I Have Measured My Life Out with Barrooms

Juarez Muchado
“A Bar in Copacabana

The mornings, evenings, afternoons . . . 

TS Eliot, “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

I started hanging out at bars at a very young age because whenever my mother left me alone with my old man, he’d throw me in the car and head off to some hole-in-the-wall near the Navy Base. There were no such things as kiddy car seats in those days. Come to think of it, there were no seatbelts either, at least in the cars we owned. Nor were we stowed in the backseat for safety’s sake.

Whenever Daddy hit the brakes, he’d reflexively extend his right arm as a barrier to prevent us from hurtling into the dashboard with its array of dangerous knobs, seemingly designed with poking out eyes in mind. I was only thrown into the dashboard once when my grandmother let me stand up in the front seat. I lost my front baby teeth, and one of my permanent front teeth grew in discolored and had to be capped. The cap kept falling off, and what was left of the tooth had to be drilled down to fit on another cap. Eventually, when there was hardly anything left, it had to be pulled, which made me look like Alfred E Newman until we acquired a retainer like false tooth.[1]

At any rate, sometimes, if you’re lucky, natural selection doesn’t work out the way it’s supposed to.

That grandmother, a Baptist, despised demon alcohol and considered bars dens of iniquity, though she and her sisters (Pearl and Ruby) traded pharmaceuticals like jelly beans.[2] My mother, though less severe, didn’t like to come home and discover us missing. The story is that she could mysteriously intuit what bar we were at by flipping through the Charleston phone book, which was much thinner in those days in before the Old South turned into the Sunbelt. According to the dubious story, she’d call the bar, offer a description, get the old man on the phone, and he would come dutifully home with little me in tow.

My vague memories of hanging in bars with my father in the mid-Fifties may be manufactured. They may be based more on movies I’ve seen featuring dark, small, smoky spaces. I do clearly remember him playing pinball machines, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. These were in the days before aluminum cans were equipped with pop-tops, a great invention. Back then, bartenders opened cans of beers with small metal openers [see illustrations below] and had to make two openings to create airflow to help gravity along.

That reminds me. When I was around ten, my father had this foolish idea that I needed to drink one beer a week to gain weight – as if the weight gain would be equally distributed along my skeletal frame instead of creating a stick-legged, stick-armed tween with a beer belly. I absolutely detested the taste of beer. Now that I think of it, it may have been a ruse to allow us to have beer in the house.

The next bar I visited in my youth was a roadhouse called Morris Knight’s, a one-story honky-tonk-like establishment about a half-mile from my house. It consisted of two rooms, one with a bar and stools (where they sold candy and fireworks to kids in the day time) and a back room with a vending pool table and a jukebox. One night when we were camping out, we made an excursion there to score some Squirrel Nut Zippers and encountered staggeringly drunk men and women. The fat woman bartender kicked us out, informing us it was no place for children. It seemed at once both sinful and fascinating, Felliniesque in a po-dunk sort of way.

The S & S poolroom, where I hung out in high school, wasn’t, strictly speaking, a bar, though they did sell both draughts and canned beers. They served the most delicious hot dogs ever thanks to their secret chili recipe. Sometimes my mother would have a craving for one, and Daddy would go fetch her “a poolroom hotdog” because “ladies” didn’t dare step inside.

It was tacitly understood that I was not to go into the poolroom, but I did for the first time when I was a 7th grader, the victim of peer pressure. You couldn’t get away with sneaking in there, though, because you would come home with the telltale poolroom smell, a sort of sour smoky odor laced with fried food.

The poolroom was sort of a grander Morris Knight’s and employed young black boys to rack the tables and collect the dime it cost to play a game of nine ball. When the game was over, you’d holler “Rack!” Gambling was allowed. I saw a friend of mine, Glenn Farrar, win a hundred dollars in about forty minutes one time. It was a Friday, payday.  Tensions ran high.

Anyway, my parents eventually didn’t mind my hanging out there, and in the early 70’s a couple of girls actually started frequenting, which sullied their reputations. By then, the hissing sound of the double metal can opener had been replaced by the plunk of tabs you tore off.

You had to be somewhat circumspect in the poolroom, though. Using a word like “whom” might end up getting your “ass cut,” as we locals put it. You weren’t allowed to cuss, though. A “No Profanity” sign was displayed prominently behind the bar beside prints of monkeys shooting pool and playing poker.

You could drink legally at eighteen in those days, so college was where I learned the art of making eye contact with the bartender, the advantages of busing your own tables by returning your bottles, and how leaving a tip could help you get served faster when the joint was busy.

My freshmen year I hung at a place called the Opus that served only Bush Bavarian beer, or at least that’s my memory, but they tore the Opus down to build the new Law School. There was also the Campus Club, a cool space with a wraparound scaffolding-like structure that created a sort of second story but was open to the space below, like the saloons you sometimes see in old Westerns. I liked sitting there in the afternoons after class when dust-moted sunbeams bore down on the tables like spotlights.

Here it is in its new iteration as “The Hunter Gatherer”

I never really liked the Golden Spur, the bar located in USC’s student union building, a sort of cafeteria-like soulless place where unadventurous students hung. Ironically, I ended up tending bar there along with my future wife, who had white-lied to her parents and told them that she worked at “the student center.” The bar did boast some really cool musical acts, like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee. That may have been my best job ever. If we went out after work, it was to Oliver’s Pub on Devine Street, a private club where you could drink on Sundays.

Like a chip off the ol’ block, I started taking my two sons to bars early in their lives.  When then they were pre-adolescents, on nights their mother attended classes to get yet another graduate degree, we’d eat out at bars. Our favorites were the Acme Cantina on the Isle of Palms and Station 22 on Sullivan’s Island. The boys were on a first name basis with the bartender, Fronz, at the Acme, and with Cathy Coleman at Station 22. The big difference between my childhood experience and theirs is that their mother didn’t mind at all, especially on 25-cent wing night.

Now, our sons are in their 30’s, and, of course, we still enjoy venturing out to a bar when they’re home, and Folly Beach where their mother and I now live may have more bars per capita than anywhere in this side of Vegas.  Our favorites are Chico Feo and the Jack of Cups, but the Surf Bar is top-notch as well.

By the way, the worst bar I ever visited was outside of Leningrad on the Bay of Finland.  Black walls, red lights, bad vodka, the reek of Turkish cigarettes, drunken Finns looking for love. It made Morris Knight’s look like a Dairy Queen.


[1] You can read a sad, alcoholic-themed story about that very tooth here.

[2] My grandfather hid half-pints of rum in his dress shoes in his closet.

Doddering Hippies, Tattooed Millennials, and New Born Babes

shark-close-up

Five years ago when I was a younger whippersnapper in my late fifties, for Fall Break, Judy Birdsong and I rented a house in Saluda, North Carolina. That was the weekend when the brilliant South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore blew out his LCS, a seeming disaster that had me rending my garments and sending bootless cries to deaf heaven. Given the travails we’ve faced in the last two years, the sorrow I suffered over Lattimore’s not–anywhere-close-to-life-threatening injury seems a colossal waste of my precious time and a lesson in the importance of perspective.

The very next weekend, our hometown, the City of Folly Beach, celebrated Follypalooza, one of the frequent offseason festivals when the authorities close off vehicular traffic on Center Street. Follypalooza provides an opportunity for local businesses in the offseason to replenish their depleted coffers as daytrippers promenade up and down the boulevard drinking beer, purchasing sidewalk prepared food, and listening to various bands playing jazz or rock from strategically placed makeshift stages.

band-full

In the week between the visit to Saluda and the celebration of Follypalooza 2011, I had written this rather unkind comparison of the two resort communities:

Saluda’s affect – if you can use that word to describe a town – is the complete opposite of Folly’s tawdrylite.  Saluda is your great aunt Christina, once a formidable beauty, now a graceful matron, whereas Folly is your second cousin Brandi who sports a giant Minnie Mouse tat on her shoulder and way-too-short cutoff jeans that slice into her thighs.

However, we wouldn’t want it any other way. As my late mother used to say, “It takes all kinds to make the world/Variety is the spice of life.”  So during halftime of the South Carolina UMass game yesterday, a glorious, crisp, sun-splashed Day of Saturn, my spiritual advisor James T Crow and I walked the six blocks from our homes to Center Street to check out the festivities.

headed up Huron to Center Street

headed up Huron to Center Street

One unfortunate change from the Follypalooza of five years ago is that to imbibe on the street, you have to purchase a wristband ($2), which means standing in yet another line. The nice, chatty first grade teacher in charge joked about not feeling compelled to have me extract my wallet to provide proof that my date of birth was sometime before 22 October 1995.

waiting in line

waiting in line

As I stood in line, Jim rustled up some barbecue, and we met at the Jack of Cups where we had a front row seat for the bucking shark ride.

outside the Jack of Cups

outside the Jack of Cups

Yes, there were a few young kids, a sprinkling of teens, a fair share of tattooed millennials; however, the vast majority of sybarites were old enough to have AARP cards in their wallets, and I witnessed – and what a sad sight it was – doddering hippies, you know men with shoulder length white hair, dressed in tie-dyed t-shirts, wobbling along at a slug’s pace.

old-hippies

My mind wandered off to the nursing home of my future, and I pictured myself among wizened hippies trading stories about how in college they drove halfway across the continent to Mardi Gras while tripping on windowpane acid. “Don’t trust anyone over thirty” was once their dearest slogan, but as Ulysses once said to Achilles, “Time hath, me Lord, a wallet at his back wherein he puts alms to oblivion.”

Yet as Jim and I were preparing to leave, with these melancholy thoughts darkening my day, I bumped into a former student and her mother, a former colleague, pushing in a stroller their son/grandson “Prince Henry.”

prince-henry

Prince Henry

Ah yes! Let’s focus on the positive, not the negative. Let’s quit wasting our precious time lamenting the rightful inevitabilities of existence and enjoy the bright sun, the crisp autumn day, the deep blue sky.

Go Gamecocks.

The Whatness-of-the-Right Now

06_10_018861Chapter 1: Losses and Gains

I’m a 47-year-old man who’s lost a portion of my left leg to diabetes, my erstwhile wife to — and I’m not making this up — a yoga teacher ten years her junior.

I would like to think, however, that through these two rather major subtractions, I have gained a greater appreciation for what I’ve come to call the Whatness-of-the-Right Now (WORN), Now I pay heed to the slow softshoe of the keyboard’s clicking, note the redness of the Bic lighter lying next to my empty coffee cup, the grain of the walnut of this desk that once was a tree, the steady samba sway of the branches of magnolia outside my study’s smudged window panes.

As that master of the Whatness-of-the-Right-Now, Van Morrison, once scatted, “It ain’t why why why why why; it just is.”

So I’ve tried to jettison the dichotomy of wise and unwise and replace it with interesting versus uninteresting, which, of course, is inviting Old Man Trouble to crash on your couch. Also, I guess I should mention I have a 17-year-old daughter Bronwyn whom I’m attempting to nudge in the right direction, i.e., a path that leads to happiness. Of course, at her point in life, WORN and opting for what’s-interesting over what’s-not-interesting is as foolish as encouraging her to read The Sound and the Fury in the dad/daughter book club we’ve formed. [1]

Dad, I’ve decided to go to the all-night rave in a club downtown instead of the Drama Club production of Annie. The rave sounds more interesting. Yes, I have my fake ID! Jeez, Dad!

The thing is, though, when WORN kicks in, everything is interesting – even the logo of the Allstate bill that lies next to the empty coffee cup.

 

images

Why blue?

Are the hands about to receive a communion wafer?

Are we the communion wafer?

Are they the Hands of God?

How come the A is listing to the right?

How much was the creator of the logo paid?

 

Hang Outs

After our divorce, Gwen and I sold our house on Limehouse Street in Charleston, SC, and I moved to a barrier island called Folly Beach, the most bohemian of Charleston’s beaches. I live on the backside facing the Folly River in a small one-story, two-bedroom bungalow propped on pilings, but my study faces the front of the house because I don’t want the constant Darwinian dissonance of pelican plummet – splash – or the baby-butchering sounds of raccoon sex — or the insect-like buzz of  jet skis to distract me as I try to put into words what is happening.

After the amputation, which I prefer to call dismemberment, I retired from my job as the arts editor at the paper and became a househusband, which drove both Gwen and Bronwyn crazy. Did I mention I am a smoker? An occupational hazard in journalism and a must-not for diabetics. Of course, I smoked outside on the verandas (there were two, one upstairs, one downstairs) running along the front the house (whose side faced the street in typical Charleston fashion), but even my smoking on the porches irritated spouse and daughter. Also, I had erectile issues, not-exercising issues, Jameson whiskey issues (another diabetic no-no); nevertheless, Gwen’s affair with the vapid spike-haired Brandon I could have not imagined; her moving out on me and in with him after 22 years of marriage seemed almost goddamned cartoonish. In this case life imitates unimaginative romantic comedies.

Milton’s Satan, one of my boyhood heroes, says that “sometimes solitude is best society,” and I get plenty of it now, but I do every afternoon, depending on my mood and/or the weather, visit one of two Folly Bars, Chico Feo or The Jack of Cups. 

 

Chico Feo is right across Second Street East from Berts, a small grocery store that’s been in operation for 60 years. I guess you could call Chico Feo an alfresco dining experience featuring Caribbean cuisine or a funky drinking establishment without a roof. It’s in the backyard of an old un-air-conditioned two-story house where they prepare the food, goat curry, beans and rice, tacos.  The bar forms a barrier to the back door of the house where the kitchen is located. Beers are retrieved from coolers, or rather, large ice-filled tubs. Throughout the day whatever bartender’s on duty — Charlie, Tyler, Paul, or Greg — makes the trek across the street to Bert’s to procure more ice.

Chico Feo is only six blocks from my house, so I ride my bike, adding to the island’s quirky charm, a one-legged man with a notebook in his hand peddling a mountain bike on a flat barrier island. By the way, prosthetic legs have come a long way since Flannery O’Connor’s Hulga stumped her way up into the hayloft and into the arms of Manly Pointer. I opted for functionality rather than cosmetics in choosing mine, which I have rather pompously christened “Ahab,” though if you check out this link on eBay, you can find some pretty tempting vintage models, advertised with élan: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/prosthetic-leg

From my private collection :

Rare german steampunk vintage pre WW1 (about 1900 – 1910)  leather wooden foot with metal spring!

Very rare steampunk collectible – stay like this or do some restoation work on it for art design, museum collection or just an outstanding weird item for home design

outside leather is in very good condition for it’s (sic) age, rust on metal braces , inside of socket worn out and very used .

an unique item!

of course not for medical use !!!

mNAsu-ycUT4gj6RTrjTmBCw

Anyway, I usually wear long pants, unless temperature tops 90 or so, and though I admire those who flaunt their prosthetics, like Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, I’m also a great admirer of Ray Charles, whose dark glasses shielded children from at least one awful truth.

The Jack of Cups, my other hang out, is a small brew pub that features kickass Thai-like cuisine, though the owners/chefs are very white people from Santa Monica, as nice as they can be, and very talented when it comes to cooking.

I’m there right now, talking to one of the bartenders, Fiona, an articulate, culturally aware young woman with gorgeous wavy red hair, very pale freckled skin, and prominent hazel eyes that chameleon like change colors from light brown to green. She’s originally from Savannah, and although I wouldn’t quite yet call her Rubenesque, she’s headed in that direction. She actually edited the literary magazine at Bowdoin, has published poetry in on-line journals. We end up talking about Devon, an aspiring fiction writer who works at Berts.

“So, what you working on, Jake?” she says as I turn the page of a manuscript.

“It’s not mine. It belongs to Devon. It’s his latest novel.

Fiona rolls her eyes, adds a theatrical sneer.

Devon is a very upbeat young African American in his early twenties with excellent facial features but who is uncomfortably overweight. If one day Fiona might be Rubenesque, Richard is already giving Sydney Greenstreet a run for his money. Apparently, he spends every moment off work writing (and eating). When he talks about his latest project, he goes manic, as if you might be as interested in his made-up world as he is, which makes him a very poor conversationalist for a practitioner of WORN. He’s not interested in anything else but his “art,”  not sports, not politics.  I don’t think he’s ever asked me a personal question like “how did you happen to lose that leg?”

Sydney Greenstreet

Sydney Greenstreet

“You poor, stiff,” Fiona says. “You should’ve just said no. Let me be your role model, pal. When he asked me, I said, ‘no way, amigo, no can do,’ and believe me, he can take no for an answer.”

“Well, I am a man of some leisure, and I told him I’d be brutally honest, which I intend to be.”

“Yeah, and you don’t have to worry about any potential romantic delusions he might harbor  Anyway, What’s it about?”

“It’s sort of hard to explain. I just started it. Two paragraphs in. But according to him, it’s actually a video game, the plot of the novel is a video game, and like those choose-your-adventure books, you – the reader – can opt where to go, to skip 50 pages ahead if you decide to go to a movie, or instead of that, drop some LSD and jump 150 pages ahead.  He fantasizes that they’ll make it into a movie and then ultimately into a video game.”

“Sounds fucked-up. Delusional. Unpublishable.”

“It’s not the plot but the prose I’m dreading.”

“Well, sweetheart, I’ll let you get back to your reading,” she says wiping off the bar. Fiona’s writing a dissertation on film noir and has started to parrot the lingo of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.

“Thanks,” I say, and start over reading the manuscript.

 

[1] Actually, we’re reading Houseman’s A Shropshire Lad, which, though a tad bit sing-songy and cloyingly melancholy, is age appropriate for both of us:

 

         Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

         Is hung with bloom along the bough,

         And stands about the woodland ride

          Wearing white for Eastertide.

 

         Now, of my threescore years and ten,

         Twenty will not come again,

         And take from seventy springs a score,

         It only leaves me fifty more.

 

         And since to look at things in bloom

         Fifty springs are little room,

         About the woodlands I will go

         To see the cherry hung with snow.

Halloween on Folly Beach

Jack of Cups Saloon by Wesley Moore
     Jack of Cups Saloon by Wesley Moore

Last Thursday, I was at one of my favorite Folly Beach oases, the Jack of Cups, talking Halloween with the Jessie, an impressively sophisticated twenty-something bartender who double majored in philosophy and theater in college, a young woman who can expound on Kant and Hegel as well as Kurt Cobain and Patti Smith.

I confessed that I rarely indulged in dressing up for Halloween, but that perhaps the most creative costume I put together was in grad school when I decided to transform myself into the personification of a libido. After I described the costume (black tee and jeans, white pancake makeup, red-laced fringed Lone Ranger-like mask, phallic walking stick), Jessie said that coincidentally she had been talking to three of her friends about doing Halloween as the chorus of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – you know, a mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, a libido.

She went on to say that when she had mentioned the idea to someone else, the person had made a sour face and declared the concept “offensive.” What was really cool, Jessie claimed, was that her friend who originally had come up with the idea was biracial and loves the word mulatto and that she, Jessie, has been diagnosed with Ocular Albinism, Type 1, so coming up with a mosquito and libido would have been all they needed to pull it off.

I said, “Go for it. How humorously inappropriate for the politically correct crowd to chide, given the ironic brilliance of the concept.”

b21261aladdinsane-cropped-975x731 cmpltunknwn-inspiration-david-bowie-4Naw, she had abandoned the idea for an easier one. She was going as David Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust days and her fiancé was going as the mid-70’s David Bowie a la the Young Americans album. She said she and her fiancé were going to make out at parties, which, I said, made delicious narcissistic sense.

I had just reposted my “You Won’t Believe These Killer, Innovative, Somewhat Offensive Halloween Costumes,” and when Jessie disappeared into the kitchen, I checked my email to find this costume suggestion: Sylvia Plath with cardboard box oven.

Now, that’s what I call spooky.

Anyway, last night I decided at the last minute to wander down to Center Street on Folly to see what was out there, hoping against hope that I might run into twin Bowies sucking face. No such luck, but I did run into Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis.

Southern Charm

Southern Charm

 

 

Alms for Oblivion: The Lighter Side of 2014

As the last few grains of sand from 2014’s proverbial hourglass slide through oblivion’s passageway, I thought preserve some moments — a least for a moment – for memory’s sake — lest we forget.

Domestically, it’s been an uneventful year with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the legalization of cannabis and gay marriage, and the mid-term elections topping the charts as far as significant occurrences that will ultimately matter in the future — unlike say, the Ebola pandemic panic or the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Internationally, it’s been a different story with ISIS taking over parts of Iraq and Syria, the Soviet Union Russia annexing Crimea and marching its jack boot into the Ukraine, and our establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.

However, we’re going to look at the lighter side of 2014 month by month unleavened somewhat by mentioning of a few significant passings, as the squeamish say.

So, let’s roll the newsreel!

January

Note: click all-caps for links to original posts.

Pete_Seeger2_-_6-16-07_Photo_by_Anthony_PepitoneBoo hoo, the BREW PUB closed on Folly, but Woo Hoo, we had a SNOW DAY; plus the Ravenel Bridge turned into a 3-D VIDEO GAME featuring ice javelins. Let’s call it Arctic Cleft Auto.

Pete Seeger died, but who wouldn’t trade his or her potential fruitful longevity for his?

Well I got a hammer,

And I got a bell,

And I got a song to sing, all over this land.

Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, “If I Had a Hammer”

February

140206_dx_wellesleynudestatue-crop-promo-mediumlarge-2Not much going down, except an artist named Tony Matelli traumatized the delicate damsels of Wellesley with this terrifying statue of SCANTILY CLAD SOMNAMBULIST.

Yeah, and bummer, Philip Seymour Hoffman died and so did Maximillian Schnell, another great Oscar-winning actor — but the right way as a newlywed in his 83rd year.

 

March

prespaulThe big news for the blog was that NPR wrote a story on one of our posts and provided a LINK; however, even bigher news was the debut of Bravo’s reality series Southern Charm, providing the nation a peek of people-from-off moving to Charleston and getting drunk and high with a not-very-interesting native scion.

You can read Sparknotes’ invaluable summary, analyses, and character sketches here: SOUTHERN CHARM.

The Jack of Cups opened in the Brew Pub’s former space in tribute to the season of rebirth.

Slow death month with all-but-forgotten David Brenner and Shelia McCrae leading the way.

April

imagesSenator Larry Grooms tried to defund the College of Charleston’s Summer Reading Program because the small government Republican didn’t like last summer’s book Fun Home – providing at least one English teacher a current-events example of irony in his subversive mission to convert his well-heeled students into Democrats.

Of course, the highlight of every April for us on Folly Island is the return of the KRUSHTONES.

Alas, the great GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ left us, but once again, he’s up there in the Pete Seeger range in the fruitful longevity category.

Oh, yeah, Mickey Rooney also made his earthly exit.

May

I started hanging out at CHICO FEO, which led inevitably to my second, very unsuccessful career as DUB POET FILMMAKER.

TREY GOWDY the chameleon, allegedly heterosexual South Carolina Congressman, chaired yet another Congressional investigation into Benghazi.

Celebrity deaths: Maya Angelou.

June

set-listExcept that a FRIEND DIED and my house caught on fire (details, details), June was an okay month in which we spent an “intimate evening” (no one took clothes off) with ART GARFUNKEL and got to watch a rehearsal for ROMEO AND JULIET.

A smorgasbord of celebrity deaths: Former Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, former San Diego Padre Tony Gwynn, former DJ Casey Kassam, and Ruby Dee, who wasn’t a former anything at the time of her death on June 11.

 

July

Despite a rather off-putting diagnosis of T-Cell Lymphoma, we had our share of fun in July watching the up-lifting TV series TRUE DETECTIVE and catching JOHN HIATT AND ROBERT CRAY at the Performing Arts Center.

And we bid adieu to James Garner, Johnny Winter, and Nadine Gordimer.

August

School started back up so once again for the 29th straight year I got to stand mutely while everyone else PLEDGED ALLEGIANCE to a flag.

No way to make this funny: ROBIN WILLIAMS OFFED HIMSELF.

Other deaths: Richard Attenborough, Lauren Bacall, Don Prado.

September

South Carolina small government Republican Senator Mike Fair tilted his lance at the teaching of NATURAL SELECTION in the second decade of the 21st Century CE.

Notables bound for that undiscovered country from whom no traveler returns included Ian Paisley and Joan Rivers, two insult-slingers extraordinaire.

October

images-2
We rediscovered at BOYHOOD HERO and started a highly unsuccessful on-line STUDY GUIDE SERVICE while simultaneously dealing with the deaths of bassist Jack Bruce and rock musician Raul Revere. Say what you like, but that song “Kicks” is cool.

November

BIGGEST FOLLY BEACH NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR: WOMAN PUNCHES BABY IN ITS CUTE, ADORABLE, MODELING-WORTHY FACE!!!

That and PD James won’t be writing any more mysteries nor will Tom Magliozzi solve any more car problems, but more significantly, Mike Nichols died, another Pete Seeger, Garcia-Marquez super-productive human being.

December

Not quite over yet as I type this, but it did mark the debut of what undoubtedly will be a Holiday Classic: BUBBA, THE REDNECK SNOWMAN.

Even though Joe Cocker and Mary Anne Mobley won’t be enjoying a happy new year, I certainly, sincerely wish you one!  And I especially thank my few, consistent readers.  Best wishes!

wesely tech guru