Here is a story I wrote in 2012 when I was fairly new to blogging and attempting to be a writer. I was trying to write a Haiku, it was fun, but the story behind it was more fun to write. I bring it back every year in case you have not read it… St. Paddy’s Tacos
One afternoon when I was 16 we went to a burlesque house called the Alameda. Three punk high school kids with fake IDs; the big deal was to try to get in the Alameda back then. We were scared shitless we would get caught, they didn’t care just took our money. This was in the late 50’s; it was an old theater that had seen better days, the kind with a little ticket booth out front. Everyone in there was smoking, so you watched the show through a haze highlighted by the stage lights. There was a three-piece band, as I recall, or at least a drummer. We watched some women glide around onstage and swing their breasts to make their tassels twirl. Just didn’t see what the big deal was, so after a few dancers we left. But, we had bragging rights.
I would love to say I saw Tempest Storm, but I didn’t. One thing is certain, I will never forget that experience.
I should tell you about the Moonlight Ranch sometime.
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One of the prompts this week was… smoky stage lights… That made me think of this story.
The Alameda Theatre opened as the Nippon Theatre in 1907 and sat 450. The theatre closed in 1960 during the redevelopment boom in Sacramento. And, Tempest Storm did play there.
She graduated from The Theater School in Chicago, winning Best Actress in her Junior and Senior years. She would go on to act professionally in Chicago and San Francisco. Today she is the drama instructor at a high school, taking a role in a play on occasion. I’ve seen a lot of her performances over the years, but one will always stand out in my memory:
She was eighteen years old and had the lead in a play. You could hear the purses click open and tissues being retrieved. I was not watching my daughter, I was watching Anne Frank.
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I’m always honored when Rochelle Wisoff-Fields uses one of my photos as a prompt for the Friday Fictioneers writing group. I was attending a play at the Paramount Theater in Seattle when I took this photo. I didn’t have a chance to write my story then, but here it is now. Here is another story I wrote about the same actress… THE CRUSADER … and the Acting Student
Note to my fellow Friday Fictioneers: I missed writing a story for this prompt from a few weeks ago. Here is my story. Hopefully Rochelle will not notice that I have posted it on a different week, but I wanted my FFFriends to read it.
I first posted this story on March 15, 2012… I thought it would be fun to bring back for St. Pat’s Day 2016… it was one of my first attempts at writing a Haiku…
Quill Shiv has a new Haiku writing prompt… A photo of Saint Patrick.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos… In 1986, back in my Restaurant Days, I went to work for Jerry Franco. Jerry was a bit of a culinary impresario on the Sacramento restaurant scene. He had just reopened the Town House on 21st Street, down the block from The Sacramento Bee newspaper. The Town House had been a Mexican Food tradition and had been sitting empty for a few years after the owner retired. Franco had opened in a blaze of glory, courting the news hounds and the denizens of California State Government. Having just left a job managing The Fabulous Fifties Cafe, I was ready to mingle with and serve adults. So I went to work for Jerry as a waiter/bartender/manager.
It was a fun place to work, and we did some crazy promotions to try to make the Town House a success. Big lunch business, big after-work bar business. He kept a few Mexican items on the menu, along with the ‘Upscale Designer’ dishes he came up with. Each Happy Hour, we featured a Taco Bar, where the patrons could make their own tacos, to wash down with their Martinis and G & T’s. For me, that taco bar was a pain in the ass, since I had to leave the bar and run back to the kitchen to replenish the supplies. But the tips were pretty good as long as the food held out.
I was honored to be a contributor to Katherine’s fascinating blog. I hope my friends will take a look and enjoy her work. If you have any old strips around, think about sharing them with her… and the world. Now I have to figure out how to tell Cheryl I did this… but judging by the first comments, I don’t think she will mind.
I thought I would share this reblog with my friends at The Still, to introduce them to a most interesting blog by a friend Down Under… perhaps you too would like to share with her… check out her blog, and start digging through those old forgotten treasures and share them with Katherine at Photobooth Journal
p.s. I have heard from Cheryl… she remembered the Rainbow Club and didn’t mind at all…
One of the more exciting, and for me, unexpected aspects of being a blogger is the amount of enthusisam and generosity that comes to my inbox out of the blue and from all around the world. I have recently started following a blog by Ted Strutz of Friday Harbor, Wasington State in the San Juan Islands, USA. The blog is called TedBook and has some very amusing conversational short stories that I encourage you to check out. Ted emailed me the above photos and the following history a couple of days ago –
When I lived in Chicago in the 80’s and early 90’s, there was a bar called the Rainbow Room. It was quite large with a big horseshoe shaped bar, booths, tables and a stage, maybe a dance floor. They played 33 LPs on a phonograph. Kind of an artsy place. There was a photo booth as well…
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To start off the 2014… my first blog post on WordPress… and an entry in a new writing group for me…’ yeah write’!
When I was 15 my father thought it would be a great idea if I worked on a cattle ranch hauling hay… to teach me the lesson of why I should go to college. Well, I did go to college but not because hauling hay was hard work. (which it was) So, in 1958 I spent 4 glorious weeks on a cattle ranch in Modoc County near the town of Adin. Our family spent a few weeks each summer at our friends ranch… and I got an extended stay. The rancher’s wife took me to town in Alturas, and I got fitted with boots, jeans and a cowboy hat! It was Farmer’s Boot Camp for sure… they treated me as an adult and expected me to work. I learned how to do, and did, everything re: haying. I straightened and raked furrows, repaired broken bales, moved bales into rows, rode…
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SAINT PATRICK’S DAY REVISIT…
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What would you put in a 2012 time capsule? A ‘Daily Prompt’ by WordPress
I have no idea what I would put in my 2012 Time Capsule. But, the prompt did make me think of a time capsule I did do, almost 60 years ago.
When I was a kid… living in Sacramento… my best friend Jim Kiedasch and I made a Time Capsule. We placed some important items in one of those army-green ammo boxes my father had brought back from the war. I can remember a 45 rpm record by Elvis, some photos of us, copies of the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union, and a wire recording we had made, telling the events of the day, the biggest one being… burying our Time Capsule. We sealed the box with candle wax to keep out moisture. Dug a hole in the flower garden in my parent’s back yard, and covered the box with rocks before filling it in with dirt. We were very careful to replace the flowers on top. Our only witness was my sister Nancy… and a cat. She didn’t know what the hell we were doing, and neither did the cat, so our secret was safe.
We never dug it up. I would like to think it is still in the back yard, under the rocks and dirt.
|Press made by Steve Gutmann|
High in the Sequoia National Forrest somewhere, is a gathering of Musicians and Artists sharing music, dance and experiences during a giant two week camp out. There are a lot of talented people, from all around the world. What am I doing here? After hearing about Sweet’s Mill from my daughter, like forever, I decided to attend. Krista and her BFF Kristen have been going since they were kids, and now my granddaughter, Ula, has been attending for all of her 11 years. Krista is an actress and Kristen is a Belly Dancer. I have no musical talents and marginal artistic skills, but I do like to take photos, so I decided to chronicle life at Sweet’s Mill.
|soon the ‘bookmakers were deep into cardboard, art paper and paste…|
|making the binding|
|attaching cover plates|
|sizing art paper for cover|
|gluing cover together|
|adding the pages|
|Kristen & Sky|
And, that’s how you make a book!
I’m looking forward to Sweet’s Mill next month… I will probably make another book, but Sky is also the head of the Photography Department at Cal Poly… and I just bought a new camera… I have lots to learn.
One day, the actress took me to see Graceland Cemetery… I was living in Chicago, and she said it was a must see. It was a beautiful spring day, and we strolled the grounds… me snapping pics and she studying her lines for a play that was opening soon. Never one to miss a dramatic opportunity, she began posing with the statuary… giving me her reaction to each theme. When we came to the stone knight, she fell to the ground and played the ‘fair maiden struck down in the prime of life’. After she got up, I asked her if he had slain her. “Oh no”, she replied, “he stands guard, protecting her.”
The Crusader by Lorado Taft (1931)… Cemeteries are the perfect place for a history lesson. I learned a lot about Chicago history at Graceland. The place names I had seen around the city came alive with the dead. The men and women who created Chicago, or made her interesting, making their final stop at Graceland and the other cemeteries around town. Their gravesites were fascinating, not only for the artwork, but for how they wanted to be portrayed. Some erected huge mausoleums, and some preferred something quieter… like their name carved upon a rock. Victor Lawson got a Medieval Knight. Victor was the publisher of the Chicago Daily News, and the sculpture embodied his character. The monument does not bear Lawson’s name, but does have an inscription which reads, “Above all things truth beareth away victory”. At his brother’s request, Lorado Taft sculpted The Crusader out of a single block of dark granite.
Taft’s most famous sculpture also stands sentinel at Graceland… although of a different type… it is entitled Eternal Silence.
I thought of my photo, taken in 1988, while watching Game of Thrones last night. The knights protecting their charges… and some not with protection in mind.
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For my friends hanging out at the Still. Here is one I wrote a while back… I thought of it when I advised one of our yeahwriters (the girl in Chicago… do you know who I mean?) to visit Graceland Cemetery.
For my other friends, check out this week’s other stories at yeahwrite’s Moonshine Grid