Friday, March 27, 2009

The wife is out of town, so I post 'em while I can..... ;>)

I mentioned these road films earlier. Vanishing Point, featuring Barry "Petrocelli" Newman in the role of his career. This is a "must see." Just look at that dude! He's been chewing white crosses like they're Tums and driving non-stop for days -- he looks like he smells. Real bad. I dug the biker dude with the headband made of linked beer can pop-tops who helped him make a fake police siren our of a mini-bike.

I have vaguer memories of "Gone in 60 Seconds" other than it was a thrill-ride. Of course we're talking 34 years ago, so I may be a little mistaken. I guess the interesting thing about it was that it starred H.B. Halicki, who also wrote, directed, produced, and stunt coordinated, not just this, but three other gear-head flicks before dying at age 49.

And I can't let the subject go without a nod to the made-for-TV classic, The California Kid, starring Martin Fucking Sheen, Vic Fucking Morrow, Nick Fucking Nolte, and Michelle Fucking Phillips.This was the first film I remember seeing Martin Sheen in after The Execution of Private Slovic. Of course, he'd really made his mark a year earlier when, after years of bit parts, he played a Charles Starkweather-like character (opposite Sissy Spacek) in Terrance Malick's classic Badlands.
Probably as interesting to Moonpie scholars is the fact that my underground comix character "The Kawatiti Kid" (Jim Jones alter ego) was inspired by The California Kid.

Remember that you can order most of the movies we talk about by clicking on our Amazon link to your right, or down yonder at the bottom. Your purchases through Amazon and Cafe Press give us false hope. Bless you.
I have no idea where this stray code that follows is coming from.... weird.

Moonpie One: Pages 23 and 24 - Part two

Here is the back of the postcard seen in the previous post. It is dated Oct 29, 1977 and bears my parents return address "11932 Morrow Ave. NE Albuquerque, NM 87112." It is addressed to Vance at "Lorretto Heights College 3001 S. Federal Bldg., Denver, Colo. 80236." (I have to say that I was agonizingly jealous of Vance for getting to go to art school. Bastard.

I believe that this must have been sent while I was on leave, just prior to going overseas to Germany. I forgot that Vance was not around. I think I must have been hanging out with Blane during that time.

Below the address is a little doodle featuring a ghost chasing a man. I had recently discovered Rapidograph pens and was enamored with their ability to draw small fine lines. I was not so enamored by their ability to dry up. Years later, when I actually went o art school myself, I was quite compulsive about keeping them clean.

Here's a closeup of another drawing -- fairly representative of my "underground comix" style at that period.

Some of the other marginalia includes the following notes:
1.) "Blane screwed Pixie.(no shit.)" I beleive Pixie was a girl I referred to earlier that was Vance's "girlfriend" for a brief period in mid-spring 1976. Worse, I think Pixie was her real name.
2.) "Jones's Mammy Called Me Yesterday." I think she was calling me and asking me to write Jim who was in the Navy by that time. I'm not sure how long after I went in the Army that Jim went in the Navy. It was after the night he got caught stealing his mom's car. Jones was driving around with Blane(?) and two girls. His dad tracked them down and pulled Jim through the window of the car.
3.)"Yow I saw Darth "Star Wars" Vader at Montgomery Plaza.I have no idea what this was about except that this was 6 months after the release of the original film. The first time I saw this, I thought it was the greatest fucking film ever. The second time I saw it I fell asleep about 20 minutes into it.

And now, to the letter, which I haven't even read yet -- not since I sent it to Vance 32 years ago! Wow! Jeeze!
"Ha Fool!
Whut Foolishness. Well, I haven't been doing much lately 'cept for (get this) driving around with Blane [and] getting wasted. I got a pipe bowl at the Conniseur called a six shooter. It has six one hit bowls on it. Pretty neat. also I got a new cowboy hat. I really look like a stomp now. It cost 42 bucks. and check out this. I got a 6 pen Rapidograph set. 32 bucks* It's pretty good. Not good for writing this fast though. It has sizes "00" to "4". I've really been getting sown on some cosmic foolishness now. Tonight we're going to see a play at the Little Theater. Then tommorow I guess I'll go see the Jug band again. are you (can you) coming down the weekend of the 5th -n- 6th? I'm pretty low on cash or else I'd come up there. Oh well if you do let me know so I don't go anywhere. Later Sarge,
Detective Tom Faxon. Memphis (P.D.)

*This'll get Betty to notice me."

At the end is this, a doodle. The Sarge reference came from a Monty Python sketch (which is on a CD sitting her on my desk to mail to Vance. JESUS!) which featured two British soldiers in the trenches in WWI.
MAJOR: Home on leave in three days, eh Sarge?"
Sarge: Oh, YES suh!"

So, that was that. It was more exciting and coherant than many of my letters. I wrote most of them under the influence. The one's on speed tended to be very long and disjointed. I may have actually been sober for this one. I have no idea what the Little Theater reference was about -- who I went with or what I saw. I guess the real big news -- it's in the second sentence! -- was the fact that I was hanging out with Blane. There had been no love lost between him and I for most of the time we'd known each other.When I came home on that leave, for some reason we hooked up and hung out. I had a wad of cash and the ability to buy beer on base and Blane had his black Chevy Luv. Blane and I did a lot of partying.

OH! This memory just came back to me. Eve, (wife of Ben, the owner of the previously mentioned Mini-Cooper) had a daughter who was about 14. The Jacqueline used to take us all to see the Watermelon Mountain Jug Band at Pepino's Pizza (Later the DWI School and now, O'Neill's) at Central and Washington. Back then, a minor could drink if they were with a parent. Jacqueline was good about adopting us. Anyway, one night during this leave, me and Blane went with (Vance -- who were those two kids who lived next to you on Tracy? The brother was a bit retarded? Glen!) and Eve and her daughter were there. So, the drunker I got, the more I danced with Eve's daughter, Cathy. We were at the table making out, and Eve was laughing at me. "What's so funny?" I asked. Eve smirked. "She's only 14." Me and the Cathy went out to Blane's truck and made out some more. She passed out and, I seem to recall, threw up. A few days later, she went out cruising with me and Blane. We had a case of Olympia in the bed of the truck. We were getting high, and decided to go to the McDonalds on Comanche. OK. So, you could drink with a parent but the cops ran checkpoints at all the McDonalds. Anyway, we got stopped at the checkpoint. Blane gets out of the truck and is falling all over himself trying to kiss this cop's ass. The cop shines his flashlight on the case of beer -- which was missing a few. He shines his light in the cab at me. At the bong that was sticking up between my feet. At Cathy, this girl who was obviously waaayyyy underage. He turns to Blane and says, "Why don't you guys just go find someplace else to party." Blane was bowing and scraping "Oh yes sir, thank you sir, we will sir." We drove away and I was pissed because I had the munchies. For the record, I never had sex with Cathy who was not called "Jailbait" for nothin'.

As I mentioned, I don't think I saw Vance again before I left for Germany. The next time we were to meet was not a good time. I came back from Germany fat, drunk, and stupid.** That and I had a couple thousand bucks in separation pay -- a little over 7 grand in 2009 dollars. I was too rich and too stoned to look for a job. And my mom had an unused Darvon prescription. That's all part of "Moonpie Two," though. There's still a few adventures to talk about in One.

**No way to go through life, according to Dean Wormer.

Moonpie One: Pages 23 and 24

We've gone almost the month of March without a single post of actual pages from the Chronicles. My bad--I am the one with the damn books. I've been busy cranking out my Senior Honors Thesis these past few weeks and haven't been posting as much as I'd like. But here goes....
Pretty simple here. When last we left off, I had just gone off to the army. The time between Page 21 on the last posting and page 23 on this one is about a year and a half.

What happened to Moonpie in that time? Much of it was written down in letters between me and Vance. I don't know that any of them still exist. We used to have a big envelope full of them. Each time they got passed back and forth between us, a few more got lost.

Anyhoooo... On the left, we have pictures of David Lewis and Martin leaping off of something. Notice Martin's skiing form. David is showing off his bare-midriff sweater look. Something that never quite caught on.

Below that photo. Martin shows off his alpha-male status by standing on David Perkins shoulders. (Vance -- please remind me who Perkins was and where he came from. Memphis?)

On the next page we see a postcard that I sent to Vance. Above it is written "Raab-Faber Memorial" It's a panel from Duc du Berry's "Tres Riches Heures," which, as far as I know, doesn't mean the Three Rich Whores. I've drawn a little cartoon balloon from one of the monks that says "Who's got the roach?" Ha ha ha! Get it? Because he's a medieval monk? And he's making a 20th century drug reference? That's rich.

Well, I did a little bit of whaddayacallit, archival de-restoration here. The back of this postcard saw light for the first time in 32 years. I did tear it a little, but no harm done, and it was all in the name of science.

Go to the next post -- which you probably already read by now, for the image and a transcription.

Six of one. Half a dozen of the other.

Vance before his morning coffee.
Vance after his morning coffee.

Be cool, man. Just. Be. Cool.

I got a laugh out of this when I ran across it today. It reminded me of cruising around in a car full of stoned teenagers.

I remember, back in the day when my Karma was still a bit better than it got, one night of driving around smoking dope. Now, we invariably had one of those situations where a cop was behind us and we all peed our pants.

On this particular night, Jones and I were in the back seat of -- I think -- Alan Schactner's Mustang. At that time (just prior to the Deniston's induction into the group,) Jones and I were the only ones who smoked dope. We had gotten down to the roach and.... I guess I should go back a bit and explain something else. See, back in those days, you could buy a "five finger" bag of pot for $10. (AKA, a "lid" or a "dime bag.")Calculating for inflation, that is about $40 in 2009 dollars. Not a bad deal for some dope that, rather than fucking you up, got you off. This was pot that would have you laughing and happy. The point was that for that money, you could afford to throw away the roach. We generally didn't, because we had cool roach clips to use, but we could.

On this evening, we were all high, Jones and I from smoking the joint, and Martin and Alan, from being in the car with the smoke. We were driving along Juan Tabo near Montgomery. I tossed the roach out the window and it landed... right on the windshield of a cop car. The cop pulled up along side us and rode even for about two blocks. He never looked at us. I don't know if he just didn't see us or what. I about peed my pants.

The thing is, when you are that stoned and looking at impending arrest, there is no way in hell you can act natural.

To this day, I about pee my pants when a cop is behind me. It doesn't matter how legal I am acting. I drive along imagining all the things I might possible be pulled over for.

I forgot where I was going with this. Look! A chicken!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jobs We've Had, #38 in a series

Following the plane wreck and the dissolution of the Furious MacDads, Grandcracker Vance went on to have a brief solo career playing guitar in the bar of a Lexington, KY bowling alley under the name "Little Beaver." The name was a reflection of what Vance was getting at the time ("And very little, too," he adds.)

The Average White Band -- which at the time were a two-piece Country and Western band -- had stopped in one night to roll a few frames, and caught this lily-white, wiry funkmeister's act. After shouting out what sort of music the boy should play for most of the evening,they were prompted to write their most famous song, "Cut the Cake."

As with most of our careers, this one fell apart when it was discovered that Vance, far from being a white-boy funk-guitar prodigy, was in fact a 34 year-old black man whose name actually was Little Beaver (It's a dental thing. You wouldn't understand.) Apparently this fellow had been wearing a rubber "Vance" mask.

Said Beaver upon his arrest "I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't have been for you meddling kids!"

Jobs We've Had, #37 in a series.

Martin and Jonesy joined Vance and I for one early album. We were trying to cash in on the whole Funk scene. Jones sang a funk version of "Splish Splash! I was Takin' a Bath," effectively sending us directly to the remaindered bin at Woolworth's.

I'd totally forgotten this album until I was surfing through the LP COver Lover website. I've actually been going through this site for the past several hours and, it is totally cool/hilarious. From cool jazz and hot bossa-nova acts to kids records and Giant Beehive Christian groups, it's got them all. It's blog-style and you can vote -- and even add your own cover art.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mary and Larry, the kids next door

Another perennial favorite was Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry for all the gear-heads in the 70's. "There's nothing they won't try" was the mantra of the 70's as we all remember. You had to dig this movie because "Easy Rider" Fonda was in it and he held a cult status in the 60's and 70's. Again, I have no idea what its about even though I saw this movie at least 3 times. Darn that 1974.

Bobby and Rose

I saw this movie in 1975 at the drive-in with Lester Gary (owner of the 'Moonpie' Magical Mystery Van) with our girlfriends. I have no idea what the movie was about but I thought about the movie today for some reason. Hot cars, a 1968 Camero and hot chicks, what more did a movie need. I do remember that Lester and his woman were some how both sitting in the drivers seat through the whole movie.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trucks I have

I had this 1970 C/20 Chevy truck for two years that I bought for $900.00 and was going to fix it up. That never happened and I just sold it for like $1,500.00. The Ford F-150 is my baby. This is what Janet and I pull the camper with and is the truck I'll keep for a long time. I guess I'm just a truck kinda guy.

My mother

This is my mother at about the time that I was born in 1957, mom was 17. I find two or three similarities in this photo and the photo of Ricks mother.

Both women are wearing something with a plaid print.

Both women had a fashion accessory tied around the head or neck.

Rick is bundled up neatly in a woven white basket on a sled and I'm bundled up neatly behind the white clap board wall.

Hmmmm...the mystery continues.

Jaysus, Mary!

Me Mum, Mary, the infamous "Meddy, Meddy, Meddy," turned 70 on Friday. And she's only 19 years older than me. Good god, y'all!

Here's a snap of me and her in Midland, Ontario, Canada in the winter of '58-'59.

Apparently nobody thought anything of taking infants out into the freezing cold back then. In fact, my babysitter used to bundle me up in my baby carriage and park me on the veranda (porch)for my nap. True story. No shit.

This is from a slide my dad recently scanned. It's showing the ravages of age -- note the dark pitting. But the color from that old Kodachrome was awesome. Shot on dad's old Leica.

A comparison

This is me now, with a photo of me in Basic Training.

As a fashion note, in the photo in boot camp, I am actually not wearing pants. True Fact.

Rick's cars #3: The Chevy Panel Truck UPDATE

Here it is. I'll scan this later for a cleaner image -- This is just a photo of a photo.

This was shot out in the forest near Steilacoom, Washington, where Gayle and I were living at the time. The truck was great for going out on the old forest roads -- it was nearly indestructible. We had a couple of chaise lounges in the back for relaxing and we spent a lot of time out in the woods.

You can see the lettering I did on the side. I'd forgotten that I'd also written "East Bhumphuk, Egypt" on the door. That one always got grins at the stoplights.

Something cool to note is that little triangle near the mirror on the door. That was called a "smoker's window." It swiveled open to allow ventilation in the car, or to let out smoke. (Some folks calls it 'Oklahoma Air-conditioning' but I calls it a Sling Blade. MMmhhmmm.) They used to be on all cars, and I can't, for the life of me figure out why they ever got rid of them. I haven't even smoked in 6 years and I still miss them. You could drive in the rain with that thing cracked and not get wet. No chance of that now. Get a clue Detroit! (steps down off of soap bo.x)

Also visible is the Miller Hi Life pony bottle of which I was so fond back then.

I'm dating this picture in 1981. I'd gotten married in 1980, so I know its after that. But, I'm also wearing my $80 (in 1980 dollars) color-changing Ray-Ban glasses that I bought in Germany. I got in a fight with a guy one afternoon and he punched me in the eye, destroying the glasses, and that can't have been to long after this was taken. It also means I was still working in the Mess Hall as the clerk/shift leader. They weekend I got clocked was right before I got moved back over to the Cavalry Troop as a Squad Leader. Also, I think we switched from Miller to Ranier pretty soon after this.

Fashion of the day: Bib overall painter-pants. The bandanna on the head and the lack of a shirt were purely me.