Category Archives: Maryll Jones

Hot Air

Courage

I became a fan of the late James Garner a ways back when I was an idealistic teen hoping to participate in the remaking of this corrupt, sick, unfair world. Immediately after Martin Luther King was whacked, I delved into his life and adopted him as my hero. I learned that several white actors had participated with him in the March on Washington in August, 1963. Among them were Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, James Franciscus, and James Garner.

It took plenty of coglioni for a white guy to associate himself with the Civil Rights movement back then. Heston was warned off rubbing shoulders with King by his agents and his friends who ran movie studios. They told him it would be career suicide and, in fact, Heston’s career arc dipped significantly in the mid- and late-’60s.

Carroll/Garner

Actress Diahann Carroll & James Garner At The March On Washington

For his part, Garner also experienced a rough patch after throwing his lot in with King et al. Prior to the March, Garner’d portrayed a charming, borderline-swindler card player named Bret Maverick on the long-running eponymous TV series. The year of the March he appeared in the Hollywood blockbuster The Great Escape. The future looked limitless for him. Then, after pix of him attending the March appeared in newspapers all over the country, it seemed he was only able to snag roles in mediocre, lower-budget films for a few years.

It wasn’t until he scored the role of private detective Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files in the more easy-going ’70s that he hit the top of the biz again.

The world, BTW, is still corrupt, sick, and unfair. Garner, though, did what he could about it

In The Cards

Speaking of local blogs (well, I did mention one yesterday, and writing this one almost every day seems a seamless task to me, so, yeah, we’ve been speaking of local blogs), if you’re into the woo occult you might be interested in Maryll Jones’s Interpretations.

Her URL, BTW, is maryll.com. I asked her how she managed to score such an address — you’d think several jillion bloggers named Maryll would have snapped it up way before she did. She told me she purchased it in 1998 which, I believe, was back in the days when the interwebs were powered by steam. She’s been sitting on maryll.com for lo these many years yet Interpretations is only a couple of months old.

Maryll studies tarot and talks about the cards and her life in Interpretations. She even occasionally does impromptu readings for interested parties at Soma Coffee. Loyal Pencillistas know that I look askance at things like tarot. Nevertheless, I like to flog for my blog-writing colleagues.

Criswell

“We Are All Interested In The Future….”

There. Now, ain’t I a broad-minded fellow?

The Red Dawn

So, the City of Somerset, Kentucky, has opened its own municipally-run retail gas station. Folks in that neck of the woods can fill up on regular unleaded (the only octane the place offers) for as little as $3.36 a gal. There are no Cool Ranch Doritos, lubricated reservoir tip condoms, nor sullen teenagers behind the counter. The place sells gas, period.

The city buys the gas wholesale and then sells it based on the current average regional retail price. Mayor Eddie Girdler of Somerset sez the city has no interest in making a profit on this venture, meaning he’s likely a child-molesting, commie, Nazi abortionist and prob. was born in Kenya around the time Barack Obama was.

Hammer/Sickle/Star

You Can Trust Your Car To The Man Who Wears The Star

Acc’d’g to the Washington Post, local private gas station operators are aghast at the development. Their prices, natch, are higher than the city’s place because they have to stock their shelves with junk food, booze, and cheap prophylactics. Oh, and they have to hire sullen teenagers to put up product and sell it. One fellow who runs a nearby convenience store/gas station says, basically, only an idiot would not recognize the city’s venture as “socialist.”

It may interest you to know Eddie Girdler is a Republican.

Keeping Reachin’ For The Stars

I understand Casey Kasem’s body has gone missing. The TV DJ died earlier this month even as his wife and other potential heirs fought tooth and nail over whom he loved mostest.

Kasems

Casey Kasem & Wife Jean in the 1980s

My Soma Coffee co-loiterer Michael Spica wonders if there’ll be an American Top 40 list of possible hiding places for Casey’s corpse.

Hot Air-waves V

Cleveland Rocks

Here’s how the news reached my ears…, er, eyes.

Monday, the night of the mildly tumultuous WFHB Board of Directors meeting in City Council chambers, I was expecting that august body to do a quick, pro-forma vote to extend Cleveland Dietz as acting general manager through December 31st. After all, that’s what Cleveland himself had told me would happen.

But the Board had been spanked verbally by many in the volunteer membership for much of the evening and, toward the end of the night, announced it would gather in closed session to talk about Cleveland’s future.

Dietz

Cleveland Dietz

A future, by the way, I figured at that moment would last until the spring, at least with regard to our town’s community radio station. Cleveland himself had told me the Board expected to conduct another seemingly endless (my adjectives, not his) search for a permanent czar and the whole shebang could take until April. He caught himself when he said that and asked me not to mention the April thing in this communication colossus. I agreed to zip it.

It puzzled me that the Board should have to shut the public out of so minor a move — minor, that is, in light of the whole botched GM search that has been going on since…, hmm, let’s see now, oh, since Bill Clinton was president.

I pressed Board prez Joe Estivill for any information at all on Cleveland’s status. Joe shook his head. He wouldn’t commit to anything. I could only get him to commit to calling me when the Board finished up with its closed session.

Joe did call as Monday turned into Tuesday. The news he had for me was no news at all. The Board hadn’t voted on extending Cleveland as official seat-warmer and, in fact, had been discussing “some other issues” and would have something to say within 24 hours. I’d already started falling asleep when Joe’s call came in so, through the haze, I grunted humph. I like scoops and this, quite frankly, wasn’t much of one.

It seemed to me at the time that the Board had decided its best form of action in light of the Kevin Culbertson fiasco was to dither. Officially.

Joe asked me to sit on the “some other issues” news, to which a readily agreed. Surely there’d be no Pulitzer prize awaiting me for breaking the news that the Board was, y’know, thinking about something or another.

Flash forward to last night at precisely 11:40. Again, I was wrapped in the arms of Morpheus when the phone rang. By the time I picked it up, the caller’d hung up. It had been Joe. So eager was I to slip back into the dreamless that I decided, hell, I can call him back tomorrow morning. Surely whatever he had to reveal to me could wait.

I tossed and turned for an hour and a half until I sprang up from the pillow. Of course! I’ve got it! The Board decided Monday night to go back and offer the job to good old Chad Carrothers!

I jumped up and debated whether I should call Joe back immediately. Then I figured the poor old soul was probably drifting off into Z-ville himself. On a hunch, I cranked up this internet machine, just on the odd chance Joe’d sent me an email or Facebook message that Chad was back in the fold and all would be right with the world.

Once the Indian head test pattern had dissolved and Facebook flashed on my screen, I saw the real news.

Cleveland, that lucky dog, is in. For the long haul. Congratulations to the new permament general manager of radio station WFHB.

After six months of hand-wringing, waiting by the phone, and consulting oracles and tea leaves to find a new holder of the station’s riding crop, the Board has done something right. And the rest of us ought to pat the seven of them collectively on the back.

Tabbing Cleveland to steer the ship for the next few years is the safest and most healing move the Board could make.

Who has any problems with Cleveland Dietz? He’s as mild-mannered and uncontroversial a figure as can be found in the state of Indiana. Plus, he’s been trained in his job by none other than Chad Carrothers himself, whose coat he’d held in his role as assistant GM prior to CC’s unexpected move to the west last summer.

He’s proven himself capable and keeping him on permanently ensures that the station won’t go through any wrenching transition under a stranger. And even if the Board had elected to ask  Chad to sit in his old chair, there’d be grumblings from those who found the old boss a little too rough around the edges.

The first person who complains about the Cleveland hire is nothing more than a person who complains obsessively, and maybe professionally.

Maryll Jones broke the news about Cleveland to the public and that’s as it should be. She spent a lot of time and energy — both physical and emotional — wrangling the roomful of cats that comprise the Friends of WFHB. I, for one, would like to see her sit on the Board of Directors just as soon as the rest of us can vote her in.

Hot Air, Cold Day

Tough Crowd

Just a reminder, The Pencil has forwarded a communique to Kevin Culbertson, newly-named general manager of radio station WFHB, offering him an opportunity to introduce himself to Bloomington here.

Keep watching this space for further developments.

Meanwhile, the new Facebook group, Friends of WFHB, has garnered nearly 200 members as of this morning. WFHB volunteer member Maryll Jones has been running herself ragged administering the page as well as keeping certain group members from tearing each other limb from limb. Who’da thunk the selection of a GM would arouse such fire within the populace? Anyway, the discussion on the space is lively, if at times a little hair-raising.

Scene from "Frankenstein"

Passionate Radio Listeners

Along those lines, one disgruntled WFHB listener apparently sent an email to station Board members, threatening physical violence. The missive scared the bejesus out of the Board-ers. Jones has issued a Code of Conduct for Friends of WFHB members although it’s not known if the threatener is himself a member. (And, to be sure, it was a guy, wouldn’t you think?) In any case, the cops are snooping around to find out who sent the email.

Oh, one more thing. Personal to Maryll Jones: Pick up your guitar, woman!

Braves’ New (White) World

Worry not, Pencillistas, this is not really a sports story. It’s about racial politics and business in the Deep South.

That out of the way, it was learned yesterday that Major League Baseball’s Braves will be leaving their relatively shiny new home in downtown Atlanta for the greener…, check that, whiter pastures of Cobb County.

Historical Marker

The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, NBC Sports, and other Olympics sponsors built the Braves’ current home, Turner Field, for the 1996 Summer Olympics. It was called Centennial Olympic Stadium that year. The next year, the Braves moved in. So the team has been playing in Turner for a total of 16 years.

The Braves plan to move into their new digs for the 2017 baseball season. Turner Field cost $209 million to build. After the Olympics, Atlanta sunk another pile of dough into retrofitting the place to accommodate big league baseball and just shy of ten years later the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority dropped another huge wad of cash into renovations for the place, including what was hailed at the time as the world’s largest high definition video screen scoreboard.

The A-FCRA says it will demolish the stadium after the Braves leave. So, the joint will have had a useful life of fewer than 20 years. All for a pricetag well north of a half billion dollars, of which taxpayers footed a sweet $300 mill.

Turner Field

Ancient, Crumbling, Decaying, Nearly Empty Turner Field

 

A not-quite 20-year-old stadium is merely a young punk when compared to such geezers as Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (51 years old this year) and the Coliseum in Oakland (47), as well as Methuselahs such as Wrigley Field (99) and Fenway Park (101). The Braves swear their current home is dilapidated and so old-fashioned that the team can hardly make a penny playing there.

Which is utter horseshit.

Let me go out on a limb here and tell you the real reason the Braves want out of their new-ish stadium. It stands in downtown Atlanta just off I-75 and near many of the city’s other public and cultural institutions. It’s also surrounded by black Atlanta.

In Georgia, that’s bad business.

Almost very other baseball stadium built since 1991 has been located in downtown areas (that’s 19 out of the 30 in use today). Sports franchises want to play games in downtown areas because, unlike the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, those areas now are vibrant, rejuvenated, exciting places to be.

Decades ago, whites shunned big city downtowns because they were scared to death of catching cooties from Negroes. In the ensuing years, America has witnessed a gradual acceptance of mixed-race couples, has embraced a black woman (Oprah) as pied piper for the housewife set, and has even elected a brown president.

What were once deserted downtown streets after 5:00pm everywhere from Chicago to Cleveland now are destinations for dining, entertainment, and shopping.

Oh sure, many, many, many black residents were pushed out of these downtowns and surrounding environs by gentrification, but even that process required white people to at least tolerate seeing black faces while the demographics changed. And in those cities where downtown gentrification is complete, middle- and upper-middle class blacks are welcome to live there.

The nation has changed a bit.

But not Atlanta.

For all it’s self-advertisements as a beacon of modernity of the South, Atlanta is still full of…, well, Georgians. And very few places are more Georgian than Cobb County. Which is where the Braves are moving.

The Braves released a chart revealing most of its season ticket-holding base lives in that most Georgian of locales. It’s a gang that isn’t terribly pleased about riding into downtown Atlanta to watch a baseball game. It is, remember, full of Negroes.

I have a new team to root against now.

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