I can't believe it! I'm already on Chapter ten! And this is my final book! I'm almost done. As Dais would probably say; "It's down hill from here." I'd say, judging by the shadows leaning away from me toward the east, that it's about four thirty. I have a lot of energy!
Hey God! Do You think I have about three hours left today in which to write? I do. But, if it turns out that I'm wrong that's okay. Oh! By the way You Guys, thank You for the last three days; for good and now with Heathcliff's death a little bad. I can still smell flowers.
It looks like in this chapter I'm going to write a lot about music and entertainment; mainly in the context of Mr. Steve's life. Wait until he sees what I've done in writing these three really long books. Hopefully he'll be so amazed he never ever again thinks about getting rid of me.
Hey You Guys! Even though in the back of my mind I'm still thinking about Heathcliff, this day has gone fast because I'm so busy writing. But, again today no snacks for us. This is really weird. I'm sure Mr. Steve isn't mad at us. Oh well, I've got a lot of work to do.
As I mentioned, Dais sometimes growls at me, especially if I look at her food; but I know she's really a "Softie at Heart." But if we ever do have to defend our two acres against invaders she'll be brave. And me too! We would die for this land. It's ours and no one can take it!
In book one the day before yesterday I wrote about that one kid Jason who plays guitar. Mr. Steve told him when Daisy runs she reminds him of the JUDAS PRIEST song called "You've Got Another Thing Coming." And she does kind of run like a small Bulldozer.
JUDAS PRIEST THIN LIZZY IRON MAIDEN
Daisy and I have noticed how Mr. Steve likes Hard Rock "Three Piece" bands of just bass, drums and guitar. But he also listens to groups like JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY and IRON MAIDEN who use two guitar players. I can smell a Ground Squirrel around here.
One reason why that kid Jason asked Mr. Steve which song would represent Daisy is because he saw she and I coming toward him when he pulled his Car up at the gate. I think he was kind of afraid that we were coming to bite him. We have scared a few people.
When people come to our house I usually sprint like a Cheetah and bark as I run towards the front gate. Daisy usually jogs behind me. But sometimes Daisy will run too even though she's not nearly as fast as I am. I always arrive at the front gate first. I see the Squirrel
That kid Jason said seeing Dais rumbling up behind me was even more intimidating than me running back and forth in front of the gate barking. She weighs almost one hundred pounds so does resemble a German Panzer Tank. I'm getting better at acting mean.
Dais doesn't like to run fast the way I do. And when she does she prefers going in a straight line. At her old age Daisy usually walks slow and conserves her energy. And she doesn't bark as often as myself. That one Squirrel is looking at me and it's skinny tail is wiggling.
As I mentioned in book one the day before yesterday, our Chief thinks JUDAS PRIEST'S song You've Got Another thing Coming fits Daisy; especially when she moves from a trot into her gallop. I like when Mr. Steve plays that the music loud on his Boombox.
That kid Jason later said the first time he came over to our house he was kind of hesitant to come onto our land. At first he felt intimidated when he saw Daisy and I running up to the front gate to confront him. But now we know Jason's scent. That Squirrel is gone.
I've mentioned a few times how Daisy has very thick fur. In book one I wrote about how she at times can puff up and kind of create the illusion that she's even bigger than she already is. I know that kid Jason noticed it. But now he pets us and everything and we like him.
Hey Blessed Virgin! I just picked up the scent of a Rosemary plant so of course think right away of You again. As You know, Daisy doesn't really like to dance but I sure do! She usually just stands there when we listen to music. I hear Pigeons cooing nearby.
I did notice that time when Mr. Steve was playing You've Got Another Thing Coming on the Boombox how sometimes if Dais likes a song she'll nod her head just slightly up and down; sort of like a Bull. Our boss jokes that she's doing her version of "Head Banging."
As You know Blessed Mother, unlike Daisy, I really like to dance. l kind of jump around or spin in small circles. This is what Mr. Steve calls my "STEELEYE SPAN jig." I dance below his office window on most mornings. Two of the Pigeons just flew out into the desert.
Our boss jokes that maybe I could someday learn how to do this one dance called Spanish "Flamenco." His mother used to dance this way when she was a young girl in New Mexico and he told us she even used these things called "Castanets." I smell a Lizard nearby.
PHOTO BY MANUEL BOLAÑOS
My Encyclopedia says "Flamenco Gitano" means "Gypsy Flemenco" in English. That type of music and dancing originated in 18th century Spain. It's popular in New Mexico. One of those Thrasher Birds is jogging bye. Oh! I just noticed the Lizard over there.
A while back Mr. Steve met a nice lady who's Gypsy family was originally from Iran. They discussed the guitar player Django Reinhart; who I wrote about yesterday in book two when I talked about how BLACK SABBATH'S guitarist Tony Iommi adapted to bad luck.
That lady told Mr. Steve that in her family, rather than be called Gypsy; they preferred the term "Roma" or "Romani." According to this Encyclopedia, the Roma people originated in India but then migrated all over the whole world. That Lizard just darted off.
The map in my Encyclopedia shows how the Roma people migrated out of India and went to other places. The Iranian lady said her family thinks the main reason the Roma left India in the 12th century was Ghengis Khan's Mongol invasion. I smell an old Creosote bush.
Hey God! I guess the Roma are kind of like the Jews and Mormons. They've been picked on and hounded out of most places they went to. Mr. Steve says in 1985 when he was in Italy he was told to watch out for the Gypsy's who were what they call "Pickpockets."
PHOTO BY ANTONIO BALAGUER SOLER
My Encyclopedia shows a really pretty Roma girl in colorful clothes. The caption says, even though the girl's in Europe; she's wearing a necklace from India. I just picked up the scent of a Horned Toad. That girl's face kind of looks like Mr. Steve's Niece Cristina.
Looking to the eastern horizon to my front I can see a lot of Birds flying about. It's getting to be time for dinner. I'm getting used to not having snacks. It's not so bad. Hey God! Maybe I'll think of not having any snacks as kind of like "Penance." I can hear the Birds chirping.
My Dictionary says penance is; "Self-punishment to show repentance for wrongdoing." Well, I didn't do anything wrong God but I'll accept not getting any snacks in the name of Heathcliff; especially if it will make it easier for You to let him come up there into Heaven.
I like the way this black and white picture of Roma people in their wagons has been painted. Daisy told me about the photographs our Chief painted years ago when he lived down there on Hagar Street in Sylmar. I can smell that one old Sage bush out in the desert.
That Roma lady from Iran joked with Mr. Steve that the Roma in the United States are the "invisible minority." She said even though there are about a million Roma here in America most of them don't want to say they're Roma because of the "Stereotyped" image of Gypsies.
I guess when most Roma come to the U.S. they would rather tell others that they're whatever the country they came from. So, if they're from Italy they'll say they're Italian. But that lady from Iran did not like that and thinks Roma should be proud of who they are.
Mr. Steve made that lady laugh. He told her about how, for a long time, whenever he'd meet someone from Iran they would say they were from "Persia." Sometimes Mr. Steve said; "You mean Iran?" Then they would reluctantly say; "Yes, Iran." I smell a Bunny Rabbit.
THE "IRON SHEIK"
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Yesterday in book two I wrote about a night in the mid-1980's when Mr. Steve took pictures at the Forum of Wrestling. That was when he took pictures of Hulk Hogan and Cyndy Lauper. On that same night he took pictures of this other Wrestler called "The Iron Sheik."
Mr. Steve told that lady how he had a nice conversation with The Iron Sheik standing in the tunnel that leads to the Forum dressing rooms. And he at first said he was "Persian." That one lady chuckled when our boss told her that. I see Rabbit standing under Manny.
People like to hate Mr. Steve thinks. In Wrestling fans like it when they can root for "Good Guys" against the "Bad Guys." At the end of book two yesterday I mentioned how Muhammad Ali might've been influenced by that one guy Gorgeous George. I smell new Creosote.
That Roma lady agreed with Mr. Steve when he said The Iron Sheik, who played the part of a Bad Guy; probably didn't want to say he was Iranian because since 1979 Iran has an enemy of the United States and Israel. That Bunny Rabbit just hopped out into the desert.
MR. T / THE IRON SHEIK
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
On that night at the Forum in the 1980's The Iron Sheik asked Mr. Steve if he would take a picture of him with this other guy called "Mr. T." Mr. T was an Actor who also Wrestled as one of the Good Guys. I just picked up the strong scent of our neighbors Oleander bushes.
Mr. Steve showed the picture he took of The Iron Sheik with Mr. T. to the kids who lived near him when he lived on Hagar Street. That kid Michael and his little brother Patrick said; Hey! How can that be? They're enemies and they really hate each other a lot!"
When you dislike a person like a Wrestler playing the role of a bad person; it's much easier to enjoy when violence is done to him. That's how Mr. Steve explained it to that Roma lady and she agreed. Oh! Max and 99 the Hummingbirds just came in from the desert.
"THE WOLFMAN" (1941)
Yesterday I wrote about Lon Chaney Sr. and his son Lon Chaney Jr. Mr. Steve told the lady from Iran how he still remembers the scene in the movie The Wolfman when this older Gyspy lady told Lon Chaney Jr. he would start turning into a Wolf. I smell a Juniper bush.
Boy! That would be so terrible to turn into a Wolf whenever the Moon is full. Daisy told me that's exactly what happened to that guy Lon Chaney Jr. in the movie The Wolfman." Daisy and I really like looking at the Moon; especially a Full Moon. A Crow just cawed.
Max and 99 are playing in the area between this Patio and the big tree. They ate some of the red liquid food in their feeders and now are going round and round. They look so happy. I can see that the two Hummingbird feeders are now only about a quarter full.
As I've mentioned before, Mr. Steve's parents have now been married for almost sixty years. And Mr. Steve thinks one of the main reasons is because they're each others best friends. Fannie and Freddie even still play around with each other sometimes. Dawn just barked.
From what Daisy told me, in the movie The Wolfman Lon Chaney Jr. turned into a Wolf but still walked on two legs. Sometimes I do feel sort of different on a night when the Moon is full. But I'd never kill anyone. No way! Someday I really want to see that movie The Wolfman.
Thinking about the Full Moon makes me remember that one night when Molly the Mule was kicking the back fence of her Corral. She was telling that one big Coyote not to come over there and try to eat her or Libby. I can see good old Libby over there in the Corral.
When Mr. Steve told that lady our family are Spanish from New Mexico they talked about Flamenco music because she brought up the subject. She knew a lot about Flamenco and our boss told Daisy and Millie he ended up learning from her. That Lizard is gone.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia, Flemenco music and dancing has its "roots" in Andalusia. Mr. Steve thinks that, using the formula of Hegel's Dialectic, you could say Spanish and Gypsy music merged or as it says here "melded" into Flamenco.
Mr. Steve told that one lady from Iran how his mom likes Flamenco music; and not just the dancing but also the singing and music itself. I've never seen any Flamenco dancing but Daisy has. In our Chief's Bedroom one time she and Millie saw a good tv show about it.
According to what Dais told me, the way girls Flamenco dance is amazing. When they dance with boys she says, they sometimes even pound their shoes on the ground to add to the music. I want to see their dresses someday. Daisy says those dresses are so beautiful.
Dais says that when the girl Flemenco dancers twirl around the their long "Feria"dress seems to become part of their actual body. And here in this Encyclopedia it says that when a Flamenco dancer is moving correctly everything; "comes together into a single organic motion."
Ah! A nice cool breeze just blew in off of the desert behind the three Sheds. The Chimes are ringing. I just picked up the faint scent of the Twins, the Joshua trees out in the desert. It makes me feel good knowing that most of the local Joshua trees seem to be back for another year.
Boy Everyone, it's going to be so weird in the morning when Heathcliff doesn't crow so that we can start the day. Poor Heathcliff will be gone. Maybe we can convince Mr. Steve to go out and buy a few Chickens? That would be so great! I smell the Oleander bushes.
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says that the end of the girl Flamenco dancers' dress is called a "Train." In Spanish I guess they call that area the "Bata de Cola." From what I can figure out using my Spanish Dictionary, Bata de Cola would be "The end of the Dress."
Oh! There's a good picture in this Encyclopedia. It shows a girl Flamenco dancer posing in a red dress. And she has a big red flower in her hair. It's huge! And I notice that she's holding one of those wooden Castanets in each hand. I smell an Oleander bush.
According to what it says here in my Dictionary Castanets are; "A pair of small, hollowed-out pieces of wood clicked together in the hand in time to the music." This is interesting. I guess the word Castanet comes form the Spanish word "Castanea;" or "Chestnut" in English.
That Roma lady knew about "Palmas;" a type of hand clapping Flemenco dancers sometimes do when they dance. She told Mr. Steve she thinks that Flamenco is the blending of three things, Roma, Spanish and even Arabic. I just picked up the scent of an old Juniper bush.
Daisy and I have noticed how female Flamenco dancers move their hands when dancing. Dais told me one time our Chief thinks that in some types of music, like the dancing in India and over there in Hawaii; the hand movements are meant to send signals and messages.
Oh! Wait until Daisy sees this. There are two pictures in my Encyclopedia that show girls dancing. One is from India and the other shows "Hula" dancers from Hawaii. Daisy said she heard how in Hawaii the girls wear skirts made out of grass. This proves it!
I was supposed to write about this Play called "The Nutcracker" yesterday when I wrote about Russia. It's actually a "Ballet" Dance performance. Dais said one time she and Millie saw it on tv. Mr. Steve told them it's shown in December during Christmas Season.
Daisy and I decided to insert writing about The Nutcracker here once I realized my mistake. Dais says our boss knows a lot about The Nutcracker. And according to this outline I'm going to learn a lot about it right now. A Train just whistled faintly in the northern desert.
Yesterday I mentioned that one lady from San Fernando named Marge Britt. She also knew about The Nutcracker Ballet. In fact Mr. Steve told us; he learned a lot about The Nutcracker from Mrs. Britt. Daisy and I can tell that our boss misses talking to her.
According to this Encyclopedia, The Nutcracker was written by a late 19th century by that one Russian composer named Ilyich Tchaikovsky. I mentioned him yesterday at the beginning of book two when I wrote about that British band from Birmingham called the MOVE.
ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Well, that lady Marge Britt was right. She told Mr. Steve she read Tchaikovsky wrote a song called "Dance of the Sugar Plumb Fairy" based on a bet he made that he could compose a song based on a "sequential musical note scale." And that's what it says here too.
Daisy says The Nutcracker has a lot of Ballet dancing in it. The story is about a girl named Clara who gets a toy in the shape of a little soldier. But it's actually a tool for opening up and then taking the nut out of the shell. But Clara's brother carelessly breaks it.
A picture in this Encyclopedia shows how a Nutcracker is shaped like a toy soldier. Mr. Steve told us that even though Tchaikovsky wrote The Nutcracker in 1892 it wasn't popular in Russia. He probably thought it was what's called a "Flop." I see a Lizard over there.
That Lizard is standing in the dirt just to the right of the big tree. It's doing pushups right now. I notice how that Lizard is missing its tail. I remember when Daisy first told me about how Lizards can grow back a tail if the first one is bitten off. A Wren is singing.
VLADIMIR LENIN (1870-1924) CZAR NICHOLAS II (1868-1918)
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says that after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, when the Communists under Vladimir Lenin overthrew Czar Nicholas II; Russians who "fled" over here to America brought the memory of The Nutcracker with them. I smell Juniper.
Hey Lord. As You know, The Nutcracker is now associated with the Christmas Season which celebrates Your being born. That lady Mrs. Britt said You were probably not born in December but she just liked the atmosphere which surrounds that time of year. And me too!
As I said yesterday in book two Lord, that lady Mrs. Britt died. Daisy and I wish we could have met her. SMr. Steve says she was a good, decent-hearted lady. He at times thinks about her and can still her laugh. That Lizard just ran under a big rock beneath the tree.
According to Dais, part of the The Nutcracker is about this girl called the "Sugar Plumb Fairy." She and her boyfriend the Prince dance a lot. They have so much talent and the music really fits that kind of dancing I guess. I can smell one of the new Spring Sage plants.
It says here Russian people came to America and settled in California. One group lived up north in San Francisco. About forty years later, in 1944; they decided to produce their version of The Nutcracker. As I've written, 1944 was an important year in World War II.
From what Mr. Steve told us, since 1944 a lot of American towns and cities do their versions of The Nutcracker during the Christmas Season. Hey Lord! As You know, Daisy says the good thing about The Nutcracker is how happy it makes you feel. I really want to see it.
Mr. Steve told that lady Mrs. Britt about a time he met a German girl who said there was a big thirty foot tall statue of The Nutcracker outside a Museum in this town called "Neuhausen." And that's what it says in this Encyclopedia too. I see Libby over there in her Corral.
I guess Mr. Steve thinks one reason why The Nutcracker is so popular in the United States is because in the first scene a lot of kids are needed as what they call "Extras." Over the years Mr. Steve has known people who got hired as Extras to work in movies and things like that.
Since kids are already needed anyway, the people who organize the Ballet can just use local kids who happen to live in that community. So of course everyone wants to go see it. Hey Lord! Dais says The Nutcracker is so perfect for celebrating the time around Your birthday.
I guess Mr. Steve has been to a few productions of The Nutcracker. Usually he doesn't like Ballet dancing that much but sometimes it's okay he says. Daisy and Millie liked the part when that one girl named Clara helps all the Toy soldiers beat some Mice in a big fight.
Hey Lord! Mr. Steve told us he thinks another reason why many towns and cities "Put on" The Nutcracker at Christmas is because it can raise money. Mr. Steve says now that he lives up here in a small town he more appreciates the idea of "keeping money in the community."
As I wrote about yesterday in book two, Mr. Steve gives money to Charity at Christmas and doesn't give gifts to his family. He doesn't think money should be so important at Christmas but jokes Lord that You wouldn't mind if people make money using The Nutcracker.
That lady Marge Britt said it was really "challenging" to do a good job in producing The Nutcracker. Mr. Steve says, even though he doesn't really like that kind of dancing that much he can appreciate how hard it would be to do. A Thrasher Bird just ducked under Manny.
Mr. Steve told that lady Mrs. Britt how the 1970's Boston Bruins Ice Hockey team used as a theme song this Hard Rock version of Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker. It was called "Nutty." Now the Thrasher Bird ran out into the desert.
BOBBY ORR / 1970's BOSTON BRUINS
As I've mentioned before, during the 1970's Mr. Steve and his brother Rock "followed" Ice Hockey in the N.H.L. So did some of their friends. So of course everyone was really aware of how good Bobby Orr's Boston Bruins were; especially that guy Bobby Orr.
Mr. Steve thinks Bobby Orr was one of the best Hockey players ever. Until he injured his knee he was a great, fast skater. He played Defense which is usually not a "Scoring" position like the Forwards. But Bobby Orr was so fast he could be great at both.
I just notice two long white vapor trails way up there in the afternoon sky. They're going to the southeast toward Wrightwood. I can hear a Wren chattering away out there in the desert beyond the Sheds. The clump of Joshua trees over near Libby's Corral smells good.
PHOTO BY RAY LUSSIER
Mr. Steve has a customer in the State of Maine who grew up in Massachusetts near where his sister Susan lives with Dalton and Austin. That Parts Manager, who's about the same age as our boss; is a big Hockey fan; especially the Boston Bruins. I smell a Gopher Snake.
There are two pictures of that guy Bobby Orr scoring a famous goal in 1970 when Mr. Steve was fifteen and in 9th Grade at Alemany. The picture on the left is called "The Goal" according to the caption. It's one of the most "well-known" images in "New England" history.
Mr. Steve told that Parts Manager about how he used to take pictures of the Los Angeles Kings during the 1980's. He told him about what happened when that picture of Bobby Orr was taken. The Gopher Snake just crawled under Jack the big Shed. A Finch is chirping.
Hey God! Mr. Steve read that the Photographer who took the picture of Bobby Orr flying through the air was smart and lucky. The caption says Bobby Orr had just scored the winning goal against the St. Louis Blues to help the Bruins win the Stanley Cup Championship.
I guess in 1970 the Bruins and Blues were tied at the end of "Regulation"time so had to play what's called "Overtime." As I mentioned in book one on Thursday, Photographers for Hockey have to take pictures through a hole in the glass. I smell that clump of Joshua trees.
From what Mr. Steve read, the Photographer's name was Ray Lussier and he died at the age of fifty nine. That's only one year older than our boss! He wasn't supposed to be using the hole in the glass but the other Photographer who was entitled to it went to get a beer.
I guess, from what it says in this Encyclopedia; Bobby Orr scored his winning goal just forty seconds into that overtime period. So the Photographer who should've been there missed it. He got mad when he came back holding a beer. What a mistake that was Mr. Steve says.
Mr. Steve and that one Parts Manager up there in Maine have talked about this guy named Derek Sanderson. He's the one who passed the puck to Bobby Orr on that famous winning goal in 1970. Derek Sanderson was a player who fought a lot and was good on "Face Offs."
That Parts Manager told our boss how in 1972 Derek Sanderson signed a contract to go play in a new rival league to the National Hockey League. Just like the A.F.L. was created to compete in Football against the N.F.L.; it was the same in Hockey. I smell a Cholla cactus.
In 1972 the "World Hockey League" or W.H.L. "came into existence." That's what it says in my Encyclopedia. A W.H.L. team paid Derek Sanderson 2.6 million dollars; making him the highest paid athlete in the world at that time. Two Pigeons are flying in from the desert.
Mr. Steve says 2.6 million for one year seems small now. Professional athletes make way more than that he told us. But in 1972 the contract Derek Sanderson signed was the "richest in professional sports history." Fannie and Freddie just flew in and landed on Manny.
That Parts Manager in Maine told Mr. Steve he heard Derek Sanderson lost all of his money and was even homeless for a while. But now I guess he's doing better and sometimes even goes to some of the Bruins games. Mr. Steve thinks Derek Sanderson drank too much.
A few years ago Mr. Steve met a guy from the State of Washington up there near Canada. He said he thought that band the VENTURES might've done their version of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. One of the Quail Companies is streaming out into the eastern desert.
That man from Washington told our boss about a Museum near where he and his wife and kids live. The Museum is in a town called "Leavenworth" and is dedicated to only things having to do with The Nutcracker Ballet. Dais would sure like to go to that Museum. Me too!
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself, that one lady Mrs. Britt knew all about how Tchaikovsky used a musical instrument called a "Celesta." She told him that The Nutcracker was the first Ballet to use a celesta. Daisy and Millie sure liked the way it sounds.
Mrs. Britt described the sounds made by a celesta as "heavenly." Daisy and Millie thought it sounded sort of like a bell sound. Mr. Steve read in a magazine one time that a celesta was used in a movie called "Harry Potter." I smell Libby over there in her Corral.
About one hundred years before the invention of the Celesta, in 1761; that guy Benjamin Franklin created a musical instrument called a "Glass Harmonica." My Encyclopedia says he called it a "Armonica." I can smell a Ground Squirrel somewhere around here.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790) ARTWORK BY ALAN FOSTER
There's a good black and white drawing in this Encyclopedia that shows Benjamin Franklin playing one of his Armonica's. He's wearing those old-fashioned shoes that used to have buckles on them. I just noticed the Squirrel standing over there near that Creosote bush.
This is interesting. An Armonica is a "series" of "rotating" glass bowels that make musical notes through "friction." The bowels are turned by a foot pedal that Benjamin Franklin is using in the picture. Friction means "rubbing objects;" in this case with fingers.
Mr. Steve says one time he saw on tv a demonstration of Benjamin Franklin's Armonica. And the song the lady played was Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I guess after 1761 the Armonica became popular. The Squirrel just ran underneath Manny.
Hey God! Thank You for Elvira. She makes me feel better when I think about tomorrow morning a new silent era will start. It's going to be so weird that's for sure. I know Daisy is sure thinking about it even though she says everything changes and nothing stays the same.
LOUIS XVI (0000-0000) MARIE ANTOINETTE (1755-1793)
This is interesting. According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, that girl Marie Antoinette took lessons on how to play one of Benjamin Franklin's musical instrument. I wrote about what happened to her and her husband King Louis XVI on Thursday in book one.
Mr. Steve got to know an older French lady about ten years ago. They talked about history, especially French history. I guess that lady thought it ironic how the French Government ended up going broke in part because they helped the United States break away from England.
For most of the 18th century Spain, France and England fought each other over the New World opened up by Columbus's first voyage way back in 1492. There's a good map in this one Encyclopedia that shows the lands they killed each other over. A Crow just cawed.
According to that lady from France, the French Monarchy under Louis XVI was already in kind of bad financial shape even before the American Revolution. But making the huge mistake of financially helping the thirteen colonies break away from England made it way worse.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and I how that one French lady thought Benjamin Franklin, as the Ambassador to France; kind of tricked Louis XVI's Government into helping defeat England. He exploited their hatred of the British; who had beaten them in North America.
Some Motorcycles are going bye out in the desert on Primavera Road. I can tell there are three of them and I now see the dust raised by their wheels. Libby is walking around slowly over there in her Corral. Dais and I are sure glad Libby is still around. I smell Libby.
The painting in this Encyclopedia shows King Louis XVI's head being shown to the crowd of poor people who are happy and cheering. He made a big mistake by helping the United States. And his wife got her head cut off too. That's why they call it the Reign of Terror Dais says.
One of the Quail Companies is now coming in from the desert behind the Sheds. I think it's Able Company. The little babies have learned to come through the two thin openings on either side of the gate. Yup! It is Able Company alright. Those baby Quail are so cute!
MOZART (1756-1791) BEETHOVEN (1770-1821)
This is kind of interesting. I guess both Mozart and Beethoven wrote some songs that used one of Benjamin Franklin's mechanical Armonicas. I'd like to hear those songs. I wonder if Mr. Steve has ever heard them? Two Wrens are chattering at each other. I like Wrens.
Oh! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? My Encyclopedia, the "Harmonica" that everyone knows, where you blow into it; was not even invented until 1821. That was about seventy years after Benjamin Franklin's Glass Harmonica. He was using the word "Harmony."
Whenever Mr. Steve's parents visit Daisy and I have noticed how they act together. You can tell they have trust and respect. Mr. Steve told us he's noticed how the Sugar Plumb Fairy and her Prince show respect for one another in the Nutcracker. I see a Spider over there.
Hey Everyone! Thank You for helping me get this far. I can't believe I'm already in chapter ten. Sitting here on Elvira and looking out into the eastern desert I feel like this is my home and I like it. Dais is so right. Even though our lives are pretty boring we belong here.
Daisy told me Millie liked the second part of The Nutcracker. That's when happy things like dancing start. She says our boss told them there are a few versions of The Nutcracker. The one on tv was Tchaikovky's original. The Spider is gone now. Spiders like darkness.
Hey Lord! As You know, The Nutcracker is performed at Christmastime but is actually a secular Ballet; not religious. Mr. Steve says in different communities they at times substitute the local forms of dancing for Ballet. A Cow Bird just ran out into the eastern desert.
That lady Marge Britt told Mr. Steve she once saw The Nutcracker with "Salsa" dancing. Mr. Steve told her about a time when he and this girl saw Scottish dancing. And over in Hawaii where Mr. Mark lives with his family they even do Hula dancing rather than Ballet.
Mr. Steve thinks the main reason why The Nutcracker has become so popular in America is because people feel hopeful when they see it. And it makes everyone feel friendly by sharing in the enjoyment of dancing. I can smell Libby over there standing in her Corral.
Daisy and Millie both really liked how in The Nutcracker that girl Clara seems so smart. She helps the Toy Soldiers win the battle against the Mice by shrewd strategy and she makes females look good. As you Guys know, someday I want Mr. Steve to think I'm smart too.
Boy! I wrote a lot about that Ballet The Nutcracker. There turned out to be a lot more to say than Dais and I planned. But now it's back to my outline and I see the next thing to write about is Hard Rock music. At first I'll write about that hand gesture called the "Malocchio."
As I mentioned yesterday in book two, in the 1980's Mr. Steve took pictures of that one singer named Ronnie James Dio. He "Popularized" the "Devil's Horns" hand symbol used in Heavy Metal. Thinking about how dancers use their hands reminds me of "Dio."
Mr. Steve told us one time how he thinks Dio began doing the Devil's Horns gesture to the audience when he replaced Ozzy Osbourne as BLACK SABBATH'S singer. From then on a lot of people started doing it I guess. Us Dogs can't do it because all we have are toes.
RONNIE JAMES DIO
This is interesting! From what it says in this Encyclopedia, the Devil's Horns hand signal is called a Malocchio;" pronounced "Ma-loike" in Italian. That way of forming your hand into a signal has been done for centuries I guess. A Jet just went bye way up there in the sky .
The reason our Chief got to take pictures of Dio down at the Forum was because at the time he had a friend named Dave who's mother worked for Dio's wife Wendy. So they got what are called "Photo Passes." I just saw a gray Ground Squirrel ducking under Manny.
That one Thrasher Bird just jumped up into that Creosote bush it likes so much. He or she must feel comfortable in it somehow; kind of like how I feel sitting here on Elvira. I'll bet Daisy is right now laying on her side in her area right near the door to the Utility Room.
RONNIE JAMES DIO (1942-2010)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Just as I thought. Dio means "God" in Latin. I looked it up in this Latin Dictionary. Daisy says our boss told her that Ronnie James Dio, who died four years ago, was originally from back east and his family was from Italy. Some Bees are flying around near the Sheds.
Mr. Steve says the Devil's Horn hand gesture is now associated with Ronnie James Dio way more than anyone else. It's too bad he died so young Mr. Steve says. Daisy told me one time she and Millie listened to our boss playing drums to that song "Rainbow in the Dark."
A while back Mr. Steve made one of his Frames for this lady from Texas. Both she and her husband graduated from a College there where the sports teams are called "Longhorns." And their fans use the Devil's Horn hand gesture too. I smell that one old Sage bush.
Daisy says our boss has drawn the Texas Longhorns logo. She says it's orange after you color it in. The Auto Mechanic Mr. Ramon up on the Highway likes orange so a while back Mr. Steve gave him a Coffee Cup with the Texas Longhorns logo on the side.
Rudy the Roadrunner just squeezed between the openings on the side of the back gate. He went under Manny. No matter how many times I see him do that it's still an amazing thing to see. It's the same when the Rabbits go in and out of our two acres that way.
Wow! Mr. Steve was right. He told us a Longhorn was a Cow in Texas that had really long horns. Wait until Daisy sees this. There's a good picture here in my Encyclopedia that shows one of those Texas Longhorn Cows. And they really do have long horns.
I'd hate to fight a Longhorn Cow. They could stab you from far away with their long spears. But if Dais and I worked as a team we could scare off a Longhorn Cow. Mr. Steve would be so proud of us. I'd like to smell a Cow. Daisy told how they have a unique smell.
RONNIE JAMES DIO WITH BLACK SABBATH
My Encyclopedia describes the Malocchio hand gesture as the "Index" and "Little" fingers are "upright" while the thumb is "clasped against the two middle fingers." Dais and I have both thought about how great it would be if us Dogs had fingers to do things too.
Mr. Steve told us how Ronnie James Dio said he first saw the Malocchio as a kid; when his Italian Grandmother used it to "Ward Off" evil spirits. If Daisy and I could do a Mallocchio we would use it to scare away our Bad Angels Lilith and Eddie when they show up.
RONNIE JAMES DIO
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve says the Malocchio has been used for centuries to protect oneself from all the "Evil Eye" of others. He read the gesture may go all the way back to ancient Egypt because it's shown on "Tomb Art." Dais jokes it's like "Knocking on Wood" for good luck.
A while back our Chief told us how Ronnie James Dio was born on July 10th; the day after his birthday. That means he's a Cancer too. I wish I knew when my birthday is. That would be so great! But, that's okay. Two of our Pigeons just flew in from the eastern desert.
As I've mentioned, Mr. Steve went to Catholic school from 1st through 10th Grade. For all of that period a classmate of his was named "Al;" short for "Alphonso." His parents knew Mr. Steve's parents. Al was funny and could've been a comedian Mr. Steve says.
Al had a younger brother named Larry. He was the same age as Mr. Steve's brother Rock. I guess that guy Larry was a really good guitar player. But he concentrated too much on playing lead and not enough on rhythm guitar. At least that's what Mr. Steve thinks.
Mr. Steve told us about how after that guy Ozzy Osborne was fired as the singer in BLACK SABBATH his future wife Sharon came in and rescued him. She might've even saved his life as he was drinking and taking drugs too much. I hear Crows cawing behind the Sheds.
OZZIE OSBOURNE WITH BLACK SABBATH
Hey God! As You know, Daisy and I kind of think You caused that girl Sharon to be Ozzy Osbourne's Guardian Angel. You probably did it with Daisy and myself. Mr. Steve rescued us. I know what it's like to have no hope; most likely in the same way Ozzy Osbourne felt.
But, luckily for him our Chief says, his wife forced him to "get over it" as they say. Then she became his Manager. She helped him make what they call a "Comeback." And Mr. Steve told us that he did really good in the 1980's. Two of the Pigeons are flying bye.
Hey Blessed Mother! Was that You who sent that girl Sharon to be a Guardian Angel for her husband? Dais thinks it might've been You. Ozzy Osbourne might even have died if not for her. We're sure glad that our boss decided to save us and then give us a second chance.
Mr. Steve thinks what Sharon Osbourne did with Ozzy Osbourne was sort of like what June Carter Cash did with Johnny Cash. Both rescued their men. Dais told me our Chief would like to meet Sharon Osbourne. From what Mr. Steve says she sounds really smart.
Mr. Steve thinks it was probably Sharon Osbourne who "Coordinated" and "Organized" the guitar auditions for for her husband here in Los Angeles. That's what someone told Mr. Steve one time and from what he's heard about Sharon Osbourne it makes perfect sense.
I guess a lot of guitarists tried out for Ozzy Osbourne's new band. And that guy Al's brother Larry was one of them. But, unfortunately, he didn't get hired. Mr. Steve told Daisy he thinks it may have been mainly because he didn't play rhythm as good as he played lead guitar.
SHARON OSBOURNE WITH FAMILY
Our Chief heard that the auditions for Ozzy Osbourne's band were what they jokingly call a "Cattle Call." That means that there were a lot more "Applicants" for the job than there were "job openings." This is often the case in entertainment Mr. Steve told us one time.
In the 1980's Mr. Steve took pictures of the Laker and Raider Girl Cheerleaders. He says in the annual tryouts every year the pretty girls did resemble a herd of Cattle. Hundreds of really pretty and talented dancing girls showed up to apply for only a few available jobs.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve says that Karl Marx said in Capitalism everything usually boils down to one thing; "What will the market bear?" If the market will bear being cheap then it will. But if you're in a Union or have a unique skill then the the market will not bear paying low wages.
Cheerleaders, even the ones who seem what they call "glamorous," are underpaid. That's what Mr. Steve told us. They practice a lot but don't get paid for any of that. They should be paid better he thinks. I just picked up the scent of that one old Creosote bush.
In the mid-1980's Mr. Steve and his fellow Salesmen Paul, Jimmy and Don used to go to the "Malls" in Los Angeles and set up what they call "Booths." They would put on a tv with films of the Lakers, Kings and Lazers Indoor Soccer. I sense that I'm be looked at again.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
When Mr. Steve and the other Salesmen would have people fill out cards for a "Drawing" to win tickets to games. But he told us that the "real purpose" was to get what they call "Leads" to try to sell Season Tickets or Advertising. Oh! I see a tiny Spider over there.
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie one time that sometimes when they would go to the Malls the Laker Girls had to be there too. And they didn't even get paid for having to drive all the way over there either. Mr. Steve thinks it was sort of unfair. I smell Sage.
Out of all those guitarist who applied for the job in Ozzy Osbourne's band our boss told us it was Randy Rhoads who got the job; or what they call the "Gig." He was in that band from Van Nuys called QUIET RIOT. I've mentioned them before. Dawn is barking next door.
I wonder of Spiders can see things with eyes the way we do? That tiny Spider is now going behind the milk crate near the sliding glass door; the one with the cut up pieces of wood inside it. Mr. Steve doesn't use the Fireplace often but has a lot of wood ready anyway.
RANDY RHODES (1956-1982)
I guess that guy Randy Rhoads died in a Plane crash in 1982, about two years after he had been hired by Ozzy Osbourne. Like Jimi Hendrix, he's now become sort of a legend. I wonder what it would be like to be a legend? It would probably be both good and bad.
Hey God! Randy Rhoads died so young. I notice in this Encyclopedia that he was born in the year between Mr. Steve's birth year and that of his brother Rock. Mr. Steve now says he's glad he got to see him play a few times as the guitarist for QUIET RIOT.
Daisy and Millie got to hear some of the songs by Ozzy Osbourne when Randy Rhoads was his guitar player. Someday I really want to hear those songs. Dais says our Chief likes this one song about a Train. Oh! What a coincidence. A Train just whistled faintly.
Mr. Steve thinks that probably one of the reasons Ozzy Osbourne hired Randy Rhoads was because he was as good at playing rhythm as he was at switching over to playing lead. Mr. Steve noticed that Randy Rhodes was a really good Classical guitarist. I see a Squirrel.
A few years ago our Chief's brother Sam called and told him that Phillip, the brother of that guitar player Larry, had died. And then he later heard that Larry was also dead. So now Mr. Steve says, only Al is left of the three brothers. It makes him appreciate his two brothers.
OZZY OSBORNE / RANDY RHOADS
Hey God! As You know. Daisy and I want to think that You caused Ozzy Osbourne to make a big comeback in the early 1980's. Mr. Steve thinks he gained back his enthusiasm for making music. I can hear some Pigeons are cooing above me up there on the Patio roof.
I guess when Randy Rhoads was in Ozzy Osbourne's band they made a good team. On Mr. Steve's Boombox one time Daisy and Millie heard some their songs. They were good! I want to hear them sometime. Dais says you can really tell how good Randy Rhoads was.
OZZY OSBOURNE WITH FAMILY
Hey God! As You know, Mr. Steve thinks that girl Sharon has been a good partner to Ozzy Osbourne. They have three kids. This Encyclopedia has a picture of their family and they look happy. The caption below says it was taken at one of the many "Awards Shows."
After graduating from Sylmar High School in 1973, Mr. Steve, and later his girlfriend Sandy, went to Valley Junior College in Van Nuys. There they met people who had gone to Grant and Van Nuys High Schools and knew that band QUIET RIOT. I smell some flowers.
One guy Mr. Steve and Sandy met was named "Jim." He knew a lot about music and was a friend of Kevin Dubrow; who was QUIET RIOT'S singer. Both lived in Van Nuys. I've never heard any songs by QUIET RIOT but Dais has and says they're good Hard Rock.
QUIET RIOT ( VALLEY COLLEGE)
During the mid-1970's Mr. Steve and Sandy saw QUIET RIOT rehearse and also play shows in the Valley. That was when that guy Randy Rhoads was in the band. One time QUIET RIOT played a good concert on the grass "Cuad" at Valley College. A Wren is chattering.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie one time that he and his friends thought Randy Rhoads was not your "typical" guitarist. From the first time they saw him play at a rehearsal it was obvious Randy Rhoads was especially talented. A Bunny Rabbit just hopped bye. QUIET RIOT AT GRIFFITH PARK OBSERVATORY (MID-1970's)
Mr. Steve says one way you could tell how Randy Rhodes was "A Cut Above" the typical guitarist was the way he "Noodled" between songs. While he was just talking to people he would casually walk around and play things that sounded a lot like Brian May of QUEEN.
It was obvious to Mr. Steve and his friend Jim that Randy Rhoads liked this band called MOUNTAIN and their song "Mississippi Queen." And he was influenced by Alice Cooper's two guitarists and Mick Ronson from David Bowie's SPIDERS FROM MARS.
Mr. Steve says a while back he had a dream in which he ran into that guy Jim. They sat in a Park and had a pleasant conversation where they got reaquainted. Last night I had a dream in which I was remembering the first time that Daisy and I ever smelled one another.
RANDY RHOADS / KEVIN DUBROW
That guy Jim told Mr. Steve how Randy Rhoads was from Burbank. He said it was Randy Rhoads and this one bass player named "Kelly" who started QUIET RIOT in 1975, not Kevin Dubrow as some people think. Kevin Dubrow was "recruited" to be the singer.
I see Libby over there walking around her Corral. As usual she's moving very slowly and carefully. I can't smell her because the breezes are moving her scent in another direction I guess. Jack the Jackrabbit just zoomed bye out there in the desert behind the Sheds.
RODNEY BINGENHEIMER / KISS
That guy Mr. Jim told Mr. Steve that he knew someone who saw Randy Rhoads' band play at Rodney Bingenhemer's English Disco Nightclub; before Kevin Dubrow was the singer. I wrote a little bit about that one guy Rodney Bingenheimer yesterday in book two.
One time in the mid-1970's that guy Mr. Jim got some free tickets to see this one band from England called SUPERTRAMP at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. He asked if Mr. Steve wanted to go. SUPERTRAMP played their album "Crime of the Century."
Many years after that SUPERTRAMP concert in Santa Monica Mr. Steve met a guy named Bernard. He had been SUPERTRAMP'S "Keyboard Technician" for many years. Dais told me SUPERTRAMP uses a lot of really clear-sounding pianos on a lot of their songs.
As I mentioned earlier in my first two books, in the mid-1970's Mr. Steve and Mark Ritter worked for Laser Images. Mark Ritter knew that funny band called the DICKIES; who I wrote about earlier today. I can hear some of the Pigeons cooing up there on the Patio roof.
Daisy told me that funny DICKIES song called "You Drive Me Ape You Big Gorilla." And I guess they did fast-paced versions of other bands songs; like BLACK SABBATH'S "Paranoid" or the MOODY BLUES "Nights in White Satin." I smell that old Joshua tree.
Because the Sun is now on the other side of the house I can see the shadows of two Pigeons walking around up above me on the Patio roof. And the shadows of the Sheds and Joshua trees are now starting to lean away from me. Wow! This day is going faster than I expected.
Dais says the DICKIES, like our boss's friend Mark Ritter; had a weird sense of humor. Their album "Stukas over Disneyland" shows a World War II German Stuka flying above the ears of that Mouse Mickey; ready to dive bomb down below. The Pigeons are cooing.
As I mentioned earlier this morning, back in the 1970's Mr. Steve and Sandy got to see the DICKIES play. And he told us one time they saw QUIET RIOT do a concert a few days after seeing the DICKIES. I can smell that clump of Joshua trees near Libby's Corral.
KEVIN DUBROW (1955-2007)
As I've mentioned, QUIET RIOT'S singer was named Kevin DuBrow. He lived down in Van Nuys; kind of near to the Valley College campus. I guess Kevin Dubrow was about three months younger than Mr. Steve. But he died in 2007. I just heard a Crow squawk faintly.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself how he thought that guy Kevin Dubrow was a really talented singer. Kevin Dubrow's favorite singer was in an English band called HUMBLE PIE. Dais says our boss has a vinyl record which is a live HUMBLE PIE album. I smell Juniper.
I can hear Jet going bye way up there high in the air. There are a few puffy clouds over the desert. Daisy says one time her and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom and listened to a song by HUMBLE PIE called "Thirty Days in the Hole." Mr. Steve likes that song.
Daisy says our Chief told her how before he was the singer for HUMBLE PIE Steve Marriot was in a 1960's "Mod" band called SMALL FACES. Mr. Steve had a 45 record of their one song called "Ithcycoo Park." But he gave it to his girlfriend Sandy when they broke up. THE SMALL FACES
In looking at this picture of the SMALL FACES in my Encyclopedia I notice how they're all wearing suits and ties. Maybe that's why they were called Mods. Mr. Steve for many years had to wear suits and ties but not any more. Now he mostly just wears ordinary clothes.
Mr. Steve told us how he read that the SMALL FACES were managed by Sharon Osbourne's father; who also managed the MOVE and BLACK SABBATH. This one other guy named Peter Frampton was in HUMBLE PIE for a while Mr. Steve says.
The day before yesterday in book one I mentioned that guy Peter Frampton. That was when I wrote about that thing called a Talk Box which makes your voice sound weird. Daisy says Mr. Steve thinks Peter Frampton's best album was his live album from the mid-1970's.
One time Mr. Steve's friend Chris told him how Peter Frampton played this Les Paul guitar which was unusual in having three of these things called "Humbucking Pickups" on the body. I guess most guitars have only two of them. I kind of like the way most guitars look.
Daisy says that our boss and his friend Mark Ritter were working at Laser Images in Van Nuys when when that Peter Frampton live album came out. It made him really famous I guess. Someone once time told Mr. Steve how it's one of the best selling live albums of all time.
Mr. Steve told us a few years before Peter Frampton's live album he and his friends saw a band called FRAMPTON'S CAMEL play a concert. He thinks it was at the Santa Monic Civic but it might've been at the Shrine Auditorium. He can't remember for sure.
One thing Mr. Steve does remember from back then is how this guy told him and his friends that Peter Frampton's band had made their album at "Electric Lady." That was the Recording Studio built by Jimi Hendrix in the late 1960's back there in New York City. I smell Sage.
I guess in the late 1960's Mr. Steve bought a number of small 45 vinyl records that came with only two songs on them. He had a lot by CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL and also the BEATLES. I hear some Pigeons cooing right above me up on the roof of the Patio.
Daisy told me our boss said one thing different from other bands is that the BEATLES and CREDENCE always put two good songs on their 45's. And so did the BEACH BOYS and also the ROLLING STONES. I just picked up the faint smell of one of the new Sage plants.
Mr. Steve had STEPPENWOLF'S song "Born to be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride" on one 45 record. As I mentioned the day before yesterday in book one, Mr. Steve says the term "Heavy Metal" was used in Born to be Wild. And it is a good Hard Rock song Daisy told me.
Hey God! As You know, when Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy broke up all of Mr. Steve's 45's were over at Sandy's parents house. So, after thinking about it; he decided to just let Sandy keep them. At times he wishes he still had them. There were a lot of good songs.
Daisy said one time our boss told her and Millie that in all of those many times he went to Dodger Stadium he only caught one Baseball. And Sandy has that too. Before one game, as the Dodgers took what's called "Batting Practice," Mr. Steve caught a ball.
Mr. Steve and Sandy were standing right below the left field "Foul Pole." I guess that's the tall yellow pole that tells the Umpire if a batted ball is a Home Run or not. They were watching as some of the Dodger players did "Wind Sprints" in left field. I like to run fast too.
From what Dais says, this one player named Dusty Baker was taking Batting Practice and hit a ball in Mr. Steve and Sandy's direction. Mr. Steve noticed a bunch of kids running toward him from the right. Then Sandy pulled his shirt sleeve and said; "Look." I smell a Sage plant.
Glancing up, Mr. Steve saw that Dusty Baker, who was a right-handed hitter, had hit a really high fly ball. Mr. Steve knew it was going to hit the Foul Pole above he and Sandy's heads. As the group of kids flooded past them like a swarm; the ball did hit that one Foul Pole.
Mr. Steve was holding a binocular case in his right hand. So Daisy told me, after the ball came straight down and bounced on a seat he plucked it out of the air with his left hand. Most of the kids had overrun the ball and now realized it. I can hear a Wren singing right now.
Two of the kids swiped at the Baseball at the same time as Mr. Steve so he knew if he didn't grab the ball in one try he'd lose it to someone else. But he didn't drop it and some of those kids smiled as they came over to "High Five" Mr. Steve; who gave that Baseball to Sandy.
One thing Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy noticed about Randy Rhodes back then in the 1970's was how long his thumbnail was. He also had a "Shag" haircut which, according to what our Chief told us; was a popular style then. I wonder how Dais would look in a Shag?
Someday I really want to see pictures of our boss from the 1970's and 1980's. Dais tells me that he had long hair back in the 1970's and a beard during much of the 1980's. He looked way different Daisy says. Mr. Steve thinks that he's kind of ugly nowadays.
Mr. Steve and his girlfriend Sandy saw QUIET RIOT play a few times. One of the places they saw them play was in Pasadena at this place called "Workman's Hall." And another band that played that night was VAN HALEN; which is also the name of the guitarist.
It was on Halloween night when our Chief and his girlfriend Sandy saw QUIET RIOT and VAN HALEN. They both did good that night he told Daisy and Millie. Who knew he said that they were seeing two of the best guitarists ever? The Dragonfly just whizzed bye.
Just like the Baseball player Jackie Robinson, Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex were from Pasadena. Their band VAN HALEN is still very influential. Mr. Steve occasionally tries to play drums to some of their songs but he'll never be as good as that guy Alex Van Halen.
ALEX VAN HALEN
VAN HALEN'S dummer Alex Van Halen is really talented Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie. He's powerful and has a unique drum kit with four of those big kick or bass drums. Daisy told me our boss likes this one VAN HALEN song called "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love."
During the 1980's QUIET RIOT without Randy Rhodes also became a success; but not as big a success as VAN HALEN. Those were the days when Heavy Metal type music was big. A lot of bands played down on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood our boss has told us.
There were so many young Heavy Metal bands competing back then in the 1980's that the "Promoters" could put in a system called "Pay to Play" Mr. Steve says. He at one point worked as a Photographer for one of them. As Karl Marx said; "What will the market bear?"
Dais says one time she and Millie were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom and he played some of VAN HALEN'S songs. They were really good she told me. One is about jumping and another one is about that Central American country called "Panama." I smell a Squirrel around here. THE FORUM (1984)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In 1984 VAN HALEN did a concert at the Forum. Because Mr. Steve's office was across the street from the Forum he walked over to see them do their mid-morning "Sound Check." It was interesting he says. Even in a Sound Check you could hear how good they were.
Our Chief says a lot of guitar players now use this playing "Techique" called "Tapping." It was first used back in the 1970's by this guy named Steve Hackett. He was the guitarist for that band GENESIS. I just noticed that Rudy the Roadrunner is jogging by right now.
I guess, from what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, it was Eddie Van Halen in the 1980's who really made the tapping technique famous. Our boss used to wonder if Eddie Van Halen had at all been influenced by Steve Hackett. Then someone told him he had been.
Tapping is a "fingering" technique in which both hands are used to play on the neck of the guitar. A good example my boss says is on VAN HALEN'S song "Eruption." I want to hear that song Eruption! Daisy told me one time that Millie really thought it was great.
Daisy told me she saw a picture of that band GENESIS. What makes them look unique Mr. Steve thinks is; their singer plays a bass drum while standing up, their drummer Phil Collins is left-handed and the bass player and guitarist at times sat down when playing.
I've only heard two GENESIS songs because I'm afraid to go into Mr. Steve's Bedroom. But those two songs I heard on the Boombox were good. I like any band that has a flute player and in GENESIS the singer also plays the flute. I just picked up the scent of the Oleander's.
Daisy says the two GENESIS songs I've heard are from an album called Nursery Crime." It came out in the early 1970's. Mr. Steve calls the two songs I heard "Art Rock." The first song was called the "Musical Box." I can now hear Dawn and Blinky barking faintly.
Daisy told me Mr. Steve thinks parts of "Nursery Crime" is one of the most artistic albums he's ever heard. On that song Musical Box Mr. Steve is pretty sure that guy Steve Hackett uses the tapping technique in a very creative way. I can hear Birds singing happily.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
From what our boss told Daisy and Millie, GENESIS' singer left the band so their drummer Phil Collins came out from behind his drums to replace him. But eventually he also left. It was after that when Mr. Steve went down to the Forum to take pictures of him.
Mr. Steve said he was hoping to get photos of Phil Collins playing his drums in his concert at the Forum. But he was only allowed to take pictures during the first three songs and Phil Collins just sang on all three. A small grayish Jackrabbit just ran under Manny.
In the 1980's Mr. Steve worked as a Photographer for this man named "Blinky" Rodriguez. Blinky was also from the Sylmar, San Fernando area. He was a former "Kick Boxer" and the Brother-in-Law of Benny "the Jet" Urquidez. I hear Crows cawing faintly.
BENNY "THE JET" URQUIDEZ
From what Mr. Steve says Benny Urquidez was a very famous Kick Boxer. Now he's mainly a coach or what's called a "Trainer." His sister Lillie was married to Blinky and both were also good Kick Boxers "in their own right" as they say. Lillie died a few years ago.
Fannie and Freddie just landed on Jack. I wonder if they've noticed that Heathcliff is not crowing today. I know I sure miss his voice. Tomorrow morning is going to be interesting that's for sure. Fannie and Freddie just took off and are flying over the house to the west.
DAVID LEE ROTH
It was Benny Urquidez who trained David Lee Roth, the singer of VAN HALEN, to do all the Martial Arts moves he did up there on the stage. That's what our boss told us. Daisy says one of Millie's favorite VAN HALEN songs is called "Jump." I smell a Creosote bush.
In the 1980's Blinky and Benny had a "Gym" in Van Nuys near the Courthouse. It was called the "Jet Center." Mr. Steve says it was one of the best Gyms; and he's seen a few Gyms. It had really good equipment compared to some of the other Gyms he told us.
Rudy the Roadrunner is jogging bye; knowing I won't chase him. I haven't chased Rudy or Jack the Jackrabbit in three days. Rudy's going around the northeast corner of the house and is probably going to see if there's any food left on the ground below Mr. Steve's window.
In the late 1960's Mr. Steve's father was a City Commissioner who worked downtown. So on some days he'd drop off Mr. Steve at this one place called the "Main Street Gym." I mentioned it yesterday in book two. A Thrasher Bird just flew in and landed on Jack.
I guess the Main Street Gym was run by this one man named Howie Steindler. He was nice man who allowed Mr. Steve to hang around his gym while his father was working at City Hall. A small baby Ground Squirrel is looking at me. I had a feeling I was being watched.
HOWIE STEINDLER (1904-1977)
On the days he spent at the Main Street Gym Mr. Steve's father gave him money for lunch. Mr. Steindler "kept an eye on him" as he watched the Boxers train. Most were young fighters "working their way up the ladder" so to speak. That Thrasher Bird flew away.
Sadly, Mr. Steve told us Howie Steindler was killed in 1977; the year when Mr. Steve and his brother Rock visited back east. And, as I wrote about yesterday; in 1977 U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers was killed when his Helicopter crashed near the Sepulveda Dam.
Some people think that man Howie Steindler was killed because he at times carried a lot of money. That's what Mr. Steve's friend Ralph thinks; and so does Gary the Boxing historian from San Fernando. Mr. Steve has had dreams about Howie Steindler.
Two Boxers our Chief watched at the Main Street Gym were Jerry and Mike Quarry who I mentioned yesterday in book two. As I wrote yesterday, they were Irish brothers and both were really tough fighters Mr. Steve told Daisy and I. I smell a Lizard around here.
According to what Mr. Steve told us, Mike and Jerry Quarry were great counter punchers who hit hard. Mr. Steve was impressed at how strong they were. Both Mike and Jerry Quarry were friendly to him. I just picked up the scent of one of the old Creosote bushes.
JERRY QUARRY (1945-1999) MIKE QUARRY (1951-2006)
As I mentioned yesterday in book two, Mike and Jerry Quarry are Irish but grew up here in California. Sadly, just like that one guy Bobby Chacon, they ended up with brain damage from being Boxers. Except they died from it. Jerry was older and slightly bigger in size.
Mr. Steve was told Mike Quarry was born in the city of Bakersfield and is buried in a town near there. Jerry Quarry's nickname was the "Bellflower Bomber." And from 1968 through 1971 Nat Fleischer's Ring Magazine named Jerry Quarry the "most popular" Boxer.
According to what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie, Jerry Quarry was much more famous than his younger brother Mike. But, unfortunately for him, his professional career happened to be at a time when there were a lot of great Hall of Fame level Heavyweights.
Blackbeard and Anne Bonny just flew in and landed on top of Manny. Blackbeard is tilting his head to the side so he can see me with his one good eye. And now they're both scanning the ground below them; just hoping to see a Lizard or Snake to capture and eat.
Jerry Quarry fought and lost to both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. But he beat some good fighters like former Heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. Jerry Quarry beat contenders like George Chuvalo, Oscar Bonavena and this other guy named Jimmy Ellis.
George Foreman, who annihilated Joe Frazier and looked so unbeatable at the time, says now that back in the early 1970's he avoided or "Ducked" having to fight Jerry Quarry. This is big compliment Mr. Steve told us. Blackbeard and Anne just took to the air right now.
Another fighter Jerry Quarry beat was named Ernie Shavers. He knocked him out in just one round. From what Mr. Steve told us, that guy Ernie Shavers is now considered to have been one of the most powerful punchers in all of Heavyweight history. I hear Dawn barking.
Daisy says one time in the mid-1980's Mr. Steve met Ernie Shavers at some fights down at the Forum. He was very friendly and walked around with Mr. Steve who introduced him to some of his customers who had bought Season Tickets from him. I can smell a Joshua tree.
Mr. Steve says that Mike Quarry was six feet two inches tall. His older brother was one inch shorter but stockier and heavier. Mike Quarry fought as a Light Heavyweight. Mr. Steve, and his friend Ralph, think Jerry Quarry could've been good in that division too.
In the early 1970's, when Mr. Steve was in High School, the Light Heavyweight champion was named Bob Foster. He was from New Mexico and held the championship for a long time. But he couldn't beat Heavyweights and lost to both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier too.
Mr. Steve told us one time that Bob Foster was a powerful puncher even though he was kind of skinny. He successfully defended his Light Heavyweight championship fourteen times without a single loss. He knocked a lot of other fighters out with a tremendous left hook.
Bob Foster was tall, six foot three; but only weighed about one hundred and eighty pounds. He was skinny or "thin" Mr. Steve told us. A right-hander, he had really long arms. Mr. Steve says his left jab was really good. But he just couldn't beat the good Heavyweights.
When he fought Mike Quarry Bob Foster landed one of the most "devastating" punches in Boxing history. It knocked out Mike Quarry "cold" as they say. Bob foster was worried for a awhile that he might've killed Mike Quarry. But he ended up being alright.
After he retired from Boxing Bob Foster became a "Deputy Sheriff" in New Mexico. He was elected into the Boxing Hall of Fame a few years later. He did that job from then on. We have some Sheriff's who drive around on the roads in Phelan and Piñon Hills too.
It was about this time yesterday and the day before that Heathcliff really started crowing. In the back of my mind I kind of wish I'd suddenly hear him. That would be so great! But I know that's never ever going to happen again. Good old Heathcliff is gone forever.
Our Chief has seen a few Gyms; the "Ten Goose" converted house in North Hollywood, the "Hoover Street" Gym in South Los Angeles where Carlos Palomino trained, and the "Crown City" Gym in Pasadena. Carlos Palomino was a World Champion.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In 1989 Mr. Steve and his father and two Nephews went to the "Resurrection" Gym in East Los Angeles. They went to see this young kid named Oscar De La Hoya train. This other Boxer from New Mexico named Johnny Tapia was there. Both would be World Champions.
Mr. Steve heard that Oscar De la Hoya later bought the Resurrection Gym; which was once a Church. This was after he got a Gold Medal in the 1992 Olympics. As a "pro" he won ten world titles in six weight divisions and fought against twenty world champions.
Like the members of that band called LOS LOBOS, Oscar De La Hoya also went to Garfield High School. Our Chief tells us that Oscar De La Hoya retired as a Boxer. And now he's one of the top "Promoters" in Boxing. Mr. Steve says he seems like an intelligent person.
ART ARAGON (1927-2008)
According to what Mr. Steve told us that guy Oscar De La Hoya's nickname was the "Golden Boy." But the original Boxing Golden Boy was named Art Aragon. He fought back in the 1950's and was originally from Belen. Mr. Steve's father was a "casual" friend of his.
In the 1950's Art Aragon fought down at the Olympic Auditorium many times and was one of the most popular fighters of the era. Our boss told us one time that he was mainly what they call a "Lightweight." He fought in some famous fights against great opponents.
MARILYN MONROE JAYNE MANSFIELD
In the 1950's pretty girls like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield went to Art Aragon's fights. It's rumored an Actor named William Holden first called him the Golden Boy our boss says. Art Aragon converted to Judaism in order to marry his wife. I can smell Sage.
Later today I'm scheduled to write about this guy named Audie Murphy. He was the most "Decorated" American soldier to come out of World War II. He became an Actor and was one of Art Aragon's friends. I see Libby walking around over there in her Corral.
After he retired from Boxing Art Aragon went into the "Bail Bonds" business. Daisy told me that means he loans money to people who get in trouble with the law. Mr. Steve and his father at times visited him at his office near the Van Nuys Courthouse. He laughed a lot.
Mr. Steve says the best "Training Facility" he's ever seen was the "Jet Center." This was the Gym in Van Nuys run by those guys Blinky Rodriguez and Benny Urquidez. It was kind of near the Van Nuys Courthouse where Art Aragon used to have his Bail Bonds business.
I think I'll write about this one guy named Dave Mustaine. Daisy told me he's a really good guitar player who has a band called MEGADETH. And just like Ozzy Osborne was kicked out of BLACK SABBATH; Dave Mustaine was "Booted Out" of METALLICA.
Symphony of Destruction seems to be about how Politicians can manipulate people. It's kind of like what Aldous Huxley and George Orwell warned against. At least that's what Daisy says she thinks. Our Chief made a video to that song. A Sparrow just landed on Manny. Mr. Steve's brother Rock used to have this machine where you could combine music and video images. So he and our Chief took a segment of this girl named Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" and put the song Symphony of Destruction over it. Dais says it matches. "TRIUMPH OF THE WILL" LENI RIEFENSTAHL (1902-2003)
THE FORUM (1984)
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Well, it's back to my outline. In the mid-1980's Mr. Steve worked at the Forum. His office at first in 1984 was on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and 18th Street in West Los Angeles. But then they moved over to Inglewood; right across the street from the Forum.
Mr. Steve says what they call a "Fringe Benefit" of working at the Forum in the 1980's was the ability to watch bands do their morning "Sound Checks" in an almost empty Forum. He saw the CARS do a sound check in 1984, BOSTON in 1987, and AEROSMITH back in 1988.
THE CARS BOSTON AEROSMITH
The CARS, BOSTON and AEROSMITH are all from New England where Mr. Steve's sister Susan lives. But they all sound different; an example of how one "environment" can produce different results. I smell Roses again and can also hear Dawn and Blinky barking. When growing up my boss and his brothers and sisters used to go visit their relatives in New Mexico. Most of them lived in Belen. At times his Aunt Lydia, his father's younger sister, told him one of the ROLLING STONES was from Belen. I hear Ducks quacking.
My boss knew his Aunt was not a liar but didn't say anything when she would tell him her friend had a son in the ROLLING STONES. Years later, in the late 1970's, while watching a ROLLING STONES concert at the Forum he thought of his Aunt Lydia.
The ROLLING STONES Saxaphone player was named Bobby Keyes. In his biographies it says he's from Amarillo, Texas, where Buddy Holly and his band the CRICKETS were from. But he had been born in New Mexico and his mother never left the State.
BOBBY KEYES ROLLING STONES
According to Mr. Steve, it turns out that Bobby Keyes, while not one of the five "regular" members of the ROLLING STONES, traveled with them on tour with a Trumpet player named Jim Price. His mother was named Lucy Keyes and she was his Aunt Lydia's friend!
At a young age Bobby Keyes moved with his father to Amarillo. Dais says one of our boss's favorite ROLLING STONES songs is "Brown Sugar." Bobby Keyes "solos" on it. It's as good a solo as anything Clarence Clemons did for Bruce Springsteen; at least in Mr. Steve's view.
Mr. Steve says he had what's called an "Aha" moment when, years before, he realized what his Aunt had been saying. He had an "Epiphany" he told us. He was so happy but had always known that his Aunt Lydia was not lying. Two of the Pigeons just flew past overhead.
My Chief was tempted to write a letter and introduce himself to Bobby Keyes. But then, he decided against it because he did not want to be "presumptuous." He now wishes he hadn't been such a big Chicken. Jack the Jackrabbit ran bye and then veered off into the desert.
When a band rehearses it's even better than a Sound Check Mr. Steve told us. Back in the mid-1970's he and his girlfriend Sandy saw that band QUIET RIOT rehearse a few times. That was down in Van Nuys; when Randy Rhodes was still the guitarist in the band.
Mr. Steve was told how QUIET RIOT got their name. I guess when this guy in a British band called STATUS QUO said "quite right" it sounded like was saying "quiet riot." It was kind of like the contradiction in the names IRON BUTTERFLY or LED ZEPPELIN.
When Randy Rhodes left Quiet Riot to go play with Ozzy Osbourne's new band of course Kevin Dubrow was depressed our boss told us. Who wouldn't be depressed when such a great musician leaves your band. Too bad life isn't fair. I think it should be!
QUIET RIOT (1983)
While Kevin Dubrow was down for a while he what they call "regrouped" and decided not to let life's frequent unfairness defeat him. He just put together a new version of Quiet Riot and then made it big. Mr. Steve says he kind of admires that guy Kevin Dubrow.
Dais says one time our Chief told her and Millie about how that guy Randy Rhodes died in a plane crash in 1982. And then Ozzy Osbourne was really depressed. Randy Rhodes was a great guitarist Mr. Steve thinks. It was obvious when he had been in Quiet Riot.
From what our boss told Daisy and Millie, after Randy Rhodes died Ozzy Osbourne and his wife had to "pick themselves up" like Kevin Dubrow did, and find a new guitar player. Since then I guess they've had a few guitar players. And one was named Zakk Wylde.
Most people look way different as they get older. Our Chief says he's now "unrecognizable" from when he was young. But Mr. Steve couldn't believe his eyes when he saw The Metal Show where Zakk Wylde was a guest. He only remembered him with no beard.
Later our boss saw a video of Zakk Wylde playing the "National Anthem." He was impressed and thought is was just as good as the way Jimi Hendrix "interpreted" it at Woodstock way back in 1969. Ted Nugent has also played a good version of the National Anthem.
Mr. Steve says he didn't really "keep up on" or "follow" any "current" music for a long time. That's why he hadn't seen Zakk Wylde with a beard. Another guitar player he had never seen with a shaved head and a beard was Kerry King from a Los Angeles band called SLAYER.
Dais says one time our Chief told her and Millie about the band SLAYER. They're from a town in Los Angeles called "Huntington Beach." Mr. Steve used to have this one customer in Huntington Beach that sold Ford vehicles. Our little Escort Barney's a Ford.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that over the years he's noticed many Hard Rock bands using what they call Nazi "Iconography." The "S" in SLAYER, the two S's in KISS'S's logo, and also AC/DC's lightning bolts are all S.S. "Sig" Runes. I just looked up "Iconography."
A while back Mr. Steve did artwork for a guy who, in the 1980's; went to some Heavy Metal concerts at Nightclubs like The Whisky or Gazzari's. He told Mr. Steve about this band called BRUTE FORCE who used Nazi colors and imagery in their logos and things like that.
It's not because they're Nazis that bands or other forms of entertainment use what's called "Nazi Chic" our boss says. It's just that the Nazi's had such great looking logos and uniforms which now symbolize "excessive power." I can hear two Crows yelling at each other.
That one band SLAYER once did a song called "Angel of Death." Daisy and Millie saw the Video that went with the song and it's about the Nazis; especially this S.S. Doctor named Joseph Mengele. That SLAYER album was called "Reign of Blood" Dais told me.
Mr. Steve told us one time that back in the 1980's SLAYER'S logo resembled one of the Nazi Eagle emblem. He had drawn that version of the Nazi Eagle as a kid so noticed the resemblance right away. Samson and Delilah are flying to the southeast toward Libby's Corral.
From what Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie that one time, back in the mid-1960's the WHO'S Keith Moon and ROLLING STONES Brian Jones wore Nazi uniforms. But they weren't Nazi's or anything like that. They just wanted to shock and possibly even offend.
Mr. Steve says one time, as a "Farce," Keith Moon and Vivian Stanshal of the BONZO DOG BAND dressed up in Nazi uniforms. Keith Moon even put on a Hitler mustache. Brian Jones of the ROLLING STONES wore an S.S. uniform to cause a lot of controversy.
Many years ago our boss met a girl who was studying what they call "Graphic Arts." They had a good conversation. That girl told Mr. Steve; "It seems like every time I turn around I see what looks like Fascist influences." Mr. Steve told her she was not wrong.
For many years Mr. Steve told that girl, he's noticed it too. She was not an artist like he is so did not realize oftentimes what she was actually looking at. Because he's drawn emblems and logos all of his life he tends to notice things like that more than most people.
Mr. Steve thinks the "Goose-Stepping" hammers in that one band PINK FLOYD'S movie "The Wall" was obviously influenced by the Italian and German parades under Mussolini and Hitler. China and North Korea's military's still use the Goose Step to impress.
Just because PINK FLOYD uses Fascist imagery does not make them Nazis our boss says. It just conveys the idea of symbolic "Lock Step" thinking like what Aldous Huxley and George Orwell warned against. And marching hammers is a good visual image of power.
That girl asked our Chief about the rumor that David Bowie was a Nazi. He told her those rumors were probably not true. In the late 1970's he explained, David Bowie lived in Germany. And for a time, like millions of others, he was "infatuated" by Adolph Hitler's era.
Mr. Steve says it is unbelievable to think how Adoph Hitler, a homeless "Drifter" living over there in Vienna; later came pretty close to conquering the world. How he did that is interesting to many people. One of the ways he did it was his use of symbols and imagery of power.
DAVID BOWIE (1976)
Mr. Steve read that back in 1976 David Bowie supposedly gave the Fascist arm salute while standing in a convertible Car. Later he told people that he was simply caught "mid-wave" by a photographer in that image from 1976. I smell a Gopher somewhere around here.
In this Encyclopedia it has a few of David Bowie' quotes from the 1970's. One time he said; "Hitler's overall objective was very good, and he was a marvelous morale booster. I mean, he was a perfect figurehead." Blackbeard and Anne Bonney just coasted bye.
OSWALD MOSLEY (1896-1980)
Mr. Steve told that one girl it didn't help David Bowie in 1976 that he was wearing all black in that photo. That's what Benito Mussolini's "Black Shirts" wore in Italy. And so did this other man named Oswald Mosley who was a British Fascist. I see the Gopher over there.
One time our boss read that David Bowie's mother was supposedly an admirer of that guy Oswald Mosley in the 1940's. And so were other English people. Hitler thought the British were his "natural allies" in many ways. Some of our neighbor's Duck's are quacking.
In that story about David Bowie Mr. Steve read that while living in Berlin in the late 1970's David Bowie bought a desk used by Joseph Goebbels; the Nazi Propaganda Minister. But that does not mean he was a Nazi he says. The Gopher went back down into it's hole.
Since 1945 when World War II ended Nazi imagery has influenced much of Popular Culture entertainment Mr. Steve says. And one reason he thinks is because people actually like violence. And Nazism is now symbolic of power and violence. I hear a Crow cawing.
Mr. Steve says David Bowie might be like a lot of people who, for a time, especially when a young person, are fascinated by the "Phenomena" of Fascism. Some of the music David Bowie made while living in Berlin was dark. But later he changed his mind about Nazism.
One time at C.S.U.N. Mr. Steve and his class were shown Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. Afterward, our boss was standing in a Parking Lot with this guy who was amazed at what they had just seen. Then that guy said reflectively; "Boy, it's too bad I'm Jewish."
IGGY AND THE STOOGES
Our Chief told that one girl the Nazi "Memorabilia" market is big. Every year millions of dollars are spent on things related to 20th century Fascism he said. Many people "collect" these things. The guitar player from IGGY AND THE STOOGES had a big collection.
Daisy told me that, in his office on one of his bookshelves, Mr. Steve has a number of things like knives and models that are Fascist-themed. And he has a lot of books on Fascism on that one bookshelf too Dais says. I can hear two Crows fighting out there in the desert.
Just because someone is interested in 20th century Fascism doesn't mean they believe in the "Ideology." David Bowie is not unlike many people who think what happened in Germany was important "Sociologically." Blackbeard and Anne are flying bye right now.
Mr. Steve told us David Bowie was one of the few people in the early days of "M-TV" who pointed out how few Black music Videos were shown. From what our boss says, in those days Black artists were only shown really late at night when few people were watching.
Mr. Steve thinks, in his subjective opinion, to this day, if hypnotized, many people, even those whites, Asians and Latinos who live in cities, would admit they don't like seeing too many Black people in entertainment. But this was especially true back in the early 1980's.
One time Mr. Steve read that David Bowie once called "Adolph Hitler" the "first Rock Star" because he was the first person to do events at "Mega-Arena" level. And some of the big events the Nazis put on in the outdoor Stadium at Nuremburg went far beyond an Arena.
A few years ago Mr. Steve saw a show about the band MÖTLEY CRÜE. One of them said their goal was to always try to be "bigger, louder and faster" than anyone. Well that's pretty much what the Nazis used to say too. They put on perfect "Rock" type events.
It was about 1998 when Mr. Steve had the conversation about Fascism with that one girl. So she was familiar with Michael Jackson's 1995 Tour called "History." It was so obvious Michael Jackson was using "blatant" Fascist imagery throughout that Tour they agreed.
NAZI PARTY RALLY (NUREMBUEG / 1935)
When that girl mentioned Michael Jackson's History Tour Mr. Steve told her about all the gigantic Nazi "Rally's" from the 1930's. That impression of sheer irresistible power was what Michael Jackson obviously was trying to imitate back then in 1995.
Back in 1998 Mr. Steve jokingly made a prediction to that girl who was the Graphic Artist. He said someday a Rap or Hip Hop band would use black as a primary color and white and red as secondary colors in a Video. That was the color "scheme" of the Nazis.
Mr. Steve admits he's anything but an expert on Rap music. In fact, he says he knows very little about the subject. But he knows that in today's entertainment market shock and power are appealing. In fact Mr. Steve says, the shock market has existed since the 1950's.
Using Hegel's Dialectic, our Chief thinks you can predict that a Hip Hop artist will use Fascist or even Nazi imagery someday to sell a song. Power and strength will always be appealing to a lot of young people.
Adolph Hitler was a bad man and a "failed" artist. But he had an eye for "Aesthetics." It was his idea to slightly twist the swastika at an angle in the Nazi logo. Being a Graphic Artist herself that girl called the idea "brilliant." It creates a sense of movement.
From what Mr. Steve says, Adolph Hitler had others propose designs for uniforms and what they call "insignias." That's just another word for an emblem. But he had "the final word" as they say and often made slight changes. He approved the use of the "Totenkopf."
In German Totenkopf means "Death's Head" even though one time this girl from Germany told our boss that the more correct word would probably be "Todeskopf;" except that there is no such word in German. Fannie and Freddie just swooped past the three Sheds.
Dais thinks that the Totenkopf looks kind of like the "Skull and Bones" emblem on 17th and 18th Pirate flags. Hitler put in on the front of the black SS hats. The Totenkopf has been used on German uniforms for many years; since the late 18th century at least.
There's a picture in this Encyclopedia of a 19th century soldier wearing a big furry hat with the Totenkopf on the front. Mr. Steve says Hitler often took familiar ideas and images from the past and then did what they call "updated" them for his own particular use.
Hey God! As You know Mr. Steve says Adolph Hitler spoke of "Lebensraum" or "Living Space." He knew that in German history the concept of "Drang Nacht Auseten" or "Move to the East" was familiar. He was an Atheist but used Christian symbolism.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Mr. Steve told that girl who was a Graphic Artist about this one 1980's New York City band called Living Color. They had this song called "Cult of Personality;" a phrase describing Joseph Stalin's situation but "applicable" to Benito Mussolini or Adolph Hitler too.
But also to Michael Jackson he said.
A few years ago that band from Ireland called U2 did a tour where they definitely tried to re-create the atmosphere of one of Hitler's Party Rallies. At least that's what our boss thinks.
Even though it's not on my outline I feel like learning about England and it's current Queen. "Technically," England still has a Monarchy. So right now this really nice lady named Queen Elizabeth II is their "Head of State." I can smell one of the new Cholla cactus.'
Queen Elizabeth II is not as powerful as the first Queen Elizabeth from way back in the 16th century. At least that's what Mr. Steve says. This new Queen Elizabeth is only what they call a "figurehead." She seems nicer than the original Queen Elizabeth from the 1500's.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Mr. Steve told us that even though England was on the winning side in World War II they still lost because they had to give up much of their empire. They had the world's most powerful navy for hundreds of years so could do whatever they wanted. I hear a Crow cawing.
I just looked up in my Encyclopedia this one pretty girl named "Diana." She married Queen Elizabeth's son that made her a "Princess." Princess Diana had two sons but she died in France back in the 1990's when the car she was in was speeding and then crashed.
PRINCESS DIANNA (1961-1997) WITH SONS
Daisy says one time our Chief told her and Millie that Princess Diana's sons seem different from each other. One is named William seems very "down to earth" and "responsible." The other one is named "Harry" and he sometimes does "oddball" type things.
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says that Princess Diana and that lady Mother Teresa died within a few days of each other. But because Diana was way more famous her death totally "drowned out" Mother Teresa's. I just picked up the scent of our neighbors flowers.
I guess Princess Diana and Mother Teresa dying so close in time to each other is like when Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis died on the same day President Kennedy was shot. And also like when Darby Crash committed suicide on the same day John Lennon was killed.
Wow! In my Encyclopedia it shows photos of when Princess Diana and later her son William got married. Princess Diana and what would have been her daughter in law wore some beautiful dresses and their husbands nice uniforms. Soldiers also wore Napoleonic era uniforms.
I guess one of the strange things that Princess Diana's youngest son Harry did was wear to a coustume party a Nazi armband. But he really isn't a Nazi Mr. Steve told us. He just has sort of a strange sense of humor. I can really smell those flowers next door now.
Mr. Steve thinks that because Adolph Hitler knew well the value symbolism. Nowadays all of the logos and emblems he came up with are "underground cool" he says. And oftentimes people don't even know they're wearing Nazi logos and other things like that.
Even though he never wears shirts that have writing on them our boss has a big collection of T-shirts, jackets and jerseys from sports and music in the two hall closets Daisy says. One of the T-shirts shows that guy Jimmy Page of LED ZEPPELIN wearing an SS hat.
Mr. Steve bought that LED ZEPPELIN T-shirt in 1976. It was from LED ZEPPELIN'S American Tour of that year. Actually Dais told me, our boss bought two of those T-shirts with Jimmy Page wearing a Nazi hat. He recently sold one of them for sixty five dollars.
Here in the High Desert are some what they call "Neo-Nazis." One of them saw the guy who bought the T-shirt wearing it I guess. The next thing you know Mr. Steve has been offered over one hundred dollars for the other T-shirt. But he says he's just going to keep it.
Dais says not only did Jimmy Page wear that black Nazi hat; he also wore knee-length "Jack Boots" like the ones Hitler's brown-shirted "Storm Troopers" used to wear. As I've mentioned before, SS stands for "Schutzstaffel" or ""Defense Corps" in German. I smell Juniper.
As I wrote earlier, in German Storm Troopers is "Sturmabteilung;" or "S.A." for short. In 1934, the year after he took power in Germany, Adolph Hitler used Heinrich Himmler's SS to kill the leaders of his brown-shirted Storm Troopers. I wrote about it this morning.
According to Mr. Steve, references to or use of Nazi terms is still used in Popular Culture entertainment. That guy Ted Nugent once wrote a song called "Storm Troopin." And Dais told me one time the RAMONES have a really good song called "Blitzkrieg Bop."
In the movie "Star Wars" the villain "Darth Vader's" army were called Storm Troopers. At least that's what Daisy told me. She and Millie watched that movie one time when they were in Mr. Steve's Bedroom. A Thrasher Birds ran under Manny. I smell a Cholla cactus.
Dais was right. A picture of Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers in my Encyclopedia shows how Darth Vader's shiny black helmet is obviously meant to look like one those German "Coal Scoop" helmets. As I've mentioned before; "Stahlhelm" means "Steel Helmet."
A while back our boss saw a documentary on a bass player from England named "Lemmy." He leads the band MOTÖRHEAD and at times wears an "Iron Cross" medal just like the ones Hitler earned in the First Word War. He also wears Nazi hats. I hear Crows cawing.
"LEMMY" KILMISTER OF MOTÖRHEAD
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie he doesn't think Lemmy believes in Nazi ideas. He, like many people, just thinks the Nazis designed "cool" looking logos and uniforms. Daisy thinks Lemmy would be impressed if he ever saw our boss's military hat and helmet collection.
Daisy told me one time she's noticed how some Hard Rock bands like MOTÖRHEAD, BLÜE ÖYSTER CÜLT and MÖTLEY CRÜE use the double dot German "Umlaut" accent in spelling their names. That's more German than Nazi influence our boss told us. I smell Sage.
A friend of Mr. Steve saw a MOTLEY CRUE concert and noticed that bass player Nikki Sixx wore a red armband without a "Swastika." And guitar player Mick Mars' hat had a kind of "Totenkampf" or "Death's Head" emblem on the front. I hear some Crows cawing.
And, over the years people like Michael Jackson have worn similar red armbands. I really smell a Joshua tree.
The Swastika now represents evil because in the "Holocaust" the Nazis tried to kill all of the Jews. But Mr. Steve says two thousand years before Adolf Hitler chose it as his symbol it was used by the Celts, Hindus and Buddhists. Hitler first saw it on a Christian church.
When he was a small boy in Austria I guess Hitler was in a "Choir" and noticed a Swastika on a wall of this Catholic Church. He
According to my Encyclopedia the "crooked" or "twisted" cross was originally what the call "Sanskrit."
Mr. Steve told us he's seen a number of Punk and Heavy Metal musicians with tattoo's of Iron Cross's. The Iron Cross is also called a "Maltese" Cross because the people from this one island called "Malta" in the Mediterranean Sea like it just like the Germans still do.
Another thing our Chief noticed was how Lemmy has Cowboy boots he designed himself that use the Iron or Maltese cross "Motif." They're really nice our boss says. Another Nazi symbol which Lemmy seems to like to use is Totenkopf skull and crossbones logos.
As I mentioned, Totenkopf means Death's Head. It's the emblem on the front of the S.S. hats. Mr. Steve told us Mick Mars of MÖTLEY CRÜE at times wears a tall "Top" hat with a version of the Totenkopf on the front of it. Fannie and Freddie are flying by right now.
Oh! Max and 99 the Hummingbirds just flew in and are now drinking some food out of their containers. One of the Quail Company's are filing out into the eastern desert behind the three Sheds. They're now going through the thin openings on either side of the back gate.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
In the late 1980's, down at the Forum,our boss took pictures of that band ROUGH CUTT. One of their guitarists used a guitar painted in desert camouflage brown with a black Swastika on it. This was the "Camo" pattern used by Erwin Rommel's "Afrika Korps."
Mr. Steve has seen Blue Öyster Cult play a few times. They're always good. He still has some of their vinyl records. The first time he saw them was in 1974; with friends at the Palladium. On that night they wore leather like "West Side Story." They're from New York City.
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT
Daisy says our boss told her and Millie about one time when he and his friend Mark Ritter had to tow a laser down to the Long Beach Arena so B.O.C. could use it in their concert. This was when they were both working for Laser Images down in Van Nuys.
Daisy says some of the members of B.O.C. are Jewish. And yet one of their albums is called "Secret Treaties" and on the cover it shows them standing in front of a Nazi Me-262 jet from World War II. And their own logo is shown on the tail.
B.O.C.'s logo, just like the one Hitler designed, is a red shield with a white oval in the middle. Inside the oval is a black emblem. This other singer named Marilyn Manson at one time also had a logo that looked like the B.O.C. logo. Both looked like the flag Hitler designed.
Daisy told me that Secret Treaties has some really good songs on it. One is called "Flaming Telepaths." On Flaming Telepaths our boss told her and Millie that he thinks he hears guitarist Buck Darma's Jewish influence on his amazingly melodic "leads."
Buck Darma is one of the best lead guitarists our boss has ever seen. Another song on Secret Treaties is "Dominance and Submission." Our boss read a description of the lead on that song as "searing." Mr. Steve says Hitler used the words dominance and submission a lot.
It's not just Hard Rock and Heavy Metal acts which use Nazi symbolism or wear what they call Nazi "regalia" our Chief says. In 2112 that girl Madonna used a Swasitka up on stage to be "provocative" and as they say;"push the envelope" to get attention.
In 1995 Michael Jackson used Nazi "megalomanic" images on his tour. And Mr. Steve told us a member of one of his favorite bands, a British band called the CLASH, came from a band called LONDON SS. And so did members of this other band called the DAMNED.
I've never heard any songs by that band the CLASH. Daisy has. One time her and Millie listened to a song called "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" And she told me, they also have this other really good song called "Rock the Casbah." I want to hear that song someday.
Because Nazi symbolism is now what they call "stigmatized" some people see it even when it isn't there. Some see Fascist influence even in things like the GRATEFUL DEAD'S famous skull logo. But Mr. Steve says now any imagery of power is associated with Fascism.
Mr. Steve has seen many guitar players. In his subjective opinion, the best are able to go from rhythm to lead and vice-versa "instinctively." That made Jimi Hendrix great; even though our boss never saw him play. Jim Hendrix never used or needed a second guitarist.
\ The best guitarists our Chief ever saw in person were Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mick Mars of the band MÖTLEY CRÜE and Billy Zoom of X. They create good "tones" and have the ability to "fluidly" go back and forth from rhythm to lead. I smell a Creosote bush.
STEVIE RAY VAUGHN MICK MARS
Mr. Steve thinks Tony Iommi, Brian May of QUEEN and Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP are good guitarists. All go from rhythm to lead as if it were "second nature." All make a difficult thing look easy just like a good athlete makes sports look easy. I smell a Joshua tree.
My Chief says what makes Mick Mars even more impressive is the fact that he has a painful bone disease that not "treatable." At times it looks like it's painful for him to just walk and he's sort of hunched over he told us. Mick Mars gets good tones Mr. Steve says.
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
The band X are from Los Angeles. Mr. Steve has seen them play three times. One time, at that place in Reseda called the Country Club, he got to stand to the side of the stage. So he saw "first hand" how amazing Billy Zoom is. I can small our neighbors flowers.
Mr. Steve says the first time he saw ZZ TOP play was down in Hollywood at the Palladium. They were one of the opening acts. When they played this one song called "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" our Chief and his friends were very impressed. A Wren just flew bye.
That first time our Chief saw ZZ TOP was in 1974. Soon after he and his friends bought their album called "Tres Hombres;" which is Spanish for "Three Men." Mr. Steve still likes that song Beer Drinkers even though he doesn't raise Hell and has never liked the taste of beer.
Brian May of QUEEN
is another really good guitar player. Our Chief saw him play at the Santa Monica Civic in the mid-1970's and was amazed. A few years later he and Sandy saw Queen do a concert at the Forum. This Irish band called Thin Lizzy opened up for them.
WITH CHILDREN BRIAN MAY CUSTOM GUITAR
In Mr. Steve's opinion what sets Brian May "apart" and unique is an ability to get sounds that don't sound like a guitar. And Queen wrote some "anthems" which are still played at sporting events to this day he says. Queen were very talented musicians he thinks.
One time that kid Jeremy forgot to bring a guitar "pick" so Mr. Steve gave him a dime to use instead. It worked pretty good. My boss had read that both Billy Gibbons and Brian May at one time or another used coins instead of picks to play their guitars.
When Mr. Steve first heard Brian May play he knew there was something different but he "couldn't put his finger on it." Later he found out Brian May's father built his son the red guitar he still plays. Brian May thinks of it as female, calling it the "Old Lady."
In 1990 our Chief and Harriet went to see Stevie Ray Vaughn play a concert with this famous British guitar player named Jeff Beck. In the 1960's Jeff Beck was in this band with Jimmy Page called the Yardbirds. Eric Clapton had been in the Yardbirds earlier.
Daisy told me that our boss has an old vinyl record by the Yardbirds but she's never heard it. The concert with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jeff Beck was downtown at the Sports Arena. Jeff Beck seemed "distracted" that night. But that's just Mr. Steve's opinion.
The Sports Arena is where Mr. Steve saw that band Def Leppard play with their one-armed drummer. And it's where he and his girlfriend Harriet saw a few Clippers N.B.A. Basketball games when her father bought some Season Seats back in the late 1980's.
STEVIE RAY VAUGHN / JEFF BECK
Not along after Mr. Steve and Harriet saw Stevie Ray Vaughn play he was killed in a bad Helicopter crash. Thinking about that makes me remember that Heathcliff won't be around any more. I wonder what it's going to be like around here? I already miss Heathcliff!
Whenever our Chief wants to play someone a song which shows how a great guitarist can go from rhythm to lead he plays them this song called "Scuttle Buttin;" the first song on Stevie Ray Vaughn's 1984 live album recorded at New York City's famous Carnegie Hall.
Scuttle Buttin is an instrumental Mr. Steve says. Stevie Ray Vaughn opened his show with it. He told us the man who introduced them on that one night in New York City called it "smokin." One of these days I really want to hear that song. Dais says it's great.
According to my outline the next thing I want to write about is a band from Los Angeles named X. Mr. Steve saw them play three times and told us that some of their songs are kind of a Hard Rock form of 1950's Rockabilly. I hear Ducks quacking next door.
Mr. Steve told us that X's bass player John Doe and his then wife Exene's voices blended well in harmony together. Dais says our boss likes X's drummer because he's steady and consistent. But guitarist Billy Zoom was the one who gave their music "the edge."
THE BAND X
One time at that place called the "Country Club" in the city of Reseda Mr. Steve saw X play. Reseda is in the western part of the Valley and the Country Club is also where he took pictures many times of the Boxing matches. A group of Birds just flew bye high up in the sky.
On that night at the Country Club Mr. Steve was allowed to stand up on stage just off to the side of Billy Zoom. Because he as so close to the band he was able to really study Billy Zoom. He says it was amazing. And he also watched Bonebreak closely as he played drums.
That one night at the Country Club was when our Chief was realized just how unbelievably talented that guy Billy Zoom was. He went from rhythm to lead guitar so "fluidly" that he made it "look easy" as they say. Mr. Steve and his friends were really impressed he says.
Rockabilly music was born in the 1950's. Mr. Steve has heard the music of people like Gene Vincent and early Elvis Presley. But he told us he likes the harder rock way Billy Zoom plays it. One reviewer said Billy Zoom's playing was at times like being "punched in the gut."
BILLY ZOOM / TOP JIMMY
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
A few years later, at the Palomino in North Hollywood, my Chief and his girlfriend Harriet saw Billy Zoom play behind this singer named "Top Jimmy." Mr. Steve took pictures of that show. Top Jimmy, who died of alcoholism, was a good singer.
You know God, so many people die every day! And so do Dogs and Cats too. But every time today that I think about death I can't help but think about Heathcliff. Right now I can see Birds flying all about out in our back half acre. This also makes me sad about Heathcliff.
Top Jimmy was once a "roadie" for X just like Mr. Steve was when he was a teenager. This is a lot harder job than it looks my boss says. Moving and then setting up equipment sure makes you sweat a lot! But when you're young he says, even the small amount of money you make, if you make any money at all, seems well worth it.
Van Halen later wrote a good song about Top Jimmy. My boss says Top Jimmy, who was X's Roadie in that documentary "Decline of Civilization," sounded to him and Harriet kind of like a heavier version of Jim Morrison of the Doors; who also died early.
Both Top Jimmy and Jim Morrison, as well as Janice Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix, were like "flares" who "burnt out early" Mr. Steve thinks. At least Heathcliff the Rooster had a long life; at least a long life as far as Roosters go. I hear some Crows cawing faintly to the east.
WILLIAM BLAKE THE DOORS
Mr. Steve was told a few years ago that the Doors got their band name from one of Aldous Huxley's books called "The Doors of Perception." But our Chief says, this was also the title of a poem by the British writer William Blake; who Jim Morrison admired.
Oh! A Gopher Snake is crawling under Manny the Shed. And it's dragging a Gopher! Poor Gopher! That's a really big Snake. It will now take its time and maneuver the dead Gopher into position to swallow it whole. I just noticed Fannie and Freddie are flying bye.
Mr. Steve told us two new German words. My Dictionary says “Shadenfruede” means "to take pleasure in others misfortune.” Dais and I aren't envious or jealous of each other and we do have "Gemoitlich zuzamen" which means "a warm feeling around each other."
We're a team Daisy and I! Our boss jokes that, in a “Civil War sense," I'm like “Stonewall” Jackson to Daisy's Robert E. Lee; or, William Tecumseh Sherman to Grant. I'm more of what they call the the "unpredictable element" to Daisy's steady consistency Mr. Steve jokes.
SHERMAN / GRANT JACKSON / LEE
There are times when Daisy calms me down when I get too excited but, on the other hand, at times I get her “fired up!” when she's tired. We try to help each other and are always there for each other Daisy and I. We're best friends! Thank all of You Guys up there!
One of my joke nicknames is “Chaos;” while Daisy's “Order.” This seems funny to our boss somehow. I think I get it but I'm getting much better at controlling my emotions. In fact, I think that writing these three books has helped me a lot. At least that's what I want to believe.
Because Mr. Steve thinks most things in life are dual in nature, he reminds Daisy and I that while there are positive stories about two individuals working or living together, there are also an equal number of old stories about that particular situation ending badly.
Dais told me that our boss one time told her and Millie that one of the ultimate ironies of life is that children can give parents the greatest joy but; also have the potential to give the greatest sorrow. Samson and Delilah are gliding bye; moving out into the eastern desert.
CAIN AND ABEL ROMULUS AND REMUS
In the Book of Genesis our Chief says, Cain ended up killing his brother Abel. And later, in the ancient Roman “origin” myth Romulus killed Remus. Sometimes those who are the closest to you are the ones who can do you the most harm. A Crow just cawed faintly.
"On his own," in 1985 Mr. Steve took his Time-Life book on Rome and walked around the city. He visited a Museum with a lot of what they call "Busts" or what my Dictionary says is; "A sculpture of a person's head and shoulders." Greeks and Romans liked making Bustsl
Mr. Steve has Busts in our house. But they're not original. One is of the Roman Goddess Diana and another one near our fireplace is of that guy Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Steve's father bought them many years ago and now they're all staying with us.
In ancient Rome a leader always had to keep "Looking over your Shoulder" as they say. There was always someone trying to kill you. Mr. Steve noticed that in that Museum in Rome how many of the Emperors were killed. Fannie and Freddie are flying bye.
"WILD" BILL HICKOCK (1837-1876)
I guess being an Emperor in Rome was sort of like being an Old West Gunslinger like that guy "Wild" Bill Hickock. There was always someone around who hoped to kill you. But instead of wanting power it was "Bragging Rights" on being better than you were using guns.
Another thing Mr. Steve noticed when he walked around that Museum in Rome was that in many cases it was the Praetorian Guards who were supposed to be protecting them who ended up killing a lot of the Roman Emperors. Blackbeard and Anne are flying bye.
CALIGULA (12 B.C.-41 A.D.) ELAGABALUS (203 A.D.-222 A.D.) TIBERIUS (42 B.C.-37 A.D.)
I guess in ancient Rome the assassination of leaders was pretty common. Mr. Steve says it seems like a lot of people were poisoned through their food and drink. Sometimes they had some Slaves as what they call "Food Tasters." I can hear two Crows Squawking.
The Praetorian Guards killed the Emperors Caligula and Elagabalus; and possibly Tiberius. They were assigned to protect the Emperors but may've lost trust and respect for them. So they just went ahead and killed them. Violence was very common in the ancient world.
NERO (54-68 A.D.)
Yesterday in book two I wrote about the Emperor Nero. He either killed himself or had his Slave do it for him because he heard that his Praetorian Guard was on the way over there to assassinate him. His last words supposedly were; "What an artist dies with me."
Charlie the Quail Company are now streaming into the yard through the two thin openings on either side of the gate. It makes me feel better just seeing and smelling them. Tomorrow is sure going to be weird not having Heathcliff around to announce the day for us.
Hey Lord! As You know of course. cruelty was also common in ancient Rome. Almost all of the Emperors could be cruel for political purposes. That one guy Pontius Pilate killed You for political reasons. Sometimes it was more convenient just to a ahead and kill people.
According to what Mr. Steve told Daisy and myself, the Emperor Caligula had a Cousin of his put to death because, as Tiberius' Grandson; he was a "Threat to the Throne" as they say. I would hate to be stabbed with a knife or sword. Boy, that would hurt so much!
JULIUS CAESAR (100-44 B.C.)
On Thursday in book one I wrote about what they call the "Ides of March" or March the 15th. That's the day when that guy Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by some of the Roman Senators. As I mentioned then, Mr. Steve's sister Susan was born on the 16th.
Even though all the Roman Emperors killed people, some seemed crueler than others. As I mentioned in book two yesterday, when the city of Rome burned Nero blamed Christians. He had them impaled and then burned alive. He used their burning bodies for light.
But that one Emperor named Caligula seemed even worse than all the other Emperors. His father had been a famous General but someone poisoned him. And for a years Caligula had to live out on this island called "Capri;" which is where the Emperor Tiberius lived.
TIBERIUS (42 B.C.-37 A.D.)
If you didn't do what Tiberius wanted he would just have you thrown off of a one thousand foot cliff. Down below was the Mediterranean Sea. But where the bodies would land was jagged rocks. Mr. Steve once met a guy who as a Tourist stood up on those tall cliffs.
A few years ago Mr. Steve met a lady who knew a lot about the "Julio-Claudian" families of Rome. They talked about how it's possible Caligula personally killed the old Tiberius so he then could be Emperor. At first I guess the people liked Caligula. He even gave out money.
Mr. Steve says that he and the lady talked about how Caligula got really sick and even went into a Coma for a while. And when he woke up he was different. After that he liked cruelty and at times killed just for fun. From then on the ruled through fear and intimidation.
Roman The Gladiatorial Games were violent by definition. Most Romans really enjoyed seeing the Gladiators fighting. I guess it was kind of like their Boxing. Bloodshed was just one form of Roman entertainment. They even liked watching Animals kill people.
Yesterday in book two I wrote about that one French painter named Jean-Léon Gerome. He did a painting of the winning Gladiator asking the crowd if he should kill the defeated foe by stabbing him through the throat. As I mentioned, Mr. Steve's mom likes Gerome.
As bloody as Gladiator Games could be, there was not enough bloodshed for Caligula. So he just used his power to change the rules so there would be more bloodshed. I guess Caligula took cruelty to "a whole different level" as they say. I hear two Crows squawking.
As I just said, for the last few years of the Emperor Tiberius' life a young Caligula lived with him out there on his island of Capri. So during that time Caligula witnessed what that one lady described as "excessive depravity and perversion." He thought it was normal.
Mr. Steve and that lady talked about how some people think Caligula's sickness made him go insane. Not only did he use terror as a tool more than other Emperors but I guess one time he even wanted to make his Horse a Roman Senator. I see Libby over there.
I've written about that guy Heinrich Himmler. He would agree with Caligula who said one time that he didn't care if people loved him "as long as they feared him." Tomas de Torquemada at the time of the Inquisition and that gangster Albert Anastasia were like that too.
But eventually Caligula "went to far" so to speak. He wanted to be "worshiped" as a God. And then he insulted some of his own Praetorian Guards. So they killed him and "installed" his Uncle Claudius as the new Emperor. Claudius was a lot better I guess.
Wow! I just realized that I'm almost finished with my three books! About two more hours of work and I'll be done. These last three days have been the best days of my life but nothing lasts forever and everything must end at some time. I've learned so much lately.
The next thing on my outline that I want to write about is California in the 19th century. My Encyclopedia says at the beginning of the 1800's California was still part of Spain but in 1821 the people of Mexico rebelled and became their own country. I smell a Jackrabbit.
California was part of Mexico until 1846 when the United States beat Mexico in a war and "acquired" California and much of the Southwest. Then in 1848 gold was discovered up there in Northern California so by 1851 Alta California became an American state.
I want to look up this man named Benjamin Davis Wilson. He's a very important person in the history of California. It says here he was originally from the state of Tennessee but came to California about twenty years before the American Civil War. I see the Jackrabbit.
BENJAMIN DAVIS WILSON (1811-1878) WITH SECOND WIFE
Mr. Steve was right. Benjamin Wilson was on his way to China but decided instead to stay and live over here in California. His first wife was named "Ramona" just like Daisy's Guardian Angel. But she died and he and his second wife were George Patton's Grandparents.
This is interesting. In 1851 Benjamin Davis Wilson was the second "elected" Mayor of Los Angeles. In the years after the Civil War ended in 1865 he was a State Senator. Eventually he owned a lot of land and became really rich. The Jackrabbit just ran out into the desert.
Oh! Mount Wilson down in Los Angeles is named after Benjamin Wilson. Dais says one time our Chief told her and Millie that there's a road in Pasadena, near where Jackie Robinson grew up, called "Wilson" Avenue. And Pasadena also named one of their schools after him too.
My Encyclopedia says that school in Pasadena named in honor of Benjamin Wilson is called "Don Benito." For a time he was head of "Indian Affairs" and was nice to the Native people so they gave him that name. In Spanish "benigno" is "kind." A Finch landed on Manny.
BENJAMIN DAVIS WILSON (1870)
This is interesting. Even though most Native Californians respected him one shot Benjamin Wilson with an arrow. He carried the arrowhead in his shoulder until he died. A flock of Birds just streamed past; flying to the northeastern desert. That Finch just flew off.
It says here in this Encyclopedia that later in his life Benjamin Wilson was a "prominent" state politician but in the 1850's he was what the Spanish called "Alalde" of San Bernardino. I guess Alcalde is an Arabic word for "Village Chief." Mr. Steve is our Alcalde.
I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? According to this Encyclopedia that one place called "Big Bear" is land that used to be owned by Benjamin Wilson. And the reason it's named Big Bear is because they used to hunt Grizzly Bears in the mountains there. I smell a Lizard.
Dais and I are glad no more Grizzly Bears live in our area anymore. It would be so hard to fight one off if it invaded our land. Bears have even sharper teeth than we do and have bigger claws too. Jack the Jackrabbit just whizzed bye; and is now veering out into the desert.
Grizzly Bears are so huge! Daisy weighs about one hundred pounds but a Grizzly Bear is way bigger. A Grizzly Bear could throw Dais and I around like a "Rag Doll." I've never seen a Rag Doll but I guess it must be light in weight. I hear some Wrens chirping.
A Train just whistled faintly to our north. The railroad tracks are about five miles from us and are close to the California Aqueduct which keeps Los Angeles alive. I'm kind of thirsty but since I'm so close to finishing my three books I'll just wait and drink water later.
There's nothing like clean water! As I mentioned in book one, the Lakota Indians say that "Water is Life." So we can't waste any water because we're in this drought. When I drink "my fill" as they say I feel like a Car filled with gas. Food is kind of like a fuel too.
According to my outline the next thing I want to write about is a man from Ireland named William Mulholland. Mr. Steve thinks that if it weren't for him the city of Los Angeles could not be as big as it is. I just picked up the scent of our neighbor's flowers again.
WILLIAM MULHOLLAND (1855-1935)
According to my Encyclopedia that man William Mulholland was the person most responsible for building the "Los Angeles Aqueduct;" which is just a few miles to our north. This Aqueduct is how Los Angeles has gotten enough water to become a big city since back in 1913.
How sad! William Mulholland's mother died when he was seven. His father used to beat him so he ran away from home and joined the British Navy; and arrived here in Southern California in the year 1877. That was twelve years after the end of the American Civil War.
"LOS ANGELES" AQUEDUCT IN THE HIGH DESERT
According to this Encyclopedia the Los Angeles Aqueduct that goes bye near us was first built in 1913; the same year Sylmar changed it's name from Morningside. And William Mulholland "supervised" its construction. Our Pigeons just flew bye; from south to north.
Daisy told me that some people fish in the Aqueduct near our house. She says we could too if there were ever an emergency. Mr. Steve dug a pit just to the right of me. He did it so if we had to we could make fires there. We could cook the Fish. We all love the taste of Fish!
Wow! I guess the water in the California Aqueduct is coming all the way from up in northern California; from this place called "Owens Valley." It's over two hundred and fifty away. I just heard that faint train whistle again. Ah! I'm still smelling our neighbors flowers.
Hey You Guys? I just noticed what time it is and on my outline there are only a few things left to write about. I'm almost finished with my three books! Thank You all again for helping me. One thing these last three days have done is make me appreciate Piñon Hills more.
Thinking about Heathcliff dying and all of the people who our Chief has known who are now dead makes me appreciate how precious life is. We have a lot of good things about our lives even thought to many it would seem kind of boring. I hear Blinky and Dawn barking.
Well, it's back to writing about the that man William Mulholland. Oh! But first I do I want to thank you too Stanley. You've watched over me for three days but today even more it seems; knowing how sad I feel about Heathcliff dying yesterday afternoon.
Lilith, even though you haven't been around for three days you might as well not show up when I'm this close to finishing my three books. It's late in the day Lilith and I "can see light at the end of the tunnel" as they say. So there's no chance I'm going to be lazy at this point.
A big flock of Birds is flying bye way up there in the sky. It's almost the end of the day and I'm really hungry now. Even though I haven't had much of an appetite all day long because of Heathcliff I do now. But first I still have a lot to do before Mr. Steve feeds us.
I'm sure glad I've had these Encyclopedias and Dictionaries for the last three days. I could not have written my three books without them. I've learned how so many new things but the best thing is all the new words I can spell now. A Cow Bird is standing near Jack the Shed.
According to what it says here in my Encyclopedia William Mulholland building of the Los Angeles Aqueduct was huge. And later he was even an "adviser" on the "Panama Canal" and "Hoover Dam" up there in Nevada. Ah! I still smell our neighbors' flowers.
Someday, if I ever overcome my fear of riding in a car, I really want to go see the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Daisy's seen it and doesn't think it's that great. She'd rather see a Roman Aqueduct like the ones our Chief saw over there in Italy and Israel. The Cow Bird ran away.
Mr. Steve thinks William Mulholland most likely used gravity to move water forward by going downward. He probably studied how Roman engineers moved water in Aqueducts back in the ancient world . The Franciscan Priests also built Aqueducts for the Missions too.
LOS ANGELES AQUADUCT
This is interesting. In 1877 when William Mulhalland came to live in Los Angeles the total population was only about nine thousand people. And by 1913 when the Aqueduct was finished Los Angeles had one hundred thousand people and was forty four square miles in size.
Wow! By 1920 Los Angeles "encompassed" about three hundred and sixty square miles and had over five hundred thousand people. And it was mainly because of the Aqueduct. Mr. Steve told Dais it's right in Sylmar where the water first enters into Los Angeles.
WM. MULHOLLAND (1913) AQUEDUCT IN SYLMAR
Because Mr. Steve grew up in the Northeast corner of the San Fernando Valley he knew all about the Los Angeles Aqueduct even before moving up here. Oh! Fanny and Freddie are flying in from the east. Their day is almost over. And I'm almost done with my three books!
It says here in this Encyclopedia, in 1913, in Sylmar, when William Mulholland "officiated" the ceremony opening up the Aqueduct, he just said "take it" when the water gates were opened. Rudy the Roadrunner just jogged past but didn't see me here on my couch.
Dais says one time in our Chief's bedroom her and Millie listened to songs by this band called The Doobie Brothers. They're from northern California and have a song called "China Grove." It has good guitar and piano she says. Millie thought the Doobie Brothers sing good.
When Daisy and Millie were in Mr. Steve's bedroom listening to music they looked at a Doobie Brothers album cover. It showed them in 19th century clothes riding in a Stage Coach. The pictures were taken in Sylmar; near the Aqueduct.
Dais told me one of the pictures on that Doobie Brothers album cover showed them under a part of a Freeway which had collapsed two years before in the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake. Mr. Steve told her that same section also fell over in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
Hey Lord! As you know, someday I want to hear that song by the DOOBIE BROTHERS called "Jesus is Just Alright." Dais says it's so good. Our boss told her and Millie that for a while the DOOBIE BROTHERS were like the GRATEFUL DEAD in having two drummers.
Mr. Steve told Daisy and Millie the band the BYRDS did a version of Jesus is Just Alright. And so did that Surf band the VENTURES. Eric Clapton covered it too. And then there was a Christian Heavy Metal band called STRYPER who played their heavy interpretation of it.
Mr. Steve told Dais about STRYPER. They're from "Orange County" and in the 1980's were a Heavy Metal Hair band that wore all black and yellow suits as a gimmick. STRYPER'S musical instruments were also black and yellow. I smell a Joshua tree.
STRYPER had the same "color scheme" as the professional sports teams from Pittsburgh. But the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates also used white with yellow and black. Our Pigeons just flew in; coming home from the east. I guess it's almost dinner time.
Smelling that Joshua tree reminds me to finish writing about that man William Mulholland. Down in Los Angeles they even named this road after him. But then, toward the end of his life, a disaster happened when one of his Dams broke and killed people.
Mr. Mark, who worked with our Chief but now lives over there in Hawaii; before that lived with his family in a town called "Green Valley." It's located up at the end of this road call "San Francisquito Canyon." I can smell a Sage plant now.
Wow! My Encyclopedia says that in 1928 the Dam at the top of San Francisquito Canyon broke and drowned or killed over six hundred people before it stopped all the way down at the coast of the Pacific Ocean. That Dam was named after Saint Francis.
From what it says here, after the water flooded out of San Franciquito Canyon it "rampaged" through the towns of "Valencia" and "Newhall." The water then went all the way down to the beach; a coastline which is over fifty miles away!
This historian named William Karl said; "The history of California in the 20th century is the history of a state inventing itself with water." I'll bet he thought, like Mr. Steve, that drought has had a huge influence on mankind's history.
Mr. Steve told us about he thinks it was probably a long drought in the 9th century A.D. that destroyed the powerful Mayan Empire down there in Central America. And in ancient Egypt the Old Kingdom was ended by drought.
My Encyclopedia says California is the eighth biggest economy in the whole world! And a big part of that is our method of moving water from one place to another. Mr. Steve says that improvements were made from 1970 through the 1990's.
Our Chief's friend Mr. Cliff, who fought in the Vietnam War, is interested in the subject of "Meteorology." He says California's population doubled from 1970 until the year 2000. And during that period it rained more than usual. I smell a Squirrel.
Mr. Cliff says the last one hundred and fifty years have been "wetter" in California than usual. And California is known by scientists to be "subject to unpredictable weather patterns." For most of the Southwest's history he says the climate has been much drier.
In fact Mr. Cliff says, there have been "dry spells" or "mega-droughts here that have lasted about one hundred years! That means the drought we're in now could be at just the beginning. Ah! I see the Squirrel now. It's standing next to Manny.
Just like you can study the "rings" in trees to see weather patterns, Mr. Cliff says "core samples" from way down deep in the ground prove that the Southwest once had a drought in the 9th century which lasted for nearly two hundred years! The Squirrel ran away.
From what Mr. Cliff told our boss, in the 1200's there was another drought here in California that was one hundred and fifty years long. Both Mr. Steve and his friend Cliff think they need to collect all "runoff" rain a lot better here in California.
Our Chief and his friend Rick know about taking salt out of water. In Israel and also over on Catalina Island Mr. Steve visited "desalination" plants and thinks someday California will have more of them. That one Squirrel just ran away.
Mr. Cliff says California's water system is built around melting snow but if there's less snow to run off then there's also less water. He thinks you need to reward people's good behavior in saving water instead of punishing them for not doing it.
Mr. Steve and his friend Rick know about "reverse osmosis;" which means cleaning and then re-using sewer water. Daisy told me what sewer water is and that sounds kind of gross. But our boss says it works really good and you can even drink it. Yuk!
If you cleaned sewer water you could "recover" eighty percent of it our Chief says. Mr. Cliff says there hasn't been any "new water" for billions of years. We're now still drinking the same water that the Dinosaurs drank he says.
So Mr. Cliff jokes we're already drinking sewer water! It's just that through the millions of years nature has purified it on its own. Boy, writing about water sure makes me thirsty. I see the bucket of water near the sliding glass door.
Mr. Cliff says in Southern California there are a lot of these areas called "Watersheds." Those are low areas where rain collects. For thousands of years the Native Indians here set up their villages close to them so they could get the water and things that live around them.
"WIYOT"S CHILDREN (GABRIELINO VILLAGE OF "SA-ANGNA)
PAINTING BY MARY LEIGHTON THOMSON
Mr. Steve says the Priests at the Spanish Missions also knew about and used the natural Watersheds. And so did the people who lived here after Mexico broke away from Spain. But now paved roads and concrete covers so much of modern California.
That guy Mr. Cliff agrees with our boss. Los Angeles seems to have no interest in adapting to the natural Watersheds any more. Today "Dams," "Culverts" and "Channels," and a lot of cement, have been used to try to control nature. But now we're in a really big drought.
Mr. Cliff thinks Los Angeles should create more water catching areas and also study how the Indians used their knowledge of the way Mountains, Canyons, Wash's and also what they call "Aquifers" were "interconnected." I can smell some of the Sage bushes to the east.
According to my Dictionary the definition of an Aquifer is; "permeable underground rock that can contain or move groundwater." And I guess that "permeable" means spaces in rock where water can sit or move through. I hear Birds chirping in the desert.
Mr. Cliff says, one hundred years ago in "Pomona Valley," the Fruit growers worked with the local government to build these areas called "spreading grounds" that allowed surface water to sink down into the Aquifers below. More people should do that too he thinks.
Mr. Cliff says that during the Winter the "Imperial Valley" and Arizona's "Yuma" District, produces ninety percent of the vegetables for the United States. So, if anything ever happens to our water supply it's "bad news" he says.
A while back our Chief met an older man at the Phelan Library. He told Mr. Steve about this guy named Charles Hatfield. In 1915, right after the Los Angeles Aqueduct was opened, he was hired by San Diego to make it rain because they were in a drought like the one we're in.
CHARLES HATFIELD (1875-1958)
My Encyclopedia says Charles Hatfield claimed he had a secret formula of chemicals that could produce rain. He and his brother set up a tower east of San Diego and shot something up into the sky. Some people now call it "cloud-seeding."
Wow! Whatever that guy Charles Hatfield did worked. In fact, it worked too well. What they call a "downpour" happened and thirty inches of rain fell on San Diego. Fifty people died so everyone was really mad at Charles Hatfield.
I guess Charles Hatfield had to "get out of Dodge" as they say because there were those who wanted to kill him. He never got paid. Boy, too bad we couldn't find out what he did because we could maybe make a lot of money.
I just looked up "Operation Popeye" which was an attempt by the United States military to create rain during the Vietnam War. It lasted from 1967 through 1972; when Mr. Steve was in the eleventh grade at Sylmar High.
This is interesting. Just like that man Charles Hatfield, the U.S. military used cloud-seeding to to make the "monsoon" season longer so it would turn the dirt roads used by the Viêt Công and North Vietnamese into "quagmires." Here's a map of it here in this Encyclopedia.
The supply roads the North Vietnamese were using were called the "Hô chi minh Trail." This is because the leader of North Vietnam at that time was a man named Hô chi minh. For many years he had been one of the most respected leaders in Vietnam.
From what it says here the U.S. cloud seeding, just like Charles Hatfields, worked too well. It did make the rainy season longer. A few years ago Mr. Steve met this nice man from Vietnam. He said relatives drowned because of Operation Popeye. I just looked up Hô chi minh.
HÔ CHI MINH (1111-1111)
I guess Hô chi minh was a famous Communist leader. Even back when Vietnam was a French colony called "Indochina" he was a leader. He fought against the Japanese and in 1954 helped slaughter the French at the battle of "Dien Bien Phu" which I wrote about yesterday. Even though France had been conquered by Hitler's Germany in 1940 after the war they wanted their colonies back. But in Vietnam the people fought against it and kicked the French out. Later Mao tse-tung in China helped Hô chi minh fight the Americans.
It says here that once the United States left Vietnam in the mid-1970's the North Vietnamese renamed the city of "Saigon." It's now called "Hô chi minh city." Hô chi minh died in 1969 so he wasn't around to see that happen. A Crow is cawing.
Mr. Steve thinks weather patterns have often influenced human history; sometimes for good and sometimes for not so good. After the last Ice Age ended about ten thousand years ago people then moved down into North and South America.
One person who benefited from good weather were the Vikings in the 8th century. When it warmed up it allowed them and their Long Ships to travel all the way to the area off of Canada and also down rivers all over Europe and other places. But then it got cold again.
Oh! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this? It says that Charles Hatfield and William Mulholland are buried at the Glendale "Forrest Lawn" cemetery. Our Chief knows of other people who are buried there. A Lizard is standing near the tree.
When our Chief and his friend Mark worked for the sports teams in the mid-1980's they knew an older lady named Helen Graham. She was also a salesman; or a "saleswoman." And Helen Graham died and is buried at Forrest Lawn in Glendale too.
Even though she wasn't on my outline I feel like writing about that lady Helen Graham. Mr. Steve says she lived in Glendale and worked right up until she died in her 80's; not because she had to work but because she wanted to work.
From what Mr. Steve told Dais that one lady Helen Graham, just like the Nuns at Saint Ferdinands and many of the other older ladies he's known, made a big impression on him. She was one of the most "conscientious" people our boss has ever known.
Helen Graham graduated from U.C.L.A. where Mr. Steve's ex-girlfriend Emily works. She was an "Alumni" and used to buy season seats for U.C.L.A. Football games at the Rose Bowl. Her mind was still good right up to the time she died our Chief told us.
In the last years of her life Helen Graham couldn't "get around" as easily. She was over six feet tall, about an inch taller than Mr. Steve. But she wanted to attend Football games. She only could stand up for about ten hours per day so "rationed" that time.
Helen Graham had a bad back so needed someone to take her to the U.C.L.A. games. Mr. Steve at times took her because she could hold onto his arm as they walked; the way President Franklin Roosevelt did with his son to hide that he had polio.
On the day of a Football game Miss Helen laid on her back until Mr. Steve called her from Sylmar to say he was on his way. Then, she got up so when Mr. Steve showed up at her house in Glendale they just left right away for the game. I hear a Sparrow.
Dais says our Chief told her and Millie the seats at the Rose Bowl were too small. He joked the Rose Bowl must've been made when people were much smaller or maybe it was designed for midgets. Mr. Steve says it gets hot sometimes at the Rose Bowl.
At times our boss thinks about Helen Graham. He remembers how logical and intelligent she was even though she was "up in age" as they say. One time he had a dream where he met Helen at that house in Beverly Hills "Pickfair." They hugged each other and talked.
As I mentioned yesterday in book two, Pickfair was the big mansion built by those Silent Movie Actors Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Mary Pickford. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was in that movie called "The Gaucho;" for which U.C.S.B. sports teams were named. I smell a Snake.
I now see the Snake. It's crawling under Moe and just disappeared. I'm sure it will "Bide its Time" as they say; hoping to catch some dinner. I can tell by its smell that Snake is new around here. Ah! A slight breeze just came in from out in the desert to the east. DOUGLAS FAIRBANAKS / MARY PICKFORD AT "PICKFAIR"
This is interesting. My Encyclopedia says Pickfair was the first house in Los Angeles to have a swimming pool built in the ground. Mr. Steve's brother Sam has a pool cleaning business in Littlerock and that area. I just picked up the scent of that Snake.
Wow! I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this! It says here Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford made some of their Silent Movies up here in the High Desert. And the first movie they ever made for their own company was a movie about Zorro called "The Mark of Zorro."
As I mentioned, close to where Mr. Steve's friend Rick lives with his wife Linda, that other Silent Movie Actor named William S. Hart had his house in Newhall. Now it's a nice Western Museum I guess. They used to even have some Buffaloes and Peacocks there.
Oh my God! When movies had sound that man John Wayne made a few movies up near Apple Valley where that guy Roy Rogers and his family lived after they moved from Chatsworth down in the San Fernando Valley. The Snake is now slowly crawling toward Manny.
A lot of famous people visited Pickfair over the years; like Albert Einstein, H.G. Wells, and even President Franklin Roosevelt. That's what Mr. Steve told us. Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh also went to some of the gatherings there. Three Sparrows just flew bye.
Well You Guys, I'm glad I wrote about Helen Graham. Dais says Mr. Steve admired her a lot. Hey! Was it You Guys who made me all of a sudden think about Helen Graham? You know I really want to meet her up there in Heaven.
Mr. Steve says Michael Jackson is buried at the Glendale Forrest Lawn. He said that cemetery has replicas of Michelangelo statues, a stained-glass window of Da Vinci's "Last Supper" and a big painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Wow! A lot of famous people are buried at the Glendale Forrest Lawn cemetery. Actors like Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor and two Marx Brothers are there. Oh! Larry from The Three Stooges, writer Louis L'Amour and Walt Disney are there.
Dais says our boss told her and Millie the man who ran Glendale Forrest Lawn was made fun of by Aldous Huxley who thought it was very ridiculous to have artwork and things like that in a cemetery. But Mr. says he sort of likes it and doesn't mind it at all.
Our boss has been to many cemeteries. He's seen Marilyn Monroe's grave in Westwood and a bronze statue of Joey Ramone in Hollywood. In 2008 he visited "Arlington" National Cemetery in Washington D.C. where this guy named Audie Murphy is buried.
AUDIE MURPHY (1925-1971)
My Encyclopedia says Audie Murphy was one of the most "decorated" soldiers in World War II. Born in Texas, he later lived in California. His father abandoned he and his eleven siblings and their mother died. So, like Annie Oakley, he hunted to make money.
Audie Murphy sure killed a lot of Germans in the Second World War! And after the war he became an actor. He even "played himself" one time. But he developed a gambling habit so lost most of his money. Mr. Steve thinks "Sports Betting" is a dumb thing to do.
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
After World War II Audie Murphy got married and they moved out here to California. He raised Race Horses and raced them at Del Mar. He and his wife "Pamela" had two children. I see Libby walking around over there in her corral.
It seems like a lot of people die in plane crashes; the singer John Denver and the Boxer Rocky Marciano too. Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly were killed in 1959 and that guy Audie Murphy died in a plane accident in 1971. I hear Crows cawing faintly to the east.
AUDIE MURPHY AND FAMILY
After Audie Murphy died his wife got a "clerk" job at the Veteran's Hospital in "Sepulveda" near Sylmar. Mr. Steve has been there with his father who goes there all the time. Mr. Steve's father got to know Pamela Murphy and says she was a good person.
Our Chief says until she died Mrs. Murphy was an "advocate" for ex-soldiers. But to some people she became a "nuisance" so they tried to fire her. But Mr. Steve's father and some other veterans made such a big "stink" about it that she was re-hired. I smell some Sagebrush.
A few years ago our boss met a lady who told him her mother had been a pilot during World War II. That lady's mom and about one thousand other females worked here "stateside" so the men could go "overseas" to fight against the Germans, Japanese and Italians.
That lady said after the Second World War her mom and the other female pilots weren't even given what they all "Veteran" status. This means that they are "ineligible" for the same benefits that the male pilots got. A gray Jackrabbit just ran bye right now.
To this day I guess, the U.S. Army, which runs the Arlington Cemetery, doesn't allow those female pilots from World War II to be buried there. They were called "W.A.S.P.S." or "Women Airforce Service Pilots." Mr. Steve thinks that's wrong. Me too!
Yesterday when I wrote about the Vietnam War I forgot to write about this one girl name Dickey Chapelle. She was a "Journalist" who was killed in Vietnam. At that time she was out "in the combat field" as what they call a "War Correspondent."
DICKEY CHAPELLE (1919-1965)
Wow! That girl Dickey Chapelle must have been brave. Not only did she go into "harms way" and get killed by Shrapnel in Vietnam; she started as a Reporter in World War II. There are two pictures of her here in this Encyclopedia. I hear Crows cawing faintly.
Oh! Mr. Steve will be interested in this. According to my Encyclopedia the last words Dickey Chapelle said to the Priest giving her "Last Rites" in this picture were; "I guess it was bound to happen." Samson and Delilah are now flying bye.
Well, I didn't intend to write so much about females in or around the military but that's okay. I've done that so many times over the last three days I'm used to it now. But right now I'll go back and finish up writing about cemeteries our boss has spoken about.
in times of war Dais says Mr. Steve told her and Millie that the prettiest cemetery he's ever been to was the "Fort Rosecrans" cemetery down in San Diego. It'hs up on this tall hill called "Point Loma" and overlooks San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. I smell a Jackrabbit around here.
WILLIAM ROSECRANS (1819-1898)
My Encyclopedia says Fort Rosecrans cemetery is name after that Union Civil War General named William Rosecrans. He was the guy who's Army of the Cumberland fought at the Battle of Chickamauga in late 1863. I just smelled one of the new Sage plants.
One time in battle the man next to him had his head blown off and blood splattered all over William Rosecrans Mr. Steve says. Sometimes I wonder what I would do if something like that happened to me? I would try not to panic. Dais and our boss wouldn't panic.
This is interesting. It says here in this Encyclopedia that William Rosecrans was almost picked to be President Lincoln's Vice President. And later he was an Ambassador just like Lew Wallace.
And after the Civil War William Rosecrans came out here to California and was a politician and businessman.
It says here, just like William Mulholland, William Rosecrans also has a big road in Los Angeles named after him. Mr. Steve has driven on it. Wow! I guess William Rrosecrans and his wife had eight kids. But he died before the Aqueduct opened up.
I guess, like Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C., the Fort Rosecrans cemetery is mainly for soldiers killed "in the line of duty" as they say. The first ones to be buried there died in the 1846 California Mexican War "Battle of San Pasqual."
Well, the next thing listed on my outline to write about is the Mission Cemetery near the San Fernando Mission. That's where Mr. Steve's Grandmothers are buried and so is his sister Celina. Blackbeard and Anne just landed on top of Manny.
Mr. Steve says he'll probably be buried down at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery. His sister Celina is buried there. And his parents already bought two "Crypts" there. Dais and I would like to visit the Mission Cemetery some day.
Daisy told me our boss joked to her and Millie that he wouldn't mind being buried in our little graveyard next to Lucy, Millie and that other Dog Blackie. Wow! That's where Dais and I will be buried there too. Ritchie Valens is buried at the Mission Cemetery.
RITCHIE VALENS (1941-1959)
One time at the Library in San Fernando Mr. Steve had a nice talk with a lady who knew Ritchie Valens' mom. Like Ritchie Valens family, she was from Pacoima; just south of Sylmar. That lady saw him play on the bleachers at San Fernando Junior High.
Dais thinks its sad Ritchie Valens musical career lasted less than a year. But he and that guy Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in 1959. It had been really cold and Ritchie Valens was sick so, even though he was afraid of flying, he took that last plane ride.
Mr. Steve told Dais Ritchie Valens real last name was Valenzuela; just like that pitcher for the Dodgers named Fernando Valenzuela. That lady at the Library said she saw Ritchie Valens play at the Elks Lodge in San Fernando one time.
That lady told our boss Ritchie Valens was "self-taught" and was really good at just making up or what they call "improvising " new lyrics or riffs on songs everyone knew. And she said, even though he was left-handed, he learned to play guitar right-handed.
When that worker from Mexico Esteban was here Mr. Steve told him he liked Ritchie Valens' La Bamba better than the traditional Folk versions because it's heavier and more Rock and Roll. Ritchie Valens' grave is near our boss's parents Crypts. I smell a Gopher.
Someday, if I've gotten over my fear of going too far inside the house, I want to hear Buddy Holly's songs. Dais says they're so good. I wonder if it's true that the BEATLES thought of their band name because Buddy Holly's band was called the CRICKET'S? I see the Gopher. BUDDY HOLLY (1936-1959) AND THE CRICKETS
Buddy Holly, who was from Texas, died in the same Plane crash as Ritchie Valens. It was up in Idaho and the weather had been terrible I guess. Mr. Steve says Ritchie Valens got sick and the drummer from a band called the BELMONTS even got frostbite in his feet.
Wow! This is interesting. My Encyclopedia shows that Buddy Hollly was born the year after Mr. Steve's mom. But he died in 1959; which was just two years after Mr. Steve's brother Rock was born. Dais had told me that one time how Buddy Holly wore glasses.