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jackie blueIt was really annoying. One Saturday, I was listening to a radio being broadcast within some retail store or restaurant when I heard a song I recognize. I could identify it in three notes.

“That’s ‘Jackie Blue,'” I said aloud, to no one in particular. But then I was stumped. Who SANG it?

I even own the song on a CD compilation of Southern rock. Read the rest of this entry »

John-LennonMy friend Dan sent me this article How did the Beatles Get Their Name? Any Beatles fan worth his or her salt has heard the Flaming Pie story:
Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision–a man appeared in a flaming pie and said unto them “From this day on you are Beatles with an A.” “Thank you, Mister Man,” they said, thanking him.

Flaming Pie, not coincidentally, is the name of a 1997 Paul McCartney album.

In the book The Gospel according to the Beatles by Steven Turner, it’s clear that John, far more than any of his cohorts, grew up with religious training. He was living with his Aunt Mimi (Stanley) Smith, who grew up Anglican, though neither she nor her sisters attended church as adults.

Still, Mimi and her sisters made sure their children were sent to Sunday school. John was a chorister and member of a Bible class. “For a time, he was attending events at the church four days a week.”

It was that respectable, impersonal, “bourgeois” version of Christianity Read the rest of this entry »

kitonyiA library friend of mine asked if I were familiar with a book called From Where the Lion Roars: the hunt for an American education in Binghamton by Peter N. Kitonyi. It is in the Local History room of the Albany Public Library. From the book information, Kitonyi attended Binghamton North High School, the “other” public high school besides Central in my hometown, back in the 1960s.

I was not familiar with the surname or the book. But I posted the information on a couple Binghamton-based Facebook pages, and while no one remembered him, one person found an article in the Ithaca Journal, Read the rest of this entry »

Satellite-navigationWhen you know you’re going to be unavailable, and you want to write ahead, you do list thingies. Thanks to fillyjonk:

20 Skills Facing Extinction
According to some survey, “younger generations have a lack of interest in things like reading maps, tying knots and remembering phone numbers. They don’t know how to knit, use a compass, darn a sock or write in cursive. Here are the following 20 skills facing extinction.”

1. Reading a map: Yes, I can do this; I often serve as navigator, going back to my childhood. What I CAN’T do, apparently, is refold a road map properly. But I have loved maps since Read the rest of this entry »

magna_cartaThe Magna Carta turned 800 in June 2015, signed by King John “Lackland” Plantagenet in 1215, though, in fact, it was not dubbed as the “great charter” until a couple years, and some changes, later. It was violated quickly, and reinstated in altered form a number of times.

From the British Library:

The Magna Carta established for the first time the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law… Read the rest of this entry »

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