Thursday, February 23, 2017

1953 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5 (Berlinetta Aerodynamica Technica) -- February 23, 2017

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos. The 1953 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5 (Berlinetta Aerodynamica Technica).  The B.A.T. 5, an aerodynamic concept car, was designed and built by Franco Scaglione and Nuccio Bertone.  Despite the number 5, it was the first of the B.A.T. series.  (051/dsc_0123)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Battle Stories -- February 21, 2017

The January, 1929 Battle Aces included the story "Lyons of the Cloud Patrol" -- good title.  Author Raoul Whitfield trained as a flier during World War One.  This issue included a story by Arthur Guy Empey, who turns up a lot in this blog. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents' Day 2017 -- February 20, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt, the Trust Buster, the Hero of San Juan Hill, TR. One of my favorite Presidents.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Executive Order 9066 -- February 19, 2017
Seventy-five years ago today, on 19-February-1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which set up military zones in the United States and allowed for the internment of Japanese-Americans and for restrictions on German-Americans and Italian-Americans. 

When I grew up, many neighbors and parents of friends had been interned.  They generally did not want to talk about it. My Italian-American grandmother had to follow a strict curfew. 

When I was in college, we argued about whether this was necessary.  It was not.  There was Japanese spying and sabotage in Hawaii, but they didn't intern Japanese-Hawaiians because it would have destroyed the economy. 

Third Annnual Buster Keaton Blogathon -- February 19, 2017

Lea at Silent-ology is hosting the Third Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon:

My entry for the blogathon is on my movies-mostly blog, The Big V Riot Squad:
Buster Keaton: From Stage to Screen

 I write about Buster Keaton and his transition from the family act in vaudeville to making movies with Roscoe Arbuckle.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book: Somme 1916 -- February 17, 2017

I read Paul Kendall's book Somme 1916, which takes a detailed look at the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.  Kendall writes from the British point of view, panning from the left end of the line where there was a diversion, to the left and center where there was hopeless slaughter, to the right where there was some success.

The book begins with an introduction to the British Army in the early war, explaining the distinctions among the Regular Army, the Territorials, and Kitchener's New Army.  It shows the conflicts that took place during the planning for the battle.  The first part concludes with the week-long preliminary bombardment.

Parts 2 through 7 cover the sector assigned to each corps.  The stories of young men, officers, NCOs and enlisted, getting mown down by German machine guns and artillery gets depressing.  Stories of individual bravery make it a bit easier to read.  One chapter is dedicated to the horrible Livens Flame Projectors, which were giant flamethrowers that had to be buried in the ground in No Man's Land.

Part 8 evaluates the battle.  Kendall feels that the effort, which helped lead to the later German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, was worth it. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Professor Irwin Corey, RIP -- February 15, 2017
I was sad to see that we have lost Professor Irwin Corey, the World's Foremost Authority.  He was only 102.  He played the hungry i in San Francisco. 

I wanted to create an act like his. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Al Jarreau, RIP -- February 13, 2017

I was driving to my mom's house Sunday morning and Keith Hines played "Something That You Said/A Remark That You Made" on KCSM; after he announced that Al Jarreau died that morning.

He had a beautiful voice.  He managed to cross over and have success as a pop artist.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy Birthday, President Lincoln -- February 12, 2017

Saturday Evening Post, 12-February-1944

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 208th birthday. My favorite president.

"How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."

The cover of the 12-February-1944 Saturday Evening Post.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wake Up -- February 11, 2017

Motion Picture World, 01-August-1914

In honor of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rooster, here is the Pathé rooster, symbol of the second-oldest movie production company in the world.  Pathé Frères was founded in 1896 by Charles, Émile, Théophile and Jacques Pathé.

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is tonight.   The parade has taken place since the 1860s. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bark Carrolton Was in Trouble -- February 9, 2017

San Francisco Call, March 15, 1897

The drawing is from the 15-March-1897 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.  The Battleship Oregon was built by the Union Iron Works in San Francisco.  Oregon served in the fleet that destroyed the Spanish fleet at Santiago de Cuba. In 1915 she visited the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Starting in 1925, she was preserved at Portland, Oregon as a museum ship. When World War II broke out, she was scrapped.

After Making a Picturesque Entry She Went Adrift.
Collided With the Battle-Ship Oregon, but Did Very Little Damage.

The American bark Carrolton made a most picturesque entry into port last Friday, but she did not look so well yesterday morning when she was afoul of the battle-ship Oregon. The red-stack tug Sea King separated the two vessels and the Carrolton is again at her anchorage. 

As the Carroiton was making the Golden Gate the moon broke through the clouds and showed her the way in. She was brought to an anchor off Folsom-street wharf, but during the night fouled her anchor. The turn of the tide set her adrift, and the first thing the crew knew about the accident was when she bumped up against the Oregon. Neither vessel was damaged to any extent and the Carrolton will dock to-day to discharge her cargo of coal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Martin Bomber -- February 7, 2017

Aerial Age Weekly, 15-September-1919
The 15-September-1919 issue of Aerial Age Weekly featureda Glenn L Martin Company ad for the Martin Bomber.  The Martin MB-1 was the first American designed and built heavy bomber.  I have always liked its appearance.  The Army Air Service used 10 MB-1s and the Navy and Marine Corps used 10, designated MBT or MT, as torpedo bombers. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Killed the First Day of the Somme -- Gilbert Waterhouse -- February 5, 2017

On 01-July-2016, I missed the opportunity to mark the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  More British soldiers died on that day than on any other day in history.  I thought to make up for it, I would write about some of the poets who died that day.  There were a lot.

Gilbert Waterhouse was an architect who served in the Second Battalion of the Essex Regiment.  He was reported wounded and missing on the first day of the battle.  His body was recovered after the battle.

I had trouble finding examples of his work. 

The image is from the movie The Battle of the Somme.


Coming in splendor thro' the golden gate 
Of all the days, swift passing, one by one, 
Oh, silent planet, thou hast gazed upon 
How many harvestings, dispassionate? 
Across the many-furrowed fields of Fate, 
Wrapt in the mantle of oblivion, 
The old, gray, wrinkled Husbandman has gone, 
Sowing and reaping, lone and desolate— 
The blare of trumpets, rattle of the drum, 
Disturb him not at all—He sees, 
Between the hedges of the centuries, 
A thousand phantom armies go and come, 
While Reason whispers as each marches past, 
"This is the last of wars,—this is the last 1"

Lieut. Gilbert Waterhouse.

Friday, February 3, 2017

US Breaks Relations With Germany -- February 3, 2017

Chicago Day Book, 03-February-1917

100 years ago today, the United States broke diplomatic relations with the German Empire after Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare.  


Gerard Is Recalled -- Swiss Minister Takes Charge of Teuton Affairs -- President Addresses Congress -- May Avoid Actual War Unless Germany Sink U. S. Ship --Navy Yards Guarded. 

Washington, Feb. 3. -- President Wilson told congress this afternoon he had instructed Secretary of State Lansing to break off diplomatic relations with Germany.

Ambassador Gerard and all American consuls have been recalled from Germany.

German Ambassador Von Bernstotff was handed his passports at 1 :57 this afternoon.

The Swiss minister has taken over all business of the German legation.

In view of the German declaration for ruthless submarine warfare, the president declared no course was left open except to break relations with Germany.

He declared all neutrals should follow the example of the United States.

War, said the president, was not an inevitable outcome of the severance of relations.

He hoped the German government would make no attack on American ships and seamen.

The United States, he saidy stood for right and justice.

The United States is not self seeking in its attitude toward Germany he declared.

Unless driven to it by Germany, force may still be avoided in maintaining the safety of U. S. ships and upholding American rights and ideas.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Groundhog Day 2017 -- February 2, 2017

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone.  This groundhog does not look very happy.  For some reason he reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock.