Monday, September 30, 2019

Aunt Smitty Two

Effie (Smitty) at 16 years old
When we last we left off, our youngish mother had moved to Hollywood to open a boarding house in the very early 30s.

Well, once in Hollywood, her son worked in a small engine repair shop. It was here he probably fell in with the flash types of the period, drinking and partying. Because in the 1930s, small engine repair included motorcycles, and young Bert Lewis had a way with motorcycles, money and women. 

He was particularly good with Harley Davidsons. So good in fact, that when Harley Davidson licensed their motorcycles to Japan (under the brand name RRRR) Bert was invited to go to Japan. He spent about 3 or 4 years there, as a mechanic for motorcycle racers.

(He told his mother that he “raced” motorcycles in Japan, a lie she happily shared. But Bert was well over 6 feet and much heavier than the Japanese racers. That would not have worked in the land of motorcycle racing.)

In 1937, he was deported, along with most other Americans, from Japan. In the intervening years, Smitty had relocated her boarding house to Fresno. Away from all the temptations of Hollywood for her son. It didn’t work, of course, and Bert stayed in California. My grandfather, his best friend, showed up during this with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) building roads in Malibu. After the work ended, my grandfather went back to Illinois South (Cairo) married my grandmother Zela and came out to Los Angeles.

Bert supplied them with a motorcycle to putter around with.

Smitty in uniform
Smitty, on the other hand, took advantage of the depression in the mid-west and convinced many of her older residence to move to the clean air of the Central Valley and the charms of Fresno. I cannot imagine their disappointment in reaching the promised land.

This situation lasted until the 1970s, a while after I entered the scene. In the very early 1970s, Smitty’s last few boarders passed. And he “grandfathered” in rooming house / hospice center was closed. We ent up to help her move her stuff and she ventured down to my grandmother’s house.

I was given a gorgeous rocking chair. And, since I was still very hyperactive, I loved it. I used it all the time. It had a homemade crest on the back panel and the seat. Smitty came to the house and I thanked her profusely and told how much I loved it.

She took it back the next day. And just to be sure I wouldn’t ever enjoy it as much, she replaced the needlepoint with (I shit you not) red velvet. I do want to add the old witch’s legs were to short for the chair, so she never used it.

At this point in the very late 60s early 70s, her plan was to live with her son in Culver City. This was much to the chagrin of the current Mrs. Lewis, Bert wife, Jane.

Here we must discuss Jane a bit. Jane was fabulous. Jane worked / managed the cigar counter at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (site of the first few Academy Awards). She was a few years older that Bert and kind of wild. Bert was wild before he met Jane, but Smitty blamed Jane for ever bad habit Bert had.

Without Jane, Smitty would complain, Bert wouldn’t be a drunk, wouldn’t smoke and wouldn’t have been war profiteer (different story). So it was odd that Jane was the family member that tried to convince Bert to let his mother live with them. She would succeed at this for a few weeks, then Smitty would be back at Zela’s for a few months.

Bert died in 1970 (liver damage) and Smitty was at a bit of a lose as to what to do with herself. She continued to bounce between Jane’s and Zela’s, both in-laws as her son Bert and her nephew Ham were passed. Once or twice she would take a bio as, what we would know call a home health care worker, but she referred to as nurse.  In high I was drafted into service as she helped an older man, but needed someone to bath him once a week and shove in the preparation H tube.

It was embarrassing for both of us, but we persevered.

After the final few patients died, Smitty got an elderly apartment (you know designed for the aged) in Venice Beach. She lived there a few years, until she went really crazy. Zela would be called everyone and then from the home to come out and take care of her. Zela lived in Anaheim, so this was quite the schlep.

Mother Brown, Smitty's Mentor
I was called from UCLA once. I went over and she was screaming out the window, and wouldn’t answer the door. They brought me in, and I filled out the paperwork to enter without permission, at which point she turned to me and said, “Some poor lady is screaming out there.”

She couldn’t hear you from the couch, but she was convinced she could hear African Americans whispering and plotting to kill her 2 stories down  and 3 apartments over.

She was nuts her entire live, but we had some pleasant times. She was a big fan of Ellery Queen’s Perry Mason books and she loaned them to me. This is where I learned Perry Mason the book detective was VERY different from Perry Mason on TV. Much more of a womanizer and funster than Raymond Burr.  That’s probably why I called Warren William from the old movies so much more.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Impeachment Is A Horrible Idea - And Necessary

(Reminder - I can Trump Talk on Week-ends)

The House of Representatives have started the Impeachment investigation process. This is unpleasant and will not help the Democrats. It does not matter. It has to happen.

Impeachment and Conviction are the only tools that Congress has to remove a President who subverts the rule of the law. There is no other way to do this, bar elections. The Judiciary cannot do anything.

Should we have let this go to the election (we still might)? Of course! In a normal world we should.

In a normal world, we should have indeed. Then again, in a normal world, being under Muller's eye for two years would remind the President of the consequences of screwing up.

But this is not a normal world. President Trump committed election fraud, election tampering, extortion and destroyed our credibility the day after Robert Muller testified in Congress. Far from deciding he was almost caught, President Trump chose to emphasize he got away with it, and did it again.

Impeachment is both a horrible idea and something that must happen. There is no good output here, unless he quits, ala Nixon.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Looking around has me finding this..

I was about 3 1/2.  And cute as a fucking bug.

Andrew Scott - Great Actor

I don't have a Mascot of the Month anymore (I may revive it, but nothing now). But I just saw Andrew Scott in fleabag and was blown away.

He has always been rather hypnotic. I remember seeing him first as Moriarity on the new Sherlock, where he was cool and threatening.

But he stunned me as the Hot Priest in Fleabag (Amazon Prime). He is in the second season and he is fantastic. He plays a Priest that she falls for.  His performance is nuanced and understated in a show not know for understated. I though he was amazing.

In looking him up, I found out in was in 007 Spectra as well. I shall have to review that to see.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Busy Week at Work

It was a busy week training, but I wanted to share a couple of things.

First.. the cutest dog in the world...

Second.. the picnic area from our trip to Sequoia...

And finally us.. note that I look a step away from death. This is at the beginning of a hike! (I blame hat hair).

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Isn’t That Nice (non-Southern meaning)

Thursday is the day my class always takes their test.  It is a normal thing.

Today I came in and the one cute guy was kind of dressed up and I said, “Nice outfit. You have an interview after this?”

And he said, “No, just wanted to impress you.” And then gave me the bro shoulder clamp.

Isn’t that nice?

I mean not world shifting, but better than nothing.

Add caption

But she looks GREAT for her age..

Monday, September 23, 2019

Betrayal was Fantastic

I saw Betrayal yesterday with Tom Hiddleston, Zane Ashton and Charlie Cox (all Brits from the London). The show was great.

It is an odd little piece that goes backwards in time to investigate / understand / dissect an affair. All three were amazing, although Hiddleston (Night Manager and Thor (as Loki)) was the only one I had seen before.

Great show.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Aunt Smitty (Effie Rosetta Smith Nipper Lewis)

The Tale of Aunt Smitty

Aunt Smitty is a woman who needs more than one Monday. But we will start here.

Let me set a bit of the scene before we dive in. I did say previously that Grandaddy Green lived my Grandparents Zela and Ham for a decade or so before he died. 

Well, after Grandaddy’s death and my grandfather’s death – with a tiny bit of overlap – Aunt Smitty became an occasional tenant of my grandmother, Zela.

As long as I knew her, Aunt Smitty was a crazy old lady nurse. Kind of like Nurse Rachett, but old and meaner.
 My grandparents used to take me camping all the time when I was young, and a frequent stop was in Fresno where Aunt Smitty ran a nursing home.  This was emblazened in my mind by the presence of Aunt Fanny, who lived in the nursing home and had a name a 8 year old could NOT forget.

Fresno was a horrible stop for a child.  You are 5 hours from Los Angeles, still two hours to go to Yosemite or Sequoia National Park. It is (was?) always hot and dusty. And, as the cute little kid, I was in demand by the old shut-ins who were all kind of relatives, but not really.  Aunt Fanny smelled of powder and Aunt Smitty smelled of disinfectant.

Smitty didn’t like children, which set her apart from most of the adult relatives from the mid-west. But, Aunt Smitty didn’t really like anyone anyway, so it seemed kind of normal. I didn’t find out many of the other details until I was older and could put the multiple stories together.

Let’s start with her name, Smitty. Aunt Smitty was born Effie Rosetta Smith in 1892, the youngest of 3 daughters. My Great-Grandmother (Roxie Gertrude Smith Mitchell) was her older sister. Her father (my great-great-grandfather) was killed in Somme, France but by that time her parents had separated (I assume divorced, but I don’t see any evidence of this).

In 1902, when she was 10 years old, her mother married a Mr. Nipper. Apparently Smitty did not like Mr. Nipper. She didn’t like him so much she did 2 things:

1) She started going by the name Smitty, which was a diminutive of Smith – her father’s last name. She refused to deal with her step-father Mr. Nipper.

2) She moved out of the house (at about 10) to live with "Mother Brown", who she told people treated her like her own child.

This second point is true if one has their own child cook and clean for others. You see Mrs. Brown owned a boarding house. Where Smitty worked and lived. This boarding house is also where Smitty became a “nurse”. Apparently in the early 1900s you became a nurse by putting on the outfit and bossing people around.

Smitty (middle back row) with Her daughter in law Jane (much more later!!!), her son Bert. Below her is my grandfather HAM and I, then my grandmother Zela and my Aunt Martha. BTW, this is 1 of 2 pictures I have with her smiling.

At some point in very early 1911 (Smitty would be 18 or 19) a flash-talking dude name Mr. Lewis breezed into Mrs. Brown rooming house and left with Smitty’s heart. Mr.Lewis swept her off her feet and into a very quick marriage. But 1911 was the age of temperance and Mr. Lewis liked a drink or two after a day or looking for work. Not “Working” apparently but pretending to look. Smitty told him this was unacceptable.

The third time she told him (sometime in the first week of marriage) she said she would not tolerate such behavior. He told her he would do what he wanted to do and left. Smitty went to Mrs. Brown, and they put his few belongings outside and Smitty went back to work for Mrs. Brown. Mr.Lewis was never welcomed back. This incident would probably be a side note except there was a Baby Bert Lewis approximately 8 to 9 months later.

Smitty and Bert lived with Mrs. Brown until her death sometime in the very early 1930s. Mrs. Brown left Smitty a bankrupt boarding house in Cairo Illinois in the depression. She and her son moved to Los Angeles.

A note her about her son. Although their mothers were estranged, Bert and my grandfather Ham (Henry Albert Mitchell) were about the same age and great friends as well as cousins up through the end of World War II (more about that later).

She lived in Los Angeles, which was a boom town. And Smitty did have a skill in this boom-town. She knew how to run a boarding house. She ran at least one, maybe more, in the then western edge of Los Angeles – now near MacArthur Park (yes, the one that is melting with all the sweet green icing flowing down).

A more normal Smitty look, annoyed with my Aunt Martha who was Downs Syndrome

Once in Los Angeles, she ran the boarding house and young Bert working on small motor repair. And thus all was well until about halfway through the 1930s. We will rest here and return later. At this point in our story, Smitty is now her forties, looks like she is in her sixties – and her son, always spoiled, is beginning to come into his own.

Requiem for the Constitution

I think that I am allowed to trash Trump on week-ends. No one reads what I say on week-ends.

A Requiem means (#2) "an act or token of remembrance."

And so here let us remember the Constitution on its death-bed. That murmur you hear, and thought was the Constitution's death rattle is really the current Administration's choking the fucking life out it.

And, here's the funny thing, I don't really blame Trump.

In case you have checked out, as all but the most masochistic of us have, President Trump took a great big shit on the Constitution this past week.

The day after Muller testified in congress that President Trump broke the law and Democrats grandstanded and Republicans ignored it - the President whipped himself into a sexual-political frenzy and dry humped the law of the land.

In particular - because you can't tell the players without a scorecard - this is what happened.

The President of the United States called the incoming President of Ukraine and told him to investigate Joe Biden's son's dealings in Ukraine - and Paul Manafort's as well. Hunter Biden actually has been investigated and found he did nothing wrong. Paul Manafort has been found guilty by a jury of doing many things wrong in Ukraine. Trump would like those findings flipped by Ukraine.

And, in return, President Trump would unfreeze the $250 Million dollars in aid which he decided to freeze after Congress authorized it and he signed the deal. He impressed this upon the incoming President elect EIGHT times. (It reminds me of the old Chicago song where the woman sings, "Then he ran into my knife. He ran into my knife ten times" -Cell Block Tango). Then he sent Rudy, his personal lawyer, to met with Ukraine officials in Spain to discuss it. Then he covered it up.

That is a lot of illegal in a couple of phone calls.

But last week he lied about it, got caught, blamed Democrats and then said he can do whatever the fuck he wants to.

But, just to remind everyone...

1. It is illegal to ask for election help from a foreign government or national
2. It is illegal for the State department to set up private meetings for the purpose of campaigning (and for any illegal purpose).
3. It is illegal for a non-state department official (private citizen) to conduct  official negotiations with a foreign government, without informing Congress and the State Department.
4. It is illegal ("extortion") to demand illegal acts for money
5. It is illegal to coverup whistle blower information before sharing with Congress.

As for #5, a Trump appointee raised this issue to Congress after he recognized it as an imminent danger, but then Trumps Department of Justice refused to comply with the law.

And here is the thing. Any of us as crooked as President Trump is would do the same thing. He got away with all of this (except #4 and #5) when he was running in 2016. Congress won't to jack-shit to hold him to account. Why wouldn't he do it again.

Nervous Nancy is still worried too about Impeachment implications to raise her voice above a whisper. In fact, Representative Pelosi actually leaked how pissed she was to newspapers. But she was pissed that the Judiciary Committee is investigating the lying crook. Not mad at Trump.

If I was a pathological liar and sociopath, I would definitely repeat what worked. Isn't Nervous Nancy a mother and grandmother? Doesn't she remember what happens when you let little kids get away with things. They do it again.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Climate Change Keeps Up It's Dance

I have gone to great lengths to ignore he who must not be named, the Voldemort of Washington. And this post continues that purposeful directive, even though it does, tangentially, touch on the asinine decisions made by him in Washington.

But there is plenty of blame to go around. We (America, the World, you name it) have collectively screwed the pooch with our steadfast ignorance of Climate Change. But let's talk about some things that are happening right now...

Horrible, Wetter Weather

You may or may not recall that I said  Climate Change will make flooding much worse.

This is how that happens. 1st, warmer oceans increase evaporation rates. 2nd, warmer are can hold much more moisture.

So, if you combine those two items you get heavy downpours when rains come. This is happening right now in Texas, again. There is a tropical storm, which normally doesn't kill people, but in the Houston area right now feet of water is dropping as rain from a normal storm, not even a hurricane. But the sheer volume of water is killing people, destroying businesses and homes.  For those of you counting, this is the 4th "500 year storm" to hit Houston in 3 years.

But it's not just Houston.

Bermuda, which is generally out of the Hurricane Path, looks to be hit by 2 hurricanes in less than a week. Somewhere between 20 and 1,000 people were killed by a Hurricane in the Bahamas. And nearly a billion dollars of damage occurred in North Carolina. That was in the last two weeks!

This year (2019) in China monsoons resulted in over $44 billion dollars in damage and 4,000 people dead.

This year (2019)  in India, monsoons killed over 200 people and displaced approximately 10,500,000 people.

And that is just 2019. Since we last talked about this, hurricanes have hit Canada, Ireland and England! Flooding has killed people in Philippines, the Balkans and Africa.

Hotter, Drier Weather

Yes, I know it stands in contrast to the statement above, but Climate Change also brings horrible heat and drought.

You see, because the rains grow so much in wet areas, we forget that other areas, massive heat increases drought. The areas that are rainy, get REALLY rainy, and the areas that are dry can get REALLY dry.

Take the raining areas we discussed above. Since 2017 droughts have disrupted crops and cities on the West Coast and the plains in the US. Droughts have effected 56% of India this year.

If you look at the map of China, you can see the red areas where drought is horrible.   "But Scott," I hear you say, "You just said monsoons hit China hard." Yep. That is the places in blue on the map. Climate Change screws up the world.

Capetown (a city with the same climate as Los Angeles, Chile and the Mediterranean) was county down the days of water until full drought and got as low as 30 days last year before rains came. The citizens of Capetown were, at one point,  limited to less than 50 Liters of water, per household, per day. That is 25 big bottles of soda for washing, cooking AND drinking.

As for heat. in January, records feel for hottest days all over Australia. July was the hottest month on record. Ever. Since mankind has been around.

Paris hit 114. Belgium and the Netherlands  had a record of 3 heatwaves (a new record). 2019 brought the earliest readings of 100 degrees throughout America. And a city in Pakistan recorded a high of 134 degrees. And a month of temperatures were it didn't get below 100. At all.

Sea Level Rise

The hurricanes on the east coast are made worse by a sea level rise. The seas rise not just due to glacier melting but also because warmer water take up more volume than colder water.

"King Tides" occur monthly and bringing sea flooding to Miami regardless of weather. What was once an occasional event where the city flooded in a storm maybe once every few years is now a monthly event. Islands in Chesapeake Bay are being rendered uninhabitable. America is resettling entire towns in Maryland, Florida and Louisiana due to sea level rise.

Outside of the Untied States, poor countries like Bangladesh, India and Cambodia are seeing land disappear, but leaving the locals to their own devices.

Extinction Events

Climate Change is deadly for man. For plants and animals it is an apocalypse. (I tried but couldn't find out how to spell "a-proc-ra-fil".)

Birds in America have declined by almost a third. Not endangered birds, or funny looking birds, but just "birds". What. The. Fuck.

Well, it isn't a surprise. Climate is changing and birds are a (wait for it) canary in the coal mine. Birds have been coping with habitat lose to humans for thousands of years, but now they have habitat lose due to climate change as well. Why?

Well, they live mainly with plants. And plants are slow adapters to changes in climate. Plants CAN migrate when climate changes, but they cannot do it as fast as humans have changed climate recently. So the birds are losing food, nesting areas and habitat. It is exacerbated by insect declines. Insects are declining due to climate change AND insecticide, necessary as we try to feed an evolving planet where traditional growing seasons are now disrupted.

Animals from the size of pikas up to polar bears are dying due to climate change in obvious ways, now we are seeing birds dying in non-obvious ways.

Not a Future Problem

Climate Change isn't  "about to happen". It is happening now. Climate Change cannot be stopped. It has happened. But we can try to stop it from becoming too much worse.

Unfortunately in the past 3 years we have actively made it worse. Really.

The US has rolled back Clean Air and Clean Water standards. We have removed restrictions from burning coal. Now, in the US, this isn't a big deal. Coal - the dirtiest energy, is declining anyway because of costs. But since we have rolled back coal regulations, China and India have both approved massive coal plants which should be illegal under the Paris accords.

The administration has just sued California to abrogate agreements for cleaner cars that Ford, BMW, Honda and Toyota agreed to.

With our Administration's approval massive fires have been purposely set in Brazil, Indonesia and Zaire. (These fires are used to clear forests for agricultural use.)

For the first time in our history, the administration has reduced the size of National Parks and Monuments in order to increase mining. We are actively tearing up carbon sinks to create more carbon pollution.

The administration is, seriously,  trying to return our environmental laws to pre-1970s. This was Los Angeles pre-1970s.

The good news is <error: missing 4404>

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Giant Sequoias

Although there are very tall pine trees, the Sequoias tend to tower over them.
The internet gives ones tons of information. Things I didn't know. For example, on Sequoias...

The natural distribution of giant sequoias is restricted to a limited area of the western Sierra Nevada, California. They occur in scattered groves, with a total of 68 groves (see list of sequoia groves for a full inventory), comprising a total area of only 144.16 km2 (35,620 acres). Nowhere does it grow in pure stands, although in a few small areas, stands do approach a pure condition. The northern two-thirds of its range, from the American River in Placer County southward to the Kings River, has only eight disjunct groves. The remaining southern groves are concentrated between the Kings River and the Deer Creek Grove in southern Tulare County. Groves range in size from 12.4 km2 (3,100 acres) with 20,000 mature trees, to small groves with only six living trees. Many are protected in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Giant Sequoia National Monument

I had no idea that they were so rare when I was younger. I mean, we went camping, we saw trees bigger than houses and taller than football fields. You know, the forest.

Some pictures of the Sequoias with us for scale.
Hiking up to them, around a bend

The Sequoias tend to dominate the scene.

Eddie and I where 2 Sequoias dominate a waterfall and bridge.

The waterfall sentinel from the other side.

Sequoias tend to handle fire better than most trees and still live. That is Mickey inside one.

Letter to "Dear Prudence" - Peanuts

I read Dear Prudence on  If you haven't your missing out on life. I am constantly amazed by Dear Prudence letters. (here)

But. today one got to me. It was about peanut allergies and this woman's friend... well I'll post part of it...
I am fairly allergic to peanuts. I’m not necessarily going to die if I eat one, but I will have an unpleasant visit to an urgent care center. I am cautious about my allergy and always mention my restrictions when eating out or dining at someone’s home. I have a friend, “Tina,” whom I love dearly, but she is a space cadet when it comes to details. As a result, she’s hosted two dinners in the last year that exposed me to peanuts, resulting in embarrassing (and panicked) exits for me. She was sincerely and profusely apologetic both times, and I forgave her oversights. 

Here is the thing to me... who puts peanuts in their dinners?  Twice?

I have never once made a dinner for friends, or even myself, and said, "Humm.. You know what this needs? Peanuts!"

Is there some giant peanut cooking guide I am missing somewhere? Is everyone cooking Thai food? WTF?

So ... Let's Be Positive

President Trump is driving me bat-shit crazy, and I would love to go into all the reasons I think he is horrible for our country. But instead, let's be positive. Let's talk about Mayor Pete and some specifics.

He has a number of specific actionable plans that he has proposed. One regards his plans for health in Rural America. In cities we tend to see health care as a problem of money. But in many rural areas, the problem isn't just the cost, but the access to doctors. General practitioners have left the rural parts of America (and for Europeans, remember how vast "rural" American is).

Buttigieg's plan addresses this in many parts. First by expanding the Affordable Care Act to include a public option for those that want to buy into it. This is part of his "Medicare for all who want it" plan, that would expand the Affordable Care Act into the entire country. Many "red" states" (i.e., those states run  by Republicans) haven't expanded Medicare for all eligible people because they don't like the idea of everyone getting medical coverage at a reduced rate (I don't know why).

Second, his plan would foster more doctors to work in rural areas by increasing loan forgiveness for medical professionals that live and work in rural areas. It would open opportunities for immigrant medical professionals that practice in under served rural areas. And it would increase the payments to doctors in rural areas above those reimbursements in urban areas.

By doing this, an more (full plan here), Buttigieg hopes to reduce a rural / urban life expectancy imbalance that is higher than anytime int he last 50 years and growing bigger all the time.

It is a reasonable plan that doesn't cost a zillion dollars to implement, but does address a major problem in rural areas.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Back - and it was dreamy

Just got back from California. It was a great trip. We saw the doctor, saw friends and then went up to Sequoia with Gavin and Mickey.

One of the high valleys at about 8200 ft or 2500 m
We went to a very interesting part of Sequoia, Mineral King. Now I used to travel to Sequoia all the time with my grandparents when I was young. But this sub-alpine valley wasn't part of Sequoia National Park then. It was a private area, and in Walt Disney was trying to turn it into a ski resort.

View from an aborted hike. Turns out I don't do well over 8,000 feet
One of Walt's mistakes that I am glad happened. Because the area was never fully defined, it isn't easy to get to. The last 20 miles take a little over an hour to drive through. But what is at then end is beautiful and not too busy.

The Mineral King Valley. Although ecologists fought Disney, the killer blow was an avalanche.
Here are some pics.

This is all from the first day, which was above 7,000 feet and therefore too high for the Giant Sequoia trees.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

On our way

We are leaving for LA today and the doctor.

I'll be out of sight for a while as we are spending 4days in Sequioa /Mineral King.

Monday, September 9, 2019

US Open is Over

It was quite a US Open. I had a lot of fun and will post some more pictures later, but first - the big one.

For the past 4 or 5 years, the winner poses with the US Open employees. Last time Rafa one, Ed - very gentlemanly, let others pose close to Rafa. But this year, he called shotgun and called it hard. So here are pictures of my honey. If you wonder what the cat that actually ate the canary looked like, let this be your guide.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

This is Why I love Pete

When we met him, THIS is what he talked about. The end to the asinine politics of the now.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Vivian Mitchell - Bitter Crossed with Nice

Vivian to left, Jasper at rear, Shirley at right
I have been searching and searching for more information on Vivian Mitchell, but I cannot find it. Part of the problem is her husband was John Mitchell, my Grandfather's brother.

But John Mitchell had a son, also named John Mitchell, who was little Johnny.

Worse, Little Johnny had a son named John, and when the grandfather died, little Johnny became Big Johnny and the grandson was named little Johnny. And I can't find middle names for love nor money.

You know how many "John Mitchell" s there are? A shit-load. And so, I will leave those details for later, and on to Vivian's story.

Vivian's story begins with the first Big Johnny. To quote the story, Big Johnny worked on the barges on the Mississippi river. It is there he meet Vivian, who was a cook. They may or may not have had an affair (else why bring this up int he story to me?), but that wasn't a key part of the story.

Big Johnny worked on the barges and sent money home to his first wife - the use of the term first wife hints where this story is going. Anyway, upon his return home, the first wife had spent all the money. The implication was on illegal booze and men. But Big John forgave all that. In fact (according to the story) he even quit the river to live on dry land with her. That cramped her style and she ultimately divorced him.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Some Images from the USOpen (Part 1)

I was out at the US Open last week for the week one part of the tournement. It is my favorite week because a lot happens on the smaller courts and you get to see some old favorites (like Borna Coric) and find new ones (like Jensen Broodsby). And, of course, a little time with some greats.

This is a brand new statue of Althea Gibson. She was the first African -American to win the US Open.

Novak Djokovic

Borna on Court 7. I saw him the only day he played as he had to scratch with an injury after he won.

This is a cool view from Grandstand Court over to Arthur Ashe. I am sitting high because of shade.
I did go to (and then stay) on Grandstand to watch Daniil Medvedev. He is a very hot player right now who was in three finals in three weeks, and just won Cincinnati.

Medvedev serving. He is goofy looking - lanky with a tiny head -but a great player

 Finally, below is Jenson Broodsby. He was a kid. The shots aren't great because it was into the sun, but it was great fun to watch him. He is 18 and from California. He played a top 15 player in the second round, and did great for almost 2 sets. He won the first, lost the second in a tie break and then, pooped out.

He was fun to watch. And he wore pucka shells while playing! How Californian is that!

About sums it up