Wednesday, November 29, 2017

In Circulation -- World Report -- November 29, 2017

The San Francisco Arts Commission ( has set up a series of posters by artist Sarah Hotchkiss called In Circulation, showing what was going on in local newspapers and other publications during the Summer of Love.  World Report shows how papers large and small reported on important topics, like politics and the War in Vietnam.

Monday, November 27, 2017

1955 Alfa Romeo Model 1900 SS, Zagato (SSZ) -- November 27, 2017

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.

The 1955 Alfa Romeo Model 1900 SS, Zagato (SSZ) had a lightweight body from coachbuilder Zagato.  SS stood for Super Sprint.  I like the front end.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Girls of the Golden West -- November 26, 2017

Friday night we went to the second performance of John Adams' new opera The Girls of the Golden West. It was nice to have an evening out with my wife. I agreed with her that the first act was episodic, but the second act had a good dramatic arc about the gold miners degenerating into savagery on the Fourth of July and driving out all of the miners who weren't considered good Americans or Europeans.

It concluded with the lynching of Josefa Segovia, who stabbed a miner who tried to rape her.

The singing was excellent. Julia Bullock was Dame Shirley.  Most of her songs came directly from the letters.  Her husband, Fayette Clappe, did not sing.  Ned Peters, the former slave, had a large part in both acts.  Davone Tines had a solo based on Frederick Douglass' "What to a slave is the 4th of July?"  Hya Jung Lee as Ah Sing had a beautiful voice.  Her aria came from poems carved at the Angel Island Immigration Station. J'Nai Bridges had me crying as Josefa Segovia. Joe Cannon, who tried to rape Josefa, did not have a well developed character.  Sometimes it was hard to tell him from other characters.  Paul  Appleby had a good voice.  Ryan McKinney was the narrator/observer/occasional participant.

The prostitutes/dancing girls looked as if they were having a great time.

Lorena Feijóo, who did Lola Montez' Spider Dance used to be with the San Francisco Ballet.

I liked John Adams' music, which set many Gold Rush-era songs and poems to music.  The chorus of gold miners was powerful.  Peter Sellars had fun staging it.  I liked the panorama behind Dame Shirley's wagon ride with Ned Peters.  We could see the woman cranking the scene.  The image had a large, obvious seam in it.  I liked the neon beer signs in the Empire.

My wife didn't like the scene where Dame Shirley described her cabin.  The stage hands carried out each piece, stood there while she sang about it, then took it away.  We both liked the use of the huge stump and slice of redwood tree in the second act.

My wife said that there was a vigorous debate going on in the ladies' room during the intermission.  Some people hated the show.  Others defended it.  Some people, including the couple sitting next to my wife, left after the intermission.   We were happy that we went and we stayed.

Film Daily, 17-March-1938
And, of course, the opera is not to be confused with the David Belasco play The Girl of the Golden West, the Giacomo Puccini opera, La fanciulla del West, or the many movie adaptions.

Battle All Sunday -- November 26, 2017

Bismarck Tribune, 26-November-1917

This action was part of the Battle of Cambrai, which followed the Battle of Passchendaele. 



Another Intense Struggle Staged at the Little Village of Moeuvres.
Capture of New Positions Gives Allies a Better Chance to Take Camhrai.

London, Nov. 26 -- The Germans have not repeated their attacks on the Bourlon position west of Camhrai, since their failure of yes­terday, Field Marshal Haig report­ed today. The statement says: "On the Camhrai battlefront, the enemy has not repeated his attacks on the Bourlon position, since the failure of his attempt at midday yesterday snd the situa­tion is unchanged.

Northeast of Ypres there was considerable artillery activity on both sides early last night in the
Passchendaele sector, but no infant action developed.

(By Associated Press)

British Army Headquaters in France, Sunday, Nov. 25. -- This morning found the line of battle of the weary but determined British troops stretch­ed in a semi-circle about Boudlon wood, and Burlon village, which nes­tles at the northwestern edge of the forest. It was a line which had been established in the face of dogged re­sistance on the part of the Germans, who have fallen back step by step fighting with the fury or despair.

All day yesterday the opposing forces struggled bitterly at close quarters for possession of the little village from which the British were forced Friday after gaining a footing in the rush that took them through Bourlon wood. Nightfall still found waves of infantry surging back and forth through the streets and among the houses, their crimson bayonets tell­ing the story of the terrible conflict being waged. Gradually the Germans fell back, the British pressing, forward with grim persistence, which the enemy could not withstand, and that hamlet was finally cleared of the ma­jor portion of the German troops.,

Streets Cleared

Today some of the-enemy still re­mained but: all the main streets of Bourlon had been cleared, and it was surrounded by a strong force of British soldiers.

A little to the southwest of here, another intense struggle was being staged in the village of Moeuvres into which the British have battled their way with rifle and bayonet, and push­ed the Germans out of the southern half. Elsewhere, along the Camhrai front, there was no infantry action of importance.

10,000 Prisoners

Prisoners continued to arrive from the front. Nearly ten thousand cap­tives thus far have been counted, in­cluding 200 officers.

In the capture of Bourlon wood and village, the British have acquired pos­session of one of the most important points they have secured since the great drive last Tuesday. This high ground controls a wide sweep of ter­ritory, and its occupation holds out the possibility that the Germans eventually will be forced to withdraw their lines to the Northwest.

A large amount of traffic In the last few days has been pouring out of Cambrai, indicating the probability that the Germans have evacuated the civilian population, and are preparing for eventualities.

Most Spectacular.

The fighting over Bourlon wood has been among the most spectacular of the war, for the occupation of the for­est was due largely to the work of tanks and airmen, who paved the way for the on rushing infantry. A num­ber of iron monitors lead the ad­vance Friday with British planes circling over the enemy, at a height of from 30 to 50 feet and carrying on a vigorous warfare with their machine guns and bombs. It was hard fighting, but the advance was con­tinued successfully until the north­east corner of the wood was reached, where the tanks were held up by a strong force of the enemy.

British airmen, who had been fight­ing close to the ground, deliberately charged down on the enemy infantry with machine guns pumping a steady stream of bullets into the German ranks. The battle was short and de­cisive. The airplanes wheeled and rewheeled over the heads of the Ger­mans and maintained such an intens­ive fire that the defenders were forced to retire from the position af­ter suffering considerable losses. The tanks then pushed on, the conquest of the wood being completed.

Heavy Counter Attack.

Almost immediately the Germans delivered a heavy counter attack on the troops and after a stiff engage­ment forced them to withdraw again to the edge of the wood. The Brit­ish renewed the attack Saturday morning on the village.

It was a battle in which the British troops gloried for it took thent back to the days of other wars, when men struggled in the open.

The period of fighting behind sand­bag parapets was temporarily passed and they were at close grips with the enemy, where they could em­ploy the bayonet, which they know so well how to use.

No more grim tragedy has been en­acted since the war began than was staged among the ruins of Bourlon village last night. Its finish found the shattered German forces outside I the village boundary, but still full of determination. Several times through the night they reformed and swept forward against the village, but each time were hurled back with heavy losses.

Work of Airplanes.

The work of 'British airplanes during the present offensive forms a graphic chapter itself. Despite the vile weather which compelled them to operate within a few feet of the ground, they kept steadily at their task and rendered invaluable assist­ance both in reconnaissances and of­fensive operations.

There have been almost continued battle between German infantry andBritish airmen flying as low as 30 feet above the ground. Never beforehas this kind of warfare been carried out on such a large scale. Pilots have attacked infantry and gun crews indiscriminately wherever they encountered .them and have inflicted heavy casualties on the en­emy, with bombs and machine guns.

The nature of the fighting can be seen from the experience of a Brit­ish pilot, whose machine was literally shot to pieces by rifle and ma­chine gun fire, and who finally crash­ed down behind his own lines with ten bullet holes through his clothing, although he, himself, was unhurt. Another young airman, yesterday, pre­sented himself at headquarters after having keen shot down for the third time within two days. He was delighted with his experience and im­mediately applied for another ma­chine.

One aviator attacked a column of German infantry marching in close formation and hurled two high power bombs directly among them. The troops scattered and as the airman whirled away, he saw two heaps of dead about huge craters which the bombs had torn in the road. There were innumerable cases of airmen successfully bombing airdromes, troop transports and gun crews. A large number of artillery crews have been wiped out either by machine gunfire at close range or by bombs. Natural­ly, many of the airmen had miracul­ous escapes from death. Among the hairbreath escapes reported is that of an aviator whose machine was torn to pieces while fighting German in­fantry with his machine gun. He was caught in the fire and the wings of his machine was shot away. For­tunately he was flying only about 20 feet from the ground. He crashed to earth unhurt, and he immediately came under rifle and machine gun fire, but he found (a - JT) German rifle with some ammunition and engaged the enemy single handed. As he fired he worked his way back until he reached one of his own patrols.

There is not much humor ip fighting of this nature, but one incident occur­red which is making the whole British air service laugh today. One of the youngest British airmen was flying at a low altitude when four enemy ma­chine guns opened on him. He swooped .down and shot 3 of his op­ponents as he swept by. The fourth machine gun kept firing, and the avi­ator in a spirit of boyish mischief leaned over the side of his car and whiggled his fingers in joyous derision at the German. Just as he was in the midst of this interesting perform­ance, his opponent put a bullet spare­ly through the palm of the airman's opened hand. The aviator presented himself at the dressing station, and when querried admitted the truth. His consolation from his wound was a roar of laughter, and to be more polite in the future.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Jon Hendricks, RIP -- November 24, 2017

Jon Hendricks has died.  He was one of the pioneers of vocalese.  I like Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.  I never got to see his show, Evolution of the Blues, while it played at Keystone Korner for five years.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 -- November 23, 2017
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I'm grateful for health and life, my family, and my coworkers.

The 24-November-1934 cover of Collier's Weekly features a Native American and a worried-looking Pilgrim. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

1897 Brooklyn Dodgers or Bridegrooms -- November 21, 2017

1897 Spalding Baseball Guide
The 1897 Brooklyn Dodgers or Bridgegrooms finished in seventh place in the twelve team National League.  Their manager was Billy Barnie. First baseman Candy LaChance and pitcher Brickyard Kennedy had good names.  Outfielder Fielder Jones later managed the 1906 Chicago White Sox to a World Series win. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Della Reese, RIP -- November 20, 2017
I was sad to learn that actress, singer and ordained minister Della Reese has gone to her reward.  I remember her on television in the 1960s and 1970s.  We watched Touched By an Angel a few times. I think the only movie of hers that I have seen was Harlem Nights.  People speak very highly of her.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Madame Lasalle -- November 19, 2017

From Theatrical and Circus Life, by John Joseph Jennings, 1883.

"One of the most beautiful and at the same time dangerous, of the performances that the small shows offer to their audiences is that of Madame Lasalle, who places her little eight-year-old daughter in a wheelbarrow filled with flowers, and on a rope thirty feet above the ground without net beneath and with nothing but hard ground to receive both in case of a fall, trundles the barrow over a long rope while the people below look up in breathless fear lest the barrow tip and a dreadful accident result before the feat is accomplished. Tight-rope walking, however, is not nearly so difficult as it appears to be. The performer needs steady nerves, a cool eye, firm limbs and a balance-pole, the last-named article being the most essential. Training is required, of course, but it is not of the rigorous and protracted kind that other feats demand."

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tonopah - Goldfield - Bullfrog - November 17, 2017

Tonopah Daily Bonanza, 03-November-1907
The early 20th Century gold strikes in Goldfield and Bullfrog, Nevada triggered the last (to date) gold rush in the continental United States.  The Tonopah Railroad and the Goldfield Railroad, both narrow gauge, combined to form the Tonopah and Goldfield Railroad..  It connected with the Southern Pacific narrow gauge at Mina.  When the SP made its line to Mina standard gauge om 1905, the T&G did the same.  With a late boost from World War Two, the line survived until 1947. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Coup d'Etat in Zimbabwe? -- November 16, 2017
When I was a kid, Rhodesia was a white supremacist regime that was not recognized by anyone.  People like Robert Mugabe fought to overthrow the white supremacist government and establish majority rule and the end of colonialism.  The white supremacists finally gave up, and Robert Mugabe became the first president.  Over the 40 years of his rule, he developed autocratic tendencies.  The economy is in ruins.  Lately his wife has been pushing out veterans of the war for independence in her quest to be the next president.  The army didn't like and has put the president under house arrest and has detained many of the corrupt people who surrounded him.  I wish Mugabe could have retired years ago with honors.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Working on the Statue of Liberty -- November 15, 2017

Saturday Evening Post, 06-July-1946
The cover of the 06-July-1946 Saturday Evening Post shows people working on the Statue of Liberty.  Some people seem to feel that images of Lady Liberty are insulting to our so-called president. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

The First Thing You Need Is a Wand -- November 13, 2017

From The Book of Magic: Being a Simple Description of Some Good Tricks and How to Do Them, with Patter by Archie Frederick Collins, 1916.  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day, 2017 -- November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans out there. Thank you for your service to your country.

This is the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day.  I am trying to pay attention to the Centennial of World War One in this blog.  All the men and women who fought in the war are gone, but we can still remember their sacrifices. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sgt Rock -- November 10, 2017
Sgt Rock and Easy Company was a popular feature in DC's Our Army at War.  Later the book changed its name to Sgt Rock.  Artist Joe Kubert created the character with writer Robert Kanigher. I like the way this cover incorporates a quote from great pitcher Satchel Paige. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Rolling Stone 50 -- November 9, 2017
Fifty years ago today, on 09-November-1967, Rolling Stone Magazine published its first issue in San Francisco.  Jann Wenner and San Francisco Chronicle music critic Ralph J Gleason created it to cover music.  Wenner hired many writers who became famous, like Hunter S Thompson.  I didn't have the money to read it regularly, but I picked up issues when they had interesting stories or photos.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Kerensky Deposed" Is Report From Petrograd As Russian Pacifists Revolt -- November 7, 2017
Today is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.  I know that today is November, but in Russia, where they were still using the Julian calendar, it was 25-October-1917.  

The poster is from October, a film made by  Grigori Aleksandrov and Sergei Eisenstein to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the revolution. Outside of the Soviet Union, it was recut and released as October: Ten Days That Shook the World.  

The article is from the 08-November-1917 Washington Times.  I never thought of the Bolsheviks as pacifists, but they wanted an immediate separate peace with the Central Powers.  

The Maximalists had been a radical party in the Russian Empire.  

"Kerensky Deposed" Is Report From Petrograd As Russian Pacifists Revolt  

Bolsheviki Looked for to Propose Immediate Distributionof Land to Peasants -- Slavs in London Discredit Rumors

News of the overthrow of Kerensky by the pacifists in Russia, caused a general slump in Wall Street today. Most of the issues, and especially the war stocks', dropped suddenly, and at 2 o'clock there was no sign of a recovery.

LONDON, Nov. 8. -- Russian pacifists rose in open revolt today; A wireless from Petrograd declares "the garrison and the proletariat have deposed Kerensky."

Dispatches from Petrograd, even, though carefully censored by the Bolsheviki forces now controlling the telegraph stations, indicate that in Petrograd what amounts to a civil war is probably on today.

It is reported the Bolsheviki leaders will immediately sue for a separate peace with Germany.

Proclaims Hold on City.

The Soviet (council) of the Petrograd branch of the soldiers and workmen, which la notoriously Bolsheviki. and completely under the domination of Leon Trotsky, pacifist and antiwar advocate, on Wednesday formally proclaimed its "possession of Petrograd," according to a Reuter dispatch received early today.

The newly styled government, it was declared, proposes an immediate peace and immediate distribution of all land to the peasants.

The Bolsheviki manifesto summons at once a constituent assembly to administer Russia.

In some quarters the Petrograd dispatches are discounted in a measure, because, it is pointed out, the Maximalist and pacifist revolters control the cables and other means of communication with the Russian capital and would be likely to exaggerate their revolt.

Kerensky Policy Opposed.

Russians here emphasize the fact that Petrograd alone is affected by the Soviet uprising. The workmen and soldiers council there has always been pacifists and opposed to all Premier Kerensky's measures looking to continuance of the war.

 Workmen's and soldiers' councils in other sections of Russia, however, have been loyal to the provisional government. The revolt, therefore, must be regarded on all surface indications as affecting Petrograd. and not Russia aa a whole, although the Bolsheviki would naturally seek to claim their movement as a natlonal one.

The people as a whole, it is said, do not favor the Maximalist plan, and one of the most favorable  moves in the interest of Kerensky has been refusal of the soldiers on the north front to desert. They have promised full support in putting down the Maximalist revolt.

The Women's Legion of Death is said to be encamped in front of Kerenskys residence doing guard duty.  Their definite stand for the premier may influence other army divisions.

PETROGRAD, Nov. . (No date in original - JT) -- The crisis between the provisional government and the local Bolsheviki council of Workmen and soldiers approached the pointed (point? - JT) of an armed break today.

Leon Trotsky, president of the Soviet, issued a statement declares (declaring? - JT) that the provisional government was nonexistent.

It is officially announced that the Maximalist local Soviet of workmen and soldiers today arrested several ministers.

Dissolution of the sittings of the preliminary parliament was decided upon by Premier Kerensky.

Many Maximalist and Bolsheviki members of this body had previously voted firmly to resist the government's announced attempt forcibly to crush out all the Bolsheviki movement. Three Cossack regiments today formally announced they would hereafter disobey all orders of the provisional government and give their allegiance to the soldiers and workmen.

Preparing for an armed clash with the Bolsheviki, Premier Kerensky, through the commander of the Petrograd military district, today ordered that all private motor cars be delivered to the winter palace. This step was taken to prevent seisure of these vehicles by the Soviets.

All Russian trcops were prohibited, under strict penalties, from leaving their barracks today.


A number of cable messages received at the Russian embassy today caused evident concern, but officials refused to make any statement.

The report that the Kerensky government had been overthrown by the Bolshevikis was neither confirmed nor denied at the embassy.

It was admitted, however, that if the reports reaching here are true that very important readjustments must immediately be made to meet the situation and to cope with it so far as the entente allies are concerned.

The embassy stated that any announcement to be made would come from the State Department or Ambassador Bakhmatieff. The latter was inaccessible today.

The state department has received no word from Ambassador Francis bearing on the matter.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pulp -- Fight Stories -- November 5, 2017
This issue of Fight Stories tells the story of "The First Jack Dempsey."  Nonpareil Jack Dempsey was a Nineteenth Century boxer who mostly fought as a middleweight. He started out fighting bare knuckle and later wore gloves.  He earned the nickname Nonpareil because we won something like 50 fights before his first defeat.  His original family name was Kelly.  He was a smart boxer with a good punch using either hand.  He won the world middleweight title in 1890 in San Francisco against Professor Billy McCarthy, and lost it the next year in New Orleans to Bob Fitzsimmons, who was later heavyweight champion.

The Twentieth Century heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey took his name from the Nonpareil.

San Francisco Call, 02-November-1895
Nonpareil Jack Dempsey died of tuberculosis in 1895.  He was 33 years old.  The image above shows him with his children.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Bark Rufus C Wood Shortening Sail For a Tow -- November 3, 2017

San Francisco Call, 07-March-1897
The drawing is from the 07-March-1897 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. 

Nanaimo  is a port on Vancouver Island. 

The Bark Rufus C. Wood Wins Another Premium for a Speed Trip.

One of the coast greyhounds, the bark Rufus C. Wood, which arrived from Nanaimo yesterday afternoon, won another prize for her master, Captain McLeod. He made the round trip between this and the northern port in a little over twenty days, and the premium of a $50 suit of clothes is his. The last trip of the speedy bark was made in less than twenty days and the energetic skipper was presented with the prize dry goods and an additional $50.  Captain McLeod says that his vessel is a record-beater in any kind of weather, and as long as her owners give prizes for speed she will gather them in. When the bark gets old and he retires he will start a second-hand clothing-store on the waterfront.

Mr. Coulter, the marine artist, in the accompanying picture has caught the Wood just as she is shortening sail outside the heads in the stiff breeze for a towline from the tug Vigilant.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Billy Bishop -- November 1, 2017

Washington Star, 18-November-1917
Billy Bishop was the highest scoring Canadian ace of the war.  He received the Victoria Cross.  During the Second World War, he organized recruiting for the RCAF.