Friday, September 18, 2020

Jimi Hendrix 50 Years -- September 18, 2020

 

listal.com

50 years ago today, on 18-September-1970, guitarist, singer and composer Jimi Hendrix died of too much living. 


Thursday, September 17, 2020

"Jim" Thorpe Head of the Football Professionals -- September 17, 2020

 

Richmond Times-Dispatch, 19-September-1920

I don't usually write about football in this blog, but the National Football League celebrates its 100th birthday today, 17-September-2020.  The new league called itself the American Professional Football Association. Native American Jim Thorpe, winner of the Decathlon at the 1912 Olympic Games and coach of the Canton Bulldogs, one of the ten teams, was elected president. Note that the newspaper misspelled his family name in the headline. 

I couldn't find a reference to it in newspapers of the 17th and 18th, but I found this in the 19-September-1920 Richmond Times-Dispatch.  

"JIM" THORP HEAD OF THE
FOOTBALL PROFESSIONALS
Famous Indian Athlete, Coach of
Canton Bulldogs Chosen President
of Association.

CANTON, OHIO, Sept. 18 -- James Thorpe, famous Indian football player and coach of the Canton Bulldogs, a local professional team, has been chosen head of the American Professional Football Association, the only professional football organization In the country.

Professional Football Association Representatives of eleven cities unanimously voted Thorpe to the presidency with Stanley Cofall, of Cleveland, as vice-president. and Art Tanney, of Akron, for secretary and treasurer.

At the meeting held here last night, Rock Island, Ill.; Rochester, N. Y.; Muncie, lnd.; Decatur, Ill.; Chicago, Cleveland, Dayton, Hammond, lnd.; and Akron teams were represented. A decision was reached to refrain from luring players out of college football for the professional football games.



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wall Street Bombing 100 Years -- September 16, 2020

 

Washington Evening Star, 17-September-1920

100 years ago today, on 16-September-1920, a bomb exploded in the Financial District of Manhattan. 30 people died immediately and 8 others later. 143 were seriously injured. Many people blamed the Bolsheviks, but the crime has never been solved. Many people attribute it to Italian anarchists. 

DEATH TOLL IN WALL STREET 36;

PALMER TO GUIDE BOMB INQUIRY;
TWO WASHINGTON MEN VICTIMS
Infernal Device
Caused Blast,
Flynn Finds.

PIECES OF METAL
FOUND BY POLICE

Time Contrivance
Believed Set Off
Terrific Explosion.

By the Associated Press.
NEW YORK, September 17.--
William J. Flynn. chief of the bureau of investigation. Department of Justice, declared this afternoon he was positive that a bomb had caused the explosion in Wall street yesterday which took a toll of thirty-four lives, injured about 200 persons and caused property damage running into the millions.

Chief Flynn made his announcement shortly after Fire Commissioner Drennan had reported to Mayor Hylan his belief that a bomb was responsible for the disaster and the police had begun to swing to the bomb theory as opposed to that of a collision between a powder wagon and an automobile.

"There Is absolutely no doubt that it was a bomb." said Chief Flynn. "An important development in the last two hours has convinced us of this. The bomb was apparently placed by a person who was within four blocks of wall and Broad streets when the explosion occurred."

Police Hunting Driver.

Certain at last of the cause of the explosion, federal agents and city police increased their search for the driver of a wagon drawn by one horse which was blown to pieces. No trace of him has yet been found.

The theory of the investigators is that a time bomb was placed on the wagon, and that the driver hurried from scene Just after arranging for the explosion to occur at noon.

At police headquarters it was said the first task would be to assemble the fragments in an effort to reconstruct the bomb and determine whether It was made by skilled hands or by a novice.

Search of the wreckage near the scene revealed, according to a high official who request that his name be withheld, fragments of clockwork, such as is commonly found in bombs. Three pieces of curved metal also were found beneath the surface of the pavement, in the hole caused by the explosion. Another piece of similar metal was taken from the body of Robert Westday. a sixteen-year-old messenger, who was killed according to Dr. Charles H. Norris, chief medical examiner.

Thirty-six persons are dead and more than 200 injured from the explosion yesterday, declared by the police here as probably caused by an infernal machine. Discovery of parts of clockwork In the wreckage and announcement by experts that the trinitrotoluols, or picric acid was used in the bomb, if there was one, have sent detectives and Department of Justice men on thirty "leads" pointing to bomb plots and radical activities.

Man Held in Canada.

Edward P. Fischer, a former employe or the French high commission in New York, who was detained by the police in Hamilton, Ont., today after he is alleged to have sent two postcards to friends here from Toronto, warning them not to be in Wall street at 3 o'clock Wednesday, the 15th. will be brought to New York to testify before the September grand Jury. This body today was ordered to inquire into the disaster.

Shortly before word of Fischer's detention was received here a representative of the district attorney's office left for Toronto with a subpoena for him.

Six expert chemists attached to the bureau of mines of the Department of the Interior arrived at police headquarters this afternoon from Washington and assisted in reconstructing metal fragments believed to have been part of a bomb.

Chief Flynn said that the bureau of investigation hoped to know definitely by tomorrow just what kind of a bomb was used. Expert metallurgical examination of bits of iron found in the financial district was hastened with a view of obtaining this information.

Morgans Start Inquiry.

While a half dozen official investigations were under way, members of the firm of J. P. Morgan and Company conferred in regard to the disaster. Then they issued a statement to the effect that they had no knowledge as to the cause or motives of the explosion. Several members of the firm have received verbal and written communications in regard to the explosion. but they say that none has thrown any light upon it.

The Morgan firm began an investigation independent of those conducted by federal and city authorities.

"We have a thousand and one things to do." said Chief Flynn, who came from Washington yesterday on being informed of the explosion, "but we'll probably untangle the mystery."

The federal agents awaited further metallurgical examination of specimens of the hundreds of iron slugs like bits of mottled solid iron bars, about an inch and one-half in diameter. which were found at the scene of the explosion. A preliminary report by an expert failed to indicate any connection between yesterday's affair and the countrywide bomb explosions of a year ago last, when the homes of Attorney General Palmer in Washington and residences of other prominent men in different parts of the country were bombed.

In fact, the federal agents were inclined to the belief that if yesterday's affair was planned by anarchists they were of a new school, at least in their destructive methods. Scores of agents at the scene immediately after the explosion sought traces of the pink paper circulars which were found where bombs exploded in the outrages last year. None were found.

Scores Are Questioned.

Scores of persons seeking exemption from classification as enemy aliens or desiring the vise of the department on the passports of friends in Europe who desire to emigrate to the United States were questioned at the bureau today as to whether they had any information possibly bearing upon the explosion.

At noon police investigators declared they stood "about fifty-fifty on the dynamite wagon and time-bomb theories "

Police Inspector William Lahey directing detectives, said that in addition to seeking to reconstruct "the bomb" and establish ownership of the wrecked wagon, his force were examining sweepings collected by the street cleaning department in the financial district. They were being thoroughly sifted in the search for evidence, he said.

The inspector said marks had been found on the shoes of the dead horse attached to the wagon and that he hoped soon to find the blacksmith who had shod the beast. He expressed the opinion that the vehicle was probably a junk wagon,

The Regular September grand jury was today instructed by Judge William H. Wadhams of the court of general sessions immediately to begin an inquiry into the Wall street disaster.

Judge Wadhams told the jury the inquiry would be divided into two phases: First, to determine whether a crime had been committed, and second whether the disaster was due to criminal negligence. He said it seemed apparent from reports that the explosion had been caused by one or the other.

Man Quarter Mile Away Hit.

George Lamb, division superintendent of the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice, who, today examined evidence brought him by a score of special agents, found one man had been while on John street, fully a quarter of a mile from the scene of the explosion by a window sash weight. The metal, nearly two inches in length, was hot when it fell.

Six expert wagon makers expressed the opinion at police headquarters that the "powder wagon" was a closed vehicle of old-time design. They said that fragments of the vehicle indicated it was so distinctly a relic of wagon making of former days that the task of establishing its identity should be easier than at first was expected.

Assistant District Attorney Talley said today:
"The big thing is to establish ownership of that truck. Every livery stable in the city is being canvassed to find if a horse or truck is missing. Places where explosives are stored have also been canvassed and we have not been able to find that the explosives came from any place authorized to handle them."

Rigid inspection of the magazines and records of each place where blasting is being done in the downtown district, the report stated, showed that "no explosives have either been delivered or removed."

"Pieces of sheet metal resembling tin," the report said, "were found in the debris, similar to metal lining such as is used in the construction of export cases for high explosives.

Window Weight Clue.

No sash weights, such as were used in the bomb and fragments of which pitted the windows and walls of the J.P. Morgan and Co. institution and the United States assay building, are missing, the report said, from any of the windows in the vicinity of the explosion. The type of sash weight is regarded as an important clew in the unravelling of the great mystery.

A piece of metal, presumably from a bomb, and an iron slug weighing about a pound were found by U.S. Grant, deputy assistant treasurer, on the roof of the subtreasury building this morning.

Fire Chief Kenlon and Chief Brophy of the bureau of combustibles conferred at city hall this morning with Mayor Hylan. They presented reports on what they believed to be the cause of the explosion. The mayor indicated he would make these public later.

Several New York detectives and secret service men left the city before dawn this morning for unannounced destinations on out-of-town ends of the investigation of the explosion. William J. Flynn, chief of the bureau of investigation of the Department of Justice, viewed the scene of the blast personally, accompanied by police headquarters detectives and his own men, steadfastly refusing to talk on the subject.

Troops were held in readiness on Governors Island today. and detachments of the 22d Infantry were in barracks subject to instant call.

All public buildings and the homes of wealthy and prominent men here are under special watch, and every available man is held in reserve or actively working.

Police Let in Workers.

Between 8 and 9 o'clock this morning police lines in the financial district were relaxed for admission of the thousands of workers. During the same period emergency patrols were doubled, and every doorway and alley was under close inspection. Downtown subway stations were kept cleared by a large force of police.

During the early hours public and private agencies cleaned up Wall street, sweeping up tons of debris and washing down blood-spattered sidewalks and buildings. Repairmen in force started work remedying damage to twisted iron office structures in the Morgan building, and glaziers by scores began the long task of restoring window panes in the entire financial hub.

Two reported warnings that the explosion was to occur figured in the investigation today.

One of these was a letter received by Lieut. Arnaud of the French high commission from a man known to have been a former employe of the commission, who predicted, it was said, such an occurrence and warned the commission to close the office and send the employes home yesterday afternoon.

The other was a letter received two days ago by George Ketchledge, an employe of a brokerage house, from Edward Fischer, in Toronto, Canada, who warned against remaining in Wall street "after 3 o clock on the 15th," and ended his missive with "good luck."

Bonds Lost in Confusion.

Efforts also were made today to ascertain the approximate amount of bonds and other negotiable securities said to have been lost during yester day's confusion.

Special detectives and officials of surety companies were exerting their efforts to this end. It was reported the amount of securities lost was expected to run into several hundred thousand dollars.

Estimates of the property damage run as high as $2,500,000.

The authorities said that the finding of these bits of evidence virtually dissipated the theory held earlier by some officials that the explosion might have been caused by an accidental collision with a wagon loaded with explosives. Examination of the wrecked wagon revealed, according to the police, that it was what is known as a "rack truck." and that it was unlikely that a vehicle of this type would be used to transport powerful explosives.

Careful investigation by city authorities showed that no permits had been granted for carting explosives yesterday.

These and other scattering reports chiefly occupied the attention of William J. Flynn. chief of the bureau of investigation of the Department of Justice, who arrived early today from Washington to take personal charge of the investigation.

Thomas W. Lamont of J. P. Morgan and Co., however, in front of whose offices the explosion occurred, expressed the opinion that it was purely accidental.

Offices Being Repaired.

Work of repairing the shattered windows and twisted fixtures in the stock exchange, the offices of J. P. Morgan & Co., the subtreasury and various nearby buildings began during the night, and a close guard of police and soldiers from Governors Island was kept throughout the district. Searchlights criss-crossed in the sky above the buildings, and no one was allowed on the streets. The special corps of guards will be kept in the roped-off district for several days, it was announced. Entrance into that district will be by well established credentials only.

Mayor Hylan called a meeting of the board of estimates today to consider a proposal by him to offer a reward of $10,000 for the apprehension and conviction of the person responsible for the tragedy.

The various exchanges, which were closed soon after the explosion, announced that they would reopen today.

The financial district was crowded with sightseers this morning surveying the scene of yesterday's mysterious explosion. Police lines were established for a distance of two blocks north, east, south and west, the market police aiding in maintaining order.

The stock market opened promptly at 10 o'clock with no outward signs of excitement and few traces of yesterday's disaster aside from the windows, which were covered with canvas in place of the huge glass planes (sic - JT) splintered by yesterday's explosion.

A large majority of the active members of the exchange were present when the opening gong sounded and business proceeded in normal fashion with a fair degree of activity. At the United States subtreasury and assay office, which were directly in the line of the explosion, the day's routine was taken up without a hitch, although extra guards were on duty as a precautionary measure.

Guard About Morgans.

The banking house of J.P. Morgan and Company, which suffered most in the catastrophe, also was heavily guarded by regular police and a score of private detectives. All the windows on the main floor of the building, which were blown in by the concussion, were covered with canvas. The interior of the building continued to show the extent of yesterday's disaster.

Several of the Morgan partners were early on hand, but had nothing to add to their brief statements of yesterday, nor would they vouchsafe any theory as to the cause or motive of the explosion. The majority of the clerical force also appeared for work.

There was an unusually large attendance of prospective customers at the offices of leading brokerage houses, and firms with out-of-town wire connections reported buying orders. All indications pointed to an active day on the stock market.

The banks opened as usual, but their messengers and runners, who usually carry large amounts of valuable securities, were escorted by guards as a precautionary measure against the crowds in the district.

The first of the Morgan partners to arrive at the office this morning was Thomas Cochran. With him were the Junior members, Junius Spencer Morgan, E.C Bacon and George Whitney. Most of the office staff were on hand, although a few of the woman employes remained at home.

Before 11 o'clock Mr. Cochran was joined by Thomas W. Lamont and Dwight W. Morrow, fellow partners. They immediately went into conference, and it was intimated that a statement giving the views of the firm would be issued later in the day.

On the desk of one of the members was a jagged piece of cylindrical iron about 4 1/2 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.

Task Centers on Identity.

Every foot of space at police headquarters was filled this morning, when the entire resources of the department were centered on the task of identifying the horse and wagon, the remains of which were found in front of the subtreasury.

Under the direction of Police Commissioner Enright. who was expected to make a statement later in the day, Capt. Arthur Carey, chief of the homicide bureau, summoned hundreds of harness makers, blacksmiths, wagon manufacturers and livery stable proprietors in an effort to determine first what type of wagon it was and, second, who owned it. This task appeared difficult, because the first few experts declared that fragments of the wagon and bits of harness collected and brought to headquarters indicated that the vehicle was of an ordinary type, such as might be used for a hundred and one purposes. The experts were endeavoring to reconstruct it as carefully as scientists assemble the bones of a pre-historic animal.

The board of estimate, meeting this morning, appropriated $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons implicated in the explosion. An additional $500 was appropriated for information leading to the establishment of the ownership of the horse and wagon. A proposal by one member that $25,000 be authorized was rejected.

The junction of Wall, Broad and Nashua streets, the scene of the explosion, today was crowded as ever  before the narrow streets of the financial district were thronged with thousands of curiosity seekers, who were kept on the move by 500 police men.

Window Weights Found.

It was apparent that the police were closely scrutinizing all passersby.

The explosion, according to the official investigators, "apparently occurred in a horse-drawn, covered wagon at a point almost opposite an entrance to the United States assay office."

The investigators found that the wagon had a red running gear and that there were no markings on the harness other than to show it was for one horse.

The small pieces of window weights with which the infernal machine had been loaded had been "fused by an Intense heat," indicating they had been cut into slugs by a high-powered gas burner.

Referring to the theory that the explosion had been caused by collision of an automobile with a powder wagon, Commissioner Drennan said that only two concerns are licensed to convey explosives through the streets of New York and that all of their wagons and motor trucks had been accounted for.

No blasting powder, dynamite or trinitrotoluol was delivered by either concern to any of the four places in the downtown district where blasting is being done, the report stated.

Shortly after the grand jury went into session Mr. Talley appeared before the inquisitors to aid them. All the evidence now being collected by the police, fire department and district attorney's office, as well as that obtained by federal investigators, will be put at the disposal of the jurors. They left for the scene of the disaster at 1:30 p.m.

Mr. Talley said chemists are at work to ascertain the type of explosive used. It was expected the experts could determine whether TNT or some other equally high explosive was used.

The prosecutor has requested the police to obtain from all the hospitals a list of the wounded in order that he may have a complete statement from every witness.

Assistant District Attorney John F. Joyce, chief of the homicide bureau of the district attorney's office, informed Mr. Talley that two wounded men treated at the Volunteer Hospital were reported to have said that the "bomb wagon," besides being painted red as is required of all explosive conveyers, bore a red flag in the rear and large letters on the side reading: "Explosives."

These men, whose names were withheld, are being sought by the police.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Jessye Norman 75 -- September 15, 2020


Soprano Jessye Norman was born 75 years ago today, on 15-September-1945.  She had a distinctive voice. She died in 2019. 





Monday, September 14, 2020

Toots Hibbert, RIP -- September 14, 2020

 

listal.com

I was sad to learn that Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals has died. He was the first person to use the word reggae ("Reggay") in a song title. He was known as a good person. He died of the TrumpVirus. 


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Comic Book -- Pep Comics -- September 13, 2020

 

coverbrowser.com

The cover of issue 26 of Pep Comics features a fascist smashing the Bill of Rights. The Hangman, the Shield and his sidekick Dusty come to the rescue. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pulp -- Battle Stories -- September 12, 2020

 

www.coverbrowser.com

This issue of Battle Stories includes a story about French ace Georges Guynemer. I don't remember him being a balloon buster. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

09/11 -- September 11, 2020


The alarm went off at 05:29. I switched the radio from FM to AM and tuned into KCBS. They reported that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center. Thinking of the bomber that hit the Empire State Building, I said it had to be an accident.

After I got dressed, I went downstairs and turned on the television, which I very rarely do in the morning, and they said another airplane had the other tower. Then I thought it couldn't be an accident, but I didn't understand how hijackers could force a pilot to fly his airplane into a building. Later on we learned that the hijackers had been flying the planes.

There weren't as many people as usual on the bus to work. I think I heard about the plane that hit the Pentagon while I was there. My manager told us that we could go home if we wanted to. My wife was working and my daughter was in school, so I didn't see a reason to leave.

We couldn't get any news on the internet, but I plugged in my radio and we all listened.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

George Kelly 125 -- September 10, 2020

 

New York Tribune, 02-May-1920

George Kelly, called High Pockets because of his exceptional height, played first base for the New Giants when they appeared in the World Series four years in a row and won twice. Kelly was born in San Francisco 125 years ago today, on 10-September-2020. The Veterans' Committee voted him into the Hall of Fame in 1973, and it was a controversial choice because two of his teammates were on the committee. I remember a local television show that interviewed several local Hall of Famers. Kelly was on it. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

I'm Gonna Let Them Rainbows Chase Me -- September 9, 2020

 

Washington Times, 22-September 1919

I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Lou Brock, RIP -- September 8, 2020

 


Lou Brock has died. I remember  him as a great hitter, base stealer and outfielder for the Cardinals. His parents were sharecroppers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985. 


Monday, September 7, 2020

Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Great Fight in England Between Caunt and Bendigo -- September 5, 2020

 

New York Herald, 04-October-1845

William Abednego Thompson (no relation), usually called Bendigo or The Nottingham Jester, was a great British boxer, who is sometimes referred to as the first world heavyweight champion. He introduced the southpaw stance to boxing. Bendigo fought Ben Caunt, The Torkard Giant, four times. Their fight on 05-September-1845 was their third meeting. Bendigo won all the fights except the second. 

Under the London Prize Ring Rules, contestants fought without gloves and rounds ended when one or both fighters went down. They then had 30 seconds to come up to scratch, a mark in the middle of the ring. The man who failed to come up to scratch lost the fight. Wrestling was allowed.


THE GREAT FIGHT in ENGLAND
BETWEEN
CAUNT AND BENDIGO.

The Great Fight between Caunt and Bendigo for $2,000.

In consequence of the great interest excited in this country relative to the particulars and result of this affair, we have been induced to give a much fuller account, than we otherwise would have done. In addition to the amount of money pending, the championship of England, or " the belt," as respects pugilism, is the reward of the victor. There is every reason to believe, that the successful man on this occasion, will have several other powerful opponents to contend againsi, ere he be allowed to retain the victor's garland in peace.

[From the Sunday Times. Sept 14. ]

The match which, ever since the 17th of April last, on which day it was made, has excited nn extraordinary degree of interest, increasing in intensity as the period for its decision approached, was brought to a conclusion on Tuesday last, in a field close to Sutfield Green, beyond Lillingston Level, in the county of Oxford, we regret to record under circumstances which are far from calculated to sustain the reputation of British boxers, still less to dignify the office of "Champion of England." There was considerable difficulty in selecting ground lor the affair, owing to the interference of the authorities, and objections of the parties, but at length the above named spot was selected. When the ring was formed considerable violence took place by a gang of organized rowdies, who appeared determined to rule the roast for the day. Indeed, long before the fight was over, all those who were at first content to seat themselves on the grass, as peaceable spectators, were obliged to assume the perpendicular, and those who could not resist the fearful crushes from with out, were glad to retire to the rear, and to be content with a casual squint at the combatants, while the umpires and referee were at times so completely overwhelmed as to he obliged to fly within the ropes and stakes for protection. Caunt was the first to make his appearance on the ground, attended by Molyneux (the black) and Jem Turner as his seconds, Ben Butler (Caunt's uncle) having charge of the bottles, lie was loudly cheered, and was in high spirits. Bendigo attended by Mick Ward and Jack Hannan, Jem Ward and Jem Burn next arrived, and the most deafening shouts proved the extent of his popularity, while the Nottingham "roughs" flourishing tneir sticks, and surrounding the ropes and stakes, evinced a spirit of partisanship. After the first ebullition had subsided, Caunt and Bendigo shook hands, and the toss for choice of corners took place. This was won by Caunt, who took the higher ground with his back to the sun. while Bendigo, having "Hobson's choice," was constrained to take the opposite corner, the sun shining full in his face. On stripping, the contrast between the men was extraordinary. Caunt, as compared with Bendigo, presented a gigantic aspect, while his huge limbs, divested of their customary covering of flesh, had amost singular appearance. His ribs were as palpable as those of a greyhound, and his long arms, thighs, and legs, covered only with well proportioned muscles and sinews, gave him the appearance of perfect condition. His face, too, had a most extraordinary expression, as he said himself, offering plenty of bony substance on which Bendigo might crack his knuckles. His hair was cut remarkably short, and his ancient scars standing forth undisguised, gave a character to his mug far removed from the poet's description of Adonis. Still his eyes were bright, and there was an expression of good humor in his lank and pale phiz, that showed perfect self-possession and internal confidence. His weight but little exceeded 14st, and his height, rendered more striking from the diminution in his bulk, was exactly six feet two inches and a half. Bendigo offered an aspect much more agreeable; his complexion was clear and fresh-colored, while his frame generally showed perfect health; his weight, we were informed, was 11 stones, 10 pounds. His grey eyes were bright and sparkling, and his manner eccentric, but confident. There is a natural restlessness about htm, which was by no means diminished on this occasion, and he had evidently made up his mind, by every dodge of which he was master, to steal upon his opponent, and to escape from the effects of his fearful physical superiority. He saw that he was numerously supported by his friends, and it was clear that ne was by no means dismayed at the fearfull odds in height and length to which he was about to be opposed. On his side were ranged Jem Ward and Jem Burn, while Tom Spring stood alone the counsel of Caunt, a duty which he performed with modest firmness, although his objections were overruled, and his head more than once in danger of collision with the Nottingham twigs, of which, unluckily, he got a taste. The odds, for there had been a good deal of betting, muy be quoted at 6 to 4 on Caunt.

The Fight.

Round 1. Caunt very eager, his adversary cautious ; Caunt tried his left, but did not reach his man. He then tried it on left and right, but Bendigo got away. Caunt now made himself up as if to go in furiously, but he hit wildly, and only succeeded in patting his man. Bendigo met him as he came, with a severe blow beneath the right eye, which cut the cheek to the bone. The blood came, but not in a stream, the stunning effect of the hit preventing it. Caunt appeared more surprised than pleased, but rushed in. Bendigo hung upon his man in ihe struggle at the ropes, and at length got down. [Shouts lor the hero of Nottingham, who won the event of first blood, and cries of" He'll win it in a canter" from his friends, but no betting.)

2. Caunt seemed cooler and less anxious. He tried for his man but could find no opening, Bendigo shifting about And appearing to have a predilection for the ropes, in working round he slipped, but was up in an instant, and caught his adversary on the nose, but not heavily. Caunt rushed in, and Bendigo got down, Caunt's blood was on Bendy's forehead, and many thought he had received a blow there. Caunt at the close of this round showed distress, and took a drop from the bottle.

3. Caunt would make the fighting, instead of waiting for his man. Bendigo got out of mischief with thu greatest ease, although his adversary, for so big a man, showed great activity. A struggle at the ropes, in which Caunt appeared to try the see sawing system. Bendigo down. Caunt smiling contemptuously. [ fhe cut under the eye began to tell on his visage, and Turner sponged his face.]

4. Caunt cutting out the work, and dashing in; Bendigo tapping him, and getting away. No mischief done, but very vexatious. More struggling. Bendy missed a well-intentioned blow, and receiving on the head, went down. [The Cauntites called this a knock down, which it assuredly was not. The giant evidently distressed; he had been fighting too fast.]

5. Caunt hit out well with his right, but Bendigo got awuy. Bendigo missed his return, and fell. Caunt was about to hit, but refrained, and laughing, as much as to say, "I'm not to be had at that suit," walked to his corner.

6. A rally. A trifling exchange of blows. Bendigo down. Some murmuring.

7. Caunt appeared fresher and more confident, and began as usual. Bendigo now seemed to mean going to work; the action of his muscles was beautiful; he made several offers, and, at last, getting an opening, caught his man on the head; again slightly in the body. A close, and struggle, Bendigo down, Caunt faling over him. ["This will be a long fight.]

8. Caunt drove Bendigo to the ropes; the latter hit his man heavily on the mouth, and went down.

9. Exchanges of no great consequence. Bendigo caught his man on the damaged eye; Caunt delivered slightly on Bendigo's body ; the latter got down, appeared distressed, end made an application-to the bottle.

10,11.12. Hugging matches; no fighting, but struggling on the ropes, which only tended to exhaust the men and disgust the spectators. [The seconds on each side began to advise their men.]

13. This looked like fighting. Caunt meant going to work, but his blow fell short; some, apparently, good exchanges. Bendigo made himself up for mischief, worked into the middle of the ring, and then towards Caunt's corner, when he started out, and caught his man on the eye, and felled him as if lie had been shot. One of the cleanest knock-down blows ever witnessed, Caunt fell like a slain bullock. [Terrific shouting from Bendigo's party, "We shall win without a scratch!" and "Where's your 6 to 4 now?"]

14. Caunt's countenance was a great deal the worse for his adversary's handiwork; his lip had been cut in a previous round, and a piece of it appeared to hang loose. He ran into his man. and commenced the hugging system; Bendigo got too far back on the ropes, Caunt got his arm round his reck, and appeared to be attempting to throttle and drag him forward by the head; Bendigo made almost superhuman exertions to free himself, and at length got down, Caunt falling backwards over him. [ A good deal of disapprobation was expressed. "Molyneux taught him to try and throttle, etc." After this round the black was continually abused by the Nottingham division.]

15. Bendigo, who, whilst in his corner distressed, left the knee bent on mischief. Caunt rushed in as usual, but Bendigo threw him cleverly. [Nobby Clark was supplying the place of Nick Ward about this time. We did not clearly understand why or when this exchange took place ; the proceeding was unusual, and. we apprehend, not/strictly correct)

16. More pulley-hauley, Caunt working his man on the ropes. Both down. [This perpetual resort to the ropes was very bad ; fortunately for Bendigo they were very slack, and the stakes had little or no hold, so that he got down pretty easily.]

17. Bendigo dodging about to all parts of the ring. Caunt trying to get at him in vain ; at length, as he was coming, Bendigo caught him on the nose, and fell.

18. Short and sweet; Caunt let fly, and Bendigo went down, [Caunt's lip was worse ; he washed out his mouth, and Turner endeavored to staunch the blood with a sponge.]

I9. Another close at the ropes. Bendigo down; Caunt threw up his hands.

20. Bendigo shifting ; a little struggle at the ropes ; Bendigo slipped down, jumped up again, and planted a hit. A struggle at the ropes in Caunt's corner, in favor of the latter, who lay heavily on his man. Bendigo at length got down. The riot at this time was terrible; Jem Ward was lashing away with a whip, Barney Aaron, Broome, and others, fighting with the mob, who kept pressing on the referee.

21. Bendigo planted a blow, and fell at the ropes, where he remained sitting on his head's antipodes, and looking up with a provoking smile. [The row, the yelling, swearing and screaming during this and the one or two following rounds, became indescribable.]

22. 23, 24. Bendigo put in his blows and got down. [Spring spoke to Mr. Osbaldeston, but though not fair stand-up fighting, Bendigo had done nothing foul.]

21. Caunt caught his man by the side of the head, Bendigo returned the compliment, and went down. [Caunt's blows, when he succeeded in planting them, were wholly ineffective, yet he seemed very fresh, whilst Bendigo appeared weary, which his perpetual struggle with his gigantic opponent may account for.]

26. Hannan had been whispering to his man, who came up smiling, Caunt grinned ghastily. Bendigo hit him slightly in the head ; a struggle at the referee's corner ; both down, nearly on the Squire, whose position was very unenviable.

27 Bendigo appeared tired, and waited calmly, but Caunt wouldn't go in. Bendigo put down his hands, and smiled; a little sparring. Caunt hit Bendigo slightly on the ear, Bendigo down ["He can scarcely hit him, and certainly can't hurt him," from an old ring-goer.]

28. A little feinting. Caunt coming in received a flush hit on the mouth, hut bored in nevertheless. A struggle similar to that in the 26th round, only this time they changed the locality, and tumbled over a sporting editor, Caunt taken to his corner, bleeding profusely.

29. A little sparring, and Caunt hit Bendigo over the right eye, a mere scratch, but it drew blood. At the ropes once more, where Caunt dropped on his knees to avoid punishment.

30. Exchanges ; Caunt hit Bendigo, who fell through the ropes. [Both men were tired -- Caunt, apparently, the least of the two, but his hitting had completely left him.]

31,32. Nothing done; Bendigo down in the last round apparently without a blow. [Spring appealed to the referee, without effect. What were Caunt's seconds about?]

33. Bendigo commenced fighting, worked into Caunt's corner; a struggle there at the ropes; the latter appearing to attempt breaking his adversary's arm. Bendigo down.

34. In closing, Caunt fairly carried his man to the ropes, again favoring the referee with a visit. Bendigo made an effort, and flung Caunt from him on to the ropes, fairly twisting him over. Both down.

35. Bendigo was fresher. Caunt's face was hideous -- and it became more so when he smiled -- he hit his man slightly, and Bendigo took advantage of it to get down. [Spring again appealed, without effect.]

36. Caunt led off; hit his man; they closed; Caunt had the best of it, and put out his tongue in derision.

37. Slight exchanges -- a struggle, Bendigo down, but returned the derisive compliment by protruding his tongue in return. This may be pardoned in fish-fags but not in men.

38. Again on a flying visit to the Squire, Caunt put in a hit; hut Bendigo shot out with his right, and caught Caunt on the eye once more, tapped his body and fell.

39. Bendigo hit Caunt on the upper lip and fell.

40. We saw no blow struck, but Bendigo got down.

41. The row outside the ring was, if possible, worse than that heretofore, and Ward, Burn, Broome, and others, with difficulty sheltered tho referee from those who were eagerly pressing to the ropes. These men were possibly only actuated by a desire to witness the fight, but their conduct had a result as baneful as if their intentions had been really evil. A little sparring, Caunt tapped his man, who fell.

42. Caunt shot out a great deal too high. Bendigo countered and fell.

43. Bendigo shifting. He put in a slight body blow and fell. Caunt fell over him, and apparently wanted to plant his knees as he came down. If such was his intention he missed his aim.

44 Another struggle. Bendigo caught at Caunt's drawers, but instantly let go. Both down, Caunt undermost.

45. More pulling. Bendigo down, Cnunt falling heavily on him.

46. Caunt hit Bendigo by the side of the head. Bendigo went to his man, hit him slightly, and got down.

47 and 48. More struggling at the ropes.

49. Caunt went to work, hit his man, and got him to the ropos. Caunt fairly bolted and ran to his corner; Bendigo followed him; an exchange of hits; both down. Caunt undermost, and much distressed. [One hour and a quarter had elapsed ]

50. Bendigo bucked to the ropes, but Caunt wouldn't go to him. Another close, Caunt lying heavily on Bendigo. Both down. [Another row. Confusion worse confounded, and we are much indebted to William Jones, the pugilist, who endangered himself to clear our corner.]

51. 52. More hugging.

53. Caunt shot out his right hand, apparently with effect, Bendigo returned the compliment, and Caunt countered. Bendigo slipped down.

54, 55. A little tapping, hugging, and falling.

56. Both the men wonderfully fresh. Sparring; Bendigo getting sea room all over the ring. Bendigo planted a facer, Caunt turned round, and bolted to his corner; Bendigo ran after him, hitting right and left. Caunt down on the ropes. [Caunt was weak and piped it. Cries of "He'll soon cut it."] Bendigo did not look as if he had been engaged in anything but play; he perspired profusely, especially in the face, from having the sun perpetually in his eyes, but otherwise there appeared to he nothing the matter with him.

57. Bendigo put in a blow on the lip, another on the body, but Caunt fell heavily upon his man.

58, 59, 60. Again at the ropes. In the 59th Caunt fell on his knees, in the next round Bendigo did the same. ["They're gammoning for a foul!" from the pugilistic authority above referred to.]

Ninety minutes had elapsed. To enumerate the rounds that followed up to the 86th, were mere waste of time. Bendigo got down when he could, but more frequently wrestled with his man. In this we think he was very injudicious, and we believe his seconds thought so too.

In the 86th round, after feinting and cautious dodging about, Bendigo succeeded in planting a tremendous blow just above the mark. Caunt staggered and went down, when lifted up by his seconds "a tale was told." -- He appeared dreadfully sick, and his head dropped while being carried to his corner. In our opinion he never recovered from the effects of that blow.

In the 90th round there was a call of "foul," by Bendigo's party. "Fair," said the referee.

91. Bendigo was now determined to go in and finish, but got no opening, He hit his man slightly, and in a close they fell together.

92. After a little sparring, Bendigo dashed in, and planted a body blow just under the last rib. Caunt down.

An appeal was now made, it being declared that Bendigo had hit below the waistband, Caunt, it is said, averring that his hand fell so low as to injure him in the tenderest part; the referee saw nothing foul, and the fight proceeded.

93, and last. Caunt came up weak, piping, and in pain, Bendigo delivered slightly, and slipped down, but was up again, and ran at Caunt, who dropped untouched, from weakness, not intention, we verily believe.

The riot now was indescribable; the umpires disagreed, and an appeal was made to Mr Osbaldiston, who distinctly said; "Caunt has lost, he went down without a blow." The shouting of Bendigo's friends awoke the echoes, whilst the murmuring of Caunt's party were not loud but deep. Caunt, who seemed much aggrieved, strode about the ring like a chafed lion. The fight lasted, we think, two hours and twelve minutes; but as time was taken by different watches, it might be a minute or two more or less.

The ropes, etc., were down in a moment, and the men taken to their respective carriages. Turner doing all in his power to console Caunt; Bendigo, of course, had a host of congratulators; he remained very collected, and though a good deal exhausted, appeared able to continue the contest much longer. It was now a quarter past six, and a second fight, especially between such lasting bits of stuff as Maley and Merriman, was out of the question.

The newspapers and principal supporters of pugilists, with a majority of the most respectable of them, are most indignant at the whole affair. They say it was anything but a fair fight, and that it was one of the most disgraceful occurrences that have taken place in that country for many years. The Sunday Times, one of the leading sporting journals of Europe, thus speaks of the affair :-- "There were many foreigners on the ground. What must be their impression of the British character -- of the men who are styled the brave, the bold, the emancipators of the slave, the terror of most nations, and the envy of the world? The scene all round and in the ring disgraced humanity. We banter the Americans for their outrages; but they are harmless and sportive compared to the riot of Tuesday. We quit the subject on which we have unwillingly said so much. A gentleman cannot witness a prize fight without endangering his person and damaging his reputation ; and the sooner such displays of lawless ruffianism are utterly abolished, the better for the character of Englishmen and for the morals of the nation."

Friday, September 4, 2020

Tom Seaver, RIP, -- September 4, 2020

 


Pitcher Tom Seaver has died. I remember seeing him play many times on the Game of the Week. I remember seeing him broadcast many games. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Back Platform Fell Off Again -- September 3, 2020

 

Perth Amboy Evening News, 24-September-1920

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Japanese Surrender 75 Years -- September 2, 2020

 

USA-C-2719

75 years ago today, on 02-September-2020, representatives of the Empire of Japan signed the formal document of surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay. This marked the end of a terrible war. 




Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- September 1, 2020

 


I just put the September, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:
http://www.cable-car-guy.com/

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: 24 Brixton Road served as a depot (car barn) for Brixton Hill trams. Later it was a substation for electric trams. Now it houses the Church of the Holy Redeemer, a mission for the area's Italian community. Photo by kk69521 at flickr, All Rights Reserved.
2. On the Cable Trams in the UK page: A ten year update on London's Brixton Cable Tramway
3. Added News update about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the short-lived return of Muni Metro service and Wellington's Kelburn Cable Car.
4. Added News item about a calendar created by the Dunedin Heritage Light Rail Trust, which is striving to recreate the Mornington cable tramway.

Ten years ago this month (September, 2010):
1. The picture of the month: Kennington Changing-Place, where London's Brixton Road horse trams received cable grips for the trip up Brixton Hill.

2. On the UK page: A new article about London's Brixton Cable Tramway, including "A Chat on a Cable Car", a magazine article describing a ride over the line

3. Also on the UK page: Chapter Six from "Tramways: Their Construction and Working, Embracing a Comprehensive History", an 1894 book by Daniel Kinnear Clark

4. On the Cable Cars in the Pacific Northwest page, more photos from our July, 2010 visit to Seattle, including the Waterfront Streetcar Line (which is now a bus route), the monorail, light rail at SeaTac airport, and Union Station

5. On the Motion Pictures Which Feature Cable Cars page: Thanks to Dexter Wong, I added "Petulia"

6. Added News and Bibliography items about cable car 62 at the State Fair and the introduction of Clipper

Twenty years ago this month (September, 2000):
1. Picture of the Month: Fairfax funicular

2. Add Fairfax funicular article to the San Francisco Miscellany page.

3. Add news item and other remarks about old car 4 being installed at Pac Bell Park.

4. Add news item and bibliography item about new cable car book.

5. Add news item about car 9 mishap.

Coming in October: On the Cable Trams in the UK page: A ten year update on the London and Blackwall Railway, an early cable-operated railway line

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/CableCarHomePage/


Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-September-2020)
http://www.cable-car-guy.com/
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
http://www.cable-car-guy.com/ferry/
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
http://www.cable-car-guy.com/ptrain/
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
http://cablecarguy.blogspot.com
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)
http://bigvriotsquad.blogspot.com/

F-Market and Wharves 25 -- September 1, 2020

 


The Municipal Railway's F-Line started operating 25 years ago today, on 01-September-1995, with a parade down Market Street. The line ran from Castro to the East Bay Terminal. with help of railfan group Market Street Railway, Muni had acquired several streetcars that were surplus to Philadelphia's needs, and some double-ended cars that had run on Muni. The cars were painted in various historic liveries from Muni and other companies that operated PCCs. 

Muni has used other vintage streetcars from San Francisco and elsewhere on the F-Line. 

In 1998 Muni acquired 11 Peter Witt cars from Milano. Muni started to build a loop for the F-Line at the end of Market Street. 

In 1999 Muni planned to reduce service on the F-line, which had become one of Muni's most popular routes. Mayor Willie Brown shot down that idea. 

In 2000, the F-Line was extended down Market Street and along the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf. I first rode on the extension in March. 

In January 2016, the F-line only ran along Market because lower Market was blocked by the Superbowl Village. 

The photo shows car 1010, built for Muni in 1948 by the Saint Louis Car Company, which is painted in Muni's pre-World War II Blue and Gold colors. This is a tribute to Muni's first modern streetcars, called the Magic Carpets because they gave such a smooth ride. The 1939 Magic Carpets were not considered true PCCs because they used different control systems and trucks, but they were nice cars. The post-war 1010 and its companions are considered Muni's first true PCCs. I took the photo in 16-August-2014. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Van Morrison 75 -- August 31, 2020

 


Singer-songwriter Van Morrison was born in Belfast 75 years ago today, on 31-August-1945. I have heard his music all of my life. Van the Man was knighted in 2016. 






Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Pueblo of Yerba Buena -- August 30, 2020

 

The Annals of San Francisco by Frank Soulé, John H. Gihon, James Nisbet. 1855.

The Annals of San Francisco by Frank Soulé, John H. Gihon and James Nisbet, published in 1855, was one of the first histories of San Francisco. William Richardson was a British sailor who jumped ship in San Francisco Bay and founded the village of Yerba Buena in 1834. 

 The Mission of San Francisco, as mentioned in the first part of this work, was founded in the year 1776. It was situated about two and a half miles to the south-west of the Cove of Yerba Buena. Besides the mission buildings, there were erected, at the same time, a presidio and fort, along the margin of the Golden Gate, the former being distant from the mission about four miles, and from the cove nearly the same space . The latter was situated about a mile nearer the ocean than the presidio, close upon the sea-beach, and on a rocky height at the narrowest point of the strait. 

 Before 1835, the village of Yerba Buena had neither name nor existence. The Mexican Government had some time before resolved to found a town upon the cove of that name, which was reputed the best site on the shores of the Bay of San Francisco for establishing a port. Much discussion and litigation, involving immense pecuniary interests, have occurred as to the date and precise character of the foundation of Yerba Buena. It has long been matter of keen dispute whether the place was what is called a Spanish or Mexican "pueblo ;" and although, after previous contrary decisions, it was assumed (not being exactly decided upon evidence) by the Supreme Court to be a "pueblo," the subject seems to be still open to challenge. It is unnecessary in this work to do more than merely allude to the question. In the year last above mentioned, General Figueroa, then governor of the Californias, passed an ordinance, forbidding the commandant of the presidio of San Francisco to make any grants of land around the Yerba Buena Cove nearer than two hundred varas (about one hundred and eighty-five yards) from the beach, without a special order from the governor, the excluded portion being intended to be reserved for government uses. Before any steps could be taken for the survey and laying out of the proposed town, General Figueroa died ; and the place was neglected for some years, and left to proceed as chance and individuals would have it. There had been previous applications for grants of the whole land around the cove for professedly farming purposes, which circumstance led to the governor's passing the temporary ordinance, lest, some time or another, the portion of ground intended to be reserved should, through accident or neglect, be granted away. 

Captain W. A. Richardson was appointed the first harbormaster, in the year 1835, and, the same year, he erected the first house, or description of dwelling, in the place. It was simply a large tent, supported on four red-wood posts, and covered with a ship's foresail. The captain's occupation in those days seems to have been the management of two schooners, one belonging to the Mission of San Francisco, and the other to the Mission of Santa Clara. These schooners were employed in bringing produce from the various missions and farms around the bay to the sea-going vessels which lay in Yerba Buena Cove. The amount of freight which the captain received was twelve cents a hide, and one dollar for each bag of tallow. The tallow was melted down and run into hide-bags, which averaged five hundred pounds each. For grain, the freight was twenty-five cents a fanega (two and a half English bushels). 

Some years before this period, Yerba Buena Cove had been occasionally approached by various ships of war and other vessels. For many years, the Russians had continued to pay it annual visits for supplies of meat and small quantities of grain. One of their vessels took away annually about one hundred and eighty or two hundred tons of such provisions. In 1816, the English sloop of war "Racoon" entered the port ; also, in 1827, the "Blossom," of the same nation, on a surveying cruise. In the last named year, the French frigate "Artemesia," of sixty guns, arrived. In 1839, there appeared the English surveying ships, the "Sulphur" and the "Starling." In 1841, the first American war vessel, the "San Luis," sloop, arrived ; and, later in the same year, the "Vincennes," also American, on a surveying expedition. In 1842, came the "Yorktown," the "Cyane," and the "Dale," all of the American navy; and in the same year, the "Brillante," a French sloop-of-war. From this last named year downwards both ships of war and merchantmen of all nations occasionally entered the port. Whale ships first began to make their appearance for supplies in the fall of the year 1822, increasing in number, year by year, since that period. However, some impolitic port restrictions by the authorities had the effect latterly of sending off a considerable number of this class of ships to the Sandwich Islands, a place much less convenient for obtaining supplies than San Francisco Bay. Since likewise the discovery of gold in the country, and the consequent temptation of seamen to desert, as well as the enhanced price of most supplies, whale ships have not found it their interest to visit San Francisco, but prefer victualling and refitting at the Sandwich Islands. 

 Previous to 1822, a small traffic was carried on between the coast of Mexico and the California ports ; the latter exporting principally tallow and a little soap. Some small vessels from the Sandwich Islands also visited occasionally San Francisco and the other harbors in California. It was in the last year named that the trade began between California and the United States and England. The country then sent its tallow chiefly to Callao and Peru, and its hides to the States and to England. The price of a hide in 1822, was fifty cents, and of tallow, six dollars per hundred weight. These prices had the effect of soon decreasing the number of cattle ; and, in the following year, hides rose to one and a half dollars apiece, payable in cash, or two dollars, if the amount was taken in merchandise. The trade value of hides continued at nearly this rate until the war between the United States and Mexico. 

Some few natural occurrences during these early years of the place are worth recording. In December 1824 and in the spring of the following year, very heavy rains fell over all this part of the country. The Sacramento and tributaries rose to a great height, and their valleys were flooded in many places to a depth of fourteen feet. It was partly owing to the great volumes of fresh water brought down through the bay, in 1825, that a portion of the land at the southern side of the entrance, was washed away as stated in a previous chapter. In September, 1829, several very severe shocks of an earthquake were experienced in San Francisco, which forced open lock-fast doors and windows. In 1839, an equally severe earthquake took place. In 1812, however, a much more serious convulsion had been felt over all California, which shook down houses and some churches in several parts of the country, and killed a considerable number of human beings. The Church of San Juan Capistrano was completely destroyed, and forty-one persons, chiefly Indians, were killed by its fall. We have already said that an Indian tradition attributes the formation of the present entrance to the Bay of San Francisco to an earthquake, which forced open a great passage through the coast range of hills for the interior waters. It may be mentioned, when on this subject, that since these dates, no serious occurrences of this nature have happened at San Francisca though almost every year slight shocks, and occasionally smarter ones have been felt. God help the city if any great catastrophe of this nature should ever take place! Her huge granite and brick palaces, of four, five and six stories in height, would indeed make a prodigious crash, more ruinous both to life and property than even the dreadful fires of 1849, 1850 and 1851. This is the greatest, if not the only possible obstacle of consequence to the growing prosperity of the city, though even such a lamentable event as the total destruction of half the place, like another Quito or Caraccas, would speedily be remedied by the indomitable energy and persevering industry of the American character. Such a terrible calamity, however, as the one imagined, may never take place. So "sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." This maxim abundantly satisfies the excitement-craving, money-seeking, luxurious-living, reckless, heaven-earth-and-hell-daring: citizens of San Francisco. 

We have elsewhere explained the nature of the climate in respect that the winter and summer months are simply the rainy and dry seasons of the year. We have seen above, the effects of excessive rains; and we may also mark the result of unusual drought. In the personal recollections of Captain Richardson, who is our authority on this subject, there have been several such seasons in the country around the Bay of San Francisco since 1822, when that gentleman came to California. The grass on such occasions was completely dried up, and cattle perished in consequence. The missionaries were under the necessity of sending out all their Indian servants to cut down branches of oak trees for the herds to subsist upon. In these dryer seasons, too, the crops suffered greatly from grasshoppers ; which insects, about the month of July, when the corn was still green, would sweep all before them. It may be remarked generally, that while the year is divided into two seasons -- wet and dry -- there is great irregularity, in the case of the former, as to the average quantity of rain falling annually. During some winters heavy rains pour down, without intermission, for months together; while, on other and often alternate winters, the sky is clear for weeks -- then for only a few days slight showers will descend -- and again there occurs a long period of the most delightful and dry weather imaginable. Slight frosts are occasionally felt during the winter months; and ice, from the thickness of a cent to that of an inch is seen for a day or two, nearly every season. Generally, however, the winter climate is mild and open, and the winter months are the most pleasant of the year. 

The excessively and injuriously wet and dry seasons are exceptional cases, and do not impugn the accuracy of the statements, made elsewhere, of the general mildness of the climate, productiveness of the soil, and safety of the harvest. A fertile field or a fruitful tree will not lose its character, because occasionally there happens to be a short crop. The Pacific is still reputed a serene ocean, though sometimes a gale or tempest sweeps over it. Even in the case of possible earthquakes, nobody would hold France, or Spain, or even Italy -- the bella Italia of the old world, as California is of the new one -- to be dangerous countries to live in, although historical records show that much damage has been done in them, at long intervals, by volcanic eruptions and subterranean movements.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Charlie Parker 100 -- August 29, 2020

 

www.listal.com

Charlie Parker, sax player, composer and music visionary, was born 100 years ago today, on 29-August-1920. Charlie Parker and his friend Dizzy Gillespie were two of the founding fathers of bebop. Bird influenced everyone.

Bird had an addiction to heroin and other opioids, but it didn't rule his life right away. He made many recordings and influenced young musicians like Miles Davis and Jackie McLean. Parker tried to tell young musicians not to copy his drug use, but many wound up addicted to heroin. 

www.listal.com

Clint Eastwood made a movie called Bird, which starred Forrest Whitacker as Parker. The movie showed him as being screwed up his whole life. That is an exaggeration. 

People often say that Bird With Strings is one of their favorite albums. 



Thursday, August 27, 2020

Albert Bierstadt -- Gates of the Yosemite -- August 27, 2020

 

Smithsonian American Art Museum

I have always enjoyed the paintings of Albert Bierstadt. He painted "Gates of the Yosemite" around 1882. It is preserved at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Monday, August 24, 2020

Yosemite Valley Railroad 75 Years -- August 24, 2020

 

Los Angeles Herald, 18-May-1906

The Yosemite Valley Railroad, which ran from Merced to El Portal, made its last regularly scheduled trip 75 years ago today, on 24-August-1945. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

COVID-19, Fires, Church, Baseball and School -- July 31, 2020

 


San Mateo stays on the California watch list. COVID-19 is raging through several rural states. 



Fires still rage after dry lightning last weekend. We were supposed to have more today, but have seen only light rain. The roundhouse of the Swanton Pacific Railroad burned. 

We went to mass at Good Shepherd in Pacifica and sat in our car for the second time. It worked. I took a photo after dismissal. 

My wife and daughter started the new school year teaching over Zoom. 

The Giants had a bad stretch and then a good stretch and are nearly up to 500.  Joey Bart made his debut. Evan Longoria hit his 300th home run. The 60-game season is halfway done. 




Dodge Brothers Motor Car -- August 23, 2020

 

Indiana Daily Times, 17-August-1920

John Francis Dodge died from the influenza in January, 1920. His brother Horace Elgin Dodge died from the influenza in December, 1920. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Ray Bradbury 100 -- August 22, 2020

 


Ray Bradbury was born 100 years ago today, on 22-August-1920. I'm not usually a science fiction fan, but he wrote science fiction that was very human-centered, and he wrote many stories that were not science fiction. I first read Dandelion Wine while I was in grammar school and it made an impression on me, especially the part about the trolley. I think I heard a series of X Minus One or Dimension X adaptions of The Martian Chronicles before I read it. 

 He wanted to be a magician. I went with my family to hear him speak at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, but I was too young to remember much.



Friday, August 21, 2020

USS Delaware -- August 21, 2020

 

Leslie's Weekly, 02-January-1908

USS Delware (BB-28) was the first American Dreadnought designed after the Royal Navy unveiled the original Dreadnought. During World War One, Delaware served with the British Grand Fleet. She was scrapped in 1924. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

WWJ Detroit -- August 20, 2020

 

Variety, 15-August-1945

Detroit radio station WWJ claims to be the first commercial broadcasting station in the United States, perhaps in the world. 100 years ago today, on 20-August-1920, the station, then known as 8MK, began daily broadcasts as the "Detroit News Radiophone." There is a footnote in this 25th anniversary ad from Variety: "*WWJ acknowledges the pioneering research efforts of such scientists as Dr. Lee de Forest, Dr. Frank Conrad and others operating under experimental and amateur licenses."

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Fires -- August 19, 2020

maps.google.com

Sunday we went to outdoor mass at Good Shepherd Church in Pacifica. When we got up, we had noticed that the ground was wet. Later we learned that there had been a thunderstorm during the night. We had the option to sit in our car in the upper yard and listen to the mass on a low-power FM station. That worked well.  As we sat during mass, we kept seeing lightning bolts over the ocean. We heard thunder. Right before the consecration, my wife said that Father should hurry up because it was going to rain in ten minutes.  She was right. 

Since then, there have been lightning-caused fires all over California. My wife found ash on her car this morning, probably from the CZU Lightning Complex fire in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. 

John Wesley Hardin 125 Years -- August 19, 1895

 

Daily Ardmorite, 20-August-1895

John Wesley Hardin, one of the last old-time outlaws in the West, was shot dead 125 years ago today, on 19-August-1895. Bass Outlaw was a former Texas Ranger. Heck of a name. 

JOHN WESLEY HARDIN
Killed Monday Night at El Paso, Texas.
Died with His Boots on in True
Desperado Style.

El Paso, Tex., Aug. 19. -Tonight at 11 o'clock John Wesley Hardin, the terror of the border, was shot and killed in the Acme saloon, this city, by Constable John Sellman. Sellman's son, on the police force, arrested a female friend of Hardin's a few nights ago and this afternoon Hardin threatened to run Sellman out of town.

At 11 o'clock tonight Sellman walked into the Acme with a friend, and Hardin was standing at the bar shaking dice with some friends. When he saw Sellman he whirled around and threw his hand to his hip pocket. In an instant Sellman's gun was out and a ball went crashing through Hardin's brain, and while he was falling Sellman pumped two more balls from his 44 into the man's body and then walked out and surrendered himself.

Hardin had in his life time killed nine men and served eight years in prison for one of his murders. While in prison at Huntsville he studied law and was admitted to the bar on his release from prison nearly two years ago. Several months ago he held up a faro game in this city. Sellman, the slayer of Hardin, is the officer who killed the noted Bass Outlaw in this city a year ago.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Last Strand is Broken -- August 18, 2020

 

Mount Sterling, KY Advocate, 19-August-1920

100 years ago today, on  18-August-1920, Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment, giving (white) women throughout the United States the right to vote. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Killed By Pitched Ball -- August 17, 2020

 

Indiana Daily Times, 17-August-1920

The Cleveland Indians were playing the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds. Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman was hit in the head by a submarine pitch from Yankee Carl Mays. Tris Speaker had been a famous outfielder. Chapman was well-regarded and Mays was not. Chapman died early the next morning. This encouraged baseball to require umpires to keep a clean ball in play. Chapman's pregnant wife Katie rushed to New York on a train and fainted when she learned that her husband was dead. 

Players from Boston and Detroit threatened to boycott any game that Mays pitched in. 

PLAYERS AND FANS NATION OVER MOURN LOSS OF ONE OF GAME’S GREATEST INFIELDERS

PITCHED BALL
CAUSES DEATH
OF MAJOR STAR

Ray Chapman, Cleveland
Shortstop, Succumbs After
Being Hit by Mays.

SKULL WAS FRACTURED

Ball Took Fast Jump,
Pitcher Mays Declares

NEW YORK, Aug. 17.—Pitcher Carl Mays of the Yankees declared this morning before he had heard that Ray Chapman had died, that the injury was due to a roughened surface on the ball.

"A roughened spot on a ball—sometimes even a scratch —-will make a ball do queer things. The ball that hit Chapman was a fast one that took a fierce jump as it approached the plate.

“Chapman, never had a chance to get out of the way."

Mays was told of Chapman's death by a reporter after he had told the story of the accident. He said he had nothing to say except that he was profoundly shocked.

Tris Speaker, manager of the Cleveland club, declined to say anything about the accident, except that Mays was in no way responsible. He agreed that a roughened ball probably made it take the hop that caused the death of the Cleveland shortstop.

Speaker said he had been “all broken up over the loss of a good pal and my entire sympathy goes out to his bereaved wife in her hour of grief.”

NEW YORK. Aug. 17.—Ray Chapman, shortstop for the Cleveland American league baseball team, died early today from injuries be received when he was hit by a pitched ball at the Polo grounds yesterday.

Today’s game between the Yankees and the Indians was called off as the result of Chapman’s death.

Chapman was hit in the head yesterday when he attempted to dodge a fast curve pitched by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees in the fifth inning. He was rushed to St. Lawrence hospital.

SMALL PIECE OF
SKILL REMOVED.


Physicians declared he had a fractured skull. An operation was performed at midnight, two surgeons and several nurses assisting. The surgeons made an incision three and a half inches long through fte base of the skull. The operation disclosed a rupture of the lateral sinus and a quantity of clotted blood. A small piece of skull was removed.

However, after the operation, the doctors expressed little hope of being able to save the player's life. They declared his condition was such that he could live only a few hours.

This information, when carried to the Cleveland players at their hotel, who awaited up for news of their teammate, had a depressing effect. They retired after leaving word that news of any developments should immediately be sent to them. They were called shortly after 5 a. m. and informed of Chapman's death.

PLAYING HELPS
KEEP TEAM UP.


Chapman was one of the best shortstops in either of the major leagues. His work has aided greatly in keeping the Cleveland Indians well to the front in the pennant race.

He was the first man to bat in the fifth inning of yesterday's game and was leaning over the plate, crouching low. Mays, who has an underhanded delivery, threw a fast, sharp curve. Chapman dodged, but the curve caused the ball to follow him and struck him on the left side of the head.

Mays was working Chapman carefully and the fact that the ball struck Chapman was because the curve broke faster than the batter expected.

Chapman dropped to the ground unconscious. The crack of the ball hitting his head could be heard over the entire Polo grounds.

The Cleveland players gathered around Chapman and attempted to aid him. A doctor was summoned from the stand and gave first aid, Chapman regained consciousness for a moment, the only time before his death. He was carried from the field and hurried to the hospital.

PLAYER’S HOME
AT HERRON, ILL.


At the hospital today it was said the body was still being held there, but probably would be sent to Cleveland at once. Chapman's home was in Herron, Williamson county, Illinois. His wife was living in Cleveland during the baseball season and was notified when he was injured. She was en-route to New York early today.

Chapman was 29 years old. He was born in Owensboro, KY., and broke into organized baseball in 1910, when he played with the Davenport club. He remained there part of the 1911 season, when he went to the Toledo American association team.

He went to Cleveland in 1912 and since has played continuously with that club. During 1916 he was out of the game for two months with a broken ankle.

Chapman always played the position of shortstop with the exception of a brief period when he filled in at second base and later third for the Cleveland team. He was consistently around .300 during his stay in the game.

First in Majors

NEW YORK, Aug. 17. —Ray Chapman is the first major league baseball player to be killed by a pitched ball, so far as modern records show.

Semi-pro and amateur players have been killed in such a fashion, but major leaguers have been free from such accidents In former seasons.

MICHIGAN PLAYER DIES.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 17.—Carl Jager, 27. of Plainwell. Mich., died in a hospital at Kalamazoo today from injuries received when he was struck in the head by a baseball during a game in which he was playing at Kalamazoo Sunday. His skull was fractured and he did not regain consciousness.