Tuesday, May 31, 2022

COVID-19, Vaccine, Masks, Church, Baseball and School -- May 31, 2022


We are in the midst of another COVID-19 surge. Three family members have tested positive this week. 

The US passed one million covid deaths.

The Giants have had a bad stretch in May.


I received my second Pfizer booster shot.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day 2022 -- May 30, 2022

On Memorial Day it is fitting and proper to remember the men and women who gave their lives, who continue to give their lives, to give us the country we deserve.

"I look forward to a great future for America, a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose. I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty, which will protect the beauty of our natural environment, which will preserve the great old American houses and squares and parks of our national past, and which will build handsome and balanced cities for our future." -- John F. Kennedy

I took this photo on 14-December-2007 at the National Cemetery in the Presidio.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Uvalde, Texas Mass Shooting -- May 29, 2022

abc news

A big thank you to the National Rifle Association, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, the Republican Party and Russia for facilitating the slaughter of 19 studwents and 2 teachers at a school in Uvalde Texas.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Second COVID-19 Booster -- May 28, 2022


I received my second Pfizer booster shot this week. Pfeeling pfine so pfar.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Sir Christopher Lee 100 -- May 27, 2022


Sir Christopher Lee was born 100 years ago today, on 27-May-1922.  He was a veteran of World War II.  He was the only person involved with Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies who had met JRR Tolkien.  He had a long career and worked nearly until his death in 2015.  He could act, sing and write.  He played all the great movie monsters in Hammer films with his good friend Peter Cushing.  He was a villain in a Bond movie. 



Thursday, May 26, 2022

Mr. Bram Stoker's New Story 125 -- May 26, 2022

London Daily News, 27-May-1922

125 years ago today, on 26-May-1897, Bram Stoker's novel Dracula was published. He we see an early review. "Bloofer Lady" = "Beautiful Lady."



What has become of the "general decay of Faith" of which Parson Holmes reproachfully discoursed at Francis Allen's that night when the poet read aloud his fragment, "Morte d'Arthur," the noble precursor of "The Idylls of the King"? Have old beliefs really ceased to impress the imagination? It may be so ; but our novelists are clearly experiencing a reawakened faith in the charm of the supernatural. Here, for the latest example, is Mr. Bram Stoker taking in hand the old-world legend of the Were-wolf or vampire, with all its weird and exotic associations of blood-sucking and human flesh devouring, and interweaving it with the threads of a long story with an earnestness, a directness, and a simple good faith which ought to go far to induce readers of fiction to surrender their imaginations into the novelist's hands. Of course the secret lies here. The story writer who would make others believe must himself believe, or learn at least to write as if he did. There must be no display of meaningless rhetoric, no selection of faded terrors out of the dusty scene-docks of the suburban theaters. The more strange the facts, the more businesslike should be the style and method of narration. Some there be who, in handling such themes, prefer to take shelter in a remote time ; but the supernatural which cannot stand the present day, and even the broad daylight of the world around us, stands a half confessed imposture. Mr. Stoker has not been unmindful of these canons of the art of the weird novel writer. His story is told in sections, in the form of letters or excerpts from diaries of the various personages, which is in itself a straightforward proceeding, investing the whole narrative with a documentary air. Ships' logs and medical practitioners' notebooks of cases also come in aid, with now and then a matter of fact extract from the columns of our contemporaries, "The Westminster" and "The Pall Mall Gazette," about mysterious crimes attributed to an unseen destroyer popularly known as "the Bloofer Lady," the victims of whom are mostly little children whose throats are found marked with two little punctures, such as of old were believed to be made by the "Vampire Bat," who lives on human blood. These details are not the mere background of the story; for the mysteries of Lycanthropy, once devoutly believed in throughout Europe and the East, permeate the whole narrative and give their peculiar colouring to the web of romance with which they are associated. The author's artistic instincts have rightly suggested that the first step must be to attune the mind of the reader to the key of the story, for which purpose nothing could be more effective than the opening chapters, which are given up to the journal kept in shorthand by the hero, Jonathan Harker, the young solicitor who, leaving his fiancée, Mina Murray, behind in England, starts on a mission connected with the purchase of some estate and an ancient manor house in this country to the mysterious Count Dracula, a Transylvanian nobleman, who lives in a lonely castle in the Carpathians. The long drive from Buda-Pesth is graphically described, while a constantly-growing sense of some vague impending trouble is cleverly made to intensify the interest and curiosity of the reader. Sometimes it is the strange, anxious glances of innkeeper and attendants, who know that the traveler is on the way to sojourn at the Count's gloomy and almost inaccessible abode; at others it is a word let fall, which, though in the Servian or Slovak language, conveys to the mind of the traveler a sinister idea. One worthy old landlady at a post-house puts a rosary around her guest's neck, reminding him that it is the eve of St. George's Day, when at midnight all evil things have full sway, and after vainly imploring him to consider where he is going and what he is going to, places for protection a rosary around his neck. Even the crowd about the inn doors share in the worthy hostess's solicitude:

"When we started, the crowd round the inn door, which had by this time swelled to a considerable size, all made the sign of the Cross and pointed two fingers towards me. With some difficulty I got a fellow-passenger to tell me what they meant; he would not answer at first, but on learning that I was English he explained that it was a charm or guard against the evil eye. This was not very pleasant for me, just starting for an unknown place to meet an unknown man; but every one seemed so kind-hearted and so sorrowful, and so sympathetic that I could not but be touched. I shall never forget the last glimpse I had of the inn-yard and its crowd of picturesque figures, all crossing themselves, as they stood round the wide archway, with its background of rich foliage of oleander and orange trees in green tubs clustered in the centre of the yard. Then our driver, whose wide linen drawers covered the whole front of the box-seat -- 'gotza,' they call them -- cracked his big whip over his four small horses, which ran abreast, and we set off on our journey. I soon lost sight and recollection of ghostly fears in the beauty of the scene as we drove along, although had I known the language, or rather languages, which my fellow passengers were speaking, I might not have been able to throw them off so easily."

Strange, unearthly experiences indeed are in store for the young traveler in the chateau of the Count before this opening, which may be regarded as the prologue of the story, is concluded; but interest in a narrative whose effect depends so much on the feeling of curiously must not be forestalled. For details, therefore, of how Jonathan Harker finally escaped from the castle and its terrible inmates to the shelter of a friendly convent in Buda-Pesth, where he is found by the faithful Mina suffering from brain fever; and also for the more marvelous incidents after their return to England, which form the chief substance of the narrative, we must send the reader to Mr. Bram Stoker's volume. Few stories recently published have been more rich in sensations or in the Websterian power of "moving a horror" by subtle suggestion.

* "Dracula." By Bram Stoker. (Constable and Co.)

Booksellers' Review, 13-May-1922


The book has inspired a few movie adaptions.

Moving Picture Weekly, 06-December-1930

Film Bulletin, 21-July-1958

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Keep the Story With a Kodak -- May 24, 2022

Photoplay, May, 1922

George Eastman's Kodak cameras allowed many people to take up photography. The Autographic Kodak had a little hatch that allowed the photographer to write the date and time on each exposure.

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Oriental Limited -- May 23, 2022

Seattle Star, 19-May-1925

The Great Northern Railway ran the Oriental Limited from Chicago to Saint Paul to Seattle in conjunction with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. This 1922 ad touts the line's new steel equipment. Note that it also mentions the line's access to Glacier National Park.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

KPO/KNBR 100 Again -- May 22, 2022

Oakland Tribune, 18-May-1922

We see that San Francisco radio station KPO was supposed to begin broadcasting on 17-April-1922, but I could not find a record of it. This item says that regular broadcasts would begin on 22-May-1922.

The original KPO studios were in the Hale Brothers department store at Fifth and Market. Hale Brothers owned the station. In 1929, the station moved to the Hale Brothers annex, seen behind the corner store. In 1927, the station became an early affiliate of the NBC Red Network. NBC acquired KPO in the 1930s and changed the call letters to KNBC. Later, they wanted to use the call sign for a Los Angeles station and changed the San Francisco station to KNBR.

San Francisco Chronicle, 12-May-1922

This barely legible item says that KPO was waiting for a more powerful generator that was being shipped from back East. Perhaps that is why the opening was delayed.

Oakland Tribune, 22-May-1922

This is earliest broadcast schedule that I have found that mentions KPO's call letters.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Byte Magazine -- Cables -- May 21, 2022


I used to subscribe to Byte Magazine. I worked in a couple of labs that looked like this.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Bierstadt -- Looking Up the Yosemite Valley -- May 20, 2022


Albert Bierstadt painted "Looking Up the Yosemite Valley" in 1867. It is in the collection of the James Ben Ali Haggin (love his name) Museum in Stockton. The Haggin has the largest museum collection of Bierstadt paintings.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Pray For Ukraine -- May 19, 2022


The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. In the old days, I might have thought all this talk of Russian atrocities was propaganda, but we see so many photos and videos that I have to believe them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Radio Broadcasts President's Speech on Commerce -- May 18, 2022

Moline Dispatch, 23-May-1922

100 years ago today, on 18-May-1922, President Warren G Harding, speaking before the national Chamber of Commerce, made what may have been the first radio address by an American president.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A Thirst-Hitting True-Grape Flavor -- May 17, 2022

Birmingham Age-Herald, 30-May-1922

I uunderstand that NuGrape is still being produced, but I have never had one.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Three Negroes Burned at Stake by Mob -- May 15, 2022

St Johnsbury Caledonian-Record, 01-May-1922

Early in the morning of 06-May-1922, a mob of whites dragged three young black men from the jail in Kirvin, Texas. The men had been accused of murdering a white girl. The mob tortured one man with fire until he "confessed" and named his two companions. Then they finished burning him at the stake, and then burned the other two men. 


Cremation Follows Implication and
Arrest For Assault and Murder of Girl

Body of 17 Year Old White Girl Is
Found With 23 Knife Wounds In
Her Head, Neck and Chest

(By the Associated Press)

KIRVIN, Texas, May 6 -- Three negroes were burned at the stake bere today early in the morning by a mob of 500 men. The act followed their arrest and implication in the criminal assault and murder of 1year-old Eula Awsley, a white girl, whose mutilated body was found near here Thursday night.

Curry, the first negro burned, was taken from the custody of the officer early last night. It was alleged that he confessed to assaulting and murdering the girl, implicating two other's, James Zaney and Mose Jones.

The mob divested the sheriff of his keys to the jail and then unlocked the doors. All three negroes were then rushed to Kirvin. Curry was burned first. Third degree methods failed to bring a confession from the other two. They were then cremated on the strength of Curry's testimony.

The negroes were emploved on the farm of J. T. King, the grandfather of the dead girl.

With the exception of a few shouts and the screams of the condemned men there was little to disturb the early morning quiet of the backwoods community.

Miss Awsley was riding home from school Thursday when she was attacked and ber body was later found by the roadside with knife wounds in her head, neck and chest.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Sidney Bechet 125 -- May 14, 2022

Here we see famed New Orleans reed player, band leader and composer, Sidney Bechet, playing his famed alto saxophone. Bechet was born 125 years ago today, on 14-May-1897. He led a troubled life. He was deported from France after a woman was shot during a gun battle between Bechet and a fellow musician. He went to the UK, where he picked up the soprano sax and got deported after an assault. Back in the US, he played and recorded regularly. He returned to France in 1950 and spent the rest of his life there. I always enjoy listening to his music. 

Sidney Bechet - Tin Roof Blues (1949)

Sidney Bechet - Egyptian Fantasy

Sidney Bechet - Si tu vois ma mere

Sidney Bechet - St Louis Blues

Red Onion Jazz Babies "Cake Walking Babies From Home" (NY, 1, 7, 1925) Genett 5627-A.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday the 13th -- May 13, 2022


Happy Friday the 13th, everyone. Actress Adrienne Ames reminds us to keep calm and wait until it is over. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Buster Posey Day -- May 12, 2022

On Saturday the Giants honored catcher Buster Posey, who retired after last season. Many of his former teammates spoke, including Benjie Molina. Benjie's younger brother Yadier, who plays for the Cardinals, looked proud of his brother and happy to see a fellow catcher get honored. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Willie Mays Traded to the Mets -- May 11, 2022

50 years ago today, on 11-May-1972, Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid, 24-time National League All Star, Giants immortal, the greatest living baseball player, perhaps the greatest ever was traded from the Giants to the Mets in return for a bucket of warm spit. 

There was mass depression in San Francisco. I didn't know that Giants owner Horace Stoneham was nearly broke. 

The move gave Willie Mays a chance to play in front of New York fans, who still loved him. 

I took the photo of the Willie Mays statue on 21-September-2007.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

California Radio Stations -- May 10, 2022

Radio Broadcast, May 1922

A map showing all of the radio stations in California when the map was drawn. San Francisco's KPO started service during May. Note that San Jose's KQW, the direct ancestor of San Francisco's KCBS, KQW was licensed to Charles (Doc) Herrold, educator and wireless pioneer, who began making his first broadcasts in 1909. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Neal Adams, RIP -- May 9, 2022


At the end of April, I was sad to learn that comic book artist Neal Adams had died. I remember when DC was excited to announce that he had drawn one of their stories. Many were written by his collaborator writer Denny O'Neil. After working for DC and Marvel, Adams and Dick Giordano formed a studio called Continuity Associates, which made storyboards for the movie industry. Recently he has been active on social media. He was an organizer of the Comics Creators Guild, which fought for creators' rights in the comic book field.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mother's Day, 2022 -- May 8, 2022

Happy Mother's Day, everyone.  I'm grateful for my mother and my wife and my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and cousins and friends. All excellent mothers.

I took the photo at Good Shepherd School in Pacifica on 05-October-2008, during the school's 40th anniversary celebration.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

America's Highest-Priced Orchestra -- May 7, 2022

New York Evening News, 14-May-1922

On 26-February-1917, the Original Dixieland Jass Band made the first known jazz record, "Livery Stable Blues" and "Dixieland Jass Band One-Step," at the Victor studios. 

This is an ad for a residency at the Rosebud Ballroom in Coney Island. Sadly, the ODJB members went on to insist that jazz was invented by white people, specifically themselves.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Pulp -- Ace G-Man Stories -- May 6, 2022


FBI agents Klaw, Kerrigan and Murdoch were the Suicide Squad in Ace G-Man Stories from 1939 to 1943. They managed to survive a series of suicide missions. Their methods were not delicate.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Happy Cinco de Mayo, 2022 -- May 5, 2022

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín led the Mexican army which defeated the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

"The national arms have been covered with glory" General Zaragoza wrote in a letter to President Benito Juárez. Some people credit this defeat with preventing French interference in the US Civil War.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Naomi Judd, RIP -- May 4, 2022


At the end of April, I was sad to learn about the death of singer/songwriter Naomi Judd. Beset by depression and anxiety, she took her own life. Her daughters Wynonna and Ashley have my sympathy. 

I didn't pay much attention when she sang with Wynonna as The Judds, but that was my fault. I wasn't listening to much contemporary music and I have never been a fan of modern country music. I need to go back and listen to their work again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Toonerville Trolley -- The Skipper Has to Make the Most of Every Minute -- May 3, 2022

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, 09-May-1922

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

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

Monday, May 2, 2022

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Amazon Labor Union -- May 1, 2022


Congratulations to the Amazon Labor Union, the first group to succeed in organizing an Amazon facility. Amazon wants a new election.

Today is International Workers' Day. God bless the grocery workers, the transit operators, the medical workers, the janitors, the farm workers who have kept working during this pandemic. We owe them a great debt.

May, 2022 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- May 1, 2022

I just put the May 2022 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:


It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: "Scene of the daring $4,100 robbery of officials of the California street cable road on a street car at California and Jones streets yesterday." (Source: San Francisco Examiner, 04-January-1922)
2. On the California Street Cable Railroad page: A 1922 article about a James Gang-style robbery on a California Street cable car.Ten years ago this month (May, 2012):

1. Picture of the Month: Milton Wheaton's patent for his ladder cable system
2. On the Cable Car Lines in New York and New Jersey page: More about the experimental cable car installation of the Brooklyn Cable Company, including items from the Street Railway Journal
3. On the Miscellany page: More updates to my article about Non-Grip and Shallow Conduit Systems, with more about the Tom L Johnson ladder cable system, including Milton Wheaton's patent 192314 and images from Tom L Johson's patent 317,139

Twenty years ago this month (May, 2002):
1. Picture of the Month: Former Omnibus Railroad cable car used as passenger car on the Mill Valley & Mount Tamalpais Railroad.
2. Add Brooklyn's Brooklyn Cable Company to the Cable Car Lines in New York and New Jersey page.
3. Add photos to the Omnibus Railroad page and make images into thumbnails. Add Sanborn maps of the powerhouses.
4. Add photo of Fannie Barnes to the Who page
5. Thanks to Len Foley for pointing out that my Dunedin photographs were of the Maryhill and not the Roslyn line. Thanks to Walter Rice for pointing out some errors in my Muni page
6. Add obituary for engineer Bud Meyers to Bibliography.

Coming in June, 2022: 

On the Cable Car Lines in San Francisco page: Newspaper stories about some accidents in 1922

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-May-2022)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 30-November-2021)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)