famous Spanish Armada sent to invade England.
HENRY VIII (1491-1547) ELIZABETH I (1533-1603)
PAINTING BY HANS HOLBEIN
During the 16th century when Süleyman led the Ottoman Turks Henry VIII, and then later his daughter Elizabeth I, ruled over England. And this period is now called the "Golden Age" because it was when England really became what they call a "world power."
This is interesting. From what it says here in this Encyclopedia the last words that Henry VIII said before he died was; "Monks! Monks! Monks!" I wonder if Mr. Steve knows that? If he doesn't then he'll learn something new and will be proud of me.
According to this Encyclopedia, during the time when that man Süleyman was the leader of the Ottoman Turks he was also the top person in Islam. So he attacked Europe a few times but was never able to conquer Charles V's "Holy Roman Empire" as they call it.
If Mr. Steve had a Time Machine Daisy thinks he would go back to the 1500's. Then he could see things like Cortez's conquest of the Aztecs or Süleyman's "lavish" court in Istanbul. And it was in the 16th century that Ivan the Terrible was the leader over there in Russia.
IVAN THE TERRIBLE (1530-1584)
PAINTING BY VIKTOR VASNETSOV
Our Chief knows a lot about Russian history. Daisy told me one time she and Millie were in Mr. Steve's bedroom and watched a tv show on about Ivan the Terrible. Like most leaders from the 16th century Ivan the Terrible could be vicious and cruel to enemies she says.
Dais noticed that on the tv show it said Ivan the Terrible was not so unlike that man Joseph Stalin who led Russia in the 20th century. She says that he seemed kind of like a mean person but Mr. Steve says at least he did try to "modernize" Russia.
Well, Dais was right! This Encyclopedia says Ivan the Terrible personally killed his son. In history Mr. Steve has told us it is not "uncommon" for Kings or Queens to kill members of their own family in order to keep or "maintain" their "hold on power" as they say.
According to what it says right here in this Encyclopedia Ivan the Terrible's real name was "Vasilevich IV." He was Russia's first "Tsar." Later it was changed over to be "Czar" which is Russian for "Caesar." And the German title "Kaiser" also means Caesar too.
I just used this other Encyclopedia to look up this French King named Francis I. And just like Ivan the Terrible, Charles V, Süleyman and Henry VIII he lived during the 1500's; or the 16th century. He was an enemy of Charles V and fought him in a few wars.
FRANCIS I (1494-1547)
According to this Encyclopedia that King Francis I was called "Roi-Chevalier" in French. That means ""Knight-King." Oh! And one of his other nicknames was "Francois au Grand Nez" or "Francis of the Big Nose." I smell a Lizard somewhere around here.
It says here that during Francis I "reign" the Protestant religion came into France. That's why he fought some wars against Charles V who was Catholic. It was under Francis I that the French came over here and explored parts of eastern North America. I see the Lizard.
JACQUES CARTIER (1491-1557)
PAINTING BY THEOPHILE HAMEL
This Encyclopedia says King Francis I sent an explorer named Jacques Cartier to the New World. Like Christopher Columbus, he was a Navigator. Jacques Cartier named Canada based on the Iriquois Indian word "kanata" which means either "village" or "land."
From what it says here in this one Encyclopedia I guess that man Jacques Cartier made three voyages to the "territory" now part of eastern Canada. He claimed the area for France and then "mapped" the Saint Lawrence River. That one Lizard just ran away.
I like when Mr. Steve calls me "Mag." And lately I've noticed that Daisy has been calling me that too. I now sometimes call her "Dais" just like our boss does. This morning when Mr. Steve told us about how Heathcliff died he called us by our shortened names.
For some reason our Chief likes to make up nicknames. I don't know why. So, he jokingly calls me "Maginowski" and Daisy is "Dasinovich." And I remember that one time when he even called me "Magisaurus." He had been telling Dais and me about Dinosaurs.
As I mentioned back in book one, Mr. Steve refers to Dais and myself as his personal Amazon sister Queens Penthesilea and Hippolyta. I'm Hippolyta as I mentioned yesterday in book two. Penthesilea and Hippolyta, as I wrote about, like all Amazons, were female warriors.
Queen Penthesilea fought in that famous “Trojan War” with Achillles and Odysseus! So that means she must've seen the real Trojan Horse! Boy! If I could use Mr. Peabody's Way Back machine I'd go back in time to see that giant wooden Horse. I can smell Creosote.
ACHILLES / PENTHESILEA HIPPOLYTA / HERCULES
Queen Hippolyta is my favorite Amazon! In that other Greek myth, as Hercules' ninth of twelve what they call “Labors," he had to take Queen Hippolyta's magic girdle given to her by her father "Ares;" the God of War. It was like a crown. "Girdle" means "waist belt."
Mr. Steve has some old Wonder Woman Comic Books Daisy says. They probably aren't that valuable our Chief told her and Millie. But someday he may try to learn if any of his old Comic Books are worth anything. Ah! I just smelled a Ground Squirrel somewhere nearby.
HIPPOLYTA WONDER WOMAN
Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie that in this one 1941 comic book Hippolyta was the name given to that girl Wonder Woman's mother. He was shown a real original copy of it many years ago by one of the tenants who rented property from his father.
Our Chief says it's too bad he didn't save the Comic Books and Baseball cards from when he was a kid. Who knows, he might've had something worth money he says. Oh well! I remember him saying one time; ""Hindsight is twenty, twenty." I wonder what that means?
This is so amazing! I'm done with chapter eight; or part two of the three sections in this third and last book. The shadows are beginning to lean to the east more. There are now some fluffy white clouds up there in the sky and I can hear some Birds chattering away.
In book one I wrote about that one kid Jason who plays guitar. He not only jokingly asked Mr. Steve what songs matched Dais and myself; he also asked Mr. Steve to compare Daisy and I in terms of the bands themselves. Our boss had to think about it for a moment.
Finally, Mr. Steve said that my personality at times reminded him of the "quirky" music of TALKING HEADS. The 1970's British group DR. FEELGOOD had a guitarist called "Wilko." Mr. Steve told Jason; "If Magg played guitar she might do it like Wilco."
I've never seen or heard that band DR. FEELGOOD. But Daisy and Millie saw a film of them one time in Mr. Steve's Bedroom. She said that guitar player Wilco was very unique in the way he played. He had kind of a "Herky-Jerky" style. I want to see them someday.
Aha! I knew I was being watched. I just noticed Rudy the Roadrunner over there looking at me from under Moe the middle Shed. Rudy is probably wondering why I haven't chased him in the last few days. I can smell Libby who's standing over there in her Corral.
Mr. Steve told that kid Jason the way JUDAS PRIEST'S two guitar players play together fits the way Daisy lumbers around. So not only does their song You've Got Another Thing Coming fit Daisy; so does their "Stage Presence." Dais can have a strong presence at times.
Because he thinks of Daisy as a "Blue-Collar" Dog, Mr. Steve told that kid Jason he could see Daisy as the song "Blue-Coller Man" by this band from Chicago named STYX. In the ancient Greek story, Styx is the river dead Souls must cross to enter "Hades." I smell Sage.
The only concert Mr. Steve ever went to with his sister Susan was to see STYX at the Forum. Daisy says STYX have a lot of good songs that use two guitars and a keyboard player too. And they all are great singers. Millie really like that band STYX Dais told me one time.
And our Chief told that kid Jason that another song by STYX that in his mind at least fits Daisy is called "Miss America." Even though good old Dais, like everyone, gets uglier with age, in her spirit she will always be our Miss America; or she could be Miss Piñon Hills!
Mr. Steve jokingly told Jason another STYX song he could see describing her is called "Miss America." Even though he says, Daisy, like everyone, gets uglier with age, Daisy will always be our Miss America. Hey! Dais could be our "Miss Canine Piñon Hills!"
Even though Daisy's not as pretty as she once was, in our mind she still looks good. At least that's what our boss jokes. I agree with him on that. And, if they had a contest for being smart then Daisy would win. She has so much experience and gives me good advice.
Until the day she died Mr. Steve's Grandma Trujillo watched these two "Game Shows" every night; "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy." She used to tell our Chief to go on those shows so he could make money. I wonder if a Dog could be what they call a "Contestant?"
The day after his Grandma Trujillo died, when our boss was cleaning out her room at the Retirement Center, her Filipina Nurse Imelda told him; "You'll be glad to know Mr. Steven that Miss Lupe got to watch her tv shows on her last night." Later, Mr. Steve cried.
Ah! A good stiff breeze just came in from the northeast. The chimes are ringing away kind of loud. I sure hope it's You Guys Holy Spirit. Looking to the east I can see a few Birds flying around. An I'm pretty sure I can hear some Wrens chirping away at each other.
Hey God! As You know, Mr. Steve says he sometimes has dreams in which his Grandparents are alive again. There are times when he can almost hear his Grandma Trujillo say; "God only knows" when thinking about the future. I guess she used to say that a lot. I smell Sage.
I sometimes go from hot to cold and cold to hot. Mr. Steve says I'm kind of like the singer of that one band SYSTEM OF A DOWN; the Armenian band from Glendale. Daisy says a while back our Chief spoke with this Armenian guy named "Rafi." I smell a Squirrel.
Mr. Steve had not spoken to that guy Rafi for many years. Mr. Rafi is from Glendale I guess. Our boss first met him back in the 1990's when they were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. Dais says that man Mr. Rafi works as a Bookeeper in downtown Los Angeles.
When Mr. Rafi called Mr.Steve they reminisced and talked about some of good Armenian food they ate back then in Glendale. They also remembered the strong coffee in little coffee cups too. Mr. Steve is not much of a coffee drinker Dais says. I see the Squirrel over there.
I do at times like to howl that's for sure. Dais will tell you that. But sometimes I also kind of whimper; like when I'm hungry and want our boss to know it. That band S.O.A.D's singer goes from loud to soft kind of like the way I sometimes too. I smell that old Joshua tree.
Yesterday in book two I wrote about that Russian man whose last name was Pavlov. Daisy jokes that it's kind of funny how, when I whimper; and our boss then feeds us. It's sort of like I'm doing some reverse conditioning using Pavlov's techniques. The Squirrel's gone.
Ninety percent of the time when I whimper Mr. Steve will go to the Kitchen and then give us a snack. But Dais tells me not to overdue it. I have to be more what they call "Selective" in how I use this effective technique. That Squirrel just ran out into the eastern desert.
Howling releases the anxiety I sometimes still feel. One time Mr. Steve called it my way of what they call “Venting.” Daisy told me she and Millie one time heard a S.O.A.D. song where the singer yelled but then sang very softly. I just looked up the word "vent."
My Dictionary says vent has a few meanings. One is; "A means of escaping." And in other definitions words like "outlet " and "release" are used. All I know is that when I howl I feel so much better. Blackbeard and Anne Bonny are flying bye right now; cawing at each other.
Oh! A good breeze just came in from behind the three Sheds. The chimes are now ringing as they hit each other. Hey You Guys! I've felt like howling all day but I'll howl later tonight with Dawn. We can howl for Heathcliff and I'll howl in happiness at finishing my three books.
Mr. Steve likes S.O.A.D when they're fast and loud but at times likes them even better when they “kick it down a notch.” As much as our Chief likes Hard Rock he also likes when a band is "subtle." I just heard a Motorcycle going really fast out there on Primavera Road.
S.O.A.D is a very talented band our boss thinks. At certain times their “choppy” Hard Rock and “Staccato” stop and go music kind of reminds him of that one Punk band called the DEAD KENNEDY'S. Mr. Steve thinks S.O.A.D. should listen to the DEAD KENNEDY'S.
Just like S.O.A.D. songs are "distinctive" Mr. Steve says, that guy Frank Zappa definitely did write some unique music. It's too bad he had to die so young Mr. Steve says. It would be kind of interesting to hear what he would be doing now. But, he died a few years back.
Since moving up here Mr. Steve has met people who knew or know of Frank Zappa. That one Parts Manager Bob in Missouri grew up in the Antelope Valley before moving to the area called the "Midwest." As I said before, Mr. Steve has sold to Bob for over ten years.
Antelope Valley High School, near to where our Chief's brother Sam lives with his family in Littlerock; is where Bob and Frank Zappa graduated. But Frank Zappa knew at a young age that if he wanted to "make it" in music he'd have to move down to Los Angeles.
Frank Zappa was what's called a "Paradox" my boss says. He was a "Workaholic" who was always rebelling against any type of authority; whether it was government or any form of religion. He pretty much didn't like any group or what they call "association."
Mr. Steve told us Frank Zappa hated drugs, Hippies and "Psychedelia." In this way he kind of reminds our boss of that one guy Ted Nugent who refuses to work with musicians who take drugs. Ted Nugent was in a 1960's-1970's band called the AMBOY DUKES Dais says.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie it's ironic the AMBOY DUKES had a hit song called "Journey to the Center of Your Mind." It was written mainly by this other guy in the band and it was about taking drugs. Ted Nugent says he didn't realize it back then.
According to Daisy, Mr. Steve likes this one AMBOY DUKES song about a white Buffalo. When it came out in 1974 our boss had graduated from High School and was attending Valley Junior College down there in Van Nuys. I just picked up the scent of a Creosote bush.
Our Chief told Dais part of the Heavy Metal sound is now drummers playing two bass drums really fast. This was especially true he thinks after the band MOTÖRHEAD did a song in 1979 called "Overkill." A big brown Sparrow just flew in and landed on top of Jack.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie he now realizes that in 1974, on that AMBOY DUKES song "Great White Buffalo;" the drummer was probably playing what they call "double bass." Dais says our boss likes the way Ted Nugent and the bass guitar sound on that song.
A few years ago our Chief met this pretty girl at the San Fernando Library. She was Lakota just like the kids he gives money to at Saint Joseph's Orphanage in South Dakota. She said most Buffalo are brown but on rare occasions one is born white. The Sparrow flew away.
Oh wow! Wait until Dais sees this! In this one Encyclopedia there's a picture of a pure white Buffalo. Boy! I wonder what a white Buffalo would smell like? Of course I've never even smelled a regular Buffalo. Buffaloes have sharp horns for fighting I see.
Dais told me that one girl at the Library told our Chief about how her tribe thinks white Buffaloes are "wakan" which means "sacred." There's a Lakota story about a "White Buffalo Calf Woman" who saved people from famine and gave them their ceremonial pipe.
In 1973, Mr. Steve's last year at Sylmar High and later his first year at Valley College in Van Nuys, Ted Nugent and the AMBOY DUKES signed a record deal with Frank Zappa's company. I guess Ted Nugent now tells people that he was influenced by Frank Zappa.
The ultimate what they call "non-conformist," Frank Zappa hated spirituality. Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that he really hated Disco music! In some ways Frank Zappa sounds as radical as some of the Punk musicians. He was "unconventional." I smell a Gopher.
Frank Zappa may have hated certain types of music and things like "Rock Operas," but he did like Classical music and composers like Edgard Varese and Igor Stravinsky my boss says. He was hard to "categorize" Mr. Steve told us. Aha! There's the Gopher right over there.
Daisy and myself, we like the smell of dirt that's been "tilled" as they say. That's what Mr. Steve once called it. And Gophers can move through and grind up hard dirt as fast as anyone. That Gopher just ducked down below the ground. He probably smelled me.
Our boss thinks Frank Zappa listened to not only Rock but also Classical, Funk, Jazz, Blues, and Soul. He was "unique." He read that Frank Zappa was "self-taught," Hey, I'm kind of like that too. Oh! There goes our two Bluebirds flying bye. It feels good seeing them.
From what our Chief has told us Frank Zappa had an "innovative personal sound." But, on the bad side, his guitar solos at times were way too long in Mr. Steve's personal opinion. I've never heard any Frank Zappa songs but someday I'd like to. I smell some new Sage.
Mr. Steve says Frank Zappa's thirty year career was definitely influenced by the diverse Los Angeles "ethnic" culture. He mentions a lot of places all over Southern California in his songs. He once even mentioned "Pacoima" which is right near Sylmar.
At nineteen Frank Zappa moved from his parent's house in Lancaster because he knew if he wanted to make money he'd have to go down to Los Angeles. And, pretty soon he was working hard to make money to support his own growing family. His kids had unusual names.
FRANK ZAPPA WITH PARENTS AND BROTHERS AND SISTER FRANK ZAPPA WITH FAMILY
Frank Zappa "ranted" against the "dumbing down" of American society with it's things like "consumerism." He was described as a "blunt curmudgeon." Mr. Steve has been told that his wife was just like him in sharing his "sense of the absurd" in American culture.
My Encyclopedia says Frank Zappa was often "satirical, complex, brilliant and at times also impenetrable." Mr. Steve thinks he was smart by setting up one of the first "independent" record labels run by the musician. I just heard a Motorcycle go bye out in the desert.
Over the years people have paid Mr. Steve to do what they call "Patent" and "Copyright" applications. Sometimes he does it for free if the person is low on money. He does the same with other legal documents like contracts as well. I can smell one of the new Juniper plants.
Mr. Steve read that Frank Zappa did his own Copyright applications and was one of the first musicians to object to what's called "Sampling." This is where an artist "lifts" or uses part or parts of your music in their own more current songs. A Train just whistled faintly.
Frank Zappa died of cancer in1993 our Chief told us. He was only fifty two. Mr. Steve thinks he probably smoked a lot of cigarettes. He's buried in what they call an "unmarked" grave. He "flouted convention" even in that Mr. Steve says. There goes Max and 99.
Dais says one time our boss told her and Millie that for about one month back in 1974 he and his girlfriend Sandy smoked. It was more out of curiosity than anything else and they both quit on the same night when they were at this place called a "Drive-In" movie theater.
A while back Mr. Steve did a frame for this a girl from Russia. She got excited when he told her Frank Zappa grew up near here. She said Frank Zappa is still very popular in the former "Communist Block" countries of Eastern Europe. He even has a statue in "Lithuania."
Mr. Steve read that Frank Zappa is the only person ever voted into both the Jazz and Rock and Roll Hall's of Fame. And he also read that Frank Zappa's 1966 album "Freak Out" was only the second "double album" ever. Bob Dylan's "Blond on Blond" was first.
The next thing on my outline that I want to write and then learn about is a musician named Captain Beefheart. He was a friend of Frank Zappa's from Antelope Valley High School and his music was sometimes even more "eccentric" than Frank Zappa's our boss thinks.
According to this Encyclopedia over the years that guy Captain Beefheart's music has been a big influence for many other musicians. Like Frank Zappa it's not easy to put Captain Beefheart into one category. I just heard the Ducks quacking faintly over next door.
"CAPTAIN BEEFHEART" (1941-2010)
Dais says our boss has this vinyl record in his Bedroom by that guy Captain Beefheart. She told me it's called "Trout Mask Replica." Mr. Steve described the music on that album as what they all "Avante-Garde." I just saw a Snake crawl under Manny the Shed.
According to this one Encyclopedia Captain Beefheart's real name was Don van Vliet. And like Frank Zappa he died a few years ago. It says here his songs were "experimental" and had Jazz, Blues, Rock and other types of music in them. Oh! The BEATLES liked his music.
It says here that Captain Beefheart's music at times used "disjointed" guitars and "irregular rhythms" in it. Bands like the B-52's, TALKING HEADS and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS say that they were influenced by Captain Beefheart. Two Pigeons just landed on Moe.
Since High School our Chief has listened to this one DEEP PURPLE album called "Machine Head." He told us he remembers the first time he heard these two songs called "Highway Star" and "Smoke on the Water." I want to hear them! Ah! I smell a Lizard nearby.
Daisy told me that one time she and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom when he played the drums to DEEP PURPLE'S album Machine Head. In looking at the album cover she noticed how DEEP PURPLE'S drummer wears glasses. Mr. Steve told us he's left-handed.
J.S. BACH (1685-1750) LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (0000-0000)
Mr. Steve says the guitar and organ solos on Highway Star seem influenced by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. When the "simplistic" beginning of Smoke on the Water was criticized Ritchie Blackmore said some of Bethoven's Symphonies began simply too.
I guess Ritchie Blackmore wrote Smoke on the Water in this city called "Montreaux" on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva; where France meets Switzerland. They were there to make the Machine Head album but the place they were to use burned down. I see the Lizard.
My Encyclopedia says DEEP PURPLE ended up using a "Mobile" or "portable" recording unit that belonged to the ROLLING STONES to make their album Machine Head. And I guess at other times so did the WHO, LED ZEPPELIN, FLEETWOOD MAC and Bob Marley .
Frank Zappa was using that same mobile recording unit at the time too. And he was doing a concert at the Hotel / Casino when the place burned. So DEEP PURPLE were inspired to write the song Smoke on the Water because of that event. The Lizard just ran away.
I guess when the Theater, which was also a gambling "Casino," burned down DEEP PURPLE had to find somewhere else to make the album. Mr. Steve told Dais that when they were finished they needed one more song so wrote Smoke on the Water. I smell an old Sage bush.
I guess Frank Zappa's band was playing a concert when some dumb guy in the audience shot off a "flare" up into the ceiling; which caught fire. That's why the words to Smoke on the Water go; "Frank Zappa and the Mothers were at the best place around." A Finch is singing.
Our Chief says people like that kid Jason who are learning how to play guitar often learn the beginning of Smoke on the Water. And over the years BLACK SABBATH, Carlos Santana and the BLUE ÖYSTER CULT even covered it. I smell one of the older Joshua trees.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that DREAD ZEPPELIN, who's singer sounds like Elvis; did their own version of Smoke on the Water. I guess Mr. Steve likes playing along to Smoke on the Water because he gets to play the High Hat at the beginning of the song.
Because of the First Amendment to the Constitution Mr. Steve says a person has the right to "Free Speech." Dais says basically that means the government can't kill you if they don't like what you say. But the Supreme Court has ruled that right in not unlimited.
I guess, from what our boss told us, you do not have the right to yell "Fire" in a crowded Theater when there's no fire. This is because of danger of people getting trampled in the panic to get out of the Theater. Samson and Delilah are flying bye right now.
When the fire broke out at the concert in Montreaux, Mr. Steve was told that Frank Zappa walked up to the microphone, looked calmly up at the burning ceiling; then yelled out "Fire!" He and his band then dropped their instruments and ran off or "fled"the stage.
Mr. Steve thinks, like Jonathon Swift and Mark Twain, Frank Zappa came to dislike much of human nature. And like them, as he got older he seems to have become a misanthrope. Our boss says he's starting to become more like that too. I smell a Ground Squirrel.
Frank Zappa was "cynical" and "skeptical." He didn't like many people. His father was a Scientist and his parents "very religious" he said. There's a Frank Zappa quote Mr. Steve told us about; "stupidity, not hydrogen, is the real building block of the Universe."
Mr. Steve heard that, just out of Antelope Valley High School; Frank Zappa billed his band as "Without question the best avant-garde band in the High Desert!" But he joked; they were also the only "Avant-Garde" band in the High Desert. I can hear Dawn barking.
I guess there's a category of music called "Underground" and Frank Zappa was a part of it because he wanted to operate outside of the "mainstream." But nowadays Mr. Steve jokes, there's really no such a thing as Underground because of the "Internet."
Mr. Steve jokes that, to a certain extent, he, Dais and I are kind of like Frank Zappa in being a bit “eccentric” and at times “unorthodox.” That can be good and bad he says. I must admit, there are definitely times when I do feel kind of like an “Oddball.”
Daisy told me that our boss has a book about that 19th century American poet Henry David Thoreau. He lived in Massachusetts; near Connecticut where his sister Susan lives. Of course, as our Chief jokes; most New England States are small so are near each other.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1819-1892)
I mentioned Henry David Thoreau earlier today in chapter seven when I was talking about Mahatma Ghandi and the Reverend Martin Luther King. Both of them used the same peaceful protest method of trying to get society to change. I can smell a Squirrel around here.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that Henry David Thoreau agreed with Ulysses S. Grant in his thinking about the Mexican War of 1846 and 1847. Both though it was an "immoral" war thought Grant fought in it. Thoreau refused to pay his taxes so he went to jail.
Hey God! As You know, our Chief says that man Thoreau wrote a lot about Nature and was sort of like Pete Seeger and Albert Einstein who saw You in life. For the last three days I've kind of felt Your presence. I feel you now looking out to the east beyond the Sheds.
According to this Encyclopedia Thoreau wrote a book of poems called "Leaves of Grass" and lived near this place called Walden's Pond. Mr. Steve's sister Susan has a pond too. She and her boys swim in it when the hot weather comes. And they have humidity too.
Poetry is not something Mr. Steve reads an awful lot of but he says reading Thoreau's poetry at times makes him appreciate the outdoors more. Hey God! Looking out there into the eastern desert beyond the Sheds also makes me kind of think about what You created.
Thoreau also wrote about "marching to the beat of a different drum." At times I think that applies to me! Sister Rita Joseph joked with Mr. Steve that she thought he also marched to the beat of a different drum. And he's come to agree with her on that. I smell flowers.
Mr Steve jokes that the 3 of us sometimes march to the beat of our own drum. And he says, "the 3 of us move along a road less traveled." But we don't care. We like our drum. And we like our road. It's a good drum and a good road! Boy, the smell of those flowers is so good.
Hey Lord! Many would probably think of me as “weird.” But, as long as Dais and Mr. Steve like me I don't care what others think. Sister Rita Joseph said it's better to be alone than to be around bad influences. I agree! Now I really smell our neighbor's flowers.
Mr. Steve thinks there are a lot more "phonies" out there these days. In Spanish there's a phrase "Dos Caras" or, "Two Faces" in English. Mr. Steve says, more and more, it seems like the basically indecent people are beginning to outnumber the basically decent.
A lot of people nowadays are too easily fooled by Politicians our boss says. Maybe the things Aldous Huxley and George Orwell warned about are coming true. The government is becoming too involved in everyone's lives. And many people seem dumber now he thinks.
That guy Benjamin Franklin said the only way the system of democratic government he and the other Founding Fathers created would work was with a population of "informed" basically decent people. Our Chief says there seems to be less of those people now.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790)
Mr. Steve read Benjamin Franklin said if ever a majority of Americans thought they could vote themselves a "free ride" democracy would not work. Our Chief thinks we may be at that "turning point" now because so many people seem so easily "tricked" by Politicians.
One way a government can get people to think the way it wants to is to control what they call they're "Purse Strings." That means their money. The more people dependent on government the better for those type of leaders. Aldous Huxley and George Orwell wrote about that.
In book one I described how that kid Jason, who plays guitar, asked Mr. Steve which songs Daisy and I reminded him of. And Mr. Steve told him JUDAS PRIEST'S song You Got Another Thing Coming for Dais and ROXY MUSIC'S Virginia Plain for me.
Mr. Steve told Jason that, now that he thought about it, I at times have a “bouncing gait” so he could visualize me dancing to the “flitting” oboe and “atmospheric” synthesizers on the song Virginia Plain." One of those curved-billed Thrasher Birds just ran under Manny.
Whenever our Chief does yard work he plays music on his Boombox. And one song both Dais and I like is Virginia Plain. Daisy says one time Mr. Steve told her and Millie that he read how someone described early ROXY MUSIC as "Futuristic Fifties" music.
ROXY MUSIC are English. Mr. Steve told us a girl he met once said their unique look on their first album was described as "futuristic 1950's." Oh! Charlie Company of Quail is going out into the desert; streaming between the tow thin openings on either side of the gate.
Daisy and Millie listened to ROXY MUSIC'S first album in Mr. Steve's Bedroom. Virginia Plain was on that album but Dais says there are other good songs on it too. She likes the oboe on Virginia Plain but really likes the way that guy plays the Saxophone on other songs.
I think I could learn to “Cha Cha til Sunrise” as it says in Virginia Plain. But I don't know if I could "Tango" like the people from Argentina. It looks way too hard to do. But maybe not. I love the sound of flute and oboe; and harmonica too! I'm smelling flowers again.
One of my joke nicknames is "Wild Thing." That's because of how I was when I first came to live over here. Daisy told me it's also the name of a famous song from the 1960's. She and Millie heard it one time when they were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom. I'd like to hear it too.
Daisy says in the 1960's this one British band called the TROGGS first did that song called "Wild Thing." And Jimi Hendrix later covered it. She told me the TROGGS used a flute on the original version so I would probably like it. Someday I may learn how to play flute!
Because our boss is a drummer, he's always been a decent dancer. He jokes he could never have gone on Soul Train like his friend Mark who lives in Hawaii; but he hears the "bottom" of most songs. Because he's old, my Chief says he looks ridiculous dancing now.
The last time Mr. Steve ever danced was about ten years ago with a nine year old girl named Elizabeth or "Libby." It was at a "Clubhouse" on a Golf Course. There was a "Lounge" band playing things like La Bamba and Louie, Louie. Libby is over there in her Corral.
That little girl Libby asked our boss to dance and he couldn't say no. She was so pretty with her long light brown hair and she really liked dancing. Mr. Steve told us that one Lounge band was actually pretty good. They even played a few Hank Williams songs he said.
Our Chief told us he had fun twirling Libby around and showing her how to follow the bass and drums on the songs. When he wanted to stop dancing she begged him to keep on dancing. So they danced for over an hour until he got kind of tired. I smell a Creosote bush.
Dais told me sometimes Mr. Steve exercises by “Jogging in Place” or “Shadow Boxing.” He usually does it in his Bedroom but at times does it in the Living Room. He's thinking of hanging up this "Punching Bag" he has in the Garage. He might buy a "Speed Bag" too.
Our boss says Daisy's built kind of "chunky." Our friend Mr. Cliff jokes that Daisy is kind of like a Fire Hydrant. He says in an emergency she'd make a good "Plow" Horse. When she was young Daisy must've been really strong because she's still so strong right now
I wonder what Daisy is doing? I still can't believe that Heathcliff is gone. As Daisy says, you come to take things for granted and then appreciate them when their gone. Now I really know what she means! A slight breeze just blew in the faint scent of some Sagebrush.
All four of our boss's Grandparents are gone. Daisy and I would like to go back in time and meet them. Mr. Steve says his Grandpa Trujillo was so strong he could put his arms out to the side and kids could hang from them. He had Popeye the Sailor arms.
I remember how my boss told us about the times when his Grandpa Trujillo would smoke a cigar and smile while two or three kids tried unsuccessfully to arm wrestle with him. It was like trying to pull on a piece of steel my boss says.
Mr. Steve and his two younger brothers like Ice Hockey. They played “Street Hockey” as kids when they were growing up. Our Chief jokes that if Daisy were a Hockey player she'd be what they call a “grinder” because she's strong just like Grandpa Trujillo.
In Hockey a grinder is not afraid to go “into the corners.” Mr. Steve jokes that I'd be more of a "finesse" player like Wayne Gretzgy or Mario Lemieux. I wonder what Daisy and I would look like wearing skates? Maybe we should invent Dog skates to make some money!
I agree with our Chief that Daisy would make a tough Hockey player. She wouldn't be afraid to "mix it up." I wonder if we could learn how to skate? No, I think I'll just stick to solid more ground. Daisy has thick fur so wouldn't need "pads" like a regular Hockey player.
In the 1980's when Mr. Steve worked at the Forum as a salesman, he knew the traffic patterns in Los Angeles so adapted to them. In the mornings he made appointments so by ten the traffic going south through the Sepulveda Pass would be less.
In the afternoons, to "kill time" and avoid traffic going north on the 405 Freeway, he'd get a "Photo Pass" from this girl named Karen and take pictures of whatever was going on over at the Forum. Sometimes it was a Circus and at other times sports. I'd love to see a Circus!
BARNUM AND BAILY CIRCUS
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
On those nights when he took pictures at the Forum Mr. Steve would walk back across the street to his car at about eight or eight thirty; sometimes later depending on how he felt. Then he would drive home and often there would be less traffic.
In the 1980's our Chief says one of the better players was a French Canadian from Quebec named Mario Lemieux. He played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and was almost as good a player as that guy named Wayne Gretzky. That's "saying a lot" Mr. Steve says.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
On time the Penguins were practicing in the morning before a game against the Kings. After practice Mr. Steve asked Mario Lemieux if he would mind if he took his picture. Mario Lemieux said ok. Mr. Steve shook his hand and thanked him. After an Edmonton Oilers practice their goalie Grant Fuhr stopped and posed for a picture too. Mr. Steve said he liked his mask so he posed with it. In the late 1980's Wayne Gretzky was traded by Edmonton to the Kings; "saving" Hockey in Los Angeles our Chief thinks.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Grant Fuhr was so friendly to Mr. Steve that not only did he stop to take a picture but also gave our boss one of his broken sticks. My boss then fixed the stick and to this day Daisy says it sits in a corner of his office next to spears and that blowgun.
As a kid Mr. Steve often played goalie so Grant Fuhr's stick was great. In Texas his brother Rock played goalie on an adult Hockey team. Mr. Steve jokes the way I catch food right out of the air means I'd be a good goalie. But how would I catch a puck with a mask on?
Our Chief also jokes that Dais would be a good "checker" if she played Hockey. She has a lot of power and her herding ability would "come in handy" as they say. Daisy would be really good on defence even though she's a Dog. I agree with Mr. Steve on this.
"KING TIGER" TANK
A nickname our Chief has for Daisy is "King Tiger" because when running she "rumbles" along like a World War II German “Panzer” Tank. When Daisy gets up what's called a "full head of steam" like a Train she's not fast but gets to a spot quicker than you'd think.
Mr. Steve's father was a Marine who fought in the Korean War. He's now over eighty years old but is still "tough as nails" as that old saying goes Physically, age or gravity has taken it's toll on our "Grandpa" just as it will with everyone. But mentally, like Daisy, he's still strong!
I'll bet Daisy is still thinking about Heathcliff the same way I am. It's going to weird around here tomorrow morning. Daisy says we'll just have to do like our Chief does in setting our "body clocks" to wake up when we want or need to. That's what he's done for years.
Daisy's lost a step or two in speed and now "picks and chooses" when to run. Our Chief jokes she's our earth moving tractor. Another of her nicknames is "Rumble" which is the title of this song from the 1950's by a guitar player named Link Wray. Daisy's also "Turbo."
Mr. Steve thinks Link Wray's "three chord riff" on Rumble might've been the beginning of "Hard Rock" because it used "power chords." Actually, he was told some Blues songs from the early 1950's had power chords on acoustic guitar. I want to hear that song Rumble!
Even though it now sounds primitive and outdated, my Chief read that Jimmy Page of LED ZEPPELIN said Rumble was a song that motivated him to want to learn to play the guitar. Dais told me Mr. Steve likes the way the guitar vibrates at the end of Rumble.
Pete Townsend of the WHO, Jeff Beck and later Bruce Springsteen say they were influenced by Link Wray's music. Mr. Steve told Daisy Link Wray grew up in "North Carolina;" and was half Shawnee Indian. Our boss has customers in North and South Carolina.
Mr. Steve read one time that Neil Young said if he had his own Time Machine like the one Mr. Peabody and Sherman have he'd go back in time to the 1950's so he could see Link Wray's band called the WRAYMEN. Our boss would probably like that too.
Another one of our boss's nicknames for Daisy is "Bonzo." This was the nickname of John Bonham who played drums for LED ZEPPELIN. Daisy says her nickname also came in part from the fact that Mr. Steve likes the music of the BONZO DOG BAND from England.
BONZO DOG DOO DAH BAND JOHN BONHAM
I guess the BONZO DOG DOO DAH BAND were popular in England during the 1970's. Dais says our boss still has a few of their vinyl records. My Encyclopedia has a picture of John Bonham. I guess he used a big "Gong" and "Kettle" drum in addition to his drum set.
Someday when I've gotten over my fear of going all the way down the Hallway and into the far end of the house I'll see this miniature gong our boss has in his Bedroom. I guess it looks just exactly like the one John Bonham uses but way smaller. I smell a Creosote plant.
John Bonham, just like the WHO'S drummer Keith Moon, died young because of alcohol and drugs. Both played with a lot of power and skill our Chief told us. But both partied way too much he thinks. It ended up killing both of them. A Crow just cawed faintly.
Our boss thinks the first time he knew he liked Hard Rock music was in 1966. His parents took him downtown to pick someone up from New Mexico at the "Union" Train Station. They told him it was okay for him to wait for them in the Car; a white 1959 "Cadillac."
As he sat in the Car waiting for his parents to come back with whoever they were picking up Mr. Steve listened to the Radio. He was turning the knob back and forth, right to left and then left to right. Oh! Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel are flying bye right now.
Hey God! Remember how Mr. Steve was sitting in the front seat of that old white Cadillac when You might've made him stop tuning? Then, all of sudden, he hears the first five notes of the KINKS song "You Really Got Me." He instantly fell in love with Hard Rock.
In 1966 Mr. Steve was eleven years old and thinks he was probably listening to the "A.M" station "KRLA" in the Parking Lot at Union Station. Someday I want to hear our boss play the drums to a KINKS song called "All the Day, and all of the Night." Dais likes that song.
As I've mentioned, since 1928 Mr. Steve's Grandpa Trujillo worked loading and unloading freight for the Santa Fe Railroad. So their family got free Train trips back and forth from New Mexico. Mr. Steve is very familiar with Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
Mr. Steve told us when he heard You Really Got Me he was "smitten" by the power of Hard Rock music. The first songs he tried to play on drums were KINK'S songs; "Tired of Waiting For You" and this other song about that lady Queen Victoria. I smell a Cholla cactus.
UNION STATION OLVERA STREET
Union Station is near where the original Spanish settlers set up a "Pueblo" or town in 1781. As our Chief listened to You Rally Got Me on the car radio he was looking across what is now "Alameda" street to what they call "Olvera" street; or "Calle Olvera" in Spanish.
According to this Encyclopedia Los Angeles, or "The Angels" in Spanish, is short for "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porcuincula." This means "The Town of Our Lady of the Angels of Porcuincula." I see here that "Porcuincula" is a river in Spain.
I guess in 1781 when the city was first established, the real original name given to the city by the forty four first "Pobladores" or "Townspeople" was "El Pueblo de la Reyna de los Angeles." This means "The Town of the Queen of the Angels." I smell some Cholla cactus.
Mr. Steve has always enjoyed walking around the brick Olvera Street with its Mexican craft shops, restaurants and other businesses. It says here in this Encyclopedia that after Los Angeles became part of Mexico in 1821 Olvera Street was part of the farming community.
California was "Ceded" to the United States when Mexico lost the Mexican War back then in 1848. I wrote about it the day before yesterday in book one. So of course Los Angeles became a part of the U.S. too. A Ground Squirrel just ducked under Jack the big Shed.
In 1877 Olvera Street was named after a Judge who had fought against the Americans in the Mexican War. His name was Agustin Olvera. This was one year after America's one hundred year anniversary; and the Sioux slaughtering Custer's 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn.
My Encyclopedia says by the turn of the 20th century the area where Olvera Street is located became what they call "crime-ridden" and dirty. But then a rich British lady named Christine Sterling decided to try to raise money and "bring the Olvera Street back" as they say.
CHRISTINE STERLING (1881-1963)
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia that lady Christine Sterling "used her influence" with people like the owner of the Los Angeles Times newspaper to make improvements to Olvera Street. In 1929 they began work but then in October the Stock Market crashed.
I guess some people now call that lady Christine Sterling the "Mother of Olvera Street" even though she had critics who said she didn't consult the Mexican "residents" enough back then in restoring the area. Olvera Street was improved during the 1930's Great Depression.
This is interesting. It says here that as part of the project at Olvera Street this Mexican man named David Alfaro Siqueros was "commissioned" to paint a big "mural" on one of the walls in that area. My Dictionary says commissioned means that he was "hired."
DAVID ALFARO SIQUEROS (1896-1974)
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia a lot of people didn't like the painting that guy Siqueros did because it criticized the "imperialist" United States. So they painted over it and it wasn't uncovered until the 1960's. Oh! It was damaged in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake.
Mr. Steve says he's always had a "soft spot" for Union Station. In this Encyclopedia it says it was built in 1939, the year World War II started. Mr. Steve told us how Union Station's waiting areas have these big "throne-like" chairs below "Chandelier" lights up on the ceiling.
Dais and I have noticed that our Chief likes many types of music and has a big collection of Records, Casettes and C.D.'s. But he seems to like "harder" or "heavier" forms of most types of music. Daisy and I like to learn about a lot of different styles of music too!
For years our boss says it was rumored that Jimmy Page, as a young Session Musician; was the one who actually played the famous lead guitar on You Really Got Me. This was before he was in the YARDBIRDS and then LED ZEPPEIN after that. I smell some Sage.
Mr. Steve thinks it's probably not true that Jimmy Page played the lead guitar on the song You Really Got Me. But Jon Lord, who was later in DEEP PURPLE, really did play keyboards on that song. Rudy the Roadrunner just zipped out into the desert behind the Sheds.
Because he's liked the KINKS Mr. Steve has seen them play a few times. And every time he watched Dave Davies, Ray Davies younger brother, play the lead on You Really got Me. So even if Jimmy Page did play it in the recording studio; it doesn't really matter he says.
In 1974 Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy saw the KINKS play a concert at the "Shrine" Auditorium in Los Angeles. They went with Mr. Steve's friend Chris and his girlfriend. That band KANSAS "opened up" for them. That was a mistake by the KINKS.
The only song I've ever heard by that band KANSAS is "Dust in the Wind." I mentioned it the day before yesterday in book one. That was when I was writing about Blackie; the Dog who is buried in our graveyard with Lucy and Millie. I hear the Ducks quacking next door.
Daisy told me she and Millie went into our Chief's Bedroom one time and heard KANSAS' first album. The songs on it were what KANSAS played in 1974 at the Shrine Auditorium. Dais says Millie really liked the way violin sounds in Rock music. I smell a new Juniper plant.
That band KANSAS really are originally from the State of Kansas Dais says. Mr. Steve told us there aren't too many bands from Kansas. Over the years he's met people from Kansas and they've all seemed like friendly, basically decent people he says. A Wren is singing.
During the 1980's a nice girl who everyone called "Sue" got Mr. Steve "Photo Passes" when he worked across the street from the Forum. Sometimes our boss got Photo Passes from this one other lady named "Claire." That girl Sue grew up in Kansas. I smell that old Sage bush.
Daisy told me that when she and Millie were in our boss's Bedroom listening to KANSAS' first album they looked at the "Album Cover." On the front is a famous painting of that man named John Brown. Dais thinks John Brown looks kind of mean. I smell a Squirrel.
The KINKS have a "party atmosphere" in concert Mr. Steve says. At times they're kind of "sloppy." So having a professional "polished" band like KANSAS playing before they did made them look bad. The obvious "contrast" in skill level was really noticeable I guess.
From the first notes of KANSAS' set Mr. Steve and his friend Chris sensed the KINKS had made a mistake. Mr. Steve thinks KANSAS opened with with the song "Belexes." Daisy says Belexes sounds like it would be a hard song to play. I see the Squirrel over there.
KANSAS is considered to be Progressive Rock band. RUSH, YES and GENESIS are in that category too. Their songs require skill and in order to play them you have to be what they call "tight." Daisy thinks Progressive bands seem to put more thought into a song.
In 1974 KANSAS was so good. They ended their set with what they call a "Crescendo" like the way Beethoven used to do. The KINKS played their usual set and the crowd was happy but skill-wise they couldn't possibly "measure up" so to speak. That Squirrel is gone.
JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE THE MONKEES
Watching KANSAS play for some reason Mr. Steve says he thought about Jimi Hendrix. In this one book he has about Jimi Hendrix it said that in 1967 the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE did a tour opening up for that band called the MONKEES. I smell a Bunny Rabbit.
Over the years Mr. Steve has told other people about that 1967 MONKEES tour. They often chuckle. But in that case Mr.Steve told us, possibly the best guitarist ever was not exactly what the "Teeny-Bop" girls in the audiences wanted to hear. They even booed a lot I guess.
That concert at the Shrine Auditorium was on a Sunday night. The next day after he got off work at Laser Images; Mr. Steve went to a place called "Moby Disc" records and bought that first KANSAS album. So did his friend Chris. I see the Bunny Rabbit under Moe.
Now I want to write about that guy John Brown; who's on the front of KANSAS' first album. I know for sure that Mr. Steve is interested in John Brown. I'm going to look up John Brown in this one Encyclopedia. Those Wrens just flew away in the direction of Libby's Corral.
JOHN BROWN (1800-1859)
My Encyclopedia says John Brown was one of those "Abolitionists." But he wanted to end Slavery in America through violence. Hey God! I guess John Brown wasn't at all like that other guy Henry David Thoreau; who believed more in non-violent "Passive Resistance."
Mr. Steve told us "sanctioned" and legal Slavery has always exited in man's history. Even here in America before the Europeans arrived the Native People's had Slavery. Since the early 17th century when the Pilgrims established Jamestown blacks were enslaved.
After the Revolutionary War, when the United States became independent; a few of the first thirteen States allowed Slavery. Thomas Jefferson wrote that "All men are created equal" but, as I wrote yesterday; probably really didn't think that applied to anyone not white.
JOHN LOCKE (1632-1704)
As I wrote yesterday in book two, Mr. Steve says Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers were influenced by the "Enlightenment;" a period that started in the late 17th century with the writing of a British man named John Locke. He's the "Father of Liberalism."
This one Encyclopedia says John Locke's writings "heavily influenced" later generations of Philosophers and people like that. Not only was he familiar to the American Founding Fathers but also a lot of other people too. I can smell a Bunny Rabbit somewhere around here.
VOLTAIRE (1694-1778) ROUSSEAU (1712-1778)
It says here that John Locke influenced two French writers who came right after him; Jean Jacques Rousseau and that other guy from France called "Voltaire." That's what Mr. Steve told us and is what it says in this one Encyclopedia. I smell a new Spring Sage plant.
Oh! I just noticed in this Encyclopedia how that guy Voltaire died on May the 30th. And in looking at the list of birthdays Dais and I put together I see that Mr. Steve's Niece Raqquel was born on that day. As I've mentioned, Raqquel is Mr. Steve's brother Sam's daughter.
This is interesting. I guess, whereas John Locke said how all people should have the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of property;" Thomas Jefferson later wrote in the Declaration of Independence about "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I hear Birds chirping.
For the last few minutes there's been a group of Crows circling over the desert to the east. And now they all just dove down and are probably right now fighting over some food. Up in the sky high above them I can see how there are now some thin, wispy white clouds.
As I wrote about yesterday, under the United States Constitution the "Federal" Government has three "Branches;" the Legislative, Executive and Judicial. In the "Senate" each State gets two representatives while in the "House of Representatives" population is important.
The Constitution says, as I wrote yesterday; for representative purposes blacks are counted as only three fifths of a person. But now, after the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Bill of Rights section of the Constitution were passed; it's a lot better for them now.
With the invention of the steam engine in the late 18th century the "Industrial Revolution" began in Europe. And from the beginning of the 19th century the northern States became more "Mechanized" while the southern States remained "Agrarian" and used Slaves.
I just looked up "Cotton Gin." That was a machine which was invented in the late part of the 18th century. The first ones were seen in 1794. With a Cotton Gin it was much easier to take the cotton from the seeds. So more cotton could be "Harvested" in one season.
Of course, as it says here; the more cotton you can "get ready for market" the more Slaves you need. So, more black people had to be brought in from Africa and the Caribean areas. By the time the Civil War broke out in 1861 there were four million Slaves in the South.
As the years went on the United States kept expanding westward. And the issue of whether to allow Slavery in the new areas kept coming up. So, in 1820 the "Missouri Compromise" was agreed to in
It says here that for about thirty years things went along with people arguing about Slavery. Then in 1854 the Congress passed the "Kansas-Nebraska Act."
It says here that in the years "leading up to" the breakout of the American Civil War the United States was "expanding" westward. And in 1856, four years before the war, the people of what would become the state of Kansas fought over whether to allow Slavery to exist.
Wow! That guy John Brown had twenty children. And he, with some of his sons, went out to Kansas Territory to fight people who wanted Slavery in any new State. I guess it was called "Bleeding Kansas." I can hear two Crows out in the desert fighting over something.
According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, in 1856, just like in most wars; both sides committed "terrible atrocities." John Brown and his sons "hacked" people to death with swords. Samson and Delilah are cruising bye right now; cawing at each other.
Daisy told me in his Office our Chief has some swords and spears. And one of the swords is "saber" like the ones John Brown and his sons used to kill their opponents in Kansas. He also has a fake bugle and some military "Kepi" hats from the time of the Civil War.
From what it says in this Encyclopedia, John Brown came back from Kansas. And in 1859, about a year before the Civil War; he and his followers tried to "incite" a Slave "insurrection." That means they wanted the Slaves to "rise up" and revolt against their masters.
I guess, in 1859 John Brown and those under him "raided" a Federal "Armory" in this town called Harper's Ferry; which is in the State of Virginia. An Armory is where they keep weapons. John Brown wanted to use those guns to supply the Slaves in their "uprising."
Unfortunately, John Brown's idea didn't work and he was captured by Robert E. Lee. Even President Lincoln was mad at him. So, John Brown was put on trial and sentenced to death. He was hung but many people think he "set in motion" the road to the Civil War.
ENGRAVING BY THOMAS HOVENDEN
This is interesting. Some people said while being led out of jail to be "executed" John Brown kissed a Slave baby. But I guess that others say this event could not have happened because the "authorities" would never have allowed a white person to kiss a black person.
Mr. Steve one time told Daisy and Millie that what John Brown did back in1859, along with the Dred Scott case from 1857; were factors in bringing about Abraham Lincoln's 1860 election as President and then the outbreak of the Civil War a year later. I smell Juniper.
Oh darn! I did it again. I forgot to write about something which was on my outline. But I'll just put it in here because it would be too much trouble to go back and put it in where I intended it to be. I want to write some things about what are called "Studio Musicians."
I was supposed to write more about Session Musicians when I talked about how Jimmy Page is rumored to have played the lead guitar on that song You Really Got Me. But I kind of went on another tangent in talking so much about Kansas and then John Brown.
TEMPTATIONS FUNK BROTHERS SUPREMES
Mr. Steve is interested in the subject of music "Session Players." Yesterday I wrote about the FUNK BROTHERS from Detroit. In the 1960's they did the music for Motown songs by the SUPREMES and TEMPTATIONS. There are fluffy white clouds up there in the sky.
I guess Session Musicians aren't in any one band. And sometimes, to make money they even play the music for movies, tv commercials and things like that. Mr. Steve told us that those kind of musicians have to be really good in order to keep being hired to play in the Studio.
During the 1960's here in Los Angeles there were some really good Session Musicians called the WRECKING CREW. That's what Mr. Steve told us. As what are called "Guns for Hire" they played the music for many well-known songs and music. I smell Juniper.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie about meeting a girl from Northridge. She asked if Mr. Steve knew who Tommy Tedesco was. At that time he didn't. So she said Tommy Tedesco had been in the WRECKING CREW and lived also in Northridge with his family.
Since then Mr. Steve found out that Tommy Tedesco was one of the most "recorded" guitar players ever. He played on some BEACH BOYS and MONKEES songs; did the beginning of that one famous song "California Dreaming" by the MAMA'S AND THE PAPA'S.
Mr. Steve told us Tommy Tedesco played the "themes" of some tv shows his family watched; like Green Acres, Batman and Bonanza. He also knew how to play other stringed instruments. Our Chief heard Tommy Tedesco always "guitar tuned" those other instruments.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie that the WRECKING CREW, even though many of them were Jazz musicians who didn't really care for Rock music; played the music on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS. A Wren is singing.
I guess the WRECKING CREW played on songs by this band called the ASSOCIATION. Daisy says they have a good song about a girl named Wendy. She says our boss has a friend and his daughter is named Wendy. I smell the clump of Joshua trees near Libby's Corral.
That guy Frank Sinatra had a daughter named "Nancy." She was also a singer like her dad and the WRECKING CREW played on her songs. Daisy told me about this man named Herb Alpert. He had a band from the Mexican border city of Tijuana I guess.
And another song they did the music for was the Byrds version of "Mr. Tambourine Man."
"Studio musician" is another name for a session player Mr. Steve says. Tommy Tedesco was perfectly happy not being "in the spotlight." But two members of the Wrecking Crew who did later become famous were Glen Campbell and this other guy named Leon Russell.
TOMMY TEDESCO / CAROL KAYE
A few years ago Mr. Steve met this one other lady who asked him if he knew who Carol Kaye was. And he said yes because he'd learned about Tommy Tedesco. Carol Kaye was the Wrecking Cres's bass player but in the 1950's played guitar on Ritchie Valens song "La Bamba."
That lady said Carol Kaye lived near her in the Santa Clarita Valley. Mr. Steve told her his sister Susan lived in Santa Clarita before moving back to Connecticut to get married. That lady told him Carol Kaye doesn't like the name Wrecking Crew but prefers "The Clique."
Like Tommy Tedesco, Carol Kaye played on many recordings; like Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" songs. And when Barry Gordy moved Motown Records from Detroit to Los Angeles it was Carol Kaye who played bass on many of the famous songs they put out.
The problem with being a session musician Dais say is you don't get credit like you would if you were in the band. Carol Kaye played on some songs by this good singing band called Simon and Garfunkel and that guy Neil Young's first album. I smell a Squirrel around here.
Dais says she remembers this time when our boss told her and Millie that Carol Kaye played twelve string guitar on Frank Zappa's famous album Freak out. But Mr. Steve told them that he thinks most of her playing was probably done on more "obscure" songs few know now.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself that in his subjective opinion Carol Kaye is proof a female can be as good a musician as any male. One time our boss had a dream where he got to meet her and that man Tommy Tedesco; who used to work at a U.P.S. plant. I see the Squirrel.
From what that lady told Mr. Steve, the main reason why Carol Kaye didn't want to keep on working with Frank Zappa was because he used too much bad language in his lyrics. But they were friends even after that she said. Mr. Steve doesn't like bad language either.
Mr. Steve, Daisy and I like the BEACH BOYS. Carol Kaye played bass on their album called "Pet Sounds." Our boss says for years Paul McCartney of the BEATLES said he was influenced by her bass playing on Beach Boys songs; not knowing it was her. The Squirrel is gone.
I like the sound of bass and so does Dais. Mr. Steve listens for bass because he plays drums and bass and drums together are often the "foundation" or "skeleton" of a song. On many songs the combination of bass and drums form what they call the "Rhythm Section."
Dais says one time our Chief told her and Millie the rhythm section is like the big Lineman in Football. They block for the Quarterback and are the "backbone" of a play. Mr. Steve one time heard Ronnie James Dio say the rhythm section was the "Engine Room" of a band.
I guess one band that used Carol Kaye to play bass in the studio was the DOORS. Back in the mid-1970's Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy went with friends to a Nightclub in Hollywood called the "Starwood." They saw this one British band called SLADE on that night.
Mr. Steve says that band SLADE were very popular over there in England but for some reason they never made it here in America. I guess they had seventeen straight "Top 20" hits and six of them were number one. Dais says their singer sounds kind of like a Goat.
When our Chief and his girlfriend Sandy saw SLADE play at the Starwood they were one the British "glam" bands like T-REX or David Bowie's SPIDERS FROM MARS. But before that they were a "Skinhead" looking band. Skinheads like to fight and admire Nazi symbolism.
From what or boss told us, in the late 1970's there were Punk Skinheads right here in Los Angeles. They also shaved their heads and some even wore red Nazi armbands. Skinheads also wore black "Jackboots" like the Nazi's used to wear. Jackboots are good for kicking.
After the Slade concert our boss and Sandy were leaving when they noticed a "Bouncer" Mr. Steve knew. They worked together at this one Printing company in Sylmar but our Chief didn't know his friend was also a Bouncer; even though he was really big and strong.
Because they were talking our Chief and Sandy stayed inside the Starwood even though the audience had all left. Then, Ray Manzarek, the keyboards player of The Doors, came out with his band to rehearse. So Mr. Steve's friend introduced him and Sandy to Ray Manzarek.
RAY MANZAREK (1939-2013)
Mr. Steve says Ray Manzarek, who died last year, was very friendly. He gave Sandy a broken tambourine. Dais says our Chief has a tambourine in his bedroom. It's a thing you shake and it makes a jingling sound she says. A Mockingbird just landed on top of Moe.
Dais says our boss also has these things called "maraca's" in his bedroom. They're kind of like gourds with small rocks inside. She told me maraca's have handles on them and when you shake them to the beat of the music, just like with tambourines, they make a sound.
At the Starwood our Chief told Ray Manzarek he noticed that The Doors didn't have a bass player yet he heard bass on their songs. Ray Manzarek chuckled and then said; "This was our bass player." He then used his left hand to play a bass line on one of his keyboards.
Another thing that Ray Manzarek said was that it was Carol Kaye in the studio who played the bass when they were recording some of The Doors songs. At the time Mr. Steve didn't know who Carol Kaye was but years later he remembered. That Mockingbird just flew away.
From what Dais says our boss told her and Millie, it was Carol Kaye who played bass on this one song by Sonny and Cher called "The Beat Goes On." Oh wow! Just when I wrote that down who should I see? Cher the Cat. I thought I had smelled her. I like seeing Cher.
I'll bet Cher noticed that there was no Heathcliff around this morning to "ring in" our new day as they say. Tomorrow morning will be weird. But I still have a lot more work to do today. Fannie and Freddie just flew bye and there's a Snake hanging out of Freddie's mouth.
MARC BOLAN (1947-1977)
I just thought of something I was supposed to write about yesterday; this guy named Marc Boland and his band T-Rex. They were from England. He got killed in an Automobile accident many years ago. I've heard his song "Bang a Gong" on Mr. Steve's Boombox.
Mr. Steve told us that guy David Bowie was influenced in the early 1970's by Marc Bolan. For a short time he says they even had a band together. But Marc Bolan died in an Automobile accident so no one will ever know what he might've accomplished.
Over the years our Chief says that he's heard Marc Bolan's influence in other bands such as the Blue Oyster Cult who were a much harder Rock band. Mr. Steve told us he never liked the way "Glam" or "Glitter" Rock bands looked but thought some of the music was good.
In 1998 Mr. Steve did some artwork for this guy from England who said he had worked for Marc Bolan as a Roadie. This was when he had been a teenager in the early 1970's. He told our boss that Marc Bolan was really short; maybe five feet five at the most.
Well, the subject of Marc Bolan probably didn't fit in this section of my third book. But he just came into my thoughts because that band Slade were kind of a Glam band when Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy saw them play that concert down in Hollywood.
Oh! I forgot to mention how Mr. Steve said Carol Kaye also played tv show "Themes." And one of them was for that funny show Get Smart. Another show was about the Korean War and was called "M.A.S.H." Our four Pigeons just flew past; moving to the northeast.
BILL COSBY SHOW ROSEANNE SHOW
One of the last tv show Themes that lady Carol Kaye played bass guitar on was a "Sitcom" Mr. Steve's sister Susan also worked on; the "Bill Cosby Show." Another show about a family Susan worked on was the Roseanne show. Sitcom is short for "Situation Comedy."
In 1950 Mr. Steve's father "saw combat" in the Korean War. He was in the Marines and was in Korea for about a year. There are now people from Sough Korea living up here in the High Desert. Some of them have thanked Mr. Steve for what his father did.
Mr. Steve's father jokes that in Korea it was either over one hundred degrees or way below freezing. His feet got what they call "frostbitten" and they wanted to cut or "amputate" them. But he absolutely refused and wouldn't let them do it. And he still has his feet.
With the help of what they call a "Corpsman" our Chief's dad "rubbed life" back into his feet. They saved his feet but then he got addicted to pain-killing "Morphine." Mr. Steve's father has such a strong mind! Later he quit taking them "Cold Turkey" as they say.
Well, Cher just pounced on a big Mouse and is now biting it hard right on the neck. I an see the Mouse struggling but he won't escape. Sometimes Cher bites her prey on the throat. Well, now Cher is headed with her Mouse for the top of Manny the far right Shed.
According to my outline I still have a few more things to write about those musicians called the Wrecking Crew. Mr. Steve said that man Tommy Tedesco, who died in 1997, could what they call "sight-read" music even in the middle of a conversation with someone.
Daisy says she thinks that sight-reading probably means Tommy Tedesco could read music and immediately know what to play. Someday, after I've learned how to read and write better I might go out and try to learn how to read music. I can smell some flowers.
Another member of the Wrecking Crew was this other guy named Hal Blaine. Daisy told me he was a really good drummer. At least that's what our boss told her and Millie one time. Cher is now eating that Mouse. I hear a motorcycle going bye out back on Primavera Road.
Back in the 1970's one of Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy's favorite movies was a comedy called the "Pink Panther." The main actor was named Peter Sellers our Chief says. It was the Wrecking Crew who played the theme song for that movie. I still smell flowers.
THE PINK PANTHER
Because Mr. Steve's girlfriend Sandy liked the cartoon Pink Panther he bought her things with that theme. Someday I want to see that cartoon. Dais says Millie liked it a lot. The Pink Panther is so cool and smart too she told me. He even paints and plays saxaphone.
Our Chief used to buy his girlfriend Sandy "stuffed" Pink Panthers. And Harriet, his other girlfriend, liked things having to do with Panda Bears. So he would buy her things with Panda Bear themes. He still thinks about that when he sees things about Panda's.
Dais says one time our Chief told her and Millie that in his opinion once "singer-songwriters" like James Taylor or Cat Stevens became more popular the need for session musicians was not as great. I can see that Cher the Cat is now eating her Lizard up there on top of Manny.
Our Chief has always been interested in the lives of the people "behind the scenes" as they say. So when he took pictures of sports he saw the "backup singers" in music or the "sparring partners" in Boxing as important too. Life is not always "on the surface" he says.
Mr. Steve's girlfriend Harriet went to Grant High School which was named after Ulysses S. Grant the General. It's next to Valley Junior College where he went to after graduating from Sylmar High School. Sylmar used to play Grant in sports. I smell a Squirrel.
Daisy says one time our Chief told her and Millie about a Los Angeles band from the 1970's called Toto. They were originally session musicians like the Wrecking Crew but decided to form their own band. Some of members of Toto went to Grant High School.
I've never heard any Toto songs but Dais says they have this one song about Africa where the singing harmonies are really good. Toto used that guy from Lake View Terrace named Patrick Swayze to dance in one of their videos. Ah! I just noticed the Squirrel.
One time Mr. Steve went to see his brother Sam play a Baseball game at Grant High. They won because that year Grant didn't have a very good team. But the real memory of that game is of someone who's now dead. His name was Scott Hagar and I guess he had red hair.
As our Chief and his friend Mark Ritter walked toward the Baseball field at Grant they heard someone yell "Steve!" It was Scott Hagar who saw from far away. They waved at each other. A few years later Scott Hagar was stabbed to death in Pacoima. The Squirrel ran away.
The name "Hagar" has had a place in Mr. Steve's life. It was Hagar Street in Sylmar where his family lived at the time of the 1971 earthquake. And it's where our Chief was living before he move up here to the High Desert. Hagar is also the last name of a musician he likes.
He isn't on my outline but I feel like writing about that guy Sammy Hagar. Mr. Steve likes a lot of his songs. In the mid-1970's, with his friend Chris, he saw this one band called Montrose play at the Shrine Auditorium. I just smelled a Lizard somewhere around here.
Dais says our boss is pretty sure Sammy Hagar was in that band Montrose on that night at the Shrine Auditorium; but isn't sure. At that time back then he really didn't know who Ronnie Montrose or Sammy Hagar were. But they played a really good concert he says.
One time Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie about how a few years ago he met a guy who was from the city of "Fontana" to the south of where we live. He was a big Sammy Hagar fan who saw him play at a nightclub in San Bernardino even before he was in that band Montrose.
For a few years Mr. Steve had a customer up in northern California; a "Toyota" dealership in the town of "Salinas." The Service Manager told our Chief that Sammy Hagar was born in Salinas. I just noticed a big Lizard standing right in front of Manny the Shed.
Sammy Hagar was later in a famous band called VAN HALEN. He was their second singer. On the night our boss and his friend Chris saw Montrose play the main reason why he isn't sure if Sammy Hagar was in the band was because he was very "drunk" as they say.
Mr. Steve says when you're young you do stupid things. On the night of that MONTROSE concert he and Chris drank a bottle of cheap wine in Mr. Steve's Chevelle out in the parking lot of the Shrine Auditorium. That Lizard just ran away out into the eastern desert.
Because our Chief drank too much before MONTROSE he wasn't even noticing things he normally would have. In fact, when Ronnie Montrose shone lights off of his guitar the room was spinning so he had to look down and not at the stage. Mr. Steve rarely drinks now.
When Montrose played at the Shrine Auditorium they were opening up for this other band from Holland called GOLDEN EARRING. Mr. Steve said by the time they came on he was not so drunk and had a perfect "buzz" as they say. Dais likes GOLDEN EARRING songs.
My Encyclopedia says Holland is actually an area in the "Netherlands;" and the people are "Dutch." I mentioned that in writing about the painter Vincent van Gogh who was originally from Holland. Dais heard GOLDEN EARRING song in Mr. Steve's Bedroom.
From what Daisy told me GOLDEN EARRING have good songs. Our boss played drums to the song "Radar Love." Mr. Steve likes playing songs with snare drum. Watching Eddie the armless drummer, who I wrote about yesterday, makes him appreciate the snare drum.
Dais says that song Radar Love not only has good drumming in it but the guitar player uses this thing called a "Wah-Wah" peddle. Years ago our boss's friend named Chris learned how to use one of those wah-wah peddle. A cool breeze just blew in from the east.
Ah! The Chimes up above me are ringing. Hey Holy Spirit! I feel good when I think You're around. Even though I've made it all the way to this point in this third book; I'm still feeling a little sad about Heathcliff. It feels good taking a deep breath through my nose.
Dais told me GOLDEN EARRING'S guitarist used a "subtle" wah-wah peddle on that one song Radar Love. Jimi Hendrix sometimes used a loud and heavy wah-wah peddle she says. I think I'll write about this one British guitar player named Robin Trower right now.
Daisy told me our boss said in the late 1960's Robin Trower was in a band called PROCOL HARUM. She says Mr. Steve has an album where they play with an Orchestra. But in the early 1970's robin Trower went "on his own." After that his music totally changed I guess.
One time Daisy and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom when he played Robin Trower's first album called "Bridge of Sighs." On that album Robin Trower plays Hard Rock and also Blues Daisy told me. Some of the songs even have a good wah-wah peddle on them.
From what Daisy told me, our Chief thinks Robin Trower's first album has music on it in the style he imagines that guy Jimi Hendrix might've done had he not changed his style in the period just before he died. I guess Jimi Hendrix died at the really young age of twenty seven.
JIMI HENDRIX (1942-1970) JANIS JOPLIN (1943-1971) JIM MORRISON (1943-1971)
Well, the next thing on the outline Daisy helped me do is this thing called the "27 Club." It's named for these musicians who died at the young age of twenty seven. That girl Janis Joplin and the DOORS singer Jim Morrison are "members" of that club. I hear some Crows.
From what our Chief told Daisy, there are other musicians who are now also included in that 27 Club. The ROLLING STONES first guitarist Brian Jones is one and so is Kurt Cobaine from NIRVANA. Dais says this one British singer named Amy Winehouse died at twenty seven.
BRIAN JONES (1942-1969) AMY WINEHOUSE (1983-2011) KURT COBAINE (1967-1994)
Mr. Steve thinks that many, if not most, of the musicians in that 27 Club died young mainly because they "partied" too much. They didn't follow the advice given to the ancient Greeks who went to see the Oracle at Delphi; they did things in excess and didn't know themselves.
Some time back our Chief told Daisy and Millie he read that Kurt Cobaine's mother warned him about "joining" the 27 Club. But he probably "didn't take her seriously" Mr. Steve thinks. Fannie and Freddie just cruised bye really fast right above the three Sheds.
ROBERT JOHNSON (1911-1938)
Earlier I wrote about Robert Johnson the Blues musician; who lived at the time of the Great Depression. Mr. Steve told us Mark Ritter said Robert Johnson was the original member of the 27 Club. And lLike Vincent van Gogh, he died poor and barely appreciated.
I just picked up the strong scent of some Sage bushes coming from out in the eastern desert behind our three Sheds. I keep hoping to hear the sound of Heathcliff's voice but I know that's never going to happen ever again. I still hear Crows way out there in the desert.
Well, it's back to my outline for this final third book. For three days at times I sometimes go off on a tangent. But I don't care. That's okay. I can do whatever I feel like doing because it's my books after all. At least that's what Daisy says and I sort of want to agree with her.
Now I want to write about the Train trips that our boss's family used to take in the 1960's and early 1970's. They would go from California to New Mexico and back. On the way they got to see Arizona's beautiful scenery. Three Sparrows just flew over our Sheds.
The view from the window seat on all of those those Train trips was incredible our Chief says. But he now realizes that only in his old age does he now appreciate that. He jokes that Daisy and I would love eating in the special Train cars set up to supply food for the passengers..
The train station in Belen where Grandpa Trujillo worked for so many years was used for both carrying passengers and freight Mr. Steve told us. But now that train station is only used for the transporting of freight. Very few travel by train anymore our boss says.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie about this actress named Vivian Vance who played the part of Ethel Mertz on a 1950's tv show called "I Love Lucy." When young she moved from Kansas to live in New Mexico; in a city to the north of Belen called "Albuquerque."
Oh my God! Just when I was thinking about that show I Love Lucy who do I see but all four of our Pigeons standing on top of Jack the big Shed. Daisy told me our boss one time told her and Millie how Vivian Vance's train stopped in Belen on her way to Albuquerque.
I guess when Vivian Vance's train stopped in Belen people came out to see her. So she and that other lady named Lucille Ball waved to the little crowd. And they both got down from the train to "meet and greet" the people of Belen. The four Pigeons just flew away.
Mr. Steve said Vivian Vance has a star on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame." So does this man named William Frawley who played her husband Fred on I Love Lucy. Vivian Vance was what they call "Godmother" to John Sebastian; who had a band called The Lovin' Spoonful.
Mr. Steve told us in the early-1960's John Sebastian "came up" in an area of New York City called "Greenwich Village." He sang but also played harmonica and this one musical instrument called an "autoharp." I want to hear his songs! I love the sound of harmonica.
In 1977 our Chief and his brother Rock walked around Greenwich Village at the southern end of Manhattan. Bob Dylan is from Minnesota but he went to Greenwich Village to start his career. They did Folk music then. I like Bob Dylan's song "Like a Rolling Stone."
In the early-1960's Folk musicians like Peter, Paul and Mary were also beginning Mr. Steve told us. John Sebastian was in a band with two future members of the Mama and the Papas. In 1969 he played at Woodstock just like CANNED HEAT, Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix.
Our boss says he has an album by the Doors with a song called "Roadhouse Blues." And John Sebastian played harmonica on that song. Mr. Steve noticed that John Sebastian was born on March 17 which is the day after his sister Susan's birthday.
In my Encyclopedia it says in Greenwich Village during the early-1960's musicians like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie were admired by all the "up and coming" younger musicians like John Sebastian. Dais told me Woody Guthrie wrote a lot of famous songs.
WOODY GUTHRIE (1912-1967) WITH FAMILY
It says here that to Bob Dylan that man Woody Guthrie was a "hero." Woody Guthrie wrote songs during the 1930's Depression. I see he was born on July 14 so is a Cancer like our boss. John Sebastian one time got to "jam" or play with Woody Guthrie.
Sitting in the car listening to the radio that day he first heard the KINKS song You Really Got Me was a "game changer" Mr. Steve says. He still likes the KINKS and plays drums to some of their songs. The KINKS drummer was almost in the ROLLING STONES Dais says.
RAY DAVIES AND FAMILY
Mr. Steve says Ray Davies wrote hard Rock songs like "You Really Got Me" and "All the Day and All of the Night." But he also wrote really good "soft" songs like "Sunny Afternoon" and "A Dedicated Follower of Fashion." He wrote a song called "Lola."
But it was the KINKS heavier songs that made the biggest impressions on our boss at first. Van Halen must've liked this period too because one of the most famous songs he and his band did was a cover of You Really Got Me. Mr. Steve read Ray Davies didn't like that version.
In the late 1980's, near Union Station where our Chief first heard You really Got Me, he and his girlfriend Harriet were sent by Music Connection Magazine to a place called "Al's Bar." It was kind of near Olvera Street. Mr. Steve said it was a "Dive." A Crow just cawed.
Al's Bar was a few miles from the Atomic Cafe over in Little Tokyo. Our Chief and Harriet could not believe that this run-down place was the "famous" Al's Bar. Bands like the Misfits and Germs played there before but this "Club" was what Harriet called "seedy."
Mr. Steve and Harriet weren't making very much money to begin with and then my boss had to pay a homeless person five dollars to protect his Car while they were inside covering the show. Al's Bar was in what they call a "rough area" our Chief told Daisy and me.
In 1991 that band from Seattle called NIRVANA played at Al's Bar. Of course Mr. Steve says, this was before they became more famous. That was the same year they were making their now famous album Nevermind. Dais always notices when a guitar player is left-handed.
NIRVANA AT AL'S BAR
Like the Atomic Cafe, Al's Bar went out of business. Our boss says it's a miracle it lasted as long as it did. He says it's hard to believe NIRVANA played there. Just a short time later they were playing concerts in really big Arenas. A cool breeze just came in off of the desert.
Dais and I sort of like that band NIRVANA even though we really haven't heard that many of their songs. We like the song "Sounds Like Teen Spirit." Daisy told me that one time when she and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom they heard that band PEARLJAM.
About the same time when he heard You Really Got Me Mr. Steve says a series of "Biker" movies came out. And in many of those movies the music was done by a band called DAVIE ALLAN AND THE ARROWS. They used "Fuzz" effects to get a heavier guitar sound.
Dais says one time she and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom and listened to an album by that band DAVIE ALLAN AND THE ARROWS. She told me it's called "Blues Theme" even though it's not really Blues music. It's kind of Hard Rock and there's no singing on it I guess.
It was in 1967 that Mr. Steve first heard Blues Theme when his friend Tim got it. Tim and his mother were neighbors in Sylmar. Dais says the drums were not very loud but the guitar playing is really good. Our Chief told us at that time drums were often recorded badly.
The first time my boss ever saw a "double necked" guitar was on the front of Blues Theme. Like the one Jimmy Page of LED ZEPPELIN later used, Davie Allan's was a six and a twelve string guitar. That album cover showed a drummer with a goatee. Mr. Steve has a goatee.
Dais says that guy Jimmy Page used a double-necked guitar to play the two parts of this song called "Stairway to Heaven." That's what Mr. Steve told her and Millie. I've never heard that song but Daisy has and says it's really good. I just picked up the scent of a Rabbit.
When Daisy heard that LED ZEPPELIN song Stairway to Heaven she says it reminded of her of how the three pyramids at Giza have also been called stairways to Heaven. So she thinks that's what that song might is about. Someday I really want to hear that song.
Another song both Dais and I would like to hear is called "Taurus." It was done in the late 1960's by a Los Angeles band called SPIRIT. Jimi Hendrix admired their guitar player a lot our boss says. Aha! I just noticed a Bunny Rabbit nosing around near Manny.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, some people think Jimmy Page "lifted" or copied the beginning of Stairway to Heaven from SPIRIT'S song Taurus. And LED ZEPPELIN did open up for SPIRIT on their very first American tour he says. But Mr. Steve likes both songs.
I guess when our Chief first saw Jimmy Page's double-necked guitar he remembered DAVIE ALLAN AND THE ARROWS' album cover. That had been the only time he has seen a guitar like that before. He says Mike Rutherford of GENESIS played one for a time.
Because Tim's mother had a good Stereo in their Living Room Mr. Steve and Tim could play DAVIE ALLAN AND THE ARROWS' album loud. Tim's mom's Stereo could be played at "high volume" without "distorting." That Rabbit just hopped into the desert.
Tim's mom's Stereo was the first time our Chief could adjust the "high end" or "treble;" as well as the "low end" or "bass." That stereo had a "Graphics Equalizer." For Mr. Steve this was fun. Daisy says the Stereo in his Bedroom has one of those Graphics Equalizers.
Tim's mom played the organ and had what they call a "Hammond B3" in the corner of their Living Room. But she really didn't like loud music so whenever she left Tim and our Chief then "cranked it up." That Arrows album was one of the things they played loud.
Tim's mom was named "Gladys." During World War II she was one of those girls they called "Rosie the Riveter." She worked in a "Defense Plant" in Burbank. Marilyn Monroe worked at a Defense Plant inside Van Nuys Airport and her mom was named Gladys too.
Mr. Steve says Tim's mother was "strong-willed" but decent person. He told us at times that girl Debra kind of reminded him of her. Neither of them would have been called "Wall Flowers" he jokes. Both had what the sometimes call a "mother's courage" he says.
When it came to their kids, Debra and Tim's mom could at times become like momma Grizzly Bears defending it's cubs our Chief jokes. Both Debra and Tim's mother were small but weren't afraid of anything. Mr. Steve says both had a lot of courage. I smell a Squirrel.
During what was supposed to be a "routine" surgery Tim's mother died a few years ago. I'm dedicating this third book to all the people who our boss has known who have died; and also to Heathcliff! In our bedtime prayers Daisy and I pray for souls in Purgatory.
Mr. Steve says he still remembers Tim's mother's voice and recalls her basic decency. She let Tim turn a bedroom into a miniature town for his trains and always let him use the garage to work on cars. She was like Granny Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies he jokes.
Dais says she and Millie used to watch the Beverly Hillbillies. She told me the Clamett family had a really old "Hound" Dog named "Duke." He slept all the time. The older Daisy get I've noticed how she also likes to sleep more. I'll bet she's resting right now.
Another tv show Dais and Millie saw was The Lawrence Welk Show; the "Variety" show that Jimmy Lennon's girl cousins sang on during the 1950's and 1960's. I wrote about that show in book two yesterday when I talked about Boxing. I can smell an old Joshua tree.
Like Mr. Steve's Grandparents, Tim's mom liked the kind of music that they played on The Lawrence Welk Show. That's what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie. Daisy says Millie liked how they danced a lot on The Lawrence Welk Show. A Thrasher Bird just ran bye.
As I mentioned yesterday, even before he met Jimmy Lennon Jr. and Sr., Mr. Steve knew of the LENNON SISTERS. He liked watching The Lawrence Welk Show with his Grandparents in New Mexico. He thinks Jimmy Jr. was proud of his Cousins. I smell a Mouse nearby.
There are times when Mr. Steve dreams about people and pets which have been a part of his life. The other night he had a dream about Tim's mom in which that girl Debra was also in it. Mr. Steve told us he has "pleasant" dreams about his Grandparents sometimes.
At times Tim's mom would contrive a reason to leave the house so Mr. Steve and Tim could listen to her Stereo and play the the music loud. Tim's mom didn't like really loud music. Tim's mom was a decent, hard-working lady who had real "spunk" Mr. Steve told us.
Tim's mother was a good organ player. Mr. Steve recalls how her Hammond organ even had a primitive "drum machine" that he played around with. That was the first time he ever began to think about the idea of "programmed" music. I see the Mouse over there.
Next to Tim's mom's organ in the Living Room was a big wooden "Leslie" speaker which had cones that spun around the faster you played. Tim and Mr. Steve used to get that cone whirling around fast. A flock of Birds is going bye right now; way up there in the sky.
Mr. Steve told us one time that Jon Lord of DEEP PURPLE played a Hammond B3 so he could "keep up with" guitarist Richie Blackmore. And he used Leslie and Marshall amplifiers. Daisy says that guy Richie Blackmore is so melodic in his playing. The Mouse is gone.
Leslie speakers are very heavy our Chief says. He never had to move Tim's mother's Leslie. But a few years later he worked as what they call a "Roadie" for this keyboard player named "Gabriel." He used Leslie speakers for his Hammond B3 organ. I smell Creosote.
Gabriel was from Chicago and came to Los Angeles in the mid-1970's. He moved into one of the houses on the neighborhood which had been repaired after the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. He and these other really talented musicians rehearsed in the Living Room of that house.
Gabriel had one leg shorter than the other so had some special shoes. He was so talented our Chief says. Gabriel seemed to be able to play any type of music; from Classical to Rock. On the piano he played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise. I hear Ducks quaking.
As good a piano player as he was our Chief told us that guy Gabriel was even better on the organ. He knew how to play songs by the Beach Boys, Beatles and the Rolling Stones but would just as often play old J.S. Bach songs and some really fast Paganini solos.
Listening to Gabriel was amazing Mr. Steve says. One minute you could be hearing Richard Wagner and the next some Blues, Soul or even Rhythm and Blues. But he also wrote his own songs and often played those too. I just felt a cool breeze come in off of the desert.
BACH PAGANINI WAGNER
Daisy thinks that guy Gabriel sounds like he was they call "versatile." Mr. Steve liked when Gabriel played music by Bach, Paganini and especially that guy Wagner. Daisy told me that one time in our boss's bedroom she and Millie got to listen to a few of Richard Wagner's songs.
Just as some of Friedrich Nietzche and Charles Darwin's ideas influenced that guy Adolph Hitler's "world view;" Wagner's music made a huge impression on him as well. So, that means world history in the 20th century was also effected too. I smell a Lizard around here.
Sometimes it's hard to sound out German words. I just used my Dictionary to look up the word "Weltanschauung." It means "world view." Mr. Steve thinks this idea has really been so important in Germany's long history. Another German word is "Zeitgeist."
According to this German Dictionary Zeitgeist is translated into English as the "spirit of the times." I guess it's associated with the Enlightenment philosophers Voltaire and later that man Friedrich Hegel. I just noticed the Lizard standing right near the tree to my front.
From what it says here in this Encyclopedia the Germanic and Viking stories which Richard Wagner used in some of his operas, like "Der Ring Des Nibelungen," were influenced by the idea of Weltanschauung. Daisy and myself, we try to have optimistic world views.
This is interesting. It says here that many cultures have had very similar ideas to what the German's call Weltanshauung. The earliest Mesopotamians had the story of "Gilgamesh" and the ancient Greeks showed their world view in the Iliad. The Lizard just ran away.
I guess the Hindus show their world view through writings like the "Mahabharata" while the Arabs use the story called "One Thousand And One Nights." I wonder if maybe I could write a Weltanschauung story for us Dogs? Maybe we could even make some money out of it?
Even though that guy Wagner didn't really like Jews and seemed like sort of a mean person our Chief says, he sure wrote undeniably powerful music. Daisy says hearing it makes you feel like going out and fighting someone. Maybe that's why Hitler liked it so much.
I still have a little bit more to write about that keyboard player named Gabriel. Mr. Steve likes Booker T and the MG's so when Gabriel played the songs Green Onions and Time is Tight he enjoyed that. Gabriel at times played solos like Jon Lord of Deep Purple.
That guy Gabriel is a good example our boss told us, of how talent alone is not always enough in life. Sometimes it's just pure luck. Gabriel never "made it" as they say. He tried for a few years and decided to go back to the "Midwest" where he was originally from.
One time my boss and these three other guys worked for Gabriel as what's called "Roadies." That means they had to move and then set up all of the musical equipment. Mr. Steve set up the drums and his friends set up the other instruments. I hear Birds chirping to the east.
At this one concert our Chief and his friends had to haul Gabriel's organ and Leslie speakers to the "South Bay." And when they got there they realized that they were going to have to figure out how to get Gabriel's equipment up this really steep and narrow staircase.
It was hard getting them upstairs. Mr. Steve cut and bruised his hands and other parts of his body. But he and his three friends did it. Four pairs of hands turned out to be enough. I smell flowers. That's so great! I really feel like life is going on even though Heathcliff is dead.
Mr. Steve said it was a lot easier getting that organ downstairs because they weren' working against gravity. And, even though on that night it was not fun, he and his friends learned a lot. Mr. Steve says he and his friends were so tired at the end of that night and they slept well.
After hearing Tim's copy of Blues Theme our Chief says he saved up the "allowance" money his parents paid him and went out and bought that album. He still has it in his record collection Dais told me. Someday I really want to hear that Davie Allan and the Arrows album.
Our Chief told us that over the years he sometimes has "pulled out" that old Davie Allan and the Arrows album to show people one example of Hard Rock from the 1960's. Some day I also want to see exactly just how a Turntable works. That must be amazing!
Many of the songs on that one Arrows album Blues Theme are "motorcycle-themed" Mr. Steve told us. This is because the Arrows got hired to play what's called the "soundtracks" for "biker" movies from the 1960's he says. Daisy thinks some bikers look kind of mean.
One time Mr. Steve played for Dais and Millie Davie Allen's "fuzzed-out" version of a famous Classical song called the "William Tell Overture." It's a "faster-paced" and heavier version of the original from the 19th century. Two of the Pigeons just flew over Moe the Shed.
I just looked up this Italian composer named Gioachino Rossini. He wrote the William Tell Overture. According to this the William tell Overture, in the 1950's, was the "theme" of first a radio and then later a tv "Western" series called the "Lone Ranger."
TONTO / LONE RANGER
Dais says one time she and Millie watched a really good tv show about the Lone Ranger. He always helps people and has this Indian named "Tonto" who always helps him out. Daisy told me the Lone Ranger wears a black mask and rides a white Horse named "Silver."
From what Daisy says in that show about the Lone Ranger and Tonto the Lone Ranger often "rears up" on his pretty white Horse. That Cowboy named Roy Rogers also used to do that on his Horse Trigger. I can see Libby over there in her Corral just walking around.
Mr. Steve told Dais and Millie that some people think the "inspiration" for the writers of the Lone Ranger was this man named Bass Reeves. He was a former slave in the 19th century who became sort of like a Bounty Hunter in Oklahoma. I can smell Libby right now.
BASS REEVES (1838-1910)
It says here in my Encyclopedia that Bass Reeves worked for over thirty years chasing down and then capturing criminals and outlaws. He caught over three thousand of them and never got killed. Oh wow! One time he even had to do his duty and go out and capture his own son.
This is so amazing! One time a bullet "ricocheted" off of Bass Reeve's belt buckle and another time a bullet went right through his hat. If Dais were here she would probably say Bass Reeves' Guardian Angel was working hard on those days. I hear some Crows cawing.
My Encyclopedia says in the radio and tv shows the Lone Ranger used "trickery" and gave away silver bullets. Bass Reeves also was clever in catching bad guys. And he gave away silver dollars. Both had Native American assistants too. I just smelled some Cholla cactus.
Dais says our Chief has an old vinyl record of Rossini's original version of the William Tell Overture. She and Millie heard it one time. I guess, from what it says here, that man Rossini wrote it in the early 1800's. That big Dragonfly just zoomed past. I heard it coming.
Even though the drums and bass are recorded badly, Daisy says our boss thinks the Arrows fuzz guitar version is good too. In fact she told me, he kind of prefers it. Someday I want to hear it. Oh! Max and 99 just showed up to eat out of the Hummingbird feeder.
GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868)
I says in this Encyclopedia that one time that man Rossini met Beethoven; who complimented him on his opera called "The Barber of Seville;" or "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" in Italian. Wow! If Beethoven likes your songs you must be good! Max and 99 just flew away.
Dais says another cover song on the Davie Allen and the Arrows album Blues Theme is an old "Cowboy" song "Ghost Riders in the Sky." Daisy thinks it's about ghosts riding ghost Horses up in the clouds. The Arrows "haunting" version was recorded with "echo" in it.
Daisy and I have at times wondered if there's such a thing as ghost Horses. And now, what with Heathcliff dying, I'm wondering if Chickens can come back as a ghost. That would be so great if Heathcliff came back! Mr. Steve doesn't believe in ghosts. I smell a Lizard.
Mr. Steve says Johnny Cash did a version of Ghost Riders in the Sky. Because they obviously liked the music in Spaghetti Western movies, he thinks Wall of Voodoo should have covered it. But the Arrows gave it a "harder edge" and faster "tempo" our Chief told us.
Dais says on the Blues Theme album The Arrows play a song called "Thunderball;" which is from a James Bond movie of the same name. Like all the "Bond" movies, Thunderball is about British Intelligence and secret agent 007 in the early 1960's. I see the Lizard.
Our Chief read a book about World War II espionage and part of it dealt with that man Ian Flemming who was in British Naval Intelligence then. For much of the war he was what they call "stationed" outside of London at that place called "Bletchley Park."
I guess after the war, during the 1950's, Ian Flemming used the knowledge he gained fighting the Nazi's to write his James Bond novels. But Mr. Steve said they weren't that successful until President Kennedy told reporters he liked them. That one Lizard is gone now.
Since he was a kid our boss has liked the James Bond movies based on the books. He told us he hasn't seen any from the last few years but still enjoys watching those from the 1960's. The first Bond movie was called "Dr. No" and had a character in it named "Odd Job."
ODD JOB / ("DR. NO")
I want to see that movie Dr. No. Dais and Millie saw it. Daisy says the villain named Dr. No has a radio wave weapon like what Nikola Tesla described and his bodyguard is a Korean man named Odd Job whose very strong and has a neat hat with a blade on the edges.
Dr. No came out at the end of 1962 when our Chief was seven years old. His mom didn't let him see it until a few years later. When he was older he found out that Dr. No was being shown about the same time as this thing called the "Cuban Missile Crisis."
Dais told me about another James Bond character named "Jaws." He was a big giant who had steel teeth that could even bite a thick metal cable in half she says. Mr. Steve told her that in the movie "Moonraker" he was different from the original Ian Flemming character.
JAWS / ("MOONRAKER")
From what Daisy's told me that giant man Jaws was so strong he could bend a metal bar in his mouth using his steel teeth. She says if we ever had to fight someone like Jaws we'd have to work as a team and never get close enough to him so he could grab us.
Mr. Steve told Daisy that in the 1980's he used to take pictures of the Boxer whose nickname was Jaws. His real name was Alex Garcia and he was from San Fernando Daisy says. He was kind of unique in that he was a Heavyweight "Latino" fighter.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
The reason our boss took pictures of that boxer Alex was because his manager and trainer at the time was this guy whose nickname was "Blinky" just like our Blinky. He was a "Kickboxer" before then and was married to Benny "the Jet" Urquidez's sister Lilly.
I'm still thinking about that band the Arrows. Mr. Steve says their version of Thunderball is heavier than the song that was used in the James Bond movie. That's why he likes it better. Our boss often prefers what they call "faster-paced" or "harder" Rock songs.
Mr. Steve likes the way Robert Johnson plays Blues but actually likes even better the way musicians like Eric Clapton play Blues in a harder Rock way. And, as much as appreciates Bob Marley's Reggae, he would rather listen to the Police's heavier Reggae songs.
ERIC CLAPTON THE POLICE
Our Chief really likes the acoustic Blues music of Robert Johnson or John Lee Hooker. But he likes even more the electric Blues by Z Z TOP or Stevie Ray Vaughn. And Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton are British but Mr. Steve told us he likes their Blues.
As I've mentioned before, Mr. Steve has seen a few Reggae concerts and even has some of that guy Bob Marley's music on Cassettes. He likes Jamaican Reggae a lot. But again, Mr. Steve prefers bands like the POLICE who at times do a heavier version of Reggae.
Mr. Steve saw a concert by a guy from Jamaica named Peter Tosh. It was a good show he told us. Peter Tosh plays a form of Reggae called "Ska." But Mr. Steve likes even better this one band called NO DOUBT who do slightly heavier versions of Ska music. I smell Sage.
From what our Chief told us, that band NO DOUBT grew up near Disneyland. Daisy told me the singer is a really pretty girl who has blonde hair. She and Millie once watched a show on them and says the girl singer seems like she would be a really good "mommy."
A group of Crows that had been swirling above the eastern desert behind the three Sheds are now all diving down to the ground. I can hear some of them squawking at each other right now. I just picked up the faint scent of that old Joshua tree near Libby's Corral.
BONZO DOG DOO DAH BAND
As I mentioned the day before yesterday in book one, our boss likes the British humor like the group called "Monty Python." And there used to be this one band called the BONZO DOG DOO DAAH BAND or "BONZO DOG" for short. Two Crows are fighting now.
I knew I was being watched. I just noticed how Rudy the Roadrunner is looking at me from under Manny the Shed. He's cocking his head to the right the way he always does when trying to hear better. Or at least that's what Daisy thinks he doing when he does that.
Originally I was scheduled to write about that British group Monty Python on Thursday in book one. But somehow I missed it on my outline. I was panicking until Daisy said I could just put in this section when I mention that band BONZO DOG. Then I was calm.
MONTY PYTHON'S "HOLY GRAIL"
One time Daisy and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom and watched a really funny movie by those guys Monty Python. It was about that famous King named "Arthur" and his "Knights of the Round Table." I just picked up the scent of a Lizard somewhere around here.
Hey Lord! As You know of course, Daisy and Millie liked that Monty Python movie. It was about about how King Arthur and his Knights searched for the "Holy Grail" which was the cup You and Your twelve Apostles used at that last "Passover" supper before You died.
Dais told me that Mr. Steve thought Monty Python's movie was so funny. She thinks that's mainly because he's read about the the story of "Camelot" and King Arthur. Mr. Steve thinks there probably wasn't a real King Arthur. Aha! I see the Lizard over there.
From what Daisy says, King Arthur and his Knights don't even need Horses to ride. They just hop around as if they were riding Horses while this guy pounds two Coconut shells together to make the sound of a trotting Horse. I can smell Libby over there in her Corral.
Hey Lord! As You know, someday if I ever get over my fear of enclosed places I want to see Monty Python's movie. As I mentioned the day before yesterday in book one, if we had the Holy Grail we'd definitely share it with certain others. That one Lizard is now gone.
Fannie and Freddie are flying bye. And Jack the Jackrabbit's scent just floated in from the desert behind the Sheds; and now I smell Cher. Dawn and Blinky are barking faintly over there next door. Libby is walking around her Corral. I wonder what Dais is doing right now?
As You know Lord, if we had that Holy Grail cup we would let everyone around here drink water out of it. Maybe they, and us too; could live longer. Maybe we could even have saved good old Heathcliff? I can smell that old Joshua tree over there near Libby's Corral.
Daisy and I would love to travel back time to see the last meal You had with Your Apostles Lord. That would be so great! Daisy and I would really listen to what You said and learn. I'm sure Mr. Steve would want to go with us too. We could meet You Blessed Mother.
Lord, some think the cup You used at "The Last Supper" was made out of gold and had big emeralds, diamonds and gems on it. If that's true it would be worth so much money! But Mr. Steve thinks it's probably just an ordinary everyday cup. I hear Pigeons cooing.
"THE LAST SUPPER"
PAINTING BY LEONARDO DA VINCI
There's a good picture in this one Encyclopedia that shows a famous painting by that guy Leonarado da Vinci. It shows "Your last supper Lord. And the caption below it says it was the exact moment when You told Your Disciples how one of them would betray You.
This is interesting Lord. The caption also says the Apostle to Your right is Saint John but it looks sort of like a female. Maybe it's Mary Magdelane! I'll bet it is! I wonder if Leonardo da Vinci knew something? Boy! Daisy and I would sure like to smell Mary Magdelane.
Dais says Millie thought it was funny in the Monty Python movie when one of King Arthur's Knights fights this other Knight and cuts off his arms and legs. But the brave Knight would not give up! He keeps on fighting! I wonder what it would be like to have a leg cut off?
I just used by Dictionary to look up the word "Parody." It means a "farcical imitation of a literary or musical word or style." That's what the Monty Python movie did I guess. Mr. Steve sure thought the writers of that movie were clever. I smell our neighbors new flowers.
One time Daisy told me about that band "BONZO DOG." She says they have a lot of funny songs in many different styles. She and Millie noticed how Mr. Steve thought their song called "Can Blue Men Sing The Whites" was kind of clever. The Ducks are quacking.
Mr. Steve thinks white musicians from England like the early ROLLIN STONES, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton made good Blues music. Dais told me how he has some old vinyl records of all three of them from the 1960's. He jokes that they're what's called "Vintage."
To a certain extent Mr. Steve says, part of the original American Blues music was inspired by the pain and struggle of black people. So other races cannot empathize with them. But they can sympathize with their bad situation. A Jet just flew bye up there high in the sky.
As I mentioned on Thursday the day before yesterday in book one; it was Sister Rita Joseph who first explained to Mr. Steve the difference between empathy and sympathy. Over the years he's at times thought about her when he's been discussing Blues music with others.
JOHN LEE HOOKER (1917-2001) "HOWLIN " WOLF (1915-1983)
Mr. Steve says Blues music by men like Muddy Waters or John Lee Hooker was great. In their time there was no such thing as an electric guitar. They only had acoustic guitars. So the music they made was softer. I can smell a Bunny Rabbit somewhere around here.
Just as in other forms of music, in Mr. Steve's subjective opinion heavier electric guitar can make Blues just as good as the original. He likes louder more energetic music that has drums in it. I see a little brownish-gray Rabbit over there; hiding under that bushy Creosote bush.
JIMMY PAGE / ERIC CLAPTON / JEFF BECK (1977)
As I've mentioned before, Mr. Steve likes that 1960's English band the YARDBIRDS. All three of their guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page; were heavily influenced by the Blues music. I just picked up the faint scent of a Lizard somewhere around here.
Two of the Pigeons are up on the roof of the Patio. I hear them cooing right now. Looking to the east beyond the Sheds I see Birds darting about. There are now some streaky white clouds to the southeast. That one little Rabbit just hopped away from under the Creosote bush.
STEVIE RAY VAUGHN (1954-1990)
In 1990 Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Harriet saw one of the last concerts that guitar player Stevie Ray Vaughn ever did. That was downtown at the Sports Arena; where he had seen DEF LEPPARD and their one-armed drummer in the 1980's. I can now see the Lizard.
Dais told me just a few weeks after Mr. Steve and Harriet saw Stevie Ray Vaughn play that concert with Jeff Beck he died in a Helicopter crash. He was up there in the State of Wisconsin; where Mr. Steve's friend Mark is from originally and was leaving one of his concerts.
I guess Stevie Ray Vaughn was another example of how you don't have to be black to play good Blues. Mr. Steve sometimes plays this one Stevie Ray Vaughn song called "Scuttle Buttin" loud Daisy says. He tries to play along to it on drums. That Lizard is gone now.
There's a good picture in this one Encyclopedia of a British band from the 1960's called the BLUESBREAKERS. I can tell that it's one of those black and white pictures that's been printed on silk paper and then colored. I've mentioned how Mr. Steve used to color prints.
Mr. Steve says the leader of the BLUESBREAKERS was named John Mayall and the actual name of the band was JOHN MAYALL AND THE BLUESBREAKERS. I wrote a little bit in book one about John Mayall. He's British. A Thrasher Bird just ran under Jack.
I guess, from what Mr. Steve told us; a lot of good English musicians started their careers in John Mayall's band. Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce who were later in that band CREAM were two of them. I just picked up the faint scent of Libby over there in her Corral.
CREAM FLEETWOOD MAC
Daisy told me about this one British band called FLEETWOOD MAC. I mentioned them yesterday in book two when I wrote about how they recorded albums at that recording studio in Van Nuys called Sound City. But that was a later version of FLEETWOOD MAC.
I guess in the 1960's the original FLEETWOOD MAC was a Blues band. And a lot of them started with that guy John Mayall. Daisy says our boss had a friend named David who liked the original FLEETWOOD MAC better than the more successful later version.
In book one on Thursday I wrote about how in the early 1970's Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy got to see a lot of free concerts down at the Hollywood Palladium because he met that girl Lisa at Valley College who was a friend of the Promoters. She also knew John Mayall.
Mr. Steve says he still thinks about how some people back then didn't believe Lisa when she said she knew John Mayall. They even thought she was just making it up. Mr. Steve wanted to believe her. He and Sandy gave her what they call the "Benefit of the Doubt."
Then one time Mr. Steve and Sandy, and some of their friends; were at this place called the "Cinerama Dome" to see a movie. And who came walking up the aisle of the Theater; Lisa and John Mayall. I guess John Mayall came to live here in Southern California.
A few years ago Mr. Steve met a guy who told him John Mayall lived on this one road in Los Angeles called "Laurel Canyon." But his house burned down and he had a lot of valuable things inside. Boy! I sure hope our house never burns down. That would be so terrible!
That guy who told Mr. Steve about John Mayall's house burning down also said that during the Korean War John Mayall was in the British army. And I guess he also said that back in 1964 he was in a band with that guy John Lee Hooker.
For a few years Mr. Steve had a customer named "Marty" who worked as a Parts Manager. He's a historian of Blues music. Marty lived in the city of Chicago and has a huge library of all different things related to the subject of Blues music. I smell a Ground Squirrel.
That guy Mr. Marty "Edited" together three Videotapes of bands from his Library and sent them to Mr. Steve. It took a lot of time and effort to do it Mr. Steve told us. He didn't know that Mr. Marty was even doing it. But he did and Mr. Steve really appreciated it.
Dais and Millie one time watched parts of those three Videos and says they're so good. One is dedicated to just Blues music but the other two have many of other types of music because Mr. Marty knew our boss likes many other styles. There's a lot of good concert film.
To try to pay Mr. Marty back our boss sent him copies of some of the different pictures that he took back in the 1980's. Daisy told me that on the Blues Video there are films of famous and not so famous musicians. But all are playing all the different types of Blues.
According to what Daisy told me, on that one Blues Video there's a concert by a band called INDIGINOUS. They're Native-American Lakota Sioux from
During the 1930's Great Depression black musicians like that guy Robert Johnson created Blues music because of their difficult lives. But what happened in England in the 1960's shows how poverty, misery and struggle aren't necessarily a "prerequisite" for playing Blues.
Back in the late 1980's Mr. Steve and Harriet were given a review assignment for that one Magazine called Music Connecction. They went to this North Hollywood Nightclub called "FM Station." Harriet and her mother also lived nearby in North Hollywood.
The band Mr. Steve and Harriet saw at FM Station was called B.B. CHUNG KING & THE SCREAMING BUDDAHEADS. They played a lot of Blues songs and their guitar player was a Japanese-American from the city of Downey. His name was Alan Mirikitani.
Because Harriet and her mother also lived in North Hollywood . Both
Mr. Steve told Dais and myself that in those days back in the late 1950's all the bands on a t
our would use the same set of drums. And because the drummer for Dion and the Belmonts had to go to the hospital Ritchie Valens played the drums for them one time.
RITCHIE VALENS PLAYING DRUMS (1959)
From what Dais told me, there are some other famous people buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery. One is this man named Bob Hope. Daisy says he was in funny movies. I've never seen or heard anything by Bob Hope but I'd sure like to someday.
Dais says one time our boss told her and Millie that man Bob Hope lived in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and children. And now there's even an airport named after him in the city of Burbank. I see one of those white vapor trails up in the sky right now.
BOB HOPE (1903-2003) AND WIFE
Wow! That man Bob Hope died when he was one hundred years old. I guess he lived in this area called "Toluca Lake." Mr. Steve says from the time of World War II Bob hope used to go entertain soldiers or the "troops" in many parts of the world. I smell a Lizard.
Besides Bob Hope another famous actor who's buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery is named William Frawley. He played Fred Mertz on that tv show I Love Lucy. His wife on that show was that lady from New Mexico named Vivian Vance. I see the Lizard near the tree.
WILLIAM FRAWLEY (1887-1966) ON FAR RIGHT
Dais says our boss once read that William Frawley, who played a "cantankerous" landlord on I Love Lucy, was a misanthrope in real life. He had a very low opinion of human nature. He was also in this other tv show called "My Three Sons" Daisy told me.
Both William Frawley and Vivian Vance have stars on the sidewalk down in Hollywood. But Dais says our boss told her and Millie that in real life they disliked each other. That Lizard just ran under a big rock nearer to the tree. I smell flowers again.
Mr. Steve talks about his, Daisy's and my "comfort zones." After I got used to living here one of the things I did was find my comfort zones; like here on this couch. I also went to great effort to dig out and shape an area against the north side of the house.
I've shaped what our boss calls my "trench" on the north side of the house. I love my trench but I love it here too! At this later point in the day the sunlight is making all of the shadows lean toward the east. I can't believe I'm almost done with my three books.
From my trench not only can I escape the heat on hot days but I hear the Train whistles a lot better. Dais doesn't care about Trains as much as I do. She thinks that if you've heard one Train whistle you've heard them all as they say. Trains sound even better at night!
My trench is cool because it's shady and funnels breezes that come off of the eastern desert in Summertime. And, from there I can quickly respond to any situation on our two acres. But I can respond from here too if need be. One of the Bunny Rabbits is hopping bye.
I love my trench! It's my "sanctuary!" I'd fight to protect it; just as I'd fight to protect this couch! I sometimes think of my trench as what my boss calls a “Home Court.” I feel like I have a definite advantage there because I know every inch of it so well.
Sometimes when I'm laying in my trench I think about things. One time when I was resting there it dawned on me why Mr. Steve likes that one Beach Boys song called "In My Room." This couch and my trench are sort of like my room. Thank Everyone for my rooms.
Another song that Mr. Steve likes is "Für Elise" by Beethoven. I haven't heard really heard it yet but Dais has. She told me it's all piano and kind of slow and soft sounding. It's a sad song Daisy said. Our boss's Niece Samantha learned how to play Für Elise on the piano.
I wonder what Dais is doing? No snacks for us for the third day in a row I guess. Oh well, it just makes our dinner taste better. That's what Daisy jokes and I want to think like that now too. That Monarch Butterfly just floated bye. It's going out into the desert.
Daisy usually stays in the garage on cold days. Me too sometimes. But, in really hot weather I share my special trench with her. It's only right. After all, it was Daisy who first made me aware of all those breezes which come in from the northeast. Breezes are so great!
A funny sight is when Daisy falls asleep in my trench against the house. She lies on her back, legs up in the air. Sometimes, when she's sound asleep and dreaming, she kicks and bites at the breezes. There are times when Daisy even snores; sometimes really loud!
I now usually have good dreams. But every once in while Lilith will show up and then I'll have some dreams where she tells me to do wrong things. Sometimes Lilith even looks kind of pretty and is nice. I always have thunder and lightning In my worst nightmares.
Thunder and lightning used to terrify me a lot more than they do now! Even when Mr. Steve used to hold and pet me I still shivered and shook uncontrollably. Dais tried to calm me down too but for a while it was no use. I'm a lot better now. Thank You Blessed Mother!
Oh my God! Just as You came into my thought Blessed Mother I just picked up the scent of a Rosemary plant. That's been happening for three days so it must be You doing that. And now the smell of Rosemary is getting even stronger because of the breezes.
I wish I could tell my boss that the main reason I seem so cowardly when there's thunder and lightning is because I'm remembering that one big giant storm. What they call a "Flash Flood" came in and almost drowned me. I was living out in that field then.
I don't know which is worse, thunder or lightning. They're both terrible. Just as Mr. Steve still has bad dreams about the times he broke his bones or got badly cut; I still have nightmares about drowning. Sometimes we even have storms during the Summer.
Water is one of the most important things in life our boss thinks. And with us being in this drought makes us appreciate water even more. Mr. Steve sometimes jokes that water is good "in moderation." I just heard a faint Train whistle coming from the north.
I kind of got over my fear of thunder and lightning on that one warm Summer night when we all sat out on the back patio watching a "Thunder Storm." I remember that how that storm was on the eastern horizon; beyond Apple Valley where Roy Rogers used to live.
Roy Rogers was one of the most famous of all the "Singing Cowboys." Mr. Steve told Daisy and I how for many years he had a famous Museum over there in Apple Valley. Mr. Steve went to it a few times. He likes going to Museums. I'd like to visit a Museum someday.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that he has a customer in the State of Missouri. The Parts Manager at this Ford dealership told our boss that he and his wife and kids sometimes go to the new Roy Rogers Museum in the town of "Branson;" which is where it moved to.
According to my Chief Roy Rogers had one of the smartest horses in the world! His name was "Trigger." Trigger was what's called a "Palomino." One of my goals in writing our story is to prove that a Dog can also be smart. I want to be like Trigger and Mr. Peabody! I'm also learning to count just like Trigger was able to do!
On that night when we watched the Thunder Storm we felt nice cool breezes. It wasn't even raining in Pinon Hills but Mr. Steve said we had an unbelievable natural "Light Show" all around us. And, to make it even better, every few minutes an explosion of light and then the delayed lightning bolt would go off to our left; to the north.
As Mr. Steve, Daisy and I watched in amazement at what our boss called "the fireworks," we listened to the Radio. Earlier Mr. Steve's brother Sam had called to tell us the Oakland A's were playing the Angels in Anaheim. So that's what we listened to.
In most years the A's would have been “buried” in last place by that point in the season. But at the time of that Thunder Storm they were in first! Mr. Steve said he felt fortunate to be sharing that experience with Daisy and I.
Because of that night I now really like the Oakland A's! Daisy just likes to be petted, no matter what's going on. Daisy and I were never petted so much as on that night we watched the Thunder Storm out on our back patio.
I realized on that night that thunder and lightning are not so scary. And, some time later, Mr. Steve forced me to stay with Daisy inside the Utility Room during a rain storm over our house. I'm proud of that. I'm making progress.
The good part of that night watching the Thunder Storm was listening to the A's game and being with my boss and Daisy. The bad part was that the A's got slaughtered by the Angels in that game. Mr. Steve's been to Anaheim Stadium!
Even though I'm not as afraid of thunder and lightning now I will never forget that awful storm when I was homeless in that field! It was a nightmare! The rain was pouring down so hard it flooded right through all the bushes I used for cover. I got so sick!
I thought I was a goner during that storm! As they say, the sky "opened up" and engulfed me in a torrent of water. It was coming down "in buckets." I was soaked “to the bone” as the saying goes. Only Your protection God saved me.
But maybe Saint Francis saved me? Or maybe it was You Virgin Mary? I do kind of now want to believe in Guardian Angels. Maybe it was just pure luck and things don't happen for a reason. Maybe life is just "random chance" with no purpose?
Daisy and I are not the first “duo” to live around Mr. Steve. When he lived down in Sylmar he once had two Cats who, like Daisy and I, were very different from each other. And just like with Daisy and I, he had some nicknames for them.
A gray female cat with thick fur like Daisy was named “Miss Foot.” She had an extra toe on each foot so no one wanted her. But, as Mr. Steve joked, because good comes with bad she also had extra really sharp claws. One of his nicknames for Miss Foot was "Razor Feet."
MISS FOOT CÓRDOVA
I like hearing about Miss Foot and my Chief's other Cat named "Mookie Wilson." Mookie was a pure white male Cat. Whereas Miss Foot was a “lap” cat, Mookie disliked being held or touched unless he gave permission. Daisy would be a lap Dog but she's too big!
MOOKIE CÓRDOVA WILSON
Miss Foot liked to be held and petted just like Daisy. She tested everyone by going up to them and rubbing against their legs to see if they'd hold her. Daisy sometimes does this and; I'm starting to do this with Mr. Steve too.
Mookie was a short-haired Cat while Miss Foot had thick fur like Daisy. Our Chief jokes that Daisy might be reincarnated from Miss Foot. Daisy does like to be held and petted an awful lot. Who knows. As they say, "God works in mysterious ways."
At the time he owned Miss Foot and Mookie my boss had a girlfriend named Emily. In a way my boss says, Mookie was kind of like Emily's Cat. Emily was the only one who could pick up and hold Mookie any time she wanted and he wouldn't try to scratch her.
Emily was the one who named Mookie. One day Mr. Steve and Emily were watching a Baseball game on t.v. being broadcast from New York City. The Mets were playing against the Dodgers. Emily grew up in a place called "Long Island" in New York.
At that time Mookie was a kitten. My boss and Emily were trying to decide what to name him. Emily was holding him. Suddenly the screen showed a player named "Mookie" Wilson who was on the Mets. Emily said, "That's it!" and Mookie had his name.
Later that year, 1985, the Mets beat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. And Mookie Wilson was involved in one of the most famous plays in history. He was the one who hit the ball on which first baseman Bill Buckner made that error.
On the Mets that year was a player named Gary Carter. He played catcher was one of the best players on the team. The very next year Mr. Steve sold he and his cousin season tickets for the Lakers. Sadly, Gary Carter died a few years ago.
For some reason, Mookie allowed Emily to hold and pet him as if he were a lap cat. He trusted her! With anyone else he'd bite or scratch if they tried to touch him when he didn't want it. Mr. Steve says he bit hard and had very sharp claws.
Our boss jokes that Mookie “let me know” when he was in no mood to be held. He can still almost feel the sharp pain of his claws. Mookie was quick too. In an instant he could swipe his paw and cut you deep Mr. Steve says.
When he was living down in Sylmar Mr. Steve would often sit on his bed in his bedroom and and read. He sometimes left the window above the bed open so Mookie and Miss Foot could come in or out whenever they wanted to.
If Miss Foot jumped down onto the bed from the open window she would usually lay down right next to Mr. Steve. She wanted contact. On the other hand, if Mookie jumped down onto the bed he went to an empty space on that bed. He did not want contact.
Oftentimes Mookie would lay down on a corner of the bed and begin licking and grooming himself; ignoring our boss. Mr. Steve says if he even hinted he might touch or pet him Mookie stopped "mid-lick" like a frozen frame on “pause.”
The glare and dirty look "Mook" gave Mr. Steve stopped immediately any further thought of our boss coming near him. So, most of the time, my Chief went back to reading whatever it was he was reading and left his white Cat alone.
After Mr. Steve went back to reading Mookie then continued the second half of his lick as if nothing had happened. It was as if the pause button had been released on the video machine. It became almost a game they played.
Our boss at times pretended he was going to touch Mookie. He would make what they call "faint" moves to make Mookie start and stop licking like turning a light switch on and off. Mr. Steve at times just went back to reading. But at other times he did grab for Mookie.
If our boss did lunge at Mookie they would then wrestle around the bed and Mr. Steve would try to grab Mookie before he got his claws out to scratch him. This was like a movie called the "Pink Panther" which was about a French detective named Inspector Clouseau of the "Sarte." Sarte means police in French. I just looked it up in my French Dictionary.
THE PINK PANTHER
When Mookie was least expecting it my boss would lunge for and grab him. They then went on to wrestle like Clouseau and Kato in the Pink Panther movies. Our boss would move so fast Mookie didn't have a chance to fully extend all his claws before being grabbed.
If my boss was lucky he grabbed and then held Mookie immobile. If he didn't time it right then he got clawed on his hands. Mr. Steve admits this was childish game but he really wanted to show his Cat that he could be quick too.
Then, once Mookie relaxed, Mr. Steve would deposit him right back in the exact spot he had picked him up from. They would both then go back to what they were doing as if nothing had happened. After a while Mookie knew the game so just gave up.
My Chief had a back patio when he lived in Sylmar. Because the house was in the corner between hills, this patio was two-tiered. The top level of the patio was built by his Grandpa Trujillo many years ago after the 1971 "Sylmar Earthquake."
Mr. Steve used to pull an armchair from his Living Room out onto the top level of the patio to read. Miss Foot often curled up next to his feet. Sometimes she would lick and groom her fur. Mookie often did the same thing nearby.
Cats have amazing reflexes. One time a Sparrow landed on a wall near Mr. Steve's back patio. Mookie was busy below that wall grooming. He froze. My boss froze. The Bird didn't see Mookie below him. Something was going to happen.
This Bird looked left and then right before taking off. But Mookie, in the "blink of an eye" as my boss says, intercepted the Sparrow mid-flight and took him to the ground. My boss just heard a "crunch" as Mookie bit the bird's throat.
Before Mookie and that poor Bird even landed on the ground the Sparrow was dead. As my boss said, "that little Sparrow never knew what hit him" and his life ended in a "split second." Mr. Steve said it was like a plane being hit by a "Surface to Air Missile."
Mookie looked at Mr. Steve with a dirty look because he didn't want to give up his prize. There were times when he'd jumped down from the bedroom window holding a dead Gopher and knew his boss would take it away. Mr. Steve took away the Bird!
Years later Mr. Steve saw with his girlfriend Emily the movie about New York City called "Do the right thing." It was "directed" by this guy named Spike Lee. This became one of our Chief's favorite movies. The main character, "Mookie," was played by Spike Lee
But, eventually Miss Foot died and my Chief buried her in an empty dirt lot he owned next to his house. This is the same empty lot in which "Lady," Mr. Steve's nineteen year old Dog is also buried. Now there's a house built above them!
Whereas Miss Foot stayed close to the house, Mookie was alway wandering around the neighborhood and one day disappeared. My boss looked "high and low" for him but never found him. He says it was a very sad time then. Emily was also upset.
In 1520 Hernan Cortez and his Spanish conquistadores tried to escape from the Aztec lake city of Tenochtillan. The Aztecs attacked them every step of the way. Many drowned because they were loaded with gold and silver.
That night in 1520 came to be called "la noche triste" or "the sad night" in Spanish. Mr. Steve thought of losing Mookie as his noche triste. To this day he still thinks of Mookie and Miss Foot. We've thought about getting a Cat. I vote yes!
Lately, I've been laying under a bush next to the front gate; a bush Mr. Steve shaped for Daisy and I. This bush is now our plant umbrella. When our boss leaves, Daisy and I wait for him under our bush. But only one of us fits at a time so we take turns.
Daisy and I know that, most of the time, when Mr. Steve gets back, he gives us a snack! We look forward to this! Although Mr Steve gives us bones and rawhides, I prefer to chew on wood. We have plenty of wood! I also like to chew on rubber balls.
Mr. Steve has a big fireplace in the house but never uses it. We have stacks of wood behind the sheds, and another pile in front; next to the cement slab near the garage. If there is ever a big earthquake or natural disaster we'll have fuel for fires, to heat water or cook food.
Who knows Mr. Steve says, if our house is ever destroyed we may have to use fire at night to keep away predators, man or animal. Fires will keep us warm. We'll never run out of wood! Why, we have even more wood in the desert all around us! We're wood rich!
Mr. Steve believes the United States has been very fortunate since World War II ended in 1945. He says because we won the biggest war in history we get the biggest benefit in history. This has allowed the the United States to develop a big “middle class.”
I think Mr. Steve, Daisy and I are middle class! Most other countries have mainly rich and poor with a small middle class. America has the biggest middle class of all time but, our boss thinks, Americans have been living in a “bubble” or “cocoon.”
which has allowed the development of a “false sense of security.” Americans are over confidant like to people of ancient Rome.
Mr. Steve has books on the “decline” of ancient Rome. He says they never believed their Empire could fall! The same is true of the Spanish in the 16th century. But they did! Our boss talks about the “thin veneer of civilization.”
Mr. Steve has an extra refrigerator and freezer in the garage. It's stocked with extra food and drink for all of us. Big five gallon bottles of “Sparklets” water sit in the back of the garage. Mr. Steve “rotates” these bottles but, really, they're there in the event of an emergency. Our boss also keeps extra batteries, matches and a lot of paper products. He jokes that the three of us are becoming like Mormons in this respect.
Like our boss says, if we have to “rough it” for a while we can do it. We'll just have to “persevere,” even if it's one day at a time. He jokes that we'll survive because we have no other choice but to survive. We'll “manage” and be “just fine.”
On the other side of our north fence, we have a neighbor named Miss Nancy. Daisy and I really like Miss Nancy because she sometimes throws us food. At times I sit right next to the fence, hoping Miss Nancy will toss us some food.
I give Miss Nancy the same sad face I use on my boss when I'm trying to coax some food out of him. Miss Nancy has two dogs, Buzz and Adie. She also has a few cats which she takes care of because no one else will. Daisy and I think Miss Nancy is nice.
One of our boss's favorite songs is called “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys. Mr. Steve once told Daisy and I about the Hindu concept of “Kharma.” He said that if you try as much as possible to put out good Kharma in your dealings with others, you will usually, but not always, get good Kharma back. I want to believe in Kharma!
Our boss says religions share beliefs. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and "You reap what you sow.” The Hindu “Anusasana Parva,” four thousand years ago said; “Never do to another which one regards as injurious to one's self.”
Mr. Steve thinks the “Golden Rule” is not just religious. Primitive man had to survive in a hostile environment so cooperation was practical. Mr. Steve says there's an old secular saying which goes; “What goes around comes around.”
But, Mr. Steve tells Daisy and I, good does not always come back to you just because you do the right thing. Very often evil wins. That's why it's better to just try to do the right thing and not expect to be rewarded. Do right for it's own sake he says.
Mr. Steve thinks that decent people usually appreciate decency so are grateful. But indecent people often interpret kindness as weakness. So, like Machiavelli says, the only thing which motivates indecent people is fear!
When living in that field I had a decent lady who felt sorry for me and put out food and water for me. She helped me! She's the one who told Mr. Steve about me. Thank you Lord for making my boss rescue me. Thank You Blessed Virgin; and Saint Francis!
One time Miss Nancy threw Daisy and I an old flat soccer ball. It was light green and had a hole in it. But, sadly, I chewed on that soccer ball so much that Mr. Steve finally threw it in the back of Rex and took it to the dump near Phelan.
I was sad when my boss threw away my soccer ball but, it was falling apart anyway. Mr. Steve gave me some new balls. Later today I plan on chewing on my new dark green ball! It's going to be great but I'll finish our story first. Daisy doesn't care for balls.
Miss Nancy works in Phelan, at a store called Rite Aid; in the same shopping complex as Stater Brothers. In her nice blue uniform, Miss Nancy looks pretty when she's going to work. Daisy likes her white Chevy which looks like a PT Cruiser.
Daisy thinks Miss Nancy has a friendly smile! Mr. Steve says Miss Nancy, as part of her job, has to be patient with "the public." Dealing with people is not always easy Mr. Steve says. It takes a certain type of person, of which he is not, to deal with the public.
Over the years our boss has helped out others financially. If they can't pay him back he tells them to just help out someone else and think of him when they do. This is something my boss's mother also does. Mr. Steve jokes this may help them if there is a “Judgment Day.”
One time on a family trip to Las Vegas the car broke down in Henderson. It was over one hundred degrees. This was before cell phones so my boss had to hike across a desert to some houses wher he asked to use their phone to call the Auto Club.
When Mr. Steve got back to the car the family was gone except for his brother Rock. My boss had been worried about his mother and nieces and nephews sitting in a boiling hot car. It turns out a Mormon couple with their family had taken everyone to the Hotel.
When my boss's mother offered to pay this Mormon couple they refused but she insisted until they told her to just help someone else someday and think of their family when she did. Well, this shut Mr. Steve's mom up as this is what she always told others to do.
I like Miss Nancy! One time, Mr. Steve purposely left the front gate open while he left. He was testing Daisy and I; to see if we'd leave. Mr. Steve took Rex to pick up a piece of plywood laying on the side of the road. He knew he wouldn't be gone for long.
It took about five minutes. When Our boss got back, Daisy and I were sitting at the gate. We hadn't left. I can honestly say that was the day when I really learned the meaning of the word “stay.” Mr. Steve was happy we stayed in the yard even if the gate was wide open.
Our Chief hugged and petted Daisy and I a lot so it was really great for us too! We knew he's be happy with us; that's why we stayed in the yard. After getting back from picking up the plywood, Mr. Steve had a message on his voice mail from Miss Nancy.
Miss Nancy had noticed that our boss left without closing the gate. She was worried about Daisy and I leaving our two acres and getting hit by a car on the road. Mr. Steve says he sure appreciated Miss Nancy's concern. We appreciated it too!
Daisy is also a "rescue" dog. Her first owner, whose mother was also a client of Miss Melody, went into the military.
Daisy replaced a beautiful Pit Bull named Lucy. Mr. Steve says all people and dogs have good and bad qualities but Lucy was a special dog to him.
Lucy was white, with black and gray markings. Mr. Steve told Daisy and I that Lucy had green eyes filled with curiosity and “joie de vivre,” French for “joy of life.”
Lucy was a very friendly dog, not mean like some Pit Bulls. Mr. Steve does not want a vicious dog. But he does want Daisy and I to at times act mean. We're good at that!
The Gas Company man, who checks our meter, now knows we won't bite. But, at first, he wouldn't turn his back on us in walking from Oasis Road to the side of our house.
One time the gas man showed up when Mr. Steve was out on the driveway throwing us pieces of hotdog.
So our boss showed us off. Now we like the gas man. But, we still have to bark at him. It's our job after all!
Poor Lucy died young! One night, a big rat chewed a hole right through the plastic "excess" water tank in what Mr. Steve calls his "little car."
Our boss has a blue-green “Hatchback” 1993 Ford Escort. His niece Samantha, at age six, named it “Barney.”
Some of Barney's antifreeze dripped on the ground. Lucy licked it all up and was poisoned. Miss Melody told Mr. Steve that us dogs like the taste of "coolant."
Mr. Steve now will only put water in the radiators of our truck and two cars; even in extreme weather conditions.
As Mr. Steve buried Lucy he says he “cried like a baby.” It was one of the most difficult things he ever had to do.
Our boss says he was in shock and in a state of disbelief as he put Lucy in the ground. It was like a bad dream.
Mr. Steve's emotions swung between feelings of anger and grief as he lowered Lucy into the ground; blaming himself and cursing the world for it's unfairness.
But, in the end, our boss realized that Lucy's death was just a tragic but unforeseeable event. Mr. Steve is very grateful for the short time Lucy was around to brighten things up.
Miss Melody, and Miss Nancy, both say they also miss poor Lucy. Lucy made everyone feel happy.
Inside of one of the smaller sheds are extra couch cushions. Mr. Steve picked them up from the roadsides where they'd been blown off of trucks, usually on the side of Freeways.
Lucy was in the habit of biting and ripping apart cushions. Our old couch also has a few holes in it from Lucy.
Just as I like the feeling on my teeth when I gnaw on wood, Lucy liked the feeling of soft material on her teeth.
Mr. Steve says he can't forget one time when he caught "red-handed" Lucy and another dog named Millie shredding a couch cushion they had dragged from the patio.
Lucy and Millie were like two kids having a food fight; playing “Tug of War” in pulling on each side of the cushion.
Both Lucy and Millie had strong jaws. Neither wanted to let go of the cushion. Mr. Steve says the scene was one of the funniest things he's ever seen.
Padding was strewn everywhere in front of the big shed. It was on everything, including hanging from around and on Lucy and Millie's faces and bodies.
The cleanup job was huge but but Mr. Steve couldn't be mad because it was comical to see Lucy and Millie's quizzical, "what me?" looks on their faces.
Mr. Steve says we'll just have to save those extra cushions. They might come in handy some day!
When working in his office our boss sometimes listens to a Jewish man named Dennis Prager on the radio.
One of the things our boss agrees with Dennis Prager about is the idea that happiness does not come naturally.
Mr. Steve, like Dennis Prager, believes that at times one has to make a conscious effort to be happy because there are so many things in life to be unhappy about.
Life can be cold-blooded and unjust. Lucy always made Mr. Steve feel happy, especially when he felt depressed.
Mr. Steve says that, just as it's carved up the wall at Delphi, one has to “KNOW THYSELF.” He knows there are times when he is not the most optimistic person in the world.
At times our boss describes himself as a “pessimist,” or a “skeptic” about humanity; especially the younger generation of Americans. He sees many of them as shallow and superficial, even to the point of being “weak-minded.”
Mr. Steve would rather be alone much of the time. But, he's really not alone! He has Daisy and I!
There are times when our boss forces himself to at least act happy. If nothing else for, the sake of others.
Our boss was amused when he read a quote by W.C. Fields; “Start every day with a smile and get it over with.”
Dennis Prager agrees with our boss that there are only two types of people in the world; decent and indecent.
Near Lucy's grave is a second burial. This is for Millie. Millie was a black "Lab mix." Mr. Steve got her as a puppy from some little girls in front of Stater Brothers.
Millie was the "runt" of the litter. That's why Mr. Steve picked her. As with myself, some people joked with Mr. Steve; telling him Millie might bring him good luck.
Mr. Steve was happy to have Lucy and Millie, and Daisy and I now. Even when things aren't going so well for him out in the “real world” Daisy and I will always be here for him.
Millie was killed when she was about four years old. She ran out onto Oasis Road on a very foggy morning.
A truck ran Millie over. Mr. Steve says on that morning the fog was "as thick as in London." I know where London is!
It's always very dark at night and, with the fog so thick, our boss didn't see Millie get out when he opened the front gate on that morning. It was 3:30 a.m.
People sometimes drive way too fast on Oasis Road! Why is everyone always in such a hurry? There was a bad motorcycle
accident the other day. He was going too fast.
On the day Millie was killed Mr. Steve arrived back home almost twelve hours later. He knew immediately something was wrong. Only Daisy met him at the front gate.
A surge of fear filled Mr. Steve. Looking down Oasis Road, he shuddered in seeing Millie's corpse.
Mr. Steve and Miss Melody went and picked up Millie's body. They wrapped her in one of her favorite blankets, loaded her in a small wagon owned by Miss Melody, and then brought her back to our yard for burial in her final resting spot.
If Miss Melody had not been there helping our boss bury Millie, Mr. Steve says he would have cried. But, the sadness hit him later and he did cry. Daisy was also very sad.
Millie, like Lucy, is buried on the south side of the house, under their favorite tree. At least they'll be next to each other forever now. I'd like to be buried next to Daisy.
Both Lucy and Millie are wrapped in their favorite blankets, and Mr. Steve even laid Lucy on a cushion. They were friends, like Daisy and I are friends now.
Poor Lucy and Millie! Mr. Steve says he still thinks about them so, in a philosophical sense, they still exist. In this way they still make our boss feel happy.
Just as he calls us his "girls," so our boss used to call Lucy and Millie the same thing. I sure do wish I could have known both Lucy and Millie.
Rocks cover Lucy and Millie's graves. Daisy and I often watch whenever Mr. Steve cleans around the graves.
Mr. Steve says Millie, like myself, was a very fast runner; even faster than me. Says Millie resembled a black Cheetah when she ran “flat out;” at “full throttle” as Mr. Steve says.
Millie so enjoyed running along the entire length of the long fence which separates us from Miss Melody's yard.
On their side of the fence, Miss Melody's dogs, barking and carrying on, would race along with Millie but, like Lucy, couldn't keep up with her. Millie was just too fast!
"Speedy Gonzales" was our boss's nickname for Millie. Like myself, she chased Jackrabbits and Roadrunners.
The dirt path that Millie carved out all along the south fence, what Mr. Steve called her personal "Drag Strip," is now gone, eroded away by the elements.
When Mr. Steve was young he and his friends used to go to the “Street Races.” Mr. Steve's first car was a 1968 Chevelle at his father bought for him from his friend Rick.
Just like some punk kid at the Street Races, Millie would “egg on” Miss Melody's dogs by barking at them. She was hoping this would get them angry and coax them into racing.
Millie especially like racing Fawn. Mr. Steve says at times he was a bit concerned at how angry Fawn seem to get at Millie. He even thought about calling “The Dog Whisperer” to ask for some advice. But, he never did.
Mr. Steve says Millie even had what he called a "launch pad," or "starting block" area near the front fence. It's gone now too.
As Mr. Steve says; “Nothing lasts forever.”
I sure wish I could have met Lucy and Millie! Even more that that; I would have liked to race Millie.
Our boss sometimes has a very weird sense of humor. He makes up and calls Daisy and I funny joke nicknames such as e "Maginowski" or "Dasinovich."
Daisy remembers that Mr. Steve called Millie "Milasaurus." Lucy was his "Lucinda Williams."
When he's sure he's alone, Mr. Steve sometimes whistles as he works out in the yard. He says his mother hummed while she cooked or worked. To this day she likes to sing.
Mr. Steve's mother, who's in her 70's, was a Girl Scout leader for years . Of course, her Troops sang a lot.
A few years ago, Mr. Steve's father started to whistle more. Mr. Steve thinks he was influenced, through osmosis, by his wife's cheery personality after 50 years of marriage.
Sometimes Mr. Steve cries slightly when he arranges the rocks on Lucy and Millie's graves. He doesn't care if Daisy and I see him cry but is glad no one else is there.
Mr. Steve says, just as he'll never forget Lucy's happy eyes, he'll never forget Millie's face, and crooked smile.
Daisy and I try to make our boss happy because, just from a selfish point of view, we're happy when he's happy.
Mr. Steve believes it's important to leave a good legacy in the minds of your friends and family. He calls it “Nachlass,” which is German for “what's left behind.”
Our boss says both Lucy and Millie left behind good legacies in the minds of those who knew them. He says he'll never forget how Millie trained Lucy just as Daisy trained me.
It's ironic that Lucy and Millie died at young ages as Mr. Steve once had a dog named Lady who lived for almost twenty years. Lady was part Pit Bull and part Doberman. Like Daisy and I, she was not vicious but was a good guard.
One time, as Mr. Steve cleaned Lucy and Millie's graves, he told Daisy and I Chief Tecumseh said, “Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers.”
Sometimes, when Daisy and I make our rounds, I think about Chief Tecumseh's quote. We're protecting our land, and Lucy and Millie's graves.
Years from now, after Daisy and I are gone, a new generation will likely protect our graves.
Daisy and I never leave our two acres! Even when the front or back gates are wide open, like when Mr. Steve tested us, both
Daisy and I won't leave. No way!
Through Daisy's influence I'm never tempted to go outside of our two acres. Daisy has great knowledge about such things as how powerful cars are, and now, so do I.
While living in that field I didn't see too many “vehicles” or “roads.” But now I've been made fully aware of how dangerous they can be. You don't have to tell me twice!.
Mr. Steve sometimes jokes that the world "revolves around our little pocket of land" or “parcel.” Says he now prefers this slower life to living in a crowded city.
We really don't need to go anywhere! We have everything we
need to survive right here!
When I wonder about what lies beyond the fence I shudder in recalling living close to the edge in that field.
But, one thing I now know for sure; something which Daisy has taught me to appreciate, no matter how bad things may get, Spring always follows Winter!
Mr. Steve says our lives aren't perfect but are better than most of the 6 billion people on the planet.
And, because Mr. Steve paid off our house and has little debt and no car payments, we don't have as much stress and anxiety as so many others do nowadays.
Our boss says we'll always have a roof over our heads! No one can kick us out into the streets. Daisy and I are thankful we even know where we'll be buried.
I just love our two acres! Daisy and I would never ever want to live somewhere else.
Mr. Steve says failure is normal in life. You just have to try as much as possible to take “calculated “ risks.
Our boss thinks it's better to fail knowing you did your best than fail knowing you didn't, even if everyone around you thinks you did your best. He's done both.
Mr. Steve and his two younger brothers played baseball for most of their lives. All were pretty good at it.
One time Mr. Steve read in the newspaper that Mike Sciosa, the manager of the Angels, said; “If we consistently do our best but lose we can then live with it.”
Our boss says that when things are going badly you just have to admit reality and “suck it up.” Just keep working.
Mr. Steve's mother told all of her children when they were growing up that; “If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right!" Daisy and I would agree with with this.
Our boss has had difficult periods but thinks, looking back, the purpose of those times was to make him stronger.
Mr. Steve is seldom idyl. He says time is dual in nature. Like a coin or double edged sword, it has two sides. Time can be a blessing but can also be a curse.
Time is the most valuable thing in life! There's an old saying that, “Time heals all wounds.” However, as our boss tells Daisy and I, “Time can also be unforgiving.”
For Mr. Steve to waste time is almost to sin. On many days he feels “there aren't enough hours in the day.”
During Mr. Steve's dark periods, he would have thought you crazy if you'd told him something good would come out of it. Any "silver lining" was buried in total black.
But, looking back, our boss feels stronger because of those hard times. Those hard times had their purpose, which was to make him appreciate his life.
Mr. Steve plays drums. He likes “Blues” music, especially from the 1930's “Depression” era.
Our boss jokes that, after going through his difficult times, he better understands where Blues music sprang from.
Thinking about the “rough times” makes our boss feel happy that he “weathered” them. “Hope springs eternal” he jokes.
OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS
Besides daily putting water in a Bird Bath in front of his office window, Mr. Steve also fills up two tubular bird feeders and spreads bird seed on the ground. We share our land with many birds; Hummingbirds, Bluebirds, Doves, Sparrows, Wrens and Roadrunners. And even Owls at night.
Even though Mr. Steve was raised Catholic he seldom attends “Mass” anymore. But he still prays, especially to Jesus' mother Mary. He jokes that the High Desert is like our Church. Besides, we can pray at any time of any day or night and God should hear us. Years ago Sister Joanne Claire taught our boss all of the Catholic prayers. He still remembers most of them and Sister Joanne Claire as well; though she died years ago.
To this day Mr. Steve says one extra “Hail Mary” before going to sleep because Sister Clara Joseph told him it might help a “a soul in Purgatory.” The one indulgence our boss prays to God for is the time before he dies to say a quick Hail Mary.
I'm sitting here below Mr.Steve's window. Daisy is in the Garage resting. There are many small birds eating seeds and drinking water that our boss put out for them. I have to stay still or they'll all fly away. I don't want that as I like watching them. Mr. Steve, Daisy and I enjoy our birds; they're like our friends now. They know Daisy and I so are not afraid of us any more but will still fly away if I stand up. So I'm going to not make any sudden moves. Mr. Steve is behind me, working in his office.
Because Mr. Steve enjoys watching birds now so do Daisy and I. It's very relaxing. We have so many birds! But, as our boss says, with good comes bad and with bad comes good. Having more birds means there are more nests to be cleaned out on the ridges on the roof of our house.
For the last two years white, long-legged Herons have landed inside the fence. Daisy “Jumped a Mile” when that first Heron came out of the sky. Mr. Steve says it might have seen from high above the water in the the Bird Bath. He says Flocks of Herons “migrate” north and south each year. Mr. Steve thinks they're probably going to or coming from the San Fernando Valley, where he and his brothers and sisters grew up. He jokes that we're most likely a "Way Station en route” to and from a Lake in a place called "Balboa" Park.”
Quail often come to eat and drink in the early morning and just before Sunset. They don't know that Mr. Steve studies them, often using binoculars, even when they're only a few feet away. He says their feather patterns, like those of a Roadrunner, are unbelievable; like artwork.
Mr. Steve says one of the most famous Islamic Mosques in the world is in Spain, in Cordoba. Muslim's, like other Religions, do not believe in “Icons” or images of their beliefs. This is not true of Catholics. Mr. Steve grew up with Statues and many other representations of Christianity around him. As an alternative to icons Muslims decorate their Mosques in art that is so intricate and detailed that it's hard to believe someone took the time and had the concentration to even do it.
Mr. Steve has a little metal plate that a friend bought for him on a visit to the Mosque in Cordoba. On the surface is a geometric pattern which is copied from a section of the Cordoba Mosque. My boss believes the detail in the the feather patterns of both Quail and Roadrunners resembles the mosaic type pattern in this plate.
Watching birds relaxes Mr. Steve. He jokes that this is his entertainment as he never has "dates" or even rents movies. Some people feel sorry for our boss. They think he must be lonely because he isn't married or doesn't have a girlfriend.
Some have tried to match our boss with women but they end up just being friends. Mr. Steve says if it's meant to be that he finds a companion then so be it. If not, he's resigned to being alone. He'll just do his work. Besides, he has Daisy and me!
Seemingly always busy, Mr. Steve says he never lacks for “something to do” and, more often than not, prefers to be alone. He sometimes jokes that there's an old saying, "The harder you work, the luckier you seem to get."
Mr. Steve says, as much as he enjoys the company of women and children, he enjoys equally being alone. He admits this makes him unusual as most people crave a partner. Our boss says many people would rather be in a bad relationship than no relationship at all. When young he at times was guilty of this.
Daisy and I want to believe that, besides protecting him, one of our purposes is to keep our boss company. Maybe it was like Mr. Steve jokes, “preordained?”
When I first saw Quail I was amazed at how they travel in packs and preferred to walk rather than fly! Mr. Steve says Quail move about in the same way Armies of men did before there was such a thing as radio communications. First, two or three Quail will show up, scouting ahead, poking their heads cautiously around the northwest corner of the house. These are "sacrificial lambs" in case there are predators waiting in ambush. They're young so, if killed, are more easily replaced.
Mr. Steve says that, during the American Civil War, these "pathfinder" Quail would have been referred to as "Pickets," or "Skirmishers." Some might call them "Point Men." Once the Quail see that the coast is clear, they scurry across the open area between the two trees to the right and left of Mr. Steve's window. If there is food on the ground, or in either of the two bird feeders, they start eating.
One Quail flies up and positions itself on a branch, as a lookout. This bird begins to make a clucking low-pitched sound . If there is no food on the ground the scouting party keeps going, finding cover under bushes or one of our many Joshua trees.
A short time later another group of Quail will appear at the corner. This group numbers four or five. They seem to follow the exact same path as the first group, as if the route has already been marked out the same way "Mine" fields are marked out in a war zone. Not as hesitant as the first group, but still careful, if they find the first group eating this second group will rush in and start to "Scratch" for food.
Some of the second group jump up on the birdbath to drink or bathe. The lookout Quail up on the branch still keeps watch. I
After all of the Quail are involved in eating, if something wrong is sensed, the “Sentinel” Quail puts out the alarm and all the Quail “Scatter to the wind.”
Finally, a low murmur comes into earshot from the north side of the house as the largest group of Quail comes flooding around the corner. There can be a dozen or more; sometimes even as many as twenty! Mr. Steve calls this the "Main Body." As they join in the feeding many throw caution to the wind in reckless abandon as they flock like water into the area below Mr. Steve's window.
Daisy and I have noticed that, after a time, the Quail up on the branch starts to act worried, as if he's missing out on getting his share of the food. He, or she, it's hard to tell, nervously runs back and forth along the branch but will not jump down until replaced by what look to be older birds; who take over lookout duty on the branches.
After taking over lookout duty, these Quail begin to sound what seems to be signal calls to the now swirling mass feeding frantically below. Shortly, all manner of Birds are attracted by the feeding Quail. Even an occasional hungry Roadrunner will show up. If the Roadrunner is thirsty it will hop up on the birdbath, chasing away the other birds with it's long, sharp beak.
Quail, like Roadrunner's, can fly for short distances. I don't chase them any more but I did when I first got here. I found out Quail could fly when I chased one and, just as I was starting to gain on him; he simply lifted off the ground and then landed on that tall Joshua tree near our gravel driveway.
Mr. Steve jokes that Roadrunners are equipped with an "Overdrive" gear. They seem to have an "Afterburner" like the ones on jets which zoom past our house high up in the sky; jets from Edwards Air Force Base. The only thing faster than a Roadrunner is a Jackrabbit! I can vouch for this!
One of the most amazing sights one will ever see is a carpet of Birds feeding on the ground below Mr. Steve's window. The branches of the trees on either side of the window are crowded with birds waiting to dive into the throng below. The air is filled with a riot of sounds and commotion; a bustle of activity. Birds large and small everywhere “Jockey” for better position.
Birds compete for the six feeding perches sticking out from the two bird feeders hanging from the trees. Often, they have only a few moments to eat before being driven off by bigger birds. Up on the birdbath, Birds splash in the water. Mr. Steve compares this unbelievable scene to a "feeding frenzy" of Sharks out in the ocean. It's as if, amidst the many eating birds, all are worried that they might not get their share before the food is all gone. I can empathize with this feeling.
What looks like total chaos as countless Birds frantically feed on the ground is betrayed by the fact that, at a moment's notice, with a single warning screech, or the sound of something coming, this group will seemingly vaporizing magically like an optical illusion.
The ground is suddenly empty except for one or two Birds. These Birds continue to eat, but are looking around cautiously. After the coast is clear, just as quickly, many of the various Birds reassemble, as if nothing has happened. The simply pick up where they left off.
For amusement, or to demonstrate this phenomena to someone, Mr. Steve, at his desk, will stand up or clap his hands sharply. The Birds then will what they call "disperse." He'll sit back down and within a short time the ground will be covered in feeding Birds again.
Mr. Steve jokes that the way Birds can seemingly disappear "in a flash" reminds him of how a group of Mexican street vendors "scatter" when the Police show up. Then, when the Police are gone, they're all back as if nothing has happened at all.
Daisy likes to watch Birds too! Like our boss, they relax her and, now, me too. She and I will sit and watch them eat and sometimes even lie on the ground near bye and, because they know us, will seemingly ignore us. Of course, they watch us out of the “Corner of their eyes.” When the Birds began to like us even more was when they realized that Crows are afraid of us.
Mr. Steve says this ability to disappear and then reappear seems an example of Charles Darwin's theory of "Evolution" through "Natural Selection" where, to survive in adapting to a particular environment, beneficial traits are passed from one generation to the next.
Many creatures in the High Desert have inherited characteristics which help them live in this often harsh environment. Daisy and I wish we'd known our parents. Mr. Steve says Daisy and I are “orphans.” So, when he “adopted” us, Daisy thinks this made him our mother and father. That's why we felt we had the right to also use his last name.
A Hummingbird just zoomed past! On the front doors of the house are stained glass windows which have images of Hummingbirds on them. Friends of Mr. Steve have seen them so have given him gifts with a Hummingbird theme. The house is filled with things related to Hummingbirds.
The first time I saw, and heard, a Hummingbird, the hairs on my back stood up. What a revelation! I could not believe my eyes, and ears! Their fluorescent colors were something I had never seen before. My eyes bugged out!
When Humming Birds fly their wings make an electric sound which is unreal. The way a Humming Bird can change direction, or hover in one spot, is impressive.
We live with many beautiful Humming Birds. But their feeders, filled with red liquid, are hung out on the back patio; near our couch. This is because Humming Birds, though small, are very aggressive toward many other birds. They're small but tough.
Daisy and I are quite used to the Humming Birds now. We just leave them alone and they do the same with us. Actually, we've come to like them being around. We sit on the couch look at them. Humming Birds are so pretty!
Mr. Steve says that, at one time, because we're close to mountains, there were probably Eagles in the High Desert. There might have also been Vultures, or “Buzzards.”
Our boss has wondered if there was ever a time in the High Desert, maybe hundreds of years ago, when California Condors floated swirled and circled above.
But now, the only birds of prey Daisy and I see are Hawks and Crows. That's something be be grateful for! We are!