Sunday, January 31, 2021

Catholic Schools Week, 2021 -- January 31, 2021


Today is the start of Catholic Schools Week.

I'm grateful that my parents put me in Catholic schools for 12 years. I'm also grateful to my teachers.

Good Shepherd in Pacifica gave our daughter a great education and continues to do the same for many other children. There is a virtual open house this year because of the virus. The school is worth considering if you live in or near Pacifica:

Saturday, January 30, 2021

COVID-19, Vaccine, Masks, Church, Baseball and School -- January 30, 2021

Towards the end of January, Governor Newsome lifted the order to shelter in place at home. This may have been premature. 

By late January, over 3.2 million Americans had been infected and over 320,000 had died. The post-holiday surge started to slow down, but newer, more infectious strains are turning up. 

Vaccine distribution got off to a slow start. 

Some idiots still refuse to wear masks. Restaurants in the Bay Area were able to reopen for outdoor dining 

Good Shepherd Church in Pacifica is having 11am mass in the outdoors, live-streamed, with an option to sit in our car. We have been doing that. On a rainy Sunday, they celebrated the mass in the gym and everyone sat in their cars. 

Spring training will probably be delayed. 

My wife and daughter, both teachers, are leading hybrid classes, with some students in the classroom and others on a Zoom meeting. I hope they will get the vaccine soon. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Thomas-Morse M.B.-3 -- January 29, 2021

The Thomas-Morse M.B.-3 was a fighter built for the United States Army Air Service. The Thomas-Morse Company designed the airplane and built the initial order. Boeing outbid Thomas-Morse for a later, much larger, order. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Packard Single Six -- January 27, 2021

Klamath Evening Herald, 05-March-1921

The Packard Single Six (six cylinders instead of the 12 of the Double Six) was a new model in 1921.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Servais Le Roy -- January 23, 2021


National Vaudeville Association Souvenir, 1925

Le Roy, Talma and Bosco were a popular team of magicians. Servais Le Roy was a Belgian magician. Talma (Mary Ford) was his wife and an expert coin manipulator. Bosco was the rotund comic relief. There were several Boscos over the years. John Bosco is the patron saint of magicians.

Friday, January 22, 2021

The Transcontinental Railroad -- January 22, 2021

 I talked about the Transcontinental railroad to my wife's third grade class at Good Shepherd School in Pacifica. I did it over Zoom because of the pandemic. They asked some good questions. 

Hank Aaron and Don Sutton RIP -- January 22, 2021


Hank Aaron, one of the best hitters ever, and pitcher Don Sutton have both died. We are losing a lot of Hall of Famers. Aaron hit home runs consistently for an incredible number of seasons. I remember when he broke Babe Ruth's all-time record. He always seemed like a good, dignified man. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Caught in a Storm Off Cape Horn -- January 21, 2021


San Francisco Call, 05-July-1899

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. The bark Cyrus Wakefield was called a Hell Ship because of the cruelty and violence of Captain FT Henry and his officers. Captain Henry died on this voyage from San Francisco to New York, when a giant wave hit the ship. She put in for repairs in the Falkland Islands. She returned to San Francisco under the command of Captain Chapman, whose ship the John R Kelly had been wrecked beyond repair. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A Real President -- January 20, 2021

At last we have a real president. We also have our first female, African American and South Asian vice president. Our former so-called president skipped the ceremony and skedaddled for Florida. 

I said a prayer for both of them and for the United States. 

When I was young, I often wondered why we had never had a president named Joe.

The Boston Base Ball Nine Has Been Fully Organized -- January 20, 2021


Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, 20-January-1871

150 years ago today, on 20-January-1871, the franchise that became the Boston Red Stockings and later the Braves of Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta was founded. The team would play in the new National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, the first major league. Harry Wright, who had managed the Cincinnati Red Stockings, became player-manager. When the National League was formed in 1876, the Boston base ball nine jumped over.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Dolly Parton, 75 -- January 19, 2021

 Dolly Parton, singer, composer, instrumentalist, actress and really nice human being, was born 75 years ago today, on 19-January-1946. She is in the Country Music Hall of Fame and has a pile of Grammy awards. She grew up in a poor family, but was always surrounded by love and music. Just recently she made a million dollar donation to a university doing research on COVID-19, which contributed to the development of one of the vaccines. She is a strong proponent of literacy. 

Over the years, I have  gotten a few of her songs stuck in my head. 

And she has appeared in some good movies.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Happy Birthday, Doctor King, 2021 -- January 18, 2021

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Through Nature's Art Gallery -- January 17, 2021


Photoplay, August, 1929

The Golden State Limited ran from Chicago to Los Angeles over the tracks of the Rock Island and the Southern Pacific's Sunset Route. This ad, from the August, 1929 Photoplay touts the train's beautiful scenery. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Bierstadt -- The Sunset at Monterey Bay -- January 15, 2021

"The Sunset at Monterey Bay, the California Coast" by Albert Bierstadt, year unknown. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

F Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos and AJ Cronin 125 -- January 14, 2021

An unusual group of writers was born 125 years ago, on 14-January-1896. F Scott Fitzgerald was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been a favorite writer since high school. He spent his last years in Hollywood writing screenplays.

Three Comrades was the only movie that was released with a writing credit for Fitzgerald. His name is visible in tiny print on this poseter.

John Dos Passos was born in Chicago. When I was in grammar school, I attended a summer acting class at Lone Mountain College. I remember seeing posters for a production based on U.S.A. by John Dos Passos.   I never saw the show, but I read the three-volume book one summer. It took a while.

The stage version of U.S.A. was made into a television movie. Dos Passos wrote the screenplay for The Devil is a Woman

AJ Cronin was born in Scotland. He served as a doctor and became a novelist. An English teacher in high school was a big fan. He had us read The Citadel and The Keys of the Kingdom

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Impeached Again -- January 13, 2021

It is hard to believe, but the House of Representatives voted to impeach our so-called president for a second time.  Even though he has only a few days left in office, his part in calling for last week's violent coup attempt in the Capitol made it necessary to impeach him once more. He is only the third president to be impeached, and he now holds the record with two impeachments. He may also face criminal penalties. 

Several banks have said that they will no longer do business with him. 

"According to Jane Taylor, 'the central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world. Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification'. Jarry's metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero—fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, greedy, cruel, cowardly and evil..." -- Wikipedia

Comic Book -- Boy Commandos -- January 13, 2021

Artist Jack Kirby and writer Joe Simon created Boy Commandos, a comic book about a gang of kids from many countries who fought the Nazis and then the Japanese. The Commandos were led by a adult, Captain Rip Carter. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Wings of the Death Tigers -- January 11, 2021

I like pulp magazines. It's hard to top a cover like this. G-8 was a World War One aviator/spy. As far as I know, he didn't have a name other than G-8.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Lynching Record for 1920 -- January 9, 2021

Colorado Statesman, 21-January-1921

Every anti-lynching bill considered by the US Congress was filibustered by southern senators. The Governor of Kentucky was Edwin P Morrow. He got an anti-lynching law passed in 1920, stopped a lynching in 1920 and got rid of officials who did not try to stop mob violence. 


SIXTY-ONE LYNCHINGS is the final report for the year 1920; twenty-two less than In the year of 1910. Thus it is that the United States must again face a shameful record of murder, rioting and burning of helpless and probably innocent victims. We say probably innocent victims, for in tbe eyes of the law they have not been proven guilty and convicted according to the law of the land. In each case of lynching the victims were entitled to the full protection of the law and under the law they were presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. When we think of our boasted superiority and supposed high standard of civilization, what must other countries think of us when they read the shameful record of lynchings in the United States for 1920?

Only sixty-one lynchings for last year. And why, may we not inquire was there any excuse for even one? Have we not sheriffs and a full corps of state, city and county officers, well paid to uphold the law and protect its citizens? We do not wonder that so many lynchings occur when we read that the officers of the law in one big lynching where four lives were sacrificed, attempted to stop the mob with a stream of water from a small hose. Think of the officers of the law playing with a mob with luke-warm water when four lives were at stake! We do not wonder that so many lynchings take place when the officers of the law willingly yield to the mob and surrender their helpless prisoners. There were several notable instances last year, even in the South, where the mob was fired upon by the state militia and frustrated in their murderous attempt at lynching after several of the mob were killed and wounded, A few more governors like the famous Kentucky governor would soon put an end to lynching.

The charges against many of the victims that were lynched were trivial in their nature, such as common assault, threatening to kill, jumping a labor contract, assisting a prisoner to escape. One of last year's victims was a woman. Now, when any community becomes vicious and depraved as to permit the lynching of a woman, it is time to wipe that community off the face of the map. We have the record that a Negro was lynched for attempting to cast a vote, and yet we hear the South howling for representation in Mr. Harding’s cabinet. Surely the North or the Republican party are not so barren of great men that the President-elect should have to turn to the Sodden South for cabinet material.

We have been Informed daily by the press dispatches that the President-elect, Mr. Harding, has had dally conferences with almost every prominent leader of the Republican party and several prominent Democrats, engaging their views upon many of the great questions that confront the new administration. Would it not have been a broad and humane idea if the President-elect had invited several of our race leaders to discuss the race question, lynching and disfranchisement? Probably some day he may he induced to take up the subject and lend his weight and influence toward putting an end to such lawlessness and brazen violations of our sacred constitution.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Tommy Lasorda, RIP -- January 8, 2021


Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda has died. He was a great showman. I always enjoyed yelling at him and booing. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Skipper Has Made a New Year Resolution -- January 7, 2021


Washington Times, 03-January-1921

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains. The New Year's morning crowd was hard on the Trolley. 

Washington Times, 03-June-1918

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Riot Police Pushing Trump Mob Away From U.S. Capitol -- January 6, 2021

Today I was deeply ashamed to see CNN refer to a "Trump Mob" as it stormed the Capitol. 

Yesterday Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff both won the Senatorial run-offs in Georgia, giving the Democrats control of the Senate.

Today Congress was meeting to accept the votes from the electoral college. Trump invited his supporters like the Proud Boys to come to Washington today. He held a big rally to stir up the morons, still claiming that the election Several Republicans were going to contest the results, but then the "Trump Mob" of domestic terrorists invaded the Capitol. One woman was shot and killed. Legislators were evacuated or locked in to the gallery. The Capitol had not been attacked since the War of 1812. 

The Capitol Police were not prepared. At first, the National Guard was not called up. 

Our so-called President has checked out and people are seriously discussing invoking the 25th Amendment or having another impeachment. 

After he posted another lying video that sort of asked the protesters to back off, Twitter suspended Trump's account.  About time. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

I guess I can be Just as Famous as a "Dinny-Soarus" -- January 5, 2020


Washington Times, 20-January-1921

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

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Lord Haw-Haw, 75 Years -- January 3, 2021


Washington Times, 10-October-1940

75 years ago today, on 03-January-1946, William Joyce, who made English-language propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis, was hanged for treason in a British prison. I am usually opposed to the death penalty, but William Joyce may have earned his execution. Joyce was born in America, but he wound up in England, where he joined Oswald Mosely's British Union of Fascists. He buggered off to Germany just before the war started. Joyce made propaganda broadcasts that tried to damage British morale. According to contemporary accounts, most people laughed at him. John Amery also did propaganda broadcasts for the Germans and persuaded the Waffen-SS to accept the British Free Corps. 

Lord Haw Haw Confesses 'High Treason'

William Joyce, New York-Born Englishman, Broadcasts
For Nazis Daily to Undermine British Morale 

Associated Press Foreign Correspondent.

BERLIN -- I have met Lord Haw Haw.

He is that almost fabulous Englishman -- born in the United States -- who by his own assertion perpetrates "high treason" daily against England by broadcasting from German stations with intent to disturb British self-assurance.

He is blond, ruddy-faced, short William Joyce, former British fascist Mosleyite who was a prime mover for national socialism in England until August, 1939. Then, as it became evident war was about to break out, he and his wife hastily packed a few bags and dashed away to Germany. They had become "sold" on Nazi-ism and on Hitler as its world exponent.

Now several times of an evening Lord Haw Haw reports the war in 15-minute broadcasts, always directed to English listeners. He ribs British patriotism, sardonically ridicules British claims of victories. He urges the inevitability of Nazi victory with a half cajoling, half ironic voice as British as Trafalgar Square.

His "Title" Is British.

Quickly his programs attracted a tremendous audience in England. English papers and magazines carried stories about him. Who was he? If he were German, how could he have acquired that unburred English accent? The British dubbed him Lord Haw Haw.

Even in Germany few people know him. He broadcasts only on short-wave bands. Germans rarely have short-wave receivers and are forbidden to listen to foreign broadcasts. Foreign correspondents, allowed to tune in on foreign broadcasts, listen to him regularly, but few ever have seen him.

We met quite by accident, of all hours. 3:30 a m. in the half-darkened hallway of the German Propaganda Ministry. The foreign press had been invited to tour the city to see the effects of a British bomb raid. Joyce was going along, too.

"That's Lord Haw Haw." whispered one of the party to me. In no time we were talking. He is decidedly short, perhaps 5 feet 4 inches, and tightly knit physically.

Voice Unmistakable.

His voice was unmistakable. On the air he uses no name whatever. In Germany he has adopted his German name of Froelich.

He grinned when I suggested he was far better known in England than in Germany.

"I suppose so." he said, then added with that touch of drollery that seems to have tickled the English:

"Not so many listen now. The German bombers are keeping them in the cellar all the time."

He was casual and friendly. From time to time he strolled over to my side to help me understand the flood of German that periodically drowned my limited vocabulary.

A day or so later he sent me a book in English he has just published in Germany, Called "Twilight Over England." it tells his views of why England has come to such a pass.

"I was born in New York in 1906," Joyce wrote. "My father’s people had lived in Ireland since the Norman conquest. From my mother I inherited English, Irish and Scottish blood. * * *

"I went to school in Ireland. * * *

From my earliest days I was taught to love England and her empire. Patriotism was the highest virtue that I knew."

Joined British Fascists.

Joyce joined the British Fascists in 1923. when he was about 17. He saw a "certain amount of street and hall fighting’’ against the Communists, "of which I shall carry the marks so long as I live." He has a scar across his right cheek.

In 1933 Joyce joined Mosley's new "British Union of Fascists." and instilled in it, he said, a definite anti-Jewish policy.

"To anybody who could see, in the years 1934 and 1935," he wrote, "it was only a specially successful effort to spread national socialism widely in England that could avert the tragedy which has come to pass."

He broke with Mosley in 1937 "over organizational matters," and formed a movement of his own. To the Jews and financiers he laid most of England’s troubles. British patriotism, he said, ever neglected the English poor. Two times in the year before the war he was arrested and later acquitted of charges of disturbing the peace and assault.

Then, as the country moved toward war, he prepared to leave. He felt that if "for perfect reasons of conscience I could not fight for her (England), I must give her up for ever."

Washington Evening Star, 03-January-1946

Lord Haw Haw Hanged
As $60-a-Week Voice
On Nazi Broadcasts

Joyce Goes to Traitor's
Death on Same Gallows
Where Amery Died

By the Associated Press.

LONDON, Jan. 3. --
William Joyce, notorious "Lord Haw Haw" of the German air waves, died a traitor’s death this morning on the gallows of Wandsworth Prison.

The 40-year-old American-born Joyce, who sold his voice to Adolf Hitler as a radio propagandist at the outset of the war, was executed shortly after 9 a.m. (4 a.m., EST) on high treason charges of which he was convicted by a British court last September 19.

He died on the same scaffold where John Amery, 33-year-old son of a former British cabinet member, was hanged December 19 on treason charges growing out of similar radio activities.

Only a small group of prison officials saw Joyce plunge through the trap. Under English law, no spectators may witness an execution.

Execution of the death sentence was announced in two typewritten sheets which were posted outside the prison gates shortly after the hanging.

Prison officials said Joyce walked to the gallows from his death cell, his arms pinioned behind him with the broad black strap used in countless executions. The trap was sprung by I. Pierrepoint, nephew of Albert Pierrepoint, famed hangman who executed Amery.

End of Fantastic Career.

Joyce’s death in the stone-walled prison courtyard ended a fantastic career which led him from Fascist street fights in England to an infamous place as Hitler’s No. 1 English-language broadcaster.

Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels paid Joyce $60 a week for his radio work, which consisted of four daily broadcasts.

Joyce, who came to England from America at 15, became a follower of Sir Oswald Mosley while a student at London University and was a member of his British Fascist group until 1933, when the two parted amid rumors of a quarrel. Later Joyce organized a "National Socialist League" in Britain, which he headed until he departed for Germany in August, 1939.

He fell into British hands at Lueneberg (Luneberg -- JT) on May 28, 1945, after Germany's collapse. He was wounded slightly during his capture. His German wife also fell into British hands and was brought to England to visit him while he was awaiting trial.

Joyce based his unsuccessful defense largely on the contention that he was an American citizen and hence could not be found guilty of treason to Britain. An appeal on the same grounds was denied by the House of Lords, which ruled that even an alien could be convicted of treason if he had enjoyed the protection of the King.

He lost his last hope of escaping the death penalty Monday when Home Secretary Henry Chuter Ede (James Chuter Ede -- JT) refused him a reprieve.

A crowd of about 250 persons waited outside the prison gates for the announcement of Joyce's execution, which was posted at 9:07 a m. There was no demonstration as the chilled watchers surged forward to read the proclamation.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year, 2021 -- January 1, 2021


Washington Evening Star, 31-December-1920

I hope everyone has a happy, peaceful, healthy (especially healthy) and prosperous new year.

Father Time reviews the events of 1920. The wounded donkey represents the Democrats, who were defeated in the presidential election. The roll of paper represents the Versailles Treaty, which was rejected the US Senate. The bottle of whiskey represents Prohibition. 

January, 2021 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- January 1, 2021

The Cable Car Home Page will be 25 years old in November.

I just put the January, 2021 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: The main power station of the Chicago City Railway (source: The Street Railway Journal, August, 1889). 

2. On the Chicago page: Read about the Main Power Station of the Chicago City Railway. (source: The Street Railway Journal, August, 1889). 

3. On the Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: A ten year update about the Cleveland City Cable Railway, including a new ad for bonds. 

4. Added News items about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a proposal to remodel the outer terminal of the Cal Cable line

Ten years ago this month (January, 2011):
1. The picture of the month: A Lefton model of a Cleveland City Cable Railway Payne Avenue grip car.

2. On the new Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: A new article about the Cleveland City Cable Railway

3. On the Who page: A new article about Colonel William H Paine, engineer on the Cleveland City Cable Railway and many other cable traction lines

4. On the Decorated Cable Cars page: More images of car 60 decorated for Christmas 2010, along with photos of other decorated cars including 9, 13, 14, and 25, mostly taken on a day of playing tourist.

5. Added News and Bibliography items about the early shutdown of the California Street line

6. Added News items about plans to make Powell into a pedestrian mall all the way to Geary Street and about the Angels Flight 109th birthday celebration

7. Add links to new site for Peter Ehrlich's photography business and the San Francisco Trains site

Twenty years ago this month (Winter, 2001):
1. Picture of the Quarter: Market/Hayes cable car by IW Taber

2. Roll out More Market Street Pictures page.

3. Add "The Los Angeles Cable Railway" article from Scientific American, courtesy of Tom Ehrenreich.

4. Ray Long provided two photographs of the Industry Hills Incline, one of Sacramento/Clay car 16 on the Emporium roof and one of Cal Cable 56 at Washington/Mason.

5. Add section on The Electrical System to How Page.

6. Add Beebe book and article about ergonomic adjustments to turntable to Bibliography.

Coming in February, 2021: On the Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: 

A ten year update about Cleveland's Brooklyn Street Railroad/South Side Railway, both owned by Tom L Johnson, one of which had an experimental cable installation using the Johnson Ladder Cable System

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-January-2021)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)